All Ranma characters are property of Rumiko Takahashi, first published by Shogakugan in Japan and brought over to North America by Viz Communications.
From a Different Viewpoint
Johnathon Dwire awoke in the back of the Cat Cafe with a splitting headache, fully dressed. Shampoo had snuck back to the Tendo dojo for his shoes. He had no recollection of what had happened after he had left Akane in the dojo. The first thing he saw was Shampoo's worried face. "Where am I? What's happened?"
She broke into a smile as she saw him awake, but her eyes were sad. "Oh brave sir, Shampoo very happy you all right! You save Shampoo from being smashed by car. Shampoo owe you debt of honor!" Johnathon saw emotion behind that statement, she was very serious about the "Debt of Honor."
Indeed she was, although not for the reason she had stated. "We be moving into Cat Cafe, Shampoo carrying Great-Grandmothers supplies when bad driver drove at Shampoo. You run to rescue, knock Shampoo out of way. Shampoo drop bucket of special water on Honored sir's head, very sorry! But Shampoo safe." She bowed deeply in respect, then continued. "Shampoo recently train in training ground of Jusenkyo, fall in spring of drowned cat, very tragic story of cat which drowned in spring one thousand two hundred year ago..."
"Wait!" Johnathon interrupted. "You fell into a Jusenkyo spring and now you become a cat?" Shampoo nodded, wondering how he knew about Jusenkyo. "Yes, great grandmother bring much magic here to try and cure Shampoo, Shampoo carrying bucket of spring of drowned cat for great grandmother too try to fix Shampoo curse. You save Shampoo from car, bucket fall on head..."
She broke off, biting her lip, watching him absorb this information. "You don't mean that I... I... You don't mean?!?"
Shampoo nodded. "You become cat now, like Shampoo." She seemed to be serious. Johnathon sat quietly for several minutes. He had seen Ranma, heard all about Jusenkyo from Akane, but for it to happen to him!
He shuddered, then looked determinedly at Shampoo. "I've got to know for sure, Shampoo, could you bring me some cold water?"
Shampoo looked surprised, but ran off, returning after a minute with a bucket of cold water. He pointed at his head. "Go ahead, pour." She did so and he felt his world change. Deja vu? He remembered this sensation from before vaguely, but nothing else. Johnathon crawled out of his clothing and looked around, he was a cat all right, with black fur that matched the color of his hair. Shampoo shrugged to herself and poured the rest of the bucket over her own head. She shrunk in an instant and seconds later a white cat crawled out of her clothing. She meowed at him and looked sideways at him. He meowed back and shrugged. Shampoo motioned at him with her head, jerking it to the side. Johnathon took that to mean she wanted him to follow her.
He did so, following her to a steaming bath. She jumped in, followed closely by Johnathon, who suddenly found himself back to normal. He also realized he was kneeling next to a very attractive naked girl in the tub. She did not flinch at his gaze but stood up and casually grabbed a towel from the wall. She wrapped it around herself, then turned and went back toward the back room. He sat in the tub for a few moments then got out himself, grabbed a towel and dried himself off, wrapped the towel around his waist and headed for the back room himself.
Shampoo was there dressed, his cloths were in a neat pile. He walked over and took them and Shampoo turned her back so he could change. Johnathon quickly dressed, then sat down in a chair. Shampoo turned around and looked at him expectantly. He looked back at her, a strange expression on his face. "Shampoo, I would like to be alone now." She nodded seriously and turned to go. "No, I'm going home. I don't know what to think right now. I'll be back in a day or two." He nodded to himself, rose, and walked out.
Shampoo looked after him with guilty eyes. She did owe him a debt of honor, and she would pay him back for the harm she had done him, somehow. Johnathon walked slowly, his mind wandering. Two weeks ago it had seemed so, so neat! Now it wasn't a joke, it had happened to him! He felt numb, not really sure how to react. He was angry, sad, confused, part of him was even excited at the possibilities of it all. He was scared too, of what might happen. Johnathon walked past his apartment, deciding to keep going. He slowly calmed down as he walked.
He had been asking for it with his attitude about Ranma's curse. It wasn't a game, he didn't feel like a kid anymore. Still, it was far from the worst thing that could have happened. With determination and purpose he made his way home. "I can handle this!" He declared fiercely to the sky, and was answered by a bolt of lightning coming down in the distance, then a crack of thunder. "Uh oh." He started to run as the rain came pouring down. "Damn! Sh.. meow! Meow!" The black cat ran on through the rain, headed for home.
When he got there he realized that the doors were shut tight, he couldn't get in. Frustrated and angry, he headed for the Cat Cafe. It too was locked up for the night. Cold and wet, he headed for the Tendo dojo. Ranma was cursed too, maybe he could help. When Johnathon got there the gates were closed, but he managed to leap, claw and scramble his way to the top of the wall. Jumping to the ground again was easy, for a cat, and he made his way to the house. It was closed up too, but he remembered that it had those paper doors in the back. He ran around and clawed himself a hole in the back door.
Johnathon made his way quietly through the house, looking for Ranma, Akane, or even just some hot water. He found Akane's room, it had a Duck name tag on it, but it and the rest of the doors were closed. Everyone was fast asleep. He debated waking someone up, then decided against it finally, it wouldn't hurt much to wait till morning. He wandered around, and finally curled up under the table in the living room. After a few minutes trying to get comfortable, he fell asleep.
Kasumi came down that morning and noticed the hole in the back door. "Now how could that happen?" As she started heading for the kitchen to prepare breakfast, she saw the small black cat curled up under the table. "Oh my." Kasumi looked down at the cat and then back at the door. "What a naughty cat!" She reached down and picked it up. Johnathon woke to the sensation of being grabbed. He started to struggle until he realized what was happening. Kasumi started to carry him outside, opening the back door with her foot. She headed for the front gate.
Johnathon meowed but didn't struggle. When she got to the gate she put him in the crook of her arm and started to open the gate with her free hand. Now that she no longer had a grip on him he jumped down. Kasumi reached down for him but he stepped away quickly. The gate was open a crack now, but he wasn't going out it. Kasumi took a few steps toward him.
"Here kitty kitty." she said very sweetly. She was mildly surprised when the little black cat didn't come to her, but stayed just out of arms reach, staying out of reach very carefully. "Come here, I won't hurt you." She said in her most kindly voice. Johnathon fought back a sudden impulse to go to her. She was so, so lovable!
Grinning at his own foolishness he stood his ground and carefully shook his head back and forth at her. "Meow." Kasumi looked sideways at him, her pleasant smile mixed with a bit of confusion. She continued to wheedle at him, patiently waiting for him to come to her. He didn't, just shaking his head whenever Kasumi asked him to come.
Encouraged by the fact that he didn't run, Kasumi slowly stepped forward. He moved back with her, staying just out of reach but no farther away. She stopped, a bit frustrated. Ranma's cat-phobia worried her, she really didn't want Ranma freaking out, it wasn't the way to treat a guest. This cat was not cooperating, it was smart, and unafraid, and healthy looking. It was probably someone's pet, but it didn't want to be picked up again. Kasumi took a step back, putting her hands on her hips.
"Bad kitty, go home, go home." She pointed at the gate. Johnathon was getting a bit desperate. He took a few steps toward the gate, then looked at her plaintively. Kasumi's heart went out to him for a second. "Oh, cute." Then she steeled herself. "Out! Out!" Johnathon was at a loss, how was he supposed to get her to understand? He stood irresolute for a moment. Kasumi repeated with a firmer tone "Out!" Making up his mind he nodded at her, turned to face her and gave a slightly clumsy bow and then turned and walked away.
Kasumi's eyebrows rose at that and she went to the gate herself and watched the cat walk away. It turned it's head once to look at her, then took off running. Kasumi bit her lip. "Oh my!" Johnathon ran towards the Cat Cafe quickly, hoping someone would be awake. When he arrived it was still early, it was just getting light. The doors were closed, but he could hear faint sounds coming from inside. He scratched on the door and yowled loudly.
Soon the door opened and Shampoo looked down at him. "Be quiet stupid ca.! Oh, is you!"
She opened the door wide to let him in. "You want hot water?" He shook his head and looked pointedly at her then turned and ran a few yards away. He looked back at her, took a few steps back then turned and ran farther away. "Oh! You want Shampoo follow?" He nodded emphatically. Shampoo turned back inside for a second. "Great grandmother! Shampoo going out!" Then she came back outside to follow him. Johnathon took off, looking back occasionally to make sure she was following him. He ran several blocks hoping, and miraculously his clothing was still where he had left them. Shampoo understood immediately. She picked up his clothing and looking at him for confirmation, headed back to the Cat Cafe.
A hot kettle of water later Johnathon came out of the Cafe's bathroom. "Thanks Shampoo, I got caught in the rain last night."
She looked at him mortified. "Aiiee! This all Shampoo's fault."
"No, it's all right, Shampoo, I don't blame you for that, I should of gone home sooner." He looked at her with a wry smile. "Anyway, thanks, for awhile I wondered how long I would be stuck that way. Oh yes I don't believe we were properly introduced. Shampoo, I am Johnathon Dwire." He stuck out his hand in the American fashion. She looked confused for a second, but took his hand after a moments hesitation. He gave it a light shake then released it.
She seemed a bit uncomfortable, but covered the reaction quickly. "Yes, Johnathon-san."
"I teach english over at Furinkan high school." She nodded and again started to apologize. He stopped her. "Shampoo, it is all right, it was an accident, you have things to do here, and I've got to prepare for school. I'll come be tomorrow I think, and we can talk a bit about this curse. For now, I've got to go."
She nodded. "Yes, Johnathon-san, thank you." He left, jogging for his apartment. He had to hurry if he was going to make it to the school in time for his first class.
When he got home he took the time to put a small folding umbrella in his backpack and ran to the school. He was pleasantly surprised to find he was not excessively fatigued from the run. < All the training is improving my physical condition.> He had always been in pretty good shape, but he was becoming much better conditioned recently. Perhaps even equal to a low grade Olympic athlete. The day went smoothly. He was supposed to go back to the Tendo's tomorrow for his training.
He debated telling them. Ranma and his father were cursed. The Tendo's wouldn't use his curse against him. They could help if he got into trouble because of his curse. It would probably save him trouble later if he had some place besides the Cat Cafe to go if he needed help. The next day came without fanfare. Johnathon made his way to the dojo. It had been raining off and on for the last couple of days. He had been glad for his umbrella twice already.
The road was full of puddles and he avoided them unconsciously as he walked. It was raining lightly as he arrived at the gates. As he turned to go in a van sped by, splashing him with a wave of rainwater. As he changed he grimaced angrily at himself for his inattention. Inside, Akane and Ranma were arguing. Mr. Tendo had been called to a community meeting and had asked Akane and Ranma to handle Johnathon's training session that day.
Akane had been willing, but Ranma had started making fun of her martial arts skill again. "Oh right Akane, I suppose you're going to teach him how to kill in three seconds, with curry. HA HA ha ha h.."
"Ranma you jerk!" "Boom!" As he entered the gate Johnathon heard a crash and saw Ranma-chan crash into a tree and fall to the ground. He ran over to check her out. In the rain it was hard to tell if she was all right. He tried to feel for a pulse on her wrist. His claws came out a couple of times as he tired to find a beat, but he couldn't feel it.
Johnathon climbed up unto her chest to listen, trying to ignore her obviously unfettered breasts. He clambered over to her face trying unsuccessfully to ignore what he was climbing over. He put his face up to hers, the small cat could feel her breathing against his whiskers. She was ok. It was amazing that Ranma hadn't been hurt worse from the blow she had taken.
Ranma was dreaming, a bad dream, about cats. They were clawing at her hands, at her chest, a giant cat was going for her eyes to rip them out. She woke with that, her eyes opening with a snap. The dream was the truth! Ranma-chan body was paralyzed with fear. Johnathon was relived when Ranma-chan's eyes opened, but the fear there was shocking, he could feel her whole body stiffen under him, and her limbs lock into place below him. Johnathon peered into her face and meowed reassuringly.
That was enough, after that dream, Ranma was already close to the edge, she went over in a rush. Johnathon could see the sanity leave her eyes, he leapt away as she flipped upright. Well kind of upright, Ranma-chan was on all fours, one hand raised like a paw facing him. Johnathon started to backpedal away, something was seriously wrong. Akane took the wrong time to come out of the dojo.
She looked angry and was carrying a Shani, or bamboo sword. "Ranma, you better apologize or, or, uh oh..." Ranma-chan had turned towards the angry voice, took in the posture, weapon and battle aura and reacted instinctively to the new threat, attack!
Ranma-chan slashed with claws made of her chi, hitting Akane from a yard away as she pounced. The shani shredded like paper, as did the shoulders and sleeves of Akane's gi top. Akane fell back and Ranma-chan jumped over her effortlessly, turning around to attack again. Akane looked at Ranma-chan fearfully. "Ranma, no, DON'T!" something clicked in Ranma's cat fuged memory and she paused. This wasn't an enemy, it was, it was...
Ranma-chan approached slowly, curiously. She batted playfully at Akane's upstretched arms, which dropped, as Akane realized she was not about to be shredded. As her arms dropped, so did the remains of her gi top, falling to her waist. Reflexively, Akane pulled it up to cover herself, but the sudden movement caused Ranma-chan to bat her arms down again. Akane froze, not daring to move and set Ranma off again. Ranma-chan moved up to her and sniffed her bare chest, Akane held back a scream. For now she just didn't want to die.
Ranma-chan gave Akane's silk bra an interested sniff, then cuddled her head between Akane's breasts. Akane was slowly turning red from anger and embarrassment. Johnathon was watching with wide eyes and suddenly realized what Akane would do to him if she caught him staring. He averted his eyes, wondering what was going on and what he was supposed to do about it. Ranma-chan climbed up into Akane's lap and curled up. Akane patted the back of Ranma-chan's head and murmured reassuringly at her. She pulled the front of her Gi up with her free hand and wondered if anyone had seen Ranma's assault on her.
Akane looked around, wondering what had set off Ranma's cat phobia. She spotted a black cat standing about ten feet away, looking intently at the ground in front of it. She stopped to think, what was she going to do? If she shooed the cat away Ranma might bolt too. If it stayed Ranma would freak out again when he came out of it. If she waited for someone to come and help they would catch her in this embarrassing situation with Ranma. She could just beat Ranma senseless, but she felt a bit guilty over knocking him through the wall in the first place. Anyway, his cat side was very dangerous, attacking it could be very bad.
Akane glared at the cat and hissed quietly at it. "Hey cat, get lost, go away!" Ranma stirred uncomfortably on Akane's lap and she petted him. "No not you, good kitty." She turned back to the black cat walking out to the gate. Akane was surprised but relieved. Now to get Ranma calmed down. She stroked the top of his head slowly, a bit embarrassed at her own reactions, if anyone caught her like this... She looked up at faint sounds coming from the gate.
The cat was coming back in, walking backwards, dragging something, a black pair of pants? It went out again and slowly dragged in a black shirt, it looked like a turtleneck. Her eyes went wide with the possibility. "No, it can't be!" The cat went out twice more getting a pair of shoes, then again for a long time. She could hear faint scraping sounds from outside. Finally it slowly dragged in a backpack and sat panting.
Ranma-chan started to come out of her cat delirium. "Huh? What happened?" She started to raise her head but Akane shoved it back down. She grabbed Ranma-chan's head in an iron grip on both sides, keeping Ranma facing away from both her and the cat. She stood and pulled her up. "Akane, what are you doing?" Ranma-chan heard cloth hitting the ground behind her and felt her impulse to look back suppressed by Akane's iron grip.
Akane maneuvered Ranma-chan so she was facing the back door of the house and started pushing her forward. "Go inside and don't turn around!"
She took a couple of steps forward and stopped. Akane punched her in the back of head. "Trust me you idiot! Just go!" Ranma went inside, something in Akane's voice warning him not to disobey. Akane went over to the cat. It was facing away from her even though it was obviously hear her approach. She picked it up and it froze. "Who are you kitty?" She asked quietly, unconsciously holding it to her stomach like a small child. "Are you... are you?" She broke off, not being able to finish the question.
Johnathon didn't dare move, he could feel Akane's bare arms, her bare stomach on his fur. He shivered. This would be great if Akane wasn't going to kill me! He nodded in response to her quiet questions. "John-san?" Nod. "Is that you?" Nod. "Are you just nodding over and over?" Johnathon shook his head back and forth. "How did this happen?... No never mind, do you want some hot water?" Vigorous nodding. "Ok."
Akane scooped up Johnathon's clothing and carried him into the kitchen. She set him on the counter and started to heat a kettle, then she ran out of the room. "Be right back!" Akane ran up to her room and got out a spare gi top. Putting it on she ran back downstairs, noticing steam coming from the bathroom door. "Ranma? Don't go in the kitchen!" She went to the kitchen and over to the cute little black cat. "It's ok now John-san, you can look." The black cat had turned it's head as she entered but now looked back at her. Akane went over to check the kettle, just hot enough. Johnathon jumped to the floor when she picked up the kettle. Akane brought the kettle over his head and he nodded at her again.
Akane poured and turned her head away. Johnathon felt the change and quickly grabbed his clothing. Akane tried not to blush when his naked arm shot past her to get his pants. She carefully kept her back turned as he got dressed.
He finally spoke. "So Akane, I expect you want an explanation."
She nodded "Yes John-san, I would appreciate it, why were you a cat?" From outside the kitchen they both heard a shaky Ranma repeat. "Ccca-aatt?"
Johnathon opened the door and motioned for Akane to follow. "Come on, I'll tell you both at once." Later, sitting around the living room table. "And that's how I became a cat." Johnathon was finishing his explanation. "It was really an unfortunate accident. Shampoo's been quite helpful in the past few days. I think she feels guilty that I got splashed helping her."
Ranma was sitting quietly looking a bit shocked. He shuddered with the thought.
Akane looked a bit suspicious. "Are you sure it wasn't Shampoo's fault? That crazy Amazon is always trying some maniac scheme." "Why would she want to do anything to me?" Johnathon asked reasonably. "We had never really met before."
Akane nodded "You're right, I guess it was just an accident."
Johnathon looked over at Ranma. "So, do you want to explain what happened to Ranma?"
Ranma looked uncomfortable and Akane decided to explain. "Well you see, ten years ago Ranma's father decided to teach Ranma the Cat Fist..." "...and so, whenever Ranma's fear of cats becomes too great, he becomes one himself."
"How... horrible." Johnathon was speechless. What a terrible training method, to throw someone wrapped in fish sausage into a pit of staving cats, that would be enough to give anyone the fear of cats, and Ranma had to go through that more than once?
"So tonight, when Ranma woke up with me in his face he..."
Akane nodded. "Yup, he became a cat."
Johnathon looked at her with a pained expression "Terrifying."
Ranma looked wary. "I didn't do.. anything, while I was I cat, right?" They both looked at Ranma.
Akane shook her head. "Nothing really Ranma, you don't remember anything when you're like that any ways, right?"
"No I don't, why?" Ranma looked at her a bit concerned.
"It's not important, nothing happened, really." She shot Johnathon a fierce look, he was a bit perplexed but said nothing and shrugged.
At that moment, Kasumi walked in carrying Akane's shredded gi top and shani. "Akane, Ranma." Kasumi walked over, Akane looking worried. "You shouldn't make such a mess outside when you practice." Akane and Johnathon both face faulted.
Ranma looked at the strips of white cloth in Kasumi's hands. "Hey isn't that..."
"Pow!" Akane smashed a fist into Ranma's face to shut him up and smiled pleasantly at Kasumi. "Sorry sis, won't happen again."
Kasumi noticed Johnathon. "Oh Dwire sensei, can I get you some tea?" He nodded. "Sure Kasumi."
She walked out and Ranma looked angrily at Akane. "What did you do that for?"
"Don't ask Ranma, just don't ask." Ranma could see something in Akane's eyes that made him remain silent.
When Kasumi came in with tea Johnathon decided to tell her. He wasn't sure why but it felt right. "Kasumi, I'd like to tell you something."
She smiled at him pleasantly and kneeled at the table. "Yes Dwire-san?"
"Recently I was splashed with a bucket filled with water from the spring of drowned cat, now, when splashed with cold water I become a black cat."
"Oh my." Kasumi sat quietly for a moment. "Were you that little cat the other morning?"
Johnathon nodded. "Yes, it had rained and I was looking for some hot water." Ranma winced in sympathy.
"Oh I'm very sorry." Kasumi bowed her head in apology.
Dwire just shook his head. "That's all right Kasumi, you were just protecting Ranma, I understand that."
"Thank you Dwire-san, if there is anything I can do?" Kasumi wanted to know.
Johnathon smiled gratefully. "Actually there is, the occasional kettle of hot water would do fine. I was hoping I could come by in case of an accident. I don't have anyone else I can really trust with my secret here in Japan, so I would be very grateful if you could change me back once in a while."
She bowed slightly. "Certainly Dwire-san, I am honored by your trust."
"I'll help too!" Akane volunteered cheerfully.
Ranma looked uncomfortable, "I, uh, I..."
"I'll be sure to stay away from you while I'm a cat Ranma." Johnathon smiled at him. "Don't worry about it."
Ranma looked up. "I didn't mean, I, uh, oh, all right, that's good of you Dwire-san."
"Well Akane, I came today to train, shall we?" Johnathon looked at her and Ranma.
"Sure." Akane stood and headed for the dojo, Johnathon following. Ranma watched them go, then got up to follow. "Might as well make sure everything goes all right."
Ranma watched Akane train Johnathon in several strength building exercises, including her favorite, breaking bricks. She had Johnathon start on wooden boards, he wouldn't be ready for bricks for some time. After a while of Ranma watching him, Johnathon asked Ranma to spar. He agreed and for the next minute, effortlessly dodged everything Johnathon could do. "Hey Ranma." Johnathon stopped attacking for a moment. "You are a whole lot better than me."
"Yup." Ranma could easily concede that point.
"But I'm not going to get much better myself if you don't attack me at least a little." John pointed out.
Ranma shrugged. "Ok, if you want to get beaten."
The young man nodded. "I won't learn otherwise." Ranma nodded as well, brought up his hands, and attacked. Even at three fourths speed and one half power, Johnathon could not defend himself from Ranma's assault. Ranma analyzed his style faster than Johnathon could change it, finding weakness after weakness. He put home blow after blow, pulling his punches a bit at the last second to keep from doing too much damage. Johnathon kept trying however, Ranma was impressed with his willpower.
Five minutes, ten, fifteen, finally, Johnathon went down for the last time. "Thank, you, Ranma, that, was..." Johnathon took a couple of deep breaths. "Very instructive." He slowly got to his feet, and bowed low, slowly and shakily. "Thank you very much." He straightened and started to stagger.
Akane rushed over in concern. "Are you all right? Ranma! You shouldn't have hit him so much!" Johnathon shook his head. "No Akane, it was necessary, to show mw the holes in my defense, Ranma understood my need." Akane was silent, nonplused at this.
Johnathon rubbed a particularly sore part of one arm and smiled. "I'll be fine Akane, nothing permanent." He felt horrible, and figured he would ache for at least a week, but he was positive that his skill would have taken a quantum leap forward by the time he healed. The bruises and aches were sure reminders of the flaws in his defense. "I'd better get home you two, thanks again." Johnathon collected his pack and left, trying not to limp too much while in sight of the dojo.
After he had gone Akane turned to Ranma. "How come you never spar with me like that?"
"I don't fight girls." He replied haughtily.
"Oh yeah? How about if you're a girl then?" Akane had suddenly acquired a bucket of water from somewhere and was approaching him.
"No way Akane, you're not splashing me with that!"
"I'll get you Ranma!" she advanced on him slowly.
"Akane you idiot!" Kasumi smiled to herself, things were back to normal at the Tendo's.
End part 3, part 4 follows.
I hope you liked it. More will be coming soon! C&C is always welcome!