All Ranma characters are property of Rumiko Takahashi, first published by Shogakugan in Japan and brought over to North America by Viz Communications. Sailor Moon was created by Naoko Taeuchi.
A Different Viewpoint 34
Everyone had piled into Kuno's stretch limo for the trip to Juuban. Sasuke drove, way up in front. There was room enough in the back to hold a small party. The seats lined the walls so everyone ended up facing each other. Johnathon admired all the amenities. There was a phone, TV, refrigerator, stocked bar, and even hot and cold running water.
Kuno sat staring at Ranma. He appeared to make a decision and nodded to himself. "Saotome, I have come at the bequest ot Akane Tendo to fight Demons. As I will be fighting at your side, I have a request to make of you."
Ranma's eyebrows went up. "Oh yeah? What do you want?"
Kuno looked at him squarely, straightening his back. "I wish to converse with the pig tailed girl. She who is cursed to share your form."
Ranma blinked, then started to get angry. "Kuno...!"
Akane and Johnathon both shot Ranma a warning look. Akane's eyes asked for patience.
Johnathon looked worried. < Don't start a fight in our transportation, Ranma!>
Akane nodded at Ranma. "Why don't you let Kuno talk to your girl side. Explain the truth to him."
Ranma sighed, looking pained. "OK, Kuno, I'll change. But my girl side isn't a separate person. She is me, and I am her." Kuno looked skeptical and was about to speak. Ranma shook his head. "You can see for yourself." Ranma grabbed a glass from the bar and filled it from the tap. "Cold water, Kuno. It activates the Jusenkyo curse." He poured the water over his head while Kuno watched carefully. Ranma's change was instantaneous as always. The red headed girl put the glass down and looked firmly at Kuno. "I am Ranma Saotome. This body is a curse. The body, not the mind, Kuno. I am still a guy..." She tapped her head. "Up here. The only thing that changes is my body. I'm a guy, not a girl. Do you understand?"
Kuno frowned, looking troubled. He had restrained himself from properly greeting his love by an act of will. Now, he wasn't quite so sure he wished to hold her quite so much. "Is this true? You are, in spirit, still a man?" He shook his head. "Nay! This cannot be! You may at times protest against your love for me, as does the fair Akane, but anon, you admit you love to me, proving the very essence of your womanhood!"
Ranma tried to look annoyed, but ended up sighing. "Kuno, at first I tried to tell you... Remember those first few days? Once you had grabbed my girl side and Nabiki poured some hot water on me. I changed right there. Nabiki told you, kinda, but you didn't get it, you just attacked me."
Kuno nodded. "Yes... I think back and I can indeed recall the day. Now that I understand what happened all becomes clear. Do you not admit, however, that it was indeed magic that replaced you with Saotome? Yes, it is clear you are truly different from him. I did not attack you, but Saotome, thinking it was his sorcery that stole you away. Perhaps it was not of Saotome's making... perhaps, but it was sorcery, none-the-less!"
Akane shrugged. "Well, it was magic, Kuno, so you're right about that. But Ranma is Ranma, no matter what he looks like."
Kuno glanced at Akane. "Akane Tendo, have you yourself not witnessed it?" He turned back to Ranma. "Many times, you, my pig tailed beauty, have shown your true affections, as a woman, towards me. Is this not true?"
Ranma began to protest. "But... I..." She grimaced. "Listen, it wasn't like that. Remember the martial arts takeout race?"
Kuno's eyes started to glaze. "How could I forget? You came to me and fought for the right to feed me! Oh glorious..."
He started to drool a bit and Ranma grabbed him by the collar. "Listen! It was a race, the prize was a years supply of Ramen for a year, and your house was the finish line. Everything I did then was to win the contest. A martial artist doesn't accept defeat if he can find a way to win. I used this body to get you to eat my Ramen, so I won. I didn't love you then, and I don't now, it was just the contest. I'm a guy, I used you to win..." Ranma paused, realizing what he was saying. "I did, didn't I, just like the pig..." He frowned. "Kuno, it wasn't very honorable to use my girl body like that... I'm just starting to realize that. For what it's worth, I... apologize."
Akane, Ukyo and Ryoga gaped at Ranma in astonishment. Johnathon just blinked. Shampoo looked like she was trying to understand why Ranma was apologizing.
Kuno shook his head. "Nay! I remember that day, and I know in my heart that your gestures of affection for me were real! You protest now, for you know we cannot be truly one while you share Saotome's form, but fear not, I will never cease in loving you."
Ranma just gaped dumbfounded at Kuno through the speech. "Kuno you idiot! Aren't you ever going to get it? I am Ranma! I am a guy! I don't love you, and I never will!":
Kuno just sighed regretfully. "I understand, my love. You fear the condemnation of your other self. Do not fret. Someday I will find a way for us to be together."
Ranma growled. "That's it, Kuno. I've had enough. If we weren't going to fight those demons today, I'd beat it into you. You want to talk to my guy side? I'll kick your ass, girl or guy!"
Kuno shook his head patiently. "Ah, I'm afraid that giving Saotome a beating will have to wait until you are freed. I could not bear to see you injured, as you must share his pain. Yes, as long as you share Ranma's form I am afraid I cannot allow you to come to harm by destroying him. Of course, in defeating you in combat I would not hurt you unduly, but I must restrain myself from combating your male half, lest I forget myself and injure you by accident."
Ranma started to fume. "Oh, now you're going to go easy on me when I'm a guy too? Don't bother idiot, you wouldn't have a chance on your best day."
Kuno just smiled. "Ah, your protests speak of the true strength of your love for me, so trapped by your horrible curse that your words themselves must be controlled by it...." Kuno ranted on and on.
Ranma had to be forcibly restrained by Ryoga and Johnathon from beating the Kendoist senseless right there. Akane, Ukyo and Johnathon added their voices to Ranma's in an attempt to get Kuno to accept the truth. It was to no avail. Kuno ignored or simply didn't understand anything that would show him his pig tailed girl was not a girl in spirit.
Shampoo spoke up finally, looking a bit annoyed. "Stupid sword boy think Ranma girl side real girl?"
Kuno glanced over at her, noticing the 'sword boy' reference. "She is, can you not see?" Kuno indicated Ranma with an open hand. "Her spirit lives, trapped by her curse! Saotome indeed holds her prisoner, but her spirit shines thought to those who can see!"
Shampoo glared at Kuno. "Shampoo is cursed to become cat! You is saying that Shampoo becomes cat in brain too?"
Kuno nodded knowingly. "Ah, indeed I have pondered this! Since discovering the truth behind my love's curse, I was informed of your curse as well by the minions that so unfortunately mistook your transformation as demonic. Obviously, your human spirit has dominated the lesser spirit of the cat! Only faint traces of it's spirit remain, lending only slightly to your personality."
Shampoo blinked, not sure how to take that. < Did he just make sense?>
Akane looked thoughtful. < That actually might explain some things...>
Ryoga looked horrified. < No! No no nonononono! I'm human! Not a pig!>
Ranma shuddered. "No way! Kuno you are more stupid than I thought! I haven't changed at all! I'm every bit as much a man as I ever was, no matter what body I'm in!"
Johnathon sighed. < Kuno's delusion makes a disturbing amount of sense. Am I really sure that my body alone is affected by the curse? I've always felt that I stayed me, but can I trust that feeling? Can any of us?> Johnathon shook his head. < Now Kuno's making me doubt myself. I'm me, I've just got to believe that.>
Kuno just nodded smugly at Ranma's fierce declaration. " Methinks thou doth protest too much. Don't worry, my dear. I will wait until you can admit the truth to yourself."
Ranma had to be restrained from attacking Kuno again.
Akane finally calmed Ranma down. "Ranma, forget it. Kuno's never going to believe his pig tailed goddess doesn't really exist. It doesn't matter, you know, and I know and everyone else knows who you are. So ignore him, he's just Kuno." Ranma nodded and sighed, sitting back in silence.
Kuno somehow didn't hear what Akane was saying, as he was thinking about the day when he would finally free his pig tailed goddess from her curse.
Akane sighed as well. < Maybe we could hypnotize Kuno into believing it... Hey, I wonder where Happosai is anyway? I hope he doesn't have any more of that hypnosis stuff.>
The old pervert in question had been following Nabiki Tendo. < My plan is working perfectly. Little Pantyhose Tarou will come to the Tendo Dojo tonight and I'll be ready for him. Everyone will be out of the house except for Nabiki and Kasumi, who's stuck as a cat. Thanks to the false messages I sent to Genma and Soun, that is. The younger generation is all out of town fighting 'Demons' and Nabiki-chan is all mine. I'll get my energy up to the max with her 'help'. Tarou won't suspect for an instant my true weakness.> Happosai paused in thought. < I wonder what my dear little Akane meant when she said they would be fighting demons? Surely not real demons?> He shook his head. < No, it's probably just another cursed artifact.>
Nabiki walked into the house. "Hello anyone? I'm home!" She turned to close the door and was surprised to see a man standing in the door. He appeared to be in his early twenties, and wore a purple gi. "Who are you?" She asked crossly.
"Can't you guess?" Happosai said, closing the door behind him.
As the door closed, Happosai and Nabiki heard a voice neither had expected. "Nabiki?" Kasumi's voice rang as plain as day.
Happosai blinked. < How did she...? I've got to act fast, Kasumi will recognize this form.>
Nabiki glanced over her shoulder, momentarily distracted away from the stranger by the surprise of hearing her sisters voice again. "Sis? How in the world..?"
Happosai smirked. "Oh, Nabiki-chan, how much do I owe you?"
Having (naturally) removed her shoes at the door, Nabiki's eyes went blank and she bent over to remove her left sock. Happosai rushed past her to the back yard, filling a bucket part way and carrying it back with some difficulty toward the kitchen.
As the perverted master of the Anything Goes school passed the hallway he asked again. "How much do I owe you?" Nabiki mechanically began to remove her other sock.
The kitchen door opened and Kasumi peeked out. "Nabiki, are you...?" With a splash of cold water Kasumi's words were silenced. She had jerked back at the last second, too late, and had found her self engulfed inside her now enormous dress.
Happosai cackled and quickly gathered up Kasumi's dress, cat and all. It was just within the limits of his strength to do so while still being able to move quickly.
Happosai rushed his bundle up the stairs, while shouting down at Nabiki. "How much do I owe you!" He opened up the door to Nabiki's room and tossed the cat inside. He closed the door tight and started back toward the stairs when he was suddenly distracted. A bra lay on the floor where it had fallen out of the bundle of clothing he had been carrying Kasumi in. "Sweeto!" He cried and jumped upon the silken piece of lingerie.
Down in the hall, Nabiki blinked. < Sweeto? What's going on?> She put two and two together in a flash. < That purple gi, that lecherous call. Happosai's here and he's using his hypnosis phrases on me.> Nabiki froze, disgust warring with logic. < The plan girl, follow the plan.> Quickly she reached into her shirt pocket. < I'm still wearing a shirt, thank god.> Nabiki brought out the inconspicuous pair of ear plugs she had purchased on the way home from school and quickly put them into her ears.
Her precaution came none too soon. Happosai, young and vital but now quite recognizable by the look of lust on his face, came quickly down the stairs, holding a bra. Nabiki watched his face, waiting for him to say the phrase. He began to speak and she read his lips as best as she could.
Happosai grinned at his pretty victim. "Now that we are all alone, my dear, lets have a little show. I missed the beginning, so... Are you feeling alright?"
Nabiki blinked, then repeated the words quietly to herself. The words echoed quietly in her head and when Nabiki blinked again she checked to find she was fully dressed. She looked up at Happosai, who was grinning at her and saying a phrase she knew well, although she couldn't remember actually hearing it in days. Nabiki deliberately allowed her eyes to go unfocused and removed her right sock slowly, then handed it to Happosai. She then purposely blinked, and watched him say the words again.
As she removed her other sock Nabiki quickly reviewed her plan. < I let Happosai take my underwear. Then he takes the microphone attached to my bra to his hiding place. I trace the signal from it using my equipment upstairs and find his hideout. When he goes out again I sneak in and find the hypnosis incense.> As she reviewed her plan, Nabiki finished removing her school fuku and handed it to the old pervert. Happosai said the phrase again and Nabiki unfocused her eyes as she began to remove her shirt. < Oh god, why me? I know I planed on being conscious for this so I'd know when he took my bra, and not miss it happening by forgetting. But... but I have to consciously strip for the old pervert, without showing any sign that I know what's happening.>
Happosai glomped her chest as Nabiki finished unbuttoning her shirt, and she fought down her revulsion as she finished slipping it off her arms. < Oh god, I can't believe I'm doing this.> Happosai was happily fondling her breasts and repeating the phrase over and over again. Nabiki had to utilize every erg of control she had to stay in character. She mechanically removed her bra with a little help from Happosai and began pushing down her panties. < Oh god, oh god, oh god... I've got to stay calm...> Nabiki stifled her moan of horror as Happosai continued to fondle her unabatedly.
As Nabiki finished removing her panties she blinked. < Now what? I can't notice that I'm naked until he asks me if I'm alright... I don't know how I should act now.> Nabiki grimaced, forcing herself not to squirm under his touch. < When in doubt, act confused.> "What's... what's going on?" She said, in a deliberately confused tone.
Happosai grinned up at her. "Don't worry my dear, nothing you need to concern yourself with." He buried his face between her naked breasts again and Nabiki quickly removed one ear plug so that she could hear what he was saying. He wasn't saying much, just gloating to himself as he had his way with her unresisting body. "He, he. Since poor little Nabiki can't recognize that she's naked, her mind won't let her realize that I'm touching her beautiful naked chest, stroking her firm ass... Oh the power, the lust! I can feel the energy flowing through me!"
Nabiki blinked. < That actually makes sense, if my mind reject all information that I'm naked, Happosai touching me on my bare skin would be blocked out.> Nabiki resumed the blank expression she knew she had when the hypnosis made her forget something. < Oh god, I wish I was hypnotized right now, I wish I couldn't remember any of this.> Nabiki's body was responding to Happosai's attentions, despite her internal disgust. < Oh please, please make him stop.>
Hikaku Gosunkugi ran, a litany of recrimination's going through his head. < No! It was never supposed to go this far! No no no!> He was exhausted from running, but the sounds coming from the microphone in Nabiki's bra drove him on. < What have I done? Oh Nabiki, what have I done?>
Hikaru was still blocks away when he heard a voice
faintly shouting thought the receiver in his ear.
"Happosai! Where are you?" It was a strong male voice, although just slightly effeminate.
Hikaru blinked. < Who was that?> Gasping from the exertion, he continued to run toward the Tendo home.
Happosai blinked. "Tarou, he's here early. Oh well, we'll finish up later, my dear." He tossed Nabiki's clothing (Minus the underwear he had pocketed.) down the hallway. "Are you feeling alright?" Happosai asked quickly, then went out the door as Nabiki went to get dressed.
Her earplug still in her hand she was forced to obey the hypnotic suggestion. When Nabiki blinked she found herself in the middle of the hall, dressed. Remembering (with a shudder) recent events, Nabiki checked her chest, her bra was gone, as were her panties. Nabiki controlled her emotions and raced up to her room.
< Don't think about it.> Nabiki ordered herself over and over. < Just follow the plan.> Nabiki threw open her door and was surprised to find her sister there, sitting in her cat form on top of one of her favorite house dresses. "Kasumi?" Nabiki blinked. "What happened?" Kasumi meowed confusedly and shook her head. "Were you just human?" Kasumi nodded. "Are you cured of the Cat's tongue?" Kasumi shook her head. Nabiki frowned. "Ah sis... I... I can't explain right now, but I've got something important to do. I promise we'll talk about this in a bit, OK?"
Kasumi looked confused and upset. She meowed in distress, obviously extremely agitated. Nabiki's heart broke, she had never heard Kasumi sounding so upset before.
Nabiki picked up her older sister and hugged the small black cat to her chest. "Oh Kasumi, I don't know what happened, but please don't be sad, everything's going to be OK, everything's going to..." Nabiki's voice broke and she started shaking with anguish. Tears started to flood her eyes uncontrollably and she fell to her knees, sobbing like a little child.
Kasumi was frantic with distress. < First I'm splashed and dumped in Nabiki's room, then I hear grandfather Happosai downstairs, saying awful things. Then Nabiki comes in here and she's crying, and the things Happosai was saying and... What did he do to her? Oh Nabiki, what did he do to you?> Kasumi's distress grew as her cat's sense of smell detected a distinctive smell coming from her sister, several smells, ones she would never forget. < Happosai... raped her, but why didn't she fight back?>
Suddenly Kasumi heard a faint screech from outside, a boys voice. "I'll kill you!" Kasumi looked up, but although Nabiki's sobs were quiet, she didn't appear to hear the shout. Then there were several small explosions which Nabiki did hear.
Kasumi looked worriedly at the door. < Oh my, that was that strange boy Hikaru Gosunkugi, wasn't it? He seems to have attacked master Happosai... no the old pervert. I won't call him by name any longer. Why in the world would Gosunkugi do that?>
Hearing the explosions, Nabiki forced herself to stop crying. < Happosai... I've got to hurry.> She put Kasumi on the floor and went over to the frequency scanner she had bought weeks before. < I never thought I'd use it like this.> She switched it on and quickly found the frequency again, just as she had practiced the night before.
She turned up the volume and heard Happosai talking. "Humph, foolish youth, attacking me with that ridiculous hammer and nail."
Nabiki blinked at that. < Gosunkugi? He attacked Happosai?> She kept listening carefully.
Happosai spoke to someone who Nabiki assumed to be Pantyhose Tarou. "You wish for Master Happosai to change your name?"
Pantyhose Tarou growled in response. "Of course, you idiot! Why else would I come? Where is the old fool? I won't take your word alone that..."
Happosai broke it. "As you've seen, I am his best student. I will speak for him."
Tarou's growl was softer. "Humph, you do seem to know his tricks... Very well, speak."
Happosai's young voice was strong with confidence as he pulled the wool over Tarou's eyes. "Master Happosai will rename you on one condition, that you get for him the Moxibotion scroll."
Tarou blinked. "And where will I find it?"
Happosai laughed. "It's how you get it, actually that I'll tell you. You'd never be able to simply find it. The Amazon elder, Cologne, has it, and she won't give it up without a fight. You can't beat her, boy, so don't bother trying."
Tarou snorted. "That's what you think, but lets pretend you're right for a second. If I can't find it, or take it by force, how do I get the damned thing?"
Happosai chuckled again. "Cologne's heir, Shampoo. If you defeat her in combat, and also defeat Ranma, her current betrothed, Shampoo will be bound to marry you. Then you refuse to marry her unless you get the scroll."
Tarou blinked again. < I beat up Fem-boy, and that purple haired Amazon, and she has to marry me?> He considered that. < Yeah, that makes sense by their laws. That Amazon chick is pretty hot, and if I get that scroll I can make the old letch change my name.> "Alright, I'll do it. I'll get the scroll, and in exchange Happosai changes my name."
Happosai nodded. "Correct. Just don't tell Cologne why you want the scroll and It'll be easy for one of your skill." Happosai paused. "Ranma will return here late tonight. Shampoo is likely to be with him. I'll know when you've succeeded."
Tarou nodded. "Fine, tonight, huh?" He shrugged. "Time for dinner then."
Happosai laughed. "That's the spirit. I'm rooting for you." He jumped away and Tarou sauntered away as well. Nabiki came out a few minutes later to find Gosunkugi lying unconscious and blackened in the yard.
Nabiki frowned. < What was Gosunkugi doing here? Why did he attack Happosai?>
Gosunkugi moaned softly. "N-Nabiki, no, don't... wasn't supposed to... happen... like this..."
Nabiki's gaze softened. < Ah, the poor sap couldn't gp thought with it. He was trying to protect me.> She shook her head. < It's still his fault.> Nabiki sighed heavily. < No, this is all Happosai's fault. He did this to me, he started it, and he's the one who's taken my honor from me. Gosunkugi just tried to get in on the action, and didn't have the guts to handle it.> She grabbed his shoulders and dragged him into the house. < What the heck am I going to do with him? He still has the tapes, and he's still blackmailing me.>
Nabiki laid Gosunkugi down and cracked her knuckles. < He's not going to leave then, until I get the location of those tapes.> Nabiki frowned. < Damn, all he has to do is say a phrase and he can walk away while I'm stripping. If I use the ear plugs I won't be able to hear him talk.> Nabiki considered. < So I tie him up, and search his house.> She frowned again. < I've got to track Happosai as well. Damn, this is going to be tricky.>
"Nabiki." Gosunkugi's voice was weak but he was awake. Nabiki's eyes went wide and she quickly fumbled for the ear plugs. "I'm sorry." His words caught her by surprise and Nabiki froze, looking down at him. "I was wrong, I never meant things to go this far." Gosunkugi's voice was full of pain, but it wasn't from getting blown up. "I'll destroy the tapes. I won't ask anything of you Nabiki... I... I'm so sorry."
Nabiki shook her head slowly. "It's not over yet, Hikaru, you understand? Happosai still has the incense, I'm still under its effects."
Gosunkugi lowered his head. "I'll help you. What can I do?"
Nabiki looked silently at him for several long seconds, then she turned toward the stairs. "Follow me, I'll show you how you can help." Nabiki led him upstairs to her room. She searched around and pulled out a radio, a directional antenna, a compass, and a map. She handed them to Gosunkugi. "Do you know how to triangulate a signal?"
Gosunkugi blinked. "What? I don't... Oh, you're going to track Happosai to his hide out."
Nabiki nodded. "I thought you'd get it. You move out, say, half a mile and make a line on his signal when he stops moving. I'll do the same. Mark the direction and your location on the map, then bring it back here. Then we'll have his hideout."
Gosunkugi nodded thoughtfully. "We can close in once we have a general location and pinpoint it exactly."
Nabiki smiled wryly. "OK, Gos, if you know, then move!"
Hikaru Gosunkugi bowed and raced off, hooking up the antenna to his own receiver. < This was how I planned to find Happosai myself. Great minds think alike I guess.>
Nabiki watched him go. < He had an attachment for an antenna already, as I suspected. He planned on this too. Can I trust him? He seemed genuinely regretful, but can I trust him?> She sighed. < I may have to.>
Nabiki turned on her own receiver and listened to Happosai. He was opening a door, and he was now sliding something back, wood on wood. Nabiki listened carefully, aiming her antenna and checking the direction carefully. She was so intent, she didn't notice Kasumi's presence. The eldest Tendo daughter was sitting quietly, watching her.
Happosai's voice came over her receiver. "Ah, my precious beauties. More to add to my collection!" There was a shuffling sound of cloth on cloth, then the sound of wood again. Faintly, muffled, came Happosai's voice again. "You're safe now my silky darlings." Then there came a faint creaking as Happosai walked away. Soon the microphone was silent.
Nabiki fixed the direction and sat back. "We got him." She picked up the radio. "Hikaru, do you have that direction yet?"
He answered almost immediately. "Yes, I believe that he's left the microphone in his hideout."
Nabiki snorted. "Most definitely. Get back here and we'll pinpoint the location."
Hikaru answered promptly. "Right."
Nabiki sighed and looked around. Kasumi was sitting patiently, gazing at her.
Nabiki sighed again. "Kasumi, so much has been happening." The small black cat nodded and meowed sadly. Nabiki frowned. "When this is all over I promise I'll tell you all about it. For now sis, I've got to finish this thing myself."
Kasumi looked worried, but Nabiki ignored it, forcing herself to concentrate on matters at hand. She got out a compass and recorded the heading of the strongest signal. Then she went downstairs to wait for Gosunkugi. When he arrived, Nabiki traced a line on the map leading from her house. Gosunkugi had already put a line down from where he had traced the signal. Nabiki lightly circled a small section were the lines crossed.
Nabiki nodded to herself. "There. His hideout is in this area."
Gosunkugi nodded back. "Now we just have to get closer and pinpoint it."
Nabiki smiled grimly. "Let's go."
Before long they had arrived at a rundown boarding house.
Hikaru checked the antenna. "Upstairs." He reported before long.
Nabiki walked toward the front door.
Gosunkugi nervously followed. "Now what?"
"Just act casual and follow my lead." Nabiki said quietly. Checking the door, she found it unlocked. They walked quietly inside and upstairs. The signal led them to the third door in the hallway. Once again, Nabiki found the door unlocked. She went into the room quickly, trying to make as little noise as possible.
Gosunkugi followed, checking the antenna. "There." He said nervously, pointing at the closet.
Nabiki slid open the closet door and knelt inside, checking the floor carefully with her fingers. "Ah, found it." Nabiki lifted up a panel in the closet floor and blinked at the mass of women's underwear stored there. < This will take some time.> "Gos, check the rest of the room while I go through the closet,. OK?"
Hikaru nodded. "Sure." he laid down the antenna removing it from his belt, then started looking around the room.
Nabiki went through the stash of women's underwear methodically, placing it to her side as she dug deeper into the pile. < It's hard to believe how much there is here.> Nabiki stopped herself from making an estimate of the value of the stash. < Not now, there are more important things than money.> She shuddered a bit at the blasphemy she had just thought, then continued her search. It did take a while but she got to the bottom with a little effort. In one corner was an ancient incense burner and a small wooden box. Nabiki opened the box gingerly. Inside was a pack of matches and enough incense to last for quite a while if used properly.
Nabiki picked up the box and incense burner, then put some incense in the burner. < OK, now how do I go about this? I'll light it up and use it on Gosunkugi to get him to give me the tapes and forget all about this, then I'll... How am I going to unhypnotize myself?> Nabiki pondered the problem for a few moments. < Ah, that could work, all I have to do is record a tape of my voice and...>
Gosunkugi abruptly interrupted her deliberations. "Happosai's coming back!" He hissed warningly, stepping back from the window..
Nabiki looked at at him with wide eyes. < What in the hell can we do against... Ah.> "Hold the door shut! I've got a plan." She quickly lit the incense burner and put it on the floor. Quickly she started to strip, pulling off her shoes, socks and skirt. Gosunkugi's eyes widened, he had his back to the door and was looking right at her. Nabiki put her finger to her lips and waved at him to hide in the closet. He did so hurriedly and Nabiki knelt over the incense burner, deliberately draping the front of her shirt over it.
The door opened and Happosai walked in and stopped dead in his tracks. His eyes took in the sight of Nabiki kneeling submissively on the floor of his room, wearing only a shirt. His opened closet and scattered underwear went momentarily unnoticed.
Nabiki looked up at him slowly with deer eyes. "Oh, my love." Nabiki's voice was sultry and warm as she stalled for time. She could feel the warmth of the smoke from the incense burner filling up the airspace between her skin and shirt. It was slightly uncomfortable, straddling the incense burner so that it wouldn't show, but Nabiki didn't let that affect her performance. "Something powerful drew me too you. Some powerful instinct that yearns for you. Oh master, take me. Make...me...your...own." As Nabiki spoke the words she slowly unbuttoned her shirt, making sure to leave it closed on the bottom front. As she said the final words she began to open it so he could see the naked flesh underneath.
Happosai had hesitated upon coming in. Something in the back of his head warned him that he was being suckered into a trap. As Nabiki began to open her shirt to him he promptly kicked his higher reasoning self in the head and followed his heart.
"Sweeto!" With his characteristic cry, Happosai leaped for the hollow between Nabiki's breasts, and directly into a heavy concentration of incense smoke. He froze at the heavy scent. "Oh oh."
Nabiki didn't waste a second. "Sleep." She said in a commanding tone.
Happosai jerked back, fighting to stay awake. It was too late for that and he knew it. He had only time for one trick. "Sleep." He repeated to Nabiki, just as he lost consciousness, praying that his extraordinary recover time would allow him to wake first. He collapsed onto Nabiki, getting in one last glomp as he started to snore.
Nabiki fell asleep seconds later, shooting a desperate glance Gosunkugi's way as her eyes closed.
Hikaru Gosunkugi stepped out of his hiding place in the closet, his eyes wide. "She did it, Nabiki beat Happosai." He walked over, careful not to breath in the incense smoke. Gosunkugi pulled Happosai off Nabiki and found the incense burner. Checking the closet he found the box of incense as well. < Oh wow. There's enough to do... whatever I want! I could... I could...> Hikaru glanced back at Nabiki's unconscious body. Her shirt wide open, exposed to the world, she looked very vulnerable. < I have the incense. I can do anything I want, so what do I wish?>
Nabiki yawned and stretched, sitting up. She reached over and snapped off the television set. < I must have fallen asleep watching TV.>
Nabiki looked to her right and noticed her older sister, currently in her human form, napping on the floor like a cat, and curled up around a small black kitten.
Nabiki blinked. < Oh great, Kasumi's been a cat so long, she's starting to act like one.> She blinked again. < Hey, Kasumi's human again!> Nabiki moved over to her sisters side and shook her shoulder gently. "Sis! Hey Kasumi, wake up!"
Kasumi shook her head and slowly sat up. "Hmmm? Oh, Nabiki, what is it?"
Nabiki gestured at her sister, who looked just as she had a week before the wedding. "You're human again, sis! When did that happen?"
Kasumi checked the kitten to make sure that it hadn't been disturbed by her movement, and adjusted her dress slightly. "Oh yes, Johnathon sent Shampoo-chan for some of the water of life. Since the water of life prevents pain, I can use it to change back by heating it up. Since I still can't stand heat, however, I'm not really cured yet."
Nabiki blinked. "Oh." She looked around. "But, how did I get here?"
Kasumi looked around. "That's strange, I can't remember. You came in this afternoon... Oh, now I recall. You came in and turned on the TV. I came in to tell you what had happened to me but you had already fallen asleep. I didn't want to disturb you so I waited for you to wake up. I must have dozed off myself."
Nabiki nodded. "Yeah, I must have been studying for finals pretty hard. I've been running around so much my feet were hurting... although they feel fine now..." Nabiki paused at that, then shrugged, dismissing it."
Kasumi smiled. "I'm sure you will do well. You should relax. You've been tense about school for awhile."
Nabiki shrugged. "I suppose. So, where is everybody? I'd think that with you human, you and Johnathon would be..." Nabiki winked, blushing a little bit.
Kasumi blushed harder and looked away embarrassed. "Oh Nabiki, you are incorrigible. Johnathon is with Ranma and Akane. They agreed to give some martial arts lessons to Dr. Mizumi's daughter and her friends in exchange for her help with Ranma's cat-phobia. As for father and Mr. Saotome, I have no idea." She rose, gently picking up the kitten. "Well, I'm going to start preparing supper. I'm not sure when everyone will be home, but I might as well begin getting ready."
Nabiki stood as well. "Oh, um, well, why don't I help you, sis? You've still got to be careful around cold water, right?"
Kasumi nodded, smiling at her younger sister. "Why, that's very thoughtful, Nabiki!"
Nabiki shrugged. "Ah, forget it. Just don't go spreading this around. It'd ruin my reputation."
The two sisters went into the kitchen and a shadowy figure slipped away unnoticed. The dark form quickly joined up with a thin pale youth.
"All is as you wish, Master Hikaru." Happosai said, bowing. "They remember nothing. The hypnosis incense has removed their memories of Miss Nabiki's unfortunate trauma. As well, the water of life has restored them both physically to the states they were in before this day began."
Hikaru Gosunkugi nodded. "Good. I believe it is time to visit Hiroshi. There is something he needs to forget as well." Hikaru glanced back at the Tendo Dojo before walking off with Happosai obediently at his heel. < I keep my bargains, Nabiki Tendo. You are free of the hypnotic compulsion, as I promised, the tapes are already gone, and even your memory of the event is gone.> He smiled. < So what if I end up coming out ahead in the end. I kept my word.> "To Hiroshi's house." Gosunkugi said commandingly.
The master of Anything Goes Martial arts, now obedient servant, bowed low. "Yes Master Gosunkugi."
Hikaru smiled widely and resisted the sudden urge to cackle with maniacal laughter.
End part 34
I hope you liked it, C&C is always welcome!