A.D.V. American Vacation Chapter 11

All Ranma characters are property of Rumiko Takahashi, first published by Shogakugan in Japan and brought over to North America by Viz Communications. And the Kung Fu characters aren't mine either.

               A Different Viewpoint: American Vacation pt 11

    Outside the warehouse, Ranma looked around at the group.  "So,
what's the plan?"

    Akane lightly whapped him in the back of the head.  "Weren't you
listening in the car?"

    Peter spoke up.  "Actually, Kasumi suggested a slight change.  She
suggested she transform and lead us in as a cat."

    Kwai Chang Caine nodded sagely.  "A good plan.  I will go in the
rear and... create a... diversion."

    Captain Simms opened her mouth to protest, then closed it.  "Oh
well, normal tactics don't really apply to this group, do they?"  She
finally muttered quietly.

    Johnathon laughed grimly.  "Not the ones you're likely to find in a
police handbook, I suspect."  He shrugged.  "Sun Tzu had some applicable
ideas though."  He looked over at Caine.  "Master Caine, will you
require any help?"

    Caine hesitated, then shrugged.  "Perhaps.  Ranma, would you care to
come along?"

    Ranma blinked, then grinned.  "Oh yeah.  We hit them from behind,
huh? I'm in."

    Caine nodded.  "Speed and fear will be our allies."  He nodded to
the group, then started crossing the street.  Ranma followed eagerly,
with a cocky grin plastered on his face.

    Akane sighed, and tried not to let her fears get the best of her.
"He had better be alright."

    Peter nodded.  "They'll be fine.  Now it's time to do our part."  He
started across the street as well, with Kasumi following just behind.

    Johnathon opened his thermos and went over to her.  "You'd better
change before we get any closer.  If anyone sees you...."

    Captain Simms looked wryly at him.  "Look who's talking.  You'd
cause a riot if anyone spotted you."  She nervously checked the street
once more for witnesses.  It was  still deserted, but that was likely to

    Kasumi looked concerned at that, but controlled herself.  "Go ahead
and pour, Johnathon.  I'll lead from now on."

    They reached the warehouse and Johnathon poured the water over her.
Seconds later he reached down and picked up Captain Simms' duster and
handed it back to her.  Kasumi shook herself to rid her coat of the
excess water and moved up to a wooden door next to a large garage door.
She tapped it and waited.

    Peter Caine checked the door carefully.  "It's locked."  He reached
into his coat and pulled out a pair of metal lock picks.  "This will
just take a second."  < I hope this is as simple a lock as it looks.>
Thirty seconds later Peter smiled triumphantly and quietly opened the
door. Kasumi slipped in as it opened and Peter held it open just a
crack, looking carefully in before proceeding himself.

    Johnathon came in next, his ears pivoting right and left
cautiously.  He and Peter watched as Kasumi reached the corner ahead and
peeked around, looking both ways.  She turned back toward them and
rolled her head back to indicate they should come forward.  Akane,
Captain Simms and Skalany came into the hall after them, the latter two
having drawn their guns.  Kasumi nodded at them and turned the corner to
the left, heading silently ahead.  Johnathon and Peter reached the
corner behind her and waited for her to signal them.  As Kasumi reached
the next corner and peered around, Johnathon's ears picked up and
pivoted to the right.

    The half cat turned in that direction and listened carefully.  After
a moment he waved Akane and the two police women up.  Johnathon raised
two fingers, and pointed at the door at the end of that hallway. Captain
Simms nodded and started moving down the hallway, waving Skalany after
her.  Akane hesitated and Johnathon nodded to her, and motioned for her
to follow him. She nodded, and at the same time, Peter waved them
forward to follow Kasumi, who had finished investigating ahead and was
waiting for them to catch up.  Akane and Johnathon nodded again and
followed Peter, leaving Captain Simms and Skalany behind to guard their

    Even as the two police women reached the door at the end of the
hall, they could hear the sound of two men talking from the other side.
>From the sound of it, they were about to reach the door.  Captain Simms
got to one side and Skalany positioned herself on the other, trying her
best to blend into the wall and stop her breathing entirely.  The door
opened a second later and the two men walked through it, still chatting
humorously in Chinese.  They had submachine guns cradled lightly in
their hands, and both women froze until the men had gotten just past

    Captain Simms moved just before Skalany, taking one long
step and placing her gun up against the back of one of the men's necks.
"Don't move."  She whispered.  "Don't even breathe."

    Skalany had imitated the Captain and had her gun up against the
other man's back.  "You too.  Now slowly... put the guns on the floor."


    Kasumi could see the door to the room where she and the other girls
had been held.  Two men sat at a table in the room just outside that
one. She glanced back to Johnathon and Peter Caine, and held up a paw,
telling them to wait.  She paused in thought, then motioned for the two
men to come closer.  She stopped them a few feet before the corner by
putting her paw up again.  Then she crept around the corner once more.
Kasumi slipped into the room and crossed over to the two men.  She
quietly slipped past them and meowed loudly.  The two men turned toward
her in surprise.

        Kasumi acted cute and innocent as they called to her softly. She
watched out of the corner of her eye as Johnathon and Peter Caine came
around the corner behind the two men.  Her husband and the detective
spotted them immediately, and together started sneaking up behind them
as Kasumi continued to distract them.  Kasumi rolled over on her back
and pawed the air like a kitten with a ball of yarn.

        The guard on the left commented.  "Ahh... What a cute little...
ack!"  His companion didn't even get to say that much, as he went
unconscious even quicker.  Johnathon and Peter grinned at each other and
they both started checking the fallen guard's bodies.  Akane stood over
them, keeping her eyes scanning for trouble.

        Peter Caine pulled a set of keys out of his man's pocket and
held them up. "OK, got them."  He nodded to the door the two men had
obviously been guarding.  "Is this the room the girls are in?"  Kasumi
nodded, and Peter went to put the key in the lock.  He suddenly paused.
"Oh, Johnathon, maybe you should change back to normal first."

        Johnathon Dwire grimaced.  "I don't have any hot water with me.
I should have filled up a thermos at Master Caine's place."

        Peter looked frustrated.  "Ah... why don't you go and make sure
Skalany and the Captain are OK, and tell them we've found the kidnapped
girls.  I'll let them out and start taking them outside."

        Akane spoke up.  "I'll help Peter-san with the prisoners.  You
go ahead."

        Johnathon nodded and glanced down at Kasumi.  "Stay here and
keep your ears peeled for Peter, OK?"  Kasumi nodded again, and
Johnathon winked and ran silently off.  Rounding a couple corners he
spotted Skalany and Captain Simms putting handcuffs on the two men they
had captured.  Just as he reached him, everyone heard a loud explosion
from further inside the warehouse.

        Johnathon raised a hand reassuringly.  "That was Ranma, don't
worry.  I'd recognize that sound anywhere.  I presume he and Master
Caine have their diversion under way."

        Back at the kidnapped girls' room, Peter had opened the door and
flashed his badge.  "I'm here to help you.  Everyone follow me quickly,
and we'll get you out of here."  Kasumi entered the room between his
feet and dodged the many feet of the girls moving to the door.

        Dora spotted the little black cat and her eyes went wide.
"Kasumi, you did it!  You saved us!"  She got down on her knees to hug
the little cat. "Thank you."  She put Kasumi down and looked worried.
"Kasumi, they took Michele with them a few minutes ago, since she had on
your clothing.  I tried to stop them, but they wouldn't listen to me.
You've got to save her too!"  Kasumi's eyes went wide, then she got a
determined look on her face and nodded.  Dora smiled slightly.  "I know
you can do it, Kasumi.  I believe in you."

        Kasumi almost froze at the words, then went back to what she was
doing, sniffing Marlane's cot to pick up her scent.  < She believes in
me? When did I become someone that people believe in?>  Kasumi got
Michele's scent and ran to the door.  Peter Caine was herding the girls
toward the exit, but Kasumi ran on ahead, following the scent.  She
followed the scent as quickly as she could, only checking it at
intersections to save time.

        The explosion startled the girls, but Peter just shook his
head.  "Don't worry everyone, everything is going according to plan."
< What did Pop do, set off a bomb?>  Akane just grinned and winked at
him knowingly.

        Peter noticed Kasumi running away from the group of girls as he
started leading them down the final corridor to the outside.  "Kasumi,
what are you...?"  She was gone, and he sighed.  "Probably gone to find
Johnathon." He turned back to the kidnapped girls.  "Alright, just out
these doors and we're home free."  < I just hope backup gets here soon.>

        Akane hesitated, then went back to escorting the women.  < Be
careful, Sis.>

        Inside, Kasumi ran up to Johnathon and the two police women,
noting the two men they had handcuffed.  She meowed at Johnathon to get
his attention, then walked past him to the door at the end of the hall.
She sniffed it to make sure that Michele had indeed gone through it,
then pawed at it with her claws.

        Johnathon blinked.  "Open the door?"  He did so and was only
slightly surprised when Kasumi hurried down the revealed corridor.  He
started after her without bothering to ask why.

        Captain Simms shrugged, turning to Skalany.  "Take care of these
two.  I'll go after them."  She put action to words, jogging after the
cat and half-cat.

        Skalany frowned and waved her gun at the two black clad goons.
"OK you two, march.  She gestured to the hall in the direction of the
garage. "And don't make a sound unless I tell you to.  I'm awfully
nervous, and I tend to shoot things when I'm nervous."

        Kasumi paused at a doorway halfway down the hall and sniffed
it.  Satisfied, she tapped it with her paw.  Johnathon nodded and was
about to pull it open when the door at the far end of the hall opened up
suddenly, and Ranma ran in, followed closely by Kwai Chang Caine.

        Ranma grinned.  "Hey, great!  How many did you guys get?"

        Johnathon winced and put his finger to his lips.  "Shh!"  He
whispered just loud enough for everyone to hear.  "We took out four all
together. Kasumi wants us to go in this room for some reason."

        Ranma nodded, lowering his voice.  "We took care of eight of
em.  Did you guys get Lon Phat?  Master Caine says he wasn't with our

        Johnathon shook his head.  "No.  We found the girls.  Peter
should have them out by now.  Lon Phat may be in here."  Suiting action
to words, the half-cat opened the door.  Kasumi rushed inside, and
Johnathon followed. "Empty.  Kasumi, are you sure about this?"

        Kasumi meowed and nodded firmly, then began sniffing the floor,
moving toward the back wall of the room, which had a desk and several
chairs, as well as several file cabinets.  Everyone else came into the
room and looked around.

        Captain Simms nodded.  "I'd bet those files have a few things in
them Lon Phat won't care to have see the light of day."

        Kasumi reached the back wall behind the desk and sniffed it. She
meowed loudly and scratched at the wall.  Caine came up behind her and
started feeling the wall carefully.

        Ranma blinked.  "Oh, I get it, a secret passage!"

        Kasumi jumped up and tapped a wall section with one paw, and
Caine nodded. "Ah, yes, that is it."  He pushed the section and a six by
six foot section of wall slid aside, revealing a passage.  Kasumi
slipped through at a dead run, and Caine, Ranma, and Johnathon followed
after quickly.

        Captain Simms hesitated, then ran after them as well. "Following
an intelligent cat into a secret passage.  This is going to be one
strange story."  She rolled her eyes as she ran.  < On second thought, I
think I'll keep this one to myself.>  Ahead, Kasumi reached another door
and was pawing at it again.  Kwai Chang opened it at once, and Kasumi
hurried down the stairs that were revealed there, everyone else
following close behind.

        Kasumi took them down the stairs and into another hallway, this
one quite long, and very dimly lit.  The little cat didn't hesitate, but
took one quick sniff, and ran down it as fast as she could go.  At the
end of the hall, two men were hustling a young woman in Kasumi's dress
through a door. Kasumi ran toward them, trying to come up with some way
to help Michele.

        Lon Phat heard the group coming up behind him and glanced back.
"Hold it!" He shouted, yanking the young woman around in front of
himself.  Seeing the large group, he put his gun to Michele's head.
"Stop where you are, or I kill this girl!"  The goon with him faced the
group, pointing his gun at them with a grin.  Lon Phat nodded to his
man.  "Keep them all covered until I call you.  I'll get the car
ready."  He glared in Captain Simms' direction.  "Drop your gun, and
kick it over here, or the girl gets a new ventilation system for her

        Karen Simms kept her gun trained on him.  "If you kill her,
there's nothing to stop us from getting you."

        The goon's eyes suddenly widened, as he finally noticed the
half-cat's monstrous form in the hallways poor light.  "What in the hell
is that thing?"

        Lon Phat shook his head.  "Just some freak in a costume.  Don't
worry about it."

        Johnathon growled low in his throat, the sound was eerily
inhuman.  Both Lon Phat and his goon pointed their guns at him as he
crouched as if to pounce, and everyone else moved at once.  Kasumi
leapt at Lon Phat's gun hand, clawing and biting it with her teeth.
Kwai Chang Caine and Ranma both fired off Chi blasts a second later.
Ranma's clipped Lon Phat in the head, knocking him into the doorjamb and
causing him to release Michele, and Kwai Chang Caine waved his hand at
the goon, causing his gun to heat up unbearably.  The man dropped his
weapon with a curse, not quite able to draw a bead on the half-cat, who
had hit the floor the second the guns had come around in his direction,
and was just now rolling back to his feet.

        Captain Simms came forward, holding her gun steady.  "Now you
hold it, unless you happen to be feeling really stupid today."  The goon
gulped and raised his hands slowly over his head.  Lon Phat stayed on
the floor, nicely unconscious.  Michele blinked in astonishment and
slowly stepped away from her former captor.

        The girl in Kasumi's clothes looked in amazement and some fear
at the rescue party.  "Are... are you the good guys?"  Kasumi meowed
loudly to get her attention and nodded when Michele glanced down at
her.  "Kasumi?" The stunned girl blinked.  "That is you, isn't it?"
Kasumi nodded, and Michele sighed in relief.  She glanced at Johnathon
and gulped.  "I guess he's with you, huh?"

        Everyone grinned, except the goon, and Captain Simms smiled at
her.  "We're here to rescue you.  Let's get you out of here."

        Several minutes later, everyone was outside.  Backup had
arrived, and a dozen officers were gathering up Lon Phat's gang.  As
most of them were unconscious, it wasn't proving difficult.  The rescued
women had borrowed a few police jackets and Captain Simms' abandoned
duster, and were talking to a couple officers taking statements.
Johnathon had changed back to his normal human form inside the
warehouse, although Kasumi had remained a cat, since her clothing was
currently in use.

        Johnathon held Kasumi in his arms, and was talking quietly to
Dora and Michele.  "Kasumi and I would really appreciate it if you kept
our transformations to yourself."

        Dora nodded.  "No problem.  No one would believe us anyway, and
I would never betray someone who saved us like that."  She smiled down
at Kasumi. "So this is your husband?"  Kasumi nodded proudly, then
fondly rubbed her head up against Johnathon's stomach.  Dora grinned
wider.  "So you two have a few things in common, huh?  He seems like a
nice guy though."

        Michele nodded as well, reaching out to pet Kasumi.  "May I?"
Kasumi nodded and Michele stroked her head gently.  "I won't tell.  Your
husband can be pretty scary at first sight, Kasumi.  But he does seem
like a nice guy."

        Johnathon coughed.  "Thanks, I think.  I was glad to help out.
Kasumi seemed pretty worried about you."

        Michele shrugged.  "I was pretty worried about me too."  She
gave Kasumi a final pat and smiled at her warmly.  "Thanks for bringing
the cavalry. You were just in time."

        Over to one side, Ranma was talking to Kwai Chang.  "Master
Caine, about technique with gun...."  Akane smiled tolerantly at her
fiancée's enthusiasm.  When Caine started to give a short explanation of
the technique, however, she listened every bit as intently as he did.

        Captain Simms approached Johnathon Dwire.  "Well, Johnathon, Lon
Phat will be going to jail for the rest of his life with everything we
have against him now.  So will most of his gang.  Your secret will be
safe, as we agreed.  We don't need your testimony with all of the other
evidence and witnesses we have, and I understand why you don't wish your
curses to come to the public's attention."  She smiled.  "Thank Ranma
and Akane for me.  I've got to go deal with the press, and you probably
should get out of here before they arrive."  She nodded to Kasumi, who
was still nestled in her husband's arms.  "Take care of your family,
Kasumi.  I think you'll do a good job of that."

        Kasumi meowed shyly and nodded.

        Johnathon  smiled gratefully at Karen Simms.  "Thank you,
Captain.  I really don't know how to express my gratitude.  I'm glad
everything turned out so well."  He shrugged.  "I had better collect
Ranma and Akane. They look like they might not want to leave until
Master Caine finishes explaining everything he knows."  Karen Simms
laughed softly and Johnathon turned to go.

        Captain Simms spoke up as he started to walk off.  "Peter will
drive you back to your car.  Good luck."

        Johnathon looked back.  "Thanks.  Take care, Captain."  Going
over to Ranma and Akane, he nodded to Kwai Chang Caine.  "We have to get
out of here, Master Caine.  Thank you for all your help."

        Caine nodded with a small smile.  "It was a pleasure to be of
assistance. Much good was accomplished today.  This would not have
occurred without all of you."

        Ranma shrugged nonchalantly.  "It not a problem.  Nothing we not
handle every week."

        Akane grimaced.  "I'd rather cut our adventures down to once a
month or so.   Too much of this stuff really interferes with school."

        Peter Caine walked up.  "Alright, lets go.  I've get you back to
your car so you can go home."  He grinned at Kasumi.  "Hey, you were
great in there. Ever consider a job in law enforcement?"  Kasumi's eyes
went wide and she shook her head.  Peter gave her a serious look.
"Well, if you ever do, and you need a partner, look me up."  He grinned
to show he was joking.  He nodded at his car.  "You guys go ahead and
get in.  I'll be there in just a minute."

        The Nerimites started toward his car, and Peter Caine turned to
his father.   "So, Pop.  Why are you willing to teach Ranma chi
techniques, when I have to learn almost everything on my own?"

        Caine shrugged.  "You are not yet ready...."

        Peter raised an eyebrow.  "And?"

        Caine tried to look mysterious, and for once, failed to pull it
off. "Actually, we traded techniques.  Ranma had a nice variation on the
Shi Hi Hokhodan...."  He trailed off, shrugging again.

        Peter rolled his eyes.  "Whatever.  You can tell me all about it
some time.   See you later, Pop."

        Caine swatted his son lightly.  "Don't call me Pop."


        The trip back to the Dwires' house was uneventful.  Kasumi had
remained a cat for the trip, as Michele was still wearing her clothing,
and with all the police around, there had been no real way to get it
back.  She was relived, actually, that she was able to postpone her
explanation for awhile.

        Kasumi sighed as Johnathon pulled his borrowed car to a stop in
front of his parents house.  < I suppose its time for me to tell
Johnathon about what happened... with his brother.>

        As they went up to the front door Johnathon set Kasumi down next
to him so he could open the door.  "Kasumi, why don't you go to our
window.  I'll let you in that way so we don't have to try sneaking you
past my folks again." Kasumi nodded and went to wait below the guest
bedroom's window as her family entered through the front..  She waited
in the bushes for a couple minutes before the window was opened from the
inside.  Kasumi hopped through the window and was greeted by her
husband, who had a glass of water waiting for her.

        Johnathon splashed her, and Kasumi started going through her
luggage for a change of clothing.  "Johnathon, I have something to tell
you."  He sat down on the bed and waited for her to speak with a calm
and sympathetic look on his face.  Kasumi swallowed nervously and went
back to dressing, trying not to blush in shame at what she had to tell
her husband.  "Johnathon... I... I'm afraid I...."

        Johnathon's face betrayed his growing concern.  "Kasumi...
are... are you alright?  You've been quiet for awhile."  His eyes
softened and he moved behind Kasumi to hug her gently from behind.
Kasumi froze, still in the middle of pulling her blouse over her head.
She felt him freeze as well and start to draw away at her tenseness, and
Kasumi forced herself to relax and sink back into her husband's arms.
Johnathon sighed over her shoulder. "I'm sorry, Kasumi-chan.  Today must
have been horrible for you.  You don't have to tell me if it's too
painful."  He squeezed her around the waist lightly.  "I'll be here for
you anytime, if you want to talk about it though."

        Kasumi tried not to stiffen up again as guilt started to
overcome her. "Johnathon...."  She went limp instead in his arms,
letting him hold her up.  "Its not that.  I'm OK....  These kidnappers
were much better behaved then the last ones.  Because of my curse, I
wasn't really too worried about myself.  The one thing my curse has
proved useful in is making it easy for me to escape this sort of thing.
But... there was... something else... today."  Kasumi went silent as
Johnathon waited patiently for her to continue.  She was conscious
suddenly of her half naked state and her back pressed up against her
husband's shirt.

        Johnathon brushed Kasumi's hair with one hand while keeping her
close to his chest with his other arm.  "What happened?"  When Kasumi
didn't speak up he nodded, pressing his chin lightly against the back of
her head. "Please don't be so sad.  I love you, Kasumi.  You don't have
to tell me."

        Kasumi closed her eyes and relaxed completely, half hoping
Johnathon would decide to take advantage of their situation, and give
her another reason to put off telling him.  < Oh Johnathon... you're
waiting for some signal from me, aren't you?  You never would take
advantage of the situation, unless you were sure I wanted you too.>  She
sighed silently and wondered if she would prefer him to be a little bit
more forceful in their relationship.  < All I have to do is make one
sign and he'll take over, but.. I've got to tell him, now, before
anything else happens.>

        Kasumi debated whether she should finish getting dressed before
telling Johnathon.  < If I take my blouse back off, Johnathon will
probably feel betrayed when I tell him, but if I finish putting it on
while he's holding me, it's like I'm refusing him.>  Kasumi settled for
not moving at all as she spoke.  "I love you too, Johnathon.  This
morning, I had an accident in the kitchen, the dogs were jumping all
around.  I suppose I should have know someone was home, since they were
inside and out of their cages...."

        Johnathon paused.  "Did someone see you transform?"  He sighed,
and stroked her hair.  "That's OK, Kasumi.  It was bound to happen
sooner or later. If it hadn't been you, it would have been me or Ranma."

        Kasumi shook her head.  "No... no one saw me transform...
exactly.  I splashed myself with a bottled water from the table, and the
dogs started chasing me around.  I ended up running into the bathroom,
it was open a crack you see, and then I got chased into the tub...."
Kasumi tried not to stiffen up.  "Michael was in the bath... I... I
didn't mean to run in on him, but...."

        Johnathon blinked, then patted her head.  "So you saw him in the
tub? Forget it, it was just an accident.  Hey, it's not like there's
anything new there.  We are twins after all."  He chuckled.  "I guess
Ranma isn't the only one who can get into trouble in the bathroom...."

        Kasumi shook her head.  "I fell into the tub.  He had his eyes
shut, covered by a washcloth, so he didn't see me change... I landed on
his chest and slid into the water before he got a look at me.  I
changed, of course... right on top of Michael."  She lowered her head in
shame and closed her eyes tighter.  "Oh Johnathon... I'm so sorry."  Now
it was his turn to freeze.

        Johnathon Tendo sat paralyzed until the silence became
deafening.  "Oh." He finally seemed to come out of it, and Kasumi
remained silent, waiting to hear his judgment.  Johnathon sighed and
cleared his throat softly. "It... was... an accident.  There is no
reason for you to apologize."  His voice was slightly strained and
Kasumi winced, but remained silent.  Johnathon closed his own eyes.  <
If it had been anyone but Kasumi, I might have cause to worry, but
Kasumi would never do anything like that on purpose.> "Kasumi, I trust
you."  His voice strengthened.  "It WAS an accident. That's all."  He
hesitated, then shrugged.  "I trust you."

        Kasumi sagged into his arms in relief.  "Oh Johnathon...."  She
turned around suddenly, looking into his eyes from inches away. "Nothing
happened.  Michael was a gentleman.  He got out immediately, and even
covered for me when your parents came home unexpectedly.  He had to
climb out that tiny window and come in the front door.  He even found my
clothes in the kitchen and kept your mother from discovering them...."
She blushed red.  "I can't imagine what he must think of me."

        Johnathon closed his eyes and shook his head.  "Oh brother. What
a mess. He probably thinks you were trying to seduce him or
something...."  His eyes widened.  "What in the heck can we tell him?
Michael probably thinks...." He swallowed and shook his head.  "And I
thought Ranma got into trouble. This is ridiculous."

        Kasumi was blushing even deeper shades of red.  "Oh my.  I've
been thinking about this all day, and I haven't had any ideas on what to
do.  Even if we told him about my curse, he might still think I was...."

        Johnathon nodded.  "Pulling a Shampoo?  Yeah... I know you
wouldn't, but Michael just met you.  What a first impression to
make...."  He hugged Kasumi to him.  "It'll be OK.  No matter what
Michael thinks, he won't do anything to hurt your reputation.  He's not
like that.  I'll have to have a talk with him though, I don't want him
thinking anything bad about you." Johnathon pushed Kasumi back gently.
"Go ahead and finish getting dressed. My dad is almost finished with
dinner."  He grimaced wryly.  "Michael is supposed to be coming here for
dinner too.  This may be a bit uncomfortable."  At Kasumi's horrified
look he stroked her hair and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.  "We'll
get through this, love.  I'll explain things to him.  He's really a very
reasonable guy."

        Kasumi shook her head.  "No, it's not that... well it is that,
but I forgot!  I promised your parents I would cook dinner tonight!"
Johnathon blinked, then started to chuckle softly.  His chuckles grew
slightly as Kasumi blinked incredulously at him.  As his laughter grew
Kasumi looked slightly annoyed.  "Johnathon... it's not funny!  What
must they think...?" Johnathon simply laughed harder and Kasumi beat on
his chest feebly, her efforts hampered by the fact that her blouse was
still half on, draped over her arms.  Johnathon caught her arms and
gently restrained her, still laughing slightly.  Kasumi couldn't keep a
straight face anymore, and started to giggle uncontrollably herself.

        When they finally stopped laughing, Johnathon started helping
Kasumi put her blouse on.  "After everything else today, forgetting
dinner really seems pretty small.  I'm sure they won't mind.  They're
pretty reasonable people too you know.  They did raise me and Michael."

        Kasumi nodded, buttoning herself up.  "I'm not complaining about
the job they did."  She smiled shyly.  "Although I have to wonder about
where you got your sense of humor."

        Johnathon smiled, and tousled her hair.  "Well, my mom always
had the weirdest sense of humor, and dad always laughs at his own
jokes... so I'd have to say both."  He stood and offered Kasumi a hand
off the floor. "Come on.  Lets go eat.  We can deal with our problems
better on a full stomach."

        Kasumi nodded, smiling, and let him draw her to her feet.
"That's usually best."


        In his car, Michael Dwire was trying to pay attention to the
road.  < Oh my god.  My oh my oh my.>  He was driving mostly on
automatic pilot, the way from his apartment to his parent's house being
routine for him. "What am I going to do?"  He groaned out loud.  "What
can I tell John?"  Images of his brother beating the hell out of him ran
amok in his head.  "Agrrgh."

end of part 11


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