Dual Destinies
Ranma 1/2 belongs to Rumiko Takahashi. Need I say more?
<>: Thoughts
                                  Chapter 24
                               No Turning Back!
     It was the busiest night in the history of the Nekohanten. Patrons 
formed a line two blocks long as everyone tried to get a final taste of 
the restaurant's superb food before it closed its doors forever. With 
prices reduced to half and special discounts awarded for large parties, 
the establishment was constantly packed to full capacity.
     Inside the Cat Café, Shampoo was working her hardest. She was 
especially grateful for the assistance being provided by Nabiki, Kasumi 
and Ukyo. The middle sister was tending the register, while the eldest 
was helping her great-grandmother in the kitchen. Many of the 
customers were surprised to see the proprietor of a rival business 
waiting tables, but Ukyo smiled and took their orders with just as much 
enthusiasm as Shampoo ever did.
     The purple-haired Amazon was glad for the constant activity, as it 
took her mind off the tragedy that had occurred earlier that day. She 
was grateful that her future husband had come to comfort her...
Three hours before at the Nekohanten…
     Ranma Red arrived at the restaurant a few hours before the great sale 
was to take place. He met his future in-law at the door as she was 
hanging up a sign.
     "Son-in-law! Are you here to see Shampoo?"
     "Yes Cologne. Is she home?"
     "Yes she is, but she came in very distraught and she refuses to tell 
me what is wrong. I had thought she would have been glad that we would 
soon be leaving for China and that tomorrow is… her wedding day. Do 
you know what's wrong?"
     "I'm afraid I do." Ranma Red then related the events that had occurred 
that afternoon and he choked up when he told her that Ryoga and 
Mousse were dead.
     "No wonder she's so depressed." Cologne said after her son-in-law 
finished with his tale. "She thinks that she was the reason which drove 
Mousse to his unfortunate end."
     "Yes. Although she didn't love him, I know she still thought of him as 
a friend. Seeing him commit suicide like that was a bad shock. She ran 
away after seeing him die and I was hoping to talk to her about it."
     "She's in her room and refuses to come out." Cologne looked up the 
stairs and sighed. Turning back to Ranma Red, she looked at him with a 
softer expression. "Go to her son-in-law. She needs a good shoulder to 
cry on. Perhaps you can convince her that it wasn't her fault that 
Mousse refused to accept his defeat. I will need her tonight! I expect 
business to be very heavy and even with the Tendos and Ukyo assisting 
me, I will need Shampoo as well."
     "Oh that's right! You don't know it yet!"
     "Know what?"
     "Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane are now part of my family. My mother 
had decided to adopt them and the papers were just finalized today. 
They're no longer Tendos. They're part of the Masaki clan now and my 
     "I see. One can see the irony of it all. The children of the Saotomes 
and the Tendos have been joined, but not in the way that Soun Tendo or 
that fool father of yours had intended. By the way, have you seen either 
of them?"
     Ranma Red's expression hardened as he related his previous 
encounter with his father. "Although no one has seen or heard from 
Akane's father in over a week now."
     "A pity." Cologne remarked, then looked back to the stairs. "But 
enough small talk. Go to my great-granddaughter! I do not like to see 
her in this state! She is an Amazon and… the only family I have. 
Besides you and your brother of course!"
     Nodding to the aged matriarch, Ranma Red headed up the stairs and 
toward the Shampoo's room. As he stopped in front of the door, he 
leaned forward and listened. He could hear the faint sobbing noises 
from within the room. Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door. 
After a moment Shampoo answered in a quiet voice.
     "Shampoo no want to talk great-grandmother!"
     "It's me, Ranma Red. You know. Airen?"
     In a flash, the door swung wide open and Ranma Red found himself 
crushed in a mega-Amazon glomp by his fiancée.
     "Airen! Hold Shampoo! Never let go! Never, EVER leave Shampoo! 
Shampoos already lose Mousse! No can bear it if she lose Airen too!"
     The magic-using twin was still recovering a bit from the previous 
battle and was gasping for breath. Putting his arms around her he 
managed to stammer out a word.
     Instantly, the two were bathed in a red energy and Shampoo's body 
relaxed. When the calming spell took full effect, Shampoo felt her legs 
give out from under her. Ranma Red knew he overdid it a bit and caught 
her as she fell forward. Sweeping her off her feet, he carried her back 
into her room and set her onto her bed. Sitting down beside her, he 
waited for his future spouse to compose herself.
     "Shampoo, I know that you feel that you're the reason that Mousse 
killed himself, but it wasn't your fault!"
     "Why not?" Shampoo said in a sad tone. " Mousse was always 
obsessed with Shampoo. Never ever give up on her! Even after losing 
Honor Duel, he still ignores Amazon law and chase after her! He dead 
because of her!"
     "Shampoo. You have to understand. I feel kind of guilty myself. I 
thought that challenging him to an Honor Duel would make him give up 
on you. I… didn't know he would come back as a monster. I certainly 
didn't want him dead!"
     "Shampoo no want him dead either! Shampoo always said that she 
better off, if Mousse goes away and dies. Just like Akane always say 
that she no want Ranma. But like Akane, Shampoo no mean it! Can 
never love Mousse, but Shampoo still think of him as friend! Want to 
see him find someone and be happy, just like Shampoo is happy when 
she find Ranma!"
     "That's' good to know, but you have to realize that what happened 
today was not your   fault, anymore than it was anyone else's. Mousse 
made a bad choice and he was controlled by those demons. Everything 
that happened today was because of THEM, not just because Mousse 
couldn't stop dwelling on the past."
     Shampoo was silent for a moment before nodding slightly. "Shampoo 
know that, but she can't stop thinking that she was reason that Mousse 
take own life! Shampoo treated him very bad because he not believe her, 
when Shampoo tell him she no love him and never will! Shampoo hoped 
that Mousse finally give up on her when Airen say he love her, but it no 
work! Now Shampoo wish she never met Mousse. If Mousse never met 
her, he no fall in love with her and never chase her! If he no chase her, he 
no be dead now!"
     "Shampoo, we all make our choices. Mousse just made some bad 
ones. But you can't hold yourself responsible for his life or death. He 
made the choice to end it. But I'm sure that he wouldn't want you to be 
feeling sorry for what happened. He would want you to get on with your 
life and be happy. I would have wanted you to do the same if I had been 
in his situation."
     "You bet! To honor his memory, you should live life to the fullest 
and never forget that he was your friend! I won't forget him! Even 
though we were rivals, I did respect him for his determination. You 
should respect him for that too. I'm sure that wherever he is, he'd be 
glad to know that you haven't forgotten him and you're happy."
     There was another long silence as Shampoo considered Ranma Red's 
words. Then she smiled a bit and nodded. "Airen is right! Shampoo will 
miss Mousse, but will not let it make her too sad. Mousse is at peace 
now. Best to let him have peace. Should be strong for Mousse like true 
     "That's my Amazon!" Ranma Red said with a smile as he embraced 
     Shampoo returned the embrace and for a full minute, nothing was 
said. Her small smile gradually turned into a straight line as she 
remembered something else. Then in a quiet whisper, the purple-haired 
girl voiced out a request. "Airen… make love to Shampoo."
     Needless to say, this simple statement shocked Ranma Red as he 
pushed away from his fiancée with a shocked expression. "W-what?!"
     Shampoo's eyes shimmered with tears as she looked deeply into her 
future husband's face. "Please. Make love to Shampoo. Shampoo need 
Airen now! Mousse die in front of Shampoo and Airen almost die too. 
Shampoo sad not only because Mousse die, but because she scared. She 
is VERY scared that she lose Airen too! No want to be widow before 
becoming TRUE bride!"
     "But Shampoo… our wedding is tomorrow and…" Ranma Red felt 
his panic level rise as Shampoo placed a finger on his lips.
     For a moment, she paused to gather her thoughts before continuing. 
"Shampoo no feel bad about Mousse now. He no can be hurt anymore. 
He is at peace. But that not only reason why Shampoo feel sad today. 
Today, Airen almost die. If not for brother, Airen see Kami-sama now. 
No can bear it if Shampoo lose Airen! Shampoo very, VERY scared that 
Airen fight monsters! She scared that Airen be killed before Shampoo 
can SHOW how much she love him!"
     "Shampoo know that Airen is scared about making love to her. 
Shampoo scared too. Will be first time for both of us."
     "Shampoo, if you're so afraid that I'll die, then don't be! I won't die! I 
promise you!" Ranma Red said in desperation.
     "Shampoo not know that! Not know future! Shampoo needs Ranma to 
show her that everything will be all right! Shampoo needs him NOW! 
Shampoo wait so long for Ranma to say he love her! Please… make 
love to Shampoo!"
     Ranma Red found himself in a bind. He had wanted to wait until this 
Dark World business was over with, before giving himself fully to his 
wife. But it was clear that Shampoo needed assurance. This was a side 
of her that he had never seen before. It reminded him of the time she 
was a prisoner of the Ghost Cat. She had become absolutely vulnerable, 
and the pleading look in her eyes seemed to pierce right through him 
and into his soul. She wanted… no, needed him badly. How could he 
refuse her?
     Furthermore, the prospect of making love to his fiancée had crossed 
his mind several times during the last few days. Just as his brother had 
started to get intimate thoughts about Ukyo, he too had started thinking 
about Shampoo in that manner. The way that her firm, yet supple and 
voluptuous body pressed against him whenever she embraced him had 
sent him into a series of hot flashes. Several times, he had taken a cold 
shower to cool his ardor, but lately, they haven't been working very well.
     But it was too soon for him and he was still quite nervous about 
becoming so intimate with her, especially with all the stress of his life. 
There was the training, the battles with the Dark World, the addition of 
the Tendo sisters to the family, and not to mention his upcoming 
marriage to the beautiful girl before him. He couldn't do it.
     Seeing her fiancée's reluctance to fulfill her request, Shampoo 
decided to take the initiative. Leaning forward, she placed her lips 
against his and kissed him deeply. At the same time, she put one hand 
behind his head to pull him closer and the other hand directly onto his 
crotch. She began to slowly stroke gently as she opened her mouth and 
rubbed her tongue against his lips.
     Ranma Red's eyes widened as he felt his member begin to stiffen 
underneath her palm. His mind reeled as he tried to break away. 
Although his mind wanted to, his body did the opposite and moved 
closer. He had never expected Shampoo to be THIS forward, and all 
those other times she had shown him affection seemed tame to what 
she was doing now. <I can't do this! I just can't! But… it feels so good! 
I…> Ranma Red felt his body temperature begin to rise and his heart 
quadrupled its rhythm. He became extremely aware of every curve of 
her body pressed up against him. 
     Shampoo could sense that he was losing his resolve and went to push 
him over the brink. She stopped stroking his privates and then slowly 
moved her hand to the drawstring, which tied up his pants. With a deft 
pull, she loosened his pants and then slipped her hand under the 
waistband. Before Ranma Red could protest, Shampoo grasped him and 
     The sensation of her hand applying pressure to his manhood in such 
an intimate manner made Ranma Red give in to his primal urges. With a 
low moan, he tightened his embrace on Shampoo and deepened the kiss, 
literally ravaging her mouth as one hand began undoing the buttons on 
her blouse.
     Downstairs in the kitchen, Cologne was a bit surprised to hear a loud 
moan coming from Shampoo's room. She recognized the voice as 
Ranma Red's and wondered as to what was going on. She listened in for 
further sounds, focusing her ki to amplify her sense of hearing. Her 
eyes widened and her mouth turned upwards in a mischievous grin as 
she heard the rustle of clothes being removed and her son-in-law and 
her great-granddaughter whispering to each other.
     "Shampoo… you're so beautiful!"
     "Airen! Take Shampoo now!"
     Cologne's grin became even more pronounced as she hopped over to 
the front door of the restaurant and locked it. She set up the sign, which 
said that the restaurant would reopen within two hours. After all, it 
would not do for someone to come in at this time. She then hopped up 
the stairs to her own room. As she passed Shampoo's room, she heard 
several more moans and sighs. 
     <Oh well, I did tell son-in-law to comfort Shampoo! That's one way 
of doing it! By Amazon Law, they're already married! At least I know 
that they'll have no problem in giving me some great great 
grandchildren!> Cologne sighed happily at the thought of seeing their 
offspring in the next couple of years.
     Two hours later, Ranma Red came down the stairs with a smile on 
his face. He met Cologne at the bottom and said, "You don't have to 
worry about Shampoo. She'll be all right!"
     "I'm pretty certain that she's feeling quite… satisfied with herself 
right now." Cologne replied with a grin.
     Ranma Red lived up to his name as his cheeks turned a deep 
crimson. "You… know, don't you?"
     "It was rather difficult NOT to have heard the two of you! For a 
moment I thought you'd never stop! I wished my husband had possessed 
your… enthusiasm, when he was alive!"
     "Uhhhh… let's keep this between the two of us, okay?"
     "As you wish, son-in-law!" Cologne chuckled.
The present…
     Shampoo sighed happily as she replayed every little detail of her 
experience. Her husband had lived up to the 'wild horse' definition of 
his name. With another lovesick sigh, she turned her attention back to 
her work.
     While the Nekohanten was hopping with business, Ranma Blue was 
sitting on the roof of the Ucchan with his brother. They watched the 
sunset as they discussed the day's events.
     "It's hard to believe that Mousse and Ryoga are gone." Ranma Blue 
said sadly.
     "Uh-huh. They were a pain in the rear, but I can't help feeling sorry 
for them. They didn't have to die."
     "Well, even if they didn't kill themselves, the Mark of the Demon 
had changed them permanently into monsters. They would have been 
stuck like that forever."
     "Some choice! Live your life as a monster or die."
     "Speaking of choices, do have any regrets about the choices we've 
made over the last two weeks?"
     "Like what?"
     "Do you think we could have done anything better? Like stopping 
Akane from killing herself, the breakup of the Tendos or about Mousse 
and Ryoga?"
     Ranma Red was silent as he contemplated the past events. He then 
said, "I'm not sure if we could have done anything different from what 
we've done before. I couldn't think of any other way to get Mousse off 
Shampoo besides the Honor Duel."
     His sibling nodded as he replied, "Yeah, and Akane would have 
thrown herself off that building anyway, no matter HOW we could have 
told her we're marrying someone else."
     "Mom had to know, how Pop used us over the last ten years!"
     "We could've handled Kodachi a lot better, instead of hurting her 
feelings like that. Problem with that was she wouldn't believe anything 
we said to her, unless we told her straight!"
     "Things have really changed for us, haven't they?" Ranma Red 
     "Yeah. Akane, Kasumi and Nabiki are our sisters now, we're going to 
married tomorrow and going back to China. We're going to face 
opponents that'll make the others look like warm-up exercises and the 
fate of the world rests on our shoulders! I'd say things have definitely 
     "By the way, Blue. Have you talked with Akane? I mean, she was 
pretty upset when she saw Ryoga die."
     "I've tried to talk to her about it, but she just wouldn't open up to me. 
She's tried to hide it from me, but I've seen her cry about Ryoga a 
couple of times."
     "I guess she really did care about him, despite the fact that he lied to 
her all this time."
     "We'll never know what would have happened if Akane ever 
confronted him about it."
     "With everything that's happened to her, she really didn't need this! 
She's died, gone to the Kami Plane, got tortured by those demons, and 
lost her family name. She was just starting to get her life back on track 
by telling Kuno off and stopping those morning fights. Now this 
happens! It's just not fair!"
     {"Life is seldom fair, Ranma Blue!"} Taron said as he and his brother 
appeared behind the Chosen Twins.
     "Soren! Taron! Is it time for our next training session?" Ranma Red 
asked as he and his brother turned to face their mentors.
     Soren shook his head as he said, "No Ranma Red. You and your 
brother have finished with your training with us."
     "Really? We're done?" Ranma Blue inquired.
     "Not quite." Taron replied. "My brother said that your training with 
US is over. The final stage of your training shall take place tomorrow in 
China, when you retrieve the Mystic Sword and the Elemental Hammer. 
Fortunately, you'll have an extra week to do this."
     "What do you mean? I thought the Contract expired in two days!" 
Ranma Blue declared.
     "In this case, we have been given an extension. Because of the Dark 
World's attempt to break down the interdimensional barrier, before the 
time of the Contract Renewal, this was seen as a breech of the agreement 
to wait every thousand years. The penalty was a week's extension and any 
further hostile movements against the Earth or you, will be seen as a 
forfeit. After you have gained the weapons of power, you will have a few 
days to rest and prepare for when the Contract is to be fulfilled."
     With a smile Soren added, "This'll also give you some time to enjoy 
the pleasures of married life, but I'm sure that Ranma Red has already 
found that out! See you later!"
     Before Ranma Red could respond to that remark, both immortals 
     Ranma Blue turned to his brother in confusion. "What did he mean 
by…" His eyes then widened as he realized the implication of Soren's 
words. Seeing his brother's cheeks redden with a crimson hue, 
confirmed his suspicions. "You didn't… did you?"
     The other half of the Masaki twins became even more embarrassed 
as he twiddled his fingers and said, "Uhhhhhhh…. well… yes."
     "You son of a gun!" Ranma Blue said as he smiled and pounded him 
on the back. 
     "Well… Shampoo was feeling bad about what happened today and 
one thing led to another and…"
     "Did you use any… protection?" Ranma Blue asked in concern.
     Ranma Red nodded as he replied, "Soren had taught me some spells 
that weren't… battle-related. One spell in particular was a… method of 
birth control. It was supposed to make it more… pleasurable, but it also 
stopped Shampoo from conceiving."
     Ranma Blue nodded in understanding. Then his smile became 
mischievous as he asked, "So, do you have any regrets?"
     Ranma Red thought for a moment and replied, "Other than the fact 
that we jumped the gun, not really. I wanted to wait, but when Shampoo 
became…you know, I just couldn't say no." Ranma Red's blush returned 
with a vengeance, coloring his cheeks a darker hue than his shirt.
     The other Masaki brother chuckled as he was amused by his sibling's 
embarrassment. He thought about teasing him some more, but decided 
to relent. "It's okay Red! You're going to be married to her tomorrow 
and I'm sure Mom would love to have some grandchildren someday!"
     "Okay Red! I'll stop, but on one condition!"
     "What's that?"
     "How was she?"
     "You tell me every juicy little detail! Don't hold out on me! I might 
want to try that stuff on Ucchan someday!"
     "Well…" Ranma Red began. "I tell you one thing! Shampoo's legs 
have one hell of a grip! She could crush a boulder between those legs!"
     When early morning came the next day, the Nekohanten had been 
boarded up and the signs removed. Inside the building, Cologne handed 
the keys to the real estate agent and the sale was complete. There were 
several crates that was stacked near one corner of the now empty 
restaurant. The tables had been cleaned with their chairs placed upside-
down on their tops. Everything had both been removed and stowed 
away, or had been sold off. There was nothing left to show that the 
Amazons ever existed in Japan.
     As the real estate agent bid Shampoo and Cologne farewell, the two 
Amazons took one last look at the place, which had served as their 
means of livelihood and their home for almost a year. They had not 
expected to stay in Japan for so long a time, but the events, which 
followed their arrival had left them with a feeling of accomplishment 
and satisfaction. They had done it. After many months of agonizing 
failures, missed opportunities and embarrassing setbacks, Ranma would 
finally join the ranks of the Amazons. At least one of them would.
     The magic-using Masaki would more than certainly strengthen the 
bloodlines of the warrior women. Even if he did not possess the 
staggering power of one of the Chosen Twins, his martial arts skills and 
innate ability to learn techniques quickly, put him far beyond the skill 
level of any of his generation. As of now, the aged matriarch 
considered his martial arts to be on a par with Soren and Taron's, whom 
she considered as her betters. Furthermore, Cologne was satisfied that 
her great-granddaughter would be happy, if the previous day was any 
indication. Although Ranma Red still refused to teach her the magic 
spells he had learned, just having him in the tribe made him a valuable 
commodity. The efforts put into getting him to become part of the 
Joketsuzoku had reaped great rewards for Shampoo and her tribe.
     After a moment, the two warrior women nodded to each other and 
left the building, heading toward the Masaki home. Each was carrying a 
heavy backpack. The rest of their belongings had been packed into 
crates and were to be picked up and shipped to China later. Shampoo 
had a large smile on her face, as she was eager to meet with her soon-
to-be husband.
     At the Ucchan, Ukyo was also finalizing her preparations to leave. 
After setting up the sign, which said that her restaurant would be closed 
for a few weeks, she then set about putting some final items into her 
own pack. After the last piece was neatly stowed away, the daughter of 
Haruka Kuonji put on her bandoleer of mini spatulas, then slung her 
large spatula over her back. She hefted her luggage over one shoulder, 
left her establishment and headed to meet with her fiancée.
     An hour later, the front of the Masaki home had become crowded, as 
the family of the Ranma twins and their respective fiancées and future 
in-laws stood on the front lawn. Shampoo was clinging onto Ranma Red 
with more amorous affection than usual. When she whispered something 
into his ear, his cheeks became flushed with crimson. Shaking his head 
while smiling, Ranma Red gave his fiancée a peck on the cheek, then 
walked over to his brother, who was standing at the front of the group.
     Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane were carrying packs and were standing 
beside the Nodoka. The three girls were very nervous, because not only 
they were about to travel to a distant land, but they were also going to 
witness the weddings of the Chosen Twins. After all that had occurred, 
it was a bit unnerving to see Ranma marry someone else other than 
     Akane was deep in thought at this time. So much had happened to her 
in the past two weeks. Ranma was no longer her future husband. Her 
greatest rivals will become their wives in just a few short hours. She 
had died and had gone to the Kami Plane. She had undergone inhuman 
torture to her soul and later her body. She had witnessed the deaths of 
two people, one of which who she had considered as a good friend. 
Although she was still angered over the fact that Ryoga had lied to her 
for a long time, his death had made her realize that Ryoga did not 
deserve her resentment, but rather her sympathy. It was all an 
unfortunate coincidence that he had become cursed, then tricked into 
becoming a monster.
     With a sigh, Akane put away her thoughts and turned to face the 
twins, who were at the time, addressing the rest of the group. Both of 
them also had large packs strapped to their backs.
     "Well, is everybody here?" Ranma Red asked as he looked around. 
     "I hope everyone has all of their affairs in order, because once we 
get going, we won't be coming back for anything." Ranma Blue added.
     There was a collective nod as each person signified their readiness 
to depart.
     "By the way. What time does our plane leave for China?" Akane asked.
     "Who said anything about a plane?" Ranma Red replied.
     "But your brother said that we would be flying to China today!"
     "We will be flying there! But with the fate of the world at stake, 
planes are too slow!" Ranma Blue and his brother began charging up 
their ki energies.
     "So how are we…" Akane never got to finish her question as both 
twins floated off the ground and hovered above the group at a height of 
fifteen feet.
     Nabiki also stared in amazement. For a minute, she began thinking 
about the amount of money that could be made with a power like that. 
Then she remembered that she was not in that kind of business anymore.
     "Please!" Ranma Red called down to the group. "Everyone come a 
little closer together! And don't worry what is going to happen next! 
We won't let anything happen to you."
     The others did as they were asked and moved closer together. Ranma 
Red began focusing his power and invoked his spell. His palms glowed 
with a white light as he directed them toward the people below. There 
was a sudden explosion of light as Ranma Red released his spell.
     The Masaki family, the Amazons and Ukyo found themselves inside 
a large bubble that was transparent and seemed to be made of glass. 
Akane became a bit edgy as it reminded her of the time she had been 
trapped in a similar structure in the Kami Plane. She closed her eyes 
and willed herself to be calm.
     As the sphere formed around the group, Ranma Blue invoked his 
gravity-altering powers to levitate the orb into the air. With a nod to his 
brother, the twins streaked off in the direction of China, closely 
followed by the crystal orb. There was a sound detonation that echoed 
through Nerima as the twins and their passengers broke the sound 
barrier. They were on their way.
To be continued…
Author's Notes
     The Masaki twins are now bound for China, as this story begins to 
build toward a climax. They have left virtually everything that connected 
them to their former life as Ranma Saotome. Next chapter will deal 
with the twin's getting hitched and their quest for the Mystic Sword and 
Elemental Hammer.