No One Has Won the War - A Ranma 1/2 Fanfic - Chapter Three * * *
No One Has Won the War
by Edmondia Dantes

Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me. They belong to Rumiko Takahashi, may we all hail her as queen. I'm not making any money off of this. Poor me. However, the story itself is mine. (pause) Yay.

"{}" - Chinese (spoken)
Italics - thoughts

* * *
- Chapter Three -

Something was wrong.

Shampoo shot up in her bed, violet eyes wide. Clutching her bonbori, she scanned the room warily, every sense she possessed screaming of danger.

Something pale darted in the shadows.

I wanted to thank you, little girl.

The voice was soft, like a warm breeze, yet harder than diamond. She shuddered.

"{For what?}" She had faced many things in her life, some shadow wasn't going to scare her!

The shadows rippled. For what you have done, of course. You are very generous.

She spun, teeth bared, senses tingling. "{What do you mean?}"

Not many would be so willing to give one to my embrace.

"{What are you talking about?!}"

The shadows flowed together from the corner, and Shampoo held her breath, dropping automatically into a fighting stance. Abrubtly the darkness retreated, and she stared at the intruder. Slim, pale, hair the color of moonlight, eyes like amber burning in a perfect face. She smiled, revealing gleaming fangs.

I think you know.

She leapt forward, snarling. And touched nothing. There was no one there.

Shampoo shivered, staring at the open window. It had been shut when she had gone to bed.

***

-Joketsuzoku, China-

She stifled a groan as she looked around. This was terrible. Several homes lay in ruins, the families swarming over them, trying to salvage whatever they could. The streets had been torn up and were no more than glorified mud puddles. The temple had become severely flooded, and parts of the forest surrounding the area had been completely demolished. The training grounds were in the same state as the street, and the tribal hall was blackened along the far side. Amongst all the wreckage, one house remained untouched, gleaming in the moonlight.

She knew whose house it was.

Damn.

These things were never easy.

* * *

He lay there, still and quiet, breathing deeply. Asleep, just as he had been the past five times she had checked. She inhaled slowly. Patience. Patience.

Then she smelled something odd. Realization slammed into her even as she raced to her granddaughter's side.

Shampoo stood, shaking with cold. And...something else.

Cologne took a single look at her, and knew.

"{I take it you saw her?}"

"{Who was she? What was she talking about?}" Shampoo turned, lifting pleading eyes to her great-grandmother.

So Shampoo had seen her. And she had spoken. This was worse than she thought.

* * *

He knew he was dreaming. He found he didn't care. There was a sharp breeze whipping his hair around, obscuring his vision, but that was the only thing that made seeing difficult. The night was moonless, and he was high on a mountain, looking into a familiar valley. Familiar, but for the life of him, he could not recognize it.

Slender arms wrapped around him, and he leaned back, enjoying the thought that Shampoo was behind him.

Then he realized it wasn't Shampoo.

It wasn't anyone he knew, but someone who knew him...very intimately. He could taste her cool breath against his ear, feel every contour of her slim body...she was small, her hands were tiny, save the oddly long fingernails.

Who are you? What are you doing?

She giggled against his neck, and he shivered.

Who ARE you?....Who are you?

Her grip had tightened. He squirmed, trying to get comfortable. If he could. He tried to calm himself by remembering that this was only a dream.

It didn't work.

Sharp teeth abrubtly brushed his skin.

Dreaming...? Are you so certain?

Mousse tried valiantly to wake up.

* * *

She had allowed herself to be taken downstairs, had waited patiently for her great-grandmother to make her a warm drink, and fidgeted when she did so.

Cologne wordlessly handed the cup over, and she took it with a nod of thanks, setting it before her to stare into its depths.

"{What is going on?}" her voice sounded strangely flat to her own ears.

Cologne sighed. "{It has to do with the news from the village.}"

Shampoo perked up, eyes focusing. "{And?}"

"{One of the young boys was attacked recently. A teenager. He was betrothed to B'day Wish. They found him out in the fields, completely comatose. He hasn't risen since.}"

She felt her jaw drop. Attacked in our own fields? How is this possible?

"{Also, the charms on the rock shine were blown away during a storm.}"

"{Charms? Rock shrine? What does this have to do with that girl?}" She knew she sounded petty, but she had been paralyzed by the girl's eyes.

"{We shall see. What did she say to you?}" The question was terse, and she frowned. Something was very wrong. Her grandmother had never acted this worried before.

"{She...wanted to thank me. For giving her something. I think she was talking about someone. Was it Ranma?}"

Cologne snorted. "{She would have absolutely no interest in Ranma whatsoever.}"

Shampoo blinked. EVERYONE had some sort of interest in Ranma. It was either love or hate where he was concerned, so who could she have been referring to?

A soft footfall on the stairs caught her attention, and she turned to see that her grandmother was already staring towards Mousse, who was coming down the stairs, clad only in pants and wild-looking hair.

He walked by without speaking, and she suddenly got the feeling he hadn't even noticed her at all.

Cologne watched him pass, her mouth set in a grim line. She didn't move until he returned from the kitchen, a few minutes later, a bowl of steaming ramen clasped in his trembling hands. He padded up the stairs again, and Shampoo stared after him, something suddenly clicking in her mind.

"{I suppose she's hungry.}" Cologne said cryptically.

Hungry?

* * *

He was starving again. He wolfed down the food, not noticing the taste, only briefly noting that he was going to burn his mouth on it if he kept eating at the rate he had been.

It was unnatural, but they needed strength.

Mousse blinked. HE needed strength...

When a pale hand reached out and lifted the bowl to her ruby lips.

He stared, mouth going dry.

She was half-hidden in the shadows, but he knew her. The girl from his dream, eyes hidden, body enveloped in the shadows.

What do you want from me?

She looked up, and for the first time he could see her eyes, gleaming with a pale fire and wildness that he KNEW.

Nothing. Everything.

She smiled, revealing pointed canines. He shivered at the memory of them brushing his skin, tried to block it as best he could.

The breeze cooled the now-empty bowl clutched in his trembling hands.

He cast his gaze out the open window. The breeze was cold, but he was very warm. He looked back. To his surprise, she was still there.

Then she leaned over and pressed her mouth against his.

* * *

"{Mu Tsu? She was talking about him?}" Shampoo murmured in shock.

Cologne nodded. "{She wants him, and she is going to take him if we don't do something about this.}"

She inhaled sharply. "{But who is she?}"

Cologne shook her head. "{Not someone to be trifled with. And she is moving much more quickly than the last time. I don't know how she was able to find him.}"

Shampoo clenched her teeth. She wanted answers, not some roundabout way of telling her nothing. "{Who is she and what does she want?}" It came out as a half-shriek.

Cologne didn't answer, because she had turned and was bounding up the stairs.

With an exasperated sound, Shampoo followed.

* * *

He whimpered.

She smiled against his mouth, sliding a cool hand through his hair. She was so cold...but he was warm, and trapped. He couldn't move, though he tried wiggling free. She just chuckled, low and throaty, and pulled him close, too close.

What is going ON? he thought frantically. A hint of satisfaction mixed with hunger curled against his mind. Just this...it's not bad, is it? Don't lie now, I know when you lie.

Just what? What are you talking about?

This. He gave a soft yelp as she pulled back, wrapped both hands in his hair, and twined her legs around his hips. He tried to squirm, but she leaned forward and pressed herself against him. Her amber eyes stared deep into his terrified hazel ones.

Don't lie and say you don't like it. The words were a caressing whisper, and something inside of him melted.

What are you doing to me? he thought helplessly.

Her mouth crushed his again, surprisingly sweet and cool. Taking what is mine.

* * *

She slammed her staff against the door. Ordinarily, it would have shattered. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be happening.

Shampoo raced up the stairs, screeching to a halt behind her. "{What now?}"

Cologne eyed the door narrowly. Then she remembered. She had a tattered ward from the rock shrine, tucked away in her robes. Perhaps this will work....

She plastered it to the door. It crackled with blue energy, which sparked and went out.

She punched the door down.

And saw Mousse, sitting on the floor, eyes huge in his white face. He was shaking. She glanced around the room. The window was open.

Shampoo tiptoed over to Mousse and rested a hand on his shoulder. "{Mu Tsu? Are you all right?}"

Cologne blinked in slight surprise at the concern in her tone. She blinked again when Mousse barely reacted with a shake of his head.

"{Go downstairs.}" she commanded to both of them. Shampoo nodded, but Mousse only rose slowly to his feet, moving almost lethargically.

Once they were gone, she searched the room for any strange auras. Nothing was amiss, but it was rather cool with the window open. She slammed it shut. Out of the corner of her eye, something silver flashed, but by the time she had turned, it was gone.

So she has a form now. How can she be doing this so quickly?

* * *

Her great-grandmother had made Mousse sleep on the floor. He was so figety that she doubted he would get any sleep at all.

Shampoo sighed as she fell asleep. She really wished she knew what was happening.

She woke up to a crash and a glimmer of blue light.

Through the door, Cologne asked, "{Are you all right?}"

Confused and sleepy, she replied, "{Yes...everything's fine.}"

Cologne said softly, "{If you are sure...}" and walked away.

Shampoo blinked and rolled over. Her mouth fell open. A silver dagger was impaled on her pillow, not a centimeter from her head. She took a shaky breath and reached over to pull it out. As she did so she realized that she recognized the scrollwork on the handle.

It belonged to Mousse.

* * *

Chapter Four
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Written in 2000 byEdmondia Dantes