Title: Shampoo's Choice
Author: Alatri ^..^ alatri@att.net
Fandom: Ranma 1/2
Complete/Updated:  8/16/98
Feedback: Comments, critiques, suggestions, etc, all welcome. ;-)
Disclaimer: Only mine in my dreams. ;-)  This is a work of fiction based upon the manga/anime characters invented by Takahashi Rumiko – she and the publishers hold the copyrights to the Ranma ½ World. This story was written for free entertainment purposes only and may not be reproduced for profit or altered without permission.

Notes: A snippet story that takes place in the 'Ranma's Friends' storyline (further along in the timeline).

Shampoo's Choice

An apple came plummeting down at her and Shampoo caught it. And the next, and the one after that… After the sixth one, she was almost juggling them. She started laughing, "Enough! We eat now, yes?"

The tree branches rustled. And Ryoga hopped down from the top of the tree, landing lightly beside her, holding his own apple. He bit into it and spoke around the apple, "Hey, not bad." He glanced over a ways, "Have you two caught your share of lunch yet?"

As Ranma made some derogatory remark, Shampoo’s gaze was still on Ryoga. As he had jumped out and landed next to her, his smile of fun lighting his face, she had felt a tenderness she only associated with Ranma and Mousse. No… It’s impossible – I lo—she broke off her thought and looked at Ranma and Akane. She bowed her head, I’ve lost Ranma. If only Akane hadn’t been there from the beginning. She might have won Ranma’s heart. They had become good friends. But friends wasn’t enough, not nearly enough for one who needed to return to the Amazons a leader – and a reason for not killing girl-Ranma. Shampoo put the apples down by the camp and watched Ryoga carefully. As good a fighter as Ranma. Elf blood – Sensei would be pleased. A true Wanderer – the Tribe will be pleased. The Amazons were more comfortable if they didn’t actually have to adopt anybody into the Tribe. A Wanderer would come and go, and never fully settle. Kind. That consideration was for herself. She’d gotten used to kindness here in Nermia. She watched Ryoga. Yes, he will do nicely – if I can’t have Ranma. Shampoo’s eyes darted to her first love and she sighed with longing.


The gang hung out in the Tendo’s yard. Nearly everybody was there, gathered in for different reasons but together now that they were there. The different sub-groups merged and split as time passed, each person finding associations in the others. Only Shampoo stayed apart from the group. She was sitting on the roof, watching the trees, and thinking.

Since she’d decided on Ryoga as her second choice, there remained only one problem. One problem that she still hadn’t solved in the weeks since. How to get Ryoga to fight her. Amazon law would allow no other pairing – Shampoo glanced down at Mousse in age-old regret. But Ryoga would never fight her willingly. Especially not if she told him why she wanted to fight – then he’d run like hell. Shampoo sighed – it was a problem, choosing nice guys for prospective husbands. Chewing her lip in thought, Shampoo once again went over her options – it was a short list. But I need an opening.

Then Ranma and Ryoga started up one of their usual fights. Shampoo’s attention perked up. Perfect. She watched them for a bit, picking up a pebble off the rooftop and tossing it up and catching it absently while she watched. There… now they’re in a rhythm… She timed it – and threw the pebble out. It landed exactly where she aimed, and when Ranma stepped back, he put his full weight on it and lost his infamous balance. Only for an instance, but that instance was all it took for Ryoga’s blow, that would normally have been met by a perfect block, to get through and connect solidly. Ranma went flying back to land with a extra loud thud against the rocks. Akane ran to him. Ryoga started forward, "Ranma!" But Shampoo jumped down in front of him, "You hurt Shampoo’s fiancée. You pay."

"Wha…" Ryoga backed off, confused – and worried about Ranma.

Shampoo launched a kick at Ryoga, which he blocked easily, his gaze flipping wide-eyed between her and Ranma.

"You hurt Ranma…" Shampoo allowed her battle-aura to start gathering around her, feeling it snap into place as an old friend. She pulled out her maces.

"Whoa!" Ryoga ducked as the air above his head was displaced violently. He tried to simply dodge around a bit, but he wasn’t nearly as good at that as Ranma. His instinct was to fight back. "Shampoo!" Her attacks were deadly serious and Ryoga had to concentrate to avoid them. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Ranma getting up, Akane at his side. "Shampoo! Ranma’s okay – really!"

There was a flicker of recognition in her eyes, but her expression turned, if possible, even grimmer. One of the maces got through Ryoga’s defense and hit him on the side. Even from a powerful Amazon such as Shampoo, it wasn’t enough to do more than rock him back. But it did trigger his instincts and he automatically launched a counterattack.

Mousse’s breath drew in, "No!"

Shampoo blocked easily, dodging the one blow and deflecting the other with her mace. But it was what she’d been waiting for, and the final straw for the edge. She grinned in feral delight and allowed the Change.

"No!!!!" Mousse howled in despair.


"Damn, that sword is huge."

"Shampoo, what are you doing!?"

"Ryoga! Watch out!"


The group all watched as Shampoo tossed away her maces and pulled out a sword. It was the one she’d chased the girl-Ranma with. That none of them had seen since. Her battle-aura had changed from a flaming-red to an iridescent yellow. And she was attacking Ryoga with force and power that would kill him if he let any of the blows get through.

Ryoga had no choice and pulled off his belt, snapping it straight and parrying the huge sword with it. He couldn’t let any attack hit straight on – it was, after all, just clothe, but he couldn’t let the sword… "Shampoo!"

Ranma hurled himself into the fray, trying to distract Shampoo. A length of chain wrapped itself around him and yanked him back. Landing heavily, he wildly glanced back, "Mousse! What the hell?! She’s going to kill him!!"

Another length of chain was around Kuno. Mousse let go of both ends he held and sank to his knees, watching Shampoo, tears streaming down his face. "She’s made her choice. And is in the Change. Nothing will stop her now. Not unless she kills, or until he defeats her."

Cologne hopped over the wall in time to stop Ranma from hurling himself forward again. "Don’t, boy. She will only see you as another enemy. Don’t. Let Ryoga handle it."

"But,…, but…"

Bleeding from a gash across his forehead, Ryoga connected with a kick that sent Shampoo flying backwards. She twisted in mid-air and landed lightly, her mouth twisting up in a snarl.

"As Mousse has said," Cologne’s eyes revealing nothing of what she was thinking, "She has made her choice. And it will be a good one. Ryoga can defeat her without harming her."

"Unless she kills him."

All eyes snapped to Mousse. There was something in his voice… Cologne’s eyes widened, "Oh damn! I forgot. He shouldn’t be watching this."

The tears streamed down Mousse’s face in a torrent. Nabiki looked back to the combatants, her eyes going wide, "Oh! If Ryoga wins, that means…"

"He’s engaged to her!"

The group watched the combat with new attention. "So that’s what they meant by ‘choice’!!" "Ranma, you’ve been tossed-over." "Uh, do you think Ryoga knows?" "’Course not – he’d be running like hell itself was chasing him." "Mousse…"

There was a dreadful keening noise from the huddled figure in white, and Cologne dropped her stick to go to him, putting a hand on his shoulder, "Grandson… It will be alright."

Attention refocused on Mousse. Then moved back to the fight as a wash of red flew out from Ryoga’s side. Ryoga grunted, twisting around. Then his hand came down in a snap, connecting with Shampoo’s legs, sending her crashing down. "Shampoo! I don’t want to fight you! Snap out of it! Ack!" Ryoga dodged the sword, one hand pressed against his side, the other wavering near his headbands. He lowered his hand and grimly jumped up in the tree, breaking off a branch and parrying the sword with it. His belt had long since been hacked to pieces.

"Ah, Ryoga-chan. You will have to fight her for real. She has left you no other choice. The Change is on her, and you will have to fight." Cologne shook her head.

Mousse whimpered, "He won’t fight, and since he wouldn’t fight, she had to Change, ‘cause the Law will have it no other way. But he won’t fight and she will kill him… kill him and then snap out of the Change and realize what she has done. And the Law will have it no other way, but the love was there and she killed him. She killed him and then killed herself so she would follow her love. Follow. The only Choice. The Law will have it…" He wailed, folding himself into a tight knot.

Cologne grimly knelt by his side, pulling him into a useless embrace.

The group stared.

Nabiki cleared her throat, "I take it he wasn’t actually talking about Shampoo and Ryoga…"

"No." Cologne glanced up to the fight, "Damn you, Shampoo. I understand your choice, but did you have to do it in front of Mousse?" She cuddled the tragic figure, "Grandson… Oh, my boy… It will be all right. Shampoo is not your mother, and Ryoga is not your father. Ryoga will fight. Do not worry. Ryoga will fight, and win, and will not hurt Shampoo in the winning. Do not worry so."

Several mouths dropped open, and eyes kept glancing between the fight in the yard and the figures huddled on the ground.



"His parents?"

Cologne nodded grimly. "Shampoo calls me great-grandmother, but it is honorary. Mousse, however, is my true grandson." At their glances she shrugged, "So I didn’t have kids until I was two-hundred. Big deal." She watched the fight, and this time her eyes reflected pain, "My experiences outside the tribe… I am not like the rest of them, and I’m afraid I passed it on. My daughter was a wonderful fighter, but of a gentle heart. She loved a man outside the tribe. Loved him too well. Dalliance is not frowned on – marriage is. The Tribe forced her to fight him. But it had to be a real fight or nothing would be proven. Nothing at all. The Tribe… We have what we call ‘the Change’, but is truly just a Bezerk mode. Useful in Battle, the tribe also uses it for Challenge fights. When we need to fight for real…" Cologne bowed her head, the tears finally streaming down her face as well. She held to Mousse, and he to her. "Mousse was only five. And then chose to train in the deadliest of Arts. Deliberately. He will not put a woman in the position his mother was in. He will never fight Shampoo. Never. I had hoped… Here in Japan, that perhaps… But Shampoo knows her duty to the Tribe too well." Her eyes snapped in bitterness, "Entirely too well."

There was a resounding ‘crack’ as one of the trees fell over. Ryoga stood breathing heavily for a long moment. Then moved forward, "Shampoo? Are you all right? Shampoo?" He pulled the tree off the supine figure and knelt beside her, checking her pulse.

Shampoo’s eyes slowly opened. She opened her hand and the sword disappeared. Then she put her arms around Ryoga and kissed him deeply.

"Ack!!!!!!!!!" Ryoga disentangled her and did what he hadn’t in the first place – he ran. And disappeared from their view within a dozen steps.

Shampoo watched where he’d vanished, her mouth quirked up in a grin. She started to laugh.

"Shampoo!" Cologne picked up her stick, and her white-hair flowed up into the sky.

The Amazon whirled around in surprise. Then her eyes lit upon Mousse, still huddled on the ground. "Oh!" Her hand raised to her mouth, she walked forward, past the angry figure of Cologne without seeming to notice her again. Shampoo knelt by Mousse and put her arms around him, "Mousse… My friend… I so sorry."

Hearing her voice, Mousse shuddered, uncoiling slightly. "Shampoo?"

Shampoo brushed his long hair gently back, "My friend. I had to. I sorry."

Mousse uncoiled a bit more, "Ryoga?"

Involuntarily, Shampoo’s mouth twitched up. "He ran," then amended the statement, "After he beat me. He ran."

Small hiccupy laughs came from the huddled figure, and Mousse finally straightened out. "Shampoo…" he reached out and gently touched a bruise that was on her cheek. Shampoo closed her eyes, biting her lip. {"Mousse. It wasn’t you. It was never you…"}

{"I know that. I always knew that."} Mousse smiled gently, his finger tracing her lip so that she had to stop biting it. {"Why do you think I could never see, before? I did not want to. But you must return to the Tribe. I know that now."} His hand trailed down a strand of her lavender hair and rested lightly on the ties that bound it tight.

Shampoo opened her eyes and gazed at him, pain leaking out the edges. "Mousse…" She tugged him up, and then put an arm around his waist. They left together. For once, though the doors.

Cologne watched them go, her eyes once again unreadable. Then she turned and left as well – more normally over the wall.

What was left of the group looked at each other. Except for Kasumi who walked over to the fallen tree, "Oh my," she sighed.


End of this section.  :)