Subject: [PMFFML] [FFML-R] (fanfic)(Ranma) Duck and Peaches...ch 1(Again)
From: "Hans Holm" <hansholm@bredband.net>
Date: 3/17/2001, 6:50 AM
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Expletive, expletive, expletive!
 
Maybe this time.
 
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and co., and
there's nothing I can do about it. This is a copyright infringement and
my only hope is that she either likes the story, or doesn't find out.
 
I know virtually nothing about babies, and I'm too embarrassed to ask
those who do know.
 
C & C is appreciated, since it's the only indication
anybody reads this.
 
This takes place after the end of the manga, and about ten months after
Mousse's return (after training at Jusenkyo).
 
DUCK AND PEACHES AT THE FOOT OF FLOWER MOUNTAIN
 By Hans Holm
CHAPTER ONE
 
At first, Shampoo didn't consciously notice anything unusual as she
returned to the Nekohanten. However, once inside she realised
something and went back outside, doing the kind of double take that is
hilarious in movies but doesn't work at all in text.
 
Next to the door was a basket with a sleeping baby. Now, Shampoo
wouldn't be the first to admit that her knowledge of the specifics of
human reproduction was a little shaky. She would, in fact, have denied
it until the point when it couldn't be denied any longer. She knew,
however, that this was NOT the way babies normally show up. This
called for expert help.
 
"Great-grandmother!"
"What is the matter, Shampoo?", Cologne asked as she came out of
the kitchen.
"What's this"
"A baby."
"I mean, what is it doing here!?"
"Sleeping."
"Did you memorise the whole movie or..."
WHAP!! Shampoo's question was interrupted by Cologne's staff.
" We will continue this inside."
 
Back inside, a quick search concluded that the basket contained a
month-old baby girl, some clothes, a blanket and a letter. Addressed
to Mousse. Since he was away doing whatever he does when he's not
working at Nekohanten and couldn't have stopped her even if he was
there, Cologne opened and read it. Before Shampoo had the chance to
ask what it said, Mousse returned.
 
"SHAMPOO, MY LO..."
"QUIET, YOU'LL WAKE THE BABY. And let go of the hat-rack."
The first part of this utterance not only stopped Mousse in his tracks,
but also woke the baby.
"Shampoo. The baby. And Mousse: who is Tao Tao?", Cologne demanded.
As Shampoo tried to calm the baby, Mousse turned a very bright
shade of red.
"Uh...S-she was one of the girls at the circus."
"You got along pretty good, I suppose?"
"W-well...we...what do you mean?"
"You can see...well, hear the baby can't you? Who do you think she
is?"
"What...it couldn't...I mean...we did...she said...she said she
wouldn't get pregnant..."
"Oh, well. I suppose there's not much we can do about that now..."
"But what's the baby doing here, what about Tao Tao?"
"According to this letter there was some kind of accident shortly after
the birth, and since Tao Tao didn't have any family, the circus decided
to send the baby to you. By the way, it seems she doesn't even have a
name yet."
"Uh...I was planning to name my first daughter Hairspray", Mousse
said, starting to turn red again "...after her grandmother..."
"But that's MY mother's name", Shampoo interrupted, having 
managed to calm the baby and still somewhat confused about what
was going on.
"Now that that's resolved, Mousse you take Hairspray up to your
room and stay there until I call for you. Shampoo, take of your blouse.
GO UPSTAIRS, MOUSSE. NOW."
"Why do you want me to undress, great-grandmother."
"Because I am to old to breastfeed a baby, and, unless somebody
volunteers, you're the only alternative. Now hold still so I can find the
rights pressure points..."
ZOOOM!!!
"...or maybe, we should stick to baby formula, until we find a
volunteer", Cologne said to herself, looking at the swinging door.
 
* * * * * 
 
Shampoo definitively needed to talk to someone. It wasn't until
Nabiki answered the door, that she remembered that Kasumi was on
a trip with some old friends from school and thus unavailable. Nabiki
was certainly not the right person to talk to, so she made up a story
about taking their orders in advance, since she knew that Akane would
be cooking. On second thought, Kasumi was probably not the right
person either, she needed to talk to somebody who would agree on
what jerks men are. Since Mrs. Saotome was unavailable as well, she
only had one real choice.
 
Ukyo stared in surprise and disbelief as the obviously upset Amazon
stormed into her restaurant.
"Ukyo serve alcohol? Give Shampoo", Shampoo demanded.
"Sorry", Ukyo answered, barely noticing that Shampoo had addressed
her by name, "there appears to be a rule against people to young to
drink it selling it".
Konatsu whispered something in her ear.
"But Konatsu says we have a gallon or so of high quality ice cream, if
that will do. He says it does wonders for him."
"Whatever", Shampoo muttered, slumped over the table and burst into
tears.
Ukyo sat down next to her and put her arm over Shampoo's shoulders.
"OK, tell me what's wrong."
"WhenMoussewaswiththecircushesleptwithoneofthegirlsandshegot
pregnantandnowshe'sdeadandtheysentthebabyhereand
greatgrandmother'sgonecrazyandwantsmetotakecareofit.", Shampoo
explained, in Chinese.
"Whoa...slow down...Let me see if I got this right. You're upset
because Mousse did something?"
"Mumble mumble mumble"
"What?"
"Mousse sleep with other girl!!"
"So why are you upset. You don't even like Mousse!"
"That not point!! Mousse always say he love Shampoo. Why Mousse
sleep with other girl?"
Ukyo, wisely, didn't answer that, possibly because Ranma and Akane
entered the restaurant.
 
Ranma and Akane froze at the unexpected sight of Ukyo trying to
comfort Shampoo, who was trying to out-Soun Soun. It could only
mean one thing - Ranma had managed to upset his other fiancees
again.  No, that wasn't it - if he had they would have been tearing
Nerima (and possibly Ranma) apart by now. This needed an
investigation. Since Shampoo seemed incapable of speech at the
moment, they turned to Ukyo.
 
"Hey, Ucchan, what's with Shampoo?"
"I think she walked in on Mousse with another girl."
"I thought she would've been celebrating if he did something like
that", said Ranma, "I mean, she doesn't even like him".
At this point, Shampoo's crying gained new strength.
"I can't believe he'd do something like that", Akane said,
"especially since he's always telling her he loves her."
"Maybe she wore a purple wig", Ukyo interjected, "it is pretty easy to
trick him when he's not wearing his glasses".
"What! Spatula Girl sleep with Mousse too!?"
"Let go of her, Shampoo. She only meant that anybody could
convince Mousse that they're you if they tried", Akane said before
realising that this outburst had not included the requisite attack.
"Mousse know girl not Shampoo! Shampoo nowhere near place!"
"Didn't you just say she walked in on him."
"I thought he did. I didn't think she'd be quite that upset otherwise."
"Mousse with girl ten months ago. Now Shampoo stuck with baby."
After this outburst they finally got Shampoo to explain the situation
(from her point of view, withholding the volunteers and pressure
points bits for strategic reasons).
 
* * * * *
 
Mousse sat on his bed and tried to gather his thoughts. He hadn't
planned on being a father at seventeen. Well, sometimes he had, but
not a single father and not without Shampoo being the mother. Tao
Tao had been a good friend even if they hadn't known each other very
long. She had in fact been sort of a non-violent Shampoo, except she
wasn't _Shampoo_ and Shampoo was nowhere as forward, at least not
with him. At least Hairspray was quiet...maybe too quiet? No, she
was still breathing so she must be OK. And now Tao Tao was dead.
The letter had said it was an accident, but hadn't given any clues to
what kind of accident, which made him suspicious. It wasn't as if
the  circus hadn't included or antagonised people who, well, wouldn't
have seemed out of place if they had showed up to kidnap Akane
(Mousse himself being one example). He really didn't feel ready for
this kind of responsibility. Was babies really supposed to be this
quiet? Maybe she was sick? He really needed someone who knew
about these things to talk with. Cologne wasn't really an option, she
knew about a lot of things, but fatherhood was unlikely to be one of
them. Besides, she tried to have as little as possible to do with babies
and small children - partly because she didn't want to traumatise
them and partly because they're hard to handle when you're not much
bigger yourself. On the other hand, she wouldn't refrain from giving
advice on the Amazon traditions of child-raising, several of which
Mousse, having experienced or witnessed, wasn't too keen to consider
inflicting on his own daughter (or any other child). For fatherhood, he
could only think of three possible advisers in the area - neither of
whom struck him as any shining ideals of fatherhood, and they were
unlikely to have any practical experience in taking care of babies. Not
that he would let them anywhere near Hairspray if he could prevent it.
When it came to any practical, experienced advice or help, he realised,
he only had Mrs. Saotome to turn to, with Kasumi as a possible
inexperienced alternative. Of course, if Mrs. Saotome got involved,
chances were that her prospective daughters-in-law would try to help
out, showing how good they were at taking care of babies.
 
Mousse's  thoughts were broken by Cologne calling him downstairs
and handing him a list.
"What's this, and where did Shampoo go?"
"It's a shopping list for everything you need to take care of a baby.
Shampoo isn't quite ready for children yet, but with any luck she'll
find someone who is."
Mousse took a quick look at the list.
"This is too much! I don't have this much money!"
"Here. Consider it an advance on your pay."
"You realise I'm not going to work here long enough to pay all of that
back."
"Then it's a loan. Now go."
"But, what about Hairspray?"
"If she wakes up before you or Shampoo come back, I'll handle her."
 
* * * * * *
 
"I still can't believe Mousse would do something like that", Akane
said as they walked towards Nekohanten, "he's always telling..."
"Yes, yes, yes", Ukyo interrupted her, "you've said that already.
We get the point."
"Aren't we supposed to bring some presents, when we come to look at
the baby", Ranma said, "You know, Frankenstein and murk and
stuff."
"I don't think we have to be that fancy, unless Mousse had the baby
all by himself", Akane said.
"I think it can be forgiven since we didn't get any warning
beforehand", Ukyo added, "right, Shampoo?".
"Uh...what?...sure.", Shampoo said, lost in thought.
 
"I'm back", Shampoo called as they entered Nekohanten.
"Changed your mind", Cologne asked, "or did you find a volunteer?".
"I, uh...", Shampoo began.
"What are you talking about?", Akane asked.
Cologne sighed, "I'm too old to breastfeed a baby, Shampoo is
desperately unwilling and Mousse physically incapable."
"How about trying to get some nyannichuan-water", Ranma suggested.
"All babies aren't breastfed", said Ukyo, "I wasn't and I turned out fine.
Besides some are allergic and stuff."
"I thought they were supposed to get anti-bodies and things through the
milk", Akane said, "so they don't get sick.".
"But your answer is no", Cologne interrupted them, "Well, I guess we'll
have to try find a satisfactory substitute instead.".
"So, where is the baby?", Ranma asked.
"She's upstairs, in Mousse's room", Cologne said, "Shampoo, could you
get Hairspray?".
"She's named after Shampoo's mother", she continued seeing the other
three's reaction.
"He's really going in for upsetting Shampoo, isn't he.", Akane said.
"He had promised himself to name his first daughter Hairspray after her
grandmother, it just turned out that the mother wasn't the one he planned.",
Cologne explained.
"Here she is.", Shampoo announced, coming down the stairs with the now
awake Hairspray in her arms.
"Ooh, she's so cute!", Akane said, "Can I hold her?".
Shampoo seemed a little reluctant at first, but handed her over. Ranma
was starting to get nervous - the girls were clustered around the mite,
cooing and telling her how cute she was. Nothing good could come of
this, especially if pop found out how Akane acted around babies...
"Ran-chan, do you want to hold her?", Ukyo asked, bringing Ranma out of
his reveries.
"NO!", Ranma screamed, frightening Hairspray, "uh...I mean, guys don't
do that. Guys holding babies look like geeks...uh...I mean...I don't
know how to old a baby.".
That really was asking for it. A glass of cold water later, Ranma was
left holding a crying baby in her arms. "No...don't cry...please...
pretty please?...uhm, help...she won't stop..." She was getting close
to crying herself.
"You're the one who got her started", Ukyo said, "you comfort her."
"Maybe she's hungry.", Akane said, "Where's Mousse anyway?".
"I sent him out to buy the things Hairspray's caretakers didn't bring
along.", Cologne answered, "I expect he'll be gone for a while."
Ranma finally managed to calm Hairspray down and gave a triumphant
smile as if he'd just beaten Tarou, Herb and Saffron together all on
his own.
 
At this point Kuno came into Nekohanten and saw, well, the pig-tailed
girl with a baby in her arms. His reaction was quite predictable:
"OH NO! PIG-TAILED GIRL, HAS THAT FOUL SORCE..." WHAM
Ranma's punch was accompanied by "It's Mousse's".
The reaction to this was quite predictable as well - a tirade directed
towards the vile miscreant, a promise to avenge the pig-tailed girls
honour, a short assisted flight out of the restaurant and running off
to find Mousse. "Heh, I should've thought of that months ago.", Ranma
said with a smirk before noticing the looks she got from the girls and
Cologne, "What?".
"Don't you think Mousse have trouble enough without adding an angry
Kuno?". Akane growled.
"Hairspray already lost mother. Ranma trying to get father killed too?",
Shampoo added.
"OK. OK, I'll go look for him, satisfied?", Ranma muttered and left.
 
To be continued...

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