Disclaimer –^_^All rights to Takahashi Rumiko-sama.But, Ling’s mine

Running Time (RT2)

By Yui Miyamoto

Chapter 3- What goes around, comes around...

As she walked closer and closer to the entrance of the village, Shampoo saw a familiar figure coming out of it.

The shadowed figure stopped walking and stood there for a moment.“I can’t believe I’m getting delusional now.It’s probably withdrawal from not seeing you for so long-”

Shampoo closed her eyes in annoyance and hit him on the head.“I no hallucination.Is really Shampoo here.”

“Sh-Shampoo?”That same question of hope in his voice appeared as she always expected.

“And, Stupid Mousse.It only been about one week.”

“You were keeping count?”He was about to cry from happiness.

“No.I just notice more chores for me to do take longer.”

“Oh...” Mousse sighed sadly.Then, he remembered he had made up his mind not to love her. * If I do this again, I’ll never let her go.I’m getting married the day after tomorrow, for goodness sake. *

He turned around.“Well, see you.Thanks for coming to see the wedding.It means a lot to me.”

Mousse wanted to hit his head in frustration. * I’m so stupid!Well, it’s been a habit to want to please her in every way I could... *

He then walked away quickly. * Even if I want to make her feel bad or want to show her how wrong she is, I just can’t.I can’t ever force Shampoo to do anything. And never on my account...*

Shampoo watched him go off. * It mean nothing to me, Mousse. I come to wish you good luck with new wife...even if I no like- *

“Shampoo!” someone called out and ran to her.

After conversing with many people, she finally made it to the front of her door.

Knock. Knock.

“Who’s there?” the voice a woman called as she came to the front.

“Is me!I’m home!”

“Shampoo!”

They both hugged each other and talked for most of the night.

When it was about half past midnight, her mom poured them more tea.“Oh, so grandmother is here because she had to take care of the restaurant.But that’s okay.You’ll be her representative.”

“Yes.”

“I still can’t believe Mousse is getting married!And to Ling also!”Her mom laughed to herself and took another sip of tea.“Thank goodness!Now you don’t have to worry about him anymore.”

“I know!He such annoying boy!”Shampoo put her cup down. “I have time to breathe now.”

“That boy smothered you too much.To think he wanted to marry you because he loved you.”Her mother became more irritated.“He didn’t accept the laws, but that’s what it says.We need good, strong heirs!Love comes after you get married, not before it.Your father and I understood that and look how well it went?”

It was true.Shampoo’s parents were good together, though like any other couple they had problems, but they always got through everything.But that was just in their case.Shampoo also knew of the many families that weren’t like their own.

* It just depend on people. * Shampoo thought for a moment.* Like Ranma... *

Even if it was two o’clock in the morning, Shampoo had made up her mind.She slipped out of her house and headed towards whatever fate had in stored for her.

She came towards the house of Ling...to find Ling leaning there on the fence of her home.Ling was waiting for her all that time.

“So, you’ve come, Miss Shampoo.” Ling said as she unraveled her arms from them being crossed and got off the wall to stand in front of Shampoo.

In the light, Ling wore a look of calmness that Shampoo always hated.Ling always knew what to do and what to say.Ling was everything a man could only dream of and the daughter women would pay to have.“Perfect” as she was, of course she had her own faults.

Ling then stared at Shampoo.

And there were two things Shampoo always had over her: Shampoo always knew what she wanted and how to get it...

...and had Mousse’s unconditional, adoring affection behind it.

How would she live without that?That’s what she had wondered when she boarded the boat to China and when she saw Mousse in front of the village.

“I know what you’re here for, Shampoo.”Ling shook her head.“But I’m not giving him to you.You’ve lost Shampoo, accept it.”

“If I lose, Ling, it not to you.” Shampoo stepped back a bit.

“You’re pride has gotten in the way again, Shampoo.”Ling looked at her somewhat in pity.“Think about it.Are you doing this for him or for yourself?”

Shampoo’s eyes grew into beads.How insulted she was to hear such rude words.If she came here for herself, then Ling was the idiot. * Why you... *

“Mousse does not belong to anybody, but he gave his heart to me!”

“But he defeated me and he will become my husband by tomorrow’s sunset.”Ling clenched her fists.“That is the law-“

”Then I defeat you to get him back.”

“You’re too late, Shampoo!Accept it!” Ling screamed back in annoyance. “Mousse loves me now.He was the one who challenged me!It’s the law!”

“I know Mousse longer than you, Ling.” Shampoo shook her head.“I know him very, very well.Mousse...”

Shampoo’s tears began emerge, but she wouldn’t cry.Especially not in front of Ling. * I know everything about him.You don’t know how to take care of him. *

And with all the shouting people were gathering to watch what was the commotion.But they all knew what was going on, so they watched in eagerness.

“Mousse has decided of his own free will to marry me, Shampoo.”Ling smiled now, but it was with only a slight mockery.“If you do this for yourself, you are a selfish, senseless woman.But if you do this for him, I will take up your challenge.”

“Please let me through…”At last, the cause of all this trouble was running and pushing to get to the front of the crowd.

“Ling.You always idiot.”Shampoo lifted her head up and stared icily at Ling. “Of course I do this for Mousse.Let me say to whole world so they explain to you later...”

“I love Mousse,” she finished.“Sorry if not in law.”

Mousse, who was finally in front of the crowd, stood back a bit and couldn’t believe what he was hearing.But he knew he had every single, sweet word because everyone was hushed at that moment.

“I accept your challenge, Shampoo,” Ling said as she positioned herself.“But believe me, you will pay dearly for all you’ve done.”

The fight for Mousse began.

But Mousse?He didn’t know what to think, but... * She challenged Ling to get me back... *

So many things were running into his brain that he didn’t know what to even start thinking upon.Though he wanted to run over and embrace her with gratefulness as he usually did, he could no longer.It would dishonor Ling.

* I...I think you’re too late, Shampoo...Why only now? *

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Author’s note:Hee hee.I like this…

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