Chapter 15 - Morality

‘Captain’s Log, Stardate 62836. I think.’

‘With George dead, Tatewaki and Kodachi captured, my crew has managed to deassimilate about two hundred Tokyo residents. Fortunately, a side effect of the deassimilation agent is short-term memory loss, so they won’t have any clue what happened to them.

‘We have detonated the charges in the underground cave after getting everything salvageable out of it. As we hoped, it has been reported locally as a seismic event. The cave the Kunos were using has collapsed to the point where it will take people centuries to dig into it again.’

Ranma sighed as he looked across his quarters to where Akane was pouting.

‘Our mirror selves have been returned, except for Shampoo’s, whom she said she was going to take care of personally. As for her, the nano-agent George Kuno injected her with has been neutralized, and no permanent damage was discovered.’

Ranma again looked across the room.

“End log,” he stated as he stood. The computer chirped as Ranma walked over and sat down across from Akane. He took her hand for a moment before she pulled it away from him.

“It felt just like before,” she said, never looking at him. “I get in the way. Always.”

“That’s not what it’s about,” Ranma sighed.

“Then why wouldn’t you let me fight with you?” Akane asked.

“Because, despite your arguments to the contrary, I still believe it’s my job as both your husband and your captain to protect you,” Ranma smiled.

Akane looked at Ranma somewhat frustrated.

“Besides,” Ranma continued, “if I thought you’d get in the way, I’d have just left you out of it to begin with.”

Akane realized that was probably true. There was one other thing, however...

“What did you mean when you said that ‘the ship has to go back’?” Akane asked.

Ranma cleared his throat. “If things went badly, a couple of us would stay and finish off the Kunos, while the ship returned with the majority of the crew.”

“You?” Akane gasped.

Ranma nodded.

“Who else?”

“Shampoo and Rei were going to stay,” Ranma said.

“Nice harem,” Akane scoffed.

Ranma rolled his eyes. “None of us had any intention of living long enough to engage in any debauchery, Akane. Don’t worry.”

Akane blinked.

“Without the ship, someone’s got to be in the cave to activate the spatial charges,” Ranma nodded as his communicator began to chirp. “Saotome here.”

Akane looked to Ranma, sadly, as the Captain listened to Minako give status reports.

“Captain, we have everyone on board, the planet is reading clear of all Starfleet signatures, and no Kuno signatures appear anywhere within scanning range,” Minako cheerfully reported.

“Great!” Ranma said, standing. “Take us to the time hole. I’ll be there in a moment.”

“Aye,” she replied, closing the channel.

Ranma looked to Akane and smiled. “We’re going home.”

Akane smiled back and stood. “I’m going to go check on Commander Gra-Carliz.”

Ranma nodded. “K. See you on the other side,” he said, kissing Akane before the pair walked out of their quarters, each going a different direction.

Shampoo carried Shampoo-2 into her bedroom and laid her down on the bed. Cologne looked to the two Shampoos before chuckling a bit.

“There is something nice about seeing you, dear,” Cologne said, taking Shampoo’s hand.

“What that?”

“I was worried Shampoo might shrink like me as she got older. I am glad to see she’s remained tall and beautiful.”

Shampoo both laughed and grumbled at the same time. “Shampoo not 100. But thank you.”

Shampoo turned to walk towards the door, but paused, bowed, and showed her respects to Cologne. “Thank you for hospitality.”

“Oh,” the old woman nodded, a little taken back by Shampoo’s sudden change in demeanor. “You’re welcome.”

Shampoo smiled and headed out. Mousse watched the faux Shampoo move on before turning away and heading for the stairs. He paused just short of them though, something in his head telling him to stop and turn around. He did so and noticed Shampoo motioning for him to join her in the alleyway.

He did. Quite... Moussily...



“Stupid Mousse no know how to be quiet?” Shampoo asked him.

He did, at this point, know how to be quiet since Shampoo had knocked him out. She resurrected him with a hypospray, before running her hands through his hair.

“Are you an angel?” he asked her, groggily.

“Yes, stupid Mousse,” Shampoo said, smilingly a bit, “Shampoo is angel from the future, telling you to ignore great-grandmother. Be persistent. Shampoo love you, she just too stupid to know it yet.”

Mousse nodded and puckered up for a kiss. Shampoo, knowing that it would hurt far more than it would help, simply rolled Mousse across the street and into the cafe where his Shampoo would be waiting for him.

Ranma stepped out onto the bridge and looked to the view screen with a bit of frustration. In his mind, a multi-dimensional time vortex should be large and have lightning bolts and various other J.J. Abramsish lens flare effects shooting from it.

This one was invisible until you shot it with the temporal protection array, and even then, it only looked like a big puffy cloud.

Nowhere near a menacing as it the last few days had made it seem.

“The array is ready,” Miharu reported.

Minako confirmed the DTI agent’s report.

Shampoo stood and walked up behind Ikuhara. “Same deal as before,” she told him.

“Aye,” he replied.

“Activate the array,” Ranma ordered.

“Array active,” Minako reported.

The bridge crew watched as the beam shot out from above the deflector dish, but rather than hitting where the portal should be, it continued into open space.

“Are we in the right spot?” Ranma asked.

Both Miharu and Minako nodded. “Yes sir,” Minako answered. “This is exactly where we came into this dimension, and that is exactly where the portal is, I can clearly see the event horizon on a chroniton wavelength scan.”

“So why array no open it?” Shampoo asked.

“Captain,” Usagi called out, “the array is beginning to overheat.”

“Deactivate it,” Ranma angrily ordered.

Minako complied.

“Captain, I think I know what the issue is,” Miharu called out. Ranma, Shampoo, and Minako all scurried over to her.

“Well?” the three more demanded than asked for an explanation.

Miharu, a little shy now that there was an audience, pointed towards the portal on her terminal. “This portal is held together, from this side, with meta energy,” she explained.

“What exactly is meta energy?” Ranma asked.

“Scientifically speaking,” Miharu explained, “it’s magic.”

“There no such thing as magic,” Shampoo said.

Miharu nodded. “That’s right because magic is simply meta energy.”

“You turn into a cat, and you are saying there’s no such thing as magic?” Minako asked Shampoo. Shampoo started to argue, but suddenly realized she had no argument and simply decided to look at Ranma as he stared blankly at Miharu’s explanation.

“It’s my guess that because of the way this portal is made, you can use regular energy to interact with it from one side but would need meta energy to interact with it from the other.”

Minako sighed. “Great. Guess we just need to get a giant wand for the deflector dish in,” she looked at the clock above the main view screen, “the next fourteen hours, and we’ll be fine.”

Ranma glowered at Minako before turning to Miharu. “Any suggestions on what to do?”

“Well, I know someone who knows quite a bit about this, but it might make you angry,” she said, smiling slightly.

Ranma sighed. “Commander Gosnell, please have security bring Agent Kojime to the bridge.”

“Did you say to the airlock, Captain?” Makoto called out.

Ranma turned and gave her a look, making sure she knew that he did not say airlock. Makoto smiled a bit before issuing orders into her terminal. A little while later, Kirie is escorted onto the bridge and brought down to the science station. She gave the Captain a look before taking her seat next to Miharu, who also received a disapproving, albeit not hostile, look from her.

“Agent,” Ranma said, looking to first Kirie, then the two security officers standing over her, then back to Kirie, “if you’re truly serious about your job, you’ll put aside how pissed you are at me, and help get this ship out of here.”

Kirie nodded. “It seems you managed to maintain a stable timeline here, so leaving the Sisko in this timeline would be catastrophic,” she said as she punched up some things on the terminal.

“Yes, this portal was created by a huge blast of meta energy, and it’s weaved together by the same. Our energy goes right through it.”

“So, are you saying it’s a one-way portal?!” Ranma asked.

“Sorta,” Kirie nodded.

“Why didn’t you say that before we went in?!” Ranma growled.

Kirie looked up at him. “There were no indications of meta energy from our side. Whoever made this did it so that someone without magic could get from our universe to this one and vice-versa.”

Kirie blinked.

“What?” Ranma asked.

“If we could get a huge spike of meta energy to hit the portal, we could likely open it up,” Kirie said. “It would destabilize it, likely collapse it, but that wouldn’t matter because we’d be through it.”

Ranma scoffed and turned to Minako. “I guess you’re right, we will need a giant magic wand on the deflector dish.”

Minako blinked. “Or...”


The Sailor Senshi had not expected to ever see that blue glowing again. It really wasn’t a welcome sight either. Especially not her.

“Hi,” Rei called, Minako walking behind her.

Rei-2, Makoto-2, and Ami-2 all nodded a greeting. Usagi-2 looked to Rei a little frightened and scooted a bit closer to Minako-2.

“I told you there was an old Rei,” Usagi-2 said.

Rei grumbled a bit as she sat down on the edge of the temple fountain. Minako sat down next to her.

“You shouldn’t be bothered by the Negaverse for quite a while,” Rei said, pulling her knees close to herself. “The Kunos had apparently captured Beryl and had injured her pretty bad.”

“Let me guess,” Rei-2 sighed, “You rescued her and gave her back to the Negaverse.”

Minako and Rei looked at each other.

“Are you kidding?!” Makoto-2 growled.

“We didn’t give her back to the Negaverse,” Minako explained. “We dropped her off at a hospital.”

Rei-2 rubbed her face with her hands before holding up two fingers. “That’s twice. TWICE you could have dealt a crippling blow to the enemies of mankind, but either chose to do nothing or chose to help them.”

Rei simply looked to her counterpart in disgust. She really hoped that she was not this much of a bitch, but if she was, it would likely explain quite a bit.

“We have literally saved your world this week,” Minako said. “I don’t think you understand how big of a threat the Kunos were.”

“You say that,” Rei-2 scowled.

Rei had enough of this stuck-up bitch’s shit. She pulled out her phaser pistol and started firing at the temple ground, sending shards of concrete flying, and Sailor Senshi scurrying.

“MARS POWER-” Rei-2 got out half of her transformation phrase before Rei shot the pen out of her hand. She ended up shooting the pen out of Makoto’s hand too and shooting a couple of other things, lighting them on fire before Minako finally grabbed a hold of her and got her to stop.

“THAT WAS THE LOWEST POWER SETTING,” Rei screamed at the five girls. “THAT IS WHY WE’RE NOT ALLOWED TO GET INVOLVED!” Rei inhaled and exhaled rapidly before slamming the gun back into her holster and turning away.

“If one of me can do this much damage and basically subdue you five without even trying with my gun set to low,” Rei said, much calmer, but still angry, “what do you think my entire ship could do, with our guns on high? Or better yet, from orbit?”

Rei turned and looked to Rei-2. “Why is your conflict any more justified than any of the other millions of conflicts up there?” Rei asked, pointing towards the sky. “You know what happens when you break the rule for one?” she asked again, looking to Makoto-2 this time. “You then find yourself breaking it for another. Then another, then another.”

Rei began to walk around as she continued her lecture. “Pretty soon the directive doesn’t even matter anymore. You’re just sticking your nose into everyone’s business, dictating your morals and ethics on every planet and, I guess, any universe, you come across.”

Rei walked up to Rei-2 and looked her over. She shook her head before growling some inaudible profanities and walking on. “This has really been the worst time travel incident I have ever been on. Seeing myself as I used to be, I now understand why my husband faked his own death to get away from me...”

Rei-2 gasped and glared at Rei as she walked away.

Minako chuckled nervously as she looked at the group.

“Heh, heh, so we kinda need your help...”


Minako walked back onto the bridge.

“So?” Ranma asked.

“They will help us,” she replied.

“When?” Shampoo asked.

“Pretty soon,” Minako said, checking out her terminal. “They kind of want Rei out of this universe pronto.”

Makoto started to laugh, loudly.

Ranma, amused by Makoto’s amusement, watched his chief of security laugh for a moment, slapping her hands on her console, before turning to Minako. “Did they give you any time frame? ‘Cause this thing isn’t-”

Ranma is cut off by the ship switching to red alert, klaxons sounding, and half the bridge crew screaming as a giant silver streak of light shoots past them and slams into the portal.


“WAIT!” Kirie called out.

Ranma turned to her, as did Shampoo.

“It’s a meta energy beam!” Kirie said, pointing at the portal. “GO! GO!”

Minako nodded, looking at her terminal. “It’s collapsing!!!!”

“IKUHARA!” Both Ranma and Shampoo yelled.

Ikuhara fired up the impulse engines and floored it towards the collapsing portal. The Sisko wasn’t very far away, but the reading on Minako’s terminal made her quite worried.

“Collapse imminent...” she whimpered.

Then there was a flash on the viewscreen.

Ranma looked around. “STATUS?”

Makoto was the first to respond, a huge smile on her face. “Multiple Starfleet ships on scan!”

“The portal has collapsed,” Kirie also noted.

“Verify location and time,” Ranma requested.

“We’re at the same place we entered the portal at,” Minako reported.

“Chronometers syncing with Starfleet headquarters,” Kaii called out. “Stardate 62822, 16:31:17.”

Ranma turned to Shampoo. “Six hours after we left.”

“Efficient workday,” she smiled.

“I sure as hell hope we don’t only get paid for one day,” Ranma laughed.

The bridge crew laughed with their captain for a moment before remembering that they don’t get paid at all. Ranma moved up behind Ikuhara and directed him to take the ship to Earth. Shampoo quickly ran up behind Ranma and whispered in his ear.

“Don’t forget dinner.”

Ranma nodded.


“Do you think I’m immoral?” Rei asked Jitsia as she helped her gather her things in sickbay.

“A little bit,” Jitsia nodded as she put on a shirt.

Rei stopped what she was doing and looked at the blonde. “Really?”

Jitsia nodded as she fastened her pants. She then hopped back up on her bed, setting her neatly folded sickbay pajamas on the top of the biobed before she began to slide her gym shoes on. Rei continued to stare at her, befuddled at not only her response but the nonchalance of it.

“Why are you looking at me all weird?” Jitsia asked.

“Because you think I’m immoral!” Rei said, putting down Jitsia’s belongings. “I’m not sure I can have a girlfriend who thinks I lack morality.”

Jitsia squeed. “I’m your girlfriend?”

“Aren’t you?”

Jitsia glommed onto Rei. “That’s the first time you referred to me that way. I was beginning to think you were ashamed of me.”

Rei looked away a bit, blushing. “I guess I kind of try and keep my personal life... personal.”

“If I was a big, muscled man with a big dick, would you still be so shy?” Jitsia teased.

Rei’s eyes went wide. “Now who’s being immoral?!”

“What’s the question for anyway?” Jitsia asked as she finished with her shoes and gathered the rest of her stuff. She pulled open the privacy curtain, waved goodbye to the doctors, got her medicines, and she and Rei walked out of sickbay towards the turbolift.

“The other me in the other universe just made me feel like I lacked morals because we wouldn’t help them with their battle.”

Jitsia shrugged. “The ‘victim’ of the Prime Directive will never understand why it’s there. Quite frankly, in my opinion, only a truly moral person can withhold the Prime Directive despite having every desire to break it.”

“That makes this entire ship a ship of moral saints after what we went through when we were marooned,” Rei sighed.

Jitsia nodded. “I read the report. I’ve also read Usagi’s fanfiction version of events,” Jitsia shuddered.

The pair got into the turbolift. “Deck A,” Jitsia called out.

“You know,” Rei said, turning to Jitsia, “I was thinking since there’s not a ton of time left with you on this ship...”

Jitsia looked to Rei, curiously, “Yeah?”

“Um,” Rei, not normally shy, was annoyed with herself and realized she was running out of time. It wouldn’t take the lift forever to get from deck four to deck A.

“Why don’t you just stay with me,” Rei finally finished.

Jitsia smiled. “Sure.”

The pair kissed. The lift did not decide to wait for them to finish before coming to a stop.

“WELCOME HOMEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!” Alpha, Bravo, and Delta team called out, as well as Lt. Pan. All of them, except for Kio, trailed off, stunned looks on their faces.

“Hot damn,” Anthony panted before he was beaten by Kio.

Jitsia and Rei stopped kissing and turned to the group. Rei, blushing slightly, shrugged. “My girlfriend’s been in the hospital for a week. If any of you have a problem with this, we can take it up in the holodeck.”

“No ma’am!” the group cheered, throwing the confetti they had ready but were just too stunned to throw before on Jitsia. Jitsia smiled and waved as she moved towards Rei’s quarters, but Rei pushed her onward. “They aren’t ready for that yet,” Rei whispered. “I’ll come get you later.”

Jitsia nodded slyly.

Ranma and Makoto walked with Kirie and Miharu to the transporter room. The walk was long, awkward, and silent, till Miharu finally stretched out and yawned.

“It was fun being on a starship again,” she said.

“You’re not on them often?” Makoto asked.

“Nope,” Miharu shook her head. “Just once before.” She giggled a bit before taking Kirie’s hand. “Can’t talk about it, but Kirie kind of saved us that time too!”

Ranma’s eyes bounced from Makoto to Miharu then to Kirie.

“I appreciate the work you did, Agent Kojime,” Ranma nodded.

Kirie shrugged. “I did my job.”

Makoto, not keen on Kirie’s attitude, grumbled as the four stepped into the transporter room. “Look, it’s nothing personal.”

“You people confined me to my quarters and accused me of mutiny.”

Ranma stepped in front of an ever-angering Makoto and placed his hand on Kirie’s shoulder. “I have no doubt things will go well for you. You’re obviously very bright when it comes to temporal mechanics and whatnot,” Ranma said, smiling a bit. “Though for someone so stuck up on policy and procedure, I am amazed that you could forget something so important,” he said, pointing towards his collar and his rank pips.

Ranma backed up, looked towards the two ladies, and bowed slightly. “It was nice meeting both of you,” he smiled. “No disrespect intended, but I hope to never meet another DTI agent again.”

Miharu laughed as Kirie simply grinned coyly.

“Bye, bye, Captain,” Miharu waved as the transporter beamed the pair away. Makoto looked to Ranma, sticking her tongue out.

“Good riddance.”

Ranma nodded.

“What are you doing tonight?” Makoto asked Ranma.

“Uh,” Ranma cleared his throat, “I have something I need to take care of, why?”

“Gosnell wants to take everyone down to ‘proper Tokyo’ for karaoke,” Makoto explained. “But I guess if you’re busy, it can’t be helped.”

Ranma shook his head, but then, before she had a chance to walk off, grabbed Makoto’s sleeve. “Akane might really like to go with you,” he said, looking at his Chief of Security sternly.

Makoto, a little shocked by Ranma’s gaze, nodded, thinking she understood. “Okay,” she replied. Ranma smiled at her, let her go, and turned, moving off in the opposite direction. Makoto looked down the corridor, wondering if now that meant she had to arrest Commander Saotome if she tried to decline to come sing J-Pop with them.


Akane was having fun, despite the lack of a Ranma. Makoto had explained he was busy. She believed her.

For a while. Then she noticed Shampoo wasn’t with them either.

Lt. Jansen was, though, and Akane was noticing she seemed to have the same ‘I was forced to come’ look on her face Akane did.

There were a couple of other people missing too. Rei wasn’t there, neither was Jitsia.

Akane sighed, deciding to for once ignore her paranoia and allowed herself to be taken in by Minako’s beautiful rendition of a late twenty-third century Andorian song.

<Nifty Star Trek Doorbell Sound>

Shampoo quickly finished setting the silverware on her table before sticking her head around the partition that lead from her dining room to her living room in the Executive Officer’s quarters.

“Come in,” she called.

The doors slid open and Ranma stepped in.

Immediately, Ranma sensed danger. The room was dimly lit. Shampoo seemed to have the lighting at maybe 25 percent. There seemed to be some kind of scented candles burning. He sniffed a bit. Smelled like apple cinnamon. Not the most romantic of flavors, but still, it smelled nice, and he could see how Shampoo could think he would be lulled into arousal by the smell of something that would be in a pie.

Some things never change, and the quickest way to Ranma’s heart would always be through his stomach.

The Captain cautiously walked into Shampoo’s living room and looked around. He’d not been in here in a very long time. He was actually surprised at how ‘lived in’ it actually looked. Shampoo was a very tidy person, though he’d heard Janson was not.

The room was not a mess, but there were a couple of uniform jackets on the back of a chair, and some PADDs laying around on the tables and couches, as well as a couple of glasses sitting on the table.

Ranma was certainly more curious about where this was going now than he was before.

“I brought some ‘real’ Jumja Tea I picked up when we were last at DS9,” Ranma called to Shampoo.

“Thank you!” Shampoo called back before walking into the living room. Ranma, half expecting Shampoo to be either naked or nearly naked was shocked to see her fully dressed in her uniform. She took the large bottle, before sighing and picking up the PADDs on the couch, and setting them on the nearby table.

“Amanda such slob,” she grumbled. “Please, sit. Dinner almost ready.”

“Can I help?” Ranma asked.

Shampoo shook her head. “No, thank you. Ranma Shampoo guest,” she smiled before walking off.

Ranma smiled as he took a seat on the couch and crossed his legs. “Sure is dark in here,” he noted.

“Shampoo not fond of bright lights,” she admitted. “Ranma want lights on?”

“No,” Ranma called back. “If this is how you normally keep it, this is fine.”

Shampoo smiled as she finished up. She came into the living room and motioned for Ranma to follow her into the dining room where she held a chair out for him and served him a gigantic bowl of ramen and a glass of the tea he brought. She poured herself a glass and sat down in front of her own bowl, before smiling at him, genuine happiness on her face.

“Thank you very much for taking time to be with Shampoo,” she said.

Ranma nodded. “Thank you for making what looks like a delicious dinner.”

The pair ate, chatted, and laughed for about thirty minutes. Once they finished with the ramen, Shampoo got up and took the dishes away to the replicator, Ranma rubbing his stomach in contentment.

“That was awesome,” he moaned happily.

“Shampoo glad you like it,” she smiled, bringing back some chocolate cake. “Shampoo spend a couple hours on it.”

“Nice to know Lt. Commander Tsukino isn’t the only one I can rely on to cook around here,” Ranma laughed as he eyed the cake, ready to devour it.

Shampoo didn’t reply.

The pair ate their dessert, Shampoo having no chance in keeping up with Ranma as once he had a bite of the cake, the rest of it was doomed. Shampoo, who was more or less living out one of her fantasies, enjoyed watching him eat, so her eating was slow.

Eventually, she finished and cleared the table. Ranma, his belly too full for his uniform, had to unzip his jacket. Shampoo partially unzipped hers as well, taking the zipper on her red turtleneck with it.

“You know,” Ranma laughed, not noticing the bit of cleaving Shampoo was now exposed, “this is going to sound stupid, but I really thought you invited me over here with the intention of trying to seduce me.”

Shampoo smiled and nodded. “Shampoo thought about it.”

Ranma, still smiling, eyed her curiously. “So, why haven’t you?”

“It like sticking plasma torch in open wound,” Shampoo said.

The smile on Ranma’s face dropped. “That’s harsh.”

Shampoo nodded. “It true though. Shampoo stupid, but can’t help how I feel. Can only help what I do.”

Ranma opened his mouth to speak but couldn’t really find any words.

“Ranma,” Shampoo said, frowning, “Panda call Shampoo again. Ask Shampoo to take Miyazaki.”

“You said no again, right?” Ranma asked, sitting straight up.

Shampoo looked to Ranma sadly. “No.”

“What about what you told me?” Ranma said, looking to Shampoo, a bit angrily. “About the Sisko being your home? About this ship meaning so much to you?”

Shampoo wiped a tear out of her eye. “Shampoo love Sisko more than Ranma can possibly imagine.” She paused and looked to her hands for a moment before continuing, “But, Ranma, it hurt so much...”

The anger in Ranma’s eyes faded. “Me?”

Shampoo wiped more tears out of her eyes and nodded before walking over and dropping to her knees in front of Ranma.

“Shampoo cannot stop loving you, Ranma,” she cried. “It not Ranma’s fault, it Shampoo’s,” she said, grabbing Ranma’s hands and gripping them tightly. “Shampoo want nothing more than to be at Ranma’s side, whether it be as XO or wife, but...” she trailed off.

Ranma looked down to his XO; to his friend and grasped her hands back. He realized that he should say something, but he didn’t have any clue what to say, nor did he think anything he could say would make the situation any better and would likely make things worse.

Shampoo slowly stood and climbed on Ranma’s lap. Ranma considered pushing her away, but something in his subconscious stopped him.

“Tell Shampoo,” she whispered, bringing her head to his, “would you spend night with Shampoo?”

“I can’t,” Ranma replied.

“Ranma can’t,” Shampoo asked, “or Ranma won’t?”

Ranma looked right into the amazon’s deep purple eyes for a couple of minutes before replying.

“I can’t.”

Shampoo slowly nodded before bringing her hands up to Ranma’s face. “One more question,” she said, the heat of her breath burning on Ranma’s lips.

“Do you love Shampoo?”

Ranma tried to look away, but Shampoo wouldn’t let him.

“Shampoo,” he objected.

“Shampoo leaving,” she whispered. “It don’t matter now. Akane never know. Shampoo know you love her more,” she groaned. “Just want to know, what if...”

“This is really unfair,” Ranma protested.

Shampoo pouted some more.

Ranma sighed. “Of course I do,” he admitted. “As much as we’ve been through together, how could I not?”

Shampoo blinked. “Ranma just put Shampoo in friendzone?”

Ranma scooted around a bit, gently moving Shampoo away from him slightly. “Shampoo, I’ve loved Akane for years. Who’s to say how things would have evolved between you and me if she had not come aboard with me, but that doesn’t change the fact that I was in love with her before I ever took command of this ship.”

Shampoo bit her lip before nodding. “Shampoo happy Ranma being honest finally.”

Ranma smiled at her as he ran his hand through her hair before wiping some tears off her face. “I am so sorry I have caused you so much pain. And you have no idea how much I am going to miss you as a first officer.”

Shampoo’s eyes moved towards Ranma’s lap. “Shampoo have some idea.”

Ranma turned bright red before clearing his throat and continuing. “Yes, well, I am pleased to know that our sister ship will have one hell of a Captain we can rely on for backup.”

Shampoo nodded. “Always.”

Ranma leaned forward and kissed Shampoo, for the first time, on her lips. Shampoo, smiled happily, before climbing off Ranma and helping him out of the chair.

“Oh, by the way, Ranma,” she said as Ranma stood, tried to adjust his uniform pants to ‘deal with things’, “Panda said I can have Amanda too.”

Ranma growled. “I really hate my father.”