From mike@thekeep.

org Mon Feb 22 10:59:08 1999 Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 12:04:22 -0500 (EST) From: Mike Loader <> To: Subject: [FFML] [Spamfic][R1/2] She's Got The Look She's Got The Look a 15-minute bit by Mike Loader -------------------------------It was a friday when Nabiki sort of snapped. She'd been staring at Kasumi all throughout dinner, a sort of sick, distant look on her face. Ranma had slowly begun to notice it, and kept squinting at her, trying to figure out what was wrong. Kasumi just smiled, her eyes slightly wide. Finally, Nabiki shoved her plate away. "I'm sick of fish." "We always eat fish around this time, Nabiki. You know we..." "The whole damn house," Nabiki began slowly, voice building, "has been stinking of goddamn fish for weeks." Ranma silently agreed with the sentiment, if not the tone. He was getting tired of fish. Akane, unusually silent, just fidgeted. "You know why, Nabiki. You now that mother told us to..." "I don't care." Nabiki abruptly stood, her napkin falling to the floor. "Damn mother." Kasumi's smile vanished, and her eyes got wider still. "Take that back, Nabiki." The middle Tendo sister laughed bitterly. "You look more like her every day, Oneesan. Your turn soon, eh?" Kasumi didn't blink. "She left us to this, Kasumi. Left us without telling us anything. Just fish around this time, and some jewelry, and..." "You'll understand in time, Nabiki-chan. I used to feel the way you do, but now I understand. I understand, and it's not so bad. You'll see." A sick look washed over Nabiki's face. "I don't _want_ to understand." "But you will, regardless." "Get out of my sight," Nabiki slowly rasped. "Just go

away. Lock yourself up somewhere where I don't have to look at you." Ranma stared at the two in amazement. Genma, with the wisdom and cowardice of a master, had long since vanished. Soun just stared at his food. Kasumi shrugged. "I'm going to be moving out soon. You know that." "Not soon enough. Get out. Just looking at you makes me ill." For almost a minute Kasumi stared at her younger sister, unblinking. Then, slowly, she turned and shuffled out of the dining room. "You shouldn't have," Akane whispered. "Oh, Nabiki..." "Shut up," Nabiki mumbled. "Two more years. Oh God, just two more years, Akane. Maybe less." "You don't know that..." "I DO!" Nabiki shrieked. "LOOK AT HER!" Akane swallowed. "Mother said..." "Mother. Mother. Kasumi used to feel the same way I do. But she got older. Things changed. Daddy even let her have Mother's jewelry." Akane turned to stare at her father. "You.. you didn't..." "It made it easier on her," Soun mumbled. "She missed her mother. You all do, but especially her." "I don't," Nabiki hissed. "Deep down, you do," Soun sadly replied. Nabiki stared at him, tears running down her cheeks. "I wish you'd never met her. I wish I'd never been born." Akane stared at her in shock. "Nabiki, don't say..." "Shut up, Akane. Eat your fish. Your time will come, soon enough." Nabiki's laugh was thin and hysterical. "Two years! Maybe less!" Akane turned and fled from the room. Giving Nabiki a worried glance, Ranma followed. on?" He found her in the dojo, sobbing. "Akane? What's going

"It's... it's about mother. And the way she was taken from us. It's about that time again."

He bowed his head. "Oh." A fresh spate of tears burst forth, and he awkwardly hugged her. "Hey... c'mon, it's okay..." "It's not okay. It'll never be okay. Poor Kasumi... she used to be so scared, and now she just accepts it.. she's even happy..." "It's okay." "Nabiki and her were so close about this... they promised they wouldn't let it come between them, but it has... we eat fish at the time, but it never really hides it... oh, Kasumi..." Ranma hugged her until the tears slowed. It took a long time for them to stop. * * * Kasumi shuffled upstairs, slowly made her way to her room, and turned on the vaporator. Sighing slightly, she open the trunk by her bed and took out her Mother's jewelry. "I love you, Mother. Soon we'll be a family again." Smiling, she set the gold tiara on her head, brachial shapes capering across it, and hung the chain of linked golden frogs across her neck. "Telekki Li! Telekki Li! Ry'leh ftaghn..." Eyes wide and staring, Kasumi leaned back and dreamed of her mother. ---------------------------------------------This grew out of a fun little card game called Mythos between me and John Biles. My protagonist, a Bored Housewife who I immediately dubbed Kasumi, started off strong. But she summoned up a few too many nightgaunts, and the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath did a number on her, and she sort of had to read the Dreamlands Edition of the Necronomicon, and before long her sanity level was next to nothing. She was gibbering and giggling and calling up Leng Spiders when John's Deep Ones strolled across and made mincemeat out of her last shreds of sanity. At some point, one of us made a joke about Kasumi having the Innsmouth Look. "Cool," I said, sipping my coffee and glaring at John's thrice-damned Mi-Go Speechbox (Hester Payne blasted it to bits at Kasumi's command next turn.) "I'll make a spamfic out of it."

So I did. :) Those of you who've never read HP Lovecraft's 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' A) are missing out on a classic of American literature, and B) Won't understand this shortfic. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think Kasumi's recovering. We're gonna go to Kadath, drink the Wine of Pnoth, and call up Yog-Sothoth to kick Biles' ass. ;) -ML

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