Kindda Long chapter… But then, it's not really exciting… But don't worry… The next chapter will be soooooo exciting, I guess… Anyway, enjoy the new chapter and don't forget to R&R… Hehehe…
Another morning came. It signified another day of hard work at school.
For others, it was all about seat works and pop quizzes.
For the members of the soccer team, it was all about the upcoming regional finals.
But for some other people, it would be all about the struggling of their emotions whenever they see the one they love with someone else, in someone else's embrace.
That's hard work for them…
The battle between their strong desire to be the one in the arms of the one person they truly love and of that strong opposing force that restrains them from doing so—THE WHOLE WORLD!!!
If they oppose that force, they become the antagonist… So, they just need to retain their desire as a desire and never put it into action…
"Great show last night, Ranma!!!" greeted lots of students whom he and Ukyo walked with on their way to school.
"Wow…You're getting lots of fans, Ran-chan," Ukyo exclaimed.
Ranma just laughed at her compliment. He then said, "The credit should go all to you, Ucchan. After all, you were the one who discovered me…"
But just as things were going so well, there are really a couple of people who tend to look at some events in a bad way…
"Oh, there's the one that called Akane a 'bitch'!" some exclaimed.
Some threatened Ranma. "Get ready Saotome… You've gone way too far…"
And, others resorted to discrimination. "Oh, there's Ranma… Hey, are you jealous of Akane because she's a real girl??? And because she has Ryoga???"
"Oh, shut up!!!" Ukyo shouted.
"Ucchan, please don't do that…" Ranma said.
"But, Ranma…" Ukyo said then looked at Ranma's eyes. She could see a pair of sad eyes-- sad eyes that are struggling against the judgmental world. "Okay…I won't do that again," she said.
"Thank you…" Ranma told Ukyo then sighed.
"Ran-chan, aren't you scared?" Ukyo asked.
"I mean, a lot of guys in our school adore Akane. What if those guys joined forces to bring you down?"
"Don't worry, Ucchan," he said confidently, "I didn't study martial arts for nothing… They can come whenever and wherever they want to. I'm ready for them!"
"It's just that I'm worried, Ran-chan." The Japanese hotcake chef, now a bar owner, said and then stopped walking.
Ranma, being a few steps ahead, noticed Ukyo stopped walking and staring at him. He went near to Ukyo and made Ukyo look straight into his eyes.
"I repeat, don't worry…" he exclaimed, "Now, let's get going or else we'll be late."
Ukyo nodded and they both started walking again towards the gate of the school.
But, a few steps before the gate, a bicycle flying from the sky landed right in front of Ranma and Ukyo.
"Shampoo…" Ranma and Ukyo stated in unison.
"What the heck are you doing here???" Ranma asked.
"I want Ranma and Shampoo to meet at the park after Ranma's classes…" the Chinese Amazon said.
"But, Shampoo…" Ranma started.
"I just want to talk about something Ranma," she explained.
Ranma looked at her and saw that her eyes show sadness rather than anger.
"Okay…" replied Ranma, "I'll see you there after my classes."
"Okay then… See you later…" Shampoo exclaimed and, with the aid of her trusty delivery bicycle, left.
"Ranma…Why did you do that???" asked Ukyo.
"I felt that she still doesn't know the truth—the whole truth, at least… I know she wants to make clarifications regarding the real deal between Akane and me. She needs to know it Ucchan. I don't ant her to forever wait in vain for me," he explained.
"Oh, I understand," Ukyo said.
"And besides," Ranma added, "I couldn't think of any other way for her to unblock the entrance to the school. I know she wouldn't let us in not until I say 'yes…'"
"Hey, Ucchan…" Ranma called.
"I think our first class is gonna start soon. I guess we need to run our way up to the third floor…"
"WHAT??? You're gonna make a lady run…?" Ukyo complained, "NO SIR… I won't lose my poise…"
"You leave me no choice…" exclaimed Ranma. He held Ukyo's hand and started running so fast.
"RANMA!!!! I'LL KILL YOU!!!! DON'T GO…TOO FAST!!!!" she shouted.
"I don't wanna be late, Ucchan. Don't worry, it'll only take a short while," he explained.
"I am so not poised!!!"
Before they knew it, they were already in front of the door of their room. To their surprise, the door was closed.
"Are we…late???" Ukyo asked.
"I dunno…" replied Ranma.
"But the door's already closed…"
"Let's sneak in," Ranma suggested then gave off a grin.
"Well, desperate situations call for desperate measures," Ukyo exclaimed, "Let's go…"
Ranma slowly peeked in the room as he carefully slid the door.
Ukyo was watching Ranma and waiting for his "go" signal and then they'd crawl to their seats.
Ranma scanned the room to see where the teacher is. But then, there was neither teacher nor students to be found in the room.
"Hey, the room's empty!!!" he exclaimed then pushed the door to expose the empty room to Ukyo.
To their surprise, confetti fell from nowhere and the classroom they thought was empty wasn't really empty!!!
Out of nowhere, too, their classmates appeared holding a banner that reads, "CONGRATULATIONS!!!"
After so, their classmates chanted in chorus, "Congratulations for the successful opening night, Ukyo… Congratulations for the great performance, Ranma…"
Then, one of them stepped out of the group and said, "This is our simple way of expressing our gratitude for your hard work and for giving off free meals last night."
"Though some didn't have a chance to get in, we were still properly accommodated and it was like we were as good as inside because of the wide screen monitor…" another exclaimed.
"Yeah…And we promise to support your bar and hang out there whenever we can," said another.
"And, by the way, keep up the good work Ranma… I hope you'll keep on singing for the bar… You're a very good singer!" complemented one of their classmates.
"My… I'm flattered," Ukyo thought.
"Thank you very much," the two people of the moment said together, smiling.
"I promise to make the bar a very comfortable place for you to hang out, guys," Ukyo exclaimed.
"And I promise to, ummm… Oh, yeah… Sing my heart out for you, guys," exclaimed Ranma.
But then, there was something that caught the eye of the martial artist, now a singer. Ukyo also noticed something… Or maybe, someone…
The dynamic duo saw two people sitting in one corner of the room.
"Akane," the guy said, "Let's go… We should at least congratulate them."
"Congratulate them for what, Ryoga?" she asked, "Congratulate them for making a fool out of me?"
"Know what, Ryoga? Just don't mind her if she doesn't want to congratulate us…" Ukyo stated, "We're not forcing her to do it anyway. I'm having a nice day and I won't let anything or anybody spoil it… Especially not her!"
"I'm sorry… We didn't mean to be rude last night…" Ryoga said apologetically, "By the way, congratulations for the successful opening night, Ukyo…" he exclaimed.
"Thank you," she replied.
"And…umm… You were great last night, Ranma. We're really sorry for walking out in the middle of your performance," Ryoga said.
Ranma simply replied, "It's okay…" and gave out a faint smile.
"Okay… okay… Congratulations time is over… Our teacher's coming already," one of their classmates, exclaimed.
Everybody, including Ranma and Ukyo, went to their respective seats.
"What the hell was that all about???" Akane angrily asked her boyfriend.
"I was just doing what I think is right…" he replied.
"So, does that mean that you're telling me that what I'm doing is wrong…?"
"Akane, you're being so rude to them… They don't deserve that."
"Yes they do!" she replied, "They made me look like a complete moron in front of lots of people last night!" exclaimed the furious girl, "What the heck did I do to deserve that?" she then asked, with a couple of tears falling from her eyes. But, as soon as she felt a new tear is about to fall from her eyes, she immediately brushes it away.
"I don't want to cry," she thought, "I must not show them that I'm weak… that I'm affected…"
She then felt arms being wrapped around her. A gentle breath brushed her ear as she heard a whisper…
"Don't cry… No matter what they say, no matter what happens, I'll still and forever love you…"
Akane looked at the face of her lover and now, tears were freely flowing in her face.
"Thank you, Ryoga…" she muttered, "I love you too, and that means forever…"
She leaned closer to Ryoga and her lips met his…
Everybody was busy congratulating Ukyo and negotiating with her regarding discounts when they visit.
But, from a seat not so far away, someone saw the whole scene…
He saw everything…
Ranma saw every detail of the scene… He read the lips of the couple … He saw them kiss…
He wanted to hold his emotions back…
He wanted to pretend he saw nothing…
But he can't…
He can't hold his emotions back…
He can't pretend that he saw nothing…
Tears rolled down in Ranma's cheeks.
But then, he doesn't want to be seen crying--- again…
So he covered his face with his arms with the aid of the armrest in their chair.
Finally, the teacher came in and exclaimed, "Okay, class, settle down… We'll start our class."
"Okay, I need to break it to her now… It's now or never, Ranma," the martial artist said to himself while walking to the park.
As soon as he reached the park, he looked around and, beside one of the benches; he saw a very familiar bicycle and saw its owner sitting in the bench.
"Shampoo, there you are…" Ranma exclaimed.
"Oh, Ranma's classes are over already?" she asked.
"Yeah…" he replied.
Ranma walked closer and sat down beside the lavender-haired girl.
"So, what do you want to talk about, Shampoo?" he asked.
Shampoo faced Ranma with an expressionless face and asked, "Did Ranma leave Akane because Ranma loves Ukyo?"
The lad smiled.
"Why are you smiling?" Shampoo curiously asked.
"Because, what you're thinking about is wrong, Shampoo…"
"What you mean? Ranma still love Akane even she has boyfriend?"
"No…" he replied.
"Or…Or…" she said then sighed, " Ranma now confuses Shampoo…"
"I don't know how to tell this to you, Shampoo," Ranma said.
"But Shampoo wants to know!" she demandingly said.
"Okay… Okay…" Ranma said, "Shampoo, both Akane and Ukyo broke the engagement my dad promised to their fathers. So, that means…"
"That means Ranma is now going to marry Shampoo!!!" she joyfully exclaimed, cutting what Ranma was supposed to say. She then hugged Ranma, causing them to fall off the bench. "Oh, Ranma, I'm so happy…" she exclaimed.
"Sh…Shhhaaampooo!!! Get off me!!! I can't breathe!!!!"
"Oh, Oh… I'm sorry…" she said then got off Ranma and sat in the bench again.
Ranma, on the other hand, after some time, followed.
"Damn, this is so damn harder than I expected," he thought, "But I must prevent this from getting any more worse. I know I'm gonna hurt her feelings, but… I must… I must tell her… I must tell…"
"Shampoo," Ranma called.
"Yes, my dear husband…?" she said.
"I'm sorry but I need to break our engagement. I don't care if I've beaten you in a fight and that I need to marry you for doing so, because your law says so…" he exclaimed.
Shampoo seemed shocked, stunned and there was a moment of silence.
"Damn, did I say that? Was I tactless a while ago??? No… I was just being frank," Ranma said to himself, scared of what will happen next.
Tears started to fall from Shampoo's eyes.
Ranma sighed and thought, "She took it better than I expected…"
"But," Shampoo started, "if not Akane, Ukyo or even Shampoo is in your heart, who is in there?" the crying Amazon asked.
"I know it's weird. Are you sure you wanna know?" he asked.
"Yes… I wanna know," she replied.
"Shampoo, it's… it's Ryoga… Ryoga is the one I love…"
There was another moment of silence.
Tears still continued to flow from Shampoo's eyes.
Ranma is thinking whether that fact hurt her more than breaking the "engagement".
Minutes had passed and all Ranma could hear was the sound of the children happily playing in one part of the park, those people that were with their pets, and the sound of vendors calling the attention of potential customers. The redundant sound became annoying to Ranma's hearing.
"Are you shocked?" the martial artist asked, breaking the silence between him and Shampoo.
Shampoo quietly stood up and walked toward the fountain.
"Shampoo…?" Ranma called out her name, "Shampoo, what the…"
Shampoo stood at the edge of the fountain.
"Oh, c'mon… Don't be silly," Ranma said, "you won't drown by simply dipping yourself in that fountain…"
"Shampoo know that…" she said.
"Really? Then why are you standing there?" wondered Ranma.
"Want to know why???" Shampoo asked.
"Um… Yeah… Sort of," Ranma replied.
"Come closer," Shampoo exclaimed.
The boy followed the girl's imperative sentence and upon reaching a point a little distant to Shampoo, she jumped into the fountain.
"Shampoo…" Ranma exclaimed, "Oh, no…"
Shampoo, now a cat, leaped out from the fountain to Ranma's face.
"Waaaaaaaaaaaah!!!" Get off me you darn cat!!!" screamed Ranma while running around to and fro, all around the park.
"MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOOOW MEEEEOOW!!!! MEEOOOOWWWW!!!! (You lied to me you trasvestite!!! I hate you!!!)" the cat screeched, while making attemots to scratch Ranma's face.
"Get off me!!!!!"
"So, what happened?" Ukyo asked the young martial artist that was covering his face upon reaching the door.
"She just wanted to know the real deal… So I told her the whole truth," he replied.
"So, how did he take it Ran-chan?"
"Oh…Well, she took it pretty WORSE than I expected…" he replied, removing his hands covering his face, revealing a face full of ban-aids and some of the uncovered scratches he got fro the incident.
"R…Ran-chan…How…W…What happened to your face???" Ukyo asked, going near to Ranma.
F L A S H B A C K
At the Cat Restaurant…
"Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! That hurts!!!" complained Ranma.
"You idiot! Keep still…" Cologne scolded, then hit Ranma with her rod.
"Hey!!! What was that for???" he asked.
"That was for you to keep still!" she exclaimed, "Anyway, does anyone mind telling me what happened?"
"Grandma, Ranma love Ryoga and dumped Shampoo…!!!" Shampoo exclaimed furiously while some tears fell from her eyes, which she quickly wiped away.
"Oh, my… Is that true, grandson?" the old Amazon asked the boy.
"Look here… I'm not your grandson anymore, okay?" Ranma replied.
"This is getting serious," Cologne said.
Silence dominated in the place for a while and everybody was serious.
"Wait…" Shampoo suddenly exclaimed., "maybe this is one of those side-effects of the curse of Ranma to turn into a girl…"
"That's a good hypothesis…" Cologne said, "It may just appeared too late," she added.
Shampoo didn't lose hope. She went near Ranma and hugged him.
"You're gonna be fine… This is just a side effect. The feeling you have for Ryoga is just a joke," she happily exclaimed.
Ranma gently pushed Shampoo away and stood up.
"You don't really get it… You really don't understand me…" he said.
"Huh?" Shampoo exclaimed in surprise.
"I said you don't understand me at all!!!" Ranma exclaimed and then tears started to roll in his cheeks.
"Ranma…" Shampoo thought.
"How dare you tell me that my love for Ryoga is just a joke? You completely have no right to tell that to me!!! Do you even know what I feel??? Do you even know what love is??? I guess not, because you just loved me because I beat you in a fight and because your law says so…" Ranma exclaimed with his face all wet with tears.
"But then you could turn into a girl anytime. What's the problem there? You should take advantage of that curse and consider it a gift…" Cologne said.
"I want him to love me for who I am, not what I can transform into. I want him to accept the fact that Ranma is originally a boy…Transforming into a girl just adds up to the problem…" he explained. "Well, I need to go," he then said, "Ukyo might be worried by now…"
Ranma was about to go out the Cat Restaurant. But then, Ranma heard Shampoo ask, "If you love him so much, why don't you accept the fact that he loves someone else? Why don't you let go of him?"
Ranma looked back, smiled, and said, "I don't wanna give up… I'm just holding on and hoping that one day, he'd accept the fact that I love him…"
E N D O F F L A S H B A C K
"Oh… So that's what happened," Ukyo said, "Pretty interesting…"
"You think so…?" Ranma asked then giggled.
"Yeah…" Ukyo replied.
Then, both of them heard somebody knocking on the doors of the bar.
"Hey, we aren't opening yet," Ukyo exclaimed, "Oh well, might as well get it. It might be something important…"
Ukyo left Ranma and went to the door. She opened the door and exclaimed, in surprise, " Oh… It's you…"
"Is Ranma here?" the person asked.
"Yeah… He's there in the bar counter…" Ukyo replied.
Ranma heard some footsteps and said, "Ukyo, who was it?"
The person went near Ranma and said, "It's me…"
Ranma turned around, looked at the person and exclaimed, "Oh, Shampoo…"
"Sorry to bother you…" she said.
"You're not bothering me at all…" he said, "Take a seat…" he offered.
"Oh, no… It's not necessary… Shampoo just dropped to say sorry and goodbye for the meantime to Ranma."
"Huh??? I understand why you're apologizing to me and I accept it… But, why are you bidding me farewell for the meantime?" Ranma asked, confused.
"Well, Shampoo going back to China to look for Jusenkyo, find the Spring of the Drowned Boy, and bring Ranma back the cure to his curse…" she said.
"You're going there…??? To Jusenkyo??? But… Why???" he asked, again, still confused.
"Ranma may not take this seriously but if when you asked Shampoo if she knows how you feel and if she knows what love is, the answer is yes… Because she feel what Ranma feel. Shampoo seriously love Ranma. My love had nothing to do neither with our law nor with you beating me. That's why she help Ranma…"
"Shampoo…" Ranma murmured then embraced Shampoo and she embraced him back.
"Well, I guess Shampoo need to go now…"
"I'll accompany you to the door…" Ranma said.
Both of them went to the door and spotted Cologne talking to Ukyo.
"Is your grandma going back to China too?" Ranma asked Shampoo.
"Yeah…" Cologne replied, "But don't worry… We'll return and arrange the marriage of the both of you…"
"Don't push it, grandma," Ranma exclaimed then laughed.
"Gee… Life wouldn't be the same without you, guys…" Ukyo said.
"Don't worry… we'll be back as soon as we find what we're looking for…" Shampoo said.
"Get back soon…" Ukyo exclaimed.
"Take care of Ranma, Ukyo…" Shampoo exclaimed.
"Sure thing…" Ukyo affirmatively replied.
"Bye, then…" Cologne said.
The two Chinese Amazons took their luggage and were about to walk away but then Ranma said, "Wait…" then held Shampoo's hand.
"Shampoo, does this mean that you're letting me go???" he asked.
Shampoo smiled and simply replied, "I don't wanna give up… I'm just holding on and hoping that one day, you'd accept the fact that I love you…"
Ranma smiled, let go of her hand and exclaimed, "Off you go, then… Take care."
The two Chinese Amazons continued to walk and Ranma and Ukyo watched them until their figures completely vanished.
"Well, life goes on," Ranma said.
"Yeah… Now, let's open the bar," Ukyo suggested.
"Sure thing…" replied Ranma.
Hey there… Hope you Liked the new chappie of my fic… c",) I really needed to remove some characters but don't worry… As the saying goes, "Some come, some go"… Well, some new characters will definitely come… And don't worry… Shampoo and Cologne will be right back…
Next chapter will be MORE EXCITING!!!!!! There will be a MAJOR TWIST, I think… Hehehe…
See you next chappie… and please R&R…