Here I am again. I think I owe you one, guys. I did take a lot of time to update this. One way of paying that is only with one way, actually updating. But, well, life wasn't allowing me to focus in this (Even if the chapters are around 2k words…) Still, I could find some time and I did this! Now, REVIEWS! YAY!

L337 N1nj4 B0r12: Yes, me and my damn cliffies! But I love them! It what gets a good story going! Specially in last chapter since it was a perfect moment to cut the scene! Anyway, I've read Lovecraft too, but I didn't get obsessed with it. With what I did get obsessed with, though, is with Full-Metal Alchemist. (I started reading it in Friday chapter 1 and finished chapter 60 in Sunday noon…NOW, THAT'S OBSSESSION!)
Ss4-Link: Actually, I specify in the Author's notes in first chapter that it's situated before the Saffron incident. Thanks, and keep tuned because I may update a new chapter soon! (A week or so, BUT NOT FOUR MONTHS LIKE THIS ONE!)
Hiryo: Haha. You are going to see plenty of Ranma's behaviour in this chapter! Specially at the end of it! And cooked…Actually it's something that it's already cooked. Just warming it up only. ANYONE HAS A MICROWAVE?
Kaze no Kami: Looks like we have a new reader between us, folks! Welcome to this story! And I've already said it, BUT I HATE AKANE! Anyway, most of the people reading up this chapter and updating have a grudge against the youngest Tendo. And, as you may have noted, since chapter 9 or around, the Tendos simply vanished from the story. (Juuuuust as I wanted it.) And I may start reading Inu-Yasha one time of these…
Sven: Sure thing! I'm always trying to update as soon as I can, but even for Writer's Block, or either life meanings, I couldn't. I'll try now since some stuff have solved out.

So! That's all of 'em! If you didn't review, You get no reply! That's a sure bet! I ALWAYS reply to my reviewers. Even if it's a "Keep it up!" review. So, see you guys next chapter!

This is thinking.

(This) is Chinese.

Chapter 26: Decisions, Decisions…

The pair walked out of the park ten minutes later. Both had bruises on their clothes and walked shaggily. A dim line of blood coursed through Shampoo's arm and it poured from below her shoulder. Ranma wasn't better, he had hole in his forehead, and it would be almost undetectable if you didn't count the blood that also went out from it.

Shampoo sighed in disappointment. It was supposed to be a nice, possibly romantic night, but it hadn't. And she wasn't ok with it. In fact, she was quite pissed with how it went.

"I told you rolling into a plant of roses would be an awful idea…" Ranma pointed and rubbed his forehead, cleaning it from the blood, again. His companion glared at him for a second but relented and sighed again.

"I know…It's just that I got carried away…" She admitted looking to the opposite way of the grinning Ranma.

After she had jumped on him and began rolling, they passed the first normal bush, which only covered them in leaves. The second, though, was a rose bush, and then they were covered in spikes. Still, they didn't move trying to not get stung. As time passed, they grew tired of being in that uncomfortable place and decided to fight their way out. The result, the two perforations they now bore.

"I guess it's ok…Don't worry. At least the evening wasn't a complete loss, thing that would have occurred if some psycho had appeared…" He had Ryoga and Kodachi in his mind when he had said that and he smiled grimly.

She looked at him, and then forced her lips up, forming a short smile. "Thanks."

"Nah." He replied placing his arms on his navel. And smiling.

"Ranma." She called and he looked at her. She grabbed his cheeks and pulled, so she could kiss him. "Thank you." When she let him go, he raised a brow in confusion.

"Er…You're welcome?" He replied slowly and doubting if it was alright to say that. She giggled and the walking back to the Nekohanten resumed. But Ranma kept shooting quizzed looks at her. He still had some stuff to figure about her. But those were the surface points of her persona.

Ranma went out of the bathroom. Both had already got to the Nekohanten a while back and they were getting ready to bed after a swift dinner.

"So, school tomorrow?" He sighed. She nodded reluctantly; her feelings towards the school were among the same lines as Ranma's. "At least it's just some more weeks to go. And exams…If there is any we get into…" Again the two sighed in disappointment. So far, they weren't doing awful in school, but the possibility of them with exams wasn't zero.

"Yeah. Hope we don't have to stand them." Shampoo added and blinked slowly. The tiredness was catching up quickly with her. In addition to this, she yawned. "Let's…sleep." She lay down and yawned again.

"Yes." Ranma agreed and entered bed with her. Not a second later, she placed her head on his chest and sighed in contentment. So it fell on Ranma's shoulder to cover them with the cot. A minute later both were asleep.

The next morning, Shampoo woke up first. She perked one eye open, the other fighting to remain sleeping. Lazily, she sat down on the bed and looked around through narrowed eyes.

"Mh…Normal…" She growled and looked at her bed-companion. She side-smiled. After this, she went back to her position, that is, her head on his chest. Still, her "sleep" was cut down when Ranma yawned, waking up slowly.

"Hey…School…" Ranma pointed. She groaned but didn't move. It was waaaay to much comfortable there than the cold wood-metal seats. And that was nothing new to her. Nor him. "Come on. We have to go." He added but anyone could notice that he was relenting to leave there.

"Ten more minutes…" She begged cuddling closer to him. Ranma smiled at her and silently agreed to ten minutes. It truly was a warm and comfortable place. And he didn't want to get her all moody at this time in the morning.

"Yeah. This is quite comfy." Shampoo's remark made him go back to reality and analyse why the comment. It wasn't difficult. And it wouldn't if the girl who said wouldn't be leaning on you while you had an arm around her shoulders.

Ranma sighed. Right now, the last thing that would pass by his mind was some sane thought. And since when in his entire life did one of those passed by? The answer? None. Not even one. And it had all began with his decade-long training trip with his father. And just when he needed them the most, they failed him, like before.

"What's in your mind?"

"Nothing…" His reply came out too quickly, even he knew it.

"Ranma…" It was obvious to her that he was lying. He sweat-dropped and again sighed.

"It's…damn it…" His brows furrowed at the salvation in front of him. The weird thing was the form of what it came as. "Wait…" Now his head was bent to a side. "What are those two doing together?" Ranma asked now clearly shocked.

Shampoo frowned but looked to the place of his stare and incredibly, found he was right. Ukyo was walking around the school area frowning and talking to…Bambou? Both didn't look quite friendly but still kept civil.

"What's going on?" Now Shampoo's voice carried deep intrigue and awe.

"And you ask me…I know as much as you do…"

An out-burst from Ukyo made the two look in their direction. Ukyo was actually yelling Bambou's face. And if that wasn't the top of it, Bambou was standing there stiff as a log and accepting the full force of her shouting.

Even from their position, the sitting couple couldn't hear what she was shouting and that was due to the wind. This time, it betrayed them. Ranma growled in disappointment because now he had to ask Bambou face to face and he wasn't very tactful with it. Maybe he would reserve the honours for Shampoo?

"We will do it." Shampoo pointed when she noticed the look he gave her. Ranma was so easy to read… And his sweat-drop was clearly predicted by the Amazon.

"Er…All right…" He grumbled but finally relented and decided to check on the bickering duo. Even if they looked like they weren't in a bad mood, the shouting kept for a while.

"How…I…Did it!" Luckily for Ranma and Shampoo, the wind seemed to give them the hope in the form of some strafe shouts.


"Nothing!" At this point, the looking pair crossed stares for a second. They still had confusion in their eyes.

"Oh…About…laws?" Shampoo raised a brow.


"I'm…give up…past!...even…crazy…"


"Man, they do like to argue, don't they?" Ranma commented and Shampoo chuckled.

"Whatever! ...give up…believe…another…"



"I KNOW! Tell…option…"

At this point, Bamboo seemed to lower her head. Shampoo and Ranma tilted their heads to a side in confusion. Ukyo used that momentum to press on.


"AND JUST WHY DIDN'T YOU DO THAT?" Ukyo's outburst took the three active listeners aback. But the main blast of it was taken by Bambou. A small, unappreciable by the next-to-the-tree pair, tear warned to fall from the blue-haired girl.




"Better…Right?..." At this point, things calmed down. Ukyo lowered her head and mumbled something. The thing that made the looking duo widen their eyes, was when Ukyo hugged the amazon she was arguing with.

"And who said things didn't change quickly around here?" Ranma pointed out. Shampoo simply snorted but kept staring dumb-funded. Wasn't three days ago that Bambou was shooting daggers at Ukyo? When did the house fly out of the window? And when did those two got so united?

All those questions were circling and buzzing around their naive minds. Still, even if they didn't know how that happened, they surely could see that it was helping the two girls. Neither of the two had been so calmed like this last couple of days. Even during that kiss of marriage thing, they were more calmed than when Ukyo or Bambou had arrived.

"We must talk to that pair at once…This is getting awfully weird." Shampoo pointed out. Ranma was pushed to agree through every point of view.

"Still, wonder how those two got so near in this little time." Shampoo punched him out of the blue, clearly not wanting him to talk any more. "What was that for?" He asked frowning.

"Shut up and kiss me!" She replied, to which he quickly complied. The two now oblivious to their surroundings. Of course, that made the kick directed to the boy connect perfectly.

"Enough love-birds time for a day." Never did Ryoga's voice angered Ranma more. But still, due to his soft-up time with Shampoo, he managed to control his temper incredibly well.

And his reaction was simple. He smilingly passed his arm around Shampoo's waist. "Jealous?" He grinned.

"Nah. Just wanted to interrupt you two with a good entrance. And of course, ask: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU KISSING HER FOR?" That other outburst made the still hugging girls split up and look around searching for the threat. Seeing it was Ryoga, Ukyo calmed down.

"Let's go inside, and I'll tell you about that boy. It's Ranma's business now." She advised her friend and both marched in arm in arm.

Ranma rolled his eyes. "A lot of things happened since the last time we saw each other…"

"I think I can see that! Still, you promised me that you would explain to me and you disappear!" Ryoga exclaimed pointing at the smiling Ranma.

"Me? Disappear? I think you are mixing the problems here…It is you who vanished with that direction sense of yours." He replied smirking. The adjoining pair chuckled merrily to this, thing to which Ryoga blushed slightly, but kept a serious face. It was strange that he had been thinking about the lost boy just the day before.

"Even if I was the one to be out, you owe me an explanation. Things are getting pretty weird for me now."

"I don't doubt it. How long how you've been out? A month?" The bandana boy nodded. "Mh…It's a lot of time. And yes, I do owe you an update of what happened. Do you have the time now? If you wander off, who knows when you'll be back!" He laughed good-heartedly but Ryoga scowled. One thing did made the lost boy think. And that was, since when did Ranma treated Ryoga like a good friend? He could be civil with the cursed boy, but only for a short amount of time, or that was what he thought and believed…

"I-I guess we can talk now…" Ryoga replied scratching the back of his head. Ranma nodded.

"And I can skip a class or the rest of the day for all I care. Let's go sit below the tree and…" He looked at Shampoo, considering whether to let her tell her part or make her go to classes, so at least he had someone there to cover him…

"Oh, no, Ranma Saotome. I will stay here, don't you even think of sending me up there." She replied and he again laughed happily. Indeed he was open like a book to her.

A minute later, the trio were sitting in the selected place. Ranma and Shampoo had an arm around each other's waists and Ryoga was more confused than ever.

"It seems strange to you that I show public affection to her, ne?" Ranma asked with that knowing smile, which made Ryoga smile sheepishly and duck his head a few inches.

"Um…Yes…I guess it's part of the story?" Both nodded. They crossed a look before sighing and taking a deep breath.

"I guess it all starts a night in which Akane made me try out something she cooked…"

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