The pressure at the back of her eyeballs was intense and it took all of her will-power not to jump on the offending bitch and beat her brains out. Akane had waked up a few minutes ago to find the futon next to her bed empty. She had searched all over the house for Shampoo to find her in Ranma's room…cuddling with him in the futon.

Ranma slept like a log. Akane closed her eyes, taking in deep breaths to calm down. He didn't know what Shampoo was doing. It was not his fault. It was Shampoo's. Akane knelt next to them and poked her sharply on the ribs. Shampoo started awake and flinched back slightly by the sight of a glowing Akane kneeling right next to her.

"What The Hell're you doing?!"

"Cuddling with husband."

Shampoo smiled impudently, hugging Ranma closer. He stirred and smiled, hugging the Amazon closer and letting out a thundering snore. She moaned approvingly and rubbed her face all over his chest. Akane saw red. A ghostly voice whispered in her brain, urging her to remember the promise of the previous night. She stormed out of the room but before Shampoo could wake Ranma with a kiss- as she intended- the youngest Tendo sister was back, armed with a bucket. She threw the cold water on them.

Ranma bolt upwards, sputtering and screeching. She whirled on Akane and demanded an explanation. None was given. The small kitten cuddling between her legs was a hint, whatsoever, of what had occurred. It was the last rational thought crossing Ranma's mind. Akane murmured crossly under her breath as her groom-to-be raced down the corridor, howling at the top of her lungs with a yowling kitten grabbing for dear life to her skull.

Ukyo shuffled towards school. She hoped all the gossiping about the events at the Zoo had quieted down over the weekend. It had been stupid to hope the news was never spread in the first place. Of course there would be a girl from their same class at the Zoo to witness the attack. And of course that the girl would ran and tell everything to all the other girls she knew and all the other girls would tell others... The cut grazing her face did little to help the matter.

She stopped before reaching Furinkan's gates. She took in a deep breath and set her face with the fiercest scowl she could master. The Chef stomped forward the rest of the way, her fists clenched tightly. She made sure her battle spatula caught the sun where she stood. Its sharp end gleamed dangerously. Eyes turned to stare but were quickly averted. No one wanted to mess with one-pissed-off of the Terrible Eight. Satisfied with the lack of comments and mocking faces, Ukyo relaxed slightly and strode forward. Her victory was short lived, however. Every set of eyes fixed on her once again as the tell-tale ring of a bell was heard in the distance.

Shampoo halted her bike brusquely in front of Furinkan High, the wheels screeching loudly in protest. Akane jumped down, suppressing the urge to kiss the ground. She had made the mistake of complaining she would be late again. The Amazon's approach to the problem was simple: speeding in a hellish ride through the city with that bike. It was amazing the thing didn't break with the insane jumps she did.

"So sad Ranma no come too."

Akane winced. She felt guilty. The fact Ranma usually hurt himself in his cat-induced frenzies never crossed her mind when she dozed Shampoo with cold water.

"Stop getting into his bed without his permission." She told the Amazon tartly. "It annoys him, you know."

Shampoo did not answer and Akane turned to her. She had that strange expression on her face, one that usually precluded episodes of violence and pain. It was not directed to her. Akane turned quickly and found the whole student population of Furinkan High staring at them. She frowned and spotted Nabiki hurrying away from a pack of drooling boys…

Kuno Tatewaki had a hard head. It allowed him to take several blows to the cranium without suffering the repercussions. Or perhaps it didn't and there was brain damage already. That would explain his inability to process simple commands and directives such as: do not touch a girl that does not want you to.

"Xian Pu of China!" He said, hugging a stunned Akane tightly against his chest and pointing his wooden sword at Shampoo. "I understand the depths of your passion, but heed my warning! This fair woman is mine!"

Shampoo blinked. Akane was less subtle and slammed his knee into his guts. Kuno bent slightly over, a pained moan slipping from his slips. He did not let go, however and straightened. His voice was choked as he spoke again.

"If you insist upon your query, I shall fight you. And though I, the great Tatewaki Kuno, despise to raise a hand against one of the weakest sex, I'm obliged by duty and the sheer power of my passion!"

Shampoo scowled at him.

"You call me weak?"

A ghostly cackled floated in the wind and silenced Furinkan. Kuno blinked as a red ribbon coiled around him and tightened. Its handler, Kodachi The Black Rose, landed behind him and pointed an ominous finger at him.

"Brother dear! You will not interfere!"

She yanked the ribbon hard, sending Kuno rocketing to the stratosphere. Another hideous cackle left her throat and many of the witnessing students covered their ears, horrified by that sound.

"Have my blessings!" She cackled dancing around Shampoo and Akane, throwing petals of black roses everywhere. "My blessings! Ohohoohohohoohohoo! Ranma-darling! Here I am now! Your true love!"

"Is all crazy people…"

Shampoo murmured, climbing to her bike and speeding away. Akane nodded absently and entered school grounds, struggling to ignore the staring eyes.

Ranma slammed the door open. The professor glared at him.

"Mr Saotome, you're late! Again! Stop jumping over the gates!"

"Yes, Mr Assy."

Ranma mumbled and crawled to his desk. Ukyo-who sat next to him- noticed the thin cuts gracing his neck. She looked over at Akane, sitting on the other side. Their eyes met briefly.

"Hey, Ran-chan? You okay?"

"She's there when I wake up…she's there when I sleep…" Ranma mumbled, his left eye twitching slightly. "…she'll be here when I leave…"

"Akane?"

"The cat-girl…its she…the cat-girl…" Ranma turned and smiled at her, a tight neurotic smile. "Akane brings her into the house, you see? They are friends now…Friends….."

Ukyo looked over at Akane again. The girl was busy explaining something to the sickly bastard that was Gosunguki. Ranma was talking about Shampoo. Their friendship was putting strain on her relationship with Ranma and the idiot didn't seem to realize it. Ukyo smiled widely, then felt bad for Ranma…and smiled broadly again.

"Poor Ranma. I was shocked myself!"

Ukyo blinked and turned to Sayuri, sitting behind her.

"What do you mean?"

Sayuri glanced around to make sure everyone in the near vicinity was listening to her. Then she leaned forward and delivered the shocking information:

"Shampoo and Akane are lovers."

"WHAT!?"

"MSS KUONJI!"

Ukyo flinched and sat straight. The Professor glared at her a moment before continuing his explanation behind the economic crisis of the 30'. Ranma scratched absently at the cuts on his necks and shuddered. Gosunguki asked something else to Akane. She slowly turned back to Sayuri.

"What're you talking about?"

Yuro, sitting next to her, handed her a picture.

"Holy shit…!" Ukyo hissed.

"I was shocked too."

"I was kinda horny."

"Dude! Me too!"

Suddenly, the entire class was talking about it. Eventually, the Professor dropped the chalk and walked out and it dawned on Akane that the conversation was about her. A picture fell on her hands. Her eyes bulged out of their sockets and she jumped to her feet, howling:

"NABIKI!"

She stomped out of the classroom. The clamor of gossiping voices intensified.

"Ran-chan!" Ukyo beamed. "You understand what this means?"

Ranma did not answer, gaping openly at the picture on his hands. It showed Shampoo- drops of water gliding down her glorious naked body-leaning over a blushing soapy Akane. Their lips hovered so very close to each other's, as if about to land a gentle kiss…