((Note: this would be about five years after the
epilogue of Ryoko Saotome. The flashback parts range
from about eight to ten years after episode 18.))

"Oh, wow," Karan said, impressed as he looked over
Akane's shoulder. "That's very good."

"Hey," Akane said, looking down at her little
doodle. "It's just a doodle."

"If that's doodling," the officer said. "I'd love
to see a full sketch." He leaned in a little closer
to the paper, hands setting on the chair so he could
lean in close.

"Maybe later, Karan," Akane said, glancing at the
hands on the chair to either side of her. The kryn
was looking for some action as usual. If he didn't
back off of her soon, he'd get some action of a
different kind.

"Maybe on our next date?" he asked, smirking.
Akane frowned and tapped her fingers warningly.

Karan was the first and last time Akane had dated
within the job pool. Unlike the amiable breakup she'd
had with a lot of her other boyfriends, he didn't seem
able to tell that he wasn't wanted in that way. Which
made him unwanted in a rather dangerous way.

"Karan," Akane said. "As I was told by a good
friend of mine before she was a friend. Go over there
and chase that mouse. Unless you want a demonstration
of Anything Goes Gun Arts Pistol Whipping."

The kryn immediately stepped away and shrugged as
if he hadn't just been scared back.

"I'll see you tonight, then," he said, and walked
away.

"Perverted NEKOJIN," Akane called out. In the time
since Ayeka had met with the assorted "cat races" in
the galaxy, that particular word had fallen into
intense disfavor. As far as they were concerned,
calling them a nekojin was little better than calling
them dirty little animals just a little raised from
the mud.

Several people, almost all of the cat races, had
looked up in irritation to see what had brought on the
use of that word.

Then they looked down again and returned to their
work. It was well known in the Galaxy Police office
that Karan N'Jar WAS a dirty little animal just a
little raised from the mud.

Also, anybody who could get Akane Saotome riled up
enough to used such an insult deserved it.
Especially since she didn't like the description any
more than the rest of them did.

"He is right you know," a Ctarl Ctarl said, coming
to step in beside Akane. "You CAN draw well, you
should try to sell something sometime."

~If only you knew, Aisha~ Akane thought, thinking
of a certain popular manga that she could see at least
three people reading right now. It didn't get
distributed often, as the author had another job that
used a lot of time, but it was well done. "Well, it's
just something to do in my free time. I wanted to be
an artist when I was a kid, but I wouldn't leave this
job even if I did become a successful artist."

"Why did you choose to become a police officer?"
the Ctarl Ctarl emissary asked.

"That goes back to when I was a kid, too," Akane
said.

**********

The kindergarten seemed perfectly normal for a few
moments. Lots of kids with dark hair sitting in
little desks waiting to be taught the basic
fundamentals. There were only two exceptions to this
normalcy.

The first was a rather large boy, though his face
was more angular than normal, sort of like his mother.
He almost looked like he belonged in the next grade,
and he was quite strong for his age too. That wasn't
what made him not normal, however, the not normal part
came from the little fangs that showed when he yawned,
spoke, or otherwise opened his mouth. At the moment
he was gritting his teeth in rage.

The second was a rather petulant little Chinese
girl with orange, not red, but orange hair. Further
offsetting her from the normal was the fact that her
ears came to a definite, elfin point. She was picking
at her school uniform as if it were something
distasteful while chatting animatedly with the little
boy.

"My daddy is powerful," she said idly. "My daddy
can beat your daddy even when my daddy is a duck.
And my mommy says Ranma beat my daddy. So your daddy
is not even second. My mommy could beat up your daddy.
Tenchi can already leap twice his own height, my daddy
is teaching me how to leap. My Daddy can fly. Maybe
Tenchi's mommy will teach Tenchi how to fly? Then
Tenchi will come and take me away like a prince and a
princess in a story. Will your mommy teach you how fly?
Can your mommy fly? Can your DADDY fly?"

A five year old Sano Hibiki twitched angrily as he
turned, with gritted teeth to glare at Lotion. Just
then a new "unusual" student walked into the class
room.

"I bet Akane knows how to fly already," Lotion said
already as the new girl walked in. Sano's eyes were
locked on the girl suddenly and flaming angry.

Said girl had deep green hair with just the right
touch of silver as to appear that her hair was spun
from emeralds. She had slitted cat's eyes, as blue as
the most perfect sapphire. Her black tail swished
happily behind her as she came into the classroom and
proceeded to wait for the teacher to show up.

At five years old these features made her cute as a
button. Though there were more than a few parents
that had commented on her future as a heartbreaker.
Like her parents in many ways.

"Oh, hiya!" Akane said as she noticed Sano. She
had seen him once or twice when 'Auntie' Ukyou and
Hibiki-san came over, but the boy had never really
talked to her yet. She was more familiar with the
older Hibiki's really, but she guessed the boy was
just shy.

The orange haired-girl she vaguely recognized as
one of the Amazons. She didn't see the Amazons that
often, sometimes it seemed that her parents didn't
want their kids to play with the Amazons. She'd heard
something about "waiting for proof that the outsider
laws don't apply to children," but didn't know what
was meant by that.

"Oh! Hi, Akane-san!" the orange-haired girl said,
suddenly adopting a rather awe-struck demeanor. Akane
blinked and froze in mid wave, still not having
noticed that Sano was growling at her for some reason.
"You are RANMA'S daughter, yes?"

"Uh huh," Akane said hesitantly, nodding in
confusion.

"Would you be my friend?" Kimchi asked. "Are you a
great warrior like your father? Or a witch like your
mother?"

"Hey, 'Kaasan is not a witch!!" Akane said angrily,
her tail fluffed out and then she sat down in a huff.
"And I am not a warrior. That's what my BROTHER wants
to do. HE'S the one that wants to be the newest great
martial artist." Lotion looked vaguely disappointed,
she thought sure her Aunt Ran-Ran said that Ryoko
Saotome was a witch.

"You introduce me to brother then?" she asked.
"Maybe we'll spar!"

"Saotome," Sano growled. Akane blinked and looked
around for her brother for a moment. Usually growled
last names were directed at him by teachers or
whoever. She finally blinked, confused, and looked to
Sano.

"Are you talking to me?" Akane asked finally.

"Am I talking to you?" Sano repeated angrily.

"Well, there's no one behind me," Akane said. "So
you must be talking to me."

"QUIT LAUGHING AT ME!!!" Sano shouted angrily.
Akane was taken aback, no one had ever yelled her like
that before.

"What did I do?" she asked.

"You KNOW!!" Sano growled angrily. Akane was saved
from responding as the teacher came in. Sano quietly
growled for some reason that perplexed her.

**********

"So what do you want to be when you grow up?" the
teacher asked Kimchi.

"I am a princess of the Amazon tribe," Kimchi said.
"I will be matriarch when I grow up."

"That's nice," the teacher said, he was usually
somewhat bored with the interviews, but for the moment
he was very interested. Interested, but also very
pained.

"And what would you like to be, Hibiki?" the
teacher asked.

"I'm going to be martial artist!" Sano said.
"Better than Ranma."

"Ano..." Akane said quietly.

"And you, Saotome?" the teacher asked.

"I want to be a drawer!" Akane declared cheerfully.
There was some snickering behind her. "What's so
funny, she asked."

"It's artist, Saotome," the teacher said.

"What is artist, Sensei?" Akane asked, confused,
and hurt by all the laughter that accompanied the
question.

"An artist is someone who draws," the teacher
explained. "So you want to be an artist when you grow
up?"

"No, I don't want to be an artist," Akane said.
"My brother wants to be an artist."

"But you said you liked to draw," the teacher
continued.

"Hai," Akane said.

"An artist is someone who draws," the teacher said.
Akane's eyes looked confused for a moment. She
recovered quickly, however.

"Hai," Akane said. "I want to be the best artist
ever!!" Unfortunately, Sano was distracted enough
that the only thing he heard was the last sentence.

**********

"Go away," the girl said to Akane. "Go away!"

"Umm," Akane said, confused.

"Shew!" the girl said. "Go! Shew, go away! Go
chase that mouse over there."

~Why won't anyone talk to me?~ Akane asked herself
as her tail flicked about angrily.

**********

Akane started walking out of the school looking
rather dejected. Not many of the other kids had
wanted to have anything to do with her. Her tail
drooped sadly as she considered that. Sano had
growled at her all day and that Lotion girl had
treated her like she was Sailor Moon come to life, but
that was it.

It was like there was something about her that made
the other kids want to avoid her or something. She
couldn't think of why that would be so. She got along
fine with most of the kids that came to visit with
their parents. She just didn't understand it.

Suddenly her thoughts were cut off as her way
forward was cut off by something.

"So," Sano growled. "My kaasan and tousan are
weak?"

"I didn't say..." Akane started, nervously.

"Quiet Saotome!" Sano growled. "We'll see who's
weak."

Akane desparately tried to think any of the things
she had seen her parents, or even her brother,
practicing as her adrenal response was triggered.
Panicked, Akane tried the only technique she knew: run
away. The chase was on.

As it was, Sano wasn't much more dangerous than
most other five year olds, so the chase looked a lot
like two little kids chasing each other around an
empty playground. Which is exactly what it was.

"Quit bouncing around and come back here!" Sano
shouted as his quarry panickly moved through and under
the playscape.

"Leave me alone!!" Akane shouted. "Tenchi fights,
not me!" Akane failed to note where she was heading
in her panic and ran into one of the steel bars that
made up the jungle gym, just as she was turning to
face it. She covered her face with her hands and
proceeded to bawl her eyes out.

"Now I got you, Saotome," Sano growled, smirking.

"Hey! Sis!" a voice said. "Are you okay? What
happened?" Tenchi Saotome, black and silver hair tied
back in a pigtail imitating his father, landed near
his crying sister, looking worried.

Akane wailed and shook her head, still holding the
front of her face. She certainly wasn't going to
admit that she had run from Sano though. Especially
not to her brother, he'd tease her forever.

"Let's get you to the nurse and call home," Tenchi
said, picking her up and running into the school.

Sano nervously watched the two disappear back into
the school.

**********

"Jerk," Ranma said as he walked out of the
principal's office, slamming the door just lightly
enough not to damage it. His patience was thin, but
he was only making a point, he didn't want to do any
damage...yet.

He quieted down quickly upon seeing Akane in her
mother's lap, eyes frightened and red from crying.
Minagi sat quietly in her stroller and watched

"You feeling okay kid?"

"She's calming down," Ryoko said, stroking her
hair. Her appearance showed that her own nerves were
frayed and that she was probably in the category of
"calming down" as well.

The bandage over her broken nose was quite
disconcerting. They had been trying, mostly
unsuccessfully, to inure themselves to the fact that
Tenchi would probably be getting hurt quite a lot
considering his desire to be a martial artist. It was
an unwelcome expectation.

Something like this happening to Akane, who had
little interest in fighting other than to watch her
parents and friends, was an unwelcome surprise.

"She was playing with Sano," Tenchi said helpfully.
He had already said that, of course, but he was sort
of looking for some attention himself.

"I'll talk to Ryouga and Ukyou," Ranma said. Akane
froze for a moment. "Maybe they can tell him to play
a little more carefully."

"Yeah," Ryoko agreed. Then she looked to Tenchi
and Akane and smiled. "Now how about some ice cream
to cheer up?"

"Hai!" Akane and Tenchi shouted together, though
Akane's voice sounded strange with the bandages over
her broken nose.

**********

"So what had you so mad at the principal," Ryoko
asked quietly.

She was watching Tenchi play a video game, some new
game called Mortal Kombat or something, while Akane
watched. It looked like a more violent version of
that Streetfighter game he was always playing before.
It would have concerned most parents, but for Ryoko it
was rather trivial. She knew Ranma didn't approve of
the 'fatalities' though, or the inaccuracies in the
martial arts techniques. So she'd probably tell him to
stop playing after a moment. For the moment Tenchi
was away from hearing range though.

She glanced to Minagi, and wondered how much the
one year old girl understood, but she WASN'T about to
leave her unattended in any fashion.

"He suggested that we find a more 'appropriate'
school for our children," Ranma growled. "Or give
them home schooling. He didn't think the other
students would "take to them" very well. Said it
would be better if they left."

"Excuse me," Ryoko said. "What better school is
there for the moment? Shampoo's kids, the Hibikis,
Kaneda Tendo, your sister, and that Tarou kid all go
to that school! What makes Akane and Tenchi diff..."
She trailed off as she noticed that Ranma was turning
tight-lipped.

"He didn't say exactly," Ranma tried to forestall.

"This is about what they inherited from me, right?"
Ryoko asked, referring to the cat's eyes and tail
Akane and Tenchi both had. The parts of her that most
clearly screamed "I am not human."

"He didn't say," Ranma repeated, irritably. He
looked back and sighed. "He's playing THAT game
again." He frowned and then smirked at Ryoko, she
caught the drift and smirked back.

"MMMMmmmm," Ryoko said loudly. "This triple fudge
banana split is great, isn't it honey?" Akane and
Tenchi froze for a moment, resulting in Tenchi's
character getting pummeled.

"Yeah, I guess the kids don't want any," he
said. "They're too busy playing video games. More
for us and the baby then." Tenchi was almost
instantly at the table with Akane close behind.

**********

"We spoke to Saotome-san today," Ryouga said to his
son. "His daughter got hurt while you and she were
playing."

"All that happened was she ran into the jungle
gym," Sano said bitterly.

"They told us that," Ukyou said. "We just wanted
to make sure you understood that you can't play the
same games with her that you play with your brother
and sister. It's not safe" Of course, Ukyou meant
that it wasn't safe for Akane, but she didn't make
that clear.

"H..hai," Sano said a little irritably.

"Besides," Ryouga said. "She's a Saotome, you have
to watch out for them." In this case he meant that
the Saotomes were family friends and they had to watch
each other's backs, but, it didn't come out that way
to Sano.

"Right, Dad," Sano said glumly. Even his own
parents didn't think he could beat that girl. Well,
he'd show them.

**********

"But I don't want to go," Akane said. Ryoko sighed
irritably, yesterday Akane couldn't wait to go to
school. Still, she shouldn't have been surprised
after what had happened on the girl's first day.

"Just be careful on the playground," Ryoko said.
"And you'll be fine. If you need any help, your
brother and Aunt Ranko are just down the hall. And if
that little Amazon witch bothers you, just tell me,
okay."

"Lotion doesn't bother me," Akane said. "She wants
to talk to all the time."

"There, you see," Ryoko said, gritting her teeth at
that. "You've got a friend already."

"H..hai, kaasan," Akane sighed resignedly.

**********

"Akane you're hurt?" Lotion said in surprise.

"I ran into the jungle gym," Akane said.

"Oh," Lotion said. "It was an accident then." She
seemed to be giving Akane an appraising look. Akane
nodded and glanced nervously to Sano, who was glaring
at her angrily. Akane winced and faced forward,
sighing as the teacher came in.

**********

"What a coward," Aisha said, angrily. "Picking on
a defenseless little girl." She winced and looked to
Akane apologetically. "Oh, sorry about that, Akane."

"Aisha," Akane said. "I WAS a defenseless little
girl. So no problem from me. After that, Lotion
started to treat me like some sort of anomaly that she
couldn't figure out. I was the great Ranma's
daughter, but I couldn't fight. She seemed to think
that was weird."

"So you chose to learn to defend yourself then?"
Aisha said after a moment.

"Nope," Akane said. "I never even told my parents
what was going on. They had to find out later."

"How did that happen?" Aisha asked.

**********

The sound of some one crying in the girl's room
attracted the attention of a passing little girl and
she blinked before following the sound to see what was
wrong.

The stalls were closed, but the girl could see some
other child's shows touching the floor towards the end
of the bathroom. She gave an exasperated breath of
air as she recognized the bright red shoes and
realized who they belonged to. Still, it was wrong to
leave someone crying like that, even a weirdo girl
with a tail.

"Hello?" the girl asked. "My name's Yuki, are you
okay?" The crying stopped for a moment.

"Go away," Akane said finally in a dry voice.

"Are you okay," the girl asked.

She saw from the position of Akane's feet that the
girl was standing up. Suddenly the last stall door
flew open and Akane stuck her head out, an enraged,
tear-streaked face appeared. Her hair had been
hacked ridiculously short and left ugly and uneven.

"There, you can laugh at me now!" Akane said. "Now
go away!!" She slammed the door shut again and
continued crying. The result was not quite what Akane
expected.

~Somebody cut her HAIR!~ Yuki realized.

She was still very young, but she was old enough to
understand the special bond between a girl and her
hair. It was something sacred, something not to be
trifled with. She couldn't put that in such words,
but she could voice the emotions fairly well.

"OH MY KAMI-SAMA!!!" she screamed, and ran to get
the principal. ~Something MUST be done about THIS!!~

**********

"SANO HIBIKI!!!!"

Sano winced. When his father yelled like that it
was bad. When his mother yelled like that, it
generally meant the apocalypse for the individual
named. To his knowledge, of the three Hibiki kids, he
was the only yet to provoke both of them to yelling at
once.

His sister, Midori, and brother, Jiro, looked up in
shock and then turned to him in pity.

"What did you do, Sano?" Midori asked as the
echoing quited down. Sano was quietly and shakily
walking as if heading for a death sentence.

"I've never heard both of them yell," Jiro
remarked, impressed and frightened. Ukyou appeared in
the doorway to the room and glared at her son,
pointing at him.

"You come here now!" Ukyou said in a low and angry
voice.

"Hai, Okaasan," Sano said quietly, walking out of
the room with his mother watching.

"I can't believe you," Ukyou said, ashamed.

**********

"THE LITTLE MONSTER CUT YOUR HAIR!!!!?" Aisha
shouted. Eyes were directed toward them again.

"Sssh, sssh," Akane said. "Keep it down." It was
too late, they were suddenly all surrounded by the
female police officers all looking aghast.

"That's horrible," one of them said. "Who...wait,
your hair is the same as always."

"She's talking about this little deliquent hellion
that tormented her in her early school years," Aisha
declared.

"Ohhh," the staff said. "Well, get on with it."

"Yes," Aisha said. "Is that finally when you
started training to defend yourself?"

"No," Akane said embrassedly. "I still wasn't
interested in fighting except as a spectator."

"So what happened to change your mind?" somebody
asked.

"As I remember it was assault and battery," an
older voice said as Captain Makibi walked into the
discussion, ignoring the surprised looks she got for
not breaking up the casual gathering. "That was a
very bad event."

"Hai," Akane said, growling and angry.

**********

"Hey," Yuki said, looking around. "Where's Akane?"

"Yeah," another girl said, also confused as she
looked up and down the hall. "Why isn't she here?"

It was hard to miss the girl with that emerald hair
and that tail, and she almost never missed a chance to
go out with her friends, now that she had some.

Yuki imagined it had something to do with living up
at that shrine with her parents, there probably
weren't all that many visitors.

"I'm sure she'll show up," Yuki said scratching her
head and leaning back against the lockers on the wall.
The school was a converted high school, and they saw
no reason not to leave the lockers even though these
were just elementary school kids.

The knocking sound on the locker behind caused both
girls to jump in shock and a little fear. The
knocking continued to come from the shut locker. A
locker plenty large enough to hold a small for her age
second grader.

"Uhh," Yuki said. "Akane?" The knocking got more
incessant.

About fifteen minutes later the school was working
on a way to get the girl out of the locker. It seemed
that the keys to the lockers had been lost and no one
could find the combination. The appearance of a
practically terrified Ranma and Ryoko caused quite a
stir. This was mostly because their appearance was
just that.

One moment they weren't there, the next moment they
were. Ryoko flew to the locker, and practically
shoved everybody out of the way. Sticking her head
through the solid metal locker, without damaging it,
acquired quite a few more stares.

Whatever she said to Akane was too quite to hear,
but when she came out she was boiling bad and using a
small dagger of energy to cut open the locker. After
cutting the door open, Ranma ripped it off its
hinges. Then they cautiously, gently pulled their
daughter out.

Akane's tail had been pulled between her legs and
used to tie her hands together, and this time she was
bald. Needless to say she had been crying for a long
time, though the sock being used to gag her had kept
her muffled enough not to be heard until she started
hitting the side of the locker.

"That little rat," Ranma growled as he untied her
tail. Ryoko had removed the gag and was hugging her
terrified daughter, talking to her softly. Ryoko was
thinking the same thing Ranma was.

The first time this had happened she had wanted to
do something about the little hellion herself, but
Ranma had convinced her to let the Hibikis handle it.
And they had tried, Ryoko had to give them that. Now
it was their turn.

**********

"She's had nightmares for the past two days," Ranma
growled. "She's terrified about the idea of walking
out of the house."

"Yes, Midori and Jiro told us," Ryouga said,
ashamedly. Ukyou sighed and looked down away from the
angry eyes of two of her closest friends.

"We're cutting Sano out of our school," Ukyou said.
"Until he can prove himself to be disciplined we're
not going to train him any longer."

"That's not good enough," Ryoko snapped.

"It is the best way I think to get it through to
him that this is a disgrace," Ukyou returned angrily.

She wasn't really angry at Ranma and Ryoko, they
had every right to do a number of things in
retaliation. She just wasn't willing to abandon her
son, even if the problem were his own making.

"I'm sorry," Nabiki said from where she was sitting
with the other individual that Ranma and Ryoko had
consulted. "They're right, just cutting Sano off from
learning isn't going to be enough. He still knows
what you've already taught him."

"He might even decide it's her fault and this will
escalate again," Kiyone said. "I heard the boy myself
yell at the two of you that he wasn't going to let a
'Saotome' get the better of him by running off and
tattling everytime she lost."

"It's just like when you hated me," Ranma said.
Ryoko's narrowed eyes revealed everything she thought
on the matter. She wasn't going to bring up Nagi
right now, but the comparison was heavy on her mind.

"And Akane can't defend herself," Ryoko growled
angrily finally.

"What if she could," Ukyou asked suddenly.

"Excuse me?" Ranma asked.

"Akane isn't interested in being a fighter," Ryoko
reminded everybody.

"Whether she's interested in it or not," Ryouga
said, following his wife's lead. The alternative was
the Saotomes pressing charges. "I don't think this
will be the last time she gets challenged because of
who her parents are."

"They may be right," Nabiki said reluctantly. "She
might need some teaching. And maybe taking her out of
school for a little bit of training trip would be a
good idea."

"I'm not taking her on a training trip," Ranma
said. He frowned though.

"Please, Ranchan," Ukyou said. "Maybe if she's
capable of standing up to him, then maybe he won't
hate her anymore. I don't want to see my son grow up
to become a mindless thug."

"It worked with us," Ryouga said, hopefully.

"It didn't work with Nagi," Ryoko growled.

"That's what we're trying to avoid here," Kiyone
said. "Another Nagi."

"I'm sure Hinako will be willing to do some
home-teaching while you have her training," Nabiki
added. "My stepmother has been interested in getting
back on the job market."

"Please Ranma," Ryouga begged, while Ukyou looked
on, hopefully. "Ryoko?"

"We'll try it," Ranma said.

**********

"I trained with my parents and the Hibikis for four
years. It didn't work very well," Akane said. "But
that might be my fault."

"Huh?" Aisha asked.

"Well," Kiyone said. "Detective Saotome was
supposed to use just enough force to show that she
wasn't a push over anymore. Instead she publically
humiliated him, by wiping the floor with him. All it
did was spur him to get better than her."

"Wasn't he cut off from any training?" somebody
asked.

"He found ways to train himself," Akane said. "And
he'd always been more into that stuff than I was. So
he caught up with me kinda fast. I had to work hard
to stay competitive with him."

"What happened eventually?" Aisha asked.
"He came by near the end of senior year with some
sort of magical artifact," Akane said. "He used it,
and vanished. His parents were horrified, nobody's
seen him since. I feel sorry for Auntie Ukyou and
Hibiki-sensei, but I can't say I was too sad."

"I can understand why, after going through all
that," the other women agreed sagely.

"And why are you all in uniform, Aisha?" Akane
asked. "I don't think we have any sort of ceremony to
attend."

"Oh, that's what I was coming to see you about,"
Aisha said, reluctantly. "I'm being called back home
to be an ambassador."

"What?!" Akane gasped cheerfully. "That's great!!
Congratulations, Aisha!!"

"It's just this little rock in space," Aisha said.
"Not even a planet." Poor Aisha had no idea that she
was heading to her first encounter with the Outlaw
Star.

"Still," Akane said. "It's better than being an on
loan officer from the Ctarl Ctarl. Way to go...wait,
that means I get a new partner."

"He's supposed to arrive today," Kiyone confirmed.
"Haven't gotten the file on him yet, of course, but
he's supposed to be native to this area. So they
assigned him to the Sol system."

"Excuse me," someone said from behind the large
group of women. "I'm supposed to find my new partner
here. I can't read these symbols, but that man over
there said she was in this large group of women when I
showed it to him."

Behind the group of women was a tall, large, brown
haired man with fangs and an angular face looking
rather tired. He scratched his head as he looked down
at the paper again. A gasp of horrified recognition
almost drew his attention up.

"Wait...I figured it out," Sano said proudly. "I'm
looking for a Detective First
Class....Akane....Saotome." He spoke slowly, voice
turning to a whimper as he stumbled over her name.

He blinked once and looked up to where Captain
Makibi, with her dark green hair, stood next to a
woman with lighter, shining emerald hair in one long
pony tail. A young woman who was even now crushing the arms
of her chair and glaring at him with her teeth
clenched.

"Oh, the kami hate me," he said quietly. Kiyone
quietly took Akane's sidearm away while she was
distracted and made sure it was out of reach.

"Saaaaaaa-" Akane hissed under her breath.
Suddenly Sano noted the eyes of the other women were
all narrowed and glaring at him.

"Uhh...you told them about the hair," he said.
"Didn't you?"

"-nnnnnoooo,"

"We were just talking about you," Aisha confirmed.

"Hiiiiiiii-"

"This is going to hurt a lot," he said faintly.

"-biiiiiiii-

"Isn't it?" Sano finished.

"-kiiiiii!"

"Would it help if I said I was sorry?" Sano asked.

The look in Akane's face as she slowly stood up
said no.