Ryoga woke to the sounds of voices. Curiously, he poked his head outside his tent and saw students milling about, several of them casting curious glances at his setup.
"Where am I now?" Ryoga muttered to himself, looking abashed as he broke down his campsite. Then he heard a commotion coming from the other side of the school. It sounded like a bunch of men yelling about something and Ryoga strained his ears and was stunned to make out Akane's name in all the male voices. He gathered his things and quickly sprinted around to the other side of the school, pausing on the edge of the crowd to watch. There was a horde of high school boys, all heavily armed and they were swarming around a small figure in the middle, but boys were flying every which way whenever they went up against their competitor.
"I hate boys!" A familiar voice shrieked from the middle of the mob and the bodies pressing on the figure in the middle eased enough for Ryoga to spot Akane in the middle of the swarm.
"Date me Akane!"
"Be mine Akane!"
"I will defeat you on the battlefield and in love!"
Other various shouts clogged the air and Ryoga watched, feeling deeply confused. When did this start happening again? He vaguely remembered this had been a regular occurrence before it was common knowledge of Akane and Ranma's engagement, but the boys had eventually given up, knowing if they couldn't defeat Akane, they never stood a chance against Ranma. Speaking of Ranma, where was he?
"Get lost ya bastards! You're just wastin' your time!" A familiar voice hollered in frustration and Ryoga looked through the melee and spotted another familiar figure, this one sporting a pigtail.
Okay, so there was Ranma, but this was still weird. What was Ryoga missing?
"Akane broke up with you! Give up Saotome!" Another anonymous voice called from the crowd of boys still swarming around Akane.
"Oh." Ryoga muttered as his question was answered. Then the words finally penetrated his thick skull and he gasped, slamming a fist into his open palm. "Oh!" Akane was… single? His eyes brimmed over with tears of joy and pumped a fist in victory. "My prayers have finally been answered! Akane is finally free of that damn Saotome!"
Ryoga garnered a few odd stares from nearby students, but nothing they hadn't seen before.
Ryoga hunched over, thinking furiously as his thumbs twiddled together and let his feet wander. He had to come up with the perfect way to ask Akane out. He would finally be able to prove to her that he was the man that she deserved! Ryoga's pacing while he considered his plan led him below a classroom window where two students were dumping a bucket of water out the window.
"Be careful! What if someone was down there?" The male student asked the young woman, who peered out the window.
"It's fine, there's only a pig down there."
Ryoga in pig form let out a put-upon sigh. He gathered his clothes in his mouth and set off in search of hot water.
A little black pig had been roaming the streets of Nerima for several hours before a chime rang out just before a bike tire came crashing down on the back of Ryoga's little piggy skull.
"Aiya! Speed bump? Shampoo no see…" she stopped her bike and turned around to see an unconscious little black pig in a yellow and black bandana and some clothes lay in the middle of the street. Shampoo let out a long, exasperated sigh. "Stupid pig." Shampoo mumbled as she plucked him from the street by his bandana and popped him in the basket on the front of her bike.
Shampoo continued her deliveries and carried the unconscious animal inside, carelessly tossing him into the sink full of hot soapy water and dirty dishes and it took a moment before a naked and confused Ryoga emerged, gasping, and dripping soapy water everywhere.
Ryoga looked around desperately. "How am I ever going to get back to Furinkan High School now?" Ryoga looked miserable after hastily pulling on his clothes.
"Why lost boy at school?"
"I was there to ask Akane on a date! Now that she's dumped Saotome, she's all mine!"
"Stupid pig-boy know?" Shampoo asked, watching him curiously.
"I know that Akane finally came to her senses and dumped Ranma as her fiancé!"
Shampoo pondered for a moment, watching the determined, albeit stupid boy with no sense of direction and wondering how she could use it to her advantage. Ranma was still following Akane around, helping her with her morning fights (Shampoo was never too far away when she was out doing deliveries), and basically acting like he wanted her back. Maybe if Akane was interested in someone else, Ranma would finally turn his attentions to her.
Shampoo beamed at Ryoga suddenly, making her voice sugary sweet. "Okay. Shampoo help you get kitchen-wrecker!"
Ryoga eyed her suspiciously. "What's the catch?"
"No catch!" She chirped. "You get violent girl and Shampoo get Ranma!"
He was sure it was too good to be true, but he was desperate for a chance with the woman of his dreams. Ryoga clenched a fist in front of his chest in determination. "What do we need to do?"
"Shampoo saw book in Great-Grandmothers room. Is love potion."
"L-love po-potion?" Ryoga clenched his hands together as his heart sped up and he could see it now, Akane in his arms, fluttering her chocolate brown eyes up at him. "Ryoga, I've wanted to tell you for a long time now. I've always loved you." He imagined her saying this to him and then gleefully holding her even closer. Tears of joy streamed down his face, "I'll do it!"
Shampoo started pushing Ryoga out of the back kitchen and towards the cooking area in the Cat Café. "Good. You distract Great-Grandmother, Shampoo get book."
"But, but, but I-" Ryoga sputtered before she gave him a final push and he bumped into the old Amazon woman.
Cologne who had been balancing on her cane, stopped the incoming lost boy with her pipe and easily tossed him to collide with Mousse instead.
Mousse picked himself up from underneath Ryoga and then quickly grasped his hands, pulling Ryoga to sit up with him. "Oh my darling Shampoo! Are you alright?"
Ryoga thumped Mousse hard on the head. "Put your glasses on you idiot!"
Mousse dug in his infinite sleeves until he withdrew a thick pair of glasses. "What have you done with my darling Shampoo?" Mousse accused angrily.
"It's been me the whole time you blind idiot."
While the boys bickered, Cologne continued cooking and serving customers. When she had a large tray ready to serve, she used the cane to flatten Ryoga and bash Mousse on the head with her pipe. "Take this to table seven." She directed, pointing easily at the tray on the counter. "And where did Shampoo go? We have more deliveries that need to go out."
"Shampoo here Great-Grandmother!" Shampoo called, coming from the back hallway.
"Good. Get this boy out of my kitchen and finish your deliveries."
"Yes Great-Grandmother." Shampoo said with a smart bow, stacking her order boxes and hauling Ryoga by the collar out the door.
Ryoga dutifully ran along behind Shampoo's bike as she finished her deliveries. Once she was done, she pulled her bike over in a park as Ryoga caught up, panting a bit. She pulled a small leather-bound book from her bosom and started flipping through pages, eyes skimming the characters. Ryoga stood behind her, reading over her shoulder.
"Pig-boy read Chinese?" Shampoo asked curiously, still skimming pages.
Ryoga's focused gaze turned sheepish. "Uh… no."
"Then give Shampoo space!" She snapped, elbowing his middle sharply. Ryoga took a step back, rubbing his stomach as he eagerly watched the Amazon turning pages. "Aiya! Shampoo find!"
"What does it say?" Ryoga asked.
"Most ingredients Great-Grandmother have…" She trailed off still reading. "Shampoo need something from you."
"Potion need pig-boy sweat, so potion make Akane fall in love with only you."
"If it's sweat you need, then let's get to it! What should we do? Run?"
Shampoo pulled out her favored weapons, the heavy chui and spun them by the handle menacingly. "We fight."
Ryoga took a step back, putting his hand out. "I don't want to hurt you."
"You no hurt Shampoo." She smiled at him sweetly before lunging suddenly. "Shampoo hurt you!"
After a long and bloody battle, Ryoga lay in a crumpled, sweaty heap as Shampoo tucked away her Chui and pulled a small glass vial from her bosom and knelt before the barely conscious boy and collected the sweat dripping from his face and then placed a stopper in the vial before returning it to her cleavage for safe keeping. Seeing as it was going to take Ryoga too long to recover and follow her on his own, she took a water bottle from her bike and dumped it on the boy and lifted the damp piglet and the pile of clothes back in the basket of her bicycle and headed back to the Cat Café to finish her shift and slowly, secretly gather the ingredients for the love potion.
It took a lot of sneaking and distracting Mousse (mostly by throwing the small piglet at him), but Shampoo finally finished the love potion and she carefully poured it into a spray bottle for easy administration. She smirked to herself as she pictured spraying Akane in the face and being rid of her forever as the stupid kitchen-wrecker ran off, happily in love with stupid pig-boy. This was going to be perfect. Now to lead the lost boy to the Tendo residence so he could confess his feelings and she could dose Akane with the love potion. Shampoo slipped the spray bottle into her purse, humming happily to herself as she dumped the kettle over the piglet and turned away as Ryoga quickly dressed himself.
"Come with Shampoo. We do now."
Ryoga looked uncertain, but nodded, finding his resolve. They left through the back kitchen of the Cat Café, thinking they had gotten away with everything, but they missed the glint of Mousse's glasses as he stepped out of the shadows, suspicious and ready to find out what his beloved was up to.
Sarahplainntall here! THE PLOT THICKENS! Hope you enjoy this chapter! We were needing more shenanigans. Monelos92, Nikichan, Iselglezcam, SonkaD, thanks for the reviews, I appreciate them and they really make my day. I also take comments into consideration. Also, big thanks to my very good fans in Mexico! :D