Shampoo stood outside the Tendo residence, standing behind a tree holding the spray bottle and waiting for the pig-boy to bring the kitchen-wrecker this way so Shampoo could spray her in the face with the love potion. She experimentally squeezed the handle, but nothing came out.
"Aiyah! Stupid sprayer…" She continued to pump the handle as Mousse jumped the wall and landed before her.
"My darling Shampoo!"
"Aiyah!" Shampoo shouted in surprise, squeezing the handle again and the spray bottle was finally primed and sprayed a mist of love potion right into Mousse's face.
"Sham…?" Mousse took a deep breath and his glasses gleamed in the afternoon sun. "Ryoga." He was about to spring off, in search of the boy in the bandana when a chui met him right in the face, sending him sailing into the koi pond.
Shampoo walked over and retrieved his limp duck body, tossing it over the wall and out of sight. "Stupid Mousse." Shampoo muttered, taking up her position again as she heard voices coming around the corner.
Ryoga was stuttering nervously and fiddling with his hands. "Oh, I just wanted to see how you were doing. I heard things with Ranma ended."
Akane lost her stride for a moment, taken by surprise at the topic choice. "Oh… I'm alright. I guess…" she sighed and put on a slightly worn smile. "Oh, you don't want to hear this." She said pleasantly, waving off his concern.
Ryoga stopped and took her hand. "Oh, but Akane, I do want to hear everything. You can tell me anything."
"Stupid pig-boy." Shampoo hissed from her hiding spot. Ryoga had stopped too far away. How was she supposed to spray clumsy-girl from way over here?
"Are you sure?" Akane brought her hand to her face and worried her lip in the most adorable fashion. Ryoga nodded fiercely, his face blushing furiously. "I guess I finally realized that there was no point in us being engaged. He never loved me and was never going to. It was time I let him be with one of his other fiancés and for me to move on."
"He never deserved you!" Ryoga shouted vehemently. He noticed something out of the corner of his eye and saw Shampoo gesturing angrily at him from the shadows of the tree. "Uhhh…" He panicked as Akane blinked big brown eyes up at him.
Ryoga awkwardly maneuvered them so they were walking towards the tree in the corner of the yard again. "Ranma has always been a womanizing, two-timing, insensitive jerk." He brought a shaking fist in front of him. They were nearing the tree. "You've always been too good for him." He stopped, making sure they were next to the tree, giving Shampoo an easy opportunity. Guilt momentarily reared its head, but Ryoga stuffed it deep, deep down.
Ryoga took a deep breath, mentally steeling himself for this. "Akane, there's something I have to tell you."
"Oh?" Akane cocked her head to the side and looked up at him.
At that moment, Shampoo sprung her sneak attack and Akane was suddenly sputtering as the heavy mist of love potion drifted over her. She blinked a few times, took a deep, cleansing breath and her eyes widened as they focused on Ryoga again.
Ryoga slammed his eyes shut and got it out as fast as he could. "Akane! I've always loved you!"
Small hands rested on his chest and Ryoga opened his eyes, blinking in surprise, having been prepared for the worst. "Oh Ryoga…" Akane practically purred as she snuggled closer to him, hands clinging to his shirt. "Is it true?"
Ryoga blinked hard, his stomach knotting painfully and his mouth painfully dry. "Ye-yes!" He squeaked out, clearing his throat.
Akane snuggled her face against his chest, nuzzling close. Ryoga froze and his entire body turned bright red and his nose started spraying blood. "I'm so happy." She cooed.
"Good." Shampoo said quietly to herself, nodding in approval before jumping the wall and rushing off to find her Airen.
"Sha-sha-shall we g-go on a d-d-date?" Ryoga stuttered as Akane continued to nuzzle against him.
She looked up at him with an almost dreamy expression and smiled brightly. "Hai! Where should we go?"
"Oh! Uh… Uh… wherever you like?" Ryoga was having a hard time concentrating.
Akane threaded her fingers through his and lightly tugged him along as she began heading for the exit of the Tendo residence. "I know the perfect place! We can go get some ice cream."
Ranma was in the park, practicing his martial arts and missing the Tendo dojo for several reasons when he heard the dreaded chime of a bicycle approaching rapidly. He dodged quickly as her front wheel landed dangerously where he had just been standing moments before.
"Whaddya want Shampoo?" Ranma asked, eying the purple haired Amazon. Rustling drew his eye to the back of the bike where Mousse in his cursed form was tied to the rear rack of the bicycle, above the back tire. "Whassup with Mousse?"
"Forget stupid Mousse!" Shampoo commanded. "We go on date! Celebrate!"
Ranma eyed her suspiciously. "Celebrate what?" He asked cautiously, waiting for the trap.
"You no engaged kitchen-wrecker no more!" She exclaimed, pouncing forward to snatch his arm and nuzzle against his shoulder.
"That's not true!" Ranma yelled in a sudden outburst. Shampoo blinked at him and he reddened and averted his gaze. "It's complicated…" He sighed heavily and turned away.
Shampoo's eyes narrowed angrily. "Then we celebrate other thing." She suggested.
Ranma stopped and turned to watch her, his own eyes narrowing. "What other thing?"
Shampoo perked up with a large grin. "Akane go on date too!"
"What?!" Ranma hollered, rounding on her. "With who!?"
"We go on date and Shampoo tell!" She said with a wink.
"Damn it Shampoo! Just tell me!"
Shampoo crossed her arms and turned her back and putting her nose in the air. "Fine. Shampoo no tell." She took a long, exaggerated step away from him and smirked at his predictable response.
Shampoo smoothed the smirk from her face and gave Ranma a teary expression, catching him even further off guard. "Yes Ranma?" She blinked up at him through her lashes.
"Uh… um…" he sputtered and then let out a defeated sigh. "Fine. Where did she go?"
"Shampoo tell you when we go on date." She insisted stubbornly, despite having no idea where those two had decided to go. She had left before they had decided, but what Ranma didn't know wouldn't hurt her.
Ranma slapped a hand to his forehead and drug it down his face in a blatant show of frustration. "Fine." An idea occurred to Ranma. "But you're going to have to keep up!" He sped off before she had a chance to answer, let alone retrieve her bike. If Shampoo wanted to go on a date, then Ranma would run around the city until he found Akane and her mysterious date. Once he found them, he would simply… join them on their date.
"Aiyah! Airen wait for Shampoo!" She called after him as she pedaled hard through the streets while Ranma jumped from rooftop to rooftop, searching hard for the short blue-black hair of Akane.
"There!" He saw Akane slipping into a familiar shop behind someone else, but the shops awning blocked Ranma's view of Akane's date. Ranma jumped down from the rooftop and Shampoo flattened him to the ground with her bike before stopping.
Shampoo abandoned her bicycle and scrapped Ranma off the sidewalk. "Airen choose here for date?" Ranma, still reeling from being run over, made unintelligible sounds. "Ice cream? Shampoo like ice cream." Shampoo dragged Ranma's limp body into the ice cream store.
Shampoo's eyes narrowed as she took in Akane and Ryoga snuggled side by side in a booth. "Akane…" Shampoo hissed through gritted teeth, her grip on Ranma's arm tightening.
Hearing her name, Ranma snapped out of it and stood up, taking in the scene before him. "Ryoga?!"
Hearing his name, Ryoga looked up and turned red in embarrassment. "Ra-Ran-mm-ma… What are you doing here?" Akane didn't even look up but continued to nuzzle against Ryoga affectionately and staring at him in adoration.
"I could ask ya the same thing."
At the harsh tone directed at Ryoga, Akane finally looked up and flashed Ranma a blinding smile, despite Shampoo rubbing herself all over Ranma like the cat she sometimes was. "We're on a date!" Akane declared.
Ranma could feel his eyebrow twitch and he folded his arms across his chest. "Are ya?" He asked darkly.
Akane smiled sweetly, her eyes crinkling and squeezed the arm she was holding even tighter. "Uh huh! Ryoga just asked me out and I couldn't be happier."
Ranma looked startled by these revelations, but his brows lowered, and he eyed the couple suspiciously. "You wouldn't mind if we joined ya, would ya? Shampoo and I are on a date too."
"Well actually…" Ryoga started, feeling extremely uncomfortable under Ranma's steady glare.
"The more the merrier!" Akane chirped. Ranma slipped into the booth across from them, dragging Shampoo along with him, seeing as she still clung to his arm much like Akane was attached to Ryoga.
The bell over the door jingled and shortly after, Ranma was assaulted by a pile of white feathers. "Pft!" Ranma spit out a feather as he bodily pulled the duck from his face. "Mousse! What the hell are ya doing?!"
Mousse in his duck form blinked stupidly at Ranma for a moment.
"Stupid Mousse!" Shampoo hissed in frustration.
"What's Mousse doing here?" Ryoga asked in confusion and upon hearing his voice, Mousse whipped around and launched himself at Ryoga instead.
"Gah!" Ryoga shouted as the duck wrapped himself around Ryoga's neck and nuzzled his face affectionately.
Akane didn't seem too fazed by the turn of events, but she did continue to nuzzle Ryoga while avoiding the flailing duck.
"What the hell is goin' on?!" Ranma hollered, staring wide eyed between Akane calmly nuzzling Ryoga, to Mousse frantically nuzzling Ryoga's other side to Ryoga's astonished and mortified expression.
Shampoo snatched duck Mousse by the throat and quickly stood. "Shampoo go now." With that, she dashed out the door with Mousse flailing but firmly in her grip.
Ranma narrowed his eyes, suspicions rising as alarms bells rang in his head. He stood and tugged Akane by the upper arm out of the booth and off of Ryoga. "C'mon Akane. We need some answers." He started marching out of the ice cream parlor while Akane resisted.
"Ranma! Hey! What are you doing? What about Ryoga?"
Ranma clenched his teeth at her last question, but didn't slow down, even as he heard Ryoga shouting after them. "Ah-! Hey! Wait for me!" As he scrambled to pull enough yen from his pocket to leave on the table before chasing after them.
"Where are you taking Akane?" Ryoga shouted after them as he ran down the street and caught up.
Ranma didn't even spare him a glance as he focused on steadily and quickly pulling Akane along. "The Cat Café." He grit out. Akane had held out her free hand for the lost boy, but when Ryoga almost caught it, Ranma put on a small burst of speed, dragging her out of his reach. At his words though, Ryoga stumbled and stopped altogether for a moment, his voice coming out high and panicked.
"W-Why would you want to go there?!" He jogged to catch up again.
Ranma eyed him suspiciously then looked meaningfully at Akane who was watching Ryoga instead of where she was going and would have stumbled many times if not for Ranma's constant gentle correcting. "Somethin' ain't right here." When Ryoga seemed to balk again, Ranma's eyes narrowed. "And I got a feelin' you and Shampoo might have an idea of what's goin' on."
Ryoga snapped his jaw shut, trying to avoid further incrimination on his part and followed along, feeling like he was walking the proverbial green mile to his doom. They all walked on in silence to the Cat Café.
Sarahplainntall here! Thanks for sticking around for another installment. Hope you enjoyed (and if you did, I would enjoy a review ; ] ) and I'll try to get the next chapter out to you soon. Special shoutout to Flameraven- you were soooo right about it blowing up. Hope this shows you a little of who's face it blew up in. James Birdsong glad your enjoying the ride so far. Nikichan- Hope I delivered a good one for you this time.