Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma or YuYu Hakusho


Chapter Two


Yusuke Urameshi was the single-handed most fascinating guy Ranma had ever known, the gender-bent martial artist decided, eyeing the older male from his usual walking perch atop the thin railing of the canal's fence with his hands in his pockets. He had power, more power than Ranma could even comprehend, but he didn't flaunt it.

He found his girl form attractive – which was natural because his female form was admittedly sexy, in his not-so modest opinion – but that admission came hot on the heels of the reveal that he was aware his two forms of male and female were apart of him, two sides of the same coin.

That was jarring in many ways. Being surrounded by idiots on a daily basis, any person with an above average I.Q was always going to get an raised eyebrow of incredulity out of him to their presence in the crazed neighbourhood of Nerima, but a guy still finding his girl side appealing in looks while being aware that she wasn't – in fact – her own person was a whole other can of what the fuckery.

And unlike the demented diminutive elder of total immorality Yusuke didn't force him in his female side for his own twisted libido pleasure. He playfully requested him to be a girl for him while offering him a glass of cold water to trigger the transformation, but had yet to actually change Ranma against his will. He even let the braided cursed fighter throw the water back in his face, which had the added effects of making Ranma feel like he wasn't an ant in Yusuke's tremendously powerful aura.

Considering Ranma's robust pride, anyone's evasions to wounding it were always going to win them brownie points in his book.

Yusuke was by far the kindest guy that Ranma had ever met, but considering the standards of benevolence that he was comparing him to, that wasn't saying much. It wasn't even a comparison. In fact, it was more of a testament to just how cruel most Nerima residents were if one guy could be seen as cool by actually being nice.

Nicety, such a foreign concept in the district of Nerima.

Ranma didn't even want to think about it anymore.

"Why do ya gotta walk us to school, man?" Ranma asked in annoyance to the young man sauntering beside Akane on the ground. Even if he did find him interesting in the sense that he wasn't a moron with the intelligence of a rock and the insanity of a crazed asylum escapee, that didn't mean he particularly liked being escorted to school like a baby.

You know, because he was prideful and hated hand-holding.

Yusuke tossed up a shrug, "Just doing a solid for Kasumi," He reasoned, "Says you guys are always at each other's throats. She wants me to act as a supervisor so you can both get to school without feeling all ticked off and stuff."

Ranma scoffed, tossing a palm over his shoulder in dismissal, "Oh, please. If Tomboy would learn to keep her panties outta a bunch we wouldn't be 'at each other's throats."

Akane rounded on him defensively, her uniform blue dress billowing in the fabricated breeze of her hasty turn as she held her handbag below her waist with both hands, "Well if a certain jerk would learn to keep his mouth shut I wouldn't get 'my panties in a bunch' like you claim, jerk!" She retorted belligerently.

"Yeah right! Everything ticks you off! You've gotta be the touchiest person I know!" But Ranma wasn't backing down, never realizing he was edging closer to the pit of redundant arguments that so often wastes the time of the combatants who had fallen into it.

And Akane was right there to meet him in the centre, neither realizing the trap they were falling into. The trap that they were justifying Kasumi's intuition of sending Yusuke with them to school, "And you're the most insensitive jer-!" She never got to finish. The presence beside her suddenly spiked, intensifying to the degrees it became tangible and cracked the ground around their feet like spider webs, almost knocking Ranma off balance from the unexpecting tremor of his fence.

They were stunned into silence, gazes locked apprehensively to their stilled unmoving escort standing within the gaping pit he spontaneously created with barely a flick of his muscles, the short bangs of his hair shadowing his eyes.

"Hey, idiots!" He raised his voice with authority, "You might wanna stop and think for a sec that maybe tearing into each other about who starts it between you is going to prove Kasumi right!" He lurched his head up and both students saw the faintly scarlet glow of rage within the pupils of his eyes, passing it off as just that; the extremity of his annoyance physically changing his body.

"You're right," Yusuke's wave of malevolent rage had washed the righteous fury out of Akane, leaving her soaked in remorse, lowering her head from Yusuke's scolding gaze, "I'm sorry, Urameshi-san."

Yusuke heaved a sigh from the pit of his gut and ran a hand through his raven hair, gaze softening, "Look, I know s'not really my place to say, but you oughta hold off on the wedding bells."

Akane flicked her head back up, startled, "What? But why? Urameshi-san-?"

"Oh, don't gimme that tsundere junk," Yusuke returned, making a face as he threw a hand of dismissal over his shoulder, "You don't get along," He pocketed his hands in his reasoning, straightening his now calmed posture, "Trying to tie the knot around your fingers would just be suicidal at this point.

She made a forward gesture with her body, indicating that she wanted to contest the matter further, that his opinions on her engagement to Ranma being too early were wrong, that maybe they were ready, that maybe she- but then she stopped herself mid thought to linger at the latter stages of her argument because she knew, her feelings for the cursed fighter were nowhere near that strong for him. Nowhere near. She definitely cared for him, but more as a close friend she knew for months than as a potential engaged girlfriend.

Until she could say only death could keep them apart, she knew her argument held no weight and folded in, reluctantly receding in on her argumentative advancement on Yusuke and glanced away from the older teen as palpable sorrow shone in her eyes.

"Take it from someone who knows, kids," Yusuke remarked, spoke in a manner that didn't patronize them, but let them know they were listening to the advice of a seasoned veteran, a thumb jerked at his posture, "Rushing into a commitment so early on is the quickest way to ruin a relationship. Want my advice? Scrap the honeymoon plans 'til you finish college. Go on a few dates," He shifted a glance to Ranma, grimacing at his look of awkward shock at the mention of a date, "Show the lady a good time, y'know, test the waters to see if you can make the relationship work because I guarantee, if you rush into marriage without doing the prep work first, you're gonna regret it." They would ultimately end up having a bitter divorce.

"D-Date!" Ranma stuttered in his cringe, eliciting a glare from Akane.

Yusuke sighed once again, scratching his scalp in befuddlement. They weren't past first base and yet their fathers thought they could wed? Crazy, "Yeah, you aren't ready for marriage yet." He pocketed his hands and straightened, moving five feet ahead of them, giving them the small amount of privacy they needed to sit on his words of wisdom crafted from personal experience.

They exchanged glances and conveyed the discussion they wanted to have in one prolong stare, their gazes saddening in remorse before they turned away from the other.

'He's right.' Ranma mused, 'I don't wanna marry Akane.' He never did. Over the course of several months whenever he felt like they had made progress in their forced relationship, that they had bridged gap of hostility between them, something always happened to render the moment of breakthrough ineffective, like Ranma putting his foot in his mouth and angering Akane or his other suitors making an advance on him and triggering Akane's temper, pushing them back to square one.

No matter what they went through, the polite distance between them never shortened... Not even a little.

He had desired for so long now to end the engagements, not just to Akane but to his other suitors too, to be free, but he was trapped in an infinite loop and try as he might he had never managed to end the rut that his life had become.

But maybe, with Yusuke's gentle push, he could liberate himself from the chaos that chained him down, "Listen Akane, I.-"


Or not.

Yusuke flickered to Ranma's side, yanking the cursed fighter from his perch before a similarly blue-haired girl could land the wheel of her bike square on his face, and the sudden loss of target caused the girl to fumble dangerously on the railing. With a cry, she flipped from her seat, making explicit sure to grab the package in her basket in her aerobatic move, and landed on the ground before the three teens in a kneel.

"You okay?" Yusuke asked kindly, though his fellow raven-haired teen hastily righted himself.

"I-I'm fine!" He hurried, edging out of Yusuke's personal space, flicking uncertain glances to him everyone so often, 'Rats. Where'd that come from?' And he wasn't referring to the spontaneous assault from a suitor either. That was a given. He was used to tanking abuse frequently. It barely fazed him anymore. No one ever pulled him out of the danger zone, though, like Yusuke just had and he didn't know how to react to it.

So he didn't. Other than exchanging awkward glances to Yusuke's nonchalant face Ranma forgone trying to appropriately wonder rather someone helping him out with his woman problems was a good thing or bad and instead focused on the bicycle-riding girl, who was glaring in Yusuke's direction.

"What you doing?" She demanded, in Japanese that was decidedly broken.

Yusuke gave her a quick one-over, discreet enough that only someone of Ranma's perception noticed him checking the feisty blue-haired foreigner out. It was just as well too, Ranma mused, because if Akane noticed him ogling Shampoo he would have had to dealt with her nagging at him, but considering how he had kept them both in line so far, Ranma doubted he would have trouble doing do.

Regardless of her poor grasp of the Japanese-language, she was beautiful, with a similar curvaceous figure as girl Ranma, shapely legs and even biggest breasts. It must be something in their nutrition because all the girls in this district were every pervert's wet dream being drop dead gorgeous. Shampoo's ethnicity shone brightly in her style, fashioning two Chinese-styled buns on top of her long sea blue coloured hair which fell to her mid back, sporting a bright purple, short-sleeved silk Chinese shirt followed by matching cropped pants and red pump-shoes on her feet.

"Making sure my friend doesn't get his face flattened," Yusuke deadpanned, either disregarding or not seeing the widen of Ranma's eyes, "And you are doing?"

"Don't get smart with Shampoo!" She demanded, referring to herself in the first person as her glare on the smart-mouthed youth intensified, "Almost lost customer's meal because stupid-boy move airen out the way."

"Uh-huh," He nodded along sarcastically, disinterest unhidden in his tone. No time passed at all when he realized what the girl had referred to herself as in the first person and he livened in curiosity, "Wait! Did you just seriously call yourself 'Shampoo'?" He asked, the narrowing of her glare seemingly being his only answer, "Hahaha, dayum!~ What a dumb name!" He laughed, doubling over, "I mean, seriously! Who names their kid Shampoo?"

Akane and Ranma stared awkwardly at the ridiculing hybrid at his reaction to learning the Amazon's 'name' that was markedly outside the norm. Being an asshole was common in the area of crazy, but acknowledging the Amazon's name as bizarre strangely wasn't.

It was, now that they thought about rationally.

"Uh," Ranma let out, giving a shrug and a scratch of his scalp as he looked over to the mocked warrior girl, whose face was flushed red in embarrassment, "He does kinda have a point, 'Shamps. Kinda weird your tribe would call themselves after hair products."

"It Amazon nickname, stupid-boy!" Shampoo clarified defensively, a moment away from charging at the nasty Japanese citizen.

"Uh-huh. Oh yeah," Yusuke tittered, straightening himself and flicking a loose tear of hilarity from his eye with the tip of his index finger, "I take it all the higher-ups in your clan all get together at a newborn's ceremony and discuss which hair brand would be the most prestigious to name the new kid after, huh?"

Ranma barely stifled his laughter, tittering explicitly behind his palms, "Now that was a good one!"

"Ranma!" Akane admonished as if she expected better from him.

"What?" He challenged, "Don't tell me you expected better from me, Akane! Y'know, the guy who talks smack regularly."

The answer was no, she shouldn't have expected him to raise above slanders, when he talked-the-talk almost everyday when the opportunity presented itself. Everyone knew that. He was practically infamous for slandering contenders willing to step to him on the proverbial mic. A wise guy who also had the walk to back up his talk. Really, Akane shouldn't have been surprised to hear his appreciation of a catchy taunt.

"Right. You're also a jerk relating to your fellow jerk in your jerk pond!" She grumped, but the boys only firmly grasped the other hand with an audible clap with grins on their faces in a warm-hearted show of solidarity.

Shampoo was enraged. It was exasperating on its own listening to the insolent young man's belittling of her tribe's traditions, but to amuse her beloved with his insulting remarks was a whole other level of mind-inducing fury. It was also a little heart-breaking seeing her beloved Ranma taking amusement in her tribe's slandering, but she disguised her sadness well.

She wasn't just some thin-skinned average jane of a girl. She was a warrior, hailing from a long line of renown females. She would not disgrace her tribe by showing hurt in such a contemptible manner as being too emotionally fragile to endure a few petty remarks.

"How dere you insult Amazonian tribe!" She accused, very much intending to get even with the smart-mouthed vermin. She found a conveniently placed high patch of earth to rest the customer's meal upon before turning purposefully in Yusuke's direction, her body poised.

"Oh, no! I insulted the all-important Amazon babes!" Yusuke continued to sneer in absolute dismissal of Shampoo's threatening posture, "Better dial witness protection. I'm boned otherwise! Hahaha!"

"You vermin!" She rushed him, closing the distance separating them in a matter of seconds lightyears too long to ever catch the hybrid, slamming a forward lunge through his sternum to disperse his form like a fog of mist, "Huh?" She wondered blankly, diligently checking her flanks for any hint of the alleged teleporter's positioning.

"He's over there," The voice of her beloved, spoken plainly, pointed her in the right direction, helped by his finger. Shampoo righted herself, looking over her shoulder, dilating her eyes in horrified shock at her target procuring the meal of her customer.

"Ah! What stupid-boy doing!"

"This what you're making a fuss about?" Yusuke asked, feigning curiosity with his devilish intentions in mind. He tore the wrapping off of the package to reveal a bowl of steamy cooked ramen concealed in clear-view cling film to give it an extra layer of protection.

"You give that back!" Shampoo demanded, pressing forward hastily, but Yusuke merely jumped a step back, pushing the lower half of his body away from the onrushing girl and holding her in place with a single finger tapped upon her forehead.

"Ah, ah, ah," He requested, almost condescendingly, "Not until you apologize to Ranma for trying to park on his face."

Shampoo felt utterly humiliated, being held off with as little resistance as a finger and told if she wanted her 'toy' back – in the metaphorical sense – that she would have to first own up to her mistakes. She glared bitterly to Yusuke's mocking grin, "Airen let Shampoo do that, stupid-boy."

"Looks like he wasn't expecting it, but okay," He pushed her away, almost sending her stumbling to an unpleasant fall on her behind from his light flick before she was able to right herself. He ripped the cling film off, lowering his nose to the soup and taking in a big whiff, "I'll just have to eat this ramen." He chuckled at her horrified look, "Call it a compromise."

"No!" She roared and lunged once again, promptly getting Yusuke to duck underneath her blow as he ripped the customary chopsticks that were taped to the cling film apart with his teeth and one hand, "Shampoo be in trouble with Grand Grandmother if she don't get that to customer!"

"Cool story, sis." He casually swayed to the side in evasion of Shampoo's charge in perfect unison of twirling a set of noodles around his procured chopsticks before propping it in his mouth, "Hmm, tasty."

"Stop that!" She surged once more and yet again did the elusive theft evade her grapple attempts, curving his body so she would clumsily roll right past him while simultaneously taking in another mouthful of noodles, "Oh, yeah!~ That's the stuff."

'He's not even taking her seriously,' Akane concluded blankly, at a loss for reactions. The confrontation between what could've technically been considered good guy vs bad guy with their companion soundly in the wrong by the bare definition of the word was outlandish; a goofy mess she would expect Ranma to initiate.

For once he was in the front row to the chaos instead of the main attraction and he noticed that odd deviation from the norm too, "Uh," He scratched his scalp, "Kinda freaky I ain't the one out there in the thick of things, but I ain't gonna look a gift horse in the mouth." Lady luck must have finally been smiling on him to throw someone else in the heat of mayhem instead of him.

He watched, with an almost suspenseful eye, as his – friend? – escort frequently angled his stances from each forward push of the tenacious Amazon-warrior, putting himself in the goofiest of poses as he continued to wolf away at the order of Shampoo's customer like he wasn't defending himself from an angry female's fist of righteous vengeance.

"…You, give… Shampoo, that back!" Shampoo demanded, drenched in her own sweat and huffing heavily from exhaustion, hunching over to place her hands on her knees. Yusuke's blatantly loud slurping was only adding salt in her wound at this point. Willing herself, Shampoo dived onward for another bite at the cherry, only for Yusuke to spring directly above her last-ditch leap of faith, slamming his palm on the back of her head to send her crashing face first on the unforgiving concrete ground, presumably knocked out.

Ranma cringed from the rough contact of flesh and solid earth, "Yikes! That's gonna leave a mark." He stated, shaking his head, "Brutal."

Yusuke smiled in mock innocence, but before he could relish on his essentially auto-piloted victory, the loud call of the girl's warrior-nickname resonated in the immediate area, spoken not with concern for her crushing defeat or seemingly unconscious state, but happy recognition of locating her.

"Oh Shampoo, Shampoo!" He made it picture clear his priorities were Shampoo yet he made a bee-line for Yusuke, arms poised to embrace him like he was his beloved and not the guy who just pummelled her with one arm basically tied behind his back, drawing a cringe from the green-clad young man. He composed himself, speedy reflexes matching that of a cat's and hoisted up his leg for the long raven-haired youth to run face first into his sneaker.

"Oh, kay."

"Yeah, that's Mousse for ya," Ranma insisted with a shrug.

Yusuke flinched a bit and turned to stare at Ranma funnily, but the red-clad young man only shrugged his shoulders again, promptly getting Yusuke to look down at the long haired youth with the longest sleeves he had ever lied eyes on, "Just gonna take a wild guess here, but he's an amazon like the chick, and all amazon dudes get named after desserts instead of hair products," He grimaced. The Amazonian's traditions sounded retarded to him, "How's that? Did I hit the nail on the head?"

"Probably," Ranma shrugged, "Anyways, you probably nailed it by now, but Mousse is a short-sighted idiot," He said in explanation of Mousse mistaking Yusuke for Shampoo, "Guy never wears his glasses even 'tho he can't see two miles without 'em."

"What a retard."

"No shit."

"Shampoo?" Mousse wondered, prying his head off of the dirt ground and searching his flanks for his beloved.

"Hey, moron." He wasn't deaf, if his lack of recognition to a unfamiliar aggressive voice was any indication. So there was that silver-lining, "Do I look like a hot big-breasted chick to you?"

His description of Shampoo evoked a cringe from Akane, "Pervert." She was ignored entirely.

Mousse pushed his thick glasses down, and the hazy blur around the lanky young man above him cleared up, allowing him to make out his visage in all its annoyed glory, "You're not Shampoo."

Did this kid just have Shampoo on the brain 24/7? Jesus, "Congrats. You've graduated from retard to idiot." He mocked, tone dry. He gestured to the side of the short-sighted youth with his head, "She's right there poindexter."

She was only a couple of feet from his positioning, but without the consciousness that would have made Mousse relieved to see her. He was still relieved, but his worry took priority, "Shampoo!" He cried, crawling over to her, though on auto-piloted-like instinct she stirred, pushing herself up to her knees and slapping him aside.

"So you're finally re-joining us, eh Sleepy?" Yusuke jested lightly, but she didn't reply nor did she raise her head to meet his gaze as she stayed on her knees, looking terribly resigned, 'Eh? Did I break her?' That sucks. He hadn't meant to destroy her spirit. He just wanted to show her she couldn't walk all over his friend while he was in town.

After what seemed like an eternity, to Shampoo, passed, the Amazon finally stood, and submissively approached Yusuke.

"What?" He asked when she was right in front of him, even going as far as to invade his personal space, "Get any closer I might think you wanna get kinky," She again didn't acknowledge the jest nor meet his gaze, but the air of resignation around her was palpable like the scent of perfume, almost suffocating Yusuke in its depressive aura, 'Ack. Feel like she's about to go emo on me.'

"Hey, Ranma, you don't think…" Akane whispered, paying intensive attention to tense interaction between the muscle and the nimble.

Ranma shrugged, very much as invested in what was about to take place between the two as Akane, "Dunno. Probably."

Yusuke heard them perfectly with his heightened hearing, lifting up his eyebrow when Shampoo finally locked gazes with him and he saw the sorrow shining in her purple eyes. She cupped his cheek, inwardly pleased to find he wasn't resisting her intimate touch, pushing up on her tip-toes to meet his height and pressed her lips against his, much to everyone's shock.

"No way!" Ranma gasped, arms drooped to the ground, "She actually did it!" That was good news for him. That was potentially one fiancée off of his back and two, or three if Kodachi counted herself, to go.

"No…" Mousse murmured in despair, the embrace of lips of his beloved and the youth who had allegedly won her hand driving a dagger in his heart, "Shampoo." The make-out session only lasted a matter of seconds, but those might as well had been the equivalent to years for all the severe anguish amount of years watching Shampoo bestow the kiss of marriage on Yusuke evoked in him.

Shampoo pushed herself away from Yusuke, still looking much subdued as she doodled uncertainly on his chest. Yusuke, for his part, was looking very much perplexed, scratching the top of his head in clear confusion.

"Wǒ de àirén." Mousse gasped in horror at the declaration spoken in their native language that only he could understand, burying his face over his arm, fortunately missing Shampoo burying her head in Yusuke's sternum.

"Japanese or English, lady," Yusuke deadpanned.

"I think she means you're her beloved," Akane offered, drawing a flabbergasted expression from Yusuke.

"What the fuck!?"

Akane pouted. Did he really have to swear at her? She was only trying to help. God, he was more like Ranma than she thought, throwing her help back in her face. No wonder they had managed to kick off their friendship on such a strong foot.

"You serious?" He asserted, snapping back to the apparently lovestruck girl on his chest, grabbing her by one of her shoulders and prying her from his person. She nodded, a scarlet glow flaring brightly on her cheeks, "O… kay…"

"It's cause ya beat her, pal," Yusuke snapped a questioning gaze to his fellow rebellious teenager, "If ya beat an Amazon lady, she's obligated to tie the knot on your finger."

"That's nuts."

"You're telling me."

"Gah!" Yusuke groaned in exasperation, jerking his head back and slapping his palm against his forehead, "Here I am giving you guys a fancy speech about not rushing into marriage and how it can basically screw you over in the long haul, then I go and get engaged to a chick I knew all of five seconds!" The lectured duo were positively beaming with feign innocence from Yusuke's acknowledgement of his own hypocrisy, "Must look like a total hypocrite to you guys, huh?

"Oh, just a little," Akane said sweetly.

"Gee thanks," Sarcastically said, Yusuke returned a natural glance to his apparent wife-to-be who had been staring at him with a doting gaze of loving patience, "Listen, uh… Shampoo."

"Yes, airen?" Oh god. Did that mean beloved? He didn't know. He didn't have grasp on mandarin Chinese. The only foreign language he knew was English.


"No!" Mousse interrupted, erupting to his feet in an explosion of defensive fury, "I won't let you take my Shampoo away from me!"

"Stupid Mousse!" Shampoo admonished, snuggling against her new sweetheart's chest to spite the short-sighted warrior, much to said sweetheart's annoyance, "When you learn Shampoo no like you!"

Mousse seethed in rage, either blind to Shampoo's explicit disdain for his possessive attraction to her or disregarding it altogether, "First that sick Saotome bewitches my Shampoo! I won't let her be taken in by another scumbag!" He charged, missing the darkening of Yusuke's eyes, until he was directly behind him, poised to strike and by that point, he froze, 'What?' A wave of immense pressure flooded the proximity around Mousse, causing his legs to tremble as he broke out into a cold sweat. He choked out silently, feeling something metallic, pointy, and sharp ramming through his chest.

Hesitatingly, he placed his palm against his sternum, confirming no such stab wound, 'W-What is this?' He scrambled for answers, terrified as hallucinations of his death played out in virtual reality in the recess of his mind, each one more gruesome than the last. He felt each death blow like it was actually happening, like he was dying and being resurrected in an endless bout of torture.

It was hell.

Worse than hell itself.

'What is this guy?' He sweated, watching with bated breaths to the turn of Yusuke's head, meeting his chillingly cold scarlet eyes possessing a calm fury like that of a storm just waiting to happen. Mousse seriously considered suicide liberation from that terrifying glance of pure malevolence.

"Beat it, asshole." It was a simple command Mousse definitely wasn't going to risk defying.

He scurried off, tail wrapped firmly between his legs. He had never before encountered such a terrifying man, capable of giving him mind-inducing hallucinations just from the sheer intent to wipe him from the face of the earth in his aura alone. He never wanted to feel such hellish pressure again, never wanted to encounter that man again, and most importantly, never wanted to meet that murderous glance again, because he had the sneaking suspicion if he did cross paths with him again he would be his last.

Mousse's forceful departure brought a period of unsettling silence, all eyes apprehensively on the young man who could force another to retreat just by merely glancing his way. Yusuke disregarded their stares for a moment and took in a calming breath, propping himself down to rest his bowl of ramen beside him.

"Airen?" The soft voice of his unofficial fiancée broke him from his muse, promptly getting him to meet her nervous glance. A wave of guilt flooded his conscious. He hadn't meant to frighten her with his little display of malicious authority, just the retard bad-mouthing his friend, "You okay?" She asked gently, propping herself down next to him on her knees.

"Fine." He mumbled succinctly, reaching into his pocket to pull out his wallet, "And stop calling me that! I'm not your beloved or whatever."

Shampoo shook her head adamantly, "No," She denied, "You beat Shampoo. That make you her sweetheart; airen. See?" She graced him with a sunny smile. Yusuke had to hand her brownie points for her tenacity, as well as her translating airen in his native tongue…

Yusuke sighed tiredly, opening his wallet with a click of his teeth. Nothing but dollar bills, usable in American only, was in this particular wallet of his. Figures he would forget to swap out this one with his wallet containing his yen in storage. Oh well, they could exchange fifteen dollars for 11.97 yen.

"Here," He handed her the aforementioned total, much to her puzzled expression.

"What this?" She asked, accepting the set of bills.

"American cash." He said, shaking his head to her tilt of the head, "Sorry. Left my other wallet in my other pair of pants. You can exchange it for yen, right?"

"Yes, but-?" She stopped, ascertaining the reasoning for herself with a glance to the half-filled bowl of delicious ramen noodles at his side. Smart girl, "Oh?" She tried to hand him his money back, "Airen don't-."

"I do," Yusuke gently pushed her hands away, "Shouldn't have ate your customer's order. I was just pissed at you for trying to walk all over my friend."

"Shampoo see." He was protective to those he was associated with. That much was clear from his explanation to her, "Shampoo promise she won't land on Ranma anymore." She was trying to get in his good graces now. She wanted that same warmth of protection her fellow cursed fighter had from her new sweetheart. If his show of malevolence to frighten Mousse was any indication then his aura of benevolence would be something women like her would kill to linger in, and she would do anything to obtain it.

Yusuke tapped her nose playfully, "See that you do, little missy."

She pouted to his show of condescension, "Shampoo not little. She show you she worthy of airen's affection!"

"I look forward to it." He stood, picking up his now official bowl of ramen noodles and making his way back over to his companions, tossing a hand over his shoulder in bidding, "See ya for now, babe."

"Bun-bye airen. Shampoo come see you later."

"Uh-huh." He murmured disinterestedly, stopping before Akane's look of interest. "What?"

"Did you really pay for that?"

"Yeah. What of it?"

"Why, Urameshi-san? I never would have pegged you for the honourable type." She had quite the teasing streak.

Yusuke's next quote would forever engrave himself a permanent spot in Ranma's heart.

"Real men know when to own up to their mistakes. S'that simple."


Diehard Loyalty


That's the chapter, folks. Slow moving, I know, but I want to take my time to establish the characters, flesh out their personalities and conflicts, especially Ranma's. Right now, he/she's socially inept. Loyalty is a concept he doesn't understand in a district where everyone looks out for themselves, leaving him to take all the shit from his suitors. I wanted to take this chapter to show Yusuke's presence alone will initiate change, which will act as a good contrast to Ranma I feel. Ranma, who creates a never-ending cycle of chaos unintentionally, and Yusuke, who ends chaos. He has the assertion Ranma lacks to bring about an end to the mayhem circulating his life.