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Red, Violet and Black

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Ranma Saotome sighed heavily as she kicked a stone out of her way. The currently female teenager wasn't having a very good day today. First his father Genma had caught him off guard in their usual morning sparring session, which lead to him getting knocked into the Tendo's koi pond. As a result, the cursed martial artist had to first change back into boy and then also had to change his, now thoroughly soaked, clothes before heading off to school. Naturally Genma was constantly nagging him about how ashamed he was about his wimp of a son.

Due to this holdup Ranma was almost late for school, but did manage to make it on time. This fooled him into thinking that maybe this day wasn't going to be too bad after all at first. He was however promptly proven wrong when Shampoo came barging into his classroom during the first break. To be fair, Shampoo actually was meaning well and only wanted to surprise her reluctant fiancé with some home cooked food. Unfortunately for said fiancé this sent Akane flying into a fit of her usual uncontrollable rage which she promptly vented on Ranma by hitting him over the head his own desk.

While the rest of the school day went by fairly uneventful trouble soon started up again at the Tendo residence. To Ranma's chagrin Ryoga, or rather P-Chan, had returned once more. While Akane wasn't in the same room the martial artist turned pet pig attacked Ranma for a snide remark the latter had made. After Ranma had successfully removed the angry piglet from his now scratched face the young Saotome was preparing to send his rival turned pig flying. Unfortunately for him Akane choose this exact time to enter the room and immediately hit her fiancé again for "picking on P-Chan". The following argument escalated further and further until it eventually ended with Akane literally kicking Ranma out of the Tendo dojo and yelling after him to not come back.

The pigtailed martial artist had decided that it was probably the best course of action to listen to Akane and wait for her to calm down a bit before returning back home. And then as if the universe itself was out to get him, a short but very sudden downpour drenched the teenager before he, or rather she now, could find a shelter from the rain. At least the rain only lasted for a few minutes and soon enough the evening sky was devoid of any clouds again.

So now the redheaded girl was sullenly walking down the streets of Nerima while grumbling to herself: "Stupid tomboy. Why does she always have to hit me? It's not my fault that Shampoo brings me food. And how has she still not figured out that Ryoga is P-Chan? I dropped so many hints."

Ranma was just pondering what to do when she suddenly heard someone wolf whistle, followed by someone calling: "Hey baby. Yes, you with the red hair. What is a sexy lady like you doing all alone on a beautiful evening like this?" As she looked up Ranma saw three boys, maybe one to three years older than herself, walking towards her. All of them could probably be considered to be somewhat handsome and were flashing her their most suave smiles, which might have actually seemed charming to a girl that had any actual interest in boys. The redhead was completely unimpressed though, her face on the contrary scrunching up in annoyance and distaste.

Oh great, on top of everything else now some dudes were hitting on her. As the trio strode up to her she brusquely answered them: "None of your business."

One of the boys, a rather tall and athletic, brown haired one who seemed to be some sort of leader, just tried to give her another winning smile and replied: "Hey now cute girl, no need to be rude. Me and my two friends here are planning to get a drink somewhere and have a good time. Want to tag along? First round is on me. Come on, we could have some fun together." After saying that the guy tried his best to look seductive, which again might have actually succeeded at charming an ordinary heterosexual girl.

However, the currently red haired heir of the Saotome school of martial arts was entirely unfazed by it. Well maybe unfazed was the wrong word, since she was rather actively annoyed and put off.

"No thanks. Not interested in whatever fun you guys have planned whatsoever. Now excuse me," Ranma retorted while making a dismissive hand gesture. Then she continued walking, opting to leave her unwelcome suitors just standing. Sadly, the three teenagers proved to be stubborn and unwilling to take a hint.

They started walking after her with some difficulty since the redhead was walking quite fast. One of them, a rather muscular broad one with short black hair, tried again: "Oh don't be shy girl. You just got to party sometimes in life."

"Exactly," agreed the leader: "Don't you want to have a good time? Just wait for a second." During that last part he reached out and grabbed Ranma's left arm in order to try make her stop. The pig tailed girl abruptly came to a halt.

Suppressing her anger and rising desire to just beat these stubborn fools into pulps she turned around to look the boy holding her arm in the eyes: "I said, I'm not interested. Now let go of my arm. Right now you stupid jerk."

The face of her counterpart darkened with anger: "How dare you speak to me like that? Do you think you are too good for us you arrogant bitch?" His grip around Ranma's arm tightened to a degree that would have been painful to a normal person. Too bad for him that the teenage girl was far from an ordinary person. It was over in less than a second.

First Ranma yanked her hand out of his grip with ease due to her superhuman strength. Right afterwards she delivered a powerful punch to his gut, that knocked all air out of his lungs. He groaned in pain while slowly sinking down to the floor and rolling up in a whimpering ball. Meanwhile Ranma glared at his two companions.

"Anyone else who wants to try me?" She challenged them while cracking her knuckles. They both paled and quickly shook their head. "Good. I'll be going then," said the redhead satisfied and then stomped away fuming. "Stupid jerks. This day just sucks," the martial artist grumbled while she took up her aimless wandering of the streets again.

After a while she decided that maybe Akane had already had enough time to calm down again. The sun had almost completely set and the streets were starting to empty. Ranma should probably return to the Tendo's anyway. If Akane was still mad her she could always find refugee on the rooftop of the dojo. Deciding on that course of action the pigtailed girl started to make her way back. That lasted until she saw something that made her reconsider spontaneously. Namely an ice cream stand, which brought out her inner sweet tooth.

The young martial artist walked up to the elderly ice cream vendor and asked: "Could I have a big ice cream cone with two scoops of strawberry and one scoop of chocolate?"

The vendor smiled at her and replied: "I was just about to close shop for today, but for a cute girl like you I'll make an exception."

"Thanks!" Beamed Ranma and tried her best to look extra cute. Hey, from time to time curse did come in handy. Why not benefit from that?

"That would be three hundred yen." The vendor said friendlily. The redhead nodded and shoved her hand in her pockets in order to grab her money, only to pause in shock. Her pockets were empty. Damn it, she had been in too much of a hurry this morning to think of taking her money with her. This was awkward.

Embarrassed the pigtailed girl started to stammer an apology, when all of a sudden a familiar voice rang out: "We'll pay for the ice cream."

Ranma's head snapped around and spotted the three guy s from earlier. They walked over to the read haired girl and the ice cream stand and one of them handed the shrugging vendor three hundred yen, while Ranma glared at the leader of the three boys.

"Didn't I make myself clear enough yet?" She asked threateningly.

Her counterpart scratched the back of his head in a self-conscious way and then answered in an apologetic tone: "Well, yes. You did make yourself very clear. We don't want to bother you anymore. But when I just saw you again I felt the need to apologize for my earlier behavior." The redhead blinked in complete bafflement. Someone apologizing? To her? That was something new. Usually she was the one who had to apologize. Not without reason most of the times but even when she hadn't done anything wrong it was often her that somehow ended up apologizing.

"Back then… well, suffice to say that I behaved very shamefully. I'm sorry. I should have taken the hint much sooner. Sorry again for bothering you." The brown haired boy continued. Meanwhile the ice cream vendor handed the ordered ice cream cone over to the boy that had paid him. While Ranma was still listening to the leader's apology and the vendor was busy putting the money away the teen quickly pulled out a small vial and emptied its contents over the ice cream.

Ranma in the meantime got over the surprise of someone actually apologizing to her and retorted: "Uhm… okay. Apology accepted. And to think I already thought you three were complete jerks."

The leader of the trio laughed while looking extremely bashful again: "I honestly can't fault you for that. Our, especially my own, behavior was utterly unacceptable. Please, in order to make amends I'd like to cover the expenses for your ice cream." At this moment the boy that was holding the ice cream handed it over to Ranma.

The young martial artist took it gleefully and said: "Oh well, if you insist. Thanks, and no hard feelings."

"You are very kind. Have a nice evening." Came the reply, while Ranma was already walking off, waving back at them.

"Looks like something is finally going right for me today after all." The redhead was stating to herself and then took the first lick of her ice cream. She had no idea just how wrong she was about that.

By now the sun had fully disappeared from the sky and the stars were starting to come out. The streets on the other hand were, Ranma herself aside, practically deserted. The young material artist was just taking a shortcut through a dark back alley while happily devouring her ice cream cone when she started to feel somewhat weird. All of a sudden her vision became blurry. She blinked a few times, to no avail. Then to make matters worse she suddenly felt very unsteady on her legs. It was as if something was sapping all of her strength out of her, not unlike being hit by Hinako's Ki draining attack. In horror she felt her legs starting to tremble and stumbled a few steps forward with shaky steps. During this the rest of the ice cream fell to the ground, not that Ranma particularly cared anymore. She had more pressing problems right now. Her head felt groggier every second and she could barely stay upright due to her sudden weakness.

Desperately she leaned against a wall in order to stay upright. "Wh… what is happening?" She managed to stutter out. That was when she heard malicious laughter behind her. The pigtailed martial artist slowly turned around and saw three blurry human shapes approaching. After some effort to somewhat clear her vision she could eventually make them out better. It was the same trio of boys she had already met twice today.

One of them laughed again and asked in a mocking tone: "Oh my, you look kind of pale baby. Are you not feeling alright?"

A second one chimed in: "He's right. You don't look to healthy. You should consider eating less ice cream. It's bad for you."

"What… is going on?... What… have you jerks… done to me? I swear… yo… you'll regret this." Ranma sneered at the trio. Or at least tried to sneer. However, her voice came out way shakier than intended.

The three laughed again as they closed in on her. Next their leader spoke up: "You know, I really don't appreciate being punched in the guts, you stupid bitch. Let's see how you like it." The red haired girl tried to react but whatever they had mixed into her ice cream had sapped her of all strength and made her move sluggish even by normal standards. The leader of the trio slammed his fist into her stomach with full force. It hurt a lot more than it should. Normally Ranma would easily take a punch from a normal human without much problem. But right now it was enough to make her cry out in pain and make her loose her balance. The martial artist fell to the ground and due to her drugged out state only barely managed to catch her fall and prevent her face from slamming full force into the concrete of the street.

Desperately she tried to regain some strength and get up but it was in vain.

Over her the three boys leered down at her sadistically. "Oh look, now you are exactly where you belong bitch. In the dirt at our feet." Proclaimed the leader.

"Shut… up… you creep." Ranma managed to spit out.

"Still so haughty? Well, I'm sure that will change soon enough." Came the reply. The leader gave a nod to the muscular one of his companions. The latter grabbed the redheaded girl by her pigtail and brutally yanked her to her feet again. Ranma yelled out in pain until he slammed her face first against a wall. Now both of the leader's friends each took hold of one of her arms and held her constrained tightly against said wall.

"Let me go." The martial artist demanded and feebly struggled with little effect. They ignored her and their leader stepped up behind her.

With a lecherous grin he grabbed the poor girl's ass and gave it a rough squeeze. Now, Ranma had often enough already endured similar things by both Happosai and Tatewaki Kuno. However, that didn't make it any less revolting for her. What made it even worse was that she wasn't in any position to fight back right now. The young martial artist felt like vomiting and redoubled her efforts to free herself. Sadly, they were still unsuccessful. The iron grip of her captors didn't loosen at all. By now Ranma was slowly starting to panic. She cried out: "Hey, stop that you pervert."

"And what will you do if I don't, bitch?" Came the mocking reply. Then her tormentor took hold of her pants and pulled them down beneath her knees.

The guy holding her left arm laughed lewdly: "Hey, look the little tart is wearing boxer shorts. Do those belong to your boyfriend? What a little slut." The others joined in on cruelly mocking their victim, while the one behind Ranma pulled down her boxer short as well. Now Ranma was definitely panicking.

"No! Stop. Stop that." She cried with all the currently limited strength of voice she could muster.

"Oh no. I don't even think of doing that." Whispered the leader of the trio in her ear with sadistic glee, while he started to grope the unfortunate redhead's now completely naked ass again: "On the contrary you stupid cunt. I'm going to have some fun with you now. Then my friends will have some more fun with you and then we'll see if I want to have even more fun with you afterwards. How does that sound, you dumb slut?"

Ranma tried everything in her might to break free. She struggled as much as she could, but whatever they had intoxicated her with made it impossible to put up much of a fight. Tears of shame, helplessness and pure terror were starting to stream down her face.

"No. Please stop. Please…" The young redhead was whimpering in fear, her usual bravado forgotten in face of the nightmarish situation. The only response was laughter and the sound of a belt being opened. Once more the pig tailed martial artist begged: "Please no."

Then all of a sudden a very familiar voice rang through the alley: "Didn't you filthy commoners hear the girl? She clearly said no." Surprised the three would-be rapists turned around. Rama, praying for the best, managed to turn her head around to see the newcomer. It was no one else than Kodachi Kuno in her usual green Leotard, her ribbon twirling in her right hand.

The leader of Ranma's assaulters, who by now had his semi erect junk hanging out from his pants sneered at the black haired girl and mockingly asked: "What? Do you want to join her girly?"

That was his biggest mistake yet that night. With a disgusted noise Kodachi dashed forwards and kicked him directly in his exposed groin with full force. The wannabe rapist howled in pure pain and fell to the ground, rolling up into a whimpering ball. His two goons reacted to this immediately. They let their redhead victim fall to the floor and attacked Kodachi with their fists. Being quite a competent martial artist herself, even though she was often overshadowed by Ranma and her more competent enemies, easily dodged their punches and effortlessly danced a few steps back. Then with a flick of her wrist her ribbon snapped forwards and ensnared the right leg of one of the guys. He could only look down in confusion before the black haired girl pulled on the ribbon, yanking his foot away from beneath him. With a mangled shriek he toppled over and hit his head hard on the pavement of the alleyway which knocked him out cold. The second boy, either due to bravery or more likely stupidity, continued pressing his own attack. He aimed a heavy blow with his fist at Kodachi's face. Almost nonchalantly she sidestepped the attack, grabbed his arm and then with a swift motion twisted it around.

A sickening snap could be heard and the would-be rapist screamed out in as his arm broke. Kodachi's face twisted into an unnerving slasher smile and she gave him a light kick in the back, which sent him stumbling headfirst into a wall. Combined with the pain from his injured arm that resulted in his unconsciousness. With a satisfied grin the self-proclaimed Black Rose of St. Hebereke's school for girls turned her attention back to the leader of the trio, who was still whimpering on the floor.

He paled as her gaze fell on him. "Have mercy." He pleaded feebly.

Kodachi let out her trademark insane laughter and replied: "The Black Rose shows no mercy to filth like you."

In a fluid motion the young noblewoman delivered a series of further increasingly hard kicks to the would-be rapist's groin which resulted in more squeals of agony with increasingly higher frequency on his side. After the girl finally had enough of that another kick to his head finally knocked him out. Having singlehandedly massacred all of her opponents Kodachi sniffed haughtily and turned her attention to Ranma.

The drugged out boy turned girl had managed to get herself in some sort of sitting position. However, she still wasn't faring to well as she could barely muster the strength to stay conscious. Warily she glanced at Kodachi. While Ranma was immensely relieved that she had been saved from her assailants, the Black Rose was, to be blunt, not the most stable individual and sometimes prone to fits of craziness or violence. Furthermore, Kodachi, unaware of Ranma's curse, for some reason thought of Ranma's girl-form as a rival for the male Ranma's affection. As a consequence, the redhead feared that the Kuno girl might do something unpleasant and painful to her right now. As Kodachi was kneeling down next to her Ranma was mentally preparing for the worst. But to her great surprise Kodachi didn't attack her, or did anything nasty at all. Instead the black haired girl simply asked: "Hey peasant girl, are you alright?"

The pure surprise of this combined with the drug effects and the stress caused on Ranma's psyche by this whole ordeal just were too much for the pig tailed martial artist and she promptly lost her battle to stay conscious.

Chapter Text

Ranma Saotome, currently still in girl-form, shot up from an uneasy sleep with a cry. Memories from earlier that night had been tormenting her in her nightmares. The three jerks, the ice cream, the way she had been rendered completely helpless, the fear and the desperation. She quickly shut down any further thoughts in this direction and tried to think about anything else.

At least she didn't feel groggy or physically drained anymore. Whatever drug they had given the redhead girl must have worn off. Curiously Ranma looked around. She was sitting on a rather large bed in a big, opulently decorated room. The furniture was of high quality, various tasteful paintings decorated the walls and even the sheets of the bed she was occupying were apparently made of the finest silk. Where was she?

The last thing the young martial artist could remember was that Kodachi Kuno of all people had saved her from… bad things. Could that be right? Usually the so called Black Rose was more likely to want to kill, okay to be fair most likely just slightly maim, Ranma whenever she was a girl. But sure enough Ranma was certain that she didn't just imagine Kodachi coming to her rescue.

As if on cue, suddenly the door opened and the Kuno heiress strode into the room, now clad in a beautiful black kimono with floral designs instead of her leotard. "You are finally awake?" Good. The sooner you stop occupying this guest room the better, peasant girl." Kodachi observed in her usual snobby manner: "You are feeling alright now, I hope?" Was that a hint of concern Ranma could hear in the young noblewoman's voice?

Ranma just blinked at Kodachi, unsure what to say, then hesitantly stated: "You actually saved me?"

The other girl looked visibly offended at this and haughtily retorted: "Of course I did. You might be a constant nuisance and you always interfere when I try to make my beloved Ranma mine, but you didn't really think I would just stand by and do nothing when I see some dim-witted commoner-thugs sexually assault a girl who begs them to stop? Because it would be highly dishonorable for a lady of my status to do so. Even if said girl is my rival."

Normally Ranma wasn't someone who showed a lot of emotion in the presence of other people, and she would under normal circumstances never be caught dead crying. But after earlier events she was too emotionally exhausted to care much about that for once. Moreover, she was drastically overflowing with relief and gratitude. Without thinking rationally, the red haired girl flung herself at her unlikely savior and hugged her tightly. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!..." The pig tailed girl babbled, while tears of relief were flowing down her cheeks.

Obviously startled by the sudden physical contact, Kodachi yelped and tried to get out of the hug. With a flushed face she demanded: "Wait. Stop that peasant girl. You are getting my clothes wet. Unhand me right now." Upon hearing that Ranma stopped hugging the other girl and did her best to compose herself again.

"Sorry." She said while drying her tears: "I just… I… Just, Thank you Kodachi. If you hadn't shown up… Well, just thank you so much."

The Black Rose regained her own composure, made a dismissive hand gesture and answered: "As I said, it was a matter of honor to help you out."

Ranma shot her a genuine, grateful smile and said: "Still, thank you. How long have I been out?"

Her momentary hostess made an inviting hand gesture towards a pair of chairs and started to explain, while they both seated themselves: "A few hours. It's about three in the morning now. You were intoxicated with some sort of drug I have never seen before." Kodachi looked thoughtful for a moment and mused: "Which is highly unusual and irks me quite a bit since I am an expert on all sorts of poison. Anyways after you had the gall to just pass out on me in that alley, I had no idea where you actually live. But I figured I couldn't really let you lie on the dirty street, so I brought you here to recover. Don't worry about my brother by the way. He's currently out of town for a kendo competition, so he won't be harassing you. I suppose you'll appreciate that after… current events."

With a partially disdainful, but also partially surprisingly concerned look at Ranma the young martial arts rhythmical gymnast once more wanted to know: "So, to come back to my earlier question: How do you feel now? Trust me, I'm not particularly thrilled to have you staying at my residence, but I don't want to throw you out only for you to collapse on the street again. That would reflect poorly upon the Kuno name." Ranma for once managed to not blurt out what she was thinking immediately. Namely that the Kuno name was already poorly reflected upon thanks to Kodachi and even more so her brother.

The Kuno girl did save her after all, so the redhead decided to be nice to her for now: "I guess I do feel normal again. The drugs probably wore off and thanks to you nothing worse happened to me either. I honestly owe you Kodachi."

The Kuno girl started to state that it was a matter of honor once more, when Ranma interrupted her: "Yes, I get that. You still saved me tonight and for that I am in your debt. As a martial artist myself I too have my honor. So I would like to repay this debt. If you ever need my help with anything, or if you need a favor, just ask. I will do my best to help you, as long as it isn't something that would go against my honor itself. That is the least I can do." While saying that the pig tailed girl stood up and deeply bowed before her baffled hostess.

Kodachi stared at her wide eyed for a few moments before asking: "You are being serious?"

"Of course. I don't lie about things like this." The redhead replied earnestly.

The Kuno heiress suspiciously eyed her current guest and then replied: "If you are being genuine, would you actually stop to chase after my Ranma darling if I asked you to do me that favor? Or would that be something that would be against your honor?"

Ranma, having feared a demand along those lines sighed heavily and stated: "I'm sorry Kodachi but this isn't really a favor I can grant you."

The black Rose's facial expression looked slightly disappointed, but not very surprised: "I figured as much. I didn't really expect any meaningful favor out of a peasant like y…."

"Hey, just wait a second. No need to get insulting. I think you misunderstood." Protested Ranma exasperatedly: "It's not that I wouldn't be willing to do that for you. I totally would. It's just that it's literally impossible for me to grant you that favor because I'm not even chasing after Ranma in the first place. I can't stop chasing after him since I have never done so at any time."

Sniffing pridefully Kodachi voiced her disbelief: "Do you seriously expect me to believe that?"

Her pigtailed guest slapped her forehead in annoyance and tried again: "Look Kodachi: Seriously, I swear on my life and everything that I hold dear that I am not romantically pursuing Ranma Saotome and have no intention of ever doing so. Not that that would even be possible in the first place."

"What do you mean that it wouldn't be possible in the first place." Came the confused question from the Kuno girl as she looked at Ranma with a raised eyebrow. Suddenly it was as if a lightbulb went on over her head: "Wait, you do look quite a bit like my Ranma darling. From the hairstyle, over some facial similarities, to the slightly questionable clothing choices. Are you trying to tell me that you and my beloved Ranma are related? I know from Nabiki's ridiculously high prized information that he doesn't have any siblings. Are you a cousin of his perhaps?"

The redheaded martial artist was quite surprised that Kodachi had actually come to a reasonable conclusion of sorts but retorted anyways: "Well, that's not exactly right, but goes into the right direction I guess. Also what's wrong with my clothes?"

Her counterpart replied: "Oh, for once they are a few sizes too big for you. Secondly Chinese outfits are not very fashionable in Japan, even though I have to admit that Ranma at least does look somewhat good in them but still he and you should get some other outfits. Thirdly what I have seen of your underwear was dreadful. Boxer shorts? On a girl? Seriously? And it weren't even very aesthetically pleasing boxer shorts to begin with. Anyways, the point of this conversation wasn't your, and by extension Ranma darling's lack of fashion sense but I wanted to know why it would be impossible for you to romantically pursue my Ranma. So if you aren't related to him, what else could be the reason?"

The pig tailed martial artist swallowed down her aggravation at Kodachi verbally tearing her fashion sense to shreds and decided that she at least owed the black haired girl as much as telling her the truth. Not that she expected any favorable results from this, since it had never worked out with her brother, Tatewaki Kuno, either. Sighing Ranma said: "All right, I'll just tell you the truth then, though you'll probably not believe me. I can't possibly date Ranma Saotome, because I am Ranma Saotome."

Kodachi just blinked and asked incredulously: "What?" Bracing for various bad reactions from the black haired girl Ranma repeated in complete seriousness: "I am Ranma Saotome. There is no pig-tailed girl. Well, there is but that's just me as well. I am Ranma and I just tend turn into a girl sometimes."

Kodachi stared at her blankly for a few seconds then she suddenly broke out into laughter: "All right, you nearly fooled me with how earnestly you managed to get that out. A nice story. I'll give you some credit for your creativity peasant girl. Seriously though, my Ranma darling might look a bit effeminate in a pretty boy kind of way but I doubt he could pull off crossdressing so well that he would look like you. I mean, I have to admit that you look very good for a peasant girl. Not as good as me naturally but still very beautiful. More beautiful than Akane Tendo and this Ukyo girl anyways, maybe even better than that Chinese amazon floozy. In no way could my beloved Ranma convincingly look as good while crossdressing. Also you are a bit shorter than him and even though I don't really want to remind you, I did see you without pants today and you definitely are a full girl alright. So I recommend you stop the disingenuous assertions already and tell me the actual truth now."

"What are you talking about? I don't look effeminate at all!" Ranma blurted out focusing on what she deemed the most important. Before the Black Rose could respond the redhead calmed down, rubbed the bridge of her nose and then continued talking in a completely serious tone: "Whatever, look. I am telling you the truth. I really am Ranma. And no I am not crossdressing. I do however completely turn into a girl whenever I am splashed with cold water thanks to a magic curse that I caught in China thanks to my pops. Hot water turns me back into a guy." Kodachi was visibly about to protest that admittedly not very believable story but her guest interrupted her with a hand gesture: "If you don't believe me get some hot water. But I swear that I'm telling the truth. You should have seen enough weird magic stuff by now to now that magic is real. I'm really Ranma. Have you never noticed that you never saw Ranma and "the pigtailed girl" at the same time? That's because we are the same person. Or why else do you think we have the exact same fighting style? Or how can I possibly know all the things Ranma knows unless we are one and the same. For example, I do know that you first met Ranma, my male form at least, when he, no I, saved you from falling down at night after you were hit against the head by a tea kettle. And just for the record my male form is not looking effeminate in the slightest."

Having finished that rant Ranma indignantly crossed her arms and blew a loose strand of her red hair out of her face. Kodachi meanwhile was completely and utterly overwhelmed by the news. Her desperate tries to process what Ranma had just told her were clearly visible on her face. Nervously Ranma was waiting for some sort of angry outburst, further denial or some straight up craziness as she by now expected from everyone with the name Kuno.

To the red haired girls great surprise, after what seemed like an eternity Kodachi just hoarsely whispered: "I… As stupid as it sounds at first, it does make a lot of sense. You are really my Ranma darling?"

Pleasantly surprised about that relatively normal outcome the young martial artist just nodded: "Yes I am. And I'll have you know that this curse is really annoying by the way. I can't even count anymore how often I've been turned into a girl just because it suddenly started to rain. Honestly why are there so many sudden downpours often in this town?"

The Kuno girl seemed to mull something over in her head for a few seconds then she spoke: "Well, this is unexpected. I had no idea. On the other hand, now that you told me, I have to admit that in hindsight there were certain clues that I maybe should have picked up earlier." Suddenly she visibly paled and fearfully looked at Ranma: "Oh, no. Ranma darling it just dawned on me that some of my behavior towards you, while you were a girl, wasn't very… appropriate." The young heiress seemed genuinely distressed and was on the verge of tears. She shot up and started to constantly bow in front of her guest: "I sorry my dear Ranma. Really. Sorry for attacking you so often. Also sorry for calling you a peasant girl. I didn't mean to insult you, I swear. Oh please darling can you find it in your heart to forgive me?"

Bewildered the pig tailed girl stared at the teary eyed face of the Black Rose. She sighed again.

She just couldn't stand girls crying, so she swiftly made a dismissive hand gesture and retorted: "Sure, no lasting harm done, I guess. Honestly I get worse from my own family at regular basis. Well, you could tone down the maiming attempts on me while I'm a girl though. That would be nice."

Kodachi's expression immediately brightened: "Thank you Ranma darling and of course I will stop attacking you from now on. Despite everything this is marvelous news. Now I only have to worry about three peasant girls that stand in the way of our love."

"Wait what?", gasped Ranma: "Aren't you even slightly bothered about this?" While saying that she made hand gestures to indicate her currently very female body.

Kodachi just loftily huffed and answered: "Hardly. You did say it was easily reversible with hot water didn't you? Sure this is kind of unusual but I suppose this is nothing my love for you can't manage Ranma darling. Though once we are married we should probably avoid trips to the beach. Those could be awkward in light of your… condition."

The pigtailed girl looked dejected and a sweat drop was forming on her forehead. So much for the chance of Kodachi losing interest in her. She really shouldn't have expected something like that. When did problems actually sort themselves out for her before?

"However," her black haired hostess continued while shooting Ranma a somewhat angry look: "I do have to confess that I am somewhat miffed about the fact that you actually used that curse of yours in order cheat your way into that martial arts rhythmic gymnastics competition. That was supposed for girls only. You ruined my perfect unbeaten status."

The boy turned girl loudly protested: "What? I didn't cheat at all. I was a girl at the time and I won fair and square. You were the one that cheated in that competition."

"That's nothing but slander my darling. But let us not dwell on the past. I forgive you. That favor you promised me, do you still intend to keep your word my dear." A predatory glint was shimmering in the gymnast's eyes.

Gulping heavily Ranma steadied herself and confirmed: "Yes. As long as it's nothing that my honor forbids me from doing."

With a satisfied smirk Kodachi said: "Excellent. I want you to go on a date with me the coming weekend Ranma darling. Would you do that for me? Surely that is not too big a favor to ask of you." The redhead sighed and shortly thought about it. She did owe the other girl a lot for tonight. On the other hand, Akane would definitely fly into the usual violent rage again, not to mention what her other fiancées or her father would do if they found out.

Finally, she gave in and responded: "Alright Kodachi, I agree. I'll go on a date with you. But let's make a few rules first. One: No paralysis powder, sleeping potions or other drugs. I've had enough of that already, thanks. Two: No explosives, blackmail or poison either. Three: You don't go bragging about this to any of my fiancées or basically any of my acquaintances. Better not talk to anyone about it. If any word of this gets out I can already assure that this will end in a complete disaster. Knowing my luck, it probably will anyways but I'd like to minimize the chances."

"Deal!", the other girl agreed immediately and then squealed in uncharacteristic joy: "So do you want some hot water now darling. I have to admit that I'm quite intrigued to see the change with my very own eyes. Plus, I naturally prefer you in male form anyways."

"Yes please, I'd like some hot water." Came the young Saotome's exhausted reply. This had been a long night already. Just what had she gotten herself into again?

Her hostess gracefully strode out of the room and a little while later returned with a glass of steaming hot water: "Here you go Ranma darling." The redhead took the glass gratefully and unceremoniously poured it over her head. To her aggravation, aside from it being slightly painful and her hair getting wet absolutely nothing happened.

Chapter Text

Ranma awkwardly stared down at her still female form for a few seconds. What now again? Why was she not changing back into a boy? The water had been plenty hot enough. Her musings were interrupted by Kodachi curiously asking: "So, how much time does this transformation usually take, Ranma darling?"

The redhead was uneasily fidgeting around and retorted: "Well, not long normally. Actually It's usually pretty much instantaneous."

The other girl furrowed her brows and said: "Oh, then why are you still a girl? Was it not enough hot water? Shall I bring some more?"

"I guess?" Came Ranma's uncertain reply. Huffing at the vague answer her hostess left the room once more only to return with a whole tea kettle full of steaming hot water a bit later. Anxiously the boy turned girl took it and then proceeded to pour the entire contents of the kettle over her head. It had the same effect as the glass before. None. Well that was not entirely true. It did completely drench Ranma once more and resulted in her standing wet and dripping in the Kuno guest room.

Speaking of Kunos, Kodachi's facial expression visibly darkened. "If this was all some cruel joke after all, I swear…" She started to hiss in a low threatening voice.

Quickly her red haired guest waved her hands around defensively and interrupted the black haired girl: "No. It wasn't a joke, I promise. I told you nothing but the truth. Well, tonight at least."

The Kuno girl calmed down somewhat again and then retorted: "So why is the hot water not working?"

"I don't know!" Whined Ranma: "Something is wrong. Apparently I'm stuck again for some reason or another. What did I do now again? Why does stuff like this keep happening to me?"

"Stuck? Again?" Asked an obviously puzzled Kodachi.

While angrily getting wet strands of hair out of her face Ranma answered: "Yeah, there have been several occasions when I was locked in my girl form for various magic or other reasons, though I have no idea what it is now again. Just fantastic. I hate my life." While she was still grumbling the young martial artist routinely got out of her shirt and started to wring it out.

She was quickly interrupted by a girlish shriek from Kodachi. Startled she looked up at the Kuno heiress. The Black Rose was violently blushing and staring wide eyed at Ranma, who at that moment belatedly realized she was now actually completely naked from the waist up.

"What are you doing?" Kodachi managed to complain eventually: "This is highly improper, Ranma darling. Get your clothes back on. Don't you have any female modesty? Wait… don't answer that. I can already guess the answer. And don't wring out your clothes on my floor by the way. It probably costs more than the entire Tendo Dojo."

The redhead felt her own cheeks redden in embarrassment as she hastily scrambled back into her shirt. "Sorry." She apologized and then decided on a course of action: "Well, thank you for everything anyways Kodachi but I'm afraid I have to go."

"What?" the other girl shot back irritated: "Where are you going my dear? What about the stuck as girl thing?"

"I'm going to the Cat Café." Ranma replied while walking towards the door of the room. That was obviously a mistake because promptly a familiar ribbon wrapped itself around her head, followed by her being dragged backwards by said ribbon.

Kodachi was seething with jealousy now: "What do you want at the restaurant of that Chinese floozy? It's barely four in the morning."

"Calm down." The pigtailed girl tried to appease the Kuno heiress: "I don't want anything from Shampoo in particular. I just want to talk with her old ghoul of a great-grandmother. Most of the time I was stuck as a girl she helped me out somehow… or was responsible for it in the first place. Anyways she knows more about magic than anyone else I know."

The ribbon immediately snapped back and Kodachi retorted in a far more pleasant tone: "Oh? In that case I presume this does sound like a reasonable suggestion after all. All right let us go."

"Let us go?" Repeated the redhead with growing dread.

"Of course." Replied Kodachi haughtily: "We have a date on the weekend my darling and I intend for you to turn you back into a boy beforehand. However, I don't trust these foreigners in the slightest so I better go oversee this personally."

Knowing how stubborn all of the Kunos could be Ranma exasperatingly agreed: "Fine. But remember, no word about the date to anyone."

Smiling slyly the Black rose answered: "Naturally. Now follow me closely Ranma darling. I know you are quite capable of making it through all the traps around the mansion on your own, but I'd rather have you not activating them to begin with. Oh and while we are on the way would you kindly tell me a bit more about this curse of yours. As your future wife I should probably know all the details."
Sighing once more Ranma turned to follow her.


The walk to the Cat Café was surprisingly not too bad. Kodachi did pester Ranma with a lot of questions and the young martial artist ended up having to recount the tale of how she got her Jusenkyo curse, as well as some other related tales, but the Kuno girl was unusually civil the entire time.

"So me and my brother were really the only ones to not know about this?" asked the Black Rose indignantly just as the amazon's restaurant finally came into view.

"Pretty much, though your clueless moron of a brother rather actively chooses to deny it. I once changed from girl to boy right in front of him and instead of anything sensible he accused me of black magic and "witching away his pigtailed goddess"." The teen visibly shuddered while saying that last bit.

With a deadpan expression Kodachi replied: "Yes, that does sound like something my dearest brother would do. He was always a bit delusional."

"That must run in the family." Ranma grumbled under her breath.

"Sorry, what did you just say Ranma dear?" inquired the other girl.

"Nothing important." The Redhead quickly responded. Apparently even Ranma sometimes knew when it was better to shut up. Walking up to the front door of the Cat Café the young martial artist loudly knocked on it. When nothing happened for a few moments she did so again, this time insistently continuing to knock without pause. Finally, some noises could be heard from inside and a sleepy looking Mousse opened the door.

Outraged he demanded to know: "What do you want this early in the morning Akane Tendo? It's not even five o clock yet."

"Put on your glasses, you moron," retorted the redhead: "I'm Ranma, not Akane." Embarrassed the Chinese boy dug his glasses out of his robes and put them on.

Giving the heir to the Saotome school of anything goes another once over he yelled infuriated: "Indeed it is you Saotome. That makes it even worse. How dare you disrupt everyone this early you Bastard. I should slay you where you stand." Unfortunately for him, before he could try to make good on his threat a large pan suddenly hit the side off his head with a resounding Clang.

The now clearly dizzy Mousse then was roughly shoved out of the doorframe and a typically exuberant Shampoo, still with somewhat disheveled hair and slight bags under her eyes due to sleepiness, took his place: "Shut up stupid Mousse. Ranma always is welcome here. Ni hao airen. You here to take Shampoo on date?"

Upon hearing this Kodachi immediately made her presence behind Ranma known and furiously declared: "Obviously not, you foreign trollop. My Ranma darling surely has a much more refined taste."

"What is crazy girl doing here? You not welcome here at any time." The amazon shouted back while transferring her attention to her rival.

Already readying her ribbon, the black Rose shot back: "Who are you calling crazy? How dare you, you filthy, unwashed, Chinese savage."

"Shampoo is not savage and definitely not unwashed or filthy. Crazy girl must be stupid." The bickering continued.

Having had enough already Ranma raised her voice and loudly interjected: "Both of you, shut up. I've had a very bad night and I just can't deal with your constant quarreling right now." Stunned to silence her two suitors just blinked at the redhead for a few seconds. "Thanks." The boy turned girl said in relief: "Now, I'm here because I need to speak with your great-grandmother Shampoo. It's important. And Kodachi here insisted to tag along and I kind of owe her so I agreed."

After glaring at Kodachi one last time the purple haired amazon relented: "Fine. Both of you come in." Then suddenly her face scrunched up in confusion as she regarded her currently female fiancée. Curiously she asked: "Since when does crazy girl know about curse?"

The red haired girl sighed heavily: "Long story. I'd appreciate it if you got your great-grandmother first, so that I don't have to tell it twice."

"Allright, Shampoo go get her." The violet haired teenager assented and ran upstairs to do as she said.


A bit later Ranma, Shampoo, Kodachi, Mousse and Cologne were sitting together at one of the tables in the Cat Café. Kodachi left to the redhead and Shampoo to her right while the matriarch and the currently only male were situated on the opposite side of the table. Ranma had shared the news that she was locked in girl form again. This had resulted in some more attempts at using hot water, a few at using cold water instead just to make sure and Cologne, Shampoo and Mousse assuring the redhead that none of them had anything to do it with it this time. Though the Chinese boy made no effort to conceal the fact that he was quite okay with this recent development.

Requiring more information Cologne had then managed to get a reluctant Ranma to recount the entirety of her night, from getting in a sudden downpour and turning into a girl as was normal for her, over being drugged and being saved to finding out that she was stuck as girl. Kodachi had helpfully filled in some events that happened while the redhead had been unconscious. Now that the tale was finished Cologne looked thoughtful while her great granddaughter was practically seething with rage. To no one in particular the purple haired warrior hissed under her breath: "Disgusting perverts try to violate Shampoo airen. They lucky Shampoo was not there. Would have killed them all."

Finally, Cologne spoke up again: "And that was all?"

The cursed redhead in question just nodded.

"Hmm, curious." The old woman replied: "I don't see any reason for your curse to be acting up like this son in law. Are you quite certain you didn't anger some vengeful spirit recently, or did anything stupid with magical artifacts?"

Fretting the pigtailed martial artist retorted: "Yes I am certain. I'm not that careless with magical stuff."

Suddenly the other three teens at the table all disagreed in unison: "Yes you are."

Cologne quickly interjected: "Anyways, if there really wasn't anything else recently the only thing different from usual was that poisoned ice cream you ate. Honestly though, I can't see some normal drug, that random Japanese street thugs use, having any effect on a Jusenkyo curse but right now it's the only thing we have to investigate. So we might have to find those idiots again and question them about what they gave you."

"Oh, that might not be necessary." Kodachi inserted herself into the conversation again and with a swift motion pulled out two small vials, full of clear liquid, from her pockets: "After teaching them a much needed lesson I confiscated this from those filthy commoner boys. I'm guessing it's the same substance they poisoned my Ranma darling with. They had one empty vial plus these two full ones with them."

"What the hell were you planning on doing with these?" Asked a suspicious Ranma.

The Black Rose did her best to smile innocently while trying to shrug it off: "Nothing really. I just wanted to properly analyze this substance later, for purely scientific purposes." When four pairs of eyes just continued to stare at her completely unconvinced she eventually admitted: "Alright that, and if determining that there are no long term-side effects, maybe I was planning to sabotage a rival gymnast team the St. Hebereke's school faces in three weeks with it."

"Yeah, that does sounds much more likely." The red haired girl concluded.

Cologne shrugged: "Well, at least this might save us some time." The ancient woman reached for one of the vials and thoroughly inspected it. Having found nothing conclusive from the pretty plain container she carefully uncorked it and sniffed at the concoction. Abruptly her eyes widened in surprise. "Is that... ? No it can't be." The old amazon whispered.

With a concerned look Shampoo asked: "What can't be great-grandmother?"

"Wait here for a moment." Was the only reply as Cologne hopped upstairs on her stick. The four teenagers still at the table just stared at each other in bewilderment. Not much later the ancient woman returned with a thick, old looking tome as well as a glass full of some green powder. Several of the assembled teens started to ask questions, but the amazon matriarch just urgently shushed them while she flipped through the pages of the old book. Eventually she apparently found what she was searching for and scanned the page, her face scrunching up in worry.

"Well spit it out already old ghoul, what is…." Ranma tried once more, only to be silenced with a swift hit on the head with Colognes staff. Rubbing her head dissatisfied the redhead was really getting nervous now. Meanwhile the old amazon placed a bit of the green powder she brought on an empty spot on the table and cautiously lifted up the open vial with the drug. A single drop of it fell down as she slightly tilted it and dripped into the small heap of powder. With a loud Whoosh a short blue flame shot up, completely using up all the powder. The four teenagers on the table flinched backwards with various cries of surprise.

Colognes face visibly fell and she sighed tiredly. Looking up at Ranma and Kodachi again the amazon matriarch asked: "Are you quite certain that the guys you encountered were ordinary Japanese people? Additionally, could you find them again if needed?"

Kodachi immediately replied in her typical haughty manner: "Of course I'm certain that they were nothing but local common filth. There was hardly anything special about them, except maybe that they were especially revolting. And naturally I could find them again. My memory is flawless after all. Moreover, I even have photographs of them just in case." During the last part she once more reached into the depths of her Kimono and pulled out three photographs of one of the thugs each. They were visibly taken after the beating the black Rose gave them, since the guys were clearly unconscious and visibly bruised on the pictures.

Shampoo blinked slowly and then wanted to know: "What does crazy girl want with pictures of perverts?"

"I intended to report them to the police later and thought pictures would be useful." Came the reply with another innocent smile. Once more four pairs of eyes looked at her completely unconvinced. The young Kuno girl sniffed and revised her explanation: "Alright, I felt some more punishment for those commoners was in order since they actually dared to attack me when I interrupted them. However I didn't want to get in any potential trouble with the authorities myself. So I was initially planning to rub saving the "pigtailed girl" under my brother's nose once he returned and give him the photos so he would run after those filthy peasants to avenge his "love" and therefore punish them for me. Are you satisfied now?"The others just nodded since they found that explanation much more likely.

Losing her patience Ranma once more demanded answers: "Okay now, what is going on? What weird stuff did these assholes feed me?"

"This here," Started Cologne while taping one of the drug vials: "isn't just some random modern drug or anything like that. In fact, this concoction is a magical potion, which also contains the oil of an Ikuchi."

"What's an Ikuchi?" the heir of the Saotome school of anything goes martial arts asked clueless.

The ancient amazon elaborated: "That is a kind of sea serpent that lived until medieval times. It is extinct today though, mostly due to being actively hunted by humans since it was said to often attack ships in order to sink them. Those sea serpents, probably as natural defense, also secreted some sort of magical oil, that if coming into contact with other living beings temporarily drained them of all strength. Additionally, a more long-term effect of the oil is that it somehow suppresses all inherent magical abilities of whatever living creature it comes into contact with. For this reason, Ikuchi oil was sometimes processed into potions like these, which were mostly used by priests in feudal Japan to neutralize the powers of dark magic users or demons. I sincerely can't explain how some of those potions ended up circulating in the streets of Tokyo. They are extremely rare nowadays."

Ranma mulled over that new information but couldn't quite make much sense of it: "So you are telling me that this stupid oil somehow blocks people from using their magical abilities if they have any? What has this to do with me though? I don't have any magical abilities of my own. I just have an annoying curse from some stupid magical puddle."

"Well, that is not entirely true." Cologne denied: "While your curse did originate from the spring of drowned girl it's magic did transfer over to your own body as soon as you fell into it, granting you what could be considered magic shapeshifting abilities, albeit involuntary ones. I'm afraid to say that due to the nature of Jusenkyo curses your water-induced changes are kind of inherent magic abilities of yours."

At that Shampoos face lit up in understanding and the purple haired girl inferred: "So, since curse is magical ability of sorts, magic serpent oil blocks airen's magic transformations. And since Ranma was girl when ingesting potion, she stuck as girl, yes?"

"Exactly that seems to be the case." Confirmed her great-grandmother.

The red haired teenager, who was currently center of the discussion, was less than pleased and sullenly stated: "Just Great. That's all very interesting and that but how can I fix this gain?" She was practically shouting the last part of the sentence.

Shampoo needed little time to get behind her: "Yes great-grandmother, how we make girl-type Ranma man-type Ranma again?"

The third girl at the table insisted as well: "Incredible that I'm going to say this, but the purple haired floozy is right. We definitely need to cure my Ranma darling."

Mousse just unenthusiastically grumbled: "Do we really have to?"

The amazon matriarch however looked visibly troubled. With a slightly sad voice she confessed: "I am sorry to tell you that, but I'm afraid that I have no idea how to possibly undo the effect of the Ikuchi oil. Unfortunately, I don't know of any antidote and this tome here says nothing of any way to reverse it either."

"What?" Shrieked a distressed Ranma: "Don't even joke about something like that."

The ancient woman shot the redhead a genuinely apologetic look: "I'm not joking. I really don't know of a way to reverse it. I could of course do some more research but since information on Ikuchis is very limited to begin with, I'm not having too much hope."

All color visibly drained from Ranma's face as she stammered: "But… but… I can't… I…. What if I jump into the spring of drowned man?"

Cologne just shook her head: "I very much doubt that would work. It would just replace your girl form with your male form in theory, in practice however the oils effect would still prevent your body from engaging in any shapeshifting. Meaning that you would still emerge female." The poor redheads left eye was twitching nervously as she was getting close to a mental breakdown.

Shampoo not taking the news all too well either pleadingly whined: "There really nothing we can do, great grandmother."

The elder woman helplessly shrugged: "Aside from waiting till the magic Ikuchi potion wears off, I don't know anything we could do."
At that the currently stuck as female martial artist let out a strangled sigh of relief. Regaining some composure, the pig tailed girl complained: "It wears off? Oh at least some good news. Why the hell didn't you say that to begin with old hag? You nearly gave me a heart attack. So, how long until I can get back to being a man?"

The old amazon fidgeted around nervously and tapped the old tome on the table as she replied: "Well, the records here are somewhat vague. They do however indicate that some dark magic users were held captive sometimes after getting some Ikuchi potion administered and that their magic abilities slowly returned eventually. You won't like the fact though that it took about eight to twelve years for that to happen, depending on the individual."

"Eight to twelve years?" Ranma cried out in loud desperation, her voice undoubtedly waking the neighbors as well. Following that she sunk together on her chair, skin pale, eyes wide open in distress and focused on something far away.

Shampoo, looking rather concerned, waved a hand in front of her fiancée's face and called out: "Airen? Ranma? Ranma? Please respond." She got zero reaction. Frowning in worry the violet haired girl turned to her great-grandmother and said: "Shampoo afraid you just broke Ranma."

Apparently Ranma wasn't the only one that didn't take the news lightly though, as Kodachi shot up at this very moment and ranted: "This is unacceptable. My Ranma darling can't be stuck as girl. He was supposed to become my husband. This… I… I can't marry another girl. I…. This… It's just not fair." The black Rose stomped her foot like a petulant child and moisture was gathering in the corner of her eyes. With an unhappy sob she turned around and rushed out of the Cat Café while tears started to flow down her face. Soon she disappeared up to the rooftops and out of the sight of the gathered amazons.

Watching after her bewildered Shampoo finally said: "Well, there goes crazy girl. Good riddance."

"Could have at least taken Saotome with her. What are we supposed to do with him… or her?" Mousse interjected, which brought him nothing but an angry glare from his longtime crush.

Suddenly a quiet sob could be heard. Turning around again the young amazon determined that it was coming from Ranma, who had sunken together even more while tears were spilling out of her eyes. Hesitantly Shampoo laid a comforting hand upon the crying girls shoulder and started to say: "Ranma…"

The pigtailed girl looked up and the young amazon visibly recoiled at the expression of pure despair on her fiancée's face. That nervous breakdown that had been shortly delayed beforehand had now hit Ranma with full force. With tears streaming down her cheeks the redhead weakly whimpered: "I'm stuck as a girl, permanently for years. But… I…. Oh no, I'm so stupid. That's all my fault… I… can't... My life is over."

"No is not." Shampoo assured the other girl while squeezing her shoulder affectionately.

"Of course it is." The distraught pig tailed girl sobbed: "I've trained all my life to become a man among men. And now…. I am… nothing!"

The amazon disagreed vehemently: "Not true at all!"

Ranma was not listening to her but instead focused on, actually somewhat justifiably, panicking and falling into depression: "My pops is going to cast me out of the family for this. Akane won't want to have to do anything with me anymore. Ukyo is probably going to kill me. There is no way to tell what Kodachi is going to do. But it most likely involves killing me. The Tendos will kick me out of their home now for sure. My mom is definitely going to kill me if she ever finds out about this. You probably want to kill me as well, since I'm stuck as a girl and that means the kiss of death is on again or something. You know what? Just do it right now. I don't care anymore. Just make it quick."

"No!" Shampoo denied fiercely, obviously horrified at the mere suggestion. With a swift motion she hugged the still crying redhead. Ranma was to emotionally exhausted to struggle against the hug as she usually would. Soothingly the amazon caressed the other girl's hair and reassuringly asserted: "Shampoo no want to kill Ranma at all. Is furthest from what Shampoo wants."

"But… the kiss of death…" Argued a surprised Ranma.

Cologne interrupted her: "Does only apply to outsiders that have been born female. You are therefore save from it, since we can easily use that loophole. However, your current condition does mean that you are not a very favorable choice for husband right now. Therefore, Shampoo could now according to amazon law revoke the kiss of marriage as well."

At this Mousse visibly perked up and joyfully proclaimed: "And then her honor would be satisfied, she could return to the village and marry me instead. Shampoo come into my arms my love." In a rare display of accuracy, the hidden weapons experts actually did try to hug the real Shampoo this time. Unfortunately for him the amazon girl was not inclined to come into his arms. Instead he got a fist to his face that sent him to the floor and the violet haired girl growled in irritation: "How often do I have to tell stupid Mousse that Shampoo not want to marry him?" Mousse was rubbing his sore cheek while groaning in pain. Then the young amazon turned to her great-grandmother and declared with complete conviction: "Shampoo no want to revoke kiss of marriage."

The old woman just nodded in acknowledgement, while the boy on the floor prepared to protest loudly only to whacked on the head and silenced by her staff.

"What?" Asked a thoroughly confused Ranma with her head hanging down: "But I'm not even a man anymore. Why would you, or anyone for that matter, still want me?"

Tenderly the purple haired amazon lifted Ranma's chin up with two fingers and forced the pig tailed girl to look in her eyes. The puffy blue ones of the Saotome girl met Shampoos own unusually red colored ones and the amazon, voice brimming with sincerity, stated: "Shampoos still want Ranma, because Ranma is brave, courageous, honorable, is very very strong warrior, even in girl-form, and always helps Shampoo when Shampoo really needs help. Also Shampoo loves Ranma. Just because Ranma is trapped as girl doesn't change any of that. Wo ai ni."

Mousse was groaning in annoyance at that declaration of love and once more tried to interfere, only to be forcibly dragged out of the room by Cologne who simply said: "Let's give those two some space Mister Part-time."

Momentarily baffled Ranma just blinked at her amazon fiancée through teary eyes a few times before slightly blushing and then looking down again in shame. She sighed and retorted: "But you heard it. I messed everything up and will be a girl for years to come. The old ghoul is right, I'm in no condition to be anyone's husband right now."

"Is true." Shampoo agreed: "Ranma can't be husband for now. But Ranma can be Shampoos girlfriend until stupid magic wears off, yes? Shampoo not going to lie. She prefers man-type Ranma but also thinks girl-type Ranma is very cute as well. Shampoo will be more than happy if she can have Ranma as girlfriend."

"What?" echoed the redhead being clearly flustered by now: "You are weird."

The amazon huffed and shot back: "Am not!" But seeing that her beloved was at least not openly crying and sobbing anymore Shampoo decided to let the, admittedly slight insult, pass and instead decided on calming Ranma down some more. Soothingly she said: "Look, what Shampoo want to say is that Shampoo is still here for Ranma. Shampoo also not thinks that Ranma's family and friends will hate Ranma now. And if they do, they stupid and shallow and Ranma can stay with Shampoo then. Yes, is too too bad situation right now, but not end of Ranma's life. Could be seen as very hard challenge. Ranma don't want to give up, or…"

To the amazon's glee that apparently did something as the pig tailed martial artist leapt up from her chair and exclaimed: "What? No. Ranma Saotome never gives up."

The purple haired girl grinned. One could always count on Ranma's stubbornness in face of a challenge. Smiling brightly, she affectionately brushed a last stray tear from her beloved's face and replied: "Shampoo knows."

Sighing, still visibly distressed and sorrowful, but at least not a complete emotional wreck anymore Ranma thanked her Chinese fiancée: "I… Thank you Shampoo. For trying to cheer me up at least. I guess, you are… a real friend after all, even if I thought that you were a pest at the beginning. Still I… honestly don't know what to do right now. This still feels like a nightmare. I should probably go back to the Tendo Dojo. I'll have to tell everyone else eventually and they probably worry about me since I was gone all night long. Well at least until they start to hate me."

Another defeated sight escaped the redhead as she turned to leave.

Shampoo decided that she should probably tag along, to give emotional support if nothing else, so she walked after The Saotome girl and insisted: "Shampoo go with you, yes? In case stupid panda or kitchen destroyer are being stupid and mean after all." Her hand reached for Ranma's and she gave the pig tailed girl an encouraging squeeze.

Ranma just shrugged and walked headed towards the direction of the Tendo residence. Correctly interpreting that as permission the amazon followed her.


From one of the upper windows of the Cat Café Cologne looked after the two teenagers. Sighing heavily the old woman rubbed the bridge of her nose. This was all a huge mess. How did her future son… or was it daughter for now?... in law always manage to end up in such incredibly unlikely situations. But maybe the situation was not as completely unsalvageable as she had first thought. The ancient matriarch of the Chinese amazons knew that her great-granddaughters feelings for the Saotome boy, or girl now, were pretty strong. And male or female, Ranma was a formidable martial artist that would be a fine addition to the tribe anyways. If Shampoo did manage to seduce the boy turned girl this would still bring her a lot of prestige. Plus, there was the always the possibility that Ranma could be turned back into a man in eight to twelve years and Shampoo would then still be young enough to have kids. Not to mention that Cologne herself had started to grow quite fond of the young Saotome. Smiling to herself the old woman thought that maybe, just maybe all the time she invested into this endeavor wasn't for nothing just yet.

With that she turned her attention back to a related matter. The two vials of magic potion that were standing on her desk for now. Frowning she decided that it would probably be a good idea to find out where those came from.

Chapter Text

It was an unusually quiet morning at the Tendo Dojo, mostly due to the fact that Ranma was currently not present and therefore no morning spar between the teenager and his father was going on. The Tendo family plus Genma Saotome were sitting around the living room table and quietly eating their breakfast. Finally, Kasumi broke the quiet: “So, does anyone know where Ranma is today? It’s very unlike him to miss breakfast.”
Quickly Genma replied: “I don’t know where that insolent boy is again. Probably slacking off and trying to avoid our morning spar. In any case since he isn’t present you can gladly give his portion of breakfast to me instead Kasumi.”

The eldest Tendo complied with a smile, but then frowned slightly again: “Hmmm, I still wonder were Ranma is.”
“You can ask Akane that. She kicked Saotome out yesterday. Literally.” Chimed in Nabiki with an amused grin.

“Oh my, Akane, was that necessary?” Asked Kasumi.

 The youngest Tendo huffed in indignation and retorted: “Hey, that stupid pervert was picking on P-chan again. He deserved everything he got.” Soun Tendo just sagely nodded, not daring to disagree with his daughter on pretty much anything. Kasumi also politely decided to not mention that in her opinion maybe her younger sister had overreacted a bit.

“Still, usually Ranma is back by morning after you two have a… disagreement like this.” The oldest Tendo girl diplomatically said: “I do hope everything is alright.”
Akane snorted in badly concealed anger: “The pervert is probably gallivanting around with Ukyo or Shampoo. Not that I care.” Everyone else at the table did find that possibility to be extremely unlikely and Nabiki voiced that doubt.

“Uh-huh. Sure.” She drawled heavy with sarcasm: “As if Saotome has enough of a spine to actually flirt with any of his fiancées.”

Just at that moment the assembled residents heard the front door open and a moment later a familiar redhead with an aura of palpable unhappiness around her entered the room. “Oh Ranma, you are back. I’m afraid your father already ate your portion of breakfast, but if you wait a bit I’m sure I can fix you a small snack before you have to go to school.” Kasumi welcomed the boy turned girl in her usual friendly manner. And then right behind the pigtailed girl and equally familiar violet haired amazon entered the living room and greeted everyone with her standard: “Ni hao.”

“I knew it!” yelled a furious Akane: “I knew that jerk was cozying up to one of his floozies.”

“Ranma, explain yourself.” Soun immediately chimed in.

The redhead sullenly defended herself although without the usual vigor: “I’m not cozying up with anyone.” Everyone in attendance, with the exception of Shampoo, was visibly taken back by Ranma’s gloomy mood and lack of fighting spirit in her protest. It was very uncommon for the young martial artist to be in this kind of mood.

Genma was the first to recover and immediately questioned: “What’s it with the dismal mood boy? Probably comes from your constant slacking off. Time to set you straight again. Get ready for a spar and no excuses. But first get some hot water. Why are you a girl anyways? Fell in the River?”

Before the Saotome heiress could respond Kasumi helpfully interjected: “I’ll go and boil some water.”

Sighing in defeat Ranma told her: “Thanks Kasumi, but don’t bother. It won’t be necessary.” This resulted in almost everyone staring at the redhead once more in surprise.

“What has gotten into you, boy?” Genma demanded to know loudly.

Gritting her teeth Ranma managed to get out: “It just wouldn’t do any good right now. I’m… stuck… as girl right now.”

Her disgruntled father cried out in annoyance: “What? You are stuck again? What did you do this time again, boy? Angered someone you shouldn’t have angered or did you do something stupid with magical artifacts?”

“Oh, look who is talking.” Quipped Nabiki, rolling her eyes at the older Saotome.

The bald martial artist just shot her an irked look before his eyes settled on his only child again: “Well, start talking already, boy.”

All the eyes in the room were now curiously looking at Ranma. The pig tailed girl sighed once more, her expression getting even gloomier, and acquiesced: “Okay, just let me sit down first. It’s a long story.”


 

 

A while later Ranma had once more relayed the story about how she got herself locked in female form again and now was dejectedly looking down at her own lap not daring to look her father or the Tendos in the eye. Those meanwhile were still shocked and trying to absorb what they just heard. Genma was the first to recover and he wasn’t very pleased. Apparently he also wasn’t very keen on accepting the news: “Are you sure there isn’t any cure, boy? Maybe this is just another trick of those Amazons. They are a bunch of crafty liars and cheats after all.”

“Are not.” Shampoo, who was sitting left of Ranma, disagreed fiercely: “When great-grandmother say she no know of cure than great-grandmother no knows a cure. Stupid Panda really shouldn’t accuse others of being liars.”

“She does have a point about that Mr. Saotome.” Interjected Nabiki once more taking the chance to make a verbal jab at the bald martial artist. Ranma’s father just shot her another glare which left her unfazed. In fact, the middle Tendo was the only one that seemed to find the entire situation rather amusing. Akane was still mostly shocked to silence and Kasumi was frowning in worry but did her best to maintain her smile. Their father meanwhile was openly crying and lamenting: “Now the schools will never be joined. The tragedy.”

Genma then decided to join his friend in wailing and whined: “Oh, the shame. My only son and heir has been turned into a weak little girl. It breaks my heart. What have I done to deserve such a cruel fate?”

Nabiki, obviously having a blast, jovially replied to that rhetoric question: “I could compile a list, however that would cost you some yen.”

Ignoring her entirely this time Ranma’s father continued his tirade: “You were supposed to be a man among men. And now this! What a failure! Truly you bring shame over the name Saotome, boy. How could you humiliate me and yourself like this Ranma?” The red haired girl in question didn’t respond. On the contrary she continued to simply sit there with her face cast downwards, her scarlet bangs hiding her face. Normally the teenager payed her father’s frequent insulting ramblings little to no attention, but recent events and developments had seriously put a dent into the young Saotome’s self-esteem to the point where she actually felt like Genma’s accusations were justified. Her hands balled to fists and she could barely stop herself from starting to cry again as her self-loathing grew stronger by the second. With despair she thought that that was it. She dishonored her family and would be cast out surely. Despite her best efforts she started to tremble, though she did at least manage to not break out in tears.

To her left Shampoo picked up on her fiancée’s emotional distress and soothingly laid a hand on her shoulder in a gesture of solidarity and affection. Then with a quiet but assertive voice the amazon spoke to her beloved’s father: “That enough! Stupid Panda trash talked Shampoo’s airen for too too long already.” Blinking in confusion the part time panda wanted to protest. However, another voice stepped into the conversation.

“I think Shampoo is right Mr. Saotome.” Kasumi agreed on the amazon’s words. The eldest Tendo daughter had also picked up on the fact that Ranma wasn’t taking the insults in the usual stride and deemed it necessary to intervene for once: “With all due respect Mr. Saotome but I really don’t think that Ranma needs your verbal abuse right now. She went through some pretty traumatic events tonight and just had her life altered in a rather significant way, at least for the next few years. This honestly isn’t the time to lay all the blame on her. Not that I think there is any blame to lay on Ranma in the first place, since clearly those young men that poisoned her for unsavory reasons are the ones responsible for this.”

Suddenly Ranma got up to her feet and, eyes still cast down, sullenly said: “Thanks Kasumi, but my pops is right. I… It’s all my fault. I wasn’t careful enough and dishonored myself and my family name and got myself locked in cursed form like an idiot. I… understand if you want to cast me out of the family pops. I deserve it. And since you Tendos probably don’t need a good for nothing shame of a freeloader in your house…. You… don’t have to throw me out... I’ll go on my own. Just let me get my stuff before…”

All the Tendos plus the Saotome patriarch just gaped at the redhead before Genma finally interrupted her: “What are you talking about, boy? I sure as hell do not intend to disinherit you. You don’t really think you can just walk out of the Saotome family like that, do you?”

“But… but… you said I brought shame over my name… and I’m not even a man anymore and…“ Stuttered Ranma.

Now to most people Genma Saotome might seem like an abusive parent who gave little consideration to his only child’s wellbeing and they might be correct about that to a certain degree. However, deep down the bald martial artist did actually care about Ranma and in his own way even loved his son turned daughter. Even his harsh and sometimes downright criminal training methods were mostly, misguided, but well-meant attempts to make Ranma a strong and independent martial artist. And the thought of banishing Ranma from the family had not even once entered the elder Saotome’s mind.  So he just snorted and retorted in his insulting way: “Pfffh. Boy, you have been an embarrassment to me since I started training you. If I haven’t thrown you out of the family yet I sure won’t throw you out over this either. Calm yourself and sit back down. Though your mother better not find out about this, or we are both dead.”

“And surely father wouldn’t throw you out either, right father?” Kasumi friendlily added with a questioning look towards Soun: “I mean, Ranma has been living here for quite a while now and she is kind of a part of the family already, even if the engagement with Akane just became… complicated.”

“He, or is it she now, is also a valuable source of income for me.” Nabiki mentioned nonchalantly.

Akane, to Ranma’s surprise, agreed with Kasumi: “Sure Ranma is a nuisance and a jerk sometimes but he can be a good guy occasionally. We can’t just throw him out. He has nowhere else to go, since his mother probably wouldn’t react well to this. Plus, this time, he for once isn’t at fault but it was those other perverts.”

Soun Tendo nodded magnanimously and said: “Of course I won’t throw you out on the street Ranma. You and your father are welcome as our guests until you can sort out this mess and return to your own home. Like Kasumi said, you are pretty much part of the family.” With a sideway glance towards his old friend Genma he added: “Even if some of you do cause my family no shortage of… excitement.” The older Saotome tried his best to look inculpable. Ranma herself couldn’t quite believe yet that nobody was shunning her.

“Y… you don’t hate me for this?” She stammered weakly. Her question was answered by most of the people present shaking their head earnestly, while Nabiki now apparently bored again with the newest shenanigans, just shrugged noncommittally and started to file her nails.

The pigtailed girl had until now managed to stop herself from crying, but now she could hold out no longer. Except that it were tears of relief that were flowing down her cheeks now. She honestly had expected way worse from everyone, which was somewhat understandable since the Tendos and Genma weren’t very good at expressing their positive feelings towards the redhead. “Thank you.” The teenager whispered while trying to wipe away her tears and regain some sense of composure.

“Don’t bawl your eyes out like some six year old girl, boy.” Her father once more started to rant: “Have some dignity. I see we have to intensify your training. You’ve been getting soft and weak and…” Unfortunately for the part time panda he was cut short, when Shampoo suddenly shot up from her place at the table, jumped over to him and in one swift motion grabbed the surprised martial artist by his gi and tossed him straight into the koi pond. When the drenched man turned panda resurfaced and glared at the violet haired amazon she just dusted off her hands and stated: “Shampoo said Stupid panda insulted airen enough. Maybe actually being panda makes him shut up already, yes?”

“Can’t say he didn’t have that one coming.” Nabiki dryly commented.

“Oh well, it’s getting late. Akane and Nabiki you should leave or else you’ll be late for school.” Kasumi helpfully reminded her two sisters. Ranma blinked away a few tears and asked: “Oh, I guess I should get ready as well.”

The eldest Tendo daughter frowned shortly but quickly replaced the expression with her usual gentle smile while she objected: “Oh no, Ranma. You’ve had a rough night and barely got any sleep, being knocked out by magical potions aside. You should probably take it easy and rest for today. Don’t worry I’ll call the school and tell them you are ill.” Now, mostly Kasumi was just worried that the redhead might not be up emotionally to go to school today after the rather distressing night she had just lived through. But voicing that worry would most likely just make Ranma go just to prove how though she was. While Ranma was still visibly thinking about her proposition the eldest Tendo girl gently took the redhead by her arm and determinedly led her from the living room towards the guest room. Still in her usual pleasant motherly tone she continued: “Really, I bet you are exhausted. You sure want some sleep. You are probably hungry too. I’ll fix you something to eat.”

Wiping the last of her tears away Ranma sniffed: “No really I’m fine Kasumi. But something to eat can’t hurt I guess.”

“Sure thing.” Beamed the eldest Tendo daughter while still adamantly maneuvering the red haired girl into the guest room and into her bed, despite the girls halfhearted protests. It turned out that Ranma actually was exhausted, though more thanks due to emotional trauma rather than physical reasons, since it took only a few moments for her to doze off.


 

 

In the living room Akane and Nabiki were ready to leave for school, when Kasumi reentered and informed everyone: “Ranma is asleep now. I think it might be best if we do not disturb her for some time.” During the last sentence she focused a stern look on Soun and Genma. She then continued: “Akane, please inform your teacher that Ranma isn’t feeling well today. I will call the school later to confirm as much.”

“Sure thing Kasumi.” The younger Tendo agreed.

Shampoo took that moment to proclaim: “If airen is asleep Shampoo going as well. Thank you for hospitality.” The purple haired girl followed up with a bow in Kasumis direction.

“Oh no problem Shampoo.” The eldest Tendo daughter replied: “But if it’s not too much to ask, would you mind leaveing through the door instead of leaving through the wall like you sometimes do?” The amazon mulled it over and eventually decided to comply. She was in no particular hurry so she figured that she could take the door, even if it did take longer. Nodding the amazon walked after the other two Tendo children, who were leaving for school. While the three girls were walking out the gate of the Tendo residence Nabiki started to eye the Chinese teenager with vague interest. Finally, she asked: “So Shampoo, why exactly aren’t you out to slit Ranma’s throat again now that he, she, whatever is pretty much stuck as a girl fulltime?”

“Why everyone keeps asking Shampoo that?” The violet haired girl cried in exasperation, a slightly hurt look on her face: “Shampoo not tried to kill Ranma since ages ago and also has no desire to do so whatsoever anymore. In fact, Shampoo not tried to genuinely kill anyone in long long time.”

Not giving up that easily Nabiki continued to pry: “Oh come on, I mean shouldn’t your kiss of death thing apply now again?”

Akane glared at her older sister and angrily hissed under her breath: “Nabiki! What do you think you are doing? Don’t encourage her to try kill Ranma again. The last thing we need is her going back into a murderous rampage.”

“Kitchen destroyer not need to worry. Shampoo not going to kill her airen.” The amazon stated with a shrug: “Kiss of death not applies to people born male.”

The youngest Tendo girl’s expression darkened at hearing her, unfortunately rather justified nickname from Shampoo, but was still relieved about that bit of information. True she and Ranma didn’t get along all the time, but they still had developed a friendship and Akane absolutely didn’t want the young Saotome to die. Curious she asked: “So what are you and your great-grandmother doing now Shampoo? Going back to China?”

Shampoo just blinked in apparent confusion and retorted: “Why would Shampoo do that?”

“Well since Ranma is stuck as girl for approximately eight to twelve years, wouldn’t that foil your marriage plans?” Answered the Tendo girl.

Cheerfully the amazon replied: “No, only delays them a bit.”

Gaping at her Akane stammered: “A… bit? But... eight years is a really long time. You honestly plan to wait for Ranma that long? What if you meet someone else in that time?”

Shampoo just stared at her as if she had no idea what the blue haired girl was talking about. Eventually she said: “Kitchen destroyer is being silly. Shampoo not going to wait until airen can turn back into man-type Ranma. Shampoo going to be Ranma’s girlfriend first and then marry him once stupid magic potion wears off.”

Upon hearing this Akane suddenly blushed beet red and nervously stuttered: “His… girlfriend? But… but… how… You are a girl and he’s a girl too… and… how’s that supposed to work…?”

“Seriously Akane, don’t be so naïve. If you want, I could find you some pictures of how that is supposed to work somewhere. Provided you pay me for it of course.” Quipped Nabiki, who found the current conversation quite entertaining.

“Shut up.” Her sister spat at her before turning to Shampoo again: “Seriously, doesn’t it bother you that Ranma is stuck as a girl.”

“A bit. Not really much, though.” Came the airy reply from the amazon.

Akane’s left eye began to twitch in shock and having no sensible reply left she resorted to anger once more. “I knew you were a pervert, all along.” She accusingly yelled at the less than impressed violet haired girl.

Shampoo just made a dismissive hand gesture before levelling a slightly annoyed gaze at the Tendo girl: “Shampoo is not pervert. Is perfectly normal to like both boys and girls according to amazon culture. Also Ranma is great person male or female. Plus, surely kitchen destroyer has noticed herself that girl-type Ranma is looking very very good.” A predatory glint appeared in the amazon’s eyes while she said that last part.

“What?” yelled a completely flustered Akane: “Of course I haven’t noticed anything along those lines. I don’t swing that way!”

“You sure? All your “I hate boys!” yelling surely doesn’t help that statement.” Nabiki took the chance to wind her sister up further.

Whipping her head around to glare at the middle Tendo sister, Akane furiously shouted: “Shut up. I only hate stupid, perverted boys, who try to beat me up because they think I’d go on a date with them afterwards. And I don’t like other girls in that way. Have I made myself clear?”

That declaration apparently delighted Shampoo quite a bit, as she suddenly sported a bright and self-satisfied smile. Cheerfully she rejoiced: “That too too good news. If kitchen destroyer not like girls, then she no longer is obstacle for Shampoo. Now Shampoo’s victory is one step closer. Maybe whole situation not only bad. Now excuse Shampoo, still have other things to do. Need to take care of some trash with great-grandmother today.” With that the violet haired girl jumped up to the rooftops and disappeared into the direction of the Cat Café.

“Well she does have a point. At the very least father and Mr. Saotome won’t be able to pressure you and Ranma into marriage for now, since that is currently not very possible.” Nabiki observed: “I guess you managed to avoid that arranged marriage after all. At least for the time being.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Retorted her younger sister bitterly while stomping off towards Furikan High. The youngest Tendo wasn’t happy at all with the recent development. Despite what she openly proclaimed, she did have some feelings for Ranma and had already kind of accepted that marrying him one day might not be so bad. However, she had also spoken the truth when she said she didn’t actually felt any attraction to girls so now she was understandably upset about the fact that her budding relationship with Ranma would most likely come to a screeching halt. Sighing sadly, she grumbled under her breath so nobody could hear it: “Just my luck. I meet a boy who isn’t a complete jerk, at least sometimes, and he turns into a girl permanently.”

Chapter Text

It was a beautiful sunny Thursday afternoon in Tokyo and most of its inhabitants were enjoying the beautiful weather. Not all of them though. In the district of Nerima for example there were currently three young men in very bad mood walking out of the door of a hospital. They had a pretty rough night behind them, due the fact that their attempt to sexually assault a certain redhead had been foiled when they were unceremoniously beaten up by one angry Kodachi Kuno.

When the would-be rapists had awakened again from beating-induced unconsciousness they had dragged themselves to the nearest hospital in order to treat their hurting bodies, obviously just stating they got into a fight and omitting the reason why they got into a fight in the first place. All in all, they did get out relatively unscathed. One of them, a muscular boy with black hair, had his broken arm in a cast and the brown haired leader of the clique was still wincing with every step, curtesy of his still hurting groin which had gotten a few kicks during the night. In addition, all three of them had a minor concussion.

However, no lasting harm was inflicted upon them and so they had been released from the hospital after a few hours and were now walking towards their homes together. It wasn’t very relaxing walk though thanks to the pain and so soon enough the three teenage boys started bickering. “That is all your fault. Drugging that girl was your brilliant idea, you idiot. I should have known that any idea you came up with would never work out.” The muscular boy complained to the leader of the trio.

“Oh, shut up you clown. Drugging her worked perfectly fine. How was I supposed to foresee that some other crazy, violent chick would show up out of nowhere?”

“Still, it’s thanks to your overinflated ego, which couldn’t handle being rejected by that bitchy redhead, that we were in that dumb alley anyways.” Interjected the third guy.

The leader angrily snarled: “Hey now, don’t blame me alone for this. Because I remember you two forgetful fools agreeing eagerly when I proposed to teach that slut a lesson.” The other two could only grumble, since he had a point there.  As the trio was just taking a shortcut over a mostly unused parking place suddenly they heard a voice call out: “Please wait a second gentlemen.” Turning around in surprise the three saw a very unusual sight before them. An apparently very old and very small woman with long white hair in a green garment was sitting perched atop of a gnarled wooden staff in the middle of the parking lot. Blinking in surprise the three thugs just gaped at her until the leader managed to ask: “Yes, what is it?”

Suddenly the small old women pulled out three photographs from her pockets, held them up and looked back and forth between them and the three teenagers intently for a few seconds before proclaiming: “Good, you are indeed just the people I’ve been searching for. Shampoo dear, would you be so kind.”

Before any of the three guys could utter as much as a question suddenly another figure landed right in front of them seemingly out of nowhere. It was a young beautiful teenage girl with vibrant purple hair and similarly unusual red eyes. The newcomer smiled brightly and greeted: “Ni hao.” Then without warning her fist shot forward and punched the leader of the trio squarely in the face. He screamed out in pain as his nose broke and a gush of blood sprayed onto the ground. Staggering backwards in pain he clutched his hurting face. His two pals had apparently learned from their previous mistakes because unlike the night before they immediately turned to flee. It just did them no good. Since a very furious Shampoo easily grabbed both of them by the backs of their shirts and effortlessly lifted them off ground. She followed up by violently smashing them back down to the ground where they then remained writhing in pain.

Stepping over the discarded thugs the young amazon then closed in on the leader whose eyes widened in terror. Before he could react Shampoo’s right hand shot forwards and clutched his throat with an adamant grip. His own hands tried to desperately pry her hand open but her iron like grip was unrelenting. On the contrary the purple haired girl lifted the wannabe-rapist off the ground by his throat, which left his feet trashing above the ground while he was making desperate choking sounds. The amazon was still smiling at him in a rather pleasant way. Her eyes however were burning into his own with hatred and disgust.

Cologne, having put the photos away again, hopped closer to the two and casually started to talk to the boy again: “Now that I hopefully have your attention, I would like to ask a few questions if it is alright with you, youngster.”

Shampoos victim just let out a strangled whine. Completely unfazed the amazon matriarch continued: “You and your pals tried to rape a red haired girl with a pigtail yesterday after you drugged her ice cream. At least that is what she told me and she hardly has any reason to lie about something like this. Is that correct?”

“Y… yes… it... is. Please let go.” Managed the unlucky guy to choke out even though his air supply was seriously strained. Nodding sagely Cologne acknowledged his answer but Shampoo made no move to let him go whatsoever. The old woman then pulled out a small vial with clear fluid out of her pockets and showed it to the would-be rapist: “This was yours then I presume? I suggest you don’t lie to me, or my dear great-granddaughter Shampoo here might make you regret that.”

Fighting against the increasingly larger blotches of black that started to infringe his vision, the brown haired boy got out a strangled response: “Uh-hu… that’s…what we used.”

“Very well, then I would like to know if you have any more of these potions and where exactly you got them and you better do it fast because I’m not sure how long my great-granddaughter’s patience with you is going to last.”

Tears in his eyes and his face already turning unnaturally blue the guy in question managed to babble out in choked bursts: “We don’t have any… anymore. Just the three. We… stole it. From… some… weird store run by… some old coot. Says he sells… magic stuff. Obviously he’s… crazy. But he had those drugs. He said… they were for… temporarily subduing even the most… dangerous people. I thought… they could come in handy… but… he… wouldn’t sell them. So we grabbed them… when he wasn’t looking.”

“Where is that store?” Cologne wanted to know.

The strangled answer was now intersected by desperate chokes for air very frequently: “Somewhere in Suginami… in Asagaya to be exact…in… a back… alley… I don’t… know the exact address… I swear… That’s all I know… Please….”

The amazon matriarch made a hand gesture and Shampoo dropped the choking boy on the ground. Desperately he sucked in air into his lungs and rubbed his hurting throat. “I guess that is a start. I’ll have to find this store.” Cologne mused: “Thank you for the information.” With that she started to hop away on her stick. The guy on the ground let out a sigh of relief. His relief was short lived however as the elder amazon suddenly called back over her shoulder: “They are yours Shampoo. Just don’t kill them. We might be able to get away with a lot because the police is afraid of us but we can’t possibly get away with murder without some consequences.”

“Alright Shampoo let them live, barely.” The purple haired girl replied. Then she violently yanked the boy before her to his feet and tossed him atop his two writhing comrades.

Whimpering in fear all three of them stared up at the imposing amazon towering over them, cracking her knuckles.

“What do you still want. I told you everything we know.” Cried the brown haired leader in terror.”

Shooting them an angry glare Shampoo responded in a threatening voice: “You perverts tried to violate Shampoo’s airen.”

“What? What’s an “Eiren”?” Asked another one of the teenagers confused. Mentally searching for the correct Japanese word for a few moments the violet haired girl elaborated: “Airen means beloved. Red headed girl you attacked yesterday is Shampoo’s beloved.” Her eyes burning with fury, that made the three wanna-be rapists cower even lower, she continued: “Nobody, tries to violate Shampoo’s airen. Shampoo is going to punish you.”

Paling even further despite that seeming impossible before the three boys begged for mercy: “Please no. Have mercy. We’ll never do anything like that again. We swear.”

The amazon just nodded cracking her knuckles again: “No you won’t. Because if you try violating any girl ever again Shampoo going to find you, rip your arms off and beat you to death with them. For now though, Shampoo just going to hurt you a bit. Hmmm… maybe a lot.”

“No please…” One of her victims once more begged.

Shampoo just smiled viciously and commented: “Time to put trash into trash can.” The next five minutes a multitude of pained screams could be heard coming from the parking lot. Then a visibly cheerful Shampoo left the area alone. A few hours later two pedestrians found three badly beaten up young men stuffed into a dumpster. They were then transported to the very hospital they exited earlier that day with various broken ribs, noses and shins as well as whole bunch of other bruises.


 

 

Meanwhile at the Tendo residence Ranma was just waking up from after sleeping for most of the day. She really had been exhausted. Unwilling to face the world outside of the guest room again just now, the redhead lay awake in her bed staring at the ceiling. She used that time to once more reflect upon the latest events in her life. To say she was still less than pleased would be an understatement.  The fact that she would have to spend quite some time of her life as a girl if no miracle happened was still gnawing at her psyche immensely.

On the other hand, the young martial artist’s spirt was also quite a bit elevated due to the fact that her friends and family had reacted significantly to this mess with surprising kindness, or in Gemma’s case with much less vitriol than expected. This was obviously not something that made Ranma’s loss of her manhood any easier for her to stomach, but it did help her to not feel completely like crap.

Sighing the now full-time girl pondered, that it wasn’t over just yet unfortunately. The Tendos and her father might have been kind of understanding, but she most likely still had to face Ukyo about the issue sometimes and her childhood friend might not be as forgiving. Reconnecting with her mother was also out of question for now. Unless she felt the urge to commit sepukku of course, which Ranma, now that she had considerably calmed down after her earlier panic, absolutely didn’t. So far Kodachi was the only one who reacted very poorly to her being stuck as girl and even then merely running away while crying angrily had been rather subdued for the Kuno girl, who was prone to much more dangerous reactions most of the time. Not that Ranma was particularly upset about Kodachi reacting poorly. The pig tailed girl had never really considered the martial arts gymnast as anything but a dangerous nuisance with some mental problems. She had to admit though that the Kuno girl did show a very honorable side the night before, so maybe she wasn’t all bad.

What had probably been most surprising to the redhead however had been how Shampoo of all people had basically been the first one to be utterly supportive. Ranma had honestly expected the amazon to get back to wanting to kill her. Instead she had been as nice as always and even defended Ranma from Genma’s ranting. While Ranma had stopped disliking the amazon a while ago, she still had always considered the purple haired beauty to be a dangerous person, to whom she better kept a safe distance. Mostly due to the fact that she did try to kill the redhead at one point and then later used various magical and not so magical trickery in order to try making Ranma fall in love with her. As a result, the young Saotome had always been very guarded around her and had a certain level of distrust for the Chinese girl even though there were times where they interacted in a genuinely friendly way. This was also why the redhead never completely considered the amazon to be a real friend before.

However, earlier this day Shampoo did prove that she in fact genuinely cared about Ranma and this time the Saotome girl was inclined to actually believe it. In hindsight maybe she should have figured that out earlier, the red haired girl thought. Shampoo had mellowed out significantly since she first arrived in Nerima and had toned down both the violence against perceived rivals and the attempts to ensnare Ranma’s heart with questionable, often magical means. In fact, she hadn’t done any of that in a very long time. The last incident with some magical artifact had been that reversal jewel business and that had been wholly unintentional on Shampoos part. As all this went through the young Saotome’s head she finally concluded that just maybe she had been kind of unfair to Shampoo for thinking so unfavorably of the amazon. Additionally, the violet haired girl could be incredibly cute at times, when she wasn’t being an overly clingy, jealous girl. Wait, what was she thinking? Blushing a bit Ranma decided to think about something else. This wasn’t really the time to think about how cute Shampoo could be.

Suddenly there was a light knock on the door followed by a hesitant voice, belonging to Akane: “Ranma? Are you awake?”

“Yes. I am. What is it Akane?” The pig tailed martial artist replied.

“Oh good.” The Tendo girl said: “Dinner is ready. Kasumi wanted me to inform you.”

Sighing while getting up Ranma stated: “Thanks Akane. I’ll be up in a minute.” As much as she didn’t want to face the world again, she was really hungry and skipping another meal wouldn’t help. So the red haired martial artist got up, put on some clothes and grumpily walked downstairs to the living room.


 

 

A short while later the entire household, minus Happosai who hadn’t been around for almost a week now to the enjoyment of everyone else, was sitting at the table and eating dinner. It was a rather quiet dinner, mostly because nobody was really in a good mood and everyone was just silently eating their food.

Trying to lighten the heavy atmosphere Kasumi tried to engage in some small-talk: “So Akane, how was school today?”

“Okay, I guess.” Came the court reply and silence once more fell over the table. The eldest Tendo gave up and the rest of the meal was eaten without any conversation. When everyone was finished Kasumi dutifully started to clean the dishes. Ranma was about to stand up and go back to the guest room, when Soun cleared his throat and then announced: “Akane, Ranma, if the two of you could stay please, we would like to talk to you.” Genma just nodded gravely in agreement. The redhead sighed and sat back down next to Akane.

“What’s the matter dad?” The youngest Tendo asked warily. Whenever her father and Ranma’s father wanted to talk to both of them at the same time it usually wasn’t something that either of the teens liked.

Genma started to answer her: “It concerns your engagement to Ranma…” As usual, whenever the arranged marriage came up, Akane was quickly getting angry.

She interrupted the bald martial artist: “What? You two are still insisting on that? Are you really that stupid? I’ll admit that Ranma can be an okay guy from time to time and maybe, just maybe he makes a really good friend when he isn’t being stupid. But you can’t expect me to marry him when he’s stuck as a girl. I don’t want to wait a minimum of eight years just so I can fulfill some arranged marriage that you two cooked up. What if I meet someone else in the meantime? And no matter what Nabiki says I am not into other girls. Even if I was, I would probably not want to date a boxer short wearing tomboy with zero female modesty like her.” During the last sentence she pointed at Ranma with her thumb.

The young Saotome, despite generally depressed mood, was still to prideful to let that comment slide and complained: “What? Hey, what’s that supposed to mean? You’d be lucky to get someone as good-looking as me if you were into girls. Also who are you calling tomboy?”

Before Akane could argue back or worse send Ranma flying through the roof again Sound intervened: “Calm down you two. We actually wanted to tell you that we decided to annul your engagement, at least for the time being.” Both teenagers blinked once and then stared at their parents in shock. Ranma was the first to recover: “What? Just like that? From how much you two have been harping about it since I arrived I figured you’d persist even now.”

Genma sourly replied: “Well I wanted to, but Tendo doesn’t want to put Akane through that.”

“Also due to you being stuck as girl Ranma, we would probably run into serious legal roadblocks anyways.” Soun added before suddenly starting to cry noisily. He lamented: “Now the schools will never be joined. What a tragedy.”

“Geez, dad calm down.” Akane said while rolling her eyes.

Genma used that time to interject: “That being said if Ranma should get cured from this prematurely then the engagement is of course back in effect.” The Tendo patriarch just nodded to confirm this.

“Naturally.” Ranma retorted sarcastically, having not expected anything else.

Akane, recapitulated: “Fine. So the engagement is off. Can we leave now?”

The fathers just nodded and then Genma barked at his daughter: “By the way boy, you got out of training today, but I expect you to train tomorrow. The heir of the Saotome school of anything goes martial arts isn’t allowed to slack off.”

“Yeah, yeah sure pops.” Ranma replied while making a dismissive hand gesture. Then the two teens turned to walk upstairs side by side. When they passed the guest room they both stopped and Akane shot Ranma an apologetic look before saying: “I’m sorry Ranma.”

Blinking in confusion the other girl asked: “What are you sorry for?”

The youngest Tendo fidgeted around nervously before answering: “Well, for this entire situation I guess.” Blushing she looked down before continuing: “I never wanted to admit it. But I do like you, even if you are an insufferable jerk sometimes. I even am somewhat sad that you are stuck as a girl and that the engagement is called off. I know I’m being silly. We pretty much quarrel all the time. We would probably have made a horrible couple. Plus you probably don’t like me very much since you insult me all the time.”

The redhead sighed heavily and figured she might as well spit out the truth for once instead of saying something dismissive or rude. Sadly, she whispered: “You are not being stupid. I… Look I don’t really like to admit things like that but… I… I… also c… care about you. A lot. Okay. I’m… just… really bad at showing that… I guess. It… kind of would be unmanly to do so, or that’s what I thought at least. But look at me, I don’t think that matters much anymore. Fact is I do like you too. When I’m insulting you I really don’t mean it. You are a tomboy, I’m not going to say you aren’t, but you aren’t uncute or anything. I would have actually liked to marry you one day. Preferably not too soon if nothing else just to annoy my pops but still…”

Akane stared at the redhead, trying to hold back tears. How often had she wanted for Ranma to say all these things? And now that she did say them it was probably too late.

Still sounding rather sad Ranma sniffed and continued: “Well you made it clear you are not interested in girls, which I currently am no matter how much as I’d rather not be one, so I guess it won’t work out between us. Not that I blame you. I sure would also be pretty grossed out if you were a guy instead off a girl. So I guess this is the part where I tell you that I hope you find someone else you can be happy with.”

With her head still hanging down the pig tailed girl dejectedly turned around to disappear in her room. Suddenly Akane grabbed her hand and held her back. Turning around Ranma looked at her former fiancée in confusion. The Tendo girl’s eyes were shimmering wetly with barely held back tears when she stated: “Look Ranma. I do still like you. We might not be able to make a good couple, but there is nothing that says we can’t still be friends. Like I proposed to you when we first met. How about it?”

For the first time since she woke up a small smile spread across Ranma’s face. She gratefully replied: “Sure, I’d like that very much, Akane.”


 


As the sun started to set and night was slowly falling over Nerima, most of its inhabitants prepared to retire to their beds. Not so Kodachi Kuno. The young noblewoman was currently still very awake and way to occupied with her own, mostly negative, thoughts to consider sleeping. The balck haired girl was at the moment sitting on her bed in her room, her eyes red and puffy from crying most of the day. Her room also was a mess. Ripped posters and photographs of Ranma, still in male form, were strewn all over the place. She had previously angrily destroyed them in a short lived fit of rage at the unfairness of the universe.

“Just why do I have to meet a nice, handsome boy who piques my interest only to have him turn into a girl? This is just typical. I never have any luck.” The Black Rose once more sighed. The timing of all this made her even more bitter. It was really pretty ironic that right after she had actually managed to make her beloved Ranma agree to go on a date with her, the boy turned into a girl somewhat permanently. And since Kodachi wasn’t someone who reacted very well to things not going her way she had holed herself up in her room and wallowed in self-pity.

Aside from the occasional servant asking if she wanted anything nobody had disturbed her during this either. This was of course due to the fact that the young Kuno girl was deep down a rather lonely girl, who didn’t have any notable friends. Of course that was mostly because most people were rather afraid of her, for not entirely unjustified reasons, as well as the fact that her family’s considerable wealth made her seem rather unapproachable to begin with. As for her family, they generally did care for her and Kodachi for them, however their relationship was nonetheless rather strained. So as a consequence nobody had really been willing to comfort the young noblewoman, leaving her in her rather miserable state.

Sniffling once more the Black Rose lamented to herself: “Apparently the universe itself hates me. Why else would it mock me so cruelly?” Feeling a slight resurgence of general anger, aimed at no one in particular, again her gaze suddenly fell upon a picture of Ranma in his female form. It was a completely tame photo of the redhead smiling happily at the camera. It also had some holes in it from something sharp puncturing it. Kodachi had stolen this particular photo from her brother a week or so ago in order to use it as target practice. Tatewaki had countless of photographs of Ranma’s female form, most of them much more revealing, so the Kuno heiress figured he wouldn’t miss it. In hindsight she felt rather stupid for using a picture of her crush, albeit in female form, for that purpose.

Picking the picture up Kodachi mustered it for a few seconds before concluding: “Well, Ranma darling does look rather cute as a girl, I’ll have to give him… her that. That exotic red hair does have a certain charm as well.” Suddenly the black haired gymnast became aware of what she was saying and blushed heavily. “What am I even talking.” She muttered under her breath: “It’s not like that matters. My dearest Ranma is cursed to spend a sizeable amount of his lifetime as a girl and now my chances of ever becoming his/her girlfriend and future wife are over.” Groaning in disappointment at that though she once more looked down at the photo of Ranma in her redheaded female body. Still, Ranma was cute like this, the Black Rose concluded.

Odd, why was she continuing to think that? That such a handsome and well-toned male specimen as Ranma was now permanently a much shorter red haired girl was quite a tragedy. Kodachi’s subconscious mind answered that by having her remember the time when she fought a female Ranma, who was wearing nothing but a pink leoatard, that showed off the redheads perfectly toned physique. Conceding the young Kuno girl admitted to herself that maybe it wasn’t that big a tragedy after all. Sure the male Ranma was a real hunk but Ranma as girl was really gorgeous as well. Those clear blue eyes, her exotic red hair, her cute face, that beautifully toned body and her pert little backsi….

Kodachi once more stopped her own thoughts from going down that direction further. Confused she asked herself: “Why do I keep thinking such weird things? Why would I even think about Ranma darling’s girl-form like that?”

As if to answer her question all of a sudden another memory flooded her mind. A very recent one from the very early morning of the same day. The memory of how Ranma had casually undressed in front of the young noblewoman and stood there naked from the waist up. Her perfectly shaped and rather sizeable breasts with the pert pink nipples at their top at full display. Kodachi blushed profoundly at that memory and once more couldn’t help herself from admitting internally how that view had been rather intriguing.

Okay, she finally concluded that maybe Ranma’s body as a girl was just as appealing as her male one. The finally Kodachi understood while she was thinking such weird things. With an understanding: “Oh” her face lit up with realization.

With a baffled look she spoke to herself: “Huh… Apparently I am indeed attracted to Ranma darling’s female body. Curious. And also kind of unexpected. I never figured I had such… tendencies before. But then again I never did think about it intently before.”

Shortly the noblewoman though about what damage this realization about herself might cause on her social standing, but swiftly discounted them as miniscule. She was rich and powerful and could easily get away with all her usual eccentrics, most of them worse than being bisexual. So the latter would hardly pose any noteworthy problem. However, this new discovery the young Kuno girl had just made about herself did open up some new possibilities. For example, if she still was attracted to Ranma, and as she presumed Ranma was still attracted to girls as well, she might be able to seduce the redhead yet. True, the young Saotome couldn’t be her husband for the time being, but maybe she still could be Kodachi’s girlfriend?

Shooting up from her bed the Black Rose made her decision and loudly proclaimed to the empty room: “Very well, the universe itself might try to spite me, but I Kodachi Kuno, the Black Rose of St. Hebereke’s school for girls will not give up that easily. I will make my Ranma darling mine, even if she is a girl now.” Looking thoughtfully, she added: “Hmm, unless all those filthy peasant girls that want to snatch Ranma away from me share my preferences this might actually work out in my favor. Anyways time for me to stop wallowing in self-pity and instead get out there and get back to convincing my beloved that I am the right girl for him, … I mean her.”

She followed up on that prideful declaration with her trademark, slightly insane laughter. However, right after that the black haired girl’s eyes fell upon the clock on one of the walls. Seeing that it was in the middle of the night Kodachi’s face fell and she quickly conceded: “Alright, perhaps It is better to get back out there tomorrow after school. I already skipped classes today and probably shouldn’t repeat that tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

It was early morning in Nerima. The sun was just beginning to rise and everything was quiet. Even at the Tendo Dojo everything was calm and peaceful. In the guestroom Ranma Saotome, heir turned heiress of the Saotome clan, was still sleeping soundly. At least until her father Gnema grabbed her by the shirt and yelled loudly: “All right boy, time for your training. Wake up!”

The redhead did just that and was about to give her father a piece of her mind, only to suddenly feel herself sent flying as Genma unceremoniously tossed her out the window. With a startled yelp and a loud splash, the Saotome girl landed in the Koi Pond. Furiously she reemerged from the water and shouted at her father, who by now had landed on the lawn close to the pond: “What the hell was that for pops?”

“I figured that would wake your lazy ass up Ranma. Plus, throwing you in that pond never gets old.” Retorted Genma with a smug smile.

Growling in annoyance Ranma shot back: “How does it not get old? I mean, it doesn’t even do anything anymore since I’m a girl all the time now.”

Her father nodded sagely and answered: “I too feared that that would make it less entertaining. However, I am glad to say that even without you turning from boy to girl, throwing you into the pond has lost almost nothing of its comedic value.” With a cry of rage Ranma launched herself at the elder Saotome and an intense sparring session broke out between the two martial artists.

From her window Akane, who had been woken by the clamor, rolled her eyes at the spectacle. “Ugh, some things apparently never change.”

……………………………

 

 

Sometime later Ranma and Akane were walking their usual way to school. Kasumi had originally protested that Ranma go to school already, however Genma had insisted that his son turned daughter shouldn’t hide like some coward. And the young Saotome naturally took this as a challenge and insisted on going as a result. Not that the reluctant Saotome girl was especially looking forward to school, but it was probably preferable to go there instead of hanging around her father and hearing him nag about what a cowardly disgrace she was. Which, coming from a man, whose various secret techniques often included running away or submissively begging for mercy, was quite rich.

Nonetheless Ranma was now gloomily walking on top of the fence while Akane was walking on the sidewalk as usual. To be fair though, Ranma did feel better about herself again today. Mostly because the morning had been spent in a way that was (for Tendo household standards) completely normal and that normality had restored some of her severely damaged self-esteem. After a few minutes of awkward silence, the youngest Tendo hesitantly spoke up: “So Ranma, what exactly are we going to tell everyone at school? About why you are… uhm… attending as girl now?”

That visibly darkened the redhead’s mood again and she dejectedly sighed: “I have no idea. No way am I going to share the real details. All those gossiping jerks will probably get them eventually anyways from Nabiki. But at least then I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that one of them had to pay her exorbitant prices.”

Akane realized that maybe bringing that up wasn’t the best way to start a conversation and retorted: “Alright. I guess we can just say that you are stuck as girl again without giving any details whatsoever.”

“Sounds good enough for now.” Confirmed her former fiancée with an unenthusiastic shrug.

“Maybe I can convince Nabiki to not go and spread the whole story around all of Nerima either.” Akane further tried to be helpful: “I mean I wouldn’t want it to be public knowledge if anything like that happened to me.”

Ranma shot the blue haired teen a grateful look and glumly answered: “Thanks Akane, honestly. But I’m not holding my breath here. If something can be used to make money Nabiki will use it to make money. And me falling for some obvious drugging attempt like a complete idiot and being permanently locked as girl as a result is too good a story for your sister to not make people pay to hear it.”

Frowning Akane couldn’t help but agree to some degree: “Well, you might have a point there. Nabiki can sink pretty low whenever money is involved.”

“That’s an understatement.” Grumbled Ranma, who had, to her chagrin, been exploited by the middle Tendo sisters underhanded and sometimes downright criminal money-making methods quite often.

The two teenage girls continued to walk in companionable silence for a few more moments when suddenly they heard a bicycle bell ring out from behind them. Being already familiar with what was about to happen by now, Ranma swiftly jumped of the fence down on the ground. And not a second too early because a second later Shampoo on her bike landed exactly where the redhead had been standing on the fence before.

“Ni hao Ranma.” She cheerfully greeted.

“Hi Shampoo. What’s up?” The pigtailed girl asked slightly wary, since she expected to be enthusiastically glomped or something along those lines. However, Shampoo managed to restrain herself from doing just that. Mostly since even she knew that it probably wouldn’t be the wisest of moves to pull on a person that had been sexually assaulted not long ago.

So instead the purple haired girl just jovially replied: “Shampoo is making delivery and just happened to see airen by chance. So, decided to drop by and say hello. So how is airen today. Feeling better yet?”

The Saotome boy turned girl couldn’t help but feel a bit touched by the obvious concern that could be heard in Shampoo’s voice as she asked that last question. Shrugging the pigtailed redhead tried to play everything down nonetheless and answered: “I guess, I’m feeling slightly better today. I’m still not really happy though, I’ll have to say.” The amazon just nodded understandingly and looked at her crush sympathetically.
“Shampoo understands. Is really though situation for airen. But hey, maybe great-grandmother finds cure after all. Would be nice, yes? Maybe until then Shampoo can cheer you up, yes?” Said the Chinese girl before suddenly her eyes lit up and she exclaimed: “Oh. Shampoo knows. How about Shampoo takes you on date? It will be fun, Shampoo promises. Maybe it will distract airen from current problems?”

“Wait. What?” Ranma quickly retorted and waved her hands defensively: “No, really I’m fine no need to cheer me up…. I… Wait a second. Don’t you normally ask me to take you on a date?”  Noticing this change from the usual formula Ranma couldn’t help but ask.

Shampoo shrugged and nonchalantly retorted: “Is true. Since normally boy is supposed to ask out girl. But since we both girls now, Shampoo may as well take initiative. So, you accept, yes? Good.”

“I never said tha….” The Saotome girl started to protest. Unfortunately for her she was then hit over the head by a bookbag. Letting out an annoyed “Ow” she rubbed her head and turned to a visibly furious Akane, who was still brandishing her bag: “Hey, what did you do that for?”

Fuming the youngest Tendo daughter yelled at her former fiancée: “Ranma you jerk. You are unbelievable. How dare you flirt with the Chinese floozy right in front of me you pervert.” “Shampoo is not floozy!” Shampoo objected loudly. But she was completely ignored by the two other girls who continued their argument.

Getting annoyed Ranma shot back: “I wasn’t even flirting. She was flirting with me as you might have noticed. Also, even if I was flirting with Shampoo, which for the record I wasn’t, what do you care? You just told me yesterday that you aren’t even interested in me anymore. Plus, our engagement was cancelled. So why do you still have to hit me when I do as little as interacting with another girl?”

Well that was good news Shampoo couldn’t help but think upon hearing this. Akane meanwhile had to mentally admit that Ranma might have a decent point this time, which was weird enough. She just stared at her red-haired friend dumbly for a few moments. But since she wasn’t very good at admitting it when Ranma was right she decided to get angry again instead: “Well, as you just said yourself. The engagement only ended yesterday you idiot. If you had any shred of decency in you, you wouldn’t be cozying up with one of your other suitors today already you pervert.”

“I am not “cozying up” with anyone!” Ranma yelled back in exasperation: “You are such a thick headed un-cute tomboy sometimes.” This resulted naturally in the Tendo girl giving an inarticulate scream of rage followed by her book bag slamming down on the read headed girl’s head again. The blow sent the heiress of the Saotome school of anything goes martial arts right to the ground and flat to her face. She groaned in pain.

Shampoo meanwhile was pondering whether to leave or not. By now she doubted she was going to get a date out of this anytime soon. Better return when the quarrel between those two was over. As still visibly pissed Akane was now screaming at her ex-fiancée: “Well if I’m so un-cute maybe you should go on a date with the crazy purple haired psychopath that tried to kill you.  I’m sure she is much cuter than me.” Her voice was dripping with sarcasm during the last part.

“Hey…” the amazon protested from the sidelines looking a bit hurt at being called a crazy psychopath.

Getting back to her feet Ranma grumbled: “Maybe I will. At least Shampoo doesn’t hit me for no reason all the time.”

Scoffing the Tendo girl gave the redhead a last devastating glare, turned around and stomped away: “You do that you jerk. Like I care.”

“You know what? All right I’ll go on a date with Shampoo, if you don’t care.” The Saotome girl yelled after her friend.

Shampoo couldn’t believe her ears. Did that just really happen. Excitedly she jumped off her bicycle and landed right next to a startled Ranma. In her euphoria, she promptly forgot to speak Japanese and babbled happily in Chinese while practically jumping up and down with joy. This just earned her a confused look from her beloved redhead.

Finally getting her overflowing emotions back under control the purple haired amazon managed to speak Japanese again: “Oh, Shampoo so so happy. Airen not going to regret it. Shampoo promise. Ranma has time on Sunday, yes?”

The girl in question scratched the back of her head nervously. She hadn’t really intended to actually go on a date with Shampoo. Mostly she had just wanted to make Akane mad. Bust seeing how Shampoo was so happy beyond belief she really couldn’t bring herself to tell the amazon that.  Besides the purple haired warrioress was kind of cute like this. So, she just replied: “Uh… I guess.”

Beaming the other girl stated: “Good. Shampoo going to pick you up around three. Thank you Airen. Thank you, thank you.” With that the Chinese girl excitedly got back on her bike and drove away still smiling form one ear to another and happily babbling something in her native tongue. Ranma just stood there a little dumbfounded. She really needed to pay more attention to what she was saying during an argument.

………………………………

 

School had been, as expected, complete hell for Ranma. Not only did everyone gawk and stare at her when she showed up in girl-form but she was also hounded by almost all her classmates with various questions after she grudgingly admitted that she was stuck as a girl again. She did brush all of them off and told them no details of course but it was still annoying to keep dealing with the same questions over and over. Eventually Hinako did restore order in the classroom by draining most of the students’ Ki. But she was apparently blaming the redheaded girl for the general inattentiveness of the students since she gave Ranma angry glares throughout the day.

“What’s her problem? It’s not like I intentionally got stuck as a girl just to disrupt class.” Ranma thought gloomily. Furthermore, Akane was still giving her the cold shoulder-treatment after their earlier quarrel. Really, what was her deal? On the plus side, Ukyo was currently not attending classes due to being on a training trip until Monday. That at least meant that Ranma could postpone breaking the news to her childhood friend. That was one conversation she was not looking forward to.

In any case the Saotome girl did manage to make it through the day somehow and was now walking back towards the Tendo Dojo. Akane was still mad at her so she was walking alone, opting for the longer route to avoid being glared at by her blue haired friend. Overall Ranma felt emotionally exhausted. Her life was a huge mess right now. Well, even more so than usually. How was she going to get out of this again? She highly doubted she could stand being locked as a girl for twelve years (because let’s face it, with her abysmal luck of course it would take the maximum amount of years for the potion to wear off). Maybe Cologne would find some way to reverse this Ikuchi oil nonsense after all. That was what the redhead was currently still hoping for in any case.

Suddenly Ranma was snapped out of her troubled musings by a very familiar voice calling out: “Oh Ranma darling, catch.”

The next moment she already saw something flying at her at high speed in the corner of her eyes. Due to her highly trained reflexes the young martial artist was easily able to snatch the object out of the air. Looking at it she visibly paled upon realizing it was a black rose. She mentally braced herself for some sort of poisonous gas to start spraying into her face. After a few moments of nothing happening the redhead relaxed a bit and turned towards Kodachi Kuno, who was standing a few feet away in her school uniform.

“Oh, hi there, Kodachi. What do you want?”, Ranma asked warily: “If it’s a fight you want, let’s get it over with quickly. I’m really not in the mood today.”

The black rose just blinked in and tilted her head sideways slightly. With apparent confusion, she asked: “What? Why would I want to fight you darling? I already promised to not attack you, even if you are a girl. You are not making any sense.”

“Well, I just thought that you might be angry at me for getting stuck as a girl and since you are not exactly the….” The young Saotome started to say. Then she quickly stopped herself from talking any further when she realized she should probably not question Kodachi’s sanity right in front of the black haired Kuno girl: “Uhm, never mind. What do you want?”

The other girl responded: “I’m glad you asked my dearest Ranma. First of all, I’d like to apologize for my behavior yesterday. It was rather undignified of me to just run away like that after finding out that you were somewhat permanently stuck in female form. My emotions did get the better of me in that particular situation I’m afraid. Only later did it occur to me that it was pretty selfish of me to run away from you during what was no doubt a rather unpleasant time for you as well. I should have been there for you to comfort you my love, instead of leaving you alone with all those Chinese peasants instead.”

Ranma just stared at Kodachi with an utterly confused expression. Was the black Rose really apologizing to her for running out on her yesterday? And what for anyways? Finally managing to respond the redhead stuttered: “Uh… no big deal?... I guess. I mean I’m mostly fine again right now. No need to apologize… or anything.”

The Kuno girl seemed to be visibly relieved at that and smiled brightly at the Saotome heiress. For once it seemed to be a genuine smile and not a psychotic smirk as well, which Ranma had to admit made the black-haired girl look rather nice.

“I’m glad you aren’t mad at me Ranma darling.” The black Rose replied: “In that case I want to address the second reason I sought you out today my dear.”

Ranma sighed. She just knew it. It was almost impossible to meet Kodachi Kuno without that ending in unpleasantness. Readying for the worst the redhead asked: “And that would be?”

With another surprisingly genuine smile the black-haired girl retorted: “If I remember recent events correctly, you promised to go on a date with me this weekend, darling. If you have time I’d very much like to still take you up on that offer.”

The redheads face twisted into an expression of utter bafflement. Off all things this had been the last Ranma expected out of the black Rose. Completely losing her composure she stuttered: “Wh… What? But. I mean… I. Uh? Well, it’s not like I wouldn’t…. I mean… I did promise to do it… but… You do remember that I’m most likely not going back to being a man anytime, soon right?”

“Yes, I do darling. What is your point exactly?” Kodachi shot back with a quizzical look.

“I… I mean you were pretty into me when I was a boy. I just… I mean… I didn’t think you’d still want to date me now that I’m… female… full time.” The redhead awkwardly explained her point.

“Oh. That.” The Kuno girl retorted, face lighting up in understanding: “Yes I’ll admit my initial reaction to you being female permanently now was rather negative. But after some… contemplation about my own feelings I came to a conclusion that actually surprised me a bit myself. Yes, I am still romantically interested in you Ranma darling.”

Surprised Ranma blurted out: “You are into girls?”

Kodachi thought about that statement a few seconds and then answered: “Bluntly stated? Yes, I am. Well I’m into both genders apparently but yes, I came to the realization that I am attracted to beautiful girls as well as handsome boys. And you my dear are breathtakingly beautiful.”  During the last words her eyes shortly roamed all over the Saotome girls figure with obvious appreciation.

The redheaded martial artist couldn’t help but blush at that compliment, even if she wasn’t entirely sure how she felt about being complimented about her female beauty.

Meanwhile Kodachi continued: “So Ranma darling I’d still like to go on a date with you if you are feeling up to it. I mean, I’m guessing you also are still attracted to girls, or does this curse also mess with your…”
“What?” A thoroughly embarrassed Saotome heiress cried out: “No! No, it doesn’t. Thank the gods. I’m still interested in girls and only girls.”

“Ah, good.” The martial arts gymnast replied chipperly: “in that case I’d like to formally ask you out for dinner tomorrow evening.”

Sighing heavily Ranma agreed: “Fine. I’ll go out with you Kodachi. I still owe you that much. But remember the rules we agreed on yesterday.” Once more the face of the infamous black rose lit up with a genuine smile and giddy excitement. Again, Ranma had to admit that Kodachi actually looked cute when she was like this.

Barely suppressing the urge to jump up and down in joy the young Kuno immediately assented: “Of course. No explosives, poisons, or anything like that and I won’t tell anyone about the date. I’m just so happy to finally be able to go on a date with you my love. Let’s meet up in front of my house tomorrow evening. I’d pick you up, but since you want to keep this a secret I better don’t show up in front of the Tendos lowly residence.”

Ranma opened her mouth to say something, but Kodachi was too caught up in her own excitement and just continued to talk undeterred: “Let’s say that we meet at about 6 o clock in the evening. Oh, and could you please wear some nice clothes?” Suddenly she paused and looked at her red-haired crush contemplatively. Sounding rather unsure now she asked: “Do you even have any nice clothes for your female form my love? I’ll also gladly accept it if you have any nice, male looking clothes as long as they actually fit your female form.”

Ranma scratched her neck, starting to get embarrassed as she admitted: “Sadly no to the latter. I never really bothered to buy any male clothes that fit my female side, but I do a few sets of “nice” girly outfits.”

At that Kodachi just looked a bit surprised and questioningly looked at her crush with a raised eyebrow. The redhead blushed and started to explain: “I used them as disguises and stuff like that sometimes.” Kodachi smirked and then teasingly stated: “Well, now you’ve made me curious. I guess one of those outfits of yours will do tomorrow. I’m looking forward to our date my love. But for now, Farwell. Until tomorrow. Don’t be late.”

“Yeah, bye Kodachi. See you tomorrow I guess.” The other girl retorted unsure of what to say. Then suddenly the black Rose produced her usual ribbon out of her school uniform and made it twirl in the air. Black Rose petals started to drift through the air and suddenly Kodachi had disappeared, notably without insane laughter this time. Ranma had to admit that she always thought that trick, while overly theatric, was still kind of cool.

With a sigh Ranma took stock of her situation. Alright so she somehow ended up agreeing to date both Shampoo and Kodachi in the next two, days and that even though she was stuck as a girl herself. How did that end up happening? This was going to end in some sort of disaster for sure. When it became clear that Ranma might be stuck as a girl somewhat permanent she had figured that this would also pretty much stop her fiancées and, in Kodachi’s case, female admirers from pursuing her. Apparently, that was not the case. Ranma was unsure how to feel about that. On one hand she was kind of glad that at least some of the girls still liked her well enough to still want to date her. That was a much-needed self-esteem boost for the redhead. On the other hand, the whole multiple girls chasing after her had also always caused her great deals of unwanted stress. Still pondering the whole thing Ranma started to walk to the Tendo Dojo.