Happi Days Are Here Again (prologue) by Gregg Sharp final draft all characters are (c) Rumiko Takahashi, don't sue me as a) i don't have any money, b) hiring me would be more profitable in the long run anyway.

this is a fairly old (pre-Bet, in fact) fic of mine, and i've only made minor changes.

Jusenkyo,1992: a cloudy night

The cursed springs beckoned the unwary. Those who fell into one of the pools found themselves hit with the thermosensitive water-based transformational curse, and any cure tantalizingly out of reach.

In the dim light, two were careful not to get *too* close to the springs. Though one was already cursed by the springs, and one was simply accursed.

"I don't care what you're going to use it for," the taller figure said. "All I care about is revenge on Ranma Saotome and the others!"

"Cursed springwater from Juusenkyo," the short man said nodding. "Concentrated down to its maximum potency. Say, what would happen if I used it in the concentrated form?"

"Nothing. You have to add at least three parts water to the concentrate for it to have an effect. The regular mix is ten parts water. Dilute it any further and the effects become temporary, giving the Juusenkyo curse but only for a few years at best." The moon peeked from behind a cloud, revealing a slightly older Herb of the Musk Dynasty. A Prince of a Hidden Chinese Kingdom, and not nearly as good a loser as appearances might have indicated.

"Is there any way, save the Chiisatuon to lock them in the cursed form, or change their personality?" Happosai, the ancient and perverted martial arts master, was revealed as the short figure. "After all, we both have grudges against Ranma."

"It is ONLY because of that fact," explained Herb as darkness moved across the field again, "that I am helping you at all. Phoenix Mountain has assisted in this, as many of their citizens have also reason to hate Saotome and all he has done. "That is why you have this." A large wooden ladle was handed to Happosai.

"Ah, a copy of the Chiisatuon? Sweet." Happosai smiled as he took the ladle, an evil smile on his face. The "locking ladle" was a sacred treasure of the Musk Dynasty, and he was only slightly disappointed that he couldn't use the original. "This locks them in their form, but what about the personality?"

"Hit them with the right water using THAT, and you lock them in the form of a young girl forever. Actually, Happosai, I'm surprised you didn't think of this. There is a Spring Of Virtuous Man, but did you not think that there would be other springs of a similar nature? After all, there are 131 different springs in this valley, and only thirteen springs lack a template."

"Spring Of Virtuous Woman?" Happosai couldn't see where that would be a particularly good vengeance.

"Actually there was a young bride who drowned in one of the other pools one thousand two hundred years ago. Until you supplied us with things like electric water pumps and rubber permaseal hoses, it was not easy to get to it, however. Now, we have drained it twice, concentrated and distilled it, and will use the future waters for our own purposes. You, however, have the task of transporting forty gallons of concentrated Juusenkyo Spring Of Drowned Bishojo Bride water back to Japan."

"Which will make four hundred gallons of the curse water," said Happosai happily. Just the name - "Beautiful Young Girl Bride" conjured wonderful visions to the ancient pervert once described as the World's Most Evil Martial Arts Master. (A title he was proud of, by the way.) "That MIGHT be enough for my plans."

"Whatever," Herb gave a wave of his hand. He didn't particularly like the shrunken old man, but one had to use whatever tools were available. "This concludes our business. You'll find the casks of concentrate at the end of the Valley by dawn, and you already have the copy of the sacred ladle. I will warn you that the psychological effects are NOT going to be immediate, however. Depending on the strength of will, it could potentially take months for the effects to take place. As long as they are locked in that form, they WILL convert eventually. The identity remains the same, as will memories, but the cultural attitudes and overall personality will eventually conform to the template."

"It's perfect," Happosai said and began to laugh. He barely noticed when Herb left.

----------------

Events were already moving that made Happosai's job of revenge more difficult than he had planned.

"POP!" The main gate to the Tendo household fell off its hinges and slid a few feet towards the house. That it was a massive wooden reinforced gate made this notable.

Genma and Soun Tendo looked over to where Ranma was standing. Ranma had numerous little cuts, bruises, one sizable bruise covering one side of his face, what looked like a few burned patches on his clothing, and a missing patch of hair showing the reddish brown of recently dried blood on the piece of scalp thus revealed.

Genma, currently in his Jusenkyo-cursed panda form, pulled a sign out. [Excuse me?]

"Does the name HARENCHI ring any bells with you?" The glowering martial artist in the doorway spat blood out of the side of his mouth without taking his gaze off his father.

The sign flipped. [I don't recall.]

"You sold me AGAIN!"

"Genma, you didn't!" Soun snarled. Bad enough with Daikokuji, or that shameless Kuonji person, or...

"Oh yes, he DID. To make matters worse, guess who sold the information to one Yohko Harenchi?" Ranma glared around until he spotted Nabiki. "HOW MUCH DID YOU GET FOR THAT INFORMATION!"

"5000 yen, a steal at that price." Nabiki smirked at the fuming boy.

Battle aura flared, the same shade of blue that Akane usually manifested. Nabiki blinked. Ranma didn't hit girls, however she had never seen him this close to completely losing control.

"First she shows up and challenges me to a battle. Did you know she uses whips, chains, manacles, and various 'accessories' in battle! I wasn't sure if she was going to kill me from sheer embarrasment there!"

The panda held up a sign, however it seemed to explode for no adequately explored reason. Perhaps the smouldering aura surrounding Ranma's right fist had something to do with it.

"After wrecking a good part of the school, Kodachi comes swinging in, decides she likes the whip concept too, after all it is CLOSE to her ribbon, and I have another sick twisted woman trying the 'hundred lashes' attack on me." Ranma lashed out, a spin kick that tore through another sign that Genma had pulled out, and slammed into the panda's head. "Then at lunch Shampoo comes by with some ramen, Ukyou with some okonomiyaki, and Akane starts giving me grief about Yohko, Ukyou, Shampoo, PLUS some girl named Kotono that I've never heard of!"

"I see fuse bombs coming in the middle of all this, courtesy of that damn Chemistry CLub, and I knock Akane to the ground when they go off. What does my wonderful fiancee do?" "She starts beating on me for being on top of her! Shampoo glomps me, Ukyou starts fighting with Shampoo, and Akane" "starts malleting me and tells me in great detail" "how much she HATES me." "Ryouga hears this, and starts doing his" "Breaking point technique" "to make me pay for making Akane upset."

"I....HAVE....HAD...IT!" This was made more impressive in that Genma's panda form was considerably more massive than Ranma. "THE ENGAGEMENTS, ALL OF THEM, ARE OFF!"

Soun had watched this display impassively until this last line. Then the demon head trick again came into play. "How Dare You, Sa-o-to-me!"

Ranma glared at him. "Try me, Mister Tendo. Just try it. I am in no mood for your theatrics, and I just do not care about your feelings, nor anyone else who has been manipulating me for the past three years. That is it, that is all, no more!"

Soun stopped. He was angry, but not so much that a survival instinct didn't immediately make itself known. He was sufficiently close enough to Ranma to feel heat actually coming off of the younger boy, so angry was he.

Nabiki snorted. "Oh, come on, now, Ranma, you don't really expect me to believe..."

Without appearing to move, Ranma was suddenly behind Nabiki and had touched a set of pressure points on her back. She abruptly stopped moving.

"I'm leaving," Ranma informed the paralyzed Nabiki. "I am NOT coming back, and if you really want me to get pissed off, you will PERSONALLY regret it."

Nodding at Kasumi, Ranma walked upstairs. A few moments later he was back down, his backpack over one shoulder. "Kasumi, let Dr Tofu know I've hit her paralysis spots. To YOU I want to say I'm sorry, you've never hit me, you've never abused my trust, you've never insulted or belittled me." He didn't mention the time she'd found out he was afraid of cats and she had dumped a large number on him. Mainly because he didn't remember.

Kasumi smiled. "Take care, Ranma."

He nodded, still not smiling, and left the Tendo house without a single glance back.

Kasumi watched him leave, turned back to Nabiki and quietly hit a series of spots along her paralyzed sister's back. Nabiki abruptly collapsed as her muscles relaxed all at once.

"Don't try to move just yet, Nabiki, your muscles will need a few moments to recover from that."

"Urrrrggghhh."

"You know you were quite fortunate, with him being drugged like that, he could easily have hit the wrong areas and paralyzed your heart muscles as well."

"Drugged..." Nabiki managed from the floor.

"Drugged?" Soun Tendo asked quietly.

Kasumi shrugged. She hadn't read all those medical books and studied Chinese Medicine without learning a few things. "There were signs...I hope I wasn't mistaken."

"Yes, as a matter of fact he WAS drugged," Cologne said. "NOT by Shampoo, however."

"Who then?" Soun wasn't quite sure whether to believe Cologne or not. Still, any explanation that might make this a temporary situation was something he was willing to listen to.

"Mousse." Cologne moved into view from where she had been hidden in the shadows. "Mousse found an antidote for Passion Spice, and thinking that Shampoo had drugged son-in-law's ramen, added the Passionate Spice. Right now, son-in-law's emotional state will be very volatile over the next twelve hours. No matter what the emotion, he will experience it in the extremes beyond anything he has felt before. While it would merely counteract Passion Spice if that was present, this Spice by itself will cause him to swing from extreme to extreme until the drug works its way through his system."

"Oh my," Kasumi managed. "If Akane should mallet him NOW..." Her normal bullying of her fiance might not be as safe as it usually was.

"We gotta warn her..." Nabiki got up slowly from the floor. She abruptly sat back down as various groups of muscles advised her that this was a Bad Idea. "Still, it's not as if he doesn't have SOME control. If he were that bad, I'd probably be dead right now."

"True," Cologne nodded. "Son-in-law does have his honor and some degree of discipline. I would not want to be present, however, when those restraints are broken. A berserker is not a pleasant companion."

Everyone thought seriously about the possibility of Ranma-the-Berserk-Killer and shuddered. Kasumi immediately called Doctor Tofu who could help find Akane and warn her.

Cologne continued her search for Shampoo. Nabiki went to sell info to everyone, after all, what did it matter if people got hurt if she could turn a profit here. Soun watched Genma slowly crawl out of the yard to the shogi board. This would be a long night, and not a gentle one to his nerves.

"Wait a minute, Saotome!" Soun stopped abruptly. "If ANY emotion is made stronger by this Spice, we can use this opportunity to have Ranma confess his love to Akane!"

[I don't know. Look what happened when we tried to get the two of them drunk.]

"Oh, that was a just a FLUKE. Besides, only one of them is affected this time!"

The sign flipped. [You DO remember what happened when they got drunk, don't you?]

"Ranma spent three hours blubbering about not being able to see his mother, and Akane grabbed that large knife and was saying something about making both Ranma's forms women. She calmed down eventually."

[She passed out.]

"Oh yeah. Well, Ranma did hit you rather hard didn't he?" Soun thought about it. "Well, then, why don't we see what we can get from this Chinese Medicine catalog the Master stole from the Nekohanten?"

[As long as it doesn't involve finding that ungrateful boy tonight.] The sign flipped down. Genma was feeling rather like a throw rug at the moment.

------------------------------------

A day went by, and then another. There was still no sign of Ranma. Things quieted down some around the Tendo dojo, with the exception of Tatewaki Kuno's renewed attacks on Akane, Gosunkugi's purchase of the 'CookBook Of Chinese Alchemy For Beginners', and Soun scraping together enough money to mail order some odd things like 'Love Potion 69' and 'Golden Passion Dust Elixir.'

(Both Soun and Genma ignored the warnings for both potions. The Love Potion warning dealt with "potential" side effects, and the Elixir warned that continued use would be habit-forming.)

(Meanwhile, Gosunkugi had discovered that the book itself was in Chinese and the available Chinese-Japanese dictionaries weren't really that much help.)

------------------------------------

"I'm back...." Happosai said quietly. He'd spent some time readying THIS nasty. Still, he was sure to get Ranma with this, and most likely everyone would BLAME Ranma for their sudden transformation. That this would be such wonderful eye candy for him would also be perfect.

He waited for just after the bell announcing the start of the second class, where the number of people outside their classrooms would be minimum.

First he'd disconnected the sprinkler system and drained it. Then he'd used the dipping bucket to refill the pipes, blocked the ends, and then done a little sabotage on sprinkler heads from one end of Furinkan Senior High School to the other.

With a laugh and images of what would happen to fuel him on, he reconnected the water pipes, and water pressure slammed through the pipes a moment later.

Happosai felt a moment's regret, after all this had used most of the four hundred gallons that he could make with current supplies. As he heard the shrieks and screams coming from inside, though, he felt the results would be worth it.

Happosai moved away, just avoiding a janitor who came racing out of the building to turn the water off again. Happosai watched as the woman in ill-fitting clothing struggled with the shut off valve without the upper body strength that she had used to have.

Happosai looked towards the door and realized that staying behind to gloat might not have been a good move. A number of students had seen him. As he bounded away, he considered this almost as good. So Ranma wouldn't be blamed for this, but Ranma WOULD know who had trapped him as a girl forever!

Behind him a small crowd had formed, with some of them going into shock, others angry, still others (a distinct minority and already wearing school dresses) were admiring the changes in their figures.

Hiroshi-chan peeled her wet boy's school uniform shirt away from her breasts and glanced miserably over at Daisuke-chan. "I don't envy Ranma nearly as much as I used to."

Daisuke-chan nodded, equally miserable. "So it was Happosai who did this..."

The name was picked up by others who repeated it. More former guys made the transition from shocked and babbling to thoroughly pissed. When the discovery was made that hot water had no effect, battle auras began to flare. Even on those who were not fireball-throwing martial artists.

Search-and-destroy parties were quickly organized and dispatched.

------------------------------------

A small crowd of people, gaijin (foreigners) by the look of them, were standing outside the Nerima Animate store. Happosai chuckled a little. He'd noticed how well built some of those students had looked, and was quite curious what the effect on gaijin would be like.

The device looked an awful lot like a dayglo flamethrower. He'd had to take some waterproof caulking and reseal a number of the joints, as even tiny little leaks were not something he'd wanted to deal with.

"Two minutes still to opening," one of the gaijin was saying as he glanced at a watch.

Happosai landed on the other side of the small and now wet crowd. Another five gallons down, he noted. Flipping up and over to the roof of a building, he turned to witness the results of his work.

"Sweet-o." Happosai immediately went to the other device he had and started snapping photographs. This was a dream come true, he couldn't believe he hadn't thought of something like this before. All he had to do was escape before those below finished climbing up the side of the building to rip him apart.

Snapping two more photos, Happosai vanished. He left behind a note saying that if they wanted to turn back, they needed to take it up with Ranma Saotome.

Unfortunately, very few of those reading the note were that good at kanji, and those that were had little doubt that this was some sort of trap.

When a search-and-destroy party of young high school girls showed up, the truth came out, and a somewhat larger party left with visions of beating a little old man like a pinata filling their heads.

Of course, that still left a small group of wet and badly dressed young women who proved that they were indeed otaku (fanboys, er, fangirls), for nothing this minor would keep them from their shopping trip. One in particular was thinking that the Sailor Moon fuku in the window looked just TOO kawaii.

--------------------------------

Meanwhile, on a small boat, hundreds of miles away, a pigtailed girl sat up and wondered where the hell she was. Why did she have this empty space in her memories, where she vaguely remembered yelling at the Tendos. She'd stalked off then, she remembered THAT much. Then she'd gotten splashed, which had done the usual Jusenkyo transformation turning him from blackhaired Japanese boy to redhaired Japanese girl, he'd seen a cat and had the panic attack and had started to run. Everything was a blur after that.

Finally a vague memory of crawling aboard a ship and hiding as fear had just increased beyond all conscious thought. Ranma sighed, she had to have been drugged, that was the only thing that made any sense to her.

Ranma wondered what was happening back in Nerima. No doubt everyone was far happier without her around anyway. Akane always hitting her, Nabiki always using her, and all the people who saw her as an object or as some prize to be won. It didn't matter if she was a he or a she at the time, it just changed who was doing it at the time.

Ranma decided she wouldn't go back just yet, she really needed some quiet time to think, and she just could not see that happening back at the old stomping grounds.

===============================

terms:____

BISHOJO: "beautiful girl" usually refers to one of around High School age. FUKU or SEIFUKU: school uniform, particularly one of the girl's sailor suit varieties. FURO: a Japanese style bath. there is usually a small room for changing clothes, an area for washing or rinsing off (cold water), and a tub of hot water for soaking in after having cleaned off. KAWAII: cute. Cute has considerable cultural significance in Japan. See also Tokyo Cosplay Girls page for examples. (link can be found at http://metroanime.home.mindspring.com) OTAKU: fanboy. Outside of Japan means simply someone who is a fan. In Japan it is rather more insulting and means someone who is fanatically obsessed. There are racecar otaku, anime otaku, hentai otaku, sewing otaku, cosplay otaku, financially focussed otaku, etc. PASSION SPICE: a fanfic convention, not in TOS, a form of aphrodisiac. PASSIONATE SPICE: something invented for this fanfic. It can nullify passion spice, but if no passion spice is present serves to cause extreme mood swings and suppresses one's normal inhibitions. SENTAI: refers to Japanese heroes in spandex. Think Power Rangers or any number of similar Japanese series. SAILOR MOON: Sentai series dealing with superpowered girls wearing short skirted fuku. TOS: The Original Series (Ranma 1/2). Note that there are conflicts between the manga and the anime, and that there are instances in both where even the official version of the character is acting Out Of Character from the rest of the series. (Both Ranma and Ukyou in the Reversal Jewel episode immediately come to mind.)

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Happi Days 2: Week 1, Second Day all char are (c) way too damn many of the rich and powerful, i didn't come up with anything but the situation. Metroanime@mindspring.com

The sprinklers had gone off just as the second period had started. There had also been a telltale thunk through the pipes, that of water suddenly slamming into more water that had been in the pipes to begin with.

Nabiki quietly pulled her plastic three ring binder off her desk and held it over her head as the water came down all around her. It was, unfortunately, not quite quickly enough to keep her from getting damp.

Then came the shock as she saw exactly WHAT was happening in Furinkan Senior High School on this spring day.

Nyanniichuan was her immediate leap of deduction. Somebody had rigged the sprinklers with the cursed waters of Juusenkyo's "Spring Of Drowned Girl" and she was watching the results with a certain horror. At the very least this would cut into her sales of photos of Ranma-chan and Akane.

Except that it didn't look like "girl" was quite the correct term. "Supermodel" might be a better description.

There were a number of women in class who were wearing the male school uniform, and the uniforms didn't even come close to fitting correctly. She noted that the Blue Thunder was one of the former boys who had just gone completely into shock and weren't moving beyond the hands.

Said hands moving over their own bodies and reporting that Something Very Bad had just happened.

Nabiki frowned as she realized that she too had been affected by the waters. Her figure had been tweaked but not by much, and she seemed a little shorter though it was only by a couple of inches at most.

The water abruptly stopped, though Nabiki doubted many of those affected were really capable of noticing at that point.

Nabiki waved a hand in front of Kuno's face, noting no reaction. Moving to the window, she looked around and noticed a short figure bouncing away from the school grounds. "Happosai did it."

Nobody noticed that Nabiki had been sufficiently rattled that she had just given information away for free. Only the directed rage they were feeling allowed some of the people there to feel anything at all.

Tatewaki Kuno stared down at her breasts for a brief moment, then drew her bokken. "THAT SORCERER SHALL PAY FOR HIS VILE DEEDS!"

For once, a large number of individuals agreed with Tatewaki Kuno. The mob began to move, a group of people that were united by a single purpose. In this case it was Vengeance. Later would come the solitary heart-searching, the crying and the feelings of loss.

Now was the time to get even. Right now, it was something to focus on besides what had just happened to them, and THAT was something gratefully accepted.

Nabiki watched, idly working on ways that she could turn this to her advantage. A lot of people would require their uniforms and regular clothing to be altered to fit the changed bodies. Kasumi was good at such things, perhaps a business opportunity was here? One of the reasons Ranma favored his Chinese clothing, after all, was that he lost over a foot of height (gaining most of it in the bust- Nabiki had noticed) when he changed from boy to girl.

Nabiki noted the crowd below. Hiroshi as a buxom brunette, Daisuke a slender but curvaceous beauty running nearby, Ukyou -recognizable by her battle spatula and having burst out of her breast bindings, her sister Akane's hair seemed to have lengthened and her own figure had been enhanced somewhat, a thin young lady that could only be Gosunkugi, and all the other students that she could recognize but altered into somewhat shapelier young ladies.

Noting that Tetsuo had been absent from class today, the usual smirk appeared on her face. She could contact him and sell him news of this event, or she could wait till the recent transfer student from Juuban showed up and be amused as he went into shock. From his stories, he had seen youma attacking the school, but how well could he handle THIS?

Shaking her head, Nabiki went to the bathroom, as her own breasts were a little too tight against the fabric of her dress. So it was Nabiki who discovered that hot water was ineffective. She sold that info but others gave it away quite freely soon after.

Then came the thought that Happosai had done this here, what if he had more of this water, where would he go next? Nabiki's eyes widened. This was Very Bad, but she could think of a lot of ways this could get worse. She had to hurry.

-----------------

Soun turned on the television, the shogi board would have to wait until Kasumi finished cleaning that area. What he saw had him immediately call out to the large panda that was prowling in the kitchen.

VOICEOVER: "...and our reporter in the field is now at the site of the disaster!"

The picture shows a middle-aged man standing in front of Furinkan High School. For once, there are no hangers on behind the reporter waving and making inane statements like "hi mom." Instead the camera is panning over a crowd of women, some in male school uniforms, some wearing suits, some wearing gym clothes.

"Wataru Kurankute reporting for EyeWitness News. Today at Furinkan Senior High School in Nerima there was an event even stranger than the usual goings on. Furinkan has become a School For Girls like their longtime rival Saint Hebereke, however this has not been accomplished by a zoning or school policy change."

Soun and Genma exchanged a glance.

[This looks bad.] read a sign from Genma-p.

"My daughters, what has happened to my poor daughters." Soun began to water the floor with a flood of tears.

Kasumi brought a mop quickly before the wooden floor could warp. "Oh my. Do you mean they could have been turned into girls?"

Soun and Genma glanced at Kasumi, shrugged, and turned back to the set. Kasumi smiled.

A student wearing a t-shirt that was WAY too damn tight over her breasts was doing an excellent imitation of Soun's usual crying jag. "It's GONE! I've got THESE now, and my life is RUINED! What can I do? I...I...I'm better stacked than my GIRLFRIEND! WAAAAH!"

An unidentified woman came up and started beating the speaker over the head.

The camera went back to Wataru. "The events continue to occur throughout Nerima. We have reports that two eateries were hit by the same unexplained events!"

A picture of a young-looking Cologne standing outside the Nekohanten alongside a Chinese woman in white with "coke bottle" glasses.

A picture of Ucchan's with a wet Konatsu and a damp mailbox being shown. Both the mailbox and the kunoichi appeared to be yelling at each other.

Some woman with circular glasses looking thoroughly bewildered outside Dr Tofu's clinic.

A crowd of gaijin women in clothes that don't fit right in a similar manner to everyone else's. One of them is running out of the store with a Sailor Moon fuku that looks like it will fit.

A small group of Japanese businesswomen who were likewise wearing men's clothing that didn't fit at all right. One was apparently going into hysterics, while the rest were showing their dedication to the Japanese ideal of "enduring hardship through stoicism."

"This film," said Wataru offscreen, "was filmed during a martial arts match in Nerima's Battlebowl(tm) Arena by an amateur cameraman."

A poorly lit scene displayed two muscular men, each wearing a gi. One wore a red gi and was a blond haired gaijin. The other wore a white gi and was just as obviously the Japanese home favorite.

White gi: "It has been years since we have fought, are you sure that the soft life in America has not made you too weak to fight me?"

Red gi: "Get a life, why don't you?"

A blur goes by the camera.

The woman in the white gi went absolutely still in shock, then realized that the gi is mainly open in the front. She made a startled sound and covered up.

The woman in the red gi looked down at herself and checked to see if they're real. Looking around, she spotted the cameraman and yelled something. The screen abruptly went blank.

The scene switched back to Wataru. "We're still trying to analyze the tape to determine what exactly is going on and determine the authenticity of the..." The newscaster broke off as he looked at something happening to his left.

Wataru looked down at herself and fainted. The camera angle changed to show a short and wrinkled up old man with some sort of super soaker device in his hands. He was laughing, and it appeared to be Evil Laugh #17 (maniacal "I'm so clever" laugh.)

Back at the dojo, Genma and Soun turned pale and visibly sweated. "M-m-m-master?!"

"Oh my."

The figure on the TV pointed a finger at the camera. "RANMA! I don't know how you knew to avoid school today, but all this happening is YOUR fault. If you don't surrender yourself to my revenge, I will continue my attacks on ALL YOU HOLD DEAR!" Happosai glanced to the side. "You've got a lot to answer for. You don't fight girls? Well, now you won't have ANYONE to spar with except ME! It's permanent, it affects the mind, and there's NO CURE! Oops gotta run."

The camera angle changed again as the camera operator shows Happosai running, a pack of former schoolboys giving hot pursuit. The camera operator's voice, obviously a young woman, can be heard giving encouragement to the crowd to do something to the little . Soun looked at Genma. Genma looked at Soun. Genma quietly left and returned with a backpack. Soun hefted his own backpack. With a nod to each other they exited the front door.

Happosai ran by, pausing just long enough to target the two fathers and then race ahead of the pack of schoolgirls.

Genma, now a 17 year old woman with pale skin and very dark hair, looked at Soun, now bearing a strong resemblence to his eldest daughter. Soun exchanged a miserable glance with Genma. Turning around they went back to the shogi board.

Kasumi, ever helpful, found a few things of hers that would fit her father better than that tacky brown gi. Now why did her father immediately start to cry upon seeing the dress?

The night went otherwise relatively peacefully, up until Genma realized that his wife Nodoka was likely to take this in a very unpleasant manner.

============='_^==========================

Ranma waved as the boat left. The "Myou No Maru" was one of the weirder ships she'd been on, but the crew had just assumed that Ranma-chan was just another Chinese Amazon. There had apparently been others, tired of rural life, tired of having to accept their lot in life, or just tired of taking orders from elders like Cologne, and off went another of the Amazons, to find a place for herself in the world at large.

Some came back,unhappy with the societies they passed through. Some didn't. Whether they had died or found a place of their own, the crew of the the little smuggler/fishing vessel didn't know.

Ranma-chan suspected that the crewmen DID know what had happened to some of those missing Amazons, and that the Amazons in question had either adapted to life in the outside world or were just afraid to go back and face the Elders.

Pulling her backpack up on one shoulder, Ranma-chan started down the path that the first mate had stated would lead to a village that they did business with. One of the villages that supplied items that weren't traded in normal society. Instant Juusenkyo water, love potions, cursed items, "genuine" Amazon fetishes and the like weren't actually illegal but weren't something reputable dealers wanted any part of. Hence the smugglers in the "gray market."

Just having a Juusenkyo curse had "proven" that he was of the Amazon village- one of the runaway men who was likely tired of being beaten on without being allowed to fight back. That she had denied it, and refused to speak Chinese had been further "proof" that the original conclusion had been correct.

Ranma desperately hoped the village had something to eat besides fish...

==========-------------------==========

"Tsubasa, you look so cute in that dress," Ukyou said with a bright smile. "Konatsu, that's very pretty on you."

Both women blushed at Ukyou's praise, Tsubasa regarding the entire event as a nightmare that she could only hope would be over soon.

Konatsu regarded this as a birth defect that had literally been washed away, finally. No doubt Ukyou would come to appreciate her more now.

A small pow-wow had been held in the Tendo dojo, with a lot of people deciding what the heck to do about Happosai.

One of the most unexpected reactions had been Cologne. Now young and attractive again, it had been expected that she would have welcomed the change. Instead she had started out being thoroughly pissed. She was gradually adapting to the concept, but still wanted to catch "Happi" and soak him in his own springwater. At least that's how she wanted to START.

Daisuke sniffled. "... and my mother thinks it's cute, she says she'd always wanted a daughter anyway, and..."

"...and bought you all sorts of cute little outfits, right?" Hiroshi finished.

"You too?" Gosunkugi felt part of a group, which was nice, but really wished it wasn't under these sort of circumstances.

"Spatula girl such good friend," sniffled Shampoo. "With Ranma away, Shampoo never see what good person Spat-Ukyou is."

"I am the Blue Thun.. aw screw it. I look more like the Blue Rose..."

"So why ARE you wearing one of your sister's fuku?"

"It's not like SHE ever wears it. Besides, have you seen how often that kendo outfit pops open?" Tate-chan looked pained.

"Oh, Dr Tofu, you look so cute like that."

"Oh, Kasumi, heh heh."

"Order, please," said Akane, rapping a little mallet on the podium. "We know the little lech is out there blasting people with his water cannon until Ranma shows up and he can get his revenge."

Sayuri looked up from where she was monitoring a pocket radio. "They just had an update, Happosai just hit a group of police officers in downtown Tokyo. They're giving chase."

"They'll never catch him." Cologne stood up. "They failed to catch him after he crashed that diplomatic party and spiked the punch bowl with this Juusenkyo water."

Everyone nodded at that. That had turned into a debacle when Happi had run into a crowded shopping mall.

Sayuri continued. "The announcer says that over six hundred people have been affected so far."

"Tokyo is just getting to be too much," Yuka said to Nabiki.

"Yeah, you used to know where you stand." Nabiki felt a sudden urge and excused herself. "Uhm, Kasumi, I think I'll go make some snacks, do you mind?"

Kasumi nodded but looked puzzled. Nabiki wanted to cook? Kasumi was just hoping that she wouldn't charge TOO much.

"I'm just glad I cut school today," said one young man just before he was beaten into the floor.

--------------------*_*----------

Happosai looked at his last remaining gallon of cursewater. Where was Ranma? He'd have to abandon this plot soon, and he just couldn't admit failure at this point.

A single liter of the undiluted full-strength water was enough to curse one individual permanently. 3.78 liters to the gallon. He'd managed to curse an awful lot of people.

Maybe he'd gotten a little carried away, but self-restraint was not one of his strengths.

Happosai returned his gaze to the schoolyard below his perch atop the clocktower. "Where are you, Ranma?"

He'd watched from a ventilation shaft the fun at the ambassadorial party as the guests drank of the punch bowl that he had tainted. Upon hearing them talk of the "tingly" flavor, he had known that it was working though not as quickly or as obviously as immersion would.

It had taken an hour for the first guest to start manifesting the symptoms. Then had come the panic, as more and more of the guests began to change.

Happosai grinned at the memory. Ah, but that one especially had been so sweet. There was a manhunt for Ranma, and now one for Happosai after the name had come to light from an anonymous tip.

Since it had come immediately after the reward was posted, but before the reward had become common knowledge, Happosai knew that it had Nabiki that had given the police information about him. He'd have his revenge on HER soon enough.

A patrol car drove up to the front of the school and Happosai ducked back into the shadows.

----------------^_^;;---------------

Ranma finished stacking the crates, collected his money, and started out for a dinner at the little diner across the street. Unlike the Amazon Village this one was fairly near the coast and was relatively modern.

The food was simple fare, but cheap and plenty of it. He loved the "All You Can Eat" special, though the crowd that developed as he went through enough food to feed most of the village was unnerving.

Ranma sat back after nearly an hour and smiled. He wondered how Akane was doing, then scowled. Why was he thinking about an uncute tomboy anyway?

The truth was, he did miss her. He missed talking to Ukyou. He even missed Shampoo, though he wouldn't admit the last one.

They were all better off without him anyway, wasn't that what Akane was always saying? How much she wanted him gone, out of her life, and that she wished she had never met him? He couldn't do anything about the last one, but he HAD done the first two.

Maybe he ought to at least send a postcard, letting everyone know that he was OK. He smiled. Yeah, that would be good. That he was going to Juusenkyo and finally going to get CURED.

Ranma looked over at the selection of postcards and finally selected one that showed the harbor of Hong Kong. Who to send it to? His father. No, he didn't owe HIM anything. Akane? Nah, she'd probably just get pissed over something in her own head. Nabiki? She'd charge everyone for news about him. Kasumi?

The idea clicked. Kasumi would make sure everyone knew, and wouldn't charge exorbitant fees. Yeah, this could work.

There WAS a cure to Juusenkyo. Master Po had mentioned that there were pools and springs for each basic type of magic. Some were hidden, some only appeared under certain circumstances and some had magical protections.

Ryugenzawa had the Spring Of Life- curative magic. Juusenkyo embodied change or Transformation magic. Master Po, restauranteur and Chinese Mage, had mentioned another two springs that he knew of: one in Malaysia that embodied the magic of Transportation, and another hidden one in a place called Sedona which was a pool of Divination.

Setting down to write, Ranma outlined where he was and what he was doing. Drawing on his vague memories of what had gone on when he left the dojo, he made some basic assumptions.

Akane had been pounding on him, saying how much she hated him. Nabiki had sold him out again, which proved how much contempt SHE had for him. There had been the new fiancee, that he mostly remembered being sold out by his father again.

Conclusion: he'd been sold out by Nabiki and his father and then thrown out of the dojo. This made perfect sense to Ranma based on the fragmented memories he still had of that night.

Unfortunately for Ranma, it was not accurate.

---------------^_^;;-------------

more definitions:____

Dojo: training hall, esp for martial arts.

Juusenkyo, Jyusenkyo, Jusenkyo, etc.: frankly i've seen so many different spellings up on the web that i've just given up on trying to use most of the Japanese style names and am just using the closest translation (ie:using "Amazon Village"). The math on how much of the water is needed, concentration factor, etc is my own invention. Can't help it, i'm a nuts-and-bolts mechanic type, i have to know HOW something works. This was what i came up with as far as seemed logical. The creator of Ranma 1/2, Rumiko Takahashi, is NOT apparently driven to explore the mechanics of anything she creates, which leaves it to lesser lights such as myself to come up with this stuff.

=============================

Ranma 1/2 Happi Days: Second Week, Monday by gregg sharp all Ranma 1/2 char are (c) Takahashi Rumiko

so far: Ranma has gotten fed up with the whole situation, an especially bad day, and was drugged by Mousse with a mood-intensifier. He doesn't remember the event of his departure too well, and has misinterpreted what fragments of memory he has pulled up. He is currently in a small village in China, looking for an expert on the Juusenkyo curses that he was told about by the crew of the "ChaCha Maru"- a smuggler ship with ties to the Amazon Village.

Happosai has struck Furinkan High School, among other places, with what he has been told is Juusenkyo curse water from "Spring Of Drowned Bishojo Bride" - along with a temporarily functioning version of the Musk Dynasty's chiisatuon. This water, supposedly, will permanently transform those splashed with it into beautiful young women with a cultural mindset fitting the woman who drowned in that spring 1500 years ago. Unfortunately for Happosai, he was doing all this to gain revenge on Ranma, who is thousands of miles away and completely oblivious of these events, having left two days previously.

Most of Nerima is beginning to feel the effects of Happosai's vengeance, though indirectly, as well over 800 people have been hit by these attacks so far.

----------------------------------

It was the dream again, replaying the events of just last week. The teacher had just taken his place at the front of the classroom and the scratching sound of chalk and chalkboard was dominant over the few whispered fragments of conversation going on in the back of the class.

There was the thunk, and he glanced up as he heard a minute hissing noise from the sprinklers overhead. His mind was screaming to move, but just as on that day, his body was just sitting there at his desk. Then came the water, spraying down over him and his classmates.

He felt the tingle all over as the water had splashed him, as the Change washed over him. Truly the poets called this a sea-change, perhaps a reference to this strange water that caused so much alteration.

His hands, thickly calloused and strong, altering to become softer with slender fingers bereft of the scars and callouses that he'd picked up over his life. The tingling continuing as his clothes suddenly tightened at the hips, his waist receding as mass was redistributed.

Pectorals vanishing, buried beneath the soft sensitive mounds that pressed against the confines of his shirt. The sensation of his manhood vanishing and Something Else being formed there. Internal organs shifting around as the flesh twitched horribly.

The horror continued, much as it had that day, with the itching as his hair immediately lengthened an inch. The change continued, stretching and reshaping bone and flesh into slightly different patterns.

Tatewaki Kuno bolted upright in bed, knowing that her misery was being felt by others all over Nerima. Kuno shuddered, she did not feel that misery particularly loved company, specially now.

Strange the changes in her life recently, but the changes to her father had been especially weird. Instead of going with the usual gibberish about "bowl cuts" or something equally inane, the principal had suddenly developed a measure of sanity.

The old Furinkan girl's uniform had been discarded as being quite unflattering. A fuku style was being brought in. While the guys might yet have to get their buzz cuts, no similar restrictions for the other gender would be sought.

Tatewaki glanced at her own fuku. Strange, she had originally railed against it, but it definitely grew on one. Meanwhile, a little light makeup and some accessories really brightened up the whole appearance.

Another side effect had been that Kodachi had not been heard laughing for the past few days. She still seemed to go into shock everytime her new sister and now female father crossed her path. She'd taken to locking herself in her room every available minute.

Tatewaki smiled and got dressed. She'd cheer her sister up by fixing her something SPECIAL for breakfast today!

Whistling a love song that she'd heard just the previous day, Tatewaki Kuno didn't realize exactly how much of a change had occurred over the past week.

---------------

Kasumi went through the mail quickly, stacking the bills where Nabiki would later collect them, the junk mail into a paper recycling basket, and Soun's news magazine over by the shoji board where she'd find it later.

That left the postcard, and after admiring the scene of Hong Kong's harbor for a moment, Kasumi turned it over. When she saw Ranma's name, and that it was addressed to her, she quickly sat down. "Oh my."

Konnichi wa, Kasumi-chan, I wanted to let you all know I am well, and am still searching for a cure. I imagine that Akane (who has always been honest in how much she hates me) and Nabiki (whose contempt for me was obvious from that first day) are both overjoyed at my continued absence. With me gone, all is back to being quiet, and the property values should slowly return to normal. Will write again when I find a cure. Sincerely, Ranma Saotome

"Oh, Ranma, Ranma, Ranma." Kasumi sighed and got up. There was no return address, but the store he had mailed it from had stamped the upper right corner with some Chinese script. Kasumi thought for a moment.

Doctor Tofu knew enough Chinese that he might be able to translate it. Her own Chinese was not nearly that detailed.

Nabiki stuck her head out from the kitchen, asking if they were all out of soy sauce. Kasumi shook her head. Since Nabiki had developed a sudden interest in cooking, she had insisted on "helping" in the kitchen whenever possible.

Unfortunately, the desire did NOT bestow a sudden influx of talent. Kasumi realized that her sister was just acting on the influence of the curse that Happosai had inflicted the entire school with, but she wasn't ready to deal with ANOTHER Akane.

Not that Akane was doing that badly now. She'd made it to mediocre cook (with curry at least) since Ranma had first arrived, and in the past week had begun taking the recipes far more seriously without that distressing tendency to "liven things up" that had led to so many disasters in the past.

Crossing herself, Kasumi paused before entering the kitchen. "Ara, Nabiki, that was NOT soy sauce you've been using."

Commercial Break:------------------- [Scene: a busy restraunt in down Nerima. Ukyou is seen smiling behind her grill.]

UKYOU: "Welcome to Ucchan's, where we make okonomiyaki the way YOU like it. Only the freshest ingredients are used, and it is made hot and fresh right before you!"

[A placard appears before the screen.]

UKYOU: "Fill out a card explaining to Ranchan why he should choose his CUTE fiancee and get 20% off the price of your lunchtime special!"

[A map showing the location of Uuchan's replaces the placard on the special.]

UKYOU: "So come on down to Ucchan's: As you like it!"

End Commercial Break:--------------------

Mousse smiled and stuck her hands out to either side. "I slice, I dice, I make Julienne fries!" Knives flashed as the chicken and potatos were uniformly cut into thin strips.

"Very good Mousse," Cologne noted.

"Who is Julienne Fries?"

Mousse and Cologne stared briefly at Shampoo before turning back to the breakfast special.

"You see, Mousse, by cutting the vegetables and meat into thin strips like this, they cook quickly and evenly."

"Yes, obachan!" Mousse was happy, getting lessons in something as useful as cooking from a master like Cologne was just SO wonderful.

Cologne caught Shampoo's motion and stepped out into the dining room.

"Yes great-grand-daughter? With the frying and the fans, Mousse will not be able to overhear us. What do you want?"

"Why Mousse acting funny? He not grab me or anything, he happy to be cooking, he acting very strange. Almost like proper Amazon husband."

"YOU avoided being splashed, child, but it is the Juusenkyo water at work here."

"It no affect Ranma like that."

"Ranma was affected by 'Spring Of Drowned Girl' which only causes him to change genders. His female form is exactly what he would have looked like if his parents had had a daughter instead of a son. This Spring is more complicated."

"What spring?"

"I got Nabiki to e-mail the village elders (who did you think ran www.amazon.com?) and they confirmed that the Musk Dynasty had supplied Happosai from the 'Spring Of Drowned Bishojo Bride'- where a nobleman's young bride died some 1,500 years ago while running from a bandit."

"Aiyaa. What that do?"

"Those struck with the water of THAT pool become beautiful young girls, which is why Happi was so anxious to get THAT water. No doubt he learned of it and requested it specifically. Not only do they physically transform, but there is a mental change as well. A strong will and experienced mind can hold the change off indefinitely, as I shall be able to.

"Those whose will is not focussed, whose minds are weak, or who would go that route anyway, will change faster than those who are not."

"Aiya, so Mousse was wimp..."

"Mousse's mind was not sufficiently strong to hold out against the change. He now views you as another girl, and has fallen out of love with you as a result. On the plus side, his social standing as a woman in the village will be higher than it was."

"Aiyaaa." Shampoo managed to look a little green. "So Mousse now think he a she. Well, maybe he at least leave Shampoo alone now."

Cologne nodded. "I wonder how the others who were affected are handling all this?"

------------------------------

Ryouga had had better days, walking up to the school, he slowly confirmed that the sign read "Fu-ri-n kan Senior High School" then glanced back into the courtyard. "This can't be right," he muttered.

It was Ranma's fault. It had to be. For whatever reason he'd switched the signs with another high school and was probably laughing at him somewhere. Ryouga growled.

"Ryouga-sama!"

Another strange woman in one of those dark blue sailor fuku was waving at him and grinning like a maniac. How did all these women know him, anyway?

"Ah, Ryouga Hibiki, surely a name to conjure with, pure poetry in motion such as you are?"

Ryouga blinked as he regarded the tall woman in the white and blue fuku, carrying a bokken of all things. What the heck? "Uhm, do I know you? Miss?"

"Ah, you did indeed, Ryouga-kun. One takes it that you do not peruse the pedestrian tabloids or partake of that idiocy known as television?"

"Ah-hah." Ryouga briefly entertained the notion that this was actually Furinkan Asylum and he'd completely misread the kanji. "I've kinda been out of town."

"Know then, that you are facing the rising star of the kendo club, the Blue Rose Of Furinkan High School, Tatewaki Kuno."

"Yeah, right. Uh-huh." Ryouga nodded. Definitely an asylum. "And this is where you tell me..."

"If I beat you, then I shall date thee!"

Ryouga was opposed to hitting girls on general principle. Girls attempting to slam a hardwood bokken into his head, after making thoroughly insane statements were not included in the "do not hit" category.

Besides, if it WAS Kuno or even vaguely related to Kuno, he could make an exception.

"Ryougaaaaaaaa!"

"Akane?!" Ryouga looked around, trying to find her. He heard her voice, or was that merely his love for her echoing within his heart? Immediate guilt as the thought of Akari crossed his mind. This is Ryouga, even when something's going right he'll find a way to be depressed or guilty about it. And then blame Ranma.

"Ryouga! It's good to see you again, I'm glad you didn't get caught up in this mess!"

Ryouga blinked. This woman who had come up to him did look a lot like Akane, but she had longer hair, was wearing one of the dark blue fukus, and was...

"Akane?!?"

The woman flipped back her hair back from over her shoulder. "Of course, it's me, silly."

"You're wearing makeup? Nail polish? Earrings?!" Ryouga's mind was going into overload. Too many things did NOT compute.

"Oh, Ryouggaaaaa!"

Ryouga glanced over to his right and noticed a small CROWD of girls eyeing him over. The only time he saw any woman looking at a guy like that was when Shampoo or Ukyou were trying to make the moves on Ranma.

"Akane," Ryouga managed when he could force suddenly dry lips to speak again. "Would you mind telling me exactly what is going on here?"

"I would, Ryouga-chan, but they're going to start the Family Planning class soon!" Akane's eyes glittered as she considered all the wonderful things they might cover today.

"Urk. Pardon me." Ryouga thought that being near Akane was a slice of paradise, but he was suddenly feeling very much in need of something that made sense. Akane taking courses in Parenting? Of course, considering her father, who could blame her?

"And then later there's Cooking, Cosmetology, and...oh Ryouga, school is just so much more FUN now."

Ryouga started scanning the skies. He'd seen enough American SF movies to know one of three things was going to happen any moment now: a) Rod Serling was going to step out from behind one of these trees, or b) the alien body-snatchers that had replaced Akane and the rest of the school with these overendowed and badly programmed replacements were going to show up and suck out his brains. OR c) the Candid Camera crew would finally realize that he was on to them, and they'd get on to doing this to someone who'd really believe this junk. Maybe Ranma, who'd really freak.

Ryouga smiled at the "Akane" and nodded. "Sure, 'Akane', go ahead and get to class. I'll wait around for you, heh heh."

Akane looked momentarily puzzled, then turned on that dazzling smile. She ran in just before the bell started to ring and the large group of girls ran inside as well.

Ryouga, of course, immediately started trying to figure out where the camera crew was. For once, he just sat down under a tree and got ready for a long wait. It had been a long week.

-----------------------------

Hiroshi's mother had always wanted a daughter. Therefore, when the news report had come out about "Nightmare at Furinkan" she had been of two minds about the whole thing.

Then had come the perpetrator of the event, saying that it was: a) permanent b) carried mental effects

This pretty much settled her mind as to how to handle the whole thing.

She'd quickly settled into teaching her daughter how to properly act and dress. Hiroshi had started out protesting loudly and with great passion. Hiroshi had gradually become more sullen, and still muttered a few complaints under her breath.

Mrs. Hyojun watched her daughter sulking as she brushed out her hair. The hair had been one of those things that fascinated Shoko Hyojun, the way that it seemed to grow another few inches every day. Within three days it was well over a foot longer, it was much finer and shinier than it had been. By the end of the week it had seemed to slow to near normal growth rates but was over three feet in length.

Mrs Hyojun was pleased with how well Hiroshi was handling the changes in her life, maybe it was time to change her name to Hiroko. She didn't want to overwhelm her daughter with too much change all at once though, she'd heard a couple of children had to be restrained from throwing themselves off the school's clock tower.

Fortunately they'd managed to stop everyone but that Tsubasa character, and SHE was currently being chased all over Nerima by some sort of legendary lecher that attended Tomobiki High School.

Hiroshi nodded to her mother, then made her way to the furo. Mrs Hyojun watched her daughter and smiled, she knew Hiroshi could hardly wait to get out of that fuku. She wondered if Hiroshi knew how cute she looked in it. Not that she thought that her former son was ready for that information.

The scream of anguish from the furo brought her running, it had been the sound of someone who had just gone into Full Panic.

When she entered the bathing room, there was Hiroshi looking down at herself and whimpering. "Mom, I'm...bleeding. From there."

Seeing what was going on, Shoko gave her daughter a reassuring smile. At least it was meant to be reassuring. "Now dear, this is perfectly normal, though I didn't really expect this to happen so soon."

"SO SOON!" Hiroshi all but screamed. "I'm hemorraghing here damnit! I'm bleeding from THIS THING!"

Shoko Hyojun continued to speak calmly and quietly. She hadn't panicked herself when it had happened to her, but she'd also had many more years to get used to the idea of being of the female persuasion. "It's perfectly normal for a girl your age."

"I'm a guy," Hiroshi didn't sound too convinced of that at the moment. Being able to see herself in the mirror didn't help any.

"Dear, you're a girl now, and everything I've heard says that's the way you'll be for life." Shoko nodded as Hiroshi stared at her, the general impression was of Hiroshi-the-deer caught in the oncoming headlights. "You're just having your period. Your body is saying it is ready to make babies."

"My..." Hiroshi somehow managed to turn even paler and begin to sweat as THAT penetrated. Shoko could see the idea settle into the girl's mind. Guys didn't have periods. Guys did not have babies. Guys also did not have their mothers talking them through their first period.

Hiroshi's mind abruptly clicked to the OFF position. He didn't faint, but a telepath attempting to read his mind would have gotten a test pattern and a tiny little voice going over her mother's statement in a closed loop.

Seeing her daughter was holding up better than she had originally feared, Mrs Hyojun began to explain the mysteries of the tampon and what a Wonderful Thing This Actually Was. She seemed encouraged by the occasional nod, not realizing that her child was currently on Autopilot (so to speak) and continued going on the lecture titled Female Plumbing 101.

Hiroshi WAS listening, on one level. The rest of her currently disorganized thought processes were still racing around in that aforementioned closed loop. The only breaks in that stream were "This can't be happening, I'm a guy!" and another one that came out with "I can't believe I was ever envious of Ranma."

-------------------------

In a small village thousands of miles away, Ranma sneezed again. He wondered who the heck was thinking of him so frequently that he'd been acting like he had a major allergy season for the past few days.

He shrugged and decided Nabiki was probably still trying to find ways to profiteer off his absence, and Akane was angry that her favorite punching bag was nowhere to be seen.

Ranma smiled and ate slowly. He didn't miss Nerima very much at all. He would have to go back, honor demanded he do something about all the problems he had. Master Po had given him something to think about as well.

Shampoo could not return to her home without him. She either had to kill him, or marry him. The least punishment was exile. To be trapped in her Jusenkyo-cursed cat form forever was one of the more likely punishments. The worst would be something Master Po had refused to speak of directly. Ranma gathered it was a way to alter the Jusenkyo curse, where Shampoo would be far worse than if she were merely a cat.

This complicated things. Ukyou and Shampoo both SAID they loved him. Ukyou, the friend he could always rely on, who would be crushed if he broke off his engagement to her. Honor demanded that he marry a Tendo because that was the oldest engagement. Honor demanded that he marry Ukyou because his father had accepted the DOWRY and therefore that claim had as much weight as the older one. Then there was this new development with Shampoo.

At least it was easier to think about all this here, without new fiancees showing up or his father creating new hassles for him. Ranma sighed and went back to work. There was a certain pleasure to be found in creating something, and he was learning carpentry at this new job. At least he had skills to fall back on, now.

==========================

Happi Days 4a: A Side Order Of Tofu by GreggSharp/ aka Metroanime@aol.com

all characters (excepting Master Po & Tetsuo Tsukiku) are (c) Takahashi Rumiko. don't sue me as there isn't even enough money here to pay a junior grade lawyer, and you could make more money hiring me anyway. Much thanks to all the feedback from my pre-readers, esp SKJAM, Nightelf, and Lord Talon.

****

Dr Tofu Ono sat back and collected her thoughts, tapping the pocket recorder that usually was used to make the patient's chart notes (after Kasumi typed them up) as she did so.

That was ONE benefit of this latest development. Tofu no longer went completely hysterical around Kasumi, but the price was a bit high.

"Today is the fourth day since Happosai went on a rampage with something that resembles Jusenkyo cursed spring water. The patient load is not as overwhelming as it was for the first three days, so I'm finally making a few records and observations about the whole thing.

"Uhm, yeah. Happosai's curse water mimics the effects of a Jusenkyo transformation curse except that hot water does NOT reverse the change. At least for now. Today, for the first time, I noticed a slight tingling sensation when I reached into some near-boiling water when my glasses fell off into the pot.

"I digress. The curse most approaches the effects of 'Spring Of Drowned Bishojo Bride' - listed on page 343 under the heading of Central Section, in Lawson's Guide To Juusenkyo and Other Cursed Springs Of The Orient. (English text, $49.95 from Amazon Books). This 'Spring Of Beautiful Young Girl Bride' was supposedly created 1,500 years ago when a young newlywed was chased by bandits into the Jusenkyo area after her husband was killed. Note that this is a case where there actually WAS a tragic story associated with one of the springs.

"Those who fall into the Spring normally gain the Cursed Form of a young girl of around 17 years, extremely attractive, who may only bear a faint resemblance to the uncursed form. Also normally, the personality changes when in the cursed form to fit the template of a somewhat demure and feminine though old-fashioned young lady of the victim's culture. With nonpermanent individuals this becomes a form of schizophrenia with physical transformation thrown in.

"Happosai's permanent version has accelerated the personality changes. The following is a set of observations from some of the patients who've been coming by.

"Those who were mentally unbalanced to begin with have been affected the fastest. Principal Kuno is a sterling example of this, who has taken to wearing floral print skirts now and is pushing for a tanning booth for the Phys Ed department.

"The next group to be affected are the various women who were born that way. It seems the closer you started to the template, the faster one reaches it. In the case of a vast majority of the girls, they are well into the mental transformation aspect. A few, such as Nabiki Tendo, seem to have more resistance to this change. In the case of Nabiki, she's taken an extreme interest in baking cookies and wants to start a business selling lines of gourmet cookies and snack packs.

"Side note: indications are that a LOT of the original personality survives. Tatewaki still spouts poetry, Nabiki is still a shrewd businesswoman and has a yen for yen (though she seems to have changed her normal modus operandi significantly), and Kenji is still a race car otaku who will happily ramble on about engine displacements and performance ratios at any given opportunity.

"There are former boys who are nearly at the same stage of mental transformation. Those cases that I've personally observed indicate strength of will or ability to adapt to change are a factor. Those unable to adapt went home the first day, locked themselves in the bathroom, and came out over the next day with a nearly full attitudinal change. Daisuke Honda is the example of this that I've appended. Now calling herself 'Suki' or 'Daisuki' she's acting almost like a cariacture of a female persona. Girlish to the point of ludicrous.

"There ARE those who are fighting the changes, at least the mental ones. Hiroshi Hyojun is one such. Despite his best friend changing to such an extent, and considerable pressure by his mother, he continues to remain largely himself. One of the few not attending the now crammed courses on Cooking, Family Planning, Flower Arranging, and Sewing over at Furinkan.

"The next group would be the ones fighting the transformation tooth and nail. They refuse to wear female clothing, are acting more 'macho' than they did when they were male, and frankly look haunted. You can see them flinch whenever they pass a reflective surface. I expect some of these to completely switch over as with the group like Daisuke.

"There are some who have taken the 'be like Ranma' attitude. They seem to be resisting any mental change, are wearing altered versions of their boys' school uniform and fairly androgynous clothing at all other times. They tend to congregate in small groups of their own, reinforcing their male identities by such male-bonding.

"Finally there are those boys NOT present at the time of the transformation who find themselves in what is almost an all girl school. Akira Futaba and Tetsuo Tsukiku being primary examples. Tetsuo is nearly climbing the walls, due to some bad experiences in Juuban with seifuku-clad vigilantes, manifesting itself in a distrust for the entire female gender especially those wearing anything resembling a fuku.

"I noticed during one of the Counseling sessions at Furinkan (I'm a natural since I'm going through much the same thing myself) that Tetsuo Tsukiku is almost as shellshocked as the worst curse victims despite having escaped being cursed himself. Reasons for his reactions can be found in the accompanying file.

"Ryouga was apparently away from Tokyo recently, and only got back to Nerima yesterday. He still seems to be waiting for someone to show up and tell him that this is all some elaborate practical joke devised by Ranma to humiliate him.

"The teachers, well, they seem to fit the same general categories as the students. There are SOME problems caused by a number of the formerly male teachers having been married, and these marriages seem to be in the process of disintegration. Two exceptions. One, the Shop Teacher Isao Hageshii is fighting the psychological changes very well and is not trying to outdo Kumiko Hageshii in homekeeping. Two, the Art Teacher who used to be Moju-kun, but frankly Tazuko Moju has always been a bit strange even for Nerima.

"The most interesting case is Hinako Ninomiya, whose child form was splashed. Apparently her strange metabolism and the curse reacted to each other. The result is that her adult form has the general mindset of the 'Bishojo Bride' while her child form is now about fourteen years old with the emotional maturity of someone half her age.

"The tourists affected by the Curse have mostly stuck around. It seems that the shared calamity has seen some of the locals open their doors to these people to some extent. The original crowd hit by Happosai outside the Nerima Animate store was of twenty young men and one young woman. Now twenty one young women, though eight have gone home to face whatever personal paradigm shift they must on their own.

"Of the remaining thirteen, six proudly call themselves otaku and have taken to some truly strange behavior." Tofu rubbed her eyes as she remembered the one wearing a Morrigan costume, or the other one wearing the Eternal Sailor Moon costume and actually doing all those strange gestures and "in the name of the Moon" speeches. Even when ordering a hamburger. Tofu shuddered in rememberance. She made a mental note to not vacation in America. Ever. Nerima was quite strange enough.

"Ah. The remainder fit the general profile of the transformed boys well enough. More appear to be resistant to the change, possibly the well-known American individualism coming to their advantage." Tofu didn't want to use the phrase he'd heard others use in referring to that streak. It wasn't ladylike.

"The ones sticking around have found local jobs while they try to see this thing through and come to terms with the change. One is working as a waitress at the Nekohanten, another at Ucchan's, and three more are working at the very same Animate store that they were ambushed at."

Tofu thought a moment before she clicked the recorder back on. "Meanwhile, there have been sightings but no capture of the perpetrator of this mess: the man called Happosai."

--------------------

In the roof of the Tendo dojo, someone sneezed.

end side story one: Tofu's observations.

Happi Days 4b: Nabiki Financial by GreggSharp LOGON:NabikiT PASSWORD:xxxxxxx

-------------------------------- You have 1 new message(s). -------------------------------- opening message 1 To: NabikiT@TDojo.com From: TetsuoT@Nerima.Furinkan.edu Subj: Cursed Springs

Nabiki, I am NOT going to borrow money from you, and I would certainly regard any attempts at blackmail as an inherently hostile act. If you want help, just ask.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I view violent women in sailor-suits as to be something best avoided. I was once caught in between something called a "daimon" and a group of those "Senshi" once, and after I was dug out of the rubble of the building, and was recuperating in the hospital, I did gain a considerable respect for magic. Yes, I am considerably more talented than poor Gosunkugi. Might I take a moment to point out to you that this isn't saying a great deal?

I'm sure you have much greater resources to tell you the details than my piddling talents. I'm just including a few details that a minor analysis spell gave me.

The curse IS permanent on MOST of the people afflicted. There are some who, for whatever reason, avoided the full effects of the curse. Two theories: either Happi is diluting the water after the first day, or the enchantment on the water itself weakens after being seperated from the springs.

Now onto the bad news. Gosunkugi had been cooking brownies and various cookies. Just a friendly warning, that she isn't any better at Chinese Alchemy than at Voodoo or Shinto mysticism. I heard that one of her attempts at a love potion put three people in Nerima ER.

Tetsuo. ----------------------------------- >DELETE MAIL 1 Message(s) Deleted

>WRITE MAIL

To: KosukeK@Bank.Nerima.com From: NabikiT@TDojo.com

RE: new businesses

Thanks, Kosuke. Your assistance with the licensing and initial setup on the two businesses we outlined was much appreciated. They both are doing quite well, and I see a long and profitable future for both ventures.

The "Silky Darlings II" is doing well, and is within projected sales figures as the curse continues. We can expect a major increase at the one month mark as the biological cycle causes many of the formerly male classmates' minds to go *tilt* and accept their new gender. Even if a cure is found, the presence of Happosai insures a continued need for quality women's underclothes.

As for the "o-bento" trade, that has been postponed. My sister Akane has now gotten to the point where her cookies and dessert type items are selling EXTREMELY well and not to bio-weapons facilities. The "Tendo Mercies" cookie is selling quite well at Tomobiki High School and over at Nekomi Technical School.

Nabs, the name of the product line for the gourmet cookies, produced by Ukyou, Konatsu, Akane, and a few other "hired talents" may be bought out by one of the major confectionary companies. Will give more details if the deal goes through.

Thanks again. Nabiki Tendo ----------------------------- Mail Sent

>WRITE MAIL

To: Elders@amazon.org From: NabikiT@TDojo.com

RE: Developments

Thank you for your prompt response to the last message. Shampoo says hello to Comb and Rinse. Mousse wants me to relay a "how you doing" to Brush.

According to your last post, because I was only dampened by the waters instead of soaked, the effects are likely to be relatively minor. So far this has shown to be true. Other than some odd habits, cravings, and a really nice enhancement of the old figure, there haven't been too many changes.

My sister, Akane, on the other hand...

So this minor noblewoman of 1500 years ago, was planning to honeymoon in what was her ancestor's village. Said village being the Amazons, of course. So the woman in question had been raised in the world outside, but had some qualities of your amazon village and part of the honeymoon was to learn something of her grandmother's people.

These qualities are amply evident in my dear sister right now. She's happier than I've seen her in quite some time, acting entirely too feminine, has much more control over her temper, but has not lost her martial arts skills. If anything, the greater control and curse endowed grace has made her a better fighter. In her case, it looks like the Curse is a blessing in disguise.

Well, enough of the chitchat. I'm appending a file that gives the basics of Gosunkugi's latest attempt at Chinese Alchemy. As you recall, last Thursday her attempt to make the "Anti-Curse" potion resulted in accelerated psychological changes on half of the students. You don't want to know what happened to two of the foreigners that were caught in that.

Going by Ace's Freight will be a special airdrop that should reach you by tomorrow morning. It is a contract and basic outline of the calender shoot we discussed. The photographer and crew can be out there in another two months if all meets your approval. The percentages we discussed earlier need to be nailed down before proceeding any further, but it looks immensely profitable and will allow your village to upgrade the plumbing and get some much needed renovations. I suggest using Ace's Freight, as he is quite reliable and confidential in his dealings. He just comes off as a loudmouthed braggart. If so, please, do NOT let anyone start challenging him. His current girlfriend provides quite enough problems in his life.;)

A pictorial book "Girls Of Nerima" is planned for some time after the "Amazons" calender is out, probably three months from now we can begin shooting. We want to wait until after the psychological changes have fully manifested, plus my manufacture of various tourist items for when the inevitable crowd arrives after the book is published.

The matchmaking service that I've started is slowly picking up steam, using web connections. I understand that the menfolk of the village, usually treated like shoe leather lest they get too uppity, tend to leave the village for greener pastures. If any of the village women want to utilize the service, I can give a special rate in the interest of the continued assistance and goodwill between us.

Sincerely, Nabiki Tendo ------------------------------------- Mail Sent

>LOGOFF

Logging Off. Goodbye. You have spent 12 minutes online. Thank you for using NiftyServe

Happi Days 4c: Ucchan's Diary by GreggSharp

The commercial is a concept i came up with for a "Ranma wishes his problems were resolved" fic, and Toltiir (kami of mischief) deciding that rather than eliminate the problems to transfer them, making multiple copies at the same time. ----------------- Ukyou smiled at Konatsu, who got up and walked slightly away. Neither Konatsu nor the missing Tsubasa were happy. Ukyou was much happier.

Konatsu was now a kunoichi in more than merely name. Tsubasa still had casts on his right leg and left arm from his fall from Furinkan's clock tower. This was not the cause of either former-man's happiness, nor Ukyou's new smile.

When Happosai had hit Furinkan with the water from the "Spring Of Drowned Bishojo Bride" it had affected Ukyou. When the same water had struck at Ucchan's, two crossdressers and three patrons had been struck.

Tsubasa's strong male self-image had her fighting the psychological changes with everything she had, but by the end of the first week she had one major sweeping change in her life. She still tried to act as she had before, but was often sulking off by herself. It was that she simply no longer was attracted to women the way she had been when she had been a he.

Konatsu was the same way, except that she had been raised to think of herself as female, had been changed by the cursed water to become a woman down to the genetic level, and now found herself switched from lesbianism. She was eyeing the male patrons, then feeling guilty and sick about doing so.

Ukyou, on the other hand, was happy not to be pursued by the two women. She was feeling happy because her figure had developed further, the classes dealing with cosmetics, fashion, and family planning would ALL benefit her relationship with Ran-chan.

"Just wait till you get back, Ranma-honey," Ukyou promised the grill, as Ranma was still off in China somewhere. When Ranma got back, she would sweep him off his feet and they'd marry quickly to keep the women of Furinkan from annoying him too much.

---------commercial break----------

A pretty young woman (think of someone like Moe Nagasaki, Bai Ling, or Tomo Sakurai, dressed in a cheongsam with armored shoulder pads) charges through a crowd of ninja in an urban setting. The scene changes and the same girl is swinging on a vine across a raging river wherein Something With A Lotta Teeth can be seen. The scene changes again to show the same woman, this time pulling a battlestaff out of nowhere and vaulting past some Urotsukidoji type monster, flipping into a tight ball as she gets through a gap in the flailing tentacles. Again the scene changes, and same woman is racing up the walkway to an American house. She rings the bell and the door opens, revealing a man, though he's in shadow and not shown distinctly.

Woman: (smiling) "Sign here for package, please!"

Voiceover: "Amazon Express, when it absolutely positively HAS to be there!"

Man: "This is an overnight. Why did it take two days to get here?"

Woman: (shocked) "Aiyaaaa! Knew shouldn't have stopped to fight Bison..."

Voiceover: "Aw comeon, you know what happens if the package is late."

Woman: (nodding, then does running glomp on customer)"Beloved Husband! I love you!"

Voiceover: "Limited time offer on overnight guarantee. Special rules, limitations, and exclusions apply. Call now."

--------end commercial break----------

"Ukyou," Nabiki entered the shop, looking around. "Can we talk?"

"How much is THIS going to cost me?"

"Oh, I'm just trying to find out if you'll help out with the bake sale."

"Kasumi already told me about it," Ukyou nodded. "I'm in as long as the money's going to a good cause and NOT fund another wedding of my Ran-chan to Akane."

"Oh come on, we don't even know where Ranma IS. Well, except that he's in China and used to be in a small coastal village. I give you my word, we're just sprucing up the house and paying some bills."

"Well in that case, sure." Ukyou sighed. "So any word if they've caught Happosai?"

"Not yet, the little hentai's gotten pretty good at running and hiding after all he's done over the years. It's not as alarming as what I've just gotten from one of the elders."

"Hmmm."

"I won't charge you for this, providing that you tell me if you get any info on the subject from any of your customers, deal?"

Ukyou nodded. "Deal."

"According to my records, Happi came into Japan on a small cargo plane from Blackbird Reclamations-"

"Smugglers."

Nabiki raised an eyebrow, curious that an okonomiyaki chef would know of them. "Anyway, he came in with twelve five gallon jugs of water. Now, here's the tricky part. According to the elders, Herb of that Musk Dynasty admitted that he gave forty gallons of 10:1 concentrate of 'Spring Of Drowned Bishojo Bride.' You with me so far?"

"I think I see what you mean. Happosai didn't do the math or he'd know something was up. That's only eight five gallon containers." Ukyou thought about it. "So there's an extra twenty gallons."

"Each gallon of concentrate makes ten gallons of cursed springwater. One liter is enough for the curse to take affect, anything less only gives a partial effect like the tentacles on Pantyhose Tarou."

"Come on girl, spill it. What're you hinting."

Nabiki smirked, it was smirk #7 (the "I'm so clever that even I can barely stand myself" smirk.) "This means that even with what is confirmed as the 'Bishojo' curse water, that's 1500 people who could be affected. The news agencies only report 809, but we know at least 600 were at Furinkan."

"So where are they?"

"That's one of the questions, I'll hope to get answered soon. Maybe you'll find the answer. Another really good question, you've got that gaijin coming in later, right?"

"Yeah, she's resisting the mental change though."

"If she was affected by Bishojo water at all..." Nabiki waited for Ukyou to put it together.

"Nyannichuan?"

"Not quite, but close. Seems there's also a 'Spring Of Drowned Amazon Warrior' there too. We know from Herb's reactions to the Amazon's requests for information that he's not happy with Happi. I think Happi mixed water and we're seeing the results right there." Nabiki spread a few photos out on the counter. "Dig these. Kasumi got tagged yesterday and now she's suddenly back to doing her katas and SWORD practice for crying out loud. Those other photos are of some of the gaijin acting like they were just out of the village. Now what will happen when Happi meets up with women who act like Chinese Amazons?"

Ukyou slapped her hands together three times and said a quick prayer. "This is fate."

"And I want to be there and get photos." Nabiki got up and shrugged. "Well, entertaining as this has been, I've got to go. I've got brownies to make."

Ukyou blinked as Nabiki left. "I thought her idea of cooking was to open a bag of chips."

Shrugging, Ukyou took an order for a seafood okonomiyaki and lost herself in her work. Mixed Juusenkyo curses, there was something about the idea that disturbed her.

"Oh Ranchan, why can't you see that your curse doesn't matter to me?" Ukyou finished the okonomiyaki and sent it down the counter with a practiced flip of a spatula. "After all, isn't that something a CUTE fiancee would say? I just hope that Happi runs out of water before Ranchan gets back."

------------------------------

In the attic above the Tendo dojo, and somewhere in China, two individuals sneeze.

------------------------------

Happi Days 4d: Tetsuo's Tale by GreggSharp

The light at the end of the tunnel may be an oncoming dragon.

-----------------------------------------

Ryouga intended to wait for "Akane" to get out of school but he recognized a figure who was trying to get his attention a few minutes later. Ryouga couldn't put a name to the face, but knew it was one of Ranma's classmates.

"Ryouga, you escaped too." Tetsuo Tsukiku exclaimed. "Good, that's almost an even dozen now."

"Dozen what?"

"Guys," Tetsuo said with some relief. "That's a little less pressure on the rest of us. Not much but every bit helps."

"What are you talking about?"

Tetsuo quickly outlined the events of the past week. Saotome storming out of the Tendo residence, Happosai going on a vengeance crusade against everyone by hitting them with blasts of "Spring Of Drowned Bishojo Bride" water, the male population of Furinkan down to (if you included Ryouga) eleven guys that happened to be missing on that morning for one reason or another. Happosai vanishing, presumably to wait for Saotome to show up.

"You're kidding. You ARE kidding, right? Please be kidding!" Ryouga looked slightly ill. "Then when Happi shot that water at me and I blocked with my umbrella..."

Ryouga pulled his umbrella out and thanked it profusely for being there when he needed it.

"Not kidding. I tell you it has been HELL here. Guys you used to know, or girls you used to know as guys, are acting more and more like girls! They changed the uniform so that girls are wearing fukus now!" Tetsuo shuddered.

"I take it you don't like sailor suits."

Tetsuo favored him with a horrified look. Ryouga recognized it as the same sort of expression that he wore himself whenever someone offered him pork.

"You've got to be kidding," Tetsuo said in a low voice. "I lived in Juuban. Do you know what Juuban is like? Youma keep showing up, and then there's those damn Senshi! I got caught in between a youma, the Senshi, and a wall. That's what got me started studying magic, it's hard not to believe in magic when some girl has just slammed you with some sort of lightning spell."

"Or when you've seen Jusenkyou curses," Ryouga added.

"Yeah. Speaking of which, I hope Saotome shows up soon."

"So he can draw Happosai out into the open?"

Tetsuo shook his head. "No, when I got here, Ranma found out I was studying magic and wanted to know if I could figure out how to cure a Jusenkyo curse."

"Oh, and can you?" Ryouga tried not to look interested or hopeful.

----Commercial Break------------

SCENE: It's a dark and stormy night, though the rain isn't falling. You see Godzilla looming over something, ready to snap it up in its jaws. He stops, sniffs, the sniffing sound continues and Godzilla runs towards a mall, the former object of its attention forgotten.

Camera tightens on the area that Godzilla just left.

CHIHUAHUA: "Yo REALLY quiero Taco Bell."

Close up of Godzilla in the process of eating one of the franchises.

GODZILLA: "Belch"

Scene cuts to a backdrop of Taco Bell symbol. Three Taco Bell Grandes and a pair of glasses are on a table.

VOICEOVER: "And now for a limited time get your choice of an 'SD Oh My Goddess' toy or 'Irresponsible Captain Tylor' glass for 99cents with every Taco Bell Grande."

Godzilla claw comes from off stage, removes table with everything on it.

VOICEOVER: "But hurry, supplies are limited."

----End Commercial Break-----------

"I've gotten a lot of chances to study the curses, and I've managed to get a sample of the water. I promised Ranma that if I found a cure, I'd come to him first. I may have found a way to transfer the curse, cutting its bonds to a particular individual and then transfer it over to someone else. If I can do that, I can transfer his 'Young Girl' curse to an animal or something and he'll no longer have it. It's really tricky though, and can only be attempted on one night a year."

Tetsuo looked at Ryouga and smiled. "Sorry, didn't mean to talk shop."

"So what have you figured out about the curses," asked Ryouga. "I mean this whole changing thing is just so bizarre."

"According to some records, there was an ancient civilization called the 'Silver Millenium' and one of their cities was the site of a major battle of magic between forces of good and evil. Just my theory, but Jusenkyo's source could have been the site where that battle took place and left a Transmutation rift into the underlying probability matrix between universes."

"Uh yeah." Ryouga hadn't moved, but he had the feeling he was lost again.

"Sorry." Tetsuo leaned up against one of the trees. "Let me tell you, Ryouga, it's been a scary week. The mental effects have been the worst things."

"Mental effects?"

"Yeah." Tetsuo glanced briefly at Ryouga. "I mean most of the guys that got changed acted pretty much normal for the first day. About halfway through the day after they'd gotten cursed you started noticing things that they were doing different."

"Things?" Ryouga looked lost again, or maybe he just hadn't stopped being lost.

"Yeah. Little mannerisms that were off. Guys that used to walk like guys now taking smaller steps, or raising the pitch of their voice when talking to authority figures, using more feminine speech patterns, you know, GIRL stuff."

"Oh." Ryouga looked a little frightened as the possibilities ran through his mind.

"Yeah. It got worse into the third day, even some of the teachers that used to be guys were adopting more gestures, acting more girlish, getting more comfortable with the change."

"Oh." Ryouga repeated. He was VERY glad he didn't attend school. "Then all those girls in those fuku..."

"Not all, but a LOT of them are formerly guys. Nabiki's been selling accessories, makeup kits and instruction books, all sorts of things. What's really been crazy was Monday."

"This IS Monday." Ryouga looked uncertain.

"Yeah, I cut out after two classes of this. I had to get some fresh air, you know?"

"What's so bad now?" Ryouga had a Bad Feeling about this, he had a feeling this was one of those questions that you really didn't want to know the answer to.

"Sometime over the weekend, most of the guys' gender identity and gender preference switched. That's why I HAD to get out. I don't care if Hinako sensei gives me grief for being a delinquent, this was just too much for me to handle."

"What do you mean?" Ryouga didn't get it, though a little voice in the back of his head was making noises like "Gakkk!" and "Ick!"

"Meaning those that have gone this far, which seems to be everyone who wasn't fighting it or didn't have a lot of mental strength or stability, now regard themselves as girls and are comfortable with it. More frightening, to me at any rate, is that they're quite apparently attracted to guys now."

"Gakkkk!"

"Well put, Ryouga." Tetsuo noticed someone approaching. "Uh oh. I just thought of why I SHOULD NOT let Hinako sensei catch me. LATER...."

Tetsuo turned to run, which was his second mistake as he did have a nice "don't notice me" spell that he could have cast in short order.

"HAPPO FIVE YEN SATSU!"

Ryouga noticed Tetsuo trying to run as he was getting drained and hid behind a tree. He watched as a partially drained Tetsuo Tsukiku collapsed on the ground, only to be surrounded by fuku wearing girls who were apparently going to "rescue" him and "nurse him back to health" from their remarks.

Ryouga turned slightly green, made sure that Miss Hinako didn't see him, and silently prayed that he hadn't been noticed and please-kami-let-Akane-get-out-of-class-early-so-I-can-get-the-heck-out-of-here- fast.

He heard a step behind him and turned, slowly, knowing that this was Major Big Time Not Good.

-----------------

[Editor's Note: As part of understanding the nature of the Bishoujo Brides of Fuurinkan incident, we believe it is helpful to examine the accounts of those who were there. Fortunately, we have an excellent first-hand account written at the time by one of those affected.]

JOURNAL OF SANJURO TANAKA by Scott K. Jamison (Ranma 1/2 and its associated characters were created by Rumiko Takahashi. Tetsuo was created by Gregg Sharp. Everyone else is mine.)

MONDAY

Grampa says I should write this all down in a journal, so twenty years from now, when my kids doubt my stories, I can haul it out for proof. Of course, even if Grampa had kept a journal himself, I don't think anyone would believe his War stories. I mean, a whole island of--

But enough about him. I'm Sanjuro Tanaka, age 17, junior at Fuurinkan High. I'm not a grind, but I do okay in class, and I'm pretty gifted at soccer. I want to grow up to be a construction worker like my Dad, though I'm planning to go to college so I can get promoted to supervisor faster.

If I can get through this little crisis.

Today during second period, all the sprinklers in the school went off at once. Harmless prank, right? Wrong. This weird old pervert named Happosai had loaded the pipes with something called "Jyuusenkyo Water" as a part of his revenge against Ranma Saotome, who's in the freshman class. Long story. I'll just stick in the Nabfile on him later.

What Jyuusenkyo Water does is change you into something else, in this case, a girl. Normally, it then lets you switch back and forth, but Happosai's somehow made it "on" only, so we're kind of stuck, though we didn't find that out till later. Right then, we just sat around in shock until Nabiki Tendou, who I'd date if I actually had a decent allowance, announced who'd done this to us.

Tatewaki Kunou, the captain of the Kendo team, immediately pronounced a crusade against this "sorceror", and like sheep, we followed him. If I'd remembered how much pain his "you must defeat Akane Tendou to date her" announcement had caused me, I would have thought twice. I didn't, so I ended up chase Happosai around most of the day. We never did catch him.

Around mid-afternoon, I was hot and tired and hungry, and I needed to use the toilet something awful. It was at this point my new condition really percolated through my blind fury. I just stood there in the park for a while, trying to figure out which restroom to use.

When I couldn't stand it anymore, I ran into the men's room, found a stall, and slammed the door behind me. Several very embarrassing minutes later, I was staring at the...thing between my legs. It wasn't as though I hadn't seen one before (never mind where), but it just looked so *wrong* there. Not to mention those unsightly bulges pushing out my shirt. I was about to unbutton and look at those when someone knocked on the stall door.

"Um, excuse me, Miss, but this is a men's room, and I'll have to ask you to leave." When I came out, the park attendant was very careful not to look at me.

The Happosai hunt had moved on by then, so I bought some chips from the vending machine and ate them on the way home.

My parents had seen TV reports on what had happened, so they were relieved to see I was okay (well, other than the obvious), and not suffering from any "mental effects." This was the first I'd heard of those. I'm kind of hoping the old freak was bluffing about those. He *had* to be bluffing about the "no cure" part.

Anyway, since I already have two older sisters and a younger one, Mom didn't feel an urgent need to turn me into a daughter. Dad and Grampa both agreed with me that I should hang on to my masculinity as much as possible. Hey, if Ranma can tough it out, so can I.

Grampa gave me a buzz cut, which normally I wouldn't be too happy about, but it does make me look a little less feminine. He learned barbering skills on the island where his patrol got stranded, along with umpteen other weird skills he keeps revealing. At least he says that's where he learned all this stuff. I'm going to bind my breasts like that Kuonji chick that runs the okonomiyaki joint, and just keep on wearing the same clothes and being the same macho guy I always was. Maybe just a little extra macho, in case.

I called up a couple of my buddies, to see how they were doing. I got off lucky, I guess. Koujiro Kanto's mom has been down on men since his father dumped her for his secretary, so she was right away all for the change. She started calling him "Koko-chan" and dragged him off to some boutique where she and the saleslady played dress-up doll with him. He was practically crying when he told me his mom was throwing out all his old clothes.

Deru had it even worse. His parents belong to one of those fringe religions that believes all mass media is hopelessly corrupted by godless Communists or something, so they hadn't heard anything about what happened. It took him three hours of reciting his life story, several oaths and a call to their guru before they'd even let him in the house. When I talked to him, his folks were waiting for an exorcist to arrive.

Bathing was...an experience. I didn't get much time to freak out about my new body, because Shiiko, she's the baby of the family, marched right on in and insisted on helping me scrub. At least she remembered to call me "brother".

Enough for tonight, I guess. Please, Amaterasu-sama, let this be all a dream when I wake up.

TUESDAY

No such luck.

The most important thing I learned today is that girls can pee standing up. It's tricky, but it can be done.

The buzz cut didn't help much. My hair grew an inch overnight. Mom helped me do the breast bindings, and Grampa taught me a few new obscenities to sprinkle in conversation. Dad slapped me on the shoulder and told me to "take it like a man."

Most of the students were milling around in front of the school, trying to figure out who was who. Most of the girls were fairly easy to identify. They looked mostly like themselves with makeovers. The boys were more varied. Some of them were in girls' uniforms, some in boys' uniforms like me, others in an assortment of clothing. One of the seniors was wearing a sweatsuit three sizes too large for him in a vain attempt to hide his curves.

I found Koujiro looking very uncomfortable in a schooldress, and trying to scrub makeup off his face. He had some very uncomplimentary things to say about his mother. They'd had a big fight this morning about redecorating his room, and he was afraid she'd go ahead even though she'd promised not to. "She wants to make everything pink, and toss my F1 posters for some `heroines of the liberation movement' junk."

I offered to store anything he could salvage at my place until we got cured. After all, Ranma always gets the better of that Happosai creep in the end.

Then a girl in a frilly pink frock with really deep cleavage and a huge pink bow in her hair pranced up to us and twirled around daintily. "Hi hi Sanjuro-chan, Koujiro-chan! Doesn't Nobu-chan look so pretty-pretty cute?" It took me a moment to register that this was in fact Nobu Hojo, the notorious peeper, and the third biggest pervert in our school after Kunou and Ranma.

"Nobu?" I felt sick to my stomach. "Dear kami, there *are* mental effects!"

"Don't be silly," he replied in a very serious tone of voice. "I'm the same red-blooded guy, but as long as I've got this body, I might as well enjoy it. Besides," he went all starry-eyed, "kawaii li'l Nobu-chan can get into any ladies' dressing room in town!"

"Peeper's paradise, huh?" asked Koujiro. "But isn't there a little something missing?"

Nobu smirked. "Well, yeah, but I test-drove the new equipment last night, and it's good to go. The engine takes a little more time to warm up, but man, does it run!"

I rolled my eyes. "That's more than I needed to know, Nobu."

"That's Nobu-*chan*!" he pouted.

The bell rang, and we went to class, though with the confusion going on, nobody got put on bucket duty for being late to homeroom.

Kunou had reverted to his kendo outfit, with some pins keeping it from popping open. There was no sign of Deru at all. Like all the classes today, it was mostly the teacher trying to soldier on despite shellshock.

Between classes, I approached Momoko, a girl I've gone out with a few times. The Jyuusenkyo Water had been exceptionally kind to her.

"Looking hot, Momoko."

"Thank you, Sanjuro. Excuse me, I have to talk to Tetsuo now," she said, brushing me off.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention, Tetsuo's a transfer student from over in Juuban, and just happened to be out of school yesterday. Lucky bastard. His desk was surrounded with girls, and I wasn't the only guy shooting dark looks his way. I guess he was a little uncomfortable with all the attention, but so what? At least he still had his proper parts.

Nabiki handed out some flyers with services listed, the most notable of which was the location of a nearby shop for "discreet replacement of undergarments." Seems she'd set this up for the girls once Happosai started doing regular panty raids in the neighborhood, and it was "now serving those with changing needs."

There was an assembly right after lunch. The Principal was wearing a really garish floral print muu-muu. I'm a little surprised it wasn't a grass skirt. After translation of his dialect, the gist was that boys were still expected to get monk-style haircuts, but girls could have any "attractive" hairdo. Also, it had been decided that the current girl's uniform was kind of tacky, so it would be replaced by a more flattering sailor fuku style.

Tetsuo went white for some reason, and most of the real girls cheered. Kunou speechified about how he would *never* wear one, but I heard he'd already worn one of his sister's the day before, and was now calling himself the Blue Rose. We had to form up in lines and get measured before we left. No, I'm not going to tell you my sizes. But if I really was a girl, they'd be respectable.

Several of the team didn't bother showing up for soccer practice, not that I can blame them. Boxer shorts were mostly okay, but I couldn't keep the jockstrap from riding wrong, and wearing a cup was kind of a joke. We broke up early.

After that, I went over to Koujiro's place and helped him scavenge his stuff from the trash bin. His mother had even tossed out his Nomo-autographed baseball! Bitch. We hauled the boxes over to home, the nice thing about having my sister Ichiko away at college is that we can use her room to store stuff.

When Grampa heard what'd happened, he insisted on tutoring me and Koujiro in the "manly arts" of smoking cigars, drinking sake, and playing poker. Neither of us quite got the hang of the first one. Frankly, cigars are one part of macho-ness I can skip. I did better at the poker playing, and Koujiro really took to sake.

He was on his fifth cup when his mother showed up, and boy was she mad! Koujiro was supposed to have met her for an interview to get into a fancy cram/charm school for proper young ladies. Then Grampa got into a shouting match with her about calling her son "Koko-chan." If that wasn't embarrassing enough, then he got started on the War, and Mom had to give him his pills.

After supper, I finally remembered to check up on Deru. The exorcism had failed (if it had worked, I would've converted, you bet) and now his parents were making him fast and sweat to weaken the "evil spirits" while they wait for the guru himself to fly in. They think this is their punishment for sending Deru to a secular school.

Time to finish my homework.

WEDNESDAY

There *are* mental effects. I was too distracted to notice yesterday, but looking back the girls were acting more, well, "girly" than usual. And a few of the guys have...changed. Joe Watanabe had this kind of glazed look in his eyes, and when I asked how he was coping, he asked, "Coping with what?"

"You know, with turning into a chick."

"Oh, I've always been a woman."

"That's not what *I* remember, Joe."

"I mean inside, Sanjuro-chan. I just never realized it before. I was too busy hiding behind my male shell. But now I can be my true self." He giggled.

I shuddered and backed away quickly.

There was still no sign of Ranma, and people got tired of paying Nabiki to say, "I'm still researching that. Would you like a cookie?"

It's going to be a while before she can actually sell cookies, except maybe as paperweights. Hope Ranma gets back from wherever soon.

Only two of the restrooms at school are labeled for "boys" now, one on the third floor and one on first. The real girls all got a big laugh out of the men actually having to wait in line. While it's just the signs on the doors right now, they're going to replace the urinals in the other restrooms with stalls soon. More overtime for Dad's company!

Between second and third periods, Koujiro tried to throw himself off the clock tower. Lucky they had someone on guard up there. The nurse had to give him a sedative, and Koujiro's mom was pulled out of work to get him. She agreed not to make him go to that "charm school" when the Principal told her that Fuurinkan's class schedule will be changing anyways to reflect the new gender mix.

The first of the new girls' uniforms came late in the afternoon. Just my luck, all my sizes were in stock. I keep praying it won't actually come to me in a fuku. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why Tetsuo is so upset. It's not like *he's* expected to wear one.

Coach announced that due to several resignations, and his being informed no other boys' soccer team would play us (believe it or not, there's actually a rule that sort of covers it!), we would be folded into the girls' soccer team. I'm pretty sure to make the first string, since they've needed a good wing all season.

No one answered at Deru's place. Hope he's okay.

Grampa took me, Nichie (my second-eldest sister) and Shiiko on in a game of poker. I'm getting pretty good at it, though Shiiko won the biggest pot. We all hit Grampa when he suggested strip poker.

THURSDAY

I had a weird dream last night. I've probably had weird dreams all week, but this one I remember.

In the dream, I was pregnant. Hugely, enormously, smuggling a watermelon under my dress pregnant. I had to waddle like a duck, and take potty breaks every hour, but I felt so happy and proud and fulfilled, and all my sisters were jealous because I was going to have a baby first, and I was practically glowing at the idea of breastfeeding my little bundle of joy, and the only worry I had was how I was going to keep the house clean enough for my wife--

And a voice that sounded a lot like me said, "Wife?"

Another voice that also sounded like me replied, "Of course, silly. I'm a guy."

"Oh, that's right," the first voice said, "Wait a minute. I'm a guy, and I'm *pregnant*? AAAGGHH!"

And I woke up.

My hair's gotten to the shaggy stage. I shaved this morning, just for the masculine feeling of it, since I only needed to take off the face hair once a week anyway when I was a boy, and slapped on some Old Spice.

Deru was back in school, wrapped head to toe in magenta robes that made it difficult to tell if he was human, let alone what gender he was.

"When the Guru couldn't cure me," Deru explained, "he declared that being a girl was obviously my Zuumlikkat'nort."

"Zoo-huh?"

"Destiny. Anyway, he said I could go back to school, as long as I dressed properly for a woman. If it still hasn't worn off or something by the end of term, he'll arrange a...union for me."

"Eww." I couldn't think of anything more encouraging to say.

"The only consolation so far is that my mother has to dress the same way. Before, she was slacking."

There were fewer male uniforms in sight today, and shorter lines at the boys' rooms. The latest reports said that the Jyuusenkyo Water we'd all been splashed with was from the Spring of Drowned Bishoujo Bride, which I guess explains why the girls were affected too, and why the Wedding Peach fan club had suddenly doubled in size.

At lunch, Happosai showed up. I think he's getting bored waiting for his big showdown. I helped chase him around for a while, and then the old pervert jumped me. I didn't even see him change direction!

He jumped onto my chest, burrowed into my shirt, and fastened onto my boobs. Yep, even through the bindings. I'd always thought girls overreacted to him. I mean, it's just a little rubbing, right? Wrong. Happosai doesn't just touch, he *violates*. The way he fondles you, you *know* he's taking something away from you.

"Interesting scent, Missy, but I think something with a floral note would suit you better," he cackled, then leapt away just as a bunch of brooms came down on me. Ouch.

A few more kids tried jumping from the clock tower today. Only one managed to get past the guard, a weirdo named Tsubasa who doesn't even go to our school. But the "clock gear" disguise he was wearing broke his fall, so he wasn't too badly hurt.

I did great at the soccer tryout, until my chest bindings snapped, I guess Happosai must have weakened them earlier, so I was jiggling all over the place. It's kind of hard to concentrate on ball control when you got that sort of thing going on.

Coach Kanzaki, the girls' soccer coach, said I still qualified for first string, since her team had a couple of resignations too. But then she told me I'd have to wear a sports bra.

I told her exactly what I thought of that notion.

"My, I haven't heard some of those words since I left the Defense Force." She laughed and slapped me on the back. "Nice to see you've got a little fire in you, but you still need to wear the bra. Kuonji trained for years to move in those chest bindings, and we only have until next Saturday."

I told her I'd think about it. Painful though it is, I've decided that giving up soccer would be worse than wearing the proper safety equipment.

After that I hooked up with a bunch of the guys that are still holding out and went to the arcade. I kicked ass on the new Mortal Kombat vs. Killer Instinct game, until Koujiro got in with me. He plays a mean Liu Kang.

Then we sneaked up on the arcade roof with some beer to girlwatch. I don't much like beer, and besides, I'm in training, so I just had a soda instead. After a while, I noticed something weird. The guys who were drinking the most were starting to use feminine speech--except Koujiro, and he was slugging down more than anyone.

Guess alcohol lowers your resistance to the "mental effects", and Koujiro just has a natural tolerance for booze. When I left, one of the guys I didn't know too well was wolf-whistling at delivery boys.

Well, if Koujiro can hold on with all the pressure he's been getting, I can too. That's it for tonight.

FRIDAY

Nichie sneaked into the bathroom last night and took some pictures of me naked. After I nearly strangled her, she promised they were *only* for me to have a record when I get cured. I made her pinky-swear Nabiki would never get a copy.

The Principal announced this morning that all the new fukus had arrived, so there wasn't any excuse for students to be out of uniform. We pretty much ignored him.

Tetsuo is practically climbing the walls; as the only full boy left in the class, he's the target of all the girls, real and "gone over." I hadn't noticed it before, but he's kind of cute when he squirms.

At lunch, I nipped over to "Nabiki's Secret", as we've taken to calling it, to get that sports bra. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. They didn't have any of the frilly fancy stuff on display. The clerk said it was all she could do to keep the normal undies in stock. She was very professional and non-pushy, seemed kind of bored, actually.

The bra was so much more comfortable than those bindings that I decided to just wear it for the rest of the day. Then I, well, I asked about panties. My boxers had been bunching up on me funny, and in there somehow I felt less embarrassed about trying on lingerie.

So I came out of the store wearing white cotton panties under my boys' uniform, and a week's supply of them in a bag from Osaka Hardware. I hope it won't come to me having to admit to Mom I've been wearing them when laundry day comes around, but they felt so comfy, if a little perverted.

Cutting back through the woods, I saw Nobu sitting under one of the trees and crying into his hair ribbon.

"Yo, Nobu-chan! What's wrong?" I could guess, sure, but you're supposed to ask.

He just looked up at me and started wailing again.

"C'mon, we're buds, you can tell me."

"Oh, Sanjuro-chan, it's so awful! I went to Shinda's to get my ecchi magazines, and--" Nobu had to blow his nose.

"They were sold out? The PTA made old man Shinda hide them again?"

"No, much worse! I just picked up the ones that attracted my eye, and this is what I found in my bag when I opened it!" He waved at a small pile of magazines on the ground. Pro Wrestling World, Pumping Iron, Men's Swimming Quarterly.

"So you accidentally picked up some sports rags instead of skin mags. You can try and exchange--"

"No, you don't understand! I don't even like those sports! I just want to drool over muscular men in trunks! Nobu-chan's turning into a girl for real! WAAH!" He was really broke up about this.

"Don't cry, Nobu-chan. You've just got to hang on a little bit longer. They'll find a cure soon," I said, not totally believing it myself. I figured if Nobu finished slipping over, he wouldn't blame me for being optimistic.

I helped him back to class, careful not to talk about what I had in *my* bag. We got bucket duty, of course.

Koujiro wasn't looking so good, apparently a tolerance for booze doesn't prevent hangovers. Worse, his mom had given him some really bad news. It seems one of his cousins is getting married next month, and Kanto-san volunteered him as a bridesmaid, so tomorrow afternoon he has to go to a bridal shop to be fitted for a dress.

I promised me and a few of the guys would go along for moral support.

Soccer practice went okay, all things considered. It is a lot easier moving in a sports bra.

When I mentioned what I'm doing tomorrow, Mom hauled out the wedding album and told me all about how she'd gotten married to Dad. Turns out it was an arranged marriage, but it came out okay (unlike that Ranma/Akane thing that's been all the school gossip for the last year) and Mom made being the bride sound really cool.

Grampa taught me yakuza-style craps. I'm not as good at that as poker. Shiiko cleaned us both out. I am beginning to suspect her "innocent little girl" bit is just an act.

SATURDAY

Nobu went over during the night, though he's still a pervert, for a girl. If Ranma doesn't get back soon, there may be no one left to save.

Those of us still clinging to our masculinity one way or another are pretty easy to spot. We're the ones not smiling. Deru's still doing pretty good, considering. I hope he was kidding about the "chastity belt."

Koujiro's mom ended up escorting eight of us guys to the bridal shop, though only about half of us qualify as boys in anything but birth certificate anymore.

Koujiro's cousin had picked an exceptionally silly-looking gown for her bridesmaids. Even if he's stuck as a girl forever, he's never going to wear *that* dress again. But his mom was making all kinds of cooing noises over it, and the goneovers were all saying how wonderful the stupid thing was.

Me, I wandered over to the tuxedo section. According to the sales person, women getting tuxedos fitted is getting more common these days. She showed me one with dark blue highlights they were doing for some chick named Ten'ou over in Juuban.

After a really long time, they were done with the fitting, though Koujiro will have to come back for another one when they've finished the adjustments. Unfortunately, his mom had brought along an ankle-length skirt and lacy blouse for him to change into.

As she herded us to the ice cream parlor, Kanto-san invited all of us on a field trip to that famous wedding chapel tomorrow. She's taking Koujiro so he can see how a bridesmaid is supposed to behave. We weren't looking where we were going, so the group ended up taking a shortcut through a deserted alley. Or it should have been deserted.

The mouth of the alley was suddenly cut off by four big, nasty-looking guys, and when I looked back, there were three more behind us.

One of them seemed to be the leader, because he was the only one wearing mirrorshades, and he talked first. "Well, well, the rumors were true. Fuurinkan neighborhood really does have a bunch of pretty girls now. Friendly girls, too, I heard. You ladies wouldn't mind having a little party with me and the boys, would you?" He smiled like a shark.

The goneovers squealed in fright and tried to hide behind me and the other holdouts. I was scared myself. I couldn't have handled these thugs when I was all boy, what chance did I have in a weak girl body?

The thugs laughed at us.

"You can't get away with this!" insisted Koujiro's mom. "The police will--"

"The police in this neighborhood are all weak little girls too, now. And I heard that all those famous martial artists got squirted or ran away. So it's just you and us." Where *was* Ranma when we really needed him?

"How about we make the old biddy watch?" asked one of the other thugs. He had an impressive display of piercings. He grabbed Kanto-san.

"You leave Mom alone!" yelled Koujiro, and jumped the thug, only to get backhanded into a wall, hard. That was the signal for the other thugs to start grabbing us.

I noticed a faint blue glow around Koujiro, and then his head snapped up, and there was a new look in his eyes.

"I can't fight in this outfit," he declared, and ripped off most of his skirt and the long sleeves on the blouse. There was something about the way he was standing, and the tone of his voice. The fear was gone. He kicked off his high heels.

Koujiro cracked his knuckles, ran at the thug holding his mom, ducked another backhand, and broke the creep's grabbing arm.

While that thug was howling in pain, the others started attacking Koujiro, which distracted them from the rest of us. I used a couple of soccer fouls to inflict pain, which gave the others enough courage to pelt the creeps with their purses and other weapons of opportunity.

Kanto-san finally remembered she had some pepper spray, and used it on the leader. They ran after that.

But the definite hero of the day was Koujiro. He'd taken some hits, including what was going to be a major shiner, but he'd given a lot worse than he'd gotten. And it seemed like he had a lot more muscle definition now than before. For a moment, I wanted Koujiro to be a man again so I could kiss him.

"Are you all right, Koko-chan?" asked his mom.

"I am fine, honored Mother," he replied. "They were weaklings who could not stand before a true warrior."

From his stance, choice of words, and not complaining about being called "Koko-chan", it was obvious Koujiro had gone over, but it wasn't to the same place the rest of the guys were going.

His mom took a good look at the shiner. "Maybe we should let a doctor see that, pumpkin."

"Pah!" he spat. "This is nothing compared to what will kill me."

He did agree to being made presentable, so we stopped at the nearest clothing store, where Koujiro picked out a leather mini-skirt and bustier. Kind of daring, but he carried it well.

Then it was off to the ice cream parlor, where we celebrated the victory.

Spent the rest of the day goofing off and watching sports on TV with Dad.

Just realized I don't have anything suitable to wear to that wedding chapel.

SUNDAY

[Editor's note: This entry has extremely poor calligraphy, no doubt due to Sanjuro's condition at the time. We have translated it as faithfully as possible.]

My hair is nearly a foot long now. I just pulled it into a ponytail today, but eventually I'll have to figure out something to do with it.

Wound up borrowing Nichie's good pantsuit to wear on the trip. I figured she owed me one for the photos. Besides, girls' clothes, boys' clothes, as long as they fit, right? Was a bit tight around the chest.

Koko-ch--*Koujiro* wore a little primrose number, under protest.

He kept muttering about "lack of protective value" and "I at least should have a knife." His mom didn't look too happy with her "daughter", but wasn't as pushy as she's been lately. I think she's a little afraid of him now. None of the other holdouts showed for the trip, but Nobu did, in a black cocktail dress that looked painted on.

The train trip up was pretty nice, except for the guys who tried to grope us when it got crowded. Neither of them was particularly good at it, and a little pain discouraged them, especially when they found out we were from Fuurinkan.

The chapel was everything it's cracked up to be, and very impressive. I'm sticking in a flyer on it. The ceremony (someone Kanto-san knows from her work) was very pretty, but kind of long. I don't know if Koujiro learned anything about being a bridesmaid, since it looked to me like they just stood around looking pretty. After that was the reception, which was more fun, though at first it was the buffet I was most interested in.

Nobu was flirting shamelessly with the boys, though he quickly learned not to tell them where he was from. Koujiro, though, was loudly claiming sh--*he, dammit, why can't I think straight?* wasn't going to go with any guy who hadn't "proved himself in battle." The punch turned out to be spiked. I don't know what kind of alcohol it was, but it was real smooth. I didn't realized it was spiked until there'd already been four or five toasts. The bride was looking really happy, maybe it wouldn't be so bad, getting married. Things get a little fuzzy after that. I know I had some more punch, maybe a lot more punch, and I'm pretty sure I slow danced with a couple of boys.

I definitely remember Koujiro taking all comers at armwrestling. Koujiro's mom decided it was time to take us home when she caught Nobu making out with an usher behind some bushes. The only thing I remember about the trip back is all us gir--*GUYS, we're guys!* singing "Can You See the Joy?" in two-and-a-half-part harmony. Grampa slugged some coffee into me, and told me to write this all down while I can remember it.

Remember...it's getting harder to remember feeling like a boy. I think back to before I got cursed, but my mental image is of me in a girl body.... I'm so tired of fighting this thing, when it's just going to win in the end. Fuku's hung up, looking crisp and clean. Think I'll wear it tomorrow. Just to fit in. It would be so nice to give in....

MONDAY 2

Woke up this morning with a really bad hangover. Felt like somebody was trying to thrust an icepick out through my temples. This was not helped by Nichie yelling at me for borrowing her stuff without asking, though she did get me out of bed. Grampa'd left me some of his "Guaranteed Morning After Elixer." Guess it works by tasting worse than your head aches. I was halfway to school before I noticed a draft on my legs and relaized I was wearing the fuku.

What creeps me out is that it didn't feel creepy. For the first time in a week, everything I was wearing fit, and I actually had to remind myself I hadn't wanted it to. I guess getting drunk really lowered my mental defenses, and the curse took full advantage of it. I can almost feel it in the back of my brain, eating the last shreds of my manhood.

All day long, it's been getting harder to fight. It just seems so much easier to say "atashi" instead of "ore" or even "boku". Every time I see my reflection, I want to "do something" with my face and hair so boys will think I'm pretty.

Boys...I'm having fantasies about marrying a boy and--and-- making love to him. The curse is telling me how much fun it will be, how normal it is, how...natural. I look at Momoko, and the closest thing to sexual feelings I have for her is "potential rival". I don't even *want* to look at Tetsuo, because of what I might feel.

I shucked the fuku as soon as I came home and dressed up in my old clothes. The briefs feel...weird, almost forbidden. And when I look in the mirror, I see a girl playing dress-up in her brother's clothes, looking silly. And I see the look in my eyes...the "haunted" look of those about to go over. Tomorrow, the next day at the latest. I'll fight it as long as I can, but I'm not going to win.

I wonder how much of me will be left? Some people, like Nabiki, are almost themselves. If you ignore the big stuff, Kunou is pretty close to how he was before, with the bokken and poetry and junk. About all that's left of Nobu is his sex drive, he was always pushing girls for all the way on the first date, and he's only switched it around now. Koujiro was always trying to act "tough", now he thinks he's Xena or something. And other guys, the ones that didn't have anything that stood out, I don't see anything of their old selves at all. They're pure stereotype girls.

I feel the Bishoujo Bride shredding things in my mind, and I'm afraid there won't be much left when it's done. Nothing that anyone will recognize anyway. This might be my last chance...

Mom, Dad, I love you. Please remember the me that used to be, even if I forget. Grampa, pray for me. Ichiko, Nichie, I'm sorry for all the times I teased you for being too "girly" or claimed women were stupid. Shiiko, I wish I could have seen you grow up, and been a better big brother. Most of my friends are already gone, and soon I'll be joining them, wherever it is. I hope I'll be able to write more tomorrow, but if I can't, not "goodbye" but "until we meet again".

TUESDAY 2

When I look back at my entries for last week, I have to shake my head. How could I have been so silly? I mean, actually thinking of the Becoming as a curse? Today I woke up feeling refreshed and at peace with myself. The birds were singing, the sun was shining and all was right with the world. I decided to go with a simple braid until I can get my hair professionally done.

Then I put on my fuku and twirled in front of the mirror. Yes, it was ever so much prettier than wearing that icky boys' uniform. It's kind of sad I don't have anything else nice to wear, but I'm sure Ichiko and Nichie will lend me stuff until I can build up my wardrobe. I saw I was running a little late, so I just grabbed my lunch and ran out without talking to anyone. At school, I bought a makeup kit from Nabiki, along with a "how-to" booklet. I'd seen other transformed girls really mess up the first time without instructions.

Things went much more smoothly now that I was acknowledging who I truly was, instead of pretending to be my old self. I was able to get my schedule switched around so I could take Cooking and Fashion Design. And I could talk to the other girls about important things like what shade polish to use on my toenails without getting embarrassed.

I have to pity the poor girls who are still denying the Becoming. I remember how miserable I was last week. Oh well, they'll join us soon.

What's going on with Koko-chan is a bit harder to figure out. She's such a violent tomboy now! It's like she was splashed by an entirely different spring. Now she wants to get combat training from that old lady that runs the Nekohanten, because "Amazon tribes are sensibly run, with the women in charge."

I talked to Coach Kanzaki, because I wasn't sure I wanted to stay in soccer, but she reminded me that women who get a lot of exercise have easier childbirths. Besides, the team can't afford to lose any more players. And when I got out on the field, I realized I really do love the game. When I got home, Mama seemed surprised to see me. But she recovered and let me know someone had called. I called them back, and it turned out to be Kei, one of the boys I'd danced with at the reception. I'd given him my phone number, one of the things I didn't remember Sunday night, and he wanted to know if I'd like to go on a date with him. Kei had a nice voice, and I think I remember he's good-looking, so naturally I said "Yes!"

We're going to the movies this weekend. Let's face it, the competition for the few boys at Fuurinkan is way too intense, and I'm beginning to suspect Tetsuo is gay. How else could he resist our charms?

My family didn't take the news as well as I'd hoped. Mama bit her lip and looked ready to cry. Papa was very cross. I know he was looking forward to having a son follow in his footsteps, but I'm sure he'll see that a son-in-law is just as good.

Grandfather had another of his episodes, talking about how "The priestess warned me, but no, I just had to get off that island!"

The reaction that hurt the most was Shiiko's. "You're not Sanjuro! You're some kind of pod person! Give back my brother!" "But Shiiko-chan, I am Sanjuro, but now I'm my true feminine self. I'll be a terrific big sister, you'll see!" I assured her. "I've got two big sisters already! I want my big brother, and I'm not going to talk to you until you bring him back!" She ran out of the room. No one wanted to talk after that. Everyone was upset, but there wasn't anything that could be done. I'm sure they'll all see what a wonderful thing the Becoming is eventually.

Deru is still resisting, I think. Hard to tell under those robes of hers. Ranma might as well stay away now. Happosai seems to have disappeared, and now I realize that being "cured" would actually be a bad thing. I never want to go back to being that horrible rude, violent, selfish boy! I'd much rather make someone a terrific wife.

Well, that's it for tonight, so this is San-chan signing off!

[Editor's note: While the journal continues, its tone and focus change radically, and the entries become much less useful to the beginning student. There is, for example, a fifteen page essay on San's shoe shopping experiences, complete with a detailed description of each pair of shoes tried on.

[Thus, we will summarize what we believe to be the important events of the next two weeks before Ranma Saotome's return. [San (nee Sanjuro) Tanaka led her team to victory in the soccer games played during this period, despite protests from the other schools' coaches. [She went on her date with Kei, who turned out to be average-looking, and had a good time. Her father made sure to impress upon Kei her "true nature" and the hope for a cure, so the young man did not attempt anything beyond hand-holding.

[Koko (nee Koujiro) Kanto was allowed to begin training as a provisional member of the Joketsuzoku tribe of Amazons.

[Nobu continued to be a brazen hussy.

[No further mention of Deru is made, apparently she dropped off San's radar completely.

[For a full edition of the journal, please check with the Manuscript Department.]

BY:nightelf@thekeep.org (Nick Leifker) happi4f sidestory Kasumi Tendo looked up from her notes, and sighed. She watched as Dr. Tofu was checking up on one of her patients, making sure that the young woman was healthy in mind as well as in body. The doctor's soothing, unthreatening voice calmed the girl down allowing her to check the patient's physical condition, and offered her comforting words for a person offered no comfort save personal oblivion.

In a very disturbing way, it was like looking in a mirror. Like herself, Tofu beamed a gentle, comforting smile that could stop armed conflicts, wore her dark brown hair in a ponytail over her right shoulder, and had taken to wearing the utilitarian skirt-and-blouse combinations that she herself preferred. It was as though Tofu had chosen her to emulate, and had become a reasonable facsimilie of her as a result.

Weary of the day, she glanced over at the clock. 6:30. The work was almost done; all Tofu had left on the schedule was a haunted young lady in a boy's uniform. She could see it in the girl's mannerisms: she'd already begun to slip, and it wouldn't be long before she succumbed. It was for these patients that Tofu was at her best.

She watched, a touch of envy entering her features as Tofu began her examination. Tofu didn't even touch the girl physically; she never did unless the patient asked for it or the situation called for it. The girl started her tale, how she felt, *what* she was feeling... and soon burst out crying. Tofu comforted the girl with a master's touch; she'd make an excellent mother one day...

Before Kasumi knew it, Tofu had ended the session. "Hikaru, if... I wish I could give you a formula to make it all better. If... you need someone to talk to, I'll be here." She gave the former boy one last hug, and sent her on her way.

Tofu waved goodbye to the patient, then turned back inside. "Thank you for your help, Kasumi."

Kasumi bowed, hoping her sadness wouldn't show. "It was my pleasure, Doctor."

Tofu straightened out the wrinkles on her skirt, and let out a long yawn. "ohhh.... I could use a bath."

In that moment, Kasumi saw her chance. "Um... doctor, do you mind if I join you?"

For an moment, Tofu faltered, a motion that nearly sent Kasumi to tears. It disappeared like a summer breeze, though, as she straightened herself up. "It would be my pleasure. Follow me."

Kasumi followed Tofu upstairs and into the furo. The two quickly began undressing, neither one self-conscious of the other's presence. They quickly moved into the shower section of the bath, and started to scrub.

Kasumi couldn't help but notice Tofu as she lathered herself up. The young woman was young, well-endowed, and blessed and cursed with the flawless beauty that came from Jusenkyo's touch. Unlike the other victims of Happosai's water, though, Tofu carried an air of grace around herself, a confidence that took her own self years to master... a confidence which she'd found slipping of late.

Tofu finished scrubbing her hair, and looked over at Kasumi. "You know, I would expect Happosai to ogle me like that, but not you, Kasumi."

The young woman blushed. "Sorry, Doctor. it's just that the changes are so..."

"Strange?" A soft chuckle came from Tofu's lips. "Tell me about it."

Kasumi resumed her own scrubbing. "Well, it's not just the physical, but there are... other things... for instance, you're more graceful than the others."

Tofu smiled. "Thank you for noticing." She picked up a bucket of rinse water. "Some of us weren't affected fully by the curse."

"What do you mean?"

The good doctor poured the water over her head. "How much has your sister changed as a result of the curse?"

Kasumi shrugged. "Not much, really. I mean, she's more interested in boys and cooking now, but for the most part she's still Nabiki."

"Just as I am still the good doctor."

"Huh?"

Tofu wiped the water from her eyes, and pushed the hair out of her face. "Nabiki has always been interested in being a businesswoman. It's been her calling ever since I've known your family. When the curse hit her, it tried to change her, but her desire to go into business was so strong that it had to work around her. Something similar happened with me. I... Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be a doctor, to help people and to care for their problems. As a result, I remained largely me... and largely not."

Kasumi moved closer to Tofu. She could sense the doctor's nervousness. "What happened to you, Doctor? You've talked about everyone else's change... what happened to you?"

Tofu rubbed her face in her hands. "I... I didn't have time to feel the change inside of me. I had too many people who needed my help. I... I didn't even notice what had happened to me until I looked at you."

The good doctor moved closer to Kasumi, and put an arm around her. "The first day after the change, I put on a bra and panties. I told myself that they were necessary, due to my new figure. The next day I wore a dress, because it fit me better. I... I didn't notice my bedside manner changing as I worked. I... was becoming more motherly, and I didn't even notice, I was so busy. Then... then you walked in, and I realized what I had lost.

"Kasumi, I... I love you. I want to be your friend now. I want to go out shopping and talk about life and to help people with you. I value that friendship now more than anything. But it hurts sometimes... because I remember wanting so much more, and never getting a chance to tell you."

Kasumi closed her eyes. Tofu loved her, just as she loved him... and now loved her. "Tofu... how much is there left of you?"

The doctor got up from the stool. "Enough. Enough to know what happened to me. Enough to see how much I lost - and how much I gained."

"What have you gained, Doctor?"

Tofu smiled. "Peace of mind. You as a friend. A sense of purpose." She stuck her foot in the furo, then quickly pulled it back out.

"What's wrong?"

Tofu looked at the water fearfully. "I... the water's too hot."

Kasumi looked at her. "What do you mean, 'too hot'?"

Kasumi's eyes widened as she looked at Tofu's face. There was a touch of anticipation... but fear was there, as well. "I... felt a tingling. When I put my foot in the water."

Kasumi narrowed her eyes at her. "You mean... you think you'd change if you went in?"

Tofu's scared eyes gave her all the answer she needed.

"Then what are you waiting for? Get in!"

Tofu shook her head. "I... I know this may seem difficult for you to understand, Kasumi, but I'd rather not."

Kasumi looked her in the eye. "Why not?"

Tofu let out a long, deep sigh. "Because of what I'd lose if I did. I'm at peace now, Kasumi. I am a woman now; I have hopes and dreams of raising a family of my own. I... if I dove in, I'd be constantly going from one form to another, sometimes a guy, sometimes a girl, but never truly one or the other. Also... I have you for a friend, something I've wanted for a long time." She reached out to touch Kasumi's cheek. "I don't want to lose that."

"Baka," Kasumi whispered. "You won't lose me. I promise. I'm not letting you go, even if you go absolutely crazy on me as a woman. Now... are you going to run from yourself forever, or are you going to dive in, with me, right now?"

For a moment, she thought she'd pushed too far. She knew Tofu had a woman's desires; she just hoped there was enough left of 'him' for her to try. She watched as indecision flashed in her eyes, as she looked from herself to the pool that was her doom. She watched expectantly as Tofu looked at her, like a dear caught in headlights, and nodded.

Kasumi walked behind Tofu, and held on tightly around her stomach. "Okay. Follow my lead." She lifted her foot over the wall and into the bathtub. Tofu was more hesitant; it was as though her body were fighting the change. Kasumi moved both feet into the furo, and waited for Tofu to follow her. It took a moment, but she did.

"Now, Tofu, I'm going to slowly go into the water. I'm not going to let go of you, not before the change, not after the change. Okay?" Tofu nodded. She slowly eased herself into the hot water, holding onto Tofu for dear life.

For several seconds, nothing happened, a moment in which all of Kasumi's hopes crashed. Then she felt it, as the body in her arms expanded, and her hopes rose. Tofu's waist moved outward and to the side, while her chest flattened from sensitive curves to hard, compact muscle. She tried not to look at his body; she had his modesty to think about, after all.

Then the tremors came, nervous twitches as the male Tofu realized where he was, and who he was with. She held onto him for dear life, not allowing herself to feel the strain of muscle against muscle, all the while whispering soothing words into his ear. After a few moments, the spasms faded to a soft quivering, then relaxed.

"Shhh, Tofu, it's all right," Kasumi breathed, letting her fingers play through his damp hair. It was still at the length it was before the bath, but somehow it fit him. When he'd finally relaxed enough to be himself, Kasumi leaned against his shoulder, and began to cry.

"Thank you, Kasumi." The voice sounded different to her ears. It was softer... gentler than the masculine Tofu she knew, but a touch more powerful than the woman she'd become friends with. The best combination of both, she decided.

"You're welcome, Tofu... you're welcome."

**********

"Father, where are you going?"

The sight in front of her that morning was enough to break Kasumi's heart. The two before her had been her father and his best friend; now, there was nothing to distinguish them from the average teenager. They went into the curse with the proud bravado of men; all that came from them now were giggles, blushes, and the occasional curtsey.

To put it succinctly, she didn't know whether to scream yet or just cry.

"To the mall," Soun replied. She wore her hair in a ponytail now, one which extended all the way down her back. "Genma and I... have some equipment to shop for. Isn't that right, Genma?" Ever the partner in crime, Genma nodded.

Kasumi put her hands on her hips. A third option presented itself inside of her... one which found widespread appeal. "And what about training Akane? Don't you usually reserve this time to help train her?"

Genma smiled. "Akane doesn't want to train right now. She said something about learning a new recipe from Yuka, and went over to her house to learn it. So... we figured that if Akane didn't want to learn, why should we force her?"

The look from Kasumi could burn through steel. "You should be stronger than that, Father! Someone needs to learn the Art, Father! If Akane doesn't want to, then train me!"

Soun looked at her incredulously. "Train you? You haven't taken a lesson in eight years, Kasumi!"

Kasumi growled. "I'm a fast learner, Father."

Soun looked her up and down, then shrugged. "Kasumi, I'm too busy now. I've got too much to do now to start teaching again! Come on, Genma." She turned to leave, when a fist connected with the wood beside her. Kasumi's fist had missed her by less than an inch.

"Father, your responsibility is to train us to run this dojo. And I will NOT let you shirk your duties."

Soun turned back around to face her, her anger flaring. She gave her best demon head (pink and kawaii, unfortunately) to her child, to scare her off. "Kasumi, I am your father! Do not speak to me like that!"

In that moment, Kasumi saw red. Her fists lashed out at her father, each blow a scream of anguish.

"You're not my father! My father cared about his home, and about the Art! You're just a spoiled little girl who needs to learn some manners! And it's about time someone taught them to you!"

Kasumi didn't know the Amaguriken, the Hiryuu Shouten Ha, or any special moves. All she remembered was how to stand, how to punch, and how to kick. Her anger did the rest. She could feel the power within her, aching to be released in all its glory, to show this weak, foolish girl who was the master...

"Please, Kasumi, stop!" Soun was on the floor, whimpering. Her arms were shielding her face... shielding her shame, it seemed. "I... I can't teach you, Kasumi. I... am not the man you knew. I'm sorry." She ran out of the house, Genma right behind her.

Kasumi rocked back on her heels, and fell down with an unceremonious plop. She'd just beaten her father - in the bad way as well as the good. Technically, by the rules of the house, she was the official master of the dojo. Worse, she'd *enjoyed* it, reveled in the strength her new body performed and the ease by which it took her down. She should be crying; she wondered absently why she wasn't.

She got up, and put on her shoes. She needed help - and fast.

**************************

Tofu looked down at the two outfits in his hands, not being able to decide between them. Both were comfortable, and perfect for the springtime weather; both were practical, utilitarian, and flattered his body quite nicely.

The only difference was the body each one required.

Sighing, he put the brown gi in his closet and set the dress in a safe place. Right now a more motherly touch was needed in the clinic, as most Jusenkyo patients needed a good shoulder to cry on.

The holdouts had started to crumble, and a woman's comfort and patience, as well as the guidance of someone who'd been there, was needed. Besides, he'd spent the previous day as a man, and his other side wanted her fair share.

As he felt the cold water wash over him, she wondered if perhaps she'd made a bad decision. She'd had to change her normal self... to allow room for all of herself. This meant adopting some more feminine ways of thinking, but for the most part it was good. It was a different kind of peace, but it was still peace. Problem is, there were some people, most notably her mother, who weren't likely to understand. She was about to start dressing when the front door flew open.

Hastily, she reached for her clothes. She'd learned to dress in a matter of seconds in an emergency; it took a little longer due to the bra, but it was still in record time. She rushed downstairs to greet her guest - and nearly slammed right into Kasumi.

"Ah, Kasumi. What a coincidence running into you here, of all places."

Kasumi blinked, then grabbed her tightly in a bear hug. "Oh, Tofu... I... I need help."

Tofu returned the hug, then sighed. "What is it, Kasumi?"

Kasumilet go, then stared down at the floor. Her dark eyes shimmered with tears; however, not a drop coursed down her cheek. "Tofu... I... I think the curse is starting to take over, and I don't even know what it is."

The doctor was in in an instant. "Why? What happened?"

Kasumi started to walk around the floor, her only way of releasing nervous energy. "I... I had an argument with Father. She made me so angry... that I attacked her."

Tofu blinked. This was serious. "You attacked her? Why?"

Kasumi sighed. "Because I thought she was neglecting her duties as a parent and as a martial artist. I even asked her to train me, so that I could keep the dojo running if she couldn't. I never thought she'd... she'd..."

The doctor walked over, and began to make a pot of tea. Her hands moved deftly, as though she were using tea ceremony in a practical situation. "Kasumi... I... I have two things to say to you." She placed the dried leaves into a bowl, and poured the water. "First, I think I finally know what water you were hit with."

Kasumi looked up, surprised... and scared. "Why do I get the feeling I'm not going to like the answer?"

Tofu shrugged. "I dunno. I think you're made of stronger stuff than most. Anyway, how much do you know about Amazon mentality?"

Something clicked inside Kasumi's mind with those words. "Apparently more than I used to, Tofu." Tofu offered her a cup, which she accepted. "So... what do I do now?"

"That's the second thing I wanted to tell you. You need to talk with your family. Sit them down, have everyone help in making the snacks, and just spend some time with them. Ask them how they feel. How did they feel while they were changing? Why did they eventually give in? At the same time, tell them what you're feeling, and why. I think... that that may be a way to help you keep from becoming a total Amazon mentally. I have some other suggestions, but those will wait."

"Wait? Why?"

Tofu smiled secretively, provocatively. "You'll find out soon enough."

*****************

Kasumi rubbed the white cotton of her gi. Somehow, the fabric felt... right, proper to her. It had been too long since she'd worn a gi, too long since she'd trained... too long since she'd lived. Ironically, the gi had been her mother's, back when her parents both taught classes together.

Unfortunately, those days were long gone. Mother was dead. Father... was gone. The talk she'd had proved that; she knew about her past, but her present desires were nothing of the man who raised her. She had lost a father due to Happosai... but gained another sister. Akane, while still a fighter, had been distracted of late, and didn't feel like training. Ranma... Ranma was gone. For the sake of the school, she had to operate under that assumption.

"So this is who I'm supposed to teach?"

Kasumi's eyes widened on hearing the soft voice. Cologne, Elder of the Chinese Amazons, entered the dojo, soon followed by Shampoo and Tofu.

Kasumi couldn't help herself; she bowed deeply to the elder. "Greetings, Elder."

Cologne blinked, then looked carefully at Kasumi. After a moment, she sighed. "So... it would seem the ranks of Amazon women are growing."

Tofu nodded. "Now do you know why I asked you to help me?"

Cologne couldn't help but smile. "To an extent. I'm curious why someone from the Musebetsu Kaketou can't teach her, though."

Kasumi's eyes turned cold. "There are only two other willing practicioners of my family's school. Both are in hiding."

"True enough." Cologne sat down, and eyed her pupil warily. "Why do you want to fight, girl?"

Kasumi looked downward for a moment. "My family has always been a fighting one. My... my family is on the verge of falling apart because of what Happosai did. And I am *not* going to sit idly back and watch him succeed."

"Good." The elder held out her hand. "You have a reason for fighting - and a very good one at that. If you will supply yourself and this place for our training... I will help. However, Ono will be your main teacher - for now, anyway. Is that understood?"

Kasumi positively glowed. "Yes, Elder."

Cologne smiled. "Now... let's see what a Japanese Amazon can do."

**************************************

Kasumi darted to the left, hoping to avoid Tofu's punches. She could feel the wind as the punches passed by her. An opening in Tofu's attacks made itself evident, and she moved in, trying to exploit it.

To her dismay, it was a ruse. Tofu had been expecting it, and blocked at the last second. Unfortunately, Kasumi was off balance as a result of the attack, and very vulnerable. Tofu tagged her on the right shoulder, a soft blow that hurt harder than any slap.

"Point." Tofu smiled, and adjusted her gi top. "You're getting better."

Kasumi blinked at Tofu. "You know, I still haven't decided which side of you is the better flatterer."

Tofu flashed Kasumi her most seductive look. "Why, this form, of course. You think I'd try to pick up *girls* in this form?" The two laughed at the private joke... but it left silence in the air.

"Tofu, I -"

"Kasumi, I -"

"Go ahead," Tofu gestured.

Kasumi bit her lip. "Tofu, I... I asked my... I asked Soun for something earlier today."

Tofu blinked. "What?"

"I asked her if she would mind... if I started dating you."

Tofu's heart stopped. "Date..."

Kasumi nodded in reply. "I mean, we never formalized ourselves as a couple, so... I thought it best to ask permission first."

"So... what was her response?"

Kasumi grinned. "She wanted a shot at you first."

Tofu grimaced, all the while trying to keep her giggles down. "That's bad, Kasumi. Even for you."

"I know," Kasumi said mysteriously.

Tofu bit her lip for a moment. She was of two minds on the issue. One wanted Kasumi as a wife, the other wanted to keep Kasumi as a friend. She walked over, and took Kasumi's hand.

"Kasumi, are you willing to spend the rest of your life with someone who looks as good in your clothes as you do?"

Kasumi nodded, her face dangerously close to Tofu's. "I know. It's... one of the things I love about you. You... understand me." Her voice turned low toward the end, as her gi suddenly felt surprisingly hot. "Tofu... are you willing to accept a barbarian Amazon for a companion?"

Tofu loosened the collar of her own gi. "Always, Kasumi... always." She reached out, kissed Kasumi full on the lips, and managed a wry smile. "Just one thing: Do you mind if I wear a wedding dress too?"

*************************

"... And that's how your mommy and daddy got together."

The toddler in his lap frowned. Her brown eyes radiated confusion. "Okay... so how did Auntie Akane and Uncle Ranma meet? And Auntie Nabiki and Uncle Hitoshi?"

Tofu smiled, and tried to keep from laughing. "Those are stories for another day, Yumeko. Now pleasant dreams." He tucked his daughter in for the night, and kissed her on the forehead. Good night."

Yumeko smiled beneath her long hair. "'Night, Daddy." Yawns began to swallow her as Tofu walked out of the room. He felt familiar hands wrap around his waist - slender, sensitive, but remarkably powerful.

"Hello, love."

"Hello." Kasumi rested her head against his shoulder. "Are you ready for bed? Or do you want a cold shower first?"

Tofu thought for a bit. "I think we'll pass on the shower for tonight." He reached back and kissed her, a wave of emotions flooding his senses at the contact. "Besides, we're supposed to take Yumeko shopping tomorrow."

"You're no fun," Kasumi whispered.

Tofu looked at the blush in Kasumi's features, and smiled. "I think I just proved otherwise."

Kasumi's eyebrow arched high - a sure sign of invitation. "Care to prove it again?"

Tofu smiled. "Any time, any place, any body... as long as it's with you." He led her down the hall to the master bedroom, and shut the door behind them.

**************************************** Nicholas Leifker nightelf@thekeep.org June 9, 1998

Ranma 1/2 Happi Days 4g:A Letter To Home

by Gregg Sharp/Metroanime@aol.com Ranma 1/2 char (c) Rumiko Takahashi, VIZ, etc.

----------------------- Dear Mother & Father,

First things first, the meeting with Yuko did NOT go well. What was I supposed to think when a woman I'd been writing for eight years is talking about what kind of house she wants to live in and what kind of guy she's looking to marry? It turns out that she regards gaijin as an inferior species, NOT suitable for introducing to one's parents.

I took it pretty hard, her rejection still ringing in my ears, and I rejoined the anime club on the second day of their tour.

Get the family together and watch the videotape that I've enclosed.

Done? Good. I found one of the Japanese television stations doing English news for travelers and contacted them for that videotape. Now you remember that scene showing the anime store in Nerima?

Well, yeah. That's me. That is why my one week trip to Japan is currently in its third week. No, it isn't a hoax. The woman you see at the end of the tape, the one who says "Hello Mom, Dad, Brother. I miss you" is actually your former son. Hope you don't mind having a daughter, it was kind of a surprise to me too.

I mean, really, there I was standing outside an anime store in Japan, waiting for the doors to open so I could practice my fragmentary Japanese and try to pick up a copy of the new NukuNuku laserdisc, and some little hentai creep splashes me with some water.

I gotta tell you, just the memory of that creeps me out worse than living with the effects. It didn't HURT, but your skin feels like you're taking a bath in something carbonated, and you feel your skin and bones and flesh moving. Dan used the phrase "reconfiguring" -you can tell he's an engineer, has to put everything in techie terms.

So I find myself looking like you see in that video. It could be worse, trust me. Three of the others now want to take up housekeeping as a vocation, that weird guy, Sean, is wearing a Sailor Moon fuku and running around making speeches about how "In The Name Of The Moon, I Want A Large Fries With That."

The curse is related to the water, and is permanent for most people. Some of the later people didn't get hit with the permanent aspect, or that aspect wore off after two weeks. Now cold water turns these last into their housewife persona, hot water returns relative normalcy. I don't seem to be that fortunate.

According to Nabiki, this major mercenary out here who's selling her sister's cookies (her own cookies aren't edible), says that there was more than one kind of water used. One curses you with the "Housewife" attitude, then there's this water dealing with someone from a place called "Niichieju." (I think that's it. My Japanese is a LOT better but still ain't that great.)

As I understand it, these are some hidden village of Chinese "Amazons" that may have some relation to the Greek variety. I know that my enthusiasm for the martial arts has increased dramatically, and I'm getting lessons nightly after my job at Ucchan's (sort of a Japanese pizza parlor.) It doesn't pay that well, but it pays enough to cover expenses.

I don't know when I'll be back. Some of us want to stick around for a cure, but apparently some people have had these water curses for quite some time, and those of us who are "locked" can't even use the one cure that is supposed to work- some "Spring Of Drowned Man" over in China. Right now there's a major problem caused by the fact that I don't look a bit like my passport photo, I only have two sets of clothes that fit the new body, and even when I do get back, what then? I mean all my records, my driver's license, everything is for a guy who doesn't really look that close to me.

On the plus side, I look thinner now but I'm a helluva lot stronger. I figure I can bench 200# now, got really good endurance, and I'm almost a foot taller. Yup, gone from being the shortest kid on the block at 5'3" to 6'2". Also got really long hair. I understand from some local Elder of this Amazon Village, that long hair is a sign of honor- that shaving one's head indicates a loss of honor or status within the tribe. I dunno, I kind of like it despite it being hot as all get out here, and humid too.

Some other aspects I'm really having trouble with, but I won't burden you with that. The upshot is that there are apparently mental/attitudinal effects. The really good news is that this stuff apparently cures all sorts of problems. I've never been healthier, and the martial arts sensei says I show promise.

There's also a chance I can be accepted as a provisional member of this Amazon Village place, which means that even if I can't find a cure, I'll be able to find a home.

Later,

Richard M. Straczynski

PS: My fingerprints apparently remain the same. I assume retinal patterns are likewise unchanged. I don't know how much this will help, though. Unless I find a cure and soon, assume that I'm going to have to manufacture a new identity. Will call later.

PPS: According to that Elder, I need a name to be called if I'm inducted into the Amazons. I'm thinking of going with Nayami, one of the many words for trouble. Maybe just Ri Ku.

Ranma 1/2 Happi Days #5: Fourth Week, Sunday -------------------------

"Raaaaaannnmmmaaaaa!"

Ranma turned to see Ryouga running towards him. Ranma briefly wondered how Ryouga had found him when he'd just gotten off the bus into Nerima a few minutes ago.

Ranma shrugged and cracked his knuckles. Why ask why? It looked like he'd be getting in a fight almost as soon as his feet hit the ground. Well, if Ryouga was gonna take THAT approach, he wouldn't share the little item he'd found in China.

Ryouga ran past Ranma, then ducked right, disappearing into an alley. Ranma blinked twice, as his expression went blank. "Huh?"

"Over here!" Ryouga called from around the corner.

Ranma thought briefly this might be a trap, but why did Ryouga sound panicked?

"Hurry, they'll be here any moment!"

That was definitely panic in Ryouga's voice. Did Akane finally figure out who P-chan was?

"You gotta hide me, Ranma!"

Ranma got his first good look at Ryouga as he entered the alley. Torn clothing, tousled hair, lipstick stains, it must have been one heck of a fight.

Ranma stopped and rewound the last observation. "Lipstick stains?!" Ranma counted four such marks on Ryouga. "Ryouga, has Akari been..."

"Shut up!" Ryouga looked around nervously. "You don't have any clue at all, do you?"

"Uhm, well, if that isn't it, what's going on?"

Ryouga clenched a fist and made a face. "You don't know the horrors I've been through the past week. I can't even get lost without some girl coming around to help me out. I've got women chasing me around trying to get me to eat the 'extra lunch they just happened to bring along.' It's been HELL, I tell you!"

That last was howled. As the echoes died away, Ryouga opened his eyes and realized exactly what he had just done. "Oh my."

Ranma jumped up and swung himself onto a fire escape as a mob of fuku-clad women came running around the corner.

"RYOUGA-SAMA!" The lead girl was waving a bokken over her head. "I would date with you!"

"Ryouga-darling! Ryouga-honey! Ri-chan! Charlotte! Ryouga my sweet! Ryouga, make me yours!" The crowd was charging along only slightly behind the bokken wielder.

"Eeep!" Ryouga turned and ran, trying his level best to attain Warp Factor Six without benefit of a starship. Ranma had to admit he was doing a fair job of it too. Maybe this was some kind of speed training that Ryouga had thought up. Nah, that was real panic that the lost boy was displaying.

Thoroughly puzzled, Ranma swung down off the fire escape and turned the corner. Another one of the fuku wearing girls was standing there, looking at him as if he were a lunch buffet.

"Urk." Ranma felt a brief moment of panic. What had those girls done to Ryouga that had caused him such distress? Then something about the face clicked. "Akane?"

"Ranma," Akane said with a cute smile, so happy to see him that she giggled and did a quick twirl. "Do you like the new school uniform? Isn't it pretty?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were Akane Tendo. My mistake." Her hair was much longer, it couldn't be Akane, could it?

"Silly," Akane giggled again, holding her hand in front of her mouth. She looked at Ranma and put her hands behind her back, swinging one leg back and forth. "I AM Akane Tendo."

"Huh?!" Ranma's mind froze up. Was it a possession? Another vengeful spirit doll or something?

Akane briefly looked sad and demure. "Ranma, when you left, I was so sad, so forlorn, so lonely without you."

"Huh?" Ranma automatically started forward when he saw tears (TEARS?!) making tracks down Akane's cheeks. "Akane, do you feel OK?"

As soon as Ranma moved within range, Akane glomped him. Again Ranma's mind locked up, maybe it was on Windows 95, but Akane acting like this seemed to freeze up his operating system.

"Ranma, don't ever do that again." Akane seemed to press even tighter against Ranma. "Don't ever leave me again, Ranma."

"A-kan-e. Can't...breathe...."

"Oh my darling, how I've counted the hours, no, the minutes since we've been parted."

"P-le-as-e. Need. Air."

"Ranma, if you must leave ever again, take me with you, I promise not to be a burden! I beg you!"

Ranma, now turning blue, only managed to make a choking noise. Some distant part of his mind noted that the hydraulic pressure on her glomp was approaching the level of a trash compactor.

"I know I'm more fragile than you, but you must take me with you!" Akane tightened a little more. "I...I can carry my own weight!"

"urk." Ranma thought he felt his ribs groaning. Everything was fading to black. If he could just get some air. That same distant part of his mind had upgraded the pressure level to car crusher. His shock over what Akane was saying was also causing him to remain off balance.

"No, Ranma, I know what you're thinking." Akane looked up at him and noticed his coloration was off. "Oh no! Ranma, you've gotten sick! I'll bet you haven't eaten properly since you left!"

"Don't worry, Akane," came a voice as another fuku clad girl walked out of the alley.

"Ukyou," Akane smiled brightly. "Together..."

Ukyou nodded. "Together we can get him to my place and nurse him back to health."

Akane's smile turned a little predatory. Funny how it matched the grin that Ukyou was wearing. "Between the two of us, we can make sure we don't have to share him with the rest of the girls."

If Ranma had been conscious he would have been in a similar state of panic to Ryouga. As it was, he was quickly carried through the streets without much fuss at all.

-----Commercial Break-----------

SCENE: The Cat Cafe. Interior. Shampoo is wearing her cheongsam.

SHAMPOO: "Aiyah, and welcome to Cat Cafe! We have authentic style Chinese cuisine, prepared in accordance with ancient recipes. No MSG, cat, or dog used in OUR recipes."

MOUSSE (offscreen): "QUACK!"

SHAMPOO: "Ask about our pressed duck special!"

MOUSSE (runs past camera towards the exit):"QUAAAAACK!"

SHAMPOO (gives evil smile briefly before going back to "Charming Hostess" mode.): "Heh. Lunch specials daily, and absolute best ramen in Nerima."

SCENE: changes to Shampoo standing in front of a map. There is a highlighted section marked Cat Cafe.

SHAMPOO: "Convenient for Furinkan students. Come by and say why Shampoo only choice for Ranma and get 20% off YOUR lunch ramen."

SCENE: Shampoo on "bicycle of death".

SHAMPOO: "Reasonable delivery fees. Just no forget tip for pretty delivery girl."

SCENE: Shampoo chasing Ranma, she's using her bonbori.

VOICEOVER: "Cat Cafe, serving Nerima since 1993."

---End Commercial Break--------------------

Tetsuo had to admit that Hide was one of the most useful spells he knew. Not that he knew that many, or that he was powerful enough to cast some of the ones he'd heard about that sounded REALLY neat.

He also had to admit that when magical talent had been passed out, he was somewhere between Pathetic and Vaguely Competent. Knowing that, he concentrated on the spells he was able to manage, and he practiced the Hide spell quite a lot.

In theory, it was quite simple. Form a pattern of Spirit and Air, weave it with one's own chi, and feed it a trickle of your own strength. It didn't make one invisible, but unless the caster did something to draw attention to himself, people and animals tended to ignore the caster as if he were just part of the background.

Useless for a warrior, who intended to disturb the environment, and therefore cancelled it out just by planning an attack. For a spy or someone trying to survive, it was incredibly useful. Tetsuo Tsukiku, recent transfer to Furinkan Senior High School, placed himself emphatically in this last category.

All it would take would be one more obento lunch prepared by someone with no talent or training for it and he'd be done for. It proved that good intentions were not, in and of themselves, sufficient for some tasks. Cooking, bomb disposal, and heart surgery were all, in Tetsuo's opinion, not something you did without proper training.

The news had leaked out, Tetsuo suspected Nabiki, that Tetsuo was living all by himself. That he hadn't had a homecooked meal in months and was trying to get by on his own.

There had also been the photos. Again this was most likely Nabiki, though "Gos-chan" was another possibility. Tetsuo was quite glad that the pictures of Ryouga were outselling his own. He'd only seen a few of these pictures, but the phrase "full noodle frontity" seemed to cover the basics. Pictures from the guys' showers, pictures of Ryouga in a furo, pictures of each and every one of the remaining male students in the school (plus Ryouga of course, though Miss Hinako seemed to have forgotten that Ryouga wasn't a student.)

Seeing a set of cards being passed around by one group of girls, Tetsuo edged a little closer until he could figure out what it was. When he did, he was able to go from suspicion to confirmed on who was the one responsible for his home being staked out.

It was obviously Nabiki's work, Gos couldn't put together anything nearly so professional looking. Nabs had put together TRADING CARDS. Tetsuo retreated, thanking all the kami that he'd found a lorebook on ninja spirit magic and had been able to learn the Hide spell. Height, weight, probable financial income, hobbies, and other stats had been speculated on or compiled for quite a few males in the area.

Tetsuo thought that when Hitoshi finally made a move on Nabiki, that should cut down on Nabs' free time. He wouldn't be at all unhappy to see Nabs spend less time in the yakuza-style businesses.

Looking back at the girls trading cards, Tetsuo shuddered. This was Bad, and Tetsuo figured he'd better warn the others. Now if he could just find Ryouga.

Still, he'd like to get a copy himself, just to see how he rated.

-----------------------

Thousands of miles away, Herb of the Musk Dynasty read a report given him by one of his spies, crumpled it in his fist, and incinerated it with a chi bolt.

"Akunin."

A shadow moved. "Not here, milord. He, ahem, has a case of the craps."

Herb sighed deeply, turned his eyes to the heavens and silently asked "Why me?"

After a moment of this he turned his attention to the one still standing in the shadows. "Karashi,isn't it?"(1)

"Yes, milord."

"Would you get your butt out here where I can see you, you're not some damn ninja you know."

Karashi shuffled forward slightly, revealing a young man with a wiry build wearing outlander clothing.

"I take it that everyone else..."

"Yes, milord."

"First this bit with Happosai," Herb looked again to the heavens. "He was supposed to be the 'Instrument Of Our Divine Vengeance', wasn't he?"

"Yes, milord," Karashi said, wondering if that was meant to be a rhetorical question or not.

Herb glared. "Then WHY does this report indicate that he has instead become our 'Instrument Of Annoyance' and failed to do much of anything to Saotome? The only one he actually GOT in this plan that was on my list was the DUCK-BOY!"

"Uhm." Karashi was pretty sure that this one WAS a rhetorical question, but nodded to indicate he was paying attention.

"On top of that we have our storage unit collapse and our dungeon got flooded with that 'Bishojo Bride' water. It wasn't a problem then, no, because it was the concentrate. Then we have a stroke of brilliance from former-Commander Mabushi, to get all the fluid out of there by using the new pumps. Which would have been fine if the stuff wasn't almost a syrup in consistancy. So this GENIUS decides to flood the place so that the water is thin enough to pump through the filters.

"How lovely that he then sent two squads of HIS OWN SOLDIERS into that area to position the hoses!"

"Oh my," managed Karashi.

"So, we've got THAT problem to deal with, the damn virus going around, and the only one I've got to send on a vital mission is YOU!"

"A vital mission? Me, sir? Thankyouthankyou."

Herb hit his head against the wall a couple of times. It didn't help. The only agent he had to assist him at the moment was his idiot cousin, the one who was currently wearing an "Akira" T-shirt and ragged jeans.

Maybe, realized Herb, maybe he would just have to put everything on hold. He wasn't sure Karashi could find the Chinese coast if you gave him a map and a compass. Sighing again, he gave Karashi his instructions and waited for the idiot to leave.

If nothing else, maybe it was time to further prune the family tree.

------------------------------

Ranma awoke, realizing three very important things: a) each arm was handcuffed to an object. b) each object was a bed post. c) the bed he was in was NOT his futon.

This led, of course, to conclusion d. d) he was in Big Trouble.

From the position of the sun, he'd guess that he had been unconscious less than an hour. The door opened and he saw Akane enter. This was not Akane's room, so the immediate hope was that he was about to be rescued. Then he saw that she was bringing in a tray of food.

Ranma watched in horror as Akane brought the food closer.

"I'm so glad you're awake, Ranma." Akane smiled. "I made this meal, JUST FOR YOU." She sat down, preparing to feed him by hand. Ranma prayed for a meteor strike, SOMETHING that would stop this nightmare.

Akane smiled at Ranma. It was her turn to feed him, then Ukyou would get her chance. Then Shampoo would be called over. All three agreed that they would MAKE Ranma choose. All three also agreed not to invite that Harenchi woman or Kodachi over.

Ranma would make his choice, and then she and Ranma would marry. Akane smiled even more, her smile promising many things to Ranma.

Ranma just hoped at the moment that getting loose was one of them.

----------------------

Karashi="mustard" in this case, an orig char relative of Herb. Heart of gold, strong as a dragon, not too smart.

FINALLY! Ranma 1/2 final draft Happi Days #6: Fourth Week, Monday all char are (c) Takahashi Rumiko, with the exception of Tetsuo, the crew of the smuggler ship 'ChaCha Maru' and extraneous other characters thrown in for one scene or less.

-----------------------------

Hiroko smiled and fixed an extra box lunch. This time she'd be able to give it to Ryouga-kun, she knew that the lost boy needed plenty of food to keep his energy up.

She'd almost followed the recipe this time, though it had seemed a little bland, so adding octopus marinaded in a pepper sauce (to keep it from spoiling) seemed a good touch.

"Ryouga-sama," Hiroko giggled. Cooking was so much fun since the Becoming and she'd accepted the changes. Besides, Nabiki's picture of Ryouga coming out of the furo...

Hiroko smiled as she added another piece of octopus.

-----------------

Ranma slipped out of the silk cords that had been used to tie him in place, sneaking slowly towards the window like a ghost, careful not to awaken his guard.

Akane murmurred something in her sleep from her futon in front of the door.

When Ranma's heartrate approached normal again, he slowly opened the window. He was expecting the hand dropping down on his shoulder, so sure he'd be found out that when nothing of the sort occurred he was unsure of himself briefly.

Slipping away into the night, Ranma felt that checking up on Ryouga's story was his first priority. If it checked out, maybe he should go back to China.

-----------------

Happosai slipped out of his lair, a hidden panel in the roof of the Tendou Training Hall where he'd hidden the mass of his silky darlings.

The whisper of air around the incoming dagger was sufficient for Happosai to dodge. An overcast night with no lights on in the yard was perfect for sneakery, but apparently it benefited others than Happosai.

"Who's there," Happosai growled. A glimpse of motion, too quick from concealing shadow to shadow. He could only be sure of one thing. It was a woman who was wearing black pants and a red Chinese shirt. The conclusion was obvious.

"So, Ranma, finally you find the courage to face me." He hefted the super soaker in his hands. "You have already doomed your friends and family. YOU are personally responsible for the tragedy afflicting them because you didn't face me when you should have."

Silence was the only answer Happosai received.

"Ranma, you can't fool me. Come and face me, you coward, or I may have to do something really nasty."

More silence. Happosai began to creep forward as silently as he could. He thought that his opponent should be right over there.

"Really, Ranma, I expected more of you. If you don't face me, do you know what I'm going to do? I've got three tins of something called 'Golden Passion Dust' ready to drop in the water supply. All I have to do is turn one extra little valve, and the drug mixes with the Nerima water supply. Believe me, this will make my revenge with the Jusenkyo water seem gentle and refined by comparison.

"My ONLY problem will be in deciding who to ravage first." Happosai got to the shadow and realized that Ranma wasn't there. Looking around, he reached the peak of the roof and tried to figure out where his opponent was. "Will I deflower sweet Akane first? Maybe that best friend of yours, the okonomiyaki chef? I can have Nabiki and charge her for the pleasure, hah! Maybe even some of your formerly male friends, I glomped one yesterday and she felt DELICIOUS."

A movement alerted Happosai, the figure was visible as movement leaping over him. "Game, set, and match, Ranma!" Happosai triggered the flood of his last supply of the cursed Jusenkyo spring water towards the figure.

The figure dodged, rolled, and stood as a porch light came on, a bo staff clearly visible in her hands.

"K-Kasumi?!?" Happosai's eyes bugged out, yes, even more than normal. He stared unmoving as Kasumi took a martial arts stance that clearly read "challenge" to his trained eyes.

Gravity, of course, was not suspended.

------------------

"Where is that baka?"

"It's ok, Akane. The poor boy just doesn't realize we've got his best interests at heart."

"Ukyou, if he chooses YOU, I-I-I'll be happy for you."

"Sugar, you'd be completely miserable and you know it. Same here. And if he chooses Shampoo we'll both me miserable. If he chooses Kodachi..."

"Killing him would be the only merciful thing to do." Akane looked over at Ukyou, strange how the two of them seemed to have deepened their friendship since being affected by the water. "Still, if we find him..."

"We'd better find him," Ukyou drew her battle spatula, "before those other girls do or there might not be anything left of him."

"I was just thinking about what happens if he were to face Happosai before he knows about the water."

--------------------

Ranma puzzled about something. Why did Master Po give him this kettle? It was a 1/3 replica of the "Unlocking Kettle" of the Musk Dynasty, and would supposedly only function one hundred times before the magic ran out, but it was still extremely valuable.

He wondered if Master Po had used some ancient Chinese magic and had determined that it would be needed in some future battle with Herb and the Musk Dynasty.

--------------------

Hundreds of miles away, Master Po sneezed, then went back to channel surfing. Odd that even with a satellite dish that got hundreds of channels, he usually ended up watching CNN Japan.

--------------------

Eighth week, Sunday

"Heh, you girls look like you'd like to party!" The tattooed man motioned his fellows forward, six guys from outside Nerima looking for a little "fun."

The women approached by these men were less than enthusiastic about them or their approach. Hiroko and Daisuki clung to each other and wailing in terror.

Tetsuo, the only guy on that side of the impending fight, only had one offensive spell, and that would take a lot out of him. Still, he built up the power, as these women had stopped being nearly so pushy and he owed them for that. Besides, this FELT right.

"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!"

Tetsuo glanced over to one of the walls and blanched. The thugs, on the other hand, reacted with a few drools and wolf whistles.

Kasumi, dressed in a combination of a pantsuit with hard leather armor, pointed from atop the wall at the thugs. "Your perversions end here! Preying on the weak and defenseless, you deserve NO MERCY!"

Koko-chan, dressed in a sailor fuku with armored shoulderpads, crossed her arms and glared. "For your crimes against women, you shall be PUNISHED!"

Nayami, still trying to balance on the wall, didn't have a speech prepared. "SAME HERE!"

"Shampoo really tired of uppity men like you. Men who do this thing go really bad place."

The leader of the thugs smiled, revealing a few missing teeth. "And who are you little girlies to teach MY men a lesson?" The other thugs smiled and started discussing who got which girl first.

Tetsuo seriously considered switching to his Hide spell.

"WE are the Nerima Police Auxilary, Amazon Division One! And You ARE UNDER ARREST!"

Kasumi was suddenly holding her favorite battlestaff.

Koko-chan's tetsubo appeared.

Nayami's warclaws slid out of her sleeves.

Shampoo's bonbori appeared in her hands and she once again regretted that she didn't have a dramatic sound effect for her weapons.

These were, of course, typical low level thugs who immediately failed a wisdom check upon seeing these women produce weapons out of nowhere. Instead of doing something halfway sensible like running or surrendering, they attacked.

At one point during the battle, Tetsuo used his single offensive spell when the leader attempted to go after the cowering Momoko. The "Chi Bolt" knocked the leader down long enough for Kasumi to slam the end of her quarterstaff into said leader's manhood. Said leader would be singing soprano for several weeks.

Unfortunately, Tetsuo Tsukiku was about as powerful a wizard as he had feared, and collapsed from the energy needed to cast that spell. The results were quite predictable, save to say that he really wished he had enough energy left that could cast that Hide spell.

Kasumi had to finish this up quickly, though, she had a wedding to attend.

------------------------

"She makes such a beautiful bride," said Ukyou, dabbing tears away from her eyes as she turned from the two at the altar to Ranma.

"Yes, she does," agreed Akane, smirking slightly before resting her head against Ranma's shoulder.

Cologne smirked. Her newest pupil had done her so proud by tricking Happosai and the results had been quite rewarding. Finding that "Love Potion" had been equally wonderful.

Happosai pushed back her veil so that she could gaze lovingly upon her husband.

"You may now kiss the bride," the minister, who was clueless about the nature of the bride, said.

Mikado Sanzennin obliged, finally kissing his 1000th girl. Nobody had told him yet. They'd probably wait until AFTER the Honeymoon.

-------------------- New Years Eve, Fifth Month:

"Dear Honored Mother, Father, family:

"As this is usually a time for reflections, I'm writing this down. It has truly been a strange year and I'm appending some additional files on the events, particularly the events known as the 'Bishojo Bride' events.

"Happosai is happily married to Mikado Sanzennin, and the couple are expecting their first child in another six months. Happosai got quite drunk after Kasumi tricked him into splashing himself with his own cursed springwater, with the result that the mental contamination occurred very quickly.

"So many of the Nerima citizens have become almost 'Stepford Wives' versions of themselves that the traditional 'feminine arts' have become a major business here. Note that strong feelings and beliefs were unaffected by what is referred to as the Becoming by many of the Cursed.

"Reaction to the situation in Nerima is mixed. Many feel that Nerima itself is cursed and avoid it as if it were a plague colony. Others come to gawk at the women and overall change in the atmosphere. Still others feel that the area has become an easy target for violence and all sorts of mayhem.

"The official breakdown of the Cursed, as last determined by one of the local news agencies, is that there are 1,212 Cursed individuals in Nerima. Support groups for people with curses have confirmed that the actual number is slightly higher.

"Of these people, 64 have curses not related to Jusenkyo. 1,101 are confirmed victims of Happosai's little rampage. 47 have Jusenkyo curses who have come here since the news broke about Happosai's little escapade. Being around other people who share your problem, or at least understand it, has drawn that group.

"Of the 1,101 that were affected by Happosai, there is a further breakdown. 187 of these individuals were hit with the waters from the 'Spring Of Drowned Amazon Warrior.' Martial arts supplies and dojos can be found very easily in some parts of Nerima. There are a further 374 Cursed who show NO attitudinal change, and the working theory is that they were simply hit with Nyannichuan or 'Spring Of Drowned Girl.' There are another 14 who weren't human to begin with, as apparently Happosai visited the zoo at one point. These last have some qualities of their former animal selves, but largely appear to be human women. These are all currently learning how to be human. This leads to 526 who WERE hit with the 'Bishojo Bride' water who were human. Figure roughly half used to be of the male persuasion.

"Furinkan High School was the worst affected. The male/female ratio is now 1/80 with a few packs of amazons and guys who have never mentally transformed. In the case of these three springs, the amount of mixing of the curses appears to be minimal.

"Due to the false perception that Nerima is easy pickings for the violent, and that there are now a large number of provisional amazons here, two more changes of note. Nerima is now a sister-city (a very appropriate term, don't you think) to the Amazon Village, and there's several amazons in the Police Department now. Also Furinkan has been kicking serious butt in the high school athletics programs.

"Ranma Saotome returned almost exactly one month after he left. He brought with him a device similar to the 'Unlocking Kettle' of the Musk Dynasty. He was able to use this until the magic ran out, and one hundred of those with the 'Bishojo Bride' curse now have normal lives and personalities until they are splashed with cold water, then the other personality and form become dominant. Most are coping with the change with a certain Japanese stoicism.

"Medical studies are being conducted, with the reports being released simultaneously in the American 'JAMA' and the British 'Lancet' on the short and long term effects of the Curse.

"Most of the world goes on as it has for years, without particularly noticing or caring what happens to a small group of people in a suburb of Tokyo.

"Oh yes. There have been a swarm of marriages here within the past few months. My immediate superior Kasumi Tendo married one of the Cursed who can switch, a Doctor Tofu Ono. Akane Tendo married Ranma Saotome, though the betting was almost even that he would marry a girl named Ukyou Kuonji. Nabiki Tendo married this guy named Hitoshi Lawrence, a Japanese-American photojournalist who came here to do the 'Girls Of Nerima' book. Nabiki's also got a manga deal going dealing with the adventures of her sister. As I'm in Kasumi's squad, I'm hoping for at least cameo scenes.

"All for now. Hope all of you are doing well. As for this job I've got with the local Police Department's Amazon Auxilary, it's a decent wage and I get to pummel evildoers, so it's a good job.

Respectfully,

Nayami/Ri Ku Straczynski, Junior Officer Nerima PD" --------------------------------------------

EPILOGUE:

Ranma checked his dresser with a frown. "Akane! Have you seen my underwear anyplace?"

Three blocks away, a young newlywed girl named Happosai was running with a large sack over her shoulder. "Whatta haul! Whatta haul! Heeheehee!"

well this ends the Happi Days story arc. If you got an occasional laugh out of it, then it has had the desired effect.