This story is based on the Fic 'Another Rainy Day in Nerima' by Rewind Gone Nuts, with his permission. The particular one I am doing is the divergence in canon seen by Ranma-Prime via the Eye of Zygyg in Chapter 8, Legal Bonds. For those who haven't read it, I would advise you to do so. Just so you know, this is a Ranma/Shampoo/Ukyo pairing, with the possibility of adding Ling-Ling and Lung-Lung in close to the end.

"Ran-chan!" - Regular Speech

'Stupid Spatula Girl!' - Thoughts

"Hiryū Shōten Ha!" - Martial Arts Technique

{Grandmother!} - Mandarin/Language other than Japanese Speech

Chapter 1: Aftermath of the Lady-killer Band-aid

Roof of the Tendo Residence, Nerima Ward, Tokyo

Saotome Ranma lay back on the roof and scowled at the darkening sky in an unusual amount of anger. Most who knew him would say that while he did have a temper on him, he was, generally speaking, quick to forgive what normal people would deem unforgivable offences to him. This was in part due to his scoundrel of a father, who had made Ranma used to bad things happening to him, and partly because of his own good nature.

Today, however, he had been caught in a situation that had resulted in something that even he could not forgive easily, if at all. Thanks to the old bastard Happōsai not keeping track of his band-aids, he had been turned into a womaniser worse than Kuno, which appalled him.

Worse, two of his 'fiancées', the Chinese Amazon Shampoo and his childhood friend Kuonji Ukyo, had known about the cause and had done nothing about it! To make matters worse, they had taken advantage of his susceptible condition to try and make him theirs by signing marriage licenses!

They had managed to make him sign them, he had actually signed both of them when they were caught up in another argument, but then Tendo Akane, his third fiancée, had turned up and malleted him into the sky, screaming that he was a pervert. This had, fortunately enough, ripped the damn band-aid off his face, allowing him to give full vent to his spleen to the two guilty fiancées for all they had done to him that day when they caught up with him.

Akane, as was par for the course, didn't believe a word of it. When her oldest sister Kasumi had served dinner, she had given her version of events to her father and Ranma's father, prompting Tendo Sōun and Saotome Genma to harass and harangue him, with Nabiki, the last member of the Tendo family, smirking and snarking in the background.

This had ended when Ranma had grown tired of it, punting Genma into the koi pond to shut him up, turning his father into a panda thanks to the fat man's own Jusenkyō Curse. This had shut up the Tendo Patriarch, as well as Nabiki, the two knowing that Ranma was not in a good mood.

He had retreated to the roof and had scowled at the sky ever since. As time went on, his immediate rage with Shampoo and Ukyo dimmed into cold anger. The thing was, he could sympathise with each of their positions. Shampoo had been the undefeated champion of her village before Ranma had beaten her. When she had discovered that the female Ranma and the male Ranma were the same person, she had returned to China, getting punished in the process. Now she couldn't return to her tribe without getting even more severely punished unless she had Ranma in tow as a husband.

Ukyo, on the other hand, could return to her family anytime she wanted to...if she wanted to be registered as a boy for the rest of her life. She stuck around solely for him, who she had been engaged to at the age of five or six by Genma and her own father. To be fair to her, she actually had the best claim out of all three of his fiancées, as Genma had accepted her dowry, an Okonomiyaki cart, before running for the hills to sell it. His father had been so dishonourable in her case that it shocked the Saotome Heir. Then again, Ukyo's father was definitely similar to his own in the crazy department. Registering a girl as a boy? Sheesh.

Still, their circumstances didn't give them the right to treat him like that! He had been treated badly enough by Genma and Akane; he would not permit anyone else to treat him that way.

Grumbling under his breath, Ranma decided to go to the guest room he shared with his father and try to catch some sleep.

"What a hellish day." he muttered.

Same Time

Chinese Restaurant Nekohanten, Nerima Ward, Tokyo


The loud voice echoed from the restaurant made several cats investigating the bins outside the kitchen door screech and flee into the night. Inside the restaurant, two teenage girls cringed back away from the aura of simmering rage pouring off of the tiny wizened woman standing on a seat before them.

Elder Khu Long, better known as Cologne of the Joketsuzoku, glared at the Chef and her Great Granddaughter in a mixture of anger and sheer disbelief. Of all the things they could have done in this situation, what they had actually done was far stupider than she would have believed possible. Over a year of work might be scuppered because of these two and Cologne was terrified that they had finally pushed Saotome Ranma too far.

Grabbing her staff, the diminutive Elder pogoed over to a cupboard and removed a pipe and a pouch of herbs that she stuffed into the pipe before lighting it and taking deep breaths through it and exhaling smoke from her nose.

"Aiyah, Grandmother smoking ancient herbs!" Shampoo paled as she spoke in her broken Japanese.

"What's the problem?" Ukyo asked with a frown. She didn't like smoking, but to each their own.

"Mixture is powerful. Smoker can't act rashly while smoking it." the Chinese teen answered nervously.

"Xi'an Pu, I am incredibly disappointed in you," Cologne spoke coldly as she turned to look at one of only a handful of relatives she had left, "I spent years training you to be the best warrior in the tribe and this is what you do to repay me? You act as a foolish outsider and dishonour the tribe. I should go to the Musk Dynasty and ask to use their Pail of Preservation to lock you in your cat Cursed form for the rest of your life."

"No!" Shampoo looked terrified at the prospect. She hated her cursed form; not only did her Airen have a pathological fear of it, but if she spent an extended period of time in it, she could feel her mind becoming more catlike.

"As for you, cross-dressing chef," Cologne glowered balefully at Ukyo, making her flinch back, "You couldn't simply be someone he liked as a friend, did you? No, he had to care for you, care for your friendship and honour, without that you could be dealt with easily! But no, he cares and you were willing to fight back!"

The older Amazon descended into muttering in the odd dialect of Mandarin that the Amazons used, the contents of her words making Shampoo flush bright red in embarrassment. Ukyo, who didn't even know any words in Cantonese let alone Mandarin, was clueless but she guessed that none of them were complimentary.

Having ranted for a while, Cologne looked at Shampoo suspiciously and asked, "You did tell me everything that occurred, didn't you?"

Shampoo's head bobbled in a frantic nod.

"I see." the three-hundred year old woman before puffing away at her pipe for a moment, "You two have complicated things in a way that I could never have wished for."

As could be predicted the two girls turned to each other and yelled, "This is all your fault!"

Seconds later, both were crouching on the floor, cradling their heads, which had been struck by Cologne's staff. The Elder shook her head at the antics of the two girls before speaking again.

"What you both have done does have some positive effects, I will admit; no Tendo can marry Son-in-Law now and both of you hold stronger legal ties to him than the Tendos as well. In theory. In practice, however, life is not as easy. Both of you cannot take the licenses son-in-law signed to the officials; bureaucrats are incompetent beyond words but not bad enough to permit bigamy in a country where it is illegal. More seriously, you have drastically altered the relationship that you have with Ranma."

"Ow. How?" Ukyo said with a wince, "I get that Miss Hair-Trigger Temper's outta the picture, but how have we altered our relationship with Ran-chan?"

Shampoo paled again and grimaced as she made the connection that her grandmother had made. "We gain and lose Airen together, Spatula Girl."


Cologne clapped sarcastically. "Finally, she uses the brain she inherited from me! A pity that you failed to use it before now!"

Shampoo winced again at the derision in the voice of her elder.

"I made a project of getting a handle on the kind of person Saotome Ranma was when he was revealed to be a male." Cologne said in a voice of iced steel, "In his own way, he is more patient and forgiving than most people, especially to those who he either respects or cares for. What you two did today was far beyond what any person could forgive easily, if AT ALL. You treated him as a prize to be taken, a mindless trophy to be captured, ignoring his will or opinions. In other words, you acted much as Saotome Genma has throughout his life."

Both girls looked green at the thought of being compared to the overweight greedy fool, especially Ukyo. She hated Genma with a passion.

"In one stroke, you have damaged the relationships you both held with him. Whether it is damaged irrevocably or not is yet to be seen, but it has certainly curtailed the friendship you had with him, let alone any romantic feelings he may have for either of you. Is that plain enough for the both of you?"

The slumped and stricken girls said nothing for a moment before Ukyo looked up, fear and sadness in her eyes and whispered, "What do we do? If Ran-chan doesn't want to be found, he won't be."

"Shampoo think we not go find him today." the purple-haired Amazon said softly, "Today too soon, wound still fresh. We go, he lash out again. Maybe with fists and feet instead of words this time."

Ukyo was about to protest that her Ran-chan would never hurt her like that when she remembered the fury-filled orbs that had bored into her and Shampoo when they had caught up to him after Akane sent him flying with her mallet again. They had been scary and she had never been scared of her Ran-chan before!

"I...I think you're right, Sugar." she said numbly.

"Shampoo is Shampoo, not Sugar." the purplette retorted, "Sugar have orange hair, smaller breasts and pink eyes. Call Shampoo by proper name, Spatula Girl."

Cologne rolled her eyes at the small piece of humour her granddaughter injected into the meeting. Sugar had been Shampoo's rival when she was a little girl and was probably the second or third strongest warrior of Shampoo's generation.

"Moving away from comparing your breasts..." the elder said dryly, "I am satisfied that you both understand just how badly you have messed up today. Understand this also; what has been done is done and there will be rules you must both follow if you still wish to pursue Son-in-Law."

"Rules?" Ukyo asked warily, immediately on-guard for whatever the elder Amazon was about to say.

"Rules indeed. Just to confirm something first; neither of you wish to abandon your pursuit of Saotome Ranma, correct?" the old woman asked slyly, knowing the likely response.

"Shampoo never give up!" her granddaughter declared passionately, "Airen will be Shampoo's husband!"

"Like I'm gonna let Ran-chan go!" Ukyo snorted, crossing her arms defiantly, "He's the only guy I've ever wanted!"

Cologne made a note to investigate the Chef's past with Ranma more thoroughly. Most of what she knew about her was hearsay from Shampoo and some information bought from the mercenary Tendo Nabiki.

"Very well then." she said aloud, "First off, you will both declare a permanent truce. Fighting physically, sparring aside, is forbidden. You either win Son-in-Law together or not at all. Fighting each other over him will just alienate him from you further, which could sound the death knell of any hope of you have of winning him over."

Both girls nodded reluctantly.

"As you are both...intemperate...I will make the rules simple and as straightforward as possible." Cologne continued, "As I said before, no more physical combat outside of sparring. The occasional verbal exchange is likely inevitable, but you must be able to convince Ranma that he is free of having to worry about you two getting into a fight around him or even when you are not."

"What about Kitchen Destroyer?" Shampoo asked sourly, "Is Shampoo and Spatula Girl supposed to stand aside if she comes along?"

"Far from it, although I rather doubt she will." Cologne snorted, "Tendo Akane rarely approaches Son-in-Law inside of school unless she wants something from him or he is hanging around with one or the both of you. Now, however, she cannot do the latter as he is officially not engaged to her anymore. She will likely still strike him when she reaches her, remarkably low, boiling point."

Ukyo scowled. "That girl's gonna get it at some point, especially if she keeps hurting my Ran-chan!"

"Airen isn't Spatula Girl's, he Shampoo's Airen!" the purplette countered fiercely.

Another application of her staff to their heads had the girls cowering in front of Cologne again.

"To continue, you will both be sparring with each other here, at the Nekohanten." the elder continued without missing a beat, "You will be sharing Ranma, so you must know each other's styles intimately in order to fight to protect your claims on him from other women."

"Shampoo not want Spatula Girl as Co-Wife!" the wine-eyed girl protested fiercely, "Shampoo all the woman Airen needs!"

"Wait, wait, wait; Co-Wife?!" Ukyo had to get some clarification on this point.

Cologne glared slightly at her granddaughter, but unbent enough to answer the question. "Do you really think that in the four thousand years of the Joketsuzoku's history that we hadn't come across a situation similar to Son-in-Law's before? Granted, it hasn't been close to the extreme that Saotome Ranma's has been, but in the past, there have been instances where a male who defeated an Amazon has been married or engaged. Most of the time, liberal application of the Xi Fa Xiang Gao or some other technique has been able to carry the day, but rarely, a rivalry situation, such as the one we were in until today, pops up."

Taking a moment to see Ukyo nod cautiously in understanding before continuing, "In this situation, when the Amazon in question is unable to outright win the affections of her groom, one of two things is done; either the elders break the Kiss of Marriage, in the case that it was a fluke win or the man is undeniably against marriage to the Amazon beyond reason, or we allow the man to marry both the Amazon warrior in question and one or more of his other women, should they be amendable to it."

Seeing the gaping look on Ukyo's face, Cologne cackled. "Come now girl. It wasn't even a hundred and fifty years ago that men of the Samurai-class could have multiple wives in this land! Son-in-Law is of samurai descent, from what I looked up in a few genealogy books, so he could have been married to his first wife when he was fifteen and take further wives as his achievements grew."

"But...Ran-chan...girls..." the Okonomiyaki chef stammered.

"Spatula Girl too-too strange girl." Shampoo commented, "Airen both boy and girl, so if marry him, gets both husband and wife in same package. Shampoo like Airen boy or girl. Is Spatula Girl only liking boy-Ranma?"

Ukyo flushed bright red. "Not that it's any of yer business, Sugar, but I do like girls as well!" she snapped, her Osakan accent becoming thicker in her anger, "Marryin' Ran-chan ain't about what gender he's in at the time! Even if he gets locked in his girl-form, he's still my Ran-chan and I'd damn well shack up with him! The issue is I want my man -or woman!- to be mine! Not hangin' off you every time I look at him!"

"It should be noted that it's usually the other way around when it comes to my granddaughter and Son-in-Law." Cologne pointed out with a smirk, "And the Co-Wife agreement is usually a last-ditch effort before giving up. Thanks to that fat fool Saotome Genma engaging his son to girls left and right for something as small as a bowl of rice and two pickles, this will not be an option until the actual fiancées are cut down to less than three."

Pausing, the old Amazon elder grinned, "Such marriages are also typically when the Amazon seduces the other 'rivals' into agreeing. The seduction can be anything from persuasion with words, goods or money to actual seduction, depending on the sexual orientation of the Amazon and the rivals in question."

This, of course, made both girls shuffle away from one another, faces inventing a new shade of red, even as their eyes darted over the others body before averting their eyes.

'Ah, youth.' Cologne thought with a chuckle. Girls liking other girls wasn't exactly rare in a matriarchal society such as the Joketsuzoku. Typically, at least half of the female half of the tribe were at least bisexual or outright lesbians. Some hated men and refused to be touched by them, while others only bedded them for children.

"Anyway, that is neither here nor there," the old woman said with a frown, "Whether you both marry him or only one of you marries him is irrelevant at the moment. Stop reaching for the stars when you have just been knocked into the gutter. Wait until you are at least out of it before attempting that."

Grasping the metaphor vaguely, the two girls nodded without looking at each other directly, whilst eyes darted and skated over the other's form subtly. Which may as well have had a neon flashing sign to one of Cologne's skill at reading people.

"Moving on to rule number two: stay away from the Tendo Dojo." Cologne said firmly, "At least until those two idiots throw him out once they realise they can no longer enact their plans. When that happens, extend the 'demilitarised zone' to wherever Ranma makes his home. What he desperately needs is a place of succour, where he can be reasonably certain that he will be safe and unmolested, in either sense of the word."

"That's fair enough." Ukyo said aloud, "Not like I wanna go to the dojo anyway. I keep worryin' that I'll get splashed with some Jusenkyō water and get a curse. Last thing I want."

"Blame that on the efforts of the male Tendo and Genma." Cologne said with an eye roll, "Only the Joketsuzoku know how to cure the curses of the springs."

"Wait, you've been able to cure Shampoo's curse all this time and you haven't undone it?!" Ukyo gaped in disbelief.

"Being cursed in Jusenkyō was a punishment for failing in her duty to slay the 'female outsider' that she set out to slay." Cologne replied stiffly, "It is almost time for the length of the punishment to run out anyway. Of all the curses she could have gotten, this one was most detrimental to her pursuit of Son-in-Law."

"Too-too true." Shampoo groused, "Bird or dog better, but cat? Airen terrified of Shampoo. Not liking this."

"Be patient for another month, granddaughter." the Matriarch said consolingly.

"Why haven't you told Ran-chan about the cure?" Ukyo asked, "If he knew you had one, that would have given you a significant advantage over the rest of us."

"Because the potion that reverses the curse of the pools of sorrow has two problems with it." Cologne sighed, "For one, the ingredients are scarce and rare, even by the standards of Traditional Chinese Medicine. We can generally only make a small bottle's worth once a decade, sometimes twice if we are lucky."

Ukyo nodded. "And the second reason?"

"It only works on non-human curses." the Amazon elder stated grimly, "The Spring of the Drowned Girl and the Spring of the Drowned Man are immune to its effects for some unknown reason, as are all other human transformation pools, such as the Spring of the Pious Man."

This made the chef slump in disappointment. "Is there no cure for Ran-chan?" she asked bitterly, "He hates being cursed."

"What Son-in-Law hates isn't so much the transformation itself, but the fact he has no control over when it happens, thanks to the water attraction portion of the curse." Cologne corrected her, "I'll agree that it was likely something of a challenge for him to adjust to initially, but now? I'd wager that if he could be in control of when the transformations happened, he would not be too distressed by the lack of a cure."

Deciding that she had to wrap things up, the elder moved on to the last rules. "The third rule is to listen to him. Ranma has been constantly treated like a dog on a leash, dragged hither and yon for most of his life with no say in what happens to him. His time with the Tendos also means that no one listens to him seriously; not Akane, certainly not Nabiki. Not even his own father or the Tendo Patriarch. Kasumi does listen to him, but she is so passive that she does nothing about it. I am not asking you to bow to his every whim, but merely listen to what he has to say without judgement or negative preconceptions. Treat him as an equal and if he says he wants to be left alone, do so."

"Finally, be patient. The boy lives up to his name's meaning in that a wild horse will dig its hooves in stubbornly if someone tries to force it to go elsewhere against its will." the diminutive elder said firmly, "He will be skittish and wary after today, so we must let him set the pace, at least initially. Once he is no longer suspicious and on guard around you two, some, very slight, hastening of the pace might be allowed. But in the short term, patience."

The two teens nodded in agreement.

"Good. Now, I suggest that you retire for the night. Today has been an emotional roller-coaster for the both of you." Cologne said with a tired sigh of her own, "I shall go and speak with Son-in-Law tomorrow and lay the groundwork for reparations. Should it go well, you shall both apologise the day after that. Understood?"

"Shampoo understand." the purplette nodded.

"Got it." Ukyo said with a sigh.

Cologne watched as the two girls split up, Shampoo heading into the living quarters of the Nekohanten, while Ukyo headed out to go back to Okonomiyaki Ucchan's. Sighing, she decided that, once the part-timer Mousse got back from last minute deliveries and she locked him up to prevent him from trying to sneak into Shampoo's bedroom (again), she would head to bed herself. It had been a long day.

'As much as today had been chaotic, it has also been fortuitous for my granddaughter.' Khu Long thought as she packed the pipe and herbs away safely, 'Now that the Tendo chit is out of the running for good, we can focus on showcasing the advantages of the tribe to Son-in-Law. If that means Shampoo having to have a Co-Wife in the Chef, so be it. She is stronger than the berserker girl and has a strong sense of honour. She'll be an asset to the tribe.'

Satisfied with her long-term plan, the wizened elder pogoed off to get the duck cage ready.


Next Chapter: Trouble with the Tendos