Disclaimers: As much as I may want to claim ownership of these two productions, I can't because both Fruits Basket and Ranma ½ belong to a whole lot of different companies that I can't remember the names of at the moment. Any characters that appear in this fic that are not a part of either original series, belong to me so don't take them without asking first.
Author's Notes: Two things that everyone should know is that the new Yuki won't have that asthma problem that he had in the original series; I've heard about the latest news involving Akito really being a girl in the comic, but I'm leaving him as a guy, because I need male Akito for what I already have planned for this story, long before the latest info involving Akito's true gender came out, thus I'm not in the mood to change my well laid out plans because of a technicality that took the magna 97 chapters to reveal itself. Besides, remember this story is supposed to be an Alternate Universe fic as well as a Crossover, so things CAN be a little different.
Summary: Seventeen years ago, a young widow ran away from the Sohma household, taking with her a secret that no one else in her family knew about. Traveling to China she died giving birth to a healthy baby boy with a curse, while staying in the village of the Joketsu Amazons.
To my reviewers:
Enjen: No. Kyo won't be the 'Ranma' of this story. Ranma along with the rest of the Ranma ½ cast will be making appearances in the storyline along with the cast from Fruits Basket.
LittleBlackAngel: No. It's just going to be a Fruits Basket and Ranma ½ crossover. I just used 'InuYasha's' Naraku and Miroku's names because they were only the only one I could think of at the moment. ';
Skunktrain: In this chapter, the 'Present Day' timeline of my story is going to start in 2004, so now all Fruits Basket characters who were originally born before and after 1972-1982+ (this includes the year Hatori, Shigure and Ayame were born in, and the '+' includes the youngest members), are now born in between the year 1977-1987+. ' As for Ryouga and Haru, who knows? grins
S-chan: Only time will tell. '
tessanlm: Yuki and the rest of the Ranma ½ cast will definitely be meeting up with the rest of the Fruits Basket in later chapters, if not in this one.
anime26angel: Definitely. '
hypersarcasticinternetaddict: Could you really draw the pictures for me? It would be appreciated if you do. '
L-sama's Shadow Puppet: I'm glad you like it so much. '
"bold-italics" - Chinese
"bold" - Japanese
bold-underline - Signboard writings
'italics' - Thoughts
Chapter 1: Nerima or Bust! The New Amazon in Town
By: Princess Star Neko
Nerima, Japan - Present Day
It was a cold, rainy day, and the citizens of Nerima were bustling through the busy streets on their way home or back to work. So no one paid any attention to the lone figure walking down the street in the rain.
A lone figure, dressed in a long gray hooded cloak that reached to his feet made it's way through the crowd, carrying a large pack on their back while splashing carelessly through puddles as they looked around in search of something.
'Where is it? Those ladies I spoke too said the shop was on this street,' the figure wondered, as he stopped underneath the awning of a shop so he was out of the rain. Pulling back the hood of the cloak, revealed a teenage girl with long gray hair and violet eyes. 'but with all this rain I can't see the sign.'
Once out of the rain, she pulled out a slightly damp piece of paper from the sleeves of her cloak and looked it over, trying to make out the instructions written on it, but was barely able to read it because most of the ink had gotten smeared because of the rain.
'Great. This is just great. Maybe someone around here can tell me where it is.' the figure thought ruefully, as she looked around for someone to help him. 'LinLin and RanRan had better be right about their directions to great-grandmothers restaurant.'
As she turned to look around, her stomach suddenly let out a low growl of hunger when her nose picked up the delicious aroma of cooked food coming from the shop behind her, causing her to turn around and looked inside.
"'Uchan's Okonomiyaki Restaurant'?" the figure said, repeating the words on the sign as she peeked in through the window to see a teenage girl standing behind a large grill flipping over pancakes.
"I really should continue looked for great-grandmother's restaurant," Yuki thought to herself, as she stared longingly through the window, just as her stomach let out another growl, and sighed.
'This'll teach me to pack something to eat while I'm riding on a plane.' Yukina thought silently to herself, as she walked towards the front door, pushing it open as she walked inside.
'I really hope Ran-chan comes over today, I can try out my new recipe on him and see what he thinks. ' Ukyou thought wistfully as she took the order of one of her customers, and returned to the cash register to tally up the bill, before moving to the grill, ' Maybe he'll like it so much that he'll realize that I'll make the perfect bride for him.'
After coming straight to her shop once school was over for the day, Ukyou had quickly got out of her school uniform and into her usual work clothes, and headed back downstairs to open up. Not long after she opened the doors, her usual gallery of customers trudged into the restaurant for lunch, and she had been busy working for the last couple of hours.
Ukyou looked up when she heard the door chimes ring announcing a possible customer entering her shop, and smiled as a cloaked figure entered the shop and took a seat at one of the empty bar stools and picked up a menu.
'I haven't seen her around before.' Ukyou thought as she eyed the newcomer with interest, as she flipped over one of the pizza's she was fixing for one of her other customers, 'Must be new in town.'
"Hey there sugar, what can I get for you?" Ukyou asked, smiling as she walked over a few minutes later, "Anything in particular you want?"
"I want a Pork and Beef Okonomiyaki, please." Yukina said, her voice shaking as she spoke.
"Would you like something to drink?" Ukyou asked as she wrote down the order, while taking notice Yukina's accent, "Maybe some hot chocolate to take away the chill from the rain?"
"Sure." Yukina said, her smile growing wider as she starting pulling off her cloak, "That sounds good. I'd love a cup of it please."
As Ukyou prepared the cup of hot chocolate, she watched as the new girl pulled off her cloak to reveal that she was wearing navy blue robes similar to what Mousse usually wore, that had white lightning shaped patterns stitched into the sleeves, and draped the cloak over the side of her top of her chair.
'I wonder if she's from Shampoo and Mousse's village?' Ukyou thought as she brought the mug over to the counter and set it down in front of Yukina, "Here you go. Your Okonomiyaki will be with you soon."
"Thank you," Yukina said as she eagerly picked it up and started blowing on it to cool it down, before taking a cautious sip, smiling a bit at the taste as she drank some more. "This is good."
"I'm glad that you like it," Ukyou said as she started mixing up the batter for the pizzas, pouring it onto the hot grill to cook as she continued to watch Yukina, "I have a question for you, if you don't mind me asking?"
"What is it?" Yuki asked as she looked up at Ukyou from over her mug as she took another sip from the hot liquid.
"You looked a little lost when you came into my store, and I could tell from your accent that you must be Chinese," Ukyou said as she brought over the finished pizza's and set the plate in front of Yuki, "So I was wondering if you might know anybody named Shampoo or Mousse?"
"Shampoo and Mousse? Do you know them?" Yukina asked, her eyes lighting up as she realized that she had found someone who knew her sister and best friend, as she put down her mug to look at Ukyou eagerly, "Shampoo is my older sister, can you tell me where I can find them?"
"You could say that." Ukyou said ruefully as her suspicions were confirmed, returning to her grill to serve up more pizzas, for the other customers, "I've had a lot of encounters with them since I moved here a few months ago."
'Great. Just what we need around here is more Amazons causing trouble, if LinLin and RanRan were any indication.' Ukyou thought to herself as she eyed Yuki with open suspicion.
"They work in the restaurant across the street from here, with Shampoo's great-grandmother." Ukyou said, as she pointed towards the entranceway at the building across the street, "As soon as you finish eating you can head over there."
"I thought it was somewhere around here," Yuki said as she munched on her pizza as she followed the path of Ukyou's hand and just barely made out the building she was talking about, "but with all the rain I couldn't see anything."
"I've been doing some traveling," Yuki said with a slight shrug of her shoulders, "so I didn't find out that my sister and great-grandmother were no longer in the village until after I returned home a few weeks ago."
"Who else do you know in Nerima besides the Amazons?" Ukyou asked, just then, the shop bells rang signaling that someone else had entered the restaurant, and she looked up to see two familiar figures walking into restaurant while in a heated argument.
"Well besides being here to see my family, and meet my new brother-in-law that I've hear about," Yuki said with a slight shrug of her shoulders as she returned to her pizza, "I also came to see an old friend who I met in China..."
"...Look Akane, I don't flirt with the other girls," the redhead was saying to their companion, "If you weren't as blind as Mousse is, ya'd notice that Shampoo's the one who's always..."
"Excuse me for a moment would you, Yuki?" Ukyou asked as she walked away from the back counter to greet the newest arrivals, "Ranchan! What could I do for you today? The usual order, sugar?"
"Hey, Uchan, how's it going?" Ranma asked, smiling at the chef as she approached him and Akane, "Can we get six dinner specials for tonight? We're kind of in a hurry to get back home before the rain starts up again."
"Sure Ran-chan, I'll have them ready in a jiffy," Ukyou said as she turned back to the grill and started preparing the orders, while chatting happily with Ranma as he took a seat at the bar with Akane.
'Ranma?' Yuki thought to herself as she shifted in her seat to glance over her shoulder to see the new arrivals for herself, 'So it is him, who would have thought I'd meet up with him so soon.'
Yuki twisted on her seat to see the new arrivals, to see two girls approach the bar and take seats across from her. Yuki ignored the first girl, who was dressed in a light blue girls school uniform with a brown rain jacket hanging open, while her companion was a buxom red headed girl wearing a white Chinese styled shirt with black, with her hair tied back in a pigtail.
"Ranma?" Yuki asked as she called out Ranma's name eyeing the redhead up and down as she turned to face her, "Are you Ranma Saotome?"
A Few Minutes Ago
"I don't see why we have to come to one of your other fiancé's to get dinner, Ranma," Akane was gripping to her errant fiancé, as they walked towards Ukyou's restaurant, "There are plenty of other restaurants around here we could have gone to, Ranma!"
"Oh come on Akane, if I remember correctly, Everybody back at the house," Ranma said frowning a bit as he glared back at Akane with a hurt look on his face, "you know, you weren't complaining this much when everyone else voted on Ukyou's place to get dinner."
"I didn't see what difference it would make, either choice would have both of them fawning over you while we waited for our food," Akane snapped as she glared at Ranma angrily, "I don't see why you don't just marry one of them! Your always flirting with your cute fiancé's when I'm around."
As soon as he reached the doors of the restaurant and pushed them open, he saw that Ukyou seemed to be talking with one of her customers, so he continued his conversation with Akane.
"You'd think you were jealous from the way you're acting. Look Akane, I don't flirt with the other girls," Ranma said, angrily as he pushed open the door to the restaurant "If you weren't as blind as Mousse is, ya'd notice that Shampoo's the one who's always..."
"Ranchan! What could I do for you today?" Ukyou's voice suddenly cut into whatever Ranma was about to say, and saving him from a trip into the atmosphere via Akane's mallet. "The usual order, sugar?"
"Hey, Uchan, how's it going?" Ranma asked, as he turned towards the chef as she approached him and Akane, "Can we get six dinner specials for tonight? We're kind of in a hurry to get back home before the rain starts up again."
"Sure Ran-chan, I'll have them ready in a jiffy," Ukyou said as she turned back to the grill and started preparing the orders, while chatting happily with Ranma as he took a seat at the bar with Akane.
When Ranma heard his name being called he turned to look in the direction of the voice, to see a beautiful gray haired girl that looked to be close to his own age scrutinizing him from her seat. As he looked the girl over, he couldn't help but think there was something familiar about her.
"Are you Ranma Saotome?"
"Yeah that's me. Who wants ta know?" Ranma asked as he looked the girl over, trying to figure out where he had seen this girl before, when realization hit him, as his eyes widen in surprise, "Yuki! Hey it's you!"
"Nihao Ranma. Long time no see. I didn't think you'd be the first one I'd see in Nerima." Yuki said as she grinned at Ranma, before launching herself towards him, only to be stopped when Ranma caught her at arms length, "Aw, your no fun."
"Yuki, no hugging, especially not now," Ranma exclaimed as he tried to keep the girl at arms length, as he glanced around at Ukyou and Akane, sweat dropping a bit when he saw the blood red battle aura's forming around the other girls along with how their narrowed eyes were glaring at the two of them, "This really is a bad time."
"Why?" Yuki asked when she finally noticed the sudden rise in the restaurant's temperature, and looked around Ranma at the other girls and her eyes widened in surprise, "Oh... Are these your friends?"
"You could say that..." Ranma said, flinching a bit as both Akane and Ukyou turned accusing glares on him, "Girls let me explain!"
"Ranma who's she!" Akane demanded, a low growl escaping from her mouth as she glared at the well endowed strange girl who had launched herself at Ranma, "Is she another one of your floozy fiancé's?"
"Who are you calling a floozy! I don't see what business it is of yours," Yuki said as she turned her attention fully on Akane, her own eyes narrowing angrily as she glared at the other girl, "It's not nice to make rude assumptions about people you don't even know."
"If the shoe fits! " Akane countered, as Mallet-sama appeared in her hands as she turned her glare on Ranma, "You were about to jump him as soon as you found out whom he was."
Ukyou exclaimed as she started to brandish her battle spatula, "Ranma how could you!"
"Hey Akane, Uchan! Wait a second, would ya!" Ranma said as he released Yuki and held up his hands towards the other girls, "It's not what ya girls think. Yuki's an old friend of mine from China."
"Some friend," Ukyou said, as she looked between Ranma and Yuki who was looking the trio in confusion, "She's from Shampoo's village, and she's Shampoo's sister."
"Your Shampoo's sister!" Ranma exclaimed, his eyes widening in shock as he stared at the girl in front of him, "Oh boy..."
"Yeah, she's my big sister," Yuki said as her gaze looked at the three martial artists in confusion, sensing the tension that was already mounting in the restaurant, "Is that a problem?"
"You don't know do you?" Ranma deadpanned.
"Know what What's wrong? Is it about my sister?" Yuki asked, his confusion growing as she looked at the others, taking note of the dark looks Akane and Ukyou were shooting her way, "I've been doing some traveling for the last couple of months, and all I know is she came here looking for her runaway husband."
"Look, Yuki, it's a long story that we shouldn't get into right now, maybe ya ought to wait and talk to Shampoo about it?" Ranma said waving his hands in a dismissive gesture, as he looked from Yuki to his fuming fiancés, 'If Yuki doesn't know, then I'm not going to tell him about it yet.'
Ukyou and Akane were watching the duo with narrowed eyes and rising battle aura's, staring incredulously at the scene before them as Ranma and the strange girl talked with each other.
"So you guys met at Jusenkyo?" Ukyou asked as she eyed the duo jealously, eyes narrowed at how close the two seem together.
"Yes, we spent a few weeks hanging out together," Yuki said as she looked back at Ranma with a wistful look on her features, "before his father caught up with us and Ranma left with him."
"How can you be buddies with an Amazon? Every Amazon we've ever met either wants to kill you" Akane demanded, as jealousy filled her voice, as she looked over the new girl, her eyes raking over every curve and as she felt her jealousy build by the second, "or marry you, so what makes her so different? Don't tell me you beat her in combat too!"
"Ew! Don't even go there, you uncute tomboy! I already told ya once, Yuki's an old friend of mine. Besides, I think that before the two of you go biting my head off," Ranma exclaimed, making a face as he glared at Akane and Ukyou, then turned his glare full force on Yuki who she could hear snickering behind his back, "you should know something about Yuki. He's a guy! He's cursed just like me!"
"Huh?" Ukyou and Akane chorused as they both looked over at Ranma for a second, then they both turned their gazes back towards Yukina who was watching the trio with an amused look on her face.
"What? " Yukina asked innocently, as she stared back at the other two girls, as she took another sip from her cup of hot chocolate.
"Is he telling the truth?" Akane demanded as she eyes the silver haired girl suspiciously as she felt some of her anger die down, "Are you really a guy?"
"Yeah, he's telling the truth. I'm really a boy who turns into a girl just like Ranma," Yuki said with a slight shrug of her shoulders as she grinned at the two girls, before a serious look appeared on her features, "Okay, what gives with all the dirty looks? What do you girls have against my sister so badly?"
"Other than the fact that she's trying to steal my fiancé?" Akane demanded as her battle aura flared up once more, "Then nothing much."
"If you're here to help her drag Ran-chan back to her village then you're out of luck, sugar," Ukyou added in, as she handled her battle spatula threateningly as she shot a glare at Yukina.
"Hold on a second." Yuki demanded, holding up a hand to silence the other girl as she turned her gaze back to Ranma, new understanding lighting up the youths eyes, "So you're the wayward husband I've heard about that my sisters been tracking for the past year?"
"Hey! I'm not Shampoo's husband!" Ranma exclaimed heatedly as he scowled a bit at the girls for bringing that reminder up in front of Yuki, as he look at his friend uneasily, "We never"
"Sorry to disappoint you Ranma, but you are her husband, whether you like it or not." Yuki said, as he cocked his head to one side to watch the other boy's antics, "You beat my sister in combat didn't you?"
"Not exactly. The first time I beat her," Ranma said as a sheepish look appeared on his face, as he looked away from Yuki's now penetrating gaze, "I was in my girl form back when pops and I was still training in China."
"The 'first time' you beat her? Just how many times did you fight her," Yuki exclaimed in surprise, as his violet eyes widened in shock, "and if you beat her in your girl form first why isn't she still chasing you to kill you?"
Flashback, Jusenkyo - One Year Ago
It was a warm summer day in China. The silence around the valley around Jusenkyo was suddenly broken by a loud...
For the past five years, Yuki had been coming Jusenkyo to train by himself, working hard at perfecting his martial arts skill, while helping the middle aged guide out around the springs.
When he was eleven, Yuki had approached to guide for permission of using Jusenkyo to train, but had been turned down flat because the guide believed that it was too dangerous for someone his age to train in Jusenkyo. It had taken over twenty-five trips, and a few bribes involving bringing the guide lunch with each trip, along with his favorite sweets, before he finally got his permission to train there.
Yuki had been practicing a few katas on the poles surrounding the pools of Jusenkyo, while the Jusenkyo guide watched on in surprise below, as the gray haired young woman launched a high flying spinning kick that took his high into the air and away from the pole he had once been standing on, finally letting out the breath he hadn't realized he was holding, when he landed safely on one of the other poles without staggering once.
Yuki's body had considerably filled out of the years in both his forms. When he was in his female form he stood at 5'0", while his male form stood tall at 5'5". He kept his hair hanging loosely or sometimes in a ponytail. Both forms were well toned and after years of training in martial arts.
Much to Yuki's displeasure, he had become the most sought after youth of his generation, from both the female and male population in his village who had an interest in either one of his forms. Causing him to be the envy of both the boys and girls living in his village, gaining himself many admirers and potential suitors of both sexes.
It didn't seem to no longer matter that he couldn't exactly have a real relationship with any of them, because of the nature of his first curse, but it didn't deter them from trying to get close to him to try and win some kind of affection, and win his/her hand in marriage.
After the fifteenth marriage challenge from one of his male admirers, Yuki finally got fed up with it all, and went to Cologne to see if she could talk to the elders into doing something about it.
Second Flashback, a few weeks ago
"Yuki you have to stop beating up all of your suitors," Cologne said, as she frowned at her teenage grandson, from over her cup of tea, "Pai has been complaining about all of the suitors that have been brought in the medical hut after a match with you."
"I never asked for any of them to challenge me to a marriage duel, grandma. At least most of the boys in the village finally stopped after awhile." Yuki said with a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders, as he looked at his grandmother, "They're just lucky a few broken bones is all they received."
"I don't see what the problem is, Yuki. All of your suitors come from good family stock in the village, so I can't see why you're so determined to not lose to any of your challengers," Cologne said as she shook her head a bit at what he had just said, as a small smirk appeared on her features, before it was replaced by a serious looking scowl, "It's past time for both you and your sister to settle down with someone and start giving me some new grandbabies, boy."
"Now, that's something I wanted to talk with you about, great-grandmother," Yuki pleaded as he sat in front of Cologne on the floor, as they shared a cup of tea. "Great-grandmother, can't you please do something to stop the marriage challenges?"
"Why would I do a thing like that?" Cologne aksed, surprise filling her voice at Yuki's request as she eyed the younger boy with a curious look on her face, "The marriage challenges is the way of life around her. No one in the village is exempted from it. You know that, Yuki."
"I know, but I don't want to be stuck in a marriage with somebody I don't love, especially if it winds up being to another guy." Yuki said, as he sat back on his heels with a worried look on his features, "Can't the laws be changed, or a new one be made in my case?"
"Yuki, you know the laws of our village as well as anyone," Cologne chided disapprovingly, as she looked at her adopted grandson, while she sipped her tea, "No one is exempt from the laws, you know that."
"You know I couldn't make a good marriage to anybody anyway because of my other curse," Yuki pleaded, as he gave Cologne his best puppy dog eyed look which had always gotten him out of trouble in the past, "so what's the use of me upholding the Amazon marriage law?"
"The laws are the laws, Yuki. If you are beaten in combat by either an outsider or by someone in the village asking for your hand in marriage," Cologne said, her frown deepening as she stared at her grandson, becoming worried when she saw the pained and distressed look in his eyes, "then you have to marry that person."
"I know, I know. But tell me what's the point of me following Amazon marriage law if I can't even remain human long enough, without instantly transforming into a rat once I've been touched by the opposite sex depending on which gender I'm in?" Yuki asked, a scowl appearing on his features as he looked away from the older woman, "When and if ever I finally get beaten in combat, all I'm going to be good for is either being an untouchable trophy for my new spouse, or a pet they sometimes can cuddle with."
Cologne sighed loudly, as she realized that Yuki did make a good point in this argument, feeling sympathy for the youth and what he must be put through because of their villages laws, but felt that she couldn't.
"The laws have always remained the same for the past three thousand years of Amazon history." Cologne reprimanded, as she scowled at her grandson as he stared back at her with an unflinching gaze that most of the Amazon boy would have when addressing an Elder, "I thought you understood that by now."
"But they've been around since before I came along. Under the circumstances," Yuki countered as he looked Cologne directly in the eyes, as she gave her his best puppy dog eyed look, "Wouldn't it better for everyone around, if you and the rest of the elders make a new special law made just for me?"
'The boy's come up with a few good ideas.' Cologne thought silently to herself, as she took another sip from her cup of tea, 'I was thinking about something similar to that myself until he brought it up.'
"Yuki I..." Cologne started to say, only to be cut off when Yuki quickly started speaking up again.
"Couldn't you at least consider it, and bring it up with the other elders?" Yuki pleaded, thinking that whatever his grandmother had been about say would be another argument over the village laws, "All I want is to be able to find somebody I'd want to marry who won't activate my other curse the second they touch me."
"Fine boy, I can't make any promises, but I'll see what I can do," Cologne finally said after a few moments of silence, "I believe that the other elders would have to agree with me that something must be done on this matter."
The only good thing that came out of the whole thing, was that great-grandmother Cologne had called a special meeting with the village elders a few months ago, and they had come up with a brand new Amazon law just for him, that put a stop to most of his pursuers advances.
The law stated that Yuki would be exempted from a few of the old laws, like the marriage and death laws, because of his special circumstances, and any Marriage challenge issued and won by any Amazon wouldn't stand unless Yuki agreed to go through with the wedding even if he did happen to lose the fight without facing punishment.
"Miss Yuki, you should be more careful!" The Jusenkyo guide cried worriedly as he watched the young girl, while dabbing at his sweating forehead with a handkerchief as he watched the teenagers antics on the poles, as he finally jumped down and picked up a discarded towel as he walked towards him, "Your going to put this poor old man in an early grave if you keep that up."
"Don't be such a worry wart, Mr. Chang. There's nothing to worry about." Yuki said with a dismissive shrug as she walked towards the older man, as she toweled off the sweat from her face, "I've been training here for the couple of years and haven't fallen in have I?"
"I'm more worried about what your mother and great-grandmother would do to me if you fell in, to one of the pools." Chang said, said wringing his hands together anxiously as he looked at Yuki, while pulling out a handkerchief to dab at his brow, "Your mother alone nearly scared me to death when she found out you were coming here to train by yourself. She scares me when she's angry..."
"Oh come on, my mother's just a worrywart when it comes to me, and she over reacts sometimes" Yukina said dismissively, putting her hands on her hips as she frowned at the older man, before turning away to look at the valley, "Mom wasn't that upset. If she was really angry, she would have carried out her threat immediately."
"Still, I would prefer to live out the rest of my days with all my body parts intact, Yuki," Chang said, shaking his head ruefully as he glared at the back of Yuki's head, "I knew it was a bad idea letting you train here."
When Chang turned his attention away from Yuki to look over at the springs, Yuki rolled his eyes at Chang's comment and smiled a bit as she started back towards the guides small hut to prepare the hot water.
'He's always saying stuff like that, but I know he misses "Well I'm calling it a day for now," Yuki said as he
Yukina was lounging in one of the chairs inside of the guides hut as he waited for the tea to be ready, while the guide sat outside to watch over the spring grounds, when they heard voices coming from outside, and stepped outside to investigate.
"Hey what's going on out there, Mr. Chang?" Yukina called out, as she stood up just as the boiling kettle let out a shrill whistle signaling that the water was done and hurried over to take it off of the fire, "Do we have some visitors?"
"Yes, it's two men approaching the springs." Chang said, as he stood up and started for the springs to warn the travelers off, "You take care of the tea for me, while I deal with them."
"Okay!" Yukina called back as she took out an oven mitt and grabbed the kettle off of the burner, and placed it on a trey setting on the wooden table.
As Yukina put out the fire, she could hear the voices of the visitors traveling into the hut, as her eyebrows creased in confusion as she recognized the language the travelers were speaking in.
"So this is Jusenkyo, huh pops?" a boys voice said in Japanese, sounding cynical as he spoke to his companion, "It doesn't look that impressive to me. Are ya sure we got the right place?"
"Ranma my boy, looks can be deceiving. The brochure I found clearly showed that this is the ideal training ground for us." the older man said as he leaped onto one of the long poles sticking out of the ground, "Now get up here, boy, so we can start training. I don't have all day."
'Foreigners? Here?' Yukina thought silently to herself, as she walked over to the cupboard and pulled out some tea cups and set them on the table, as she continued to listen to what was happening outside, 'And not very smart ones at that if they really think training here of all places would be the perfect spot!'
"Honored sir's it's not good for you to fight here." Chang's voice called out to the visitors, as he tried to warn off the duo, "Is very bad if you fall in one of the springs..."
As she listened as the voices came in from outside, she shook her head ruefully as she realized that Chang was probably going to be needing some help in fishing out Jusenkyo's possible new victims from the pools if they continued to ignore him.
'I better go out and see if I can help, Chang out.' She thought, as she poured some hot water into a cup, and splashed a little of the cups contents onto her hands and face, transforming back into her male body, and headed for the front door. 'Who'd be stupid enough to come to Jusenkyo to train without knowing about it's dangers?'
As Yukina set the teacups on the table, she could hear the sound of Chang's voice calling out to the visitors, trying to warn them about springs, but from what she could hear, it seemed that the strangers were ignoring the guides' warnings.
Yuki turned his gaze in the direction the voice came from in time to see two figures not far from the hut discarding their backpacks, and doing some warm up exercise. Using his left hand to shield his eyes from the sun, he made out the figures of a young boy around his own age, while a fat, balding middle aged man stood by waiting impatiently for his companion to get ready.
He could see that Chang had finally reached the duo and was now yelling up at them as fought each other, trying to get them listen to him before it was too late.
As he came closer, she could see the duo jumping from pole to pole as they launched all out aerial attacks at each other, as they tried to catch the other one off guard and knock their opponent out of the air, and Yuki knew it would only be a matter of time before...
Yuki groaned as he saw the boy land a lucky kick on the older man, sending the man flying off of his perch on the pole he was on, and into one of the nearby springs, while the boy celebrated his victory.
'Oh boy, now they've done it.' Yuki thought, as he continued running towards where the others were, stopping only long enough to grab a pole that was leaning against the outside of the hut, 'Things just might get messy.'
"All right!" Ranma shouted, pumping a fist in the air, as he looked down at the pool his father had fallen into, "Pops, get your fat butt into gear, and come on back up here so I can kick your butt again!"
"Oh very bad, young sir." Chang said, as he looked back up at the teenager with a saddened expression on his face, as he shook his head ruefully, "Honored young sir's father fall into cursed pool."
"Cursed? What do ya mean cursed?" Ranma demanded as he looked down at the guide, confusion filling his voice as he stared at the older man, "Is something wrong with the pools, mister?"
"Anyone who fall into pools become cursed to turn into whatever last drowned in it," Chang explained, his expression looking worried as he looked at the pool the other man had fallen into, "Honored young sirs father fall into pool of drowned panda. Now he..."
"Is cursed to turn into giant panda..." Chang said, as he jumped out of the way of the sudden giant spray of erupting water coming from the cursed pool, as a huge furry black and white figure leapt out of the pool and back up to the poles.
"What the hell!" Ranma exclaimed as he watched as a huge black and white panda bear wearing a familiar white gi that was now torn in certain places, and was wearing glasses hanging off of one side of his face, leaped out of the pool he had seen his father land in, and land on the pole in front of him in a fighting stance, "Pop! Hey, wait a second!..."
Stunned at the sight of his father's transformation, Ranma made the mistake of letting his guard down, and that was all Genma needed to land a powerful punch on his son, and send him flying into one of the pools below.
"Hey what pool did that boy land in, Chang?" Yuki called as he ran towards the guide, worry filling his features, as he looked at the second pool of water.
"Aiyah!" Chang said sadly, as he looked at the pool the man had been knocked into, as he glanced back at Yuki when young Amazon reached his side, "This is not good. That's the pool of drowned girl."
As he waited patiently for the pools latest victim to reemerge from it's depths, pole ready to help pull them out of the pool if they needed it. It didn't take long.
With mighty splash of water, a red headed, girl in a white gi, that seemed to be now several sizes too small around the chest area, suddenly broke the surface of the pool, gasping for air as she floated in the water, as she looked angrily up at the pole that the panda was still perched on.
"Stupid panda! What the hell did ya do that for!" Ranma shouted up to the now bug eyed panda who was staring down at her, before her own eyes widened in shock at the unfamiliar sound of her voice, "Hey, what's wrong with my voice!"
As she brought her hands up to her throat, she found an unfamiliar obstacle in the way, and she glanced downwards at her chest, and lets out a ear shattering scream that could be heard throughout the valley, as she pulled open her gi to check and make sure that what he was seeing were really there.
"What happened to me!" Ranma cried out as he stared down at his new breasts in disbelief, "Why do I have breasts now!"
"It's because you fell into the pool of drown girl. Now you are cursed to turn into a girl." Chang said, shaking his head sadly as he looked down at the newly cursed teen, "Now you'll both have to deal with the consequences."
At that moment the panda jumped down from the pole it had been perched on, and was now gesturing wildly, making loud grunting and growling sounds as it tried to communicate with them.
"Sorry sir, but I can't understand a word your saying," Chang said as he glanced over at the panda, holding his hands off in a warding gesture, "I don't speak Panda."
"You should have listened to the guide when he tried to warned you and your father," Yuki said, as he walked closer to the pool, and held out one end of the pole he held out to the girl, as she turned around to face him, "Grab the pole and I'll pull you out."
Still shocked over what had just happened to her, Ranma-chan turned and waded forward to grab hold of the pole, tugging on it as Yuki started pulling her forward, until Ranma reached the edge of the pool and pulled herself the rest of the way out.
Once she was back on solid ground, the redhead brushed her dripping hair away from her face as she stared at the other teenager with an incredulous look on her face, as her eyes widened as realization hit her, before she looked back down at her own body.
"What happened to me!" Ranma demanded again, as he shot an accusing look at Yuki and Chang, as if trying to put the blame solely on them, "What happened to my pop, and why am I a girl now!"
"Your 'pop' is up there," Yuki said, as he turned to point upwards at the panda who still staring down at them in shock, "Just like you, he was changed when you knocked him into that spring."
"Both of you have been cursed by Jusenkyo, when you fell into the pool," Chang said, as he walked over to the two teenagers, shaking his head sadly, "Is so sad for you, young sir, now you are cursed to turn into girl."
"This can't be happening... This just can't be happening!" Ranma muttered under her breath, as she looked down at her hands in shock, ignoring what was going on for the moment, "I'm a guy, damn it! I'm not a weak little girl!"
Just then the panda jumped down from it's perch to see what was going on, succeeding in only making loud guttural growls from deep in his throat as he tried to speak.
Yuki glanced over at the panda with wry look, as she looked the panda up and down for a moment, before finally speaking up, "Sorry mister, but I don't speak panda."
The panda made a few more gestures, as he growled despairingly, before the guide came over with a broken sign and a black marker, and handed it to the panda.
"Honored sir, maybe this will help. Just write what you want to say on this sign," Chang said helpfully, as he held out the two items.
The panda's large paws eagerly grabbed hold of the signboard and marker and started scribbling on it, and turned it over to face the others
What happened to my son and me? The sign demanded, before it was flipped over, to show another message, Why did our bodies change! Is there a way for us to change back to normal? Tell me now or I'll...
"Or you'll what? What happened is all of your own fault, not ours." Yuki countered, putting his hands on his hips as he glared at the panda, his eyes narrowing at the implied threat written on the sign, "It's not our fault that both of you chose to ignore the guide when he tried to warn you about training here."
Impudent boy! Genma-panda's sign said, growling angrily at Yuki, before turning the sign over, and started scribbling some more, as the others watched, before turning the sign back around to show the other side, Didn't your parents teach you not to speak to your elders that way!
'How's he doing that?' Yuki wondered silently to himself as he watched Genma flipped the sign back to them to show a brand new message on the wood, with no sign of the old one in sight, 'Mr. Chang only give him the one signboard to write on.'
"My parents teach me plenty, it doesn't mean I always use it." Yuki said with a huff, as she glared at the panda, "But anyone would know better to come here to train, and not already know about Jusenkyo's cursed springs." crossing his arms across his chest as he scowled at the panda, and redhead, "You two coming here without knowing before hand about what would happen if you fall into pools, makes it seem like you were just begging to get yourselves cursed."
"Hey, I didn't know this would happen. If I did I wouldn't have come here, that's for sure." Ranma-chan exclaimed angrily as she glared at the other teen, as she pointed at her father, "He's the one who got the brochure that told us about this place, and he insisted we come!"
It's not my fault! The brochure was written in Chinese the sign read when the panda saw the looks everyone was now giving him, just before it flipped over again to reveal another message, There should have been a warning about this place in the brochure.
"That's impossible to believe."Chang said, also frowning a bit as he looked at Genma-panda, giving the panda a disbelieving look, "There are translations printed on every brochure that's sent out."
What translations! I didn't see any translations on the brochure!
"You mean you didn't see this translation that's on the last five pages of the brochure?" Frowning a bit, Yuki pulled out his own copy of the brochure, turned it over to the back cover and read it out loud, "'All travelers wishing to visit Jusenkyo are warned to be careful around the springs, for bad things will happen to any who fall into the springs...'"
Give me that!
Genma-panda reached out a paw to grab the brochure and scanned the back, seeing that there was indeed a warning label on the back of the brochure that was translated into Japanese, along with several other languages, warning travelers about Jusenkyo.
"Stupid old man! This is all your fault! Did you even bother to check the whole brochure out before deciding to bring us here!" Ranma cried out, as she glowered at the sweating panda bear, as a large gold and red battle aura flared up around the redhead as she advanced on the panda, "Why'd ya have to bring us to a place like this for!"
Now son, this trip was for the betterment of the school, Ranma! Genma panda's sign said, as he flipped the sign over, backing away from his enraged so...er daughter, as she slowly advanced menacingly on him with a look on her face that promised extreme pain when she got her hands on him, Where would a martial artists code of honor be if it's not fraught with peril and sacrifice?
"My code of honor is one thing, old man," Ranma snapped as she started advancing on the sweating bullets as it saw the angry look on it's new daughters face, as the youth started cracking her knuckles together, "But losing my manhood is a completelydifferent matter!"
Now son, let's talk about this before you do anything hasty, Genma-panda took one look at his son-turned-daughter, and the battle aura she was now giving off, and decided that the best course of action at that moment was to run.
In the next second, all the trio could see was a huge trail of dust that had been kicked up in the panda's retreat.
"Pops get back here! This is all your fault!" Ranma roared, as she started to give chase after the running figure, "I'm going to kill you!"
Before Ranma could take a step though, she suddenly found his path blocked by Yuki who now stood directly in front her with his arms spread apart, and she came to a skidding halt just inches from the other boy.
"Get out of the way!" Ranma shouted as she tried to move out of Yuki's path, only to find Yuki blocking her path at every turn, as her father got further away, "That baka panda's getting away!"
"Stop! Killing him won't him won't do you any good." Yuki said, as he crossed his arms over his chest and stared at Ranma-chan, not budging an inch, and only moving in step with Ranma when it looked like she would try and get past him, and grinned a bit as he stared at the boy turned girl, "Sure it's probably make you feel better, but it still won't do you any good."
"What would you know!" Ranma demanded as she balled up her hands into fists as she glared at the other boy, "I'm a freak now, thanks to stupid old man of mine, and..."
"Hey, changing into a girl is not that bad." Yuki stated, sounding a little defensive as Ranma spoke, the amused look disappearing from Yuki's eyes as he stared at the redhead, "Once you get used to it, the better off you'll be."
"What would you know!" Ranma-chan exclaimed, as she rounded on the gray haired teen, her eyes blazing angrily, "You wouldn't know what I'm going through!"
"Says you. You don't know anything." Yuki said, his own anger filling his eyes as he glared back at Ranma-chan, before glancing back in the direction Genma had run in and didn't see any sign of the panda, "Looks like your father get away. Before you go after him, do you want to change back?"
"Change back?" Ranma-chan asked, a confused look appearing on her features as she stared at the teenager before her, "What do ya mean by that?"
"What do you think I mean? Change back into a boy of course. There is a way for you to turn back to normal you know." Yuki sighed impatiently as he frowned at the redhead, smirking a bit when he saw the irritated look on the other teens features, "Or do you want to spend the next few hours chasing your father as a girl?"
"You mean I can be a guy again!" Ranma-chan exclaimed, her eyes widening in disbelief as she stared at Yuki then the guide as both nodded their heads in confirmation, "All right! Why didn't ya say something before? If ya had the cure for the curse all along then..."
"Is not cure. There is no known cure to Jusenkyo curses. There is only one way of returning your real body." Chang said, cutting off what Ranma-chan was saying, causing the teen to turn her attention back on him, "Hot or warm liquids will return you to your natural body..."
"While cold liquids will reactivate your curse, and change you back into a girl." Yuki added in, after seeing the disappointed look start to appear on Ranma's face at Chang's news, "It's like Chang says. It's not really a cure, just a temporary way to change back to normal until you get splashed again."
"Can't I just jump into one of the other springs to cure my curse?" Ranma demanded, as she followed after the two reluctantly, eager to return to his rightful body as soon as possible, "There has to be a cure to this curse, ain't there?"
"Jusenkyo has been around for thousands of years, and no one's found cure for springs yet," Chang said as Ranma-chan turned her attention towards him, "or if they did, there's no record of it."
"Aw man..." Ranma moaned, looking more down than before.
"Don't take it so bad. At least with hot water," Yuki said good naturedly, patting Ranma on the back before turning around to walk back towards the hut, leaving Ranma and Chang behind, "you can change back to your natural body, if only until the next time you get splashed."
"I'll take anything as long as it gets my real body back!" Ranma exclaimed, as she reached forward to grab Yuki's shoulders enthusiastically, her hands making contact with the Amazon before she had time to react and...
"What the..." Ranma-chan exclaimed, coughing a bit as she waved away the smoke surrounding her. As the smoke cleared, she saw that the boy she had grabbed was nowhere to be seen.
"Hey where did you go!" Ranma demanded as she looked around for the other teen.
"I'm down here..." a muffled squeaky voice called out somewhere at Ranma's feet, "Watch where you step please."
Ranma immediately took a few steps back, as she quickly glanced down at her feet to see the clothing the other boy had been wearing piled on the ground. As she watched the clothes, she could make out a tiny lump moving around in the clothing a few seconds before a small gray rat finally crawled out and glanced up at her.
"What the heck happened to you! Why did you turn into a rat when I touched you?" Ranma demanded as she bent down to pick up the rodent as gently as she could, and held it in her open palm, "Did my curse do this to you?"
"In a way, it did..." Yuki-Nezumi said, as he ran a small paw over the back of his head, as he looked back at Ranma's questioning gaze, before letting out a loud sigh, "Looks like I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do..."
"A rat!" Ukyou and Akane exclaimed simultaneously.
"Yeah a rat. Depending on what gender we're both in, I can't touch him or else he'll transform." Ranma said, a rueful smile on his face as he looked at the stunned look on the girls' faces before continuing, "Yuki's filled with a lot of surprises. Seems he's been cursed to transform into one of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac."
"Is that true or is Ranma simply saying that to get out of trouble," Ukyou said, as she gave Yuki an accusing look, almost daring him to lie to her.
"It's true. I'm double cursed. Since the day I was born, if I'm touched by the opposite sex, I'll automatically transform into a rat." Yuki said matter of factly, as she brushed a strand of hair from her face, as she leaned against the countertop, with her the backs of her elbows propped on top of the counter, ""
"But didn't Ranma say he was in his female form when it happened?" Ukyou asked, then continued when both 'girls' nodded in confirmation, "Then if you transform when the 'opposite' sex touches you, then why did you change if Ranma was a girl at the time?"
"Because I was a guy at the time when he hugged me. Like Ranma, I have the pool of drowned girl curse," Yuki said, shaking his head ruefully as he took another sip of now lukewarm chocolate, "which I was given to counteract the first one. Now I'll only turn into a rat depending on what gender I'm currently in or when I'm sick."
"That's funny. If you're Shampoo's brother, then shouldn't she be cursed the same way as you?" Ukyou asked, a skeptical look on her face as she stared at Yuki, "I know Shampoo's cursed to turn into a cat, but that's only because of Jusenkyo, right?"
"Nobody in my family is cursed the way I am. I'm adopted." Yuki said simply, quickly continuing when she saw the shocked looks on everyone's faces, "My real parents died a long time ago, and Shampoo's family took me in as a baby."
"Oh that's too bad," Akane said, feeling a bit sympathetic to the girl, as he looked, "But why do you change into a rat. Did you piss off somebody who cursed you with it?"
"It's a family curse, Grandma told me that my birth mother told her that it was something I inherited from my father's side of the family." Yuki said, shrugging his shoulders, "If someone in the family who has a Zodiac curse dies, the animal curse that person had is immediately passed on to an unknown, yet to be born baby in the family. Lucky me got the rat curse."
"Hey, so what do you look like as a guy?" Ukyou suddenly asked.
"Not that much different from what I look now," Yuki said, shrugging her shoulders as she spoke, as she quickly finished off the last of her pizza, "minus the breasts, of course."
Pushing away from the bar, she stood up and dusted off her clothes, as she reached out to pull back on her cloak. "Hey wait, before you put your cloak on, Ukyou said as she nodded towards the boiling kettle she had on the stove for hot chocolate, just as she turned the fire off, "do you guys want some hot water so you can change back to normal?"
"Sure," Yuki said with a slight shrug of her shoulders, as she sat back down on her stool.
"Thanks, Uchan, I really need it," Ranma-chan said.
After letting the water cool down a bit, Ukyou pulled out two glasses and poured the water into it and placed them in front of both Yuki and Ranma.
Ranma eagerly grabbed hold of her glass and upended it over her head, making the transformation happen instantly, and soon a brunette boy stood in place of where the redhead girl once was.
"Thank you for the water, Ukyou-san," Yuki said as she simply took his glass of water and splashed some of it onto her hands then brought her hands up to her face.
Both Akane and Ukyou sucked in the breaths, when they saw the instantaneous change in his appearance. As they watched Yuki's body became more masculine in appearance, his chest flattening out underneath his shirt, and he seemed to grow a few inches taller.
"Does this appease your curiosity?" Yuki said, as he turned his gaze back to the two girls, reaching out one hand to brush aside a loose strand of hair from his face as he smiled at them.
A few female customers who were close enough to hear the explanation, and see the transformation happen let out sighs of appreciation as they saw the now male youth, as he reached up to brush aside a lose strand of gray hair.
"So what do you think?" Yuki said, his eyes lighting up in amusement as he saw the stunned looks Akane and Ukyou were now giving him, "Not much of a difference between my male and female forms wouldn't you say?"
'Oh my...' Akane thought as she looked at Yuki in surprise as she felt her cheeks heat up at the sight of Yuki's male form, ''
'He wasn't kidding when he said that he doesn't look any different in his male body. He looks cuter as a guy...' Ukyou said as she looked on appreciatedly at Yuki's new form, as a slight blush crept up to her cheeks, before she shook her head repeatedly, 'No! What am I thinking? Ranma's the only guy for me. But still...'
"Hey Ranma could you show me the way to the Neko Café," Yuki asked as he turned towards the other boy, when the girls didn't immediately answer him, "We could spend the time catching up."
"Sure, I've got nothing better to do," Ranma said as he swung his body around and climbed off of the barstool, and moved to stand beside the other boy, "It's just across the street, and Akane can wait here for the pizza's until I get back."
"Hey, Yuki," Ukyou suddenly called out, as she made her way around the bar, and towards the group as they almost reached the restaurant entrance, "Hold on for one more second would ya?"
"What is it?" Yuki asked, exasperation sounding his voice as he started to turn back around, his eyes widen in surprise when he suddenly felt a pair of arms wrap around his body and...
"HEY! WHAT WAS THAT FOR!" Yuki demanded from his spot on the floor, as he stood there in his rat form tapping a paw on the ground in irritation.
"So the part about changing into a rat is true." Ukyou said, as she bent down and gently scooped Yuki into her hands, and raised him up so that he was now eye level with her, "Sorry about that, but I had to see if what Ranma said about your other curse was true or not."
"You could have warned me first before you did that." Yuki said after glaring up at Ukyou for a second, Yuki sighed loudly and looked away, "Or at least asked. It takes awhile for me to change back to normal. But as long as you hold me like this I won't change back..."
"Sorry, but I couldn't resist seeing if it was true or not," Ukyou said as she ran a finger gently over Yuki's head, as she stared down at the rodent in her hands, "Let's get your clothes and I'll take you to the backroom so that you can change back in privacy and..."
It was just then that Ukyou happened to look down to look for Yuki's clothes, and noticed that they were nowhere to be seen.
Confusion lighting up her face, she did a quick search of the floor for any sign of Yuki's clothes, but didn't see them anywhere on the floor. A quick look at Akane and Ranma showed that neither one had Yuki's clothes either, and both of the other teens were just as confused as she was as they looked around for any sign of Yuki's clothes.
"Hey, what happened to your clothes, Yuki?" Akane asked as her eyes did a quick scan of the floor, then around the room to see if anyone might have picked up the clothes while they weren't looking, but still didn't see them anywhere, "They should be right where you were when you transformed."
"Now that I think about it," Ranma said as a thoughtful look appeared on his features as he stared down at Yuki, as he also glanced around for the clothes, "I don't remember seeing them on the floor after Yuki changed..."
"Don't worry about my clothes, I have them taken cared of." Yuki said, bringing the others attention back to him, as he sat down in Ukyou's hand and let out a sigh, "If we could go to that room you were talking about just now, Ukyou?"
Within a few minutes the group was in the backroom, with Ukyou leaving one of her employee's in charge while she was gone. Once they were in the back room, Ukyou took Yuki over to a nearby table and let the rodent hop off her hand and onto the table, and quickly turned around to face them once more.
"If your wondering, I fixed the clothing problem a long time ago, thanks to a witch I ran into in my travels." Yuki said with a slight shrug of his shoulders, as he pointed a paw at his neck, where they could barely make out a miniaturized version of his locket around his neck, "She put a spell on my locket, so that whenever I change into a rat, whatever clothes I'm wearing at the time would be sent into a kind of storage space for the duration that I'm in my rat form, while the object that the spell is on is charmed to change size to fit it's wearer's new form."
"That's amazing," Ukyou said as she listened to Yuki's explanation for a few moments, as she glanced over at Ranma and Akane, "Useful thing to have around for some of the locals."
"How does this spell work exactly?" Ranma demanded as his curiosity had been piqued, as he stared down at Yuki, "Where do the clothes go exactly?"
"Don't ask me where they go. All I know," Yuki said as he shrugged his shoulders again, before standing to his full rodent height, as he glanced at each teen, "is that, thanks to the spell, as long as I have my locket on when I transform, my clothes will disappear, so that by the time I change back to normal..."
"...I'll still be fully clothed, instead of being in my 'birthday suit'," Yuki said as he stood back up, taking a moment to stop and straighten his clothes, before glancing at the stunned looks on Ranma and the girls, "so I won't be having to hurry to put my clothes back on before anyone sees me."
"I can think a know a couple of people who would love to have that particular spell." Ukyou said absentmindedly, as she stared at Yuki for moment with a thoughtful look on her face, "Could you tell us where we could find this witch who put the spell on the locket?"
"I can do better than that, Ukyou-san. Luckily for you guys, I do know how to do the spell myself," Yuki said as he grinned a bit at the others, as he pulled on his cloak and fastened the strings around his neck, "I made it a point of learning it in case I needed to cast it on other objects."
"That's good to hear. That spell of yours," Ukyou said as a small grin appeared on her face, as she took a seat next to the table, and stared at Yuki for a moment with a thoughtful look on her features, "is going to save a lot of people some embarrassment. This way they can change back to have without having to risk being seen naked."
Cologne looked up from the cash register just as she was tallying the bill for one of her customers, in time to see Ranma and one of his friends enter her restaurant, and smiled a crooked smile at him. "Hello Son-in-Law, what brings you here today."
"Hey old ghoul! Is Shampoo around?" Ranma asked, his eyes scanning the small restaurant for any sign of the violet haired Amazon, and missed the glare Yuki was now giving him at the comment he made to Cologne, "I brought someone to see the two of you."
"Shampoo is out making deliveries with Mousse." Cologne asked, cackling a bit, as she stared at Ranma and his companion "So, finally come your senses and decide to marry my granddaughter, eh?"
"Not a chance in hell, old ghoul." Ranma said, glaring at Cologne until he felt a sharp kick to his legs, "OW! What was that for!"
"For calling her such a mean thing," Yuki said angrily, as she looked at her friend from under hooded eyes, "Show some respect to your elders Ranma."
"I'll show her some respect the day she stops trying to force me to marry Shampoo." Ranma said, glaring right back at Yuki, and crossed his arms across his chest stubbornly, "With all the things she's pulled on me lately, it's gonna be a long time before that'll happen."
"Well now, do my old eyes deceive me?" Cologne said as she moved away from the counter to move in front of the group, "Is that really you, Yuki?"
"Good afternoon great-grandmother," Yuki said, as he pulled off his hood and stepped forward to and bowed to the elderly woman, "It's been a long time since I last saw you and Shampoo."
"Oh ho! So the prodigal son has come home?" Cologne said, cackling a bit as she hopped over to her grandson, and rapped him lightly on the head with her cane, "Where have you been boy? Your mother's been worried sick about you. And speak Japanese around this bunch."
"I've been around. I've been training, trying to find a way to cure my rat curse," Yuki said, rubbing the bump forming on his head, as he grinned down at the elderly matriarch, before bending down to scoop her up into a hug, "I came home a week ago to find out that you guys moved to Japan to catch Shampoo's wayward husband."
"Look I don't have time for this, old ghoul," Ranma said as he easily hopped to one side to avoid Yuki's kick, and made a break for the front doors just they were opening, "I gotta get home for dinner. I'll see you guys later."
"Ranma! You come take Shampoo out on date yes?" Shampoo asked as she snuggled up against the pigtailed martial artist, and shot a glare at Akane who was watching them with narrowed eyes, "What's kitchen destroyer doing here!"
"No way Shampoo! I only came here to show an old friend the way here," Ranma exclaimed as he tried to break free of Shampoo's grip with little success, "I gotta get back home for dinner before pops eats it all."
"You no have to go home to eat," Shampoo said, tightening her grip on Ranma's arm, as she looked up at Ranma with a pleading look in her eyes, "Airen should stay here with wife and eat dinner, then you can take on date."
"Sorry Shampoo, but I'm not taking you on a date, and for the last time I ain't your 'airen'," Ranma said, as he finally shook free of Shampoo, though the Amazon still had a death grip on his arm, "We're not married and we'll never will be. Besides that, I only stopped by to bring someone here who was looking for you guys.."
"Who you bring here..." Shampoo started to ask, as her voice trailed off when she finally caught sight of the familiar gray haired teen standing next to Cologne, her eyes widening in shock.
"Hi Shampoo, Mousse." Yuki who was now waving at her, from his spot next to Cologne, an amused smirk on his features as he watched his sisters antics.
"Well, will you look at who's here," Mousse commented as he stepped fully into the restaurant, and adjusted his glasses on his nose so he could get a better look at Yuki.
"YUKI!" Shampoo let out a loud squeal, as she immediately released Ranma and roughly shoved him away, as she quickly rushed towards Yuki and picked him up in a big bone crushing hug. "You've come back!"
Yuki winced as he heard his sister's familiar cry, just as Shampoo pounced on him, her arms wrapping him in a tight hug that took the breath out of him. Looking over shoulder he could see Mousse standing behind her with a bemused look on his face.
"Hi Yuki, welcome back," Mousse said after adjusting his glasses onto his nose, as a slight grin appeared on his features, as he watched what was going on between Yuki and Shampoo.
"Yuki, where you been? Everyone worry about you," Shampoo scolded as she continued hugging the younger boy, wrapping her arms tighter around Yuki's body, "Don't go off again without keeping contact with everyone okay?"
'Same old Shampoo,' Yuki thought ruefully, as he let himself hang in his sisters embrace for a few minutes as Shampoo spoke rapidly in Chinese. "Sorry to have worried you so much, Shampoo, but I've been busy with training and lost track of time..."
'Wait a second,' Yuki thought as his words trailed off, as his body stiffening in shock as he suddenly remembered that he was in his male body, Shampoo was hugging him, and he wasn't changing into a rat, 'I'm in male form, and I didn't change. Why didn't I change?'
Yuki glanced over his shoulder at his grandmother and the others to see that Cologne had the same bewildered look on her face that he was sure mirrored his own as she watched Shampoo hug him.
"Um, Shampoo..." Yuki said, as he reached up to try and push her away from him, only to feel her arms tighten around his body, "Could you let go of me for a moment?"
"Not letting go yet," Shampoo announced as she continued hugging him.
"Hey, Shampoo, you do know that Yuki's a guy right now, do you?" Ranma asked, surprise evident in his voice as he watched Shampoo squeeze Yuki.
"Silly, of course I know Yuki boy, airen" Shampoo chided as she looked over her shoulder at Ranma, giggling a bit at his question, as she continued hugging Yuki, "He's my brother, so I know he boy, though only half the time, just like you."
"Shampoo, that's not, what Saotome meant," Mousse said, as he took a step forward his eyes staring directly at the two with a curious look on his face, "He means that Yuki's a guy right now, and your holding him without making him go poof."
"What? What stupid duck boy talking about," Shampoo exclaimed, looking at Mousse with an irritated look on her face, as she scowled darkly at the blind boy, before turning confused eyes on Ranma, "of course Yuki's not boy now, or else I wouldn't be able to hold him like this. You know that."
"Actually, I am a guy right now, Shampoo." Yuki's said with a sheepish tone in his voice as he spoke in Mandarin, "You've just haven't noticed it yet."
"What are you..." Shampoo immediately turned her attention back on Yuki with a questioning look, before her eyes traveled over his body, her eyes finally taking in Yuki's obviously male body pressing against hers as her eyes widened further in shock as she realized that the others were right. "Why did you not change? You always change before when in male form, so why not now?"
"Did you find a cure for your condition, Yuki?" Cologne asked.
"No grandmother. Last time I checked I still changed when girls hugged me when I'm a guy." Yuki said, as he finally pulled away from Shampoo's now loosen grip, as he took a few steps away from her, and looked his sister over, before turning around to look at Cologne, "Did something happen to Shampoo while I was gone?"
Cologne said, cutting into the conversation, "That might be true, Shampoo,"
Ranma had just left the Neko Café, while taking a free bowl of ramen to eat on the way home, Cologne had Mouse put up the 'Closed' sign so no more customers would come in, while she talked with Yuki and Shampoo, and give Yuki information on what had happened while he was gone.
"So Shampoo's got the Nekonanichaun curse now," Yuki asked as he glanced over at his sister with disbelieving look on his face, as he tried to access everything that he had heard up to this point, "Because she failed in either killing girl-type Ranma or bringing in Ranma's male form as her husband?"
"Great-grandmother, why is Shampoo now able to touch me when I'm a guy?" Yuki said a while later, once the restaurant was closed for the night, and the four Amazons were gathered in a back room. "She never was before, so why now?"
"It would seem we've found yet another way to counteract the Junishi curse without even realizing it," Cologne said, with a thoughtful look on her features, as she looked between her two grandchildren as they sat in front of her, "Yuki's Nezumi curse must recognize Shampoo's Neko curse, and thus will no longer activate when Shampoo comes in contact with Yuki."
"What do you mean, great-grandmother?" Shampoo said, as she sat next to Yuki with her arm around her brother, while Mousse reluctantly sat on the opposite side of Yuki, "What has my curse have to do with anything? Why didn't Yuki change when I hugged him?"
"That's easy to explain, Shampoo, it's your Jusenkyo curse. You were cursed to turn into the cat by the pool." Cologne said, as she looked at the three teens as they sat around her, "Yuki's curse won't activate if he's hugged by someone who's cursed to turn into an animal of the Zodiac."
"But there's no cat in the Zodiac, grandma," Yuki said as he pulled away from Shampoo and stood up, "So how can Shampoo's curse be counted as being part of the Zodiac?"
"In your birth family there is a cat in the Zodiac. It's something Yuki's birth mother told me just days before she died." Cologne said as she looked Yuki over for a moment before continuing, once she saw the questioning looks on the teens faces, "In her husbands family, out of the twelve chosen children born cursed to transform into the animals of the Zodiac, there will always be a thirteenth child who will be cursed to turn into a cat."
"All three of you have heard the legends of how the Chinese Zodiac was created. Then," Cologne said, the continued when all three nodded their heads in agreement, "you've also heard of another legend dealing with a Cat almost becoming a part of the Zodiac if it wasn't for the Rat's interference."
"So, even though Shampoo received her cat curse through different means," Yuki asked, as realization hit him, as he looked over at his sister, who was staring back at him. "That'd mean that..."
"It would seem that Yuki's Nezumi curse must be registering Shampoo as a member of the Zodiac simply because she turns into a cat?" Mousse said, finishing what Yuki had left unspoken,
"Shampoo can now hug Yuki-kun when he's in both forms!" Shampoo squealed as she launched herself at Yuki and pulled him into a bone-crushing hug, "I'm so happy!"
"Shampoo let go!" Yuki cried as he struggled to get free of his sisters grip, as his hands clutched at her arms to try "Can't breath!"
"Sorry!" Shampoo cried as she immediately released Yuki who dropped the floor taking in deep breaths of air.
"So does this mean if I touched Yuki when he's in girl form, he won't change?" Mousse asked as he adjusted his glasses on his head, as he turned to gaze at the two siblings.
"Don't be stupid Mousse, There's no duck in the Chinese Zodiac," Shampoo snapped, as she turned and glared at the bespectacled boy in irritation, "so Yuki will still change if you hugged him when he's a girl."
"Don't get your hopes up too soon kids," Cologne said as a thoughtful look appeared on her wizened features as she watched the younger Amazons interact, "We'll have find a way to test this out, and see if it's just a fluke."
"What do you mean great grandmother?" Yuki asked as he turned his gaze onto the older woman.
"All we know is that you won't change because of Shampoo's cat curse, Yuki, but who knows if it'll work for anyone else who has a Zodiac animal based Jusenkyo curse," Cologne said, as a wily smile appeared on her wizened features, as she glanced at the three teens standing around her, "We might have solved the problem of you finding a potential spouse in the tribe.
Three Weeks Later
'I can't believe I let myself be talked into this...' Yuki thought unhappily, as he sat behind the cash register inside of the Neko Café, 'Should have known better to offer to help out around the restaurant while I'm in town.'
With an irritated sigh, Yuki went back to watching the cash register, while snatching glances at the back room, where Cologne had just enter ten minutes earlier with a girl who came in looking for work, while her two friends waited out front with steaming bowls of ramen in front of them.
'Those two are late coming back again,' Yuki thought irritably as he glanced up at a nearby digital wall clock for the tenth time in the past fifteen minutes.
Today was supposed to be his day off, and he'd been on his way out of the restaurant when Cologne called him over and told him to watch the restaurant until whenever Shampoo or Mousse came back from deliveries.
Cologne had been busy in the kitchen preparing orders, while Mousse and Shampoo were both still out making deliveries, when three girls entered the restaurant.
Two of the girls took seats at one of the tables while the third one came up to the counter with a nervous expression on her features, as she talked to Cologne about an help wanted ad she had seen in a newspaper for the restaurant.
After talking with the girl for a few moments, Cologne led her to the back room so they could talk more in private, leaving Yuki in charge while she was gone.
'I wonder who that girl was,' Yuki wondered silently to himself, as he twirled a pen in his fingers, checking the kitchen to make sure everything was okay, before moving to the front room to deal with the latest customers to enter the restaurant, 'Haven't seen her or her friends around before...'
While his grandmother was busy in the back, Yuki went to the kitchen and filled up a couple of glasses of water from the cooler, and carried them out on a tray, stopping long enough to pick up his notepad and walked over to the table where the girls friends were seated looking through the menu that was already available on the table.
"Hi, I'm Yuki and I'll be your waiter today," Yuki asked pleasantly, setting the glasses on the table in front of both girls before he held up his notepad and had a pen ready to take down their orders, while "what can I get for you today?"
The first girl was tall, with long blonde hair that she let hang loosely down her back, and gave off an aura of a fighter. While the other girl with her black hair and violet eyes... There was something about that one that just plain creeped him out as he waited for them to make their orders.
"I'd like to order the barbequed pork ramen," the brunette said as she put down her menu to look up at Yuki, her violet eyes staring at him intently.
"I'll take the beef ramen," the blonde said.
"Okay," Yuki said as he wrote down the orders, "Can I get you anything to drink while you wait?"
"Diet Sprite, please" The brunette said.
"Coca Cola." The blonde said.
"I'll be right back with your orders then." Yuki said, smiling a bit before he turned around to head back to the kitchen.
Nodding his head, Yuki went back towards the kitchen, and started preparing the orders. Pulling open the refrigerator he brought out the pork and beef and set them both to cooking on the grill, while lightly seasoning it with ingredients from the cupboards.
While the meat was cooking, Yuki quickly pulled out more glasses, and filled them with the soda, and brought them to the girls, then quickly returned to the kitchen to remove the meat from the grill.
Turning to a pot filled with ramen that Cologne had left simmering on the stove while she was in the back room, Yuki then scooped out some ramen into two bowls, then placed the pork and beef on top of the ramen, adding some extra sauce to it, and carried it out to the waiting girls.
"Enjoy your meal while you wait for your friend," Yuki said cheerfully as he placed the steaming bowls in front of both girls, then stepped away from the table and headed back to the counter.
As he took a seat on the stool behind the cash register, he saw that the brunette was still staring at him with a thoughtful look on her face, as she ate her ramen, while talking with her companion.
'What's her problem? She's been watching me ever since I came to their table, and it's not the usual looks girls give me,' Yuki thought to himself as he quickly turned his gaze away as a chill ran down his body when the brunette's gaze met his for a moment, just as another customer came up to the cash register to pay their bill, 'There's something weird about her that give me the creeps...'
"Mmmm... This ramen tastes great! If that Yuki fellow's the one who cooked this up, I wouldn't mind coming back for more." Arisa Uotani asked in between bites of her ramen with her chopsticks, murmuring softly in pleasure as she ate, "So, what do you think of the food here, Saki?"
"We should come her more often. I could get used to this kind of food, if it's served every day," Saki Hanajima said, nodding her head in agreement as she sampled her own dish, as a rare smile of pleasure appeared on her features as she swallowed her food, before a serious look appeared on her features, as she turned her gaze back towards Yuki who was now seated back at the cash register, "Especially if Torhu manages to get a job working here."
"All right. What is it, Saki?" Arisa asked, with chopsticks half raised to her mouth when she finally noticed the look that appeared on her friends face, and knew that something must be up, "The only time you have that look on your face, is when something's going on. Did something happen?"
"There is something... off about that boy's wave length, Arisa," Saki said as she cast a contemplating look towards where Yuki was sitting, "I haven't sensed something like this from anyone before."
"Like what?" Arisa asked as she finally raised the chopsticks to her mouth and chewed on the ramen while waiting for the other girls answer.
"When I look at Yuki, I can see what appears to be three wave's that seem to be in flux with each other," Saki said simply, as she took a sip from her soda before continuing, "when there should only be one wave present."
"Is something like that possible?" Arisa asked, not really understanding much of what Saki was talking about, but knew it had to be important enough for the psychic to be distracted as she was, "So it's a good thing or a bad thing?"
"One wave is blue, something that all boys have that, while the second wave was red, signifying that he's also a girl, though I don't see how," Saki said, as she ticked off her fingers as she started describing what she sensed from Yuki, "And for some strange reason, the third wave reminds me of a rat."
"A girl and a rat?" Arisa asked, confusion filling her voice, as she took another look at Yuki, squinting her eyes a bit as if she was trying to see what Saki had seen but gave up after a few seconds, "Well I'll be the first to admit that he does look a bit like a girl, especially with that long hair, but what's the deal with the rat thing?"
"With the exception of the female wave I'm seeing," Saki said, as she continued her appraisal of Yuki who was now talking with one of the customers who had come to the counter to pay their bill, "his aura almost matches that of one of our classmate, Kyo Sohma."
"Carrot top? So you mean he could be related to the Sohma's, Saki?" Arisa asked, surprise filling her voice as she heard the news, before confusion set in, and her brows furrowed, "But didn't the old lady call him her grandson?"
"It may be just a coincidence then," Saki said as she shrugged her shoulders in dismissal, but her eyes remained fixated on Yuki
"Great-grandmother! Yuki! We're back!" Shampoo called out as she reentered the restaurant with Mousse right behind her, spouting a few new bruises on his frame.
"Finally! Where have you guys been?" Yuki exclaimed as he stood up from his chair to glower at the other two Amazons, as first Shampoo then Mousse entered, "The two of you should have been back a long time ago. There's more deliveries to be made."
"Still trying to get Shampoo's affections, huh Mousse?" Yuki asked teasingly as the bespectacled boy walked past the cash register with the delivery box, "When will you ever learn?"
"Shut up Yuki," Mousse countered as he walked past Yuki, leaving the delivery box next to the side of the counter, and started to head upstairs.
Just as Mousse set one foot on the first step, the door to the backroom opened up, to show Cologne standing there, cane in hand as she looked the trio over for a moment.
"I thought I heard Shampoo's voice out here." Cologne said with a disapproving frown on her features, before gesturing to them to follow her back into the room, "all of you come in here, I would like you to meet someone. Since the two of you are back, I can make the introductions."
"Wonder what's going on?" Mousse said as he turned on his heel and came back down the stairs, and followed the other teens into the back room.
"'Introductions'?" Shampoo asked, giving Yuki a confused look, which he only shrugged off as he got off of the stool and started walking towards the back door. "To who?"
"Grandma has a girl in there, who's asking for work. I haven't seen her around before," Yuki simply said, giving his sister a slight shrug of his shoulders as they reached the door and pushed it open, "Grams must have given her the job, if she's introducing her to us."
As the trio walked into the room, they see that Cologne was already sitting in a chair facing a girl with long brown hair hanging down her back.
"...when would you like to start?" Cologne was asking the girl, barely glancing up when the other teens entered the kitchen, "Since we're going to be closing up soon for the day, there is no real hurry for you to start working until tomorrow."
"Great-grandmother, what's going on?" Shampoo asked as she stepped into the room with the boys, moving out of the way as Mousse stepped into the room so he could shut the door behind them, "Who's she?"
"Since the three of you have been slacking off in your duties helping around the restaurant," Cologne said as she turned towards the trio, smiling a bit at the surprised looks on each teens faces, as she motioned towards the girl to stand up, "I decided that it was time to hire more help, and I've just hired this young lady here to help out in the restaurant."
As the girl stood up and turned to face them, Yuki couldn't help but stare at her as he saw her face, her brown eyes staring at them with a worried look in them.
"Take a picture, Yuki, it'll last longer..." Mousse said in Chinese, smiling a bit as he fully saw the look on the younger boys face, since he had his glasses on. "You'd think you're in love with her the way you're staring at her."
"Shut up, Mousse," Yuki said, a slight blush crept up to his cheeks at his friends comment, as he turned his gaze away from the newcomer to glare at the blind boy, "I don't know what your talking about!"
Before Mousse could respond, both boys let out yelps of pain when Cologne suddenly whacked both boys over the heads with her staff.
"Mousse, Yuki stop being rude," Cologne chided as she glared at both boys who were now nursing the bruises on their heads, "It's impolite to speak in our native tongue around guests, if you have something to say, say it in Japanese."
"Sorry grandma," Yuki said, as he rubbed the bruise on his head, "It won't happen again."
"Yeah, sorry old ha-OWW!" Mousse now found himself planted face first on the tile floor with a larger bump forming on his head.
"What was that, Mousse?" Cologne asked, her calm tone betraying the anger in it, as she glared down at the Amazon.
"I meant, sorry revered elder!" Mousse exclaimed irritably as he sat up, rubbing a hand over the newest bump forming on his head, as he glared at the older woman.
"Better, duck boy." Cologne said, giving Mousse a cold, smug look before turning back towards the girl and smiled warmly at her, "Now, why don't you introduce yourself, dearie?"
"Um... Hi," Torhu said a bit nervously, as she bowed for a second, before standing back up straight a moment later, "my name is Torhu Honda."
"Torhu I would like you to meet my great granddaughter, Shampoo," Cologne said, making introductions while pointing at each boy as she said their names, "my great grandson, Yuki, and their... friend, Mousse."
"It's nice to meet all of you, and I hope we can be friends." Torhu said a bit timidly as she bowed again, before standing back up to look at the teens standing in front of her.
"Nihao, Torhu!" Shampoo said excitedly as she bounded over to Torhu, smiling as she gave the other girl a warm hug, before finally releasing her, "Welcome to Neko Café, Shampoo hope you enjoy working here."
"Umm, okay, Shampoo." Torhu said as she looked the other girl over once she was released before looking at the two boys as they stepped forward.
"Hi, Torhu," Mousse said, smiling a bit at the new girl, as he adjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose and squinted at her from behind his large frames, reaching a hand to her, "Welcome to the Neko Café, and I hope you enjoy working here."
"Nice to meet you," Yuki said.
Quick question. Can anyone tell me the name of Ayame's clothing store? I still haven't gotten the remaining two dvd's yet, so I don't know, though I already know that his assistant's name is 'Mine'. (I'm hopeless, I know... -'-;) But I'm keeping up by reading Tokyo Pop's release of the manga.
I know this isn't where Torhu usually works, but I thought about how Torhu should be the first of the Fruits Basket gang that Yuki should meet, and since he doesn't go to school (yet), I thought it might be fun if she worked at the Cat Café, instead of cleaning Momiji's dad's office building.
Besides, this is supposed to be a Alternate Universe fic as well as a Crossover fic, so a few/lot of things can be changed about the worlds of Fruits Basket and Ranma ½. '
This chapter would take place a few months after Kyoko Honda's death, and just before Torhu would have met Shigure (and whoever might be living with him since Yuki's not in their lives)
I have a request though. You guys, PLEASE stop asking me about updating my OTHER stories in the reviews? What I mean is, that I LIKE reading about how much you like my stories.
If the review you write is ONLY asking me to update one of my other the others, then couldn't you just ask it in a review ONLY for the story you want updated. Please? (gives puppy dog eyed look to all of her readers)
I'll update the other stories in my own time, but asking me to update them in a review meant for a story that has nothing to do with the other ones, isn't going to help me hurry up and update. Especially when I have idea's for other stories running through my mind, that I want to write.
I have a question for everyone. Currently, since Yuki's no longer in the lives of the Fruits Basket crew, WHO should take his place living at Shigure's house, with Kyo, Torhu, and Shigure:
1. Hatsuharu (1)
2. Kagura (0)
3. Momiji (0)
4. Nobody, let it remain with just the three of them (0)
Date Completed: July 4, 2005
Date Updated: July 9, 2006