This is my first FY fic, which was originally written as a short story assignment for English.  Hey, my teacher gave me permission to do a fanfic, soo… *shrugs* And because this was a school assignment, the Tasuki-language had to be suitably altered so I wouldn't get in too much trouble.  Did I mention I got full points on this assignment?  ^_^ Oh yes… and whatever you think of it, this isn't shounen-ai.  I don't do shounen-ai.

Oh yeah… and those of you who might be reading this that read my GW CYOA, it got deleted. *shrugs* I have it up on my website now, tho, so you can check it out there if you want.  The link's on my bio.

Disclaimer: The characters and the Jusenkyo Springs mentioned in this story come from two different anime, Fushigi Yuugi and Ranma ½, neither of which I own. --; Bah, humbug.

Beware the Cursed Springs

Or

Next Time, Maybe We Should Listen to the Tour Guide

As the double doors of the airport swung open, a blur raced out of them and across the parking lot, heading for the van at the other end.  As they reached the vehicle and nearly rammed into the driver's side door in the process, the blur immediately separated itself into two distinct figures, one with teal-colored hair and the other whose hair was flaming red.  Tamahome and Tasuki immediately started fighting in front of the door, yelling the whole time.

"Tasuki, what do you think you're doing?  I'm driving!"

"Oh no you're not, Tamahome!  Ya always get to drive!  Let someone else have a chance for once!" Tasuki yelled back.

The other Suzaku seishi and Miaka, who had followed them out at a considerably slower pace, sweatdropped and mushroom-sighed.  Hotohori, however, was smiling slightly. "Aren't you two forgetting something?" he asked, amused.  Tasuki and Tamahome glanced at him, shocked into sudden silence at the sight of the keys dangling from his hand.

"Wha- Hotohori- when?"

Hotohori's face broke into a full grin, which quickly disappeared when a purple blur raced past him, grabbing the keys from him in the process. "Nuriko!"

The shorter seishi turned back slightly, laughing. "Sorry, Hotohori-sama!" Reaching Tamahome and Tasuki, who had resumed their fight, he picked them both up and threw them over the hood of the car before sliding into the driver's seat. "Stuff it, you two.  I'm driving!"

As the rest of the group filed in, Nuriko smirked slightly.  As soon as the last door was closed, he turned the keys in the ignition and floored it, driving out of the parking lot at 100 mph. "Road trip!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"TASUKI!  GIMME THAT MAP!"

"Why should I?" the red-haired teenager snapped back irritably, having claimed the map at the start of their trip an hour ago.  In the driver's seat, Nuriko sighed, pulled over, and slammed on the brakes, causing everyone to jerk forward.  In Tasuki's case, he nearly flew out the windshield, because he point-blank refused to wear a seatbelt.

"Nuriko!  What was that for?"

"Your yelling's giving me a migraine!" the normally calm-tempered eighteen-year-old retorted. "I can't drive like this!  Besides, do you happen to have any idea where we are?"

"Yeah.  We're right here… 'bout five miles south of the Great Wall.  That's where we're headed, right?"

Nuriko sighed, looking about ready to start banging his head against the steering wheel and set his long purple braid flying. "Do you see the Great Wall anywhere close?"

"Give me that!" Before Tasuki could protest, Tamahome had grabbed the map away and was studying it carefully. "Well, would you look at that!  He was holding the map upside down." As the rest of the group groaned, Tamahome passed the map to Hotohori. "Here.  Think you can navigate?"

"Of course," the emperor replied, taking the map and righting it. "Well… first off, we'll need to make a U-turn, then drive about fifty miles.  We'll figure the rest out after we get off the highway."

"Or we could just use my kesa to transport us there, no da," Chichiri suggested.  Throughout most of the trip, the blue-haired monk had just been sitting and staring out the window, trying his best to ignore his loud companions.

"Yes, but what about the van?" Chiriko pointed out. "I doubt it could fit into your kesa."

Before anyone else got a chance to answer, Miaka cut into the conversation. "Ne, Tamahome… it's lunchtime already.  Can't we stop for something to eat before we go?"

Tamahome blinked, looking at her. "Well…"

"We should stop," Mitsukake murmured, glancing at the brown-haired miko with a rare smile.  The tall man continued, "We can't let the miko starve, now can we?"

As the others agreed, Nuriko pulled back onto the freeway and spent the next ten minutes looking for a place to eat.  However, it seemed that they were out in the middle of nowhere, or more specifically, "Qinghai Province, China," as a sign by the side of the road proudly proclaimed.  After driving up and down a bunch of mountains for a while, which Hotohori correctly identified as being the Bayankala Range, they ended up becoming totally and completely lost.  As Nuriko refused to drive anywhere with no clear idea of where he was going, the group took a break and exited the van while Mitsukake, Tamahome, and Hotohori pored over the map, trying to figure out where they were going.  After more than an hour of confusion, Miaka once again started complaining loudly about her grumbling stomach (with said stomach agreeing), when she suddenly stopped, sniffed the air, and turned robotically in another direction.  It took the rest of the group a few seconds to realize she'd disappeared.

"…Miaka?" Tamahome turned around and saw her walking in another direction. "Where are you going?"

Chichiri sniffed the air and sighed. "She's caught the scent of food, no da…"

"Miaka!" Hotohori called after her. "Let's go.  We'll find somewhere to eat when we get to the Great Wall."

"But we're lost!  We're not going anywhere anytime soon!"

"We could go somewhere using my kesa, no da…" Chichiri said.

"Why bother?  There's something cooking near here!" And with that, Miaka abruptly dashed off in the direction of the smell.

"Miaka!" Receiving no answer, Nuriko punched the nearest tree, causing it to fall over and almost land on top of Tamahome and Mitsukake. "Why does she always have to do that?"

"Um… are you okay, Nuriko-san?" Chiriko questioned timidly.

"Hmm?  Oh, fine.  Just have a slight headache, that's all.  Tasuki, you mind stopping her?"

"And get between Miaka and food?  No freaking way," the younger man snorted.

"Tasuki…" The flame-haired bandit shook his head stubbornly.

"Fine," Nuriko grumbled, before brightening slightly. "Actually, I have a better idea…" Before Tasuki could so much as blink, he'd been picked up by the diminutive purple-haired boy and tossed over the trees in Miaka's general direction.

Shaking their heads, the remaining five followed Nuriko as he walked after Miaka.  A few minutes later, they reached a cliff, where Miaka was standing and staring pitifully at a small wooden cabin, about five hundred feet down from where they stood.  The rest of the ground below was riddled with springs, with bamboo poles sticking out of them in random places.  On hearing the others approach, Miaka turned around, her eyes wide and wobbly. "Ne, Tamahome, how do we get down there?"

Chichiri cut in first. "Don't you think it would be easier to just go somewhere else with my kesa?"

Most of the group ignored him. "Well, there're some stairs over there," Tamahome said, pointing. "By the way, have you seen Tasuki anywhere?"

"I'm over here!" Nuriko peered down the side of the cliff, and there was Tasuki. "Gimme a hand up, will ya?"

"Why?" Nuriko asked innocently. "You could just let go.  There's a spring below you." Tasuki glared daggers at him, and it took Nuriko a moment to figure it out. "Oh, right.  I forgot you can't swim." He hoisted Tasuki up with one hand, walked over to where the others were, and dropped the bandit on the stairs.  The bandit obediently stood up and began to walk, wisely not saying anything unless Nuriko threw him off the cliff.

At the bottom of the stairs, there was an arch-like entryway with a sign that read, "Jusenkyo Magical Springs," with a smaller sign located off to the side.  Ignoring both signs, Miaka walked right under the arch, heading for the house where the delicious smells were coming from.  Right behind her, Chiriko stopped in front of the small sign and began reading. "History: The Jusenkyo Springs were long ago used as a martial-arts training ground, but few people ever come here anymore due to-"

"Hurry up, Chiriko!" Tasuki pushed the younger boy through the entryway, ignoring his protests.  Ignoring them, Nuriko and Tamahome brushed past the two and headed after Miaka.  Chichiri hesitantly followed, while Mitsukake and Hotohori exchanged glances before electing to wait for the others outside.

Upon entering the house, Tamahome, Nuriko, Chiriko, and Tasuki sighed in exasperation, the latter muttering a long string of curses under his breath.  Chichiri took one look inside and quickly ducked back out again, deciding to stay out of the way.

Miaka was stuffing herself in front of the man who had apparently made the food, a pudgy, Chinese guy in his thirties.  Said man was just staring at her in utter disbelief.  When she finished her meal a few minutes later, she looked at him and smiled. "Thanks for the food!  It was great!" The man only blinked.

"Um… sorry about that," Nuriko began. "You see, we were only here to… um…"

The man's face brightened. "Oh!  You be tourists here to see springs, right?" he asked in broken, accented Japanese.

"Well, actually-"

"You be in luck!  I am Jusenkyo Springs tour guide!  I show you around springs!" And before they could so much as utter a protest, the tour guide grabbed all five of them and pulled them outside, Chichiri joining them as they went outside.  The guide started talking loudly, though Chiriko was the only one paying attention. "Thousands years ago, these springs used as training grounds for those wanting to be martial-arts masters!" He was interrupted as yet another loud brawl erupted between Tamahome and Tasuki.

"Hey, Obake-chan, did you hear that?  This is where ya should've gone if you wanted some real fight training, not that Suzaku-forsaken desert in the middle of nowhere!  You might've actually learned something here!" Tasuki teased.

"Yeah, well, that 'Suzaku-forsaken desert' happened to be the home of my master!  And don't call me Obake-chan, or else!" Tamahome yelled back.

"Or else what?"

"Shouldn't we stop them, no da?" Chichiri muttered.

Nuriko shook his head, grinning. "No, it's much more fun this way." They continued to watch as Tamahome and Tasuki continued their little argument, all the while getting closer and closer to one of the springs.

The Jusenkyo tour guide grew anxious. "I do not think you should go in spring…"

Chiriko glanced at him, being the only one who heard him. "Why not?" The guide just shook his head, staring.

"All right, Tasuki, if you're so tough, then we'll fight it out right here!"

"Are you sure about that?  Let's take it out to the woods instead!" Tasuki screamed, pulling out his tessen but becoming visibly nervous.

"Aw, I forgot, you can't swim!" And with that, the teal-haired boy pushed his friend into the nearest spring, laughing.

The rest of the group sighed. "Here we go again…"

It was a few minutes before Tasuki popped up again, spitting out water and looking furious. "Tamahome!  Why I oughtta-" He cut short as he realized his voice was higher and everyone was laughing. "What?  What is it?" As he climbed out of the water, he glanced down and froze. "WHY AM I A FREAKIN' GIRL?" And it was true; Tasuki was shorter, his red hair was now waist-long, and he was most definitely a girl.

The Jusenkyo guide seemed to be the only person who knew what was going on. "That is Spring of Drowned Girl!  There is tragic legend, very tragic, of girl who drown there one-thousand-five-hundred year ago!  Now whoever fall in that spring take body of girl!  Only way to reverse is hot water, but cold turn him back into girl!"

"Tamahome!  I'm gonna kill you for this!" Unfortunately for Tamahome, who was in hysterics, Tasuki still had her tessen out. "REKKA SHINEN!"

"Wha – ow!" Shielding himself from the flames as best he could, Tamahome stumbled backwards – and into another spring.

Chiriko glanced at the tour guide. "Don't tell me…"

The guide smiled. "Is more than one hundred spring here, and every one have own tragic legend!  That be Spring of Drowned Young Ogre! There be legend about-"

By this time, the seishi and Miaka had stopped listening. "Isn't there any way to stop this?" Chiriko moaned, shaking his head.

Chichiri hesitated. "Well, I might have an idea, no da." The others looked at him, ignoring Tasuki's yells of "Obake-chan!" and ogre-Tamahome's growls.

Nuriko waved a hand in their direction. "Well, whatever it is, do it now!"

"All right then…" Spreading his kesa on the ground, Chichiri grabbed his shakujou and tapped the magic cloak with it.  As the portal opened, Nuriko walked over to the two fighters and-

-and Tasuki woke up in bed, sweating slightly.  He sat up and inspected himself; his hair was back to normal length, and he was most obviously male.  Shaking his head, he muttered, "What a weird dream," before standing up and heading out of the room he'd claimed in Miaka's house.  Walking to the kitchen, he saw Tamahome by the door and managed a sleepy "'ey, Tama," before he pulled on the doorknob and stepped in…

…only to be hit from above by a bucket of freezing water.  Tasuki blinked for a few seconds before it registered in his mind. "TAMAHOME!"

Said teenager was once again laughing his head off.  Tasuki was about to ask what was so funny, pull out his tessen and flame him, or both.  He decided on the latter and reached for his tessen, in its usual place on his back, when he felt long, silky hair brush against his fingers.  He froze, wondering what exactly was going on, and his mind came up with one explanation.

Wiping tears of laughter from his eyes, Tamahome said, "Looking good, Tasuki-chan."

She growled at him, pulled out her tessen, then thought better of it.  Dashing back into the kitchen with the bucket, she left Tamahome clueless for a moment… before she came back with it full of cold water, which she promptly threw on Tamahome. "Obake-chan!" Tasuki yelled, sticking her tongue out at the ogre.

And as they chased each other around in circles all over the house, Chichiri watched them from his spot at the kitchen table, smiling slightly as he sipped a cup of coffee.  It wasn't long before Hotohori wandered in, watching the two chase each other around.  He saw the monk and gave him a mildly confused look. "How did we get back here anyway?"

Chichiri's smile turned into a full-fledged grin. "Never doubt the power of the kesa, no da!"

~Owari~

A/N: Um… yeah. ^^; Reviews please?