After finally mustering the will, if not necessarily the means, to make the long return journey to Jusenkyo, Ranma, Ryoga, and Mousse set off from Nerima with high hearts at precisely noon on a warm, clear summer day.
Mousse couldn't stop grinning. "Finally! To be cured of my duck form!" Visions of happiness floated through his mind, mostly in the form of a (very blurry) blue-haired girl. "Shampoo! When I come back, we can be married at last!"
Ranma couldn't stop grinning. "Finally! To be a whole man again!" Visions of happiness floated through his mind, mostly involving him never growing breasts ever again.
Ryoga scowled, looking at the sky. "Feels like it's going to rain."
Ranma grinned at him. "C'mon, Ryoga, there's not a cloud in the sky!"
Ten minutes later, it started raining.
The sight of a duck, a pig, and a coarsely winsome redheaded girl swimming across the East China Sea would have made a nice capstone of absurdity for three absurd lives, but as it happened, the luxury cruise ship Mermaid's Dream was seeking waiters for its onboard four-star restaurant. Ranma was ideally suited to the job – female, when the situation required it, strikingly pretty, and possessed of a magnetic charisma that assured her excellent tips – and Mousse had long experience on his side. Ryoga was ideally unsuited to the job, given his propensity to get lost walking from one table to another and complete inability to finish a sentence in front of a female customer.
They disembarked at Shanghai, thanking their manager gleefully, who cursed them all roundly for walking out on their agreed three-month-minimum employment contract, and made their way slowly inland.
You hear about China's big cities a lot in the news, Beijing and Shanghai and the like, but you never hear anything about the ridiculously huge landmass to the west of the highly populated eastern lowlands. There's not a lot there that would interest the modern world, really – mostly just farm after farm after farm, and after so many hundreds of miles of that, there isn't a whole lot of anything.
After hundreds more miles of a whole lot of nothing in particular, there's the Qinghai province, endless mountain ranges, ruggedly beautiful and wild. And smack in the middle of nowhere, there it is.
You can only travel by train so far west, before civilization runs dry and all you've got are your own legs. So the unlikely trio covered the first leg of the journey west very rapidly, and the second, the ascent into the mountains, with agonizing slowness. Mousse knew the way, though, and week after week they followed his lead, until one clear, cold morning, they found it.
Ranma stared across the narrow valley, and said it first: "Jusenkyo..."
Ryoga grinned. "Sort of feels like coming home at last, eh, Ranma?"
The pools appeared to have returned to their normal state, after having been flooded during their last, ill-fated visit to this place. They were still and tranquil in the early morning; beautiful, really. Would have made a fantastic postcard.
The Guide ran out to them hastily, pulling his red-star Chairman Mao hat on as he called out something in Chinese.
Ranma, who could not speak a word of Chinese, looked on curiously as Ryoga, who spoke bits and pieces of Chinese, took on a vague expression of dismay, while Mousse, who was of course fluent, looked like he was trying very hard not to cry.
Not a good sign.
"Hi," the Guide greeted him cheerfully. "I remember you, sir. You and your father came here, didn't speak any Chinese at all, got yourselves cursed, then ran off before I could tell you how to cure yourselves."
"Eh...yeah, that's right," Ranma said, looking with some concern at the completely devastated forms of his two companions. The Guide's Japanese seemed to have improved remarkably since his last visit. Steeling himself, he asked: "So...bad news, huh?"
"Yes, some bad news, I'm afraid, sir," the Guide replied, with that odd heaviness in his voice that, combined with the sobbing, cursing figures of Ryoga and Mousse, somehow told Ranma that he probably wasn't getting cured today after all. "The springs only look like they're back to normal. They're still all mixed up from the battle that you conducted here." He seemed sort of offended. "Tourism has basically stopped, now. Not that many tourists ever came here, as we are located smack in the middle of East Bumblefuck, China, but our last visitor who came jumped in the Spring of Drowned Tiger and came out with a tiger's legs, a walrus's head, and the body of a giant earthworm. Talk about bad press." He sighed. "Well, I couldn't cure him and I can't cure you, so don't ask. There's a few different kinds of the original spring water we had set aside, and Spring of Drowned Man was, I am sorry to say, not among them."
Ranma thought about that for a minute, then joined in the sobbing and cursing.
The Guide did, as a sort of consolation prize, invite them into his hut for dinner. The three of them sat with their heads down on the table, completely drained.
"Life is so unfair," Ryoga moaned, going through alternating spasms of fury and despair. He clenched his fist. "Cursed to turn into a pig for the rest of my life! AAAAAUUUUGGGGHHH!" he snarled, shaking with hatred. "You guys don't have it half so bad as me! A duck, a girl? Feh! How gladly would I take either of your 'curses!'"
"You know, sirs," the Guide interjected, probably, more than anything else, attempting to diffuse Ryoga's tantrum, "we do have both Spring of Drowned Duck and Spring of Drowned Girl water in casks. A lot of it, actually. The Amazon tribe gets us to send them a cask of Drowned Girl water every year, for the fools from their village who used to train here and get cursed on accident. And the local villagers like to dunk ants and roaches and other things in the Spring of Drowned Duck, so we send them shipments every year. They say it tastes just like regular duck. This is going to be the last year they're going out, of course, but they're still here for now. We've got stores of pretty much anything that makes edible meat, actually. Spring of Drowned Cow, Water Buffalo, Pig, Dog, you name it..."
"Dog?" Ranma repeated, with some distaste.
Mousse considered that. "What else do you have set aside?"
The Guide shrugged. "Not much, sir, I'm sorry to say. Some government scientists wanted some samples of some of the personality-modifying springs, so I've got a couple of those. Spring of Drowned Asshole, which actually wasn't a very tragic story, because I understand he deserved it, Spring of Drowned Valley Girl, ditto, Spring of Drowned Japanese Tomboy..." He saw the three of them staring at him intently, then added, "The only male spring water we have is the Asshole water, in case you were wondering..."
Ryoga smiled at Ranma. "Hey, you're an asshole anyway. Perfect choice."
The Guide rooted through a side room for a moment, then pulled out a large thermos. "Hmm, well, if you want, this is all the Asshole water I've got left." He tossed the thermos to Ranma. "Help yourself. For what it's worth, I understand that this water takes your current level of Assholeness and multiplies it by a factor of approximately 10,000."
Ranma looked at it. "Well...it probably would be better than turning into a girl..."
Ryoga and Mousse exchanged looks. Ryoga considered the idea of having his personality warped to be even more disturbing, if that was possible, than changing into a pig.
"Oh! You know what," the Guide said, pulling out another thermos. "I forgot all about this. I had this life-sized Darth Vader poster, sunk into one of the pools a couple of years back. Very tragic story. One of our honored guests fall into the pool last year, became convinced he was Darth Vader and tried to destroy me." He tossed the thermos to Mousse, who was looking at it with mixture of shock and fear.
"Spring of Drowned...Life-Size Darth Vader Poster?" Mousse murmured, awed. "How would that even work?"
The Guide shrugged. "No idea, sir. So, feel free to use any of the water you want. If you'd like to change your curse, this is probably going to be your last chance to do it."
They were about ten miles from Jusenkyo when it started raining. "Shit," said a pretty girl with a bandanna in her hair.
"I find your foul language disturbing," rumbled James Earl Jones's voice. Darth Mousse clenched his fist and glowered malevolently at the girl. "Do not make me destroy you, princess."
"Man, fuck this fucking stupid ass shit," whined some asshole. "Goddammit. I gotta walk all the way back to fucking Japan with you two fucking idiots. All fucking raining and shit. Goddammit!"
RANDOM FANDOM is proud to present:
THE ADVENTURES OF LOST GIRL, DARTH MOUSSE, AND SOME ASSHOLE
(a Ranma 1/2 fanfic)
Part 1: "It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time"
They did, at some length, eventually make it back to Nerima. The three of them had intended to go to Ucchan's to celebrate their return and moderately-less-miserable situations with some (hopefully free) okonomiyaki, but, unfortunately, as they strode down a street less than a block away from Ukyou's shop, it began to rain.
This worked against them in several ways. First and foremost, however, was that Ranma the Asshole was always actively working against whatever goal they had been seeking, and Darth Mousse was primarily interested in converting people to the Dark Side, which left Ryoga to lead the trio around, and, sadly, being female did not improve Ryoga's sense of direction.
So, within short order, they got lost. Shampoo, bravely armed with only an umbrella, found them.
"Ranma!" she greeted him happily. "I look all over for you! Where you been for past eight months?"
"Shampoo-" Ryoga tried to interject, weakly, knowing her attempt avert catastrophe would be in vain.
"Hey, what's up, hot stuff," Ranma the Asshole drawled, sidling up to Shampoo with a sleazy grin. "What do you say we ditch these two losers and head on back to my place..."
"It is you who I have searched for all this time," Darth Mousse declared, his face a mask of evil fury. He thrust a finger in her direction. "Shampoo! The time has come for you to embrace the Dark Side of the Force!"
"Ignore them," Ryoga suggested helpfully. Everyone ignored her, instead. "They're, uh, drunk. As usual."
"Ranma!" Shampoo gushed. "You want be with Shampoo, yes, is true?"
Ranma smirked as he took a long, long look at Shampoo's entire body. It was one of those ridiculously blatant stare-at-you-up-and-down-and-up-and-down looks that only a true asshole would dare attempt. Shampoo, of course, was completely thrilled by it. "Ohhh yeah," Ranma said, grinning toothily.
Darth Mousse scowled at them. "Do not make me destroy you, you foolish asshole," he grated evilly, clenching his fists. "Remove yourself from the woman. This one is mine."
Ranma just laughed. Mousse removed a gatling gun from his robes. "I'll mow you down like you were not even there," he rumbled. Evilly.
Ryoga sighed, walked up behind the posturing Darth Mousse and kicked him under a nearby overhang, where his head slammed into a wall, promptly knocking him out, then threw an open thermos of hot water after him.
Ranma glowered at her. "Stay the fuck away from me, lost girl! I'm fixin' to get some, and you better not fuckin' interfere-" Another open thermos hit him in the head, drenching him with scalding water. "Yaaaah!" he looked down at himself in horror, and shuddered away from Shampoo's adoring gaze. "I-I-I..."
And then the rain stopped.
Ranma fled in terror, with Shampoo hot on his heels.
Ryoga, now bereft of any hot water to change herself back, scooped up the unconscious Mousse and stomped off in search of the elusive Ucchan's.
Ukyou looked up. A customer walked in, which was unusual in itself for the dead period between lunch and dinner. Also unusual was that the customer had Mousse's unconscious form draped unceremoniously over her shoulder. She dumped him into one of the booths. He sprawled, half off of the seat, drooling on himself.
Well, that certainly was not going to be good for business.
The girl marched up to her and grinned. "Hello Ukyou!"
"Um...hi," she greeted the customer, uncertainly.
"It's me, Ryoga!" the girl announced.
Ukyou stared. "You're...wait...what?" Does...not...compute...
"Ryoga!" the girl affirmed cheerfully. She was obviously getting a kick out of this. "Yeah, I'm a girl now."
They sat down, and Ryoga told the story, munching on some (hopefully free) okonomiyaki. Ukyou poured hot water on her head and watched with great interest as Ryoga's gender changed. When Ryoga was finished explaining, Ukyou nodded sadly.
"So you guys are not cured," she said, sighing. "I'm sorry."
Ryoga shrugged. "Actually, I'm ok with it. Ranma was always whining about his misery, but...you know compared to being a pig, I have to admit, turning into a girl is not that bad."
"You turned into a pig before?" Ukyou asked curiously. Two couples walked into the restaurant, but immediately left again when they saw Mousse's unconscious figure, his head dangling off the edge of the bench.
"Eh...yes." Ryoga sweated. "A pig. But! No longer." He coughed nervously. "Anyway, so we decided beforehand that we would take samples of some of the different spring waters that the Guide had, in case we decided that we didn't like our current curses."
Ukyou raised an eyebrow. "So you're carrying cursed water around in that backpack?"
"Yes. Not that much, though. Only about ten milliliters is required to curse you, according to the Guide."
She looked at his backpack, her curiosity piqued. "So...what water did you bring back?"
"Oh, let's see here..." He began to rummage through his oversized travel backpack. "There weren't too many that seemed like they might be useful, really. Mostly farm animals. Here's Spring of Drowned Eagle. Might be interesting. Drowned Water Buffalo. Not too promising. Um, here's Drowned Valley Girl, I don't know why we even packed that." He rummaged around some more. "I thought we packed the three we used on ourselves, but I can't seem to find them..." He picked one vial out from the bottom of his pack and set it on the counter. "Let's see, this is the one that didn't have a label, the Guide said he thought it was Spring of Drowned Gangsta."
"Drowned Valley Girl? Drowned Gangsta?" Ukyou repeated. "How can these possibly be real?"
Before Ryoga could respond, Ranma jogged in rapidly, sat down, and grinned at Ukyou. "Hi Ucchan!" He kept on grinning, obviously expecting free food to materialize in front of him.
"So, managed to lose her, Ranma?" Ryoga asked, mildly.
"Yeah, finally," Ranma responded, shuddering. "I'm not sure what I said to her while I was an asshole...but...man. I'm startin' to really question this whole asshole thing." He shot a sideways look at Mousse's prone form. "I think we really ought to do something about Darth Mousse there, too. He's really startin' t'get on my nerves."
Ukyou picked up the vial of Drowned Gangsta water at peered through it. "Well, it sounds like you've got quite a selection here."
"Yeah, you want to try something different, Ranma?" Ryoga asked him, rooting through his pack, which appeared to be filled almost exclusively with empty hot-water thermoses. "You could try Drowned Ox. Or Drowned Boar. Or Drowned Zealot. Not sure what that one is. Guide said it wouldn't be what we expected, whatever that means. Or..." He continued to root around.
Ranma shook his head. "Nah, I'm still thinkin' about it. We oughtta do Mousse right now, though, while he's knocked out..."
Ryoga nodded. "Yeah."
Ukyou glared at them. "You guys! You can't make that kind of a decision for him!"
Ranma looked at her solemnly. "Ukyou...if you had been through the hell we've been through with this guy for the past six months, you would understand." He began to look through Ryoga's pack. "Let's see here..."
Mousse appeared behind him. "Ukyou...if you would be so kind, could I have a glass of water?"
Ukyou handed him one, which he promptly dumped on himself.
"You see what I mean?" Ranma hissed.
Ryoga nodded, grinding his teeth together. "He likes being Darth Mousse. He tries to be Darth Mousse all the time."
Darth Mousse sat down at the counter and stared at Ukyou malevolently. "Bring me a beer," he thundered. "IMMEDIATELY!"
She sighed. "Mousse, you're sixteen. You know I can't serve you beer."
Mousse stood up, in a black fury. "DO NOT TRIFLE WITH ME, WOMAN. BRING ME A BEER IMMEDIATELY OR I WILL BE FORCED TO DESTROY YOU."
"Okay, I'm starting to see your point, Ranma," Ukyou conceded, upending a cup of hot water on Mousse's head.
"No!" Mousse wailed. "Force...power...gone...!"
"Shaddap," Ranma growled, punching him roughly. He crashed into Ryoga, who flailed his arms wildly to keep his balance. One of his hands smacked Drowned Gangsta water cleanly off the counter. The vial hit Ukyou in the forehead and shattered.
The three of them stared in horror. "Oh man...Ryoga, you idiot, you just cursed Ucchan!" Ranma shouted, jumping out of his seat and searching through Ryoga's pack. "Help me find the Drowned Girl water!"
"It...it wasn't my fault!" Ryoga protested, putting his arms up in front of him. "This idiot bumped into me! I-"
"Man..." said a voice that was recognizably Ukyou's, yet completely different, "y'all need to quit arguin' and shit befo' I bust some caps up in here!"
Ryoga and Mousse just stared at her.
"Ryoga! Ryoga!" Ranma was sounding more and more alarmed. "I'm not seeing the Drowned Girl water! Where is it, Ryoga?" He grabbed hold of Ryoga's collar. "You did remember to pack it, didn't you, Ryoga?"
"What in the hell kinda gay fuckin' clothes am I wearin' here, dogg?" Ukyou demanded of nobody in particular. "Purple tights and a big-ass spatula? Oh, hell naw!"
Mousse hurriedly poured a cup of hot water on her head.
Ukyou swayed a bit, obviously unnerved. "Oh, man...that was weird..."
Ranma looked stricken. "Ryoga...the Drowned Girl water isn't here."
Ryoga growled at him. "How is that my fault? You said you put the three waters we got cursed with in the pack!"
"No, I didn't, you did!"
Ukyou sighed, irritated. "Okay, obviously neither of you did. So...what do I do now?"
Ranma and Ryoga exchanged a look. "Well...ah..." Ranma swallowed nervously.
She favored him with a level stare. "You had better not be telling me that I will turn into a 'gangsta' for the rest of my life when splashed with cold water because you idiots forgot to pack the Drowned Girl water."
"That is precisely what they're telling you," Mousse said clinically. Ukyou slammed him into the wall with her big-ass spatula.
"No no! No no!" Ranma said quickly, eyeing the spatula nervously. Mousse peeled himself slowly off the wall. "Look! We've got this great selection of curses you can choose from, Ucchan!"
Ryoga nodded. "Yes, yes! Look, you could be a...an ox! Or a boar! Or an eagle! Or a...zealot!"
Ranma looked at the vial quizzically. "What is a zealot, anyway?"
Ukyou growled and snatched the vial from his hands. "A zealot is someone who's really passionate about something. That doesn't sound that bad." She thought for a moment, then uncorked the vial and empted it on herself.
For a second nothing happened.
"Uh...Ukyou, do you feel any differ..." Ranma began, as Ukyou suddenly transformed into a nine-foot-tall vaguely humanoid monster with glowing gold eyes, bluish-green-gold skin, and no nose or mouth whatsoever. She was wearing a futuristic suit of faintly glowing armor.
"MY LIFE FOR AIUR!" Ukyou roared, two-foot-long glowing blades extending from the gauntlets of her armor. Since she had no mouth, it was not clear exactly where her voice was emanating from, but they noticed that her eyes seemed to glow more when she spoke.
Ranma stared. "Wha...what in the world..."
Ukyou shook her head, confused, and stared down at herself. "Wow...sorry, guys." The nine-foot-tall alien monster looked faintly ridiculous as it adopted an embarrassed posture. The glowing blades disappeared. "I just got the weirdest urge to yell that all of a sudden."
Three customers walked in, stopped, and stared.
"Welcome to Ucchan's!" Ukyou sort of bellowed. "Please, sit anywhere you like!"
The customers fled in terror.
Akane wasn't exactly happy that Ranma had opted to visit Ucchan's before returning to the Tendo household, but her curiosity overwhelmed her anger.
"So," she said, faintly irritated, when Ranma returned later that evening, "how have the last eight months been for you, Ranma?"
Ranma told her.
Akane couldn't help but laugh. "So you basically turn into yourself when splashed with cold water, huh?" Ranma glared at her. "Why were you guys gone for so long, anyway? I was really worried about you! You should have let me come!"
"Well, you know, the trip there didn't take all that long. Couple of months. But on the way back, it would rain sometimes, and we wouldn't have any water with us, so me and Mousse would sort of lose it and Ryoga would have to lead the three of us. And with his sense of direction..."
"My sense of direction," Ryoga said calmly, sitting down next to Ranma, "wouldn't have been a problem if you and Mousse did not insist on having such idiotic curses."
Akane looked at him strangely. "Say, Ryoga, that's something I've been meaning to ask you... I don't understand why you went with Ranma and Mousse to Jusenkyo! Ranma just told me that you chose to be cursed with the Spring of Drowned Girl..."
Ranma grinned at him. "Yeah, you pig, certainly baffled me, too. Care to explain?"
Ryoga looked from Ranma to Akane nervously. "I...I...I had a...I had to..." He licked his lips, then his arm started to shake in anger. "Ranma..." he growled, his nervousness turning to fury. "You..."
"Ryoga, did you..." Akane continued to stare at him. "Don't tell me you..."
Ryoga closed his eyes in anguish. No! No! She couldn't have found out! Not now, not when he was finally able to move on with his life!
"...just wanted to be a girl?" she finshed.
Ryoga blinked. "I...uh..." He thought about that for a second. If anything, this was an even more disastrous assumption for her to make! Must...think of...excuse...!
Ukyou slipped in next to Ranma, to Akane's obvious annoyance. "No, you said you had a curse before, didn't you, Ryoga?"
Akane raised her eyebrows. "Really, Ryoga? I didn't know you were cursed before. What did you turn into?"
"I...I..." Ryoga stammered in agony, as his world shattered around him. Suddenly a light dawned in his eyes. "I turned into an asshole!"
Ranma put his hand over his eyes and groaned. Ukyou looked at him strangely, but refrained from commenting on this obvious lie.
"Yes, an asshole! Just like Ranma does now!" He laughed nervously. "Because...and...and that's why I was always trying to fight Ranma before! Because I was in asshole form! Look how well me and Ranma get along now that I'm normal again!"
Ranma stared at him flatly. "Oh yeah, we're regular pals, now that Ryoga is cured of his horrible curse."
Akane giggled. "So, you picked up Ryoga's curse, and Ryoga picked up yours? What does your girl side look like, Ryoga?"
Ranma threw a cup of water at him. "Like that."
"Ranma..." Ryoga growled at him in a suddenly higher-pitched voice. She threw her own cup of water at Ranma. "Why are you such an asshole?"
Akane nodded. "I see...you actually look a lot like Ranma used to."
"Feh!" Ryoga snorted, glaring at Ranma. "I'm vastly cuter."
Ranma chuckled. "You would be proud of that, wouldn't you, you cross-dressing fuck," he mocked, smirking. "I should fucking beat your candy ass down right now."
Ryoga scowled at him. "Don't tempt me, Ranma."
Ukyou sighed. "Man, you guys were not kidding about the asshole thing."
Ranma stood up, still chuckling. "Bring it on, bitch," he sneered, falling into a fighting stance.
"Feh." Ryoga faced him, a haugthy expression on her face. She dropped her pack to the ground. "Your funeral."
"You guys..." Akane began to protest.
Ranma vanished, and Ryoga felt a series of unbelievably powerful punches connect all up and down her back. She groaned, stumbled forward, then whipped around, confused, looking for Ranma. He was standing about six feet behind her, smirking.
Ryoga growled, "What on Earth..."
Akane gasped. "The White Snake Venom Reliable Fist! The technique that Genma and Ranma said was so lethal that it had to be sealed up forever and forgotten! I can't believe..." She pointed an accusatory finger at Ranma's snickering form. "I can't believe you would use that against Ryoga! What an asshole!"
Ranma laughed and made an obscene gesture. Once again he vanished, and slammed a punishing volley of punches into Ryoga's unprotected back. She collapsed to the ground, breathing hard.
She grunted in pain, pulling herself to her knees. I can't lose to Ranma like this! she thought, clenching her fists. Akane is right there, watching us, I can't lose to Ranma in front of Akane...! She stared at Ranma, waited for him to assume the same stance again...
Her fighting spirit burned in her chest, and she crossed her arms before her. She roared. Ranma vanished.
The kinetic blast took the invisible Ranma squarely in the chest and sent him soaring backward, through a pitcher of ice-cold water, which thoroughly drenched Akane and Ukyou. He did a half-somersault in midair and slammed head-first into the wall, crashed to the ground, then immediately bounced back to his feet and charged at Ryoga, spewing obscenities.
"Stop fighting!" Akane shouted, pushing her soaked hair back from her forehead. "Ranma! Ryoga! What is wrong with you two?"
"I LONG FOR COMBAT!" Ukyou the Zealot declared, glowing psi blades descending with a soft hum from her gauntlets.
Akane stared. "U...Ukyou? What...?"
The nine-foot-tall armored monster leapt straight at Ryoga, moving so fast that she didn't even have time to think before she was thoroughly pummeled by her psi blades. Ukyou's eerily glowing eyes burned with battle-lust as she picked up the weakly resisting human before her and threw her across the yard like a rag doll. She landed on the table in front of Akane, and spun to the side just quickly enough to avoid a crushing axe kick from Ranma.
"Akane?" Ryoga said calmly, facing the asshole and the zealot from hell, a thin trickle of blood running from her mouth. Akane looked like she was sort of in shock. "Akane!"
Akane looked at her with a somewhat dazed expression.
"Reach into my pack. There's a few thermoses in there filled with hot water. Hand me one."
Ukyou the Zealot stared at Ryoga for a moment, her eyes burning with an implacable fury, then leapt at her.
Ranma grinned and crossed his arms in front of his chest. The air shimmered in front of him. "MOKO TAKABISHA!"
He was aiming for Akane's arm, which was holding Ryoga's pack, but he had just the wrong timing, so the kinetic blast crashed into Ukyou as she flew through the air, sending her crashing into Ryoga, sending them both crashing into Akane. All three of them went down in a shouting pile of flailing limbs.
Ukyou pulled herself up, first. She was still in zealot form, but seemed to have regained her senses. "Ran-chan..." Her eyes glowed with anger. "You just attacked me, Ran-chan." She stared at him for a moment, then brandished her psi blades. "I'm going to have to kill you now, FOR ADUN-"
Ryoga pulled herself up, second, and emptied a thermos on Ukyou's head.
Akane got up last, and giggled. "Like, ohmygawd!" she exclaimed to no one in particular, flipping her hair ditzily. "Like, what's going on?"
Ukyou ran a hand through her hair. "Ryoga...tell me again...why did you guys think it would be a good idea to bring cursed water back from China?"
Ryoga chuckled nervously. "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time..."
Ranma smiled at them maliciously, then attacked.
By the time they had subdued and de-assholized Ranma, which took the better part of two hours, since Ranma could be quite elusive when he wanted to be, the three of them sat exhausted in the Tendo yard.
"Okay," Ryoga grumbled, looking sourly at Ranma. "We. Are. Changing. Your. Curse. I don't care what you think. There's no way I'm putting up with Asshole Ranma any more."
Ukyou nodded. "I agree, Ran-chan. There's just no way. Anything would be better than the Asshole. I'd prefer you turned into a hydralisk that was about to feast on the remains of my dead comrades than the Asshole."
Ryoga gave her a sideways glance. "What...?"
"But what other curse am I supposed to use?" Ranma protested.
"Any other curse," Ryoga said emphatically.
"Also," Ukyou noted, sighing, "Akane got cursed, and is now missing."
Ryoga looked around in alarm. "WHAT?" He silently cursed himself. "How could I not have noticed that Akane was gone? Where did she go?"
"She said she was, like, totally going shopping, like, fer shure," Ukyou told him flatly.
Ranma leapt to his feet. "We have to go find her!"
And then it started raining.