Girl Days

A Ranma 1/2 fanfiction

by Robert Haynie

( I lay no claim to the characters created by Ms. Takahashi, nor
to the concept of a Chinese Amazon. Chinese VIKINGS, however, are
mine, all mine! Not that I particularly WANT them...)

Part Seventeen : The unfortunate lack of a Green Midget Cafe.

####

Look you, gentle reader, upon Nerima. See how peaceful it looks,
how serene, how tranquil.

Since this is the only place on earth that the Grateful Dead had
refused to play because "the scene there is just way TOO freaky,
man", one may be forgiven for looking upon this as a Bad Sign. In
fact, as readers of these and similar chronicles know, one would have
to be a complete and total idiot to not recognize this as a bad sign.

Thus, it was with a feeling that this was going to be a prefect
day, without any difficulties or complications, that Tatewaki Kuno
stepped out to take a little walk. Perhaps he would avail himself of
the surprisingly talented Ms. Kuonji's culinary abilities for a light
repast-- Okonomiyaki was, perhaps, a peasant foodstuff, but she was
capable of creating a surprising elegance, despite her oftentimes
peculiar mode of dress. Or the Nekohanten, if one cared, did create
excellent fare in the Chinese fashion, not unpleasant to the palate
at all and of reasonable price. And, although he held no real
attraction to the Chinese girl there, she was fair to look upon from
time to time.

More importantly, his rather demented sister had been playing
with her chemistry set in the kitchen again, and although he had
grown to tolerate additives that would have laid a lesser man waste,
he didn't always LIKE them.

In other words, Kuno was the aforesaid complete and total idiot.
However, that did not mean he was stupid. In Nerima, the two were
not necessarily interchangeable.

As we shall see.

####

The Tendo residence was on the face of it a rather elegant house,
really, by urban Japanese standards. Two stories, a full furo, guest
rooms and a complete dojo.

It was also a perfect ordinary house-- on the face of it.

Behind that face, so carefully presented to the world-- or
rather, the world that did not encompass the neighbors, who knew DAMN
well that things were otherwise-- was a recurring chain of strange
incidents that would have made a Stephen King give up on the
supernatural stuff and start writing romance novels. Then he would
have given up on those. It was that kind of house.

It mostly fed on a redheaded girl in a blue dress giving her
father fits.

Well, it was actually the dress giving the father fits. But the
girl wasn't helping.

"You... you can't go out in THAT!"

"Pops, a dress like this is MEANT for going out in," Ranma
sighed. Nearby, unnoticed, Akane and Nabiki were doing their level
best not to explode in hysterics. Nabiki especially felt she had a
right to enjoy this scene, since when she had lost a bet to Ranma
(concerning the possibility of a fight one Casual Day at Furinkan--
and Happosai was going to pay for that. Financially as well as
figuratively. Losing THAT much cash to RANMA. It still galled.),
she had effectively paid for the garment in question.

"But... It's practically sprayed on! It's almost indecent! It
makes you look like a girl!"

"No, it makes me look like a babe. I figure if I have another
month of this, I'll go in for some advanced training."

"Like what?"

"Oh, I dunno. Maybe I'll get Ryoga to take me out again. We had
a pretty good time last time before the fight broke out. Who knows,
maybe we'll hit it off."

"Gack."

"I wonder if Ryoga is any good at kissing?"

"Urgle."

"Pumps. This outfit demands pumps. The black ones with the
extra heel."

"Glarg."

"Think I'll see what Ryoga-kun is doing..." Ranma walked off,
hips swaying just so, tossing her head in a definitely feminine
manner, and trying desparately not to explode from hysterics herself.

Meanwhile, Akane and Nabiki were stuffing opposite ends of the
sleeves of a handy gi into their mouths to smother their own
explosion of imminent laughter.

####

The sight of Ranma and Ryoga playing Shogi was not a common one
in the Tendo household. But they had been under a sort of truce for
a while, and neither ever got much of a chance to play since the
Elder Saotome and the Elder Tendo (otherwise known by their codenames
Panda-man and Waterworks) usually monopolized the table. But
Panda-man had had to go have a lie-down, and Waterworks was writing
an angry rebuttal to that lunatic that kept writing those stupid
letters to the Shimbun suggesting that Japan become an American
state. So, being at a loose end, the two rivals were playing a game
of intellect.

Being Ranma and Ryoga, the game was not only surprisingly
skillful, it was without the usual blatant cheating and was being
played with an intensity usually only found in a brutal martial arts
deathmatch or an episode of "Iron Chef".

"I have you now, Ranma. It's an unbeatable trap. A Three
Pronged attack! There's no way out for you this time!" Ryoga began
to laugh, almost maniacally. FINALLY, he had defeated--

Click.

"I win."

Silence.

"You... how did you... ARRRGH!"

"If you Shi Shi Hokodan the shogi table, Pops and Tendo-san are
gonna be upset." Ranma smiled cutely.

"I'd break your nose if it wasn't for not wanting to pay for
dry-cleaning that dress." Ryoga fumed. How had he not seen that
move?

"Anyhow, good game. Thanks for the match. I never get to play
against Pops or Tendo-san, you know."

"Why is that?"

"I won't let them cheat."

"Oh. So, you manage to get a hold of Mousse yet? That girl
seemed, well, unsafe."

"I've tried. But Cologne says that he already knows. Then he
took off for who knows where, babbling something about a brilliant
plan."

"That sounds... unpleasant."

Ranma nodded. "You said it."

####

Mousse DID have a brilliant plan.

This plan was to hide in plain sight.

It required a small sacrifice of his dignity for a short period
of time, but when you regularly turned into a duck, such small
sacrifices weren't that hard to make.

Unfortunately, it also required the assistance on the one person
he disliked most in the world (with the possible exception of a
certain dried up old mummy)-- Ranma Saotome.

But to avoid Hilda the Chinese Viking-- anything was acceptable.
That girl SCARED him.

Now, most men would have been downright elated to have the
affections of such a piece of feminine pulchritude as Hilda. The
girl was, as it were, a complete and 100% super babe. But Mousse had
his heart set on Shampoo and only Shampoo, and could love no other
woman. Besides, she was a Viking.

And Viking women were... scary.

Had he had a clearer view of reality, he would have realized that
the reason Viking women were scary was because they tended to be very
much like Amazon women-- i.e. attractive, obsessive, and at times
insanely violent-- but being an Amazon himself, he didn't see it that
way.

It's a cultural thing.

But the one thing he was certain about is that this plan would
hide him so perfectly from Hilda that she'd never find him. Never in
a million years.

You could almost hear the panting of ominous thunder trying to
catch up and wondering how in hell it had missed it's cue.

####

Tatewaki Kuno walked along, enjoying the pleasant breeze and
whistling.

####

Hilda approached the Tendo Dojo by a rather erratic vector. One
fully worthy of Ryoga Hibiki, in fact. This was not due to a
malfunctioning sense of direction (as in Ryoga's case), but from a
malfunctioning sense of pride. Vikings found their own way. It was
Tradition.

Tradition that most Vikings pretty well considered as obsolete as
a bronze sword.

Unlike the Amazons, who had held to their traditions for well
over three thousand years (to the general annoyance of most) the
Vikings had adapted over time. The longboat they had arrived in had
oars and sails, true, but they were mostly ceremonial. It was the
aluminum-titanium hull and the powerful diesel engine combined with
the state of the art LORAN and GPS system that really made things
work. They may have still lived in the longhouses of old, but they
were nowadays insulated, electric, and had a nice little satellite TV
dish and usually an internet connection.

Also, the Vikings had generally better relations with their
neighbors. Looting and pillaging had become a thing of the past,
when they had discovered that (a) fishing was easier, (b) that
actions of that sort tended to piss off people like the Musk, the
Phoenix Mountain folk, and of course the Amazons, and (c) it was just
too damn much work anyway. The result was cordial relations with
most of the rather strange cultures of the forgotten parts of China,
and at least toleration from the Amazons... who had never really
forgiven Erik the Terribly Clever for his downright dirty trick of
sneaking in a "No Forced Marriages Just Because We Can Fight Better
Than You Sometimes, And By The Way, Drop That Kiss Of Death Crap
While We're At It" clause into a formal peace treaty.

The Amazons had retaliated by passing a law that no Amazon COULD
marry a Viking, under penalty of banishment. To the irritation of
the Elders, that was just fine with the Vikings, whose males had
little interest in getting hitched with overly bossy females, and
whose females felt that the Amazon males generally lacked spirit.
History records that the reaction of the Amazon Council of Elders to
the Viking's response of sending then a small chest of gold, a bale
of fine Viking linen, and a considerable amount of herring as a thank
you gift was, well... not those of happy Elders.

And for damn near fifteen hundred years it had continued in that
vein. The Amazons would boast, threaten, insult, and generally scorn
the Vikings in every way they could short of actual violence, and the
Vikings would react with amusement, indifference, or the occasional
"Hey, that's pretty nice of you!" They did this not because it was
amusing, indifferent, or nice, but because it was so damn much FUN to
annoy the Amazons. Amazons tended to take things like that
seriously, but Vikings preferred to laugh, spar, and drink lots of
mead.

(Incidentally, although fish was the main export of the Vikings,
their secondary one was mead-- a sort of wine-like beverage made from
fermented and spiced honey. The Phoenix Mountain folk were fairly
fond of it, the Musk just plain adored the stuff-- especially those
of ursine descent-- and the Amazons had it under embargo.)

One can see, therefore, that Hilda was an aberration. Not only
had she become infatuated with a Amazon male (Possibly because Mousse
had much more spine than the usual example) but she tended to take
things VERY seriously, thought tradition was important, didn't drink
(much-- at least not much by Viking standards), and didn't like fish.
By Viking terms, she was almost perverse.

But if you combined that with the other Viking female traits of
violence, obsession, and attractiveness, you'd rapidly realize that
Hilda was almost exactly like Shampoo-- except that she was taller,
blonde, wearing less, and didn't try to use magical herbs or obscure
charms in her quest to gain Mousse's love.

It would, after all, be easier to hit him over the head and carry
him off to a nice desert island and bed him until he wilted. She
knew she couldn't get him to marry her, but that would do nicely.

The honored readers will, of course, realize that this would
cause Mousse to react to Hilda much as Ranma did to Shampoo-- with
the exception that Ranma wouldn't mind being friends with the Amazon
girl, where Mousse had no desire whatsoever to be on the same island
with Hilda, and in fact wasn't happy about being on the same planet.

Things like that make men take desperate measures.

And, actually, in it's own way, it WAS a brilliant plan.

But... this WAS Nerima.

####

Tatewaki Kuno purchased a cherry ice from a sidewalk vendor and
casually began to consume the confection. It wasn't what he would
normally do, true, but he was feeling unusually blithe and peaceful
this fine day, and besides, who could gainsay the Blue Thunder the
occasional sweet?

####

Ukyo could not easily get the Vikings out of her mind. Something
like that was... well, the sort of thing that one could not get out
of one's mind easily.

"Konatsu-chan, we're closing early today. And... get your gear.
I have a feeling that something's going to happen, and I just bet
that it'll happen at--"

"The Tendo residence?" finished the crossdressing ninja.
"Ukyo-sama, I wouldn't doubt it."

Ukyo nodded. "I saw something very... strange today. VERY
strange."

"As you have taught me, Ukyo-sama, this IS Nerima."

"Strange for here."

Konatsu's eyes lit up. FINALLY he would get to wear the new
ninja outfit that Ukyo-sama had bought for his birthday... the one
with the delicate and perfectly feminine but still concealing lace
trim on the hood. "I'll get my gear."

####

Shampoo looked at the table in the Nekohanten and sighed. Where
WAS the stupid Duck-boy? Where was Great-grandmother? And where did
this herring come from?

Oh, well, she could always visit Ranma.

####

Hikaru Gosunkugi was at the moment having a thrilling, action
packed, mind-bending adventure on a south sea island with Lara Croft,
Indiana Jones the third, Rally Vincent, Michael "Air" Jordan, and
Lassie. It was epic in scale, filled with excitement, romance,
danger, and all the other things that make a perfect summer
blockbuster film.

Well, ACTUALLY, he was in his room trying to get past level one
of Spyro the Dragon. But he WISHED that he was on a thrilling,
action packed, mind-bending adventure on a south sea island with Lara
Croft, Indiana Jones the third, Rally Vincent, Michael "Air" Jordan,
and Lassie. At any rate, he's not in this story, and I don't know
why I even BOTHERED mentioning him.

Sorry about that.

####

Kodachi, on the other hand, having had an unfortunate accident
while working in her garden (Never get TOO close to the roses with
the greenish-pink streaks) THOUGHT she was on a thrilling, action
packed, mind-bending adventure on a south sea island with Lara Croft,
Indiana Jones the third, Rally Vincent, Michael "Air' Jordan, and
Lassie.

So, she's not in this story either. But she's having a MUCH
better time of not being in the story than Gosunkugi.

####

Ryoga Hibiki IS in this story, and in a few minutes he's going to
wish to HELL he wasn't. But then, that's par for the course, isn't
it?

####

As Mousse approached the Tendo household, he had-- for a fleeting
moment-- second thoughts about his plan. Then he remembered Hilda.
Second thoughts were banished.

####

Akane glared at the bowl. The bowl refused to glare back, but
that was because it was an inanimate object without eyes.

What was IN the bowl didn't have eyes either, but it did seem to
have a slightly glaring attitude to it. At least, it was hissing.

Shrimp and rice soup, Akane was certain, was not supposed to
hiss.

Nodoka stared at the substance, in mixed horror and wonder. She
had carefully monitored every step of Akane's preparation of the
recipe. She had made certain that no extraneous ingredient had been
added. She had been very careful to make sure that the cooking
methods had been adhered to with utmost precision. At least, she
thought she had... but she had had to turn her back once or twice...

Perhaps she had rushed the cooking lesson a bit. Akane had only
recently mastered rice, after all. The soup was a rather complex
dish...

"This... isn't exactly right, is it, Auntie?"

"Ah... I'm afraid not, Akane-chan. But... well. You can always
taste it?"

"ME?"

"Well, if you taste it, and it's... not quite right, then that
way you will know that Ranma won't care for it, and she won't be...
unhappy with it."

"In other words, she won't tell me it's a toxic mess. But... why
should I taste it? You don't taste your cooking, after all--"

"Of course I do. Every good cook tastes her cooking as she goes
along."

Akane blinked. "They... they do?"

"Why, yes. I do, Kasumi does, Ranma does, even Genma does-- and
he is a fair campfire cook, you know."

Akane shrugged. Well, she'd taste it. And then when she
presented it to Ranma, she'd know it was good, and the trainee girl
would have no option to admit it. And--

As she put the spoon in her mouth, her eyes widened. And
widened. And widened.

And...

####

Ryoga and Ranma looked up as Akane fled the kitchen and shot
towards the bathroom as though the hounds of hell were on her heels.

"What was that?" wondered Ryoga.

"No idea. Your move, Ryoga."

They went back to the second game.

####

Cologne proceeded towards the Tendo household with a package.

(I do hope Ranma likes it,) she mused. (She's ready for it at
any rate, and I think she's earned it. Such a joy to teach. Even if
I can't get her to marry Shampoo, I'll probably still teach her just
because it's so rewarding. And that Japanese Amazon idea seems
better all the time.)

Cologne chuckled at the concept of Ranma as Matriarch. Then
again, in the paternalistic Japanese society, that could work.

She hefted the bundle and carried on.

####

Mousse arrived. Carefully he peered about, but did not see
Ranma.

Then he put his glasses on and peered again. Ah, THERE she was.

"Saotome, I... I need your assistance."

Ranma looked up from the shogi table and blinked. "You need...
that's a new one."

"This is difficult enough without your jests, Saotome. I need to
borrow some of your clothing."

"What, my Chinese gear? Well, I'm not wearing it for another
month, so I guess I can lend you a tang or two..."

"No, your other clothing."

Ranma scratched her head. "Well... I don't often wear that
yellow shirt and red tie anymore either, heck, you can probably keep
it--"

"No, your... OTHER other clothing."

Pause.

"You wanna borrow some of my... girl stuff?"

Ryoga forgot all about the game in shock.

"Well, I certainly can't borrow any of Shampoo's. I don't want
her to find out about my plan."

Ranma peered at Mousse closely. And then, slowly shook her head.

"Won't work."

"And how do you know it won't work?"

"Hey, it never worked for Tsubasa. Dressing like a girl has yet
to get him a date with any girl he's tried it with-- Ukyo isn't the
only one, just his fave. No WAY is crossdressing going to get
Shampoo to notice--"

"That's NOT my plan, and that's NOT why I need them!"

"Well, what IS it, and why?"

Mousse began to explain.

####

Kasumi Tendo did not make messes. She cleaned them up.
Frequently.

Many people have wondered why Kasumi never got irritated at the
constant housework she was subjected to. They wondered why she never
blew her stack. They wondered a lot of things about her ability to
keep her calm while all about her were becoming a pack of howling
lunatics bent on world destruction-- or a close facsimile thereof.

They didn't understand that to Kasumi, housework was a kata.

The purpose of a kata is twofold-- first to practice and perfect
the Art, and second to act as a focus for meditation and control.
For Kasumi, her Art was domestic rather than martial, but it was an
Art just the same, and one she was incredibly good at. If they gave
rankings for housework, Kasumi would have been fifth or sixth dan
easily.

When she was upset or irritated, she would take hold of a broom
or bring out a pot and in a few moments the negative feelings would
be washed away by the rituals of her Art.

A side effect of this was that her focus in her chosen Art was so
complete, so total, that she was capable of accepting damn near
anything in the name of the harmony of the house. Ranma's a girl for
a while? Then she's a girl. Undress in front of Ranma? Why not--
it's just us girls, right? Teach Akane to cook? Well, the sages say
that it's a noble effort to attempt the impossible.

Kasumi, you see, was not-- as so many have erroneously surmised--
naturally oblivious to her surroundings and the insanity that went on
on almost a daily basis.

No, she had to achieve that obliviousness through long and
difficult training and focus.

The result was that she was pretty much the happiest and most
content person in Nerima.

And, of course, she never actually contributed to the insanity.

Until now, as she finished sweeping the dust from Akane's brick
practice into a plastic bag, placing it to one side for later
disposal.

####

Tatewaki Kuno stopped for a moment to watch a kamishibai artist
practicing that almost forgotten art of narrative with drawings.
Respecting such a effort to keep traditional styles of storytelling
alive, he dropped some yen-- a fair bit, actually-- into the
receptacle designed for such, and strolled on, savoring his cherry
ice.

####

Akane was despondent. She was also nauseous.

In her mind, if she could cook rice, that meant that certainly
she could cook a rice soup. Didn't that make sense? She was doing
all right in home economics, right?

Of course, there Ranma was watching her like a hawk, and the
foods there were somewhat more simple than Nodoka's famed soup, but
still... what had gone wrong?

The Tendo residence rejoiced in a western-style toilet. If you
can afford one, they are well liked in Japan. They are comfortable,
efficient, and most of all highly useful if you are suddenly sick.
Generations of fraternity initiates can attest to that after a
serious beer bash, and so could any unfortunate Tendo who was
assaulted by one of Akane's failures.

And although she had been getting better-- somewhat-- when she
DID blow it, she blew it big-time.

(I guess... I need to practice simpler foods...)

####

Kasumi entered the kitchen, and sighed. Nodoka was scraping the
"soup" into the trash-can, gazing as it fell in semisolid chunks.

"I can't see what she could have done to cause this,
Kasumi-chan," the Saotome matriarch said. "After she went to...
well, you know, it started to... to... coagulate. I've never seen
anything like it."

"At least she can make rice now. And a passable miso soup. You
and Ranma have been such a help."

"It's mostly Ranma, I'm afraid. She's determined to make Akane
a-- and I quote-- "Non-threatening" cook. I suppose that she's still
not ready for fancier recipes yet."

"I... suppose. Well, this pot will take a while to clean, and
the counter is something of a mess. Since everyone's had their bath,
I don't need to clean the furo yet, so I may as well begin here..."

####

Akane finally cleaned up a bit, and felt somewhat better.
Stepping out of the bathroom, she was greeted by the interesting
sight of Ranma and Ryoga staring at Mousse as though the Amazon boy
had grown a second head.

"You have GOT to be kidding me. You just HAVE to. That's the
most insane plan I have ever heard in my LIFE!" This, oddly, wasn't
from Ranma (Who, to be truthful, held much the same opinion) but
Ryoga.

"Is not," sulked Mousse, who was used to abuse from Ranma but
wasn't quite so from Ryoga.

"I don't see how you plan to do this, Mousse," said Ranma, with a
quizzical expression.

"It's simple. Hilda's looking for a boy. I nicked a packet of
Instant Nyannichuan from Cologne, and so all I have to do is use it,
dress in some of your clothes, and poof-- Mousse is baibai, and all
there is is another girl. It's only for a few hours until I can make
my way to the train station and go somewhere where she won't find me.
Like, say, Berlin."

"It's not that easy, Mousse. Being a girl is a LOT more
complicated than a dress and a different body, trust me."

"I'm not going to be doing this for months like you, Saotome.
Just for a few hours until I'm on the train and gone. I'll come back
in a month or so when Hilda's gone back to China. If I can stand
being a duck, I can stand being a girl for a while."

"Hmm... well, at least you won't glomp me at the Nekohanten
thinking I'm Shampoo during my Amazon training..."

"Hey, I only did that once."

Ranma gazed at Mousse coldly.

"Well, twice."

Gazing was not interrupted.

"Oh, all right, more than twice."

"Seventeen times. Also three times you mistook me for Cologne,
twice for your mother-- who isn't even IN Japan-- and once for a
television set."

"All right. And you didn't have to hit me that hard, Saotome..."

"That WASN'T a power button, Mousse," Ranma replied coldly.

"You... fondled Ranma?" Ryoga said in disbelief.

"It wasn't LIKE that!" retorted Mousse hotly. "It was an honest
mistake!"

"A perverted mistake, you mean," said Ranma, sourly.

"Whatever! All I need from you is a few articles of clothing so
I can make my escape!"

Akane finally decided to interject a comment. "Why don't you
just hide as a duck?"

"Because Hilda LIKES ducks."

"Is that so bad?"

"With gravy and rice," Mousse clarified.

"Oh." Akane turned a slight bit green at that. So did Ranma and
Ryoga, for that matter.

"No, I've thought this out carefully. So, Saotome, will you
help?"

"Hey, it's your funeral," said Ranma. And she meant it.

####

Cologne.

Shampoo.

Hilda.

Kuno.

Ukyo.

Konatsu.

Over the next half-hour or so they would all arrive at the Tendo
Dojo just in time to make what happened next... happen.

####

Cologne arrived first. Greeted by Kasumi, she inquired as to
Ranma's whereabouts. Guided, she arrived to see the slightly unusual
sight of a robeless and shirtless Mousse stirring a bucket while
Ranma and Akane discussed clothing.

"We don't know what she'll look like, Akane. Herb didn't look
like me, after all. Herb looked like Herb but with more chest."

"Oh, all right. But Herb had a similar build to yours, didn't
he? So it's probable that your clothes will fit an girltype Mousse.
It's common sense."

"I still can't believe that you're doing this," Ryoga said.
"It's nuts."

"Might I inquire as to what's going on here this time?" the
matriarch asked, just knowing that the explanation would be entirely
ludicrous.

Mousse froze. (I can't let Cologne know what I was planning!
She'd NEVER let me live it down if she didn't kill me first!)
Thinking quickly, Mousse grabbed a bag of brick dust and started to
mix that in too. "Mud-pies. We're making mud-pies."

Ranma rolled her eyes. (Oh, THAT'LL really fly, duck-brain.)

Cologne looked at an empty packet. "Specifically female
mud-pies?" she quipped.

"Um... ah... well..."

"It's clear to me that for some reason you wanted to be a girl
for a while, Mousse. But what that reason could possibly be
escapes-- Oh. Her."

"Elder, please-- you don't know what she's like! I have to
escape, and it was the best disguise I could think of!"

Cologne smiled. "And it's probably the first good idea I have
ever heard you propose, Mousse."

"Oh, go ahead and rub it-- huh?"

"A clever stratagem. However, there is the matter of your taking
the Instant Nyannichuan without asking, of course."

Mousse stopped stirring the soupy dust and magic water mixture
and hung his head. "I'm in trouble, aren't I?"

"Not really. Instant Jusenkyo powder is a fairly trivial thing.
I'll just take it out of your pay. And frankly, I'm interested in
seeing what the results will be myself."

"Then... you'll help?"

"Let's just say I won't halt."

"Great! And-- oh, no, it's ruined..."

"Nonsense. It will still work, but you'll have to rinse off with
cold water to get the gunk out of your hair."

"Nihao, Ranma! Huh-- what Mousse do here? Why Mousse no wear
shirt?"

"S-S-SHAMPOO! How funny you came over, eh-heh!" Mousse may
have survived Cologne, but he didn't want Shampoo to find out about
thi--

"Oh, Mousse is going to turn into a girl for a while, Shampoo,"
Cologne said merrily.

"Really? Is strange. Why Mousse do strange thing?" Shampoo
looked at Mousse in fascination.

"Arrrgh," commented Mousse.

"Hilda," Cologne said. "Escape. Disguise."

"Shampoo understand. Viking girl in town? Shampoo sorry for
Mousse."

"You... you are?"

"Viking girl crazy. Not even Mousse deserve Viking girl."

Left-handed sympathy was better than none. "Well... let's get
this over with--"

Mousse raised the bucket, gritted his teeth, and--

"ANGEL!"

There is one force in the known universe that surpasses the
Amazon Glomp for sheer unexpected impact. That is the Viking
tackle-hug.

Guess who finally found the Tendo Dojo?

"ACK!"

Ranma watched in fascination as an incredibly tall, highly curvy,
and wildly affectionate Viking clamped onto Mousse with an impact not
dissimilar to that of a meteor hitting the Moon, causing Mousse to
lose his grip on the bucket, which went flying straight at Ryoga.

Ryoga was frozen in shock as the enchanted mud doused him.

He felt a tingle-- a tingle that was familiar from his
experiences in changing into a pig, but somehow different.

He knew what had happened.

It was obvious what had happened.

But he had to make sure.

So he carefully checked his chest.

Which was, at the moment, HER chest.

Then, and only then she gratefully passed out, comforted in the
knowledge that the universe was once again, as expected, being a
meanie.

####

Hiroshi and Daisuke were exhausted. Following the Viking had
been interesting for a while, but following her all over Tokyo was
too much. They decided to stop at Fred's Burgers for a cold drink
and a order of fries to replenish their energy.

"I still say she was another fiancee," Hiroshi panted.

"Naw, I think she's here to challenge Ranma. You saw that sword.
Challenger if I ever saw one," wheezed Daisuke.

Fred raised an eyebrow as he served two jumbo Cokes and a large
basket of chili-cheese fries (new on his menu, and startlingly
popular). "Tall blonde in a chainmail bikini?"

"You saw her too?"

"She ordered a Ranma Special earlier today. Actually, she's in
town for Mousse."

"MOUSSE?" the two spluttered.

"Yeah. Head over heels in love with him, it seems. Not what
you'd expect, is it?"

"That incredible babe was after MOUSSE?" Hiroshi said, outraged.

"It's not fair! It's just not fair! First all the cute ones go
after Ranma, and now Mousse? Who next, Kuno?" squeaked Daisuke.

"Let's not get improbable, Dai."

"You're right, Hiro. Hmm... I have an idea. Let's just go
straight to the Tendo place. She'll have to show up there sooner or
later."

"An excellent suggestion. It is, after all, inevitable."

They sipped their cokes.

####

Carefully, Tatewaki Kuno discarded the paper cone of his cherry
ice in the proper receptacle, and mused on what to do next on this
delightful day.

Perchance a visit to the Tendo residence would be in order.
There was always a chance that the sorcerers spell had finally waned.

He sneezed.

####

Ranma led a still shell-shocked Ryoga-chan to the furo room.
"Look, all you gotta do is wash that mud off, and then have a soak in
the furo-- it should still be hot enough. No problem, right?"

Ryoga nodded dumbly.

"You want a hand?"

"NO! I mean, I-- I can wash myself!"

Ranma restrained a chuckle-- with difficulty. "Okay. I'll see
about your pack..."

As Ranma returned to the courtyard, he was greeted by the
peculiar sight of a fuming Shampoo glaring at Hilda, who was draped
all over a not-successfully-escaping Mousse.

"Viking girl being too too familiar with Mousse," the Amazon
growled.

"I thought you didn't want Mousse," Akane replied with some
confusion.

"Shampoo no want Mousse, but Mousse is Shampoo's Mousse that
Shampoo no want!"

As Akane tried to figure out the last statement and Mousse tried
to break free from Hilda's imitation of an affectionate octopus,
Ranma shook her head at Ryoga's pack. It was clear that he hadn't
had a chance to hit a Laundromat for a while, since the clothing
inside was all somewhat less than clean. (Guess I'll see if Kasumi
can add this stuff to the laundry, and I'll lend piggy some of my
Chinese stuff.)

He went to see Kasumi, with the clothing in arm. Kasumi was just
finishing cleaning the pot, and sighing. "Ranma-chan. Oh, dear...
are those Ryoga-kun's clothes?"

"Yeah. I don't suppose you can add them to the load today?
These are pretty nasty..."

"Easily, Ranma-chan. Oh, but where is Ryoga?"

"He's in the furo by now. He had an accident with some Instant
Nyannichuan, and got turned into a girl. But a quick soak will fix
that."

"Oh, my." Pause, and then, "Oh, MY."

"What?" Ranma was confused at Kasumi's sudden expression of
alarm.

"I haven't had a chance to tidy up the furo yet, and I'm not
certain, but I think your special soap is still in the soap-dish, and
if he grabs that instead of the regular soap--"

Ranma's eyes widened to near apple-size, and she echoed Kasumi
with a quiet, "Oh, MY."

Meanwhile, back at the ranch-- I mean, furo-- Ryoga was carefully
rinsing and soaping herself while trying as hard as she could not to
look at herself and to ignore the strange way her body felt at the
moment. After she had gotten as much of the grit out of her hair as
she could, she gave herself a final rinse, stepped into the furo--
which was still quite warm-- lowered herself--

And realized that a certain familiar tingle wasn't happening.

Ranma looked up at a sudden high-pitched and definitely female
scream, and dashed to the furo, just KNOWING what had happened.

Kasumi shook her head, and decided that from now on the furo room
had priority.

As Ryoga stared at herself in dumb shock, Ranma looked at the
soap tray, and decided that she should get something else for Ryoga
to wear. Like a nice sundress or something.

####

Ukyo, followed by an unseen Konatsu, arrived at the Tendo Dojo to
a scene that was at best described as... weird as all hell.

Mousse was struggling against the grip of a remarkably tall and
pneumatic blonde in a honest to gosh chainmail bikini who was
cuddling him and caressing him and hugging him and squeezing him and
doing damn near everything but calling him George. She apparently
preferred to call him Angel.

Shampoo was glaring at the both of them with an expression that,
if it hadn't been Shampoo, Ukyo would have called jealousy.

Akane was shaking her head and murmuring about poor Ryoga.

Cologne was not rolling on the ground laughing her
multi-centenarian ass off, but that was only because she had an image
to maintain. Instead, she was perched on her staff giggling
furiously.

Wondering just what the hell was going on this time, she entered
the Tendo household to see Ranma leading a strange girl out of the
furo with a towel wrapped around her body and an expression of panic
wrapped around her face.

"Where are you taking me?" the strange girl asked.

"To get you some clothes, Ryoga. You can't run around in a
towel, you know."

Ukyo stared. Did Ranchan just call that girl... Ryoga?

"Clothes..."

"C'mon, you," Ranma said, dragging the towel-wrapped neo-girl
into her room by one hand.

Akane had been partly right-- Ranma and Ryoga in girl form were
similar in size. Facially, they were somewhat different. As Ranma
resembled her boy-side, so did Ryoga. But the now wider hazel eyes,
the even cuter fangs, and the thick shock of sky blue hair-- Ranma
would never figure out WHERE Jyusenko got it's taste in hair
coloring-- made Ryoga look somewhat less sexy than Ranma, and
somewhat more cute.

"I'm a girl. I'm stuck as a girl. I'll be a girl forever."
Ryoga was in a state of sheer horrified shock.

"Naw... just about a week or so. You grabbed my waterproof
beauty soap by accident, and it took. It'll wear off in a week or
five days, or like that, if you don't accidentally use it again."

"I'm... not a girl forever?"

"Nope. You'll survive it. And anyhow, it means for a week or so
no pig, right?"

Ryoga brightened at that. "No Pig. No Pig is a good thing."

"Here... these should fit you."

Ryoga froze-- again-- and blinked. "What are these?" No Pig was
a good thing, but these... things... were not.

"That's a bra, and those are panties, and that's a pair of
stockings, and--"

"I can't wear that stuff!"

"Sure you can. Trust me, it's more comfortable when you're a
girl for an extended period of time. Hmm... this top should look
decent on you."

"I-- I can't wear this! I'm a guy!"

"Not for a week or so, you ain't. Besides, all of your clothes
are filthy, and all my guy stuff is packed away." This wasn't
strictly true, but Ranma couldn't resist the opportunity. "Hmm...
no, I bet you ain't fond of the idea of a miniskirt, are you?"

"But... I don't even know how they work!"

Ranma sighed. "The panties work just like boxers except snugger.
Think of them as briefs for girls. The little bow on that pair goes
in front. The bra is a front-closing one-- just slip it on like a
vest and snap it in front. The thigh highs are like really tall
socks. It's easy."

Ryoga, still stunned, wordlessly complied, managing not to notice
her now highly feminine body. However, as she pulled on the last of
the undergarments, she accidentally caught sight of herself in
Ranma's mirror. And gulped.

Ryoga-chan in lingerie pulling up the edge of a stocking.
Classic Cheesecake. Except for the nervous, almost panicky
expression.

Perhaps it was the shock, perhaps it was the sudden lack of
masculine hormones, perhaps it was a combination of the two. At any
rate, Ryoga wasn't passing out or getting a nosebleed. But it was a
close thing. She definitely felt dizzy.

"Kawaii, ne?" grinned Ranma. "You clean up pretty decent.
Better make certain that Kuno never gets a look at you."

"I... I can't believe that I'm wearing this stuff..."

"Hmm... this skirt should look okay on you, and this top. Try
'em on, while I do something about your hair."

"My hair? A skirt?"

"You look like a drowned blue rat. I can at least comb it so you
don't bring shame on the reputation of girls around the world. As
for the skirt, well, I can lend you a leotard if you'd prefer, or
maybe something in spandex? Or a bikini. If you prefer."

"You think this is funny, don't you?"

"Me? Well, actually... yeah. But I'm also serious. If you're
going to be a girl for the next week, you might as well be one with
some style." Ranma began to brush Ryoga's hair, eyeing it
critically. "Take off that bandanna for a sec, will you?"

"Why?"

"I figure I can retie it into a nice bow, or something--"

"Forget it. These clothes feel funny."

"You get used to them. Sorry I don't have any clean slacks, or
I'd have lent you a pair instead. There-- ain't as feminine as it
ought to be, but you don't look that bad. Want some lip-gloss?"

"Don't push it."

Ranma chuckled. "Now take a look at yourself."

Ryoga did-- and blinked. Girl. Yellow top with a gray and blue
checked knee-length skirt. Hair slightly styled and wavy, and that
strange pale blue. Except for the eyes, she looked a lot like a
fanged Rei Ayanami.

"I'm... I'm... pretty?"

"Hey, the pools seem to try for the best possible result. I'm a
good looking girl too, Mousse is a fine duck, you normally turn into
a pretty decent pig, Shampoo's a very high quality c-cat, and I dunno
what the hell Tarou is, but he's an excellent example of it. Heck,
even Pops is a remarkable specimen of a panda. Sort of a quality
curse, I guess."

"I'm a pretty girl. Oh, GOD, I'm a pretty girl. Ranma, this is
all... Hey, wait."

Perhaps the severe shock had caused Ryoga's mind to derail from
it's usual one-track course, or perhaps reality was creeping around
the surreal nature of the situation, but for once--

"MOUSSE! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!"

"Uh-oh," breathed Ranma.

"ARRRRGH!"

"Um... You wanna wait a bit, before you go out? I mean, you're
probably still sort of disor--"

"I'LL KILL HIM!"

"So, you don't wanna wait?"

Ryoga dashed out of the room, and with strange accuracy headed
straight back to the Dojo area, where things were getting... odd.

####

Ukyo walked out of the house with a slightly glazed expression.
Ryoga was a girl? Did Ranchan REALLY call that girl Ryoga? What was
going on?

"Angel!"

"Let me GO, Hilda! And I'm NOT your angel!"

"Shampoo no care if stupid Mousse want fool around with Horny
Girl."

"Shampoo, it's -- aw, let GO-- it's not what it LOOKS like!"

"I thought this only happened to Ranma," Akane said to Cologne.

"It is something of a change, isn't it?" the matriarch replied.

"Who you call horny girl, Amazon?" Hilda glared at her rival.

"Shampoo call Horny Girl Horny Girl. And no talk about helmet."

"I don't suppose someone can explain what's actually going on
here?" asked Ukyo.

"Well, the girl in the chainmail bikini is a Chinese Viking who's
in love with Mousse although it doesn't seem that he returns the
favor, Ryoga got turned into a girl by a bucket of magic mud, which
is annoying Mousse because HE wanted to turn into a girl instead of
Ryoga, so he could go to Berlin. Or something like that," Akane
explained.

Akane's explanation made little or no sense to Ukyo, but that was
okay. Making little or no sense was par for the course in Nerima,
especially at this house. It was, actually, something of a relief.

"UMBRELLA! WHERE'S MY UMBRELLA!"

Akane stared at the blue-haired girl who stormed in, screaming,
followed closely by Ranma.

"Ranma, who is that?"

"Ryoga. Who else would be screaming for an umbrella?"

"But... why's he still a..."

"Grabbed the wrong soap in the furo. Stuck for a week or so.
And she's angry at--"

Ryoga found her umbrella, and hefted it. It seemed slightly
heavier than usual-- not that that mattered much to what was
effectively the strongest girl in Japan at the moment.

"MOUSSE-- PREPARE TO DIE!"

Mousse, confused, managed to pull away from Hilda just in time to
keep his head from being split.

"What-- who-- who are you?"

"Who do you THINK? It's Ryoga Hibiki, and I'm gonna kick your
duck ass all the way back to China!"

Hilda stared as the strange blue-haired girl attacked her Angel.

Now, before anyone asks, Hilda had been totally focused on
Mousse, and so hadn't noticed the bucket of magic mud or the
alterations it had performed on a certain Lost Boy, making him into a
Lost Girl. Also, the clothing was completely unlike what Ryoga had
been wearing. So, Hilda had no idea what Ryoga was talking about.

But she DID know Amazon traditions passably well, and so came to
an understandable conclusion.

"Umbrella Girl NOT steal Angel from Hilda!"

The newborn battle stopped as both Ryoga and Mousse stared at the
now standing Viking.

"WHAT?" they squawked in unison.

"Umbrella Girl try beat Mousse, make him marry her! Hilda not
let Umbrella Girl do that!"

Jaws fell all around.

"Me? Marry HIM? I'd rather marry... marry... RANMA than HIM!"

"Gosh, Ryo-chan, I didn't know you cared," quipped Ranma.

"Shaddap, you," growled the new girl on the block, with unwanted
cuteness.

"You no fool Hilda! You want Mousse! Every girl want Mousse
except stupid Amazon girl!"

"Horny Girl pushing it," Shampoo growled.

Ukyo just stared.

It was obvious to the disinterested observer-- or would have been
had there been a disinterested observer available-- that Ryoga still
wanted to kick duck ass, and that at any moment, Shampoo and Hilda
would be at each other's throats. Only a person of unparalelled
diplomatic ability could possibly defuse the situation.

Of course, those are not something common to Nerima.

####

Hiroshi and Daisuke had interested Fred in the probable upcoming
insanity. Fred decided that since he was fairly new to the Art, the
fight that the duo predicted could be educational.

So Fred rapidly prepared a large quantity of his burgers as a
visiting gift, and shut down early. Besides, he was due for some
entertainment.

As the duo plus one made their way to the Tendo Dojo, Fred's
heart lifted a bit higher at the sight of his girlfriend, Eiko.

"Ohayo, Eiko-chan!"

Eiko's eyes widened a bit. "Fred-chan! Aren't you usually
cooking right now?"

"My friends here suggest that there's going to be a big fight
soon, and I thought I'd take a look at it."

"Oh? How big?"

"Ranma."

"Ooooh! That's always a treat! I'll come too, if I may? I can
make tea for everyone, and I hear that Kasumi Tendo has a fantastic
kitchen!"

Fred grinned. "I hadn't thought of that, Eiko-chan, that's a
plus too!"

Hiroshi paused for a moment, and then asked Fred, "Are you a
martial artist?"

"Well, sort of..."

"Figures." (Cute girl out of nowhere, targets onto Fred Yamada
in a heartbeat-- why do the martial artists get all the girls?)

####

So far, the fight hadn't began again. Mousse was still staring
at Ryoga in confusion, who was redefining glare every second.
Shampoo and Hilda were also glaring at each other with expressions of
intense hostility. Ukyo was fingering her battle spatula just in
case the expected explosion of violence spilled over to Ranchan.
Akane was considering grabbing a handy statue or somthing, just in
case. Ranma was looking from girl to girl-- there were a lot of
girls here, including the temporary ones-- and beginning to sweat.
And Cologne was trying her damnedest not to explode in hysterical
guffawing.

Nodoka peered out of the door for a moment, saw the quite
improbable Hilda, and blinked.

"Ranma-chan, who is... that?"

"Chinese Viking, Mom."

"And that girl there with Ryoga's umbrella?"

"That's Ryoga, Mom. She had a little accident with some Instant
Nyannichuan and the waterproof soap. I lent her some clothes, is
that okay?"

"Ah... certainly. Is there going to be a fight?"

"Probably."

"Then you may want to change clothes, since that dress is too
nice to get wrecked in a battle." Nodoka felt on somewhat more
stable grounds here. Female Ryogas and Chinese Vikings in chainmail
bikinis may have been difficult for her to comprehend, but fights she
knew about.

"Good idea. Hey, guys, don't start killing each other before I
get back, 'kay?"

Ryoga just growled. Cutely.

As Ranma went to her room to change into something more durable,
tensions-- predictably-- increased. Ryoga glared at Mousse as though
glaring was about to be declared illegal and she wanted to get as
much in as she could, Mousse stared at Ryoga in what could only be
described as, well, fear-- he'd NEVER seen a girl THIS angry before--
and Shampoo and Hilda were, well, not being particularly nice.

Not nice at all.

"Horny Girl."

"Stupid Amazon."

"Horny Girl."

"Stupid Amazon BITCH."

"Horny SLUTTY Girl."

Mousse gazed at the two, and sighed.

"Um... not that I care, because I still intend to kill you,
duck-boy, but should we wait for them to fight first?" Ryoga asked.

"They won't. They're not allowed. Ancient Amazon/Viking peace
treaty. They WILL insult each other for hours, though, that's legal,
as long as they don't do it in Chinese," Mousse explained.

Ranma emerged in a pair of cut-offs and a t-shirt. "Okay, I
guess the fight can begin..."

"Stupid UGLY Amazon bitch!"

"Horny slutty GOOFY girl!"

"Or not," Ranma added, fascinated. She'd felt CERTAIN that a
battle was about to happen.

"We can't fight yet, Ryoga. Amazon and Viking law requires that
the battle of insults be finished first... it would be an incredible
insult to interrupt it," continued Mousse's explanation.

Ryoga fumed for a moment, but then relaxed. "'Kay. I'll kick
duck ass later. They... aren't too good at it, are they?"

"No... both Shampoo and Hilda were always better at being
physical..."

"Stupid ugly SILLY Amazon bitch!"

"Horny slutty goofy FAT girl!"

Ranma looked to Cologne. "I don't suppose you can just let them
hit each other and get it over with?"

Cologne didn't reply, since she needed all her breath for
giggling.

"Didn't think so."

"So, I have to wait for them to stop being bitchy before I can
kill you?" Ryoga asked, uncertainly.

"No, you have to wait for them to stop being bitchy before you
can TRY-- Lost Girl." Mousse wasn't happy about Ryoga's casual
acceptance of victory beforehand.

"We not bitchy!"

"Is complicated traditional word-war!"

With that, the two went back to stringing insults together.

"Okay. I'm STILL gonna kill you, though," Ryoga noted.

"Will you stop saying that? It's not very polite," Mousse
complained.

"It's not meant to be! It's meant to be a warning that I'm going
to kill you!"

Ranma just shook her head. How could things get any--

"Hey, Ranma! We heard there was going to be a fight, and I
wanted to watch! Do you mind?"

"Oi, Fred! Naw, not at all, but I'm not certain there's going to
be a proper fight-- things are a little weird right now..."

Fred entered with Eiko, Hiroshi and Daisuke in tow. And stared
at the two girls stringing bad insults together.

"Amazon Ritual?" Fred asked.

Cologne managed for a second to stop giggling. "Ah, Yamada-san.
How are things with you?"

"Quite well, Cologne-san. Have you met my girlfriend?"

"No, I can't say that I have..."

"She looks familiar, Ranma," noted Ryoga.

"Yeah... Can't quite remember from where though..."

They both paused to try to remember where they had seen the new
arrival, and then blinked.

"Our date!" they chorused.

"Hey, Ranma, can you introduce us to your new friend?" Daisuke
asked, looking at a certain blue-haired girl with undisguised
interest.

"Sure. This is Ryoga Hibiki, she's really a boy, she had an
accident with some Instant Nyannichuan and some waterproof soap, and
no, she's NOT going out with you."

"Ranma! You don't decide who I go out with!"

"What-- you WANNA go out with him?"

"Of COURSE not-- but it's MY decision!"

Meanwhile Daisuke was trying out one of Ranma's more advanced
techniques-- that being, beating his head against a handy wall. Why
was it that every cute girl he met was either going out with a male
martial artist, chasing a male martial artist, or actually WAS a male
martial artist? It wasn't FAIR!

Hiroshi just scratched his head. More Ranma. That's the only
thing he could think, More Ranma.

"Stupid ugly silly nasty no-talent Amazon bitch!"

"Horny slutty goofy fat mean geeky girl!"

"Who you call geeky?"

"Shampoo call horny slutty goofy fat mean geeky girl geeky!"

"Hey, Mom, get Pops for me, would you?"

"Why, Ranma?"

"I want to know if there's an Anything Goes Martial Arts
Insulting technique. I'm beginning to think it could be useful."

"He won't come out of our room, Ranma. He just keeps mumbling
about the training and you dating Ryoga. Ryoga's such a nice boy,
too."

"Girl, Mom. Nice girl."

"Shaddap, Ranma. I'm not a nice girl."

"Are you going to borrow Ranma's leathers when you try to kill me
then?" asked Mousse.

Ryoga thought about how she would look in Ranma's now infamous
leather shorts and halter combo and almost DID get a nosebleed.
"Um... Well, I'm nicer than THAT. I'm no tramp." (What am I
SAYING?)

Ranma blinked, and began to fume. "Are you saying I'm a tramp
when I wear my leathers?"

"Well if the shoe-- or shiny black calf-hugging boot-- fits..."

Ranma, who had not been really in the mood to fight Ryoga, was
beginning to change her mind.

"Look, you--"

Akane scowled. "Ranma, don't pick on poor Ryoga. She's confused
enough as it is."

"Hey, she's the one calling ME a tramp, here!"

"Stupid ugly silly nasty no-talent flat-chested Amazon bitch!"

"Horny slutty goofy fat mean geeky trampy girl!"

"No fair! Steal trampy from umbrella girl! Amazon cheat!"

"HAH! Shampoo not cheat, umbrella girl not girl!"

Hilda blinked at that. "Amazon say that not girl, Amazon REALLY
confused."

Ryoga decided to side with Shampoo on this. "She's right. I'm
not a girl."

"Yes, you are," corrected Ranma. "If you weren't, those panties
would pinch something awful and you wouldn't fill out that top like
you do--"

"Well, I'm not USUALLY a girl!"

Hilda stared. "Is matter of choice in Japan?"

Explanations followed.

####

From his place of concealment (Behind a trash can-- a skilled
ninja can hide almost anywhere) Konatsu stared in mild confusion. He
was vaguely aware of the oddness of Nerima from Ukyo-sama's stories,
but since he rarely left the okonomiyaki-ya except for light
shopping, he hadn't much direct contact with it. Technically, he
wasn't in contact with it right now, but...

"And what transpires here, miss?"

Konatsu turned, startled, to see Tatewaki Kuno standing in the
one location where he could be easily spotted. Said Kuno was staring
at the altercation in fascination and some (understandable)
confusion.

"Um. Well. Ukyo-sama and I came out to see her Ranchan, and
Hibiki-san was turned into a girl, and the Amazon and the Viking are
calling each other names, and the fellow over there makes hamburgers,
and have we met?"

Tatewaki Kuno simply stared. All he could tell for certain is
that there was a rather larger than normal amount of attractive women
in the Tendo yard, and that in general they all seemed to be arguing.
Large amounts of arguing girls tended to degrade into violence.

He could go in and try to defuse the situation. Surely they
would listen to his wisdom and desist this unseemly altercation.
Yes, he would--

But wait. In truth, that had never worked before. Instead, the
result would be that somehow they would visit their wrath on the one
who had ensorcelled them all, Saotome.

Who wasn't here.

Kuno Logic can be a beautiful thing to see. This time it was
positively magnificent.

(When girls argue, Saotome gets beat up.

(The girls are (mistakenly) in love with Saotome.

(The girls should be in love with Me.

(Saotome isn't here, so they WILL be in love with Me.

(The girls are arguing.

(Therefore, I will get beat up.)

From a mix of one accurate and a group of flawed propositions,
Tatewaki Kuno had managed to come to a completely accurate
conclusion.

"I see. Perhaps I shall simply go to the library instead to
reread the life of Miyamoto Musashi, then. Good day."

And Tatewaki Kuno for once remained unbloodied and unbruised.

See? Complete and Total Idiot does not always equal stupid.

Just usually.

####

Hilda did not understand the explanations much. Jyusenkyo wasn't
a major part of the Viking life, since they did not live in the close
proximity to it that the Amazons et al did. Everyone talking at
once, mostly in Japanese, didn't help either. Neither did Ryoga's
switching between idle darts at Ranma's being a tramp (to which Ranma
retorted with the epithet "Sow") and reminding Mousse that she was
still going to kill him, Ukyo's attempts to try to get a proper
clarification of what exactly was going on (she was still somewhat
confused), Shampoo's insistence in Chinese that it was soooo obvious,
only a Viking wouldn't get it, and Cologne's finally collapsing in
hysterics.

"Let Hilda get this straight. Umbrella girl is really umbrella
boy, but took a bath and decided to dress like girl?"

"She IS a girl. She just normally isn't one." Ranma was
beginning to wonder about Hilda. Well, wonder more.

"Ah. And is because Angel wanted to be a girl for a while?"

Mousse looked uncomfortable. "That's not exactly what she
means..."

Hilda's eyes sparkled. "Angel SOO nice to Hilda!"

Akane blinked. Most there imitated her. "Um... how so?"

Hilda grinned. "Hilda like both types! Angel so nice to Hilda
to indulge!"

Mousse began to back off very rapidly indeed, while Ranma boggled
and Ryoga at that mental image FINALLY developed a thin but definite
nosebleed.

"NO! IT'S NOT LIKE THAT! I WAS TRYING TO GET TO BERLIN!"

Shampoo sniffed. "Mousse want be pervert girl, Shampoo no care."

The rest facefaulted.

####

Over the next few days things went more or less back to normal.
For that particular area of Nerima anyhow.

Mousse had a close scrape when Hilda decided that the duck she
saw would make a perfect dish to try to win Mousse's affections.
Although she thought it was terribly unfair that the duck would fight
back.

Shampoo was acting oddly jealous. Not that she WANTED Stupid
blind duck boy, but as she had said, it was HER stupid blind duck boy
that she didn't want.

Tatewaki Kuno remained for a few days oddly careful, and thus
oddly unbashed.

Ukyo never DID quite figure out what was going on.

Neither did Konatsu, but that was all right with him. Just
another thing he and Ukyo had in common, he thought.

Fred and Eiko dropped by again, and made friends with Kasumi.
Cooks are like that.

Akane finally shrugged it off as just another thing that happened
around Ranma, and it wasn't actually his fault, she could admit it
now, it was actually becoming easy.

Kasumi just coasted along. The best tactic, really.

Cologne finally managed to deliver her gift to Ranma-- an
exquisitely crafted suit of Amazon armor, in her preferred red and
black colors, with an engraved rearing stallion on the left breast,
and matching bonbori.

Kodachi came down from her rose-induced adventure, and was mellow
about as long as Kuno was.

No-one noticed Gosunkugi. So what else is new?

And Ryoga...

####

"Look, you are going to stick around for a while. At least until
you change back. That's not a cheap skirt, you know."

Ryoga grimaced. "Why can't I have my own clothes back?"

"Because they are SOO filthy that Kasumi says it will take a week
to wash them right!"

"Hey, I live a hard life, and people keep moving all the
laundromats!"

Ranma sighed. "That's not it. Kasumi has accepted your clothes
as a challenge. And I'm not going to interfere with her challenge.
Your clothes will be the better for it, anyway. When SHE washes
clothes, dirt runs away. And they won't fit you at ALL anyway,
cutie-pie."

"Who are you calling cutie-pie?"

"Oh, chill. Anyhow, you can stay in my room until they are clean
enough for her and you change back. Good night."

Ryoga sighed. There wasn't much she could DO. "Oh, all right.
Good night. One question, though..."

"What?"

"Why do YOU get the pajamas?"

"Because they're mine," Ranma replied, smirking. "Besides, you
look good in that."

"I hate you, you know," Ryoga retorted, trying to get used to the
sheer nightie.

####

Next on Girl Days--

We get to see Ryoga's short sojourn on the other side, we get to
see her in a bikini for actually logical and sensible reasons, and we
get to see Kasumi get a LITTLE rattled.

We also get a lot of gratuitous fanservice.

And we get to REALLY confuse the HELL out of a certain yak-boy...