Disclaimer: I do not in any way own the rights to the works of Rumiko Takahashi, I am simply writing this for my sheer enjoyment.
A/N: I would just like to formally tell everyone before they read this, that that my entire story is based on the title, and I am just free-balling everything else.
It was a bright, shining Sunday in the Nerima ward of Tokyo. The early afternoon sun beamed down upon its inhabitants; all the while, birds sang, bees buzzed, and children played outside. Generally speaking, it was a picturesque day… with the exception of a certain panty loving thief. Happosai was, at the moment, being chased by a rather irate looking Ranma.
"I ain't letting you get away you old letch! I don't know what you think you're doing with one of the old Ghoul's magic thingies, but tryin' to cast a spell on me means you're getting a poundin'!" Was the exclamation the pigtailed martial artist made, who was hot in pursuit of his target.
"Now, now, Ranma my boy, is that any way to treat such an exalted martial arts master like myself? I was only trying to assist in furthering your training!" Replied the diminutive panty thief, but silently though, he was cursing himself. The orb of transmutation was supposed to change any person that it is used upon into the wielder's perfect tool. He had remembered he had the old thing only but a few hours ago, when he found a scroll discussing it while he was rummaging around Cologne's old things in a bit of nostalgia.
'Why that stupid piece of paper… I knew that little ball was useless from the start!' he mentally simmered. 'It's not fair! If that thing worked, I could have finally molded Ranma into becoming the proper heir to the Anything Goes School of martial arts!'
"More like you're tryin' to mind control me or somethin'! I swear when I get my hands on you…"
Ranma's threat though was sadly interrupted by the high pitched clangs of a bicycle's bell, as well as the affectionately energetic tones of a familiar Chinese Amazon yelling, "Airen!"
Distracted by his chase, the Saotome prodigy only had a few moments to turn his head and give this following thoughtful reply.
…Just as Shampoo's bicycle hit him smack dab in the forehead. Almost instantly, he found himself meeting the not so sweet embrace of the concrete ground below him.
Coming to a halt, Shampoo stared down at her wayward husband, a look of mild embarrassment on her face. "Aiyah! Shampoo too, too sorry Airen!"
Her mouth though formed a small mischievous smile. "Come here. Shampoo make it all better." her voice gaining a mildly sultry tone to it.
Quickly, before he could think, Ranma was caught in another kind of hold. He absentmindedly noted that this one though was far softer. Within seconds he snapped out of his dazed state, only to realize that he was face first in the purple haired Amazon's breasts.
Struggling to break free, Ranma, in frustration, exclaimed, "Damn it Shampoo! Let go! I gotta get movin'! That old freak's getting' away! Besides, you should be helping! He stole something from your Grandmother didn't he?"
A look of confusion graced Shampoo's face as she released her Airen from her tight grasp. She was going to ask Ranma to take her out on a date, but this sounded like a far more pressing matter. "Old pervert man stole something from Great-Grandmother?"
"Err, uh yeah, I think so. At least he said it was from the Amazons, just before he tried to use it on me! It didn't work though. He called it the orb of… transploitation or somethin.' Anyway, if it's from the Amazons then it must be the Old Ghoul's."
He averted his gaze from Shampoo for a moment to look off in the direction that Happosai went in. "I dunno what it does, but it couldn't have been good!" was his reply, said quickly while hopping from one foot to the next in a display that he was in a hurry.
"Aiyah! Shampoo been too, too busy, making deliveries all morning," Shampoo responded, a thoughtful look of worry surrounding her. "Should go check on Great-Grandmother and see if she all right."
"Uh, yeah, you go and do that. Igottarun!" Ranma stated, racing off into the distance.
Shampoo snapped out of her reverie to wave goodbye to her husband. "Bai bai Airen! Come to Cat Café soon and Shampoo cook you up too too good lunch!"
As Ranma raced onward in an attempt to catch up to the perverted martial arts master, he started to feel small bits of fatigue encompass his body. He shrugged it off thinking it must have been from the mild concussion he probably obtained from being rammed head first into a bike.
Continuing on, he quickened his pace, an annoyed look overtaking his face. 'That old perv' is probably long gone by now. I can't sense his ki anywhere!'
'Damn it Shampoo! Why'd ya have to go and mess things up! I almost had him!' He let out a quiet sigh. He knew it wasn't exactly her fault; she didn't know that he was in the middle of doing something.
'At least she took the time to say hi to me; that was nice of her, even if it did mean getting beaned in the head. Heck, I've taken a lot worse from Akane on some occasions.'
That name elicited another sigh from the pigtailed martial artist's mouth. 'Things haven't exactly been bad between us recently. It's just that ever since that stupid wedding nothin's really changed up. It's just the same old routine that we've been going through for ages now.'
He shook his head. 'I mean, I guess I do lo...lo…like her and stuff, but things are just so friggin' complicated. I'm not sure if I'll ever figger out a way to make things work out between everyone without messin' it up.'
'I mean look at Shampoo…' Her plight often vexed him the most out of all of his fiancées. 'If I don't marry her, then that means she can never go back to her home.' His brow furrowed. 'There's gotta be some way to get her out of that stupid oath. Maybe…'
As all of these thoughts passed through his head, a light sense of numbness coated over Ranma's body. It was hardly noticeable at all and with the task at hand already taking his priorities, as well as various absentminded feelings and ideas floating around in his mind, it went completely ignored.
'Ucchan I think would probably be the simplest to deal with. She's a pretty reasonable person. I bet if I coughed up enough money to pay off the dowry she'd be willing to call off the engagement.' He gave a snort at that.
'S'not like I could make enough to actually do that, anyway. Nabiki would probably tax me on it or somethin'. Still, if it could work…' Ranma slightly shook his head. 'It doesn't matter though. I don't think I could figure out a way to do it without hurtin' her feelings and cause her to not want to be friends anymore…'
Stopping in his tracks, Ranma sighed for the third and what he hoped would be the last time for the day. "I've lost im.' Guess I'll have to give the old letch a pounding the next time I see him." Feeling at least slightly better for the thought, Ranma shrugged. Preparing to make his way back to the dojo, he stopped abruptly as the mildly loud sounds of his growling stomach filled his ears.
"Ah geez, I was so busy with Happosai I didn't get to eat breakfast! Must be why I'm feelin' kinda weird. I guess I'll take Shampoo up on her offer for lunch after all." He figured he could kill two birds with one stone that way. He'd get a free meal, plus he could tell the Old Ghoul that Happosai got away with that orb thing of hers.
As he made his way on over to the Cat Café at a rather brisk pace, Ranma began to notice various strange sensations all over his body. For a brief moment he felt a harsh chill go up him but it then quickly subsided and soon he felt as though he was in an oven. "Ergh… what the heck's up? Feel's like I ate Akane's cooking or somethin'… Man it's like a sauna in here… Gettin' hit by a bike shouldn't cause me to feel like this…"
Stopping to catch his breath for a moment, it quickly turned to him gasping for air. "Somethin', somethin' ain't right," he exclaimed. Slowly inching himself closer, he realized that the restaurant was only a few minutes away at most. "The old Ghoul… she'll know what's up…" Ranma gasped out, finding it increasingly hard to breath.
Continuing on at a significantly slower pace, Ranma absentmindedly felt that gentle numbness from earlier begin to overtake him. Barely even a few steps away from the entrance to his destination now, Ranma struggled to keep moving but dropped to his knees, sapped of all remaining energy. A shuddering grunt was the last statement he made before he passed out face first onto the ground.
"Honestly, that old fool has to put his hands on everything!" were the words spoken by an annoyed and mildly distraught Amazonian Elder. "I look away for five minutes and he rummages through half my worldly possessions!"
"I guess I'll have to get Mr. Part-time to come clean this mess up after he gets back from his mid-morning deliveries. Still, it doesn't make up for having to be closed for the day to recheck inventory," she stated, looking over the ransacked storage room before her.
"Shampoo so sorry she wasn't here when old pervert man come Great-Grandmother," was Shampoo's reply, said with a genuine, almost catlike smile on her face. "Though Shampoo did see Ranma and he say that he go after him! He say old pervert try and cast spell on him…" she also stated, her smile turning into a small frown of worry.
Cologne's ear's perked up at this. "Spell? What kind of spell?"
"Oh! Airen say pervert man try and use orb of trans- trans… trans-something!" Replied Shampoo, brow furrowed.
The wizened elder's eyes grew large. "No, no he wouldn't, that's… Shampoo, do you mean the Orb of Transmutation?'
Shampoo's frown deepened at the old woman's reaction. "Yes, he say it was something like that…" she once again responded. Her voice then grew slightly smaller. "What is it?" she asked.
The old woman's face grew consternated. "No… there's no way Happy could have figured out how to use it! Unless…"
The elder rushed forward and ripped off a small detachable piece of floorboard. "No, there' no… I was too busy trying to go over what things I thought he would put his grimy mitts on for me to think he would actually go for something like that." As she was saying this she recovered a small, currently unlocked box of what would appear to be various old papers and scrolls, though right now they looked to be scattered and misaligned "No! That idiot!" she exclaimed, her wrinkled face turning hot with rage.
"But Great-Grandmother… What is 'Orb of Transmutation'?" Shampoo asked, not liking the look the elder Amazon had one bit. "Is Airen in trouble?"
Sighing, the old woman started, "The Orb of Transmutation was a powerful Amazonian artifact that was used several hundred years ago during times of war, but like many of our treasured relics, it was stolen the day Happosai ransacked Nǚjiézú." She paused in her description for a moment and stated, "Maybe…" and then began rechecking the surrounding storeroom in hopes of finding her lost document.
"As I was saying, the orb is special in that when used on someone, it transforms them into the wielder of the tool's most proficient weapon," Cologne explained while going through various boxes and supply crates. "We used it to win various definitive battles by transmitting several of our Amazonian sisters."
"But… Great-grandmother… Why would you turn Amazon sisters into weapon?" asked a questionable Shampoo. "It just mean one less warrior on battlefield…"
Cologne stopped for a moment and let her frown briefly falter as she took pride in her great-granddaughters' quick thinking before answering; "Many have asked questions like that but war is never as simple as mere numbers. Using the orb was a tactical decision and wasn't useful for every situation. You see, the spell the artifact casts concentrates all of a warriors' ki into a condensed, deadly form. If you had a powerful enough combatant, a single blow could topple entire mountains!" she exclaimed while pushing several boxes out of her way.
"It's not exactly as inhumane as it sounds either. From what I saw of them in battle, the warriors stay sentient in their weapon form and could even use their ki to create a voice for themselves. From the brief glances I personally saw when I was younger, they also acted as if they could see, hear and comprehend their surroundings somehow. My knowledge though of just what the transformed are truly capable of is limited." Cologne stopped in her search to look towards her Great-Granddaughter, who was enraptured by what she was being told.
"Regardless, after the battle was won we would use the orb to transform everyone back to their original state," the Matriarch stated, finishing her lecture as she started rummaging through another box.
"Wow… it sound too, too, powerful," Shampoo stated. "It must have been great shame to lose."
Cologne shook her head. "Honestly dear, out of all the things Happy took from us, I think losing the orb was a bit of a blessing."
Shampoo face grew inquisitive. "But why, Elder?"
The old woman stopped her search once again, a far off look in her eyes. "…Because sometimes, we wouldn't win."
Shampoo felt as though the room around her chilled. She knew she would probably regret it, but she had to ask. "What that mean for weapon-people?"
Cologne shook her head and finished closing up the last remaining unchecked crate. "The human body can only last for so much time in such an unnaturally forced state. Without a proper ki based vessel, along with the constant strain of maintaining its unusual form, the weapon's life force would drain out of it, eventually killing the altered person. The whole process can take up to a month and can be quite degrading from what I have been told. We had many issues with turncoats who would tell Amazonian secrets to our enemies, believing they would be relieved of their limited form…."
Eyes widening, Cologne turned towards a corner of the room. She hopped on over and picked up what looked to be balled up, ratty piece of paper. Unfolding it, her fears were answered as she glanced over the instruction manual to the Orb of Transmutation. "There's no denying it; Happy in the very least looked at the scroll. Shampoo! If Happosai did cast the spell on Son-in-law, then we must get to him soon!"
Shampoo looked towards her elder and responded, "But Great-Grandmother! Airen say spell no work on him! He look okay too! Ranma be all right, yes?"
Cologne let off a 'hmph', and answered, "If that idiot somehow actually used the incantation properly, then son in law is in grave danger," she stated but her voice quickly rose in volume as fire filled her eyes.
"That old stupid fool… I bet he didn't even read the thing all the way through! For the spell to complete properly, the touch of another human being is required. It's needed to align the transformation for what would best work in tune with that particular warrior's strengths." Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Quickly Shampoo, did you see him touch anyone?"
Shampoo's skin grew paler by the moment. "Gr-great-grandmother… Sh-Shampoo hug him when we talk…." her voice lowered to barely a whisper.
"Damn! Well, I suppose it is to be expected. You may not have even been the first to make contact with him. It doesn't matter now though, we've got to find Son-in-law and get him to safety before he endangers himself!"
As the two rushed outside, prepared to go searching for the pigtailed boy's ki signature, they were greeted by a sight. An unconscious Ranma lying collapsed on the ground.
"Airen!" "Son in law!" Shampoo and Cologne exclaimed nigh simultaneously, the former rushing towards him and stopping just before his body.
"Shampoo, hurry, get him inside!" The Amazonian Matriarch ordered.
The purple haired martial artist bit her lip. "But Grandmother, you say Airen shouldn't be touched…"
The elder Amazon shook her head. "It doesn't matter now; you yourself said that you had already hugged him earlier. Something's wrong though, the spell shouldn't cause any actual physical harm to the person like this." Cologne both stated and pondered at once.
Her fear quickly growing, Shampoo lifted up Ranma bridal style, (an arrangement he most certainly wouldn't have liked to be seen in) and rushed him off into the Cat Café.
Laying him across one of the tables, Cologne started a hasty examination of his current state but was halted when the boy gave off a low moan.
"Ugh… old ghoul, Shampoo… is that you guys?" Asked a rather dazed and confused Ranma who was currently attempting to sit up straight.
Cologne used her staff to gently push him back down. "Please, lay back son-in-law. You're injured; we're trying to help you." The old matriarch turned to her ward. "Shampoo, get me my enchantment tools from the storeroom!"
Shampoo nodded and was just about to rush off when Ranma let off a harsh yelp that had her stopping dead in her tracks.
"Husband!" She yelled out, turning to the pigtailed boy and clasping his hand tightly for a moment before a strange light started to form around the Saotome heir's now once again passed out body.
Cologne motioned for her Granddaughter to relinquish her hold. Shampoo did so, too enraptured by the sight before her to attempt to disobey. Snapping out of it for a moment, she realized something. "The supplies! Shampoo, go hurry and get them!"
She was halted though by her Grandmother's cane blocking her path. "It is too late now," she said, eyes hardened. "We must let the spell run its course or else we could injure son-in-law."
Shampoo stopped and looked in fear at her would be spouse. The light continued on, eventually covering Ranma completely. Absentmindedly, Shampoo would note that if it wasn't for the fact that her Airen was in danger, she would think the sight was quite a pretty one to behold. It got to the point though for both of them that the light became far too bright to directly look at and they had to turn away. Moments later, a final burst of energy shot forth from Ranma's form and the brightness in the room dissipated.
Once both were able to stand the current state of luminosity in the room, Cologne and Shampoo turned themselves back to Ranma. What greeted them though left the purple haired Amazon aghast.
Lying on the table wasn't the form of a martial artist, but two individual chúi, or Chinese battle hammers! Both were exactly the same in terms of shape but were made distinct by their coloring. One had its top painted in black while the other's ball portion was painted in a fiery red.
"Ranma?..." called a distraught and confused Shampoo.
"Son-in-law?" Cologne asked just moments after. Both were completely unfazed at the fact that they were attempting to converse with a pair of bludgeoning tools.
"Wha?..." Was the noise made by the black topped hammer, its sound slightly modulated with a tinge of an echo added to it.
The other red topped hammer also gave the following intelligent response "Ehh?..." This voice though was quite different from the others. It was several octaves higher and sounded overall very female, though it too had a modified echo added to it.
The Amazon elder's eyes widened at this. "…Which one of you is Ranma?" asked a surprised, and mildly disturbed, Cologne.
For a brief moment there was silence, as if the two hammers were still trying to bring themselves out of a daze, but it quickly passed and the chúi with the male voice answered back, "I am!"
…Which was swiftly followed by the female sounding hammer responding with, 'Me!"
If it were at all possible for the two chúi to move right now they would be in the midst of a staring contest.
Cologne, for her part, felt a migraine coming on.
The female sounding Ranma chúi glowed briefly for a moment as two small lights of ki formed on the upper bludgeoning portion of the tool, taking a shape that looked almost like two eyes. It greatly humanized the item. It pointed its newly formed optics towards Cologne and spoke up before anyone else could say anything. "What the hell's goin' on here ya old mummy? Why can't I move? Am I in a cast or somethin'? And who the hell's this other guy sayin' he's me? And where is he, anyway? I don't see im' anywhere around!"
"Hey! Who you calling 'this other guy'?" the hammer that sounded like Ranma's male form asked, "hmphing" in response. It too having formed a pair of ki 'eyes'. "I'm Ranma! You can't be me! I don't know where you are, but you sound like a girl! And Ranma Saotome ain't no girl!... Well, most of the time."
"Quiet! Both of you!" stated Cologne, in an attempt to calm the situation. "Now listen… Ranmas, it seems like there's been a bit of a mix up."
"Just tell me what's goin' on, yah old ghoul!" exclaimed the male chúi.
Ignoring the insult, Cologne pressed forward. "Now, sons-in-law?..." She shook her head and continued on, "It appears that the spell Happosai used on you seems to have actually worked… he just simply forgot to personally add the last 'touch', so to speak." She then gave off a cough. "Right now, at this moment, you are a pair of chúi, or Chinese battle hammers."
Silence filled the room before a shocked female Ranma started, "Wa-wait, I'm a pair of hammers? WHY THE HELL AM I A PAIR A HAMMERS YA OLD MUMMY? And why the hell do I sound like my girl form? If I'm a friggin' hammer, I shouldn't have a gender! This doesn't make any sense at all!" ranted one red topped chúi.
If it could move, the black topped Ranma chúi would have nodded but instead opted to join in on the conversation with a brief agreement, "Yeah! What she said!" Having nothing else to really add since its counterpart covered just about all the bases it would have… and then some!
A deep sigh was elicited from the Amazon elder. She then briefly gave the two transmitted weapons a rough explanation for what the Orb of Transmutation did, leaving out the whole part about dying within a month. She didn't want to cause any more duress between the two than was already had.
"So, Shampoo glompin' on to me caused me to turn into a hammer?" asked the, for simplicities sake, male Ranma.
"That still doesn't explain why I have to be a girl!" exclaimed the female counterpart. "Change me back!"
"Hold on, one at a time here!" Cologne commanded, eyes darting between both Ranmas. "Both of you! Now, as for the first question, the answer would be yes. Shampoo specializes in chúi; you've seen her use them before. Unless you touched someone who also practices a form of combat that uses them, I can't think of another explanation. "Though I suppose it doesn't even really matter at all at this point, what's done has been done."
Shampoo, who was currently silently standing next to her Great-Grandmother, had her head down. She then softly spoke, "Shampoo so, so sorry Airen. Shampoo didn't mean to hurt you! Stupid! Stupid!" she exclaimed, trying to hold off the small tears forming in her eyes.
"But you no worries, Great-Grandmother fix you up too, too quickly! Shampoo make sure!" Her face attempted to lighten up, but not before a small tear fell from her left eye directly on to the restaurant floor.
Putting her hand on Shampoo's shoulder in a sympathetic gesture, Cologne responded to the second question. "Of course. But as for why you," She pointed to the red topped hammer, "sound female, I think it has something to do with your Jusenkyo curse. I don't believe we ever actually used the orb on victims of the cursed pools for fear of mixing two forms of transformation magic together. I'm not quite sure, but since most chúi are wielded two at once, it might have split you so a single chúi wouldn't hold each one of your forms. I can not be certain though; we are entering untested grounds."
"What happens when you fix me up?" asked the rather excited male Ranma. "Does that mean I ain't gonna have my cursed form anymore?"
"Wait! What about me?" was the question asked by the extremely horrified female Ranma. "I'm not gonna' be stuck as a girl am I?"
"Now, now, stay calm!" Cologne spoke up to quiet down the distressed weapons. "Before we even attempt to answer anything, we need to get both your situations in order first. Alright Ranma, either of you, do you know where the Orb of Transmutation is currently? We need it to reverse the process."
The male Ranma responded, "Happosai's still got it. I ran after him once he used the spell, but…"
He was interrupted by his female counterpart, "He got away after Shampoo stopped me to have a 'chat'" Her voice sounding annoyed.
"Shampoo so sorry! Shampoo fix things! She no let all Airen's ki die out!" Her voice was sounding extremely distraught, but her face firmed in determination.
"Wa-wa-wait, what was that last part?" asked a slightly worried sounding male chúi.
Cologne felt her migraine worsen. "Now hold on, before we do anything else, we should contact Ranma's family and inform them of the situation currently going on," stated Cologne, a plan already forming in her head. She was just about to pogo hop over to the phone but right then, a tired looking Mousse walked in the front entrance.
"Shampoo! I have returned from my deliveries!" He exclaimed before putting on his glasses and noticing the drying tears on her face.
"My love! Who has injured you? Was it Saotome? When I get my hands on him…" His promise though was interrupted by a strange sound emanating from a nearby table.
"Ah geez, I really don't need this right now." Was the statement made by a voice that sounded suspiciously like Mousse's archenemy.
"You and me both…" replied a tone that was also eerily reminiscent of Ranma's female form.
The Chinese boy walked over to the table where he heard the sound, not seeing anything resembling the pigtailed martial artist's form at first. He attempted to wipe any bit of grime off his glasses with a handkerchief he kept on him and looked around once again. Not seeing anything but what appeared to be two of Shampoo's battle chúi, he turned to Cologne, a confused look in his eyes.
Not missing a beat, Cologne answered, "Son-in-law got transformed into a pair of sentient hammers."
Blinking a few times, an awkward silence filled the air. That was until Mousse, who for the moment seemed to have forgotten he had been running around the district carrying packages all morning, jumped up and exclaimed the following,
"YAHOO! Shampoo! My love! This is perfect! Now we can be together and-"
His rant though was cut off when Shampoo grabbed the black topped chúi and lightly smacked him against Mousse's face… which caused the blind boy to be shot forth through the roof of the Cat Café. The elder Amazon personally noted that if you looked close enough, just before impact, you could see a tiny burst of energy shoot out from Ranma.
Shampoo stared blankly for a few moments and blinked before lifting Ranma up to eye level and smiling. "Wow! Weapon-people is powerful!"
Cologne let off a sigh before looking up at the hole Mousse left in her roof, and attempted to exclaim the following to the most likely far flung boy, "That's coming out of your pay!"
A/N: Oh god, what did I just write? You know, I thought I would pop my proverbial fanfiction cherry with something at least a little more… substantial. Honestly, I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote this. I mean I just thought up the title and I rolled with it from there.
Anyway, as I just previously stated, this is actually my first attempt at publishing a piece of fanfiction, though I have been reviewing them, both with this account, and without it, for quite some time, so silently I'm critiquing every little fault I pick up in this story, whether or not I actually fix them. =P Anyway, I tried to keep the spelling as tidy as possible, but I'm sure I've missed some things here and there. Also, I'm not to sure about how I wrote Shampoo here, I hope I didn't make her out to look like a bad person. That would be really counter-intuitive to my plans. Oh well.
I don't know when this whole thing will update, I have a pretty basic outline in my head, and I already have an idea of what is going to happen next, so it may actually be pretty soon, it depends.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this!
P.S. I'm well aware that chúi isn't pronounced "chew".
4/02/10 Revision: Attempted to fix rather obvious plot hole, as well as changed the outro to something I felt more fitting. Also did various spelling and formatting improvements.
7/24/10 Revision: Additional editing provided by R.T. Stephens Great work!