I'm a guy!

Ranma floated in darkness. He had no idea where he was or how he'd gotten there, but for some reason he didn't seem to care. He felt relaxed and at peace. It was a nice feeling, one he felt far too rarely. After a time, he realized he was no longer alone. He wasn't sure how he knew, but he was sure someone else was with him. After a few seconds (or a few hours—time didn't seem to really exist here), a woman's voice surrounded him, proving him right.

"Ranma, you have a very special destiny. You have been chosen to be a champion of the light; your bright soul and fighting spirit make you the perfect paladin of justice, guardian of goodness, and valkyrie of virtue!"

Ranma felt warm inside as he listened to the voice. He'd always delighted in protecting the weak (well, the ones who weren't jerks—he'd protect the jerks, too, but he always kind of hated himself when he did), and now it sounded like he'd been chosen to be some kind of superhero. Paladin, guardian, ... valkyrie? The warmth fizzled out.

"What do you mean, 'valkyrie'?" he demanded. "Isn't that a woman warrior?"

The voice paused, as if in confusion, before answering, "Well, yes. And so shall you be."

"Unh-uh! No way. Forget it."

"You ... refuse?" The voice was definitely confused now.

"That's right. Find someone else to do it."

The voice sighed and reluctantly said, "Very well... I will find someone else, even though you are the best choice. So long as you do not utter the transformation phrase until then, you will manage to hide from your destiny."

"Hey! I ain't hid—" He took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down. It seemed easier than usual to do that in this dark place. "Fine. Whatever. So, what's this phrase I have to avoid?"

"It is Ranma! Wake up!" shouted the voice as it became Akane's after the first two words. And as cold water shocked his body, he did.


"Oh, stop being such a baby, Ranma. You knew you had to get up early today. It was your idea to get to school early so you could look over your notes right before the test. Never mind my suggestion to just study hard..."

Ranma scowled as he trailed behind Akane and Nabiki on the way to school. He was still feeling a bit freaked out about the dream he'd had. On the unlikely chance it was real, he'd missed a really important bit of information; if it was just a normal dream, the fact that he'd come up with something like that to begin with was almost as disturbing.

"I changed my mind," he grumbled.

"Like I'm supposed to know that! I was just trying to help."

"I didn't ask for your help! Can't you just mind your own business for once?"

"Fine! From now on, you're on your own, jerk!" shouted Akane as she angrily kicked a nearby fencepost, sending vibrations down the fence and causing it to shower both her and Ranma with droplets from the rain that had fallen earlier that morning.

"What'd you do that for?!" demanded the now wet and female Ranma. "Now I gotta stop and get hot water!"

"Now, now, ladies," chided Nabiki with a smirk, "if you want to get to school early, there's no time for hot water or screeching at each other in the street."

While Akane blushed at her older sister's words, Ranma sputtered, "Ladies?! I'm a guy!"

And suddenly soft music filled the air as a pink aura surrounded Ranma and seemed to gently lift her off the street. A flurry of pink and lavender ribbons danced around her as she spun in place for a moment before melding together to form a short and highly nonstandard seifuku featuring large quantities of pink, lavender, and white. There were also elbow length gloves, thigh high lace-up boots with high heels, numerous bows, and various pieces of gold jewelry—including an ornate tiara set with a pink stone resting atop her now lavender hair that reached halfway down her back in a French braid held closed with a coil of gold. The music stopped as Ranma lightly touched down on the street, lavender eyes wide and staring.

As Akane stood there gaping, a hand self-consciously going to her own hair, Nabiki just looked the rather shell-shocked Ranma up and down and said dryly, "I stand corrected."

A long moment passed before Ranma shook off her shock and shouted, "What the hell kind of transformation phrase is that?!"

"Actually, it's high elvish for imbue me with power," said the voice Ranma had heard in his dreams just the night before. She looked around and quickly spotted a small lavender fox with very large ears walking out from between two bushes.

"I'm a guy?" asked Nabiki.

"Not exactly, but close enough," said the fox as she walked over to Ranma, and with a powerful leap, jumped onto her shoulder. "I must say, I'm glad you changed your mind and decided to accept the mantle of champion. The forces of evil will tremble in fear!"

"I didn't change nothing!" cried Ranma. "Go find someone else—I ain't doing it!"

The fox grabbed the bow on the front of Ranma's outfit and thrust her face into the girl's face. Somehow, the fox seemed to have grown to enormous size, her sharp, pointed teeth flashing less than an inch from Ranma as she snarled, "Well, you shouldn't have said the transformation phrase, then! Now I can't get anyone else, so you have to do it!"

Ranma gave a shriek and fell over backwards, dazedly wondering if this fox was somehow related to Akane's father. The fox, normal size again, landed lightly before her and brushed herself off with a paw. "Actually, you don't have to carry out your duty if you feel so strongly about it. Of course, the forces of darkness undoubtedly sensed your transformation and will be coming to destroy you and then everyone around you, but hey, it's your choice."

Ranma picked herself up and glanced at Akane and Nabiki before giving the fox a dark look and saying, "That's not much of a choice."

Nabiki smirked and said, "That's a good magical girl."

"For the last time, I'm a gu—" Ranma started to shout before the fox cut her off.

"Hey! There's no need for your super form right now!" While Ranma groaned and buried her face in her hands, the fox added, "Anyway, we shouldn't be standing here in the middle of the street like this. You need to either power down or go someplace less public."

"Right," said Nabiki, "you don't want to give people a free show."

"I don't want to give people any kind of show!" cried Ranma. Turning to the fox, she asked, "How do I go back to normal?"

"Back?" asked Akane skeptically.

"Just picture your normal form and will yourself to change back to it."

"Ok," said Ranma as she closed her eyes and concentrated. After a few moments, she opened them again, and looking down at herself exclaimed, "It's not working!"

Akane looked thoughtful and asked, "Are you picturing yourself as a girl? You were in your cursed form when you, um..."

"Turned into a magical girl," Nabiki finished helpfully.

After sparing a moment to shoot Nabiki a dark look, Ranma sighed and closed her eyes again. A few seconds later, her form wavered and became her usual female self. When she opened her eyes, she looked down at herself and sighed in relief.

"So, what's this about a curse?" asked the fox.

"Well, my old man and I—"

"Ranma," interrupted Akane, "if we don't go to school now, we're going to be late for the test."

"Who cares about a test after this!?"

"Go take your test," said the fox. "This will still be around after school."

"Like I'll be able to concentrate on math..."

"So go fail your test. I'll talk to you when you get out of school.

Author's note: After several years of being an op of the official Fukufics IRC channel, I decided it's long overdue that I actually wrote one. This is intended to be a fairly lighthearted story that will mostly consist of 'episodes' where new opponents and situations arise and are dealt with, rather than huge dramatic arcs. Then again, stories have been known to veer in unexpected directions...

Thanks go to the patron deity of fukufics, Sunshine Temple, for feedback and suggestions.