"Pig-tailed girl! I would date with you!"

Upperclassman Kuno handed me a bouquet of flowers. In return I gave him a boot in the face, sending him flying down the street.

"Man, what a loser." I went into the dojo in search of a kettle of hot water. "It was bad enough when he kept challenging me to fights. Now this. I think I could live the rest of my life without hearing 'Pig-tailed girl' from that jerk."

"I think he likes you, Ranma. Show some gratitude. Give him a nice hug," said Akane. She was in her leotard, practicing for her upcoming gymnastics match against the Upperclassman's twisted sister, Kodachi the Black Rose.

I poured hot water over myself and regained my manhood. "Hey, can I help it if I'm cuter than you, Akane? I didn't see him bringing *you* flowers today." Growing up going to an all-boys school, I had learned that the best way to put a stop to insults is to step on a sensitive spot of the person doing the insulting. Unfortunately, if that person happens to be the violent type, things can get ugly. Akane grabbed me by the front of my shirt.

"Akane, no!"


"Akane, if Ranma is to be my fiance, then you aren't to hit him."

Akane thought this over for a moment, then reluctantly let me drop.

I picked myself up off the floor. "Anyway, as far as that Kuno is concerned, you can have him. I can't think of anybody I'd less like to have anything to do with."

Akane was no longer listening; her attention was now focused on the small black piglet that had just come through the door. "P-chan!" she said.

"Well, maybe him..." I noticed that Akane's little pet had some packages strapped to his back. "Cinnamon crackers from Hiroshima? Tea cakes from Kyoto?? How the heck did he get this stuff?"

Akane started practicing with her gymnastics equipment again.
P-chan skulked out of the room, unnoticed by her.

I thought back to the day Akane first met P-chan. I had gotten home from school and noticed that my old classmate from boys' school, Ryoga Hibiki, was with Kasumi in the living room.

"Why, hello, Ranma! I met your old friend Ryoga when I was shopping today!"

Ryoga was less than friendly at that moment. "Ranma! Prepare to die!"

Ryoga swung around his big umbrella at me, only to find Kasumi in the way. "Would you like more tea?" she offered, as he had to pull back his attack to avoid hitting her.

"Why did you run out on our fight, Ranma?!?" Ryoga shouted as he spun around to attack from a different direction; but there was Kasumi in his way again.

"It's so nice to see two old friends get together!" exclaimed Kasumi.

Ryoga gave up and stepped out the sliding door. "No matter what it takes, Ranma, I shall destroy your happiness!" Ryoga exited as I wondered what the heck he was talking about.

A little later, Akane came home carrying her new little friend. "I found him out by the pond. Looks like he's lost, poor little fella!"

She put an ad in the newspaper the next day asking for the pig's owner; no responses. Funny, you'd have thought that a miniature pig who wears a Ryoga-headband as a collar would be something people would remember. Hmmm....


P-chan entered the Tendo bathroom. Climbing on the side of the bathtub, he twisted the hot water knob with his pig appendages. He positioned himself under the stream of water, and up popped an instant Ryoga.

Ryoga pulled his clothes out of a secret stash and quickly dressed. Then he turned around to see me.

"Hey there, P-chan. I knew something funny had to be going on with you. So you're a... pig!"

"Ranma... you are dead!" he said. I blocked his angry attack with a hastily-grabbed bathroom implement.

Ryoga then told me the whole story of how he had followed me to Jusenkyo and had been knocked into the spring of drowned piglet, after which Pop had almost had him cooked for dinner.

"Now you die!" said Ryoga as he attacked again, but before he could strike we heard a crash from above.

"That came from Akane's room!" said Ryoga. The maniacal laughter that followed told us who had been responsible. Kodachi, the Black Rose. We knew that she had had a tradition of ambushing her opponents before her matches, thereby winning them by forfeit.

We heard a thump from above as someone landed on the roof. Ryoga and I ran outside. A figure could vaguely be seen up there in the darkness. "You get her from this side, I'll circle around from behind the house," I said. Ryoga nodded in assent.

I ran around to the other side of the house and climbed up. Kodachi was waiting for me. Using some sort of sleight of hand, she produced a bouquet of black roses; the second Kuno to offer me flowers that day. I was confused for a second, until her flowers spat some sort of gas in my face. Suddenly my body collapsed of its own will. I could no longer feel anything below my head.

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha! A bit of paralysis gas in the bouquet!" Kodachi straddled my prone lifeless form, about to preform something that wasn't a regulation gymnastics move. "Now, my handsome man. Be brave. And take these lips of mine!"

She leaned even closer to me with an evil smile, speaking softly and emphatically. "And afterwards you shall watch the Black Rose cripple the wicked Akane Tendo!"

That had been the wrong thing to say with Ryoga right behind her.

Ryoga drove his fist into Kodachi's gut. "You stay away from Akane, or I'll kill you!" he said, slamming her head into the roof for emphasis.

It was then I realized. I had figured Ryoga had just been playing P-chan as part of some lame plan to catch me off-guard. Maybe it had started out that way, but it was obvious that the poor slob was now in love with Akane!

"Ryoga," I said feebly, "you made your point. In fact, I think you better call an ambulance for her. Help me up, too while you're at it."

Ryoga dropped the now Black and Blue Rose and stood over me.

"Yeah, I can't move. You could take your revenge on me and I'd be helpless. But that wouldn't make Akane happy, would it?"

Ryoga carried Kodachi and me off the roof.

Akane ended up winning the gymnastics match. By forfeit.


I closed the bathroom door as I heard Kasumi putting the kids to bed. I turned the knob all the way to 'cold' and stripped as I watched the bathtub fill up with water. I jumped in the tub; the water was cold enough to make me wish I hadn't. Slowly, I felt the old familiar changes taking place. I was female once more.

Less than a minute later, my body snapped back to that of a man. The time keeps getting shorter, I thought. Why was that? I looked at today's newspaper headline. 'Akane Tendo and P-chan Hunt for Source of Mysterious Ice Creature'. Ryoga's curse still worked the same as it did on day one. Why was that? My curse shouldn't work any differently than Ryoga's.

Except that Ryoga was still living in interesting times...

I was sitting on the sidelines while he and Akane were living a life of danger and adventure. Could it be after all the ridiculous failed attempts at a cure, my curse was finally going away because it was bored?

"Mommy," I heard from the kids' room, "is daddy turning himself into a girl again? I thought he didn't want to be a girl!"

I thought so too, honey. Of course, I could still remember times when I would've given anything to not be a girl...


"Ranma! I kill!"

I ran through the halls of Furinkan in fear for my life. If only that old woman hadn't gotten me with her dishwater again on the way to school this morning, I thought. Then I would've been a guy when Shampoo busted in looking for me. I could have said that I was female Ranma's cousin, and that she was wintering in Uzbekistan right now. But no...

I ran into a corridor where my high school buddies, Hiroshi and Daisuke, were putting up a banner for next week's school dance. I grabbed it and flipped it over Shampoo's head. By the time she had moved the banner, I was gone. Not far, though; I had crawled into an open locker and shut the door.

If Hiroshi or Daisuke had had sense enough to say "She went that-a-way," and point her to somewhere else, it might have been over then. But all they could do is stand there and admire how well Shampoo filled out the cheongsam she was wearing. It took her all of about two seconds to figure out where I was.

Shampoo struck the locker that I was hiding in. She was using some special technique that didn't damage the locker, but set it vibrating. The vibrations seemed to echo in my head, and I felt as if they were ripping my brain apart.

Shampoo struck again. This second blow set up a counter-vibration. The combination travelled up and down my spinal cord, causing it to shake. My whole body felt like it would just fall apart if she got off another of those attacks.

There was only one thing to do. I kicked open the locker door and tried to run again. Luckily for me, I managed to hit Shampoo with the locker door on the way out. She got up to chase me, though, and with my head as mixed up as Akane's curry right then, I knew I wouldn't get far.

I heard a voice then. One that I quite possibly could not have lived the rest of my life without.

"Pig-tailed girl!"

Shampoo ran unexpectedly right into Kuno's bokken strikes. It was all over for her. For a moment, without thinking about it, I was hugging the Upperclassman out of sheer relief.

Then Kuno got a look at who he was saving me from, and his sexism took over. He bent down and tried to revive her. "Fair one! Hast thou been injured?"

It wasn't a nice thing to think about someone who might have saved my life, but I thought: Sucker. Now she'd be after him the same way she had been after me. Maybe they deserved each other.

Shampoo opened her eyes and looked at Kuno. "Wo de airen!"

Nobody saw much of those two for a while after that.

I found out later about Shampoo's Amazon law that said she had to marry a man who defeated her in combat. Crazy. Lucky for her that she found the one man who that would make sense to. I guess they really did deserve each other. I shouldn't be hard on Kuno, though. He did save me from an attack that might have been fatal, and he even eventually got Shampoo to give up on trying to kill the Pig-tailed girl.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I was there in Furinkan on the floor, my head ringing, with three Hiroshis and four and a half Daisukes staring down at me. At least that's the way it looked to me in my mental state at the time. Daisukes one through three said something about getting me to a doctor.

I got shoved in a car, had hot water poured over me, and was vaguely aware of ending up at Dr. Tofu's. Tofu examined my neck as I could see Akane watching.

I heard somebody enter the clinic. It was Kasumi. "Doctor, is Ranma going to be all right?"

I remembered that I was engaged to Kasumi. Then I noticed that Tofu's hands were still around my neck.

That's the last thing I was aware of for quite some time.

Some dialog for this story was taken from the original Ranma 1/2
series, translation and English rewrite by Matt Thorn and Gerard Jones
for Viz comics.

If anyone is interested, Shampoo's vibration attack is a
variant of the "Box-blower blow" that she used in the Martial Arts
Takeout Race story.