Chapter 9: Beware the Curse of the Silver Spatula

                       C&A Productions Presents

                       Ranma: Curse of Darkness

    A work of Ranma 1/2 fanfiction by Chris McNeil and Aaron Peori

                              Chapter 9

                Beware the Curse of the Silver Spatula

The story so far: stuff happened.  (long pause) Oh, you wanted me to
elaborate?  Sure.  You see, Ranma became Senchi, who fell for Ryouga
who beat Ranma in a fight, but Mousse-who fell for Akane but not
Ukyou-fell at Ranma without success while Amigi dealt with Tarou who
works for Ukyou and hasn't fallen for or at Shampoo who fell before
Tzubi who fell out of grace with Amigi who committed a felony and got
sent to jail, where he didn't meet Kunou who fell for Ranma but that's
old news, not as old as Cologne though, who fell before Amigi and fell
for him while he fell out of grace with her by leaving her for the
felonious DMSESREBHPTT and met that felon Genma.  Confused now?  Good.

(Scene: a mountainous region of China.  The scene is tinted brown and
a title at the bottom declares the place to be China, 1003 BC (3000
years ago, for all you math majors).  The central mountain grows in
our view, like a finger of rock slowly thrusting upward.  As we
approach, a masculine voice begins to narrate in slow, even tones.)

Narrator: Three thousand years ago in China, during that magical time
when all ancient lore was discovered and ultimate techniques were
actually _new_, there lived a dragon.
(We see a dragon fly into view.  It is a majestic creature, its
wingless, serpentine form glittering like a gemstone rainbow in the
dull afternoon light.  It coils through the air, slipping through it
like water as it ascends to the top of the mountain.)

Narrator: This dragon was named
MizanoigishogenokaokaralladallibumBINGuuuwumpgeudsenthiet, which is
pronounced Bob.  And he was a fearsome dragon, mostly because everyone
called him MizanoigishogenokaokaralladallibumBINGuuuwumpgeudsenthiet,
and thus mispronounced his name.  So, being an angry dragon, he did
angry dragon things...
(We see a still shot of the dragon setting fire to a village.)

Narrator: burning villages...
(We see the dragon fighting hordes of soldiers.)

Narrator: ...wiping out armies...
(We see the dragon flying off with a shapely woman in a silk dress.)

Narrator: ...kidnapping damsels in distress...
(We see the dragon playing the bagpipes, causing people to flee

Narrator: ...and generally making a nuisance of itself.  Now, in the
tradition of all such tales we have the heroes.
(The view pans down the mountain and we see several people climbing up
it.  There are seven of them, a hodgepodge of all sexes and sizes.
Each carries a nasty-looking weapon of some kind.)

Narrator: Now, our heroes were like most other heroes.  Shallow,
depraved, greedy... (they all glare at the screen) Uh...I mean
honourable, valorous and self-sacrificing!  (they all nod and continue
upward) Our heroes had taken it upon themselves to destroy the great
dragon MizanoigishogenokaokaralladallibumBINGuuuwumpgeudsenthiet-
pronounced Bob-for many reasons.  He had burned their land, eaten
their armies, kidnapped their sisters-yes, each and every one of their
sisters-and kept them up for the last three nights with his horrible
piping.  But mostly, it was because they were being paid.
(The group comes over the edge of the mountain and confronts the

Narrator: So they fought the dragon, in a climactic battle filled with
spectacular ki blasts, science-defying manoeuvres and a level of high
drama unseen before or since.  Unfortunately, we already wasted our
budget for this season and can't afford to show it, but trust me, it
was great.
(We cut to a scene of the heroes standing atop the dragon, who is
lying on its back with pain swirls for eyes and claws in the patented
Takahashi position.)

Narrator: Now, the defeated dragon wasn't all that brave, and it
pleaded for its life-and a new name while it was at it-offering them
anything they wanted.  After reminding it that they would get its
horde anyway, it told them of a final gift...okay folks, wake up!
This is the important part!
(We see the group standing before the dragon.  Slowly it closes its
eyes and then opens them again.  The eyes sparkle briefly, and then
exactly seven teardrops fall from its face, each landing in the hand
of one of the waiting heroes.)

Narrator: The tears solidified, changing into tiny amulets.  These
amulets held great power...and great danger.  Known as the Tears of
the Dragon's Eyes, they were passed down from generation to
generation, until their true origins were lost in the mists of time...
(The view begins to fade, but as it does so a closeup of one of the
hero's hands appears.  In it rests a delicate silver spatula...)


Ranma: away!  NOOOOOOOOO!!!!  (cowers)

Akane: (frowning and holding something that resembles a pickled pig's
head) Ranma...

Nabiki: Take it like a man, Ranma.

Genma: To a true martial artist, such a trial as this is not a
hardship, but actually training.

Ranma: Then _you_ eat it!

Genma: Uh... (gulps) She's your fiancee, Ranma!

Akane(growls): Ranma...

Soun(demon head): My daughter's cooking isn't good enough for you!  Is
that it!?
(Ranma pulls back on one foot, eyes wide.)

Ranma: No...I mean yes...that is...

Kasumi: I suppose I should call the repairman again...

Akane(glowing): RANMA!
(At this point a knock comes at the door.  Ranma leaps up, face full
of relief.  He dashes past kasumi at approximately Mach 3.)

Ranma: I'll get it!
(He reaches the door, and stops for a moment to catch his breath
before sliding it open.)

Ranma: Ohaiyo... (looks up)
(Framed by the doorway is Ukyou, carrying a box.  She smiles.)

Ukyou: Ohaiyo, Ranchan.  How are...
(Ranma slides the door shut quickly.  He turns around, sweating.)

Ranma: [Great...this is all I need.  If Akane sees her here with
food...] (he shudders)
(There is another knock at the door, followed by a confused "Ranchan?"
Ranma thinks long and hard, and...Kasumi opens the door.)

Kasumi(chastising): Ranma, I thought you said you were getting the
door.  (turns to Ukyou) Hello, Ukyou, please come in.

Ukyou: Domo.  (she walks in past Kasumi and the stunned Ranma) What's
wrong, Ranchan?

Ranma: (sob)

Ukyou: Ranma?  Are you okay?

Ranma: Not for long...

Akane: (from the other room) Ranma, get back here and finish your

Ukyou: (eyes widen, then she nods and winks) Here Ranchan, eat up.
(she offers him the box) That way you'll have an excuse.

Ranma: But then she'll kill me!

Kasumi: I'll leave you to talk.  
(She smiles and walks back towards the living room.)

Ukyou: Hmm, death by bludgeoning or poisoning...not much of a choice.
(she smiles) I know, why don't you come over to my place?

Ranma: Your place?

Ukyou: Right, after all, you promised to help me open up this

Ranma: I did?

Ukyou: (waving her hand leadingly) Yes...

Akane: (from the other room) He's WHAT!?

Kasumi: (also from the other room) Out talking with Ukyou... (there is
a cracking sound) Oh my...
(Presently, Akane storms around the corner, holding her pickled pig's

Akane: Just _what_ are you doing, Ranma!?

Ranma: I...uh...that is...

Akane: You were going to eat her cooking instead of mine, weren't you!
(Suddenly Soun and Genma-panda appear, holding the two girls in front
of Ranma.)

Soun: Well, what's it going to be, son?

Genma-panda: {You must choose!}

Ukyou: (giving Genma a flat look) Do you mind?

Akane: (giving her father a flat look) Dad...

Nabiki: (peeking around the corner) What?  A family gathering, and
nobody invited me?  I'm hurt, deeply hurt.

Kasumi: (still in the other room) Hello?  Repair shop?  Yes, we could
use our table fixed...

Ranma: Why me... 
(He puts his head into his hands.  At this point, Ukyou notices

Ukyou: Ranchan...why aren't you wearing my birthday present?

Ranma: Huh wha?

Nabiki: Stimulating, Ranma.  I might go so far as to say

Ukyou: I'm talking about the present I gave you back at the party.
Why aren't you wearing it?

Ranma: Party?

Nabiki: You know, Ranma; one of those events where a bunch of people
get together to celebrate and beat you up.

Ranma: Oh right...the birthday party.

Akane: What are you talking about?

Ukyou: (looks hurt) I gave Ranma a precious family heirloom and he
doesn't even wear it...

Ranma: No!  It's, uh...I just forgot about it is all...what with all
the commotion...yeah, that's it...

Ukyou: (jumps up) Oh Ranchan, you mean you'll wear it?

Ranma: I...uh... (sweatdrop)

Akane: (spins on her heel) Go ahead!  Wear her wedding ring for all I
care!  (she stalks away)

Soun: What's this about a wedding ring!?

Ranma: I never said nothin' about a wedding ring!

Nabiki: So there is a wedding ring?  (Ranma blinks) Gotta love double

Soun: (in full wail and gaining speed) How could you do this!?  To
betray my trust in you...

Ukyou: What's this about a wedding ring?

Soun(calmly): Who knows?  (wailing) But Ranma has betrayed my

Ukyou: I never gave him a wedding ring!

Soun: (calms down) Oh well, that's different then.

Nabiki: Ah, you went and ruined my fun.

Ukyou(insincerely): Sorry about that.
(After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, Soun, Genma and Nabiki
drift off, leaving Ranma and Ukyou alone in the entrance hallway.)

Ranma: (sighs in relief) Thanks, Ucchan.

Ukyou: _could_ thank me by agreeing to wear my gift.

Ranma: Gift...oh right, that gift.

Ukyou: Well?

Ranma: (shrugs) Sure.  I mean, what harm could it do?
(*crack*boom*ominous roll of thunder*)


(Scene: a short time later, Ranma's room.  He is looking through his
closet, tossing out may strange objects-including a gymnastics ribbon,
a few dojo signs, a pair of ice skates, a long hair of some kind, a
tea set, a pair of pom poms and others-in his search.)

Ukyou: (glances around) [Nobody's last I'm alone with
(With a mischievous grin she nudges the door closed with her foot.
Ranma looks up at the noise.)

Ranma: What happened?

Ukyou: I guess the wind blew the door shut.

Ranma: (nods) I guess that would explain it.  (he fails to note that
the window is closed)
(As Ranma continues to search, Ukyou strides over and sits on his

Ukyou: Are you sure it's even in there, Ranma?

Ranma: (from in the closet) I don't know where else it could be...

Ukyou: Maybe over here, by the futon?

Ranma: Aha!  I found it!

Ukyou(voice wavers between joy and disappointment): Great... (mumbles

Ranma: What's that? (he turns around, holding something in one hand)

Ukyou: Nothing, Ranchan.  Why don't you try it on?
(Ranma holds up the object; a tiny spatula made of silver on a
delicate chain.  He peers at it for a moment.)

Ranma: Hmmm, it's still shiny.  That's weird...

Ukyou: It's an old family heirloom.  I ve never really had to polish

Ranma: (looks at it critically) It's bit girlish, isn't it?

Ukyou: Ranma!  My father gave me that, it's been worn by the men in my
family for generations.

Ranma: You sure?

Ukyou: (hands on hips) I think I would remember something like that.

Ranma: Uhh...

Ukyou: Didn't you promise, Ranchan?

Ranma: (sighs) Alright. [Maybe Akane won't notice...]
(Ukyou smiles happily as Ranma fiddles with the clasp.  He continues
to try and unlatch the necklace to no avail.)

Ukyou: (smiles behind her hand) [Typical guy...] Here, let me help you
with that.
(Ukyou walks over and removes the necklace from Ranma's hands.)

Ranma: I think it's stuck.

Ukyou: No, you just have to be gentle with it.  (she easily undoes the

Ranma: Ahh...

Ukyou: (nods) Okay, lean in closer so I can slip it on.
(Ranma obeys, and Ukyou leans in, moving her hands behind him.  She
breathes softly, but with a noticible quickening that ends her
life...oops!  Too much Highlander...damn, and I ruined the mood too!
(muttered curses) Oh well...Ukyou leans in, her body shaking almost
imperceptibly from her closeness to Ranma.  She gently slips the chain
around his neck, allowing her hands to drift downwards.  She secures
the latch, and slowly moves her hands onto his shoulders...)


(Scene: the Tendo kitchen, where Akane is taking out her frustrations
on some hapless ingredients in a strange parody of cooking.  Finally,
she smashes the pan she was using to stir-bake something resembling a
TV remote control down onto the stove triumphantly.)

Akane: I'll show Ranma I'm a better cook!
(She flips the blackened bar onto a plate and stalks around the corner
and up the stairs.  However, upon reaching Ranma's room she finds the
door closed.   She stops, unsure of what to do, and then her curiosity
gets the better of her and she leans in closer, tilting her head to
the side...)

Ranma's voice: I think it's stuck.

Ukyou's voice: No, you just have to be gentle with it.

Ranma's voice: Ah...
(Akane's eyes begin to twitch as she envisions mental pictures to
coincide with those words.)

Ukyou's voice: Okay, lean in closer so I can slip it on.
(That's it.  After a brief moment of stunned surprise, Akane bursts
into the room like the wrath of god.  It takes her all of a
microsecond to analyse the scene: Ranma and Ukyou were standing
together, she was leaning in with her arms around him.)

Akane: RANMA!!!
(Ukyou leaps back, turning to Akane with a mixed expression of guilt,
disappointment and annoyance on her face.  Ranma remains where he is,
stock still, his frame bent forward and his expression locked in a
sort of half-surprise.)

Ukyou: Akane...what are you doing in here?
(Ignoring Ukyou, Akane stalks up to Ranma.)

Akane: Care to explain yourself?

Ranma: . . .

Acnae: Nothing to say, huh?

Ranma: . . .

Akane: Well, at least _acknowledge_ me!

Ranma: . . .
(Ukyou frowns, noting Ranma's strange behaviour.  Akane only looks
more enraged.)

Akane: Well fine!  (she raises herself up slightly and stares right
into his half-closed eyes) Go ahead and live with her!

Ranma: . . .
(Infuriated by the apparent lack of attention, Akane slaps Ranma on
the cheek and stalks out.  Ukyou winces, then blinks as Ranma-who
still hasn't reacted-begins to rock slightly, then falls over on his
side.  He lays on the ground, still in the same position, like a badly
cast statue.  Ukyou walks over and kneels beside him.  She snaps her
fingers a few times, her concern becoming more obvious as he doesn't

Ukyou: Ranma?  (she shakes his shoulder a few times to no avail)
Alright, Ranma, joke's over... (she tilts his head to the side, he
doesn't react; more concerned) C'mon Ranchan, you're scaring
(She grabs his shoulders and beings to shake him; his head bobs back
and forth...then suddenly his eyes snap open.  Ukyou sighs in relief
and lets him he promptly bangs his head against the floor.)

Ranma: Ow!  What'd ya do that for!?

Ukyou: Ranma, thank god you're all right!

Ranma: Well, you won't... (blinks) Ranma?

Ukyou: Did you hit your head too hard, Ranchan?

Ranma: What... (Ranma looks down and his eyes widen; he pats his

Ukyou(confused): Is there something wrong?

Ranma: (a slow, evil grin crosses his features) Oh...I'm fine.  (leaps
up and looks into a mirror) Everything is just perfect!  (clenches his
fist, chuckles) Life couldn't be better!
(He laughs megalomaniacally as thunder booms outside and lightning
flashes in the windows.)

Ukyou: (sweatdrop)


(Scene: later, downstairs.  Ranma is watching TV; he is sitting
leisurely, his legs up on the table.  Ukyou sits near him, while Akane
sits on the opposite side, a frown on her face as she obviously tries
to ignore him.  Genma and Soun are playing Shogi through the doorway,
while Kasumi is dusting.  Nabiki walks downstairs; she is dressed to
kill in a black stain gown with a low, shoulderless cut.  Ranma, Ukyou
and Akane do a doubletake.)

Akane: W-wow, look great!

Ukyou: (smiles mischievously) Why didn't you just take a club?

Nabiki(mock shock) Ukyou!  You'd think I was doing this for a man.
One has a reputation to uphold, and when one goes to the most lavish
restaurant in town...

Ranma: (snickers)

Nabiki: (arches an eyebrow) Got a problem, Saotome?

Ranma: Who, me?  (waves hand) Nah.

Kasumi: Have fun!
(Nabiki nods and steps outside.  As soon as the door closes, Ranma's
eye narrow and a low chuckles escapes his lips.)

Akane: You find my sister's lovelife amusing?

Ranma: Not at all...not at all...say, where's P-chan?

Akane: P-chan?

Ranma: You know, little black pig with a bandanna that hates my guts?

Akane: I know who P-chan is, Ranma.

Ranma: Just making sure.

Akane: I don't know...he seems to come and go at the strangest
(As if on cue, Ryouga wanders in from the kitchen, covered in dust.)

Ryouga: Akane?

Akane: Konnichi wa, Ryouga-kun!  Have you seen P-chan?

Ranma: Every time he looks in a mirror...

Akane: What was that?         Ryouga(enraged): Ranma!

Ranma: I'm thirsty, why don't I get us some water.  Here, take my
seat, Ryouga old pal!  (he smiles and pats the cushion)

Ryouga: You mean...take your seat Akane?

Ranma: (frowns, then smiles again) Yep.  Take it, it's all yours.

Ryouga: (rushes up and grabs Ranma by the shoulders) You mean I can
really have your seat!?

Ranma: (nods vigorously) She's all yours.

Ryouga: (tears streaming down his cheeks) You really mean it, don't
you?  (crushes Ranma in a bear hug) Oh Ranma!  You're a man among men!
I can't thank you enough!

Ranma: (somewhat strained) Don'

Kasumi: Isn't it nice to see such good friends?

Ukyou: Yes...nice... [Why is Ranchan acting so strangely?]
(Ryouga releases Ranma, who collapses to the ground, gasping for air.
Ryouga looks up, tears running freely down his cheeks.)

Ryouga: [At chance...]
(Will resolved to iron, purpose carved in stone, face set like a
sculpture, Ryouga spins to face the couch...and sees Akane.  Will
rusts to ash, purpose erodes to dust, face melts like so much ice...)

(Ranma crawls into the kitchen.  Behind him, Soun and Genma
obliviously continue playing.  Soun makes a move and the giant panda
jumps up.)

Genma: {That's illegal!}

Soun: Is not!

Genma: {Is too!}
(The two continue to squabble.  Meanwhile...)


Akane: Aren't you going to sit down?

Ryouga: Sit... (nods vigorously) Sit.

Ukyou: (pats the seat) That's right, sit.
(Ryouga walks over and sits down.  He twiddles his thumbs nervously.)

Ukyou(smiles): Now roll over.  (Ryouga looks blank; Ukyou sighs) Never

Akane: So where have you been?

Ryouga: Alaska.  I was cold, and they all spoke english...
(proudly) I ate whale fat!

Akane: How...uh...nice...

Ukyou: You got a strange appetite there, kiddo.
(Back with the erstwhile elders...)

Soun: It is so and I'll prove it!  I'll get the rulebook!
(He runs off.  Genma smiles evilly and begins rearranging pieces while
Soun is gone. Meanwhile...)

Ryouga: (looking at Akane) [This is or never, this is for the
ballgame, the buck stops here, the grass is greener on the other side,
win one for the gipper, birds of a feather flock together, too many
cooks spoil the broth, life is like a box of chocolates...]

Soun: (returns with a book) See... (blinks as he sees the board)

Genma: {You were right, Tendo.} (flips the sign) {Shall we play?}

Ryouga: [ the hand is worth two in the bush, this one's for all
the marbles, all life is change, god helps those who help themselves,
how much wood could a woodchuck chuck...]

Soun: But I could have sworn...

Genma: {You don't trust me!} (starts to sob)

Soun: No, it's not that...

Ryouga: [...the vengeance of heaven is slow but sure...]
(The author collapses as his co-author smites him with a bokken.)

Blade: get on with it, stupid!

Epsilon: Alright, alright... (grumbles)
(Ryouga is still thinking and staring, when suddenly he hears a swish
behind him.  With practised reflexes he leaps off the cushion and
lands on the table, as the water he barely avoided lands on the floor
behind where he was sitting with a splash.  He stares at Ranma, who is
holding an empty glass in one hand and a platter with a large pitcher
and several other glasses in the other.)

Ranma: Oops, sorry about that Ryouga...

Ryouga: You did that on purpose!

Ranma: (holds hands to throat; eyes widen) Ryouga, I'm shocked!  Do
you honestly think I'm that vicious?

Ryouga: Well...yeah, I do... (nods)

Ranma: Fine then!  Don't trust me, see if I care!
(Ukyou blinks, Akane glares at Ranma, Ryouga seems taken aback.)

Ryouga: [Well, he _did_ give up his seat next to Akane...] Alright, I
guess you deserve the benefit of the doubt...

Ranma: (smiles) Thanks, pal!
(He smacks Ryouga on the back, sending him staggering forward.)

Ryouga: (growls under breath) He...gave
(With a fantastic show of self restraint he sits back down without
even glaring.  The others all sit as well, as a pregnant silence fills
the air.  Well, not _really_ pregnant, it's not like it's bloated or
anything, silence is hardly filled, I mean, that's the point, isn't
it?  But what is that point?  Is it some strange... *WHAM* Okay,
sheesh, one philosophy class and...anyway...)

Ranma: Hey Ukyou, do you want some water?

Ukyou: Sure...
(Ranma smiles, reaches for a glass and begins pouring.)

Akane: Ryouga-kun?

Ryouga(looking nervous): Y-yes, Akane?

Akane: So what did you do in Alaska?

Ukyou: Besides eating whale fat.

Ryouga: Hmm... (thinks) I remember...ah, I know!
(He turns and bends down to reach into his bag...)

Ranma: here you go!
(He tosses the glass without looking, but his aim appears to be off.
The liquid sails over Ryouga's bent head and smashes into...Soun with
a crash.)

Ranma: Oh no... (turns around) I'm so...sorry...

Soun: (sopping wet; looks up) I could have sworn it was a clear day

Genma: {It's an omen.} (Soun nods)
(Ryouga pulls out a scrap book and look up, then blinks at Ranma's

Ryouga: Something wrong?

Ranma: (grumbles something under his breath) Nothing.  (sits down with
a "hmph")

Ukyou: (looking at him strangely) Do you feel okay, Ranchan?

Ranma: Terrific.

Ukyou: Alright, so what happened to my water?

Ranma: (looks at the pitcher) Oh, right... (very evil grin) Let's see
(He stands again and walks around the table.)

Akane: (flipping through the scrapbook) Wow, Ryouga-kun, you've really
been everywhere...

Ryouga: (rubbing the back of his head) Sometimes it sure seems like

Akane: (frowns) Where is this?
(She indicates a picture with Ryouga standing on top of a palm tree in
the middle of a snowstorm.)

Ryouga: (blinks) Anou...I'm not sure...

Ranma: Here we go...
(Ranma picks up the glass...but as he does his foot catches on the
table and he trips.)

Ryouga: (picks up the book) Here, let me take a look in the light.
(He steps off the cushion...and Ranma drops the glass right where he
was sitting.)

Ranma: (stares) How does he...

Ryouga: (obliviously) I think it's Hokkaido...or Haiti...maybe Harlem?

Akane: Ranma!  You could have ruined the floor!

Ranma: (banging head against the wall) I'll keep that in mind...

Ukyou: Doesn't that hurt?

Akane: With his thick skull?  (Ukyou gives Akane a flat look)

Ryouga: (turning the book upside down) Australia?  Antarctica?
(Ranma slumps against the wall, eyes closed.  Then slowly a smile
stretches across his face.)

Ranma: Okay, time for plan B... (Ranma spins around and slides over to
the couch; he grabs Ryouga's shoulder) Ryouga.

Ryouga: I think... (blinks and turns to face Ranma) What do you want?

Ranma: Can I ask you one favour?

Ryouga(suspiciously): Like what?

Ranma: Stand here for a few minutes.

Ryouga: Nani?

Ranma: Just stay still, it's very important.

Ryouga: Uh...okay...
(Ranma nods and walks into the kitchen.)

Ukyou: (to Akane) Don't you think Ranchan's acting a little weird?

Akane: Now that you mention it, he does seem to be acting strangely.
(Ukyou nods) Almost like a human being...

Ukyou: (facefault) That's not _quite_ what I meant...

Akane: Oh...then what did you mean?

Ukyou: Well, for one, he seems to be awfully comfortable around wat...
(At this point, Ranma bursts out from the kitchen, large supersoakers
in each hand.)

Ranma: DIE, PIG-BOY!!!!

Ryouga: (sweatdrop)
(Suddenly, Ranma opens up with both barrels.  Ryouga "eep's" and

Ryouga(yells): What happened to honour!?

Ranma: Honour shmoner, eat this!
(Ranma chases Ryouga around the room with the supersoakers, managing
to hit just about everything except the lost boy.)

Akane: Yeah, definitely weird.

Ukyou: (nod)

Ranma: (laughs megalomaniacally) Take that!  (squirt) And that!
(squirt) Andthatandthatandthatandthat...

Genma: {Isn't is good to see young friends...} (flip) {at play,

Soun: Certai...
(Ryouga grabs Soun and spins him into the path of a stream of water.)

Ryouga: Excuse me!

Soun: (sopping wet, blinks) Son, do you mind explaining yourself?

Ryouga: Umm...

Ranma: DIE, YEHAHAHAH!!! (squirt)

Ryouga: (blocks with Soun) Ranma, you slime!

Ukyou: Umm...Ranma, did you hit your head or something?

Ranma: Never felt better!  (squirt squirt)

Soun: Ranma-kun, (splash) this isn't very (splash) dignified...

Genma: {Take it like a man, Tendo.}

Soun: Easy for you to (splash) say.

Ryouga: RANMA!  (pulls a bandanna from his forehead) Stop it!
(With a growl, he pops up from behind Soun just long enough to send
the bandanna flying at Ranma.  It cleaves through the water guns like
butter, disarming Ranma.  Of course, this also has another side

Senchi: (blinking and holding the remnants of the supersoakers) Wha...

Ryouga: Eep.  (hides behind Soun again)

Soun: Son, the water pistols are gone...

Ryouga: (small voice) This is much worse.

Senchi: Uh...where am I...and why is everything so wet?
(She looks around and sees that apparently Soun and Genma are the only
ones around.)

Senchi: Ukyou?  Where'd you go?
(Ukyou and Akane are hiding behind the couch.)

Akane(whispers): This is a fine mess.

Senchi: (leaning over the couch) What are you two doing down there?
(Ukyou and Akane freeze.)

Akane: Umm...

Senchi: Hmm...Akane...Ukyou...Akane...I always knew you were a tomboy,

Akane: (eyes twitch, hair frays) Just _what_... (picks up the table)
are you SUGGESTING!?

Senchi: Akane!  Wait!  (raises hands in protest) It was a joke...
(Akane slams the table down on Senchi with considerable force.)

Genma: {_That_ she had coming.}

Soun: (nods) I think it's safe now, son...

Ryouga: Right... (he sneaks out from behind Soun and tiptoes across
the room) I'll just go get something in the kitchen...

Senchi: (pushing the table off) Why'd you go and do that?  (Ryouga

Akane: (just realizing who she clobbered) Uhh...I...I'm sorry!

Senchi:(boggle) Akane?  Do you have a fever?

Ukyou: (eyes narrow) Senchi, are _you_ feeling okay?

Senchi: Senchi?  (pauses and looks down) AAAH!!!  (clutches at her
chest with bulging eyes) G...girl...
(Akane and Ukyou exchange glances.)

Ryouga: (stock still) [Please let her no notice me, please let her not
notice me, _please_ let her...]

Akane: that you?

Ranma-chan: (nods weakly) I'm a girl...  Wait.  That means... (leaps
to her feet) I'm myself again!  She's gone!  It's over!  The nightmare
has ended!

Ukyou: I wouldn't be so sure...

Ranma-chan: (blinks) Why not?  What more proof do you need?

Akane: Well, you were a guy not long ago...

Ukyou: ...and you were acting pretty strange.

Ryouga: (looks over) Wait...what are you guys saying?

Ranma: (looks of mounting horror on his face) You don't mean...

Genma: {This is horrible!}

Soun: (adding more liquid to the room) Nooooo!  Now Ranma will never
marry Akane!

Genma: {Well, there's always Senchi.}

Akane: (glares) Don't even _think_ about it.

Ryouga: What's going on?

Ukyou: seems Ranma and Senchi have switched bodies.

Ryouga: Oh...then that means Ranma _wasn't_ attacking me...

Ukyou: Hai...

Ryouga: And...and he _didn't_ give me his seat... (tears streaming
down his face) NO!  I _wanted_ that seat!  (runs over and grabs
Ranma-chan by the shoulders) Ranma!  You have to give me your seat!  I
want your seat!  PLEASE!!!  (he begins to shake her)

Ranma-chan: Wooo...aah...waaaait...Ryooouugaaa!

Akane: Now, all we have to do if figure out how to cure him...

*Coincidence: 1) a strange and inexplicable simultaneous appearance of
two unrelated events such that they appear related.  2) A cheap plot

(At this point, the wall buckles and bursts inward, revealing the
purple-framed visage of a certain haircare product-dubbed vixen.)

Shampoo: Nihao!

Ukyou: Oh great...

Shampoo: Senchi!  No worry, Shampoo have plan!
(Shampoo leaps into the air, flying over Soun's head and pulling a
kettle out of nowhere.)

Everybody: NO!  STOP!
(But it is too late, as with unerring accuracy the amazon dumps the
steaming liquid on Ranma-chan...)

Senchi-kun: Oh, Ryouga-chan!  (glomp) I'm stuck as a guy!  It's

Ryouga: (arms out at odd angles) S...Sese...seSe...uhh... (faint)

Senchi-kun: Yes, it's so nerve-wracking!

Shampoo: (sweatdrop) Why Ranma act so weird?

Akane: (sigh) Because that isn't Ranma.

Shampoo: Is not? (pulls on Senchi-kun's nose) Is  Basa?

Senchi-kun: Itte!  Quit it!  (slugs Shampoo, sending her reeling)

Shampoo: (holds her chin) Is _not_ Ranma.

Senchi-kun: Of course not!  How insulting.

Soun: Shouldn't we get some cold water?

Genma: {Do YOU want to try and get him wet?}

Soun: Errr...good point.


(Scene: later, same place.  Ryouga is propped against the wall, still
unconscious.  Soun and Genma have returned to playing shogi.  The
others are sitting around the table, Cologne having joined them.
Kasumi is mopping up in the background.)

Cologne: (examining the silver spatula) Hrmm, hmm, ahhh...uh-huh,
yes...quite interesting...

Senchi-kun(annoyed): So?  What have you found out?

Cologne: (straightens) I have discovered... (breathless pause)
absolutely nothing.
(Collective facefault.)

Senchi-kun: (makes a grab at Cologne) Then what're you good for, old

Cologne: (whaps Senchi's first with her staff) I am not a ghoul.  And
even if I can't discover anything from the amulet, I may be able to
deduce what is affecting son-in-law.

Senchi-kun: Don't you mean daughter-in-law?  (snickers) Oh, shut up
Ranma.  (pauses) Well, it doesn't much matter to me.  (pauses)
Riiiiight...just be glad I didn't declare your undying love to

Cologne: If the two of you are quite finished... (Senchi glares, but
falls silent) Better.  (turns to Ukyou) Now, child, what can you tell
us of this family heirloom?

Ukyou: Well...uh...I never really paid much attention when father was
ranting on about it.  It's been in the family for generations.

Cologne: _did_ it get into the family?

Ukyou: I never really believed it, but dad said one of our ancestors
received it for sparing a dragon's life.

Cologne: Ah-ha!  The Tears of the Dragon's Eye!

Everyone else: Tears of the Dragon's Eye!?

Kasumi: Oh my...

Cologne: Yes.  The Tears of the Dragon's Eye, very ancient.  3000
years of Chinese myth speaks of them.  (cue cool-looking special
effect scene; Cologne standing in a wall of flames with glowing eyes
and arms outstretched like a vulture) The ancient legends say they
have powers linked to the bloodlines of the original owners.  Once per
generation, they recharge, becoming the focus of much magic.  If one
who is of the blood of the original owner puts on the amulet, they
become charged with this magic and may use it to excel at any skill.
(everyone gasps) But if one who _isn't_ of te blood puts it on, then
the magic is used by placing them in their worst nightmare!

Ryouga: (sits up suddenly) Ahh!  Keep away!

Ukyou: And since Ranma and Senchi are in the same body, it created
both of their nightmares.

Cologne: Correct.

Shampoo: how fix, o-baba?

Ryouga: Fix what?

Senchi: Me.  They have to reshuffle brains here.

Ryouga: Oh...

Akane: (to Cologne) So how do we break the curse?

Cologne: (sighs) There is only one way that I know of.  They must
become of one blood.
(Dead silence.)

Ukyou: don't...don't mean...

Cologne: (nods) You must consummate marriage.
(Ukyou blushes fiercely, Akane blanches, Soun wails, Genma cheats
while Soun is distracted, Shampoo glares at Ukyou, Senchi looks sick,
Kasumi continues to mop, Ryouga blinks.)

Ryouga: What?  What does she mean?
(Senchi-kun whispers into Ryouga's ear.)

Ryouga: (nosebleed) (faint)

Shampoo: Aiya!  Him sick?

Ukyou: You..._might_ say that...

Shampoo: You no talk!  You try force Ranma marry you!

Ukyou(defensively): I did not!  I had no idea...

Shampoo: Hmph.  Is likely story.  (crosses arms)

Ukyou(angrily): Hey, who are you to talk?

Senchi-kun: Girls, girls.  Aren't we forgetting the important thing
here?  Namely, me?
(Ryouga begins to recover.)

Cologne: Yes.  Let us concentrate on solving the problem, then we may
bicker over whose fault it is.
(Ryouga raises himself to a sitting position.)

Senchi-kun: Well, I'm willing to do it...even if it _is_ disgusting
and sick...

Kasumi: Oh my.  You should get a cloth for that nose, Ryouga.

Ukyou(flabbergasted): A...are you sure...

Senchi-kun: Unlike Ranma, I don't lie...much...well, in comparison...

Ukyou: It's just that...well, this isn't like giving blood...

Senchi-kun: Yeah, it's a lot more fun.

(Everyone looks over at Ryouga, but he hasn't moved.  Then they turn
to see Genma poking an unconscious Soun with a sign saying "Act like a
man, Tendo".)

Ukyou: (after a moment, her face has recovered from fire engine red to
only police siren red) I mean...shouldn't we look for another way
(Ryouga starts to pull himself up, head shaking.)

Senchi-kun: and Ranma could give it a try, but in her

Ryouga: (nosebleed) (faint)

Cologne: Someone should put cotton swabs in his ears.

Ukyou: I...I just don't think we that...I mean...

Tzubi: There is another way.
(Everyone pulls back, eyes bulging and hands in the Takahashi

Akane: Where did _you_ come from!?

Tzubi: Nabiki and I returned not long ago.

Ukyou: Where have you been?

Nabiki: In the kitchen, eavesdropping.

Senchi-kun(dryly): Why does that _not_ surprise me...okay, so what's
your great idea?

Tzubi: (entering lecture mode) Well you see, nightmares come about
because we hide things we don't want to know deep inside.  So Ranma
should be able to get rid of his nightmare, and the curse, by
revealing his deepest secret.

Cologne: You are sure of this?

Tzubi: I've studied under Amigi.  Of course... (holds up a finger) I
don't. (multiple sweatdrops) But it's worth a try, ne?

Senchi-kun: He's got a point.  Well, I have nothing to hide, so I
guess it's Ranma's ballgame now.
(Senchi picks up a glass of water and dumps it on himself, then...)

Ranma-chan: (arms crossed) I'm not doing it!

Cologne: Would you rather be forced into union with Ukyou?

Ranma-chan: (blanches), not that...
(Ukyou flinches.)

Ryouga: (having recovered again) Go on, Ranma!  (slaps her on the
back) Be a man!

Nabiki: Literally.

Ranma-chan: I...fine.  (glares at Nabiki) But you must promise never
to repeat this.

Nabiki(smiles): I won't.

Ranma-chan: (gulps; looks at Akane) A...akane?  I've never said this
before...I want you to promise me you won't laugh at me for it.

Akane: R..Ranma...

Ranma-chan: Please, promise me.

Akane: I...I promise.

Ranma-chan: (look of pure determination) Akane...I...I...I...
(Everyone leans forward, the sound settle..a pindrop could be

Ranma-chan: I...I...u..._I_...

Akane: [Ranma...]

Ranma-chan: I...I used to wet the bed!  (sudden relaxes)
(Collective facefault.  Suddenly, the silver spatula glistens, then
the chain opens and it falls to the ground.  Ranma-chan blinks.)

Senchi: Oh Ryouga-chan!  (glomp) It was so think we would
never have been able to consummate _our_ marriage!

Ryouga: *mega-nosebleed*dead faint*

Senchi: Ryouga-ch... (splash)

Akane: (holding a kettle) Ranma, it worked!

Ranma: Hey, it did!

Ukyou: (picks up the amulet; neutral tone) Yeah...

Nabiki: Yeah, quite a show... (she whips out a tape recorder)

Tape recorder: "...I used to wet the bed!"

Ranma: Nabiki!  You promised!

Nabiki: I promised not to repeat it, Ranma.  I said nothing about
taping and direct radio broadcast... (Ranma looks ill) Of course, we
might come to an agreement... (Ranma looks even more ill)

Tzubi: Well, my work here is done.  Farewell.
(Everybody blinks as he walks out.)

Shampoo: Now, spatula-girl!  We talk  bout Ranma!


(Outside: Tzubi is walking along, minding his own business...this, of
course, leads to Takahashi law of Plots #6; "The amount of trouble you
attract is inversely proportional to how much you're looking for."  A
dark figure stalks through the shadows behind him.  He stops,
frowning, but doesn't see anything when he looks around and continues
to walk.  The figures smiles and steps from the shadows, then cups
both hands and points them at him.)

Shiad: BAKURAI-HA!!!
(Suddenly, a bolt of lightning flies from her hand, catching Tzubi
off-guard and frying him quite thoroughly.)

Shiad: Hmph.  Tzubi Meskiro, some warrior.  (looks back towards the
dojo) Let this be warning.  All who stand with Amigi Diatonobi shall
(She drops a card on Tzubi's unconscious form, and then disappears
into the night.)

                        To be continued...

Author's postscript: Well, it was bit of a wait, but CoD #9 is finally
here!  Hope you liked it; it's certainly a little different than the
last few chapters have been. ^_^ And there you go, SKJAM!, one whole
100% Tarou-free chapter!  Happy? ;p Tune in next time, (which'll be a
little while, damn classes...) for more of the mysterious Shiad, and
more importantly...Senchi and Ryouga's date!  Until then, all
commentary and criticism, as always, can be directed to Blade at  Jya ne!

Blade and Epsilon

All content unless stated otherwise is ©2021 Chris McNeil. He can be contacted here. The banner picture is courtesy of Jason Heavensrun. You can find more of his stuff at Checkmate Studios.