a Ranma 1/2 fanfic by
			Scott Schimmel

			Chapter Two


	Light glinted off of the young doctor's glasses as he
peered at his two most frequent patients.  "This is very strange," he
remarked, sounding more intrigued than anything. (1)  "Yes, I don't
believe I've seen anything like this.  How did it happen?"

	Ranma sighed heavily.  "Just like we told you, Doc.  Kunou
started one of his stupid speeches, threw a 'present' at us, and we
caught it.  The next thing I know, that tomboy has my body, and I'm
stuck in hers."

	"Hey!" protested Akane predictably.  "And -what- is wrong with
my body?" (2)

	"Where should I begin...?"

	"Ranma..."  The promise of impending pain virtually oozed from
Akane's voice.  Except -- Ranma shivered at the realization -- it
wasn't.  It was his voice, when he was a girl, anyway, and there was a
subtle texture to it that wasn't present in Akane's normal angry
growl.  She sounded almost casual.

	Perhaps, Ranma thought, he should just apologize, and end the
argument. (3)

	Nah...  "For one thing, I'm stuck as a girl all the time now.
This isn't what I meant when I said I wanted to get rid of my curse."

	"Now, you two..." began Tofuu.

	The doctor didn't get any further before Ranma once again
interrupted.  "Well, I guess it could've been worse.  At least it's
Akane I switched places with."

	"Wh-- Ranma...?"  Akane was at a loss for words.  "D-Do you
mean that?"

	"'Course I do."

	Akane began to smile.

	"I mean, if it was anyone else, people might've been able to
tell there was a girl in my body.  But with you, I don't have to worry
about that."

	Akane stopped smiling.  The room grew very still for about
half a second as Ranma's words registered.  Then, she flushed an angry
red.  "RANMA, YOU JERK!"  She swung the closest thing at hand -- which
happened to be one of the clinic's beds -- at him.  This was not an
unusual reaction for her.

	What was unusual was that Ranma dodged it, leaping aside, and
then pinned it to the ground with his foot.  He'd never before done
that before, that Akane could recall.  The simple fact penetrated her
rage momentarily.

	But not for long.  "Why, you--"

	"Akane, what do you think you're doing?  This is your body, I
can't let you hurt it."

	For the second time in five minutes, something stopped Akane's
anger. (4)  "I almost... I didn't mean..."

	"Typical.  Stupid tomboy."

	Tofuu adroitly stepped between the two, averting a potential
escalation.  "If you don't mind... Ranma, could you tell me what
happened next?"

	"I'm Akane, sensei."

	"Of course; I'm sorry.  Please...."

	Akane nodded, anger miraculously forgotten.  Slowly, she began
her recollection.

1 - Actually, considering that his patients were Ranma and Akane, he
    probably found the strangeness to be absolutely normal.
2 - If that line isn't an open invitation...
3 - Proving that Ranma does have the occasional intelligent thought.
    He just ignores them.
4 - Miracles do happen.


	Akane had just enough time to wonder why her voice sounded so
strange all of a sudden, before she heard a shriek.  The shriek was
familiar; it was hers.  Slowly, she turned toward its source.
Herself.  Her end of the cord lay in her hand, forgotten; she was
staring down at herself in something approaching panic.

	I screamed, Akane thought.  I'm over there.  But, then...

	Just as slowly, she tore her gaze away from herself -- her
-real- self -- to look down at her body.  Chinese clothing...?

	Akane might have fainted, had not a distraction promptly
presented itself.

	"Pig-tailed girl, at last you are free!  Come to me, my love!"
Kunou's arms wrapped around her from behind, shaking her out of her
stupor.  How long had she stood like that?  He had been in front of
her.  Now he was... he was...

	He was groping her.

	Here was something Akane had no need to think about.  Dealing
with this had become a reflex.  One fist clenched tightly as she bared
her teeth.  "Why... you..."

	"...And the fair Akane Tendo!  Come, join us, that we--"

	"...PERVERT!"  Dropping the cord, she grasped his collar,
bent, and pulled.  The kendoist flew over her shoulder and slammed
face-first into the ground.  Which was where he remained as she
continued to pummel him.

	Ranma watched with vicarious pleasure for a few minutes, until
he judged that Akane had worked off most of her anger.  Then he strode
forward, catching her fist in a light grasp as she pulled it back to
swing again.  "I think he's unconscious," he observed.

	That stopped her.  "Ra-ranma?"  He nodded, and she sobbed.
"What are we g-going to...?"

	"Aw, geez, don't start crying.  You've got to learn to handle
things like this better.  It ain't a problem."

	She gaped at him in astonishment.  "Not... a... problem..."
She took a deep breath, and screamed at him.  "Are you out of your

	He saw that her fists had clenched again, and decided that he
should get to the point.  "Hey, I got it all figured out. (1)  It'll
just take a minute."  He held up the crimson cord with one hand --
he'd gathered it up while Akane had been busy pounding Kunou -- and
smiled.  "Here, catch."

	As much by reflex as intent, Akane did.

	Nothing happened.

1 - This should have been their first warning.


	"...So you came here," Tofuu finished.

	"Well, there was a little more screaming and stuff involved,
but, yeah," Ranma interjected. (1)

	"You can help us, can't you?" asked Akane.

	The doctor stood, closing his eyes as he thought.  "There is
one thing that I can try," he finally said.  Akane leaned forward
impatiently, her eyes filled with hope, and even Ranma shifted
forward.  "I can do some research.  I've never heard of anything like
this happening."  Placing one hand behind his head, he smiled

	Ranma and Akane fell off of their respective seats.

	"Do you still have the rope?" the doctor asked.  Ranma,
standing, nodded and held the length out in one hand.  "No, that's all
right; I won't need it.  Just be sure that you put it someplace safe.
You may need it to reverse the spell."

	"But we already tried that," Ranma protested.  "Nothing

	"Even so...  Besides, we may need it later, and it would be
more convenient if we knew where to find it."

	"Okay, Doc," he replied, not entirely convinced.

	"Thanks for your help, Doctor Tofuu.  We'll be careful with
it," Akane promised.  She subtly nudged Ranma with her elbow.

	"What?  Oh, yeah... thanks, Doc."

	Akane rolled her eyes.  Subtlety had never been one of Ranma's
strong suits. (2)

	"Don't thank me just yet," the doctor cautioned.  He rubbed
his hands together, troubled, as he delicately went on.  "I don't mean
to alarm you, but it's possible that there will be nothing we can do."

	"You mean I'm gonna be stuck like this forever?" Ranma

	Akane glared.  "You don't have to be so dramatic about it,
Ranma!"  She quickly -- and nervously -- added, "I'm sure you'll find
something that can help, Doctor, even if it's not an immediate cure."

	"Hmm... it will take time."

	"I wonder if the old ghoul could help?"

	At the same time as Ranma spoke, Akane asked, "How much time?"

	"That's a thought.  If anyone could help..."  He frowned
thoughtfully.  "As far as the time... I'm sorry, Akane, but I can't
even begin to guess.  It could be a day, a month, or a-- longer."

	Akane sighed.  "I was afraid of that."

	"Like you've got anything to complain about, compared to

	"Shut up, Ranma."

1 - Ranma Saotome, Master of Understatement.
2 - If subtlety had, in fact, been one of Ranma's suits, it would have
    been made of tissue paper.  In that ugly green plaid color pattern.


	The two slowly walked back toward the dojo.  Actually, that
wasn't quite true; while the dojo was their eventual destination, they
were only in the loosest sense walking toward it.  Read:  They were
taking the least direct path possible.

	It had been quiet for the last few minutes. (1)  Then Ranma
spoke up.  "Hey, Akane?" he asked tentatively, wondering whether she
was still angry. (2)

	"What is it now, Ranma?"

	Well, that answered -that- question.  "I was just thinking,
what're we going to tell everyone?"

	Akane slowed her pace; Ranma was four steps past her before he
noticed and turned inquisitively.  "I'm not sure," she said at last.
"Do you think they'll believe us?"

	"With all the weird things that happen around here?  Your
father'll start crying, that's all."

	"I wonder..."  She glanced at him sharply.  "And just how well
do you think -your- father will take it?"

	"Okay, I see your point.  I don't really feel like listening
to any of his speeches, either."  They were slowly approaching the
dojo even as they spoke; the spiral path they'd followed had closed.
"Nabiki'll probably find a way to make money from it.  Selling it to
people at school, or something.  Kasumi probably won't make anything
of it after the first five minutes, though."

	Akane nodded in resignation as the two walked along the path
to the front door.  "Still, it's bound to happen sooner or later.  I
guess we should just tell them and get it over with." (3)

	Ranma shrugged uneasily.  "I guess there's no reason not

	Akane opened the door and called, "I'm home!"

	"Oh, Ranko, dear... it's good to see you again."

	Ranma and Akane froze at the voice.  Ranma muttered, "Make
that one reason..." and Akane nodded.  And didn't respond to his
mother.  That wouldn't do...  Quickly, he edged past her through the
door, and smiled.  "Auntie Saotome!"

1 - That, of course, couldn't last.
2 - Yes.
3 - They should really know by now that nothing is ever this easy.


	"Just great.  Of all the times she could've picked to come
visit."  Ranma glanced furtively over his shoulder.  The rooftop was
still abandoned, except for him and Akane.  "It's bad enough having to
hide every time she comes over, but this is..."  He trailed off,
slamming a fist lightly against the roof tiles.

	Akane shrugged.  "I guess it can't be helped."

	"I don't like having to keep secrets."

	"But if she'd kill you because--"

	"Stupid old man and his -stupid- promises!"  The fist slammed
down again, cracking a tile this time.  Ranma didn't notice.  "Man, I
hate this..."

	Akane tried to cheer him up.  "Don't worry, Ranma.  I'm sure
it will only be a few days.  We'll find a way to switch back, your
mother will go home, and everything will be back to normal." (1)

	"Yeah, maybe you're right," he replied.  He was not convinced.

1 - "Normal" is relative.


	"Where do you think you're going?" Akane hissed.  Even angry,
she didn't want to draw Nodoka's attention.

	Ranma paused, his hand on the bathroom door.  "I'm taking a
bath," he said, stating the obvious.  "Why?"

	"You're in -my- body!  You pervert!"

	He looked flatly at her, then dropped his hand from the door,
making an exaggerated shrug.  "Well, I won't if you don't want me to.
It's your reputation, after all."  He grinned as her expression
shifted from outrage to confusion, then through several levels of

	Than he made the mistake of chuckling.  The laughter quickly
died as she turned an icy glare on him.  "We'll talk about it later,"
she promised.  Her voice sounded like a mausoleum door crashing shut.
She turned and stalked away, toward the dojo.  Doubtless a stack of
bricks would feel her wrath.

	Ranma sighed as he entered the bathroom.  "How is this my
fault?" he asked rhetorically.


	As he left the bathroom, Akane entered it.  He briefly
considered calling her a pervert, but thought better of it when she
glared momentarily at him.

	She was still angry.  Again.

	Well, he'd save it for tomorrow.  After all, he couldn't call
her "uncute" while she was in his body.  She'd definitely gotten the
better part of this situation, but she didn't seem to appreciate that.
Oh, sure, she was used to this body, but it wasn't as much of a
tragedy for her as it was for him.  She didn't even have to turn into
a guy to avoid raising suspicions, since his mother was here.

	He paused for a second.  There was something about that that
bothered him, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.

	Well, how much of a problem could it be? (1)

	He was still pondering that question when a loud, long shout
of surprise and horror rang out from the bathroom.  A male's voice.

	Oh, yeah.  He'd forgotten to remind her about hot water...

1 - This is the third worst thing someone could possibly say in a
    fanfic.  Collect all of the top ten.