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The Drowned Cursed Man Switcheroo!

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“Shampoo, please, I don’t want to have to hurt you,” Mousse said as he evaded an attack from his crushes Chuí.

“Mousse so stupid! Shampoo fight Ranma first,” the purple haired girl called out as she sidestepped one of the Jusenkyo springs that she and Mousse were dangerously close to.

“No! I’m fighting Ranma first! That scoundrel thinks he can take you from me?! Well he’s got another thing coming, let me tell you!”

“How many times Shampoo have to tell you?! Shampoo no like you!” She threw one of her Chuí at him. It hit Mousse in the head, causing him to fall over, knocked out.

Shampoo smiled victoriously as, unbeknownst to her, Ranma jumped up on one of the bamboo sticks sticking out of the ground.

“Huh. Guess I don’t even have to be here. You two are taking care of each other.”

Shampoo gasped and turned around. “Ranma!” She went in for a hug as soon as he jumped to the ground.

Ranma rolled his eyes and looked down at Shampoo. “Are you here to hug me or are you here to fight?”

“Ranma!” Mousse’s voice bellowed as he stood straight up. “How dare you be all over my sweet, sweet Shampoo!” He pointed a finger in Shampoo’s chest as he angrily glared her down.

“Idiot Mousse! Put on glasses!” She hit Mousse on the head, causing his glasses to fall down over his eyes.

Mousse blinked a few times before shifting his direction to Ranma. “Ranma!”

Ranma huffed and tore himself from Shampoo’s grasp before taking a few steps backwards. “Enough talking! Let’s get to the action!”

Mousse and Shampoo exchanged a look before smirking and nodding. It seemed like they had abandoned their previous plan of taking him on one at a time.

Regardless, Shampoo charged at Ranma first, her Chuí at the ready. As it went down, Ranma blocked it with his arm while simultaneously jumping out-of-the-way of Mousse’s ranged attacks.

Shampoo huffed. “Hi-ya!” She slammed her Chuí down onto Ranma, hitting his shoulder. Ranma gasped before grabbing the Chuí by the handle, his footing becoming increasingly unstable in the process. Shampoo went to strike him with her other Chuí, and he lost his footing completely before he started to fall backwards into a spring. Instinctively, Ranma grabbed Shampoo as he started to fall.

Mousse gasped. “Shampoo!” He rushed to her, trying to pull her out. This proved futile as Ranma, Shampoo, and now Mousse all fell into the spring.

Conveniently enough, the Jusenkyo Guide walked up to said spring. “Oh no. How unfortunate. You fall into Spring of Drowned Cursed Man. Long ago, a man cursed by another one of the springs managed to drown in this one. Very tragic.”

The water bubbled before a small black cat with familiar fringe surfaced moments later. He mewed frantically. Next came a pink duck sporting two strands of tied back hair, naturally quacking out in panic. Finally, a tall girl with long black hair and thick glasses emerged from the spring before looking around.

“What the-?! What happened,” Mousse shrieked before he cringed at hearing his own voice.

“You fall into Spring of Drowned Cursed Man. You all cursed so you switch curses,” the Guide explained.

“WHAT?!” Mousse looked down at his now more snug robes before putting his hands on his chest. “I’m...I’m a girl!”

He glared down at Ranma, who swam to the edge of the spring and climbed out. He shivered before shaking himself off.

Mousse turned his attention to Shampoo. “Oh Shampoo! My darling!” He scooped her up into his arms before walking out of the spring. “How foolish of me!

If I had known then I never would have tried to save you! Oh to be cursed with being a duck! How trag-!” His flowery prose was cut off by Shampoo pecking him in the eye.

“Ow! Ow! Ow!” The pain didn’t stop there, however. It only intensified as Ranma clawed his way up Mousse’s leg.

He settled into the crook of Mousse’s other arm and mewed impatiently. “Oh! Right! Hot water,” he said as it finally dawned on him. He pushed his glasses up his nose as he ran off with both Ranma and Shampoo in tow.

**

Ranma ran as fast as his little legs could take him until he got back to the Tendo Dojo. He looked around until he saw Akane and the others all seated to eat dinner. He ran up to them and mewed, begging. Kasumi was the first to notice.

“Oh, what a cute little black cat,” she cooed.

He rolled his eyes before waltzing past them, heading to the bathroom.

“Huh. You know, the way that cat acts is familiar. Real full of himself,” Nabiki said. “That reminds me… where’s Ranma?”

“He said he was going to go fight Mousse and Shampoo at Jusenkyo,” Akane explained. “I haven’t seen him since this morning though.”

Akane worried her lower lip a bit as she thought. ‘I hope he’s okay…’

Turning on the spigot proved to be harder than it should have been. Besides trying to not freak himself out because he was a cat, paws weren’t really replacements for opposable thumbs. Ranma tried again, pushing the valve with all of his strength. It whirled on, filling the bathtub with steaming hot water. Ranma smiled with satisfaction before plopping into the tub.

A few moments later, he popped his head up and shook out his hair.

“Ugh!” He hit the water with his balled up fists. “It was bad enough that I was a girl! Now I’m stuck being a cat?! This can’t get any worse!”

**

Shampoo’s webbed feet slapped down on the pavement as she got to the Cat Cafè. She took a deep breath before waddling in. Unfortunately, Cologne’s sharp eyes noticed her almost instantly. She hopped over to Shampoo and grabbed her by the feet.

“What luck. A delectable looking duck that’s sure to feed some very hungry customers by tomorrow afternoon.”

Shampoo quacked in protest, shaking her head vigorously. It was too late though, as Cologne was already boiling a pot of water. She dropped Shampoo in, and not five seconds later the purple hair girl stood and growled, back to her human form.

“Stupid great-grandmother! Shampoo duck now!” She glared down at Cologne before huffing. Cologne blinked.

“Oh no. Don’t tell me you fell into the Spring of the Drowned Cursed Man when you were fighting Ranma.”

“Idiot Mousse fall in too and give me his curse.” She pouted.

“Shampoo, does that mean that Saotome got your curse?”

Shampoo nodded.

Cologne smirked. “The poor fool. He won’t last a day.”

**

Mousse’s face was red by the time he shuffled into the Cat Cafe. He had hoped getting home late would stray off some more...unsavory characters, but he was wrong in his assumptions. He was already embarrassed about being a girl, being a pretty girl didn't help. What also didn't help was Shampoo hitting him as soon as he walked in.

"Owww! What'd you do that for," Mousse whined, rubbing the back of his head as he winced.

"That for being idiot and making Shampoo duck!"

Mousse pouted. He already felt guilty for giving Shampoo his curse, he didn't need to be reminded of it. "I'm sorry Shampoo, really, I am."

Shampoo crossed her arms before huffing and turning away from him. Mousse sighed and went to walk away, shoulders slumped. This was already off to a rough start.