Hi everyone. I have to admit that I was quite surprised to see the number of reviews this story got. And here I thought that no one would be interested as the crossover is such an obscure series. Glad to see there are more than a few 'Ichinensei ni Nacchattara' fans out there.
The crossover really starts this chapter when Ranma wakes up in Yume's lab/surgery/bedroom, or however you want to qualify the room. This is supposed to be a comedy and I hope that it will amuse you at least somewhat. Don't forget to review since I always enjoy some feedback, positive as well as negative... but I prefer positive feedback, I think.
And don't be afraid to ask any questions. I'll gladly answer them.
For those who don't know 'Ichinensei ni Nacchattara' (and believe me that's a shame) you can find the latest chapters at Taruby's homepage (Taruby's Paradox). You should really read the manga if you want to get a good laugh.
I think that's about all I have to say, except for the usual disclaimer: I don't own any of this and I don't make any money with my little stories.
CHAPTER 2: When he came back to life
What has gone before:
Ranma and Ryoga had been affected by some magic mushrooms who transformed them into kids. After Ryoga returned to normal he destroyed the remaining mushrooms which were the only known cure. On his way to Cologne Ranma got attacked by Ryoga and easily defeated. The elder couldn't help him and his last chance was Doctor Tofu. Unfortunately the doctor had left the ward but Ranma managed to get his new address. After being attacked by Mouse and almost killed he realized that he had to find the doctor as soon as possible if he wanted to survive another confrontation. On the way to the doctor's new clinic he was hit by a truck after saving a little girl from being run over.
'Too bright', was Ranma's first thought after he'd opened his eyes… just before closing them again just as quickly. He tried once more, lifting the eyelids very slowly, and after a while he was able to open them completely after they had stopped hurting from the bright light that was flooding the room he was in.
He lifted his head with great difficulty and looked down at himself. Much to his surprise he was wearing a very tattered shirt and nothing else. He looked around the room but didn't recognize it at all. It was a cross between a normal bedroom and a surgery with bits and pieces of mechanical pieces, tools, and futuristic looking gizmos strewn all around the floor and cluttering the shelves and other desks and tables. A few metres away sat a young woman with a large smirk on her face and who was sipping her coffee while at the same time staring at him very intently. She didn't look that much older than his teenaged self and was wearing a standard lab coat and very big round glasses. Her long black hair was kept in two braids hanging down her back and her face was framed by straight bangs. A single strand of hair was defying gravity and pointed in the air although slightly curving forwards.
The unusual sight of a stranger staring at him didn't deter the disoriented martial artist from asking the obvious question that was expected in a situation like the one he was currently in. "What…? Where…?"
"I see you're awake," the young woman commented.
"I'm… alive?" the Neriman wondered. Suddenly he grabbed his head in pain as the memories flooded in. The mushrooms… the beating… the escape… and finally, the accident.
Then he remembered the voice and looked at its originator. "Who are you?" He rudely asked. "And where the hell am I?"
"Is that any way to thank your benefactor?"
"My benefactor? What do you mean?"
"You died when the truck ran over you. I'm the one who brought you back to life."
'Then… I really did die'? He wondered and was not quite sure what to make of that. It sounded rather preposterous, but with everything he had seen in his life so far it wasn't impossible.
"But you were lucky because I, Yume Kusanagi, the heaven-sent child of science witnessed the whole event. You should really thank me after all the trouble I went through to recuperate your body. Believe me; getting a corpse from the morgue is no easy task. Thankfully your cadaver was in such a sorry state that it didn't cost all that much.
"Huh? This is the first time I hear about someone being resurrected through science." But then he remembered another statement; one that really crept him out. "Wait! The morgue!"
"Naturally," the stranger continued in a very arrogant and conceited tone, not reacting to Ranma's, question. "Whenever the fruits of science fall into the hands of the ignorant populace, they use it for nothing but stupid things. That's why we scientists stopped telling them," she finished and poker her tongue out at the child.
"Reaaaaally?" Ranma dubiously looked at the scientist, sweatdropping at her childish behaviour.
"And I'm happy that I was able to save such a cute little girl."
"Who are you calling a girl?" Ranma challenged Yume. "I'm a guy, dammit".
"Could have fooled me," she countered after lifting Ranma's shirt and staring intensely and lecherously at the child's intimate parts. It was only then that the martial artist noticed that she was indeed in her female form.
"Watch it, pervert!" She screamed and belted the woman in the face.
Much to the martial artist's surprise Yume recovered almost immediately despite de decent amount of force she'd put in the blow. "What did you do that for?" She asked while rubbing her nose. "Maybe I need to check your brain for any after affects of the resurrection process if you don't know your own gender," she mused. "I can't imagine where I might have gone wrong." She calmly took out her handheld recorder. "Yume's log. Entry 2354: the operation was a mitigated success. Procedure may cause brain damage. Note to self: run more tests."
"Hey! I think I'm the one who knows my own gender best, thank you very much."
Before the obviously confused girl could continue the bespectacled woman got a weird gleam in her eyes and suddenly took a scroll out of nowhere, unrolled it, and pinned it to the wall. She pushed her glasses up her nose and grabbed a conveniently placed pointer. She then pointed towards the chart showing the detailed anatomical pictures of a boy and a girl. "This," she pointed at the left picture, "is a boy. Do you see the icky little thing hanging between his legs? That is called a…"
"I KNOW WHAT THAT IS CALLED!" an outraged Ranma roared, knocking the scientist to the floor through the sheer volume of the shout. "I ought to know since I have my own," she exclaimed in a subdued voice.
The woman blinked. "My poor little girl," she pitied the delusional child and caressed the red hair condescendingly.
"I can prove it," the young girl challenged the scientist's expertise and slapped the offending hand away. She jumped off the bed and walked towards the sink, a surprised Yume watching her every step. "All I need is some hot water." Ranma turned the tap and waited for the water to heat up. Once it was hot enough the redhead put her arm under the flow of warm water and the miracle happened.
Much to the older girl's shock the loli's red hair turned black. She approached the black-haired kid at a fast pace and examined the hair and wondered how it could have changed colours like that.
"See?" Ranma asked in a slightly deeper voice, a challenging smirk on his face.
Before the young boy could react Yume lifted his shirt and let out a loud shriek before she fainted dead away. Ranma was torn between beating her up for that stunt and showing concern, but his deeply ingrained caring nature took over and he checked the scientist for any life signs.
"Hey!" Ranma shook the unconscious girl. "Heyyyy!" He shook her more frantically now, panic setting in."
Slowly the young scientist opened her eyes. "Ooooh, I had a terrible nightmare. Heh. How stupid. There's no way something like that can happen in real life." She looked at the person in front of her and noticed that yes, the hair was still black.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" she shouted in despair before raising an angry fist in the air. Why, God, why? How can you be that cruel? Haven't I been a good girl? Why must you punish so?"
She then dropped to her knees, chewing on a handkerchief and fountains of water erupting from her eyes.
Ranma sweatdropped at this and help up a sign with a 8 on it. The performance was great but the pigtailed boy had seen much better from Soun Tendo, the only person who has ever earned a perfect 10.
"There, there," Ranma tried to calm down the desperate woman as he repeatedly pat her on the head. "Let it all out. You'll feel better very soon."
"FEEL BETTER?" she shrieked into his face with a strong enough force to make his hair stand up. "How do you expect me to feel any better after witnessing something like this?" She incredulously continued. "This is scientifically impossible. No human can change their sex like that."
"It's a magical curse," the martial artist explained. Hot water boy; cold water girl."
"Magic doesn't exist," Yume stubbornly countered. "There's a scientific explanation for everything, you just have to discover it. Considering the existence of magic in our enlightened times is preposterous."
"Oh yeah? Then explain this." Ranma opened the cold water tap and held his arm under the water flow. His hair turned red once again.
"How?" the scientist couldn't believe her eyes.
"Well..." Ranma then told her about Jusenkyo and the different curses she knew of, but also mentioned that she was in fact a teenager who had been turned back into a kid through eating some magical mushrooms. She also gave a list of the magical artefacts she had run-ins with and the supernatural beings she'd met... "And now I'm searching for Dr. Tofu. He might know of a way reverse the effects of the mushrooms."
Yume quietly listened to the story, but had a hard time believing the young girl. Yet, there was the curse to consider. A complete sex change with the use of water. If she could find a scientific explanation for that strange phenomenon she could finally prove her superiority over the likes of Gina Diggers, Fran Madaraki, Dexter, and all of the other scientists who had been far more successful than her in their endeavours. Now she'd just have to find a way to keep the new guinea pig in her home. As a very welcome bonus she'd have her very own sweet loli at her disposal at all times.
"I see," she told Ranma after she'd finished her story. "This curse really intrigues me. I'm sure a genius of my calibre will have an easy time getting to the bottom of this. Like I said, everything can be explained through science." She then considered something else. "However, the age reduction is really hard to believe without any proof. Anyone could come up with a ridiculous statement like that."
"I can prove it!" The martial artist assured. "Just take me to Dr. Tofu and he'll confirm my story."
"Okay. I don't see how it could hurt. Alright, I'll take you to him." Although she gave the little girl a reassuring smile she felt a bit of apprehension at meeting the doctor. What if he really had a cure? But then she relaxed again.. What was there to be afraid of? After all, the doctor was not a scientist and the odds that he'd have a solution were really small. The cute child would be so devastated if were to be disappointed.
Then it hit her. The perfect plan to keep the little girl in her home. She smirked sinisterly and took the redhead by her shoulder. "Say, why don't you stay here while I search for a cure for the curse and the age reduction? After all, it seems like you got nowhere to go and I would get results more quickly if I had the guin... erm the victim close at hand. Didn't I save your life? Don't you think that someone who can cheat death would able to solve your little problem?"
The offer was tempting... really tempting, yet she didn't trust the scientist. She felt really uncomfortable in her presence; there were some malevolent vibes coming from the woman, and it reminded her somewhat of Happosai. On the other hand, Yume was right; she had nowhere else to go. Nerima was out of the question and she didn't want to burden Dr. Tofu with her problems. Additionally, even if the woman would turn out to be a creep she was nowhere in Happi's league and Ranma had no doubt she'd be able to knock her out if she tried anything inappropriate.
"Okay," Ranma answered. "You got a deal; but only after I've talked to Dr. Tofu."
"Right, right," Yume eagerly agreed. She didn't know what the doctor was capable of, but she'd heard that he was popular with his patients. She then came back to her earlier thoughts. Yes, there was no reason to be afraid, and after the visit the devastated child would be so easy to manipulate. If she could only come up with a good plan to have Ranma stay in her girl form everything would be perfect. She had no idea yet, but she was confident that her brilliant mind would come up with something very quickly.
There was nothing more she could do at the moment and so she uttered the words the redhead had been desperate to hear. "Let's visit Dr. Tofu right away and see what he has to say."
She figured that it would be best to see the doctor right away without announcing themselves. That way he had no time to prepare for their arrival and do some preliminary research on a cure.
"Great!" the redhead exclaimed. "Can't wait to be back to normal. Let's go!"
"Erhem!" Yume coughed into her fist. "Do you intend to go like that?"
The child wondered what the woman was talking about before she remembered the state her clothes were in."
Before she could say something the scientist handed her a bundle of clothes. "Here, you can have these."
Ranma was disgusted when she saw the garments the older girl was holding in her hands. The girly shirt and pullover were not really that bad since she had worn worse when she was pretending to be 'Ranko', but the pleated miniskirt on the other hand was something she could only qualify as 'pervert bait' and was definitely not appropriate for a kid. The thing that really shocked her were the frilly and overly sexy panties that were an open invitation to every child molester in vicinity. "Ewww! What the hell! Like I would wear that." The outraged girl cursed before she violently threw the clothes to the ground.
"How... how could you do that?" Yume burst into tears. "After all the money I spent to put together a wardrobe for you? Do you... do you really hate me that much? After all I've done for you? I brought you back to life, and this is how you thank me. I'm... I'm really hurt. Everybody hates me. I have no friend in the whole wide world. Maybe... maybe I should just kill myself."
The martial artist was feeling like a heel now. She hated herself for making the woman cry and for doubting her. After all, the scientist couldn't have known that the redhead was really a boy. She probably thought that the martial artist was a normal girl who liked cute things.
"Okay, okay, I take it back. I'll wear the stupid clothes," she quickly amended her earlier statement after she saw that Yume was now standing on a chair about to hang herself.
"Do… Do you really mean it?" She asked in a hopeful tone, her head already through the noose. "And you'll also stay here?"
"I promise!" Ranma quickly confirmed, trying to keep the woman from doing something stupid.
Yume did a 180 and quickly jumped off the chair. She then picked up the discarded outfit and held it in front of Ranma to see how it looked. She then took the young girl into her arms. "You'll look soooo cute in these."
Ranma let her head hang down in shame and felled like kicking herself once she realized that she'd been conned by a crying girl once again. The vexing thing was that was quite accomplished at the fearsome technique herself, yet was unable to develop a resistance against it, even after having been subjected to it so many times. Unfortunately she'd given her word and even if she had a lot of shortcomings she never willingly broke her promises.
She sighed heavily and as she was about to pull off her shirt she noticed Yume's stare. "Do you mind?" The annoyed redhead asked.
"Not at all," the scientist answered, "not... at... all."
"OUT!" Ranma pointed at the door and the woman reluctantly left the room, giving one last look at the cute girl who was still waiting for her to leave the room.
After the redhead had put on the new clothes she checked herself in a mirror and cringed at the cute vision that was reflected back. At least she didn't need a bra in her current body. Resigned to her fate she called for Yume and once she'd given the martial artist an appreciative nod they left the house to visit Dr. Tofu.
Ranma was feeling stupid in those girly clothes and hoped that no one would recognize her and tell everyone she knew about her whereabouts and especially not about those awful clothes she was forced to wear. She nervously checked all the people passing by, but slowly relaxed once she realized that they weren't looking at her.
After a 20 minute walk they'd reached the doctor's clinic. The redhead looked at the building and was impressed by its size. It was notably larger than the old one.
When she entered the clinic she was surprised by its modern look. Gone was the old décor as it had been replaced by modern halogen lamps on the ceiling and abstract art hanging on the walls. But the biggest surprise was that the good doctor now had a receptionist. Tofu was obviously doing very well if the number of patients in the waiting room was any indication.
"Excuse me. Miss?" The middle-aged receptionist looked down and smiled at the polite girl.
"What can I do for you, sweetie?"
Ranma grimaced at the moniker. Being a little girl in body was bad enough, but being treated like one was 10 times worse. Unfortunately there was nothing she could do about it and antagonizing the receptionist wouldn't solve the problem.
"Can I speak to Doctor Tofu, please?" She politely asked.
"Do you have an appointment?"
The redhead looked sadly at the older woman and shook her head. "No, I don't." She gave the receptionist the most pitiful look she could manage. "I didn't need one when I visited him in Nerima and..." she sniffed and hiccupped and was about to cry, "and I didn't know I needed one now. I came to see him because..." she sobbed and one could distinctly hear the receptionist's heart break at the pitiful sight, "because I thought he could help me. He's always helped me before."
The receptionist couldn't bear the sight any longer and tears appeared in her eyes and she was willing to do anything short of murder to help the girl who was obviously in dire need of assistance. "I think we can make an exception for once," she reassured the redhead and was relieved that the child's mood seemed to lighten a bit. "What was your name again?"
"Ranma. Ranma Saotome. From Nerima."
She nodded and gave the child her brightest smile. "Well, I am sure he can devote a few minutes of his time for a cute and polite child like you. One moment, please. I'll tell him you want to see him." She got up and entered a door in the back.
"That was quite a performance you put up there," Yume congratulated the martial artist.
"Heh!" She smirked. "I'm the best."
The receptionist came back a minute later and told them that the doctor would see them soon. A few minutes later a patient left the doctor's office and the receptionist told them to enter.
"Hello, Ranma," Tofu Ono welcomed the redhead before she had crossed the doorway, but when he saw two strangers enter he looked curiously at them before narrowing his eyes and asking in a still friendly but firm tone. "Who are you? And why are you pretending to be one of my patients?"
"It's me, Ranma," the de-aged martial artist claimed.
"No, you're not. Ranma is a few years older. Tell me who you are and what you want or I'll call the police."
"But it's really me," Ranma tried once more. "I ate some magic mushrooms that turned me into a kid and now I'm looking for a cure. Look, I can prove it. Just ask me some questions only Ranma could answer."
The doctor looked at the child and he had to admit that she really looked like a younger version of the teenager he knew, and since he'd seen a lot of weird stuff in Nerima he didn't outright dismiss the story, even if it sounded rather outlandish.
"Okay then," he started. "What happened the first time I had to treat you after you got into a fight with Akane?"
"That's an easy one," the redhead answered, "and don't think I've forgotten that incident. Isn't a doctor supposed to cure his patients and not harm them? But whatever. You told me to get along with Akane and that she was a sweet girl. Then you pat me on the back you said that I'd understand soon enough. It was only a few minutes later, after my legs had given out, that I understood what you'd done to me. You can't imagine how humiliating it was to have Akane carry me back home."
"That's correct. I also don't think anyone but Akane or Ranma would know the answer. Here's another one. If you are Ranma you'll probably remember the time my mother came for a visit. What happened and what did she say to you after she'd finished testing all the girls?"
The young martial couldn't hide a blush when she thought back to that embarrassing fiasco. "She told me I had perfect childbearing hips," she answered in a subdued voice, turning even redder when she heard Yume snickering behind her.
"Alright, you've convinced me." The doctor's jovial mood returned. "Now, what did you do this time? And who is the young lady with you?"
Before the bespectacled woman had the time to make one of her famous self-praising introductory speeches Ranma took the initiative and made the presentations. "This is Yume Kusanagi. She's a scientist who's saved my life… and also a real pervert."
"Hey!" The aforementioned woman complained. "Is that a way to treat your saviour?"
Ignoring the scientist's complaints the young girl told the highlights of the story, starting with Ryoga's return to Nerima. The only thing she left out was the fact that she'd died… at Yume's insistence who wanted to keep her research a secret for the moment. "… And that's how I ended up here. So, can you help me?"
Tofu listened patiently to the story and chuckled at the funny parts and 'hmmmed' at the more serious ones, but all in all he pitied the teenager-turned-child who never seemed to get a break.
"Hmmm. I've never heard of those mushrooms. I'm sorry, but I can't help you there. I can check my books, but the probability that I'll find anything is very small so don't get your hopes up.
"I… I understand," Ranma answered in a defeated tone. He had assumed as much, but he had to ask anyway. "It was a long shot after all. I guess I'll have to look somewhere else. Thanks for your time."
"Look," Tofu tried to lift the redhead's spirit up a little bit, "if there's anything you need, anything I can help you with, don't be afraid to ask."
"Thanks for the offer, but there's nothing you can do and I've taken up too much of your time already."
"Where will you go?" The concerned doctor asked the martial artist. "I'd offer you a place to stay, but unfortunately I don't have the space. I can't decently let you go back to Nerima, though. All the chaos in that ward was the main motivation for me to leave, although my Kasumi induced blackouts were a factor too. I realized that my obsession with her wasn't healthy for my patients' lives or for myself, especially since she didn't reciprocate my feelings."
"Don't worry about that. Yume here lets me stay at her house while she's looking for a cure. Are you sure about Kasumi? She's always been so nice to you and even brought you cookies."
"She's nice to everyone. I'm sure she's never considered me more than a friend; a friend who's always been there to treat her sister whenever she was hurt. Ah well, that's life." He shrugged and dismissed the issue completely. "More importantly, could you give me a number where I can contact you? I'll let you know if anything comes up."
The scientist gave the doctor her cell phone number and after saying their goodbyes the two young people left the clinic after Ranma promised to stay in touch with the good doctor.
"Well, that was a bust," Ranma regretted as they were heading home. "I know it was a long shot, but it still blows."
"Don't worry," Yume tried to lift up the redhead's spirits. "Big sis Yume is on the case. You'll see; I'll have you back to normal in a jiffy."
Unfortunately for the redhead the slightly deranged and definitely perverted scientist didn't mean a word of it and her plans for the cursed boy were far more sinister, and if the young martial artist had been able to read thoughts she'd probably have taken off at the first occasion.
'Hehehe', Yume cackled to herself. 'In the end my fears were unfounded and something good came out of the meeting; I'm now the only person she knows who can provide her with a cure. I love it when a plan comes together. Time to implement the next part of 'operation: keep the loli', and knowing my annoying little sister as well as I do, it will go off without a hitch'.
"I'm home!" Yume shouted after opening the front door just to run into a wall made of flesh.
"You're late!" Came the reproach from high above the scientist's head.
Ranma looked up... and up and saw an unhappy looking very well endowed girl, with long black hair towering over the bespectacled girl. She was wearing a pullover and a skirt and a small, lacy apron was tied around her waist.
"Where have you been these last few days, big sis? And what in the world have you been doing?"
'Wait! Big sis'? The incredulous redhead wondered while she was comparing the two girls in front of her. 'No way!'
"Ah, erm, Mikuru... I..." the apparently older sister tried to explain herself.
"And why is this child with you?" The now named girl continued. "I hope you aren't going to do what I think you're going to do, big sis?" The very angry younger sister grabbed the older girl forcibly, causing the apprehensive martial artist to have flashbacks of some of Akane's typical anger induced temper tantrums. She pulled down her sister's skirt, and spanked her really hard, much to Ranma's astonishment who thought that this might be a little over the top just as she was wondering in what nuthouse she'd landed this time around.
'Is it really that difficult to meet normal people for once'? She wondered. 'It's a curse; I'm sure of it'.
"No!" Yume defended herself. "Even I wouldn't dare do that."
Mikuru let her sister go and the scientist explained the reason for the child's presence. "Her name is Ranma Saotome," the woman started to cry and then looked pitifully at the floor. "Her mother and father are fellow scientists I know, and they asked me to take care of her while they go to America to dissect an alien."
Ranma was appalled at the tall tale her new caretaker was spinning and took her head in her hands in shame. The last part especially made her sweatdrop heavily. 'No way in hell! How stupid do you have to be to believe that bull?'
The redhead was brought out of her thoughts when she felt a hand stroke her head before she was violently grabbed and smothered between a pair of very heavy breasts belonging to the younger Kusanagi sister. "So that's how it is," Mikuru pitied the younger girl. "You poor little thing. It must be tough having stupid scientists for parents. But don't worry," she continued in a more cheerful tone. "Please think of this place as your own home, okay?"
'Wait! What'? Ranma shouted in her mind. 'Don't tell me she bought that! Oh god, this girl is even more gullible than Ryoga on his best days'. The martial artist shook her head at the stupidity of it all.
"Hey! Don't touch my precious!" Yume shouted as she freed the redhead from her sister's grasp just to be knocked to the floor courtesy of an elbow to the face.
"I'm not a toy, you know!" The redhead complained.
"Such possessiveness," the heavy-chested girl mused. "Ah yes, now I remember. You've always wanted a little sister that is smaller than yourself."
"Huh?" Ranma wondered. "Don't tell me..." she then pointed an accusing finger at the scientist who had just gotten up again. "That's the only reason why you saved me, isn't it? Just to have a cute little sister."
"That's not true," the young woman defended herself, but the heavy blush and the perverted grin on her face hardly helped convince the martial artist of her sincerity.
"Well, too bad I'm not a girl," Ranma got out before Yume covered the young girl's mouth with both her hands. Before the martial artist could react she'd already been spirited away to the scientist's lab.
"What did you do that for?" The annoyed child wanted to know. "Don't you want me to tell her the truth?"
Yume had known from the start that her 'ward' would protest, but she hoped that the earlier outburst wouldn't make her naive little sister suspicious, even if the odds of that happening were very small seeing how naïve the younger girl usually was. She believed almost everything she was told. Finally the moment had come to implement the final part of 'operation: keep the loli'.
"You're right, I don't."
"Wait! Don't tell me you want me to stay a girl!"
'You betcha'. "No, it's nothing like that," she lied her ass off and put on her most sincere face. "I really only have your best interests at heart. Tell me. How do the people react when they find out about the curse?"
That was an easy answer for the martial artist. "Oh, that's easy. Some of them find it funny, but most freak out or call me a pervert." There was one girl in particular that immediately came to her mind, but seeing how she had been betrayed by said girl she didn't really want to think about her. "Being attacked by exorcists or the sailor senshi who think I am a youma isn't all that great either."
"So, the reactions are mostly negative, right?" She already knew the answer, of course. Being a scholar and well versed in different disciplines, one of them being psychology, she could imagine how the superstitious rabble reacted to a scientific oddity like that 'curse', not that she believed in magic and curses mind you, but she as long as she didn't find a perfectly reasonable, scientific explanation for the sex change as well as the age reduction she was not quite that sure any longer.
"I guess," the martial artist was feeling rather unsure now as she had no clue where the woman was going with this.
"In that case, don't tell my sister. Please, I beg you, don't do it." She fell on her knees and took up a submissive posture. If not for my own sake, please think about my poor, sweet, and innocent little sister and how she'll react if she finds out. Look at how quickly she's accepted you. Didn't you see the sincere joy in her face to have someone she could care of? She's a pure soul who believes in the good of everyone and is not ready to have her worldview shaken like that. How… How do you think she'll react if she finds out about your curse?" The scientist was now sobbing. "I'll tell you how she'll react. She'll be shocked and… and she might even lose her mind." Her eyes were getting watery and tears started to form. "She's a saint I tell you. Is such a small sacrifice really that much to ask for? If not for your own sake, or for me saving your life, please think about my sister's mental health. Do you want her to end up in an asylum?"
She watched the redhead's reactions very intensely and when she noticed that it seemed like the young girl was considering things she smirked inwardly and congratulated herself on her impressive performance worthy of an Oscar. However, even if the victory was close at hand she knew that she couldn't make any mistakes if she wanted to avoid alienating the young girl. Fortunately for her (and unfortunately for Ranma) she had correctly assessed the martial artist's reactions beforehand and the endgame was close at hand.
"What is so bad about being a girl anyway? At your age there aren't really that many differences between the two sexes, except for the obvious one of course."
"Because I was born a guy and that's what I'm supposed to be. I'll just have to avoid cold water and I'll be in the clear." The pigtailed girl knew that was a lie as so far he had never had much chance at keeping the curse a secret, but he was really out of ideas and the scientist's cold analysis made a lot of sense, frighteningly so.
Yume had expected this answer, but had already a counterargument ready.
"Didn't you tell me earlier that water seems to find you all the time and especially at the most unfortunate times?"
Ranma didn't bother commenting since the woman was right of course.
Certain of her impending victory the scientist decided to deal the deathblow and make the redhead hers, body if not soul. "Well, I've never said you have to remain in your girl form all the time, but only when you're inside the house. But you have to promise me to do everything you can to prevent my sister from finding out about the curse. I don't have a problem if you transform back into a boy when you're outside, as long as no one sees you. The unwanted attention it would bring could jeopardize my projects."
THAT statement put everything into a different light for the redhead. The scientist had hit the nail on the head and had correctly identified the young girl's main concern about the whole thing. She was afraid; afraid that that if she stayed a girl for too long she might come to accept the curse and maybe even like it to the extent that she could end up preferring her female form to her male form. Yume's idea would give her way out of this horrible fate that was quite possible in her mind. This could also be the right time for a fresh start. No one would recognize her in her current childish form. And honestly, how bad could it? It's not like there hadn't been times in Nerima where she had had to stay in her cursed form for an extended period of time, sometimes even for a whole day. There wasn't really any downside to the older girl's proposition since she'd have the possibility to walk around the neighbourhood in her natural form..
"Deal!" The redhead quickly answered. "I promise not to transform in the house if you promise to let me be a boy when I'm outside."
"Right, right. I promise." The scientist eagerly and absentmindedly agreed, her imagination already running rampant inside her head about cute clothing choices for the unaware child who had no idea about the upcoming humiliations and blows to her manhood she'd signed up for.
"Ranma, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," she led the doomed soul away, her departing form casting a shadow that looked suspiciously like the Western representation of the Devil.