Author: Innortal PM
A father lost for a lifetime returns. Will a daughter accept her past? Will her future accept the man she lost fourteen years ago? Makoto Kino must learn of her father: Ranma Kino, the man formerly known as Ranma Saotome.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Chapters: 7 - Words: 24,461 - Reviews: 365 - Favs: 307 - Follows: 362 - Updated: 04-29-07 - Published: 10-17-05 - id: 2622545
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
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He scratched the back of his head, before returning to staring at her, showing a smile of pride. "Well...I'm not really certain how to begin."
"The beginning helps." She wasn't really certain why she let him in. It just felt natural to trust him.
He nodded. "Well, first I need a glass of hot water and one of cold water."
She looked at him with confusion, before heading to her sink to fill two glasses with tap water.
When she returned, she sat the glasses before him. "Well?"
He stopped, staring at her again, then stood up while holding the glasses in opposing hands. "Well, I hope you believe in magic."
She nodded. She was a Sailor Senshi. How could she not believe in magic?
He continued. "Well, I may look like I'm at most eighteen, but I'm closer to sixty." Ignoring her disbelieving stare, he continued. "You see, when I was sixteen, my father took me to a cursed training ground, filled with cursed pools. If you fall into one, you change with cold water into a form that mirrors whatever drowned in it. It makes you look like what you would have been born had you been born like that." He dumped the cold water over his head, amazing her by changing into a busty redhead. "I fell into the Spring of Drowned Girl, so I turn into a form that resembles my mother at my age."
She stood before her, poking her breasts. "Just like your mother: that was how she reacted as well."
Makoto stared into the neo-girl's eyes. "You knew my mother?"
The neo-girl nodded, before dumping the hot water over her head, reverting back to male. Motioning for her to sit, he continued. "You see, for some reason, my curse keeps me young. In truth, I look now like I did when I first fell in.
"Anyway, when your mother first met me, she poked my chest as well. You see, our baka fathers swore their children would marry, and she wasn't exactly thrilled I was a female when I arrived." He sighed. "Well, not at first."
Seeing her confusion, he decided to elaborate. "Well, my curse spooked your mother. It wasn't until about eighteen months later that we got together and married."
Makoto blinked. "Are you saying my mom was married before she met my father?"
Ranma looked sad. "Let me finish my story first, please. I...I'll try to answer any questions you have afterwards, even if you hate me for the answers."
Seeing her nod, he continued. "About three years after we met, when she was a sophomore in Business College and I was a freshman, we got married. You see, her younger sister was the one I was originally engaged to, but her paranoia and desire to be controlling destroyed our relationship.
"When your mother and I married, we had forsaken our given names, as proof that we were getting married for love, not for family promises."
He looked down at his cup of tea. "Well, that and our worthless fathers had destroyed both family's honor."
He looked into Makoto's eyes once again, a sense of pride coming from him. "Anyway, after we graduated, and she began her business, I started teaching in local dojos. I was damn good, but she was really the breadwinner. About a year later, we had a daughter."
Makoto blinked, wondering if maybe she had a half-sister somewhere.
But he continued. "When she was four, we discussed having another child. I was worried that it would harm her business, or maybe make our first child feel less loved. But knowing how much she wanted another child, I would have been willing to be the birth mother for it, just to make her happy."
Seeing Makoto's questioning look, he elaborated. "Well, my curse is a permanent one; there are temporary ones that last for one shot, twenty-four hours at the most. She would have just needed a supply of Instant Nanniichuan, and as soon as my female form was pregnant, my curse would have self-locked until the baby was born."
Makoto nodded, seeming to believe, so he continued.
"Well, before we could decide, the Grand Master of our family's martial arts school found us.
"That guy was a total pervert, only concerned with whatever could benefit him. He was pissed because, when I disappeared, he lost his favorite plaything. You see, he loves to feel girls up, and seemed to especially enjoy doing it to me. Hell, the pervert even used a technique to lock away my strength once because I wouldn't submit to him.
"Anyway, when he found us...he decided we needed to be taught a lesson, so he summoned a powerful demon to do his dirty work."
Ranma took a calming breath, looking into his tea again. "The pervert was evil and petty. Bastard didn't even know he wasn't in control until the demon killed him.
"Then it turned on us, determined to kill us and wreak havoc on this world. I...I tried to fight it the best I could. I mean, hell, I killed a Phoenix God, but this demon was far beyond that."
Ranma stared into her eyes, causing strange feelings to well up in Makoto. Shaking his head, he continued, tears beginning to flow down his cheeks. "Despite my best efforts, he...he killed Nabiki while she tried to protect you."
Makoto had a memory flash. It wasn't the one where her Aunt and Uncle informed her that her parents had died in a plane crash...
"Ma...Mako-chan..." the woman called, her hands reaching for her daughter, her ran to her mother's side. "I...I guess I won't be around much longer."
Makoto looked towards her father, now fighting the demon like a man possessed.
Her mother placed a hand on her face, making certain that the little girl looked into her eyes. "I love you, no matter what. Just promise me you'll be like your dad, and protect those weaker than you."
"I promise, Mommy!" cried the little girl, hoping her mommy would be okay.
The woman smiled. "I lost my mother when I was seven, Mako-chan. I...I wanted to be there for you. Be strong, Mako-chan. Be strong."
Those were the last words her mother said, before the life left her eyes. "Mommy? Wake up, Mommy. Mommy? Mommy!"
"YOU BASTARD!" screamed her father. She turned to see him glowing intensely. "I won't let you hurt anyone ever again!"
"Foolish mortal!" screamed the demon. "You can't kill me!"
Her father stepped back. "Maybe...maybe not. But I can make certain you never harm anyone in this world ever again."
She watched as her father pushed the demon back towards the portal, before rushing it, and causing both to fall into the portal.
That was the last she ever saw of her father.
She shook her head. "They told me they died in a plane crash."
The man laughed a little. "How could a four-year-old cope with the fact her parents were taken from her by a demon?"
She looked at him. "Then does that make you my...papa?"
He nodded. "I spent forty years in that world. I...I did kill that thing after I forced him there, and spent the rest of the time trying to get home to you." He slid a locket across the table. "This was all I had to remember you two."
She opened it up. In the left half was a wedding photo of him and a girl with brown hair in a pageboy haircut. The second was a picture of the same couple, and a little girl with long brown hair.
Makoto recognized the picture. She had an identical one in the locket she always wore. "Daddy?"
It was a difficult question for her to ask. But he admitted he was kept young by his curse, that he had been gone for over thirteen years as far as she knew, but that time had passed faster for him in that world. But could he be...?
He nodded, confirming what she had been thinking. "I...I didn't know if I could kill him with you around. He was strong enough to lash out to kill your mother, I...I didn't want to risk you." He looked deep into her eyes. "Better to be killed by myself, than risk you. So I forced him back through the portal, hoping it would shut after that."
Makoto didn't care for his reasons at the moment.
She only cared that he was back. "DADDY!"
The man—formerly known as Ranma Saotome, formerly known as Ranma Kino—felt his daughter slam into him.
He held her, stroking her hair as she cried into his chest. She was his daughter, his only link to the former Nabiki Tendo, then his wife, Nabiki Kino. He comforted her as she cried, before she eventually fell asleep.
Sighing, he carried her to the lone bedroom in the apartment, saddened that none of Nabiki's sisters had stayed with the girl. So, he tucked her in and returned to the kitchen, cleaning up, before hitting the couch to sleep himself. Tomorrow there would be plenty of days to enjoy his return to Earth, to enjoy being in his daughter's life.
All that mattered to him was that she was safe.
And that he would ensure she stayed that way.