Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up. This one was inspired by Brian Drozd's The Past Catching Up
I would like to first personally thank all of those reviewing my stories. I enjoy reading your comments, and try to correct the grammatical errors I miss with my final read-through as well as my spell checkers. The suggestions you all make will help make this story better for everyone to enjoy, as well as allow my to fix some plot holes I may unintentionally leave.
If you like, please review, as well as let me know of any spelling errors. I will then re-upload this chapter when I do my next upload.
If you like, check out my other stories.
I also plan to start sending these out to have someone else proofread them before I post them. Volunteers are welcome.
Now, on with the show.
I can honestly say that the recent events in and on my life have made me tired, more so than ever before.
How should I begin?
Well, when I last left off, my Father and Mother Masaki had something important to tell me.
I couldn't believe how happy I was: my prince was coming home.
But even before he stepped through the door, I just new Genma Saotome had messed it up. Besides what the nightmare had told me, I had to count on what was obviously the results of their training together—my father and his father—that they would automatically assume stupid little things.
Like, for instance, I assumed Ranma would be attacked by Genma because the fat bastard would fail to tell his son just who he was going to see.
Also, if they were cursed—I did a little research on Jusenkyo, the only training grounds in China that resembled my dream—he would also neglect the fact that a better impression might be had by all should Ranma arrive as male!
But I digress. I could stand here all day and say stuff degrading Genma Saotome. But what would be the point. We already know he's scum. Hell, even I figured out he wants to control Ranma. Who knows what trouble he would be in without my help those years ago?
I mean, I hope I had that much of an impact on him.
I must have if the dream was true. I mean, the old Ranma before I worked with him would have jumped up onto those bamboo poles, no questions asked. In my dream, he ignored his father, and was literally thrown into danger.
I don't care if he turns into that redheaded girl I saw in my dream. I mean, at least the curse is human. And okay, maybe the rumors about me being a lesbian weren't true. But for him, and only for him, I would make that leap. I never want him to feel ashamed of who he is.
Only when he has done something that seriously…displeases me.
But I was afraid while I waited downstairs for their arrival. While Father and Mother Masaki filled me in on the arrival of the postcard, and Mother Masaki used a cutesy voice to tell little Kimiko her father was coming home, it did little to lower my tension. I had read enough literature about the area around Jusenkyo to be concerned.
You see, there were three groups living there, a shock at how autonomous they were from the Chinese Government.
One—the Musk—might lock my love in his female form and try and make a wife of him. So that gave me the fear that the man I loved would never be a man again.
But he was returning, and I doubt even Genma would return with Ranma locked in a female form.
The second—the Phoenix—don't bother me too much. While Genma might go there to learn some techniques, I doubt Ranma would follow after Jusenkyo.
Finally, the Amazons. Now they I worry about. I know they were the ones most often involved in any clashes with the country's regime, and often won hands down. So, it is most likely they would head there for either training or a possible cure.
Why was I worried? They look for strong males to chain to their village to improve their gene pool.
Hell, Genma should be enough reason to consider dumping him in the river.
But Ranma… My Ranma might make them consider…
Would he do that to me? No. I never thought that for a minute. Ranma, in all his true form, would never disregard me. I know him better than any of his parents, better than even he knows himself.
But I am not stupid. I know that if the dream was real, if magic exists, then Ranma may not have a choice in the matter.
If he was forced, I would forgive any transgression he made.
No Kami would ever be able to protect him.
So I sat there, little Kimiko on my lap, playing with a stuffed animal I got her, waiting for them to come.
And like I expected, Genma ruined their first impression.
Nabiki sat at the table, once again fidgeting with her formal kimono, smoothing out a wrinkle that no longer existed, or trying to loosen or tighten a tie that did not need it.
Kimiko merely sat beside her mother in her own formal kimono, playing with a toy squeaky hammer that Auntie Akane had gotten her.
"Calm down, dear," said the soothing voice of Nodoka Masaki. "Ranma will be here soon, and being a nervous wreck won't help things."
"Ranma?" asked Kimiko.
"Ranma's your daddy, Kimiko," said Akane. "And show grandpa how I showed you to greet your daddy."
I must say that got my attention. Knowing my sister, and her current feelings about men in general, I wanted to see this myself.
Kimiko walked over to her grandfather, still clutching her little toy mallet.
Which she then used to bop him on the forehead. "Baka!"
It was a struggle not to face-fault, laugh, and scold my sister, all at the same time. "Akane, why is my daughter going to do that to her father?"
"Um...hee-hee...because he deserves it?"
"No, little sister, he does not.
"Kimiko, that is how you greet your other grandpa, okay?"
It did work, though. The tension I had been feeling was gone...for the moment.
But still, I have so many fears to face.
It's all the fault of that damned dream I had those months ago. My daughter shouldn't have ever had to see me like that. The fear... The terror... They only got worse as I read more about the area around Jusenkyo. The Musk, the Amazons, the Phoenix... I had more reasons to be afraid in those months than I ever had as a little girl.
Kimiko should have never had to fear like that, never seen the sheer terror on my face.
I'll be certain to thank Genma for that as well.
We sat for but a few moments more until the closing sound of the gate was heard. As Dad took off to greet his new son-in-law, Nodoka stood up, making a shushing sound, and slid against the wall. I could guess what she was planning, and pulled Kimiko near me, making certain she wouldn't see what might occur.
I had to smile at that. Now granted, I am no slouch at Martial Arts. I took it back up to ensure my daughter's safety. Well, actually I took it up to spend more time with Ranma when we started getting closer, but I have improved since then. Now, I know I lack my sister's sheer strength, I lack Kasumi's sheer grace, but the point is: I try.
I know I will never be at Ranma's level. I know I will never be the best.
But as long as I can protect those who I love...that's all that matters to me.
So...I'll let my mother-in-law deal with the baka panda first. I may not be the best, but I'm certain that she will save me a pound or two of his flesh to beat.
After all, a girl's got to work out her frustrations as well.
Now, you should know I told Mother Masaki about my dream. She wanted to know why I was so upset for that week. Hell, she even showed me the contract Genma left behind when he left.
I was thankful she never planned to hold Ranma to it, and if she did, he had proved it by gaining my love.
In reality, I think it was our child that did it.
I had to laugh, not even more than a year old, and little Kimiko defeated the only thing that could kill her father.
Soon, the doorbell sounded, and my Father ran to answer it with my sister, Kasumi. As expected, Genma messed up what could have been a critical meeting had I not met Ranma before.
Anyway, we met a large and obese panda carrying a young redheaded female, which he slung to the floor.
Even I could tell the kind of blow needed to knock out Ranma.
Luckily, the panda never saw Nodoka.
"Hello, husband dear. It seems you've forgotten where I lived."
"Momma, teddy make pee-pee!"
Well, my daughter is smart, even if Genma isn't.
With the help of the others, I had my father hold little Kimiko while we braced Ranma against a wall. I'd have been lying had I said I didn't expect this. I told you, with Ranma, I learned to expect the unexpected.
It was my love, my curse.
As the panda pleaded with his wife to spare his life, I poured some hot water over Ranma, reverting him to his male form.
It had been two years, and the sight of how he had grown nearly took my breath away.
He slowly opened his eyes, their focus coming slowly, indicating that Genma had used way too much force to knock Ranma out. Eventually, they came to settle on my worried visage.
Words never did flow well from him.
"I guess Pops finally killed me, and I got to see my angel again."
Smiling, Nabiki just responded, trying to hold back her tears. "You're not dead, Ranma. You really are with me."
His hand came up to her face, cupping her cheek. That was all it took for her tears to flow, causing Ranma to slowly shift his arm and pull her into a hug. "I told ya I would come back."
We sat there for a few moments, enjoying the embrace, when I felt a small tugging on my kimono arm. Looking down, as I am certain Ranma was as well, I spotted my daughter, nervous, unsure as to what to do now, since her grandma was currently tying up the panda and proceeding to deliver something I doubt PETA would consider...appropriate.
As Ranma looked at the little girl, I could see his brow rise slightly. As his eyes grew large, they changed slightly panicky and turned towards me.
The baka, he was worried I was upset. I just kissed him quickly, before leaning into him to whisper into his ear. "She is your daughter from our one time. I don't blame you. She...she just wants to meet her daddy. Please, don't hate us for this."
Ranma nodded; a small look of relief on his face.
I guess he was afraid I would hate him for not being there, for leaving me with child.
I could blame him, could find fault.
But that isn't me. That isn't what my heart says. It says he would have stayed had he known. It says he will still love us. It says he will never reject our child...never reject me either.
He helped her up a little to sit on his lap; she was still looking at him, confused. I guess she didn't understand the curse that well.
I just hope she didn't start calling him the name she made up.
I can hear Akane snickering in the background, but pay it no heed. I can see Ranma looking at my in confusion again. "I had a dream about Jusenkyo. I tried to explain it to her, in case it was true. I guess she just...decided to call you that."
His smile grew slightly, before looking at her. "Yeah, I guess I am your Daddy."
"DADDY-MOMMA!" Our little girl didn't get the hint that he just wanted to be called "Daddy", but when she started hugging him, I think he didn't care for the moment, either.
He pulled me into the hug as well...our first family hug. It felt warm...it felt...right.
I know what you're thinking. "How can I just fall like this? How can he be so accepting of this?"
Well, I did get Ranma over his "girls are weak" phase by showing him that labor video. He knew what could happen. It was me who didn't care.
Call it a mistake in the heat of the moment.
But no one could ever look at Kimiko and think that.
So we all sat there, enjoying the togetherness...enjoying the fact that we really were a family now.
But all good things...
"It appears that someone else has already begun to punish the worthless panda for leaving us behind."
"Shampoo say is lucky we no catch first. Must thank helpful warrior later."
My sight shifted to the two new arrivals. The fact they had hopped over the wall—a feat I have yet to master without occasionally tripping over said wall—told me they were skilled. The fact that one looked like a lawn gnome and the other looked like she could go toe-to-toe with my love's female form in a beauty contest, told me I had better tread carefully.
Why you ask? Simple. They have power; they obviously have skill, and knowing Genma, are pissed for a very good reason.
I stood up to observe these two. Ranma stood beside me, placing his arm on my shoulder, and briefly shaking the pain from his head the near concussion had given him. "Nabiki, these are Elder Cologne, and her great granddaughter, Shampoo, of the Chinese Amazons. They escorted me and Pops back."
What was I supposed to say? Here before me were two of the very same people I feared would find Ranma, and decide to keep him for themselves. These were members of a group that even the Chinese Government never messed with.
HOW THE HELL WAS I SUPPOSED TO REACT?
So, I let my training take over. Before me were two very dangerous women, despite appearances. Beside me were my freshly returned love and my little girl. I shifted my stance so Kimiko was behind both me and Ranma, staring at the girls who could very well kill me before I could blink.
I watched as the older Amazon woman looked at me for a moment, knowing she was judging me. She smiled, as though to try and calm me down.
Did I mention I am FAR from calm?
"Do not worry about us, child. Enjoy your reunion with your beloved. Our business can be discussed later. For now, enjoy this time. Come, Shampoo."
I watched as the two Amazons left the Dojo, the feeling of uneasiness and trepidation never dropping one iota.
I knew Genma had done something...it was in the younger girl's eyes. It was a feeling of sadness, or stepping upon things you didn't want to.
She hated herself for a moment, letting me see it, whether she meant to or not.
What could it be that the dreams never showed me? What had Genma done?
I know it was him. There was no way it could have been Ranma's fault. Almost every single thing wrong in Ranma's life could be traced to that fat man now being led outside for another ex-husband/ex-wife chat.
My thoughts were cut short as Ranma tightened his hug on me, causing Kimiko to giggle between us.
It would have to wait. Ranma needed to sign the papers so Father could get them downtown for his meeting tonight with the District Council.
I just hope Kimiko could forgive me tonight for placing her with her grandmother tonight.
It has been over two years, and I want to be with him tonight.
But my question is answered.
Yes, he still loves me.
Shampoo and Cologne made their way from the Tendo Dojo, silently making their way through the quiet streets.
"Your thoughts, young one?"
Shampoo stopped, turning back towards the dojo. "Shampoo think idea is no fair. Ranma and girl love each other, make Shampoo feel icky for doing this. No is right."
Cologne sighed. "I agree, child. But, I did what I could for him in the village. If his father had fought, we could easily have gotten the challenge dropped for the sheer worthlessness of that male.
"But with Ranma thrown as he was into the fight... Bead and Pollen are much too conniving for their own good; even as Elders go. Their lust for power will cause our tribe's downfall."
She hopped away. "Let them have this time to enjoy their reunion. We shall deliver the father's folly later. First, we must set ourselves up in this town. If our plan is to work, we will need a staging ground."
Shampoo took one more sad look at the dojo. It is not right to have to interfere in such love. I am sorry...Airen.