I don't own any of the characters herein.
Tail Kinker presents
March 18th, 2000
"Happy birthday, son."
Ranma glanced up. He'd left the party rather early, to come up to the roof of the dojo and look at the stars. He was rather surprised that his father had made the effort to follow him.
"Thanks, Pop." He grinned. "Twenty-one. I can't believe it."
"Well, don't go feeling like an old man." His father sat down beside him. "That's my job. You still have a long time to live."
"Yeah, but..." He sighed. "The last six years have been...like something out of a cheesy manga."
"At least you and Akane finally got married. And my first grandchild will be along in a few more months."
"Yeah..." He stared down at his feet. "Honestly, Pop, that kinda scares me."
"All new fathers are afraid of the prospect." Genma sighed. "Especially if, like yourself, your own father made...mistakes."
"How do I know if I'm gonna be any good as a dad?"
"You will be. Just avoid my mistakes. And whatever you do, don't let Akane get a katana."
They sat in companionable silence for a while, then Genma spoke again.
"I've tried to fix most of my mistakes. We finally got you cured of the ailurophobia. Ukyo and Konatsu are happily married, the Amazons are gone, Kodachi's in an asylum...there are only two mistakes left unfixed."
"To tell you the truth, boy, there's a possible cure for that, but I've hesitated to reveal it to you."
"Really?" Ranma's head snapped around. "You know of a cure?"
"Yes. But it lies very far from here. And it relates to my other mistake."
"What other mistake?"
"I should have told you this a decade ago." Genma lay back, staring up at the sky. "I love your mother very much. When I first came to Japan, twenty-five years ago, I was supposed to go home in five years. But I stayed, because of her. And that was a mistake."
"Came to Japan? I thought you were born in Kyoto."
"No." He shook his head. "All part of the web of lies I had to spin for your mother. I wasn't born in Japan, or anywhere close to here."
"Where were you born, then?"
Genma glanced over. "Sure you want to know?"
Genma raised an arm, and pointed out towards the sky. Ranma followed his hand, his mouth gaping in disbelief.
"You...you're not human?"
Genma shook his head. "No. Outwardly, my people appear human, and I've been slightly altered, genetically, to blend into Japan. But we're not human. Not you, nor me. Your mother is human, but you inherited my people's nature."
Ranma jumped to his feet. "Why the hell did you never tell me this before?"
"I couldn't think how!" Genma shook his head. "As long as I kept you away from doctors, we were safe. Our internal body structure is quite different in many ways from that of humans. You yourself are proof that we are cross-fertile with humans."
"No..." He shook his head. "I can't believe this."
"I can offer proof."
"No!" He turned, and scowled. "This is just another one of your fucked-up lies!" He turned, and jumped off the roof.
Genma dropped his face into his hands.
- - - - -
"Oh, man...Akane." Ranma shook his head. "I can't tell her about this."
"Tell me about what?"
He jumped, and turned to see Akane standing behind him. "Oh. Uh...just somethin' Pops told me. It's a lie, and I saw through it, and he's...well..."
"You're not making a lot of sense."
"Sorry." He laughed unsteadily.
"So what did he tell you this time?"
"I can't tell ya." He shook his head. "It's just too far fetched, it has to be a lie, so ya don't need to worry about it."
"Come on, Ranma." Akane grinned. "Since it comes from Genma, I can just laugh it off."
"All right." Ranma sighed. "He told me today that I'm an alien."
Akane considered this, then nodded. "That would explain a lot, actually."
"You...you believe it?"
"Not at all." Akane shook her head. "If you were an alien...I wouldn't be pregnant, right?" She patted her belly. "Incompatible DNA, or something."
"Well, he also said that 'our species' is compatible with humans."
"Too convenient." Akane shook her head. "Besides, if you were an alien, wouldn't you have green blood or something?"
"Dad says we're mostly the same." He shook his head. "Why are we even discussing it? It's obviously a load of crap."
"Hey, it's fun." Akane giggled. "'I married an alien.' So what sort of differences did he mention?"
"All he said was that he had to keep me away from doctors."
"Well. Whatever internal differences there might be, it would be something a doctor would notice. Maybe a different heart rate?" She leaned over and put her ear next to Ranma's chest. "It is kinda fast, but you're worked up."
"Ah, Akane...the heart is on the left side."
"Actually, it's right on the centerline. The main vein coming out of it is on the left--" She paused. "But I can hear it clearly." She shifted further to the right. "Even more clearly now."
"So my heart is put in backwards?"
"That can happen, but--" She paused, and shifted her ear to the other side of his chest. Then stepped back, a look of shock on her face.
"What?" Ranma looked confused.
"You--" She shook her head in confusion. "I heard a second heartbeat. Different pace, different pitch...you have two hearts!"
Ranma shook his head. "No way. Akane, you ain't a doctor--"
"I've been to see Doctor Tofu a lot in the last four months, Ranma." Akane shook her head in disbelief. "I've heard my heartbeat, and I've heard the baby's...yours is different. Very different."
"So do you now accept the truth?"
Ranma whirled. His father was standing at the door, arms crossed.
"Dammit! How could you do this to Akane?"
"Me?" Akane looked shocked. Genma scowled.
"What have I done to her?"
"You pushed us into this engagement, remember?"
"I didn't hear you complaining." Genma considered. "Well, not after the first year, anyway. What's different now?"
"Dad, she's pregnant!" Ranma scowled. "How's she gonna feel about carryin' a monster?"
"Monster?" yelled Genma. "Look, I've told you already! My people are identical to your own! Look at you! Are you a monster?"
Ranma looked down at his hands. "I wish I knew. I really do."
"Trust me, you're not. Neither is your child." Genma scowled. "There's not much chance that you will ever meet the rest of our people. Five of us came here, as a research party. Three of us stayed."
"Research?" He glared at his father. "Research how? What, did you come here to abduct humans and mutilate cattle? Maybe make some crop circles?"
"That was other aliens." Genma sighed. "This planet is taking its first halting steps into a bigger universe. We came here in 1974. Earth had just powered up its largest radio telescope, and we wanted to check it out. But our spacecraft had a navigational error, and we wound up in Japan."
"Musta been built by a Hibiki," muttered Ranma.
"But we liked it, and we stayed in Japan for some time. Eventually, two of our party members took our ship back to our home planet, but three of us stayed. I met your mother, and to be honest, I fell in love with the culture of this planet."
"But..." Ranma shook his head. "I can't believe you never told her! I can't believe you never told me!" He spat. "You just can't help lyin', can ya, old man! Well, I've had enough of it!"
"No! You shut the hell up!" Ranma's rage was growing by leaps and bounds. "I've had enough! Never again will I listen to you, for anything!" He turned his back on his father. "You are dead to me."
He turned to Akane. "I hate to ask you this, but I've got to leave. I gotta go somewhere where nobody knows me. Will you come with me?"
"Yes." There was no hesitation in her voice.
"You'll likely not see your family again. But I've gotta go far away from this lying piece of shit as I can."
"I recall making you a promise. For better or worse, in sickness or in health, until death do us part." Her voice was quiet. "Yes, Ranma. Where you go, I go."
- - - - -
"So what now?"
Ranma dropped his backpack on the train's bench-seat. "I'm not really sure. I gotta find a job, and soon...the baby won't wait while we make plans."
"You could find a dojo--"
"No." He shook his head. "I'd need the old man's say-so to be a master, or the Old Freak's." He considered. "I need to go back to school. Maybe even college."
"I'll find a way." He looked over at Akane. "I'm sorry for draggin' you off."
"I chose to come. Stop apologizing." She glared at him.
"All right. I just hope I don't let ya down."
"You're too good a man to do so." She leaned up against him. "You'll find a way."
The train pulled out of the station. Ranma looked out the window, wondering where it was taking them.