A GRIT Thread Compilation by John W. Conner

Original Thread Begun by Jason Heavensrun

Time: Late night, some time since the Baby Shower. Jason & the others by this time have returned from Korea (which will have to be inserted retroactively for the sake of continuity...). Christmas-time has come and gone...

Place: The Tendo-Saotome School of Indiscriminate Grappling. One by one, the rooms in the building are displayed...

---The bath... A faucet drips slowly...

---The living room... Empty...

---The kitchen... Empty...

---The Dojo... Empty...

---Kasumi's room... Empty...The decorations and personal effects are all gone, and the plain bedroom has a sort of barren hollowness that seems to signify something missing

---Stark's room... Having moved into what was formerly Akane's room, the familiar setting is marred somewhat by a similar emptiness that filled Kasumi's old room, only this room holds a body, and a few personal effects. A bunch of Nirvana posters, a CD player with accompanying messy pile of CDs, and a beat up old electric guitar with little Dragon Ball Z stickers on it. Two pictures. One of a younger looking Jared (scrawnier and with glasses) with his arm around a blond girl of about the same age. Next to it is another picture of Jared as he is today, in a similar position that includes even the raised arm, but an eerie empty space where the girl should be. And the appearance of a room that might once again be home to someone. Stark snores loudly, but aside from that, the room is completely silent...

---The master bedroom... Soun is snoring peacefully, while Rumiko lies on her belly, holding her pendent in front of her with an unreadable expression as her eyes fixate on it...

---The other downstairs bedroom... Somewhat sporadically occupied by the old master Happosai, the room is empty at the moment...It entails precisely what you would expect to find in the room of a perverted old martial arts master...namely, the biggest mess ever -not- caused by a natural disaster. (Happy's more of an -un-natural disaster...)

---Nabiki's room... Another room with a lived in look, a very expensive-looking stereo sits idly in sleep mode, a computer screen sits deactivated on the desk with a load of bank statements and other paperwork. The single bed sitting up against the wall, however, is empty, it's light green sheets folded down carefully on a neatly made bed...

---Ranma & Akane's room... Once upon a time, the guest room that holds Ranma and his wife was the room he shared with his father...

Ranma: <sigh> (thinking:) <How times have changed...>

(Ranma lies sprawled in female form across the futon, sheet tossed about in perpetual and futile attempts to find a combination of cold, warmth, comfort and support...unable to find a welcome balance, she instead props herself up on her elbow and looks down at her wife, who seems to be sleeping soundly on her back, the sheets rising and falling. Ranma looks over her nervously, regarding her almost as a bomb about to explode...) <She's already -past- the predicted date...The doctors said it could be any time...I can't believe I'm going to be a father...> (looks down at her own body...) <Well, -most- of the time...At least that Caroline chick got that crazy idea of me breast-feedin' outta everybody's head before she vanished...> (After watching her sleep for a moment, Ranma smiles affectionately and brushes some hair out of Akane's face...Then flinches back as her eyes flutter open slowly...)

---Saotome Household... (from the exterior, the Saotome residence gleams with silent grace from the decorating touches of it's head of the household. Only a recently patched segment of destroyed wall mars the tranquility of the scene.)

---Lisa's room... (I'll leave it up to RLLucky to describe the room, since I don't really know what Lisa would have done with it. Important fact is, Lisa's deep asleep by this time of night...)

---Ryuu's room... (The semi-psychotic martial artist's room is extremely spartan. No personal effects adorn the walls or dresser, a very select wardrobe can be seen in the closet, most of it looking fairly similar to one another...)

---Master Bedroom... (Genma-panda lies sprawled across the futon, his large panda form occupying the majority of the space in the room...Nodoka is nowhere to be seen, as she is down in...)

---The Saotome Kitchen... (Nodoka sits at the kitchen counter, staring across at the far window as she sips a cup of tea, a pensive expression on her face...After sitting a moment, she looks up at the ceiling, examining three different points as if she could sense the occupant's presence simply by looking in their general direction...Then she looks at a nearby photograph on the living room wall of Ranma & Akane in front of Zuni's-

Tsurugi: Zuni's! Why is it always Zuni's?!?!?

Oh, shut up!

Tsurugi: <sob>

Anyway...of Ranma & Akane in front of Zuni's, surrounded by a few of the GRITter crew...Nodoka regards this for a moment, then looks up again and smiles. A moment later her reverie is interrupted when the telephone rings...)


---Jo's room... (A small trill rings, but Jo fails to stir. The room is a shambles, maps, supplies, pickaxes, at other miscellaneous exploration gear filling the room. Photographs and written text and other data taken from the Korea site fills the desk...Jo stirs slightly as the trill persists, and finally an arm darts out, grabs the alarm clock and slams it on the floor, adding another dent to it (and cracking the floorboard) but doing no real damage. Jo's subconscious notes that the trill has not changed pitch or angle, and her eyes groggily open up, focusing after a few seconds on the telephone...then reaching up and turning off the ringer.

Readers: <Facefault>

--- Steve's room ---

Steve: (Sitting up on his bed with an irritated look on his face) Stupid phone. I hate getting woke- wo- <big yawn> Let us go see what it's about. (He shambles out of bed and shuffles halfway to the door before tripping on his too-long pajama pants and falling flat to the floor.) Ow. Mustn't forget about the pant legs.

--- Back in Jo's Room ---

(Jo returns to blissful slumber for about thirty seconds, until something clicks in the back of her mind and it suddenly becomes imperative that Jo answer the phone as quickly as possible.)

Jo: Hello? Hello?

---Amy's room...

(Amy lies peacefully on her bed, still and silent...for about two seconds. Her next breath lets loose an ear-shattering snore. As the chainsaw continues running, a second, slightly more quiet rhythmic pounding begins to stir her from her slumber. With a final snort, she lifts her head from the pillow and groggily stumbles to the door and opens it...)

Jo: Amy, it's time...

Amy: <noting that the majority of Jo's flesh is bare, she ponders her "boyfriend's" words for a few seconds before her tired brain clicks in an explanation...> You...You...YOU PERVERT!!!

Jo: Huh?

Amy: (suddenly wielding bokken.) <THWAP> So, you think I'm that easy, huh? <THWAP> I say I love you a couple of <THWAP> times and you expect me to just jump in the sack with you <THWAP> when we haven't even been on any real dates <THWAP> yet? Well I'm sure going to set -you- <THWAP> straight, you hentai!!! <THWAP><THWAP><THWAP><THWAP>

Jo: Wait..but...ow!...Would you...owch! Cut it-OW!!! (trying futilely to explain herself, a good fifteen minutes pass before Jo manages to convince Amy to stop hitting her...)

Amy: (holding her bokken menacingly) Fine. Explain.

Jo: Well, you see, A-<THWAP> OW! (spins around and sees Vince standing groggily in the doorway, holding a bokken) Vince?!? What was that for?

Vince: <yawn> You know, Jason, some of us enjoy sleeping during the late hours of the night without being interrupted by an image of a scantily clad Akane (Jo looks down at herself before blushing slightly) being noisily chased around a room with a bokken. Now, if you'll please... KEEP IT DOWN!!! (stalks back to his own room)

Jo: <piku> I... uh... er... what was that all about?

Amy: Vince gets a little cranky if you interrupt his sleep.

Jo: A "little"...?

Steve: <Walking blearily into the room> Excuse me, what's the reason for this fight, and what was the phone call about? (He notices for the first time just how much Jo is wearing and goes into the Takahashi Surprised Position) GAK!

Amy: Grrr... What are you staring at, you pervert!! <THWAP>

Jo: Hentai! <THWACK>

Steve: <THWAP> Ow! <THWACK> Stop! <THWAP> Hitting! <THWAPTHWACKTHWAP> Me! <THWACK> Like! <THWACK> This! <THWAPTHWAPTHWAPTHWAPTHWAP> <Tries to grab Amy's bokken but in his tired state his fingers get hit by it instead> OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW! You just broke my hand! I think!

Uhm: <Sleepily> What's all the racket?

Jo: Not a stupid broken hand... that's the stupidest gag ever in something like this.

Amy: <Menacingly> Something like what?

Steve: It might even need stitches.

Jo: <Flatly> Akane's gone into labor.

Amy, Steve, Uhm: O_O

Steve: Okay, forget the stupid hand. I'll have it looked at later.

Amy: THAT'S what you came barging in here for?

Jo: Yes!

Uhm: Should I go wake the rest of Zuni's up?

Vince: (shouting from down the hallway) QUIET DOWN THERE BEFORE I GO OVER THERE AND -MAKE- IT QUIET!!

Uhm: Er... should I wake up everyone else but Vince?

Amy: (putting on a trenchcoat) C'mon, what are you waiting for? We gotta get to the hospital.

---Ken ni Kaze...

Tsurugi: Yess!!!

---Al & U-chan's room... (the telephone rings...)

A hand comes out of a mess of bedsheets, trying on several spots to locate the offending noisemaker until it succeeds and picks the speaker, pulling it into the clothy mess.

Voice under the sheets: Grwrowrrwowr.

Jo: (over the phone) Al! It's time! Turn human!

VUtS: Grw... I _am_ human... just... annoyed... this better be good.

Another Voice Under the Sheets: What is it? Al?

Seconds later, two wolves dart out of the Ken ni Kaze.


Tsurugi: Waitaminuite, that's all I get???

RLJason: What do you want? We're rivals, remember? You should feel blessed that I even favored that dive with a cameo...

Tsurugi: Grrr...<mumblegrumblestupidRLmumblegrumble...>

TL-RL: Be nice! <thwaps Tsu with a beany baby>

---_Back_ at Ucchans... (the Telephone rings for several minutes, until finally a rather tired looking Akemi stumbles out into the restaurant area.)

Akemi: Stupid telephone! For the crime of waking me up, I shall -SMITE- (rears back with her sword)

Blade: (running in) Akemi, NO!

Akemi: But Blade-san, this mean telephone woke me up!!

Blade: <sweatdrop> Er...But Ucchan needs it for her business...You don't want to do something that would hurt Ukyou-san's business, right?

Akemi: <sigh> I guess you're right as always, Blade-san...(trudges back to her room while Blade picks up the telephone...)

Blade: Hello?

---Mystic Manor, Tegan's apartment...

Unlike most of the others... Tegan is wide awake with a bad case of insomnia.

Tegan: <muttering to herself> Gotta remember not to have triple chocolate cake *and* hot chocolate right before bed...

She's sitting in front of the computer in her personal office (the room in her apartment - for those of you who haven't looked at the diagrams on my homepage) revising various sections of her romance novel... considering her knowledge of romance has improved since she started dating Tora. The phone rings. She picks it up, then realizes that it's her cell phone ringing, not the apartment phone. The cell phone is in its charging cradle in the living room.

Tegan: <walking towards the telephone...> I'm comin'...I'm comin'...<picks up the telephone receiver> Hello? Yes. No, that's okay, I was up anyway...Oh, nothing important...Uh-huh? Yeah, she was here earlier, visiting that Heavensrun guy. No, I don't know if or when she left...I could go down and knock on his door if you want...Uh-huh...uh-huh...<gasp> You're kidding??? How far apart? <pause> Where is she now? Forget a taxi, I can bring my car and I'm closer then any cab company...I'll be right there...(starts to hang up, then picks it back up...) Hello, are you still there? Good, what do you want me to do if I track down Nabiki? Uh-huh. Right...I'll be there as soon as I can...

PATE wanders into the living room, yawning.

PATE: What is it? Is something wrong?

Tegan: (running into her room and grabbing some clothes) Akane's in labor. I've got to see if Jacen Heavensrun knows where Nabiki is, then I'm going to drive Ranma and Akane to the hospital. (she quickly changes from her sleep shirt to a sweat suit as she talks)

PATE: May I come with you?

Tegan: (pauses a second) I think she still has a few hours to go before the baby is born. Get some sleep and come by the hospital a little later. (she slips on a pair of loafers, grabs her coat, purse, and cell phone and is out the door)

(A few minute, Tegan steps off the elevator on the 4th floor and walks over to knock on the door to room 4C. There's silence for a few minutes, then the door opens rather abruptly and Jacen steps out, shielding his eyes from the hallway lights...)

Jacen: <gruffly> What?

Tegan: (ignoring the rude welcome) I got a call from Mrs. Tendo a couple of minutes ago...They were looking for Nabiki. Do you know where she went when she left?

Jacen: Er...Well, (scratching the back of his neck...) she didn't exactly -leave-.

Tegan: <blinkblink>

Nabiki: <blinking rapidly as she pokes her head around the door into the light...> What's the commotion?

Tegan: <ahem> Well, Your sister called, Nabiki. She’s gone into labor...

Jacen: <Jaw drops>

Nabiki: <vanishes behind the door> I have to get dressed...

Tegan: I'm going over now to give Akane a ride to the hospital.

Jacen: <nodnod> Yeah, go, we'll catch up...Do we know how far away she is?

Tegan: Well, the contractions are kind of far apart still...Dr. Tofu told them they have a few hours at least...

Jacen: <nod> We'll be there in about thirty minutes. (starts to close the door, then opens it back up...) Sorry, I was kind of rude earlier...I...well...

Tegan: <nods> Right. Go get ready. I'll tell everybody you're on your way...

<Tegan heads back to the elevator. Outside, she walks quickly to the car and starts it.>

Tegan: <thinking as she drives to the Tendo dojo> I hope they have everything ready that Akane needs to take to the hospital...

A few minutes later, Jacen and Nabiki are riding on the back of a taxi; the middle Tendou sister is looking as the city lights go past.

Jacen: Don't worry, Akane will be OK; Dr. Tofuu is with her.

Nabiki: I know; I'm not worried about that.

Jacen: Then?

Nabiki: _They_ are going to be there.

Jacen: Oh... I'll be with you always.... if you need me.

Nabiki: (squeezes Jacen's hand) Thanks.

---Mystic Manor, Lilin's apartment...

In his room in Mystic Manor, recovering from the massive contusions he received (at least in theory) in the 'The Devil Made Me Do It' thread.. Lilin slept.

And Lilin slept...

And then, Lilin didn't sleep...

Lilin fell out of bed, landing on his face.

Lilin: @_@ Such an ominous vibration on the Astral Plane...

RL-Berk: For all you guys who don't speak 'daft mage' I'll translate.

Something's about to happen... Something *big*...'

Lilin: Must.. get to.. door.. *cough* *wheeze* Swine tree branch...

--- Tegan's Car.

Tegan drives past a certain midnight blue motorbike with a certain white haired rider, surprising him by the sheer speed of her driving.

Tora: [skids to a halt] Whoa, what the hell?

Tora also seems to be having a rather nasty bout of insomnia and is trying riding the bike to burn off some energy [RL Note: insomnia with Tegan too? Must be a cat thing ^_^ {dodges <thwap> from TL}] Tora looking at the car that rushed past him, realizing that it's Tegan's.

Tora: Something has to be wrong if she's driving that fast...

Tora revs up the engine, turns the bike in the direction that Tegan went, pops a wheelie and roars off like a blue thunder.

RL Collective: What, no Kunou chasing him?

RLMDA: I figured that I'd give him a rest today...

Tora accelerates to the point where he pulls up on the driver's side of Tegan's car. Tegan notices the bike pulling up beside her as Tora's. The two of them drive side by side for the remainder of the trip to the dojo.

<Tegan arrives at the dojo. Tora pulls up next to her.>

Tora: What's the rush? What are you doing out so late?

Tegan: Akane's in labor. I could get here before a taxi could. I need to drive her to the hospital.

<Without waiting for a reply from Tora, she knocks on the door. Rumiko answers it.>

Rumiko: You must be Tegan.

Tegan: Hi. Yeah. And this is Tora.

Tora: Hello, ma'am.

Rumiko: Thank you for coming. I hope we didn't disturb you (Tegan and Tora follow her inside.)

Tegan: No, I was awake. Is everything ready?

Ranma: (yelling in the background) WHERE DID YOU PUT....???

Tegan: -_-;; I guess not... Where's Akane?

Rumiko: Akane is in her room. Follow me...

(Tora and Tegan follow Rumiko to Akane and Ranma's room, narrowly avoiding being run down by Ranma and Soun, who are trying to find everything they supposedly made ready for this moment {RL note: think "I Love Lucy"... when Lucy goes into labor}. Akane has managed to get dressed and is sitting in a chair.)

Tegan: Hey... How're you doing?

Akane: (managing a smile) This little one suddenly decided he or she wants to greet the world.

Tegan: Oh, Akane, this is Tora... the guy I told you about.

Tora: Hi.

Akane: (glancing from Tegan to Tora, and back) I... hope Ranma didn't interrupt anything... (Tegan blushes. Tora looks amused)

Tegan: No, he didn't. I was home writing... Tora saw me driving here and decided to follow. (Ranma and Soun's voices echo in the background) While Ranma and your dad finish up whatever it is that they're doing, how about we get you out to the car?

(Tora and Tegan help Akane to Tegan's car. Rumiko follows them. A contraction hits Akane. She doubles over, supported by Tegan and Tora.)

Tora: (concern in his voice) Are you okay?

Tegan: Remember your breathing...

Akane: I'll... be all right... but the contractions are getting closer...

(After the contraction subsides, Tegan and Tora help Akane into the back seat of the car.)

Tegan: Mrs. Tendo, why don't you sit back here with Akane. Tora, wait here while I get Ranma and Mr. Tendo.

(Entering the dojo, Tegan sees the two men with a suitcase and a clip board.)

Soun: Nightgowns?

Ranma: Check.

Soun: Bathrobe?

Ranma: Check.

Soun: Baby blanket?

Ranma: Check.

Soun: Toothbrush?

Ranma: Check.

Soun: That's everything.

Tegan: (standing in the doorway with an amused look on her face) Aren't you two forgetting something?

Ranma: We've gone over the checklist. Everything we need to take to the hospital is right here. Let's go! (He and Soun go to the door.)

Tegan: What about Akane?

(Ranma and Soun stare at each other)

Ranma and Soun: (facefault) AKANE!

Tegan: (sweatdrop) She's already in the car with Mrs. Tendo. (She grabs one of each of their arms and drags them to the car.) Let's go. (Outside she opens the trunk and Ranma tosses in the suitcase.) Okay...Ranma, you ride in the back with Akane and Mrs. Tendo. Mr. Tendo, youcome in the front. Tora...

Tora: I don't think there's any room for me. I'll meet you there.

Tegan: Okay. (She reaches up and quickly kisses him, before getting into the drivers seat.) [Meanwhile, Stark walks into the dojo.]

Stark: Okay guys, I found the extra blanket! Guys? Hello? Aw, Hell.

Tora watches the car pull away before mounting his cycle. He drives to the hospital slowly, wondering about the strangeness what the Saotomes were experiencing.)

As he is riding along, Tora sees someone out running.

Tora: That's funny. I'd have thought everyone would either be asleep or at the hospital right now.

The person spies him and jogs up.

Stackpole: Hey, Tigertron (^_^) What's up.

Tora: Er... Akane's about to have the baby.

Stackpole: (muses for a second) Akane... Oh, yeah. Well, good luck to her. (He begins to run off.)

Tora: Stackpole... (Stackpole turns towards him and begins running in place.) What are you doing?

Stackpole: My weekly marathon run. Gotta keep in shape. (he runs off.)

Tora: (Shaking his head.) Weird guy.

(Tegan drives to the hospital. Akane's contractions continue. Tegan offers a swift prayer that Murphy's law is not with her this time...that Akane doesn't start to have the baby in the back seat of the car...however, Murphy is with them...they reach the hospital with no incidents. Soun goes inside ahead of them. As Ranma and Tegan help Akane out of the car, an orderly comes with a wheelchair, followed by Mr. Tendo. Inside, a nurse hands Ranma a stack of papers.)

Nurse: You need to fill these out to check the mother in. (Ranma facefaults at the enormous pile. Shaking her head, Tegan grabs the papers.)

Tegan: I'll start filling these out while you get Akane settled....

(A nurse whisks Akane to a room. Ranma follows. Another person directs Soun and Rumiko to the waiting area. By the time Tegan fills out the paperwork and hands it to the nurse, Tora arrives.)

Tora: Well?

Tegan: They've taken Akane to a room. It may be a few hours yet. Let's go to the waiting area.

<At the Manor>

<PATE is her bedroom>

<The news of Akane's labor, wakens strange memories within PATE. Memories she had thought long forgotten; memories of her "childhood", the centuries of innocence, before her rebirth as the Dark Enemy. These enticing images of lost purity, more painful than she dreamed imaginable>

PATE: It would have been better if Tegan hadn't told me.

<PATE drew her sword and stepped onto her practice mat. Her clothes change into a gray gi.. The walls of her room fade and become ephemeral, the mat became a vast plain than stretched to infinity. Something shrieks behind her. She pivots to met the attack of a wildly dressed half- ork, she dispatches him easily( the body disappears just as it "dies" .A movement to the left and she twists to a avoid the attack of a axe-wielding human. This practice session continues, for about an hour (the attackers becoming both more skillful and more numerous as time passes), until PATE feels a sudden cold in her abdomen. One of her assailants has accomplish a mortal blow. The attackers pause, as if awaiting further instructions. PATE looks at the wound with distaste>

PATE: You are getting slow woman.

<PATE waves her hand; both the illusory attackers and the wound vanish. PATE steps off the mat and the room shrinks back to finite dimensions. She go to bathroom, runs the bath to over flowing, then sits down lies back in it. She can feel the sweat being cleansed from her body, and all the thoughts becoming clearer in her tired mind. She thinks of the information, on the Springs of Jusenkyou, in the book she purchased from SKJAM!. She thinks of the possibilities of its waters..>

PATE: To create a child...but a I need one....can I presume to have to the right to create a life, and keep it to myself....

<She steps out of the bath, out onto the inch-deep water of the floor. She walks into her bedroom, and stand before her mirror, looking at the beautiful reflection.>

PATE: Who are have no real identity, how can you hope to teach a child about this world?

<Steam starts to rise from her body, obscuring the image of the lovely stranger. When the mist disperses, she is completely dry, she wears a loose white robe.> PATE <thinks>:I shall walk to the hospital, I need time to think.

PATE: Father, who needs a father? Mine never did me any good.

Lilin staggers out the front door of Mystic Manor.

Lilin: One.. time... Spirits of Fire, sear this injury from my Pattern, bestow upon me your blazing restoration... [eyes gleam red] FIXXXER...

Lilin's bones let out little cracking noises as they're forced back into place. : I'm baaack... And now to see what all the @#$%ing noise is about... Fast effect: EXODUS!

RL-Berk: I'll eventually get around to tinkering with his stats to reflect that he's abandoned Yagami-ryuu completely.. in difference to magic. One of these days...

Lilin takes to the air, protected from any flying fiancÆes that might be around by an aura of fire.

--- The hospital

The waiting room is bustling with activity with all the people that has already arrived; Al and U- chan could get in only after scaring the living daylights out of the intern who insisted no pets were allowed and tried to run them out with a broom. Ranma is pacing from one side of the room to the other, doing his best to ignore his father's illbegotten advice on how to raise a son and his father-in-law's tears of gratitude. He's also doing a very good job on eluding any and all GRITers who stands in his way, trying to give him words of comfort.

Ranma: Jeez, as if I wasn't nervous enough and then with all of them here and...

Voice: (tapping him on the shoulder) Excuse me, is this the way to the Tendou dojo?

Ranma: (turns around) The dojo?! Ryoga! Oh, man! I'm so glad you're here!

Ryoga: Ranma <piku> You are? Where am I by the way?

Ranma: Come 'ere! (grabs Ryoga and runs off)

Ryoga: Hey! Wait! What's going on?!

Genma: Come back here, boy! It's your duty to be at your wife's side!

Nodoka: (bonking him on the head) Leave him be, dear; Akane's not due for another few hours, right, Tofu-sensei?

Tofu: (eyes a bit glazed as Kasumi hangs by his arm) Oh, sure, Mrs. Saotome, the pizza should be here in at least half an hour...

Kasumi: (sighs, but with a happy smile) Oh, I'm so happy for Akane... I wish I were in her place now, right Tofu-chan?

Tofu: (faints and drops to the floor)

Scully: I don't think he's fully recovered from the lingerie maneuver...

Rumiko: What was that, Scully-san?

Scully: (exchanging a complicity smile with Kasumi) Oh, nothing, Mrs. Tendou.

--- The hospital's roof.

Ryoga: (in Takahashi's surprised position) L... l... LABOR?!?!?! dare you make Akane suffer for <WHACK!>...!

Ranma: (removing his elbow from Ryoga's head) Cut that out; we're married, remember?

Ryoga: (rubbing his head) Ah, heh, I tend to forget... but why do you want to talk with me?

Ranma: Oh... asides from Ucchan, you're my oldest friend... and I don't really feel like talking to a woman right now.

Ryoga: (fidgeting) Your... friend? I... er... ah.

Ranma: Aw, man... I don't know if I'm ready to be a dad... I don't want to turn out to be as bad as _my_ old man.

Ryoga: I... er... well... don't... uh... don't worry, Ranma; I...uhm...don't think you will.

Ranma: You really think so?

Ryoga: (suddenly self-collected) You're a good man, Ranma; I guess we didn't start out the right way but... eh... I guess you're all right.

Ranma: Thanks, man; I really needed to hear that... by the way... I've been talking with Akane about it and we were hoping you'd show up soon so we could... we wanted to ask you if you wanted to be our kid's godfather.

Ryoga: WHAT?! Me?! But.... but I can't!

Ranma: C'mon, man! It's not for me, do it for Akane.

Ryoga: I mean... I don't...

Ranma: Say yes; my kid will need a pet pig.

Ryoga: Why, you! How dare you mock me like that! (jumps and begins attacking Ranma) I'll make you swallow those words!

Ranma: Alright!

They start hitting, kicking and dodging all across the rooftop, but there's really no viciousness or aggressiveness in their moves; they do it like it was the only way they knew to express themselves, and each half-hearted punch spoke more than a thousand words between both socially-incompetent martial artists. After a while, they stop, panting and looking at each other.

Ryoga: I <huff> I guess <pant> your kid will need someone to <pant> teach him how to be a real man.

Ranma: <pant> So long <huff> as you don't take him <pant> to the mall...

Ukyou: (amused smile, by the roof's door) And who says it'll be a boy, you jackasses? : Ucchan...

Ukyou: C'mon, Akane's asking for you.

Ranma: Oh, no... (runs back into the hospital)

Ryoga: What do I do now?

Ukyou: How 'bout staying put so you don't miss it? Let's go, sugar (takes the eternal lost boy into the building).

--- The waiting room.

Kasumi: Here's Nabiki, father.

Nabiki: (holding hands with Jacen) Sorry we're late, how's she?

Soun: You, you ingrate child, your sister is there making proud the Tendou name and where were you?

Tegan: Oh no...

Rumiko: Husband...

Nabiki: (hardening as she sees her 'mother') None of your business, dad.

Soun: O_O How can you speak that way to your own father.

All present start looking the other way, not wanting to get involved in fragile family matters.

Nabiki: How's Akane?

Rumiko: She's doing fine; she's resting right now.

Nabiki: I asked Kasumi.

Soun: >_<;

Kasumi: Oh, my... come, Nabiki-chan; let's go see how Akane is doing (lets go of Tofu, who limps into a chair with a dopey smile, and carries her sister off)

Jacen: I'll see you later.

Soun: And you, young man; you dare show yourself after stealing from my eldest daughter!

Jacen: I'm sorry, Mr. Tendou... It was all a terrible misunderstanding...I was just trying to help Nabiki and...

Soun: Not another word; you have misled my daughter, she hasn't been the same since she met you.

Rumiko: Soun, that's too far off, don't you think?; the children are in love and it's only natural that they act different.

Soun: But, wife! She was staying the night at _his_ apartment! That's not how a proper girl behaves!

Rumiko: Now, now; we don't know that; maybe they were having dinner or talking by the moonlight like we used to do before we married.

Jacen: Mr. Tendou; I love your daughter; she... she means my life to me; I wouldn't even dream of doing anything that would hurt her, and that includes driving her from her family. This... you being angry with her is hurting her a lot; she doesn't want to show it but I can tell.

Soun: Hmph.

Jacen: Ask me anything to prove it, Mr. Tendou; I'd do anything... except be apart from her.

Rumiko: Husband... please be reasonable, we're about to be grandparents, this should be a happy occasion...

Soun: I'll think about it (turns and leaves).

Rumiko: Please forgive my husband; he's a very proud man.

Jacen: (remembering Soun's antics around Happosai, decides not to comment on that) Don't worry, Mrs. Tendou; we'll be fine.

Rumiko: If you'll excuse me... (follows Soun)

Jacen: Sure, no problem (watches her as she leaves, wondering).

Al-X: Hang on there, pal; you're in the right.

Jacen: I don't know... maybe I _am_ hurting Nabiki's relationship with her father.

Al-X: Maybe... but you're sure keeping her sane.

Jacen: Huh? What do you mean?

Al-X: Look; maybe you spend the evenings and nights with her, but I'm the guy who spends the mornings being bossed around. I like her, she's strong, but you're one of the pillars of her strength, another one is her family. If you leave her, she might collapse.

Jacen: I... I didn't realize.

Al-X: Just don't tell her I told you; she thinks she can hide her emotional state, but I _am_ a CommSci master; it's hard to fool me about that sort of thing.

Jacen: <sigh> I wish this was as easy as fighting the Angel of Vengeance.

Al-X: Easy?! You call that easy?!

Jacen: -You're- in a relationship, how would -you- compare the two?

Al-X: (pauses as he looks towards the Tendou couple, Rumiko seems to be trying to talk Soun into something) I guess you're right (pats Jacen's shoulder) I'll buy you some coffee; I sure need a jar after being yanked out of bed.

U-chan: You sure weren't sleeping, you liar.

Al-X: (reddens) ^_^; Let's get that coffee (drags Jacen)

Tora, who's apartment is in the same building, grins. Which is followed by an elbow in the ribs from Tegan.

Jacen: Ah, sure...

<As Jacen walks off with Al, Jo paces past quickly, holding a liter bottle of "Surge"...>

Tegan: You actually drink that stuff? Even I can't stand that much caffeine...

Amy: Jo, calm down...

Jo: Calm down? Are you kidding me? I'm calm! Don't I look calm?

Tegan: Not really.

Vince: You'd almost think...

Amy: ...that -you- were the father...

Vince: ...from all that pacing.

Uhm: Looks more like the mom, though.

Jo: <megaglare>

Uhm: Uhm...<long pause> <gasp> I GET IT NOW!

Uhm: (holding up a camera) Watch it...I've got a flash bulb here and I'm not afraid to use it...

Scott: <sweatdrop>

Mariko: Shhh! <indicates Jei, who's snoring soundly with his head pillowed on her breasts...> I -like- him like this, don't disturb him!

Jo: (turns around, throwing a glare at Jei's peaceful repose) How can he -sleep- at a time like this?

Mariko: Well, he's got a big soft pair of pillows to rest on...<wink>

Scott: You really don't have any shame, do you?

Mariko: "Shame"? I think I heard of that once...

Scott: (rolls his eyes)

Mariko: <smiles cutely>

Jo: <snort> Wish -I- had that luxury...

Amy: What is -that- supposed to mean?

Tegan: Uh, oh...

Tora: What? You know I hate it when you say "uh oh" that way...

Tegan: Just wait.

Jo: Uhm...

Uhm: What? Oh.

Scott: Call a funeral home. He's dead. ^_^

MadP-chan: At least he'll receive prompt medical attention... ^_^

Amy: Jaaassooonnnn...

Ukkyo: <smirk> If it's pillows you're lookin' for, sugar...

Jo: (alerted expression) Er...I'm just going to go check and see how Akane's -erk-....<gags as Amy drags him out of the room...>

Wing: Where are you two going?

Amy: This isn't something children should see. <indicates Lisa>

Lisa: Hey!

Vince: Hey, sis, don't kill him, he's still our boss...

Amy: Hey, I'm not in the habit of killing my boyf...<pauses> Just...shut up, okay? <drags Jo out...>

U-chan: I'd try to stop her, but he probably deserves it.

Ukkyo: Hey, Waitaminute...<starts to follow>

Scott: (shakes his head) Lucky man. (pause) I think.

Jo: I -swear- I didn't mean it that way...(grabs the doorjamb as she drags him out) Somebody help! <yank> (Jo's cries for mercy carry down the hall...)

Jason2: Hey, oneechan, I need a favor...

Ukkyo: Huh?

Tegan: Hmmm... <G> Tora, wait here a second... I'll be right back...

Tora: (worried about the gleam in Tegan's eyes) Okay...


Jacen: <sipping at his coffee> It's a madhouse around here...Now I remember why I moved out of Zuni's...

Al: Why -did- you, by the way? I haven't talked to you much since before the whole ring thing started.

Jacen: <downcast expression> Sorry about all that...

Al: Would you stop assuming everything is your responsibility?

Al: Are you qualifying for the job of Depression Ranger now or did you change your last name to Ikari? <sighs in exasperation> So anyway, why'd you move out? I always thought you HR's were a close-knit group...

Jacen: Sorry.

Jacen: <sigh> So did we...<looks down> When Na...when I got a hold of that ring.

Al: (raises an eyebrow)

Jacen: Supposedly all my inner desires came to the surface and the repressed emotions came out...and I -hated- Jo. And I don't mean I was angry with her, I mean -serious- loathing. I mean, this is somebody who thought they could -replace- me with a clone! Jei-san wouldn't even exist if Jo had thought a -little- more of my independence.

Al: <shrug> Jo's decent enough. I'm sure he didn't mean-

Jacen: I know it wasn't any kind of personal affront. <sigh> It's hurts to think back that somebody thought you were so easily replaced. And it hurts -more- to know they were right...

Al: You should ask Nabs about that last part. Have you tried talking to Jo?

Al: Have you tried talking to Jo?

Jacen: <nod> Yeah, she apologized. -Repeatedly-. It's what I expected. She feels terrible about the whole thing. It's like the spot on her memory that she can't seem to clean off her conscience, she said.

Al: "She"? You realize Jo would kill you if he heard you say that.

Jacen: <shrug> I can't be dishonest anymore. I've seen what comes about when a firewater martial artist is dishonest with himself and others. The pressure builds and blows up in your face...Jo's female. Whether it's permanent or not, Jo -is- of the feminine gender at the moment. Hell, she even -acts- like it sometimes...

Al: Though, it's the inside that counts and... (recalls certain scene at his own apartment and shudders) ahem, well, the Mamano Hunter outfit isn't the most masculine thing I've ever seen. Great legs, though.

Jacen: Careful, I'll tell U-chan you said that...

Al: <gasp> He lightened up! Gods save us!

Susano-o: Leave me alone...

Tezcatlipoca: You called?

Al: Go away.

Jacen: <smirk>

Al: You still haven't answered the question, though. Why -did- you move out?

Jacen: I had a few reasons...For one, I needed to get away from all this chaos...(indicates the Zuni's crew's banter...) Plus I kind of wanted to strike out on my own...Get out from under Jo's shadow. Maybe even develop a few theories of my own on Firewater martial arts, without her tutoring...Those aren't the main reasons, though...

Al: I've been meaning to talk with Jo about that style of yours; he's been training Amy too, hoping that it'd help her control her rage. But I don't see much improvement, and if we add the Ring business...

Jacen: Go ahead, rub it in.

Al: Ooops, I didn't mean it that way, sorry. My point is, and maybe you're interested, that werewolf-fu and the Firewater style might help compliment each other.

Jacen: I don't see how; but then, I don't know too much about werewolf-fu.

Al: It basically reins the beast within and channels its fury into lightning fast moves; it's very lacking on ki projection, but the control of rage is almost total. So maybe we could find a way that my style helps yours channel the negative feelings better, and you help me finding a way to project ki.

Jacen: I don't know; it could work.

Al: We can talk about it later. But, you mentioned other reasons for moving out...

Jacen: Well...<blush> You know...The living area at Zuni's isn't exactly the best place for anything vaguely resembling romance...

--- Back at the waiting room.

<Tegan comes back with a cup of coffee and a grin on her face. Before Tora notices what she's doing, she splashes him with the hot coffee. There is a general facefault.>

Tora-T: <growling while holding a sign in his mouth> WHAT WAS THAT FOR!

Tegan: <sweet smile> Mariko talking about "pillows" got me to thinking... I could have a big, furry pillow to cuddle up to... ^_^.

Tora-T: -_-;;; <Smiling, Tegan sits on the floor next to Tora-T and snuggles up, using him as a giant pillow. He sighs and relaxes.>

U-chan: Speaking of giant fuzzy pillows (looks around)

Vince: Too bad Amy isn't here... she'd really have to see this herself to believe it.

<An orderly walks past. He looks at Tora-T and Tegan, then does a double take. He takes off his glasses and wipes them, walking away quickly>

Orderly: I've been working the late shift one too many times.... now I'm seeing tigers....

Intern: At least it's not seven feet tall werewolves.

Orderly: <piku>

The orderly checks out and heads home. Just as he gets outside, a fireball lands in the center of the loading zone. The fire dies down, revealing a rather tall man in red jeans, a black leather jacket and a grey shirt with M.U. emblazoned on the front in black letters.

Lilin: Pardon me, but did a group of decidedly odd people arrive here a little while ago?

Orderly: O_o Narf!

The orderly, calmly, returns to the hospital and checks himself into the mental ward.

Lilin: Was it something I said? *piku*

Lilin walks in & finds the whole gang slowly beginning to wind up for a Takahashi-Type-1-Brawl. He notices Tegan and waves.

Lilin: Hullo, Nice Land-Lady person... Do Sigfried and Roy know you've got one of their tigers?

Tora-T: I am *not* a stage act! (reverses the sign) You've got a similar problem....

Lilin: Jusenkyo.. I should've known...

Tegan: It seems like *everyone* has been there and gotten cursed... And how'd you get here anyway? You don't even *know* Ranma and Akane...

Lilin: Huh? I just *felt* something happening here and came here as fast as I could.

Tegan: You got your magic back? Congratulations! How'd you do it?

Lilin: *piku* *sweatdrop* Err.. Dumb luck? (gets very defensive, but tries to hide it)

Tegan: Ooookay...

Lilin: {Oh I hope this doesn't manage to get me in trouble one of these days...}

--- A nearby room

Seating side by side, the two remaining Tendou sisters talk in hushed tones.

Nabiki: Why is he being so... stubborn?

Kasumi: Too many things are happening at the same time; I don't think father is taking all of them very well. And then you did question his role as head of the family.

Nabiki: I apologized already about that.

Kasumi: Nabiki-chan, of the three of us, you're the only one who has defied him openly.

Nabiki: I'm not like you or Akane. I'm not taking his ridiculous decisions with an empty smile or a growl.

Kasumi: ...

Nabiki: I... I'm sorry, Kasumi; I didn't mean...

Kasumi: It's all right, Nabiki; you're right.

Nabiki: I... no; you're...

Kasumi: I was a little out of touch with father's silliness, but (takes her hand to a bundle in her chest, beneath her blouse) I see that now.

Nabiki: You're carrying that thing.

Kasumi: (smiles sweetly) Why, yes; the nice dragon said it was important for everyone that I keep it with me always.

Nabiki: (sighs) It's all my fault... I shouldn't have dealt with that demon, even if I knew I _was_ going to win.

Gaeld: (standing near) Demons are notorious for their rancor, Mrs. Tendou.

Kasumi: Oh, hello, Mr. Dragon.

Nabiki: Why are you here?

Gaeld: Just following the strings of Fate, merely observing (bows slightly) Now if you'll excuse me (leaves).

Nabiki: That... he _knew_ what the Ring could do to us, and he didn't stop it.

Kasumi: He has his reasons; he even told me a few of them when he told me about the Ring.

Nabiki: And you believed him?

Kasumi: (shrugs) He sounded sincere. Don't worry, Nabiki-chan; father will understand and we can all be a family again, now with mother here too.

Nabiki: She's _not_ mom; it's like the Ring, a trap from N'astirth, and I _have_ to prove it.

Kasumi: (looks down at her lap) I'm afraid I believe you, Nabiki.

Nabiki: You... you do?! Then why don't you talk to dad? He will listen to you!

Kasumi: He looks so happy after all these years... he hasn't cried in a week too.

Nabiki: But... but who knows what that thing will do? We have to stop her!

Kasumi: Hush... Nabiki... things are more complicated than you could think by just looking at them. Let's just be happy now; we're going to be aunts! ^_^

Nabiki: O_O I don't believe it, even after the Ring, you're still as naive as... (looks closer to Kasumi's smiling eyes) you're not, are you? Maybe you never were.

Kasumi: (still smiling warmly) Let's go back, Nabiki-chan; we don't want to miss our niece's birth, do we?

Nabiki: (smiles too) Or nephew, who knows.

Suddenly, the concrete wall of the waiting room bulges inward, as if it had just been hit by tremendous force! Everyone jumps, and several GRITers prepare for combat! Then the wall is hit again and falls completely (hurting no one in the process, BTW), and through the hole comes...

Everyone: "SHAMPOO!!"

The purple haired amazon steps into the room, a large covered basket in her hands. She looks around. "Nihao! Akane have baby yet?"

Ukkyo: "Shampoo, what are YOU doing here?"

Shampoo blinks, and looks at her with confusion in her big eyes. "What? Shampoo in wrong room? Akane not having baby after all?"

Ukkyo: "I mean, why are you here? You're not planning anything, are you?"

Shampoo (eyes narrowing): "What you mean, 'planning something'? You think Shampoo here cause trouble?"

Ukkyo: "Well..."

Shampoo: "You not know Shampoo, if you think that. In Joketsuzoku village birth of baby is time of joy for everyone! All make happy over new life! No one think of causing trouble, even for enemies! Besides-" (she lowers her voice - and her eyes - and speaks so softly it's almost impossible to hear her) "-if things go different, that be Shampoo having baby for Ranma in there. Shampoo not hurt happy moment for Ranma. Or Akane."

Ukkyo: "Shampoo, I-"

Shampoo: "Look! Shampoo bring basket of food! Daifuku, meat pastries, good things for friends to eat while waiting! This Akane's first baby, so we may be here LONG time!"

Ukyou: "That's... very nice of you, Shampoo! Will Mousse be coming, too?"

Shampoo: "Hai! Take while, though. He try convince Shampoo she not be welcome here, so Shampoo slam his baka head through floor of Nekohanten. Shampoo imagine as soon as he wake up... and pry head out of hole... he be here!" (smiles happily)

Everyone: ... (sweatdrop)

Shampoo: "Here! Everyone, help self!" She puts the basket on a table and uncovers it, showing lots of tasty treats. There's a moment of hesitation, then several people help themselves. A few wait and see if those who eat first suffer any ill effects before taking anything. And a few don't eat, at all. (For those who like to think the worst of Shampoo, sorry; no drugs, potions, or anything else unusual in the food. She really isn't up to anything sneaky here, she's just being friendly). After a bit, everyone settles back down and the conversations resume.

Nabiki: "So, Shampoo. We haven't seen you around for a while. What have you been up to?"

Shampoo: "That LONG story! You see-"

--- The waiting room.

Ukyou: Look, girl; you're _not_ going to give her anything!

Kodachi: (holding little Miyagi) Oh, you suspicious evil girl; it's just to help her relax to endure the hardest part; Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho!

Shampoo-M: We no let spooky girl give poison to Akane; bad for child.

U-chan: Damn right, Kodachi; that "medicine" of yours is too concentrated!

Kodachi: But I used her when little Miyagi was born and she's a fine, beautiful little girl.

Miyagi: <gurgle> Gaa, ho, ho!

Tegan: <dryly> Yeah... she's just peachy...

The girls: ^_^;

Scott: {I don't believe someone invited her...} Err, of course, but I don't think it'd be good for Akane to relax quite that much... (mumbles) Besides, 's why I'm here...

Tegan: Things will never be normal around here.

Tora: <purr>

Tora-T: <sign> You should know. You're the one dating a Siberian tiger.

Tegan: Oh, hush.

Kunou: Unthinkable, that the beauteous Akane Tendou should sire the vile Saotome's offspring!

Tegan: Give it a rest, Kunou.

Mariko: Who invited them?

Tegan: It's not so much as inviting them... This event is like one humongous magnet for everyone in town.

Mousse-S: It's hard to believe, but we're all family friends.

Tegan: With these friends...

Gaeld: Kind of a strange thing to say from she who shares an apartment with a former evil god.

Tegan: You! What are you doing here?!

Steve: (slightly wild look) Your roommate is a demon?

Tegan: No, no; just a former evil god. They're different.

Steve: (calm) Oh; that's all right, then. If you ever do have any trouble with demons...

Tegan: Right now, I think the Blazing Crescents have finally gotten rid of all the weird mutated creatures, overgrown insects, and Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Traal... All I've really got left to deal with is a bunch of Smurfs living in the basement. But if any demons show up, you'll be the first to know. ^_^;

(she glares at Gaeld)

Steve: Thanks! Thanks for your help in the incessant and neverending fight against demonic evils!

Most sweatdrop at this.

Gaeld: What a ridiculous young man.

Steve: ^_^ Quite.

Tegan: Besides, he's one to talk. He's the one *dating* my roommate....

Assembled: O_o;;

Half of GRIT edge nervously around the sorcerer.

Gaeld: You remember the tale of the dark fae who wasn't invited to the christening of the King's only daughter?

Scott: Sleeping Beauty? <gasp>

Soun: You will not come close to my grandson!

Gaeld: (looking at the assembled forces, smiles) Just kidding; the forces of Fate entwine heavily on this place and moment; I just wished to be present at such momentous occasion. I'll just sit over there to ease your minds (sits in the farthest corner of the room, smirking).

Scott: (leans back, letting the wall support him) Poor Ranma. Fate just doesn't seem to want to let go of him...

Tegan: <snuggling against Tora-T> Wonderful... the lizard wizard... (glancing at her watch) PATE will probably be showing up soon...

Wing: Quite a gathering, eh?

Uhm: You can say that again; even _I_'m here.

Tegan: Yeah. And you're not complaining about it.

Stackpole: But _I'm_ not!

RL-Damien: If you're not there, then you can't reply.

Stackpole: <piku> Oh. (pauses) Why aren't I there?

RL-Damien: There's a very good reason for that. I'd have some, ah,

(Uhm: I thought it was determined she wouldn't come.)

RL-Damien: problems writing you in.

Stackpole: Such as?

RL-Damien: I can't tell you... but they deal with history.

Stackpole: I'm good at that.

RL-Damien: I know. Shut up.

Vince: So is half of Nerima. (sighs) If only Akemi-san were here...

Tegan: (yawning sleepily as the caffeine begins to wear off) Give her time, Vince. Give her time.

Scott: (quietly, to himself) Must... remember to apologize to Ukkyo again later. Maybe she's cooled down by now.

Lisa: I w-wonder where R-Ranma got to...

Ukyou: How long do you suppose it'll be?

Tegan: It's probably close to the time now. No more than an hour or two, anyway.

Steve: Why are we all here, anyway? <He waves a bandaged hand and forearm around> I mean, I've got this as an excuse, but everyone else is here just because of Akane's baby?

Ukyou: How... how callous of you!

Ryuu-ou: Actually, I'm just here because I was looking for the landlady.


Happousai: (Dangerously) Who?

Ryuu-ou: Happy?


Wing: Calm down, Steve.

Steve: How can I be calm!

Wing: Take a couple of deep breaths. Do a bit of Tai-Chi. Listen to some relaxation tapes. Use the Feet Seat(To-tal Relax-ation!). Take morphine or some other anesthetic. Have a snooze. Smile. Think about something that makes you happy. Hammer a demon. Practice your arts. Eat some food. Wander about in HammerSpace. Read a book. Go fishing. Go prawning. Go crabbing. Go whaling. Go eelin...hmm, no that doesn't really work. Say everything in a whisper. Read the Book of Calm. ^_^ (RLNotes: It really does exist, and is worse than useless.)

Steve: <snore>

Wing: Excellent! ^_^

Orderly: Quiet down, please, you're disturbing the mother. <He looks around in surprise> Quite... a gathering you have here...

[Suddenly, the doors are violently shoved open, revealing the upset figure of Jared Stark.]

Stark: Sorry I'm late, but it seems no one thought to tell me we were ready to leave! [He stares angrily around the room.]

Soun: Ah! Stark-kun! Did you find the blanket?

Stark: Did I...find the blanket? DID I FIND THE BLANKET? [a big vein popping out of his forehead, Jared walks jerkily toward Soun with a rather wild look on his face] HERE! [drops blanket in Soun's lap] HERE'S YOUR BLANKET!

Soun: Ah! Good work, boy!

[Out of steam, Stark merely walks away and sits in the nearest available chair.]

Lilin: Are they usually like this?

Tora-T: Worse...

Lilin shakes his head and pulls an unabridged copy of "Toban's Spirit Guide" out of his private hyperspace pocket. He opens the page to the bookmark and resumes reading.

Lilin: raven...

.Lilin floats into the air, where he sits crosslegged, with his book in his lap.

Everyone: ^_^;

Scott: (looks up) Hm? (blinks) Oh, nevermind. RL Scott: Highly unlikely that something as mundane as floating in place would attract much attention from this crowd... ^_^

RL-Berk': Ah, but he was correcting an unabridged copy of "Toban's Spirit Guide," and *that* is a strange sight...

(Off on the side)

Ryuu-ou: Happy! It's great to see you again!

Happousai: Hm? (Recognition) Hey, it's -

Ryuu-ou: Sshhhshhhshhhshsssshh. Not here. Don't say my name in front of everyone here. I'll die of embarrassment. Besides, it isn't good practice.

Happousai: What was your nickname? Ryuu-ou?

Ryuu-ou: Yep.

Happousai: You're looking remarkably... tall, for someone of your age. It's the one thing I've come to really hate about being so old, is being this short. Ryuu-ou: Yes, you were quite tall way back when. What's this gathering all about, anyway?

Happousai: (sob) My beautiful Akane is giving birth.

Ryuu-ou: (Startled) Your?

Happousai: No, not really.

Ryuu-ou: And everyone is here because of it? Amazing.

Happousai: I've seen more amazing things in my lifetime, sonny.

Ryuu-ou: Quite so.

Kaasha: (entering the room) So this is where all the noise is coming from.

[With her are a small group of BC mercs, including Jay, Boris, and Ah. All of them sport bandaged wounds.]

Jay: (waving) Hiya Lisa. How's Akane doing?

Lisa: Jay! What happened to you?

Jay: (sighing) Long story. You don't want to know.

Steve: Hey, I do! I was starting to wonder why everyone was here, and you're some of the few that seem to have a sane reason for being in this hospital.

Boris: Sane? We had a little accident with a particle cannon, rubber bands, army-issue contraceptives, and fifty liquid lunches. Put half of our platoon out of commission, present company included.

All: <piku> O_o

Ah: Like he said, you don't want to know.

Steve: Well at least you've got injuries.

Boris: <Dangerously> want us to have injuries?

Steve: Er... just so you have an excuse to be here...

Jo: So I'm hearing you saying that very few of us actually have any reason to be here? Even though we're all friends of Ranma and Akane?

Steve: Um...

Uhm: What?

Steve: Ahhh...

Ah: Who the hell are you, anyway?

Steve: Oh, forget it all.

Jo: No, I wont.

Steve: Sod it.

Jo: O_o What does hay have to do with anything?

Happosai: (popping up behind her) What did you need all those contraceptives for, cutie?

[Ah wordlessly detonates a directed-focus grenade into his face, blowing him into the ceiling where he squirms a bit, trying to pull his face out of the plaster.]

Orderly: (tapping Ah on the shoulder) Excuse me, ma'am, but please refrain from the discharge of firearms and explosives while on the hospital grounds.

Ah: Sorry 'bout that. (turns to Boris) will this come out of my pay?

Boris: -_-;;;

Ryuu-ou: So, he still has the weakness for pretty women.

Cologne: So he does...regrettably it seems to be contagious...

Mariko: <glare> What are -you- doing here?

Cologne: I thought I would take part in what is obviously a momentous occasion...Shampoo informed me that Akane's birth was taking place, and I decided this would be quite a gathering...It would seem I was correct...

Jo: <glare> You'd better not be planning to interfere with the birth, old crone...

Cologne: Of -course- not...Granddaughter has relinquished her claim on Son-in-law, and though I do not agree, it is her right after a fashion...

Mariko: But what about the Amazon laws and all that nonsense?

Cologne: I am not without compassion for my family, you know. Speaking of which, have you given up hold on my daughters chosen consort yet?

Mariko: <holding Jei protectively> You just give up your plans for Jei-sama!

Ryuu-ou has been looking quizzically at Cologne - the signals he's been getting from this unknown (to him) old man aren't matching. The manner, behaviour, style of clothes, and such, are telling him this is a Joketsuzoku Elder, but it's also a man and therefore can't be an Elder of the notoriously matriarchal village.

Cologne sees him staring.

Cologne: So... you're the infamous Ryuu-ou.

Ryuu-ou: And you look like a male in Joketsuzoku Elder clothing. That is, an imposter.

Cologne: (Damn this curse...) A Joketsuzoku Elder under effect of malicious magic. Call me an imposter again and it shall go VERY hard for you.

Happousai: Ryuu-chan! I see you finally met little Cologne!

Ryuu-ou: (Gasps) The revered Cologne? (Looks at Cologne) YOU?!?

Cologne bonks him over the head.

Ryuu-ou: I guess you are...

Cologne: If you ARE the Ryuu-ou I know of I severely doubt you're here just because you're looking for the landlady. Unless of course you're as big a pervert as Happousai is?

Happousai: Is she a cutie?

Ryuu-ou: She's that catlady with the white tiger.

Happousai: Oooh... pretty lady! (He bounces off to cause more mayhem)

Cologne: Must... not... succumb... Must... control... the curse...

Ryuu-ou: Curse?

Cologne: None of your business. Why are you here?

Ryuu-ou: Let me answer with a question. "How many types of fire does a dragon have?"

Cologne: So... one of them. (She pauses) You know that a strong child is being born?

Ryuu-ou: Twins, actually. And they are both safe from The Fire.

Cologne: You had better be right.


(Feeling the effects of the long night and day's excitement take their toll... Tegan puts her head down on Tora-T and closes her eyes. In a few minutes, she's asleep. Tora-T keeps his eyes warily on Gaeld.)

<PATE arrives at the hospital, and after making some inquiries, enters the waiting room>

<PATEs eyes open wide when she sees number of people there>

PATE <thinks>:I am not in the mood for talking ,and since I haven't been noticed yet, I will slip away and ...

Lisa:Hi PATE!

PATE <thinks >: *sigh*

<PATE fully enters the room. She smiles at Lisa>

PATE: Hi Lisa. I am glad to see a familiar face here. What crowd has gathered. On my world such events were more private.

<PATE's glances around the room. She looks around the room. She tenses momentarily when she sees Tegan lying against a large tiger. Then she realizes that she is looking at Tora's natural form. She nods to Tora, and he looks her in the eye and blinks to return the greeting.>

<PATE smiles at Tegans sleeping form, trying to be happy for the couple. Trying to keep envy out of her mind>

PATE: Tegan seems happy this days. Ever since her parents visit, she seems to be much more relaxed. Look at her now, like the cat who has got the cream.

Lisa: Tegan and Tora do seem to be made for one and another.

PATE: Yes.....<she glances at Lisa, and then frowns. PATE passes her hands over Lisa's head>....I see I must start regarding your as a colleague now. You have made a blood bond with a mage.

Lisa: Yes, Corindaen..

PATE: Beware, Lisa; Corindaen may have good intentions, but I also see an obsession in him. Beware, I shall say no more. You are clever girl and will make a great mage.

<PATE sees a familiar shape out of the corner of her eye. She turns and sees Gaeld, standing just a few feet away.>

Lisa: He-ello Dr. St George.

<Gaeld gives Lisa a broad grin>

<Lisa moves away rapidly>

<PATE uses her tongue, to moisten her lips, then smiles at the dragon>

PATE: Greetings, Drake, I haven't seen you in over a week, and I wished to speak to you about an urgent matter. Could I interest in you in sampling a bottle of wine. The wine was produced in Ulthar of earth's, dreamland.. <PATE blushes>..perhaps after the birth. We can drink a toast to youth and my chambers.

Gaeld: Do you think it wise to invite a gentleman to your boudoir.

<PATE frowns>

PATE: Who said I wish to speak about "us"? and as you are a dragon I know you have a code of honor. I trust you. Now what do you say?

Lisa : I-If you don't mind, I th-think I'll go outside and g-get some fresh air.

(She starts to leave.)

Nodoka : Don't wonder off too far!

Lisa : I won't!

(While various conversation and/or battles are taking place, Lisa and takes a deep breath of the still night air.)

Lisa : (thinks : I wonder my friend Sumire is doing. She may be new but I would not expect her to miss an event like this.)

RL Scott: Well, since you asked...

-- Mystic Manor

Sumire's bedroom. It's shrouded in shadow, but it's easy to tell there's not much in the way of furniture or decorations yet. A futon is lying unrolled in the middle of the floor; Sumire is lying there, eyes half-closed. She sneezes. She moans, reaches out, grabs a digital alarm clock, and pulls it close so that she can look at the display. Then she puts it back down and collapses back onto the futon.

Sumire: Aww, man... I hate it when I can't get to sleep...

RL Scott: Hey, she doesn't even know Akane or Ranma, where'd you expect her to be? ^_^

RL Lucky : Of course character expectations and RL expectations are not always the same.

Mizue: *yawn* Oh neat, snowing outside. But that couldn't have woken me up. I have this feeling something funny is going on.

*Walks into another room, looking at a stasis field her physics teacher has kindly lent her. "Christine?" (There is no answer.) << Hmm, guess it's not that. >>

Mizue: Oh, I remember. Forgot to set the VCR to tape those Lupin III reruns... and they're in the middle of the night. Better do it.

She returns to the living room and sets the VCR up, only to realize she's out of tapes. "I know... Hammerspace."

Mizue throws some clothes on and tries to Hammerspace over to the local 24 hour supermarket to pick up a package of blank video tapes. After a wrong turn somewhere...

Mizue: Scott? Jo? Vince? Amy? What's going on here?

<skip explanations>

Mizue: Guess I'll stick around then. Looks like a town meeting anyway.

<sweatdrop> Uh, speaking of which...

-- Far across town, in Ann's apartment...

<A soft, sweet piano tune flows by on the soundtrack. Ann is sleeping lightly in bed, on top of the covers, looking impossibly cute in a pink nightshirt with a little black piglet embroidered on the front. The window of her bedroom is open and Shiro is sitting in it, wearing just a pair of boxer shorts; her eyes are closed, and she smiles as she feels the night breeze blowing through her bangs...>

-- Across the street...

<The two young men who inhabit this rather shabby apartment show no signs of sleepiness. One, with straight black hair, is staring out through the closed blinds of their window with a pair of binoculars, while the other, whose hair is brown and slightly wavy, digs through boxes full of their belongings...>

Daisuke: Oh, baby, oh, baby...

Hiroshi: Hey, you jerk! <picks up a book from one of the boxes he's searching and throws it at his roommate's head> Don't keep me in suspense!

Daisuke: <rubbing the bump where the projectile connected> You just keep looking for the telephoto camera! <wipes some drool from his chin and resumes his voyeurism> Oh, man... Now the -other- one's come in! And she's... na... nak... *ulp*

Hiroshi: You mean the girl, or the... *ulp* ...the woman?

Daisuke: <grins maniacally> The _woman_.

<Hiroshi finally finds the camera, hidden underneath a pile of dirty magazines, and goes to stand vigil by his roommate, parting the blinds enough to fit the camera lens through.>

-- Meanwhile, in the meat locker...

Chyron: <standing at the door to Ann's bedroom, rubbing her eyes> I couldn't sleep...

Shiro: <nods, not bothering to look back> Someone's having a baby.

Chyron: <moves over to look out the window as well> Lucky.

Shiro: <smirks> Hey, from what I've heard, the father is about as popular around here as -you- are. You've still got a chance. <opens one eye to look at hersister> Don't you think you should put some -clothes- on?

Chyron: <snorts> Why? <strikes the sexiest pose she can think of, in front of the open window> I'm so sure there's somebody out there that's sick enough to ogle a middle-aged heifer...

(-- Across the street...



<Chyron sighs and rests her chin in her hands, staring out the window. Occasionally she and Shiro reach up to rub their temples. This goes on for at least half an hour...>

Chyron: *sigh* It's a big one.

Shiro: <nods> Yup.

Chyron: Powerful, I mean.

Shiro: <nods> Yup.

Chyron: <glares at her sister> What do you think? 260?

Shiro: <breathes in as the wind blows past her> 280.

Chyron: <smirks> Remind me to be on the other side of the planet by the time he hits puberty.

Shiro: <opens one eye> _She_.

Chyron: _He_!

Shiro: SHE!

<Over in bed, Ann moans sadly and rolls over. Shiro shushes her sister and walks over to pat Ann's hair lovingly; she picks Ann up in her arms and places the girl underneath the covers, then reaches under the bed, taking out a handmade stuffed blue chocobo and places it in Ann's arms. The girl cuddles it tightly, smiling, and falls back into a sound sleep, as Shiro returns to her perch.>

Chyron: *sigh* How much longer do you think it'll be?

Shiro: Hour and a half.

Chyron: <drums her fingers on the windowsill for a few minutes, then gulps and looks over at her sister> Er... Shiro? You want to... you know... have kids?

Shiro: O_O

Chyron: <sweatdrop> I didn't mean with -me-!

Shiro: <smirks> So what you -really- meant when you asked me if -I- wanted to have kids is that -you- want to have kids.

Chyron: <glares> What if I do? <sniffle> It's not gonna -happen-...

Shiro: <smiles warmly> It's okay, Chyron. I'm sure, somewhere out there, there's a strong, handsome, virile, intelligent, loving bull just -waiting- to jump on a cow like -you-.

Chyron: *sigh* Oh, shut up...

Shiro: <looks sympathetically at her sister> Er... *sigh* <thinks for a minute> "It looks like you have one appendage less now, old man."

<Shiro and Chyron both burst out in the giggles, clamping their hands over their mouths to avoid waking Ann.>

Chyron: "Damn untranslatable puns!" Oh, Goddess... I'd almost forgotten that...

Shiro: <grins> What did he ever do about his arm?

Chyron: <nods> Built himself a mechanical one.

Shiro: <rolls her eyes> Figures. That made him a what? Human-Raccoon-Robot-Wyvern-... <scratches her head>

Chyron: Snake.

Shiro: <nods> Exactly. Those eyes...

Chyron: *sigh* Those were the days...

<Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the miracle of birth continues unabated...>

Lisa : (big yawn)

Lisa : (thinks : Why do I keep expecting something to happen?)


Voice out of the Darkness: Because my young apprentice, the tides of Destiny are flowing strongly in this place.

<Startled, Lisa turns around quickly even as she is looking for the source of the voice, she sees Corindaen walking out of nowhere. Greymist who is riding on his shoulder looks over at Lisa and gives a low purr of greeting.>

Lisa: Sensei Corindaen, your here as well?

Corindaen: <sighing> Lisa I've told you unless it is a formal or ritual occasion you don't have to keep calling me Sensei. And yes, as I said the Tides of Destiny are flowing in this place. So I came to observe. Shall we go back inside?

<Lisa nods and leads the way back to the waiting room. As they enter an orderly who notices them suddenly comes up.>

Orderly: I'm sorry sir but you can't bring that animal in here, it's against hospital policy.

<Corindaen, never slowing his pace, raises his hand and suddenly the orderly finds himself floating against the ceiling. Lisa blinks startled and then giggles slightly as they continue on to the waiting room. Behind them the orderly is calling for someone to get a ladder and get him down.>

Lilin notes the discharge of power and arches an eyebrow when he sees Corindaen.

Lilin: well well well.. the plot thickens...

Lilin returns to reading his book.. He frowns slightly and pulls a pen out of his pocket, making a correction to an entry concerning a particular sub-class of Sidhe and resumes his reading.

Corindaen notices the floating man over by Tora and Tegan and walks over.

Corindaen: Darson?

Lilin: Kai Dawson.. or Lilin.. are my preferred names now. The label changes, the Wizard remains essentially unchanged...

Corindaen: You've aged well..

Lilin: As have you.

Lisa: Who's this, Sen-err-Corindaen?

Corindaen & Lilin: A bad influence.

Both magic-users chuckle and resume their previous tasks.

Lisa: Really, who is he?

Corindaen: A *very* old colleague.. and wandering pain-in-the-neck... If he's here, he's more likely-than-not on vacation. Try not to listen to him too much.. his idea of recreation has been known to involve going toe-to-toe with demons and using Spells of Blasting...

Lisa: O_o;

Lilin: (muttering) Toban.. you are an *idiot*...

Lilin makes another correction...

(Dawn, and the day shift begins at Nerima Police Headquarters...)

Chief: Buranto, I want you and Officer Midori down at Nerima General Hospital ASAP. There's a situation brewing.

Lt. Go Buranto: But I haven't had my morning doughnut.

Chief: Eat on the way. Akane Tendou is about to give birth, and judging by the crowd that's gathering, a riot should start any minute.

Buranto: (thinks) In a hospital? With sick people? Better if we get injured, of course.

(He goes in search of Kira. On the way, he meets another officer, this one mainlining coffee.)

Buranto: Morning, Officer Officer.

OO: This time, I'll get her, and her two little girls too! HAHAHA!!!

Buranto: Switch to decaf, wouldja?

Kira: I hear it's time! Hasshin!

--Back at the Hospital

<Meanwhile, Tora-T keeps an eye on the goings round while Tegan dozes. Knowing that Gaeld unnerves Tegan, Tora-T keeps a particular eye on him. He feels Tegan move and turns his head to look at her. He narrows his eyes as he sees her sleep is very troubled. Tora-T growls gently and licks her cheek. PATE looks in their direction. Concerned, she comes over, kneels by Tegan, and touches Tegan’s shoulder. U-chan also comes over. Tegan sits up, staring around wildly.>

U-chan: Tegan? Are you okay?

<Tegan just looks at her, while she is trembling. Tora-T sits up and nuzzles Tegan s cheek.>

Tora-T: <sign> Could someone get me some cold water?

<Corindaen, who has been watching with some interest, gestures. Cool water splashes Tora. Tegan is also hit by the spray. Tora takes Tegan-C in his arms.>

Tora: <quietly> Was it that dream you told me about?

<Still shook up, Tegan-C nods her head. Both Corindaen and Gaeld look her way.>

PATE: These nightmares of yours appear to be occurring more frequently as of late.

Tegan-C: I... I know... I really don't know what to do about them....

U-chan: Is there something special about this nightmare?

Tegan-C: It's the same one... every time... exactly the same... I'm in a field with some people. We're attacked by these... demonic creatures... and there's a wizard leading them... he sends the creatures after me... the people tell me to run... I run... I reach the edge of a cliff... and I fall... I try to turn and control my landing... then I hit my head... and land face down in the water... then something lands on my back... and I'm struggling to free myself... water fills my lungs... I can't breathe... (shaking, Tegan-C buries her face in Tora's chest. He strokes her hair.)

U-chan: When did the dreams start?

Tegan-C: J-just after I fell in the spring of drowned cat woman... I used to just have them every month or so... now I'm having the nightmare every other week...

Tora: C'mon... I think you need some fresh air... (Tora helps Tegan-C stand. They walk out of the waiting room.)

Corindaen: <who has been listening to Tegan-C> <muttering to himself> Interesting...

Lilin: Nightmares huh? (ditches "Toban's Spirit Guide" and pulls a different book out) Lissee.. hrmm.. (scratches his head and does a Tim Allen questioning-grunt)

Corindaen: You do realize...

Lilin: this will come to a head soon.

Corindaen & Lilin: (clap their hands) It is fate...

Lisa: ^_^;

Lilin: Now we can either sit back and wait for whatever's about to happen to happen.. Or we can try to find out what's about to happen and confront it.

Corindaen eyes Lilin nervously.

Corindaen: Wasn't that what you said, just before the City of An'Dashai got flattened?

Lilin: That wasn't my fault. I swear it was the demons fault.

Corindaen: Umm.....

Lilin: I swear by Nemesis' own sword I will *not* commit Urban Renewal...

Corindaen: Oboy....I wish you hadn't said that. You know every time you do the opposite usually occurs.

Lilin cancels his flying spell and goes out to snoop on Tora & Tegan.

Lilin: I paid for that little blunder dearly. (pauses) I went through a private hell for months, trying to get my powers back.. striving to regain the path to Ascension. I'm back now.. and I have no intention to *ever* do anything that might get me Stilled again.

Corindaen: Stilled?

Lilin: stilled... It took.. shall we say.. Divine Intervention to get my powers back..

Lilin pulls his jacket a little more tightly around himself and returns to his snooping.

Lilin: man, I hope this kid comes soon.. he's starting to give a telepathic *brick* like *me* a headache...

Meanwhile... Somewhere in the hallways of the hospital....

Tegan: Thanks for getting me that hot water...I needed it.

Tora: Not a problem. Besides, as much as I find your tail cute, I don't think the child would. But the dream again... what could be making this happen?

Tegan: I don't know... its only recently that its become more frequent.

Tora: If you want to head home and rest there, I can...

Tegan: No. I wanted to be here when Akane has her baby, and nothing's going to change my mind about that.

Tora: Nightmare or no nightmare, neh? <smiles> You know, I can only imagine what you would be like as "Auntie Tegan".

Tegan smiles, then chuckles for a moment.

Tegan: Oh I don't know... you realize that if I became "Auntie Tegan" that you would become "Uncie Tora"?

Tora: Well, I can't say that the prospect of that... displeases me. [quietly, but its loud enough for Tegan to hear] I always wondered what raising a child would be like....

Tegan is stunned. These were not the words she was expecting to hear from Tora.

Tora: What? What is it?

Tegan: You... want to be a father, Tora?

Tora: Uhm...Ah... well, that is... I didn't mean to imply anything...ah... its just that....great, open mouth, insert foot...ah, hell, I'll admit it. The thought has crossed my mind. Repeatedly.

Tegan: Do you really want children of your own?

Tora looks Tegan straight into the eye, not saying anything for a few moments. His hand finds hers, and he savors the feel of it, almost as if he's burning it into his memory...

Tora: ... Someday. But not anytime soon. I still feel like there are things I should do first.

Tegan: I guess I understand how you feel. But lately, the older I get, the more I start thinking about having a family of my own.

Tora: I'm sure you'll have a wonderful family.

Tegan: [bringing herself closer to Tora] How can you be sure?

Tora: Call it... a good hunch.

Tegan then moves his face closer to Tora's, looking into his eyes for a moment before she kisses him, taking Tora's breath away for a moment.

Tora: And what was that for?

Tegan: For being yourself. And for making me feel a bit better.

Tora: You're welcome. [pause] I think we should be heading back now. I don't think you want to miss anything.

Tegan: <sighs> You're right. Lets go.

Tora and Tegan return to the others, hand in hand...

---Back in the Lobby...

Jo: <rubbing a knot at the back of his skull...> You're getting better at Firewater, that much is sure...

Amy: Huh?

Jo: Well, this isn't -nearly- as bad as when you usually get mad at me...

Amy: <whap> Baka...

Wing: There's something surreal about that exchange...

Vince: <mumblegrumble>

Tegan: <sitting down on a couch and curling up next to Tora> What's with you?

Steve: Are you -still- cranky from being woken up?

Jei: <yawn> Is he here yet?

Mariko: She. And no.

Wing: Are you guys STILL arguing about that?

Cologne: Ah, New Son-in-law, I have a task for you.

Jei: I'm not interested in Ann as anything more then a friend, Seifu.

Cologne: This is unrelated to that matter...

Jei: <Arches eyebrow...> Say, where -is- Ann, anyway? I figured she'd want to be here...<turns to Steve> Did you call her?

Steve: <sweatdrop> Er...No, we were kind of in a hurry to leave, so... <shrug> I think there's enough people here anyway...

Tegan: Yeah... I can't believe we've managed to fit this many people into one waiting room.

<Dr.Tofu walks in...>

Jacen: Tofu-sensei, How are things in there?

Tofu: Akane's coming along'll be awhile yet...Probably about an hour and a half...

Tegan: Not.

---Five hours later...

Jo: <yawn> I can't believe this...

Amy: <leaning heavily on Jo's shoulder> "Hour and a half", huh?

Tegan: Maybe on some other planet.

Jacen: Well, it -is- her first-<various glares silence him...> Hey, I'm tired too!

Scott: (pale) It's a... difficult... one. Such pain...

Jacen: <piku>

Scott: Empathy has its pitfalls.

<one of the Nurses steps out...>

Nurse: It's nearly time...<a random voice shouts "Yeah, right!">

Ranma: <backing out of the delivery room> Woah, man, nobody ever told me I'd have to sit through -this-...

Genma: <Shoving him back in> Get back in there, boy, be a man! Are you afraid of the miracle of life???

Ranma: No, I'm afraid of -Akane-!!!!



Scott: (nods, to himself) Difficult.

Wing's eyes open.

Genma: No son of mine is going to be a coward in the face of childbirth! <PUSH>

Jo: <leaning over to Nodoka> He sat outside in the waiting room when Ranma was born, didn't he?

Nodoka: <nodnod> Shouted what he -thought- was encouragement from the hallway and beat up two doctors who tried to get him to come inside with me.

Jo: Figures...

Tegan: Hardly surprising.

Wing: Not a great example to follow, is he?

Jo: Have you _met_ Genma before??? Oh, of course, you've always boarded at Zuni's...

Tsurugi: Zuni's. Why, is it always, Zuni's? [RLNotes: Remember that voice file of his? ^_^]

<Genma slams the door shut after pushing Ranma through and props himself up against it, holding it in place...After several minutes, the struggling stops...>

<A gentle cry is heard...>

Doctor: <looking up at Ranma...> Well, Mr. Saotome-

Akane: <exhausted> Tendo...

Ranma: <pauses> Er..."Saotome-Tendo".

Doctor: <sweatdrop> Okay, Mr. Saotome-Tendo, I'd like to introduce you to your daughter...

Ranma: <Frozen in place>

Doctor: Would you like to cut the cord?

Ranma: <thud>

Doctor: <roll eyes> Nurse, would you get him some smelling salts?

Nurse 1: Yes, doctor...

Nurse 2: (looking over the various instruments scattered about the room...)

Akane: Aren't the pains supposed to stop now?

---Outside, a few minutes later, Ranma walks out with a somewhat dumbfounded expression on his face...

Ranma: They're...t-twins...

Jo: <jaw drops>

Stark: Damn...

Wing: Alright!! Congratulations, Ranma!

Amy: Twins?

Scott: Ah. (smiles) Congratulations, Ranma. {Boy, are you going to have your hands full...}

Tegan: Identical?

Ranma: <shakes head>

RLAlistair: D'oh!

Doctor: <walking out> Fraternal twins. A boy and a girl.

Ranma: <nods stupidly>

Tegan: Well this is going to make things interesting.

(Unnoticed, a small furry white mouse with a red ribbon scuttles out of the lobby past the gathered people, and quickly leaves the hospital.)

Stark: [claps Ranma on the shoulder] Didn't know you had it in you, sensei!

Jacen: <smile> Congratulations?

Nabiki: Can we see Akane yet?

Doctor: She needs her rest right now...I'm only going to let family through for the time being...<piku's at Jo> I take it twins runs in the family?

Jo: Er...<looks around, an idea forming> That's right! <rushes in...>

Amy: Jo!

Mariko: Cheater!

Jo: <looks back long enough to beedah, then moves further into the room, out of sight from the hallway...>

Tegan: -_-;;; I don't believe him.

Scott: <piku> Huh. He could at least let her rest for a while... (rolls his eyes)

Lilin grins broadly and produces a wooden box from the inside of his jacket. He pulls out a handful of bubblegum cigars and starts running around giving them to everyone.

Lilin: Hurrrah! I can get some sleep now!!!!

He promptly rushes over to a convenient couch and passes out.

Outside the hospital...

Jingai: It's over.

Nezumi: (now back in human form, sighs) It's just too bad you couldn't go any nearer, Jingai- oneesan.

Jingai: Yes. I should do something about that...

(They turn to leave...)

(RLNotes: Well, there you go, folks...The thrilling climax to our little storyline...The ol' stork had his arms full with these two...;p As for the results of the vote (the curse/no curse I haven't tallied yet, but I doubt anybody's going to be throwing cold water over a couple of newborns at this point anyway. And if they did, then they'd have some very angry people to fend off afterwards...)

Male: Seven votes Female: Eight votes Fraternal twins: Thirteen votes Identical Twins: Two votes

So there you go. Fraternal twins, A boy and a girl. Feel free to post post discovery elation or disappointment on the behalf of your characters and such. ^_^)

January 18th, 1998, the date of birth for the Saotome-Tendo twins...^_^

The question now is how do we decide the names? ;p