From A Different Viewpoint Chapter 26

All Ranma characters are property of Rumiko Takahashi, first published by Shogakugan in Japan and brought over to North America by Viz Communications. Sailor Moon was created by Naoko Taeuchi.

                                   A Different Viewpoint pt 26

    Johnathon returned from Juuban several hours after dark.  He was greeted by Kasumi as he entered the front door.  Johnathon bent down to pick up the small black cat that had run to meet him at the entrance.

    "Kasumi!"  Johnathon hugged her to him.  "It's nice to see you too.  So, where are Ranma and Akane?"  The little black cat pointed at the stairs with her paw.  "Oh, gone to sleep?"  Kasumi shook her head.  "Doing homework?"  She nodded.  "Artemis and Luna?"  Kasumi meowed and pointed upstairs again.  Johnathon nodded.  "That's good.  I think Ranma's getting close to defeating his Cat-phobia."  Kasumi nodded and purred into Johnathon's chest.  "Thank you, dear, but it's really Luna, Artemis and Ranma who did all the work."  Kasumi rubbed her head into Johnathon's chest and purred some more.

    Johnathon smiled softly at his wife and stroked her head gently.  "Why don't you show me what needs doing tonight.  You know, what you would usually do now."  Kasumi nodded and jumped to the floor.  For the next hour, Johnathon washed dishes, cleaned clothes, and tidied the house, under Kasumi's guidance.  Johnathon was quick to understand what Kasumi wanted, and cheerfully insisted on doing every chore she normally would have done.

    Kasumi noticed that her husband had his own way of doing everything.  He was obviously no stranger to housework, and went about each task efficiently and with minimal effort.  Kasumi noticed fondly that Johnathon apparently didn't like getting his hands dirty or soapy, and used his long fingers to carefully wash each dish without getting messy.

    She laughed to herself.  < Johnathon acts more like a cat then I do!>

    Her husband had his own way of drying dishes as well.  He would shake each one, then wipe it off, then give each dish a mid air spin in between his hands before putting them away.  Kasumi tensed up the first couple of times that Johnathon had sent a plate up into the air but soon relaxed. His movements had the ease of long practice.

    Kasumi smiled.  < He's actually enjoying himself.  He's making it a game!>

    When the dishes were done, Kasumi showed Johnathon the broom and he quickly began to sweep the kitchen.  Kasumi watched him sweep.  He was using one hand, crooking the end of the broom in the bend of his elbow and holding the middle in his hand.  All while leaving his other hand free.

    Kasumi blinked.  < What a funny way to hold a broom.  I wonder why?>  Kasumi watched as he quickly swept the room, his free hand using a dust scoop quite naturally.  < Now where have I seen that before?>

    Kasumi thought back as Johnathon finished sweeping and crossed the room to put the broom away.  The broom handle dropped out of the crook of his arm and lay in his hand across the balance point.  As he crossed the room he spun it over his hand like a baton or Bo staff.  As Johnathon reached the closet it slapped lightly back into the crook of his arm before he put it away.

    Kasumi nodded.  < Now I remember.  Ranma and Mr. Saotome held staffs like that, so that means, Johnathon like to use a staff!>

    Pleased at her deduction, Kasumi followed Johnathon out into the yard.  He started bringing in the clothing that had been drying on the line.  Kasumi remembered that Johnathon had been slightly uncertain when hanging up the clothes to dry earlier that morning.

    < He must be used to a drying machine.>  Kasumi decided.

    Having collected the clothing in a bundle, Johnathon brought them into the living room, turned on the evening news and folded while watching.  Kasumi watched him fold, not really listening to the news.  He didn't really watch what he was doing, glancing once at each item he grabbed, then folding it by rote.  Many things Johnathon folded like she did, but he folded towels differently.

    Kasumi debated correcting him.  < Folded that way, Johnathon will have to stuff them into the towel spot.  They won't fit correctly.>  Kasumi finally decided to ignore it, Johnathon's way was fine.  < He is doing all of the work isn't he?>  Kasumi noticed Johnathon sitting forward to turn up the TV and listened to the broadcast with him, wondering what he found interesting.

    The announcer was speaking.  "The monster, the first sighted in Juuban for almost a month, was rapidly destroyed by the mysterious Sailor Senshi.  Is this the beginning of a new wave of monster attacks?  Only time will tell."

    Kasumi looked up at her husbands face, suddenly worried.  < Juuban, that's where Johnathon went today.  He knows the Senshi.  Is he going to Juuban because of the monsters?>  She went up to his side and meowed worriedly.

    Johnathon looked down at his wife.  "Kasumi, what is it?"  Kasumi pointed at the TV and at
Johnathon.  He looked guilty, as if she had caught him at something.  "Ah, yes, I was going to tell you...  Yes I went to visit the Senshi today.  And yes, I found them while they were fighting a monster.  But don't worry, Kasumi, I wasn't in any danger, not really.  It was a coincidence that I came looking for them when a monster showed up."  Kasumi meowed worriedly again, not convinced.  Johnathon sighed.  "Kasumi, I don't like keeping things from you, but I really can't tell you what I was doing in Juuban, not all of it.  Not unless the Senshi agree."

    Kasumi shook her head and meowed dismissingly.  < I understand that, Johnathon, you can't reveal the Senshi's identities.  But I'm worried that you're fighting monsters.>  She meowed again, trying to convey her concern.

    Johnathon sighed again.  "You're worried about me, aren't you."  Kasumi nodded sadly. Johnathon bowed his head.  "I'm sorry Kasumi-chan, I'm afraid that I will probably end up fighting a monster or two.  If the Senshi need me, I can't not go..."  Kasumi nodded and moved to his side, then rubbed her head into him.

    Ranma walked suddenly into the room.  "Fighting monsters?  Is that what you can't tell us about?"  Johnathon looked at him startled.

    Akane walked in the room, followed by the two moon cats.  "We didn't mean to eavesdrop, big brother."  Akane said apologetically.  "We just heard the TV and came down to see what was on and..."  She shrugged helplessly.

    Ranma looked excited.  "Hey man, if you're going to be fighting monsters, invite me along!"

    Johnathon raised an eyebrow as he looked at the two teens.  He started to chuckle.  "I just might take you up on that, Ranma, one of these days."  Johnathon shook his head wryly. still chuckling.  "I might at that."  Johnathon saw Luna put one paw up to her forehead in exasperation and chuckled harder.

    Akane went over to him.  "What was the monster like, big brother?  Was Tuxedo Kamen there?"  She looked at him closely.  "You're not Tuxedo Kamen are you?"

    Johnathon laughed.  "No, not me, although you aren't the first person to say that I look like him."

    Ranma sat down next to Johnathon.  "So this it the big secret you've been holding back huh? You've been fighting monsters with the Sailor Senshi?"

    "Not exactly."  Johnathon said, shaking his head.  "Although I have fought a couple of Youma with them, it's been by accident mostly."

    Ranma nodded sagely.  "I know about those kind of accidents, man.  I've been there.  So that's why they came to help me out.  They owed you a favor?"

    Johnathon shrugged.  "Sorta, but mostly they're just good people.  They would have helped anyway."

    Ranma nodded.  "I'd like to meet them again, and get a chance to kick some monster butt at the same time!"

    Johnathon looked at him seriously.  "They said they would call you if they needed help.  They will."

    Ranma grinned.  "I can't wait.  So what are these Youma like?"

    Akane sat down on the other side of Johnathon.  "Yes, tell us.  You fought one today right?"

    Johnathon shrugged.  "Well, I can't be too sure, I've only seen two, but I'll tell you what I know."  Johnathon described his encounters with Youma to the two younger martial artists in detail.  He was sure to leave out what happened after each fight, as well as any detail about the Senshi's identities.

    Akane noticed the omission.  "So, after you fought the Youma, Johnathon-san, what did you do?  Why did you go to Juuban in the first place?"

    Johnathon blinked.  "Um, I sure didn't go to fight a Youma!  No, I went to talk Dr. Mizumi, like I said, I needed some information.  She was able to help some, but I didn't get what I wanted."

    Akane continued to look questioningly at Johnathon.  "Oh?  And what did you want to know?"

    Johnathon looked back, right into her eyes.  "Akane, I will tell you, but not today, please trust me."

    Akane looked into his eyes searchingly, then nodded.  "OK, big brother, I trust you."

    Johnathon sighed.  "Thank you Akane.  I promise you I will never abuse that trust."  He looked around at the piles of laundry around him.  "Now could you take your own stuff to your rooms and put it away?  I'll handle the rest."  Ranma and Akane grabbed their clothing, which had been put into separate piles, and headed upstairs.  Luna and Artemis stayed behind.

    Luna quietly spoke.  "Johnathon, Artemis and I have to go back.  If Youma are showing up again..."

    Johnathon nodded.  "Of course.  I'll take you back tomorrow."

    Luna nodded in return.  "Tomorrow before dark will be soon enough.  We will spend the time until then with Ranma."

    Artemis nodded as well.  "I think, Ranma almost has his Cat-phobia licked."

    Johnathon smiled gratefully.  "Thanks.  Now shush, and go to him.  I'm going to finish up here and get to sleep myself."  The two moon cats left and Johnathon turned to Kasumi.  "Now show me where I should put the towels please."  Kasumi purred and showed Johnathon the spot.  He shoved the towels in.

    Kasumi nodded to herself.  < I was right, they don't fit.>  She shook her head.  < Kasumi Tendo... no Kasumi Dwire, silly me... you are the silly one aren't you.>  Kasumi followed her husband to their bedroom and sighed.  < I was being jealous of, Johnathon taking my place.> Kasumi looked at her love thoughtfully as he sat on the bed and started getting undressed.  < He's simply doing what's necessary, and with love.>  She smiled fondly.  < And, I love him for it.  He is most definitely the man I married, the one I love.>

    Johnathon climbed under the covers.  "Kasumi-chan?  Coming?"  Kasumi jumped up unto the bed and walked up to his face.  She purred and rubbed his cheek with her head.  Johnathon reached up and stroked her gently from head to tail.  "I love you too."

    Luna and Artemis joined Ranma in his room and slept on the futon with him.  Ranma slept peacefully, undisturbed by dreams of being tossed into pits full of starving cats.


    At the Saotome House, Nabiki was going over her plans for the next few days.  Ryoga's "tutors" had been very profitable, especially considering the fact that she hadn't had to pay for real tutors.  Ryoga had benefited from their instruction as well.  By all reports he was catching up  to Akane and Ranma's grade level rapidly.  The lost boy appeared to have a brain hidden somewhere under that thick skull.  While his geography skills were atrocious, he knew at least his basic history, much of the world's in fact.  His language skills were good.  Ryoga knew the basics of half a dozen languages.  The surprise was his skill with math, especially the more theoretical calculus.  Ryoga had a talent for getting from A to C without passing B...

    Nabiki paused in thought.  < Nah, couldn't be.>  Ryoga was starting to get more used to having girls around him.  Always having a girl nearby was slowly strengthening his tolerance for the opposite sex.  Nabiki closed her books, satisfied.  She began undressing for bed.  Nabiki pulled her shirt off and started getting out her pajamas when she noticed something was missing.

    Nabiki looked down at herself incredulously.  < I'm not wearing underwear?>  Nabiki was startled.   < How did that happen?   I clearly remember this morning being normal.  I got dressed completely normally... so when did I take off my underwear?>  Nabiki thought back, getting more and more puzzled.  < I didn't.  Why would I?  It must have been that little pervert Happosai!> Nabiki got out some new underwear and her pajamas and slowly dressed for bed.  Something was bothering her, but she couldn't think of what it could be.  < I'm too tired to think clearly, whatever it is can wait till morning.>  Nabiki went to sleep, whatever it was would wait.


    When the next morning rolled around everyone woke up bright and early.  Johnathon fixed breakfast while Ranma played with the cats in the yard.  When everyone had finished eating Johnathon regarded Ranma and Akane.

    Johnathon smiled at the two teenagers.  "You know, I haven't got in any training in since Tuesday.  Why don't we do some sparring?"

    Akane looked quizzically at him.  "You fought both Kunos the other day, and that Youma last night, and you want more?"

    Johnathon nodded.  "I feel fine.  We can all train together eh?"

    Ranma shrugged.  "Sure, I don't see why not.  Akane would benefit from fighting someone her on her own level."

    Johnathon smiled.  "Why don't we see if we can help you improve some too, Ranma."

    Ranma blinked.  "Oh?  What do you have in mind?"

    Johnathon grinned.  "Me and Akane verses you.  From your stories, a lot of the times you took a beating was because two or more of your enemies attacked you together."

    Ranma grinned back.  "Sure!  That'll give me a pretty good workout."

    Johnathon grinned and nodded.  "I'm counting on it."  He took his water glass and up ended it over his head.  "Because I'm not going to make it easy on you."

    Kasumi smiled.  < How nice to see everyone getting along so well.  I think I will enjoy watching!>

    Johnathon flashed his teeth in a cat smile.  "Let's go then."  Everyone trouped out to the Dojo. Luna and Artemis followed Kasumi to watch.  Johnathon took Akane aside and they talked quietly while warming up.

    When Ranma went to join them, Akane waved him away.  "We're planning, so scoot!"  Pretty soon they were ready.  Johnathon and Akane exchanged a handshake and a nod.  "OK, Ranma, prepare to get stomped on!"  Akane shouted playfully.

    Ranma stood calmly in the center of the Dojo.  Johnathon and Akane moved towards him, then separated, going to either side so they had Ranma in the middle.  Johnathon attacked first and Ranma faced him, but it was a feint.  Johnathon immediately went fully defensive and Ranma was barely able to dodge Akane's attack from the rear.  The three of them broke and began again. Once again Johnathon and Akane separated, keeping on either side of Ranma so that he could only watch one at a time.

    Johnathon attacked again, feinting, and Ranma expected it, as well as the attack that Akane used on his back, a side kick.  Ranma dodged Akane's kick and was smacked by Johnathon from the rear.  Ranma spun and advanced on Johnathon who was retreating again, fully defensive, while Akane attacked his back once more.  Ranma tried to break the pattern by charging Johnathon, but wasn't able to overwhelm his defenses before Akane could reach him.  Ranma spun away and started dodging around, jockeying for position.

    Ranma was able to out maneuver Akane, but Johnathon was keeping up and together they managed to compensate for any maneuver he tried.  Still, he was scoring a hit for every one of theirs. Unfortunately, that meant he was losing, since being two of them they could handle more punishment.

    Ranma called a quick halt.  "Hahhh, that's pretty good.  Nice teamwork.  Wait a sec, OK?" Ranma ran out of the Dojo.

    Kasumi wanted to applaud.  < Very good Johnathon, very good Akane, you two work well together.>

    Ranma ran back in, female, her red hair damp.  "OK, let's try that again."

    Johnathon grinned.  "Counting on your superior speed as a girl to keep you from getting boxed in?  We'll see."  He took Akane to the side and they whispered for a few moments.

    They came back and Akane grinned at her fiancee.  "Right!  Let's go, Ranma!"

    Johnathon and Akane began as before, and an intricate dance soon formed, a blur of motion. Akane was slowest, by a large margin.  Johnathon was faster, his form not as neat.  Ranma-chan seemed to vanish at times, so great was her speed.  She was winning now, they couldn't pin her down.  Ranma's edge in speed was enough that they couldn't quite catch her back.  Ranma was scoring light hits, wearing them down.  Johnathon took a good shot to the chest as he moved in to grapple with her.

    Ranma was slightly puzzled for a second.  < Johnathon knows I'm stronger than him, even in my female form, why is he going in close?>

    Akane jumped her then, Johnathon had managed to hold on just long enough to give Akane a shot at Ranma's back.  The three of them wrestled around on the floor.  Even as a girl, Ranma was stronger than Akane, and a lot stronger than Johnathon.  The two of them combined, however were barely able to pin Ranma and hold her down.  Ranma knew they wouldn't have managed it against his male form, but of course that's why they had tried it now.  Ranma saw Johnathon's hand before her eyes.

    Johnathon popped his claws out, then back in.  "Bang, you're dead, Ranma."

    Akane lightly thumped the smaller girl in the solar plexus for emphasis.  "Got you!"

    Ranma coughed and quit struggling.  "OK, OK, you got me, now let me go."  < I could get loose, but I don't want to hurt Akane, or Johnathon in the process.>  Ranma sighed.  < Or myself, they did get me didn't they>  They released the fiery red head and everyone sat back.  "Hey, Johnathon, did you have to squeeze me so hard?"  Ranma asked rubbing her left breast lightly.

    Akane blushed.  "Oh, um, that was me."

    Ranma blinked.  "Oh."

    Johnathon chuckled and slowly stood.  "That was a heck of a workout."

    Ranma got to her feet as well, rubbing her neck and arms.  "Yeah it was fun."  The smaller girl helped Akane to her feet.  "You won't get me that way again though."

    Johnathon grinned.  "Nope, which is why we'll have to try something new next time."

    Ranma smiled and shrugged.  "We'll see."

    Johnathon winked at the red head.  "Well, you've got to admit, you did learn something new,  eh?"

    Ranma laughed.  "That's true!"

    Kasumi smiled, it made her very happy to see her family like this, cheerful and content in each  other's company.

    Johnathon looked over at Kasumi, pulling at his shirt collar.  "Boy, I understand why cats don't  wear clothing.  This fur is hot!"  Kasumi smiled fondly at him.  Johnathon smiled back and  slowly stretched.  "I could use a bath, and a nice soak to ease the tension in my muscles."

    Ranma rolled her head from side to side.  "Yeah, me too."

    Akane giggled.  "I'll let you guys go first, Johnathon sounds like he needs it."

    Johnathon looked at Ranma uncomfortably, but concealed the reaction before anyone noticed.          < Ranma's a girl right now... Oh well, I can handle it.>

    In the bathroom the furo was filled and outside Ranma and Johnathon undressed.  Johnathon  calmly  avoided looking directly at the red headed girl.  Ranma glanced surreptitiously at Johnathon's feline form, wanting to satisfy her curiosity about his body's differences.  Johnathon didn't mind the scrutiny, much.  He understood Ranma's curiosity about his form.  Johnathon knew he was unique, reason enough to be curious.  They both entered the main bath and got clean, then headed for the furo.  Johnathon and Ranma both slipped into the furo and changed, then sat back relaxing comfortably.

    "Ah, that's much better."  Johnathon sighed contentedly.  "You've got no idea how irritating matted fur can be."

    Ranma shrugged and closed his eyes, luxuriating in the warmth.  Johnathon did the same, feeling the tension flow away.

    Outside, in the living room, Akane sat brooding.  Kasumi approached her with a concerned meow.

    Akane looked down at her eldest sister.  "Oh Sis, I don't know what to do."  Kasumi quirked her head and meowed questioningly.  Akane's face was troubled.  "It's about... Ranma, what happened, when he was stuck in the Cat-fist I mean."  Kasumi nodded, putting her paw on Akane's leg.  Akane looked away for a moment.  "I wouldn't take back what I did.  I just don't know..."  Akane looked down at Kasumi again.  "Should I, should I tell him?"  Kasumi froze, not knowing how to answer.  Akane sighed.  "I've not said anything yet because of Cologne and Shampoo.  If Cologne found out she might... If she knew that Ranma and I had... sex.  She might have already gone and punished Shampoo for failing to marry Ranma.  If that happened, you might be stuck as a cat forever."

    Akane clenched her fists.  "It's just so unfair!  Ranma and I, we've gotten so close.  We were going to be married.  It would have been fine.  He loves me, I know that now, and I love him!" Akane shook her head.  "I can't tell him, I can't.  He'd have to marry me, and we can't.  Not until you and Shampoo are safe and off the hook.  I can't, tell... anyone."  Akane nodded fiercely to herself and looked down at her sister again.  Kasumi looked like she would be crying if she could, the expression on her face was very sad.  "Sis, please don't be so sad.  It's OK, I'm OK. Things will work out, you'll see."

    Akane smiled bravely at Kasumi, hiding the thought that came to her unbidden.  < As long as I'm not pregnant.>  Kasumi nodded doubtfully to her younger sister, her eyes still showing her worry.

    The rest of the day went peacefully enough.  After soaking for awhile, Johnathon fixed lunch while Akane had her bath.  After lunch Ranma, Akane and Johnathon went to Johnathon's apartment to pick up some more of his stuff.  While they were packing, Johnathon checked the messages on his answering machine.  Several congratulatory messages from fellow teachers at Furinkan high on his marriage were first.  Then a terse reminder that he would be returning to classes on Monday morning from the vice principal.  Finally there was a message from someone he hadn't talked to in weeks.

    Akane noticed that the voice on the answering machine sounded familiar, although it spoke in English.  "Yo, bro.  It's me.  You haven't been answering your messages.  What's happening John?  Give me a ring, or email me, OK?"  Akane blinked.  That had sounded like Johnathon, but why would he call himself?  She looked at him curiously.

    Johnathon answered her unspoken question.  "That was Michael, my brother.  My twin brother actually.  I haven't seen him in over a year."

    Akane blinked.  "You have a twin brother?  Why haven't you mentioned him before?"

    Johnathon blinked in return.  "I hadn't?  I would have sworn I did... I quess not.  I told Kasumi awhile back, I quess I never mentioned it to you guys."

    Ranma walked over, putting down a box of books.  "You always changed the subject when we brought up family... actually, we never really talked about it."

    Akane shook her head wryly.  "I can't believe you married my sister, and I still don't know anything about your family."

    Johnathon shrugged.  "It never seemed important at the time.  I told Kasumi about them, but it just never came up with you."

    Akane smiled at him.  "Well you've told us a lot about yourself already, why don't you tell us about your family?"

    Johnathon nodded.  "Sure, why not.  There's not much to tell really.  My folks are good people, although I don't talk to them much nowadays.  We kinda drifted apart, a bit.  Ever since I left home we only really saw each other on holidays.  Even when I was living in the same town I only saw them once a month or so.  Michael's my twin brother, and we're a lot closer, but... recent events have kinda gotten out of hand.  I haven't talked to him for awhile."  Johnathon frowned.  "Too long, actually, I couldn't really tell anyone about that trip to rescue Kasumi. After that, things haven't really calmed down.  I should call him."

    Johnathon went over to his computer.  "I rarely use this thing.  Michael's the computer literate one.  I just use this for word-processing and email.  Well, there is some other stuff on here, but I haven't gotten much use out of it."  Johnathon turned it on and watched it boot up.  Akane and Ranma looked on in interest.  Johnathon went directly to his email, and started checking his messages.  In the right hand corner there were several small boxes with names in them.  One had a light bulb on.

    Ranma pointed at the box that was lit up.  "What's that?  It says Michael."

    Johnathon taped the lit icon with his mouse.  "That means Michael's on line, it's a program that detects when people I know are on line at the same time as I am."

    Akane blinked.  "On line?"

    Johnathon nodded.  "On line means they're using their computer to communicate on the internet, like I am right now."  Ranma and Akane nodded slowly.  The icon with Michael's name started flashing and a voice came from the computer.  "INCOMING MESSAGE."  Johnathon hastily turned down the volume.  "He's noticed me.  I wonder what he wants?"  Johnathon tapped the icon and it turned into a message box.  The message was in English, and Johnathon looked at Ranma and Akane with a grin.  "Well?  Can you read it?"

    Ranma grimaced at stared at the screen.  "Um..."

    Akane slowly read the message in English.  "Want... to... talk?"

    Johnathon nodded.  "Right.  He wants me to set up my video phone.  OK, this is pretty neat."
Johnathon tapped several icons in succession with his mouse.  "Michael doesn't understand much
Japanese, so let me talk to him.  He doesn't know about my curse, or any of the wilder stuff that's
happened and I don't want him to know, quite yet."  He tapped a couple more icons and let a program run.

    Ranma looked at Johnathon.  "A video phone?  What's that?"

    Akane broke in.  "He doesn't know about your curse?  What about everything else?  Does he even know you're married?"

    Johnathon bit his lip.  "Whoops, I knew I forgot something.  Everything has been going so fast recently I hadn't gotten a chance."

    Akane looked slightly shocked.  "You forgot to mention it?"

    Johnathon shrugged.  "Hey!  It was very sudden!  First I'm suddenly getting married in two days, then Kasumi gets the Cat's tongue and..."

    Akane shook her head.  "I see your point."

    Johnathon looked at Ranma.  "As for what a video phone is, let me show you."  He pointed at a small eye like device on the top of the monitor.  "That's a camera."  He pulled out a standing microphone from behind the computer.  "And this is the microphone.  Michael has a similar set up on his computer.  We're connecting now."  A few seconds later a picture formed in the center of the screen.  It was a camera's view of a young man's face in a nondescript setting.  White walls served as the background.  Ranma and Akane looked at the man on the screen and back at Johnathon.  They looked incredibly similar, except...

    Akane pointed at the man.  "He looks just like you, except he wears glasses.  Are you really twins?"

    The man in the picture reacted to this, speaking in rapid fire English.  The picture wasn't high quality, and there seemed to be about a one second delay, but otherwise it was like using a phone with a TV attached.  Akane couldn't make out much of what Michael was saying, but she did make out the word "Kasumi."  Johnathon answered in the same rapid English, shaking his head.

    He turned to Akane.  "Michael wanted to know if you were Kasumi.  I told him that you were her younger sister."  He turned back to the monitor and started talking rapidly again in English. Akane tried to follow, he seemed to be explaining his current status.  Michael's face got more and more disbelieving as Johnathon talked.  Johnathon paused as his brother started to talk animatedly.  Johnathon and Michael talked quickly back and forth and Akane tried to keep up.

    After awhile Johnathon turned back to Ranma and Akane.  "I explained as best as I could about getting married so quick.  I couldn't tell him about the rest."

    Akane laughed, turning to Ranma.  "He asked John-san if Kasumi has any sisters.  I wonder what Nabiki would think?"

    Johnathon chuckled.  "I told him you were engaged.  I wonder what Nabiki would think too?"

    From the screen Michael's voice came again.  "Hello, Akane, Ranma.  I... hear much about you."  His Japanese was considerably worse than Shampoo's  but Ranma and Akane understood.

    Johnathon and Michael talked for several more minutes before Johnathon disconnected. "Michael's going to inform my folks.  I think they're going to be a bit mad I didn't tell them earlier.  Oh well, they had to learn sooner or later.  I really don't know what to tell them about the rest of it.  I never told anyone back in America about the curse, or anything else like that.  I don't know how they would react, or if they'd even believe me."  Johnathon looked depressed.  "I don't really know how I can go home with this curse.  My brother would accept it, but there's lot's of other problems..."

    Johnathon sighed.  "It's complex.  I intended to go back to America after no more than a year or two maximum.  Falling in love with Kasumi wasn't something I planned.  I'm glad it happened, very glad, but... I do miss my family, especially Michael.  I may never get to see him again."  He brightened.  "Still, I have a new family in you guys, and Kasumi is my heart.  I don't regret how things have worked out."  Johnathon shrugged.  "I'm not looking forward to the talk I'm going to have with my folks though."  He shut down the computer and picked up a box.  "Well, the day's slipping by.  We'd best get back."

    Akane and Ranma nodded, uncertain what to say to Johnathon.  They each grabbed a box and headed for the door.  As they walked back to the Tendo Dojo, Akane thought of a safe question to ask.

    Akane cleared her throat.  "Big brother, why does your twin wear glasses?  You don't need them."

    Johnathon nodded as he looked over at her.  "Not anymore.  I had corrective surgery to my eyes right before my trip here to Japan.  Michael hasn't bothered to do so.  I wore glasses for most of my life actually."  He turned his face so Akane could see his right cheek.  "Do you see the small scar over my cheek bone?"

    Akane nodded.  "It's pretty small, looks like you got it a couple of years ago."

    Johnathon nodded.  "I was in a Karate tournament right before I came to Japan.  A big idiot kicked me in the face, right after the judge called a stop.  I dropped my guard and he took me by surprise."  Johnathon shrugged.  "Teaches me to drop my guard.  Anyway, he busted my glasses and drove the nose piece into my cheek hard enough to scar.  He was immediately disqualified, and the medic sidelined me.  It was the second to last match so they gave me third place.  The most annoying part was the guy who won was someone I had beaten easily in an earlier match."

    Ranma snorted.  "That's rough man, you got robbed."

    Johnathon shook his head.  "Not really, the tournament wasn't that important to me.  I just entered for fun, really.  But I decided to get my eyes fixed after that.  With my glasses I could see fine, so until then I never really saw them as a limitation, but... well, things are a bit easier without them."

    Ranma nodded.  "I bet, Mousse has a terrible time without his glasses.  Even with them he's half blind, so I guess he has worse sight than you did."

    Johnathon nodded.  "Yeah, I could still see well enough to fight without them.  Mousse could really benefit from corrective surgery though.  I think I'll suggest it too him when I see him next."

    Ranma shrugged.  "Even if he could see, he'll still never be a match for me."

    Akane and Johnathon just sighed and they walked silently for the rest of the way home.

    The rest of the day Ranma spent playing with the cats.  Johnathon brought Akane into the kitchen and had her help him cook the dinner he had planned.  Johnathon kept having to stop Akane when she reached for the wrong ingredient.  Finally he just had her getting him ingredients.

    "But can't I do something else?"  Akane asked pleadingly as she handed him the tobasco sauce.

    "Um Akane, I wanted the salt."  Johnathon said softly.  "Why don't we just work on you getting me the correct ingredients first.  If you can do that we'll move on to something else."

    Akane looked a bit mad.  "I can do it!  Just give me a chance!"

    Johnathon glared at her, but spoke calmly.  "Akane, right now you are helping me cook, so help, don't complain."

    Akane started to say something, then stopped.  After a long pause she spoke.  "Alright, big brother."

    Johnathon watched Akane get the salt.  < In the kitchen, Akane's almost as bad as Ryoga is with trying to get where he's going.>  Akane came back with the salt.  Johnathon took it.  "Thank you Akane, are you OK?  Something seems to be bothering you."

    Akane sighed.  "It's nothing you can help me with, big brother."

    Johnathon regarded his little sister-in-law.  "If you say so.  Perhaps I can help you with another problem though."

    Akane blinked.  "What?"

    Johnathon swept his hand around at the kitchen.  "Learning to cook."  He slowly spoke in English.  "I do teach for a living, right?"

    Akane nodded, responding slowly in the same language.  "Yes, that is true."

    Johnathon smiled, switching back to Japanese.  "Very good!  Seriously, I'm not as good a cook as Kasumi, but I can teach you what I know, at least."

    Akane nodded.  "I'd like that."

    Johnathon shrugged.  "Glad to help my little sister.  Now, get me the noodles please."  Akane turned and cheerfully got the correct ingredient.  Johnathon blinked.  < Well, perhaps there is hope for her yet!>  Dinner was ready in twice the time it had taken the day before, but it was correctly prepared at least.

    Ranma sampled his dish nervously, then dug in.  "It's good!"  He pronounced to Akane's delight.

    She smiled.  < I may have only helped, but just you wait, Ranma, I'll learn to cook yet!>

    When he had finished eating Johnathon excused himself.  "Ranma, I have to take Artemis and Luna back today.  I told Dr. Mizumi I'd bring them home, and it's just about time."

    Ranma nodded.  "It was real nice of the Doc to let them stay so long.  They're great cats, I'll miss them."

    Johnathon smiled.  "Maybe we should buy you a kitten, so you won't be too lonely."

    Ranma considered that.  "Maybe, that sounds like a good idea actually."

    Johnathon grinned.  "It is huh?  OK, why not?"  He looked around.  "Artemis, Luna, time to go home."  The two cats walked up to him at the sound of their names.  Johnathon reached down and picked up Luna, tucked her under one arm and picked up Artemis.  The white cat got comfortable on his other arm and Johnathon started for the front door.  "I'll be back in a couple of hours" When he got out the gates he let them down and the two cats walked at his sides.  They headed towards Juuban and a reunion with the Sailor Senshi.

                                                  End part 26

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