Anything Goes Silliness
Disclaimer – Ranma ½ is the property of Rumiko Takahashi. Teen Titans is the property of DC Comics. Both are used without permission.
Note – This is a side story to Looking For Trouble. This takes place during Chapter 9, which is not yet finished, though I do hope I'll be able to complete it before the heat death of the universe. There is a very minor spoiler for that chapter.
Titans Forever I
"Hugo Strange?" asked Donna Troy.
Ranma nodded as he attacked the training dummy, making it pop and groan under the assault of a flurry of blows, finishing with a palm strike that echoed through the penthouse gymnasium. He stepped back, turning to the holographic projection of his friend and nodded. "Yup."
Donna bit her lower lip thoughtfully. "I've never encountered him. How dangerous is he?"
Ranma padded over to a wall rack and grabbed a towel. "Bad enough," he said as he wiped the sweat off his face and neck. "He's deadly smart – leaving aside his Monster Men, he's come up with some nasty tricks and devices in the past. His only upside is that he prefers to keep a low profile, only exposing himself just enough to further his projects. He could cause as much misery as the Joker or Two-Face if he ever put his mind to it."
Donna made a face. "Sounds like lots of fun."
"Oh yeah," laughed Ranma with little humor. He took a swig out of a water bottle. "This is going to be a blast."
When Ranma had woken from a few hours of meditative sleep he had found that Donna had text, asking him to contact her. She had not heard from him in a couple of weeks and wanted to know how Roy's visit was going. He called her using the holographic relay, chatting and catching up with her as he went through a light morning workout. Donna was currently on Paradise Island, Diana having brought her there so the teen super-heroine could spend some of her summer vacation with their mother Hippolyta. Donna currently sat on a marble bench in the midst of a beautiful garden, surrounded by orderly displays of colorful flowers that grew nowhere else on earth – gifts to the Amazons from Demeter herself. She was dressed in a short skirted chiton and high-strapped sandals, her wealth of midnight black hair pulled up in a high ponytail. A silver tiara adorned her brow, a badge of her status as a princess of Themyscira and an heir of the Queen of the Amazons.
"Do you think you'll be able to find Strange quick?" Donna asked.
Ranma shrugged. "I hope so. Roy and I should be able to shake down a few leads today. It's possible, though, that Strange may go to ground when he hears we hit his employers' warehouse – maybe try to leave the country all together."
"In that case will you go after him?"
Ranma shook his head. "I can't – I'm here until January. No way I'm leaving Akane undefended from the Old Ghoul and her father. If Strange runs we're passing the job on to Bruce and Ollie. I hope he doesn't though. I'd really like to find out for myself why he's here in Japan."
Donna nodded with a thoughtful hum. "How's Akane doing?"
Ranma's face assumed a complicated expression. "Very well. She's a lot happier now than when I first met her, but she's getting ideas. Alfred told me last night she wants to become a super-hero."
"You don't look happy about that."
"I'm not. She's going to have enough trouble in her life with Ra's al Ghul wanting her for the League of Shadows without her actively putting herself in harm's way."
"So are you going to let her?"
Ranma sighed. "I don't know. She has too many people trying to force their will on her. But this..." He shook his head sharply. "Hopefully I can get her to reconsider."
"Good luck with that – from what you've told me about her you're going to need it."
"No doubt. What do you think about this, Donna?"
Donna shrugged her shapely shoulders. "If Akane is as talented as you says, and she truly wants to do it, I say let her. She could have far worse trainers than you and Bruce." Donna grinned. "Besides, it'd be nice to have another girl on the Titans."
Ranma rolled his eyes a little. "You're just looking for someone to distract Garfield from you."
"Yeah, right," laughed Donna. "I know that would never work – she's your fiancee, after all, and there's no way Beast Boy would go sniffing around your girl."
Ranma could not help blushing a little, which Donna noticed with interest and delight. There was definitely something going on there. She smiled to herself as she filed that tidbit of information away for later when she could grill Roy.
"I really would like to meet her," Donna continued. "She sounds interesting."
"I think you two would get along. She's almost as big a tomboy as you are."
Donna laughed again. "Where's Roy? I was hoping to talk with him, too. No way he's still sleeping."
"He went to Nerima with Akane. Said something about wanting to pick up something and hopefully get a chance to check on Nabiki personally."
Donna hummed again. "Tell me about her."
Ranma hesitated a split-second, knowing he was about to step into perilous waters. While no longer romantically involved with him, Donna was very fond of Roy, the young archer being one of her closest friends.
Unfortunately Donna noticed Ranma's hesitation. She gave him a narrow-eyed look. "Is there a problem with her?"
"Roy doesn't have a problem with her," he hedged.
"But you seem to. Come on, Ranma – spill."
"Well... she's quite pretty," Ranma said with false brightness.
Donna rolled her eyes. "Typical. A girl's looks are always the first thing a boy talks about."
He grinned at her. "Like girls are any better about boys."
"At least we're more subtle about it," Donna said in haughty tones, then giggling at the very skeptical look on her friend's face. "You're dodging, Ranma," she said seriously.
Ranma sighed, rubbing the side of his neck. "I don't like Nabiki," he said bluntly. "She made a bad first impression, being an obvious gold digger and coming on very strong during the engagement fiasco her father and my old man dropped on me. She also has a nasty streak in her – she accused Akane of liking the attention she attracted when fighting off Kuno and those other idiots every day."
Donna's expression had grown sour, her sky-blue eyes narrowing and her lips pursed in a tight frown. Ranma gave her a direct look. "That said, it's possible there's more to her than I thought. Roy likes her, and he's not an idiot."
"Pretty faces have a way of making people's brains dribble out of their ears," Donna returned.
"Point, but Roy told me a few things he learned about Nabiki on their dates that makes me think she's perhaps not that bad. She also apologized to Akane, and Akane thought she was sincere and contrite." Ranma shrugged. "I'm willing to give her a chance for now."
"Huh," muttered Donna. She looked down at her hands folded in her lap for a minute before letting out a sigh. "I'm not convinced, but I'll also concede I'm working off a knee-jerk reaction. I'll wait until I actually meet her before passing final judgment." She looked up and grinned. "Of course, if she does end up screwing Roy over I won't hesitate to steal the Invisible Jet, fly to Japan and kick her skanky ass from Hokkaido to Okinawa and back again."
"That's what I love about you Amazons," Ranma drawled. "You're all so meek and forgiving."
Donna laughed as she stood up, smoothing the skirt of her chiton. "If Roy comes back in the next couple of hours have him call. It's getting late here and I'm going to have to retire soon – I'm leaving early tomorrow my time to head back to New York."
"Something going on? I thought you were going to be on Themyscira for another week."
"I've got some Titan business to attend to."
"Anything I should know about?"
"Oh, it's nothing major. A pair of teen super-heroes have appeared in Paris and they don't seem to have any adult supervision. The JLA asked that we try to liaise with them, see what's up and if they need any help. They figured that we'd be a bit less intimidating than having Superman or Green Lantern dropping in on them – let alone Batman."
Ranma snorted. "Yeah, I can imagine... Huh, Paris." For a long time super-heroes had been an American phenomenon – costume adventurers operating in other countries were still something of a rarity. "You got me curious – shoot me the files when you get the chance. You going by yourself?"
"I'm taking Wally and Garth; Garth's all healed up and itching for some field action, even if it's just hopefully a simple first contact. I'm going to try to bring Lilith as well."
"What about Beast Boy?"
"He's tied up with the Doom Patrol right now." Donna made a face. "Besides, one of the heroes is supposedly a very pretty girl, and I'd rather not scare her off by exposing her to Garfield right off the bat."
"That could be traumatic," laughed Ranma. "I'll let you go, and I'll tell Roy you'd like to talk. Good luck."
"Same to you. Miss you, Ranma."
"I miss you, too. Take care, Donna."
End Note: In the little canon I'm developing here, Donna is Ranma other best friend. They're very close to each other, having bonded due to their shared leadership of the Titans. It's completely platonic – they see each other as siblings. Donna is also still very close to Roy. Their break-up was amicable, both of them deciding they worked better as friends. She is, however, very protective of him, as seen here.
I wanted to have a scene with Ranma talking with one of the other Titans, but I'm not including it in the main body of chapter 9 of Looking For Trouble since I feel it would interfere with the flow of the chapter.
A nice, warm, gooey imaginary chocolate chip cookie to those who recognize the shout-out in this side story.
Thanks once again to PurseMonger for her pre-reading, advice and support.