The Prince and Princess of Gotham City


Jeremy Harper

Disclaimer - Ranma 1/2 is the property of Rumiko Takahashi. Batman is the creation of Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Both are used without permission.


"What is it called again?" Akane asked, looking dubiously at the twelve-foot tall frame set near the wall.

"A salmon ladder," answered Ranma. "Roy and Ollie swear by it." He laid a hand on the metal bar set on the lowest set of v-shaped hooks on he frame. "It helps improve upper body strength. You basically do free-fall pull-ups."

The Wayne household had returned from Japan with Akane after the New Year, and after letting her take a couple of days to settle in, Ranma was giving her a tour of the Batcave while Bruce was attending to business at Wayne Enterprises headquarters. He showed her the extensive training facilities, let her try out the equipment and demonstrated how to use the workout machines she was not familiar with. They had been at it for two hours, getting a good workout in the process.

"I'll show you how it's done," said Ranma.

He took hold of the bar, curled his legs off the mat, and performed a quick set of chin-ups. Once done he hung still for a moment, took a deep breath, then executed a sharp, fast pull-up, using the momentum he generated to yank the bar up to the next set of hooks. He continued, clanging up the ladder in rapid succession until he reached the top. He swayed for a few seconds, rocking back and forth before doing one final chin-up. He dropped down to the mat, bar in hand, and turned to Akane with a cocky smile.

"Ooh," said Akane, nodding with understanding. "I get it now. I think they have something like this on Sasuke."

"You wanna try it?" Ranma offered her the bar.

"Sure!" she said, beaming as she took it. She racked it on the bottom hooks, and like Ranma, performed some traditional chin-ups in preparation. She inhaled deeply and pulled herself up, yanking the bar off the hooks...

And promptly, missed the next set, the bar bouncing off their undersides. With an 'eep' she landed on her rear, the mat cushioning her fall.

"Ow," she complained, shaking her head.

"You okay, Tomboy?" Ranma asked, amusement in his tone. Akane glared at him.

"Yeah," she said shortly as she got up. "I'm trying again."

"Okay. A little advice, first: don't aim for the next set of hooks. Aim for the bottom of the set above those. That will give you a larger margin for error."


She re-set the bar and took a step back, giving it an appraising look, which turned into one full of determination. Figuring out her plan of action, she un-zipped her jacket and threw it to the floor before launching herself up the salmon ladder.

Ranma watched with a smile as his fiancee chinned her way upwards. She did not climb it as quickly as he had, but considering this was her first attempt at it, she was making good time. But as she moved his evaluations quickly grew less professional. The loose work-out tank Akane wore inched with every pull-up, revealing her taut back, her muscles flexing in time with her efforts. The contrast of her black tank against her pale skin made his blood thrum. Her body wriggled in an interesting, almost hypnotic way as she kipped up and lifted the bar to the next set of hooks, the motion causing his eyes to travel down to her bottom, which was hugged amazingly by her tight running pants.

Ranma swallowed hard, his throat suddenly feeling very tight.

With one final grunt Akane reached the top of the ladder, swaying there a moment before dropping down to mat, turning to Ranma with a grin of triumph.

"I did it!" Ranma simply nodded, and she noticed he looked a bit off. "Are you okay?"

Ranma shook his head sharply. "Yeah, everything's fine," he said quickly. He clapped his hands and smiled over-brightly and a little tightly. "Well, that's it for the standard training equipment. We'll go over the more specialized stuff when Bruce gets back. Let's go back topside and clean up. Alfred probably will have some snacks ready by now."

"Sure!" Akane said. She set the salmon ladder's bar on the lowest set of hooks and trotted off for the stairs. Ranma lingered a bit, finding it difficult to pull his gaze from her swaying hips, trim legs, and round, firm ass...

"Are you coming, Ranma?" Akane called over her shoulder.

"Right behind you," he called back, shaking his head again. You really need to get it together, Saotome, he chastised himself as he slowly followed.

Author's Notes: Sasuke is the name of the Japanese name for the gameshow known in the States as Ninja Warrior.

Thanks again to the wondrous PurseMonger for her pre-reading, advice, and enthusiastic support.