A Ranma ½/Batman Fan Fiction
Disclaimer – Ranma ½ is the creation of Rumiko Takahashi. Batman is the creation of Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Both are used without permission.
Part 1 – Choices and Consequences
"I'll get it," said Kasumi, rising gracefully from the chabudai to answer the knock at the front door. She came back a half-minute later, smiling and with Ranma in tow. Nabiki concealed a smirk behind her coffee cup, not certain who was more pleased by the young Saotome's presence – Akane or her father.
"Good morning, Ranma," Akane greeted brightly.
"Looking good, Saotome," said Nabiki. The Furinkan school uniform he was wearing was so well tailored it almost looked stylish on him.
"Eh," said Ranma as he gave the jacket a tug to straighten it. "If there's one thing I know how to do, it's wear a uniform." Only the two youngest Tendos detected the sardonic note in his statement. "At least Furinkan doesn't require a tie to go with the dress shirt."
"I'm glad to see you this morning, son," said Soun. "I appreciate how diligent you are, escorting your fiancée to school."
Akane and Nabiki rolled their eyes, while Kasumi sighed inaudibly. Ranma simply smiled blandly.
"Well, Akane is my friend. I enjoy spending time with her."
"Would you like some tea, Ranma?" Kasumi asked.
"No, I'm good, thank you. But that does remind me – Alfred's invited you and Mr. Tendo to come over to our place for tea today, if you're interested."
Kasumi nodded thoughtfully. "Father has physical therapy this morning." Soun winced, touching his bandaged shoulder. His therapist was a bit more demanding than he liked. "But we'll be most pleased to visit after. You have no plans, right father?"
Soun shook his head. "No, Kasumi dear. I'll be happy to go. Mr. Pennyworth sets a good table."
"Alfred also wants me to tell you we're hosting an official house warming party at the place we rented this Saturday," continued Ranma. "Nothing too large or fancy. My parents are going to be there." Ranma sounded less than enthused. "Along with Yoru-sensei and his student Kairi. Also a few people in the neighborhood Alfred's become acquainted with. Your family doctor, for one." He smiled slyly at Nabiki. "Roy will be there as well."
Nabiki became very interested. "Really now?"
"Yeah. The Tokyo Branch of Queen Consolidated has some security issue that needs looking into. So Ollie's sending his company's head of security over and Roy's hitching a ride with him. He's a good friend of Bruce and mine, so he'll be at the housewarming as well." That caught Akane and Nabiki's notice, but Ranma did not seem inclined to go into further detail.
"How nice," said Kasumi. "We're glad to accept the invitation." Akane beamed in agreement and Nabiki grinned happily. Soun nodded slightly, his expression neutral. While recent events had made him accept his middle daughter's new relationship with Ranma's good friend, he was still less than enthused by it.
Akane finished her tea and stood. "We should get going. We don't want to be late for Ranma's first day." She smiled, happy to have Ranma going to school with her and still enjoying the novelty of being able to step through the Furinkan gates without having to worry about getting attacked by a horde of hormonal idiots.
"Of course," said Kasumi. "Let me get your bentos." She fetched her sisters' lunches and saw them and Ranma off, wishing them all a good day.
"So who's this friend of yours and Roy?" Akane asked as the three teens started their walk to Furinken High School.
"His name's John Diggle. Like I said, he works for Ollie at Queen Consolidated." He quickly took stock of his surroundings, making sure no one else was in earshot. "He's also in the know," he continued in a softer voice. "Mostly supplies support for Ollie, Dinah and Roy, but sometimes he does field work – uses the code name of Spartan. I like him a lot. He's level headed and smart, and a real cool guy."
"I'm looking forward to meeting him."
"I wonder why Roy didn't tell me he was coming back so soon," Nabiki said, whining slightly.
"It's a last minute thing," said Ranma. "I just found out myself this morning, when I talked to him before he headed out to work. He'll probably text you when he gets a free moment."
"You've been talking to Roy a lot since he left, haven't you?" asked Akane.
Nabiki nodded. "Yeah, we text all the time, though there's a bit of a lag between our responses for obvious reasons. I'm glad I'm going to get to see him again so soon. He wasn't sure when he'd next be in Japan." She sighed, but then smiled. "Oh well, it's not like we went into this blind. Long separations were an unavoidable part of the deal."
"Well, not to get your hopes up," said Ranma, "but Roy's probably going to visit again around the end of August or beginning of September, before the school year starts. He'll be coming with some friends of mine. I'm really looking forward to that – it's been a month since I've last seen them, and I probably won't be able to see them again until I go back to America next year. I hope it doesn't fall through."
"Are they the rest of the Titans?" Akane asked softly. At her fiance's nod she grinned brilliantly. "This is so cool."
"It's definitely made life a lot more interesting," Nabiki said. "Speaking of interesting, have you two decided about whether you're going to be open about your engagement at school?"
Ranma exchanged glances with Akane then shrugged. "I think it'd be best if we were, but I'm willing to follow Akane's lead on this."
Akane frowned. "I really don't think it's anyone else's business, Nabiki."
"Didn't you tell Yuka and Sayuri?"
"Yes, but they're my two closest friends. I couldn't keep it a secret from them, and they've promised not to tell anyone."
"And what if they let it slip? Also, you know daddy isn't going to keep quiet about it. Frankly I'm surprised he hasn't plastered announcement notices all over the ward yet. He, or maybe Kasumi, are going to mention it to someone, and eventually someone's kid who goes to Furinkan is going to hear about it. But even if by some miracle it doesn't get out, how do you plan on explaining moving to the States with Ranma come New Year's?"
Akane thought over her sister's reasoning for a minute before letting out a deep sigh. "I hate it when you're right," she grumbled.
Nabiki smiled. "That's because I'm always right."
"I wouldn't go that far. Okay, we won't keep it a secret, but I don't want to book the school auditorium and make a public announcement, either."
"I can handle it for you if you want. I won't even charge you for it."
"Gee, thanks a lot. That's so generous of you."
"I thought so myself, my dear little sister."
Akane was about to retort when she noticed Ranma had fallen behind by a few steps. He had unslung his book bag from his shoulder and he was slowly, carefully looking around.
"Is everything alright?" she asked.
"Dunno," he said. He frowned briefly and shook his head. "I thought for a moment someone was watching us."
Nabiki arched an eyebrow. "Seriously?"
"Yeah. But now, I'm not certain." He clucked his tongue. "If we were being watched, the spook's gone now. Maybe I was imagining it. First day nerves." He did not look convinced when he said that. "In any case nothing I can do about it right now. Let's get going." The Tendo girls looked concerned, but nodded in agreement and they continued on at a quickened pace.
The boy has gotten better since last I saw him. I must be cautious.
Author's Note – So we begin the third main story in this sequence I've been playing with for the past three years. While Looking For Trouble, at the time of this writing, is technically unfinished, all that remains for that story is an epilogue. All you really know is that the circumstances around Nabiki's kidnapping has made Soun a bit more willing to accept her relationship with Roy.
The next chapters may be longer. We'll see how they go. I also don't think School Daze will be as long as either Shadows Over Nerima or Looking For Trouble.
I'm sorry I haven't been posting much. I'm afraid I haven't been feeling very well, either physically or emotionally. I'm not sure if I've completely recovered, so I don't know how often I'll be updating. It doesn't help that I'm a very lazy fellow to begin with.
Thanks again to the wondrous PurseMonger for her pre-reading and support.