Disclaimer: I don't own Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Womman, JLA, Static Shock, Teen Titans or any other affilcated idea- those are owned by DC Comics
I don't own Ranma ½ or any other anime/manga I may mention.
Shitennō-ji Temple, Tennoji Ward, Osaka, Japan, 1996
Ranma ducked in mid air, trying to curve around a punch. He succeeded, but it left him wide open for the counter kick, sending him flying towards the floor. He hit the ground and leapt again, coming up under his opponent, and kicked him in the back of his knees. His opponent hit the ground with a thump. His opponent, a large, balding man in a gi, smiled proudly. "Good work boy! You're finally beginning to get a handle on mid-air combat."
Ranma grinned. "Thanks, Pop!"
Genma looked over his son's cocky face. "Now, try that last move one more time- I let that hit before, but there's a counter to it. Let me show you."
Obediently, Ranma watched his father jump, and did likewise. As he kicked at the back of his father's knee, the older man twisted his legs apart in mid air and stuck his right hand between his legs, grabbing his son's foot. Surprised, Ranma kicked out, only to find himself now upside down. As they started to fall, Genma let go of the boy's foot at let him land properly. "Now, how did that work?"
Ranma's face scrunched up in thought. "Ummm.. You grabbed my leg, and I tried to kick. But that made things even worse."
Genma nodded. "From that position, I could have landed on you, threw you into the ground, or thrown you skywards. What makes that move so effective is that it used you own energy to do it."
The pigtailed boy nodded. He tensed up. "Ready when you..." He stopped talking as the sound of feet pounding reached his ears. He looked at his father in surprise. The temple, a fifteen hundred old Buddhist temple, was known for its peace and tranquillity. What was less well known was that it also served as a training hall for a variant of Aikido. The duo were training with the techniques that Genma had learnt there in his youth, and sworn never to train another in them unless they were at the temple with the blessing of the priest. They had gotten that blessing- Genma had made a reference to a diminutive pervert and a ton of dynamite, and the priest had agreed to let Genma train his son- right before he whipped out a pair of fans and danced joyously for an hour.
Genma walked to the door, and snagged one of the monks running down the hall. "What's with all the commotion? My son and I are trying to train!"
The monk was wild eyed. "A TV broadcast about the Justice league! You have to see it!"
The two Saotomes exchanged looks, and took off running towards the only room with a television. Anything that could freak out the normally placid monks was worth seeing. They arrived in the room to find everyone else red eyed or crying.
"The wreckage is being poured over by specialists as we speak, but there is no sign at the moment that anyone survived. Almost half of the crew and two thirds of the members have been accounted for, with more and more bodies being found every minute." A woman spoke as the camera showed a series of boats pulling wreckage out of the ocean. Sometimes, they pulled up bodies. A close up on one showed a Japanese woman in a white and black outfit. Genma gasped and pulled Ranma close.
"Recapping the story, today was supposed to be the grand re-opening of the Justice League. Having had the Watchtower destroyed during the Thangarion Invasion, the team had temporarily disbanded. Today we were to be witness to the team having expanded to a roster of over fifty heroes, including Japans own Doctor Light." Genma let loose a sob. The camera showed a large space station. "We do not know at present how it happened, but it appears that the Justice League has fought its last battle. During the opening speeches, there were gravity fluctuations. Shortly after..." Genma stormed out of the room, Ranma following with confusion.
Genma stopped back in the training room. He had tear tracks on his face. "Ranma... I hadn't wanted to tell you this until you were older, but now I don't think it makes any difference. Did you see that woman in the wreckage- the one in white?"
Ranma nodded. "Yeah, that's Doctor Light!"
Genma looked off into the distance. "She's also my sister. My little sister."
The pigtailed boy gasped. "You know a superhero?!?"
Genma smiled sadly. "I knew several, back in the day. I even taught more than a few. Heck, I was one for a little while. But now..." Another tear trickled down his face. "But now..."
The older man was surprised by his son hugging him. " 's ok, Pops. You still got me."
He picked up his ten year old son, and hugged him back. Then he wiped away his tears. He had to set a good example. "Starting tomorrow, we up your training! The world is going to be a more dangerous place now, and I want you to be prepared for it." Genma thought back to a training manual he had picked up once. It was said to contain the ultimate technique- the Neko-ken. Normally he would never even consider teaching that to anyone, but now... the world was going to be a darker place. He was going to make sure his son was armed to survive it.
Genma's Apartment, Kamigyo ward, Kyoto, Japan 1997
Ranma fell the ground in a combination of shock and pain. His father had HIT him!
Well, that wasn't exactly unusual considering that they were always training, but this hadn't been in training! He'd just got home from school when his father had punched him in the face! Ranma was sure his nose was broken.
"What'd ya do that for!?!" Ranma blustered. Genma hit him again.
"That was disgusting! I'd always been proud of you, Ranma- until today." His face was dark.
Genma hit him again. Blood was streaming out of his face. "I should ban you from martial arts, you disgrace! You aren't worthy of Anything-Goes." Genma kicked him in the shin, hard. "Martial Artists are supposed to protect the weak and defenceless, not bully them!" He grabbed Ranma by the arm and threw him into the wall.
Ranma spluttered. "I ain't done nothing, ya old bastard!"
Genma sneered. "I was watching you this morning, Ranma. I saw you making fun of that poor boy, throwing things at him just because he can't find his way to school!"
The pigtailed boy looked afraid. He'd never seen his father so angry. "Everyone else was doing it. Go beat them up!"
The look his father gave him had no rage in it any more- just contempt and disappointment. Somehow, the disappointment hurt more than the hits. "You aren't like them boy. You're stronger, tougher, faster. You have to be better than that. You can't just go off and hurt people- you're a martial artist. You have a responsibility to protect people who can't protect themselves." His voice got darker. "You're mother would be ashamed."
Tears started to well up in his eyes. The mention of his mother was too much. "I'm sorry."
Genma took a good look at his child. "Sorry is just a word. I'm not going to train you, spar with you, or let you practice martial arts until you've proved to me that you are man enough to handle them. You can start by leading that boy to school and back every day."
Ranma nodded. He had to make up for the harm that he'd caused to that Hibiki boy. He just hoped that the lost boy wouldn't be too mad, or hold a grudge or anything.
Jusenko, Bakalania Mountain Range, China 2002
Ranma looked down at his suddenly expanded chest in horror. From the edge of the pool, he could hear the guide speaking hurriedly in broken Japanese. "Now, whoever fall in that spring, take body of young girl- you see what I mean?"
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2002
Ranma stared into the eyes of the youngest of the Tendo Daughters. "Hi, I'm Akane. Want to be friends?" The pigtailed girl stood there, paralyzed by the sheer beauty of her smile. Her stomach felt like it was full of butterflies, and she blushed.
Somewhere in Japan, 2003
Soaked in cold water, Ranma felt strangely warm. As she woke slowly, she could hear her mother speaking. "Ranma looked manly enough. This child... is a man."
Jusenko, Bakalania Mountain Range, China 2004
"I wanted to tell you that," his voice caught. "I LOVE YOU!!!" As tears made their way down his face, he felt a soft hand wiping them away. He opened his eyes, and saw Akane staring back at him, smiling tenderly. "A..A..Akane?"
She gently wrapped her arms around him. "Ranma."
Tendo House, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2004
Akane stood in the kitchen, drinking a glass of water. They had cleared away the mess (and rubble) from the days attempted wedding, and now everything was like normal.
Ranma had been... strange... since that fight at phoenix mountain. The pigtailed boy had seemed to brush off the loss of his cure, and even the previous days chaos had done little to reawaken that all consuming drive to get rid of 'Ranko'. There was something else- a combination of frustration and fear that clouded her fiancée's heart.
The sound of footsteps echoed through the dark house. Akane stuck her head out, and saw a familiar redhead walk slowly into the living room, where she slumped onto a cushion. Her eyes were suspiciously red. "What am I gonna do?" She mumbled to herself.
Akane looked at her fiancée with more worry and compassion than she was prepared to admit her herself. Biting her lip, she slipped out of the kitchen and sat next to Ranma, who jumped slightly. "What's got you so down in the dumps?"
"It..it..Its none of ya business tomboy!" Ranma stuttered.
Akane slammed his head against the table and sighed. "What is wrong with you lately, baka? Ever since Mount Phoenix, you've eaten enough for five men- where did your appetite go?"
Ranma got up and rubbed his forehead. "Uncute.." She slammed his head into the table again. "Alright! I'll talk!"
She pulled him back up by the pigtail. "So, what's wrong?"
Ranma sighed, and looked at the table. For a moment, Akane thought he was going to stay silent. "It's about Saffron."
Akane stayed silent, waiting. "I... I wasn't good enough. I was too weak."
That puzzled the girl. "What are you talking about? You won, remember?"
Ranma turned and looked her in the eye, and Akane was startled by the grief lurking in those eyes. "I had to," she swallowed. "Kill him."
Tears started to come out of the cursed boy's eyes, and Akane overcame her shyness to hug her. She clung to her like a life preserver, crying into her shirt. "It's ok, Ranma. He was trying to kill us all."
"NO! It's not ok! I should have been able to stop him, like I do with Mousse or Taro! Not kill him." There was a definite sniffing noise, and Akane reminded herself to wake him up with a bucket of cold water the next day if there was snot on her shirt. "If he hadn't come back to life, I'd have abandoned martial arts forever."
Akane rubbed the mass of red hair. "Then get stronger. Be ready for next time. After all, isn't that what you do? You see a challenge, and you train to get stronger for it. You've done it a hundred times before, so do it again!"
Ranma looked her in the eyes, and this time Akane could see the old fire. "Heh. That's pretty good advice for a tomboy!"
"RANMA NO BAKA!"
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2004
Ranma stood in the dojo, a ball of blue light hovering between his hands. His face was covered in sweat, and the ball was growing slowly bigger.
Tendo Property, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2004
Ukyo and Akane sat on the deck of the Tendo house, jaws wide open. Out in the yard, Ranma was running on the spot- on top of Ukyo's portable grill, on its hottest setting.
"When Ranchan said he needed me for training, this isn't what I thought he meant," the Chef said scowling. "He's ruining my grill!"
Akane sighed. "He's training the chestnut fist to work as a kicking manoeuvre. And stop complaining! You've probably got a dozen of those!"
Ukyo blushed. "Tha... That's not the point!" Just because her weekly order of replacement grills had come in was no reason to cover an Okonomyiaki-preparing surface with something as unhygienic as feet!
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2004
In the dojo, Ranma held a glowing ball of blue chi. He had shadows underneath his eyes from lack of sleep. "Moko Takabishia!"
The unexpected happened. The ball of chi remained stationary in mid air, while the pigtailed boy went flying backwards through the dojo wall, into the house.
Kasumi looked at the hole in the wall, and then at the wreckage filling up the living room. "Oh my!"
Mount Fuji, Tokyo, Japan 2004
Ranma lay down, at the bottom of a cliff. Ryoga remembered it as where he had learned the Breaking Point technique- which had turned out to be far less dangerous than he'd thought. From the top of the cliff, he yelled out to the pigtailed girl. "Are you ready?"
"Just hurry up, pork chop! I don't got all day!"
Ryoga seethed, and picked up a one ton boulder. With a smirk on his face, he threw it off the cliff, where it landed on Ranma. There was a muffled yelp of pain which made Ryoga grin like a child opening a Christmas present. Then he picked up another boulder.
At the bottom of the cliff, Ranma groaned as his body felt the after affects of the impact. Maybe, he wondered, he should have started out smaller in his Breaking Point training? Or at least found a partner who wouldn't have enjoyed it so much?
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2004
Ranma stood in the dojo, a makeshift patch visible behind him. He concentrated, and a ball of pure arrogance appeared in front of him. Sweating, he made it move down a foot. Then, concentrating harder than he had before, he floated upwards slightly.
"YES!!!!!! I DID IT!!!!"
Unfortunately, he was so enthused by his success he lost track of the chi.
"Oh my!" Kasumi looked with mild disapproval at the new hole in her living room.
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2005
Akane Tendo looked through the 'Help Wanted' section of the newspaper. School was out for the next week- Principle Kuno had redecorated the school with a Hawaiian theme (again) and had made the mistake of forgetting to bribe the school safety inspector who had been doing a surprise inspection that day. School was shut until Kuno could make the school passable again, leaving Akane with a lot of free time.
Too much free time. Most of her friends were busy, and she couldn't even hang out with Ranma, as he'd disappeared (again!) on a training trip. So, she reasoned, she should look for a job.
She ran her finger down the page. Shelf filler, security guard (that had some potential), Stunt Double, Snake Charmer...
With a start, she went back and looked at the ad for a stunt double. She had always loved any form of acting (as long as she played a female), and for a martial artist like her this was right up her alley. "Required," she read, "Ability to perform rolls, kicks, jump from fast moving objects (with harness)... this is easy stuff! I'm gonna call them."
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2005
In the dojo, the Tendo family had assembled, along with Genma and Nodoka. They were all sitting down, waiting patiently.
"What is that baka doing!?! I'm missing Heroes!"
Well, almost patiently.
Ranma walked into the dojo. "Sorry about that, I needed some hot water." Akane took a moment to notice how his muscles had gotten more defined since Mount Phoenix, and blushed. Nodoka noticed this, and resisted the temptation to shout 'MY SON IS SO MANLY' or 'GRANDBABIES!' "I just wanted to show you all this new technique."
The room was full of interested new faces. Genma, Soun and Akane as martial artists always interested in seeing new techniques. Nabiki, as a person with a business interest in seeing just what Ranma was capable of, for the purpose of calculating betting odds. Nodoka, as a loving mother. Kasumi... she just valued anything which broke up the monotony of cooking and cleaning.
"So, what is it?"
Ranma smirked. "I got this idea from Dragon Ball. I was watching that old guy, and I got this idea. Basically, you summon your chi, like when you form a battle aura. But instead of letting it out, you keep it in your body."
Akane rolled her eyes. "That's not a new trick. We all do that, to increase our strength." Genma and Soun nodded.
The pigtailed boy smirked. "Yeah, exactly. It increases strength. But, if you seal your third Chakra, reroute your third chi stream through your fourth chakra as a lens to your second, it does a whole lot more."
Genma frowned. "That would force it into a limited feedback loop. The second charka would stop it from getting too far, and it would remain under control..."
Ranma laughed. "Yup! Watch this!" Ranma tensed his muscles, and they grew. And grew. And grew.
Then his clothes split.
Then he gained a foot in height.
Then Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane passed out with bleeding noses.
Ranma blushed, and tried to cover his correspondingly greater nether regions. "Heh.. maybe it still needs some work."
"No, I think it's pretty good the way it is, Saotome," drooled one of the Tendo sisters. "Oh my! Did I just say that?"
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2005
Standing on the much repaired roof of the dojo, Ranma exhaled slowly. He cupped his hands, and let a tiny spark of chi grow. He opened his eyes, and grinned. He took off into the sky, flying like that guy Nathan from that show Akane loved.
On the roof of the dojo, where a tiny spark of chi still floated, Kasumi appeared. A plane in hand, she started to grind down the edges of the latest patch. The eldest Tendo daughter took a lot of pride in keeping the whole property clean- from the underside of the Shogi board her father seldom left, to the rooms of her sisters. That included the roof.
As she paused from her task, to see how well it was matching the other patches, she noticed a tiny blue glow. She swatted it absent mindedly.
Over a mile above, Ranma suddenly stopped flying.
And started falling.
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2005
'I'll make Ranma the best birthday present ever!' Akane thought happily to herself. Ranma's birthday was on the horizon, and she was determined to make sure she gave Ranma a present he would love.
Her first thought had been a cure for his curse- a fact slightly hampered by the fact that she couldn't find one. So, she went with her next idea- new clothes.
Now, it is a well known fact that guys don't get as excited over new clothes as women do. Akane knew this. But she had also seen the wince on his face each time he had to borrow money from Nabiki to buy more clothes after his had gotten destroyed in a fight. So Akane was determined to fix this problem.
She had amassed a pile of Chinese silk, in the same red and black as Ranma preferred. She had also managed to lay her hands on a stock of Kevlar. This, she reasoned, would provide the strength to stand up to anything that might get thrown at it.
She made a mental picture of what she was aiming for, and started cutting.
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2005
Surrounded by a faint blue glow, Ranma flew through the clouds. Arms outstretched in front of him, he laughed out loud. This was what he had been waiting for his whole life. The final goal of Anything-goes martial arts- true ariel combat. No need to jump around to gain air, just a little concentration, and woosh!
He closed his eyes, for a moment, then opened them in fear. A plane wing passed underneath him, blowing him away.
He panted for a moment. "Ok, need to pay attention."
Tendo Dojo, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2006
"Thanks mom," Ranma said, blushing, as he put away her birthday present to him- the Kama Sutra. Akane, unusually, was managing to restrain her impulse to mallet someone for being a pervert. Mostly because it was impolite to mallet a possible mother-in-law (not that she actually wanted to marry Ranma or anything).
Ranma put it in the pile, along with an expensive calculator (from Nabiki), a scroll of the Umisen-ken advanced techniques (from Genma), a huge basket of muffins (from Kasumi), a "Dummies Guide to Morxibustion" (from Soun), a pile of black roses (Kodachi), a basket of Okonomyiaki (Ukyo) and a book on hair styling techniques (from Shampoo, and Ranma was itching to find out what was in it) and grinned. "Man, this has to be the best birthday ever."
Akane blushed, and passed Ranma a box of her own. "Happy Birthday, Ranma."
Ranma looked nervous for a moment, hoping that she hadn't tried her had at cooking. With visible wariness, he opened the box, and pulled out a mass of red and black cloth.
He held it up, and it unfolded. It was a full-body suit. The basic colouring was black. There was a red knee length cape, a pair of red underwear sewed to the outside of where they normally would sit. On the chest was a black silhouette of a rearing horse, on a red diamond background. He stuck his other hand into the box, and pulled out a pair of red gloves, and a pair of red boots. His expression was unreadable.
Akane looked nervous. "I thought I'd make you something you could fight in, something that wouldn't get destroyed in a fight. It's made of Kevlar and Chinese silk." Ranma remained silent. "I even put some of my pancake mixture on it, so it would be even harder to rip." Still silence. Akane desperately groped around for an explanation. "The cape is for the Umisen-ken, and the whole body-covering thing is so that you can get splashed in a fight without changing!"
"And the underwear?" Asked Nabiki with a smirk.
"Umm... It was an accident." Akane blushed, and looked fearfully at her fiancé. He was going to hate it, she could tell.
"This..." he started slowly, "Has to be the BEST PRESENT EVER!!!" Dropping it, he swept her in his arms and kissed her soundly.
There was an instant before everyone realized what he was doing.
Genma, Soun and Nodoka cheered.
Kasumi gasped a pleased "Oh my."
Nabiki twitched in horror at the thought of finally having to pay out the 'Which fiancée will Ranma kiss first' bet.
Shampoo, Ukyo and Kodachi turned to stone.
Akane's thought track was stuck on 'HE LOVES ME HE LIKED IT THAT PERVERT IS KISSING ME HE LOVES ME HE LIKED IT THAT PERVERT IS KISSING ME HE LOVES ME HE LIKED IT THAT PERVERT IS KISSING ME"
Ranma pulled away and blushed so hard his cheeks were bruising.
"I'msorrydonthitmeitwasanaccident" he babbled.
Akane touched a finger to her lips. That had been everything she'd imagined in the dark, perverted recesses of her mind that she tried to keep buried.
"That must have been quite a present," Nabiki drawled, the first to regain coherency.
Ranma looked grateful for the distraction from what he'd just done. "It was the best! I don't know how the tomboy knew, but she has to be the smartest person ever!"
Akane blushed again. It was getting to the point where she had transcended red and reached purple, on the way towards black.
"Look!" Ranma held it up again. "It's made of Akane's pancake- do you remember eating that?"
There was a collective shudder as they remembered. "It was impossible to rip, and it stretched like nothing else. Everything bounces of Kevlar, and silk is nice and comfy. But look! Doesn't it remind you of something!?!"
They all took a moment to look it over. The suit stood there, the emblem proudly at the front, the cape waving at the back. With the underwear on the outside... "Superman." Genma whispered.
Ranma smiled shyly. "Yeah, pop. With this..."
Akane finally remembered how to speak. "WildHorse... The defender of the weak." There was a pause. "RANMA NO BAKA!!! YOU KISSED ME!!! YOU PERVERT!!!"
That scream brought two fiancée's (and a girl who thought she was one) out of their petrifaction.
"ARIEN SHOULD KISS SHAMPOO!"
"RANCHAN YOU JACKASS!"
"TASTE THE REVENGE OF THE BLACK ROSE!"
Tokyo International AirportOta Ward, Tokyo, Japan 2006
"Come on, Tomboy!" Ranma yelled, carrying a dozen bags. A mallet hit him from behind.
"Shut up, I'm coming!" Akane yelled, back, carrying slightly less bags.
Behind them, the whole Nerima, along with their families, were waving goodbye. Shampoo and Ukyo were both deeply upset with Ranma leaving without them, and with Akane, but neither was able to come. Ukyo still had a shop to run, and Shampoo couldn't get a visa. Both had promised to follow as soon as they could.
Soun, crying, grabbed his daughter in a hug. "Waahhhh! My daughter is leaving!"
"Daa-aad!" Akane protested, also crying. "It's for my job- all the best opportunities are in Metropolis."
Genma shook his son's hand, before Nodoka shoved him out of the way and hugged him. "Wahhh! My son is so manly! He's going to seduce his fiancée without her father getting in the way."
Ranma waved his arms in protest, as the other fiancée's got dark looks on their faces. "It's not like that- I'm just gonna be training the security staff at Star Labs."
"Well, in any case, we'll miss you," Genma said. "Look after yourself, boy."
"Hey, Nabiki, Kasumi," Ranma walked over to his potential sisters-in-law. "You remember what we talked about, ok?"
"We'll be fine," Nabiki assured him.
Next to her, Kasumi nodded. "You are being very considerate Ranma-san, but we have our fathers. We're nice and safe."
"Well, ok. Bye. I'll miss you both."
"RANMA!! THE PLANE IS LEAVING!!" Akane yelled.
"Now boarding- flight 209 to Metropolis. Now boarding."
"Shit!" The two left their friends and family behind as they ran onto the plane, to start their new lives.
As they sat down in their seats, Akane sighed. "I'm going to miss the craziness of Nerima."
Ranma looked out the window, at the airport. "I guess we're growing up. Leaving home, starting a new life in a new place. Making new friends." He turned back to Akane and smirked. "I can make one promise though."
"It's not gonna be boring!" He laughed. "And I wouldn't have it any other way!"
16 hours later:
Akane looked at the terrorists waving guns around the plane, and groaned. Of all the times for Ranma to go to the bathroom.
If Ranma is looking overpowered- he isn't. Sure, he's got a power boost. But that will put him on an even footing with his enemies.
I've been trying to work up the courage to write this story for over a year and a half. The scale of it daunted me, but now I've got my plans all laid out. This story will feature shorter chapters, about 4k words.
If anyone's interested in being a prereader, I could really use one. PM me if you're interested.
Continuality: Batman: The animated series (not The Batman). All the animated movies happened, except for Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker happened (at least the flashback portions), except that Barbra got shot.
Most of Justice League happened. The episodes 'Justice for All' didn't, so there never was any Doomsday or the Justice Lords. Justice League Unlimited didn't happen- the league was destroyed during the opening speech from the first episode.
Static Shock happened, as did all crossovers between it, Batman and Justice League.
Teen Titans happened, up to the end of season 4 (where Raven killed Trigon). The following season about the Brotherhood of Evil never happened, and none of the heroes introduced in it ever existed.
Tim Drake was the Teen Titans Robin, and he alternated between Jump City and Gotham.
Batman Beyond- well, Bruce is dead. How that will turn out, wait and see...