A Ranma ½ Alternate Histories Company Presents:

Robin 1 / 2

- - - -

By Felix Webster (Felix Warstar)

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Issue #10

- Girls Coming Out -

"Bruce, what is this I hear about Ranma's sister finally coming?" Susan Dayer said as she walked into the lounge where Alfred had told her Bruce was. "I thought I handled travel arrangements for you… oh, hello." She stopped in her tracks as she came almost face to face with a red haired Asian girl.

"I tend to do my own travelling," Ranma-chan said as she stepped back and returned to the chair she had gotten out of.

"Susan, meet Ranko Saotome, Ranko this is Ms. Dayer," Bruce said with ease as he got up to be a proper gentleman and meet up with the blonde woman.

Ranma-chan smiled at the woman and got a calculating look in return as if the woman had encountered something questionable and was still trying to decide if it tasted bad or not. Susan moved to the chair that Bruce led her to and sat down never taking her eyes off the teenage girl. Frowning she pulled out several catalogues from her soft briefcase and got snippy, "When I started to handle your social affairs I expected I would be kept in the loop when it came to things social but I had to hear about this from Nodoka Tendo."

"She is my Mother so she kind of has dibs on knowing my coming and goings," Ranma-chan said with a weak smile not sure what she did so wrong to annoy this woman.

"Yes, she is isn't she…" Susan replied narrowing her eyes at Ranma-chan then looked professionally up at Bruce who had gone to the side table to get her some coffee. "She also mentioned a coming out party that needs to be arranged."

"Her idea, not mine," Ranma-chan rolled her eyes.

"Susan, Ranko isn't really into this society aspect of living with me so could we move around it?" Bruce asked as if he wasn't up on all of Gotham society's unwritten rules. "And she's at school most of the time so she isn't even here all that much at that…"

"A school I know nothing about," Susan grumbled then shook it off as she turned serious, "No we can't just 'move around it', we can't do anything but to start planning the event. With No Nonsense Nodoka involved we haven't got a choice… no offence meant to your Mother."

"She's a little much I know, hence the reason I'm not living there," Ranma-chan replied with a sad knowing smile. She and her Mother had argued that again after proving the curse to her, Kasumi, and Sakura. Her little sister thought it was the most amazing thing and tried the mist canister on herself several times in hopes she'd change into a boy until Nodoka took it away from her. "Also it's a crowded place, what with four girls already in that house."

Susan still didn't warm up to the girl and it bothered Ranma-chan, she was feeling that Susan thought of her as a rival is some way. Susan handed over the slick books first to Bruce and then to Ranma-chan showing they were high fashion magazines and ordering books, "If that woman wasn't a Naturalized Citizen I'm sure she'd worm her way into the G.W.R., then my life would be twice as hard."

"G.W.R.?" Ranma-chan blinked.

"Gotham's Women of the Revolution," Bruce explained frowning at one of the books. "Gotham's splinter group of the D.A.R., Daughters of the American Revolution. A socialite group."

"And my Mother can't join 'cause our family didn't participate in this Revolution?" Ranma-chan reasoned out not too surprised when Susan nodded.

"She could if she married a son of one of the members," Bruce added earning him a frown from Susan.

"She could but she's married to Soun Tendo so that's not in the cards." Susan smiled at that. She turned serious once more as she pulled out a pda and started making notes, "So, I think that setting it up for two weeks from now should work, that's right between the G.W.R's winter charity and the Gotham Chamber of Commerce's fashion event, giving enough time for RSVPs and such…"

"It needs to be for four girls," Ranma-chan spoke up causing both Susan and Bruce to look at her. "Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane Tendo need to be a part of this too. It can be a coming out party for more than one girl right?"

Susan blinked in confusion, "Well, yes of course there will be more than just you, but the Tendo sisters? They aren't really from a family that…"

"They are the same family as I am, and since Soun Tendo is running for Mayor it would only be proper to have the girl set in the coming out party too," Ranma-chan stated in a firm 'come on challenge me' tone.

"I think Ranko has something there," Bruce smiled adding his voice to the conversation again. "Soun Tendo has been a part of Gotham society since I helped him get onto the city council, his daughters have a right to be a part of it too. besides I'd bet it might even cause Nodoka some stress as she isn't very happy with the girls about the charity event here where they showed up put her right off."

"Well.. if you say so Bruce," Susan sighed in defeat, he did pay the bills after all.

- - - -

"So… why did you call me out here, Richard?" Kasumi asked across the table in the corner of a quiet café as she straightened her white mid length skirt that went well with the blue sweater Nabiki picked out earlier for her.

Dick Grayson sat back looking at the other teen a little nervous, he had come dressed in black chinos and a buttoned up black shirt covered by a thin black leather jacket. He shook his head to get some sense back into him as the question finally registered, "Well, we haven't talked in a long time…"

"That was your choice Richard." Kasumi cut him off but didn't sound all that annoyed.

"I'm not saying it wasn't…" Dick replied quickly, "But that was only because your parents, your stepmother mostly, were starting to push us getting together in a marriage sort of way… we were only fifteen for heaven's sake!"

"We could have ignored them, I try to often with Nodoka." Kasumi frowned.

"Look, that's all in the past," Dick said as calmly as possible trying not to think about his recently failed marriage. "I called because I heard through Ranma that you might be interested in catching up… I know I am."

"You're still going to University in New York?" Kasumi changed the subject feeling uncomfortable in her chair now. "Why not Gotham U?"

"I needed to get away from Gotham for a while," Dick looked away not wanting to think about his other reasons that had ended when the Titans did. "Most of those reasons are gone and I'm thinking of coming back."

"I don't see why, Batman has a new partner so Nightwing isn't really that needed here." Kasumi said straight faced causing Dick to spurt out his coffee in shock.

"Wha..?" Dick looked around thankful that the café was basically empty and that sound didn't carry from the booths. "What are you talking about? A guy could get hurt joking like that!"

"Oh pleeeease," Kasumi rolled her eyes. "We were almost inseparable once, except for the times you'd excuse yourself right before Robin would show up. Then there were the times you'd show up with all kinds of bumps and bruises that anyone who knew any real martial arts could tell was from fighting. Hell, Richard, you learned to fight from my Father! I recognized the style when Robin saved me those few times! There aren't that many people out there who know the real Tendo school of Anything Goes!"

"Ah.. Ah, keep your voice down," Dick motioned his hands lower over the table as he looked around again. "This isn't the place…"

"Relax, nobody is able to hear us," Kasumi stated as she held up a small device that Dick recognized as a small field generator that created a bubble of sound dampening. "Nabiki found it broken and wanted to see if she could fix it." Kasumi put the device away and then looked at Dick over her steepled fingers, "Now say what you want to say."

"Kasumi…" Dick was trying to think his way out of this.

"Oh for heaven's sake Richard! I just told you I know you were Robin, that you are Nightwing. I know my new stepbrother is the current Robin, both Robins! I know that my sister is Spoiler as I helped talk her into doing that because I couldn't! How much more do you want me to say?"

"Ouch." Dick Grayson said to himself thinking that Ranma had been right about the level of secrecy they thought they had, or lack of such.

"Move back or don't move back, it doesn't really matter. New York isn't on Gotham's level but it has it's own problems since the Titans are gone." Kasumi turned cold again.

"Do your sisters…"

"No, not that I know of. They weren't as close to you and Akane thinks your skills came from Batman, who uses a sister school," Kasumi sipped her coffee after sitting back. "But both Akane and Nabiki know about Ranma so I don't know how long before…"

"It won't be a big problem if Akane takes on the Batgirl mantle," Dick said as he stopped trying to worm out of this. "We wouldn't hide who we were to a member that close… but Batman isn't going to be too pleased about you knowing…"

"His tough luck," Kasumi stated not intimidated by the unsaid threat. "If he wants I can start making suggestions as to who he is too. Right now I don't care about that."

"What do you want?" Dick was starting to think this was going to turn into blackmail, even if that was the farthest thing he'd ever expect for Kasumi, but who knew what she was capable of now after her family had been attacked.

"Nothing!" Kasumi replied looking insulted then calmed down. "Nothing. If you come back to Gotham look me up and I'll try to fit you in between my pre-med classes. I don't care what you do at night." She got up and walked out of the café leaving Dick very confused.

"The true terror of the Tendo tribe." Dick sighed as he also got up and went to pay the bill.

- - - -

"She didn't?" Robin-chan exclaimed trying not to laugh, well giggle really. She hated giggling. She leaned against a wall fully set for the night inside the Clocktower waiting for Nightwing to finish getting ready.

"She did!" Nightwing replied as he loaded his gear from a collection he stored there. "She out right said she knew who I was, and how she knew, then warned she could figure out who Batman was too."

"It's not a hard connection, knowing both of us," Robin-chan shrugged unconcerned. "It's too big of a coincidence us both being a Ward of Bruce, and us having both having worn this costume identity."

"Maybe you going to live with the Tendos isn't such a bad idea after all." Nightwing said finishing and coming over to his partner of the night.

"Bite your tongue!" Robin-chan exclaimed wide eyed. "My mother might know about my curse but that only makes things worse! Now she wants a good daughter as well as a manly son. She even suggested I take Akane to a hotel for the weekend, and when I balked she suggested Nabiki or both! If I lived there she'd be on us to 'have some manly fun' all the time!"

"Then of course there is the fact Soun Tendo might be Mayor soon," Barbra added as she wheeled in having finished whatever she had been doing behind closed doors. She accepted a kiss on the cheek from Nightwing with a small smile before continuing. "Trust me, Akane is going to have a hard enough time getting out while her parents are in the public light."

"Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane are planning to stay living at the Tendo home if Soun becomes Mayor," Robin-chan explained as she took a look at some of the Nightwing collection. "Only Sakura is moving with the parents. Should make things easier."

"Still going with getting Akane ready to become Batgirl?" Nightwing asked Barbra sounding unsure about the idea.

"It's my choice." Barbra reminded her old friend in a hard tone. "In a month or two, yes I am. She fought Killer Croc with Robin and didn't get anywhere near as hurt as we use to, that says a lot."

"Like we shouldn't have been fighting creatures like Croc at that age?" Nightwing suggested with humour in his voice.

"I'll admit that being the daughter of the Police Commissioner and trying to cover up serious black eyes wasn't a good mix, but I loved those days." Barbra said as she looked at her wheelchair frowning.

"She'll do great." Robin-chan came up and hugged the older girl. "I'll make sure of that."

- - - -

Robin-chan looked at the warehouse with a feeling of deju vu. The place looked much the same as the last one, and they were hunting the same people… sort of. This time it wasn't the Penguin they wanted but the other two. Thankfully it was a warm night for the season this time.

"Are they in there?" Spoiler asked as she came up beside the redhead and looked down.

"According to Oracle there is a shipment coming in and where that is they will be too." Nightwing offered from behind watching the purple clad girl carefully. He was starting to see why Kasumi said what she said, Robin's subtle movements were much like Batman's, his were more like Spoiler's… he had problems with the two schools of the same style having such differences. And that he should have learned the Saotome style instead.

"So the three of us go in and kick heads?" Spoiler seemed very eager get started.

"Not until we confirm that the shipment is illegal in some way, else we're the ones breaking the law." Nightwing said as he moved to the edge and fired a line. "That's my job first while you two sneak up and listen in case they give us a hint into what they're really up to."

"Right." Robin-chan replied then Nightwing was gone.

A few minutes later both Robin-chan and Spoiler were creeping behind boxes and large containers until they could hear a group having an argument of some kind, most of it in Japanese.

I don't see the problem! We are alike! the Black Rose yelled at someone who the pair couldn't see yet. You have said that many times!

Alike, yes. The same, no. Ohhohohoho! the female voice replied sending shivers down everyone's back. The Black Rose might be crazy but this voice was like Arkham verses just seeing a psychiatrist. The Black Rose was out of her league.

Emulation is the height of praise sister, even your demented mind should be able to understand that. a male voice advised sounding incredibly arrogant.

Exactly! The masked voice of her partner samurai, they figured was Trent, said in relief.

Don't be so happy about it yet, friend. The Japanese male voice warned making the word friend sound dirty in a soiled way. You have dressed yourself up as a samurai in what? A mockery of me?

Mockery? No! Of course not! the masked samurai replied in surprise. I'm just following your suggestion!

I suggested you take on a mantle from the past in your own family not make fun of my heritage! Were there not knights in your past, nor at least… what did the French call those men with the thin swords?

Musketeers brother dear. the female Japanese voice answered and then the male yelped. Demented am I?

Musk..musketeers, right the male sounded in pain. The voice sounded stronger a moment later, If you wish to continue our venture together you will change… who is that?

Everyone turned to what the male was referring to and saw Nightwing flying over a box from being hit. Robin-chan looked to Spoiler and nodded towards the group, "We'd better go help."

Both teens ran out with Robin-chan throwing a corded Batarang in her personal shape to wrap what the Black Rose pulled out to throw at Nightwing. The Black Rose spun in shock, "Ohhohohoho, look at what has fallen from our dirty roof."

What hit Nightwing came over the top and moved into a ready pose, thankfully it was only a big costumed thug and nothing really dangerous. Robin-chan left the big guy to Nightwing, who was already up, and focused on her target. Unfortunately there was only the two, the Japanese pair seemingly gone, "Cute Kimmy. Where'd your friends go? Drive them away with that mouth of yours?"

"Kimmy?" The Black Rose repeated a little confused then shocked. "How dare you!" pulling out a blue ball she tried to throw it at her enemy but it blew up in her hand as a small another R-rang hit it. "Ah!"

"Ain't going to get me that way this time!" Robin-chan taunted as she stood over the prone girl and grabbed an swiped hand to break the nails off causing pain, "And no claws either!"

A swift punch to the girl's face and Robin-chan left the leotard girl unconscious covered in a restraining goop to find Spoiler.

Spoiler was enjoying herself. The samurai wasn't really fighting at what he could, probably something about fighting a girl, and she was ducking his swings or jumping his cuts easily. "What? Can't fight a girl? Come on give it some effort!"

"I doubt you mean that, you seem very happy as is." The samurai retorted as he kept his pattern up not letting onto his plans. He was surprised she was just try to fight him out right without using the odd equipment all these vigilantes always carried. "Why should I ruin that?"

"You know, Trent, you can be almost charming when you're like this." Spoiler said moving under another swing not noticing the blade cut the box behind her.

"You know me?" the samurai faltered for a moment in shock but kept his motions up. "We know each other…?"

"Spoiler! He's cut all the boxes around you, if you try to use any to avoid him they'll break and he's got you! He's been playing you!" Robin-chan shouted from a near by cargo crate watching and waiting for the other girl to figure that out. "Use the gear!"

"I think not." The samurai said as Spoiler looked at the boxes around her and swung to cut the obvious belt so it fell to the ground and then hooked it with his blade tip to drag back to him.

"What?" Spoiler turned back and missed catching her belt. Then moved her back against one of the boxes feeling it moves in bad ways.

"I see your friend is being honourable to allow this to remain a one on one fight." The samurai smirked his featureless face moving in odd ways as he pointed the blade at Spoiler.

"Catch!" Robin-chan tossed Spoiler a short metal tube which extended as soon as the purple clad girl caught it.

Spoiler spun the metal staff before it finished extending and knocked away the katana using the bottom end to slam into the samurai's temple sending him flying to slump in a heap. Robin-chan hopped down and took the staff back while Spoiler hit the body with a handed goop capsule. Spoiler looked back at her friend a little surprised, "I thought it would be tougher than that… I mean that wasn't anything."

"You caught them by surprise, just like that goon caught me," Nightwing stated as he came up dropping another henchman to the ground unconscious.

"But two got away." Robin-chan complained as she started checking where the Keanu were standing before finding two small disks with crystals on the top surface. "If they were even here in the first place…"

"We'll check that back at the Clocktower." Nightwing said as he fired a line out. "I've already contacted the police."

"Did I screw up not noticing what he was doing? Was I enjoying myself too much?" Spoiler asked as she moved back to waiting car.

"No, not really. I'd have missed it if I wasn't outside the fight. I enjoy the fight too you know." Robin-chan replied as if it was nothing. "It's a learning experience."

"I wonder who the two from Japan were?" Spoiler said to herself as Robin-chan drove the car.

"Don't know. I'm not really sure I want to know. That girl sounded crazier that Kimberly," Robin-chan shuddered.

- - - -

"I can't believe you are buying us another dress… I'm not complaining of course, just surprised." Nabiki said as she modeled another dress for the very male looking Ranma, she kept choosing racy designs and he gave honest opinions. The girls working the shop were ranging from impressed, that Ranma had an kind of eye for that and could control his male hormones, to disturbed, hoping he wasn't gay.

"I have the money why not use it." Ranma shrugged and watched Akane come out in a pale yellow sweeping length dress with a bare back and strapless top. "Better Akane, but maybe not yellow. It's a good colour on you but not for this, we what to sort of match. Blue in normal, dark, or midnight shades would be better."

"I guess…" Akane frowned as she really like yellow.

"We have that design in a glossy midnight blue." one of the service girls said being helpful.

"Then it will more than do, wrap both of them up." Ranma smiled and Akane relaxed. She now only needed accessories. "I like the dark on us for this, sort of reversing the tradition of light dress normally worn showing we may be willing to do this but playing by our own rules."

"It'll drive Nodoka batty." Kasumi said in total seriousness as she came out in an off the shoulder dress that only dropped to her ankles in the suggested midnight blue colour. Ranma blinked at the reference but pushed it aside.

"Hey, I'm all for that." Akane smiled evilly and went with the girl to see the blue version.

"You have a very generous boyfriend…" The salesgirl commented to Akane as she was led the girl off.

"Oh, he's not my boyfriend." Akane replied blushing a little. "He's our step-brother."

"Step-brother?" The girl looked bewildered. "This isn't the actions of any brothers, step or otherwise, this is what good boyfriends do for their girlfriends. And being a step-brother just makes it legal to date him."

"Why aren't you trying on dresses?" Nabiki asked Ranma forgetting the salesgirls still nearby for a moment then covered her mouth. "…I mean why isn't your sister trying on dresses?"

"She has her dress already." Ranma leaned back not bothered by the slip. "Actually she has dresses for each of you already."

"What? Then why are we here?" Kasumi asked confused, a look mirrored by Nabiki.

"Half the fun of these things is the shopping, so we shop." Ranma smiled back.

"Are you sure you aren't really a girl?" Nabiki gave Ranma a suspicious look over. "You sound like you have the soul of one."

"What kind of dresses?" Kasumi asked trying to avoid Ranma getting a chance to get angry.

Ranma actually wasn't bothered by Nabiki's comment but didn't let on one way or the other. He stretched for a moment before answering, "Chinese long dresses, remember those measurements I asked for? I sent them to a friend in China and he sent me the dresses as ordered. I got them this morning."

"Will they be proper for this kind of event?" Akane asked having caught most of the conversation as she came back from looking at the other dress before the two were sent to be wrapped up.

"Probably not, but that's the other half of the fun." Ranma smirked. "Just bring the dresses we buy here with you so nobody gets wise about it. Bruce knows already and actually laughed at the idea of all the reactions it'll get, he's convinced it'll go over great. Gotham Society loves those who push at the rules, as long as they have the strength of personality to pull it off. I truly believe we all have that in us."

"I'm for it." Nabiki smiled and got a nod from both Kasumi and Akane.

- - - -

"I don't like it." Nodoka fumed standing with her husband, Bruce Wayne, and Dick Grayson. "I should be in there with them."

"I don't see why," Soun commented calmly sipping his martini. "We know from experience that Ranma has an incredible talent for makeup. Kasumi is very good at it as well."

"I'm their mot.. I'm Ranko's Mother and the other's Step-mother I have a right!" Nodoka complained then the frown got longer as Susan Dayer came over to them also looking frustrated. "What? You too?"

"Yes." Susan frowned.

"You could go help the other girls…" Soun suggested and got pair of nasty glares.

"I'm surprised that the G.W.R. got involved in this too," Dick looked around the hall at all the other people milling around as it was at least an hour before the event. He, like Bruce and Soon, was dressed in full tux as they were acting as escorts. The girls could either come down with their Fathers, indicating they were available, or with a male friend who could be their boyfriend saying they weren't available at the moment.

"It had to be a full event, so we set up the seasons coming out party with this one." Susan explained as she was actually in the G.W.R. and was proud to have planned this.

"Did they at least tell you why they aren't changing with the other girls?" Nodoka ignored the current conversation getting it back to focusing on the obstinate girls. "It isn't some segregation is it and no one is tell me? I wouldn't put it past the G.W.…"

"It was their own choice," Susan cut the woman off miffed, "Or at least Ranko's choice. That girl is as rash and direct as her hair colour suggests… I've never seen a natural Japanese red head before."

"Unusual heritage…" Nodoka said quickly unconsciously touching her own auburn hair that was lightening with age. "We don't talk about it in our family…"

"I'm sure." Susan said under her breath then spoke up her concerns. "If it wasn't for the fact we inspected their dresses before they went to change I'd suspect they were up to something…"

"I'm sure you would." Bruce commented drawing off the two women's eyes from Dick, who was trying not to laugh.

- - - -

"Thank you Stephanie, that is a beautiful dress." Susan stated into her microphone as a blonde girl moved off so the next girls could come down. This was Stephanie's third coming out party since turning sixteen, the poor girl kept trying to find mister right from her escorts. "Next up are the four girls that helped form this event. They have requested to come down as a group as they are sisters of a fashion. First we have Kasumi Tendo, with her escort Richard Grayson, and then both Nabiki and Akane Tendo with their father, Councilman Soun Tendo, then finally Ranko Saotome with her escort Bruce Wayne…" Susan finished then looked up at the girls coming down felt a headache coming on. Away from the microphone she said quietly, "Of course they would do this. At least they dresses alike…"

Walking down first was Kasumi wearing an ankle length Chinese dress eggshell white with purple edging and ties, it was sleeveless but Kasumi had on white silk gloves that covered over her biceps and ended at her wrists edged top and bottom in purple. Low eggshell heels covered her feet, and the whole effect looked elegant. Her hair was pulled up in a bun behind her head in another white silk tied with purple silk strips.

Nabiki and Akane were next, one on each arm of their Father, in similar dresses except the edgings were gold for Nabiki and dark blue for Akane. Ranko came down last in the same dress as well, hers edged in fiery red, her long hair in a bun at the back covered like Kasumi's. The crowd, except for Nodoka and Susan, seemed to love it. There was no makeup tattoos this time as the idea wouldn't be have fit with the event nor the dresses but each girl's facial makeup looked incredible making each girl stand out even more beautiful than they already were.

After the initial walk down there was dancing, the girls had a required dance with their escort, of which Akane went second with her father, Bruce had Ranko out on the dance floor where quiet conversations were not intruded on by other dancers.

"Nice dress," Bruce smiled as he led his Ward along the steps. "I'm sure the four of you are going to be in the society papers by tomorrow."

"I noticed Susan is trying to hide some pretty extreme annoyance, did little old me cause that?" Ranko said trying not to giggle. "I think she's jealous of me…"

"She thinks you're trying to get me. Trying to be more than my Ward." Bruce replied keeping his smile on his face out of practice. "She sees you as a threat, especially since she can't keep track of your movements."

"That could be a problem…" Ranko said to herself, she might enjoy tweaking Susan's whiskers so to speak but if it caused too much trouble that would be bad for Bruce. "Maybe I should come out as a lesbian quickly, like in a couple of weeks, to ease her concerns… or I could do it tonight if needed."

"That's your choice, but I'd suggest wait a bit. I don't mind Susan having to be concerned for a while, she's got a few ideas I'd like to dissuade her of first." Bruce moved Ranko through the steps not bothered by the conversation as they had discussed the matter before. "She is good at her job so I'd hate to have to get someone else to handle my social matters."

"I'll try not to pick on her too much, though I think her coming in with me sitting on your lap would do wonders to her facial colourations." Ranko smirked evilly and Bruce looked at her strange.

"Are you sure you're not effected by your change mentally? That doesn't sound like something that would come out of a boy's mouth." Bruce asked as concern came into his eyes.

"I'm not sure if there isn't, the elders say there isn't any effects like that but I know what you mean." Ranko replied concern in her eyes as well. "But it's a conversation for another time. As to my suggestion I'm willing to do a few things girly to get under the skin of people who deserve it. She made a pass at Ranma the other day. Thankfully not a serious one so call it flirting."

"I'd hate to lose her." Bruce looked off towards where Susan was sitting as a frown fought at his control.

Later, after the dances the girls, sans Kasumi who was still dancing with Dick, had some punch and stood talking off to one side. Akane looked down at herself smiling, "I still say the other dress was better but I loved the looks we got coming down as sisters."

"Bite you tongue." Nabiki countered causing confused looks from both Akane and Ranko. "This dress suits me much better, you can't see my scars and I love the gold edging."

"Kasumi's enjoying herself." Ranko directed their attention to the elder Tendo daughter on her third dance with Dick Grayson. "I kind of like seeing that, even though I haven't known her that long it just seems like she deserves a bit of nice in her life."

"We all do." Nabiki said sounding a little jealous.

"I'm fairly happy with the fun I'm having right now." Ranko smirked as she sipped her drink. "I came to Gotham after losing a father, I found a mentor, a mother, step-father, four sisters, and most of them friends. Things have picked up since coming here."

"For us too." Akane smiled at the red head mirrored by Nabiki as she took her attention off of her older sister.

"Yeah, it's just too bad that Ranma couldn't be here so we could have someone to dance with." Nabiki said not sounding too disappointed.

"I figured you would prefer someone more my style?" Ranko said playfully.

"I could go either way." Nabiki smirked at the red head.

"Oh pleeease! You only ever mention that Ranma is handsome, but you've been hot for Ranko's body since you met her." Akane rolled her eyes at the pair. "How about this, I get Ranma and you get Ranko? It would be like sharing."

"Akane?" Nabiki blinked at her sister in surprise not believing what she just heard.

"I'm the same person Akane…" Ranko protested blushing.

"Like heck you are." Akane turned on the red headed girl. "There is a difference. No one who met your two halves would ever mistake you two for the other by personality alone."

"Though Ranma is more you than the other way around." Nabiki added in agreement with her sister. The look of fear in Ranko's eyes caused Nabiki to have to try and explain. "Ranma is so very comfortable with his manhood that he's not worried if he acts a little more knowledgeable about things female. That's a very attractive thing in a man, and no one would never mistake his sexuality because of that as he's way too much of a stud."

"And you are not as comfortable with being a girl." Akane added nodding at Nabiki's explanation. "Everyone can see that you're a girl, not just by your body, but it's fairly obvious that you want to be more than that. Nobody who got to know you would be shocked that you turned out to be a lesbian. That's the difference in personality between the two of you."

"Don't worry so much about it, we don't, and it'll help keep your secret too." Nabiki gave to girl a light one armed hug.

"I was just talking about this with Bruce too." Ranko tried to hide her worry as it wasn't the time for it.

"Excuse me…" A young blonde teen about their age came up to Ranko with a practice smile. "I was wondering if you'd care to dance?"

"Ah…" Ranko reacted as if surprised for a moment forgetting she'd get a few offers then a smile came into her eyes as she grabbed Nabiki's hand, giving the boy an apologetic head tilt, "Sorry but I owe this dance to my girlfriend."

"Oh my, so sudden." Nabiki said playfully as she was led out on the floor.

"I believe I was just brushed off." The boy said blinking in surprise as he watched the pair go.

"Don't feel too bad, she's not into guys." Akane said beside him sounding sorry for the boy.

"Oh, I realized that but I figured she was trying to keep up appearances like most of us others." The boy replied with a shrug. "We try not to be very public about it at functions like this, it embarrasses the parents…"

"Oh…" Akane looked at the boy sideways then a smile came to her face. "So if we danced my boyfriend wouldn't have anything to worry about?"

"Not unless he's good looking." The boy smiled back and then offered a hand to take Akane out on the floor.

"He is, oh he most definitely is." Akane took the hand and went to go dance.

- - - -

"So you went with coming out in more than one way?" Bruce relaxed in his large chair hours later.

"I made it known I danced with Nabiki for shock value, I danced with William Jerryson a couple of times after… and a few of his friends. Nice guy, thankfully he isn't into girls." Ranko corrected quickly as she flopped into another chair, her dress gone and her casual China silks in it's place. "The society writer had fun with the action, said it showed spunk that seems to be missing in Gotham's society members in my age group. It seems there are more than enough of the over the top types but most of those are doing it in a harmful way and not in a victimless fun way."

"They think they're just having harmless fun but they lost the concept of what that is unless it shocks people or tops each other." Dick shrugged as he removed his coat and sat down too. "Your actions were in the same way but didn't come across slutty, like not making out with Nabiki in a corner after the dance… trust me I saw two different couples doing that tonight probably just to embarrass their parents."

The three sat for a moment in quiet suddenly thinking about parents now gone. Ranko may have only lost one but that didn't matter. Finally shaking it off the three stood up and left the room with their own destinations in mind. Bruce went for the cave to check on the night's events, Dick went to get a light snack from the supplies that Alfred always had waiting just in case his charges got hungry after he was done for the night. Ranko went to the room that Bruce kept the downstairs television to watch the late night news. She had only just turned it on when the news story got to the release of Trent and Kimberly Keanu, with no charges, after being found in a warehouse the night before restrained along with numerous known henchmen. The reporter went on to explain that the pair, with witnesses, were kidnapped earlier in the evening and claim that they awoke in two very silly costumes covered in a restrictive goop.

"What the?" Ranko exclaimed in shock then bolted for the entrance of the Batcave. She took the steps as if they weren't even there and was coming up behind Bruce fast until she noticed that he had the police file up on the big screen. "Bruce…"

"I know." Bruce said without turning around, his voice tight with annoyance. "Their witnesses are fairly reputable, and Kimberly Keanu has alibis for the other appearances of the Black Rose."

"Damn it all!" Ranko snapped and threw herself into the other chair in a snit. "They prepared in case we caught them! That explains why it was so easy to bring them down! I knew it seemed too easy… we, I was set up to give them an out…"

"Don't get down on yourself, Dick said you and Akane did good out there." Bruce tried to comfort the girl with words as he ran his hands over the keyboard. "Things like this sometimes happen… it's one of the reasons I keep fighting the same crazy psychos so often."

"I know." Ranko sighed forcing herself out of her depression and anger as neither was helpful. "Doesn't mean I can't get bitchy about that."

- - - -

AN: Here we are at number 10. I realized the mistake in Mister Miracle's little buddy's name after I posted it but I thank those who let me know about it, without flaming me, and it has been fixed as I post this (as well as the scares/scars issue). I am choosing to post the Robin 1 / 2 Annual #1 separately so it has it's own area when I get to the next ones. Hope you still enjoy this story, even if it is a little long and lacking in typical comic book action.