Edit - Hopefully the format issues should be fixed, seriously thanks Fanfiction dot net for having the worst story filters.
X x x x x x
Chelsea woke before her alarm clock and before her bed partner. Shifting underneath the covers, she didn't often sleep in the nude, but after the activities of last night, there hadn't been any time or desire to put on anything. Looking at the back of Ranma's head, her eyes roamed down his back, tracing the rosette spots that continued down underneath the sheet draped over his waist.
Sliding over, she propped herself on an elbow and ran a hand through his hair. "Hey, better get up, it's still a school day." Gently prodding at his spots, Ranma soon responded.
"School should die." He mumbled and rolled over enough to fall off the bed, dragging most of the blankets with him.
"Agreed." She untangled herself and slid over to sit on the edge of the bed. "There's a shower downstairs you can use, it's in my dad's room, just don't clog the drain." Stretching herself out, she decided that she may be late for class today because she was too sore. Remembering her modesty, she pulled some of the blankets away from Ranma to cover herself.
Unlike what some students believed, she did not simply go sleeping around, and last night had been her first time. Judging by how sloppy and uncoordinated both of them had been, Ranma was also just as inexperienced. He was enthusiastic though and there had been something wildly attractive about him. Humming to herself, she dropped the sheet as she sauntered into her bathroom, and pressed the heat selection on the shower to get the water to the right temperature before stepping in.
'Can't skip school, dad's going to spaz enough over me getting spliced.' Honestly she was surprised he didn't see that charge to her account yet and called to yell at her.
X x x x x x
With his clothes in hand, Ranma staggered down the steps to the first floor while grumbling about having to go to school. Yawning loudly, he automatically picked out the second strongest scent from Chelsea's, assuming that it was her father, and followed it to a luxurious room. In the back there was a huge bathroom with both a shower and a large bath with spa jets.
"I don't know if I want a house like this or if I would hate it for making me soft." He shook his head and turned on the shower. Checking the drawers underneath a double sink with a large mirror on the wall behind it, he found a blow dryer, and many other items he associated with girls having. 'Must be Chelsea's mom's stuff.'
By the time he was done grooming himself and getting dressed, Chelsea had been done for some time, and was eating cereal at an island counter in the kitchen while watching the net. 'Awkward.' He thought, taking a seat across from her.
"So." He started.
"So." She did the same, setting down her spoon with a soft clink, and they sat in silence.
"What now?" He finally spoke up.
"How should I know?"
"Well um－" He tried to find the right words.
"I've never done it before either." Chelsea said before he could say anything further.
"Really? I thought girls had." Ranma started to say but was interrupted.
"Lost that while cheerleading a couple years ago. Thankfully it was during practice because I bled a bit." She answered.
"Oh, I didn't know that it could do that other than－ ya know." Tapping a clawed finger on the table, he wondered why that hadn't occurred to him as a girl considering the strenuous activity that he had performed as one.
But that wasn't important at the moment, what was important was how last night he had sex with someone who was effectively a stranger. Why he had done it was the question that was now bouncing around his head. Now that he was thinking clearer about the situation and any responsibilities he may have because of it. Obviously he wasn't going to get married just over having sex, but what if he got her pregnant? He wasn't prepared to support a kid or get married.
Chelsea was the next to speak and broke him out of his internal musings. "None of this has to be a big deal. I wasn't looking to do that and I'm not looking for anything long term."
"Me either." Laughing nervously he remembered his two friends at Furinkan who would be aghast that he had said he went on a date without the intention of having sex at some point. When he clearly had and ended up doing so. "So－ um." Ranma scratched at the back of his head. "You want to－ do something after class?"
"I have cheerleading practice right away, but how about we get together after? We could be study buddies."
"Yea, I'm probably not doing too well at the moment."
"Same here." Chelsea admitted. "Did you want something to eat?"
"Sure." He answered enthusiastically. "And－ can I also get a ride to school?"
"No, so you should probably get running." Chelsea joked and pointed out the cupboard with various cereals in it and grabbed him a bowl and spoon.
"Thanks." He took some of the offered cereal.
"We could go get changed back together." She suggested, putting her own dishes in a washer next to the sink.
Gulping down some of the cereal, he suddenly remembered that he was spliced, and he should be doing anything to be cured. At the same time he felt great. He could see better in the dark, sounds were easier to make out, and there were so many more subtle nuances to smell now. Even just this sugary cereal, it was like a symphony of different flavors all fighting to draw his attention.
Though there was the obvious drawback that unpleasant smells were worse. He also had to deal with the giant tail but that did actually help his already perfect balance for awkward positions. The eye liner he could do without, even if it did make the golden color of his eyes stand out.
"Hey!" Chelsea pushed him roughly on the shoulder.
"What?" He asked, coming back to himself.
"You zoned out, finish up so we can go."
X x x x x x
Ranma had just started to open his locker to drop off his first period book before heading off for gym class, his most favorite class in the whole wide world, when Dana's hand slammed it closed. She had a none too happy look on her face. "Hi Dana." He greeted, if he didn't have so much hanging over his head he would have been far more chipper.
"I had to tell my dad that you were staying at Terry's for the night. You two were working on a project for biology and since it was late you decided to stay over."
"Really?" He laughed nervously, assuming that Mr. Tan had been less than happy about him staying out all night.
"That's your cover story, but I'm not going to do it for you again if you feel like staying out."
"Thanks Dana, it was kinda－ spur of the moment."
"Uh huh." She rolled her eyes. "I'm all for rebellion, but slow it down cause my dad isn't the type to let it go on."
"Honestly I'd like boring for a bit." He answered. "So can I go to class now?" He opened up his locker to shove his book in.
"I'll see you there." She smirked and headed for the gym.
'Boring? Who'd want boring?' He snickered.
In the gym locker room, Ranma started to get changed, with gym class only twice a week, he always made the most of it. As he was pulling off his shirt, the teacher called for him from the small office in the back of the room. Standing in front of the man, Ranma waited for him to speak, even though all he appeared to want is to stare at his spliced features. Tapping his right hand against his leg, he looked at some of the pictures the teacher, Coach Fitz, had on the walls showing past winning with his sport teams at the school.
"Er－ you wanted to see me?" Ranma finally grew tired of the waiting.
The heavyset man leaned back on his chair. "You're going to sit out for class until you're no longer spliced."
"What?" Ranma demanded angrily.
"Parental concern, nobody wants their kids around someone who might go crazy. So, until you're normal again, you'll be sitting off to the side. You have two days and anything after that will have to be made up with writing assignments."
Ranma simmered, fighting to reign in his temper, and the desire to find out which parents had thought taking away his favorite class was a good idea. "And what if I can't change back?" He was the victim here, both by Cuvier's machinations and now the government itself with that anti-splicing law.
"I don't need to know your excuses for wanting to be a cat boy, now get out. You can grab something from your locker to keep you busy but be back in five minutes."
"And if I refuse?" Ranma asked.
"Listen kid." Standing up, the heavy set man took several steps towards him. "You can just go sit on the benches for that little comment."
X x x x x x
"Hey Chels." Dana greeted the other girl after entering the locker room. She had a good five minutes before the class would be starting so there was plenty of time for some small talk while she changed. Personally she needed to get something off her chest about this whole situation.
"Morning Dana." Chelsea answered her greeting and opened up her locker. Another one of her friends, Blade, also had a locker nearby but wasn't there yet.
"Did you and Ranma have fun last night?" Dana asked, sliding her ID card through the reader on her locker, she heard the soft click as the lock disengaged, and opened it.
"Sure did." The currently spliced girl answered far too cheerfully. "Totally lost track of time and so I offered to let him sleep on the couch."
"So what did you do?" She asked while changing.
"Nothing all that big, ordered out for some food－ watched a movie." Chelsea was being elusive and trailed off at the end as if she was thinking of something to say. "Oh! Avoid Sack Lunch, it's not nearly as good as the trailers make it out to be." (1)
"Not my type of movie anyways." Straightening out her top, she reached behind her back to tug on her sports bra to get it in a better position through the shirt. "Chels, I feel like enough of a mother hen about this whole thing already, but my Dad is not going to put up with Ranma being out all the time."
"Your Dad has always been the opposite of schway."
"Exactly－ and I like Ranma, so don't give my Dad a reason to complain about him, and don't do what you usually do to your boyfriends." Dana left out that she thought Ranma wasn't really in a mental condition to deal with Chelsea's usual method of dealing with relationships. That meant that she used them until she got bored then dumped them.
"Relax." Chelsea rolled her eyes.
"That's all I'm going to say." Dana threw her hands up in mock defeat. It wasn't like she could force Chelsea out of her ways. But if the blonde did screw this up then it would definitely put a black mark on their friendship. "So when are you going to get changed back to normal?"
"Tomorrow probably, I have practice after school, and I really need to catch up on homework. I was thinking of going in at the same time with Ranma."
Dana didn't want to voice Ranma's admission that there might not be a cure for him. She was about to point out that Chelsea should just plan a solo trip when there was a loud crash from the opposite side of the lockers a moment before they shook violently.
"What was that?" She exclaimed and quickly ran around to the other side to see Coach Fitz half embedded in the metal of the lockers unconscious. The wall across from the man now had a large hole through it with some of the building material crumbling to the floor. Several other girls were standing away, too confused to do anything other than stare.
"Do you care what I have to say now?" Ranma's voice taunted, her houseguest appeared in front of the man. "Huh? Do you?" He reached out to grab Fitz by the front of his shirt and pull him free from the metal to hold him up in the air.
"Ranma?" Dana questioned, not sure if what she was seeing was real. Sure Ranma was incredible physically but to do this?
"Huh?" Ranma blinked and looked over at her. "What's up Dana?"
"What's up? What are you doing?" She asked.
"Did you just throw him through the wall?" Chelsea asked, her mouth open in shock at the idea that Ranma could be that strong.
Through the hole in the wall, she heard the school intercom chime. "Ranma Saotome to the office please, Ranma Saotome to the office please."
"Awww, what now?" Ranma groaned and dropped Coach Fitz to fall to the floor in a heap. "I'll see you later." He waved and trotted back through the hole in the wall without a care in the world.
Knitting her brow confusion, she looked at where Ranma had left, back to Coach Fitz, and then to Chelsea. "I think there might be something wrong with Ranma." She finally said.
"I slept with a nutcase." Chelsea said in a daze.
"We should probably help Coach Fitz. Go get the nurse." Dana quickly moved to see if she could help the fallen man at all before Chelsea's statement caught up with her. "You what?"
X x x x x x
"You wanted to see me?" Ranma asked, stepping into the principal's office. Sitting behind a light brown desk was Principal Nakamura. He was a short Asian man with a slim build and a head devoid of hair except on the sides. Peering at Ranma from behind round rim glasses, the man didn't say a word for a minute before looking at the pair of policemen standing off to the side.
"These men wanted to ask you a few questions." Nakamura finally said.
"I am officer McCarthy, and this is my partner Jackson." The shorter of the two introduced before continuing. "Mr. Saotome, where were you this past Sunday night?"
"Me?" Ranma took a moment to think up some kind of lie, realizing why these two were probably here. "I was at my friend Terry's house, why? What's this about?"
"Does your friend Terry have a last name?"
"McGinnis." Ranma answered.
"Hmm." The taller officer pulled out a small electronic clipboard and pushed several buttons before holding it up so that he could examine him against something. "When did you get spliced?"
"Uh－ Friday. Cuvier wanted me to be a model for some ad he was going to do." Ranma answered truthfully.
"And this is how you really look?" The officer flipped the pad around to show his school photo.
"Yes." Ranma nodded.
"I see." Flipping the pad back around, the officer pulled out a stylus and started to write something.
Ranma wondered what was being written as the two policemen shared a look that seemed to say they knew something. Technically the only thing he had said was a lie was that he was at Terry's on Sunday. He probably should have come up with something better but it was the first thing to pop into his head. A knock on the door drew everyone's attention as one of the secretaries came in timidly and quickly whispered something to the Principal and then an officer. Even with his better hearing he couldn't make out what was being said.
Officer McCarthy nodded. "We're going to have to ask you to come down to the station."
"What? Why?" Ranma asked defensively. "What did she just say to you?"
"Just calm down kid." The other officer took a step towards him. "We're going to have to sort things out with you assaulting your teacher."
"Hey, that jerk had it coming." He shrugged, not understanding why that would be a problem. Back at Furinkan it was almost expected for students to have to deal with teachers in a physical manner.
"If he did something we'll find it out, but we're going to have to take you down to the station to make sure we get the whole story."
Ranma's eyes darted back and forth between the two officers, both of which had taken aggressive stances, and looked like they were going to try and restrain him. "I can tell you the whole story right here." He took a step back, feeling closed in, and with nowhere to go.
"Don't make this difficult, kid." Officer Jackson said, pulling out a set of hand cuffs.
"Okay then." Ranma wasn't about to let someone lock him up in anyway.
Officer McCarthy was taken down with a knee to the stomach, before performing a kick to the back of his head, driving the man face first into the floor. The other officer had no time to respond before Ranma had grabbed the handcuffs and locked his left wrist to his right ankle. Striking the man with an elbow at his lower back, he quickly dug into the officer's belt and took a second set of cuffs to tie his left ankle up over his back and to his right wrist. Officer Jackson was released and he dropped to the floor on his stomach.
"I take it I'm suspended." He laughed nervously to himself, noticing that Nakamura was on the phone with the police saying that he had just attacked two officers. "Uh－." Gulping, he just realized what he had done. This wasn't him hitting some teacher for being a jerk, he had just beat up a pair of policemen. "I'll just head on home." Quickly backing out of the room, he closed the door behind him.
'What now? What now? What now?' Rushing out of the office, he started to panic, and imagining the endless berating that he would get from Genma for failing on his first solo training trip. It hadn't even been a month and he was going to get deported or locked up. He needed to go someplace and think so he could get his head on straight.
X x x x x x
Ivy delicately stepped on the soft grass of the park spread out before her. This artificial world of the city had nearly driven her insane. The dizzying heights that buildings had reached and the way it seemed to be layered like a cake was nearly too much. It was like nothing she had ever seen before. The people that lived here had stared at her passing, the reason she had found was that her skin was now tinted green. When she had noticed it before Ivy had thought that it was just the bad lighting in her former lab.
Breathing in deeply, she felt the plant life around her in a way that was far more intimate than she had ever known. Before she had merely been intuitive, naively believing that she had insight beyond humans, but now she understood that it had been nothing. The green world around her was like a web and she could feel the wants and needs of every individual strand.
'I must have done this to myself.' Ivy realized. 'Something must have gone wrong and I slept longer than I should have. Far too long.'
Pulling some seeds from a pocket at her hip, she started to sprinkle them around her in a circle. Immediately they started to grow, creating vines that rose up and out before bright red flowers budded, and started to release more seeds to begin the process anew. Closing her eyes, Ivy could see the world around her through her plants, and she guided them as they rapidly overtook the part of the park she was in.
Slowly opening her eyes, Ivy smiled as the world was quickly transformed around her. "I've been away far too long and it's time for them to pay the price for creating this monstrous city."
X x x x x x
'Where's Dana?' Terry glanced towards the door to the classroom for the fifth time that minute. She was at school today and was not known to skip class so why wasn't she coming? He also noticed that Chelsea was missing as well.
Feeling the phone in his pocket vibrate, he checked the clock before heading out of the classroom to answer it. "What's up?" He asked Bruce. Getting a call during the day was a rarity and usually it meant something serious.
"I'd love to help but I'm kind of in school right now." He answered, taking another look around for Dana.
"It also deals with your school."
"How? What happened?"
"Your friend Saotome, roughed up two police officers and a teacher earlier before running off. Even more important, one of the city parks has become a jungle."
"Give me a minute, I'll need to come up with some excuse to get out of class." He didn't bother waiting for a response, Bruce had already hung up before him. Putting the phone away, he was happy for the distraction from class, but he still wished he knew what was up with Dana.
X x x x x x
Barbara Gordon looked at the wall of vines, trees, moss, and who knows what else that was quickly expanding out from the Central West Park. "This brings back really bad memories." She said to herself, turning to watch as a nearby apartment building was evacuated. The reason for the evacuation was because part of this new forest in Gotham was rapidly climbing up the side and working its way into any nook or cranny in the side of the building. It wouldn't be long before the building toppled over and other crews were helping to secure the nearby area to avoid injuries.
Her eyes roamed upwards to several vehicles that were getting an aerial view of the park. Displayed on a nearby screen was video feed from them and very little could be seen through the thick leaf canopy. She had resisted sending anyone into the trees, fearing that she would have to deal with causalities if she did. It wouldn't be long before she had to. Several civilians had reported that there were people who had not made it out before the trees had become an impenetrable wall.
Catching sight of a familiar face, she excused herself, and moved over to a nearby alley and stood with her back against the wall. "Why are you here?"
"Why do you think?" Batman asked.
"It's under control, you should get back to school."
"Do you really think I'm going to do that?"
"Probably not." Letting out a brief sigh, she focused herself. "I'm really hoping that this isn't like Mr. Freeze."
"A blast from the past you mean? Any idea on who it might be?"
"If it is, there could be only one."
"Poison Ivy?" Terry supplied.
"You're not going to listen, but if it is I want you to stay away. I know Ivy and she can be as ruthless as they come. She wouldn't think twice about killing you."
"I'm sure Curaré, Blight, Inque, The Royal Flush Gang, and Shriek would get along with her just fine."
"All the more reason you shouldn't add another person out for your head." Glancing back over her shoulder, she found that he had vanished. 'Stupid kid.'
X x x x x x
Deactivating the suits cloaking device after moving into the jungle, Terry took a moment to get his bearings before trying to move through the brush as silently as possible. He was used to working at night and he was thankful that it was actually quite dark inside the new forest.
'Poison Ivy.' He kept himself focused but allowed his mind to recall the information Bruce had on that particular criminal. She was a doctor obsessed with plants and was a dangerous eco-terrorist. Although obsessed might be too small a word for Pamela Isley when it came to plants. She had apparently been involved in several very disturbing attempts at crime. From trying to turn humans into plants to creating her own family of plant monsters.
'Hmm, I should probably pick some of these for Dana.' He thought, inspecting some brightly colored flowers that were blooming from a vine wrapped around a tree. Reaching out to take one, he stopped when Bruce spoke up over the communicator.
"Ivy always liked poisonous plants."
"So is it her or no?"
"The Commish thinks it might be."
"Gordon had a lot more interaction with Poison Ivy than me, she's likely just jumping to conclusions. But plant based villainy is a rarity and from what you told me, Ranma encountered a woman who injected him with a shot that removed my splicing antidote."
"Poison Ivy did a similar act. Most likely it is some kind of copycat. A person who was able to acquire Ivy's work and is deluded enough to try and continue it. But not the real Poison Ivy."
"I'm not so sure the original should be ruled out."
"It would be very difficult for her to cause any sort of trouble now."
"And why's that?"
"Because I attended her funeral twelve years ago."
Terry shut up at that bit of knowledge and continued moving through the forest. Bruce was paranoid enough to keep tabs on anyone and everyone connected to him and his business. So him having information like that wasn't surprising. The news of the prime subjects death did raise some difficult questions. Something this highly visible was designed to draw attention. A decoy to some other crime seemed unlikely if only because with the preparation required to do this, the perpetrator could have simply accomplished their real objective. The knowledge required in order to cause this required highly specialized training or stealing something very advanced.
"I've looked up any possible high tech theft that could have been used for this and found nothing." Bruce's voice came over the communicator.
'Of course the old man would have thought to check that.' He glowered and slowed to a stop.
It wasn't exactly a clearing he had stumbled upon but there was a shaft of sun that was being given free access to reach the ground. Basking in the sunlight was a beautiful woman in her early twenties with long red hair, pale green tinted skin, and wearing little more than some skin tight dark green leotard. 'Oh wow.' He tried to keep his eyes under control and used little mini-Dana's to squash any impure thoughts. All the new plant life seemed particularly active around the woman, with vines literally rising up from the ground just for her to touch them like a pet.
"You getting this?" He asked Bruce.
"It can't be." Wayne answered his question.
"I'll take that as a yes."
"Take what as a yes?"
Terry froze and slowly turned his head to the left to find the familiar if altered face of Ranma peering out at the woman right next to him. He had no clue how to respond other than the stare dumbfounded at the other teen. "What are you doing here?" He whispered after a full minute of staring.
"I saw on the net that this was going on and I thought I'd check it out." Ranma answered with a shrug. "Noticed you moving around so I followed."
'I don't know whether I should punch him or ask for tips on how to be that sneaky.'
X x x x x x
'It's her.' Ranma's eyes widened momentarily at the realization that he was looking at the woman responsible for wrecking his life. He was about to charge out into the small clearing that she was sitting in when something tightened around his right ankle. 'Hmm?' Looking down, he found that a vine as thick as his arm was rapidly climbing up his leg. There was a snapping noise and the vine pulled taught momentarily before he suddenly found himself being flung through the air. Flailing his arms wildly, the plant holding his leg abruptly stopped, and he was left hanging upside down in midair.
"Yum, little birdies." He moaned, his head spinning from the sudden change in perspective along with all the blood rushing to it.
"Well－ hello boys." A familiar female voice purred with a slight drawl. Ranma regained his composure and found himself with the inverted view of the red haired woman who had injected him with something. "I didn't think I would see you again." The woman told him.
"Er－ hi." Ranma greeted, noticing that strange smell she had again. It was kind of like what he remembered from Chelsea the previous day only much stronger.
"Ah ah ah!" She tsked at Batman as several more vines wrapped him up completely. "I'm simply enjoying myself too much to let you ruin it. This will also give me a wonderful opportunity that I never took so long ago." Sauntering up to Batman with a slow gate that Ranma couldn't help but watch every moment of, the woman reached out for the vigilantes mask. "It'll be so nice to know just who is the caped crusader."
"I'd rather you didn't." Batman answered and as soon as the woman's hand had touched the mask she cried out in pain as a visible bolt of electricity arced into her hand. "Since we have time to talk, how about you tell me how you're alive?"
"Am I supposed to be dead?" She asked putting a finger to her lips.
"You don't get it do you? The Commish is going to tear through here to get out the people stuck and to find out who's responsible. I would give you five or ten minutes before they start clear cutting." Batman threatened.
"Yes I knew that would happen at some point." Ivy moved within arm's reach of him. "But why don't you provide me with some amusement before I need to make a big get away?"
"Amusement?" He asked, wondering how he might help her out. Vaguely he heard Batman tell him something but he ignored it to stare into her eyes.
"Play with Batman, won't you?" Ivy looked up at the vine holding his leg and he was slowly set down on the ground. "Make him black and blue."
X x x x x x
'This is going to be less than fun.' Terry thought to himself as Ivy actually released the vine holding him. Ranma was obviously in an unstable state from his earlier actions and with the way he was looking at the woman now, was in even less of one.
"Poison Ivy can use different chemicals to control people." Bruce's voice informed him about that fact again. "And they seem to have a particularly strong effect on him."
'Thanks old man, great timing, and just fantastic advice.' He thought sarcastically and recalled the kind of damage Ranma could do. Terry had no time to debate his options or talk his way out of this because Ranma had planted a fist into his stomach. The shock absorption of the suit barely kept him from having Ranma rip his spine out. Three more punches came in rapid succession before Ranma spun around completely on his heel to kick him in the face. Slamming into a tree, he bounced off to the side, and landed face first on the grass.
"Ow." He groaned while struggling to breath.
"You need to get up and put some distance between Ranma and Ivy." Bruce's voice carried over the ringing in his head.
Two hands grabbed him from the back of his suit and pulled him up to his feet. Uninterested in playing Ranma's punching bag any further, he activated the rocket boots, and shot up through the canopy into the sky. Opening the wings under his arms, he cut the power to the boots down to minimum, and hovered. Rubbing briefly at his jaw, Terry struggled to come up with a strategy for beating someone who physically outmatched him to such an extent.
Terry's eyes widened as Ranma followed him up through the leaves. Without any assistance the teen reached nearly thirty meters above the top of the trees. Trying to dodge, he caught a downward kick to the back rather than on top of his skull. Spinning briefly as gravity took over, he righted himself, and shot off to head towards a building on the edge of the park. Landing in a crouch, he clutched at his back and ribs.
"This is not my day." He grimaced. Even with the shock absorption built into the suit, it still felt like Ranma had been running him over with a truck. Turning back to the park, he didn't see his mind controlled friend making anymore magical leaps. "Any ideas old man?"
"Ivy's ability to control men has always been a problem. She took me by surprise several times."
"There an antidote?"
"Whatever chemical she is using just needs to run it's course."
"Hmm, men huh?" Rubbing at his stomach one last time, he stood up straight. "There might be something I can do then."
X x x x x x
Crouched on top of a tree, Ranma glared at the building Batman was on. Without the ability to fly, he lacked any way to close the distance between himself and the vigilante. Laughing to himself, he now knew without a doubt that he was a better fighter. All the news and attention Batman received was undeserved. His thoughts came to an abrupt halt as Batman leapt off the roof and shot towards him. Waiting to knock Batman from the sky, the vigilante never got close enough, choosing to swerve and head deeper into the forest. Ranma followed immediately, leaping from branch to branch, and never letting his eyes leave the black figure.
Seeing Batman drop below the tree tops, Ranma landed on the nearest spot before dropping down to the floor below. Unable to locate his focus right away, he listened for sounds of movement. To his right a whistling was his only warning before a manriki came flying out of the plant growth at his feet. Leaping over the first, he was forced to avoid a second by twisting horizontally. A third nearly caught him off guard but he reached out and caught one of the weighted ends before spinning around completely and throwing it back at the thrower. (2)
Landing on all fours, he was off and moving towards Batman without hesitation. Diving through the brush, he missed a line stretched across leg height that tripped him, sending him into a front flip that left him lying on his back.
"Here kitty kitty." Batman's voice taunted out of sight.
Growling, Ranma's head quickly shot back and forth, looking for the source. "Don't call me that!"
"But you're so fluffy wuffy adorable. How bout I give you a nice scratch behind the ears?"
"Shut up!" Running up to the tree he thought the voice was coming from, he slashed across it with his right arm. The tree momentarily stayed up before toppling over, filling the quiet forest with the harsh snaps of tree limbs as it fell.
"Did I touch a nerve?" Batman laugh derisively and on the move.
Catching movement out of the corner of his eye, Ranma took off after Batman, wary of any possible traps that might be in the way. Bursting through some brush, he slid to a stop in mud next to a small pond. Inspecting the ground for tracks, he quickly decided that he must have passed by the vigilante.
"Gotcha!" Batman exclaimed from behind him. Turning, he nearly caught a foot to the face, but Ranma dropped to his knees, allowing the black figure to sail past him, and fall into the pond.
"No, I got you!" Ranma snarled as he jumped in after Batman.
X x x x x x
Ranma sat up and slowly opened her eyes, feeling some echoes from a pleasant dream she had been having. "I'm in a forest." She noted intelligently as the reason behind her location came back to her. There was a moderately sized pond in front of her but everything else was the large forest created by Poison Ivy. 'Wait, Poison Ivy?' Crouched next to her was Batman and looking down she saw that her clothing was completely soaked.
"Oh good, didn't think that would pass out like that." Batman informed her.
"Huh?" There was something about fighting Batman but she couldn't really figure out why.
"Poison Ivy was controlling you. But it only works on guys so I got you to switch." He explained. "Are you feeling alright?"
"I'll live." Grimacing, she quickly got to her feet upon realizing that her tail was pinned underneath her in the mud. "Maybe not." Her grimace increased as she imagined getting all the mud out of the fur.
"Listen, the police should be coming in to clear everything, so just stay here." On Batman's back, two wings expanded from behind and underneath his arms out to his hands. "I need to go stop Ivy before she gets away." Without waiting for a response, rockets on his feet lit up.
"Wait just a second!" Ranma shouted and grabbed him by the ankle. Briefly pulled up off her feet, the rockets quickly shut off and they both landed back in the water with a splash. "If you think I'm going to sit by after someone tried to screw with me again! You have to be the biggest idiot I've ever met."
"Why can't you just stay out of the way?"
"Why can't you?" Grabbing the suit around his chest, she dragged him down to eye level, and paused. Taking a few sniff with her nose, she found that without the heavy scent from Poison Ivy covering Batman she could pick up something else. "Terry?" Seeing Batman's eyes widen momentarily was all the confirmation she needed. "You're Batman?"
"Who's Terry?" Batman asked and she punched him in the face as a retort. "What was that for?" He asked as he clutched his nose.
"You idiot, why didn't you tell me?"
"Because I don't tell anybody." He paused and took a deep breath. "That's the point of a secret."
"So shut up, go turn yourself into the police, and let me do my job."
"What are you stupid? Why would I turn myself into the police?" She asked and planted her hands on her hips, completely clueless to why she would be in trouble.
Terry held up a hand and started to tick off fingers. "All the stuff you did to the cops trying to get at Cuvier, the ones you hit earlier at school, throwing a teacher through a wall, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were more."
"What? When did I hit a teacher and some more cops?"
"You're not funny Ranma." Terry was able to shoot up out of the water and into the air with his rocket boots before Ranma could stop him. "Just let me handle this."
"I'm not being funny!" She shouted as he moved out of hearing range. "What did I do?" Slumping her shoulders in defeat, she sighed, and looked around the small pond she was currently standing in. "I didn't do anything." Wading through the water, she tried to remember the events Terry, or maybe she should call him Batman, had described.
X x x x x x
Barbara Gordon checked the incident report as she gave her husband some details on what had happened. Whoever had perpetrated the rapid forest growth had vanished while they were evacuating the high rise before it could topple over. When it did finally fall, as far as they could tell, no one was hurt because it had fallen on the empty park. The area was cordoned off, utilities were stopped, and cleanup crews would start sifting through the rubble in the morning. It could have turned out a lot worse considering.
"I should be home in a couple hours, don't wait up." She told her husband, wishing that she could drop off her mundane duties to someone else.
Leaving her desk, she headed out into the station to take a brief break, and take a short walk outside the station. She took a detour to check and see if anyone who had been trapped within the park were still making statements. Jumping backwards, her long out of practice instincts saved her from being run over by a desk that flew out the nearby room to embed itself deeply into the opposing wall.
"I answered your stupid questions!" A teen girl's voice yelled and one of Gordon's officers hesitantly appeared backing out the door.
"Problems?" She asked, finding that it was a small Asian girl who had thrown a metal table weighing close to forty pounds like it was a frisby. The fact that the girl was spliced with some kind of cat could perhaps account for the extra strength.
"Commissioner." The officer quickly straightened up, clearly embarrassed to be seen cowering from a young girl.
'Boys.' She mentally rolled her eyes, quickly remembering many times where she made grown men cower from just a look. "Isn't she one of the few trapped in the park earlier?" She asked, not acknowledging the three other officers who showed up in response to the outburst.
"Then why is she still here?"
"Discrepancies." The man gathered up a folder to hand to her. "No ID, no matching prints, she claims to be a boy named Ranma Saotome, who we have a warrant out on."
Inside the folder was a photograph of the boy dated earlier in the day who looked to be the girl's twin, right down to the splice. "Well is she under arrest for anything?"
"Vandalism?" He looked out at the table in the wall.
"See to the clean up." She ordered, deciding to have a change of pace, and indulge herself in a bit of a mystery.
"Ma'am." The officer nodded.
"Since this room is unusable, would you follow me?" She asked while gesturing to the spliced girl to follow. "Just to dots the i's and cross the t's."
"Can I leave then?" The girl asked tiredly.
"I don't see why not." She answered, silently adding the caveat unless there was wrongdoing. It was a short walk to the room next door, and she sat down casually at the chair next to the table. The girl, claiming to be the boy Ranma, sat down across from her irritably. Hopefully the small girl would open up if she was talking to another female. "I agree, it's been a long day for me as well. Why don't you tell me why you weren't in school?"
"I don't remember."
"You don't remember?"
"Do you have a hearing problem? I don't remember. I tried to tell your flunky that the last thing I remember was having breakfast then going to school." Ranma answered before developing an intense look of concentration. "Even that's kind of hard to remember."
Gordon sat in silence watching the girl have an internal battle with herself. "So you don't remember anything about the park?"
"Some." Ranma's eyes darted around evasively. "A woman, named Poison Ivy."
Barbara didn't have to hide her shock because she had known that had been the culprit. Having it confirmed was vindicating though. "Poison Ivy? Could you describe her? Start with how you met her." She asked.
"I don't know, she was just there, what part of I don't remember is hard to understand?" Ranma explained with increasing agitation.
'Sad to see a perfect example of why splicing is so bad.' She didn't know how to approach unstable people who weren't psychotic villains. "Please, I'm just trying to help." She reached over to try and put a reassuring hand on Ranma's own but the girl pulled away quickly.
"I guess." Ranma closed her eyes and rubbed at her temples. "I met her the other night, there was this－ it was a toxic spot, and she gave me this shot she said would protect me. It's why I'm spliced again."
"You mean you've met her before?" This was certainly starting to get into a weird territory.
"Yea for about five minutes."
"And why is she responsible for you being spliced－ again?"
"That bastard Cuvier was having me model for some photoshoot last Saturday, that he never paid me for. He gave me a perma dose that Batman reversed but then this shot put me right back to this." Ranma gestured disgustedly towards herself.
"It seems you get around." Barbara was reasonably surprised by the turn of events the teen in front of her must have gone through if the story was true. "Just so that I have your story straight. Dr. Cuvier spliced you to be a model with a permanent solution. Batman provided you with an antidote." She would have to contact Bruce on that. "But then you ran across Poison Ivy while in a toxic part of the city and she injected you with something that reversed the antidote." This would have required the girl to be in the very bowels of the city but it was possible.
"Pretty much, also probably stuck like this."
'Yes, Bruce would definitely be able to make or break this story.' Judging by the story, Bruce would know firsthand from when his new errand boy was involved. "Do you happen to remember where this toxic site was?"
"Kind of, I might be able to find it again." She answered with a shrug.
Closing up the folder and leaning back in the chair casually. "All that aside, why do you not have any identification?"
"I must have lost it." Ranma shrugged again with far less confidence.
"And claiming to be the boy in this file?" She patted the folder. "Most of the people we get here using an alias pick one that wouldn't get you arrested."
"Um－." The girl floundered for a response and fidgeted nervously. "Can I use the restroom?"
X x x x x x
'Why am I in a girl's bathroom?' Ranma asked himself, still wet from using water from a sink to change back to male. Having been in this situation before, he knew that he must not be seen leaving. Avoiding the immediate concern of why he didn't know how he came to be here, he checked out the door and saw only an elderly woman taking to a police officer with their backs to the door. Across the hall was a male room and if he moved quickly enough he should be able to make it appear that he was leaving from there.
Silently hopping across the hall, he opened the men's door, and was just making it appear that he was walking out when the two noticed his presence. "Afternoon." He greeted before trying to walk away. He needed to figure why he couldn't remember why he was here.
"Hold it." The woman demanded.
"Yes?" He asked slowly, unsure if he had met them or not.
"Ranma Saotome?" The officer asked.
"That's me, unless there's another Ranma wandering around." He answered with a shrug.
"Well this is convenient." The woman commented. "Ranma Saotome, you're under arrest."
"Wait, for what?" He asked incredulously.
"Grand theft auto and the assault of a police officer to start." The woman answered. "Officer Daniels."(3)
"Down on the floor with your hands on your head kid." The officer pointed at him with one hand and poised his other over a pistol in a holster at his right hip. Ranma reacted without thinking and planted a palm strike into the officer's stomach, sending the man flying back several meters to land on the floor with the wind knocked out of him.
"Sorry bout that, hope I didn't hurt your buddy too bad." He apologized to the woman and started to walk away, dismissing her as a threat.
"Don't take another step." She commanded and actually drew out her weapon. Ranma slowly turned to look at the older woman and cocked his head to one side. "You're under arrest kid, it's not up for debate."
"I was never good at debate" Dodging to the side of her arm, he tried to grab her hand so that he could twist the gun out of it but she was quick enough to avoid letting him get the proper hold. His eyes widened as the barrel nearly swung back towards his body but he was finally able remove it from her grasp, and put several steps between them. "I don't like guns." He told the woman before ripping the slide from the grip with a small growl.
"The old fashioned way then." The woman actually threw a punch at him.
"Hey you're going to hurt yourself." He let her get the shot in, unconcerned that an elderly woman could pose a threat to him. That thought died when after the punch to his left cheek failed to connect, he found his arm painfully wrenched into a lock before his face was driven into the wall. His feet were then kicked out and he was thrown to the floor on his stomach. Snarling, he simply brute forced his arm from her grasp, and planted a foot in her chest. She hit the wall before crumpling to the floor like a rag doll.
Any remorse he had for taking out the elderly woman had to wait because suddenly he was the attention of a whole lot of police. 'What am I in a police factory?' (4)
X x x x x x
Dana let the curtain fall back into place of her front window after spying briefly on the two police officers waiting in a patrol car at the street. They had given her a small device to use if Ranma returned to alert them. Shaking her head, she placed it on a nearby table, and went to change into her pajamas. She paused at her doorway upon catching sight of a small red spot outside the door to Ranma's former room. Kneeling down next to it, she realized that it was blood just before hearing someone whisper her name from inside the dark room.
"My dad isn't home." She stood up straight to address Ranma.
"Just being cautious." He said, leaning against the door frame without a shirt showing off a square bandage over his stomach. Catching her concerned look he grimaced. "I ended up in a police station somehow and they really didn't want me to leave."
"They shot you?" Dana asked in shock. The small amount of information she had been given was that they were looking to arrest him for the actions at school earlier.
"It's not that bad, hurt more digging it out." He winced dramatically in mock pain. "Barely got past the skin so it shouldn't have hit anything."
"You're insane." She groaned. "You get shot and play it off like a bad papercut."
"I might be." Ranma answered sincerely and finally flicked on the light to show that his things had been packed up.
"Not that anybody ever listens to me－ but why don't you just turn yourself in? Get to a hospital at least?" Her brow furrowed in concern. "Get help."
"Easier to just go back to Japan." He shrugged and sat down on the bed. "I just came here to get my stuff and clean up."
"How did you get past the cops outside?"
"I just came in through the back." He answered simply.
"So this is goodbye then?" Dana felt horrible about this situation. Ranma was her friend and apparently he had just been thrown under the bus of life.
"Guess so, I'll be in touch." Gingerly he put on a red silk button up shirt.
"You better." Crossing her arms, she gave him the most disapproving look she could. "Good luck I guess."
X x x x x x
1 - Bonus points if you know where this is from.
2 - Japanese weapon formed from a chain and two weights at the end.
3 - That motorbike Ranma was caught riding in chapter 2.
4 - Hey look an Archer reference. Season 2 episode 12, where he's being chased by the Russian soldiers.