Hi kids! Hope you enjoy our little romp with the Batman Beyond universe, and that we're messing with continuity in a GOOD way. ---Char and Tammy
Dc: Continuity? We don't need no stinkin' continuity!
Required info in part 1
Down to the Wire
Barbara opened her grandson's bedroom door yet again. The room was still dark and cold and empty. Why couldn't the boy just understand what she was trying to protect him from.
Did she expect him to understand? Dick hadn't understood. It had gotten him killed, but he'd never understood.
Looking back behind her, she saw the warm inviting glow of the living room situated at the end of the hall. With sadness mixed with disgust, she crossed the threshold into the boy's room and closed the door behind her.
The computer on his desk was off now, which left the room in total darkness, save for what was emitted through the single window on the far side of the room.
She sat on the bed, staring out into the night. It wasn't worth it. Not the danger, not the things the boy would go through. But the night was tempting. She remembered that.
The sky line burned red at night now, but back when she was his age, it glowed lightening purple and electric blue. The wind was full of energy and seemed to possess a life of it's own as it carried them from roof top to roof top. They'd fought hard, and for herself and Dick, they'd loved even harder.
Where the hell was that boy? Why didn't he understand that the night killed?
The clouds in the sky caught the city lights and it shined a wine color. It was deadly, but it was beautiful as well. It was entrancing, even. Sitting there, it was so easy to remember...
The day she told him she was pregnant. It was a beautiful spring day in Gotham. The birds were singing, the sun was shining and she was more nervous than the first time she tried a freefall from a skyscraper.
She'd only known for a day. She should have told him sooner, but Barbara was looking for the right words, the right time, the right place... Everything had to be perfect.
Then he'd dragged her out of a sound-sleep on her day off from work. He'd come in through her window, then had jumped on her bed--just because he could. She decided that he deserved whatever he had coming. So she invited him out for an afternoon of grass and nature and all that stuff you never got enough of on the rooftops.
They were in Robinson Park; they had been having a picnic and were playing Frisbee. Frisbee. He tossed the blue round object at her. It sailed through the air. Jumping, she caught it easily. Then she looked at him standing there, his hands on his hips. He always did look adorable when he was giving her a hard time.
"Well, are you gonna throw that back or just stand there all day holding it, Red?"
She twisted her mouth; this was going to be good. With her best scowl, he tossed the Frisbee at him angrily. "Take it! Oh yeah, and by the way, Grayson -- "
"Yeah Gordon?" he replied as he caught the Frisbee and tossed it back at her from behind his back.
"You knocked me up." Barbara grabbed the Frisbee and stood there waiting for his reaction. They were in public. Public was good.
Dick's mouth dropped. "I ... You're ... " a big grin formed on his face. "We ... we're having a baby." Dick started laughing as he ran to Barbara. Picking her up, he spun her around in the air. "We're having a baby Babs."
She looked down at him, his smile was infectious, but she wanted to try and keep a straight face. "Oh get a hold of yourself. You'd better start running, I haven't told Daddy yet."
Dick spun her around again until she was giggling loudly. Then he gently sat her back on the ground. "Okay, let's run." He grabbed her by the hand and started running toward the bus stop. "Guess where we're going?"
She briefly wondered if someone acting like a kid in a candy store was ready to be a father.
"Where?" she asked in mock exasperation. "We are NOT running to Daddy-bats with this!! NOT right now! DICK! What are you planning?"
"No, we're not going to Bruce. We're going to the courthouse. We're getting married." Dick stopped long enough to kiss her on the nose, "Come on!"
Barbara laughed aloud. She couldn't believe she was letting him do this! They hadn't really talked about it since they'd started seeing each other again, but she knew she wanted it. Still--this was too quick! There were too many technicalities... "MARRIED? Dick! Dick, my dad doesn't even KNOW we're dating again. And Alfred'll be mad we didn't let him plan ... oh what the hell. They can have their big wedding later."
He sat down on the cement bench under the blue bus stop sign, then pulled her right into his lap. He certainly wasn't shy about things, and it was one of the things Barbara loved about him. "Exactly! This is OUR day Babs. We're doing it our way. And wait'll you see what I have in mind for our reception," he said with a wink. "Besides, once we're married, your dad can't do anything about it - uh except kill me. And that's what it'll take to get me away from you." He kissed her forcefully, then rubbed her belly playfully. "Hello little person in there! Guess what? You get to come to mommy and daddy's wedding!"
They sat there at the bus stop laughing and enjoying just being with each other. Other people standing around and walking by smiled at them as the downtown bus started pulling up.
He wrapped his arms around her and gave her a squeeze.
Barbara couldn't resist it. She rolled her eyes in mock-disgust. "Oh Grayson, you're SUCH a mush-ball."
"About you I am," Dick replied with a kiss. Then he bent to her stomach, "And about you too little guy." He practically dragged her up the steps of the bus.
"What makes you think it's a boy?" she asked as he pulled enough change out of his pocket for both of them. Wasn't that romantic.
"All juniors are boys," he said with that smile of his. He dropped the coins into the change machine, then dragged her to the midsection of the bus and pulled her into a fuzzy blue two-seater bench.
Barbara smiled back. "Bruce is going to have an aneurysm. We're taking public transportation to our wedding." She had to admit, she enjoyed the idea of ticking him off... just a little. Everyone needed to be taken down a few pegs now and again. But she knew he'd come around. Assuming, of course, that the aneurysm didn't kill him.
"What can I say Babs. You can take the boy outta the travel trailer but you can't take the travel trailer outta the boy."
She bit her tongue before saying he must be a big boy to be able to fit a while travel trailer in there.
The bus stopped in front of courthouse. He took her hand as he helped her down from the bus. Laughing, they ran up the steps hand in hand. It was an adventure just finding their way around the courthouse. They had to get a marriage license, and then they had to find a judge that was still there late on a Friday afternoon. Then, when that was accomplished, they found out that they weren't the only people waiting to see the judge.
Barbara sat down as Dick checked in with the judge's secretary. Turning around, he flashed a smile at her, before turning back and signing some more forms the secretary gave him. Dick strolled over to Babs and sat down beside her taking her hand in his.
Barbara giggled. "What a way to spend a Friday!" Personal days were great things. She'd scheduled this one even before she'd found out she'd be spending the day telling her special someone something special.
"Nothing was on TV, Figured this would be a good substitute."
She rolled her eyes at him. "Do you know how many people're going to kill us?"
Dick started holding up his fingers one at a time. "Four?"
"Six! At least." He'd probably forgotten Superman and Tim.
"I can't WAIT to tell Bruce. He didn't control this one," Dick added with a wide grin.
Barbara looked at the judge's office door. She was getting anxious waiting around. "Should we tell them all at once, or one at a time?"
Dick bounced in his seat anxiously. "Oh, lets tell Timmy first! He'll wet himself!"
"Dick, we should be nice about it. I think he kind of has a crush on me," she said with concern.
"OH he does!!!!" Dick said with glee.
"Aww ... let him down easy. He's going to be an uncle!"
"Wait ... if he's an uncle, that makes Bruce," Dick erupted in laughter, "a GRANDFATHER!" Dick fell out of chair laughing. People in the office stared at him, but neither of them cared. "Oh my God. We are so dead. He'll kill us. Grandfather implies he's OLD."
Barbara bursts out laughing as well. "He's old! BATMAN'S OLD!" People stared at both of them. In a coughing fit, Barbara added, "Just kidding! Dick, just think how cute he'll be, with our little tyke bouncing on his knee!"
Dick laughed louder. "Uh huh -- oh that's a picture I wanna see."
Barbara was getting so excited talking about their little tyke. "We'll get a Polaroid and keep it with us all the time. Then every time we catch Bruce doing something cute with the baby, we'll take a picture."
Then she'd post them on the internet. Then she'd e-mail him the URL. Then she'd take a picture of the face he made when he saw it... it was a vicious cycle she would enjoy playing out over and over.
The judge's secretary walked out of his office. She was a short, overweight woman who looked like she'd escaped the Umpa-Lumpa farm. "Mr. Grayson, Ms. Gordon, the judge will see you now."
Barbara giggled. "HERE WE GO!" For the first time since she'd told him, she grabbed his hands and pulled him along.
"Yep. Hey Babs," he said as he stopped them both a foot from the door. "I love you!"
Jumping up, she stole a kiss. Life was so perfect already, and it was only going to get more perfect--shocked parents and disgruntled little brothers aside. "And I love you, FBW. Let's go!"
* * *
It was dark, and Terry was cold. Those were the only two certainties in his universe. He did not know if he was injured, dead, or what.
What was the last thing he remembered? He remembered the fight starting at the warehouse on Monarch. He remembered it carrying over onto Adams, and across half a dozen roof tops.
He remembered diving away from his attackers, towards the van carrying the Nanos, but he missed somehow. Thinking was so hard now. It was dark, and he was cold. The only two things he knew.
There'd been a bolt of energy from behind him. He remembered. He remembered thinking that the Old Man would have been on it, would have had the positions of all of his opponents. It wasn't Max's fault. She was limited in what she could do.
The bolt had hit him with paralyzing force, had arched yellow-white around him. He'd seen red at that moment, then he'd plunged downward.
He'd reached for the control for the rockets in his boots, but his hand would not work. The ground approached, fifty feet, thirty feet...
When his hand HAD found the switch, it hadn't worked. The suit had been neutralized.
He knew how to fall, but he couldn't remember now if he'd fallen in a way that would prevent injury.
All he knew was that it was dark and cold.
He was angry. He didn't want his grandmother to be right, about dying on the streets. Well, Fate was a funny thing. He'd been running this gig for a year, and in one day he fights with his grandmother about the job and ends up dead. A few hours, versus a year of his family living in ignorance. Perhaps it wasn't fate. Maybe he was cursed.
Terry didn't know much about fate or curses. He wasn't even sure of his feelings on God any more, or the law, or any of that other stuff that folks were supposed to hold dear. He only knew two things.
It was dark, and he was cold.
"Dick, you're such a FREAK! You took me to the mall." She threw a French fry at him.
"It's the food court Babs," he said with his arms making a sweeping motion of his arms. "What better place for a culinary delight. What variety, what spice -- "
"You spent your last sixty dollars on the judge, didn't you?" she asked flatly.
"That too," he answered sheepishly. His blue eyes seemed to turn darker when he was embarrassed.
She shook her head scolding. "Budgeting, Grayson. Budgeting."
"Hey, that's what you're here for now."
"You're a bum, Grayson. A bum without a job." She tried to ignore that bright, wide grin. It was hard.
"But you still love me, and you can support me."
"You're such a gigolo," she said as she grabbed one of his Chick-Fil-A nuggets and tossed it in her mouth. "I deserve a dowry from Bruce for you."
"He'll probably give you a country for taking me off his hands. So, uh, are we living in your place or mine?
"MINE!" she said defiantly.
"My place is bigger," he added, "equipped with sliding doors to reveal our costumes..."
"Bruce owns the build -- um ... never mind."
"Exactly -- We'd never be evicted."
Barbara sighed. "Okay, we're going to have a kid, and we're going to be the happy perfect couple, do we really want Bruce holding things over our head? Living on Daddy's land and all? Dick, I just want to be an adult and have my own life, and my own baby, and my own husband that he can't order around or just come in when he wants. Bruce is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."
Dick looked like a chipmunk with his cheeks full of food. Without chewing, he swallowed so he could talk. "Hey -- he's not that bad Babs. Really, I know he seems like it sometimes. I mean, he gives overbearing a new name, but he's going to order and he's gonna just come in even if we lived in Alaska. Sorry. He's part of my package."
"Oooy," she said as she grabbed his cheeks. "Fine. I know he comes with the package. And little Timmy rooting through our refrigerator --"
"Uh huh and Alfred cleaning our house -- "
"Did I just say OUR refrigerator," she asked with a grin. "This is going to be so awesome, Dick, even IF Bruce owns the fridge."
Dick smiled and stuck a French fry in her mouth. It was then that his communicator sounded it's familiar: BIP BIP BIP.
"Oh damn," he muttered as he pulled it from his pocket and answered his communicator. "What?"
Barbara rolled her eyes. "Tell him you're busy! Tell him you were abducted by aliens! Tell him you can't come because your wife wont let you come out and play!"
Dick laughed at her as he listened to Bruce on the other end. "Babs said to tell you I was abduc -- Joker? You need. -- Mayor's dinner. Right. I remember. I'll go with Tim. -- No Babs can't go tonight. Tim and I will be just fine, just like ever other night."
"Tell him we have to consummate the marriage," she whispered seductively in his ear.
Dick closed the communicator. "Sorry babe. Look --"
"I know I know I know. We gotta do what we do.. Still ... one lousy night. And HE can't go because of that stupid dinner with the mayor...
"Tim and I will do a quick sweep -- see if we see if there's anything on the Joker and then I'll be back to finish this honeymoon. You go buy something from Victoria's secret and it'll get better when I get home"
Dick stood up and quickly kissed her. As he started to leave, he remembered the marriage license in his pocket. "Here's the marriage license. Remind me to go file it with the clerk's office on Monday - so we're all nice and legal. I can't believe they closed early today so we couldn't file it."
"Well, you'd better going, FBW. We still have a marriage to consummate."
Leaning over Dick kissed Barbara passionately on the lips. His feelings for her more evident. "I love you. See ya." Dick ran out, leaving Barbara alone in the food court.
She shook her head happily as she ate another French fry. "And that, little one, is your daddy. He's crazy, and he thinks the sun rises and sets under HIS daddy's feet, but I love him. And you will too."
* * *
Her last communication with Terry had been in this area, Max noted with a sense of urgency as she sped through the darkened streets. Turning the corner from Adams to Monarch, Max urged her vehicle just a little further, but she could feel it running out of energy.
Max wasn't getting anywhere fast, she thought sadly as the battery ran out on her moped. She'd forgotten to charge it after school when she'd gotten herself involved in Terry's little festival of family madness.
The moped stopped completely just off dirty, scary, smelly alley. And now she'd gone from only mildly useful to completely useless. Her sidekick potential was limitless, she thought with frustration as she hopped off the bike.
At the furthest end of the alley, she saw a shadow pass out of the corner of her eye. Turning to get a better look, she squinted. She hoped it was Terry--so she could kill him for scaring her like this. It wasn't Terry. It was a gray mutt-cat, darting back and forth between heaps of garbage and overflowing steel cans that were half-rusted through.
Turning back to her useless vehicle, she kicked the tire. A gasping strangled sigh escaped her as her eyes grew wet.
Damn those old people.
She didn't care who had died how. All she knew was that her best friend in the entire world was SOMEWHERE in this damned city, and she couldn't find him, and he was totally without support because the two people who should have given a damn the most about him were too busy fighting amongst themselves. She swore to God that if she ever got as angry and bitter as the old man, she'd just do society and her loved ones a favor and just take a long walk off a tall building and be done with it. What the hell kind of life was that?
Digging into her coat pocket, she pulled out her cell phone. Calling the old man had proved useless time and again. There was one person she hadn't tried yet.
She pressed number one on her speed dial and called Terry's house.
Continued in Part 5