Barbara felt like she was walking on the bottom on the ocean. She shouldn't have been. She should've been sky-high. She was at her senior prom. She'd actually made it through four years of classes, refusing to skip to a year more suitable to her intellect because she actually wanted to mature properly. She'd lived through all the drama, all the dating, all the friendships won and lost, all the dances, all the hiccups of the American education system. And she'd done it all spending almost every night as a masked vigilante. By any calculus, there should've been an achievement to this. She should've at least liked the dress.

It was her dress. The one she would've lusted after all through her childhood if she'd known it'd existed prior to two months ago. It was revealing enough to be interesting, modest enough to be elegant, the purple fabric lightly touching her skin but refusing to divulge her secrets. The slit ran daringly up her right leg (free enough to let her give a good kick) and though the bodice more than covered her bosom, it was just tight enough to let everyone know she had some. No, it wasn't her dress. It was her. Mousy Barbara Gordon, assertive as she had to be, nerdy as she could be, brains first, beauty second.

And that wasn't good enough. She was more than the girl who got a makeover in a high school movie. She was Batgirl. The tight, enticing costume. The confident, flirtatious language. The high-heeled boots in bright yellow when she did all her work at night. That woman—her—she could have any boy she wanted and turn the cheerleader squad for good measure.

And Barbara loved Dick Grayson; at least, she was infatuated enough to give it a real shot of turning into love, to write Mrs. Barbara Grayson in her Trapper Keeper when she wasn't Batgirl. But he wasn't even in the state—gone elsewhere for a family emergency. She understood. It wasn't like her double life left her room to complain. But he wasn't there for her and Batgirl wasn't the kind of woman who got stood up. Not at senior prom. Not for a family emergency when the guy seemed to have one every two weeks.

Family emergency—what did that mean, anyway? It wasn't like he was one of the Teen Titans, headed off to fight a rampaging monster in Shanghai. If he was, Barbara would have a thing or two to say about letting scantily-clad aliens on the team.

God, she wanted to rip her dress off. It felt too constraining; not firm enough at the same time. Her uniform was like a second skin. Let her fly around, run, jump. The dress just let her be passed around by the guys who'd gone stag, giving pity dances to a few nerds. And she couldn't stop noticing the little rebellions. The other people for whom this wasn't enough. The couples sneaking off the dance floor, the smoke rolling out of the men's room, the punch being spiked.

She went out to get some air. The air was cold, the evening was oppressively dark even at six-forty, and the only motion was the patrol cars circling the block. Down here, with the skyscrapers only background accoutrements... it'd stopped seeming familiar a long time ago.

The Batsignal was the only thing that seemed like part of her world.

She didn't even hesitate to rip her dress off in the backseat of her Camaro, littering the floor with it like bandages off a healthy woman.

Batman was there first. He was always there first. Now he didn't feel like part of her world. He didn't feel like part of any world. The state-of-the-art technology twisted to serve some medieval vision, the functional armor with the artistry of a bat, the training that could've made him an Olympian in any sport and he used it for this.

People said he was crazy. They didn't know him. Not that Barbara did, but she at least knew what he wasn't. He wasn't crazy, wasn't a fascist, didn't get off on beating up the poor. He had a Calling.

It was no wonder people mistook him for a meta. The Batman seemed above mortal concerns. Barely human, except for a core that was so human... that could only be seen in his eyes, in rare glimpses of who he was outside the Calling. With the victims. The children. The innocent. He could've been a doctor or a priest. But he was this.

The Calling punished him as much as it did the corrupt.

He gave her a look as she approached—favored her with one, since she knew that he knew she was there. As always, he was only grudgingly accepting of her attire: the yellow symbol that emphasized the contours of her breasts as much as it displayed the cause. The off-kilter yellow belt that drew similar attention to her swaying hips—and they did sway. The boots that highlighted her walk. He wore body armor. She wore silk. It was comfortable, it was exotic, and it let her dodge. She was five foot four and a hundred twenty pounds. All the padding in the world wouldn't help if a gym bunny with a modicum of muscle got a good hit in. So she dressed light and she moved fast.

As for the yellow—she liked the way it looked. Wasn't like Batman had none of those fans.

Batgirl wondered if Batman felt like he was posing, hunching on a parapet like a gargoyle. She put a leg up to look down at the street below, wondering if she was posing for him. "Looks like a bar brawl that got out of hand," he said, gravel and heavy machinery and black smoke.

She caught his hint. "Looks like?"

"When has anything in Gotham been exactly what it seemed?" And he gave her a look. That infuriating, judging, considering look that she never knew what to make of.

She played it off. "Are you saying my breasts are fake?"

He held out a fistful of Batarangs. "Ultrasonics. Use them sparingly, hit and run. Don't get bogged down. Be ready to pull back and reassess as the situation develops."

She took a few from him, slotting some into her belt and keeping two in her hands. "Right. Gotta be ready to rescue you if you get hit in the head."

"Don't be overconfident. That happened once."

Below them, a hundred people crowded 34th Street from sidewalk to sidewalk, all races, creeds, and genders pummeling each other. Batman just jumped in. His cape carried him down like the Angel of Death come to claim a few souls. Black-garbed hands flashed out, firing Batarangs that shot between the civilians, sending them into ear-splitting paralysis. Then he landed and it was like a bear going on a rampage. Seven feet tall from horns to boots, swiping away his enemies more like he was cleaning a messy room than breaking bones.

Batgirl followed him down. She hated going second, but she loved to watch him work. She threw her Batarangs in mid-air, caught a flagpole and let it kill her inertia before she flipped off it, landing in the waves of milling brawlers from the stone she'd just dropped in their water. She didn't have twenty black belts, but the one she did have worked fine for her.

She hunched down, swooping in and out of the massed humanity, delivering a punch here, a kick there, using herself as a scalpel on the riot while Batman's sledgehammer drew their attention. In spare moments she threw out more ultrasonic Batarangs. In the first minute, the riot had been halved.

This was where all the crowd-control simulations said the other half would be questioning their life choices. They weren't. Not one of them was running. They were pouring toward Batman like white blood cells to a disease. They ignored Batgirl even as she punched them in the face. She could deal with that. She tore into the flank of the gang going after her boss, sweeping legs, cuffing arms, knocking heads. And then she realized it was turning her on.

"Antitoxin!" Batman roared, head above the crowd as a sweep of his arm sent six men flying. "Now!"

Barbara remembered that. Part of the payload he'd given her in her utility belt before she'd painted it yellow. Course, his fancy-dancy suit could probably inject his body for him. Barbara would have to stop fighting. She didn't want to. She wanted to pound them all into submission. She wanted to go up to Batman and take a shot at the title. Bruise that square jaw with her fists, gouge those piercing eyes with her thumbs, crack her knuckles against muscles so hard they could be seen through his Kevlar. She kept hitting, and with every hit a charge went through her. It was more than just her muscles singing. It was a flutter in her cunt she hadn't even felt with Dick.

Seeing her coming, Batman accelerated. Stopped breaking faces and started breaking bones. Men hit the ground dead silent instead of moaning or groaning. When she reached him, Barbara had him all to herself. They met, and she knew her flurry of blows took him by surprise because he went undefended. Her fists crashed against him like the tide against a beach. He didn't make a sound, but he staggered back. Her mind was a frenzy as violent as her body. She hated him—how big and strong he was, how perfect, so much better than her, so inhuman. She wanted to tear into his armor until she hit flesh, proving he was skin and sinew just like her. She wanted to taste the blood she knocked from his mouth.

Then he started defending himself. He pushed back, but he telegraphed his blows and she ducked aside. She could feel the feverish heat of his body with every blow she landed. She could smell his sweat. But all of her was screaming that he was the master of this, not the student, and she was right. It didn't take long for a punch to miss, for him to grab her wrist and pull her off-balance, for arms like tree trunks to grow around her and hold her fast. Pulled against himself. He set her on fire, grabbing her like that. He was so heated and she was so hot against him that they could've been naked, skin glowing from the sun. The night went away from her and she felt a bite under her chin and if she was still on fire, it was at a low ebb.

She came to on a grimy, gothic roofscape of gargoyles and gutters. She should start naming them. Only way to tell them apart.

Batman was standing a fair distance away, his cape wrapped around him to hold his whole body from view, all but his white eyes in the darkness. He was close enough to tend to her, but far enough away that she wouldn't get the impression he was hovering over her. Between them, nearer to her than to him, was a bottle of water.

"Drink it," he said smartly. "You had a major reaction to the antitoxin. You need to replenish your fluids."

So she'd thrown up. In front of Batman. Wonderful. Barbara picked up the water bottle. Ozarka. "Make a run to the corner store just for me?"

"Yes."

She drank, pacing herself by the glares Batman gave her. "I can't quite picture you waiting in line behind the guy who needs a nicotine fix. Don't tell me you shoplifted?"

"I left appropriate funds."

"Oh my God, did you stealth in there just to avoid being seen in a CVS?"

"A degree of mysteriousness to my presence makes my methods more effective."

"I wouldn't know. I get called a Dominoed Daredoll. Neither of those are even words."

Batman's glare went up on the scale of… glares. Bonding time over. Barbara sighed. She was in for a talk.

"Poison Ivy had pheromone-producing fungi growing under the street. I dealt with it. She was robbing a bank across town. Catwoman stopped her."

"Oh, Catwoman." Barbara rolled her eyes. "Probably trying to rob the bank herself."

"She's an art thief, Batgirl." He always got technical when she was needling him. "Why didn't you apply the antitoxin yourself? It would've been more effective if it'd countered your exposure earlier."

"I don't know. I didn't have time."

"I used it."

"Well, I'm not you." Barbara got up, cracking her back, and crumpled up the empty water bottle.

"Ivy works by exploiting unexpressed desires. Those men's perchance for violence. What is it you're repressing?"

"If I knew, I wouldn't be very good at repressing it, now would I?"

"Are you having sexual relations with your boyfriend?"

She stared at him. He said it was coolly casual as ever, he looked at her as analytically as ever, but how the fuck was that not a loaded question? "Who says I have a boyfriend? How much do you know about me?"

"I don't answer questions, Batgirl. I ask them, and I don't ask them twice."

Barbara started moving, boots spraying around the gravel at her feet as she stalked to the parapet. She threw the crumpled bottle aside. "That's really not any of your damn business."

"It's my business if your sex life interferes with your effectiveness as an agent. The enemy is subtle and devious. They'll seek out any weakness they can find. I'm ready for it. Are you?"

Her cheeks were burning. They sizzled against her cowl like bacon on a hot pan. She swung around so fast her cape crackled in the air. "Okay, that is bullshit. Everyone knows why you don't bring Catwoman in."

His teeth gritted; a crack in the statue. "She's more useful to me on the outside than she would be in jail."

"I'm so sure!"

"I have other informants. Criminals who aren't dangerous. People I can rely on."

"Do you fuck them too?"

His disfavor was like a cold front breaking against her. Barbara's head spun. She felt like lying down.

"An active sex life is part of an efficient physiology. It keeps me healthy and reduces my stress. If your prudery makes that impossible for you, I understand, but you should find some way of managing—"

"You fuck a criminal who dresses up like a cat and I'm a prude? She's a kinky freak and you're into that! I've seen her, she could make all the money she wants as a, as a supermodel; she's certainly not too modest for it! You let her run rampant because you're hung up on sex, because you have these fucked up impulses you can't deal with any other way—"

"Better than not dealing with them at all," Batman snapped.

"I am not a prude!" Barbara insisted. "I'm a normal person, not some freak who only fucks people so he can't be seduced by a goddamn plant! So don't fucking tell me how to live my life!"

"As long as you wear that—" His finger jabbed into the emblem on her chest. "I have every right to tell you how to conduct yourself and how to prepare yourself for this mission. If you don't like it, I can rip your mask off right now and report you to Commissioner Gordon. I'd rather see a half-baked vigilante in jail than getting herself killed doing a job she can't commit to."

"You want me to get laid so bad? Fine!"

Her lips flew to his. His mouth tasted like old blood and his cowl was hard as bone where she gripped it, but she felt something keen inside herself—something animal in him that awakened something in her. When she pulled away from him—more like pushed him away—her nipples were stabbing the front of her costume. Her clit felt juicy, like an overripe grape, just needing the slightest pinch to be drained.

He stared at her. Of course he did. But there was a heat to it, an eroticism to his attention. She basked in it. The way his lips ran together under his teeth, prolonging the taste of her. She could've almost apologized, but she was determined not to.

Then he grabbed her by both arms and threw her to the ground, so hard she skidded a foot in the gravel. She jimmied her hand under herself and started to get up, but he was upon her, his presence a physical force at her back, his cape falling around her stiflingly warm. His cruel hands, armored with cold metal, plucked away her belt and took hold of her pants and ripped them as he pulled the waistline down her legs. With her panties, he didn't even bother. He ripped them right away, the waistband snapping like a guitar string.

Then he stayed there, her exposed under him, his gloves locked into the gravel on either side of her. Barbara saw herself spinning around, elbowing him, kneeing him in the groin. She saw herself kissing him, running her hands over his body, letting him enter her. She stayed right where she was as the blood pounding in her ears quieted into the night's gentle hum, his irregular breathing above her like an engine that needed to be fixed. She stared straight ahead, now really feeling her nudity, and said "Come on. What are you waiting for? Come on! Do it!"

His hands took her by the hair, drawing her up and back and to his hot mouth, her face turned over her shoulder. Her hands fell to his chest, like she was going to push him away, but they went numb against the powerful muscle bending the hardened armor. His strong arms crushed her tightly to him, the scallops on his gauntlets pressing against her breasts. She tried to think of how she could drive him off, if she wanted to, and just saw him fucking her—ripping away her spandex to get to her soft white breasts, his hands squeezing her vulnerable body, his cock possessing her virgin blood. Slowly, degree by degree, she went limp.

He turned her back around with a brush of his fingers, facing her forward, and she heard the bellow of his breath as he scented her hair. Batman slung her cape over her shoulder so it was spread out under her and Barbara went limp as he ushered back down atop the ground, now lying semi-comfortably on the soft material. The fluttering ache between her legs had become butterflies zooming around excitedly in her belly. It seemed wrong to have such a girlish feeling when this was all so adult, so new and dirty and different to schoolgirl crushes and genteel dates.

She felt abject fear, but not of him. It was the fear of standing on a high-dive, walking a tight-rope. She feared the pain of giving herself over to him, but she feared not doing so more, and she was confused and frightened enough to become a frayed knot of raw nerves. That, at least, felt right. Virgins were supposed to be nervous, right? She'd expected herself to be confident and calm and prepared. No. It should feel like this. Monumental.

Barbara made no effort to halt him, as he embarked on whatever mechanical process got his penis out of its tin can. Then the heat of his breath seared her scalp and she felt him, there, the tip of his manhood indescribable—not at all like the petite little vibrator she'd bought in secret. It was meat, it was flesh, it was alive—it was nature, and nature meant it to go inside her, as surely as animals needed water and plants needed sunlight.

He was on the tail of her spine, running down her body—the blunt curve of his cockhead passing over her ass and tickling her clit. Then it found the moistness of her vagina; her pussy. You examined a vagina. You fucked a pussy.

This was crazy. She was crazy. She dreaded the pain of taking him inside, but that just made her body more heated. Her breasts were alive with sensation, taking in the pressure of her tight costume and the sharpness of the gravel under her cape, sending her pinpricks of maddening, delicious feeling as he bore down on her. She loved him for it. For making this not boring, not expected, not obligatory, but as insanely exciting as a child's first roller coaster. It was all so impossible that she was freed from having to be logical. She could just be his.

And before she knew it, she was. She felt him, big, hard, bare-skinned and yet somehow apiece with all the armor he covered himself with. He was inside her in one muscular surge, not human at all, but as resilient and unyielding as the Bat had ever been. And yet she could feel the beginnings of the first orgasm a man would ever give her. He was alien, he would always be alien, but she was real. Her pleasure was real.

"More!" she cried, her face buried in her cape, scraping on the gravel it held back. "All of you! In me! Inside me!"

His voice was guttural as ever, but she could hear its strain, or at least imagine it without too much difficulty. He was enjoying this—her. "I'll hurt you."

"Hurt me!" she demanded. She begged.

Batman gritted his teeth and winced. Her tightness was enough to cause him pain, not that he'd show more than an inkling of it. As for Barbara herself, she'd not yet felt any of the pain she was supposed to feel—just an aching pleasure that stung as much as it thrilled. She wanted the pain. She wanted this to be The Moment, the day her life changed, her first hour as a woman instead of a girl. Bracing hands and knees under herself, she pushed back against Batman, grinding her crotch up against his.

"Yes…" she gritted out, the pain becoming strong—pure. "This is what it's supposed to be like, this is how it's supposed to be! Put it in me! Tear into me!"

He put his hand on the back of her neck, in the nest of her hair, and held her down as she tried to rise. His other gloved hand went between her legs to her impalement, and she shuddered in pleasure as they touched where his cock had opened her up. Then they came up to his face, bright red.

"Virgin," he muttered.

"Not anymore," she replied. "Bet Catwoman didn't lose her virginity to you."

His hips twitched, moving slowly but evenly, pushing inexorably forward to pry his steel-hard cock into her clenched sex. He made inevitable headway, stretching her, taking her, inch by inch until Barbara couldn't see how there could be more of him. But there was.

"You're not losing your virginity," he told her, his voice making her shiver right down to her clit. "I'm taking it."

He took hold of her hips; she felt her own warm blood smear on her skin where he touched her. And he roughly hauled her up to her hands and knees, doggy style, something she'd always thought of as degrading and perverse. She didn't feel degraded now.

Batman dragged her onto his cock, piercing her tightly wound pussy, pulling her further and further until she'd made room for him where she'd never been touched before. And still he came, because she was pushing her hips back, taking him harder and faster than either of them could go on their own.

Then she realized he was testing her. Weighting her responses as surely as he did when they trained together. He held her still as much as he worked her onto his cock, evening out her herky-jerky movements, using her like a toy. His unbreakable grip locked her in place as his prick retreated, kept her there as he slid almost all the way back inside her. Gauging how much she could take, how fast, how hard.

"Fuck me!" she pleaded, but he was deaf to her. The only accounting he made of her wishes was to loosen his grip, just enough to let her slowly thrust her hips back, meeting him as he leaned in. She felt him at another new, amazing depth—once more she was incredibly full.

It was absolutely infuriating: he had all the control and all the power. And she could feel her steadily building orgasm finally creep into the red. Once more she was strung along his cock, racked down it painful inch by inch by inch by delicious inch. And like they were flint and tender instead of man and woman, she burst into flame before he was even finished. To her shame, she even admitted it. She practically thanked him.

"You're making me come—oh—aah—yes! Oh fuck! Oh Jesus!" He was in her now, truly inside her, embedded like he meant to stay. She wiggled her ass against his belly, feeling the brisk hair there. Imagine it. Batman's body hair. She'd never even seen him with stubble.

He let go of her hips with one hand, assuming probably correctly that he could control her with just the left, and grabbed hold of her hair. Shoved her face down into the gravel so her ass was in the air and he was fucking it, not her. And Barbara moaned in pleasure like a bitch in heat.

When she licked her lips, she tasted the tears that had been running down her face all along. "Fuck me harder, you bastard, you goddamn maniac! Tear me apart!"

His hand pulled taut in her hair—his fingers dug cruelly into her midsection. He had her. She'd given so much of herself to him and he'd kept it all. "You can come twice more. Then I'll finish."

He loosened the rein, letting her speed up her hips and shortening his own strokes. Barbara still cried out as she was stretched with every thrust, but a few inches of his cock were kept outside so she couldn't hurt herself. He quickened, grunting now with each thrust. With incredible restrain he pulled half of his cock out of her before punching the whole thing back in. His hand came off her hair, both gauntlets now tightening on her waist hard enough to hurt. She'd have bruises in the morning for sure. The starbursts of his grip engrained on her hips. She wouldn't be able to wear a crop top for days.

Barbara stopped moving, barely breathed, just kept her head down like she was worshipping the night and let him use her. He was near the end, she could tell, and she wanted his climax inside her. She wanted it more than she'd ever wanted anything in her entire life.

He was just waiting for permission, she realized.

"I'm coming, I'm coming, coming—" she repeated mindlessly as his cock beat at her core, bringing her to pleasure that seemed orgasmic except for the way it kept hitting her, one shock after another, each one stronger than the last, each one seeming like it had to be an orgasm, not just a hilting drive of his prick inside her.

He let go of her hips only to grab hold of her tits, using them to pull her up to him, her back to his front. And he thrust into her, kneading her breasts hard enough to embed his gloved fingers in her flesh, her costume actually ripping a little from the strain of his groping. And he kept fucking into her pussy as he fondled her, making it sizzle, boil, burn—

"Come, little virgin." His voice rattled in her ear like a machine on its last legs, broken but still carrying the weight of an order. "Come, now."

Suddenly Barbara wasn't aware of his hands clawing her soft breasts or even of his cock invading her so thoroughly that she didn't know if she'd ever be touched where he had touched her again. She'd always had low expectations for sex—never given into romanticism—always remembered that it was just a biological function, a catalyst for procreation, and just like the taste of her first beer or the first joint she'd smoked, if she expected more than the same stimulation she got from a massaging showerhead, she was sure, absolutely sure, she'd be disappointed.

Now, all she felt was pleasure. She didn't felt her sweaty costume or her cape spread under her or the gravel cutting into her—she was the violent motion of her panting and writhing and desperate attempts to drive herself back into his thrusts, because the only thing she could feel beyond her ecstasy was the pain of the unrelenting, unending thing raging inside her most secret, her most intimate areas. And then she was aware of one more thing. A newcomer to this orgasmic world she'd been forced into. Her own words of utter, screaming satisfaction: "I'M COMING OH GOD OH MY FUCKING GOD I'M FUCKING COMING!"

More filtered into her blinded world; she became aware of her body jerking and bucking against the cock that grew impossibly vast within her, and then gushed within her. Her computational mind even now called up her knowledge of oil rigs, derricks—the process of drilling into the Earth's dense crust until oil was found—the very discovery violent, destructive, a geyser of crude oil that once was powerful enough to destroy the weak wood that held the drill.

That was the only thing she could compare her body's new, startling action to. Batman had plumbed her depths, found reservoirs of her pleasure she'd never known were there, and now tapped them, harnessed them. She heard him moaning like a lost soul over her as her well-used cunt sucked greedily at the gift he was giving her.

Barbara's kneeling legs jumped out from under her, splaying pornographically to either side of Batman's body. Only his hands held her up as he pumped his orgasm into her. He grabbed her face hard enough to jog her mask and brought her up to his own grim visage. She could barely take in the wild look in his eyes, the pained set of his jaw, before the heat of his mouth was on hers and she was thrusting her tongue into his wet hungry maw. His kiss was like napalm in her mouth, and he kept burning her until his ejaculation had finished churning inside her.

"Want you… need you… have you," he growled, his mouth, his hands, his cock all mauling her.

Now he let go of her, and she fell prostrate before him—his cock still buried deep inside her flooded cunt. He withdrew it, disappearing from her. All she could see of Batman was his shadow falling over her.

Her body was bursting, bright and hot in the cold night, in her bruised and satiated flesh. She'd felt things—glorious things—things that would make her fall in love with any other man. They kept away her shame and recrimination for long minutes of helpless, hapless enjoyment before she remembered who she was, where she was, the savagery of what she'd done and who she'd done it with.

Her mouth gaped. Her eyes were wide. She turned around to see Batman, withdrawn now a fair distance away, fully armored, the only sign of their exertion a thin sheen of sweat on his exposed face.

He'd fucked her. She'd been fucked and fucked well and she didn't know whether to feel ashamed of herself or—joy. Overwhelming, unabashed joy.

Only she did know. It was just so goddamn crazy that she knew.

She took off her cowl and stood before him, barefaced, costume ripped, her pants around her thighs and his cum trickling from her deflowered cunt. Even her hair was a mess. "My name's Barbara Gordon."

He nodded tightly. "I suspected."

"You didn't know?" She'd been half-convinced he had, from the first moment he'd seen her. Almost hoped for it.

"You were good about hiding it." He didn't look away, but his attention wandered. She wondered how hard it was for him to face her, now. "And I didn't want to know."

"You do now." Belatedly—very belatedly—she pulled her pants up, did up her belt. It didn't feel like it did much to preserve her modesty. "You don't have to take yours off."

"I should," he said, and the two words spoke volumes. Catwoman. Catwoman knew. Or maybe he wished she knew.

"But you don't have to," she insisted.

He just stood there, and she knew he wasn't sure if he could or not.

"We're on the clock," he said finally, the grimness of his voice peaking. "I'll sweep north on Route 23A, you check out Route 14B to the south. Contact me if you get into trouble."

"Never do," she replied.

He left first.

Funny old world: when Barbara had lost her virginity, she'd been crying. Now that it was gone, she couldn't stop smiling.