Batman ducked the fireball that had been lobbed in his direction. The young hothead wearing the sevens logo on his jacket didn't have particularly good aim but when you were throwing superheated balls of plasma that didn't seem to overly matter. The billboard Batman was hovering in front of was converted into liquid with a sound that was oddly similar to a kettle going off. Batman sent a pair of batarangs at the pyrokinettic and his partner. Luckily the partner was only holding a laser rifle, but Batman hadn't ruled out him having powers as well.

Batman jumped high again keeping his wings out to make himself a target against the spotlights and other neon that the city had painted itself in for the holiday season. Thanksgiving was only four days ago and already nearly every building had signs of forced christmas cheer. The current target for destruction was no exception, in fact it was the center of a hub of sound and light that proclaimed itself festive.

The fête des lumières might have even achieved its goal if the night had been quiet and the forecast had been snow rather than the depressing frozen rain and sleet that they'd been getting off and on since Halloween. Terry hadn't been to the festival of lights in a few years since it was more of a family attraction, but what he remembered had been nice.

So of course the sevens had decided it needed to be destroyed.

The sevens were getting more and more annoying lately. They had been slowly growing as a gang presence in the city since early summer. They didn't have the foothold that the Ts had or the numbers that the Joker's boasted but a few of their members had turned out to have powers, which was turning into a real pain to deal with.

"Your section of the show is clear. You should be able to handle them without distractions. Gordon's people are still three minutes out but the local security has the perimeter established." Wayne's tones in his ear were a blessing.

"Time for me to stop playing decoy then." Batman said, dark joy filtering into his voice, not all of it from the synthesizer. Up to that point he had let the various twinkling structures outline his form but if the civilians were out of danger it was time for that to end.

Switching his visor to heat-vision turned the world red. For a moment he had to fight a flinch but he was already moving into the next act in this chain. Two flash grenades landed at either end of the path, whiting out the whole area to anyone with normal vision. The two sevens had their arms raised, flinching away almost before the light hit them. The pyro tossed another ball of plasma into the air but blinded his aim was even worse if that was possible. The fireball arced up only to come crashing down on the giant Frosty the Snowman structure forty feet away. The artfully rendered giant burst into a further cascade of golden sparks before the circuit breakers kicked in and the whole thing went dark.

Batman casually aimed a batarang at the nearest fuse box and the rest of the lane followed Frosty's example. It wasn't exactly dark, they were still in the middle of a city, but for someone whose eyes had just been fried by the equivalent of ten thousand flashbulbs it might as well be pitch.

Batman dropped to the ground, slipping in behind the pyrokinetic and delivering a jab to the guy's neck that would take him out of the fight. He knocked the second guy's gun away with a back kick that continued into a sweep, taking the guy's feet out from under him. Batman considered knocking the second guy out as well but decided to leave him awake for the police instead. He settled with tying him up in an uncomfortable position.

"ETA on Gordon?"

"Give them another minute, then you should be able to slip away."

Terry waited the required minute tucked into a shadowy corner. Once the officers arrived Batman slipped away with his usual discretion. It was only nine so he headed back to the car to continue his patrol rather then head home or back to the cave. The holidays were apparently something of a busy time for criminals which meant he got dragged along for the ride. At least he didn't have any ice themed villains. Metropolis had already been frozen over once this season. It had been someone new there as well, what had he called himself again? Sub-zero, ultimate zero … not that it really mattered. The League had needed about five minutes to take him down and spent the rest of the day hosting the biggest snowball fight they could, with anyone who wanted to join in.

Come to think of it maybe having an ice villain wouldn't be too bad. The fact that it had been a kid though ….

"Hey old man, that pyro, do we have a file on him? I'm pretty sure the Sevens have someone who can make things blow up but I don't remember any fireballs last time around." Batman was behind the wheel now and brought the car up to rooftop level. He had Bruce speaking out of the car's radio rather than the comms, the ambient sounds of the batcave providing a soothing background to the voice Terry always had in his ear.

"You're thinking of the short blond who accelerates chemical reactions. No this one appears to be new."

"Great, add another meta I have to deal with on a regular basis. They're coming out of the woodwork. You know I don't remember there being half this many meta's when I was growing up. Maybe there is something to that whole heroes attract villains theory."

"More likely it's your age group. Metahuman activity has increased fourteen percent all across the country not just here in Gotham." keys clacked behind the words and Batman could almost see the old man pulling up statistics.

"Oh, great, that's so much more comforting. What do you mean it's my age group anyway, what's that have to do with it?"

"Three years before you were born the MGS was ruled unethical by the CDC."

"Want to try that again without the acronyms?"

"Three years before you were born the Meta-gene suppressant was ruled unethical by the Center for Disease control." the eye roll was audible. "By that point the age of heroes created by the first emergence of the Justice League had ended and the ratio of active metahumans was at a record low. Since that included villains as well as heroes people were less concerned about an outcome that would only manifest years later. It was also a very controversial subject, controlling gene manipulation always will be."

"Considering all the splicers I have to deal with I can see their point."

"There's a robbery in progress two blocks north of you."

"On it."






Author's note:

So this story is technically a sequel. The problem is that I wrote the first story back in 2011. It was my first major fanfic, and while I want to go back and give it the rewrite it needs and deserves... I haven't done so yet. But keeping the first several chapters of this story tucked away on my computer seems a waste.

If you want to go read the first story it's at s/6640053/1/Partners

I'll give a summary in a moment for those of you who want to skip straight into this story.

Also I am more active on AO3 these days; username Litra. I plan to post this story at the same rate over there but I've never been good at keeping track of co-posting so who knows. feel free to poke me if it looks like i've updated one place but not the other. :P




Okay, Summary of Partners. *spoilers*

In Partners it was revealed that Matt secretly knew Terry was Batman. Then Terry's memories of being Batman were erased. Matt snuck into the batcave and stole the Robin suit. He alerted Commissioner Gordon, except she'd also had her memories erased. Returning to the cave Matt was caught by Bruce (yep his memories were gone too, but that didn't stop him) Bruce used the batcave's computer to catch up on things. Terry got a crash course in using the bat suit, just in time for Shriek to attack. It came out that ***SPOILER*** Shriek and Spellbinder had teamed up to hypnotise Terry and Co. They kidnapped a young cop, Ian Hawk, thinking he was Batman. Matt snuck off tracking Ian. Terry tracked Matt. Matt was injured, and Terry had a scare where it looked like he killed a guy, but they managed to get the algorithm used the erase their memories. Bruce was able to reverse it, but in doing so it erased their memories of the weeks they didn't have their memories. Matt went back to acting as if he didn't know while secretly training to be Robin.