Despite Dana as a character or Terry/Dana never really moving past indifference for me at best I decided to write up something with Terry/Dana anyway.
Plus, to improve or at least try to on Dana's character more than the Batman Beyond writers did by letting Dana grow, and the relationship with Terry grow by finding out McGinnis is Batman.
Or well in the Justice League Unlimited Episode Epilogue we find out that in the future Dana does know Terry is Batman. However, in the series, since the writers were stuck in the status quo must remain unchanged we never got exploring any of that for seeing how Dana learning the truth.
As I've said before Batman Beyond while starting off as a good series ended up wasting a lot of its potential for what could have been.
Timeline wise I place this at the very end of Return of the Joker film with ROTJ events happening post-season 3.
Now on with the story
Gotham General Hospital
Terry sitting at one of the tables finishes drinking from a cup of water just to process everything that's happened recently with The Joker returning. Just got done checking on Tim Drake while Bruce and Barbara stayed with the former Robin.
Suddenly Terry looks up to see Stephanie Brown, Time Drake's wife sit down in the chair across from him.
"Joker huh? In a microchip" Stephanie says with a shake of his head.
"I have no clue what you're talking about" Terry replies inwardly wondering where she could have learned that from. Plus hoping she's not a threat connected to the Joker.
Rolling her eyes "Let's just say I know a few things about you McGinnis and the old man. I knew Drake from way back when he wore red a lot more" Stephanie says.
"Ah I understand and yes it was a microchip. But Joker is gone for good. How did you know?" Terry asks.
"Barbara told me" Stephanie replies.
"I'd imagine hearing your husband was controlled by an insane monster long since dead is unsettling," Terry says.
Grimacing "Yeah but long since gotten used to that kind of life for crazy things happening. Although these days the world since the Near-Apocalypse of 09 is not like it once was" Stephanie says.
"What do you mean? I know a lot of heroes gave their lives during that event or were very injured. Almost the entire Justice League wiped out in a battle leaving just a handful of members" Terry says from having studied Bruce's old files.
"Pretty much what you just explained. I grew up in the golden age of heroes' kid, before they passed into legend a lot more over the decades. Things like Joker, various supervillain groups popping up, alien invasions, new heroes springing up overnight were commonplace" Stephanie says in a wistful tone.
"You miss it?" Terry asks.
"No not all of it. Don't miss the life-threatening danger. Anyway, onto happier topics so you have a girlfriend?" Stephanie asks curiously.
"Yeah her name's Dana. Actually, got targeted by the Joker and is in the hospital" Terry says, "I was planning on going to see her."
"Does she know who you are?" Stephanie asks.
"No, it's too dangerous" Terry replies.
Raising an eyebrow "Really for who? Dana got attacked by Joker even not knowing your secret. Tell me do you love her?" Stephanie inquires.
"Yeah, I do. She's compassionate, intelligent has put up with me for all the dates I keep missing, and through my time with Bigelow's gang" Terry says.
"Don't end up like the old man by being unable, to tell the truth. One reason why Bruce is so alone in life. Only that's just me, take my advice or don't. It's your choice Terry" Stephanie says, "It was nice meeting you."
"Nice meeting you too," Terry says.
Stephanie gets up walking off as Terry returns looking at the water swirling it around, lost in thought. In the end, Max left months ago no longer able to take the stress of being a part of this life. He doesn't want to lose Dana the same way or worse.
Later in a hospital room
Opening the door Terry steps in to see Dana laying there on the bed but awake watching TV which she mutes upon seeing her boyfriend. Meanwhile, McGinnis closes the door making his way over to her bed and sitting down in a chair.
"Hey, how you doing?" Terry asks.
"Been better but mostly fine. No real injuries so that's Schway. Oh, you just missed my dad so perfect timing. How are you? I heard Mr. Wayne had a fall or something" Dana says in concern.
"Yeah, he's doing fine, got better. I'm sorry you got hurt since it's my fault" Terry says guiltily.
"No Terry, those Jokerz came after me for their own reasons. You know how they are, it's not your fault" Dana replies.
"It's not the case this time. They targeted me because well it's a long story. Not going to get into those details but before I tell you this, I need to know you will at least listen. If you hate me and never want to see me again, I'll understand" Terry says.
"Listen I was still around following you being with Bigelow, I'm not leaving" Dana replies warmly.
"Thank you," Terry says giving her hand a gentle squeeze "The reason why I keep missing all those dates, I need to help Mr. Wayne as I do… is because I'm Batman."
After a few minutes as Dana processes, this eventually says "It all makes sense. All the times you would leave only for Batman to show right up. The bruises, everything."
"So, you're not mad?" Terry asks.
"How could I be mad when you're out there keeping everyone safe. Your father and mother would be so proud" Dana says grinning "I know I am."
"Thank you, that means a lot to me. I've thought about telling you so much, really ever since I started. I just couldn't. Because I'm worried something like this would happen, to you, Matt, my mother and then it does anyway" Terry says with a shake of his head.
"Hey, it's okay. I'm here, I'm not going anywhere. Your stuck with me, Dark Knight or not. And I have to apologize for how I would get when you did keep bailing on our dates" Dana says.
"No, it's fine" Terry replies "You had every right to be upset."
"Well okay I did but up until a point. I could have been a little more understanding than just expecting you to drop everything when you were trying to provide for your family" Dana says some guilt seeping in.
"Like I said it's fine. We all make mistakes. I still am providing for my family given I do get a real paycheck to make things official plus for income regarding Matt, and mom" Terry says.
Suddenly the door opens as Barbara Gordon steps into the room with looking over at Terry. Briefly Dana's eyes go wide upon seeing Commissioner Gordon at the door.
"Hey, kid, sorry to interrupt but well could I see you in private" Barbara says urgently.
"Go ahead, it's fine. She knows" Terry says.
"We've got a hostage situation on our hand. Shriek wants Batman" Barbara explains.
"I'll meet you there" Terry replies.
"And kid nice to know you're not trying to end up like him, all alone. Gives you any grief let me know" Barbara says.
Terry merely nods with getting up as Barbara leaves while McGinnis turns looking back at Dana.
"You're going to be late, just get going and come back to me safe. Love you" Dana says.
Leaning down Terry kisses Dana on her lips momentarily then pulls back just as the sound of police sirens flying by the window distracts Dana. As Dana looks back to where McGinnis was only to find Terry has already left the room.
Giving a light grin at finally knowing the truth despite everything for the danger involved, Dana closes her eyes for some sleep knowing as always, she and the city are being watched over.
Hope you all enjoyed this and leave a review letting me know what you think.
So first I sent Max away for explaining her disappearance in Return of the Joker and later Justice League Unlimited season 1 finale.
Moving on giving a bit more detail to Near-Apocalypse of 09 for the tragedy being nearly wiping out all the heroes is my way of explaining the lack of the Justice League in the Batman Beyond episodes to the extent they were running around in Justice League Unlimited.
Now sure the real reason is neither Justice League nor Justice League Unlimited had been created yet.
Until next time