Ginger Beer and Treasure Maps! Hurrah!


Disclaimer: All characters within belong to other people. Namely, DC comics and Enid Blyton (or whoever owns it now she's dead). Even the non-specific bad guy.

Author's Notes: I found this fic in one of my drawers when I was having one of my infrequent must-sort-things-out tidy ups. I'd forgotten I'd written it, but I was sufficiently impressed with myself to post it. Apart from that the first paragraph is pants. Ah well.

And for the purposes of this fic, Kirrin is within rowing distance of Bludhaven. Don't question it, just accept. It'll make it a lot easier for everyone.


Nightwing gazed out from his perch on Pier 25. The dark waters shimmered beneath him as he scanned the area. He stiffened as he heard the gentle splashing of a boat in the water and the muffled squeak of oars. Peering through a pair of collapsible binoculars, he spotted the small rowboat as it approached the pier. Nightwing leapt from his position and performed a flawless double somersault before throwing out a line and swinging to a closer vantage point. He landed noiselessly and pulled out the binoculars again. As the boat drew closer, he could hear the whispers of the figures on board. He strained his ears to catch what they were saying.

"Is this the right place?" one of them hissed.

"Yes," the tallest-seeming one answered, "this is where the map was marked."

"Is that the map that we found in the old farmhouse in the not-very-secret compartment where lots of people have looked before but never found anything but where we found the treasure map straight away?"

Nightwing frowned. That didn't sound like the way anyone he knew operated. A map in an old farmhouse? He turned his attention back to the conversation to find out more.

"That's it. It was simple once we'd solved the riddles on it."

Riddles? The Riddler? He was locked up, wasn't he?

Oh boy, Nightwing mused. Just the thought of him brings me out in question marks.

"But what about that nasty man?" the small blonde girl in the front asked. "He pretended to be our friend just to get the map."

"We don't need to worry about him anymore. That two-faced lying beast."

Twoface? Nightwing shuddered involuntarily.

"He was horrible. And he stank of fish."

Fish? The Penguin?

"Oh, buck up, Anne," the tallest boy said, "everyone in Kirrin smells of fish."

"Well thanks a bunch, Ju," the child rowing grumbled.

The boat finally reached the end of the pier. Four children climbed out, dressed in shorts, jerseys and sandals, and followed by a scruffy-looking dog. Nightwing observed them clinically, filing away the facts in his mind. The tallest boy was blond and seemed to be called 'Ju'. The next boy was dark-haired and shorter. The one who had been rowing was dressed like a boy and had short curly hair, but there was something about them that made Nightwing uncertain. The smallest girl, Anne, looked around nervously. She didn't look particularly keen to be there.

"Well, this is the place," she said, "George, have you got the map?"

George. So that was that one's name. That didn't help much. Could be short for Georgina; just a girl with a boy's hairstyle and dress sense. Too many androgynous types around, Nightwing mused, conveniently forgetting the fact that he used to have a ponytail.

"Yes. Have you got the compass, Dick?"

Dick? Did he hear that right? Nightwing almost did a little dance of joy. Someone else had parents with a cruel sense of humour too.

"There you go. I say, Anne, have you got the sandwiches that Aunt Fanny packed for us? I'm starving!"

Aunt Fanny? Jeeze, this family really had a problem with names.

Nightwing watched closely as the children paced out several shapes along the floor, apparently counting their steps carefully, before stopping at the really obvious trapdoor in the centre. This they found only when Anne tripped over it. They heaved it up and peered inside excitedly. Nightwing moved closer, balancing on an overhead beam. From the hole, they pulled a box, which they opened with a penknife, revealing treasure inside.

Nightwing stared in disbelief. These kids had just waltzed into Bludhaven with a map of indeterminate origin and unearthed some pretty fantastic treasure.

"Wow, Ju," the little girl exclaimed, "we really found it!"

"Easy, Anne. It's not like we've never found treasure before from an old map."

"Yes, I know, but still, we found it!"

"And that I thank you for, but it's mine now," a new voice cut in.

Nightwing moved his gaze to see the new arrivals at the pier. Fourmen, in thick jumpers and carrying guns, stood around the children. The dog, who up until now had been silent, growled and made as if to bite the men.

"Call him off or I'll shoot," one of the men said, waving his gun threateningly.

"You'd better do it, George," Anne said, trembling, "he's got a revolver."

Nightwing almost snorted with laughter. A revolver? That? Blatantly not.

"You won't get away with this," George spoke defiantly, lower lip sticking out in a major pout.

"Oh yes I will, little girl," the man chuckled, and pulled off his hat.

"You're the man who was staying at the farmhouse!" Dick exclaimed.

"Yes, and I've won!" the man crowed triumphantly.

Nightwing grimaced. This night's patrol was rapidly becoming an utter cliché. He wondered what would come next. The long-winded descriptions of all the man's evil plans, or the part where he locked the children in an easily-escapable small room where they could get out and go to the police.

"Now we're going to lock you in this small room."

We'll go to the police!" Ju cried.

"You haven't got any evidence," the man said, smiling nastily.

"We don't need evidence," Ju said proudly, "we're the Famous Five."

The Famous Five? Were they some junior version of the Fearsome Five? Or some kindergarten mob group? Somehow, Nightwing didn't think so. They were just kids.

Nightwing decided to intervene; these kids obviously needed help. Probably mental help, but getting a bullet wouldn't help them. He leapt off his beam, somersaulted, and landed on the main bad guy, kicking the gun out of his hand.

"What the-?" he cried as Nightwing's fist connected with his jaw. The other three mooks went down easily. As the last one hit the ground, Nightwing turned to the kids. They weren't there.

"What?" He ran out to the end of the pier. The boat was pulling away across the river, with the kids and the treasure in it.

"Who was that?" he heard Anne whisper.

"Who cares? Just say that we did it all," Julian said authoritatively.

Charming, Nightwing thought. Nice to know I'm appreciated.

"That was fun!" Dick said. "Let's get out the tinned peaches and ginger beer!"

"Yes, lets!"



"But there's nowhere to do the washing-up," Anne complained as the boat moved further away, "and I like washing-up!"


The End. Wasn't that jolly? A round of ices for the first person who reviews (in a virtual sense anyway).