First Batman Beyond Fanfic-let... let me know what you all think :)

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Summary: Nelson Nash thinks of a few things over after an ill-considered prank played on Terry.

Nelson's Wake Up Call
by Marns AKA Bumpkin

Nelson Nash swore to himself, 'Damn, I've gone and done it this time haven't I?' Nelson wondered if you were supposed to have every stupid act you ever pulled flash before your eyes when you are about to die. And he was about to die if the expression in Terry's cold, ice blue eyes was anything to go by, backed up with the looming fist.

It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. Really, it had. When Nelson and his cronies had been passing through the quad of Hamilton Hill High and seen Terry McGinnis sleeping through lunch hour yet again, the idea had just plopped fully formed into their nasty little minds. It helped that Terry had chosen a rather unconventional place to take his nap, perched as he was on the retaining wall. Nelson and his crew had seen almost immediately that it would barely take anything at all to sneak up on their unsuspecting classmate and give him a shove so that he would fall down the outer slope of the wall ungracefully. Hopefully he would even wake up and squeal in fright as he tried to scrabble back to safety, degrading himself embarrassingly. That was the idea at any rate, but not with Terry. They should have remembered, nothing ever went smoothly when McGinnis was involved.

Gleefully, Nelson had snuck up on the slumbering Terry who hadn't even twitched at the larger boys approach. It was all going exactly to plan, but then as soon as Nelson had reached out and pushed, things had started to go horribly wrong. Instead of being shocked and disoriented like anybody else would've been, Terry had reacted like lightening. Terry's hands had caught at the hands shoving him before his weight had shifted more than a few inches and then in a move that stunned anybody watching, Terry had used the grip he had on Nelson's wrists to flip himself up and over the other boy back to solid ground. Then before Nelson had a chance to react to the first maneuver, Terry used the same grip to flip Nelson smoothly into a winded sprawl on the ground.

Which is where they stood now, with Nelson gasping for breath like some fish out of water and Terry looming over him, fist cocked, ready to do maximum damage. From the time that Nelson and his crew had their nasty little idea to the present, mere minutes had passed and now they were attracting a crowd.

Nelson barely noticed the gathering of his peers, all he could see at the moment was the very dangerous expression on the face of the boy crouched over him. No one else could see the narrowed icy blue eyes, so cold looking that they appeared dead or the lips that were drawn back from the teeth in a fierce snarl. It was all hidden from view by the unruly shock of fine black hair hanging down. Something else that wasn't going to be noted by anyone else was the almost sub-vocal growl coming from the dark haired boy. Nelson had a feeling that he was more feeling that than hearing it.

'Damn, I knew that McGinnis was dangerous, so why'd I keep pushing him?' Nelson knew why, because he was supposed to be the cock of the walk. The big guy on campus and Terry McGinnis was forever challenging him or showing him up in one way or another. McGinnis had the bad boy rep after his brief stint in juvvie, but for some reason the little people still looked up to him. He had that whole bad kid made good thing going on that made twips like Howard Groote and Willie Watt seek comfort under his wing. It made others seek Terry out too if Nash was going to be totally honest with himself. Terry just seemed to inspire confidence in other kids. 'Probably because he doesn't throw his weight around to make himself feel big Nash.' And he could easily, working for billionaire Wayne now like he was.

Then there was the way that the guy could fight. Case in point, the way he, Nelson, was flat on his back after surprising the guy from sleep. After watching Terry in action two and a half years ago, Nelson should really have known better than to even try anything. Contrary to his constant boasts otherwise, Nelson had never had any illusions about who would win if he and Terry had ever mixed it up in a fight for real. Terry, hands down would be the winner. Look at some of the crap that he had seen the guy do in the past.

Most guys wouldn't take on a whole gang of jokerz by themselves, but Terry had, and he'd done it with quick and economical moves. Sure Nelson had made noises at the time about knowing that Terry was some kind of freak job, but really he'd been impressed. He'd just been peeved with how badly Terry had shown him up. Here he was, the big time jock and he'd been getting his butt served to him on a platter by some chick in a pink polka-dotted dress and a spiked rubber chicken. Then there was that dreg Terry, former gang member, challenging the lot of them and winning. It had been embarrassing.

It wasn't even that McGinnis was trying to make Nelson look bad; it just worked out that way. Terry actually couldn't care less what anybody thought of him. He was just doing what he thought needed to be done. He always did. Terry had even helped Nelson out a few times. Like when that whole 'ghost' thing had been going on, Terry had been the one to figure out that it was Watt behind the whole thing from inside juvvie's walls. Then Terry had helped again when whacked out nature boy had cornered Nelson at the airport. Terry had rushed the guy and gotten knocked aside before he ran for help.

Nelson thought of all of this as he lay there waiting for the boom to fall, or Terry's fist, but thankfully Max Gibson had heard the commotion and managed to worm her way through the crowd to the front. She was very careful not to touch Terry physically, Nelson noted, she just talked to him. Seems his friends knew better than to touch a sleeping Terry, maybe they should have shared that with the rest of the school before something like this happened. 'But this wouldn't have happened at all if you weren't being a jerk.' He had to admit to himself.

"Hey Ter, wake up time. You're at school buddy, c'mon. It was just that stupid Nelson playing a lame joke. Wake up Ter." Her sultry voice was cajoling but insistent, and it was working. Nelson could see first hand how it was working. Terry's lips had eased from their snarl into a more natural frown and his blue eyes were not so icy or lifeless as confusion clouded them. The rest of his body's posture had relaxed at the same time.

Obviously still bewildered at how he had ended up kneeling over Nash so threateningly, Terry looked up and over to Max who seeing that he was awake for real, grabbed his arm and drag him upright off of Nelson's still sprawled body. The crowd parted for the two friends as Max dragged the dark haired boy away, stopping once briefly to snag the backpack that McGinnis had been using as a pillow from the wall. Nelson, who had been watching the two friends leave waited until they were out of sight before he let his head fall back down into the dirt with a thump.

'Well, that was the singularly most idiotic thing that I have ever done to date.' Nelson thought to himself. He knew that McGinnis had a temper, and he knew that the kid could fight, why would he put himself in that kind of situation? Nelson also knew that after this there were two things that he was going to hold to. One, was that he was going to need a new pair of shorts, and two, to help with one, that he was going to forevermore let sleeping Terry's lie. It was only weeks until Graduation; he should be able to stay out of McGinnis' way until that was done and over with.

'Perhaps, this was a wake up call,' Nelson thought as he slowly got to his feet and brushed himself off. After Graduation, he could go anywhere; maybe he should turn over a new leaf when he got there. 'But not until then, I don't want people thinking that I've changed just 'cause McGinnis whupped my butt.'