Disclaimer: Don't own them. Don't sue.Holiday Inn, Room 247 4:28 PM January
"No" An English voice sternly said into a bedside phone. "I'm telling you that I don't know what you're looking for."
Over the videophone the LED screen showed a glowing figure of a man with thinning blonde hair. The man raised an eyebrow and looked up from the screen for a split second.
"I think you're lying" The man said. "Mr. B has informed me that he is not in your favor."
"I'm telling you the truth" The voice stated with a slight quiver. The voice was that of a girl; a girl who was stricken by Murphy's Law. "Please. I don't know what you ---."
"Stay where you are" The blonde man said. He ran a hand through his hair and straightened his tie. "We'll see you shortly."
The LED screen went black and the girl hung up the phone. Panic ran through her limbs with a rush of adrenaline. She had done this twice before. She grabbed her duffel bag and tossed it onto the bed. It was already packed with most of her things, it always was.
In a flurry of motion, the girl turned the television on and closed the curtains. She pulled her black coat on. She glanced at the bedside clock. The men never came out until after dark. It was just part of their modus operandi.
The girl grabbed her bag and quickly left the room. She quietly made her way to the stairwell and quickly headed towards the rear entrance of the hotel. It didn't take her long to get outside and find a taxi.
The girl quickly got in and gave the driver her destination.
"Gotham City, please" The girl said.
"You sure miss?" The cab driver asked.
"Yes" The girl said. "Just hurry. Go."
"No problem" The cab driver replied.Gotham City March
The English girl had kept a low profile when she got to Gotham. She had found that staying in her apartment under an alias was just as safe as anything else. She only went out for the necessities, which is what she was doing today.
The girl pulled a rubber band from her pocket and tied back her long black hair. She quickly ducked into a small grocery store. She made it a point to avoid going to the same grocery, bakery, and other such places.
The grocery store was a small place, privately owned, that had a fresh selection of fruits and vegetables, breads, and other items one might commonly need. They also had a small café where they made fresh danishes and doughnuts. The girl grabbed a hand basket and went through the isles collecting the few items that she needed. She stopped by the café and procured a triple shot latte.
As she stood in line waiting for the cashier to finish scanning her items the door opened and the bell rang. The sound seemed overly loud and she flinched. A young man entered and went directly to the café. The girl waited for the cashier to run a price check on her two pounds of apples.
The door opened again. When she glanced over, the blonde man stood there in a long black trench coat.
"Rebecca" The man said. He smiled.
"Oh bloody hell" The girl said. A hand shook her wrist.
"Miss?" The cashier said. Rebecca looked at the cashier, then back to where the blonde man had been. No one was there. "Miss, your total is $37.96."
"Here" Rebecca said handing the cashier two twenties. She took her change and shoved it into her pocket. She picked up her three grocery bags and headed for the door.
She took a sip of her coffee while pushing the door open with her shoulder. There was a bump from the other side of the door that resulted in her coffee being spilt down the front of her coat.
"Damn" Rebecca said taking a step back. She tossed her drink away and tried to brush the brown liquid from her coat.
"Bruce?" The young man from before called. He was over with two coffees. An older man was standing in the doorway rubbing his nose. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine" The older man, Bruce, said. He looked at Rebecca with an icy blue glare. "Are you okay, miss?"
"Yeah, just dandy" Rebecca said. Behind Bruce, passing on the sidewalk outside of the store, Rebecca saw the blonde man though he apparently didn't see her. Rebecca gasped and took a step back, slipping on the coffee that had spilled onto the floor. She landed on her butt with the sound of a dozen cracking eggs from her bag.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Bruce asked offering a hand. Rebecca hurried to move behind a plant until the blonde man had passed, then she took the offered hand. "Is someone after you? Should I call the police?"
"No!" Rebecca said, her accent becoming slightly more prominent. She cleared her throat and calmed herself. "No, thank you. Look, I'm really sorry about the bump Mister---?"
"Wayne" Bruce said. "Bruce Wayne."
"Bruce Wayne?" Rebecca replied. She smiled. "Not the Bruce Wayne who used to have Alfred Pennyworth in his employee."
"Why yes" Bruce said with narrowed eyes. "Did you know Alfred?"
"Not really" Rebecca said. "But you can say that he's still around." Rebecca stuck her hand out. "Rebecca Pennyworth. Alfred's granddaughter."
Bruce shook her hand.
"I wasn't aware that Alfred had any children, let alone grandchildren" Bruce said. Bruce took his coffee from Terry, the young man with the coffee. "Let me introduce you to my assistant, Terry Maginnis."
"Hello" Rebecca said.
"Hi" Terry said.
"Well, it was nice meeting you" Rebecca said. She had her eyes glued to the front windows.
"Wait" Bruce said. "Can we give you a ride somewhere?"
"A ride?" Rebecca repeated as if the words were foreign to her. "Oh. Oh, yes. That would be wonderful."
Bruce and Terry showed her to the car that was parked right outside of the store. Once they were inside, Rebecca seemed to relax. Bruce sipped his coffee as Terry started maneuvering into traffic.
"Where are you heading?" Terry asked.
"Anywhere" Rebecca said. "Just, please just hurry."
"Who are you running from?" Bruce asked.
With a smirk, Rebecca replied. "No one." She fiddled with her coat button and looked over at Bruce. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
Bruce gave her a slight nod and sipped at his coffee once again.
"So, I'm sorry. I had Alfred in my employee since I was very young" Bruce said. "I never heard of him having any immediate family."
"Well, Granny took care of my dad until he was able to be sent away to private schools" Rebecca said.
"What was her name?" Bruce asked.
"Leslie" Rebecca said. She gazed out the window with a bit of paranoia. "She was a doctor."
"Doctor Leslie Thompkins?" Bruce asked.
"Yes" Rebecca replied. "You knew her?"
"I was quite close to her" Bruce said. "She was my family doctor."
The car stopped at a red light. The blonde man crossed the street. Rebecca's jaw dropped and she slid down in her seat. She pushed her coat sleeves back looking for her watch, but it wasn't around either wrist.
"What time is it?" Rebecca whispered.
"What's wrong?" Bruce asked.
"What time is it?" Rebecca whispered in a harsh tone. Terry glanced over the seat.
"It's almost 5:20" Terry said. "Why?"
"It's too late" Rebecca said. She moved to the opposite side of the car and peeked out the window. The blonde man was gone. "He's gone."
"Who's gone?" Bruce asked. Rebecca looked over at Bruce as if she just realized he was there.
"The messanger" Rebecca said. The sun cast orange hues over her face. "Mr. Wayne, I know you've lived in Gotham for your whole life. I need some help."
"Should I stop at Arkham?" Terry quipped in a low tone.
"Terry" Bruce growled.
"There are men after me" Rebecca said. "Bad blokes. I need a place to hide out for the night."
"Why haven't you gone to the cops?" Bruce asked.
"That's like signing my own death warrant" Rebecca said. She shook her head. "No. No, they'd know if I went to the cops, then I'd be dead."
"And…what would you like me to do?" Bruce asked. Rebecca leaned against the cool window and watched as the sun slowly set.
"I just need a place to stay for tonight" Rebecca said. "Then I can go back to my apartment. There's just no time right now. No time. The sun's almost set."
"What does the sun have to do with anything?" Terry asked from the front.
"That's when He comes out" Rebecca said.Wayne Manor 5:52 PM
Rebecca, Bruce and Terry were all inside, and with her insistence, had all the doors locked. Terry took their coats and disappeared into the dark house to get some tea started. Bruce led Rebecca into the den, where he turned on a few lamps and stoked up the fire.
"Alright" Bruce said poking at the fire. "I'll let you stay the night, but on one condition."
"Name it" Rebecca said.
"I want to know everything about what's going on" Bruce said. Rebecca had started shivering back in the car. Bruce finally noticed since her coat was off. "Are you cold?"
"I'm fine" Rebecca said. Bruce glared at her and took a seat in his favorite leather chair. He took the blanket that was hung over the back of the chair and tossed it to Rebecca. She wrapped it around herself and stared into the fire.
"You're scared" Bruce stated. Rebecca furled her brow and glanced over at Bruce. "Tell me."
"Hey" Terry said coming back into the room. "I have the tea." He set the tray on the coffee table and sat down on the couch, opposite of Rebecca. "Did I miss anything?"
"Terry, you have work to do" Bruce said.
"Now?" Terry asked incredulously.
"Now" Bruce growled. He stood up and hustled out of the room with a roll of the eyes. Once he was out of the room, Rebecca started.
"I don't even know where to start" Rebecca said. "I can't even remember when it started. It's like I just turned around and realized that the problem was there.
"But, I suppose I'll start with the week before Halloween, about three years ago in London. I was running with a small territorial gang at that time. We had kicked out the local more violent gang and were out to keep the peace of the neighborhood." Rebecca smirked. "We called ourselves the Green Hydrant Corp, like the Green Lantern. It sounds stupid now, but at the time it was cool. All the neighborhood fire hydrants were painted green.
"Anyway, the week before Halloween we ran into a little trouble with a new bloke in the neighborhood. We went to introduce ourselves and he flipped out. He was a scientist. I don't remember his real name, but everyone called him the Bogeyman.
"People would pass his place late at night and he'd have every light on in his house. There were all kinds of rumors of him scaring anyone who came to his door. Anyone, Mr. Wayne. No one really understood why people were so bloody scared of him. But, our gang, we were curious."
"We were a stupid lot. We snuck around his place one night when his lights were off. We figured that he went out or something."
"You broke into his house?" Bruce asked.
"Yes" Rebecca said with a nod. She sipped her tea and continued. "We broke in and found nothing through the house. We were looking to leave when he came up from his basement. His face was…horrid. I can't even remember what he looks like without his mask or if he was even wearing a mask." Rebecca took a deep breath and sipped her tea. Her eyes had formed tears that she pushed away. "I don't really remember too much of what happened after that. He sprayed something and…I don't know. I just remember being very scared. When I woke up, I was in the hospital. The bobbies said that we were all in need of mental health care, so that's where we were sent for a month of testing.
"He came for us, the bogeyman. I don't even know how he did it. He just…He would just appear. He said that he would get us when we were out. So far he's killed most of the gang. That's why I'm on the run, Mr. Wayne. That's why I can't go out there."
"How many of you are left?" Bruce asked.
"Just me" Rebecca said. She sipped her tea with shaking hands. She tried setting her cup down, but her shaking hands dropped it. "Christ! I'm sorry, Mr. Wayne, I'm just---I'm just---"
"Don't worry about it" Bruce said passing a box of Kleenex to her. She reached out for the box and slipped in the tangled blanket about her. She fell to the floor, hitting her cheek on the coffee table. "Are you okay?"
When she looked up she was laughing.
"I've been so clumsy since the Bogeyman" Rebecca said. She took a second to pick herself up and collect herself before tending to the spilled tea. "I'm sorry, Mr. Wayne."
"It's okay" Bruce said standing. He moved to touch her shoulder. "You'll be safe here."
Rebecca turned and gave Bruce a hug.
"Thank you, Mr. Wayne" Rebecca said. Bruce pat her shoulder and guided her towards the stairs.
"So, you're staying in Gotham?" Bruce asked.
"Yes" Rebecca said. "I have an apartment near the harbor."
"How long have you been here?" Bruce asked as they climbed the stairs.
"Since late January" Rebecca said. She rubbed her fingers together after touching the staircase railing. "Are you sure Alfred was in your employee?"
"Yes" Bruce said. "Why do you ask?"
"No reason" Rebecca replied. She brushed her dust-covered fingers on her pants.
Bruce showed her to a spare room.
"If you need anything I'm the last door down the hall" Bruce said. "And, sometimes Terry comes and goes. If you can't find me, just press the intercom button."
"Thank you again, Mr. Wayne" Rebecca said.Wayne Manor 11:30 AM
Rebecca woke up to the sun shining through the window of the room she was in. She dressed and went out to find someone, but found a note taped to her door instead. It indicated that Terry would be around after noon. Rebecca sighed and went to find the kitchen.
The kitchen, to her surprise, was almost clean. Rebecca sighed and searched around until she found a mop closet. She pulled out the cleaning supplies, which had a slight layer of dust, and set to work cleaning the kitchen.
As Rebecca was finishing up the kitchen, she heard the front door unlock, open, and shut.
"Miss Pennyworth?" Terry called from the foyer.
"I'm in the kitchen" Rebecca called. She put the cleaning supplies away just as Terry walked into the kitchen.
"Hey—Wow" Terry said. "Shway. You totally cleaned up in here."
"Yeah" Rebecca said. Terry smirked when his ears caught her English accent. "I supposed it's the damned Pennyworth in me."
"Damned? I'd say you did a good job" Terry said. He leaned against the counter. "So, Wayne sent me to give you a ride home to collect your things. He said that he's concerned about your safety and wants you to stay here for a few days."
"Oh. No" Rebecca said. "I couldn't do that. I've already imposed enough on him."
"He said you'd say that" Terry said. "He said that he's giving you until 3:00 to make a final decision." A look graced Rebecca's face that was a mix of confusion and worry. "This is one of the safest places you could be in all of Gotham."
"Right" Rebecca replied. "Tucked away in the middle of nowhere with an old man and his assistant."
"It's your choice" Terry said. Rebecca looked around at the kitchen and considered her options.
"I suppose I could stay. I'll clean this place up to show my gratitude" Rebecca replied. Terry smiled and ushered her out to the car.Abandoned Warehouse, Pier One 2:48 PM
"Mr. B, your shipment has come in" The blonde hair man said. Inside the abandoned warehouse where they had created their new headquarters, rats could be heard scurrying amongst the walls and police sirens rang in the distance.
A man in a black lab coat kept his back to the blonde man. He was in the middle of mixing chemicals together.
"Wonderful, Morris" Mr. B said. "How's our girl doing?"
"I spotted her in mid-town, sir" Morris replied. "We haven't been able to pinpoint her location though. It's only a matter of time."
"Yes" Mr. B said. "Have the boys search all the harder during the day. You know that I can't."
"Yes, sir" Morris said.
"And, for God's sake, hurry it up" Mr. B growled. "I know she has those disks somewhere. If she hands it over to the wrong people…well, you know what will happen."
"She will be dealt with sir" Morris replied.Wayne Manor 4:15 PM
It had only taken fifteen minutes for Rebecca to pack a suitcase and to grab her duffel bag. It took a few hours before Bruce Wayne was finished at work. By the time the three reached the manor, Rebecca had filled Terry in on what was going on and had brought up the suggestion of getting in touch with Gotham's dark knight.
"I think it would be a good idea if we told him" Rebecca said. Terry locked the door behind them as they all entered the manor.
"I don't think that will be a problem" Bruce said.
"Well, how do we go about finding him?" Rebecca asked. Terry and Bruce looked at each other before looking back at Rebecca.
"I'll find him" Terry said. Rebecca crossed her arms and sighed.
"Sure" Rebecca said.
"Terry, help her put her things into her room" Bruce said. Terry nodded and lugged Rebecca's suitcase up to the spare room.
By five o'clock Rebecca and Terry were in the kitchen with Bruce eating a meal of chicken, potatoes, and broccoli. While they ate, Rebecca busied herself with cleaning up spilled crumbs and urging the two men to use coasters.
"You cleaned the kitchen" Bruce observed.
"Yes, I did" Rebecca said. She tossed her damp rag over her shoulder and sat down to finish her food. "Was that all right?"
"I'm not complaining" Bruce said. Terry stood up with his plate in hand; ready to put it into the sink. Rebecca took it from him.
"I'll take care of it" Rebecca said. She took her plate and put it in the sink to soak in hot soapy water. Terry left with the excuse of going to look for Batman. Rebecca sat on the stool opposite Bruce and nursed a cup of tea. "Go ahead and say it, Mr. Wayne."
"You mean 'it must run in the family'?" Bruce asked. Rebecca nodded. "Well, by the job you did I'm assuming you've done it professionally before."
"Nope" Rebecca said. "I can only assume its genetics."
"Alfred was an amazing man" Bruce said. "I'd say you have some of the best genetics if you inherited his traits."
"Great, I can clean floors for the rest of my life" Rebecca said with a chuckle. Bruce smiled and handed her his plate. She put it with the others in the sink.
"If you need a job, I could use some help around here" Bruce said. He stood up and watched as the girl finished her tea. "Think it over. I'm going to disappear for a while."
"Okay" Rebecca said. Bruce left, heading down to the batcave. Rebecca washed the dishes and went upstairs to take a long bath.Batcave 7:00 PM
"Terry, I've found something" Bruce said from the massive computer system. Terry, clad only in the bottom half of the bat-suit, came over to stand behind Bruce. "Dr. Harold Bolleroy, a psychologist, was based in London when Rebecca was institutionalized. About eight months after the incident, which he was a part of, he had his license to practice revoked."
"Don't tell me" Terry said. "This guy was really into your Dr. Crane's methodology. Right?"
"I'm not sure, but its possible" Bruce said. "In fact, I would almost bet on it."
"Any incidents here in Gotham?" Terry asked.
"No" Bruce said. "Not yet anyway."
"I think our girl is holding back some information" Terry said. "If this guy is out to find her, then why hasn't he come out to play?"
"I did some checking up on Miss Pennyworth" Bruce said. Terry pulled the top half of his costume on. "She was telling us the truth about arriving in January. She's also telling the truth about being related to Alfred."
"And?" Terry asked.
"She barely leaves her apartment" Bruce said. "When she does it's always during the day according to her monetary transactions. Here." Bruce pulled up a list of credit transactions. "She never goes to the same place twice in a row. She's trying to hide from him."
"Well, it's worked so far" Terry said.
"I think there's more to this then what she told us" Bruce said. "There has to be, otherwise he wouldn't have followed her for three years."
"I'll go see if I can find anything" Terry said pulling his mask on. He disappeared into the shadows. Seconds later, Bruce heard the bat jet take off.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Rebecca finished her bath and pulled her pajamas on. She pulled her hair into a long braid and sighed. She felt guilty for running into Bruce Wayne. An image of the Bogeyman ran through her mind.
The sound of a door being slammed shut brought her back to reality. She slid on her boots and pulled her robe around herself before going to investigate.
Rebecca stopped in the middle of the stairwell. Standing in the foyer was a girl, near her own age, with pink hair. She was looking through her bag for something.
"May I help you?" Rebecca asked. The girl looked up at Rebecca with a startled gasp.
"Who are you?" The girl asked. Rebecca started walking down the stairs.
"I should ask you the same question" Rebecca replied. She crossed her arms when she reached the bottom of the stairs. Both girls narrowed their eyes at each other. "What's your name?"
"Max" The girl said. "Who are you?"
"Becca" Rebecca said stepping closer to Max. "What are you doing here, Max?"
"Looking for Terry" Max replied. She slung her bag over her shoulder and started walking towards the study. Rebecca stepped in her way.
"Terry, as I understand it, is working with Mr. Wayne right now" Rebecca said.
"They won't mind me stopping by" Max said. "I come here all the time."
"Let me announce you, then" Rebecca said moving to the intercom and pressing the button. Max rolled her eyes and walked straight for the study. "Hey. Hey! Bollocks!"
"Look Miss-England-Almighty, I'm telling you that I come by here all the time" Max said. "Who are you? The doorman?"
"Max, stop it" Bruce said from the study. He came out from the shadows and looked at both of the girls. "Looking for Terry?"
"Yes" Max said.
"He's working" Bruce said. Bruce ushered them into the den. "Maxine Gibson, this is Rebecca Pennyworth. Rebecca, Max is Terry's best friend."
"I've heard that name before" Max said once she took a seat on the couch. "Didn't you have a butler with the name Pennyworth, Bruce?"
"Alfred, yes" Bruce replied. "Rebecca is his granddaughter."
"I'm sorry if I seemed rude" Rebecca replied. "There have been a few…problems."
"Problems?" Max asked.
"Can I get you something to drink? Tea? Water?" Rebecca asked.
"You have a maid now?" Max asked incredulously. She met Bruce's eyes. Bruce glanced over at Rebecca.
"I prefer the term butler" Rebecca said with a silent acceptance of Bruce's earlier job offer.
"Look, I just wanted to give Terry these files he asked for" Max said holding up two computer disks. Bruce took them. "I'll be heading out. I have my last final tomorrow."
"I'll have him call you tomorrow, Max" Bruce said. Max stood up and gave Bruce a smile. "Rebecca can show you out."
Rebecca led Max to the front door and watched as she left. She double-checked the locks before stepping away from the foyer area.
"Is there anything else I can get for you, Mr. Wayne?" Rebecca asked when she noticed Bruce standing at the foot of the stairs.
"I'm fine, thank you" Bruce said. Rebecca nodded. She stepped towards the stairs and tripped over her own feet. Bruce helped her up.
"I'm just going to go to bed now" Rebecca said.
"It's still early" Bruce stated.
"I didn't say I was going to sleep, Mr. Wayne" Rebecca said in an irritated manner. "Besides, I'm getting tired of tripping over myself."Above Gotham City 10:45 PM
"I've been around the city a few times and I haven't seen anything" Batman reported over his headset. "The city seems quiet tonight."
"I want you back here" Bruce said. "But I want you to show up as you would to any other place. I need you to question Rebecca."
"No problem. I'll be there in a few" Batman said. He increased the speed of the bat jet and flew towards Wayne Manor.
Rebecca was watching television from the comfort of her bed. She had watched two hours of local news, trying to see if the Bogeyman had made any moves. The news talked about various social functions, crime, and the weather, but nothing that held any relation to Rebecca's foe.
"This is a waste of my bloody time" Rebecca said aloud. She retrieved her duffel bag and sat on her bed. She unzipped it and started digging around. She pulled out a notebook and a few odds and ends, but continued to dig. "Where are you?"
A cold breeze stilled her. She looked towards the window clutching the bag to her chest.
"I hope I'm not interrupting anything" Batman said. Rebecca slid off the bed and stood facing her intruder. Batman took a step towards her and she stepped back, tripping over her shoes. "Hey, are you okay?" Rebecca was wide-eyed. She kicked her boots out of the way and stood up. "I didn't mean to scare you."
"What do you want?" Rebecca asked. She stuck her hand out to stop him from advancing.
"I was told that you're having some sort of trouble" Batman said. "I was told that it would be worth it to stop by and ask."
"Who told you?" Rebecca asked. "And, what do you mean 'worth it'?"
"Terry Maginnis told me and I just meant that it would be worth my time" Batman replied. He held his hands out to show that they were empty. "Look, I'm here to help you."
"Okay" Rebecca said. She took a deep breath. "Okay." Her hold on her bag loosened and she moved to put it on the bed. "There's this man who's after me. He…he's scary. No. No, he makes you scared of him. Then he becomes a fuckin' monster."
"How does he make you scared?" Batman asked.
"He uses chemicals" Rebecca said. She dug around in her bag, but didn't let her eyes leave Batman. She pulled out two computer disks and an envelope of pictures. She held them out to Batman. "Those are the only things I have that would be of any help. The files are encrypted. I haven't been able to read them."
Batman put the disks into a pouch on his belt. He looked through the pictures.
"The man, he's called the Bogeyman. It's a long story and I know you probably have other things you need to do then be here. But, in a nutshell, my friends and I went snooping. We found him and he scared us all. He came after all of us one by one. The others are dead. I'm the only one left. And, he knows that I'm in Gotham" Rebecca said with a single breath.
Batman held up a photo of a man in black with a large floppy hat. "Who's this?"
"That's the only picture of the Bogeyman" Rebecca said looking away from the photo.
"Do you know his real name?" Batman asked.
"I used to" Rebecca replied. "I can't even remember what it begins with now. I know he was a scientist or a doctor."
"What happened here?" Batman asked holding up a picture of a horrific dead girl. Rebecca looked away immediately with a disgusted groan.
"A dead person probably" Rebecca said. She made a pushing motion with her hand. "I don't look at the pictures. I don't need to."
"But, what happened?" Batman asked. He placed the photo with the others.
"Scared to death" Rebecca replied. She looked up when she heard Batman putting the photos back into the envelope. "Will you help me?"
"Yes" Batman said. "Are you sure this guy is in Gotham?"
"Yes. I've seen his henchmen around" Rebecca said. She opened her notebook and quickly sketched out the man's face. She tore out the paper and handed it to Batman. "He's blonde, about 6'-3", narrow shoulders."
"What's this?" Batman asked pointing to a cross shape that was on his jaw.
"That's a burn" Rebecca said with heavy breaths. "Tommy, one of the dead guys in those photos, incinerated himself. He punched Morris in the jaw before he died, that's his name. His ring left an imprint, I guess."
"Morris" Batman said. Batman folded the paper and put it in with the photos. Rebecca took a few deep breaths until she was leaning over, braced by the bed. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah" Rebecca breathed. She fanned herself with her hand. "Just…hyp-hyp-hyperventilating."
"Let me see your left hand" Batman said. Rebecca held out her left hand. She watched as Batman touched two spots, one on her wrist and one near her thumb. "Breathe in, breathe out." He turned her hand upward and pressed two fingers to a spot on the side of her wrist. "Breathe in, breathe out." He did this three more times. "Feel any better?"
Rebecca had stopped her hyperventilating. She pulled her hand back and looked at it. "What did you do?"
"Pressure points" Batman said. He stood up straight. "The Bogeyman affected you this much?"
"No. I'm clumsy too" Rebecca replied. She moved to sit on the bed cross-legged. "Batman, you have to find out where he is and you have to stop him." Rebecca's temples gave a sudden throb. "I've been running from him for three years."
"Don't worry" Batman said. "I'll find him." Batman looked around the room. "How did you manage to shack up here?"
"That's none of your business" Rebecca said. "And, it doesn't matter right now." Rebecca reached up and rubbed her temple. "Look, the Bogeyman only comes out at night. I don't know why, but he's never come after me during the day."
"Sounds like a horror flick" Batman said. Rebecca nodded.
"Try living in one" Rebecca said. Batman stepped towards the window.
"I'll see what I can find" Batman said. "If I need you, I suppose you'll be here." Rebecca nodded. "Good. I'll be back soon."
He jumped out of the window without a sound. Rebecca stood up and peered out the window. There was no sight of Batman. Rebecca just closed her window and locked it.Batcave Near Midnight
"These photos are dreadful" Bruce said. He had the photos taped to a chalkboard. Terry stood next to him in a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. "Look at them. They're all terrified."
"They must have seen something" Terry said. He gripped the towel that was still around his neck.
"What did Rebecca have to say?" Bruce asked.
"She seems terrified of the Bogeyman" Terry replied. "She started hyperventilating. She did, however, give me a description of this guy." Terry pointed to the quick sketch of Morris. "She said his name is Morris. He's blonde, about 6'-4", narrow shoulders."
"And this is our culprit?" Bruce asked pointing to the shadowy figure with the floppy hat. "It's not a great photo."
"I don't think they asked him to pose" Terry said. He ran a hand through his wet hair. "Decrypt those disks yet?"
"One of them" Bruce said. They walked over to the computer. "This disk has files on various psychological test and reports. All dealing with fear."
"And, the other disk?" Terry asked.
"It's being difficult" Bruce said. Bruce sat in the computer chair and stared at the screen.
"I'm going to head upstairs and crash" Terry said. "I'm slagged."
"I'll be up in a few minutes" Bruce said. Terry tossed his towel over a stool as he left the batcave. He quietly entered the house through the kitchen and caught the faint sound of someone moving around in the next room.
Terry quietly slinked into the hallway. The patter of feet grew louder as he crept towards the den. He jumped around the corner and was met with a fist. He fell back onto his butt and looked up.
"Terry?" Rebecca asked. She bent down and looked at his cheek. "Sorry. I didn't know you were still around here."
"That's one hell of a punch" Terry said. Rebecca stood up and pulled Terry to his feet.
"I've been in a few fights" Rebecca said. She quickly went to the kitchen and came back with ice wrapped in a hand towel. She handed it to Terry. "Here."
"Thanks" Terry said. They moved over to the couch where Rebecca had the tv muted. "What are you still doing up?"
"I don't sleep much" Rebecca said. Terry narrowed his eyes at her, as if she had suddenly changed. "What?"
"You wear glasses?" Terry asked.
"Yes" Rebecca replied. Terry removed the ice pack and touched his cheek. It had numbed from the cold. Rebecca moved so she was facing the tv with her legs tucked under her. Terry couldn't help but notice what she considered pajamas. He had noticed before as Batman, but it had been a different situation. She was clad in a black robe, a grey t-shirt, and short shorts that were also black. "Can I get you anything or are you going to just stare at me?"
"Huh?" Terry said. He blinked and realized what she had said. "Oh. Sorry. I'm just tired."
"Do you want something from the kitchen?" Rebecca asked. She tried getting up, but tripped over her robe. She up righted herself and straightened her robe.
"Sure you can handle getting some hot chocolate?" Terry joked. Rebecca leaned over and snatched the ice from Terry. She headed towards the kitchen without a word. Terry could feel his cheek swelling. He touched it and realized that he'd be bruised by morning.
"Here you go" Rebecca said. She placed a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a coaster on the coffee table. She set another one down and moved to take her spot back on the couch.
"Thanks" Terry said.
"You're welcome" Rebecca said. She turned towards Terry and sipped her drink. "So Mr. Wayne keeps you working until midnight?"
"Yeah, sometimes later" Terry replied.
"Wow" Rebecca said. "That must put a damper on your social life."
"Tell me about it" Terry said. "I broke up with my girlfriend about a year ago over my lack of availability."
"Well, it would be nice to be on a regular schedule" Rebecca said. Terry smiled at how she pronounced schedule as 'shed-yule'. "What?"
"Nothing" Terry said. "I'm just not used to the accent, that's all." He took a sip of his hot chocolate. "So what about you? Anyone special in your life?"
"Sure" Rebecca replied. "I've been running from him for years."
"You know what I mean" Terry said.
"No. Not in a relationship sort of way" Rebecca replied. "I haven't had time, if you know what I mean."
There was a sound from the kitchen and soon Bruce stood in the den. He was in his robe and Ace was at his side.
"You two are still up?" Bruce asked. Ace let his nose lead him over to Rebecca where he smelled her robe for a few seconds. "Ace." The dog moved back over to Bruce. "What happened to your cheek?"
"Oh" Rebecca said as Terry touched his cheek. "That was my fault." Bruce looked over at her. "I didn't know that Terry was still in the house."
"It was an accident" Terry said. Bruce nodded and left the den with Ace. "I'm going to go to bed as well. I'm slagged."
"I'm just going to stay up for a bit" Rebecca said. Terry said good night and disappeared up the stairs.
Rebecca blinked and out of the grey fog a swarm of bees emerged. She screamed and swatted at them. She could feel them cover her. Her ears filled with the constant buzz they made. She screamed again.
They were gone. Rebecca checked herself and found that she was bee-free. The fog was surrounding her now. She walked until she heard a maniacal laugh. She gasped and looked around. Ahead of her a large, lanky black shadow rose up.
"Do you hear in the plain" The shadow harshly whispered. "A noise coming toward us?" Rebecca turned as the sound of chains being dragged sounded behind her. "One might say the sound of chains, trailing over pebbles."
"Stop it" Rebecca said. Shadows crawled around in the fog as the large shadow of the Bogeymen before her remained stationary.
"It's the great Lustucru who comes" The shadow said.
"How did you find me?" Rebecca asked. Her voice reverberated, as if she had said it twice in a row. The shadow came closer.
"He'll come again then go away" The shadow said. "Carrying in his knapsack all the little children who aren't asleep."
"Go away!" Rebecca yelled. The old poem mad her stomach churn.
"I am coming for you" The shadow hissed. Rebecca tried to run, but she felt like her feet were attached to anvils.
"No!" Rebecca screamed. The Bogeyman's face partially appeared as the shadows face. "NO!!!"
"I am coming" The shadow bellowed.
"NO!" Rebecca screamed. She rolled off the couch, as a reaction to suddenly being awake, and fell half onto the coffee table before hitting the floor with a solid thud. She tried standing up, but found that her robe had wrapped around her like a burrito. "Argh!"
The pain of anxiety hit her like a truck. She tried to free herself from the robe. She caught movement in her peripheral vision and looked at the far wall. A shadow moved that wasn't hers. She screamed again and tried fervently to shed the tangled robe.
Arms wrapped around her and she screamed once again. Tears were pouring down her cheeks.
"Rebecca!" Terry yelled. He shook her. "Rebecca!"
"Terry, get that robe off of her" Bruce commanded. Terry pulled the robe from Rebecca with ease. "Rebecca?" There was no response from her. "Night terrors. Get her to the couch."
"C'mon, Rebecca" Terry said pulling her elbow. Rebecca turned and sunk to the floor in tears. Terry looked over at Bruce. "I've got this, Bruce."
"Are you sure?" Bruce asked.
"Yeah" Terry said. Bruce nodded and returned to his room. Terry knelt beside Rebecca and put a hand on her back. "Rebecca? Are you okay?" Rebecca tried to sit up straight, but lurched forward as more tears flowed. Terry caught her and pulled her into a hug. "Everything is okay now. It was just a dream. A bad dream."
Terry moved her arms around his neck and picked her up. He set her on the couch and sat beside her. He turned the tv on to a channel with old reruns. Rebecca leaned against him as she tried to stop her tears and anxiety. Together they watched television, saying nothing, but keeping each other company.
By morning, Terry and Rebecca were cuddled up on the couch together.
Bruce rolled his eyes and turned the channel to the local news.
"Good morning, Gotham" The news anchor said. "In breaking news, a group of early morning dock workers were sent to Gotham Memorial due to over active levels of fear and anxiety. The police have no leads yet, but the workers claim that it was no one other then the Bogeyman."
"Terry" Bruce said. Terry grumbled and went back to sleep. Bruce made his voice sharper and more commanding. "Maginnis."
"What?" Terry groaned.
"Get up. He's started" Bruce replied. Terry took a deep breath and looked down at the girl curled up against him. Bruce bent down and picked up Rebecca so Terry could move from the couch.
"You want me to go out now?" Terry asked.
"I want you to go to the docks, then go see Barbara" Bruce said. Rebecca stirred in Bruce's arms until she realized that she wasn't on the couch, then her arms wrapped tightly around Bruce's neck. "Good morning, Miss Pennyworth."
"I'll see you guys in a bit then" Terry said heading towards the kitchen. Bruce set Rebecca down on her feet and took a seat in the leather chair. Rebecca picked up her robe and slid into it.
"I'm sorry about last night" Rebecca said.
"I've seen worse" Bruce said. "You forget that back in my day, we had our own version of the Bogeyman."
"Batman stopped by to see me last night" Rebecca said. She sat down on the couch and leaned against the arm. "He said he was going to help me out."
"Batman was here?" Bruce asked.
"He was" Rebecca said. She rested her chin in her left hand. "It's funny, but Batman sounds like Terry."
"Oh really?" Bruce said.
"I think so" Rebecca said. She sighed and sat back. "Maybe I'm just associating Terry helping me last night with Batman agreeing to help me."
"Perhaps" Bruce said. Rebecca stood up. "Tea."
"Yes, sir" Rebecca said heading towards the kitchen.
Batman surveyed the site before entering it. The five dock workers had all been under the awning, in front of the warehouse they worked in, smoking. Crates that had been stacked were scattered around, there were dents in the metal siding of the building, and there was a small amount of yellow powder covering a heavy barrel.
Turning on the suit's cloaking device, Batman quickly and carefully moved past the police and took a sample of the yellow powder. Batman put the sample into a small glass vial.
Two cops turned and looked towards the barrel. They saw nothing, shrugged, then turned away. Batman let out the breath he had been holding and tiptoed out away from the crime scene.
"Mr. Wayne?" Rebecca asked bringing out a tray of tea and fruit. "How does Terry know Batman?"
"You'd have to ask Terry" Bruce said. Rebecca sat down on the couch and let her shoulders slump. "Why do you ask?"
"It just seems…convenient" Rebecca replied. She stood up with a sigh. "I'll be upstairs getting dressed."
The door clicked shut and the office light turned on. Batman watched as Commissioner Barbara Gordon took off her coat and turned her computer on. She sat in her chair and pressed a button, making the blinds open to the morning sun. When she looked up the shadow of Batman reached her far wall.
"Batman!" Barbara said with a gasp. Batman turned off the cloaking device and moved to stand across from her.
"Sorry" Batman said. "Didn't mean to scare you."
"Good job" Barbara said. Her face fell into its usual demeanor. "What do you want?"
"Information" Batman said.
"I don't—" Barbara said.
"I have the information" Batman said. Barbara raised an eyebrow and leaned back in her chair. "The incident at the docks. You know about it?"
"I was there before getting to the office" Barbara replied. "Does He know you're here?"
"He told me to be here" Batman replied. "Look, I came here to give you a heads up on the guy who did this."
"One guy?" Barbara asked. Batman pulled a few photos and Rebecca's sketch from his utility belt. He handed them to Barbara.
"The man you're looking for" Batman said. "Did that over the past three years."
"Jesus" Barbara said flipping through the photos. She stopped at the last one and took a deep breath. "This looks like the Scarecrow."
"Yeah, I know" Batman said. "He's known as the Bogeyman. The guy's name is Dr. Harold Bolleroy. He's practiced psychology in London a few years back."
"How'd you find this out?" Barbara asked.
"Rebecca Pennyworth" Batman said.
"Pennyworth?" Barbara questioned. Batman leaned across her desk and opened the folded sketch.
"Long story. Look here. This guy is known as Morris" Batman said. "This is the only guy we know of who has any connection to the Bogeyman."
"Why are you telling me all of this?" Barbara asked. "Batman doesn't usually give up information this easily."
"I want an APB put out on these guys" Batman said.
"I can't just do that" Barbara said. "I don't have sufficient evidence."
"Then call Wayne" Batman said. "You can meet Pennyworth and she'll give you all the details."
"I can send over—" Barbara replied.
"No" Batman said. "She doesn't want any involvement with the cops. I'm jumping out on a ledge just by telling you about this." Barbara crossed her arms. "You'll visit her if you want to solve this before the Bogeyman causes more harm to anyone. I'm trying to figure this out Commish, but she's only willing to trust Batman."
"So I need to take time out of my busy schedule to go talk to this girl who supposedly knows this guy?" Barbara asked.
"Yes" Batman replied. "I think He's expecting a call one way or another."
"Wait a second" Barbara said leaning forward with her elbows on her desk. "How does she know this Bogeyman?"
"These pictures of the dead kids" Batman said picking up the pictures. "Were her friends." He put the pictures in to his belt. "She's the last one that he's looking for and he knows she's in Gotham."
"I'll call" Barbara said reaching for the desk phone. Batman stopped her hand.
"Use your phone" Batman said. "Pennyworth said something about the Bogeyman knowing if the police were involved."
"Fine. Just leave" Barbara said. "Go eat breakfast or something."
"See you later" Batman said pushing open a window and leaping out.
Rebecca moved about the kitchen cleaning up the mess that breakfast had made. In the dining room, Bruce was reading the paper and eating a breakfast of eggs benedict, fruit, and toast.
The phone rang.
"Wayne residence" Rebecca answered. There was a slight pause on the other end.
"I'd like to speak with Bruce" Barbara said from the other end.
"Who's calling?" Rebecca asked.
"Commissioner Gordon" Barbara said.
"Hold on" Rebecca replied. She carried the phone into the dining room and set it next to Bruce. "Commissioner Gordon, Mr. Wayne."
"Thank you" Bruce said. He picked up the phone. "Barbara."
"Hi, Bruce" Barbara said. Rebecca left the room. "I was told that I needed to talk to you."
"Yes. I need you to come up here" Bruce said. "How about tonight for dinner?"
"Bruce, what's going on?" Barbara asked. "Who's Rebecca Pennyworth? She's not related to Alfred is she?"
"I'll explain everything tonight" Bruce said. "How about six?"
"Fine. I'll play by your rules. Six it is" Barbara said.
5:45 PM – Batcave
"Have you finished up with that last sample?" Terry asked leaning over Bruce's shoulder. Bruce was staring through a microscope at the yellow powder that Terry had collected.
"Yes" Bruce said. He sat back and put his hand to his chin. "It looks almost identical to the powder the Scarecrow used to use." Bruce's hand went to his chin. "I'd bet that our man has most, if not all, of Dr. Crane's old personal files."
"Old concoctions die hard, huh?" Terry asked. Bruce just glanced at him. "I'm going to go change."
"I need to run –" Bruce said. The doorbell interrupted him. He had installed a speaker for the doorbell in the cave years ago.
"The Commissioner's here" Terry said. "You'd better go up. I'll just be a second."
Two minutes later, Bruce and Terry were both relocated upstairs. They entered the dining room and found Barbara waiting for them.
"Good evening, Commish" Terry said taking a seat across from her.
"Good evening, Barbara" Bruce said sitting at the head of the table.
"Good evening" Barbara said. She leaned forward. "I didn't realize you picked up some extra help, or is that young Pennyworth?"
"Pennyworth" Bruce said. The door to the kitchen opened and Rebecca came out with a hot dish and a rest for it. She quickly disappeared into the kitchen and came out with a few other bowls and trays, until they had a full Italian meal set out before them. "Smells delicious."
"Thank you, Mr. Wayne" Rebecca said.
"Rebecca, sit down next to Terry" Bruce said. Once she was seated he continued. "Rebecca Pennyworth, this is my long time friend, Commissioner Barbara Gordon." Rebecca's eyes grew wide and her head snapped towards Bruce. "Relax, she's the only one who knows about dinner tonight."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Pennyworth" Barbara said. "I understand it that you are Alfred's granddaughter."
"You knew him, then" Rebecca said.
"Yes" Barbara replied. Rebecca stayed quiet, letting an uneasy silence pass over the table. Bruce broke the silence by getting his food, in which the others piled food onto their plates. "So why was I called up here, Bruce?"
"Rebecca needs some help from the police" Bruce said.
"Wait" Rebecca said. "No. I can't have help from the police, Mr. Wayne. I told you—"
"Stop" Bruce commanded. Rebecca shut her mouth and poked at her manicotti. "Barbara, she's scared of the people who are after her."
"You're talking about the Bogeyman" Barbara said. "Batman stopped by this morning and showed me a few photos."
"Batman talked to you?" Rebecca asked. She glanced at Bruce, who glared at her, and she quietly listened. Barbara looked at her as if she had sprouted horns.
"Yes" Barbara said. Barbara looked over at Bruce who shook his head 'no'. Barbara gave one nod. "Miss Pennyworth, I assure you that any information you pass on to me will be held confidential."
"This food is really good" Terry said shoving a stuffed mushroom into his mouth.
"Thank you" Rebecca said in a small voice. The rest of dinner was slow and the tension ran high. Soon after everyone finished eating, Rebecca cleared the table and served baked apples for dessert.
"I'll just be cleaning up in the kitchen" Rebecca said as they others started in on their apples. Once Rebecca moved into the kitchen Barbara touched Bruce's hand.
"She doesn't know?" Barbara asked in a soft voice.
"Not yet" Bruce said. "We'll see how she manages for a while."
"She'll figure it out sooner or later" Barbara replied. "Now, tell me what's going on or I'm leaving. I really can't afford to spend this much time away from my office. Not with a mad man on the loose."
"Rebecca started out in a small gang" Bruce started. "To make a long story short, the gang she ran with broke into a neighbors house. The neighbor was Dr. Harold Bolleroy, a psychiatrist who, soon after the incident, had his license taken away."
"Let me guess" Barbara said. "He's a copycat crook, based on the Scarecrow, right?"
"That's what we were thinking" Terry said. He put the last piece of his apple into his mouth and chewed it with a grin.
"Shit" Barbara whispered. "My men found some yellow powder—"
"I was there" Terry said. "We have a sample of it."
"And?" Barbara asked.
"The powder was almost exactly like that the Scarecrow used" Bruce said. "The only difference was a strange chemical that seems to bond with—"
A crash came from the kitchen. Terry was up and out of his seat before Bruce or Barbara had time to say anything.
"I'm on it" Terry said.
"Rebecca has been overly clumsy since she first met the Bogeyman three years ago" Bruce said.
Terry found Rebecca hovering over a broken plate and two soapy pots that were on the floor.
"Need some help?" Terry asked. Rebecca had pulled her hair into a loose ponytail and had put her glasses on. She turned around and pushed her glasses up high on her nose leaving a few suds on her lenses. Terry smiled and bent down beside her. "You got something on your glasses."
Rebecca scooped up the broken dish and threw it away. She wiped the suds on her apron and looked through her glasses.
"Is he mad about the clatter?" Rebecca asked.
"No" Terry said. He put the two pots in the sink. "He's talking with the Commissioner."
"They're talking about me aren't they?" Rebecca asked. She grabbed a rag and wiped up the water and soap from the floor.
"Yes" Terry said. He leaned against the counter. Rebecca went back to washing the dishes, handing a wet one to Terry for drying.
"So I take it that you two are filling her in on everything that I've told you two" Rebecca said. She scrubbed at the dishes furiously.
"You sound a little upset" Terry said.
"I just think it's dangerous for her to be here" Rebecca said. "I have a bad feeling."
"Gotham Police Department" A secretary said answering the phone.
"Hi, this is John Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's nephew" Morris said making his voice lighter then normal. "I was wondering if you could put me through to her."
"I'm sorry, sir. She's not in her office right now" The secretary said.
"Oh man" Morris said. "Well, I'm just passing through Gotham and I wanted to surprise her. Does she have a cell phone or a pager?"
"Yes she does" The secretary replied. The secretary gave out the Commissioner's cell phone number and hung up.
"What did you find out?" The Bogeyman asked once Morris hung up.
"I have her cell phone number" Morris replied. "We can put it through the computer and possibly track her."
"Do it" The Bogeyman said. "I'm positive that Batman knows about us by now. He's probably spilled the beans to the police." He tapped his fingers together. "Find her. The Commissioner probably knows where Pennyworth is."
"Yes sir" Morris said.
"Bruce, I'll get the police on this at once" Barbara said. "But, I need Rebecca to file a police report."
"Not yet" Bruce said.
"Bruce, you know I can't do anything until I have an official statement" Barbara said exasperated. Barbara was leaning forward on the table and Bruce was nearly mimicking her.
"My goal is to keep her safe" Bruce argued. "Filing a report could get her killed."
"That's hearsay. I could have her put under police protection" Barbara said sternly. They glared at each other until the kitchen doors opened. Terry and Rebecca both came out.
"What's going on?" Terry asked. Rebecca reached for the two dessert plates that were in front of Barbara and Bruce, but Bruce caught her wrist.
"Rebecca, sit down" Bruce commanded. Rebecca gasped.
"Yes, sir" Rebecca said.
"Miss Pennyworth, is there any chance that I could get you to give an official statement on the Bogeyman?" Barbara asked. Rebecca thought of what had happened before and cringed.
"I've given police statements before" Rebecca said. "It only took them a night to find me after that."
"A night?" Barbara said. "Tell me about this Morris guy."
"Well, he's blonde, about 6'-3", thin" Rebecca said.
"Yes, Batman told me that" Barbara replied. "Is there anything else that would distinguish him?"
"His burn" Rebecca said. "For the last two years he's had a mark in the shape of a cross on his jaw."
"Long hair? Short hair?" Barbara asked.
"Short, kind of spiky" Rebecca said. "He's the Bogeyman's right hand bloke."
"Do you have any idea where these men might be?" Barbara asked.
"Not really" Rebecca said. "The Bogeyman uses gases and powders. I know that, so maybe in a laboratory? Something like that."
"That doesn't help too much" Barbara replied.
"Well, it does narrow it down" Terry replied. "I mean, once you cross out all of the populated areas where labs are, you're left with either private labs or buildings that could capacitate a full lab."
"Like a warehouse" Barbara said. "I'll get a few patrol cars out to the industrial sections of Gotham. It's a long shot. I don't know if we'll find anything, but we'll keep our eyes peeled." Barbara pulled out her phone and dialed the police station.
"Terry, I need you to run some errands for me" Bruce said giving Terry a stern look.
"Yes sir" Terry said taking off into another room.
"I don't have a nephew" Barbara said into her cell phone. "No." Pause. "No. I want six cars patrolling the industrial areas now." Another pause. "I don't care. Get them out there. Put out an APB on a guy named Morris. He's 6'-3", thin, and has short blonde hair. He also has a cross shaped burn on his jaw." She glanced at Bruce. "Thank you."
"Sir, Commissioner Gordon is at Wayne Manor" Morris said. "She just used her cell phone."
"Wayne Manor?" The Bogeyman said. "What's she doing there?"
"Boss, this just came up in our search" A thug said handing over a paper. The Bogeyman took it and skimmed the old news report. A grin spread across his face and soon he was chuckling.
"What is it?" Morris asked. The Bogeyman handed the paper over to Morris.
"Bruce Wayne used to employ her relative" The Bogeyman said. He turned to the thugs in his warehouse. "Suit up boys, we've got a flame to put out."
The thugs moved quickly, getting various items into a black van.
"Problems?" Bruce asked concerned.
"Someone called claiming to be my nephew" Barbara said.
"Nephew?" Bruce said. "You're an only child."
Barbara gave Bruce a look that simply said 'no shit'. Rebecca stood up and took off her apron.
"I can't stay here" Rebecca said. She could already feel a slight layer of sweat starting to form, as if she had been in a hot kitchen for hours.
"No one knows that you're here" Barbara said. "I didn't tell anyone in the office where I was going."
"What did this 'nephew' want, Barbara?" Bruce asked.
"My cell phone number" Barbara replied.
"Bloody hell" Rebecca standing up. She leaned forward with both hands on the table. "Thanks, Commissioner." Rebecca stood up, pushed her chair in, and gripped the back of her chair until her knuckles were white. "Mr. Wayne, you've been more then generous. Thank you."
Rebecca started to leave the room and was quickly followed by Bruce and Barbara.
"Where are you going?" Bruce bellowed.
"Out! Away!" Rebecca yelled. Her cheeks felt as if they were flaming. She headed for the stairs. "I'm getting my things and I'm leaving."
"Barbara, I need you to head out" Bruce said. "I'll deal with this."
"We need her to stay in town, Bruce" Barbara said. "I'll send out a patrol car, just in case."
"I'll keep her here" Bruce said. Barbara nodded and quickly left. When the door clicked shut, Bruce pushed the intercom. "Terry, get up here now!"
Rebecca's bedroom door slammed shut and she didn't stop until Bruce stood in her way.
"You're not leaving" Bruce said.
"You can't keep me here" Rebecca replied. "Besides, if you're here he'll kill you too. It's best if I just go."
"Did I hear someone needed my help?" Terry asked running into the room. He was wearing a long black robe.
"Terry, the Bogeyman might be on his way" Bruce said. "I need you to keep an eye open."
"I'm on it" Terry said disappearing back into the dark house.
"What?!" Rebecca said. "You can't do that! He'll be killed if they find him!"
"Believe me when I say that he's fully capable of taking care of himself" Bruce said.
"And what am I supposed to do, Mr. Wayne? Just sit back and watch as He comes to kill me?!" Rebecca yelled. There was a creak from the second floor and Rebecca gasped.
"He couldn't be here that fast" Bruce said, but it was too late. Rebecca's eyes were wide and her face had a look of terror. "Rebecca?" Her brain kicked into overdrive and she visualized the Bogeyman appearing at the top of the stairs. Bruce called her name again, but she was oblivious to it.
Rebecca felt herself get overly hot. Her thoughts swam back to her horrific dream. I am coming for you. Rebecca put her hand to her head and squeezed her eyes shut.
"Rebecca" Bruce said. He put his hand on her shoulder to calm her. Rebecca only screamed. She turned towards him, grabbing his collar.
"He's coming!" Rebecca screamed. Tears started to pour down her face. Bruce held onto her upper arms. Rebecca's face crumpled and her body shook from the tears and terror. "You're so stupid. He's coming."
There was a knock on the front door. Rebecca violently tried to pull out of Bruce's iron grip. Bruce glanced at the door. No one had locked it after Barbara had left.
"Go hide" Bruce said. He let her go and Rebecca wasted no time in disappearing into the house. Bruce stepped towards the door. From outside he heard the sound of fists meeting flesh. Bruce pulled out an old breathing mask from his coat closet that he had used against the Scarecrow and put it on, just in case.
There was a heavy thud against the front door and the sounds of boots on the concrete. Bruce stepped back as the door burst open, revealing no one outside.
The wind blew hard, making howling sounds. The indigo sky was the only thing that Bruce could see.
"Watch out!" Batman yelled from outside. Three balls clattered together in the foyer, thrown in from outside. Bruce only took a step back before they started to spew out ugly yellow gas.
"Boogedy…boogedy" A harsh echoed voice called out. Then, through the yellow smoke, a gruesome looking man dressed entirely in black, aside from the purple band around his hat appeared. His eyes glowed an ethereal white. "BOO!"
The gas filled the foyer and slowly started to creep into the rest of the mansion. Bruce readied his cane as the Bogeyman stepped clearly into view.
"Mr. Wayne, I presume" The Bogeyman said. Behind him a dozen men had gathered.
"Get out of my house!" Bruce yelled taking a swing at the Bogeyman and hitting him in the shoulder.
"Ah!" The Bogeyman said stepping back. "Get him."
Bruce turned to two of his attackers and managed to fend them off, but the second group of three attackers managed to snatch his cane from him. Bruce watched as Batman quickly, silently subdued two of the thugs who were closest to the door.
"Get away from me!" Bruce yelled swinging his fists.
"Ha ha ha" The Bogeyman said with almost a bounce to his words. "Hold him." Bruce watched Batman take out another two thugs. The Bogeyman leaned in close to Bruce. "I'm going to scare you to death, old man."
With a quickly flick of the wrist, the Bogeyman had Bruce's mask off. Bruce gasped at the awful smell of the yellow smoke and the thugs dropped him to the ground.
"NO!" Bruce yelled. He grabbed his head as it began to throb.
"Hey, ugly!" Batman yelled from the door.
"Batman!" The Bogeyman said. "Morris!"
"I'm on it" Came Morris' muffled voice from behind his gas mask. Morris ran towards Batman and wasted no time in delivering a back roundhouse kick to Batman's side. The Bogeyman watched the two well equaled men kicked, punched, and blocked.
"Men! Search the house for her" The Bogeyman said. Bruce started screaming only after the men moved and he was able to see the fight before him.
Rebecca could hear the Bogeyman and his men, but couldn't see them. She had decided to hide in a dark room that hadn't looked very used. She could feel herself shaking and tried to move along the wall, hoping to find a cabinet or a closet to hide in.
She could hear doors opening and closing down the hall and the shuffling of feet. Bruce's screams could also be heard. She forced herself to keep moving along the wall when she heard Bruce cry out her name.
Rebecca cursed herself. Was it just her or did her heart beat and breath seem to fill the room? She stopped moving when her fingers hit something sharp. Her hands reached into her bag and retrieved a small flashlight. The past three years had made her keep one on her at almost all times.
The tiny amount of light lit up a wall that had a display of weapons. Rebecca's heart pounded faster, but a slight feeling of relief rolled over her. She reached out and took one of three Scottish claymore swords. The sword was almost as tall as she was. She dropped her bag to the floor and turned off her flashlight. With her hands wrapped around the grip, Rebecca felt her fear turn into rage. Bruce's screams made her feel all the more confident in her self.
Rebecca held the heavy sword as best as she could and waited.
Batman was taking a brutal beating from Morris. The man was good. Batman ducked a high kick and rushed towards Morris, trapping him with one arm around his right side and an arm catching his left leg that was in mid-air. Batman swept Morris' right foot out from under him and Morris fell to the floor. Batman allowed Morris to hit his head before sending his elbow into Morris' solar plexus.
"Take a deep breath" Batman said. He took Morris' breathing mask and tossed it over towards Bruce, who was huddled up in the fetal position.
"No! No!" Morris yelled between gagging noises. Batman picked him up by his collar, gathered up the three gas bombs, and sent the four outside.
"Mr. Wayne!" Batman said leaning over Bruce. Bruce was whimpering and rocking back and forth. He put the breathing mask onto Bruce. "Just calm down, Mr. Wayne."
"Try in here" A voice said right before the door was kicked in by one of the Bogeyman's men. The light that flowed into the room was enough for Rebecca. She lunged forward and slid the claymore roughly through the two men at once. Both gasped and blood gurgled from their surprised mouths. They fell to the ground, motionless.
"Bloody yanks" Rebecca growled. She flipped the light on and found that she was not only in a room with three claymores, but with all sorts of weapons. Rebecca took a rapier and a small tanto from the wall. She shoved the tanto into the back of her pants and turned the light back off.
She stepped out into the hall and let the rapier drag along the floor, creating an eerie sound. Further down the hall, the Bogeyman and his last three goons spotted Rebecca.
"My dear" The Bogeyman growled. Rebecca watched as his face seemed to contort into a hideous mask of complete terror. His mouth grew into a hideous opening with shark-like teeth, his black masked face seemed to crawl as if it were consumed by black insects. Her hands shook, but she didn't let go of the sword.
"Kill her" The Bogeyman ordered. The three men rushed towards her with pistols in their hands.
"No!" Rebecca screamed. Her voice changed as her rage was once more fueled. "NO!"
She took two swipes at them with the double-edged blade and a bloody hand fell at her feet. One of the men fell to his knees, screaming in pain. The two black clad men paused at the sight of their fellow thug.
A growl came from the Bogeyman and before Rebecca had time to react, a baseball size glass skull shattered against her chest. Rebecca let out a bloodcurdling scream as chemicals ran down her shirt and slowly burned into her skin.
"Bogeyman!" Batman yelled. He turned on his cloaking device before the Bogeyman had time to turn around.
"Where are you?" Bogeyman hissed. His two goons turned away from Rebecca and stood on either side of the Bogeyman.
"Behind you" Batman said moving towards the goon on the right side of him. Bogeyman swung his fist out, but hit nothing. With three hits, the right goon went down. Batman moved quickly to sweep out the Bogeyman's legs.
In the distance the sound of police sirens could be heard moving towards the mansion.
With a strong kick, the other goon hit the floor curled up in the fetal position. The Bogeyman stepped back towards the wall.
"What's the matter Bogeyman?" Batman asked. "Scared of a little bat?"
"Nothing scares me!" The Bogeyman boasted. Batman turned his cloaking device off and stood only inches from the Bogeyman. The Bogeyman gasped.
There was a grunt from behind Batman. The Bogeyman's eyes went wide.
"I WILL KILL YOU!" Rebecca yelled raising the tanto. Batman had just enough time to catch her and hold her back. On the first floor, several police rushed into the mansion.
"Up here!" Batman yelled. Several cops made their way up to the top of the stairs with their guns out.
"You may have one this time Batman" The Bogeyman said as the cops surrounded and cuffed him. "But, next time I'm coming for you!" Batman watched in disgust as the man was dragged from the mansion. "I'll be coming for you, Batman!"Two Months Later - May
Bruce Wayne sat at his dining table sipping his morning coffee and reading the paper. The trial against the Bogeyman had taken only two weeks and the jury found him guilty on all charges using Rebecca's well-protected evidence to convict him. Rebecca Pennyworth had been found not guilty for her assault on the thugs, claiming self-defense.
Bruce and Rebecca had spent five weeks under intensive psychiatric care at Gotham Memorial Hospital. Both were now taking anxiety pills and were told to increase their intake of vitamin C.
The kitchen door opened and Rebecca came out with a tray.
"Here's your breakfast" Rebecca said setting the food down in front of Bruce.
"Thank you" Bruce said. Rebecca stood back and waited a brief second. "Is there something else?"
"I was just wondering" Rebecca said straightening out her apron. "If Terry has talked to Batman lately. I should thank him for being there."
Bruce smiled and put his paper down. After getting out of the hospital and court, Rebecca had taken on the hefty responsibility of butler. She had spent her time cleaning, polishing, dusting, scrubbing, and waxing the large mansion. She had kept to herself most of the time. Terry had noticed, but Rebecca didn't seem too receptive to Terry.
"I'm sure Batman has checked up on you" Bruce said. Rebecca nodded and went back into the kitchen. The front door opened, shut, and the familiar sounds of Terry came closer until he was in the dining room.
"Morning, Bruce" Terry said sitting in a chair.
"Good morning, Terry" Bruce said. The kitchen door opened and Rebecca brought out a second cup of coffee.
"I thought I heard you come in" Rebecca said. "Good morning, Terry."
"Morning" Terry said. He watched Rebecca intently as she walked back into the kitchen. When the door closed, Bruce raised an eyebrow. "What?"
"I suggest watching a different girl" Bruce said. He spread jam over his toast. "She's still recovering."
"Well, you seemed to recover fast" Terry said.
"I've had years to deal with fear toxins" Bruce said.
"Aren't we going to tell her?" Terry whispered. "She's going to find out one way or another."
"She's not being very receptive" Bruce said. "I think Batman needs to talk to her first."
"I'll do it after I patrol tonight" Terry said. "How's she sleeping?"
"Insomnia" Bruce said. "She has pills, but I don't think she's taking them very often."
"You've talked to her?" Terry asked. Bruce paused in his eating.
"Of course" Bruce said.
"Well, on the bright side, I've never seen this place cleaner" Terry replied. Bruce rolled his eyes and went back to reading his paper.
By three-thirty rain was pouring down with the intense sound of thunder and flashes of lightning. Rebecca was in the lounge polishing the large iron maiden.
There was a loud crack from outside as lightning hit the ground nearby. The lights overhead flickered and then went out. Rebecca gasped and quickly pulled a large mag light from her apron.
"Mr. Wayne?" Rebecca called out. She went out to the main foyer, but didn't see any signs of him. "Mr. Wayne?"
"He went into town" A voice said from the top of the stairs. Rebecca turned and flashed light on the figure. The red bat sent a tingly feeling up her spine.
"Batman" Rebecca gasped. She gripped her duster harder then she realized.
"I wanted to stop by" Batman said coming down the stairs. Rebecca's light only cast a tiny bit of light in the large foyer, so she turned it off.
"What happened?" Rebecca asked. "He's not back is he?"
"The Bogeyman's been locked away" Batman replied. He went to the bottom of the stairs and noticed her knuckles. "You know that." Batman reached out and pried the duster from Rebecca. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm doing okay now" Rebecca said. She cast her eyes over his uniform feeling a bit strange standing there with him. "Thank you for showing up."
"I wanted to talk to you about something" Batman said uncharacteristically. He grabbed her hand and pulled her into the lounge, towards the large iron maiden.
"What are you doing?" Rebecca asked trying to pull free from his strong grip.
"I won't hurt you" Batman said pulling her towards him. He reached out and opened up the iron maiden. He pushed her towards the iron spikes and pointed to a small hidden black button. Rebecca looked at the button. "Trust me. Push that button."
Batman stepped towards her, closing the iron maiden. Rebecca pushed the button and the iron spikes instantly retracted. The iron maiden closed with a click and Rebecca tried to distance herself as much as possible from Batman.
"Get ready" Batman said. He pushed a second button that was higher up then the first button. Batman took hold of Rebecca as the floor gave out and they slid down into the depths of the Batcave.
Batman pulled Rebecca to her feet once they hit the hard stone floor. Rebecca gasped at the computers and the large laboratory, the costumes that lined the wall, the giant penny, the medical table.
Rebecca watched as Batman pulled off his mask, revealing that he was indeed Terry underneath.
"Terry?!" Rebecca said. The computer chair turned around, sitting there was Bruce Wayne.
"Rebecca, there is something we need to discuss with you" Bruce said with a smirk.
"Yeah, welcome to the Batcave" Terry said.