Standard discaimers apply...also keep in mind the spoilers for BATMAN BEGINS...but...if you've read this far in...I think it's safe to assume you figured that part out :-)
As always, hope you enjoy!
Rachel Dawes walked forward through the mass of officers with determined steps. She knew she had to get into the heart of Gotham. Though doing so would be difficult at best. At best, the streets of Gotham were chaotic. At worst, walking those same streets could be downright lethal.
Every available officer was being sent across the bridge to try to bring order back to the chaos that was sweeping the frenzied city. All of the inmates, serial killers, rapists, and worst of the worst had been released from their confinement. They were out there now, running freely through the streets of Gotham.
The blind panic coupled with the destructive nature of the inmates made the situation volatile at best. But Rachel soldiered on. She had no real choice in the matter. Batman, a man who had already saved her life on more than one occasion, had given her the antidote to some sort of toxin that, if Batman were to be believed, would be spread throughout Gotham very soon. And from the looks of things, he was to be believed, and very soon seemed to be 'right now.'
She was making her way toward the fiasco ahead of her, while any sane person would be running the other way. When an officer stopped her, she briefly toyed with the idea of simply giving him the toxin and staying out of the way.
But she couldn't. The police were on the take. Not all of them, but enough of them for her to be suspicious of all of them. Beyond that, Batman had given her specific instructions on who to give the two vials of serum, and the device to inject said serum into the system, to.
She stared defiantly at the police officer in front of her. "Sir, I'm a Gotham City District Attorney, let me pass."
The officer gave her a look that clearly said, 'are you nuts?' But, to her surprise, the officer just shook his head and let her pass. Not one to pass up such a fortunate turn of events in her favor, she quickly made her way across the bridge separating Gotham from the main land. The bridge would soon be drawn, trapping everyone in this chaotic place until order could be restored.
Batman had placed the antidote and injector in her care. She was told what she needed to do. Now she was inside the war zone. Now, she needed to find Officer Gordon.
Bruce and Alfred stared at each other for a brief moment. They both seemingly came to the same conclusion as they nodded their head at the same time. Alfred helped young Master Wayne off of the floor. Opening the door to the lift, they walked into a cold, dark cave.
Bruce walked a few paces, under his own power, before sighing to himself. "I can't believe I trashed my father's name, the Wayne's name, like that."
Before Alfred could assure his young charge of whatever he had done, a snort came from Xander drawing the attention of both men to the young man.
Xander looked at them both before shaking his head. "Look, I may not have known your parents, but even I knew of them." He took a few paces forward until he was standing no more than a foot away from the young billionaire. "Your parents were well known for their love of people. Whether it was through charities or building things for the future, your parents did what they could do to help people. They did it to such an extent that even I know about it years later." Xander looked up at Bruce and simply shook his head. "No, I think tonight you did well by your father's, the Wayne family's name. I think you saved a lot of lives tonight; and that's totally in keeping with the Wayne family name."
Alfred smiled at the two young men. "Very well put, young sir."
Xander smiled but still shook his head. "Besides, there's always tomorrow to put the Wayne family name back to where it belongs in the eyes of the public." He looked back at Bruce, who seemed deep in thought. "That is, if the eye of the public is where you want it to be."
Bruce's eyes came back to the here and now. A genuine smile graced his lips. "Yeah, thanks. I think you're right."
They took a few steps forward; the sounds of a waterfall could be heard a short distance away. Xander looked between the two other men and asked, "Ah, where are we?"
No answer was given as Alfred pushed up a lever that turned on the lights within the cave. Xander's eyes went wide once again, and a small gasp escaped his breath as he took in the sight of the Tumbler. The automobile looked to be a cross between a sports car and a tank. There were sleek, yet jagged edges to the pitch-black car. It was the same car that he had seen earlier, on television. It was the car that the police had been chasing. It was the car that Batman had been driving.
Xander looked over to the side, where Bruce was putting on pieces of all black body armor. There were other pieces as well. However, the empty cowl on the shelving drew his wide-eyed stare. He had never seen Batman, no pictures to go by. The guy was new on the scene. There were only vague descriptions that he heard in passing through the party earlier.
Xander shook his head in astonishment. First it was stumbling onto Buffy's secret of being the Slayer. Now, it was him stumbling into a whole new, and perhaps larger, secret. While keeping Buffy's secret was paramount, Batman was a whole lot more public, or would be, if tonight's high speed car chase was anything to go by. Before Xander could delve any deeper into his ability to get into these types of situations, a familiar, yet different voice broke through his forethoughts.
When Bruce spoke again, his voice was deeper, a bit harsher, and held more authority than he had ever been privy to before. "Ra's is going to release the toxin throughout Gotham. He stole a device that can vaporize water." There was a brief pause as he fitted the armor over his chest. "I want you to stay with Alfred. And this time, I'd like for you to actually comply."
Xander reflected on his words for all of a second before firmly responding, "No." Bruce didn't turn around; he simply cricked his neck to the side, allowing Xander to continue.
"You remember meeting my girlfriend, Cordelia, earlier tonight?"
Bruce paused in mid motion, and simply nodded. His back was still to the other men in the room.
"Yeah, well her parents booked a couple of rooms in a specific hotel. Apparently some hotshot playboy decided to buy it so he could open the decorative pool area to the general public."
There was a definite smirk in Xander's voice, and a soft chuckle came from Bruce as he relived that particular scene.
"That means that Cordy, and her family, are in the heart of the danger zone. If you think I'm about to abandon her, then you should think again." Xander did all he could to keep his voice unwavering. Bruce finally donned the cowl. He slowly turned around to face the young man who spoke with such determination and steel in his voice.
It took all Xander had to keep his face and expressions the same as he finally got a first-hand look at The Batman. Even knowing who was under the mask, it was still an imposing figure. Xander was sure that anyone who came across his path would think twice before defying Batman. Yet still, Xander had faced off real demons and monsters, he wasn't about to back down so quickly. Not when Cordy's safety was in question.
Batman and Xander simply stared at each other for an indeterminate amount of time. Xander was determined not to back down, while Batman was contemplating his options.
Every sane notion that was going through his head was telling him to keep the child out of harm's way. However, there was the fact that the kid had his own stake in getting into Gotham. There was someone there that the kid needed to help, someone he needed to save.
He could easily turn around and disregard the young man. But, did he have that right? Not a day went by when Bruce didn't reflect on whether or not there was something he could have done to protect, perhaps even save, his parents. And Bruce had been but a little boy. This 'kid' was not a little boy; he was better described as a young man, a young man with a passion. Did he, as Batman, have the right to force this young man to sit this out? As much as he hated to admit it, in this instance, he didn't think so.
It seemed as though Alfred had reached the same conclusion, as the English gentleman called out, "Sir, I do believe that your car is a two-seater."
Batman had already nodded and motioned to the car. Xander couldn't help but to smile in appreciation as the cockpit to the automobile opened.
Xander couldn't help but to grin as he slid into the passenger seat, and stated "This is so cool. I'm in the…Batmobile."
Both Batman and Alfred gave him curious, if not amused, expressions. Xander smiled sheepishly at the two.
"Well, you are Batman." His grin became a smirk. "Would that not make this place the Batcave, and this would be the Batmobile." Suddenly a pensive expression overcame his features. "Or do you like Batcar better?"
No answer came from The Batman. He simply gathered his collection of tools and gadgets. In a practiced and efficient manner, Batman kitted himself out, placing weapons, or what Xander could only guess were weapons, throughout his armored form. Many small, and sharp, bat-shaped throwing objects were clipped to his belt. After that was done, Batman simply walked over to the Tumbler and jumped into his seat, practically gliding into position. In a deep and authoritative voice, he claimed "We can name is later. We have to get to Gotham now."
Xander simply nodded as the cockpit slid to a locked and closed position above them. Batman simply looked at him and smirked at him.
"Don't touch anything in the Batmobile."
With that, he accelerated towards the waterfall. Xander's eyes went wide as they hit an incline and actually flew through the water. A small scream escaped his lips as they cleared the waterfall and fell onto an open dirt road. They quickly sped off into the distance, quickly gaining speed, heading towards Gotham.
"You did that on purpose!"
Batman didn't respond; he seemed intent on studying the road. After about a minute and a half of silence, Batman's voice broke Xander out of whatever reverie he had been in.
"All right, there are a few things you need to know, and we only have until we reach Gotham to get you up to speed." He spared a glance towards the kid, to find him sparing glances at him, while constantly looking back out the cockpit window shield. "First thing you need to know is that Ra's is releasing an air born toxin throughout all of Gotham. Some of his people have been dispensing it into the water supply for weeks now. So he has literally already delivered it throughout Gotham without anyone knowing about it, until recently."
Xander shook his head. "What exactly does this toxin do? And I heard you talking to that man before. Ra's has a weapon to vaporize the water supply and make the toxin air born."
Batman shook his head. "Yeah, he stole a weapon from Wayne Enterprises. And you better believe that will be looked into. Now, the toxin acts as a hallucinogen, but is so much more. It amplifies fear. Imagine the entire population of Gotham, fearing anything and everything they see and hear. If the strain on their systems doesn't kill them, them attacking each other will."
Xander looked at him with wide eyes. "It'll be utter chaos. Death and destruction wherever it spreads. Is there any way to stop it, or to counteract it?"
Batman nodded. "Lucius Fox, the man you saw me talking to earlier, has made up an antidote that can also act as a vaccine. Once you take it, you become immune to the affects of the toxin. And, it's fast acting." There was a brief pause. "The only problem is that right now there is an extremely limited supply of it. Fox is back at Wayne Enterprises making more of the vaccine, and I gave Rachel, a close friend of mine who received a lethal dose of the toxin, the other two vials of antidote I have." He spared a glance to see Xander nodding along. "She was instructed to give one vial to Officer Gordon, who happens to be the only cop out there that I'd trust, and have the police, or hospitals, start trying to mass produce the other vial." Batman spared another glance at the young man, both men making eye contact. "You see why I didn't want you to come with me." Xander was about to speak, but Batman cut him off. "I understand you wanting, or needing to come. The hotel is near the entrance to the bridge we need to cross. If the panic has already begun, then it'll most likely be raised." Batman looked over with a smirk on his face. "But that won't be a problem for us."
Xander simply nodded his head. "Sure, why would a raised bridge pose a problem for the Batmobile?" He simply shook his head again.
Batman's smirk just grew. "I'll drop you off in front of the hotel as I look for Gordon. If I'm correct, Ra's will be using the train my parents had built to transport the weapon. If that train reaches Wayne Towers, then all of Gotham will be hit with the hallucinogenic toxin."
As they were nearing the already drawn bridge, Batman flipped through the police band to see if he could get a lock on Gordon's position, not to mention finding out what the situation was. There was a bit of static, before Gordon's voice came over the radio.
"We need reinforcements. Police, swat, Riot teams, whatever you got"
Another voice came over the line. "Gordon, GORDON! All of the city's Riot Police is on the island with you."
"But Sir, they're all completely incapacitated."
The other man's voice almost became a whisper. "Gordon, there's nobody else left to send in."
As the man said those last words, the newly dubbed 'Batmobile' launched up the large incline of the bridge, and flew onto the other side, coming to a screeching halt next to a surprised officer Gordon.