Title: Knighthood (1?)

Author: Cyclone

Feedback: Please be gentle.

Distribution: Gimme credit and a link.

Rating: Violence, harsh language, the usual.

Spoilers: Up to Chosen and Red Eye's.

Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to a bunch of other people. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Summary: An old hero's old enemy returns. Sequel to Fifth Knight and One Eye's.

Author's Note: Here's the promised sequel. Finally.

"So, what brings you to MegaTokyo?" Sylia asked as she sat at the table.

"An economic summit," Bruce replied with a faint smile.

"Really?" she raised an eyebrow. "I haven't heard anything about it."

"Very hush hush. There were representatives from every company working on robotics or boomer technology. Wayne-Powers, Xanatos Enterprises, Zone Corporation, Nightstone Unlimited, and more."

"I see."

Silence reigned as she digested that piece of information.

"By the way, I understand you've recruited a new member."

Sylia frowned, "You're very well informed."

Bruce nodded. "My... protege is following him at the moment."

"That might not be a good idea. My... ah... 'recruit' is... full of surprises."

Bruce grinned, "If he's who I think he is, this'll be a good lesson for the boy."

"All right," Xander stopped in the alleyway and turned, looking directly at the camouflaged figure. "You might as well come out now. That's a neat trick, but I've had to deal with real invisibility back in high school."

The figure shimmered and dropped down.

"You're good."

Xander snorted when he recognized the costume, "So, what does the real Batman think about you running around with his symbol on your chest?"

Batman seemed to glower at him, "I am Batman."

"And I'm the tooth fairy," Xander snorted. "You don't sound like him, you don't move like him, and he would never have let that kind of comment faze him. Believe me, I know. We had a... bit of a misunderstanding involving how I dealt with two of Gotham's... less savory population."

Terry froze at that. He knew Bruce. Bruce had nothing against roughing up a thug. The only line he wouldn't cross was... killing.

That explains why the boss wanted me to keep an eye on him... he thought darkly.

But... he couldn't remember anyone who looked like this guy in the Batcomputer's files...

"What sort of misunderstanding?"

"He thought I was going to mug a couple of upstanding citizens," Xander replied coolly. "But the fact is, they were killers, and I was going to stop them. Now, are you going to stop following me, or are we gonna have to fight?"

"So, you know Xander?" Sylia asked, sipping her tea.

"We've met. That was about twenty years ago, though. He's quite good at what he does."

"To survive this long, he has to be."

"Indeed," Bruce nodded, lifting his coffee to his lips.

Xander ducked as the punch soared over his head and into the wall. He intercepted the charging costumed figure with a punch to the sternum, then barely threw himself aside before Batman responded.

"Is that all you've got?"

"I'm not even warmed up yet," Batman replied cockily.

"All right, I guess it's time I took off the kid gloves."

Terry boggled at that. Kid gloves?

He could already feel the bruise forming from that last punch, and this guy wasn't even fighting seriously?

No, he had to be bluffing. Terry knew he was, and he had the Batsuit, after all...

Five minutes later, Terry was reconsidering his assessment. This guy fought like the old man!

"All right," Xander said, hauling up Batman by the front of his suit. "Now, how about some answers?"

"Maybe later," Terry shot back as he fired his jets.

A moment later, he looked down in amazement. The man was still clinging to his legs, somehow managing to avoid getting burned by the jet trails.

"Let... go!"

"Not... happening!" Xander shot back.

Terry dove, barrel-rolled, and swerved, trying to lose him. "How the hell are you doing this?"

"I've had lots of practice."

"Excuse me," Bruce said as he felt his communicator vibrate. "I have to take this." He rose and headed for the corner. In a low voice, he spoke into the communicator, "Terry?"

/I'm having a little trouble here, boss! He spotted me, and now, I can't shake him./

"Where are you now?"

/About a thousand feet above that big canyon downtown./

"You're where?"

/He's stuck to me like a tick, boss, and he won't let go/

Bruce could barely contain a chuckle. No, his persistence had certainly not diminished over the years.

"Head for the Ladys 633 building," he adviced. "I think it's time you were introduced."

/'Introduced'? Wha-/ Bruce closed the communicator. He turned back to Sylia.

"I think it's time you met my protege."

"I see you've aged well."

Xander twisted around from where he was dangling from the Bat-imposter's legs and blinked in surprise at who he saw standing on the roof nearby.

"Bruce?" he asked. "What the hell are you doing here?" He paused and looked up at the man he was hanging onto, then looked back down at Bruce. "Wait, you mean you actually let this punk wear your suit?"

Bruce chuckled, "He's earned it."

"If you say so," Xander said skeptically as he let go and hopped down to the roof of the Ladys 633 building.

Batman landed and looked from Bruce to Xander, "You two know each other?"

Bruce nodded, "Yes. We had a bit of a misunderstanding, but he saved my life in the end. Vampires."

"You're kidding," Batman said.

Bruce raised an eyebrow.

"Right," Batman said. "I forgot. You don't kid."

"So, what are you doing here, old man?" Xander spoke up.

Bruce snorted, "I'm only a decade older than you, Harris. Don't call me that."

Batman stared at them.

"Long story," Xander said, waving it off. "You haven't answered my question."

"I thought I'd visit one of my... beneficiaries," Bruce nodded to Sylia.

Xander cocked an eyebrow, "Even if we count Mackie, we're four short of a round table."

"Five Knight Sabers, two Dark Knights, and a White Knight," Bruce stated. "Clever pun. Nygma might have appreciated it."

"More like grey," Xander said, rolling his eyes.

Batman's head swiveled toward Sylia, "You're one of the Knight Sabers?"

Xander blinked at him, then looked back at Bruce. Jerking a thumb toward Batman, he said, "He's a little slow on the uptake. What gives? You trying to ruin the World's Greatest Detective rep?"

"He has it where it counts," Bruce said. He leaned forward menacingly. "Don't question my judgment."

Xander held up his hands, "Okay, okay, fine. Still, how've you been?"

Bruce relaxed, "I've been all right. You?"

"'Bout the same as usual."

"That bad?"

In the skies above MegaTokyo, a two-man AD Police helicopter flew a routine patrol. The copilot picked up the radio mic and said, "This is ADP Air One reporting in. Things are actually quiet for once."

He jerked back as a shadow -- of something vaguely humanoid with wings -- flashed over the chopper.

"Did you see that?" his partner asked.

"Might be some new kind of boomer. Should we call it in?"

The pilot stared at him, "And say what? We saw a new boomer fly by, only we didn't actually see it, and it doesn't show up on radar?"

Meanwhile, the cause of that shadow continued gliding. The city below offended her. It was a labyrinth of concrete and steel, populated by humans. Like hyenas fighting over a rotting corpse, the humans turned on each other regularly, feeding off of each other and backstabbing each other.

Treachery was humanity's "gift" to world. It was as natural to them as breathing.

Not like her kind.

She folded her wings and swooped into a power dive toward her destination, an abandoned church. The message had been clear. One of her clan, here of all places, somehow alive.

She had to know.

Demona entered the church cautiously. While she had little fear of death -- she knew Macbeth was in their native Scotland at the moment -- she was not a fool. Pain was a well-known companion, but one she had little desire to encounter again.

She heard movement and reacted immediately. She spun, hopped to the side, and dropped into a crouch, ready to launch itself at whoever it was.

A figure stepped out. It was both familiar and strange. A metallic sheen rippled across it as it moved through the light.

"Hello, sister."

Author's Postscript:

How's this for "out of left field"? Recently rereading The Bubblegum Zone probably had something to do with this.