Second Glance

It's been eight years since the second Bang. Static and Gear are in Gotham hunting down a killer and the only other living Bang Baby is trying to keep his family out of the line of fire.

Chapter One: Parallel Worlds

The door to Apartment 6B opened and a sleepy-eyed man with mussed white blonde hair and wearing nothing more than a pair of low-slung green cotton pajama pants that displayed his well-sculpted body bent over to retrieve the morning paper. Looking over the headlines, the man shut the door and wandered back into his spacious apartment.

The man made his way eventually into the kitchen, lucky not to have tripped over anything as his eyes hadn't left the paper, and began making himself a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Laying the newspaper out on the counter so he could still read it, the blonde man, with a spoon in his mouth and a bowl, a carton of milk, and a box of cereal in his arms staggered over to the table.

A woman now entered, a robe open around her shoulders revealing a slim body and a mischievous grin on her face. She snuck up behind her beau and poked him on either side of his rib cage at the same time. The effects were instantaneous. The man jumped and jerked away, bowl, milk, and cereal clattering to the floor in a terrific mess.

"Jesus Theresa!" The man took the spoon from his mouth and gaped at his wife who was doubled over, trying to control her fits of laughter.

Finally gaining control of herself, Theresa straightened and smirked at her husband. "Didn't know you were so ticklish Francis."

Francis caught her by the wrists and smothered her laughs with his mouth. "How many times do I have to tell you not to tickle me?" He asked her, grinning despite himself.

"I wouldn't if you didn't act like you'd just been electrified every time I do." Theresa looked at the mess on the floor. "I don't suppose you'll be cleaning that up then."

Francis released her and walked back to the kitchen. "No way, not when you're the one who made me drop everything."

He picked up the paper again and brandished the front page at Theresa as she walked past him to get a towel. "Fourth Murder Victim Found, Crime Spree Baffles Gotham PD," she read the headline aloud and then shrugged. "So what?"

Francis flipped to the next page where the names of every victim had been listed. Again, Theresa read aloud, "Allie Langford, Frankie D'Amico, Tamara Lawrence, and Thomas Kim. So what?"

Francis gave her that smug little grin of his that told her he knew so much more than she did. Theresa shoved his shoulder. "I repeat, so what? And don't look at me like that."

"Allie Langford equals Nails, had a run-in with Harley and Ivy eight years back. Frankie D'Amico, wanted to run with my gang before the Bang and afterwards he stole gas to make himself a metahuman. Tamara Lawrence, girlfriend of Marcus Reed who was in Wade's gang and a big bad Bang Baby. Finally, Thomas Kim. Sophomore at Dakota Union during the Bang and a scary purple beast when he got pissed off."

"So all these people were metahumans?" Theresa took the paper from Francis and scanned the names again, putting faces to names as she remembered them. "How the hell did you remember all this?"

Francis walked out of the kitchen and began cleaning up his spilt breakfast. "I pay attention. None of those guys were in the main ring of metahumans so I'm betting the police haven't caught onto the pattern yet…"

"Wait, wait, wait! Pattern? You think more metahumans are going to be killed?"

Hearing the fright in Theresa's voice, Francis pulled his wife close to him. "No. The only metahumans left are Static, Gear, and me. I think more has been Bang Babies are going to bite it."

Theresa laughed into his shoulder. "That's real comforting mi amore, what do you think I am?" Francis pulled her even tighter against himself. "Anyone who touches you, I'll destroy."

"I believe that. Theresa stood on her toes and touched her lips softly against her husband's. Francis responded by tilting his head forward to meet her lips harder and all talk of murder and the past was forgotten for several loooong minutes.

Static and Gear landed on the edge of one of Gotham's tallest buildings, Wayne Towers, and quickly went inside the one open window. A tall man with carefully combed jet-black hair turned to the duo as they entered his office.

"Virgil, Richie. I'm glad you could come." Bruce Wayne rose form his chair and walked forward to greet the heroes.

"No problem Bruce. We were taking leave in Dakota for a few weeks anyway." Virgil Hawkins, aka Static, shook hands with his boyhood hero. Richie did the same, smiling up at the Dark Knight through his green visor. "What seems to be the problem?"

Bruce turned to his desk and came up with several folders in hand. "There have been a series of murders lately. No connection has yet been found between the victims and the crimes appear to be happening at random."

Virgil took the papers from Bruce and began browsing through them while Gear started asking questions.

"When was the last murder?"

"Two days ago."

"How do we know it's just one person doing all the killings?"

"Their style is unique, there are pictures in the files."

Virgil made a face. "There sure are pictures. This is gross." Virgil gave the folders to Richie who made a face of his own. "Yeah, definitely the same person."

The pictures showed the murder victims from an aerial view. Blood spattered the sidewalk all around the body and the corpses all had long jagged gashes through their chests, legs, and arms.

Bruce went to his chair and sank into it with a heavy sigh. Virgil and Richie exchanged a look, btoh thinking that despite the fact that Batman was a legend, he was getting old. "I'm being sent to Africa with John for several weeks and I was hoping you could hold down the fort here. You'd have full usage of the Cave and everything within it. I just want to make sure another murder isn't committed while I'm gone. If you could keep an eye on Arkham Asylum too, just to make sure everything is all right there."

"Sure we'll stay in Gotham to help you out Bruce." Virgil nodded with a cheerful grin.

"Hell, if we can make a dent in this case I think we should get our vacation days added onto." Gear grinned.

Francis pulled himself up from the floor and smiled down at Theresa. "That was fun," he grinned wolfishly at her.

Theresa smirked at him and rose to wrap her arms around his chest. "You have cereal in your hair," she whispered into his ear. He laughed and pulled away from her, swiping through his blonde locks with one hand.

"So do you," he retorted. Theresa lent forward and let Francis brush the crumbs from her red hair and the reached her own hand up to run through her husband's untamable hair. "I miss your red hair."

"Me too, but I'd be to recognizable with it."

"I miss your spikes."

"Sorry baby. Maybe one day they can come back." He leaned forward to kiss her neck.

Theresa let her head roll back and her eyes caught the clock. She bolted up to her feet in an instant, leaving Francis sitting on the floor.

"What is it," he asked, a pout forming on his lips.

"It's 9:00! Go wake Jesse up. I have to get ready for work. Shoot! I have a 9:30 meeting." She dashed towards their bedroom with a frantic look in her eyes.

Francis chuckled to himself. He had married a nutcase, but a gorgeous nutcase. He slowly cleaned up the mess on the floor and then walked into his bedroom, his breakfast long forgotten.

The shower was running and steam was drifting from the bathroom. Francis let himself linger in the heat for a moment before grabbing a black t-shirt and heading back out into the hallway.

He walked to the bedroom at the end of the hall and rapped on the door with his knuckles. "Jess, wake up." There was no response from the other side of the door.

Groaning, Francis pushed the door open and walked into the dimly room. A night-light shone in one corner and every other inch of the room was coated with posters displaying skateboarders, most of them sporting a familiar blonde haired man.

Francis ignored the mess on the floor, the scattered papers and clothes, books, a skateboard, toys, and headed straight for the lump amongst the covers.

Sitting down heavily on the side of the bed Francis reached out with one hand and shook the lump. "Jess, you have school."

The lump rolled over stubbornly.

Francis got up to stretch his back, when he was pounced upon from behind. A red haired cannonball had latched himself onto his back, and he was grinning widely down at his father.

Francis swung Jesse around and carried him under his arm out of the room, much to the boy's delight, and set him down in the hallway.

The little boy was wearing green pajamas that matched his jade colored eyes, the same as his father's and his hair was every bit as mussed as his dad's as well. If Francis hadn't dyed his hair, it would be the same blood red as his son's. The two could have been exact replicas of each other except for the fact that Jesse's skin color was slightly darker thanks to his mother.

"What do you want to wear today?" Francis asked, leaning against the doorway.

"My black pants, red shirt, and gray fleece!" Jesse exclaimed, whirling down the hallway towards the kitchen.

"Like you had any choice, your mom laid out your clothes last night." Francis muttered to himself and ducked back inside Jesse's room, emerging with the clothes in hand.

"Jess, c'mere so you can get dressed," he called down the hall. When he got no response except for a chair sliding across the floor, Francis headed back towards the kitchen with the clothes lsung over one braod shoulder.

Jesse was sitting at the table, his feet swinging several inches from the ground, happily eating cereal.

"Oh sure, he gets to eat cereal without incident. But do I? Nooooo." Francis put the clothes on the table and for the second time that morning went to fix his breakfast.

Raising the milk above his bowl, Francis hesitated and looked around for his wife to make sure she wouldn't sneak up on him again.

Jesse looked at him curiously, mouth full of cornflakes. Finally Francis deemed it safe to pour the milk.

In the instant where Francis lowered his head, Jesse poked his spoon in between his father's ribs and Francis jerked, milk spilling across the table and dripping to the floor.

Jesse burst into peals of laughter and Francis groaned. "Your mom taught you that…didn't she?"

Theresa came running through the kitchen, now dressed in a smart suit and makeup applied flawlessly. She stooped and kissed both Francis and Jesse on the forehead. "Jesse is going to miss the bus if you don't speed him up." She warned, grabbing her purse from the counter.

Francis shrugged and continued eating. "I've got a demo at noon across town so I have to leave soon anyway, I can just drive him on the way." Theresa nodded and started walking to the door when she slipped in the spilt milk. She grabbed the counter for support as her legs flew out from under her.

Francis smirked into his cereal and Jesse covered his grin with one small hand.

Theresa whirled around but decided not to pursue the matter upon seeing the satisfied look on her husband's handsome face. She stood back up and brushed herself off, trying to appear as dignified as she could with milk dripping from the hem of her skirt. "Please clean that up by the time I get home. And don't let Jesse be late, his teacher's threatening him with detention."

"His teacher's a bitch." Francis muttered.

"Don't swear in front of Jesse…and yes she is." Theresa blew both of her boys a kiss and then left the apartment.

Francis leaned back in his chair and yawned, stretching his arms above his head. "What are the odds that I can get you to school in half and hour?"

Jesse put down his spoon and grinned. "Pretty good if you start chasing me now."

Author's Note:

This chapter was just to see if anyone is at all interested in this story and if so then PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW! Also let me know if I butchered Hotstreak's character too much, I didn't mean to but I make him into a lovable softie in my head. I promise the next chapter will have Static and Hotstreak meeting for the first time in eight years if I get four reviews.