Seconds Matter

Bart remembered meeting the first Batgirl during Zero Hour. He hadn't been able to forget her. Even though he'd been just a kid at the time – two years was forever for a speedster like him – there had been something about her he couldn't explain. Something he was attracted to, even before he'd know what attraction was.

Batgirl had been so beautiful, with flame-red hair and bright yellow accents on her costume. And she'd danced across the rooftops with something akin to joy as she fought. She was pure poetry in motion.

But that Batgirl was gone. There was a new one now, had been for years. Robin had worked with her before and he wouldn't say much about her except that she'd been trained from birth in every form of martial arts known to man.

So of course Bart had had to check her out for himself. Just because Batman didn't like having him in Gotham didn't mean he couldn't be there and gone before Batman would ever know. It took three weeks but finally he spotted her.

And boy, was he surprised. Surprised and more than somewhat pleased.

The new Batgirl hid her hair along with her face, and didn't have any yellow on her costume. But she moved like the wind, like bones and other physical constraints were just something for other people, and not her. If the first Batgirl had been poetry, the second was a sonnet, a sheer symphony of movement. Bart understood how come Robin called her the best fighter he'd ever seen.

She was even more beautiful than the first Batgirl. And that was even without taking into account the black skintight leather outfit.

Bart could admit, now that he'd hit puberty – sometime last Thursday during a rerun of Wendy – that the outfit didn't need yellow accents.

The second Batgirl didn't need to live up to the first one; she'd already surpassed her in all the ways that mattered.

All the ways that mattered to Bart, at any rate.