I don't own, bla bla bla.

This has NO point. Except, its been bugging me for a while.

Oh, the Horror!
"Sorry, ma'am, but he's been waiting since you went into that meeting. I don't think the young man is going to leave. And he seems awfully agitated."

Gordon sighed. "Show McGinnis in." She had to make it perfectly clear that they couldn't be seen… associating like this. But if something WAS wrong…? Her fears rose up in her throat when she saw Terry. His eyes were wide, he looked shell shocked. He was… shaking, slightly. She met him at the door, then closed it. And locked it. "Terry, what's going on?" she asked. "Is it Bruce?"

"It's… its horrible. Its… I went there, and… and I heard sounds from upstairs. And I went up.. Oh God. Oh God, oh god…"

Barbara swallowed, pushing her heart back down her throat. No one could live forever. She'd been preparing herself for this for… years. Since even before she and Bruce had become… "Is he still alive, Terry?"

Terry stared at her. Straight through her even. "I don't—I.. it. Not like that."

"Terry, you have to tell me what's happened. I can't help you, if I don't know what's happened."

The boy continued to stare. Who would have thought he'd have taken this so hard. "Would you like someone to come back there with you? To settle things?"

Suddenly, Terry snapped into motion. He lept over the back of the chair, and stared at her, like a wounded animal. "No! No!"

"Then would you like someone to take you home?" She needed to get him calmed down enough to get him into the cave, look him over. Something MUST have happened to him as well, to produce this sort of a reaction.

"I'm never going back there! I can't! She—ohgodohgodohgod…"

"Alright." She let him hyperventilate a moment, so he'd be weaker for her, then she suddenly ceased his shoulders. "Terrance, LISTEN to me. I can't help you if I don't know what's going on." His breathing grew regular over a period, and she let go of her death grip on his arms. "Terry, was everything alright at school today?" Neutral subject.


"Alright. Tell me about school."

"I… failed a math test." Big surprise, she thought. Bruce would NEVER have stood for those kind of grades with any of them, she wondered why he'd tolerated it in Terry.

"And… and Dana got mad at me at lunch cause of last night, and she went to sit with Chelsea, and I ended up sitting by myself cause Max sided with Dana."

Slowly, the glazed-over look began to leave his eyes. She was making real progress here. "What about after lunch?"

"I… I cut after lunch." She'd seen his neck muscles tense with that. Suddenly, he was rigid, like a statue.

"Where did you go when you cut lunch?"

"To… To Mr. Wayne's. God… I'm so sorry! I'm sorry I cut school! I'll never ever do it again. Oh God…" she grabbed his arms again.

"What happened when you got there, Terry?"

"The… the house was quiet. Scooby was laying in front of the front door. He… he usually isn't there. He's usually in the Cave. Or… or wherever Mr. Wayne… Oh man. Geeze. Oh man." He took a deep breath. "I… I heard some noises upstairs. I didn't know what it was. I.. I went up. I mean, how was I supposed to know? It… it…" Before he got worked up again, he drew in more air, letting out slowly, in through his nose, out from his mouth, the way he'd been taught. "From the top of the steps… it sounded like someone was torturing them. My mother… And I heard him..." he shuddered. "I… I kicked down the door."

Barbara Gordon had a feeling the scene had only gone down-hill from there. "I… I never want to even think about it. Ever again. But it's burned in my mind. How… how can I look at EITHER of them. Dear God." He was at least speaking in complete sentences.

"Sometimes… life just gets a little… lonely for some adults…"

Terry shuddered again, his eyes suddenly wet. "How COULD they?"

"I told you… it's not you… it's.. circumstance. Let me tell you. Sometimes… it just happens. With Bruce, it ALWAYS 'just happens.' No premeditation involved. Emotions run high, people do things without thinking. If you and your girlfriend did it, we'd be calling you irresponsible youth. Now… if something like this… happened with you… you wouldn't want anyone to… hold it against you. Right?"

He shook his head.

"Right. And I'm sure they feel pretty… dumb about it right now themselves. They don't need any help from you. So… Just.. be calm about it. Be cool. Shway."

Terry nodded. She couldn't help it. He looked so lost, like Tim had… She took him in her arms. "Now listen to me, Terrance McGinnis. You're Batman. That means you have to be the grownup, here. And just remember… Bruce gets really… grumpy if these sort of things are… revisited." The last was said with a smile. So… as far as we are concerned, it DIDN'T HAPPEN. Alright?"

Terry nodded. "Tha-thanks, Commissioner."

"It's what I'm here for, kid."

She watched Terry leave. The kid had learned a hard lesson today. Sitting at her desk, she picked up the phone. Bruce was so dead!