Disclaimer: Batman (c) DC Comics. Not mine.

AN: This is slightly embarrassing. Admittedly, this story won't be updated nearly as frequently as Child of a Dark Knight was. School starts tomorrow and I'm going to be slammed with homework and school projects, so the next update will probably be around this time next week. So sit back, enjoy, and hopefully this story will live up to its predecessor. (grins)

Just Like Dad

It was a bit odd for Alfred to find Bruce watching the front yard of the mansion. Now that the place was completely rennovated, Bruce spent much of his time in either his room, Kaitlyn's room, or the cave underneath the property. So to find him at the window got Alfred's curiosity. He walked over and stood by his employer's side. "What has your attention, Master Wayne?"

"Watching Kaitlyn." Bruce replied with an easy smile. That was something that had been missing for quite a while. Alfred was glad to see it back. "Take a look. From what I gathered, she brought him here so no one would see what was going on." He pointed at the massive hedge that kept anyone from the outside from seeing what went on inside. A privacy fence, but Bruce's father thought it looked a lot better than one made of wood. Alfred took a look, and now his attention was riveted.

He had never seen sixteen-year-old Kaitlyn Wayne so furious in the ten years he had known her. The short, slender girl had a boy - roughly eighteen years old, but that could be a bit off - backed up against the hedge. There was just enough distance between them that they couldn't hear what was being said, but it was clear Kaitlyn wasn't pleased with the boy. Bruce filled in the blanks. "The guy is Russel. He's taken a habit right lately of flirting with Kaitlyn and trying to drive off some of her other guy friends. Apparently this morning she found out something else about him. She was mildly annoyed before. Now Russel will be lucky to escape with his life." Alfred almost laughed at that, but the mirth was driven away when Kaitlyn grabbed Russel's shirt and cracked her fist across his face. Alfred tensed, but Bruce merely watched. Russel must have said something else. Kaitlyn responded by shoving him as hard as she could and turning her back on him. Bruce watched as she took a few deep breaths, trying to get herself back under control. A few more words were exchanged, then Kaitlyn came inside as Russel escaped from the property.

Alfred looked at Bruce. "He must have said the wrong thing." It came out more as a question, and Bruce simply shrugged.

"I'll find out." He turned from the window and made his way to Kaitlyn's room. As much as she enjoyed defense lessons, she wasn't one for mindless violence. So what on earth had triggered that response?

Kaitlyn curled up on her bed, screaming her frustration into her pillow. Something had to be done about Russel, and unfortunately he wouldn't take her seriously. Despite laying into him - and admittedly, she wasn't using her full strength - he still thought of her as weak and needing protection. She hated that. She did not survive three years of the Joker only to be thought of as a damsel in distress. Her screams gave out, and she simply laid there, silently fuming. She was calming down now, and just as she felt she might be able to face Bruce without him knowing just how angry she was, the door opened.

In ten years, Kaitlyn had changed quite a bit. Bruce still found it a source of amusement that she had a massive bat poster pinned to her ceiling right over the bed. Her tastes were still a bit Gothic, but he could see several things that just didn't fit - a glass jar with her pet spider still inside (for once), a handful of photos of her and her friends that were pinned to her wall, the gargoyle collection she had found and the mass of colorful crystals that hung from the window. She found things she liked, that no one else seemed to. Outcasts, from her friends to her playthings. The room was always kept reasonably clean, probably at Alfred's insistance. Bruce himself had never been big on household chores. He sat down on the bed and stroked her hair. It had been cut short and spiked, but it still suited her. It made her look a bit like a pixy, and a lot less threatening.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"How much did you see?" she asked miserably.

"Most of it. Enough to know that Russel must have done something more than normal to deserve that kind of beating."

Slowly, Kaitlyn sat up. Her anger was spent, and now she looked like she was about to cry. "He was hurting David." she blurted out. "He had cornered David in the hallway this morning, and he was beating the crap out of him, yelling at him to stay away from me, and none of the teachers were doing anything about it 'cause David's deaf!" She looked away, angrily wiping at her eyes. "So I told him I wanted him to walk me home instead of David. I told David during first period that I was going to make Russel pay for it." She slowly looked up at Bruce. "Did I do bad?"

Bruce wrapped her up in a hug. "You did good, kid." he assured her. "You did real good." He kissed her forehead and smiled at her. "Aren't you going out with Kevin tonight?"

"Daddy!" Kaitlyn grinned, her tears drying up. "You make it sound like we're dating! Brian's going too."

"Well, you need to get cleaned up then. Take a bath and relax for a few hours. I'll give you a holler when you need to start getting ready." He gave her one last hug and started to leave the room. Kaitlyn's voice stopped him.

"Are you going out tonight too?"

He turned and nodded. "Gordon and I have some cleanup to do near the Narrows."

Kaitlyn nodded. "We'll be on the other side of town, at the skate station."

Bruce smiled. "I'll see you off then." With that he was gone, leaving Kaitlyn to her thoughts.

Good news, she wasn't in trouble for beating up Russel. Then again, she shouldn't have worried - Bruce knew that Kaitlyn wouldn't do something like that without reason. She thought she was extremely justified in her actions. With a sigh, she grabbed a change of clothes and a book, and headed off to the bathroom. Dad was right. A hot bath would help calm her before Kevin and Brian showed up.

/--/

AN: And here's chapter one! Kaitlyn is going to be a bit more open in this one, and a bit more willing to talk - although only with people she knows very well. A few changes to her character, but nothing that wouldn't have developed in a normal teenager. Review, and tell me what you think. Next chapter the action starts.