Abby put the final touches on her well made hair. She took one final look at herself in the mirror and thought, I'm ready…finally. Homecoming was a very hard event to prepare for. Whether it was training day and night for the game itself or preparing for the dance after it, you would be tired nonetheless. If it hadn't been for Heather's persistent personality, she probably would've had a relaxing Saturday night with Aaron. But no, she along with Sasha and Heather had to spend hours shopping for the perfect dress. Not that Abby was complaining about her own dress. She liked her baby blue strapless knee length dress. It was easy move around in, yet it was still pretty.
"Abby," her mother called. "Aaron's here!"
"Coming," Abby called back.
Moving back into her old home was a big adjustment that she had to endure that month. Comparing to the manor and the penthouse, Rachel's home seemed to be simple. Abby didn't mind of course. It was within walking distance of Aaron's house and in a much shorter distance to her school. Most of all it was a way in reminding her that her life hadn't completely changed since her father's return. Grabbing her purse, Abby headed downstairs.
By the time Abby had reached the bottom of the small staircase, Aaron had already been socializing with Rachel.
Rachel beamed at Abby. "Oh Sweetie, you look beautiful."
"Yeah, you really do," Aaron smiled.
"Thanks," Abby looked at Aaron. "You look pretty darn handsome yourself."
A flash came through Abby's eyes.
"Mom," she groaned.
"Sorry," Rachel gave a guilty smile, lowering the camera that was her hands. "I couldn't resist. C'mon, why don't you two gather up for a picture together?"
With a shrug, Abby set herself beside Aaron. He put an arm around her before the flash of the camera came again. Rachel took a look at the picture.
"Looks pretty good to me. I'll send the prints to your mom, Aaron."
"Sounds good to me," Aaron faced Abby. "Are you ready to go?"
"Yeah, just hold on a second," said Abby. "I don't think my mom is done with us yet."
"You know I can hear you, right?" said Rachel's irritating voice. "And for your information I am done with you for tonight. I just wanna tell you a couple things before you go. First you know your curfew, make sure you stick to it. I don't care if it is homecoming; you need to be home by the time I expect you to be. Secondly, if you need anything just call me. I'll be working late tonight…again."
Abby looked at her with disbelief. "They still haven't hired a new DA?"
"No, but there have been a few people up for the job. One of them being Harvey Dent."
"Oh yeah, I've seen his cheesy campaign commercials," Aaron snorted.
"Definitely, I highly doubt he'll get any attention with those things," she agreed.
"His campaign commercials are a little cheesy, I have to admit, but he does bring up a few good points," Rachel defended.
"Sure, whatever you say, Mom. Can I go now?"
"Hold on, your father said for you to be careful and have fun tonight, and what I have to say is pretty much the same thing."
"And tell Dad not to go ten feet within the school property, please. Directly or indirectly."
After the incident that nearly cost Aaron's ear, Abby wasn't taking any chances.
"Will do," her mother smiled. "Have fun, Sweetheart."
"Will do, and try to get some sleep. I'll see you tonight."
With one final goodbye, Abby and Aaron finally achieved to go than more than one step out the door. Instead of going in the direction of the high school, they headed over to Aaron's house. Jared of all people was to be their ride along with Devin as his date. Abby couldn't even believe that she had actually said yes.
They stopped at the front of Jared's truck when they arrived at his house.
Aaron looked at the truck with a hint of disappointment. "Our first homecoming and we're riding in this old dinosaur."
"It's not that bad," she shrugged. "At least we have a ride. Though my dad did offer up a limo."
"Yeah, but I said no. The limo attracts more attention than this truck does."
"Okay, I'll give you that."
Over the past month, Abby had been receiving more attention than she wanted. Magazines, newspapers, gossip news…you name it. Her name was on almost all of them. Bruce had reassured her that it would wear off in about a couple months or so, but it felt as if it would last forever.
"What's taking Jared so long?"
"I don't know," he replied. "Maybe he still hasn't escaped my mom yet."
As if on cue, Jared came running out of the house with Devin tagging behind.
"C'mon guys, get in the car before she changes her mind," he urged.
Without giving it a second thought, Abby opened the car and jumped inside the car. Aaron quickly followed after. Devin and Jared soon came in the car, almost out of breath. Jared ignited the ignition and soon enough they were riding through the streets of Gotham.
"So did you hear about Sasha and Heather's plans for homecoming?" Aaron asked Abby.
"Yeah. What? They didn't tell you?"
"No, they just told me to mind my own business when I asked."
"Oh right, they did mention you snooping around," she smirked at him.
"I wasn't snooping. I was just curious. I don't want them to be hanging out with some jerk. They like my sisters to me."
"Same here, Dude, but don't worry they're going with good guys. I checked them out myself."
"So who are they?"
"Not snooping, really?" she teased.
"Sorry," he grumbled.
"Fine, if you really wanna know I'll tell you. Sasha's taking Bobby Young and Heather's taking Seth Newman. But you didn't hear that from me."
Devin turned towards them. "Isn't Seth on the track team with Heather?"
"Yeah, you could see how they met."
"And isn't Bobby in the same Biology class as you guys?" Jared inquired.
"Yep," answered Abby. "Sasha and he were partners and one day he just asked her. She obviously didn't refuse."
"Well here we are: Gotham High at night."
Jared pulled into the school parking lot, placing his car nearest to the gym. Abby unbuckled her seatbelt as soon as Jared stopped the car and along with everyone else, she got out of the car.
When they arrived in the gym, Abby couldn't help, but be amazed at the decorations. The whole theme of the dance apparently had been underwater sea life. She couldn't see why considering homecoming was meant to celebrate a varsity football home game. Oh well, she didn't mind. The decorations were done quite well. All of the tables were covered with baby blue table cloths and topped with green balloons. Blue and green streamers hung from the ceiling, neatly drawn posters of marine animals were posted on the walls, and the lights were colored a calm blue all creating the illusion of being under the ocean.
"I'll admit the decorations are good, but the theme is way off," Aaron commented.
"Right with you Bro," Jared pounded fists with Aaron. "Alright, make sure that you're in front of the school by eleven or else you and Abby are gonna have to walk home."
"OK, see you around."
Putting an arm around Devin, Jared took her towards the crowd of people on the dance floor.
"So, what do you want to do?"
Abby shrugged. "I don't know, maybe we can dance considering we're at a dance."
"I think that would be a very wise thing to do," he put on his playful smirk before taking her hand.
They headed towards the center of the gym. Once they found a pleasurable spot in the crowd of teenagers, they began to dance to the music that was currently playing. Although she wasn't a very good dancer, she enjoyed moving her body to the high beat music. Aaron did seem to enjoy the dancing as well. Even though he did take it over the top at times. Like when he tried to unsuccessfully break dance. Aaron was a dork, but he was her dork.
"Do you wanna grab some punch?" Abby shouted over the music.
"Sure," he nodded.
Almost out of breath, they headed to the long narrow refreshment table. Her feet nearly gave in when they stopped in front of the oversized punch bowl. After Aaron had handed her a glass of punch they went over to sit at one of the small tables.
She crashed to her seat. "Wow, I'm already tired."
"Same here. I think I'm breaking a sweat."
"At least we're getting some kind of exercise while the boxing season is taking a couple days break."
"True. Hey, did you hear about the robbery this week?"
"Aaron," she stared at him with a serious look, "we live in Gotham. Robberies and many other crimes are usually daily things here. Well not so much anymore now that Batman's been taking care of that, but other than that it's daily."
He sighed as if it were obvious. "I know it's a daily thing. I just found this robbery a little unique."
"Unique, how?" she took a sip of her punch.
"Well, from what my dad told me this morning, there was a report about an armed robbery at a bank downtown, but get this: the guy was dressed as a clown."
"Are you serious? Or did your dad just make that up to scare you into not going to the carnival alone again?"
"I'm serious. Gordon even cleared that up for my dad. They don't have his name yet, but he did leave a calling card."
She snorted. "What kind of criminal leaves a calling card?"
"It wasn't exactly a calling card," said Aaron. "My dad said it was actually a joker playing card."
"Yeah, no kidding. But I don't think it's anything we should be worried about. I mean it's just a guy in clown suit, right?"
"True, it'll probably wear off within a few months."
"Do you wanna go somewhere private?" he asked her.
"Sure, my ears could use a break from the loud music."
Setting down her punch, she followed Aaron out of the gym.
Even though there was a slight chill outside, Abby was relieved to be away from everyone else. Her life seemed to be surrounded by people regularly these days.
"Have you seen Heather and Sasha around?" he asked, suddenly.
"It's been dangerously quite without them here."
She giggled. "I'm pretty sure we can live one night without them."
"I know, it just feels different."
"Everything's been different lately, Aaron."
"Yeah, especially for you. You're the Princess of Gotham. A.K.A.: the media's main topic on Gotham Gossip."
"Don't remind me," she groaned. "I'm getting sick of hearing people making opinions about me when they don't know who I am. Sorry about dragging you into this by the way."
He raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
"Ever since I've been dating you, you've been in the tabloids with me."
"Right. Well, it doesn't make that much of difference to me. As long we're happy about being together, I'm completely cool with it."
"Sounds good then."
A slow song all of the sudden echoed into the empty quad in which they were standing in.
Aaron held out his hand. "May I have this dance?"
"I'll admit the line is cheesy, but okay." She took his hand.
He gently pulled her in, putting a hand on her waist. With her free hand, she placed it on his shoulder and their feet slowly began to sway to the music. She couldn't help but feel at ease when she was alone with Aaron. He had been their right from the beginning. Abby had told him the secrets that she couldn't even tell Rachel. She drew closer to him, feeling his warmth.
Aaron would always be Abby's friend. There was no denying that. They would still hang out as they had done for years, but it would mean more. Things had changed forever since Batman's first appearance. Crime was being rid of, corruption was slowly burning down, and the police force was becoming stronger. Not only that, but in way he brought Abby to forgive Bruce for what he had done. She knew Bruce and Batman was the same person, but there was just some kind of distinction between them. Although she couldn't exactly point it out, she could feel it. Whether Batman was Bruce or not, she would always be there by his side to support him.
No matter what. He had saved her mother's life….she owed him that much.
"Abby," Aaron whispered in her ear.
He pointed to the sky. "Look up."
She lifted her head from Aaron's chest. Looking past the stars and the misty clouds, she saw something that made her smile. It was a bright circular light forming into the shadow of a bat. Abby could only guess who it was for.
"I wonder what Gotham's gonna do to thank Batman for all he's done," Aaron pondered.
Abby smiled at him. "I don't think they'll ever have to."
She knew that for a fact. Batman would always be there for the people of Gotham no matter what happened. Aaron gave a small grin before leaning in. His lips touched hers and she moved her head towards him to deepen the kiss.
Change was a funny thing. It could be both a bad thing and good thing. Thankfully in this case it was a good thing, but at the same time it was also a beginning. The beginning of a new chapter in Abby's life in which certain events would occur for better…or worse. Either way, she would always be in the shadow of the knight.
El Fin! The story is finally done! I can't believe it's already been a little over a year since I published this. To think the idea came to me just after I saw the Dark Knight in theaters. Sorry for the slight delay. I really intended for this to be posted two weeks ago, but as you've probably read my profile, my computer got infected with a virus. Thankfully, my dad was able to revive all of my music and my documents so if there's anyone you want to thank, please thank him. Speaking of gratitude, I would like to thank all of you who have read, reviewed, and/or put me on their alert and favorites lists. Each and every one of them made my day.
Now let's talk about the sequel. I don't about you, but I'm tired of calling it "the sequel" so let's call it by it's actually name that all of you voted on. The name of the sequel is...*drum roll*....In the Shadow of the Knight! That title was always at the top of the poll each voting round. Even my sister favored it more than the others. Anyway thank you to those who voted and helped me make my final decision. Hopefully I'll have the first chapter up soon. I just have to overcome school and swim. But I will post the playlist and as for the cover, It'll show up soon. I just have to reinstall Picasa. Now before I go I would like to ask each of you a few questions:
How did you like the story in general? Please no flames. I really don't tolerate statements like "IT SUCKED!" without a signifigant explaination why. Constructive criticism will be accepted.
Is there anything I can improve upon as a writer? If so, please explain.
What are you predictions about In the Shadow of the Knight? Any suggestions?
How about Abby's interactions with the Joker? Considering Abby's rebellious character, how do you think they will turn out?
What about Rachel's death and relationship with Harvey Dent? Any reactions?
Bruce and Abby's relationship. Or any of the relationships between the other characters and Abby for that matter. Any growth with that?
I would really appreciate it if you would express your opinions. Who knows I might consider any of the suggestions you give me. Thank you again for reading this story and watching Abby grow from chapter one. You guys rock!
See you all In the Shadow of the Knight!