Note: Charlene and I need to just stop talking. Our plot bunnies breed like. um. bunnies. Bunnies on crack. Bunnies with the sex drive of Xander and Anya. We're werking on something else right now together (it's a stuprize) and I've got Sidelines (it'll be out soon, I swear. End of the week) and "The Secret Project." Charlene's bad for me, guys. How can I write about Roy having sex with a jar of Maraschino cherries if I'm writing up all this other stuff?

But I digress.

PS, to FF.net friends: Bad Charlene Edwards can't figure out how to post to ff.net. Hence part 2 is unavailable at this site. Feel free to check it out at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bludhaven in the archive of old posts, or at the Library.

**

Usual disclaimers apply. This is based on the original concept Charlene and I came up with a while back.

No Ever After 3: Unhappy Endings (PG-13)

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The room was dark. It wasn't truly dark, like. being locked in the bottom of a safe. It wasn't comforting-dark like the warm glow of the city lights on a late night flying over Gotham. It was a cold, heartless dark from the stabbing blaze of the florescent lights outside her hospital room. Closed eyes and drawn shades could not keep the light from hurting her.

She'd gotten a note from one of the nurses that he'd called. That was something, she supposed. She'd tortured him for two weeks now, and with the persistence of a puppy, he'd still called when he'd learned of her. condition.

Barbara Gordon, she said to herself. You are the biggest idiot that ever graced God's green earth. You're the stupidest person. letting him in, and then closing him out because he did what you feared most he'd do-run away. But what did you expect? Some great romance? Him to fight off both of your fathers? He's sixteen. The sixteen year old child of the man who strikes fear even into your heart.

And now you have nothing. You don't have him, and you don't have the child. All you have is an empty, bleeding womb and an empty bleeding heart.

Slowly, she turned her head away from the blinding, painful light and buried it on her white, clean smelling pillow and let the tears fall.

Her father had eventually lost his spitting anger enough to at least tell her he'd help her out-that she didn't need to look elsewhere for a place to live. She figured he would eventually. He was an old-fashioned, prideful man, but his family came before all else. They'd had a long talk about her irresponsibility, about letting her emotions get in the way of her judgment, and the law. They talked about Robin-and through it all, she still refused to give away his identity. It wasn't hers to give, she'd reasoned. Her father had been unhappy with that, and yet, he'd still stayed there with her. Her father had taken her to the emergency room when the first cramps had started. He'd stayed with her through the whole horrible thing. And now. she didn't know where he was. An emergency at work, something. And she was alone. In this dark place with the unfriendly light, her memories, and her pain.

After a time, she felt an arm go around her. Lifting her head ever so slightly from the neutral smell of the pillow, she smelt him. The musty leather of his green gloves, the gel he used on his hair. All of the things she loved about him. "R-robin. I'm sorry," she whispered.

"I'm sorry," he said simply, as if it was somehow his fault more than hers. A cloth handkerchief was lifted to her face, and she took it from him and wiped her eyes, then blew her nose. "Better," he told her. Then he removed one of his gloves and finished wiping the tears away.

She took his hand and kissed it. "No more fighting," she promised. "Not your fault."

"Babs, I wanted things to be different."

"They're. as they are." She had to be the adult. It was highly unlikely Bruce would be, so SOMEONE had to pick up the slack.

He kissed her head. "I wish I would have stayed. I. chickened out."

She gently tore off his mask. She needed to talk to Dick right now, not to Robin. "This. we can't dwell on past mistakes." Swallowing, she somehow found the strength to continue. "We. need to look at the opportunity here."

"Opportunity?" Barbara saw the confusion in his eyes, and she was sorry for it.

"We both need to. grow up. Dicky. you still have a year and a half of high school."

"So?"

"I still have college. Dick. we can't do this right now. We. it happened so fast and furiously. The danger, the passion. When it's all flying by so quickly. you don't stop until you hit a brick wall." She hated herself for doing this. But losing their baby. had made her realize a lot of things.

"You're breaking up with me." He had gone white.

"Dicky. we have to."

"Don't call me that."

Her eyes grew damp again. "Robin. we can't. __I__ cant. I can't do it any more. I was wrong. __I__ was immature. Robin. we need time. I need time." She bit both of her lips, diverting her eyes from his.

"I can give you time," he said desperately.

"Robin, I mean. maybe we shouldn't pick it back up again."

"You think it's my fault."

She looked at his mask in her hands. The mask had made them think they were mature. Fighting killers and saving the city didn't mean anything at all, when it came to love. "I don't blame you. It's just. we got in over our heads. BOTH of us. This is. a sign from God. That brick wall for us to smash into."

"And we're not going to survive the car wreck," he said with sudden realization.

"I'm afraid not."

Suddenly the door creaked and began to open. Robin leapt to his feet. "Barbara, honey, I." The light flicked on, and Barbara looked beside her. Dick was gone. "Why's the window opened?" her father asked, closing the door behind him. For the first time, he noticed the mask in her hand.

"It's over, Daddy," she muttered unhappily. She hugged the mask to her, and began a rainstorm of tears.

THE END