Summary: The Catwoman takes Robin 'captive.'

Disclaimer: All characters belong to DC and Time/Warner; this is an original
story that doesn't intend to infringe on their copyright. Feedback is welcome.

Copyright August 2000


Cat and Mouse
By Syl Francis

"Well, well, well," the amused voice purred softly. "What do we have here?"

Robin groaned and looked up blearily from where he'd fallen. The Dynamic Duo had
been after the Joker, when Robin spotted another figure moving away from a
jewelry store. Batman signaled that they split up. The Caped Crusader kept
tailing the Clown Prince of Crime, while Robin was given the job of chasing this
new and unknown suspected jewel thief.

He'd been trailing the burglar when the roof he was running across caved in
unexpectedly. He'd tumbled down almost three floors, each level weaker and more
rotten through than the one above it. Now Robin lay under a mountain of debris
and roofing material.

He hurt. A lot. Another groan escaped his lips.

"Here, let me help you," the voice said. Through his blurring vision, Robin
caught sight of a dark figure with pointed ears bending over him.

"Batman--?" he whispered. His benefactor gave a short, throaty laughter.

"Not hardly." It was a woman's voice. "Hold on a little longer. I almost have
you free."

Robin felt something heavy being lifted off him. The next thing he knew, he was
being picked up. The sudden shift brought a knifelike pain shoot up from his
shoulder. He gasped at the white-hot agony and blacked out.


Robin slowly opened his eyes. He looked around his unfamiliar surroundings.
Where was he, he wondered? The dawn was just now breaking in the horizon. He
slowly sat up. A dull, throbbing ache from his shoulder area told him that he'd
injured it pretty badly. Someone had bandaged him up while he was unconscious.

In a panic, he reached and felt his mask. He sighed in relief. It was still
firmly in place.

"Well, nice to see you're awake."

Robin turned. A dark figure stood silently, clinging to the shadows. He narrowed
his eyes.

"Who are you?" he asked. "Where am I?" The cowled figure moved into the light.
She was tall, he saw right away. And dressed in a purple body-hugging suit that
made him blush almost immediately. His eyes widened when he detected a long
tail, pointed ears and whiskers. Thigh high black boots and long black gloves
gave her an added quality of danger.

Robin wasn't sure why he knew she was dangerous, he just did. Maybe it's the
whip and sharp claws, he thought ruefully.

"You don't know me?" she asked pouting. "You mean your daddy hasn't told you
about me? And after all we've meant to each other."

"Daddy? You mean Batman?" Robin asked uncertainly. "You *know* him?"

"Let's just say we've 'run' into each other on occasion." She sat on the edge of
the bed, sensuously folding herself up in front of him. Robin uneasily scooted
as far back as the headboard would allow. Noting the boy's nervousness at her
close proximity, she gave him a cat-like smile.

"As to where we are," she waving vaguely at the room. "Well, the owners are out
of town, so I thought I'd borrow the place. Beats a cold, dank Batcave any day
wouldn't you say?"

"You mean you *broke* in here!" Robin said with flat disapproval. The woman
laughed appreciatively, a deep, throaty laugh. Almost a cat's purr.

"You must be Robin," she said. "You've caused quite a stir amongst my, er,
colleagues." At his suspicious scowl, her smile broadened. "You 'do' him very
well, you know."

Robin gave her a blank look, which he quickly changed to a glare. "I don't know
what you're talking about," he said. He rarely understood grown up ladies. They
always ruffled his hair and made dumb comments like, "Oh, Bruce! He's adorable!
And he looks just like you! Have you been keeping secrets from us?"

Usually, Alfred showed up and rescued him by saying it was his bedtime. But now
he was on his own.

"Of course, you don't understand," she said apologetically. "Hi, I'm Catwoman.

"Catwoman?" he scoffed. "That sounds kind of silly."

Her green eyes flashed, sizing him up. "And I suppose a grown man who calls
himself 'Batman' and runs around rooftops with a child named, 'Robin' is the
height of intelligence?"

Robin jutted his chin in defiance, not bothering to answer. What did *she* know
anyway about Batman and Robin? And of all the cool stuff they did? She was just
a girl in a stupid cat costume. How lame, he thought! She shifted slightly,
showing her extremely shapely silhouette.

Robin quickly averted his eyes, feeling his cheeks burning.

"Just how old are you?" she asked, her amusement at his expense making him blush
all the more. "You look like you should be home sleeping with your Teddy bear
rather than chasing crooks."

"I'm old enough," the nine-year-old junior crimefighter growled. "And I don't
sleep with a Teddy bear!" Elinore didn't count, he said mentally crossing his

"I see," she said.

"Why did you bring me here anyway?" he asked, suspiciously.

"Well, I'm conducting an experiment," she said enigmatically. "I just want to
see how long it takes him to--"

"--Find you?" a deep growl asked from the shadows. Both of the room occupants
jumped at the voice. Catwoman instantly somersaulted off the bed, landing on her
feet near the door.

"Batman!" Robin cried, his eyes lighting up in relief at the sight of his
mentor. Batman came up to him, carefully examining the boy's shoulder.
Unconsciously, he brushed back Robin's hair.

"Are you all right, son? Did *she* hurt you?"

"Of course I didn't hurt him, you big gorilla!" Catwoman hissed. "What kind of a
person do you think I am?"

"I'm okay, Batman. I fell through the roof and she helped me. Bandaged me up."
He looked up, his expression showing his confusion. "She says she knows you. How
come you've never--?"

"We'll talk later, chum," Batman said, cutting him off. "Selina, what are you
playing at here?" Batman's voice was as cold as Robin had ever heard it. Colder
if such a thing were possible.

Catwoman smiled. "How else can a girl get you to chase her?" she pouted. "You
didn't follow me from the jewelry store like you were supposed to. Really,
Batman. It was *you* who was supposed to fall through that roof, not the boy."

"You set a trap for me?"

"Not me, Batman. A couple of your 'friends.'" Catwoman opened the closet door.
Inside were several of the Joker's henchmen tied up and unconscious.

"I spotted them earlier and took them out of commission. I'd intended to have a
little fun with you. Have *you* fall through the roof, capture and bring you
here for a few 'cat and mouse' games, but you went and changed all my plans."
She pouted again. "You sent a *boy* to do a *man's* job."

"Hey!" Robin cried out indignantly. Both adults turned to him and looked away
quickly, indulgent smiles wiped instantly.

"I see," Batman said, unable to say more in front of Robin. Catwoman saw his
discomfiture and, smiling, slinked up to him. Taking her whip out, she quickly
curled it around his neck and pulled him down for a brief, passionate goodbye

"See around the rooftops," she purred. Catching Robin's open-mouthed gape, she
blew him a kiss. "Call me in another few years, Boy Wonder. Ta!" With that she
stepped out into the balcony, cracked her whip, and was gone.

Batman called the police to haul away the prisoners.

"I caught up with the Joker a few miles from here," he said, lifting Robin
carefully. "He should be back in his Arkham cell by now."

"Uh-huh," Robin said not paying attention. "Batman how come you've never--?"

"Time to get you home, kid," Batman interrupted, shooting out a grappling hook.
"Alfred will have us both for breakfast when he sees that shoulder."

"Uh-huh. Batman who is she--?"

"Way past your bedtime," Batman said, as they landed next to the Batmobile. He
pressed the auto-unlock and strapped Robin in. Sighing, Robin knew that the Dark
Knight was not going to answer any of his questions.


Freshly bandaged and bathed, Dick lay on his own bed, Elinore tucked under his
good arm. The early morning sun was streaming through his open blinds. Alfred
had asked if he wanted them closed in order to sleep easier, but Dick assured
him that he was so tired that he'd be able to sleep through an earthquake.

Now, he lay dozing wondering about the mysterious Catwoman. Batman called her,
'Selina.' And all that stuff she'd said about wanting to trap Batman. Dick knew
instinctively that she hadn't meant either him or Batman any harm. Yet, she'd
set a trap for Batman.

He sighed in confusion. "I don't understand," he muttered.

"What don't you understand, Dick?" Bruce asked. Dick looked up. His guardian was
in his dressing gown, obviously getting ready for bed.

"Catwoman," Dick said. "Is she or isn't she a bad guy?"

Bruce looked away momentarily, hesitating. "I'll be damned if I know," he
muttered to himself. At Dick's sharp intake of breath, Bruce looked up quickly,
meeting his ward's eyes. He gave the boy a brief half-smile. Crossing the room
Bruce sat on the edge of the bed.

"Sorry about the language," he apologized sheepishly. "But I'm afraid that I
don't much understand Selina Kyle myself at times. I know she's a jewel thief,
but I haven't been able to catch her at it, yet. She loves to play mind games
for her own amusement, and her hi-jinks have driven both the GCPD and me up the
wall on several occasions."

Shrugging slightly, Bruce tucked Dick into bed, unconsciously fussing with the
covers. Dick smiled askance at him.

"You like her, huh?" he asked, slyly. Bruce lowered himself until he was nose to
nose with Dick. Ruffling his boy's hair affectionately, he gave him an enigmatic

"MYOB, youngster," Bruce warned, sitting back up. At Dick's wide, knowing grin,
Bruce added almost wistfully. "I know she's jewel thief, and I know that she
belongs behind bars. But then she turns into a Good Samaritan and does something
like help you when she could've you left at the bottom of that collapsed roof."

"And she tied up the Joker's men," Dick added helpfully.

"Sure did, didn't she?" Bruce agreed. "She's led me on some merry chases, used
the business end of her whip on me a few more times than I care to remember, and
left a lot of people with less jewelry than when she met them."

"So how come you haven't caught her yet?" Dick asked perplexed.

Smiling slightly, Bruce stood and headed out of the room. Pausing at the door,
he turned and gave Dick an inscrutable look.

"I don't have to catch her, son. One day, when she's ready, she'll catch me."

The End