Title: Seven Minutes in Heaven
Author: DC Luder
Summary: Robin and Batgirl find a way to make their stakeout less dull.
Infringements: All recognizable characters belong to DC Comics, not DC Luder.
Author's Note: Bludhaven Summer Tournament, Final Round - GO BABS!
"He's going to be mad," Batgirl sighed, her binoculars focused in on the brick building across from us.
For the last three hours, we had been holding down a stakeout point in the Bowery, one of Gotham's shadier boroughs. Batman had delegated the task to me, telling our latest addition to tag along to make sure I did my job. It was one thing for him to not trust me to stay put all night, it was an entirely different story for him to voice said distrust to Batgirl.
She was great and all, but she was still new to the crime fighting thing. And she was a girl.
"He'll never know," I countered, taking to walking on my hands. I had made a suggestion that we take a break and try and hit up the all night pizza place a few blocks away for some late night grub. I had snuck into the establishment countless times during patrols, always leaving cash and tip to cover the bounty I took.
Batgirl lowered the binoculars and glared at me. "He said to watch that building until three-thirty. So that's what we're going to do."
"And it's two-forty. We've been here for three hours and nothing. No one has been in or out… there isn't even a light on…" I complained as I flipped back onto my feet.
She pulled back her yellow glove to reveal her watch, "It's not even two-thirty, check your watch, bird boy."
I pointed to the clock tower that stood tall in Tri-Corner over two miles away, "That's my clock."
There was a long pause as she put the binoculars back up to her face. When I finally sat back down beside her, she remarked, "Maybe it's a test."
"A test? To sit here and do nothing?"
"No," she explained, "To sit here and do as we're told."
"Well, we've obviously passed, so let's-."
Batgirl cut me off, verbally and physically as she snuck a hand around to strike the back of my head, "I've passed, you're looking at a check minus."
"I ate check minuses," I sighed. She was right, though. I had only managed to diligently observed the so-called abandoned for thirty minutes before my boundless energy had gotten the best of me. Batman hated surveillance work with me as I physically was unable to sit still.
That had me thinking out loud, "Maybe it's not a test.. Maybe it's punishment…"
"Please, I haven't done anything remotely bad enough to deserve this," she said, dropping the binoculars again. Rather than continue crouching, she finally opted for comfort, taking a seat on the rooftop a foot away from me.
"Neither have I," I replied. Her brow rose in surprise and I asked, "What?"
Shaking her head, Batgirl responded, "Have you completely forgotten about last Thursday?"
"Oh," she smirked, "I'm not sure 'Oh' covers the fact that you nearly ran Batman over with his own car."
"Well you see-."
"Not to mention the fact that you were driving the Mobile to begin with…"
"Now wait, he told me-."
"Could you even see over the steering wheel?" she grinned at me triumphantly.
I glared at her before dropping my gaze to the brick building, "Forget it."
The next time I checked on the time, only ten minutes had passed rather than the hour it had felt like. Batman often gave me the silent treatment when he wanted me to be quiet, although it wasn't as if he was outwardly conversational to begin with. When Batgirl wanted me to be quiet, she simply embarrassed me.
Well, not that it was a simple thing to do.
"Tell you what… we give it at least another thirty minutes. Then head out," she offered.
"Nope. He said to stay here, so we stay here," I retorted, withdrawing my own set of binoculars.
"Nope, loyal sidekick hood."
She laughed at that, much louder than she should have. It ended up being contagious as I found snickers escaping my own lips. Once we had regained control, I said, "Thirty minutes… still a long time…"
"Not really," Batgirl commented, "Especially since you've already managed to entertain yourself fairly well so far…"
I paused before saying, "Twenty questions."
I turned to face her, "We could play twenty questions… or something else."
I expected her to shut me down, tell me to at least do my job for the last thirty minutes of the stakeout or anything but, "Sure, okay… I've got one… if you're ready?"
I paused before asking, "Living?"
Batgirl nodded, "Yep, seventeen."
"What kind of a question is that?" she looked at me as if I had sprouted horns. Or rather a beak.
"A legitimate one… is she in the northern hemisphere?"
Fighting a smirk, she finally nodded, "Yes, sixteen."
"Is she average height?"
"Lame question… and yes, fifteen."
"Is she average weight?"
She rolled her eyes, "Lame again, and yes."
"Lame questions, these are witness interview questions from the police manu-," I stopped as she began mocking me, bobbing her head side to side and opening and closing her mouth. "Fine… Is she fictional?"
"Perceived to be but she actually isn't, fourteen."
"Hmm…" I hesitated before asking, "American?"
Batgirl nodded, seeming to have forgotten entirely about our assignment as she eagerly replied, "Yes, eleven."
Tapping my gloved pointer finger on my chin, I said, "What about… Oh, I know… Is she married?"
"Absolutely not, ten."
I took a moment to rehash, "Okay… living, American female of average build on the Eastern seaboard who is not married."
"You need to establish her race, physical features, occupation, last known location..."
"I'm asking the questions, ma'am," I smirked at her.
She promptly punched me in the diaphragm, "Call me ma'am again and-."
Coughing, I waved at her, "Fine… fine… Caucasian?"
"Crap… uh… occupation… um, is she famous?"
"In some circles, yes. Eight."
"That was a bogus answer, you can't be that vague," I cried out defensively.
"Fine… she is a well known figure. Eight."
"Is she an actress?"
"No, seven," her battle with the smile breaking over her face was lost.
"Damnit… uh… is she… a model?"
"She could be… but she's not, six."
I smacked myself in the forehead, dragging it down my face, "I hate this game…"
"Only when you're losing… come on, you're so close."
"Fine…" I sighed. Channeling the world's greatest detective, I glared at her, brow furrowed, "Have I met her?"
Choosing wisely, I asked, "Have I seen her in the last six months?"
So close and yet so far away…
After inhaling slowly, I inquired, "Do I encounter her on a regular basis?"
"Does she… wear tights and a mask?"
Batgirl nodded, "Two."
"Does she travel on the Gotham Rooftop Expressway?"
"She does indeed, one more…"
"I don't need it…" I grinned back at her.
"You know who it is?"
With a triumphant nod, I crossed my arms over my chest and proudly announced, "It's Catwoman."
Again, her eyes widened in shock, "I think you should use all available resources in your future interviews, boy blunder, including your last question."
"What do you mean? It's not her?"
Without another word, Batgirl rose to her feet, returning her binoculars to the pouch of her utility belt. "No, it's not."
"Than who is it?" When she didn't answer me, I rose as well, "Wait let me use the last question."
As she began walking away, Batgirl replied without looking back, "Nope. You guess, you lose it. Game over."
"Come on…" I darted in front of her, putting on my best pout, "Please?"
Batgirl sighed heavily before putting her hands on her hips, "Fine."
My pout evolved into the biggest grin I could muster. I had to smile, after all, because she was about to hit me really, really hard.
"Is she… a hot-headed red head who doesn't like to be called ma'am?"
Surprisingly, she smiled back before hitting me, causing me to defend myself with blocks and jabs when I could fit them in. The playful strikes turned to a full on spar, each of us trying to take down the other. Every time I nearly had her pinned, she would gain the upper hand. Anytime she thought she had won, I flipped her off of me and onto the rooftop.
Panting and sprawled on our backs, we admitted to a universal truce.
"Well, that thirty minutes went by fast," she remarked, getting to her feet before helping me up.
"Sure did," I let out a breath while wiping my dirtied gloves together.
"Too bad you have another thirty minutes to go."
We both jumped in the air before spinning around to see Batman hiding on the other side of the rooftop. He must have been dropping by to check on our progress, sneaking up on us while we had sparred. I suddenly wondered if he had been there even before that, watching our game, my hand walking and the general lack of disclosed surveillance…
"The building is secure," he growled while stepping towards us, "I'm relieving you." I began to stutter about how we had needed to move around to keep us limber and prevent cramping but he proceeded, "Robin, come with me. Batgirl…" he had closed with a curt nod. He spun on his heel and vanished back into the shadows.
Looking back to Batgirl, I shrugged, "Well… I guess it was a test after all…"
"And we both got a check minus," she said softly before biting her lip.
I heard a growl from a distance, "Robin."
Sighing, I waved, "Until next time, ma'am."
Batgirl shook her head, the grin finally returning to her lips, "Fly away home, bird boy."
It took some leg work, but I finally caught up with Batman just as he was getting into the Batmobile. Once I was buckled into the passenger seat, I had looked over at him to ask why we had been on stakeout there and how long he had been spying on us but the look on the lower half of his face told me to keep quiet. In fact, neither of us said a word until we reached the Cave and the car was parked and idle.
Since he had made no move to get out, I took it as a sign that I should follow suit.
I found myself clearing my throat and apologizing, "I'm sorry, I should have focused on the stake out, not goofing around."
"You had a valid point to be… exercising. After three and a half hours, the muscles are more prone to cramping from poor circulation."
"Well, we could have been more discreet…"
He cleared his throat as well, "Yes… like with Twenty Questions."
I nearly exclaimed my surprise that he had been there that long but doing so was futile. He was Batman, he knew everything. Had he been playing with Batgirl, he would have gotten it before even asking a single question…
Before I could explain our actions any further, Batman looked straight ahead and into the dark abyss, "Again… it was a functional exercise. Honing interrogative skills, line of thinking…"
"Yes," he replied without looking at me.
"Cool…" I made a grab for the door handle after seeing him shift in the driver's seat.
"One more thing, Robin." When I looked over at him, I found his eyes were staring coolly at me, "Just don't ever let me find you two playing Seven Minutes in Heaven... Or any minutes, for that matter."