He never liked giving speeches on behalf of the old man. There were too many people with their eyes on him and pockets deeper than a boy from such a humble beginning could ever imagine. Still, they were all donating to save wildlife and so he pushed aside his discomfort, delivered his speech, and made a break for the balcony to cool off. Bruce required him to spend at least one hour at the function to maintain solidarity and then he would be off the hook. Though "off the hook" meant going on patrol. He didn't really mind since it felt more natural to be in the suit than in a tuxedo.

The night air was cool and fresh when he stepped out, pleased when he noticed there was no one else out here but him. Quiet time. He walked over to the edge and peered down into the street. They were at least fifteen stories up. His eyes calculated the elevation, the wind factor, and knew exactly how he could survive it if he jumped. Being Batman gave him the most curious habits sometimes.

"Nice night."

He blinked, surprised when a purring voice spoke to his left. He hadn't heard anyone come in having been consumed by his weird thoughts. He glanced over to see a tall woman with silver hair who appeared to be in her seventies wearing a forest green gown and black stole around her shoulders. She was remarkably beautiful for a woman of her age and had a smoky voice that took his breath away for a second. He remembered to be polite and went back to looking at the city line, smiling.

"Yeah, it is."

She took a small sip from her champagne flute. "It's rare, you know. I keep expecting there to be an explosion or a bank robbery."

Terry chuckled. This woman knew the city well, obviously. "Me too, actually. It never stays quiet for long in this town."

"Well, there's always Batman running around to keep them in check," she replied with a sigh, brushing a bit of lint from the front of her dress. He glanced at her again, intrigued.

"Is that a bad thing?"

"Not at all. I grew up in this town. I remember the first one. He was never popular, but then again, Batman isn't supposed to be."

His eyebrows lifted in surprise. Very few of the social elite in Gotham approved of Batman, mostly because many of them dabbled in illegal activities. She was getting more and more interesting by the minute.

"So you think it's a different guy?"

She let out a soft snort. "It has to be. Most people think he's a giant bat or some kind of mutant, but that's not true. I've seen him in action quite a few times. He's got himself a replacement."

Uh oh. Here came the criticism. He'd heard as much from the Joker and so he readied himself to hear it from the beautiful stranger. "Think he's any good?"

She shrugged one elegant, bare shoulder. "The new one doesn't have as much finesse as the old one, but he's got the fire. That's all you really need."

Once more, he found himself impressed. "Is that right?"

"Mm-hm. Batman at his most basic nature is a protector. It doesn't matter if his city doesn't love or appreciate him. He's there when it needs him and even when it thinks it doesn't. Gotham's a fickle city. Sort of like a woman, really."

Terry chuckled again and this time she joined him. The balcony door opened and a butler stuck his head out, looking towards the woman.

"Ms. Kyle, your ride is ready."

Terry's jaw dropped. She nodded to the man, turning to face Terry, who immediately shut his mouth so she wouldn't see him gawking.

"It's been a pleasure, Mr. McGinnis."

She offered her hand and he did her one better by kissing the back of it. Surprise stole across her features followed by a pleased look.

"Same to you, Ms. Kyle."

With that, she nodded to him and disappeared. Terry waited a couple of seconds before whipping out his cell phone, impatiently tapping his foot as it rang.

"Hello?"

"Max? You are never gonna guess who I just met."


Well, kiddies, I've been bitten by the bug. I finally decided to start this multi-chapter fic that I've always wanted to write, but never had the guts to. Therefore, sit back, relax, and don't forget to hit the Review button to let me know what you think because things have only just begun.

Kyoko