Terry turned the Bat-mobile around the edges of a skyscraper as he patrolled the unusually quiet city. "Is it really that hard to believe that Gotham can take one night off from crime?" he asked.
"Yes," Bruce simply, but firmly, replied, through the earpiece.
Terry sighed, but knew he was right; Gotham was never this quiet. In the three years, he had been doing this he hadn't seen one single night free of crime. "Fine, I'll do another sweep, but if I miss this date with Dana, she's gonna kill me," he commented, picking up speed as he came out of a turn.
He hadn't had much time for Dana lately and he was looking forward to their date. They were going to the reopening of the Dance Dance Dance Club that he and the Jokerz had destroyed a few months back, though his part was done in self-defense. Dana had been going on about how they remodeled it and how shway it was supposed to be. He was just looking forward to spending time with her and dreading the argument, cold shoulder, and glares he would get if he missed this date… not to mention that it would be the fourth missed date in a row.
Terry glanced up at the clock and inwardly sighed. He had forty-five minutes to finish patrol, convince Bruce to let him go, get changed, and meet Dana at the club… and that was only if there were no explosions or burglar alarms. Because if there were, there would be no chance he would make their date and he better come up with one good way to make it up to her.
Things would be so much easier if she just knew, he thought, wishing he could tell her. No, if someone found out she knew or worse, that she's my girlfriend, her life would be in danger. How can I even consider telling her after what happened to Miguel, kidnapped by Kobra just because he saw my face… and Matt taken by Stalker… it would put her in even more danger, he told himself. But at least she'd know about the danger, a voice inside him countered.
Terry shook his head and turned his attention back to the patrol.
"It's too quiet," Bruce commented.
"You're probably the only person, in the entire city, that's complaining that about there not being any crime," Terry replied.
"Something's not right," Bruce added, ignoring Terry's comment.
"Well, once you figure out what, let me know, but until then, I've got a date to keep," Terry reminded, turning the car around.
Terry raced toward the dance club and smiled when he spotted Dana just arriving. Terry quietly snuck up behind her, "boo," he said playfully.
Dana gasped and spun around, "Terry!" she replied, in obvious surprise. "You're actually here… and on time!" she commented, her joy and surprise clear as day.
"No wild Jokerz this time," he explained, with a kidding smile.
"Hmm… just make sure they don't make a surprise appearance," she warned, obviously referring to the fact that he had the knack for leaving in the middle of a date almost as often as being late or missing the date entirely.
Terry nodded and wrapped his arm around her shoulders as they headed to the entrance. If you only knew why, he thought sadly. He wanted to tell her, but didn't want to put her in any more danger.
As they entered, he quickly noticed the large crowds of people who were already here, the loud, but not blaring, music, and a giant lava lamp… just like they used to have, which was casting the entire building and it's occupants in alternating colors to the beat of the music. Not that different, he thought, they even had the same, ignored, news wall, which constantly played the news channel.
"I thought they remodeled?" Terry commented, as they walked further into the room.
Dana rolled her eyes, "bigger bar, new floating seats, new lights, and the lower tiers are supposed to be completely rebuilt," she pointed out.
Terry nodded, now noticing them and the fact that they were the same color and almost the same models as last time.
"Hey, you made it," Chelsea said to Terry, from where she was dancing, a few feet away.
Terry nodded. "Wouldn't miss it," he replied, with a smile.
"Good thing too or I would have had to find someone else to dance with," Dana said, with a teasing smile, as she slid out from Terry's arm and grabbed his hand, before she lead him onto the dance floor.
"Well, we couldn't have that now could we?" Terry replied, as they started swaying to the beats of the music.
As if on queue, his phone rang. Just ignore it, he told himself, as Dana gave him an evil eye. It could be important… he countered, as it rang again. It's probably nothing, they can leave a message and I'll check it later… he told himself, trying to ignore the third ring. It could be important… he reminded himself, as it rang for the fourth time.
Dana sighed and rolled her eyes. "Just answer it, I'm gonna get a drink," she said, as she turned and walked away.
Terry sighed, can't I have one uninterrupted date? he complained, pulling his phone out of his pocket and pressing the answer button. "What?" he asked in a slightly annoyed tone.
"Are you watching the news?" Bruce asked in an urgent tone, ignoring Terry's annoyed greeting.
"No, I'm on a date, why would I be…" Terry reminded turning to the news wall, but trailed off when he saw what was playing. There, right there for all too see, on the entire length of the wall was him, in the batsuit with his mask off.
Terry's eyes widened in shook, "How?..."
"I don't know," Bruce replied.
"That's… how…?" Terry said, turning to Dana, who had stopped halfway to the bar and was staring at the screen.
Dana turned to him, her black eyes full of disbelieving shock.
"This footage, which was anonymously dropped off this morning, has been confirmed to be untampered," the newsman voice rang out through the entire building as the music quieted to a whisper. "People of Gotham City, we are looking at the true face of Batman; otherwise known as seventeen-year-old, high school student, Terrence McGinnis."
How? How did they get that footage? Who gave it to them? Who would even have it? Terry wondered in disbelief, he couldn't believe his own eyes or what he was hearing. Everyone knows, everyone! His eyes widened, realizing that that meant the Jokerz, Ts, Ink, Kobra… every single person he had ever fought as Batman now knew who he was. "Bruce… everyone… the Jokerz… Ts…"
"I know," Bruce replied.
"Terry… is that true?" Chelsea asked, in an unsure voice.
"I…" Terry wasn't sure what to say. Is there even a point in denying it? Or is there a way to disprove this? he wondered.
"Hey that's him! That's Batman!" a loud woman in the crowd yelled.
"Where?" someone responded.
"I see him too!" someone else exclaimed.
"Terry, get out of there!" Bruce instructed. "Don't confirm it until we know for sure there's no way of refuting this. I'm analyzing the recording now, if there's a way, I will find it."
"Ok," Terry replied, hanging up the phone, then sliding it back into his pocket.
"…Terry…?" Dana started to ask, her eyes full of uncertainty, as she walked back over to him.
"Dana…" he said, glancing around the room, as his phone rang. "I think we should get out of here," he said as he grabbed her hand, then headed for the door.
"Terry," She replied, as she started to pull away, clearly wanting answers.
Terry stopped and turned to her, "not here," he answered quietly. "I'll explain, but not here," he added, glancing around at the crowd again.
Dana nodded and followed him.
Just then a tall beefy man stepped out of the crowd and right in their path. "You sent my brother to jail," he said, glaring down at Terry.
Terry inwardly sighed, "Well, if Batman sent him to jail, then he probably broke the law," he commented, as he tried walking past him, but the guy sidestepped in front of him.
"You think you're a smart-aleck? don't you," the guy replied with a hint of a threat in his voice.
"Hey, leave the guy alone! he's saved this city more times then you can count!" some guy from behind Terry pointed out.
"Yeah!" someone else agreed.
"Are you crazy? If it wasn't for that vigilante we wouldn't have half the criminals we do in this city!" someone else countered.
"Batman's a menace!" someone added.
"He's a hero!" someone else shot back.
This isn't good, Terry thought, knowing this could only lead to one thing: a fight. And if he didn't get out of here, Dana was going to get caught right in the middle of it. He looked around as the arguing around them grew in voices and volume.
There was clearly no way around this guy and the only exit was behind him. "If I were Batman, do you really think you'd be able to stop me? He's taken down, Blight, Ink, The Royal Flush Gang, gangs of Jokerz… and you think you'd be able to stop him by yourself? Without any powers?" Terry asked, hoping he would back down and let him pass.
The guy narrowed his eyes before punching Terry in the chin so hard it knocked Terry right off his feet and sent him crashing to the hard floor. "That sounded like a threat," the guy hissed.
Should have known that wouldn't work, Terry thought, as he wiped the blood off his chin with the back on his hand. Terry glanced over at Dana and gave her a reassuring wink, before he back flipped to his feet. He quickly charged at the guy, punched him in the face, kicked him in the stomach, causing him to hunch over slightly, Terry then, used both hands and hit him hard on the back, sending the guy to the floor, before he even had a chance to react to the first punch.
I warned you, he thought, as he leaped over the guy, grabbed Dana's hand, then took off out the door, before anyone else got in the way.