A/N: Hello everyone! Here's an update for you. It's actually been ready all week… Now, originally my goal was to update twice a month once 2014 started. Unfortunately, school…Yeah. Nothing else needs to be said. I'll try my hardest to update faster, but with the lack of time I have, I can't edit as much as I want or finish the draft. I'm seriously posting chapters faster than I'm drafting, believe it or not! On the plus side, it's spring musical season and my school is premiering Mary Poppins! Guess who's involved? ME!

That also means less typing time…

Ahem. I own nothing and there is language within this chapter. Oh, minor character death warning.

Review Responses:

AsaMayako: Aww, thanks for liking the fight scene. I'm working on improving my descriptions of actions, so it's great knowing it wasn't awful! Yeah, I liked making Timmy fanboy. As for Wally, the poor guy wasn't going to find out that early. :) Maybe he won't at all? Hmm….decisions, decisions. Anyway, thanks for the review!

Ash-Bookworn113: Thanks for the review! Was it Deathstroke? Hmm…I can't really tell ^-^ I know exactly what he's doing! That was a cliffy? I should really start identifying when I write them. Anyway, it ends now! Thanks for reviewing and liking the fight scene! Hope you enjoy this chapter! Two left in Part Two! The last chapter in part two is super long though.

Broken Antler in Winter: Yes to question one, since those are my only OCs. Originally I wasn't going to put Tarantula in the sequel, but I needed her. She's only in two chapters though. And I shall put your (and anyone who reads these responses) fears to rest. There shall be no rape scene! I'm not comfortable with it and it simply would not go with the character development that Nightwing has had. Thank you for reviewing!

LordOfTheBooks: You'll see my characterization (which displays my opinion somewhat) of Tarantula in this chapter. She's probably different than the comics mostly because I capricorn66-ified her. As for pairings, I'll probably throw in nuances of pairings, but the only official pairing that will be mentioned is Spitfire because it was official in the show. Just like how I mentioned Superboy and Miss Martian's breakup. This may be an AU, but I do want to throw in parts of the show. I'm thrilled that you loved my story and that you're still reading it with my update schedule! Thanks for reviewing!

Here's the chapter! Yay!

Chapter 10- Dilemmas

"Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better."Sydney J. Harris

Baseball wasn't normally Dick's cup of tea, but it sure was Chester's.

Which was why he was at the baseball field warming up for the big game. Blüdhaven Public and Gotham Northern were basically rivals. Both schools were mostly comprised of the children of high ranking criminals. Everyone knew this. So these games were more like a match of which city's future criminals were better. So far, Gotham had won in soccer and basketball, while Blüdhaven won in football and hockey. Baseball was the deciding sport. Due to this, the stands were packed. There were even some spectators standing or in lawn chairs.

To Chester, being back in Gotham was a strange feeling. Sure he'd been there on the first of April, but he only went to the cemetery. This was different. He was out as a normal teenager. People were actually looking at him.

Thankfully he'd remembered his colored contacts. After all, Chester was supposed to have brown eyes. Furthermore, Dick knew for a fact that his telltale crystal blue eyes would instantly be recognized by some Gothamite or another, even after three years.

The brown eyes, added to his participation in a physically demanding sport, made Dick positive that his secrets were safe.

"Today's a great day!" Joey, the team's catcher, exclaimed joyfully from Chester's right. "First we get school at the community center, now we get to completely DESTROY THESE PANSIES in baseball. I love life right now, mon ami!"

"Yeah," Chester agreed, chuckling at his friend's censorship. Foul language, after all, wasn't allowed at a (supposedly) friendly competition. "What do think happened to the school anyway?"

"It blew up, duh."

"Har har. No, seriously, like, do you think one of us blew it up?"

"Like the news people say? Nah, I doubt it. All I know is that I went to bed on Saturday and woke up Sunday without having to see Mrs. Carther's blackboard ever again. Why the interest?"

"My iPod was in my locker."



"…We should probably do some actual warm ups before Coach yells at us."

"That's probably a good idea."

It was the seventh inning. Bases were completely loaded. The game was tied. There were two outs. Chester was up to bat…of course he was. Normally, Chester just hit singles. He didn't want to show off or anything. After all, being a vigilante gave him superb reaction time and heightened senses, so hitting the baseball was something he could do with his eyes closed. Today, however, he was in a rather poor mood. Despite how he appeared, Chester was worn out. He finally decided to work on a Sunday to look into the school bombing, when he found a little problem.

By little problem, it was more of a big problem. This problem wasn't one he could solve easily either. His problem was a girl…A woman actually. This woman caused him to have to change his plans for the night. This woman, whose name he discovered was Catalina Flores, was masquerading as a vigilante named Tarantula. In his city too. To make matters worse, her form of vigilante was more of Red Hood's style.

Blüdhaven did not need another Red Hood.

…Especially if that other Red Hood was willing to eliminate not just current, but future criminals as well.

"Strike One!" the umpire's shout literally caused Chester to jump. Looking around, he realized that Gotham's pitcher had thrown the ball while he'd been thinking.

"I'm sorry, did I wake you up?" the guy jeered at Chester. The player for Blüdhaven glared.

"Was that a batglare?" the mumbling of a very familiar voice drew Chester's attention this time. Why is Wally here?

"Shh, you'll distract him, Baywatch!" Artemis's voice hissed. That would be why, he thought in amusement.

"Strike Two!"

Oh crap!

"Are you even trying? Well, it doesn't matter. You couldn't hit it if you tried!" the pitcher taunted again, "This next one will send you and your whole team back to that shithole you call home!" And of course the umpire didn't reprimand his language.

Chester glared again, this time actually focusing on the pitcher. The guy's name was Ross Derivino. He was eighteen and a senior in high school. His father was a small time gang leader. He had about twenty men under him, but about fifty people dead because of his deeds. Ross is suspected to have helped in at least half of them. Someone like that did not deserve a victory.

Someone like that, who enjoys the suffering they bring others, deserved pain. Chester fully intended on seeing that Ross get what he deserved. After all, it was fair.

Ross pitched the ball. It headed straight towards home plate. Chester swung and his bat made contact with the ball. Then going at top speeds, the object zoomed straight towards Ross. Having no time to react, the pitcher of Gotham was nailed with the baseball…right in his personal area.

Not bothering to point and laugh (he could do that later), Chester took off running. Ross was sprawled, groaning in pain, on the ground. The baseball was right next to him.

As Chester ran, he heard the Gotham players yelling at their pitcher to get up. He heard the crowd laughing, grumbling in sympathy, or calling it foul play. He heard his own teammates cracking up.

What he saw was home plate directly in front of him, and Ross finally picking up the baseball. It was going to be close. Then Ross threw the ball…and it wasn't going to the catcher, it was going to hit him.

Letting instinct take over, Chester did what he's done since birth. Jumping forward, Dick performed a flawless handspring over the incoming projectile and continued running as though nothing happened. Although, the shock represented in his team, the crowd, and the other team, clearly depicted that something did indeed happen.

As he finally hit home plate, Chester decided that he could afford one more display of acrobatics; he'd already shown the visiting superheroes that he knew some and came to the conclusion that one more trick wouldn't do any harm. So not missing a beat, the teen flipped into a handstand and proceeded to walk into the dugout like that.

When Chester hopped back onto his feet again, he was met with congrats from his teammates. With a smile, he mentally agreed with Joey in one respect.

Today is a great day

"The bus leaves in an hour," Coach announced after the game (which Blüdhaven had won by two after Gotham went up to bat), "We'd be leaving sooner, but apparently the driver didn't want to stick around and got stuck in traffic." With that, the team dispersed to socialize with family and friends.

"Hey Chester," Joey greeted, walking over to his friend, "Sam, Toby, and I were gonna hunt down Sara and Mira. Wanna come? They might have a video of you nailing that douche in the balls."

"Nah, there's someone I need to find," the aforementioned Chester responded, eyes scanning the crowd for a certain redhead he'd heard.

"Ok, see ya on the bus!" Joey yelled, running off to join the others.

Thus, Chester began surfing the crowd for one Wally West and his girlfriend. He needed to see if they'd come with others, or at least Babs. Barbara did say she might come. Maybe she convinced some fellow heroes to come with her.

"Hey, punk, get outta the way!" the voice of an irate Ross yelled.

For a split second, Chester thought the exclamation was directed at him, but he soon found that the gangster's son was talking to some kid with black hair. It appeared as though Ross and two of his friends on the Gotham team were going to take their frustrations out on the boy. Sighing to himself, Chester strode over to the gang.

Damn hero complex, he cursed himself.

"Uh, listen guys, I didn't mean to get in the way-" the kid attempted to apologize.

"Sure you didn't, and we're gonna make sure you don't get in our path again. Marvin, hold the punk in place," Ross ordered.

Finding this the pristine time to jump in, Chester said, "Your name's Marvin? Wow, and I thought my name was funny."

Four heads turned in his direction. One of which, the kid, was the head of one Timothy Drake.

Of course the twerp gets himself in trouble. He couldn't be considered a Robin if his civilian ID didn't cause problems on a daily basis.

"Get lost!" Ross roared. He was understandably angered at seeing the teen that'd embarrassed him and cost his team the game.

"Umm…I already am lost. I can't seem to find who I was looking for."

"Well they ain't here," Marvin stated.

"I hate that word. It makes you seem uneducated."

"Is there a reason you're here then? 'Cause whoever you're looking for is probably back the way you came," the third friend asked.

"Finally!" Chester cried out, "A reasonable question! I was going to ask if any of you fine gentlemen could tell me if you've seen a girl named Barbara. You know, young woman with long, red hair."

"I…I know her," Tim said hesitantly, "I can show you where she is."

"Perfect! Um…Marvin, you mind letting go of my guide?" Chester asked.

Marvin, confused over what'd just happened, released his grip on the smaller boy's shoulder. Tim quickly scampered over to Chester's side. "Well, thanks for the help guys!" The player for Blüdhaven waved happily as he guided Tim out of the violent boys' vicinity.

Once a safe distance away, Tim said, "Thanks, I owe you one."

"Thanks for what?" Chester asked obliviously, "I'm pretty sure I owe you one for leading me to Barbara."

"…Uh huh. So, how do you know her?"

"Oh, we met at a cemetery. I ran into her. She said she might come today, but I know that meant she was coming."

"…Uh huh."

"So, why're you here? Last time I checked, rich guys like you attend Gotham Academy." Tim's eyes widened in surprise, so Chester added, "Oh come on, I've seen the Gotham news. It's offered in Blüdhaven. I know exactly who you are, Timmy."

"I, uh, came with Barbara and a few friends. They're right there." Sure enough, directly ahead of them, Barbara, Wally, and Artemis were messing around.

"Hey guys!" the boy shouted out suddenly, garnering the others' attention, "Look who I found!" Chester was rather shocked to find himself suddenly getting pulled into the group before him.

"Dude, how did you do that flippy thing over the ball like that?" Wally asked.

"Well, you see-"

"So you're be the infamous Chester," Artemis interrupted, "Babs here has been talking about you nonstop for the past two weeks." Looking him up and down, the blonde added, "I can see why."

"Hey," Wally shouted indignantly, "I'm right here!"

"Okay guys. Thank you for giving Chester wonderful first impressions," Barbara said, her face almost as red as her hair.

"No problem, that's what we're here for," Wally agreed, ignoring the girl's sarcasm and chuckling at her embarrassment.

"Why don't you guys head to the car while Chester and I talk?"

"I can tell when we're not wanted," Artemis said with a wink, "Nice meeting you Chester."

"Likewise," the boy agreed.

"Come on Timmy, Baywatch." After receiving several complaints for her usage of nicknames, the archer led the two boys away, leaving Chester alone with Barbara.

The two glanced at each other. "So…" Chester began.

"Yeah…so…" Barbara repeated.

Then proceeded the forty most awkward, yet wonderful, minutes of the day.

That night, an elated Nightwing grappled throughout Blüdhaven. Chatting with Barbara really made him miss his old life. She made him miss it more than any other reminders, actually. She was funny, witty, kind …She was wonderful. He never appreciated her so much before. Why did he feel like this now? What he was feeling was more than a simple "you don't know what you have until it's gone" moment.

He didn't know what this was…But it made him happy. Happier than he'd been in ages. Well, whatever it was, he didn't want it to end. In fact, he found himself impatiently waiting for patrol to end, just so he could see if she texted him.

Speaking of patrol, he should probably get back to it.

Activating the magnifying application of his mask, Nightwing observed the nearby rooftops. Nothing on apartment buildings one through three. Nothing on Star Labs. He was on Wayne Tech. Nothing on LexCorp. Nothing on Cadmus…wait. Looking back at the building, Nightwing saw a scene that made his blood boil.

A female wearing orange and black spandex was prowling along the rooftop. It was Tarantula…again.

With an angry sigh, Nightwing grappled over to the questionable vigilante, if she could even be called that. "I thought I told you to leave," he stated venomously.

"You did," the woman agreed sultrily, "But I'm not going to obey your orders."

"Really? You're going to go through this again? I beat you last night, I can beat you tonight. Now I'll ask nicely before I am forced to, well, use force. Will you please leave?"

"No," she stated, "And you know why?" Tarantula stepped closer to Nightwing. "I don't take orders from rich boys." Leaning closer, the woman whispered, "Richard Grayson."

Nightwing's eyes widened as he took a step back.

"H-How did you-"

"Know? Let's just say I made a new friend after you kicked me out of my own city!"

"That was last night, how could you have possibly-"

"A lot of people despise you Nightwing. It wasn't that hard to meet up with one of your…more intelligent foes."

Taking out an eskrima stick, electricity already flowing through it, Nightwing knocked Tarantula onto her back and placed the weapon an inch from her neck. "Who is it?"

"Who is what?" the downed woman spat.

"Who are you working for? Who gave you my name?" Nightwing questioned, bringing his eskrima stick closer to the woman's neck.

"Oh, you know him well, from your Robin years. He broke out of Arkham recently."

Nightwing paled. "No."

"Yes," Tarantula said, chuckling darkly. "Now, I suggest you let me up, or else that pretty girl you were chatting up at the baseball game today will find herself with some…misfortune."

"You wouldn't."

"Try me. I've got powerful allies now, Nightwing, and you've got enemies eager to rip you apart."

"Why'd you show yourself tonight?" Blüdhaven's vigilant asked, backing away from Tarantula.

"To show you what you threw away," she said, voice seductive, "And to help you realize the magnitude of your enemies' determination to see you destroyed."

"You'll regret this," Nightwing said darkly, glaring daggers.

"Not as much as you," Tarantula muttered sweetly into Nightwing's ear as she walked toward the edge of the roof.

As he watched the woman leave, Nightwing couldn't hold back the unease creeping through him. Things were about to get worse before they got better. If they got better.

And the day started off so well too.

Deciding he was done for the evening, seeing as he had much to worry about and would probably be too distracted to defeat anyone, Dick headed off to his apartment.

He never got around to investigating the school bombing…

To say Dick woke up on Tuesday on the wrong side of the bed would be an understatement. First, he slept in late. Then, he got a text from Jason saying that the Outlaws found themselves a new mission and were headed to Asia. After that, his hot water wouldn't work, so his shower was freezing cold. Although, it was a slight positive that he had to take a speed shower anyway due to his first misfortune. After he nearly froze to death, he found that the milk had spoiled. So had the fruit. Dry cereal was out of the option too, as there'd been an ant infestation overnight in the cupboards. Finally, Joey forgot to pick him up so Dick had to jog to the community center.

He made it to his temporary classroom just as the teacher was doing roll call.

He then proceeded to fall asleep in every class. Before Dick knew it, lunch rolled around. Happy for the reprieve of boredom and misfortune, the teen sought out his group of friends in the gymnasium being used as the lunchroom. He found them huddled up in the far corner, apparently Mira was sick today (or skipping) as she didn't appear to be with them.

As he neared his posse, however, Dick's assumption that his friends' company would brighten his day ended abruptly.

Toby and Joey were sporting grim expressions, which was an odd look on Joey, the guy who had a seemingly perpetual smile. Sara was crying softly while Sam rested a comforting had on her shoulder. Dick, currently Chester, was confused.

"Uh…Guys?" his voice seemed to surprise the others, as they all jumped and stared at him. "What's going on?"

Apparently that was the wrong thing to ask because Sara's sobbing increased in intensity. Now Chester was even more confused.

"Don't you know?" Sam asked, visibly restraining himself from showing more emotion on his relatively impassive face.

Chester shook his head no, so Toby said, "It was all over the news."

"I overslept today and couldn't watch it," the oblivious teen stated, "I have absolutely no idea what has you guys so upset."

"Haven't you heard people talking?" Joey asked, staring incredulously at his newest friend.

"No…Seriously guys, what's going on?" Chester's question was asked with a voice full of concern.

Nobody said a word after this. Everyone just stared blankly or, in Sara's case, continued crying.

"Does this have something to do with Mira's absence?" Chester guessed, "Is she like, really sick or something?"

Sara began bawling harder, so Chester knew he was on the right track.

"…Something like that," Sam responded, officially giving up comforting his inconsolable twin.

Chester was beginning to grow impatient. "Well?" he prompted, "What's actually going on then?"

For a moment, the others all looked at each other before Joey decided they'd beaten around the bush long enough. "Guys, we have to tell him," he said, and then he addressed Chester, "Last night…Someone broke into Mira's home. She was…stabbed several times…in the chest."

In that moment, Chester's world went still. He wasn't hearing this. No. It was impossible.

"…The cops are saying that they were custom blades. Nobody here really seems to care; they think it's some money thing, since Mira's parents are allegedly high profile con artists. I guess what I'm saying is that… Well…"

The one day he stopped patrol early. All because of Tarantula. Wait…Custom blades. Tarantula had custom blades, and she was willing to kill to achieve her goals.

"You'll regret this."

"Not as much as you."

Their conversation kept rolling through his mind.

"Not as much as you."

This was her doing! That- That devil! She did this! She knew who he was, she was working for him. She was attacking his friends, just because they were his friends. They didn't have anything to do with his nighttime vigilante work, and they were paying for it just because they knew him.

"Chester, Mira's dead."

"A lot of people despise you Nightwing…"

"Oh, you know him well, from your Robin years. He broke out of Arkham recently…"

"…the magnitude of your enemies' determination to see you destroyed."

He kept reliving that conversation. He couldn't stop it from flashing through his mind. It just kept replaying. She'd warned him. She dropped the hints. Tarantula had made it clear that she was willing to go through his relations to make him pay.

"Not as much as you."

"Chester, you all right?" Joey's voice asked, muddled through Dick's inner turmoil.

It was his fault that a perfectly (mostly) innocent girl died. Just because she was his friend.


Nobody could get close to him. He shouldn't have made a new life for himself; he was obviously a danger to anyone and everyone around him.

"I think he's in shock," that was Sam's voice.

No. Nonononononono. If he went into that train of thought, then Deathstroke would win. Deathstroke couldn't win. If he won, Renegade would return. Dick wasn't going to let that happen.

"Snap out of it, man!" Joey.

This wasn't Deathstroke's doing, though. Deathstroke never went to Arkham. Dick was safe from his tormentor still…wasn't he?

"I'll go get the nurse." Toby.

Yeah, he was still safe…God! He was so selfish! He was only caring about himself when Tarantula was going after his friends! But, she was working under him. She'd said as much last night.

"I-I think he's hyperventilating." Sara.

This wasn't just her doing. It was his doing! He was the grand architect behind this!

"Shit! Come on, man!" Joey.

Tarantula was just a tool.

"Guys, he's having an anxiety attack." Sam.

"I thought it was called a panic attack." Sara.

"Not as much as you."

The tool was going to pay, but she'd pay later. First, the architect was going to suffer. He'd suffer so much; Arkham would seem like child's play.

"Chester, can you hear me?" The Nurse.

The architect would suffer.


Chester blinked. "Y-yeah?" he finally responded, snapping out of his trancelike state.

The nurse seemed to sigh in relief as she said, "I think you should head home." Looking at the group of anxious kids around her, she continued, "All of you. Why you showed up today is beyond me. Even in Blüdhaven…Something like this affects close friends."

"What're you saying?" Joey asked, resting a comforting hand on Chester's shoulder.

"All four of you, head home. Mr. Cancroft, could you see to it that Mr. Honeywell safely reaches his home first?"

"Of course," Joey agreed.

"And, if he has another attack, call an ambulance right away."

"Of course."

"Now, off," the nurse shooed, "all five of you."

The teens nodded as they exited the community center. Sam and Sara hailed a taxi, saying goodbye to Joey, and sending concerned looks to Chester.

After the twins were gone, Toby began his trek home, and Joey led his friend to his car. Chester remained silent.

Once in the car and driving to the Honeywell's apartment, Joey finally admitted, "That was terrifying."

"Sorry," Chester mumbled, looking out the window.

"It's fine…Just try not to do it again."

Chester's mouth formed into a wry smile. "No promises."

"That's comforting."

"I try…Do you think Mira saw her attacker?"

Joey sighed. "I don't know, but I don't think she suffered for very long. From what the news said, she died within seconds of the stabbing."

"Do the cops have any leads?"

"No. Outside of the blades there was no evidence, and if there was, one of the dirty cops disposed of it …Hey, I'm sorry I didn't pick you up this morning."

"No problem. Given the circumstances…"

"Yeah." Joey pulled his car over. "We're here. Can you get to your room okay?"

"I'll be fine. Thanks, and be careful."

"You too, mon ami."

As Dick watched his friend's car leave, one thought continued to run through his head.

The architect was going to pay.

And once Nightwing got his hands on Blockbuster, the man would rue the day he was ever born.

Chester was mentally berating himself. He'd gotten halfway back to the apartment before he remembered that his backpack was still in the auditorium. There'd been an assembly of some sort at the end of the school day, so the students all got out of class early, crammed into the seats in front of the stage, and languished through a drawn on speech about…something.

Honestly, Chester and Joey had been too busy tossing pieces of paper at the twins and avoiding the detection of the administrators to pay attention. Of course, after the assembly was over, he and his co-conspirator had to book it. It was never fun to be caught by an irate Sara.

Unfortunately, whilst booking it, he'd forgotten his book-bag.

This was why he once again found himself in the auditorium.

Walking down the aisles, Chester marveled at the facility built around him. He'd never really been into the theatre, plays and operas weren't really his idea of a good time, but he respected those involved. After all, he knew firsthand how much work needed to be put into a performance. He actually missed the feeling of being the center of attention, with a crowd of people cheering him on…

Looking around, Chester determined that nobody was in the room with him. So, sneaking up to the stage, the teen hefted himself onto it. The stage itself was made out of a black material. It was scratched and well-used, but it was like every performance had left its memory permanently etched into the floor.

Like how his memory was permanently found around Wayne Manor and Mount Justice.

"Chester?" a surprised female voice shook the boy from his thoughts. Looking around, he spotted Mira coming down the aisle and stopping in front of the stage.

"Oh, hi Mira!" he exclaimed nervously.

"What exactly are you doing?"

"Oh, um, I was, uh," Chester could feel his traitorous face begin to blush in embarrassment as he struggled to find words. "I left my backpack here," he finally managed to say.

Mira raised an eyebrow. "You left it on the stage?"

"No! I left it in my seat."

"So why're you onstage?"


"Relax, you don't need to tell me," Mira stated with a smile as she pulled herself up to stand beside Chester. Both teens looked out on the rows of seats in front of them. With a sigh, Mira sat cross-legged on the black stage floor. Her skinny jeans rose up around her ankles as she did so, revealing a small rose tattoo on her left one.

Noticing Chester looking at it, Mira smirked and explained, "I got it last year. My mother said that I needed to be more like a carnation and less like a rose. She said the thorns were displeasing, so I got a rose tattoo."

"Why?" he asked, sitting down next to his friend of about a month.

"Because, I do everything for her, but getting rid of my 'thorns' was a move I wasn't willing to make. By permanently having it on my skin, I'm sending my mother a message. I'm telling her that I will listen to her, but I have my limits."

"Oh, I get it."

"Somehow, I thought you would," the red-head said smoothly, "You're a mystery you know."

"What do you mean?" Chester asked, becoming more confused by the second.

"I mean that I know the workings of this school in and out. I know all that there is to know about everyone. As I should, it's my family's profession."

"I don't need to know what you guys do!"

"I know you don't, but you seem like a secret keeping kind of guy, so I doubt you'll call the cops anytime soon. As I was saying, my last name is Lorraine. Mira Lorraine. The oldest of the Lorraine children. The one who's destined to take over where her parents left off. My mother was a cat burglar, my father a con artist. Both were the best in their time; they want me to be the best in both fields after I graduate. Do you know how much pressure that is?"

"An actor of sorts…I get it now!"

"I can be anyone I have to be in order to get what I want. Unfortunately, what I want, I'm not allowed to have."

Now Chester was getting uncomfortable. Here was this girl, unloading her sorrows onto him, and she barely knew him!

"What, uh," he began uncomfortably, "What is it you want?"

Mira smiled at him for his attempt at being a confidante. "My GPA," she said, "is four point two five. My ACT score is thirty five. I want to go to college! I have so many scholarships and full rides. I want to be a physicist. I want to be a sociologist. I want to be a journalist! I want to choose my fate!"

"Well, what's stopping you?" Chester asked. This was a problem he'd had his whole life. Only recently has he been able to truly make his own decisions. "What's stopping you from doing what you want? Your parents? It doesn't matter if they don't approve, you shouldn't need permission to do what you feel is right. Besides, you'll always have someone who will be willing to help you, even if it doesn't seem like it. Trust me."

Mira looked at Chester, truly looked at him, and he knew she saw a face that was speaking from experience.

"Thank you, Chester. You're a great friend."

Blockbuster would pay.

A/N: All done! In case you don't skim through the review responses, I'd like to tell you that that's usually where I throw in some spoilers. Just so you were aware…

Anyway, have I mentioned before how much you all rock as readers? Well, you guys/girls are truly amazing and make me super happy!

AUTHOR'S QUESTION/CHALLENGE: So, I'm currently binge watching The Office (U.S. version) and really like the dynamic between Dwight and Jim. As in, I love the pranks. What fun pranks have you guys/girls pulled or witnessed?

COMING UP IN NIGHTWING: ALLEGIANCES: Batman is back (I threw in his perspective again because inspiration hit), Chester's apartment is not a safe place to live anymore, and Nightwing goes to Gotham.