Disclaimer: I do not own Batman Beyond; it belongs to its creators. I gain nothing but a writing outlet and writing/editing experience.
Summary: Terry could have just as easily received Bruce's spliced X instead of Y; if so, would it have all started with Matt instead? But the world, particularly Gotham, needed a Batman again. The Jokerz overran the streets, business were destroying the world. Pride and avarice were destroying Gotham, and Gotham needed its symbol of hope and justice again.
A/N: I shouldn't be writing this, but I am. This will be pretty verbatim at the beginning, and chapters will be one long chunk of time, so no scene changes—at least for now. There will be a fair bit of introspection. I was just curious how things might have played out if Terry had received Bruce's X chromosome—assuming the DNA spliced into Warren wasn't already altered so that he only had sons. This will be looking at the change in dynamics and interpretation of scenarios. Hope you enjoy ~ much love, depressedchildren Edited 10/9/2016
Chapter 1: Rebirth part 1
Terri McGinnis, seventeen, sighed as she leaned against the wall of the South-Line Atrack. She looked down at her handheld computer and debated whether or not to e-mail Charlie. She hadn't e-mailed him in a few months and he still had some time left to go on his sentence…
It wasn't fair.
She sighed again and shoved the computer into the pocket of her crop-top brown leather jacket before she shoved her hands into her black skinny jean's gray pockets.
It really wasn't fair she was out here while he was still in there. If Terri had been even a few years older, they would have had an equal sentence. Though at the same time, it was good she had gotten out after three months. If she hadn't…well, it had already nearly been too late…
Terri bowed her head and chewed on her bottom lip. Her bob-cut brushed against her cheekbones as she did so.
Ironically, she wouldn't even feel sorry for him if she had just not gotten involved with Charlie "Big Time" Bigelow when her parents were going through that divorce. Terri probably wouldn't have even met him if she hadn't been trying to escape her father and mother yelling about whether or not…whether or not she and Matt were really their father's children. Terri would have never met "Big Time," and he would have never sweet talked her and other things…
Terri knew Charlie had just been using her, but then…she got off easy when they were busted and he got all that time. Then there would always be that soft spot for him, and that muddled mess of emotions she felt after everything was done. That guilt/regret/self-loathing she felt when she thought about her desperate actions back then… Terri could never truly forget, and then there would be times the memories would just hit her and those emotions would swirl up in an almost suffocating manner. Writing to Charlie made her think of all the memories, but she still managed to write every few months.
She had been such a fool back then, but she couldn't just cut Charlie out. She felt she owed him that much and more. Yeah he used her but… Those three months in juvie and the constant disapproval her parents directed at her made her realize just how stupid she had been.
Terri had a feeling her parents knew just what kind of relationship she had had with Charlie, but she never admitted it and did everything she could to make sure they wouldn't know—it would have just added another charge to his record. Regardless, all the adults involved made sure she wasn't to see him again. Slag, Terri had been fourteen and she had just been playing into Charlie's hand. If she had been angry, he had let her vent. If she had felt awkward, he had made her feel…attractive. If she had wanted to hurt something because everything seemed to be hurting her, he had given her an outlet through their scams.
She could resent Charlie to her heart's content, but at the end of the day she would still get hung up on the fact that she was out here with a slap on the wrist while he was still in prison. Terri would always feel the guilt and regret, no matter how much resentment she felt.
Terri looked up when the reporter on the train's television mentioned Wayne-Powers. She scoffed and shook her head. Of course Powers was taking over more of that old man's business, he was too old fight back and Powers was too vicious. But no matter how much she didn't like that snake's business, he did put food on their table…
And that was something Terri would never get. If her father was so uncertain about whether she was his daughter or not, why did he take her into his custody? Was it because of juvie? Or did a moment of compassion take him and he was reminded of all the times he would take his little princess to the movie theater, fishing, or softball and soccer games? Did Mom just not want Terri, or was it her way to attest that she had been faithful and he should have to take care of Terri—his daughter.
Her musings paused as someone entered the Atrack car Terri was in from the back. The person began to make his or her way—his if the large, passing hand on her ass was an indication—to the front of the car. Now that he was walking past Terri, she knew it was a Joker. He was probably from the red gang.
The Jokerz thug walked right up to the monitor and began to spray paint it. Great…Terri rolled her eyes and gave the Jokerz thug her most unimpressed look.
Of course, then the clown turned around and gave a theatric bow, "Thank you. Thank you," he then tilted his head up from the bow—likely to survey the car to see if anyone had reacted to him. Terri shook her head in disgust and looked off to the side as she folded her hands over her chest.
"Ahhhh!" Terri imagined the clown found his target. Sure enough, when she glanced over at him, he had his arm around some poor woman. "I saw you smile," he stated, "Yes I did, yes I did!" he jeered while pointing right in the terrified woman's face. It made Terri sick just watching the dreg.
He cleared his voice and held out his hand with the palm face up. Terri shook her head yet again in disgust, but she also felt sympathy for the poor woman.
"What do you want?" the woman asked cautiously in an attempt to guard herself.
"Money for the joke you just bought. Pay up," the threat was veiled, but it set Terri and the woman on edge. Slag it! Why wasn't anyone doing anything?! "I give you funny and you give me money" the dreg then held up his fists threateningly, and it took all of Terri's self-control to refrain from marching over there and knocking the punk out. Someone was bound to report her if she got involved in tussle on the Atrack.
"I didn't buy anything!" the woman replied as she looked at the men around her for help, but they all astutely looked away. Terri girt her teeth and clutched her arms tightly from where they were folded over her chest. The clown was almost a head taller than her and twice as wide, sure Charlie had taught her to fight like any thug but she really shouldn't fight him—what if he had a weapon on him or was stronger than he looked?
The Jokerz thug leaned in close to the woman who reared back in fear and disgust. "Aww, you're shy," he mocked her. Slow pulse it! Terri had had enough, if no one was going to step up then she would. Scowling, she began to march towards the punk.
"That's okay," the clown continued harassing the woman. "I'll just help myself," he stated as he picked up her purse and began to laugh while he stood up.
As the dreg was gloating, Terri seized her moment and took ahold of the punk's arm with the purse. She pinned it behind his back. "That's enough, get lost clown," she sneered as she pushed him into the monitor he had ruined. His head smashed into the screen and cracked the glass.
He fell down and turned to face her as he wiped at some blood dripping down from his lip. "Oh-ho-ho, sweet-ass wants to wrestle." He got up and mockingly went into a sloppy fighting stance. Terri shook her head. His arms were spread apart too far, and he was practically exposing his whole body to her. She juked under a sloppy right hook and was quickly within his guard. She gave him a solid punch to the jaw that sent him flying back into the monitor before he could even swing.
"That does it, bitch," he practically growled as he shook off the glass. Terri had backed off slightly and was in a defensive position now. Shew wasn't sure what the dreg would have in store for her. Was he going to pull a knife on her? The dreg rushed to his feet and…began to do the most ridiculous mock kung-fu stances. For real?! Terri just paused in a stupor at the Jokerz thug's display when the door opened on the Atrack. The dreg blew her a raspberry before racing out of the car.
If Terri needed to remember why she hated Jokerz that would be one reason she'd hate them. They could be ridiculous one moment and lethal the next, but one never really knew which way they were going to be at a given time. Exhaling in disgust, she dropped her stance and shook her head, "Jokerz."
Thankfully the rest of the way to school was uneventful and she got to lean back against the wall as the Atrack took her not far from Hamilton Hill High School.
On the rest of her way to school, she came across Max who looked to be in a hurry, but the pink-haired girl slowed down to walk with her. "Hey Terri."
"Hey Max," Terri returned the greeting before gesturing at the near-bursting messenger bag hanging off Max's shoulder, "Busy?"
Max gave a wry laugh and nodded her head, "I've finally made a breakthrough on this matrix I have been killing myself over. And now it's like my brain's on fire and I just have to get it down!"
Chuckling, Terri asked, "Made the breakthrough on the way here?" Max nodded adamantly as her gaze flickered toward the approaching school. Terri shook her head and motioned Max on, "Don't let me keep you from your breakthrough."
Max glanced back at her and gave her a barely contained smile as she set her hand against Terri's arm for a moment. "Thanks girl!" Max then began to walk faster, but she turned and called over her shoulder, "Tell Dana and Chelsea I won't be able to make our Girls Night Out, yeah?"
Laughing again, Terri nodded her head, "Sure thing, Max."
Since the four of them were all single, they had decided to go to the new club on level 54 in hopes of perhaps snagging a few lines. Of course, if Nash Nelson was there the night would be ruined. Terri really did not see what Chelsea saw in the meathead.
Terri finally made it to the courtyard where students were dreading for the bell to ring but regardless passed the time in small groups talking. Terri easily found Dana and Chelsea talking as they leaned on one of the tables. Terri leaned against the end next to Dana and smiled at her friends.
"Hey Ter," Dana greeted before looking off over at a group of guys. She then gave Terri a playful look. "I heard Jared was going to be at the club tonight," she sing-sang.
"Mmm," Terri hummed as she cast her gaze over at the guy in question. Jared was pretty nice and they had flirted on past occasions. Maybe tonight they might hit it off a little more. "Good to know," she replied with her own playful look.
"I heard Nelson is going to be there," Chelsea gushed and looked like she was about to melt into a puddle on the ground. Dana and Terri both gave the blonde girl a look before shaking their heads.
"Oh come on!" Chelsea protested at their lack of any positive emotion. "He's the coolest guy and the most eligible," the blonde tried to reason.
"Only because he goes through girls like tissue paper during cold season," Dana retorted with clear disgust.
Terri nodded in agreement but added, "And if he can't get into a girl's pants he says he has." She was slouching now with her arms folded over her chest.
Chelsea gave Terri a look and rolled her eyes. "You're still on about that?" She sounded almost bored. "Just admit you slept with Nelson, I mean who wouldn't want to," she looked almost starry-eyed at that.
"For one, I wouldn't," Terri began while glaring at Chelsea, "and, two, he's a no good liar." Terri exhaled and shook her head, "But of course, now most of the guys think I'm easy." She rolled her eyes and ran a hand through her bob.
Chelsea gave her a look that asked what the problem was, and Terri just shook her head in exasperation at this point. Dana just sighed heavily and shook her head, but set a reassuring had on Terri's shoulder.
Terri looked down at her grey heeled boots. She had promised herself she wouldn't be with anyone after Charlie, at least not until she knew the guy and had a strong sense of how right he was for her. Not that she was going to wait for marriage to do that again, but she wanted her next partner to be someone she would happily consider marrying someday.
"How about we not talk about Nelson, yeah?" Dana tried to placate them both. Reluctantly Chelsea and Terri both agreed.
However, Nelson had a different agenda than them. Just as the girls were turning to talk about class assignments, he swaggered up to them like a proud cock with his comb erect.
Terri and Dana both gave him disinterested looks before turning away from where he was leaning into Chelsea's personal space.
"So, Beautiful," he started, and Terri barely refrained from snorting—wherever had she heard that line before? Oh yeah, every cheesy guy in every corny movie. "You going to be at the club tonight?" Dash asked in a calm, almost smooth tone of voice. Oh god, he was laying it on thick as he tried to sound all suave. He even went so far as to brush the back of his finger up Chelsea's arm while the other arm caged Chelsea into his person space. That was a familiar stance…though Terri recalled sitting on Dash's couch when he started caging her in on their one-time-terrible-mistake-of-a-date.
Shuddering at the memory, Terri looked over at Dana, and the two of them made gagging expressions. While they thought they were being subtle, clearly they weren't, especially considering that Nelson was now looming over them.
"What?!" he challenged. "You two lesbians have something to say?" that was really the best he could do? Well, his loud call and angry stance had now attracted the attention of a large number of people. Terri could see most of the crowd was just waiting for the blood to spill between the "past lovers"—after all, they knew how volatile Terri could get around Nash Nelson. Terri wanted to roll her eyes but that could set Nash off.
Dana frowned and folded her arms over her chest while Terri gave him an unimpressed look. "So I'm a lesbian now? What you turn me?" she challenged back. He thought he was such a fine male specimen that any one of the female persuasion just had to be attracted to him—it would be pathetic if it wasn't so frustrating. Still, it did give an easy way to taunt him. If anyone suggested he was not desirable or (gasp) question his sexual prowess, why he would be utterly outraged.
Knowing all this, Dana looked at Terri with wide eyes; though it was clear she wanted to join the students laughing at Nelson, who was currently turning red in the face. It took a few stuttering moments, but then Nelson had a comeback, "W-well-well a-a slut like you probably doesn't care—" and Terri lost it. Just like Nash had his triggers, so too did Terri, and blonde just stepped on hers. Terri decked him so hard that he fell to the ground with his cheek already swelling with cut on it.
"Terri!" Chelsea and Dana cried in shock while Terri shook out her hand—he had a hard head.
"McGinnis!" Slow pulse. A teacher must have seen the altercation. He was making a beckoning motion now, and Terri gritted her teeth as she looked up at the smoggy sky.
Still, she couldn't let things go. Before she walked away, she kicked Nelson in the leg, "I am not a slut and I have never slept with you, asshole!"
"McGinnis!" the teacher called again with more anger. Sighing, she trudged over there.
She had to admit. None of this—her regrets, her reputation, her stupid past with Nash—would have been happening if she hadn't met Charlie. If she hadn't met Charlie, she wouldn't have gone to Juvie. If she hadn't gone to Juvie, she wouldn't have distanced herself from Max and Dana. If she hadn't distanced herself from Max and Dana, she wouldn't have been trying to be friends with Blade. If she hadn't been trying to become friends with Blade, Terri wouldn't have gone to that stupid sleep-over with Blade's at-the-time-new group of friends. If she hadn't gone, she wouldn't have admitted she had had sex in an attempt to connect with a potential new friend group. If none of those things had happened, then those girls wouldn't have told (practically) the whole school Terri had lost it at fourteen. Then Nash wouldn't have tried to capitalize on her reputation, and they wouldn't be exchanging barbs every time they saw each other. Terri was just thankful none of the teachers had ever put much stock in those rumors or Charlie's sentence would have lengthened.
But now she had to face her punishment for fighting in school. Even if Terri said she was provoked, it was her fist that flied and it was her father—maybe father—that would hear about it. Great.
A/N: So, some drastic changes already. I will say this now, there will be NO yuri or girlxgirl. I will write a one shot (sometime after 10,000 Clowns) that will be a cute Dana x Terri AU story (because I have such a cute idea for the two of them even though they will never be a couple in this story).
Also, as stated, it will be pretty verbatim for "Rebirth" with a few key differences. After that story there will be more variance and lots of angst for a while. I will try to tone it down as I edit these chapters but….yeah. Lots of angst. Please give this fic a chance through Rebirth at least, I will make it more plausible for her being Batman. Regardless, hope you enjoyed; updating will be sporadic. ~ with love, depressedchildren