Yes…here I am with the Batman
oneshot I’ve been promising forever…the only reason I’m putting
this up is because it’s already written. There will probably be
buttloads of typos, I appologize but I don’t have the energy at the
moment to scan over my work a billion times in search of errors. It
comes with certain…things. This little thing was inspired by the
song Name, by Goo Goo Dolls, but it grew on its own from there. In the first part, Babs and Dick are twelve and eleven
respectively, then fifteen and fourteen, then eighteen and seventeen.
“All right, you two. I have an
important meeting at Wayne Enterprises, so–“
“We get to call it a night?”
suggested Batgirl innocently.
Batman scowled. “No. You can
continue your individual studies or spar together. I want to see you
working when I get back. That little slip up yesterday can never
happen again if you want to keep your capes. Understood?” he
growled, looking from Batgirl to Robin.
“Whatever you say, Bats,”
mumbled, not meeting his mentor’s eyes.
Batman nodded, and with a swish of
his cape, headed for the exit.
Once he was well out of earshot,
Barbara stuck her tongue out in defiance, mumbling, “Show off.”
Her gaze went expectantly to Dick,
but he hadn’t even looked up, simply wiping the sweat from his
forehead with a towel.
Frowning, she tried again. This had
never failed to make him laugh. “Twinkle twinkle little bat,”
she began, watching him closely for a reaction.
“Cut it out, Barbara,” he
growled, sounding miraculously like a young Batman.
Her eyes widened. Barbara?
He had never called her by her whole name. It was always Dick and
Babs. “Who spit in your cheerios?” she grumbled, put off by
his cold shoulder.
Dick sighed, dropped the towel, and
resumed his work. His favorite training center was gymnastics. it was
the closest thing to acrobatics that the Batcave had. Watching him
practice on the bars was usually enough to make Barbara stunned and
envious; this time, though, it just made her frustrated.
“Come on, we’re gonna be stuck
down here for a long time. Tell me what’s wrong.”
Dick maintained his speed
perfectly. “Nothing that hasn’t been wrong before,” he
grunted, swinging his body up above the bar and balancing on one
Barbara’s eyes swiveled this way
and that as she followed Dick’s movement. “That doesn’t mean you
can’t talk about it.”
“There’s nothing to talk
about, Batgirl,” droned Dick, still not doing her the courtesy
of meeting her eyes.
Batgirl? Barbara had had
Springing back on her hands, she
swept her feet along the practice bar, tripping “Robin” and
bring him down hard on his rear.
Dick leapt to his feet angrily.
“What did you do that for?” he yelled, fists clenched.
Barbara folded her arms stubbornly.
“I guess if I need to drop you on your butt to get you to look
at me, okay.”
“What!” Robin demanded,
throwing a punch at her and beginning their familiar practice moves.
“What do you want, Barbara?”
“For one thing,” she
grunted, successfully hitting him with a spinning kick, “you
could drop the formality, Richard. It doesn’t really work
after the first year.” Following up with a right hook to the
jaw, she added, “Secondly, you could just tell me what’s
bothering you instead of throwing a little girl fit!”
Robin growled, and Babs blocked
everything he threw at her. She could already see his moves losing
their precision; they always did when he got mad. “Who made you
my mother? Batman is all the authority I can handle right now, I
don’t need you bossing me around too!” He let a punch slip
through and smack him hard in the nose.
Barbara’s anger rose, but unlike
Dick, she knew how to channel it. “That’s what I am now? An
authority figure? I’m only a year older than you, why would I try to
tell you what to do?”
“You are…aren’t you?”
panted Dick, sweat running down his face, his lip red where she had
split it. He knew that Barbara was getting the better of him, and she
watched his anger grow and his performance diminish.
“No, Dick.” Barbara
dropped her defenses, taking the step back that signaled the end of
their ‘fight.’ “This is called caring about someone.”
Dick growled angrily, the sound
echoing off the cave walls mournfully. “I don’t have parents!
Don’t try to be one!” he screamed, voice cracking under pressure
as tears of rage slipped from beneath the mask.
Barbara took a step back, eyes wide
in shock at his sudden outburst. She was at a loss for words. He had
sometimes done this to her, but never before had he seemed
so…manic. She had no clue how to respond.
Just as soon as the anger came, it
disappeared. Dick shook with a painful sob, hands dropped to his
side, shoulders slumped. “I’m sorry, Babs. I’m sorry, I…I
didn’t mean that–” He took a few steps toward her, and Barbara
found herself doing the same. He hugged her fiercely, arms wrapped
tight around her, and she knew it was not so much an apology as a
plea for comfort. She gave it willingly.
“It’s ok, Dick,” she
assured him, tears gathering in her own pale eyes. This had never
happened before. In all the time she had knowkn him (almost two years
now), he had rarely even mentioned his parents. It was Bruce that had
finally told her the story, as an explanation for Dick’s often
confusing behavior. Dick had always been nice to her, but he had
never really been open. Now here she was, reeling with the effort to
process this new development.
Dick let go, as though realizing
what he had just done. His cheeks flushed, as Barbara knew hers were
doing, and their closeness became apparent. Instead of backing up, he
moved closer, and Barbara, for reasons unknown even to her, stayed
put. She had an idea of what was coming next, and even though the
thought set her stomach to churning, she had no intention of stopping
Dick took her hand, fingers
intertwining with hers. Both watched them for a moment, admiring how
perfectly they molded together. The world slowed down to an agonizing
pace as Dick looked up, and Babs disposed of the mask in her minds
eye, seeing instead the eyes she had always been fascinated by. Their
lips touched for the briefest moment, sending a shiver through her,
filling her with emotions she barely recognized and could hardly
contain. Dick pulled back, eyes questioning behind the mask. Babs
gave him a small, shaky smile.
“Not exactly what I had in
mind when I said ‘working’.”
They jerked apart as though they
had burned eachother, eyes swiveling to where Bruce leaned against
the wall, expression impossible to read.
Barbara stole a glance at Dick,
taking in his bright red face and shamed expression. Slipping herh
and into his, she whispered so only he could here. “I…I like
Eyes never leaving Bruce, who had
started into his lecture, Dick gave her hand a gentle squeeze. “Me,
Barbara put her years of stealth
training to use as she slipped down the hallway, easing his dor open.
She knew he hadn’t left yet…the R-cycle was still in the Batcave.
Dick had his back turned to her,
pulling items from his dresser and stuffing them into a dufflebag.
She slipped inside, opening her mouth to say something witty and
watch him jump out of his skin.
“You really should knock
first. I’ve only been dressed for five minutes.”
Barbara’s eyes widened, then
narrowed in frustration. Choosing to ignore his comment, she got
right to business. “I can’t believe you’re going through with
Dick sighed deeply, reaching up to
tie his mask in place. “I thought we already had this
conversation. This is something I have to do.”
Barbara folded her arms, eyes lit
with anger. “Bull shit. No one’s making you.”
“That’s not what I mean,
Babs,” he mumbled, turning to face her.
Barbara shot him a fierce glare.
“Don’t call me that.”
“Dick frowned, taking a step
“Don’t touch me!” she
growled, backing away. “You’re running away. You’re leaving
Bruce over some selfish tussle. You get your damn tights in a bunch,
and now I’m left here alone! Selfish jerk.” Her eyes burned, but
she fought back the tears, shaking with hurt and rage.
Dick took her arms, gentle but firm
enough to keep her from pulling away. “Listen to me, this has
nothing to do with you. Heck, it’s not even about Bruce. This is just
something I need to do.”
The tears escaped despite her best
efforts. “Whatever that’s supposed to mean,” she mumbled,
the anger being sucked out of her no matter how hard she tried to
keep it. Barbara turned her back, hiding her face from him as her
pale blue eyes blurred with salt water.
“I’ll come back,” he
said, a desperate note in his voice.
“No you won’t,” she
choked, wrapping her arms tightly around herself.
Dick touched her shoulder gently,
sending a mournful ache through her. A sob escaped as he turned her
to face him, mask gone. Now she could see the tears in his own storm
cloud eyes. “I promise,” he whispered, resing his hand on
Placing her hand over his, Barbara
closed her eyes against the tears. “Where will you go?” she
asked, breathing in an attempt to calm herself.
A sigh slipped from his mouth as he
took the hand away, raking it through his messy black hair. “I
don’t know,” he mumbled, eyes glazed. “Somewhere.”
“Is there anything I can do to
make you stay?” she whispered, voice shaking and absent of any
of the confidence it usually possessed.
Robin kissed her hard in a fierce
apology, arms folded securely around her. All too soon, he pulled
back. “I’ll come back.” He breathed the words in her ear,
then turned, slung his bag over his shoulder. Barbara realized, as he
stared at her helplessly, that she was blockign the door.
Batgirl stepped aside, her eyes as
cold as the ice they resembled. “There’s the door,” she
said, voice devoid of emotion. “What’s stopping you?”
Dick’s hurt showed plainly on his
face. “Babs,” he moaned, eyes begging her for something she
For what seemed an eternity, he
just stood there, gaze burning a hole in her heart. Then, without a
word, he left.
And the tears fell like rain.
Barbara Gordon stood once again
in his doorway, staring at the room within. Bruce had kept it exactly
as Dick had left it, right down to the mask lying on the floor. Every
last detail was perfect…except. of course, that the room was empty.
Stepping carefully, as though afraid
of disturbing the memories hanging thick on every inch of the room,
Barbara took in everything, from the pillows on the bed to the books
on the dresser. He had hardly taken anything with him on that
morning, exactly three years ago. He had left everything but his
weapons and a few days worth of clothes. She hadn’t seen him since.
“I…I like you, Dick.”
Sighing deeply, Barbara sat
down on the bed, staring aimlessly at the nightstand. Her breath
caught in her chest as Dick’s face stared back at her from the framed
photos, smiling, frowning, laughing…
In the first, Bruce, Alfred, and Dick
stoo outside Wayne Manor, every face grim by accident, while the
second showed an unfamiliar man and a woman, dressed for a wedding
and smiling brightly.
It was the middle picture that drew
her attention, however. It was a cheap mall photo booth one, but Dick
had liked it so much that he’d gotten it in an 8X10. A far younger
Barbara laughed, her cheeks tinged pink as Dick laid a kiss on her
cheek, one hand ruffling her red hair.
Tears gathered in her eyes as she
turned the photograph to face the wall. That life was over now; it
had been for three years.
“I’ll come back. I promise.”
Dick was gone for good–he had
found a new life, new friends, a girlfriend. There was absolutely no
reason for him to come back, just as there hadn’t been a reason for
him to stay.
Dropping back on the bed, she pulled a
pillow toward her, breathing in. It still smelled like him.
Hugging the pillow tight against her,
Barbara closed her eyes, releasing the blur of tears. It almost felt
like her was with her.
“You said you’d come back. You