saga/title/fandom: Identity chapter 3 (Batman Beyond)
rating/genre:(PG-13) - Drama/Romance
warnings: violence, language
summary: Terry hasn't had time for himself lately, things seem a bit of a mess. It's a T/M fanfic - but i don't hate D
comments/disclaimers: I don’t own any of the characters, they were the creation of DC comics. This is a fanfic inspired by the Batman of the Future series, credit to the creators.Author’s note: This is my first Batman fanfic, it’s quite a daunting task, but I look forward to any constructive criticism on improving my writing as I’m an amateur at this. I haven’t been watching the show that long but it made an impact on me enough to want to write something. I apologise for any mistakes.
Chapter 3 Ain’t Nobody Jokin’ Around
Terry entered the Batcave to find Bruce at the computer.
“Jokerz…they broke into the liquor store, stole some liquor, smashed the place up but no one was hurt.” Bruce still had his back to Terry, while he was typing away on the computer. “These are some images from the surveillance camera.”
“Looks like a twisted child’s birthday party,” commented Terry, as he looked at the images of the store covered in streamers and broken glass. The man behind the counter had been tied up and a clown’s mask had been placed over his face.
“They made a quick get away, no one was expecting something like that at this time of the day.”
“They’re taking some risks, it’s barely seven o’ clock…but the police…they got onto it right?” Terry watched the computer screen as two policemen came running towards the store.
“Wrong, they were alerted but there weren’t many officers on call in the area.”
Terry watched as the Jokerz threw out several laughing gas bombs and jumped onto their scooters to speed away from the scene.
“It’s unlike them to strike in such an obvious part of town and so early, it’s too risky.”
“I get the feeling they got off on that. It’s almost like they have some kind of new lease of life, more fearless, more daring.”
“Guess I better try and find out what’s going on in Jokerz land.”
Terry flew over Gotham Park for the fifth time in the Batjet, becoming weary of his search.
“Bruce, I’ve scanned the areas where the break ins and attacks have occurred, I’ve tried checking out Jokerz territory…nothing. It’s so quiet, it’s creeping me out! Nothing out of the ordinary, a few attempted muggings, attempted car theft…but no sign of Jokerz.” Terry looked at the vid screen to see if he could tell what Bruce was thinking.
“Hmm… just makes me think that something more spectacular is going to take place real soon. Anything interesting happening this weekend?”
“I’m planning on sleeping, although I’ve heard that there’s going to be some costume party tomorrow. Some girl is inviting practically all of Hill High for her 18th birthday, apparently her parents are loaded with creds so she’s hired out one of the rooms at a schway nightclub, a lot of the beautiful people are gonna be there.”
“Sounds like fun, aren’t you going?”
“Are you kidding? You’d actually let me have the night off to go?”
“Ok Bruce, what is it? Where’s the catch?”
“There isn’t one. Saturday nights, isn’t that when kids get up to no good?”
“To be honest, these days I wouldn’t know - you think that the Jokerz are planning something tomorrow night, around the time of the party, don’t you?”
“Where better to be inconspicuous than in the midst of a large number of people dressed more ridiculously than you are. It could provide a good cover until they are ready to reveal their plan. It’s a possibility worth checking out.”
“The fun never ends.”
“Take the rest of night off, you’ll need your energy for tomorrow.”
Terry flew the Batjet back in the direction of the Wayne mansion, not wanting to waste a minute longer, knowing tomorrow could be a tiring night.
Terry walked back home after returning the Batjet and listening to Bruce’s advice on handling a potentially dangerous situation. It did seem like regular Jokerz behaviour, but they could never be too sure. He looked around the streets on hearing the laughter of a few kids heading home from the local nightclub. A couple who were arguing, caught his attention. The guy looked like the typical jock, dressed casually smart and too confident. His girlfriend was a blonde cheerleader type, dressed in a tight and ultra short lilac dress. The guy seemed to be apologising half-heartedly for something, most likely for eyeing another girl inside the club. She stood staring at him with the look of madness in her eyes, her arms crossed across her chest, clearly not falling for any of the excuses he was feeding her.
The scene seemed humorous at first, amusing Terry for a few seconds before he started thinking about his relationship with Dana. It seemed like such a long time ago. He thought about how Dana must have felt when he had to turn down her offers to go out because ‘he had to work’. If he did manage to get some time with her, something always seemed to come up. It must have seemed like he was making endless excuses, but there was no way he could have told her the truth. A feeling of guilt came over him, guilt for hurting someone who was a good person. No one could know about him being Batman, it was bad enough that Max knew. It had been a few months since Dana had ended their relationship, and although strangely enough he wasn’t missing her the way he thought he would, it was the feeling of failing at something and causing someone pain that was eating at him. Terry and Dana had their ups and downs like any other couple, it just seemed that it was getting to the stage where there were more downs than ups.
Terry had no idea that the girl who was trying to keep him and Dana together, would be the girl he’d end up having feelings for. She was probably the only person who could know he was Batman and still treat him like he was Terry McGinnis. Bruce was the only other person who knew that he was Batman and although he was a sort of father figure in his life, Bruce was not that easy to open up to when it came to discussing emotions.
On entering his house, Terry could only hear a few unfamiliar voices having a discussion. He entered the lounge to find that only a dim light was on and the sounds were coming from the TV, some late night chat show was on in which a young man was pouring his heart out about feeling alone, while the sympathetic host was holding his hand and coaxing him to tell his story. Terry watched for a few seconds before turning it off, it was a topic too close to home.
He turned to realise that his mother had fallen asleep on the couch. He grabbed the nearby folded blanket from a pile of clean laundry and lay it over her carefully so he didn’t wake her. She was in a deep sleep, but her expression seemed to convey she was stressed out. Terry kissed her forehead, which oddly made her expression change to a more relaxed one, almost like she was glad Terry was home.
It wasn’t hard to understand why his mum could get a little frustrated with all the work she had to do, holding down a job, managing the household, taking care of Matt and checking to make sure her older boy was doing ok. Terry tried to help out when he could, but being Batman prevented him from doing as much as he wanted. He was grateful to Max for being so helpful by baby-sitting Matt and even taking it upon herself to help his mom out by doing the grocery shopping and sometimes a few of the household chores when she could.
That was Max. It was in her nature to want to take care of people. The McGinnis family had become a surrogate family in a way. Terry knew his mom and Matt loved her being around, she really livened the place up. He wondered if Max was still awake, feeling the urge to call her. On the way to his room, Terry checked in on Matt and found he was sleeping soundly with his stuffed Batman toy under his arm, a present from Terry for those nights when Matt was having trouble sleeping.
He stepped quietly into his room and switched on his bedside lamp. It was now just past midnight, not too late to call Max as she would probably be up doing her work as usual. He hadn’t liked the way things had been left earlier. Saying that Terry was on his way to becoming the new Bruce Wayne was something that he wasn’t expecting Max to say. It made him uncomfortable and although he had been a bit standoffish and irritable lately, he did feel that her way of expressing it could have been more sensitive. Her words had definitely hit a sore spot.
Terry turned on his laptop to see that he had a message.
Hope you didn’t have too much of a mad night. Things were a bit strange earlier huh? Sorry if I seemed a bit off, guess I just worry about you. Having serious writer’s block for this English assignment and this empty house just doesn’t inspire me! I was even asking my cat for ideas…and I thought my cat answered…but then I realised that I’d fallen asleep at my computer and I was waking up from one trippy dream. I’m sure it will sort itself out. Anyway, I’m probably gonna be up for a while, give me a call, would be nice to hear another voice besides my own. Hope all’s ok with you,
The message softened Terry enough to make him pick up the phone to call Max. Terry made himself comfortable on his bed as he dialled Max’s number.
“Hey, how’s the assignment going?”
“Hey Terr, well it’s slowly coming together, I’ll have it almost done by tomorrow. How are things?”
“Ok, it was a pretty average night for once.”
“No crazed maniacs trying to pull anything?”
“Not tonight, just your everyday criminals.”
“Listen Terr, I’m sorry if I did seem kinda harsh earlier, I just don’t want you to think that you have to keep things inside, you don’t have to be by yourself in this. I get that you want to protect me, maybe I don’t quite have the training to help you out on missions so much right now, but I make a great amateur psychiatrist…”
Terry laughed at the fact that Max had not totally dismissed any chances of her helping him out on missions in the future.
“You know Max, you’ve helped me out in the past, and I value your research and you being there for me in so many ways, I’ve just been on one lately. I just want you to keep a low profile for a while.”
“I can do that - for a while.”
“I should know by now that you’re not one for taking orders, even if it’s for your own good.” Terry smiled, as long as he’d known Max she’d been strongly independent.
“I can take care of myself Terr, been doing it for a long time now.”
“Yeah, I know. So you going to that party tomorrow night?”
“Maybe, I don’t have a costume though. I guess you won’t be going?”
“Really? So I might just happen to be there while something is going down and I might just happen to be helping you?”
“Let’s just say your job tomorrow night is to keep me entertained while I try to dodge people I don’t want to see.”
“Good enough for me. You want to meet up tomorrow to go get costumes?”
“Geeze, I really can’t be slagged…ok, I’ll meet you at the Lunar Café at around 2pm, can’t do too early…” Terry yawned, emphasising his need for sleep.
“Ok sleepy head, See you then. I’m gonna go to bed now, feeling sleepy too.” She echoed his yawn as she shut down her laptop and climbed into bed.
“Ok, see you tomorrow. ‘Night Max.”
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