saga/title/fandom: Identity chapter 9 (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.
Mischief entered the abandoned warehouse tired and aggravated having had to walk there. The hoverbike, which had run out of fuel, had been security locked and left in some bushes.
“Ok, I’m back, and I’m drained but I’m sure I’m feeling better than Batman is tonight!”
Mischief looked around at the happy faces before smiling wickedly himself. It dawned on him that he’d just managed to fool Gotham’s crime fighter with a simple damsel in distress scenario, one that many superheroes found hard to resist, especially when she was as beautiful as Max. He marvelled at how he’d pulled off such masterful manipulation and then at how the current Batman seemed vulnerable rather than the almost invincible legend that had been created. He was glad that he’d managed to talk his way out of the situation he was in earlier, he knew Batman could have hurt him badly with the ammunition in that suit. The more Mischief thought about his little achievement, the more cocky he began to feel.
“So what have you managed to get a one hundred percent discount on tonight?” Mischief looked at the sacks in excitement, thinking about what things could be sold on to get some spending money.
Skull proudly brought forward his sack. “Well, we got some ice, real diamonds…. ” He took out a pair of diamond earrings as a sample, holding them in his hand so that everyone could appreciate the way they glistened. “We also have some platinum bracelets, some encrusted with rare jewels, or for those who are more traditional, there are some 24 carat gold accessories, an essential for this season. This was all brought to you courtesy of Imperial Jewellers.” Skull placed the jewellery back in the bag and took a bow as everyone applauded him.
“Skull, I think you may have made more tonight than my mom does in a week!” Mischief laughed bitterly.
Jester felt a little unsettled by Mischief when he did his laughing at something that was really gnawing at his insides. It reminded him that Mischief had a tendency to lose his temper in an instant and very suddenly, even when he seemed to be ok. Nevertheless, Jester stepped forward with his sack. D Face followed, opening the third sack.
“We had time to make a stop at a clothes store and bag some really nice rags, and there a few of the latest video games in there.” D Face took out one of the video games, making sure everyone knew that he had made his claim on that one.
When Mischief looked into the bag, his eyes immediately caught sight of a trendy silver-blue jacket. He took it and tried it on, adoring its perfect fit. He looked to a doll faced Joker girl in the room for a look of approval. She held her hands to her chest dramatically, feigning a look of being in love, before blowing him a kiss seductively. Mischief lapped up the compliment. He felt on top of the world. Everyone’s attention was on him and he was having the best night of his life. There was no need to drink his sorrows away tonight. All he had to do was be careful so that he didn’t get caught. He couldn’t stand the thought of being locked up in juvi again. On that thought, he wondered where a few of the Jokerz were. He looked to a Joker of a small build who seemed to be agitated.
“Zip, what happened to the others who were with you in the club?”
The Joker boy shook his head in pity. “Ghoul was down, Batman hurt him bad. Hammer went back to help him when we were trying to get out of the joint. The cops covered the place like a swarm of bees. Ghoul and Hammer got cornered, I only just managed to escape myself.”
Mischief was brought back down from his high for a few seconds. The plan had worked. They had managed to create a scene at the club, shake things up so that the cops would have to come down there. The fireworks in the park and Mischief’s little diversion put Batman out of the way, so that he couldn’t deal with the break ins at the stores. He’d even managed to turn the situation around before Batman had handed him in. That’s the way things went sometimes. Not everyone could be lucky. It seemed like it had been a long time coming for Mischief. He felt like he deserved all the luck that seemed to be flooding his way. He felt angry that two of his family had been caught, that they couldn’t have had the luck he had that night. He cursed Batman for putting a downer on his night.
“Ghoul and Hammer may not be here tonight, but they had a hand in getting us these goods. They won’t be here to share the wealth but we all owe them. Tonight was a very good night. We have a lot here. That small jewellery store was a real gem. The cops will be looking for us now, waiting for us to do something else. The Jokerz will have to stick to just pick pocketing, a little vandalism, nothing major. No meeting here anymore. We don’t want to end up where Ghoul and Hammer are, so nothing public. I have no doubt that Batman will be leading the hunt, but he’ll keep for now. Poor fool has enough on his mind after letting me get the better of him!”
“What happened with Batman Mischief?” asked Jester curiously.
“Hahaha, well it turns out that Batman has a weakness for beautiful women… ” Mischief began to recount the details of what had happened that night with a self satisfied smile adorning his pale face.
Batman took a look around as he got ready to leave for Wayne Mansion. He stood up and looked out into the dim streets on discerning someone was in trouble. He flew down from the building to where he could hear the faint screams of a lady.
Batman landed in front of the lady struggling with a rough looking man. “I don’t think the lady’s interested so why don’t you just back of dreg?”
“Lady? If she was one then I wouldn’t be here trying to get my money’s worth.” The man looked at the woman with the sleaziest look of lust.
“Look, you got what you wanted, now just leave me alone!” The woman was screaming through her tears as she pretended that she could handle herself.
Batman grabbed the guy off her but before the guy could take a swipe at Batman, Batman gave him a punch to the jaw.
The guy held his face as he shakily maintained his balance. “What’s it to you Batman?”
Batman looked over to the woman, around the same age as his mom, dressed in her glamorous, provocative attire. Her make-up had been smeared from a mixture of her tears and the struggle with the man. She had a few cuts and seemed to be holding it together although a little shaken. Batman got angry on seeing how much of a state she looked as she moved back, the street lamp now catching her face to show it more clearly. “Are you ok?” Batman asked her. She nodded.
The man laughed as he saw Batman looking at her. “Never had a woman before Batman? Or does the Halloween costume scare them away?”
Batman looked back over at the man who had a little blood on his lower lip. Mischief had got away tonight but he wasn’t going to let another conceited criminal get away, especially when he was getting personal. The man felt he was capable to take Batman on, being quite stocky in build and having a street brawler background. Batman took another punch at the man, which he dodged but Batman quickly responded by a swift left jab, then a right followed by a kick to the midsection.
“Had enough yet?” Batman asked, still fired up.
The man staggered towards Batman. “I guess not.” Batman watched the man come towards him as he yawned, knowing this wasn’t going to be much of a challenge. The man managed to get a feeble kick to the leg, which had been weakened by Mischief, momentarily making Batman falter but Batman then used the other leg to sweep the man in a powerful floor kick. The man lost his balance and fell to the ground. Batman stood over to him, ready to punish him further, even if it wasn’t necessary, even if it was just to make him feel a little better after his failure earlier on. I’m still Batman and I can still put these dregs in their place. I’ll be more than ready when Mischief makes his next move.
“If you have to pay for it, then it’s obviously you who scares the women away. I suggest you stick to being single - once you’re out of prison,” Batman said condescendingly as he stared at the man who was lying on the floor. The man moved his head to look at Batman.
“Who would have thought it? Batman ain’t gettin’ any… ”
Batman was infuriated by the man’s insolence and irritated by the fact that what he’d said was true. He was about to shut the man up but the sound of police sirens made him snap out of his belligerent frame of mind. He saw the victim of the assault not too far way. She gave him a look to confirm she had been the one who had called the cops. Once the police had arrived on the scene to arrest the man, Batman searched the area to see if he could find the woman to check she was ok. She was out of sight. Batman knew it was time to see his predecessor.
As Batman entered the Batcave, he saw Bruce at the computer, with his back to him as usual. Wayne was definitely true to his word, it seemed he never slept. Terry pulled off his cowl and was just about to speak but Bruce cut in.
“I wondered if you were planning on checking in tonight. I thought you were going to give me the report on how you put the Jokerz leader away.”
Terry stood still. “Bruce…I…”
“What happened tonight McGinnis? Why wasn’t he there when the police came to get him? I know you had him in Gotham Park.”
“It was a difficult situation.”
“You said that she was missing at the nightclub.”
“Max is fine.” Terry was silent, reluctant to explain further.
“Terry, tell me what happened.” Bruce’s voice was a little softer, inviting Terry to confide in him.
“I thought Max was in danger, Mischief attacked her. He told me that she was with the Jokerz at some location where they were planning on having fun with her. He threatened to kill her if I…didn’t let him go.”
“You let him go!”
“Geeze Bruce what did you want me to do? Risk Max’s life just so that Batman could maintain his reputation?”
Bruce remained with his back to Terry and said nothing.
“I know you know how I feel about Max. Maybe I did let my feelings lead my actions tonight but when was it a crime to have feelings? What is so bad about caring about somebody so much that you’d do anything for her? Maybe you forgot what that’s like. If you want to fire me, then go ahead but it would be a mistake.” Terry was all the more emphatic, being annoyed that Bruce wouldn’t turn around to look at him.
“Tell me why I should allow you to wear that suit McGinnis.” Bruce’s voice was cold and seemed filled with disdain, although Bruce was intrigued by Terry’s boldness.
“I remember when I did that first assignment for you, I remember what you said to me. You told be being Batman wasn’t just the suit. The more I do this, the better I get. Tonight wasn’t my proudest moment, but I know that I can get this guy.” Max’s words of encouragement now played in Terry’s mind as he summoned his self-confidence. He had to convince Bruce to let him continue as Batman. This time it wouldn’t be the pleading of an inexperienced street-wise kid wanting to play the role of Batman on his first assignment. He had since proved himself several times over. Terry McGinnis was Batman.
“There were some break ins while this Mischief clown was entertaining you. Quite a lot was stolen.”
Terry ran his hand through his hair nervously, seeing that this was not in his favour. Not only had Mischief got away but there had also been break ins which Batman couldn’t have prevented.
“I put a tracer on Mischief’s hoverbike, maybe we can track him.”
Bruce began tapping away on the keyboard in front of him.
“Seems like Mischief left his hoverbike in some bushes. There’s nothing much in that area apart from abandoned buildings.”
Bruce spun round in his chair to face Terry. His expression was stern as usual.
“Bruce, give me a chance. I’ve learnt a lot and I’m still learning. This is what I should be doing. I’ve had time to think about some things tonight. I don’t regret having the feelings I have but maybe I need to work on keeping them in check while I’m on the job.”
“So who did you take your anger out on?” Bruce asked, eyeing him with a knowing look.
Terry stared at him with a bewildered look for a second, which quickly turned into a look of respect. He didn’t know if Bruce knew a way to override the vid-link, which was very likely, or if Bruce had just used his highly developed instincts to fathom Terry’s earlier antagonistic behaviour.
“It was just some know it all guy who thought that he could help himself to a woman on the street and he managed to push my buttons after a long and exhausting night.”
Bruce looked at him with a deep frown as he made a judgement on whether Terry was a stupid kid out of control or just acting how Batman would act if he were placed under such circumstances. Bruce knew himself that anger could get the better of a man and that love was always a weakness as well as a strong enough motivating force to overcome the odds. Considering Terry’s age and short period of being the protector of Gotham, Bruce knew it was unfair to judge Terry so harshly for his human reactions. Still, Bruce was not going to let Terry think that he was completely off the hook.
“Tomorrow you should check out the abandoned buildings on the site near the location of the hoverbike. It’s unlikely that the Jokerz will be there now but you may find something that will help you track Mischief down. He won’t be showing his face for some time but I’m sure there will be other things to keep you busy in the meanwhile.”
Terry’s eyes showed an appreciation for Bruce’s orders for once, as it was far better than being dismissed from a job Terry had come to have a love/hate relationship with.
“You should rest. I see your leg doesn’t look right but it doesn’t look like anything serious. I’ll take a look at it before you leave.”
Bruce put a stop to an impending moment of fluffiness. “Just make sure you stay on top of things.”
Terry smiled, knowing Bruce’s intolerance to sensitive moments. He still knew Bruce cared in his own way as he saw Bruce’s thin lips marginally move into a barely noticeable smile.
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