Terry McGinnis sat at his desk. He was daydreaming again, and lately that seemed like it was all he did in school. Twice now his teacher Ms. Hollis had sentenced him to detention. He hated it. School had become some sort of necessary distraction. Bruce made sure he kept up his grades. This week he just wasn't cutting it though. He hadn't slept in three nights and even then it was only two hours. The Jokers were causing more trouble in Gotham. Already they had broken into Mr. Wayne's company down town. He started to wish he had some help, but before he could think it through his beeper was vibrating like crazy under his belt. He was late, Bruce was gonna kill him. Well at least work him till he dropped. What was he going to tell him? He shook his head. "Oh Ms. Hollis" he said laying on the charm.
He grabbed his books and sprinted past the double glass doors that were the entrance to Hamilton Hill High. He ran so fast thinking how lucky he was and how stupid his teacher was for believing his excuses. How many times did his grandfather die this week? Luckily all three teachers he used that on hadn't exactly spoken. As he rushed through the doors, a girl he had never seen before ran through them as well.
"Hey! Watch it!" the girl screamed. She looked at him angrily pushing him aside. "Hey, yourself " He said back to her hatefully. "I happen to go to this school."
"You and me and about a thousand others." She retorted hotly then turned to go. "Wait a minute, you don't go here." Terry questioned. "Terry!" His brain screamed at him.
“Shows what you know…” The girl tossed her long brown hair over her right shoulder and Terry
stared for a second. He couldn’t help it… she was pretty. She was an average height around 5’6, small
frame with medium brown hair that touched the small of her back and dark eyes to match her hair.
She wore a simple green sundress with purple flowers adorning the crepe material.
"I'm Terry." He said trying to flirt with the girl.
"I'm late." She said dryly picked up her book bag and started to race down the hall towards the gym.
"Good ugh bye? I'll never understand girls." Terry shook his head arched his eyebrow and took off towards the gym. Hell he was already late. Terry crouched low behind the bleachers, sneaking around was certainly something he was getting good at. He would just tell Bruce he had to check something out. Literally, boy did he ever have to check something... someone out. He smiled to himself and pushed his black hair out of his face. He hoped Bruce didn't make him cut it. All the guys were wearing longer hair; it wasn't like he wanted an earring or goatee. He placed his backpack on the floor so he could creep under the bleachers. Eureka,
~CHEERLEADERS! She must be the new girl replacing Becky Majors on the varsity dance team. It's good to be an athlete he thought. Wait. I quit the wrestling team. Wonder if coach would. What am I? Crazy? I can't even keep up with my responsibilities now. ~ Terry shook his head scolding himself.
You'd think being Batman would be enough for anyone. No not Terry, he's never satisfied. However it wasn't like all the girls were throwing themselves at him they don't even know that he is Batman. "Batman gets all the glory and the girls." He whispered to himself.
"Callista!" someone screamed from the locker room. "Your mom needs you to call her after practice." Mrs. Masters emerged from the girls' room. "Did you get your uniform for tomorrow's game?" asked the teacher.
"Yes, Katie, I got it yesterday. " The new girl replied.
"You're a god send to us Lis. We couldn't do most of our routines without a full squad. Thank God you were already on the dance team at you previous school. I don't think I could have handled Jordan Phillips trying out again. She's probably cause the gym to cave in with an 8.0 earthquake if she even tried to do a Russian or Ariel." The teacher gushed. "In other words I don't have the nerves to hold try outs in the middle of the year."
"Just glad I could join the team, I was afraid with daddy's new job I wouldn't get to do anything at a new school." Callista said, then muttered something under her breath about the teacher being a snob and unfit to be a teacher. And don't call me Lis, either. She wanted to scream. You're no friend of mine. Teachers aren't supposed to judge their students. She wondered what Mrs. Masters would think of her if she knew her real situation or the real her for that matter. For a second she felt like kickboxing her teacher's face in but then realized it wasn't such a good idea. She reminded herself to take her nerve medication that night. She could feel her hostility start to crawl back. "OK! From the top... 5-6- 7-8- "Callista shouted to start their routine. She glanced at the bleachers and swore she saw something move. "Katie, I need to make a trip to the girls' room.
"By all means take you time Lis."
"Oh I will." Callista said, her eyes narrowing to slits as she proceeded to walk over to the locker room. When the teacher turned her head Callista leaned against the wall and began to sneak over to the bleacher where she had seen something move. "Getting an eyeful?" she said disgusted. Terry jumped, surprised; he cracked his head on the bleacher above him.
"OW!" He cried wincing in pain. "I think I have a concussion." Terry rubbed the back of his head.
"Terry? Was it?" Callista asked.
"Yah, why?" He asked still in pain and still rubbing his bruised skull.
"So that when I report you I can place a name with your face." Callista said smartly.
"Hey now let's not get crazy here, I'm going, I'm late for work as it is. Besides, you could have saved me all this trouble if you would have just told me your name."
"I hope it was worth losing your job." She said to him scratching her head. "Nah, Bruce won't fire me. I do this sort of stuff all the time." "Bruce Wayne?" Callista asked disbelievingly.
"Yah, I 've been working as his assistant since my father died. He's a bit grumpy. "
Terry said as his pager went off again this time not only did it vibrate it sounded an alarm. “I gotta go." He said sharply. He grabbed his bag and scurried from behind the bleachers.
"Hey wait!" Callista called after him. "You can't just spy on our practices. I wouldn't do it to you!"
"Oh, please do!" He cried back to her. " I'm on the wrestling team… At least I used to be on the wrestling team." He corrected himself quickly.
"Don't hold your breath." Callista said walking back towards her squad. She thought for a brief second, deciding all to fast where she’d rather be and what she’d rather be doing which was anywhere and anything but this… "Katie, I need to leave, my mom needs me to watch my brother. My grandma's sick." Callista watched as her teacher bought the whole line. She didn’t even have a brother, and she wasn’t real sure about the grandma thing either. She never knew… she just never knew anything about her family… not since she was very young.
"See you tomorrow." The teacher said. Callista turned towards the locker room, her coach’s words barely audible. She took off her shirt as she sat down on the bench. A mirror covered most of the walls in front of her, in back of her too for that matter. Callista cracked a smile. Terry McGinnis she thought. He seemed to have a good heart and a nice ass. Callista could tell these things right off, about his heart that is… as for the ass, she did have eyes. She sighed as she sensed the same feeling from him that she hadn't felt in a long time. This feeling was old, as old as she was. She looked in the mirror. "Callista, girl you need to get it together." She turned away from the mirror angry with herself. “GREAT… now you’re talking to yourself… what next… up the Valium and add Zoloft?” She silently cursed her momentary lapse of mental control. She wasn't the same after her accident. The explosion left her with a real concussion, and real side effects. Callista knew things. Some people would call her psychic, although she didn't know everything and it wasn't like she could read your mind. There was something about this Terry guy and she wanted to find out what it was. Callista tied her shoe then headed for the door. She prayed that she wasn't too far behind.
Meanwhile Bruce Wayne’s estate… Batcave.
Terry entered the bat cave running. Out of breath, Terry threw his books on the floor near the computer where Bruce Wayne sat, typing something up on it. "You are late." He said gravely. "You need to take more responsibility."
"I had to check out something." Terry said back to him.
"You do mean someone don't you?" Wayne said still typing furiously on the computer.
"How?" Said Terry; "do you do that?"
"Remember McGinnis I'm watching you." Then Bruce smiled. It was strange to see the old man smile, but after working for him for the last eighteen months, he’d seen him do it a time or two and it still was unsettling.
"Hey! I work my butt off for you. I've lost my father, girlfriend, and I can't even remember what my little brother looks like. I actually found myself being nice to him this morning. It totally freaked him out, me too for that matter. Mom doesn't know what to think. I do need some kind of time for myself." Terry knocked over some junk on a table nearby in anger. “If Mom thinks I’m doin slappers or some other kind of drug again you won’t hafta worry about whether or not you’re going to be able to live vicariously through me another night or not…” Terry spat out hatefully.
"You work for me you give me 100% then you give 100% more. "
"I know. I'm just tired and I miss Dana." "1 thought she was dating some one else." "Guess you were listening."
"Don't flatter yourself. I need you in shape, mentally and physically." Bruce shrugged. “And… I ugh… was listening.”
Terry smiled silently to himself at that small victory as he pulled on his bat suit and buckled his belt, leaving the mask off. He walked over to the computer. "So what's on for tonight?”
"Watch over GothCorp. The Jokers haven't hit it yet. I think we can wait till Barbara sends out the bat signal."
"Bruce, how long have I been working for you? A while now right? Everybody seems to be getting the message… and those that aren’t are getting their tail kicked... Why do these people still think they can win?" Terry said.
“You know as well as I do that Paxton has his hands in all that is dirty in this town and he’s working with his father… somehow." Bruce said and shook his head. "At least, we still have Batman."
"You wouldn't have Batman if you didn't have me." Terry said smugly.
"Shouldn't you be doing something?"
"Yah yah, I know I'm going." Terry walked over to the simulation chamber.
Once he was in he gave the thumbs up sign. "Woo hoo… just like the flying dumbo ride at Universal Disney!" He said as lasers started to shoot out of the wall.
“Oh brother…” Bruce commented in a low voice, covering his face with his hand. Ace, the bat dog whimpered at his feet and started to lick the inside of Bruce’s other hand hanging off the chair. He looked at Ace. “You saved him from a spliced up super monster?”
“You’re right… he is Batman.” Bruce said in a tone that both represented pride and envy.
Just after nightfall… outside Wayne Manor.
Callista walked up to the gate. She read the inscription and shivered at the eerie feeling engulfing her. Never had a name send chills down her back the way Wayne did inscribed in the iron of the gates in front of her. Leaves blew around her head and storm clouds threatened. She eyed the area as if she knew something was wrong. She had just turned around as headlights caught her dead in her eyes, like a deer on deserted road. But unlike a deer with its eyes caught in the bright lights of the speeding craft, Callista easily managed to avoid the speeding car. Although she wasn’t surprised when the car stopped, she didn’t really expect it either. "What the he..." she started to say as a clown in a purple suit leaped out of the car.
"Hey there pretty girl. What's your sign?"
"How ‘bout I don’t have one." Callista said sarcastically arching an eyebrow and placing her hand on her hip. "You don't scare me. Any guy that has to dress up in a clown get up sure as hell isn't anything to worry about." She said hotly.
"Well then I guess you have never heard of the Jokers." The clown said sadistically.
"That must mean you're a joke then." Callista said placing her hands in fists and preparing to fight. "You have no idea what you're doing, do you?" she laughed. Callista knew how to fight. She was kickboxing champ in her school in Metropolis were she was from. "You wanna tussle… we’ll tussle." She cooed playfully.
"I'm too scared." The clown said and pulled out a crowbar. Callista winced but didn't back down. Suddenly she heard a buzz fly through the air.
"Didn't your mother ever explain that it’s not nice to pick on pretty girls?" A voice behind Callista said. She turned to see who it was. A figure as black as night moved through the air.
Callista immediately drew up her fists preparing to fight. Distracted by the uninvited guest, the clown was thrown off guard when Callista kicked him hard in the face knocking him flat on his back.
Terry smirked behind the cowl. “Not bad…” He whispered then quickly realized she was fighting alone. "Leave some for me?" He said landing perfectly on his feet and retracting his wings.
"Who are you?" Callista said bewildered.
Batman turned to speak to her. The clown on the ground got to his knees. As Batman walked towards Callista, the clown picked up his crowbar that he had landed next to. Callista could kick hard. "I'm Batman." Said Terry behind the mask.
"You certainly do know how to make an entrance…" She said. "Behind you Bats." Terry turned to look behind him. He was too late. He took a direct hit upside the head. It didn't faze him though. Terry shook it off, winked at Callista quickly and answered her rhetorical question. “I’ve had a lot of practice.” His voice was low and throaty, as Terry had come accustomed to as Batman to hide his own voice. As soon as he shot off his words, he was flying towards the clown with his jet-powered shoes, tackling him to the ground before Callista knew what to say next.
He was obviously flirting with her… Batman. She smiled at herself before slowly sneaking past the fighting boys. She crept over to where Batman had knocked the crowbar out of the clown's hand. Picking it up, she raised it above her head and let it come crashing down at the base of the clown’s skull. He rolled off of Batman, wailing in pain.
“You coulda killed him…” Batman’s voice was a whisper but his true voice showed signs of surfacing. Callista eyed him thoughtfully trying like hell to place the voice she had just heard. “From now on, you need to leave the heavy stuff to the pros…” He looked at the clown again and smirked. “I could have handled that." He added harshly.
"I saw that." Callista said as she crossed her arms.
Terry looked at her. Wait a minute, he knew this girl. "Callista?" he whispered.
"How'd yoo?" She started to say.
Terry cut her off. " I said, what are you doing out here so far out of town?”
"Err…” Callista lost all train of thought. ~Think Lis… THINK! ~ “I’m… ugh I'm lost." Callista lied.
"Why were you out here?" Batman asked. "You could have gotten hurt."
"Thanks for the heartfelt sorrow and such but I can take care of myself Batboy."
Terry winced at the apparent insult. Shaking it off, he set his stance staring at Callista. "That doesn't explain what you're doing out here. Mr. Wayne doesn't like people snooping on his property." His tone took on an authorative nature.
"What are you doing here then?" Callista said smartly.
"My job… "
"You're a regular saint aren't you?" She said. “Beatin up bad guys and rescuing pretty girls in distress.” Callista looked directly at Batman. "Do I know you?"
Terry changed the subject. "You sure are sure of yourself aren’t you?" Terry rolled his eyes at Callista’s obviously inflated ego. “No matter… None of that explains why you are here.”
Again Callista was caught off guard. "I'm looking for someone."
"Aren't we all?" Terry replied.
"I mean a friend. Terry's his name. I swore he came out this way. Have you seen him?"
"Terry?" He was thrown off guard. She was looking for him. What for? He wondered. "Don't know him."
"Oh, that's too bad. I just met him today, but already I feel... I don't know. Have you ever heard of love at first sight?" Callista laid it on thick.
Batman rubbed his head.” I think I have a concussion." He said without thinking.
"I do know you from somewhere." She shouted.
Terry fought to remain calm. Quick thinking was not his strong point. "Maybe, I rescue a lot of pretty girls."
"No, I'm new here. There's something else.” Callista eyed Terry from head to toe, noting every inch of him. “Oh my god! TERRY!"
To Be Continued:
Part Two: “Just A Little Crush…”