WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
NOTE: This contains spoilers for BATMAN AND HARLEY
Commissioner Barbara Gordon was waiting patiently for a phone call; she didn’t have much time for a call of any other kind.
But, sure enough, there he was, his colossal Batmobile hovering outside, its pilot perched atop it in an upright position, arms folded.
“She’s picked them up. Thought you’d like to know” the pilot said.
”Bruce keeping track of police bail out records McGuiness…or you?” said Barbara.
”I figure I’d finally get some practice in that regard, Bruce is still a little shaky from what the boss of those twin clowns put him through” Terry McGuiness, the Batman of this future time, replied.
“Well it’s good to know my sources still come from those close to my chest, even if they seek to tug a little bit at my heart in a more wrenching manner”
“I’m not here to argue…we just patched the family up” Terry replied
“Some of the family maybe…but that’s why you came isn’t it? To learn a bit more about the missing members…the pieces of the puzzle”
“Those twins grandmother was Harley Quinzel…you told me she went off the grid when The Joker died the first time. Fell off a building. Body wasn’t recovered. You lied” Terry revealed.
“Harley posed no threat without The Joker” Barbara insisted, taking a sip of her coffee.
“Her next kin proved just as volatile in place of her when he did show up again” Terry continued.
“Kids are a handful…Bruce should know by now. I never will”
“That a personal choice or something else happen?” Terry asked, doing exactly what Barbara had feared and taking shots where he could. He couldn’t help his impulsiveness; he had gone through a harrowing experience that had left a man close to him in a bad way.
Barbara put down her coffee and stood up, greeting Terry at the window and giving him her usual manner of composed ferociousness. Not raising a voice, but making sure her disappointment in him could be felt with each utterance of a collected word.
“Kid, if there’s one overriding emotion in this world, its guilt. Guilt can pull you away from so many people. So can insecurity. The closer you get, the scar tissue can be seen, you have to set boundaries for yourself eventually, make sure you take the time to enjoy a relationship, and don’t let it stray too far from your work. I know that’s hard to find in your line of duty, but find the balance…you’ve got plenty of guilt, so make sure you have plenty of love to go with it, and try to spread it around”.
“Are you married to your husband, or your job?” asked Terry.
Barbara felt the sting of the accusation, but chose to ignore it.
“You want to know why I lied. Because a little piece is what you and Bruce deserve, a little glimmer of a clear path down your journey into night. Besides, it was the best I could do for someone close to me”
“Who’s that?” Terry replied.
“That’d be me” said a voice from behind her. Barbara turned around; Terry looked on in shock as he recognized him.
“No way, is that…” Terry responded at the older man leaning within the frame of the doorway to Barbera’s office.
“So that’s Bruce’s new toy…he doesn’t look half chewed yet” the man replied.
“I told you to stay out the record” Barbara replied.
“Since when do I listen to the bats in my belfry Commissioner?” the man replied.
“Dick Grayson” Terry said in recognition, “I thought you were stationed in Bludhaven”
“I commute now and then, me and my wife like to check in on family…and I have more than one to take care of”
“Bruce and you parted on bad terms, I know that much” Terry said.
“Twice on bad terms, and yeah, the last sting’s kind of lingered in all that time, but what happened to him shook Barbara up, and anything that concerns her will always concern me”
“What does your wife have to say about that?” Terry replied, putting his deduction skills to visible use.
Barbara was fully prepared to end the conversation here and there, but the egos of both men were in lockstep. Neither would budge from their engagement in banter.
“My wife’s got her own cares in the world. Poisonous ones, but other cares. She understands”
“Does Sam?” Terry asked of Barbra. She stayed silent.
Terry began to clamber back into the Batmobile, giving the pair of them a glance.
“Guilt and love can’t be balanced this way. Eventually, everything tips. You know what it’s called then? Justice”
The Batmobile dashed off, becoming one with the night as it blended seamlessly into it.
The phone rang. Barbara looked over at Dick, Dick nodded, she picked it up.
“Sam…Hi, listen, I…have to work late tonight. Yeah, it’s the shift…it can be a dick” she replied, before hanging up.
“Come with me to the hospital, we can tell Bruce…” she began, Dick cut her off.
“He’ll flip if we tell him, and you shouldn’t let his kid pull at you like that. He’s got a lot of growing to do himself” Dick replied
“He tends to raise the blackest curtains Dick, he’s the best of us, what he’s done with Bruce is miraculous, I wish you’d let me show you” Barbara pleaded.
“Harley told me she was heading home in an hour after she and the grandkids spent some time with Ivy. She doesn’t see her half as much as we see each other”
“Funny isn’t it? How it all started between you two…her on the outs with The Joker, you wanting a little nugget of information, her just wanting a nugget off you…”
“She was having one of her on days…went back to Joker when she turned her inner light off, didn’t tell him about the bun she’d cooked in the oven just before they got back together…had to keep pretty quiet about that when I moved me and Stephanie to Bludhaven”
“You patched her up after that horrible night with Tim…Bruce was livid, but you knew without that clown’s influence, the light inside of her would come on again”
“It pays in more ways than one to have a lunatic with a lightswitch” Dick joked.
Barbara kissed him on the lips, wrapping her arms around him. After the embrace, they stared, out at the calm and still evening outside, holding their hands tightly together.
“Do you think everyone in this city comes to know some kind of justice in the end?” She asked.
“There’s other cares in this world Babs. As for Justice…that’s up to God”
“That’s not what Bruce calls himself in his sleep” joked Barbra.
“There’s a comforting thought” replied Dick.