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World's Finest Writer's Corner Batman Beyond: Untold Story (C)

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by SilentBat18, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    LOL! oh my God i must have read that passage a hundred times and never noticed that detail! lol this is embarrassing but i'm over it.... can't fix it now :p i'm glad you're enjoying the story, the next chapter will come soon.... and when i say soon, it means a week or so in this universe :D thanks for being a great fan!
     
  2. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    “Have you heard from Jazz yet?” Terry asks his mentor as he makes his way down the steps into the cave.

    “No, why?” Bruce asks lifting his head from the workbench. He is busy putting the finishing touches on Jazz’s suit; she had repaired it to the best of her ability before handing it to Bruce for upgrades.

    “Cause without her secret friend’s help, we can’t move forward with this case,” he replies. It’s clear he’s irked for being in the dark regarding Jazz’s friend, and Bruce knows it.

    “Why are you so worried?”

    “I’m not worried,” Terry shrugs, holding hands behind his back. “I mean, it’s been four days since she’s heard from him, that’s all.”

    Bruce lets out a sigh and turns back to his work. He’s too old to get mixed up in this. “If you’re so concerned, just call her.”

    “Like that’ll work,” Terry scoffs. After a moment of silent thought, he begins to pace a little. “Who is this guy anyway?” He thinks aloud, sending Bruce’s eyes into an exasperated roll. “I mean has she told you anything about him?”

    “Why are you asking me?” Bruce asks, clearly annoyed.

    “Because she supposedly tells you everything, whereas I only find out secrets when she’s in a hospital bed.”

    “Still not my problem.”

    Rolling his eyes, Terry moves to the console and seats himself in the available chair. “What was the guy’s name again?”

    “Why?”

    “Just want to find out who his sources could be.”

    “Let it go.”

    “There’s no harm in it, you know.”

    “McGinnis,” Bruce scolds.

    “Bruce,” Terry spins the chair to scowl at him.

    “Why do you care so much?”

    “There’s nothing wrong with checking this guy out. I mean, who knows what he used to do so he could pay for med school,” Terry replies as he faces the screen again. “So what’s the name?”

    “Mind your own business,” Bruce replies, making his protégé groan.

    “I miss the suspicious part of you that trusts nothing.”

    Bruce shoots a scowl his way before saying, “if you want something to do, McGinnis, the weapons closet needs organizing.”

    Terry groans as he rests a cheek on a propped fist, hoping Bruce isn’t serious about the assigned chore. With his mind racing with case details, he decides to pull up all the information he has gathered so far in hopes to find something he missed; it wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened. Everything he’s found out would easily be considered circumstantial. Labeling a freak accident as murder is a long stretch, especially when the CSU reports claim no foul play.

    “Wait,” he frowns as he reads the report over.

    “What is it?” Bruce asks when he hears Terry’s mumblings.

    “CSU reports; you’d think a team trained to be thorough would at least have discovered the brake line damage,” he explains without turning. “But it hasn’t been mentioned in here, not even as parts damaged on impact.” Bruce lifts his head with curiosity. “You think someone was hired on the inside to fudge the reports?” Terry asks, this time facing his mentor.

    “That would take too much work. CSU department doesn’t hire anyone off the streets. If Nick wanted Andrew out of the way, he would want to do it quickly.”

    “And what’s quicker than a bribe?” Terry asks, connecting another piece of the puzzle. He turns back to the console looking for the person who filed the report. “Edward Bolin,” he reads aloud before running a search on him. “Either this guy is new to the crime business, or he’s plain stupid,” he announces after reading the results. Bruce makes his way to Terry’s side to read the information. “Two days after the report was filed and the case closed, he quits and jumps a plane to the Caribbean’s. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a guy working as a crime scene tech shouldn’t be making enough to retire by the ripe old age of thirty-one. Why didn’t Barbara notice this?”

    “You’ll have to ask her yourself,” Bruce replies, his curiosity piqued.

    “Again?” Terry winces at the suggestion. “Her patience does have a limit you know,” he sighs as he rises. “Just don’t turn stingy if I call for bail money.”
    -----*****-----​

    “Here’s a first,” Terry starts when he finds Barbara seated in a diner’s booth with her face buried in a file as she waits for her food to arrive. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to dodge me.” Slipping into the bench across from her, Terry flashes a grin as Barbara closes the file and meets his gaze.

    “Too dense to take a hint?” She retorts.

    “Aw, come on; I know you love it when I drop by unannounced,” he jokes with a wider smile.

    “What can I get you, sir?” A waitress suddenly asks, seemingly coming out of nowhere.

    “Nothing for me, thanks.”

    “Uninviting yourself from lunch?” Barbara asks once the waitress leaves them.

    “I already ate.”

    “Doubt that. Bruce tells me everything.”

    “Doubt that,” Terry smirks.

    “What do you need?”

    “You remember Edward Bolin?”

    “CSU tech who wrote the report,” she replies.

    “You know he quit a few days after filing it, right?”

    “I had to sign his papers.”

    “Why didn’t you stop him?” Terry asked, surprised by her calm demeanor.

    “Because I was busy dealing with post Batman crises; I didn’t realize my mistake until it was too late. Even then, I didn’t have the time or resources to reopen the case.”

    “Okay, but now you do, right?”

    “Not that easy, kid. The trail has been cold a long time; our priorities won’t let us move that fast. It’ll take a while for us to even catch up to what you’ve got.”

    “So what now?” He sighs, leaning back in his seat.

    “If you can find something fresh and inadmissible, it’ll heat things up and the bump it up the priority list.”

    “Like what?”

    “Best bet right now is a confession.”

    “Don’t put your money on it.”

    “Actually, mine is on the next best thing.” His brows quirk with curiosity. “Batman.”

    “He’s not as lucky as you think.”

    “Yet he seldom loses,” Barbara replies, making him grin. “You need some advice, kid? Take a detective’s protocol and throw it out the window.”

    “But-” he starts to protest before Barbara cuts him off.

    “The courts aren’t your problem; they’re mine, and I’m not worried at this point. Just do your job and I’ll manage the rest,” she reassures.

    “Wow, wish I could have recorded that,” Terry quips, surprised by how much Barbara is encouraging vigilantism.

    “You know you wouldn’t have gotten away with it,” she replies, making him grin again. “Besides, don’t think this is a habit for me.”

    “A guy could dream,” he sighs. “Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.”

    “Now that I’ll never believe,” she quips, making him scoff with laughter.
    -----*****-----​

    There is a new scent in the cave that Ace can’t ignore, and it doesn’t take him much to find who the newcomer is. His nose points him to the workbench where he finds a piled up blanket with a tail sticking out of it. For reasons he can only blame on his species, he lunges at the blanket; but before his teeth sink into it, a firm hand grabs his collar, pulls him back, and pins him to the ground. Surprised, Ace tries to wiggle free but another hand holds down his hips. Forced to lie on his side, his instincts take over and he surrenders to the forceful hands. His brown eyes look up to find Jazz glaring at him, clearly unhappy with the way he tried to make a meal out of her pet.

    “Don’t even think about messing with Zee, got it?” From her tone, he could tell she didn’t appreciate the lunge; so, as an apology, Ace doesn’t stir from his place even after Jazz lets go.

    “What’s going on?” Terry had walked into the cave right when Jazz caught the guilty dog.

    “He almost ate Zee,” she explains with her eyes still glued on Ace. Thinking he has been punished long enough, she gives him a pat on the head, letting him know he’s been forgiven.

    “Uh, who’s Zee?” He asks watching Ace leave up the stairs to fetch his master.

    “My cat.” Jazz replies as she checks on the kitten hidden in the blanket.

    “Since when?”

    “Last night.” Raising a brow at her, he walks up to her side to find the gray tabby snoozing in the wool blanket.

    “So this is what you do when you’re out of commission.”

    “Funny, McGinnis.”

    “What are you doing down here anyway?”

    “Helping out with paperwork,” she replies, shifting her gaze elsewhere and making Terry frown with suspicion.

    “Paperwork?” he asks with a raised brow.

    “Yeah, paperwork,” she repeats, moving to the console.

    “Fine, whatever,” he sighs, letting the matter drop. “Have you heard from Tank yet?”

    “No, nothing yet,” she lies. “Anyway, I have to go,” she says, grabbing her bag and moving back to the table where her kitten is sleeping.

    “Hey,” Terry calls after her before she can make her way up the stairs. She doesn’t turn to look at him, but he continues anyway. “I know this is going to sound weird, but are you sure we can trust your friend?”

    “Is there a reason I shouldn’t?” She asks, this time stopping to face him.

    “You don’t even know his real name.”

    “How about you worry about your own business and I’ll worry about my friends,” she snaps, both angry and surprised by his comment.

    She expected he would trust her judgment, but given the tension between them over the last seven months, his doubt shouldn’t have been so shocking. Too stubborn to see the other’s perspective, they throw icy glares at each other before Jazz storms up the stairs and out the cave.

    Letting out a frustrated sigh, Terry moves to the console to start the nightly surveillance. After compiling a series of necessary stops, he starts making his way to an alcove to change, but stops short when he notices something missing from the workbench: Jazz’s suit. Frowning, he turns to the cases that house the suits, but doesn’t find it there either. He knows Bruce never misplaces anything, so after cursing under his breath, he rushes to change into his suit and find his hotheaded partner before she does anything stupid.

     
    #42 SilentBat18, Sep 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012
  3. aiwac

    aiwac Member

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    This latest chapter is simply excellent. I especially love the dialogue - it's exactly how I'd imagine the characters would speak.

    Keep up the good work.
     
  4. Theking

    Theking Very cute Lego Babe.

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    Whooo hooo, I come back to a new post.

    Just love it.

    Keep going, this gets better everyday.

    TheKing
     
  5. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    ****Um, forewarning, there's a bit of cursing here....***
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Eerie silence is what makes the nightwalker somewhat nervous. Having just come out of a poker game that didn’t go as he hoped, he tries finding his way back home; but downing more than his share of whisky to drown the misery of losing so much money has him wobbling and reaching for anything within arms length to keep him from toppling over. At least he had enough sense to leave before using his wife as payment.

    Inebriated, nervous, and regretful, the lanky, balding man accidentally stumbles into a dark alley between two buildings, thinking it would lead him to his street. He never notices the shadow following him since he left the game. The dark figure has been gracefully moving from one building to the next before stopping over the alley he walked into. With eyes glued on him, she silently drops to the ground and makes sure the shadows completely conceal her from being found out too soon.

    Her white eyes are the only hints of her presence as they fixate on the unstable man who finally realizes his mistake. As Max Hemming turns to leave, he suddenly becomes aware of the eyes, and his body stiffens with both fear and surprise. Before he can even twitch, an arm shoots forward grabbing him by the collar, and his feet leave the ground as Batgirl takes to the air. When they reach the roof of an adjacent building, she tosses the man to the floor and crouches on the ledge, the darkness of the night mixed with the glare of her eyes adds a degree of intimidation to her presence.

    “Andrew Douglas was killed seventeen years ago. Who was responsible?” She asks, getting straight to the paint.

    “W-what?” Max stammers too afraid to even stand. Impatient and unsympathetic to his state, she grabs him by the collar of his shirt, pulls him up and spins to dangle him over the edge.

    “Talk,” she orders.

    “Oh God!” He gasps with fear, not believing how dangerous his night turned out to be. “I-I-I don’t know who-”

    Angry at the fact this dreg doesn’t even recognize the name of the man he helped kill, Batgirl begins loosening her grip. Realizing he’s about to fall, a yelp of fear escapes his throat as he grabs onto her extended arm.

    “Remember now?” She asks, having grown beyond irritated.

    “W-world Chemistry, r-right?” He stutters, his eyes switching between her face and the twenty-story drop. “Uh, God jeez – uh,” he desperately searches his memory bank for the name that will save his life. “Jimmy! J-Jimmy Falon,” he finally remembers with relief. “P-p-please, let me go.”

    The name, however, forces her eyes to narrow with recognition: James Falon is Thorn’s real name.

    “Thorn?” She asks to confirm the realization.

    “Y-yeah, that’s him,” he replies.

    “Son of a b****,” she growls under her breath. A few days ago, Thorn had managed to get himself out of police custody, no doubt by help from powerful and potential employers. “Where is he?”

    “I-I don’t know! I swear! We haven’t talked since the job was done and I got my cut.”

    “Your cut?” She hisses, her jaw clenching with rage.

    Her father’s life was just a paycheck to him, one he probably lost in a matter of hours at a casino; she’s tempted to toss him just for that sleazy comment, but she has more questions that need to be answered.

    Feeling his body start to shake with fright, she asks the next one. “How was it planned?”

    “He- he drove the truck after cutting the brake lines; I called f-from a pay phone to let him know when t-to cross the intersection and called the boss when the job was done! Please, I’m afraid of heights!” He pleads before daring to look down again.

    Batgirl knows there’s more information to fish out, but before she could further interrogate him, Batman suddenly intervenes.

    “Put him down, now,” he orders as he approaches her, glad he got there in time.

    “Thank God! I’ve never been so happy to see you, Batman!” Max cries out with relief.

    Batgirl, however, barely acknowledges him. She gives him an indifferent look from the corner of her eye before turning back to glare at the man still dangling from her arm.

    Batman takes another step, getting close enough to whisper in her ear, “Jazz, don’t do anything stupid.”

    Ignoring his warning, she unexpectedly lets go of Max, sending him screaming as he careens to the ground. Horrified, Batman is about to jump after him, but Batgirl stops him with an extended arm, blocking his path. That’s when he notices the end of a grapple snagged to Max’s pants and tied to the escape ladder, stopping him with a grunt two stories above the ground that would have flattened him.

    “OK! OK!” Max yells, “We were hired by someone working for World Chemistry! I never met him, but Jimmy did once! That’s all I know! I swear!” Filled with fear and whiskey, Max vomits the contents in his stomach and spits out the lingering taste.

    “Name?” Batgirl demands.

    “Jimmy never told me!”

    “Right,” she says more to herself before turning away from the ledge.

    “Hey! Aren’t you going to let me down?” He calls when she disappears from his view.

    She fires a batarang to cut the line, causing him fall the last two stories. They hear a sickening snap before a cry of pain, but Batgirl doesn’t care to check on him. With the way he spoke of her father, she believes he deserves the injury. Batman on the other hand, roughly grabs her by the arm stopping her from leaving as he checks on Max curled up in pain. He turns to glare at his partner, clearly furious about what has just happened.

    “Cave, now,” he hisses before she shakes away his grip and silently walks away from him. He glides down to help the injured man.

    “You broke my leg, you b****!” Max yells up.

    “I suggest you keep your mouth shut before you end up in a neck brace,” Batman warns as he helps Max to his feet.

    -----*****-----​

    Batgirl’s bike comes to a stop with a sharp skid before she jumps off and storms toward the medical station. As she rips off her gloves and mask, Batman lands the Batmobile and hops out before following her, equally fumed. Jazz opens a cabinet to grab sheets of gauze and medical tape. She undresses the top half of her suit and tosses it on the table before she starts undoing the old bandages wrapped around her shoulder.

    “You better have a damn good reason for pulling off that s*** tonight!” Terry yells, obviously furious over what just happened.

    “Who are you to say that?” She shoots back. “How else would you have handled it?”

    “By not throwing him over the f***ing edge! What you did was uncalled for; you could have killed him!”

    “But I didn’t, so you can stop huffing and puffing,” she replies as she grabs the bottle of antiseptic.

    Irritated by her dismissal, he grabs her by the elbow, forcing her to turn and face him. Before Terry could argue further, a thin stream of blood rolling from her wounded shoulder catches his attention and silences him. Because of dangling Max over the edge, Jazz’s stitches loosened, reopening her cut. Sensing he’s about to help her patch it up, she shakes away his grip and moves past him.

    “I’m taking care of it,” she mumbles.

    Groaning with frustration, Terry moves to the console. “You are freaking impossible! There’s no winning with you! I don’t even know why I bother trying!”

    “I never asked for your help.”

    He turns to glare at her, her reply clearly setting him off. “If you’re giving me this lone wolf attitude because I did some snooping behind your back, which mind you, would have been unnecessary if you were just honest with me to begin with, then by all means go right ahead; but I have no regrets.” He approaches as he continues, “but if you think that taking matters into your own hands is the only way to get justice, then allow me to call you on that load of b*******.”

    “Who do you-?”

    “Shut up. Nothing you say is going to sound even remotely rational right now. Here’s some advice for you to shove into your head: get off your f***ing high horse, accept you’re part of a team, and let me help.” Neither his sharp glare nor his edgy tone ease as he says, “let it go and trust me, Douglas.”

    “You don’t trust me,” Jazz shoots back.

    “You really expect me to after tonight?” She looks away, so he gently takes hold of her shoulders. “Look, I get that uncovering all this is painful, but if you want to do right by your dad, you have to accept the fact that you can’t do it alone.”

    She takes a step back loosening the hold he has, but she doesn’t regain eye contact. “Okay, fine,” she sighs. “I’ll do it your way.”

    “Seriously?” Terry asks, taken aback by her sudden cooperation.

    “Yeah,” she quietly replies, turning around.

    “Hang on; you’re not sneaking out again, are you?”

    “No, relax. Listen, I’m too tired to figure out where Falon is, so it’s up to you. I’m going home. ‘Night.”

    Frowning, he watches her walk towards an alcove wondering why she had such a drastic change in attitude. But he isn’t going to make the same mistake he did before; deciding to keep a very close eye on her this time, he waits for her to disappear before attaching a tracking chip from his belt to her bag sitting on the medical table. He makes sure it’s hidden in one of the seams before walking back to the console. Jazz emerges fully dressed with arm hanging in her sling, grabs her bag, and takes a last glance at Terry’s back.

    “Leave the suit,” he orders without turning.

    She silently complies before exiting the cave. After she makes it to the nearest subway station, she pulls out her phone and gives her close and, right now, only friend a call.

    “Hello?” Henry’s groggy voice answers.

    “You sound tired.”

    “I was sleeping; it’s what people do at three in the morning.” He waits for an apology but gets none; with a tired sigh he continues, “so what can’t wait till morning?”

    “I need you to find someone.”

    “Who?”

    “Jimmy Falon.”

    “What else do you know about him?”

    “He’s got a record; he recently dodged the police, so he’s got to be on the run.”

    “Perfect,” he groans. “I suppose you need that info in like, what, two hours?”

    “As soon as you can,” she replies almost ungratefully.

    “I’ll see what I can do, your highness,” he retorts.

    “By the way, I need some new stitches.”

    “What did you do?”

    “Moving furniture around.”

    “At 3 AM? Yeah, okay, sure, I’ll believe that,” he replies rolling his eyes. With a sigh he sits up in bed. “Come over and bring some coffee, the really expensive stuff.”
    “See you in twenty minutes.” She hangs up and makes a quick stop at a nearby 7/11 before moving on to the subway station.

    -----*****-----​

    Jazz knocks a second time on Henry’s door and this time it swings open to reveal a very tired and annoyed doctor. His blond hair seems longer now that it’s disheveled, and his bloodshot eyes add to the glare he is giving her. His pajama pants covered with pictures of the Grinch’s head catches Jazz’s attention.

    “The Grinch? Really?” She starts with a raised brow.

    “Shut up; get in,” he orders turning away from her.

    He has his medical kit already laid out on the coffee table in the living room except for the pair of hemostats in his gloved hands, which he was sanitizing earlier. He nods to the couch as he lowers himself with a sigh onto the edge of the table.

    Jazz places the coffee on a side table before taking off her jacket and shirt. She sits facing him, but he shakes his head at her. “Lie down; easier for me.” She does as told and waits for him to start. He turns on the lamp beside her head, removes the bandage, and begins cleaning the wound with peroxide. Examining it, he clucks his tongue with disappointment. “You ripped through three stitches,” he explains before turning to his kit.

    Henry applies a local anesthetic and quickly but expertly replaces the torn stitches. Wiping down the wound once more, he meticulously wraps it with fresh bandages. Before letting her get up, he checks to see if damage was done to the wound below her ribs. He cuts the old bandages off and is surprised to find that everything is intact and healing nicely.

    “I’d say a few more days and those can come off, but you need to take it easy on your shoulder.”

    “Uhu,” she absently replies as she gets up.

    “I’m serious. They can’t keep opening up like that,” he warns as he applies fresh bandages around her stomach.

    Quietly thanking him, she gets to her feet. “I’ll see you later.”

    “Woah, hang on. You can stay if you want.”

    “No, you look tired. I’ll just-”

    “Jazz, stay,” he orders. Staring into his blue eyes, she gives in with a sigh and makes herself comfortable on the couch. “What’s going on with you?”

    “Nothing,” is her quiet answer as she puts her shirt back on.

    Being his turn to sigh, he sits on the other end of the couch and rubs his eyes with a finger and thumb. They sit in silence for a while before their heads simultaneously turn to face each other, causing a smile to stretch on each set of lips. Scooting closer to him, Jazz rests her head on his shoulder and he in turn rests his head on hers.

    Reaching an arm over her and wrapping it around her shoulders, he asks, “you keeping out of trouble?”

    “Always,” she replies, her heavy lids closing her eyes and accepting the embrace.

    “I hope so.”

    He shifts around so that he’s leaning on the armrest and Jazz could lie comfortably on his chest. Before they know it, they both doze off, and Henry wakes up once through the night only to place a throw blanket on top of them.

     
    #45 SilentBat18, Feb 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012
  6. Theking

    Theking Very cute Lego Babe.

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    And Terry is watching from the window. :evil:

    Oh man you are really doing a great job here, Keep going as I am waiting for each post.

    TheKing
     
  7. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Rain pattering against the window wakes Henry up the next day. Slowly sitting up in his couch, he rubs the sleep from his eyes as he remembers the night before. He discovers Jazz gone, somehow having wiggled out of his embrace without waking him, and lets out a short sigh of disappointment. His clock reads 7:08 AM, but it’s thankfully his day off, so he’s in no hurry to get ready for the day.

    He rubs his sore neck as he rises and takes his time dressing in a pair of shorts and sweater; he comes back out to start his daily routine: turn on the news, review a few notes and cases, have some coffee and go for a run. However, the news that morning forces his routine to come to a screeching halt when the headline reads “Dangerous Sidekick?” and the image of Max Hemming on crutches and wearing a neck brace fills the screen.

    As the anchorwoman explains the story, he hears his front door slowly open before Jazz, who still thinks him to be asleep, tries to make a quiet entrance. Her hands are full holding two cups of coffee and a brown paper bag, but she manages to get through the doorway before looking up and noticing Henry’s wide eyes staring at her.

    She gives him an innocent smile and holds up the paper bag. “Bagel?”

    “Who’s your special friend?” He asks as his eyes turn angry.

    “What are you talking about?”

    She makes her way into the kitchen to drop off the breakfast. She joins him in the living room and realizes the reason he asked. Max is recounting the story with over exaggerations while conveniently eliminating the part about the confession he made that night. She can almost hear her reputation as hero being crushed by the media like an empty can under a twelve-year-old’s foot. She can’t help but scowl at the TV before turning her attention to Henry.

    “Who are you working with?”

    “Not who you’re thinking of,” she quickly defends herself.

    “How do I know you’re not lying?”

    “Trust me?” She winces, hoping the reason will stand.

    “Jazz!” He scolds standing up, “I gave you that information trusting you wouldn’t hurt anyone!”

    “Me?!”

    “I’m not an idiot.” He holds his glare while Jazz’s face turns blank.

    “I have no clue what you mean.”

    “The late call, the torn stitches, this happening last night, and your ‘moving furniture’ alibi. I know it was you.” Jazz looks away as she quietly curses the hole she dug herself into. “You promised you weren’t going to do anything stupid,” he continues more disappointed than angry.

    “Look, you can assume whatever you want, but I have a class in an hour.”

    Before she could walk away, Henry grabs a hold of her arm. “Quit while you’re still alive.”
    Her neutral face hardens into a more threatening one. Shaking away his grip, she storms out of his apartment without saying another word.

    -----*****-----​

    Angry that her day has been ruined before noon, Jazz makes it to her apartment with no intentions of leaving any time soon. She finds Zee snoozing on her couch where she had left him the night before; the sight of him alone calms her down. Gingerly picking him up, she gives him a warm smile when he looks up at her and lets out a quiet but hungry mew.

    “Let’s get you some food, big guy,” she coos as she carries him to the kitchen.

    Per vet instructions, she prepares the cat food mixed with water and sets the plate in front of him. Hungrily wolfing it down, Zee never notices the pill Jazz slipped into the food, and within minutes the plate is licked clean. Done with it, he sits and looks up at Jazz with green eyes hoping she will fill his dish again. She gives him one more spoonful of food before moving to the living room.

    She flops down on her couch and rests an arm over her face, the crook of her elbow covering her tired eyes. Before she could doze off though, her kitten jumps up to join her, inadvertently landing on her tender stomach and making her jump as she pushes him off. With nothing better to do with her day and still upset over what happened at Henry’s place, she turns on the TV, hoping for some sort of distraction; but she knows Max’s face is the only thing filling new channels right now, irritating her even more. He is overplaying the role of victim, and by complaining of a non-existent neck injury, he’s doing a good job at getting the media’s attention. There’s no way the city will welcome Batgirl’s return after this. Tired of listening to him whine, Jazz switches the channel to morning cartoons to get her mind off everything.

    She smiles when an ancient show plays on the air. “They don’t make shows like this anymore,” she contemplates as she watches Bugs trick Elmer yet again.

    -----*****-----​

    Terry had tracked Jazz’s movements the night before and found the residence she stayed in that night wasn’t hers. The only other person it could be is Tank’s, so before retiring for the night, he took down the name the apartment was leased to and went home. So it’s no surprise after waking up that morning, he remembers the name Henry Whitman Jr., and more importantly, that he needs to run a search on him. Getting up, he throws a shirt over his chest, and makes his way to his computer. Logging into the Batcomputer, he runs the name but gets a long list of possible profiles. He’s tried to find a picture of him to narrow it down, but ends up with the same results. He tries hacking into Gotham Memorial’s server to get the list of staff members, but he doesn’t find any correlating pictures.

    With the trouble he’s having trying to figure out who the real Henry is, Terry figures one reason for the difficulty might be because Tank must have picked up the same trick Jazz used to make himself invisible in plain view; after all, he needed to get into med school and find a decent job. Logging out, Terry decides having a concrete physical description might help narrow down the search, but at the moment, the search for coffee trumps anything else.

    -----*****-----​

    Just when Bruce turns off the news, the predicted phone call from Barbara comes in. The last thing he wants right now though, is to deal with her. The phone continues to ring until the answering machine intercepts it. He doesn’t stay to listen to the rant about how careless he was to allow Jazz to serve on his team. Calmly moving to the kitchen he takes out a can of dog food for Ace and some tea for himself, saving his fury for when he sees Terry’s difficult partner.

    -----*****-----​

    Figuring Henry would be at the hospital, Terry decides to visit and ask after him. The overworked nurse, however, tells him that it was the lucky intern’s day off.

    “When does he come in again?” Terry asks.

    “Are you his patient?” The nurse instead asks with a suspicious look.

    “Uh, no, not exactly. He’s an old friend… from college… I heard he was working here and I need his advice about something.”

    “Ever heard of phones?” She sarcastically replies, testing Terry’s patience.

    Realizing it’ll take more work than he thought to get information out of this olive-complexioned nurse, Terry decides to turn on the charm. He leans against the desk and gives her a bashful grin as he looks away.

    “Okay, look, here’s the thing,” he sighs, bringing soft blue eyes to rest on her chocolate ones. His voice lowers to give the impression that what he’s about to confess can change the world. “I’m only telling you this cause I have a feeling you have a soft spot for romance,” he starts, relieved to discover the nurse’s unwavering eyes turn curious. “I have this friend who was seen by Henry the other day down at the clinic, and she was too shy to ask him out.”

    “Oh yeah?” She skeptically asks with a raised brow. “So why are you here?”

    “I lost a bet,” he shyly confesses the lie, but the humble demeanor penetrates the nurse’s armor, making her chuckle. “Anyway, she wanted me to talk to him, maybe get his number so I’m hoping you could help.”

    “It’s not our policy,” she replies, but a twinge of hesitation laces her tone, giving Terry the signal to probe further.

    So he whips out his phone and scrolls through the photo library, pulling up a picture of Max before holding it out for the nurse to see.

    “That’s her,” he says, watching the nurse smile at the photo of his best friend relishing a cupcake like it was made of ambrosia. “She’s been having a rough time finding someone who could make her happy, you know? See a few months ago she found out her boyfriend was cheating on her and she hasn’t been the same since. But when she met Henry the other day, well, she said she felt like herself again for the first time in a while,” he lies, making up the sobbiest story he could, knowing women sympathize easily with a victim.

    Staying true to that female tendency, the nurses’ eyes scan her surroundings to make sure no one is watching before she leans close to whisper, “He’s on the fifth floor, intern’s lounge.”

    “I thought it was his day off.”

    She scoffs as she leans back. “No such thing in an intern’s first year. If they don’t have a shift scheduled, they have tests to study for, fruits to practice suturing on, or attendings to suck up to; but between us, I think that friend of yours is pretty enough to pull Whitman out of this hospital in a heartbeat. So…” She smiles, nodding to the locked door that leads to the hospital’s restricted area.

    With a press of the button though, it buzzes before opening, making Terry grin with achievement.

    “You’re amazing,” he winks at the nurse before making his way through the doors.

    But now that he’s past the first obstacle, he’ll need to figure out an equally convincing lie when he confronts Henry. It won’t be easy considering he’s been let through to a more restricted area of the building where patients don’t usually just walk around in. So “bumping” into him won’t be a believable excuse. As he rides up the elevator, he figures he could just pretend to be looking for the bathroom… cause he’s new to the job… what job though? The corner of his mouth turns down in through before he figures he could pass for a lab tech. First day on the job. That could work, he convinces himself before the elevator doors slide open.

    Managing to find his way through the endless corridors, Terry finally makes it to the intern lounge the nurse had told him about. He’s glad to find the door is wide open, but when he approaches the room, he discovers three men occupying it, throwing out his earlier lab tech story out the window. How’s he supposed to know which one’s Henry?

    He stops just short of the doorway, staring in as he studies each occupant. His eyes first turn to a tall, lanky man stretched out on the couch and feet perched on the coffee table. The one beside him is chubbier, his lips stretched into a grin as he relays something to the last person seated in a sofa chair across from the couch. His interlaced fingers rest on the top of his blond head, the lips bordered by an equally golden goatee are stretched in another grin as he listens to the chubbier one’s story and ignores the book on his lap opened to a complex diagram of a kidney.

    As Terry tries to guess which one might be Henry, all three erupt with laughter brought on by the discussion he can’t hear. Engulfed with the task of identifying the right person, Terry never realizes he’s in full view by the doorway before the occupants suddenly take notice of him as their laughter dies down.

    “Hey,” the chubby one greets, making the other two turn to the door and Terry to snap out of his thoughts. “Need something?”

    “Uh, no,” he quickly stammers. “Sorry, just looking for the bathroom.”

    “Down the hall,” he replies before turning to the files he’s supposed to be working on spread out on the coffee table.

    “Right, thanks,” he says, moving down the hall as he tries thinking of another way to get the info he needs.

    However, before he reaches the end of the hallway, a voice behind him grabs his attention. “Hey,” it calls out making him stop and turn to find the blond intern standing outside the lounge. His blue eyes that were full of humor seconds ago have suddenly hardened, piquing Terry’s curiosity. “Who are you?” He asks, stepping towards him.

    “New lab guy, first day on the job, you know?”

    Henry frowns at him and stops when he’s a foot away from him. “Why are you lying?” He suddenly asks, catching Terry off guard.

    “What?”

    “I remember seeing you in the waiting room after Jazz’s surgery couple weeks ago. You lied about being her fiancé,” he quietly explains.

    That’s one way to answer Terry’s inquiry. The lost and harmless look he adopted to fool those around him is replaced by his confident and familiar gaze as he stares at the man standing an inch taller than him. Noting the change in Terry’s expression, Henry realizes for the first time this twenty-two year old isn’t just another one of Jazz’s friends.

    There’s something different about him, prompting him to repeat his earlier question. “Who are you?”

    “Thought you already knew that,” Terry replies, stuffing hands into his pockets.

    “I don’t have time for this b*******,” Henry shoots back. “Just tell me if you’re the reason Jazz got hurt.”

    “I can’t see how that’s possible given Thorn is who she got mixed up with.”

    “Yeah, except he’s saying Batgirl was the one he had fun with,” Henry replies, his eyes narrowing with suggestion.

    “Woah, not the version I heard. Who told you that?” He asks, masking the anger he feels with surprise. Henry must know who Batgirl is.

    What Henry doesn’t know though, is just how well Terry is able to lie, his face matching the confusion in his voice making him think twice about Terry being Batman.

    “Never mind, it was just a rumor; don’t worry about it,” Henry replies, but his skeptical eyes remain on the younger man. “Why are you here lying about being a lab tech then?”

    This is the question Terry was hoping to avoid, and although he feels like a deer caught in the headlights, he doesn’t let it show on his face. His mind races to find a believable excuse, but as though by a miracle of God, an unfamiliar voice interrupts the two.

    “Whitman,” it calls out making Henry turn around.

    “Dr. Drummond?” Henry replies, realizing his attending is the one who interrupted.

    “You busy?”

    “No, ma’am. Why?”

    “Feel like helping out on a hand reconstruction?” She offers, knowing first year interns usually kill for a rare privilege like this; only the best get to assist in complicated surgeries.

    “You kidding me, ma’am?” Henry grins.

    “OR 3, scrub up in five minutes,” she nods before turning down the hallway.

    When Henry spins back to face Terry though, he is unpleasantly surprised to find he disappeared. “Son of a,” he quietly curses before hurrying to the lockers to change out of his street clothes and into a pair of scrubs.

    -----*****-----​

    The banging against her door pulls Jazz out of the nap her pain medication had put her in an hour ago. With a groan, she shuffles over and opens it without bothering to smooth her disheveled hair or rub red-rimmed eyes.

    “What?” She demands when she discovers Terry on the other side, his fury clearly expressed in his glaring eyes.

    “How the hell does Henry know?” He starts.

    “Know about what?” She yawns, unfazed by his anger.

    “Did you tell him?” He asks, stepping into the apartment and closing the door behind him.

    “I didn’t admit to anything. He figured it out, and for the record I didn’t confirm or deny it. Now, I’m tired, so leave.”

    “Damn it Jazz!” He exclaims, ignoring her. “This is what happens when you’re not careful.”

    “Relax, Henry can keep a secret,” she shrugs with indifference, contrasting Terry’s reaction. But before she could go back to bed, her sleepy head clears up. “Wait, how did you find out his name?”

    “Medical record.”

    “Yeah, but how did you know it was Henry and not another doctor?” Her eyes narrow accusingly before turning furious. “Damn it, Terry! Stay out of my business!”

    “The hell I will! You’re lucky I’m not telling Bruce about this! Did you tell him about me?”

    “I didn’t even admit anything about myself, you think I’m going to tell him about you? Now, leave!” She tries shoving him, but she underestimates his strength when he barely even flinches. Instead, he grabs her wrist and pulls her forward.

    “Don’t ever make another mistake like that again,” he hisses.

    “Like you never made it with Max.”

    “Max found out because she was poking her nose in business that didn’t concern her. She figured it out regardless of what I did; it was unavoidable. You, on the other hand, didn’t have to hang Hemming over the edge and break his leg.” She tries to pull her wrist out of his grip but he’s too strong.

    “What? You want me to apologize for screwing up again?! I know I did and apologizing won’t do s*** right now. But no one is doing anything to help this case. So I broke a few rules, tarnished a legend, but I got a lead! When was the last time you made headway?”

    They glare at one another for a few seconds before Terry lets out a frustrated sigh. “You need to stop treating me like an enemy.”

    “I would if I knew you were on my side. Henry was until he found out what I do.” Hearing that, he realizes Henry isn’t going to be calling Jazz anytime soon.

    “Jazz,” Terry starts, finally letting go of her, “it would be easier if you did things without breaking bones; you can’t be reckless then expect people to still be on your side.”

    Reason finally penetrates Jazz’s thick skull, bringing with it feelings of remorse. She was acting on emotions when she let Hemming drop, and in retrospect, Terry’s right; it wasn’t necessary.

    “Fine,” Jazz agrees, calming down. “I won’t screw up again. So Bruce isn’t going to know about this?”

    “From you he will sooner or later; my advice, sooner is much better than later.”

    “I’ll tell him tonight,” she promises.

    Reassured by her sincerity, Terry nods with satisfaction before opening the door. “By the way, thumbs could also be useful or calling me,” he adds, reminding her that she can still confide in him despite their difficulties.

     
    #47 SilentBat18, May 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012
  8. Theking

    Theking Very cute Lego Babe.

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    Oh, that post was wayyyyy too short. ;-)

    Yes, I am very courious about the next post.

    TheKing
     
  9. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Nicole has been spending her mornings in the café by Jazz’s apartment building hoping to catch a glimpse of her daughter. Although every morning she spends there hasn’t yielded anything, she has yet to give up. While she waits, she lets her mind wander, bringing up some happy memories she shared with Andrew.

    She remembers the day they were being shown the new mansion they were planning to buy. Excitement brewed in both of them, giving them a sense of invincibility, as though the odds will always be in their favor. Nicole sighs; false hope can be such a b****.

    “And here we have the family’s sitting room,” she remembers the realtor telling them as she walked into the room with a smile on her face. “Original mantle on the fireplace, the floorboards have been replaced, though. They’re easy to change to whatever hardwood floor you want. Frankly I think this is the coziest room here. What do you think?” She turned to the couple.

    “Is the stone on the fireplace also original?” Andrew asked as he walked over to admire the masterpiece.

    “Yes, sir. The previous owners haven’t really changed much since they were too rich to even live here,” she joked.

    But Andrew was too busy running a hand over the smooth, white mantle as he imagined stockings being hung on it, family pictures taking up their residence there, and roasting chestnuts and drinking hot chocolate with his growing family.

    “Sold,” Andrew finally announced with a smile. He turned to Nicole to see if she approved and she gave him a bright smile with a nod. “Let’s go take care of the paper work.”

    They’ve been married for six months before deciding to update from their modest apartment in the middle of downtown to the beautiful mansion on the expensive hillside. Andrew managed to convince Nicole not to change any of the décor in the house, but she did update the technology making everything state of the art. Two years of blissful marriage passed before Nicole felt she was ready to add a new family member. It didn’t take much to finally succeed and the couple had never been happier.

    She finished the nursery a good four months before her due date. She went to Lamaze class religiously, bought every kind of book out there, furnished the nursery with every kind of toy imaginable, and made sure everything she ate was fresh and healthy.

    The larger her belly grew, the wider Andrew’s smile got every time he looked at his glowing wife. Pregnancy suited her. Once she was three months away from her due date, Andrew booked a suite at the hospital and made sure Nicole was comfortable at all times. He would help her out of the car, rub her tired feet, and even made breakfast every morning.

    It wasn’t until after she gave birth that the problems started. Andrew was a proud father, but Nicole was a petrified mother. Despite all the books and classes, she was never confidant in anything she did. To make matters worse, her first week was more difficult on her that she expected. Jazz was a crier making Nicole completely fatigued by the end of the first month. She took care of Jazz out of obligation and began to wonder if she started her family too early; after all, she wasn’t even in her mid-twenties yet.

    Letting out a short sigh, Nicole fills out the last number in the puzzle and puts it away. She turns to look out the window and makes a decision to wait fifteen more minutes before heading out. However, instead of spending the rest of the time alone sipping on her cappuccino, a young man taps her on the shoulder.

    “Hey, what are you doing here?”

    Taken aback, Nicole turns to look up at Terry. “Excuse me? Do I know you?”

    Terry’s jaw drops when he immediately recognizes her to be Jazz’s mother. Finding his voice, he begins to apologize. “Uh, sorry; you look like someone I know.”

    The last thing he wants to do now is leave and lose track of her, but he doesn’t want to rouse any kind of suspicion. Luckily though, Nicole stops him from taking a step away.

    “Look like who?” She knows about the close resemblance between her and Jazz, so curiosity is the reason she asks

    “Just a friend.”

    “Tell me about her,” she gives him an inviting smile and nods to the vacant seat in front of her. “That’s if you have the time.”

    Terry can immediately differentiate between Jazz and her mother. They may look very similar, but their personalities are anything but. Without even trying, a faint air of seduction surrounds Nicole. Her eyes can draw any man with only a glimpse and her smile adds a beautiful charm, unlike his reserved and at times intimidating friend. Jazz can pretend to be outgoing, but her silver eyes easily give away the deception.

    “Uh, well,” he hesitates before taking a seat, “what do you want to know?”

    That enticing smile grows, almost making Terry blush. “You can start with her name.”

    “Jazz,” he says, keeping a close watch on her reaction; the corner of her mouth barely twitches.

    “I take it she comes here often.”

    “A couple times a week if it suits her.” Terry manages to compose himself and eases into the chair. He’s not going to tip-toe around anything; he has to know why she’s here.

    “How old is she?”

    “Almost 22.”

    “I’m flattered.” He raises a brow. “You mistook me for a 22 year old. Quite the compliment. What does she do?”

    “She’s a student.”

    “What’s her major?”

    “What’s that got to do with anything?”

    “I’m curious. Who knows? We could be similar in other ways too,” she winks.

    A small smile of amusement stretches his lips. “Biology.”

    She let a smile pass on her lips. “She likes animals?”

    “She’s sympathetic.”

    A short silence passes before Nicole leans forward and rests her chin on a propped hand. “You know me,” she states without faltering.

    The seduction in her eyes disappears to reveal a more calculating look, one Terry always imagined her to have. He doesn’t react to the statement. “What makes you say that?”

    “You don’t look like a guy who would give up information to strangers,” she runs her eyes over, him taking in the details of his floppy, dark hair; broad, muscular shoulders; and finally stopping on his icy blue eyes. “The question is how much do you know?”

    “What are you doing here?” He demands, sensing someone like her is too clever to be deceived easily.

    She chuckles as she leans back, clearly not intimidated by this seemingly harmless man. “So I guess you know enough to be a little biased. I was in town and decided to have a cup of coffee.” He raises a brow at her. “Fine, fine, fine,” she waves a hand. “No point in being guarded. I need to talk to her.”

    “About?”

    “That’s a private matter. I expect you’re going to tell her you met me?”

    He shrugs. “It’s not my business.”

    “You don’t seem to care much considering…” She lets her voice trail off. She doesn’t like talking about past mistakes.

    “Don’t misunderstand. I’m protective when the need calls for it.” He gives her a warning look that she takes seriously.

    Nodding, she gets ready to leave. “I like you,” she confesses when her gray eyes settle on his. “I hope we run into each other again soon,” she smiles again with all the charm of Aphrodite.

    “Why did you leave her?” He blatantly asks, unfazed by her charisma this time.

    “Basic etiquette dictates that when I stand, the conversation is over,” she quips with a tinge of cynicism. Having said all that she wants to, she walks away, leaving Terry to replay the meeting in his head.

    Frustration leads him to rub his eyes with a hand; he’s faced with yet another decision of whether or not to tell Jazz. Regardless of his choice though, he knows Jazz’s hot head will only push her to overreact and risk getting herself or someone else hurt. Groaning with irritation for being forced into another no-win situation, he gets up to order his much needed coffee in hopes it will help him tackle the issue with a clearer head.

     
    #49 SilentBat18, Jun 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012
  10. Theking

    Theking Very cute Lego Babe.

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    Oh, he has to tell Jazz, he just has to.

    I can't wait to hear her. :evil:

    TheKing
     
  11. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Jazz nervously stands outside the study where Bruce is waiting for her, feeling like a grade school student sent to the principal’s office for the first time. With a deep breath, she finds the courage to walk in and stand facing Bruce, but her eyes remain glued on her feet. She waits quietly for him to start.

    “I’ll let you explain yourself first,” he starts, placing his mug of tea on the side table.

    “Henry found out Max was a part of the murder so I tracked him and decided to get the information myself,” she replies without lifting her eyes.

    “Is there a reason you didn’t trust Terry to do it?”

    “It’s a personal issue. I’d rather get it done myself.”

    “Why did you throw him over the edge?”

    She shrugs. “Felt like it. I didn’t think he would talk to the media.” The silence that follows is the worst punishment she has to endure before Bruce lets out an annoyed sigh.

    “Next time don’t let emotions get the better of you.”

    Surprised, her eyes shoot up to meet his. “Next time? You’re not-?”

    “There’s no point in suspending you if you’ll just find another way to get what you want. Working against us doesn’t spell teamwork.”

    “Uh, thanks,” she stammers.

    “Have you started physical therapy yet?”

    “No.”

    “You start today then; Terry will supervise.”

    “Bruce, there’s something you need to know,” she shifts her weight and looks down at her feet again. “Henry found out I’m Batgirl.”

    The first sign of anger crosses his face. “How?”

    “I had to get stitches the other night, and after he saw the news, he put two and two together. But he doesn’t know that I work for you or about Terry.”

    “Just a matter of time,” he grumbles getting up.

    Looking up at him, Jazz takes a step back to let him pass. “We can trust him, Bruce. He’s not going to brag to anyone.” But he doesn’t reply as he walks away. “What do you want me to tell him?”

    Stopping at the doorway, he turns to her. “Nothing. You can’t reverse this, so don’t make it worse.” She nods once and watches him walk out, glad the meeting went better than anticipated. But the relief is short lived when he adds, “you’re lifting weights tonight.”

    With a shoulder that’s still sore, she realizes adding weights is going to make therapy a grueling process. Groaning inwardly, she heads to the cave entrance, disappointed that she didn’t get away without punishment.

    -----*****-----​

    Glad to finally reach her stop, Jazz gets off the subway train and walks the last 3 blocks to her apartment. Unsympathetic to her condition, Terry pushed Jazz to her limits during training, exhausting her by the time the two hours were over. Arriving to her building, she absent-mindedly punches the code opening the main door and rides the elevator up. With eyes lowered to the floor, she accidentally bumps into someone trying to get on as she steps off. Without looking up, she mumbles an apology and starts moving past the person before he grabs her elbow stopping her from walking away. Her eyes shoot up to find Henry is the one staring at her with a raised brow.

    “Where have you been?”

    “Work,” she replies shaking off his grip.

    “You haven’t been answering your phone.”

    “Forgot to turn it on,” she lies. She turned it off after she left the manor not wanting to be bothered. “What are you doing here?”

    “Well since you weren’t answering your phone, I decided to stop by to talk to you.”

    “About?” She asks turning towards her door.

    “How you’re doing.” She raises a questioning brow at him as she unlocks her door. Inviting him in, she tosses her bag on the floor and heads to the kitchen to get an icepack.

    “Never better,” she replies holding the icepack against her shoulder.

    “Somehow I doubt that. Look,” he starts as he leans a hip on the counter. “I’m not here to yell at you or anything like that. What you do on your own time is your business, but I don’t want you pushing everyone away while you’re doing it.”

    “I’m not pushing anyone away; you’re the one who got pissy at me,” she counters.

    “Yeah, cause you took advantage of me,” he replies, crossing arms over his chest. “I don’t like being used, Jazz.”

    Sighing, she takes a seat at the kitchen table and begins rubbing her sore neck. “I know, I’m sorry,” she apologizes. “It wasn’t my intention. It’s just, everything was happening at once.”

    Although he’s still hurt by the way she abused their friendship, he can’t help but sympathize with her plight. It’s what compels him to join her at the table.

    “It doesn’t mean you should risk your life like that.”

    “Well I’ve learned my lesson, thanks for the concerned talk,” she cynically replies.

    Rolling his eyes, he leans back in his seat. “Look, do you want my help or not?”

    “I don’t need it. I can manage on my own.”

    “That got you an icepack on a shoulder that’ll never heal properly.” She glares at him for a moment. “Jazz, I know you and I know how determined you could be; but if you want to live to see your next birthday, I suggest you stop acting like the world is working against you.”

    She can’t help but scoff at the statement, making him frown. “A friend pretty much said the same thing earlier today,” she explains, looking down at the tabletop.

    “A friend, huh?” Henry replies, remembering his encounter with Terry.

    “I heard you met him,” she goes on, lifting her eyes to meet his.

    “Not long enough to catch his name.”

    “Terry McGinnis.”

    “Wayne’s go-for?” Henry asks with surprise.

    She nods in reply. “How’d you get mixed up with him?”

    “Wayne was looking for someone to take care of his dog,” she lies, knowing Terry wouldn’t want him to find out Batman’s identity. “Terry had too much to do, so I took the job.”

    Although he remembers Terry denying any affiliation with Batgirl, he still can’t help but speculate on the subject.

    “It’s not him,” Jazz suddenly says, as though reading his thoughts.

    “Never said it was.”

    “Right,” she raises a brow at him, before sighing.

    They quietly stare at each other from across the table, trying to predict what the other will say before Henry leans forward.

    “I know you still need me to find Falon, but I’m not sure I want to considering what you did to Hemming.”

    “That’s not going to happen again.”

    “That’s not very convincing.”

    “Trust me, I’ve learned my lesson. The media’s kicking my ass, cops want me arrested, and my partner hates my guts. Last thing I want to do is make it worse.”

    Drumming his fingers on the table, he debates whether he should trust her confession. He knows she’s a hardheaded and stubborn woman, but she also can’t lie to him.

    So it’s the sincerity he finds that prompts him to say, “Falon’s hiding out in the suburbs.”

    She’s surprised to learn Henry still looked for Jimmy despite the Hemming fiasco. Before she could thank him, he interrupts with a warning.

    “If you pull another stunt like yesterday’s, Jazz, I’ll to be the worst thing you’ll ever face.”
    A smile stretches on her lips. “Thanks, Henry.”

    “For what?”

    “Sticking by me.”

    “Thick as thieves and all that,” he shrugs, standing to leave. “Stop by tomorrow so I can take your stitches out.”

    “Wait, you didn’t say where in the suburbs.”

    “I will when you come over tomorrow,” he replies, stuffing hands in his pockets and making her scowl. “I’ll see you at five,” he smiles at her before heading out the door.

    -----*****-----​

    Bruce makes it down to the cave in time to see Terry getting ready to leave for rounds. He takes his usual seat at the console and starts up the surveillance systems and police radio. Terry walks over to his side as he threads hands into his gloves.

    “Where am I going first?” He asks, looking at the screen.

    “You already know, so don’t patronize me,” Bruce replies without looking at him. “What’s the problem now?”

    Shifting his weight onto the other leg, Terry nervously puts a hand to the back of his neck hesitant to confess what had happened. “I met Nicole.” Grabbing his full attention, Bruce looks up at him and waits for an explanation. “She was at the coffee place by Jazz’s apartment. She said she wanted to talk to her.”

    “Did she give you any contact information?”

    “No,” Terry regretfully replies before Bruce looks away in thought. “We still don’t have anything that would tie her to the murder.”

    “We do once we find Falon; he’s the only link,” he explains, pulling up the most recent information regarding Jimmy’s escape.

    “Even if we find him, getting him to talk isn’t going to be easy,” Terry says, lowering his arm.

    “You’ll find a way.”

    “You’re turning me into a hypocrite,” Terry scowls at the back of Bruce’s head as he puts his mask on.

    “You realize I used to do it all the time.”

    “But not right after you yell at your partner for doing the same thing,” he mumbles as he walks towards the car.

    “Hurry up; two victims are still trapped in the accident on I-297.”

    -----*****-----​

    “Wake up, McGinnis,” Jazz unapologetically shakes him awake, surprising him. He was sleeping on his side before she walked into his room that morning and took a seat next to him.

    “What the hell?” He asks, looking up to find Jazz’s face staring down at him. He looks at his watch before glaring back up at her. “It’s 7:30 Jazz; get out,” he orders before lying back down and turning away from her. To get his attention, she gets up and opens the blinds letting in the obnoxious morning light.

    “I need to start locking my door,” Terry mumbles to himself as he hides his face in his pillow.

    “I need your car,” she demands.

    “What for?” He asks, squinting at her.

    “There isn’t a subway stop where I’m going.”

    “Which is where?”

    “It doesn’t concern you. Where are the keys?”

    “Pants,” he points to them lying on the floor as he hides his face again.

    She picks them up and fishes out the keys. “I’ll be back soon.”

    Knowing he can’t just let her leave without an explanation, he groans as he turns over. “Jazz, where are you going?” Terry asks again, sitting up.

    “I already told-”

    “No more secrets, remember?”

    Sighing, she rolls her eyes. “My mom’s in town.”

    Terry doesn’t hide his surprise. “Uh, how’d you find that out?” He cautiously asks knowing there’s no way Bruce would rat him out.

    “When you dropped me off last week, I found a package at my door that was hand delivered by her. I have the address to my old house from the insurance papers, so I’m guessing she’s staying there.”

    “You’re going alone?” She shrugs. “I can come if you want,” he offers, somehow knowing she would rather not go alone to a house that reminds her of tragedy.

    “I’ll be fine.”

    “Jazz, listen,” he gets up and walks towards her. “I met her the other day,” he hesitantly confesses and braces himself for the worst.

    Surprisingly though, she remains composed. “Where?”

    “Café by your place.”

    “What did she say?”

    “She wants to talk to you.”

    She tosses him the keys, making him raise a brow. “How long do you need to get ready?”

    “So you want me to go?”

    “Only if you hurry up,” she replies, leaving the room before letting out a quiet sigh of relief.

    -----*****-----​

    Driving up to the residence’s closed gates, Terry turns the car off and looks at Jazz. “So, what now?”

    Her eyes are glued on the mansion at the end of the short driveway when she answers, “ring the doorbell.”

    They both get out and Jazz presses the intercom button on the side of the gate. She waits a moment before pressing it again when no one answers. Receiving the same silence, she approaches the gate and looks around for signs of life but finds none. Giving it a moment’s thought, Jazz pulls off her sling and begins climbing the gate.

    “Hey,” Terry stops her. “You’re not breaking in.”

    Already two feet up, she replies without turning, “it’s not breaking in. This is technically my home, so are you coming or not?”

    Groaning inwardly, he follows her over the gate and walks the short distance to the mansion’s large oak doors. She bends over to study the lock as Terry checks the first floor windows. He tries a few before finding one with a broken lock. Pulling the window open, he calls Jazz over and sneaks in with her closely following. Taking a look around, they find themselves in the family living room and a nostalgic smile crosses Jazz’s lips when she finds the fireplace. Terry, meanwhile, takes a look around and drifts off into the hallway.

    Jazz picks up a dusty picture frame and stares at the family photo taken when she was two. She wipes away the dust covering her father’s face and smiles before putting it back to go look for Terry. She finds him wandering in the dining room and running a finger across the table.

    “It’s clean,” he announces without looking up. “She’s definitely here.”

    “The living room isn’t.”

    “She probably hasn’t gotten to it yet.”

    She turns and heads up the staircase, repressing the last memory she had in the house as she reaches her room with Terry close behind her.

    When she opens the white and pink door to peer inside, her eyes go wide with shock before she quickly closes it and turns to Terry.

    “What?” He asks, surprised by her reaction.

    “She’s in there,” she whispers, pointing at the door.

    Before Terry could say anything, the door swings open revealing Nicole’s angry face before she recognizes the two intruders. Her jaw drops when Jazz spins to face her and, for a second, neither one can breathe.

    Jazz though, takes a step back bumping into Terry before she finds her voice. “You wanted to talk?”

     
    #51 SilentBat18, Jul 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012
  12. Theking

    Theking Very cute Lego Babe.

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    Oh Cool Cool Cool.

    I am glad she took Terry with her.

    I really hope she can keep up the teamwork-ish-nes. ;)

    Can't wait for more.

    TheKing
     
  13. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Nicole stands motionless staring at her surprised daughter and ignoring an equally shocked Terry. She takes a step out of the room to get a better look at Jazz; it’s like looking into a mirror. They share the same gray eyes, plump red lips, and soft apple cheeks. Nicole’s hair though is pulled back showing off her olive complexion and faint freckles; whereas Jazz’s bangs get in the way of her eyes, hiding a lot of the resemblance they share.

    Forgetting herself for a moment, Nicole raises a hand to brush away the hair from Jazz’s face, but Jazz moves her head out of her reach. “Don’t touch me,” she starts, replacing her shock with anger. “Why are you here?”

    Composing herself, Nicole straightens up and clears her throat. “Well, I guess I don’t deserve a proper greeting.”

    “Excuse my manners then,” Jazz glares at her. “Wasn’t very disciplined as a child.”

    She hides the blow with a scowl before looking up at Terry, “I’m assuming you decided to tell her.”

    “Keep him out of this,” Jazz cuts in before he could reply. “What the hell did you want to talk to me about? And if it’s to apologize, you’re a bit overdue.”

    “To be honest, I’m not sure why I’m here,” Nicole confesses looking back at Jazz. “I feel I owe you answers, but I know there’s no way we’re going to be ok.”

    “Answers?”

    “There are some things you need to know, some I’m not proud of.” Jazz narrows her eyes skeptically but remains silent as she waits for Nicole to continue. “Jasmine, part of the reason I left you was to protect you.”

    “Protect me?” Jazz repeats raising a brow.

    “Nick was planning to get rid of you, so I made arrangements to put you in a good orphanage before he could leave you on the streets.”

    “Are you kidding me?!” Jazz yells before Terry puts a hand on her shoulder to keep her from punching Nicole’s face in. “You left me in the middle of the city before I got sent to an abusive caretaker!”

    “I didn’t know that until it was too late,” Nicole replies calmly. Her daughter’s outburst doesn’t seem to faze her much. “I tried to get you out of there, but by then, you were already transferred. To be honest, Jasmine, I lost track of you for a decade before I really started looking for you again.”

    Jazz doesn’t know what to say; Nicole’s brutal honesty leaves her speechless and she stops herself from just screaming profanities so as not to look like a temperamental idiot. She doesn’t realize how tight her fists are balled until the pain from her nails digging into her palms forces her to ease her grip.

    “What was the other reason you left me?” She asks without easing her glare.

    The question makes Nicole nervous. “I—I’m not,” she stammers looking away. “I was selfish; something I’m not proud of.”

    “Why did you hate me so much?”

    “Jazzy, I didn’t hate you,” She replies looking back at her daughter. “I was only twenty-three when you were born; I never had a chance to pursue my ambitions.”

    “Which were apparently more important,” Jazz shoots back before asking, “what were you doing in my room?”

    Nicole, however, finds herself in an awkward position. She looks back at the room before returning her gaze to the two adults. She doesn’t want to admit that she had woken up in the middle of the night and ended up wandering into her room looking for comfort. Nor does she want to admit that the only thing she found there was regret.

    “I was just cleaning it up,” Nicole explains, and she isn’t lying. It’s the only room she told the housekeepers to stay away from. “I know you have more questions and I can tell you’re not leaving anytime soon, so I’d rather we continue this in the kitchen.”

    Not waiting for a reply, she heads down the staircase with the two following close behind. She invites them to take a seat at the kitchen island, but Terry is the only one who quietly accepts. Jazz stands by the door with arms crossed over her chest and eyes glaring at Nicole’s back as she prepares some coffee.

    “Why did you kill dad?” Jazz blatantly asks with an unwavering voice. Nicole drops a spoon at the accusation, but keeps her back facing Jazz.

    “Who told you he was killed?” Terry silently shifts his gaze between the two women.

    “That’s not important.”

    Nicole turns to face her. “I didn’t kill him.”

    “Don’t lie to me,” Jazz warns taking a few steps forward.

    “I’m not. It was Nick’s plan and he’s the only one who executed it.”

    “You never stopped him.”

    Nicole goes back to preparing her coffee. “I was about to divorce your father when Nick got greedy and decided he wanted the company. I didn’t think he was serious about killing Andy until the police showed up at my doorstep.” When she turns to face her again, there is a genuine look of grief etched into her brow. “By then I knew I was in trouble and I was scared of what he might do next. He may look like an idiot who can barely tie his own shoe, but he’s got a side to him that you don’t want to see. When he wants something, he gets it. At the time World Chemistry was at its peak and Nick wanted to take over; the only problem was Ethan. After seeing what he did to Andy, I didn’t want to be guilty of two murders.”

    Frowning, Jazz lets her arms fall to her sides. “What are you saying?”

    She switches her gaze between the two young adults. “Ethan’s alive.”

    Both Terry and Jazz’s eyes go wide with shock. “What?” She stammers.

    “I told Ethan his life was in danger, so we faked his death. He managed to get himself an alias and leave the city.”

    “If he was alive, why didn’t you leave me with him instead of dumping me at an orphanage?!”

    “Because Nick would have gotten suspicious and looked for Ethan. He never contacted me after he left the city, so I never found out where he was. Everyone thought he was dead, even Clair. It was the only way he could sneak away with his life.”

    “Why didn’t he come back after the company shut down?”

    Nicole shrugs. “He might have, but I was in France and he didn’t know it.”

    Jazz finds herself at a loss. Ethan was like a father to her and when she had learned of his death years ago, she didn’t know what would become of her. Knowing that he’s alive because of her mother is unexpected, bringing emotions to clash. Should she be grateful? Should she give Nicole a chance? Emotions cloud her judgment as she begins pacing back and forth before storming out of the kitchen. Turning to Nicole, Terry finds her intently studying her spoon with a clenched jaw.

    “Well, this went better than expected,” Terry tries to break the tension. Nicole lifts her eyes to meet his but remains silent. “I thought her head was going to fly off her neck.”

    “So did I,” she replies, placing the pouch of coffee grounds into the coffee maker.

    “You did?”

    “She’s inherited more than my looks.”

    “You act like you know her.”

    “You could call it mother’s intuition.”

    “So when were you planning on actually confronting her?”

    She crosses her arms and eyes Terry accusingly. “Why did you break in?”

    He shrugs, “her idea.”

    “How did she find the address?”

    “I don’t ask questions.”

    “You must be old friends if that’s the case.”

    “Not really.”

    She raises a brow at him. “Then who exactly are you?”

    “Someone who felt like breaking into a mansion.”

    “Is there a reason you never told me your name?”

    “You never asked,” he coolly replies, irritating her a little. “You were too concerned about Jazz.”

    “Well then, what’s your name?”

    “Terry,” he says as he eases back into the bar chair.

    “So how do you know me?”

    “I’m a snooper.” Nicole glares at him for a moment before rolling her eyes; a response he would have expected from her daughter. “I found an old picture in Jazz’s apartment,” he explains. “I asked her about it and she told me her story.”

    “And how did she figure it was murder?”

    “She’s a little paranoid and in denial, but I guess she was right.” The awkward silence that follows makes him mumble an apology. It’s not a subject he should be speaking of in such a light manner.

    “Aren’t you going to go after her?” She asks, turning away.

    “Wouldn’t really help much. She’s very introspective.”

    “Like her father.” Opening a cabinet, she takes out two mugs and fills them with coffee. “Cream?”

    “None, thanks.” He accepts the mug and takes a sip. “So what was Andrew like?”

    “You really are a nosey young man,” she replies, taking a seat across from him. “Why would you want to know anything about him?”

    “Curious, and something to talk about till Jazz comes back and forces me to leave.”

    She gives him a small smile. “I thought you would be more interested in finding out how to nail me.”

    “Not my area of interest. Besides, I believe your story, and I know you’re innocent; the problem is the law views you as an accessory and you’re going to be tried.”

    She raises a brow at him. “I thought this wasn’t your area of interest.”

    “Justice is.”

    “Hon, there isn’t going to be a trial,” she coldly states, making Terry frown. “The last thing I need is the publicity. I have a reputation and a business to run, Terry, and I don’t want the fashion world to know that Nicole Cleland is serving time for murder.”

    “How about a plea bargain?”

    “Yeah right,” she scoffs. “No attorney in their right mind would let me off the hook even if I am willing to testify.”

    “Doesn’t hurt to try.”

    “I know how the system works. The only good that would come out of a plea bargain is a reduced sentence. I have better things to do with my time.”

    “Look,” he starts, getting up. “If you ever want to reconcile with your daughter, I suggest you show a bit of sacrifice on your end.” Nicole quietly stares at him debating whether or not to reply. “Anyway,” Terry continues after a moment of silence, “thanks for the coffee.”

    “Fine,” Nicole starts when he turns to leave. Lifting a brow, Terry spins back and waits for her to continue. “But no one is arresting me; I’m doing this voluntarily and with as little press as possible.”

    “I’ll see what I can do,” Terry replies, putting his hands in his pockets. “But before I talk to the commissioner, you need to tell me what happened.”

    “That’s a very long story.”

    “For another time then, and trust me, I’ll make sure you’ll have time,” he cautions. “We’ll see ourselves out.” He leaves the kitchen in search of Jazz before Nicole could object.

    He finds her leaning by the window they used to break into the living room. Blankly staring out at the birds building a nest in a nearby tree, she doesn’t notice Terry’s presence until he clears his throat.

    “You ok?” He asks with some concern.

    They never expected to confront Nicole so soon, so he understands that she might be a little shaken up, especially after finding out that Ethan is still alive somewhere.

    Absently nodding, she moves past him and towards the foyer. “Let’s just go.”
    Without any objections, he silently follows her out knowing that only time will help her recover.

     
    #53 SilentBat18, Oct 28, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012
  14. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    ****Wow, Henry sure likes to curse, haha****
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upon her request, Terry drops her off in front of Henry’s place, and after making sure she won’t need a ride back, he drives off. Finding the door unlocked, she lets herself in and searches for her friend. It’s still early in the morning and she knows he tends to have the later shifts at the hospital, so she isn’t surprised to find him still asleep in his room.

    Deciding he deserves the rest, she heads back to the living room to make herself comfortable on the couch. Picking up one of the few printed textbooks laying on the floor, she curiously flips through it, stopping on diagrams she finds interesting. But it isn’t long before exhaustion forces her to fall asleep curled up next to the giant book.

    Turning over in bed, Henry stretches out before slowly sitting up. Letting out a yawn, he drowsily heads to the kitchen to get a drink of water. However, on his way back to his room, he notices Jazz sleeping on the couch. He’s surprised that she’s decided to visit him with no notice, but glad that she’s chosen his company as a means for comfort. Knowing she needs the rest, he fetches a throw blanket and gently lays it over her before getting ready for his usual morning run.

    An hour later, Henry returns flushed and sweaty but satisfied with the exercise. He grabs an energy drink from the fridge and looks over to the couch to find Jazz still snoozing. Leaning against the counter, he slowly finishes his drink while watching her sleep, and remembers those nights years ago when she used to fall asleep as they gazed at the moon. When she flips over to her other side, she accidentally pushes the book she is sleeping next to off the edge. The resulting thud startles her awake and she shoots up. Turning her head in Henry’s direction, she finds him idly staring back at her.

    “You dropped the book,” he casually explains as he straightens up. Relaxing, Jazz rubs her eyes tiredly as she swings her legs over to get up. “How’d you sleep?”

    “Neck is a little sore,” she mumbles rubbing it.

    “I thought you were coming over at five.” She shrugs making him frown. “What’s wrong?” He asks sensing something amiss.

    “Nothing,” Jazz replies, getting up. “You said you knew where Falon is.”

    Letting out a tired sigh, Henry moves away from the counter, and heads to his bedroom. “I’m taking a shower,” he states with indifference, making Jazz frown.

    “Hey,” she follows him. “You said you were okay with-”

    “Look,” he cuts her off. “I’m not going anywhere and neither are you. So I’m going to take a shower and then we’re going to have a nice talk about what’s bothering you before I tell you what I know.”

    “What’s bothering me isn’t important enough for us to talk about.”

    “I didn’t know you were such a wuss. What? Did you step on a bug on your way over? I’ve said this before: I know you. So don’t give me your b*******.” Taking off his sweaty shirt, he throws it aside and closes the bathroom door before Jazz could object.

    Fifteen minutes later, Henry emerges in a towel smelling fresh and ready for the day. “You hungry?” He calls out to Jazz as he gets dressed.

    “No.”

    “Good, cause I know this one place that serves pretty good breakfast across the street.”

    “I said I wasn’t-”

    “Hope you like waffles,” he adds, stepping out of his room with an irritatingly happy smile. “Come on.” Without waiting for her, he heads to the door, grabs his jacket and steps out.
    They arrive at the diner and sit at a table by the window. After ordering some breakfast and coffee, Henry starts the conversation. “So what happened?”

    After she lets out a very irritated sigh, she relays the events from a few hours ago ending with how she found out Ethan is alive. All the while, Henry listens intently, predicting what her next request is going to be.

    “So she didn’t explain the whole story?”

    “Not really. I walked out. I was just…” She trails off staring out the window.

    He nods understanding what she means but can’t say. “So, you want me to look for Ethan?”

    Lowering her gaze to her fiddling fingers, she nods once unintentionally looking like a guilty student. “I just need to know if he’s okay.”

    Placing a hand over her restless ones, he reassures her that he’ll do whatever he can. “But for now, I’ve got info on Falon. He’s picked up a job by the pier under a different name, of course. He managed to get past the books since he’s only in loading so cops can’t find him. He lied about skipping town in case anyone squealed on him; that way, they’d end up looking in the wrong corner.”

    “How did you find him?”

    “By being awesome,” he replies with an arrogant smile making Jazz roll her eyes. “Can’t reveal my sources. So what are you planning to do with him?”

    “Haven’t thought that far ahead. There’s nothing pinning him to the murder. This whole thing is murky, to be honest. I mean this case has been closed for the past seventeen years, and all of sudden it’s declared murder because of the brakes. But there’s nothing that ties it to anyone. Nick and my mom had alibis, and it’s pretty random to pin Falon, an escaped convict.

    “And Max is no help since he made the whole scene about getting hurt; we can’t tie him to the crime so he can’t be a suspect. Plus, we know that police report has been tampered with since they claimed they didn’t find any foul play despite having combed through every corner of the car, but that loser is halfway across the world and out of jurisdiction. What we really need is a major player to get caught or confess.”

    “What if we get Ethan to?”

    She frowns at him. “He’s supposed to be dead. Not even the police know he’s alive. I don’t think that would help much.”

    “But he had reason to lie; his life was threatened.”

    “Then why didn’t he go to the police first?”

    “Maybe because he didn’t know if he could trust them. Like you said, the report was tampered with.”

    “I don’t know,” She hesitantly says staring back out the window. “I was hoping my mom could just confess to the whole thing and get this done with.”

    “You should go back and have her explain everything.”

    “Eventually I will.”

    “Fine,” Henry sighs. Realizing he has yet to let go of Jazz’s hands, he quickly lifts his hand away and leans back. “Anyway,” he starts, “after we’re done eating, we’ll go back to my place and get your stitches out.”

    “Thanks.”

    “Don’t worry about it.”

    “No, I mean for helping me out this much. I forgot how generous you could be.”

    “Anything for my favorite pickpocket,” he replies with a small but charming smile that makes her blush a little.

    As promised, the two head back to the apartment after breakfast and Henry carefully removes the stitches on her stomach. After changing the bandages on her shoulder, Jazz starts heading back to her own apartment. Finally reaching her stop, she emerges from the subway station and starts down the quiet street to her apartment. With her music blaring in her ears from the earphones she plugged in earlier, she takes her time walking the half-mile journey to her destination. With barely a soul around, she’s grateful to be alone instead of pushing through the rush hour crowds. A few cars whiz past her occasionally, but it’s generally quiet enough for her to let her guard down and just enjoy the music.

    She turns onto a smaller street closely bordered by buildings feeling free from the anxiety that usually grips her during the night. It’s the type of street that makes women instinctively clutch their purses, or men to turn their head at any little rustle they hear; but that was at night. During the day, criminals never really bothered. With that in mind, she lets her attention aimlessly roam, keeping her from noticing the car speeding from behind until its tires screech loudly. Startled, Jazz spins just in time to see the car jump the curb, aiming for her. Diving out of the way and into the empty street she lands hard on her wrist and shoulder as she safely rolls out of harm’s way.

    Jumping to her feet, she looks towards the driver to find his face covered in a ski mask right before he spins the car and once again speeds towards her. Turning, she starts running towards an alley with the car quickly closing the distance. With barely a few inches left between her and the car, Jazz makes it to the alley in time and jumps up grabbing the ladder to a building’s fire exit.

    Letting out a pained grunt, she pulls herself up and onto the landing. But when she thinks she’s safe, a bullet whizzes past her head hitting the side of the building startling her. Before her assassin could fire another bullet, she starts rushing up the stairs, heading towards the roof. The bullets don’t stop flying until she finally reaches the roof of the ten story building. She crouches down behind the ledge to catch her breath. Once she hears the car back out of the alley, she peers down to watch it speed away.

    Grabbing her sore shoulder, she curses under her breath when she can’t make out the car’s plate number. She rushes back to her apartment but hesitates when she’s about to unlock her door. Pressing her ear against it, she hears soft movements that make her hold her breath. Quietly, she uses the staircase and hurries back down as she fishes for her phone to call Terry.

    Paying close attention to the parked cars along the street, she carefully sneaks off from the building and catches a bus a block away. After trying to call a second time, Terry finally picks up.

    “Someone just tried to kill me,” she quietly gasps, eyes studying any and every suspicious face.

    “Wait, what?” Terry asks, confused.

    “Someone just tried to kill me,” she slowly but irritably repeats. She gets off the bus at the next stop and hurries towards a subway station.

    “Are you okay? Where are you now?”

    “Look, I think they’re still at my place.”

    “I’m on my way; head to the manor and stay there till I get back.”

    Hanging up, she quickly slides her metro card through the slot and rushes to catch the waiting train.

    With his camo option on, Batman discretely clings to the side of Jazz’s building and peers into her apartment through the living room window. Not finding any obvious signs of life, he opens the window and sneaks in. He searches almost every room finding no one there; but just as he is about to check the bathroom, he hears a rustle coming from the closet. Pressing his ear against the closet door, he hears more movement inside and pulls out a batarang. He swings the door open ready to attack but is surprised to find no one in there. When he turns on the light though, he jumps back when the kitten leaps out of a box and scurries away to hide under the bed.

    “Damn cat,” he utters under his breath before crouching by the bed to look at it.

    The tabby stares back with wide green eyes and hisses at him, making it obvious he isn’t willing to come out any time soon. Straightening up, he finally checks the bathroom. Not finding anyone there, he makes his exit and heads back to the cave.

    “So?” Jazz asks walking up to Terry after he lands the car.

    “No one there, but your cat was locked in the closet.”

    “What?” She asks, frowning.

    “He was in there when I opened the door. He’s mean, by the way.”

    “I didn’t lock him in the closet. He was sleeping on the couch when I left this morning.”

    “Then someone must have been in your place before I got there; I’m guessing your furry bundle of cute must have attacked him, so he threw him in the closet.”

    “My cat doesn’t attack anyone.”

    “He hissed at me,” Terry states as he takes off his gloves. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he jumped a stranger. So what exactly happened today?”

    “I was walking home and someone tried to run me over before turning me into target practice.”

    “Did you see who it was?”

    “No, he was wearing a ski mask and I couldn’t read the plate number.”

    “Do you have any idea why they want you dead? Unpaid dues maybe?” He adds the last part suspiciously.

    “Whatever I might have done in the past, I don’t deserve getting killed over it.”

    “Well, if there really was someone at your place, they might have left their prints on the doorknob or something.”

    “I’ll check if there’s anything,” she says with a little hesitation. The attempt on her life seems to have shaken her up a little and Terry senses it.

    “I’ll come with you,” he offers. Feeling reassured, she nods and starts heading up the stairs.

    When they arrive at the apartment later that day, they tread carefully hoping not to disturb any evidence they could use to identify the intruder. Terry dusts the closet’s key pad for prints, while Jazz checks the inner doorknob belonging to the front door. Once finished, she heads to the bedroom in search of her cat and peers under the bed to find him still there and eyes wide with fear. Coaxing him out, she picks him up and heads to the kitchen to try calming him down.

    “What I don’t get,” Terry starts, meeting her in the kitchen, “is how they managed to get in without damaging the lock.”

    “Probably hacked it with a noninvasive remote,” Jazz guesses. With her lock being a digital one, to be able to get to the circuits, one would have to rip open the cover if they didn’t have the code; but the lock’s panel was intact when they had arrived.

    “That would mean pretty advanced tech, the kind more sophisticated criminals would use. You ever rip off a big company?”

    “Like I said, nothing I did was that bad.”

    Leaning against the counter, he gives it a little more thought. “You know, Nicole did say she owns a design company.”

    “So?”

    “She’s got the money for that type of technology.”

    “Okay,” she says wearily, “and why would she want to kill me?”

    He falls silent for a moment. “You think she still stays in contact with Nick?”

    The question makes her frown. “I don’t know. She didn’t mention anything about that.”

    “Yeah, but she pretty much confessed to the murder and Nick’s part in it. Not to mention revealing Ethan is alive; he could be our star witness. If Nick knows she’s here to talk to you, he could have been the one who ordered the hit. He has the resources.”

    “Wait,” Jazz suddenly comes to a realization. “If they tried to off me for that reason, then my mom could be their next target!”

    Without wasting another moment, they rush out of the apartment hoping they aren’t right.

     
    #54 SilentBat18, Nov 20, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012
  15. Theking

    Theking Very cute Lego Babe.

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    Well, I didn't even know you had updated. Bad The King

    I am of course loving it like always, Humm I see Henry Rollins doing the part of Henry in your story. Amazing how they have the same name.

    I am really looking forward to finding out the truth about real or fake deaths.

    Keep up the good work.

    theKing
     
  16. klammed

    klammed the fool.

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    Really like the plot twists, and with character introductions done well through the dialogue it's very nice to read :) I must admit having difficulty for some of the first half reading through switching tenses, but you've cleared that up wonderfully in later chapters, kudos for that :) can't wait to see what happens next!

    -klammed
     
  17. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    When Terry pulls up into the mansion’s driveway, their stomachs sink when they find a green Chevy Camaro already parked there.

    “That’s the car,” Jazz gasps before running out and up into the mansion.

    She storms through the door with Terry close on her heels before they split up to find Nicole. Jazz makes her way to the living room to find the mask-covered stranger pointing a gun to Nicole’s head. Grabbing the crystal ashtray within her reach, she throws it at the attacker’s head. Startled, the attacker spins around giving Nicole an opportunity to hide behind the couch. When the gun is pointed at her head, Jazz backs up into the corner.

    Just as he is about to pull the trigger, she grabs the floor lamp behind her and swings it at his hand knocking the gun out of it. Skillfully using the lamp as a weapon, she cleanly delivers blows to the head and gut before sending him to his knee by sweeping his leg away. Spinning the lamp over her head once, she takes a step forward and gives him a knock-out blow to the face. Once he falls to the floor, she tosses the lamp aside and grabs her sore shoulder.

    She calls out to Terry as she moves to her mother’s side to find her wide eyes staring at her in shock. “How did you…?” she stammers as she gets to her feet.

    “Never mind; our car is parked outside. Come on.”

    As she helps Nicole up, Terry appears in the doorway and stares at the unconscious goon on the floor. “Do you have some rope?” he asks as they leave.

    “I’m not sure, in the kitchen maybe.”

    Throwing the assassin over his shoulder, he heads to the kitchen and finds enough rope under the sink to tie him up with before throwing him in the huge pantry. Taking away anything that could be used as a weapon, he closes the door and secures it with a chair under the handle. Returning to the car where the two women stand, he decides driving to his place is the best way to ensure their safety since would-be assassins don’t know about his involvement.

    -----*****-----​

    After letting the two women in, Terry heads into the kitchen to prepare some tea as Jazz leads Nicole to the couch and hands her a blanket. She then disappears into Terry’s room to check on her shoulder and make sure nothing has been ripped open.

    Terry joins Nicole on the couch and hands her a hot mug. “What did you do with him?” She asks referring to the hired muscle.

    “Locked him in the closet for the cops. Did he say anything to you?”

    She shakes her head. “I was in the living room when I heard the door open. Before I knew it, there was a gun pointed at my head then Jazz rushed in.”

    “Sounds like we got there in time.”

    “What made you come back?” Nicole asks after taking a sip of the tea and setting the mug on the side table.

    “Someone tried to run Jazz over. We figured they could be after you too. Do you have any idea why they want you two dead?”

    Pulling the blanket around her shoulders, her worried eyes look away. “Nick knows I’m here to talk to Jazz.”

    “How?”

    “I asked him to find her for me.”

    “Why would you do that?” he asks, bewildered.

    “Because I couldn’t ask anyone else to, but I told him I wasn’t planning on confessing to her or anyone else. Guess he didn’t believe me.”

    “Why would you risk it?”

    “I didn’t think he would dare threaten my life.”

    “Why not?”

    “Because I drew up a will that has a signed statement confessing to everything he did. That’s why I wasn’t afraid of him or for my life. Something must have changed.”

    Shocked with her unhindered honesty, Terry quietly gets up and heads to his room looking for Jazz, knowing she should be listening to this as well. He doesn’t find her in the bedroom, but he could hear her cursing behind the closed bathroom door.

    “You need any help?” Terry asks after knocking once.

    When the door swings open to reveal Jazz shirtless and holding a towel against her bare chest, Terry takes a step back suddenly feeling shy.

    “The stitches on my shoulder ripped open, again,” she announces with irritation, ignoring Terry’s bashfulness. Landing on her arm and shoulder earlier as well as waving a heavy lamp over her head had caused the damage.

    “Let me look,” he mumbles. He could see two loose stitches and the wide gash between them dripping blood. “Uh, it’s not so bad,” he lies, “but I can fix it.” Opening the cabinet under the sink, he pulls out a suture kit he always keeps on hand to stitch minor wounds.

    With Jazz leaning on the sink, he starts cleaning the wound and wiping away the blood with an antiseptic wipe before giving her a local anesthetic. “You’re mom asked Nick to find you,” he starts as he waits for her shoulder to numb.

    “What?” She asks looking up at him.

    “She just told me. Don’t blame her; it was the only way she could find you.”

    “I don’t care. She put my life in danger.”

    He starts working carefully to close the wound. “Look, I didn’t get the whole story yet. When we’re done here, you can have your heart to heart.”

    “Fine,” she agrees with a little wince. “What did you do with the dreg?”

    “Tied him up and locked him in a closet. I’ll call Barbara to pick him up later. The good news is if this guy points to Nick, we’ll have something solid against him without having to involve Nicole.”

    “What do you mean without involving Nicole?” Jazz asks, frowning.

    “Well, she doesn’t want the press.”

    “Or the punishment. Don’t tell me you’ve gotten all soft hearted just because she doesn’t want to be embarrassed.” Terry remains silent. “McGinnis!”

    “Let’s just hear what she has to say first, and you can yell at me later.” Her fists tighten with anger, but she remains silent until he’s done repairing the stitches. “It’s not a great a job as Henry’s, but it’ll do for now.”

    He cleans up the trash around the sink and leaves her to get dressed. A few minutes later, Jazz joins the two in the living room but sits as far away as possible from her still shook up mother.

    “You owe me an explanation,” Jazz starts without an ounce of sympathy in her voice.

    “I’ll start from the beginning then,” she says, looking up at her daughter. “I got involved with Nick six months before Andy died.”

    “Why?”

    “I don’t know,” Nicole tiredly sighs. “I needed some excitement in my life, and that’s what Nick gave me. He charmed me off my feet, made me feel young and free of responsibilities. He never showed me his darker side until I was too involved with him. It came out gradually. At first, I thought he was just a big shot guy who got what he wanted; the best of the best. But soon he started talking about how he would run the company and that Andy didn’t know what he was doing. I didn’t particularly care about how Andy ran things, so I just nodded at Nick every time he asked my opinion on the matter. Soon Nick was asking me why I was still with him and was pressuring me to just file papers and get it over with. That kind of talk started to sink in; Andy and I got into more fights, I grew distant, and kept thinking that Nick would provide a better life for me.

    “That’s when Nick started to talk about situations in which Andy would be gone. At first it never entered my mind that when he meant ‘gone’, he actually meant dead. I kept ignoring the warning signs, the sinister tone in his voice. I was in denial. Then the police showed up at my door.” Looking down at her mug, she fights back tears. “They told me Andy was in an accident and he was in the hospital. By the time I got there, they had pronounced him dead.”

    “When did you find out he was actually murdered?” Terry asks.

    “When I met up with Nick the next day. When he came to visit, he had a sort of twinkle in his eye that seemed like pride to me. I asked him if he had anything to do with Andy’s death, and he told me I’m better off without him. He said that I was ‘lucky his brakes gave out.’ That’s when I knew he had planned something.

    “Soon after, Nick started talking about Ethan and that got me nervous. He started asking me how Ethan was taking Andy’s death and if he was suicidal. I made the mistake of warning him not to go anywhere near Ethan. He didn’t take the warning well and told me to watch what I said. His tone was cold, not something I was used to. I was too scared to leave him at that point, so I managed to get a hold of Ethan and tell him his life was in danger. I told him everything I knew and we decided that we would fake his death when the time came. Nick was planning on shoving him out of a balcony and writing a suicide note, but we managed to fake a heart attack just before he had a chance.

    “We forged a death certificate and an autopsy report so Nick would believe it, held a fake funeral, and he snuck out of town using a different name. I managed to play my part well, deceiving Nick into thinking I wanted everything he was offering just to stay alive. I had no choice but to leave you, Jazz. After we fled to France, I started giving Nick a reason to leave me. It took about a year, but when he finally dumped me for some French whore, I was finally free. But a month before we broke up, I had secretly drawn up a will that included a signed confession of his part in the murder and the attempt on Ethan; so in case of an untimely death, the confession would go straight to the police.
    “So to protect myself, I told him about it after he had left me and warned him if he planned anything against my life, he’d be spending the rest of his days behind bars.

    "Four years later, I heard Nick sold World Chemistry and took hold of another company, and I started wondering what happened to you,” she says looking at Jazz. “I didn’t know the orphanage I left you at was an abusive one. I had cut a deal with the caretaker, telling her I’d pay her a generous sum so she could care for you; but by the time I searched you out, I found out that woman had been arrested for neglect and abuse. I tried to track you down but you had gotten transferred so many times that it was hard to keep up. So I decided to wait until you were eighteen and out on your own. That turned out to be harder than I thought. Nick was the only person who could help me find you, but I never told him that I would be confessing anything. So something must have changed for him to actually try to kill me.”

    “He probably figured a way to get hold of your will,” Terry wonders aloud.

    “I wouldn’t put it past him,” Nicole sighs. She looks over at Jazz to find her eyes cast down and lost in thought. “Jazz?”

    Her eyes shoot up. “You had nothing to do with Dad’s death?”

    “I never planned it if that’s what you mean, but I still feel it was my fault,” she replies desperately seeking her daughter’s forgiveness.

    Jazz, however, looks down at her fiddling fingers, feeling a little ashamed for blaming her mother for most of her life without giving her the benefit of the doubt.

    “I’m sorry for what I did, Jasmine,” Nicole tries one last time.

    “I understand you didn’t have a choice at the time,” Jazz replies with some bitterness mixed into her tone. “But it’s not something I can forgive you for,” she finishes as she rises from her seat and heads towards the kitchen.

    Nicole hides her devastation by silently staring into her mug. With a heavy sigh, Terry gets up and follows his partner into the kitchen. “We need her to confess to Barbara,” Jazz remorselessly starts when she sees Terry.

    “You need to forgive her.”

    “What?” Jazz shoots him a nasty glare.

    “It’s obvious she feels guilty about getting involved with Nick, but that was her only mistake.”

    “I knew you would take her side.”

    “I’m not taking sides. She was looking out for you when she gave you up; it wasn’t her fault that things didn’t go her way.”

    Jazz angrily turns away from him as her fists clench in anger. “She had no right to toy with my life that way.”

    Approaching her, Terry puts a comforting hand on her shoulder. “I know this is twisted to say, but if she hadn’t left you, I wouldn’t have you as a partner, and you owe her for that. I do.”

    She turns her head to frown at him. “You’re glad I was abandoned?”

    “I told you it’s twisted,” he shrugs. “Besides, I’m sure you don’t regret a lot of things you’ve been through.” Turning away, she gives it a moment’s thought, her mind automatically drifting to Henry, and begins relaxing her tense frame.

    “I still can’t forgive her, at least not now.”

    “That’s a start I guess. Are you going to be okay?”

    Nodding, she turns to face him. “Where do we go from here?”

    “Considering what just happened, how about call it a day and relax.”

    “No; we need to find out who attacked us and where Nick is.”

    Terry lets out an annoyed sigh. “Does Henry work internationally?”

    “Not sure.”

    “Find out if he can help. In the meantime, we have to find a way to get this information to Barbara without having Nicole arrested.”

    Jazz shakes her head. “However we go about this, Nick is going to drag her down with him. I say she confess and get a plea bargain; she can get a good lawyer.”
    Leaning on the counter, Terry folds his arms across his chest. “How are we supposed to convince her?”

    “You don’t have to,” Nicole replies startling them both. She sets the mug down on the counter as she approaches them. “This entire time I thought I was safe because of my will, but with what happened today, I doubt there’s another way to keep us safe.”

    “Are you sure you want to do this?” Terry asks.

    Looking at Jazz, she nods. “I’m ready to face a jury if I have to.”

    “I’ll call Barbara,” he announces as he straightens up and leaves Nicole and Jazz alone to retrieve his phone.

    The two women stare at each other for a moment before Jazz looks away and shifts her weight to the other leg. “Why do you want to do this?” She quietly asks.

    “Because it’s something I should have done years ago.”

    “That’s all?” Jazz asks, looking up at her.

    “Nick killed my husband, and I practically let him do it. I owe it to you and your father to do what I can to stop him.”

    “Do you want me to find you a good lawyer?” Jazz asks in a shy tone.

    The gesture makes Nicole smile. “I can manage, but thank you.” Sensing her daughter’s awkwardness, Nicole eases the tension by inviting her to sit down. “So where did you learn to fight?”

    Jazz shrugs. “Picked it up.”

    “From?” Nicole asks trying to make her daughter open up more.

    “Why are you asking?”

    “Curious and impressed. I never expected you could take care of yourself.”

    “How did you find my address?” Jazz asks.

    “Hospital record,” Nicole confesses. “What happened?”

    “Nothing, I got into an accident. I’m obviously fine.”

    Nicole nods not fully reassured when she remembers how Jazz grabbed her shoulder in pain at the mansion. “You never told me if you liked the music sheets.”

    “No offense,” Jazz starts, getting up, “but I don’t feel like small talk.”

    “Jazz,” she stops her daughter from leaving the kitchen. “I may not have been ready for you when you were born, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want you.”

    “You’re staying here tonight,” she states dismissing what Nicole just said before leaving.

    Slumping her shoulders with defeat and fatigue, Nicole lets out a disappointed sigh and rests her chin on her hand. As she begins to think she’s made a mistake, Terry walks in to announce the news.

    “You okay?” Terry asks when he notices a lost look on her face. She absently nods and waits for Terry to continue. “I’ve arranged a private escort to the police department so you can make your statement tomorrow,” he cautiously explains. “The press haven’t gotten wind of this, and the commissioner is going to try to keep it that way but there’s no guarantee to that.”

    “That’s fine; I can handle the press when the time comes. I’m not the first celebrity to face trial or jail time for that matter,” Nicole says as she eases back in her chair.

    “You’re taking this better than expected.”

    “I’ve had time to think,” Nicole shrugs with indifference.

    Terry raises a brow at her. “As far as the guy who tried to kill you,” he continues, “they’re sending a few squad cars to pick him up and there’s going to be someone on duty to keep an eye on the estate in case someone else tries to finish the job. You can stay here until we know your house is safe.”

    “What about Jazz?”

    “She can take care of herself.” The look of concern on Nicole’s face makes Terry’s stomach tighten a little. She reminds him of his mother when she discovers a new bruise on his chest or back. “I’ll convince her to stay here, though,” he adds as reassurance so Nicole could relax. He’s surprised to see her worry so much over Jazz even though she’s been away for almost eighteen years. “You really need to stop worrying.”

    “If you said that to your mother, do you expect her to relax?” Nicole asks studying Terry’s face intently.

    He represses the infinite memories of him trying to reassure his mother for years before replying, “I get your point.”

    “Anyway, if there’s going to be a look out to keep me safe, I would rather stay in my own house.”

    “Can’t do that; commissioner’s orders. Just tell me what you need from there and I’ll bring it back.”

    Letting out an irritated sigh, Nicole stands up. “Forget it; I can buy what I need, just drive me to the nearest store.” Terry steps aside to let her through before following her out the door.

     
    #57 SilentBat18, Dec 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012
  18. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Later that night, Jazz reluctantly arrives to her apartment door and, still shaken from the earlier ordeal, cautiously presses an ear against it intently listening for movement. A frowning neighbor passes by prompting Jazz to awkwardly smile and straighten up before unlocking her door. She steps in and quietly closes the door. Paranoid thoughts flood her mind as she tiptoes from the living room to her bedroom. When she walks into the bathroom, Zee hops out of the tub and runs out, startling her into almost kicking him across the room.

    “Jesus!” She gasps before composing herself. She follows him to the bedroom and crouches down to peer under her bed and check on her petrified cat. “Zee, come out of there; I didn’t mean to yell.”

    Preoccupied with trying to coax her cat out, she doesn’t notice someone standing behind her bent over body until she spots his black shoes. With instinct taking over, she delivers a sweeping kick sending the stranger to the floor. Blinded with fear, she jumps on top of the attacker and aims a punch to the face. However, in one graceful move, a hand blocks and grabs her wrist, and he rolls over so that he’s lying on top of her.

    “What the hell, Jazz?!”

    Opening her eyes, Jazz finds herself staring straight into surprised blue eyes. “Henry!” She gasps relieved her life isn’t in danger again.

    “Care to explain?” He asks, letting go of her wrist and pulling off of her.

    “Sorry, been a little high strung,” she mumbles sitting up.

    “Why?”

    Once she looks down at her fiddling fingers, Henry knows that’s a sign of bad news. “Someone tried to kill me today.”

    His eyes go wide with shock. “What?”

    “He even managed to get into my apartment.”

    “Why?”

    With a sigh, Jazz explains everything from her mother’s confession to the reason Nick wants them dead. After she’s finished, she looks up at her old friend to find him looking back at her with concerned eyes.

    “Where’s your mom now?”

    “At Terry’s.”

    “How come you’re not staying there tonight?”

    “Don’t want to crowd the place. Besides, I can take care of myself.”

    “No offence, but I doubt it. I saw the look on your face before you tried to punch me. You were too scared to concentrate. God knows you could make a fatal mistake when you’re in that state.” Jazz remains silent; she knows he’s right. “Get your stuff; you’re sleeping at my place tonight,” Henry says as he stands and helps her up.

    “There’s no need,” Jazz starts.

    “From what I understand, the guy who’s after you can pick locks, and you’re too paranoid to be alone tonight.”

    “I can’t leave Zee,” she replies staring at the bed.

    “You sure you’re not just looking for an excuse?” With a finger, he gently lifts her chin to look her in the eye. “Zee will be fine; please stay over, it’ll make me feel better.” The small smile she gives him is reassuring.

    -----*****-----​

    It isn’t long before they reach his apartment and she makes herself comfortable on his couch. She gives Terry a call to inform him of her whereabouts before lying down. “I never knew this could turn out to be such a mess.”

    “What do you mean by ‘this’?” Henry asks from the kitchen. He emerges with a glass of water and aspirin. “As in my apartment?” He places the water and medicine on the table, lifts her outstretched legs to sit under them, and replaces them on his lap.

    “No,” Jazz replies scowling at him. “I mean the murder, but I feel better knowing it’s almost over.”

    “How about we not talk about that.”

    “Why not?”

    “It gets you wired. You’re supposed to relax when you’re here.”

    She gives him a small smile. “Fine, then what do you want to talk about?” He shrugs before he starts taking off her shoes and tosses them aside. “You’re a great conversation starter.”

    “Thanks,” he replies as he starts massaging her foot.

    “What are you doing?” Jazz asks raising a brow at him.

    “Like I said, you’re supposed to relax when you’re here.” He quietly continues to rub her feet, taking satisfaction in the way Jazz turns to pudding when he kneads certain pressure points.

    “Since when did you give foot massages?”

    “Since you looked like you needed one.”

    “I actually like you more now.”

    He switches feet and smiles when she lets out a small moan. “I take it I found the right spot.”

    “Uhu,” she happily replies. They continue to enjoy each others’ company in silence for a few more minutes before Henry stops rubbing her feet and lifts her legs off his lap. “Why did you stop?” Jazz complains looking up at him.

    “You look like you’re about to fall asleep, which you will do in my bed. I’ll sleep out here.”

    “Forget it. You know you’re not winning this argument, so just tell me where you keep your pillows,” she counters as she gets up.

    After helping her set up the couch with sheets and pillows, Henry retires to his room while Jazz tries to make herself comfortable before slipping into a restless sleep. She tosses and turns as her dreams fill with fear and helplessness. Just as a shadowed man is about to smash her head in with a club, Jazz wakes up startled. She sits up and tries to calm herself down, but her hands can’t seem to stop shaking. It’s one thing if Batgirl’s life is in jeopardy, but having someone know who she is, where she lives, what she does and try to kill that is nerve wrecking.

    A sudden clap of thunder makes her jump to her feet and look around the empty apartment. Paranoia takes over again, and she rushes to the door to make sure the locks are secure, then to the windows to ensure they’re shut tight. When Henry hears her shuffling around, he gets up to find her intently staring out the window with wide eyes. Seeing her so distressed makes him frown with concern; he’s never seen her in such a frazzled state before, but he knows he can offer her comfort. He walks up to her and places a hand on her shoulder, but same as before, the gesture makes her jump back.

    “Hey, it’s just me,” Henry says in a soft voice, but he’s taken aback when she starts quivering and tears begin rolling down her face. He pulls her close and wraps his arms around her.

    “Sorry,” Jazz sobs trying to pull away, but fails when Henry doesn’t let go.

    “Don’t apologize,” he whispers caressing her hair. “Take your time.”

    She buries her face in his chest. “I’ve never felt vulnerable like that before. Not even with Falon.” He tightens his embrace. “I don’t know what happened.”

    “You remembered you’re human,” he replies.

    When he pulls away to dry her wet cheeks with a thumb, the reality of almost losing her sets in, bringing buried emotions to surface. Her tired, gray eyes look up at him making his heart beat faster.

    “Yeah well, I hate that part of me right now,” she quips, starting to calm down.

    “I don’t,” Henry confesses, brushing her bangs away from her face. A familiar flutter returns to Jazz’s stomach as her cheeks slowly redden. “You’re blushing,” he smiles at her.

    “And?” Jazz asks looking away with embarrassment.

    She’s surprised when Henry lifts her chin and plants a soft kiss on her lips. “I like it when you blush,” he replies with a smile that fogs Jazz’s mind.

    She leans in and returns a deeper, longer kiss; before long and without parting, they manage to clumsily make it to the bedroom and turn their friendship into a blossoming romance.

     
    #58 SilentBat18, Dec 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012
  19. klammed

    klammed the fool.

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    Ooh, I sense a love triangle. Loving the dialogue :anime: and I like this Henry character a lot. Keep it up!

    -k
     
    #59 klammed, Dec 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2009
  20. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Despite the storm the night before, the early morning sun shines brightly over Gotham, showing off the cleaning power of spring rain. When the rays sneak into Henry’s room, they seem to add to the softness of Jazz’s sleeping form and Henry can’t get enough of her. With his head propped up on his hand, he studies her every detail with a small smile on his face. He never imagined they would end up in bed together, but he has no regrets. With the sun shining on her face, Jazz turns away from Henry but scoots closer towards him before letting out a contented sigh when he wraps an arm around her waist.

    Just as he pushes away her disheveled hair to give her a kiss on the neck, the faint sound of Jazz’s phone ringing makes her open her eyes to look around. Drowsily turning her head, she finds Henry smiling at her.

    “Morning, sunshine.”

    She lets out a groan as she stretches out. “I take it you’re a morning person.”

    “Today I am,” he replies with a cheeky grin that makes her smile. “Are you going to answer that?” Henry asks referring to the ringing phone.

    “What time is it?” She drowsily asks, ignoring it instead.

    “Seven.”

    The reply makes her groan again before she hides her face in Henry’s bare chest to block out the brightening light. Before she falls back to sleep, her phone starts ringing again, making her push away and slowly sit up.

    “I guess I better get that,” she complains as she stands. Grabbing Henry’s shirt from the floor, she throws it on covering her bare body and picks up her phone buzzing on the coffee table. She finds it’s Terry informing her that Nicole is being escorted to police headquarters and she should join them to make a statement about the attempt on her life. She tells him she’ll be there in a half hour before hanging up and getting ready to leave.

    -----*****-----​

    She finds Terry in the hallway slouched on an uncomfortable chair across from Barbara’s closed office door, waiting for further instructions from her. She could tell he’s bored from the look on his face staring at the ceiling.

    “Hey,” she greets, interrupting his task of counting the ceiling’s holes.

    “Took you long enough,” Terry replies, watching her take a seat beside him.

    She shoots a scowl his way. “I’m fine, thanks for asking.”

    “Sorry; been bored.”

    “How long have they been in there?”

    “Almost an hour. I tried calling you a few times before you finally picked up.”

    “I was preoccupied,” she hastily replies, staring at Barbara’s door to avoid the brow Terry quirked.

    “Preoccupied?”

    For some reason, she feels too embarrassed to tell Terry she shared a bed with Henry the night before, but to her relief, Barbara’s door swings open.

    Barbara steps out closing it behind her. “Here’s what’s going to happen: we’re going to wait for her lawyer to show up before we can detain her anywhere. Meanwhile, you can give me your statement,” she continues, looking at Jazz. “As for Nick, I’ll alert the French police and see what we get from them.”

    “There’s another thing,” Jazz starts as she stands. “We found Falon. He’s been working at the docks.”

    “How did you find that out?” Barbara asks.

    “From a friend.”

    Nodding, Barbara starts walking down the hall, signaling for Jazz to follow her. “We’ll take your statement in another room.”

    Jazz can sense a certain bitterness in Barbara’s tone, but she doesn’t hold it against her. After all, Jazz single handedly ruined the reputation of a hero that served Gotham for decades.

    Before the two could walk away, Terry stands and calls out to Barbara. “Are you going to need me for anything?” He asks, praying she would say no.

    “Yes,” Barbara curtly replies without stopping. “I’ll come back for you.”

    Groaning inwardly, Terry retakes his seat and starts counting the scuffmarks on the opposite wall.

    Barbara leads Jazz into an interviewing room and asks her to take a seat. Obediently sitting on one of the metal chairs, Jazz starts fiddling with her fingers as Barbara sets up the recorder and hangs her coat on the back of the chair.

    “Let’s start from the beginning,” Barbara starts with a cold disposition. “What were you doing yesterday morning before the incident?”

    “I was walking home from the subway station.”

    “Where were you before?”

    Jazz hesitates for a moment looking into Barbara’s icy eyes. “My mother’s house.”

    “Continue,” Barbara replies looking down at her notes.

    Jazz goes on to tell her about almost getting run over and the intruder in her apartment. When Barbara asks her why she went over to Nicole’s house after that, Jazz explains that she had a hunch her mother might also be in danger since they are family members. A few more questions later, and Barbara turns off the recorder.

    “Look, I’m sorry,” Jazz starts in a low whisper.

    “You can go,” Barbara replies in a stabbing tone. With a sigh, Jazz stands and walks out the door.

    She meets Terry in the same place she left him, and slumps down in the chair. “What’s with you?” He asks picking up on her aggravated mood.

    “Leave me alone,” she snaps, looking away.

    “What did she say?” Terry continues, ignoring her request to drop the subject.

    “Nothing.”

    “Why won’t you tell me?”

    “I just did; I tried to apologize for you know, but she didn’t say anything.”

    “She’ll get over it eventually.”

    “You really know how to brighten a person’s mood, don’t you?” Jazz replies scowling at him.

    “Trust me,” he nudges her with his elbow.

    “McGinnis,” Barbara calls down the hall and signals him to meet her in the same interview room.

    “Don’t beat yourself up,” Terry attempts to reassure her one last time before getting up and heading towards Barbara. “You know, commish,” Terry gives her a smirk, “I thought being your favorite, I’d get to go first.”

    “Spare me the jokes; I want to get this over and done with.”

    She sets up her recorder same as before and asks the same questions she did with Jazz. Terry recounts the events, leaving out anything that would indicate he was investigating without police consent. He finishes by saying he was following Jazz’s hunch and was lucky she was right. Barbara turns off the recorder and starts gathering her things before Terry stops her.

    “I take it you’re still holding a grudge,” he starts, referring to Jazz’s handling of Max Hemming.

    “Not now, Terry,” Barbara replies.

    “When then?” She gives him a chilling glare. “She’s not like you,” Terry continues, never growing intimidated. “So her mistakes won’t be like yours, but don’t forget they’re still mistakes.”

    “Watch what you say, McGinnis,” she warns. “You’re in no position to give me a lecture.”

    “I’m not lecturing, I’m reminding… in a friendly way,” he adds with an innocent expression. “You gave me a second chance, so why not her?”

    “You’re free to leave,” she states, standing. “Quietly,” she adds with a glare.

    Shaking his head, Terry gets up and walks out into the hallway.

    Two hours later, Nicole’s lawyer manages to negotiate a house arrest until the day of the trial, which has yet to be set. Nicole silently follows Barbara out the office and to her car to be driven home. Finally free to leave, Terry stands and stretches out as he lets out a relieved sigh.

    “Looks like we have the afternoon off,” Terry starts, turning to Jazz. “Want to get lunch?”

    “You’re asking me to lunch?”

    “Sorry, I forgot to add some drama to the offer. Would you prefer if I insult you first?”

    “You’re really aggravating sometimes,” Jazz scowls at him.

    “Especially when I’m nice,” Terry rolls his eyes. “Forget it then. I’ll see you later.” With hands stuffed in his pockets, he starts walking away.

    Giving in to the nagging guilt of unfairly blowing Terry off, Jazz lets out a sigh. “I’m in the mood for burgers.”

    Stopping, Terry turns with a smile on his face. “You read my mind.”

    -----*****-----​

    The call he received earlier about the failed assassination continues to irritate Nick, ruining his mood for the day. He cancels his business meetings to sit alone in his office wondering what his next step should be. He regrets helping Nicole find Jazz, but he’s glad he was finally able to alter Nicole’s will while she was out of town. Giving it a little more thought, a sly grin stretches when he reaches a solution to his problem. Glad he keeps in touch with his henchmen, he dials a number familiar to few people.

    After a few more rings a voice finally answers. “Hiya, Jimmy,” Nick greets still smiling. “Got a job for you.”

     
    #60 SilentBat18, Dec 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2012

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