Disclaimers: Oh, man, if they were mine... well.
Maybe it's for the best. :D
Spoilers: Not a one.
Summary: In which the obsession goes. Too. Far.
Ratings Note: G. No, really.
Author's Note: All Trog's fault. I told her I've been
obsessing over Batman, and she put *this* in my
head. And then Debba helped.
Acknowledgments: To my beloved We for audiencing,
and to Trog, Sarah, and Branwyn for ideas, encourage-
ment, and general silliness.
Feedback: Always! firstname.lastname@example.org
Batman sat quietly in his library, wondering what he had
done to deserve a world like this one. Every night he and
Robin went out and did their best, but it seemed like
nothing they did ever made a difference.
There was a joke among the criminal community -- not
an especially funny one. The doors of Arkham revolved,
and anything put in just came right back out. Batman ran
a hand through his thinning hair and sighed. He knew
that better than anyone.
Just then, Robin burst through the doors. Well, really,
he mostly *fell* through, tights half on and mask
slipping improbably over his ears.
"Holy lights in the sky, Batman! The signal is up!"
Batman winced internally. "You know, you really don't
*have* to exclaim --"
But Robin was already at the chair, yanking him up and
back to the cage. "There's evil afoot! Sunnydale needs us!"
Not for the first time, Batman wondered if Xander Harris
was *really* the best possible choice he could've made.
Too many comic books at an impressionable age. "All
right, all right, I'm coming. Just let me..."
But the back of the cage was already swinging open,
revealing the path down into the cave.
Well, mostly revealing Ethan. And rather a lot of him.
He twirled, grinning. "Do you like it? It's the prototype
for the new Batsuit."
Xander stared, a rather interestingly odd look on his
Batman pinched the bridge of his nose. "Ethan. I fail to
see the point of a costume that shows off my legs. And
my arms. And my chest."
Ethan sniffed. "Well, it *is* kevlar. And look! The
fishnets can be ripped off and tossed at your enemies."
Xander continued to stare. And... swallow.
Batman pushed his way past his faithful manservant
and into the cave. "I assume the *old* costume is still
where I left it?"
"You're no fun at all."
By the time he made it to the Batmobile, Robin was
already in the passenger seat, buckled in and ready
to go, if still seeming a bit shocky. Batman turned the
ignition. And pumped the gas. And turned the ignition
again. And slapped the steering column. And... ah,
there it was.
"Holy Citroen, Batman! Don't you think it's time we
got a better car?"
Batman grunted non-committally and waited for Ethan
to open the back door. If there was a bit of a flourish
to it all, he just bore it. He was, after all, wearing
"So where was this crime taking place, exactly...?"
"It's the Riddler, Batman! We think he's kidnapped
"Why is that?"
"Well, the riddle he left was "what's blond and wears
leather and has just kidnapped Commissioner
Batman nodded sagely. It was, in the end, far more
useful than banging his head on the steering wheel.
They passed beneath the Batsignal, the sight of the
glowing, steaming cuppa in the sky filling Batman with
pride, and the determination he needed to do his job.
They'd get to the factory soon enough.
It was, after all, the only place in Sunnydale the Riddler
seemed to realize would be a useful hideout, despite
the fact that everyone and their dog knew where it was.
At least it wouldn't eat up much petrol to get there.
"There's the factory, Batman! Let's get 'im!"
"Does your throat ever get... sore?"
"Holy Ricola, Batman, it does! How did you ever guess?!"
"Just a theory."
Batman parallel parked with speed if not style and eased
his way out of the Batmobile, noting absently that Robin
didn't seem to feel the need to use the door, despite the
fact that he landed -- once again -- on his arse.
He made his way to the much-damaged door, quietly
dissuading Robin from shooting a grappling hook up to
the roof. A push and the thing crashed to the ground,
thus ruining any chance at the element of surprise.
Robin took it in stride, leaping in with his hands on his
hips. "You'll never get away with this, Riddler!"
"Oi! What'd you do to my door?"
Batman shook his head and joined Robin in the old and
new wreckage. "Really, Riddler. You couldn't *possibly*
think we wouldn't find you."
The Riddler blinked slowly, before throwing up a finger.
"Maybe I *wanted* you to find me, eh? Didn't think
about *that*, now did you?"
He had to admit that he hadn't. "In *any* event, if you'd
just move a bit to the left...?"
And he was just about to toss one of the sharpened
Batarangs to cut down the Commissioner from where she
was hanging from the ceiling, when Batgirl swooped in
with a mighty cry. One flying kick and the Riddler went
sprawling, a leap and the young blonde had caught
Commissioner Summers by the waist and sawed the
ropes free as they fell.
Robin whooped. "Batgirl!"
Batgirl set Summers down and gave him a salute before
doing a truly impressive series of somersaults over to
where the Riddler was just starting to get up off the
floor. It was the work of a moment to get her free, and
Batman considered moving into the fight to help, but
"And also *this*!"
"Oi, Batgirl, that's really not very -- ooh, do that again!"
She seemed to have it under control. Robin was enthralled.
He helped the Commissioner up and dusted off her plain,
but fashionable suit. "Are you quite all right, Ms.
"Oh, *yes*, thank you, Batman. I don't know what I
would've done if all of you hadn't shown up."
He nodded, and helped her to duck when the Riddler
went flying over their heads, followed by Batgirl. "Well,
we do our best."
Summers beamed at him. "You know, I really think the
Riddler just needs someone to talk to. A sympathetic
ear. He really has had a tragic history with his
Batman nodded again. "The fate of Sunnydale's criminal
element is a terrible one, Ms. Summers."
She smiled at him again, a sly look in her eye. "You're
kind of a deep one, aren't you, Batman?"
"Oh, well, I. Er. That is to say..."
Luckily, Batgirl joined them, dumping a thoroughly
trussed Riddler in their midst.
"I don't think we'll have to deal with *him* for a while,
Batman. And Mo -- er. Commissioner Summers! Are
you all right?"
"Just fine, thanks to all of you, Batgirl." She ruffled
the girl's hair. "Well, I think it's time for me to get
back to the station. I think Riddler parked my car in
Robin joined them, rubbing his hands together. "And
time for *us* to get back to the cage -- er. Cave! I
meant cave! Coming with, Batgirl?"
Batgirl shuffled her feet. "Nah, I've got some homework...
er. Some work to do. At home. Which is where I live.
Important crime-fighting work!"
And she was off, leaving him with Robin and Commissioner
Summers, who ran a hand down his arm before moving
off to find her car.
Batman coughed and got Robin to help him load the
Riddler into the boot.
It was the work of a few minutes to drop him off at
Arkham to wait for trial, and then it was back to the
cave, where Ethan was working on something
disturbingly... sparkly on the sewing machine.
"Back already? Tch. I barely had time to lace the tea
Robin gasped. "Drugs are *wrong*!"
Ethan waved a hand. "I'm kidding. *Kidding*."
Batman sighed to himself and made a mental note not
to drink any of the Batearlgrey before bed. "Is there
anything *important* that needs to be done before I
retire for the evening, Ethan?"
Ethan grinned and whipped his latest concoction off
the sewing machine.
It appeared to be a pair of simple shorts, but they
were rather... brief. And covered with sequins. "I am
*not* wearing those into battle, Ethan."
"Of course not! These are for *Xander*."
Xander blinked. "Holy spanky pants, Batman!"
Batman thought about it for a minute and then
shrugged. It could have been worse. It could've been
a posing pouch, like the ones Ethan made for *him*.
"Well, I suppose that's all right, then."
He watched Ethan lead Xander into the changing area
before settling in with a book. Xander would
undoubtedly be legal in a *few* months.
And by God, there was crime to fight.