Rating: Totally G, unless you have something against cute, furry hamsters.
Disclaimer: Hey, The Bat-Family is not mine, I'm just borrowing them, but Bob is entirely out of my imagination. :) Ask before you borrow Bob, or yell at me if you've already thought of Bob, which is entirely possible. :)
Archiving: Anyone who wants to, feel free... :) I'd be ecstatic if you archived this.
Dick Grayson made his way down the hallway outside of Barbara Gorden's apartment. A little box was snug under one arm and he was holding a bulging plastic bag in the other hand. When he reached door to her apartment he looked up toward where he knew the hidden security cameras were placed. With her sophisticated surveillance equipment he knew without a doubt he had been spotted five minutes ago when he parked his motorcycle by the side of the building.
"C'mon Babs, my hands are kind of full. Open up."
A click was heard and the door opened a few inches. He pushed the door open the rest of the way with his foot and then when he was in closed the door again with his foot. Babs was sitting in front of her large array of computers. Ironically enough a game of solitaire was up on the main screen. With all the technology and power she had at the tip of her fingers it was a solitaire game she chose to partake in at this moment. With one last click she placed the King of Aces on the top of the screen and then all the cards started scattering like mad. When that was done with she finally turned to give a curious look at Dick and his packages.
"Hey there, what exactly do you have in that mess. Not another one of your brilliant schemes to convince Tim you are the 'Master'... Or whatever games you're partaking in these days."
It was all Dick could do not to roll his eyes. Women. What did they know about the intricacies of the big brother/little brother relationships? Not a thing.
"I'm glad that you were able to fit me into your busy solitaire schedule madam, and for your information I just recently tortured a statement of supremacy from the squirt. This," He indicated his packages, "is for you."
Babs raised an eyebrow. "For me?" She wheeled her chair closer to the place where Dick had deposited his bundles to take a closer look, but he stepped in front of her before she could start unwrapping things.
"Ah ah, no peeking yet. You have to meet Bob before you get into the other goodies."
"Bob?" It's all she can manage at the moment. Who is /Bob/. "I think I'm afraid to ask who Bob is."
A wicked smile appeared on Dick's face. "Bob is a very cute, intelligent, and hard working being. I think you'll love him." He paused to waggle his eyebrows. "Just like me."
She managed to get one smack on his arm before he got himself out of range. "Looking to get yourself replaced? The cop gig getting to be too much?"
A semi-hurt look made it's way onto Dick's face and he let out a mock sniff. "For your information Bob could never replace me. For one thing I don't think I could get a 'Wing costume made small enough for him and I think the guys at the department would get a little suspicious." He pulled a container out of the medium sized box. "Meet Bob."
It was all Babs could do just to stare at the container and at the little furry bundle running around in circles inside of it. "You brought me a hamster?" she asked incredulously.
Dick nodded eagerly and placed the container in her lap. "I thought you could use a little furry companion around when I'm not here to keep you company. I figured a dog might be not be very good since you always have to take them outside and such to do their... uh... business. And I really liked Bob... So, there you go."
Bob stopped and stared up at Babs, as if knowing he was being scrutinized. He was a medium-sized hamster with short darker colored fur. His little ears twitched slightly before he continued his circle running. She didn't know what to say. A hamster?!? "But... I don't even have anything to take care of him. He needs pipes and food and all that type of stuff doesn't he? I've never owned a hamster before..." She heard some bags rustling and she looked back up towards Dick.
"I think I have that all covered. I have a bunch of things to build up his home, there's water bottles and food dishes, some stuff for the bottom of his cage, a large bag of food, and...." A small book appeared in his hand, "The Ultimate Guide to Raising Hamsters."
Babs couldn't help the slightly helpless look that came over her face as she looked back down at Bob and his aimless wanderings. A hamster... Great. "I don't know what to say Dick, I really don't."
A broad grin lit the former boy wonder's face. "You don't have to say a thing. I'm just happy to give you a little companion to keep around the apartment. Cheers the place up a bit."
Babs smiled weakly at Dick.
A week later found Barbara Gordan struggling to get the lid off of Bob's cage so she could feed him. Finally she stopped for a breath and started defiantely down at Bob and his cage. "If Dick /ever/ brings another furry critter in this house he's going to find himself a Former Vigilante, not just Boy Wonder, because I'm going to break both of his legs." She sighed once more and continued the struggle with the lid before finally managing to find the right pressure point and get the lid off. Then an urgent beeping filled the room. She abandoned Bob and his cage lid and quickly wheeled herself over to the keyboard and turned on the microphone.
"What do you need Canary?"
There was dead air for a second before a response came out of the speakers. The voice sounded slightly panicky. "Babs, I have a big problem... It's Bats."
"What's wrong Dinah? What do you need me to do. He's not hurt is he?" She started to pull open a window to get into her homing program so she would know where Dinah was currently situated.
"It's... He... Well... He smiled. I think there's something wrong with him." The sound of laughter in the background joined the transmission. Her program told her that Batman, Dinah, Robin, and Nightwing were all in the same area. Tim must've been the one that sounded like he was about ready to lose some of his marbles because he was laughing so hard. Babs forced a sigh past her lips. Luckily Dinah was using simply voice transmission and couldn't see the smirk that adorned her face. She forced her voice to take on a serious tone.
"A smile eh? I think that requires a priority call to Superman for a rescue. What about you Nightwing?"
Dick's voice came over the speakers, also sounding serious. "I think the only thing that will save him now is Bob."
She couldn't resist letting a snicker escape as a confused Dinah interjected herself back in. "Bob? Who's Bob? Don't tell me they allowed another weirdo into the JLA without my knowledge?"
While Dick proceeded on filling Dinah with information on how Bob was the ultimate savior of the galaxy and how he was even more powerful than Superman, Babs sent a glance over her shoulder toward Bob's cage. Unfortunately Bob didn't look back. His cage was empty of any kind of furry animal. She grabbed behind her for the microphone and quickly spoke into it. "Uh, guys, I've had a real emergency come up... Call me back later and update me, huh?"
"Anything we can help with Babs?" Apparently Tim had finally recovered from his laughing fit."Uh, no..." She looked frantically around on the floor. Where was he?! "I can handle it... No problem at all..." She then hit a key and severed the connection and began to look for Bob in earnest.
Batman and Nightwing landed on the balcony outside of Barbara's apartment together and entered her brightly lit apartment. Dick looked around the living room with amazement. It was in a state of chaos. Boxes and shreds of paper were scattered all over the floor. Very unusual for Babs since her apartment was usually so neat. Off to the side was Barbara Gorden herself looking through a box of various computer parts. A sigh escaped her lips as she discarded the box and started on a new one. Dick finally opened his mouth to speak. Batman wasn't going to say a word no matter what, so it was up to him to find out what was wrong.
"Eh, Babs? We were kind of worried when you didn't respond to any of our pages..." His words trailed off as Babs looked up and a horrified look came across her face. She couldn't tell him Bob was missing... He would be devastated that his present had gotten up and run away.
"Ummm... Superman needed some help on something... And... Ehh... I needed a specific computer part that I hadn't set up on my system yet... Yeah... Thus the mess. I can't seem to find where I put the part." She bobbed her head up and down slightly.
The concerned look on Dick's face melted away slightly and he grinned. "Why didn't you just say so? We can help you look for it... You really should have been responding to your pages though. We thought maybe something cataclysmic had happened."
Bab's forced a big grin on her face, teeth showing and everything. "No, no, no, I insist, you boys have better things to do that to help me search for a missing part. I'm sorry I worried you, it's just I was in the middle of this big pile of stuff here and couldn't get out. No problems at all. Now, just go away while I finish my work." She made little shooing gestures toward the two vigilantes in her apartment. A little voice in the back of her head told her she was over doing it slightly, but she didn't particularly care at this point in time as long as they left before Dick realized Bob wasn't in his cage.
Both Bruce and Dick exchanged glances before Dick shrugged. "Okay, sure, but if you need any help with anything we're both just a short call away. No more ignoring the comm system, OK Babs?"
She nodded eagerly. Anything to get them out of here. "No problem, again, sorry to worry you." At the same time she made a mental note to change the password system to restrict any of the Bat-family getting into her apartment from the balcony outside so easily.
Both of the darkly clad vigilantes landed on the ground outside of the clock tower silently. The Batmobile and the 'Cycle that Nightwing rode were parked in the dark alley. Nightwing sent a glance toward his mentor. "She was hiding something I think... But I don't have a clue what it could have been... And I didn't want to pry."
Batman just shrugged slightly. "If she wants us to know, she'll tell us." That was all the comments he would offer on the subject. He wouldn't want to break his carefully built up dark and silent image, even in front of his son. Just wouldn't work. He opened the door to the Batmobile and swung his large cape back before settling himself behind the steering wheel. Suddenly he sat up straight and let out a slight grunt. Nightwing turned back around to give him a curious look.
"Nightwing, I think I just sat on a bomb..." His voice was very quiet, but strangely calm. "Someone must have planted it while we were upstairs."
Dick quickly turned and jogged over to his cycle where he went through a large compartment attached to side. A few seconds later he had pulled out an object, turned it on, and was back at Batman's side. "I thought you had sensors and such to avoid these kinds of things?" He used the bomb sensor he had brought to scan over the leather seat in the car. The machine blipped steadly. "This doesn't indicate there's a bomb in here... Are you sure you just didn't sit on a candy bar wrapper or something?"
The Dark Knight sent a scathing glare toward his more carefree companion. "Number one I don't leave trash in The Car and Number Two it may not be a normal bomb. Could be more sophisticated than that. Try the metal detector."
Dick just raised an eyebrow, but went back and dug out his metal detector. Never leave home without one. Never know when you're going to have to scan your mentor for bombs. Really. After another short scan he spoke again... "There's nothing at all registering. And if it's not any kind of papers or anything I'm going to go with a lump in your seat or your imagination. Take your pick."
Another grunt escaped the Batman and he closed his eyes and slowly began to lift himself up, prepared at any moment to have the thing in his car explode. Nightwing watched the seat as more of it slowly became visible. All of the sudden his eyebrows shot up and he reached out with both hands and grabbed the mysterious object that had struck fear into Batman. He held his cupped hands up to where the Knight could see them and slowly opened his hands a little bit. A small furry nose peeked out through the opening and finally two black eyes appeared as his hands were forced open a little more.
"Batman, Meet Bob."
After a second of staring at Bob, Batman simply slammed the door to the Batmobile and drove off, leaving Nightwing laughing in the alley behind him.
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