"Know anywhere good for Chinese?" I asked Bruce, mostly so I didn't giggle at Willow's pouty face.
"In the US or China?" Bruce asked absently.
"I'm not The Flash. Where do you think?"
"Elizabeth usually orders it."
I went out to his pretty assistant with Cass and asked Elizabeth for the phone number for the Chinese restaurant she usually orders from.
"I can make the call. Just tell me what you want."
"Charge it to me," Bruce called out.
The order was made and we went back into Bruce's office. I looked around and noticed the paper aeroplanes hiding in and around the trash basket in the corner. "Bored much?"
"Lucius takes most of the work which means that some days I haven't got much to do. Today is one of them."
Willow returned to the painting with Cassandra and they continued to play at art critics.
I began rummaging through the papers on his desk, making a mess. That kept Bruce busy tidying it up until the lunch arrived and we called Lucius to join us. He's a funny man is Lucius-once you get him to loosen up that is. Lunch was fun and when it was over Lucius went back to his office. Cassandra got a call on her cell phone from Babs so we left Bruce to make more paper aeroplanes and took Cassandra back to the clock tower before Alfred drove Willow and I home. Poor Alfred then had to turn around and go back into Gotham to pick Bruce up, who was bored and figured he could do more in the cave than in the office.
He even admitted that he's a workaholic when we were in the office today. It's progress in the right direction.
While Alfred was gone, Garbage blared over the sound system:
'Now that you know what you know
I bet you wish you could let it go
They'll never come
Suck on your thumb
Better off dumb'
And I'll admit dancing around the gigantic living room of Wayne Manor with the sound system as loud as we could make it without the windows rattling was not our smartest idea. There was no warning when Bruce and Alfred came home until they stood in the doorway.
Willow, holding the remote while she danced, quickly turned it down, flushing with embarrassment and smiling sheepishly. Bruce hasn't had much experience with women in his house, except the ones who only stay one night. I can tell. He stared at us, slightly astonished, vaguely amused. I waved and said hi. "Just making sure your windows would survive a tornado," I shrugged, grabbed Willows hand and made a run for it out the other doorway giggling.
When we stopped in the back garden, with Robin the First joining in the fun, Willow was still giggling and puffing to catch her breath. "Have I... mentioned... I love this house?"
Giggling we sat down on the grass and chatted. We haven't done this in a long time. I don't think we've ever talked about guys that weren't creatures of the night or that weren't somehow involved in a plot to do some grievous evil. I'd forgotten how much fun this was.
Chilly evening air made us return to the house. We sat at the table in the kitchen and chatted with Alfred and Tim, who'd come up to get some help with holiday homework.
"I have something for you from Dawn!" I exclaimed suddenly and ran out of the kitchen, up the stairs to my room where I got the letter out of the bedside table drawer and ran back down the stairs and into the kitchen. I handed it over with a big smile. Tim smiled and took the letter, looked it over and slipped it into the back of one of his books. "Awww, aren't you gonna open it?" I whined.
"I have work to finish," he smiled. "Besides if Dawn really wanted you to know what was in this letter she'd have told you."
I mumbled and grumbled about smart-ass teenagers and mean sisters for a few minutes then just settled for glaring at the top of his head as he worked.
Willow settled in to help Tim while Alfred prepared dinner and I got in the way until he finally agreed to let me help him.
Bruce and Dick came into the kitchen dressed in clean clothes and smelling all freshly washed which meant they had been down in the cave working out or something because they'd washed before joining us.
After the roast chicken dinner we all descended to the cave where Willow would coordinate with Oracle. We were dressed quickly but Alfred insisted that we wait at least forty-five minutes for our food to digest before we descended upon Gotham. As always there is no arguing with Alfred so we waited. In the interim we were briefed by Oracle about possible situations. It was decided that because I was a newbie I had to be with one of the crew, for which Nightwing was nominated. The others would be on their own. I can feel the love-not.
Nightwing and I were in a fairly quiet part of town and he decided to take the opportunity to teach me the finer points of using the cables to fly over the city.
That was how the night passed. No big busts. A few bag-snatchers, a would-be mugger or two and a couple of very bad pick-pockets. I think Batman was disappointed.
We stayed out till three a.m. before returning to our homes. I made Bruce come home because there wasn't much happening and I think he needs more sleep. Alfred obviously agreed with me and that was the clincher to getting Bruce to get in the Batmobile at least a whole hour sooner than he normally would.
~ New York City, New York. Looking at Titans Tower. ~
New day and something new and interesting to do with it. Dick and I went with Willow to New York so she could see Kyle and continue her tour of New York. Dick was going to Titans Tower. He had work to do there or something and had decided that perhaps I could get more experience in the superhero community if I was part of a group rather than just an addition to the Bat family.
I really like the Oracle system. Right now it's letting me snoop on the meeting in Titans Tower that would decide my future with the group.
"We have a potential new recruit," Dick announced once they were all gathered. I watched him punch buttons and a holographic image of me appeared. This was weird, watching myself fight. "Her name is NightStalker. She has worked with us in Gotham and with the JLA in Metropolis, and California." My hair looks really nice flying around like that when I fight.
"How long has she been in the suit?" some guy in sunglasses asked. You're inside! You can take them off now.
"Not long in the suit but she's been doing this for a few years. Her training has been in various hand-to-hand techniques, and in the knowledge of myths and legends. She has a network of information that we now have access to through Oracle."
I don't know that much Dick. I work on prophecy and emergency.
"She's used to thinking on her feet. She's unorthodox and used to being in charge of a group."
"Why don't we see how she does first?" She looks good in spandex... Oooo. Sparkly. "But I'm not one to devalue myth and legend," the dark haired woman said with a slight smile.
An alarm sounded but I was too busy staring at the walking mass that ambled carelessly down the street. It looked like it was out for an afternoon stroll until it grabbed at some people and crushed them. I ditched my coat and put on the mask. Deep breath and I beat the Titans to the action.
At times like this I'm glad I have the strength to back up my bravado. I pull myself up into a tree so that I'm about the same height as this things neck and launch at it. The skin is so thick, how am I ever going to get anything through it. What I wouldn't give for a sword right now I think and then I remember that there's one on the backseat of Dicks car. Something Willow wanted to pick up from an antiques dealer in New York. Said it has a demonological history... or something. I quickly jump down and get the sword.
The red thing is slowly moving toward me. So I got its attention. That's good. Now it will probably leave everyone else alone. Clutching the sword I climb onto the hood of the car and jump. I use the sword like some sort of handhold by jabbing it into the demon where its heart would be if it were human. It howls in rage and flicks me away. As I'm flying through the air, I drop the sword in a conscious effort not to stab myself with it when I land. The Titans arrive just as it vanishes.
"'Wing," we say to each other by way of greeting.
"This is Nightstalker," he said to the others.
"The new addition?"
"You don't mind do you cause I can leave now..." I say quickly, picking up the sword as I approach them.
"Great to have you join us. I'm Jesse Quick. That's Arsenal..." the blond woman says pointing to the guy with the sunglasses.
"Call me Roy."
"Tempest, Argent, and Troia." Troia... the woman in the sparkly spandex.
"That was impressive, you know the way you made it run away."
"Thanks Argent but that's not the end of it. Unfortunately it won't bleed to death." I watched Nightwing and Tempest look around, gathering a few bits of evidence and the like. "I feel really silly in spandex," I muttered to myself.
"You look great," Roy drooled.
I laughed. "Nightwing said the same thing as he helped me put it on."
I saw his face fall in disappointment. "How do you do it man?" he asked Nightwing who was studiously searching for clues or something.
"It's his charming wit and debonair smile," Argent suggested.
"The mask, the air of secrecy," Jesse suggested.
"Or just how good he looks in the suit," I shrugged.
"What was that?" Nightwing asked me, referring to the thing we'd, well I'd fought.
"Yeah. He was pretty intense."
"No Roy. A demon. The sort you don't believe in. Oracle?" I asked my wristband.
"How come I don't have one of those? Do you have to be part of the Bat Brigade to get one?" Roy mumbled.
"Go ahead 'Stalker." I heard the laughter in Babs' voice.
"Can you find out about a red scaly demon about 8 feet tall? A bit T-Rex looking with long thick arms and short legs. Long whip tail and a fat neck."
"I'll contact the experts. Oracle out." Fingers crossed Giles can find it.