Three минуты later Dick abruptly stopped at a vent cover; almost making me run into is butt.
“Next time give me a warning when you’re about to stop,” I whispered to him. He nodded saying, “We can’t drop down to talk to Artemis, so we’re going to have to do this the hard way.”
“Hard way, you’re kidding, right?” I asked as Dick looked back at me confused. “For a detective Ты sure are stupid sometimes. Give me your phone.” My hand was outstretched waiting for his latest model of the Wayne Tech phone. He hesitantly handed over his phone until it hit him, “You’re going to text her aren’t you?”
“Yes, and I can’t believe that it took Ты that long to figure that out. Aren’t Ты supposed to be a detective или justice bringer?”
“Yes, but I don’t think that ‘bringer’ is a word,” he corrected me texting Artemis and a few минуты later a girl that looked to be three years older than Dick and I was looking up into the vent. Soon Dick’s phone lit up with a text saying ‘How the hell am I going to get out of here?’ Snatching the phone I texted back ‘Go to the girls’ bathroom ASAP air duct there:)’
“A smiley face really? Do Ты know what she will think of me now?” Dick glared at me.
“Sensitive,” I suggested.
“Not a good time to joke around Babs.”
“Sorry, I am just a little overwhelmed.”
“Get whelmed или end up like Madeline and don’t say you’re sorry; it’s a sign of weakness,” he сказал(-а) oh so calmly and what could I do but nod like Artemis when she received the text.
Slowly the three of us made our way to the girls’ bathroom until Dick paused before he was officially in the restroom.
“What are Ты doing?” I asked looking back at him.
“I am a guy not a girl and Ты know girls’ bathroom,” he explained.
“This is life или death and you’re scared of going into the girls’ bathroom?” I looked at him with disbelief.
“No,” he сказал(-а) slowly starting to Переместить again. Finally, we made it to the vent cover in the downstairs bathroom.
“Nail filer,” Dick сказал(-а) holding out his hand. In moments the cover was off and Dick dropped down.
“Come on Barbara. Ты scared?” He taunted as I dropped down holding my uniform skirt.
“Who are you?” Artemis nearly screamed as I dropped down.
“Barbara Gordon. Dick Grayson – Robin,” Dick explained as her face went into a full-fledged surprised and confused look.
“Okay,” she slowly nodded. “What’s going on? Why are we in lockdown? And, no offense Barbara, but what are Ты doing here?”
“What’s going on? I don’t know. Why were in lockdown? I don’t know. Why Barbara’s here? She’s stubborn,” Dick answered. I have never seen him like this. He was so serious and had еще wheels turning in his head than I ever thought was possible. Also, he called me stubborn, but he is true although he will pay with a slap.
“Ow,” Dick сказал(-а) rubbing his arm where there was a red hand print.
“Um, well, my quiver and bow is in my locker,” Artemis said.
“My ремень, пояс, пояса and gloves are in mine, so let’s go,” Dick said.
“I’ve my binder in mine,” I piped in as a joke, but I just got the ‘really’ stare. “Too soon?” With that we all went to our lockers.
“Tell me again why I have to be in a dusty air vent?” I asked into my earwig, earpiece communicator.
“You don’t need to have a wardrobe change,” Dick blandly said.
“Well maybe I don’t want to kick some жопа, попка in a skirt,” I tested his boundaries like we always do to each other.
“She has a point,” Artemis piped in, thankfully on my side.
“You always wear short shorts under the uniform skirts,” he сказал(-а) in that know-it-all voice.
“Okay, so yeah I do. Wait how did Ты know that?” I asked confused. All he did was his signature laugh. “Richard Grayson!”
“Welcome to the superhero biz,” Artemis sarcastically announced.
“Hey Babs,” Dick whispered right behind me making me jump and almost hit my head on the вверх of the air vent.
“Hey guys,” Artemis сказал(-а) making me jump again, but this time I hit the вверх of the air vent. Rubbing the вверх of my head Dick joked, “Babs I know Ты like frogs, but do Ты really have to act like one right now?”
“Ribit,” I sarcastically played along and we proceed through the vents to the threat. The only thing that we heard on our way was the periodic ‘right’ and ‘left’ from Dick behind Artemis and I with his holographic computer.
“Stop,” Dick harshly whispered. “We are right above him.”
“Him?” Artemis and I both asked the Boy Wonder.
“Babs your going to hate me if I say,” Dick turned his head off to the side dodging my questioning look.
“Like I сказал(-а) before, I could never hate you,” I pressed. With a sigh he complied, “He is Jim Junior Gordon.” My eyes grew ten times bigger than their original size. Junior is supposed to be locked up in an institution getting professional help for his violent ways. It all started a few weeks after my mother left the three of us, Dad, Junior and I, for who knows what. Her leaving has been extremely hard on the family and to вверх it off Junior became psychotic. Worse, from psychotic to murderous.
“Look, just stay here Artemis and I will take care of him,” Dick cautiously сказал(-а) resting a hand on my shoulder and the two of them slid down to the ground.
“Junior broke into the school. Junior was the threat. Junior killed Madeline. Junior is here for me,” looked up from the dusty bottom of the air vent. “That bullet was for me.” I looked down at my best friend and a girl that I barely know. They’re fighting my fight. They shouldn’t be fighting my fight, I thought, so I jumped.
My feet hit the floor harshly. I soon became the vocal point of the room.
“What are Ты doing? I told Ты to wait up in the vent,” Dick yelled at me.
“Yes, sister what are Ты doing here?” Junior replied with a sly smile creeping up on his mouth.
“Fighting my fight.”
“Are Ты crazy? Robin, Ты agree that she’s crazy, right?” Artemis asked still pointing a loaded bow at Jimmy Junior.
“No, she’s perfectly sane,” Dick сказал(-а) while stepping aside.
“Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer,” Artemis grumbled putting her armed Стрела away.
“Now that your little Друзья are out of the way, Barbara. Let’s dance,” Junior сказал(-а) to me pulling out a throwing knife.
“I know that the bullet was meant for me and not Madeline. I know that this is all for me, which by the way I am flattered, and I know that this is about Mom,” I stroke his nerve as he lowered his stance slightly.
“I forgot how smart Ты are, and annoying,” Junior fought back unsuccessfully.
“I know that Ты are here to terminate me because Ты think that I am the reason that Mom left. News flash Jimmy, it was all because of you. Ты were the one that drove her away and Ты know that. Ты are just trying to plant the guilt on someone else. Well, it’s not going to work. I know that Ты were the one to kill me cat two years назад and then told Mom to leave. Ты сказал(-а) that if she didn’t that I would end up like my cat. Jimmy, I am very much alive, and Mom is gone just like Ты wanted her to be. Are Ты happy? Ты succeeded in ruining our family.” Hot tears of rage came down my face as quickly as Nigra Falls. “Our family.”
“Our family? Our family? It was never my family. It was all about you, Barbara. No one cared about me because it was all about you,” Jimmy yelled pointing the tip of the нож at me.
“Mom cared about Ты and drove Ты to Футбол practice all the time. Dad also. They still do, but that train left a long time назад for me. Once I found out that Ты told Mom to leave I didn’t care at all. It was all about you, Jimmy, and now you’re mad that it’s about me. It’s about me because I didn’t tell Mom to leave, I didn’t turn psycho and point a нож at my sibling, and I didn’t let anyone down.” I turned to walk away from the stranger I was talking to, when something behind me clattered on the floor. I turned to look back to see Dick and Artemis cuffing Jimmy.
“One thing that Ты have wrong sister is that Ты do care about me. Ты care about what I have done, so Ты care about me,” Jimmy smiled. All I could do was keep walking because it was true. Wiping tears I passed Madeline’s limp, crimson body. With a deep breath and a final wiping of tears I walked out the double doors I entered this morning.
“Hold fire,” my father cried as he ran up to me. Without the Вопрос I stated, “It was Jimmy, Dad. It was Junior. Robin and that female archer took care of him.”
“Go get checked out at the ambulance,” he pointed.
“Dad,” he turned back to me as I took a breath in. “Madeline is dead. He killed her in front of Dick, Will and I.” He nodded as we both turned to our destinations.
“Barbara Gordon a statement, please,” a reporter сказал(-а) while shoving a microphone in my face.
“Barbara Gordon will not be making a public statement,” an officer сказал(-а) coming between me and the reporter. I continued to walk to the скорая помощь as еще reporters asked for a statement.
The following few hours were a blur of Вопросы from paramedics, officers and reporters. Finally, everyone was released from the school.
“Barbara,” Will сказал(-а) spotting me and ran over.
“Will,” I exclaimed giving him a hug.
“I was worried about Ты and Dick. I woke up and Ты two were gone as if Ты disappeared. I thought Ты guys were dead,” Will rambled.
“Will, it was Jimmy Junior. Madeline took my bullet. He was here for me, but thank goodness that Robin and that female archer were there. Jimmy tried to kill me again,” I explained. “And, to answer your question, I went after Junior and Dick came after me.”
“Will. Babs,” a familiar voice сказал(-а) behind us.
“Dick, dude,” will сказал(-а) as they did their handshake. Once they were finished I hugged Dick with all my might.
“Thank you,” I whispered into his ear.
“For what? I lied and almost severely hurt your brother,” he whispered back.
“For finally telling me the truth and protecting me. For being еще than a hero, but my hero,” a tear trickled down my face. Dick pulled away from the hug and kissed me. He tasted of his салат he had for lunch, desperation, Хор and heroism. When he pulled away Will said, “Finally.”
“No. No, Wally I’m fine and why do Ты care... Yeah, sure. It’s just because I’m on the team. I have to go… I don’t care if you’re hungry. Bye Wally,” Artemis сказал(-а) into her phone that she was now pressing end. “Hi guys. Dick, we need to go.”
“Oh, yes. Wait were Ты just talking to Wally?” Dick eyed Artemis.
“He called me,” she defended against nothing.
“Sure,” Dick сказал(-а) sarcastically while rolling his eyes. “Guys I’ll see Ты later.”
“Dick,” I сказал(-а) grabbing his arm as he and Artemis turned to walk away. “I want in.”
“No,” he сказал(-а) sternly while walking away.
“Yes,” he said.
“Great when do I start?” I asked. He slapped his face in realization that I just tricked him into saying yes.
“Babs, it takes еще than saying ‘I want in’.”
“I know, so train me,” I said. With a sigh he complied saying for me to follow. And it begins. Oh, and bringer is a word.
Author's note: The part about Barbara's family when she is talking to Jimmy Junior is based on the Batgirl New 52 comics.