Hello guys

This goes AU towards the end of the season 2 episode Once Burned for Terry not chucking Melanie's note away.

Frankly, the whole Terry tosses Melanie's note away and doesn't trust her at the episode end's is like I guess the writers were striving for "Any relationship is over, Terry gave up trusting her since she left him twice" yeah one problem using that logic.

Melanie would have no reason to recuse Batman and the guy had helped locked her up once, to Melanie Batman is one more enemy. Melanie's connection for caring was with Terry, not his alter ego. If she knew Terry was Batman, I highly doubt Melanie would have left him to fend for himself either time since in all three episodes it's clearly shown how much Walker cares for McGinnis.

Really the writer's wasted potential of Melanie and the Terry/Melanie relationship is appalling. Guess they were more interested in the status quo of Terry/Dana for the same old "McGinnis skips dates to go be Batman and Dana complains" which became boring.

Anyway, on with the show

Empty bridge in Gotham City during the night

Terry McGinnis pulls the note Melanie gave him, well Batman, earlier from his brown leather jacket in case something happened to her before they raided a Joker gang hideout. And she left Batman behind, but Terry knows in all fairness Batman is just one more enemy to her given she has no knowledge of them being the same person.

Looking at the note Terry considers tossing it into the water below but decides to not to with instead slipping it back into the inside of his jacket pocket. Since he really doesn't want to be done with Melanie, and frankly doesn't want to go back to Dana given their crumbling relationship. Chose to not spend a night with her attempting to repair it when Melanie was in his apartment. Instead spent the night with Melanie as they slept together.

Frankly, Terry knows he enjoys spending time with Melanie, plus they have a connection of knowing what it's like to lead a double life. Gripping the railing Terry decides he needs to do two things first of end things with Dana for good. Next is going to tell Melanie who he really is. Instead of lying to her nonstop as he did with Dana, one of the things responsible for their crumbling relationship.

Shuttering momentarily Terry knows telling Mr. Wayne this is so not going to go over great. Only given everything Bruce has done for him, really become a second father, Terry is going to let Mr. Wayne know because the old man means far too much to him for later getting blindsided.

The senior high school student removes the note from his pocket with having a general idea, or well that he hopes anyway is right begins reading it. Thankfully Terry knows he was not proven wrong as Melanie does indeed still want to be with him.

Main sitting room

Letting the grandfather clock slide back in place Bruce sees Terry over at the table sitting in his chair lost in thought. Walking over Bruce sits in the other chair with resting his cane against the table and picks up his tea with drinking it. Glancing over Bruce notices Terry has eaten some of the soup Bruce fixed for McGinnis earlier, and put a lid over it to keep it warm.

This is good since the kid has a habit of not eating when he should for either getting to lost in training, his own thoughts or digging through leads on their current case. Mind you, not for the first time Bruce ponders when did he become Alfred and has a new understanding of what his second father lived with daily.

"If you had a chance to not end up alone like this would you take it?" Terry asks.

"This involves the Walker girl?" Bruce asks after a long moment.

"Yes," Terry replies adding "I ended my relationship with Dana earlier tonight, for good."

"Why come to me for advice with women?" Bruce asks as they both know it's not his area of expertise.

Since Terry knows Bruce is wondering why not go to Tim Drake as they've kept in touch since the Joker incident as it's called, forming a bond of like older to a younger brother. For the relationship advice, Tim would be better at that since Drake settled down with Stephanie Brown a reformed criminal turned vigilante known as Spoiler. Brown and Drake had first met during Tim's early days as Robin when taking down her father known as Cluemaster.

Following those events Tim and she kept up a friendship which eventually in later years turned into a romance. Eventually, Tim married Stephanie with having a couple of kids with her.

"I'm not going to make the same mistakes I did with Dana; I wouldn't put her or myself through that again" Terry replies.

"You want to tell her your Batman?" Bruce inquires knowingly.

Terry merely nods.

Sighing "I don't like it, and do not approve of telling the Walker girl. Do not trust her either with this might just end up backfiring majorly if she returns her criminal ways" Bruce says in quiet, harsh tone then softens "However it's your life McGinnis, your call."

"Thank you" Terry replies gratefully "Good night Mr. Wayne."

Bruce merely nods as Terry gets to his feet with heading for the door before leaving. Looking over to where McGinnis sat Bruce ponders on the advice with hoping that the kid doesn't make the same mistakes he did. Mistakes for letting Selina Kyle slip away, and the only woman he ever would have wanted to settle down with.

Even Selina reforming completely and becoming one of his allies, eventually his only partner once his other partners were no longer active. When Selina wanted to give up this life knowing it was too dangerous for their aging bodies, he refused, and she walked away unable to see him die.

While loved Andrea that was the life before even putting on the cowl, and had no real feelings left for the soulless person who came back obsessed with revenge.

Pushing those thoughts aside Bruce hopes things go well for Terry and thinks of giving Tim, one of his sons, a late-night call since they have kept in touch since the Joker incident. Even Dick Grayson and he have managed to start repairing broken bridges.

Later outside Deckard's Kitchen

Melanie Walker walks out from the diner glad she has already managed to get a legal job, despite only earlier tonight seeing her family get arrested hopefully for the final time. Because she is done with them given all they see her as is another weapon be used. No more Melanie decides and just hopes Terry is not lost because of her earlier actions a year ago when choosing to remain with the family.

Pulling the long gray raincoat around herself as a cold wind blows by Melanie keeps walking given her apartment is two blocks from here, although she is very aware of the dangers for being out in Gotham City during the night.

Still the streets have gotten safer again due to Batman, compared to the corrupt police with being in the hands of people like Paxton Powers who don't do much. The Tomorrow Knight has managed to start making the gangs scared again and even the corrupt cops are uneasy with him around.

Walking along the near-empty sidewalks Melanie's ears pick up danger because those skills ingrained as a kid just don't go away for hearing motorcycles coming towards her very fast. Recognizing the chants from the Joker gang Melanie decides to run only it's too late when about four motorcycles pull up around her with the gang members getting off.

A gang member known as Scab, another one as J-Man, Carter Wilson aka Terminal and Dottie all surround Melanie who simply glares at all of them. Even J-man pulling out his knife it doesn't do much and these gang members are not pleased, she's not laughing. Which usually means they get dangerous for either start killing their victims or torturing them like throwing acid in their faces.

"Your blondie you're not smiling, we don't like it when you people don't smile," J-Man says wickedly.

"After all we do this to make people laugh," Wilson says.

"Yep, yep" Dottie pitches in happily.

"So, let's put a smile on that face," J-Man says smirking.

Only the Jokerz look over in surprise to see Terry McGinnis emerging from the shadows of the nearby alleyway and his face a look of pure rage. Darkness behind those eyes too, not that they can tell from the low streetlight.

"Hey Mel, need a hand?" Terry asks.

"Just stay back, I don't need you hurt" Melanie replies in concern.

"Oh, look the hot lady is concerned for Mr. unhappy. Why don't have some fun with them like use their heads for new bowling balls" Scab says.

"Uh, guys isn't this the one who trashed us at the old mansion when we chased him to a year ago. You know that old guy with the cane who was broke my arm" Dottie says in worry.

"Yeah this is McGinnis, I've got a score to settle with this punk" Wilson snarls.

"Given how last time why don't you unfunny clowns run," Terry says because of already facing some of them earlier tonight. Really not looking forward to a rematch.

"Let's cut him and his girlfriend up into little pieces then mail them around town," J-Man says.

"Well, you're welcome to try" Melanie replies.

Terry moves over standing beside the former Royal Flush Gang member while the Jokerz charges towards them. Reaching out Terry blocks a knife attack from J-Man before grabbing his arm twists breaking it at the elbow joint before kicking him to the sidewalk.

Ducking a swing from Dottie's rubber chicken with nails in it Terry kicks her left knee before uppercutting the woman in her face sending her to the ground with a broken jaw, out of the fight. J-Man still on his feet tries to sneak up behind Terry who feeling him moving responds by giving a backhanded punch to J-Man's face breaking his nose, facial bones and jaw sending him to the ground in agony out cold.

Meanwhile, Melanie backflips out of the way from Terminal using a baton swinging at her while swiftly avoiding a punch thrown by Scab. Dodging Scab's next punch Melanie responds back by hitting him in the stomach with one of her own then proceeds to give a few more rapid punches to the Jokerz member's face.

Letting out a groan of pain as Terminal lands a hit on her back Melanie kicks Scab in his privates. Ducking another swing by Terminal Melanie slams her elbow into Wilson's face breaking his nose. Grabbing the nearby lamppost Melanie uses it to jump up slamming both her feet into Wilson's chest breaking various ribs while rendering Wilson unconscious.

Scab throws a punch towards Melanie who ducks it before jamming both her fingers into Scab's eyes and pulling them back out. As Scab yells in agony clutching his eyes Melanie slides in behind the Jokerz gang member with kicking his right knee in letting him fall to the sidewalk.

Glancing at the Jokerz gang's bodies lying sprawled out over the sidewalk then up at Terry whose walking over Melanie grins.

"I have to admit, I'm impressed. Nice moves" Melanie says.

"Thanks, and same to you" Terry replies.

"My brother Jack taught me when we were kids. And thanks, how about you?" Melanie says.

"Picked up some moves when running with a street gang as a kid" Terry replies self-loathing at his past actions, and that isn't a lie since he did learn initially how to fight during that time. It's only Mr. Wayne who has turned him into a human weapon.

"Oh right," Melanie says upon remembering Terry telling her that last year.

"Yep. Although I'd rather continue this conversation elsewhere before the pathetic knock offs of their humorless inspiration get up, or the GCPD show" Terry says.

"Neither one of us are exactly GCPD's number one fans," Melanie says.

Chuckling "Yeah sometimes I feel like I'm in a roller coaster with her. Long story, I'll tell you later" Terry adds.

"My apartment's not far from here but I have a feeling you already knew that. How did you find me anyway?" Melanie asks.

"Working for Mr. Wayne has its perks, I simply tracked you down" Terry replies since after all, he has gotten good at using computers.

"Guess I could have worse stalkers" Melanie quips then takes Terry's hand "I'm just happy Batman gave you the note."

Nodding his head McGinnis can't find it in him to give another lie for having to act like they are two separate people. Because he lies enough to the people he cares about from his mother, Matt, and Dana.

Terry and Melanie begin heading down the sidewalk heading for the apartment building.

Inside the living room of an apartment

Standing around Terry after having done a tactical analysis inside his own head for every possible exit, or what can be used as a weapon, which only took less than a minute, decides to relax upon not seeing any threats. Meanwhile Melanie is hanging her overcoat up on a hook by the door.

"Nice place," Terry says.

"Thanks. I wanted something cheap and close to work" Melanie replies.

Letting out a sigh "There's no easy way to tell you this and I'll understand if you don't want to see me ever again" Terry says hesitantly.

Walking over Melanie takes one of his hands in hers and looks up meeting his crystal blue eyes "I think between us I'm the one with the stuff to run from. So, I can handle it."

Looking into her eyes "I hope your right" Terry says.

"Terry even if you tell me your Batman, I'll" Melanie begins jokingly but stops upon seeing McGinnis's face tense upon that.

Stepping back in disbelief and an uneasy realization that is all but confirmed as not only does Terry nods pulling a black object out of his pocket. An object with a quick flick of his wrist extends the two red wings on it, transforming it into a Batarang.

After a handful of minutes, it's just the two teenagers looking at each both having a mix of emotions on their faces and in their hearts. Mostly dread in Terry's case, and for Melanie wrapping her mind about the young man who she has feelings for, is the same Batman who has taken her family down. The same one who sent her to prison, the same one who… she left behind twice. Left behind to the mercy of the Jokerz gang and her family.

"If anything, … I'm surprised you can even stand to be in the same room with me" Melanie says bitterly.

"Why because you were Ten? I've been on that part of the wrong side of the law, and besides, you've changed" Terry says reassuringly.

Stepping over Terry takes her hand in his looking at each other.

"No, I meant me leaving you to die, twice" Melanie replies filled with guilt.

"Oh, that? Melanie as far as you knew I was just another enemy who you were forced to work with. I don't exactly like having found myself suddenly without back up, but I can't blame you completely" Terry says reassuringly "You didn't know it was me under the mask. Your forgiven."

Before Melanie can dig herself further into a guilt trip Terry leans over capturing her lips in a kiss which after a moment the blonde eagerly returns. Following a moment or two, they break apart smiling at each other.

"Okay. And if that's how you're going to start interrupting me I think I can get used to that real quick" Melanie says smirking while running her hands up Terry's chest.

"Can you return the favor if I get too chatty Mel?" Terry asks a light grin.

Melanie leans up kissing Terry on his lips briefly then pulls away.

"You're not mad though of me keeping this, who I am a secret?" Terry inquires in surprise.

"Terry you're the Batman, that means every criminal who has ever heard of you or you put away wants you dead. Second Ten was a criminal. Besides I think you've spent too much time around high schoolers in your day life, I'm not that immature" Melanie replies.

Giving a grin "Thank you" Terry says.

"It's ironic my mother convinced me to make one of the worst mistakes of my life last year by not leaving them by telling me I would only find my king if I remained with them. But the only way I found you is by not following them" Melanie says.

"I'm glad you did" Terry replies.

Terry and Melanie walk over to the couch sitting down as they continue their conversation involving his being Batman, and other topics until eventually falling asleep.

Hope you guys enjoyed this and leave a review letting me know what you think if you want.

Yeah, Terry and Melanie having sex in the season 2 episode Once Burned is after the fade to black following the scene of them making out, and cuts back in several hours later. Pretty clear they were at the very least doing more than simply talking until sundown.

Like that among other things in the DCAU, Batgirl's dream death, Harley Quinn walking around in a T-shirt and nothing else, etc. is well not just a kid's show.

In the Once Burned episode itself Terry skipped a date with Dana to spend the night with Melanie, instead I made it, so Dana and he were on another break meaning no Terry cheating on Dana.

On referencing Return of the Joker already happening, despite in the timeline the most likely placement for it is after the season 3 King's Ransom episode given it's back to Wayne Enterprises fully, after Paxton Powers gets arrested.

I decided to bend canon by having ROTJ happen earlier.

For Tim Drake being married to Stephanie Brown is according to the writers in Return of the Joker Stephanie's who his wife is, as a nod to her being Tim's main love interest in the comics.

Until next time.