Hi y'all! This is, in fact, my first fanfiction. There is an OC in it, and usually I hate reading stories with OCs in them, but this guy popped into my head during science and POOF!Instant plot! So, enjoy, read, review, comment, etc., etc. I'm also looking for a beta if anyone wants to volunteer. And maybe give me some lessons in the lingo of this site.
Disclaimer: I don't own. Definetely. And I'm not sure I'd want to.
What I Wouldn't Give-Chapter One
Batman sighed. He'd given Robin the night off, as a reward for working so diligently with the team. But working alone…well, it was a little harder to take down Joker without him.
He allowed himself one more sigh, one more moment of self-pity, when someone behind him quietly said, "It's not the same without him, is it?"
Batman stayed facing forward, "How would you know Shayera? You never had a partner," he responded harshly, turning around finally to face the woman whom the world knew as Hawkwoman.
She was leaning up against the door frame, looking at her scuffed and scraped brown boots. Her wings were fitted into the slits on her blue tshirt and tucked into her back. "But I almost did."
He jerked around to face the computer screen again, vigilantly watching for any signs of crime. In a few minutes he would go patrol, and then pick up Robin from Mount Justice.
Batman heard another sigh, this time not from him. "It's been three years. She's gone," he said., "Give it up."
"It may have been three years, but I can still hope, right?"
"Only if you want to get your heart broken." He remarked. Suddenly a beeping noise sounded. Hawkwoman watched as Batman clicked a series of buttons, finally pulling up a grainy, security camera quality image. He examined the picture for a moment, then stood up quickly and turned around, walking to the door.
"It's an ATM robbery. Nothing big," he explained.
So quietly, that only someone who was Superman or standing directly next to him, he whispered, "Come on. It'll take your mind off it."
She allowed herself one smile before going to change into her costume.
Riding in the Batmobile was never the best experience. Too many years of speeding to get to villains had left Batman with a taste for speed, and he didn't realize that sometimes his passengers didn't share that preference. So it was justified that when she saw the familiar blond hair, she thought she was just a little dizzy.
The girl was standing in front of an ATM, muttering to herself and tugging at her pony tail. She was dressed in a raggedy white tshirt with a ripped-to-shreds black windbreaker over it and a pair of gray sweats. Oddly enough, she was barefoot.
Hawkwoman and Batman glanced at each other. Just broke out of juvie, his look said, while hers read as, from an abusive home. Hawkwoman had made a habit of giving kids the benefit of the doubt.
Abruptly the girl swore loudly and kicked the machine, turning around to see the superheroes standing not more than ten feet away. She froze, her hands in her pockets, before smirking and attempting to barrel straight through the two of them.
They grabbed her under the arms and hauled her up, Hawkwoman automatically reaching for the can of knockout gas on her belt in case the girl wanted to fight. The girl jerked her head, saying quietly, "You wouldn't hurt a fellow bird, would you, Shayera?"
Stunned, she dropped her arm and stepped back, although Batman was unfazed and kept his tight grip. Gingerly, she grasped the girl's chin and brought it skyward. The girl grinned and said with mirth shining in her eyes, "Remember me?"
Hawkwoman was on patrol outside the mountain. It was a monotonous job, with no one to talk to. She had tried to get Terra to join her, but the girl was still sore from her taekwondo training earlier that morning. "She's been a little out of sorts lately," she thought, "I wonder if something happened with her friends. She hasn't asked to see them any time soon. I'll talk to her once I'm back inside the mountain," she resolved.
Suddenly a familiar scream sounded throughout the night air. Her heart seemed to stop for a minute, then she flew as fast as a, well, a hawk to the other side of the mountain, all the while calling for back up through her communicator.
Coming to the site, she was horrified. Terra was desperately fighting a group of giant wolves, her left arm dangling limply at her side. It was clear she was losing. And she couldn't even fly away because her one wing was still broken. The League finally burst out the side entrance and stopped short. This was the worst thing they could imagine. Their little bird was fighting for her life.
Being the first to snap out of the trance, Batman immediately started sprinting towards the battle, throwing batarangs at the same time. Everyone else quickly followed suit, each one taking on a wolf.
The League battled the creatures, each one slowly working their way to the ten year old girl trying to knock out her opponents. As J'onn dispatched his last wolf to the world of the unconscious, he heard another shrill shriek. Terra had been thrown over the shoulder of a man in a suit and was desperately hitting his back with her small fists.
Flash ran up to them and tried to grab her, but the man jerked around and snarled like a wolf-only his face held a wolf's snout. He-it-bit a chunk out of the Flash's arm, and ran for the trees. Half the league went after Terra while the other half stayed with Flash.
The wound wasn't terribly deep, but it still gave Flash a reason to whine like it was fatal.
"What were those things? And where did that business man come from?" Aquaman asked.
Green Lantern shook his head. "I have no clue. But with the wolf bite he gave Flash, I'd say they were shape shifters of some sort. Did you get a read on their minds, Martian Manhunter?"
Martian Manhunter hesitated for a moment before responding, "Some..somewhat. The wolves were only thinking about blood and trying not to hurt Terra too bad. But they had no qualms about…killing us."
Black Canary nodded, "So they had sort of, primeval minds? What about the guy in the suit?"
"Yes. The man in the suit…his impressions were more coherent. He still had imprints of a wolf's mind on his, but he was thinking only of a helicopter in an undisclosed location and the," the martian gulped, "pay raise he would be receiving for being the one to bring her back."
"Why does this…pay raise…make you apprehensive?" Aquaman inquired.
"Because he was thinking of an empty white room, two extremely scared looking children, and a man saying…kill them."
"Did the girl look like Terra?" Green Lantern asked, looking slightly more nervous with every sentence that came out of the Martian's mouth.
"No. She was not bestowed with wings. The children had the ears, tails, and whiskers of cats."
The small group sat quietly around the sleeping Flash, letting it all sink in.
The search party tromped in soon after. The looks on their faces were enough; it was glaringly obvious that Terra, their favorite bird, was lost.
Terra was starting to feel a little claustrophobic.
After she revealed that she was, indeed, Terra, and shared her story of the past three years-to the entire league, no less- her surrogate mother had wrapped her in a hug as tight as a mummy's bandages.
After a few awkward moments, the Flash, who was like the uncle she'd never had, had blurted out, "Oh, what the heck," and proceeded to hug her too. After that it was like a hug-the-person-who's-been-missing-for-three-years fest.
And here she thought Bats wasn't the warm and feeling type.
To be honest, she hadn't had this much contact with human skin in, well, three years. She had become so used to the sensation of latex and business that she forgot what it really felt like wrap your arms around someone.
Terra tried to think of a feeling that went with human skin. She did this almost everything she could touch. It was her way of remembering things, because one day she might become blind, deaf, or have her nose or tongue cut off. So latex was businesslike, steel was cold, wood was warm, etc., etc., But this-this could only be considered comforting.
Soon after, Batman asked her to show was she had learned in her time away. She wasn't surprised he had asked-she was surprised it had taken him this long to do so. At least her hand had healed the week before.
She walked quickly to the training room, the league following her like dogs, and grabbed a bow and quiver of arrows and a handful of knives and throwing stars. Quickly she strung the bow and fired ten arrows into her target-the punching bag about a hundred feet away.
Pausing for a moment, she smirked, then quickly rearranged her face back as serious of a look as she could manage before grabbing the knives.
The Justice League watched as she hefted each one in her hand, checking to make sure it was properly balanced before whipping it, handle over blade, across the room, where they landed in the forehead, chest, stomach, and eyes of a foam dummy.
They were impressed.
But when she grabbed the throwing stars and released them so quickly that Flash would have had a hard time out running them, they were shocked.
Except for Batman, she thought. But since when is he ever shocked?
Not bothering to ask if it was okay, he grabbed a computer screen that she hadn't noticed before and dragged it in front of him. Tapping a few buttons, he glanced at her and stated, "Let's see how your hand to hand has improved."
Looking around, she saw she was surrounded by a group of holographic thugs. She faced him again and said, "Nice new computer software. Terra likey. Powers allowed?"
He shook his head, "Only your wings. Nothing else."
She grinned menacingly and he realized that even that was probably too easy. And he was right. As fast as she had thrown her stars, she was back on the ground in front of him, the thugs gone and her golden wings already melding into her back again.
"Winner: Unknown. Fail: Computer," the computer's robotic voice announced,
But he didn't even smile. Why did she even think Batman would smile? He simply pulled forward Hawkwoman and said, "Shayera will show you to your room."
Later that night, after Terra was in bed asleep, Hawkwoman approached Batman.
"I think Terra should join the team," she said matter-of-factly.
Batman nodded twice. "I agree. I will tell her tomorrow. They are on a mission right now, but will be back in three days. I suggest you and her create a costume and identity for her during that time."
"Perfect. Does Robin…remember her? At all?"
"Not really. But Artemis does. I'm sure she will be fine. She can take care of herself."
"Will she be staying at the mountain or with me? What's your plan for her living arrangments?"
"She'll have a room at the mountain of course. Probably her own wing. But I'm thinking we let her choose an apartment also in Gotham. That way she can get some privacy."
"Do you think they'll come after her again?"
"Maybe. If they do, we need to be prepared. I don't want her to have to live like that again.