It's been a long time, and thanks to you readers encouraging me through my writer's block I've been getting back to this, so thanks. :)

"Let go of me!" the small figure flailed beneath the back gauntlet, glaring up at the dark knight with eyes full of rage.

"Stop flailing- you'll tear your stitches." was Batman's only reply, and he struggled not to keep his voice husky.

Scarlet had been missing for two days- for two days, she'd been running the streets without him to protect her. He'd searched frantically under the cover of night, not finding a single trace of her, and facing a terrorist crisis, having to call in the Justice League for aid, only to find she was already there and fighting a loosing battle. Th Justice league had been able to level the opponents, and she'd tried to flee to the shadows, but Bruce had been too quick.

He pulled down her hood, revealing a small, masked face with a scratch running just below her eye, marring her right cheek, weeping a few drops of blood. His gloved hand kept a firm hold on her left arm, despite her struggling.

"I said- let go!" She wrenched herself forward, struggling to get free from his grasp.

The Justice League watched the struggle bewildered. They knew enough to recognize Sparrow, but they didn;t know why she was out of costume, or why she was fighting her own father...

"It's been two days, dammit! You're coming home!" he snapped, voice taking on more emotion. Did she have any idea how worried he'd been, how much he'd looked for her?

"That's not home!"

Her words hit Bruce like a slap across the face, but he didn't let it show. "I don't care. I'm your father, and you will listen to me..."

"Bruce..." Superman was eying the whole situation critically, uneasy. "What's going on?"

"It's none of your concern, Clark..."

"Don't let him take me, Clark! He's gonna lock me in the house again and he won't let me out!" Scarlet continued to struggle, trying to get out of his iron grip, reaching desperately towards Clark- the words broke Bruce's heart. Would she really rather be with anyone but him?

"You're injured and you've been running the streets for the past two days! I'm taking you home!"

"Uncle Clark, please!" tears ran down her face, and she made a desperate bid for freedom, summoning all her desperation and lunging, trying to get free from her fater's hold... only to cry out in pain and sink nearly to the ground.

"Hold still! You tore your stitches- would you stop fighting me for two seconds!?" Bruce demanded, as she kicked out wildly at him, even from where she'd landed on the pavement.

"S-screw you..." she choked out, laying still on the pavement as tears streaked down her cheeks. Bruce said nothing to explain himself, simply scooping her up and disappearing into the night.

She woke up to the familiar scent of sterile in her room, with white sheets. The bandages on her chest were fresh, her face had been wiped clean of all tears. Bruce was sitting beside her bed in civilian clothes, leaning forward, hands steepled, head down, staring at the floor.

He heard her shift in the bed and looked over at her, brown eyes serious.

"How're you feeling?"

She kept her head down, not making eye contact or saying a word. Suddenly her hands, rested on the sheets, were suddenly captivating.

Bruce sighed, standing. "I know you're not happy here."

She looked up, baby blue eyes anxious. Was he saying he'd let her be Sparrow again?

"You leave in two weeks. You've been accepted by a prestigious boarding school in London..." Bruce chanced a glance over at her, surprised to see she'd started crying.

"Scarlet- you'll love it there. You need a change of scenery-"

"I don't need a change of scenery! I need you to accept me for who I am!"

Bruce fell silent, hearing the pain in her voice but not budging.

She'd nearly died in his arms, run the streets without him for two days, and tried to escape him so badly she'd re-injured herself. The only safe option here was sending her away.

"You leave in two weeks."

She stared straight ahead, standing rigid, body showing no emotion, though she had a white-knuckle grip of the handle of her luggage.

"I love you, Scarlet. You know that, right?" Bruce asked, looking at her sadly. He'd thought his children had always known how much he'd loved them, but things between him and Scarlet had been rough- he wanted her to at least know before she left. Though he was holding fast, knowing sending her away would keep her safe- it was killing him inside to have her acting so coldly towards him.

Scarlet pursed her lips slightly, gaze darting over to her father once before she was staring straight ahead, working to keep her expression schooled.

"I love you, Dad. But I hate the way you treat me. I'm your daughter- not a doll. Don't try to cage me."

"Flight 607 to London now boarding. Can we have all our priority members begin boarding."

She strode stiffly across the airport towards the gate, stepping into the jet bridge. She stared down at her feet for a brief moment, as though debating something, before she strode forward onto the plane. She didn't look back.

Bruce stared after her desperately- concerned but hopeful. Maybe- just maybe- boarding school would be the exact change she needed.

She stood on the rooftop, staring up at the sky desperately. Her hair whipped around her face in the wind as she stared at the dark blotted sky, begging for stars. Even within Gotham's smog filled streets, covered in garbage, one could make out the stars from the broken streetlights.

Here- with such a massive amount of city lights, the only thing she could see was the grey outline of the night sky.

The wind whipped her raven hair around her face as she stood in a mixture of kevlar and leather body armor she'd picked up from the local motor cycle shop.

There was a scream from below her as a young woman was grabbed, and she didn't hesitate, eyes narrowing beneath her mask as she attacked.

This was a whole new city- but she was still under the same night sky.

There we are. This is it for this fic- the sequel, the Second Bird, has already been written and posted, and I plan on updating Nighthawk Rising soon. I know this ended on a sort of melancholy note, but I sorta wanted it this way. Thanks for staying with me for so long guys, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Please continue reading and reviewing The Second Bird and Nighthawk Rising! :)