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Christmas Present

Part One

by Darklady

Disclaimer: Santa was NOT generous enough to leave DC Comics or the WB in my stocking this year - so I can't say I own anyone you recognize. (That's what happens when you're on the 'naughty' list. )

Rated: D for depressing.

Another scam. Thank you, Oracle.

It's not the greed that gets me. I deal with that. It's the fact that Bruce Wayne is really a decent guy. At least I think he is. I want him to be. But the Christmas Season brings out the Scrooge in me.

Four hundred requests. Pitiful stories all. And not one of them that merits a decent dime.

'Tis the season for overpaid charity executives and fat-cat fundraisers that take 75%. Of charity dinners that pay for wine and chefs with nothing left over for any charity. Of 'Missions' who's mission seems to be to pick the pockets of the gullible.

Even with the Foundation staff it's hard to trust. They weed out most of the cons, but at this time of year they are plain overworked. Every grifter in the city is running a 'good will' scam. And Bruce Wayne is a target for them all.

Thank god for Oracle.

I know there are good people out there. People who care.

It's just that neither of me meets up with them much these days.

Shondra. My current secretary. She's selling candy for her kids school. I know how little the school gets. Less then 10% of the profit. I buy to keep peace, but it doesn't make me feel good.

Tim's school is a bit more direct. I wrote them a check for the 'Winter Carnival'. A thousand bucks a ticket. Ten for a table. Maybe Lucius will go. Someone ought to benefit, and after the 'organizer' gets paid it clearly won't be the 'poor'. Or is it the 'homeless'. Whatever is this years fad.

With everyone so 'charitable' you think Doctor Leslie could close the clinic and take Christmas Eve off. Maybe even come to dinner. No such luck. She tells me it's the second busiest day of the year. Right after New Years Eve. Happy Holidays.

With "Peace on Earth" you think Dick, at least, could get home. Not a chance. Home burglaries and muggings are skyrocketing, and he thinks they'll be on tactical alert.

Tim would come by, but his Dad is in St. Bart. To cold here. Hard on his health.

Memo: Check that with Leslie. Maybe Barbara should take a cruise.

I finished my shopping. That part of Christmas I like. The research. The analysis. The retrieval.

I even like getting presents. The thought of 'real' ones is somewhat new to me. When I was a child. Well.... the toys came boxed, but I knew I was buying my own. Except for Alfred, of course. So I look forward to the real gifts. Kyle's sketches. Martha Kent's jam. The tasteless t-shirt from Dick that I know he'll steal back. The chocolates Tim buys because he knows I won't buy them for myself.

For all the rest...... I still can buy my own.

But - where do I go to buy 'faith, hope, and charity?'

Not the End

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