Part Seven ( Peace)
Disclaimer: Still don't own the characters. But then, does it really matter what we own? Or just what we do?
Rated: L for Love
It's 22:30 when the alarms go off. Presence on the parameter with no access code given.
Alfred is still out. Which could be good or bad, depending on the intruder. Bring up the cameras. Intruder is almost at the door. Evading the fence monitor. One camera gets a clear angle. Focus in, It's...Tim? I activate the speakers.
"Tim? Are you back....."
"Just dropped in for the cookies."
"From St. Bart?"
"Got a lift from a friend of yours."
Sensors confirm it is Tim. I open the door. He looks cheerful, if a bit chilled.
"That Janissary babe. You know, for a super-heroine type she is really hot."
"I'll tell her you said so." I shouldn't tease, but.....kids blush so easily at that age.
I had no idea the Janissary knew Robin. Young Justice must be getting around more than I thought. No matter. I'm delighted that, in the mist of beaches and bikinis, Tim thought of coming home. He maturing into a very responsible young man. I'm proud of him.
Of course, I don't bother him with my musings. I just welcome him in and serve up some of Alfred's special Lebkuchen.
"Would you like some coca with that?" There's a full pot from Alfred's earlier delivery.
He's still settling in on the sofa when the monitor light signals a car pulling in to the garage. Intercom link.
"Returned, Master Bruce. With Dr. Leslie and Monsieur Jean-Paul. They have decided to join us for the evening."
"Wonderful. Tim's here too. We're in the library."
They came in flushed from the wind. Dr. Leslie first, then Jean-Paul with an armload of packages.
A hug from Dr. Leslie.
"Brucie. You look good. Not out working tonight."
It's wonderful to see her. She was like a second mother to me.
"Neither are you. How did..?"
"I really don't know how. But it seems a certain super 'friend' of yours found two Turkish Doctors to cover the Clinic tonight, so..
"That would be Dr. Tolon?
"And her friend Dr. Olhan. Do you know them?"
"We've met." But Kal hasn't. I consider that. Unless it was during the earthquake in '99. But Kal has a habit of making friends. "Coca?"
Tim pours her a cup while I help Jean-Paul lay his boxes under the tree. Not that they'll stay there long; but tradition is tradition.
We shake hands. He's still unfamiliar with the whole concept of Christmas parties, but he's learning. Last year he didn't want to leave the cave.
Alfred joins us with fruitcake and more cookies. Dick teases me about that, but I like fruitcake. And I am not the only person on earth who eats it. So does Jean-Paul.
Tim replaces my jazz with Christmas carols. Very festive.
I insist that they open their presents. It is Christmas Eve.
Tim returns the favor, and I've indulged in three of those irresistible praline chocolates when the cavern signal goes off.
Code shows authorized entry, but its best to be careful. I'm activating the monitors when the clock case opens and - it's Dick.
Damp haired and rather chapped on his cheeks - he really should wear a helmet - but otherwise looking wonderful.
I sit taller as he reaches over with a one-armed hug.
"Bruce." He looks around. " Tim, Les - she got you too?"
Tim jumps up to claim a hug of his own.
"Kewl, Dick. How'd she spring you?."
"Watch it on the news, boy wonder. Fachetti and his whole gang are in the jug - and so the good guys got sprung."
He helps himself to coca and cookies and settles on the rug by the tree. Now it's time for serious box slaughter.
I cherish Dick's face when he sees his present. I've been hiding it since my agents found it in June. A genuine 1882 'Glorious Gustav Grygory' poster from Astley's Circus. Dick's great-grandfather.
He catches mine when I read this year's shirts. Two if them. Powder Puff Girls. In pink. Jeez. I didn't even think those things came in my size. And - Oh God - Team Rocket. In Japanese. Who did he ask to find that?
It's going to be hard deciding which one to trash first.
Eventually all the presents are opened, and the last of the wrapping paper is bagged. Alfred dusts off the last of the cookie crumbs.
"Bon nuit, Bruce. I must go now if I am not to be late for Mass. And Helena will be waiting."
"Me to, Bruce. I'd better head back before Dad notices I'm not all there, if you know what I mean." He grabs one of my chocolates. For the road. "I'll come by when I get home to pick up my stuff. " He rubs his lapel pin and quietly vanishes.
"I'm staying. But I think I'll find my bed. It's been a late night for an old woman." She gives us both a last hug. " Merry Christmas Bruce. Merry Christmas Dick. " Then she is gone.
"An excellent idea. Master Bruce, I believe I will follow her example. If you no longer require me."
"Good night, Alfred, and - Merry Christmas."
I sit back. We're alone and the house is quiet.
"Well, Merry Christmas, Bruce."
"It is now, Dick. It is now."
Christmas Day. I have one phone call to make. To Turkey.
"Janissary. Batman here. I wanted to thank you."
"Please. You saved my country and my soul. The least I could do is save your holiday."
Still not the End
Because, if we care, it really never Ends
KKR 2003 - entire story