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Forward Motion

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This story is No. 14 in the series "Midnight City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Finally, things are going somewhere.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Buffy-CenteredVashtiFR1311,542028197 Jan 137 Jan 13Yes
Title: Forward Motion
Fandom: BtVS/The Dark Knight Rises
Character(s): Sarah the OC Slayer, Batman, Oz, Buffy Summers
Rating: PG
Summary: Finally, things are going somewhere.
Length: ~1500 words
Disclaimer: Only the words are mine, and that’s probably up for philosophical debate.
Notes: Thai translated by Google, so I apologize now for mangling the language.

§§§

Sorry can’t patrol 2nite. Still @precinct w/Montoya. Late dinner/early brkfst instead? B

Sarah read the text message again with mixed emotions, then set her phone down next to what passed for the cave computer’s mouse. She’d already agreed to the dinner/breakfast that Buffy had suggested, but she’d been looking forward to going out with her sister-slayer for a third night. So far they hadn’t stopped any other would-be kidnappings, at least not those related to their current case, but it had been good to be out there doing something again instead of just sitting around.

Okay, not “just sitting around”. Sarah knew that she was helpful to John, and now to Gordon and the police, but she had been born to do stuff. Sitting still and being patient were definitely learned traits.

Batman swept past her. “I’m heading out. You’ll be here when I get back?”

She rolled her eyes. “Seriously? That’s a question? Stop getting your kevlars in a twist and get out there. And savor this moment!” she added as he hopped into the prowler. “After Mr. Fox fits me for my suit tomorrow it’s all over!”

Bats chuckled, a vaguely unpleasant sound that, nevertheless, spoke to something equally unpleasant inside Sarah. She rubbed her hands against her jeans. “Dude…get outta here.”

She swiveled around to watch the prowler make the leap through the falls and out into the wide world. “God, I love that car,” she murmured as she affixed her headset. The platform began its descent into the pool as she turned around.

“You’re not getting it.”

“Aw!”

“The Cat promises that the cycle’s purr is just as nice, and…”

“And what?” Sarah asked, only half hearing what he was saying. This part of conversation, easy banter about ultimately trivial things, was almost rote. Usually they talked about the prowler. Sometimes she mocked his suit. (Personally, Sarah hoped Mr. Fox had designed something that breathed better than the current Bat-suit did. She was thankful every night that Bats the First had seen fit to put a shower in the cave.) Each time he deftly deflected her as he became more and more focused on the real task at hand. Eventually there’d be nothing of Bats left for her as the night swallowed him up. She really had to teach him the Art of Witty Repartee.

“Nothing,” he muttered.

“You’re not embarrassed by whatever she told you, are you?” Sarah asked, suspicious. He’d almost sounded like John right there. They were always careful not to use real names over the comm. Willow still hadn’t gotten around to upgrading the system. When Sarah had mentioned it to Buffy, she’d suggested asking Oz to do it instead. “He’s as smart as, if not smarter than Wills, you know. He’s actually a year ahead of us and totally flunked his senior year out of pure Oz whatevs-ness.”

Sarah hadn’t known that, and had sent an email to Oz and Bay as soon as they’d returned from their patrol. A quick check of her inbox showed that, thus far , there’d been no response.

Speaking of which… “Okay, okay, fine. Don’t answer the question. What’s on the menu for tonight?”

"Finally got proof that Meroni’s tied to the human trafficking ring--"

"I was hoping it’d be the money laundering."

"Me too. I’m sure I can shake down a couple of his guys for dates and times of the next shipment."

"Anonymous tip time for the police?"

"Yes."

"What else?" Sarah asked as she updated that particular case file. Part of the massive computer screen was dedicated to Batman’s outstanding cases (all of them at the moment), while part of it tracked his progress toward the city center on a map. There were several other programs running in the background as she concentrated on the immediate: the police scanner, a real-time diagnostics display, perimeter security for the cave, and the program that controlled the Dent Act cameras were featured but not alone.

Together, Sarah and Batman did a run-through of his planned activities for the night. It didn’t matter that nights rarely, if ever, went exactly to plan. Going through everything helped them both focus on big picture problems and uncompleted tasks.

"I plan on talking to Gordon some time before I wrap up."

Sarah winced. Gordon knew that the man running around in the suit wasn’t his Batman, and he hadn’t quite accepted him. From the way he talked about it over dinner, their conversations were terse and tension filled. Terse was par for the course. Tension was not. Sarah didn’t know how John did it...being a sympathetic ear to Gordon during the early evening, and a barely tolerated compatriot at night. She wasn’t looking forward to hearing his reaction to another suit, one affiliated with "this new upstart Batman".

"Um...you don’t think you should start the night with a visit to the Commissioner? You know, before he’s been there for 16 hours straight and is surviving on coffee and cheap chocolate bars?"

"Can’t be helped. I want to get to Meroni’s guys before they have a chance to check in."

"You’re the boss."

He grunted. Sarah shrugged, not wasn’t sure what he meant by it.

"Mind if I jump in?"

Screeching, Sarah jumped out of her seat, knocking back her chair. Bats went flying, some even swooping low enough to make her duck until she remembered that they wouldn’t hit her. Then the anger rose up in her.

She’d ripped her headset off in her surprise, but now she jammed it back on her head. "Who is this and how did you get on this line?" she snarled.

"Hmm. That’s what I thought."

"That’s what you thought what? Tell me who you are right now!" She started a trace on the third line as she spoke. To think that someone had actually hacked their stuff. "Or I swear to--"

"It’s me, Sarah. Oz."

Like an old balloon, all the fight went out of Sarah. Nearly falling over, she slumped into her chair. "What are you doing calling in on this line? How are you calling into this line?"

"First, lets do...this.. How do you like four?"

"Um...over easy?" Oz chuckled, followed by an odd clicking sound. When Sarah brought up the self-diagnostic she saw that she was no longer attached to the primary line, but was about four lines over. So that’s what he’d meant.

"Yeah, so, I checked that phone thing you asked me about?"

Her fingers danced over the console as she pulled up other diagnostic tools. "Uh huh."

"And someone’s piggy-backing. Not," Oz added quickly, "in a way that would led them back to your super-secret hideaway, but they could follow your conversation pretty easily."

"Seriously?"

"I’ve listened to your whole rundown for the night. Who’s the Cat?"

"Um, a burglar who left us some toys?"

"Henh. In my day they took the toys."

Sarah smiled. "Oh, well...she got a better one. These are her castoffs."

"Ah."

"So, uh, line 7 isn’t bugged?"

"Nope. Not yet. But it’s got the same hole. They all do."

Sarah sighed heavily. "Okay. Can you fix it remotely? Or talk me through it?"

"Not really. It’s got the signature of a magical piggy-back. Accessible by anyone who knows it’s there now that it’s been established, but still sorta beyond my range of capabilities. You should try Willow."

"Already did! But she’s too busy for us right now."

"Ah, but that was before you knew you had a problem of the magical variety, and that Buffy is there with you tracking down bad guys."

"So I’ll get in contact with Willow."

Sarah could hear Oz shrug when he said, "S’what I’d do. But that’s just me. And this may go without saying, but I’d avoid your main line if I were you."

"Oh Oz! If Bayarma ever gets tired of you, I am totally in love!"

His sometimes breathy laugh was her only response and goodbye.

As suggested, Sarah shot off an email to Willow about their problem. She texted Buffy. Some1 tapping main comm line. Maybe prsn stealing guys? Gonna try something. ~SP

Sarah switched back to the main line. "Pee chai, how’s it going so far?" she murmured.

"I just hit the first bridge into Gotham, nong sao. Meroni’s shipment is to one of the seaports. ETA 15 minutes. Rea ca fuk, phas’a thiy thami ni khna thi thanagan?" Why were they practicing Thai?

"Kar thdsxb thvs’di." Testing a theory.

Now all he had to do was go with it.

"Okay."

Sarah beamed. "Okay! Chan yang peliyn hi rea chxng so."

Telling him about the comm line change earned her a grunt, but that was typical. Their semi-decent use of Thai? That got a chair dance. As if on cue, her phone did a jig of its own as it vibrated.

Sarah unlocked it to see that a new message had come from Buffy. I swear I’m going to kill Ethan this time.

Fin[ite]

The End

You have reached the end of "Forward Motion". This story is complete.

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