She couldn’t help laughing as Tabitha dropped a few thick books on her kitchen table and plopped down in the chair with her head in her hands. Jamila picked up one of the books and flipped through it; of course, a bridal book.
“Problems?” she simply asked. Tabitha could only nod and let out an exhausting groan, “Guess I’ve been enlisted to help…”
“As my matron of honor, you have to!”
“Why did I agree to this…?”
“Because you love me and you owe me!”
“You’re pushing it…” the professor mumbled as she sat down, “Okay… let’s take a deep breath…” she waited until Tabitha actually took one, “… And let’s start from the beginning! Now… what’s the problem?”
“…… I’m getting married…” she told her with a serious look on her face. It was enough for Jamila to go into hysterics.
“That ain’t a problem!! Okay… let’s start with something… more detailed. You’re having problems picking out a dress?” she asked and Tabitha nodded, “Alright; we’ll leave that one alone for right now. What colors are you having for the wedding?”
“I’m supposed to pick out the colors, too?!” she panicked. It was the professor’s turn to put her head in her hands, “I ain’t got time for this! What the hell is the wedding planner for if she can’t pick out the fucking colors of my wedding?! What good are you if you’re just gonna sit there and laugh at me?!” she yelled when she saw her friend giggling.
“This is your wedding, not mine; it’s not my job to pick out the colors!”
“Fine! What colors did you wear at your wedding?”
“I didn’t have a wedding; we got married at the courthouse.”
“… You’re kidding me…”
“We didn’t make Bruce Wayne money… we still don’t make his money; he couldn’t get me a ring that cost more than our house! Hell; my anniversary ring is still in layaway!” Jamila said, lifting up Tabitha’s hand; she really admired the ten carat platinum ring on her finger. She snatched her hand away and blushed.
“Shut up…” she mumbled, “Wait… what was the point of making IDs if ya gonna have shit in layaway still?!”
“My babies come first; the ring can wait…” she nodded. Jamila lit up, “Hey… speaking of babies… you’re gonna be a mom!” she beamed.
“… Oh my fucking God…” Tabitha slumped down further into the seat; she admitted that she hadn’t thought about the fact that Bruce adopted Robin: when the two get married, she would be his mother, “I… I can’t do it. I can’t do this. I ain’t ready…”
“Seriously?! He’s what, sixteen?”
“Hell; he’s already been raised! Come on… you know you ain’t gonna let that fact stop you from marrying Bruce!” Jamila laughed. Tabitha shook her head.
“All this planning… it’s too much. I… no. I can’t plan this! Ain’t it bad enough that I’m Monitor?! I’ve been going back and forth between New York and Gotham, fighting crime! Do you know who’s been bothering us lately?!”
“No; some plant bitch who’s been tryna turn the city into some fucking rain forest! Do you know how hard it is to kill plants that come back to life?! And then I gotta deal with Diana’s fucking attitude every time I see her…”
“Well… you did take her man from her…” Jamila tried. Tabitha widened her eyes at her.
“What?! They never dated!!” a smile crept on her face as Jamila laughed, “Oh… I fucking hate you…”
They all watched as the remaining ivy stalks retracted and withered away. The four made sure that they were out of sight as GCPD took Poison Ivy into custody. Tabitha stifled a yawn and prepared to leave; that last battle for some reason took a lot of energy away from her. The only thing she wanted to do was go back home and cuddle underneath Bruce.
Because of her Lightning Cloud, she had refused to travel by vehicle like the others. So it didn’t bother her one bit that Bruce, Robin and Barbara had left, already a mile ahead of her; she knew that she would easily beat them back to the Batcave in seconds. She was just about to do a Lightning Cloud until something caught her eye; there was movement in the museum across from her. In a few seconds, she was already on the roof and looking down into the closed building. Ever since Bruce took over training her, she was learning how to become more perspective; he had told her that being aware and taking note of your surroundings could very well save your life better than any mutant ability would.
It was small but she noticed an opening in the ceiling; it was barely large enough for her to slip through but she knew that it was the one thing out of place: someone was inside, probably robbing the place. She quickly thought about calling Bruce and the others back but figured that by the time they arrived, the burglar would be long gone; this was something she would have to do on her own.
Tabitha did a Lighting Cloud through the narrow opening, landing silently on the ground. She took a quick look around and realized too late that maybe she should have informed the others about what she saw; they would have known the layout of the museum better than she would. She had no idea where to start looking for whoever was inside. Regardless, she started to silently and quickly wander aimlessly around the building. If I was a thief, what would I steal, she wondered to herself. There were numerous items that were worth a lot; Tabitha deducted that since she never had an urge to steal anything, she would have no clue what would entice a thief specifically.
That was Bruce’s expertise, she thought to herself. He was the one who spent his mornings mulling over the newspaper and the internet, looking for anything that would spark a villain’s interest. She remembered a sliver of a conversation a few days ago about something that was on display in the Gotham City Museum. She usually pretended to listen to him, worrying more about the wedding plans but something slightly stuck out about this conversation; Cleopatra’s jewels and other artifacts were going to be on display for a month. It was enough for her to stop thinking about the wedding and wondered if she would be able to take the professor and her children to see the displays.
She lit up as she made her way to where the display would be on the second floor; she was happy that she at least remembered that! She hid behind a display case just in time to see a black figure easily make their way through the infrared sensors that surrounded a large display case of jewels. It was a woman, she knew by the curves being shown through the skintight outfit. As the woman finally approached the case, Tabitha knew that she had to make a decision. Approaching the woman at the moment would most definitely trigger one of the sensors; she wasn’t as graceful or even as flexible as the woman.
Or… was it something that she wanted to do? Sounding the alarm would stop the thief dead in her tracks, which would make it easier for Tabitha to capture her. She was still exhausted from her fight with Poison Ivy and wanted to make this as easy as possible. Just as the woman placed her hands on the glass case, Tabitha sent a silent stream of lightning towards it. She was glad that she didn’t electrocute the woman as she quickly jumped back… right into one of the sensors. The one thing that Tabitha didn’t account for was for that stream to actually ricochet off of the glass, hit an uncovered crystal amulet and come back to blast her!
The attack surprised her but she recovered quickly enough to give chase. A quick Lightning Cloud and Tabitha was face-to-face with the thief. Her outfit was a black catsuit; she donned a mask that formed cat ears on top of her head. Tabitha smirked; a “cat” burglar, she thought with amusement. The rest of her outfit confirmed that she was supposed to be a cat, with amber-tinted goggles and clawed gloves.
The blaring of the alarm was one thing; now, there was a white-haired woman suddenly in front of her, giving her a smug smile. Selina did a quick backflip out of the way and turned to escape the other way… only to be met by the woman yet again! It was her turn to make a quick study of her; her black outfit wasn’t as skintight as hers but it showed off a bit of her curves. It was the mask she was wearing that made her eyes slightly widen; the modified bat mask proved that she was the lightning woman that everyone talked about: Bruce’s other sidekick.
Tabitha shook her head as the woman tried to escape.
“Yes, I have powers… and it’s obvious that you don’t. Don’t make this harder on yourself…” it had been a while since she had to actually speak to a criminal but she at least remembered to disguise her voice. She went to apprehend the “cat” but was taken by surprise when she did another backflip out of the way and felt a stinging sensation on her hand; she was hit with a whip. She widened her eyes at her, “Bitch!”
Before she could control herself, Tabitha threw lightning at the woman and immediately cursed at herself. She didn’t really want or need to resort to using her abilities, especially against someone who wasn’t a Metahuman. Her three crime fighting partners frowned down on it. Tabitha didn’t blame them; it was an unfair advantage, a cheap way out and would serve for yet another reason for the public to fear and question the Justice League. However, in her defense, she didn’t take too kindly to being hit with a whip!
But something happened that puzzled Tabitha. While she knew she didn’t hit her using her full force, the sudden power behind the attack should’ve been enough to leave an unwanted reminder of her true potential. The thief had braced herself for the hit… but had seemed to shrug it off. She gave Tabitha a small smirk.
“Hmm… I always thought that it would be more painful…” it sounded as if she purred. One of two things just happened, Tabitha tried to reason with herself. The woman’s catsuit was made of rubber, which would have insulated her from the attack, or she really did have powers…
It didn’t matter; the woman sounded as if she was teasing her and Tabitha didn’t like it. She charged after her, determined to wipe that smirk off her face. She also needed to make this quick before the guards made their way to the scene; the last thing she needed was to have taken too much time trying to apprehend the thief and end up becoming a suspect herself.
Tabitha’s attack was stopped short as the woman made her whip wrap around Tabitha’s ankle and trip her, all with two flips of her wrist. She landed with a thud but managed to grab the end of the whip, yanking it to make the woman stumble towards her. She had enough of her antics and wasn’t going to be made to look like a fool much longer; Tabitha swung when she was close enough, hitting her square in the jaw.
“Was that painful enough for you?” she returned the smirk. She started to stalk the cat burglar but was stopped short by a flash of light; in the middle of getting upset over the woman’s taunting, Tabitha had completely shut out the blaring alarm: the guards had probably already summoned the police and came to inspect what triggered the alarm.
Tabitha quickly put her attention back to the thief but had noticed that she was already gone. A quick, dark flash caught her attention and she did a Lightning Cloud to catch up with the woman, leaving the guards dumbfounded.
“Sweetheart…” Bruce’s voice in her ear startled her, “Where are you…?”
“Taking care of something…”
“You wouldn’t happen to be anywhere near the museum… would you? Because if you are… that’s not a good place to be right now…”
“Gotta catch me a cat; sorry: tell ya about it later…”
“Wait; a what? Tabitha…” she quickly clicked her communicator to end transmission as she ricocheted herself up the walls and back through the small opening in the roof. Talking to him had delayed her too much; she probably missed her opportunity to catch the thief.
She was glad that the woman was only a few feet in front of her, thinking of her next move. Tabitha threw lightning in her direction for a distraction, making her narrow her eyes at her.
“You’re good, kitty… you almost escaped…” Tabitha came after her. However, she misjudged the woman yet again; no sooner had she got in close proximity, the thief side-stepped her and Tabitha fell flat on the ground: that whip had wrapped around both ankles, keeping her in place. Tabitha took hold of the whip and out of habit, sent an electrical current through it… and was surprised that it didn’t loosen up, “The hell…” she almost let her real accent come out. Before she could do anything else, the woman straddled Tabitha’s back and zip-tied her wrists tightly together.
She felt the whip loosen up off her ankles as the woman grabbed her weapon and went to face her. Tabitha smirked and applied her lightning to the plastic around her wrists… only for those not to break as well. She tried again, using more power but ended up with the same results. She gave the woman a confused look as the cat made her way towards the edge of the building. She gave Tabitha one last look and smiled at the sight of the super heroine on her stomach, unable to free herself.
“That’ll hold you for a while… at least until the police get here. Better you than me, girl!” she said. Before Tabitha could blink, the woman jumped off the building, leaving her there to writhe and curse at her predicament. The familiar GCPD police sirens were inching closer and closer, and as Tabitha continued to try her lightning to free herself, she wondered what the zip-ties were really made of. She didn’t expect for the restraints to burst into flames but she at least knew that they would melt!
When she heard footsteps, she sighed and slowly flipped herself on her back. She awkwardly stretched her neck and was relieved to see Bruce, Barbara and Robin. Bruce immediately helped her sit up, looking her over with a confused glance. She gritted her teeth, finally calming down and used her strength to get out of the zip-ties.
“What happened?” Barbara looked at her in amusement. Tabitha rubbed her wrists and groaned angrily.
“The bitch tied me up…”
Bruce watched as his fiancée angrily paced around the console of the Batcomputer.
“Sweetheart…” he tried for the umpteenth time; she continued to ignore him, “Okay… I know that you’re upset… but I can’t help you unless you speak to me…” he looked at her. He was glad that she at least stopped pacing however she glared at him.
“She… tied… me… up; I think I got every right to be upset!” she emphasized.
“I don’t get it; it looked like your lightning wasn’t working…” Barbara noticed. It was enough to make Tabitha groan in frustration. Bruce looked at her.
“Is that true…?” he asked her. She sighed and without warning, threw lightning at him, knocking him out of his chair. Robin and Barbara looked at her in astonishment. Bruce had expected for his body to be racked with pain from being shocked; however, the only pain he felt was when he landed on the ground from the force. He got up and gave her a confused look, “… Your potency… it’s gone…”
“Yeah… I figured that out when nothing happened when I tried to get out of the ties…”
“How… is that possible…?” Robin asked. Tabitha finally sat down and slowly shook her head, looking at the ground.
“… I don’t know…”
“When was the last time you used your lightning?” Bruce put his arm around her shoulder.
“Before tonight? Last week, I think… I was doing an upgrade…” she remembered. Everything was normal about the upgrades she had done aboard Metro Tower; she went through her usual checks and everything came up perfect.
“What exactly happened tonight?” Barbara asked. Tabitha sighed and told them all of the details.
“Wait; what type of crystal?” Bruce immediately stopped her when she mentioned the amulet. Tabitha shrugged.
“I don’t know; I wasn’t tryna take a tour!” she grumbled as he typed on the keyboard. The Cleopatra display from the museum immediately popped up on the monitor.
“Where did it happen?” he asked. Tabitha looked on the screen and pointed to the glass case in the middle of the room. He zoomed out and immediately saw the open display case carrying the amulet, “Not good.” he mumbled as he typed in more keystrokes, bringing up a document.
“… What does that mean?” she looked over his shoulder.
“Apparently, it’s an Egyptian crystal that was believed to carry mystical powers. Those paranormal shops like to carry knockoffs of the crystals.”
“So, you’re saying that this is the only real one…?”
“There may be only a handful that really do have the powers scattered around the globe. Buying up all the crystals would be tedious… and pointless. I can get Zatanna to look into it for us…”
“Wait… you saying that… when my lightning hit that crystal and it came back… it took the power of it away…?”
“Yes.” he looked at her sadly. She just lightly nodded her head and sighed, looking at the floor. She wasn’t too worried about not being able to show the force of her main ability during battle; she was starting to like that she only needed her strength. How was she going to do any type of upgrade without the potency of her lightning?
“… Wouldn’t we need the original crystal to get my power back…?” she wanted the thought to stay in her head; once she asked, she felt slightly foolish. The three looked at her.
“She may be right. It may be holding her power hostage…” Barbara agreed.
“… The only way to find out… is to get that crystal…” Robin looked at everyone.
“Guess politely asking to see the crystal is outta the question…” Tabitha shrugged and got up. She started to put her mask back on.
“… What are you doing…?” Bruce gave her a look.
“Gonna go take that crystal…”
“I’m going!” Barbara volunteered, putting her own mask back on.
“W-Wait; stop it, you two! Did you hear what you just said?”
“I ain’t got no other choice, now do I?”
“We’re not thieves!” Bruce sighed heavily, “And, I can’t believe you were going to go with her; you know better!” he scolded Barbara.
“She… she needs backup… especially if she runs into Catwoman, again…”
“… Catwoman…? Figured that’s what she’d call herself! She’d be dumb enough to go back?”
“No… and you’re not going back there, either!” Bruce looked at Tabitha. She crossed her arms and sighed heavily.
“Fine… I’m going to bed, then…” she turned and immediately left. Bruce sighed and shook his head.
“Nice going, ‘dad’; you’ve gotten mom upset!” Robin rolled his eyes.
“Shut up…” he took in what the young man said and fought his smirk, “You are your mother’s child! What did you expect me to do, let her go and steal?”
“No… but I expected you to have some type of solution to the problem. You know… you do know someone who could steal that crystal for you…”
“Go to bed, Richard. And, Barbara… go home…” Bruce sat down at the Batcomputer and studied the layout of the museum. Both teens huffed and left the man to be alone. He waited until he knew he was alone before grabbing his phone. For a teen, Robin almost always had valid points, ones that he never wanted to admit to in his face. He took a deep breath as he heard the rings, hoping that Tabitha would forgive him for what he was about to do.
“It’s late, Mr. Wayne; don’t want your girlfriend getting mad at you…”
“Cut the crap; I need a favor…”
“Ooh; what’s in it for me…?”
“… A free pass…”