"There goes my hero/ watch him as he goes/ there goes my hero/ he's ordinary," sang the car radio. Suddenly, the voice of the Foo Fighters disappeared with a "click".
"Hey! I was listening to that!" I flared.
"Sorry, sis. But I'm trying to not get us lost and the music is distracting me,"
"What are you so worried about Scott? The worst thing that could happen is we take a few wrong turns," I grumble.
"Abbey," my brother says in that I'm-the-big-brother-so-I-know-what's-best voice he has, "this is Gotham City, you don't want to take a wrong turn in this town. Especially at this time of night. If you do you're likely to end up in some neighborhood run by crack dealers,"
I mumble something annoyed.
"Why you wanted to go art school here I'll never know. I mean, you did get that scholarship at Goodwin college up in Opal City. I hear the Opal is great for art types. Lots of old building for inspiration,"
"Goodwin only offered me a $2,000 scholarship. I got $3,500 at Campbell College here. Besides, Opal City is nowhere near the size of Gotham,"
"If you wanted the big city why did you ever leave Metropolis? You could have got to Met U with me," Scott insists.
"UGH! I don't want to go the same school as my brother!"
"And why not?!" he asks. Way to go Abbey. Scott drives all the way down here to take you home for the summer and you go and insult him.
"Well," I fumble, "people would always be, like, 'hey, are you related to Scott Clayton the senior?" And I'd be like 'yeah, he's my brother,"
"Come on, Abbey, what's the real reason?"
As much as I love my brother there's one thing about him I hate. He always knows when I'm lying. "Okay, okay, it's just that having you there would be "
"Yes " he probes.
"Like having mom or dad around,"
"I don't believe this! You think I would have acted as mom and dad's spy if you'd got to school with me?!" gasps Scott. It's been a long times since I truly shocked my brother. I'm actually a bit proud of myself.
"Well, yeah. I mean, I'm eighteen. I've lived in Metropolis my whole life. You know what that means as well as I do. Surpervillions, demons running loose in the streets, giant robots, and alien invasions. Whatever Gotham throws at me I've dealt with worse back in the Big Apricot, "
"Granted, living in Superman's town keeps you on your toes but why Gotham? Do you know how many insane, murderous, disfigured psychos there are in this town? This city attracts those people like flies. God, I'd hate to turn on WGBS on night and find out you'd just become another one of the Joker's victims,"
"Oh, please. Do you know what the odds of-" I stop as I see the name of the street ahead. "Scott I think this is where we want to make our turn!" I blurt.
"What!!" Scott tries to make the turn but he's going to fast. He losses control and we skid right toward an STOP sign. God, please let have remembered to buckle my seatbelt!
I open my eyes. The front end of the car is smashed and the STOP sign looks even worse. I glance over at Scott who's okay. "Way to go, big brother. Wait till dad finds out you wrecked the car,"
"Stuff it, Abbey," growls Scott as we get out to inspect the damage.
"Well, it looks like the motor survived. Still, this car isn't going anywhere. We're stuck," my brother mumbles as he looks at the car's front.
"Man, you have no idea how stuck you are," says a gravely voice from behind me. The second I turn I know we're in trouble. There are two mean looking guys pointing guns at us. One is short, white, has a shaved head and is wearing leather clothes. The other is tall, black, has a crewcut, and is wearing a Bulls T-shirt.
"Who are you guys? What do you want," I say. Dumb question. I know what they want.
"I'm Cuff, this is my associate, Slide. We're with AAA. And what we want is you money. Right now!" says the white guy.
"Just do want he says, Abbey. Do want he says and we won't get hurt," says Scott. I can tell he doesn't believe a word of what he's saying.
A few seconds later our two muggers are stuffing all our valuables into there pockets. "That everything?" asks Slide.
That's when Cuff gives me a look that turns my stomach. "Not everything," he says as he grabs me by the arm. "You ever been with a real man, baby?" Eeeewwwww!
"Hey, creep! Hands of my sister!" says Scott as takes a few steps toward Cuff.
"Oh, a hero, eh?" sneers Slide. "Lemme show you how handle heroes here in Gotham!"
The next few seconds happens in slow-motion. Slide's gun fires. I scream. Scott jerks in mid-step and falls to the ground.
Cuff curses. "Man, why'd you do that. Now we got murder on our heads!"
"Quite worrying! Let's just take the girl and go," hisses Slide.
"No! Let me go! Scott!" I yell as I struggle.
Shut up!" orders Slide. "Or we'll-"
"You'll do nothing!" says a new voice. Before he can even turn Slide is hit by a yellow, red and black blur that sends him to the street. His head hits the pavement with a "Whack!" and he doesn't move.
"What the-" begins Cuff as points his gun at the blur. I can see a person now. A person in a costume? Before I can fully register what's happening something whizzes by me and knocks Cuff's gun from his hand.
I can see my savior clearly now. He's a kid in a red and green out fit with a yellow and black cape. He also has a big yellow "R" symbol over his right breast. Is this Robin? I thought he was a myth like the Batman. "Let her go," Robin says.
Cuff tosses me aside and takes a step toward the boy. "It's a bit late for Halloween kid. Now run on home before I have to hurt you," the punk snickers.
"If you don't give up now someone's going to get hurt but it won't be me," Robin replies. Pretty tough talk for someone who likes like they're not even old enough to drive. I hope he's more than just talk.
"You asked for this," says Cuff as he charges. Robin ducks down and nails him in the stomach. Cuff let out a "Whuft!" Before he can recover my attacker is on the receiving end of some martial arts moves I have not seen outside a Jackie Chan flick. In seconds he is on the ground as unconscious as Slide.
"Nice moves. Where'd you learn that stuff?" I say.
"From the very best," Robin answers "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, but-OMIGOD! Scott!" I scream. I run back to my brother. He's not moving. "Oh, Scott, please don't be dead. Please don't be dead," I beg.
"Abbey?" he sighs. I'm so happy I start to cry.
"I'm here, big bro. Please don't die on me,"
In the background I'm only partly aware that Robin is talking to someone. "Yes, 911? There's been a shooting at the corner of Robinson and Harris. We need ambulance right away,"
"Those guys..are they," Scott's asks
"They gone, Scott. I'm safe no PLEASE don't die.
"I've radioed for an ambulance," says the voice behind me. I bearly hear Robin's words. That's everything becomes a blur. After what seems like forever (but probably was only a few minuets) the ambulance comes. I barely register the ride to the hospital and being looked over by a doctor while Scott was in the emergency room. But I'll never forget the moment the surgeon came out and told me he'd be okay. I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders and I began crying again.
"What's this?' Scott asks as I hand him a long, thin package wrapped in bright paper. . It's a few days later and Scott's almost back to 100%. Luckily for him the bullet missed all his major organs.
"It's a gift, stupid. Open it," Boy, does it feel good to be able to tease my brother again.
Scott rips off the paper and his jaw drops. "Jeez, Abbey this is..is the best work you've ever done,"
I'm glad he likes my gift. It's a drawing I made of Robin all decked out in his costume looking heroically down on the streets from a rooftop. It's a little something to remind us both of the person who saved our lives. "Thanks. I guess almost getting killed inspired me,"
For a second Scott gives a weird look. Then he busts out laughing. "Only you, Abbey. Only you could get a creative charge out of what happened to us,"
"Thanks," I say as I reach over to give a huge hug. After second he hugs me back. I smile. I've never been this happy in my life. I'm alive and so is Scott. It's weird. I lived in Metropolis my whole life and Superman never saved my life. Well, not directly anyway. He saved the city and the world tons of times but never right in front of me. Maybe that's just one of the differences between this city and Metropolis. Gotham has a different kind of heroes. In Gotham there are no guy who are faster than a speeding bullet or able things like that (that's Keystone city). No in this town the goods guys don't have fantastic powers. The heroes of here are ordinary people. Ordinary heroes.
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