Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Dick Grayson belongs to DC and Buffy and the gang belong to Joss Whedon.
Dick went up the wooden stairs. He tried to open the doors. Locked. He expected it would be in this town. He picked the locks and went in.
The first thing he noticed was the stale smell. The house hadn't been cleaned. Multiple odors assaulted his heightened senses. The most prevalent was the smell of stale beer. Followed quickly by the Jack Daniels and spoiled take out food.
The living room was dark and dusty. Someone was snoring softly on the living room couch. It was Jessica Harris. She had aged, since the last time Dick saw her through Xander's eyes and memories.
The blanket that was covering her had fallen off. It pooled on the floor. He went over, picked it up and covered her. She stirred. Sleepily she said "Alex? Is that you?"
"It is mom." replied Dick. "Go back to sleep." he told her.
"Sleep? Go back to sleep? Alex do you know what time it is?" she asked. "Where have you been? you've been gone for almost two days Alex. Two days. Do you have any idea how dangerous that is in this town?" Jessica Harris went on a rant. She didn't let Dick slip in any words until she was done.
"Its nice to see you still care mom." Dick told her. After hearing about Xander's home life from Willow and Cordelia, he didn't know what to expect when he came home.
"Of course I care. I'm your mother. I may have been distracted, a little bit, for the last few years. But I'm still your mother. Where have you been. Alex I was worried. Really, really worried when you didn't show up yesterday. I thought maybe things got a little out of hand with your friends. It was Halloween after all. I understand how things could get out of hand but Alex its been two days. Don't ever do that to me again young man. Do you understand?"
"Yes I do. It's nice to see you still care mom." Dick told her. He was glad. At least Xander's mother still cared for him.
Jessica Harris gave her son a hug. She was relieved and ashamed. Relieved that her son was safe and sound. Ashamed, because she realized that he was right. She hadn't given her son a hug in a long time. Life got in the way all the pressure of trying to survive made her loose sight of the other people in her home.
"What's going on? What's all the racket?" asked a loud drunken voice. Tony Harris came down the stairs in lumbering steps. He almost fell a couple of times before catching himself on the way down.
"So!" he said trying to focus drunken, blurry, sleep filled eyes on the scene in front of him. "You're back you punk. Well that's it. I ain't taking your shit no more. Grab your shit and get the hell out of my house. God damn it. You think this is a hotel? You think you can show up anytime you want? Well I've got news for you punk I've had enough of your crap. Grab your shit and get the hell out of my house." he yelled at the top of his lungs. His rage had woken him up. His fists we clenched and he was trembling with rage at the crap this punk has been getting away with for the last couple of years. He'll show him who's the man of the house.
"Tony Harris that is enough. You're not throwing my son out on the street in the middle of the night." Jessica Harris said defending her baby.
"That's it you can't tell me what to do. I'm tired of your lazy shit as well. You're body maybe here, but you sure as hell ain't." Tony Harris yelled at his wife and from there the argument took off from there.
After a few minutes Dick tried to break it up, before it became a domestic disturbance call. Does the Sunnydale police department even answer domestic disturbance calls at night?
"What do you think your doing you punk? Get your hands off a me." Tony Harris said finally, he had a target to for his rage. The punk was asking for it. He swung a fist with all his might and hit nothing but air. What the hell the punk was just there. He turned around and tried again. Still nothing.
"Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!" shouted Jessica Harris. She tried to separate her husband and her son from killing each other. Alex was like a greased monkey. She couldn't even lay a hand on him. Tony on the other hand was a bull in a china shop and he was about to destroy her life and marriage in his mindless rage.
For Tony Harris this was becoming a disaster. Every time he swung at the punk he was just out of reach. He wasn't swinging back, which was a good thing for him otherwise he'd show him.
That's when Jessica got in his way. At first he just pushed her out of the way. Which made her mad and she started yelling at him, in his own house. That's it. everyone was gonna get it now. He swung at Jessica with all his might. He had enough.
He expected to feel Jessica's face crunch and crumple beneath his fist. It took him a while to figure out that it didn't happen. It took another minute for his addled and rage filled mind to figure it out.
His bastard son had decided to show that he was a man. He caught fist before it Jessica's face. He tried to pull his hand away to hit the punk. His fist wouldn't budge from the vice like grip it was caught in. When did the punk get this strong? he wondered.
"You don't want to bring mom into this. Do you dad?" he said squeezing the trapped fist a little bit more for emphasis.
"Let me go you punk!" Tony Harris yelled at the top of his lungs. He started to use his other fist, but that too was trapped like the first.
By this time the argument in the Harris household had been going on long enough. A concerned neighbor had called in to complain about the noise. They wanted to make sure that everything was alright. Not that they wouldn't mind going back to sleep. they could miss the regular episode of the Harris saga. The day time episodes were enough thank you very much. Mrs Crane from next door had her binoculars out trying to catch everything. She didn't have much to do anymore. The Harris's were the most excitement she had in her life. It was so life like. almost like T.V.
A police cruiser pulled up to the house. Officer Jerry Rivera got out and slowly made his way to the front door. He didn't survive this long on the night shift by rushing into anything. Not even a domestic disturbance.
He knocked carefully at the front door and moved to the side. "Police! Open up." he said in a loud voice.
The door opened after a few minutes. "Oh thank god your here." said a middle aged woman in her early forties. She must've been beautiful when she was young thought Jerry. Now she just looked tired.
"What's going on? We got several calls reporting a disturbance from several of your neighbors." Jerry asked still at the front door. He made a motion to come in and Jessica Harris just moved out of the way. She didn't say anything. Sensible woman, he thought. Most people in Sunnydale were.
Jerry followed the woman into the house. She may have been tired looking but she still had her figure. Inside he saw Dick holding an older man's hands apart. The hands were clenched in fists. He put two and two together and came up with the right conclusion.
"You ladies mind if I interrupt your dance?" Jerry asked
Dick knew that Jerry was at the door. He heard him talking to Jessica. In that time he had come to an agreement with Tony Harris. He would move out if this ended peacefully. if not, he was breaking both hands. He then applied enough pressure to the trapped hands to make his point. Tony Harris agreed. At this point he wanted this punk out of his home by any means possible.
"Hey Jerry. Twice in one night. What are the odds on that?" Dick greeted the young police officer.
"I don't know? Maybe six to one. So this where you live or do you make a habit of rescuing damsels in distress?" he said pointing to Jessica Harris.
Jessica blushed. Its been a long time since anyone had complimented her like that. She knew he was faltering her to diffuse the situation, but it was nice to hear just the same.
"What the are you talking about?" asked a confused Tony Harris. He didn't expect his no good for nothin son to know any policeman on a personal basis like that.
"Earlier this evening your son, along with a couple of his friends, saved the lives of a couple of young girls from a gang on PCP. They reported the incident to 911. Stayed with the girls until we came on the scene and made sure the girls were alright until they were taken to the hospital. You should be proud of your son and his actions. Not many people would have done what he and his friends did in their position."
Tony Harris was confused. From what he could understand it seemed to him at least that the punk and his vigilante friends had an in with the cops. The faster the kid was out of the house the better. He didn't need the cops hanging out around his place.
For Jessica Harris this was the best of a bad situation. Her son wasn't becoming a criminal, if anything the young officer was praising her son's actions. On one hand she was proud that he was turning into a fine young man. On the other, he was putting his life in danger. She didn't like that one bit.
After talking to Jerry for a few minutes and promising to tone the argument down, Jerry left saying goodbye to the Harris household and making his way back to the station. His shift was about over and he didn't want be out on his own more than he had to. At least not until the sun was out. That was a story of a different color.
"So you're a vigilante now?" asked Tony Harris.
"What do you care?" Dick asked. "By tomorrow, I'll be out of your hair and it shouldn't bother you any."
"You're right. Good riddance I say." With that out of the way Tony Harris picked up a Bottle of JD and made his way back to his bed. Tomorrow he had a lot more drinking to do to get the bad taste of this night out of his system.
Jessica Harris saw the battle lines drawn between her husband and her son. She felt so helpless. She didn't know what to do to save her family. She just reconnected to her son. She didn't want to loose him again so soon.
"Alex, I don't want to loose you so soon. Son I feel like I just woke up from a bad dream and I find myself waking up into a nightmare."
"Mom don't worry. Your not loosing me. When I'm setup I want you to get out of here. I'll get you someplace safer than the battle zone this place will turn into when he goes totally off his rocker." Dick told her. He remembered his promise to Xander, to take care of his mom. He was going to do his best to make sure that Jessica Harris was at the very least taken care of.
"I need to try and save my family, my marriage" she told him holding his hands desperately trying to stay above the turmoil that suddenly became he life.
"The first step in saving something is to save yourself. Once you've done that we can work on getting mount Harris under control before he blows up and takes anyone else with him. My responsibility is to make sure that you're not there when he does explode." Dick explained.
Slowly his arguments won her over. By this time the sun was up. Dick promised to check up on her soon. He went up to Xander's room to collect his things.
Today was Monday. It was a school day. After this high school shouldn't be a problem. Right?
End Chapter 32.
End Book I-Nightwing.