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You Don't Know Sarah

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This story is No. 9 in the series "Midnight City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Lucius' feelings about spelunking have changed.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > BatmanVashtiFR1311,688031,0494 Jan 134 Jan 13Yes
Title: You Don't Know Sarah
Fandom: BtVS/The Dark Knight Rises
Character(s): John Blake, Lucius Fox, Sarah the OC Slayer
Rating: PG
Summary: Lucius' feelings about spelunking have changed.
Length: ~1660 words
Disclaimer: Only the words are mine, and that’s probably up for philosophical debate. Title from "You Don't Know Sarah" by KNAPSACKHEROES!

§§§

"Stay here," Sarah said in a distracted way as she turned the handle of Lucius Fox’s office door. "Okay?"

John nodded. "Yeah."

"Okay. I’ll be right back."

John watched her slip through the narrowest possible opening. It was strange seeing her in a vibrant blue blouse over a full gray skirt that softened and hid the powerful lines of her body. She’d even worn hose and cute little heels. There was no way he was ever going to let her live it down. The slacks and button-down shirt he wore were as much a part of his normal wardrobe as his t-shirts and jeans. Only the shoes were an upgrade.

"Ah, Miss Pradchaphet," John heard from the other side. "How are you today, my dear? You weren’t scheduled to help me, were you?"

"Hello Mr. Fox. And no, sir," Sarah said. "I’m actually on the other side of the building most of the day, but I’ve brought you a visitor."

"Oh?"

"I think you know him. John Blake?"

"I do know Detective Blake. Although..."
John could only imagine what Lucius Fox was doing during that pause. "I’d heard he gave up his position. Left town. Tell me, how do you know Mr. Blake?"

"He stepped between me and my sisters and a mugger in Prague,"
Sarah said, repeating their cover story. Her voice faded as she walked away from the door, but was still discernible as she said, "My sisters made him my unofficial guardian when we found out that he and I were going to end up in Gotham after we left Europe."

"Is that so. And do you know why Mr. Blake wants to see me?"

"Uh, well, you knew that the Mr. Wayne’s estate bequeathed John with a spelunking grant."

"I’m sorry. A what?"

"Um..."
John could see Sarah’s wide-eyed blink as she tried to figure out how to clarify what she probably thought was a straightforward statement. "As part of Bruce Wayne’s will, he gave John spelunking equipment and a grant, or I guess it’s really a stipend, to pursue spelunking. Especially locally?"

"Is that so?"
John frowned. There was something about the way Fox had said that...

"Yes, sir."

"Well then, by all means, please show him in."


Soon Sarah was slipping through the door and beckoning John inside. "Don’t worry, Mr. Fox is very nice. He’s my fave, actually."

"Oh yeah?"

Opening the door for him, Sarah nodded with a leashed grin. "Go in," she murmured. "I’m right here."

Lucius Fox was standing a few feet in front of his desk , hand extended and ready to meet him. "Mr. Blake. It’s good to see you again. I can honestly say it’s been too long. We couldn’t have made it through Bane’s occupation without you."

Taking the offered hand, John smiled, surprised to find that he agreed. It had been too long. "Gotham would have pulled through without me."

"Oh, I’m sure we would. It doesn’t mean you weren’t an integral part in making sure that it happened...and that we all survived to see it happen."

"Thank you, sir."

Fox turned away from him, walking toward his desk. John followed, Sarah practically at his elbow. "So Miss Pradchaphet tells me you were bequeathed a....stipend from Mr. Wayne’s personal assets. For spelunking. Is that right?"

John nodded. "Yes, sir."

"Spelunking was Mr. Wayne’s great passion."

"So I’ve learned."

Fox turned to face him. "And he found a kindred spirit in you, I take it." At John’s nod, he turned away and took something from his desk. "I’d hoped—" He turned around. "Well, what are the hopes of an old man? Miss Pradchaphet intimated that you were in need of some new...materials? Is that correct?"

John nodded, eying him somewhat warily. Something was disturbing Fox, but he wasn’t sure what. "Yes, sir. In fact, it’s Sarah who’s in need of equipment."

"What?"

He felt Sarah take a step back at the snap of Fox’s voice.

"You are not—" Fox caught himself. "Miss Pradchaphet, please wait for us outside. But before you go," he said, stopping her backward motion, "have you given any thought to what we spoke about last week?"

"Um..."

John glanced back to see her blushing.

"...yes, sir."

"Thoughts?"

"Um, it’s a good idea?"

John frowned. "What’s he talking about, Sarah?"

"Later, John. I’ll see you outside."

He watched her go, only facing Fox again when she’d slipped out the door. "What was that about?"

Leaning against his desk, Fox said, "Did you know that Miss Pradchaphet has taken a year off to do this internship?" When John nodded, he said, "Did you know how brilliant she is when it comes to technology?"

"Yes. From what I understand she maintains the computers for all the interns in her building."

"No, no. More than computer savvy. I mean all forms of technology. I’d actually like to keep her on as my assistant, but she needs to finish her degree first."

John was sure there was something subtle he was supposed to be getting from all this, but he couldn’t guess what it was. "What are you trying to say?"

"That perhaps you should rethink taking on a...spelunking partner. Miss Pradchaphet has a bright future ahead of her."

"I agree. I didn’t want Sarah to come back with me. She insisted."

Fox frowned. "Come back with you? From where? Because it sounds like the Czech Republic isn’t it."

"That’s not important."

"Oh, I think it is."

Knowing that Sarah could probably hear the conversation from the hallway helped John keep his temper in check. "I can promise you that Sarah is not doing anything that she isn’t ready to do, and that she knows the full consequences of her actions."

Fox pointed the device in his hand toward a wall on the other side of the room. The panel became a screen. Word and pictures began to scroll upwards. "I was curious about Miss Pradchaphet—she is a very bright girl who isn’t being used to her full potential—so I did a little research." He indicated the screen. "Did you know that she is an only child? And that her family was murdered some years ago. According to reports, Sarah only narrowly escaped with her life. After that..." Fox spread his hands. "...the record is blank. As you can see."

John wandered to the enormous screen, skimming through the information as Fox spoke.

"Until she applied for and was offered an internship at Wayne Enterprises. I find all that rather curious."

So did John, but he didn’t say anything.

"I did find her travel record for the Czech Republic to Tibet. You were on all the same flights."

"Yes." There was no point in hiding it.

"There’s also a record of her flying from Scotland to the Czech Republic. Before the Tibetan trip. You were on that flight, too."

John turned. "What does that have to do with spelunking?"

Fox’s eyes were hard. "That’s what I want to know. Mr. Wayne had..." Fox turned away for a moment. Looking at John again, he said, "Mr. Wayne sacrificed everything for Gotham City, but everything he had was only himself. I won’t see your ‘hobby’ do to her what it did to him."

John shook his head. "I didn’t do this to her, Mr. Fox. I found her this way."

"I find that hard to believe."

"Believe what you want. Maybe you need to do more research." Stuffing his hands in the pockets of his slacks, John returned to Fox at his desk. "If you don’t want to do this for us, that’s fine. Sarah said you’d have something to help her out, but if you don’t we can always modify some of the equipment Mr. Wayne left me."

"I won’t allow you--"

"She trains me, Lucius. She trains me." John took a deep breath. It came out in a huff. "This isn’t a matter of ‘let.’"

They stared in tense silence, John’s hands in his pockets hiding his twitching fingers. If Fox didn’t help them, Sarah would be benched for at least another week, probably more. Selina’s warning echoed every time he thought of Sarah’s giddy response to his telling her that she could go out with him. If Fox didn’t help them, would she go out without a mask? It was the slayer way. A suit would protect her body, however unnecessarily, but the mask would protect the people who had become important to her...the ones she talked about over dinner with Gordon.

"She was spelunking when I met her," he told Fox.

"That so?"

"Yes, sir."

Bowing his head, Fox ran a hand through his thinning hair. "Think I might be getting too old for this." He looked up and into John’s eyes. "Please ask Miss Pradchaphet to come back in. I may have something in her size. I presume she’ll need protective gear?"

John’s hands flexed in his pockets. "I have something that will fit her. Mostly she needs to protect her face."

Fox frowned, eyeballing John’s physique carefully. Raising an eyebrow at John’s nearly six-foot frame, he said,"I bet I have something better. Please go get Miss Pradchaphet? Thank you."

John stuck his head out the door. "Hey. Fox wants you to come back inside."

Sarah beamed at him. "Oh good. You were taking so long and he sounded so no-way-jose, I thought he was never going to help us."

"Of course he was going to help us. Come on. Before he changes his mind." He held the door open for her and she slipped in around him.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" she whispered.

"Like what?"

"Like the first that you saw me. Like you weren’t sure who I was."

"I’m not looking at you ‘like that’."

Sarah frowned. "You so are."

"I’m not."

"You are."

"I’m—"

"Mr. Blake. Miss Pradchaphet." They turned as Fox called their names. "If you’ll both come with me."

Fin[ite]

The End

You have reached the end of "You Don't Know Sarah". This story is complete.

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