At the hospital, Bruce was lying down on a bed with Alfred standing beside him. The old man had a worried look at him and kept fidgeting.
"I'll be fine, Alfred," Bruce assured him. "It's just a few cracked ribs."
"I fail to see how that constitutes as fine," the old man replied.
"Yes, I know, I worry too much. But a good friend of mine put me in charge of what he held dearest in this world so I would say I have every right to be. And if you would just..."
"I will not stand aside, Alfred," Bruce interrupted with a sombre voice and a look of fierce determination in his eyes. "I will never stand aside, look away or ignore."
"I would never even consider asking you to, young master. So do not ask me not to worry about you."
"Deal," Bruce said and smiled, making the old man smile and shake his head at him.
"Alright, what did he do now?" an elderly woman wearing a doctor's coat asked walking in.
"A fight at school, Leslie," Alfred answered.
"Figures... he can be so careless with his own body sometimes..."
"Believe me, I know that better than anyone."
"Could you two not talk about me like I'm not in the room?" Bruce said annoyed trying to sit up but winced from the pain and lied back down.
"No back-talk, doctor's orders," the woman said and started looking him over.
In another part of town, in a large green-house, Pamela was brewing a concoction in a chemistry set, set up in a corner. She examined it for a few moments then took a syringe and filled it with some of the green fluid and walked over to a row of pots that had a few small plants growing in them and injected each of them with a few drops of the brew. For a few moments nothing happened then they started rising, growing faster and faster until they grew three feet tall in under a minute, taking shape of a Venus fly traps only much more flexible. A couple of then leaned forward and she pet them on their heads, something the plants seemed to enjoy. Pamela then snapped her fingers and the mutated plants all stood in attention, making her grin.
That Friday, late in the afternoon, Bruce was in his room, getting ready to leave. He had put on a plain, black suit and blue shirt, no tie.
"Are you sure you are well enough to leave, Master Bruce?"
"I only have a couple of cracked ribs and it's a dance not a wrestling tournament."
"Very well then. I take it you will want to pick up Miss Isly yourself?"
"Don't wait up for me, Alfred," Bruce said amused.
He went to the garage but before leaving he opened the trunk of his Cadillac and put the bag with his suit and equipment inside, just in case. The drive to Pamela's home took only ten minutes, there was little traffic in the evening. She was already waiting for him outside her home wearing a sparkling, green gown. After he got out and went to open the car door for her, he froze for a moment and stared.
"Thanks, you look handsome too," she said amused.
"Sorry I kept you waiting," he said opening the door for her.
"You're still early so it's alright... but are you sure you're well enough to go?"
"I'm fine, it's just a dance after all."
At school the party was already getting started. The outsiders had gathered in a corner where they could watch the festivities in peace. All of them were wearing suits but only Oswald was the one in a tuxedo with a top hat and cane to match.
"I think you might be a little overdressed," someone remarked and the boys turned to see Barbara wearing a dark red dress, her hair led down and no eyeglasses.
All the boys stared at her wide-eyed.
"W-what?" she asked confused.
"You look ravishing my dear," Oswald said kissing her hand.
"Yeah, you're beautiful..." Matt added.
She trailed off when she saw Bruce and Pamela entering the room. The girl had her arms wrapped around his arm and a wide smile on his face, he too was smiling. Barbara looked away trying to act natural by picking up a plate of refreshments and starting on them, but a few moments later Bruce appeared with his date.
"You sure know how to light up the room, Bruce," Oswald said then took his hat off to Pamela.
"I thought this was a dance, why is everyone sitting around?" Bruce asked. "Having fun and... Barbara?"
"Hmm?" the girl made turning around with her mouth full of food she quickly swallowed. "Um, hi Bruce..."
"Wow... you look great..."
"I... I do?" the girl said embarrassed, wiping the crumbs off her mouth.
"Brucey!" Jay yelled as he and Harley walked towards him.
Everyone froze when they saw them, not because Harley was wearing a bright pink dress or even his green suit with orange stripes but because of the way the rest of him looked.
"Jay? I think Halloween's passed..." Bruce said slightly amused.
"Then why's Ozzy dressed like a monkey? Heh!"
"I am not amused," Oswald said annoyed.
"Dunno how to tell you this, Oz, but you are amusing! Heh, heh, heh..."
"Seriously, what's with the make up?" Bruce insisted.
"Oh it ain't make-up, this is what that chemically stuff did to pudding," Harley said then hugged him. "But I think it makes him handsome."
"I'd tell you to try my Eau de Toxic Waste but you're doin' fine with the ladies," Jay said looking at Pamela then grabbed Bruce's arm while Harley grabbed Pamela. "Stop sittin' around! Let's dance!"
Barbara's smile disappeared when they left but the rosy tinge in her cheeks remained. Matt was shaking for some reason as he looked at her then swallowed a lump in his throat and walked towards her.
"Barbara, do you..."
"I think I'm going home," she said not even noticing him. "I don't feel so good..." she added and left.
Outside, on the other side of the building, Eduard and Wayde were sitting in the dark next to the ventilation system with a smoke screen machine used in concerts. Wayde was mostly looking around to make sure no one spotted them while his partner made the final adjustments.
"Are you done yet?" the football player asked impatiently.
"Do exercise some patience, will you?"
"I don't want patience! I wanna rip Wayne's head off!"
"I know... I heard you the last seventy-three times you said it and I'm working on a way to ensure you can reach your goal without being thrown in jail... there! All done," Eduard said switching it on.
"Can I go in now?"
"Give it a few minutes then go. And remember, you're on your own on this one."
Inside, Bruce was returning with a couple of drinks from the bar to Pamela who was sitting at one of the tables.
"Thanks Brucey," she said taking one of the glasses. "Those two have too much energy, my feet are getting sore..."
"Nothing stops Jay-Jay from having fun."
"I know I had fun, being here, with you..." she said standing, leaving the glass on the table.
"Me too..." he said putting his own glass down.
She raised herself on her toes as she pulled him closer, at the same time he leaned forward but before their lips could touch, Bruce noticed a large amount of steam coming out of the ventilation system.
"Something's not right," he said with a frown.
"What do you mean?" the girl said, disappointed the moment was ruined.
"I... uh... I think I had too much punch, would you excuse me?"
"Sure..." she answered but he was already leaving but she still smiled, placing a hand on her waist. "You're lucky you're good looking, Wayne..."
Turning around she saw that the whole room was being filled with steam and a large figure was headed her way.