So, I recently finished my Naruto/DCAU crossover “Connecting the Dots.” At 32 chapters, it’s the longest story I’ve ever written, and at over 1000 reviews, it is also–by far–the most popular. I’m rather proud of it. But as long as it was, there were many scenes which didn’t make it in, and I’ll be posting some of them up here over the next couple of weeks. One of them was this Batman/Huntress dialogue, which though revealing and amusing, in a sense, got cut for reasons of simplicity
The door to the monitor room opened in a frenzy of pressurized air as Huntress rushed in. “Hey!” She snapped. “I need you to find…”
“He’s on the second level of the tower, going through sales reports from greenhouses,” responded a gravelly voice.
Huntress deflated considerably under the voice and the man who owned it. “Oh. It’s you. What’re you up to?”
“Press analysis. Weighing public opinion in the wake of the press conference. Kid Flash gave us some valuable data on Luthor, too, I’m running that through the system. We’ll have to see if anything comes up.” Somewhere inside, Batman wondered if it was time to start finding a new refuge. Too many people were dropping by the monitor womb these days. Perhaps Huntress would simply leave…
“Look… I suppose you’re wondering why Question’s been acting like this lately…”
Huntress blinked in surprise. “You’re not?”
“No.” Without much hope, Batman wondered if simply getting through the matter would get her to go away. “Becoming a father has that sort of effect on a man. Not that I would know.” He added as an afterthought.
In the reflection from the computer screen he saw Huntress’ gaping face. “You… how… I haven’t…”
“Robin told me. Standard medical training combined with your behavior…” he shrugged. “Fairly simple diagnosis. Anyway, hardly surprising, considering the rate you two go at it.” Snorting, he allowed himself a small shake of the head. “Heroes these days. I’m still waiting for Arrow to announce a new chick in the nest.”
“New chick in…” Huntress blinked. “Did you just make a joke?”
He definitely had to find a new retreat. Maybe set up a sub-womb in the engineering area. “Did you have any other business here or did you just want to find your boyfriend?” Hopefully the touch of steel he added to his voice would give her a hint.
Huntress sighed. “I just wanted to check up on him. If he’s just doing research I guess he’s fine, so long as he’s not bothering anybody.”
A silence fell over the monitor womb. Eyes narrowed, Batman stared at Huntress’ reflection in the screen, willing her to leave. That’s all your business. We’re done here. You have everything you need. There is no point…
Huntress sighed again. “Um… look… I didn’t mean to go getting pregnant and all, but… since I am… what do you think… I mean, does the League…”
This had to be stopped. Swiveling his chair around, Batman steepled his fingers and glared at her intently over the tips of them. “You’re not asking me for advice on parenting, are you?”
“No!” Huntress shot back. “Of course not!”
“Good. That would be stupid.” Batman stared directly at her this time, hoping the pressure would force her away.
“But… since you know…”
Batman gave up. “Don’t.” he interrupted abruptly. “Don’t have it.”
“Why not?” Huntress blinked, a little off-balance from the answer. “Kids are cute.”
“Children are cute things to have in stories, but in real life they tend to be demanding. Neither you nor Question can spare the time, unless you plan on giving up vigilante work. For good.”
Huntress’ gaze hardened, and Batman understood why. Heroes didn’t exactly walk away from their jobs, especially vengeance-driven ones like Huntress. “Also,” continued he, pressing his advantage, “once your enemies learn of the child—and they will—they’ll see it as a viable target to get to you. The same principle applies to relationships.”
“This is why you don’t have a girlfriend?” Huntress’ gaze was hard, possibly for other reasons than before.
Batman ignored her and turned back to the computer. “Your decision, in either case.” He grunted. “But you asked my opinion. And my opinion is that you shouldn’t. Children are a hindrance in our sort of work.”
“You have children.”
“I do not.”
Huntress smirked. “Robin, Batgirl…”
“Apprentices. Not children.” Batman’s reply was just a trifle too quick. “I train them to handle dangers on their own, but I take no part in their development.”
“I rather doubt I’d be a good parent,” answered Batman, wondering how on earth they’d gotten talking about this. “Which, by the way, is maybe another point you should consider.”
“What? What’s that supposed to…”
The doors whooshed open as Question blew in. “Batman!” he snapped. “Schaefer’s Greenhouses use genetically-engineered pesticides! The affect on pollen could possibly heighten the UV radiation of the area, rendering it more visible to spy satellite! Although…” His faceless mask stared at the papers for a moment. “Clouds would block infrared. Perhaps… yes, yes, Nanites! A stable atmosphere. But Nanites would mean the Kaballa…” Muttering, he whooshed out the door again.
Huntress stared after him, a slightly pained expression on her face. “…hmmm… Okay, I see where you’re coming from.”
Huntresss’ pregnancy was not in the original draft, and was added to show the consequences of her lifestyle with Question. This scene was meant to be the start of a sub-plot in which the fate of Huntress’ child was determined. Batman’s viewpoint would be contrasted with other heroes like Superman, and some ninjas like Naruto. Eventually, Huntress was meant to realize that she couldn’t raise such a child, but she couldn’t abort her either, and would offer her up for adoption.
I dropped this scene–along with the subplot–because it simply seemed too didactic, even for me, and it was an added complication in an already-complicated plot. And it didn’t contribute anything to the main theme, either. So I cut it. I did consider adding a reference to Huntress’ child in the last chapter, but discarded that idea as too far divided and irrelevant.