Chapter Nine

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AN: No update next week-I will be away (hence the early update to-day). Apologies.

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Dawn found him riffling through his equipment. He couldn't do anything spectacular, but a blood test-of sorts-was easy enough. She probably wouldn't like it, but she'd thank him later.


If there was a  later.


If this didn't work, he decided, he'd make a few calls, check to see if there was anyone in Gotham he could blame. Edward would know if anybody had been working on new poisons, possibly thanks to being a guinea pig.


Scratch that-probably thanks to being a guinea pig. Edward had the unique talent of pissing off everyone with little effort. Well, aside from Harley, but it was nearly impossible to piss off Harley. Unless you were Batman, who did not count.


He finally came up with what he needed and went in, hoping that fate would be done toying with him and that she would be fine.


He was not so lucky. Of course not. The universe had it in for him.


Yeah, your life could be a soap opera.


To make matters worse, Mr. Richardson was on guard duty. This could be potentially problematic.


"Hello, Jonathan."


Help.


Bye.


"Morning, Mr. Richardson."


"What is that."


Well. No pleasantries from him. Must have been a long night.


"Needle." He held it up. "I need a blood sample."


"Why."


"I need to rule out accidental toxin exposure." Which would not be his fault, and which would wear off-he hadn't quite perfected that batch before Batman broke in. "It happens..."


"You're quite sure it would be accidental?"


Somebody's in trouble!


"Batman knocked over most of my equipment." he explained. "We weren't expecting him, we weren't taking the proper precautions..."


Stop rambling, you're not helping.


"I see." He didn't like that tone. "Get on with it, then."


She didn't even wake up. Good. That would make this easier, then. She didn't like needles. It wasn't a full-blown phobia, but he had to fight her on the flu shots.


He'd drawn blood from people lots of times, but never while their father was breathing down his neck. It was not an experience he wished to repeat.


"Well?"


"I have to run some tests...shouldn't take more than a few hours."


He most certainly did not flee the room. Leave quickly? Maybe.

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Dammit!


What?


Not it. Not even traces.


He scowled at the tube, willing it to change its mind. It did not.


At least her dad won't blame you.


She was fine! She was fine when we got here! What could possibly have...


Curse.


Don't be ridiculous.


Just sayin'. It's awfully coincidental, Jonny.


There are no such things as curses.


He didn't realise he'd been chewing his pen until he got the sickly-sweet tang of ink in his mouth. Blech.


He remembered the library. There were books in there, all sorts of books. Maybe one of them would have the answer.


He sighed, got a flashlight and his raincoat, and trudged across no-man's-land to the porch.


It was raining again and by the time he got the door open he was soaked. He shuffled into the hall, paused to scratch an itch, and went to continue on.


Unfortunately, he slipped in a puddle that had formed while he was standing still, pinwheeled frantically for a minute, and finally went down hard enough to knock himself unconscious.

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