9 Years Ago...
Sam walked around the ballroom smiling at everyone, nodding, shaking hands. His mom's annual Summer Solstice party took place right before his birthday, so she counted it as his party.
Sam was startled to hear a familiar voice right behind him. He turned to see the police lieutenant from three years पूर्व talking to his mom. A red-headed girl was standing अगला to him. She looked to be around Sam's age, so he decided to go see the police officer again.
"Sam!" his mother exclaimed. She grabbed her son's arm and dragged him over to where she was standing. "Captain, have आप met my son, Samuel?"
Gordon readjusted his glasses. "I believe I have. आप were at that circus incident three years ago, right son?"
"Yes, sir." Sam said, nodding. "Dreadful that."
"How is the boy doing?" Sam asked.
"Why don't आप ask Barbara?" Gordon said, ushering the red-haired girl forward, she waved at Sam shyly, smiling. "They're practically inseparable."
Sam shook Barbara's hand and they greeted each other with the usual "Nice to meet you"s.
"So did आप catch that Bat-Man of yours yet?" Sam's mother asked.
"Surprisingly," Gordon said, taking a sip from his punch. "He's working with the police. The Comissioner isn't too happy about it, but the guy gets the job done. Besides, I heard आप have your own figure in black roaming New York."
"I highly doubt it." Sam's mother said. Sam noticed Barbara's expression and the two departed from the adult's presence.
"So what brings a Gothamite to New York?" Sam asked, leading Barbara to the railing to look out into the night. She had on a ciel dress with a scarf that adorned her elbows. She grinned and looked out into the night sky, breathing in the false smell of pine.
"Dad was put in charge of protecting Harvey Dent, he decided we should come to the ball tonight." Barbafa said.
"I'm glad आप did." Sam said, placing his hand on hers. "I have the feeling we're going to be best friends."
Barbara grinned. "Me too." she said.
"So what do आप think about the Bat?" Sam asked.
"He is amazing." Barbara said. "Imagine someone having the guts to dress up in a costume every night to fight for what's right? That takes gusto. And it endangers your family."
"I guess that's why he wears the mask." Sam कहा carelessly, looking out. Barabara stared at him incredulously. "You've seen him?!"
"Uhh..." Sam said. He rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "Yeah, once. He was here after my dad died. I...I sorta saw him in an alleyway. He is terrifying."
"Its not because of the legends and the stories. It's because he's real." Barbara breathed the last word as if it were a special one.
"Yeah," Sam said.
Barbara turned to him. "Let's make a vow." she said.
"A vow?" Sam asked.
"A vow." Barbara repeated. "To always be there for one another, no matter what."
"I'll always be here for आप Barbara." Sam said, squeezing the unconscious girl's hand tightly and blinking back tears. Joker had shot her earlier that night. He had walked up to her door and shot her. Sam should've been the one to open the door. He should've, but he wasn't. Now his best friend has लॉस्ट her legs and her life.