Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Dick, Clark/Bruce, Alfred, Jim Gordon
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. As Bruce and Clark continue to juggle being lovers as well as Master and slave, Bruce continues his Abolitionist work, and a shocking Family Secret is revealed. Meanwhile, the Queen Family welcomes a new member, and Steve and Hal meet their Destinies, although neither one realizes it yet. The entire series can be found here.
Genres: Drama, AU
Rating: (this chapter): Mild ‘R’
Summary: Batman and Robin run into trouble…BIG trouble…while on a routine patrol.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): May 6, 2008
Date Of Posting: February 17, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1969
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
To no longer
Hear him sing,
Emily Adams Cutler
"Yellow Roses And Other Poems"
Moonlight glimmered in snowy Gotham, the January wind cutting down alleys and across the Common. People were staying inside, avoiding the cold.
Not so for the two leaping over rooftops as they kept watch over the quiet city.
The frosty night sparkled with cold. Robin loved it, the air getting his blood going. He wore flesh-colored tights to protect his legs, but the temperature didn’t bother him.
He reveled in it.
The stars twinkled overhead, Robin picking out the Big Dipper as he launched a grapple hook. Swinging upward, he landed lightly on the Clock Tower, Batman right behind him.
“Quiet tonight,” Batman said.
Robin nodded. “Too cold.”
Robin grinned. He peered over the edge, seeing a nearly-empty street.
“Hey, there’s a light flickering over in that building.”
“Hmm, so there is.”
With a flash of teeth, Robin launched a decel line and was gone.
The office building was dark, Robin slipping through the halls. He listened quietly, hoping that it was only a night guard or someone on the cleaning staff.
Then again, catching a crook would be good practice for him. He grinned in the dark as he heard a noise.
Batman murmured quietly into his commlink. Clark was giving him information on the major tenants of this building.
“Clarkson Industries; Abercrombie, Beale, and Braddock, Attorneys-At-Law; Mellor Imports/Exports; The Monarch Playing Card Company; The Brazelton Modeling Agency…”
“Wait, back up. Did you say The Monarch Playing Card Company?”
“Yes.” A muffled curse. “Batman, there’s been a break-out from Arkham.”
Batman’s fingers clutched the roof ledge.
“Oh, no…” he whispered, vaulting over the roof.
Robin sneaked into the office with the flickering light. If it were a guard or cleaning person, he would stay in the shadows and not startle or frighten them.
But if it was a crook…
Robin smiled as he saw the light in the inner office.
Probably a burglar with a flashlight. He silently began to push the door open further.
Suddenly, the door was yanked open, nearly knocking Robin off his feet. Robin’s heart leapt into his throat as he stared at the ‘burglar’.
Batman slid down from the skylight, landing as lightly as a cat on the floor. He read every door until he came to The Monarch Playing Card Company. Clamping down on his trembling, he turned the doorknob and stepped inside.
He found the note in the inner office pinned to the wall by a purple-handled dagger.
Bats! I have the Little Birdie. Pretty little thing. He needs his wings clipped.
Remember our last meeting place? Come on over. We’ll be waiting.
Batman ripped the note off the wall.
Little puffs of breath drifted in the cold air, Batman locking down the Batmobile as he took to the roofs of the warehouse district.
He was silent, a wraith in the night. Heart pounding wildly, he could remember the shock and fear in Clark’s voice as he said, “The Joker has Robin?!”
Not his bright little boy, his courageous child, his partner…
Partner. Yes. That boy was depending on him. Partners looked out for each other.
But he’s only gone up against common thugs and thieves so far, or criminals like the Penguin or Riddler, not a psychopath like the Joker.
All the more reason to get to Robin quickly.
Batman knew this would be one of the most important missions of his life. He swept over to the roof of the abandoned warehouse, black cape fluttering.
He had to stay focused for his partner…his boy.
Batman stealthily glided over the roof, kneeling by the skylight.
His heart lurched.
Robin was draped in the Joker’s arms, bonelessly graceful even while unconscious. The Joker’s purple glove was stroking his hair as he smirked down at his captive.
Then again, the Joker always smiled.
Batman forced himself to take deep breaths. He had to be very careful. Villains like the Penguin and Riddler were smart.
The Joker was insanely brilliant.
Jim Gordon watched the Bat-ignal shine against the night sky. So the Bat wasn’t answering.
That could mean he was unavailable or already aware of the Arkham break-out.
Jim hoped it was the latter.
Jim turned. “Yes?”
The patrolman was young and nervous. “A hot tip, sir. The Joker was seen in the old warehouse he used before.” The young man nearly crumpled the note in his hand. “He had a small figure in red-yellow-and-green with him.”
“Damn.” Jim took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “All right. Let’s get a squad over there.” As the officer turned. Jim added, “Quietly.”
The patrolman nodded.
Batman entered the warehouse, ever aware of potential booby traps.
If Robin was awake, he would help in his own rescue. Unconscious, it was up to Batman to save him.
He could hear the crooning drift up to the rafters.
“Pretty little birdie/Sittin’ in a tree/Pretty little birdie/Just you and me…”
Batman’s blood ran cold as he inched along the catwalk. He saw the drape of yellow cape over Robin’s body, fearful of what he might find under it. He had to concentrate.
“Pretty Birdie, why should the Big, Bad Bat have you? You’re too pretty for that ol’ sourpuss.”
Batman crept down the catwalk ladder. Just a few more minutes…
“You’re a bright, cheerful lad. Certainly not fitting for someone so dark and gloomy. Bet he doesn’t even let you take souvenirs from your victories, hmm?” The Joker stroked Robin’s cape.
Just a few more inches…
“Honestly, Bats, you’re such a party pooper. But I always take a souvenir from my victories.” The Joker whipped out an ugly, serrated blade and pressed it to Robin’s throat just above his Peter Pan collar. The Joker’s eyes glittered as he turned his head. “Utility belt. Over here. Now.”
Batman obeyed, sliding the belt over to the Joker, who cackled in satisfaction. “Come to stand over here. No tricks, or Pretty Bird will bleed out.”
Batman watched the light glinting off the knife, the Joker’s flippant joviality not fooling him: the criminal’s hand on the knife was rock-steady.
“Let him go, Joker.”
The Clown Prince pouted. “A bright little thing like this should be with a cheerful sort, not with you, Batsy.”
“He’s happy with me.”
“Pshaw!” The Joker waved his free hand. “A boy needs to play. All work and no play make Robin a dull boy.”
“He’s a happy boy, Joker. Please let me have him.”
“You can’t raise a child!”
Batman bit back his retort of “And you can?” It definitely would do no good to anger the madman.
“I’ll take better care of him, I promise.” Batman held out his hands, desperate to get his boy back.
The Joker hummed as the knife pressed into Robin’s skin, a thin trickle of blood running down his yellow collar. Batman’s heart triphammered.
“Such beauty should be preserved forever.”
The Joker began his slice and Batman moved.
Clark’s hands twisted the cord of his robe, worry suffusing his features.
“So the Joker has Dick?” Alfred asked quietly.
“Bruce thinks so.” Clark looked pale. Grateful that he was sitting down, he battled dizziness as he stared at the computer screen. ARKHAM BREAK-OUT! screamed the Gotham City website. JOKER ON THE LOOSE! BAT-SIGNAL BURNING BRIGHTLY!
“Dick must have been taken by surprise. Master Bruce says he is an exceptional crimefighter.”
“But up against a psycho like the Joker…”
Alfred squeezed his shoulder. “We are all vulnerable to the cruelties and vagaries of the world, Clark. Those like you, me, and Dick more so than most.”
Clark felt his throat constrict, watching the play of light on his manacles.
Beautiful in their rainbow glory.
Marking him as vulnerable.
“I wish I could be with them.” Clark closed his eyes briefly. When he opened them again, Alfred said, ““We must trust in Master Bruce.” The butler squeezed his shoulder again. “We must trust in the Batman.”
Batman’s hand knocked the knife out of the Joker’s hand, the clown letting Robin’s body roll away as he leapt to his feet.
Momentarily distracted, Batman was driven back by a well-placed punch. He immediately counter-attacked, bringing his ninja training to bear as he forced his adversary away from Robin.
The Joker was a tenacious and unpredictable enemy. Batman used all his senses and skills to drive the Clown Prince back. Fear for Robin might have handicapped him at first, but now it drove him forward with crackling energy, delivering blow after blow with relentless precision.
“Batsy, you are more of a party pooper than ever.” Despite ducking a blow, the Joker managed to pout. “Drat, you made me do…well, I could have had fun with that boy!” He kicked out, barely missing the Bat. “The boy’s full of life! Quips puns with the best of ‘em! Could always use a sunny sidekick.”
“He’s not much into criminal activity, Joker. Except in stopping it.”
The Joker sighed melodramatically. “See, you’re stifling the lad!”
Batman answered with another flurry of kicks. The Joker answered with an attack of his own, but the Batman landed a blow to the head that sent the clown sprawling. Batman pressed his advantage, knocking out the Joker.
Quickly cuffing him and looping the chain around a pipe, Batman turned to Robin and scooped him up off the floor.
“Robin, are you all right? Talk to me!”
Robin was limp in his arms, pale in the moonlight streaming in through the warehouse windows. Fear trickled down his spine.
Robin’s head moved, and Batman quickly pushed the lenses back in his mask. Blue eyes looked into his.
“Right here, kid.” Batman took hold of his partner’s hand and squeezed it. “Always right here.”
“I love you,” Robin said quietly as he smiled.
Batman kissed his brow. “I love you, too.”
Batman pulled his cape over Robin, hugging the little boy.
Jim Gordon stepped out of the police car, gazing at the warehouse.
“What’s the story?”
The gray-haired captain answered, “We saw the Batman enter through the skylight. We decided to wait for you, sir. Do we announce we’re here, or wait?”
Jim saw the dark figure striding out, his arm around the shoulders of the brightly-garbed boy walking by his side.
“Robin! Are you all right?”
Robin flashed a smile. “I’m fine, Commissioner!”
Greatly relieved, Jim ruffled the boy’s hair. “The Joker?”
“Inside,” Batman answered.
“Good.” Jim rested a hand on Robin’s shoulder. “We’ll bring him back to Arkham.”
“Thank you, Commissioner.”
Jim nodded, squeezing the little boy’s shoulder. “Take your partner home, Batman.”
Batman nodded, escorting Robin away.
The Batmobile roared into the Cave, Clark and Alfred immediately on their feet. Alfred stood close to Clark, aware of his friend’s pale face and slight trembling. In case he needed help, Alfred would be right there.
The doors opened and Batman came out, but Alfred and Clark’s eyes were on the smaller figure that bounced out and ran to them
Dick threw himself into Clark’s arms, Clark hugging him tightly, Alfred putting his arms around Dick, letting their love pour into the child.
“My little boy,” Clark whispered, smoothing Dick’s hair.
Yes, Dick was their little boy, precious indeed.
Pairings/Characters: (continued): The Joker! While you probably guessed it quickly, I thought I’d keep his identity a secret and throw in a clue! ;)