Title: Wings Of Angels Trilogy Book I: Epidemic (3/14)
Pairings/Characters: Bruce/Dick, Barbara Gordon, The Joker
Series Notes: When Gotham falls to an epidemic, Batman and Robin need help to protect the city. All chapters can be found here.
Categories: Drama, Angst
Rating (this chapter): G
Summary: On the third night, the epidemic hits home.
Date of Completion: April 5, 2007
Date of Posting: April 25, 2007
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, DC does, more's the pity.
Word Count: 809
Author's Note: Once in awhile an original character will slip into the group up there in the Pairings/Characters line, so if you don't recognize the name, that' s probably why. :)
LITTLE BIRD LOST
Dick flexed his hand as he pulled his glove on. His shoulders were sore, and his hip was a little painful. He had overdone his work-out that morning, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle. Once he was out there flying, his limbs would stretch, his blood would pump adrenaline into his system, and he would be fine.
It promised to be another busy night. The influenza had caused cancellation of all classes at Gotham University and the public schools, the police and fire departments were more understaffed than ever, and the streets were nearly deserted even at rush hours as some businesses had chosen to shut down as their staffs were grievously depleted.
The Batmobile glided through the streets of Gotham, Batman parking it in an empty lot in the shadows. The grapple hooks were out and soon they were flying over Gotham.
Stars sparkled in the clear night sky, the wind cold and biting as he and Batman flew with perfect precision. Neither spoke as they surveyed the streets below, but few people were out.
Maybe it’ll be a quiet night for a change.
They reached downtown and the Braddock Building loomed before them, the 19th-century building tall and solid with its gargoyles and flying buttresses. A dark shape was already there, blue cape fluttering out behind her.
“Welcome, Dynamic Duo,” Batgirl said with a teasing smile. Robin answered with one of his own, Batman shaking his head in amusement but remaining silent. “So, what’s the plan tonight?”
“We should work around the museums and other downtown areas. Everything being deserted invites bold criminal activities,” Batman said.
Batgirl nodded. She nudged Robin, who was adjusting his boot. He regained his balance with his customary ease and asked, “What?”
“You’ve got some overdue books, Boy Wonder.”
He burst out laughing. “Just my luck you started working at the University library.” He stretched, trying to ease the soreness in his limbs. “Okay, I’ll come by tomorrow. Unless they closed the library, too, in addition to shutting down classes?”
She snorted. “Surely you jest. Give the peon librarians time off? Though they were talking about doing just that. Call and I or anyone else can do it over the phone for you. Once we get that software up on renewal by computer, you won’t even have to talk to a human being.”
“Librarians are human beings? Ow!” He rubbed the spot on his ribcage where she had dug in her elbow.
“Children, play nice or I’ll leave you at home next time.” Batman’s dry voice elicited a shared smile from his younger partners.
Silence fell as the trio flew off on patrol.
& & & & & &
The Gotham Art Museum was yet another imposing stone edifice in a city that seemed to grow them like zucchini in a backyard garden. The museum had closed early as they had very few patrons due to the epidemic. It was quiet, the only sound the water that splashed away in the large marble fountain in front of the main entrance.
Then, a noise.
Instantly the three Bats were inside, familiar maniacal laughter echoing crazily off the marble walls and floors as the Joker directed his men to steal valuable old paintings and statuary.
Robin’s adrenaline pumped as he and his partners swooped into battle, kicking and punching the hired help, but the Joker was gone in a flash of purple-and-green. As soon as the thugs were subdued and trussed up, the trio raced to chase the Clown Prince of Crime.
The pursuit was crazy, which befit the Joker. He sped through the streets in a sleek car, the Bats certain they would lose him. Robin grimaced as he felt a headache coming on. The Joker was always good for a migraine or two. He stumbled, but righted himself instantly.
Luck was with them. The Joker’s car bucked, sputtered, and died.
“Oh, yes.” Batgirl’s smile was predatory.
Robin swung out over the gap between buildings behind her and Batman, a sudden wave of dizziness slamming him like a thug’s punch.
“He’s getting away!” Batman hurtled down like an Avenging Bat, cape fanning out like a Dark Angel’s wings.
Robin grimly righted himself. The Joker had to be caught.
Batgirl followed Batman down, but the Joker was crazy, not stupid. His tear gas bomb enabled him to slip out of Batman’s grasp. Robin saw him take off toward an alley and followed via rooftop.
Batman and Batgirl were right behind him, closing the distance. Robin took out his batarang as he ran and poised to set and throw.
He lost his balance as the dizziness hit again. He never lost his balance.
He began to fall with a sinking heart as he heard a shout behind him, the wind whistling in his ears as gravity pulled him down…