Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick, The Wraith
Genres: Challenge, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Rating (this chapter): G
Claim: For the dcu_freeforall Challenge (Bruce/Dick)
Prompt: T 10; P 29: Mists
Prompt Count: (10/15)
General Summary: Strange mists envelop Gotham.
Chapter Summary: The Mists impart their secrets.
Date Of Completion: June 21, 2010
Date Of Posting: September 3, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1442
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
All chapters can be found here.
That night was the first time in a long time that Dick was reluctant to go on patrol. The mists were still around. If anything, they seemed even thicker than ever.
As Batman and Robin patrolled, Robin shook off tendrils of cool moisture that seemed determined to wrap themselves around his legs.
“Trouble?” asked Batman.
“Yeah. This stuff’s almost alive!”
A slight smile graced Batman’s lips. His boy always had a lively imagination!
“It’s annoying, but we’ll be fine.”
Robin nodded. Batman’s certainty calmed him, just as it always did. He shook off his uneasiness and leaped to the next building.
“Well, one thing about this creepy weather, the bad guys are staying off the streets.”
Batman nodded. “Always pros and cons, it seems.”
Robin laughed, the joyous sound echoing around the rooftops. Batman couldn’t help but respond with a smile of his own.
Suddenly a shout echoed down the alley, then another from the opposite direction. Batman gestured, and Robin nodded. He took off while Batman flew off in the other direction.
Robin’s balance was unerring, as always. He heard another cry and stepped up his pace, confident that he could reach the victim in no time.
He frowned as he kept running. The alley was empty, and the one after that. There wasn’t a soul around for blocks.
Puzzled, Robin leaped lightly to the pavement, his cape fluttering down around his shoulders. He adjusted his gloves and scanned the alley as best he could.
Robin took out his grapple gun and was ready to shoot upward when he looked down and gasped.
The tendrils of mist were wrapping around his arms, torso, and legs, and starting to tighten…painfully!
His first reaction was panic, then his training took over. He removed the tendrils easily, but others replaced them, and the tightening began to take his breath away.
“Batman!” he choked out as he struggled with a tendril around his chest. Sparkles appeared at the edges of his vision as he began to pass out.
“That is fine, my Shining One,” a voice whispered in his ear just before he blacked out.
Batman frowned as he search for a victim. Nothing. Well, the whole situation was odd.
The mists were really having an effect on Robin. If Batman had to admit it, he was uneasy, too. And Robin’s instincts about such mystical things were rock-solid.
Alfred says it’s his Gypsy blood, Batman thought with amusement.
But there was truth to that. Dick had often surprised him with his flashes of insight, seemingly coming out of left field to put his finger exactly on the problem, and that had started when he’d just been a child.
Dick smugly called it his ‘Captain Kirk’ mode. “When we play chess, Bruce, you’re Spock and I’m Kirk. And you know that Kirk always confuzzles Spock with his ‘illogical moves’.” He’d always wink and laugh as Bruce shook his head.
But there was truth to his young partner’s words. He had a gift for intuitive thinking, and it had proven invaluable on many an occasion.
So now he trusted Robin’s unease over the mysterious mists. His own instincts were telling him to get back to Robin. He turned, and with a swirl of cape, was running back toward his young partner.
Batman searched, coming close to frantic as he called his lover’s name. He saw no sign of the sunshine cape or sparkle in the gloom.
His voice echoed through the mists.
He nearly stumbled over Robin. With the mists so thick, he hadn’t seen the body stretched out on the alley floor, bound by glittering tendrils of mist.
Batman bent down, desperate to free his partner, but as soon as he touched him, a spark of energy sent him flying backwards, slamming against the alley wall. Grimacing, he staggered forward.
“Go, Creature of the Night.”
Startled, Batman watched as several ribbons of mist swirled and coalesced, forming into a winsome young woman, long hair as flowing as her silver-white dress, smoky flowers crowning her head. A clear, pendulum-shaped Jewel hung from a silvery chain, resting between her breasts.
Her face was heart-shaped, enormous eyes gazing fondly down at Robin, who was breathing but unconscious. Her features were as silver-white as her hair and dress.
“Let him go,” Batman growled.
“Dark One, you should return to the shadows. I have found my Shining One.”
“Yes.” A look of adoration crossed her face. “He is the One who will bring Light to my world.” She caressed Robin’s face.
“His place is here,” Batman said softly.
"My world has no Light. He sparkles and brings a rainbow of color to a gray world.”
“I agree, but he has family and friends here.” Batman’s heart was pounding. He had to get this creature to listen. If he didn’t, he was certain that he would never see his Little Bird again. “He would want to stay.”
A sad expression passed over the Wraith’s face. “But my world needs him.”
“So does mine.”
She continued caressing Robin’s face. “I was sent to search your world. We had a Sign that the Shining One was here, in this gloomiest of cities. My scouts and I have been searching.” She rested her hand on Robin’s hair. “We are in desperate need.”
Batman’s pulse raced. “I appreciate that, but there is desperate need here for him.”
Her dress fluttered in a silent breeze. "Or perhaps it is you who is desperate?"
Batman's heart clenched. He was unable to speak, fear closing his throat.
“Does he have a Beloved?”
Startled, Batman answered, “Yes.”
She looked up at him, silvery-gray eyes studying him. Did regret cross her lovely features? Her wispy fingers touched Robin’s hair.
“Why is such a figure cloaked in darkness allied with such a bright one?”
“Because I’m very lucky.”
The Wraith couldn’t take her eyes off Robin, for which Batman couldn’t blame her. He rested a gloved hand on Robin’s leg, concerned that his lover’s flesh was cool. This mist was cooling, and he was afraid that Robin was in danger of catching cold or worse.
“Do you truly love him?”
Batman’s gaze was on Robin’s face. “With everything I have.” He looked up and saw the silvery-gray eyes watching him closely, sadness wisping through them.
“You really do love him.”
Batman grasped Robin’s hand. “Yes.”
“I cannot take away the Shining One if he is truly loved.” Her voice was laced with regret and pain.
Batman nearly collapsed in relief. He’d been so afraid that this Wraith would take away Robin and there would be no way to stop her.
She closed her eyes and ran her hand along Robin’s face and down his chest, resting over his heart. She murmured some words in her language and then lifted her hand, a trail of golden and silver sparkles rising from Robin. They swirled and shimmered, prisms of rainbow light entwining through the silvery mists, dancing into the palm of the Wraith’s hand. She closed her hand, taking her pendant and bringing it to hover over her fist. Opening her hand, the sparkles danced into the Jewel, which she returned to rest between her breasts. The Jewel glittered with swirling light.
“Be good to him, Dark One.”
The Wraith leaned down and lightly kissed Robin’s forehead, dissolving into the mists.
Batman watched as Robin’s bonds dissolved, and he quickly checked out his partner.
“Robin, wake up. C’mon now.” He gently patted the younger man’s face. Relief flooded him as Robin's eyelids fluttered open. “Hey, it’s all right.”
“Wha…what’s goin’ on?” Robin shifted, trying to sit up.
“How do you feel?” Batman helped Robin into a sitting position.
“A little dizzy. What happened? The last thing I remember was the tendrils of mist slipping around me…” Robin looked down quickly. “They’re gone!”
“That’s right. I think the mists will disappear now.”
“How do you know that?”
Batman leaned forward and cupped Robin’s face. “I always know.”
Robin laughed, the rich sound tingling through his lover. As Robin stood with Batman’s help, the mists grew thinner as they began to recede from Gotham.
Robin shook his head. “I don’t know how you do it.”
Batman smiled a little as he guided Robin down the alley, sunshine cape swirling with the dark one, the mists crossing the face of the moon as the stars came out.