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Similar Deviations

Author's Note: This fic came to me after I heard, then saw the video for, the A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera duet "Say Something". It struck something in me and... well, this story is what came of it. If you haven't heard it, it can be found here: Say Something.

Usage of the cover image, entitled "Mission failed" was granted by artist f19850928.

Warning: I never thought I would write one of these, but it turns out I was wrong. Not only is this a sonfic (something I'm not a big fan of) but it is also a Death!Fic.

Disclaimer: Young Justice & Batman, or the song "Say Something", are not mine. Any recognizable content is not mine.


SAY SOMETHING

Say something I'm giving up on you

The scream was torn from his throat as he collided feet first with the heated metal. His knees buckled beneath him and he fell to the catwalk that had halted his descent. He lurched to the side, his weight causing the already twisted metal to tilt and his body began to slide toward the edge. Instinctively, his legs hooked around the railing, once again jarring his bruised and broken body from falling into the inferno below.

I'll be the one if you want me to

For the moment, he hung there partially upside down, desperately trying to regain his breath. But the air was scorching his lungs and he was finding it almost impossible to breathe. His arms hung limply below his head, the metal cuffs searing into his flesh of his wrists as the fire below heated them.

Anywhere I would have followed you

He wasn't supposed to be there, not alone in any case. Batman and Robin had been en route from Gotham when things went south. Blockbuster's men had shown up early and had been far too meticulous when they searched the area. They found his surveillance devices and a short time later, they found him. Desmond had been only too eager to express his frustration at the appearance of the vigilante.

Say something I'm giving up on you

His ribs were broken, his nose and cheekbone as well, his back was flaring with pain and his legs were a mass of pins and needles. Being tossed from a helicopter and through the skylight of the now flame-engulfed warehouse had not improved his condition. Sweat trickled down his face and into his blood-caked hair, and who was to say if a few tears slipped from beneath his mask.

And I am feeling so small

He was scared; no point in denying it. But it didn't mean he was ready to... God, he was only nineteen! It wasn't supposed to be like this! This wasn't how it was supposed to end! Not for him! Not when there was still so much he had to say and do.

It was over my head

Something on the floor below him exploded, sending a jet of flames into the air and rocking the building. The catwalk heaved once before it shifted in the air and he was sliding again. He managed to twist his body, crying out at the pain lanced through his back and chest, and grabbed onto the railing with his bound hands.

I know nothing at all

The soles of his boots dangled over the flames, his feet burning inside the heavy leather. His shoulders screamed in protest and he felt something stab at him from inside his chest. His already laboured breathing stuttered and he tasted the blood that bubbled up the back of his throat.

And I will stumble and fall

"You're Batman."

"Yes."

"Were you ever going to tell me?"

"Maybe someday."

"But probably not."

"Probably not."

"... Not cool Bruce."

I'm still learning to love

He'd been so angry after being lied to by the first adult he had trusted since his parents. He hadn't talked to Bruce for an entire week. Not until Bruce had walked into his room and tossed him a padded staff. The man had offered to train him, to teach him how to harness the anger and grief and pain. It hadn't been easy, rebuilding the trust and forging a partnership. It still amazed him that somehow, in all the sparing and lessons and late nights, he had found not only a friend and mentor but a father as well.

Just starting to crawl

Had he ever told Bruce that?

Say something I'm giving up on you

Smoke billowed up around him as a second something exploded beneath him and the temperature rose even higher. It curled around him before finding its escape through the shattered skylight above him. His eyes stung as they followed its path out into the night, though not from the smoke itself. Some part of him had hoped to see a caped figure overhead, but there was no one.

I'm sorry I couldn't get to you

He couldn't remember a time before this that Batman hadn't come for him, hadn't been there when he needed him. From the first moments after his parents fell, to nursing him back to health after being nearly beaten to death by Two-Face. Batman had been his stalwart protector, his rock, his hero.

Anywhere I would have followed you

Is this how Jason felt in those last moments? Beaten and broken, bound and hopeless? Begging for rescue and knowing, deep down, that it wasn't coming? That HE wasn't coming?

Say something I'm giving up on you

Another explosion rocked the warehouse and the catwalk finally gave out and plummeted, taking him with it. He fell, heat rising up around him, only to be stopped by a metal staircase that had twisted in the raging fire and into his path. He cried out as blistering hot metal lanced into his side, ripping and tearing his flesh even as it momentarily saved him.

And I will swallow my pride

He gave up any pretence of strength, his body going limp as blood dripped from his body and sizzled on the metal frame beneath him. Tears flowed freely from beneath his mask as he stared up at the skylight. The still visible, clear night sky seemed to mock him; his one chance of escape even further away now.

You're the one that I loved

It didn't hurt much anymore. His mind felt heavy as he stared at the stars that seemed just a little bit brighter. He felt a light hand on his shoulder, slender and elegant, a woman's touch.

A mother's touch.

And I'm saying good-bye

A calloused, comforting hand cupped the side of his face and he felt himself turning into the touch. A hand that had once caressed a fevered brow, wiped away the tears from childhood hurts and had clasped unfailing to his wrists as he soared through the air.

Say something I'm giving up on you

Smaller hands clasped his tightly between them, promising him that he wasn't alone. Hands that had once held the promise of partners. Of friendship. Of brotherhood. Hands that had been taken away far too soon.

And I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you

The pain was gone. Chased away by the fleeting touches and the hushed whispered that seem to drown out the cracking of the fire around him. The stars were growing brighter and he didn't feel so alone anymore.

And Anywhere I would have followed you

"Rest now, my little Robin..."

"It's almost over, son..."

"You've done good, Dickie-bird..."

"NIGHTWING!"

Say something I'm giving up on you

A flash of shadow blocked his view of the stars, but somehow the light grew brighter. It blinded him and he felt his eyes drifting closed of their own accord. The three comforting presences solidified around him and he felt his lips turning up in a sad smile at their warm and welcoming faces.

"Sorry... Bruce..."

Say something I'm giving up on you

"Don't speak... Stay awake! No... No, Nightwing! Stay awake! Stay with me! Nightwing! DICK! Dick, stay with me! Dickie Please..."

Say something

So... yea... I went there....
Cry run Bunny Emoji-09 (Cry) [V1] STITCH LLORA 1 
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Corena boarded the Wayne private-jet with the most intense smile on her face. She held hands with her boyfriend, Damian, and was ready to travel to Gulf-Shores, Alabama. It was the Wayne-family-and-friends-vacation. Oh, that’s right. Everyone from the “Bat-Family” would be going. Including Artifice, A.K.A. Corena Marilyn Vanteski, and Bruce Wayne’s new fiancée, Selina Kyle, plus their three children, Helena, (not to be mistaken for Helena Bertinelli) Terry, and Matthew. Even Carrie Kelly, Bat-Mite (In his new alter-ego, Kip Jones) and Bilal Asselah. Alfred and Ace were also tagging along, as well as Kate and Bette Kane, and David Zavimbe, Renee Montoya. All of the Robins and Bat-Girls were there too, plus newly-discovered, Mar’i or Mary Grayson. Altogether, including all of those mentioned above, there were 27 people total going on the trip. Lucky for them, they were staying at a Wayne- Enterprises Resort, which had large, luxurious, beautiful suites with multiple bedrooms.

   “How many pools are there?” Kip asked.


“Yeah, how many are there, Bruce? I just love the water!” Corena added on.


  “Well,” Bruce answered, “There’s a regular pool with LED light-shows and dancing waters, there’s two with water-falls and ‘secret compartments’, a hot-tub with all luxuries,  a pool that is basically a water-park, there’s a lap-pool, a kiddie-pool, and finally, a wave pool. Plus the countless fountains throughout the resort and a coy pond in the lobby, and we’re a few miles down from the beach.”


“Tt—why is there a wave-pool if the hotel is only a few miles down from the beach?” Damian asked snobbily.


 “Well, I think that it’s for lazy people and people who are afraid of aquatic animals,” Bruce answered looking up at the ceiling and scratching his chin. Everyone in the plane started laughing, except for Jason, whom was recently magically rehabilitated by Corena and in the bathroom at the time.

Oh yes, this was going to be the best … vacation … ever.
The first part of a new story that i'm working on. Tell me if you like it. i chose gulf shores because i like it there, i like swimming, and gotham is in the hands of knight, squire, and their colleagues.
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Life just wasn’t going your way right now. You’d tried and tried but all you seemed to do recently is fail. You didn’t understand the algebra homework, the wrong words slipped out around your parents, and your friend won’t talk to you and you don’t even know why!
“At least I have you guys.” You muttered to yourself as you pulled out an old cardboard box that was one tear away from falling apart. Glancing inside, you smiled, seeing that your comic books were still there. With a grunt, you lifted the heavy box onto your bed and pulled out the top three books; ‘Catwoman: When in Rome’, ‘Batman: Hush’, and ‘Batgirl: Batgirl Rises’. They were the first few graphic novels that you had gotten and they were the start of your Bat Family addiction, “You guys won’t leave me right?” You muttered, almost inaudible, as you leafed through ‘Hush.’
After curling up with the book, you stopped at the part where Nightwing showed up and started to actually read through the story. You ended up falling asleep around the part where Batman was fighting the Clayface as Jason Todd.
~*~
“Maybe we should wake her up?” A voice questioned somewhere to your right.
“Shush.” Another voice scolded in a hushed tone, “You might wake her.”
“That’s the point Fatgirl.” The other person hissed.
“Both of you knock it off.”  A new, much deeper voice, intervened. This person’s opinion must carry a lot of weight because the two others silenced almost instantaneously.
“Wait, look.” Another new voice stated just as you decided to try and sit up.
“Look who’s awake~” Someone placed their hand on your shoulder and you slowly opened your eyes.
It didn’t take to long for your eyes to adjust but as soon as they did, you were met by a sight you knew all too well from the pages of your graphic novels: The Batcave. Taking a quick glance at the people around you, you noted that you must’ve been in a pre-boot dream or something. Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, Damian Wayne, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon, Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, and Jason Todd (the guy with his hand on your shoulder) all started at you.
“What’s going on?” You asked with a hint of woe in your voice.
“You said it yourself (Name), we’ll never leave you.” Dick, in his Nightwing suit, smiled at you.
“Especially not when you need us most.” Tim smiled at you reassuringly.
You couldn’t manage words, everything just sort of crashed down onto you and you hung your head as silent tears fell. For some reason though, you felt perfectly safe here, even in your most vulnerable moment. It was all so real and you trusted them.
“Shhh…” Jason’s arm wrapped around you and held you close, “It’s ok.” You took a moment as you shook in his arms to try to remember his scent, maybe then you’d have something to hold onto from this beautiful dream. Soon another pair of arms wrapped around you and then another and then another. All the Robins (including Steph) were huddled around your fragile form, holding together your crumbling heart.
“You shouldn’t ever be sad (Name).” Damian muttered into your side where he had tucked his face, “No matter how others make you think of yourself, you’re always perfect, just the way you are.” Hearing this from Damian brought on a whole new wave of tears, but not of sadness.
By the time they all pulled back, you didn’t feel as broken. Out of the shadows, Alfred Pennyworth, butler to the Waynes and the Bat Family, walked up to you and wrapped a blanket around you.
“And either by dream, movie, or by page, you’ll always be welcome here.”  Bruce stated with a rare smile gracing his face.
“Now sleep. A warrior needs their rest.” Cassandra stated as she pulled a pillow out of seemingly nowhere and handed it to you.
“Don’t worry. This isn’t our last meeting.” Barbara said upon seeing your hesitation.
Finally, you rested your head on the pillow and snuggled into your blanket, almost begging that the dream would never end and you’d just wake up in another room in Wayne Manor.
~*~
The sun shined through your window and hit you square in the face. Groaning you rolled over to avoid it. Your eyes snapped open fast as a bullet when you remember your dream though. You yelped as the sudden intrusion of light burned your eyes but you still held your eyes open and looked around. The clock said it was four in the afternoon.
“It was just a dream.” You almost sobbed at the sight of your messy and disheveled room.
With a broken heart, you gathered the books on your bed and placed them back in their box, lingering on ‘The Long Halloween.’ Why did it seem so real? Angrily, you dropped the book in and got up to move it back to its usual place under your bed. You were angry that it was all fake, after they promised.
You were about to push it under your bed but froze. There was a bright yellow box in the place where you usually put your comic book box. Gingerly, you reached out and grabbed it. On the top of it was a black bat symbol.
You slid the top off and felt a single tear run down your face. A batarang sat in the box along with Barbara’s Nightwing plushy and two folded pieces of paper. One of them had a quick sketch signed by Damian and the other was a note. You couldn't stop reading and rereading it, clutching the plushy.
“(Name), you are a wonderful, bright, and strong girl. You have so much potential. Don’t let anything make you feel like you aren't worth it because you are.” Next to it was a signature that you made out as Bruce’s.
Under it, was another note from Stephanie and under her’s was Cassandra's and then one from Damian, and so-on.
“Thank you.” You muttered softly to the silence of your room, “Thank you so much.” They may not be there, but they’d never leave you.
So I wrote this at 4 in the morning after a panic attack/breakdown. I kinda noticed how all my breakdowns end with me re-reading my Batman comics or watching one of my favorite shows or leafing through Harry Potter etc. They're the ones who are always there for me when no one really is, so I decided to recognize the Batfam because they never get any love with reader inserts.

The Batfamily and all characters affiliated with them are owned by DC
You are owned by you
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Plot Outline: fav.me/d5wtq9i
Part I: fav.me/d6et8mz
Part III: fav.me/d6ne0uz
Part IV: fav.me/d6ojmep
Part V: fav.me/d6qbn8d

Damian Wayne's road home after resurrection continues. Now traveling with the eccentric rich teen J. Bowden Hapgood and his bodyguard Brighton; Damian will have to contend with two of the Seven Men of Death; the League of Assassins' most feared killers, who are under orders to bring back Damian as intact as possible. From the streets of Hong Kong to the bustling markets of New Delhi; Damian and his new associates will have to defeat and outwit killers who are devoted to Talia Al Ghul.

As I mentioned in a recent journal; this will be a five part series.

And I'm surprised I kept this to 34 pages (as a comic); I thought for sure this would be much longer.

And to paraphrase a line said at the Passover seder: NEXT ISSUE, IN JERUSALEM! :XD:

Damian Wayne, Batman, et al belong to DC Comics

Preview image art by Patrick Gleason from Batman and Robin #1 (Sept 2011)

"J" and Brighton belong to me, though "J"'s present alias is inspired by a character from Anyone Can Whistle, one of Sondheim's rare flops.

Script and Story belongs to me as well.
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I. It's Getting Crowded In Here....

Dick Grayson, dressed only in his boxers, admires himself in the bathroom mirror. Meanwhile, outside the door......

Damian: *kicking the bathroom door, dressed in tank top and boxers* Damn it, Grayson, stop preening and let me use the bathroom!

Joseph: *dressed in t-shirt, pj bottoms, and bathrobe, has a towel around his neck, a toothbrush and soap pokes out of his robe pocket* Seriously, some of us have a job to get to!

Sam: *dressed in Batman PJs, is doing the "pee pee dance* Joey, I gotta go.....

Jason: *shirtless, in boxers* Seriously, he's just admiring himself....

Stephanie: *t-shirt, boxers stolen from Tim* Hey, I don't judge him.

Tim: *tank top, boxers* Still, he's being inconsiderate.....

Harper: *pj bottoms, sweatshirt* Cullen, don't stare!

Cullen: *t-shirt with Red Robin patten, boxers* But Tim's right there....

Cass: *tank top, sweat pants* Is this the end of the line?

Alfred: *normal attire* Glad you have your own private bath, sir?

Bruce: *black turtleneck, black slacks, black socks, black shoes* Yep.

--------------------
II. DO NOT ENTER THE WEST WING

Time period: "Early Days"

Sam is going through the manor, exploring. Barkley is following him. They come upon a pair of doors whose handles have been wrapped in velvet rope.

Sam: Funny, don't remember seeing these before....

Damian: *off panel* Neither do I.

Sam: AHH! *falls down* Why do you keep doing that?

Damian: Because it scares you. But yeah, I don't recall this place...wait, I think we're in the West Wing.

Sam: So?

Damian: No one but Pennyworth comes here.

Barkley: *whimper*

Sam: What do you think it is?

Damian: Dunno...how about we find out?

Damian takes out a birdarang

Sam: You always have those on you?

Damian: Always be prepared.

Sam: You don't seem like the Boy Scout type.

Damian: Those wusses couldn't handle me being around, showing them up.

Damian hacks through the ropes and opens the doors. The room is dusty, prompting Sam to cough. The curtains are drawn, and the various furniture and shelves are draped in cloth.

Damian: I don't think anyone's been here in ages. This probably overlooks the back gardens.

He pulls back the curtains, sending dust flying, making Barkley sneeze. Sunlight comes into a room that hasn't seen it in ages.

Sam: What do you think this room is?

Damian: Private parlor?

Barkley sniffs around a massive piece of furniture in the room. He grabs the cloth with his teeth and pulls it off.

Damian: Kane, stop your mutt!

Sam: He's a purebreed! And Barkley, what are you--

He stops and stares, Barkley sits, wagging his tail, next to a grand piano.

Sam: A piano?

Damian pulls a cloth off a bookshelf

Damian: Music books, storybooks, COLORING BOOKS?!

Sam: It's a music room!

Alfred: *off panel* More than that.

The boys and dog turn, looking sheepish at Alfred.

Alfred: This was the music room, the private parlor, and Master Bruce's playroom. I don't think any young man has been in here since Master Bruce's parents died.

Sam: Why?

Alfred: He ordered it sealed. He had no time to be a regular boy anymore, and it brought back memories that hurt him to remember. You two shouldn't be here.

Barkley: Woof!

Alfred: You shouldn't be here either, Barkley.

Joseph: *off panel* There you guys are.

Joseph enters the room

Joseph: Never thought I'd come back to an empty house so I thought to look in the areas deemed "off limits". *looks around* Wow, rococo design, and tastefully done too.

Sam: Joey, there's a piano!

Joseph: Oh, it's been a while since I tinkled the ivories.

Alfred: Master Joseph, I don't think that's a...

Joseph plays a few notes.

Joseph: Perfect pitch. Now, why would a piano that hasn't been used in decades have perfect pitch? Alfred?

Alfred: *looking uncomfortable* I...always had it tuned, in case Master Bruce ever changed his mind.

Joseph: Well.... *sits down and cracks his knuckles* It deserves to be played.

Time passes. Bruce comes home.

Bruce: Alfred! Damian! *pause* Joseph?

He then hears music, and his eyes narrow. As he arrives in the music room, he sees Alfred, Sam, and Damian sitting on a couch as Joseph plays and sings. Barkley and Titus are lying down by the piano, eyes closed in bliss.

Joseph: *singing* The World Is A Stage, A Stage Is A World of Entertainment!

Alfred, Sam, and Damian clap. They turn when they hear and see Bruce clapping.

Bruce: Very nice.

Alfred: Master Bruce...the children were poking around the west wing and--

Bruce: It's fine.

He goes to the mantle of the fireplace and touches it.

Bruce: It's been a long time I've been in here, I nearly forgot it existed. Maybe it's time to air it out.

Damian: You're not mad?

Bruce: I don't think you knew about this place and why I had it sealed. How can I punish you or others over something you don't know.

Sam: Phew.

Joseph: Think I could set it up as a private study, so I don't get underfoot?

Sam: And can we make it a playroom again, please, Bruce?

Bruce: I'll  think about it.

Sam: Yes.

Alfred: Master Bruce, you are being surprisingly reasonable.

Bruce: Perhaps I let my grief control my reason back then.

He sees the specters of himself as a little boy with his parents. He's playing with a Zorro action figure as his dad reads and his mother is at the piano. It seems past and present are juxtaposed.

Bruce: It's time I remembered the good times I had in here.

------------------------
III. Sparring Time

Timeline: Early Days

Joseph and Dick are sparring as Sam and Damian watch. Dick, obviously, is kicking Joseph's butt. Joseph goes flying to the mat.

Joseph: Oof.

Dick: Not bad, you lasted five minutes.

Joseph: I beat you back in New York.

Dick: You fought dirty.

Joseph: Still counts.

Dick helps Joseph up

Dick: Not really, if you want to earn Bruce's trust, and training, you have to realize that fighting dirty isn't the way.

Joseph: You fight dirty.

Dick: When I have to, not all the time.

Barkley and Titus wander in. Sam strokes Barkley behind the ears.

Dick: Besides, this keeps your skills somewhat sharp.

Joseph: You say that like I'm slipping.

Dick: Well you kinda have.

Joseph: What do you mean?

Barkley wanders over to a mirror and starts "shadowboxing" with his reflection as Sam watched and giggles.

Dick: *off panel* Well, both you and Sam have been kidnapped a bunch of times and we've had to save you two.

Joseph: So?

Dick: So, your skills tended to work when you were in costume back in New York because you relied heavily on your gadgets. In a fight, without them, you have not been as great.

Joseph: Now you're sounding like him now.

Dick: Yeah, but I'm nice enough to not hold you to unwritten goals to give you a bit of a self defense tune up. Come up, start again.

Damian: When Father hears about this....

Dick: He probably knows already and doesn't care, Damian.

---------

IV. Teasing Tim

Joseph is working in his office when Tim rushes in and slams the door.

Joseph: Can't you make an appointment, Tim? Only Bruce and Lucius get to pop in unannounced.

Tim: Hide me!

Joseph: From?

Fangirl: *outside door* Oh Mister Drake.....

Tim gives a sign to stay quiet. Joseph goes to the door and pokes his head out.

Joseph: Sorry, you got the wrong office.

Fangirl: But....

Joseph: You are also trespassing. SECURITY!

Two guards show up

Joseph: Please show this young woman out.

Fangirl: Can he at least sign my---

Joseph: No.

He closes the door and turns back to Tim.

Tim: Thanks.

Joseph: Gee, I thought you Waynes relished the attention of the opposite sex.

Tim: Well my luck hasn't been great; plus the only relationships I had before I dated Steph were caused by Trigon's influence.

Joseph: Oh sure, you get lucky, albeit by demonic possession, and I'm stuck being the dateless wonder.

Tim: You're a workaholic....

Joseph: With high standards. Meanwhile, you keep claiming you're innocent when we know you probably relish the attention.

Tim: No I don't.

Joseph stares for a second.

Joseph: Bullshit.

Tim: I mean it.

Joseph: Cassandra Sandsmark?

Tim: Sure, she's attractive but....

Joseph: That Solstice girl....

Tim: Again, Trigon's influence....

Joseph: Tam Fox?

Tim: Long story.

Joseph: Ms. Brown?

Tim: Well we are dating.

Joseph: Superboy?

Tim: That...that was a weird adventure that I do NOT want to discuss.

Joseph: Cullen Row?

Tim: He's stalking me!

Joseph: Again, you get attention; I do not.

Tim: Dude, you do get attention, you're just too blind to see it.

Tim goes to leave

Joseph: Try the service entrance, your fangirl shouldn't be there.

Tim goes to leave

Joseph: ...Cullen is there though.

Tim: How...?

Joseph: I have a link to the security cameras in case persons of interest show up.

Tim: What do I do?

Joseph: Go out the service entrance, tell him you just want to be friends, and take him out for a cup of coffee and get to know him as a friend. Yeesh.

Tim: And you should ask out that secretary in R&D

Joseph stand flabbergasted as Tim leaves, smirking.

------------
V. Oh no, not you!

Ronin is taking down a bunch of thugs, who are on a combo of Venom and Monster Man formula

Ronin: *narrating* Don't you just HATE it when someone gets an idea from another supervillain? Some wise guy saw that Bane-Cop that weird ancestor of Bruce's cooked up and now is making himself a small army of these bozos.

Ronin flips backwards to dodge a massive fist, grabs another thug, and tosses him into his attacker.

Ronin: *narrating* Just ONCE I want my powers to work so I can go toe to toe with these bozos and knock the stuffing out of them! Hate being the little guy surrounded by a bunch of lumbering idiots.

Ronin snap kicks a thug in the gut followed by a hammer blow to the neck

Ronin: *narrating* At least this little guy is stronger than he looks

Ronin takes out a few throwing knives and tosses them, pinning a thug to the wall. He hears a growl, he turns and sees a thug lifting up a car and preparing to crush him

Ronin: Oh crap.

BANG! The thug is shot in the head and falls backwards. The car crushes the corpse.

Ronin: What the--

Red Hood: *off panel* Hey, Batman would be pissed if his latest lackey got smeared by a common goon.

Ronin turns to face Red Hood.

Ronin: Oh no, not you.

Red Hood: Last I checked, we had a truce.

Ronin: Doesn't mean I have to like you.

Ronin sees the pinned thug about to free himself and punches the man in the face, knocking him out.

Red Hood: Shame, I got a present for you. It's on my bike.

Ronin: Better not be a grenade or a crowbar....

Red Hood: You want to know who is making himself an army of Banes; well I got someone who said he's more afraid of being roughed up by "that new guy in the fedora"

Ronin raises an eyebrow and follows Red Hood. To his surprise, it is Alexi Vassily, who is tied to the back of the bike and looks roughed up.

Vassily: Oh no, not you!

Red Hood: Funny, he said the same thing about me.

Ronin: Vassily, funny seeing you again. Out on bail and already in trouble. My "friend" here tells me you can tell me who is providing that little steroid cocktail you're so fond of to your fellow idiots. Who is it?

Vassily: Look, he'll kill me....

Ronin: Look, see the guy in the overcompensating helmet? I may beat you up...he will shoot you.

Red Hood obligingly points a gun at Vassily's head

Ronin: It's probably safer to tell us, we can at least give you the option to live.

Vassily: It's Penguin, he's partnered with Bane to make himself a new army.

Red Hood: Guess plain Venom thugs and Talons don't cut it.

Ronin: Cut him loose.

Red Hood: What?

Ronin: Do it.

Red Hood obliges

Ronin: You have 24 hours to leave Gotham. If you're here in that period, or come back, I will hunt you down and make that thrashing in the amusement park feel like a warm up to what I'll do to you.

Vassily nods and runs off.

Red Hood: "Overcompensating"?

Ronin: Well it is overly large.

Red Hood: Well the ladies don't complain. At least I've BEEN with a girl.

Ronin: Watch it, Hood.

Red Hood: Still, kinda impressed that you at least got one guy scared shitless about you. *gets on the bike* I'll be in touch; maybe I'll take you to a club and get you laid, that might make you more fun to be around.

He zooms off

Ronin: Eh, he may be a murdering asshole, but he might be a better guy than I give him credit for....
Just a bunch of fun scenes for you all to enjoy.

Notes:

I. This is a revision of a piece that I thought I posted but has since disappeared. Plus I get to bring in Harper Row/Bluebird and her brother Cullen for this.

II. The title is a bit of a reference to Beauty And The Beast, namely staying out of certain rooms and wings. Plus I thought it adds a bit to Bruce's reaction all those years a go to his parents' deaths. The song Joseph sings is "That's Entertainment", which was used in various MGM musicals (most of which are now owned by Warner Brothers, which also owns DC Comics), as well as the tribute compilation films of the same name.

III. This story helps to explain why Joseph isn't able to defend himself as well in Gotham as he did in NYC; plus Barkley "sparring" with his reflection was inspired by a gif I saw on Tumblr of a furry dog doing the same

IV. Just a funny story; plus Joseph gets to poke fun at N52 Tim's relationships. While Tim and Kon haven't had a weird adventure, who says that they won't? Plus Cullen Row does have a crush on Tim.

V. Just a nice story to show a thawing of the cold war between Ronin and Red Hood. Plus it ties into this story dkalban.deviantart.com/art/A-G…

That's all for now :D

Ronin/Joseph Kane, Sam Kane, and Barkley belong to me
Batman and related characters belong to DC Comics
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This is a redone and expanded version of this story: dkalban.deviantart.com/art/Jos…

Which is part of this proposed arc: dkalban.deviantart.com/art/Jos…

In the aftermath of Jason Todd's attack on Joseph Kane, Sam Kane is left in an uncertain world where his brother might not longer be with him. Joseph's will names Dick Grayson as Sam's guardian when Joseph is either incapacitated or dead. But with one small boy dealing with a tragic and painful moment, it reminds Dick of how he felt when his parents died. And when Sam runs away, it's up to Nightwing to decide how to help this young boy the best....

Sam Kane, Barkley and Joseph Kane belong to me

Nightwing, Batman, Red Hood, etc belong to DC Comics

Preview Art done for me by :iconrafa-road-to-marvel: dkalban.deviantart.com/art/Dic…
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The night was a slow one and Robin was wondering just how longer the case could be played out. Here they were, waiting.

Bruce had pulled him away from his own research just an hour before for the case currently on the backlit streets of Gotham. Tim didn't really mind, though he was wishing he had thought to bring the article by Lois Lane to read more while they were waiting on this stakeout. The Ritzi gang (he had thought to ask about the name, but just got a long shake of the head from his older brother) was lying low for some reason in its normally 'loud' exchanges on the streets. Batman didn't know the reason and he needed to know. So the calm of the stony cold office had to be disturbed.

"Woohoo!"

Boom!

In this case, Tim could almost see Bruce smirking and muttering, 'Who better than him?'

Though this Robin was not a party animal, Dick could definitely qualify where Tim didn't. Every time the trio found themselves in this type of situation, the current Boy Wonder could see why the classic Dynamic Duo was nearly invincible. You couldn't catch the original Boy Wonder! That was one thing Tim was certain of as his masked eyes trans-versed the rubble of the explosion where the blue stripe of the iconic Nightwing suit was easily caught in his sight against the black night sky and the fire behind him as it danced among the flames and security henchmen.

"Stop fooling around," Tim heard Bruce growl into his comm.

"Oh, lighten up old man. If you're so bored-come out and throw a few of these guys around with me," Dick said back over the commlink, whereupon Tim had to muffle a laugh.

Batman's deadpanned visage was so funny that Tim couldn't stop a chuckle from escaping in reaction to the look the Dark Knight had on his face. Why Dick was the only one that could ever make that look appear was beyond Tim, but the event hadn't lost its appeal to the funny bone.

"All done!"

Robin jumped with a yelp and turned around to see his older brother smiling down at him from a grapple line.

"That was unnecessary," Batman said gruffly.

"Do you want the info-or not?" Nightwing said, holding out a flash drive while rolling his eyes with a happy smile on his face.

----------------------------------------------------

"Dustin Malos?" Tim asked mentally, an eyebrow raised at the face the Bat-computer was displaying.

Tim had started decoding the information using the Batcave's computer and after half an hour, he finally had it finished. The profile he had discovered though, struck him as quite…unusual. It wasn't that the man was any one person in particular to him. It was the fact that this was a proverbial nobody in their records.

Maybe they had the wrong guy?

Robin, mask less, glanced across the small console group of computers to see that Bruce, cowl down, was studying his own copy of the data. He was waiting for Tim's decoding of the one criminal profile. It didn't seem important, but Bruce still wanted to know.

"I finished the decoding."

"Good," the man muttered and reached up to turn off the screen of the computer he was working on.

"His name is Dustin Malos."

The chair Bruce was sitting in hit the floor of the cave back first, resounding so loud in the cave that the bats above them all began taking off in different directions. Bruce was next to Tim in a breath, eyes slightly widened at the profile picture staring back at him. The boy stiffened and slowly edged his chair backwards as the man leaned against the keyboard of the computer.

"Uh, you recognize him?"

"Hey! What's with the racket down here?"

Bruce gritted his teeth, reached out and within a snap, ripped the flash drive from the USB port of the computer. The profile disappeared in a blinking white light only to be replaced a moment later with the bat-symbol background that they were all familiar with.

"Don't breathe a word of this to Dick. I have to go."

And in just a couple of blinks, the Batmobile was driving out of the Batcave just as Dick entered the room, his mask gone and a towel draped over his shoulders. Gym workout. Typical that the guy still had energy to spare.

"Where's Bruce?"

"Uh, he went to meet with Commissioner Gordon."

Come on lie. Work! Work!

"Uh huh, is that so?"

Crap! Lie failed!

Tim sighed and slumped back into his chair, "I don't know. Probably scoping out the guy whose profile we found in the data stock you recovered."

"Who was it?"

A long pause followed.

Dick frowned, "Tim."

The boy fought to keep his mouth in a straight line, "He told me not to tell you."

Dick sighed largely but then smiled ruefully, "Alright, if it's important I'm sure I'll find out eventually."

Tim sighed in relief. His older brother hadn't resulted to the eyes. Those freaking eyes conveyed EVERYTHING and Dick had a whole arsenal of them stored away in his mind. There were the puppy-dog eyes (the most deadly) the prodding eyes (it got you to tell him everything) the Bat-Glare (criminals and allies alike were susceptible to it) the child eyes (which made attackers falter when they looked at his face) the hope shine (used to convey that whoever Dick was looking at needed to trust him completely) and then the prodigy look (only Batman EVER got that one)

He would've gone on in his mental rambling but Dick's voice interrupted his thoughts, "Come on, let's head upstairs and have a movie night!"

Tim smiled and pulled his cape off in a near rush, "So, you'll be here tomorrow too?"

The acrobat reached out and ruffled his little brother's hair with a smile, "Well, you have that play on Friday at your school. I'm planning to stick around and see my little brother steal the spotlight."

Tim blushed, darn it! Who told him? The only ones who knew about that play were-

"Alfred," Dick said with a smirk.

"I knew it!" Tim said accusingly.

"Hey, it's not every play that you're the star, and I bet Alfred will be training you harshly the next few days. You NEED a movie night beforehand trust me little bro."

Tim stalked off to change out of his uniform while muttering under his breath, "There's nothing important about this play of "Romeo and Juliet" Dick."

"Oh, I need to ask which you are. Romeo or Juliet?"

He barely dodged the birdarang that was thrown at his head.


----------------------------------------------------


At 2:00am The Batmobile pulled into the Batcave once again and its driver got out, a scarred frown marring his face.

"Yikes, bad mission?"

The Dark Knight reached up, pulled his cowl down and looked towards one side of the cave where the main computer was standing. Dick was sitting in a chair in front of it, a manila folder in his hands.

"Shouldn't you be sleeping?"

The younger man smirked, "Nah, when you left, Tim and I watched a movie and he went to bed but I was still restless so I came down to look into a case or two."

"Personal or for the Titans?" Bruce asked, honestly curious.

"The Lantern Corps actually."

Bruce stopped his forward advancement and his eyes narrowed, "Explain."

Dick closed the folder he had been browsing through and sat it down on a nearby clean countertop next to him, "Well, I was with the Outsiders in Malaysia at the time, we were investigating a strange dark energy surge by what the locals deemed the 'Demon-Wood' in that area. What we found though was a fight between pretty much every color lantern there was."

"And you failed to tell me about this why?"

Dick blinked, "I reported it to the League, and I assumed Superman told you at the meeting that night."

Bruce frowned, "Remind me to put kryptonite dust into his coffee tomorrow morning at our next meeting."

Dick rolled his eyes good humoredly, "Noted."

"Any other cases?"

Dick reached for another folder on a stack behind him that Bruce counted about a dozen of, "Oh plenty; though most of these solve themselves. I'm sure you know about New York's Jima Wana case."

Bruce nodded and walked over to the computer to take his normal seat beside Dick, "So you'll be in Chinatown on Saturday?"

The younger man chuckled, "Sunday. Do you honestly think I'd fall for that faux report published by the Police? Those idiots will be showing up to an empty warehouse on Saturday."

"Hmm, good job."

The younger hero didn't say anything, he just smiled and his eyes flashed that 'look' that Bruce really didn't have a word for.

"Now," Dick said, tossing the folder he had just picked up back onto the manila tower, "I can ask. Why'd you rush out of here when Tim finished decoding that personnel profile?"

"He told you?" Bruce gritted his teeth.

"Well technically, he told me that you told him not to tell me so I didn't ask."

Silence echoed back at the statement before the acrobat shrugged, "I assumed that if it was important I would find out eventually."

That was true, sooner or later he would find out. Resigned, Bruce began to speak.

"The profile was-"

"Dustin Malos?" Dick suddenly asked.

The Bat nearly started, but his eyes were enough to entertain the question.

The younger man's smile fell into a frown, "I was waiting for everything to download and I'd already taken out the guards so I kind of took a look at the data."

Bruce just shrugged.

"I should've known," he said with a shake of his head.

"So…how was your search for him?"

"…"

"You found his grave marker in the Soutch–Rais Cemetery?"

"You knew?"

The younger hero smirked, "I kind of ran into the name a few years ago."

"And you didn't-"

Dick interrupted him, "Tell you because it was a personal case for me."

Bruce gritted his teeth and turned away from his eldest son.

"Hey, don't be so grumpy old man."

"Why do you call me that?"

Finally! He had gotten Bruce to ask!

"Eh, it's the best title got for you right now besides your name," the younger said with a shrug.

"Title?"

Dick chuckled, got to his feet, stretched and yawned before speaking, "I'll tell you some day."

Once again, Dick Grayson left Bruce Wayne befuddled.


----------------------------------------------------


Dick did tell Bruce eventually. No one guessed it could have been HERE and at this TIME though.

Gotham city was darkly quiet. Seriously, the waves that normally made sound existed were there, they were just laden down with some radiated air substance that matched the Dark Knight's creeping cape. The entire family had been returning to Gotham from a war halfway across the universe and the Bat-Clan expected to come home to a relieved butler…

That wasn't what they found.

So here Dick found himself searching the city as Nightwing. Given Tim was still unable to work past his own emotions at the moment, Dick had called Helena to help him scour the city for Bruce/Batman, called Leslie to do her doctor-thing and had called Stephanie to watch out for Tim. Maybe she could help her boyfriend where he couldn't help his little brother.

"Nightwing, you honestly expect that we can find him?" Helena asked over their communicators.

"We have to try."

Huntress groaned then spoke, "Well, he isn't on the south side of the City. I've checked every alleyway, scanned all the abandoned buildings, looked through the dark warehouses and I've been rooftop hoping for the past four hours. Now what honestly makes you believe we can find him?"

"Nothing really. We probably won't find him."

"Then why are we trying?"

"We have to."

A growl and Huntress hung up.

A warehouse, an abandon building, alleyways and rooftops? Those were all places anyone would look for the Big Black Bat. So Bruce would avoid those places at this time.

After releasing his grip on his line and landing on top of a coffee house, Dick stopped running to catch his breath. Helena may have just finished with the South, but he had already searched the North and the East sides of Gotham. Now on the beginning of a normal patrol route through the West side of the city, he forced himself to stop and think. Bruce would have reprimanded him for wasting so much time in the other areas of the city. They couldn't look for him in a normal-for-him place. There was absolutely no chance he'd be there.

Sure, crime was low tonight. Just some muggings, pickpocketing, car thievery and a store robbery he let happen. Yes, let happen because the only thing the shop owner would have to replace was the window. The criminals were apparently getting very stupid. He had watched from across the street as the men in ski masks broke in the window of an electronics store, grabbed the CARDBOARD display televisions and speakers, and then took off with a bat-tracer on their vehicle, which was an old hippy van from the 80's painted in bright neon colors. Dick had just called the police and told them the group was heading north. The GCPD could take of them.

He still had to find Bruce.

He knew where Batman would hide-but where were Bruce Wayne hide that no one would suspect?

Aggravated, the hero walked to the edge of the small building and took hold of the tall standing neon letters that faced the empty road and sighed. He would think that Bruce Wayne would be locked away in his study back at the Manor, but he had run out, and there wasn't any news bulletin about the Billionaire ending up somewhere surprisingly. He probably didn't want a big crowd anyways.

So Bruce Wayne would hide-where? Right under his nose?

Still annoyed, Dick took a deep breath and took a hold of the top of a giant neon T of the coffee shop's sign and leaned forward. Intending to push off of the base of the sign with his feet and continue searching endlessly. That's when he found him. INSIDE THE COFFEE SHOP!

So he kind of hung there for a minute, ignoring the burn of the lights seeping through his gloves where he still held the top of the giant neon T. Actually, since he was finally getting a good look, he noticed the sticker on the wall behind the unmanned cash register spelled out the word, "Satchel's" and it finally clicked. Of course Bruce would be hiding here. Dick remembered David Satchel, an old counterfeiter Bruce and he had busted back in his days as the Boy Wonder. Surprisingly, the man had been one of the few criminals of the time that had willingly reformed. He had started up a coffee shop, which had done exceedingly well at first-unfortunately, the man had died a few months ago and the shop had gone to a distant nephew who knew very little about business. The place had near hit rock bottom.

The place was deserted except for the missing man in the corner. Determination burning in his eyes, Dick pushed himself back up onto the rooftop and walked back into the shadows before raising a hand to his gauntlet and pushing a button to call his motorcycle to the next street over. A rapid vaulting of rooftops, a quick change in the shadows by pulling his civilian clothes (which had been in his motorcycle's saddle-bag for lack of a better term) over his outfit before removing his gloves and pulling off his mask to stow away in a hidden pocket inside his jacket and then a quick 45 second ride around the curb allowed him to be seen as any normal citizen of Gotham city wanting some kind of caffeine boost.

The stupid little bell above store doorways rung as he walked into the quaint room and Dick found that the whole place could be mistaken for being deserted if the lights were turned off. Heck, it was quieter than the Manor. Bruce, sitting alone in the corner of the place tensed and Dick could see the obvious signs in his straitened shoulders and clenched fists.

"How in the world did you find me?"

Dick wanted to yell but he bit his lip and attempted to speak softly as he walked over to the small two seat table, "Call it dumb luck."

When he finally sat down, the walk over those few feet felt like it had taken forever, a bushy, blonde-haired beauty was suddenly beside the table, "Hi, welcome to Satchel's would you like to sample our new Snapple Cappuccino?"

Snapple Cappuccino?

…?

So stupid, only the human race would think of it.

But Dick smirked and spoke, "Sure, Amelia. It sounds refreshing."

When the woman had near skipped back into the kitchen, Dick felt more than saw Bruce glaring at him, "What?"

"Stop flirting."

"I was not flirting!"

Bruce himself had his hands wrapped around a Styrofoam cup holding black coffee that had long grown cold.

"You should be back at the Manor with Tim."

Dick scoffed, "I'm sure Stephanie can help him more than I can and I already called Leslie. Everyone else has gone home."

Bruce raised an eyebrow, "Under whose orders?"

"Mine. Want to challenge it?" the younger man said with a glare.

The elder said nothing as the blonde skipped back in with Dick's order, smirking seductively. Crap, had he been flirting? He couldn't remember.

"Your Cappuccino Mr. Grayson."

Great they knew him. Of course he had been in Gotham for some time. He hoped the Titans were holding up well.

"Thank you, Amelia," he said with a smile, taking the drink from a bronze stained tray the woman was holding out before the gold curls disappeared back into the kitchen again in a flash.

Bruce was glaring at him again.

"Look Bruce, thanking a waitress for a drink is not flirting."

"How do you know her?"

"I don't!" the younger protested.

"Amelia?"

Dick scowled, which was kind of frightening, even to his companion, "Bruce, she's wearing a name tag!"

It got quiet again.

Oh my goodness, he hadn't just noticed something Bruce had overlooked, right?





Right?

Dick sighed, set down his drink and threw up his hands, "Come on Bruce, you're completely out of it."

"I know."

The younger man bit his lip and reached for his drink. Hmm…surprisingly fruity in smell and taste. Not too bad. Something told him though, that the waitress had probably made it herself. He didn't hear anything else in the kitchen except the hum of the woman's voice and he doubted that Daniel Satchel, the nephew that had inherited the business, had had enough creativity to think it up and market it. Maybe the old place would make a comeback?

Like how he was waiting for the old man to make a comeback.

"Come on Old Man. Alfred probably didn't even know himself."

"Alfred?"

Silence.

"Well OK, I know that's a bit of a stretch but-it's happened Bruce. Don't treat his death like you did Jason's."

"How didn't I notice?" Bruce asked, his brooding mood definitely the one forward in this conversation.

"Alfred is the world's best actor-what did you expect?"

"Still, to hide everything without anyone noticing...he must have known."

"Maybe he did, maybe he just didn't know when. Leslie can hopefully give us the full diagnostic later."

"Was calling Leslie such a good idea?"

Dick's voice dropped to a whisper, "I would have called 911 as usual but then I'd have to explain to the emergency squad why The Boy Wonder was curled up in our hallway crying his eyes out."

Bruce gulped, "Tim."

"He's fine. Like I said, Stephanie's with him."

Once again, silence blanketed the two of them.

"Bruce?"

Silence.

"Bruce!"

The older man was just staring past his eldest son's head so Dick set down his drink, reached out and pushed on his foster-father's shoulder, "Snap out of it!"

"…"

"Bruce!"

"…"

"Old Man!"

"…"

"Dad!"

This time Bruce's head did snap up, "Did you-"

"Yes, and now that you've snapped out of it, will you please STAY out of it?"

The elder said nothing in response.

Dick groaned, "You're impossible."

"Tell me Dick, do you still mourn your parents?"

Really wrong time to take a drink of that Snapple Cappuccino…

Dick coughed, "What kind of a question is that?"

"An honest one and I hope I get an honest answer."

Crap. He could tell the truth or tell Bruce what he expected to hear, that's what he normally ended up doing anyways.

"Of course I do, but I don't cry over it anymore. I've had you, Alfred, Jason, Tim, Clark, etc…I don't feel like going through everyone…why are you asking?"

"No reason," Bruce said quietly.

UGH! This conversation was going nowhere!

"You need to come back to the Manor," Dick finally said before dropping his voice again, "ALL of us need to get our alibis strait for when they start asking questions."

"Do you know what that was Dick?"

"Leukemia. We've seen it enough. That's why I figured you were here, David Satchel died of the same thing."

Bruce closed his eyes and spoke softly, "One of our few successful cases where a criminal gave up the life."

The distant clank of a high heel on a large tin object and fading footsteps, told the two that the woman was walking out back, probably to take out the garbage.

"Why did you call me-"

Dick interrupted, "It worked to snap you out of it. Besides, aren't you?"

"I never know Dick. You tell me."

The younger hated how hollow Bruce's eyes appeared to be.

Dick breathed deeply and braced himself. One of those truth times that didn't come along too often.

"Bruce, I'm all for heart to heart talks but I know you aren't."

"…"

The younger man scoffed, "I don't even know why you're asking when it's so plainly obvious to apparently everyone."

"If it's obvious, tell me."

"Tell you what? That's it's obvious you're my father? You tell me, did I dream up the adoption?"

How the heck had they even gotten on this subject?

Bruce listened for a moment; the woman was talking to someone outside. No voice was answering. It was a cell phone conversation obviously.

"No. You didn't."

Silence settled around them again, Bruce taking a drink of his cold coffee and holding back a distasting flinch.

Oh forget it! Dick hated these silences.

"I get it Bruce, I do. You're thinking of what Alfred was to all of us, so you are, in turn, trying to puzzle out what you are to all of us. For some reason you've never felt at peace with my answer."

"I've never felt at peace with my position in your life."

Oh my gosh! Had Bruce actually just uttered that sentence?

"What position?" Dick asked.

Another drink of cold coffee, "You tell me."

ARG! How he suddenly wanted to pick up the table and hit his companion over the head with it!

"Fine. You want the truth? Here it is! The ONLY reason I don't refer to you as my father, even though you ARE, is not because of John Grayson or anyone or anything else, it's because you were always much more than just my father."

Bruce's eyes snapped to the wall at his side, but Dick could tell he was still listening. They just didn't want to look at each other, so he let his eyes fall to the pattern across the table they were sitting at.

"When my parents were murdered I needed a lot of things and you became everything I needed when I needed it: a kind stranger, a friend, a brother, a teacher, a partner, an ally, a hero and above all else, a father. That's the truth, now you know. So what now?"

"…"

"Are you going to keep sitting here, brooding over your cold coffee?"

When Dick looked back up, he hadn't expected to see Bruce leaning forward, his head bowed and eyes shut tightly.

"Alfred."

The younger man pretended not to hear the choke in his voice, sighed and pushed his own batch of caffeine to the side before watching his own fists before his face clenching and unclenching.

He was really gone. No heartbeat, no breath, cold body. Dead for hours in his own bed.

Dick forced himself to reach over and place his hand on top of his father's, "When people make up a word for all of that-I'll have something to call you other than just, 'Bruce.'"

The door in the back of the store reopened, the blonde continuing her phone conversation as she reentered the kitchen.

"Come on Old Man, let's go home."
My challenge for this story was emotional play. So, I only have one question:

At the end of this, how do you feel?

Not so sure this turned out as well as it could, I just couldn't bring myself to make it too fluffy.

BTW I wanted to post this about my work in general. If you want to use ANY of it. Go ahead! It's yours!

In my opinion since every idea must come from another idea, we're technically all copying someone or something in history. My ideas can be used by anybody if they so wish.
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A new adventure as Batman takes on ancient magics and those who would wield them. When a routine patrol is interrupted by a strange explosion. When Batman and Robin investigates, they come face to face with ancient horror. Also, an old love comes back into Bruce Wayne's life...

Part of the idea behind this is to write a tale where my OCs, Joseph and Sam Kane, are firmly supporting characters instead of being more to the forefront. Part of it was just to write a new "mini".

Julie Madison, for those of you not in the know, was Bruce Wayne's first girlfriend (and damsel in distress) in the comics. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Ma… This is my own quasi New 52 take on her. She will be Bruce's prep school girlfriend who went on to fame and fortune in the movies. Picture Catherine Zeta Jones crossed with Elizabeth Taylor in her heyday.

Plus this story allows me to do a few things. 1. it lets me use my love of Ancient Egypt (which I've had since I was a kid) for this tale. 2. it allows me to write an old fashioned pulp like story. 3. It let's me clear up some mistaken ideas about Egyptian myth. 4. It let's me use Felix Faust, who is always an interesting baddie.

The cover image was compiled by me in (of all things) PowerPoint. I'll keep the Arkham City Batman bit, I'll just switch out the background each time ;)

This will be, at least, a three or four part story.

Enjoy!

Joseph Kane/Operator and Sam Kane belong to me

Batman, Robin, et al belong to DC Comics
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Plot Outline: fav.me/d5wtq9i
Part I: fav.me/d6et8mz
Part II: fav.me/d6ilxmz
Part IV: fav.me/d6ojmep
Part V: fav.me/d6qbn8d

Damian Wayne's road home after resurrection continues. Alongside his traveling companion J. Bowden Hapgood and J's bodyguard Brighton, Damian has survived two attempts by his mother's and grandfather's Seven Men of Death to return him to Talia's clutches. However, even the sacred places of Jerusalem and the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul aren't safe for the recently resurrected Boy Wonder....

Next issue: MAYHEM ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (with apologies to Dame Agatha Christie and her estate)

Check out those cameos towards the end; three of my favorite DC killers will be joining in the fun next "issue"

Parts IV and V will hopefully come soon

Damian Wayne, Batman, et al belong to DC Comics

Preview image art by Patrick Gleason from Batman and Robin #1 (Sept 2011)

"J" and Brighton belong to me, though "J"'s present alias is inspired by a character from Anyone Can Whistle, one of Sondheim's rare flops.

Script and Story belongs to me as well.
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50.I believe in Jim Gordon. I believe in Harvey Dent. I believe in Gotham City.
49.I made a promise on the grave of my parents that I would rid this city of the evil that took their lives. By day, I am Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist. At night, criminals, a cowardly and superstitious lot, call me... Batman.
48.You and I... with what we do... what's at stake... we can't fail. Others don't understand, but even if it's... impossible, we still have to succeed.
47.Your life could end here, now, and nobody would ever know. Would anyone even miss you? Tell me, what's your life worth, punk... ?
46.I've known Commissioner Jim Gordon for more years than I'd care to admit. During that time a friendship has grown that I thought was as solid as a rock. I would have trusted my life to the man.
45.You can never escape me. Bullets don't harm me. Nothing harms me. But I know pain. I know pain. Sometimes I share it. With someone like you
44.My life has been a crusade to save this city. But as Batman. And now, in its greatest hour of crisis, Gotham turns to Bruce Wayne.
43.That's the trouble about girls who love secrets: They can't keep them.
42.It's because of people like you that I became this. And you'll never give me a reason to become someone else.
41.This is a story about Mercy. It's also about revenge... justice... and fighting for yourself.
40.Whatever the case, I won't stop until I have rescued Gotham City.
39.If I ever see you in this city again, God help you.
38.Clark has told me about Bizarro. How he speaks in opposites. Makes The Joker seem sane...
37.I'm Batman. And we both know Batman's secret identity is.....Bruce Wayne!!
36.Quiet or Papa Spank!!!(To some women during a comic in the 60s)
35.Grief is the enemy. There's no time for grief. There's no room for grief. Grief turns into acceptance. Forgiveness. Grief forgives what can never be forgiven. Never.
34.He thinks he can scare me. He thinks he can stop me. There's nothing wrong with him a bullet in the head won't fix.
33.The most powerful being on the planet and they kept him hidden on a small Kansas farm
32.You're a junkie. A Chocos junkie!
31.No, Clark, you're missing the point of the question. Why do I keep that giant penny? Or old costumes, models of the Batmobile? Orphans are collectors, Clark. Losing so much... makes it that much harder to give things up.
Time for the 1966 film quotes
30.They may be drinkers, Robin, but they're still human beings.
29.Hand me down the shark repellent Batspray!
28.Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb...
Lets go back to the comics now.
27.Horrible things happen to children everywhere.
26.There's no reward in being right all the time.
25.Supergirl, you're one of the most powerful creatures on the planet. If someone intelligent were to come after you, they wouldn't attack you directly. They'd try to trick you. Surprise you. Remember Supergirl... only your body's invulnerable.
24.You can't fight fate, and you can't survive alone... I can't help but notice that almost seems like a definition of who I am... A person who's trying to do both.
23.The Batman can't die. He feeds on evil like yours.
22.He calls himself "Scarecrow." Psychologist turned psychopath. He preys on the innocent and instill them with fear.  When I chose to wear my... costume, it was to prey upon the criminals, and instill them with fear. The irony is not lost on me...
21.I have questions. You will answer them. Or else.
20.The rain falls on murderers and madmen, the same as it does on innocent children... and it can't stop a bullet.
19.Some would say it isn't him attacking. It's his disease. It's his addiction. Too bad I can't kick his addiction.
18.What are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I'm the GodDamn Batman.
17.I'm Batman. I don't enjoy anything.
16.People think it's an obsession. A compulsion. As if there were an irresistible impulse to act. It's never been like that. I chose this life. I know what I'm doing. And on any given day, I could stop doing it. Today, however, isn't that day. And tomorrow won't be either.
15.Ladies. Gentlemen. You have eaten well. You've eaten Gotham's wealth. Its spirit. Your feast is nearly over. From this moment on -- none of you are safe.
14.Become like me? The Night-Monster. The man who taints the lives of all around him. Is that what I want for him? Is that what he will want for himself?
13.Man-Bats. Ninja Man-Bats. Alarming Twist.
12.Sometimes it's only madness that makes us what we are.
11.Bruce Wayne is a mask I wear, that I've been wearing since I was a child... but it's become a liability, so it's over. Bruce Wayne and his troubles aren't my concern anymore. The only thing that matters now is my mission. Nothing will stand in the way anymore.
10.Criminals are a terror. Hearts of the night. I must disguise my terror. Criminals are cowardly. A superstitious terrible omen. A cowardly lot. My disguise must strike terror. I must be black. Terrible. Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot. I must be a creature. I must be a creature of the night. Mommy's dead. Daddy's dead. Brucie's dead. I shall become a bat.
9.You don't seek justice. You seek vengeance. They're not the same. You have no regard for life. So I'm stopping you.
8.It's humiliating to admit Batman has his limits. That none of my abilities makes any difference if the mark doesn't believe.
7.There's law ... and there's justice. What have you gained by all this? Nothing. You've put yourself in your own prison. And I'll always be around to make sure you stay there. That's the promise I made -- and that's the promise I'll keep. For the rest of our lives.
6.I AM NOT INSANE!
5.I wear a mask. And that mask, it's not to hide who I am, but to create what I am.
4.We're seeking justice, Alfred. How can that ever be a mistake?
3.I decided early that I would never take a life. Right around the time I decided that I wanted to live. It wasn't an arbitrary decision and it was more than moral. It's about identity. As long as you can choose that, choose who you are in the world... you can choose to call yourself sane
2.And as the sun, that had been too afraid to show its face in this city, started to turn the black into grey, I smiled. Not out of happiness. But because I knew... that one day, I wouldn't have to do this anymore. One day, I could stop fighting. Because one day... I would win. One day, there will be no pain, no loss, no crime. Because of me, because I fight. For you. One day, I will win.
1.(to Superman) Everyone looks up to you. They listen to you. If you tell them to fight, they'll fight. But they need to be inspired. And let's face it "Superman"... the last time you really inspired anyone ... was when you were dead.
:iconrobinplz::iconsaysplz:Gosh, if I could just figure out that riddle. Why can't I get it?
:iconbatmanplz::iconsaysplz: Maybe your mind's on that cute little teenager who waved to you on the way across town, eh?
:iconrobinplz::iconsaysplz:Awww, come on, Batman.

:iconbatmanplz::iconsaysplz:The joke's on you, Riddler!
:iconrobinplz::iconsaysplz:When is a donkey spelled with 1 letter?! When it's "U"!

:iconrobinplz::iconsaysplz:Holy Benedict Arnold... Suzie! Chief cheerleader, a member of The Joker's criminal gang!
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