Nightwing has always been my favourite Robin. This story takes place long time ago when Dick Grayson was still a kid and Bruce Wayne was in his mid 20s. Once again I dnt own DC or Warner bros. Neither their prize baby ‘THE BATMAN’. Enjoy!!!
The nights were cold for the duo as they walked the streets of Gotham City as a fresh sheet of snow placed its self along the ground and roof tops of the dark moonless city. Robin sitting on the roof just above Gotham City bank looked to Batman and said, “You know Batman this outfit isn’t that great for winder snow.” Robin looking back down to the seamlessly empty streets, trying to guess the time he came to the conclusion it was at least close to three in the morning, and with a sigh he looked at Batman again, “I have a test tomorrow morning, are we done here?”
Batman zoned back in to what Robin was saying looked at him blankly then nodded. “Sorry, let’s get going.” Jumping down from the wall Batman landing with no sound from the fall, Robin fallowing the example did the same. Batman getting into the Bat-mobile and Robin jumping on his bike headed at full speed back to the cave without making more than the necessary noise.
Back at the cave Alfred was waiting for them with a smile on his face, it was a strict smile, but the care was hidden in his face, easy to detect when you had know Alfred for more than a few years.
“Master Bruce you had a call from a Jonathan Crane he didn’t leave a message. He just said he’ll talk to you soon, do you know the name?”
Bruce taking off his mask and the rest of his costume, thinking the name did ring a bell to him, but he couldn’t place a face. “The name comes to mind, but I can’t place it with a person at the moment. Wait isn’t he a psychologist?
“Possibly sir, I don’t truly know myself, I could always look up the name on the Bat-computer if you wished.” Then Alfred turned to Dick Grayson as he pulled off his shirt and mask, “Master Dick I recommend you heading off to bed, you have a test in the morning that you can’t miss.”
“Okay Alfred, good night Bruce, good night Alfred.” Dick then rubbed his head and walked up the stairs off to his room for a good few hours of sleep.
“Alfred it should be fine to hold that until the morning, get some rest, I’m heading off to bed myself anyways.” Bruce said with a smile pulled his house coat over his self and headed off to bed, as Alfred did the same.
After tossing and turning in his bed Dick gave up on sleeping for tonight, he kept being woken from nightmares that were haunting him. Sitting up in his bed he rubbed his head as he had a sharp pain go though his mind. Grunting and grinding his teeth the pain it stopped for a short moment. It kept coming back but weaker and weaker, soon it was just there but not strong enough to bother to him. Coughing a little into his hand he got up and looked at the clock it was six, thinking to himself he thought it’s not that early to be getting ready. Getting out of bed he coughed a little more and slowly made his way to his closet grabbed some cloths and got dressed for school, blue jeans and a red t-shirt.
Coughing all the way down the stairs he tried not waking anyone up, he got to the bottom of the stairs and was startled by Alfred smiling at him, “Good morning Master Grayson, are you feeling okay this morning?” Alfred walked over to Dick and placed his hand on Dick’s forehead, “You warm Master Grayson, and maybe you should rest today?”
Dick shook his head, “No I need to do this test I’ll be fine, thank you Alfred anyways for the offer.” With a smile Dick was off making his self something quick to eat.
Alfred fallowed Dick into the kitchen and started going through a cabinet looking for something. Once he found it he opened the little bottle and handed two pills to Dick, “Take these it might help put your fever down a little, and stop most of the cough you have.” With a warm smile Dick grabbed the pills shot them down, then ate and was out the door in less than five minutes.
Running the whole way to school made him more tired than he ever had before. When he got to the school he was out of breath, dizzy, and coughing more than before. Once he got in his class room he sat down and tried to regain his breath again.
His teacher came over to him and asked, “Dick, you feeling okay today? You look really ill.”
Dick nodded as he closed his eyes still trying to get his breath. “I’ll be fine.” Dick smiled at the teacher, “Could I get the test now?”
“Yes, but after the test, maybe you should go home and rest you really don’t look well Dick, it’s kind of worrying me.”
Dick nodded and smiled as the teacher handed him the paper and he started working on it, it was a good hour before the rest of the class was going to be there. Dick finished with still time before the class was going to be there, so the teacher called up Alfred to come and pick Dick up from school.
Bruce woke up to Dick and Alfred walking in the door, Bruce asked looking at Dick, “Why aren’t you at school?”
Dick looked down, “The teacher sent me home, because he thinks I look sick.”
Alfred looked at Bruce and Dick, “I think Master Grayson is coming down with a small cold, nothing major I hope.”
Bruce walked over to Dick placed a hang on his shoulder and looked at him hard, “Well then maybe you shouldn’t come out on patrol with me tonight if you’re getting sick.”
“WHAT! No! I’m fine, please I want to.” Dick bagged, “I’m okay really, and it’s just a cough nothing big.”
Stepping back a little Bruce looked at Alfred and shook his head, “I really think it would be smart for you to stay here and rest.”
“How about I rest now and tonight I go out with you?” Dick asked hoping for a yes. Bruce nodded knowing he wasn’t going to get anything better than that. “Thanks Bruce, well I guess I’m going to rest a bit now.” He then walked up the stairs and lay down in the bed and tried to sleep again. He looked at the ceiling for a little only to see it spinning around and around. Confused and dizzy he closed his eyes again and fell asleep.
His sleep was disturbed by nightmares again they filled his head with horrors and fears.
In the dreams he was in a dark room, it was cold, but he wasn’t alone. Looking around his mind panicked something was grabbing at his legs pulling him down into the ground, he screamed out for help. Something covered his mouth gagging him, blocking the air from his lungs. Then he looked into the eyes of the one man he feared and hated more than anyone, Two-Face! He pointed the gun to Dick’s head as he laughed at Dick squirm in fear. He was half way into the floor unable to move his arms, Dick couldn’t feel his legs, and he couldn’t breathe. Then it all went black and Dick woke up once again in his room.
Breathing heavy he tried to calm down from the nightmare; he sat up and places his head in his hands, breathing slowly trying to remain calm. Looking at the clock it read twelve to four. Once he was calm again he got up and walked down the stairs and sat in the kitchen with his head down on the table. The world started spinning again.
Bruce sat in his office talking to Mr Jonathan Crane.
“So Mr Crane what brings you here today?” Bruce asked letting him in his office and sitting down next to him.
“Mr Wayne I’m here to talk to you about the young lad you have in your custody. Dick Grayson and I have had a few sessions together in the past few weeks, I’m not sure if you were aware of this.”
“No I wasn’t, is there a problem going on with him?” Bruce said now suddenly worried.
Jonathan Crane smiled at Bruce, “This young lad seems to be showing signs of his repressed memories to be resurfacing and he is starting to show many signs of Neurosis.”
Bruce looked confused at Jonathan Crane, “Why haven’t I’ve been notified before hand?
“Mr Grayson didn’t want to worry you about something that could be nothing.” Jonathan said with a straight look as he took his glasses off and placed them on Bruce’s desk, “Have you been seeing any changes in Mr Grayson’s behaviour? Anything at all?”
Bruce scratched his head thinking, still confused because Dick always seemed okay to him, nothing ever seemed wrong. “No not at all, he has been acting the same at the house.”
Jonathan placed his glasses back on his face once again and stood up from his seat, “Well I would like to have more sessions with Mr Grayson, but to do that it would be out of the school’s hands and placed upon you. I do recommend it highly too allow me to help him, but it’s all up to you. Here is my card. It was nice talking to you Mr Wayne.” Shaking Bruce’s hand he left the office leaving Bruce to his thoughts.
Stepping out of the office Jonathan Crane had a smile from ear to ear cross his face he had a good feeling he would be talking to Bruce really soon.
Sitting in his office Bruce looked at the phone for a little trying to decide whether or not to call the house and check on Dick. It only took him a few minutes to decide that he should call the house.
Picking up the phone he dialled the house quickly, Alfred of course answered the phone, “Hello Wayne Manor Alfred speaking.”
“Alfred its Bruce, how is Dick doing? Feeling any better?”
“Master Dick is doing better, he’s relaxing at the moment.”
“Alfred, has Dick been acting different around you? Like depressed or anything?”
“No he has been the same to me as he always has been, why did that question come up Master Bruce?”
“Jonathan Crane made an appointment with me today, he’s a psychologist that has been talking to Dick at school, and he thinks that Dick is surfacing his old repressed memories. So he wants Dick to go in for more sessions to help him from what I understand.”
“Oh dear, I haven’t found anything different from Master Grayson, but it is easy for a young boy to hide their feelings from the world.”
“Yeah, I guess I know that…” Bruce left out a sigh then paused before saying anything else to Alfred. “Well did he get some sleep?”
“Yes he did, he slept for a few good hours. He has eaten, and he looks way better than he did this morning, he has colour back in his face, he is a little slow moving around, but I think he is doing fine.”
“Okay, I’ll be at the house soon I’m done here, see you two in a little Alfred.”
“Okay Master Bruce I’ll have dinner made when you get here.”
Sitting on the stair case Dick was dosing in and out of sleep, not really able to fall asleep, but resting none the less. Alfred came up to him placing a hand on his forehead once again, Dick at this time has sweat on his face and he was warmer then he was in the morning. Alfred asked with a worried look on his face, “Dick, are you sure you want to go out tonight? You’re burning up at the moment.”
Dick nodded pulling himself off the step he looked Alfred in the eye, he stumbled a little and smiled, “I’m fine, don’t worry about me Alfred.”
“Well at least come and take something else to make you feel a little better Master Grayson.”
Dick smiled and nodded, “If you really want me to, but I am really fine Alfred.” He smiled as he rolled his eyes knowing Alfred only meant good, as Alfred lead him back into the kitchen. After Alfred got a few vitamins and other pills into Dick’s system Alfred felt a little better about the fact of Dick wanting to go out on patrol with Bruce, but still wishing he wouldn’t.
“Master Grayson you know if there is anything wrong you can talk to Bruce or I no matter what the problem.” Alfred smiled at Dick and Dick looked at him and smiled also.
“When is Bruce going to be here Alfred?” Dick asked looking at the ground, “I would like to talk to him about something…”
Alfred smiled as looked at the clock, “he should be back in five minutes.”
Dick nodded and hugged Alfred and walked out of the kitchen with a somewhat of a smile across his face.
Bruce got to the door and walked in looking around he saw Dick sitting at the bottom of the stair case waiting, Dick stood up and walked over to Bruce. Dick looked to the ground and fidgeted his fingers a little looking back up to Bruce, “Bruce… There is something I need to tell you about.” Then before Dick could say anything, Bruce pulled him close for hug.
“I know about talking with Mr Crane, he came to my office today. You know if you need anything, just talk to me okay?”
Dick nodded with a smile across his face, “Okay… I can go out on patrol with you tonight still right?”
Bruce nodded looking at Dick, he seemed better then he has before. “Yeah, but if you feel anything wrong, we are heading back here, deal?”
Dick smiled, “Deal Bruce.”
After dinner was all done, Bruce and Dick got ready to head out on patrol, it was dark out and the cold air made Bruce regret allowing Dick come out on patrol this night. Batman brought Robin’s cloak for him trying to keep him as warm as possible.
It was only an hour in the patrol when something happened; there was a bank robbery at the second Gotham city bank. Batman and Robin were on the scene slightly before the police arrived.
Heading in the bank by the roof Batman and Robin scanned the building finding where the robbers were. They were on the sixth floor, out of the twelve floors. There were men on every floor starting from the second floor, and stopping at the eleventh floor. So making a quick plan Batman and Robin decided that they didn`t want them to know that they where there inside the building yet. So once on the twelfth floor Batman and Robin climbed up into the ventilation system, and crept quickly yet ever so silently.
Robin was starting to have difficulties when they were in the vent; he tried so hard to not cough, only letting out a few little ones. They had to stop a few times for breaks because he was having trouble trying to regain his breath. He was sweating pretty badly by the time they reached the seventh floor.
“Robin, maybe you should wait here and I can deal with it all. You should rest, you look bad.”
Robin shook his head and started a head of Batman, “I’m fine.”
Batman whispered under his breath a sigh and, “Stubborn.”
Pushing a head they reached the sixth floor, now they were sitting above the bank robber’s center of their operation. Batman counted the men there, nine men all with guns where surrounding the bank vault.
“Robin last chance, you sure you don’t want to sit back?” Batman asked one more time, hoping he would change his mind and stay back.
Robin shook his head and smiled, “I’ll be fine, don’t worry about me. I need to keep an eye on your back.” He smiled waiting for Batman’s lead to jump down and surprise the robbers.
Batman sighed then descended down into the room starting off with a spinning kick to the closest guard. Robin fallowed him closely behind landing and giving the first guard a strong right hook to the face. Dropping his cloak he wrapped it around another guard kicking him into one more guard. Then standing beside the vault was a man wearing a mask, which reminded the duo of a scarecrow you would see at a farm to scare off crows, than three more men were standing next to the masked person. All the rest were lying unconscious on the ground. Batman was on the far end of one side of the room and Robin was at the other far end, but a lot closer to the masked person and his few guards standing.
Robin was panting at this time, gasping a little for breath. Stumbling a little then fixing his footing, then ran over to the guard closest to him gave him a hard kick to the face, Robin stumbled miss judging the distance between him and the guard, after he hit the guard he fell over hitting his shoulder hard on the ground and hitting the vault. At the first instance that Batman saw that Robin was heading at the guards he rushed over as well, only to halt when the guard held Robin’s hands tightly behind Robins back, with his arm around Robin’s neck.
The man in the mask spoke in a raspy loud tone, “I thought I would get a better fight from the batman I’ve been hearing all about.” The Masked man walked over to Robin grabbed his face, and looked at Batman, “What’s this bird afraid of?” Then out of the Masked Man’s hand was a puff of brown smoke. Robin coughed and coughed as the man dropped him to the floor. Batman at that time was already on them, kicking the men to the left of the masked man, then a strong uppercut to the last man standing before going after the now running masked scarecrow.
Right as Batman was about to run after the Scarecrow, the man yelled back to him as he exited the door, “Batman you might want to help the boy, you never know what someone can do to them self’s when fear takes over.”
“A fear toxin?” Batman turned around in confusion as he studied Robin freaking out silently on the ground. Batman lifted Robin off the ground; Robin closed his eyes biting his lip trying not to scream. Batman was confused he couldn’t understand why he was so scared; grabbing his cloak he wrapped it around Robin and rushed out of the building. Getting into the Bat-mobile they sped back to the cave.
Batman called Alfred telling him all what happened.
In the car they were almost back at the cave, Robin grabbed out for Batman his eyes filled with tears, “Bruce…” then Robin fell back in the seat and was out cold.
“Dick, you are going to be okay. Dick, come on stay with me. Come on kid, please. Stay awake.” Batman took off his mask checking for a pulse on Dick. It was there, it was racing and he was burning up. Bruce was now terrified himself for Dicks well being.
Right as they got to the cave Bruce jumped out and grabbed Dick from the car, taking off his mask, and carrying him over to Alfred’s work table. Placing him down carefully on the table, he wrapped him up lightly in the cloak as Alfred got blankets and a pillow for Dick.
Grabbing both of Dicks hands Bruce whispered to Dick, “Dick, come on. Come back to us now. Dick you’re okay, you are safe.” Dick gripped Bruce’s hand tightly.
Alfred pulled a little bottle out and placed it under Dick’s nose, the sent went up into his nostrils. Waking up he screamed pushing Bruce and Alfred away knocking the bottle out of Alfred hands. He stumbled as he stood up and ran away from them screaming, Dick tripped over a step and sent himself flying into the ground. Curling himself up into a ball he ripped his arms tightly around himself as Alfred and Bruce rushed over to him. Dick started to bleed from digging his nails into his arms, screaming for Bruce and Alfred to get back. Though he didn’t say Bruce or Alfred’s name, he screamed for Two-face and the Joker to get back.
Alfred pulled his hands away from him to stop him from cutting into his flesh.
“Master Bruce bring him back to the table I think we are going to have to restrain Master Grayson.” Bruce nodded and grabbing Dick off the ground carried him to the table and starting strapping him down.
Tear’s started falling down Dick’s face he was terrified at the moment; it crushed Bruce’s heart knowing that he was causing this pain to him.
Bruce then placed his hand over Dick’s mouth and nose, and waiting until Dick calm down and passed out. Bruce’s eyes started to water knowing that he didn’t stop the problem it just made it easy for him and Alfred, who knows what torment Dick was going though.
Bruce took a blood sample from Dick thinking maybe from the toxin that was in his system he could maybe get an antidote for it. Working quickly it didn’t take him long to find one, he got it all ready and sprayed Dick with it, he stopped moving. Bruce freaked not knowing what happened, and then Dick coughed as he gasped for breath. After a few minutes of coughing and gasping for air, Dick opened his eyes looking into the worried faces of Bruce and Alfred.
Dick looked around confused, “Where am I? What happened?”
Bruce smiled as he untied Dick’s hands from the table, and sat him up slowly wiping the tears from his face, then pulling him in to his chest he hugs him ever so tightly, “It’s okay now, you’re back at the cave.” Dick hugged Bruce back.
“I am so confused right now, one minute I was being attacked by Two-face, and the Joker, they killed you…” Dick looked at Bruce in horror then continued, “And now I’m back here with Alfred and you… What happened…?”
“That scarecrow guy hit you with a fear toxin what he called it, it’s a fear inducing toxin by the looks of it, it brings your fears out to toy with your mind, but it’s all gone from your system now. You’re okay right. Feeling fine?”
Dick rubbed his head, “I feel a little out of it, but about the same as before we went out.”
“So, pretty shitty right?” Bruce said with an angry look on his face.
Looking down again Dick nodded a silent yes.
“Master Bruce there isn’t anything else that needs to be done, beside’s maybe Master Grayson to get some sleep right about now.” Alfred suggested to Bruce as he placed everything they had out away.
Dick was stepping off the table when Bruce grabbed him and lifted him up, “I rather you not move around yet. I don’t know how your body is going to take the antidote, especially since you where sick before hand; it’s a lot of chemicals for your body to take in when your antibodies are already down.”
Dick was starting to protest the facts that Bruce was stating, but knowing it wouldn’t get him anywhere he held his tongue.
After Dick was fast sleep Bruce went and sat on the top of the stair case looking around at the halls, it was the same to him as it was when he was little, and he almost forgot the feeling of being small or helpless, until tonight. He had forgotten that Dick isn’t as old as him, he don’t have all the training, he don’t have the mind to understand when he can’t do something, he just does what he thinks will help the people he cares about. That thought made Bruce laugh a little, he wished when he was younger felt the same way as this young Dick Grayson did today all the bravery that little boy had in him. After a few hours of thinking, Bruce headed off to bed.
By the time Dick had woken up Alfred and Bruce were well awake. Coughing as he stepped out of the bed, he stumbled the whole way to the stair case. Leaning on the railing he started down the stairs when Bruce came up behind him and placed his hand on Dick’s forehead. “You are burning up badly right now. You should go and lay down.”
Dick turned and looked at Bruce and rolled his eyes, “Come on I’m fine.” Coughing badly just after saying that, Bruce gave him a lot and Dick started walking back. Watching him stumble all over the place, Bruce helped him keep his balance as Dick coughed the whole way back.
Lying down in the bed Dick looked at Bruce and smiled. “You are protective you know that?”
Bruce gave a little smirk and looked down feeling guilty, “I’m not that great at it though. You got hurt bad last night because I couldn’t protect you.” Bruce looked away ashamed of what happened, he knew nothing in his power could have stopped it, and he wished he could have.
Dick looked up at Bruce and hugged him, “It was me being stupid, nothing to do with you Bruce.”
Bruce and Dick hugged for a few moments, then Bruce scuffed Dick’s hair and left saying he’ll bring something up for him.
Walking down the stairs Bruce was stopped by Alfred, “Master Bruce how is the Little Master doing today?”
“Not good, he seems a lot worst today, he is stumbling when he walks, and he is burning up.” Bruce brushed his hair back giving a worried sign. “I shouldn’t have let him come out with me last night.”
Alfred placed a warm hand on Bruce’s shoulder, “You and me both know if you didn’t he would have went out on his own, and possibly gotten more hurt then he did. Don’t beat you’re self up over nothing Master Bruce.”
Bruce nodded a little, knowing in some degree Alfred was telling the truth about that. “I’m going to bring Dick something to eat.”
“Master Bruce you have a meeting to be getting to at the moment, I will get him something. You should be leaving right about now.” Alfred said handing Bruce his coat, Bruce started to protest as he was pushed out the door, but then he ran off to work leaving Alfred in charge with Dick and his health.
Once at work Bruce sat in an office room with a bunch of other men as they tried to pitch to Bruce about their new product. Though Bruce’s mind was on something different though, he couldn’t get the face of the Masked Scarecrow out of him mind or the terror in Dick’s eyes.
“So Bruce, what do you think?” One of the men asked as he gave Bruce a huge smile.
Bruce came out of his mind and looked up at the man confused at first. Then after a moment Bruce remembered where he was, “Oh yes. Um Mr Nex, I will have to get back to you on this. Give me and the rest of my company time to think it over. Thank you for coming though and we will get back to you.”
After all the men were out of the room Bruce sat at his desk and placed his head on it and grunted to himself.
Lucius Fox walked in the room as Bruce let out the sigh walking over to Bruce’s desk he looked at him and asked, “Mr Wayne is everything okay? Today at the meeting you where wide awake, yet you didn’t hear a word. Is there something on your mind?”
Bruce looked up and Lucius and rubbed his head once again, “Dick is sick at the house right now. I guess I’m just worried that’s all.”
Lucius looked at Bruce then asked, “Do you or Alfred know what’s wrong?” Bruce shook his head no, “Is someone coming to check to see what’s wrong? If you need someone I could for you.”
Bruce smiled at him, “I don’t want to make you go out of your way Lucius.”
“No don’t think is as going out of my way, I would like to say hello to my old friend anyways, and it’s nothing compared to the help you’ve done for me in this lifetime.” Lucius smiled as Bruce knew what he was talking about, all the times Batman as helped him out, and also as Bruce Wayne helping him out all the time. “So when will be best to stop by Mr Wayne?”
Bruce smiled, “Anytime that’s good for you.”
Lucius smiled at the look that Bruce gave him.
Then after work Bruce and Lucius headed over to the Wayne manor to check up on Dick.
Looking at the clock Dick knew that Bruce would be back at the house soon. So getting out of bed he walked down the stair case holding the wall tightly. Tripping only a little when he got to the stair case, he sat at the bottom waiting for Bruce to get back.
Alfred walked in the house and looked at Dick, “Master Grayson why are you out of bed?”
“I always wait here for Bruce when he gets home.” Dick smiled as he coughed into his hand. “I’m fine Alfred don’t worry so much.”
“I’ll stop worrying so much when you learn listen, Master Grayson, oh wait when that day comes all of humanity will fall with.” Alfred said with a smile as stood there waiting as well with Dick for Bruce’s arrival. Dick gave a smile for Alfred’s once in a while dry humour that made Alfred who he was.
It wasn’t long after Bruce and Lucius walked in the door with a smile on both there face’s.
“Alfred, Lucius agreed to check up on Dick. Maybe he can find what’s wrong.” Bruce said taking off his coat and placing it away. “Why are you out of bed Dick?”
Alfred stepped up to answer, “Master Grayson wanted to greet you the same way as always Master Bruce, and Lucius it’s great to see you again old friend.”
“Great to see you as well Alfred. Now I am here to check up on the little one over there.” Lucius said to Alfred turning his eyes to Dick who was sitting on the step still. He walked over you Dick and kneeled on one knee looking at Dick’s eyes and the rest of his face. All of the colour from Dick’s face was gone and his eyes where puffy and red also. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling fine.” Dick said with a smile hoping it would fool him, yet knowing it wouldn’t.
Lucius looked at Bruce then back to Dick checking his eyes and looking for any other sign of a sickness. “Have you been doing anything different? Maybe, within the past few weeks I’m guessing?” The question seemed a little odd at first then Dick thought to himself.
Thinking the only thing that came to Dick’s mind was the fact that he had been seeing Doctor Crane, “I’ve just been seeing Doctor Crane that’s the only thing different that I have been doing.” Dick shook his head no. Lucius studied him hard once more as he started thinking, “Well it seems that you have been breathing in a toxin of some kind, by the looks of it at least. There is a chance that I am wrong, but that’s what it looks like to me.”
Dick coughed into his hand and looked at Lucius, “I don’t know where I would be getting it from though.” Then keeling over a little Dick started a major coughing fit that lasted a few minutes.
Bruce walked over and sat with Dick making sure he didn’t pass out from coughing so much, “You should get back in bed.” Lifting Dick off the stairs Bruce carried him back to the bedroom and placed him on the bed. Lucius and Alfred talked for a little down stairs as Bruce needed to ask Dick something.
“Dick, do you want to see Doctor Crane more? Maybe get him to help you out a little more?” Bruce placed a hand on Dick’s forehead.
Dick looked down and nodded a yes, “He said that he could make me maybe stop having dreams about everyone dying on me… I just don’t want to be left alone again.”
Bruce smiled and placed his hand on Dick’s shoulder, “I won’t leave you alone. Okay.”
Dick gave him one last smile as he rolled over and fell slowly into sleep.
Leaving the room with a somewhat smile, but also he was worried and it showed in his face as he walked back down the stairs to Alfred and Lucius. They stopped their conversation as they looked to Bruce.
Alfred was the first to say something, “Everything okay, Master Bruce?”
“Yes, he’s sleeping right now.”
Those were the only other words Bruce said until their goodbyes as Lucius left for home.
It had been weeks since the Scarecrow attack had happened and there had been no other signs of him around Gotham city as Batman patrolled the streets alone. The nights seemed to get colder and colder, and in Gotham city it seems the colder outside gets the more crimes happen at night. Just in this night alone, Batman had to face three different robberies, and one gang war about to be started. Nothing that he couldn’t handle himself really, but he was starting to miss Robin there having his back. The cold wind made the night slower since he had to be carefully going around corners in the Bat-mobile or when sneaking around.
Sitting down after bringing all of the gang members to the police station he looked across the streets of Gotham, the cold wind whispering slightly in his ears. He looked at his communicator, wondering if Dick or Alfred would still be awake at this time.
He hoped they both would be asleep but knowing Alfred, he’s probley worried that he hadn’t called back to the cave, and then knowing Dick as well, he is probley up waiting encase something happens. Batman was tired, it was cold, and nothing was happening so he called it a night then headed back to the Bat-cave.
Once in the cave, the only sounds heard where made from Alfred’s footsteps as he walked down the stairs to the cave to greet Bruce.
Alfred handed Bruce his house coat and said, “You had Master Grayson worried you know.” With a tired look he showed Bruce the time, 4:56. “Normally you are back here before two or you call back.”
“Yeah sorry Alfred, I was hoping you two would be asleep, so I didn’t call when I was going to be late, it was kind of busy tonight Alfred. Big gang fight really held me up though.” Bruce pulled his house coat over his shoulders, and smiled at Alfred, “Maybe we should get some sleep, is Dick asleep yet?”
Alfred smiled as he started up the stairs, “Yes I gave him something to help him get to sleep again. Since, he has his first appointment with Doctor Crane tomorrow morning.”
“Is he feeling better at all today?” Bruce said with a worried glance as he walked up the stairs.
Alfred smiled and nodded, “He looks a lot better, he has a slight fever still, nothing to worry about, and he finds it hard to keep him balance sometimes, but again nothing to worry about. It seems maybe what was causing this stopped since he’s recovering now fine.”
Bruce nodded with a smiled and said his goodnights to Alfred, poking his head in Dick’s room making sure everything was fine then heading off into his room for a goodnights sleep.
Being haunted by his dreams once again Dick Grayson found himself being tossed into a dark abyss of hands grabbing at him.
Hitting the bottom of the cavern hard he rolled over and grunted, the pain felt completely real as his whole body ached. Looking around at the circular walls around him, no more hands trying to reach him, no more sounds screaming his name; it was nothing but a dim light. Scared Dick backed himself into the wall and sat there looking around for anything, until a voice cried to him.
Standing up quickly he looked above him, and directly above the cavern a good twenty feet above the top of the gaping hole, was Bruce dangling by one hand trying to hold on for dear life. His other hand pushed close to Bruce’s side as it bleed all over the place.
Panic took over Dick’s body, screaming Bruce’s name over and over. He couldn’t help him he was useless and powerless standing there trapped.
Hands started grabbing him once again; turning around Dick was face to face with his father? His father pushed Dick against the wall. Dick’s shoulders cracking from the presser, Dick’s father whispered in his ear, “He’ll die, for you. All because of you, he’ll take the fall for you because you failed him Dick.”
The image of his father was gone, Dick looked up again, as Bruce let go and started to fall to his death!
Bruce’s body hit the bottom of the cavern floor before Dick could even react to him falling. Staring at his friend, his lifeless body, as it bled all over the floor of his dark prison. Covering Dick in the splatter Dick fell to the ground terrified, shocked, alone, trapped.
Kneeling on the ground, Dick wrapped himself in his arms, digging his nails into the soft flesh of his shoulders.
Waking up screaming and crying all together, Bruce was in the room within seconds.
With a worried look across his face he stared blankly at Dick, “What’s wrong?”
Dick looked at his hands covered in blood, glancing at his shoulders as they were dripping blood all over the sheets and blankets. Finding it hard to catch his breath between the tears, Bruce ran up to him and held him close, and Dick wrapped his arms around Bruce still terrified from the dream.
“What happened to your shoulders Dick?” Bruce said spreading himself only slightly from Dick.
Trying to get the words to come out, as he cried, trying to regain his breath, “In my dream I was digging my nails into my shoulders.” Taking pauses with everyone other word that left his mouth.
Bruce hugged Dick tightly, and let go for a few moment, “I’m going to get that cleaned up, okay.” Dick nodded and let go of Bruce as he started looking for bandages, it was only a few moments really after Bruce came in that Alfred was at the door worried and alarmed.
Alfred took over the job of cleaning and wrapping Dick’s cuts as Bruce sat next to him trying to get the tears to stop falling.
After Dick was all bandaged up, and he had stopped crying, Bruce brought him more blankets and placed them on the bed after tossing the bloody ones out of the room.
After a long period of silence Dick whispered looking at Bruce and Alfred’s worried faces, “I’m sorry…”
Bruce puzzled looked at his and smiled, “Nothing to be sorry about. We just want you safe and feeling better.”
Dick looked at the ground, “yeah I know, but I worry you guys all the time for nothing. Like tonight, you had a late night out, and then I woke you up… I’m sorry.” Bruce hugged Dick.
“When I say its fine, its fine, okay. Do you want to try and sleep again? You have a few hours before having to go and see Dr Crane.” Dick nodded as he rolled over in the bed, Bruce pulled the covers over him and sat there waiting for him to fall asleep making sure he would be okay.
Unable to stay awake any longer Bruce fell asleep in the chair.
Only to later be awaken by a light shaking on the shoulders, it was Dick as he rubbed his eyes awake. “Bruce you sleep like that all night?” He asked sounding groggy and tired.
Stretching Bruce nodded, “I guess I dozed off… What time is it?”
Dick looked at the clock beside the bed, “It’s ten in the morning. I have an hour before I have to go…”
“Well lets go get something to eat then Dick, I’ll drive you to see Doctor Crane if you want.” Bruce said standing up and stretching.
Dick smile and nodded as they both walked down the stairs, Dick was still slow and stumbling a little bit, so Bruce kept beside him there if he needed him.
Alfred was cleaning up when they came around the corner, “Breakfast is on the table for both of you, and the coffee is made Bruce.” Alfred smiled and continued to clean, “You feeling better this morning?”
“Yup, a lot better.” Dick and Bruce started to eat their breakfast silently, once done they headed off to get ready, and out the door they went.
Driving they talked about little things nothing big, got a few smiles across each other faces. Just little memory’s they had together.
Then they car stopped, a huge building stood before the car, Dick looked at it oddly, something about the place seemed a little off to him.
“Don’t worry Dick, everything will be fine.” Bruce reassured him, as he saw the worry in his eyes.
Dick smiled and jumped out of the car, “I’ll call you when to come pick me up. Bye Bruce.”
Waving Bruce drove off with nothing he thought to worry about.
Walking up the stairs to the 5th floor Dick looked around at all the people in the building, it seemed as they all stopped what they were doing to look at watch him. Though thinking he was just being paranoid he left the thought alone and walked to the front desk, “Hello, I have an 11 o’clock appointment with Doctor Crane.”
This lady was short; she had blonde hair, and red lipstick on, dark brown eyes that showed that her hair was dyed so it was like a Barbie blonde. She was wearing a purple dress shirt, and black pants. Her voice was dry and annoying as she spoke to Dick, “Ah yes, to the room on the left. Just go on in.” Dick was slightly puzzled by the fact the Lady didn’t look at anything to make sure he had an appointment or even asked what his name was, but all thoughts he tried to push aside saying he was just being paranoid.
Opening the door Dick had a whiff of a strong smoke; it was the same smell from the counselling office but a lot stronger. Dick coughed a little.
“Oh Dick your right on time, come in and take a seat.” Dick sat down and Doctor Crane stood up and closed the door behind him.
“So Dick, how have you been sleeping lately? Nightmares still?”
Dick coughed a little, “Yeah, they haven’t been so bad the past few days; the nightmares seem to be going along with this cold I’m slowly getting rid of…”
Doctor Crane nodded not at Dick, but as if someone else was watching them. “What have the dreams been about?”
“Well it’s about my friends and those I care about dying and it’s my fault…” Dick said as he looked down and twitted his fingers nervously as Doctor Crane stared off. “Is there something wrong Doctor Crane?”
Doctor Crane smiled and looked Dick in the eyes, “I think I know the reason for your nightmares and your illness.”
Dick gulped as the door locked and the windows closed, the lights started to flicker and smoke started to swarm the room, Doctor Crane turned away from Dick and placed something over his head, as Dick started to cough from the smoke. Turning around Doctor Crane revealed himself as the masked guy from the other night, the scarecrow.
The scarecrow laughed his voice now course and deep, “Well come to your real nightmare Mr Grayson.”
The walls started to close in on Dick running for the door it opened and three men with gas masks on charged in grabbing Dick, kicking at the men Dick stumbled and was swarmed by them, grabbing his arms the pulled them behind his back, tying them tightly as well they gagged his mouth as they dragged him out of the room. Pushing and pulling him down the stairs they dragged him to the back ally way, where a black van was parked outside, the men threw Dick into the back as the scarecrow stepped out behind them, “Take the boy to the warehouse I’ll stay here to tell Mr Wayne and the police what happened.”
The three guys laughed, “Roger that Mr Scarecrow.” Jumping into the van they drove off leaving the scarecrow A.K.A Jonathan Crane to play a mind game with everyone else. Taking off the mask he walked up the stairs and called the police.
Getting slammed around in the back of the van, Dick squirmed trying to free himself, but nothing was working, it was hard to work as the world started to unfold before his eyes, tears were falling from his face and he tried to scream for help, The joker, two face, Black mask, Scar Face, Scarecrow, Posin Ivy, Mr Freeze, The Riddler, and the Penguin all were coming at him with knives, laughing, with huge grins across their faces.
“Is the kid okay back there C?” One of the three men asked turning around to look at Dick as he freaked silently on the floor of the van.
C laughed, “Do you know now much fear toxin we pumped into that room? This kid is going to be fucked for a few days at the least. Ha-ha I wonder what this kid is scared of, hey D and A want to have some fun with him before we get him back to the warehouse.” C laughed as D and A didn’t answer. Taking a sharp turn then coming to a complete stop.
C was the first out of the van; he opened the back of the van and gave Dick a huge smile. Dick was crying, sweat was running down his face, and he was panicking silently to himself.
C dragged Dick out by his hair, and threw him on the ground, rolling him over so Dick and him stared eye to eye, C pulled out his knife and smiled from ear to ear. Placing the cold blade on the soft flesh of Dick’s cheek tears continued to fall. Terror filled Dick’s face as the blade sliced his face open, blood smeared all over. Then in a quick movement the blade plunged into Dick’s side, screaming in pain C laughed at Dick.
D got out of the van and pulled C off of Dick, “Hey boss said nothing about this, let’s just get him to the warehouse and let’s go.”
C gave a wicked smile as he wiped the blood onto his pants, “But he said nothing about this, so we can do whatever we want with him right?”
D grabbed Dick off the ground as he squirmed in his arms, “Scarecrow needs him alive and relatively un harmed for the trade with Mr Wayne. So let’s get going before someone see’s us.”
Dick’s vision started to fade in and out as blood dripped on the van floor, being tossed around by the time the van stopped he was covered in his own blood, and almost pasted out from the fear toxin and lack of blood. D and A pulled Dick to his feet holding him up as his legs failed, so dragging him inside they sat him down on a chair in the middle of the huge room and tied him to the chair. Dressing his wound where C had stabbed. Moments after the wound was dressed Dick passed out.
Bruce sat in his room with a cup of coffee when the phone rang. Bruce picked up the phone, “Hello Bruce Wayne speaking.”
“Hello, this is Commissioner Gordon; I have some bad news about the young ward in your custody, Dick Grayson.”
Bruce wide eyed and full of concern, “What’s wrong? Is he hurt?”
“Mr Grayson has been abducted by apparently a masked man, claiming to be called the Scarecrow early this morning while at an appointment with Doctor Jonathan Crane.”
Bruce stopped breathing momentary as he spoke the news to him.
“Well there is nothing you can do Mr Wayne as of now, we will inform you as we know more.”
“Thank you Commissioner.” Bruce then hung the phone up and stood there in the middle of shock and fear. He ran down the stairs behind the clock and changed as quickly as he could into his Batman suit. Then off to the scene of the crime he went.
Gordon smiled as Batman pulled up next to him, “So a kid was taken by that guy who robbed the bank the other day, the Scarecrow. Jonathan Crane said the room started to fill with smoke he passed out hit his head on the desk, and then when he woke up the kid was gone and he called us. Video on the camera’s show that a masked man, the same man from the other night stormed in, grabbed the young lad, gagged and tied him, pulled him down the stairs, and that’s the last of the tapes. Batman glanced over the tapes with a tear forming in his eye, making sure Commissioner didn’t see, he mentioned, “The stairwell they used leads to the back ally, are there any camera’s at both exits in the back ally way?”
“Yeah, how could you tell?”
But before Batman was forced to answer he was gone.
Once in the car Batman looked over the surveillance of both exits at around the same time of the kidnapping. There is was what he wanted, a black van pulled out of the ally way minutes after the kidnapping. Reading the licence plate Batman smiled as he typed in the number, the name Kruse Preston, his record was long, but Batman didn’t care maybe it was one step closer to finding Dick.
Speeding away Batman located where Mr Preston was living, he was there in moments climbing inside the window Batman came up behind Mr Preston turned him around as he sat silently in his chair with the tv on.
“What the hell!” Kruse yelled as he now was face to face with the dreaded Batman. “Wha wha what do you want with me? I haven’t done nothing! I swear!”
“Where is the Scarecrow and the boy!” Batman lifted him up from off the chair and held him in the air.
“I don’t know! He could be anywhere!”
“Tell me now! I’m growing impatient with all you scum of Gotham! Tell me or I’ll make your life a living hell!”
“That’s what the Scarecrow will do to me if I tell you anything!” Kruse tried to escape from Batman’s grip.
Slamming him against the wall he yelled at him one more time, “Tell me where to find the kid, I could give you a lot more pain than the Scarecrow could do to you!”
“Fine fine I’ll tell you! The Scarecrow has the boy inside an abandoned warehouse at the west side of Gotham, I can’t promise Scarecrow will be there, or if the boy will still be there! Now let me go!”
Batman dropped him and jumped out the window and ran to the Batmobile. Alfred was calling by the time he got in the car.
“Master Bruce, I have news of the conditions to the kidnapping I believe you will want to see right away. I’ll send them right now.”
“Thank you Alfred.”
Watching the screen the Scarecrow and Dick appeared. Dick gagged and tied to a chair, blood all over him. He seemed out of it, Batman glared at the screen.
“Hello Mr Wayne, this young lad I do believe is yours. I want one million dollars by midnight tonight, or your young ward will be no more. He has already been infected with what I call a fear toxin something I created. It has been quite effective on this one, but if you don’t get me the money soon his worst nightmares will come true. You have a few hours, so if I were you, I’d be quick about it.” The screen went black.
“Alfred I’m going after him now, with how much gas in that room Dick is probably freaking out badly. I have an antidote from the other night still on hand.”
“Bruce do be careful. We know nothing of this villain yet.” Alfred said as Batman turned off the screen and sped over to the only abandoned warehouse on the west side of Gotham big enough to hold chemicals of high amounts.
Standing waiting Scarecrow, with twenty other of his men, stood there around Dick as he continued to freak out. Whimpering behind the Scarecrow, he turned around and forced Dick to look him in the face. The mask started to melt, forming the face of the Joker. “Shut up you stupid punk!” He punched Dick across the face. Dick closed his eyes wishing this would all just stop the nightmares and everything. He couldn’t tell what was real anymore, the world was melting away before his eyes, even with his eyes closed he could still see things coming after him, all the villains he has ever faced staring him at him right now.
Then a crash from out outside the building made Dick and everyone in the room jump.
The Scarecrow screamed some orders, but his voice was muffled out of Dick’s ears, fire tore the place apart.
Batman jumped out of the Batmobile knocking two guards out cold on the landing creating a large crash as they smashed into bins. Rushing into the building batman faced the Scarecrow and his men.
“Let the boy go Scarecrow.” Batman yelled as he took a few steps forward.
The Scarecrow laughed and took a few steps so he was standing behind Dick and placed a knife to his neck, “You are in no place to be making orders Batman. One more step and I’ll just kill him, I can get money from any rich sap.”
Batman stood still looking at the Scarecrow coldly. He pointed at a few of his men to go and grab Batman; he stood there as they tied his hands, pushing him over to the Scarecrow.
The Scarecrow gave a little laugh, “So this is the Batman that all of Gotham has been scared of? All it takes is one little boy’s life to bring him to his knees.”
Batman looked down at Dick so slightly the Scarecrow couldn’t see, then horror he saw in Dick’s eyes broke him in every way.
Dick whispered silently, “I’m so sorry.” More tears started to fall down Dick’s face.
“So, what to do with you, Batman.” The Scarecrow pulled the knife from Dick’s neck, and walked over to Batman putting the knife to his face. “Who’s behind the mask? Or will it be more fun to leave the allusion till you are dead.”
Batman smiled, “Well if that’s the case you will have to wait a while.” Head butting the Scarecrow in the face, he toppled over not knowing what happened. Batman broke free from his binds and started kicking and punching the guards around him. Pausing for only a minute he looked at the clock, he had 3 minutes before midnight where the damage being done to Dick’s brain would be irreversible. So stopping the fighting Batman cut Dick binds, lifted him up and ran out of the building with everyone chasing after him once into the car, he commanded it to go to the cave quick as possible. Fiddling in his belt he looked for the antidote for the fear toxin, panic took over Batman as he started to fumble with all his gadgets. One minute Batman hurried, then he found it, quickly he pushed the needle into Dick’s neck. Dick unable to fight Batman from being too weak from fighting the toxin for so long, the fear took over and he felt as if he was defeated. Then Dick passed out, Bruce not knowing if he did it in time or not, he wouldn’t know till Dick awoke once again. Finally taking the gag out of Dick’s mouth Batman threw his cape over the sleeping kid. Sighing painfully he started to cry. He was hurt because once again he wasn’t strong enough to protect him… Batman took off his mask and looked over Dick, the cuts on his face, and his badly ripped clothes, blood everywhere from the stab wound on his chest.
Bruce called Alfred, “Alfred make sure Dick’s bed is all made and the first aid kit is ready, thanks.”
“All ready for your arrival, how is he doing?”
“Fine I hope…” Bruce turned off the communicator and leaned back in his seat, turning to look at Dick, “we are almost home.”