DISCLAIMER: Batman was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. This fanfic is in many ways an adaption of Frank Miller's All-Star Batman And Robin. I own precisely zilch in this story.
Dick Grayson could barely manage to keep his heart from pounding clean out of his chest. This was going to be one of Haley's Circus' biggest shows yet: Amusement Mile, Gotham City. Who knows how many thousands of people in attendance. Dick and his family, the Flying Graysons, performing their signature trapeze act without the safety of a net. And all of it sponsored by billionaire philanthropist, Bruce Wayne.
Without a doubt, this was going to be a night the 12-year-old boy would never forget.
Bruce Wayne couldn't help but feel a little excited. It's true that, despite the life he lived, both what the public knew about and what they didn't, there wasn't much that made him excited in a legitimately happy and positive way. Still, if there was one thing he still had a love for, it was the circus, and having heard about the Flying Graysons, one of the star acts of Haley's Circus, he knew he was in for one hell of a show.
There wasn't a doubt in his mind that this would be a night he'd never forget.
Dick smiled practically ear-to-ear as he and his family walked out into the spotlight, hearing the roaring cheers of the people all around them. While most kids his age might be a little embarrassed to be seen in near-skintight red, green, and yellow tights, Dick always liked how the costumes made them look like superheroes. He always liked hearing stories of the mighty Superman from Metropolis, and while the supposed Batman of Gotham City sounded a little scary, he couldn't help but find the tales he heard about him amazing and heroic, presuming he even existed.
Getting the signal to begin, Dick's father, John, swung from the bar and flew through the air like a mighty eagle. Growing up, Dick was always in awe of how his father flew, and wanted to look like an eagle soaring through the air too, though his mother, Mary, would always tease that he was more like her little robin. Again, not something that bothered him much...until he found himself on the cusp of being a teenager. NOW it was just slightly beginning to embarrass him.
Soon, his mother took off on the bars as well, and Dick knew it was nearly his time. He grinned as he awaited the moment when he'd take flight...but, in those mere moments, waiting for his parents to swing back for him, his nose caught the scent of something. He'd always had pretty good senses growing up, better even than his parents. As such, he managed to notice long before them, and yet still far too late, the smell of singeing rope. He looked up in horror, just in time to see the rope holding up the bars his parents were on start to come undone, as though they were being eaten through.
He looked to his parents, his eyes filled with terror at what was about to happen. Before he could call out to them, though, they noticed. They noticed because the rope had come apart, and they were now, almost in slow motion, beginning to fall. Now, all three knew what was about to happen, and not one of them could do anything more but stare. Dick stared at his parents, his eyes begging for them not to fall, and John and Mary stared into their son's eyes, their faces going from terror to sadness to an attempt at reassurance for their boy in a matter of a second or two while they fell.
The crowd let out many a gasp and scream of shock and horror as the two trapeze artists hit the floor. Bruce Wayne's eyes immediately felt themselves begin to tear up, something he hadn't done in years, since he was younger even than Dick. However, his eyes then immediately darted upward into the darkness of the lines crisscrossing above, just beneath the roof of the tent, and managed to spot a figure retreat from there, one that very clearly didn't belong there.
Bruce didn't even think twice. Without so much as saying a word to his date that he'd brought to the event, he dashed to the aisle and made the quickest route for his limo. Once inside, he locked the door and quickly slipped out of his clothes, leaving him clad in dark blue and grey tights and cape over a light kevlar armoured bodysuit. He pulled a cowl up and over his face and eyes, assuming his identity of Gotham's Dark Knight, and then slipped out the sunroof. Reaching to his utility belt, he retrieved one of his trademark gadgets: The Batclaw, a magnetic grapple gun, and fired it upward, racing for the top of the tent.
The Batman managed to make it just in time to see the same figure he'd seen before emerge. The man didn't see him just yet, but was about to turn in his direction, meaning he only had one chance at this. Reaching a hand out as he rushed forward, being propelled by the Batclaw, Batman managed to grab the man as he turned, just spotting him before he was hauled into the sky. The two found themselves flung into some nearby trees, crashing through branches before eventually falling and rolling along the ground, Batman making sure to take the blunt of the fall as his suit managed to lessen the impact greatly enough that he was still able to get to his feet and stop the man he'd caught from running away.
"You killed them!" Batman yelled in a deep, threatening tone that few knew Bruce Wayne had in him, gripping the man by his collar and holding him mere inches in front of his face. "WHY?!"
"I-I don't know what you're-!" the man started to lie, just before Batman slammed him back-first against a tree.
"Care to try that again, before I break your neck?!" Batman roared, nearly choking the killer. He was losing control, and he knew it. He'd been working to refine his interrogation method as to put the fear of the devil himself into criminals without getting anyone hurt all that much, but right now, all that refinement was going out the window.
"M-Mr. Haley!" the man groaned. "He wouldn't pay up! It was HIS fault!"
Batman's nostrils flared as he put two and two together. This man is clearly part of an extortion ring. They'd gone to Mr. Haley to try and get him to pay money for 'protection', and because he didn't pay, that poor boy's been made an or-...THE BOY!
The Dark Knight felt his blood turn cold as realization hit him. Without a second thought, he headbutted the man in his grip and dropped his now unconscious body to the ground. He then reached to his belt and flipped open the buckle, revealing a series of control switches, and hit one as he raced back toward the tent, hoping he wasn't too late.
Dick shivered hard as he exited the police car, finding himself in the middle of nowhere. He'd thought they would take him back to the police department for questioning, or something along those lines, but right now, it looked like he was at a construction yard of some sort. Not only that, but a second police car was parked there, with at least five officers standing around, soon joined by the two that had driven him here.
"That him?" one of the officers asked the two leading Dick out.
"...No, Hanson, it's ANOTHER child trapeze artist that just HAPPENED to be there," the driver of the police car that brought Dick here scoffed. "You really ARE a moron, you know that?"
The first officer, Hanson, sighed. "Whatever. Listen, kiddo-"
"You have to listen to me!" Dick suddenly exclaimed. "My parents! They were murdered! Someone put acid or something on the ropes! I could smell it eating through-"
"He's been saying that the whole way here," the cop that had been driving shotgun there interrupted. "I keep telling him he's remembering it wrong. Y'know, trauma and all that."
"No!" Dick shouted, only now beginning to notice the cops forming a circle around him in the darkened lot. "No, I'm telling you, I...Wait, what are you-?"
"Listen, kid," Hanson went on. "The thing is, we feel bad for ya, really. But accusations like that in this city can have...consequences. People might think the police aren't doing their jobs, or that it isn't safe to bring big events like Haley's Circus to this city. And what if you're wrong? Why, people might think you're just a hurt little kid wanting to point fingers just because, sometimes, accidents happen...Sometimes, accidents happen when you least expect them."
Dick's blood practically turned to ice as he suddenly got what this officer was trying to say to him. He looked around, seeing the faces of the officers surrounding him. Some looked legitimately sad, even apologetic. Others had a look of glee on their faces. Whatever each of them were feeling, though, it was clear that these men who dared to call themselves policemen meant to keep him from telling anyone that his parents were murdered, and if he kept talking, they were going to ensure he was silent.
Oh God, Dick prayed as the officers started to close in around him. Please...Please, someone, help me!
As if on cue, the sound of an engine speeding fast enough to light the road on fire roared through the night air, just before the car that had brought Dick to this scene was smashed into and sent crashing a few feet away by a large, black monster of a car. It looked like if a tank and a race car had a child or something. As the cops backed up, a compartment on the front slid open, revealing a turret that shot down the cops one by one with rubber bullets that bounced across the ground after making contact.
"STAY BACK!" Hanson shouted, grabbing Dick and holding a gun to his temple. "Stay the HELL back! I'll kill him! I swear to God!"
"I believe you," a voice whispered from behind the two, just before Hanson went slack from a chop to the back of the neck. Dick backed away and fell on his backside as Hanson's unconscious body crumpled to the ground. The young boy looked up in shock, awe, and fear as a dark, shadowy figure loomed over him. As the figure slowly walked forward and extended a hand, Dick spotted the large, black, bat symbol on his rescuer's chest, and it became all too clear who this was.
"Y-You're..." Dick stammered, his eyes wide as saucers. "...You're the Goddamn Batman!"
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Welcome to my sort-of fixfic of All-Star Batman And Robin. With that said, I should note that I've made SEVERAL changes in my attempt to make something good out of it. If you don't know, All-Star Batman And Robin is a truly awful tale written by Frank Miller. However, the heart of the story, its meat and bones, had some real potential to it, acting as a modern retelling of Batman and Robin's coming together. If you wanna know more about what went wrong with it, you can go to my blog, Jyger's Rant, and read my article, How To Drop The Ball In Comics: All-Star Batman And Robin, or watch Linkara's reviews of the comic on his review show, Atop The Fourth Wall.
Suffice to say, though, because I had to make so many changes to the story, replacing the unintentionally hilarious dialogue and the subplots that make EVERYONE involved look bad, plus making the characters feel more like who they're supposed to be, I've had to read/watch some additional content. Specially, in addition to ASBAR, I've looked to Detective Comics #38 by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Nightwing #0 by Tom DeFalco and Kyle Higgins, The Untold Legend of The Batman #2 by Len Wein, Robin's Reckoning Parts 1 & 2 from Batman The Animated Series, and A Matter Of Family from The Batman for further inspiration. There's one other story in particular that's unrelated to Batman and Robin that helped form ideas for where the story should go, but I'll get to that later.
Anyway, be sure to check out the next chapter of my story, same Bat time, same Bat fanfic. lol Ja né!