Dick wasn't expecting a night in shining armor to come and rescue him from Fish Mooney's basement. He was just surprised it was her.
It wasn't as if he couldn't escape the old, dreary warehouse on the outskirts of Gotham City; he could do so without batting an eye. It was only his last conversation with Miss Mooney that kept him tethered to his prison. If she knew him, then she knew a whole deal more than he did about their current situation. More importantly, if she knew about Dick, the chances that she knew of Damian, of Tim, of Jason—hell, maybe even who Bruce would someday become—were too high to gamble. Dick's brothers, he certainly knew, could hold their own for a time, but Bruce wouldn't stand a chance.
So, aggravatingly, Dick sat on his hands, bit his tongue, and waited for God knew what.
And apparently that was the door slamming open one day, and the guards landing flat on their backs. If it weren't for the noise of steel hinges tearing, he wouldn't have even noticed the attacked as they lunged at the two goons Fish had hired. Unfortunately, Dick's current position granted him no view of the skirmish; he was bound to an old, rusting chair, positioned away from the entrance. The young man struggled against his bondages to gain a good look, but he soon realized the fight was long over. A soft groaning from the guards and the light footfalls fast approaching him were the only things breaking the silence. Once again, Dick was facing a recurring thought: friend or foe?
"You sure are a lot of hard work, Dickie."
The voice belonged to a young girl, who was busying herself undoing the (poorly tied—Dick could've broken out of them ages ago) knots securing his hands.
In hindsight, Dick should have watched his mouth. The recognition of the voice made the fact that she knew him by name irrelevant. On instinct, he breathed with relief, "Selina."
The small hands froze in their action, as did Dick's heart, if only for a moment. Then, the small hands had Dick in a headlock.
"You didn't say he knew me," Selina spat. For the first time, Dick entertained the idea that she wasn't alone.
"And Fish said you could tell the guards she gave the order to let him go," a languid voice drawled. "We all keep secrets for fun."
"Jason?" Dick choked through his semi-crushed windpipe. Selina quickly let him go, stalking out of his peripheral sight, most likely with a glare. Gagging and spluttering, Dick felt a new pair of hands picking up where Selina's work stopped. They stayed in silence long enough for Dick's hands to be free. He quickly went to work at the ropes by his ankles, muttering, "How long have I been gone?"
"Two weeks. Honestly, I kinda thought you were dead. What took you so long?"
Dick stood for the first time in what felt like ages, stretching out his limbs as the last of the rope fell away. He turned to face his brother—and was mildly taken aback by what he saw. He donned a shining, jet black leather jacket, a stark contrast to his old, tanned, and stained brown one he had come to Gotham in. A cigarette hung loosely from the corner of his crooked smile, and his hair was newly styled in accordance to what Dick guessed were the current Gotham's trends: nearly shaved on the sides, small curls piled atop his head, and the ends tinged with red dye. Dick glanced to Selina Kyle, who was observing the conversation from the sideline. Her blonde, curled hair backed his theory of it being a Gotham trend. Thank God Bruce never got a perm.
His eyes flicked back to his brother. "Stupid question." The unspoken translation between the two: Not in front of her.
Jason turned his attention to Selina. The action seemed comfortable, familiar, even. "Give us a sec, would ya?"
With a huff and a final scrutinizing glance at Dick, she headed for the door. Dick made sure she was gone before he spoke.
"Two weeks, huh?" Dick stated slowly, trying to adjust his mindset. "Obviously long enough for you to get your hands on a cigarette."
Jason tried his hardest not to glare. It was a recurring battle in the Wayne household as Jason went through phases of withdrawal and relapse.
Dick decided creating trouble wasn't his best first move. He quickly changed the subject. "You met Selina?"
"Working for Mooney."
"And why are you working for Mooney?"
"Jesus, Dick." Jason half-laughed, uncrossing his arms from where they lay below his chest and stuffing them into his back pockets. Dick eyed the noticeably new pistol holstered at his side. "It's times like this where your inner detective really show."
"I'm being serious," Dick snapped. "What the hell happened while I was gone?"
Jason's face fell almost immediately, all his charm and sarcasm gone. He remained silent.
Dick repeated himself in a much calmer, quieter voice, though it held undertones of panic. "Jason, what happened? What . . . what did you do?"
Jim Gordon didn't know how he had survived before Gotham's newest, brightest, and youngest detective came along. He took a long sip from his coffee before setting the mug back down on his paper-coated desk.
Timothy Drake had solved nearly a dozen serious crimes since he had joined the force a week ago. Normally, it would take months—maybe even a year—for all the paperwork to go through, for applications and interviews; but damn, that kid was smart. So, Jim made an exception.
Technically, it was sort of illegal for Tim to work with them, as he wasn't a real member of the police force. But, hey, this was Gotham. You worked with what you got. The boy held the title of "Secretary to GCPD's Head Detective" with pride. (Probably because he was doing work most full-fledged detectives didn't get to see. Perks of working with James Gordon, the cop who didn't know where to draw the line.)
"Hey, Jim." The detective turned in his chair at the rough voice of his partner, Harvey. "Your pet found something new."
Indeed, Tim was trailing behind Harvey Dent, an overflowing manila folder in his hands. He cleaned up nicely; a haircut, some new clothes, and a place to stay could go miles, Jim thought.
"Look at this," Tim stated as the thick folder fell onto Jim's lap. He opened it as Tim began to ramble about the newest staged murder in Gotham.
Jim, though thrilled the boy was so eager, cut him off with a wave of him hand. "This is great. I'll look into it, but what about the cases I assigned you?"
Tim gave a thin-lipped smile. "No news."
Jim admired Tim's persistence, his brains, and his ingenuity. As his years went on, he would without a doubt become something great. Almost any case Gordon put in front of the boy wound up cracked in a day or two.
Almost, being the key word. All except two cases, to be precise. Some new wanna-be vigilante, and, more importantly, a murder. One that happened in the very walls of the GCPD two weeks ago.
"'No news'?" Jim repeated? He picked up the day's newspaper he had been skimming moments before. "Take a look. They even have a picture of this stupid kid dressed like a bat, trying to pick fights before they start."
Tim looked at the article without much effort, something uncharacteristically strange. "Can't be older than twelve," he decided with a nod. Both his voice and his action seemed half-hearted. "Can't be too hard to find. I'll get right on it."
"You will not," Jim insisted, flipping over the newspaper to the front cover. On it, in big bold letters: GCPD MEMBER MURDERED. "Remember this? The case I assigned you a week ago? Wanna tell me there's no news now?"
Tim stared at the headline and the very graphic crime scene photo grimly, before turning his gaze to the floor. Jim hated berate the young man, but he couldn't understand why neither of the two important topics took any notice with him. It was almost as if Tim would rather they go unsolved, as horrible a thought that was.
Tim nodded obediently and turned on his heel, descending the small set of stairs and disappearing into the blurred rush of the bullpen. Nobody noticed the man slip out of the GCPD, and nobody noticed him walk down to the corner to the phone booth. He fished a few coins out of his pocket, and for the billionth time wished he was back in the age of instant messaging and mobile cellphones. The tone rang once, then twice.
"Jason," Tim hissed, glancing at his surroundings through the glass walls of the booth. To say he was suspicious was an understatement. "You gotta disappear."
A brief laugh came from the other end. "I appreciate the concern, but I'm so far underground that if I went any further, I'd be in China."
Tim bit his lip, nervously tapping his foot. He was always the worried one. Jason was the one to dismiss any bad thought with a shrug and witty remark. The pause continued for a moment, where neither brother wanted to hang up; they hadn't seen each other in weeks, for obvious reasons.
"Have you heard from Damian?"
"Nope," replied Jason slowly, popping the P. "Newest night terror in Gotham, right? That's our lil' brother."
"It's serious." Tim knew he didn't have to whisper; nobody could overhear his voice. If anything, the call was being traced. He knew those chances were slimmer than his paranoia believed him to think, but his rational thinking wasn't doing him much good these days. Tim absentmindedly picked at the phone's cord as he watched the light rain fall, creating lines of racing residue on the glass' exterior. "They're onto him. They're onto you."
"Aren't you dealing with our cases? As long as nobody really looks into it—"
"Gordon's looking into it," Tim stressed.
There was silence.
"Yeah," Tim replied softly. He watched as the bad weather began to pick up, the light mist becoming fat raindrops that created a soft patter against the pane.
More silence that was awkward, where neither knew what to say. They were screwed, that's for sure.
"I found Dick," Jason shared.
It felt like a weight had been lifted off Tim's chest. At least he wasn't dead.
"He had some . . . some interesting news about Mooney. Some stuff I didn't know."
"Aren't you her right hand man?"
Tim opened his mouth to say something—anything—but nothing would come to mind. The two weren't the closest of brothers before any of this had happened. Now that they were all each other had left, neither really knew how to act.
"This is all my fault," Jason confessed rather suddenly. Tim knew his estranged brother well enough to understand that this didn't come out of the blue; it had most likely been festering inside him since the incident, and was just now coming to the surface.
"No, Jason, it's—"
"You know damn well it's my fault," Jason spat. "I freakin' killed the Riddler before he became the Riddler. Now we're all neck-deep in shit right now, and last I heard, Bruce wasn't—"
Tim frowned. "Bruce wasn't what?" No reply. "Jason?" Tim looked at the out-of-date machine—out of date to him, at least—and swore. "Damn it." He dug into his pocket for another quarter, and the entire contents spilled out onto the grimy floor. "Damn it!" Tim quickly dropped to the floor to try and grab one at least one of the dozen coins, but only managed to hit his head on the small structure's wall. He sank completely to the ground, back resting heavily against the corner. It was useless, now. No doubt Jason was already gone. Tim let out a long, shaking breath, and began to turn over one quarter in his fingers.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! No, it's not really my birthday. It's only my account's first year anniversary!
So, writer's block screwed me up. On top of all my sudden school work and having next to no spare time, I just could not think of what to do with this story. Useful hint I found that typically works for me: Picture the story a few scenes ahead, where you want the plot to go. Then write from there. (Thus the leap in chronology of this chapter. Sorry if that confused anyone.) Hope this helps any fellow authors. :)
Between writer's block and the fact that our first marching band competition was three weeks ago (and we kinda sucked) I didn't really have motivation to write. And we had another competition last Saturday (we did better, still kinda sucked) and that went from 10AM-11:30PM, like usual. So, I am updating before I leave for ANOTHER competition. Hope to read your guys' reviews when I get back!
A humongous thank you to everyone reading this, who's stuck with me through my hiatus. If you kept faith in this story, or if you just forgot to unfollow it, thanks. I reward you with over 2K of Sins of the Father.
I'll try to post this more often—I forgot how much I loved this story! Also, it seems since I began, some more Gotham/Batman crossovers have started. Maybe I started a trend?
Anyways, thanks again, loyal readers. Also, a little desperate plea: I'm having trouble figuring out a resolution to this story (don't worry, it won't be for another five to ten chapters). If any of you have suggestions or predictions, it would be great if you shared them.
Anyways, I'M BACK!
Stay awesome, my dudes!