Chapter 14: Hanging On
Hecate raises her hand toward Batman, him and the Goddess locking eyes. Wonder Woman's eyes widened when she saw what she planned to do. A blast of black magic shot toward Batman in high speeds. Batman didn't have anytime to think, however he felt someone tackle him to the ground. The black magic a hair close to grazing them both. Batman looked up to see Nightwing on top of him shooting a glare at the Goddess. Wonder Woman gave out a war cry as she smashed her shield in Hecate's face.
Hecate flew back into the wall growling, she looked back to Batman and raised her hand again.
"You will feel my pain Princess Diana." She said her hand glowing black again, Nightwing then stood in front of Batman as they both stood up. Nightwing flared his teeth as he took a step forward.
"She won't be feeling anything." Nightwing said, Donna then threw Circe into Vandal Savage and flew toward Nightwing. Landing in front of him she clenched her fists.
"I won't let you take any of them." Donna said in a determined voice, Wonder Woman was visibly shaking with rage. She was threatening to take Bruce away from her, she wasn't going to let that happen. Not while she was standing right here able to prevent it. She would go to any lengths to keep him safe. Diana's eyes then zeroed on her target. Hecate turned back to her and saw her eyes which told her everything. She knew now wasn't the time, she had to take her when she was weak. Diana then jumped up her sword cocked back. Hecate then vanished at the last second and appeared where Circe was. She helped the Witch up then they both vanished. Diana had hurried and rushed to them but was too late she stabbed the ground in which they were. She then looked toward Vandal Savage who was released from the spell and looked up to see and rage stricken Amazon.
Diana picked up her sword staring at the weakened man the whole time. Batman saw this and Donna felt it. Batman ran toward her and Donna shouted out.
"Diana don't!" Donna cried out, Diana didn't listen as she put the tip of her blade to his neck. Vandal didn't squirm or shiver as he stared back in the eyes in his would be killer. Though before she could thrust her blade in his throat Batman grabbed her by her waist and hoisted her away from him. As soon as her feet touched the ground she turned to her pursuer. Her anger left her eyes when she saw Bruce. Who wore a look of seriousness but held a softness that was only for her.
"Princess you cant let your anger get the best of you like that." Batman spoke to her quietly, she lowered her head to him sighing deeply. On the other end Donna turned around and faced Nightwing.
"Dick she could've killed you." Donna stated in a firm tone, Dick nodded in acknowledgment.
"I know, but I wasn't going to stand by and let her kill my Father." Dick replied, Donna folded her arms in indignation.
"So you were going to die with him?" Donna asked, Dick pointed a finger at her.
"Hey you were standing in front of both of us!" Nightwing shot back, Donna smacked his hand down Dick being taken back by it.
"I was going to save you two, I have meta speed and strength." Donna spoke, Nightwing shook his head.
"Well if you didn't know that's how the Bat family rolls. We're prepared to die at any given moment." Nightwing said putting a hand on his chest, Donna glared at him.
"I see why Diana is always angry after she talks to Batman about things like this. Both of you believe in nothing but nonsense!" Donna said, turning her back to him, a thought then crossed Nightwing's mind.
"Were you afraid?" Nightwing asked, Donna turned back and gave him 'What do you think look' "Oh I-I'm sorry Donna, I didn't mean to scare you it was just the heat of the moment." Nightwing spoke rubbing the back of his head. "These past few months has me on edge, the Reaper has knocked on my door a few times and ran."
"Bruce, you almost died again because of me! She will pay, I don't care what you say to me." Diana shouted at him, Batman wore a grim look. Glad Nightwing and Donna we're having their own conversation. Though Hippolyta was standing a ways away. Speaking of which was astounded that both her daughters were talking to two men as if they were their wives. He didn't like having conversations like this in front of others. He would have to talk to Diana about this later.
"We'll continue this later, for now you have a battle that needs finishing." Batman said before turning his eyes toward Vandal Savage who was still on the ground trying to figure out what happened to him. Diana agreed as she walked with him toward Vandal. "I'll take Vandal to the Arkham Asylum. I would stay back to help you with the mess but I'm don't want to make things worse than what they are." Batman said, Diana shot him a worried look not wanting him or Dick out there by themself.
"Bruce can't you-"
"No" Batman cut her off knowing where she was going with that. Diana decided that now would be perfect to have that conversation they put off. However Bruce beat her to it adding. "If our roles were switched right now, there wouldn't be anything I could've said to convince you to do what I wanted to keep you safe. So just like you I can handle myself Princess." Batman said in his monotone voice signaling Nightwing. Diana had a rebuttal but knew she had a battle to fight along with her sisters and Mother. So like he had said the conversation would have to wait.
"Fine but this isn't over." She said looking him in the eyes, Batman nodded he wanted to voice his feelings toward what had happened as well.
"Of course" Batman spoke as Nightwing and Donna walked up to them. Nightwing looked at Wonder Woman and have her a serious look.
"You sure you have everything covered here?" Nightwing asked, Wonder Woman nodded.
"Yes Nightwing we do, please be safe out there. Hecate can appear anywhere so please be cautious." Wonder Woman spoke also pleading with him.
"Don't worry Mom we'll be alright." Nightwing promised as he looked to Batman. Who still hadn't gotten used to Diana's new title. "We taking Vandal to Arkham?"
"Yes, from there we have some patrolling to do. I've just got word that the Joker is back on the prowl." Batman informed him, Nightwing clenched his fists.
"Dammit, we need to track Ra's as well, he's alive and we have to make sure he's not after Donna or Wonder Woman." Nightwing said, Donna crossed her arms. Batman saw the look on his face and knew why he wanted to make sure that the situation was under control. Batman was well versed with that as well.
"Well Diana and I want to help, we're involved with that just as much as you two are." She stated with little room for argument, Dick then turned to her.
"You guys have your hands full here just let us-" Dick was saying until Wonder Woman interrupted him.
"It won't take us long to sort things out here, I believe my Aunt along with the rest of my sisters were under Hecate's spell." Wonder Woman said, Nightwing snorted to himself.
"Yeah, blame it on a spell- OW! Hey!" Nightwing whispered to himself but Donna overheard him and pinched him on his arm. He rubbed it while glaring at Donna.
"Spell or not, I have the most knowledge when it comes to Ra's. Leave this to me, it'll take time but it'll be taken care of. I'll file the report at the Tower, it'll be up to you Princess whether you want the others to get involved." Batman informed them, he then nodded at the end. Donna was about to speak but felt Diana telepathically urging her not to. Diana was also surprised that Bruce was going back to the tower. After what had happened she had thought he was done with the league. Although part of her knew he wouldn't turn his back on them. They all felt the tension, a lot of things were left unsaid. It was for another time, they just didn't know when. Queen Hippolyta walked toward the group.
"I highly suggest you two to remain here, Hecate could appear anywhere and take you." Queen Hippolyta warned, Batman only stared at her as did Nightwing.
"With all due respect your highness, we've got it under control. For now we have other matters to tend to and by looks of things out there so do you." Nightwing said before helping Batman with Savage. Queen Hippolyta simply grinned taking the four by surprise.
"Typical Man thinks he has everything figured out," She then stepped closer to Nightwing who stood rigid. "You don't know what you're dealing with." She spoke before turning her back to them and walking away. The four then glanced at each other bidding each other farewell.
"This is outrageous Bruce and you know it!" Superman said, he knew that their relationship was a little tender after what happened. However what he filed in the report, he couldn't help himself. Batman glared at him, they were in the conference room. Superman was the first to review the report of everything that had happened within the past few months. "Must you do everything on your own? And how did you survive? You didn't put that in the report. And Diana, does she need our help?" Superman ranted, Batman crossed his arms.
"It's been long enough now for everyone to know how I am. You of all people should know that's not changing." Batman started off, Superman shook his head in disappointment. "And I have no clue on how I survived, it just happened. I'm here that's all that matters, Wonder Woman claims she can handle things on her own-"
"Just like someone I know." Superman interrupted him with a frown on his face. Batman regarded him for a moment before continuing.
"The Goddess Hecate is here as stated in the report. Her whereabouts unknown but she's after Diana. She's trying to use her to get to Hades." Batman spoke, Superman put a hand to his forehead.
"Yes I've seen it, what are we going to do? Diana won't let us on the island, plus they have a civil war going on down there."
"It'll be too hectic for the league to go down on guard duty just for her." Batman said, Superman snickered a little.
"She'd have your head just for saying that." Superman said playfully, Batman hadn't even cracked a grin. "We'll have to get someone on locating her, maybe Zatanna?" Superman suggested, Batman nodded.
"Yes another magic user, she'd be nice for the job. I'll be helping as well-"
"What about Gotham?" Superman asked cutting him off once again, Batman looked at Superman with a raised eyebrow.
"What about Gotham?" He countered, wondering what he knew.
"Shouldn't you be paying attention to your city? I'm sure you haven't kept up with everything after what happened with Ra's and Circe." Superman said, Batman just watched him, Clark Kent sighed. "Of course you did, your Batman."
"Gotham always has my attention, that's why I'll be putting most of my efforts into it this week." Batman spoke stepping toward a control panel.
"And what about Hecate?" Superman asked, Batman started typing into it. Going into security logs, checking up on them.
"She will be dealt with accordingly, I'll talk with Zatanna." Batman said, Superman floated over to him.
"I want to help when it comes to facing her, she's a critical opponent." Superman said, Batman stopped what he was doing to face the Kryptonian.
"That's up to Diana, she's the one who calls the shots on that one." Batman said shocking Superman, who dropped to his feet.
"Oh so you're not getting involved when the fight happens?" Superman asked, not believing it.
"I'll do what I have to if necessary..." Batman said before going back to the control panel. Superman gave a sideways look at Bruce.
"That's a lie, you expect me to believe you won't butt in? This is Diana we're talking about." Superman pointed out, Batman looked up.
"Another Leaguer who'd I'd help just like you, Flash, Hawkgirl, Lantern-"
"Oh come on Bruce, cut me some slack-"
"It's the truth, if anyone needs me I'm there every time. Punctual as always." Batman added at the end. Superman crossed his arms in disagreement.
"I completely understand what you're saying and know it's true. However I know that it's different with you and Diana. I don't know to what extent but-"
"Don't finish that" Batman cut him off yet again. "As I said before if I feel I am needed I will be there no if's and's or but's." Batman reinstated, Superman shook his head.
"Well same as me then darn it!" Superman shot back, Batman turned to him.
"I get it, you're upset about this whole ordeal. I'm frustrated too, I know what I should've done. You could say by me not involving the League we could've been better prepared for this mess. However I did what was necessary at the time and I don't regret it. They came to me and I handled what I could-" Batman spoke but was cut off by Superman who was livid.
"You're selfish Bruce, you don't think of anyone but yourself!" Superman seethed, Batman took a step forward growling himself.
"They came to me! That is how I am involved in the matter, Diana's wishes are that we stay out of it." Batman shot back, he then adjusted his cape. "I'll let her deal with it, it is her homeland so I must respect it just as you all respect my wishes with Gotham. However, if the situation draws my attention then what must be done will be done." Batman stated as he turned his back toward Clark. Who crossed his arms and sighed heavily.
"If you or Diana were to-"
"Nothing will happen to her nor me, the last time was just a slip that won't happen again." Batman assured as he started for the doors.
"So what's the course of action? Hecate is gonna come for you." Nightwing stated before his little brother and Father. Inside the Batcave they were planning for the month ahead for Gotham. Bringing up the obvious before they got too deep into planning for Gotham without taking notice to chaos on Themyscira. Batman nodded in agreement knowing what Hecate had said. Robin raised a brow as he looked between to older males in the room.
"Why would she be after him? I thought in the report she was after Mom because she's the key to free Hades?" Jason asked the two, Bruce remained silent typing away on the computer while Nightwing shook his head.
"Because Hecate is well aware of Dad's relationship with Mom, she's gonna use him to exploit Mom." Nightwing answered his little brother, Bruce shook his head in defeat. How could he have let this happen, this was one of the many reasons why he wanted to leave Diana alone. Not only is she in danger but his sons are as well. All because he couldn't control himself to keep those feelings under control. He was even more upset with the fact no one seemed to understand him and his way of thinking. Even now with everything going on they seemed to be fine with it which Bruce didn't understand. This situation was serious, the ones he cared for the most are at stake.
"We need to put an end to that quickly, with her being a meta and a magic user it'll be tough to deal with her. The only thing that comes to me at the moment is simply letting her come to us. If she decides to do so." Bruce commented, Nightwing made a face of disbelief.
"Are you serious? She could come when your on your way back here after a night of crime stopping. You definitely won't be at a hundred percent, you said it yourself she's a meta and a magic user. We can barely deal with her as we are now, that's to careless to wait for her to come to us." Nightwing remarked, Bruce looked over his shoulder to his adoptive son.
"What more can we do, Diana is working on getting to her, I have faith she'll deal with her accordingly. Right now we have our own problems to deal with here. Our plate is more than full, we've really neglected Gotham since we've been away. Our main focus needs to be Gotham if Hecate takes the offensive here then we'll have to cross that road when we get there." Bruce explained, Nightwing wasn't happy with his words but knew his Father knew best. Jason stood with his arms crossed shaking his head.
"Can't say I like sitting around waiting for someone to pop up and take us by surprise. " Jason said giving his two cents on the situation, "As a matter of fact I can almost guarantee she's gonna take us by surprise.-" the alarm suddenly went off an exclamation point covering the screen of the bar computer. A map of the city of Gotham appeared with a red dot on a street in the downtown area.
"Seems like we've got trouble downtown, Jason your with me. Dick stay here and keep a lookout for any other troubles." Bruce ordered, as he pulled his cowl on, Jason put on his hood before grabbing his staff off the desk and ran behind Bruce. Jason just shook his head as they ran off to the bat mobile.
"Keep your eyes peeled! It could be Hecate!" Dick called after them.
The distress signal came from an abandoned carnival located in Gotham's downtown. Batman and Robin stood in front of the entrance scanning the area for any traps. Batman checked his scanner and saw the signal was in the middle of the carnival. He looked forward and narrowed his eyes.
"Yeah this isn't looking to good, what do you think happened? There's not a bad guy in sight, it's spelling Joker for me though." Robin explained not liking the looks of the place either. Batman took a step forward before grabbing a batarang.
"That's true, but there's no henchmen, nor any change to the place. Still looks untouched, however the signal is a quarter of a mile away. Let's make sure it's no one in need of saving." Batman spoke before him and Robin took off toward the signal.
Five minutes went by before Batman signaled to Robin to take to the skies. Having something up their sleeve as well if anything were to happen. Batman continued to run until he was right on top of the target. He looked around, he seemed to be where the would concession stands would've been. He looked down and picked up a small gadget that seemed to be emitting the signal. He picked it up and eyed it, rubbing some dirt off of it with his thumb.
"So I'm assuming your Batman." A voice called out making Batman drop the gadget and pull out two batarangs ready to throw. He saw a man dressed in a black trench coat, a purple collared shirt and black pants. He had brown eyes, red hair and cream colored skin. He was a skinny build, nothing muscular about em it seemed like. Batman had never seen the man before. "Your a little quick on your feet I see hehe." The man smiled, he held out his hand and a small red flame ignited from it. "I was told you wouldn't come quietly, but let's see if I can't persuade you otherwise..." His eyes then widened and his brown eyes blazed red.
Voices started to sound in Batman's mind, calling to him. Telling him to surrender, that his best bet was to do what he said. He could feel fear in his heart, something he hadn't felt in a long time. However he sheathed his batarangs and stood talk unaffected by the man's sorcery.
"Who are you and why are you in my city? Who sent you ?" Batman questioned, the man's eyes faded back to normal with a confused look on his face.
"He's not feeble minded Phobos, she told us that wouldn't have worked." Another voice spoke coming from behind Batman. Who looked over his shoulder and saw a man walking out of the darkness. He had jet black hair, red irises, tanned skin and a beard. He donned a red robe that exposed his chest a little.
"Phobos?" Batman said to himself as he looked back to the original man.
"Hey it was worth a shot let's just get this over with and get em back to her." The one deemed Phobos suggested, the other man took a few steps closer.
"Who are you two? And what's your business here? I won't ask again." Batman growled, he felt a few taps of rain hit his cowl. Phobos shook his head and crossed his arms.
"I'm Phobos and this is my brother Deimos." Phobos introduced himself gesturing to his brother Deimos. Batman looked between both of them.
"Sons of Ares, so what's your business in Gotham?" Batman had a inclination of what they were here for but needed confirmation.
"I'm sure you know why we're here Knight, so will you come quietly or be carried?" Deimos said with a eyebrow raised, Batman shook his head. Robin then dropped down beside him. He took out his staff and twirled it in his hand before gripping it tightly.
"Well Nightwing definitely called it," Robin said before holding a hand out while holding his staff behind his back. "I'll take the ginger" Robin then ducked as Batman threw a batarang toward the necromancer. Robin took off after the batarang as Batman charged for Deimos.
Phobos held a hand up and caught the batarang in a red aura. Before leaning backward barely missing Robin's staff. Batman jumped up and went for a roundhouse kick that Deimos ducked under. Batman landed and came back with a flurry of punches.
Phobos blocked and punch to the head from Robin before kicking him causing him to land on his back. Phobos then brought his hands together as he separated them slowly red electricity stemmed from his fingertips. Batman shedding a punch from Deimos with his shoulder. He saw Phobos lift his hands up looking down on Robin. Batman swung his leg causing Deimos to bend over. Batman quickly rolled over his back before holding up his wrist aiming it a Phobos.
Two metal pieces ejected and his Phobos in his chest electrocuting him. Phobos let out a shriek of pain, Robin jumped up and returned the kick to the chest sending Phobos flying. Batman then ducked as Deimos swung aiming for his head. Batman turned around and threw a punch. Deimos sidestepped it and struck Bruce in the ribs. Following up with an elbow to the cowl knocking Batman on his back. Deimos then stood over the Dark Knight.
"Your attempts of denying the inevitable are fruitless." Deimos spoke as Batman got to his feet, he wiped his mouth.
"I'm just getting warmed up." Batman spoke before switching up his style. He threw a bait punch that Deimos fell for leaving his face open. Batman capitalized and punched him toward the ground. He caught up with his knee before punching him into the ground. Deimos snickered before levitating back on his feet.
"Alright then, let's see how you fair against this." Deimos spoke raising his hands green auras surrounding them.