Gar's reaction to nightmares was very different then Rae's. She flailed in her sleep and unconscious release of her powers would do varying levels of property damage. He didn't move at all… he just moaned and talked in his sleep. It is a fact that dreams are only remembered when the dreamer wakes while it is still going on. Rae was well aware of that. Sometimes on nights like this, she would be awakened by the weight of his emotions, less often by the noise he was making. It didn't happen often but those times she would watch him and fight the urge to hold and comfort him, hoping he would pass through it and not have to remember. That night in the opulent room in Wayne Manor, Gar had a nightmare. This time, fear and desperate, impotent rage rolled off him and startled her awake before he ever made a sound. Rae rolled onto her side to face him, watching him. He muttered the name "Corey" one time, his whole body jerked and he gasped himself awake. She wrapped herself around him instantly and whispered "You're OK. I'm right here. It's just a dream." He stared wildly for a second and then relaxed.
"I had a nightmare," he said, still a little disoriented and sounding very young.
"I know," she said.
He swallowed and cleared his throat before he could speak. "Yeah, well… just a bad dream." He gave her a perfunctory squeeze and began arranging his pillow and covers.
She hesitated but finally asked "Who's Corey?" He looked surprised and she immediately understood that it was because he expected her to know the name. Before he could speak it hit her. "The shy girl at the school." He nodded. She desperately tried to think of something to say but just couldn't. It took him a long time to fall back to sleep and she found that she couldn't until he did.
They woke later that morning when an alarm went off. Gar turned it off and Alfred's voice came across a speaker. "Good morning. It is 9:00 AM. Mrs. Gordon will be here in an hour and breakfast will be on the veranda."
Garfield put on a mock posh British accent and said "Breakfast will be on the veranda," in gentle mockery. Rae grinned slightly.
"That's correct, sir," Alfred replied. " Also, the speaker is open until one of us shuts it off."
Rae chuckled. "We'll be there, Alfred." She reached across Gar and found the control. "Now that was funny," she said. He stuck his tongue out at her. They arrived on the aforementioned veranda a few minutes before 10:00 and again had a wonderful meal.
Barbara arrived precisely on time and tucked into an enormous plate of scrambled eggs. "Croc is the next one on the hit parade," she said. "Bane ended up being pretty easy and this one should be even simpler. No need to put on a show or anything… word is already all over town that there are two new players. I have to get back to work soon. I guess you two have some time to kill. Anything you want to do while you're in the big city?"
Gar shrugged and Rae said "We didn't expect a lot of down time. Anything useful we can do?"
"Be visible," Barbara said instantly. "Fly around. Stop some muggers or something." Both of the Titans nodded agreement. "Keep in mind this is Gotham. Be ready for someone to take a serious shot at you." She glanced at her watch and took a bite of eggs that impressed even Gar. "Gotta run. Be careful, don't hesitate to call me." She dashed off without another word.
"Hurricane Gordon," Gar said. Rae nodded agreement.
"A lucid assessment, Mr. Logan," Alfred said, surprising them both. "I trust you find the veranda to your liking, sir?"
Rae covered her mouth with her napkin to hide her smirk. "Alfred, dude," Gar said. "You are relentless."
"Whatever do you mean, sir?" he replied.
"Alfred," Rae said with a surprising tone of affection, "you have raised sarcasm to an art form."
"Sarcasm?" Alfred said as he began gathering plates. "I don't know the meaning of the word. More coffee and tea?"
"Yes, please," she answered and watched with her tiny smile as he walked away. "I like him," she said.
"I can tell," Gar said, sounding a little disgruntled. "So we just fly around and be visible?"
She nodded. "I'll teleport us to the roof we attacked Bane from and we can go from there." After they lingered over their drinks for a few minutes, enjoying the view of the ocean, they changed into costume and and Rae opened a way to the roof. They exited the portal and took to the air, Gar in his massive quetzalcoatlus form. They flew randomly through the man made canyons of Gotham. It was unproductive as far as stopping crimes went. They were an unfamiliar and intimidating sight and it seemed that anyone with ill intent thought better then trying the two new heroes to see how it went. What was certain was that they were very visible.
They returned to the manor at about six that afternoon. Almost as soon as they were through the portal, Barbara approached them. She was in business attire, wearing tennis shoes and carrying dress shoes. She could have been a working woman anywhere. "No action?" she asked.
"Nothing," Rae said.
Barbara nodded. "It gets a little more exciting after dark. You made the news on every station, by the way. Things get weird in Gotham but a green dinosaur is something new."
"What now?" Gar asked.
"First we let Alfred engage in his ritual stuffing of the superheroes. Then we hit the sewers and roust out Killer Croc."
Back at the tower, Starfire was becoming more and more concerned with the men around her. Cyborg was quiet and withdrawn, barely speaking at all. In the brief time since Gar and Rae had left, they had spent hours together in the common room simply waiting. They had the television on but barely noticed it. Sometimes Cyborg would play a game but mostly they sat and started numbly at the screen, hardly aware of what was on it. Every time she tried to initiate conversation, he was polite but distant and the effort soon trailed off. Robin was simply not there. She knew that he was exhausting himself but he had good reason and as much as she wanted she knew she had to tolerate it. Even Batman was a source of concern. It was the first time she had really spent around the bat and she didn't like what she saw; obsession and an uncaring lack of emotion that seemed to her inhuman. Worst of all, Robin was acting exactly like him. Fathers and sons, she told herself. It's never easy.
The monotony, even relatively short term as it was, made both of them nearly jump out of their skins when Robins voice crackled over their communicators in a ragged, gasping tone. "Airport! Move! We have eyes on Joker!" Starfire grabbed Cyborg's extended hand and exited through a hugely expensive window without slowing, a sonic boom shaking the empty tower as they left it.
Robin ran as hard as he ever had. Joker was visible ahead on the the concourse of Jump International but the distance wasn't closing. That lanky son of a bitch could move when he needed to. He heard the occasional gunshot as Joker scattered wounded victims behind him. He passed them where they lay, not stopping. They were alive. Dead people don't divert manpower. All around him screams and shouts of terror echoed. He ran on in grim determination, forced to ignore it. Distantly, he heard the all to familiar cackle of malicious glee and he saw something that forced him to slide to a stop on his knees. An obvious explosive with a counting timer had been dropped, its garish green and purple ribbons making its source clear. He opened his channel to Batman and said "Lost him, concourse three. Bomb. Disarming now."
"Clear," Batman barked in reply. Robin quickly examined the explosive. Powerful enough to do a lot of damage… apparently the clown had gotten hold of at least some semtex. The trigger was simple, he saw, in fact very simple to disarm but it was clearly designed to be time consuming. Barely restraining the urge to scream himself, he set about disarming it.
It took Starfire only moments to reach the airport at the blistering speed she was achieving. She circled briefly and Cyborg screamed to be heard. "Drop Me! I'll cover the planes." She did. Joker would only be here if he wanted an aircraft. He hit the tarmac with enough force to leave a crater but was on his feet in an instant, his sonic cannon charged and ready. Star opened her communicator, "Robin! We are here. Cyborg in on the ground near the planes. Where do you need me?"
"Robin is dealing with a bomb," Batman's voice came over the channel. "Stay in the air. Cover the runways. All traffic is grounded. You see anything taking off, disable it."
Star did as she was told and after only a few seconds she saw a door open on the roof of the airport. "Movement on the roof..." she paused a second to come nearer. "It's him." She dove at the desperately fleeing, purple clad figure. As she flew down. She saw Batman emerge from the same door Joke had, running hard. For just a second, she saw that hideous chalk white face looking up, his distorted features made more terrible by the wild, mad glee in his eyes and the too wide laughing mouth. He tossed something ahead, off the roof, and waved at her as he dived it, simultaneously dodging her starbolt attack and flying off the edge. She had to pull up to change direction and it took a second. In that time she saw that Cyborg was charging toward where Joker should land. Batman jumped over the edge, firing a cable to swing down, the fall being too far for even him to withstand.
The object Joker had thrown hit the ground and expanded into a large airbag, such as stuntmen use. Joker hit it and bounced several yards, landing nimbly on his feet and instantly moving. A sonic blast tore up the tarmac under his feet, Cyborgs shot being slightly errant. The clown hit the ground with a thud and a cry but managed to clamber to his feet. He held his left hand up, holding a cylinder with his thumb keeping a button depressed on its end. "Back off, boys and girls," he called in his high pitched tone. "The thumb comes up and bad things happen!" He backed away quickly towards the plane with the open door. The door began to close but he raised a pistol and fired once. A woman in a pilots uniform fell out, dead before she hit the ground. Cyborg paced the madman, his cannon trained on him. Star hovered near, her eyes and hands glowing green. Batman approached silently. "Damn, girl" the clown said, "You are a beauty. What would I have to do to get you in some black and red spandex?"
"Die in pain and I will consider it," Starfire ground out.
Joker laughed in response. "I'll call you." He continued backing towards the plane. It appeared no one else cared to try to close the door. He glanced at Cyborg. "Tell me, dickless," he in a mock sympathetic tone, "does it ever bother you watching your little friends getting all busy when you can't play?" Cy's face didn't move and the sonic cannon was steady. He reached the plane. "Here's how it goes, kiddies. This is my ride. I see any of you or any other planes near us, its 'Thumbs up Seven up' and the blood rains down somewhere." He jumped nimbly up and pulled himself into the door of the jet and it closed.
Up on the concourse, Robin had finished in time to get to the window and watch the end of the drama. He tried to think of something, anything, to do but couldn't. He opened his communicator and pushed a key. Raven's face appeared and he said, "He's coming to you."