[Note: This fiction was written for a "In the fiction, Robin Dies!" Fan-fic competition on the YJ board at comicboards.com. It's my first Batman fic and it got good reviews. Hopefully you enjoy it and nobody is too OOC!]
[Note 2: Due to converting this a fan-film script that unfortunately never got filmed, I went back and changed bits of dialogue here and there to make things tighter and fixed some grammar problems that have been lingering in the script for far too long. Hope this reads better and as always, thanks for reading!]
Batman & The Joker: The Death of Robin
Early Monday Morning at Wayne Manor.
Bruce Wayne is trying to eat his breakfast of Bacon and Eggs but his mind keeps wondering on his partner… Tim Drake, who's been missing for at least a week.
He disappeared the Friday a week before… and despite all of his efforts, Bruce has been unable to locate him. Not that Tim's unable to take care of himself mind you; it's just that in this business being gone for a week is long enough for you to be pronounced dead.
Suddenly, Alfred arrives in with a Package.
"It's for you, Master Bruce."
"Hmm. Who's it from Alfred?"
"Unknown, sir. There's no return address on the box. It was just sitting outside the front steps alongside the newspaper. This letter was taped to the top."
"Alright, put the box down Alfred." Bruce said as he used his butter knife to open the letter. It was peculiar, there was no actual letter, and all that was written on the paper inside the envelope was…
1292 W. Van Housten Street
Sugar Coated Candy Company.
And upon seeing the smiley face, Bruce's face turned deadly serious.
"Alfred, take the box down to the Batcave and put it into the containment room as quickly as possible."
And upon his request, Alfred quickly picked up the box and headed through the secret Grandfather Clock passage to the Batcave.
Bruce followed Alfred down the stairs and turned a corner where his outfit was hanging. He quickly changed into his Batman outfit as Alfred exited the containment chamber. It was a metal box with a little bulletproof window in the middle that allowed a person to peek through to see what they're disassembling.
"Thank you Alfred. Now please, stand back, because I don't know what could be in this box." And Bruce put both of his arms into little arm slots on the side of the container.
Suddenly, metallic arms within the box sprung to life as Bruce moved his own arms to control these ones.
Bruce gently moved towards the box and with the arms started to rip it open. When Bruce had removed most of the top, something spring-loaded sprung up and then dangled back and forth. When Bruce saw it clearly, he began to get nauseous.
It was Tim Drake's head on a spring. As it dangled back and forth, Tim's mouth would open and then close. His eyes would droop into the back of his head and then roll back out, staring at Bruce.
On the spring itself was a little note, saying…
"I know your secret, Batsy!
Smiling all the way,
And before he could even react to this, the head exploded and blood splashed against the window.
That was the final straw. Anger and nausea raged against Bruce's face until he finally screamed…
Bruce angrily grabbed the letter that contained directions and ran towards the Bat-Mobile. As he jumped in, he looked to Alfred and yelled,
"Alfred, don't stay here! Grab what you can and leave! You have access to my bank account to get yourself a ticket to leave Gotham! There's no telling whether or not the Joker will come after this place next!" and Bruce revved up the engine and sped out of the Bat-Cave.
As fast as he could, Batman traveled to his destination…
1292 W. Van Housten Street. It's part of the district where massive factories were built back in the 40's. And on this street was an abandoned factory…
The Sugar Coated Candy Company. A perfect hiding place for the Joker that fits his M.O.
As Bruce kicked in the door, he turned on the lights to see up in a distance what was the main processing center of the factory. He slinked through the corridor, trying to listen for any voices to see if he was as alone as it seemed.
When Bruce walked into the main part of the Factory, he saw blood lined everywhere. Bruce realized that this must be Tim's blood. He pushed his emotions aside to see a surgery table in the middle of the room. He walked up to it to see something huddled in a shadowed corner of the Factory.
Bruce walked over to it and saw the rotting corpse of Harley Quinzel aka Harley Quinn. Looking over her once, it was easy to see what the cause of death was. Her neck was snapped.
It was here that Bruce noticed a Television set with a VCR attached nestled on the other side of the room. As he walked over to it, he saw videotape sitting on top of the TV.
He picked it up to read a label that said,
[This is for your eyes only, Brucie!]
And against better judgement, he popped the tape into the VCR. As the tape started rolling, images flickered across the screen until it focused in on the Joker's grin. It panned back and we see him lying on the surgery table. He slowly lifted his head and smiled at the camera.
"Hello there, Batman. Don't you just love these remote controlled Tape Recorders?" Joker said as he holds up a tiny remote that's controlling the Tape Recorder he used to make this message.
"As you have no doubt surmised, I am no longer in this compound. But I left you this tape so I could fill you in on how I figured out just who you really are. I could go into details on how I got Robin into my clutches, but where's the fun in that? If I told you, then you'd know how to prevent such things in the future. And since I plan on doing what I did to this Robin to whatever new youngster you thrust into the Robin tights, I can't let that happen, can I?. Smiles evilly But I will tell you what I did exactly to him…
After getting poor old Robin and tying him down to this very table, Pats the table I went to work. I must give you credit; you trained him well Batsy. No matter what type of excruciating terror I put him through or what drugs I used, he simply wouldn't reveal who he was or who you really were. And with that, there's no reason for him to be alive anymore. So I used this knife and slowly and excruciatingly sliced off his head. Takes knife and licks it Hmm… Robin tastes like chicken! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!"
And all of Bruce's nerves wanted to destroy the screen to make Joker stop laughing… but he resisted. He had to know more.
"It was here that I went on the plan that ultimately led me to your identity. Taking a picture of Robin's unmasked face and making copies of his finger-prints, I sent Harley out to find out just who was the kid behind the Robin mask. I was a bit under-whelmed to find out that it was a teen named Tim Drake… I was hoping for someone that I could actually recall meeting. Smiles And after finding out that out, I knew it was only a matter of time before I found you. And it seems Tim Drake's name has a way of crossing over to Bruce Wayne… and it all fell into place. It's amazing I never figured it out before on my own! Old Brucie had the perfect motivation… the death of his parents. Boo-hoo!
Wipes his eyes mockingly
And with the wealth of the Wayne's, it makes perfect sense on how Batsy could have learned all those nifty martial arts (that I'm still feeling the pain from) and how he could afford all those gadgets like the Bat-Mobile, the Batarangs, and the Bat-Shark Repellant… but I digress. Oh, and don't bother looking for a body, because everywhere you look has a little piece of Robin! It was interesting to see what a rectal grenade does to the human body! And what ever pieces were left, I had fun with. It's also amazing how many Robin's you've had as well. Make sure to visit your former young ward Dick Grayson, who I will be going after shortly, because I want to make it a perfect 3 out of 3 Robin deaths!" Joker says as he gets up and then points the camera towards the corpse of Harley Quinn.
"Unfortunately, I am the only one worthy of knowing your secret, and since Harley did all the legwork for me and helped me piece it together… she had to die. But she did die with a smile on her face! And that's what counts! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Toodles Batsy! I'll be seeing you later!" Joker yelled as he started laughing maniacally once again. It was here that Bruce stopped the tape and took it out of the VCR.
He grabbed a little communicator from his Utility Belt and buzzed Oracle.
"Oracle here Batman, what's up?"
"Call Nightwing. I'm issuing an emergency meeting. I don't care what you need to do to coerce him to come, but he had better damn well be there." Batman said in a harsh tone as he cut off the communication. He then called Commissioner Gordon.
"This is Commissioner James Gordon."
"It's Batman. Rally your men and head towards 1292 W. Van Housten Street, Sugar Coated Candy Company. There's been… a murder here. I'll call you back later." Bruce desperately wanted to tell Jim that Robin had been murdered also… but he must keep it a secret for now.
"Are you going to be there?"
"No… I'm going to check out some leads. Batman out." Bruce said as he ran out of the Factory with the videotape in hand. He somersaulted into the Bat-Mobile and raced towards Oracles apartment.
Upon reaching the street where she lived, Bruce parked the car in an alleyway, and made the rest of the way via the rooftops.
When he entered her apartment, he saw her, Batgirl, and Nightwing there.
"Batman, what's the matter? Scarecrow trying to poison Gotham's water supply again?" Nightwing said with a little bit of jest but when Batman's face started turning a bit sad, Dick knew it was something far worse.
"You may have been wondering where Robin has been at. I have found out today that Robin… is dead." Batman said as he closed his eyes. Oracle's face turned white and Dick silently uttered…
"The Joker is the one who's behind his death. He's also figured out who I am. And he's already pieced together your identity Nightwing. I want you all to leave Gotham City until I call you back. I want you to personally inform all of Robin's super-heroic friends of the tragedy. And make sure they all stay the hell out of my way. This scumbag's mine." Bruce said as his face reddened one more time and he ran out of Oracle's apartment.
"I'll alert Young Justice. Oracle, have Batgirl head to the house of one Stephanie Brown… alias the Spoiler. She deserves to know." Nightwing said as he opened the window and flung out of it.
"I guess we better get going too."
And as the night continued, Batman searched the Underworld for any clues to where the Joker could be.
Krash and a hoodlum goes right through a bar window. Inside, Batman is holding up another lowlife by his collar.
"WHERE IS THE JOKER?!" Batman screams.
"I don't know, man!" The lowlife pleaded as Batman punched the wall right next to the thug's face.
"Next time I won't miss. WHERE IS THE JOKER?!?"
"I swear to God, I don't know!!!" The lowlife yells as he starts crying. Batman drops him and leaves the bar.
"You can't hide from me forever…" Batman thinks to himself as he jumps into the Bat-Mobile and heads to another haven of scum and villainy.
Young Justice Compound – Rhode Island
Nightwing enters the cave to see Wondergirl on Monitor duty, Impulse and Superboy playing chess and Secret floating around. Impulse is the first one to notice Nightwing and he races over to him.
"Hiya, Nightwing! What brings you here, how are ya doing, do you know where Robin has been lately…" Bart starts saying as the others all take notice of him.
"Whoa, whoa, calm down Bart. In fact, I need you all to sit down…" Nightwing says as Bart whips around and takes a seat. Wondergirl turns around in her chair and Secret floats on down.
"As Impulse has mentioned, Robin's been gone. It's… It's because… Dick getting obviously choked up he's dead. He was killed." Nightwing said as he turns his head away. Shock filled the faces of Young Justice. Secret was noticeably affected.
"It's not true, is it?" Secret asked as she flew up to him. By now, his own bottled up feelings were starting to surface from telling Tim's friends that Tim had perished.
"I'm sorry, it's true." Dick said as a tear came out of his left eye.
"He can't be dead! He promised me that he'd always be here! It can't be true, IT CAN'T BE!!! NOOOOOOO!!!" Secret screamed as she flew out of the Cave.
The Brown Residence - Outskirts of GothamCity
In the Home of one Stephanie Brown aka the Spoiler, Steph is on her computer, surfing the Internet when suddenly…
Tap, Tap, Tap
"Huh?" Steph says softly as she looks to her left to see a gloved hand knocking on her window. Steph got up and opened it to see Batgirl sitting on the tree. Steph stepped aside and Batgirl came on in.
"I think I've heard Robin talk about you. You're Batgirl, right?" and Batgirl merely nods. She takes out a small piece of paper and holds it out to Steph.
"It… for… you." And Steph took the paper and reads it. Halfway down the paper, her eyes become watery.
"Oh god… Robin is dead?" and Batgirl merely nods.
"It… true." And Steph doesn't bother to say anything. No words can begin to describe what she's feeling. She only falls to her knees and cries. Batgirl kneels down and hugs her.
Back in Gotham City, Batman was getting tired. He had spent the entire day looking for the Joker and it was now 12 o'clock at night. Bruce searched every avenue, every little lead he could find to try to find the Joker's whereabouts and it had failed.
Finally, Bruce decided to head back to the Manor. He knew that while he was gone, Joker most likely hit the place. Not that it mattered; it would give Bruce the leads to finally catch up to the bastard. And if anything serious happened to the house, Bruce could always re-build it. Robin was a different matter.
And Bruce drove up the main road to the Mansion. As the Mansion came into view, Bruce noticed that the door was kicked open.
Just like he figured.
Bruce exited the Bat-Mobile and slinked into the Mansion. Bruce looked around to see vases smashed, tables turned over, and bookcases knocked over. As he entered the ready room where the entrance to the Batcave was located, he noticed that it looked like someone took an axe to it and pried the Grandfather Clock open. As Bruce journeyed down the stairs, he noticed that everything in the Bat-Cave was demolished. That's when he focused on the Bat Computer and saw that someone was sitting in the chair.
"You." Bruce said as stepped down onto the ground.
"Oh, hello Brucie. I was afraid you were never going to show up." Joker said as he swiveled the chair around and Bruce sees that he indeed is holding an axe.
"You spoil-sport you, you ruined my original plans! I went to pay Dick Grayson a visit, but I found out that he had left the scene. Barbara was gone too. I didn't even find the old coot here! I was hoping to kill them all one by one until I got to you… but then I said, what the hey, why don't I kill Brucie first and then move onto them. Smiles Because once they find that I killed you… they'll realize that it'll only be a matter of time before I reach them."
"You sadistic maniac."
"Oh, flattery will get you nowhere Brucie, I'm still going to kill you." Joker said as he stood up.
"Shut up! It ends tonight! I won't allow you to take another life ever again!"
"Big words from a little boy who's still crying from his parent's death even today." Joker said with a laugh as he charged with the Ax above his head.
Joker starts laughing as he rushes Batman with the Axe held high over his head. Joker brings the Ax down, but Batman sidesteps it and punches Joker in the breadbasket, which causes him to drop the axe. Batman then gives a right cross against the face and then a left punch to the Joker's ribs. This knocks Joker back by the Batcomputer.
Joker laughs as he grabs the little flower attached to his jacket and sprayed hydrochloric acid towards Batman. Batman barely dodged it but some singed his arm and he grimaces in pain. Using that small window of opportunity, Joker brings out a remote control he had hidden in his left jacket pocket and hits a special button that caused an un-earthly sound to be played over the Computer speakers…
Robin's death screams. This heavily unnerved Batman, which allows Joker to grab a crowbar lying underneath the Batcomputer terminal. Joker, acting quickly before Batman can recover, hammers him in the ribs with it. Batman cries out in pain and falls to his knees. Joker then swung again, slamming the crowbar into Batman's right arm. Batman hollers out in pain and Joker laughs at Batman's pain. Joker begins to club at Batman's spine over and over again which causes Batman to fall on his stomach in pain. Joker throws the poker away at this point, after all, Joker didn't want to break Batman's back in and kill him just yet. Joker kicks Batman right side up and then uses his legs to sit on Batman's arms effectively pinning him to the ground.
"Game over Bruce. I've won. And I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that when I killed you, we'll both be laughing at the event." Joker said as he brought up his right hand to reach into his jacket to bring out a vial of Joker Venom.
And as he did this, Batman tried to move, but his body was racked with pain when he tried. He was helpless. And this made him to flash back to the last time he felt this helpless…
His parent's murder. And as he thought this, he realized that if he remained as helpless as he did there, at least 2 more lives were going to be lost. And something snapped.
"NEVER AGAIN!" Bruce yelled as he mustered all of his strength and head-butted Joker. Joker reels back and the vial holding the Joker Venom flies out of his hand and rolls away out of sight.
Before Joker recovers, Batman wrestles his left hand from underneath Joker's knee and gives Joker a massive Left Cross to the face, followed by a backhand. Because of this, Joker falls to the ground and Batman stands up, with fiery determination in his eyes. Joker gets up as well, but Batman gives him a knee to the stomach, and then gives him a punch to the stomach with his right hand. He then elbows Joker in the chest with his left, then raising his right hand and smacks Joker in the face. He then gives Joker an uppercut with his left hand. Joker lands on the floor and begins scooting away from Batman, only to come up against the wall. Blood is escaping Joker's mouth and he begins to develop a black eye.
"As I said Joker, it ends tonight."
"Cough, cough Go ahead and kill me… I'll be having the last laugh."
"No. I won't compromise my morals like that. I know that's what you've always been about, seeing if you could get me to bend or break my morals. Besides, killing you would be too easy. I want you to suffer, like you've made many of your victims suffer. And I know just how to do it."
"There's nothing you could do to make me suffer! Life is just one big joke!"
"Oh, but that's the beauty of it. Let me ask you this, if a Tree falls in the woods and no one's there to hear it, does it still make a sound?" and Joker face looses all flippancy as he begins to comprehend what Batman means.
"You can't do that!"
"I studied under some of the greatest martial artists of our time. Of course I can." Batman says as he brings up his left hand and flattens it out. He lines it up to Joker's neck and then brings it down.
Joker's screams echoed throughout the Batcave, mirroring the still playing death screams of Robin.
Cadmus, 2 o'clock in the morning.
Kon-El is stirring in his bed, trying to shake off a bad dream. Suddenly, he springs awake with sweat emerging from his brow. Just then his eyes catch white ones peeking from the corner.
Just as Kon is about to freak out, the lights turn on and Kon sees that it's Batman in the corner.
"Wha-what are you doing here?"
"It concerns Robin."
And as Batman traverses the halls with Kon-El, he explains why he is here.
"And with there being no body, people are going to ask questions. So I need to create a clone of Robin that I can use so there's something to bury."
"Well, I don't know about this…"
"I'm not asking for your help, I'm telling you so. You WILL help me create what I need."
"Why should I?"
"Because Tim deserves it after all he's done for me. His father deserves a story besides what really happened and a body to bury. His friends deserve to attend a funeral with a body to say their good-byes to."
"Tim Drake. That's what he's really named. Alvin Draper never existed." Batman said as Kon got a bit angry at the fact that Robin never did reveal who he truly was…
"Well, I'm not quite sure how to run the machines…"
"Don't worry, I do. But you have the access codes that'll allow me access into the cloning rooms. I didn't want to spend all night trying to hack them." Batman said as they walked towards the cloning rooms.
2 hours later…
In a cloning tank, a clone of Tim Drake grown from a sample of his hair is near completion. The normal cloning process takes about a week, so that the mind is fully developed and knowledge inputted into the brain is received correctly, but since Batman is merely creating a 'shell' those extra precautions are not needed.
"Yawn It's finally done! The liquid is now receding and once gone, we'll be able to open the tank." Kon says as he rubs his eyes. Bruce just stares at the tank and the exact looking clone of Tim Drake. Once the tank opens, Batman grabs a black body bag and fits the clone into it.
Kon merely stares as Batman heads out the door and prepares to leave.
"Kon-El, thank you. You've helped more than you'll probably ever know." Batman says as he disappears into the shadows.
Kon tries to smile, but the fact that he just helped create a brain-dead clone of a deceased comrade overrides his joy with sorrow.
Batman is now over one of the many bridges of Gotham. He takes the clone out of the black bag and stares at him for a bit. Batman then takes a gun out, lines it up with the clone's heart, and shoots the gun. The bullet penetrates the heart and blood flies out.
Batman can't help but shed tears as he does this, because even thought he must do it to protect his identity and Tim's family, he still feels it is wrong. He picks up the body and then throws it into the River.
2 weeks pass
Gotham Police find the naked Tim Drake Clone floating in the river. After a brief autopsy and investigation, they pronounce Tim Drake dead from an attempted robbery and cause of death heart failure via gunshot wound.
Jack Drake was shocked to learn that his son was dead and that now he was the only living male Drake left.
The Funeral was held just a couple of days after the investigation was finished. Batman made sure that Young Justice and other notable heroes that Robin was friends with or touched the lives of DID NOT attend the funeral. Bruce, Dick and Alfred did attend since they've all been seen with Tim before.
The funeral was beautiful. Although paparazzi did show up since a Playboy like Bruce showed up, and he gave them the dirtiest looks imaginable for soiling an event like this with their presence.
When it was time for everybody to head to his or her cars for the funeral procession, Bruce slowly got up and visited the casket. He stared at the lifeless body. Only he and a few others know that this isn't the actual body of Tim Drake, but rather a cloned one. And that knowledge coupled with emotions he had been repressing for many weeks, Bruce finally cried.
Alfred came up and helped Bruce walk away from the casket, but Bruce couldn't help but feel that he failed Tim. He may have caught the Joker, he may have thought up a way to keep the Robin secret safe and keep Tim's father from feeling additional pain and suffering, but he kept thinking that he should've done something else. He should've been able to save Tim, instead of avenging him and covering his tracks.
Bruce and Dick got into his black Limousine and Alfred drove them to the Cemetery.
When they got there, people where standing near the burial plot where the Casket was being laid on. It stood right by Janet Drakes Tombstone.
Bruce stood in the back, with Black Sunglasses on. He silently watched as the Priest said some final words and then said it was time to lay Tim's soul to rest. The casket began to descend into the ground and Bruce's eyes looked at Jack who was now crying as he watched his only son descend into the ground.
"Take me home, Alfred."
"But sir, there's a…"
"I know, and I don't want to go to that." Bruce said as he got back into the limo.
"Don't worry, I'm going to attend. I'll have Barb call me a Taxi."
Wayne Manor, later that night.
Bruce is sitting in the Batcave, all alone in thought. He should be thinking about how he's going to fix the Mansion, or what type of Patrol he's going to take tonight, but all he can think about is Tim. And how he he's failed him.
That's when there's a whoosh and reserve JLA member Zauriel appears.
"Zauriel. What are you doing in my home?" Bruce says as he continues to sit in his chair.
"I was visiting the Watchtower and Superman told me what had happened to you in these past few weeks. I came to offer my condolences."
"Stow it. I don't want any pity." Bruce says, not even bothering to turn around and look Zauriel in the face.
"I had a feeling you wouldn't. But, that's not the only reason I came here today. A letter appears in his hands This is for you. Express delivery from Heaven." Zauriel says as he walks up to Bruce and hands him the letter.
Bruce looks at Zauriel funny and opens up the letter. He begins to read it and his face becomes shocked.
It's me Tim. I know you and you probably doubt the sincerity of this letter, but it is me. I've been looking down on you these past couple of days and notice how you think that you failed me. Don't think that. I know the popular conception of death is that it's taking something away from someone. Like death took me out of your life. That's not how it's like. I'm the happiest I've ever been up here in Heaven. I finally get to see my Mother after all these years and I get to talk to my favorite dead presidents, musicians whose works I love and Jason Todd, with whom I've been swapping stories. While I am going to miss my Father, the YJ gang, Dick, Alfred, Barbara, Steph and you, I'm content here. We'll all get to meet again one day. While I can never forgive the Joker for killing me, he is the one who sent me up here, so in a weird way, he did me a favor. He sent me to everlasting peace. Don't think you failed me Bruce. If anyone failed, it was I to you. I couldn't live up to your dream of making Gotham a safer place and for that, I am eternally sorrowful. I also want to pass along a message to you from Thomas and Martha. They say that after all these years they still love you and they're proud of the way you try to keep their memories alive. Although they do wish you would go out and have a social life once in a while. :0)
P.S. Don't get in a rush to come and visit all of us, take your time, we'll be patient.]
And with that, a smile emerged on Bruce's face as tears gently ran from his eyes.
"Thank you Zauriel."
"No thanks necessary. I'm just doing my normal duty." And Zauriel disappears from this plane of reality leaving Bruce alone.
And later that night on a rooftop overlooking Crime Alley, Batman smiles and makes a pledge to himself.
To keep this city safe in the memory of Thomas and Martha Wayne and Timothy Drake.
And as he does that, Batman throws a Batarang into the night and swings off the rooftop for a night of protecting Gotham.
And in Arkham Asylum…
"So, what's the status of this patient?"
"No change. His vocal chords were damaged so severely that it's likely that he'll never talk again."
"I don't know whether to feel happy or sad. It's a hideous thing to loose the one thing that allows us to communicate with one another, but then on the other hand, we'll never have to listen to that horrible laughter anymore…" a Doctor laments as inside the padded cell, Joker sits there silently.
Unable to voice his laughter anymore, it just rings in his head, blocking out all other thoughts… just him laughing over and over and over…