Wild, Wild West: Chapter One
Disclaimer: Not mine, not ever. Poo.
Summary: Slade kidnaps the Titans and makes a deal with the forgotten hero, Nightwing, to get them back. To rescue them, though, he must travel to an alternate dimension where his friends' memories have been modified and he only has three days to restore their original selves. Will he be able to master the recreation of the Old West and Slade's hidden crony to save his friends? Will he succeed in his task, or will the Titans refuse his help after an incident three years prior in which Nightwing left the Titans and his only love, heartbroken?
His heart pounded in his chest as he ran through the dark tunnels; he could hear the cackling all around him, haunting him, as he drew nearer. Finally he came to a halt in an open tunnel and glared as his enemy rose up before him. "Well, well, well," Slade hissed. "If it isn't my old friend. Nightwing, is it now?" "Cut the chitchat Slade," Nightwing growled, crouching low, readying himself for a fight. "Where are they? What have you done with them?" Slade casually walked over to a chair and sat down, fiddling with a remote. "I didn't think you cared," he cooed. "I mean, if you really did, then you wouldn't have left, would you?"
"Enough!" Nightwing yelled. "I left because I cared for them. If I stayed, I would have ruined everything and put them in a lot of danger." Slade just smirked at the completely black-clad misfit. "Now, now my old apprentice, you can tell me the truth. Yes, you cared for your meaningless, pathetic friends, but there was only one whom you cared for more than anything. I know you left because you loved her. You cared for her and you thought it was some kind of weakness on your part and so you left. You left her all alone and confused and angry. But you only cared for yourself and, in your selfishness, you destroyed the only person who would ever care for you. You"€"
"NO!" Nightwing yelled, slamming his bo-staff against the wall. "You don't know anything! What I did was for her, for the best in the end. Now I'm only going to ask one more time, what have you done with the Titans?" Slade only sneered as he pressed a button on his chair and a gate appeared over to his side. In an instant, a swirling mass of energy opened and Slade rose from the chair. "The Titans," he said. "Are in there. This is a portal to another dimension, one that I have created, and I have sent them there. Of course, with a little surveillance and some minor memory modification as well."
Slade paused and glared at Nightwing. "I am willing to make you a deal, my former feathered friend. I will let you enter my alternate universe to attempt to rescue your old friends"€ but you only have three days before my chemical induced memory becomes permanent and they cannot exit the portal. Also, whatever happens to them in my world, happens to them in real life; for instance, if they are killed there, they will remain dead in reality as well. If you fail to do so for all the Titans, then I get to keep them in my world. Do we have a deal?"
Nightwing fidgeted for a moment, contemplating all the possibilities. If he lost, he could never get his friends back. And even if he jogged their memories, whose to say they wouldn't get fatally wounded, or worse, turn on him and tell him to leave for good. He debated internally, trying to decide what was best for his old teammates; he could just leave them there or he could try and bring them back, which was running the risk of leaving some behind. They would want me to take the risk, he thought. Even though I haven't seen them in three years, they are still my friends. I can't just leave them there, in the clutches of Slade. But still . . .
"Fine" Nightwing consented, stepping toward Slade. "You have a deal. Now how do I get them back?" Slade walked over to the gate and pushed some more buttons. "It's simple," he said, turning to face Nightwing. "You just step through the portal and you will be taken to my ultimate creation. You have three days to find your friends and jolt their memories before my chemicals take a permanent effect and they become mine. One of my most dedicated followers is in there as well and at the end of the third day, they will open a portal back here. Good luck, my former little Robin, you'll need it." Slade vanished into the darkness and Nightwing moved toward the gate. He hesitantly put his hand through the vortex and he felt it tingle slightly.
Taking a deep breath, Nightwing threw himself into the portal; he closed his eyes to keep from getting dizzy as he started spinning. In a matter of a few moments, he fell out of a newly formed portal and tumbled onto the ground. He lay there for a few seconds, coughing as the dirt rose around him. He stood up, brushing the dust off that covered him and then reached up to fix his mask. But when he felt his face, he realized his mask was no longer there! And when he looked down, he was no longer in his black uniform with the sole symbol of a blue bird; he was wearing clothes that he had only seen in the movies him and Cyborg used to watch every Friday night when they were younger.
He nearly fell over as he surveyed his new look; it was totally not him, but he tugged on it to make sure it was real. His uniform had become a pair of black leather chaps, with ornately carved black leather boots. There was now a black leather belt with a huge silver buckle, which drew attention to the black leather gun holsters on either side of his waist, complete with matching pistols. His shirt was long sleeved, white, button-up, with a black leather vest over it and a black handkerchief resting lightly on his neck. His long, jet black hair was tied back into a ponytail and covered mostly by the black cowboy hat that resided atop his head. Nightwing felt almost naked without his mask, but then he realized that no one here would recognize him, since they were all, at least he assumed, Slade's creation.
He looked around him, surveying his surroundings, noticing there wasn't too many people nearby, so hopefully no one saw him fall out of the sky, which would have lead to way too many questions he couldn't really answer. He wandered toward the wooden buildings, nodding to the occasional person who said hello and, remembering his true mission, looked for any clue as to where his old friends could possibly be. He walked aimlessly down the winding dirt street, marveling in the life-like reality of it all and watching all the horses and carriages with extreme interest. Finally, after what seemed like forever, he found what he was hopefully looking for; just ahead lay a tiny little shop with the only car, well he assumed it was a car, he had seen since he had gotten here parked outside and a sign hanging above the door, proclaiming 'Victor M. Stone, Jump Town Car Expert.'
Nightwing took a deep breath, hoping his hunch was right and that he had found the first Titan, hidden here amongst Slade's creepy Old West scenario. This is all just a bit too easy, he thought, drawing closer to the small, wooden shop. Although Slade does like to give me little bits and pieces here and there, he gets some perverse pleasure from toying with my head and my emotions, the bastard! Nightwing silently cursed to himself, ridding his thoughts of Slade and turning them back to the situation at hand. Wait a sec, he thought once more, coming to a complete stop right outside the door. If Cy's really here and his brain really is messed with like Slade said it would be, then I can't very well just walk in and whisk him away somewhere without him totally freaking out. I need some kind of a plan... and a new identity too....
Nightwing pondered for a moment before taking a deep breath and walking into the little shop, unprepared for what was to happen next. First off, he was completely taken aback by the version of Cyborg that stood by a counter in front of him; this Cy was no longer half-human, he was a full-fledged solid body of incredible muscle! Hearing the door open, Victor whipped around, wearing dark brown pants, brown leather boots, a blue long-sleeve, button-up shirt,a red handkerchief around his neck and a white cowboy hat atop his bald, black head. Victor just stared at him for a moment, then slowly but surely, realization dawned on his full fleshy face. "Night?!" he called out, his grin reaching to almost touch his ears. "That you? How in the hell did you get here?"
Nightwing just stood there, stupefied, as the big, muscle-bound black man he had once called his best friend and teammate came over and enveloped him in a bone-crushing hug that rivaled even the Tamaranian princess's best attempt. "Vic? Cy?" Nightwing managed to squeeze out as he was let back down. "Whoever you are? What's going on? How did you know it's me? Slade said he messed with your memory." Victor scoffed and walked back over to the counter and sat down on a stool, motioning for Nightwing to sit down as well; he obliged, forgetting for a moment that he was in a race against time to find everyone else and allowing himself to chat a bit.
"Slade," he sneered, giving Nightwing a quick glance over before continuing. "That stupid masked moron. Doesn't know one little thing about my metal wiring, thank gosh. Yeah, sure he modified my memory to give me all these new memories, making me believe I was someone else. But he forgot to re-calibrate or something because I did get the new memories, but I kept my old ones as well; seems that he was able to mess with my image, but not my mind."
Nightwing just nodded, grateful that this was one less Titan he had to worry about, and then he turned to face Victor, who was now giving him a confused glance. "Let me guess," he said calmly. "You're wondering what I'm doing here." Victor looked down for a moment, ashamed that his thoughts had interjected such horrible things. "Yeah," he admitted quietly, but with great strength as well. "Yeah, I am. I mean, how could I not wonder, Night? You left without a word three years ago, keeping in contact a few times, and then all of a sudden you show up after Slade's kidnaped everyone to come and save the day. To be perfectly honest, it doesn't really fit your recent profile, man."
Nightwing hung his head in shame, but then lifted it back up to give his friend the explanation he owed them all those years ago. "I'm sorry, Cy," he began, his amber eyes showing deep regret. "I really am; I know that's not going to make up for all the pain I caused, but you have to understand, it was for the best that I left. I still consider you all to be my friends, but I couldn't afford to put any of you in danger, which I did just by being in the same city as the Titans. How is everyone? Beast Boy and Terra? Speedy?" He paused for a moment. "Raven? And Star?"Victor just nodded his head in acceptance of the dark hero's apology and answered his question. "They're good, all good...well... you know that you really hurt her man, right? She hasn't been the same since you left; she never smiles anymore, ever."
Nightwing closed his eyes in pain as he thought of the girl he loved more than anything; the girl, who was by now he could only assume, a beautiful young woman, that he had hurt to save in the end. "Yeah I know I did," he acknowledged. "And I know I can never repair the damage I did to everyone, especially her, but all that matters is that I am here now and I am going to try and make it up to her most of all, but to everyone all the same." Victor patted him on the back, hearing the sincerity in his voice.
"Well then," he said straightening up and looking at his old friend. "Let's get out there and save the Titans. But first, we should probably come up with a plan and some type of name for you. Can't have you going around, even in a fake world like this, calling yourself Nightwing now, can we?" Nightwing smirked, a trivial matter he had already resolved just moments earlier outside. "Way ahead of you dude," he said, motioning for Victor to follow him. "Just call me Richard, or Rich, whatever you feel most comfortable with."
"All right then," Vic said, a mischievous grin plastered on his full face. "I'm going to go with....Dick! Haha, man, I'm going to have way too much fun with that one. Where did you come up with that name anyway? See it on a sign or something?" Richard just laughed, something he hadn't done in so long, glad to see that his friend found humor in the nickname he had carried so long ago. "Not on a sign," he replied, stepping outside. "It's my name, my real name; Richard Grayson, martial arts extra-ordinaire!"
"Dick Grayson, huh?" Vic said, taking short strides so Richard wouldn't fall behind much. "I always wondered what your name really was, for some reason I always thought it was something like Tim or Drake, never anything so...so...you." He winked at Richard, who was smiling, as Victor led him down the dusty road, into a more active part of Jump Town. "So, uh, Vic," Richard asked while they walked. "Just where are we going? Do you have a plan or something?" "Well," Victor said, scratching his head. "These new memories Slade gave me? Apparently they're telling me that I'm good friends with a local rancher, Garfield Logan, who I can only guess is BB because I can see him in my head, he's surrounded by animals, but he isn't green, so it's throwing me off."
"Ok," Richard said. "So we're off to go find Beas"€I mean, Garfield, get some transportation, and then find the next person? All right, so where do we find him?" Victor merely looked even more puzzled as he tried to sort out what these images and whatnot were telling him. "Actually," he said at last. "I don't think I know where Gar is exactly; all I'm getting out of these memories is that this bartender chick that looks a hell of a lot like Terra knows where he is. So... I'm gonna go ahead and say we need to go find Terra at the bar and talk to her and try to get her to remember who she is. Or at the very least, convince her to help us fight against whoever in this world." Richard nodded in agreement and followed Victor, who obviously somehow knew where he was going.
A/N: Alrighty folks, here's the deal: This story has been running around in my brain for ever and so I decided I would get rid of this massive migraine and write it down. I know I haven't finished my other fics yet, but I am working on them and I will continue too, so nothing is getting stopped. But, I want to know whether or not to keep going with this one as well. So if I can get (taps head and picks some random number) 8 reviews for this story, then I'll post the next chapter or two, which I have already written. If I don't get those reviews, then I'll pull it, unless I get enough ppl telling me they like it enough to keep it going. So if you want me to continue on, then just hit that little colored box down there and review.
Next Chapter(if I get enough reviews): Richard and Victor head to the local bar where Vic meets up with Terra and the Sheriff takes an interest in Richard (Eww! Not that way! Sickos!), but Richard finds himself entranced by the local singer he meets and he tries to enlist her help in finding his friends. But will she help or will something else pop up in the way? Also, Richard finds out her 'boss's' dirty little secrets, her being one of them, and that changes everything in this crazy mixed up world.