Disclaimer: I do not own Batman, Robin or the Joker. DC does

Bruce Wayne Checks in – Chapter One

Tim Drake was running over the roof of the Gotham Plaza hotel. He was wearing his Robin outfit, although at the moment he was rather wishing he wasn't. Another shot winged towards him. He ducked behind the ventilation shaft as the shot bounced off it. He was surrounded. He went through the pockets of the thug he had just knocked out. Nothing there. Just a few dollars and a drivers licence in the name of Bill Nader. No-one he knew, just a common street punk. He forced himself to take a few deep breaths. It was nothing worse than he had been in before. Taking a small electric screwdriver out of his utility belt he started undoing the top of the ventilation shaft.

"Just come out kid!" shouted one of the thugs. The leader of the group was sheltering from the rain under a large purple hat; there were about a dozen heavily armed men around him.

"His on his own," hissed the man with the hat. "Rush him! I want him alive."

"Okay boys, baseball bats, only. Don't hurt him too much, the boss wants a word with him."

"So generous," muttered Robin, trying to unscrew the last nut. He ducked down as a baseball bat swished overhead. Still unscrewing the last nut with his left hand his right hand grabbed the hand of the thug who had just tried to brain him and helped him carry on swinging around, straight into two of his friends. Although if they would remain friends after he had just knocked four of their teeth out with his bat would remain to be seen.

Robin opened up the ventilation shaft and used the metal cover as a Frisbee to knock out another thug. If Batman was here they would all be out for the count by now. Robin did a backflip into the ventilation shaft, just as the gang surrounded him. A small metal object bounced out of the shaft Robin had just dived down and started spinning.

"What the…"

There was a big flash and a bang and the gang was thrown back two yards by the stun grenade just thrown at them.

Eyes streaming one of the gang unclipped a grenade from his belt and threw it down the ventilation shaft.

The man with the purple hat was running towards his battered gang. "NO!" he shouted, "I wanted him alive." He pulled out a gun and shot him. "If anyone will kill the boy blunder it will be me." He grinned at them and raised a hand to his ear.

Below them could be heard a muffled crump and then a plume of smoke came out of the shaft.

"Oooh! Glad I don't have the job of cleaning that out!"

Below them the sound of screaming started.

Bruce Wayne frowned. He should have sensed what was going on, he should have. He had been so wrapped up at giving his speech at the charity meal in the Gotham Plaza that he hadn't noticed the new "waiters". Half a dozen thugs wielding shot guns and baseball bats had just taken half of Gotham's business elite hostage. The screams had died down as they realised they weren't going to be murdered outright.

He had a two way radio sewn into his lapel and he had subtly switched it on. If Robin was paying attention he should already be in the hotel. Just six of them! Six! He could take them on in seconds! If only he hadn't left his Batman suit back at the cave.

One of the thugs clambered onto the table. "Sorry for the inconvenience ladies and gentlemen." He waved his gun at the guests. "Our demands number just two. We would like a wire transfer of one millions dollars per guest to our Cayman Island accounts, otherwise we will kill one hostage every hour."

Bruce Wayne stood up to speak. One of the criminals lashed out with his baseball bat. Bruce leaned back and took a small backstep. The bat whistled harmlessly past. "Steady on chaps!" He said in his plummy voice. "We don't solve our problems with bats in Gotham city!"

"Sit down Mr Wayne, please sir!" he indicated the chair with the bat. "The boss hasn't finished talking."

"Terribly sorry, carry on, don't mind me."

"Our second demand is that Batman surrenders himself to the Joker in thirty minutes time or we will destroy this hotel and everyone in it."

Tim had rolled out of the air conditioning unit straight into a hotel bathroom currently being used by a rather attractive brunette. She was wrapped in a towel and just about to put a shapely toe into the water.

"Sorry about…" He blurted just before a hand grenade landed in his lap. In one swift movement he threw the grenade into the bath and grabbed the girl, throwing her onto the floor, just before the grenade exploded, decorating the room with bits of porcelain bath and apricot and melon smelling bath water.

"Aaaaahhh" she started screaming.

"Just stay quiet a moment!"

"Get off me! Get off me!" She carried on screaming and ran out the room.

"Oh brother!" said Robin. None of his training had involved dealing with a screaming near naked woman. Although if it had he might have paid more attention!

His head was still ringing from the explosion. Staggering slightly he followed the woman out of the bathroom, the rather small hotel bedroom and into the corridor.

One of the Joker's goon's had his arms wrapped around the girls waist and a gun to his head.

"Come with us Robin and the girl won't…"

He never got a chance to finish what he had to say. Robin had thrown a small weighted batarang at the thugs head and he sank noiselessly to the floor.

"Aaaaaahhhh" she screamed again and carried on running down the corridor.

"Do you know any other words?" called Robin after her. I'd better get after her. He raced down the corridor and grabbed her by the arm. "Calm down! Calm down! You are safe now."

She looked at him, eyes wide open in fright. "What do you mean safe? Safe was having a bath. It does not include getting blown up and shot at in two minutes."

"For a start he was going to shoot at me. For a second thing, the Joker has just moved into this hotel with his 'army'. I don't know what his plan is but I know he is gathering hostages. If I were you I would go back to your room, put some clothes on and find somewhere to hide."

"Hey your Robin aren't you?"

"What gave it away?"

"Where's your boss? Batman?"

He tried not to let the worry get into his voice. "He'll be here shortly." What was it with girls and Batman? He got the best suit and the fastest car while he was stuck with a dodgy red top and a name that sounded like he should be decorating a Christmas card.

She gave him an appreciative look. Sure he was short but he looked like a little powerhouse. "Let me know when you clock off? I can see you after work?"

Robin went bright red. "I've got to go!" Jeez way to go Robin! When this is over, I've got to ask Batman to put me onto a dating course. He got some plastic handcuffs out of his utility belt and cuffed the Joker's goon he had knocked out in the corridor.

He heard a maniacal giggling sound coming from the stair well. The Joker was coming down stairs! He looked swiftly round at his options. The girl was running back to her room, slamming the door shut behind her. The lift shaft? Too much like a steel coffin. The window was his only option. He ran towards it. A swiftly thrown batarang broke it just before he jumped through it.

Bruce Wayne was in trouble. None of his training had prepared him for this. The Joker's men had locked them into the hotel walk in freezer. He could not defeat them without revealing his secret identity. He wasn't worried about the cold. Six months in Tibet with a Buddhist Tao Shin Fu trainer had taught him to control his body temperature. He could survive in temperatures of 20 degrees below for days at a time. No, he was worried about the woman he was locked up with.

"We should cuddle up for warmth, Brucey," said Elaine Roville. "I've been wanting to get you alone all night Brucey."

"I would hardly call this alone my dear," said Bruce indicating the half a dozen slabs of meat hanging from the ceiling. "I think we should worry about getting out of here."

"Oh Brucey, Batman will turn up and rescue us, that gives us half an hour!"

"He might be busy you know," said Bruce, looking at the door. It was sealed shut and like most freezers had no handy door handle inside to open it.

"I can think of a way to really heat things up!"

"Really!" said Bruce, thinking she had a cigarette lighter or something. A quick glance in her direction showed that unless it was hidden somewhere rather private she didn't. "Put your clothes back on, we need to conserve heat, Elaine." Elaine advanced menacingly on him. From this position Bruce knew ten ways to knock Elaine out, four to disable her and one to kill her. Bruce backed way. "Now Elaine, let's not get emotional!" He reached out to grab her by the neck, he lightly squeezed her carotid artery and she slumped into faint. Bruce quickly caught her and looked at the time. He had been locked in a hotel full of criminals for ten minutes and so far had only succeeded in knocking out one hostage.