Disclaimer: I don't own Batman. Bob Kane and DC Comics do.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is an AU story where the criminals did not know that Robin (DG) became Nightwing, though they will figure it out rather quickly!

Night Laughing

By Red Blaze 16

Chapter 1

Arkham Asylum, located on the outskirts of Gotham City, is the home to some of the most dangerous criminally insane individuals known to the modern world. Locked tight in their individual rooms, the men and woman incarcerated there sometimes talk through the night. Most of the criminals trapped there consider themselves to be the greatest enemy of the Dark Knight, Batman, the protector of Gotham City.

This night, Joker, Two-Face, Penguin, and Riddler are trying to past the time. Sharing some of their greatest victories against the Batman. Two-Face, pacing inside his small cell, pauses a moment in telling his story before he continues on.

"Nightwing," growls Two-Face. "That's who was working with Batman that night, though I had never met the masked freak before. It didn't matter; he was no help to Batman. Ah, but when the trap sprung, I caught them both."

Pausing again to savor the moment, a look of confusion crossed the scarred face.

"There was one thing that I didn't understand at the time," continues Two-Face, his voice calm and having lost the growl; the Two-Face persona slipping into the background for a moment to allow Harvey Dent to come forward. "When I blew up my home, Batman called out to the young man. But it wasn't Nightwing Batman called. He said some other name."

"Do you remember?" prods Penguin from his cell.

"Does it fucking matter?" growls Two-Face, before pausing to calm down again. "Actually, I believe he called the boy 'Robin', but I don't understand that."

Laugher crawls down the hallway from where Joker is sitting in his cell. Remembering the feel of the crowbar in his hands, Joker gloats for a moment before he opens his mouth.

"It couldn't have been," says Joker, with another shower of laughter. "I whacked that kid but good. He was dead."

"Ah, but many years have gone by," says Penguin from his cell. "Perhaps you killed one, but did you get them all? You can't tell me that there has only been one Robin."

Dead silence follows this comment. For a moment, no sound is heard in the hall that houses the worst criminals in Gotham.

"Riddle me this," says Riddler, from his cell into the silence. "What animal leaves its home every fall only to return in the spring?"

No one answers Riddler as each man continues to wonder about Penguin's statement.

He must have changed names when he went to New York, thinks Joker, serious for a moment before he lets loose another round of laughter. He's old enough. Old enough to die.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: Two-Face is talking about the cross-comic series, "A Lonely Place of Dying". This series also first introduced Tim Drake as a character. A very good five part mini-series if you haven't read it yet. Also, the crowbar citation, I'm sure most of you know, refers to Jason's death.