Rating: R for instances of strong language
Characters: Nightwing, Robin, Batman, Alfred and Leslie
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I don't make money off them. I just love them.
Kanny's my Bat Family Beta, but the grammatical and spelling mistakes are alllll mine!
Medical disclaimer. I make no claims to the information in my story to be accurate, although research was done to make it as close as possible.
Summary and Description: This story was inspired by Robin Issue Nos. 4 and 5. Robin and Cluemaster were trapped in an armored truck and buried by Cluemaster's partners a pit of cement to be dug up hours later with the money when no one was around. Unbeknownst to them, their leader was inside.
I have changed a couple details and swapped the armored truck to a bank vault. The scene takes place in Bludhaven and not Gotham. The criminals had altered the complicated combination to the vault and set the trap for the air to be suctioned out slowly over a couple hours.
"Robin!" Nightwing shouted as he entered the bank's vault. It took him only a matter of seconds to spot the boy leaned up against the wall of safety deposit boxes, slumped over onto his side. Nightwing dropped to his knees and took his vitals, "Hang on, Bro." Nightwing whispered as he pressed the Redbird's wireless remote on Robin's belt and scooped his brother's limp body into his arms.
"Nightwing to Batcave."
Alfred's stomach flipped at the urgency in Nightwing's voice. "Right here, sir."
"I've got Robin here. He's going into shock." Alfred could hear the Redbird scream around a corner, "ETA, 10 minutes."
"Who's in Bludhaven that you can trust?" Batman asked, coming on the line.
"In Bludhaven?? Is this a trick question??" Dick answered with both astoundment and frustration in his voice, "If it were 'Tim', I'd have him to the ER by now. This is Robin' the answer to your question is no one."
"Give me his status."
"Hold on.." Nightwing answered as he reached over and felt the side of Tim's neck. "Uhhh... Pulse is thready and his resps quick and shallow. He was trapped inside a bank vault with Cluemaster, that idiot got stuck in his own trap. Combination was reconfigured and ventilation systems set to reverse. He was unconscious when I got to him and hasn't come around since."
"Where are you?" Batman asked as he listened to the sounds of squealing brakes and car horns as Nightwing wove in and out of traffic on the expressway between Bludhaven and Gotham.
"Roughly 15 miles from the cave. Should be there in about seven minutes."
"All right, continue on course, I'm on my way. Alfred?"
"Doctor Thompkins shall be here shortly. I have everything prepped and ready. I will be en route as soon as she arrives."
"Good. ... Oracle."
"Keep the Cave, Nightwing and myself on this channel. I want all other transmissions rerouted to 009 and give me whisper capability to that channel." Batman instructed as he slammed the turbo boosters into gear and peeled rubber out of Gotham toward Bludhaven.
"Easy, Robin... take a couple slow breaths for me..." Nightwing coached as he raced the Redbird back to the Batcave at speeds exceeding 110 mph.
"Batman to Nightwing."
"Respirations are sharp and shallow, rapid pulse." Nightwing answered as the Batmobile plowed through the highway's median and flew past the Redbird, clearing traffic out of Nightwing's way. "Pale, clammy... he's in shock."
"How long was he locked in the vault?"
"About three hours"
"On his way back to Blackga.. SHIT! Robin..., Robin!"
"Report." Batman demanded and pulled a tight U-turn when the Redbird swerved off the road and disappeared into the trees.
"Lost the pulse."
Nightwing snatched Robin out of his seat and laid him down onto the dirt, took his pulse and listened for respirations.
Nightwing quickly removed Robin's tunic and began CPR.
"Come on... little bro... Zoanne's gonna... be mad if... you stand..
-puff - puff-
...her up tomorrow."
Batman bolted out of his vehicle to find Nightwing doing chest compressions. "How long's he been down?" Batman asked as he tore off his gloves and checked for a pulse.
"Four, one thousand. Five, one thousand. Breathe."
Batman tilted Robin's head back to open his airway and breathed two puffs of air into his lungs.
"Come on, Robin! one, one thousand Come back two, one thousand.. to us...three, one thousand.. Fight It!! four, one thousand. five, one thousand. Breathe."
-puff - puff-
"You can do it, son." Batman said as he squeezed Tim's hand. "Listen to me, Robin! Your team is depending on you. The team needs you! We... we need you." Batman and Nightwing exchanged a quick glance, both speaking the same thing to each other, without saying a word.
"...five, one thousand. Breathe."
"Alfred. ETA?" Nightwing called into his comm link
"Just under three minutes,... one, one thousand..." Alfred had to fight the urge to ask about his youngest charge's status as he heard Nightwing counting off each compression. But he wouldn't risk a distraction to..three, one thou.."
"WAIT.., WAITWAIT!" Batman shouted as he grabbed Nightwing's arm and tilted his head down in concentration.
Everyone held their breath and silently prayed for a miracle. The faintest shadow of relief graced Batman's face before it was ripped away, "Damn! We had him for a second." Batman exclaimed.
"Damn it, Robin!! Quit. Fucking Around!!" Nightwing growled as he resumed chest compressions.
Batman watched Nightwing give it his all as sweat rained down the sides of his face and off the tip of his nose from the sweltering August night.
"Nightwing, switch places with me."
"Yes. You need a rest. With this heat, you're going to make yourself sick."
Nightwing looked up and gave Batman a hard glare, "five, one thousand. Breathe."
Batman breathed for his partner then placed his hand on Nightwing's shoulder. "Dick..." he said softly.
"..three..I said NO!!" Dick shouted as he swung his arm around, violently flinging Bruce's hand off his shoulder. "thousand.. five, one thousand. Breathe."
Alfred couldn't tell which was worse, hearing the desperation in his boys' voices as they tried to reach out to their son and brother in body and spirit or his own pain from the fact that one of his grandsons was straddling the fence between this world and the next.
'Shame on you, Pennyworth!' Alfred thought to himself, 'Thinking like that is not what this family does. We have all seen our fair share of trying and uncertain times. We have always pulled through and that is exactly what is going to happen tonight, whether the forces of nature know it or not, this boy will survive.'
Nightwing allowed himself to feel the slightest tinge of relief when he saw the ambulance's headlights bouncing from a distance as it crossed the field.
Alfred leapt out of the vehicle with the med kit in hand and ran to join his boys in their life saving efforts. Waiting until Nightwing and Batman had finished their current repetitions, Alfred moved in to insert a ventricular tube. Within seconds, Alfred had Tim tubbed and bagged and the three of them swiftly loaded him up.
Batman slammed the back doors shut then ran around to jump in the driver's seat. "Hang on!" he yelled over his shoulder as he put the transmission into 'drive'. He drove as fast as he dared over the bumpy terrain without making the ride too rough before pulling back onto the highway.
Alfred applied the silicone gel to Tim's chest and side.
"two, one thousand."
"Charging to 200."
"four, one thousand..."
Nightwing brought his hands up as Alfred pressed the paddles to Tim's chest.
Dick tore off his mask and winced as Tim's body arched up then crashed back down to the stretcher. He gently rolled Tim's head back upright and squeezed the bag until he knew if they'd have to try again.
"Come on, Timmy. You've got to fight! I know you're there..." Dick said as he resumed chest compressions. "I know you can hear us..." -snap- "Aww, hell! I just broke one of his ribs."
"Charging to 225. It happens, Master Dick, you're doing just fine. Clear!"
"Charging 250." Alfred looked at Dick as he desperately tried to save his brother's life, taking note of Dick's flushed face was and how out of breath he was.
Alfred was snapped from his thoughts at the defibrillator's 'ready tone', "Clear."
"Charging 275." Alfred said, refusing to give into the sadness that reality tried to force upon his heart.
"FIGHT IT, TIMMY!!...YOU'VE GOTTA... FIGHT" Dick yelled between compressions, "YOU CAN ... DO IT!"
"I'M NOT GIVING... UP... YOU HEAR ME?!"
"Charging 275 still.."
"I SAID I'M ... NOT GIVING... UP! YOU... CAN'T EITHER!!!...YOU'RE NOT... A QUITTER, TIM...ROBINS DON'T QUIT!!!"
"Come on, Timmy." Dick squatted down and squeezed Tim's hand placing the other his forehead, "Pick up the pace, little bro. Pick up the pace, pick up the pace..."
Alfred and Dick let loose a joyous yell and gave each other a high-five.
Alfred sat in the seat behind Tim's head and spoke softly to his grandson as he squeezed the air bag and gently stroked the side of his head.
Dick reached around the driver's seat and wrapped an arm around Batman's chest and gave a tight squeeze, "Tim's back. We got him back." He said in a thick voice. Batman nodded his head and patted his son's arm.
Leslie ran up to the back of the ambulance as it pulled into the cave.
Batman jumped out and pushed back his mask as he ran to the back and yanked open the doors. He and Dick quickly pulled out the stretcher and ran it over to the infirmary.
Dick stood back and crossed his arms as he watched Alfred and Leslie work over Tim.
He looked at the clock display on the heart monitor and was shocked to see that it had only been 17 minutes from when he pulled off the road; it felt like hours.
"Dick, you should get out of your uniform and grab a cool shower." Bruce told Dick who was still sweating despite the cool cave environment.
" -sigh- ... Dick, Tim's in good hands, Alfred and Leslie are taking good care of him."
"Then there is no reason for you not to grab a quick shower."
"I said. No."
Bruce shook his head and rubbed his eyes with his hand. He knew once Dick had his mind set. It was set. He'd only be wasting his breath.
Bruce walked up next to Leslie and listened to her give a run down on Tim's status.
A couple of minutes later, she looked over to Dick and noticed he hadn't moved an inch since they had brought Tim into the infirmary more than 30 minutes ago.
She and Alfred had a quiet conversation across Tim's bed then she turned and walked over to Dick.
"You did a very good job. He's alive right now because you were there and knew what to do when immediate action was called for." She said and placed a hand on his shoulder.
Dick finally tore his gaze from Tim and looked at Leslie. "How is he?"
"Well, honestly.. I'm not going to have a firm idea until at least 24 hours from now."
Dick crossed his arms tighter across his chest and looked to the floor.
"But..." Leslie said as she took his chin in her hand and raised his face to look her in the eye, "But... he's doing ok, considering what all happened tonight. His heart is beating on it's own. It has a nice steady rhythm. I tested his respirations. He's breathing on his own, although too shallow and irregular to keep him off the respirator. If I was forced to give a strong hypothesis right now... Which I am not... but, If I were, I'd feel it would be safe to say that while he's not out of the woods yet, his recovery looks very promising."
"A full recovery?"
"I can't promise that."
"What the hell does that mean?" Dick asked, getting impatient.
"Dick..." Bruce warned.
Dick exhaled deeply. "Dick, honey.." Leslie began and placed both her hands on his shoulders.
"It means that Tim ... his body was without proper circulation for almost eight minutes. That is a long time for me to be able to guarantee a clean bill of health."
"I'm not looking for.." Dick began but stopped when his voice gave out on him.
"I know, sweet heart... believe me I know. I would give anything in the world to be able to tell you what we all want to hear. But like I was saying, eight minutes is a long time to be out of the game. The fact that the three of you were there from the start..., if there are complications, I'm guessing it's not anything that can't be overcome. Maybe some help in relearning a few things..."
Dick rolled his head back and pressed his hand to his forehead as he turned to the side.
Leslie stepped in front of him again, "Nothing that can't be gotten back. I'm not talking permanent damage. Just some set backs."
"Heh... set backs.." Dick said sarcastically "Do you have any idea how 'some setbacks would affect him? We're not talking about being able to get back into the rat race here." Dick spat then turned on his heel and walked halfway across the floor before turning back around, "We're talking about jumping off 15 story buildings! Taking down a gang of thugs equipped with guns, pipes, bats, chains or blades, on his OWN." Dick ran a hand through his sweat drenched hair, "If one of these setbacks would affect the average person by, say.. 10 percent. It would affect him by at least 30... Damn It!" Dick yelled as he picked up the computer chair and hurled it across the room.
Bruce took a step forward but stopped when Leslie shook her head. Calmly she walked up to Dick and placed a hand on his arm. Dick looked up and gave her a hint of a smile, "I..I'm sorry, Les... it's all just..."
Leslie wrapped her arms around Dick and gave him a hug. After a couple seconds he returned the gesture, "It's ok, Dickie... Tim's going to be ok. That's what I want you to concentrate on now... the positive. He's very much alive, and he'll be O. K."
Dick closed his eyes and drank in the motherly support Leslie offered for a few seconds more before letting go and stood up straight again.
"No need. That's what I'm here for." She smiled and gave the side of his face a light pat before turning around and returning back to take Tim's vitals again.
Bruce started to walk toward Dick, "How about that shower now, chum?"
"Shower?" Dick asked, curious how Bruce managed to walk toward him yet get further away at the same time.
"Dick?..." Leslie asked.
Dick furrowed his brow. He knew something was wrong but he couldn't get his sluggish mind to process. All three of them were looking at him and saying something... he could see their mouths moving ... but nothing came out.
... no sound.
Dick suddenly felt very cold and hugged his arms to himself as the floor began to take on a life of it's own. He had to step to the side a couple times to keep his balance just before Batman's cape was tossed around his shoulders and strong arms wrapped around him, as his world faded to black.
To be continued...