Oh me, oh my. I can't believe I'm doing this…

You know the drill—I don't own 'em. Wish I did.

The Torture Chair II

I'd feel better after punching out some bad-guys, I told myself. You know, make them feel that special kind of pain I was feeling right now. Pow, zap, zowee. Right in the kisser. And I pretty much had free-reign until Bruce managed to sneak away from whatever stupid social function he'd gotten himself into this time. I tried not to pay attention, it'd just hurt my head, thinking about his 'social life' too much.

I was cruising, looking for some mooks to mess up when I saw the Bat-signal. It figured. It had to be something big. All I wanted to do was pop a few goons… Shut up, Robin. It wasn't like they planned trouble in this city based on your emotional outlook on any given night. Do the job. Forget about your poor widdle toof for a little while. Couplea days and they'll finish the stupid root canal, and all will be well in the world of Tim Drake.

Without a sound, I landed on the roof that was emitting that flooding beacon. I walked towards the commissioner. "What can I do for you tonight, sir?"

"I was hoping your senior partner would be available."

"He'll be along. Don't worry about that."

"Well, we have an interesting one for you tonight." He handed me the file.

I opened it and began looking through it with interest. I could probably handle this myself. My hand unconsciously went to my jaw and stroked it lightly as I thought about the possibilities.

"How's the tooth?"

"It's been better, sir," I respond absently, trying to recall the history of the last case involving this particular character.

"You went to the dentist?" This conversation was getting a tad personal.

"Yeah." I looked at the last page of the report. "Yes. Sir. I did."

"That's good."

Geeze. "Is this all, sir? If it is… then I suppose we'd better get started. Batman and I." Robin, the boy-idiot. I sounded all full of confidence and stuff, didn't I?

"Maybe after this, you should… I don't know. Call it an early night?"

Did I look as miserable as I felt? "I'll try, sir." Man, I was practically radiating misery. I tried to be polite, but I'd just called him sir like thirty times since I landed on the roof. If Batman saw me, he'd probably send me home. And I hated when he did that. Cause it meant I'd not measured up again.

It hurt like crap, and I had to just put it behind me and continue on.

I bit my cheek, trying to like… counteracting the pain or something. That dentist guy said that drilling it all out and filing it would make it feel better. Not WORSE. With my luck it was infected. "I think I got all we need, sir. This guy'll regret setting foot in city boarders again." Drifting sociopath were acceptable outlets for aggression.

Gordon took the file from me. "And… Robin…"

He and I usually didn't have conversations. "Yes, sir?"

"I hope you feel better."

I launched myself off the roof, feeling like a complete heel. It's just a frigging tooth, for crying out loud. A TOOTH. And here I'm getting sympathies. If I didn't find someone to beat up soon, things were going to get desperate.

"Robin, report," came Batman's hushed voice in my ear. Obviously he saw the signal. "That railway murderer guy. I'm on it."

"I'll be there in fifteen."

"I got it. Go back to your little girlfriends or something." Man, I was in a bad mood.

"Robin." And then there was silence. That was Batman's way of saying you're out of line and you know it, and be prepared to face wicked-evil punishment.

I wanted to just crawl into bed, lay on my side and moan.

"Kill me now," I muttered as I approached the train yards, looking for clues. "Kill me, kill me kill me kill--"

"I'm always honored to fill requests."

Great detecting, boy blunder. Just waltz right into that.

It's a scruffy guy in a faded blue shirt and jeans that were grey with grease and wear. His eyes are dark brown, and they're sort of glassed over.

"Just don't talk to me," I moaned. "I just can't stand it when the baddies talk back." Especially the obviously deranged ones. Joker, Two-Face, Riddler, all those dudes had something to at least go on, and they had to blab out their evil scheme, so the talking was sort of an educational session. But the creeps? Well, they just talked sometimes for like NO apparent reason. Guilty conscience, loose jaw… who knew.

He had a knife about the size of my forearm. Maybe I could dig my tooth out with it. He did the usual lunge and go for the kill stuff and I took him down. Another night in the bad old city. I couldn't believe they'd actually thought that I'd needed Batman to take care of this one. Pull his legs out from under him while grabbing his wrist so I had control of the knife, and all was well. Well, I guess it could have gotten ugly, if like I wouldn't have just wandered into the situation. Did the tie-up drill, then waited for the police to come.

He had enough evidence on him and in his bag to tie him to seven of the murders he was being accused of, so I didn't really feel the need to hang around-around. I stayed on top of a rail car, laying on my stomach, my head propped up on my arms. I was tired, I was hot, I hurt, and it was like half an hour, and Bats still wasn't here. What was he doing? Sure, abandon the kid. I'm expendable. Shut up, Tim. Don't you DARE say that to Batman's face. Don't even THINK it.

"Go home," he said from behind me. I hadn't even heard him.

"I'm fine," I whined.

"Go home. That is an order."

I scraped myself off the rusted roof of the train car. "Order me this, order me that…fine, be that way."

His face never changed. That was the thing about him, he was Mr. Stoicism. He might as well have been a statue.

I jumped down off the car, and almost lost my balance. That was just stupid. It was like twelve feet. I looked up to see if Batman was going to give me a hard time. My luck, he wasn't even there. He was over talking to the Commissioner. "Its alright, I sent him home. And if he knows what's good for him, he'll go." Yeah, he knew I was listening to him.

"I'm just fine," I muttered.

He glared at me, and I marched away. Fine, be that way. I was fine, everything was fine. Everything was ALWAYS fine.

Twenty minutes later, Tim Drake crawled into bed, wondering how much illness and pain one fricking little tooth could inflict upon a person. I did roll onto my side and moan a little. Be a man, Tim.
I woke about two hours later, rolling out of bed and on to the floor and practically crawling for the toilet. Wouldn't Batman be proud to see me now. Everything came out of my stomach in a few good heaves, and then I dragged myself to the sink to clean myself up. Maybe I could just crawl into a hole and die right now. I'd embarrassed myself in front of Gordon, and Batman, and probably even the stupid psychopath I'd taken down.

"Is everything alright in here?" everyone could sneak up on me. It wasn't even sneaking any more. They just walked up and there they were. "You don't look too well, son."

I moaned again. That was an understatement, dad.

"We'll call the dentist in the morning. How's that sound?"

Just freaking peachy.