Disclaimer: Not mine.
Chapter Rating: PG (over all rating will be R)
Chapter Warnings: Mention of drugs, guns (future chapters – sex, violence, graphic depiction of drug abuse so don't start reading if those things bother you.)
Summary: A new form of Crystal Meth has hit the streets of Bludhaven. Dick vows to bring the makers down before it can spread to other cities, but Officer Grayson's undercover op is about to go horribly wrong...
Author's Notes: Suggested listening is "Bedshaped" by Keane. The song text is not placed here as it would be in violation of the terms and conditions (which, granted, very few people take notice of!)
This story is set somewhere on the timeline around Nightwing #73, when Dick was part of Bludhaven PD. (Purely because I'm more familiar with that era!)
Blue on Blue
One - Evie
They called it Blue. And Bludhaven had the dubious honour of being its birth place. It was a new form of Methamphetamine, otherwise known as 'Crystal Meth.' It was twice the hit of its parent drug, for half the price and it was proving to be very popular among the clubbers and students.
The BHPD had done little to stem the tide of addicts and pushers and now bodies were turning up in Gotham.
They had made some progress. Intel suggested that there was only one maker so far. But that would soon change. They had to find the source and quickly, before the formulation could spread. And then it would be unstoppable.
And if it couldn't be done by the BHPD, it would be done by Nightwing.
Dick Grayson hung up his uniform and sighed. He had logged some serious overtime in the last week and would have volunteered for more had Amy not balked at the dent it was putting in the budget. And in a way, he was glad. Because he was tired – bone deep tired.
He rarely felt tired. He often knew he was tired because his reactions would be off, just a fraction, but a noticeable fraction, but he rarely experienced the yawning, aching sleepiness that affected most people. He had always assumed that was to do with the way he was raised. He'd been worked hard as far back as he could remember, first by his parents and then by Bruce. And an adolescence that had included a full day's school and a long night's patrol had trained his body to run on little sleep.
But tired or not, he couldn't stop. This thing was spreading. He just didn't have time to sleep.
Dick made himself and strong, sugar laden coffee and gulped it down.
His laptop beeped and at the touch of a button brought up Batman's face. He frowned. There was always something vaguely disconcerting about addressing his mentor while he was in the cape and cowl and Dick was just in underwear and a tank, like he'd been caught goofing off while the rest of the world worked.
"Have you made any progress?"
"Some. I'm watching the Vox nightclub. One of the OD's went there the night they died. I talked to one of his friends. They witnessed him buying the Blue from a dealer inside."
"You have a name?"
"Possibly. Jimmy Finch has been mentioned."
"I pulled his rap sheet. Finch has never dealt Class A drugs before."
There was a pause. Nightwing wondered if his reference to his police career annoyed him, but on something like this, Officer Grayson could do more groundwork than Nightwing ever could.
"This is spreading."
Dick frowned. "Another victim?"
"A student from Gotham State."
Nightwing thought he could detect reproach in his mentor's voice.
I'm sorry. But he didn't say the words aloud. He knew that it wasn't his fault, but somehow knowing another Gotham citizen had died because of something that had come from his streets made him feel guilty.
"If there's a dealer in Gotham, I'll find them."
Batman's face blinked out.
Dick went to his concealed closet and took out his costume.
When he pressed the mask in place, he closed his eyes and took several slow, deep breaths before dropping into warm-up stretches. Then he slipped out the window and fell up into the black.
She was pretty, under the mop of lank blonde hair. Nightwing watched her. He wondered when she'd last eaten. Her bones stuck out and there was a hollow look in her eyes. She must have been freezing, dressed in just dirty jeans and skinny T, when the temperature was just a few degrees above zero.
Her name was Evelyn Jones – Evie – and Officer Grayson had busted her for possession of heroin a number of times. Now it looked like she'd moved on to Blue.
He continued to follow her, moving silently from rooftop to lamp top as she wandered the alleys and passageways behind the Vox nightclub. Eventually she stopped and hung around outside the back delivery door of the nightclub, hiding in the shadows.
A group of men came out of the nightclub and walked past her. Nightwing doubted she'd been seen and something about the way they scanned around for watchers told him she'd better stay hidden.
She was about to break cover when an unmarked car drove up. The window opened and then Nightwing's view was cut off as the men stood round.
The car backed away.
He was about to go after it when he caught sight of Evie stepping into the light. She had her hand out and Nightwing could see green between her fingers. She was trying to buy.
He cursed softly as the men surrounded her.
Nightwing leapt off the building, using the opposite wall to slow his descent, and landing softly on the ground.
The girl screamed.
Nightwing cut through the men easily, swiftly disarming one when he pulled a gun. Another had a knife, which he swung carelessly and without any skill. A lightening fast kick sent the weapon spinning away into the darkness.
The girl snatched up something that had fallen to the ground in the tussle and ran off. One of the attackers broke from the fight and pounded after her. Nightwing cursed, but he still had two of her attackers to deal with. The first fell easily, the other at least had had some martial arts training but he quickly followed.
A shot rang out.
Nightwing sprinted after the sound, swinging up and over a fence, and then down a narrow gap between two buildings. Halfway along, he found her body.
She had been shot from behind and the bullet had exited her chest. He could see the shattered remnants of her sternum poking out of the massive hole.
He knelt down.
Incredibly her eyes flickered open.
He quickly instructed Oracle to get an ambulance, but he knew it was too late. She would bleed out long before any help came, if the terrible damage didn't kill her first.
Her lips moved and a sound that might have been a sob came out.
Before he could think about what he was doing, Nightwing pulled off the mask covering his face.
He saw recognition in her eyes and one skeletal hand grabbed at his chest. Her grip was surprisingly strong.
"Blue…" She hissed, "…lines."
Dick squeezed the hand that still clutched at his front. Only an addict would ask for a line of their drug instead of an ambulance.
"Blue…" But it was barely a whisper now and her grip slacked until her hand slipped limply from his.
Dick watched the light fade in her eyes.
Then he pressed his mask back in place and disappeared into the darkness.
Dick barely made it in time for roll call the next day. Evie rated only a brief mention and he doubted the detectives would give her murder more than a few hours, if that, before filing the case away.
When the briefing ended, he was called aside by Amy. She also summoned another of the new recruits, Jessie Hayes.
Standing with Amy was one of the detectives from Drugs, Owen Andrews and Amy introduced them both.
"You've heard of the Vox?"
"The nightclub where Jane Tyler bought the Blue?" Jessie answered.
Andrews nodded. "We're going to put a couple of officers in there, buying Blue, getting to know the sellers."
"That's where you come in." Amy told them.
"We're pretty stretched as it is and frankly, we'll stick out like sore thumb in that place. We need someone younger." Andrews told them. "Someone who the dealers will sell to, someone they might trust to start dealing for them." He paused. "Someone I can trust."
Jessie's face lit up.
"Amy recommended you, Dick. And Jessie, you'll be his support."
"This is optional. You can say no." Amy told them. "If you don't think you're ready-"
Dick cut in. "I'm ready."