Title: "Holy Snot, Batman!"
Author: Pirate Turner
Rating: G
Summary: Batman has a cold.
Spoilers: None
Warnings: None
Word Count (excluding heading): 752
Feedback: Yes, please!
Archive: WWOMB, -- Anybody else, ask, and I'll probably grant permission.
Disclaimer: Bruce "Batman" Wayne, Dick "Robin" Grayson, Alfred Pennyworth, every Bat-item used within, and Gotham City are & TM DC comics, not the author, and are used without permission. Everything else is & TM the author. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.

It was the dead of night in Gotham City, and an eerie quiet reigned over the sleeping city. Not a single criminal seemed to be stirring when suddenly the sound of an explosion blasted over the tops of the buildings. It hurtled downward, seeming to come from the sky, and ran amok amongst the few people who dared to scurry about. Sirens wailed, and the Batlight flashed on.

"Holy snot, Batman!" Robin exclaimed, looking down at the older hero who now hung onto his boot.

Batman sniffled and looked up at his sidekick with a mixture of emotions in his bloodshot eyes. There, in the man's eyes, the boy saw it all: the embarrassment from making such a ruckus with only a sneeze and from coming so close to falling over such a little thing, the apology for having to hold on to his ankle to keep from falling the rest of the way to his death, the misery of the cold that had latched on to him two days ago and refused to relinquish its grip, and the pathetic determination to keep plugging away at their crimefighting even when there didn't seem to be a crime that needed their attention.

Robin's eyes widened as Batman's nose began to twitch again. "No," he pleaded. "No! You sneeze again like you just did, and the explosion's going to knock us both down!"

"I . . . I'm trying . . . " Yet even as the great Batman struggled to speak, his senses were rocked, and he sneezed again. Robin screamed as they fell, but no scream came from the Bat's mouth. It wasn't that fear did not clutch his heart nor was he calm because he knew they were to be saved. It was instead that he could not get any sound out of his mouth except for continual sneezing. Another sneeze escaped him with every flight of stairs they dropped pass.

Robin struggled with his Bathook and finally managed to hook it on the corner of a balcony. He had barely began to pull them up when Batman sneezed again and the cable immediately broke. He cursed in frustration as they continued their downward drop and only hushed when he saw the ground rushing up at them. He closed his eyes, bracing his body for the impact and wondering how in the world the sneezes of the very man who had saved his life could be his undoing.

Batman tried to think. He fought to find a way to clear his brain enough that he could save them, but the cold had captured him fully. Whereas he had eventually bested every villain he'd ever come up against, a mere cold was going to kill him! He gasped for air and clarity as the pavement rushed up at him like an unstoppable locomotive.

And then, suddenly, the Batmobile was there. It spun underneath them just in time for the caped crusaders to land in its backseat. Robin groaned; Batman sneezed again.

A voice called to them from the front of the car, and Batman smiled even as he sneezed. "Where to, young sirs?"

Robin didn't know if he wanted to laugh or cry. How had Alfred known? The old man never ceased to surprise him, but Robin decided that this time, even if he would never do so again, he would simply take the assistance the butler offered and be thankful for it. "Home, I think, Al," he said.

Alfred's eyes met Batman's gaze as the younger man gasped and wheezed for air. His sneezes seemed to have subsided for the moment, but he had not yet managed to speak. "I dare say, Master Bruce, that I did try to advise you to stay home . . . "

Batman finally managed to speak and cut his loyal butler off before he could say anything further. "Home, Alfred," he spoke, "and don't be such a pompous know-it-all. The canary-eating cat expression does nothing for your appearance."

Alfred smiled slyly but then promptly turned his vision to the road before Master Dick could question the exchange between them. For just a moment, the mighty Batman had sounded much like the young ward he had first come to know and love Bruce Wayne as, and it was far too rare that he saw his Brucie these days. "Whatever you say, Master Bruce. There's a bowl of chicken soup awaiting you in the Batcave."

"Bring it to my bedroom, Alfred," Batman muttered before he set off into another sneezing fit.

The End