A/N: This is dedicated to Heartless BytchhakaHelenBach1, and a_phoenixdragon, Mistress of the Dark Vault. I have fics coming up by the end of this week separately for each one of you, but hey, it's Halloween and you two deserve a trick. Or a treat. I hope you enjoy this! I may as well warn you right now, there are absolutely no redeeming qualities to this story. Just weirdness and plenty of character death. Story title taken from the very first Batman movie.
Possible Spoilers for : Batman: Under The Red Hood.
Warning: Character death a plenty in this one. Ye have been warned.
Summary: "My dad...and my brother...were the only things in this world that kept me in check. And they're gone now. Because of him." SPN/Batman: Under The Red Hood Xover. Dark AU.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or Batman. This is for entertainment purposes only, and not for profit.
Part I - Chew toy
Nothing worked, not the toys in his belt, not the moves, fancy and dirty, that he practiced and perfected all these years. He's forgotten how many times he was tossed up into the air, still hears the brittle snap of bone, the tearing sound his skin and body armor made as he was ripped open.
This fight is over.
He's not Batman anymore, he's Bruce Wayne again, fragile, broken and all too human. Bruce stares up at the night sky; he's vaguely aware that the snowy ground at his back is wet, sticky. Frigid cold seeps in through his broken skin, coats his mangled insides with blue frost, right down to his very core. He can't feel his legs.
It wasn't supposed to end like this.
Something huge and sleek pads around him, just inside the edge of his vision.
"You should have killed him," the wolf whispers. "You didn't. So I killed you." There's rage and disbelief in that low, whiskey smooth growl, different but oh so familiar.
"I thought I'd be the last person you'd ever let him hurt..."
"Jason," Bruce whispers roughly. Something slick bubbles up in his throat. "Tell...tell me what happened to you. Let...let me help..."
He knows that's wrong somehow. Knows it, but he can't stop himself. The past and the present's all mixed together, spinning around so fast he can't keep track. This boy is so much like Jason, even down to that hurt look in his eyes. The look of betrayal never changes, even if it's for different reasons.
"Not Jason! Not my name," the thing rumbles as it leans forward. It lashes out with its right paw. Those razor sharp claws rip the left side of Bruce's face down to the bone. It doesn't hurt.
Dark gold fur recedes, smooths out into lean, freckled skin. Bruce stares upward at that all too familiar human face. He remembers those mugshots he'd uncovered. Hartford County Jail, among others. The boy always stared into the camera with that cocky, go to hell grin, so different, but still so very familiar.
Not Jason. Bruce struggles with the memory. Not...
The memories are just bits and pieces, crumpled and torn, just like he is now.
...like...like the rifle...
Bruce ignores the cold spreading through his body. He concentrates on the details, holds onto what he'd uncovered.
Dean Winchester. Born January 24, 1979. Eldest son of John and Mary...older brother to Samuel Winchester...Mary Winchester died in a fire...Lawrence Kansas...hospital and DFS records indicate possible child abuse through the years...
"I died," the boy whispers softly, "and my family made a deal to bring me back. They didn't know I came back wrong. My dad and my brother were the only things in this world that kept me in check. They're gone now."
"If it had been you that he beat to a bloody pulp, if he had taken you from this world, I would've done nothing but search the planet for this pathetic pile of evil death-worshiping garbage and sent him off to hell."
Fierce green eyes glow like emeralds, backlit by the moonlight."You let the Joker live," Dean Winchester whispers, "and now my family's dead. Because of him. Because of you."
"You don't understand. I don't think you'd ever understood." Bruce grates out loud.
The boy jerks backward, his eyes wide with anger and disbelief. Bruce opens his mouth to speak again, to say something, anything, and he knows whatever he might say wouldn't be enough.
Thick blond fur explodes out of bare freckled skin. Ears lengthen and twitch, fingernails into razor sharp claws that rip and tear. Bruce's insides spill out onto the frozen dark ground. He still can't feel anything, and that seems wrong somehow.
Dean Winchester howls at the night sky, and the sound of that grief and fury follows Bruce Wayne from this world into the next.
Part II - It only hurts when I laugh
"You killed the bat," The Joker huffs irritably. "You broke him." He looks around the grey concrete room with bright, shiny eyes, curious, too damn crazy to be scared as Dean rises up on his hind legs, half wolf, half human.
Dean flattens his ears against his skull. "You killed my family. My brother and my Dad."
"I did?" The Joker looks puzzled. "Look kid, I've killed so many, you gotta refresh my memory."
A swipe of Dean's massive paw, and the Joker's spine breaks apart like brittle dusty chalk. Dean whispers John Winchester's name as he slashes into the clown bastard. Dad was a real hero, and he always protected his family.
Dean growls out Sam's name as he cuts the Joker's hamstrings with his claws. Sam was smart, he loved writing and books and he thought his big brother would always protect him.
The Joker doesn't get it. Dean can see it in his eyes. The bastard loves this, loves the pain and the not so loving attention Dean gives him. Dean nearly loses it then, nearly sinks his teeth into the soft underside of the Joker's throat. Too soon. Too easy. He jerks backward to a halt as he stops himself.
Dean talks about John and Sam anyway.
He wishes he could do something clever, something unexpected, filled with poetic justice, but he doesn't have the spirit or the will for that kind of thing anymore. Hell saw to that. All Dean knows now is killing, how to make it slow and painful. He uses his teeth and claws, uses everything Crowley taught him in Hell's kennel.
Dean rips the Joker's tongue out on day ten. Hearing him go on and on about "the broken Bat" was getting rather tiresome.
The Joker dies on day thirty.
The world follows seven days later.
Part III - Don't you just love a happy ending?
In the beginning some called him the Morning Star, or the Lightbringer. They're wrong, of course. They die believing whatever they want to.
The last survivors call him Fenrir now, and that's just as well. One name is as good as any other now. The wolf roams the world devouring human life at will. He doesn't remember his old name; he doesn't want to. His grief and rage fuels him now.
His ears and tail brush against the roof of the world, and Heaven above holds its collective breath. He can't reach them. Not yet.
The being who was once Dean Winchester, eldest son of John and Mary, older brother to Samuel, loses himself in the boundless spring of his muscles, the darkening sky above and hell's wind as it ruffles his fur.
...my dad and my brother were the only things in this world that kept me in check...
He howls his sadness at the skies, and the earth trembles.
Lawrence, Kansas is scoured down to bedrock by gale force winds. The only house left standing is that vacant one with the big tree in the front yard. Years ago, before that terrible fire back in '83, another family lived there then: a quiet man who made his living using his hands, and his wife, who was bright, shining and beautiful. They had two boys, and the older one adored his baby brother.
Missouri Moseley knows why the house was spared, but she doesn't survive either.
Victor Hendrickson dies when Washington DC does.
Bela Talbot dies just outside Zephyr, Oklahoma when her SUV is crushed flat on the highway. Her last thought is that murder victims always go to heaven.
The bones of Robert Singer, Rufus Thomas and Gordon Walker lie intermingled underneath tons of rocks and debris, all that remains of Mount Rushmore.
Kubrick, the Jesus Guy, goes to meet his Maker with a Bible in one hand and his favorite pistol in the other.
The wolf is amused.
The Roadhouse is reduced to fine grey ash scattered by the four winds. Ellen Harvelle sees the beast a mile away as it approaches the building. Instead of driving away she turns her pick-up truck around and goes back inside to die fighting with Ash, Jo, and the rest of the hunters.
Ellen wouldn't have it any other way.
Castiel, Uriel, and their entire garrison die scattered across the northern hemisphere. Blackened feathers rain down steadily from the fiery sky above, but there's no one alive left to see it.
Michael is the last Archangel standing, but not for long.
The great wolf cocks his head to one side. He can hear Crowley's voice in the cicadas at sunset.
Time to come home, Dean. All is forgiven.
There were times when Crowley really wished that Balthazar would've kept his sodding mouth shut.
The angel frequently roamed between Heaven and Hell. No surprise there; demons sometimes made the trip upwards. It was a "grass is greener on the other side" type of thing, and they could keep it. When he was human and needed help, Hell answered the call first. Heaven didn't respond, didn't care, so Crowley paid them no mind.
Crowley remembers the day Balthazar saw Dean in his kennel.
Dean stood there patiently, calmly. That was one of the things Crowley loved about his pet; it took a lot to rile him up.
Balthazar stared wide-eyed at Dean, then drew back.
"He's the one," the angel whispered softly. "He's the End."
"Go on, Dean. That's a good boy," Crowley ordered.
Dean moved away from the fence and shifted. He went four legged and nosed around the kennel area with his ears pricked, tail slightly wagging.
Balthazar stepped close to Crowley, lowered his voice to a whisper in the demon's ear. "He's the End of everything. You keep a tight leash on that one, brother. Otherwise he'll end us all."
Crowley laughed about that stupid notion. He wasn't happy about losing his favorite months later, but a deal was a deal, after all, his stock in trade. Sam and John Winchester wanted their son, their brother back, and Crowley was only too happy to oblige. Everyone knows what the road to hell is paved with.
When the Joker killed John and Sam Winchester, their souls were snatched up and spirited away to Heaven by none other than the Archangel Michael himself.
It's part of the eternal game, done only to confound the devil.
Sometimes the devil enjoys the hell out of the results.
The world's a ruined cinder by the time Crowley welcomes his wayward hound home on the foothills of Hell. Dean's two legged again, dull-eyed with exhaustion. He's roamed enough. Killed enough.
He'll be a good little dog from now on, and they both know it.
Dean's nostrils flare a little as he scents the sulfur scented air.
Dad's here too.
Heaven didn't have the stomach for any more death. They returned John and Sam Winchester to hell, then locked Paradise up tight as a drum. Crowley feels disappointed. Cheated, somehow. Seeing the big bad wolf storm Heaven's Gates would have been a sight to see.
It still might be.
Crowley opens his arms and Dean steps into his embrace. The kiss is slow and deep.
"Welcome back, kiddo," the demon murmurs as he pulls back. "I missed you."