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Marvelous World of DC: Part 2: Book 2:

Batman: Dark Crusade

Chapter 1: The Bat Chooses

After the fall

We'll shake it off

Show me the way

-"Blow Me Away" Breaking Benjamin

August 20th, 1994

"Tony!" a young boy called, "Hey Tony, wait up!"

A young boy raced through a large garden. Looming over the garden was an old, ornate mansion. The young boy looked about eight years old, with short, black hair and brown eyes. He wore simple brown pants, a green button up t-shirt and sneakers. Ahead of him ran another young boy. He appeared to be the same age, with spiky black hair and brown eyes. He wore a red t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Behind them ran two other children. One was a young girl with long red hair and green eyes. She wore a green skirt and purple shirt. Along with her ran a blond boy, wearing a yellow shirt and olive green shorts.

"Come on, Tony!" the black hair boy shouted, "Wait up!"

"Fine Bruce," Tony said with a smile, coming to a stop outside an old green house, "You don't have to whine."

"I just want to see it," Bruce replied.

"Well, you know, finders keepers," Tony said with a smirk.

"Well you found it at my house," Bruce argued.

Tony rolled his eyes as he sighed and held out his hand. In his palm sat an old, stone arrowhead.

"Wow," the girl said, looking at it.

"Hey, move Kathy!" the blond boy said, "I can't see!"

"Relax, Danny," Kathy replied as she moved over.

"So, what do you think, Bruce?" Tony asked.

"I think finders keepers!" Bruce shouted as he grabbed the arrowhead and took off running.

"Hey!" Tony shouted as he ran after him, "Bruce you jerk!"

Bruce laughed as he ran, with Tony hot on his heels. Danny and Kathy ran after them. Darting around a corner, Bruce leapt up on a boarded up well. As he landed, the boards gave a loud groan before breaking with a loud snap. Bruce let out a cry of surprise as the ground fell out from beneath him and he fell into the darkness below. He landed hard on his back on the dry bed of the well.

"Bruce!" Tony shouted as he stood over the well, looking down with the others.

"Are you alright!" Kathy asked.

"I think I did something to my leg!" he shouted back, cringing with pain, "Go get my dad!"

"Right!" Tony called backed as the three of them ran off.

It was only then that Bruce realized he was alone in a dark cave. He felt he should call out to the others but he figured they were to far away to hear. His heart hammered in his chest as he pushed himself up into a sitting position, hissing in pain as he moved his injured ankle.

Suddenly, he heard a loud shriek. Looking to the side, he saw that the well opened up into a tunnel, only big enough for Bruce to crawl through. Another shriek came from the tunnel, echoing down to Bruce. Suddenly, a loud rustling noise came from the tunnel before a swarm of bats shot out of the opening. Bruce screamed as the bats swarmed around them, holding up his hand to protect his face as the bats buffeted him, flying around the well and out of the opening above him.

Slowly lowering his hands, Bruce looked around, finding himself alone in the cave again. Looking at his arms, he saw that they were covered in small cuts and bites. They weren't bleeding, but they stung badly. Suddenly, another noise from the small cave caught his attention. It was another flapping sound, though it was slower compared to the other bats.

As Bruce watched in horror, a monstrously sized bat appeared, barely big enough to fit through the hole while flying. Everything seemed slow down as he watched the bat approach. Its fur and skin were pitch black, while two burning red eyes stared out from the dark. He could even make out the spittle dripping off its open mouth as it flew. It let out a horrific screech as Bruce let out a cry of terror. Then everything went black.

"Bruce?" he heard a voice say, echoing as if it were far away, "Bruce?"

Slowly, Bruce opened his eyes. Looking above him, he saw his father slowly descending into the well, a harness wrapped around him with a cable leading up and out of the well. His father had black hair like his, with brown eyes. He wore simple grey pants and a green, collared shirt along with hiking boots.

"Bruce can you hear me?" he asked.

"Dad?" Bruce questioned groggily.

"I'm here, Bruce," his father replied, "Are you okay?"

"I hurt my ankle," Bruce answered, indicating towards his ankle, "And there were bats and they attacked me."

"Attacked you?" his father asked.

"Yeah," Bruce answered, holding up his cut arms as evidence.

"I see. Come on, let's get you out of here."

His father slowly reached down and picked Bruce up. Slowly, they were pulled upwards out of the well. Emerging, Bruce saw two men pulling the cable. One was a man in his middle agse, with short graying brown hair and brown eyes. He wore a distinguished looking suit. He also had a small mustache. The other man was dressed in a white, collared shirt and brown pants. He had slicked back, black hair and a pencil thin mustache.

"Master Wayne!" the older man said, "Is he alright?"

"He's got a twisted ankle, and some scraps and bruises, Alfred." Thomas explained as he began to walk towards the mansion, the other's following him.

"Dad?" Tony said, getting the other man's attention, "Is Bruce going to be alright?"

"I'm sure he will, son" Tony's father reassured him.

"Howard," Thomas said, catching the man's attention, "I need you to get some ice for Bruce's ankle. Alfred, I need some antiseptic and bandages for his wounds."

Both men nodded and headed out to get the required items.

"Is there anything we can do, Mr. Wayne?" Danny asked.

"Sure, can you kids go get some water for Bruce to drink?" he asked them. The children nodded and rushed towards the kitchen. At the same time, Thomas carried Bruce to a large sitting room and laid him one of the couches.

"You okay son?" he asked as he lay him down.

"Yeah dad, thanks," Bruce replied, though his heart didn't seem to be in it.

"Are you sure, son?" Thomas asked.

"It's just," Bruce began while looking out one of the large windows, "the bats. They really scared me."

"Well, I'm sure you just scared them as much as they scared you. They weren't out to get you, you just startled them," Thomas explained.

"I'm not so sure," Bruce replied, "I mean most of the bats seemed to be trying to run away, but there was this one big bat. It came out after all the others, and it flew straight at me. I don't think it was scared. I think it wanted me."

Bruce slowly turned back to his father, "It scared me, dad."

Thomas smiled a bit, before he kneeled down next to his son.

"Bruce, do you know why we fall?" he asked.

"No, dad, why?" Bruce asked in reply.

"So we can learn to pick ourselves up again," Thomas said with a smile, placing his hand on Bruce's shoulder. Bruce smiled back, understanding his father's wisdom. At the same time, Alfred walked in, carrying the bandages and antiseptic.

"I have the items you requested, Master Wayne," Alfred stated simply, walking over to him at a brisk pace.

"Thank you, Alfred," Thomas thanked him, taking the items.

"Also, I should warn you, Mrs. Wayne has returned home and I have informed her of the incident," Alfred stated.

"You what?" he asked, a look of fear washing over his face.

"Bruce!" a woman's voice called. A second later, a woman rushed into the room. She wore a white blouse and a black skirt. She had shoulder-length, black hair and green eyes. She quickly rushed over and kneeled next to Bruce.

"Bruce, honey, are you okay?" she asked, concern written across her face.

"I'm fine, Mom," Bruce said, embarrassed by her codling.

"Thomas!" she snapped, rounding on her husband, "How could you let this happen? You know that the grounds are full of dangerous things."

"I'm sorry Martha, I just wanted to let the boy have some fun," Thomas apologized, holding his hands up in defense.

Martha glared at him for a few moments before she turned her eyes back to their son. Her face softened and her anger was again replaced with worry.

"Will he be okay?" she asked.

"Well, his ankle is swollen up pretty bad," Thomas explained, "And we'll probably have to take him in for a tetanus shot just in case one of those bats had rabies."

"Bats!" she shouted with panic, "What bats!"

Thomas' eyes widened in fear again. Looking over his shoulder, he looked to Alfred for help. In returned, the butler looked at him impassively before shrugging. As Martha opened her mouth to give her husband another piece of her mind, Howard entered the room, the three children in tow.

"Now Martha, don't be too hard on Thomas," he said as he walked over to them, handing Thomas an ice pack "falling down and hurting yourself is part of what childhood is all about."

"I don't recall falling down a well when I was a little girl," Martha retorted, crossing her arms and looking away.

As they were talking, Bruce's friends took the opportunity to approach him.

"Hey Bruce, how you doing?" Tony asked.

"We brought you some water," Kathy said as she handed him a glass.

"Thanks," Bruce replied, accepting the glass and taking a sip. "My leg hurts, but other then that, I think I'm okay."

"Oh Tony before I forget," Bruce said before reaching into his pocket and pulling something out, he turned to Tony and handed it to him, "I think this is yours."

Accepting it, Tony saw that it was the arrowhead that Bruce had stolen from him earlier.

"Hey, thanks!" Tony replied excitedly.

"So," Thomas began as he tied the ice pack to Bruce's ankle, "How was your day, sweetie?"

"Fine, fine," Martha said dismissively, before her head shot up as she remembered something, "Oh, I did run into that theater owner. He invited us to the opening of one of their new shows in a few nights."

Thomas smirked as he turned to Bruce.

"Sounds like we're going to have a night on the town, Bruce," he said with a smile.

A/N: All right here we go! First off this actually would have been out Wednesday, but my laptop decided to flip out. Probably getting a new one soon. I do find it weird that I suffered a computer malfunction right before starting a new fic, especially since the same thing happened as I was working on the first chapter for Guardian's Light. If it happens again I guess I'll have to label it under 'spooky'.

Any who, bit of a short chapter this time. I felt my original idea would have been too long, but now it feels too short. Oh well. This story is going to be a long one, easily the longest of Part 2. People were crying for Batman so much and I had so many ideas that I decided this fic would be his origins plus his first two years as Batman, compared to the one year the other fics will take place in. As a timeline, for those who care, the first year will take place before the two "Big Bangs" seen in Part 1, then the second year will take place in the same year as most of the other stories.

As you may have noticed, this chapter was a lot like the opening to Batman Begins. I will be using that storyline as a guide, though don't expect a word for word translation. In addition, the big bat thing is inspired by "The Dark Knight Returns." Those who have read it will know what I'm talking about.

Well I hope you guys like this one! I'm really excited to write this fic and I think you guys will enjoy it as well. Please review! Later True Believers!