*Disclaimer: I own nothing, all characters belong to DC Comics.

Author's Note: May be slightly OC and AU.

I would like to once again say thanks to everyone who has reviewed. And I would like to apologize if certain characters don't really sound like they're supposed to.

Slash! Pairing: Sladin

Rated: M for later chapters

Chapter 5 Slowly Piecing Things Together

Batman stormed into Dick's apartment and took in the tattered remains.

Dick really must have put up a fight here. But why come back at all? What was the purpose?

Then Batman saw it, the picture of Barbara Gordon that Dick always kept in a frame, with singe marks from being set on fire.

That is just like Dick! Thinking about a picture instead of his own safety!

Batman then took notice of missing items, several outfits including one of his officer's uniforms, toothbrush, comb, shower items, and several weapons. However, Slade did leave one thing behind, a small drop of chloroform. Batman swabbed it up off the floor just as Jason entered.

"Holy shit! What happened here?" Jason exclaimed.

Without answering Batman tossed his new evidence to Jason. (Who quickly smelled it and made a face as sweetness of it stung his nose.)

"Chloroform," Jason stated, Batman nodded then Jason continued. "He used chloroform on Dick! If he had that then that explains the warehouse!"

"What about the warehouse?" Batman asked gruffly.

"Cass and I checked it out, just like you said to," Jason explained, "And we were surprised to find that Dick didn't put up much of a struggle. But if Slade had chloroform…"

Jason didn't have to finish his sentence; they both knew what he was getting at. It was simple; Dick didn't struggle because he couldn't; if only they knew how wrong they were. Batman and Jason quickly left the scene and headed back to the Bat-cave.


Cassandra had just arrived back at the Bat-cave, where she was immediately greeted by Tim.

"Any clues to finding Dick?" he asked hopefully.

"We have found evidence, but I'm not sure it will be much help." Cassandra answered carefully.

The two of them walked over to the computer, where Barbara was quietly working. Cassandra gently placed the evidence, she and Jason collected, on a nearby table.

"We have not had much luck," Cassandra stated before Barbara could ask. "Mostly photographs and some samples of blood. We couldn't find any prints, or anyway to track them."

"Tim and I haven't had much luck either," Barbara resigned, "We tried tracking Nightwing directly, through the tracers in his suit, but they're all offline."

"Batman hasn't contacted us yet," Tim stated. He paused a moment as he looked around and frowned. "Where's Jason?"

"He went to meet up with Batman." Cassandra answered.

"According to their locators, they are just leaving Dick's apartment building." Barbara added.

After a short while, Batman and Red Hood arrived with a speed that could only come from their enhanced vehicles. As the two men stalked into the Bat-Cave, they looked upon the eager and concerned faces around the room.

Batman placed the collected evidence on the table near the Bat-Computer. Barbara quickly snatched up the top bag, which happened to contain pictures taken of Dick's apartment. She browsed through them, along with Tim and Cassandra, with wide eyes and gasped when she came across the picture Slade had attempted to burn.

"We also found chloroform." Jason stated.

Three heads immediately looked up and stared at Jason as though he had grown three extra head; the thought of what it meant hanging in the air.

"That explains the lack of fight at the warehouse." Cassandra stated what everyone else was thinking.