Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice.
Author's Note: ATTENTION: This is no longer a sequel of any kind to Missing in Action. It is based on the Tony Zucco arch and storyline. HUGE Thanks to: ChikaraDesu, and JoanneLikesVolleyball for betaing and helping me get this chapter off the ground~ :)
It was an oddly quiet and calm Wayne Manor. It was dark and stormy and most likely to rain soon. The only sounds in the manor were the tick-tocking of the grandfather clock and the rustling of the newspaper, as its pages were carelessly turned.
Bruce Wayne sat at the counter already in his Bat-suit, but with the cowl pulled back. He was just skimming the paper to see if anything interesting had come up; the only thing in the paper was the inside scoop on all the crime, but really it was an extremely babied and censored version of the truth.
He was just passing time until Dick was awake and they could head on over to Mount Justice so they he could assign them another recon – although they always ended up engaging – mission. He needed to let the boy sleep though; they had had busy and late nights all week and he had even been getting calls from Dick's school saying he was starting to fall asleep during some of his classes.
It had been a busy week, but now it was eerily quiet – or at least the crimes were simple enough that the GCPD could handle them.
Bruce glanced at the calendar on the wall and gave a heavy sigh. Just two and a half weeks and that dreaded anniversary would once again arrive. He glanced up at the stairs, eyes filled with grief – it would never get any easier.
Future the page and the large bold headline stood out to him more than anything else 'Gang Activity Skyrockets! Both old and new!' Commissioner Gordan hadn't mentioned this – most likely because he himself was busy dealing with the Riddler and the Team that the police department actually had to do something.
After a recent survey, the police department has discovered that not only has gang activity drastically increased, but old gangs are starting to make a comeback. A few old gangs have been more prominent, but not just in Gotham, but also in New York and as far off as Happy Harbor, Rhode Island. One old gang has been more active than the rest but the police have not yet released the information on exactly which gang it is. Whoever they are, they have started to get some of the younger, less experienced gangs a run for their money. Also...
"Master Bruce," Alfred said stepping out from behind the grandfather clock, "Commissioner Gordon sent over some files."
That was odd; court was only given that e-mail – an untraceable email - for emergencies or to contact him about certain people that he himself had red flagged.
He and Robin had just sent the Riddler back to Arkham and if anyone had escaped, the Bat-signal would be projected against the gray and cloudy sky.
"About?" He asked skeptically, wondering if it was really anything at all.
"There is no subject," Alfred said, "I did not open it, Sir."
Bruce carelessly tossed the paper back onto the counter and slowly got up from his chair, stretching as he did so. He walked to the secret passage and into the cave, followed by an ever so curious British butler.
As he slumped down the stairs he could faintly make out a repetitive thumping noise over the hum of the large Bat-computer.
'Dick probably left something on,' he thought as he sat down in his black and comfy revolving chair.
The e-mail was already pulled up on screen waiting for him. Several files sent over from the watchtower, passage from the Flash of doubt containing one of those stupid yet annoyingly adorable cat videos, and right on top was the message.
He clicked it open.
I know I'm not to use this other than for emergencies, but something has come up. As you probably know, gang activity has risen by an alarming rate. I would give these files (attached) to you in person, but we are currently trying to find all corrupts in our department. Also because this person is on your list.
- Commissioner Gordon
He clicked on the little attachment symbol and all a too familiar face up on the screen.
"Oh dear…" Alfred said as he dropped his feather duster in surprise.
A mug shot of an Italian man with slicked back gray and white hair, thick eyebrows and several scars smirked out at them.
"Zucco."Bruce growled through barred teeth. His fists clenched, eyes narrowed, a rage building up inside him, his body shaking.
Almost crashing that mouse he hurriedly scrolled down every last detail, word, memorizing every last sentence, every chart every, punctuation mark.
…Activity dramatically increasing…
…escaped from prison. Guards did not realize he was gone until eighteen hours later for he was alone in solitary confinement…
…drug labs, human trafficking, arms dealing, counterfeiting, prostitution rings, bank robberies, hits…
Alfred eyed him worriedly and nervously, the tapes of his fancy feathers of his duster that he picked up, "Master Dick will-"
"He can't know, Alfred," Bruce said fiercely pulling his cowl on, "He can't know. You remember what he was like when we first apprehended him. I'll handle it after I send him and the team on their new mission.
"Handle what while I'm on mission?" A voice asked, surprising both of the two older men.
Robin stood at the top of some stairs that led deeper into the cave. He had a towel across the back of his neck and had sweat gleaming on his temples. He was all ready to go, costume and everything.
"Gang activity," Batman said vaguely as he quickly closed the email, "It can wait until after I give the team your next mission."
Robin's eyes narrowed behind his mask, "Why don't we handle it before the mission?" he asked skeptically.
"It is just a simple but large number," Batman said as he stalked off deeper into the cave, "I can take care of it."
Robin's fists clenched and his eyes narrowed even more as he watched his mentor slink away into the shadows of the cave. His body shook with anger, his eyebrows knitting together.
"Master Dick," Alfred said cautiously to ease the tension, "How long have you been up and ready?"
Robin calmed slightly at his trusty butlers voice, his body relaxed a bit but his expression remained the same. "Since four, couldn't sleep," Robin said his eyes still on where Batman once was, "What is with him?" he added annoyed.
"You shouldn't take it that way," Alfred said knowingly, "It's just a few petty criminals sir, and I would think you would want to go on the mission with your team more."
Robin snorted, "Maybe if he gave us a real mission." He muttered angrily. Lately all they had been getting - if anything at all - was simple recon, or protection detail.
"All in due time," Alfred said turning his back to the boy and began to exit the cave, "all in due time."
As he left, he kept turning his head back to eye the boy, his eyes flickering to the Bat-computer and back to the boy until he finally left and shut the clock behind him.
Robin stood there, frozen, listening to any sounds in the cave. There was no sign of Batman, just the slow rush of water from below.
When he was sure that Bats wasn't coming back - probably off in one of the various rooms muttering to himself - Robin quietly crept to the computer. If Batman was keeping it hidden from him it had to be something big. As soon as he sat down he jumped back up again and away in surprise.
The entire cave flashed with a glowing red, a loud repetitive honking sound echoed throughout the cave.
"What is it?" Batman asked appearing seconds later.
"How should I know?" Robin said, crossing his arms, still annoyed with his mentor but glad he hadn't caught him.
Batman ignored the Boy Wonder's remark and flipped open the alert.
"Attack on the power plant, respond now," Batman said and then swiftly jumped off the ledge towards the Batmobile waiting below, he opened it up and got it, but left it open as if he was waiting for someone.
"Thought you could handle it?" Robin snapped glaring down at the waiting Bat.
"Get in," Batman said forcefully; he would have a talk with Robin later. Just because Robin is not needed - or wanted in that case - doesn't mean he is casting him aside and says that he does not need a partner anymore.
Muttering to himself, Robin flipped over the edge and landed in the seat next to him mentor. Batman closed the roof and sped out the secret entrance towards the power plant.
"This is different."
He did not like being pushed aside.
He did not like being ignored.
And he most defiantly did not like being lied too.
There was something wrong, something that Bruce was keeping from him. It keeps eating away at him, completely on his mind, even as he kicked major gangster ass.
When he and Batman had arrived, several armed men were surrounding the plant, while a few more were trying to hook up a machine to it. They engaged rather quickly, or at least Robin did.
He wanted to get this over with so he could go and hack Bat's email. Whenever Batman tried to keep him in the dark about something, well, he needed to know.
"Weren't you taught not to play with live wires?" Robin smirked at the men at of force of habit as he acrobatically dodged their bullets.
The man that was shooting at him didn't respond with anything else than a grunt and an annoyed expression.
"This is really dangerous, especially when the powers still on. Should have turned it-" Robin began saying, highly amused, "-off." he added anticlimactically as all the lights from the city shut off.
It wasn't completely dark, because it was, around noon. Even so, Robin could make out panicked yells from nearby streets as cars collided from the lack of street lights, and of common sense.
He looked past the man that was still all trigger happy with him, to see one scrawny gangster hurriedly working to finish installing the machine.
Easily and with grace Robin jumped high in the air and landed on the guy's arm. Smirking, he punched the man in the face and yanked the gun out of his hand and tossed it to the side. The man fell and Robin jumped off him and landed gently on the ground.
The scrawny goon connected the last two wires and yanked a bevy switch down. The little box began to shake violently and its slots glowed purple.
Robin charged towards the man, pulling out a birdirang as he did. He aimed, but abruptly stopped in his tracks.
Standing about forty feet away past the rumbling machine, gun drawn at his side was-
The monster that sent his life spiraling out of control, the monster that scarred him for life, the monster who was supposed to be in prison.
Shouting in fury - just like Superboy did in battles - Robin jumped past the man and the machine, towards Tony Zucco. The birdirang fell from his grasp and he was running straight towards the smirking mobster.
Zucco raised a gun, but Robin was too focused on clawing the man's eyes out to notice. A shot fired; a furious yell in a close yet far off distance, and a pain spiked through him.
His shoulder was on fire, burning. It felt like he was being stabbed with a burning and rusty blade and it being twisted around. Little needle prickling and stabbed away at the inside of his wound. A sharp, marble sized pain rolled deep inside his shoulder.
He had been shot before, and though he was used to it, the pain never got any easier. But something about this time just was so, unbearably painful. - Because of who had pulled the trigger. His ears began to ring, the shouting fading away even though in reality it got louder.
Falling, falling, falling, just as his parents had. It took him an eternity to hit the ground.
He caught one last glimpse of the devilish smirk just before he was consumed in darkness.
His surroundings grew darker but he barely took any notice.
He needed to get this job done so he could give the team their mission so he could take care of Zucco.
That distracted him, but even more so was Robin's attitude. Robin didn't like being left out, and usually he only did that for his safety - or sanity - never because he thought he didn't need him. He would never think that.
He easily took out the gang-bangers, wondering why they would attack a power plant. There was nothing to steal or rival gang to confront or innocent people to hu-
Turn off the power, and the city goes in chaos. Car crashes, hospitals forced to use their backup generators that - due to the large number of people in hospitals - would no doubt last no more than a few hours. Jails could be broken into, banks robbed, Wayne Tech robbed.
They were planning a heist.
Simple as that.
As simple as there plan was it was to take them out. He was easily outnumbered seven to one but he still managed to take them all down. He was on the last one when he heard Robin yell.
He punched the guy in the face and turned around at the same time. Robin was running past the man by the controls to the trees. He was too far away to make out who he was running to.
The man pulled up a gun, but Robin didn't stop.
The gun fired.
Robin went down.
The man was gone.
So yeah... sorry It was so damn late than I originally said it would be. See I had the idea in my head, but I had trouble getting it into words. I actually had to rewrtie the first part four times before I got to the next one. Ahh the wording felt awkward. Yes I know it seemed Rushed.
Reviews = Encouragement! (I know I did it already but I need it!) (seeing my inbox full makes me smile :D )
~ Sincerely MNM