Title: I Thought I Saw a Cheshire Cat
Author: Blue & Kazoo a.k.a Creativity
Pairing(s): Robin/Cheshire, but my gosh not like that!
Summary: Cheshire's been assigned some new targets. For the son's mercy and the father's delicious agony, the boy will die first. At least that's what the plan was supposed to be.
I certainly own nothing.
Prompt: The smell of coconuts (which according to google have no smell, but we'll make it a chemically altered lotion or something), and hallucinations according to the Scent Challenge by ChuChuMarshmallow; and for the Song Lyric challenge also by ChuChu, Cooler than Me by Mike Posner.
It'd been a long night. Once again, someone had allowed the Scarecrow a little too much freedom while in Arkham Asylum. Naturally, he abused this liberty by creeping around Poison Ivy's mutated plants and using them to develop a new mind altering drug.
Because the last mind alternating drug that made people think their brains were on fire was just so five minutes ago.
After he and Batman had trailed the psycho therapist to his new hideout, – a warehouse with leaky pipes. How original – they'd had to take down some mind-controlled innocent hostages without hurting them.
One of them had been someone's grandmother with a walker who he could barely touch for fear of breaking her hip or something. He couldn't net her because she might struggle and hurt herself and gas pellets would probably kill her too.
He'd had to fight around the old woman as she kept trying to beat him with this purse he swore she carried bricks in. He thought bricks because his bruises were suspiciously squared.
After way longer than he would have liked, he got to Scarecrow. The take-down had been easy, anti-climatic even. Yet there'd been no little satisfaction when his fist got up close and personal with Scarecrow's nose.
It may or may not have broken.
In his defense, Crane had completely deserved it. Seriously, that woman had been old enough to be Alfred's grandmother!
Just new levels of wrong.
While speaking of levels of wrong, Mr. Lord of Terror need to find new stuffing for his dumb mask. The powder was extremely ineffective. The only thing it'd managed to do was get him covered in a fine mist of the sneeze-causing, white poof.
It'd been weird. He'd actually thought that he'd sneezed himself unconscious for a minute there.
He wasn't quite as good as Bruce with the whole no-sleep thing. He was still a growing child after all and hadn't fully adapted to being able to beat up bad guys by night then turn around and function like a normal person.
Bruce knew that if he sent him to school, he'd fall asleep in at least one of his classes. If – rather when he did, one of the teachers or, heaven forbid, the guidance counselor would call him and want to have a meeting to discuss the situation. Bruce despised when those people called him and wasted his precious time. Really, Dick could be pulled from school for a month and still ace his classes.
That, however, was questionable, and no matter how much Dick begged, Bruce was immovable on that. Hooky every now and then was totally different.
So after a late night, or morning, of super-heroing, the day found the Boy Wonder just rolling out of the bed at a quarter past two in the afternoon, a headache pulsing at his temples. Mouth dry, eyes grainy, and head pounding, he scrubbed a hand over his face and wondered if this was what a hangover felt like. If it was, he'd need his shades to protect his eyes from the light.
His hands moved to the front of his pajama top to button it close. After fumbling with it a moment, he looked to see his shirt was on inside-out. He stared at it stupidly for a full minute before giving a mental shrug and picking up the dark glasses from off of the stand next to his bed to put them on.
"Need food," he groaned as he left his bedroom behind.
He trudged through the silent halls, grumbling about the ridiculous largeness of the mansion. Sunlight streamed through the floor to ceiling windows, and he found himself hissing at the bright light. Like a vampire or something.
But oh, wait. Vampires sparkle in sunlight now. Right.
He held his arm out in front of him into the light, just to make sure. The skin neither blackened into ash nor sparkled. Laughing at himself, he continued to the kitchen.
Stainless steel and black appliances furnished the room with a smattering of a more traditional style to it. This was wholly Alfred's domain, and he had nothing but the best, save the old, wooden table. The surface was scarred with knicks, stained with wine, and smelled like lemons. Dick just figured it held some kind of sentimental value to it and left it at that.
"Have more than four people ever even lived here at a time?" he wondered aloud, reverting back to his former topic of complaint, as he reached up to get a bowl from the cabinet above.
"Ow, ow!" He hissed as pain shot through his ribs and pulled his arm back down.
Oh, yeah. He did kinda get hit there once or a dozen or so times. He'd gotten a little too used to ignoring the feel of bruised ribs. Note to self: stretching is a bad idea right now.
He briefly debated calling for Alfred but realized how pathetic that would be, asking the man to get him a bowl. Besides that, he wasn't even home. Alfred usually visited friends around this time. He almost sighed before he remembered that would irritate his ribs more and settled for yawning instead, which still hurt anyway, and winced.
Okay. He needed drugs. Because that hurt. He was hungry and in pain.
Man, consciousness sucked so much right now.
A light, barely-there tapping sounded from the hall, and Dick angled his head to listen. He glanced at the clock, and it was too early for Bruce or Alfred to be back. But there was definitely someone there.
Impatient by virtue of youth, Dick crept over the doorway and carefully checked the hall. He didn't see anyone, but that meant very little. He eased out of the kitchen and scanned the area. He continued to look around, even going so far as to investigate the grand foyer. He stopped and rested a hand along the wooden stair rail.
A frown formed on along his brow. He could have sworn that he heard…
A light tap of metal on wood caused him to turn.
A most definite she stood at the top of the stairs, and the light streaming through the window behind her made a very dramatic effect on her defined figure. He recognized her from screen shots from security feeds because he'd been chasing the Fog with Superboy when the others had faced off with her. He'd read over their briefs after talking to them and got the basic idea of her threat level. He'd pored over all the information he could find on her using the Bat-computer.
He'd been a bit obsessive with his research actually. Alfred, in his own dry way, had teased that perhaps Dick had something of a crush on the mysterious assassin. Denial immediately followed that ridiculous accusation. Batman may have a thing for Catwoman, but no way was Robin putting himself through that kind of drama over a girl. Especially one who tried to kill his friends.
But even if he hadn't done all that investigating, the woman in front of him wearing a short, green kimono, black armor, and a freaky, smiling mask just screamed 'Stranger Danger!' at about a thousand decibels.
"Hello, kid," her voice was easy like she was discussing the fair weather with a stranger, "The name's Cheshire. Nothing personal, but I'm here to kill you."
Well, nice to meet you, too then.
He'd have liked to say something flip, maybe quote a little Alice in Wonderland but didn't think that quite fit the role of Dick Grayson. Because civvies didn't get flip-mouth with ladies with blades hidden on her while they had nothing but a pair of sunglasses and inside-out pajamas.
Of course, he wasn't supposed to know about the knives. But there was still some freak in his house. What an annoying situation.
He rolled his eyes behind his dark shades.
How did it go with civilians?
Usually, there would be whimpering, crying, begging…yeah, no way was he going to do that. Oh, wait! Disbelief. He could do that and still keep some dignity.
"Lady," he angled his head down and looked up at her with a cocky smirk, "Is this some kind of joke? Because it's kinda lame."
She didn't even raise her hand, just casually flicked her wrist, and ninja stars hit the wall next to his head. His eyes widened not from fear, but because that was impressive. Which was kind of disappointing. As Robin, this would have been fun. As Dick Grayson, he couldn't actually fight her without that being extremely suspicious.
What a wasted opportunity.
"If you like, feel free to run. I like to play before my kills."
Naturally, he obliged her. He'd been planning on doing that anyway. He may not be able to go full Robin on her, but there was a handy, little Taser in his utility belt that Wayne Tech. heir Dick Grayson could have, no questions asked.
Dick didn't know how she got in without setting off an alarm or getting spotted by one of the millions of cameras, except he could only think she'd gotten some kind layout of the manor and its security system – which he should remember to update, ASAP. Had she somehow cut off the security system's power? Because no way had she hacked it. But then what happened to the back-up power?
Even so, he seriously doubted Cheshire knew about the 'discrete' passages throughout the place.
He ran through the doors of Bruce's downstairs office headed to the huge grandfather clock but then skidded to a halt.
Her mask had sensors that could track his trail.
Thinking quickly, Dick jumped forward and landed in one of the plush chairs in front of Bruce's desk. Plopping onto his butt, he scooted across the desk, careful not to disturb anything on the surface. From what he'd gathered, the sensors on her mask seemed to detect base traces of body heat, maybe with a chemical asset to it. There was nothing he could do about chemicals or heat, but he slid off of the desk onto the chair on his knees.
Dick pushed off with his hand to the grandfather clock that had been his original destination. He opened the door and jerked the third cable pulley down. The partition behind it slid away along with the main components of the clock to reveal a darkened staircase.
He jumped off the chair into the dim-lighted passage, pushing the chair back towards the desk at the same time. As he quickly descended down to a world shrouded by black, the partition slid closed.
In fact, it closed with a quiet snap just as black-gloved hands eased the office door open and a pair of probing eyes peered into the deserted room from behind a clever mask. The ever-smiling Cheshire stared at one spot near the desk inquisitively, tilting her head to the side.