A/N: Based on a plot bunny Huffy from the Bludhaven mailing list gave me. I think it was supposed to be light-hearted but the bunny got serious.

"Wayne party to see you, sir." The secretary poked her head into the office to announce their arrival. There was a muffled response then the girl slid back out and gestured for them to enter.

As usual, Dick let Bruce go first. It had become habit for him to follow where the Bat led, even through his worst nightmares – and even though he's become Batman himself. Despite having two Batmen, you just know which one you're referring to when you say 'The Bat.'

"Mr. Wayne!" Wilbur Dernell stepped forward to shake their hands. "A pleasure to see you again. And this must be...?"

"My son, Richard."

"Pleased to meet you, Richard." He similarly shook Dick's hand then gestured for them to take a seat. "Now, what brings you to my humble office?"

Dick let Bruce set the pace of their discussion. The bank executive was formerly an employee of Wayne Enterprises after all. "Serious business, I'm afraid. I take it you've heard of my latest venture?"

"Batman, Inc? Who in Gotham hasn't?" Dernell chuckled.

"Well, I just found out some of the Batman Inc funds are being...diverted."

"Oh?" Dernell leaned forward, face carefully bland.

"We held an investigation, of course." Bruce's eyes narrowed. "And we traced the problem to this bank."

"I can assure you, this bank holds the highest-"

Bruce cut him off with a raised hand. "I'm sure you have safeguards in place to prevent such a thing, but...it still happened. I'd like to know how."

Dick grinned inwardly at hearing the Bat-voice. It always amused him to hear the Bat coming from the Bruce Wayne face. It's never failed to throw hapless executives off-guard.

Like it was doing to Dernell now.

The man nervously fussed with the cuffs on his suit as he stammered, "We...uhh, we can hold a thorough investigation into the matter. I'm sure this can be resolved easily."

"I'd still like to know how you will manage this investigation. I've already spoken with the various Vice-Presidents and they all agree this office has the final say-so with regards to approving second-endorsed checks."

"Oh yes, I do have the authority to approve such...things. But I have made certain the checks I approve are not made with misrepresentation-"

"Try again," Dick spoke up, tossing a handful of journal print-outs and scans on the desk, all certified by the Bank President himself. The scans were of the misrouted checks all bearing the proper designations of various Wayne holdings while the print-outs contained the highlighted transactions of those same checks being deposited into an unknown account.

"Care to explain these, Mr. Dernell?" Bruce said quietly.

The bank executive leafed through the pages, his face betraying nothing. Dick felt himself frowning as an alarm clicked in his head.

"I see you have quite a thorough investigation, Mr. Wayne." Dernell sighed and set down the papers, nervousness gone. Dick could hear those alarm bells clanging in his head now. "While I do not doubt the truthfulness of this evidence, I will however, doubt that you gained these inside of the law? Bank transactions are protected against improper dissemination, of course."

Bruce smiled sheepishly. "Well, about that. You see, I asked my friend, Commissioner Gordon, to look into the matter for me. But when I found out who was suspect, I asked if I could talk to you first. I thought this might be a misunderstanding of sorts."

"I see." Dernell smiled and Dick tensed himself to be ready for...well, anything. "I'm afraid this isn't Wayne Enterprises, and I'm no longer one of your employees, Mr. Wayne. As I'm sure you'll find."

The door burst open and armed men in suits quickly surrounded them. Dick inwardly cursed and remained still.

"What are you planning to gain from this?" Bruce's tone was dangerously calm. It meant he was keeping his anger in check for a better opportunity to unleash it.

"Oh, I won't hold you here for long." Dernell turned his gaze to Dick. "Stand up and move away from Mr. Wayne."

Dick complied warily. He knew as long as Dernell held the upper hand, it was better for them if he did as he was told. But as he went, he discreetly pressed a tiny button on his wristwatch; pretending he was merely adjusting it.

"That's far enough."

Dick stopped where he was and realized he was closer to Dernell than Bruce. The alarm bells were practically screaming in his head now.

"Good. Now turn around and face your father."

His back was itching at the enemy's presence behind him. He caught and held Bruce's gaze. He shook his right hand – the one with the wristwatch – to tell Bruce of what he'd done.

The lines around his adoptive father's eyes softened and he gave an imperceptible nod. Message delivered.

Then Dernell was speaking again. "If you must know, Mr. Wayne, the checks have been deposited to an anonymous account held by Lenore Group. Oh, do not worry." The bank executive chuckled. "I have no wish to kill you yet. Not while I am sure you will not reveal that name to anyone, much less the police."

"Why tell us, then?"


A gun fired.

Lightning blasted Dick's leg. He cried out and fell to his knees, searing fire spreading up his leg. He couldn't seem to get his breath.

"Dick!" Bruce's shout was faint through the roaring in his ears. He had to get a handle on the pain!

Deep breaths. Stay calm. Push the pain aside to be dealt with later, just as Bruce taught. Focus on the feel of the carpet.

Ew. Could use some cleaning. He thought as the intense pain was swept aside.

"Dick." Bruce was calling him. "Dick, answer me."

"I'm..." Too breathy. A gasp of air, then, "I'll be alright, Bruce."

"Of course," Dernell's tone had become smug. "I had the shot aimed for his leg, after all. Your son won't be walking out of here easily."

Bruce's eyes barely held the anger in check as he snarled. "What do you want?"

"Your fortune, Mr. Wayne. You will transfer the rest of your wealth into the Lenore account." The bank executive sneered. "Or I will shoot your son again and you can watch him die before you."