AN: This actually came about because I liked the idea of a speedster telling Rob about having Chinese in China. It just sort of got out of hand after that ^_^'
Robin blinked and looked up in surprise as the computer announced the arrival of a familiar speedster, but not the one he would expect, "Flash?"
The man was at his side at the blink of an eye, "Hey Mini-Bats," he glanced around the room as he spoke, "Say, have you seen Wally anywhere?"
Robin tilted his head at the older man, "I talked to him yesterday, but he isn't here. Why?"
Flash ignored the question and put a hand to his chin, "Where did that kid get to?"
Dick's eyebrows came together and he frowned, "Is everything okay?"
The Flash turned to him, his own face mirroring the boy's expression, "He asked me to have lunch with him since we haven't seen each other much lately, but he never showed."
Flash smiled, "Yeah, we were heading out for some Chinese."
"In your costume?"
The smiled widened, "Chinese in China."
"Ah," Robin chuckled, "Well if you want I can give him a call with the YJ communicator."
"Do you mind? I already tried his cell and the frequency that we use, but he didn't answer."
Robin ran a hand through his hair, "That's weird."
"I thought so too," Barry smiled, "Wally never misses an opportunity for free food."
Dick flashed the older man a smile, "Maybe he just got caught up with something."
He tapped a key on his wrist computer and waited expectantly, the device beeped several times, but there was no answer.
The Boy Wonder frowned, suddenly concerned by his friend's lack of response and hit the call button again. He looked up at Barry and he could see that the older hero was tense, "He's not answering me either."
Flash's mouth was set in a hard line and he took a deep breath through his nose before he turned his gaze back to the younger hero. He pointed to his wrist, "Can you trace him on that thing?"
Robin nodded, already typing away on the holographic screen, "Working on it, but maybe you should call Batman."
Flash nodded, reaching up to tap the communicator in his ear, "Good idea."
As Robin worked to trace the younger speedster's whereabouts he could hear Flash talking to his mentor while he paced across the room at a dizzying speed.
After a few minutes Flash ended the call and moved to stand behind Batman's protégé watching the screen over his shoulder, "Find him yet kiddo?"
Dick tapped a few more keys, "There's something interfering with the signal, I'm trying to narrow down an exact location, but right now it looks like he's somewhere in Gotham."
Barry put a hand on his hip, "What the heck is he doing there?"
Dick stood with a shrug, "I have no idea, I can't think of any reason for him to be there."
Flash crouched down with his back to the teen, "Well Bats told me to meet him at the Batcave, so hop on."
The Boy Wonder raised an eyebrow, but he switched off his computer and leaned down to put his arms around the man's shoulders. Barry stood, hooking his arms under the dark haired teen's knees, "Hold on."
Robin swallowed, preparing himself for the inevitable burst of speed, but he still felt his stomach lurch as they shot out of the base.
The wind roared in his ears and whipped through his hair, he tried to look ahead, but at the speed they were going the wind stung his eyes and he was forced to close them and duck behind Flash's head.
A few short minutes later his stomach lurched again and he heard Barry skid to a halt, his eyes blinked open to a familiar sight.
They were in the Batcave and when he looked up he could see that Flash was carrying him toward the computer where Batman was waiting for them.
He fidgeted, wanting to be put down, Barry obliged, but he reached out and put an arm around his shoulders to steady him as he stumbled, "Easy kid, you might feel a little lightheaded."
Robin shook his head trying to rid himself of his dizziness, "I'm okay." he glanced up at the speedster, "KF doesn't accelerate as fast as you do."
Barry smiled, "He can, but he probably takes it easy for your sake." he patted the boy on the shoulder, "Sorry about that, I don't usually have passengers so I didn't think about it until we were halfway to Gotham."
Dick nodded then turned to face Batman, "Thanks for helping out."
Batman nodded to his protégé as he brushed past him and plugged the cable from his wrist into the Batcave's computer. He tapped a few keys and a map of the city popped up on the screen, "His communicator says he's here in the city, and he isn't moving. Both of those things are worrying."
Batman glanced up at the screen then over at Flash, "He's in the industrial sector. Any idea why Kid would come to Gotham Barry?"
The Flash shrugged, "The only reason I can think of is that he came to see Dick."
Robin disconnected his computer and walked to Batman's side shaking his head, "No, he knew I was going to be at Mt. Justice today."
Bruce sighed looking back at the screen, "Something about this feels wrong. Lets go to this location so we can find out what's going on."
He turned, his cape billowing out behind him as he strode toward the Batmobile with Robin at his heels, "Follow us Barry."
Flash appeared beside the car nodding and obviously ready to get moving; Bruce glanced at the other man and, in an uncharacteristically kind gesture, put his hand on his friend's shoulder, "I'm sure Kid Flash is fine. We'll find him.'
Flash offered him a small smile as Batman got into the car and strapped on his seat belt, "Thanks Bruce."
Batman didn't answer as he stared the car and drove out of the cave, Flash following along beside them.
Robin gazed out the window as they sped through the city, he could tell that the citizens were surprised to see the Batmobile out before sunset and even more so to see it accompanied by Central City's Scarlet Speedster.
Dick felt his mood darkening as they moved further into the shadier parts of town and he soon found himself checking every few seconds to reconfirm Wally's position. He could tell his mentor was watching him out of the corner of his eye, but thankfully Bruce didn't comment.
The Batmobile silently pulled up along the side of the factory that the signal was coming from with the Flash close behind. Batman and Robin got out of the car to see Flash standing staring up at the old building, "So he's in there?"
Dick checked his screen yet again, though he already knew what it would say, "The signal's coming from here."
Without a word Batman led the way into the building, Robin followed with a small shrug and Flash brought up the rear. The room was musty and dimly lit and filled with heavy machinery that was rusted over with age.
Barry frowned, "Why does it seem like Gotham never tears anything down? This place should be condemned."
Batman pointed to a faded sign taped to one of the dirty windows, "It is."
Robin looked around nervously, still tracking his friend's signal, "He's over this way."
He turned toward the back of the building with the adults close behind him; as he skirted one of the machines a familiar scent reached his nose and his stomach clenched in fear.
He bolted forward, heedless of the potential danger and the concerned voices behind him, "KF?" he weaved among the machines trying to get closer to the source of the signal, "Kid Flash! Where are you?"
Dick turned another corner and slipped as he hit something slick and his mind reeled as the metallic scent of blood threatened to overwhelm him. The Boy Wonder felt himself being caught by strong hands and looked up to see that Batman had prevented him from falling.
"Oh please no."
The dread in Flash's voice had him snapping his head up to see what had scared the hero. His breath caught in his throat and it was only Batman's strong grip on his shoulders that kept him from panicking.
Kid Flash's boots were laying on the floor in a pool of red and his communicator was blinking nearby, he jerked backwards against his mentor's chest as he realized that he had slipped in blood.
Wally's blood, his mind supplied.
Batman passed his trembling ward to Flash and stepped forward to examine the scene. He silently noted that there was almost no splatter, but there was a bloody hand print just outside the main pool of blood and evidence of a body being dragged for a few feet before the trail disappeared.
He was trying to escape, but someone carried him away.
After taking a few pictures he took a sample of the blood, tucked the communicator into his belt and reached for the discarded boots.
He picked up the closest one and nearly dropped it when there was a burst of confetti followed by a clown on a spring that cackled evilly. He recovered quickly, ignoring Robin's gasp of horror and Flash's quieter curse as he reached for the other boot.
He glared into the footwear then warily reached inside to extract a playing card, the card was a joker, though he needed no further evidence to know who was behind the young speedster's disappearance.
Batman flipped the card over and froze, the back of the card depicted a robin and suddenly he understood what this whole thing was about.
As he had investigated his companions had regained some of their composure and he turned to see Dick staring around him with wide, terrified eyes.
Bruce set the boots down and reached out to steady he boy, "Calm down."
Robin looked at the blood on the floor and on his shoes, "This is about me. He's using KF to get to me! Oh God, Wally!"
Bruce turned him away from the mess and tossed out a couple of vials of chemicals that quickly bubbled and spread to break down the blood and destroy the speedster's DNA, then whisked the boy out of the building.
Barry followed silently carrying his nephew's boots, Bruce glanced back at the shaken hero and quickened his pace.
Once they were outside Flash slumped against the wall, clutching the bright yellow boots in trembling hands; Batman urged Robin to sit on the hood of the Batmobile and turned back when the speedster spoke, his voice tight.
"It's the Joker isn't it Bats?" he looked up at his friend with troubled eyes, "That was his calling card and he's got Wally…."
Batman's frown deepened, "It looks that way."
Robin reached up and grabbed his mentor's arm, "Batman, he's….there was a lot of blood in there."
Bruce turned back to the boy, reminded once again of how young his ward was despite his maturity, "That wasn't enough to kill a speedster. His metabolism is quick enough that he would be able to survive, but…it's likely he's unconscious right now."
He looked back at Barry who was getting himself together and pushed himself away from the wall, though he kept tight hold on Wally's boots, "Yes, but I doubt the Joker's given him anything to eat, and that'll take a toll on his ability to heal."
Robin shuddered and looked up to see the sun beginning to set, "It's going to be cold tonight." he clenched his fists, "We need to find him fast."
Batman glanced from Barry to Dick and back again, "Are you two going to be alright?"
Flash zipped to his side, "I won't let my boy down." Robin's head snapped up, caught off guard by the dark tone in the normally lighthearted hero's voice, "Joker's going to regret pissing me off."
Dick glanced up at Bruce, noting that even his mentor seemed taken aback by the anger radiating off the speedster, "I-I'm going too Bruce," he silently cursed himself for stuttering, "Joker did this because of me, I won't forgive him for hurting my friend."
Batman gazed down at his partner, taking in his stiff posture and the determination his face, and decided to let the boy's use of his name slide, "Alright, then lets get moving."