So, finals are finally over, Hurrah. So, this one is a little different then a lot of the other ones I've written. I wrote it on the way to Yosemite national part under the influence of a magnificent heat wave that overtook us in New Mexico so I'm not sure how much I can vouch for in way of quality, but my sister liked it so I hope you do too. I've been without Internet for a week so that's why this took so very long to post. God bless, Anakinlove.

On my desk, I straightened the picture of Pockets. My little dog gazed back at me, tongue lolling out playfully. His little chewy soccer ball lay at his fluffy white paws. I took a moment to smooch at his picture.

"Pockets", I said softly to the picture, "my little Bichon Frese, you and I shall see each other again soon." I glanced mildly at the picture of my wife and then walked out the door. I thought about swinging by home for a few minutes, if only to say one final goodbye to the real Pockets, but I didn't really want to have to see my wife, so I decided against it. She would doubtless do something to make me late.

I trekked down to the metro station to catch the three o'clock train to the airport. If I had timed everything right, it would be a short two hour flight to Gotham in which case I would arrive there at roughly six o'clock. Gotham city, I thought to myself. I breathed in a last breath of the clean Metropolis air, knowing that the air in Gotham would not be so clean.

Glancing up at the sky, I saw a streak of blue and red pass, a moment before a few people cheered. Superheroes, I scoffed. I didn't like them. I wished for a world where there weren't any. I remembered my childhood. There hadn't been any. People looked to their government to protect them and not costumed freaks. These days, they were coming out of the woodwork.

In fact, my purpose was to investigate one of these eccentric human beings, a Mr. Batman. I was supposed to be collecting information about him for the US government. Superman was willing to talk to the press, despite the fact that I believed nothing that he said, he was open at least. Batman hid in the shadows and spoke to no one. Many before me had tried to get his story, but I would succeed where they had failed.

I had been given assurances that I would get the full cooperation from the Gotham P.D. I wasn't really sure if this was true. I had heard that the Gotham P.D. actually called upon this masked vigilante for help. The other side of my mission was seeing if this was true and if it was, putting a stop to it.

I was looking forward to throwing my weight around. Meredith never let me have much say at home, not even with the training of Pockets. I took a breath of the air again and lit a cigarette. I would feel better after I had smoked for a bit. It helped curb my anger about that woman.

I sat down on the train and considered the files on my lap. They were various newspaper clippings about the Batman and a few low quality pictures. In fact, the two best pictures in my file were of the alleged child partner of the Batman, a boy called Robin.

The first was of him obviously posing for a picture. The second showed a dark hand on his collar with the obvious intention of dragging him out of the limelight. This hand, I assumed, was the Batman's. I shivered slightly, wondering what he had done to the boy after that.

The child was no doubt kidnapped and forced to do the bidding of this creature, most likely abused in every way possible. Robin, I mused quietly. It would be my ultimate triumph when I unmasked the Batman and dragged that child from his grasp. I could write a book about the emotional trauma of this boy.

I could just see him now, crying at my feet with tears of joy at being freed from the tyranny of the Bat. I leaned back in my seat, deciding I might take a little doze. Ahh, my career would be set.

Arriving in Gotham that evening, I got a nice hotel room and sat down to monitor police frequencies. If there was one thing I could glean from the minimal information in that file, it was that the Batman was wherever there was trouble and sure enough, I heard on the radio about a little fat man, dubbed the Penguin by the police, was causing problems near my location.

"What luck", I said to myself and called a cab. The drive was short and I arrived at the crime scene. The man I was looking at was portly and waddled with a long hooked nose. If ever there was a man who looked like a penguin, this was him. He gave a strange, cawing laugh and waved an umbrella manically.

"Don't move, Wah Wah Wah", he said. I did my best to move up through the protective police barrier.

"Get back", one policeman warned. I waved my badge in his face and he wordlessly let me pass. I didn't want to be quite up front, but I wanted to be close enough to see the Batman when he showed. The Penguin held the police back with his umbrella while his henchmen, dressed similarly to him, raided a store.

I was about to ask how a simple umbrella could hold Gotham's finest back when I saw one of the younger officers step foreward past the line the penguin had created. The little man took one look at the officer and pointed his umbrella. I heard a sound like a gun going off and the officer fell with a yelp. His comrades dragged him away as quickly as possible. "I warned you Wah Wah Wah", the Penguin said. I deduced that a firearm must be concealed in that umbrella.

I was just wondering if the thieves were going to get away with all the goods when a green foot came down, smashing into the face of the Penguin. I heard a delighted giggle and a young boy, maybe about fifteen, stepped into the light. "Who wants some?" he called out eagerly to the henchmen, who turned on him with anger painted across their masked faces.

"You're going to let a child battle those fiends?" I asked the policeman next to me incredulously. The man shrugged, but said nothing. I was disgusted by their lack of bravery. The boy was about to leap foreward into a fray I was sure would claim his life when the Penguin reached out with one pudgy hand and grabbed the boy's calf. He gave a yelp and toppled.

"Wah wah wah", the penguin laughed. And the men turned their guns on the child. But, before the bullets even made it halfway to their mark, they were deflected. I saw three bat shaped throwing devices embedded in the wall, each bearing a bullet. The look of fear on the boy's face turned to one of delight as he gazed up at a corner to one side. I saw nothing there, only shadows.

Then, out of the darkness melted a figure so hellish, I almost wet my pants. And here this boy was looking at him like he was my little Pockets coming when called. The boy hopped to his feet and dodged just as more bullets hurtled towards him. "Are you injured", I heard the demon whisper in a rasping voice.

"Nah", the boy replied, "just got a little scratch is all." They both moved towards the henchmen in perfect synchrony, dancing from foe to foe as they took them down, while still dodging bullets. I was forced to feel impressed at their effectively. They were so efficient. The Penguin was still brandishing his weapon, but after seeing most of his cronies go down in the fight, he darted towards a warehouse.

"Robin", the Bat said, still battling two henchmen.

"Gottcha", Robin replied and danced after the Penguin. I, however, was not going to stand for this child endangerment one moment longer. I raced quickly after the boy. A few of the policemen shouted warnings to me, but I ignored them. I was determined to get Robin in my grasp, however I might do this. "Come out come out wherever you are pengy", I heard the boy's young voice echo around the warehouse, though I could no longer see him. The Penguin for his part, was silent.

Suddenly, there was a whisper of wind by my side and I swung around to see Robin there. "You should get out of here man", Robin said to me, "it's dangerous in here."

"For you as well as me", he said, "You should leave too, let the police take care of this." Robin was about to reply when we both noticed the penguin trying to crawl over a rafter above us to safety. Robin leapt up and without really thinking about what I was doing, I grabbed his little cape. He gave a hurk, like he was choking, and hit the ground with a bang.

His eyes were wild with confusion as he stared at me, accusation burning within them. "You're a child", I said desperately, hating the look in his eyes, "I can't let you go to battle that lunatic." Suddenly, I felt a searing pain in my hip. I looked down in shock at the dart sticking out of my thigh.

"Wah Wah Wah", the Penguin called and aimed a gun at Robin. "That was my last dart", he said, "but I still have bullets for the boy blunder. Wah Wah Wah." He aimed his gun and shot at Robin. Robin tried to dart away, but I was till holding tightly onto his cape, in shock that had been shot.

"Let me go", he shrieked, writhing like Pockets at the end of a leash, trying to get away from the groomer. Shots peppered the ground around us and a few buried themselves deep into his flesh. He hissed and again tried to get away from me. "Batman", he yelped finally, "help me." The words had scarcely let his mouth when the Dark Knight was there, kicking the Penguin as he flew through the air.

Robin breathed a sigh of relief and laid still, blood seeping from his wounds. The Penguin hit the ground with a thud and remained where he was, moaning. I finally shook out of my shock and started to shriek in fear. "I've been shot", I yelled, "I'm gona die. I've been shot, I've been shot."

"Shut up", Robin yelled, "we know you've been shot. So have I." As soon as the words left his mouth, Batman's head snapped to our position.

"Where", he asked, gliding over the floor.

I decided I needed more attention them the boy wonder for the moment and shrieked at the top of my lungs, "I've been shot, somebody help me."

"Neither of us would be hurt if you hadn't tried to stop me", Robin bellowed, "now shut up." The anger in his voice momentarily silenced me and watched with wild eyes as Batman knelt by his teenage partner.

"Lie still", he said, "let me see."

"I'm fine boss", Robin said, "take care of ugly."

"What happened?" Batman asked.

"I was taking the Penguin just like you said when I saw this idiot enter the warehouse. I jumped down to tell him to leave when he started rambling about child endangerment. The penguin shot at us and the moron grabbed my cape and wouldn't let go, still won't let go in fact. I was too busy dodging to free myself." Batman scowled at me and I did my best to look affronted.

"I am appalled. All I have been is insulted", I said haughtily, "and I demand reparations for my injuries."

"You wouldn't have any if you had let me be", Robin snapped. He started to struggle up, but Batman put a light hand on his chest.

"Stay", he said, "I don't want you losing too much blood."

"I'm fine boss", Robin whined, "leave me be." Batman shook his head.

"Lie still," he said. He grabbed my hand and with a twist of my wrist, freed the cape. I gave him an aghast look.

"Unhand me", I said angrily.

"Where were you shot?" he asked me in a nasty voice that I didn't like one bit.

"In my hip", I said, "but I demand to see a medic, not you."

"It's a dart Batman", Robin said from his prone position. "I think it's got some kind of poison." Batman glanced at Robin and then looked at my hip.

"I never knew penguin to use poison", Batman said, "I had better take him back to the cave to analyze." I was shocked. First child abuse and illegal vigilantism, now kidnapping of a government official. But, before I could say a thing, he grabbed me around the middle and tossed me over his shoulder.

"Unhand me", I screamed angrily, "let me go, I demand it."

"Shut it", Batman growled, and I fell silent, fear keeping my mouth shut. "I'll take him back to the car and then come back to get you."

"I can walk Batman", Robin said.

"No", said Batman, "not until I get those bullets out of you. Stay put." Robin looked grumpily at him, but remained.

"Don't let any of the medics touch you", he said. Robin rolled his eyes.

"Of course", he said.

"That's…that's child endangerment", I sputtered, "well, I for one will not stand for it, no way no how. Put me down and take that child to a hospital. He needs medical care."

"What I needed was for you to let me go when I yelled. I guess you don't care about me all that much," Robin said angrily. I started to sputter but Batman ignored me.

"Robin", Batman said sharply, "stop."

"Yes boss", he said glumly, and lay where he was. I yelled all sorts of curses and angry threats, demanding that he put me down and take Robin to get medical care as he carried me away, but perhaps I should have stayed silent because I saw him empty a canister of strange gas under my nose a minute before I fell unconscious.

I woke up to the sounds of bats screeching and water dripping. I opened my eyes slowly and gazed at my surroundings. I gave a start. I was in some kind of cave, but it was obviously not abandoned because of all the things in it. I saw the most amazing computers I had ever seen, much more state of the art then the government computers.

There was the largest penny I had ever seen and a mechanical dinosaur looming over me. I was about to start screaming for someone to come and set me free (I was bound hand and foot) when I heard footsteps. I fell silent immediately, listening intently.

"That was rookie mistake Robin", I heard Batman say, though in a voice much more gentle them I had heard before from him. They came into view and I saw him carrying the boy in his arms. Robin looked grumpy. Obviously, his wounds weren't bothering him all that much. "You let him grab your ankle."

"I know, I know", Robin said, "but I knew you were coming and that knowledge distracted me."

"Ohh", said Batman, in a voice almost playful, "you're trying to make this my fault."

"It is your fault", Robin said definitively. Batman put Robin down on a table and took out a few utensils that looked like torture devices to me.

"What are you going to do to him?" I shrieked.

"Ohh", said Batman dryly, "I guess our guest is up Robin."

"No kidding", Robin grumbled. He stretched his leg a little and winced. Batman snapped his attention back to the boy. He ran his hands over him quickly, assessing wounds I suppose. Robin stood for the inspection quietly, like a Pockets at a show. I half expected Batman to pull up his lips to check his teeth like a judge would.

"Where am I?" I asked.

"In my cave", Batman replied, "now be quiet while I tend to him."

"I haven't had a bullet wound in ages", Robin said, "I didn't remember how much they hurt." Batman nodded and patted his arm.

"I can go out and get you some painkillers if you'd like. This is going to hurt."

"I'll be fine boss", Robin said, "you're probably too busy anyway."

"No", Batman replied, "if you want them…"

"Nah", said Robin, "just hurry will you." Batman took out some tweezers and held them over a flame. I watched with a kind of morbid fascination as Batman dug each bullet out as quickly as possible and bound the wounds. Robin winced and groaned but kept a brave face through it all. I supposed he had a high pain tolerance, due to the frequency with which Batman must have beaten him.

"Last one son", Batman said gently, and quickly freed the final bullet from Robin's left leg. Robin breathed a sigh of relief as Batman rinsed the wound and then bound it. "I know you don't want anything else sticking in you", Batman said, "but let me just give you some antibiotics and you can go." Robin nodded and waited patiently as Batman inserted a needle into his arm, which I presumed was probably filled with some kind of sinister drug used to harm rather then help.

Poor child, deluded into thinking this man was aiding him. As soon as Robin was free of Batman's grasp, he hopped off the table and started to bounce away. "Hold on", Batman said, "don't you want me to check those scraps you got."

"Just leave me alone boss", Robin said, "I don't want your fingers anywhere near me at least until I get seriously injured again." Ahh, I thought to myself, a cry for help if I ever heard one. I couldn't wait to talk to the boy. Now that I was trapped in this god-forsaken hellhole, I could get a chance to speak with him.

"Alright", Batman said, coming towards me, "let's see that wound of yours." He knelt beside me and I cringed. St…stay away from me, I stuttered. Batman kept right on coming. Robin climbed up one of the arms of the dinosaur above me as nimbly as the squirrel Pockets chases up trees in the park sometimes and gazed down at me interestedly.

Batman took out a knife and I immediately tried my best to get away. "Leave me alone", I shrieked.

"Shut up", Batman snapped. "What's your name?"

"Ba…Boogie", I said, "Harold Boogie."

"Boogie", Robin laughed, "that's so funny. Batman, change my last name to Boogie." Batman glanced mildly up at him for a moment and I saw a smile flit across his face. "And Harold is a stupid name too", Robin continued.

"Robin", Batman chided gently. Robin shrugged and Batman rolled me over to look at my side. There was the dart, sticking out of my hip. Batman moved the knife towards my leg.

"No", I shrieked, stop it.

"Quit whining", Batman said, "I'm only going to cut your pant leg, I have to see the wound. Yeesh, Robin complains less then you and he's younger."

"Yea", Robin said, hopping down to crouch next to Batman. Batman ruffled his hair in a manner that could almost be considered affectionate if I didn't know the boy was abused. Batman started to cut my pants open.

"These were expensive", I said indignantly.

"Would you rather me cut them or take them off?" I fell silent. Robin whispered something to Batman. I only caught a few words, all of them vulgar, but Batman gave a snort before gaining his composure and saying a stern voice Robin. Robin giggled violently.

"You know it's probably true, maybe we should ask?" Robin said wickedly.

"Robin", Batman said again. Robin stopped talking and continued to giggle madly.

"I don't know what you said Mr. Robin", I snapped, "but I resent it." Robin giggled some more as Batman pulled the fabric of my pants away and slit my boxers.

"Nice drawers" Robin snickered. I was then reminded that I was wearing the boxers my wife had given me, the ones covered in little Bichon Freses. I scowled, but said nothing.

"Well Mr. Boogie", Batman said, pulling out the dart, "I don't know what kind of poison it is you're infected with, but judging by the quality of the skin around the wound, I should think I'll be able to narrow down a cure in an hour or two, three at the most."

"If you'd send me to the hospital…" I snapped.

"You'd be dead by the time they found the antidote", Batman said flatly, cutting me off.

"Dude", Robin said, "you just got served." He gave me a fiendish grin and bounced up. "I'll start up the computer boss", Robin said. Batman nodded and gazed for a moment at my wound and then back at the dart.

"It's unlike the Penguin to use poisons", Batman mused quietly, "I should document this. Robin, open up a sub file for the Penguin will you?"

"Yea", Robin said.

"You should put pants on your sidekick", I snapped to Batman.

"I heard that", Robin yelled. Batman took the dart and brought it over to his computer. Robin bounced back over to me and started digging though my pockets.

"That, child", I snapped, "is private property. You leave my stuff alone."

"Ohh", said Robin, "look, a wallet. Well boss, he is who he says he is at least." Batman nodded.

"I knew he was coming to the city and expected I would run into him. I did not expect, however, to have this close of an encounter."

"He never tells me anything", Robin grumbled, continuing to go through my things. "What the hell is this", Robin said, "looking at something in my wallet?"

"Robin", Batman warned, "language."

"Says the man that taught me every swear word I know", Robin said to him.

"Guest", Batman replied.

"Ohh right", Robin replied, rolling his eyes, "you have a weak heart, don't you Boogie."

"I do not", I snapped.

"You just scream like a little girl when you get hit by a dart. Man, I've been hit by so many darts, it's not even funny. They don't hurt that bad."

"I was startled was all", I said defensively.

"Whatever", Robin replied, "anyway, dude, is this your dog?" He held up the little picture of Pockets I had in my wallet.

"Yes", I said defensively, "his name is Pockets."

"Pockets", Robin snorted, "Bro, this is such a chick dog."

"He is not", I replied, "I picked Pockets out myself."

"Did you name him?" Robin asked.

"Yes", I snapped, "why?"

Robin started giggling even more and said, "Ohh, I can't wait to tell Speedy about you, he's gona freak." He pocketed the picture of my dog.

"Wait", I said, "that's my picture."

"And now it's my picture", Robin said.

"Robin", Batman snapped, "don't steal." Robin rolled his eyes and put the picture back in my wallet. "Robin", Batman called, "have you finished your homework?"

"Well", siad Robin, "I guess you could say that I did."

"You didn't" Batman replied, "go finish it."

"But Batman", Robin complained, "it's just math, math is for stupid people."

"Then consider your self a stupid person for the time being", Batman replied, "go."

"Verbal abuse", I said softly to myself, "perfect for my report."

"Aww", Robin whined, "I wanna baby-sit the prisoner."

"He's not a prisoner Robin", Batman said, "go finish."

"Can I do it down here", Robin begged, "please. I just got shot." He stuck out his bottom lip and looked pleadingly at Batman. Ohh, alright, Batman said, but you better get a good grade. I will, Robin said, and darted up the stairs to what I assumed to be the house of the caped crusaders. So they lived together, I thought to myself, very interesting.

Robin came back down after about ten minutes with a book in hand, some papers, a calculator and a pencil. He lay down, stretched out like the cat that always bothers Pockets, and started working. Batman was all the way on the other side of the cave, working on my poison. Perhaps I could get my interview now. "Hey kid", I hissed to him. He looked up at me.

"I have a name you know", he said mildly, chewing the end of his pencil.

"Robin", I murmured, "come here." Robin picked up his things and stretched out next to me.

"Yes", he asked.

"I'm here to help you."

"With my math", Robin said brightly, "hey I'll untie you if you do it for me."

"No", I said, "I'm here to help you out of your plight."

"What plight?" he asked.

"Your slavery", I replied, "I'm here to free you from the tyranny of the Batman."

"Ohh", Robin said, "that, how about you help me with my math instead."

"Can I ask you a few questions", I asked.

"What about?" Robin asked.

"About how Batman treats you", I said.

"Ohh, well, whatever", Robin replied, starting on his homework. He seemed a little disappointed that all I wanted to ask him was about his physical problems and not help him with his academic ones. "

"Poor boy", I said softly to myself, "he's in denial. Then I addressed him. "First", I siad, barely able to contain my excitement at getting my career changing interview, "how often does Batman beat you?"

"Ohh all the time", Robin said absentmindedly, "hey what's six times seven."

"Forty two", I replied.

"Thanks", Robin said, "Yea, he usually beats me at least twenty times a day. Sometimes, he wakes me up in the middle of the night to beat me and then goes back to bed."

"And how badly does he usually hit you?"

"Ohh, really bad, hey what's five times eight?"


"Thanks, yea after he hits me, I have to clean the carpets because they're so soaked with blood. This isn't even my real nose. It's a fake. He cut my real one off with a batarang."

"Ohh you poor boy", I said.

"I know", Robin replied, "I'm abused. Hey, what's the equation for the circumference of a circle?"

"Two times pie times the radius."


"So, does he usually sexually abuse you?"

"Yup", siad Robin, "yea, he likes to touch me. One of his favorite things to do is hold me down and rub me all over. That's how he gets his jollies. He'll probably do it while you're here, just wait and see."

"Ohh, I will", I thought softly to myself, being able to say I had a first hand account would be gold for my book.

"Hey, if Sally has a bag full of blocks, five red and seven yellow, what's the probability of getting a yellow block?"

"Seven to twelve."


"So, does he do anything else to you?"

"Yea, in the middle of the night, he'll come into my room, strip me down and bang me. It's horrible; I live in fear of the night. So, if a cat is chasing a mouse and the cat runs at a speed of five meters per second while the mouse runs at a speed of three meters per second and the cat is three meters behind the mouse but the mouse's hole is two meters away, will the mouse get away?"

"Yes, now how about verbal abuse?"

"Ohh yea, all he ever does is yell. He calls me all sorts of vulgar terms like slut and whore and just never tells me I'm any good at anything. Between the beatings and him rubbing me and yelling at me, I cry all night. I sometimes still wet my bed too, and I'm fifteen. What's the square root of nine hundred?"

"Thirty. Did he kidnap you?"

"Yes, he killed my parents with a bloody machete and dragged me from their dying grasp. Then, he beat me until I could fight crime really well, tossed me out on the streets, and made me go all out. Ok, so if one leg of a right triangle is three and another is four what, would be the hypotenuse?"


"Sweet. Hey Batman", he called, running over to the Dark Knight (from what I heard, I was surprised he actually went within five feet of that man), "I finished my math."

"You mean Mr. Boogie finished it." Robin looked up innocently at him.

"Whatever do you mean Batman my loving mentor?" he asked.

"You're not going to learn."

"All that stuff is easy", Robin replied.

"Alright", Batman said, "just get an A."

"I will", Robin said, pushing up against Batman's side like Pockets does sometimes when he wants to be patted. Batman put a hand on his shoulder and rubbed his thumb across the boy's cheek.

"Now, go do something constructive or I might come into your room and bang you tonight." Robin gave a shriek of what sounded liked delight but I was sure was really horror and darted up a wall, gazing down at Batman from his perch above him.

"You heard all that crap", he asked.

"You are such a dirty liar Robin", Batman said, "and you're making me look bad. I think I'll beat you and cut off your fingers one by one with one of my bat knives."

"But I made you look like such a loving daddy", Robin replied, letting go of the stalactite to land on Batman's shoulders. He whispered something in Batman's ear, kissed his cheek and back flipped off his shoulders.

"Go away", Batman said, 'I'm trying to work."

"See the abuse I get", Robin called over me, "I'm a lost soul, come rescue me."

"I can assure you I will", I said in my most serious voice, "don't worry Robin, I'll help you."

"Thanks" Robin said, in a voice dripping with undeniable teen sarcasm (a possible spilt personality hmm, interesting), "my hero."

"Got it", Batman said suddenly.

"Got what", Robin asked, running over to peer interestedly at what Batman had in his hand.

"I isolated the poison. It isn't anything like what I would expect from the Penguin, I'll have to interrogate him to see what his game is. Robin, I need you to go pick up the components for the antidote."

"Will do boss, but you had better write those down, long chemical names kill me."

"Here", Batman said, handing him a piece of paper, "go quickly. The sooner I get this guy out of my cave the better. And, if he goes without the antidote for more then four hours, he could die."

"What", I yelped, feeling the cold touch of death stroke my spine, "I can't believe you let me suffer here for so long."

"Ohh, put a sock in it", Robin said. I looked at him appalled.

"I'm trying to help you", I said to him, "I can't believe your ingratitude."

"That's right Batman", Robin siad, "he's going to save me from you. I'll be rid of your tyranny forever." Batman lunged at him and Robin gave a squeal before darting away. Batman shook his head, laughing quietly (I could only imagine what he would do to the boy in punishment for this) and continued working.

"I'm going to put a stop to you", I said quietly, in my bravest voice. "You're a bully, to the Gotham PD and to that poor child. I'll help him and them, you just wait and see."

"Ohh you will, will you?" Batman asked me softly, "but don't you know, I don't just use the darkness, I am the darkness. I can go anywhere and see anything." Suddenly, he melted into the shadows of the cave and I couldn't see him. I glanced around wildly, desperately searching for him.

"I'm that shadow you see when you're walking, but can't pinpoint the person." His voice echoed around the cave and though I searched, I couldn't find him.

"I'm the world's greatest detective, I can find you anywhere." The water dripped off the stalactites. "I'm the world's best escape artist, I can get anywhere and still get out. So don't you see, I don't just live in Gotham, I own her." And suddenly, he was right there in front of me.

"And", he continued in a gravelly, frightening voice, advancing menacingly towards me, "I can do anything to you I want and still get away with it." I gave a blood-curdling scream.

Robin came back in about twenty minutes, but it seemed like an eternity alone in that cave with him. Robin tossed the bottle towards Batman, who snatched it out of the air like Pockets taking a treat from my hand. Robin glanced over at me and saw the state of panic I was in, pale with sweat pouring from me. I'm sure I looked horrible.

"So you gave him the Santa Clause speech huh?" Robin said, still looking at me. Batman cocked his head.

"The Santa Clause speech?" he asked.

"You know, I see you when you're sleeping, I know when you're awake." While speaking, Robin's voice got really low in what was an obvious mocking impression of Batman. Batman rolled his eyes.

"In that case, yes I did give him the Santa Clause speech."

"Aww", said Robin, "you made him piss his pants. That's gross Batman."

Batman looked over the ingredients and said, "Hey Robin, go get me a snack."

"Batman", Robin whined, "I'm not just your errand boy."

"Yes you are, go."

"No", Robin moaned.


Robin grumbled as he stomped up the stairs, muttering about slavery and child labor. I was about to wonder what was taking him so long, because I didn't like being alone downstairs with the creepy Bat when we both heard stumbling and bangs along with groaning. Batman looked over alert and we both saw Robin.

His face was screwed in pain and his eyes were bugging. His hand clutched his heart and it was covered in red. Robin, Batman yelped, dropping what he was working on. Robin gave another low moan and stepped foreward a few steps. Then, he toppled into Batman's arms. "Batman", he said weakly.

"Robin", Batman said urgently, holding him tightly, "What happened?"

"Batman", Robin moaned again.

"What?" Batman asked.

"Made you scared", Robin said suddenly, leaping up and out of Batman's arms.

"Robin", Batman yelled angrily, "you really scared me. God, I thought you were dying." Robin giggled.

"The magic of ketchup", he replied.

"I'm gona kill you", Batman said, and dove at him. Robin tried to get away but Batman grabbed him by the ankle and pinned him to the ground.

"No", Robin shrieked, "save me Harold."

"Robin", I called, struggling against my bonds. But, I was anxious to see what the Batman would do to his young protégé. I waited to see real blood being shed and tears of anguish. What I was unprepared for, however, was the Dark Knight tickling his partner, which was exactly what he did. "No", Robin shrieked, "have mercy."

"You scared me", Batman said, between gritted teeth that seemed almost to be holding back a laugh, "now you're gona pay."

"Harold", Robin screamed, "save me."

"Harold can't save you", Batman hissed, "no one can."

"I have a peace offering", Robin said, "let me go." Batman let go of the boy, who got up and said after catching his breath, "may I present is lordship with the royal worms." He held out a bag of sour gummy worms.

"Sweet", said Batman, taking them.

"Sour actually", Robin replied. Batman dove at him, but it was more half hearted and Robin got away easily.

"Umm excuse me", I called, getting my courage back, "I hate to interrupt but will you work on an antidote for me, I'm dying you know."

"Ohh", Batman said dryly, "right." Batman mixed various chemicals together for about twenty minutes while Robin spouted off every dirty joke he had apparently heard that day. Each punch line made the chemicals shake dangerously and I wanted to voice my complaints and say that he should take better care, but I was afraid of Batman, so I kept my mouth shut.

"There", said Batman, all done. He brought the syringe over.

"How do I know that's really the antidote and not some chemical designed to kill me?" Robin ran a finger over his neck, making a cutting sound.

Batman gave him an annoyed look and said, "You're just going to have to trust me, aren't you." I scowled at him, but permitted him to inject me with the serum, not that I had much of a choice. "Alright Robin", he said, "take out the garbage."

"With pleasure boss", Robin siad, and dropped a gas bomb under my nose. Again, I fell unconscious.

When I awoke, my first thought was a question. Why is everything upside down, I asked myself. Then, I realized that I must be upside down. I looked down at myself, or rather up to see my ankles bound with a chord to a pole. I wasn't quite sure where I was, but I found I was stripped down to my puppy dog boxers with my clothes folded neatly beneath my head.

Across my bare belly was painted a large upside down R, which was right side up now that I was hanging upside down. "Robin", I screamed and I heard dervish teenage laughter erupt from somewhere in the darkness. Even my wife was better then this. I was leaving Gotham to go back to Metropolis the first chance I got, whenever that would be. I reached for my feet to do my best to free them.