Disclaimer: Sadly, Dick Grayson isn't owned by me. DC has that privilege. DC owns all of the characters in this story. All I own is the distinctive way the story unfolds, the specific dialogue and unique situations. (g) No money is being made from this. Please don't sue. It wouldn't be worth your while.
WARNING: There are a number of spelling, grammar and punctuation differences between Australia and the USA... please forgive me for writing with an accent. (g) I don't have a beta reader so all errors are mind alone.
Thank you to all who have supported me in the past and who have sent feedback.
Just Singin' in the Rain
Part 2 of 2
As there was no trail, Batman didn't know exactly where his men would be. A few feet left or right and he may miss them altogether. Batman counted on instinct to take him to Dick. He had to assume one, or maybe both Nightwing and Bane were injured, otherwise they would have been back by now. Batman weaved through the trees alone.
Darkness was spreading as the cloud blocked out the sun. Rain continued to fall, thunder and lightning split the sky and the wind built ferociously.
Nightwing's paces shortened. He was struggling to see and his weakened legs trembled with each step. He knew the WiPIC hadn't lifted off yet. On one hand, that was spurring him on. On the other, his chest burned with despair. The others had to get out of here.
Abruptly, he was overwhelmed by a feeling a security. Bruce?
Batman spotted Nightwing carrying Bane and let out a roar of relief. They were only a short distance from the WiPIC. "Dick!"
Batman grabbed and held him on his feet. "Give him to me!" he shouted, dipping his shoulder and rolling Bane onto it.
Nightwing sensed the vibrations intensify through his chest. The WiPIC was leaving. He sank to his knees, physically and emotionally exhausted.
"Get up!" Batman shouted. "I can't carry you both. Nightwing, get…" A series of explosions echoed above the storm. The dam wall had blown. "GET UP!"
Nightwing lifted his head, sweeping his hair from his eyes. "Plane's gone, Bruce. You should be on it with Damian and Tim."
Bruce stared down at his son. He had sensed the WiPIC rise too. It was too late. He had led Dick to a foreign world to die.
The ground began to shake. A wall of water a hundred feet high was on its way… and they had nowhere to go. Their fate was sealed.
Abruptly, the rest of the Batsquad exploded out of the trees.
"Come on!" Robin screamed as he and Red Robin dragged Nightwing to his feet and Batgirl grabbed Batman's arm and urged him forward. "Arsenal's hovering above the ground read to go!"
The shuddering beneath their feet increased, accompanied by the building rumble of trillions of gallons of water approaching at the speed of a freight train.
Between them, Red Robin and Robin half carried, half dragged the energy sapped Nightwing, while Batgirl helped to steady Bane as Batman ran.
The roar of the water grew as it closed the distance.
The Batsquad broke through the trees and dashed to the WiPIC, its engines almost at maximum speed.
"Go! Go!" Robin yelled as the group leapt aboard. He turned to shut the door and found himself staring at a tidal wave. "My God!" The water had caught up with them!
He shut his eyes instinctively and his stomach dropped as the WiPIC ascended sharply. He held his breath, knowing this was the end.
"Whooooh!" Batgirl shouted. "Arsenal, you're amazing!"
Robin blinked. They'd made it… by only inches, but they'd made it. Below, the valley disappeared in a seething cauldron of white water.
"Buckle up back there," Arsenal ordered. "We aren't out of this yet. First we have to outrun this hurricane and then enter that unstable porthole."
Nightwing's head lolled back against the chair. His legs, back and shoulders were numbed with throbbing pain. Someone fastened his seatbelt. He opened his eyes and Batgirl smiled at him, the girl's eyes sparkling with adrenaline. "Your head's cut. Do you want some water?"
The chopper lurched and she tumbled to the floor.
"Buckle up!" Batman shouted, dragging the girl to her feet and shoving her toward a chair.
Nightwing looked sideways to the cot Bane was being strapped into. "How is he?" he shouted over the motor and storm.
Batman turned and despite his obvious concern, smiled. "Still breathing, thanks to you."
"Concussion. He'll need X-rays," Red Robin informed the others as he conducted an examination as best he could as he was violently thrown around. "Breathing's regular and heartbeat is strong. He'll be okay. I need a blanket."
Batman grabbed one and helped to wrap it around the wounded man. Then, he ordered Red Robin to put his seatbelt on and did so himself, taking his place beside Nightwing. "You hurt?"
"Can't think of a spot on my body that isn't aching," Dick murmured. "Bane weighs a tonne." The chopper shook violently. Bracing himself as the craft was tossed like confetti in the wind he asked, "Did it work?"
"Red Robin?" Batman shouted.
The young man flicked the switch on the computer panel next to him. All held their breath. The smile that filled Tim's face told them what they needed to know. "No android signals in this area. I think… I think it's working. As that wall of water covers all land it should wipe every one of them out."
"We saved Earth," Stephanie shouted. "My mum's okay."
Dick shut his eyes, finally relaxing. Barbara and Alfred were safe. Lian and Donna were safe. All of the other people he cared about on Earth were safe.
"Let me look at your head." Bruce swivelled in his chair, removed Dicks' mask and using a handkerchief, dabbed an inch long cut above Dick's eyebrow. There was an egg under it, evidence of a blow.
"I thought the rule was every person was responsible for getting back on their own," Dick murmured.
"The rules don't apply to me," Batman declared in a deadpan voice.
"Oh? Why?" Dick asked.
"Because I'm your father and I make the rules."
Dick smirked. "Yes, Sir."
For fifteen minutes the group held on as Roy fought the controls.
No one spoke.
The absence of conversation was eerie and while all had faith in Roy's ability, each understood their chances of survival were slim at best. More than once, the craft plummeted suddenly, only to ascend just as rapidly. The occupants were tossed about violently. At times, it felt as though the aircraft was going to be torn apart.
Batgirl shut her eyes. She tried to swallow but the lump in her throat didn't allow it.
Tim glanced at the girl and placed his hand over hers.
Damian gazed out the window into the swirling darkness. Would he live long enough to truly get to know his father?
Bane stirred, awaking to a reassuring pat from Tim. The disoriented man closed his eyes secure in the knowledge he was in good hands.
Bruce tried to keep pressure on the cut above Dick's eyes, but was failing miserably.
"Portal ahead," Roy shouted. "If we don't make it, I just want to thank you all for saving my daughter."
The plane plunged into the quaking and shrinking porthole. There was an explosion of light and sound and the WiPIC shook so violently Dick was certain it was going to shatter into a million pieces.
Abruptly, the excessive shuddering stopped. The outside noise died without warning.
All froze and listened.
Above the sound of the engines and the pelting rain, they heard another sound coming from the cockpit. "I'm singin' in the rain. Just singin' in the rain. What a glorious feelin to have outrun a hurr-ic-cane."
"Arsenal!" Batman shouted.
"Are we home?" Batgirl asked, peering out the window at the rain.
"Are we sure it worked?" Bane demanded.
"Confirmation from Oracle. Operation 'Magnificent Seven' has achieved its objective. The android world is no longer a threat… and that is good old fashioned Earth rain out there," Tim confirmed. "We made it."
"Am I the best, or what?" the happy pilot called. "Le Pilot. No, Superpilot! No, no. Pilot Supremo!"
"We'll never hear the end of it," Stephanie laughed.
"He's entitled," Batman murmured. "Even I am willing to admit, he is 'Pilot Supremo.'"
"So we're clear?" Tim confirmed, unbuckling his seatbelt. He moved directly to Dick who raised his hand. Tim gripped it firmly. "Thought we'd lost you."
"Thought you had too," Dick agreed, unable to keep his eyes open as relief amalgamated with fatigue.
"How are Bane and Dick?" Roy called.
"Alive," Bane responded. "I will never forget what you did for me, Nightwing."
Damian rose and scrutinized Dick. "I am pleased you made it. It would have been most unfortunate if… well, if…"
Dick smiled, though his eyes remained closed. "I do believe you would have missed me, Damian."
The boy snorted.
Bruce patted Dick's shoulder with great affection; hugged Tim briefly, swatted the back of Damian's head and smiled at Stephanie.
"Father, please. Must we engage in such nauseating displays of affection?"
Bruce winked and then pushed personal feelings aside. "Red Robin, assist me in tending to Bane. Robin and Batgirl, Nightwing needs some attention. That cut is still bleeding. Get him out of those wet clothes, lie him down and buckle him into that other stretcher. Wrap him in a blanket. I don't want him going into shock. Then change into dry clothes yourselves."
"Hey look! It's Superman," Stephanie cried, waving out the window.
Clark gave the thumbs up signal as he was joined by Green Lantern and Red Tornado.
"Looks like everything's returned to normal thanks to us," Damian announced.
"Amen to that, Robin. I can't wait to hug my daughter tonight," Roy shouted happily.
"Take us back to base," Batman ordered.
"Your wish is my command, boss. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We will be setting down at Waynetech base in approximately fifteen minutes to what should be a well-deserved heros' welcome. Please take note of the no smoking signs. Should masks fall from the ceiling, place them over your nose and mouth, breathe deeply and panic. For now, sit back and enjoy the in-flight live entertainment by Moi. Join in if you know the words."
Under the setting sun, framed by a glorious sunset and escorted by dozens of the powered heroes, the small WiPIC headed for home, gently swaying from side to side in unison with Roy's exuberant, off-key singing.
"I'm singin' in the rain. Just singin' in the rain. What a glorious feelin' to outrun a hurr-ic-cane."
I hope you enjoyed.