A/N: Ok, there are a lot, I mean A LOT, of Robin!Torture and Daddy!Bats fanfics out there. I LOVE READING THOSE and the FLUUUUFFFF! The FLUFF! at the end when Bats saves his little bird *awwwww* is just too much. Anyway, I've always wanted to write one of my own, but I was afraid that it would become too cliché. But I wrote it anyway, with a twist. (This is not much of a team fic, because I think that the writers still have to build on their chemistry, but yeah, they're still a pretty good team.)
DISCLAIMER: If I owned the show there would be more Daddy!Bats.
Batman had arrived at the cave saying that Robin would not be going on patrol in Gotham. He would be staying at the mountain with his team. After the initial whoops coming from Robin's teammates (particularly a certain redhead speedster), Robin turned to his mentor in shock.
"A night off? You mean it?" Batman's eye slits narrowed.
"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, Robin."
"TOTALLY ASTEROUS!" Robin shouted, at the realization that his tough-as-nails mentor was actually giving him a night off. Young Justice had just returned from a mission and all of them were ready to rest, dead tired.
"But why?" There was the inquisitive spark in Robin, the bit of detective he'd acquired from Bruce.
Batman's eye slits narrowed even more until they almost couldn't be seen. "Because."
"Because?" Robin thought. Typical, considering he WAS Batman. The Bats had a language all his own. With that one word, however, Robin saw the paternal side, the Bruce in the Batman.
With that one word, Batman turned around and activated the Zeta tube. With a flash of light, he was gone.
Robin stared at the Zeta tube, as if waiting for his mentor to come back and say, "Gotham, Robin. Now." Finally satisfied that he was being given a night off, he incredulously turned to face his friends and said, "I. AM. SO. WHELMED. RIGHT. NOW."
Kid Flash was quick to break the silence.
"Well don't let the whelming stop you from having fun-ing", Wally added awkwardly. He tried, honestly, but he couldn't wordplay like his best friend. Leave that to him!
And so the night began.
They played games and watched TV. M'gaan had come out of the kitchen bearing her latest creation, and it was unanimously proved edible by Kid Flash, who gobbled up the whole tray. M'gaan stared at the empty tray and said, "Wally, do you want-,"
"More, beautiful? Sure, as long as they're made by you," he crooned, earning him an elbow to the gut by a certain blonde archer.
"Cool it, Kid Mouth!"
"Awww, admit it, Arty, you're just jealous!"
"I am not jealous!"
"Yeah? Then why do you always react EVERY TIME I tease Meg?"
"I do NOT!"
"I do NOT, Baywatch! SO JUST COOL IT!"
"You cool it, ARTY-FARTY!"
Farther away from the bickering couple, Kaldur, Robin, and Conner were talking over a bowl of popcorn.
"So he doesn't really do this often?" Kaldur asked Robin.
"Who, Batman? He's fine. Bit overbearing sometimes, but fine."
"At least your mentor cares…" Conner said glumly.
"Hey cheer up Conner! Batman's working on it," said Robin, full of confidence for his mentor.
"Even Superman can't say no to Batman, " Kaldur agreed, nodding his head.
At that moment, Robin's communicator beeped.
"Sorry guys." He jumped up, went to the other end of the room and answered it.
A shiver went up Robin's spine. That voice.
Static came back from the other end of the line, and it sounded like it was being grabbed from one hand to another.
"Give it to me, clown!" the other voice said. "You might end up bungling it before it's even started."
Riddler. Robin thought.
He could still hear Joker grumbling, somewhere along the lines of "spoiling the fun."
Fun? Robin shivered again. Fun time with the Joker wasn't fun at all.
The Riddler came on now, voice as smooth and suave as a conman.
"Why hello, Robin. How nice to hear from you again."
Robin tensed at the memory. Last time he and Batman fought the Riddler, things didn't end up so well. They put him back in Arkham, sure, but he had broken five ribs and Batman was shot in the torso, narrowly missing his heart and lungs.
"Well, Robin, we have a little game set up for you here…but it won't start until you figure out this riddle: When the bat spreads its wings, the little birds come and go. But when the bat clips its wings, that's when the little birds will show."
Robin tensed. They're taunting me. "Where are you?"
"Docks, Warehouse 13, little Bird," Riddler crooned. "Come alone. Don't bring your friends, if you still want them on more…missions," he added tauntingly.
Robin was still sceptical. "Why do I even have to go?" he asked, although he already knew the answer.
"Want an explanation, dear Bird? Very well…he wants to talk to you…"
Another raspy, choking, faint voice was heard on the line. One Robin knew very well.
"Batman!" The voice was slurred and faint, but Robin could recognize his father's voice anywhere.
Robin smirked, despite the circumstances. Even when captured, his mentor could still manage to command his protégé.
"Sorry to disappoint, Batman, but I can't really leave you there. I'm coming. Expect me in 10."
With that, he shut off his comm. unit.
"Ummm…sorry guys," Robin said. His teammates were all staring at him by now. "But I gotta go. Guess the free night doesn't really last long."
"Awww do you have toooooo", KF whined.
"I'll be back, KF. You still owe me our bet." And Robin exited, using the Zeta tubes to Batman's last known coordinates.
Kaldur, Artemis, Megan and Conner were still staring after him.
"I swear, one day Batman's gonna train him to death." Artemis remarked.
The rest turned to look at her, and quickly nodded and said their replies.
Everyone was thinking the same thing.
Sometimes, the Bat was too much of a slave driver.
Robin was at the docks. Everything was quiet. Windy, with the occasional paper flying around.
It was old, but not as old as the other warehouses on the dock. This particular warehouse, Robin remembered, was bought by RSJ United Corporation. So far, it hadn't been used.
The doors were already open. Robin stepped inside, and a metal door crashed down behind him. In the middle of the warehouse, there was a single light hanging down, illuminating the center of the room, where Robin could not believe his eyes. His heart stopped.
Batman was chained in the middle of two posts, with one hand chained to each post. His feet were chained to the floor, and his knees were also chained in such a way that he was in a kneeling position. Robin could see that the chains were taut, the shackles tight. Batman could barely move. Given the way that his muscles were also taut, Robin discerned that the chains weren't a good fit. Batman was being pulled apart. Robin could also see several spots that were bleeding. Batman still hung his head, not giving any indication that Robin had entered the room. Robin felt like his heart would break.
Robin had to stop himself from running to his father and hugging him tight. Instead, he surveyed the scene. Sure enough, in the darkness he could barely make out at least 200 goons. He knew that he couldn't take them all. Rather than have himself killed, he did what he could.
"I surrender. What's the game, Riddler?"
The cold silence was broken by applause. Applause from one man.
"Right you are, Birdy-Boy! Ooooo don't we look serious when big, bad Batman is hurt! Whatsamatter, Boy Blunder? Your daddy got beat by a clown?"
Thankfully, Riddler interrupted him.
"Forgive my associate, Robin, he tends to be very frank."
ASSOCIATE? This is all business to them! Robin thought angrily. They're trading Bruce's life!
"What…do…you…want?" Robin said, through gritted teeth.
"As they say, Robin….A LIFE FOR A LIFE," Riddler said triumphantly.
"We're going to wake big, bad Daddy Bats, then we can talk business," the Joker continued.
"To let him properly think over our little…deal," the Riddler sneered, "we'll have to call our…specialist."
The floorboards creaked as Jonathan Crane, aka Scarecrow, entered.
Now Robin was scared. He didn't want to be, but after all he was only fourteen, in the company of three of Gotham's most twisted minds.
Scarecrow injected Batman with something, but Robin didn't know what.
"Painkiller…just for a while," Crane rasped as he took his place beside Joker and Riddler.
"Here ya go, kid," Joker laughed, tossing Dick something shiny. "Knock yourself out."
Catching deftly, Robin saw what it was.
He ran to Batman and started unlocking the chains. It took a while. He started with the feet first, then the knees, then as he unlocked Batman's arms, he caught him and laid him on the ground. Seeing Bruce's injuries, he wanted to cry. He never saw Batman like this. Bruce was always strong, no matter what happened. He shouldn't look like this, battered, bruised, bloody. BROKEN. He remembered once when Bruce came home from patrol…
He was quite beat up; shot, slashed and bruised. Dick, only 8 at that time, had wanted to stay in the cave until Bruce came home. He started crying while looking at Alfred patch Bruce up. He saw Bruce's face as Alfred dug the bullet out. He suddenly ran to his daddy and sobbed, "Daddy, what if you don't ever come home? I'll…be…alone…" he sniffled. Bruce scooped up the crying child and held him while Alfred was putting the final bandages on his back.
"Well, I'm here now."
*sniffle* "Yeah Daddy, but what if someday you don't come back…ever?" Dick said dramatically.
"Want me to tell you a secret?"
Baby-blue eyes met ocean-blue ones. "The reason I'll come home every night…is you."
"Yes, Dick. You and Alfred, you're the reason I look forward to coming home every night after I put a villain behind bars. I find satisfaction in the fact that I've made the city safer for you."
*sniff* "Thank you…Daddy."
Bruce looked down to find a sleeping bird in his arms. He smiled, and planted a soft kiss on his boy's forehead. "You're welcome, Dick."
Lifting his eyes toward heaven, Bruce said, "John and Mary, thank you."
Standing back in the shadows, Alfred finally spoke up. "All finished, Sir. Would you want me to prepare your beds?"
"A little later, Alfred," Bruce said absentmindedly. He was staring at Dick's face, wondering on how angels could ever come down to earth.
Later that night, Alfred went down to the cave. He saw a bat and a bird, safe in each others arms. The cave was quiet, as if even the bats knew how to have respect for love. The love of a father and a son.