Disclaimer: If I was in charge of the Young Justice series, Catwoman would have appeared already, there would be lots of Dick/Barbara and Batman/Catwoman would be the established adult couple on the show. Since I'm not in charge of YJ, I'll just settle for being biased. Author's note will be at the bottom of this chapter.
As much as I hate to do this, it's necessary. Bruce took a deep breath and dialed a familiar number. He hit the speaker phone button as he navigated through the dark streets of his city. On the fourth ring, someone finally answered.
"Bruce? Is everything alright?" His voice was filled with concern.
A few moments of silence passed before Bruce finally worked up the nerve to give him an answer. "It's Dick."
That one sentence was all it took for his friend to start in on him. "Please don't tell me you did anything stupid. I know you two haven't been on the best of terms but whatever you've done this time..."
Bruce quickly bit back an angry retort and chose to interrupt his friend's rant. "I didn't call you for a lecture Clark. I need your help."
When silence greeted him again, he couldn't help the small smirk that came to his face. That shut you up quickly.
"I'm well aware of the mess I've made but he's run away from the Manor and..."
"He WHAT? Seriously Bruce, what on earth did you do or say to him? Did you bench him again? And did you just admit to needing my help?"
Gripping the steering wheel more tightly than he needed to, Bruce rolled his eyes. He's your friend. He's your friend. He's only trying to help.
"For the record, I'm going to pretend I didn't hear those last two sentences. How fast can you get to Gotham?"
Clark was a lot of things but he was far from stupid. He knew his words were bothering Bruce but no one could blame Clark for his actions. He was well aware of the problems going on between Dick and Bruce.
"Pretend all you want but it doesn't change things. I want the full story and don't think for a second, I won't call Alfred for details."
"If you're going to argue with me instead of helping me then I don't need you." Bruce growled into empty air. Right now he really wished Clark was sitting next to him so he could punch him. Most likely, he would end up with a broken hand but it would be worth the pain and discomfort. He just wanted to make him stop being such a smug idiot.
As if you can talk. They shouldn't call you Batman or The World's Greatest Detective. You're the King of Idiots. Seriously no one is more blind than you when it comes to feelings.
A soft sigh reached his ears as that annoying little inner voice (he absolutely refused to admit he had a conscience) continued to assault him.
"Look Bruce. I know the last thing you need is a lecture because I'm assuming you've already been given one by Alfred. And I'm not trying to start an argument. I guess I'm just a little shocked that you would turn to me for help. I thought for sure you would have called Commissioner Gordon since he's closer to you."
Bruce didn't miss the slight change in Clark's voice or the fact that Clark didn't think Bruce would ask him for help. He really needed to get better with communicating and showing his feelings to other people.
"I'm only going to say this once Clark. I called you because you're the best chance I have at finding my son. Logically speaking, it would have made sense to call Gordon but it would be too late. Our window of opprortunity would be slim at best if I called Gordon instead of you. I can't afford to gamble with my child's life."
Clark could clearly hear the unspoken plea in Bruce's words. I need a friend tonight. Someone that knows the real situation between us. Please help me find my son before it's too late.
"I can be there in ten minutes. Five if need be. Where are you?" Clark wasted no time changing into his costume.
"I'm about thirty minutes away from the cementary. It's the first place I thought to look."
"Alright. Which car did you take so I can be on the lookout for you?"
Bruce couldn't help the sigh of relief that escaped him. "I took the black Rolls Royce."
Clark hung up without a second thought. He was out the window and flying through the skies of Metropolis, only one thought on his mind. I won't let you down Bruce.
He was miserable. He was cold, wet, hungry and tired but he knew he couldn't go to sleep. Common sense told him he should be trying to find shelter instead of sitting out in the rain but a very small part of him believed he needed to be punished for all of his wrong doings. He screwed up big time and now he had to pay the price.
And to think this all started with a botched mission. He could feel his eyes watering up but he couldn't find the strength to hold back his tears. His heart was starting to hurt again because the memory kept playing over and over in his mind.
"Aw Batsy! I was hoping to see Robbie tonight! You're no fun when he's not around." The Joker whined as he stared up at Batman who was bound and gagged while hanging upside down over a vat of acid.
"You said the boy would be here, Clown." Two Face grumbled as he gently stroked his signature scarred coin.
The Joker turned to look at Two Face, smile never leaving his face. "Oh Harv, he'll be here. The Boy Blunder follows this flying rodent with blind obedience. He's like an eager little puppy. It's sad really. Almost painful to watch but how do you think the Big Bad Bat is going to feel when he sees Bird Boy arrive too late to save him!"
Two Face didn't look convinced in the least. "And what's stopping the Bat from ruining this plan? You and I both know he's always prepared. No way he's just going to let us kill him in front of the kid."
The Joker started laughing at that point. The laugh soon turned into his infamous cackle. "That's where you're wrong Harv. This time, I've done my homework like a good boy. Anyone with a half brain knows Batsy will do anything to spare Robbie's life. And in this case, I have insurance. As you've noticed, he hasn't moved since our boys grabbed him. That's because the Bat has so much of my secret toxin coursing through his veins, he'll already be dead by the time he hits the acid!"
Two Face grimaced upon hearing those words. "What's in it? And you'd better not say it's just your "regular and harmless" Joker Venom either."
Before the Joker could form a response, an armed thug ran into the room, looking for all the world like he had just seen a ghost. "Harvey, he's here! The kid's here!"
"Get everyone into position and don't screw this up!" Harvey ordered, not bothering to acknowledge the lackey as he turned to face The Joker again. Two Face finally flipped his coin into the air. "Heads or Tails, Clown?"
The Joker clapped his hands together, giggling just a bit. "Ohhh you're letting me pick! Tails! No wait Heads! Definitely Heads!"
The coin sailed through the air before finally landing in Harvey's outstretched hand. "Heads, we go with your plan. Tails, we stick to my plan."
He grabbed the coin and chuckled darkly, "Tails. Looks like I win."
The Joker rolled his eyes while grumbling, "I'm still dropping Batsy in the vat of acid."
"Quiet! If the brat's here, I want everything to be perfect." Two Face hissed just as the lights went out. Unbeknownst to any of the occupants in the abandoned warehouse, this would mark the beginning of the end for the Dynamic Duo.
His stomach clenched painfully as his head started to throb dully. "Noooo. Please, don't make me remember." He moaned helplessly.
He could still see Batman falling towards the vat while he shot a zipline out towards his mentor. The zipline wrapped around Batman's ankle while he struggled to pull him back up. The taunting of both Two Face and Joker still ringing in his ears as he fought a desperate battle against gravity. His arms were aching and sweat dripped down his face. Slowly, everyone started to gather and watch the scene unfold. No one bothered to lift a finger until Batman began to slowly come back to the land of the living.
That's when everything went to hell.
They both heard the safeties on all of the guns go off but no one could pinpoint who shot first. The whole room lit up with gunfire right as the Joker threw the dagger that distracted him long enough for him to lose his grip on the zipline. Arms grabbed him from behind and forced him to his knees while someone jabbed a needle in his arm. He tried to struggle against his enemies but it was useless. Everything was over.
There was no point in carrying on now that his mentor was gone. He went slack in their arms as a numb resignation spread throughout his body. He'd finally done what all the villians and crazies in Gotham couldn't do.
He was responsible for the death of Batman.
Burying his head in his knees, he began to sob uncontrollably. No matter what he told himself, it was his fault. About time you finally faced reality. Six years and all you've done is bring him nothing but grief and heartache. If you're not being kidnapped or held for ransom, you're making him worry by going out with the Team. Then to make matters worse, you run to Clark or Barry for everything when you think Bruce is being unreasonable.
As much as he wanted to vehemently deny these feelings, he couldn't muster up enough courage to fight the accusations. He wanted to say, "It's not true! I don't really feel like that!" but his mind said differently. Oh really? Then how would you feel if Bruce ended up replacing you with another son? You know what they say. Once the new kid comes to town, the other kid gets left behind. That's how Bruce must feel. Everything else but Bruce is a priority to you. Why else would you constantly introduce yourself as Richard Grayson instead of Richard Grayson-Wayne? The paperwork was finalized two years ago but you still deny him as your father.
"I shouldn't have been there." He whimpered between tears as he hugged his knees. "I should have never disobeyed you. Just this once, I wish I had listened to you."
He was so lost in his grief and despair that he didn't even register hands picking him up or the blankets wrapping around him. All he could focus on was how much he wanted to see Bruce so he could apologize and win his love again. He had no idea Bruce felt the exact same way about him.
Author's Notes: Apparently, I have a very bad habit of writing sad stories around Christmas time. I hope this Christmas gift agrees with all of you. So how many of you were expecting me to use Commissioner Gordon or have Bruce use the Batwing to find Dick? I know both are horribly overused so I went with Superman. That may have been predictable too but it made more sense to me. We all know anything goes in Gotham. That's what Bruce meant when he told Clark that he needed him more than Commissioner Gordon. Plus I wanted to try my hand at some Bruce/Clark interaction. For the curious minded, that means I'm finally taking the plunge and and trying to write for characters other than Bruce, Dick or Alfred. I am, however, sorry my dear readers for taking such a long time to get this chapter posted. I hope you enjoyed this latest installment! Thanks again for reading!