A huge thank you to all the people who reviewed, you're all so nice! :) I'll try to update much faster than before and hopefully this time I won't make you wait so long, hopefully this will take two month tops (hopefully...) Now who's ready for a little bit of action this time?
Disclaimer: You know, I may not own Batman but there is one thing I do have... (picks up microphone)... Got the moves, like Batman! I got the moves, like Batman! I've got the na na na na na na na na moves, like Batman! (...I don't own these parody song lyrics either, but I got the music in me! [Strums guitar])
"...Wake up... Dick...you... Wake..." Dick strained to hear the muffled voice which was gradually tugging him out of the lull of sleep. His eyes saw nothing except never ending darkness and the voice was almost completely drowned out by the thinking inkiness of the shadows. Dick blinked his eyes a couple of times in order to fully awaken himself, and it took Dick a moment to see that it had been Jason calling him to wake up. The car was already parked outside the imitation of Wayne Manor and Jason was standing beside the car's open door, next to where Dick had been napping, appearing to have a slightly impatient scowl on his face probably because he may have been waiting for Dick to awaken for longer than he had wished.
"Sorry, Jay. I know how hard it is to get me up after I hit the snooze button." Dick apologized with a hint of a joke in his voice, only to be met with the still slightly annoyed expression on his "brother's" face. Feeling sheepish because of Jason's still imposing posture, which included Jason crossing his arms in front of his chest and a partial slouch in his stance that basically screamed "move it already", Dick quickly clambered out of the car and got to his feet.
"You should be. I've been trying to get you up for the past ten minutes. And for making we wait so long, you're the one that has to carry Tim in." Jason practically ordered as he walked away right after giving Dick such orders. Jason thus made his way to the front of the near exact copy of Wayne Manor. Dick, on the other hand, just stood where he was for a few seconds, still being in a half daze created by his sudden jolt from slumber. The fact that Dick was still too tired to create a quick come back was noted immediately by Jason, but Jason still didn't let up on his order. Shaking his head, to completely rid himself of dream's calling, Dick moved to the other side of the car where Tim laid, still unconscious.
"Oh, come on, Jason. You know my arms still ache from the mission earlier!" Dick shouted with an evident pout in his voice, after he had managed to cradle Tim in his arms. Honestly, Dick was perfectly okay with carrying Tim anywhere on a regular day, but the struggle from earlier that night had left some of his muscles sore and he happened to be in a sort of sluggish mood since it was late night or early morning and he had gained a longing to return to the comfort of his bed.
"Well you should have thought about that before you decided to fall asleep and then take forever to get back up. You're not the only one tired here." Jason lightly reprimanded, while leaning against the building's doorway with the same impatient, non-caring posture he had earlier. Dick chose not to respond, due to his exhaustion, and decided to instead just roll his eyes before heading towards the doorway Jason stood by. Jason just gave an indifferent shrug in response to the eye roll before tugging open the copy of Wayne Manor's front door, and having the decency to hold it open long enough for Dick to rush in before Jason also quickly shuffled in behind him.
"Home sweet home... Can I go to bed now?" Dick asked hopefully, managing to pull off an 'innocent', begging facial expression which would somewhat remind anyone who viewed it of a tired puppy. Jason however, remained unfazed and just pointed to Tim who was still in Dick's arms, but partially twitching now.
"First, both of us have to get Tim downstairs and fixed by the doctor. Which I would prefer to happen before Tim awakens, unless you want to have another struggle against him." Jason replied in a taunting manner, earning a scowl from his older "brother".
"Like I said, this is why Tim likes me better." Dick stated, while Jason pulled open the door leading to the staircase which he had dragged Dick down days earlier. There was an eerie sensation filling the place but Jason chose to ignore as they made their way down the steps and sparing a glance at Dick, Jason could tell he felt it too. The room at the bottom of the staircase was shrouded in darkness save for the sole light bulb which faintly illuminated a small portion of the room.
Something is wrong... It was the only way Dick could describe the reason behind the dreadful feeling, which was holding him in a chilling grip as it coursed throughout his entire being.
"Aren't you missing someone?" Dr. Hurt's voice abruptly echoed in the silence, emitting from the shadows behind the pair. Dick inwardly jumped in surprise, being caught off guard since he had been too lost in his own reflections about understanding his unusual emotions and questioning why his conscious was telling him that something was wrong.
"We were unable to reach Damian in time, but we got one of them." Jason quickly summarized the prior events of the night, while sounding slightly irritated at Dr. Hurt's small jab at their skills in retrieving their brothers. Jason was always fast to temper and the slight narrowing of his eyes, showed this as he glared at the area Dr. Hurt was supposed to be within the tendrils of shadows. Dick on the other hand, either didn't notice or he didn't care at the small insult and instead he merely walked forward to Dr. Hurt, with Tim still sleeping undisturbed in his arms. Only the occasional movement or twitching in his arms indicated that Tim was getting closer to awakening.
"I guess we can make due with one of your... siblings... Bring him here, Jason." Dr. Hurt spoke with a slight sneer when he mentioned siblings, but the rest of his words came out as an order directed at Jason, to Dick's shock. Dr. Hurt didn't wait for a further reply before heading deeper into the unlit area of the room, obviously expecting Jason, and only Jason, to follow on his heels. Dick immediately prepared to protest and question Dr. Hurt's request but a hand being placed on his shoulder halted any words building up within him.
"You've had a long night, Dick. I can take it from here, go rest." Jason was looking straight ahead in the direction of Dr. Hurt's trail as he spoke and his voice sounded tired, almost numb or automatic.
"...But Jay, you've been working just as long as me, maybe even longer. Why can't I take it from here?" Dick questioned his "brother" out of concern for his well-being plus a little bit of suspicion at the reason Jason was chosen over him when he was the eldest.
"...Don't worry about me, just head on to bed. He only needs one of us so just go." Jason voice had faded so that it came out soft, but now it was tinted with a deeper exasperation and his eyes had yet to meet his "brother's" innocently worried ones.
"Jay..." Dick was having that rare moment where he just didn't know what to say and as Jason held out his arms for Tim to be placed in them, something made Dick hesitate. The sensation that he was about to make a grave mistake bit at the edges of his twisted conscious, before Dick shook his head slightly and carefully placed Tim into Jason's arms. Jason immediately pulled Tim close before heading into the inky shadows that Dr. Hurt had faded into.
"Goodnight Jason." Dick's small voice was unheard by either of his siblings or flat out dismissed as they also merged with darkness of the room. Dick was no longer carrying Tim, but a burden of a different nature made him feel more light-headed than he had been a few moments ago. Turning towards the flight of steps, Dick tugged the string attached to the light bulb and as the room lost its sole illumination, Dick took a moment to stare into the abyss of darkness before he suddenly wished he could melt into the shadows too.
Robin watched with a guarded intensity as he glared at what he considered an unworthy, insulting copy of his home. It was impossible to deny the resemblance, but that didn't mean Damian had to consider the building equal to the real Wayne Manor. In his opinion, it wasn't even on the same scale as his current home. It didn't help that for some reason the structure had a strange air secreting from it that sent strange shudders down Robin's spine. Ignoring this, Robin headed closer to the building and gracefully landed on the roof, narrowly avoiding the eye of the cameras he had caught sight of by using a radar device to scan for. The device held the purpose to detect any camera or electronic defense mechanisms and make it easier for Damian to come in unseen.
I admit he did well hiding this place, but the arrogant fool probably should have created a dead zone around the cars too. Damian idly remembered how he had followed the car that Jason was driving for a few miles before the car had suddenly disappeared from the tracker's sensor. Luckily, Robin had drove on his cycle to the last place the tracker had located the vehicle, and by some chance, there had been only a one way road in the area. Ending up at the fake Wake Manor, Robin felt a mixture of pride in himself but also some apprehension at the fact that his father would most likely be furious or possibly even disappointed at his current act of disobedience.
"Grayson's going to owe me for this..." Robin muttered to himself, while removing the ventilation shaft's panel from the wall's side. Grabbing a firm hold on the building side, Damian was just barely small enough to swing himself in and not get stuck. With great care, Robin placed the panel back into the wall, leaving no trace that it had ever been shifted. Crawling through the chute, Robin kept a close eye on the GPS device he had used to scan the area, but he almost flung it into a wall when he realized the dead zone placed around the building's area had quickly rendered the GPS useless. He was now crawling aimlessly through the ventilation shaft, which annoyed him greatly, but he pushed his annoyance aside when he approached a few strands of light peeking out from one of the shaft's bottom panels, up ahead. Gracefully shifting closer to the bottom panel, which had small, open holes in it, Robin leaned in marginally to get a view of the world below, only to immediately jerk back in disbelief.
"Grayson..." Robin trailed off after that. He was unsure of what else he could say at the moment and he also didn't want to make any sudden sounds to allow Dick, who was walking down the hall below him, to detect his location. Robin continued to stare from the ventilation shaft at his brother, who he noted appeared to be tired plus stressed, as he walked up the staircase that probably led to bedrooms.
...Something's off with him... Robin had spent a long period of time being the partner of Dick, so it was almost too bluntly obvious how this Dick was not the same one who was his former mentor. The way Dick was walking was completely wrong; the style was too automatic instead of the near gliding style that Damian was used to seeing Dick use. Damian recalled that he often teased Dick about it by saying it looked like he was skipping when he walked and now seeing Dick use a robotic like march up the stairs caused numerous warning bells to ring in his head.
Dick's stride makes it look like he is almost floating, like he is just forcing himself to stay close to the ground instead of shooting off into the sky he belongs to... Now it looks like he's pinned to the ground... It isn't right... Robin noted, eyes narrowing in order to make deeper observations. Robin soon observed that Dick's posture made him appear to be carrying a rather large load, most likely due to inner emotion turmoil. Robin held in a sharp urge to flinch however, when he saw Dick's gaze.
It's blank... There's no spark of joy or even pain... Just emptiness... Robin did not hold back the growl that emerged when he began deciding what horrendous pain to inflict on whoever turned his brother into that marching corpse. Shaking off those thoughts for a better time, Robin hence waited patiently for Dick to fully walk up the stairs and disappear down a hallway before making any movements. Waiting only a few minutes longer after Dick left his sight, Robin searched around with his eyes, since his GPS system was not an option, for any surveillance cameras. Finding only a couple of cameras, he managed to drop out of the shaft without being spotted, and all with a practiced ease.
He came from there... Robin glared at the large wooden door that held whatever, or perhaps whoever, had distressed Dick. Robin had rage fill him at the thought of anyone messing with someone, who he would never dare say out loud, he cared about and the door suddenly seemed to have a red tint as his anger grew. Allowing the anger to guide him, Robin didn't even think as he shoved open the door and stormed down the shadow filled stairway. He barely even took note that the door sealed close behind him, encasing his world in darkness.
"MFFFF!" Tim let out another yell of agony through the cloth draped around his mouth. Tim's torso lurched upwards against the straps that pinned him down as waves of cold sweat poured off him. Jason tried his best to ignore the misty, nearly tear filled look Tim was giving to those around him as he squirmed in pain. Jason also did his best not to bring Tim anymore pain than necessary as he pushed Tim's body back down onto the metal table he was strapped to.
"He's not accepting it as badly as the other one, but it's still takes an extreme toll on his body... Interesting." Dr. Hurt mumbled idly to himself, ignoring the glare Jason shot at him.
I hate the way he looks at my brother, who is clearly suffering, and just calls it an interesting discovery... He almost seems elated by Tim's condition... It's official, once Father is done with him, I've got dibs on the first punch. Jason knew his "father" needed Dr. Hurt to fix the rest of his brothers, but that was the sole reason he hadn't put a gun to the man's head already. Once Dr. Hurt completed his job, Jason vowed to make the monster of a man beg for mercy. Dr. Hurt always made comments that ticked Jason off, usually comments like comparing his brothers to test subjects and the way he looked at Jason and the others made him feel like Dr. Hurt had some personal vendetta against them. It was just a gut feeling, but that fact did nothing to pacify Jason's irritation and of all things, it probably filled him with more enmity towards the man.
"Mmmm..." Tim drew Jason's attention back to the matter at hand by letting out a small whimper. Being hit by a pang of guilt, Jason tried to make up for it by gently placing a comforting, gloved hand on Tim's head. To Jason's slight surprise, he noticed Tim seemed to lean into the hand. Assuming it was just because the torture Tim was drowning in had made Tim mistaken him for Dick, who Jason could have sworn Tim liked better, he began to pull his hand back when Tim glanced at him with pleading eyes. Unable to fill those pleading eyes with more ache, Jason laid his hand back down and he allowed a small smile to grace his lips when Tim started to relax. The moment came to an abrupt stop as Tim suddenly jerked up when more agony sky rocketed throughout his body.
"MMMMMMMMMMFFF!" Tim's cry could probably be heard about a mile away even with the gag still in place.
I'm doing the right thing... I'm doing the right thing ... Then why does it still hurt? Jason wasn't sure why, but shame hit him full force as he watched Tim whither in anguish. Fury also brewed within him, as he watched Dr. Hurt none too gently shove Tim back onto the table when his body arched up against the metal straps once more. Jason had to literally restrain himself from outright attacking Dr. Hurt as he held up Tim's head to examine the treatment's effect on his mind before unceremoniously allowing Tim's head drop back onto the table with a resounding clang.
"Are you done yet?" Jason barked out, lashing out with words instead of using his fists like he craved to.
"Yes, I am. His memories have been restored and he should be fine by the time he awakens." Dr. Hurt spoke like he was giving a lecture to an unruly child. Jason could only curse under his breath and cross his arms as his body began to literally quake with resentment. The temptation to attack nearly killed Jason when Dr. Hurt turned his back to him, leaving him vulnerable, and strode out of the room. His anger was quelled when his eyes roamed back down to Tim, who was harshly breathing in large gulps of breaths and had small tears making trails down his face. Tim's lean chest was moving fiercely to put air into his lungs, his hair was matted with cold sweat, and his abnormally pale face held eyes crunched closed due to a pain only Tim could feel.
I hate being so powerless... I just want to help him. Jason swallowed down the lump building in his throat, just like he had done for Dick when he had gone through the same treatment. Dick's reaction to the treatment had been much worse though, apparently due to the fact that he had stronger "false" memories which had to be removed from him. It hurt Jason to watch Dick back then and it stung now to watch Tim go throw a similar pain. Jason placed his hand back on Tim's head and brushed the hair sticking to Tim's forehead back, as he sincerely whispered, "I'm sorry."
"No you're not." Jason jumped up when a new voice whispered the retort harshly. Springing back, Jason's eyes wandered to the ceiling for a quick search of the owner of the voice.
"Who the- Ack!" Jason let out a choking sound when a grappling line wrapped around his neck and yanked him backwards, therefore slamming him into one of the room's concrete walls.
"But you will be when I'm done with you." Jason gasped for breath as the line was removed from his neck, but he barely had time to take one breath when a familiar green boot struck him across his cheek. Now spitting out blood before taking in large gulps of air, Jason heard the question, "Ready for round two?" Before electricity sparked across his chest and his vision momentarily gained black spots.
"Damian?" Jason chocked out, barely staying conscious as the room twirled in shifting colors before his eyes.
"Seriously, Todd, it took you this long to have the decency to respect me and call me by my actual name? ...Funny... I still don't respect you." Robin chuckled mirthlessly, resembling Bruce greatly for just a moment, before pulling back a fist and sending it straight for Jason's head. The feeling of being hit was noted for only a moment before it faded along with Jason's consciousness. Jason could just barely make out Damian's face twisting into a smirk and words being spoken tauntingly before everything blurred with darkness and his mind entered oblivion.
Yep, this took waaaaay longer to write than I expected... I blame school... Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it and if you did, I would love it if you left me a nice review. Reviews make me happy and happy me equals faster updates! You know… if school doesn't get in the way...