DISCLAIMER: Batman and company are property of DC Comics.
It was raining.
In fact, it was almost always raining when the shit hit the fan.
Torrents of water, brought with dangerous black clouds, crashes of thunder, and explosions of lightning. Completely, and totally ominous that made an already perilous situation seem that much worse.
When Dick Grayson, thirteen year old adopted son of Bruce Wayne, watched as his father was 'arrested' at gun point by the brainless apes of Arkham City, all he could think was that Bruce was in over his head. Then, a heartbeat later, he realized that Batman had probably planned it all. Still, it was disconcerting to hear Vicki Vale's commentary as his mentor was abducted on live television.
The news crew had barely turned it back over to the Studio when his cell phone was ringing. He didn't even have to glance at the call display to know who was calling. "I take it you're watching it too, Clark?" He asked his father's friend when he answered the phone.
"Did you know about this?" The Man of Steel snarled on the other end.
Dick snorted and earned a disapproving look from Alfred as the butler exited the kitchen they had been sitting in and started for the entrance to the Batcave. Getting off his stool, the teen was several yards behind their family's oldest member. "I'll just let you think about that question for a sec."
Clark Kent sighed through the connection. "Of course you didn't. If you had, you would have told me, right?"
"Do I really need to answer that?"
"So you have no idea what he's planning?"
Dick shrugged, even knowing the gesture wouldn't be seen. "We've been talking for several weeks now about getting inside-"
"You're telling me neither of you have been behind that wall?"
The smirk, had it been visible, would have answered the man's question. "Now I never said that. I couldn't tell you how the old man's gotten inside, but I got my own staked out last weekend."
"Oh, I'm sure that went over well with him," Clark chuckled, though the underlying worry was heard in the Kryptonian's voice.
"About as well as when he finds out about yours," Dick snickered. "Which he most likely does already, you know. Just because you don't go in decked out in Red and Blue doesn't mean he hasn't seen you."
"No doubt, but I don't live in Gotham, so he'll have to wait to bust my chops until I come up there for dinner next week."
"Not before then?" Dick paused outside the conservatory where Alfred had disappeared inside. "I mean, I'm sure Lucius has got the lawyers already breathing down Mayor Sharpe's neck but who knows when they'll be able to legally go inside and get him out. I can go in myself, but I'll probably need your help to get him out."
"Already on my way, kiddo," the man said reassuringly. "Like you said, I can't exactly be seen, but I'll be there."
"Well, good," he didn't bother disguising his relief. Without knowing what Batman had planned, it was good to know that Robin had an undercover Superman for backup. "I'm heading down to the ca-"
The rest of his words were cut off as the corridor windows exploded inward in a shower of deadly glass shards. Dick was vaguely aware of Clark's shouts over the cell as he dove for the ground, covering his head as the glass rained down around him. He counted more than a dozen thuds of heavily booted feet landing on the ground beside, next to, and in front of him. Looking up he saw he was surrounded by the armed goons of Tyger Security – the 'police' of Arkham City.
He was moving before they realized it. He sped into the conservatory, slamming and locking the door behind him. He ran to the opened Grandfather Clock and closed it in Alfred's sunned face, his shit-eating grin definitely not as reassuring as he meant it to be, before dropping to the floor and sliding beneath the grand piano.
Dick winced when he placed his cell back to his ear; Clack's shouting nearly deafening him as he popped open a compartment in the underside of the instrument – one of many hidden throughout the Manor in case of just this situation. "Meet me on the inside in an hour." He told the other hero while he retrieved his collapsed staff from inside.
"What's going on, Dick? I can-?"
"Don't! You can't be seen here! One hour, Kal!" He hissed before dropping the phone to the ground and bolting from beneath his cover as the door gave way beneath the gunmen's assaults. He made sure they saw him before he ran out the second door and down another hall.
They were right behind him, and he was surprised that their guns had yet to be fired. The thought no sooner crossed his mind than the first bullet tore into the drywall next to his head as he turned a corner.
"Alive! Strange wants the boy alive!"
No doubt they wanted him for leverage against Bruce, and, okay, being taken alive might be good for his health and the quickest way into Arkham City, but he really didn't like the sound of playing hostage. Besides, he had absolutely no intention of making it easy for them.
Despite the order for capture, several more shots rang out, though the bullets lodged themselves in the floor behind his feet or in the wall level with his calves. They were going for the wound shot, not killing. Bonus for him; it made them think too much on what they could and couldn't do to subdue him.
He ducked into the armory and dove behind one of the ornamental weapon displays that the show room housed. His rapid breathing was silent, as was his staff as a press of his thumb had it snapping out to its full length. Only a second later, the first of the armed thugs burst into the room. The rest followed and spread out without a word. The last kicked the door closed and positioned himself as sentry in front of it.
"Find him," ordered the one in a red beret and body armor, the obvious leader over the rest.
Dick counted fourteen heavily armed men, but in such closed quarters their weapons were useless unless they wanted to risk doing more than just injuring him, or even possibly hitting one of their own. Fourteen well trained goons were more than he normally went against on his own, but he didn't have much choice.
He tucked his head back behind the display and inhaled deeply, calming his racing heart. He closed his eyes, letting his other senses track his would-be-kidnappers. Keeping the grip on his staff relaxed yet firm, he listened to the men as they moved about the room. There were two nearing his position, and with a steadying exhale, he breathed in deep and made his move.
Flipping up and over the display, his feet caught both men on the chest and sent them to the ground. He followed them down, two swift strikes with his staff knocking them into unconsciousness.
He twisted his body to keep the rest of them in sight and their stunned expressions gave him the advantage he needed to spin the staff again. Its tip solidly sliced across another's head, taking him down and out of the fight before it even started.
That made three.
The rest got over their surprise and rushed him.
A twirl of the staff had the first wave of them leaping back, giving him the room he needed to leap over them. As he came down in the middle of the thugs, he snapped the end of the staff backward and into the skull of one of the men he had just jumped over.
He ducked under the swing of one and a sweep of his staff knocked three of them to the ground, giving him room to maneuver. He drove his elbow back into the gut of one that came up behind him, leaving the thug winded enough to render him unable to react to the second elbow to the temple.
That was five.
A hiss of pain escaped him as a razor sharp blade was suddenly drawn across his upper arm. His reflexes took over and he kicked to the side the attack came from, his heal connecting solidly with the chest plate of protective body armor.
The leader sneered as he latched onto Dick's ankle and yanked, pulling the teen off balance and launching him into another weapon's display. His back hit first and the solid construction of the case held but the air in his lungs did not. Dick slid breathlessly to the ground.
Move! His senses screamed at him, and he had learned long ago to listen. He tucked his body into a roll and felt the hairs on the back of his neck singe as the stun baton barely missed him.
Still trying to regain his breath, Dick rolled to his feet and spun; the edge of his staff caught the arm of the baton wielding assailant, keeping the sparking end from connecting with his back. He followed through with a twist of his wrists, bringing the opposite end of the staff into the same man's side. He heard, and felt, the ribs give beneath the blow and another flick of his staff brought the metal rod up into the man's jaw. The stun baton clattered to the floor and the sparks disappeared.
The now unconscious Tyger guard was barely on the ground before another was trying to scoop up the stunner. Dick snarled and lashed out with a rapid succession of kicks and punches to the new thug's head and side.
Seven down, seven to go.
A shattering of glass alerted him to one of the weapon displays being broken in to, but he didn't have time to worry about that as the Leader came at him again with the deadly knife. He ducked beneath the weapon, thumbing the hidden switch to collapse his staff. Jabbing the escrima length rod into the man's abdomen, he thumbed the switch again, elongating the staff against the man's body which sent him staggering back several feet.
Dick planted the end of his staff on the ground, leaping up and over the grunt rushing toward him. As he soared over the surprised goon, he kicked back with his heal and caught the man in the back of his head.
That made eight.
As he landed, he felt – rather than saw – someone lunging for him from the side and he thumbed the staff to its shortened length again and used it to beat the man several times around the chest and head.
And that was nine.
He cried out as pain flared across his shoulder and he felt the join dislocate as he was driven to the ground. As Dick looked up, he realized the case that had been broken into had contained several medieval era weapons; including the mace that had been slammed in to his arm. It was coming down again, the lethal weight aimed for his back, and he barely managed to roll out of the way. Unused to fighting with such an awkward weapon, the man staggered when Dick's body was suddenly not there and the teen used that to sweep his feet around and bring the guard to the ground beside him.
A sharp jab with the shortened staff took out number ten.
The suddenly clicking of several safeties being released overhead had him freezing. Looking up through his lashes he faced the barrels of three assault rifles all aimed at his head. With a smug smirk plastered on his face, the knife wielding leader leered down at him. "Done?"
Dick got to his knees, keeping his eyes locked on the leader. He raised his good hand holding his condensed staff, the other arm uselessly hanging at his side, as a show of surrender. If they had been better trained they would have noticed the tensing of his leg muscles as he continued to rise to his feet.
He rotated his hips; turning his upper body the same instant he thumbed the switch on his staff. The weapon snapped to its full length as he spun around, its shaft hitting the legs of the three gunmen and bringing them down hard. Dick jumped to the rest of his full height and into the air, coming down hard onto the chests of two of the men. Two swift jabs with the end of his staff removed them from the fight.
Eleven and twelve.
Fire sliced across his back and he rolled forward off the men and away from the second slash from the leader's knife. He ignored the flare of pain from his shoulder and continued the roll until he was on his feet again. He ran, knowing the last two were right behind him, straight for the opposite wall. Dick planted his foot waist high on the wall and propelled himself around, using the momentum to increase the power of his roundhouse kick, knocking the last gunman into unconsciousness.
Thirteen; leaving only the armored leader.
The knife swiped the air in front of him again, forcing Dick to leap back. His body hit the wall and he twisted away from the time that was stabbed toward his stomach.
Okay, so armored thug trying to gut him now. Good to know.
The teen turned again as the knife came for him a third time. He felt it snag the gash in his shirt but didn't cut his skin. Hooking his arm just below the guard's elbow, he forced the joint upward until it overextended and he heard a crack. The man snarled in pain but managed to hold on to the hilt of the knife. He threw his other fist at Dick's head which was easily dodged, and Dick put more pressure on the injured joint.
The snarl turned into a howl and the knife clattered to the marble floor behind the youth.
Dick smirked and drove his forehead into the guard's nose. The cartilage cracked beneath the blow in a spray of blood, and a second head-butt sent the man into unconsciousness and thudding to the floor. "Now, I'm done."
"Are you all right, Master Richard?"
Cradling his unresponsive arm to his chest, Dick nodded. "Yeah, I'm all right."
Alfred walked stately toward him, fingers brushing briefly at the slice on his arm and the one across his back. "You will be needing stitches, Master Richard."
"That can wait. We need to – AARRH!" His scream resonated in the room and the pain would have had him on his knees if Alfred had not been holding on to his arm; the dislocated arm which he had just snapped unceremoniously back in to place.
Sweat glistened on his forehead, his breath came in rapid gasps, and he looked up at the grey-haired butler. Alfred just massaged his shoulder gently with a satisfied look in his otherwise stoic expression. "Perhaps next time we are under assault you will be so kind as to NOT lock me in the stairwell to the cave?"
Dick tried to smile, but it faltered a little under the man's withering stare. "Just making sure you were safe, Alfred?"
"Quite." The pair looked around at the unconscious Tyger guards. "Perhaps, Master Richard, you can tell me how I shall explain this to the police before you go gallivanting off after Master Bruce?"
Both Wayne Manor residents suddenly tensed, only to relax an instant later, when a blur of red and yellow shot into the room. Kid Flash skidded to a stop in front of the pair and gaped at the carnage around him.
Dick glared at him. "Superman sent you, didn't he?"
"Said you were in trouble and might need a hand of the Meta kind," Wally turned slowly on the spot, his lips moving as he counted. "I guess he thought there were more of them."
The boy who was Robin smirked, causing Alfred to roll his eyes skyward in silent prayer before leaving the room to call the authorities. "You do know what this means, right KF?"
Meeting his best friend's playful eyes, Wally nodded with a matching smirk. "Supes just gave the team a mission, didn't he?"
Snapping the staff into its smaller form, Robin nodded. "So, Wally, want to get the others and go play in Arkham City?"