Chapter 4: Sweet Justice
AN: I'm so sorry for the wait! . I meant to update this sooner, I had to work so much the last few days. Started a new job, so I've been super busy with that. Anyway, sadly, this is the last chapter. It's been a blast to write! I know this is like three weeks out from the episode, but hopefully you will all enjoy the ending as much as I enjoyed writing it! I haven't seen the latest YJ episode, but if I'm unhappy with it, you can bet that I'm going to rewrite that one as well ;) Thank you guys again for all of the alerts, reviews, and favs! You guys always make my day better when my inbox gets blown up with love! XD *hearts*
Just as Wally gets ready to take off towards Zucco, the gangster fires the dart gun at the ginger, hitting him in chest. Kid Flash cries out in pain, falling to the ground as the syringe that was embedded in his chest starts to empty its contents into his bloodstream. "KF!" Dick calls out, kneeling beside his best friend. He quickly yanks out the syringe, and puts pressure on the small wound with uninjured hand.
"I'll be fine…" Wally winces, trying to sit up. He pauses as his head starts to spin, feeling all of his strength drain away. "Just…give me a second…go kick that bastard's ass." Dick hesitates but the speedster nods him forward. The bird runs at Zucco and tries to kick him, but the mobster ducks out of the way, and shoots the unsuspecting clone in the chest as well with the dart gun. Conner growls, yanking the dart out, only to sway slightly when the virus hits him.
"Oh, and I modified the virus since you've had it last, Birdie. It's fast-acting now." Zucco smirks, seeing the martian helping to support the clone. Artemis and Roy dive behind rocks to get to safety as Zucco points the gun in their direction. Dick roundhouse kicks the mobster in the kneecap, causing him to cry out in pain and fall to his knees. Just before the bird gets a chance to kick him again, Zucco recovers, punching Dick in the gut. Robin coughs, having the wind knocked out of him, and stumbles back. The mobster scrambles to his feet as arrows fly towards him via the hidden archers. Zucco grabs Robin by his broken arm and pulls the thirteen-year-old in front of himself as a shield.
"Just shoot him!" Dick grinds out to his teammates as he winces in pain, trying to free himself from his enemy's hold. The archers ignore the order, ceasing fire. Zucco grins darkly, using Dick's previously dislocated shoulder to rest his gun and fires at the archers. Artemis cries out as a dart hits her in the arm. She curses under her breath, ripping it out. Only half of the virus had a chance to enter her bloodstream, but it was still enough to slow her down. Dick swings his head back, making contact with Zucco's nose, breaking it. The mobster curses, stumbling back, and holds his nose in agony. Seeing his chance to end the fight, Robin runs at him, pulling out a birdarang, ready to strike. Zucco quickly releases his throbbing nose, still seeing white, and pulls out a recorder from his pocket. Without having to see the device, he hits play, grinning smugly. Upon hearing the familiar circus music, Dick stops dead, his eyes widening in horror.
*"Ladies and Gentleman! Now for the moment you've all been waiting for! The Flying Graysons!" Haley's gruff voice reverberates as the crowd roars in excitement.*
Dick starts to tremble, dropping the birdarang. "N-No!"
*"Martha Grayson!" The crowd goes wild. "And her husband, John Grayson! They perform their death-defying act without a safety net! Tonight, we have a very special treat for you! For the first time, their son, Dick Grayson, will be joining them!" The crowd cheers again, and awes in amazement as the acrobats soaring through the air before them.*
Silent tears start to roll down Dick's cheeks as his right arm drops limply to his side. He stares off, not seeing the scene before him as the memories of that dreadful night flood back.
"Robin!" Wally calls out, staggering to his feet and tries to make his way over to the frozen bird. Zucco smirks as he makes his way over to the pistol that had been knocked out of his hand. Conner lunges at the mobster, roaring furiously, unsure what he had done to their friend.
"What did you do to him?" He growls, grabbing the villain by his shirt and yanks him back. Zucco spins around, pistol-whipping the clone across the face. Conner grunts, staggering back, shocked by the fact that it actually hurt.
"Conner!" Megan cries, rushing to his side. She tries to use her telekinesis to throw the gangster, but her eyes widen when her powers didn't respond. Zucco kicks her in the stomach and punches Conner in the face, sending the two stumbling back. They look to Robin as Artemis and Roy jump out of their hiding spot to join the fight. Dick was still frozen, his breathing becoming shallow.
*There is a snap when the crowd suddenly gasps in horror and starts to scream. "NO!" A young boy shouts in terror. Suddenly all goes quiet as a sickening crunch echoes through the tent.*
Dick collapses to the ground, covering his ear with the hand not in the sling as he starts to sob. Wally drops down next to him, looking over him nervously, unsure what to do.
"Rob! Snap out of it!"
*"MOMMY! DADDY!" The boy cries out heartbrokenly. "NO! You can't leave me!" He sobs, calling out for them over and over again as police sirens approach in the background. "Please…don't leave me." He whispers between heart wrenching sobs. "Come back…please…please…." *
The recording stops, as Dick continues to shake on the snowy ground, trapped in the memory. Wally looks over to his teammates, frowning when he sees that they were losing; diving backwards as Zucco shoots his pistol at them. He turns back to his best friend and starts to shake him.
"Wake up! We need you! You're stronger than this! Don't let him do this to you!" Wally slaps Dick across the face, causing the bird to jump. Robin looks up at him slowly. "Show him that he doesn't have control over you! We need you, Richard!" Dick looks over to his team, seeing Artemis get punched brutally in the face. Roy catches her as she falls to the ground, unconscious. Dick's eyes narrow as he tries to get up. Wally grins, helping his best friend up. "Now that's more like it."
"I'll make him pay for this." Dick growls menacingly, pulling out brass knuckles from his utility belt. He puts them on his only free hand before yanking out several birdarangs. Dick races towards Zucco and flips out of the way when the gangster fires at him. He tosses the birdarangs at the villain, knocking the weapons out of his hands. Before Zucco could get his bearings, Dick was in front of him. The bird punches him in the face, using all of his body weight to strengthen the blow. Zucco staggers backwards, grunting in pain. Without letting up, Robin moves in, sweeping the mobster's feet out from under him. As Zucco falls to the ground, Dick punches him in the face again, breaking his jaw, then ax-kicks him the rest of the way to the ground. The rest of his team stares at him in alarm as Dick trembles in rage, glaring hatefully down at the now unconscious villain. He kicks the mobster, hard, one last time in the ribs, cracking a few, before taking a deep breath to try to calm himself.
"Robin…? Are you alright?" Megan asks tentatively, eying the still shaking bird.
"What I want to know is how the hell he learned all of those tricks!" Conner growls, picking himself off the ground from where he had collapsed earlier.
"Zucco and his family were a part of a circus before he became associated in the mafia. Hence his interest in Haley's." A deep voice growls from behind them. They all jump, aside from Robin and the still unconscious Artemis, and turn to face the newcomer. Batman makes his way to his bird, not even bothering to look at the other members of the team. "The League is on the way to take him into custody and treat everyone's injuries." They all nod as Batman comes to stand beside his partner. Robin suddenly hugs his mentor tightly, burying his face into the Bat's chest as he clutches onto the front of his uniform. Without missing a beat, Batman wraps his cape around his bird protectively and returns the hug. He sends a chilling glare down at Zucco before scooping Robin up, still hiding him under his cape, and walks off without another word.
"What…just happened?" Conner asks, confused.
"DaddyBats." Wally states before sitting down in the snow to await the League's arrival.
"Is he going to be alright?" Megan asks, staring after the heroes of Gotham.
"Bats will take care of him."
In the Batmobile, Robin stares out the window hollowly as Bruce glances over to his protégé. "Your parents would be proud of you, Dick." Dick finally looks over to his adoptive father, his domino mask long removed.
"How do you know that? I should have killed him! He deserves to die for what he's done!" They pull into the Batcave and Bruce turns to face him, pulling his cowl down.
"Dick. They would never want you to become a murderer. Especially not for their sake." The bird looks down, clenching his fist.
"I…I shouldn't have cracked. I was weak today…I should have done more!" Bruce places a comforting hand on Dick's shoulder and raises his son's chin up to look at him with his other hand.
"You were anything but weak. It takes so much strength to do what you've done. You brought justice to the man who took everything from you without crossing the line. I don't think I even could have done that. Never call yourself weak, Dick. You are the strongest person I know." Dick's eyes water as he hugs Bruce again, crying softly.
"Don't leave me too…" The bird whispers softly. "Please…I can't lose you too…"
"I'll do everything in my power to stay with you." Bruce wraps his arms around his son, pulling him closer. "I'll always protect you." Dick nods, sniffling. "Now, let's go. I'm sure Alfred's waiting for us with some hot chocolate and the first aid kit."
"Ok…thanks, Dad." Bruce ruffles his hair affectionately before getting out of the Batmobile to meet the patiently waiting butler. Dick wipes his eyes, and gets out as well to join his father.
It was a week before Robin returned to Mount Justice. As soon as the computer announced the bird's arrival, the team rushes over to the zeta transporter to greet him. Robin's arm was still in a sling, but one important thing was missing from his typical civilian attire. His signature sunglasses. They all stare at him in shock, unsure how to react. Dick looks down sadly, taking a deep breath. "I owe you all an explanation. Can we go sit down?" They all nod, walking off to the living room. The team sits on the sofa, all creating a half circle around the bird.
"Ok. Spill it. You're freaking me out!" Artemis exclaims, leaning forward to hear his story.
"The last mission we were on…as I'm sure you already know, it wasn't assigned by Batman…"
"We figured that when the League showed up rather pissed that we 'snuck off'." Artemis states.
"It's just…" Dick stares at the ground, fidgeting with his shoelace. "Haley's is where I grew up…I couldn't let it shut down…I knew Jack had nothing to do with the thefts…" He looks up at them, smiling sadly. "Nice to officially meet you all. Name's Dick Grayson."
"So…the boy on that recording…it was you, wasn't it?" Megan asks sadly. Dick nods slowly.
"I was nine when…it happened…Bruce took me in…he saved my life…I honestly don't know where I would be if he didn't…that orphanage was worse than Arkham." Dick shutters at the memory as Artemis's eyes widen in shock.
"Wait…you're the Dick Grayson? As in, adoptive son of Bruce Wayne? Wait! Batman is Bruce Wayne?" She nearly shrieks before Wally elbows her in the ribs.
"This is hard for him! Give him a break!"
"You knew? For how long?"
"A couple of years…he told me back when one of the hostages we were trying to save fell to their deaths…" Dick frowns, nodding slowly.
"I kind of had a panic attack. It took Bruce over an hour to calm me down…though it was kind of amusing how he blamed you and chewed you out…you looked like you were going to wet yourself." Dick smirks as Wally gasps, appalled.
"I was not that scared!" Robin raises a skeptic eyebrow. "Ok…so, I was freaked out…but you would be too if you had to face the wrath of DaddyBats!" Wally throws his arms up dramatically. "I couldn't sleep for a week!"
"Getting back on topic." Artemis mutters, smacking the back of the speedster's head. "Why didn't you tell us sooner?" Dick sighs, looking up at them seriously.
"I didn't want you to treat me any differently…to pity me…I don't want pity. It's just easier if no one knows about my past."
"We wouldn't dream of it!" Megan exclaims, scooting closer to him. "You're our friend…don't ever think we would treat you differently. We're family." She smiles warmly as the others nod in agreement.
"Thanks…for helping me stop Zucoo." Roy nods, and gets up, patting Dick on the shoulder.
"Of course. We would never abandon you." Megan gets up as well and floats over to the bird, hugging him.
"Now, why don't I bake you some fresh double chocolate chip cookies?" Dick beams up at her.
"Thanks, Miss M." She nods happily, floating off to the kitchen as Conner follows after her. Artemis looks between the bird and the ginger before following the rest of the team into the kitchen to give them some privacy. Dick glances over at Wally, who was sends him an understanding nod.
"No thanks needed, Bro. I'll always have your back." With that, the speedster hops up, and struts over to the TV. "And now, to demolish you in video games!" Dick snorts, rolling his eyes.
"In your dreams!"
FN: I know, fluffy ending, but hey! It works! ^.^ I think it wrapped up the episode quite nicely~! Couldn't help the DaddyBats moment either! :P There's not nearly enough of it in the show! Thanks again for reading! Stay tuned for more episode rewrites from me, since I'm bound to write more! XD