Disclaimer: I own a busted pair of headphones and an FF-dot-net account, but not DC or Young Justice. Le sigh.
Summary: The role of Boy Hostage is a dull one, and with little else to entertain him, Robin may as well mess with his captors heads. Oneshot; requested by anon on the YJ Anon Meme.
A/N: As I keep saying, I should be focusing on a thousand other fanfics right now but recently I've been going back over my old, unfinished oneshots in my Docs and flicking back and forth between them all, slowly finishing them. A lot of them are fills for old Anon Meme prompts. So you may get a oneshot spam from me very soon.
I'm not happy with this, to be honest. For one thing, I now realise how bad I am at writing scary scenes. But it's been gathering dust for a while now, I promised the fill months back and I'm just glad it's done.
Prompt: "Was watching reruns of Criminal Minds, and there's this mafia daughter who gets kidnapped and spends the entire time going my daddy's gonna kill you to her captors. I want Robin kidnapped. And I want him to be saying this, over and over."
"Batman's gonna kill you when he gets here."
Robin was getting bored.
He had tried many techniques to escape his bonds. Picking persistently at them; tugging furiously at them; stretching out to gnaw at them with his bare teeth. Hell, at one point he'd been desperate enough to glare at them and pray for spontaneous heat vision. No results. Nothing. Nada. And with his equipment confiscated and arms and legs locked in that humiliating starfish position so that he would be unable to reach for it anyway, he couldn't exactly file or laser through the steel.
And honestly, he'd played the role of Boy Hostage far too much in his relatively short hero career. There's only so many times they can hold a gun to your head, or a knife to your neck, before the thrill wears off (even if the humiliation of being captured by mere thugs still burned in the pit of his stomach).
So, with little else to do, he decided he could at least make the most of the situation.
One of his two captors - a imposing man with thick, roping muscles and a shaved head - just snorted, swinging his gun around like a baton. He was sat at an aged desk against the warehouse wall, mud-caked boots propped upon it. "Yeah, just keep telling yourself that, kid."
Near the northern end of the warehouse, Robin was pinned to a metal table; the rest of the warehouse was stacked to the ceiling with crates, some of which, Robin was aware, contained drugs.
Robin rolled his eyes at the captors words. Was that guy dense? "Seriously, Bats doesn't take kindly to this kind of stuff. He might pop out your kneecaps," he said casually. "Hey, my nose itches. Mind scratching it for me? I'm a little tied up right now."
The captor lurched to his feet, pulling out a penknife. "I've got something to scratch it with, punk!"
"Henry, no!" The other captor (Rich, Robin had heard the first captor call him shorter and skinnier than his friend, with a snake tattoo coiled around his forearm and a nervous twitch in his left hand) grabbed Henry's forearm. "He's a hostage. We need him. Insurance, remember?"
Robin grinned. "Very valuable insurance!"
Henry ground his teeth. "We need him alive. Doesn't mean we can't carve him up a little."
"Henry!" Henry's hard eyes moved from Robin's face which was not panicked in the least, still bearing that shit-eating grin to Rich's every-so-slightly frazzled expression. "Look, he's just a kid. We just need him as a hostage. He's locked down, he can't harm the operation, just... just leave him, okay?"
Henry narrowed his eyes. "Rich... you're not actually scared, are you?"
Rich froze. "No! 'Course not. S'just... better safe than sorry, you know..."
Robin barked a laugh at Henry's expression. "Seems to me at least one of you has brains. Listen to Richie there and Batsy might let you get away with at least your femurs in tact."
Irritated, Henry shot Robin and Rich more dirty looks, exhaling deeply through his nose. "Okay. Fine. The kid gets to keep his nose. For now."
"Ah, you're so generous. For that, I might convince Batman to go easy on you, maybe him stop at breaking your legs..." Then Robin sat quietly in thought for another moment. "...Nope. Won't work. Sorry."
"You're a lot of talk, kid," Henry growled.
"Looks like we've got that in common," Robin drawled. "At least I can back my talk up. I think Batman's still looking for a heart or two to add to his organ collection which is getting pretty big, by the way. Starting to stink up the Batcave."
"Don't listen to him, Rich. They're all lies."
Rich did not look convinced, and Robin let this cheer him a little. This is gonna be fun.
No response. Robin sighed dramatically.
"Did you hear me? I'm hungry."
"Tough," Henry snapped.
"You think Batman will be happy if he finds me malnourished?"
"You think I give a shit what the Bat thinks?"
"I think you should. You don't want to see him annoyed. Last guy who pissed him off..." Robin pursed his lips, as if remembering. "Ah, yes. Ended up in Arkham, poor guy. Nightmares, you know. Permanent phobia of bats, and PTSD... though if you ask me, he probably had some sort of mental impairment beforehand, if he thought it was a good idea to push Batman's buttons that way in the first place..."
"Like -" The question began tumbling out of Rich's mouth before he could halt it; with a swallow, he continued"L-like what...?"
"Goddammit, Rich, don't encourage the little son of a bitch!"
"Oh," Robin interjected, "I think you two have a right to know what you'll have to face... maybe you can prepare for it, mentally. I doubt it, though. People can't really prepare for that sort of pain, and then there's the major shock when Bats starts to drinking their bloo-"
Suddenly, Robin shut his jaw with a click, eyes wide and expression guilty.
"Oops. Um. Sorry. Forgot that's supposed to be a secret."
The nervous twitch in Rich's left hand had spread to his right, and was now a constant tremble that caused him to drop his gun.
"Batman's probably gonna kill me for telling you that... not as hard as he's gonna kill you guys, though. But at least he won't make you part of his undead army. Probably."
"Okay, that's it!" Henry was livid, a vein throbbing in his red forehead. "Rich, shut that kid up, would you? He's doing my head in! Just... find something to cover his mouth with. Duct tape or something."
"R-R-Right..." Looking about himself nervously, Rich began fumbling through the drawers in the desk, then amongst the crates. After about ten minutes of this - during which Henry threatened to castrate the young Boy Wonder twice to stop him whistling, to which Robin just smirked - Rich cussed. "I can't find anything!"
Henry rubbed his temples. "You're telling me," he forced through gritted teeth, "we have AK-47's and enough dope to knock out a small country, but you can't find a roll of duct tape?"
Rich just looked sheepish. Henry groaned in frustration.
"Of course..." he muttered darkly. Just his luck. At least this was only until his customers came to pick up the goods... only another hour...
Rich was supposed to be watching Robin, but he'd fallen into a doze against a pile of crates, gun balanced across his knees. Robin stared at the gun, before remembering (with a groan) that he hadn't telekinesis. Sometimes, not being a Martian sucked.
Then the lights began to flicker.
At the sound of the lights buzzing, Rich's eyelids flew open and he jumped to his feet with a shocked yell, cradling the gun against his chest.
"What the hell is going on?" His voice cracked twice, panic flickering across his expression. His hands seized up around the barrel of the gun when a soft, low cackle echoed, seemingly from nowhere, and he threw his head around until he pinpointed the source visually - the kid.
"Stop it!" he barked or tried to, voice escaping as a strangled whimper. When Robin didn't, he pointed his gun. "I-I said -"
"Rich!" Henry strode back into the warehouse, looking thoroughly annoyed. "What is it n-"
The door slammed shut behind him. Both men cried out in unison, tensing, clutching the guns like safety blankets.
"I tried to warn you."
Robin's voice caused Rich to leap a foot in the air. It wasn't that same casual tone Robin had been using up until now - it was dark, low. The fluorescent lights threw the shadows on Robin's face into sharp relief, and he looked, for all intents and purposes, like a red-and-black demon.
Trying desperately to ignore the boy, Henry grabbed the door handle and shook it. "Fu- It's locked! The damn thing's locked!"
The lights suddenly failed for a full ten seconds the criminals froze before flickering back to life feebly, the gloom it caused hardly better than the pitch blackness, not helping them to keep calm. Rich and Henry's breathing hitched audibly. Rich's pupils were now mere pinpricks, and he shook like a leaf in the wind.
"Quiet, idiot!" Henry snapped back, voice trembling as he gripped his gun, white-knuckled.
"Henry," Robin crooned, "you're not actually scared, are you?"
"Sh-shut up, brat!"
The lights were going crazy, flashing epileptically in time with Rich's erratic heartbeat. Shitshitshitshitshit the Bat was coming, the Bat was the shadows stretched, lengthening, and Rich whirled around and every shadow seemed to grow pointed ears, and oh God, he was going to pass out -
"Rich, c-calm the hell down!" Henry yelled as Rich fired ten shots haphazardly into the corners of the room -
Neither looked up to the glass window in the ceiling, saw the actual Bat-shaped shadow hanging over it -
Robin's soft cackle echoed.
"My daddy's going to killl yooouuuu..." Robin sang.
Then the glass shattered.
"I gotta say, the lightshow was my favourite part."
Robin rubbed his raw wrists to soothe them (damn, being cuffed to a table for hours still hurt no matter how many times villain's subjected him to it) as he grinned up at Batman, who merely cocked an eyebrow at him, scowling. But Robin had learned to tell the difference between I'm-scowling-in-disappointment, I'm-not-consciously-scowling-this-is-my-default-face and the softer I'm-scowling-to-hide-my-amusement. And this was definitely the latter.
Robin could practically hear Batman's mental sigh as the man trussed up the unconscious criminals.
"It wasn't smart to aggravate them, Robin," he berated, securing their wrists behind their backs.
"What was I supposed to do for hours, twiddle my thumbs? Crochet?"
"Distressed criminals are dangerous."
"Psh. Please. They were too scared to do anything in case you decided to put their lungs in a pickle jar and keep it on the shelf."
Batman's I'm-scowling-to-hide-my-amusement expression intensified as he straightened up. Rich and Henry's heads lolled; Henry groaned, and Rich's left hand still trembled. "They were guarding those drugs for a reason, probably a sale. They'll be awake at any moment. I'll interrogate. Station yourself on the roof and keep an eye out for their customers."
Robin - belt, gauntlet and equipment now retrieved and back on his person - nodded and moved to leave, but halted when something occurred to him. "One sec."
Batman narrowed his eyes in confusion as Robin rustled around the nearby desk for a few moments before producing a red marker, then striding over to Rich and Henry and adorning their necks with two red dots each.
"For good measure," Robin answered Batman's searching look with a cackle, popping the pen cap back on.