A/N: Songfic for In The End by Linkin Park. I was watching an AMV of Batman: Under the Red Hood with this song, and it inspired me to write this.
EDIT: As I checked my e-mail, one of my stories recieved a review about the use of lyrics in my stories. I had also recived a PM from someone else about the same issue. I am removing all lyrics from my works. If you have a problem with that, I'm very sorry.
In The End
One single word kept running through his mind.
He knew the boy didn't have much time. This was the Joker. A homicidal maniac.
He had to move quickly.
He wouldn't let another person close to him die.
He could see the warehouse in the distance.
I'm coming, Jason…
He gave up fighting. He knew this was the end.
He didn't come…
He didn't come…
He didn't come…
He heard a motorcycle outside the warehouse.
He came... but he's too late…
A loud explosion was heard. He couldn't feel anything…
He was too late.
Jason was gone.
He fought back tears.
The boy was dead. Gone.
The Joker would pay for this.
Bruce looked at Jason's uniform in its case.
It's been a year since Jason was killed in the line of duty.
Everything went downhill from there.
First, he and Dick had a pretty bad argument.
What were you thinking? I told you he wasn't ready!
Dick had pretty much refused to have anything to do with Gotham City afterward.
Then, some kid named Tim Drake insisted that he needed a Robin.
Batman… Bruce… Robin's not just there to help you with the bad guys… he's meant to keep you from going insane.
Tim had tried to get Dick to take back his mantle as Robin… but he refused.
I outgrew the Robin costume long ago, Tim. But I can fight as Nightwing.
While it did improve his friendship with Dick, Tim pointed out that it wasn't the same… so he took up the mantle of Robin himself.
Tim had managed to help him with a tough case.
Told you Batman needs a Robin!
And, after six months of training, Tim took up the mantle.
But, even as he got used to a new Robin, he still felt guilty for what happened to Jason.
-Six Months Later-
Something very strange was going on. He wasn't sure what it was, but he had to find out.
He wanted Tim to stay out of it. He wasn't ready for any of this yet.
Bruce had told Tim to stay with the Titans temporarily while he did a very important case. Tim didn't ask about it, figuring he'd call Nightwing to help out with it.
Which, he did.
"Bruce, I can't come now!" Nightwing hissed.
"Why not?" Bruce asked, figuring the mission would've been easy for a group of hunters like the Outsiders to handle without their leader.
"This mission is off-world. The Outsiders need me to help out with this one."
"…Fine. But if my teammates are killed, you're paying for their funerals."
He… he replaced me…
He was angry, now. There was a new Robin.
How could he replace him?
Even after he died!
Dick, the original, had (reluctantly) given the title to Jason. It belonged to him!
He didn't even avenge my murder!
He decided to do things his way.
Fear didn't work anymore.
Fear didn't keep the streets clean.
Fear worked on the lower class of criminals. The petty thieves, muggers, even a few of the murders.
Fear, however, was powerless against the Joker.
He had to make a difference in the world.
The criminals had to go.
They had to die.
So, with Talia al Ghūl's help, he began making deals with the drug runners and a few other criminals.
He began killing the competition.
All this, he hoped, would get Batman's attention.
He was right.
Batman was investigating this.
And, to his surprise, Nightwing was as well.
But where was the pretender?
Where was Robin number three?
Where was the replacement?
In due time, he'd get his revenge.
In due time, he'd make the pretender suffer.
He wouldn't stop killing the monsters of the underworld.
He was needed.
He had to do what Batman wouldn't do.
The Red Hood.
One of Joker's aliases.
He laughed at the irony. Joker, murdered by his successor.
He didn't like being known as that maniac's successor.
But in the end… it didn't matter.
He was going to stop the Joker.
For good, this time.