A.N. Meant to get this done sooner, but took longer then I thought.
But here it is! The second part! Also the final part.
I hope you enjoy it!
"Come on, come on, hurry up! There's no telling when ol' Bats gets here, and I still need to pick up the cake! Well, by pick up, I mean murder someone and steal a cake," The Joker said, "Maybe I'll steal forty cakes, just for the hell of it!"
The crowd of civilians huddled back in fear, a couple of Joker's goons holding up sacks and taking anything of value from them. They glanced nervously at each other, wondering what would happen to them.
In the very back, Tim Drake crouched, carefully looking over the crowd. Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and 'Kori' were missing. Were the situation less serious, Tim would be tempted to head over to his parents and point it out. As it was, Mr. and Mrs. Drake were on the opposite side of the crowd of Tim, and causing undue attention to himself wouldn't benefit anyone.
"Stealing forty cakes Joker? That just sounds terrible."
Tim brightened up, as did the rest of the crowd. Someone was here to save them.
The Joker paused, then grinned brightly, turning around as a red, green, and yellow figure stood in the hole that The Joker and his henchmen had come in from. Robin took out a bo-staff, swinging it around and holding it up in a defensive posture, eying the goons.
"Oh! Is that Bird Boy? The original?" Joker laughed, "Well this is a treat! What brings you back to Gotham? Did you bring those mischievous brats, the Titans with you?"
Starfire flew through the opening, throwing a punch and hitting one of the henchmen hard, knocking him into the wall. She then floated back, close to Robin. Her eyes glowed green, and in her fists two starbolts pulsed lightly, ready to be fired at a moment's notice.
"You brought your girlfriend Bird Boy?" The Joker said, chuckling a moment before continuing, "Maybe I should have brought Harley, we could double! Now where's Bats, he can chaperone!"
A batarang flew from the hole, The Joker hopping to the side, barely avoiding it as the device embedded itself into the wall. From the shadows a figure fluttered, making itself known. He was tall, powerful, exuding the aura of confidence and competence. His fists flexed slightly under the gloves, glaring hard at Joker.
"Joker, surrender quietly and we won't have any trouble," Batman growled, "I'm taking you back to Arkham."
"Now, now Bats, you should know it's not that simple, right boys?" Joker laughed, producing a trigger from his sleeves, "Like so!" The Joker pressed the trigger, and several explosions racked the building, sending the socialites stumbling as the ceiling and floor beneath them began to crumble.
Tim Drake stumbled himself, trying to keep balance as he looked desperately for his parents again. He froze, eyes widening as he saw his father, making a headlong rush towards The Joker.
"Dad...no..." Tim muttered, The Joker turning idly, producing a gun.
There was a shot, the bullet going off course as a batarang hit the gun, forcing The Joker to drop it. The noise still had the desired effect of stopping the the elder Drake from his charge though, a piece of the floor breaking beneath him, sending him plummeting downwards.
"Starfire!" Robin yelled, the red haired alien girl flying forward towards the group. She grabbed a few and kept going, firing a green beam of light from her eyes, creating a hole to bring them. Starfire set them down outside, then turned to get another group.
Batman and Robin were left to deal with Joker and his gang. The two shared a glance, nodding towards each other as they stood back to back. One thug ran forward, brandishing a pipe. Robin ducked, Batman spinning around and bringing his foot up, hitting the thug in the cheek and sending him sprawling.
Robin was moving, rolling forward and producing one of his throwing discs, tossing it to the side as another thug with a crowbar ran at him. There was an explosion of mist, and the thug found the lower half of his body frozen to the ground.
Batman flowed through two thugs, dodging two punches and grabbing the arm of one, yanking hard and dislocating the man's shoulder, before striking hard at his other shoulder, sending the man stumbling backwards as he yelled in pain. The second man produced a knife, slashing at Batman and meeting nothing but air, only the find the caped crusader had grabbed his hand and twisted.
The thug screamed in pain, dropping the knife as Batman let go, kicking the man hard in the sternum, turning before the man even began to fall to engage his next opponent.
Starfire was working as fast as she could, but the floor was beginning to give away, along with the ceiling. The entire building was coming down, and now there was two enemy combatants left. One was The Joker himself, and the other a massive man, who cracked his next and pulled out two sledgehammers from his back, holding one each in a hand effortlessly.
"Come at me, Bats!" Joker cackled, and Batman nodded to Robin. Batman jumped towards Joker, throwing a punch which Joker dodged with unnerving agility, a knife appearing from his sleeves and slashing.
Batman dodged, but not quick enough, Joker's knife slashing through part of his suit, producing a thin red line. Joker laughed, pressing the attack, Batman dodging the attacks this time before swinging his arm up, knocking the knife from Joker's hand.
Robin spun in the air, a crack as his steel toed boot connected with the massive man's chin, spinning around and producing his bo-staff once more. The man smirked, cracking his neck and swinging his sledgehammers down, hitting the ground and causing it to become even more unstable.
A piece of debris landed by Robin, the boy wonder jumping upwards and swinging his bo-staff around, unleashing a series of fast strikes at the man, forcing him backwards.
"I've fought tougher then you," Robin scowled, taking a careful step. The entire floor shook again, and he heard several yells. He glanced to the side, several people still yet to be rescued, Starfire darting outside with another group. His eyes lingered on Tim Drake for a moment, before returning to the fight at hand.
He dodged another blow from the man, then stumbled as the last supports of the building gave way, and the entire thing began to collapse. Robin turned, jumping towards the group, tackling Tim Drake as everything fell around them...
He would have just oozed under the doors, instead of smashing through them, but he was carrying precious cargo. Either way, the doors opened easily to his might. He felt good, better then he had for a while. Whatever that old man had down, Clayface felt like he could do anything.
Even break into Arkham Asylum.
Bullets were absorbed harmlessly by his clay-like skin, swinging his arm and smashing over a couple guards who were standing their ground. The defense was laughable, a paltry token force. Within a matter of minutes, the guards were dealt with, and Clayface stood outside the door. Well, it was 'a' door, but it was the door he was looking for.
Even in his clay body, the former actor could feel the cold emanate from it. He produced a small device, a gift from The First Sons, inserting it into a console by the side of the door. A couple moments later and it opened.
Sitting forlorn on a slab of raised metal was a blue skinned man, barely dressed as he looked up at Clayface.
"Well this is new," Mr. Freeze said, "What brings the illustrious actor Matt Hagen to my room?"
"I've been sent to offer you a job," Clayface grinned. From his hulking form he produced a small screen, tossing it to Freeze, "Excuse me if I don't come in. Not a fan of the cold."
Freeze caught the screen, turning it right side up. The light on it flickered, and the face of Kessler appeared on it.
"Victor Fries, it is a honor to meet a scientist like yourself," Kessler said, "My name is Kessler, and I represent The First Sons. Perhaps you've heard of us?"
"I have," Freeze answered, "You wish to advance humanity and bestow powers upon them. A foolish endeavor. I have no wish to pass my curse to others."
"Ah...well Mr. Fries, there we are the same. We wish to help you, provide you funding, research, everything you could possibly want. I'm sure that with our combined efforts, we could cure your wife, along with finding a solution to your own condition," Kessler said with a small smile, placing his hands together.
"I am not so naïve that I would believe you offer me this out of the kindness of your heart," Freeze scowled, "What is it that you want from me?"
"Your help," Kessler answered, "You are a brilliant scientist Mr. Fries. Your intelligence would be a great asset to The First Sons. You have developed incredible technology, all on your own. Essentially...We scratch your back, you scratch ours. I already have men in position to safely take your wife with us. If you do not wish to take up our offer, then we shall leave you be."
Freeze was quiet for a few moments, before answering, "I will have my own lab? All of my research?"
"Complete control," Kessler answered, "I know how stifling an environment can be with someone breathing down your neck. We want you for your competence and intelligence. Offering you any less then full control of your own lab would be an insult."
"...Then I accept. Though there is the matter of my suit," Freeze answered, standing up and glancing towards Clayface.
"Ahhh, our associate, Mr. Hagen has a present for you, in case you accepted. It's not as refined as your own, but it should do," Kessler answered. From within Clayface there was a thud, a blue metallic suit hit the floor at the edge of the cell.
Freeze gave a rare smile, standing up and walking towards it. "Yes...it will do..."
"ROBIN!" Starfire yelled, panic in her eyes as the building collapsed behind her. She placed the last few people she had been able to rescue, knowing that there were still others in the rubble. She flew forward, using her alien strength to dig, moving large chunks of concrete with ease.
After a few moments a black fist erupted from the rubble, and Batman pulled himself out, dragging a wounded Joker with him. Batman tossed Joker unceremoniously to the ground, cracking his neck and tapping his wrist.
"Find Robin," Batman told Starfire, "I have to take Joker to Arkham."
"Ohhh, are we taking the Batmobile? I call shot gun!" Joker chuckled weakly from the ground.
Starfire nodded silently, digging more until she found the familiar red and green figure, keeping himself and the young Tim Drake safe, his bo-staff keeping a piece of concrete from crushing them.
"Oh Robin! I am so glad you're safe!" Starfire said, grabbing Robin and pulling him into a back breaking hug, "I was so worried!"
"I'm fine Star, really," Robin said, "And you're kind of crushing my spine..."
"Eep! I am sorry!" Starfire said, releasing Robin and looking sheepish. She then paused, looking over to Tim, who was staring hard at some rubble. Before anyone could say anything, they heard sirens, police, ambulances, rescue workers coming.
"We should hurry and get everyone else free!" Starfire said, turning towards a large pile of rubble and prepared to move it.
"Wait," Tim said, holding his hand up, "If you don't do it right, you risk further destabilizing it. You could crush anyone in there..." He didn't add, "including my parents."
Starfire paused, looking to Robin who nodded, "He's right. He rescue workers can deal with it Starfire. Gotham, unfortunately, has...experience with super villain stuff."
Tim then moved, grabbing Robin by the shirt, staring at him.
"Now I know you're Dick Grayson," Tim said levelly, "I know that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Now either I'm going to go and make a fuss about how Bruce and Dick aren't in that crowd over there, and must be in the rubble somewhere, or you're going to take me to wherever your headquarters is. Cave, mansion, fortress of solitude, giant B shaped building, whatever. You're taking me there."
Robin frowned, then nodded slowly, "Fine then. I suppose you deserve that much..." He turned to Starfire, "Alright, you two get to see the Bat Cave."
"Batman, this is Commissioner Gordon..."
The communicator crackled in the Batmobile, Batman flipping a switch.
"This is Batman," Batman answered, "I'm on my way to Arkham. I have a patient here for delivery."
"Joker, huh?" Gordon wondered, having heard about the attack a few minutes ago, "I suppose it's good you're heading there. There's a situation. It's Clayface."
"Clayface?" Batman wondered, frowning, "He was at large, not in Arkham. What's he doing there?"
"Busting out Freeze, of all people," Gordon answered. Batman could hear the tired voice of his old friend, could almost imagine Gordon hunched in his office, speaking quietly in the secret communicator Batman had given him, sipping some old coffee. "We don't know why. Maybe he thinks Freeze can fix him."
"Whatever the reason, I'll stop them," Batman nodded, "Trust me."
The Batmobile revved, Joker chuckling softly in the back, locked up as the Dark Knight sped towards the asylum.
Starfire shrieked as several bats flew at them, hiding behind Robin as they disappeared into the darkness, leaving only the sound of water dripping down from stalactites. Robin lead them over a walkway, the pathway coming back to him like an old memory. Something in his bones stirred, looking around. It hadn't changed much, not in the years that he had last been here. It still would probably be the same when he was dead and gone...
Shaking that thought from his head, Tim and Starfire gasped as they came into the main cavern. Robin had to admit, it was an impressive sight. There was a number of gadgets, costumes, villain get ups, and other trophies collected over the years by Batman. Off to one side was an impressive computer built into the wall. Only a handful of other computers could be called it's equal in the world.
Off to the side of that were costumes. Dick Grayson's first Robin costume, Jason Todd's, an extra costume of Batgirl's, and Batman's himself. Robin paused as they headed up there, seeing a copy of his own current costume as well.
He looked around, seeing papers, notes on various tables. He picked up a folder at random, shifting through it. Data on the First Sons. He put it down, noticing a paper and picked it up. It was an old paper, a few months ago. There was a coffee stain on the corner, but still readable. Jump City Times, the front page showing a picture of the Titans having caught Cinderblock and stopping him from causing havoc downtown.
"Master Bruce always did keep up with your accomplishments."
Dick Grayson looked up, seeing Alfred walked down a series of steps, carrying a platter with a teapot and four cups, along with some sugar and cream. He placed the tray down on a mostly empty table, then proceeded to pour the tea.
"I see you brought a guest?" Alfred inquired, glancing towards Tim Drake, who was still looking around the Bat Cave in amazement. Tim paused, turning to the butler.
"He figured us out," Robin answered, "Only thing I could do was bring him here..." He glanced towards Tim as well, who collapsed on a seat down, everything starting to catch up to him now that he had time to think. He had confronted Robin, threatened the superhero even, and now here he was in the Bat Cave...and his parents...
His parents, still buried in the rubble...
"Batman should be back soon," Robin then commented, walking over to the computer and turning it on. He paused, frowning, "The Bat Mobile is still at Arkham...Hold on..." Dick's fingers flew at the computer, typing rapidly, "There's something happening at Arkham...an escape...Freeze..."
Robin frowned, straightening up, "Alfred, Starfire and I are going to go help Batman. Watch over Tim," Robin said, turning to Starfire, "Let's go."
Starfire nodded, the two heading out, Robin climbing on his older cycle, revving forward, Starfire flying behind him, leaving Tim alone with Alfred.
"Master Bruce will be impressed by your deductive skills," Alfred commented, "You are...Tim Drake, correct? I met your parents before at a charity event held at the manor."
"Uh, yah..." Tim nodded, "Huh...I figured out that Batman was Bruce Wayne...It never really occurred to me that you would be in on that too. Would be odd if you weren't."
Alfred just gave Tim a short smile, then held up a cup of tea, "Tea, young Drake?"
Batman dodged a hardened fist, Clayface hitting a tree behind him, the tree creaking ominously before falling over, hitting the ground with a powerful bang. The caped crusader then leaped as he dodged a blast of ice, Freeze looking mildly annoyed.
The grounds of Arkham Asylum were barely kept tame. Old gnarled trees dotted the landscape, prickly bushes sat in defiance of sheers, grass grew wild and was dotted with weeds. One could walk through it without too much worry, but that was about it. Arkham Asylum was built more like a fortress then a medical institution, reminiscent of colonial days when rich settlers built their homes in memory of the castles that stood in the Old World.
Freeze stood on an old pathway, wearing the armor The First Sons had gifted him. It was not on par with his usual suit, but it would do for now, and Freeze was already figuring out how to improve and bring this suit up to snuff.
"I have no quarrel with you today Batman," Freeze said idly, waving the freeze gun he had also received from his new benefactors, "Stand aside and I will not destroy you."
"I can't let you escape, Freeze," Batman growled, producing a batarang as he eyed Clayface and Freeze, stepping carefully. Just one of these foes alone was a force to be reckoned with. Both were intelligent, though in different ways, Clayface being more adept at deception, while Freeze's cold logic and calculations left little for triggering any sort of emotional response.
While Batman was confident he could take out either one, taking out both would prove to be a challenge.
"Hey, Bats, toss me the key, and I'll help you out!" Joker called out from the Bat Mobile, parked a few yards from where the hero and villains fought, "Come on, you and me against ol' Freeze-face and Clay man? It'll be fun!"
Batman ignored The Joker, as did Clayface and Freeze.
"Mr. Hagen, considering your role in my release, I do not wish to accidentally hit you in the crossfire," Freeze said, "Batman is a formidable foe, he will undoubtedly attempt that tactic. I suggest we exercise caution in dealing with him."
"Yah, but if we draw this out too long, then the cops are going to show up," Clayface answered, then paused, grinning, "You know I starred in a movie once, with a couple fighters. My character and another were against one foe, a lot like this. Now how they won?"
"How is that?" Freeze asked, Batman still looking for an opening.
"They took turns. I'll go first, wear him down, tag out, you go in nice and fresh while I get a rest, and repeat if we need to. Shouldn't take too long to wear him out, right?" Clayface suggested, grinning broadly. Freeze paused, considering that tactic, then nodded his head.
"That seems like our best course of action. Proceed," Freeze said.
Clayface leaped forward, smashing into the ground where Batman had been a moment before, rolling to the side and avoiding the attack. He activated his batarang, throwing it at Clayface, electricity sparking from it and hitting the man as he cried out in pain, stumbling backwards.
"Going to take more then that!" Clayface roared, swinging his arms sideways, stretching them out. Batman jumped in the air, only to find the former actor's arms moving upwards, grabbing Batman's legs, slamming him on the ground.
"Freeze him!" Clayface yelled, Freeze taking aim with his gun. Were Freeze the type of man to show emotions, he would be smirking right now.
Tim sipped his tea idly, looking a little annoyed as he sat in the dank cave with the elderly butler Alfred. When he had imagined confronting Batman, or Bruce, he had imagined...
Tim paused, his frown deepening. He had never exactly imagined what would happen. The entire thing seemed to grandiose to ever actually pull off. But now here he was, in the Bat Cave, his suspicions having been confirmed.
At the very least, sitting around and drinking tea was very low on his list of possible scenarios. Tim finished his cup, then set it back down on the saucer carefully, looking back towards Alfred.
"When Master Dick discovered this cave, he was stunned. This nice man who took him in when his family died was Batman? Dick didn't believe it quite at first," Alfred mentioned, "But eventually he came to, and he wanted to join Master Bruce in his nightly escapades."
There was a small sigh from the butler, who shook his head, "I am glad that Master Dick has found something that his adoptive father has not."
Tim frowned, puzzled now as he thought that other. He leaned back in his chair, thinking for a few moments, then leaned back, staring at Alfred.
"A girlfriend?" he asked, "I know Mr. Wayne has been seen with a number of girls, but..."
Alfred just smiled a little, nodding his head, "I meant more as an overall concept of happiness, but I suppose your direct answer works as well. Yes, Master Bruce and Dick have something in common. Both of them lost their parents, both of them took up their costumes for some form of justice. But the difference between them...Master Dick has moved on, in a way. He has friends, those he trusts with life without thought. Not only Mistress Starfire but the other Teen Titans. Alas, Master Bruce...I know he trusts Master Dick, and myself...And there are others he trusts a certain amount, but I'm not sure to the extent."
Tim was quiet now, then looked up towards the butler, "Why are you telling me all this?"
Alfred didn't answer right away, instead pouring himself a second cup of tea, sitting back up and taking a sip of the brown liquid before answering.
"You remind me of young Master Bruce, before his parents were tragically taken from him," Alfred answered, "And your own parents..."
Tim looked down at his empty cup. His parents...both of them were trapped in the rubble. He wasn't even sure if they were dead or alive right now, as rescue workers attempted to save them and others.
"Joker..." Tim said, clenching his hands tightly, "He...He caused all that destruction...all those deaths...Why...why hasn't Batman stopped him? Killed him, before he could cause more deaths?"
"I have no doubt that Batman could. No one would blame Batman if he killed that vile man. I'm certain Batman could do it without any worry," Alfred answered after a moment of quiet thought.
"Then why-" Tim began, but was cut off as Alfred held up his hand.
"Batman could kill The Joker. But I do not believe Bruce Wayne could. And as much as Master Bruce says he is one or the other, I know that deep down, he's still that young boy, excited to see Zorro with his father and mother, with the hopes and dreams that he too can be a hero," Alfred answered, "In young Dick he saw that desire. In you, I see that goal, that determination. I would hate to see that lost."
Tim nodded slightly, then looked up, the large computer screen beginning to blare out a warning. Alfred hurried over to it, pressing a button, frowning.
"What's wrong?" Tim asked, getting up and walking towards the computer, puzzled.
"The Batsuit is reporting a powerful electrical interference with it's computer systems...Almost as though...he's been struck by lightning..." Alfred answered.
Tim frowned. There were no villains in Batman's rogue gallery who used electricity. His eyes wondered to the cases, where the various costumes stood. Maybe...
"They're going to need help," Tim said, hurrying over to the cases, opening them up, "This should fit me...I'll need to get there quickly."
Alfred was quiet, then sighed, nodding, "I understand...The Batwing, you can take that. But do not leave it. It'll keep you safe..."
A blast of green light hit Freeze's arm, knocking the aim away from Batman, the freeze ray hitting a bush off to the right of Batman and Clayface. Freeze turned, seeing Starfire flying forward, letting out a Tamarian war cry as she tackled him.
Clayface looked up, surprised as a motorcycle revved, Robin appearing, leaping off the cycle and spinning in the air, throwing a disc at the monster. Clayface grabbed it, grinning, then felt something shoved into his side, Batman taking advantage of the distraction to launch his own counter attack.
Batman leaped away now as Clayface looked down, seeing something red blinking in his side.
Twin explosions rocked Clayface, the disc in his hand exploding at the same time as the grenade shoved in his side did, raining clay-like goop in the area. Clayface began to reform, but slowly. It would take a little time.
Freeze was tangling with Starfire, his suit giving him enhanced strength compared to the average human, and he seemed to be going toe to toe with the super strong alien.
A compartment slid open on the chest of Freeze, Starfire giving pause as a blast of ice hit dead on the girl crying out and finding herself frozen.
"Starfire!" Robin yelled, dashing at Freeze and producing his bo-staff, swinging it around and attacking Freeze with a sideswipe. Freeze caught the staff and pushed, sending Robin reeling. Freeze stepped forward to counter attack, finding himself giving pause when the ice cube that was Starfire began to shake violently, the girl freeing herself with an explosion of green energy.
Freeze stepped back, finding himself surrounded by three foes.
Electricity filled the sky, Robin, Starfire, and Batman all crying out as they shook with pain, falling to their knees shortly after wards. Batman forced himself back up, looking around, trying to find the source of the electrical attack.
"Time is growing short, and I don't have the patience to wait much longer," a new voice said. He stepped out of the shadows, hiding in it despite his white robe. He was old, and looked almost haggard. His right arm was robotic, and now that he had revealed himself, six lights on his chest began to glow softly.
"Kessler..." Batman growled, "You're part of the First Sons..." He staggered slightly, reaching for his utility belt.
"Close," Kessler said, nodding his head, "You are a remarkable detective, Batman. Just like all the stories I've heard. As for being part of The First Sons...well, yes..but..."
The man smirked, holding up his robotic arm, electricity sparking in it, "I lead The First Sons. I ousted Alden decades ago and took control. Under me The First Sons have expanded, grown so much more powerful. You can not stop me, Batman. Neither can your Justice League, nor that pitiful organization S.H.I.E.L.D. No one can stop us. You will not even be able to avenge your losses..."
Kessler brought his hand up, Batman moving and throwing a batarang. Electricity sparked around Kessler, the metal object exploding against an electrical shield. Kessler frowned then focused, throwing his electricity forward at Batman.
Starfire gritted her teeth, pushing herself up and forward, flying towards the two two combatants, getting between Batman and the blast, holding her arms up. The blast hit her hard, the girl crying out in pain, electricity sparking through her.
"Starfire!" Robin yelled, forcing himself up now, charging at Kessler. He spun around in the air, bringing his fist forward to hit Kessler. The man turned, grabbing Robin's arm. Before Robin could react, Kessler slammed him into the ground, blasting the teenager with a bolt of lightning.
"We should get going," Freeze said, as Batman eyed the three, Robin and Starfire down for the count. "We are wasting time here."
A high pitched whine, and Kessler turned, a missile flying towards him. Electricity glowed through his mechanical arm, and he pushed it forward, sending a electromagnetic wave, the missile hitting it hard and flying off to the side, hitting the ground hard, exploding and taking out part of Arkham Asylum's real estate.
"Hey, bad guys!" a voice from the Batwing said, hovering above them, "I suggest you get out of here!"
Kessler sighed, then held up his hands, focusing. Lightning condensed in the sky, firing downwards, hitting the Batwing hard, the black machine wavering in the air, alarms sounding. As Tim Drake tried to deal with it, Kessler turned back to Batman, smiling softly.
"Your young ward will have an important role to play soon, Batman," Kessler said, "I hope you have taught him well."
There was a glow from Kessler, blinding Batman. When it died out, Kessler, Freeze, and Clayface were gone, leaving behind the unconscious forms of Starfire and Robin. Batman scowled, looking up, the Batwing still functioning, for now...
In the confusion, Joker had managed to escape, skipping away gleefully, leaving a note behind in the Batmobile, simply reading "No one but me is allowed to embarrass Bats like that!"
Several survivors had been found in the rubble of the building The Joker had collapsed, including Tim's parents. They were in a critical condition, and Bruce Wayne had stepped forward, with Tim having no other family to watch him, saying he would look after the boy until his parents recovered.
And now, it was two days after Freeze's escape with Kessler and Clayface, and Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne walked along the halls of Wayne Manor.
"My computer wasn't able to identity this Master," Bruce frowned, "Whatever you're dealing with..."
"I can handle it," Dick said, then paused, "No...we can handle it. The Titans."
Bruce just frowned slightly, "If you truly trust them...It seems you do trust that girl..."
"I trust them all with my life," Dick said evenly, "But I trust Starfire with something more."
Another frown from Bruce, the man looking puzzled for just a moment, then shrugged his shoulders, "Tim wants to become the new Robin here in Gotham."
"Are you asking my permission?" Dick asked, looking almost amused, "I don't exactly have a copyright on the Robin name, you know."
"Last time though..." Bruce frowned, remembering the young boy known as Jason Todd...
"You never did tell me exactly what happened with him," Dick said, concerned now, "But for what it's worth, Tim seems like a good kid. Maybe not much of a people person, but he's smart. Reminds me of you."
Bruce's face twitched, either to smirk or frown again, unsure of what action to take. As it was, Bruce paused in the hallway, turning to look at Dick.
"Dick...We may not be related, but you're like a son to me," Bruce said, "And...I'm glad you've found happiness. A father always wants their son to be happy."
Dick just nodded, "Thank you...But right now Starfire and I should be getting back to Jump City before Raven banishes Beast Boy and Cyborg into some nether realm for annoying her."
He laughed as he said it, shaking his head.
"Goodbye, Mr. Batman! Or, errr, Mr. Wayne?" Starfire said, shaking Bruce's hand, looking puzzled, "Oh, these names are confusing."
"Call me Bruce," Bruce Wayne said, finding himself smiling softly, as he, Alfred, and Tim wished Robin and Starfire goodbye.
"Don't be a stranger now, Master Dick," Alfred said, "I'm sure Master Bruce would like to meet the rest of your team at some point."
"I'm sure my team will meet his sooner or later," Robin smiled, turning to Tim, "If you're going to be Robin...be careful, alright kid?"
"I will..." Tim nodded, "My parents are in that coma...I'll still be here when they wake up."
Robin nodded, then finally turned back to Bruce.
"What we talked about earlier...I think your father would want you to be happy too, Bruce," Robin said simply, then turned and left, heading towards his motorcycle, Starfire floating by him.
Bruce just stood there stiffly, neither answering Dick nor giving any indication that he heard his adopted son. For now, he turned back into the house, hearing Robin's cycle start, the two Titans hurrying off into the distance...
"I do not understand..." Starfire said, sitting behind Robin on the motorcycle. She could fly as far and as fast as the motorcycle, but riding it with Robin had the benefit of not tiring her out, and allowed her to be close to him. "I know you talked to Bruce about The Master, but why not about Slade?"
Robin frowned, staring ahead at the road. He debated evading the question, but decided against it. If he could tell anyone his reasons, it was Starfire.
"It's complicated, Star," Robin answered, "But Slade is my responsibility. Bruce has enough on his plate, I don't want him dealing with my problems too."
"I see..." Starfire said, nodding her head behind Robin, "But I believe you are wrong about that."
"I am?" Robin wondered, confused now.
"Yes Robin. Slade is not your responsibility," Starfire said simply.
"He is all of our's responsibility. Your's. Mine, the others. All of the Titans," Starfire added, "Remember that we are a team. We are all there for you, or anything other."
Robin paused, smiling beneath his helmet.
"Yah...you're right Starfire. We're in this together..."
A.N. So Kessler has escaped, taking Freeze and Clayface with him. Not only that, it seems like The Joker is a bit miffed at them as well!
Stay tuned for further stories in the Earth 42 universe of mine, along with those stories still going on!