ok, so this is a story that just poped up in my head, and i really wanted to make it, sooo here tiz!

| Beta read by: Birchtail. thanks so much girl :)

| Disclaimer: i don't own batman, or red hood, or anything, I am sure no-one on FanFiction does

Shadow Hood

Chapter 1

The Package

It's a cold night.

The sound of rain can be heard from outside, through the walls and roof. It's a comforting sound, but still gloomy nevertheless.

A draft from outside chills the air as Bruce Wayne enters his home.

He shivers as he steps inside, closing the door behind him; then looks up to see Alfred waiting for him by the doorframe, holding a towel.

"Good evening, master Bruce." Alfred greets him politely as he hands him the towel.

"Thank you, Alfred." Bruce takes the towel, rubbing it over his face, relishing in its fresh warmth, contrasted sharply with Gotham's polluted cold outside.

"Dinner will be served as soon as you're changed, sir."

Bruce nods in acknowledgment. "Is everyone here?"

"Yes. They've been waiting for your arrival." Alfred says.

Bruce nods once again. "I'll be there in a minute," he says, completing the task of drying his face and upper body. The warmth is only now beginning to pervade the cold he absorbed while out in the rain, and it feels good; almost makes him drowsy.

"Very good, sir." Alfred briefly inclines his head before walking off.

Bruce makes his way upstairs, to his room. He changes quickly out of the wet suit, and as soon as he is finished he goes back downstairs, walking down the hall until he comes to the dining room door.

His family's already there, waiting for him.

The Bat sits down in the chair at the head of the table, trying not to make any noise that would disrupt the 'peaceful' scene before him. It's dark enough at this end of the table for him to blend in, and he watches his sons unnoticed.

Dick, his oldest son, was seated to his right, talking to his younger brother.

Tim, his third eldest son, was laughing at something Dick had said.

Damian, his youngest son, sitting to the left of him, rolled his eyes at his older brothers and resumed hungrily staring at his food.

Bruce's mind wandered off to his second oldest son, who was absent.


He frowned. Jason led a hard life, and Bruce knew it washis fault.

He had allowed Jason to be kidnapped by the Joker, beaten to within an inch of his life, then caught in an explosion. He'd failed to protect him. Jason had then been brought back to life in Ra's Al Ghul's vain attempt to salvage his conscience from the scars placed upon it by the boy's death.

And afterward, he'd become the Red Hood, the Batman who wouldn't shy away from killing just as long as it was for the good of the innocent in the end.

Bruce agreed that the crime lords deserved to die, but that just wasn'tthe way it worked.

He shook his head, trying to relieve himself of the horrible memories.

If only he had arrived earlier. Perhaps he could have saved Jason.

My son, my soldier, my partner, my fault.

"So, Dicky Bird, what's it like being with the new team? What are you called again... the miniature Justice League?" asked Tim, a playful tone entering his voice.

Dick growled in his throat. "That's not what they're called!" he grated out.

His little brother smirked. "Oh yeah? What you gonna do about it?"

Dick grinned back. "You wanna fight?"

"Shut up, you imbeciles." Damian muttered the words, rolling his eyes again at the stupidity of his 'older' brothers, then returning to his plate. It was becoming obvious he was hungry, and Bruce wondered if he should call order and let them know he was here.

"There will be no fighting at the dinner table," Alfred shouted.

Bruce stood up from the head of the table, and it instantly quieted as his sons realized he was there. Damian glanced up from his food, his face hopeful. Maybe now he could eat.

Suddenly, they all heard the ring of the doorbell. Alfred quickly went to answer the door.

When he came back, his face was concerned, frowning.

"Who was it?" Bruce asked.

"I found this at the door," Alfred replied.

He was holding a small box, and atop it was a smaller voice recorder. Alfred handed them to Bruce.

Everyone looked on quietly as Bruce inspected both items; he deemed the recorder safe, then checked the box for bombs or anything else that could harm his family. It wasn't as if the Bat hadn'tgotten explosives in the mail before.

When he finally decided the box was also safe, he opened it.

Inside, he was surprised to find five expensive-looking, differently colored knives.

Everyone huddled around the box to look inside, each with their own surprised faces.

"See what's on the recorder!" Dick said.

Bruce nodded in agreement and picked up the recorder. He clicked the playbutton.

At first there was only white noise, then a voice they all knew well spoke.

Heh, well, you're probably wondering why you got a box and voice recorder in the mail. Funny things happen, don't they, though?


Bruce was more mystified now than before, even when he knew who sent the package.

Well, let me explain, it's a….how do I say…..gift?

Yeah, that's the word. They're gifts.

I don't have much time, so let me explain this real fast.

Dick, I just wanted to say that you were a pretty good older brother, even though we fought a lot. I always admired you, even when you made me so jealous I got mad.

Don't get all sappy on me, though. Just needed to make sure you knew.

Replace- uh, Tim: yeah, I know you hate me, and for a while the feeling was mutual. But you know me, melodramatic. I guess I was just….hurt that Bruce replaced me so soon.

I never hated you as much as I hated – hate – myself.

But that's in the past now. It doesn't matter.


Well, you're one evil little shit, I'll admit, but we are more alike than you will ever know. I'd tell you to avoid my mistakes-only I'm not really sure what they are.

Oh, and it was Dick who stole your Ipod, not me.

A laugh.

Just so you know.

"Dick!" Damian shouted, but returned to listening within seconds. The cryptic nature of the message set too serious a tone to start a fistfight in the dining room.

Alfred, you were always there for me. I thank you for that.

Yeah, I know I was a bratty kid, but hey- nobody's perfect.

..Bruce, I caused you a lot of trouble.

I'm really sorry.

I know I'm your greatest failure, but…you were a great father.

I was never mad at you for letting me die.

A bitter, brittle laugh here, not like the mischevious one of before.

You're all probably thinking I've finally lost it completely, right? That's not why I recorded this.

This is just the last time we'll ever speak.

Even though this isn't a conversation, I could never say it to your faces. I just need you all to know….that I'm sorry for everything I have ever done.

I'mneverrepeating that, and if you ever tell anybody I said that, I'll kill you.

Another laugh, low and bitter like the first, but without the acid.

Come to think of it, I guess that would be impossible, because I'm never seeing any of you again.

I'm going on my last mission, and I'm not going to make it out of this one.

But at least your greatest burden will be erased, right, Bruce?

They all heard coughing, then there was the sound of something opening, like a bottle's cap. They heard a gulp, then after a brief pause, Jason started speaking again.

Heh, Sorry about that.

Anyway, each of those knives are for you.

As you can see, each has a different color, the black is for Bruce, the white's for Alfred (although I don't really see him ever using it), the dark blue is for Dick, orange is for Tim, and dark green is for Damian.

I have one too. It's red.

I know you won't ever kill, but always keep them on you…for self defense.

They heard a low, staticky sound of an explosion, as if it were near him yet not too close.

Well, that's my cue to go.

Your greatest failure, your biggest burden, your worst annoyance, is finally leaving you alone.


With that, the recording finished.

All eyes were wide, some mouths agape.

What the hell was going on? What was Jason talking about?

Suddenly, Bruce's phone went off.

He quickly answered, putting the phone on speaker.

A shaky voice spoke.

"H-hello? Is this Bruce Wayne?" asked a female voice.

"Yes," Bruce answered, voice slightly distant, still shocked from the recording.

A sob was heard over the phone.

"I-it's about Jason."

Fear gripped the hearts of all.

soo? what cha think? good, bad?

tell me in the review box below.

if i get good feed back, ill up-date. if i don't ill abandon the story. no point in continuing something no-body wants to read right?

so just review, its not that hard the box is right there! VVVVVVVVV