Dick woke up, expecting to be in the warehouse and be held by Red Hood and Reaper but he was no longer in that position. He was tucked into a bed and was in an old bedroom. He got up and tried to open the door but it was locked. He heard someone approaching on the other end and ran back under the covers, hoping Red Hood or Reaper will think he's still asleep. He heard the door creak open and heard a feminine chuckle.
"You're a terrible actor, kid." Reaper stated before closing the door. "No offense."
Dick sat up and his eyes widened at what he saw. Reaper was carrying a tray full of food. It was a bowl of soup with a sandwich on another plate and a glass of water.
"Figured you might be hungry." Reaper said, putting the tray on the nightstand. Dick eyed the tray but made no move to reach for it.
"It's not poisoned, kid." Reaper muttered. When Dick didn't move, she sighed before taking the spoon and eating a bit of the soup. "See? It's harmless."
Dick slowly took the sandwich and bit into it. He almost gagged. This sandwich was amazing. Almost like Alfred's cooking. In almost a minute, the sandwich was gone and started on the soup. When he finished, Reaper took the tray and started to head out but Dick stopped her.
"Wait!" He called. Reaper stopped and turned to him. Half of her face was still hidden by her hood and her lips were in a straight line, making it hard to read her expression. "Why are you doing this?"
Reaper was silent for a minute before clearing her throat. "Sorry kid but I don't think it's my position to answer that question."
Before Dick could speak, Reaper was gone and the door closed.
Batman and Batgirl entered the alley where Jason had been first found. Barbara used to spend a lot of time with him here when she was younger. Whether they were causing mischief, playing catch with stones or just hanging out, Barbara never felt worried around him.
"Look for anything out of the ordinary." Batman ordered. "It could lead us to where Red Hood has Dick."
"Got it." Batgirl muttered. She searched the wall and noticed one of the bricks was loose. She removed it and noticed something leathery behind it. She reached in and pulled out an old case. She opened it and inside was a key. Suddenly, Batman's signal went off.
"There's a disturbance at the bowery." He stated. "Let's go."
When Batman and Batgirl arrived at the bowery, Batgirl was shocked to see the Red Hood and Reaper fighting Black Mask's best assassins, the Fearsome Hand of Four. Red Hood was fighting the large one and the female while his partner handled the rest. The Bat duo jumped down and landed behind the two vigilantes.
"What the hell took you so long?" Red Hood asked in amusement.
"Shut up and fight." Was Batman's response. The fight didn't last long. In Reaper's case, anyway. She ducked when the female assassin attempted to behead her and swung her sword. The cold blade made contact with the female assassin's head and Reaper shoved the rest of the blade into her head. When the fight was over, Red Hood was standing over the large assassin.
"I got to say." He said. "I missed watching you two work."
Suddenly, one of the assassins shot at Batman but Red Hood pushed him out of the way and was tackled to the ground.
"Awful close." He complemented. "You afraid you'll miss?"
"Black Mask just wants a body. We don't need your head." The assassin prepared to fire but was stopped by Batman, who was aiming a Taser.
"Let him go," He warned. "And step away."
"A Taser?" The assassin got up and held Red Hood in a death grip. "Nail me and you'll electrocute both of us."
"Maybe that's what he has in mind." Red Hood muttered before shoving a Taser into the assassin's face. His screams were so loud Batgirl was sure the whole city heard him before blood spattered onto the wall and he collapsed.
"NO!" Batman shouted. Batgirl could only stand in shock at the sight of two brutally murdered killers in front of her. The female's face was barely recognizable and she didn't even want to think about what was under the other assassin's helmet.
"Just be happy we only killed two of them." Red Hood growled. "They're all assassins!"
"And what are you?" Batman demanded.
"We're cleaning up Gotham. More than you ever did!" Red Hood shouted. Reaper walked up to the large assassin and shoved her blade through the eye.
"STOP IT!" Batgirl shouted, jumping in front of the final assassin before Reaper could kill him.
"What's wrong, BG?" The older female mocked. "Afraid of a little blood?"
"Killing them doesn't make you any better than them!" She exclaimed. Reaper scoffed.
"Really? I didn't know we needed these scumbags who kill for money." She said, sarcastically.
"You and your boss are stealing territory from Black Mask and killing anyone who gets in your way."
"Black Mask," Red Hood began. "Is just a part of the plan."
"Plan?" Batman questioned. "You're becoming a crime lord."
"Yes!" Red Hood exclaimed. "You can't stop crime. That's what you never understood. We're controlling it!"
"You want to rule them by fear," He continued. "But what do you do with the ones who aren't afraid? We're doing what you won't. We're taking them out!"
"Tell me what happened to you." Batman said, gently. "Let me help."
"Seriously Bats?" Reaper muttered, standing behind Red Hood.
"It's too late. You had your chance." Red Hood threw a smoke bomb and the duo disappeared. "And I'm just getting started."
Batgirl coughed when the smoke filled her lungs. When the smoke cleared Batman noticed the blood on the female assassin's weapons.
*Red Hood's Hideout*
"You okay?" Reaper asked when her leader removed his helmet and refused to make eye contact with her. Jason was breathing deeply and ignored his partner as he reloaded his guns.
"We're going to do something crazy right now so prepare yourself, Jess." He warned, putting his guns in their holsters.
"Is it something crazier than that fight with the fearsome hand of four?" Jessica asked, wiping the blood from her rapier with a rag.
*The Bat Cave*
In the Bat Cave, Batman was running a DNA test on the blood he found on the female assassin's weapons. On the screen of the Bat-Computer were two pictures. One of Jason Todd in his Night Shadow costume and the other of Red Hood. Bruce hoped his hunch was wrong as he watched analysis continue. Meanwhile, Barbara was sitting on the trunk of the Batmobile, looking at the Bat-Computer in bewilderment. Did Bruce seriously think Jason was the Red Hood? She was there at the warehouse that night. She watched the Joker beat him with a crowbar until he only had one inch of his life. She watched the timer bomb go off. She saw Jason die right in front of her. She held his corpse in her arms that night the minute he drew his last breath. She was at the funeral and watched as her best friend was buried. Barbara nearly jumped out of her skin when Bruce suddenly knocked his chair over when he stood up. She looked at the Bat-Computer and what she saw made her blood turn to ice. The DNA was a match. What scared her even more was when Bruce said they were going to pay Jason's grave a visit.
"Do you need more light, Sir?" Alfred asked, after they dug up Jason Todd's grave.
"No. I can see fine." Bruce opened the coffin and Barbara's eyes flooded with tears. Jason's body was the same way they had left it. He was in a tux and in his hands was a dead white lily that Barbara had put in at the funeral. Even in death, Jason still looked like he was in a peaceful sleep.
"Well, there you have it." Alfred informed. "He's still at rest."
Barbara turned away so no one would see her cry. Seeing Jason's body was bad enough but digging up his grave made her feel even worse.
"No, he isn't." Bruce lifted the body up. "That's not flesh."
Just then, the hair in the body fell off. Barbara looked back and gasped. They hadn't buried a body. They buried a dummy. Bruce growled and dropped the dummy, not caring if it landed roughly on the ground and not back in the coffin.
"Sir, none of this is your fault!" Alfred said for the hundredth time as Batman flew the jet over the city.
"Just stop it, okay?" Barbara finally snapped. "If it's anyone fault, it's mine! I lead Jason straight to his death! If I hadn't gone after Joker alone he'd still be alive and he never would have become what he is now!"
Before Bruce could tell Barbara it wasn't her fault the screen lit up. There was a break-in at Gotham Merchants Bank by the Black Mask. Suddenly, a voice was heard by the speaker.
"I have him. If you want him alive you'd better hurry."
When Batman and Batgirl arrived at the bank, there were bodies everywhere. Batman examined them all and was relieved to find them all unconscious. At least Jason wasn't killing innocent people. He nodded to Batgirl once they've reached the door to the vaults. In a minute, the door was knocked down and two henchmen were unconscious on the ground. The other goons raised their guns and the Bat team froze. Black Mask chuckled.
"Thought you could just waltz into my bank, huh Bats?"
"Sionis, we're here for the Red Hood." Batman watched Black Mask as he cocked his head to the side.
"The Red Hood?" Black Mask simply shrugged. "Never heard of him."
Black Mask started circling Reaper like a wolf would do to its prey.
"How 'bout you, Babe?" He asked, flirtatiously. "Know the Red Hood?"
Reaper simply scoffed and started twirling her sword. Two goons walked up to Black Mask, carrying a man with a bag over his head and their boss walked up to the man.
"And you, Sir…" Black Mask then removed the bag to reveal…Black Mask. "Know the Red Hood?"
"You son of a bitch!" The second Black Mask shouted. "You think you can steal from me and get away with it? You're a dead man! You hear me? DEAD! You and that crazy bitch!"
The first Black Mask then started beating on the second Black Mask's head and shouted in between hits.
"CAN'T-YOU-JUST-SHUT-THE HELL-UP-FOR ONE-FREAKING-MINUTE?!"
With a final blow, the second Black Mask fell to the ground, unconscious, and the two henchmen dragged him away. Suddenly, a cell phone went off and Reaper pulled one out of her pocket. After looking at the screen she sent a nod to Black Mask.
"Well it was nice seeing you Bats but I've got something to deal with at the moment." The crime lord then turned and headed for the exit with Reaper by his side.
"Take care of them, boys."