AN: Hello fellow readers and followers! I finally managed to get some free time! I seriously did a kind of happy dance when I came to the realization that I did not have any homework or upcoming tests or anything like that xD So, here is the new chapter! I hope you enjoy!
Batman's heavy coughs echoed through the headphones Dick wore over his ears. He saw everything happen: The piano beginning to play the same annoying tune using off-key sour notes, the steam beginning to puff heavily out of the slits of the pipe organ, and before losing the connection, he saw what appeared to be Joker's henchman wearing gas masks breaking through the fog approaching his fallen mentor.
He hadn't realized that he cried out in surprise. "What is with all the uproar, Master Dick? Why are you not resting?"
Dick turned around to see a startled and puzzled looking Alfred holding a silver tray covered with an equally silver lid. "Joker has Batman!" he said quickly as he carelessly tossed away the head set to the ground. "I have to help him!"
Before Alfred could proceed with a response, Dick ran into the supply room in the cave where he and Batman kept spare "toys" and "small trophies". Alfred heard the commotion the boy was making in the room and walked with precaution to the entrance.
"Where's my uniform?!" the boy yelled angrily. "He needs help! He needs me!" he cried desperately.
"Master Di—" Alfred was suddenly at a loss for words.
The boy standing before him looked absolutely hysterical. He looked like he was about to have an emotional and mental breakdown if he didn't do anything soon. His fingers gripped the entryway with great force—it almost seemed that if he let go he would leave behind finger-shaped dents on the stainless steel material.
"Batman needs Robin…" he harshly whispered. "Just like you said."
It took Alfred a quick moment to take in the scene before him. "I know." He finally said. "But are you well? You just woke up from a three day coma."
"It doesn't matter. I would go and help him even if I was lying on my death bed. He's like a—"he paused. "He is my dad." He claimed with such determination all over his face. "Where's. My. Uniform?" he demanded once again.
For a brief moment, Alfred was almost too afraid to respond. He also felt slightly offended, the only other person to talk to him in such a way was Bruce. Which he could clearly see that the boy was starting to become an image of his adoptive father. "Well it appears that you have made quite the quick recovery within the past thirty minutes." Alfred looked at him a moment longer and took in a breath. "As you get dressed, I shall prepare a to-go snack and leave it on your motorcycle. I simply cannot allow you to leave without having anything to eat."
Dick smiled. "Thank you, Alfred."
"Quite welcome sir, although if you ever speak to me in such a manner again some form of punishment will be issued upon you." He chided. "I'll let it slide this time due to the circumstances, but do you understand?"
Alfred's response was somehow unexpected and Dick was caught off-guard. "Uh-understood, sir."
The sound of his boy's voice crying out to him was still ringing in his ears when Batman finally came through. He was never going to get over the terrible hangover-like headaches, no matter how many times he gets knocked out, or infected, or whatever.
He began hearing muffled calliope music playing. He opened his eyes and his blurred vision then became clearer as did the music. He already estimated that he was still at the carnival.
And manacled to the wall again, dammit.
This was definitely another case of déjà vu. Everything was almost the same as his last encounter with Joker, with the exception of still being at the carnival this time…and Robin's absence.
Yes, he did realize that he was repeating those same thoughts over and over again, but he just could not get them out of his mind. He could only imagine how he would feel once Dick grew up.
If I live that long.
He then began to question when Joker had installed the manacles. It had only been three days—then again, the police left the crime scene only after a day. He would need to have a talk with Commissioner Gordon about improving these investigations.
His vision began to clear. His hearing also began to sharpen. Footsteps…pretty sure one of them is skipping.
As if on cue the footsteps stopped, the double doors automatically slid open and a prancing Harley Quinn skipped into his vision, followed by Joker and two of his men. Chuckles had a bandaged and bruised broken nose—courtesy of Robin the Boy Wonder.
Batman internally smiled at that thought, but his slight feeling of pleasure was obviously short-lived as the clown cavalry stood in front of him. It was silent for a moment as they had a stare-off, save for the background calliope music and Harley's giggling.
"How's it hanging, Batman?" Joker smirked as he stood proudly with his hands behind his back.
Of course he would start with a pun.
Batman remained silent as he tried once again to remove a lock pick from his gloves again.
"Oh don't even try, bats. I may be crazy, but not stupid." Joker cackled as he brought forward his right hand and revealed the picks resting in his palm. "Took them when you were taking your bat nap. I learn from my mistakes too, you know."
"If that were true, then you would not be doing any of these crimes in the first place." Batman countered.
"You are such a buzzkill, I swear. The only fun thing that came out from having little brat boy as your partner was that he knew how to joke around!"
Batman cringed at the mention of his part—ex partner.
"Aww, Batman," Harley spoke up as she noticed the reaction. "Did that strike a nerve?"
"Ooh, I think it did Harley." Joker said.
"What happened with the police?" Batman asked as he remembered that he heard police sirens before being exposed to the gas from the organ pipe.
Joker grinned widely and snapped his fingers to the henchman with the broken nose.
He held up a small remote control and pressed a button on it. The sound of distant sirens began to play in the intercom system of the fun house and Joker began cackling hysterically. "I can't believe you actually fell for that!" and wiped an invisible tear from his eye.
"Guess he had other things on his mind, Mistah J." Harley commented as she approached the hostage and knocked on his cowl in the style of A Shave and a Haircut. "Probably about Bird Boy and the drug."
Batman groaned in annoyance.
"The gas from the pipes was able to knock you out for a little while, I can only imagine how the liquid form will affect you."
Harley pulled out a syringe filled with the drug Batman found in the dart stabbed into Robin's neck from behind her back. It was a pretty big syringe. If a small dart was able to knock out Robin for three days…this amount must be lethal.
"Let's see how the bat handles this." Joker said in his darkest most maniacal tone as Harley presented him the syringe.
He took it in his hand and walked face-to-face with Batman.
"Sweet dreams, Batman."
He raised the needle above his head—prepared to stab the hero right in the center of his chest—and as he was about to bring the force down—he felt a different, more metallic force, slap it out of his hand.
The needle clattered on the floor and everyone looked around the room to find the source of the disturbance. Right there next to the syringe…was a birdirang.
AN: I apologize for the shortness of this chapter, I also felt like I kept you all waiting too long...it's something, right?