A/N: All rightie, here we go! Next installment of the Hunter's Moon series... Buckle up, because it's going to be a wild and very crazy ride. I'm serious. Even more intense than Hunter's Moon. Just to warn you. A lot darker.
Summary: Hunter's Moon sequel. Bruce and Diana contend with a new, illusive enemy in Gotham who will do anything to rip their growing family apart, testing their breaking points... and their relationship. AU Batman and Wonder Woman romance, with Huntress/Question.
If you're just joining us and haven't read Hunter's Moon, I'll give you the breakdown: Diana's been raised by Amazon warrior Alkyone in Gotham City, unaware of her true heritage. She eventually becomes friends with Bruce Wayne, and the two grow up together and become close. Through a series of events, Bruce leaves to train, and Diana learns her true identity but becomes enemies with her cold mother Hippolyta, who sent vicious Ares to return Diana to Themyscira. Eventually, Diana and Bruce reunite, train together, and return home, eventually becoming Batman and Wonder Woman. They finally admit they're in love, adopt the young daughter of assassin Lady Shiva, Cassandra Cain, and befriend James Gordon. And one day, they visit Haley's Circus... And here the story continues.
WARNING: This is Gotham. Things will get dark.
AGES: Bruce is 24. Diana is 23. Dick Grayson is 12. Cassandra Cain is about to turn 8.
Follow me on:
FACEBOOK - Facebook/serenakenobi - check out Hunter's Moon fanart - including the full-size BM/WW cover for this story! - LOTS OF BM/WW art! :) And more planned.
- ALSO FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK TO GET MORE UPDATES ABOUT THE HUNTER'S MOON SERIES! And ASK me anything you like about the story - i.e. characters, plot, DC character cameos, etc. Lots of great stuff.
DEVIANTART - serena-kenobi . deviantart . com
TUMBLR - serenakenobi . tumblr . com
TWITTER - serenakenobi
Blood everywhere. I saw it. I saw it all.
Mom. Dad. So much blood.
All my fault. I should've warned them. I didn't warn them in time. I saw it. I saw it all.
He couldn't move. He couldn't think. He could only stare down at them. Stare down at his parents, lying there on the floor. His hands gripped the edge of the platform so tightly they were white, numb.
He was numb. He felt nothing. He felt everything.
Someone gripped his shoulders. Carried him off the platform. Led him through the noise, the crowds... away from his parents. He was numb. Everything was hazy... muddled... He couldn't speak, couldn't move...
The person carried him out of the tent, into the night. When the cool wind hit his face, blew through his hair, he finally roused enough to realize he wasn't being taken back to his tent. He struggled.
"Hey - put me down!"
"Quiet, kid," said the man carrying him.
Dick stiffened. He didn't know this man. "I said, put me down!" he snapped, and kicked the man right in the groin. The man howled, giving Dick the chance to get out of his hold and tumble to the ground. Dick, however, landed on his feet and ran. The man shouted, started after him.
Dick's heart and head pounded as he ran - just ran. His mind was racing, trying to figure out just what was happening -
Zucco. Tony Zucco. That name rang through his head. He remembered a grey-haired man coming to the circus, threatening his father -
It was him. Zucco had killed his parents. He'd switched the wire, tampered with it - something.
Dick felt his blood run hot.
But a hand reached out, shoved him to the ground. He let out a small cry as he hit the dirt, felt it burn through his skin. He scrambled to his feet -
"You shoulda died with your parents," the thug snarled, shoving him down into the ground.
Dick tried to get up again, but the thug pressed a boot down onto his stomach.
"Stay down, ya brat," hissed the thug.
Dick heard the click of a gun. His eyes closed.
But the shot never came. A shadow tore through the night, tackled Zucco's thug to the ground. The thug let out a shout that was quickly silenced. But Dick never even looked up. Not even as the shadow rose to its full height. Not even as the shadow turned towards him and halted. Not even when the shadow started for him.
So much blood.
MOM. DAD. I need you. Come back. You're not dead. Come back.
Dick felt a pair of strong hands pull him up, set him upright on the ground. He stared up through angry, watery eyes into a pair of intimidating white lenses. Normally, he would've felt fear, astonishment, awe... But everything was hazy. He was in a muddled daze, and right now, he just couldn't process anything...
He tried to focus. He tried to return to reality... whatever that was... and he felt the pair of strong hands rest on his shoulders, steadying him.
"On your feet, son," said the Batman, his voice deep, gruff, and strangely quiet. "You're in shock. But we need to move, get you out of here. You need to be strong. Can you do that?"
Dick felt tears trickling down his face. But he looked away, swallowed. Then, he turned his gaze upward to the Dark Knight, his jaw unwavering.
"Yes, sir," he said.
Batman nodded, his jaw flexing. His hands on Dick's shoulders tightened for a second before they released him. "Good man. Let's move." And he took off into the night.
"Where are we going?" Dick asked, managing to collect himself enough to finally ask questions.
"You've just been dragged into a war. Someone's targeting you," Batman growled. His voice was so intimidating. "You're not safe here."
"The police - "
"On their way. But you can't trust them. Many of them are still in the mob's pocket. I'm taking to you the one good cop in the city - Commissioner James Gordon. He'll ensure your safety."
"It's Zucco," Dick blurted out, finding himself able to keep up with the Batman. "Tony Zucco. He killed my parents."
Batman rounded on him. "Zucco. He's one of Sal Maroni's men," he growled. "Do you know why he was after your parents?"
"He came to the circus last week," said Dick. "He said that if my dad didn't pay him... then bad things would happen." Dick's chest ached so badly. He wondered if that ache would ever go away. He doubted it.
"Protection money," snarled Batman. He continued away from the lights of the circus, into the shadows, until they reached the storage area, filled with giant boxes and storage containers. Running to keep up with him, Dick saw him press several buttons on his wrist.
"What's that?" Dick pressed.
"Wheels," answered Batman. "Just hang on."
Dick really wondered if this were a dream. It felt like someone else was living this moment, experiencing things through his body. His parents were dead. They were dead. He was now on the run with the Batman. This couldn't be real. He would wake up, and this would be over, all of it. His parents would be alive. They would be. He just needed to wake up. He had to wake up.
They're dead. Mom. Dad. They're dead. I'm not waking up. They're dead. Blood everywhere. Not waking up. Not ever.
"They're dead," Dick muttered. He curled up, his hands pressed over his eyes. "There was so much blood... they're dead... they're dead they're dead they're dead they're dead THEY'RE DEAD THEY'RE - "
A hand pressed on his shoulder, urging him to look up. Dick felt himself pulled upward, and at the same time, the Batman knelt down in front of him.
"Listen to me," Batman rasped, his voice low. "You have to stay calm. You need to focus. Yes, your parents are dead." His voice grew raspier, and Dick was sure he could hear pain in the Dark Knight's voice. "But you are alive," continued Batman, "and if you want to stay that way, you need to focus. What's your name?"
"Dick," said Dick, dazed. He wiped at his nose, sniffled. "Dick Grayson."
"Dick, listen to me. We're getting out of here. You will be safe. Zucco will pay for what he did. But his men are still out there, and if they find you, they will kill you. Understand?"
Dick shook, holding back another bout of tears. He tried to nod. "Yes, sir."
Batman's head tilted, and he suddenly said, "Where are you?"
Dick blinked, wondering if he should say something. What kind of a question was that?
"I'm here with the Grayson boy," Batman said. "The whole place is crawling with Maroni's men. It's only a matter of time before they try to cut off -" A pause. "Right. The car's on its way. I'll meet you at the station. I'll take him directly to Gordon. Right. Batman out." He rose to his feet, towering once again over Dick, and glanced at his wrist. "The car will be here in under sixty seconds," he said. "Let's keep moving."
But as they started moving, a shot rang out into the night, and several thugs came rushing out, shouting. "There's the kid!" "He's with the Bat!"
"Stay down!" growled Batman, shoving him behind a set of cargo boxes. He whirled around. "Stay here, and don't move."
Dick dropped to the ground instantly, watched with a pounding heart as Batman took off into the night, disappearing behind the cargo box. He wanted to run, he wanted to go with Batman, he didn't want to be left alone -
Several more shots rang out. There was an agonized cry. Then silence.
"Where is he?" shouted another thug.
"Over there!" another man yelled.
More shots rang out, now closer to Dick's hidden position than before. Dick wasn't even breathing. He needed to see... He needed to do something -
Then came another shout, merely feet away, and the sound of physical contact. More shots, more cries. Dick set his teeth, and after a moment, dared to peer out around the corner of the cargo box. His eyes widened: it was Batman, surrounded by at least five - no, seven - thugs. Batman moved so quickly, like a shadow. Dick could barely see him - he was a blur in the darkness. One of the thugs was kicked to the ground only a couple feet away from Dick, and rolled over with a groan. Dick jumped back, but couldn't take his eyes off the scene. Only two thugs left - no, now one -
The next second seemed to happen in slow motion. The thug close to Dick picked himself up, grabbed another gun from out of his belt behind his back. Dick watched in mute horror, frozen, as the thug pointed it at Batman -
Dick snatched a stick off the ground, launched himself forward, using the cargo box as leverage, and smashed it onto the thug's head. The man fell to the ground with a thud, just as Batman whirled around, ready to strike. Dick held the splintered piece of wood in his hands, breathing heavily. But he realized he'd stopped shaking.
Batman stared at him for a moment, regarding him with an inscrutable gaze. "Good work," he said finally.
Dick felt a strange rush of pride. He was about to say thanks, but the low roar of an engine overpowered his voice. A massive black vehicle screamed up to Batman's position, screeching to a halt. Dick's jaw dropped. No way. The thing was as big as a tank...
"Whoa," he managed to get out.
"Get in," said Batman, leaping inside.
Dick hastily jumped up onto the car and dropped down into the seat beside him. The roof closed over them, and Batman gunned the engine. They shot off into the darkness, heading towards downtown Gotham. Dick stared out the window, watching as everything blurred by, and wondered if he were still alive... or if this were all some horrible nightmare... It couldn't be real...
"Breathe," Batman ordered suddenly, glancing over at him. "You need to breathe."
Dick tried to obey him. He tried to breathe slowly, deeply... tried to get his mind off anything other than the sight of his parents lying dead on the ground... He tried to focus. He blinked rapidly, let out a long breath, attempting to calm his racing heart.
"Was... was that... Wonder Woman you were talking to?" he blurted out.
"Yes," answered Batman.
"She's... real?" Dick didn't even know if he were speaking in actual sentences.
"Is she... what they say? An... an Amazon?"
Dick tried to keep breathing slowly. "H... how?"
A pause. "Long story."
Dick looked out the window. "Oh."
It felt like forever before they finally screeched to a halt directly in front of the police station. Batman hopped out and looked up into the sky, as if searching for someone. Dick jumped out of the car after Batman and crossed his arms over each other, suddenly cold. He waited for Batman's next move.
Not a second later, a figure appeared in the sky and dropped to the ground beside Batman. It was Wonder Woman. Dick felt himself stop, stare at her in complete awe. Rumor was she was an Amazon warrior, a goddess, practically. He figured the rumors were true. There was no way they couldn't be. She was nearly as tall as Batman, and no less frightening.
"Batman," started Wonder Woman urgently, her voice low, agonized. "Jim's not here. Something's happened."
"What?" asked Batman warily, taking in her alarmed expression. Dick felt that something was horribly wrong... Something unrelated to his own family.
"She's been shot," Wonder Woman breathed, pale. "Barbara Gordon. She's been shot."
Batman froze. "Shot?" he echoed. Dick could see the horror, the pure rage rippling through his bones.
"No more than twenty minutes ago. Jim's taken her to the hospital. He's in shock - I could barely get more than two words out of him. She's going into surgery right now."
"What happened?" snarled the Dark Knight. "Who was it? Maroni's men? The Russian?"
"He doesn't know. He... Hera," she whispered, "He was in the kitchen, I think, when it happened. She went to answer the door, and someone shot her. By the time Jim got there, the shooter was gone. He said he saw a car leaving, but he couldn't get a clear look - He couldn't leave her..." Her voice hitched. "She was shot in the stomach. He said the doctors think she'll pull through.. but there's a chance the bullet hit her spine..."
Batman was silent for a moment. Dick, in his own agonized state, recognized the Dark Knight was grieving. Finally, he said, his voice low, "Let's go. We'll take him to Sage. He'll be safe with him."
"Can't I stay with you?" Dick blurted out. "I don't..." He trailed off.
I don't want to be alone.
Wonder Woman turned to him, and her eyes grew gentle. She glanced back at Batman, and it was as if they were having a private dialogue, no words needed.
"I'll stay," said Batman finally. "Keep an eye on him. You go."
Wonder Woman nodded, her jaw clenched.
"Sir!" A young officer hurried out of the station, followed by a few others. "I'm Officer Lawrence, sir," he said to Batman. "We called in a missing persons on the Grayson boy - " He halted when he saw Dick standing there. "Uh, we'll cancel that. Thank goodness he's all right. We thought one of Maroni's men had gotten to him."
"He tried to," snarled Batman. "Is Sage here?"
Lawrence nodded. "Yes, sir, he's inside."
"I'm putting the Grayson boy under his protection," said Batman shortly. "And under his protection alone. Is that clear?"
Lawrence nodded again. "Yes, sir. I'll take you to him. He's in his office."
Dick followed Batman and Lawrence, noting the gawking stares of the other policemen. However, he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he paused, turning to see Wonder Woman standing there.
"It's going to be okay, hon," said Wonder Woman quietly. "It's going to be all right." And to Dick's astonishment, she leaned down and pressed a warm kiss to his temple. He felt himself gravitate towards her warmth... So much like his mom... And he felt tears springing unbidden back into his eyes.
"It's going to be okay," she whispered.
And then she was gone, vanished into the darkness.
But somehow, despite everything that had happened... despite the hollowness in his heart...
Dick believed her.
HELLO EVERYONE. Hope you enjoyed the prologue. Told you it would pick up directly from Hunter's Moon - the first bit is from the epilogue to tie it together.
AGH. MY BABY. Well, one of them. In case you're not prepared, I fangirl insanely over the birdies. The Batclan, especially the relationship between Batman and sons, is the main reason why I love the Batman comics so much. So I can't tell you how excited I am to be writing, for the first time, about Robin. :)
Expect Dick's POV to be regular in this story. :)
And if you hadn't noticed, as I'm sure you had, Bruce and Di are still not married yet. So, we've got lots to cover in this second installment.