Bruce hadn't felt this helpless in a long time. Not since his back had been broken by Bane. But this... this was even worse… his mind could move his body, but his body refused to do more than move at a sluggish pace, with strength that could only amount to a crawl. And to top it all off, he was in the care of his greatest and most hated enemy.
And the worst part? Jack Norman wouldn't smile, all he could do was display a beaten-down, guilty face. As he applied another bandage to Bruce's cut forehead, he frowned, "You probably hate me right now, don't you?"
Bruce's eyes squinted, but he was silent.
"I don't blame you. I've done a lot of terrible things I can never take back, and for the longest time, I tried to push you into my insanity", Jack ran his hand through his hair, "But… recently, I've tried to think of a way to make things right. I don't want your forgiveness, because nothing I could possibly do could earn it"
Bruce didn't move a muscle other than his throat, "Then what do you want?"
"To make amends. Out of everyone I've hurt, I've hurt you the most, and I know that this apology is nowhere near close to even touching the surface, but Bats… no, Bruce, I'm… sorry"
Bruce couldn't believe his eyes or his ears, there was no sarcasm, no laughter, no trap that would spring in an attempt to kill him. Even the once-permanent smile had faded away, leaving nothing more than a sad, tired looking man. He knew he was wide awake, the pain in his body was enough to tell him that, but he still felt the overwhelming sensation that he would wake up from this dream.
As he lay there, contemplating reality, Jack left to get more supplies. That was when Alfred arrived, "I cannot say I'm comfortable with this… turn of events, Master Bruce"
"What do I do? What can I do?", Bruce couldn't think straight, his world had just been turned upside down and thrown into a fire.
"You can tell me who I'm looking for", Bruce had little strength in his neck, but he could tell from the voice who his intruder was.
"Jason… what are you doing here?"
Jason removed his red helmet, "I'm here to find the bastard that did this to you"
"You wouldn't stand a chance"
"I recruited some back-up", he opened the elevator door, and a crew of unlikely people stepped out; Victor Fries, Pamela Isley, Harleen Quinzel, Antonio Diego, Tim Drake, Dick Greyson, Talia al Ghual, and lastly, Raven.
Bruce looked away, "He's too strong"
Raven stepped forward, "Not yet, but if we don't stop him, he will be"
Jason smiled, "So, where is he?"
"I don't know, but even if I did, we wouldn't stand a chance"
Talia stepped forward, "As his half-sister, I know enough about his mind to follow any possible trail he could have left. Did he say or do anything to you that may have been helpful?"
Bruce thought it over, "Room 66…"
Raven shuddered, "No… that's impossible…"
Dick looked to her, "What is it?"
"Room 66 was where… where he would go when he needed to release his… inner demon, when it could only harm him. If he wants us to know about his inner demon… then it's gotten out"
Jason squinted, "Inner demon? What, this guy got impulse issues?"
"His heart craves destruction and suffering, but his mind is usually able to keep him safe, but something must've worn him down, made him weak"
Bruce's ground his teeth, "He stabilized Ra's"
"That wouldn't be enough, he would need at least ten times the amount of stress doing that would bring"
Freeze pulled out a small computer, "Based on the chemicals he's produced, along with the information I've been provided, he would have had to drain himself completely at least for two hours to provide the results he has for my research alone"
Bane rubbed the back of his neck, "I wasn't exactly easy on him, either"
Ivy sighed, "That book he kept with him, it was a bible of sorts, he used it to watch over Lucy at all times, unless he had me or Nygma watching her. I don't believe in magic, but he could easily tire himself out by trying to use the spells"
From behind all of them, they heard a small voice, "And then there's my interactions with him"
They all turned to look at Jack, who's pitiful sorrow kept him from looking up. Jason pointed at him, "Who are you?"
Alfred sighed, "That, Master Jason, is a question Bruce has been asking himself all night"
Jack looked at Jason, "I'm a man that hasn't paid for what he's done, and probably never will, because that's more than any man can pay. But if you're going to save Dr. Rock, you'll have me at your side"
Jason scoffed, "And just what'll you do?"
Jack walked around the back of the elevator, emerging on the other side, fully cloaked in an interesting costume, "I'll fill in for your missing leader"
Tim pulled out his staff, "What gives you the right-"
"The fact that you need Batman, and I'm as close as you're gonna get right now. Think about it, who else could you count on to predict his every move, and then think three steps further? You don't have to trust me, and if I'm weighing you down, you can feel free to have your friend in the red mask shoot me"
Tim's face was drawn into a raging sneer, but he couldn't deny the facts, if they had ever needed Batman, they did now, "You make a one inch step in the wrong direction, and I'll shoot you myself"
"Fine by me. Now, we all know that Rock is unstable, but what is it he's after?"
Bruce tried to shout, but his voice was reduced to an angry whisper, "Get out of my suit… now"
Jack walked over to Bruce, "You'll never trust me, no matter what I do, but I owe it to Rock to save him. I'll bring it back in one piece, and I won't do anything I normally would. That's the truth, deal with it"
Bruce was unable to voice his rage as his vocal chords gave out, leaving him silent. Jason rubbed his chin, "This room 66, what's in it?"
Raven shuttered, "Writing, drawings, walls, guns, knives… all covered in or made of blood"
"His own. Nicholas is his own victim, he always has been"
"So, this inner demon is trying to destroy Nicholas from the inside out. What's something that Nicholas would never do, no matter how desperate he was?"
Raven gasped, "He's going after my father!"
Dick glared at her, "Trigon? The most powerful demon in the universe?"
"You don't understand, Nicholas could put his head on a spike and then burn it if he wanted to"
Raven shook her head, "No, it isn't, he's done it before, but now, he'll take Trigon's powers as well"
As Rock looked at the four, yellow eyes, he smiled, "Damn, you're still ugly"
The giant growled in response, "And you're still arrogant"
"Arrogance implies weakness, something we both know I'm not a proud owner of"
"You care for my daughter's life, that is a weakness in and of itself"
"I could give a bigger damn about whether I cut your head off left to right or not. By the way, I've decided I will"
"You had an army last time, granted, it was small"
Rock shook his head, "Last time, I was holding back, making sure I played by my rules of conduct and doing things the 'right' way. Now, I don't need rules… just something heavy to swing with. And a sharp blade, for theatrical effect"
"You are a fool, prepare to face the wrath of Trigon!"
Rock saw the slight twitch in Trigon's ear as he pulled out a sword, "Don't worry, this will be the last time I take your head, and I'm a man of my word…"
Thousands of demons materialized out of the air and swarmed to his position, creating a hellfire that engulfed him. The flames burned brighter and brighter, until all of the demons were killed in an instintanious blast that erupted from center. Rock took a big whiff of the air, "Ah… the suffering of a demon… nothing quite like it"
Trigon roared and shot lasers from his eyes, all of them aimed at Rock, "Die! Earth scum!"
Rock turned so that the beams hit his eyes directly, reflecting them back into Trigon's. Trigon cried out in agony he clutched his burning eyes, "AAAAGH!"
With super-human speed, Rock jumped to his chest and landed a single punch in the center of it. The blow was powerful enough to knock Trigon off his feet, shrink him down to the size of a normal human, and force him onto his back. Rock grabbed him by the throat and held him up, "Oh… you've suffered more than I expected. Don't worry, this will only take a few seconds"
Trigon gripped his arms, futilely struggling to loosen his grip, "You will regret raising your hand to me"
Rock laughed, as the now-natural smile spred itself across his face, "If a demon is an angel that fell from grace… what is a human that goes through it's judgement? A being that started off wrong, and then was bent by Hell… something like that would relish the sound of agony"
As the grip tightened, Trigon gasped for air, "You'll not find a pain that will subdue me"
"Oh, pain is just a tool. Real suffering, is having your soul turned inside out, and watching the new you destroy all you've built, all you've created… or just doing what you deny is real until it consumes you", Rock pulled out a bible, "Once, I let you go, but now… you'll face divine punishment!"
Trigon felt his sneering face tremble, "You cannot destroy me!"
"Why would I do that when I can make you into what you hate most? O, lost sheep, thou has strayed from the path of righteousness. It is by his light, not mine, that you may be gifted the sight to find what was lost. Now, rise, and see the light of the Shepard!"
Trigon howled as he slowly felt his body change, it wasn't pain he felt; it was numbness. Once it had covered his body, he was no longer screaming, in fact, he wasn't doing anything. Trigon no longer existed, where he once stood, Rock smiled.
Rock liked what he saw; a frail angel boy, who's tiny wings were no bigger than that of a dove's. When the boy awoke, his blue eyes looked sleepy. Rock held his finger over his mouth as he picked the boy up, "Shhh. It's okay, Lial, you were having a nightmare, and you've been asleep for a long time. I'm Rock, your brother sent me to get you, it's time to take you home"
Lial eyes fluttered, "A… dream?"
"That's right, it was all a horrible dream, and now, I've come to train you to fight"
"But… I'm weak… I can't fight, I'm just a messenger"
"God made you for many things, Lial. Never give up your dreams, and one day, you'll reach them, just as God intended for you to"
"God… wanted me to be a fighter?"
"That's why you have that hope in your heart; because without it, you'd never reach that goal. Nurture your hopes, water them with your dreams, and plant them in the soil of your never-ending efforts. Don't ever let anyone tell you to give up, because that just means they've already given up, and they want someone to bring down with them. But for now, just get some more sleep"
As Lial faded into unconsciousness, Rock looked at the wreckage around him; a galaxy, once thriving with life, now just a barren wasteland. There had been a purpose in it, he knew this was true, but he couldn't fathom what it was. God was very mysterious, this was all he could say for certain. Not that he was any less strange, himself.
Dick was freaking out, Raven had been out for almost an hour, and she'd been pronounced dead twice. The rest of the new team was trying to search for any point they could start towards picking up a trail, but they had been having no luck. To make matter worse, Raven suddenly went comatose without warning, leaving Dick to rush her to the hospital.
He had been waiting outside the emergency room for three hours when the door opened. A tall doctor with scrubs on held his chin as Dick approached him, "Is she gonna be okay?"
"I honestly don't know. She was dead, and now… she isn't. There's no medical way to explain this, but she changed in that room. All I can do is say that she's fine now, physically"
Dick pushed past him, stepping into the emergency room, and finding something beyond his wildest imagination. Raven was standing in the middle of the room, her skin was a fair peach, not grey in the slightest way, and her dark hair was now pink, with eyes to match. He grabbed her trembling hands and looked her in the eyes, "Raven, are you okay?"
Raven shook her head, "This isn't right… my powers… are gone"
"Gone? How can that be?"
"My dark powers came from Trigon, if Nicholas already got to him…"
Raven closed her hands and held them close to her heart, "Nicholas… what have you done?"
"Raven, your hands are glowing!"
Raven looked down to find that, indeed, her hands had an aura to them, but this aura was not dark or frightening. No, this glow was warm and gentle, like that of a star in the night sky, "What… is this?"
"Did your powers get replace by something else?"
Raven gasped, "This appearence… this aura… these are…", her eyes widened as a pair of majestic wings sprouted from her back, "Holy powers…"
Raven closed her hands, dispersing the aura and her wings receded into her back, "What are demons, before they become demons?"
"Angels? You're not saying-"
"Trigon has vanished, the angel he was before he fell from grace has returned, and so, my powers have shifted as well"
"Dick, I can heal Batman now"
"Then let's go… we'll need him"
"Too little, too late", Bruce crossed his arms behind them, his anger's magnitude only matched by his recovery rate, "Ra's provided me with what little fluid from the Lazarus pit he had, healing me. So tell me what you've found on Rock"
Dick provided a cell phone, "He left this underneath the floorboards of room 66, it has no service, but there is one number listed"
Bruce looked at the numbers, "This isn't a phone number, there are far too many digits for that"
"We looked at every 72 digit possibility, until Jack pressed the call button. Try it, you'll see what I mean"
Bruce pressed the dial button, and on the other end, he was surprisingly met by the sound of a familiar voice, "If you can hear this… I don't care who you tell, just tell someone who can do something. My name is Sate Rock, and I left this as a message for the world; there is something coming for you, this isn't a man or a beast. No… this is a relentless force, driven to make you pay for any wrongdoing that you've ever done.
There is no escape, there is no place to hide, if I have left this message without checking it for a whole night, then I beg of you, whoever you are, find a man with impeccable aim, nerves of steel, and then pray, pray to God that he may throw a sharp blade at my heart and pierce it without fail. Godspeed, and good luck"
Bruce frowned, "This is why he had no qualms about being killed, he was afraid that he would lose control"
Raven looked at Bruce, "No, there has to be another way"
Bruce looked at her, "I don't kill people. If he can be killed, he can also be stopped, so we need to regroup and make a plan of attack for when he returns. Come on, we have to prepare for the worst"
Rock looked over the city of Gotham from the skies, the city lights making his eyes hurt. He could've just wiped them out, just a flick of the wrist and he could bring the entire city to the ground, if he wanted to. In the back of his mind, he thought it over, but he knew he couldn't wipe the city out, not yet anyway. He had to give them a chance, some time to prepare for what was coming. Not that they could do anything to stop it, but they could make it out alive.
Rock smiled, he'd been waiting for this since the day he was born, and now, it was only a few hours away. He was a patient man, so he just smiled, and let his imagination take his mind away from reality, as his visions of despair and death made it all go away.
Everyone had gotten together around a table in the Batcave, with Bruce at the head of the table. He stood up, "Listen, I'm not against you helping Rock, but we have no information, other than the fact that he escaped Ra's al Ghual by blowing up his fortress. We have nothing, so our first step is to gather information"
A playful voice was heard from behind Bruce, "I vote we ask him"
Bruce turned to see Rock standing behind him, wearing a strange smile, "Rock..."
"Don't go for an all-out speech there, Bruce, a hello would suffice", Rock walked to the table and stood on top of it, "I know that just about everyone here is probably sitting here because they care about me and want me to be alright. Hi, Grundy"
Solomon Grundy waved at Rock grunting out a greeting, "Rock... hello"
"I just want all of you to know that I am, as a matter of fact, fine. I did have a little power trip while I took on Trigon... I might've liked it. Ah, who am I kidding? I loved it… watching that satanic bastard squirm in his own demonic forces… ahem. Anyway, since tonight's my first night off in a while, I'm gonna let loose"
Raven looked at him with horror, "What does that mean?"
Rock smiled, "I was born to make the world a better place. Ra's said he didn't care how, as long as he could see the utopia he envisioned. A better place means better people, better people means better mindset, and you can't teach morals… but you can make people forget things, if you hit them hard enough"
"Rock, just what is it you're going to do?"
Rock held up his hand, a small red orb inside, "This is a judgement orb, one touch, and you won't even jaywalk. It purges its targets of all spiteful thoughts, all hatered and anger will be beaten out of them, like dirt from a carpet"
Jason pointed a gun at his head, "Listen, you hurt Bruce, so I've got a score to settle with you, freak"
Rock laughed, "Oh good, a test subject… I remember the last time I saw you. You used to be Robin… but now you're… well, you're a lot like Catwoman, you just do whatever you feel like at the moment. A sinner with a good side… not the biggest challenge of the night, but a good warm-up"
Jason pulled out his other pistol, "You're gonna keep that damn thing away from me or I'll blow your head all over the floor"
"You can try, but you wouldn't be the first… or the last", Rock avoided several shots by the hair on his teeth, until he kicked the guns out of Jason's hands and pinned him to the floor. With his left hand aimed at the rest of the room, none of them dared to move, "Ah, ah, ah… trust me. At first, he'll hate me, and I'll love that. But after… well, I won't be enjoying it much, but you will"
Rock threw the orb at Jason, it passed into his head and he began to spasm violently, "Aaaaaaagh!", the orb's odd color stretched over his skin as his wails grew in loudness. Raven rushed to his side, but didn't dare touch him.
After it had covered his entire body, it left him, returning to an orb state and floating back into Rock's hand, "That's it… now Jason will go back to the man he was before his… incident"
Jason opened his eyes, then looked at what he was wearing, "Were… am I?"
Bruce grabbed Jason, "Jason, are you alright?"
Jason sat up, "Yeah, but why is that guy wearing my suit?"
Rock smiled, "Perfect! It works! I've even got all of his pain right here, in this little ball, where it can remain mine", he closed his hand around the ball, and it vanished into his skin, "Ah… that's much better…"
Raven gasped, "No, Nicholas… you've been feeding on suffering…"
"It's been my own for so long, I forgot just how good variety can be… that little kick devastation has… the sweetness of sorrows… and of course, the spicy self-loathing. I've been starved for too long… barely getting crumbs off of one nightly nibble. But now I get what I've been waiting for; the big enchilada! Tonight, this city's gonna become a paradise… and I'll get to feed off the Hell it looses"
Talia held up her swords, "This is cruel and unjust punishment"
Jack and Harley took combat stances, Jack holding a batarang, "Dr. Rock, this isn't what you wanted, remember? There's a better way, a way where that pain creates strength, not sorrows"
Freeze held up his gun, "I do not wish to fight you, Dr. Rock, but if you do not surrender, I will be forced to take action"
Bane scoffed, "What happened to not feeding your inner demons, doc?"
Rock laughed, it wasn't a happy laugh, it was a dark, and depraved laugh, "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! That's funny! 'Inner demons'! Listen, Diego, they aren't inner demons if you can't hear voices. They're inner demons if you consciously fight them, if there's a part of you that knows they're wrong, and need to be stopped. What I'm doing is something that in all honesty, is a miracle; I'm letting people become free of their suffering without harming them"
Raven held her hand up, "Nicholas, if all you do is feast on suffering, you'll lose yourself within it"
Rock frowned, "And? I've lived my entire life, the victim of freak accidents and unholy circumstances. If I'm going to be the victim… I might as well be a happy one"
Raven shook her head, "No… Nicholas, fight it! This isn't you! This isn't who you are!"
Rock's smile returned as his body was lit on fire, "Last call for regrets is at midnight… be there, or be square… liars"
After he vanished into thin air, Talia turned to Raven, "You know his abilities best, what's our next move?"
Raven was still a bit shaken, "He's… still in there, Nicholas is still somewhere in that demon's head"
Dick put his hand on her shoulder, "Nothing personal Raven, but I doubt there's anything left in his head"
"No, he said 'liars'. Nicholas always said that was his contact word, if he was ever in trouble, that word was a signal for help"
"I think I can provide the answer to that", Ra's al Ghual limped into the Batcave, his left leg broken entirely, "It was a phenomenon we discovered when Nicholas was young, for a long time, we assumed the boy was deaf"
Talia nodded, "I remember, his ears were disconnected from his brain at points"
Ra's nodded, "However, by some strange formation of coincidences, his mind was capable of reading vibrations and chemical scents, using then to simulate sound in his mind. So, whenever you spoke to him, he would hear two things; what you said, and what you believed to be the truth"
Bruce scoffed, "Then why didn't he hate you? You saw him as a test subject"
"No, I couldn't. Now, his vision is perfect, but he retains his innate eye for the truth. He sees all people as liars, but he only used it when things were more than he felt equipped to handle. It would seem he's fighting this instinct he has, and wants to be stopped"
"So how do we stop him?"
Ra's sighed, "A plan to stop Superman, but not a creation of my making… if I wasn't at stake, I'd be proud"
Raven placed a bible on the table, "This was Nicholas's Paladian bible… he carried it at all times. There might be something in it"
Bruce opened the bible and pulled out a thin, sharpened cross, "A blade thrown to pierce his heart"
Dick shook his head, "Can't be that simple"
"Last resorts are simple, we'll have a plan for him by midnight… and save this for when he's completely gone"
Rock looked at his watch, "Only twenty minutes left… wonder who'll show up first?" His question was answered as he caught a batarang, "So, you're up, Bruce?"
Batman decended from a higher rooftop, "This ends now"
"Oh, Batman... there's nothing to end. I'm not killing people, harming them, or even trying to take their money"
"No, you're stealing who they are"
"Who they are? That's funny, because most of the world would agree that these 'criminals' were once good people, even if it was way back, to the day they were born. Even the Lord says 'they know not what they do'. All I'm doing is reminding them what they wanted to do, before all that madness settled into them"
"What right do you have? To rob people of the things that make them who they are? You're acting out of a need to satisfy your demonic heart, you could care less about these people"
"Really? Would you like to know where I used my powers, before I came to Gotham?"
"Warzones, prisons, human trafficing victims, political prisoners, terminally ill patients, and pretty much any human on the planet who's suffering unbareably due to a circumstance they can't change. I reached all of them, and I gave them peace, let them forget all of the pain and horrible cruelness this world is capable of dishing out, and gave them life again"
"You're breaking my heart here"
"I know you have pain, just like they did. A pain that's festered to the point that it's changed every aspect of who you are, down to the way you sleep at night, if you even sleep. Imagine it, a world where there was no mugging, no shooter, a place where two parents can walk down the street with their son after a movie, and not even think about it ever again. It's a beautiful place"
Batman held up another batarang, "It's not the world I live in"
"No, it isn't... but it could be. All it needs is one, big push"
"You aren't god, you can be defeated"
"God? God led me here, in a time when I had given up, accepted my own reality, in all of its harsh bitterness, he showed it to me. That single book fell from the shelves, its pages filled with the power of the great I am. And now, I'll show you just what it can do", his smile spread as a red orb grew in his hand, "Come, Bruce, peace awaits you"
Batman threw the batarang through the air, and Rock deflected it using his left hand, throwing the orb with his right. The orb was insanely fast, Batman only dodged it by the hair on his chin. He was about to charge Rock when he realized the orb was making a round trip. Batman dodged it again and again, but it kept flying right towards him relentlessly.
"There is no escape, Bruce. You're just stalling it, it will reach you, and when it does, you'll give in"
Batman tried throwing his batarangs at it, but they were deflected off it it, like rubber bands off of a truck. Batman pressed his comunicator, "Now!"
As he shouted, Raven flew in from nowhere, catching the orb with her hands. She turned to look at Rock, "Please, Nicholas, break its hold!"
Rock snarled, "I don't care if you are an angel, you have no place stopping this, get out of my sight before I obliterate you"
"Nicholas, listen to yourself! It's me, Raven!"
Rock moved quickly, getting his hand around her neck, "You are a nuisence, and I'll deal with you here and now", for a moment, Raven's wails could be heard for miles, that deep, screeching sound penetrating every ear for blocks, then, almost instantly, it stopped. Raven didn't scream, she couldn't, all she could do was weep, as Rock fell to the floor, the cross sticking out of his chest.
Raven tried to speak through her tears, "Nicholas, no!"
Rock smiled, "I... got him... Raven... now... he can't hurt you... anymore"
Batman stood over Rock, "That was the reason why it happened... your suffering would've been greatest if you became a monster that wiped out everything you ever stood for"
"People become stronger... when they overcome their trials. Look at Jack... he could be Gotham's newest hero... a shining beacon of hope for the lost... he could turn the sea of blood into the sea of redemption... show the world the power of forgiveness. Wouldn't that be a great world? Where people can forgive each other... instead of hate each other over nothing?"
Batman frowned, "It would never work"
"No... it wouldn't. I knew that... that's why I worked... for a world a little more like it. For it to exist... wouldn't be possible... but for people to believe it could, and work hard to see it come as close as possible... isn't that something worth working for?"
"A dream is always something worth chasing"
"A world where Lucy can skip down the road and be as carefree as she always is, and never be alone… I can almost see it"
Raven put her hands on his shoulders, "Nicholas, listen to me, you're going to be fine, okay? Just breathe, I promise, you'll be up and jumping in no time"
Rock ran his hand over her cheek, "You're there too, Raven. You're smiling, just like you used to… back when I could still make you smile. Grundy's munching on candy… Harley's doing backflips while my baby Lucy smiles and watches… Talia isn't mad… Victor and Nora are smiling over their baby boy… it's paradise"
Raven began to cry as she shook him, "No… No! You've survived worse than this! You'll be fine, I know you will!"
"My body might… but this tainted old soul… is going to be put to rest. Hey, Ra's. I know you're here, come out, I wanted to tell you something"
The old man made his presence known from behind a very large wall, "Yes, Nicholas?"
"I did want to kill you… back when you helped me fix the situation with my heart. I was going to take the information and be done with you, until you told me about what you wanted… could you tell me again?"
"... I wanted you to lead a life that was beyond my control. I wanted you to follow your dreams, because you would soar far beyond the limit horizon I could ever provide you. And that I loved you like a son I never had"
"You said you loved me... I was so confused... that little sentence changed my mind about killing you. A force that could change my mind... I wanted to use it to change the world... so I tried to study how to use it, but I never understood... then I met Raven", he looked up at her, "...Thank god for that..."
Raven cradled his head, her warm tears falling down onto his face, "Please... please don't leave me... just don't die... take all my stupid, angelic powers, just live, dammit!"
"... Ha... ha ha... it's so funny... I lived for so long, trapped in the darkness... now here I am... going into the light... no more pain... my mind clear of all those terrible thoughts... and I would give anything to get that darkness back..."
Raven gave way to a broken smile, "Stupid irony... damn I hate it all..."
Rock smiled as his eyes started to close, "...Maybe we can meet up in Heaven..."
Once they had shut, Raven sniffled, "... Why...?"
"Because we're supposed to go together", Raven looked up to see the little girl with an innocent smile, "Come on, miss Raven! You me and Daddy need to go see god!"
Lucy grabbed her father's hand and then grabbed Raven's hand. Raven was shocked, "L-Lucy..."
Lucy smiled, "Hey, God! Daddy's all done here! Can me and miss Raven go with him to see you?!"
Everyone stared, wondering how such a sweet girl could be so oblivious...
At least until the beam of light flashed before them and the three people were never seen again.
Several months later, Bruce was looking over the video footage again. The odds of lightning having struck their bodies at exactly that moment was lower than one in forty seven billion. The odds the lightning would cause their bodies to disintegrate were even lower.
Alfred smiled, "I thought you believed in miracles, master Wayne"
"I also believe in logic and realism", Bruce countered.
"You can't believe in both, Bruce, otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy"
Bruce turned to see that there was nobody there, then looked to Alfred, "..."
"Faith is something that completely defies logic. Just like love"
Bruce smiled, "Everything is logical, it just depends on the mind behind it"
"Good luck, Bruce, the best angel fell from Heaven because he couldn't agree with god's plan and he tried to defy it"
"It's difficult to argue a religious point with logic"
"Ugh... religious people make the Joker look sane"
"... I did make the Joker sane. Either that, or you've just lost your mind"
"See you later, Bruce, don't work too hard"
"It's Nicholas, remember? I'm thinking about becoming a saint"
"You've already proved you can go around the world in one night"
"... Did you just crack a joke?"
"Gotta have miracles at some point"
"You know, you remind me of another dark knight I used to know"
"Let me guess, he's still on duty?"
"He's just glad people like you make his life a little easier by endlessly handing out second chances"
"We can't all be angels"
"Goodbye, Bruce, Alfred"
Alfred smiled, "Good day, Nicholas"