Actions

Work Header

Family Reunion

Chapter Text

Chapter 22

Batcave; September 23rd, 20:03 EST

Diana quickly descended into the secret domain of the Batclan beneath the stately Wayne Manor, the sound of heated conversation almost instantly reaching her ears. She quickly flew the rest of the way to the platform, anxious to find out what was going on and with any luck put a stop to it.

She couldn’t imagine them arguing already. Bruce hadn’t recovered enough of his memories and yet he was still Bruce at heart. He was argumentative and stubborn even on a good day, frustrating to no end. She just hoped that she could calm everyone down so they could talk through whatever they were arguing about.

“You can’t stop me, Dick,” Bruce insisted. “I’m going whether you like it or not.”

“I just don’t think it’s a good idea,” Dick heatedly countered. “It’s too dangerous out there. You don’t have your memories back yet.”

“I’m with Dick,” Jason added with a frown. “It’s not safe for you to be out there. You don’t remember anything about Gotham let alone the Joker and what he’s truly capable of. You could end up becoming his captive and then we’d have to rescue you.”

“Look, I was able to handle myself just fine in the Underworld and on Themyscira against Ra’s,” Bruce angrily countered. “I can handle myself in Gotham.”

Dick released a frustrated breath, his arms folding defiantly against his chest as he stood shoulder to shoulder with Jason and presenting a united front. “We know you want to be out there to help, but—”

“If this involves Diana, then you’re damn right I want to be there to stop it,” Bruce ground out, unwilling to back down. “This Joker is after Diana and I’m not going to just stand by and let him get his hands on her.”

Everyone grew quiet as Diana landed silently on the edge of the platform, the oppressive tension in the cave nearly stifling. It appeared to be Bruce against Dick and Jason with Artemis, Tim and Damian landing somewhere in the middle. Their opinions on the matter had obviously not been voiced yet.

“I was finally able to get Kaia and Nicholas down,” Diana announced as she cautiously approached the group. “I think they’re finally feeling a little more secure. It seemed to help being able to spend the whole day with us.”

“That’s good,” Bruce stiffly replied with a nod, the tension running beneath his skin obvious in his rigid posture and the stubborn set of his jaw.

“So, what’s the plan for tonight?” she asked as she moved to stand beside her husband, hoping that her close proximity would help settle him a little bit. “I take it we’re going after Joker.”

Bruce felt her hand come to rest low on his back, his shoulders relaxing minutely with her warm touch. “Tell her, Dick,” Bruce bit out as he stared him down, obviously disagreeing with the decisions that had been made.

Dick knew that Diana had to have heard them arguing. He also knew that if anyone could get Bruce to stay home it would definitely be her. She’d always had a way about her that Bruce seemed to respond to…actually the whole family responded to. She was the glue that held this family together, the heart and the peacemaker. If anyone could settle this, it was going to be her.

“We’re going after Joker tonight,” Dick revealed. “I think it would be best if Bruce sat this one out…at least until he recovered more of his memories. Jason agrees with me.”

“I see,” Diana replied, her gaze falling on the other three silently sitting to the side. “And what do the three of you think?”

“I saw how well he fought in the Underworld,” Artemis told her. “I have no problem with him coming along.”

“I think he should stay back in the cave,” Damian stated. “He just got back home. We can’t afford to lose him now over something that we can handle on our own.”

“I think if Bruce can handle himself in the Underworld, he can help us take on the Joker,” Tim said. “Besides, we’ll all be there if he runs into any kind of trouble.”

“So, it’s three against me and two for me,” Bruce bluntly stated, eyeing Dick and Jason in a silent challenge.

“We’re not against you, Bruce,” Dick replied, shaking his head in exasperation. “We’re just worried about something happening to you again. We just got you back. We don’t want to lose you again.”

“Nicholas and Kaia are still having a tough time understanding that you’re not going to leave,” Jason pointed out. “I don’t want to see them hurt again.”

Bruce’s lips thinned into a disapproving frown. “I don’t want to hurt them or any of you, but I also can’t just sit by and do nothing knowing that Diana is being threatened.”

“We will stop Joker and keep him from getting Diana,” Dick promised him. “We care about her too, Bruce. We don’t want anything to happen to either of you.”

“Hey, can I say something here?” Diana piped up.

“I guess so since you’re pretty much at the center of the argument,” Jason quipped as he moved to lean against the edge of the desk, his legs stretched out before him.

“First of all, I can take care of myself,” Diana stated in no uncertain terms. “I don’t need any of you risking your lives to protect me. Joker doesn’t even know that Batwoman is actually Wonder Woman, so he’ll be in for a big surprise if he does try anything.”

“But you can’t risk revealing that you’re Wonder Woman,” Dick pointed out. “It could jeopardize everyone’s identity.”

“I don’t intend to ever do that, but I’m far more durable then Joker knows,” she continued. “Second, I think Bruce should be allowed to go tonight. He may not have his memories, but he still possesses his skills. His muscle memory is still very much intact. He’ll know what to do when the time comes even if he doesn’t remember Joker.”

Everyone considered what Diana had just said, knowing that there was no way that they were going to keep Bruce from going tonight now that Diana was on his side. Dick rubbed the back of his neck as he released a heavy sigh, knowing this was happening whether he liked it or not…and he definitely hated it.

“Fine…you can go, but I’m in charge of this mission,” Dick told him, his voice broking no room for argument. “You leave Joker to us.”

Bruce bit the inside of his cheek, doing his best to keep a tight hold on his anger. He didn’t appreciate being treated like some child or a weak link on this team. At the same time, he knew that he was going to have to swallow his pride and accept Dick’s terms if he wanted to help take the Joker down. He needed to do this for Diana.

He had every right to go on this mission and protect his wife. Hadn’t he been the one who had created this whole set up?

“Fine,” Bruce finally bit out, clearly unhappy with the stipulations.

Diana rubbed his back, doing her best to assuage his anger as well as his pride. She knew this had to be very difficult for him. “Let’s get suited up and then Dick can lay out his plan,” she said. “Come…I’ll show you where to get your uniform.”

Diana led Bruce down the platform steps, knowing that her sons needed some time to talk things through now that their father was going along. She appreciated their concern for him, but she wasn’t about to let anything happen to him now that he was safely back where he belonged. Joker would have to get through her to get anywhere near Batman.

Tim watched as Diana took Bruce to where the uniforms were kept, knowing that she was giving them a chance to adjust their plans. “It’s going to be fine,” Tim attempted to reassure them. “We’ll get Joker and put an end to it tonight.”

“You know that Diana won’t let Bruce wander more than ten feet away from her,” Artemis reminded them.

“It wouldn’t hurt for you to stay close to him too,” Jason told her. “You know that Bruce is ultimately Joker’s target in all of this. I don’t want to take any more chances with his life.”

“Aww, you do care,” Tim teased, elbowing him in the ribs.

Jason glared at him as he rubbed his side, giving him a dirty look. “Yah…so,” he grumbled. “I do have a heart. I care about this family too.”

Tim wiped away a fake tear. “It’s good to know you love us,” he told him. “I was beginning to wonder if you even had a heart.”

Jason put Tim in a headlock only for Tim to wiggle out of it with a mocking laugh. “All right, you two!” Artemis intervened, moving in to separate them. “You’re worse than Nicholas and Kaia.”

“We’re just goofing off,” Jason insisted, reaching behind Artemis to punch his brother in the shoulder.

“Hey, we need to make sure this plan is solid and goes off without a hitch,” Dick announced. “We can’t afford any distractions or to let anything happen to Bruce or Diana.”

“Agreed,” Tim said, flicking the back of Jason’s ear with his forefinger.

“Children,” Damian muttered with a huff as he began to walk across the platform to get changed.

“Just wait,” Jason called after him. “I’ll take you down next.”

“Like you could!” Damian shot back as he descended the stairs, forced to run down them when Jason and Tim began chasing after him.

“When will you boys ever grow up?” Artemis asked.

“What? I didn’t do anything,” Dick maintained. “I’m completely innocent.”

“This time,” she reminded him as she too headed towards the platform stairs. “You’re usually right in the middle of it.”

Dick just shook his head, a wry smile on his lips. He just hoped and prayed that everything went according to plan, and the Joker was safely locked way when all was said and done. He’d never be able to live with himself if any of his family didn’t return home safely tonight.

Gotham; September 23rd, 21:56 EST

Damian clenched his teeth as he tightened his hold on his partner’s waist. He still wasn’t certain how he’d ended up being the one to ride on the back of a Batcycle instead of riding in the Batmobile. His father’s return had ousted him from his prime position in the passenger seat of the sleek black car, forcing him to ride on the back of a cycle watching as his short life flashed before his eyes.

His partner patted his hands clasped tightly together in front in an attempt to reassure him that he was safe. Unfortunately, it did little to help calm his racing heart. “You know I could ride my own bike!” he yelled over the roar of the cycle.

“Are you scared?”

“Terrified!”

Batwoman chuckled with her partner’s confession. “You’re perfectly safe,” she reassured him. “You know that I would never let anything happen to you.”

“Yah, but you’re more durable than I am,” he groused. “We crash, and you’ll still live. I’ll die.”

“I would protect you with my life,” she promised him. “Besides, it’s best for Batman to spend some time with Nightwing. Hopefully being in the Batmobile will help awaken some memories for him.”

“Fine, but next time I want my own cycle.”

Diana just smiled with her stepson’s grumblings. She hoped to spend some time with him once this was all over, allowing them to get to know each other. While she didn’t want to replace his mother, she really wanted them to have a good relationship. She just hoped he’d be willing to meet her halfway as friends.

Watching the Batmobile in front of them, she couldn’t help wondering how her husband and eldest son were doing.

XXX

“I hope you know that the only reason that I didn’t want you coming along tonight is because I’m worried about your safety,” Nightwing said. “We just got you back, Bruce. I don’t want to risk losing you again.”

“I appreciate that, but I have to do this for her,” Bruce insisted with all the conviction that he felt teeming inside of him. “She risked everything to save me…nearly died just to bring me back home to my family. I can’t just stay behind knowing that there was something I could have done to protect her.”

Nightwing’s lips quirked with his words. Despite not having his memories back, he was still very much Bruce in every way. His love for Diana hadn’t seemed to suffer in the least after everything that he’d been through. Hopefully, it would help him regain what he’d lost.

“I understand,” Dick told him, “and I can’t say that I’m really that surprised. You’ve always been very passionate about Diana and wanting to do whatever it takes to keep her safe.”

“She’s an amazing woman,” he softly confessed. “It’s easy to see why I fell in love with her. I’m just anxious to remember everything about her. Even though I don’t remember her, I know that I need her and I want her in my life.”

“I’m sure J’onn will be able to help you.”

Batman glanced as the passing Gotham scenery as he thought about it, wishing he could remember more. “I need to get up to the Watchtower to meet with him soon. I put it off because I felt that Nick and Kaia needed me, but I don’t want to put it off much longer. I need to get my life back as soon as possible.”

“Is anything coming back to you?”

“Some things seem vaguely familiar,” he admitted, shaking his head as he tried to find the words to best explain what he was experiencing. “It’s like trying to look through frosted glass. I can’t get a clear picture, only hazy images. I feel most connected to Diana. After that, it would be Alfred and all of you. Shayera, Hippolyta, and Artemis are a little more distant. I’m guessing those not closest to me will be the hardest for me to remember.”

“That makes sense,” Dick thoughtfully replied. “We’ll help you get through it.”

“I appreciate that,” he said. “I’m sure none of this has been very easy for any of you either. You’ve all had to put your lives on hold for me and Diana. I mean you’re going to be a father in a few months. I’m sure there are things that you need to do to prepare for your twins.”

“Family always comes first, Bruce,” he reassured him, a grin tugging at his lips. “Besides, Donna and I will have plenty of time to prepare for the twins. How does it feel to know you’re going to be a grandfather?”

Bruce groaned with the idea. “I just recently found out I’m a father,” he replied. “It’s a little staggering to find out I’m also going to be a grandfather.”

“If it’s any comfort, you don’t look a day over thirty-seven,” he quipped.

“Thanks,” Bruce responded, enjoying this lighthearted banter with his eldest son. “What can I expect with the Joker?”

Nightwing’s jovial expression vanished in the wake of the reminder of who they were after. “He’s your worst nightmare and your most dangerous enemy. He’s sadistic. He’ll do whatever it takes to break you, not just physically but mentally. He’s completely obsessed with you. That’s why he’s targeting Batwoman. He wants to break her, knowing it’ll ultimately break you.”

“Great,” Bruce murmured, drawing a deep breath and releasing it slowly through his parted lips.

“You can’t begin to envision the things that he’s done to you and the people of Gotham over the years,” Wing continued, a scowl forming on his face. “The worst that you could possibly imagine still wouldn’t be anywhere close to it. He killed Jason…nearly beat him to death and then blew up the building he was in.”

“What?” Bruce was more than horrified by the revelation, his voice thick with emotion. “How is he alive if he died?”

“It’s a long story, but Ra’s al Ghul resurrected him by using what’s called a Lazarus Pit,” Dick informed him. “It was one thing that Ra’s actually did that was right. He brought Jason back to us.”

Bruce shook his head, overwhelmed by what he was learning. “I couldn’t stop it…” he muttered. “He died because I must not have been able to save him. I failed him.”

“Bruce, it wasn’t your fault,” Dick adamantly stated. “You carried the blame of his death for so long…even after Jason came back. It was all Joker’s fault. He did it to hurt you.”

Batman’s gauntleted hands curled into fists in his lap, his jaw tight and set like steel. “I failed Jason, but I won’t fail Diana.”

“Oracle to Nightwing.”

Barbara’s voice abruptly filled the Batmobile, interrupting the father-son moment. “I’m here with Batman, O.”

“Batman!” she cried. “I’m so happy that you’re back. I know you don’t remember me, but you have no idea how much you were missed.”

“Thank you, Oracle,” he replied.

“What’s up, O?”

“Turn your little Batmobile around tout suite, Wing,” she told him. “Joker is about to launch a full out war on Arkham in order get Harley back.”

“He’s there?” Wing questioned her as he made a sudden left turn, tires screeching as he raced down the street.

“He was spotted outside of Arkham just a couple of minutes ago,” she revealed. “They’re on full lockdown, but you know that won’t be enough. You better get there fast.”

“We’re on our way,” he told her. “Let Batwoman and Red Robin know.”

“What about Hood?” she asked.

“Tell him to continue on as planned,” he informed her. “We’ll handle Arkham.”

“Got it,” she said. “Be careful. We just got Batman back. Let’s not lose or break anyone else. My heart can’t take it. Oracle out.”

“Well, it looks like you’re about to be thrown right into the fire,” Dick said with a grim frown.

“What’s Arkham?” Batman asked, instinctively reaching out his hand to brace himself against the dash as Dick made a sudden, sharp turn.

“Arkham Asylum is where the criminally insane are held,” he explained as he raced through Gotham. “If Joker is trying to break Harley out, we could have a huge nightmare on our hands if other criminals take the opportunity to break out too.”

“That’s not good,” Batman stated.

“No, it’s not,” Dick agreed. “The worst of the worst are locked up in there like Killer Croc and Poison Ivy.”

“Guess I’m going to get a crash course in Gotham’s criminology.”

“In the worst possible way,” he added. “Just don’t let on that you don’t have your memories. It’ll just make things that much worse.”

“I wasn’t planning on broadcasting it to anyone outside of the family circle,” Batman sarcastically snapped. “I may not have my memories, but I’m not stupid.”

Dick smirked to himself. He was still most definitely Bruce despite the memory loss. It made him feel a little more at ease about him being out in the field with them against Joker and whoever else decided to take advantage of Harley’s breakout.

Arkham Asylum; September 23rd, 22:36 EST

“Alright, boys!” Joker yelled, rubbing his hands together. “Let’s get Harley out of there.”

“Do you want to do the honors, boss?” Joker’s henchman asked.

“Of course,” he stated, pushing him out of the way. “It is my girlfriend we’re about to breakout. I should be the one to spearhead this rescue even if it is her fault for getting caught. I’m going to make sure she knows the stress she caused me by getting captured and interrupting my plans.”

Putting his hands on the trigger, Joker threw his head back, a loud cackle escaping as he pushed down on it. The outer wall surrounding Arkham Asylum blew up, bits of brick and mortar flying in all directions. Joker coughed, using his hand to try to wave away the smoke that filled the air.

“You want us to go get her, boss?”

“No, I think this would be a great job for Firefly,” Joker readily decided, turning his attention to the arsonist villain standing behind him. “Firefly! Go get Harley!”

“No problem,” Firefly said with a smirk as he began to make his way towards the gaping hole in the side of Arkham.

Security guards began to appear from the hole in the wall only to be met by blasts of pure fire. They ducked out of the way, firing their weapons but to no avail. Joker’s gang readily returned fire, keeping the guards at bay and allowing Firefly the opening he needed to get inside.

Joker cackled with glee, more than anxious to see how well Firefly accomplished his mission. With any luck, he’d be able to try out his newest mind controlling drug on Batwoman, Mayor Hill, and Commissioner Gordon. The possibilities were endless. Pretty soon, he’d be able to gain control of the whole world.

The chaos that he would be able to create would be infinite, the possibilities endless. He could hardly contain himself as an unending string of ideas raced through his mind. Batman wouldn’t be able to stop any of it or be handle it knowing that Batwoman was responsible for some of it.

The entire Justice League would be handcuffed by the mayhem that he created, unable to stop it. They’d be running from one place to the next without a single clue about what was happening or why and he would be at the very heart of all of it.

“Ut-oh!” Joker said with glee. “Looks like we have company, boys! Guess I get my favorite guinea pig sooner than I’d planned!”

The Batmobile screeched to a halt, Batman and Nightwing exiting before the dust even had time to settle. They both drew their weapons as they raced to stop Joker’s gang who were already moving to intercept them before they could anywhere near Arkham or Joker.

“Batsy! You’re alive!” Joker cried, clasping his hands together. “I knew you would never leave me!”

“You’re always on my mind,” Batman growled as he threw a Batarang right at Joker’s head.

The clown ducked just in time, the Batarang hitting one of his henchmen. “Still haven’t lost your edge,” Joker commented.

Nightwing maneuvered closer to Batman, not wanting to let him out of his sight as Batwoman and Robin arrived on the scene to join the fray. It was an all-out war as Joker’s gang took on the Bat family, Joker excitedly watching it all unfold with rapt attention.

The roar of a Batcycle caused several of the henchmen to scatter as Red Robin raced right through the melee, unleashing several Batarangs and giving his partners the upper hand. He leapt from his bike, stalking straight towards Joker with fierce determination in his every step. He wanted to end this tonight.

Joker nearly bounced on his heels with excitement. “We almost have the whole gang assembled. We just need that wild card Red Hood to show up and the Bat family will be complete.”

“He’s tied up at the moment,” Red Robin told him. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to deal with us instead.”

“No matter,” Joker said with a shrug, clearly unintimidated by Red Robin’s appearance. “He’s not the one that I want anyway. I’m more interested in Batsy’s girlfriend.”

Batman fought against the overwhelming urge to lunge at the psychotic clown, knowing he was only trying to provoke him into making a move. He wasn’t about to do anything to jeopardize this mission or put Diana’s life even more at risk with a knee-jerk reaction.

He kept his expression emotionless as he fought to get closer to Joker. Unfortunately, his gang had other ideas as they moved to intercept him as well as the others. He risked a glance at Batwoman who was holding her own against three thugs, matching them blow for blow with expert skill.

Damian and Nightwing were in the same situation, each taking on a handful of gang members. They were doing an impressive job of holding their own, but every time they took one out, they were replaced by two more. There seemed to be an endless stream of thugs that refused to give up.

Batwoman looked up in time to see Poison Ivy climbing through the hole over fallen bricks and mortar. Adding a little more strength to her punch, Diana finished off her opponent before racing to intercept the red-headed plant lover. She wasn’t about to let her unleash her pheromones on her husband or her sons.

“Ah! The mysterious Batwoman,” Poison Ivy practically cooed, her green eyes gleaming brightly. “I’ve heard so much about you. I hear that you’re just as good as your boyfriend.”

“I guess some rumors are true,” Batwoman quipped as she began to circle her prey. She surreptiously reached for a Batarang beneath her cape, readily deciding that sometimes a cape did come in rather handy.

“We’ll just see about that,” Ivy taunted her as she raised her hands, plants growing around her like her own private jungle.

Vines as wide as tree trunks broke through the ground, one of them reaching out with lightning speed to wrap Batwoman up like a mummy, lifting her up off the ground. Diana struggled against the fierce grasp the vine had on her, finding that the plant tightened its grip on her the more she struggled against it.

It was beginning to crush her, the ability to draw air becoming next to impossible. It also didn’t help that the vine had completely covered her face in an effort to suffocate her. She twisted and writhed against its hold, refusing to give in to the pain that was building inside of her. She felt as though her head was about to explode, her lungs burning with a desperate need for oxygen.

She could hear the muffled cries of her name, but it was growing more distant by the second. She hoped they weren’t trying to rescue her. They needed to focus on stopping Joker and keeping any more inmates from escaping Arkham, not worrying about her.

Just as unconscious began to creep along the periphery of her mind, she felt the vine beginning to loosen a little. It allowed her to momentarily expand her lungs, the pressure in her head subsiding slightly. She wasn’t home free yet, but it had bought her a momentary reprieve.

She calmed herself, focusing her mind as she gritted her teeth. She felt a little more loosening of the deadly vine again, her fury building as time seemed to screech to a halt. She fought against the urge to use her meta strength to escape, knowing that she was going to have to find a different way out of this or risk revealing her family’s secret identities.

At that moment, the vine abruptly fell away, causing her to drop to the ground on all fours. She gasped for air, her muscles trembling from the strain placed on them. A hand came to rest against her back, rubbing it in an effort to comfort her.

“Diana,” Batman whispered her name close to her ear as he crouched beside her. “Are you all right?”

“I’m fine,” she breathlessly replied. “Just stop…Joker and Ivy.”

Batman straightened up, rage building inside of him as he set his sights on Poison Ivy. Without a second thought, he drew an electrified bola, throwing it with an almost imperceptible flick of his wrist. Facing off against Robin, Ivy didn’t notice the bola until it was too late, wrapping around her and dropping her with an electrifying cry of pain.

Firefly emerged from Arkham with Harley Quinn who appeared none too happy with being rescued. “Let go of me!” she screeched, jerking her arm free of Firefly’s hold on her.

“Harls!” Joker yelled. “Let’s go!”

“I’m not going anywhere with you!” she insisted, turning on her heel to walk back into Arkham. “I’d rather be locked up in here than go anywhere with you.”

“Firefly! Stop Batman and his partners!” Joker angrily ordered, turning his attention to his girlfriend. He grabbed her by the arm, keeping her from walking away from him. “Harley, I came after you because you belong with me.”

“Oh, puddin,” she cooed with a dreamy smile.

Firefly’s lips spread into a wicked grin as he turned his focus on Batman. “It would be my pleasure to destroy them,” he bit out as he raised his arms, directing a blast of fire directly at the Dark Knight.

Batman instinctively lifted his cape, hoping that it would help. He felt something brush past him as he ducked, feeling a blast of heat, but nothing more. Something seemed to be protecting him from the intense fire intent on turning him into nothing but a pile of ash.

Feeling the heat subside, he cautiously straightened up, peering out from behind his cape to find his wife standing in front of him taking the brunt of the powerful blast. He immediately reached out for her as she moved out from behind her own cape. Not a single hair had been singed, not one part of her burned.

“Hades,” she simply stated, her lips quirking in response to the unspoken question that danced on his tongue waiting to be asked.

He smirked at her before both flew into action to stop Firefly while Nightwing, Robin, and Red Robin went after Joker and Harley Quinn. Bruce wanted nothing more than to go after Joker himself, but he’d made a promise to let Dick lead the mission including facing off against Joker. He wouldn’t go back on his word nor would he compromise the trust they had placed in him by letting him come out with them tonight.

He watched as his wife attacked an enormous villain who appeared through the gaping hole of the wall. He was half man, half reptile…obviously the criminal that Dick had called Killer Croc. Diana fought with a fierce vengeance, unleashing her anger on the poor villain who didn’t stand a chance against the furious Batwoman. He had considered joining in to help her, but she seemed to have it well in hand, leaving him to take on more of Joker’s gang.

Batman moved with a stealthy skill that had been instilled in him through years of training and endless conditioning of his body. He swung his fist with precision, delivering the maximum amount of necessary strength without being lethal. He ducked low as he avoided a punch, coming up with a right hook that nearly shattered the thug’s teeth and taking him out.

Turning, he spotted the Joker drawing a gun, pointing it directly at Robin. Without a second thought, he threw a Batarang, knocking the gun out Joker’s hand just as he fired it. Robin fell to the ground, Batman’s chest clenching with pure fear.

Batman ran straight for his son as Firefly unleashed another stream of fire, forcing Nightwing to duck for cover. Red Robin raced towards Harley, trying to get her away from Joker only for her to retaliate. “Don’t even think about it, Red!” she seethed, kicking him in the gut.

He doubled over, grabbing her ankle at the last second and flinging her backwards. She tucked and rolled, coming up on all fours like a panther. She smirked deviously at him, using her forefinger to beckon him to come get her.

Harley ran straight towards Red Robin, grabbing hold of a low tree branch. She used it to somersault herself towards her prey, wrapping her legs around his neck and nearly knocking him to the ground. He staggered backwards as she tightened her hold on his neck, making it more than difficult to breathe.

He clawed at her thighs, trying to get her to release her hold him. His vision tunneled as he gasped for air, desperate to force her to let go. He couldn’t lose consciousness. He needed to stop her…stop Joker before they escaped or got their hands on his mom.

A blinding pain erupted in the back of his head, making his whole world suddenly go black. “Hey! I had him,” Harley yelled as she stood to her feet.

“It was taking entirely too long,” Joker stated, waving his gun in the air. “Bring him, Firefly! We’re getting out of here…now!”

“What about Batwoman?” Firefly asked as he threw Red Robin over his shoulder.

“Change of plans,” Joker ultimately decided with a wicked cackle of glee. “Time to take what we can get and flee.”

“No!” Nightwing yelled as he began to chase after them, desperate to get Tim back only to be brought short by KGBeast who had just escaped from Arkham.

“Where are you going, Wing?”

With a growl of fury, Nightwing glanced past KGBeast, watching as Joker, Harley Quinn, and Firefly disappeared into the night with his brother. His worst fears about this mission had just become a reality. He lost his partner and brother.