Aug. 2nd, 2013

Aug. 2nd, 2013 12:30 am
daringyoungman: ([Dick] running)
He's trained.

The month of July in Gotham has been one of sweltering, unbearable heat, breaking only for loud and violent thunderstorms, and Dick has spent nearly all of it down in the cave. Training. Learning forensics and psychology and the history and geography of Gotham. Training in Tae Kwon Do and Judo and Bojutsu. Transforming himself from a broken, orphaned aerialist into a fighter, a detective. Someone who can face down the killer of his parents.

Someone who can help the Batman.

Bruce is spending a lot of time training Dick, but he's spending just as much time out, like he always has. The difference this time is twofold: firstly that Dick has suddenly a whole lot to do and work on: reading, calesthenics, or hammering a pell down in the batcave. The second difference is that now Dick knows why Bruce is out. It's not 'business trips,' it's being the Batman.

Without him.

There have been a series of murders in Gotham over the last year. There are a lot of murders in Gotham, but these, Dick knows, are similar to another set of murders that took place last year, one a month. Bruce - Batman - caught the guy responsible for those, but now there's another spate. One a month, on holidays. Batman's been trying to find this murderer, but he's also been out looking for Tony Zucco, who killed Dick's parents.

Dick is at home, in the Batcave, beating a dummy with his stick.

It's not fair.

He's ready.

But Batman doesn't think so. He thinks Dick will get hurt again. He doesn't trust him.

When Dick hits the dummy so hard the head goes rolling across the floor, Alfred remarks dryly that it'll be coming out of his allowance. And he goes on to explain that Batman is just training Dick to seek justice when he finds Zucco. And nothing else.

But then, when they find him, then what will happen?

What is the point of all this?

Before Dick can ask, the door to the cave opens and Batman's silhouette appears against the light. "It's time."

It is late at night. Past midnight, even. But Dick's always worked late with the circus and since the Fourth he's spent more and more time waiting up as long as possible to when Batman gets home, fighting Alfred for a later and later bedtime. As he and Batman make their way to a place called the Ox Club, he isn't even tired. He's so pumped up, he can hardly keep still as he waits outside on Batman's order. He makes himself be still, though. Still and focused as he's been trained.

Dick waits on the roof, above the door to the building. Inside the club he hears gunshots, but he knows that Batman wears bulletproof armor. Bullets can't hurt him. Gunshots fired means that Zucco is running scared. Gunshots that grow progressively louder mean that he's running up towards Dick. And then he can hear his footsteps on the stairs mean he's running up to the roof, just as Bruce said he would.

And then the door flies open, spilling light over the roof, pooling around the shadow of a fat man: the man who killed Dick's parents. He smells of sweat and wine and gunsmoke, and he's panting heavily, out of breath from the run. He is, in that moment, the most disgusting thing Dick has ever encountered.

The murderer has a gun in his hand, and as taught, Dick goes for that first, using his staff to send it flying across the roof. then he throws himself off the ledge he's been squatting on, putting his weight onto the staff as it connects with Zucco's balding head.

"You can't run away, fat man."

But then the guy's breath catches sharply and he falls, clutching his chest.

"Can't breathe..."

Dick towers over him, holding his staff threateningly. "You're fakin' it. Get up!"

But then Batman is behind him, pushing him gently aside as he takes his place over the killer. "There's an ambulance coming."

He's not faking it. He's lying on the ground, spilling his guts out to Batman in a hoarse whisper, scared and pathetic and begging - begging for them to save him.

Dick listens as he tells Batman that he and the Maroni brothers pulled last years Arkham break, grasping on to the info as Batman has told him to, but not processing any of it yet. He watches as Batman pulls away from the man to give him space, but ends up giving Dick a better view of the man.

Dick watches him die.

He thought he wanted this.

It turns out he didn't.


daringyoungman: (Default)
Dick Grayson

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