daringyoungman: ([Dick] hanging)
Dick Grayson ([personal profile] daringyoungman) wrote2013-09-02 08:00 pm
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Had Dick the choice, Tony Zucco would still be alive. Arrested and facing justice for his parents' murder, but alive. And he definitely wouldn't have died in front of Dick, and it wouldn't be something Dick blamed himself for.

But even though that happened, thingns are better for Dick now. A weight has been lifted since Zucco's death, and he's now free to have his own run of the Manor and the Batcave.

(Bruce keeps telling Dick not to call it that. Dick loves the name and is sticking with it.)

He's been training, sometimes with Bruce, sometimes on his own. Even thouhg he doesn't have a murderer to track down, he's training because he needs something to do. And the more he sees of Batman, the more he obsesses with that mission.

He can help, he knows it.

Bruce has been tracking a killers for nearly a year. A series of murders coinciding with major holidays, and each time a note left at the scene - some sort of sick play on the game of Hangman.

"Maybe I could help," Dick says.

"Master Dick," Alfred cuts in on Bruce's request, "perhaps your time would be better spent with your studies or..."

"I'm serious. Look, we used to play games like this on the road all the time. Dots. Tic-Tac-toe. Hangman."

Bruce leans down to Dick's level, looming large and close. "This isn't a game."


N-NE -F Y-- -RE S-FE
TW- C-- PL-Y T--S G-M-
KN--S -F Y--'VE BEEN B-- -OR G---

None of you are safe. Two can play that game. Knows if you've been bad or good. And Justice for All. Guilty as sin.

There was another lot of killings last year, also tied to holidays. But Batman caught that guy. Alberto Falcone, a member of a mob family in Gotham. There's a projection of the powerful players in that empire on a large screen in the cave. Sofia Falcone, Mario Falcone, Alberto Falcone, Lucia Viti, Umberto Maroni, Pino Maroni, Tony Zucco, Edward Skeevers, Bobby Gazzo.

- J-RY -F Y--R -EERS
AN -Y- FO- AN -Y-

A Jury of your peers. Murder in the first degree. Order in the court. Justice is blind. An eye for an eye.

None of you are...

"Um," Dick says after a minute of silent thinking. "Hey. Just listen for two seconds, okay? You see this first note? 'None of you are safe?' What if it's supposed to read 'Nine of you are safe.' Y'know, like a message -not a clue."

Bruce looks at the nine faces on the screen. Alfred looks at Bruce.

"Huh? Huh?" Dick insists. "What do you think?"

"I have to go."

Bruce leaves the cave almost immediately, which Dick assumes means he thinks he was on to something. He helped. Dick helped him.

He lets Alfred hurry him off to bed, but he grabs only a few hours before he's back in the cave again before dawn, practising his acrobatics, and thinking about how he can continue to be useful.

Maybe he could have a costume too, and fight alongside Batman? Like 'Bat-boy,' 'Bat-Mite.' 'Batty.' 'Spooky.'

Because he's up before dawn, he's in the cave when Bruce returns, head down, not a word to either Dick nor Alfred except to have the costume cleaned by tonight. It looks like it was a long night for Batman."

"I could help him," Dick complains to Alfred, "if he'd just ask me."

"Yes, I imagine you could. But I am quite certain he never will ask, Dick."

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