Jason was never fond of Gordon. He supposed it was the dislike of cops ingrained in his mind during his early years on the streets. He wasn't the worst when it came to police. After Bruce took his second ward in, Jim Gordon occasionally turned a blind eye to the more simple shenanigans. Jason thought he was nice, but in the same way Dick was: too cheery and too goody-goody.

Tim, on the other hand, admired the commissioner in the way of idolism. He was one of the best cops—and detectives—in all of Gotham. To Tim, he was a celebrity. Jim was flattered, and once called Tim his one-man-fan club. Damian felt rather indifferent; he was unimpressed with a civilian like Gordon's skills.

When Dick disappeared after asking his brothers to trail Gordon, you could imagine what happened.

It was a long three hours, that's all Jason will say about it. Three long, long hours.

And it only got longer as he stared up the sone steps at the GCPD. He'd seen this place far too many times, most of which were through struggling policemen carrying a seething and squirming child their through the large doors. Jason straightened his shoulders a bit. The cement wasn't as chipped, the paint was about fifty shades whiter, and it didn't house that feeling of corrupt. If Jason squinted, he could almost pretend he was anywhere else in the world but here.

Tim was ahead, nearly stepping on Gordon's heels as he trailed the now detective inside. It was something akin to the love of a celebrity; after time passed, and the person got older and more flawed, your love seemed to dwindle down to a liking of the person, if that. This was the complete opposite, where Tim's fanboy senses were stuck in overdrive.

Damian was still silently stalking their father. Poor Bruce had a look of pure confusion sprawled across his face when he caught Damian staring. He made sure, whether consciously or not, to stick close to his butler's side. Poor sweet, innocent Bruce.

Jason shrugged in his leather jacket, rolling his shoulders and following his messed up family inside.

Like he said before, he'd been in this building far too many times. But he'd never stopped to look at the high sculpted ceiling, or the white marble flooring, or the dark oak wooden walls. He'd been too busy worrying about jail time and social services.

But the doorway probably wasn't the best place to stop. His brothers and their guides were soon lost to him in the bustling of papers, cops, and spitting criminals. In the short time Jason stood in the doorway, he was sent flying.

He wasn't aware of the impact at first. It was only when the confusing swarm of ever moving boots and flying papers caught his sight that he realized his feet had been knocked out from under him. And the grumbling voice beside him.

It sounded apologetic, sure, but annoyed. Jason was annoyed, too, if he was frank.

He was quick to pull himself from the ground. He supposed the nice thing to do would be to help with the paperwork that was sent flying, but the thin man was already bent over the ground. Jason awkwardly watched, unsure whether or not to help; the man was almost done, so what was Jason to do?

"Watch where you stand," the voice muttered. Jason knit his eyebrows together. He'd heard that voice somewhere. God, he knew that voice—where was that voice from? Probably some hotdog vendor or something stupid, but it would drive Jason crazy not knowing the name.

Something glittering at his feet caught his attention: a pair of glasses. Jason stopped to the ground and collected them. "You watch where you're walking," he shot back.

And then he met the face. The high cheekbones, the dark hair, the ridiculing look in his eyes. The man gave a thin frown, plucking the glasses from Jason. Before the shock could wear off, the forensic scientist blended into the crowd.

Damn. That was—

"Hey, Nygma!" Jim shouted from one of the desks on the open second floor, "come over here and help me, would you?"

Jason met Tim's eyes. Sitting next to Jim at the desk, folders spread out before him, he looked just as panicked as Jason felt.

Vaguely he felt his nails digging into his palms. He could kill the Riddler, right here, and right now. Sure, he was surrounded by cops—not the best place for a murder—but imagine all the pain and suffering he could prevent.

For once in his life, Jason realized he could change the future. But was that a good thing? Just because he could, did that mean he should?


Dick sighed. He did it a bit too loudly, he guessed, because Miss Mooney stopped her swaying through the doorway. She took her good merry time turning around, until Dick was staring right at her face. It seemed calm, but he could tell underneath the surface a storm was brewing. That was a face that struck fear.

"Problem?" she asked in a voice so sweet most people would have shut their mouth on the spot.

Fortunately for Dick, this wasn't his first kidnapping. "Yeah, actually. I think you got the wrong guy."

The corner of Fish's mouth twitched upward. With a vague wave at her guards, the men left the room. A chill involuntarily ran through Dick's spine as a voice sang You're alone with her now. No one will hear you scream if you die. This led him to a quick existential crisis—if he died now, would that affect the future? His future? Would nothing be different at all?

"Honey, everyone thinks they're the wrong guy," she drawled, taking a few confident steps towards the cocky hostage.

Dick only grinned. He almost laughed, really. He was positive he was right; he wasn't even born yet. Nobody in all of Gotham could want his head on a silver platter. At least, not yet.

"Yeah. You see, I didn't do anything. Just got into town, actually."

Fish raised an eyebrow casually, the way one might normally react to the statement (minus the whole hostage/crime lord scenario). "Is that so?" she asked innocently. "My supplier doesn't seem to think so."

"Well, you can tell your supplier to stick it up—"

Dick was cut short with a chuckle.

"You've got a lot of fight in you." The statement was short, simple, and factual. Mooney spun on her heel and stalked back to the exit, tossing over her shoulder, "That'll be gone soon, Richard." She didn't stop to see his utterly stunned face, but laughed nonetheless.


'Eeeeyyyyyy! *sweats guiltily*

A/N #1: First thing's first—I'M SO SORRY YOU GUYS! T^T I delayed this a week for writers block, then another for band camp, and another two until before school started, and next thing you know it's been, like, two months. So, sorry for the delay. Camp was pretty much all my waking hours were spent on, and now on top of school I have practice twice a week. And football games on Fridays. And jazz band. And I'm taking an extra course online. :/

A/N #2: After apologizing, comes a humongous thank you! I can't imagine how many people stopped following my stories because I was inactive. Basically, if you're reading this, thanks so much for sticking with me. I promise I'll try harder to update more.

A/N #3: My writing block forced me to think ahead a bit, and I sketched out a bit of a plot line. I estimate this story will be about 20-25 chapters. No more mindless writing—now I have a mystery to sell!

Once again, thanks so much you guys. Not sure when I'll update again, but I will update—at any cost.

Stat awesome, my dudes!

~palmtreedragons