After Superman transported Batman to the cave, with Robin and a girl wearing a domino mask already there, they waited for Dr Fate to arrive. Zatanna was full of nerves. She didn't want to face her father's possesed body. It had been three months since he had given himself to Nabu, for her.
Robin walked over and put his arm around her, in a comforting way. Zatanna returned the smile and reminded herself of what would happen if she didn't go through with it. Right now, Klarion only seemed to be taregting Robin, but once he was finished, he'd go after everyone else.
Doctor Fate finally arrived and Zatanna felt weak, even though she could only see the blue ring of his eyes.
"Dad" She accidently whispered.
Nabu turned toward her, his eyes portraying no emotion. Secretly, he did feel a little sorry for the girl, he had taken her father away. But the world needed Dr Fate and Zatara had been the perfect candidate.
"Where?" He asked the simple question.
"This way" Robin instructed, the small group following him.
Batman was awake and his evil smile returned when he saw Robin.
"Haven't you learnt your lesson yet? Everytime you come near me, you get hurt"
Dick stepped back, flinching at the words and memories. Zatanna turned and her need to succeed grew when she saw the fear he was trying to contain. She turned toward Dr Fate and asked for the spell. They discussed the process while 'Batman' continued to taunt his son. Barbara hugged Dick and sent a glare at Bruce, which had no affect. Once Nabu and Zatanna finished their conversation they started the spell to 'cure' Batman.
"Hsinab eht nomed morf siht lous" They chanted in sync.
Blue and red light mixed together to make a vibrant purple cage around Batman.
"Hey, what are you doing!? Stop it! You're ruining my fun!" The full amount of Klarion bled through Bruce, letting out one last scream of rage before the light died down and Batman collapsed to the floor.
Zatanna lost her balance and fell forward, being caught by Zatara. She sensed the smile beneath the helmet when she looked up to see the warm, loving eyes of her father, before they returned to the cold, stony eyes of Nabu.
Batman looked up with weary eyes before locking them on his son. He immediately ran out of the unlocked cage door, to pull Dick into a tight embrace.
"I'm sorry, son"
Dick flinched at the contact, but didn't try to pull away. Instead he returned the hug and felt the tears fall from Bruce's eyes.
"I didn't want to hurt you, I tried to keep Klarion from gaining control, but I couldn't. I would never hurt you"
"I know" Dick responded, holding on tighter, despite the pain it caused and felt his own tears stream down.
Bruce could hear the doubt in Dick's voice, but ignored it. They could talk about that in private.
"Are-are you okay?" Batman pulled away to look his son in the eyes.
"Considering you almost killed me, not really" Dick let out a brief laugh.
'Least he can still laugh'
"I'm so, so sorry" Bruce hugged him again.
This time, Dick knew that Klarion was gone and Bruce was Bruce again. To the surprise of everyone, Robin completely broke down. He fell to his knees and buried his head into Batman's chest, hot tears pouring down his face.
Batman pulled his little bird in closer "It's alright. I won't hurt you, ever"
"Good" Dick chuckled through the tears "I don't think I'd survive one of your batty-beat ups again"
Bruce smiled at the innocent, childish sounding name for him violently attacking criminals "Batty-beat up?"
"Yeah, that's what I'm calling it. If you don't approve, you'll just have to deal with it"
Everybody watched, partially in disbelief and waited for Batman to reply to that.
"I can live with that" He suddenly laughed "Just thinking about how the criminals would react to hearing that" He explained to the confused faces.
Everyone, excluding Nabu, laughed at the thought themselves. Another joined in. Zatanna stopped abruptly and turned to Doctor Fate.
"Dad?" She asked, in shock.
"For the moment" Zatara replied in his accent, removing the helmet so his daughter could see his full face.
Zatanna attached herself to her father "I missed you"
"I missed you too"
"But you can't stay?"
"No" Zatara pulled out "I'm sorry"
"Please, don't go. I want you to stay"
"I don't want to go, but I made a promise" He looked at his daughter, with heavily saddened eyes "I love you" He whispered before putting the helmet back on.
"I love you" She whispered back before letting go.
The others watched with sadness before Batman and Robin stood back up.
"We should go" Batman spoke.
Zatanna nodded and watched the trio leave. Nabu turned toward her.
"Be safe" Came the simple words, before he flew out.