This seems like a neat story to start off this little booklet of my drabbles. It's also one of the first stories I've finished in months because yes, I am one of those authors. Honestly this'll probably get updated once a decade, but enjoy this story nevertheless! Contains, well, torture. Dick's getting' tortured. I had fun with it, hope you do too.


Dick didn't know how he got himself into these situations anymore. One minute he's just checking out a bomb threat as Nightwing and considering whether to have pizza or ice cream for dinner, and the next he can't see a thing and has absolutely no clue where he is.

Funny how things work out, huh?

A noise caught him off guard, something like false nails tapping on wood. Or water droplets hitting cement. Or the beat to a really dull song. It was hard to tell the differences between such things sometimes, especially when waking up in darkened and random rooms, an all too common occurrence for Dick. Sadly, it was almost never for a good reason anymore.

Another sound started, something dragging on something. Something metal, maybe? Like the sound of a saw's blade scraping along stone. A dull, irregular scratch that made him uneasy.

He parted his lips, finding it better to breathe that way.

Was someone even with him? There were random sounds happening around him, but nothing distinctly human. Anything could be anything.

For all he knew he was in a coffin sinking to the bottom of Atlantis, and he was hearing wood hit rocks, or nosy fish pecking at his roomy death-bed.

Which was probably the exact reason he wasn't in a coffin. There was way too much space, that he could feel for sure. Along with the restraints keeping him in place. Oh, those he could definitely feel. They were way too tight, far too good at their job. His wrists, biceps, chest, waist, thighs, shins, ankles, neck.

Call him crazy, but it gave him the idea someone didn't want him moving about.

A jangling of metal off to the left made Dick's eyes flick towards the sudden noise, even though he knew he wouldn't be able to see anything.

This sucked.

Someone had to be here, right? Why go to the trouble of kidnapping and tying someone down like this, just to leave them alone? Was he just being kept here so he wouldn't get in the way? Was he being left to die?

Dick's breaths deepened and he closed his eyes. Which had of course been open the entire time. Just because he was blindfolded, didn't mean he had to give up trying to see. Only now he didn't want to. Right now, battling the fear building up around his heart, he wanted to block reality right out.

But he couldn't. He could hear more things than before. Jangles, whirrs, scrapes, taps, the slight rushing of air, his own breaths, his bindings when he tried to pull against them, creaking, stepping, the skittering of rats, c-... Stepping?

Dick turned his head in the direction it was, or had, come from. He thought he could sense another person nearby, but at this point he knew it could just be straight up paranoia. God he hated being unable to see.

"I'm just going to come right out and say it now, my safe word is stop right there. I mean, this all feels a little too kinky for my liking so I just thought you should know. I don't gather that you care very much, since you never asked in the first place. Unless you're just cripplingly shy? Would explain the ominous silence, and the blindfold. Don't worry, we're in a safe place here, I think, so why don't you untie me and we can have a nice little chat about your mental affliction? I've become pretty good at impromptu psychiatry over the years, ya know"

And, nothing. No inclination towards any sign of life. Except maybe rats, or bats. Not the kind of bats Dick wanted.

"Being shy can happen to the best of us, it's alright to talk about it" God, if he was just talking to air, "You think I was always confident enough to talk like this to a stranger who's face I couldn't even see?" Dick waited a few seconds, praying that this wasn't some half assed prank and he was being recorded, "Okay, yeah, I see your point. I've always been a little too outgoing" He continued, barely discerning his voice from the blood-pumper hammering away within his ribcage. Even to his own ears, which he hoped were the only pair listening, he sounded like a rambling fool, "Or maybe you're just not confident? Is that different to being shy? I'd look it up but it seems my hands are a little tied right now. Think you could help with that?"

Still, no answer. Normally goading the criminals worked. Was this guy a mute? Or just non-existant?

Dick exhaled unevenly. It was so dissettling, wondering whether or not he was alone, having to wait for someone else to prove they existed. It went against every natural instinct he had. Bruce had trained him for this scenario, of course he had, but still Dick wasn't fit to handle it. There was so much background noise, so many things screwing up every idea he had.

If something sounded like a person walking, it could just as easily have been a horde of strangely synchronized rats. If something sounded like chains jangling, it could've been the gears of some machine working it.

This whole situation was impossible.

Dick could really go for that ice cream now. A whole tub of emotional stabilizer. That could go second on his to-do list. First of course was getting out of this little predicament.

"That a no? Cause see, the way I was raised, silence was always normally more of a defeated yes. But then with the way I've actually grown up, my father is normally silent when he's annoyed by stupid questions. Which I suppose I did just ask a stupid question, so I can't be sure. Maybe if you just take the blindfold off so I can see your expression then?"

Nothing.

So was someone here or not? What the hell were they playing at?

Dick worked to keep his breaths slow and calm, but even so his chest was rising and falling ungracefully. He hated being unable to see. Hated the idea that anything could be happening and he would have no idea. And being tied down was really just the little cherry on top of the pretty please, wasn't it?

He was so vulnerable like this. So open to attack. Or to suggestion. Or to whatever anyone wanted.

He was helpless like this.

And that absolutely terrified him.

Dick jerked up, head swivelling desperately towards the sudden loud sound, his muscles crying out in protest as the restraining straps dug into his flesh. He layed himself back down immediately, panting for breath and grimacing; the painfully amplified grinding of... some machine...? Something like a... Like a disc sander, endlessly spinning and rubbing its grit away.

Whatever it was, it's wavelengths ploughed through his flesh, landing in his bones and repeatedly pulsating throughout his being, and it hurt. The noise drilled it's way into his brain, an abundance of background noise joining in to make his pain worse.

Why couldn't he block it out? Bruce would've been able to. Bruce probably would've just used some zen, or black magic, and bam!, problem solved.

Where was Bruce anyways? Dick wasn't surprised he wasn't here, the man couldn't always be depended on, especially if he didn't even know his son was missing- which, how could he? Dick lived in a whole other city and wasn't known for being in constant contact with the rest of his family.

They might not notice for a few weeks. Then maybe they'd realize that Bludhaven crime was back on the rise.

Dick stiffened, thinking he felt something gently brush along the tips of his sprawled out hair. Wind? Yeah, yeah. Just some sort of breeze.

Indoors.

Because he had to be indoors right? It wasn't as cold as it had been outside earlier. And how many factories weren't under cover? This had to be a factory. Or some sort of industrial place. With all the machinery he could hear all too well, where else would he be?

A mad technologists house?

Actually, that wasn't totally implausible.

God, what was he thinking? It didn't matter where he was, he just needed to get out. But he honestly couldn't see how, no pun intended.

Dick squirmed, grimacing through the discomfort it caused. But the straps weren't prepared to magically undo any time soon. Sure would make his life easier if they would. But easy wasn't the point. To be quite honest, Dick didn't have a goddamn clue as to what the point of this was.

Someone had taken him, he couldn't have done this to himself. So what did they want? Why weren't they here? Who the hell were they?

A deep, grinding, clunking screech of metal made Dick jump yet again. It kind of sounded like a catwalk falling. A sound Dick was actually way too familiar with.

The horrific shriek continued, it sounded like it was everywhere. Echoing into the walls and reverberating back out in a different part of the room, always making sure to slam it's way through his skull.

Noise really hurt. And noise was also terrifying. Dick didn't know what was what. If someone had a rearing chainsaw by his head, he might not be able to differentiate it from the rest of the cacophonus background.

The falling catwalk-esque sound finally stopped, and Dick slowly lost the tension that had built up through his muscles. He could still hear it, an imprint of sound echoing in his mind, though pain was mostly gone, phantom remnants still tingling through his nerves. But there was something else bothering his nerves.

It felt like something was near him, over him. He was blindfolded, but it still felt darker suddenly. And there was a weight to the air.

Dick concentrated on his breathing, forcing his heart rate down and working to clear his mind. He needed to find a way out. That's what mattered. That's what he had to concentrate on.

So how to undo the straps? The straps preventing the movement of every damn body part he needed in order to undo them. Sure.

But Dick tried anyway. He tried to squirm his hands out of the straps keeping his wrists down, aimlessly attempting to sort of claw at the material. The band that bridged over his chest and the two seperate ones being used to keep him bound by his upper arms made his attempt even more viciously vain.

He was basically completely immobile.

Made him feel like a corpse about to be autopsied. Or an Arkham patient deemed dangerous and entirely out of his mind. Neither of which opened up pleasant thoughts.

A panic built up in Dick's chest. His throat got tights, his lungs erratically screamed to be fed more oxygen, his heart beat quicker. He tried to keep calm. His face remained almost stoic.

It was only when Dick gave in to his need for air that his expression betrayed him.

But that one deep, gasping breath wasn't enough. His body still begged for more, and he surrendered to the need until he was on the verge of hyperventilating.

He felt like a wild animal caged. No idea where he was, what was happening. In an unfamiliar world he didn't want to be in. Being kept still, unable to fight back in any manner.

He hated it. Despised it.

This wasn't right for him. He couldn't be tied down like this. In most cases where he was restrained, he could at least see. But he'd even had that taken from him!

No. He couldn't stand this.

He didn't even know what he was here for. He had nothing.

He didn't know who took him, why, how, when, if any one was around, where he was now.

He knew nothing. And that really stoked the fire in his hearth of already burning fear.

Dick struggled once more, moving his entire being against the grip of his bindings. It was fruitless. All it caused was pain, the straps chafing his skin beneath the material of his suit.

Dick's body fell slack, abandoning the toil. There was no point in trying. The straps weren't budging.

He just wanted to get back to his bed, to sink into the mattress and sleep. He'd even rather be ziptied to a chair with Killer Croc, or lost beneath the surface of the ocean, or being kicked around by someone like Blockbuster.

Just not here.

The grinding, clunking screech started up again, and Dick groaned. He was too fatigued to bother trying to fight the sound out this time. He let his head pound to the constant beating from the loud vibrations, unable to really care.

Dick's eyes flew open, a scream rising from his throat. At first he hadn't even registered why. But then the pain reached his conscious awareness and god it was bad.

Everywhere, there was this intense, searing, burning, violating stem of agony breaking away beneath his flesh. Like a thousand tiny drills or needles or knives had just been lowered into him. He could feel each individual sharp object as it slid past the defence of his suit and skin, as it buried itself in amongst tendons and muscles and organs.

The torment was sudden, unexpected and Dick's first instinct was to try and get away from it. His good sense had gone out the window as he started moving, tearing his flesh further apart in his tousle. The pain was everywhere except for his neck, even his face.

There were at least four needles poking through each of his cheeks. And maybe seven through his forehead.

His screaming didn't help the matter either. All he could taste was blood. Coppery, rustic blood. Building up from his throat, trickling from the holes in his face. He coughed, trying to expel it before he choked.

He forced himself fo stop screaming, forced his body to be still. His breaths were weak little gasps, and his lungs complained about the lack of oxygen they were recieving but Dick didn't care. Couldn't care.

He was in too much pain. And all he could focus on was the fact that the pain had dulled ever so slightly, a fact he could find a mild degree of solace in. The worst of it was over. He was just left suffering with the aftermath.

The needles or whatever were still rooted inside of him, and for the first time since waking up there, he was actually glad he couldn't see. Now the only thing worse than the pain, was how his movements had just become even more restricted. Now every, every motion would hurt; skin tearing around the metal seated inside it.

Dick let his eyes close, not that it made much difference, and tried to block out the pain. Everything felt slow and sounded dull. Even the most annoying noises from the place had faded.

Blindfolded and with his eyes already shut, Dick couldn't see the darkness coming. But he could still feel it, traversing through his mind and disconnecting his conscious sense of reality. His last two lingering thoughts were in conflict of one another.

Let the darkness in.

Fight to keep the darkness out.

Dick knew he needed to stay aware, to know what was going on around him.

He needed to get out!

How could he do that if he was unconscious?

It was unethical. He couldn't let the pain convince him to go under. So he fought against it, fought to keep himself afloat in an ever rising sea of oblivion.

The pain spiked suddenly, as if his subconscious was trying to provoke him towards giving in.

And maybe the agony was too much, maybe Dick simply couldn't hold up the battle against himself, maybe somewhere in his heart Dick had already given up, but whatever the defeating factor; Dick sank out of reality.


Dick opened his eyes, sight greeted only by darkness. At first, he couldn't remember anything, his mind was far too enclothed with sleep to start working things out. It was only once the typhoon of pain washed over him, flooding his brain and drowning his lungs, that it came back to him.

His throat convulsed, tears rapidly pooling his eyes. He clenched his jaw in an attempt to keep himself from crying, the action causing some of the needles within his cheeks to tear away at his skin. His chest rose and fell too quick for his own good, the extra pain making him need more oxygen that he couldn't risk trying to breathe in. His lips quivered tightly, body gaining a slight tremble with the instinct to cry.

He wanted the pain to stop. He wanted to be free. He wanted the noises to go away. And he wanted to cry out his despair at the fact that none of that was going to happen. He likely wouldn't be recognized as missing for a few weeks. Likely wouldn't be found for a few more. And for all he knew, by then he could already be dead.

Dick struggled to regain his breathing, to have his eyes swallow the tears back down, to keep his body relaxed enough that the pain lessened.

His eyes flickered nervously behind the blindfold. He still couldn't hear anything that would indicate human life. And he didn't find that very settling.

Dick mentally tensed with the flooding spate of determination coursing the rivers of his brain. Bruce didn't teach him to be weak like this. He taught him to protect himself.

Dick calmed, closing his eyes and focusing on his own quiet, panting breaths. He tried to tune out the machinary in the background. Tried to outwit the pain.

It didn't work.

The sounds still hit his head like a train. One after the other, over and over and over and over and god it never stopped. It added unnecessary pain to the pile that was already burying him.

His face grew incredibly hot all of a sudden. He felt tired and weak. A feeble groan sounded in his throat. His body tried to arch, to get itself away from harm. But all that accomplished was more pain.

The urge to cry was back. Dick was supposed to be strong, Bruce was supposed to have made him strong. But Bruce was also supposed to be there for Dick when the young man couldn't save himself. Just like Dick was supposed to be there for Bruce when the man got himself into a fix. That was how they worked. They never let each other down.

So why couldn't Bruce have found him already? Stopped the pain before it had a chance to start?

A convulsive shiver jolted Dick's body as he held back a sob. He was being selfish and idiotic. Bruce was just one man. Dick had probably only been gone a few hours at most. He didn't have any right to be demanding of the man who'd become such a father to him.

But Dick couldn't help it. He just wanted the pain to go away. He wanted to feel safe and warm again. And Bruce was the safest, warmest person Dick had.

Dick's heart quelled in despondency. Bruce wasn't coming, was he? Dick was going to be left alone, damned to die. He didn't want to die. Not yet. Not without at least saying goodbye. He needed to tell Barbara how much he loved her one more time. Thank Bruce for all that he did. Assure Tim that he made the right choice. Apologize to Jason, if that would be possible. Let Cassandra know that despite their differences, he respected her. Remind Stephanie of how much potential she had. Formally express his regrets about all the years he put Alfred through with his antics.

Just... He didn't want to die. But he didn't know how much longer he would last like this. The sharp objects penetrating his flesh and protruding his blood weren't exactly extending his lifespan, and if the lack of outward human existence also remained pertinent, then he'd starve or dehydrate to death anyways.

There really wasn't a bright side to this one, was there? All Dick had left was hope. And that hope certainly wasn't for his own intelligence to get him through this. It was physically impossible for him to escape this.

All he had left was hope and all he was hoping for was luck.

Luck had never seemed to have a great affinity with him.

Dick's twitching hands stilled, the rest of his body falling limp as well. There was nothing he could do. Nothing but wait. What he was waiting for, he had no idea.

But the hell was being scared right out of him. He didn't want to be subjected to this. The bangs!, dings!, whirrs! and screeches! were enough to drive anyone mad. If it were physically possible, Dick probably would have ripped his hair out long ago in pure, crazed despair at the endless dronings.

Instead, Dick decided to make a game out of it. He focused on the sounds, finding the patterns in them and bringing up the lyrics to any song they reminded him of. It wasn't a bad coping mechanism really, but it wasn't starkly entertaining.

Dick could still taste the invasion of blood within his mouth. It wasn't completely unpleasant, but at the same time it was utterly disgusting. That stuff was supposed to be kept safely in his veins, not travelling up his throat so indignantly.

Dick layed there, stuck in a limbo of pain and boredom for Father Time knows how long. His body felt cold, while his face was deliriously hot to the touch. Blood leaked from his punctured and torn wounds. All he wanted was to return to the bliss of the oblivion. To be away from this pain for even just a minute. He wanted to sleep so badly. He almost managed to a few times, but his mind always rebooted before it could go offline, never allowing him the release he deserved.

What did his mind even want him awake for? There was nobody around! There was no danger! There wasn't a single damn soul threatening his existence! Why in the world was he not allowed to just rest!?

He deserved a break for god's sake! Deserved more than a break! He deserved a damn three month vacation!

Dick's face tightened, eyebrows furrowing as the meekest cry he'd ever heard left his own lips. The pain came in slow, taunting waves. Some times all he wanted to do was scream, others he wasn't even tempted to whimper.

It was harrowing. Laborious and harrowing.

Unexpectedly, the room fell completely silent. All the machinery had stopped. All the tiny, agonizing noises shut off. The lack of noise felt strange, but Dick found he wasn't abject to it. But, wait...

Dick's sluggish mind gained back its speed.

Why would it all just shut off? Was there a power outage? Was this place running on some kind of timed generator? Was it to mark his attacker's dramatic reveal?

Was he actually about to finally find out what in the hell was going on?

Dick's eyes snapped open and shot to the left, wide and searching depsite the fact that he was blindfolded. Gunfire had just broken out, that sound he could explicitly differentiate from any other. The shouts of people joined in behind the thunderous expellsions of bullets.

So there were people around! What the devil were they doing all that time? Just watching him!?

Damn bastards.

The gunfire broke off. Dick's breaths sounded heavy against the sudden silence. He really hated not being able to see.

A loud clang of metal pervaded Dick's eardrums, startling him and making him jump in shock. He let out a hoarse cry of pain, forcing himself to relax once more. His heart raced away violently, fear chasing it out of his chest.

"Nightwing?"

Dick's walls of anxiety crumbled to dust at the voice, "Bats?" Wow, he sounded terrible, "You're-" His voice cut out on him.

"I'm here" Bruce confirmed, voice managing to maintain both a dark tone and a soft tone.

"Wasn't... expecting you" Dick rushed the words over his lips, having them hit the air in little more than a whisper.

Bruce's silence was as full of meaning as any motivational speaker's whole morning.

"I- I'll have you out soon" He finally said after a few beats of quiet. Blessed, peaceful quiet.

Dick heard the dithering waver in his father's sentence, a mixture of relief and anxiety blending beneath his skin, "I know" He replied lightly, "You've... always got my back" He went to smile, pain immediately making the action not worth it.

Bruce didn't reply. And he didn't need to. It was enough that he was even there.

A small growl of frustration passed the man's lips suddenly, "Crane shut the power off"

Crane? Seriously? Dick had gotten himself kidnapped by the man that viewed inanimate corn protectors as worthy of impersonation? The world sure liked to screw with him some days, didn't it?

"I need to turn the generator back on. I'll be back soon"

Dick's chest seized, undue fear bringing the tears back to his eyes. And suddenly, the pain was secondary to the panic.

"I won't be long, I promise"

Dick's first instinct was to nod in response, an instinct he killed down immediately. He instead settled for making a weak, whimperish mumble that didn't require his mouth to move. He clamped his eyes shut beneath the blindfold, Bruce's promise repeating over in his mind. He wasn't being left alone, he was being saved.

But still, as Bruce's safe prescene walked away from him, Dick felt a cold rush burn through his body. It was stupid, and childish, but he couldn't stop the feeling from weighing his heart down, couldn't help that he felt alone the second Bruce's back turned to him.

Dick ignored the twisting, non-physical pain building it's way up in his mind, focusing his efforts towards his breathing. Soft and shallow, he'd take a deep three second breath, releasing it in the same manner. He continued until he almost lost himself in the routine. But that was better than being left to wonder why Bruce was taking so long.

Suddenly all the noise started up again, making Dick want to scream in anguish. It was all so loud. His chest shuddered and throat juddered as he held back sobs and cries.

More waves of pain crashed over the old, Dick unintentionally letting out his scream at the movement of the needles, or whatever being lifted from his body, because dear god it hurt. When the last inch of the objects slipped out of the comfort of his flesh, Dick's scream came to an abrupt end. He was panting heavily, groaning and whimpering in amongst the cries leaving his throat. The endless, colliding noises weren't going away, still hammering his brains in, still violently abusing his mind.

"Dick?" Bruce's tone was soft, as was the way his hand brushed through his son's mussed up hair.

Dick leaned towards the touch as much as was possible with the straps still keeping him immobile, and he calmed down almost immediately. The worst of the pain was officially over. Bruce was here.

"I'll have you out soon"

"I know" Dick answered with trembling, shivering breaths. He tried to keep the movements of his mouth subtle, paranoid that he might further split the cuts in his face otherwise.

The strap over his neck was gone first, a near-sob of relief leaving his newly freed throat. The one across his chest was the next to go. Then his biceps', wrists', waist's. The straps covering the lower half of his body were soon gone too. Dick turned his head to the side, body relaxing with the new-found freedom. His breaths steadied and his eyes closed.

"Dick, hey?" Bruce sounded so quiet, so tranquil amidst the other destructive sounds.

Dick tried to seek out Bruce with his eyes, before realizing he still had the blindfold on. Why hadn't Bruce taken that off exactly?

"I need you to lift your head, Dickie"

Oh, that'd probably be why.

Wait, Dickie? That was a nickname Bruce hadn't used in a while. A small smile graced Dick's lips, pain forcing it away quickly.

"Dick?" The word was structured in a plea.

Dick parted his lips with the intention to speak, a groan of pain instead hitting the air.

Bruce's strong-gloved hands lightly made contact with Dick's aching figure, one wrapping behind Dick's neck, the other gripping Dick's shoulder. Bruce kept his hold tight, still trying to refrain from hurting his son as he lifted the boy's body up. A weak, spluttering whimper emanted from Dick, and he leaned himself closer to Bruce in sought refuge.

He felt the blindfold come off, eyes flying open, desperate to finally see again. The first thing he saw was Batman, and it was the most wonderful sight there could've been to greet back his vision. Well, other than Barbara. What he wouldn't have gave for her face to be the first he saw.

Dick turned his head, wincing at the stiffness in it but otherwise ignoring the pain as he scoured his surroundings. The room was dim, shrouded in the shadows of intimidating machines. So at least he wasn't wrong when he figured he was somewhere industrial. The whole room was full of machinery. Disc sanders, bandsaws, chains and pulleys, drills and whatnot. It was really no wonder why there was so much noise reverberating through the metal walls. Having on just half the amount of those devices in a place like this would lead a deaf being to believe in miracles.

Dick looked up, a painful chill bringing out the pain of his wounds as he looked upon what had injured him. Shining blood-covered nails hung overhead, attached to some weird person-shaped board-like thing. It was held up by wires and chains that would've belonged to the system that allowed it to go up and down. Was that the machine that sounded like a collapsing catwalk? That sound had only come about before the nails had driven themselves into his core, and when they'd started to lift back out.

"You alright to walk?" Bruce asked softly but tenaciously.

"I... think so? Haven't really tried" Dick stressed jokingly.

Bruce very nearly smiled, "Are you going to?"

Dick's lips curved tiredly, "Just be prepared to catch me"

"I wasn't planning on letting go"

A joyful glimmer sparked in Dick's masked eyes. Carefully he raised his arms to reach Bruce's shoulders and neck. Wincing, he forced his body to cooperate, using Bruce to keep him steady as he feebly attempted to stand.

Dick groaned at the movement, optic nerves failing to compute the world around him and making everything look like it came from a convenience store's contemptible camera.

"You alright?"

Dick brought a hand to the holes in his left cheek and he felt like he could throw up, "Yeah, I feel absolutely divine" He met Bruce's eyes, trying not to smirk, "Real holy"

"Nice to see you've still got your sense of humour" Bruce commented, sounding unimpressed. But Dick knew the man had found it funny, somewhere deep in his furry, black soul.

"You can shove the nails into the guy, but you can't puncture his sense of humour" Dick concurred, clutching to his mentor as he strained to walk with the man.

Bruce kept his eldest son close, one hand on the Dick's waist, the other hand holding Dick's left arm over his shoulder.

Dick shuddered, and he laughed faintly to himself, "What were you doing here anyway?" He asked suddenly, back to being serious.

Bruce, as per usual, didn't answer right away, "Scarecrow escaped from Arkham a few weeks ago. Killed a guard and then disappeared. I tracked him over here, to this place"

The outline of a sad smile traced Dick's lips, "So you found me by accident?" Bruce's weight shifted, tensing beside Dick, "It's alright. I know you would've found me anyway"

"What happened?" Bruce asked, a little tensely.

"I'm not sure. There was a bomb threat, I went to check it out and then I've got nothing up until the point where I wake up here. Scarecrow never said a word to me either. I thought I was completely alone. Guess he was just trying something new?"

"Crane was trying to lay low, didn't want to risk me finding him through means of the normal chemicals he uses. He must've missed seeing people scared" Bruce's void tone fell, turning into something akin to fear as he glared ahead.

Dick looked up to his mentor with thankful eyes, despite the fact that Bruce wasn't looking at him.

"So when he doesn't have his fear toxin, he pulls a temper tantrum and turns people into voodoo dolls? No wonder he never gets invited to the super-secret supervillain meetings" Dick felt Bruce's grip tightened around him a little, "Hey, do you think maybe next time one of yours escapes, you could keep 'em in your city?"

A ghost of a smile adorned Bruce's face at that one, "I'll try" He answered as Dick shakily reached out to push the door's handle down with his free arm.

"Yeah, you better" Dick warned teasingly.

"Come on, let's get you home"

Dick leaned appreciatively into his father's safe, warm side. Accidentally or not, Bruce'd found him. He hadn't been let down.

He didn't expect he ever would be.


Fun fact: This idea was actually inspired by Season 4 Episode 3 of Smallville.

Oh, and please review if you have the time.

Also if you actually like my writing, I honestly don't know how long you'll be waiting for more, so I apologize in advance for that.