Aussie's Sons of the Bat Series
(a) I have just returned to writing after 10 years, so I am a bit rusty and have no beta. There are a number of spelling/grammar/vocabulary differences between American and Australian English so before you read, please be aware I write with an Aussie accent. 😊
(b) I have been out of comics for a long time, so have no idea what continuity is doing. For this reason, you probably need to view this as an alternative universe.
(c) If you are looking for a medically accurate story, believe me, this isn't it. 😊
Series: My 'Sons of the Bat' series looks at my take on the relationship between the boys who have worn the Robin costume… or more correctly, the central role Dick plays in the Batfamily.
Reading Order/Stories in Series
Story 1: "A Momentary Lapse of Judgement"
Story 2: "I've Got Your Back"
Story: "Big Brother" (No specific place in the reading order)
Final Note: For anyone who is interested, I am working on my Dick Grayson Celebration and Magnificent Seven Websites again and hope to have them up and running again in the future.
Disclaimer: Sadly, Dick Grayson isn't owned by me. DC has that privilege. DC owns all of the characters in this story. All I own is the distinctive way the story unfolds, the specific dialogue and unique situations. (g) No money is being made from this. Please don't sue. It wouldn't be worth your while.
Synopsis: Following the events of "Momentary Lapse of Judgement", Dick Grayson's determination to save Jason from himself reaches new heights… risking not only his recovery after surgery, but defying direct orders from Batman to connect with Todd so he can show his lost brother he isn't on his own. Another steppingstone towards the reconciliation that takes place in "His Boys". Some Dick/Bruce father son moments in this one. 😊
- Sons - of – the - Bat - - Sons - of – the - Bat –
I've Got Your Back
Story Two: Sons of the Bat Series
By Aussie Nightwriter
Part 1 or 3
Medical equipment beeped efficiently.
The clock on the wall ticked, the hour hand, just moving past 1am.
Alfred Pennyworth watched the rise and fall of the young man's chest in the limited light of the private hospital room. How many times had Alfred done this? Sitting at the side of a bed while one of his charges fought for life. Not that that was the case this time. Dick's surgery 18 hours earlier had been successful, and with time and rest he would certainly make a full recovery. However, if Jason…
Alfred shut his eyes and his heart ached. Jason. Alfred had expressed his concern when Bruce had taken Jason Todd in. He had continued to express his misgivings repeatedly and with increasing urgency but… There was no satisfaction in having been right.
Alfred had not only felt overwhelming grief for a boy he had loved, but a great burden of guilt when Jason had been murdered. He should have done more to convince Bruce. By some miracle Jason had been given a second chance at life… resurrected only to become Bruce's worst nightmare.
Now, Alfred and Bruce owed Jason more than they could ever repay. Opening his eyes, Pennyworth looked down on Dick's pale face.
Grayson's face twitched. Something was going on in his drugged mind.
Alfred laid his hand on the young man's arm. "It's okay, son. Dick murmured something, his features tight with more than simple unease. "Shhh. All is okay with the world." He picked up Grayson's hand and squeezed it between his two. The words of comfort and physical connection provided no succour and Dick began to move restlessly, becoming increasingly agitated. "Shh. It's okay."
Bruce re-entered the room with tea in a cup and saucer for Alfred. Noting movement in the bed, he handed the drink to Pennyworth and moved swiftly to Dick's side. His left hand came to rest on the crown of his son's head and his right in the centre of his chest. Instantly, Dick settled and his expression relaxed.
Alfred sighed. There were many who judged Bruce harshly, perhaps with good reason. Bruce had his faults – a big black bat of an obsession. An single-minded obsession that had once almost consumed him. Then, an eight-year-old boy had entered his world and everything had changed. There were some – Clark and Diana among the very small exclusive group - who knew the important role Dick played in bringing light into Bruce's world. However, none of them fully understood that the need was far from a one-way street. If it was, how could Bruce calm his sleeping son with little more than his touch.
"I have to go," Bruce stated, his voice crackling with uncharacteristic emotion –his face totally blank. Gotham was calling and Batman could not ignore the city's cries for help.
"Of course, Sir."
"I'll be back as soon as I can."
"Stay with him."
Alfred and Bruce's eyes brushed and the older man nodded.
Bruce's gaze settled back on the pale young man. The hand resting amongst Dick's tangle of dark hair flexed, his thumb sweeping across Dick's brow a few times. "Rest," he whispered.
Batman lingered a handful of heart beats and then spun and was gone.
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Jason had read somewhere that if you wanted to enjoy all seasons in one day, then the hellhole that was Gotham City was the place to visit. Now, he believed it. Winter had arrived in Gotham without even the courtesy of an announcement. Yesterday you could fry eggs on the pavement and today, if there had been enough moisture in the air, it would be snowing.
The young man pulled his jacket further around himself as he made his way along the largely deserted street. The sun was just lifting above the horizon, making some attempt to warm the icy city.
Todd breathed out, white mist rising into the early morning air. Unconsciously, he rubbed his tender elbow. The mission the evening before had run smoothly, apart from coming across a meta-human security guard.
Jason frowned. He hated meta-humans. There had been a flood of them in Gotham of late. His rubber bullets took down normal people by stunning them and leaving them doubled over in pain, but non-lethal ammunition barely slowed down humans who had been given a cocktail of drugs, chemicals, radiation and Lord knew what else. The resulting enhanced physical characteristics made these augmented humans stronger, faster and with fewer weak points to exploit when trying to deal with them without using deadly force.
Todd snorted. He hadn't used anything approaching deadly force since his release - his own decision, no one else's. However, with the number of metas around, he may have to reconsider. Real bullets would not kill a meta, unless he used a machine gun or aimed at the skull.
Word on the street was that Batman had shut down the latest Gotham 'factory' responsible for turning normal humans into these 'suped-up' thugs, but the numbers had yet to change.
The big question was, who was financing these pop-up factories all over the country? Sadly, there were no end of idiots willing to be experimented upon. The promise of 'enhanced' abilities was an allure so many could not ignore. They didn't even care about the side-effects that eventually seemed to liquify their brains. Whoever was responsible for the large-scale experimentation still had a long way to go to make their 'product' stable. According to Jason's sources, the Justice League was no closer to tracking down the culprit, which was likely pissing-off Batman. Such a thought brought a smile to Todd's face.
Jason crossed the street, headed for his favourite coffee shop. He approached the serving window and nodded to the obese man who had once told him his name was Les. Why the idiot thought Jason would care what his name was he didn't know.
Noting that his coffee was ready, Todd pulled out his wallet, fishing for cash. He'd phoned ahead so he didn't have to wait. Patience and Jason had never been friends.
"It's been paid for," Les informed him. Jason's eyebrows drew down, immediately alert. His hand dropped to the revolver hidden under his jacket.
Les inclined his head to the café section behind him. Jason peered inside. There were a handful of occupants all apart from one sitting in pairs. Todd's searching eyes stopped on the lone occupant seated at a table near the window, the man focused on his phone.
The muscles in Jason's chest tightened. He wasn't interested! Jason snatched the coffee, spun and stalked back in the direction he'd come.
The familiar bubbling from the pit of this stomach - his own personal Lazarus Pit - ignited the burning rage that lived inside him. He got halfway down the street when… it hadn't even been 24 hours! 24 hours since he had performed CPR to save his former partner's life. There was no way… With a tirade of curses, he returned, entered the café and angrily dropped into the chair opposite the lone figure.
"What the hell are you doing here? When were you released?" he demanded.
"About thirty minutes ago." Todd assessed the other man critically. He was pale and his blue eyes were dull with painkillers and hooded with fatigue. The angle at which he was sitting indicated discomfort.
"You going to keel over on me, Grayson?"
Dick smirked, took out his phone and placed it in the middle of the small circular table between them. "Switch on your Bluetooth."
Jason frowned suspiciously. Why the hell should he? Then again, why the hell shouldn't he? He didn't 'fear' Grayson. Todd withdrew his cell, switched on the Bluetooth as requested and placed the device next to Dick's.
Grayson acknowledged Jason's action with an appreciative nod. As he tapped the screen to commence the transfer, he grimaced, and shut his eyes briefly in a clear effort to fight off the drugged weariness.
"Were you released, or did you release yourself?" Jason demanded. It was a pointless question. There was no way any doctor would have authorised his discharge a day after having surgery for a ruptured spleen.
"Let's just say that if Alfred calls, you haven't seen me," Grayson chuckled, but it lacked any mirth and he again shifted uncomfortably in the seat. Seeming to notice that Jason was appraising him, he admitted, "I'll head back to the hospital in a moment."
Jason sipped his coffee and looked out the window avoiding eye contact. What the hell was he doing here sitting across from the man he detested? Why was he even interested in whether Grayson had been released or not or if he was in any pain? He didn't give a damn about Dick Grayson, Batman or any of the Bat Team.
Thankfully, Grayson, who usually didn't shut up, was quiet.
The phone buzzed, signalling the transfer was complete.
"How's the rage?" Dick asked, quietly.
"None of your #$% !ing business." With that, Jason, snatched his phone, rose and blasted out of the café. As he exited, he noted the expression on Grayson's face, reflected via the glass doors. Sadness… disappointment… fatigue… discomfort. Grayson had a high tolerance for pain so the fact that he was failing to disguise it meant it had to be considerable. Then again, for some reason Jason truly didn't understand, Dick had always trusted him, which meant he may not have felt the need to hide it.
Jason ground his jaw. Either way, Dick Grayson was not Jason's responsibility. Let him make his own way back to the hospital.
Needing to put some distance between himself and the bastard who seemed to evoke such a mix of emotions in him, Todd set off down 33rd Street, passed the museum, the railway station, Apple's Mega Store and through the park. Five minutes later, he sucked in a lung full of less than clean air and tossed the empty take-away coffee cup into a trash bin, relieved the aggression had dissipated.
With an exasperated sigh, the young man started to circle back, his hands thrust into his pockets. By this time, the streets had come alive with Gothamites. Jason found himself walking back by the café, glancing in to… to what? Why was he checking on Grayson? It would gladden his cold heart if the other man had collapsed on the floor in a heap. Wouldn't it?
The table where they'd sat was now empty. Without warning, concern flooded him. Jason took out his phone. "Oracle, Grayson left the hospital."
"We know. I'm tracking him. Tim's on his way."
"Don't bother. He's on his way back now."
With a grunt, Jason headed for home, the see-sawing emotions he was experiencing leaving him drained. Entering his small office, he discarded the phone on the desk and set to work on his computer. Three new missions required planning. It was just the distraction he needed.
Beside him, his phone 'dinged' – an indication he had received a text message. Jason finished typing the sentence he was working on and then glanced over at the device.
The words, "Did the files download?" stared back at him.
Jason rolled his eyes, guessing Grayson was texting from a taxi. Todd, connected the phone to his computer and waited as the two files that had indeed successfully downloaded, transferred to his laptop for easier viewing.
Within moments, he'd opened the first – a report documenting the effects of the Lazarus Pit. Jason shook his head. What the hell was Grayson playing at? He wasn't interested in this shit!
He was about to close the file when one word leapt out at him – RAGE. Jason swallowed, looked back at the phone and then returned to the computer screen scanning the first page to convince himself of the fact that he couldn't care less. However, before he knew it, he was reading each and every word. All cases studied identified rage; a rage Jason knew only too well. Of interest, was the fact that he shared so many of the other side-effects experienced by the handful of survivors who had gone into the Lazarus Pit and come out again physically in one piece but emotionally and mentally a #$% !ing mess.
Tentatively, Jason eyed the second file entitled, "Therapy."
Ding: "There should be two."
Jason opened the second file. It was a report from some hospital on two survivors receiving treatment that was showing promising results. At the end of the page there was a link that apparently would take him to a site that would step him through the therapy.
A lump formed in his throat. He moved the mouse to hover over the link.
Ding: "Take a chance, Jay."
Jason swore, the nickname causing a surge of emotions and memories. Flashes from a time visiting Titan Tower and Dick showing him around. Flashes of sitting in Dick's apartment, the other man assisting him with homework. A flash of Nightwing swinging between two buildings and scooping him out of harm's way. A flash of Nightwing standing between he and Batman, defending some idiotic thing he had done. A flash of he and Nightwing fighting for Jason's birth right – the Cowl! A flash of him staring up at Nightwing defeated! Bruce's voice… Dick would have…Dick was able to…!
Todd picked up his laptop and hurled it across the room. Before he knew it, he had upended the desk. Just as abruptly as the murderous assault began, it ended and Jason shut his eyes standing panting in the middle of the room, his entire body feeling shattered.
With a soft curse, Todd righted the desk, and gathered the laptop that had landed on the workout mat, miraculously surviving apart from a crack in the outer case. Placing it back on the table, he blinked at the still open webpage which appeared to be offering a chance at salvation from what had just taken place.
Jason bit his bottom lip. What did he have to lose? Maybe it was time to take a chance. He clicked the button. A new page flashed on the screen. His own name stared back him; his personal data already uploaded.
"You interfering bastard, Grayson." Jason glared at the page and then shut his eyes, leaning back in the chair. "You aren't going to leave me alone, are you?" Grayson was determined to save his soul.
Without warning, the darkness rose up inside Jason, stabbing at the essence of his being… and his hatred of Dick Grayson overwhelmed him. "Damn you."
- Sons - of – the - Bat - - Sons - of – the - Bat –
Aussie: I hope you are enjoying the story. Thank you sincerely to those who have sent feedback on the last two stories. Please sign in so I can respond and thank you personally.