I've Got Your Back

Story Two: Sons of the Bat Series

By Aussie Nightwriter

Part 3 or 3

Two Weeks Later…

Everything had been going exactly as planned. The signed agreement sealing the corporate take-over had been in the safe as his client had told him it would be. While the code given hadn't worked, it had been child's play to open the safe. Sneaking back passed the security had been a doddle. Meeting with his client in an abandoned warehouse to hand over the plans is when things had gone pear-shaped. It would appear, Mr Smith had decided he wanted the agreement without making payment - which was when he had stepped to the side revealing three meta-humans; the biggest Jason had ever seen.

He cursed himself for not having loaded 'real' ammunition. His instincts had been prickling about this job. Why hadn't he listened?

Now, as he crashed to the concrete with a bone-shattering thud and rolled over several times before coming to a stop, he realized now may be too late. His consciousness faded, but he caught it and pulled it back. His right shoulder was burning. Several moments earlier, it had been dislocated and he'd put it back in himself by slamming it against the wall. That was when the battle had turned against him. He was no longer attacking - only defending blow after blow. There was no time to think. All of which meant fatigue was going to defeat him.

The salty taste of blood trickled down the back of this throat. He ordered his broken body to rise.

Abruptly, a shadow fell over him. He waited for the blow. However, booted feet landed either side of his body.

"What, you started the party without me, Hood?"

Red Hood blinked. Nightwing?

Jason drew in a few more breaths waiting for his blurred vision to clear and then dragged himself upright. He stepped up beside Nightwing, the pair standing shoulder to shoulder, facing the three metahumans who had stopped a dozen feet away. The trio was cut and bloodied from Jason's assault, but it had barely slowed them down.

Nightwing pursed his lips thoughtfully, tilting head on a forty-five-degree angle. "So, do you want to take Ugly?"

"They're all ugly," Jason panted. He knew Nightwing was playing for time, giving him a chance to catch his breath.

"Good point. So, do you want to take Ugly, Uglier or Ugliest?"

The three meta humans exchanged confused glances. They were all almost seven foot tall. Whatever cocktail this lot had been given had elongated bones as well as making the flesh and muscle surrounding it like tensile steel.

"Who the hell are you?" one demanded, wiping away blood that was trickling down his brow.

"What?" Nightwing cried, indignantly. "Now I'm hurt. I'm mean, really hurt. I already have low self-esteem, don't I, Hood? You mean, you three really don't know who I am?" The trio of hulks shook their heads, stupidly. "Okay, Red Hood. I was wrong," Nightwing chuckled with amusement. "Not ugly, dumb. Do you want to Take Dumb, Dumber or Dumbest?"

"I'm ready," Hood informed his… partner?

"We're not." Nightwing stated, firmly, the light tone gone. Jason heard rustling above and then two birds dropped from the rafters behind the metahumans. Nightwing smiled widely. "Now, we're ready. Robin, what is it we don't do?"

"We don't kill," Robin growled, spinning his staff in his nimble fingers.

"Good." Nightwing withdrew his escrima sticks which sprung to life, electrical energy buzzing from them.

"Enough of this twaddle! Get them!" The three hulks attacked.

The battle was fierce, but Jason wasn't really aware of it as conscious thought was replaced by nothing more than reaction – well-trained reaction, but reaction all the same. Fists flashed toward him. A staff flying. Escrima sticks twirling. The meta-humans were superior in all areas apart from intelligence.

Jason found himself on the outer. Nightwing and the Robins coordinated their attacks with experienced ease. Todd realized he was well out of practice when it came to working in a team, not that he'd ever truly worked as part of a group, he realized. He'd pretty much always been on his own apart from partnering Batman.

A blow from one of the augmented thugs caught Jason on the side of the head and then he was flung into the wall. Pain exploded through him, and his consciousness disappeared for several seconds as he hit the ground. When he came around, Nightwing had placed himself between Hood and a charging meta, Red Robin dragging the injured man to his feet.

Jason blinked. Two of the metas were down he noted.

"Right. Let's finish this," Nightwing ordered. He, Robin and Red Robin hit the running thug as one -from three different directions. The giant teetered upright for a handful of seconds and then toppled.

It was over.

Jason collapsed down onto one knee, grunting in pain. Nightwing appeared in front of him and crouched. "Oracle, we're taking Red Hood to Gotham General as Jason. It will save complicated explanations."

"I'm fine," Jason growled.

"Yeah, and I'm Wonder Woman," Nightwing dismissed. "Robin, secure the package for Red Hood." Grayson lifted Jason's helmet and examined his pupils. "No dilation, but laceration to his left side. Shoulder was dislocated by the look of how you're favouring it. You put it back in yourself?"

Hood glared at Nightwing and pulled his helmet closed. "You hard of hearing? I'm fine. I don't need your help!"

"Tough, you've got it. He's about my size. Red Robin, grab my change of clothes from my bike."

"I said I'm #$ ing fine," Jason repeated, shoving Dick as hard as he could. Nighwing proved an immovable object.

Grayson glared at Hood, leaned closer and spoke very slowly and evenly. "You are having a momentary lapse of judgement."

Jason's eyes widened behind his mask, the words he had spoken a few weeks earlier ringing in his ears. "What?"

"What's his problem?" Robin asked, joining his team. "We just saved his arse. Father is going to have our guts for garters. He ordered us not to engage with Red Hood."

Nightwing shot the boy a death glare. Not quite as good as Batman's, but damn close.

"Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest secured and here's the package," the youngest boy finished, handing Red Hood the document wallet the metas had taken from him.

"#$ ! you, kid." Jason grimaced, accepting it and slipping it into his jacket. He tried to stand, wobbled and landed back on his knees with a grunt.

Grayson held his gaze. "Option 1: You can go willingly. Option 2: I'll knock you out and drag your sorry carcass there unconscious."

Rage. Rage so powerful Jason felt it exploding out of him. He lashed out. Nightwing swayed out of the path easily and Jason toppled onto all fours.

"You done yet?" Grayson demanded.

Jason licked his lips and nodded. He was hurt and the throbbing pain was draining the rage. "Red Robin," Nightwing prompted, taking Jason by his good arm and lifting him to his feet. Tim nodded and shot off.

"How did you know I was here?" Jason panted.

"I could lie and say we just happened to be in the area," Nightwing offered, guiding the injured man across to an upturned crate, easing him to rest on it and then crouching to examine the laceration.

"It's not deep," Robin commented.

"He'll live to fight another day," Nightwing agreed. Robin hovered, but on Nigthwing's signal, made himself scarce.

"How's the rage?" Dick asked quietly.

"None of your damn business."

"That good, huh?"

"Damn you, Nightwing."

"We make a pretty good team... the four of us."

"You don't let up, do you?"

Dick smiled and bounced his eyebrows. "We could call ourselves 'Sons of the Bat'."

"Batboys," Jason snorted, his energy leaving him.


"#$ !ed up Robins."

"Yep, that works too," Nightwing agreed. "Hang in there. I can't give you any pain killers until a doctor looks at you." Red Robin returned with Grayson's change of clothes and held them out to Hood. "Get them on," Nightwing instructed, rising from his crouch. "I'll drive you to the hospital. Robin, Red, arrange transport to Star Labs for the Brains Trust over there and I'll meet you at the factory. We still have time to take down Lance and his boys."

Red Hood stared at the proffered bundle that Tim was still holding out to him. Nightwing squeezed Hood's good shoulder. Jason's entire body shuddered with pain and weariness. With a grunt he grabbed the clothes. "I can drive myself to the hospital."

"You know the two options. One – I drive you to hospital conscious. Two – I crack you on the head and drive you to hospital unconscious. Your choice."

A surge of adrenalin allowed Jason to rise to his feet.

"I know you're glaring at me, even though I can't see your baby blues," Nightwing chuckled.

"#$ ! you, Nightwing." Jason took a step, but his legs refused to hold him.

Nightwing's arm encircled his back and held Hood on his feet. "I've got you."

Jason swallowed. "Looks like it is going to be Option Three."

Reluctantly conceding, Jason allowed unconsciousness to overcome him. The last thing he heard was Dick Grayson's reassuring words, "It's okay, Jay. I've got your back."

Aussie: Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the story. If you leave a comment, please log in so I can respond.