For any new readers here are parts 1 and 2:
For any new readers here are parts 1 and 2:
The apartment is quiet. Alex can barely see a thing, she turns on her night vision. She sees Tim walking in front of her.
The apartment of Margaret Blake, mother of Darin Blake, has one bedroom, one bathroom, and a family room and kitchen. It’s small.
Alex watches her steps carefully. Her and Tim don’t want to wake up Margaret. In the middle of the family room lies a couch. Alex hears snoring coming from it and movement. Must be Darin.
Tim turns to Alex and holds his palm flat towards her, telling her to stop. Tim bends over the couch and places his hand over Darin Blake’s mouth. Waking the man from his slumber and muffling his screams.
“Shhh!” Tim raises his index finger from his free hand to his lips. “Don’t want to wake up your mother, do you?” He whispers threatening Darin.
Alex restrains her self from punching Darin until he gets a hemorrhage. She knows that she needs to leave her emotions out the window.
Tim keeps his hand over Darin’s mouth and wraps his free arm around Darin’s neck and drags him out of the apartment. Alex continues to follow behind him, holding herself back from screaming in anger at the man that killed her brother.
Tim holds onto Darin as he swings to the adjacent building and Alex follows suite. Tim throws Darin onto the roof.
“What the hell?! I didn’t do nothin’!” Darin yelled after his body hit the hard rooftop.
Tim walked over to Darin and ‘cuffed his hands behind his back, then walked back to Alex.
“Okay, Black Robin. You have to control the talk. Don’t let him walk over you. Show him fear, guilt, shame. Get him to tell us what we need to know.” Red Robin whispered.
Alex walked towards Darin.
“Who the hell are you?” he asked.
Alex ignored the question and bent down beside him. Darin was lying on the rooftop, his back facing the sky.
“Alright, scumbag!” Alex began strong. “Why’d you kill those kids!” Alex yelled.
“I ain’t scared of you! Never seen you before! You a noob at this game, you dunno whatchu talkin’ bout!” Darin yelled back at Alex, “But, listen girly, if it’s a lesson you need, I’ll teach ya a few things. Know what I mean?” Darin tried to be smooth.
“Wanna know something?” Alex whispered in his ear. “I could break you in two right now, Doctors wouldn’t know how to put you back together. And I wouldn’t even have to break a sweat.” She whispered sternly. “So YOU ARE GOING TO TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW!”
“That’s good. Use your anger, your grief, and guilt to make him talk.” Red Robin said over the comm.-link to Alex.
Alex grabbed Darin’s hair to lift his face off the ground.
“Why were you after the teacher?” Alex yelled.
Darin didn’t say a word but Alex could feel him trembling in front of her.
“Who sent you?” She yelled again.
“Nobody send me nowhere! I’m my own man!” He said defensively.
“You’ve got one more minute, Black Robin.” R.R notified.
“I’ve seen your rep. sheet, Blake. You’ve never even been in prison before; judge keeps feeling sorry for you so he makes you do some volunteer work. You’re pathetic! You’re not your ‘own man,’ you’re a puppet.” Alex spat. “You don’t even have the trust of your partner. Yeah, Marcus talked. He told the police where you were hiding. That it was your idea, too. He even said that you’re the one that killed those kids. You know how much time that’s going to buy you at Blackgate? Three counts of murder of the second degree, five counts of aggravated assault? That buys you about 100 years in a prison that holds Gotham’s worst and baddest. TALK! OR I THROW YOUR ASS IN JAIL! And trust me, you won’t survive a day with the ‘Gators.”
Alex sees Tim from the corner of her eye, she can tell he’s surprised. Darin is lying on the ground, shaking, sweating. She put a real scare in him.
“Okay! Okay! I’ll talk!” Darin is still shaking. “This guy, we don’t know his real name, told us to call him Calculator. Never heard of him before. He wanted us to bring him the teacher. Berta-vanilla or something like that.”
“Bertinelli?” Alex asked.
“Yeah! That’s the name. Anyway, we didn’t ask questions. He was going to pay us a million each. But we went into the school and the teacher wasn’t there. She was sick or something that day. We kept the kids from her class on lock-down in their classroom and Marcus called Calculator. Told him the situation... the man’s crazy! He told us to shoot the kids!” Darin held his face in his hands. “We didn’t know what to do! Marcus and I, yeah, we’re stupid crooks but we ain’t child-killers. Calculator was listening over the phone, waiting for the sound of our guns to fire bullets. We decided that if we shot away from the kids and told him they were all dead, then he’d still pay us.”
“Then how did three kids die?” Alex felt pity for the man.
“We-, I told you, we’re stupid. We didn’t know that bullets ricocheted.” Darin looked up from his hands and Alex saw he was crying. “This one kid, didn’t catch his name, I think his name was Mark. Before the bullets even began to ricochet off the wall- it’s as if he knew the physics of it or something- he told everyone to get back and I swear the kid jumped in front each one that was coming towards his classmates. He was ripped to pieces. He missed a few kids; that probably why two others died and some were hurt. There was so much blood and this little kid, he couldn’t have been more than ten years old…” Darin paused. “He was a better man that Marcus and I combined.” Darin tried to wipe the tears from his eyes but they kept coming.
Alex imagined her brother as the one who jumped in front of the bullets. It would make sense, Alex thought back to holding her brother, whose limbs were torn apart, in her arms in the ambulance.
“WHERE IS CALCULATOR?” Alex yelled at Blake.
“I- I don’t know. He usually contacted us. We- he gave us a programmed phone. It had one number.”
“Give me the phone!” Alex ordered.
“It- I don’t have it. Marcus had it last. I don’t know where it is now.” Darin confessed.
Alex turned away and walked to Tim. Tim came forward and grabbed Darin to help him up.
Alex looked up at the sky, she saw the same single star from the other night in the distance; wondering was her brother the one he was talking about? The one that jumped in front of every bullet for his classmates?
“Was the boy’s name Max?” Alex finally asked Darin.
“Y-yeah. That sounds right. He looked Hispanic.”
Alex could not believe it. Her brother. A hero. Alex held in her tears. Tried to speak but could already feel her voice cracking before a word was spoken.
Tim held on to Drin with Alex behind him, and swung to Gotham Central to drop Darin off.
“We want you to walk in there and give yourself to the police. You’re going to tell them everything you told us. Got it?” Red Robin said to Darin as he uncuffed him.
Red Robin and Black Robin swung up to the roof opposite of Gotham Central and watched as Darin Blake gave himself in.
Tim then turned to Alex, “I’m proud of you.” He said.
Alex looked at him in confusion.
“Let’s sit.” Tim sat on a crate on the rooftop. Alex sat beside him. “A few weeks ago I went to Iron Heights Penitentiary. I went to talk to the man that killed my father. He was locked up behind a thick, bulletproof glass cage. I swear, if it wasn’t for that glass surrounding him… I think I would’ve killed him. I kept thinking: I wish I was wearing my utility belt so I could get some gadget out to open up this cage. But you! The guy was in your grip, and you were strong enough to not kill him.” Tim sighed. “I have to admit, I’m intimidated.”
A faint smile appeared on Alex’s face. “I had to keep remembering my promise to Batman, Max, you and myself. I will not kill anyone.”
“That’s great to hear! It’s late. I mean later than I expected. Let me take you home.” Tim smiled.
“Sounds like a good idea. Except for you know, this.” Alex pointed at herself, specifically, her costume.
Tim smirked. “I guess we have one more lesson for the night: Always leave extra clothes over town. Seriously, everywhere! Random rooftops- just remember where- bat-cave, bat-bunker, my new place once it’s done. Best place is the roof of your house.” Tim advised.
“Okay smarty-pants,” Alex’s adrenaline was still rushing. “What do I do now?”
“To the Bat-bunker, chum!” he yelled enthusiastically pointing his finger in the air and grabbed Alex around her waist and swung away towards Wayne Tower.
Alex couldn’t stop laughing. She was finally able to catch her breath when they landed on the roof of Wayne Tower.
“You know, “Tim started. “If you wanna start a rep on the street that you’re all grim and scary…you probably shouldn’t be laughing and smiley.” Tim said matter-of-factly to Alex as she finally caught her breath, still smiling.
“And your braceless smile is looking good.” He added.
“Oh God! You remember that I had braces!” she screamed in embarrassment.
They took the special elevator to the penthouse. Alex quickly showered and changed her clothes.
“Where should I leave my costume?” she asked Tim.
“Take that one with you. Alfred made you more than one so you don’t have to worry too much. You’ll have one at the cave, the bunker, here in the penthouse, and that one you have in your hands.”
Alex nodded; her eyes wide. Holy crap! She thought.
Tim drove her home. Her parents didn’t notice her coming late since she snuck in though her window. Before she could fall asleep she hid her costume in her closet behind the clothes in a suitcase that has a pass-code.
The next day Alex went to the market with her parents hoping to get their minds off Max’s death. She made them dinner when they got home and after dinner got ready to meet up with Tim.
“Where’ve you been going these nights?” Alex’s mother asks with concern.
“I wasn’t going to tell you before, but I got a job.” Alex lied. She’s been doing that too often lately. “It’s more of a volunteer job, actually. I help at the Neon Knights Foundation.”
That’s not too far from the truth, Alex thinks.
“I help stop gang violence.” She added.
“That’s great!” Alex’s father said with joy. “Mi angelita is helping clear the streets of the punks that killed…” Alex’s father stopped.
He turned to his wife and looked back down at his newspaper. “Don’t be too late.” He added.
A wave of sadness washed over Alex’s mother’s face. The mere mention of her late- son brings tears and sorrow to her face.
“They have special rooms for the volunteers to sleep in so if it’s too late for me to walk home I can just sleep there.” Alex told her parents.
Her father sighed. “Okay. But don’t forget! You have to go to l’escuela tomorrow!”
“Yes papi, I’ll take my book-bag and an extra change of clothes with me, just in case.”
Alex ran to her room and put on her costume and grabbed her bookbag and put a set of clothes and a pair of shoes in a garbage bag before she swung out her window. She dropped the garbage bag in her chimney but made sure it wouldn’t fall through. It was June so her parents would have no reason to turn on the fireplace. She met up with Red Robin in an alley a few blocks away. She loved the feeling of Gotham’s winds in her hair as she flew through the streets.
That night they went on patrol, as usual, for a few hours and then did more digging on where Calculator is holed up.
“We need to get that phone.” Alex said.
“If it was with Marcus, that means it is now in the GCPD evidence room.”
“Well, can’t we call the commish and ask him to, you know, give it to us?” Alex asked.
“Usually, I’d say ‘yeah’ but the commissioner and I haven’t been on best terms these days. But I bet Batman could talk to him.” Tim smirked.
After a quick phone-call, Alex and Tim met Batman (Dick Grayson) on the rooftop of Wayne Tower.
“Here you go.” Dick handed Tim the phone. “You soooo owe me! How many times have I had to talk to the commissioner for you?” Dick joked.
“Whatever, Batman!” Tim said handing the phone over to Alex.
“And nice costume, Black Robin.” Dick smiled at Alex.
As Batman jumped off the building he says, “You two better keep out of trouble.” He warned.
Alex looked to see him falling to the ground head first and then as he came nearer to the pavement he opened up his cape and floated.
“Woah! That’s amazing!” Alex said.
“Yeah, he’s a show-off. He grew up in the circus so he likes to put up a show.” He said. “Don’t worry, you’ll get an acrobatics lesson with him tomorrow.” He paused. “AFTER school.” He emphasized.
Alex nodded. “So are we going to call the number on this phone?” she asked.
“Not yet. Unlike me, you’re not a high school drop-out which means you have to wake up early tomorrow.” Tim replied with a grin.
Alex pouted in response but Tim still sent her home.
Alex hated the next day at school.
Wherever she walked she could hear people whispering about her.
“Did you hear her brother was killed in the shooting?” some people whispered.
It was a game of telephone in the hallways of Gotham High School. Some people mixed the words around and stated that Alex’s brother was a shooter that got killed.
Alex ignored them. In class she copied down the notes on things she already knew. The day felt numb… until lunch.
“Hey, Alex!” Jake yelled, “I missed you!” he hugged her. She felt uncomfortable with his arms wrapped around her.
Why the sudden love? She thought.
Alex laughed awkwardly. “Yeah, umm, same here, Jake.” She lied.
Jake and Alex have known each other since the second grade. Before last week they’ve never spoken more than maybe ten words to each other. He was a popular jock and she was a “geek.” A beautiful “geek” mind you. She could be popular but being friends with Zoanne and Ives doesn’t allow for that. Although these days she’s only been hanging out with Zoanne, since Ives is in the hospital for chemotherapy everyday. His cancer came back a month ago. Tim asked Alex about Ives’ cancer but she told him he was in remission even though he wasn’t. She’ll visit him some time, she thinks.
“So, I was thinking,” Jake began talking as Alex put her books in her locker. “Maybe you wanna have a re-do on that date?”
Alex furrowed her eyebrows. “I…don’t think that’s a good idea. It’s only been a week.” She says, thinking of Max’s death.
“Oh…jeez. You’re right, I’m so sorry, Alex. That- this is insensitive of me.” He replied in embarrassment.
“Don’t worry, Jake. But, maybe another time?” Alex says. “Maybe when, you know, thinks settle for me.” A faint smile appeared on her face.
Jake nodded. “Yeah, that sounds great!” He walked away as Zoanne came closer to Alex’s locker.
“What was that about?” She asked.
Alex rolled her eyes. “Guys are jerks.” She stated.
“Amen to that!” Zoanne agreed.
Alex could see Jake eyeing her from his table as her and Zoanne sat down in the cafeteria.
“So, I’ve decided!”
“On what?” Alex cocked an eyebrow in confusion.
“I’m going to call Tim! Tell him I hope to see him again, as friends, and I hope him and Tam live a happy life together.” Zo said.
“That sounds like a great idea!” Alex replied. “I wonder if he’s ever coming back to school.”
“Hah! He doesn’t NEED to come back to school…he’s rich! He’s the CEO of Wayne Enterprises!” Zoanne exclaimed.
The rest of lunch they spoke about Ives and his recovery, Jake and his sudden interest in Alex and that afternoon’s calculus test. Alex easily aced it.
Right after school, Alex raced to the Bat-bunker for her training with Dick Grayson. She didn’t bother going home to get her costume since there’d be one waiting for her at the bunker.
Alex got into gear and waited for Dick. He had a quick talk with Bruce over the bat-computer. Her and Damian decided to chat.
“So, you enjoying being Robin?” she asked him kindly.
“Tsk! Tsk! Enjoying?” he replied rudely. “This is not a picnic to which I should enjoy! This is a duty. A soldier does not enjoy going into battle with the enemy.”
“How old are you?!” Alex questioned. He speaks as if he’s an old man.
“Old enough. Ugh, how Drake has any interest in the likes of you and Stephanie is just mere frustration!”
“Stephanie? Interest?” Alex repeats those words in confusion. “Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout Boy Wonder!” She imitates Gary Coleman.
Damian just rolls his eyes. “They used to date, you little twit!”
“Excuse me? What did you just call me?” Alex replied in anger.
“A twit. A mentally deficient person, or in simpler terms: an idiot.”
“DAMIAN!” Dick yells at him.
Dick was off the phone with Bruce.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Your dad personally vouched for her so you will not disrespect her! Got it?”
Damian just walked away.
“Dad?” Alex wonders.
“Sorry about that Alex. He can be a brat sometimes, he didn’t exactly have the same up-bringing as the rest of us.” Dick apologizes.
“No worries. What did you mean by Dad?” she asked.
“Oh…um…well, Damian is Bruce’s son.” Dick admits.
“Lucky woman.” She replied.
“More like crazy.” He grinned. “Okay, let’s begin.”
Dick taught Alex about swinging without a grapple, how to jump higher, use her cape to her advantage and other acrobatic skills.
“Alright, you’ve learned new skills now let’s see you use them. Let’s fight.” Dick challenged.
“Wait, what?” Dick threw a punch but Alex quickly blocked it.
“That was good.” Dick applauded.
“You could’ve broken my nose with that punch!” She yells at him as she continues evading his kick and punches.
“I’m not going to kiddie you. The penguin’s goons aren’t going to say ‘are you ready?’ before they start attacking you. They’re going to try to get the jump on you and the only way to avoid that is if you get the jump on them first. Got it?”
Without missing a beat, Alex flipped in the air over Dick and landed right behind him. She lightly but quickly kicked him in the back of the knee, he lost his balance and fell over.
“Yeah, I got it.” Alex winked at Dick who was lying on the ground with his back facing the ceiling.
She helped him up.
“HAHAHAHAHAH HAHA HA!” Damian was laughing in the background. “Grayson! You got your butt handed to you by... this imbecile!” Damian fell to the ground laughing.
Alex wanted to laugh too but that wouldn’t be good sportsmanship plus she couldn’t laugh while she yelling at Damian.
“Listen Boy Blunder, don’t call me an ‘imbecile’, a ‘twit’, or ‘moron’, alright? Or next time I might kick your butt.” Alex threatened.
Damian didn’t reply. He turned back to the Bat-computer monitor and continued his work.
“Heh.” Dick chuckled. “Kudos, but you’ll have to watch your back from now on, the kid likes his revenge.” Dick warned.
Alex shrugged; she’s not worried about Damian.
“That was impressive though, you took me down. That’s never really happened before.” Dick was astonished.
“Ha! I bet you weren’t even trying.” Alex replied.
“I was giving you about 90%.” He admitted. “So it’s still really impressive.”
Dick continued to train Alex until she finally asked him a question that’s been irking at her.
“How did you become Robin?” She finally said.
Dick smirked. “I used to be in the circus. My mom, dad and I were acrobats of Haly’s Circus. The Flying Graysons!” He said with pride.
“One night we were doing a show, here in Gotham. It was going to be our biggest show, The Flying Graysons performed without a safety net.” Dicks voice fell silent, then with sadness he said, “Boss Zuco killed my parents that night.”
Alex’s eyes widened in shock.
“He wanted to teach Pop Haly a lesson for not paying him ‘insurance’ money so he cut the trapeze rope.” Dick looked at the ground. “Social Services wouldn’t let me stay with the circus and Bruce was there that night and saw everything. Him and Alfred took me in. At this point, Bruce was already Batman so I barely saw him. I didn’t know his secret until I snuck into the cave. I found out he was looking for the man who killed my parents and I was angry! I wondered why he wasn’t allowing me to seek my own revenge, I was only 12 years old and that’s how I was thinking.”
Alex listened tentatively.
“After days of trying to convince him, he finally let me become Robin: the Boy Wonder.”
“Did you catch Zucco?” Alex asked.
“Yeah, we finally caught him.” Dick grinned.
“Man, that is so cool! You were the first Robin! The leader and founder of the Teen Titans and now, you’re Batman! My brother used to worship you guys! He followed the news every morning and read the newspaper too. You know, a few months ago, he turned to me and said ‘Alex, there have been five Robins.’ I didn’t believe him at first but then he showed me his scrapbook. It was full of articles and pictures and he showed me each one and how they’ve all been different.”
“Man, your brother was smart.” Dick complimented.
Alex nodded. She’s finally able to talk about Max without crying.
“The lesson is done. I think you and Tim are going on patrol later but until then you can keep training or do your homework. You can stay down here and do it, or go up to the penthouse or whatever. Its up to you. You know the code for the elevator.” He smiled.
Alex smiled back. “Thank you!”
“Let’s go, Damian!” Dick yelled. “We have a meeting with the commissioner!”
As they left, Alex took the elevator up to the penthouse.
“Hey, Alfred.” She smiled.
“Hello, Miss Alex. How was your lesson with Master Grayson?” He kindly asked as he made dinner.
“Pretty good. I beat him when we sparred.” She laughed.
Alfred couldn’t help but laugh as well.
“Do you mind if I do my homework up here?” she asked.
“No, not at all. Please, grab a seat.” He pointed to some stools beside the kitchen counter.
Alex began her homework but quickly finished it with no troubles. She spent the rest of the early evening chatting with Alfred.
“How long have you known Bruce?” she asked while they waited for the duck to roast in the oven.
“I’ve been in his parents employ much before Master Bruce’s birth. After his parents’ untimely death, I took it upon myself to take care of the boy.” Alfred paused. “How long have you and Master Timothy known one another?” he asked.
“Since middle school. We’ve been pretty good friends for a few years now but after the gang war, my dad decided to home-school my brother and I. But I returned to public school later last year.”
Alfred and Alex continued asking each other questions as they waited for Tim, Bruce, Dick and Damian to come home for dinner. Although, they’d barely eat anything; and Bruce probably wouldn’t even show up.
Meanwhile on the rooftop of Gotham Central
“Early this morning our second suspect for the school shooting gave himself in. Name is Darin Blake. Said Red Robin and someone else, someone he’s never seen before, brought him to Gotham Central.” Commissioner Gordon took off his glasses and began to polish them with his jacket. “Mind telling me who Gotham’s new masked crime-fighter is, Batman?” he asked.
“That would be Black Robin, Commissioner. Is there a problem?”
“There might be. How old is she?”
“I’m sorry?” Batman asked.
“Listen, it’s fine that you guys have Robin, a young kid out here, I can’t say anything about that. I’ve seen the kid fight and he’s good. Gotham good. But this girl, I don’t want you guys bringing her into something she’s not ready for and I want her to get her high school diploma, go to college, get married and have kids. We don’t need any more casualties. Got it?” The commissioner warned Batman sternly.
“Sir, we’d never bring anyone into this job if we knew they weren’t ready. Trust me, she’s ready.” Batman purposefully didn’t tell the commissioner about his defeat at Black Robin’s hands today.
“Where’s the big guy? Is he okay with it?” Gordon asked regarding the other Batman (Bruce Wayne, but he doesn’t know that).
“He’s been training her himself.” Batman reassured.
Gordon nodded. He doesn’t like this. Not one bit. He knows all about the second Robin that was killed by Joker, he doesn’t want that to happen again.
Back at Wayne Tower
“Hey, Alfred! I’m just going to go check-up on my parents and drop my homework off at home. If Tim gets back before I do, tell him to wait for me!” Alex yelled to Alfred as he set the table in the dining room.
“Of course, Miss Alex.” He replied.
Alex walked down the street in the direction to her house. It’s about a ten-minute walk to her home from Wayne Tower and she enjoys the fresh air.
“Hola, mami! Hola papi!” She yelled as she entered the front door of the house.
“Hola, mi angelita. Where’ve you been?” her father asked.
“I did my homework at the library. Just came home to drop everything and check up on you. I have to go to my volunteer job. I’m going to be out late.”
Pretty close to the truth, she thought.
“Bueno.” Her father replied.
“Where’s mami?” Alex asked with concern.
“She’s taking an extra shift tonight at the hospital.” Her father paused. “She doesn’t like being at home anymore.” He added with sadness.
Alex gave her father a hug and a kiss on the forehead.
“Its okay, papi. We all mourn our own way.” Alex consoled.
Alex checked the answering machine. All of her relatives live in El Salvador but they still heard about Max so the answering machine is filled with their messages. There’s a few messages from Zoanne but Alex just deletes them and one was from Max’s teacher, Ms. Bertinelli. But Alex knows her as Huntress.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Gonzales, this is Helena Bertinelli calling. I was Max’s teacher. I’m so sorry about what happened… I can’t even describe my guilt for what happened.” It sounded like she was crying on the phone. “I know that Max is in a better place. God bless.” She concluded.
Alex didn’t delete any message except for Zoanne’s.
Alex looked at the clock. It was 8pm and it was getting dark.
“Papi, I have to leave now. There’s a lot of messages for you on the phone. Some from tio (uncle) and tia (aunt) too. You should give them a call back.” She smiled.
“Si, mi angelita. I will.” He assured her.
Alex decided to walk back to Wayne Tower so she didn’t bother wearing her uniform. It was dark on the streets and Gotham isn’t safe to begin with in the daytime. But Alex is trained by the greatest so there’s nothing she can’t handle, right?
I remember once Batman stated that Perry knows that Clark Kent is Superman (or vice-versa: Superman is Clark). But he doesn't say anything. I think it was in the Hush story arc.
After Alex showered and changed into the PJs Alfred provided, she met with Tim in the kitchen and had a “midnight snack.”
They chatted about school; Tim talked about being the CEO of Wayne Enterprises. Then Alex finally asked the question that’s been jerking at her over the past few days.
“Tim, you said something about Bruce coming back. Coming back from where?”
“Oh man. That is THE longest thing to explain,” he laughed. “Well, remember, like, eight months ago when the Earth was under attack?””
“Yeah, by Darkseid, right?” Alex replied.
Tim looked at Alex in shock, “You know who Darkseid is?”
Alex laughed, “Yeah, now continue your story Mr. Drake!” she ordered.
“Well, Batman, as in Bruce, got captured by Darkseid. Bruce was finally able to hurt Darkseid, like A LOT, but Darkseid shot his ‘Omega Beam’ at Bruce. We all thought he was dead.”
Tim voice went into a whisper.
“And that’s when I left school, and Gotham all together. I knew Bruce was alive. I… had this…feeling that he was alive but the omega beam, that Superman said killed him, actually sent Bruce back in time. With the help of Superman, Green Lantern and other heroes we got Bruce back into present day.”
“That’s…that’s intense!” Alex exclaimed.
“That’s not even the half of it,” Tim laughed. “You should ask Batgirl another time for her cartoon timeline of the bat-family history.” Tim chuckled.
After they ate, the two went back to their separate rooms. Alex woke up at 12 Noon. She changed into the clothes that Alfred put in the closet and went to the kitchen. Alfred was setting the kitchenette table waiting for the rest of the “bat-family.”
Alex found a younger boy balancing on his hands and his feet in the air across from the kitchen.
“You must be Damian, right?” asked Alex, kindly.
“Please. Do not disturb me as I train my mind.” He replied, rudely.
Alex flinched from his pompous response and turned to find Tim behind her.
“Good morning…erm…afternoon.” Tim said. “Damian giving you trouble?” he asked defensively.
“Drake, you forgot your bra in the dryer.” Damian snickered.
Alex couldn’t help but giggle, as well.
“Yeah, Damian. Don’t forget, I can always convince Dick to give you his old Robin costume. You know, the ones without the pants.” Tim winked at Damian and wrapped his arm around Alex’s shoulders.
“You hungry, Alex?”
“STARVING!” she yelled.
Tim smiled. “Good, ‘cause Alfred makes the best omelettes and pancakes on the planet.”
“Really?” Alex asked sarcastically.
“No, I’m actually serious. Superman’s tried ‘em and he said that Alfred’s omelettes and pancakes are the best he’s ever had and he’s eaten in different planets and centuries.” Tim replied in all seriousness.
As the two walked to kitchen table, Alex couldn’t help but notice the shine in Tim’s bright blue eyes and his smell. It wasn’t cologne, it was as if it was a natural scent. A clean smell that Alex could not help but breathe solely from her nostrils so she could continue smelling it.
After “breakfast,” Tim officially introduced Alex to the rest of bat-family as her new secret identity: Black Robin, in the Bat- bunker. She was personally introduced to Dick, Damian, and Stephanie Brown (Batgirl); and through the Bat-computer, to Oracle, the network coordinator for the JLA, JSA, Bat-family, and Birds of Prey.
“It’s great to have you part of the team.” Dick said with an attractive smile.
“You will fight me, soon.” Damian challenged. Tim punched him in the arm.
“We should totally hang out sometime!” Stephanie was friendly.
“Finally, we have an even number of girls and guys.” Joked Oracle.
Alex was unsure of the real name of Oracle but she’ll find out, she thought.
“Where’s Bruce?” Dick asked Tim.
“I think he’s in Hong Kong, oh yeah!” Tim turned to Alex. “There’s one more member but she’s in Hong Kong right now. Not sure when she’ll be back in Gotham but once she’s back I’ll introduce you two.”
Tim drove Alex home but he dropped her off a few streets away from her house. It would be too much to explain if he dropped her off, from journalists to Alex’s parents to neighbours. Alex walked the rest of the way. At the front door she found Zoanne and Jake waiting for her.
“Alex! Where’ve you been?” asked Zoanne. “I’ve been calling you for the past week but no one answers the phone and you haven’t replied to any of my voicemails or emails.” Zo said in worry.
Alex wasn’t expecting her friends from school to show up; She was mostly afraid that Zo had already spoken to her parents and they would know that Alex wasn’t with Zoanne last night.
“How long have you been waiting out here?” Alex asked, ignoring Zo’s questions.
Zo looked at Jake, “I don’t know, like, ten seconds?”
A wave of relief swallowed Alex. Her parents probably aren’t even awake yet. It’s a Saturday afternoon so I don’t blame them if they want to sleep in, they don’t have work today.
“Alex, is everything alright? How are you… recovering?” Jake chose his words wisely.
“I’m fine.” Alex replied coldly.
She found herself repressing her emotions inside her. She realized that it was easier to grieve and express her emotions with Tim, training, hitting bad guys, saving people, and looking for Max’s killers.
“Where were you, Alex? It’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon!” Zo lectured.
“I was going to get some groceries but I forgot my money.” Alex lied.
Zoanne’s forehead creased. She was frustrated. Her best friend hasn’t talked to her in a week and she’s worried. Alex has been grieving and Zo feels that she isn’t grieving healthily, if that is possible.
“Can we talk, Alex?” asked Jake. He was also worried.
“Uh, sure. You can come in. Alex unlocked the door with her house key and let her friends in behind her.”
“Is that a new outfit, Alex?” Zo was suspicious.
Shoot! Alex forgot that Alfred got this outfit for her.
Alex, again, pulled a lie out of her butt.
“Heh, the opposite, actually. It’s a really old one.”
Alex sat with her friends in the family room. She could hear movement from her parents’ bedroom. They’re awake.
Alex and her friends talked. They chatted about Max, school, but mostly about Max.
“Have the police found the other guy?” asked Jake.
Alex shook her head, “Nope, they only found the one.”
The conversation continued. Mostly about the crummy job done by the GCPD. Then Zoanne asked,
“When are you coming back to school?”
Alex smiled, “Probably Monday. My parents are finally leaving the house and I’m slowly coming to terms with Max’s death. The other day I was at his grave. And I came to the realization that…” Alex paused. “That he’s gone. It hurts. Oh God, you have no idea what stupid things I’ve done since that afternoon.”
Alex thinks back to sneaking around the GCPD and almost getting arrested by detective Nick for turning on the Bat-signal. She couldn’t help but smirk.
“But, I’m… healing.” Alex concludes.
Zoanne gives Alex a hug, “Listen, if you need ANYthing, you let me know, okay?”
“Thanks, Zo.” Alex hugged back.
Jake stood up and hugged Alex as well. “You know I’m always here for you.” He added.
Alex walked them to the door. Before Jake walked out he leaned in and kissed Alex on the forehead.
Alex accepted it but felt like it was odd. Unlike her and Zo, her and Jake aren’t even close to best friends. Weird.
That day, Alex made her parents dinner and finished her essay and other homework.
Once again, Alex and her parents haven’t said much to each other. Her father looks at her every few minutes and smiles, as if to say “we still love you.” But is there any reason that they shouldn’t still love her, thinks Alex.
As Alex finishes up her homework she hears a beeping sound. She searches around her room and finally hears the sound coming from her pillow. She looks underneath and sees a cell phone. It doesn’t look like any cell phone she’s seen before but she finally flips the screen up and finds a message on the screen:
Meet me in the backyard.
When did Tim put this in her room? She thinks.
“Mami! Papi! I’m going out for a bit. Don’t wait for me, I’m going to be late.”
“Okay, mi angelita. Be careful!” Alex’s father replied.
Alex’s father has seen her train with her sensei and has been told that she can easily handle herself in a fight so he does not worry too much when she goes out at night.
Like the previous night, Alex sits on Tim’s motorcycle and they ride away. However this time, Alex notices, they’re not going to Wayne Tower. Alex sees a sign up ahead that reads “Gotham City limits.” Meaning, they’re going towards Bristol, a rich area on the outskirts of Gotham, also the location of Wayne Manor. They’re going to the Bat-cave.
Tim drives through a hidden path. Alex looks up to see that Tim is driving full-speed into a rock wall. She screams as the bike comes closer to what seems to be her death. Then, all of a sudden, when the bike is about a meter away from the rock, it disappeared. Alex could hear Tim laughing as he continued to drive through the tunnel. Alex turned her head around to see the wall re-appear. Confusion washes over her.
The tunnel leads to the Bat-cave and Tim parks it on the side. Alex gets off, her heart still beating a mile a minute. What the hell was that? She thinks.
Tim takes off his helmet. Laughing.
“Oh man! I wish I took a picture of that!” Tim tries to catch his breath from the laughter.
“Not funny, Mr. Drake!” Alex pouts.
“I’ll have to apologize on behalf of Tim, Alex. He forgets that I have a video of him going through that entrance for the first time.” Bruce says, “I think he screamed louder than you.” He smirked.
“Hey, Mr. Way-“
“Alex, I told you. Call me Bruce.” Bruce interrupted her.
Alex blushed. “Are we training in here tonight?” she asked.
“Not really. There’s a few things we have to do first and then Tim will lead from there.” Bruce turned to Tim, “You can go ahead and go on patrol. Dick is with the JLA [Justice League of America] on a mission and Alfred said Damian’s getting edgy. Take him with you, but keep an eye out on him. And try not to fight, I know he’s a brat but he’s family.” Bruce lectured.
“Aye aye Cap’n” Tim saluted, jokingly.
Once Tim left, Bruce continued.
“Yesterday you showed me that you are mentally and physically capable of this job. Once again, it is dangerous. You…remind me of myself when I was younger. My parents were murdered in front of my eyes when I was a little boy, much younger than you,” Alex could hear the sorrow in his voice. “I vowed on my parents’ grave that I would rid this town of the same evil that took their lives,” Bruce’s voice became grim. “Yesterday you said the same thing. And that is how I know that you can do this. You have the motivation. The heart. The strength. Tim told me about last night, you saved a lot of people out there. And that was in one night, imagine how many people you can save, how many ‘Max’s’ will go home safely to their mothers, fathers and sisters.”
Alex restrained the tears in her eyes as he mentioned Max.
“Before we figure some other things out, I need to explain to you your responsibilities. You will, beyond the best of your abilities, save civilians and criminals. No questions. If a building erupts into a fire, you will go in there and save everyone, unless ordered otherwise.” Bruce’s voice was stern, showing the importance of this, “if The Penguin is drowning, you will jump into the water and save him. That is your duty. You will think strategically and tactically. You must use your training to be able to do this. . .” Bruce continued and Alex listened tentively.
Finally, Bruce asked Alex to follow him. She followed behind him to a corner in the Bat-cave. Bruce held a box in his hands as they walked. Alex could not see a thing, but she followed close behind him because she trusted him. Bruce finally stopped and Alex almost walked into his back. He turned to face her.
Bruce opened up the box. Alex found a candle and a lighter in the box. The candle looked like it has been used before. Alex was confused as to what was happening. Bruce pulled the candle and lighter out of the box and place the box on the ground beside them. Bruce lighted the candle and held in between Alex and himself.
Alex looked at the ground below them and with the help of the candlelight sees a thick layer of dried candle wax.
“Alex, would you please raise your right hand please?”
Alex does as told. Her and Bruce make direct eye contact. Alex pledges her allegiance to the war against crime and to Bruce as the wax on the candle drips. Sealing the vow.
After, Alex and Bruce walk towards a table in the middle of the Bat-cave.
“Your training with Tim and I isn’t enough. “Bruce stated. “We, Tim especially, are not teachers. We cannot teach you everything we know because it is too difficult and there are better ways to learn.” Alex cocked her eyebrow in confusion. “We will be sending you for a week to the ancient city of Nanda Parbat. There, you will learn to control your body and soul to reach your full potential.”
Alex’s jaw-dropped. “What is ‘Nanda Parbat’?” She asks.
“It is a secret city in a country I cannot fully disclose with you. It is the best way to learn and train.”
“Wait, will I be going after we catch The Calculator?”
“Usually, I’d say ‘yes’ but Calculator has been causing us a lot of trouble, and we’re going after him, soon. So, after Calculator is put in jail you will be going. We’ll tell your parents that you’re going on a Wayne Foundation grant to further your education.”
Alex nodded. Wow. How much does this crusade actually cost Bruce Wayne? She wonders.
Alex hears someone behind her clear his throat. Bruce smiles.
“Ahh, I see Alfred has finished.”
Alex turns to see Alfred standing behind her with something in his hand.
“Miss Alex, I present to you your costume.” Alfred formally announces.
He holds it out for her to see. Alex jumps with joy. Her own costume! She screams in her head. She holds herself from screaming from excitement. She doesn’t want to embarrass herself more.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Go put it on!” Bruce says.
Alfred leads Alex to a room in which she could change into her new garments.
Alex puts on the Kevlar reinforced suit. It is similar to Red Robin’s costume but rather than black and red. Alex’s is only black. However, the symbol in the middle is red and she does not have a cowl that fully covers her head. The costume has a domino mask and thin cape. It also includes a utility belt, like all other Bat-family suits, and boots.
She walks out of the room and sees Alfred and Bruce waiting for her.
Alex can’t stop smiling. She’s finally part of the legend, she thinks.
“Woah! Alex! You look amazing!” Tim parks his motorcycle and gives Alex a hug.
“Thank you!” Alex does a pirouette with her cape.
Bruce and Alfred show Alex what each compartment of her utility belt holds, the mini-computer located on the wrist of the costume, and the special features on her mask.
“Now let’s go introduce you to the crooks on the street.” Tim says.
That night, Tim and Alex park the cycle in the Bat-bunker and patrol the streets by swinging.
“How was Robin tonight?” Alex asks Tim, remembering to use code-names in the field.
“A brat as usual. Last time he cut my rope when I was swinging. Almost tore him to bits before Batman showed up.”
Alex laughed at the thought of Tim losing his cool. Tim and Alex did another patrol. It was a quiet night so Tim and Alex decided to dig-in to the school shooting. They swung to a rooftop and talked out their next steps.
“Okay, Black Robin. So Marcus Wright was taken into custody. I talked to Detective Nick and he said that Wright won’t talk. But you and I are sure that Calculator is behind this. Batman told Huntress to stay out of this…for now. Darin Blake escaped capture on the day of the shooting.”
“How are we going to find him?” Alex asks.
“Tonight, your lesson is on interrogation. But first things first, where would Darin be holing up?”
“His mom’s house.” Alex replied. Tim looked at her in surprise. “When I snuck onto the GCPD computer, I was able to access his file. Where he lived, family, all that stuff. It said that his dad died when he was younger but his mom still lives in Gotham.”
“Her name is…umm…” Alex took a moment to remember, “Margaret! That’s it!” she yells with excitement.
“Very impressive. Now let’s ask Oracle where Margaret Blake lives.”
Red Robin uses his comm-link to contact Oracle.
“She has an apartment on Bush Street. 485. Apartment 3B. Let’s go.” He says as he swings from one building to another and Alex follows right behind him.
They land the rooftop of Margaret Blake’s apartment building.
“Alright Black Robin, watch how I do this. Her apartment is on the third floor and,” Tim checks the blueprints of the building with the mini-computer on his wrist. “It’s on the north side of the building. Follow me.”
Red Robin and Black Robin use the fire escape to climb down to the third story window. Red Robin whispers to Alex,
“Reach into the compartment two pockets over from your buckle. You’ll find a mini-laser. Use this laser to make a big enough hole in the window so we can fit through.”
Alex does as instructed and follows behind Tim into the apartment.------Next chapter will be interesting. A lot of emotion as Alex confronts one of the men that pulled the trigger on her brother’s life. Tell me what you think!! J
I'm waiting for Flashpoint to become a tpb so i haven't been keeping up much except for these blogposts.
Quick question: which issue is that first picture from? The one guy wearing the red and black with jeans looks like Tim Drake.
I mean, Dick, Damian, and Alfred (i think) live in the penthouse in Wayne Tower.
Tim is soon moving from the penthouse to the old theater on Crime Alley.
Batgirl lives at home but has been set-up in the Bat-cave.
So, the question remains: since Bruce came back where has he lived? Wayne Manor? In the penthouse with his sons?
Please check it out! this is my first fan-fic so please tell me what you think:
I love this thread btw! :)
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