When the Dark Knight almost killed for his children.
and no one knew.
He should’ve seen it coming. He should’ve anticipated it. He should’ve been prepared. But he wasn’t.
Another criminal at large was terrorizing the city. It started with murders, then bombings, and soon gas homocides. Batman was on his trail for weeks; and everytime another day passed, another innocent life was added onto the list. The criminal didn’t bother to conceal his identity, neither did he make any demands. He just caused the chaos. While some speculated that the Joker was behind the murders, or maybe Scarecrow, but both of them were spending their sentence in Arkham, and were apparently enjoying the show.
Batman had finally found his location, his frustrations taking its peak when he gathered his sons and daughter to go after the criminal. Every moment the criminal heartlessly took a life, it was placed on the dark knight’s conscience. Batman had the option of going in alone, or maybe just taking robin with him; but it seemed his oldest sons had other plans.
Apparently the criminal was an escaped prisoner from Blüdhaven prison, and had a long line of sexual assault reports to answer to, which prompted Nightwing and Red hood to join in the fight.
But if he knew it would’ve been a bad idea, he would’ve chained his children to the cave and left them there.
Orphan and Red Robin were taking the back entry of the warehouse, Nightwing and Red hood in the front while Batman and Robin took the top. The silence of the location was palpable, as Batman had to constantly keep check on Red hood and Robin to make sure they don’t do anything brash.
The plan went accordingly. Only the criminal had his own plan too. Traps were set around the entire perimeter, making him wonder how he missed it. It was clear to Bruce that this was no ordinary man; he was smart, he was calculating, he wasn’t your regular psychopath.
The comms scrambled as they entered the warehouse, eliminating any methods of contact between their partners as they carefully trudged through the large area. Batman could only rely and trust in his sons and daughters’ instincts and hope that they find each other before anything destructive happens.
But they didn’t.
“BATMAN!” A scream echoed through the darkness, and his heart lurched at the sound of Red Robin’s voice. If Tim was yelling for help, it only meant nothing good was happening. But he couldn’t leave the warehouse, not yet, not when he’s so close to catching this guy.
Robin made a sound of protest, but the infamous bat glare shut him up, and he followed his father’s orders and left in the direction of the sound. Batman continued his investigation of the warehouse, keeping wary as his cowl enabled him to see through the dark.
SLAM! SLAM! SLAM ! SLAM!
Loud noises of metal erupted near him, and the lights flickered on. Batman found him in another room, confusion brewing in his head as he kept a straight face. The criminal grinned as he stepped out of the shadows.
“Batman.” He addressed, making Batman’s posture tense. His eyes flickered around the room, analyzing every inch of its layout to understand how to use it to his advantage.
“Do you like it? I designed it myself. Fake layout with a million rooms underneath. No one gets in, no one gets out.” He laughed, walking up to the bat. As soon as he was, within his grasp, Batman seized his collar, only to let go when an electrical shock erupted through his insulated suit.
“How?” He muttered, shoving the criminal off. The man grinned again, “I did my research.” He simply replied, shrugging as if it were obvious. Batman narrowed his eyes under the cowl, choosing his next words carefully: “what do you want?”
The criminal chuckled, “to break the Batman.” He said, determination dripping from his voice.
The dark knight resisted the urge to roll his eyes, “how original.” He said, his monotone making the criminal laugh again. The man approached him again, leaning towards his face, seemingly undaunted by the cowl.
“No no. Im not out to break you like those other idiots. I actually know how to break you.” He said, raising a finger, and poking his suit. “Ever wonder what happened to your kids?” He asked rhetorically.
As if on cue, the man clicked a button and a tv flickered on, the sight of the state of the other heroes making Batman hold his breath. Nightwing and red hood struggling in a room similar to his own, flooded to the chest with flowing water. Orphan and Red Robin suffocating in another room and gasping from lack of air. And Robin, Robin was caged in metal box with heat flowing into it. “Breath taking isn’t it? The sight of your children on the brink of death. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking to try baked Robin.” He said, grinning maniacally.
Batman head butted the criminal, making him stumble back. He grabbed onto his collar again, resisting the shocks that burned through his body. “Let them go you bastard.” He growled, sending a punch across his face. The criminal laughed at the pain, blood trailing down his lip.
“Now why would I do that?” He said, clicking the button again. The flow of water increased, the level reaching to Nightwing and Red Hood’s chins, while orphan and Red Robin collapsed onto the floor in suffocation. Batman saw robin suppressing a reaction at the hot metal touching his skin. Batman grabbed the remote, looking over it before turning to him, grabbing his neck. “How do I turn it off?” He demanded. The man on the ground shrugged, “you can’t.”
Batman’s breathing quickened, he needed to stay calm. But it was difficult to do when the sight of his kids dying was literally right infront of him. “What the hell do you want ?!” He demanded, raising the criminal by his collar and slamming him against the wall. The shocks continued to pulse through his hands, but he didn’t care, he’d rather loose his hands than his kids. The criminal only grinned again at him, “to break…Batman.” He said.
Batman growled, seeing red, he threw the man to the ground. “You think this is a game?!” He yelled, punching him straight on the face. “You think it’s funny to play with their lives?!” He screamed, punching him continuously. His fists felt numb as he continued to touch the criminal. Whatever electrical suit he wore, did a good job at whatever he was doing.
The criminal began to laugh, and it only agitated him more. He reminded him so much of the joker. So much of how joker used to taunt him when Jason died. He wasn’t going to let Jason die. Not again. He wasn’t going to let any of his kids die.
In a blind feat of rage, Batman continued attacking the criminal, punishing him for putting the boys and cass in danger. “You f*cking BASTARD!! TELL ME HOW TO SAVE THEM!!” He screamed.
The criminal grinned bloody and bruised. “You’ll….have…to…kill…me..” he heaved out. “It’s in my suit…..and…its…connected…to…my…brain…”
The criminal leaned up against him, “you want to save them? Break your rule. Be a killer like the rest of us.” He grinned.
Batman growled, “don’t think I’ll spare you for this.” He snapped, his hands wrapping around his throat, cutting of his air supply. Bruce had never felt so much anger, and he didn’t know where it was coming from. The criminal showed no resistance, only letting him choke him. “Tick tok.” He heaved out between gasps. The dark knight’s grip tightened, clenching his jaw in rage.
With one hand still wrapped around his throat, he used to the other to punch him again. “You sick…f*cking bastard.” He growled.
Batman shouldve been paying attention to the tv. But he wasn’t. If he did, he’d know that the traps had timers, and within fifteen minutes, they’d be free. They’d probably be unconscious but they be Alive and fine. This was all a game, a ploy. Once they find out Batman broke his moral code, they’d shun him.
Bruce watched the criminal’s eyes roll to the back of his head, his pulse weakening.
Almost. Almost. He thought. Almost there and they’d be alright. He can still save them.
“BATMAN? CAN YOU HEAR US? WHERE ARE YOU?”
Nightwing’s voice snapped him out of his rage, he turned back, to see the rooms were now empty, and his children were Alive.
Heavily breathing, he realized he’d been tricked, and hasted away from the criminal. The man had passed out, looking deathly pale as it is. Bruce looked down at his hands, seeing the shock burned through his gloves and into his skin.
He almost killed a man. That was his intention. The horrifying realization burned into him like a stab wound.
No, he almost killed for his kids. He reasoned, but it was what it was. Killing was killing. That’s why he never went after joker no matter how much he wanted to.
“BATMAN DO YOU COPY??!”
The dark knight gulped, standing up shakily. He pressed a burnt finger against his cowl.
“I’m here. The hostile has been subdued.”