Summary: The Bat-Family tends to one of their own
Location: Bat-Cave Medical Bay
( This scene is a follow-up to A Bird in the Hand )
The day after Tim's run in with the Red Hood has been a long one. When the Teen Wonder was dropped on the front door of Wayne Manor, he was quickly taken downstairs to the 'hobby area', and given extensive treatment by both Alfred and Bruce. Currently, he's heavily sedated, but should be coming out of his general stupor soon. His eye was bleed, reducing the swelling in his one eye and greatly improving his vision. Dick was called to inform him of the situation, including the identity of exactly who the Red Hood is.
For the moment, Bruce merely sits, dressed in his casual clothes and watching as Tim comes to, covering is mouth in one hand. He hasn't slept in about 36 hours; the bags under his eyes start to show the wear that has had on him.
"How's he doing?" Nightwing's voice is plainly audible as he moves over to where Bruce is seated. When did he arrive? Who knows. Perhaps the sound of the motorcycle was missed simply because Bruce was expecting it. "Dammit. Cassandra told me about Jason two nights ago, I've been looking for him ever since, with no luck." Jason's better than he expected. More cagey. He shouldn't have underestimated him. "You need to sleep." Nightwing notes as he gets a closer look at his mentor's face.
It was a long night for the teen vigilante, Robin. And its starting to turn out to be a very bad morning for the teenager behind the mask. Tim lays motionless on one of the few infirmary beds before he starts to feel the pain killers wearing off. It's not long before every ache and pain he received the night before wakes him. Voices? He hears voices. Who is it? It takes a moment til he realizes it's the distinctive voices of Dick and Bruce. (Got to tell Bruce about the Hood.) Though he's only lying there, it takes every ounce of strength to open his eyes. As soon as their open he starts to look around until his gaze, albeit blurry, lands on Bruce and Dick.
"B.." the teen starts with a whisper. He then licks lips, takes a deep breath and tries again. "Bruce?" he finally gets the name out, but his voice is hoarse. Any wonder his throat feels like sandpaper as he tries to speak. But the job comes first and the pain has to be pushed passed. He takes another breath as he really feels the pain hit him.
Bruce stirs slightly at the sound of someone coming up behind him, looking over his shoulder at Dick. He then turns and look back to Tim, slow to speak, before finally saying, "This is my fault. I was too slow to accept the clear truth, pushing Babs and Cassandra's observations. Then, when I saw him with my own eyes, I got obsessed with finding him, forgetting that I didn't have to do this on my own. If I had been there, with him, and not chit-chatting with gangsters and ninjas..." He shakes his head, then repeats, "This is my fault."
As Tim starts to stir, Bruce stands up, walking over towards him. "I'm here, Tim. Dick is too. How are you feeling?" he asks, concerned. "You were in pretty bad shape when you got here. Alfred thought he stabalized most of the internal injuries, but..." he frowns deeply. "Tim, I'm sorry this happened. You don't deserve this."
Dick peels his mask off, as well as his gloves, setting them aside for a moment and fixing Bruce with an even gaze, "Despite what you might want the creeps we go after to think, you're human, Bruce. But you -do- owe Babs and Cassandra an apology. Especially Cassandra. She was really upset." He moves over towards Tim's infirmary bed as he stirs, reaching over to grasp the younger man's hand and smiling a touch. "Just relax Tim. You're OK. We know who did this." He actually has to suppress his natural inclination to make a joke, if only because he'd imagine Tim would likely hurt quite a bit when he laughs.
Tim's eyes squeeze tight as his jaw clenches. As the pain subsides his eyes open back up. "It's okay Bruce.." Tim says as tries to reassure his mentor with with a smile "It was in.. the job description.. Save the world.. get the ladies.. get paid.. Downside: Bruises, cuts and broken bones.. " he says weakly as he starts to chuckle, but the laugh is cut short before he winces in pain. Dick has definitely worn off on Tim, now he's cracking horrible jokes at inopportune times. He then lets out a grunt as he focuses. "The Hood.." Tim's tone is firm as he looks at Bruce. ".. it's Jason."
Bruce nods his head at Tim, putting a hand down on his shoulder, lightly. "You're brave to say that, Tim...but I promised myself that I wouldn't let something like this happen again," he mutters, looking up to Dick. "And I know Jason is the Hood. Really, I kne from the start, when Barbara ran into him. I just...didn't allow myself to believe. That is why I yelled at Cassandra, why I pushed you too away..." He shakes his head. "But then, I saw him at the Iceberg...I kinda lost it." He smiles sheepishly. "You may have seen something about that. But now I know...I know that Jason is alive. Don't know how, though I have a pretty good guess." He snarls his nose slightly, not looking forward to the prospect of having to possibly track down the Demon's Head, seeing what his involvement in this might be.
"Well, since we're in the confession and forgiveness mode, Barbara and I were about to go behind your back and track him down ourselves. Glad it doesn't look to be coming to that. Especially if Ra's al Ghul is involved." Dick admits. Hey, what's the simplest answer for how Jason could be alive, and who has both the motive and means to engineer something like this? He turns his attention to the patient, grinning towards Tim, "You get paid?" He teases, then adds with a more serious expression and tone, "You need anything, Tim? Water? Extra pillows?"
Tim looks to Dick and shakes his head adding a smile. He knows their job isn't to seek our revenge, but Tim's hiding his wanting to find Jason and put the former Boy Wonder down for the count. "No thanks Dick." he says closing his eyes for a moment. Once closed he starts to run through the night before. "I remember how fast he was. Just as fast as the both of you." Tim says opening his eyes and looking to the original dynamic duo, before looking away, ashamed that he couldn't hold his own against an older Robin. But something he remembers shifts Tim's gaze back to Bruce and Dick. "I think he's been in the cave recently. He quoted his memorial plaque word for word."
Batman considers for a moment before looking towards Dick. "You and Cassandra should go visit Ra's," he says slowly. "We have some bad blood after our last tangling. I suspect he'll give audience to see his perfect assassian again, but I need someone who can actually ask questions." He pauses. "I can keep looking for Jason here, try to get answers from the man himself. I...have a few allies who might be able to help, if I need it." It will be a good test to see exactly where Huntress and Catwoman stand. Of course, it also could end up getting him killed, but better him than Cass or Dick. "Tim, you're to recover until your 100% again. If I catch you out on patrol before then, you can bet that I'll be looking for another Robin. Is that understood?"
"Bruce. Throttle back for a minute. Before we do much of anything, -you- need some rest too." Dick notes, "This is what he wants, whether it's Ra's or someone else. To get us emotionally compromised, and wear us down, force us into making mistakes...you especially. I'm not objecting to the plan, but I think we should all get a few hours of rest, and then all coordinate together. You, me, Tim, Cassandra, Barbara...whoever else you want to bring in." He grins towards Tim, "Even if you might not be swinging that bo-staff for a couple weeks, we can still use that big brain of yours."
Tim only stares at Bruce and nods. And then sounded like a boy who got grounded for breaking out windows replies. "Yes sir." But it's Dick's comment on his considerable intelligence causes Tim to start to laugh, which is again interrupted by pain. As the pain passes something Dick just said ignites an idea in his head. "Bo staff." Tim begins with a whisepr. "He used my own bo staff on me." Tim adds before continuing to think out loud. "But if he held onto it we may be able to track him through the tracking device Bruce had installed in it." That's when Tim realizes he just monologued his thoughts to Bruce and Dick. That's right the Bat Family are like the Postal service. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor red masked nutjobs will stop them from doing their job.
Bruce bristles slightly. There are few things he likes more than other people telling him what to do. But after a moment, his body sags, and he nods. "Rest...would be good. Can I trust for you and the rest of the fam not suffering any brusied ribs to take care of the city? At least for tonight?" He doesn't like asking for help, but he realizes if he pushes himself much more, he won't be able to go much further. Vague shadow pains in his back causes him to wince slightly, before glancing towards Tim. He slowly nods his head. "That's...not a bad plan," he says slowly. "Perhaps intentional on Jason's part, but at least point I might welcome walking into a trap." He pauses, glancing towards Dick. "After resting...of course..." he adds, reluctantly.
"It's only a couple more hours until sunup. You can rest through the morning, and by nighttime tomorrow we should all be in better shape." Dick actually places a hand on Bruce's shoulder, "We'll figure all this out. Find out why Jason's doing all this. Try to talk some sense into him." Not that Jason doesn't have some degree of justification for his anger, but well...it isn't enough to justify some of the things he's already done in Gotham since his return. "Anyway, I'll leave strict instructions with Alfred to make sure you -do- get some sleep. I'll touch base with Oracle and get everything arranged for a planning session, whether we do it remotely or all in the same place. If he's setting up a trap, maybe we can turn it back against him." Dick nods once more, moving to place his gloves back on, followed by his mask, "I should get moving. Rest up, both of you. Tim, ask Alfred about his spicy chicken and potato soup...always made me feel better when I got banged up." He adds before starting to head back towards his motorcycle.
Tim now just stares at the ceiling of the cave as the duo go over the plan. He doesn't do anything until Dick talks to him. I will Tim answers Dick, but adds. And be careful, Nightwing. Tim says switching over to the man's alter ego as soon as the mask goes on. With his farewell out of the way he goes back to looking up.
As Dick starts to move off, Bruce frowns slightly, feeling the urge to suit up and travel behind him. But a promise is a promise, and he doesn't feel like he could throw much of a punch right now anyway. He nods towards Dick's suggestion, making his way towards the entryway back to the manor. "I'll let Alfred know a round of soup and tea is in order...and then get to bed." He grumbles the last bit, becoming less enthused about this resting thing the closer it gets, not sure if he even can relax enough to rest. But at the very least, he'll try.