Title: The Cycle.
Author:  Cold Nostalgia
Disclaimer: Don’t Own
Rating: PG
Claim:  Arkham Asylum
Characters:  Batman/Bruce Wayne, Robin/Tim Drake
Prompt: 2. The more things change.
Word Count: 405
Summary: “I thought it would be different this time.”

Even at this distance the alarm bells weren’t enough to muffle the screams and shouts originating from somewhere within the building.  Batman grimaced, forcing down his pressing need to go charging in, regardless of the danger to himself and others.


Quickly, he cast a critical eye over the building, looking for an entrance that wouldn’t immediately alert the rioting inmates to his presence.


So absorbed he was on his task that Robin’s sudden appearance at his side almost startled him.


“Oracle checked in.” The Boy Wonder stated without preamble.  “Nightwing is on his way.”


Batman nodded.  The window just below the clock tower looked promising, the grinning gargoyle to its right, inviting.


“You think we should wait for him?”


Batman’s lip twitched.  “No.” he said slowly, scanning the asylum’s grounds one more time.  “I’m sure he’ll catch up with us eventually.”


“Oh,” Robin said quietly, sounding deflated.


Despite the seriousness of the situation, Batman allowed a small smile to take form on his lips, infinitely grateful for the cloak of darkness which concealed it from view.


“I thought it would be different this time.”


“What would?”


Robin waved his hands helplessly.  “Things…the new administration.”  The Boy Wonder clarified.  “Dr. Scott looked like he knew what he was doing, like he knew what he was talking about.  I really thought he was going to get Arkham under control,” he shrugged awkwardly.  “I thought there were going to be changes around here.”


Batman choked down a snort.  “Did you now?”


“Yeah.”  Robin sighed tiredly.  His breath visible against the cold night air.


Batman turned to look at his newest Robin, taking in his innocence and naivety.  A small part of The Caped Crusader wondered if it was too soon to expose the young man to the dangers of an unleashed Arkham. 


He shook the thought away. In a way Alfred was right, Tim would never learn if he persisted on shielding him from the dangers of their chosen path.  Bruce trusted him enough not to make reckless decisions that would result in irreversible mistakes.


Tim wasn’t Jason.  The boy had proved that much to him already.


“You’ll learn.”  Batman stated quietly, turning to face the asylum.  His mind already making a list of the inmates currently incarcerated, planning for the brutal and bloody battles that lay ahead of them.


Bracing themselves for the chaos and madness to come, they set out under a pale full moon.



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