Bacon, Cookies and Blood

November 04, 2015:

Bluebird finds Nightwing hurt in an explosion, they then head to the safehouse where the value of partnership is discussed.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The explosion is only two blocks away from Harper's house, loud enough that she can certainly hear it. The van involved lays on the side of the roar, flames shooting up from the ruptured remnants of it, the gas tank in the back torn apart by the force of the blast. Pig parts are scattered everywhere, the smell of sizzling pork flavoring the smoke that pours out everywhere. A man in a hospital gown lays face down, one of his arms twisted to the side - onl ya close look reveals that the arm is a prosthetic, the hand at the end nothing but a wretched meathook.

Nightwing lays in the gutter, his costume torn along the side. Blood pours from a wound in his scalp as he tries to push himself up to his feet. He only gets a glimpse of a figure in a lab coat and a butcher's apron, a long cleaver in his hand. He hears a snort and an accented voice, "Leave him for now. His efforts amuse me and I would safe him for…a proper feast," the Professor says before climbing into the car and driving off just as Harper arrives on the scene…

She was on fast approach, Bluebird already suited and ready to return home for the night until she heard the explosion. She was just putting keys into the hidden door of her apartment when it happened. She dropped everything and ran as fast as she could, the smell of pork rhinds upon her nose which causes her stomach to turn with the need to upchuck, but she doesn't. She pushes on, feet beating the concrete until she comes to a stop.. the flames licking the concrete and.. someone down? And then there was Nightwing..

"What the hell happened.." She stammers, approaching her vigilante counterpart, fingers curled into a fist as she kneels to grasp his shoulders and carefully tries to help him to his feet. "Nightwing.. Are you okay? Of course you're not but are you lucid!?"

Dick Grayson pushes himself up for a moment only to collapse for a second, rolling onto his back and blinking behind the night-vision lenses in his mask, "I'll live," he says, straining to try and sit up before he feels the pain shoot down the side of his neck. "I…found some irregularities in the records of this…guy working at Arkham. I trailed him tonight when he left work and…he got picked up by that stolen ambulance," he says.

"They grabbed a homeless guy and stuffed him in the back. I got him out, but I ended up joyriding on top of the ambulance…they sent the hook out after me…"

He gestures towards the unconscious man in the hospital gown, "Lovely fella…gave me this nice new scar…" he says.

Harper was strong enough, but not right now. She just blew out her lungs which made her arms and legs feel weak from the burst run that she did on the way there. She kneels down beside him, looking up towards the other fallen man, then back towards Nightwing to reach and try to touch his wound. "Here.." She reaches out to grab his arm, attempting to roll him just enough for her to draw his arm around her shoulders. "Lean on me, I'm sure someone's called the police already, we gotta get out of here."

She gives a one.. heave.. ho.. then tries to lift him, staggering a bit herself. "Where's your bike? Please tell me you brought your bike.." She wasn't going to take Nightwing back to her place, she was going to go to his. Or maybe that clinic! It wasn't too far from here, right? Don't panic, Harper.. What would Batman do?

Dick Grayson pushes up onto his legs, managing to get some strength back just from having her try to help him, "It's about…six blocks that way," he grins, nodding down the street. "I'll be okay. I've had a lot worse, just get me out of sight for a little bit and I can stitch myself up whenever I get back to my safehouse," he says.

He points towards as nearby alleyway, "There, there's a…Chinese restaurant on the other side, they never lock their back door. I've had to hide in their kitchen a few times before," he says. "You end up finding all the little hideyholes if you do this for long enough," he says.

"We really should just get straight to your safehouse.." But, Harper does as she was told, keeping the arm around his waist to try to lead him towards the resturant where he indicated. "So not cool, you were supposed to call me. We're in this together, right? What if you were blowed up.." Yes, she said blowed up. " really blowed up? Then what? We're supposed to have each others backs in this.."

Was she mad? A bit. She felt a little bit left out and truly believed her being there could have made a difference. Now what type of difference was.. well, suspect. She may have been killed or gotten him killed, or they may not have been hurt at all.

"That guy. What was his name you were chasing? Talk to me. Or ask me something. Don't care what, your head looks bad and it needs fixing."

Dick Grayson shakes his head, "It all happened so fast, I didn't mean to…leave you out," he says. "It was just supposed to be a simple tail. If they hadn't grabbed that guy, I would've just traced them back. But I couldnm't be sure they weren't cutting him to pieces in there…" he says.

"His name's Axel Kirk. An orderly at Arkham. He covered up a criminal record…in his application. And it looked like he had help, from someone who knew the inside of the…medical industry," he says. He leans against the wall of the alley, taking a moment and forcing himself to stand fully on his own power.

"You're right, we should get to the safehouse. C'mon, we'll take the rooftops, that way we can avoid the cops."

Harper was quiet, slowly making her way down the alleyway with Nightwing, keeping her clutch tight upon him as they were getting close. "Axel Kirk, guy sounds like a real peach." She idly comments, a deep frown upon her face. "So whoever this Professor dude is just may be operating inside of Arkham?"

As he moves away from her, she stops and watches him, a deep inhale taken as she gives a slight shake of her head. "Just.. just wait here.." She even holds her hand out, then turns.. running outside of the alleyways and down into the light.

..only to return a few minutes later with a car, a beat up type of deal which soon honks and door opens. "GET IN!" Okay, so Batman wouldn't do this, but it was the safest way she could transport him.

He tries to suppress a laugh - Bruce woud disapprove, yes, but it was just a car and they would make sure no harm came to it. Hopefully. If it did, well…anonymous donations would take care of the damage. There were a lot of people who got those kind of benefits from an unknown benefactor whenever Batman's battles ended up creating a lot of collateral damage.

He slides into the passenger seat, wincing a bit. His shoulder aches, probably slightly dislocated. He still puts on his seat belt. "I don't know if he's actually inside, but he knows the mental health system, at any rate. I wouldn't be entirely surprised - it wouldn't be the first time Arkham's been compromised," he says.

So, having a criminal in the family does wonders to ones skills. She hotwired that car in record time and was already on the move before the door was closed. Surely, it was a few blocks, but with the sirens at the back she had to make a wide berth to move to the safehouses location. "It's a start, at least."

She whips around the corner, slowing the speed of the car down, relaxing in the drivers seat as she draws out a sigh. She has a plan, one that she really wouldn't tell Nightwing about. She was going to find a way to get herself committed to Arkham. If the man, the Professor is on the inside.. what better way to get him to notice her?

She parks a block away from the safehouse, turning the car off immediately, ducking her head just a touch so that she could unhinge the wires and properly rewire it to it's former status, then replaces the panel snug and tight. "Come on, lets hoof it." She sounded almost grave.. certainly Batman would do what she's planning, right? Being sent to Arkham.. undercover.. right?

Dick Grayson can't read Harper's mind - he's good at figuring out what people are thinking, but no psychic. But he does figure it's probably impulsive and likely to get her in a lot of danger. That's just based on past experience. Whatever it is, he'll either stop her, temper her or, at the very least, try to be there to catch her. He always used to perform without a net - kind of ironic sometimes he has to be one himself.

He punches in the code to the hidden door, sliding the panel open and leading them down into the safehouse hidden in the shuttered pawn shop. He closes the door behind her and does a quick check of his notifications - doesn't look like any further alerts or emergencies going on. At least, nothing that required their attention. Gotham was never entirely quiet. "I'll get the medkit," he says.

Once inside the safehouse, Harper immediately moves to settle herself upon the table as she watches. Legs swinging, eyes piercing through, which seems more prominent despite the fact that her entire nose and mouth are covered. "You're not going to want me to patch you up, right?" She asks, attempting to lighten the mood. "Cause I'm such a shit doctor or nurse or what have you. My bedside manner sucks, I'm pretty sure I'll get some crackers or something in your wounds.."

Speaking of..

She hops down from the table and immediately goes straight for the fridge, leftovers of thai food and randoms were immediately bunched within her arms as well as two bottles of water, which was juggled until one falls to the ground.. which was soon kicked towards the table she sat at. "I'm hungry.." She grumbles. "So that Alex or Axel Rose guy.." She starts, assembling the food and looking around for something to eat with. ".. You figure out any known connections to the dude? Like someone that's in Arkham." She pauses. "I mean, I got a guy I can ask but I don't think he should be put in harms way like that.. so we'll probably have to get Johnny 5 to check.." Bingo! Some weird.. spatula thing.. is that blood? Oh well.

Dick Grayson shakes his head, "I've stitched myself up plenty of times. No worries,' he says. He takes a moment to clean the cut out, puling his hair back and tying it up in a litte topknot to keep it out of the way.

It's not exactly a feast - mostly cold pizza, yogurt cups, Chinese leftovers from the place you almost hid out in. He peels off his gloves and his upper garment, what's left of it, tossing them aside, leaving him in his mask and bare-chested.

He shakes his head, "I'd only really just begun tugging at that thread - I wanted to get a feel of what Kirk was up to before I spent too much time barking up that tree." he says. "Unfortunately, I found out all too quickly that he's up to no good. The good thing, though, is that they won't necessarily trace my interference to him. Which means we can still surveil and approach him and his involvement as a way into the cult."

Yeah, she wasn't even going to try to stitch him up. Nor heat up the food. Yogurt, chinese and pizza? Tons of protein in there, somewhere. The chinese was the first that was taken up. Fried rice immediately eaten with the scoop of the spatula, turning just in time to give Nightwing the stink eye, then quickly turns away. Thankfully, the mask hides the blush. Bluebird does not blush. It's not even in her creed.

"Mmhmm." She was listening, but her own little plan was forming. The most non-lethal way for her to get locked up into Arkham. Maybe there was a medical trial out.. maybe she could put on spandex and dance on Arkham's lawn and say that she's Two Face reborn. Who knows..

"I got a few things I'm working on. I could probably help in that regard." Harper lies. She was getting good at that. "I probably would just.. need a few favors."

Dick Grayson raises an eyebrow, "A few favors, huh? I feel like I should go easy on this medkit - I might end up needing the spare materials," he says.

He slides off the table and comes over to grab a piece of the pizza, taking a bite and moving to sit down next to her. "You're right, we need to work together on this. I shouldn't have gone off on my own tonight. Just because I have more experience doesn't mean you don't deserve the respect of being notified. That's not how partners act," he says.

"Yeah. I mean it's nothing really. I wanted to ask Dick to watch over Cullen for a few days. And.. of course you watch over Cullen as well if Dick goes in to work. Nothing too big." She grins just a touch, dumping a few lumps of cold rice upon the pizza, wrapping it up and eating it. Narrows born, they'd eat any damn thing.

"It's all good though. Really. I shouldn't have yelled at you or nothing. But.." She laughs a little, then shakes her head. "I don't have the skill set that you do, heck. I'm still a few months into going out on my own. I don't have the fighting moves or the acrobatics and the giggity gadgets you guys have. Maybe it was better."

The pizza was demolished in record time, and soon the yogurt was attacked. Yogurt and rice.. mmm.. oreo rice.. wait a minute.. "You got any oreos?"

Dick Grayson laughs, "I think I have some of those fudge stripe cookies? And maybe a box of thin mints somewhere. I can never turn down a Girl Scout."

He makes a small face as he watches her eat. He grew up rough enough in his own way - circus people eat lots of strange things. But one of the few things he'd absorbed from life at Wayne Manor was a certain standard for food. Alfred's cooking had a habit of spoiling a boy. "Maybe I can help with that, too. It's past time we started training you fully. And getting your gear up to snuff. Your homemade stuff is pretty cool, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't get you a few more…reliable things. Just for day to day."

"Nah. It wouldn't work for that." She continues to eat, remaining in a touch of silence, ignoring the faces he makes as she combines her food into something most delicious to her. Something that'll probably upset her stomach later down the road. "With training? That'll.. once everything is done, I'd be down with that. Though, I don't know if I've been accepted into the fold yet, Batman'll probably be pissed at you."

Well, she was there at the hospital that night, maybe she was accepted? She doesn't know.

"I think I'll be cool once I get a look at the schematics of what everyone uses. But.. I'll be forever known as the taser girl so might as well stick with that."

Dick Grayson considers for a moment and shrugs, "Then he'll be pissed at me. Wouldn't be the first time," he says. He considers for a oment then lets her in on a small thing, "You know Robin? Well…I used to be Robin. When I was a kid," he says. "But well, Batman and I…stopped seeing eye to eye. And I went off on my own for a while. That's when I became Nightwing. We're okay now, but…even in superheroing, relationships are complicated. And one thing I've learned is that you have to do what you think is right. Not anyone else,' he says.

"Which doesn't mean you shouldn't listen. I worry about you," he says. "I know you want to help and you do. But I also don't want you getting killed because I haven't put the time in to help you prepare." he says. "The tasers are pretty good, though. I agree. Hell, I might ask for one."

Harper shrugs slightly, but she was listening. Despite having a mouth full of food, she was listening. "Oh.." Is all she could say to that. "All relationships are complicated though, it's not a big deal really. It'll become one when they stop though.. depending on the reason."

She was quiet though, but she smiles afterwards. "Here." She reaches behind herself, drawing out a pistol to lay upon the table, as well as the cartridges. "I got another one at home."

At least it was one of her specialized taser guns, and if he was the previous Robin as he said he was, he'd figure out how it would work. "You don't have to worry about me, really. I can hold my own. And really, the lessons.. thank you. We're going to get through this crap and start training immediately, I bet."

Dick Grayson smiles, "I hope so. I'll get a gym ready for us, regardless," he says. "You ever do pommel horse in school? I do it a little differently," he grins. He never went to public school himself - homeschooled up until his mid-teens, by family and then Alfred. He'd done junior and senior year at a private academy in Gotham, the kind of place that won't kick you out when you have to spend two weeks at home with a eight broken ribs because your guardian and adopted big brother donated vast amounts of money to their endowment.

Most of those people probably thought Bruce beat him.

"I know you can hold your own. I don't want you to just hold your own. I want you to win. I want you to dominate. The mystery stuff is always the hard part - with the right training, we become superior enough that the physical stuff jsut becomes second nature. Almost no one in this city - or hell, this world - can go toe to toe with Batman in a fair fight. And that's because he made sure he was the best."

"What?" Pommel horse? "Never even heard of it. That just sounds damn weird." She laughs a little, pushing a yogurt cup in his direction, then moves away from the table to give a slight stretch. "Besides, I always win. I'm the frickin' Bluebird, man. I bet you in about.. five years time I could drop Batman faster than.. well. I can just drop him because I'm sure eventually someones going to make a toy out of the guy and I could just put him on the floor."

She does study him for a moment, her nose wrinkling briefly. "You kinda stink. Like burnt rubber. And bacon. Bacon don't sound bad right now but I don't think I can eat it with you around."

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