Prince of Gotham
Disclaimer: This is my perspective on characters that belong to DC comics.
So all rights and stuff go to them except for the character(s) that I make
Manticore made his way across the empty bank, not bothering to look around. Manticore found himself watching his thugs take the money out of the vault.
"Look alive guys, we're not alone." Manticore smiled, not looking into the shadows, "I wondered when I'd be seeing you."
Batman stepped out of the shadows with Robin at his side, "Who are you?" he said.
"Come on, Batman, you're the great detective. Figure it out." Manticore said, put his hand up to stop his thugs, "This is such an honor, to be fighting you."
"I don't think there will be a fight." Batman said, "You're going to jail."
Manticore walked over to Batman and ran his finger across Batman's face, "Sounds like a vacay."
Batman tried to cuff Manticore, but he slide out of arm's length and kicked Batman in the stomach, "Get them, boys." Manticore said, grabbing a bag of money and leaving.
"Go after him!" Robin said, taking a stance.
Batman nodded and flew off after Manticore. Outside, Manticore was strapping the money down to the back of his motorcycle and getting ready to leave. Batman swung in and kicked Manticore to the ground. Manticore rolled over onto his knee and looked up at Batman.
"I can't let you get away." Batman said.
"I was hoping you would say that." Manticore said quickly, standing, "I've got just the drug for you, bats." He said, raising his hand to Batman's face. Batman began to steadily waver, but suddenly, out of nowhere, a batarang flew from nowhere and cut open Manticore's costume. Manticore looked around, seeing Nightwing atop a roof, "That's my cue." He said, leaving.
"So, Bruce's mind is...what?" Dick asked.
"His brainwaves are abnormal, but everything else is just fine, Master Dick." Alfred said, "I'm afraid the problem isn't physical."
"So, this guy, Manticore, he can do this?" Tim asked.
"It was him." Dick said, "He gave me the creeps."
"What can we do?" Tim asked.
"There is nothing we can do," Alfred said, "But I took the liberty of calling someone that could."
"Who?" Dick asked.
"One kick-ass witch." I smirked, standing on the stairs to the Manor.
"You're going to help?" Dick asked.
"You sound surprised that I'd help Bruce." I said.
"More surprised that you'd help. I thought you weren't a hero." Dick said.
"I'm not a hero, but this is Bruce." I smiled, "Besides, it's Saturday and all the really good shows aren't on. So, the big bad put the whammy on our boy?"
"Looks like." Dick said, "I really like the jacket, it fits you."
"Thanks." I smiled, "So, you wouldn't happen to have any pentagrams or candles or anything remotely magical, would ya?"
"I do believe we have a few candles around here somewhere." Alfred said, heading off to find the candles.
"So, what are you going to do?" Tim asked.
"Well, first I'm going to...umm, well, I really don't know. I don't really know what the guy did, so..." I said, walking over and putting my hand just above Bruce's calm face.
"Anything?" Dick asked.
"He's in there." I said, "Something else is in there with him, though."
"Something else in there?" Tim asked.
"I feel something, just below the surface." I said, "This guy's definitely a little magical. Whatever whammy this guy put on Bruce is sticky, it's full of holes."
"Holes. Holes are good, right? Holes can be patched." Dick said.
"Kind of the opposite." I explained, "For every hole, there's a serious lack of knowledge, particularly where the brain is concerned. Nothing's concrete."
"So..." Tim said.
"Magic's not a predictable thing; it's trickery at its easiest." I explained, "Sorry to get all `splainy, but it's kind of interesting to me. It all is. I mean, there are still areas of magic that are...and you don't care."
"I do." Dick said, "It's just good to see you excited about something."
"Oh jeeze." Tim sighed, "Can you two keep it in your pants?"
"Blow me." I said, flipping him the finger.
Tim put his hand to his heart, "Oh, you're killing me." He said.
"Look, you want my help or not?" I asked.
"We need you." Dick said.
"And I'm here." I smiled, seeing Alfred coming back down the stairs, candles in hand. I walked to him and grabbed the candles, "Thanks."
"My pleasure, Master Phoenix." Alfred said.
"So, have you decided how you're going to fix him?" Tim asked.
"I have decided what kind of mo to jo." I said, "We're going into Bruce's mind."
"Come again?" Tim asked.
"I'd rather sit this one out, if you don't mind." Alfred said.
"Of course." I said, "Going into his mind is the only way to help Bruce deal with whatever he's going through. Granted, going into Batman's mind is a little more scary than I usually do, but...listen, don't do too much or mess with too much while we're in there, after all, it's his mind."
"What if he has some juicy secrets?" Tim joked.
I stood in front of him, with my most serious face, "Do anything to screw with Bruce's psyche and I'll make sure you think you're in eternal Hell, kay?" I said, smiling at the end.
"Alright, alright." Tim said, "I was just kidding."
"Phoenix's right. If we want good ole, stiff Bruce back, we can't do anything to mess him up." Dick said.
I lined the candles around Bruce's sleeping body and walked back to Bruce and Dick, "Hold hands." I said, grabbing their hands, then chanting, "Nolens mens , sinus ut thee , patefacio sursum vestri scientia ut nos may animadverto. Levo veil of specialis quod ostendo totus of suus mens volo." I chanted.
Dick, Phoenix, and Tim looked around, taking in their surroundings. They stood in the foyer of Wayne Manor, but it wasn't the same Manor. Everything looked new and old. New but vintage. Retro even. Phoenix took notice of the retro surroundings.
"What's going on?" Dick asked, "I thought we were going inside Bruce's mind."
There was a sound of laughter coming from down the hall as a young boy ran from one room to another and a man followed.
"We are." Phoenix said, walking towards the room the man and boy had just gone into.
"What do you mean?" Tim asked as he and Dick followed Phoenix, "This just looks like a blast from the past."
They walked further up and stopped at the room. As they stepped into the room, they stepped outside and looked around. They were outside, of course, but there was a stage and many, many people and chairs. A young Bruce stood with his mom and dad as Alfred took a picture of him in full graduation gear.
"Welcome to the what if of Bruce Wayne." Phoenix said, noticing Bruce's smile. Bruce smiled until he saw the three guys, then it faded for just a second and he was back to smiling. As they began walking towards him, Bruce disappeared amidst the shuffle of people.
"Where'd he go?" Dick asked.
"He saw us...nobody else can see us." Phoenix said.
"How can you tell?" Tim asked.
"He's...He disappeared." Phoenix said, "I can't even sense him."
"We need to find him." Tim said.
They headed in the same direction as Bruce had gone, but they couldn't find him. Suddenly, they came to a point where they found that the graduation could not be seen. It merely dissolved, and now, they looked on as the Mansion became clearer and clearer. As they walked, they came upon a gigantic hole in the ground.
"What is it?" Tim asked.
"Hasn't Bruce ever told you the story?" Dick asked.
"I wanna hear it too." Phoenix said.
"When Bruce was a kid, he fell through this hole and that's how he found the Batcave." Dick explained.
Phoenix looked over the edge, "I don't think we need to go to the Manor." He said.
"Why not?" Tim asked.
"He's down there." Phoenix said, gesturing toward the hole.
Dick and Tim looked over the edge to see a young Bruce Wayne, in a fetal position while bats flew all around him.
"How do we get down there?" Dick asked.
"Slowly." Phoenix said, "I think I can get us down there, but one at a time."
"How we going to pull that?" Dick asked.
Phoenix's eyes glowed, "Some very powerful magic." Phoenix said.
"You need powerful magic to drop us down a hole?" Tim asked.
"It took a lot to get us here." Phoenix explained.
"Oh." Tim said.
Phoenix concentrated on the guys, gently lowering them into the hole. When they got into the hole, the Batcave was built.
"When did all this happen?" Dick asked.
"You took too long." Bruce said, dressed as Batman and sitting at the batcomputer.
"So, we don't have to have a meaningful talk? I was kind of geared for explaining to you how you can't stay here because...you know what, see if I save you again." Phoenix groaned.
"Manticore." Batman said, "How long have I been out?"
"Not long...couple of hours." Dick said.
"And you called in reinforcements." Batman said, "You're back on the Bat-team?"
"No." Phoenix said, "I'm just here to undo what Manticore did."
"You know the way out of here?" Batman asked.
"Just say the word." Phoenix said.
"The word." Tim said, "This place is creepy."
As Phoenix walked back into his room, the lights were off. He hit the switch and flipped on the light to see a message on his laptop. He walked over and checked the message and was shocked when he read: I'm Watching You.