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
"Batman, we found something. We think you should see."
"What is it, Barbara?"
"It's at Arkham. Or he's at Arkham."
"Who's at Arkham, Barbara?"
"He turned up a while ago, at first we didn't know anything about him. As a matter of fact, for a long time we didn't know anything. He never says anything." Doctor Mines said, "He seems utterly unresponsive."
"Can I see him?" Batman asked.
"Yes, but I must warn you, his appearance is...disturbing." Doctor Mines said quickly.
"Is there something I should know?" Batman asked.
"He...he knows things. He babbles and it's incoherent." Doctor Mines said.
Batman nodded, ignoring the cat calls and inmates shouting at him. He walked into the room and his jaw almost dropped. Phoenix, the boy who had died years ago, was sitting alone in the light. There was darkness around him but he sat in the one spot of light.
"It's a bat. Can't be a bat. He's a man." Phoenix babbled, "The Man is locked inside the box."
"The box?" Batman asked, "You mean Arkham?"
"The box. I don't know who I am." Phoenix said, distraught.
"Maybe we should leave..." Doctor Mines insisted.
Batman walked over to Phoenix, "Your name is Phoenix Rainer! You're...You're..." he stammered, but stopped when he realized none of it was going through.
"They're watching." Phoenix said quickly.
Batman looked at him, "Who are they?" he asked.
Phoenix looked from Batman to Doctor Mines, "They're always watching." He said.
"That's quite enough!" Doctor Mines said, "He needs his rest."
"Anybody else notice that I'm insane here?" I said loudly.
They both looked at me, shocked by my outburst.
"Insanity...sanity..." I laughed, "It's all about what you know and what you don't."
"When did he show up here?" Batman asked.
"A few days ago." Doctor Mines replied, "He was unresponsive when he first arrived."
"And then?" Batman asked.
"And then he started babbling incoherently. Our first thought was to notify his next of kin, but his father was out of the country." Doctor Mines explained.
Batman scowled, "What were you going to do, lock him up with the criminals?" he demanded.
"This is an asylum." Doctor Mines said, "And he is in need of psychiatric help."
"Do I get to ride in the shiny car?" I asked cheerily.
"Batman, I understand your concerns, but..." before he could finish, I knocked him out from behind.
Batman looked at me, "I didn't think he'd ever shut up." I frowned.
I stood in the BatCave, looking at the suits. I noticed mine wasn't in there, which wasn't a big deal because, hey, I was a villain. I mean, but I did save Gotham...that meant something...right? I felt good. A little off, but good. I couldn't really remember much about the last few years, but I did remember everything before I died. How did I know I died? When you die, you just know it. I couldn't remember where I had gone, if me saving the lives of all the Gotham residents really mattered. I couldn't even remember why I was there; what made me come back from the dead to be here? I did remember that awful Asylum, thank God I'd only been there a few days. I couldn't help but worry a little. The doctor hadn't been completely wrong, I was having bouts of incoherence. My mind was bouncing from one erratic thought to the next. I was getting all these visions in my head.
"Lots of things have changed." Bruce said, sitting at the computer. His cowl was off and he seemed to be looking at me through the reflection, "I have a son."
I chuckled, surprised, "Way to go, Bruce. He must be about, what, eight?" I asked.
Bruce didn't answer.
"Is he older than me?" I joked.
"No." Bruce said darkly.
I walked over to him and the computer, "Definitely not after I died, right? I'm guessing Selina Kyle." I said.
"No. And Talia Ghul." Bruce said, still typing.
I chuckled, "You've got to be kidding!" I frowned, "Next you're gonna say Jason's back from the dead."
Bruce was silent.
"Oh God! Where is he?" I asked.
"Your guess is as good as mine." Bruce said.
"And Dick? Tim? Barbara?" I asked, "Alfred hasn't died yet, has he?"
"Good Lord." Alfred said, dropping the silver platter, "You said you had a guest...I never imagined..."
I smirked, "Hi to you too, Al." I said, hugging him. He was still shocked, "Don't worry, I don't want to eat your brains."
"The body was never found." Bruce said.
"Can we not call me the body?" I asked.
Alfred looked as if he had seen a ghost, "Where have you been, if I may be so bold, Master Fox?" he asked.
"Hell if I know, Al. Alls I remember is being back here." I said, "The pain was excruciating, though. I mean, being disintegrated was...wow."
Bruce and Alfred looked at each other, worried.
"My dad...he's still alive, right? I mean I know the doctor said he was, but that guy..."
"He remarried." Bruce explained, "You have a sibling."
I looked at them oddly, "So, you're saying that my dad replaced me and my mother?" I asked.
"He was devastated, sir." Alfred snapped, "I'm terribly sorry, sir, but no one was more upset. Well, almost no one."
I put my hands up, "Down, Jeeves, it's just a lot to handle." I frowned.
"Who's that guy?" A kid, well not kid, said. He looked to be pubescent.
"Lemme guess, you're the spawn of Batman." I said, walking over and extending my hand, "Nice to meet you."
The boy just looked at me and scowled.
"Wow, that's genetic." I said.
"What is?" the boy asked.
"That broody attitude." I said, "Don't know what I expected. I thought you'd at least smile."
"Damian, this is Phoenix." Bruce said.
"Huma?" Damian asked.
"I'll never live that down, will I?" I chuckled.
"You are evil." Damian said.
"You're not going to attack me, are you? I'm not sure if I have any powers." I said quietly.
Damian still looked to be sizing me up.
"Again with the brooding?" I smirked.
"I don't know if I like you." Damian said.
"Fair enough." I shrugged, "No one's answering the question that should be on everyone's mind."
"And what would that be, Master Fox?" Alfred asked.
"If you can't come up with that one on your own, I'm not going to tell you." I said, walking to the computer, "You're trying to find Jason?"
Bruce stared at me.
"Any idea where he is?" I asked.
"He's somewhere in Gotham." Bruce said, "Maybe the Narrows. He's different."
"Really? How so?" I asked.
"Darker than you?" I asked.
"He kills." Bruce said.
"As opposed to him almost killing them before?" I asked.
"He's more than a vigilante. He's a..."
"Villain? Maybe I can help him." I said, "Maybe that's my destiny or something."
"I'm not sure he can be helped." Bruce said indifferently. I had known him a long time and I knew not to take that at face value, "He's so lost. He thinks..."
"He thinks he's right. He thinks this was always him." I said, "I can relate."
"I never stopped and asked you how you were holding up." Bruce said.
I leaned on the computer, "Honestly...no clue." I smiled.
Bruce looked at me, "I have to go. Alfred'll be here." He said.
"We're going out? Yes!" Damian said excitedly.
"If you think I'm staying in your big, luxurious...mansion...what was I saying?" I asked, "Oh, right, if you think I'm missing any action, you're wrong."
"I can't take you with me." Bruce said, standing and putting on his cowl, "It's too dangerous."
"Did you forget that I used to kinda work the streets...wow, that sounds so much worse than it was." I said, "Or not worse enough. I was a friggin supervillain."
"May be, but that was a long time ago." Batman said darkly. I could tell the difference between Bruce and Batman, if there was such a thing. You could argue with Bruce, but not with Batman.
"What makes you think I won't leave just after you?" I asked.
Batman looked at me with anger, "Just a guess." He said, sweeping away. Damian followed him into the Batmobile. I sighed looked to Alfred, who smiled politely. I smiled back. Here I was, stuck in this huge, luxurious mansion with nothing to do but twiddle my thumbs.
"Hello," I said quietly, "Dick? Yeah. It's me. I don't exactly know how either. It just sorta happened. I don't know. I don't know. Well, I do know that I'm back. I don't know for how long. It's just enough that I'm back now. You don't have to come...Dick...Hello?"
He hung up after questioning me. He wanted to come here but I knew that wouldn't be a good idea. Who knew if this thing was permanent or even how long it would last. I may be devoid of my powers, but I wasn't devoid of common sense.
"Master Fox," Alfred said, causing me to turn and see my father and a very beautiful woman with what looked like a two year old, "Your father is here."
I just stared at first. We both did. This wasn't expected. This wasn't part of the plan.
"Daddy?" I asked.
"Phoenix? Is it really you?" Dad asked.
"Alfred, you shouldn't have done this." I said quickly, still stunned.
"I thought you would be happy, Master Fox." Alfred said, confused.
"I am! I am." I said, "I just..."
"You must be exhausted and...God knows what else! Batman said that you died saving Gotham." Dad said.
"I did." I said.
"Then how can you be here?" Dad asked.
"I don't really know." I said.
"Are you okay?" Dad asked.
I looked past him to his wife and child, "They told me you got married." I said, "Hi." I waved.
"This is Cynthia. She's my new wife. And our son, your brother, Jack." He said, walking over and getting Jack, "Here, hold him." He smiled, handing me Jack.
As I held Jack, I looked into his doe-like eyes and smiled to myself. He looked like dad. They were wrong, Dad had moved on and he shouldn't have been brought back here. It was better if they had never known I was back. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought this would happen. I wasn't mad anymore, not at dad. This was how things were meant to happen. He deserved closure. And that's exactly what I was going to give him.
"Alfred, we need some privacy." I said.
"Yes, Master Fox." Alfred nodded, leaving the room.
"I'm sure you want some alone time." Cynthia said, taking Jack.
"No. You should stay. You all need to hear this." I said, sitting on the couch.
They sat opposite me. I looked at them. We were all silent and for good reason.
"So..." Dad said.
"Dad, you have to leave." I said, "And you can't remember any of this."
"What?" Dad asked, alarmed.
I closed my eyes and opened them again, "You and Cynthia will leave. You will not remember that I'm alive. You will take Jack and live happily ever after," I said, extending my will into them, "You will remember me, but you will not stop life because of me. You will be happy and know that I love you and I'm with my mother now."
Dad and Cynthia looked blank.
I teared up, "You're going to go back to life without me." I said quickly.
Without another word, they got up and left. Dad paused at the door, as if he was fighting it, but continued with his wife and child. I felt, for the first time since I had returned, I felt like I was just a relic lost in the past. I made my way back down to the Batcave and saw that the computer was going crazy. I walked over and pressed enter, causing Barbara to pop up on the screen. She looked, like everyone else, as though she had seen a ghost.
"Phoenix?" Barbara asked.
"That's me." I said quickly, "What's up?"
"I can't believe it. When I heard...I just can't believe it." Barbara stammered.
"The mighty Oracle is speechless?" I chuckled, "Again, what's up Barbie?"
"Batman and Robin have been captured." Barbara said, "I lost contact with them after they went after Two-Face."
"Any idea what Two-Face's plan was?" I asked.
"It didn't fit Two-Face's M.O., at all." Barbara explained, "He just randomly started killing people."
"So, he's lost even more of his mind?" I asked.
"It just doesn't seem like him. He's been abducting people and tonight he sent clues as to who he was abducting." Barbara said.
"Oh. My." I said, "I think I know what's going on." I said to Barbara, "Where were Batman and Robin last?"
"You're not going to like it." Barbara said.
"Just spill." I said.
"It's the building where you died." Barbara said quickly.
"You know, Bats, this boy blunder is a Hell of a lot more fun than your old one." The Joker chuckled, "He didn't have that pizzazz! This new one's a lot like the one I killed. I like this model."
"Where's your right hand?" Batman asked.
"Haven't you heard, she's reformed." Joker said, "Idiot. She couldn't get her own name right. She was a doctor when I met her...twit."
"Boss, ya gonna kill batman now?" One of the thugs asked, "And what's under the sheet?"
"No! I'm going to use him as bait." The Joker smiled, "The boy, you can kill."
"I dare you to try!" Robin shouted.
"Robin." Batman warned, "Going after Red Hood?"
"Detective Batman," Joker pointed a gun at him.
"Boss, what are you doing? I thought you were going to use him as bait!" The thug asked.
"I am. He's going to be alive, but I don't need him in one piece." The Joker laughed maniacally!
"You got my attention." Red Hood said, standing behind them, "I always hated that laugh."
The thugs made to get him, but Joker stopped them. He chuckled, trying to keep from laughing.
"What do you want, Joker?" Red Hood said.
"Death. Mayhem. A world full of laughter!" Joker said, deranged, "That is the question, isn't it? What does a deranged clown want more than anything? But who the Hell am I, the Riddler?"
Red Hood just watched him.
"Why so serious?" Joker said.
Joker's thugs surrounded Red Hood. Red Hood readied himself for battle.
"You'll never guess what I had the scientists of Gotham build me!" Joker smirked.
"I was wondering what was under the sheet." Red Hood said, looking to whatever was covered by the sheet.
The Joker pulled a gun, to which Jason pulled another gun on him.
"Looks like a dilemma." I said, stepping out and aiming one gun at the Joker and the other at Jason.
"You!" The Joker cackled, "Now this is a reunion!"
"Phoenix, what are you doing?!" Batman shouted.
"You're alive?" Jason asked.
"Back at you." I smirked, looking to the Joker, "The mafia, the media and drugs...and I'm killed by a psychotic clown."
"You came all the way back to complain?" Jason asked.
"I kinda figured that this confrontation would happen on the roof of a train or something." I said, "Kind of anti-climatic, if you ask me."
"You knew this was going to happen?" Batman asked.
"That the Joker was going to build the same machine that killed me? Yeah, I might've seen this coming." I said, "I just figured he'd be a little more original than this."
"Well, I've been a bit busy." Joker said, waving the gun around.
"Busy not being sane? Full-time job?" I asked.
"What are you going to do now?" Jason asked.
"This." I said, shooting Joker in the leg.
"Phoenix!" Batman shouted, trying to free himself.
I walked over to Joker, who was cackling insanely, aiming at his forehead.
"I can respect that." Jason smirked, "Now are you going to finish him?"
"You took my life! I'll never get to go to college and sit with my friends drinking coffee! I'll never get to experience having my first child or getting married..." I said bitterly, "I should take yours."
"Phoenix..." Batman said, struggling.
"This isn't Oprah and I don't want to hear your sermon about why this is wrong." I said angrily, "I want him to pay."
"And he will, in Arkham." I said, lowering my gun.
"What?" Jason asked.
I turned to him, "Did you think I was going to be angry? You think I was going to burn this city to the ground, find him and...what? Kill him? He doesn't deserve death. He deserves to rot in Arkham." I explained.
"You've always been weak!" Jason said, aiming at the Joker.
I raised my hand and the gun flew from his hand, "Your anger is your weakness."
"I'm going to kick your ass." Jason said.
I chuckled, "I've been waiting for you to say that, you idiot."
Jason launched at me and tackled me to the ground. I rolled him over and was on top of him. I jumped off him and looked down at him.
"What're you doing?" Jason asked.
"I'm waiting for you to kick my ass." I smirked, signaling for him to come again.
Jason stood up. He ran at me, kicking, but I ducked it and blocked an oncoming punch. He caught me with a backhand and I growled. I jumped over a footsweep and kicked him in the chin!
"Come on, all that anger and you can't take little ole me down?" I asked, "Big, Bad Jason Todd and you can't even take down a dead man?"
Jason came at me with a giant punched, but I jumped over him and kicked him from behind.
"You're boring me." I said monotonously.
Jason was pissed! He was walking towards me before he stopped mid-stride.
"Did I mention I could probably squash you with my mind?" I asked.
"The Joker!" Batman shouted.
I turned to see the Joker standing by the machine. He flipped the switch and the machine started again. Batman threw a batarang and knocked Joker unconscious!
"Get him out of here." Batman said to Jason and Robin. He then turned to me, "Phoenix..."
I was looking at the machine, scared for the first time being back. The thing that killed me was back with a vengeance. I knew that everything was leading up to this. I knew this exact moment was coming and now that it was here...I wasn't ready.
"I knew I'd have to say goodbye." I said, not looking at him, "Didn't think it would be this hard."
"We can find another way." Batman said.
The moments flashed through my mind like a whirlwind, nearly taking me off my feet. Not only were there past and present moments, but future moments. I could see the future, but I couldn't live them.
"You didn't come to stay, did you?" Batman asked darkly, "You dad..."
"Won't remember." I said.
"What about your friends?" Batman asked.
I chuckled, "You'll get along without me." I said.
Batman took a step.
"No!" I said, "You have so much to do in this world."
"Stay." Batman said.
I smiled and looked down, "It doesn't work that way." I said, "You know, it was kind of peaceful there. Heh, I guess, it's home. She was there, ya know." I said.
"Your mom?" Batman said.
I looked at him for the first time, "You know you've got some serious issues, right?" I asked.
Batman stared at me.
"I didn't come here to help Jason...not just to help Jason." I said, "You felt pretty hopeless and like a failure."
Batman started to talk.
"You're not." I said quickly, "They want you to know that. You're doing something insane and reckless and...noble. I'm here to tell you not to stop. I'm here to say to you that it's who you are. You're going to save more than the world, Hell, you already have!"
"You came to help me?" Batman smiled. No, seriously, he smiled, "You're here to save me?"
"I'm sure not here to live. I'm not sad or mad or anything like that. I will miss you." I said.
"What about me?" Nightwing asked, joining us.
"I saw you coming. Didn't think you'd make it in time." I said.
"In time?" Nightwing asked.
"Be ready to put on the cowl, babe." I said, turning and walking to the machine.
"Wait!" Nightwing said.
I quickly turned and threw my hand in the air, "Don't worry, sugah, I'm just saving the world." I smirked, waving my hand to cause them to fly across the roof and land loudly! I walked over to the machine and paused. I looked back one last time and smirked. I winked and placed my hand upon the machine! I felt the power, once again, surge through me and suddenly the machine blew to pieces and the power was still siphoning through me! I let out a chuckle before combusting!
"No! Phoenix!" Nightwing said, running towards the machine, but when he got there, there was nothing left. Batman showed up at his side, extending him a hand on the shoulder.
I stood, watching the scene. It was so tragic, yet so beautiful. I had tears in my eyes, but I was smiling.
"Did you get what you needed?" A voice asked.
"Yeah, I think I did." I said.
"Good." Mom said, standing beside me.