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A couple are arguing in an alleyway.

Derek: Listen, Brenda, you should calm down.

Brenda: Calm down!? Do you know how much you embarrassed me?!

Tad: *off panel* Hey!

They turn to see a slightly shorter than average, but very muscular, young man approach them. He has short blond hair and blue eyes. He carries a pool cue in his hand.

Tad: Are you harassing the lady?

Derek: None of your business!

Tad: Seems you're trying to rape her.

Tad tilts his head and looks at Brenda

Brenda: *nervous* You're wrong sweetie, we was just talkin'.

Tad: Then why all shaky?

Derek: Piss off, runt!

Tad's face gets a very nasty look on it

Tad: Well that wasn't very nice

Tad brandishes his cue

Tad: Gonna have to teach you a lesson for raping on Tad's turf

Derek smirks

Derek: Oh I'm really scared.


Tad hits Derek with the cue, hard.

Tad: Not so funny now, huh!?!

He keeps hitting Derek over and over as Brenda screams. He then stops and looks up at her.

Tad: What?

Brenda runs

Tad: What no thank you?!

He sees she's dropped her purse.

Tad: I still deserve a reward.

He rummages through her bag, finds her wallet, and takes some money. He then heads out of the alley in the other direction.

Tad: Someone's gotta clean up the scum around here. Guess it's my job. At least I got rent money now....

We cut to the next morning. As the sun comes up over Wayne Manor, a lone figure on a motorcycle approaches it.

Dick: *narrating* With as much as I do in Chicago, I still spend a lot of time here in Gotham. Even so, my landlord sold my old apartment in Old Town; Alfred managed to get everyone to move ALL my stuff out in time. But I do need a place to stay when I'm in Gotham, and I'd rather it be my own place than at the manor. So, Joseph's going to help me find a place. He sounded a bit haggard on the phone...wonder what he's done now.

Dick pulls up to Wayne Manor, Alfred stands by the door.

Alfred: Master Richard, always good to see you.

Dick: Hey Alfred, where's Joseph.

Alfred looks flustered...for him.

Alfred: This way.

Moments later, we see Joseph is on a makeshift bed in the living room. Dick is a bit shocked as Alfred explains.

Alfred: ...tried to do Master Bruce's full body workout on top of a three days straight shift at the computer on top of all the other work he does in yet another vain attempt to prove himself. I think he's shocked his nervous system.

Dick: I'm surprised he's not dead from attempting Bruce's workouts...never ceases to amaze me the simple-minded foolhardy nature of some people...but then we were all young once...well maybe not you Alfred

Alfred: Au contraire I had my moments

Dick: When?

Alfred: Well in my acting days....

Joseph wakes up and groans

Joseph: Not now, Alfred...right now I feel like my body is both lead and elastic!

Dick: Well it's your own fault, what were you thinking?

Alfred: If he were thinking he wouldn't be in this position

Joseph: Oh sure, laugh at me. Just wanted to show Bruce that I'm more than capable

Dick: And what have you proved?

Joseph: That I'm a stubborn ass.

Dick: At least you admit it. So I take it you're gonna need a time out?

Joseph: Ha ha. Unfortunately for you, I need to rest another day before Alfred will let me even go outside.

Sam comes down at this point, rubbing sleep from his eyes. A sleepy Barkley follows him. Sam seems to be clutching a stuffed bird in his hand.

Dick: ...Where'd you get that?

Sam seems to snap awake when he hears Dick's voice. He turns and smiles at the man he considers to be his honorary big brother to both him and his actual big brother.

Sam: Oh, hi Dick. Joey and I went in the city the other day, and I saw this in a toy store window.

Sam holds it up. It's a plump stuffed robin, but with Nightwing's colors

Sam: It's a Nightwing robin!

Dick: ...You know if it weren't for my pride and sense of discretion I could make a killing in merchandising...oh man I sound like Booster Gold, someone slap me.

Joseph: Alfred, could you do that? I don't think I have the coordination at the moment.

Sam: *hugging the toy* It's so squishy!

Dick: Please tell me they have one of Damian....

Sam: Yep!

Joseph: He looked mad enough to spit fire.

Dick: That's his X-mas present sorted out.

Sam giggles

Joseph: So, unless I make a recovery in the next few hours, house hunting might be delayed.

Dick: Okay, sport.

Joseph gives him a withering glare for that, but it doesn't work.

Joseph: Maybe take Sam and Damian I can get some rest.

Dick: Can't go to your room and do that?

Alfred: Poor lad practically collapsed on that spot, had to rig up the bed under him.

Dick: Okay my sympathies, but really?...No really?! *To Sam* Let's go see if we can find anymore plush robins eh?

Sam: Yes!

Alfred: Not without breakfast, Master Sam.

Dick: And then maybe we could see if there's a plush Batman

Sam giggles at that as he and Dick head towards the kitchen

Alfred: I'll get you a meal replacement shake, Master Joseph

Dick turns and grins at Joseph

Dick: Oh poor you.

Joseph: *grumpily* Yeah yeah

Dick: Feel better.

Joseph: Oh, we are SO sparring when I get out of this bed

Dick: A hero versus the tech geek, should be interesting

Alfred slaps the back of Dick's head

Alfred: Manners

Dick: You're quite right, *courteously* I look forward to it Joey, bring your best game

Alfred: Now you're just egging him on...

Joseph: Oh when I kick your butt, Circus Boy...!

Sam giggles as he watches this.

Dick: Get well soon, catch you later Joey, come on Sam get some brekkie.

Sam: You're just annoying him by calling him Joey. I'm the only one who can get away with it.

Dick: I know. Just giving him some motivation.

Sam: Motivation?

Dick: He'll want to get better faster so he can try to knock me to the mat.

Sam: Right!

Dick: See, I know how to motivate people. With Damian, for example, I'll use the plushie.

Sam: Hehehehe

A little while later, Dick, acting "in loco frater", is pulled along by Sam through the streets of Gotham. Dick doesn't mind in the least.

Sam: It's this way!

Dick:*narrating* Note to self, if you think Babs is watching this don't look like your enjoying it

Sam: Come on!

Dick grins

Dick: *narrating* Gotta admit, Sam is a lot like the little brother I dreamed of having as a kid. I mean, I love Damian and all; but he's so...Damian. Note to self...never tell him that.

Sam: Here we are!

Dick: Huh?

They stop in front of a giant toy and comic book shop.

Dick: Did you find the plush robin here?

Sam: Yeah!

Dick: Show me!

They go in and Sam takes him to where the plush Robins were. There are 4 bird versions of the four Boy Wonders

Dick: Hehehehe, eat this Booster Gold

Sam: Booster Gold is stupid.

A kid wearing a Booster Gold t-shirt looks up.

Booster Kid: Is not!

Sam: IS TOO!

Dick: Now now, let's not allow a clash of opinions turn into violence...both heroes have their merits, so let's leave it at that

The Booster Gold kid sticks his tongue out at Sam and as soon as he's out of earshot...

Dick: You were totally right

Sam: Of course I am...I know real heroes!

Dick smiles, but then both turn at the sound of a disturbance.

Tad: *off panel* This is a *%&ing RIP OFF!

They see Tad arguing with the sales clerk, a small middle aged man in a sweater vest (think Woody Allen).

Dick: Language, kids are present.

Tad turns

Tad: &#$% You! He's overcharging me for a comic!

Clerk: It's the retail price!

Tad: Not at the newsstand at Third and Port!

Clerk: But those are old comics.....

Dick: *whispers to Sam* Learn from this, young one

Sam: Huh?

Dick: *whispers* This is what not to do

Sam: *whispers* Who do you think I am, Damian?

Tad: %&#* you, and your overpriced comics. I'm out of here!

Tad storms out.

Clerk: Oh thank heavens....

Dick: Get all sorts here eh?

Clerk: Normally kids and their parents. But this guy...I heard of him from a few comic sellers. Intense guy, looks like he's a squatter. Buys comics constantly for some reason. No one knows who he is really.

Dick: ...Really? Interesting.

Clerk: Usually he's in the East End or the docks.

Dick: I see, anything you want then kiddo?

Sam: Hmmm....

Sam heads off to look at the toys and Dick follows.

Sam: Cool! The new hero figures from Okamura's here! Now, what do I want?

Dick: My treat.

A short while later, Sam is the new owner of a Okamura Batman figure with bonus Nightwing and Robin. He and Dick walk down the street.

Dick: I feel strangely proud and honored

Sam: Thanks again, Dick.

Dick: Anytime, Sam.

Sam pauses

Sam: Hey, isn't that the guy from the store

Dick notices and is automatically wary. Tad is walking down the street, looking around. Dick keeps a hold of Sam's hand and keeps him close. Tad then bumps into a couple of thugs.

Dick: *narrating* Uh oh, those guys work for Penguin on the less legitimate side of his business

Thug: Watch it kid

Tad: You're human garbage who works for a midget. Out of MY way.

Dick: I'll say this, he's brave.

Sam: And stupid.

Dick: So you know who those are.

Sam: *watching the argument* I do read the files sometimes

Dick: Better help him

Dick takes Sam by the hand and goes into an alley.

Sam: Lemme guess, you got your costume under your clothes.

Dick: Duh, this is Gotham. Never leave the Cave without it.

Soon, Dick is in his Nightwing gear.

Nightwing: Now you stay here, and watch my stuff.

Sam: Kick some ass

Nightwing noogies Sam

Nightwing: Language, young man. And stay put.

Nightwing grapples up onto a nearby roof and flips onto a low wall to observes. Meanwhile, Tad and the thugs argue, oblivious to Nightwing.

Tad: Get out of my way.

Thug: Make me, shrimp!

Tad: Shrimp?! *flexes* I'm almost 200lbs of muscle

Thug 2: Don't care, short stuff

Tad: Short?!

He punches the first thug in the groin.
The first thug went down.

Thug: Kill him!

Nightwing: Not here, chump! *leaps down*

The second thug grabs Tad and sticks him head down into a trash can before extending a knife.

Tad: *from the can* Oh, a wiseguy, huh?!

Nightwing promptly draws an ekrisma stick and disarms the thug and smacks him in the gut. The other thug whistles and more thugs come rushing in. Nightwing turns toward Tad, who is struggling to get out of the trash can

Nightwing: Hope you got some moves, buddy.

Tad manages to get out of the trashcan

Tad: I don't need help! *punches thug in the face*

Nightwing: Doesn't look like it

Nightwing hits one thug in the face with an eskrima stick, kicks off of him and flips into the face of another. Tad pounds a thug in the small of the back with his fists (think "Kirk-Fu")

Nightwing: You don't have any form do you?

Tad: I'm tougher than these goons!

Tad gets kicked in the face by a thug

Nightwing: Being tough isn't enough

The thug then takes Tad and stuffs him into a trashcan, head down, again.

Nightwing: Oy vey

Sam: *poking his head out of the alley* Tell me about it

Nightwing delivers a kick and a punch to two thugs simultaneously. Nightwing sees Tad struggling in the trashcan

Nightwing: *sighs, narrates* Why did I even bother?

Nightwing delivers two blows to end the fight; then goes to the trashcan. He pulls a struggling Tad out.

Nightwing: You...are a moron.

Tad: Not my fault I didn't go to school.

Nightwing: No I mean what kind of idiot picks a fight he has no chance of winning, you have no form, no style and no defense...what the hell were you thinking?

Tad: Well nobody trained me, so I had to learn myself

Nightwing: Well you're not learning, take my advice, stop this and go home

Nightwing launches a line and swings off, landing softly behind Sam.

Nightwing: You okay, little one?

Sam: That was awesome! Feel kinda sorry for that guy, whoever he is.

Nightwing starts changing

Nightwing: Don't; he made things worse for himself and started the fight.

Sam: So is he a thug or a tool?

Dick turns, back in his civilian clothes

Dick: He's an idiot

Sam: Oh...

Dick: Look, Sam; I know that came off as too harsh. But even your brother, with his lack of experience, would know better.

Sam: Maybe he'll learn

Dick: Everyone starts somewhere...even the big man

Sam: For some reason, I don't see him making big mistakes

Dick: Well his first night on the job he nearly died and got caught

Sam: Oh?

Dick: He doesn't like to talk about it. Come on, let's head back and go tease your brother.

Sam: Okay.

Meanwhile, Tad storms into the apartment building he is squatting in.

Landlord: Ryerstad, you owe rent!

Tad just opens his door and slams it.

Tad: Stupid hero! What does he know!

He starts wrecking the place in anger. But suddenly, he sees a comic.

Tad: What's this, don't remember this one...

The cover says The Tarantula, its a comic featuring a "costumed hero" in WW2 fighting Nazis, etc.

Tad: "The Tarantula"

He sits down and starts reading

Tad: This guy's right; someone's gotta take on Nazis, thugs, mafia, fifth co-colu-columnists, and the other thugs. And he can't let them live like that masked guy.

Tad puts down the book

Tad: That masked guy is right though; I need to be better. I need to take them all down, and I need to be a better fighter. *thinks* Need to learn somehow.

He looks in his messy apartment for a phone book

Tad: Better start now.

Later, Tad has an almost illegible list.

Tad: *narrating* So that's the martial arts schools and the army surplus stores taken care of. Now, I'm going to need a name eventually. But what....

He looks out the window and sees the cheap bar across the way. Its neon signs advertise drinks, pool and ALL-NITE WINGS. Tad grins.

Tad: *narrating* That's it. *grabs his pool cue* But not until I'm ready. Now its time to beat some punks for rent and training money.

He heads out as it starts to storm.

At Wayne Manor, everyone is eating on the floor as Joseph still can't move.

Dick: You sure you'll be alright to spar AND help me look for a place tomorrow.

Joseph: Sure I'll be alright. Pass the potatoes

Damian: Why can't we eat at the table....

Alfred: It's called "Sympathy for the Sick," Master Damian

Sam: He's just angry because he didn't go to the store with us today.

Damian: I'm surprised you aren't ducking for cover every time it thunders.

Dick: Now boys, be nice.

Dick shudders.

Joseph: Something wrong?

Dick: Just a chill, I'm fine. *narrating* Got an odd feeling, don't know why....

Meanwhile, at the Iceberg Lounge, Penguin is pacing

Penguin: You let Nightwing, and a random street punk, beat you?!

Thug: To be fair, Mister Cobblepott, the punk didn't do much....

BANG! Penguin shoots him with an umbrella gun.

Penguin: The quantity is irrelevant, the fact is he beat you...and from this can improve

Thug 2: The punk? He was trapped in a garbage can for most of the...

Penguin sticks the umbrella in the man's face

Penguin: I doubt the punk will be discouraged. See unless you kill these people, they will come back and hit you harder...I know

Penguin puts the umbrella on his desk

Penguin: It wasn't too long ago that one of my lieutenants got too big for his britches and forced me out. I needed Batman's help just to get back on top; Oglivy, having turned himself into a freak, is rotting in Blackgate. And we have a weapons shipment to collect.  In short gentlemen, if there's a problem we nip it in the bud.

Thug 2: Yes sir

Penguin: So if anyone crosses us again be it hero, punk or freaking girl scout kill them

He pauses

Penguin: What are you standing around for? DO YOUR JOB!

They nod and head out to get to work

Penguin just sits at his desk and plots

Penguin: Time to start moving some chess pieces.

Voice: *off panel* This is only phase one, Oswald. You want to own Gotham, take it away from Bruce Wayne.

Penguin turns

Penguin: And that's why I hired you, Riddler.

Riddler grins

Riddler: And I've no real love for Bruce Wayne either; we had a run in just after he got back to Gotham. He ruined some long ranging plans. So, Oswald, Riddle Me This: What is sweeter than long awaited revenge?

Penguin: Nothing.

Riddler: There's hope for you yet.
When Nightwing returns to Gotham to get a new apartment (as his old one was sold after he left for Chicago) to be his Gotham base of operations, he and Sam Kane run into a street punk named Tad Ryerstad and start an eventual chain of events....

Special thanks to :iconlord-of-justice: for being my co-writer on this (So embarrassed, forgot to mention him when I first posted this ^^; )

Tad Ryerstad is actually one of my favorite Nightwing villains from the 90s-00s Nightwing run. A dumb thug with good intentions, he's endearing but still a threat to Nightwing. Not to mention causing no end of headaches for him. This is my idea of bringing Tad, aka "Nite-Wing", into the New 52. And like in the original stories, he's influenced by the tales of the WW2 crimefighter The Tarantula.

And speaking of the New 52; Penguin here makes references to the "Emperor Penguin" arc that occurred in Detective Comics and Riddler is referring to the ongoing Zero Year arc in Batman.

The plush robins are a reference to :iconyolin:'s toy robins she's selling.

Okamura here references the teenaged Japanese Toyman Hiro Okamura, most famously appearing in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. In a story that I might have to retcon, he supplied Joseph's original Ronin equipment (which in this point in the timeline is probably locked up tight by Batman so Joseph doesn't get any ideas).

I've purposefully made this tale open ended to account for Tad's training, Penguin and Riddler's plotting, Dick getting a new apartment, etc.

Joseph and Sam Kane belong to me

Nightwing/Dick Grayson, Tad Ryerstad, Alfred Pennyworth, Damian, Penguin, Riddler etc belong to DC Comics
Add a Comment:
Kouhei-Son Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013
are you going to do another part to this?
Dkalban Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
violetsonamy777 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Student Artist
i so want sams nightwing robin and all the boy wonder robins especially red hood and nightwing it would be soooo awesome
Dkalban Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well :iconyolin: is the one who made the toys who inspired Sam's bird
violetsonamy777 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Student Artist
Dkalban Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
violetsonamy777 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Student Artist
Offroadgirl Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013
Wow. Kool!
Dkalban Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks :D
Offroadgirl Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013
Rouge-Fox Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Student Writer
not to nitpick but didn't I help with this one...wondering why my name was out of the description...sorry nevermind I probably should shut up
Dkalban Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh I blanked on that one sec
Rouge-Fox Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Student Writer
Dkalban Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No its my mistake, I blanked.
Add a Comment:

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