In the four months he had taken up the mantle of being Batman’s successor, Robin had relearned how dark the streets of Gotham could be at night. As a kid he had known. When darkness fell it was best to be inside, unless there were friends around you who could stand with the rest of them. He had known beatings then. There had been fists that didn’t care how old he was, or what he was going through. The anger had been what fueled him. It pushed him forward. It made him take on those thugs in the darkest alleys, looking for something to stop the rage that wouldn’t go away. The fights didn’t help. They sent him home to the foster-home-of-the-day with bruises that he didn’t bother to hide. His “parents” would scold him. They shook their heads and pointed him to the next home that would push him out again.
Back then, the streets of Gotham had been dark, but the abyss wasn’t swallowing everyone whole. Bruce Wayne had seen the innocents of the city and felt they needed saving. He had pulled a mask over his face, gave up his safety for Gotham’s citizens and, ultimately, his “life”. Then, as if he knew Gotham wasn’t capable of existing without its savior, he had passed on everything to Robin. Slowly the darkness that was attempting to choke the city was being pushed back once more. Slowly, people were getting back on their feet. Blackgate was gaining more prisoners each day. The police were still pushing manhunts, but things wee starting to slow down. Nightwing was the protector of the night.
For the last month, things had been going well. He was getting better. He was gaining more hits than he was getting them. The sign on his Private Investigative office said open more times than it said closed. He was dealing with the lack of sleep better than he had been before hand. Things were starting to look a little better than when he had started. Robin almost felt like could keep up with this. Perhaps he wasn’t anywhere near as good as Bruce yet, but in time he could maybe get close to that point. Still, the brunet knew not to get cocky. He was still wary, still uncertain, and that was why he knew to be scared when he got cornered that night.
Nightwing didn’t show fear, but Robin knew it well. It was under his skin, in his blood, making the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. He had heard that Bane’s men were still around, but he hadn’t seen them. They were the League of Shadows, they weren’t any ordinary thugs. He had been taking out some mob thugs in their warehouse when things had turned sour.