-Batman (current uniform)
-Red Hood (Rebirth duds)
-assorted criminals (Fratelli Family isn’t necessarily a Goonies reference, just sounded like a good name)
Time of year: a week before Christmas Eve
Inside the Paradise Arcade, Nelly Bobbysox’s head flew into the glass monitor of the Bonkers arcade cabinet, smashing it into shards. He fell to the ground unconscious, as Red Hood cracked his knuckles and turned around to look at the rest of Bobbysox’s gang. “So kids,” said Red Hood “Anyone else feel brave enough to pull what he did…or do you want to tell the truth for a change?”
Bobbysox’s 7’ even muscle, Hurdle, stepped forward and leered down at Red Hood. “Listen Robin” he said, nostrils flaring “If Batman wants to talk to us, you tell him to come down and do it himself. We don’t answer to his punk flunkies.” Red Hood placed his left index finger on the front of his helmet, and chuckled slightly. “I’m not Robin and I don’t work for Batman. Now you can tell me where the money is or-” Hurdle took a swing at Red, who instantly dropped to the ground and missed the hit . He sprang up, grabbed Hurdle’s arm, twisted it behind him and with his right foot on Hurdle’s back forced the giant enforcer to the ground.
Hurdle was pinned down and hyperventilating in pain. “You’re gonna break my arm!” he yelped. Red continued to pull Hurdle’s arm further and further behind his back as he leaned his head down into the side of Hurdle’s face and said in a hushed tone “Explain to me how your arm being broken is an international catastrophe in the making, yet you can break other people and it’s okay.” Hurdle yelled for the other men to advance on Red but with his right index finger, Red pointed at them and said “Ah, ah, ah boys. You move another half-inch and I snap his arm like a rubber band.” The men stopped in their tracks. Red said to them “All I want is the money.” One of the goons stepped forward, stammering fearfully as he spoke. “W-we-we’ll gi-give it to you Red Ro-robin. Just leave Hu-hurdle be.” Red let go of Hurdle’s arm. and said “Gentlemen, I’m glad we could come to a peaceful resolution.”
Minutes later, Nelly Bobbysox, Hurdle and the other ne’er do-wells were escorted into GCPD police cruisers. Red Hood was looking down from the rooftop of an adjacent building with a satchel of cash by his side as the police left the scene. He took a deep breath and said “Hi to you too pal.” knowing that Batman was standing in the shadows to his right.
Batman, concealed by his cape, stepped out into the moonlight and said “You were unusually aggressive with those men and have shown a lot more aggression than usual lately. Why?” Red turned to Batman and said “You know who you’re talking to, right? Aggression is practically my middle name.” Batman didn’t buy it. He said “I know aggression as well as anyone but you looked like you were enjoying the pain you inflicted on them, especially Hurdle.” Red said “Oh, you know Hu-of course you know Hurdle. Look, I’ve watched you crack a skull or hundred. You always look like a kid in a candy store to me.” Batman scowled. “I don’t enjoy it Jason. It’s a means to an end.”
Red sighed and said “Did this visit have a point, Bruce? I need to get going to my next stop.” Batman said “The Fratelli’s are overseeing these snatch and grabs. You’ve been tracking them for the last two nights.” Red looked at Batman, saying “You’ve been tracking me too evidently. Thanks to a tip from a friend, I found out these goon squads have been ripping off charities, children’s hospitals and orphanages left and right over the last few days. That’s an absolute no-no at any time of year but it’s Christmas time which makes it substantially more wrong. Stuff that like really gets my blood boiling Bruce! I just want to do my part in giving back to Gotham.” Batman leaned back and said “Your dedication in giving back to a city that took so much from you is admirable.” Red looked down and then over at Batman. “You know that better than anyone Bruce.”
Picking up the satchel of money, Red said “I’ll see you later. I need to put this in my secret stash and then-” Batman interrupted him. “Let me help you Jason.” Red scoffed and said “Thanks, but I don’t need it. I’ve recovered 95% of the money these guys took. I just need to hit the Fratelli’s main joint and I’ll be set. You know…it’s funny how much someone will talk when you twist them into a pretzel.” Red was about to leave the rooftop when he stopped and looked back at Batman. "Okay, you can tag along. " he said, sighing. “You look like you could use a fun night out.”
An hour later, Red Hood and Batman were safely secluded while watching a known safehouse of the Fratelli’s. Batman said “What intel do you have that this is where the money is?” Red was looking at the compound through his helmet’s night vision and data relay readouts. He said “You know Twelve Finger Trudy of the Schultz’s? A few of her fingers decided to take an extended winter holiday.” “Hrrn.” said Batman.
A large van pulled out of a garage, men and women with guns standing on each side of it. Red Hood stood up and said “And…here…we…go! There’s our cheddar!” Batman stood and grabbed Red’s left arm as the truck drove away. “Wait, it’s a decoy.” Red scoffed, rubbed his neck in frustration and said “What do you mean?! Why would they need a decoy out here in the sticks? The Falcones in the city, sure I get that but the Fratelli’s by Slaughter Swamp? Come on, Batman.” Batman said nothing but pointed ninety degrees to Red’s right. “Over there. Use your night vision and magnify times ten.”
Red sighed and did as Batman asked. Sure enough, there was a small delivery van driving towards them down a dirt road with two motorcycles silently riding in tandem behind it. The headlights on all of the vehicles were switched off. The small group was getting closer and closer to Red Hood and Batman. Red said “You were right. As per usual.” Batman’s attention was on the approaching vehicles. Red said “What about that other van?” and Batman replied “GCPD will get it. I sent the license plate number and GPS info to Gordon. Here they come…get ready…GO!”
Red Hood and Batman leapt from their places of concealment and onto the van. One of the motorcycle guards revved up to the van and grabbed at Batman’s left leg. Batman kicked the flunky loose and fired an electric stun charge at him. The goon flew off the motorcycle and face first into a nearby tree. Batman then commandeered his ride.
The driver of the van was veering wildly, desperate to shake loose the heroic vigilantes in pursuit. She said “They’re on both sides, I can’t shake them off!” The toad riding shotgun pulled out a gun and leaned out the window to take aim at Batman. A batarang came slinging through the air, painfully knocking the gun out of his hand and also hitting him in the head. He was out cold.
Red Hood was trying to hold onto his side of the van while fighting back the other motorcycle guard, this one being much more tenacious than the one Batman had fought. The rider sliced at Red’s right leg with a combat knife several times but never made contact. Red kicked the blade out of the rider’s hand and into the woods. The rider grabbed Red’s right leg, and with a strong hold on it, pulled him towards the ground. Red lost his grip on the van, but frantically and quickly got hold of the front of the motorcycle. He did a sideflip around the guard and with a very hard, savage kick, Red knocked the rider off his bike and into a deep ditch. Gaining control of the motorcycle, Red said “Golly, that felt good!”
Batman accelerated to the front of the van. The window was rolled up but that didn’t matter, as Batman smashed his right elbow through it and grabbed the driver by the scruff of her shirt. “Stop, now.” he said. The van came to an immediate halt.
After securing the driver and her unconscious passenger, Red Hood and Batman pried open the van’s back doors and before them was a steel container bolted down to the floor. Red pulled a small acetylene torch out of his jacket and began to cut open the container. Batman said “Is that one of mine?” Red paused for a moment and said “Um, Damian gave it to me. Yeah…go yell at him.” then resumed opening the container. The top popped loose and clonked onto the van’s floor. In the container itself were thousands of stacks of wrapped bills. Batman breathed a sigh of relief while Red snapped the torch off and said “Mission accomplished.”
Over the next few days Bruce Wayne and Jason Todd were able to trace the stolen money back to the various charities, children’s hospitals and orphanages it had been stolen from. The leaders of the Fratelli gang were taken into custody where they would receive as harsh a sentence as possible, not only for the theft of the money but their other illegal entanglements as well.
It was now Christmas Eve. As the sun rose above stately Wayne Manor, Bruce came down into the kitchen where his butler, Alfred Pennyworth was making a hearty breakfast. “Good morning Master Bruce.” said the trusty aide as he sprinkled some dill seasoning into a dish. Bruce smiled “Good morning Alfred. It all smells delicious.” Alfred said “Indeed sir. I have a place set out on the patio if you like.” Bruce took a bite of a strawberry and said “Let’s make it seating for three.” “Three sir?” Alfred asked, his attention piqued. Bruce winked and said “We’ve got a special guest.”
A half hour later, the doorbell rang. Alfred walked up to the door and upon opening it, he was quite surprised. “My word! Master Jason!” Jason Todd was dressed casually and held a small, wrapped gift in his hand. “Heya Alfred. Thanks for having me over.” Alfred smiled and said “You know that you are welcome at any time good sir. Come in, let me take your coat.” Jason walked in and Alfred shut the door behind him. Bruce was out on the veranda sipping a mimosa. “Hi Bruce.” said Jason as he stepped onto the patio. Bruce got up and gave Jason a hug. Bruce then said “Thanks for coming. You should be with family. I invited everyone else but sadly they were all busy.” Alfred said “Sit down Master Jason and I shall bring you a delicious English breakfast at once.” Jason sat and stared out into the beautiful holiday sky, the crisp air blowing past him. “Hey Bruce. I’m not usually one to say thanks but thank you for your help last week.” Bruce said “You’re welcome. Thank you for accepting my invitation.”
Alfred put down a tray with scrumptious looking food on it in front of Jason, whose eyes lit up. “Wow, Alfred! You shouldn’t have.” Alfred sat down with his plate and said “Nonsense, Master Jason. We’re all family.” They ate their breakfasts and looked forward to the forthcoming holidays and beyond.