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These days, Jason was used to being a little on the cold side. CuddlingSitting with Nico usually meant dealing with a chill, but Nico's temperature was nothing compared to the inside of this train car. Jason had tried to free his wrists from the ropes that were keeping him secure, but his struggling wasn't getting him anywhere. This was definitely not how he'd pictured his winter break going.


Jason looked over at Bruce, and saw that he wasn't having any more luck with the ropes than Jason had. "Batman, what are we going to do? We've got two minutes before the bomb blows."

"If the cold doesn't kill us first," Two-Face piped up from next to Jason. "A double death, one which I must grudgingly approve."

"You need to shut the hell up," Jason snapped. Why couldn't Sloane have thrown in a gag while he was tying Two-Face up? "This is your fault. If you hadn't messed with Sloane, we wouldn't be here right now, and neither would you."

"Robin," Batman said, in a stern, warning tone. "What matters right now is getting out of here."

"How are we supposed to do that? I'm so cold I can't even think," Jason said. He'd tried to think about warm things, like having a costume with full pants, but it was no use.

"I think that's part of why Sloane put us here," Batman said. "Cold dulls the mind, and that'll make our escape that much more difficult. But, if I can get one of these coils loose..."

"Coils?" Jason asked, feeling a little embarrassed at how much of their surroundings he hadn't noticed yet.

"It's cold in here because these coils contain freon gas," Batman said, pulling on the metal tubes to which they were tied. "If I can rip one loose..." He trailed off, groaning as he pulled at the coil with all of his strength. Jason could see the metal begin to bend, and finally, the pipe gave way with a screech. As soon as the pipe was broken, Bruce aimed it at the bomb, freezing the dynamite and, more importantly, the timer.

"A brief triumph, at best," Two-Face said. "Soon, my doppelganger will investigate--"

"Which is why we won't be here," Batman said, using the jagged edge of the pipe to cut his bonds. Once he was free, he got Jason untied, and to Jason's dismay, Bruce went and freed Two-Face next.

"What are you doing?!" he asked. "You're letting him go? After everything he's done, we should leave him here to freeze to death."

"That's enough, Robin," Batman said sharply. "We're still in a tough spot. We're going to have to cooperate to get out."

Jason was grateful for his mask and how it helped to hide the way his eyes got wide at that. It was like Bruce didn't even care that Two-Face had killed his father. How was he supposed to work with him when all he wanted to do was get rid of the bastard for good? "Fine," he said, making his tone just as sharp. He didn't want Robin to disobey Batman in front of anyone, especially a criminal, but he was still going to make it clear that he didn't like this idea at all.

In his usual way, Bruce came up with a plan quickly, and thankfully, it involved a lot of violence. Throwing the bomb out the door of the train car got some of Sloane's men to scatter, and the rest of the men were easy enough to deal with. Fighting got Jason's blood flowing again, and he was just warming up when he looked around and realized that Sloane was nowhere to be found. "Batman! Sloane's gone! We lost him!" he said, running to Bruce's side.

Bruce scowled and looked around for Two-Face who had, surprisingly enough, been taking out some of Sloane's men on his own. "Harvey! Here's a chance to make amends," he called out. "Help us track Sloane down! What do you say?"

Jason was pretty sure the glaring look he gave Bruce spoke volumes, but he opened his mouth anyway to tell Bruce what a terrible idea that was. Before he could say anything though, he was cut off by Two-Face's answer - a two by four to the back of the head that knocked him and Bruce out together. Clearly, Two-Face agreed with Jason that that much cooperation would be a bad idea.

***

There was no lecture on the trip back to the manor this time, and Jason knew that was the closest he was going to get to Bruce admitting his last plan had kind of sucked. He sat down with an ice pack to the back of his head while Bruce worked on a new plan, hopefully one that wouldn't end with him getting knocked out and around. He still needed his brain cells, thank you very much.

"I think it's time to get Sloane back on track," Bruce said, and Jason had to admit, he liked that idea a lot more than trying to get Two-Face to come around. Sloane hadn't asked for anything to happen to him, and he wasn't beyond redemption yet. Sometimes, it seemed, saving people in Gotham meant saving them from themselves. "I have an idea, but I don't know if it'll work, since it involves you."

"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?" Jason asked.

"You'd have to follow my orders and not let your emotions get in the way," Bruce said. "I know how you feel about Two-Face, but you've got to stop letting your hatred cloud your judgment."

Jason wasn't sure if he could do that, especially if Bruce kept on trying to redeem him and treat him like a human being, but he nodded nonetheless, knowing that agreeing was the only right answer. "I'll try harder. I promise."

Seemingly satisfied with that, Bruce nodded, and he and Jason set off to try to save Sloane. This time, Bruce's plan was much more sane - Noah's Park, a new amusement center, was having a grand opening, and there was no way Sloane would be able to resist showing up, even if he was trying to avoid Batman and Robin. Going after Sloane at the park was almost routine - he sent his men at Batman and Robin first, they plowed right through them - but this time, Bruce had made sure they had a secret weapon: Sloane's wife positioned at the only exit Bruce and Jason hadn't cut off.

"Paul, what are you doing?" she asked, looking at her husband sadly.

"Don't call me that! I'm Two-Face!" Sloane screamed. He tried to back away, but his wife caught up to him and grabbed his hand.

"No, you're Paul Sloane. You're my husband. Please come back to me?" she pleaded. "The doctor said your face can be healed again. But you have to stop this madness and come home."

Jason could see the point where her words got through to Sloane, where his shoulders slumped as he started to realize what he'd been doing, and when he pulled his wife into an embrace and started to apologize, Jason had to admit that he felt kind of good. And not just because he was still conscious.

***

After that, Sloane agreed to work with the Gotham police to try to track down Two-Face, in exchange for the charges against him to be dropped. It was a fair trade as far as all parties were concerned, even Jason, so they all got straight to work trying to decide where the real Two-Face would commit his next crime.

"He's not going to settle for anything small," Batman said, pacing around Commissioner Gordon's office. "He's going to try to pull off something spectacular, I can feel it."

"It's too bad we're not celebrating the bicentennial," Jason said. "Then we'd know exactly where to start."

Bruce looked at him in surprise, before breaking into a rare, surprising smile. "Robin, that's it!" he said, going to the newspaper and pointing to one of the more recent articles. "It's not the bicentennial, but it is the two hundredth anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, and for the anniversary, the document is being brought to Gotham for display."

Commissioner Gordon looked horrified, but Jason could see that he knew it made terrifying sense. "You don't really think he'd try to--"

"Yes, I do think he'd try to," Batman replied. "The Constitution is the second-most important document in history. He could ransom it for millions."

No one could argue that there was an event happening that was bigger than that, so all of their focus went on starting to figure out how Two-Face might try to get in, and how they could stop him from getting out.

"You'll come with us too, won't you Sloane?" Batman said. "We might need your help to predict Two-Face's next move."

"You can count me in. We'll double team him!" Sloane said.

If anyone asked Jason why he suddenly started coughing, he was going to blame dust inhalation.

***

The next night, at the big event, Batman, Robin, Sloane, and Gordon all made their way to the sewer pipes underneath Gotham Hall to wait for Two-Face and his men to arrive. They hadn't been waiting for long when the men broke in, and really, Jason thought Two-Face would know better than to look surprised that he and Batman were there. They tried to scramble back the way they'd come, but Bruce and Jason were too fast for them, and even Gordon got in on the action of punching the lights out of one of Two-Face's goons. Jason spotted Two-Face making a run for it, and called out to Batman as he went after him, only to feel Bruce pulling him back.

"No, Robin," he said. "I think Sloane's earned the right to make this capture."

Jason wasn't sure if letting a regular guy go after Two-Face was a good idea, among other issues he had with that statement, but there was no time to argue as Batman and Sloane made their way upstairs, leaving Jason with no choice but to provide backup to Gordon. By the time the police arrived and they had the situation under control, Jason practically bolted up the stairs to make sure he didn't miss anything. He found Bruce standing back and watching as Sloane and Two-Face wrestled on the floor, although with their identical outfits and scarring, it was impossible to tell which one was which. Soon, their fighting stopped, as it became apparent that the building was surrounded, and there was no chance of escape.

"Batman! Come get him!" one of the men yelled. "He's the real Two-Face!"

"No!" the other man yelled, pointing to the first one without missing a beat. "It's him!"

Batman sighed, and pulled out two coins. One was the real coin that Two-Face used to decide how to commit his crimes, and the other was a fake that Sloane had created, but they were both equally useful right now. "Here, Harvey. I'll deal with this the way you would," he said, tossing the coins at the pair of men. Sloane caught one of the coins with his left hand, and Two-Face, without even thinking, caught the other with his right hand.

"Thanks, Harvey, that was all I needed," Batman said, punching Two-Face and knocking him to the floor. Jason was at his side in a moment, and Bruce reached down to grab Two-Face by the collar and pull him up. "Here he is, Robin. Is there anything you'd like to say to him?"

For a moment, all Jason could do was look at Bruce in surprise. After everything he'd said about holding back his emotions, Bruce wanted him to let go now and let everything out? That didn't seem like Bruce at all, and Jason realized that knowing that was probably the point. Just because he had the chance to take his anger out on Two-Face didn't mean he should. What if Two-Face didn't even remember killing his father? Would getting angry at him do any good? And more importantly, finally being able to hold back would make Bruce proud of him. As angry as he was, Bruce was more of a father to Jason than his own father ever was. Making him happy mattered more than anything else.

"No, Batman," he said. "Let's just get him out of here, back where he belongs."

Bruce nodded once before pulling Two-Face up to stand, but Jason was almost sure he saw a hint of a smile in there too.


[Dialogue and story adapted from Detective Comics #581. NFI, NFB, OOC okay!]

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