For the One Who Almost Lost Everything CHAPTER 2

A/N: The following scene is based on the opening scene from the season 5 episode of Archer entitled "On The Carpet." Other references include the Young Justice episodes "Agendas" and "Disordered" in which Black Canary listens to Dick Grayson and Batman talk about Dick Grayson not becoming "the Batman."

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Young Justice, the Young Justice wikia, DC comics, and the other fandoms that are referenced in the entire story.

Watchtower, past midnight on June 21

To say that Black Canary is angry would be an understatement. Earlier, she, Captain Marvel, and Black Lightning were defeated by Klarion and Vanadal Savage in the crystal key chamber. When they woke up, they were shocked to see Aqualad in his superhero outfit. Aquaman manages to debrief them but didn't get a chance to tell them about how Nightwing was mistreated. When word spread about Nightwing being hospitalized, Rocket, Zatanna, and the entire Team became overwhelmed with grief and regret for what they did. However, that didn't stop Black Canary from calling for an immediate meeting with them. She sat on one side of the room with Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow. They were facing the interrogees who hung their heads in shame and could barely look at Black Canary's death stare. Kid Flash, Superboy, Zatanna, Impulse, and Blue Beetle were the only interrogees who already saw Nightwing's body. Despite being in space, the interrogees felt as if they were in the living room of a Gilded Age mansion while the fire in the fireplace crackled and heavy rains pattered on the windows. Black Canary drinks a glass cup of chamomile tea while she briefly looked at each interrogee for a brief millisecond. The suspense and silence was killing the interrogees. They were also tired, but Black Canary's stare kept them from falling asleep.

"Arrow," Black Canary said coldly after she drinks her cup dry.

"Yes Canary?" asked Green Arrow before refilling Black Canary's glass cup.

Black Canary answered, "If I see this glass cup empty again, I will be very unhappy."

"Got it," replied Green Arrow before he quickly stepped back when the cup was filled. "Glad I forgave him beforehand," Green Arrow thought to himself.

"Now then. Who'd like to go first?" she asked with an evil smirk. She got no reply. "No? All right, then I will." She closes her eyes and took a deep breath.

"INGRATES!" she yelled as she threw the glass at the interrogees which scares them but she intentionally missed them. Green Arrow quickly gives her a new cup of chamomile tea.

"Thank you, dear. For a moment there, I thought I was going to be unhappy." She took a quick sip before smirking again. "Now then...who's next?"


Nightwing was rushed to the medical room where Artemis helped Black Canary wrap him in medical gauze. After Black Canary put Nightwing on a cocktail of drugs, Artemis, Aqualad and Miss Martian left in the bio-ship with Sphere. Miss Martian, Sphere, and Aqualad went to Happy Harbor beach to greet and inform the returning League members what happened. Artemis used the bio-ship to pick up the other heroes on Earth. Blue Beetle and Superboy stayed behind to monitor the situation. When Doctor Fate arrived via his magic portal, he was asked perform a healing spell. Just as he was about to, Zatanna rushed in and froze in shock. She then suddenly screamed, "NO NO! THIS ISN'T WHAT I WANTED! I HATED HIM FOR LYING TO ME! I DIDN'T ACTUALLY WANT HIM DEAD!"

She broke down in tears as Kid Flash, who was guarding the entrance, drags her out because Doctor Fate needed to concentrate. The commotion gets the others' attention when they returned from shutting down the MFDs. Artemis had already told the Team what happened. Aqualad, Miss Martian, Sphere, and the Leaguers who went to Rimbor eventually arrive on a Green Lantern spaceship. Blue Beetle, Superboy, and Black Canary come out.

"Fate's healing spell is speeding up his recovery but he's still badly injured and in a coma. Barely alive. Only you and Superman can come in," she tells Batman before turning her attention to the crowd that formed outside the door. "I'll alert the rest of you if we have any more updates."

When the door closed, Batman was quietly in tears. He sat near Nightwing's bedside and pulled his cowl off. Superman put his hand on Batman's shoulder as a sign of emotion support for him. The only sign that his first protege was barely alive was the beep of the heart monitor.

"Despite how his best friend treated was treated him, Nightwing still cared about Wally and managed to save him," Batman blurted out.

"What do you mean?" Black Canary asked confusingly.

"You didn't know? I thought you were already told everything."

When she shook her head, Batman proceeded to tell her about the team's treatment of Nightwing which made Black Canary's eyes widen. When he finished, her eyes narrowed and her expression turned from confusion to anger. Batman wanted rip the Team into shreds but Black Canary refused. She coldly said to him, "Let me take care of that. Besides, you've been away from Nightwing long enough. He needs his father now. Don't you agree?"

Batman nodded yes before heading towards the door. She was halfway to the door when she pauses because she hears Batman audibly whispering, "Dick, if you can hear me, I'm so sorry for everything...I never wanted you to turn out like me..." Batman gripped Nightwing's hand as tightly as possible. This gives her an idea.

"Bruce. Can I tell them about what you said to Diana when she complained about having a 9 year old crime fighter?" she asked.

"Yes," he answered her coldly.

Black Canary exits the room, looking furious. The door closes behind her.

"Canary, what's wrong?" asked Mal Duncan.

"I know how you and the others treated Nightwing," she replied coldly. The blood of him and the other Team members ran cold. "Artemis. You, M'gaan, and Kaldur go in there and monitor Nightwing's situation with Superman, Batman, and Fate. I want the Team, Wally, Rocket, Zatanna, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter to follow me NOW. The rest of you need to disperse and let the people inside Nightwing's room grieve by themselves for now."

Everyone did as they were told. The trio was shocked to see something they've never seen before: Batman as Bruce Wayne crying.

Aqualad stepped forward. "Batman. I'm sorry that-"

Batman bitterly cuts him off with his acidic tongue. "That what? That Wonder Woman was right because he did turn out like me?"

Aqualad was frightened and confused. Superman puts his hand on Batman's shoulder before things got ugly, knowing that he could be exposed to Kryptonite for intervening.

"I'll take care of this, OK?" he said to Batman who only shook off Superman's hand and went back to looking at Nightwing's lifeless body. Superman walks towards the trio. "Sorry about see...6 years ago..."

Present time

"I hope you’re all proud of yourselves," Black Canary says angrily with particular attention being paid to Robin, Batgirl, Zatanna, Superboy, and Wally. She could easily break the glass cup with a grip from a single hand rather than use her canary cry. "The coma wasn't anyone's fault but now thanks to your words, there's now the additional possibly that your leader could have depressive and even suicidal thoughts. Each of you has every right to be angry with your leader's actions which could've put the lives of your fellow teammates in more danger than before. And unfortunately, it did...However, NONE of you have any right to kick Nightwing off the Team or even talk to him like that simply because Batman was off planet. The League decides on each member's fate because the Team operates on League terms. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes ma'am," they murmur in shame. Black Canary's voice became increasingly louder.

"And another thing. You all said that your leader was turning into Batman because he didn't care about your well-being. Well he did care! He had to think all of you guys, the League, Kaldur, Artemis, and the fate of the world!"

She got up and turned to Martian Manhunter. "J'onn. Can you project my memories into the minds all everyone in the room? I want to show them something private."

He nodded yes and his eyes glowed. Two memories were projected into people's heads. "This happened during a training exercise that went horribly wrong after Miss martian

"Wait a second. Artemis died before and it turned out to be fake?" Lagoon Boy asks Black Canary.

"Yes except it wasn't part of an elaborate deception back then," answers Black Canary before the scene started playing.

"Hurting? Try traumatized. I finally become leader and wind up sending all of my friends to their deaths. And I know I did what I had to. But I hated it. When we started this team, I was desperate to be in charge. Not anymore. And that's not even the worst of it. You can't tell Batman."

"Nothing leaves this room."

"I always wanted, expected to grow up and become him. And the hero bit- I'm still all in. But that thing inside of him, the thing that drives him to sacrifice everything for the sake of his mission, that's not me. I-I don't want to be "the" batman anymore."

Another memory is being projected. "And this happened when the League was discussing if the League should expand and if so, who would join."

"Captain Marvel is a member and is entitled to participate, until or unless he's voted out."

"It's not just his age. It's the fact that he lied about it."

"I didn't lie exactly. I just left out the part about being a kid."

"A lie of omission is still a lie. You kept an important secret from us. No one in the League knew the truth.

"I did."

"I shouldn't be surprised. Since you indoctrinated Robin into crime fighting at the ripe old age of nine"

"Robin needed to help bring the man who murdered his family to justice."

"So he could turn out like you?"

"So that he wouldn't."

Everyone suddenly found themselves back in the room. The interrogees were filled with even more shame and regret than before.

"I'll tell Batman that you're ready to apologize to him and I expect you all to do the same when Nightwing wakes up. Understand?" asked Black Canary with her arms crossed.

"Yes, Black Canary," the interrogees said in unison.

Nightwing's room

"Oh...I'm so sorry to hear that," said Artemis sadly after Superman finished his explanation.

Miss Martian was about to ask a question when there was a knocking on the wall.

"Batman. Can you come outside? There's something these people want to say," says Black Canary.

Batman wipes his tears away before doing just that and gives them the bat-glare while he crossed his arms. The ones with human DNA stepped back, forcing La'gaan to step forward and gulp.

"We're all sorry for how we treated Nightwing by not understanding what he's been through as leader...Can we see him?"

Batman clenches his fists and breathes in and out slowly to calm himself.

"Yes, you all can and I trust that none of you will try this again?" he asks bitterly. The Team nodded yes. The medical room was spacious enough to accommodate the Team. As soon as they were all in, they all tried to tried to get a good view of Nightwing's body. Robin wanted to hug his older brother so badly but couldn't.

"How long will it take for him to heal?" Miss Martian asks Doctor Fate.

"His burns will disappear in a day but I'm afraid I don't know how to wake him from his coma. My magic cannot fix a broken mind," he replied.

"Wait. I got an idea. Maybe the Team should go into his mind to find him and wake him up just like the two of us did with Kaldur," suggested Artemis to Miss Martian.

She fearfully replied, "What?! Are you crazy?! Kaldur didn't have severe burns when I tried to fix him. I don't know how those burns would affect our time in his mind a-and Tula was there and she attacked us-"

"Please, we have to or he's going to think that we don't want him anymore!" pleaded Batgirl.

"It's getting late and we all should be getting some sleep. Our first day of clean up efforts is in the morning," said Black Canary. "In the meantime, Batman and I will be discussing what to do and we'll let you know beforehand when you get back from clean up efforts."

daytime, June 21

The Team and the League has been busy cleaning up the mess caused by the Reach and their MFDs but one person continued to linger in their minds. It's just before sunset in Gotham when Batman and Black Canary tell Zatanna, Rocket, Wally, and the Team that they need to go to the Watchtower when they're finished.

"Good news is that Superman did an x-ray. All the burns are completely gone. Bad news is that Nightwing is still not responding. I know that a coma rarely lasts more than 2 to 4 weeks but I can see the toll it's having on you guys...I've talked with Batman and we've decided to approve Artemis's the risk discovering aspects of Nightwing's personal life...Martian Manhunter has agreed to help me and Batman monitor the situation here while you guys go inside Nightwing's mind tomorrow night," said Black Canary as everyone looked at each other with worry and determination.

Nightwing's room, June 22

It was nighttime in Gotham. The search and rescue party have finished dinner a few hours ago and are now trying to find a spot in Nightwing's room to sit or lie down in. The body cast and gauze has been removed. All the burns are already gone.

"Before we go, I need to warn you guys that his mind might perceive us as a threat. Just remember that the illusions aren't real. If you let them hurt you, your mind could suffer permanent damage," explained Miss Martian. The others nodded in response. Batman, the Martian Manhunter, and Black Canary, who will monitor the situation from outside Nightwing's mind, wish them good luck.

"Ready?" asked Miss Martian. When they all said yes in unison, she sighed and ordered them to close their eyes.

"All right. Here we go. 5...4...3...2...1..."