Summary:When Nightwing begins to doubt Batman's faith in him, he and Batman butt heads, putting strain on their already tenuous relationship. Diana tries to intervene, but even Wonder Woman might not be able to stop the partnership from crumbling. And with the two heroes on the outs, will Gotham be able to survive Two Face's new plot, sans casualties?
AN:Well, of course Nightwing is in it. I'd write him into a potato salad. There's no BM/WW per se, but I'm building their friendship. Read into that what you will. I just need to give the biggest shout out ever to Lael Adair for being pretty much the best beta reader ever! You rock!
Chapter Roll Call: Bruce/Batman, Dick/Nightwing, Diana/Wonder Woman.
"It just didn't sit well with me. I've got a gut feeling about this one."
Bruce put his arms through the sleeves of his black jacket as he listened to Dick (perched on the back of his leather couch) voice his latest concern. "What were you doing out on the docks?" he asked, straightening the paperwork on his desk.
"Taking a swim," Dick said sarcastically. "What do you think I was doing?"
"Well, I'd hope it wasn't patrolling. Nightwing was shot in the arm three weeks ago, and was told to stay inactive."
"I don't know how to say this without sounding immature, Bruce, but you're not the boss of me."
Satisfied that his effects were in order, Bruce buttoned up the jacket and straightened his tie. "If you want to work in Gotham, I'd reassess that statement."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that until I tell you otherwise, you're on sick leave." He walked away from his desk and to the study door.
Dick hopped off the couch, following him. "Hey, you might have been able to pull that on me when I was Robin, but I'm old enough to be treated with a little respect now." His voice was louder. "I think I've earned it."
Bruce stopped in the living room, and turned to face his former ward. "Where's your sling?" he asked, indicating Dick's left arm.
"It clashed with my outfit."
"You can joke all you want, Dick, but that's not going to help your arm heal any faster. If you want more respect, maybe you should show more responsibility first."
"That is so unfair on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin!" His arms became animated as he spoke. "God, there's no pleasing you is there?"
"When it comes to the safety of the people I work with, then no."
"The people you work with. Nice, Bruce. When don't you just have ID numbers tattooed on our foreheads?" He jerked his index finger at his brow for emphasis. "That might make it easier for you."
"I'll have Barbara look into it," he said, keeping his voice calm. One thing he'd learned, and wished his former apprentice would learn, as well, was that Dick was too easily baited. But an argument was something he didn't need right now, so he checked his wristwatch to change the subject. "I'm expecting some company soon. We're finished here, for now," he said, matter-of-factly. As if on cue, the doorbell rang. He saw Alfred head to the front door from the corner of his eye.
The hint was lost on his protégé. "No, we're not even close to being finished here." Bruce found his path to the foyer suddenly blocked by Dick's body. "You don't get to blow me off."
"Dick, I said another time." The door creaked open, and he heard muffled voices as Alfred ushered his guest into the manor.
"Fine. You want to sweep our issues under the rug, I guess there's nothing I can do to about that. But at least listen to what I've got to say about that shipment."
"There's no evidence. And I certainly haven't heard of anything on the scale you're talking about. You've got nothing to go on Dick."
"I've got a hunch. Shouldn't that be enough?"
"The last hunch you had got you a bullet in the arm."
Dick opened and closed his mouth, his eyes fuming. Any argument he was going to make, however, was interrupted as Alfred cleared his throat, having entered the living room. "Forgive the interruption, Master Bruce, Master Dick, but we have company."
His dinner guest stood behind Alfred's right shoulder. Her eyes shifted between the men in the room; he knew she sensed the tension. And if there was one rule he liked to honor in Wayne Manor, it was that outsiders weren't allowed to see the internal problems. He wiped the frown off his face, and replaced it with his best smile. It was time to be Bruce Wayne. "Diana," he said, lightening his normally gruff voice. "I'm glad you could make it." He made his way to where she and Alfred stood, then lifted her hand to his lips with flourish.
Alfred moved away from them. "If you all will excuse me, I must go check on dinner."
"Thank you, Alfred, we'll be in the dining room shortly." He turned his attention back to Diana, releasing her hand. "I take it your trip here was pleasant?"
"Yes, it was. But you didn't have to send a jet for me. I could have flown myself."
"That's Bruce for you. Always showing off." He hadn't forgotten that Dick was still present, he was just giving him time to cool off before introducing him to the Princess of the Amazons. Dick, however, seemed ready to make his presence known now, angry or not.
Diana looked to the boy (who stood with his arms folded), and then back to him. "I'm a little early, am I interrupting anything?"
"Of course not." Bruce assured her, looking pointedly back at Dick. "We're done here."
Dick clenched his jaw, but otherwise kept his face blank.
"Diana, I'd like you to meet Dick Grayson." He presented his hand, palm up, in Dick's direction, prompting her to walk toward the young man.
"It's an honor to meet you, Princess," Dick said, extending his own arm and forcing a smile.
She smiled back at him and shook the hand he offered. "You as well. Are you a business associate of" she faltered for a second, "Bruce's?"
"Seems to be the question off the day." He stoned a glance at Bruce, who kept his face impassive, before looking back at the Amazon. He clarified at her quizzical look. "Actually, I'm his son," he paused when her eyes went wide, "and from the expression on your face, I'm guessing he's never mentioned that he had one before." He dropped her hand and stuck his palm in his pocket. Bruce noted the subtle re-clenching of his jaw.
"No I didn't mean…it's just—"
"It's alright, Princess. It's not important." He kept his voice light, but Bruce knew more fuel had just been added to Dick's fury. "I think it's time for me to head out, anyway."
He brushed past them, and Bruce grabbed his forearm. "Get that arm back in a sling. And stay in tonight. We'll talk tomorrow," he told him quietly.
Dick pulled his arm from his grasp. "Whatever you say, boss." Turning to Diana, he bowed slightly. "It was a pleasure, Princess. Enjoy the rest of your evening." He left the room, and they heard the front door open, then slam shut.
Diana looked at him, concerned. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset him."
Bruce stared at Dick's wake. "You're not the reason he's upset," he said shaking his head, then procuring his arm. "I believe Alfred's gotten dinner ready, and it'd be a shame to let it get cold."
She hesitated (searching for something in his face that she'd never be able to find) before allowing him to lead her out of the living room. She continued to cast him sidelong glances as he escorted her to the dining room—trying to uncover any cracks in his mask, he supposed. She wouldn't succeed, he knew, because he wasn't wearing a mask. The farce was his second skin; it wasn't removable
He'd dimmed the lights, preferring their slight glow (juxtaposed with the flickering of the candles) to full force one-hundred watt illumination. It relaxed him, which was a nice change from the events of earlier that evening, and it seemed to have relaxed her as well. Their conversation through the main course had been comfortable.
"So what did you think?" He asked after she'd swallowed the last bite.
She dabbed her white napkin against her mouth before replacing it on her lap. "It was delicious. What did you say it was called?"
He picked his wineglass up again, swirling it in his hand. "Tandoori Chicken." He took a small sip and let the flavor marinate on his tongue. "You know, if you like this, you'll love this Indian Restaurant in downtown Gotham. Kashmir. It's got a waiting list a mile long, but I might be able to pull some strings, if you're interested."
She raised her eyebrows, considering his offer. "That would be nice," she finally decided.
"Great, I'll give them a call."
She smiled at him, and ran her index finger along the rim of her own glass. "You know, I was very surprised when you invited me to dinner tonight."
He shrugged. "It's the least I could do. After all, your endorsement of the Wayne Enterprises Charity Auction brought in over twenty-five thousand dollars. I don't know if it would have been half the success it was if you hadn't have come."
"It was a noble cause, and I was honored that you asked me. It's encouraged me to start becoming involved in other philanthropic efforts."
"Trying to spread the word of peace, one charity at a time?"
"You could say that."
"Well, I wish you luck with that," he raised his glass to toast her commitment, and she did the same. "Just be prepared. Once you put yourself in the public spotlight purposely, it'll be hard to get them to leave you alone."
"Don't worry, I'll avoid the commercialized endorsements," she assured him, referring to the predicament Flash had gotten himself into months ago. Her eyes brightened, "I almost forgot to tell you, we analyzed the debris that Flash found in Central City. It looks like you were right, it was man made. Lantern still wants to sweep the sector to make sure there is no possibility of extraterrestrial interference…"
Bruce placed his glass back on the table and let his forearm rest along the white covering. He cleared his through, interrupting her. "We should discuss this later."
She drew her eyes together. "Why? I thought you'd want to know."
"I do, but I prefer not to…bring my work home."
She tilted her head slightly, and he knew that wouldn't be the end of the conversation. "Then why am I here?"
"It's different," he tried to explain to her. "This is simply a thank you for your support of a Wayne Enterprises event."
"I may not have been raised in a business environment, but that sounds work related to me."
He'd never explained to her that his corporate assets were just a means to an end, and didn't fall under his definition of work. He'd never explained that to anyone who knew about his nocturnal activities; they all just understood. Apparently she wasn't going to follow suit.
Diana had discovered his secret identity all on her own. He'd been impressed that she'd seen through the disguise when most others hadn't. He'd also been wary of allowing yet another person in on his secret, so for a while, he avoided giving her confirmation. It became clear soon enough, however, that she was completely certain that Bruce Wayne and Batman were one and the same, and wasn't going to press the subject. Bruce still didn't give her confirmation, but it became an unspoken understanding between them. It had certainly helped their friendship to have her in the know. "Wayne Enterprises isn't the work I'm referring to."
"I see," she said, "so then you're referring to your other job."
"Yes. And that stays out, if you don't mind."
She drew her lips into a thin line. "I don't understand why you choose to separate your life like this. Both these things are a part of who you are. You should embrace that."
Despite her royal upbringing and moralistic attitude, he'd come to realize Diana rarely did things conventionally. She could be a real spitfire when she put her mind to it (like she was right now). He hadn't yet decided if that was annoying or attractive. One thing he was sure of was that she wouldn't win this underlying debate. "You're trying to bait me."
"Maybe. Is it working?"
"No, but I admire your effort." Having successfully called her on her attempts to throw him off guard, though he wasn't entirely sure what had motivated her to do so, he raised his glass again. "Let's talk about things more pleasant, shall we?"
"Alright, then lets talk about Dick Grayson."
His paused, the wine half raised to his mouth. He forced his hand to continue this action and then brought it back down. "What about Dick?"
"You have a son. You've never mentioned it. You've talked about the other vigilantes you work with in the city, but never your family. I wasn't even aware that you were married."
"I've never been married, well, not really anyway. I adopted Dick two years ago."
Her expression had changed from challenging to curious, which was quite possibly more dangerous for him. "You adopted a child? Well, not even a child, he must be at least twenty. I…it seems so…I had no idea."
"It's a long story, one that I don't care to get into right now. Suffice it to say that when his parents were killed sixteen years ago, I took him in as my ward. He left Gotham for a while after he graduated college, and a few months after her came back, I decided to officially make him my heir." He hoped that would quench her curiosity.
"You two must be very close then. You've shared so much of the same pain."
He didn't say anything.
"He didn't seem too happy with you when he left here. I hope it's nothing serious."
"We'll live," he said uninterestedly.
"If you want to talk about it, I'd be hap—"
"Diana," he interrupted leaning forward on the table, "there's nothing wrong." This was something he didn't want to deal with right now. And he realized he especially didn't want to deal with it with her. He checked his watch for show. "It's getting late, perhaps it's time to call it a night." He stood, pushing the chair out with the back of his knees.
Her eyes widened, but then evened out. "I hit a nerve, didn't I?"
"No, you didn't."
"Right. I'd almost forgotten that you don't like asking for help."
"You've got the wrong idea," he told her calmly. "I just really think it's getting late." He knew she was a novice when it came to social situations, but she'd see this for what it was: a blow off. He was sorry to do it; he'd enjoyed her company that evening, but he had to draw a line.
She stood too, depositing the napkin on the table and smoothening out the wrinkles in her long sleeved black dress. When she looked back at him, her mouth was drawn downward. "Fine."
"I'll call the jet."
"Don't bother. I can fly myself," she told him curtly, letting him know in no uncertain terms her annoyance at his attitude.
He escorted her to the door, and gave her hand another kiss. She was quick to withdraw it.
"Please give Alfred my regards, and thank him for the wonderful meal."
"Of course." He opened the door for her and she stepped out. "Good night, Dia—"
She'd flown off before he could finish.
"It's unfortunate that the princess had to leave so early."
He grunted a response at the butler, but kept himself occupied with the Bat Computer.
"She seems like a lovely young lady."
He nodded again while calling up the shipment lists for the docks that evening. A rectangular box appeared on the main monitor. He scrolled through it.
"I wonder if she'll call again, or if your rude dismissal served to alienate another member of the fairer sex."
He stopped his scrolling and rested his gloved hand on the computer console. His cowl-less face turned to the butler. "Were you spying, Alfred?"
"Heavens no, sir. I was just bringing out dessert."
"Hmmm," he returned his attention to the screen.
"If you don't mind my saying sir, I do hope you'll apologize to her. It's been a while since I saw you enjoy yourself as you did this evening."
"If you call today me enjoying myself, then I must normally lead a very depressing life." The old man raised an eyebrow, and Bruce acquiesced, "Okay, point taken. But I wasn't enjoying myself."
"If you insist, sir. But may I suggest you…not enjoy yourself more often then?"
"Why are you pushing this?"
"It's just good to see you with someone who you aren't going to have to put in jail."
Bruce quirked his lips. In all their years of friendship, Alfred had never tried to play matchmaker. "Diana and I are just friends. Teammates. There's nothing more to our relationship."
Alfred nodded, "As you say, sir."
Bruce scrutinized his expression, trying to find any insinuations, but detected nothing. This was the man who'd trained him in his poker face, after all. He turned his attention back to the shipment list and continued scrolling. He placed his thumb and index finger along his chin when he reached the end of the list. "I'm going out tonight."
Alfred seemed to have read his mind as he approached with the cowl. Bruce pulled it over his head.
"Do you want me to wake Master Tim?"
"No, I'm just going to do some surveillance by the docks." He secured his cape to his shoulders and made for the Batmobile.
"This wouldn't have anything to do with what Master Dick said earlier, would it?"
He paused (having just opened the car door). "Are you sure you weren't spying?"
The man shrugged. "I guess old habits die hard. Would you like me to inform your young son that you'll be at the docks?"
He seated himself in the car. "No. Dick doesn't need to get involved right now." He fired up the engine and the platform rotated to face the cave exit. The blue flame shot out from the back and the car hurled forward. The rock wall sealed itself after the exit.
"Somehow, Master Bruce, I don't think he'll agree with you."
Dick pressed the binoculars to his eyes. The image enclosed in the two conjoined circles blurred before coming into focus on the rows of stacked wooden crates. "Now those weren't there yesterday," he said to himself. He moved the binoculars to the only ship docked, continuing his recon. Everything seemed quiet, but he'd have to go in to take a closer look. It was too dark to tell from his vantage.
Pulling the binoculars away, he gingerly rubbed his arm, making sure it'd be okay for a quick flight down. Batman would be furious if he knew he'd been disobeyed, and a (not so) small part of him relished in that thought. Their relationship wasn't the smoothest one in history, but for the past year or two things had been better. A lot better. They'd been able to mend old fences a few months after his return to Gotham, thanks in part to Tim Drake. Their problems didn't disappear, but their bond returned to the strength it had been at their prime. And one night, after a particularly trying fight with Gotham's latest lunatic, Bruce had presented him with adoption papers. They'd officially become father and son. For the first time in a long time, Dick felt like he'd settled into life.
It wasn't until six months ago that things had started to sour again. He could pinpoint the night exactly. Two of the more dangerous villains from Gotham's Rogue's Gallery had formed a partnership; Two Face and the Joker, each working from opposite sides of Gotham, had set up bombs in two locations: Gotham City Hall and oil refinery at the edge of town. Batman and Robin headed for City Hall. Nightwing had been dispatched to the refinery.
He'd taken his bike, making it to the edge of the city in record time. After a quick surveillance had revealed no henchmen or super villains present, he'd gone into the darkened building. The bomb had been easy enough to find (which should have been his first clue that something was amiss), and he'd removed its protective covering to disable it. A brown boxing glove attached to a spring jumped out at his chin as he did so. Confetti showered him as the force of the blow knocked him onto his back. The bright dome shaped lights on the ceiling turned on simultaneously, making his vision swim with spots.
"Well, you're not the Bat I was looking for," said a familiar voice. All Dick could see was the silhouette of the man now standing above him. His right hand kept tossing and catching a small object that caught the light at the peak of its rise. Two Face.
"Now Harv, why don't we let the coin decide what to do with him?" Another familiar voice, the Joker.
Two Face tossed the coin, and both his faces smiled. "Bad heads. You loose." He nodded, and a dozen men pulled themselves off of the walls. It was an ambush, and he'd walked right into it.
He got to his feet quickly and began fighting off the thugs. They were no match for his skill in the martial arts, but twelve against one were tough odds to beat. He eventually knocked out the last of the men, and looked for the masterminds of the operation. They were gone. He tried radioing Batman and Robin, but his communicator had been damaged. After tying up the unconscious men, he headed for the nearest exit. The door opened and it became clear that Joker and Two Face had a third, silent partner. Bane wasted no time in picking him up and hurling him across the room. The henchmen had been planted to wear him out. Bane was the real obstacle.
He put up a good fight, but in the end, he knew he was no match for the venom-charged criminal. His last memory of the night was being raised above Bane's bent leg, bloody and broken, waiting for the madman to crack his back with his knee. Instead, there was a flash of black, and he was dropped to the ground. His mentor had arrived to save him, because he'd been too incompetent to save himself. When he woke in a hospital days later, he saw confirmation of what he feared in Bruce's drawn and tired eyes: he'd lost his faith in him.
He'd spent the weeks after doing whatever he could to regain that faith. But no matter how hard he tried, Bruce didn't budge. Eventually, his eagerness to please Bruce mutated into annoyance at Batman's dismissal. He wasn't the boy who hero-worshipped his mentor anymore, he hadn't been for years, so why was he regressing into that part? He'd come back from his travels proclaiming his independence, but as soon as he'd mended things with Bruce, he'd abandoned his autonomy. With this new clarity, he pushed Bruce, tested limits, took risks. Sure, it had gotten him a bullet in the arm, but that was a small price to pay. The bad guys were in jail (even though Bruce refused to acknowledge his triumph) —that's all that ultimately mattered.
And tonight, he'd show Bruce that he was worth his salt. He did one more sweep of the ship with the binoculars, readjusting the focus. There was a small flicker in the left ocular piece. He frowned, and checked again. It was gone. A few years ago, he'd have overlooked the minor flash. But now his eye was carefully trained. He knew exactly what he had seen. He clenched his fist and gritted his teeth. "Batman."
He grabbed the man by the lapels of his coat and threw him against the shipping crate. "Who are you working for?"
"N-n-no one, I swear, Batman! I'm just a security guard."
He looked at the man's attire, a brown suit with loafers. "Right." He pushed harder.
"Please don't hurt me. Please, I'm begging you! I don't know who he is, I'm just the middle man!"
Batman released his grip and the man, and he dropped to the floor. "What's in these crates?"
"I don't know, I wasn't told." The man pressed himself against the wall, trying to put as much distance between the two of them as possible. "Will you please let me go?"
Batman produced the bat cuffs from his utility belt and slapped them on him, leaning down so they were face to face. "You're going to tell me everything you know about your boss." Standing back up, he turned and made his way to the large brown shipping crate the man had been attempting to move earlier. He pulled up on the lid, grunting as his muscles strained against the nails. They slowly slid out of the wood and the lid flew to the floor. He looked inside and pulled out one of the many cylindrical cans. Tuna.
There was a quick draft against his ear as something flew by it, followed by the clinking of metal on metal. He turned to see his prisoner standing five feet away from him, hand positioned as if he were holding a gun. The weapon, however, was lying on the floor, next to a birdarang. Nightwing's trademark.
Sure enough, a figure flew over his head, right knee pressed to his abdomen, left leg outstretched. It came into contact with the suited man's chest, and he fell to the floor, winded. Nightwing back flipped and landed in a crouch. His eyes were narrow slits.
Batman frowned. "I thought I told you to stay in."
"Yeah, you're welcome," Nightwing said, standing and walking to the crate. "Why are you even here? This was mine."
Batman didn't answer but looked back to the can in his hand. Its blue label read Janus Tuna in block letters, and under it was a picture of the double headed Roman god of Gateways.
"Are you even listening to me?" Nightwing asked, grabbing the can and tossing back into the crate after a quick glance.
"Now's not the time."
"It's never the time for you, and I'm getting sick of it! We're going to set—"
He was interrupted by a soft beeping. It slowly grew louder, and they both were able to pinpoint its source. The can. Batman touched its tin surface and his eyes widened. "The can's getting hotter. It's a bomb." He grabbed Nightwing's arm and pushed him away from the box. "We have to get out of here."
"What about your friend?"
He looked back to the empty space where his would-be assailant had been knocked down. "He's gone."
The two continued to run for the exit as the beeping got faster. The crate emitted a faint orange glow before exploding in a large puff of smoke and debris. The shock wave toppled all the other crates in the room (tuna cans spilled from them, rolling before undulating to a halt) and sent Batman and Nightwing flying forward.
Batman saw the younger man grimace has he took the force of the fall on his injured arm. "Are you all right?" He placed his hand under Nightwing's elbow and pulled him up.
"I'm fine," he was told curtly as his hand was swatted away. "Let's just get out of here. This whole thing's going to blow."
The fire from the explosion burned against the splintered wood from the fallen boxes, which all seems to contain Janus Tuna. More of the cans began to beep, and Batman knew more explosions were inevitable. He and Nightwing ran again, each extracting their grapple guns from their suits. Once they'd reached the deck, they fired them off, lifting themselves off of the boat and into the air. Moments after their departure, the top of the ship blew through, sending pieces of wood and shrapnel flying around them. The ship continued to explode, part by part, and Batman knew they had to get it away from the dock if they wanted to minimize damages. If Alfred sent the submarine…
Before he could finish formulating his plan, the ship began moving away from its docking port. Once about fifty feet from land, it was sucked under the water.
He touched down on the far edge of the dock, Nightwing landing to his right. They shielded their eyes as the water was illuminated from below with a large flash of light, followed by a spray of liquid shooting up at least six stories. At the head of the jet was a figure he recognized immediately. "Diana." At least the mystery of how the ship towed itself out to sea was solved.
Having out run the spray (in her normal Wonder Woman outfit, not the dress from that evening), she halted her ascent, and changed course to intercept him and Nightwing.
"I don't believe this! You'd involve her, but you wouldn't involve me?" As much as her appearance had irked Batman—he didn't let others operate in his city without his consent—it had apparently irked Nightwing more.
"Trust me, I'm not the one who told her," he said flatly. Wonder Woman approached the two of them, landing on her left foot, then bringing down the right. Few beads of water and strands of soaked hair clung to her face.
Nightwing ignored her arrival. "You know, that doesn't even matter." He brought his left hand up and threw it towards the now singed port. "You wouldn't have even know about this if I hadn't told you! You had no right to do anything without me! And that includes being here."
Batman kept his voice calm. "You don't get to claim operations. We're a team."
"No, we're not a team. Me, Robin, Batgirl…we're all just little pawns to you. You boss us around, tell us exactly how you want a situation handled," he retracted his hand and jabbed his index finger accusingly at the Bat on his mentor's chest, "and bench us if we ever dare to break your rules. Maybe you've deluded yourself into thinking this is an equal partnership, but this is not how a team works. And you know what? I'm sick of it. I stopped being Robin so that I wouldn't have to deal with you anymore, and I can't figure out why I bothered coming back."
Wonder Woman shifted slightly, looking uncertainly between the two men before her. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't be here. I'll leave you two to talk."
"Don't bother," Nightwing told her. "We're done talking. Actually, I don't think we ever really started." He folded his arms sharply, and the action, apparently aggravating his injury, caused him to wince in pain.
Batman moved forward immediately, gripping the arm to examine the damage done. The black fabric of the uniform was soaked with blood. "I told you to let this heal," he said gruffly. "We need to get you back to the cave."
His help was unwanted, however, and he was pushed back. "Don't bother. It's not your concern anymore." Nightwing stepped back and away from him. "This is it. I don't want to be one of your lackeys anymore. And if you have a problem with that then, well, I don't really give a damn."
He turned around and walked away, a scene all to familiar to them both. He disappeared behind one of the remaining stacks of crates, and Batman and Wonder Woman heard a motorcycle fire up and speed away.
Diana put an arm on his shoulder as he continued to stare in the direction Nightwing had exited. "Are you alright?"
"Fine," he turned to her sharply. "Why are you here?"
She folded her arms. "I was leaving Gotham when I saw the explosion. I wanted to make sure no one was harmed. Is that alright with you Batman?"
He kept his expression the same. "You should go. The police will be here any minute."
"What about Nightwing?"
"What about him?"
"You should talk to him. That sounded more serious than you led me to believe earlier."
"I can't deal with him right now. It'll have to wait until I figure out what happened here tonight."
"I said talk to him, not deal with him. Obviously there are things you two need to work out."
"Talking doesn't seem to help where he's concerned. He's been taking too many unnecessary risks lately. And well, you saw what just happened."
"Spoken like a true parent. He's obviously hurting. Find out why before it's too late."
The sirens swelled in the background. "You should go now."
She stayed where she was, and for a minute he thought she was going to oppose him. But she dropped her arms and lifted herself off the ground, disappearing into Gotham's red sky.
Batman stood alone on the docks, surveying all the damage done that night, before retrieving his grapple gun and disappearing as well.
To Be Continued…
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