Bludhaven, one of the dirtiest cities in America, filled to the brim with filth and despair. The streets were filled with the homeless and the destitute, each dark alley was the home of street gangs and murderers. From the rooftops of the city, from its skyscrapers and its buildings it looked like a swarm of parasites that had descended on its citizens.
Bludhaven was a place where no one trusted the police, not even the police themselves.
Bludhaven was a place where people looked behind their backs at every turn.
Bludhaven was a place where hope was nothing more than a fleeting dream.
This was the city Nightwing now called his home, the city he swore to protect. An oath, similar to the one which he had taken years ago in a dimly lit cave, was repeated on top of the city's highest point; to put duty before one's self, to save all those he can, to bring justice to those he can't, and to do everything he could to make hope into a reality in a city of despair.
And so it was that Dick Grayson settled down, cop by day and vigilante by night.
A cry pierced the air, a wailing child.
It could be nothing, just a baby woken from its slumber. But it could be something, and in a city such as this it was best to be certain.
Nightwing blended into the shadows, moving silently in the direction of the cries. It lead him into an almost empty alley. There he watched as a woman left the crying child on the street, his eyes narrowing in anger as he heard snippets of the conversation below.
"It's for the best" A man as fat as a walrus climbed out of the car, British judging by his accent.
The woman nodded, "And a good riddance too, let's hope the freak stays out of our lives. "
The man called the woman into the car and drove away, leaving the child's fate to chance.
Bludhaven's very own guardian descended from his perch and held the little boy in his arms, whispering calming words into his ear. Gradually the child fell silent, green eyes staring up to the white lenses of the mask.
Nightwing held the child in one arm and reached for his grapple using the other, intending to go to the nearest orphanage. He hoped that the boy would not be too frightened by his flight. He feared needlessly as the child laughed in delight, happy to be in the air and held his savior tight. Nightwing's mouth twitched into a smile and before long started laughing with the toddler in his arms.
The journey ended much too soon as the vigilante landed on the orphanage's roof.
He shouldn't have gotten attached, shouldn't have laughed and smiled with the child, because he would lose him as soon as he had found him.
No, he would not go there. He didn't have time for a child, hell he barely had time for himself. He looked once more at the babe, who now looked curiously at him as if asking him why the fun had suddenly stopped.
He could not bring a child so quickly into his life, as dangerous and complicated as it was.
But Roy had Lian, and she was turning out just fine.
Wally had twins.
A few days later, helped along by Bruce Wayne's lawyers, Richard Grayson became a father. World meet Eric John Grayson-Wayne