The final chapter. Sorry that it's take so long to complete, but I appreciate everyone who's read this. I will probably continue writing some Batfam fanfics, but I'm not at a point where it will be a regular schedule. I hope everyone enjoys this final chapter!
Bruce heard Alfred come into the cave, but he was focused on his work. He had not dedicated enough time to finding Dick's shooter because between Dick's recovery and amnesia and of course Bruce's usual double life of CEO and vigilante. He'd made some headway and knew it was time to leave Gotham and get on the trail.
"Master Bruce." From Alfred's tone, Bruce knew he had repeated himself.
"There's a situation upstairs that requires your attention."
"In a moment."
"It's best you go now, sir."
"Is it Dick? Is he okay?"
"Yes. But you will want to speak with him now." Bruce rose from his chair. He was stiff, but he was always stiff whether from poring over a case or getting involved in the physical aspect of the job.
"Where is he?"
"His room. He made a call for a taxi about five minutes ago."
"A taxi?" Bruce's heart started beating faster. He knew what this meant, but he hadn't expected it.
Bruce started up the stairs. He knew that Dick had seemed unsettled this morning by the unfamiliar surroundings, but he was still recovering so Bruce couldn't understand this sudden notion to leave. Or maybe he could understand it too well. He'd always pushed past physical discomfort to achieve what needed to be done. His kids had internalized that and Dick… Dick had always been the sort to strike out and see new things. He went to the downstairs guest room where Dick had been staying, but found no one. He started for the foyer after that, hoping to find his eldest on the front step, but hesitated. Alfred had said his room. He still glanced on the front steps (just to be sure), but then headed upstairs and found Dick in the room he'd usually occupied. Dick smiled (a slightly forced expression) and Bruce wanted to believe that he did remember. Of course, it was wishful thinking which Dick confirmed a moment later, "Hey. Guess Mr. Pennyworth sold me out."
"Yes. Where are you going?"
Dick shrugged, "I guess back to Bludhaven."
"You're still healing." Bruce said, "You need to stay here."
"I'm fine. A little weak, but I need to start figuring things out."
"Exactly why you should stay."
Dick sighed as if Bruce was being the unreasonable one, "I get that you're worried, but… I can't stay here. It's too much. Everyone's hovering and even when they're not hovering, I still feel like a fish out of water. This isn't home and I'm sorry it's not since I know it's supposed to be."
"Maybe I could arrange for an apartment in the city." Bruce suggested. Somewhere Dick could be monitored and tended to without feeling suffocated.
Dick shook his head, "I'd rather make it one my own. That's the fun of things, isn't it? Flying without a net."
Bruce sighed, "Dick…I don't think it's a good idea."
Dick shrugged, but grinned slightly, "Maybe not, but I really just want to go find out who I am without having to deal with the expectations of who I should be." The smile faded now, "I'm not trying to hurt anybody, but the truth is, I need to leave. For my own sake." Dick's very blue eyes were practically pleading with him now. Bruce sighed again. Dick had always been one to follow his heart and sometimes- especially when Dick was young- those very convincing blue eyes had made Bruce dismiss logic and follow his heart too.
"I understand. If you need anything though, you can call me." Bruce started to reach for his wallet to hand him a business card, but Dick had already produced one from his own pocket.
"Yeah. Mr. Pennyworth gave all that to me. Thanks, Bruce. I appreciate you worrying."
"I…Be safe, Dick."
"I will." Dick headed for the door with a single small bag slung over his shoulder and that easy grin. That foolhardy confidence that worried Bruce and made him proud at the same time, "See you around."
"See you around." Bruce replied. The door shut behind Dick and Bruce sat on the bed. He was not one to really indulge in wishful thinking. The facts were the facts and Batman only worked with facts. He'd witness strange things in his lifetime so there was always a chance – even if a small one- that Dick would recover his memories and all would be well. Even with that chance, Bruce wasn't sure he believed it would happen, but for a few moments he allowed himself the hope that when Dick came back to the manor, he'd be his usual upbeat self with puns and that dauntless affection. He wasn't sure how long he sat in Dick's room, just thinking about the young man who had grown up in it, but Alfred came to interrupt.
"Master Bruce, if you intend to eat before leaving this evening, you'd best come down."
"Right. Thanks, Alfred."
"Of course, sir."
"Alfred… He didn't deserve this."
"No, sir. He certainly didn't, but if I know Master Dick, he'd want us to be hopeful. Even if none of us are very good at that. And even if he does not remember us, I have no doubt that he will still be a man we can be proud of."
"He will." Bruce said, "He's always been that."