Standing on a rooftop in Bludhaven in the middle of the night, stood a man confused
The cold cruel wind whipped at him from the water down by the docks.
Even through his tattered clothes he resisted a shiver.
Why? He didn't know. He couldn't remember.
It had been too long since he had known who he was, and that was a strange experience for anyone.
He didn't know, but the one thing he did know was that it was becoming tiring.
The Owls, The Legion, The God damn Joker.
He was so beyond tired.
Even thinking of it all hurt his brain.
But as everything began to slow down and settle in his mind's eye, here he was.
The man he had always been, by one name or another.
Here, once again standing in the world was Richard "Dick" Grayson.
Gone was Ric.
Gone was Dickie Boy.
Hell, even Richard was foreign to him.
Dick was even, a fond memory to him, no one had called him that in a while.
All they called him, was Grayson. No, not Grey-son, that was the Owls. That was his Grandfather.
He was Grayson, former Secret Agent for Spyral, and standing in front of him, Patron, the head of the agency.
"Grayson, you are an idiot." The surly man said with a smile.
Grayson blinked, he had three lifetimes worth of memories fighting for dominance in his head.
Two were fading away, but he was unsure with his footing and stumbled. He wondered if that was normal, but then again, what was normal anyway, right?
Patron reached out and caught him, and chuckled almost under his breath.
"Tiger? Patron? What are you... doing here?" Dick asked unsure.
"I was passing through your "'Haven" and took pity on you." Tiger responded with a grin. "My agents have been keeping track of you since left you the agency, and this was just becoming tragic."
Dick looked down and back up, everything was clearing now. The gunshot, the Owls, the Joker... It was if he was standing in a dark forest, and in the distance there was a beam of light.
"How did you...?" Dick began, still trying to answer the most obvious question.
Patron grinned, "Think Grayson, you know the answer in there somewhere."
Dick paused and then uttered a word both foreign and familiar. "Hypnos?" What the hell were Hypnos he asked himself.
Patron laughed out loud. "Maybe you aren't as stupid as I thought." He turned and walked away from Grayson, as the younger man waited for his mind to finally settle.
"But I thought they were removed...?" Grayson asked unsure, the word still foreign to him.
"Only the ones we wanted you to find."
There was a moment.
Grayson's memories were beginning to settle.
A life of danger. Bullets whizzing past his head. Concrete streets below him as he dove from building on high tension cables.
A life of friendship. An older man, standing over his bead while he was ill with a fever. A redhead boy moving at speeds beyond belief.
A life of hardship. Another man, with broad shoulders, pushing him harder and harder, always offering a hand when he fell.
A life of family. A young boy, son of the second man with broad shoulders, lost, angry and alone, the brother he never had.
A life of love. A woman, with a smile that would melt his heart, and eyes that shone like diamonds in the night sky.
A life, that was his.
The man who was formerly Agent 37 closed his eyes tight and opened them again, and was reborn.
Where before a man stood with no true connection to the world, now stood a man at the very heart of several.
Dick Grayson has been reborn.
The false memories implanted by the Joker were being washed away.
The original false memories implanted by the Court of Owls were slowly but surely melting away, but his actions while under their attempted thrall, they remained.
His abandoning of his Nightwing persona, he remembered.
Turning his back on Bruce, Alfred, Damian and Barbara, he remembered.
Allowing four somewhat skilled but untrained civilians to take his place as the "Nightwings", oh he wouldn't forget that anytime soon.
His relationship and his love for Bea, now that was going to be an old fashioned "Dick Grayson issue".
He was no longer the Ric Grayson that she had known and loved.
He would go to her in the morning, and see where things would go. Probably not well, not since the man she knew was gone, and he would be, a ghost?
Patron watched as his former ally came back to the world of the living. "I didn't do this out of the kindness of my heart you know."
Dick Grayson looked over at him and smiled. "Well I owe you one, you can cash it in later." He said as he moved to the roof edge.
"Well actually..." Patron began but it was too late.
Dick Grayson was gone. Off the side of the building and into the night.
Patron smiled, he would collect another night.
The next morning Dick Grayson exited the home of Ric Grayson's singular love and out into the cold of winter.
Bea would now be behind him, just a memory of a past life that he, Dick Grayson had never lived.
Sure, she had understood. Ric was gone. Dick was back. There wasn't a choice really.
The Joker had messed around in an already confused mind.
There had to be a return to some sort of normality.
Chaos could not rule in his mind forever.
But, what was normal for him?
That was right.
Dick Grayson pulled up the collar on his jacket and began the walk down the street back to his apartment.
He needed to find out what was going on in the world, find out if and where he was needed.
Then, in the wind he heard it, a scream, the smell of smoke, a fire siren in the distance getting nearer.
He sidestepped into the nearest alleyway, and moments later someone else emerged.
Back in a sleek black costume, the one and only Nightwing, was on the way.