Thanks again to Realfanflics for pointing out a few sloppy mistakes and catching for me a rather big one.

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters from the DC universe

Chapter 108
Epilogue…Cat and Mouse

It had been One year, four months, and three days. Richard had served his time mostly in a twelve by fifteen cell. Frequently receiving letters from his friends the Titans; apprising him of various feats, and telling him of how they missed him and how their lives were changing. He never replied back to any of them, but that didn't stop those claiming to be Richard's true friends from continuing their correspondence.

When the week came; time to pack up what little belongings he had, Richard found himself placing the small pile of hand-picked favorites from the stack of year-long pile of letters and placing them into the small duffle bag he had been given.

Escorted from the single cell he'd occupied he was met by the whole prison. There was much anticipation; of getting a chance to glimpse the occupant of cell E-4, who never ate (or at least never received a regular three day meal cart, same as they), and the guy, everyone whispered had once been one of the Heroes of State's guys, before turning out to be Deathstroke the Terminator's successor. It was rumored he was also the spy who had later brought Slade's mighty empire down.

There were whispers of 'he's just as ruthless' and 'just as deadly and man' as the boss himself. He was the main topic of prison gossip, and many were the tales of closed nightlight boogie monsters for them all. Some even saying things like:

"I saw him out of his cell once late at night feeding off the blood of the (now) missing guards."

Omen, utilizing his superior hearing, snickered at all the stories, as well as the rumors passed on to him from the guards ordered to remain personally assigned to watch over and surround him. Captain Green regularly checked up on and conversed with Mr. Grayson.

They had a number of good laughs at all the claims. Each time, Green would covertly ask for the sake of confident expression, "but you haven't been out of your cell late at night, have you?'

At first Omen would smile and hum, finding fun in watching Green work himself into a fit, thinking that the blood aside, perhaps some of the rumor might be true. "Of course not," reassured Richard, calming Green down. "I gave you my word." Green felt guilty for yet again losing trust in the young man, who had never lied to him yet; not once. "And I've always stuck to my promises, haven't I?" Green smiled.

"Good luck to you, Mr. Grayson." Captain Green shook hands with a man he had realized days earlier he would miss seeing around; he was the kind of guy that had brought no danger into his usually unsteady job, but something to look forward to.

"And you," replied Richard. Batman and several GV states guards had come to escort and accompany him in helicopter to the island home where Richard would now continue his sentenced 'twenty year' isolation, with the occasional check-in by a flying Hero every now and again. Mostly Clark, reasoned Omen, having had a whole year to think over and ponder who they might send.

-/-

Batman lowered himself to the ground, helicopter blades still whipping around overhead; two guards helped ease the prisoner down the running foot rail and to the sandy ground below. Richard, still in cuffs, was released, leaving him once again staring at the sunny compound home that used to be his and Slade's secret island retreat. Now his supposed extended prison sentence …

Achieving the ultimate victory-triumph over Slade, over the world, and especially over the Famous Batman, was simple child's play to a clever strategist Richard himself now was. He hadn't spoken during the helicopter ride. Suddenly, it seemed there was a need to say something. Goodbye if nothing else.

Ultimately having won his freedom from a world that no longer accepted him and those holding him back, he was at last free. His mental dream of so long ago; the Joker, Poison Ivy and Two Face in it, suddenly popped up in his head.

A reminder and mental correlation that somehow seemed not to fit in, at the same time; was something very similar to what was being achieved here just then.

Then, now he found himself, and fought with himself, but he had finally won out the freedom to live….

'Crossed over to the other side,' Slade had once said to him: "Be and do, what deep down you were too afraid to do but always sought freedom in want of."

They'd granted him "No leadership."

"The right to no longer lead, never a hero again" and Batman had granted him that 'suspicion' that he could no longer be trusted enough, isolation was all that would do for holding him.

Not that it was the end his world.

No, you see after long they'd all be dead and gone. But he'd still exist.

All they'd granted him really was a sort of vacation.

Time off

And while they all rotted away in the sick world; each locking themselves into a character role that none of them would ever be free from, he would be living it up free and open to forge the world into what he wanted of it.

It wasn't really punishment.

It was everything he needed- self-sufficiency right here on the island.

Technology they knew nothing about, food, water, entertainment, peace and quiet, and all the sun, surf and land he could ever want. When the time was again right; when Slade would be waiting for him, the years would have left each of them old and gray. Then all he'd have to do was look back and think, "regret" for them.

Slip his way back to the mainland and then he and Slade would take up where they'd left off.

A granting of another chance, a second childhood for him, and another go at it for them both. Only this time no one would be around that would stop them… even recall knowing them, their deeds… 'Who is Robin?'

All thanks to the secrecy at which the figureheads would implement and had already, to some degree done; in hiding all records of Slade and his cleverly, beloved hidden hiding place. Erased, tight and filed away from any and all's knowledge.

Two unknown figures in a devilishly clever and easily naive new world.

"You'll be stopped; someone will stop you." Something in Batman's last words to him made him almost think that the Bat knew. Knew all his plans and perhaps knew that Slade would be getting out of wherever they'd tucked him away, but then Richard realized that the Dark Knight was only fishing.

Speaking in the hopes of finding some clues to what Richard really had planned.

He laughed; something he'd do over many years to come, many nights into the future years as he looked back and remembered

"You think so?"

"And why is that," he just had to ask Bruce, it was pleasurable watching the Batman so riled up over nothing of value

"There will always be superheroes to stop you."

Richard offered Batman a humoring smile before turning it into an evil and satisfactory one; leaning in closer he replied, "Yes, but I'm pleased to say that you won't be around to be one of them….

Richard watched the helicopter take off, the wind whipping up dust as it rose. Trailing behind the end of a world he'd long wanted over and done with.

When it finally began heading away, he walked off up the path of Slade's island home, now his, whistling a merry tune. "Enjoy your life Bruce; I know I sure as hell will." Turning, he looked back one last time- smiled and shook his head, up at the distant toward the helicopter.

"All thanks to you" spoke Richard. Then with a smile on his face he offered up a salute.

Crossing the blue sand sky with his eyes a wicked smile took residence across his face.

He had finally won!

In the helicopter Batman sat cross-legged and vexed…for him it would never be over, a reminder of a lifetime spent wondering and waiting. Sure, other things would come, but that never would, and time would go by, taking up his life; a new apprentice, a new Batman.

Long into the days when he and Superman would grow old, when the Heroes of the day would began to die one by one, and when, soon after, those left were little more than 'whippersnappers,' Bruce a relic, and the progeny of a generation no longer remembered or recalled who Slade Wilson or Richard Grayson were.

The names died off when they did not spark them in fear anymore

Until One day:

One day when a timer finally activated, steam hissed, and the sound of water draining brought back to life the body of a once floating corpse. A hand reflexively twitching, muscle accepted brain wave signals, flexed, and then opened up the glass cover.

Stiff, yet refreshed by the body's long sleep, Slade stepped down, and with a smirk, removed the cloth cover that had draped over his face.

Looking down into the faded and wet orange and black colors; the dawn of a new age glassine in the cold single eye that searched the dark, for means and way out,

Slade exited to a world fresh and naïve.

Searching for he who had betrayed him; the enemy, his sole and true rival, at once his Apprentice… then his Son. Now his heir and the only one capable to pit himself against.

'Let the new game begin.'

FIN

A/N: I was going to take this story into the 'Batman Beyond' series. But honor bound by my own self imposing rules, and during this whole time; I started writing, I found out another author had already wrote a story (unfinished) in such future settings.

With very much the same theme as my Future ending for Cat and Mouse; but also very different- I tried to get them to grant me permission to use, or write around what they had already done, but I never got an answer back from them.

So I decided to end it here. But:

For those of you wondering what that might have looked like. You can go to my home page and click on the link, which will take you, to AdultFanFiction and to the profile of that fellow author, their versioned Fan Fiction. Being able to read what they have, yet sadly left unfinished.

I suggest reading it, it was really a good opening; beginning, although they never got far enough into the plot line, it will at least give you a satisfied glimpse of Slade and Richard's new existence and interest in the world of the future and the Batman Beyond series.

Set to my own after Slade woke up, and Richard isn't finished playing Cat and Mouse with him. I have to warn you all though, it does hold 'mild' insinuations of Slash in the others version, within its chaptered pages. Only hints though.

So Thanks to all for reading my extremely long tale; of Cat and Mouse, and it's been fun. A long time of wonderful reviews, interactive moments with the readers and I hope you all enjoyed the time together as much as I did.

Bye to all out there. Keep writing at least for fun, if not for anything else….