Note: The DCU in this story series is mostly pre-The New 52, but there might be a few concepts, character revamps, etc. that I have taken from The New 52.
Dick Grayson and Wonder Woman were still asleep in each others arms in a
spooning position. Both heroes were exhausted from their love making the day
A loud banging on the locked hospital room door woke both of them from their blissful sleep.
Both Dick and the Amazon princess bolted awake, and then scrambled for clothes. Diana wrapped herself in a red robe. Nightwing deftly slipped back into his costume.
Diana whispered to Dick, "Ready?"
Nightwing gave a thumbs up sign.
The Amazon princess cleared her throat, assumed a regal posture, and then opened the door.
Artemis, dressed in her usual dark green armor, rushed into the room. She hurried announced, "Nightwing, you have an urgent communication from Gotham City."
Diana stated, "Go. I'll catch-up."
Nightwing bolted with Artemis to Paradise Island's communications chamber.
Diana spread out her arms, and then twirled in place. A bright flash of light erupted from her. The bright light vanished to reveal her fully changed into her Wonder Woman costume. With the swiftness of Apollo, she rushed to the communications room.
Nightwing saw Alfred Pennyworth on the screen. The costumed vigilante had never
seen the faithful butler like this.
Alfred's elderly eyes were red and puffy, as he had been crying for a long time. He shook while trying to keep himself calm. His voice trembled with great sadness. He muttered, "Master Richard..."
Dick knew that something terrible had happened. He hadn't seen Alfred like this since Jason Todd, the first youngster to replace Richard Grayson as Robin, had died. He insisted, "Alfred, what happened?"
Alfred nearly broke out in tears as he said, "Master Bruce is dead."
Diana speed into the room as Alfred spoke. She halted in her tracks and then softly muttered, "Bruce...?!?"
Dick was stunned and then almost feel out of the chair. Batman, despite being a control freak and paranoid beyond belief, had been the closest Nightwing had to a father, since his parents were killed. He muttered, "Dead?!?"
Nightwing could not believe that Bruce Wayne was dead. Bruce was the god damn Batman! Dick demanded, "Where's the proof!?!"
Alfred produced the tattered cloak and cowl of the Batman. The elderly man informed, "This was delivered by Talia yesterday. She said that Ra's al Ghul and Batman were in a bitter fight, where both were swallowed up in a Lazarus Pit."
Nightwing knew what a Lazarus Pit was. It was a rare, but naturally occurring pool of chemicals and minerals, that could be used as a fountain of youth. A Lazarus Pit had often worked to extend the life of Ra's al Ghul, but temporarily made him insane. Most of the time, a Lazarus Pit claimed the people who entered it.
Alfred, always a professional, stated, "The wake is in a few days, and then the funeral the day after. Lucius Fox will be reading Bruce Wayne's will after the funeral. I will be reading Batman's will. I'm working with Clark Kent to publicize the story of Bruce Wayne's death."
Clark Kent was secretly Superman, and one of Batman's closest friends. Having an ace reporter at the Daily Planet, one of world's most read newspapers, always helped.
Dick said, "I'll be home within a few hours."
Alfred nodded his head and then wished, "Godspeed, Master Richard."
Dick ended the communication. He dropped down to his knees and then cried for Batman.
Wonder Woman knelt by his side and then held onto him tightly. She also cried about Batman's death. She prayed to Hades that Batman be granted safe passage to Elysium.
Themyscira had the magical ability to appear anywhere Queen Hippolyta wished the
Amazon island to be. Hippolyta brought Paradise Island close to coastline of
On the sea shore of Themyscira, Wonder Woman's invisible plane was ready for takeoff. Diana, Queen Hippolyta, and Nightwing were also on the beach.
Diana asked, "Where's Donna?"
Queen Hippolyta answered, "Your younger sister headed back last night. Something to do with the Teen Titans."
Both Diana and her mother lovingly hugged each other.
Hippolyta asked, "Will you be alright?"
The Amazon princess glanced at Richard Grayson and then stated, "Yes."
Diana's mother was more blunt by inquiring, "Do you love him? Does he love you?"
Diana tightly held onto her mother's hand and then reassuringly informed, "Yes.
And yes. Goodbye, mother."
"Goodbye, my daughter.", Hippolyta said.
Wonder Woman boarded her Invisible Jet.
Nightwing politely thanked to the queen, "Your highness, thank you again for your hospitality and for letting someone from Man's World stay on Themyscira."
He respectfully bowed before Queen Hippolyta.
Hippolyta insisted, "Take good care of my daughter, Richard Grayson. Diana has given you her rarest and most precious gift."
"I will, your highness.", he confirmed. He boarded the Invisible Jet.
The canopy of Wonder Woman's craft closed, rendering her jet completely invisible to nearly everyone.
The twin engines of the Invisible Jet fired up, and then sound of an small jet taking off was heard.
The Invisible Jet streaked into the sky and then made way for the Batcave.
Queen Hippolyta closed her eyes and then set a new location for Themyscira.
Paradise Island vanished from the coast of Gotham City and then appeared somewhere else.
Despite all of the press coverage, Alfred had managed to keep Bruce Wayne's wake
and funeral closed off to the paparazzi. Only close friends, some Gotham City
police, and the board of Wayne Enterprises attended. Clark Kent was the only
member of the press allowed at the wake and funeral. Barbara Gordon, aka
Batgirl, attended as a guest of Police Commissioner James Gordon.
Wonder Woman, despite being Richard Grayson's new girlfriend, decided not attend the wake and funeral. Her relationship with Dick was too new, where the press would have too many questions. Besides, her alter ego of Agent Diana Prince had not submitted a transfer from Washington D.C. to Gotham City yet. The Amazon princess would be able to mourn for Batman during the service in the Batcave and at Justice League satellite.
The spotlight, of course, was on Richard Grayson who had been Bruce Wayne's ward. Everyone assumed Dick would inherit everything from Bruce. The reading of Bruce Wayne's will confirmed this, where Dick gained ownership of Wayne Manor; control of Bruce Wayne's wealth; and controlling shares of Wayne Enterprises. Dick was essentially CEO of the global corporation.
At the private service in the Batcave, a small memorial party had assembled of Superman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Wonder Girl, Batgirl, Robin, and Alfred. Other heroes had wanted to attend, but the risks in exposing the Batcave were too high to invite anyone else.
Nightwing shocked everyone, except for Wonder Girl, when he entered the Batcave with Wonder Woman.
Diana could not help giggling at Superman's shock. She teased the Man of Steel, "It's good to know that Superman can be surprised once in a while. I don't think that Dick will be upset when you kissed me."
Superman begged, "Diana..."
During her first year in Man's World, Wonder Woman had hired a publicity agent--Mindy Meyer--to promote the Amazon ideals. Mindy has also setup a blind date between Wonder Woman and Superman. Superman overreacted by kissing Diana when they met. The two superpowered being realized there was no mutual attraction between them, but remained good friends.
Wonder Woman continued to tease, "A very deep kiss. You even slipped some tongue."
The Man of Steel pleaded, "Diana, please."
Diana gave a friend peck on Superman's cheek. "Don't worry, Kal. Nightwing won't beat you up over it."
At the other side of the Batcave, Nightwing had a hard time looking at Batgirl. The two costumed vigilantes had dated for a while, but their relationship only lasted during puberity. A lot of people assumed they would get back together one day.
Batgirl took Dick aside and then asked, "Are you happy?"
"Yes.", he immediately answered. He inquired, "You're not...?"
Batgirl interjected, "No. Besides, Ted and I have spending a lot of time together since you asked us to help out with Gotham."
Ted Kord was the Blue Beetle, who was another costumed crimefighter. Besides being a scientific genius and CEO of Kord Enterprises, Blue Beetle had been given a mystical beetle scarab from his predecessor--Dan Garret.
Nightwing hugged Batgirl and then said, "Thanks."
This exchange did not go unnoticed by Wonder Woman. She was glad that Batgirl held no romantic intentions for Richard.
Wonder Girl intercepted Nightwing, and then hugged him like a consoling sibling. She asked, "How are you doing?"
"So far, so good.", he said. He sincerely thanked, "Thanks for coming, Donna."
Donna gave him a sisterly punch in the arm. The two had been good childhood friends, ever since they had formed the original Teen Titans. She said, "Dick, for you, I'd do anything."
Everyone gathered at the circular platform where the Batmobile was usually parked. Poles with candles lit the circle. The cave's bats were unusually silent tonight.
Alfred Pennyworth was dressed in a black suit and tie with a white shirt. He held a 10" smart tablet in his hands. He deliberately cleared his throat. He looked as if he hadn't slept for days. The butler stated, "Thank you all in coming tonight. We are here to honor and remember Batman, Bruce Wayne's true persona. I have on this tablet Batman's last will and testament. Suffice it to say, Master Bruce stated that Batman can never die. Long live the Batman. As such, the Mantle of the Bat will be passed down to Master Richard."
Alfred embraced Nightwing, like an uncle hugging his nephew.
Nightwing ended the warm hug, took the smart tablet from Alfred, and then cleared his throat. He said, "Thanks. And just when I thought I had ditched the cape."
He deliberately switched to his deeper, huskier Batman voice, "And yes, Ollie, I can do the Bat-voice."
Green Arrow, aka Oliver Queen, shivered. The emerald archer acknowledged, "Long live the Batman!"
Everyone else repeated in a loud, but human ranged chorus, "Long live the Batman!!!"
Superman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Wonder Girl, and Batgirl took turns congratulating Nightwing on becoming Batman, and then departed. Each superhero had to return to their respective home cities or nightky patrols.
Robin, aka Tim Drake, talked to Dick Grayson. The current Boy Wonder inquired, "So, is it going to be Batman and Robin?"
Dick asked, "Do you want it to be?"
"Not sure.", Robin answered. "I'm kind of liking being on the Teen Titans."
Dick reassured, "Then stay on the Teen Titans. Donna needs all the help she can get. And besides, I won't be alone in Gotham City."
The Batcave soon emptied, where only Dick, Diana, and Alfred were left.
Dick insisted to the elderly man, "Alfred, get some sleep. We can work on the new Batman tomorrow."
Never wanting to be lax in his duties, Alfred inquired, "What about breakfast, Master Richard?"
Dick declared, "Everyone will take care of themselves for breakfast, Alfie."
The faithful butler raised a questioning eyebrow and then warned, "As long as my kitchen stays in fair order."
The Amazon princess stated, "Alfred, I'll make sure we keep your kitchen in pristine order."
Alfred nodded and then said, "Very good. Good night, Master Richard and Princess Diana."
"Good night, Alfred.", both Dick and Diana said.
After the elderly man had exited the Batcave, Diana mentioned, "It's a good thing you're calling it a night, Richard. I have to go to Washington, D.C. to process a transfer for Diana Prince. I think it's about time the IADC established a branch in Gotham City."
Nightwing asked, "In the meantime...?"
Diana stated, "How does that song go? We boom, boom back in your room."
Dick added with words from the same song, "And we can do it all night?"
"Only if you think you can keep up with me, Richard.", the Amazon princess teased.
Around 10 a.m. the next morning, Dick Grayson was finishing a phone call with
Lucius had been significantly helped Bruce Wayne run Wayne Enterprises. Dick kept Lucius on with his current position and capacity.
Dick said, "Check the stock markets, and make sure no one tries a hostile takeover. If you need more money than what's in the corporate investment account, let me know. And then I'll see you tomorrow morning to meet with the board of investors, and to update me on all WayneTech projects. For the day after that, can you schedule telecoms with LexCorp, Kord Enterprises, Ferris Air, and S.T.A.R. Labs? I've already talked with Steve Dayton of Dayton Industries. Thanks."
He ended the call, and then returned to the main console of the Batcomputer. He saw that his request was still running to configure the optimum weave of fire resistant and bullet proof mesh, using a combination of CarbonX and Spectra Shield. He considered Nomex and Kelvar outdated materials.
He slid over to the far left side of the Batcomputer to refresh his black coffee. The 20-cup glass coffee carafe was half full.
Dick moved over the left console of the Batcomputer, and then mused over the design of his bat costume. He liked the double gauntlet design of the gloves and boots. He also liked the dark blue color of the costume. He purposely left the black bat insignia within the yellow oval. Bruce had stated a high visible bat symbol is where most criminals would try to shoot, where additional protection could be added. He had added state-of-the-art communications to the cowl, along with some other protective layers. He added a retinal scanner to the left eye, where he could activate visual commands.
He had completely redesigned the utility belt with a design he could not use on his Nightwing costume.
The back of his bat costume had spots for his escrima sticks, which had used as his primary weapons as Nightwing. If needed, these escrima sticks could discharge teaser-like jolts.
Dick, however, had the most trouble with the cape. He hated capes, because of how much a cape weighed him down. He had removed the weighted tips and switched out the material. His long cape would made from a light-weight material from Dayton Labs, but would not be fire resistant or bullet proof.
All of the metal in his costume and in his weapons was made from deleted promethium, which was a near-indestructible metal.
All of his gadgets were powered by violate promethium, which was an incredible power source.
Dick Grayson hoped that fabrication of his bat costume could start tonight.
He pushed away from the Batcomputer to gaze at the machines that were constructing the new Batmobile. Dick had scraped all of the other Batmobiles for the available parts, so that he could requistion the least number of parts from the Wayne Enterprises' R&D budget.
He would also have the robotic, T-Rex dismantled and have other souvenirs removed, like the giant penny and large playing card. He would also have Jason Todd's ruined Robin costume removed.
Alfred entered the Batcave, carrying a tray of finger sandwiches and a carafe of water. He noticed that all of the previous Batmobiles were gone and then remarked, "Not keeping the car collection, Master Richard?"
Dick chuckled at the elderly man's joke. He informed, "No, Alfred. I'm not going to make the Batcave a museum. Besides, I don't want to waste money maintaining stuff that I'm never going to use. I don't know how Bruce spent all that money from Wayne Enterprises, while keeping it all under the radar."
The faithful butler further inquired, "And the rest of the vehicles?"
Dick answered, "I might replace the Batcycle. I'll probably scrap the copter, plane, and boat. I think the sub-orbital jet will come in handy."
Alfred commented, "My word, Master Richard, won't that limit the Batman's adaptability?"
He flashed a teasing smile and then mentioned, "That's why my Batmobile will be
a multi-tasker. I found that Bruce was nearly done with the fabrication. I think
this Batmobile will be ready for tomorrow."
Alfred asked, "So the Batman will return to Gotham tomorrow? But what about Princess Diana?"
Dick stated, "Batman's been gone too long, Alfie. I have to show Gotham that Batman still lives, even though I won't have Wonder Woman as my backup. Besides, it will give me a chance to have a heart-to-heart with Commissioner Gordon. I need to have Gordon's trust."