The Death of Batman
A/N: This is my first Batman fic, so I hope you all like it. I make a
couple references to events in the Batman/Superman comic book series that
is currently running. Mostly just Hiro, the teenaged boy who Batman and
Superman sent Robin and Superboy to recruit to work for Batman. Please let
me know if you like the fic, or if you don't.
I suppose this is what they call fate. Fate, inevitable, but still
surprising when it happens. I always knew this day would come. I am
surprised it didn't come much sooner with the risks Batman, Bruce, took.
But I am still surprised now that the day is here. The day Batman died.
I've watched and worried for years. Watched Bruce don the Batman uniform
and leave the Batcave. Worried that he would not return. Tonight he didn't
.Tonight Oracle, Barbra, called to tell me the news. Called to tell me he
had died. It was the most horrific sense of deja vu when she told me what
had happened. That he'd been shot down in Crime Alley, by a mugger no less.
That Leslie Tompkins was there.
Leslie called later and gave me details. And I know that it is how Bruce
would have wanted things to be. He'd saved a family, a girl and er parents,
from the mugger. The child would not have to go through what young Bruce
Wayne did. Yes, the child saw someone killed, but not her parents. Her
parents will help her through the trauma. Bruce would be glad that he
managed to save the parents this time. Even after all these years a part of
him still blames himself for not saving his parents.
I've lost a lot of friends over the years, but this one hurts more than
most. Hurts more than anything except losing my father. I always knew Bruce
was human and could be killed just like anyone else, but he made it so easy
to forget that. He'd fight along side us in the Justice League. He didn't
have any "superpowers" like the rest of us did, but that never seemed to
matter. He never seemed like he was . . . pardon the pun, but . . .out of
His will power was like none I've ever seen, in humans or metahumans. It
almost seemed as if he would be able to keep himself alive by sheer will
power. No matter that it isn't humanly possible to do that under certain
circumstances. I've seen him do other things I didn't think were humanly
Sure we had our differences. Day and night, some would say. I think Bruce
would have gone with Yin and Yang, light and dark. He'd spent time in the
East and understood their philosophies. And he, as usual, would have been
right. We were opposites in many ways, but that is what allowed us to be so
effective together. We balanced each other. Our strengths and weaknesses
making up for the other ones.
Dick already told me about the plan Bruce had to keep people from realizing
he was both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Not surprisingly it involves
manipulating the situation, and is very clever. I'm sure it will work, his
plans always seem to. I'm not surprised he had such a plan in place. He
loved chess and always thought several moves ahead, in the game and in
life. He was also always thinking of how to protect those he cared about.
He couldn't protect his parents and made up for it by spending the rest of
his life protecting others. There was really no reason to think that would
end with his death.
People are beginning to gather for the funeral. Everyone from the JLA and
Teen Titans. The entire Gotham Police Department. Barbra, Oracle, is her as
herself, at her father's side. The rest are in costume. Nightwing, Robin,
Batgirl, Huntress, and so many others. Then there are the people of Gotham.
People he's helped. With my hearing I can listen to them talk. They tell
each other what the Batman did to help them.
*He saved me from being robbed.*
*I would have been raped, maybe killed, except for him.*
*He saved my son from being killed.*
*He helped me turn my life around.*
As the crowd grows there are so many stories that it's hard to hear many of
the specifics. But the specifics don't really matter. The fact that he
helped them does.
Bruce always said that I was the hero. He thought of himself as a
detective, a crime fighter. He didn't really consider himself a hero. But
he was. He was. . .
I can't believe I'm standing here at Batman's funeral. A monument, in his
memory, will soon be built here. He deserves that, that and so much more.
Donations to pay for it have been flooding in. Money from people he has
helped, has saved.
I saw his body and it's still hard to believe he's dead. That he could be
killed like the rest of us. With how much time he spent with Superheros it
was easy to forget that he wasn't one. That he was just a man. Well, I
don't guess Batman was 'just' anything. He was man I was proud to call my
It's a bit strange to think that he was one of the people I trusted the
most, in some ways one of my closest friends, and don't even know what his
face looks like. I don't even know his real name. But I know that those
aren't the important things. I know who he is . . .was. He was a good man.
A man who tried to protect others.
Beside me Barbra seems very upset. More so that I would have expected. If I
didn't have my suspicions that she may have been the original Batgirl, who
disappeared the same time Barbra got shot by the Joker.
There are many who want to look beneath that mask on Batman's face. No one
has. No one will. I told the officers guarding the body that anyone who
looks under that mask themselves, or lets someone else look under that
mask, had better be sure it's worth their career. They also know that not
only will they face my anger, but that of Nightwing and Robin. Probably
even the anger of Superman, which no one wants to face. No one has looked
under the mask. His secret will go with him to the grave. And that is as it
should be. It is Batman we are honoring. It is Batman we are burying. That
should not be eclipsed by the revelation of his identity.
I hate to think what Gotham would be like now without him. I worry what it
will become without him. But there is some hope. Nightwing and Robin came
to see me last night. Said they'd take care of things. But as good as they
are, as well as he trained them. . . they still aren't Batman.
I was there when Batman began. When he was born you might say. I suppose
then that it is fitting that I was there for the end. For his end. For his
death. Full circle.
It's sadly ironic that he died in Crime Alley. Killed by a bullet from a
gun. The mugger was shaking so hard with fright that he totally missed
where he was aiming. He was aiming at Batman's chest. He hit his head. The
only vulnerable place on him. The only place, where a shot can be lethal,
that isn't covered by Kevlar.
Normally the man would never have gotten close enough to shoot him, but
Bruce was focused on the family. The crook was running away. Batman had no
idea the man would turn back and shoot, so he started making sure the
family he'd just saved was alright.
Yes, I was there to see Batman begin, and to see his end. I could wish
otherwise. But perhaps he has now found some peace. He certainly never did
in life. His life was pain, loss and conflict. Oh, there where happy times,
but they never lasted. If one believes in Heaven, then I'm sure he is there
now with his parents.
I feel . . . I'm not sure how I feel. I can't believe he's gone. It seems
so impossible. How can Batman be dead? Since the first time I saw him, even
as Bruce Wayne, he's always seemed. . . larger than life, stronger than
Right now I'm on a flight back from taking care of his last order. Not
surprisingly that order was designed to protect me, Tim, Alfred and the
others. Bruce's Wayne's personal jet just crashed into the ocean as he was
returning from a personal vacation. No body will ever be found. Because he
wasn't on the plane. I crashed it with a remote device on the Batplane. He
died over a week ago in Gotham. But no one can know that. They can't know
that Bruce and Batman are. . . were, the same person. So that was Bruce's
final order. To say he was on vacation, then crash the plane. It gives over
a weeks difference for anyone who wonders why Batman is never going to be
seen again after Bruce Wayne dies.
That cover up is to protect us. If anyone learned he was Batman it wouldn't
take long to figure out that I was the first Robin, am now Nightwing, and
that Tim is the current Robin. Bruce made this plan of how to "separate"
the two deaths to protect us.
I'm dreading the second funeral as much as the first. Batman's was two days
ago. Bruce's won't be for a few more days.
I try to . . . describe, define, what I've lost. Who I've lost. My father,
my mentor, my friend, my . . .hero. And Bruce was my hero. In a lot of
ways I didn't want to be like him. He gave orders and I rebelled. Isn't
that how it goes with fathers and sons? He had his faults, and we had our
fights. But that doesn't mean I didn't admire him more than anyone else on
this planet. If it hadn't been for him I would have ended up like him. He
was able to save me from that, as he hadn't been able to save himself.
I can't even list all the things I've learned from him. All the things he's
taught me over the years. Intentionally or otherwise. And it goes so much
further than just teaching me how to fight. How to be a detective. He
taught me to live, to care, again after my parents died. He taught me what
sacrifice means. He sacrificed so much to help others. He sacrificed his
own life. And I'm not talking about his death. I'm talking about his entire
life. A life spent helping others, as both Batman and Bruce Wayne.
I'm moving back to the mansion. Can't believe it's mine now. I mean, I knew
Bruce made me his legal heir, but. . . well, I never thought this day would
come. Tim is now *my* ward, until he turns 21. I feel bad for him. He's now
lost two fathers. I feel bad for Alfred. I lost my father, but he lost his
son. Parents shouldn't have to bury their children. And he did love Bruce
as if he were his own son. I don't think Bruce would have survived his
parents death without Alfred, just like I wouldn't have survived my parents
deaths with out Alfred and Bruce.
I . . . fell bad . . . for me. And bad doesn't even begin to cover it. I
just can't deal with more than bad right now.
It's hard to believe Bruce is gone. Even worse is the fact that a lot of
the mourners here at his funeral are sorry for themselves, not for him. The
woman are sorry they will never get to be Mrs. Bruce Wayne. Others because
they worry they'll no longer reap the benefits of his generosity. And Bruce
was generous. Very, very generous. Only a few people know exactly how much
money Wayne Foundation gave away, and how much of it was from Bruce's own
Most think that he was a shallow playboy. And so did I, most of the time.
Then Bruce would walk into my office with a plan for some brilliant
business deal, or the idea for some invention, and I would be reminded what
a sharp mind he had when he choose to use it. I'll always wonder what good
he could have done if he'd used that amazing mind of his more often. I
guess now I'll never know. . .
I'm at my second funeral in two weeks. And the really strange thing is that
they are both for the same person. Well, sort of. There were times that
even I almost thought that Bruce Wayne and Batman were different men. The
two were just so different. Bruce, the shallow playboy who didn't really
care about anything. Batman, deep, intense and driven. Who cared more about
people than anyone else I've ever met. He cared about strangers. Risked his
own life to keep them safe. There a quote in the Bible about how the
greatest love is the willingness to lay down your life for someone. Batman
was willing to do that every night he went out on patrol.
Like I was saying, this is the second funeral. Batman's was almost two
weeks ago. Now I'm at Bruce's. Dick and Alfred are beside me. And a lot of
people who think they knew Bruce Wayne are here. They didn't know him. Only
a few people did and I feel privileged to be one of them. When I first
found out who he was I never thought he'd take me in. Not like he did. I
thought maybe he'd take me as a student and train me. Let me work with him.
I never thought that he'd give me a home, and all the things his money can
Dick is here for a while. Moved back from Bludhaven. He's my legal guardian
now. Don't get me wrong, I like him, look up to him. In some ways I
consider him a big brother. But I just can't imagine Wayne Manor without
Bruce Wayne. Or the Batcave with out Batman. It just doesn't fit. I think
I'm going to be spending a lot of time at Titan Tower. Away from here. Away
from the memories. I think Dick will understand.
I hear Alfred may be going back to England. Bruce left him more than enough
money to ensure he never needs to even think about work again. And just
like I want to get away I understand why he would too. Hiro's going back to
stay here, work with Nightwing.
Funny. When Hiro asked me about the job I told him that the good parts were
an unlimited budget, and getting to work with Batman. When he asked about
the catch I told him it was having to work with Batman. I was telling the
truth both times. But right now I'd give anything to hear one of Batman's
lectures, or to be getting one of his "tough love" lessons.
Part of me hates myself. But that's better than having my Beloved hate me.
I could have taken him to the Lazarus pit and saved him. But he would not
have wanted that. He would have hated me for it. And I could never let him
hate me. I would not be able to bear it. So I let them bury him in the
ground. It's what he would have wanted. And Batman has. . . had, a way of
getting what he wanted. I know he would not want me to hate myself. But no
one, not even him, my Beloved, can always get what he wants. It is time to
leave. To mourn in solitude. I think I will go back to the desert. Good
This latest joke really isn't funny. Not funny at all. They're saying
Batman is dead. I want to check the calender. It must be April Fool's Day.
Yes, it's April Fools and this is the guards April Fools joke on us. That's
it, it's a bad joke. Just a joke. Because Batman can't be dead.
Ahh. We now have the greatest riddle of all. Is the Batman really dead. And
if he is, who killed him? How did he die? The guards aren't saying, and no
one in here knows. It certainly wasn't one of us. We're all in here at the
moment. Unusual, but it can happen for very brief periods of time. That
means that Batman was killed by a regular criminal. Or in an accident. But
I've never known Batman to have any sort of accident. He's much to careful,
and plans to well, for that. But I've never known any common criminal to
come close to killing him either. So the riddle remains unsolved. Is Batman