A/N: I got this idea from reading Rebirth Detective Comics where they mention how Dick Grayson left the Batman mantle because he had a family and "Justice League: Generation Lost" #14 where they bring up an image of someone named Thomas Grayson takes on the Red Hood persona. I couldn't really find any comics that provided information about Dick Grayson's future, so I thought I'd write about what I think would happen to him from whatever I could cull from the comics.
I am leaving the mother nameless for two reasons:
In "Justice League: Generation Lost" we never see Thomas Grayson's face, so we don't know if he could part alien.
Dick has had quite a few girlfriends in the main DC timeline, and I've only seen one who thought that she was pregnant.
Otherwise I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to review.
As I outgrew my Boy Wonder days, there were times where I considered hanging up the mask and raising a family of my own, but I never thought I could because I could never stand still enough to settle down. First when I started the Titans, then when I was leading the Outsiders, then I became Blüdhaven's defender and now here I am, back in Gotham, as the new Batman. Even if Bruce Wayne was gone, Batman still had to live… I was always expected to wear the cowl when this day came, even so I prayed that it never would. Bruce and I couldn't have been more different if we tried, our stories may have started with the loss of our parents, but unlike him, my tragedy is not all that I am. Bruce always embraced the darkest parts of life almost to the point where nothing else mattered, leaving little time for friends or even family. I should know, the guy raised me and I still remember how he always ended picking his crusade for justice over the little boy who had become the closest thing he had to a son at the time. Even if I had to become Batman, I never wanted to end up like Bruce, all alone, isolating myself from the people I care about, the people who were, in a sense, family, so when I get a call from my girlfriend saying that her pregnancy test came back positive, I am left uncertain of what my family will become…
The baby wasn't due for another few months, which gives me and "the family" something to talk about during one of our team meetings. Of all the people I expected to show up, Jason was the only one who didn't, apparently the Red Hood was in some foreign country fighting off an oppressive and corrupt government. I suppose it was just as well, he may not want to kill me anymore, but we still aren't quite that close. I wasn't sure what to expect from them when I told them about the baby, whatever I thought was going to happen quickly subsided as they seem to think that my kid's future all mapped out.
"So a new Robin will join the fold," said Damian, the current Robin, in his usual venomous tone. "Perhaps your progeny would be more suited to becoming a brightly colored target given that his lineage of fools."
"No one's joining anything," I tell him a-matter-of-factly, "the kid's not even born yet."
"Still," thought Red Robin, "not a bad idea, we could use the extra help since losing the Belfry."
I give out a long exasperated sigh, "Not you too Tim."
Tim Drake took on the Robin mantle sometime after Jason's "death", unlike the rest of us he wasn't driven to take on the name through for personal reasons just a strong sense of right and wrong. I admire that about him, but sometimes I wonder if he's aware that not everyone in the family thinks the way he does. When I first met him, he tried to convince me to go back to being Robin. Honestly, after all the time I spent as Nightwing, did he really expect me to make the transition that easily? I wasn't that same kid who wore the yellow, red and green all those years ago. How could I be? Bruce was the one who decided to push me away, who drove me to become what I am, and nothing has ever been the same between us since then. I know Tim meant well, but there comes a time when you have to accept that nothing can go back to the way it was.
Tim probably had a harder time learning that lesson than anyone. His girlfriend left him because he couldn't let go of the mask and cape for a moment, not even for her. Her dad was a supervillain named Cluemaster who spent his entire career antagonizing Batman, instead of raising his own daughter. At some point, I think she started to believe that playing superhero made her no better than him, she wanted out, Tim didn't. As someone who's dealt with break-ups before because of the mask, I felt for Tim, but in these situations there are only two things you can do: work through the problem with your partner, or learn to let go and move on. Tim was always a bright kid, between all the Robins he was probably the smartest, it was no wonder he was offered a spot in Ivy University's genius program, and yet he gave it all up for the Batman legacy, to save the Belfry, a team that had fallen apart because people were afraid of what Batman had become… of what he could become. I don't think Bruce would have been too happy about what Tim was giving up to keep Batman alive. He was so gifted, he could have done what the rest of us had done and become a hero in his own right even without a mask, instead he chose to become another Robin in Batman's war on crime. Still Tim knew the risks when he signed on, he knows that Batman's path was paved with hardships, he could have left anytime he wanted, and yet he chose to stay. This has always worried me, Tim could have had a great life if he wanted to, but he didn't want to turn away from Batman, he's choosing to live in a dark corner when the whole world awaits him. I hope Tim will be okay because when he and Damian are on the same page you know there's a problem.
"It's just a thought," Tim replied with a coldness that was unlike him, "if you don't want the kid to be a part of this, there's always adoption."
Honestly, I wasn't sure what I was going to do after the baby's born. The mother also wants to wait until delivery before discussing the future. Future… A word I rarely like to use, I've always tried to stay in the moment, never looking back or forward. To me there was only the now, but things have changed; now I'm going to have to look in another direction to make sure that my kid has a good life. From the beginning, I knew I could never wear a mask and raise a child; still I wanted to make a life for myself. And with the baby coming closer, I'm going to have to make a tough choice: to live a life for myself, for Gotham, or for my unborn child…
I pace back and forth in the hospital hallway, I can't believe how fast things are moving. One minute I'm out kicking bad guy butt as Batman, the next I get a call from the hospital saying that my girlfriend has gone into early labor…too early... I was often told that my inability to stay in one place comes from the fact that, before Bruce, I grew up among travelers, wanderers who only settled down for a moment until the time came to move on, now I can't hold still because I'm not sure if I'm going to be Batman or a father.
Tim and Damian are in the waiting room with me, Jason is still a no-show.
"Calm yourself Grayson," Damian says with his characteristically icy voice, "If the child is as foolishly dauntless as the father, the birth will be relatively fast and painless."
I run my fingers frantically through my hair. "Easy for you to say you're not the father."
Sometimes I forget that Damian never had a normal childhood, cultivated in an artificial womb, spent most of his life raised by assassins, and then having to live with the cold, distant Bat. Considering my own experience, Bruce did a pretty good job with Damian, though I still worry about the kid not because of his bloodline but because of his unwavering devotion to his father. When I lived with Bruce, I learned that he wasn't always as great as he made others believe as good, as he was the one thing he was never able to do is let go of his pain. Damian practically worshipped the ground he walked on, sanctifying his pain and suffering as some great sacrifice. Between every other member of our family, Damian is the only Robin who's actually Batman's son, but he wasn't born from the same struggles that made the rest of us. He was groomed to be the next leader to the League of Assassins, and although he escaped that fate when he came to live with us there are times where I still see him trying to repress the murderous instinct ingrained in him since birth. I guess his arrogance is his way of showing that he has the most to live up to. Still there are times that I wish the kid would stop bragging about how high and mighty he is long enough to realize that some situations require a lot more tact than he offers.
"I'm sure everything will be fine Dick," Tim assured me, "And if the kid does turn out anything like you, we'll have a great addition to team."
"Right now, all I care about is that the kid lives."
Before we can say more a nurse came towards us and said, "Well Mr. Grayson, the baby will have to spend a few months in an incubator, but otherwise it is a relatively healthy boy. The mother is in recovery right now, and we just sent the child to the NICU."
"Can I see either of them?" I asked, nervously.
"Right now I don't think it's best to wake your girlfriend, however I can take you to see your son, but only you," the nurse replied.
I looked to Tim and Damian, they're good kids, but when I leave them together one of them is going to end up breaking the other's bones. Good thing we're in a hospital.
Tim seemed to read my mind as he told me, "Don't worry about us Dick. Damian and I can go a few hours without trying to kill each other."
Damian scoffed at the remark. "*T-t*. Shows how much you know Drake, I can kill before you even lay a finger on me. After all, I am the better..."
I'm still not sure I should have left the two alone still they both know enough to maintain discretion.
As I walk towards NICU, the nurse starts explaining a whole set of rules and regulations I need to remember before entering the room. Premature babies are pretty delicate and require special care even after their time in the incubator. Their sensitive nature always calls for constant attention, even as they grow up there are some things never leave. While the nurse continues to list the NICU's requirements, I start to wonder about this kid's future. Would he turn out like his father? Like his mother? Or would he be the complete opposite of what I expect? Would he be strong enough to live the life he deserves?
After having my hands washed and disinfected, I was finally allowed to enter the nursery. And there he was, my son, lying in a mechanical crib with wires and tubes sticking into him. He's barely bigger than the palm of my hand and each of his movements look like he's in a heated battle with no current winner. I gingerly tap the tiny palms of his hands, and he starts to squeeze my finger. His hand is barely bigger than my little finger, but he grips onto me like a trapeze artist to the bar. He's only a few hours old and I can already find so many similarities between us: he had slick raven hair standing up with anticipation, the face of a starry-eyed adventurer, and little hints of robin's egg blue in his eyes. I even recognized that look in his eyes, a fearless look, the look of a fighter. But what would he be fighting for? Justice? Vengeance? Life? Would he even want to fight the same battles I did? And would he do it for the right reasons? As these thoughts raced through my mind, I realized it all boiled down to one question: was I going to be a hero or a father…
A/N: So this is what I have so far. This is my first Batman fanfic, so I'm not sure my how accurate my characterization is, but I was certainly curious about why Dick Grayson would suddenly leave one family for another. He's not the type who would just leave you high and dry and future Tim told his past self in Detective Comics that he had no one else to help him.
There are more chapters to come. Let me know what you think and feel free to give me some suggestions for this or a future story.