Once upon a time, there was a very dysfunctional family that a young man named Dick Grayson prided himself to be a part of. Yes, they were unconventional and most people would call them batty, but Dick loved his family, and despite the fact that they never actually said the words, he knew that they loved him too.
Then, the 'incident' happened. And by incident, he means that he was outed as Nightwing in front of the whole world, and to preserve the secret identities of everybody he loved he became a spy. An Agent of Spyral. Sure, everybody he loved thought he was dead for a time, but he fixed that.
Dick would love to say that the story ended there. That they had a happily ever after. That he skipped off into the sunset with his three brothers, his adopted father, and their butler. But that's not what happened. In fact, what really happened was so much worse. Well, it could be better, depending on how you looked at it. On the bright side, he no longer had younger brothers constantly yapping about something annoying Bruce did. On the not so bright side, everybody in the entire world had no clue who he was.
Somnus Satellite had been no joke. It had erased every single memory of Dick Grayson ever existing. Dick knew that every mention of him in the manor was ignored. His room, his clothes that had been in the laundry, his picture on the wall. Dick had spied, and watched as all the irregularities were studiously ignored. He had even disguised himself as a Wayne Enterprises mailroom employee, and given Bruce his mail. He had hoped, that Bruce's stubbornness would lead to the man he called 'Dad' to recognize him. To stubbornly remember the first lost boy he had adopted. There hadn't even been a flicker of recognition.
That event had been the catalyst to sending Dick into a spiraling depression as he once again broke into tiny pieces. So, he did the only thing that he could think of. He joined an international circus. Not Haley's because it would hurt too badly for Pop Haley to look at him blankly, but a lesser known circus. He quickly became the star attraction, and it allowed him to put the pieces back together. The picture was a little distorted and there were a few holes, but it was better than he could have hoped for.
He began to get this itch. An itch to fight crime. To make the world better. He started by stopping petty crime in the cities that the circus was stopped in. It wasn't enough. So, he told the ringmaster that it was time for him to move on, packed his bags and flew into the New York international airport. From there, he bought a cheap car, thank you trust fund, and drove into Gotham. Once there, he broke into the Batcave and stole all of his Nightwing gear, as well as a few surplus items. Bruce would never miss them. He was just glad that biometrics still gave him access to the Batcave. He supposed that that had something to do with the fact that the whole family ignored anything that had to do with him, but he couldn't find it in himself to care. He was just happy.
Once he had his stuff, he once again was on the road. This time, to Bludhaven. He had doctored his police record so that he had served in Star City P.D., going as far as to research superiors and and leave reference numbers. Of course, he tapped said superior's phone lines and using a voice changing program Tim created, mimicked their voices. He tried to be honest though. Said that he was a good kid with an honest heart. That he did great undercover work, and was an even better detective. That he was honest to a fault, and knew how to deal with grieving families. That he could be rash and impulsive. That he sometimes had a hard time following orders he didn't agree with. That while he knew how to deal with failure, at times things got too much for him.
He got the job. He was now, officially, a Bludhaven cop working under the homicide division. Okay, so he might have given himself a slight promotion, sue him. He would start on Monday, with his new, or rather old, partner, Amy Rohrbach. It would be hard, being paired with Amy again when she obviously didn't remember him, but he would manage. He always did.
For now, Dick went to his old apartment building and 'cleaned' his dusty apartment. It wasn't nearly as clean as Alfred would like, but it would do. It was nice to be in a familiar place. Even if siad place held more memories of his brothers than he realized. He was just glad that he still had clothes in the closet. Wait, scratch that, his pants were about an inch too short and his shirts were too tight at the shoulders. Guess Bruce was right, he had had one last growth spurt.
Dick found himself reaching for his phone to tell the man just that. He caught himself before he could press call, realizing with a start that he couldn't. That Bruce would have no clue who he was. Probably would think he was a delusional stalker. That thought alone made him want to cry, and he found himself wishing that he could call Wally or Roy or anyone else to combat the loneliness. Instead, he chucked his phone as hard as he could against the wall, grabbed his keys and wallet, and slammed the door. He couldn't dwell in the past. He couldn't dwell on how horrible things were. How he wished that he could go back and change things so that at the very least, his family remembered who he was. He couldn't do anything about it, so it was probably best not to think about it.
Nightwing made his first appearance in Bludhaven about three months after Dick Grayson reported for duty. It would be too suspicious if they both showed up in the city within the same week, but that didn't make not putting on the costume every night any easier. He tried to busy himself with other things. Like making friends with Amy. It was much easier the second time around when he wasn't an annoying Rookie. It also helped that he knew which topics to avoid asking her about. Sadly, she didn't have the same help. She asked him within the first ten minutes about his family, and what they thought about him being a Bludhaven cop. His answer was to look her in the eyes and say, "They probably wouldn't be too thrilled if they were alive for me to tell them." Amy didn't ask any questions for a while after that. Dick felt kind of bad for shutting her down that hard, but family was the one topic that he didn't want to speak about.
Soon, it was clear that the Bludhaven vigilante was there to stay. Dick couldn't help but sport a secretive smile every single time that he heard the other cops speak about the mysterious Nightwing. He knew how dangerous this game was, but Bludhaven's crime rates had dropped significantly before he was forced to leave the city, and now that he was back, they were continuing to drop. Amy had even commented that for the first time, she wasn't asking whether or not everybody she met was dirty. Dick was able to feel something akin to pride because of that.
Another five months went by before the first Leaguer came by to investigate. It left Dick in something equivalent to shock. Apparently, although nobody remembered Nightwing from before Somnus Satellite, and they ignored all evidence of his past existence, they didn't or couldn't ignore current evidence. Which means, they had been tracking his movements as Nightwing. Dick didn't know whether or not he should laugh or cry. He could have parts of his old life back, if he played his cards correctly. But would it really be worth it? To be an observer of the Bat Clan and not an actual member? No. It probably wouldn't.
It was for that reason, when he saw Hal Jordan on the rooftop, using his ring to make a 'Nightwing Signal' (which was awesome by the way), he ignored it. It became harder and harder to ignore, however, as the week went on. It became impossible, when Green Lantern himself walked into the Police Department and slammed his hands down on the front desk.
The receptionist let out a small squeal and looked up at him with wide eyes. Seeing that Hal was about to lay into her, Dick slid up next to them and gave his most charming smile. "Hey. Is there anything that I can help you with?"
Hal seemed to be sizing him up, so Dick didn't even fidget. He had been born in the circus, he had learned to read bodies from a very young age. Not to mention, he had grown up on the receiving end of Batman's glare. Nothing was quite as scary as that. Much to every heroes and villain's disappointment.
Hal seemed to find what he was looking for because he deflated slightly. "I need to speak to the local hero, uh, Wingnut? Or Nightfeather? Birdbrain?"
Dick raised a single eyebrow and gave his most 'I'm unimpressed' look. It had nothing on Alfred's but it would do. The thought of the gentlemanly butler sobered up any playful mood that he had been in. That, and the fact that Jason used to call him all those nicknames and more on a nightly basis before this whole mess. Letting out a deep sigh, Dick pinched the bridge of his nose. "I think you mean Nightwing. Look, why don't I get coffee and a donut from the break room, and then we can have a talk at my desk."
"I don't want, or have time for, a donut and coffee, kid."
Dick rolled his eyes as he turned around and headed for the break room. "Good. I wasn't offering. They were for me. Oh, and stop calling me kid. Nobody's a kid in Bludhaven."
Dick really wanted to do a small happy dance when Hal didn't offer up a ready reply. Instead, he settled on doing a mini fist pump and whispering, "Nailed it."
Dick took his time getting back to Hal. In fact, some small part of him took vindictive pleasure in watching Hal squirm slightly in the hard chair across from his desk. Sighing to himself, Dick squared his shoulders and plopped down in his chair, careful not to spill his coffee.
"So, if you're looking for Nightwing, I'm afraid you're in the wrong place." Dick added to the air of nonchalance by spinning his desk chair in lazy circles as he spoke.
Hal did not seem nearly as amused as Dick was. Perhaps, Dick had let him stew for too long. Oops. "I've been trying to get a hold of him for a week. He hasn't been answering my call. Is he taking the week off or something?"
"Not as far as I know. Crooks are still showing up bound in front of the Police Station. And the 'anonymous tipper' is still calling in. Have you considered the fact that he doesn't want to talk to you?"
"Why wouldn't he want to talk to me? I'm awesome!"
Dick shrugged, a playful smile dancing across his lips. "I don't know. Maybe he doesn't want to do the whole Justice Friends thing. Or maybe, he was hoping that Batman or Superman would come instead of one of, what three, Green Flashlights. Not that I know anything. I'm just a cop in Bludhaven. You probably can't trust a word I say, I hear that we're all dirty."
Dick really wanted to burst out laughing as Hal's face steadily turned reder. Instead, he congratulated himself for thinking to set up spy cameras on and around his desk. The footage would be gold. Maybe, if he was lucky, he would one day be able to share it with his brothers. Jason would adore him calling Hal a flashlight. Sadly, he really didn't see that happening any time soon.
"You're extremely annoying. I want to talk to your boss."
Amy walked up then, and Dick made a show of jumping slightly when her hands latched onto his shoulders with a death grip. He gave her a sheepish grin, and pretended to be cowed when she glared. He could see the amusement dancing in her eyes, which didn't help Dick in the process of actually feeling guilty.
"I see my partner is driving you up the wall, unfortunately, he does that to everybody. I think it's a show of affection. Nobody raised him right. Now, what can I do for you?"
Dick had to bite back the snarl at the implication. He was raised right. He was raised by the two best men he knew, and wow, they really sounded like a couple when he put it that way. "I'm looking for a way to contact Nightwing. He's not answering the way they do it in Gotham."
"Look. I know you hero types aren't actual cops or detectives—" Hal looked like he was about to interject, probably to say that he was a space cop, but Amy shot him a glare that would have had Bruce nodding his head in approval. "But here we don't draw conclusions without solid evidence. There have been no sightings of this so-called Nightwing. The only thing that we have to go on are the crooks that are left gift-wrapped outside. I highly doubt that a bunch of rapists and thieves are sound witnesses. Sure there are a few citizens that claim they saw a flash of blue, but that's about all we have to go on. Perhaps, nobody answered your call because there is nobody to answer it."
Amy gave Hal one more appraising look before nodding firmly. "Sorry we can't be of more help. Go back to your spaceship or whatever."
Hal left with the air of someone trying to make a dramatic exit, but simply not succeeding. Probably because nobody in the Police Station cared. The second that he was out of sight, Dick held up his hand for a high five, a large grin on his face. The grin dropped the second he saw the look on Amy's face.
"What's going on? Did one of Gotham's villains manage to make it over the river again?"
Amy's lips twitched minutely before once again settling in a grimace. "Have you seen the news?"
Dick frowned, trying to think when he last checked his phone or looked at a TV. "No. I've been talking to the guy in spandex for the last half hour, and before that I was in the break room avoiding said man in spandex, and before that I was doing paperwork for the robbery we stopped, and before that we were stopping the robbery, and before that—"
"Shut it Grayson. There was a major bombing in Gotham."
Dick was out of his seat faster than he thought was possible. "What! Is everybody okay? What's the casualty report?"
"Calm down Grayson. Do you know someone in Gotham or something? You transferred from Star City."
Dick bit his lip and quickly went through all of the lies he had told Amy about his past. "My folks and I were driving through Gotham when we had an accident. They died. I was put into the system. I grew up in Gotham."
Amy raised a single eyebrow. "I've heard bad things about foster care in Gotham. It's almost worse than the system here. How'd you turn out so good?"
"Who said I grew up in the system? Or that I was put into foster care?"
Amy opened her mouth, probably to ask further questions, then paused. Dick knew that his facial expression clearly read 'I don't want to talk about this at all', and Amy was kind enough to back off. Some small part of Dick's brain reminded him that Bruce would be displeased by how easy his body language was to read. The larger part of Dick's brain kindly told the small part to shut the fuck up in a voice that sounded eerily similar to Jason's. And now he was talking to different parts of his brain. Great. He's definitely insane.
Amy looked at him concerned, and Dick waved her off. "The bombing?" He prompted. It was kinda dirty using a bombing to get her mind off of his tragic backstory, but as Wally would always say, don't hate the player, hate the game.
"Right. They hit Gotham P.D. Hard. A lot of cops are dead or injured Dick."
"Is Commissioner Gordon alright?"
Dick couldn't help but feel a smidgen of panic. He had spent so many days and nights at the Gordon's house. He had loved Babs at one point, and Jim Gordon had always been supportive of them. In many ways, Jim Gordon was the kind of cop Dick strived to be. The man had literally seen him grow up, as Dick Grayson, and while he didn't know it, as Robin. It would be tragic if the man who had reformed the Gotham P.D. died, and Dick wouldn't even be invited to the funeral.
Amy once again looked at him funnily, but then shook her head. Probably trying to convince herself that he wasn't acting as strangely as she thought he was. "He made it out. Last I heard, he had a broken arm, a burned leg, and a cut that needed some stitches. He requested that other cities send help. Our police commissioner has chosen a select few to transfer to the Gotham P.D. until the dust dies down."
Dick suddenly knew where this was going. "Why are you telling me this?"
"Because he chose people who have no real ties here. People who don't have families. People who can just go to Gotham with minimal fuss. He chose you, Grayson. Congratulations, you made Detective, and along with a small increase in pay, you are also receiving a transfer to the other side of the river."
"What are you saying?"
Amy gave him a sympathetic smile. "I'm saying, that you are officially Detective Dick Grayson of the Gotham City P.D. Pack your bags, you start Monday."
Dick sank back down into his chair, a stunned look on his face. He never wanted to have to return to Gotham. To see his brothers and father without them actually seeing him. But now, he didn't have a choice in the matter. He was going home, whether he liked it or not.
A/N: First off...credit where credit is due. I did not come up with the idea for this story, I am simply writing it. Xiaohou (whose name was spelled wrong for the first 24 hours this story was up because I cannot spell)came up with the idea and has acted as an amazing sounding board for ideas and I am very very grateful, because it is something that I would have never thought of.
Second...if you cannot tell already, this story is based off of the idea that Nightwing never called Helena to program the exception people and Dr. Deadalus success on deleting all record of who Grayson really is (Grayson still defeated the bad guy). Nobody in the entire world know Dick Grayson existed. The Batfam and Justice League didn't feel any gap hole in the memory,or even will acknowledge any evidences (like his room, photo, hard copy) that it sort of an instinct to overlook any relation to Dick Grayson. And because they don't remember Dick Grayson, they don't remember Nightwing either.
Third...This chapter was basically an introduction to the actual story, which will take place in Gotham. And a few scenes in Bludhaven (most likely). And he will interact with his family, maybe even in the next chapter. Fear not, all my stories have a happy ending, so at some point in time, there will be one here.
Leave a review, so that I know whether or not you like it and if I should continue.