Title: Going home Rating: G A/N: I know a bunch of authors have already done their tae on what happened after Nightwing 93, but here's my idea. I really didn't like how things turned out in Nightwing 94 . . .

Nightwing walked over to the edge of the fire escape where Blockbuster's body lay. Looking down he caught his breath. The body was gone. He jumped down to where it had been less than an hour before. There wasn't even a trace of blood left. Looking over the small area he recognized the work of a professional, an expert, a master. He knew that if the police investigated they would not find a single trace of evidence remaining. Batman was nothing if not thorough, and there was no doubt in his mind that this was Batman's work. As usual Bruce was trying to protect him. The thought gave him a bit of his lost hope back.

He descended the fire escape and landed in the alley. Along one wall was a shadow darker than the other shadows, just as he'd known there would be. "We're alone?" came a deep, quiet voice.

"Catalina's gone," Nightwing confirmed.

Batman stepped forward. "Dick . . ."

"I'm surprised it took you this long to show up," he noted.

"As you are so fond of telling me, you're a grown man now, and Bludhaven is your town. I didn't think you'd have appreciated me interfering. But staying away . . . wasn't easy," Bruce admitted.

Nightwing nodded. The simple statement actually meant a great deal to him. After all this was Batman talking, and he had a unique definition of 'easy'. Benching 300 pounds was easy. Running a marathon was easy. Doing things others might think impossible was easy. Standing by and watching one of the few people he allowed himself to love suffer, was not easy. Dick Greyson understood and appreciated that.

"Thank you. This was something I had to deal with . . . in my own way. I'm guessing you want an explanation . . . so why don't you tell me what you know so I won't waste time telling you things you already know."

"I know Blockbuster sent Catalina to end your relationship with Barbra. I know he destroyed everyone and everything that mattered to you. I know you tried to do things the right way. The legal way. I know Catalina used you, not the other way around. I know that it wasn't you who pulled the trigger. And most importantly I know that even if you had pulled the trigger it would not have changed the fact that . . . you are my son."

Dick correctly translated the final sentence as 'It would not change the fact that I love you.' He knew that Bruce never told anyone he loved them. Bruce had told his parents he loved them and they'd died.

"Is there anything else I need to know?" Batman asked.

"No, I guess not, except that I'm sorry I let you down, that I failed you."

"You didn't let me down or fail me. We can talk more later, but right now you're beyond exhausted. I know you consider Bludhaven your home now, but. . . will you come home to the Manor? You need time to heal, and somewhere to stay until you can get a new home here."

Nightwing managed a nod and walked toward the Batmobile.

As Bruce drove them towards Gotham, Dick thought over the events of the night. As he came to the moments when he'd been up on the roof, talking to himself, and Catalina had approached him; he began to softly curse in the several different languages he'd learned.

After a moment Bruce spoke up. "Cut the lesson in profanity and tell me what's wrong."

"After Blockbuster was . . . dead, I was up on the roof, basically talking to myself. I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings and Catalina walked up while I was still talking. Telling you I was sorry."

"You have nothing to be sorry for," Bruce said.

"You don't understand. I was telling you that I was sorry Bruce. That I'd failed you, Bruce. I used your name. Catalina probably heard it."

"I'll have Oracle keep an eye on her." Bruce answered. He had a feeling that Catalina would have figured it out anyway. Once you knew that Dick Greyson was Nightwing connecting the dots from him to Bruce Wayne / Batman wasn't that hard. The reverse was also true. It was one of the reasons he'd been so careful to hide his identity. If anyone learned who he was Dick and Tim would also soon be in danger.

They lapsed back into silence. Usually Dick thought Bruce took the silence thing to far, but tonight he was glad for the quiet. It was normal, and therefore reassuring.

Eventually they arrived in the Batcave. Alfred was, of course, waiting.

"Welcome home, Master Dick," greeted Alfred as he walked to his side. "As I feared my medical skills are clearly needed."

An hour later clean, bandaged and fed Dick sank into his bed. After the last week it was a welcome relief. Knowing that Bruce was in the Manor brought him the same sense of safety it had since he was a child and he soon fell asleep.