Hey everyone, this was originally going to be a nasty response to the review I got from RavenDarkSorceress, but I've cooled down, and now I'm just here to apologize and let you all know what's going on. I know I said I'd have the story finished a long, long time ago, and I'm sorry that I havent been able to live up to that promise. But here's the deal, during christmas break, my work schedule changed, and now I work two 12-hour shifts in a row saturday and sunday. Add that with my other two single shifts on wenesday and friday, along with college, and, welllets just say its been hard to find time to work on this story. But I haven't given up on it. I'm about a third way finished with chapter 9 (the last chapter, not including 2 epilogues to follow it). Work may leave me too tired to write, but I have a lot of time while I'm there to think up ideas. The meat of the rest of the chapter is already thought up in my head, I just need the time to put it to paper. Also, I've got some pretty interesting ideas for Prison Break, my next story, which I'll start working on as soon as I finish this one.

And now, for the part I know I'll regret later...

Look you guys, I'm really sorry for not being able to update regularly, but comeon. I write for fun and to relax. I really don't need anyone sending me bitter reviews and calling me "the most inconsiderate person I've ever heard of". Writing on fanfiction isn't a job. Its for fun. I get enough stress from the rest of my day, I don't need it from any of my recreations. I'm sorry for being snippy, and I don't want to give you guys the wrong impression of me, so I'm sorry for that too. I'll try my best to finish this story as soon as I can. Until then, take care and chill out.



"Please, Richard…don't go."

"I'm sorry Raven, but you know I have to."

"Then I'm going with you."

"NO." Batman took a firm grip of Raven's arm. "Raven, I'm not fooling around here, you can not come with me."

"I can handle myself, Robin. I don't need you to watch over me."

"And neither did Barbara but that didn't save her from him either, did it Raven! You don't know the Joker like I do. That sick son of a bitch will do anything to hurt his enemies. Please Rave, just stay here…for me?"

Reluctantly, she said with a sigh, "Alright. But be careful, okay Rich? I just got you back…I don't want to lose you again."

"You won't."

A million different thoughts raced through his head as the Batmobile roared to life. But as he zoomed into town like a literal bat out of hell, Dick Grayson found himself focusing on just one thought. 'Please…let her forgive me.'

Finding the Joker proved far easier than Batman had predicted. Downtown Gotham City had been transformed into a mad-house. It was anarchy in the streets as an army of face-painted hooligans marched in every direction, destroying anything their crowbars and baseball bats could reach. Suddenly, the growl of a chainsaw filled the night as one of the Joker's men brought a streetlight crashing down to the ground.

The Batmobile came to a screeching halt in the middle of the street and Batman emerged from within its cockpit-like interior. Once the Batman revealed himself to the Joker's thugs, they started to close in a circle around him. Without a single moment of hesitation, Batman growled, "I was going to send you back to your boss with a message…but now I'm having a change of plans. Instead of giving him a message, I think you will be the message."

One of the larger goons, wielding a blood-stained hockey stick smirked and said, "That's some big words from a guy who's outnumbered thirty to one."

Batman smiled. "Outnumbered, but never out-done."

Suddenly, they charged. Like a wave of clown-faced maniacs, the Joker's men attacked Batman all at once, hoping to overwhelm him. They didn't stand a chance. Punch after punch, kick after kick, Batman cut down his assailants quicker than they could get up. His glove-covered fists connected with one face after another, and soon Batman's dark gloves were covered in a strange pink, a mix of the white face paint the Joker forces his men to wear, and the blood from their raw, broken faces. Razor-edged batarangs flew in all directions, cutting and slicing at hands that once held crowbars and baseball bats. Finally, there was only one left standing. It was the large man with the hockey stick, but now he didn't seem so arrogant. His hockey stick was slipping in his hand from his own sweat, and his teeth were chattering as Batman stalked ever so closer to him. "Puh…please man…I didn't want this…I just…I needed the money, and the Joker pays good…please….don't hurt me. If you want me to give him a message…I can do that! Just please…don't hurt me…"

"Weren't you paying attention?" Batman growled. "You are the message." Faster than the goon could react, Batman brought the steel-toe of his boot crashing into the pleading thug's abdomen. Once he was hunched over, Batman's knee came slamming into the goon's face, knocking him unconscious. As he stepped over the dozens of fallen foes, Batman shouted, "I KNOW YOU'RE HERE, JOKER! COME OUT WHERE I CAN SEE YOU, YOU COWARD!"

"Twinkle, twinkle little…bat." As he stepped out of the shadows, the Joker dragged a menacing Tommy-gun behind him. "The Joker's here and he's brought his gat." A spray of bullets erupted from the Joker's firearm as he cackled maniacally.

Batman ducked behind a parked car for cover and to catch his breath. 'This is it.', he thought. "You know Joker," he said when the bullet-fire ceased, "when I first heard I'd be coming to Gotham, I wasn't sure if I'd run into you or not. You've been keeping quiet for quite some time." As he leaped onto the roof of the car, Batman gritted his teeth and pulled out a sleek, black bo-staff. "You should have stayed quiet."

"Oh come now, Batsy-dear, did you really think I'd miss this?"

"No more games, Joker! This ends now!"

"No more games? Now where's the fun in that, Robby my boy? You don't mind if I call you 'Robby', do you? I mean, we've known each other for so long…" Before the Joker could break out in one of his famous laughs, the blunt end of Batman's bo-staff came slamming into his face. As blood and broken cartilage leaked from his battered nose, the Joker rasped, "You'll pay for that, Bats." Gone was the airy, almost whimsical tone in the Joker's voice. All that was left now was psychosis and rage.

"I warned you, Joker. No more games!"

"You have no idea what you've gotten yourself into, little boy. You think just because you're wearing the Bat's old pajamas, I'll be afraid of you? You're nothing but a sidekick pathetically trying to cling on to the one thing that used to make him feel special. You're not Batman."

"You're right, Joker. I'm not Batman." Quicker than any eye could see, Batman's staff struck again, this time crippling the Joker at the knees. "Well…maybe I should re-phrase that. I'm not the Batman that you knew." Suddenly, Batman brought his foot crushing down, shattering the remains of the Joker's kneecap. 'That one's for you, Babs.' he thought. Ignoring the Joker's cries of pain, Batman grabbed him by his purple collar and lifted the Joker off the ground. Not wanting to take any chances, Batman ripped the flower from his foe's lapel.

'Dammit.', the Joker thought as his carnation laced with poison gas fell away from him.

Gritting his teeth again, Batman tightened his grip on the Joker's shirt. "Listen to me, you worthless little worm. I am not the Batman you knew and things will not be the same. The Batman you knew needed you. You were the 'yang' to his 'yin'. By giving a name and face to his inner demons, you kept him sane by giving him someone to fight. But I am not him and I do not need you. I already told you Joker, no more games. I'm giving you one chance and one chance only. End it, Joker. End it all and end it now. There will be no 'clown prince of crime'. There will be no Joker. If I even hear that you've done so much as steal some kid's lunch money…I will find you…and I will kill you."

A slow smile started to creep across the Joker's bruised and bloodied face. "Do you really think I'm stupid enough to fall for that bluff? You're even more pathetic than I thought! The Bat doesn't kill." Batman released the Joker's shirt collar, but before the pasty-faced villain could dust himself off, he found his neck in Batman's vice-like grip.

"How many times am I going to have to repeat myself! I AM NOT THE BATMAN YOU KNEW! You don't know me, Joker! You don't know what I've done…and what I'm capable of doing. I've killed my greatest enemy with my bare hands. I killed the man who killed Batman. Even you were never able to do that, but I killed the man that was. I've also killed…one of my best friends in the whole world. He went insane and I crushed the breath right out of his throat. Just like I could do to you right now. But I'm not going to. Do you know why, Joker? Because you're not worth it. These hands have killed the man I hated more than anything else in the world, and they've killed a person I considered family. But you? You're nothing to me. You're not worth my time." As he released his grip on the Joker's throat, Batman snarled one last remark. "Take my advice, Joker. Do what I told you. End it all and end it now. You don't want to do anything to make yourself worth it."

By the time he got back to Wayne Manor, it was nearly four in the morning and Batman was exhausted. As he walked down the dark hallway, he could see a soft light shining from under the door to his bedroom.

When Dick opened the door, Raven looked up from her book and smiled. "Hey there, Caped-Crusader. Did you get the bad guy?"

"Yeah, I did." Dick looked at the bedside clock. "You stayed up all this time waiting for me?"

"You sound surprised."

"Nah," he smiled, "just grateful."

Dick sat down at the edge of the bed to take his shoes off, and as he did, Raven slid up behind him and began to massage his shoulders. "You feel tense.", she purred.

"Mm.", was all Dick could say in response.

Raven slinked her arms around his chest and pressed herself against his back. "Maybe you need something to…relax yourself." A sly, sexy smile played lightly on her lips. Raven's hands started to move from his chest down to explore the rest of his body. When her hands reached the fly of his pants, Dick grabbed her hands with his and turned to face his wife.

"No, Raven…I'm sorry, not tonight."

A hurt look washed over Raven's face. "But…but it's been almost a week since you fell into that coma…it's been almost a week since we…"

"I know, and I'm sorry, but I'm utterly exhausted, Raven. I can barely keep my eyes open. I've been at it all night, first those muggers, then the bank robbers, then the other muggers, then Freeze, then the Joker and about thirty of his goons."

Raven cocked her head at her husband. "Thirty?"

"Thirty. And the Joker had a tommy-gun."

Raven smiled softly at Dick. "Alright, honey. Let's just get some sleep, then. You've earned it."

"Thanks, Raven. I…I'll make it up to you…tomorrow night."

Raven grinned. "You're damn right, you will."

"So remind me again Babs, who exactly am I having lunch with?" asked Richard as he, Barbara and Jaime were driving through the streets of Gotham. It was the next day, and the first thing on Dick's agenda was his business lunch-in.

"Your lunch-in today is with the heads of three of your subsidiaries." said Barbara, matter-of-factly. As Jaime stopped the car in front of a fancy French restaurant, Richard hoped that he would be able to pull off his CEO act. After all, he was a super hero, how could he be expected to fit in with three corporate moguls?

Dick followed Barbara in to the restaurant and let her take charge for the time being.

"How may I help you sir and madam?"

"We're with the Grayson party."

"Ah, very good madam. Follow me, please."

Following the waiter, Richard let out an audible groan when he saw the table they were being led to. Sitting at that table, were three men that Dick would know even if his amnesia were still a problem. Under his breath, he hissed at Barbara, "I thought you said this was a business lunch-in."

"It is business."

"Don't pull that on me, Babs. You tricked me."

Barbara sighed. "Look, I'm sorry, alright? But they called and begged me to set this up. Please, Dick?"

"No, Babs. Not going to happen. You know how I feel about this. Why did you even let them talk you into this in the first place?"

"Well…at first I wasn't going to…"


"But…then they put him on the phone."

Dick raised an eyebrow at his friend. "Are you serious?"

Barbara nodded. "I know you've been through this a hundred times, Dick, but you know I can't say no to him. No one can."

"Yeah, no one except maybe Luthor."

Barbara didn't completely lie to Dick, however. The three men sitting at their table were indeed the heads of three subsidiaries of Wayne Enterprises. Unfortunately for Richard, these three subsidiaries happened to be Kord Industries, Tyler Co., and the Goldstar Corporation, and the three men sitting at his table were Ted Kord, Rick Tyler, and Michael John Carter. Richard met them years ago, and it was Bruce who introduced them.

As Dick and Barbara sat down, Ted greeted them warmly.

"Hey you guys, thanks so much for coming, you look great."

Sighing, Richard said, "I'm sorry, Ted, but I'm really not in the mood for these formalities right now. I know what you guys want, and just like before, I'm not interested."

"But why not?" said Michael, frowning.

"Because I already told you, I'm the leader of the Titans, and I'm committed to them."

"But we need you, Bats! It just isn't the Justice League without Batman."

Sighing, Dick took a good, long look at the men sitting around him. Although they looked like your typical corporate moguls, these men each hid a secret of their own. Michael John Carter, head of the Goldstar Corporation is actually Booster Gold, the arrogant, yet lovable hero from the future. Ted Kord, owner and CEO of Kord Industries drives a BMW by day, but by night, he flies around in a ridiculous bug-shaped hovercraft as the Blue Beetle. When Rex Tyler passed away, he not only left the legacy of Tyler CO to his son Rick, but also the legacy of Hourman, the super hero with amazing powers that last only an hour at a time. They are friends, heroes, and more importantly, they are members of the Justice League.

"Look Dick," Beetle said, "We're not asking you to leave the Titans forever, we just want you to give the League a shot. Big Blue thinks you're ready, and he's been especially looking forward to you joining."

Richard let out a low growl. "Oh has he? Well you can tell Clark that he shouldn't get his hopes up. The Titans are my family. I'm not going to leave them just to become another countless soldier in that army you call the 'League'."

Speaking up for the first time since Dick and Barbara arrived, Rick said, "It's not like that, Dick, and you know it."

"Don't even get me started on you, Rick. Not today. You of all people should know what it's like when you have to fill your father's shoes. But I'm not like you, Rick, and I'm not like Bruce. I'm a different Batman, and my place is with the Titans. Please, I consider all three of you my friends, but hear this; if you ever try to pull a stunt like this again…it won't be pretty. I'll say it again, just to set the records straight once and for all. I. Won't. Join. The. League. End of story. Good afternoon, gentlemen."

As Dick turned and stormed out of the restaurant, Barbara looked up at the three men sitting around her. "I'm really sorry about this, you guys. Dick's just…well; he's been going through a lot lately."

"Don't worry about it, Babs." Said Ted. "That went about as well as any of us expected. Really, it's ok. See you tonight at the charity event?"

"Of course. I'll see you guys tonight. Well, I'd better go and try to find him before he gets himself into some kind of trouble."

Once Barbara had left, Booster turned to his companions and said, "Why are we even wasting our time with this? He's just too damn stubborn; he'll never hear what we have to say."

"You're wrong, Booster," Hourman replied, "Dick is a friend of mine, I've known him most of my life, our fathers were business partners for awhile, so I got to know him pretty well. It's not that he's stubborn…he's just tired of living in Bruce's shadow. Ever since the start, he's been trying to prove that he's his own man, and I think we should leave him alone."

Blue Beetle smiled. "That's not what you told Superman."

"Yeah well, no one in their right mind would tell Superman anything he doesn't want to hear."

Five minutes was all he needed. Just enough time to change into something more…appropriate to fit his mood. Five minutes after leaving the restaurant, Dick had suited up and was leaping from rooftop to rooftop as Batman. He still had a few hours to kill before he'd have to get ready for the charity event, and had a lot of anger he needed to get rid of.

Batman stood at the edge of the Gotham Clock Tower roof, looking out at the city that he had left so many years ago. His city.

"You know," said a voice from behind Dick, "back in my day, the Batman only came out at night."

Batman twirled around to face down his intruder, but as soon as he did, Dick wished he hadn't. Because there, floating in the air in front of him, was the last person on earth Batman wanted to see right now.

His red cape flowed in the wind, and his python-like arms were crossed tightly over his chest.


"You don't sound happy to see me, Dick."

"What was your first clue?"

"I heard what you said, you know. To Ted and the others."

"Then why are you here? To make me change my mind? Because 'no one can say no to Superman'? Well you know what, Clark? Let me be the first. Ask me if I want to join the Justice League."

"Alright," said Superman, in that easy-going tone of his. "Dick, would you honor me by joining the Justice League?"


Superman sighed. "Are you finished? Because if you are, then I'd like to tell you that I'm not here to try and persuade you to join up. You don't want to be in the League, ok, that's fine. But you're having some problems, Dick and you're hurting the ones you care about. I just want to help you."

"I don't need your help, Clark, and I'd hardly call what I did to Rick and the others 'hurting'.

"I wasn't talking about them."

Batman's eyes went wide with shock. "…how…how did you know?"

Superman said nothing, but gave Batman a look that said, 'Do you really need to ask?'

Dick sighed. "I wasn't trying to hurt, you know. I just wanted to make things right."

"And this is the best solution you could come up with? Come on, Dick, I know you, this isn't like you. If Bruce were here…"

Suddenly, something inside of Dick snapped and he shouted, "BUT HE'S NOT HERE, CLARK, I AM ! And I am sick and tired of everyone trying to compare me to him! I'M NOT BRUCE, AND I NEVER WILL BE!"

"I'm not asking you to be Bruce, Dick."

"Yes you are! Everyone is! 'Come and join the Justice League, Dick! Bruce was in the League when he was Batman.' 'Why are you doing that, Dick, Bruce would have done it differently.' 'If Bruce were here…'"

Superman sighed. "I'm sorry you feel that way, Dick. Your father was a great man, and despite our differences, he…he helped teach me what it means to be a hero. We miss him, Dick. I'm sorry if that put any pressure on you."

"You don't understand, Clark. I was the first superhero sidekick. I was the original. I was in his shadow since day one, and I still haven't been able to step out from it. All my life, I've been trying to prove to everyone that I'm not just the Batman's little helper. I loved Bruce, Clark. He obviously wasn't 'father of the year' material, but he was mine and I loved him. I just…I just don't want to be him. And with the Titans…with the Titans I finally felt like I had come into my own, you know? When the Titans formed, I wasn't just a sidekick anymore, I was a leader. The Titans are my family…I love them…"

"Then you shouldn't lie to them. Any of them."

Batman looked down at the ground and clenched his fists to ease the pain he felt in his heart. "I know…"

"C'mon, Buddy! MOVE IT!"

"You know, Miss G, most people only get road rage when they're driving. I mean, I've heard of back-seat driving, but back-seat road rage? You sure are an innovator."

"Shut it, Jaime, I'm not in the mood. The Wayne Foundation charity event starts in twenty minutes and we're late because of this god awful traffic."

"We'll be fine, Miss G. It's just another couple of blocks."

Sighing, Dick said, "I just wish this whole thing would be over already."

"Mmm. Me too.", said Raven in her sultry tone. "Don't forget about tonight, Rich. You promised."

Jaime cocked an eyebrow at the obvious sexual tension between two of his passengers in the back seat. Thankfully, he merely assumed that Raven was perhaps having an affair with Dick Grayson. 'I hope Batman never finds out,' Jaime thought. 'I kinda like that Grayson guy, and I'd hate to see what the Bat would do to the guy that's sleeping around with his wife.' Deciding that he didn't want to get involved anymore than he already was, Jaime rolled up the soundproof separator, giving a bit of privacy to the backseat of the limo.

"Hey!" shouted Babs in a loud whisper, "That reminds me! No PDA, you two. We have an image to uphold here. Dick, you're a rich, single member of high society, tonight. And Raven? You're his bodyguard. We can't risk either of you breaking character, the press and paparazzi are going to be everywhere. And I'm sorry Dick, but if some women come up to you and start flirting, you'd better flirt back, or I'll have your hide if our stocks drop."

"But Babs…" Raven pleaded, but it was to no avail.

"I'm sorry Rae, I know it sucks, but this is the price Dick has to pay to keep his identity secret."

"But what if someone attacks the charity event?" Dick asked.

"Then you're going to do absolutely nothing, Dick. Raven can handle it, and Booster's identity is public anyway, so he can help out too. Plus…I heard rumors that Superman was sighted in Gotham today. You know anything about that, Dick?"

"No," he said sharply, "I haven't seen him."

It was a few hours later, and the charity party was in full force. Everyone who was anyone in the corporate world was there, and Richard and Raven, although no longer in each other's company, were both completely and utterly miserable.

Raven was outside, standing alone on a balcony overlooking the city. She felt awkward and out of place at the party, and came outside to catch a bit of fresh air. That was over an hour ago.

"Hey, Rae. What are you doing out here?"

"Oh, hey Rick. I just…didn't like it in there. These kinds of high society things…they just aren't my style."

"Yeah," said Rick, "tell me about it. I'm running Tyler Co. purely out of love for my father, rest his soul. All I really want to do is be Hourman."

Raven smirked. "You do look really good in that hood."

Rick laughed. "Why Raven, are you coming on to me?"

Raven smiled. "Well, since I haven't grown any new appendages since the last time we talked, I'd probably be wasting my time, huh?"

"New appendages. Cute, Raven. Very cute. So seriously, what's bothering you?"

"It's nothing really…"

"Oh hey, Raven, before I forget, I'm planning a little tax-write off for the end of the summer."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah, I'm taking a boat cruise in Africa, want to come?"

"Africa? Really?" Raven's eyes lit up.

Rick grinned wickedly. "Yeah, I'm doing a cruise up a river, maybe you know it? It's kinda famous. It's called 'de-nial.'"

Raven groaned. "I thought all gay guys were supposed to be witty. That joke is older than some of the first editions I have."

Chuckling, Rick said, "No seriously, Raven. Something's bothering you. Spill it."

"It's…it's Robin."

"Dick? What did he do?"

"He didn't do anything it's just…there's something about him. Like he's hiding something from me, I don't know."

Rick leaned up against the same railing Raven had attached herself to for the past hour or so. "Well, now that you mention it, he did seem a bit defensive today, I mean, you know, more so than normally."

"Well you know how much he hates it when you Leaguers try to recruit him."

"Yeah, I know, but there was something else about him today. Like he was on the defensive right from the start."

"Its just…well…Rick, can you keep this between just the two of us?"

"Of course, Rae."

"Well, last night, Rich got home really late, he was out all night on patrol, and I waited up for him, like always. And I can understand that he was tired and didn't want to…you know, but it went beyond that. He didn't kiss me, he barely touched me, he just went to sleep. He's never done that before. And I mean, look at him." Raven pointed through the glass doors to inside the party where Dick was surrounded by high class women, all the while putting on a smile that Raven could only hope was fake. "And today, after meeting with you guys, he disappeared for a couple of hours, and wouldn't tell me where he went. Rick…you don't…you don't think he's cheating on me, do you?"

"What? God, no, Raven. That man loves you. He'd never cheat on you."

Raven wiped a stray tear from her eye and smiled softly at her friend. "Yeah…you're right, Rick. I don't know what I was thinking. I know Rich loves me. My trust for him has never wavered before; I don't know why I'm starting now. Thanks, Rick."

"Anytime, Rae."

"God, Rave, tonight was hell." Richard and Raven were back at Wayne Manor and had retreated to their bedroom as soon as they got back from the party.

"Hell or not, Robin, you'd better not try and weasel out of your promise. You're mine tonight."

Sweat began to form on Rich's forehead as Raven pressed herself up against his body.

"Mmmm", Raven purred, "I've been waiting for this, Robin." After leaning up to kiss him, Raven started to undress herself.

"Uh…Raven…maybe we should-"

"Uh, uh, Robin. This is my night. I'm calling the shots tonight." She flashed him a sexy smile and pushed him backwards onto the bed. As Raven climbed on top of her husband, Richard started to break out in a cold, nervous sweat.


"What's wrong, Rich?"

"I…I can't."

That same hurt look washed over Raven's face again and a tear threatened to fall from her eye. "But…but why Rich? What's the matter? Why are you acting like this?"

Robin tried to make the words come out of his mouth, but once again, they failed him. Finally, he was able to say, "Raven…I'm so sorry."

The tears were falling freely now, and in between sobs, Raven said, "Just tell me why, Rich. If you're cheating on me, just tell me…"

"I…I'm not cheating on you, Raven. God…I'd never do that. I…I love you, but…I'm sorry. I lied to you, Raven."

"You…you lied?"

The pain on Robin's face was unmistakable as he forced out the hardest words of his life. "Raven…I'm so sorry. I never meant to hurt you…but…I lied. I…I never got my memory back. Any of it. I…I still have my amnesia."

Raven's mouth fell open as she stared at her husband in shock. "You…"

"I didn't want to hurt you, Raven, I swear. I…I heard you and Star talking, right before we left the Tower…and…and I just…I just didn't want you to be sad, Raven. You gave me so much since I woke up in that hospital room and…and I just…I wanted to give you something back. I'm sorry."

"But…but you…you knew…"

"Things that you didn't tell me. I know. I…" Robin sighed and walked over to his suitcase. He opened it and turned it so that Raven could see its contents. Nestled in the suitcase, were Raven's diaries.

"My…you read my…"

"I…I didn't know what to do, Raven. I wanted to make you happy so bad…but I didn't know how to do it. I thought…I thought maybe if I could convince you for just a few days, maybe it would be enough time, and my memory would come back for real. But…but I just can't do this anymore. I can't keep this up, I wanted to make you happy, but all I'm doing is hurting you. I'm so sorry, Raven."

Tears filling her eyes, Raven used her powers to summon her clothes to her, and then, without so much as a word, she disappeared. Robin didn't know if he would ever see her again.

Suddenly, the door to the bedroom burst open again. "YOU ASSHOLE!"


"You son of a bitch! I was heading over here to tell you two what a great job you did tonight, and to apologize for being such a slave driver when it came to keeping in character, but what do I hear instead? I hear that you've been lying to us this whole damn time! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO HER?"

Tears filling his eyes, Robin collapsed onto his bed. "God, Babs, you think I don't feel bad enough?"

"No," she said sharply, "I don't think you do." Barbara wheeled herself over to the suitcase. "You read all of these? How the hell did you find the time?"

"I didn't. I…I just read the important ones."

"And how were you able to tell which ones were important and which ones weren't? It's a diary, Dick, not an index."

Robin hung his head in shame. "I…figured it out by her handwriting. Whenever the lines seemed stressed, or the coloring was darker…I was able to tell when she was excited…and…and those are the entries I read."

Barbara stared at him in shock. "You…you used one of Bruce's detective skills to read your wife's diary…JUST SO YOU COULD LIE TO HER AND BE CONVINCING ABOUT IT?" There was fire in Barbara Gordon's eyes, her rage was undeniable. "You're always saying that you want people to think of you as your own man, you're always complaining about living in his shadow…but you know what, Dick? You want to know why people say that? Because no matter how hard you fight it, you're always going to do something like this. And do you know why?"


"Because you're just like him, Dick. You're just like Bruce."