Wayne Tower buzzed with activity as Dick Grayson made his way through the reception area, the receptionist Jessica nodded at him and he smiled as he passed her and walked towards the elevators. Pushing the button, he headed down to the lowest level of Wayne Tower where Lucius Fox worked in the Applied Sciences Division of Wayne Industries/Enterprises.
Stepping out onto the cement floor, Dick walked over to where Lucius Fox was waiting for him. "Good morning Mr. Grayson, I see Alfred told you I wanted to see you before you headed back to Jump City."
"Yes he told me Lucius. I was surprised you wanted to see me, I thought I was finished with Wayne Enterprises."
"No, no," Lucius laughed. "I didn't call you here for a business meeting. I called you here because I wanted to give you a...a goodbye present, as it were."
"What would that be?" Dick asked.
"A special Nomex Survival Suit for advanced infantry," Lucius replied as he pulled out a familiar looking armored suit. This is similar to the one I first gave Bruce Wayne all those years ago when he first came to me with his "spelunking" hobby. Anyway, the suit I'm going to give you has quite a few improvements over the original, except I've tweaked it up a bit, made the Kevlar bi-weave a bit stronger and improved the armor's dexterity."
"And this suit isn't in production?" Dick asked.
"The Feds didn't think a soldier's life is worth $350,000. I thought I'd give it to you before you left, seeing I know you can put it to good use."
"Lucius, I'm…I'm flattered. Thank you." Dick took the item from him appreciatively. "You didn't have to do this, you know."
"Of course I didn't, but I care about this city, so do you, and I want to help in any way I can."
"Well, thank you Lucius, I'm very grateful."
"You're very welcome, Mr. Grayson, I best be getting back to work, I'm sure you have a lot to do today before you go back to Jump City."
"Who told you I was going back?"
"Alfred did, Bruce isn't one to talk much. I just wanted to give you that before you left."
"I'll see you around sometime, huh Lucius?" Dick asked with a smile.
"Of course, and if you ever need anything, just call or drop in. Either way, it makes no difference to me," Lucius Fox extended his hand and Dick Grayson shook it firmly. "I better get back to work, I've got a ton of things to do and I haven't even gotten started on them."
Dick Grayson quickly grabbed the case with the Nomex Survival Suit and stepped inside the elevator. Pushing the button, he headed up toward the bottom floor and walked out to the Rolls. He climbed into the car and drove down to the District Attorney's Office where he knew a certain D.A. Rachel Dawes would want to say goodbye before he left.
Walking into the building, he asked the receptionist if Rachel Dawes was busy, the lady said she wasn't and that he needed to make an appointment if he wanted to see her. Dick tried to explain that he wasn't there because of a case, he was there to say goodbye before he left Gotham. She said that Rachel Dawes did not want to be disturbed.
"Can't I just see her for five minutes?" Dick asked in an exasperated voice. "It's not worth me scheduling an appointment for, I've leaving Gotham tomorrow!"
"I'm sorry sir, but Ms. Dawes will only see you on official business or if you make an appointment," the receptionist said stubbornly. Just then, Rachel Dawes walked into the room.
"Dick, what a surprise to see you here! You aren't prosecuting anyone are you?" she asked jokingly.
He gave her a small smile. "Actually, I came to say goodbye, I'm leaving for Jump City tomorrow."
"Oh that was thoughtful of you, how long have you been here?" she asked.
"Five minutes, arguing with the receptionist."
"Jenna! Did you tell him he had to make an appointment?"
"Ms. Dawes, I don't make the rules, I just enforce them," Jenna sighed from behind her desk.
"Don't you recognize him? That's Dick Grayson, you filed his case with this office eight years ago, remember after he became a ward of the state."
"Oh, I didn't recognize him," Jenna said, tilting her glasses. "Sorry 'bout the hassle, Mr. Grayson."
"That's alright, you're doing your job; I understand that."
"So you're going back now huh?" Rachel asked as she ushered him into her office. They took seats beside her desk and she looked at him.
"Bruce said I have to."
"I see. So he found someone else to be the Batman?"
"Yes, he did, and I have to go back and take care of my city before Titans East burns themselves out."
"You sound like you're going to miss this place. Funny I should say that because there are a lot of people who would love to get out of here."
"I'll miss some things in Gotham, not everything, but there are people and places that I hate to leave behind," Dick smiled quietly as he rose from his seat. He moved towards the door.
"I know, but we'll miss you too. Don't ever forget that, Dick."
"I won't, I'll see you around Ms. Dawes," he turned to leave.
"Goodbye Dick," she said, Dick nodded and walked down the hall and out of the building. He then drove the Rolls back to Wayne Manor and parked the car. Getting out, he headed into the mansion. Dick found Bruce waiting for him at the door.
"Bruce? What are you doing here? Where's Alfred?"
"Down in the Batcave, your friends are waiting for you."
"Are you coming?"
"Yes, I am, Batgirl, Robin and Jean Paul Valley are here to say goodbye."
The two men began to make their way towards the piano; Bruce hit the necessary keys and opened the hidden entrance concealed beneath the clock. They made their way to the old rickety elevator and went down to the elevator and into the Batman's headquarters. Dick saw the Titans were waiting for him, along with Batgirl, Robin and Jean Paul Valley.
"Hi guys, is the T Car all loaded up?"
"Not yet, we're not leaving until tomorrow, but we have all our stuff together," Victor said.
Barbara Gordon stepped forward, "It was nice to see you again, Dick. If you ever need anything just call."
"I will. I will. Hey Tim, keep yourself out of trouble, okay?"
"You got it, Dick, since when did I ever get myself in trouble?" Tim Drake asked.
"Oh, too many times," Dick laughed. "Too many times."
"Well I guess you'll be leaving tomorrow, so Alfred here tells me," Jean Paul said. He extended his hand to shake it. "I'm going to try very hard to uphold the standard you've set as the Batman."
"Thanks, Jean, but I think I owe you an apology. I shouldn't have chewed you out when we first met."
"I understand; I know about your falling out with Bruce, I guess my entrance didn't help it much."
"Jean, I truly am sorry."
"Don't worry, I forgive you."
"Thanks, it's nice to know Gotham is going to be in good hands."
"I'll do my best," Jean smiled.
"Master, Dick, might I suggest you prepare to leave for tomorrow as well? Your friends seem to have got that done already."
"Sure Alfred, where do your suggest I start?"
"Well young man, come upstairs and I'll show you."
The next day the Titans finished loading up the T Car and making sure they had all their things with them. Victor had finished counting the luggage for the fifth time and finally concluded that everything was ready to go. "That's the last bag!" He looked at Dick. "Come on Dick, we've got to go, we have a long drive ahead of us."
"I know, I know. I just have to say goodbye to Ace before we leave."
"A dog? You have to say goodbye to your dog?" Victor asked.
"Well yeah, dude, that's his pet. He doesn't get to see him a lot. Heck, I didn't even know he had a pet until now," Gar said.
Dick headed back to the manor. He saw his faithful greyhound sitting on his haunches staring at him sadly.
"I guess you know I'm leaving, don't you boy?" he asked the dog.
"Ruff, ruff," the dog barked as he wagged his tail slightly and licked his master's hands.
'Yeah, I'm gonna miss you too." He looked up to see Alfred standing in the door holing a large bag of dog food. Dick gave his maternal grandfather a quizzical look.
"What's all that for Alfred?"
"Well how can one expect to feed a dog if there is no dog food to feed it with?" Alfred asked.
"Alfred, you're the one who feeds Ace," Dick said.
"I have officially relinquished my dog feeding duties from now on, Master Dick."
"Why would you not feed Ace?"
"Because Master Dick, you're feeding him," the elderly butler said with a twinkle in his eyes.
"But Alfred, I can't just take Ace—"
"Now Dick, you have no choice in the mater," Bruce Wayne's voice interrupted sternly. They looked up at him and saw his facial expression melt away into a smile. "Besides, when you left you insisted you take Ace with you. I think it's time you take care of what's yours."
"You mean you're letting me keep him?" Dick asked, his blue eyes glowed with joy at the thought that he might be able to keep his dog.
"Yes, I'm recovering and Alfred will be too busy helping me to take care of him, besides, I think he's liked you the most out of all the people who've lived here."
"Bruce I don't know what to say," Dick said gratefully. "I'll take good care of him, I promise."
"I know you will," Bruce said smiling, "You've made me very proud."
"Thank you," Dick replied. "Come on Ace! Get in the car." The dog barked joyously and ran full tilt until he jumped into the back seat. Dick walked over to the trunk and placed the dog food inside. After he finished closing it, he took his place in the front seat. He saw Tim and Barbara standing out in the driveway talking to the others.
"It was very nice to meet all of you," Kory said, smiling. "I do hope that we will see each other again very soon."
"No doubt we will, Kory," Barbara said.
"We'll be seeing ya'll around," Victor said, "And if you're ever in our town, feel free to stop in."
"Thanks, we'll remember that," Tim said, shaking his hand.
"Dude, you people are awesome, I hope you guys do come visit," Gar laughed as he gave Tim a high five.
"Goodbye Dick! We'll see you around!" Tim shouted.
"Catch you later, Dick!" Barbara shouted. "Be careful!"
"I will, and I'll see again sometime!" He gave them a smile.
Victor started up the car and began driving toward Jump City.
"Dick, did you accomplish what you set out to do when you first arrived in the Gotham City?" Kory asked.
"Yes, I think I did. But for me, it wasn't about revenge, or proving myself to Bruce it was…a way for me to see myself as someone who is trying to make the city a better place, to help others by doing what I can serve others and bring justice to a city that has become corrupt."
"Gee, well I'm glad our city's not corrupt," Gar commented.
""Jump City's not like Gotham City, but that doesn't mean that it can't happen. Gotham wasn't always like this. It was a lot better once, a long time ago."
"How did it become this way," Kory asked.
"I don't really know," Dick replied.
"Let's hope that our city will stay the way it is and not become corrupt. Staying here made me realize how nice we have it there. Sure we have our bad guys, but it's not nearly as bad as Arkham Asylum."
'Things change, Victor, our city changed a lot when we defeated the Brotherhood of Evil, and it may have changed again when we get back."
"Well at least one thing hasn't changed, we're still together," Beast Boy said.
"I know, and I think it's time we go home. I wore Batman's mantle for a long time. Now it's time for me to take up my own.'
"What do you mean by that Dick?" Kory asked.
"I don't know, but I guess we'll have to wait and see," Dick smiled and turned to look out the window. The return journey was a great relief, but he knew that he had taken his first step into a much larger world. He was searching for something, but the answer was as elusive as the wind. He knew that he couldn't be Robin anymore, that much he was sure of, but what identity could he have outside of his mentor's shadow? He had a feeling he would have to go looking for answers soon. He wasn't sure what changes awaited him, but he would stay his course until he found what he was searching for.
Dick put these thoughts out of his mind and concentrated on the present. He knew he would miss Gotham and his friends there, but he had the Titans with him, and as long as his friends were there, he would be fine. He turned his thoughts to his city and the Tower, and what they would do when they got back. He then turned and looked out the window, watching the scenery go by.
After many hours he finally caught a glimpse of the tall skyscrapers outlining Jump City.
"We are home at last!" Kory shouted as they entered the city limits.
"Indeed we are," Dick replied, "and I'm glad to be back."