One month later . . .
He drags himself out of the black vehicle and wearily makes his way across the damp, cold stone floor of the Cave. The bats are gone, having migrated south this time of year, and the silence weighs heavily upon him. The vast cavern seems even more empty to him these days. Barbara hasn't been visiting as often, and Alfred only comes down when he absolutely has to.
And of course, Robin is no longer there.
He practically collapses into the plush leather chair positioned in front of the massive screen of the mainframe and slides his cowl back. He rubs his eyes with the back of his hands, trying to stay awake a few more minutes so he can update his logs.
A flash of color catches his eye.
There is a massive fruit basket on the console with a small note written in Alfred's precise and wiry cursive.
He picks up the slip of paper:
If you could take a moment to sign the card within the basket. A Mr. Jack Drake has purchased the house neighboring the property, and it wouldn't hurt for Bruce Wayne to appear neighborly. Apparently Mr. Drake is a single father of one child, Timothy. Of course, a detailed dossier will be assembled as soon as possible.
He sighs and closes his eyes. The neighboring farmhouse had stood empty for almost a decade. Now he would have to be even more careful.
A single father, huh?
He thinks of Dick again, as he does quite often these days.
Wondering if he did a good job raising him.
Trying to think of mistakes he may have made along the way.
Considering things he could have done differently.
Musing about the future, equal parts curious and apprehensive about what the young man will do next.
Reliving that night on the roof of the arena when his son finally stood up to him and became his own man.
The barest hint of a smile touches his lips.
He couldn't be more proud.
On the other side of the continent, Dick Grayson has just finished dressing.
He stares at his image in the full-length mirror. Just one of the many furnishings Starfire had insisted on putting in their newly shared quarters.
At least she agreed to keep Silky in the Rec Room.
While he likes what he sees, the leader of the Titans realizes his new costume will take some getting used to. He wonders how much he'll miss the cape.
Or the belt.
He flexes his arm experimentally.
Only the slightest twinge of pain.
Cyborg's medical machines and weeks of bed rest appeared to have done the job.
Not that all that time in the medical bay was wasted.
The Titan's resources had to be rebuilt from the ground up.
Fortunately, Starfire's status as the former leader of an entire world entitled her to significant wealth. Add in the fact that Cyborg's father was a high ranking official in STAR labs, and the team had both the money and materials to replace everything Waynetech took from them. Having Aqualad pitch in with some lost pirate treasure, and the Titan's bottom line was as healthy as it had ever been.
All in all, things had turned out pretty well in the end.
The others had forgiven him, and both Raven and Beast Boy had recovered.
There was no sign of Slade, but that was a problem for another day.
Today was about the future.
He took one final look in the mirror and left the suite he and Starfire shared.
A few seconds later, he entered the main room where the others were waiting.
The four of them stared at him for a moment and began to all talk at once.
"Dude! Cool costume!"
"Well, all right! 'Bout time you lost the cape!"
"It is wondrous!"
"I like the colors."
He let's them go on for a bit, even doing a quick spin. There was a time when he would have considered this silly and a waste of time. But that was in the past, and what his friends thought was now very important to him.
After all, they were all in this together.
"Okay, dude, there's just one thing I don't get."
"Go ahead, Beast Boy. What don't you understand?"
"Um, I thought Robins were red, not black and dark blue?"
"That's because I'm not Robin anymore."
The four Titans stated at him expectantly. Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire. They were no longer just his friends and allies.
They were his family.
"Call me Nightwing."THE END
Author's Note: Many thanks to everyone who was kind enough to leave a review. I hope you enjoyed my take on the Titans. If you like my style, check out some of my other stories. Heart of the Bat is particularly good if you'd like to see a different perspective on Batgirl and Nightwing from the Justice League universe. I'm going to let the Teen Titans alone for a while now. This tale pretty much says it all I had to say about them. If you have enjoyed this more mature take on the Titans, I highly recommend the original Teen Titans comic series by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Most of the truly cool concepts from the show were taken from their 60+ issue run in the early 80's. Thanks again, and . . . Titans! Go!