Yeah, this surprised me too. I did a 20 Truths thing for Batman Beyond. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Batman Beyond
1. Every once in a while, Terry thinks back to the night that he met Bruce Wayne. It seemed like such a coincidence at the time; on the run from a pack of Jokerz, Terry had taken the old coast road, wanting to ditch the clown-masked punks someplace out of the way so he could get back to Dana. The last thing he ever expected was to find himself in Wayne Manor, or to discover one of Gotham's best-kept secrets just from helping a little bat get out of the clock it was stuck in.
The other last thing he ever expected, once things had hit the fan, was to become the new Batman. What would have happened, Terry sometimes wonders, if he hadn't found the cave? Or, he wonders, if he hadn't taken the suit? It's not something he can talk to Wayne about, though. The old man isn't on speaking terms with the term 'doubts'.
2. Bruce never once believed his and Terry's meeting was a coincidence. First of all, he doesn't believe in coincidences. More importantly, Bruce knows perfectly well that the bats who end up inside his cave have an innate homing sense; Terry could've searched the Manor for years, but he'd never have found the cave if he weren't qualified to be Batman.
Finding out about Waller's tampering doesn't change Bruce's opinion for an instant.
3. Dana's not sure if she likes Bruce Wayne. So the guy used to be some kind of playboy billionaire genius; Dana had half-believed that the 'Wayne' in 'Wayne-Powers' was just some kind of corporate gimmick until the real thing showed up looking perpetually one foot in the grave.
She thinks she might like him, because he's such a good influence on Terry. Terry's own father hadn't been able to restrain his son's wilder impulses; three months in Juvenile Hall had been even less effective. But Mr. Wayne keeps Terry on his toes, burns off all that extra energy. And it's so obvious how attached Terry is to the old man, publically attached.
But then Dana remembers the canceled dates, the way Terry would be out at all hours doing Mr. Wayne's odd jobs. Dana doesn't know what kind of help an old man like that really needs, but the aches and bruises that Terry thinks she doesn't see don't strike her as what you'd get helping an old man dust his nick-knacks. Terry comes to school dead on his feet every other day now.
So Dana isn't sure. She doesn't know if she ever will be.
4. Barbara remembers the first report she received as Police Commissioner on the activities of the Batman. She remembers reading the report very carefully, noting how the punks-turned-arms dealers were put down with familiar bruises and broken bones, how the punks had reluctantly described their assailant as a man-sized bat. She even remembers how she studied the red and black Batarang that had been attached to the cable binding the suspects to a streetlamp.
Barbara also remembers sticking the Batarang in a drawer and dismissing the whole thing as a load of nonsense. Bruce had been a hermit at the Manor for twenty years running; why on Earth would he start getting involved with Gotham now? It wasn't until she met a young man with none of Bruce's detective skills but plenty of his stubbornness that Barbara began to get an idea of the reason why.
5. While on patrol a week after he finally reconciles with the fact that Bruce is his biological father, Terry is struck by an epiphany. After all, the man he'd assumed was his biological father had had his reproductive DNA rewritten to be Bruce's. Therefore, if Terry is technically Bruce's son, then Matt is Bruce's son as well.
The crux of the matter is that Terry was intended, probably from conception, to someday become Batman by the old woman who'd felt it necessary to play God with the old man's DNA. And so Terry is; but what does that make his little brother? A spare? A Robin? Matt doesn't even know his older brother is Batman. In the end, Terry feels as if he takes this new idea surprisingly well.
So what if the man he was subduing ended up with a broken jaw afterwards? Just because he doesn't always like the little twip doesn't mean Terry doesn't care about his little brother.
6. One day, Terry will sit down with his aging mother and his no-longer-so-little brother and tell them the truth. He'll explain the entirety of his secret life as Batman, leaving nothing out; Terry will even manage to talk about the circumstances leading to Mr. and Mrs. McGinnis's inadvertent cuckoldry. Terry's mother will not take the news well at first; it will only be after much arguing and several failed attempts at persuasion that she agrees to give Terry her blessing to continue his work as Batman.
Matt's first response to Terry's explanation will be the reason for the argument; he will demand to be Nightwing.
7. When later asked why he asked to be Nightwing specifically, Matt will sheepishly explain that if he admitted that he wanted to be Robin, Terry would never stop treating him like a twippish kid brother.
Little does Matt realize that even when does become Nightwing, Terry will still continue to treat him like a twippish kid brother. That's because he'll always be a little brother to Terry, no matter how old either of them gets…but that doesn't mean Terry has to always like the little twip.
8. Sometimes Terry gets the feeling that he really isn't Batman.
Wayne is the one running the show; Wayne is the one who knows how to fix the suit, how to analyze the clues, how to piece together all the details, how get the drop on the bad guys…all the things that make Batman into Batman, instead of being just some guy in tights with pointy ears. The only reason he's the one in the suit, Terry thinks, is because Wayne can't handle the physical work that goes into being Batman. If Wayne were just able to get the grunt-work done Terry wouldn't be anything more than another Robin, if even that much. He's just an extension of Bruce Wayne, a tool in the hands of the one and only original Batman.
And then Terry takes on a new case and plows through it, doing nothing the way the original Batman would do it and pulling the whole thing off with style, and when he gets back to the cave Wayne simply treats him to one of those sardonic smirks of his, before sending him off in the car for more of Ace's special doggy kibble and another set of training synthodrones.
It gives Terry the feeling that he's really not Batman – not the original, at least. No, Terry is nothing like the original Batman; he's a new Batman instead and really, he's okay with that.
9. Terry used his admittedly minimal influence on Commissioner Gordon exactly once outside of his 'work'. It was to get Max a student internship with the police force.
It wasn't exactly hard to set up, either; the Commissioner was intrigued by the idea that a high-schooler was able to figure out who both Batmans were behind the masks so easily, while Max was interested in meeting Batgirl. It isn't until Gordon starts dropping little hints about 'the good old days' and how she wouldn't really mind a successor to the Batgirl name that Terry realizes he's created a monster.
Thankfully, Gordon turns out to share an interest in information brokering and hacking with Max (who knew?) and they decide to work on prepping Max for another superhero role instead.
10. As long as Terry lives, he will never get used to calling Max 'Oracle'.
11. The first time Max sees Terry driving Wayne's car after she deduces his secret identity as Batman, she laughs so hard that tears come to her eyes. For two weeks, Terry can't take the car anywhere near her without the hacker bursting into uncontrollable giggles.
Terry doesn't figure out what she thinks is so funny until after he finally sees a picture of the original Batmobile. He and Max then spend four hours trying to find any leftover buttons or gadgets the old man might not have taken out of the car. They don't find any and Wayne is not amused when they ask if they can check his other cars.
12. Terry McGinnis has, in fact, met Dick Grayson.
It was during a case that took Terry out of Gotham for a week and a half. Neither one will breathe a word of what happened on that case to anyone, aside from what Terry put into a sketchy report for the old man's records, but ever since then the two regularly meet in a little restaurant in Bludhaven once a month to talk shop and swap stories. Unsurprisingly, the main subject in most of those stories is Bruce Wayne.
13. For the longest time, Terry thought he knew for certain why Wayne was so universally disliked by his former sidekicks. It wasn't too hard to figure out; the man was a strict taskmaster, perfection was never good enough for him, and when he set his mind on a subject, it would remain unchanged come hell or high water. Really, what confused Terry was that either of the Robins or Batgirl ever willingly worked alongside Wayne in the first place.
Terry continued to think that way until Wayne agreed to be dipped in the Lazarus Pits and regained most of his former strength and stamina. Fighting alongside Wayne, Terry was surprised to realize, was so much more exhilarating than fighting alone had ever been. Even after their return to Gotham, Terry found the man kept doing things that people shouldn't be able to do.
Not to mention how it was obvious that he'd keep going whether or not anyone else could keep up and there was just something that pushed at you to want to try as hard as you could to do so…until you gave up in disgust. So it was disappointing for Terry when Wayne declared that he'd willingly go back to looking his proper age. But only just a little.
14. Terry still doesn't get what's so terrifying about the Joker. He grew up with the Jokerz as a constant threat, and they're easy enough to chase off as long as you're careful how you do it. Even his brief experience with the distilled essence of the real deal doesn't faze him much; a few smartass remarks and the oh-so-terrifying old clown went nuts. That was supposed to be the old man's arch-nemesis?
And then Terry remembers running into the cave, seeing the spray paint and the mess, and it gets mixed up in his head with the memory of coming home and finding his father murdered. It's a bitter pill and it makes him sick to swallow it, but maybe he does get it, at least a little.
15. Once upon a time, Terry's father isn't murdered. He's caught up in paperwork and can't meet his friend Harry Tully on the balcony right away. When he does, Harry has already been taken away by security, and the missing data on the nerve gas has already been returned to Mr. Powers' hands. That night, Terry leads a pack of Jokerz down the coast run and nearly runs over an old man. He helps the old man find his medicine, frees a bat from a clock, and is chased off the property with a warning to never come back. So Terry doesn't. Who cares about old heroes from 20 or 50 years ago anyway?
His frustration with his father coming to a head, Terry leaves home several weeks later. He moves from friend to friend, crashing at their homes and ignoring their pleas for him to make up with his dad until they or their folks finally throw him out. Terry manages to keep going to school for almost a week after he leaves home, until he gets sick of dealing with that as well. Several gangs will try to persuade Terry to join up with them, including the Jokerz. When Terry rejects them, some of the Jokerz decide to lash out at Terry's friends in retaliation for being spurned.
In response, Terry will leave those Jokerz in a bruised and bloody pile on the Police Station doorstep. Liking the situation, Terry will begin moving through the underworld, forcing a path for himself through the dregs of Gotham city and causing noticeable problems for the underworld elite. To try and curb the problem Terry McGinnis represents, someone will do their homework. Terry will find out about the bomb planted in his father's apartment five minutes before his father gets home and the entire building goes up in flames. By sheer luck, his mother and brother will be out of the house when their apartment blows sky-high as well.
Because of this, Terry decides he needs a bigger club. And so he goes back to Wayne Manor, breaks into the Batcave, and picks it clean of anything useful that he can find. In time, criminals in Gotham City will learn to truly fear the name of Batman; a fiercer, bloodier Batman than ever before.
16. Terry has successfully, albeit temporarily, quit his job as Batman three times thus far. The first time was when Wayne forced him to hang up the costume to try and avoid drawing the Joker's attention. The most recent time was the day after Terry ran the DNA test and found out who his father really is.
The second time Terry quit, it was because the lady he was rescuing had a heart-attack. Sure, she was almost Wayne's age, and it was partly the stress of being attacked, partly the strain of being awkwardly carried 100 feet through the air by a man in a bat costume that brought it on, but the fact remains that she wouldn't have ended up in the hospital with complications if Terry hadn't scared the living daylights out of her. So he hangs up the costume and tries to disappear.
It doesn't work; Terry only lasts eight days before he returns to the Manor and to Wayne with his tail between his legs. The fact that the old lady isn't holding the situation against Batman does help ease Terry's mind, but that's not the reason why he comes back. The real reason was in a book Terry read once; the section he's thinking of was called 'the Sunday Rule of Jobs'. If it's Sunday and you find yourself unhappy with going to work tomorrow, went the rule, it's time to find a new job.
Terry woke on Sunday, thought about another week of not being Batman, and wasn't happy. So it goes.
17. It was after Terry came back from that second leave of absence that Bruce quietly had his Will and Last Testament adjusted. When he finally rejoins his parents and Alfred, Bruce will leave everything he still owns to Terry. Bruce hasn't mentioned a word about this little fact to Terry. He's waiting to see if Terry figures it out himself. If Terry doesn't, the Will reading will start with a section commenting in detail about McGinnis' sloppy detective work.
Bruce figures his death will go over much easier if he leaves on a familiar note.
18. Bruce named his new dog in memory of the original Royal Flush Gang's Ace. It's because when they sat together on the swing set, Ace told him how much she wanted a puppy. A real puppy, not one created by her powers. So when a hungry young Great Dane mauls a Joker punk in front of Bruce, he takes the dog home and names him Ace.
The irony in the similarities of the histories of his Aces is not lost on Bruce.
19. Terry sang the songs from that ridiculous Batman musical for a month afterwards, mostly because they were so catchy but partly because doing so on patrol got such interesting reactions from the old man.
When a little digging on Wayne's part found some preliminary scripts and a few songs written for a sequel based on Gotham's current Batman, Terry never brings the musical up again. Who knew Wayne had such a strong singing voice?
20. Bruce's next birthday is much quieter. There are no musicals with annoying songs to sit through, no enemies in the bodies of former lovers visiting, and Gotham is quiet enough that Bruce gives Terry the night off. Bruce is planning on enjoying a nice, peaceful evening when he notices a disturbance in the cave.
Going downstairs, he's suddenly confronted by cake, presents, and people. Tim and Barbara are both there; more surprising to Bruce is that Dick is present as well, looking more relaxed inside the cave then Bruce has seen him in decades. Bruce's much-vaunted detective skills can't get a clue about what's going on until Terry finally steps out of a corner with a sheepish grin on his face.
"I figured you might like a smaller party. Y'know, with just the family," Terry admits, embarrassed.
Dick, Tim, and Terry end up arguing over who gets to light the candles on the cake; Barbara threatens them with a Batarang she's kept as a souvenir from her cape and cowl days, while Ace starts barking fit to wake the dead during the birthday song. Most of the gifts are themed and in some cases are just plain silly; Tim's gift produces a fully-functional phone that doubles as a fully-functional Batarang, while Dick somehow manages to keep a straight face even when his gift, a bottle of something labeled 'Bat Shark-Repellant', is unveiled. The whole party is a load of nonsense and the cave is brighter and louder than it's been in fifty or sixty years, maybe ever.
It's the best birthday Bruce has ever had.