Disclaimer: Nope, don't own anything in the Batman world, though I wish I did. Only original characters belong to me.
AN: Here it is, the end of the story! If anyone has any interest in Phantom of the Opera or Pirates of the Caribbean, you can find me over there for future reading. If not, then I thank everyone for their love and support. It means so much to me that you've found my stories enjoyable. Thanks again, and I hope to see you in other categories!
As expected, Bruce was waiting for the Commissioner and his family at Wayne Manor. The minute Ellie was out of the police car, she ran up the steps and threw herself into her father's arms, babbling on about how she'd met Batman and that he'd helped save her and Mommy from the bad Joker. Smiling, Bruce had simply held her close with one arm and reached for his wife with the other.
After putting Ellie to sleep with a bedtime story and a good dose of hot chocolate in her tummy, Bruce and Amara were forced to make up their own story to the police, saying that Batman had convinced Bruce to go underground while he used Amara as bait and tailed her to The Joker's hideout. Commissioner Gordon bought the whole thing, promising to put it into his report as he wished them a 'goodnight.'
Once they were alone, Alfred was able to fuss over his charges, plastering them with drinks, food, and something to help them fall asleep that night, which, in fact, they did.
The next day, Commissioner Gordon paid another call to Wayne Manor, bringing with him news of The Joker. Apparently Amara had shot him in a crucial spot, the bullet lodging in the Clown Prince's spine, wounding him critically and paralyzing him from the neck down. He was no longer a threat to anyone anymore.
"We've transferred him to a facility outside of Gotham, where he'll be seen to for the rest of his life," Gordon informed them over cups of coffee. "The doctors and nurses have him in an isolated wing so that he'll have no contact with the outside world from now on."
The news was a great relief to both Bruce and Amara. With the shadow no longer hovering over them, they were finally free to live their lives in peace.
"Or as peaceful as it can get for Batman and his wife," she muttered as they fell asleep that night.
Bruce didn't say anything, but smiled as he rested his chin atop her head and drifted off to dreams.
As time passed, it soon became clear that Ellie needed to know about her father's nightly activities. The child had developed a crush on the masked vigilante, and Amara thought it wise to tell her Batman's secret identity before her feelings advanced even further. Bruce reluctantly agreed.
So, just after Ellie's tenth birthday, Bruce and Amara took their daughter aside and told her the truth: her father was Batman. Their proof was the Batcave hidden beneath the foundations of Wayne Manor, and the secondary hideout at the docks where a number of gadgets were stored for emergency use.
Needless to say, Ellie was shocked at the revelation, but as soon as she got over it, she pleaded for her father to let her train in fighting, just like him.
Like any loving parents, Bruce and Amara indulged her in this, signing her up for karate, gymnastics, and a bit of dance, to add grace to her movements. Her parents thought it was just a phase she was going through, that she would grow out of it once she realized how hard it was to train to be a crime fighter. The bumps, bruises, torn muscles, twisted ankles, and occasional broken bones she obtained would have knocked some sense into any other girl, causing them to quit and turn to other hobbies.
As it turned out, Ellie relished every minute of it. Whenever she made progress in her fighting skills, she felt more confident in herself, though she always tried to stay humble about it. Bruce even taught her a few tricks in enduring pain under extreme circumstances; however, he was always lectured by his wife on how he shouldn't encourage their daughter in crime fighting, since Ellie might change her mind.
But Ellie never did go back on what she started, and by the time she was eighteen, she was out with her father, patrolling Gotham's streets as the new hero, Batgirl. The patrolling began as one night a week, slowly growing to two, then three, but no more than that. Amara refused to let crime fighting prevent her daughter from attending college, and besides, she worried herself sick every time her husband and her daughter went out at night.
Eventually, Bruce found that he could no longer keep up his position as The Dark Knight. He couldn't heal as quickly as he once did, and even though he was in fine physical shape, with his increasing age came slowness in movements, much to his frustration. He was forced to relinquish his mantel to Ellie, who took it up with as much seriousness as Bruce could have asked for.
But in the Batcave, Bruce set up a massive computer and communications center, a means of guiding his daughter through her patrols, offering advice and guidance whenever it was needed. This was key in keeping her intelligently sharp, and provided another perspective when solving puzzling crimes. Amara thought it amusing and exasperating that Bruce couldn't just retire like most men did, but at least he spent his days with her, so she didn't mind. Well, for the most part.
Ellie eventually married a nice young man known as Richard Grayson, formerly a trapeze artist in a circus. The two of them became partners in all things, including as crime fighting duo Batgirl and Robin. In time, Dick and Ellie's son, Timothy, donned the Robin outfit as Dick became the hero known as Nightwing, believing it unfitting for him to take up his father-in-law's cape and cowl. The title of Batman would fall on Tim, when the time came. And came it did, when Tim was full-grown and his parents believed he was ready. Bruce could not have been prouder of his grandson.
Until the day he passed, Bruce was there, with Amara by his side, guiding the future of Gotham's masked protectors. The legacy of Batman endured through his children, his grandchildren, and in future generations, all of them carrying on the idea of truth and justice, a gift passed down to them from the first and greatest Batman.
AN: Well, that's the end! I hope that this satisfied everyone, and that you enjoyed reading. Thanks again to all my readers, and I wish all of you the very best in all of your reading and writing!