Okay, so this is the LAST chapter. I didn't mean for it to be, but that's just the way it happened. I hope you enjoy it...it took me about three or four hours to write in total. The sequel is posted, "A Matter of Kevlar and Spaceships". But I guess it doesn't matter if you read it or not.

Anyway, I hope you like this chapter.

And here is the "family tree" of sorts for the funeral-

Bruce Wayne & Rachel Dawes- Will Dawes
Clark Kent & Lois Lane- Jason Kent, Madelyn Kent
Oliver Queen & Dinah Lance- Connor Queen, Blake and Dylan Queen
Bart Allen & wife- Jack Allen
Arthur Curry & wife- Matthew Curry
Victor Stone & wife- David Stone

On with the story!

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Batman bowed his head and his tears dripped onto Rachel's lifeless body. I swear to God, Rachel…for as long as I live you will never be dead. I will find out who did this to you. He cried out in anguish. I wish we had more time, too.

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Will rounded the corner, breathing heavily. His tear-stained face glared at the man, still concealed in the shadows. Will bit his lip and as he ran, he gathered speed…and he jumped. He and the man tumbled down onto the sidewalk. The man reached for his gun, but Will was faster. He stood up quickly and cocked the gun, pointing it directly at the man's head.

At last he stepped out of the shadows- with another gun in his hand. Will's eyes widened. Oh, shit.

"Don't be a fool, boy," the man snarled. "Out of the way." Will shook his head.

"No," he said firmly. "You won't get away with this." The man smirked.

"Right," he said sarcastically. Just as he had spoken, a helicopter came over them and the man smiled as a rope was thrown down to him. "Another fantastic escape," he yelled down to the teenager. "Even your vigilante can't catch me." Will watched the helicopter disappear into the darkness of the night, then let out a scream of despair.

Then his eyes snapped open, and he turned, running as fast as he could to the spot he had vacated.

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"Bruce?" he called. "Bruce?" He didn't get a response. Worriedly, Will looked around, and found Batman kneeling by Rachel's body, his head bowed. His mask was off, carelessly thrown aside. Slowly, the teenager approached him. "Bruce?" he asked softly.

Bruce turned around, his eyes red and his face tear-stained. Will bit his lip and turned his attention to his mother. He kneeled beside her, but one look at her peaceful face told him it was too late. But he refused to believe it.

"Mom," he whispered to her. "Mom, please," he begged, tears welling up in his eyes again. "Come back, I need you…" His pleading filled the silence of the night. Bruce gently placed a hand on the boy's shoulder.

"Come on, Will," he said gently. "There's nothing we can do…she's gone." He struggled to get out of Bruce's grip.

"She…is…not…gone!" he roared. "Mom!" Bruce pulled his son away from Rachel's body, pain in his heart.

I never wanted this. Never. Not for him. This is the very thing I tried to fight against. God, Rachel…I already lost you once…

"Will…" he said gently. "We can't be here." Will continued to fight Bruce's hold on him.

"She can't be gone…she just can't be gone…" he muttered, more to himself than anyone. He looked up at Bruce his eyes full of tears. "She's the only family I have," he whispered desperately.

Bruce opened up the top hatch of the Batmobile and Will sunk into the passenger seat. Bruce threw his mask into the back and grasped Will's shoulder.

"Not anymore, kid," he said softly. "Not anymore."

Not the least bit curious about what Bruce had said, Will nodded absently and leaned back in the seat, wrapping his arms around himself.

As Bruce watched his only son mourn, he sighed heavily. He knew that the Will Dawes he had known had died with Rachel. He was a different person now. Bruce focused on the road, his heart split in two.

If there was a way…any way at all…could he be spared this pain?

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"Deep down…"

"Rachel!"

"You might still be that same great kid you used to be…"

"Batman's just a symbol-"

"But it's not who you are underneath…"

"Maybe he's still out there somewhere."

"It's what you do that defines you."

"And maybe…one day…when Gotham no longer needs Batman…"

"Remember that day you told me about? It's coming."

"…I'll see him again."

Bruce woke up shaking, his breathing shattered. Oh, God, Rachel…you can't be gone…I love you more than I could ever say. He looked at the clock on his bedside table. It was five o' clock AM.

He sat up, putting on his bathrobe. He shut the door to his room quietly and made his way down to the grand staircase and looked at it sadly.

How many times had Rachel walked up and down these stairs? Too many times to count.

Bruce made his way out the door and down to the garden, where he and Rachel had played as children, back before his parents had died. He smiled, remembering the games the played.

"Rachel, let me see," the young Bruce complained. "Let me see!"

"Finders keepers, and I found it," young Rachel retorted.

"In my garden," Bruce argued. Rachel opened her hand to reveal an arrowhead. Taking his chance, Bruce grabbed it out of her hand and ran out of the greenhouse, calling,

"Finders keepers!"

Bruce sadly walked up the stairs to the master bedroom once again. Laying down, he fell asleep almost instantly, his mind still in the past and on what might have been.

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Rachel's funeral was a small, closed event with only Bruce and Will's closest friends in attendance. Alfred had made all the arrangements and sent out all the invitations; for Will and Bruce the loss was still too near.

Jim Gordon and his wife Barbara had shown up with their three children, James, Barbara, and Jacob, the youngest of whom was a close friend of Will's.

Will and Jake's other friend Connor Queen had shown up with his parents and younger twin brothers. Connor's father, Oliver Queen, was a friend of Bruce's, and had immediately set out from Metropolis following Rachel's death.

Another acquaintance of Bruce's, a dark-haired, blue-eyed, tall man named Clark Kent arrived with his wife Lois Lane, their son Jason, who was about Will's age, and their daughter Madelyn.

People from Rachel's office came to pay their respects, and left in silence. Halfway through the service, close friends and family were invited to say a few words. His face pale and his hands trembling, Will stood up and walked to the podium.

"My mother…" he started nervously. He hadn't prepared a speech beforehand. "Well…honestly, I don't know where to start. This is where procrastinating gets me, I suppose." A few people from the crowd laughed hesitantly. "I have trouble imagining life without her. Mom was the only family I've ever had, and she died in the most brutal way. She didn't deserve that; there are very few people who do." Bruce looked up at the teen speak. Will was calm, his voice even, but Bruce could see that he was starting to crack. "Mom had the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met. It didn't matter if you were a beggar on the street or if you were a billionaire. She would treat you all the same. The world doesn't have many good people left. Everyone who has stood up to the scum of this city has been murdered." Bruce tensed. Where was he going with this? Will looked down at his shoes, tears finally breaking through.

"And I swear…she won't have died in vain." He jumped off the podium and took his seat beside Bruce, shaking.

The burial began soon after Will had spoken. As Rachel's coffin was lowered into the grave, Bruce took a small object out of his pocket and placed it on the coffin, within the flowers. After he had placed the object securely, Bruce bowed his head, and Will noticed tears were flowing from his eyes. Will craned his neck to get a better look at the object, and he realized it was an arrowhead. There was a note with it as well. He squinted his eyes until he could make out two words written in Bruce's neat script: Finders Keepers.

After the service, the families broke into several groups and talked amongst themselves. Bruce, Clark, Oliver, and Gordon started a conversation, while Lois, Barbara, and the other women compared their dresses.

Will ignored all of them and walked towards his mother's newly dug grave. He kneeled before the headstone, which read, Rachel Dawes, beloved friend and Mother. He heard footsteps behind him.

"We hear you want to save the world," said a voice. Will stood up slowly and turned around. A boy around his age with dark brown hair and startling blue eyes smiled in his direction. He held out his hand. "Jason Kent." Will smiled and shook it. He noticed Connor standing by Jason, along with a few other boys around his age.

"Will Dawes…" he said hesitantly. Jason grinned.

"I know," he said. "I think you already know Connor," he said, gesturing to the blond boy. Will nodded. "And they are Jack Allen, Matthew Curry, and David Stone," he said, pointing to each boy in turn. Each of them nodded and waved as their name was called. Jack was somewhat short and skinny with wavy light brown hair. Matthew was taller than the other boys, about the same height as Jason. He had short dirty-blond hair and tanned skin. David was shorter than Matthew but taller than Jack. He had dark skin and wore a huge smile on his face. Jason turned to Will again. "So how about it?"

"How about what?" Will asked.

"Join our team," Jason said. "Fight crime." Will grinned.

"Count me in," he said firmly, his mind set.

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"Will," he heard Bruce say. He turned around, surprised. Though Will was living at the mansion, Bruce had locked himself up in his room and stayed there. Except for going out at night, they hardly saw eachother.

"Yeah?" he asked, setting down the basketball he had been practicing with. Bruce smiled.

"Can we talk?" Will frowned.

"About what?" he asked curiously. I haven't done anything wrong, have I? Bruce seemed to sense his fear.

"You're not in any trouble," he said, grinning. "I just wanted to tell you something."

"Okay…"

They walked away from the basketball court, towards the garden, where they sat on a bench.

"Will…" Bruce started carefully. "I know you've been feeling…lonely." The teenager nodded warily. "Your mother was your only family?" Will nodded again, eyeing Bruce cautiously. "But you never knew about your father."

"No…" Will said slowly. "I remember asking about it…but Mom never told me anything."

"Before you were born…your mother and I…" Bruce stopped, wondering how to phrase his next words. "We were…you might say…close." Will raised his eyebrows.

"You and Mom?" he asked incredulously. "I don't think so." Bruce smiled sadly, and Will's eyes widened as he realized what his elder was trying to say. "You're…my…" He couldn't finish the rest of his sentence. Bruce nodded slowly.

"Yes," he said quietly. "I'm your father, Will." The teenage couldn't say anything.

"How long have you known?" he accused.

"Your mom told me…the night she…" Bruce tried to say, but couldn't. Mentioning Rachel's death was still hard for him. And he didn't need to. Will understood. He gulped.

"So…you're my dad," he said neutrally. Those words sounded so weird coming out of his mouth. I've never had a father before…

"Yeah," Bruce said, sighing. Will's neutral face split into a grin.

So Jason was right, he thought. I do belong on the team. Bruce placed a hand on his son's shoulder.

"You're a Wayne by birthright," he told Will, and then gestured to the mansion. "This is where you belong."

I guess Bruce-Dad-is right. This is where I belong.

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So...was it good? That's basically the story of how Will Dawes becomes who he's meant to be. But I'm not quite finished with the character yet. I'm writing "A Matter of Kevlar and Spaceships" and I'm thinking of starting a spin-off with the "Jr. Justice League". If anyone has any ideas for ANY stories they'd like me to write, please, let me know. I'll definitely take your ideas and run with them. (And if they do get turned into a story, I'll be sure to credit you!)

Well, that's it for now-
Jason