Terry McGinnis walked through the dark cave, gazing at the museum of memorabilia that Bruce had collected through the course of his night job. There were so many memories down here, and so many stories that possibly only Bruce knew about. He paused in front of the giant penny, and wondered not for the first time where and how Bruce had acquired it.
"Were these trophies, Bruce? Or were they reminders of days gone by?" The question echoed softly in the empty shadows of the cave.
There was no answer, of course. Terry was not expecting any.
Terry continued to walk among the cases, as if by being close to them, he could somehow be closer to Bruce. Finally, he found himself standing in front of the case with the old Batman suit in it. Terry stared at it through the glass, and remembered the words that Bruce's lawyer had read.
"And to Terry McGinnis, valued employee and friend, I leave the reminder of my money, my investments, and Wayne Manor including the grounds and all its furnishings. I entrust my old friend Barbara Gordon to hold these in her name until Terry comes of age."
After the reading of the will, the lawyer had handed Terry a sealed envelope. "He wanted you to have this as well," he had told the teenager.
Afterwards, Terry had headed straight for the cave. There, he finally allowed himself to cry. The cave had been Bruce's life. He spent most of his time down there, in gloom and shadow.
Standing in front of his mentor's old costume, Terry looked at the envelope in his hand. His name was written on the front of it, in his handwriting. With trembling hands, he opened it and unfolded the single sheet of paper inside.
If you are reading this now, then I am dead. I have never been good at expressing my feelings, and that had always been my downfall. Because of my reluctance to tell how I felt, I drove away everyone who cared for me, and who I cared for in return.
I may not have said it in too many words, Terry, but I'm proud of you. You lived up to the name of Batman because you had the heart and compassion that Batman should have.
I am sorry to say that in the past, that heart and compassion were things that I was lacking. After everyone left and I became a lonely hermit sitting in my cave, I did not think that I would ever truly live again.
But then a kid showed up at my gates being chased by a band of Jokerz.
You showed me the good things in life again. In many ways, you reminded me of my son, Dick Grayson. He had the spark of life and vitality in him that you have. And just like you, he never lost his good humor, no matter how many terrible things he saw during the night.
Terry, you truly are Batman now. Even without me, I know that you can carry on. I trust you. If you ever need any help, ask Barbara. For all her gruffness, she has a good heart.
Thank you, for showing me how to live again.
Terry folded up the letter and wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. He looked at the costume again and gently touched the glass. "You're welcome, Bruce," he whispered. He turned and looked around the cave. "Goodbye, my friend."