A/N: Here is the epilogue to the story. Thank you to everyone who read along and reviewed. I learned a lot from this story and the feedback and ideas you guys gave. Thanks, guys. You kept me writing it.
Disclaimer: I think you get the point by this chapter.
"Let's go, let's go," hisses one burglar to his partner as the sirens outside begin to sing out an alarm. "We don't have much time until-"
An arrow burrows its metal head into the wall right beside his head. A laugh rings out like a bell, childish and threatening in the same moment. "You guys should just quit now before-"
"Run!" The first masked man slaps the other on the back before bolting for his own life, one bag of looted cash in his grubby, gloved hand.
The second, slower to realize his imminent danger, actually turns around to stare three vigilantes right in the face.
"Hi there," says the blonde with a Cheshire smile before giving him a nice kick to the side of the head, effectively knocking him out cold. She gives her partners in crime, a tall dark-haired teen and an even taller redhead, a knowing look.
"You guys want to take him?" asks the teen, Robin, as he watched the crook head for the hills, cops coming from the other direction and unable to take notice.
The redhead lifts a bow with careful precision and looses an arrow; it strikes the criminal's baggy hoodie perfectly and pins his clothing, and him, to the cold ground where he flails helplessly like a dead fish while the bag of money lies a few feet away.
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm up and out." Artemis, the blonde, has taken notice of the approaching police and nocks her own bow with a grappling arrow. She fires up to the rooftops and is quickly being pulled up to the rooftops by pulley.
"I'm off," says the other archer before executing a few quick gymnastics moves picked up from the acrobat, leaving the raven-haired teen all alone in the alleyway on the backside of the bank; his fiery hair is the last thing seen.
Robin looks to both ends of the alley and catches sight of white cars with red and blue lights squealing to a stop. He gives a laugh; in a heartbeat, he's on a fire escape and is watching as cuffs are slapped on both crooks who claim to have seen the Boy Wonder.
One of the cops, the Commissioner, laughs. "Robin died with Batman."
Then he's on the rooftops alongside Artemis, pocketing his grappling hook again. "They've been taken into custody. Cops got the money, taking it to evidence at the station. It'll probably be returned to the bank if an officer doesn't take it."
"Roy knows about the corruption. Planted a tracker with that shot. We'll just have to check on it again every few hours." She holds up the tracking device; a little blip on the screen moves as the bag was taken back to the station.
"Rob," calls their comm links. "Might wanna check on your bike."
"On it," he replies to Roy before beginning his trek across the rooftops towards where he parked and hid his R-cycle. "I'll catch up with you guys on the corner of Drake and Third." He jumps down to a lower building and carries on, now picking up pace to a steady run.
An arrow flies by his head as Artemis sets another wire. She shoots past him towards the rendezvous point, hanging from the line by her green bow.
Two long rooftops later, he's dropping into the alley that shelters his bike. His cape falls flat, and he brushes his hair from his eyes. And when he looks up, there's another kid in the alley, maybe two years younger than him. His face is marked with scrapes, and he bears a black eye. Scraggly hair is like a too-big ebony crown on his head, overwhelming his pale face. There's a pair of green eyes set into his head, and they're afraid, terrified of the Boy Wonder that stands before him. He even drops the tire that he was about to steal from the R-cycle.
Dick can tell he's a stray; the tattered and baggy clothes speak volumes. He's a lost boy making money where he can. Selling tires is work. "Hey," he says softly, "don't worry, I won't hurt you."
The kid lunges, pulling a small pocket knife on Robin and slicing through the air with surprising precision. There's an anger in his eyes, and something reminiscent of that prior fear.
Dodge. Dodge. Twist, kick, clatter,and the knife is on the ground of the alley. The boy takes another step and tries to land a punch only to have his fist caught in Robin's hand. Then that fear wins out. Because Robin is supposed to be dead. He died with Batman. "I won't hurt you," reiterates Dick. "I promise."
Again, he lunges, kicking out at Dick's ankles. The Boy Wonder hops this move and quickly pins the kid to the wall. Still, he's actually impressed with the stray's skills. For being a street rat, he's not too bad at hand-to-hand combat. Maybe... "I'm not mad," he says. "I want to help."
"But it's your bike," sputters the kid, face half smashed into the rough bricks of the wall. "Why would you help me steal-"
"You need a place to stay, right?" asks Robin. "Decent food? Better clothes?" After all, Bruce helped him, took him in...
The boy swallows hard. He's desperate.
"It's not hard to tell." Dick lets go of him. "Go put the tires back on and we'll talk." There's an angry, almost threatening glare in the vigilante's direction, but the orders aren't questioned and tools are used for good instead of evil as the wheels are put back onto the bike.
Dick touches one finger to his ear, radioing over to his comrades. "Roy, you have a spare room, right?"
A/N: And there is your final piece. As Bart would say: TA-DA! Second finished full-length fic for this fandom. Thanks again, guys. It was a fun ride.