by TwinEnigma

Disclaimer: I do not own the Batman series or characters. I am doing this purely to amuse myself.

The air tastes familiar, like corruption and motor oil steeped in blood, and the refuse wallowing in the streets has only grown thicker, hardier, more twisted. He is watched, but only the cats will come close to him. The others, the street dwellers, the lost and mad, know he is not to be trifled with. They see him as he is, a revenant that crawled from the earth, and know that he is propelled by an endless hunger for the blood of debts unpaid.

The others, the thieves and pimps, the gangbangers and dealers, will learn soon enough.

The rooftops spread before him, old familiar paths unfurling in the shadowed and fractured memory of a bat, and he knows he will never be lost again.

He has come home, at long last.

A bird of prey, crowned in red, spreads his wings and descends on Gotham.