disclaimer: Really, if I owned Batman or Flashpoint, I'd have Nightwing staying blue, Damien getting his mouth attacked by soap, Jason getting reformed and making up with Bruce and the rest, and Tim being my boyfriend, plus making him wear that internet(?) costume instead of his others. DC owns them all
When I read Flashpoint, I saw Thomas Wayne's death and thought "I wonder what he saw just before he died". That's how this came out.
Thomas Wayne's life wasn't one he wished to see again just in the last few moments of his life. His son being shot before him in crime alley, his wife going insane out of grief, becoming Batman out of his rage, letting his whole personal life crumble before him as he tried to control the crime of Gotham. He lost friends and allies left and right. There was so much blood on his hands.
And after hearing what his son could have become from Barry Allen, would his son wish to know who he was?
No, his life and all the events taking place in it weren't things he wanted to see in his last moments between life and death. He tortured himself with it every day and every night. Life was nothing but pain since that day so many years ago.
But life was never kind to him. Why would death be any different?
Before his eye lost its sight completely, his mind's eye let him start drifting between life and death, forcing him to see something. No, someone. A young boy, no older than ten.
He knelt beside two bleeding bodies, crying and shaking in the dark alleyway. Instantly Thomas wanted to run to his boy's side, hold him, comfort him and kiss his head. There was his boy, his child, still a live and breathing. He was hurting inside but alive! The dieing man wanted to do so much for his son but couldn't move. Only see him.
'Please!' He begged whatever force was showing him this, 'Please! Someone help him! Someone help my boy!'
Within seconds two familiar faces were by his boy's side, trying to console him. Alfred Pennyworth stayed by Bruce's side while Lesslie Thomkins held him until his shaking stopped. His heart filled with gratitude towards the two for taking care of his child in his hour of need. He dared even hoped he saw a young Officer Gordon at the scene, trying to make some headway in the case.
The image faded and was quickly replaced with another one. Bruce stood before a grave now, much older than before. A vacant expression stayed on his face, lost and lonely. A pair of roses were gently placed before the headstone.
"I'm going overseas in a few hours," Bruce said slowly, determination growing on his face. "I've heard of people who can train me. I'm going to be the best, you'll see. When I come back, I'll fulfill my oath. I will not rest until every criminal is taken into custody and I find your killer.
"You will be avenged."
'No Bruce no!' Thomas pleaded, remembering his own follies as Batman. Revenge only made things worse for him. He went into a downward spiral, letting criminals fall where his boy had. Martha didn't get better, she became worse.
But the boy wouldn't listen to his silent pleas. Instead he left the graves and traveled the world. For brief moments he saw Bruce train with many masters, study everything he could get his hands on in earnest. In public he acted like a rich flop, every smile forced on his face. Alfred stayed by his side during his journeys, but it was clear to Thomas he didn't quite approve.
Quickly the years of his youth were gone, what should have been his greatest days as a teenager and young adult. Each second was devoted to training and preparing for the war Bruce was going to take on. When the young man appeared to be twenty-five, he returned to Gotham and attempted to be a vigilante.
He nearly was killed in the process.
Fear for his boy overcame Thomas' thoughts as Bruce managed to get away from his would be killers. The young man had done everything right, all the training and preparation required, he was just missing one thing. The one thing Thomas also learned long ago. Criminals were a superstitious and cowardly lot after all. They needed to fear you if you wanted to make it to tomorrow.
In that one moment, when Bruce sat in his chair nearly bleeding to death, Thomas nearly screamed at him. 'Ring the bell! Call Alfred! Stay alive! Don't let all this be in vain!'
But again his voice was not heard. He did though hear Bruce speak. He was asking for help. He was asking for his father to help him. He knew he couldn't do this without some kind of edge. He needed an edge. Thomas only though of one thing, and willed it to happen.
A bat flew through the window near him and landed on one of the displays before him.
Bruce jolted back, having been afraid of bats since a particularly bad incident when he was a child. But he was a man now and feared it less. Now he watched the creature for a long moment, then smirked. He rang the bell.
This faded away and quickly was replaced with Bruce donning the cowl of Batman, a slightly different design than his own. This Batman soared through the air, crashing down on criminals and driving the rats out of their holes before leaving them for the cops of Gotham. Thomas dared to see Gordon again, a lieutenant by this time and his wedding band removed. Bruce seemed to like him, but never talked long. He was always working.
But there was something wrong. Despite finally attaining his goal to be a crime fighter and master detective, Bruce never truly smiled. There was no peace in his boy's life. Despite knowing his son did all this because of his and Martha's deaths, he couldn't help but want his boy to be happy. Friends, family, he really should have that too. At least a woman he could confide in. Alfred stayed, but even the old family butler had his limits with his charge.
'Please, please have someone else by his side. A light for him to follow. Please Bruce. Don't live in darkness. Don't follow my path.'
Colors changed again, showing Thomas a bright circus tent filled with joyful people. Bruce was in the crowd and there was a sign for a charity event there. The young man had taken to helping the city as himself along with taking out the trash as Batman. He was taking it easy that night it seemed, but then came the screams.
A small boy turned away from the show while another gaped from far above the floor to his own parents' corpses on the ground. Thomas saw the young acrobat traumatized at the sight, and Bruce standing up, looking to the child. His expression was similar to that night when they died, and Thomas knew his son felt compassion for this boy.
'Go to him,' he told his son, and for once he obeyed without question. Bruce stood by the boy's side, one of the few people in the room who truly understood what the boy felt.
The light shifted in his mind again and he saw it. A light so bright, he thought he'd go blind. But it wasn't the end. Just the joy on the boy's face, dressed in a silly light costume and mask as he flew through the air besides Batman. A child no older than twelve, grinning from ear to ear as he flipped around the dark knight and fought the scum of the earth. Once finished with this particular group, Batman placed a hand on the boy's shoulder.
"Did you remember to finish your homework Robin?"
His homework. Thomas dared to take a breath in as he watched his son raise that orphaned circus boy into a young man. The kid smiled eagerly and received quite a few in return. Bruce smiled. He really smiled. Seeing that smile again after so many years, it warmed Thomas' heart more than knowing his boy was alive.
As the young acrobat grew, he changed from a red, green and yellow costume to a blue and black one. He vanished from Bruce's sight, leaving a vacant pain in the man's eyes. Thomas wondered what happened to hurt his son in such a way, but it didn't last long. A moment later he saw another young boy trying to take the tires off his son's car. Before he knew it, the lad was also in that Robin costume, grinning and fighting along side his boy.
But like the first one, he too vanished and Bruce was left alone again. The pain from this one vanishing seemed to hollow him out, driving him further into his rage, taking on the criminal world with renewed force. No smiles, no light. His son was losing his way.
'Please!' He begged again, 'Someone help him! Bring back his light!'
The plea was heard in some way. Another young boy sought him out, this time bringing the first back. Both men seemed unsure about what the boy was proposing, but in the end Thomas saw this child too swinging from rooftops, smiling at his son's side. His costume was different, but then again so was the boy. This Robin acted much more like Bruce, but kept the lightheartedness of the first one. The one now calling himself Nightwing.
Thomas saw many years pass by quickly, and many tragedies unfolding. Many died, some closer to them than others. The second Robin returned, different than he was before. Bruce held in the pain he felt when he saw him, but couldn't fool his father. He loved all three boys, and seeing them at odds with each other, or with him, hurt more than anything.
And then came a fourth.
This one was different. Brash and rude, dangerous. But he also looked very much like Bruce as a child. This was his son.
Quickly it all sunk in. Thomas was given a gift in his last moments. He influenced only a fraction of his son's life. He only wished to see it all, so see his son grow and become happy. Now he had seen what his son would become. Not just Batman, but a father. A father to orphans, runaways, lonely boys, and even through blood. Bruce wouldn't just be a hardened vigilante; he would be everything Thomas wanted to be for his boy and more.
Bruce would complete his life.
Thomas let his eyes close as he latched onto an image in his head. One of Bruce surrounded by his boys. Alfred was hanging back smiling proudly as he watched them, and a few girls hung back, giggling a little. Only the black haired one approached them, gaining access to the group through the third Robin. The eldest was laughing while hugging the grumpy youngest. The second seemed to be trying to run away, seemingly embarrassed yet pleased to be there.
Bruce merely smiled at them all. A true smile. One filled with more love and joy than Thomas ever saw on his boy's face, though he had seen it once before. It was on his own face the day Bruce was born.
"Pretty little picture isn't it."
Thomas' mind jerked to the voice playing in his head. He was dieing, seeing his son's life in the timeline Flash had told him about, and now he was hearing an unrelated voice. It did belong to a body though. In his mind's eye he saw another young man, a familiar smirk on his face. A few of his features were familiar, but Thomas decided not to pry any further. A great-grandson visiting him in his head did not seem possible.
"Course, it's not going to be this nice," the young man stated. "Lots of bad things happen, some of the boys try to kill each other, a couple crises, yada yada yada, you get the picture.
"But they do stick together for the most part." He looked at Thomas, still smirking.
"Are you the one doing this?" He had to know who and what was giving him this wonderful gift.
"Wish I was." The man shoved his hands into where his pockets had to be. "I'm just another possibility."
"One question before I die." Thomas knew his time was almost over. He could feel his organs shutting down.
"Where's the woman in all this?"
A/N: that last line is not intended for someone to twist into slash. It's a simple matter of "why isn't Bruce married?" Thomas already figured out Damien is his literal grandson, but he never saw the boy's mother. He's smart enough to know Bruce adopted the other boys (added the girls and Cass being closer to them than the other because he adopted her too last minute) so he wouldn't have asked if it stopped at three. Just a thought, but this isn't slash in the slightest.
Oh, the last one talking to Thomas is Terry. Sadly, he isn't raised by Bruce, and never gets to be Robin. But we all love Terry anyway. He's just too much fun!
Hope you liked Thomas Wayne's last moments! Really, why would he want to see his life all over again? He'd definitely prefer seeing his son's. =)