I'm the worst updater. Is there anything I can do to make up for it?


Some days, I sit and look back on all of the impossible things that happened in the last years that would seem insane to any well-adjusted man, all of the things that came to redefine "normal" inside Wayne Manor. Some days, I rub my arthritic knee and sigh and wonder how such insanity could have taken root in Master Bruce on my watch.

Then I look a little harder and see that for all his paranoia and self-punishing pursuits, I have never known such a capable man.

I could fill entire volumes on Master Bruce's nightly escapades: battling street crime, protecting the helpless, hunting down the twisted menaces who had the gall to claim that the Batman inspired them. But all of that is already known, or at least enough of it is rumored. What even the savviest Gothamite doesn't know is that even the Batman - dark, severe, ruthless - came home with a smile every once in a while. Granted, they were merely the smallest hints of upturned lips, but for Master Bruce, there was never a truer expression of satisfaction.

What caused these smile-shadows? I had never thought I'd see the day, but several years after forming the alliance with the hero of Metropolis, Master Bruce came home with a proposal.

"They're too powerful, Alfred. Given that, these heroes have all proven their worth to the people multiple times over. They're skilled, effective, and trusted, but lacking in one essential thing: organization."

And then he told me.

From the human perspective, it was simultaneously comforting and terrifying. A league of super-powered warriors watching the world from space? It was unreal, like the plot of a far-reaching science fiction novel. But it was also bloody brilliant.

As the caretaker of Wayne Manor and the last of its hereditary occupants, it was both a crowning achievement and another worry etched into the sagging skin on my forehead. Any ideal of aging with dignity was taken by the persistence of my ward; he could hardly take care of himself as it was, but with the added duties of building, planning, training, and dispatching for the group, it was considered a good day when Master Bruce woke with more than two hours of sleep to heal his freshest injuries.

But when I heard that there was a certain Amazonian princess - new to the world as well as to the League - who seemed to always be impressing the Batman with her knack for hard mercy and remorseless compassion, and to whom I gave much of the credit for those warming half-smiles, my judgment of the institution soon changed. There was nothing I couldn't forgive if it brought Master Bruce any amount of happiness.

Especially since he'd been diligently ignoring my wishes of meeting someone for the last ten years.

Needless to say, I was pleased when the heroes from above showed us down below that those in positions of power can still be selflessly brave, in spite of the ludicrously costly equipment and construction and maintenance of that orbiting Watchtower that took such a toll on the Wayne family funds. It was a good thing Master Bruce has such a skill for investing, or the wealth of his forefathers would have been drained before the metal hideout had even made it into the atmosphere.

They were marvelous, and I for one feel safer in this barbaric and tumultuous world because of them. Of course, they only achieved such heights because of Master Bruce's expert organization. And his pocketbook.