Christmas Eve, 1988:
“And that’s how Dad and I spent our last Christmas together.”
Helena Wayne lay her head back on the sofa, eyes closed. “Hard to believe it’s been ten years.”
“Is that why people know the Huntress is Batman’s daughter?” Helena straightened up and looked at her adopted daughter, Sonia Wayne. “You told the fire chief that he was your father.”
“I never really thought about it much. It wasn’t until after Dad’s death that many people seemed to make the connection, though. Eventually, the Justice Society mentioned it in one of their press releases.”
“Did you ever hear from any of them after that?” asked Sonia.
“Greg Robertson called me a few times, once to ask me to an office party and a couple of times just to talk. He even invited me to his wedding, but I wasn’t able to go.” Helena closed her eyes as she tried to remember. “Alfred got to know the Dillons pretty well. I remember him saying that Sarah passed away about five years ago, and that Paul had moved to Metropolis to live with their daughter. I know Ted Evans wound up working for Charlie Wainright, and he was one of the employees who got together to buy the store from his children after he died. Otherwise, there probably wouldn’t be a Wainrights anymore.”
“Neither of the girls ever got to come out and ride the horses, did they?”
“No. I expect that, when Dad died a little over a month later, their parents probably felt it wouldn’t be a good idea.”
“And Trista figured out that your father was Batman?” Sonia shook her head. “Isn’t that, like, not allowed or something?”
Helena laughed, drawing her adopted daughter closer. “It’s unusual. But Dad used to tell me the Batman was supposed to scare those who had something to hide, not the people he was protecting. I think he pulled that off most of the time, and kids see things that adults don’t notice.”
“That means there’s a teenaged girl out there who know that you’re the Huntress, doesn’t it?”
“I suppose it does. Sounds like the set-up for a new super-villain, doesn’t it?” Helena nudged Sonia aside and started to get up from the sofa. “As far as I know, she’s never told anyone. Now, I think it’s time for both of us to get to sleep.”
Sonia looked at the clock on the wall. “Hey, it’s after midnight. Merry Christmas, Mom!”
“Merry Christmas, Sonia,” replied Helena, pulling the girl up from the couch and into her arms.
Looking over her mother’s shoulder at a picture of the grandparents she would only know through the stories told of them, Sonia said very quietly, “Merry Christmas, Grandpa Batman.”