In the main study at Wayne Manor, Dick Grayson and Helena Wayne were in the middle of a heated conversation.
“Did you really think that I wouldn’t have something to say about the new role in Gotham that you’ve taken on since the Crisis?!” Helena said to him as they were sitting across from one another. “The very least you could have done was to ask me how I would feel about all of this!”
“All about what, Helena?” Dick finally responded. “I’m simply doing what I’ve been trained to do since Bruce first took me in some forty-five years ago!” He got up and made his way across the study to the window. “Gotham City is as much my home town as it is yours. No matter where life has taken me, whether I was away at law school or when I served my term as the U.S. Ambassador in South Africa, in my heart, Gotham was home to me. It’s the first place I ever felt that way about. And I have Bruce to thank for feeling that way.”
“Dick, the way you feel about this city isn’t the issue,” Helena said, her voice slowly rising. “My problem is that you have taken it upon yourself to take up where Dad left off! You’ve moved back into the mansion, taken over the cave, redesigned the car, and don’t even get me started about the teenager you barely know and whose life you’ve endangered by introducing him to this lifestyle!”
“Now wait a minute, Helena!” he shouted as he turned to face her. “Jason’s a good kid! And while you may not agree with the fact that I’ve taken him in, I can guarantee you that his life now is a hell of a lot better than the life he was living while on the streets! And if anything, he’s also a hell of a lot safer under my wing than he would be had I left him alone to fend for himself out there.
“And let me explain something to you that I thought you would understand by now,” he continued as he started to calm down. “Gotham City needs someone to watch over her, and maybe because of what this town has meant to me over the years, the person to protect her is me!” He started to walk across the study to leave.
“Don’t you dare walk away from me! You can’t tell me that you didn’t see this conversation coming, Dick!” she shouted at Dick Grayson as he exited the study and headed toward the grandfather clock in the hallway. “For God sakes, I’m his daughter, and I have just as much right to his legacy as you do!” She started to follow him into the hallway. “Yet it seems you’ve chosen to ignore this fact and have taken it upon yourself to do what you want, without any regard to the ramifications!”
He finally stopped to face her, right in front of the grandfather clock that led to the Batcave. “Helena, if you aren’t willing to respect my decision or my feelings, then I guess it’s safe to say that this conversation is over.” He faced the clock and set the hands to midnight, watching as the clock’s glass door slid open.
As the secret entrance to the Batcave opened and Dick slowly entered the dark passageway, Helena reluctantly followed him.
“Richard Grayson, I hope that you don’t think that after that last comment you made, we’re even close to resolving this!” she said to Dick as they made their way down the stone steps into the main chamber of the cave. “The least you can do is tell me why you feel the need to continue this down here, of all places!”
Still walking down the chiseled steps, he turned and responded in a cool tone, “Helena, as much as I would love to entertain this ridiculous conversation you insist on continuing, I can’t. Unfortunately, I highly doubt that the criminal element running around this city is going to allow us the courtesy of finishing by taking the night off.”
As they made their way to the end of the stairwell, Helena saw the usually impatient Power Girl attempting to tutor Jason Todd, who was sitting in front of the monitor at the main computer console.
Kara Zor-L was the first to look up at the sound of Helena’s footsteps as she finally reached the main floor of the cave. A smile met Kara’s lips as she saw her best friend. “Hi, Helena,” she said with a small wave and walked over to meet them.
“Hey, Ms. Wayne, what’s up?” Jason said before turning back to the console. Dick walked over to Jason to check on his progress.
Ms? Helena thought to herself. Lord, how old does that make me feel?
“Hello, Jason,” she responded. “I see you’re getting up to speed with the cave’s system.”
“Yeah,” replied Jason, “P.G. has been teaching me the ropes and showing me why she gets paid the big bucks!”
“So, Helena,” Kara continued, “I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation you and Dick were having earlier. Not that I was eavesdropping or anything, but even without the benefit of superhearing, at times both of you could be heard down here.”
“I didn’t expect you to be here, or I would have been more careful about raising my voice,” Helena responded.
“Well,” Kara answered, “if I’m not at the office or on patrol, I’m usually somewhere around the house.”
Before Helena could respond to Kara’s statement, Dick Grayson joined them. “Helena,” he started to say, “my main reason for inviting you over here tonight wasn’t to get into this conversation that’s been obviously long overdue between us. But now that we’re down here, and both Kara and Jason can hear this as well, allow me to explain my side of things.”
Dick slowly walked over to Helena as he continued, “In no way was I or am I trying to rob you of Bruce’s legacy! That was never my intention. First of all, no one could replace Bruce, no one! And to even try could only be described as an act of disrespect. Secondly, Helena, you’re the sister I never had, and that means everything to me.
“As for what I’m doing here with the cave, Jason, the car, et cetera — everything I’m doing is simply the best way I can think of to honor and pay respect to the memory of my friend and my mentor, who I miss.” He walked over to her and continued, “And I want you to be a part of this as well. Because if you’re not, then it feels as if something is missing.
“It’s up to you and I to continue Bruce’s crusade. We need to remind scum like the Joker and all the other deviants that think that, because the Batman is dead, Gotham City is theirs for the taking. Well, they need to learn that they’re gravely mistaken! And the four of us are going to be the ones teaching them that lesson! Both Kara and Jason are a part of all of this as well.” He put his hands on Helena’s shoulders, looked in her eyes, and said, “Helena, you and I are… the legacy of the Bat!”
“Oh, Dick,” she said, “I’m so sorry for lashing out at you that way. I never should have doubted your actions.” She looked up at him. “I can understand Jason being a part of your plans, but if you don’t mind me asking you, what is Kara’s reasoning for being such a big part of this?”
Dick smiled over at Kara then, still smiling as he looked back to Helena, “Well, Helena, Kara actually plays a big part in my plans for now and the future. I mean, how could I possibly do all this unless my bride-to-be was going to be a part of all of this?” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Red Robin: Auld Lang Syne, Chapter 4: Eternal Youth.]
“What?!” Helena exclaimed.