Dick Grayson stands in front of a mirror adjusting his bow tie as Alfred grins behind him, "You never were good with those."
Dick chuckled a bit, "True. Though I wasn't really expecting to need one much anymore."
Alfred sighed a bit, " You know Bruce misses you. He'd never admit it of course, but he still sees you as a son."
Bruce Wayne stood in the entry way of Wayne Manor with a fake smile as he greeted guests to a Wayne foundation fund raiser. Across the room, Tim Drake sat bored as men three times his age droned on about business matters. He wondered why Bruce had invited him, he considered perhaps loosing Damian had something to do with it. Bruce had never been a happy man but lately he'd seemed especially depressed.
Tim's eyes went wide when Jason Todd entered. His jaw dropped when Bruce greeted him with a warm hug. Jason looked just as shocked as Bruce smiled, "Glad you could make it."
Dick came down the stairs with Alfred but stopped mid way, "Why is he here?"
Alfred noticed as he glared at Jason, "Master Bruce wanted you all here. I'd consider it a personal favor if you could remain civil."
Dick nodded, "I'd be more worried about Tim, if I were you."
Bruce's smile became genuine for a moment as he saw his three adopted sons came together in the middle of the room. Jason and Tim smiled through gritted teeth as Dick stepped between them, "Be nice boys, we have company."
Bruce began walking toward them but stopped as a vaguely familiar voice came from behind, "Excuse me, Mr. Wayne."
Bruce turned. He recognized the man but hit the floor before he had a chance to react. The man was gone before Bruce fell. Dick looked over as a crowd began to form and ran over with Jason and Tim close behind. He dropped to his knees when he saw Bruce on the floor and attempted to wake him. He checked for a pulse but he was gone.
Later as Bruce was being loaded into an ambulance as Commissioner Gordon pulled up. Dick met him as he got out, "I need to see the M.E's report as soon as you can."
Gordon looked caught off guard, "Why would I...."
Dick cut him off, " You don't need to pretend anymore, we know you know."
Gordon sighed, "So you think its a homicide?"
Dick just gave a stare, "Tell your Examiner to check the eyes."
As Dick walked back Tim stopped him, "You noticed the eyes too?"
Jason stood behind them, "Only a few guys can do that, even less can do it and get away unseen."
Dick nodded," And as far as I know, only two know Bruce's secret."
Tim's voice cracked a bit as he tried to keep his composure, "Are we sure his secret has anything to do with it."
Jason glared, "Suck it up, Drake."
Dick shoved Jason, "Back off."
Jason clinched his fist and seemed ready to fight when Alfred shouted them down, "This is neither the time, nor place."
Alfred stood shaking, with tears in his eyes, "He wanted his family whole again, he was finally going to give up this insane crusade. Damian's death was his wake up call."
He then wiped the tears from his eyes, "Someone stole his chance to make a real life for himself and we will do what we can to make sure they pay."
None of them had ever seen Alfred in this state. He glared with anger and pain at the ambulance as it pulled away, "Follow me."
After everyone left Alfred led Dick, Tim and Jason down to the Batcave. Tim turned on the computer as Dick ordered, "We're looking for someone with super human speed."
Jason cleared his throat, "Am I going to be the one to point it out."
Dick gave a sigh as Jason continued, "Someone with heat vision, can move fast enough to seem invisible and knows Bruce's secrets."
Dick nodded, "It crossed my mind. But it could have easily been a speedster with a laser or possibly some machine or magic. He's got plenty of enemies to choose from."
Tim looked up from the computer, "This is going to take a while."
Dick turned to the Nightwing uniform in a glass tube, "I guess I'm not done yet."
Arkham Assylum, The next day.
An orderly sits with a look of shock as Detective Bullock stands beside him, "What the hell happened?"
The orderly shrugged, "I don't know. He was sitting calmly watching the morning news then he just went berserk for no reason."
Bullock then looked over the bodies of Jonathan Crane and several other inmates along with two orderlies, "You think he had it in for Scarecrow?"
The orderly looked up, "I don't think he cared who it was, he was just pissed off and wanted to kill."
He looked over to Detective Montoya, "Why ain't the Bat on this?"
She shrugged, "Gordon just said he wasn't coming."
"Probably off with the underwear brigade again."
She gave a glare, "Well, we have a clown to track down."
He looked over to the television as a reporter spoke, "Bruce Wayne's death has been ruled a homicide but there is currently no further information."
Metropolis, The Daily Planet
Clark Kent came in as Lois was preparing to leave for the train station, "What's the rush?"
She looked up shaken, "I'm heading to Gotham. Bruce Wayne was murdered last night."
Dick woke with Tim and Alfred staring down at him, "What now?"
Tim looked to the door, "Jason's gone, and so is the jet."
"Any idea where he's headed?"
Alfred nodded, "Most likely, Metropolis."
Dick stood up, "Of course he is."
He then glared at Tim, "Let's go catch the dumb ass before he gets himself killed."
(To be continued)