Bruce worked a bit in his study after dinner had been served. Dick had wanted to watch a movie, and Andrea had said she’d watch it with him. So, since Bruce didn’t want to see it, he’d left them to it.
He’d soon been lost in his work, remembering who he was, at least as far as who he was in business. At midnight though, he’d yawned and headed for bed, figuring he might go to his office the next day and feel out things there. Maybe something would jog more memories.
Once he was in bed, though, sleep refused to come. He’d tossed and turned until he became annoyed with himself. So, sitting up, he grabbed his laptop and booted it up. He looked over the latest news reports that spoke of seeing him and Dick out that day had made the news. He smiled at the picture of him and Dick hugging next to his bright red car.
He then found an article about a mugging that had happened the night after Andrea found him in the alley. A frown crossed his face as he looked at the photos of the crime scene. A man had been shot and killed. All his valuables were stolen, along with his shoes.
A memory flashed suddenly of him as a child, of his parents being murdered in front of him. His head began to slightly pound as he continued to see his memories as if they were on a movie screen. Reaching up, he grabbed his head in both hands as the screen of memories suddenly stopped. He rubbed lightly on his temples until the pain receded a bit.
After a moment, the pain seemed to be gone, so he decided to look up Batman. He had to admit to being curious about the caped crusader, so now was as good a time as any to satisfy his curiosity.
With just a few short clicks, he brought up a couple of articles about things Batman had done along with pictures. Bruce frowned at one of the pictures on his computer screen.
Batman was wearing all black, a cape and a pointy-eared mask included. He was standing in front of a car dubbed ‘the bat mobile’ and had a fearsome look on what little of his face you could see.
Taking it all in, Bruce decided that either Batman was rich or had a wealthy benefactor because the car behind him was expensive. The outfit he was wearing couldn’t be cheap either because it looked as if it was custom-made.
Bruce hissed as another pain shot through his head, along with another flash of memory.
It was a memory of the clown man in the purple suit. The clown was maniacally laughing as he yelled, “I’ve already gotten away with it, Bat Boob! You and the Boy Blunder won’t stop me this time!”. The clown had a woman next to him. She was dressed strangely, like the pictures of a joker on a deck of cards. She laughed a high-pitched laugh before saying, “You tell him, puddin’!”
Bruce shook his head, which made the pain escalate. This caused the memory to fade, but another memory took its place.
In this memory, he seemed to be flying off the top of a building. He managed to land on the back of a motorcycle parked in an alleyway. He took off, roaring down the street with another bike beside him. On that motorcycle was a boy dressed in a strange costume of red and green and wearing a yellow cape.
“They can’t have gone too far, Batman.”
“Right, Robin, you go left, and I’ll go right. We’ll cut them off on the next intersection.”
The pain was unbearable, and he felt like screaming with it. Unable to stand it, he groaned, saying, “Batman. Who is Batman, and why do these memories make it seem as if he is me?”
Standing up, he staggered to his door. He needed help because this couldn’t be normal. The pain was unreal, and he shouldn’t be having memories of being Batman. He couldn’t be Batman.
Opening the door, he stumbled out, black spots in his vision making it hard to see, but he persevered and made his way down the hall. The house was still and silent, and everyone was in their beds as they should be. So, he stopped at Andrea’s door. Opening the door, he called out, “Andrea?”
Staggering further inside the room, still holding his head, he called out again, “Andrea?”
“Bruce? What are you doing up? Are you alright?” Andrea called out softly in a sleepy voice.
Bruce heard covers move, and in the dim light coming through the window, he saw her sit up. So, he told her, “It hurts, it hurts so bad.”
Andrea got out of the bed and put her arm around him. She helped him to sit down on the edge of her bed as she asked, “What hurts, Bruce?”
“My head, my memories are coming back but with extreme pain,” Bruce grunted as another pain shot through his head. “This can’t be normal. I shouldn’t be in pain.”
“No, there shouldn’t be,” Andrea agreed. “Bruce, I think the reason for the pain is because you’re fighting it. Somewhere deep inside, you don’t want your memories back, so you fight it, causing pain. You can’t fight the inevitable, Bruce. You need to relax and let the memories come.”
Bruce looked up into her eyes, her face blurry from the pain he felt. “Andrea, the memories I thought I saw… they can’t be right.”
“What do you mean they can’t be right?”
“They can’t be real. These memories can’t be mine,” Bruce told her.
“Tell me, why can’t they be real? It’s not like you would be seeing someone else’s memories. They had to be real no matter what you saw. They are your memories Bruce,” Andrea told him as she rubbed his back soothingly.
Bruce shook his head. “No, they can’t be! In my mind, I saw myself as Batman. I can’t be Batman, Andrea!”
Andrea’s hand on his back went still, and Bruce brought his eyes back up to her face. Andrea’s eyes were wide as she stared at him silently.
“You… you’re Batman?” Andrea asked in a shaky voice.
“I-I don’t know, but if what I remember was a real memory—” Bruce stopped talking and swallowed hard. “Then, yes, I think I might be.”
“Do you think Alfred or Richard know?”
“There was a boy with me; I called him Robin,” Bruce admitted as he rubbed the back of his head. “Perhaps Dick is Robin?”
“That would make sense,” Andrea sighed. “Let’s try to get some sleep. We’ll talk to Richard in the morning, feel him out, see if he knows.”
Bruce nodded and asked, “Andrea, can I stay in here with you? I don’t want to be alone right now.”
Andrea gave him a soft smile and climbed into bed. Patting the mattress, she said, “Hop in.”
Bruce did as he was told, and within just a few moments of snuggling up with her, they were both asleep.
The following day, Dick was halfway down the stairs when he saw Alfred. So, he asked, “Alfred, have you seen Bruce?”
Alfred, heading for the kitchen, stopped and looked up as he said, “No, I have not seen him yet this morning, young Master Dick. Have you tried his study? He does tend to fall asleep there.”
“Yeah, that was the first place I checked after I looked in his room,” Dick said. “I’ve pretty much looked everywhere, but he… oh.”
“Oh, what?” Alfred asked.
“I didn’t look in Andrea’s room, but surely he isn’t there,” Dick said as he looked back at the closed door.
“I don’t know why he would be. They didn’t seem to be more to each other than friends, if even that after three days,” Alfred said.
Dick turned to go back up the stairs as he said, “You didn’t see them flirting in the car. You also didn’t see the smile she put on Bruce’s face.”
“Oh, I saw the smiles.” Alfred followed Dick up the stairs as he said, “However, I didn’t see the flirting. I do agree, though, and she does seem to make Master Bruce happy.”
Dick stopped outside Andrea’s door and noticed that it wasn’t completely closed.
Alfred, seeing the look in young Dick’s eyes, said, “Perhaps you should…”
Dick pushed the door open.
“Knock,” Alfred finished with a heavy sigh.
Dick turned and gave Alfred a big grin. “Where is the fun in that?”
Alfred shook his head and said no more.
Dick poked his head in the door and not hearing or seeing anything. He pushed it further open. Laying on the bed, on his side and snuggled up behind Andrea, was his missing guardian. Dick noticed the pushed-down covers, and although Bruce was shirtless, Andrea had on a t-shirt that completely covered her. So, nothing intimate had happened anyway, but he figured it was just a matter of time.
Walking closer, Dick thought he would shake Bruce awake. Bruce needed to get up if he planned to be to work on time. Reaching out, Dick went to lay his hand on Bruce’s shoulder as he called out, “Bruce.”
Suddenly, Bruce’s hand shot out and grabbed hold of Dick’s hand.
Dick winced but managed not to holler at the tight grip.
“How many times have I told you, always pay attention to the breathing?” Bruce asked in a stern tone. “You never know if someone is truly asleep or not, and it could get you killed.”
Dick stared down at the man on the bed, not sure if he even knew who he was anymore. Yesterday he had been joking and laughing, yet now he was back to being… being Batman.
Has he finally remembered who he is?