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one shot, two shots in the night

Chapter Text

“I heard you’re finally back with us, B,” Dick says into the phone cradled between his cheek and shoulder.

Hrn.”

“Ha, there’s the grunting and monosyllables I missed!” Dick laughs. “It’s always weird seeing you with amnesia; it’s like Brucie-lite, except 24/7.”

It’s not much more enjoyable for me,” Bruce says.

“Yeah, I bet,” Dick hums. “Been there, done that. How’s your head?”

…Feels like Clark just got done pummeling it.”

“Thought so. Hey, you know, I had an idea.”

Hm?

“I was thinking. We’ve got contingency plans for just about everything, but when one of us gets amnesia it always catches us off-guard. What if we just…made a list of the important stuff? Like a timeline, or something?”

The ‘official’ version of events, you mean?” Bruce asks.

“Yeah,” Dick says. “We’re master liars, but it hardly helps when we don’t have a story prepared beforehand.”

It’s not a bad idea,” Bruce says. “I’ll put some thought into it.”

“Ha! Timmy’s not the only one who can come up with smart stuff,” Dick laughs. “It’s good talking to you, Bruce. Actually talking to you again, I mean. I missed you.”

It’s good talking to you again, too, Dick.”

“Ooh, that was almost fond. Well, I’ll let you go now,” Dick says. “I know you won’t listen to me, but a good sleep will help that headache much more than patrol or reading the case files you missed will.”

…Hrn.

“Love you too, B.”

 


 

 

…It wasn’t that bad of an idea, honestly.

Whenever one of them got amnesia, they rarely chose to tell the one affected about their vigilante lifestyle. Bruce could begrudge Alfred’s desire to “kill” Batman all he wanted, but the last time Dick had gotten amnesia he’d hardly hesitated when faced with the choice of either letting his son (however briefly) experience life without the pain and weight of past or telling him everything.

Even then, they’d been left scrambling when Bruce had come downstairs for breakfast with a black eye and stab wound to the shoulder that he hadn’t had the night before.

“We’re in an illegal fight club, but you can’t tell anyone because…it’s illegal” is not a very good excuse, it turns out, and “extreme sports” only works when the people you’re lying to aren’t actually living in the same house as you.

And honestly, it wouldn’t be that bad of an idea to have a timeline of events for the general public, one that isn’t just bits and pieces only explained to the press when absolutely necessary.

…Well, he’s never written a book before. How hard can it be?

 


 

 

Okay, so it turns out writing a memoir is a bit different from coming up with the tales he spins as Brucie. He reads celebrity autobiographies to get a feel for the genre, but the problem is that Bruce Wayne as a public figure is a bizarre mix between Bill Gates and Kim Kardashian West, so it’s kind of difficult figure out how to balance those two aspects of his life in writing. Brucie Wayne the goofy playboy and Bruce Wayne the airheaded but competent CEO rarely have to appear in the same room, after all.

(Besides, he’d hated both Bill Gates and the Kardashian sisters’ memoirs.)

“If I may, Master Bruce,” Alfred says when he shares with him his frustrations, “perhaps the aspect of yourself you should focus on presenting here is not of the socialite or businessman, but rather that of Bruce Wayne the father.”

“How so?”

“Any good story has a central theme,” Alfred says. “A memoir should be no different, especially since yours would be so heavily censored it would mostly be fictional anyway.”

“And you think fatherhood is the theme I should go for?” Bruce asks.

“Fatherhood is hardly a coherent theme,” Alfred says. “I was thinking something more along the lines of your love for and devotion to your family.”

“That’s awfully sentimental, Al,” Bruce says. Left unsaid is ‘I don’t know if I can do that.

“It would be rather fitting,” Alfred says. “You lost your family as a child, but built yourself a new one as an adult. You could talk about wanting to better yourself for your children; it would be a good excuse as to why you don’t date around as often anymore and have toned down on the drunkard act.”

“Hrn. I suppose it would be bad for me to become another Hugh Heffner.”

“I shudder to think of it.”

Bruce sighs.

“This seemed like such a good idea last week when Dick brought it up,” he says.

“Need I remind you that you haven’t committed to anything, yet?” Alfred asks dryly. “There is no contract. No one is forcing you to do this but yourself.”

“But it is a good idea,” Bruce says. He pinches the bridge of his nose. “I just don’t even know where to start.”

“The beginning is usually a good place,” Alfred says. “I recommend letting the old photo albums try to jog your memory.”

“You’re probably right,” Bruce says. He leans back in his chair and groans. “The League is going to be such a pain in my ass when they find out about this. Hal and Ollie are going to be particularly obnoxious.”

“I imagine Master Jason will be quite amused as well.”

Another groan.

“I don’t even want to think about that yet.”

 


 

 

He takes Alfred’s advice and starts with the photo albums. He flips through, and meticulously records what he can remember of the context for each photo. Alfred’s neat penmanship faithfully tells him the date and event of each photo, but there’s a difference between reading 5 April 1981 – Bruce attends his first Wayne Foundation Gala, and remembering the uncharacteristically hot spring weather, the way his miniature tuxedo had chafed at his neck, the smell of his father’s cologne as he leaned in close to do Bruce’s tie, and the way his mother’s soft hands had combed back his unruly curls.

It’s a struggle to remember more of the photos than he likes. Memories fade with time, after all, and childhood memories are often the first to go. He hates that he’ll never get to remember his parents from the perspective of an adult, that the closest he’ll ever get to knowing them outside of his idealized childhood memories is through Alfred’s stories and their journals.

19 February 1983 – Bruce receives a Gray Ghost action figure for his birthday.

The Bruce in this picture is seven years old, and grinning probably the widest he ever will in his life. He’d gotten a bike for his birthday that year as well, he remembers, but the Gray Ghost action figure had been his favorite present by far. He still has it, tucked away in one of the drawers of his bedside table.

There’s pictures from Halloweens, Hanukahs, first days of school, first times trying new foods, high society events, and more. Photos of Bruce being happier and healthier than he likely ever will again.

The photos drop off very abruptly two months after his eighth birthday.

Bruce thinks of the back of the door to his closet and the little labeled lines that crawl their way up the wood. How Bruce, 8 years old is written in his father’s hand, but Bruce, 9 years old is written in Alfred’s delicate script. He thinks of permission slips for school trips signed with Alfred’s name instead of his mother or father’s. He thinks of lonely dinners at an empty table, Alfred struggling over whether or not to break butler etiquette and sit with him. He thinks of a well-worn notebook tucked away in a security box of a small, local bank and the notes for how to move on that he’d written in it.

Disappear. Feel nothing. Let go of everything. Make them feel what I feel. Don’t let anybody else leave me.

He’d told Alfred he thought doing this would be a good idea, and he still believes it. Tactically, it makes sense to have a single consistent narrative to be able to reliably fall back on in the event of another amnesia spell.

What he hadn’t told Alfred, but what he imagines his oldest friend knows anyway, is that writing this will probably be good for him. It won’t be a true tell-all, but it will deal with some of his deepest grief, forcing him to confront it in a way he’s not sure he’s ever actually done before and bare it for strangers to see.

Pierce the skin, drain out the infection, let the healing process begin.

Chapter Text

“What’s this?” Dick asks a few weeks later when he finds Bruce sitting in bed surrounded by sheets of marked up paper.

“Did you need something?” Bruce asks, not looking up from where he’s scribbling a note in the margin of paper in front of him. They’ve taken a rare evening off from patrol thanks to an unexpected and particularly harsh storm that left Dick unwilling to make the drive back to Blüdhaven on his bike, but the usual reason for Dick coming to his room at night – nightmares – doesn’t seem to be an issue tonight.

“Nah, not really,” Dick says, flopping down to lay like a starfish next to Bruce. The bed is certainly big enough for it, though Dick’s nimble fingers poke irritatingly at his side. “Just not ready to sleep, yet, and Damian’s playing some online game with Jon that he doesn’t appreciate me distracting him from.”

“Hm,” Bruce says. “I’ll have to talk to him about how late it’s acceptable to stay up playing those things.”

“Hah!” Dick chuckles. “Now you sound like a real dad – those things will rot your brain, son!

“At least it’s not Pokémon,” Bruce says. Dick laughs as they both remember the days of Dick’s constant, endless chatter to Bruce about the strength and weaknesses of his various Pokémon teams. Dick thinks Bruce is lucky that Pokémon Go didn’t come out until after he moved out.

“Pokémon’s not that bad, B,” Dick says. “And frankly, I think Damian might like it. I wonder if I still have my old Gameboy and games tucked away somewhere…” he trails off, thinking for a moment, then jerks back to the conversation. “Anyway, that’s not what we were talking about. What’s all the papers? Doesn’t look like WE stuff.”

“Hrn,” Bruce intones. “I’m writing a memoir.”

Dick is silent for a long moment, long enough that Bruce looks over to see his eldest giving him a very confused look.

“I’m sorry,” Dick says at length, “did you just say you’re writing a memoir?

“It was your idea,” Bruce says. “An official version of events for the next time I get amnesia.”

“Bruce, I meant like a bullet point list on loose-leaf paper, or something, not a whole-ass book.” He lets out a harsh breath. “You really are an over-achiever.”

“Hm. I’ve been told.”

“Yeah? I wonder why.” Dick sighs. “How’s it going, then? Can I see?” Dick props himself up on one elbow, scooting closer to Bruce’s side to read some of the papers.

“I’m still drafting,” Bruce says, trying to keep the defensiveness out of his voice.

“I can see that,” Dick says. “This reads like a mission report. You gotta spruce it up, add some of that Brucie flair.”

“Obviously,” Bruce says. Easier said than done, though – Brucie is an exercise in improv comedy more than anything else. Writing as Brucie is proving more difficult than he expected.

“Wait a second,” Dick says, narrowing his eyes at the page Bruce is editing. “This happened with me, not Jason!”

“What are you talking about?” Bruce asks, looking down at what he’d written. “Of course it happened with Jason. I’d remember if it happened with you.”

“Clearly not! God, B, yet another example of you replacing me with Jason!”

“Are you – don’t be ridiculous!” Bruce snaps, though he can tell Dick doesn’t mean it as antagonistically as he would have five years ago. “I clearly remember – “

“Maybe it’s time to get your head checked, old man! Oh my god, I can’t believe this. I’m telling Jason.” He pulls out his phone and starts furiously typing.

“Good!” Bruce says. “He’ll just tell you that I’m right.”

That gets him a pointed look. Okay, yes, odds of Jason admitting Bruce is right about anything are incredibly low, but Bruce knows he’s right and he knows Jason would kill him for mixing him up with Dick.

Dick’s phone buzzes, and Dick gives a triumphant laugh.

“Ha!” he says, waving his phone in Bruce’s face, too close for him to be able to read the screen. “I’m right, you’re wrong! Care to question me and Jason?”

Bruce leans his head back, trying to read the rapid stream of messages from his second son as they come in. It appears to be a strongly worded rant lamenting Bruce’s inability to keep his “clone army” straight. He sighs.

“Okay, okay,” he says, furiously scribbling through the section of the story with red pen, marking it up to indicate it’s a Dick story, not a Jason story. Now he’s second-guessing the other stories he’s included.

“Bruce,” Dick says, still texting Jason. Bruce wishes Jason would text him, too.

“Hm?”

“You know it’s gonna be a bloodbath if you write about one of us more than the others, right?” Bruce feels his blood freeze. “Like, it doesn’t matter that I’ve been here the longest – Damian absolutely will make your life hell if you write even one page more about anyone else than him.”

“But – Duke’s barely been with us, and Damian knows how we can’t tell anyone about his childhood – “

“Yeah, and Steph’s gonna give you hell too if you leave her out of this, you know.”

Bruce pinches his nose.

“They do know this is supposed to be about my life, not theirs, right?”

“What life? You mean you think you have a life outside of us?” Dick grins ever so innocently.

“Right, right,” Bruce rolls his eyes. Point taken. “How could I be so foolish?”

Dick laughs.

 


 

 

The next time he boots up his laptop, he finds the Word document he’s been typing his draft in marked up with edits from Barbara. There’s corrections to his stories (it seems he’s mixed up his kids more than once, though how that’s possible, he’s not sure), notes about the timeline, and reminders of the official stories given to the press, along with general notes on standard writing things like tone and pacing.

At the bottom of the document, she’s left the contact info for a highly respected grief counselor. For once, he considers it.

 


 

 

“So,” Clark says as he and Bruce exit the conference room after the next League meeting. “Dick tells me you’re writing a memoir.”

“Hrn.”

“That’s excellent! I have a great editor I can put you in touch with, if you don’t have one already.”

“Hm. Send me their name.” Bruce has a few in mind already, but a recommendation from Clark shouldn’t be ignored.

“I can’t wait to read it when it comes out,” Clark says with a grin. “I’m surprised you’re doing it, though. I know it’ll be Bruce Wayne stuff only, but Bruce Wayne stuff only still has some really personal topics in it.”

He knows. The stuff he’s putting in about his parents, about Harvey and Tommy, about Jason – even edited, it still feels like he’s leaving himself too exposed. Compared to that, the brief chapter he’s penned as his official coming out feels minor and inconsequential. He sighs.

“It’s certainly not easy,” he says. “I have Alfred and Barbara double- and triple-checking everything I write.”

“Not Dick?” Clark asks with a wry grin.

“I let Dick read what I’ve written about him so far and he started crying.”

“Ah,” Clark chuckles. Dick comes from a household with extraordinarily high expectations where praise is rare, especially coming from Bruce. Of course reading anything remotely heartfelt about him written by Bruce would send him over the edge. The other stuff is probably a lot for Dick, too, given that he’s known Bruce longer than Clark and almost everyone else. “You know, I could read it too, if you want a third opinion.”

“Hm.” Bruce intones. “I’ll think about it.” It’s better than an outright ‘no,’ but Clark still suspects he won’t get to read a word until the book is on store shelves.

“You know,” Clark says, “It’ll never happen, but a Batman memoir would be really interesting to read.”

Bruce snorts. “Can you imagine?” he asks, picturing the chaos it would cause. The size of the bounty he’d have on his head if he released everything he knows about…well, everyone! It would have to be published after his death, for sure, and with special measures taken to ensure nothing could be traced back to his living allies.

"That'll be the day," Clark agrees. "But how's the writing going so far?" Bruce shrugs.

"I have an outline," he says. "It's fleshing it out that's proving more...challenging."

"Don't like talking about your feelings?" Clark asks with a knowing grin.

"That's one way to put it," Bruce grumbles. He sighs. "It...was supposed to be an easy project," he admits, "but...it's proving to be emotionally taxing. Alfred and Barbara think I should try therapy."

"Well it certainly wouldn't hurt," Clark says. "Bruce, I've known you for years. I've thought you needed therapy even before...Jason. Maybe it is time to seriously consider seeing someone."

Bruce scowls. Just the thought of the NDA forms any therapist he'd see would have to sign is already giving him a tension headache.

"Can I make a suggestion?" Clark asks. Bruce rolls his eyes, but nods. "Maybe...don't pick a therapist in Gotham."

"What? Why?" Bruce asks.

"Don't make that face," Clark chides. "One, you're rich enough that a little extra gas money won't hurt you. Two, it dramatically lowers the chances of your therapist ending up being another Haryley Quinn or Hugo Strange. And three, I just think you need to spend some time out of that city every now and then in a place where the sun actually reaches the ground."

"Metropolis asshole..." Bruce grouses. Clark laughs.

"But seriously, consider it, okay?"

"Hrn." Clark pats Bruce on the shoulder.

"Good talk!"

Chapter Text

“Jason wanted me to drop this off,” Tim says when he drops by one afternoon before patrol. He leaves a spiral bound notebook on Bruce’s desk.

Bruce glances over the rims of him reading glasses (he needs to preserve his eyesight, why won’t his kids stop laughing about them - ) at the notebook.

“Do you know what it is?” he asks. Tim shrugs.

“Said it was something for your memoir, I dunno.”

“Hm,” Bruce says, flipping the notebook open to glance at what’s written. Inside, he finds Jason’s spiky script listing in bullet points funny (and largely embarrassing on Bruce’s behalf) stories that he remembers from when he was a child.

On the inside front cover, there’s a sticky note that reads “So you don’t mix me up with Goldie again – J.” Glancing at what Jason’s thought to include, he feels his eyes start to burn. Quickly, he shuts the notebook and resolves to read it later in the privacy of his room where he can cry without there being too much of a threat of being walked in on.

“That reminds me,” Bruce says. “I let Dick read what I’ve written on him so far, and I’ve had Alfred and Barbara’s help editing, but would you like to read the what I’ve written on you?” Dick’s chapter was the easiest to write in terms of how he came to live in the manor; even Jason’s had required some careful fudging, and Damian’s story of how he came to join them is almost entirely fabricated. Tim’s chapter requires careful redactions since the public can’t know just how early on he was basically living with them.

Bruce has a brief moment of morbid gratitude that Jack Drake won’t see this memoir and take him to court over it. Only briefly, though, and he instantly feels guilty – no matter his opinions on how often the Drakes left Tim to his own devices, he knows their deaths were a huge blow to Tim. He won’t ever celebrate that.

“Ah – sure,” Tim says, accepting the stapled sheaf of paper Bruce passes to him over his desk. “Do you need this back by a specific time?”

“Not particularly,” Bruce says. He pauses. “I…wanted to ask,” he begins, then trails off. It’s an awkward question to ask.

“Yes?” Tim asks when Bruce doesn’t continue.

“I’m…putting a chapter in here on my sexuality,” he admits. The kids all know he’s bi, even though it’s something they haven’t discussed extensively. The (unfortunately, he grudgingly admits) brief fling he had with Clark before his own issues about intimacy got in the way is something all his kids are well-aware of, since Dick has complained at length about how Bruce's bullheaded stubbornness and refusal to effectively communicate his emotions robbed him from having Superman as a second dad. None of his kids will let him live down the fact that he had a one-night stand with Oliver Queen before he left for training, either. All his kids have also come out to him as one thing or another (save for Damian, but with the way his son has bonded with Jon Kent, Bruce suspects it’s only a matter of time). “I wanted to know if you’d be okay with me discussing you not being straight in it. Dick and Cass have given me their permission, but it’s completely up to you. You hold a much more visible position in society and the company than they do.”

“I’ll…think about it,” Tim says, lips pursed. He’s gone back and forth between identifying as bi and gay, struggling to solidly pin down his identity when his relationships coming to an end usually have more to do with trauma than incompatibility or the messiness of attraction, and Bruce can understand his reluctance to come out so publicly as one thing when there’s the chance he might realize a different label is more accurate later on.

“There’s no pressure, really,” Bruce repeats. “I won’t do it if it makes you feel uncomfortable.”

“Hm, respecting boundaries,” Tim says with a wry grin. “That’s a first.” His tone isn’t unkind, but it still hurts that any of his kids would ever think for even a second he’d out them without their permission. This, of all boundaries, is one he understands all too well.

“Even a broken clock is right twice a day,” he says instead.

“Indeed,” Tim says. “I’ll look this over and try to get it back to you soon.”

 


 

“So,” Duke begins one evening when and Bruce are alone in the Cave, “word on the bat-vine is you’re writing a memoir.”

“I am,” Bruce says. “It’s proving to be quite the undertaking.”

“Hah, I’ll bet,” Duke says. “By the time it’s done, do you think it’ll belong in the fiction or nonfiction section more?”

“Fiction, definitely,” Bruce says with a wry grin. “Even the parts from before I became Batman have to be adjusted.”

“You know, Dick told me that you take your coffee differently as Batman than you do as Bruce Wayne,” Duke says.

“Hrn. You’ll be delighted to know I eat my burgers differently as Batman than I do as Bruce Wayne, too,” Bruce replies. Why won’t his family leave him alone about the burger thing? It deserves its own chapter in his memoir just for how much they tease him about it.

“Thank god,” Duke says rolling his eyes. “But still. You are mighty dedicated to that mask, Bruce.”

“Some would even say it’s a flaw of mine,” Bruce says. People have made no secret of their opinion regarding his dedication to maintaining his secret identity.

“Personally, I still can’t get over the fact that you have a decoy stairwell that takes anyone who’s not part of the family down to a fake man cave.”

“I’ll have you know it’s not fake,” Bruce says with a lofty tilt of his chin. “Sometimes I do retreat there to hide from all the chaos your brothers stir up.” He notices Duke…it’s not a flinch, exactly, but there’s a definite response to Bruce calling the boys his brothers. “Duke,” he says, carefully, because this son is still so new, yet still equally precious, “I know you haven’t been with us that long, but I do consider you one of my sons, all the same.” He feels bad for protesting when Dick mentioned that his kids would riot if he gave any one of them more attention than the others, for saying it would be difficult considering how short a time Duke’s been with them. Duke is around the house more often than Damian has been lately (and ouch, that stings – his youngest is certainly starting to take after Dick in more ways than one), and once he’d started writing his chapter, Bruce had realized he had no shortage of material to work with.

“Thanks, Bruce,” Duke says, looking off to the side. He’s still feeling a little off-kilter about the adoption, finding himself in a family that’s chock full of history yet whose other members keep forgetting that he hasn’t always been part of it. Duke’s the first one they’ve had since…Tim, maybe, if Tim even counts, to have had a fairly normal childhood. It feels like a never-ending game of catch-up, but Bruce thinks Duke is doing fine.

“You know,” Bruce says, “You are in the memoir, too.”

“I am?” Duke blinks. “I…it’s…I’ve only been here for like, a year and a half, I figured - ”

“I have a chapter for each of my kids,” Bruce says. “That includes you.”

“Is there even enough to talk about? Outside of the masks, I mean.”

“You tell me,” Bruce replies. “Are the masks the only thing that have mattered the entire time you’ve been here?”

“No,” Duke says, flushing.

“I’ll give you the chapter I wrote on you,” Bruce says. “Look at it, read it over. Leave as many comments as you like – Dick thinks I should include them as footnotes in the final draft.”

“Okay,” Duke says.

“Duke,” Bruce says, “once you’re one of us, you’re one of us. I know we’re a little crazy around here, but you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t a little crazy too.”

“Heh,” Duke chuckles, “No sane person would’ve joined the Robins, I know that much.”

“There you have it,” Bruce says. “You should try talking to Tim, you know. He felt a little out of place in the beginning, too. I promise you, though – you belong here.”

“I’ll think about it,” Duke says. “Thanks, Bruce.”

 


 

Bruce isn’t too surprised when Jason shows up within the week to demand the chapter he wrote on him.

“I thought about it,” he says, fiddling with a Rubik’s cube he probably stole from Tim. “I don’t really wanna read it, but this way I get some say in whatever made-up BS you put out there. Plus, apparently I need to make sure you aren’t mixing me up with any of the others.”

Somehow, handing Jason the draft of the chapter he wrote on him feels more daunting than it did for his other kids. He wrote this chapter from the heart, but none of his from-the-heart statements to Jason have come out the way he intended or have actually reached his son ever since his return from the grave. This gesture is just as likely to further alienate Jason as it is to bring him a step closer to the family again.

Bruce shouldn’t be surprised when the draft comes back with large sections of it scribbled out with red ink. He shouldn’t be. But it still hurts to see just about every instance of him expressing his genuine affection for Jason crossed out with derogatory comments about how fake and unbelievable it is. The comment on Bruce’s inability to ever use the word ‘love’ also hurts something fierce.

Still, he makes many of the suggested edits. Jason always did have an eye for this kind of thing, after all, and it makes something twinge in his chest to think about how Jason should be in school right now, getting an English degree. What a shame that the one of his kids who loved school and getting an education the most is the only one who will never get a real chance at going as far with it as he wanted. He’s tried raising the issue of legally resurrecting Jason with him before, but Jason loves his legal nonexistence too much to give it up, and Bruce is too much of a pushover to force it.

He still can’t bring himself to use the word ‘love,’ but he does manage to put in a placeholder.

He’ll edit it in later.

 


 

This project has ended up being way more emotionally involved than he ever thought it could be. More than once, Bruce has found himself crying over the manuscript, tears dripping down onto the papers. Everything he writes down, every admission he makes, every sentiment he confesses to – it all becomes so much more real when it’s written down.

Maybe this is why he never took up journaling after his parents’ deaths, despite what Alfred and Leslie both recommended. He knows that narrative writing is one way to deal with trauma – that trauma disorders time, and narratives by definition require a comprehensible passage of time in order to have a legible plot.

Writing out the details of his parents’ murder is literally forcing himself to come to terms with the event and process it in a way he’s never had to before. Even though the version of Jason’s death he’s writing for the story is completely fictionalized, he’s still writing out the real events first so he can have a point of comparison and make sure none of the details in the fictionalized version are too incriminating. He knows the details of Jason’s death by heart, can recite the details of his son’s autopsy report perfectly, but writing it down – it’s leaving him wrecked.

He remembers the way he cradled Jason’s cooling body in his lap like some twisted parody of La Pieta, lungs itching from the smoke and debris digging into his legs where he knelt. Bruce remembers the way his trembling hands had caressed Jason’s beaten and swollen face, nearly unrecognizable from the damage the Joker had wrought, the way Jason’s fingers, resting on his stomach, were broken and twisted in different directions.

Jason’s death had been much more gruesome than his parents’.

Gunshot wound to the chest, gunshot wound to the neck. Bloody deaths, and not instant at all, but much quicker and less drawn out than Jason’s. He remembers the way his father gasped his and his mother’s names, his mother’s gurgling attempts at breathing, the way they reached their twitching hands out toward him as they took their final breaths and passed. Bruce remembers the way their blood cooled on his hands, deep red and growing tacky by the time Gordon and the other cops arrived. He remembers the kindness of Gordon’s coat over his shoulders, and it’s a kindness he won’t soon forget.

Considering how deeply he was in shock for both of these events, it’s amazing he remembers as much as he does.

The chapter on his parents’ deaths will include the police sketch of the perp, even though the image has been widely circulated for over twenty years with no positive ID. Hope springs eternal, as the saying goes, and even all these years later Bruce maintains hope that someone will finally step forward and give him closure.

Bruce takes Clark’s advice and finds a grief counselor from outside Gotham. He makes her sign several NDA forms before he ever says a word, and takes three meetings with her before he even actually opens up. He still can’t talk to anyone about the truth of Jason’s death, but he can admit now that speaking to the counselor, though painful, has proven to be ultimately beneficial.

She’s helping him tackle his issues with the word “love.” For all these years, the word has felt like a death sentence for whomever he says it to. He grew up terrified that he’d slip up with Alfred and then be out another father, and with Dick he knows that his inability to actually confess to the boy how much he meant to him played a large role in why his eldest left and then barely spoke to him for years. He’d tried to be clearer with Jason, but in the end, it didn’t do much to keep him from the grave.

It’s a lot to work through. Bruce isn’t sure he’ll ever be able to say things like “I love you” freely – he still regrets not even being able to say it when offering to adopt Dick – but with the counselor’s help he’s able to work his way towards writing the words.

One night, he’s even able to say the words when Alfred’s done stitching him up after patrol. He tries to look away and give the man some privacy as his hands shake and cheeks grow damp, but he vows – he has to try more often, if it drives the unshakeable, stiff-upper-lip Alfred to such a reaction.

If Alfred’s gentle but firm arms linger around his shoulders a little longer than necessary when guiding him to his feet that night, he doesn’t say anything.

 


 

Unlike the rest of his children, Cass doesn’t come to him first; she waits for him to come to her. Bruce appreciates that.

“I have your chapter,” he says, feeling almost shy as he hands it over. Cass has always understood him perfectly, but his thoughts expressed as written word will surely fall short of what he means to convey. He’s worried it will create misunderstandings.

“Hm,” she intones, glancing over the first page. She, like Dick, has picked up the habit of making that sound from him. “Read it to me?” she asks, looking up.

Though Cass’s speech is basically on par with the rest of the family’s by now, her reading abilities are slightly less developed (due more to her prioritizing other things over it more than anything else). That being said, Bruce knows she’s not asking him because she thinks she won’t understand – she wants to see how his words match up to his body. She wants to read his intent, and the meaning behind this sentimentality.

“Of course,” he says with a fond smile, the special one he saves just for her. She sits, while he stays standing. He clears his throat and begins.

“My daughter Cassandra is exceptional in a number of ways…”

 


 

“Father,” Damian says as they drive home from patrol. Bruce grunts. “Grayson has informed me that you are writing a…memoir, for your civilian persona. The others have made comments too.”

“Hm,” Bruce intones. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.”

“Why?” Damian asks.

“Well,” Bruce begins, then pauses. He’s been trying to figure out how to approach this topic in a way that’s least likely to get Damian riled up, and even now he’s wondering if he should put off the conversation and have Dick try it with him instead. But no, that’s cowardice, and probably bad parenting. “Since this is for my…civilian persona,” he says, feeling amusement at how Damian’s nose scrunches up and his lip curls at the mention, “certain…details will have to be altered. Covered up, even.”

“And? What are you saying?” Damian asks.

“Almost everything about your life up to and probably including when you first met me is going to have to be sanitized,” Bruce says. “We can’t let the general public have any reason to think the Waynes are attached to the League.”

“You’re going to lie about my mother?” Damian bristles at that, just like Bruce was afraid he would.

“Not…fully,” Bruce says. “I’ve already drafted the chapter about you, and I want your input on how to best shape this story. We can talk about it more at home when I have the chapter in front of me, but I thought it best to try and stay as truthful about your mother as possible without telling the full truth. Just Talia, not Talia al Ghul, if that is acceptable to you.”

“Hrn,” Damian intones (Bruce wishes that he got that habit from him, but he knows – Dick picked it up from him, and Damian picked it up from Dick while Dick was his Batman. It’s cute, but a bittersweet reminder of the time he missed with his youngest). “I will have to read the chapter to accurately judge just how acceptable this…libel about my mother is, I suppose, but it doesn’t sound too awful.”

“I hope not,” Bruce says.

“You must not make her out to be one of those simpering fools you normally drag along to all your events, though, understand?” Damian demands, like he’s the one in charge between the two of them. “My mother is a woman of honor, class, and intellect. She is powerful, and I will not have you pretend she is anywhere remotely similar to the women you use as your cover.”

“I understand,” Bruce says, feeling oddly chastised despite his amusement. He’s gotten so caught up in his anger at Talia for having the audacity to keep not one but two of his sons from him that sometimes he forgets that Damian is half hers too. Morals about killing aside, he really had loved Talia enough once that he’d thought she was the one, that they really would get married and spend the rest of their lives together.

He can’t afford to allow himself to be distracted by what-ifs. Harvey, the fighting with Dick, Jason, Clark, Talia, Selina – he could go on forever, list more than just one grave mistake per child, but he can’t get carried away, can’t get consumed by regrets.

“I’d have to ask the editor,” Bruce says, a thought occurring to him suddenly, “but how would you feel about having some of your art in the book? The study of the Manor you did last spring was excellent. We should showcase your talent.”

Bruce hopes he isn’t imagining the subtle pleased glow emanating from Damian.

“Ask your editor,” Damian says. “I have a few pieces in mind.”

 


 

Speaking with Damian reminds him that his youngest is not his only artistically minded child.

“Tim,” Bruce says, knocking on his son’s open bedroom door. Tim looks up from his work and pauses his music, removing his headphones. Bruce goes to sit on the side of his bed. “I was talking to Damian about the memoir, and I had an idea. I wanted to ask – do you have photos of the family?”

Tim raises an eyebrow.

“Do I have photos of the family,” he repeats flatly.

“Or – any photos at all, really, just – not the incriminating ones. Obviously.”

“Obviously.”

“Is there an echo in here?” Bruce raises an eyebrow back at Tim.

“I’d – I’d have to go through my boxes,” Tim sighs. “It’s been a while since I’ve done any photography, Bruce.”

“You were so good at it, though,” Bruce says.

“Yeah, well,” Tim shifts uncomfortably. “I…didn’t see much point in it after…people started dying.”

Bruce is quiet, feeling just as uncomfortable as Tim. His son has gotten better, recently, but he’s still noticeably more quiet and subdued, a little darker in mood than he had been back when Robin had still worn green tights and had counted gelled hair as part of his uniform. Even now, there are times Bruce worries about Tim and how well he’s really doing.

“Well,” Bruce says, awkwardly breaking the silence. “You had an eye for it. I still have to ask my editor, but…I wanted to show off your and Damian’s art.”

“Is this the billionaire’s version of hanging your kid’s drawings on the fridge?” Tim asks with a wry smirk. Bruce chuckles.

“Probably,” he says. “I’ve been told I’m an over-achiever.”

“Now isn’t that the truth. I guess I’ll go look through my stuff, though, if you’re really considering it.”

“I am,” Bruce says. “And I mean it, about you having talent. Maybe we could take some of the…more incriminating photos and have them blown up to hang in the Cave. I wouldn’t want them to waste away in a box forever, unappreciated by anyone.”

Bruce,” Tim hides his face. “I was so young when I took those pictures! I’m sure the composition for them is awful, and half of them are probably blurry, you’re just remembering them wrong – “

“Nonsense. I have a perfect memory.”

“Dick and Jason have literally been fighting for weeks over you mixing stories with them up in your drafts.”

“Hrn. That’s different.”

Tim runs a hand through his hair and lets out a deep sigh.

“Okay, Bruce,” he says. “You win. I’ll pull out my boxes tonight and see if there’s anything in there worth considering.”

“Hm. That’s what I thought.” He leans forward and gives Tim a peck on the forehead, then stands and leaves.

 


 

“BRUCE,” Stephanie shouts as she descends the stairs down to the Cave. He refuses to reward her excessive volume with acknowledgement. As with Dick, it doesn’t work. “BRUCE, YOU ASSHOLE.”

He sighs. “Why am I an asshole this time?” She comes to a stop next to him, hands on her hips.

“Tim and Cass told me you’re writing a memoir!” She says.

He still doesn’t understand her apparent outrage. “And?”

And I read their chapters, you know!” Ah, that explains her furious purple pen scribble in the margins of those chapters. “You barely mention me, you jerk! That’s what!”

“Most of our interactions are in our roles as vigilantes,” he says dryly. “I can’t exactly put that in the memoir.”

“You’re telling me you have nothing to say about me as the girl your son was dating who was pregnant by some other guy? Or nothing about the girl who was your daughter’s first friend and who said daughter is now dating? Nothing about that girl?”

Bruce raises an eyebrow. “You want me to mention the baby?”

“Well, no,” Steph admits. “I’d actually very much appreciate it if you didn’t mention that. But that’s beside the point! We all know if my mom hadn’t gotten her act together, I’d have been adoptee numero…four. Or five. You know, depending.”

“That would make your relationships with Tim and Cass incestuous,” Bruce says.

“UGH, BRUCE,” she laments, making a disgusted face. “Ew, why would you say that? Gross! Obviously I wouldn’t date either of them if you adopted me. I’m just saying that I’m basically one of your kids, but you certainly don’t act like it!”

Bruce feels a pang of guilt. He knows he’s done wrong by Stephanie, several times over. He knows she deserves more from him, more than she’d probably accept at this point. He should stop giving her such a hard time.

“Okay,” he says. “I’ll try to write you in more.”

“Oh, if you’re actually going to listen to my suggestions, I have another one.”

“Yes?”

“I think you should let me ghostwrite the rest of the book! Someone has to make sure your Batman grouchiness doesn’t shine through.”

Bruce pauses and contemplates that for a second. Lets himself really think about what that would look like.

“Absolutely not,” he says almost immediately.

“What!” she pouts.

“It’s my memoir,” he says. “I don’t want it to be in anyone else’s words.”

“That’s fair, I guess,” she says. “Just know you’re really missing out. If you let me get my hands on that, you’d have a masterpiece.”

“I’m sure,” he says with a dry smirk.

Maybe he will give her a draft just to see what she does with it.

 


 

“Well,” his editor, Nadia Greengrove, says to him after he submits his first full draft. “Whoever you’ve got ghost-writing for you better be getting paid well.”

“Of course,” he says smoothly, with a bland smile. The memoir is turning out to be more of a collaborative piece than he expected, but a not insignificant chunk of it is genuinely his own work.

(It doesn’t mean anything. Despite Clark’s comment from a few months ago, there will never be a Batman memoir written, officially published or not.)

“This is genuinely good,” Greengrove says. “Still rough, but it has real potential. I like the idea of leaving your kids’ comments in the footnotes, it adds authenticity to it.”

“That was Dick’s idea,” Bruce says. “The rest of them were, perhaps, a little overeager to contribute after he started doing it.”

“Maybe a bit,” Greengrove says with a small grin. “That being said, Mr. Wayne, this really is on the long side for a memoir, even for a man as important as you with so many interesting experiences in your life. I’ve left many comments in your draft, but the biggest issue we need to discuss is that this really needs to be trimmed down.”

“How so?” Bruce asks, not liking the sound of that.

“Well…” Greengrove looks uncomfortable. “Honestly, the first few chapters? The ones prior to your return to Gotham? They’re longer than they need to be. I’m not sure you need to dedicate almost fifteen whole pages to the act of your parents’ death alone. If this was a true crime book I’d say go for it, but it’s a memoir. Memoirs just aren’t the right genre for that amount of detail for that particular topic.”

“I…see,” Bruce manages.

“I’m not saying the event wasn’t significant to you, or that your reflections on it don’t need to be heard,” Greengrove rushes to say, clearly sensing his displeasure, “but your memoir as it is currently is just under 350 pages. Things need to be cut.”

“Hm. Are there any other areas you’d recommend?”

“Well, I noticed that you gave each of your children the exact same amount of space, even though Damian and Duke have been with you for far shorter a time than the others. Duke’s section especially is longer than it needs to be.”

“I’m afraid that’ll be non-negotiable,” Bruce says. “For one, my kids will have my neck if one of them gets even a paragraph more than the others. And as for Duke, we’re still trying to make him feel like he’s part of the family. The press has been…rather more neglectful of his presence compared to how they responded to my other adoptions, and I’m afraid it’s making him feel insecure about his position in the family. You understand, I’m sure?”

Greengrove is silent for a moment, then she nods. “I do, Mr. Wayne,” she says. “Just understand that if you’re unwilling to cut anything out there, you’re going to have to cut out a lot more in other places.”

“Is there a page count I should keep in mind as a goal?” he asks.

“I’d say around 320, but that’s pushing it. I want that to be an extreme case only.”

“Got it,” he says, nodding. “Now, the family and I were discussing the possibility of adding photos. Would that add to the page count, or would they not be included?”

“Hm,” Greengrove says, tapping her chin. “Send me a selection of the pictures you’re thinking of with some brief captions. I’ll consider it.”

“I’ll get on that,” Bruce says.

He’s already got a stack in mind.

Chapter Text

“So!” Dick says, patting Bruce on the shoulder. “Big day! Are you excited about the release?”

“Hm,” Bruce intones. A bit, though he doesn’t want to admit it. This project is the product of over a year of labor. So sue him if he’s a little anxious about how it’ll be received.

“Hey, don’t worry,” Dick says, smiling. “I’m sure people will love it. I mean, I loved the parts of it you let me read, so that has to count for something, right? I can’t wait to read the rest of it now that it’s finally out!” He pauses. “You will let me read the whole thing, right?”

“Hm,” Bruce smirks. “We’ll see.”

“You can’t stop me!” Dick says. “But hey, will you at least sign my copy?” He holds out a hardcover version and a pen, both of which Bruce takes.

After a moment’s hesitation, Bruce pens out a brief message.

Dick –

I’m honored to call you my son. Without you, I wouldn’t have the family we do now. My life has changed for the better thanks to you. Let this book serve as a reminder of how much I appreciate you for that.

Love,
Bruce

His sessions with grief counselor have done him wonders. He’s still a long way from feeling comfortable using the word “love” lightly, but at least it no longer feels like he’s sentencing everyone to whom he says the word to death.

He shuts the book and hands it back to Dick, who immediately tears up when he sees what Bruce has written. Wordlessly, he launches himself at his father and traps him in a hug that could give Clark a run for his money.

“Thank you, Bruce,” he says, voice thick. “I love you too.”

“I know, chum,” Bruce says back, bringing his arms up to return the hug. “I know.”

 


 

Bruce had gone to great lengths to keep the League as uninformed of his memoir as possible. Yet…

“…Lastly, this is your final reminder that the refrigerators in public spaces are for food only, and that you need to label what’s yours or else it’s fair game. Any final remarks?” Batman looks up from his itinerary to find several raised hands.

He narrows his eyes.

“Any final remarks that aren’t about my book?” The hands all go down.

“…Batman has a book?” Shazam asks. “Cool! Can I – “

“No.”

Shazam pouts. “You don’t even know what I was going to say!” he protests.

“It’s autobiographical,” Batman intones. “It has my real name on it.”

“Oh,” Shazam says, looking putout. “I guess that makes sense.” Green Arrow snorts.

“It’s basically all about his tragic origin story and his kids,” he says. “It’s totally obvious it’s him if you know.”

“Except for how emotional it was,” Hal rolls his eyes. “Did you get Superman to ghost write it for you?”

“He wrote it himself,” Superman says with a fond grin. “That’s all him.”

“I thought it was very touching,” Wonder Woman says.

Enough,” Batman says. “This isn’t relevant. Are there any final comments, or can we conclude the meeting?”

“Fine, fine,” Green Arrow says, waving a hand at Batman. “No final remarks. Meeting over.”

“…Okay, now that the meeting’s over, can we ask you questions? Maybe get you to sign our copies?” Flash asks.

No.”

 


 

Jason [12:37PM]:
HOLY SHIT OH MY GOD

Jason [12:37PM]:
LMFAO

Jason [12:37PM]:
IM CHANGING YOUR NAME IN
MY PHONE TO BEE GEE WAYNE

Jason [12:38PM]:
this is the greatest
day of my life lmaoooo

Bruce [12:38PM]:
I’m glad you draw such
amusement from my suffering.

 


 

Dick [2:13PM]:
huh.

Dick [2:13PM]:
so THAT’S when damian was
conceived, huh?

Bruce [2:14PM]:
Dick.

Bruce [2:14PM]:
PLEASE do not ask me
about my sex life.

Dick [2:15PM]:
YOU TOLD ME YOU WERE
GOING ON A BUSINESS TRIP

 


 

Oliver Queen [2:36PM]:
I can’t believe I let you publish that
thing about our one-night stand.

Oliver Queen [2:37PM]:
WHAT was I thinking???

Oliver Queen [2:37PM]:
Was being able to say “I fucked
Batman” really worth it???

Oliver Queen [2:38PM]:
Thanks for not making me seem
like a TOTAL ass, though.

Bruce [2:39PM]:
Technically, I wasn’t Batman yet.

Bruce [2:39PM]:
Technically, Clark is the only League
member who can say he fucked Batman.

Oliver Queen [2:39PM]:
Oh my GOD, don’t remind me.

 


 

The New York Times ✓ @nytimes · 4h
“A Shot in the Dark” remains on our bestseller list for the fourth week in a row! Read our review of @brucewayne’s tell-all memoir here: nyti.ms/3Fs9k2E

[Image attached: The cover for A Shot in the Dark. It is a section of the Wayne family portrait featuring Bruce, but cropping out his head.]

 


 

Table of Contents

I.        Forward - Alfred Pennyworth...i
II.       Before.....................................1
III.      A Moment Frozen in Time.......7
IV.     After........................................11
V.      Moving On...............................17
VI.     A Journey of Self-Discovery......28
VII.    Pride........................................35
VIII.   The Prodigal Son......................43
IX.     A Night at the Circus................68
X.      Harvey.....................................93
XI.     Jason.......................................103
XII.    After, the Reprise.....................128
XIII.   Third Time is a Pattern.............138
XIV.   No Man's Land.........................163
XV.    Addiction.................................183
XVI.   My Little Princess.....................193
XVII.  You Are the Father...................218
XVIII. The Newest Bundle of Joy.........243
XIX.   Reflections...............................268
XX.    Pictures....................................283
XXI.   Acknowledgements..................298

 


 

I. Forward
Alfred Pennyworth

There was a call. One phone call. That’s all it took. One phone call, and our lives were changed.

I had plans, plans that I felt were important at the time. I did not plan to stay in the Waynes’ employ forever. However, my intentions were of no consequence…

There are events one cannot plan for.

The deaths of Martha and Thomas Wayne were life-changing in more ways the one. I, certainly, found myself with an employment contract that was much more long term than I had planned, but it came at a great loss to the city, and, most importantly, to an innocent eight year old boy.

Many people only know Bruce as he is now – a somewhat goofy eccentric billionaire with a taste for extreme sports and a soft spot for orphaned children. A man with no shame, who finds his ridiculous exploits detailed in tabloids every other week, yet one who still possesses a cunning sense for business that has allowed him to grow his family’s already-sizeable company to the point that he is now in direct competition with the likes of LexCorp, Google, and Amazon.

I remember him as he was before that fateful call came. He was happy, always eager to please, and curious to the point of frustration. He wanted to know everything, which made it all the more difficult when I couldn’t provide a reasonable explanation for why his parents had been murdered in front of him and why their killer was never found.

I remember him as he was after that one fateful call came. He was miserable, alternating often between terrifying despondence and blistering hot fits of rage. He barely spoke for almost a year after his parents’ death. They were dark days, and I spent many long nights unable to sleep, worried I would never see him smile or laugh again.

-A Shot in the Dark, page i

 


 

Clark Kent @ckent · 2d
“A Shot in the Dark” offers an intimate, unexpected view into the life of one of the world’s most wealthy and notorious businessmen. @brucewayne stuns with this deeply personal illumination of his self. https://www.goodreads…

 


 

A Shot in the Dark
by Bruce Wayne (Goodreads Author)
★★★★☆ 4.12 · Rating details · 132,091 ratings · 13,521 reviews

An intimate, yet bold and unapologetic memoir from one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the world.

In a life marked by both terrible loss and awe-inspiring success, Bruce Wayne has become a household name thanks to both his incredible business acumen and absurd tabloid exploits alike. He is marked by his contradictions: incredibly wealthy yet outspokenly leftist, college dropout yet successful CEO, party boy yet devoted father – the list goes on. Again and again he has used his wealth and influence as a force for the greater good, both in Gotham City and worldwide. Here, for the first time, he gives us an inside look at the thoughts of the man behind several acts of gun control legislation, radical employee-centered business practices, unconventional parenthood, and financial support for Batman Inc. and the Justice League.

In his memoir, Bruce Wayne takes readers on a journey through his life. He describes cherished memories of his childhood before his parents’ senseless murder, the painful and soul-crushing recovery after, never before shared details of his mysterious globe trotting trip after dropping out of college, the trials and tribulations of balancing being a CEO and father, the loss of a child, and the general insanity of a life lived in one of America’s most notorious cities. Deeply honest, occasionally irreverent, and often shocking, a man who almost never does personal interviews finally lets the world see him in his own words. A Shot in the Dark is the story of a man grappling with love, life, and loss and his determination to do everything he can to make the world a better place.

--
GET A COPY

Kindle Store $14.99   Amazon   Stores    Libraries

--
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published June 18, 2018 by Penguin Random House

More details…

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COMMUNITY REVIEWS

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Oliver Queen rated it ★★★★☆ – Jul 7, 2018

Fuck you, now they’re gonna start hounding ME to write one of these things.

(I cried.)

1,372 likes · 23 comments

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Dick Grayson rated it ★★★★★ – Jun 25, 2018

BRUCE!!! I’m so proud of you I could cry. I HAVE cried. I’ve basically been crying nonstop since I opened the book. I can’t believe you made me wait until it was published to read any of the stuff about before you took me in! It was worth the wait, though, because this is, in a word, amazing. I can see the thought and love you put into this, and your special wit and humor shines through on almost every page …more

2,346 likes · 52 comments

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Peter rated it ★☆☆☆☆ – Jul 15, 2018

Fake, contrived, overly sentimental bullshit. This man can talk about “radical employee-centered business practices” all he wants, but at the end of the day he’s still one of the top ten wealthiest people in the world. He’s not doing enough until he’s not a billionaire anymore, AT THE VERY LEAST. At least he acknowledges that being born into his wealth is the only reason he’s so successful, though.

Everyone is talking about how “honest” this memoir is, yet there’s still so many places where Wayne is frustratingly vague and stingy with details (yes, I’m talking about Jason Todd’s death). I do, however, 100% believe that part about the one-night-stand with Oliver Queen …more

732 likes · 237 comments

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Terri rated it ★★★★★ – Jul 27, 2018

I know there’s a lot of controversy over Bruce Wayne. How genuine is he? How pure are his intentions, really? How close is he to becoming the second coming of Two Face? Etc., etc., etc. I don’t give a single flying fuck about that, because to me, Bruce Wayne will always be the one who gave a damn when no one else did, the one who saved my life.

Bruce Wayne talked me down from jumping off a roof. He paid for my therapy sessions after. He paid for the medication the doctors prescribed me. He gave me a job. He helped me turn my life around, and gave me a reason to live.

Needless to say, this book had me in tears. …more

3,923 likes · 584 comments

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JT rated it ★★★★☆ – Jul 15, 2018

Okay, old man, you got me to cry. The part about your trip around the world wasn’t half bad, either. Have you ever thought about actually saying some of this stuff to your kids face-to-face?

32 likes · 1 comment

 


 

Damian surprises him with a beautiful pastel portrait of the family. This one has Jason, Duke, and all the animals in it, unlike the official portrait that hangs in the foyer that they took the cover of the memoir from. He frames it and hangs it in his bedroom.

 


 

adrichouuu reblogged tumblingwalls

barely-human:

lots of interesting stuff to discuss re: bruce wayne’s memoir that came out last month. for those of you who are curious:

  • not much new information regarding the wayne murders and jason todd’s death, but some (frankly) heartbreaking personal remarks/introspection from wayne regarding both. if you’re dealing with loss of a parent or loss of a child, this book will fuck you up, but you’ll probably feel better at the end?
  • NONE. OF THE WAYNES. ARE STRAIGHT.
  • (ok the littlest one didn’t come out but there wasn’t any confirmation he was straight either and he's only like 13)
  • but basically: bruce wayne bi, richard grayson bi, jason todd was gay, cassandra cain-wayne is a lesbian (and dating a girl!), tim drake-wayne is [ambiguous hand wave] but dating a guy (WHOMST?? i have been trying to hunt the mysterious boyfriend down for days and I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHO HE IS), and duke thomas is bi!!
  • wayne had a fling with OLIVER QUEEN when they were in boarding school together lmfao
  • i'm starting a petition to get wayne to adopt me bc he clearly loves those kids to the end of the freaking earth, unlike my parents who still deadname me L M A O can i please get a trans-friendly daddy warbucks
  • GUYS. the harvey dent stuff was so upsetting ;__; really fascinating discussion of what happens to the people left behind when someone becomes a villain
  • wayne is four years sober from alcoholism! i’m so proud of him!
  • i’m interested to hear other people’s thoughts on how this affects/fits with the “bruce wayne is batman” theory

.

barnacles-babey:

on one hand: holy origin story, batman! i mean, jesus – we all know the story of the wayne murders, but given that wayne has more or less made a fool of himself every time he’s in public for as long as I can remember, the fact that it seems to be more of a result of (frankly horrific) trauma that he never went to therapy for than him actually just? being an idiot? suddenly him being batman doesn’t seem THAT far off when you consider his potential motivations. it raises some questions about the connections between todd’s death and the disappearance of the second robin, too.

on the other hand: i have SEEN batman in action. i’ve seen how totally fucking gnarly that dude is, and how gruff and mean he acts, and even seeing certain timeline things match up between batman and bruce wayne, it’s still really hard for me to reconcile the asshole that is batman with Gotham’s Actual Sweetheart bruce wayne. plus, it seems like a really weird choice for someone as paranoid as batman allegedly is to write a tell-all memoir. like even if we assume wayne is batman and all incriminating bat stuff has been scrubbed, the whole memoir is still really personal. it just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing batman would publish, you know?

tl;dr: i’m…divided.

Source: barely-human

#txt #waynes #books #on one hand i want to read this #on the other hand #as someone who lost her dad #i don’t want to cry

 


 

PinkNews @PinkNews · 5d
Holy coming out, Batman! Gotham’s favorite son AND his kids come out in Bruce Wayne’s memoir “A Shot in the Dark.” Dad of the year! [pride flag emoji] https://www.pinknews.co…

 


 

Duke took Bruce's advice to talk to Tim, it seems. The boys have grown rather close, lately, sharing case details and bonding over being middle children. They sabotage him with a hug sandwich shortly after they finish reading the memoir, squeezing him tight enough to make a fond chuckle bubble up out of his chest.

There's no words, just Bruce wrapping his arms around them in turn (in the words of Dick, he might as well "put his big beefy arms to use for something other than punching bad guys") and pressing a careful kiss to the top of each of their heads. If he comes away from the hug with suspicious damp spots on his shirt, no one says anything.

 


 

[Transcript from My Favorite Murder podcast, hosted by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff]

Georgia: Ooh, ooh, before we get into our cases this time, can I ask you real quick – have you read A Shot in the Dark yet?

Karen: The Bruce Wayne memoir? Uhhh, absolutely. How ‘bout you?

Georgia: Oh. My. God. I wasn’t expecting it to hit as hard as it did!

Karen: I know, right? I picked it up because I thought it might have more stuff on the Wayne murders or Jason Todd’s death, but the frank discussion of mental health and alcoholism really surprised me. [Laughter] I mean, coming from Bruce Wayne, of all people?

Georgia: It made me feel bad for all the times I’ve laughed at him over the stuff he’s done to get in the tabloids! I mean, how many stupid things have I done while high? And I don’t even have the excuse of the kind of trauma he’s dealt with. I mean…

Karen: Hey now, there’s no point comparing trauma. But I mean, if we were…God!

Georgia: His parents, Grayson’s parents, Harvey freakin’ Dent, his kid –

Karen: HARVEY FREAKIN’ DENT! Oh, fuck, wait, is he going to come after us for talking about him?

Georgia: Eh, we’re in California, and we refuse to go to Gotham on any of our tour stops anyway. We’re probably safe?

Karen: Ha! Sorry, Gotham peeps, but you understand, right? Anyway, I hope so. But – Harvey Dent, jee-ZUS. I mean, shit – who really pays attention to the news coming out of Gotham 98% of the time? I had no idea half these villains existed, let alone the Harvey Dent/Two Face connection.

Georgia: I mean, I have definitely gone down a deep dark hole of Wikipedia entries on Gotham villains once or twice, so I knew, but I didn't really know about his connection to Wayne, if you get what I mean?

Karen: Yeah, I mean, god - poor Wayne, you lose your parents, then your best friend as a kid dies, then your best friend as an adult becomes one of the most batshit - whoops, haha, pun not intended - craziest villains in Gotham, I mean? It's a miracle Wayne hasn't become a villain himself!

Georgia: If I wasn’t already going to therapy, I’d have booked myself an appointment the second I finished reading this memoir. How people actually live in Gotham, I have no fucking clue. The book was good, though. I wasn’t expecting it to be good, but it was…

 


 

Cass gets him with a flying tackle hug, knocking him to the floor on his way down to breakfast one morning. She gives him a quick kiss on the cheek, then runs off to join the rest of her siblings that spent the night in the kitchen, leaving him to get up himself. His bones creak and he groans from the stiffness of his muscles, but he's smiling when he takes his seat at the table.

 


 

Stephanie [3:12PM]:
I still think I deserved my own
chapter, for the record.

Stephanie [3:12PM]:
...But other than that it was
pretty good.

Bruce [3:13PM]:
Thank you, Stephanie.

Stephanie [3:13PM]:
DON'T get used to the praise.

Stephanie [3:13PM]:
It won't happen again!

Bruce [3:13PM]:
Of course.

Bruce [3:14PM]:
[purple heart emoji]

Stephanie [3:14PM]:
SLDKFDKJFLDKJF

Stephanie [3:14PM]:
WHAT!!!! YOU KNOW HOW
TO USE EMOJIS???

Stephanie [4:09PM]:
...COME ON.

 


 

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
I know Gotham is ~crazy~ and the news coming out of here is impossible to keep up with, but – look. In honor of Bruce Wayne’s memoir being released, I wanted to talk about the efforts he’s made for gun safety in one of America’s most dangerous cities.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
Like any other city hosting a superhero, Gotham City, NJ has a bloated crime rate. Unlike many other “superhero cities,” though, Gotham’s crime rate was awful long before Batman showed up on the scene.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
Despite the fact that Gotham has the likes of the Joker, Penguin, Killer Croc, and more running around, gun violence still tops villainy when it comes to the crime statistics.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
Muggings, armed robbery, gang violence, even school shootings – there was a particularly unsettling school shooting at Middletown High a few months ago whose perpetrators you may remember being a knock-off Joker gang.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
That being said, Bruce Wayne has been a notable advocate for gun control since he was a child.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
It started out with protests, but when he returned from his eat pray love journey around the world, he started throwing the full weight of his company and influence behind actual legislative change:

[Attached images: The first is a picture of fifteen year old Bruce Wayne in the middle of a march; he has a sign held above his head that reads “NO MORE ORPHANS.” The second image is a screencap of a news headline from the Gotham Gazette that reads “Wayne Enterprises cuts all ties with gun manufacturers, NRA.”]

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
In recent years, he’s provided each student with one of those backpacks that has a bulletproof board in it and, once WayneTech began manufacturing them, bulletproof hoodies.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
Bulletproof items and clothing are EXPENSIVE, and Wayne literally pays for these out of pocket. Students get to keep them whether they graduate or not, and get a new one if/when they grow out of their old one.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
Thanks to Wayne’s efforts, it is now illegal in Gotham to keep a firearm at home without a gun safe. If you want to buy a gun, there’s a mandatory week long waiting period plus a background check.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
Now, granted, corruption in Gotham is rampant, and a lot of these measures rely on a bureaucracy that works in order to be truly effective. But having these measures is better than none at all, and gun crime rates ARE going down.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
Most importantly, deaths by gun violence are going down. Fewer children died from gun violence, accidental or otherwise, last year than ever before.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
He covers hospital bills for shooting survivors and funeral costs for victims. He's vowed that no one will have to choose between staying alive and falling into unrecoverable debt.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
This is not to say that Wayne deserves ALL the credit for the progress made. He works extensively with grassroots leaders to cover costs, help organize, and even provide financial support during strikes.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
And all this, because his parents were shot in front of him as a child and he didn’t want any other kid to have to go through something like that again.

Gemma K. @4caratG · 5h
Batman whomst? Bruce Wayne is the real hero of Gotham City.

 


 

“Hey, Bruce,” Dick says, not looking up from a folder of papers as he strides into one of the living rooms, “Alfred said you were in here. Can I get your opinion – “

He looks up and pauses.

A very grumpy looking Bruce is currently the cream in a Clark and Diana Oreo sandwich on one of the couches.

“I can, uh, come back later?”

“Don’t you dare leave me here with them,” Bruce hisses.

“Dick!” Diana says with a warm smile. “Come join us.”

“We read Bruce’s memoir,” Clark says by way of explanation. “And then we realized Bruce is getting old, and…”

“You freaked?” Dick asks with an amused laugh. Clark and Diana grin sheepishly. “Well, who am I to turn down a hug from the Trinity?” Dick says, and, much to Bruce’s consternation, moves to join them by sitting right on Bruce’s lap.

“This isn’t what I meant by ‘don’t leave me,’” he grumbles.

“Shut up, old man,” Dick teases. “You can’t pretend to be a hard-ass anymore; I read that book too. I know how much you love us.” He wiggles for a second, then pulls out his phone. “Hey, selfie?”

“Say ‘justice!’” Diana says with a grin, and Dick snaps a pic of them smiling (except Bruce) and a pic of them all making goofy faces (including Bruce).

“Send that to me, please,” Clark says.

“Oh, the whole Justice League is getting copies of this,” Dick says. Jason’s already pinging his phone with cry-laughing emojis and accusations that he’s rude bastard for hanging out with Diana without him.

“Don’t you dare,” Bruce says.

“Hm, too late,” Dick says, tucking his phone away and snuggling into the Trinity Hug.

“Dick. You are a grown man.”

“And you’re an old man, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still deserve hugs. Shut up and accept our love, Bruce.”

“Yeah, Bruce,” Clark says with a laugh. “Shut up and accept our love.”

 


 

For Alfred and Leslie, for being there when no one else was.

For Dick, Jay, Tim, Cassie, Damian, and Duke, for being the light in my darkness.

For Mom and Dad. I hope I make you proud.

 


 

XIX. Reflections

Sometimes, I look at my kids and think raising them is the only good thing I’ve ever done. It seems silly, coming from me, a billionaire, but it's so easy to forget sometimes living in a city like Gotham when every step forward is almost always followed by two steps back. I've poured millions into building low-income housing, community centers, grocery stores, anything I can think of to help this city's vulnerable populations - yet for each new building, there always seems to be at least two older ones destroyed by villains.

My children, however - in them, I can see hope, passion for change, and the will necessary to make it happen. I can see a legacy that will outlive me, the assurance that when I die, my causes will not be abandoned.

-A Shot in the Dark, page 268