Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick
Continuities: Comics Silver Age, Comics Bronze Age
Series Notes: Well, it’s no secret that I absolutely love Darwyn Cooke’s The New Frontier! As I read it I got all sorts of ideas, and will collect them under the umbrella title, The New Frontier. Stories could range from slash to (gasp!) gen and het. :) I’d like to focus on many different characters within the framework of The New Frontier universe, or use it as a jumping-off point. All stories can be found here.
Genres: Challenge, Drama, Historical
Rating (this chapter): G
Claim: For my 2017 Bruce/Dick Bingo Card.
Pattern: Row C (Straight/Vertical Line Bingo) (3/3)
Prompt Count: (3/9)
General Summary: When the world around you is going crazy, time to grab the ones you love and hold on tight.
Chapter Summary: In 1963, the future looks bright.
Date Of Completion: March 19, 2017
Date Of Posting: May 3, 2017
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count (this chapter): 686
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
THE TASTE OF FREEDOM
We’re gonna take real soon
We’re waxing down our surfboards
We can’t wait for June
We’ll all be gone for the summer
We’re on surfari to stay
Tell the teacher we’re surfin’
The Beach Boys
In the summer of 1963, demonstrations for the civil rights movement continued, with some violence (usually initiated by the non-violent protesters’ enemies), but culminating in the historic March On Washington on August 28th. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, and the President met with him and the March organizers in the White House.
In the summer of 1963, the President signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on August 5th, and a summer of weekends turned sad as the Kennedys’ third child, Patrick, was born prematurely in August, dying soon after because of respiratory complications.
In the summer of 1963, The Beatles were still honing their craft in Europe. In the U.S., The Beach Boys were singing Surfin’ U.S.A. and Surfer Girl, The Crystals released Da Doo Ron Ron, Lesley Gore wailed about It’s My Party (And I’ll Cry If I Want To), and Peter, Paul And Mary crooned Puff, The Magic Dragon and Blowin’ In The Wind.
By the autumn of 1963, Rob Petrie was still tripping over that ottoman in the opening credits of The Dick Van Dyke Show, My Favorite Martian snarked, and the Cartwrights not only ruled the Ponderosa but the ratings as well.
And Dick Grayson was 16 and starting his junior year of high school.
He and Batman were coming back from patrol early one September morning as Batman drove the familiar country roads.
“Do you think that peace really has a chance?”
Batman looked over at his earnest young partner. Robin had always been mature for his age. “I do.”
“Even after they built the Berlin Wall a couple of summers ago and things got tense when the military went on alert?”
“Yes. The President handled that all right, didn’t he?” Batman gently swerved to avoid a squirrel in the road.
“And didn’t he save us from nuclear war last year during the Cuban Missile Crisis?”
Batman had suspected that despite the presence of Superman and Supergirl during that crisis, the world had still been in grave danger. Later during a meeting of their civilian identities, Clark had confirmed it, a haunted look in his otherworldly blue eyes.
“Linda and I couldn’t have stopped all the missiles, Bruce. Some would have gotten through.”
In that moment, Bruce realized that Clark had been the closest he had ever been to becoming a dictator. If taking over the world saved it from blowing up, why wouldn’t Clark do it?
“You mean the Test Ban Treaty?”
“The treaty JFK signed with the Russians. He’s really trying, isn’t he?”
Batman smiled. “You met him as Robin and Dick more than once. What do you think?”
“That he’s a good guy.”
“Yes, he is.”
Robin ran a gloved finger over the dashboard. “That march last month in Washington was really something.”
Batman expertly handled a steep curve as they drew closer to home. “Gives you hope, doesn’t it?” Sometimes he had his doubts, but the spirit of optimism that the President exuded even influenced his natural pessimism.
“Very much.” Robin flashed his trademark grin. “We can do anything if we try hard enough.”
“My generation. Americans.” Robin gestured expansively. “Anyone who wants to be free.”
“Does that include the Teen Titans?”
Robin laughed. “You bet!”
Batman smiled. Maybe people in this decade could make a difference. Old injustices could finally be dealt with, and new challenges like space taken on.
He glanced at Robin. He hoped that the teen would never lose his sense of hope and wonder.
You’re very special, Dick. Don’t let the world drag you down. We’ve got a real chance to do great things as a country.
As the Batmobile slipped under the waterfall into the Batcave, Batman held Robin’s joy close to his heart.
This entry has been cross-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment on either entry as you wish. :)