Title: Castle In The Clouds I: The Heir (2/6)
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: Robin is the heir to the mantle of the Bat, but Dick is also
the heir to the Wayne legacy.
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Date Of Completion: February 19, 2007
Date Of Posting: February 24, 2007Word Count: 1192
THE OTHER FAMILY BUSINESS
Silence filled the Batmobile, but it was not an uncomfortable one. Often when they were out on patrol, words were few. Dick was all right with that. When you were out amongst the scum of Gotham, you had to keep your concentration.
Snow glittered in the countryside, gradually turning brown and dirty as they approached the city. Batman turned on the police radio and they glided along their route, the cold of a January night frosting the Batmobile’s windows. The interior of the car was warm. Batman might be a stickler for ‘roughing it’ when they had to, but he didn’t see a reason why they should freeze when they had a perfectly good heater. Dick was grateful for that.
He had slipped on Robin as easily as he had put on his costume. He allowed himself to fully become Robin now, quietly placing Dick in reserve, ready for him to come out when it was necessary.
The police radio was quiet, so they decided to stick to their pre-planned patrol. The Batmobile was parked in a section of woods right outside the city as they took to the treetops that eventually changed to rooftops.
Robin thrilled in the cold air rushing over him as he flew. It wasn’t Superman flight, to be sure, but it was a type of flying that excited him nearly as much. Winging over the city, he and Batman kept their eyes open for any nefarious activity.
Gotham could be beautiful in the winter. Despite the slushy snow on the streets, the frost on the windows and the cold, clear night full of stars held its own beauty. Robin liked the more futuristic architecture in Metropolis, fitting for her protector, the Man of Tomorrow, and all the light and open spaces, but he loved Gotham deep in his heart. Despite the gloom and shadows, the old-fashioned buildings and more confined spaces, it had a rich history that he had delved into, wanting to learn more about the city that had such a hold on the man he loved.
He had discovered how rooted the Wayne family was in the city. They had settled here in the 1600s, back when it was just a village on the windswept East Coast, and had been instrumental in transforming that small village into one of the most famous cities in America. Branches of the Wayne family had spread out around the country, but all roads led back to Wayne Manor on the rocky Gotham coast.
The family had been prominent every generation in Gotham City. They were doctors (like Bruce’s father), lawyers, philanthropists, and served on civic and charitable boards. A few had even dabbled in politics, though for men of their station, it had been considered beneath them. The Waynes were practitioners of noblesse oblige, duty toward the citizenry and less fortunate their family’s charge.
Thomas Wayne continued the tradition of serving the city while becoming a respected surgeon. He had married socialite Martha Roosevelt, cousin to the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park Roosevelts who had produced two presidents and numerous other influential citizens. Whether she had found irony in marrying a man whose family disdained politicians, Dick had never found out through the histories he had read. Maybe if Bruce allowed him to look at the family papers…
Whatever the case, Robin had learned just how prominent a family he had been taken into years ago. It was not just media hyperbole when they called Bruce Wayne the Prince of Gotham. He was the de facto ruler of the Social Register, and was a successful businessman and philanthropist. What the good (and not-so-good) citizens of Gotham would have thought about their Prince prowling the city as the Batman, Robin could only imagine.
Robin’s thoughts were interrupted by a glove on his arm. He looked at Batman, who inclined his head, and Robin looked down below.
Several thieves were robbing a jewelry store from the back. Since there was no alarm and the door did not appear damaged, was it an inside job?
No matter. Time enough later to figure that out. A quick glance passed between the Dynamic Duo, and they flew down to smash into the oblivious crooks.
Adrenaline coursed through Robin, the act of kick-and-punch exciting and productive. The jewel thieves were shifty and had high-powered weapons, but Batman and Robin were too quick and powerful. In perfect sync, they disarmed the crooks and knocked them out, tying them up and handing the jewels over to the police who arrived just moments after the fight.
“Thanks, Robin,” said the young officer who took the bag of jewels.
“You’re welcome.” Robin shot the grapple hook up and began to fly away. Batman was already gone, leaving the public relations to his partner. Fine by Robin.
The rest of the evening was uneventful, and Robin yawned when they slid back into the Batmobile. He closed his eyes as he rested his head back against the seat, listening to the thrumming of the powerful engine as the car glided along the quiet roads. It was still dark, more than four hours before sunrise, but Robin would be happy to get into bed for some sleep.
His lips curved into a smile. Bed. Tempting, but he was just too tired tonight. Despite being blessed with boundless energy, sometimes the double life of a crimefighter/college student caught up with you.
His smile grew brighter when he heard the radio switch from the police band to a pop music station. Bruce might have preferred classical or jazz but he was willing to also indulge Dick’s tastes.
Yes, Bruce and Dick were dominant at the moment. He drifted off into sleep, confident of being able to awake if needed.
& & & & & &
Dick roused by the time they reached the road leading to the estate. High up on a cliff, Wayne Manor arched upward, the bare trees allowing the top part of the mansion to be seen below. It was clear tonight, but Dick thought of the days when the turrets and spires rose up from clouds as gloom swept the coast. There was something magical about it.
Probably because I know what’s deep below the Manor.
The Batmobile roared into the tunnel carved into the cliff. The Batcave was its usual quiet atmosphere, Dick and Bruce showering quickly after changing out of costume. They wrapped comfortable, fuzzy robes around themselves and used sandals to protect their feet from the Cave floor and steps. Dick yawned again but was hungry enough to eat the cookies and milk Alfred had left out in the kitchen for them.
He nearly laughed at the imagery. Fuzzy robes, sandals, milk and cookies! The Big, Bad Bat and his sidekick Robin doing something so domestic. Why, the Joker would laugh himself to death.
Hmm, we should be so lucky.
Dick was happy to trudge upstairs to their bedroom with Bruce, lose the robe and sandals, and crawl in under the covers. He smiled as he felt the warm body settle in next to him, drawing him close as they both fell asleep.