Title: Castle In The Clouds I: The Heir (3/6)
Rating (this chapter): Mild R
Summary: Robin is the heir to the mantle of the Bat, but Dick is also the heir to the
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Date Of Completion: February 21, 2007
Date Of Posting: February 25, 2007
Word Count: 2352
OFF THE RACK? MAIS, NON!
Dick came awake slowly, purring with happiness as he curled his leg around Bruce’s.
Waking up to a warm body as his idea of the good life. He felt a strong hand stroke
“I thought you were a bird, not a cat.”
Dick chuckled. “I can be either one.”
Bruce rolled him over on top of his chest, a serene smile on his face. Dick loved
seeing that expression on his lover’s face. He loved knowing that he had put it there.
The kiss Dick bestowed upon Bruce was gentle, Bruce’s arm sliding around him to hold
him close. Dick began nibbling his partner’s ear, delighting in Bruce’s little moans.
He began to stroke the broad chest, Bruce pulling him into another kiss.
A good way to wake up, Dick thought before he lost himself to lust.
& & & & & &
Showered, dressed, and thoroughly sated, Dick went down to breakfast. “Good morning,
“Good morning, Master Dick.” Alfred noted the glow that emanated from his young charge.
“You seem quite satisfied this morning.”
Dick laughed, smirking a little at the word ‘satisfied’. “Yes, you’re right.” He picked
up the pitcher of orange juice and two glasses and went into the breakfast nook. The
sun was shining into the small room, warming it as he gazed out over the snow-covered
grounds. Wayne Estates was beautiful at any time of year, but today she glittered like
a princess dressed for a ball.
His thoughts immediately turned to the Winter Ball and he sighed. Today was tux-fitting
day. Well, he would just have to endure it.
Bruce arrived as Alfred came in with the plates of blueberry pancakes, and breakfast
was filled with non-Bat topics.
“You have class this morning?”
Dick nodded. “I’ll be home in time to go with you to the city.” He looked out at the
wintery vista. “Everything looks so beautiful under snow.”
Bruce nodded. The trees glittered with ice, prisms of light sparkling against the
breathtaking blue sky. “It’s always beautiful,” he said quietly.
Dick looked at him as he gazed out the window. Bruce rarely spoke of it, but Dick knew
that he loved his family home and the vast estate that surrounded it. He was anchored
here, generations of Waynes living their lives here, and Dick felt warmth as he realized
the magnitude of the gift that Bruce had given him: acceptance into the family on so many
levels. Heir, indeed, as Alfred would say.
I guess a tux-fitting is a small price to pay.
“What are you smiling about?”
“Oh, nothing special.” Dick’s grin grew even wider and jumped up, kissing Bruce and then
hurrying out of the nook. “See you later!”
As Dick gathered his books from the hall table after putting on his coat and boots, he
heard Alfred say, “That boy is a whirlwind.”
“This house needs the fresh air he brings, Alfred.”
Dick felt incredibly happy as he hurried out to his car.
& & & & & &
In the breakfast nook Alfred looked at his young master. “And when will you be
discussing with him that rather important subject we talked about earlier?”
Bruce smiled affectionately. Alfred was devoted to him, but he was like a mother bear
with a cub when it came to Dick.
“Probably after we go to Pierre’s. Dick’s never been very comfortable there, and I don’t
want to add to any discomfort for him.”
“Very well.” Alfred busied himself clearing away dishes. “I congratulate you on your
decision, sir. I believe it is what Master Dick wants very much.” He looked shrewdly at
Bruce. “Masks are all very well and good, considering your other lives, but too many of
them can get quite confusing.”
The butler exited the nook and Bruce watched him go in amusement, then the smile faded
from his face.
He was very good at masks and hiding. It was time to shed at least one mask.
& & & & & &
The morning class was actually interesting. Thinking about the Waynes and their
political and family connections, American history was a subject that Dick could get
enthusiastic about. He had decided to take the course as an elective, a welcome
change from all the core business courses he had to take for his degree. Jack was in
the class, too, and Dick felt relaxed as he listened to the female professor lecture.
He wondered if anyone from the superhero community would ever do a history of their
world. He knew that histories had been published by scholars, but it would be extra
interesting if a member of the community could write it.
Of course, it might have to be buried in a vault somewhere if secret identities were
revealed. Well, maybe the historian could do two copies.
After class he ate lunch with Jack, debating some of the points made by the professor
in class, then he and his friend went to the library. On the steps a lovely redhead
“Dick, dear, are you still looking for a date for the Ball?”
“Uh, no, sorry, Melody.” He remembered Bruce’s plans to secure him a date.
Melody pouted. “Oh, dear. Well, I’ll be curious to see who she is.” She winked. “See
you at the Ball!”
Melody sashayed away, Jack whistling under his breath. Dick laughed. “She’s not shy,
that’s for sure.” He spotted a knot of people several yards away. “Uh, oh. Let’s get
inside. Paparazzi alert.”
Jack nodded and they hurried up the steps into the library.
The vast marble-and-stone building was quiet inside, students studying at long tables
and small carrels along the walls. Dick liked it here. The quiet was nice enough, but
the vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows were beautiful pieces of design.
“Reminds me of home,” he cracked.
Jack grinned. He had been to Wayne Manor. “That table over there okay?”
Dick nodded and they spread out their books and papers on a table by a window that
depicted the founder of Gotham, Hiram Knickerbocker, reading the town charter. Since
the Knickerbockers had donated the window back in 1870, little wonder at the choice of
subject. Next to it was a window showing Mad Anthony Wayne on horseback, his sword
raised and ready to charge into battle. Dick grinned and relaxed.
As he and Jack got busy, he thought about Melody’s query. He wondered who Bruce had in
mind for him. Probably a mother-daughter combination, or some debutante who would love
to be seen with the Wayne heir.
He dismissed the thoughts from his mind. It didn’t really matter who Bruce chose. It
was all glitter and laughter and was just for image’s sake. His heart was with Bruce
and always would be.
& & & & & &
Pierre’s was the only name needed for the upscale men’s clothing store. Dick always
felt out-of-place here, as if he was found wanting by the snobby salesclerks, but Pierre
himself was scrupulously attentive. He always waited on Bruce and Dick personally,
and Dick was grateful. Despite being a circus boy at heart, he was learning to live in
Bruce’s rarified world more and more as the years passed.
He quietly stood during the measurements, but he doubted that they had changed much.
He probably was at the end of growing now at the age of nineteen, unlike those years
in which his measurements had changed dramatically. Usually that meant height, as he
was always slender, but weight and muscle had increased with the years, too. He had
a balance to maintain: he needed the muscle for powerful punches but needed to stay
at a certain weight to keep his ability to fly circus-style.
His eyes roamed around the well-appointed store with its rich carpeting, shining mirrors,
and racks of sample clothing. Everything bought here was tailored, of course, but
samples were needed to get started. ‘Off the rack’ was a dirty set of words here.
Dick allowed a small smile to grace his face.
“I’m sorry we’re so late this year, Pierre, but I just didn’t have the time.” Bruce
shrugged in playboy fashion.
“Quite all right, sir. I will put you and Monsieur Richard at the head of the line.”
“Thank you, Pierre.”
Dick’s smiled grew into a grin. Nothing less for the Prince of Gotham!
After he was finished, he drifted around as Bruce was being measured. He checked out
some of the clothing, still amazed after all these years at the prices. To him, clothes
were for comfort or for razzle-dazzle, as in the circus or as Robin. He understood the
need for ‘good’ clothes, and Bruce had seen to it that he had an excellent wardrobe. He
knew that once he started working at Wayne Enterprises after graduation he would need a
‘power’ wardrobe, too. He decided to set his mind to learning about such things. He
had absorbed some tips already from Bruce and Alfred. Maybe it was time to really jump
in, though he knew himself well. He got more excited seeing a hero’s new costume than
he did by a thousand-dollar suit.
As he checked out a rack of suits, he heard murmurs from around a marble pillar. They
stayed on the edge of his consciousness as he browsed until the words, “Looks like Wayne
brought his boy toy today.”
Dick stiffened, letting a sleeve fall that he had been holding as he checked out a
jacket. The sotto voce continued, “He’s a pretty one, I’ll give him that, but surely
the Prince of Gotham could do better.”
A second voice, pitched just as low: “He gads around with all kinds of beautiful women.”
Snort. “Come on, darling, you know as well as I do that our fellow queers beard it up
all the time. They might even boink a few of the femme fatales, but they know where
their interest really lies.”
“Still, I’m not sure about that boy.”
“Darling, don’t you think it’s rather odd that the boy is still living at home? He’s
a ‘ward’? Right, and I’m Queen of the May!”
“Well, you’re a queen, anyway.”
Laughter, then the two voices’ owners drifted away.
Dick’s face had reddened during this overheard conversation. He quickly glanced at
Bruce, but he was still deep in conversation with Pierre. The gray-haired Frenchman
was gesticulating as he talked. He reminded Dick of a Gallic Alfred.
Dick breathed deeply. Why should he be upset? He had heard stuff like this for years.
He knew that the rumors flew fast and furiously.
He grinned. The same rumors had floated around about Batman and Robin for years, too.
Most criminals had the good sense not to hurl such rumors at the Dynamic Duo, yet
society seemed more than comfortable whispering about the scion of Gotham and his ward.
Okay, technically ex-ward as he nineteen now, but people weren’t sure what to use to
describe Dick. Every term that applied to him (lover, partner, soulmate) had to be
Dick sighed. As long as he and Bruce kept their relationship a secret, people would
talk like it was a dirty one.
He jumped. “Yes, Bruce?” he asked, turning to face his lover.
“We’re done. Let’s go.”
Dick nodded as he joined Bruce, who thanked Pierre, then they left the shop.
Out in the winter cold, Dick turned up the collar of his leather jacket. He was about
to ask Bruce if they were going home when a gaggle of reporters suddenly materialized,
cameras whirring and microphones jutting out to capture any answers to the shouted
questions, all of which Bruce and Dick had heard many times before, with Winter Ball
references thrown in for a little variety. Bruce put on his best playboy face and
joked with the reporters, giving them very little except some good footage of himself
and his handsome ward. They disappeared into the limousine that drove up for them and
Alfred whisked them away.
“Always in the nick, Alfred,” Bruce said as he settled comfortably into the back seat,
Dick close beside him. The tinted windows afforded them privacy.
“It’s part of my job description, sir.”
Alfred’s charges grinned, then Dick relaxed. “Glad to get away from the hordes?”
“Yes, though most of them aren’t so bad.” At Dick’s raised eyebrow he said, “They’re
just trying to make a living. Remember, there are decent reporters out there. We know
a few ourselves.”
Dick smiled. “Yes, we do.” He rested his thigh against Bruce’s, his eyes sparkling.
“Though Lois can be pretty aggressive when she’s after a story.” He frowned. “Do we
have another errand?”
Bruce shook his head. “I thought we’d stop by the office for about an hour and then go
to early dinner since we’re already in town.”
And that was what they did, Bruce wrapping up some of the day’s work in his plush
office atop the Wayne Building, and then he and Dick were driven to Antonio’s, a
popular Italian restaurant. Alfred joined them, Bruce not about to have the older man
wait out in the cold while he and Dick had a good, hot meal.
They indulged in antipastos and breadsticks and several kinds of pastas, a fire roaring
in the fireplace by their table as they enjoyed the good food and conversation.
Occasionally looks were thrown their way, but being famous made it ‘par for the course’,
as Bruce would loftily say, Dick giggling at the jaded playboy voice. He enjoyed his
ziti with roasted red peppers-and-garlic sauce, stealing a clam off Bruce’s plate of
seafood in red sauce. Alfred was relaxed, joining in their conversation, and Dick felt
Happiness could be so fleeting in life. He knew that very well, thinking briefly of
his parents and Bruce’s, but it could also be lasting if one tried hard enough. Dick
was going to take what he could get and hold onto it hard.
He felt content as they left the restaurant and returned home, thoughts of boy toys
and tuxes tucked away in the back of his mind.