Title: Castle In The Clouds I: The Heir (5/6)
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: Robin is the heir to the mantle of the Bat, but Dick is also the heir to the
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Date Of Completion: February 23, 2007
Date Of Posting: February 27, 2007
Word Count: 2286
AND LET’S HOPE THE BATMOBILE
DOESN’T TURN INTO A PUMPKIN
Dick was trying to adjust his cufflink. “A little.” He looked at Bruce. “You?”
A smile. “A little.” Bruce’s hand reached out and stopped him from fiddling with the
He produced a small black box and Dick took it, opening it with curiosity. Inside the
black velvet interior nestled a pair of square gold cufflinks. Dick took them out and
examined them closely, his eyes widening. “Bruce, these are your father’s!”
Bruce nodded. “They were my father’s, and his father’s, and so on.”
Each cufflink bore the Wayne family crest, the ‘W’. in fancy script. Dick’s hand
trembled as the light caught the cufflink, winking off the gold.
“You…these should be yours.”
“They belong to me, and now to my heir.”
Dick’s eyes met Bruce’s, and he understood. Heir to more than the Wayne fortune.
He tried to affix the cufflinks, muttering as his fingers kept slipping. Bruce took
his wrist in one hand and the cufflink in the other, and deftly slipped it one the
shirt’s cuff. He took the other one and did the same on the other wrist, then squeezed
Dick quickly blinked tears away. He wasn’t going to cry like some lovesick schoolboy!
He smiled and gave Bruce a deep kiss, both of them flushed when they parted.
A small chime from the grandfather clock startled Dick. “The Batcave…!”
“It’s all right.”
The grandfather clock opened and in walked Superman with a smile. Surprised but pleased,
Dick greeted him and Bruce said, “Glad you could make it.”
“You’re going to patrol the city for us?” Dick asked.
Superman shook his head. “I’m going to the Ball, too.” At Dick’s surprised look, he
laughed. “As Clark Kent. I’m taking Cat Grant, the Planet’s gossip columnist, with me.”
He cocked his head in amusement. “Seems a certain anonymous tipster gave me some
important info and I felt it needed Cat’s expertise.” His blue eyes sparkled. “She’s
waiting for Clark to come to her room and they’ll be leaving for the Ball, but first I
wanted to come and congratulate you in person.”
“Congra…? Ah, you know about tonight!”
“I do.” Clark shook Dick’s hand, then pulled him into an embrace. “I’m happy for you,”
When they broke apart, Clark gave Bruce a hug, too, then winked. “See you at the Ball.
Please try and keep your glass slippers on.”
He was gone in a whirl of super-speed, Bruce and Dick grinning at each other.
“So why did you invite Clark tonight?”
“I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a friendly face there. Besides, I wanted The Daily
Planet to be fair in its coverage, and I thought that with Clark as escort to Ms. Grant,
we’d have a better chance of that.”
“You think of everything.”
“I hope so.”
Dick kissed his lover, then slipped away and accepted his coat from Alfred in the foyer.
Once Bruce had his coat on, they stepped out into the cold winter’s night, the stars
sparkling overhead in the clear sky.
This year’s Winter Ball would be very interesting, indeed.
& & & & & &
There was the usual crush of paparazzi and reporters outside the Gotham Horticultural
Gardens. The organization stretched back to the 18th century, some of the heirloom
plants located around the grounds very valuable.
The building was sandstone and two stories tall, with two round towers at each end. A
rounded glass roof indicated where the ballroom was at the north end of the structure.
Dick felt nervous as he and Bruce alighted from the limousine. Funny how I’m more
jittery coming out than I am facing the Joker. Bruce looked positively serene as he
smiled and waved and questions were shouted out about their dates. He touched Dick on
the shoulder and said with a smile, “We are each other’s dates.”
Shock and surprise swept over the press corps’ faces, then a whole range of reactions:
delight, smugness, disgust, and puzzlement. More questions were shouted and Bruce kept
up his smile and said, “A press release will be out tomorrow. Until then, Dick and I
plan to enjoy our evening.” He escorted Dick inside with the hand now on his back, and
Dick grinned despite his fluttering stomach.
Inside the building, it was abloom with flowers and plants as befitted the Horticultural
Society that maintained the organization. Bruce stopped in the empty corridor and
turned to Dick. “Are you ready?”
Dick nodded. “I have been for a long time.”
Bruce let a ghost of a smile play around his lips, then they walked down the corridor
and reached the ballroom.
The ballroom glittered with jewels, gowns, flowers, plants, and the more subdued tuxes.
Chamber music played from one end of the room, and buffets were set up along the stone
walls. Small alcoves were located around the room, but the main part was open under
the clear glass roof that reflected the stars.
It was a whirlwind after that. Bruce and Dick mingled, greeting Gotham’s rich and
powerful, and they smiled as they met Barbara and her father. She looked stunning in
a cinnamon-colored gown with a simple necklace of a single diamond gracing her throat.
Jim Gordon was in perfect health and looking comfortable in a fashionable tuxedo.
“So, Bruce, who are the lucky ladies tonight?” Jim asked.
Bruce hesitated for a millisecond. He respected Jim Gordon’s opinion very much. “None
tonight.” He gently entwined his hand with Dick’s.
Barbara was surprised for a split-second, then she beamed. “Wonderful!” She hugged
Bruce and Dick, whispering, “I’m so happy for you!” in Dick’s ear.
Jim Gordon was surprised, too, then he smiled and held out his hand to Bruce. “You look
very happy, Bruce.”
“Thank you, Jim. I am.”
Jim turned to Dick and chuckled. “You’re good for this wastrel, young man.”
“Thank you, sir.” Dick grinned as he shook the commissioner’s hand. He, too, had been
hopeful of acceptance by the man he respected and had known for years. Barbara had
already known, loftily informing him one day not too long ago that “A woman can figure
these things out if you give her enough clues.”
There was more mingling, and Dick waved to Clark, who was several feet away with Cat
Grant. Cat was watching them with a delighted look on her face, and she headed their
way. Dick touched Bruce’s arm and his lover saw her approach.
“Time to start presenting our case,” Bruce murmured, and Cat was jovial as she joined
them, Clark right behind her.
Cat’s auburn hair was fashionably styled, and she wore a forest-green dress that suited
her very well.
“Good evening, Mr. Wayne. Who are you and Mr. Grayson escorting tonight?”
Bruce’s smile was relaxed as he gently grasped Dick’s hand. “We are each other’s
companions for the evening.” His voice grew quiet as he added, “And hopefully for the
rest of our lives.”
Cat’s eyes lit up. She noticed the society columnist for the Gotham Gazette suddenly
at her elbow. Oh, well, half of an exclusive was better than none. They were the only
press allowed inside.
“When did this romantic relationship of yours begin?”
Bruce and Dick had expected that question. Bruce answered, “About a year now.” Dick
knew that was true. The public didn’t need to know it had been on the very night of his
“Mr. Grayson, what is your reaction?”
Dick took a deep breath. “I’m happy, Ms. Grant.” He looked at Bruce with love in his
eyes. “Very happy.”
Amethyst Green lived up to her name with her violet gown and the emeralds she wore as
necklace and bracelet. She tossed russet hair and asked, “Why did you decide to make your
relationship known tonight?”
Bruce waved his hand airily. “The Winter Ball is the social event of the season. It’s
also an event sponsored by my family. What better place to officially present my
Bruce squeezed Dick’s hand and Dick nearly laughed. If the two women only knew what
other things he could inherit…
Amethyst was serious as she asked, “Do you expect any backlash to this announcement?”
Bruce shrugged. “I can’t control what other people think, Ms. Green. I can say that I
don’t intend to live a lie. They can accept that or not.”
Clark and Dick exchanged amused glances. For a man who had lived in secrecy for so many
years and would continue to do so in his ‘other’ career, this openness was impressive.
Dick felt a surge of pride and happiness.
Bruce brought Dick’s hand up, the light glinting off the ancestral cufflinks. Amethyst
noticed them right away. “Dick Grayson is my choice, and I am his.” Dick nodded in
affirmation. “My family is proud to welcome once again such a fine young man into it.”
Bruce’s smile was polite as he continued, “And now Dick and I would like to enjoy the
“Of course,” said Cat, and Amethyst murmured her agreement. The two women moved off to
start sending their stories, talking in a friendly rival sort of way.
“Smooth as the silk of the Batman’s cape,” Clark said with a smile.
Dick laughed and Bruce raised a haughty eyebrow. Clark winked at Dick.
“You’re as incorrigible as Dick.” Bruce pretended to be put out.
“I hope so!”
Dick squeezed Bruce’s hand and this time was the one who did the winking, Clark’s
amusement warming his heart.
“Let’s go mingle some more, Crown Prince.”
“Bruuuuce, I’m not a Crown Prince!”
“You are now more than ever.”
Clark chuckled as his two friends began making a circuit of the room.
Bruce had taught Dick how to read people. In the faces of the social elite of Gotham,
he saw many reactions. Most were polite to their faces, and Dick judged that some were
sincere. He could detect phoniness in others, and a few were honest enough to avoid
the two of them. On the whole, however, the uppercrust of Gotham City proved what Dick
had observed over the years: while the ultra-rich could be rock-ribbed conservative on
certain social issues, it was usually about status or their sources for money, otherwise,
they could be surprisingly liberal, especially in sexual situations. So the Social
Register set would accept Bruce Wayne and his young lover, at least because it would be
awkward socially and perhaps financially to anger the Prince of Gotham.
He saw Melody, whose face registered an impressive array of emotions when she learned
about him and Bruce: shock, anger, and disdain. Well, at least she didn’t throw her
drink at him.
Eventually he and Bruce separated and Dick found himself by a fountain as he perused the
fabulous food at the buffet. A voice drifted over to him that said, “Well, looks like
Alexander has his Bagoas.” Dick picked up a plate and smiled. He was familiar with
Alexander the Great, the greatest warrior of the Ancient World who had conquered the
known world by the age of thirty-three. Bruce was rather fond of exceptional figures
in history. Alexander had enjoyed a lover, his childhood friend and trusted general,
Hephaestion, but the Persian boy Bagoas had fallen into his hands after the defeat of
the Persian king Darius. Bagoas had fallen in love with Alexander and was highly
skilled in the arts of the courtesan, the role he had fulfilled as Darius’ slave.
Dick knew that crude remarks about his relationship with Bruce would be out there, but
he didn’t intend to waste time worrying about it. Bagoas had been a loyal, loving
companion to the greatest hero of his time, and Dick could identify with that.
The evening continued in a dazzle of jewels and stars as the time for the First Dance
arrived. As the traditional sponsor of the Winter Ball, Bruce Wayne was supposed to
dance with his date for a few minutes alone in the spotlight, and then the rest of
Gotham’s elite would join them. Dick wondered if Bruce would decline this year.
The orchestra was tuning up. Dick set aside his plate. “Yes, Bruce?”
“Care to dance?”
Dick looked at Bruce’s outstretched hand. “Are you sure?”
Bruce’s smile was faint but sure. “I am, but if you would rather not, I understand.”
Dick considered. He wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed to be seen dancing with Bruce. Hell,
maybe a few closeted types could take heart and whirl their real dates out onto the
floor. And Bruce had gone against his secretive instincts all evening. It wouldn’t be
fair to back out now.
Dick smiled and took Bruce’s hand. “I’m ready to dance under the stars, Mr. Wayne.”
Blue eyes sparkled. “I’m glad, Mr. Grayson.”
The leader of the orchestra said, “Ladies and gentlemen, for the First Dance of the
Winter Ball, please welcome Mr. Bruce Wayne and his partner, Mr. Dick Grayson!”
The applause that swelled up surprised Dick. Even with the wealthy of Gotham wanting
to stay on Bruce’s good side, they could have just given a polite smattering of
applause. As he walked out to the center of the floor, the spotlight shining on them
(he was accustomed to spotlights and it was relaxing), he thought that maybe he and
Bruce could pull this off after all.
In a whirl of their well-matched bodies, Dick saw the smiles of Clark and Barbara and
he nearly laughed as he realized that Bruce was leading! That was all right…this time.
The stars swirled overhead and Dick hoped this evening was not just a dream. As other
couples joined them on the floor, Dick lost himself in the blue of Bruce’s eyes…