Pairings/Characters: Wee!Dick, Alfred, Bruce
Summary: Dick is wearing down under an avalanche of work.
Date Of Completion: September 7, 2008
Date Of Posting: September 18, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 697
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Happy Birthday, loopylouise123! :)
Dick flipped through his textbook, the crackle of the fire at his back warming him on a crisp autumn evening. He was sitting cross-legged on the carpet, other books spread out around him.
Nimble fingers kept turning pages, his teeth chewing on his pencil. The answer had to be here somewhere. He’d seen it just a few minutes ago!
Yawning, he tried to focus his eyes. It had been a long week. He had a paper due next week, two tests on Monday, and an oral presentation to give.
And that was on top of Bruce working him hard on some new physical maneuvers that he was teaching him, as well as new criminology procedures.
And for the cherry on top of the sundae, the Riddler and Penguin had both been active, each with his own scheme, so he and Bruce had been hopping all week.
Dick yawned again. Sleep had been on the light side, and he rubbed scratchy eyes.
I gotta get this homework assignment done so I can finish my paper before patrol.
Friday night was always crazy, too. They were sure to be busy tonight.
Dick sighed. He didn’t understand why he was so tired. Back in the circus he trained and practiced hard for the act, but still had academics to learn, too. And staying up late? That was just par-for-the-course.
Bruce expected him to keep up with his studies and learn all he could as Robin. He counted on him to watch his back out there on the streets of Gotham!
Dick felt a little frantic as he continued flipping pages.
Alfred entered the living room, carrying a tray of milk and cookies. He stopped, a look of affection laced with concern crossing his face.
He returned to the kitchen, poured the milk back into the bottle, and put the cookies back into the jar.
The front door opened, footsteps clicking across the foyer’s parquet floor, the soft thump! of a briefcase on the hall table.
“Alfred…” Bruce said as he entered the kitchen.
Alfred put a finger to his lips as he motioned Bruce to follow him.
Bruce’s eyes widened as he saw a curled-up Dick in front of the fire, papers and books scattered around. He frowned and spoke in a low voice.
“He should be finishing up his homework and getting ready for patrol.”
Alfred silently urged Bruce out into the hall, the pop and hiss of the fire loud in the quiet.
“Sir, think about what you just said. You do realize how hard young Master Dick has been working? All of his training and late nights with you, combined with a full school schedule.”
“He’s used to training hard and late nights from the circus.”
“Yes, and I am aware that his circus act was often life-and-death but facing villains like the Joker is infinitely more stressful, I should say.” Alfred glanced back at Dick. “He desperately seeks your approval and pushes himself hard to get it, sparing as it is.” Alfred’s voice wasn’t accusatory, just stating facts. “I think that since Master Dick is so bright and responsible for his age, you tend to forget how young he really is.”
Alfred returned to the kitchen, leaving Bruce standing in the hall.
Bruce re-entered the living room, quietly approaching the sleeping boy. He noticed a ‘To-Do’ list written in Dick’s flourishing script, a small smile quirking his mouth. Everything a production!
He picked up the list, which detailed a heavy schoolwork schedule, training regimen, and Robin academics.
It was a distressingly-long list.
Bruce noticed the dark circles under Dick’s eyes.
He must really be exhausted to fall asleep like this.
Bending down, he gently brushed a lock of hair from Dick’s eyes, then carefully lifted him into his arms.
Bruce carried Dick up the grand staircase and into his room, settling him into bed, tenderly pulling the covers up over the small body as Dick sighed, sounding content.
He watched Dick sleep for a few minutes, then went downstairs.
In the kitchen, Alfred smiled as he started preparations for one of Bruce’s favorite meals.
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