Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Alfred
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. As Bruce and Clark try and adjust to being lovers as well as Master and slave, on a warm spring night a new member of the Wayne Household is added: a little boy whom Bruce sadly identifies with. Dick Grayson further pushes Bruce along the path of Abolitionism as the child brings further Light into the Manor. The entire series can be found here.
Genres: Drama, AU
Rating: (this chapter): G
Summary: Robin makes his debut.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): February 22, 2008
Date Of Posting: November 28, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1500
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
"The Gotham Gazette"
Wayne Manor buzzed with excitement, unspoken but there. It crackled along the stately corridors and through the quiet rooms in bright laughter and quick movement and nervous smiles. The preparations for baking cookies were laid out on the kitchen, final tune-ups performed in the gym, costumes laid out in the Cave.
An early dinner was eaten, very light, as dusk began to fall. Two hours late when full darkness reigned, the Batcave hummed with activity. Clark was running last-minute checks on the computer for any police bulletins or any signs of criminal activity. Bruce had cameras situated strategically around the city.
Bruce and Dick were in the changing room, Bruce emerging first as he pulled on his gauntlets, cape swirling around him. Alfred came down and said, “You are looking quite terrifying, sir.”
Clark and Bruce exchanged grins.
The door to the changing room opened.
Dick was smiling. Robin was smiling. He wasn’t sequined, though his short pants were spangled.
Robin glittered. He glowed. He was going to be a shining light in Gotham’s darkness.
In Bruce’s heart.
Clark smiled and stepped forward. He ran his gaze over the bright red tunic with the yellow ‘R’ symbol on the breast. The green spangled shorts matched green shortsleeves, gauntlets, and pixie boots. The yellow silk cape was the brightest of all, the Peter Pan collar hiding his slave collar as Dick had assured them it would.
“You look wonderful,” Clark said with a smile.
Dick beamed. “Thank you, Clark!”
“You look ready,” Bruce said, still dubious about the costume but standing by his promise to try it out.
Dick promptly somersaulted, and even Bruce joined in the laughter.
“You will do fine, Dick.” Alfred said.
“It’s Opening Night!”
Alfred and Clark grinned.
“Very apt observation, lad.” Alfred clapped the boy on the shoulder and Clark gave Dick a quick hug.
Batman drew his cape around him. “Robin…time to go.”
Dick immediately obeyed, hurrying to Batman’s side. He was all business now.
“Godspeed, sir,” Alfred said.
“Good luck,” Clark said softly.
A ghost of a smile played around Batman’s lips and Robin flashed a smile, then they headed toward the Batmobile, Robin leaping into the passenger seat. With a roar of the engine, they were off.
Alfred put a hand on Clark’s shoulder. “He’ll be fine.”
Clark smiled slightly.
Robin watched as the countryside sped by, the skyline of the city coming into view. His stomach did flip-flops but it wasn’t any different from pre-performance jitters under the Big Top. He just had to stay focused.
Batman parked the Batmobile on the outskirts of town and they alighted, soon on the rooftops of the city. Robin felt right at home high above the ground. Leaping between the buildings without a net got his blood singing.
Silence was golden in this case, their movements in-sync won from hours of practice in the gym. While Robin watched for any cue, he was confident in his moves. The wind rushed through his hair, his cape billowing out behind him.
The Batman’s cape was dark and voluminous, blotting out the moon. His movements were like a cat’s, smooth and stealthy.
Could bats move like cats?
Would they meet Catwoman tonight?
Robin kept his excitement restrained. Well, not too much restraint. He flashed a grin in the night.
Batman suddenly stopped and Robin followed his pointing finger down to the street. Two thugs were walking rapidly, gaining on a man swaying as he walked. The man wore an expensive coat and sang off-key, yelping as a hand was clamped on his shoulder and he was turned around.
“My good man, what…!”
The thugs shouted as a bright figure swooped down, laughing as he kicked one of the men, who staggered back.
“He’s just a kid!” said the other man in astonishment.
“That’s right, mister!” Robin whirled, streaming light behind him as he went on the attack.
“It’s all over, kid!” snarled the first attacker as he drew a gun.
“The Bat!” yelled his partner in fear.
The Dark Knight swooped down, as silent as Robin had been chatty. He disarmed the gunman while Robin shoved his partner to the ground.
The two of them trussed up the criminals with Bat-cuffs.
“What the hell? Who are you?” asked the first man.
The thugs gaped as Batman and Robin flew off.
Up on the rooftops, Robin was grinning and hopping from foot-to-foot. Batman hid a smile for a moment, then said, “Good job.”
Robin squealed with joy and did a backflip. Batman had to laugh this time.
“See? I toldja the razzle-dazzle would work!”
“Yes, it did,” Batman admitted. “We will continue with this routine, but mix it up. Predictability is not good in crimefighting, at least not on the criminals’ end. We should know each other’s moves; they shouldn’t.”
Batman laid a glove on Robin’s hair. “We still have more to do.”
Robin nodded and followed Batman to the next building.
Clark tapped the keys, gathering information for Bruce. His Master depended on him to investigate for him. Clark was adept at writing reports, accessing the police reports, compiling criminal profiles.
He shuddered at the thought of the Joker’s profile. The man was completely insane. He worried twice as much whenever Bruce had to go up against him.
Now he would worry three times as much.
He prayed that Bruce and Dick would be safe.
Footsteps sounded down the stone steps, followed by the tantalizing aroma of chocolate chip cookies. Clark smiled as Alfred walked up to the computer with a plate of warm cookies.
“Batman reported he and Robin stopped a robbery.”
“I assume it went well.”
“It did.” Clark’s relief was obvious. He took a cookie.
“Excellent.” Alfred glanced upstairs. “My second batch is in the oven.”
“This first batch is outstanding.” The police radio squawked.
“HQ, we’ve got a Bat-collar. Um, the perps claim the Bat’s workin’ with a kid.”
“Yeah. They said he was wearin’ a bright red-yellow-and-green costume and called himself Robin!”
“Really? Jeez, the Bat and a kid who’s bright? Sounds like an odd combo to me.”
“Who cares? The Bat’s good for business. Maybe he just wants company.”
Clark grinned. “Dick’s made his debut.”
Alfred smiled. “Enjoy the cookies.”
“Mmm, no problem there.”
Alfred shook his head fondly and returned upstairs.
Clark kept the radio on low volume as he worked, the news of Robin spreading like wildfire. Another prevention of a street crime, another report of a bright-garbed boy, more buzz. If a news website picked it up…
An hour later, The Gotham Gazette’s website was trumpeting the new development surrounding Gotham’s Guardian.
Clark was pleased. Dick deserved the notoriety. He had worked so hard.
Clark’s smile faltered. He wished that he could be out there with them, protecting people and doing good work with Bruce and Dick.
He closed his eyes, cursing his condition. If he wasn’t suffering from Wertham’s Disease…
He opened his eyes. There was no use railing against his bad luck.
It is what it is.
He returned to writing his report, laughing as he checked The Daily Planet website.
BOY WONDER MAKES DEBUT IN GOTHAM!
Word had spread fast. Dick would like that nickname. He had a flair for the flashy and dramatic.
All that circus training! And he’s a natural.
Bruce had been dismayed at the bright colors of Dick’s costume, but Clark had liked the brightness.
Fits Dick’s personality.
That little boy had brightened all their lives.
We’re a family now.
A very happy family.
Clark smiled as he ate another cookie. Crimefighting and cookies. A Mission and domesticity.
Alfred came back down, glancing up at the clock.
“They should be back any time now.” Clark rubbed his eyes.
The roar of the Batmobile brought Clark to his feet, and he stood next to Alfred.
When the sleek car stopped, a flash of color was out and speeding toward Clark and Alfred, somersaulting with joy.
“I did it! I did it! My very first patrol!”
Clark and Alfred laughed, hugging Dick as the little boy launched himself into their arms. Clark gently caressed his hair as he looked over the top of Dick’s head to meet Bruce’s eyes.
The white lenses couldn’t fool him. He knew there was pride in those eyes.
As there was pride in Bruce’s voice.
“He did well tonight.”
Dick eagerly smiled as he turned around to face Bruce. A gloved hand reached out to touch Dick on the shoulder.
“I have my partner. We’re officially Batman and Robin.”
The era of the Dynamic Duo had begun.
End of the RobinSong Arc
Next to come: the Paradise Arc
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