Pairings/Characters: Dick, Clark/Bruce, Alfred
Genres: Fluff, (A Dash Of Hurt/Comfort), Humor
Summary: Dick has been taught in the fine art of observation by Bruce, and he puts it to good use.
Date Of Completion: December 5, 2010
Date Of Posting: December 17, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2132
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for jadebriady: Fic Prompt No. F 42: Robin's perspective on the evolution of Bruce/Clark relationship. I know there are fics like this but I really love them so... I would like if you see him interacting with both of them separately for the 2010 World’s Finest Gift Exchange.
Up in the sky,
Time to love
I couldn’t wait! My eyes scanned the horizon, waiting for Superman’s approach. All I could see were birds way out over the ocean. Seagulls, I’d bet.
I looked over at the Manor. From here on the cliff I could see its tall turrets. Jeez, you’d half-expect some gargoyles to be part of the deal, but the Manor is too classy for that.
Bruce was laid up with a bum ankle for tonight, so I was going out on patrol with Superman.
Not only was I going to get to fly, but I was going to help out Superman! I loved being one-half of Batman and Robin, but being Superman’s partner was real cool, too.
I saw one of the ‘birds’ on the horizon getting bigger and bigger. I bounced up and down on my feet, my cape fluttering out behind me.
Superman landed right next to me, smiling as he asked, “Ready to go?”
“He’s fine, though grumpy.”
“Ah, situation normal.” Clark winked. “I’ll see if I can cheer him up when we get back.”
“We can do it right now! You can run us over, right?”
“So, you’re ready?” Bruce asked, his foot propped on a pillow and his arms crossed. We were in his bedroom, Bruce glowering from bed.
“Absolutely!” I said, Clark agreeing.
“Oh, don’t be an old grouch, Bruce.” Clark leaned over and kissed him on the lips. “Don’t worry, Dick and I work well together. Patrol will be just fine.”
I couldn’t help but grin. Bruce was putting on this gruff act, but he couldn’t fool me and Clark. He always tried, but that’s Bruce. Gotta let him his little games.
“Get going,” he harumphed.
“To the roof, Robin!” Clark said.
Grinning, I nodded and we started to leave the room. I turned back and quipped, “Take it easy, Bruce. Superman and Robin are on the job!”
Clark laughed and Bruce called, “Just be careful!”
Taking off from Wayne Manor was a thrill. Clark had a firm-but-light grip on me. The wind rushing through my hair and snapping my cape out was the best sensation ever!
Clark and I exchanged smiles. He loved flying as much as I did. We didn’t speak, just enjoyed the flight toward Gotham.
Once there we made a leisurely patrol, swooping into action to stop a mugging. I felt like a bird for real.
The mugger was shocked to see Clark. Ha! He should be. Superman in Gotham was always an unusual sight, though more frequently in the past few years.
Every bad guy had the same reaction of shock. It was fun!
During a lull in the action, Clark and I sat on the ledge of a roof, our capes blowing in the breeze. My legs swung back-and-forth as I enjoyed the breeze.
Clark was focusing his gaze in the direction of the Manor. Checkin’ up on Bruce with the ol’ X-ray vision.
Some people wouldn’t understand about Bruce and Clark. Prejudices, y’know? But I knew that Clark was good for Bruce. He needed Alfred and me but he needed Clark, too. When they were on JLA missions, they watched each other’s backs. They teamed up a lot nowadays, with me or each other when I was with the Teen Titans.
Things started out with wariness (mostly on Bruce’s part), and gradually they became friends, then best friends, then lovers.
Having Bruce fall in love with Clark didn’t bother me in the least. I was born and raised in a circus, remember? The unusual is commonplace, and circus folk aren’t exactly conventional. And to be honest, my life got even more unusual after Bruce took me in, from being a billionaire’s heir to Batman’s Robin. I went from circus community to superhero community, both of which wear capes and tights. So what’s a little love between Bat and Kryptonian?
“Boy, Bruce was a tough nut to crack.”
“What?” Clark asked with a smile.
“Bruce! He made it hard for you at first, remember?”
“You poked your nose into my city.”
Batman’s arms were crossed as he glared at Superman, who was drifting by the roof we were standing on. I couldn’t keep a silly grin off my face. It was still a new thing to see Superman! I mean, I know he was Clark Kent, but this was still so cool.
Batman scowled at me, which I ignored. Bruce’s bark is worse than his bite.
“Sorry, Batman.” Superman didn’t look contrite at all. “I couldn’t let you and Robin wind up at the bottom of Gotham River, now could I?”
“We can take care of ourselves.”
“I know that. I just figured you could use a friendly helping hand.”
Superman drifted closer. I had to clap a hand over my mouth to keep my laughter in. Batman had to back up a step, which made him grumpier than ever.
Superman smiled. “Admit it, Batman, having a super-assist isn’t all bad.”
Batman snorted. “Better get back to your fancy, glittering city.”
Superman winked at me and started to fly up and away.
“I’ll be around, Batman. See you, Robin.”
I waved and he waved back. Batman was still glaring, but as he turned away I noticed that he took a sneak peek over his shoulder at Superman.
“Come along, Robin. We still have to finish patrol.”
Clark laughed. “Bruce never makes things easy. But he’s worth the effort.”
“Yes, I know.” I smiled and reached out and squeezed Clark’s hand. “You’re the best thing that ever happened to him.”
Clark blushed. “Thank you.”
Well, it was true. Bruce was less grumpy, though I still knew how to get him out of his funk. He couldn’t last against both of us!
“Are you staying over tonight?” I asked.
He blushed again. “No, I’ve got monitor duty. Besides, Bruce needs rest with that ankle.”
“Yeah, he wouldn’t get much rest with you, huh?”
I couldn’t help laughing, Clark looked so scandalized! He shook his head.
“You are…” He broke off in mid-sentence. “Trouble in the next alley over.”
I nodded and got to my feet, Superman taking me over and letting me go once we reached the alley. I dropped and rolled, startling the thugs who were busy committing a mugging. Seemed to be the night for those. I took out two of ‘em right away, and before the other two could open their big mouths, Superman had ‘em trussed up. We grinned at each other.
All in a night’s work.
Sitting in the Manor kitchen eating cookies and drinking milk, Clark and I had a good talk while we relaxed. Clark loved Alfred’s chocolate chip cookies, and who could blame him?
After Clark left for the Watchtower, I yawned and went to bed.
Bruce was impatient to get back to work, but his ankle was still too tender to support his weight. I took breakfast into his room and while he kvetched about being ‘laid up like a invalid’, he ate up Alfred’s blueberry pancakes, maple sausages, and fresh cantaloupe with a big appetite.
“So, what’s the agenda for today?” I asked, sitting cross-legged on his bed and snatching a slice of cantaloupe from his tray.
“My agenda is doing some Wayne Enterprises business, and then mapping out patrol for you tonight.”
“Ha! I’ve got a whole route planned out.”
“You mean criss-crossing Gotham Square so that you can keep an eye on Cartier Jewelers?”
“Hey, I like glittery things. So sue me.”
Bruce snorted. “There’s going to be a big Society event at the Gotham Arms tomorrow night.”
“Anyone we know?”
“Too many,” Bruce said with that dry tone he uses, suggesting my next move.
“Aww, c’mon, Brucie, are you dissin’ your fellow Society swells?”
He rolled his eyes while I grinned. I took out my notepad and flipped through it, casually dropping the line, “So is Clark going to patrol with me again?”
“If he doesn’t have an emergency.”
I ate another slice of cantaloupe. Sweetest of the sweet!
“Boy, you and Clark had a rocky start, didn’t you?”
“If you mean trying to believe that the Big Blue Boy Scout was for real, then yes.”
“Aw, c’mon, Bruce, you know you liked Clark from the start.”
The response was so unlike Bruce that I laughed, tapping him on the leg. “You’re a big fraud, Bruce Wayne.”
I grinned, remembering how Bruce had finally melted like the Winter Warlock…*
“Face it, Bruce, you can’t stay mad at me for long.”
Bruce glared at Clark, who was sitting with him in the backyard, the ocean sparkling in front of them.
I was sitting in the gardens, out of sight but close enough to observe them. Bruce had joined the new Justice League of America six months ago at the urging of Clark, who had
practically dragged him kicking and screaming, but in the end, Bruce had been perfect for the team. He and Clark were the natural leaders, along with Diana.
I sure could understand that. I was leading the new Teen Titans, and I felt good. I was more like Clark that way, because Bruce was not exactly the cajoling type, but his leadership style complemented Clark’s. Just like they always did.
“So, what should be on the next meeting’s agenda?” asked Clark.
“Hall of Justice security. We’re too vulnerable. It can be too easily breached.”
Bruce went on about his ideas, and Clark was looking at him just like trick rider Jim had looked at lion tamer Brad back in the circus.
That was when the sunlight hit.
Yeah, it sounds sappy, but that’s what love is a lot of times, right?
Anyway, the sunlight hit Clark, he seemed to glow with sparkle and glitter. Right up my alley! But Bruce was clearly captivated, his JLA improvements forgotten. It’s not often that I see Bruce speechless!
Clark leaned forward. “Yes, Bruce?” If it was possible, he sparkled even more.
Yep, they kissed!
I couldn’t help smirking. They had gone upstairs and been out-of-sight until dinnertime.
“What are you smirking about?”
“Who, me, smirking?”
Bruce’s expression said, You’re up to something, but so be it. He was right!
“Be right back.”
I hopped off the bed and ran downstairs, consulted with Alfred, then dashed back up. Bruce looked long-suffering, which amused me even more.
That evening, Clark arrived and Alfred persuaded Bruce to leave his laptop and come downstairs for dinner.
Surprise lit Bruce’s face at the candles, flowers, and best china. It was very romantic, and Alfred and I served, eating in the kitchen.
Because we’d both remembered…
Clark flew into the Batcave, carrying Bruce in his arms. Horrified, I rushed forward from the computer.
“A lucky shot.”
Clark brought Bruce over to the infirmary, laying him gently on the table.
“Out grocery shopping. I’ll call him.”
After I made the call, I helped Clark work on Bruce. We stopped the bleeding and I began stitching him up, guided by Clark’s X-ray vision.
“He had my back,” Clark said softly.
“He always will.”
“He’s the one I trust most.”
My fingers kept stitching. “That’s why you’re the World’s Finest.”
Clark smiled a little at the nickname the press had given them. “He’s the finest I’ve ever worked with.”
“I…for the early part of my career, I was alone out there, and at first, when Batman came along, we didn’t rush into a partnership.”
“And now you’re friends.”
“Yes.” He sighed. “He took a shot for me. He was distracted by Brainiac aiming that Green K gun…”
“It’s all right, Clark.”
Bruce had awakened by the time Alfred arrived home, and all was well…
“Right here, Bruce.”
Clark clasped Bruce’s hand, his blue eyes shimmering.
“Next time, duck.”
Laughter came in from the dining room.
“Me duck? You were the one who didn’t watch out,” Clark insisted while Bruce scoffed.
“It’s quite a fine thing, to celebrate friendship and more,” Alfred said, raising his glass.
I raised mine and we clinked glasses, more laughter coming in from the dining room.
Laughter and love are good.
*The Winter Warlock is a villain-turned-good guy in Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town.