Title: Pomp And Circumstance (1/1)
Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Alfred, Dick
Genres: Fluff, Slice-Of-Life
Summary: Dick’s family is there to see him graduate.
Date Of Completion: May 21, 2011
Date Of Posting: June 2, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1428
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Happy Birthday, mithen! :) Pairing: Clark/Bruce. Prompt: How about Clark and Bruce at Dick’s high school graduation?
Like scenes from a movie.
Luckily, I have popcorn.
Pomp And Circumstance played out ponderously as the scarlet-and-gold-clad graduates marched down the aisle of the giant tent on the grounds of Lakeview High School. Parents, relatives and friends watched the procession proudly as the front rows filled up.
Clark, Bruce and Alfred were smiling as they watched the students file by, their cameras ready. Bruce had his cellphone, Clark a disposable camera and Alfred his reliable old Brownie. Their smiles grew when they spotted Dick.
Dick smiled brightly as he marched. He saw his family and practically sparkled.
Bruce felt pride swell in him as he watched his boy, the gold tassel bouncing as Dick continued down the aisle and into a row.
Bruce remembered the little boy he had taken into his home all those years ago. Dick had been shattered by witnessing the deaths of his parents, a state of mind that Bruce knew all too well. Dick had battled through his grief and had become a vital part of the small family of Bruce and Alfred, later joined by Clark, adding so much to their lives with his joy and laughter.
He was a natural as Robin. He helped me when we were out on the streets of Gotham, facing the same dangers. It was just the two of us against the world.
The welcoming speech by the principal had begun, and Bruce only half-listened. His boy was going off to college, a smart young man good with the books and with a flair for the theatrical.
He remembered saying once to Clark, “The only time I ever feel pride is when I look at Dick. Sometimes I think he’s the only thing I ever did right.”
I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, but taking in Dick was definitely not one of them.
Bruce slipped his hand into Clark’s. His husband smiled and squeezed his hand. Leaning over, Clark whispered, “He’s quite a young man, isn’t he?”
They sat through the speeches and it was time for the valedictorian’s address. Bruce, Clark and Alfred sat up a little straighter as Dick’s name was announced. He stood up and inched out of the row of seats to walk up the steps to the stage. He stood behind the podium and took out a sheaf of papers.
Dick smiled as he looked out over the audience. Bruce leaned forward a little, squeezing Clark’s hand.
“It’s a great honor to be up here and I thank the school, Principal Maywood, the faculty, and my fellow students. Today is a new beginning, not surprising as we’re ending high school and beginning our adult lives.
“I came to Gotham via the circus, so I guess you could say I ran away from it instead of to it.” Laughter rippled through the crowd. Bruce’s heart ached a little, remembering the snap of ropes and the plunge down of Dick’s parents to the sawdust below, leaving behind a grieving child whose world had been shattered.
He remembered that sparkling pixie known as Robin, brightening grim patrols and working his way into the Bat’s life, because he was already in Bruce’s heart from the first night.
He remembered the first time Dick had met Clark, a Superman fanboy extraordinaire…
“Wow, Superman! I’ve wanted to meet you forever!” Robin vibrated with excitement as Batman kept a gauntlet on his shoulder.
Superman smiled down at Robin and held out his hand. “I’m glad to meet you, Robin. I’ve heard a lot of good things about you.”
Robin’s smile surprised even Superman with its incandescence.
“Not simply the ol’ much- lauded journey stretching out ahead of us,” Dick said. “Just a life and the chance to make some decisions about it, though the metaphorical journey will be an interesting one if we’re lucky.”
Even Clark didn’t realize how dynamic Dick could be. After all, it was their first meeting.
Superman watched as Robin cartwheeled in his excitement. He laughed. “That boy’s smile rivals the sun.”
“I would say you’re right,” Batman said wryly.
Dick had never stopped being special. He was one-third of what the press had dubbed the World’s Finest, growing into a willowy teenager whose superpower should have been grace. Athleticism went without saying, but gracefulness was in his every movement with startling sinuous clarity and illusive liquid sparkle.
He had been the un-elected leader of the Teen Titans since the very beginning, as the other Titans had recognized his leadership and instinctively followed it. Dick had shouldered that burden for years and seemed to thrive on it.
And now he was charming the audience as he gave his valedictorian speech. Bruce thought that he would burst with pride.
He’s crammed a lifetime of living into these short years. He’s a more natural leader than I could ever hope to be. My beautiful boy is all grown up.
Raising Dick with Clark and Alfred had been one of the best things that had ever happened to him…
Dick laughed as he swam in the ocean, splashing Clark as the two of them romped in the sea off the private beach on the estate. They were like two playful dolphins, sparkling and joyful. Bruce set aside his sunglasses and joined them.
The meal was tense as Clark fiddled with his food, a sure sign that he was upset. Bruce sipped his wine and glared. Alfred served each course silently, his disapproval radiating off him in waves. Clark and Bruce’s disagreement smoldered between them as ten-year-old Dick sighed, stabbing a fork into his roast beef.
“Will you two please kiss and make up?”
Clark and Bruce looked at each other and then burst out laughing.
“A new muffin recipe, sir.”
Bruce curiously took the muffin that Alfred offered and bit into it. “Mmm, cranberry?”
“Yes, sir.” Alfred stood straight and tall as the grandfather clock in the hall ticked loudly. It was very quiet here in the study.
“And that flavor that is mixed in?”
“A secret family recipe, sir.”
“What?” he snapped.
“You’re a little hard on Dick.”
“He has to learn discipline, Clark.”
Clark shook his head as he faced Bruce in the study. “He knows discipline, Bruce. He knew it as an acrobat with his parents and he’s known as Robin for a long time now.”
“He disobeyed me on patrol.”
“And saved you. I don’t think he ought to be punished for that.”
Bruce slammed his fist down on the desk. “I can’t have him picking and choosing what orders to follow! He is still young and needs to follow my lead.”
“He’s your equal partner and you know it.”
Bruce glared at Clark who stood his ground. Bruce’s shoulders slumped. “I can’t allow him to get hurt, even to save me.”
“Bruce.” He looked up at the gentle voice. “Dick understands the risks. He saw his parents take risks every night. He knows what’s expected of him. Just don’t expect him to stand by and let you be hurt or worse, orders or no orders.”
Bruce stared out the window, trying to keep the memory of Robin coming to his rescue and nearly getting shot in the process. He finally said, “I’ll go talk to him.”
Bruce felt a little nervous but kept a calm façade. So what if it was his wedding day? Batman did not panic! But he walked down the aisle with Clark at his side and saw Dick smiling as the best man at the altar and did feel some of his nervousness fade. Dick was smiling like the sun and his sapphire-blue eyes sparkled with amusement and love. Okay, he could do this. He could marry Clark in front of their friends and families and Dick had the rings, bless him…Dick whispered in his ear as he arrived at the altar, “Don’t worry, it’s the best decision you’ve ever made.”
It was the second best decision he’d ever made. The first had been bringing Dick home that night so long ago.
The memories were precious. Bruce didn’t know where Dick’s future lay, but he knew that the partner of the Batman and the leader of the Teen Titans would be able to do whatever he wanted to do.
He’s my heir in so many ways. And he’s going to be better than I ever was.
Bruce squeezed Clark’s hand again as Alfred smiled benignly. Dick spotted his family and smiled like the sun.