Batman punched the henchman, knocking him back, and followed that with another left to the jaw. The tall muscular man fell like a fallen tree to the floor. Another grabbed him from behind, and Batman threw him over his shoulder, and then punched him, knocking his lights out. The caped crusader looked around for his sidekick.

Robin was trading punches with a goon twice his size, and he moved like a dancer, dodging and blocking the punches thrown at him. He moved in a struck and backed out of range again. He was smiling as he fought. Another came up behind him, and kicked out his legs, Robin landed and rolled back onto his feet, kicking out catching the guy in the stomach, doubling him over. As he turned and swung at the other man. Batman threw his batarang and nailed the man Robin was fighting, taking him out. Robin glanced at him and turned to the man just straightening up.

Batman turned and punch the Joker and watched the Joker throw cards at him, and run off. The caped Crusader came over to his junior partner who had just finished off his opponent. He put his hand on the boys shoulder. Robin looked up at his mentor and smiled.

"Come on Robin, the police are on their way to collect this mess. Let go home chum."

"Okay, Batman. It's been a long night, and I could use some sleep." The two walked out of the building, as the police drove up, lights flashing. Batman just pointed inside as they left, going to the Batmobile. When they were driving home, Batman looked at his partner, seeing the quietness in him, a rare thing for Robin.

"Is everything alright, Robin?" The kid turned to him, and nodded.

"Yeah, nothing wrong at all." The man looked at the teen and knew that he was hiding something.

"Okay chum, if you say so. If you want to talk about it, let me know. I'll make time."

"It's okay, it's nothing to worry you about." Batman watched the buildings, and traffic as he past them. The street lights flashing by overhead, and he wondered if Alfred knew anything about what was bothering his boy. He would ask him later.

"Sir, what makes you think something is wrong?" Afred his posture straight, as he looked into the eyes of the man he had raised.

"I feel it, Alfred. Something is bothering the boy."

"Maybe it's something to do with school. Maybe he's having problems with bullies, or girl problems."

"I think he could handle the bullies, and as for girls... he hasn't said anything to me, yet."

"Well, Master Bruce if I may. He may believe you would be unhappy with him, if he told you."

"I would never be unhappy with him, or ashamed. No one could ask for a better son that Dick."

"I agree Sir. I will talk to him, and see if I can find out anything."

"Thanks Alfred. I have some paperwork to go over before my meeting tomorrow."

"Very good Sir, I will bring you a tray, and see that Master Dick has something before going to bed."

As Alfred walked to the kitchen, he thought back to his recent conversations with the young man.

Dick sat in his room, he had remembered the conversation with his new friend, David. He had recently moved to town, and Dick had found him a nice guy. Earlier that day after gym, at lunch the two teens had sat outside eating their lunch, talking.

"I was real lucky, after my parents died. The orphanage is terrible, and who wants an older kid anyway? But then the Petersons came to see the kids and well, they adopted me. They are even changing my name to theirs, they tell everyone I am their son. Not adopted, but their own. They are good people. I guess that's one of the reasons we get along, we have a lot in common.

"What, because we both lost our parents?"

"Yeah, but you were a lot younger weren't you?"

"Yeah, I was five."

"Aren't we lucky? We were adopted by people who love us." Dick looked at the other teen, and felt a lump in his throat.

"Yeah, lucky to have people love us, again." David looked puzzled at Dick.

"Did I say something wrong?"

"No, nothing. It's just that Bruce didn't adopt me, I am only his ward."

"I am sorry, Dick. I thought he had, the way he acts. I am sure he will, have you noticed how much you two look alike?"

"Bruce and me? Not really." Did they? It didn't matter, Bruce wasn't going to adopt him, maybe he didn't love him. Could he just be a charity case? Dick excused himself and went to his locker, there he took his bookbag and left the school. He took his motorcycle and rode out of the school parking lot.