Title: Snowmen and Showmen (1/1)
Author: Charlene Edwards
Synopsis: Dick has a school Christmas Program and has unexpected visitors to the audience. Set one year after Christmas Spectacular.
Diclaimer: DC owns. I will take them for Christmas though. :-)
Thanks to Patty and Tammy for beta reading this. I hope you all enjoy. Merry Christmas. Char :-)
Snowmen and Showmen:
Batman walked around the lab in the JLA satellite running some tests on an ancient jar containing the remains of a recently revived and redeceased Godking they had confiscated from Felix Faust. Batman was humming as he worked. Mouth gaping, Flash stood on the other side of the room staring at his colleague. He held his hand up as Green Lantern and Green Arrow walked inside the lab.
"Shh," Flash commanded Green Lantern. Then he whispered, "He's ... humming ... Frosty."
"Frosty?" Green Arrow asked incredulously. Then he listened. The beat, the sound, it was unmistakable. The dreaded Dark Knight was humming Frosty the Snowman. "Bwahahaha," Green Arrow burst out laughing, he doubled over, his hands on his knees.
Flash looked stricken as Batman turned to face the trio at the door. He threw his hand up in the air, "Um ... hi. How's the ... um ... anaylsis ... coming?"
"Fine." Batman answered. He was intent on watching them. His eyes narrowed on Oliver Queen. "What. Is. So. Funny?"
Green Arrow tried to straighten up, tears streaming down his face as he continued to laugh. He half choked as he tried to speak. "You. Frosty."
Batman's jaw clenched, his cape clinging around him. He stormed past them heading toward the transporter bay. He shoved his file into the Flash's hand. "You're the chemist. You finish the test."
"Oh come on Spooky," Ollie called behind him before he followed him.
Flash palmed his face. Green Lantern shrugged and said, "We'd better follow them. Ollie's liable to keep talking."
"Which would be a bad thing," Flash continued.
"C'mon Spooky. It was funny, you gotta admit it."
Batman brushed past Superman, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter. Superman's head went from one side to the other watching Batman and Green Arrow. "What's going on?"
"Nothing," Batman spat out. "I'm needed in Gotham."
"He's got to go caroling," Arrow answered chuckling.
"Caroling?" Superman said. "I know I don't want to ask but --"
"He was humming Frosty," Green Arrow replied to the unvoiced question. "Bats, it's not a crime to be in the Christmas spirit."
"Frosty?" Wonder Woman asked confused. "What is Frosty?"
Batman whirled on them, "Robin has a school program tomorrow night. He's singing Frosty. For three weeks, he has been singing Frosty -- in the kitchen, at the table, in the study, in his bed, in the cave, in the batmobile and on patrol. Day and night. It. Sticks. In. Your. Head."
"Oh that's cute," Flash said coming around the corner. "I've got a nephew who's about Robin's age. I always go when Wally's in those little school programs. He loves it for Iris and I to come, makes him feel special. He's a snowflake in his program this year and --" Flash stopped talking as he realized everyone was staring at him. "What?"
Superman walked over to Batman. "There's no need to leave in a huff. There's nothing wrong with humming Frosty. I love to sing Christmas carols."
"You would," Batman said turning and stepping up on the transporter pad. Pressing a few buttons he disappeared in a flash of light.
" -- olly, happy soul."
As the words echoed in the cavern, Batman rolled his eyes and stepped off the transporter into the cave. His face was flushed.
"With a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal." Dick sang as he cartwheeled around the tumbling pads.
Batman grumbled as he descended from the steps onto the cave floor. His eyes went toward the singing boy practicing his gymnastics. Friday was two days away; Friday was the last day of school before the Christmas break; and thank God, Friday was the day of the Christmas pageant.
"How was your work on the satellite Master Bruce?" Alfred asked as he headed down the stone steps with a tray containing a silver pitcher and two cups. "I've taken the liberty of preparing some hot chocolate."
" -- you cry, I'll be back again some--CHOCOLATE!" Dick jumped up from his flip and ran over to the counter. "Yeah, I'm ready for some hot chocolate." The boy beamed a smile at Bruce, "You want some."
Bruce pulled the cowl from his face and looked into the smiling, happy face of his little boy and his heart melted. "Sure. You sound like you're ready to sing your solo Friday night."
Dick climbed up on the stool and sipped the steaming hot liquid, "You think? I've been trying to decide how animated I wanna be when I'm singing it."
"Yeah, like when I sing about the police man hollering stop, I was thinking of throwing my hand up in the stop position like the traffic cop over on Kane and Adams. What'cha think?"
Bruce forced a half-smile to come to his face. "I'm sure that will be fine." He cocked his head to the side then turned. He thought he heard something ... the hum of the transporter ... or ... nothing. He sighed inwardly, he was paranoid.
"Master Bruce, I assume you want to video tape the event as we did last year?"
"Absolutely," Bruce replied, his features relaxing into a genuine contented smile. "I'm starting a collection."
"-- still, you shouldn't have laughed," Superman chided Green Arrow.
"Oh lighten up Boy Scout," Green Arrow replied.
"I still don't understand what is Frosty? Why is Frosty humorous?" the League's newest member asked.
"It's a Christmas song," Superman replied.
Wonder Woman cocked her head, "What is Christmas?"
Flash rolled his eyes under his cowl, stepped off the transporter and headed back toward the lab. Green Lantern followed him. "Why does Ollie like to goad Bruce so much?"
"Because he's intimidated by him ... just a little," Hal replied removing his mask.
Barry pulled his cowl back. "Bruce intimidates everyone, including Clark. It's who he is and he enjoys it."
"Exactly, which Ollie can't stand."
Barry nodded as he walked toward the test tubes and the anylsis Batman had begun. "Yeah, but he shouldn't rib him about his kid." He froze at his words and turned to face his friend. "Oh my God, did you hear what I just said. 'His kid'. Batman ... Bruce ... has a kid."
"You've known that for some time now Barry."
"Yeah, I mean yeah but ... I was seeing it as Batman and Robin. Hero and sidekick. It just hit me that Dick is his kid." Barry smiled.
Hal sat on a stool in the lab and watched as Barry worked on the tests. "It's funny how the last guy you expect to ever have a kid is the first one to end up with one."
"Yeah, isn't it. You know, I saw him for a second in the cave --"
"What was that about? You didn't stay, it didn't even look like you went all the way. I thought it was a transporter malfunction."
"No, I just ... he was with Dick and I just ... couldn't intrude."
"In other words, you chickened out."
"Yep," Barry answered.
"Bruce and Dick ... family time. Now that's something I'd like to see," Hal added.
Bruce pulled the Mercedes-Benz sports utility vehicle into a parking space at Bristol Elementary School. Alfred exited the passenger side of the vehicle and held the back door open for Leslie Thompkins to get out. Bruce gave a half-smile as Dick bounded out of the back seat from behind the driver's seat. "Hold up, Dick," Bruce said stopping the fidgety boy in his tracks. He reached in the back of the car, grabbed the video camera bag, slung it over his shoulder and shut the door, locking the car behind him. He reached down and took the small hand in his, "Let's go."
Dick practically floated on air as they walked toward the elementary school. Bruce couldn't help but notice how Dick seemed more confident and at ease this year than he had last year. He had been as enthusiastic about showing his school off to Bruce as he was now, but there was a sureness, a rightness, to his place in the world again.
"I'll meet you in the auditorium," Bruce said to Leslie and Alfred. "Save me a seat." He waved them off as he continued to the back stage area with Dick. "Are you nervous?"
"Noooooo," Dick said with a laugh. "I like performing."
Bruce ruffled his hair and smiled the famous Bruce Wayne smile at his teacher. "Good evening Ms. Campbell."
"Mr. Wayne. Hi Dick," the pretty young blonde greeted as she bent down to her student. "Ready to sing?"
"Yes ma'am," Dick nodded. He looked up at Bruce who gave him a signal to go be with his classmates.
"I didn't know that Dick had family that wasn't from Gotham. It's good they could come in for the show," the young teacher said.
"Family?" Bruce asked confused. "I'm not sure what you --"
"Clark I believe, he said he was Dick's Uncle Clark."
"Oh. Really? Clark. Is. Here."
"You didn't know? I hope I didn't spoil the surprise."
"Not at all, Ms. Campbell. I hate surprises. Take care of my boy." Bruce turned on his heels and drew a deep breath. What was he doing here? And she had said they ... who else was here? His eyes narrowed as he approached the auditorium door. His hand pushed it open and he surveyed the room. His jaw flexed when he found them talking with Alfred and Leslie. Clark, Diana, Barry, Hal and Ollie.
"Bruce," Leslie said with a smile as she watched him approach. "We have company."
"I see that. What. Are. You. Doing. Here?"
Clark moved over with his hand extended, "We thought it would be nice for Dick to have a few more friendly faces in the audience. Barry was talking about how much his nephew, Wally, enjoys having them at his programs and I thought ... well ... we thought ... that --"
"Uncle Clark," Bruce sighed. He held his hand out and beckoned them to take their seats on the second row. Hopefully the world would not need saving in the next hour, because the world's greatest heroes were assembled for a fifth graders performance in the school Christmas show.
Dick's song was sixth on the program as it went in order of the classes, starting with kindergarten. When it was time, Dick and a few classmates moved to the center of the small stage surrounding a child dressed as a snowman. Dick began to sing, leading the rest of the group.
"Frosty, the Snowman, what a jolly happy soul, with a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal."
The children added accessories to the snowman.
"Frosty, the Snowman, is a fairytale they say. He was made of snow but the children know how he came to life one day. There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found," Dick grabbed a top hat from the stage floor and placed it on the snowman's head. "For when they placed it on his head he began to dance around."
Dick, the snowman, and the other children danced around the stage. Bruce couldn't help but smile as he watched his boy. He was so comfortable performing in front of people. As much as Bruce shied away from the limelight, Dick thrived in it.
"Frosty, the Snowman, was alive as he could be and the children say he could laugh and play just the same as you and me. Frosty, the Snowman, knew the sun was hot that day so he said let's run and we'll have some fun now before I melt away. Down to the village with a broomstick in his hand running here and there all around the square saying catch me if you can."
Ollie snickered to Hal, "Sounds like Bruce's whack-jobs."
Diana cleared her throat and turned a disapproving eye toward him.
Dick moved from the line of dancing children, and grabbed a small capped hat. "He led them down the streets of town right to the traffic cop and he only paused a moment when he heard him holler --"
Dick turned in front of the line and threw his hand up to them "Stop!" he shouted.
Clark leaned over to Bruce and whispered, "He got that line from you."
Dick turned to the audience to do his solo part in the song. "Frosty the Snowman --" He saw them. Sitting with Bruce. Clark and ... the rest. The Justice League. In his auditorium ... watching him sing. His blue eyes grew big and his voice left him.
Bruce noticed the panicked look on the child's face. He was so startled by his surprise audience he had forgotten the words. Bruce mouthed "Frosty, the Snowman, had to hurry on his way."
Dick smiled. Prompted by Bruce, he continued, "Frosty, the Snowman, had to hurry on his way but he waved goodbye saying don't you cry I'll be back again some day. Thumpety thump thump. Thumpety thump thump. Look at Frosty go." He waved at the snowman and the other children as they exited the stage, "Thumpety thump thump. Thumpety thump thump. Over the hills of snow."
The audience erupted in applause. Bruce held his hands over his head clapping, a genuine smile on his face. Diana leaned over Clark to whisper to Bruce, "He was so cute."
"Yes, he is," Bruce replied.
Dick ran down the school's hallway toward Bruce. "Did ya see me? Did ya see me?" He jumped and Bruce caught him in his arms.
"I saw you. You were great," Bruce replied as small arms wrapped tightly around his neck.
"Well, 'cept where I forgot my lines," Dick said sheepishly, hanging his little head.
Bruce momentarily glared at their uninvited guests. "Well, you were surprised." He patted the child on the back. "It's okay."
Dick beamed, "But you helped me. Hi Uncle Clark!"
Clark moved closer taking the small hand in his, "Hiya Dick. You were so good in your show."
"Thank you," Dick said with a wide grin.
Bruce mumbled, "That's what partners do." He knew Dick hadn't heard him. With Superman standing so near, Dick couldn't hear anything. He sat the boy down so he could mingle. Bruce's face scrunched up as he watched Dick take Clark's hand and show him some art work of his adorning the wall outside of Dick's classroom.
Ollie slapped Bruce on the back, "Didn't know you were such a domestic diva, old man.
"Zip it, Queen," Bruce replied in a low, lethal whisper while plastering a smile on his face.
"Oh come on. Who would've thought you, of all people, would be video taping an elementary school Christmas pageant. Makes you a lot less scary."
Bruce continued to smile the famous Bruce Wayne in public smile as he replied to Oliver Queen through gritted teeth, "Meet you in a dark alley and we'll see how scary I can be." He watched as Diana leaned down speaking to Dick. He noticed how the boy smiled at her, yet clung slightly to Clark. Dick wasn't a shy boy, but he knew the nine-year old was slightly reserved until he was completely comfortable with people.
Ollie laughed at his colleague. "You've become the soul of domesticity. Who knew the Bat could be a mom?"
"Laughing's contagious. Keep it up and you'll end up pregnant," Bruce countered.
Ollie continued to speak, "Not me. Never catch me with a kid. They cramp your style."
Bruce's head turned towards the speaker. "Dick does not cramp my style. A child would do you a world of good. You need a lesson in responsibility."
"I do not. I have a city just like you that I take care of. I don't need babysitting added to my resume. Last thing you'll ever see is me with a kid tagging along in spandex."
Bruce's mouth opened to reply, but he was stopped by Alfred's "Ahem." All eyes turned toward the elderly man. "If I may, I believe we should all leave and return to the Manor for some hot cocoa and cookies."
"YAY!" Dick replied. He tugged on Clark's hand as he headed toward Bruce. "Can I ride with Uncle Clark? Can I please?"
Bruce's eyes narrowed. He knew exactly what the child meant, what he wanted. "It's ... cold ... outside. You should ride in the car."
"But Bruceeeeeeee," Dick whined.
"I'll keep him warm," Clark replied. "We'll be there before the rest of you."
"Is that a challenge?" Barry asked with a grin.
"No," Bruce answered. "No racing and no ... " he looked around and lowed his voice, "flying."
"But pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee," Dick asked. He looked up with the widest blue eyes. "Pleaseeeeeeeee."
Bruce looked from the child's face into Clark's. He tried his best to glare. "Wear your jacket." He held the jacket out to the boy who slipped into it. "Now, I want this zipped up and I want you to wear your gloves." Bruce bent down zipping the coat as Dick fished his gloves from the pocket. He looked up at Alfred, "He should've worn a hat."
Clark reached down and picked Dick up. "He'll be fine Bruce."
Barry had enjoyed watching the interaction between Bruce, Clark and the child. He couldn't help but smile. Having Dick in his life, had given Bruce an added dimension. One that suited him. Barry winked at Hal who was also smiling at the sight before them.
Ollie was laughing again at the sight until Diana and Hal both elbowed him. Ollie waved at them, "You kids have fun. Hal and I have to head to New Mexico. I'm judging an archery contest tomorrow afternoon."
Bruce looked up, "Oh darn. We'll miss you."
"Frosty, the Snowman, what a jolly happy soul, with a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal." Dick and Bruce sung together as they decorated the large tree by the fireplace in the study.
Alfred came in with a tray of hot chocolate and homemade pudding. He sat the tray on Bruce's large mahogany desk. "Master Bruce, you have a telephone call on line two. Mister Queen, Sir."
Bruce turned, a large gold ball in his hand, "Take a message, I'm busy."
"I believe you may want to take this call, Sir. Based upon the background noise I heard."
Bruce handed the ornament to Dick, quickly moved across to the desk and picked up the phone. "Ollie, do you need backup?"
"Yeah," Oliver's somewhat frazzled voice called over the line. Sounds of whoops and laughter in the background. "Be careful! That'll break -- Bruce, I gave an eleven year old a sixty-four ounce Zesti and now I think he's having a sugar overdose ... or something -- Don't climb up there!"
"One -- where did you get an eleven year old? Two -- any idiot knows you don't give a child that much soda at one time. Three -- It's just a sugar rush, he'll get over it. Four -- buy milk."
"I kinda got saddled with this kid at the archery contest. Not sure that I'm gonna keep him or what but ... PUT THAT DOWN!"
"Children aren't pets. You don't take them back. Maybe I should call child protective services now ... just put them on alert."
"Very funny. Oh and what do you -- STOP jumping on the sofa -- get an eleven year old boy for Christmas?"
A wry smile crossed Bruce's lips. "Spandex."