Title: Perfection, Part One or How I Learned To Accept That Bruce and Alfred are Sadists and Just Enjoy the Prom
Fandom: Teen Titans
Characters: Dick Grayson, Donna Troy, Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne
Prompt: 077. What?
Word Count: 4,961
Summary: Dick never wanted to go to his senior prom. Too bad it wasn't his decision.
Author's Notes: This was getting really long, so I've split it into two parts. Part two will be up when I finish it. Oh, and this is almost surely an AU, but I don't care.
Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans, Robin, Wonder Girl, Batman, or anything else that DC made up. They are all property of DC Comics.
It was a testament to his training that Dick Grayson could walk down the hallways of Gotham Preparatory Academy and completely ignore the excited conversations going on around him. Had he tuned in to the ramblings of his fellow students, he would have heard the same thing he had been hearing for almost two months: senior prom. The impending date was finally going to arrive this weekend and he couldn't care less.
While he was a senior and it was his God-given right to attend this dance, nothing about it interested him. It wasn't just that he really, really didn't want to hear about it anymore—who was going with whom, who had booked a hotel room for afterwards, where everyone was going afterwards to get drunk—but what was the point? Everyone paid an arm and a leg for tickets, sold their soul for something great to wear, and danced uncomfortably until they were allowed to leave in order to do something illegal in one way or another.
Illegality certainly wasn't his thing. He lived with Batman, after all; he would get caught. There was nothing exciting, or at least nothing as exciting as a night out as Robin. He didn't want to get drunk, and being laid, while on his list of things to do eventually, wasn't on his list of things to accomplish this weekend. Should he have gotten around to asking out one of his spoiled classmates, they'd be home probably the minute of their curfew or at least the earliest socially acceptable time so that he could get home and change out of the tux and into the pixie boots. They would have a horrible time, so, really, he was doing them a favor by not asking.
He kept this mentality in the forefront of his mind as he stopped to get the books he would need for his homework from his locker. Luckily, the AP tests were over, so he only had Spanish and Speech homework, considering they were his only classes that weren't advanced placement. After slipping the books into his leather messenger bag, which was far too expensive for any kind of backpack, he closed his locker door, surprised to see Cynthia Madras leaning against the locker next to his, grinning like the cat that ate the canary.
"Hi, Cyndy," he said, smiling warily. This was not a good sign. "How are you?"
Pushing her long blonde hair, which was probably not worth the colorist she paid, behind her shoulder, her smile simply widened. "I'm fabulous, Dick. And yourself?"
Nodding, he told her, "I'm good." She didn't say anything, but she wasn't leaving, so Alfred's training took over. "Was there something you needed to talk to me about?"
"You know I'm on the prom committee of course." He nodded again; of course he did. The girl never had a conversation without mentioning it. "Well," she continued, "I'm just making sure that all the seniors are ready for this weekend."
"That's really nice of you," he said, his smile becoming more forced by the minute. It was unfair of him to think badly of her. Maybe she was trying to make sure people were happy in those small moments when she wasn't trying to bribe or threaten people into voting for her for Prom Queen. "Are you ready for this weekend? You're going with Kyle Planners right?"
She bit her over-glossed bottom lip. "We had discussed it. You know, since we're probably going to be King and Queen of Prom Court anyway. If someone else doesn't ask me, of course."
Dick nodded as politely as he could. "Well, good luck with that. I hope you win." Checking his watch, he faked a sigh, trying to keep any bit of relief out of it. "I'm sorry to have to cut this conversation short, but I have to go. I told Bruce that I'd be home as soon as school was over, and he doesn't like to wait."
"Right, of course," she said, smiling at him again. "Wouldn't want you to get in trouble and get grounded."
"Thanks." Adjusting his messenger back strap on his shoulder, he said, "I'll see you tomorrow."
As he tried to walk past her, she grabbed his arm. "You have my number, right? You know, if you need to ask me anything."
"I've got it," he assured her. "Talk to you later, Cyndy." Dick eased his arm out of her grasp, then continued down the hallway towards the east parking lot, relieved to get away with all of his limbs intact.
He had almost made it when he felt a strong arm fall on his shoulder. "Grayson!" Matt Walsh greeted him. "What's up, man?"
"Nothing much. Hey, Conrad," Dick said, nodding to Ryan Conrad on Matt's other side, who nodded back.
"So, Conrad here and I were wondering what you were doing after prom," Matt explained. "The two of us and a couple other guys have bought rooms at the Hilton and they're reserving some more for Prep students. We're hopin' to sell out that entire section of the floor to make it one big party without any idiot tourists or fucking old people getting in the way and ruining our fun. What do you say?"
Dick shrugged. "Sorry, but I'm not going to prom."
The two other men stopped in their tracks, staring at him as if he said he was planning on studying for the priesthood. "Not going to prom?" Walsh repeated.
"What's wrong, Grayson?" Conrad smirked at the shorter senior. "Couldn't get a date?"
Dick opened his mouth to retort, but Blair cut him off. "No, no, I've seen girls throwing themselves at you for weeks now. I mean, that's what Cyndy was doing just now. You could have said yes to one of them. So what's wrong? Wayne won't let you go?"
Although it would have been the perfect excuse, he didn't feel like lying over something this stupid. "No, I just wasn't planning on it. It's just not my thing, you know?"
"It'll be fun," Walsh promised, and Conrad nodded in agreement. "Plus, it's not like you won't be able to find someone to go with you. Cyndy would. I've heard other girls talking about it. Lara Wilkinson told my sister she'd go down on you, and Trish Nash expressed that she'd make it worth your while."
"As great as that sounds, I just don't think it's my thing. But look, I'll think about it, okay?"
Walsh nodded. "Fair enough. Keep it in mind, Grayson. We're counting on you!"
"See you guys later." He started walking faster out of the double doors, walking straight out to the parking lot, a large sense of relief filling his chest as he saw his car. The sanctuary of the BMW never felt so good, he thought as he climbed in, throwing his bag on the on the passenger seat, and closing the door behind himself. After sighing loudly, he started the car, heading out toward the manor.
At least there he'd be safe, he realized. Bruce never read the Gotham Prep newsletter, so he probably didn't even know that prom was this weekend. Not to mention that there were several very nice punching bags to take his frustration out on. Pressing his foot to the gas pedal a little harder, he began to push the speed limit, eager to make it to the haven before somehow, somewhere, someone decided to corner him about the prom.
That night, he did his homework and worked out for almost an hour before Alfred called him to wash up for dinner. As he and Bruce ate Alfred's tender steak, they conversed about the usual topics: school, Wayne Enterprises.
Dick probably couldn't have been more surprised when Bruce paused in spearing his green beans to ask him, "Isn't prom this weekend?"
"Um…yeah, it is," Dick told him carefully, buttering his roll nonchalantly.
"Are you going?"
"Wasn't planning on it."
Bruce nodded. "Alright then."
Dick tried not to sigh with relief. If Bruce wasn't going to pester him about it, then he was safe. He hadn't expected that Bruce would insist on him going, but sometimes the man surprised him in the absolute worst ways.
He later realized as dinner was finished and Alfred began clearing the plates that he shouldn't have been so cocky about getting away Scott free. It turned out that Bruce wasn't the one he needed to worry about.
It was a surprisingly lazy Saturday for Dick. He got to sleep in late for once, his homework was light, and he actually got to chat online with Wally for a little while until the speedster left to hang out with his uncle. Over all, it was the most relaxing weekend he could remember having in years. He should have known that it was too good to be true.
As it neared dinnertime, Dick headed down to the cave to find out what the plans were for that evening. As expected, Bruce was sitting at the computer console, looking at a map of Gotham and plotting out points. Dick leaned over the back of the chair, following the movements on the computer with his eyes. "What are these?"
"The points of a recent string of break ins," Bruce explained. "A murder at almost every one and not enough taken to make it look like it was random. They're looking for something." Another bright point lit up on the screen, flashing to get his attention. "This is the next point that makes sense."
"We staking out there tonight?"
Bruce hesitated for a moment. "No. I'm staking out there tonight."
"So what do you want me to do?"
"Nothing," he said, switching screens to look at their current inventory of bat-items. "You've got the night off."
It took a moment for Dick to process that. "What?" he demanded, stepping back from the chair. "What did I do?"
"You haven't done anything…that I know of." Bruce turned in his chair, leveling Dick with a stare. "If you did do something, remember, I will find out. What exactly did you and Harper do last month?"
Scowling, Dick's hands curled into fists. "We didn't do anything! God, we just saw a movie! And what exactly does something that I may or may not have done with Roy last month have anything to do with tonight?"
Bruce sighed, watching his son. "I'm sorry, Dick, but it wasn't my decision."
"What do you mean it wasn't your decision? Who else could make that decision?"
"I'm afraid that it was me."
Dick turned towards the stairs. "Alfred? I…I don't understand. I've been getting my homework done. My room's…kind of clean. So why is Robin grounded?"
The butler approached him carefully. "Master Dick, is or is not tonight the night of your senior prom?"
"Wait…you're making me go to prom?"
Alfred smiled sympathetically. "My boy, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you miss it, you'll regret it one day. You are still a child; you deserve to have some fun. Life can't be all about fighting."
Of course, Dick knew that there was no arguing with Alfred when he got into the anti-Robin mood. It would pass; it always did. For now, getting out of prom was the most important thing. "But…I don't have a ticket or anything to wear."
"There is nothing for you to worry about," Alfred said. "I have procured your tickets and there's a tuxedo laying on your bed for you to wear."
Damn. Alfred would have planned for this. "Well…I don't have a date. And if Bruce Wayne's ward shows up to his senior prom without a date, it could hurt his reputation." He looked over at Bruce, hoping for some back up, but the billionaire raised his hands in a gesture of intending to stay out of the conversation.
The butler smiled again, this time conspiratorially. "There's no need for you to worry about that, Master Dick. You will not be going alone."
"…you got me a date?"
"Indeed, sir. She will arrive in time for you to make your dinner reservations at eight."
A million horrific scenarios flashed through his mind. The bubble-headed bimbos from society functions, the spoiled brats from his school, the gold diggers who just wanted to get his money or be seen with Bruce Wayne's heir. The only person in Gotham he would have felt the slightest bit comfortable with was Barbara, and she was out of town. Fabulous. Just freaking fabulous.
It had barely started and he already knew that it was going to be a long night.
"Now, Master Dick, you should go upstairs and get into the shower. We want to make sure that you are well and ready for your date."
"Sure, Alfred," he sighed, heading towards the stairs. At the last moment, he looked back hopefully at Bruce. "Unless you need me for a little bit, Bruce?"
The older man shook his head. "I can handle it." He turned to look at his son's dejected face, mouthing, "I owe you." Dick nodded seriously before trudging up the staircase.
Almost two hours later, Dick was pulling on his dress shoes, still moping about the fact that he was being forced to go to prom by his butler. It was a true testament to who was really in charge here that Bruce had let him skip out on work for prom, but that was just Alfred's power. This was one of the many times that Dick didn't wonder if maybe Alfred was a meta-human himself.
There was a knock on the door before Bruce stuck his head in. "How are you doing?"
"I'm perfect, Bruce," Dick said sarcastically. "And you?"
His guardian sighed. "I know you didn't want this. But thank you for going along with it. For Alfred. Besides, it might be good for you too. You deserve to have fun. Sometimes I don't realize that you're still young."
He noticed the guilty tone in Bruce's voice, but didn't buy into it. "Fun, huh? Fun like your head on fire or fun like a fork in the eye? I just want to know what I'm dealing with here."
Bruce's eyes carried a warning, but his mouth twitched up at the corners in amusement. "Dick…"
"You're the one who always says never go into a battle unprepared. Which I already am since I don't know exactly what kind of harpy I have to take to this thing."
Shaking his head, the billionaire playboy couldn't help but chuckle. "Listen, do this and I'll fund a trip for you and the Titans to take over the summer before you have to head to Hudson. Anywhere you want to go."
"Really?" Dick said, and Bruce nodded. "And Roy can come?"
"Even Harper can come. But if it happens to be scheduled on the one week he can't make it, I want you to know now that it'll just be a coincidence."
That earned a small smile from Dick. "Okay. Thanks, Bruce."
Resting his hand on his ward's shoulder, Bruce said, "We should get downstairs. You know Alfred is going to want a twenty-point inspection before he lets you go anywhere."
"Yeah, I know." Slipping on his most expensive watch, then putting his wallet and cell phone in the back pocket of his pants, he let Bruce open the door to his room for him, then walked down the stairs dejectedly.
Alfred was waiting at the bottom of the staircase, smiling up at his charged. "Thank you for being ready in time for your date, Master Dick."
"No problem, Alf," Dick said, trying to keep the disappointment out of his voice.
"Now, let's take a look at you," the butler said, circling his charge as he reached the landing. Coming around to the front, he reached up to redo the bow tie, which was slightly crooked. "Your reservations are for the restaurant in the lobby of the hotel. I thought that would be easier, and they are known to have good food. The reservations are under Richard Grayson."
"Nothing beats anything you make," Dick pointed out as a last-ditch effort to compliment the butler. "So, when do I have to be home?"
"You don't," Bruce said simply. His son frowned in confusion, urging him to continue. "Alfred and I discussed it, and we decided that because tonight is your senior prom, you don't have a curfew. He has told me that your date doesn't have one either, so you can choose to be home at any time you want."
Dick appraised him for a second, raising an eyebrow in question. "Really? So…if we wanted to jet off to France and come back in a few days, we could?"
The billionaire was not amused. "I suppose so. But I wouldn't recommend it. This is all contingent on you staying out of trouble."
He waved away the concerns. "Don't worry about it. We'll probably be back before midnight, really. It's not like I'm going to take a jet, fill it with hot women, and then go to a private house in the Caribbean. I'm not Roy."
As Bruce paled, his son thought that all of this was almost worth it just to see the look on his face. Why did he never have a camera when he needed it? "Harper did what?"
"Nothing, nothing," Dick said with the sweetest smile he could manage. "I was speaking hypothetically. I mean, as long as he's not convicted."
Bruce's hand tightened on his shoulder, eyes narrowing. "What did Harper do?"
Shrugging his shoulder out of Bruce's grasp, he said, "I don't really know the details. You're just going to have to talk to Ollie." He tried not to laugh at the look of utter revulsion on Bruce's face.
He opened his mouth, presumably to rant about Oliver and Roy, but was cut off by the doorbell. All of the amusement he had gotten from the last few minutes instantly fled Dick's body as he dreaded whatever creature was going to walk through the door. Alfred smiled. "I believe I should get that."
Dick wasn't sure if he was imagining the fact that he was breaking out in a cold sweat, but he did know that right now he wanted to run and hide. This was a bad, bad idea. How had he gotten talked into this? Right now he'd rather be facing the Joker, Poison Ivy, Two Face, and Darkseid by himself. He just had to keep smiling that fake smile and try not to think of how many hours he was going to have to spend with whatever bimbo that walked through the door. Maybe he could convince her his curfew was at eleven…
Alfred stepped back in the room from the foyer, smiling widely. "May I present her royal highness, Princess Donna Troy of Themyscira?"
As the familiar brunette walked into the room, Dick's jaw dropped. "Donna?"
She smiled at him, blue eyes sparkling. "Hi, Dick."
"Hi. Wow. You look…wow."
Donna was wearing a slinky dark blue halter dress, studded with what looked like very small diamonds. If possible, it clung to her form even better than the spandex of her red jumpsuit that she used as Wonder Girl. Her hair seemed wavier than normal, and most of it was pulled into an elegant up do, though several curls hung to frame her face. She seemed even more gorgeous than she usually did. Dick couldn't breathe.
Something was poking him in the back, and when Dick turned around, Bruce was holding a small box and had a large smirk on his face. "You knew about this," Dick accused in a hissed whisper. Bruce did his best to appear innocent, but it didn't work well with the smirk.
Taking the box, Dick glanced at it quickly before opening it. "Your corsage," he told her, pulling out the flowers.
"It's beautiful, Dick," she told him as he slipped the bundle of white roses on to her wrist. "Thank you."
"You're beautiful," he assured her. "Really, Donna, you look amazing."
She blushed lightly as Alfred cleared his throat. "Master Dick, Miss Troy, may I get a picture?"
Bruce moved out of the way so that Dick and Donna could pose in front of the staircase. "Been a while since you've been in front of a camera instead of behind it, huh?" Dick said with a smirk.
"Tell me about it!" She giggled.
As they stood side by side, Dick realized that Donna stood a little bit shorter than him. Confused, he lifted her dress the smallest bit so the hemline was about her ankles. "Flats?"
"Did you really think I was going to show you up at your prom by wearing heels? Plus, I'll be shorter than you and more comfortable."
After Alfred had exhausted the camera, he placed it on one of the antique tables. "If you two are both ready to go, I shall bring the car around."
"Thank you, Alfred," Dick said, and Donna voiced her agreement. He turned to his date, smiling at her with relief. "I can't tell you how happy I was to see you walk through that door."
She frowned at him. "What do you mean? You didn't know I was coming?"
Raising an eyebrow at her, he said, "I didn't even know I was going to prom until a few hours ago."
"But…Alfred told me that you wanted to ask me, but you weren't sure how to do it," she told him.
"Alfred and Bruce showed a new side of sadism today," he chuckled. "I was pretty much told that I had to go."
Her face fell. "Dick, if you don't want to go with me, I'll understand."
Taking her hand in his, he kissed her cheek softly. "Donna, I can honestly say that I wouldn't want to go with anyone else. I'm sorry that I didn't think of asking you myself. But I didn't think you'd want to go to my stupid high school prom."
"I didn't have a prom to go to," she reminded him. "I'm glad to go with you." For a moment, she watched him carefully. "Who did you think was coming to be your date?"
"I had no idea. I figured it would be one of the society girls that I have to put up with all the time and who I'd want to strangle before we even got to the hotel. I just about fainted with relief when you walked in. Now not only do I get to go with someone I like spending time with, I'll have the hottest date there," he said with a smirk.
She blushed again as Alfred walked in and handed him the car key. "I have pulled the car around front for you, Master Dick."
"Thanks, Alf. If you need me, I have my cell…" Dick trailed off as he noticed what was in his hand. "This is the key to the Lamborghini."
"I know, sir."
Dick looked at Bruce, who was smirking again. "You don't even like me touching the Lamb."
"It's a special night," the billionaire said with a shrug. "I thought you deserved it."
He looked at his date. "Let's go before he changes his mind."
Donna laughed as Dick took her hand and started pulling her towards the door. "Thank you!"
A lump rose in Dick's throat as they went outside and the Lamborghini was actually waiting for them. It was a beautiful sight. He helped Donna in to the car, then went over to the driver's side. A large envelope was sitting on his seat, and he removed it before sliding in.
"What's that?" Donna said, nodding to the envelope.
"I have no idea." Shrugging, Dick opened it, pulling out a hand-written note. Reading it quickly, he blinked in surprise. "They…they got us a hotel room." At Donna's confused look, he explained, "It says that if we get tired and don't feel like coming back tonight, they got us a room at the hotel to stay in. Does he expect me to sleep in my clothes…?"
"I brought a bag," Donna told him. "I expected to sleep here tonight. Alfred took it from me when I came. I'd guess that my bag and a bag that they packed for you are in the trunk."
The young man shook his head. "They really were prepared. How'd you get here anyway?"
"I flew." When Dick looked at her incredulously, she added, "I come from an island of togas, remember? I can fly in a prom dress."
He grinned. "Makes sense." Starting the car, a shiver of delight went through him as he felt the powerful vehicle start up. He pulled out of the driveway, enjoying the handling and speed of the car. "Would you be horribly disappointed if we skipped dinner and the prom and just drove around in this for a few hours?"
She glanced at him. "As much fun as that sounds…"
"Okay, okay…Prom it is."
After a long moment of silence, she said, "So, what's the hotel room for?"
He desperately hoped that she couldn't see the blush on his face due to the darkness of the night. "I guess it's so if we get tired, we don't have to drive back."
"Makes sense," she said with a nod. "We might as well then, right?"
"Right." It was very sad how he couldn't get the squeak out of his voice.
Donna looked at him. "Um…something wrong?"
"I just…I thought you should know that usually, during prom, people don't get rooms because they think they'll get tired." He sighed. "Guys get them because it increases the chances of them getting lucky."
The Amazon princess nodded slowly. "I see… Do you plan on getting lucky tonight, Mr. Grayson?"
The years of driving was under pursuit of supervillains was the only thing that kept him from driving off the side of the road in surprise. "Um…" For every amazing mental image that question produced, there was an equally horrific one. They may have broken up, but he saw Roy's accusing glare as well as Wally's. Not to mention the time he had once seen Diana pick up a semi and toss it a few miles. Not extremely comforting. "You know, I'm just going to leave that up to you."
There was no response from her, and after a minute he looked over to see a large, mischievous smile gracing her face. Dick wasn't sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing.
As they neared the hotel and got in the line for valet parking, Donna said, "I think we should do it."
His heart stopped. "Do…it? Do what?"
"Use the hotel room tonight," she said innocently. "We'll probably be tired. I don't want you to have to drive back and be so tired that you lose out on the experience of driving this car that you love so much."
Dick nodded slowly. "Okay… You do realize that we'll probably have just one bed, right?"
She raised an eyebrow at him. "Dick, we are adults, not to mention Teen Titans. If two mature adults can't be comfortable sharing a bed, then we have no business trying to save the world."
Reaching over, he took her hand in his and squeezed it. "I have absolutely no problem sharing a bed with you. I just wanted to keep your reputation in mind. I don't want anyone speaking badly about you because we spent the night in a hotel room together."
"If someone wants to see something wrong in two friends enjoying each other's company, that's their problem, not ours. Even if you were to get lucky, I'm not sure what's wrong with that." Donna sighed. "It's times like these when I just don't understand man's world. But thank you," she said, kissing his cheek, "for thinking of me."
Finally, they reached the beginning of the line. As a valet opened each of their doors, Dick climbed out and headed to the trunk to get their bags for the night. He glanced over at Donna, who stood awkwardly as the second valet stared at her, the door still open as if he had forgotten how to do anything, including close it. Smirking to himself, he gave the valet his key, then guided Donna inside.
"I think I did something to him," she whispered in his ear.
"He's never seen someone as beautiful as you," Dick said matter-of-factly.
She shot him a look, though her eyes sparkled in amusement. "Oh, stop it. I didn't come with 'Brucie' tonight."
"Brucie? How do you know about Brucie?"
"Diana has been to several functions that he's been at, remember? She's my sister, we talk."
"I'll keep that in mind." Glancing at the line, kissed Donna lightly on the cheek. "Wait here, I'll get us checked in." He didn't miss the surprised look on her face from the kiss, but he hoped that the smile accompanying it meant that it was a welcome surprise.
He was second in line to check in, but couldn't help watching Donna as he did so. Did she not realize that every eye in the place, male or female, instantly gravitated to her? She seemed oblivious to the fact, and he wouldn't put it past her not to notice. The thought made him smile; after knowing so many girls who weren't nearly as beautiful as her that flaunted it so much, it was refreshing.
After checking in, he went back over to see her. "They're going to bring our bags upstairs for us," he explained. Offering her his arm, he said, "I believe that we're just in time for our dinner reservation." Taking his arm, Donna allowed him to take her into the dining hall to begin their evening.