Disclaimer: Okay, I'll make this plain and simple. I don't own DC Comics or Time Warner or Warner Brothers or any of that. I own a bunch of Nightwing and Teen Titans comics, but those I bought from Barnes and Noble.

Author's Note: I'm back! Wow, such a shocker. Okay, not really. But you get the point. I'm happy to be back writing multi-chapter stories again. So, you're wondering what this story is about. Well, it's a seven chapter story about Richard before he was Nightwing or Robin. I'll be posting chapters simultaneously with "Sincerely Adeline", but I still don't know how often I'll be able to update. My goal though is to do it once every two weeks at the very least. Anyways, this is a bit of step out of what I normally write for chapter stories, but I hope that you readers will enjoy it. So with out further delay, I present to you "Flying: One Spring Morning"!



Chapter One: One Spring Morning

Pop Haly sat outside in the waiting room, nervously twiddling his thumbs. He had been a sight to see when he had first entered the hospital. His top hat, black and red suit, black cane, and bright stage makeup had drawn the attention of many. Now however, he thought as he wiped his sweaty brow, most of that make up was probably gone.

He had gotten there at one in the morning, rushing in a cab to get there. He would have been there sooner, but the clowns had accidentally lost their fire extinguishers and their lion, Jayna, was being stubborn and didn't want to get back into her cage. So with all of that added to his extra duties after their normal shows, it was no wonder that he was so late.

It was now about five AM. He actually hadn't seen John at all, but that was not surprising. He was with Mary who was currently having her first child. She had gone to the hospital about twelve hours earlier, give or take. It had caused John to panic. Haly smiled for a moment. It's strange how a man can know for nine months that they're going to be a father, but the second their wife goes into labor, they panic.

"Here John. Just go John, just go!" Pop had told him,

"You'll come right?"

"Of course, once the show's over!"

It had been quite a scene when John rushed a calm and collected Mary to the taxi cab while at the same time trying to find a suitcase that they had prepared months before that was sitting right by their front door. Pop Haly would have come with them at the same time, but since the ring master basically lead the show and they were scheduled to start one within the hour, he was forced to stay. When he had gotten there a nurse had told him that, so far, everything was going fine and that Mary was doing fine, despite the pain, of course. Pop had been a bit confused at that, but had nodded anyway.

A door knob turned, however faint, down the hallway. Pop Haly looked up and waited as he heard footsteps coming down the hallway. Then rounding the corner, John came in, slightly stunned and shaking a bit. His black hair was matted down while his brown eyes stared at Haly. He was wearing a blue hospital cover with his aerialist suit underneath (since he had been planing on preforming). and a blue hospital cap for his hair in his hand. Pop Haly watched and in his gut, he knew that John was in the state of shock of becoming a new father.

Pop stood up, "John, John, how is she? What happened?"

John starred down as though trying to find the words that were escaping him, "I... I... I'm a... father, Pop. I'm a father."

Pop Haly suddenly smiled widely and gave John a tight hug (who was still in shock, but smiled), "Well, let's got see the new mother! We can see here now, right?"

John nodded, but didn't talk. They walked down the hall to a room with a sign next to it that read: "231 Occupants: Grayson, Mary". John slowly opened the door and they went inside. On the far side of the room, Mary rested in the bed by the window, the morning rays shining into the room and onto her sheets. She breathed deeply with her eyes closed as though still calming down. John walked over to Mary and knelt down next to the bed. He grabbed her hand and gave it a tight squeeze, as which Mary opened her eyes slightly.

"Hi, honey," John said quietly, "You did it. You did it."

Mary laughed lightly, "Oh, I know that, John, I know it."

John smiled and kissed her hand.

"Pop Haly's here," John told her.

"Pop?" Mary said and turned her head to see Haly.

It was so common. Everyone in Haly's Circus called Haly 'Pop' almost regularly. None of them were related, but they all traveled and worked together so they might as well be. Haly had known John since he was maybe 18 or so. With Mary, he had met her when they had stopped once in New Jersey and John had fallen head over heals for the black-haired, blue-eyed beauty. And as he showed her his life, she fell in love with him.

John had been used to traveling all of his life. When he was 18, he met Haly and since he didn't need to go to school, he joined Haly as their first real aerialist. He had the skills to make him a one-of-a-kind, top-form, aerialist, with the muscles for it too. Mary had learned everything John had taught her, and quickly at that. Mary had always blamed it on her thin frame though. She joined the group against her family's wishes and had considered the troupe her family from then on.

"Yeah, Mary, how are ya feelin'?" He asked.

"Do you really want to know?" She asked, smiling, but tired.

"I don't think I could comprehend it," Pop Haly said back.

At that moment, the door opened and a nurse stepped inside, "Mrs. Grayson?"

"Yes?" She answered.

"It's a healthy, strong, baby boy, "She told her, "Do you want me to bring him in?"

Mary smiled and nodded. As she did, Pop Haly noticed her complexion lighten up as though her weak state was no longer bothering her. The nurse nodded and left the room. John suddenly looked as though the anticipation would either kill him or send him to the hospital due to dehydration from sweating to much and/or fainting. Pop could tell a conversation was needed to loosen the tight feeling in the room.

"The show went well last night," He said, "We saved your favorite fireworks though Mary, since we wanted you to be there."

"You didn't have too," Mary said, still smiling.

"Nonsense," Haly told her, "The audience missed John's performance, though."

"Couldn't help that, Pop," John said.

"I don't blame you in the slightest, my boy," He replied, "You know, I guess I can't really call you 'boy' anymore now, can I?"

John laughed. Because he had been the youngest to join Haly's circus and hadn't run away from home to be in the circus, an inside joke was that he was among lost boys that should really be up there with Peter Pan.

"I'll be up there again son enough, Haly," Mary said.

Pop laughed, "Take your time, hon, we won't pressure you in the slightest."

As he said that, the doorway opened and the nurse came back in, pushing a cart with a bundle of blankets inside. She stopped the cart and Pop heard a small sound. The nurse lifted up the bundle and carried it over to Mary.

"Here he is," She whispered, "Congratulations."

Mary carefully took the bundle and looked in a small opening where a small head was peeking out. Mary's face was suddenly brighter than it had ever been in her life. Pop could swear that all of her teeth were present as the new mother looked down at her tiny newborn child. She almost looked like she was about to cry, she was so happy.

"Hi," She said.

The little baby's eyes opened slightly and closed. He was a little small and his skin was still red like all newborn babies' skin. But he had practically a full head of black hair on his head. His eyes looked blue, but then again almost all newborn babies either had brown or blue eyes when they were as young as he was. Mary felt him breathing through the blanket and was in sudden awe that here she was holding a living, breathing child that was now her son.

"Honey?" Mary asked, as John looked on, "Do you want to hold him?"

John pressed his lips together and nodded. Mary slowly lifted the bundle and John took it as though it would break on contact. The same feeling came over John, but ideas began rushing through his head. He was a father. He was a father! What would he teach him? How was his son going to grow up?

His son.

That feeling was nothing compared to the next feeling he felt. It was an instant love as he looked at the half sleeping, half awake baby. It was an unconditional love that is said that all parents have. But for every parent it was something special. And it was certainly special for John and Mary. John looked over at Mary who met his eyes and he knew that she was feeling the exact same thing.

"Do you want to hold him again?" He asked.

Mary nodded and took back the bundle.

"Shall I open the window?" Pop asked.

"Just a little," Mary said, without looking up from the little face.

The fresh smell of spring filled the hospital-smelling room as Pop opened the window. John breathed in deeply as Mary played with the little hands that were now peeping out of the blankets. The baby slowly opened his eyes and watched his mother smile at him.

"Hi, hi," She said in a cooing, gentle voice, "Hi there. You're finally here, huh? Do you recognize me? My voice? Huh? Do ya?'

The baby blinked and yawned, but to Mary, it was the cutest thing in the world at that moment, like her world now revolved around this one little baby boy. Come to think about it, it probably did now.

"He looks like a happy little boy," Pop Haly told them, "Congrats!"

"Thank you, Pop," John said.

"Do you have a name chosen?" Pop asked.

Mary nodded, "His name... His name is Richard."

John looked at her and still hadn't stopped smiling, "Richard."

Mary repeated it again, but this time with the full name, "Richard John Grayson. Dick for short."

Pop Haly smiled as they looked at Richard. A sudden noise-- a chirp was heard from the window. On the window sill, a little robin had perched itself outside and begun to chirp and sing. Mary looked back at Richard who had slightly looked over (as much as he could) to see what had caught everyone's attention.

"Do you like that, Richard, huh?" She asked, "Do you like that little robin? Dick? Huh? Do ya?"

Richard looked up at his mother as she continued, "Are you my little robin? Are you? Are you?"

He offered a small squeak as an answer.

Mary only smiled and looked up a John, "I can't believe it, John."

John nodded and smiled as he came around to see Richard's tiny face again.

Kissing Mary on the cheek, he answered, "Neither can I. Thank you."

"I love you, John."

John smiled back, "I love you more."

"Well, how appropriate that on the first day of spring you have little Richard here and a little bird comes up and announces his arrival," Pop Haly said enthusiastically.

"Thank you for being here, Haly," John said, after a moment's silence.

"Yes, thank you," Mary said, "I'd let you hold him but he's still too young."

"I understand. I'm glad that I could come," Pop Haly answered, "I guess I need to head back to the troupe, but don't worry. I'll tell them all about it."

"You're wonderful Haly, really," John said.

"Yes, thank you so much," Mary added.

"No problem," Haly said, "I'll see you three later."

"Bye," Mary and John said in unison.

As he walked out of the room, Haly smiled as he left the happy family with their new addition. He walked down the corridors and reflected over this. This child was now born into the circus. No, he hadn't run away, he would have been in the circus since birth. He'd grow up watching his parents perform amazing and spectacular stunts high above the crowds. He'd possibly learn from them to do the same.

And yet, for some reason, Haly felt fine with it. Both Mary and John would be wonderful parents, loving in every way. It would give the boy a different life, but then again, every life was different. And just from the first impression, Pop could tell Richard was a happy spirit. It was something he had already seen affect John and Mary. What a wonderful thing it was, too, to see a child come into a set of parents' lives and give them a certain light.

'Welcome Richard,' Pop thought as he got into a taxi cab and went on back to the circus.


A/N: Alright, so how was it? I'm sorry that I don't know what John's eye color is, so I guessed that it was brown. And I did make up the name of the lion, Jayna. I think the hardest thing about this story is going to have to be the research required for this thing since there's practically nothing on Richard's time at Haly's. But I'll try my best, promise. Please Review! I hope you enjoyed Chapter One! Later!