Morning person – Dick Grayson, despite all odds, is a morning person. Bruce is not. A quick little memory one-shot, just for fun. Set shortly after Dick became Robin.
Despite the late hours of his part-time job, Dick had never been one to sleep in. He was a morning person through and through – as Alfred said, he was also a midday person, an afternoon person, and a night person. He grew up in the circus; he was just a happy kid. Right now, he was up cooking breakfast for the older duo, and frankly, he wasn't planning to eat any. It looked downright scary. But that wouldn't stop him from gleefully presenting it to his mentor in bed – Bruce's reaction would be too good. He also wanted to see if he'd actually eat it to please him. It would be fun to test his boundaries.
He set it all out on a tray – the nuclear explosion of pancake that he'd attempted to flip like he'd seen on TV, the rubbery, runny, half-scrambled egg, and what he had euphemistically dubbed 'extra crispy bacon,' set next to a glass of OJ and a pot of coffee. He even put the morning newspaper on to be cute. Setting another place out for Alfred on the table, began his long journey to Bruce's room.
"Master Dick, what are you doing up so early?" Alfred asked when they passed on the stairs. "And what in heaven is that?" he yelped, catching sight of the tray.
"I made breakfast for you and Bruce," he said with a precociously cheery smile. "Yours is in the kitchen. I figure Bruce isn't up yet, so I'd bring his to him."
"That is very thoughtful of you, Master Dick," Alfred smiled. "Use caution in waking him. He's not a morning person."
"I know," the boy said gleefully, continuing his trek up the staircase. When he finally reached the Dark Knight's door, he didn't bother to knock. He wandered in, setting his tray down, ripped open the curtains and front-flipped into his foster-father's big bed. "Wake up, Bruce," he said loudly, attacking the man mercilessly. "It's eight-thirty already."
Bruce rolled over, trying to ignore him. When this tactic didn't work, he kicked him away, but the kid was determined. "It's eight-thirty in the morning," he finally groaned, sitting up and shielding his eyes. "We got in at three. What reason could you possibly have for being conscious this early?"
"I made you and Alfred breakfast," he said innocently, picking up the tray. "I brought yours up, see?"
Dick almost laughed aloud as he saw the older man recoil. "It looks – ah – delicious. What is it?" he asked nervously.
"Pancakes and eggs and bacon," he said proudly, scanning his face for reaction. "I put the syrup in the batter so that it wouldn't make a mess. Try it."
Bruce looked downright alarmed that he was expected to eat the mess, but he put a forkful in his mouth anyway. "Interesting flavor," he noted.
"Yeah. I didn't eat any, myself," Dick confided.
"Because it looks horrible." His mentor started to laugh. "What's so funny?"
"Nothing." Bruce choked down another bite of the chaos. "Why are you up so early?"
"I'm always up this early. You're the only one who sleeps to noon every day." The boy sat in the window seat, staring out on Gotham. "It looks different in the daytime, doesn't it?"
"Yes. The darkness isn't as obvious in the daylight."
He was getting philosophical on him. Well, two could play that game. "Maybe you need to wake up in the morning, just to look at the city in the light. It makes the night seem brighter."
Bruce smiled crookedly. "That's what I have you for, right? You can look at the city for me in the mornings. You really wake up this early every day?"
He shrugged. "Well, yeah. I did shows most nights in the Circus and I got up this early. I'd help the animal handlers out and practice my routines. I figure this isn't that much different, just training instead of practicing and working on cases instead of shoveling elephant poo." He wrinkled his nose in disgust.
"You train every morning as well as our evening sessions?" Bruce asked, surprised. "That explains a lot."
"You told me I had to work as hard as I could if I wanted to do this," he shrugged. "Plus, I like it. It reminds me of the old days. Except, you know, different."
"Lonelier," Bruce guessed. "Darker."
"Yeah. Not exactly the circus." He took a sip of his mentor's coffee. "We met at the circus."
Bruce took a long, calculated look at his foster-son. "A hard day to forget."
The boy tried to grin despite the pain in his eyes. "A bad day for you to decide to visit the circus, too, huh?"
"No," Bruce disagreed. "I'm glad I was there that night, given what happened. I did everything I could for you."
"Bruce, if Mom and Dad could see me now… I think they'd be proud." The slight boy said this matter-of-factly, as if he was re-stating the obvious, as he commandeered the only edible bits of Bruce's breakfast.
Bruce was actually choked up. He could withstand extreme heat and cold and had an exceptionally high threshold of pain, but the words of a ten-year-old who had woke him up early so he could poison him had actually succeeded in making him weak. "I hope so, Dick," he said quietly. "I know I'm proud."
He beamed at the older man. "I'm proud of you too, Bruce," he said. "Now eat your pancakes."
Bruce took a big bite of the undercooked slop. "I'll be down to the gym in a few minutes, if you want a sparring partner."
"Really?" Dick asked excitedly. "I'll go get ready!"
"And Dick?" Bruce smiled mischievously.
"If this is going to become a habit, I'm really going to have to ask Alfred to teach you to cook."
As he watched the Boy Wonder bound, laughing, from the room, Bruce looked at what Dick had called breakfast and smiled. The morning was beautiful – full of life and chances and lessons. He was glad that Dick recognized it. One of them had to. He wasn't a morning person.