A/N: Please let me know what you think! Originally written to batfic_contest on livejournal.
Dick swallowed convulsively but stood his ground. He wouldn't be afraid. Bruce wouldn't have been scared. Bruce was never scared, so Dick wouldn't be either
The alligator snapped it's teeth and Dick swallowed a moan of terror. He was nine, he told himself sternly. That was much older and much smarter than this stupid alligator.
At least, he was pretty sure it was.
The giant lizard growled and took a few splashing steps closer to Dick who had started crying despite his best efforts. Maybe running around the storm drains hadn't been such a good idea.
"Dick?" A flash light beam shot past the boy's left shoulder and into the darkness of the drain. "Are you in here?"
He turned around to see his guardian standing at the tunnel's entrance. "Bruce!" The cry tore from his throat before he could stop it. Dick started running towards Bruce and heard splashing behind him.
"Dick!" And even though he was dressed like Bruce, the boy knew Batman was talking. "Dodge left and roll." He obeyed hearing a rock sail over his head. When Dick looked back the alligator wasn't moving.
"Did you – kill it?" He asked standing up uncertainly.
"No." Bruce said walking over to the beast. "It's just stunned." He knelt next to the alligator and pulled a syringe out of his pocket slowly sending a purplish liquid into the creature's hide. "This is a tranquilizer so it'll stay asleep. Alfred and I will move it back to the swamp later. I don't know what it's doing down here." He stood up looking at Dick.
"Oh." Dick looked down. He was covered in grime. "Sorry about my clothes."
He was suddenly swept up in a hug. "I don't care about the clothes, silly. I care about you." Bruce pulled away to look for injures. "I was so scared when I saw you standing there."
"You were afraid?" Dick said in a stunned voice. "Batman never gets scared."
"He does when it matters." Bruce told him. "And you most certainly matter." He looked at the alligator. "Let's go up to the Manor and we can get Alfred." Dick slipped his hand into Bruce's as they started walking. "Do me a favor," Bruce told him. "Next time you find an alligator, don't try to stare him down, just run."