Title: Trust

Author: Charlene Edwards

Disclaimer: It's all DC's

Synopsis: Secrets cause problems

Notes: It's unbeta'd soooo all problems are mine. Thanks do go out to Tammy and Patty who saw parts of this and liked it which kept me writing it. I hope you all enjoy.

Char :-)

Trust:

"Roy, how could you?" Dick asked as he shook his head. He was so disappointed in his friend.

"Dick, man, please don't ... you can't tell anyone man, you just can't. You gotta promise me," Roy pleaded desperately.

The two teens stood around the Titans' conference table looking at each other. Roy ran his hand through his red hair. Dick noticed the slight tremble in his friends hand as he did so. Dick felt like the wind had been knocked out of him. His mind reeled. This couldn't be happening. This wasn't suppose to happen. Not here, not with his friends. They were the Titans. This didn't happen to them. They didn't have these conversations.

But on the table before him were needles and a vial that fell out of Roy's backpack. As Robin, he had seen those types of needles, and he knew that wasn't insulin in the vial.

"What do you expect me to do? Just ignore this? I can't do that. You know I can't do that! And you can't ask me to do that!" Dick's voice grew louder as he talked.

"Man, look ... look. Okay, I know ... I know this is bad. And I know I shouldn't. Never really meant to, you know. It's just that, well, I started with some stuff and then ... well ..."

"I know, you started off small and advanced up to this," Dick said grabbing up the vial. "Heroin isn't it?"

Roy looked to the floor. He couldn't face his friend. Softly he replied, "Yeah."

Dick moved to stand near his friend. "Roy, you've got to let me help you."

Nodding, Roy began. "Yeah ... yeah, I need help. I do. And I need you to help me Dick, okay. I ... I'll talk to Ollie ... and Dinah. But Dude, you gotta let me be the one. You can't tell them and you can't tell Batman or anyone. Promise me you won't. Give me your word. Batword, okay Dude."

Dick rolled his eyes and sighed, "Roy, I dunno."

"A week, Dick. That's all I ask. You give me a week. IF I haven't told him by then, you can. Okay man?" Roy asked, his green eyes pleading with his friend. Roy took the vial and the needles and shoved them at Dick. "And you take these too. Keep them away from me. You can go through my locker here, my car, and my room at home and all my stuff. Make sure you've got it all. Clean me out. And I'll get cleaned out. Just don't ... don't tell ANYONE! Give me a week."

Dick took the needles and the heroin vial Roy shoved at him and placed them in his jean's back pocket. "You clean out your stuff and clean up your act Roy. One week. You have one week to tell and to get help for yourself. I'm giving you my word and I'll keep it ... but only for a week." Dick's blue eyes bored into the older teen. Dick wasn't sure he was doing the right thing. But, Roy was his friend and he was a Titan. Dick felt he had to give him the chance to redeem himself. Silently, Dick turned and left the Titans' headquarters to return to Gotham. He'd call Roy in a week and check on him.

***********************************************************************

Dick's mind was preoccupied with thoughts of his friend as he drove his new red camaro toward Wayne Manor. He was hoping the drive would clear his mind. Since getting his license and the car two months ago, he had found that sometimes the drive time alone would clear his head. It wasn't working this time. Dick was really worried about Roy, and worried if he had done the right thing.

Parking his car in the garage, he entered the Manor through a side door. He went straight to Bruce's study, he wanted to do a little research about the addiction. More than he had in the past. As he entered the study, he saw Bruce heading for the clock entrance to the Batcave.

"Dick, I'm glad you're back from your Titans' meeting. Poison Ivy's escaped Arkham. Let's go."

Dick smiled at Bruce. This was just what he needed. He followed Bruce through the entrance and down the dark stairs into the depths of the cave. Entering the uniform vault, they started changing. Dick dropped his shirt and jeans on the bench and moved to retrieve his cape from where Alfred always hung it. As he did, his leg brushed against the bench and his jeans fell onto the floor.

The vial fell out of his pocket and rolled across the floor.

Dick's panic-stricken face looked to Bruce who had quickly crossed the room and retrieved the vial.

"What's this?"

Dick felt his mouth go dry as his breathing grew quick. "It ... it's nothing," he said as he reached for the vial. "Just some Titans ..."

"Don't lie to me!" Bruce's voiced echoed throughout the room. "This is heroin. The Titans were NOT working on a drug case."

"It's not mine ... it's not what it seems ..."

"Then who's is it?"

Dick panicked. Did he tell Bruce? He promised Roy, gave him his word, that he'd stay quiet for a week. "I ... it's ... I can't tell you."

Reaching out with his free hand, Bruce grabbed Dick forcefully by the arm and pulled the boy to him. He ripped the red tunic from Dick and started inspecting his body for needle marks.

"I told you it's not mine!" Dick yelled as he struggled against Bruce's inspection.

Bruce shook him and continued looking the boy over. When he had finished, he picked up the jeans and searched them, pulling two needles from the back pocket. He threw the jeans at Dick. "Dress. Now."

"But ... Poison Ivy ..."

"Dress. Then upstairs." Bruce said as he turned and walked out of the uniform vault, the vial and needles in his hands.

Dick stood there holding his jeans. He looked at his hand and noticed the slight tremble in it. Nervously, he started dressing.

***********************************************************************

Stepping from behind the clock, he saw Bruce standing at the desk. Alfred was beside him. Both adults turned their eyes toward him. Dick trudged into the room and over to the desk.

"Do you want to explain?" Bruce said in a quiet tone.

"Do you want to listen?" Dick asked flippantly. Immediately, he bit his tongue. What was he doing? Wasn't he in enough trouble without shooting off his mouth?

"Richard."

Dick sighed. Somehow, he found he couldn't look Bruce in the eye. Well, he wasn't going to break his word. "I told you downstairs that it's not mine."

"That's not good enough. Who's is it then?" Bruce asked sternly.

"I ... I can't say. I promised."

Bruce stared at the boy. "Keys."

Dick looked up at him. "Huh?"

"Keys. Now. Give me your car keys."

"You can't -- " Dick whined.

"I most certainly can. Give them to me now. You are grounded. Further, I want a urine sample."

Dick looked at Bruce through pain filled eyes. Bruce didn't trust him. Didn't believe him. "You really ... you can't ..." His breathing was fast, his heart was pounding in his chest. Dick then felt a new emotion -- anger. He was angry at Bruce for not believing him, for not listening, for not trusting him. They were partners. Reaching in his pocket, Dick pulled his keys and threw them at Bruce. "Fine. Ground me! I didn't do anything, but you won't listen. Urine sample. I can't believe you!"

Bruce stood impassively as he watched Dick's tirade. "I can't believe you. It's that simple Richard. You will be tested. You will be watched. You are grounded."

Watched? "For how long?"

"Try for life. I don't know how long. I'll let you know when I do."

"Let's just table this for now. We have to deal with Poison Ivy," Dick said as he turned. He was hoping Bruce would agree and they could just go work. He really could pound someone right now. He actually needed to.

"I'll deal with Poison Ivy. You're not going anywhere. You will stay in this house. Alfred, watch him. No phone, no TV, no radio, no going out. Keep him in the room with you at all times. Until I say otherwise, Robin is retired."

Dick felt his heart pounding in his head. That aching throbbing pounding. "I can't believe you! You are impossible. You didn't find any marks on me. I told you it's not mine. You're suppose to trust me."

"Just because they aren't any marks now doesn't prove anything. This could be recent, new. Which is why I want tests. Or you could be planning to just start. I don't know. And I'm not taking chances on taking you out when you could be stoned. Do you realize how dangerous that could be? Even if it's not yours and you are telling the truth, you won't tell me who it does belong to and that shows me you lack judgment. You will give Alfred a urine sample so that I can run some tests when I come home." Bruce walked away from the desk -- away from Dick -- and through the entrance to the cave.

Dick watched Bruce disappear behind the clock. A part of Dick wanted to scream at Bruce. To tell him that it was Roy's. But ... he had promised. And ... he shouldn't HAVE to break his promise. Bruce should believe him. Trust him. They were partners. Bruce knew him, and he should know that Dick would never take drugs.

Alfred moved to his youngest charge, placing a comforting hand on Dick's shoulder. Dick's anger subsided into another emotion at the touch of that comforting hand. Subsided into hurt. Unbidden, tears welled in his eyes. Dick turned to face Alfred and found himself hugging the elderly man as sobs escaped his throat.

"There there, Young Sir, everything will be alright. Master Bruce is just worried about you."

"He," sniffling, "hates me."

"Master Dick," Alfred began pulling the young boy so he could look him in the eye. "He most certainly does not hate you. He's concerned about you, that's why he's acting like he is."

Wiping his nose with his sleeve, Dick looked at Alfred. Sadly, he spoke up, "But he doesn't trust me. I thought he trusted me. I thought he knew me."

"I'll call Dr. Thompkins. We'll have his test results waiting for Master Bruce when he comes back."

"You know I didn't do this, don't you Alfred?"

"If you say you aren't using drugs, then I believe you."

"Thanks. I ... I need someone to believe me."

***********************************************************************

Speeding into Gotham, Batman activated his JLA communicator. Superman's face came on his screen. Batman didn't wait for Superman to speak. "I want the Titans disbanded. Immediately. This ... association ... is not good. They are ... bad influences ... on each other."

Superman's mouth opened and shut as Batman barked orders through the communicator. Disband the Titans? Bad influence? He was almost afraid to ask. "What happened?"

"..."

"Bruce?"

"Don't use names, we're on a communicator!"

"It's the JLA communicator. It's secure. And Barry, and Ollie and Arthur already know who you are."

"Another unfortunate result from this Titans fiasco."

"What is wrong? Why do you want the Titans disbanded?"

"Robin returned from his meeting with them with heroin," Batman replied flatly as he continued to drive into Gotham. His hands gripping the wheel tighter than before.

Superman couldn't believe what he was hearing. Batman must be mistaken. "He was working on a case about --"

"No. He wasn't working on anything. He had the heroin and needles hidden in his jeans."

Dick had? He didn't seem the type. What ... "Why do you think the Titans are involved?"

"Because the tracer on his car shows that he went straight to the Titans meet and straight home. No stops along the way."

"You ... have a ... tracer in his car?"

"And in every article of clothing the boy owns. Why do you ask, Clark?" Batman replied annoyed.

"I'll contact the other members of the JLA, we'll question the Titans. We'll see what we can find out. Where are you?" Superman questioned, concern in his voice.

"Poison Ivy escaped."

"Do you need --"

"No. Batman out."

Superman stared at the blank screen for a moment before he started making some calls. His mind kept thinking about Robin ... Dick. This didn't seem like Dick. How could he ... why would he?

***********************************************************************

Oliver Queen shook his head, "I can't believe it. Robin seems like such a stable kid."

"I know," Dinah sighed as she sat beside him on the sofa. "This is unbelievable."

"We're gonna have to talk to the kid, Pretty Bird. Batman's pretty sure he got the drugs at the Titans meeting."

"Well, Batman could be wrong. He could have had the drugs before he went to the meeting," Dinah responded.

Roy ran his hand through his hair as he eavesdropped on Ollie and Dinah. He had heard all he wanted to. More actually. He had been worrying all afternoon about what to do since Dick had discovered his habit. Now ... now everyone thought it was Dick's habit. And ... well ... it would be Dick's word against his. Now everyone would think Dick was just trying to shift the blame.

What was he thinking? Dick is his friend and old Grim and Grumpy's probably placed him on the rack or some other torture devise from the middle ages like they studied about in school. Roy couldn't let Batman hurt Dick for something he had done. Could he?

He ran back to his room. He leaned against the door as he tried to catch his breath. He had to think. His thoughts were disrupted by the ringing of his phone.

"Harper here," he answered, trying to sound calm.

"Dude! Have you heard?" Wally's excited voice came over the phone.

"About Dick? Yeah. Sucks, huh?"

"Man, I can't believe this. And Batman thinks we're involved!"

"Yeah, well, he's gotta blame someone huh?" Roy replied nonchalantly. His stomach was in knots. This had really gotten out of hand.

"Man, this isn't Dick. We know this isn't Dick? Do you have any ideas what happened? What's going on?"

Roy felt the guilt weighing on him. He couldn't ... could he? "Yeah, kinda."

*Click*

"Whatdoyameankinda?" Wally asked.

Roy jumped dropping the phone as he turned around to see Wally standing in his room. Roy knew he should lock his balcony door. "What're you ... why'd you ... kinda. That's what I said. But," he was starting to feel cornered, "who knew Robbie could party like that."

"I don't buy it, Roy. That's not Dick. He's my best friend, I know this isn't in character for him. So what's going on?"

Best friend. Wally and Dick were best friends. Roy was always on the outside. Second best. Always second best to ... "Hey, maybe it's just that Mister Perfect isn't so perfect after all. Ever think about that? He's a mere mortal like the rest of us and he can screw up."

Wally stared at Roy. "What are you saying, man? Are you saying you knew about this and didn't tell us? What?"

Dick was always perfect. Let them think he messed up -- for once. They wouldn't do anything to Dick. NOT like they'd do to him. Roy turned from Wally, he didn't want to face him. "I ... I saw Dick ... he had the needles in his hand ... this afternoon." After I shoved them at him. It's true, he DID have them in his hands.

Wally dropped onto the bed. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Dick? Dick doing drugs? It wasn't ... possible ...

Roy closed his eyes. He kept hearing Dick's voice in his head. "Roy, how could you?"

***********************************************************************

Dick flopped on his bed. After Leslie left, Alfred told him he could go to his room -- ALONE. Alfred did remove the phone -- he had to follow Bruce's orders, but at least he gave Dick some space. Alfred trusted him. Knew he didn't need watching. How could Bruce say that -- that he needed to be watched. Bruce had ... had ... frisked him! How could he do that to him?

He heard a soft tapping at his window sill. Sitting up he looked to his window. He saw the familiar red and blue costume. Any other time, Dick would have smiled. Tonight he simply stood, walked over, and opened the window. He didn't even say anything as Superman entered his room.

Clark observed Dick's slumped shoulders as the boy moved over and sat on the bed. He had to help him. "Dick, you know, you can tell me anything."

"There's NOTHING to tell!"

"Bruce told me ... what you're --"

"I can't believe you believe him," Dick said shaking his head.

"Son, if there's a problem --"

"AKKKK!! GEEZE! YOU PEOPLE ARE MY ONLY PROBLEM!" Dick yelled as he fell over backwards on his bed. Why was no one listening to him? Had the JLA fought a villain that took away their comprehension skills.

Clark placed a hand on Dick's arm, trying to comfort the boy. Dick meant a lot to him. He was like a nephew. Clark hated seeing him hurting. "I've spoken to the other members of the JLA and we're going to talk to the Titans, see if anyone saw any warning signs that we missed."

"You're not listening to me. No one listens to me, and no one trusts me ... I didn't do anything WRONG!" Dick stood up and crossed the room. Suddenly, he wanted his space. He wanted Superman to leave. He leaned his arms against the top of his chest of drawers and looked at the trains that decorated the top.

"Dick I want to listen to you. I want you to tell me what's wrong. What caused this? This isn't like you."

Dick grabbed one of the trains and threw it across the room. Grabbing another one, he tossed that too. "NOTHING CAUSED THIS BECAUSE NOTHING'S HAPPENING! NO ONE LISTENS TO ME!!" He was so frustrated.

Immediately, Superman was behind Dick, grabbing him by his arms and halting his tantrum. Clark bit his lip. "Dick, I ... didn't realize how bad this was -- do you ... need a ... Doctor?"

"I need you to leave me alone! I need you all to leave me alone! I am not doing freaking drugs. And I can't believe you're just like HIM! You don't BELIEVE me!" Dick struggled against Superman's grip. He knew it was fruitless, but he struggled anyway. "Put me down. I won't throw anything else. Just put me down."

Clark sat Dick on the floor and turned the boy to face him. "We only want to help you. We care about you. And you're obviously in denial --"

"There's NOTHING to deny. I didn't do ANYTHING! The drugs weren't mine!" There -- he said it -- he hadn't broken Roy's confidence -- but he said they weren't his. Now maybe they would leave him alone.

"Then who did you get them from? Did you INTEND to use them?" Clark heard the tone in his voice, the accusation. He hated using that tone with Dick. He wanted to help, but Dick didn't want to be helped.

"I just can't say who I got the drugs from -- not now -- not yet. But I didn't intend to use them. Bruce and you used to trust me. I haven't changed. I just want you all to trust me. Is that so much to ask?"

"You sound like you're in over your head."

"I just ... I need ... some time."

"I'm afraid ... BRUCE is afraid that you don't have time. It only takes one time to overdose. Just let us help you."

Dick sighed. No one listens. "I know how you could help me -- you want to help me?"

Clark smiled, finally. "Tell me what to do, Dick."

"Tell Bruce to let me use the phone. One phone call -- even a criminal gets one phone call. Then everything will be okay and I can tell you everything."

"Dick... I'm not sure I can do that. I don't know what you're going to do," Clark replied, concern in his voice.

Dick looked at Clark, hurt in his face, "What's wrong with me making a call. Just one call."

"I can think of half a dozen things. You could be warning your coconspirator."

"My what?" Dick asked indignant. "Who? What are you talking about?"

"Whoever gave you the drugs. You didn't get the drugs from NOWHERE, Dick. And you may think you're doing whoever it is a favor -- but you're not. Not when Bruce finds out who it is. It's just going to be harder for both of you. And Bruce WILL find out, you better than anyone ought to know that. Privacy isn't one of Bruce's concerns." Which is why he had a tracer on your car. Not that you need that piece of information right now.

"I know that. But, I wouldn't be WARNING anyone. I just have to talk to ... someone ... because there is someone else involved. But I promised not to tell. I gave my word. BUT it's not a 'coconspirator', it's not like that."

Clark sighed. "Dick, you shouldn't be making promises that can get you into trouble."

"I didn't think I'd get in trouble because I wasn't doing anything wrong. I was just trying to help someone. I didn't think he'd find out."

"Then you weren't thinking ahead. You know no one can hide things from Bruce. Can you honestly say Bruce wouldn't flip out when he found what he found? Dick -- you KNOW Bruce. You couldn't think that he would react... rationally. I understand Bruce is a difficult person sometimes ... and probably even MORE difficult to live with, but --"

"Usually he's NOT difficult to live with. I understand him ... and I thought he understood me. Tonight EVERYONE's difficult," Dick added as he sat back down on his bed.

"Dick ... he's just worried about you. We are ALL worried about you."

"Well he should TRUST me. You should trust me. There is NOTHING to be worried about. I told him that, I told you that. No one listens to me or believes me. I thought ... believed ... he trusted me."

"I'm sure he does. He's just... the way he is."

"But ... he's my ... we're ... family."

"Which is WHY he's so overprotective of you. He' s upset, he's worried. When something touches him personally, he doesn't think rationally any more. You know that better than anyone. If he's made a mistake, if we've made a mistake, I hope you can forgive us. We're annoying grown-ups though. We worry about you because we care. Sometimes we overreact. I hope we are," he said as he put his arm around Dick's shoulder. "But, if you need to talk, please know you can call me."

***********************************************************************

"I ... I can't believe this. Roy, what the hell -- why didn't you tell someone. God, do you realize he could OD or ... or ... get bad drugs. He could ... die!"

Die. From the drugs. Roy really hadn't thought about that. Dick couldn't die, because Dick wasn't taking the drugs. He was. He was! Therefore he could ... And

Dick was being blamed. The JLA thought he was a ... an ... addict. "No, no he won't."

"How do you know that? You don't know that?" Wally yelled.

"Yes I do. Because ..." God, could he say this? "Because, it's not his drugs."

"What? But I thought you said --"

"I said I saw him with it! I left out the part about him taking it from ... me." There -- he said it -- and the world hadn't ended. YET.

"You ... yours. The drugs are yours? You're taking --" Wally didn't know what to think.

Roy nodded as he started pacing the room. "Yeah. And Dick, he ... he gave me a week. So I could tell Ollie myself. But I just don't know ... how. And ... and I'm ... scared." Geez, how could he admit that. How uncool could he be?

Wally stood, closing the gap between himself and Roy. "I'll help you. I'll go out there with you. I'll be right by your side. You know Titans Together. And the Titans will be there for you while you get well."

"And ... I gotta tell ... to save Dick, huh?"

"Yep. And to save you. That's our business Roy. Saving people."

Roy nodded as he and Wally left his room and headed toward the living room.

***********************************************************************

The Batmobile roared back into the Batcave. The sound of the engine echoed throughout, reverberating on the walls. Alfred stood near the giant crays waiting for

Bruce's approach.

Batman scowled as he exited the Batmobile and headed toward Alfred. "I told you to watch him."

"Master Dick is in his room. He is not a toddler and does not need constant supervision."

"I disagree," Batman growled before removing his cowl and showing the tired face of Bruce Wayne. Alfred didn't reply. He simply handed Bruce the computer print out he held in his hand. Bruce looked at it then back at Alfred, confusion in his eyes. "What's this?"

"Dr. Thompkins was kind enough to come when I called. She gave Master Dick a complete drug screening. He was negative for everything. But then he told you that, didn't he?"

"Don't start. I've had a helluva a night already." Alfred tsked. Bruce hated it when Alfred tsked. He knew that meant Alfred disapproved. "What?" he sighed.

"I understand and share your concern over the situation, Master Bruce. However, I do believe the lad has earned your trust, don't you? He said it wasn't his. I believe him. You should believe him. Isn't trust the nature of your partnership."

Bruce dropped in his chair. "I ... I want to believe him. I do ... trust him. I just ... I'm just ... "

"Scared Master Bruce. That is the word. He's growing up and you're afraid that he will do something that will hurt himself. It's not Dick you don't trust. It's yourself. You think you've failed him, not given him what he needs. But you have, son. You have."

"It ... it doesn't seem like Dick to ... well ... he's in his room? Maybe I'll ... no ... I will ... I'm going to go talk to him," Bruce said as he moved to the uniform vault. Quickly he changed into Bruce's clothes and headed upstairs.

Bruce stopped outside Dick's bedroom. He had started to walk in, but decided to knock. Not receiving an answer, he cracked the door, "Dick," he said as he saw the boy sitting on the bed, his back propped against the headboard. He wasn't reading, he was just sitting there. Bruce noticed his sad expression. "May I come in?"

"It's your house."

"It's your room."

Avoiding eye contact with Bruce, Dick replied, "Okay. Come in."

Bruce walked in and sat on the bed. "I ... um ... wasn't exactly fair with you earlier. You ... said the heroin wasn't yours. I ... should've believed you."

Dick looked at his shoes. They were on the bed. He knew Alfred would not be happy about that. Without looking up, he responded, "Negative drug test change your mind?"

"No. Well, it helped. Helped me realize what I already knew. I know you well enough to know you wouldn't take drugs. I just saw it and ... well ... I overreacted."

"You 'overreacted' because you didn't trust me. You never trusted me. When I flew with my parents as a child they trusted me and knew I would be on time every time. You didn't even have the faith that I wouldn't ... couldn't do drugs. For God's Sake Bruce, you frisked me."

Bruce looked down as he felt the heat rising in his face. "I ... do ... trust you. I'm just ... I was ... wrong."

Dick looked at Bruce. He was still hurt and angry by Bruce's behavior, but hearing Bruce admit he was wrong wasn't something he heard every day. In fact, he couldn't remember when he had ever heard Bruce say he was wrong. But he knew, Bruce wasn't the only one who had made a mistake. "It hurt that you didn't trust me. And if you didn't trust me, how could I be your partner? I've been so worried you were going to take being Robin away from me. I ... I know I made a mistake. I should have never brought drugs into the Batcave. But, if you can just understand and ... and forgive me. Please let me fly again. Please don't take that away from me."

Bruce looked down into the boy's concerned face. "I'm not going to take Robin away from you. I know what I said earlier, but -- "

"I ... I know. I ... I showed you that I lack judgment. But ... just give me another chance. Please."

"Dick, you're my partner, and my ... son, I -- I know I questioned your judgment. I still think you should tell me who the drugs belong to --"

Dick started to panic. He had wanted to hear that so long. But ... but Bruce wanted him to tell on Roy. And he had promised, given his word. "I ... I can 't. I ...

please don't punish me. I gave my word. Please. I'm sorry, I'm really really sorry. I know I've hurt you and disappointed you. I know I'm wrong, but I ... I promised. If you can just give me time, I ... I can tell you everything. And ... and if you would please please give me another chance. I can earn your trust. I can the partner and the son you deserve."

Bruce watched Dick's emotions play across his young face. Panic, fear, anger, hurt. How could he have caused this boy this type of pain? What sort of monster was he? "Dick, both of us made mistakes. I'm not denying that. But I want you to understand that nothing is going to change between us -- unless you can't get past the mistakes I made. You are the son I want, you are more than I deserve. You don't have to earn anything. You just have to be you. That's enough. That's all I want."

"You really mean that?" Dick asked through tear filled eyes.

"Yes. I really mean that. I didn't mean to go all Bat on you earlier this evening. I shouldn't have, and I'm ... sorry."

Dick smiled at Bruce, "Yes you did mean to get all Batty -- that's what you do."

Bruce pulled the boy closer to him and ruffled the boy's hair. "That bumper sticker is right. I understand it now." He smiled down at Dick as he saw the confusion in the boy's face, "Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your kids."

Dick's face broke out in a wide grin, "That's because our parents drive us there."

"It's a vicious circle"

"Speaking of driving ... my keys are ... where?" Dick asked with trepidation.

"In my desk drawer in the study."

Sighing he asked, "And I'll get them when I turn what age?"

"You're NOT grounded."

"I'm not? ... Do I have some terminal disease you aren't telling me about?"

"No you don't. You were right earlier, you didn't do anything wrong. Maybe we should have Alfred ground me?"

"Alfred can't ground you. You'd be here all the time. He'd go nuts."

"You'd have Gotham to yourself, uh, except for that new Batgirl."

"Hmmmmm. ... that has some merit," Dick said as if deep in thought.

"Ahem." They both turned to see Alfred standing in the door way. Bruce was sure that was a contented smirk on his face. "Mr. Oliver Queen on the phone for you Master Bruce."

Dick followed Bruce as he went to take the call. He knew they were going to have a long talk after that. He wanted to know how Roy was and what was going to happen. But, as anxious as he was, he knew everything was going to be all right now.

THE END