Dick was scrunched up in a little ball on his bed, sniffling. He looked down at the big wet spot on his bed and started to cry. He was just horrified with himself. He couldn't believe it. Crime fighters didn't wet the bed, and certainly not when they were eight years old. That was much too old for bed-wetting. He was sure Batman didn't wet the bed. What was he going to do?
Then, he suddenly had a bright idea. Before Bruce woke up, he would just change the sheets. He had seen Alfred do it a hundred times before. He was a big boy, surly able to change a few sheets. Besides, it wouldn't happen again. He certainly didn't want to upset Bruce.
What if he sent him to an orphanage because he wet the bed? That would be terrible. Certainly, Batman didn't want a sidekick who did silly baby things like that.
Dick stripped the sheets off his bed and hauled them into the closet. He hid them behind a pile of dirty clothes he assumed he would wear again sometime and pulled the new sheets onto the bed after changing his pajamas.
He was halfway done when he heard footsteps coming down the hall. Unable to finish in time, he simply leapt back into bed and pulled the covers up beneath his chin. Bruce walked in a moment later. He surveyed the boy strangely.
"Did you have a rough night Dick?" he asked. Dick noticed his sheets were all askew.
"A little", he said, "but I'm ready for breakfast. He shot out of his bed like a rocket and ran downstairs." Bruce raised his eyebrows, but said nothing.
By the time Bruce got down the stairs, Dick was sitting on a stool, scarping down the breakfast Alfred had made for him. "You're in a hurry this morning chum", Bruce said. Dick nodded.
"Just really excited to start fractions today."
"Ok", said Bruce. "Well, have a good time at school today." Dick got dressed, gathered his stuff and raced out the door. "Dick hates fractions", Bruce said to himself as he went over to the kitchen to get his breakfast, "fractions don't even titillate me. I wonder what he's hiding."
When Dick got home from school that day, he went upstairs to his room quickly. "Slow down Dick", said Bruce, "how did the fractions go today." Dick stopped on the stairs and looked down at his mentor.
"Just fine", he said, and he ran up. Bruce just shook his head and got back to his work. Dick, upstairs in his room, threw his sheets in the laundry shoot along with his pajamas and started on his homework. He was relieved his secret had not been realized and he was sure it would never happen again.
Satisfied that the worst was behind him, he started staring at the fractions he hated so badly.
Dick was sleeping rather fitfully. His dark hair sprayed over the pillow. He was dreaming that he was being sent to an orphanage, never to have a family. He felt wet and woke up. Dick looked down at the sheets in front of him and was shocked. It had happened again. What was wrong with him?
Dick couldn't hold back the tears of embarrassment streaming down his cheeks. Then, he heard the door open. Unable to do anything to hide what he had done, Dick kicked the blankets over himself, hoping whomever it was wouldn't come in.
"Dick", Bruce asked, "Dick, what's wrong?"
"Nothing" Dick fibbed, his bottom lip quivering.
"Dick", said Bruce, "I know something's wrong, please tell me." He walked in and turned on the lights. He sat down on the end of Dick's bed and patted the boy's foot.
"Nothing's wrong", said Dick.
"Come on", Bruce said, "you can tell me." Dick shook his head, his mouth tightly closed.
Bruce sat for a moment and then said thoughtfully, "Are these sheets wet?" Dick broke down.
"I'm sorry Bruce, I didn't mean too, I just couldn't help it." He got up, tears streaming down his face. "Please don't send me to an orphanage."
"Hold on Dick", Bruce said, "what's this about sending you away?"
"You're going to give me up because I'm not good enough to be a crime fighter. Crime fighters don't wet the bed."
"No, Dick", Bruce said surprised "just because you wet the bed once… But wait, this isn't the first time. Yesterday too huh." Dick started to sob harder. Bruce had the sudden paternal urge to comfort him.
"Dick, I'm not going to send you to an orphanage just because you wet the bed. You're not going anywhere."
"I'm not", Dick asked softly, tears subsiding a little.
"No", said Bruce, "now calm down and lets fix this up. Come here." Dick crawled across the bed to Bruce. "Alright", said Bruce, "lets change you out of these pajamas and into some dry ones." He picked up the little boy and carried him over to a chair, stopping beside a chest of drawers to pick up some fresh clothes.
He helped Dick change, the boy now dead weight in his hands from exhaustion. Then, he changed the sheets while Dick sat sleepily in the chair.
"Alright Dick", Bruce said, "I'll put you back in bed now." He picked up the boy again and laid him in the bed.
"So", said Dick, "you're sure you're not going to send me away."
"Yes Dick", said Bruce. "I'll never send you away, no matter what happens and certainly not for something as trivial as wetting the bed. I don't know what's wrong, but we'll fix it together, ok."
"Ok", said Dick sleepily. He closed his eyes and curled up into a little ball on his bed. Bruce pushed back the hair on his forehead and kissed the exposed skin. The boy's breathing eased and Bruce watched him drift off to sleep.