Standard disclaimer.

this is my first attempt at a challenge fic. this was written for the "Young Justice Fanfiction Challenge Forum" run by Grim
Lullaby for the catagory of "the Bird boy and the bat"

i don't really know if this qualifies as fluff. if you think it does or does not, please let me know

Bruce Wayne was coming out of his office late that night . . .

It was a simple statement in and of itself. Of course the statement, as is everything in Wayne Manor, far more complicated than one would think. When one said "Bruce Wayne was coming out of his office late that night" what was meant was probably more along the lines of

Batman was coming out of the clock from the Batcave early that night.

Bruce had been finishing some final details from the recent Amazo incident. Payoffs for Robin's school, half-baked conspiracies regarding the trucks damage, along with a few other details involving the appearance of fifty-some robotic monkeys on two separate highways.

Just dealing with the little things.

It had been a hard day for everyone, physically and emotionally straining on everyone. Fortunately, his "Special Ops" team had proven themselves worthy of their new positions once again. Lost in his thoughts, Bruce almost didn't notice the still figure on the couch.

Almost, he was Batman after all.

Dick Grayson, his ward and partner lay on the large couch in the sitting room. A rather thick book lay on his chest, half out of his hand. He was breathing softly with only the faintest hint of a snore. His sun glasses were crooked and his hair was well down the hill on its way to a disaster (heavy on the dis).

Bruce smiled, just a little. Dick still lived at the manor, but he was spending more and more time at Mount Justice. And though Bruce would probably never say it aloud, at least not to Dick, he may have mentioned something to a certain butler.

He missed having the kid just being around.

Bruce picked the book out of robins hand. He glanced at the title, War and Peace. That's awfully light reading for him, He thought absently, before placing the book on the coffee table. Bruce then grabbed a blanket from one of the nearby chairs (Alfred usually left some out for just such occasions) and draped it over the thirteen year old's sleeping form.

Dick shifted but didn't awaken. Without thinking, Bruce pulled the sun glasses off the boy's face and put them next to War and Peace, before brushing some black hair out of Dick's face. He then took a seat on a nearby armchair, completely content to just see his "son" get some well deserved rest.

Seeing Robin like this, being able to care for a child like this, it made Bruce wonder for the umpteenth time that day what was going through Superman's thick Kryptonian skull.

He saw where Clark was coming from. To find out his DNA had been stolen had to have been bad enough, but discovering a mentally sixteen year old duplicate created to replace him. Well needless to say Bruce hoped he would never have to deal with that.

Bruce understood, he just didn't agree.

Despite the "How and Why" as he had so eloquently told Clark earlier, the child just needed some taking care of. Superboy was a good kid, all things considered. He knew Clark had had more than his share of "clone" problems, but he was still being too hard on the boy.

A small whimper caught his thoughts like a net. Bruce looked back to Dick, taking in his still sleeping body language. Flinching muscles, tense fists, soft mumbles, erratic eye movement beneath closed lids.

A nightmare, and a bad one by the looks of it.

Without hesitation, Bruce Wayne, playboy, billionaire, masked vigilante, terror to the criminals of Gotham City, gently placed a hand on his child's shoulder. He slowly rubbed comforting circles along the boy's back. Soft almost nonexistent words of comfort spilled from Bruce's lips as Dick's stormy dreams calmed.

After a lifetime of his own nightmares and almost six years of dealing with a child's night brought terrors. Bruce knew exactly how to help a child find his way when lost in his own mind.

Dick tensed for a moment, but did not stir further. Rather than pulling away from the unconscious world, he drifted back to the now safe streets of his subconscious. Even in his dreams, Richard Grayson knew that Batman would keep him safe from anything the waking world could throw at him.

Robin shifted closer to Bruce. His mind sought the comfort it was offered and his body accepted it gratefully. Still asleep Dick's nightmare shifted into a safe sea of capes and cowls. A small smile grazed the child's face as his father continued to protect him.

Unseen and unnoticed, as was sometimes his job, Alfred Pennyworth, loyal friend and butler to Bruce Wayne and the entire "Bat Clan," smiled at the sight of his charges.

there it is. my first atempt at a challenge fic. i suppose it could go under like 4 of the chatagories but i think the main thing is bruce/dick bonding.

sorry if anyone thinks i was updating. i had to fix something in the begining.

AN and if anyone can find the tiny reference to batman beyond, then you totally deserver a million dollors, which i would give you if i had it.