A/N: Kay, so, I finally got to see the episode Downtime, (Relatives were in town, I love 'em, but they made me miss my Young Justice. So thank you YouTube) and pretty much pulled a fan-girl squeal when Robin's part showed up. But, (much as I enjoyed learning what I could about Aqualad, I really know next to nothing about the guy) I needed expansion, and came up with this. I have truly turned into a fanfic junky; it's just so fun . . . .
Disclaimer: If I owned it we would have had an episode like that for everyone, not just crammed into one . . .
And just so you know, I know nothing about basketball.
Alfred closed the door, leaving his two boys to their . . . training.
Dick barely noticed as he let loose his signature cackle and ran past his guardian towards the basket. Bruce was close at his heels, but Dick shot anyway . . . and sinking it.
"Ha!" he shouted in triumph, only for Bruce to somehow get the ball away from him and ring the next one. They played, er, trained like that for a while, one only beating the other for a second before tying again. Then Bruce stopped, ball in hand, and Dick ever privy to his mentor's actions stopped too.
"What?" the boy asked, taking the moment to catch his breath.
"What do you say we make this more interesting?" Bruce asked, that 'I'm up to something, and you may not like it' smirk on his face.
"Sure . . ." Dick said uncertainly, warily. Bruce's ideas didn't always agree with him.
"Alright," Bruce looked down at the ball in his hands, thinking, then back up at his ward, eyes twinkling, and said, "A question game. I make a basket, I get to ask you a question, and you have to answer, truthfully, no worming your way out of it. Vice versa if you make the basket. How's that sound?"
"Not that bad," the hacker answered. Bruce had definitely had crazier ideas. And, yeah, he knew Bruce already had something he wanted to talk to him about, and that he would drag it out of his ward one way or another. This way just seemed like less of an invasion of privacy and more like fun, "Well, you have the ball."
With that Bruce dribbled towards him and the net again and Dick tried to block his shot, to no avail.
"Crud," he muttered, watching the orange ball fall through the netting. He turned to Bruce for his question.
"Hmm," Bruce hummed playfully, bouncing the ball toward Richard, "What to ask . . ."
Dick caught the ball and narrowed his eyes at his mentor, "Oh, don't you dare act like you don't already have a list alphabetized and sorted by level of embarrassment."
The older man only chuckled and asked his question, "Are you still angry with me?" He expected Richard to deny ever being angry at all, but the boy surprised him.
"No, not really," he said simply and rushed Bruce for the net, sinking it immediately, managing to slip under the larger man's arm.
"My turn," he chirped, then his face became serious, and yet again his words surprised Bruce, "Why did you think I was angry?"
The unmasked Bat blinked, "Of all the things you could ask, that by my own rules, I would have to answer, you pick that?"
"No avoiding, remember," Richard half scolded.
Bruce sighed and shook his head, "I had assumed it was because I wanted to speak to Kaldur alone, that you were jealous I did not include you."
Dick frowned, disappointed, and tossed him the ball, "Only half-right, detective."
The "detective's" eyebrows drew together, "What do you mean?" he asked, ball held loosely in his hands. He usually didn't have to ask that, he usually knew, and it was awfully frustrating for him not to.
But his ward only shook his head, mouth set in a hard smirk, "Gotta make the basket first," he said, pointing to the said object.
Bruce huffed and shot the ball, barely looking at the net and Dick's half-hearted block, and watched as it went in before letting it bounce away and turning to the boy, "Alright, now what are you talking about?"
Richard walked slowly over to the chain-link fence and picked up the ball. He turned, head down, studying the black lines, and said quietly, "Does 'parent-teacher conference' ring any bells?" He chanced a look at his guardian through his bangs.
It didn't seem to, not at first, for the older man anyway, which only added to his annoyance. Bruce could swear the kid wasn't being straight forward on purpose, maybe trying to punish him for whatever . . . Oh. "Oh," he said out loud, "Oh n –, was that this week?"
Dick didn't even bother to enforce the "shoot first ask questions later" rule, "No," he said, just as quietly as before, "it was last week. The appointment I had to reschedule for us was yesterday afternoon."
Bruce rubbed his face, "And I missed it, again," he stated obviously, "Richard, I'm sorry –"
"I reminded you," Dick interrupted, not sounding angry, really, just hurt, "Alfred reminded you. He put it in your day planner, he stuck a note in your briefcase," now he started to sound a little angry, "I don't expect you to be everywhere at once Bruce, I know you're busy, but you just – you didn't even notice?" Bruce was sure that had Richard not been holding the basketball, his hands would've been shaking. So much for not being mad at him anymore.
Damage control, a neon sign seemed to flash in Bruce's head. He walked over to the boy and kneeled till they were eye-to-eye, for whatever reason that usually seemed to calm Richard, not having to look up at his guardian.
"I'm sorry," he repeated, he really couldn't think of anything better at the moment.
Dick seemed to relax minutely at his words, however, and his voice was calmer, "You were busy," he stated simply.
Bruce reached up and pushed his ward's bangs away from his face, "It's not a very good excuse, is it?"
Richard smiled at him, "No, it's not."
"Maybe there's still time to make it up to you before you write your old man off completely?" Bruce asked, standing up and leading the way into the manor.
"Oh, you'll make it up all right," Dick said gleefully, trotting ahead and turning to walk backwards in front of Bruce, "I had to re-reschedule the appointment, and the teacher it's with will not be happy."
"Which teacher is it?" Bruce asked warily.
"Mr. Thomson, remember? My evil Calculus teacher," Richard replied grinning.
"The one who tried to fail you for making a perfect score on his first test?" yeah, he remembered. The man was simply livid at the thought that a thirteen year old boy had bested him at his own game. Aside from maybe the Joker he was the most irritatingly unreasonable person Bruce had ever had to deal with, "Couldn't I just make it up to you with ice cream?"
"Is that a bribe?"
"Then it's working."
A/N: I didn't mean for this to turn out as fluffy as it did, but my muse made friends with the fairies of Warm Fuzzy land and they came and sprinkled their fluff glitter all over my friggin story.
Huh, now I think I know what happened to Stephenie Meyer . . . excuse the Twilight joke please, couldn't resist. Hehe.
Anyway, as always thanks for reading and please review! (They feed the Warm Fuzzy fairies)