These moments are rare the best kept secrets in the Wayne manor.
"That was reckless." Bruce's stern tone told Dick that he was in trouble. "You could have been killed."
"You would have been killed if I hadn't..." Dick mumbled hopping onto the metal medical table. Dick hissed in pain as Bruce peeled back his torn sleeve. Bruce injected something that made a heavy fog creep into the edge of Dick's consciousness.
"You did good." Bruce said with a small smile stroking Dick's hair affectionately. "Sleep now." Dick blinked fighting to stay awake as if to say the he could take i t. Bruce gave Dick's hand a gentle squeeze. "It's okay. Gunshots hurt. You've been so brave. Sleep. When you wake up it will be all better."
Dark and stormy nights are terrifying enough without being in a large ancient mansion and old nightmarish memories. Between the loud thunder claps Bruce heard soft sobbing drifting out of Dick's room. It was late even by Batman standards, but tonight he will put aside his own exhaustion. Armed with Alfred's famous hot cocoa Bruce knocked on Dick's door.
"Come in." Bruce opened the door to see the boy rubbing the tears off his face. There were no words. Bruce simply walked over to the bed and handed the boy the hot cocoa and settled down on the bed. This was a well practiced ritual. Dick curled up next to Bruce leaning against the man's strong chest and sipped at the cocoa until the boy finally fell asleep.
Dick tip-toed out if his bedroom closing his bedroom door quietly behind him. Earlier that morning Dick had made sure the hinges were well oiled for this particular occasion. Having memorized every squeaky floor board Dick stepped skilfully around them down the hallway, pass Bruce's room, pass Alfred's room. At the top of the stairs Dick hopped onto the well waxed hand rail sliding down at a controlled speed effectively avoiding the squeaky steps that came several in a row too many to step over. A few more careful steps Dick was in the kitchen. Silent was the night Dick brought over a chair that allowed him to reach the freezer and in the tiny light the freezer gave off he reached in a pulled out the holy grail he had been searching for - Triple chocolate ice cream. Setting the ice cream tub on the high kitchen counter Dick searched for a spoon in the cutlery drawer. The silverware let out the slightest clinging noise as Dick picked up a spoon. For a moment Dick held his breath listening to see if he had been heard. Hearing nothing Dick let out a sigh of relief and hopped onto the counter to enjoy his treat. Suddenly the light in the kitchen came on blinding Dick just for a second, then he saw Bruce standing there in the door way. Dick knew he had been caught and he would have to face the consequences. Dick swallowed wondering if Bruce was going to yell at him, instead the man chuckled and ruffled his hair.
"Good job sneaking past Alfred. I wouldn't have heard you either had you not went searching for a spoon. A good Bat always brings his own tools." Bruce said producing a spoon from his robe pocket. He sat down on a stool next to where Dick was seated on the counter and opened the small ice cream tub before offering it to Dick. "Don't tell Alfred."
Dick smiled digging his spoon into the ice cream. "It will be our secret."
Dick hated wearing suits. The clothing was stiff and made it difficult to breath. The only other time Dick had worn a suit was at his parents' funeral. The tie felt like a noose around his neck chocking him. Dick could hear the people talking and yelling just on the other side of the large oak doors. He didn't want to go out there.
"Hey," Bruce's voice made Dick look up as the man approached him. Bruce was also wearing a suit but he looked much more comfortable in it. Bruce knelt down beside the boy and reached out undoing Dick's tie. "There is going to be a lot of people. Bright camera flashes. They are going to ask questions, but you don't need to answer them. Don't even listen to the questions. All you have to do is smile for me. I will be right next to you holding your hand. If you want to leave just squeeze my hand and we will go. Can you do that?" Bruce asked as he finished re-tying the tie. Dick nodded and smiled back at the man. The tie didn't seem so suffocating anymore. Bruce took Dick's little hand in his own and the two walked out pass the double oak doors to face the sea of reporters.
Dick could hear Alfred's hurried foot steps outside his door. Then moments later Alfred returned with another set of steps heavy, dragging. The voices were muffled so Dick couldn't tell what they were saying but Alfred seemed worried and Bruce sounded hurt and deranged. As the voices disappeared into Bruce's room Dick crept out of bed and peer out the door. A coppery smell graced his nose, he recognized it as he saw the drops on the hallway floor, blood. Worried Dick made his way to Bruce's room. For a few moments he peered in through the door as Alfred stripped Bruce of his Batsuit and began patching up his wounds. The whole time the sedated man tossed a turned restlessly. Dick watched from the doorway not daring to get any closer but not daring to look away. When Alfred was done he turned and saw Dick peeking through he door. The old man walked over and picked the boy up with ease.
"Master Bruce got his with Scarecrow's fear gas. He thought Scarecrow took you Master Richard. I think it would ease his mind if you stayed with him." Alfred explained the boy nodded numbly. Alfred carried Dick over to Bruce and placed the small child on the large bed beside the man.
"Dick." Bruce said relieved as the boy appeared beside him. He pulled the child into his arms. "Oh thank god!" Dick let his head rest against Bruce's chest listening to the man's steady heart beat a wave of relief washed over him. Bruce was alive, he would not die and leave Dick all alone again. The father and son slept clinging to each other for comfort. Alfred sighed content that both of his charges were sleeping soundly and turned to finish his clean up.