A submission to the Robin/Little Brother contest in the YJFC forum.
The OC is mine.
The Graysons are the only normal he knows. They keep his father as a handy man they don't really need because of his mother. Old ties to friends hold deep. Even when the friend has long since moved on. His mother left the circus life – them – what seems like forever ago.
When his dad – a sad, angry man who could have been so much more, could have been a father – drinks too much one night and finally puts a bullet in his own brain, no one's really surprised. Patrick Jordan, his six year old son, didn't shed a tear. The only real difference in his life was the Graysons had official papers for their new son.
Dick, their biological son, is thrilled to have a 'big brother'. Patrick likes him well enough; the four year old boy is a good playmate. He is, though, annoyed that he can never get away from his shadow. Very difficult when sharing a room. So he tells him there are monsters that will eat him if he talks when the lights go out.
As it is, he loves his life with the circus, with the Graysons. The Flying Graysons. He was one of them too, the Gryphon, since forever. At least that's how it feels; really, just since nine.
Dick's not allowed to perform yet, but he still practices. He takes immense joy in needling little Dick that he's too tiny to fly in the show. That they should call him the 'Flying Shrimp'. Dick threatens to push him off the high platform.
He makes good on his threat almost every time.
It's another two years before the Robin joins the show. The boys are nine and eleven, when life changes forever.
Dad caught him, and he holds onto the bar because he has to catch the Robin. It's an easy thing, with the momentum practically doing the work for him, and he lands easily next to his brother, like always. Then Dad has to catch Mom, and they remove the net like always, and she jumps.
And it's such a terrible noise, like a bone snapping, and they all see it at the same time. They're falling so fast but so slow, and there's screaming, and they…he can't stop screaming.
Patrick wakes from his sleep – nightmare, nightmare! – choking back the scream. His stomach convulses, and it makes him dry-heave for a minute straight. His hearts pounding, chest is heaving, and the moon's still in the sky.
He tells himself his chest hurts because that's where that Dick kicked him earlier while sparring. Patrick reaches for his nightstand and fumbles to open the bottle, taking two pills to dry swallow.
Lay down, breathe, and don't think.
Whatever you do, don't think.
Dick wanders into Patrick's pitch black room, light peeking around the edge of the curtains and trailing before him through the door. He's still drying water from his ebony hair as he navigates through the room, stepping over discarded clothes, a shoe here and there, random tech.
"'Trick. Get up, man," he tells him as he stops at the head of the bed.
There's a lump covered head to toe in a sheet. The blond-headed boy doesn't twitch.
"Dude, it's two in the afternoon. Stop being a vampire!"
Dick emphasizes his command with a swat to what he believes to be his brother's head. Instead, it feels like a knee. He sighs and rolls his eyes heavenward. The guy was like a contortionist in his sleep.
"I swear to Batman, if you don't get out of this bed right now, I'll dye your hair pink and purple, take pictures, and send them to every girl in your phone."
The lump that he assumed was his brother shifted and groaned before sitting up. Dick tilted his head and squinted at the dark figure on the bed. It would seem Patrick was laid across his bed. Well, it was massive enough that it really didn't matter.
"What?" the older boy questioned.
"I told you that we're meeting my team today. I've been going on and on and on about it for, like, a freakin' week."
"So?" Patrick couldn't help the confusion and yawn in his voice.
"So you have two hours to get ready, and be ready, or else."
"Pft. Or else what?"
He actually hadn't gotten that far, but details, details. Thinking quickly, he plucked the towel from his head and rolled it.
"I'll beat you with a dictionary. Now, get a move on, man!"
Dick popped the towel over Patrick's head and left, turning the light on as he left. Behind him, his brother hissed as if the light burned his dark eyes, which it probably did, and pulled his pillow over his head.
Forget the little Robin. He was going back to sleep.
When Dick came back ten minutes later, he was not pleased.
Alfred was preparing the menu for the week. Master Bruce had left some hours ago to tend to daily affairs at Wayne Tech. Masters Bruce and Robin had gotten home rather early this morning, but that hardly ever stopped Master Bruce. The boys though…well, it was fortunate today was Saturday.
As for Patrick, he could not fault the boy for staying awake while his father and brother performed their nightly duties. How anyone could sleep when somewhere one's family was being attacked and shot at…he'd yet to find a trick to it. As it was, Alfred had developed into something like an insomniac.
He knew that Master Patrick would like nothing more than to be able to fight along his brother and father and that he felt no little shame over not being able to. Of course, the deaths of the Graysons affected both boys deeply, and while Master Dick seemed to have reasonably handled it – barring his eccentric double life – Patrick was left with a rather severe fear of heights.
From upstairs, Alfred heard a yell followed by a muffled thud and cursing. Pounding footsteps – running – soon after and the echo of laughter.
"You think that's funny, pipsqueak? I'll show you funny!"
"You're doing a great job now!"
It would seem that Master Dick has taken the liberty of waking up his brother in some other unconventional method. Alfred just hoped they didn't break another va –
There was a solid thud followed by the high shattering of what could only be a very expensive, rare vase and dead silence. Because Master Bruce had no other kind.
Alfred reminded himself, it was not his vase, not his vase, not his vase, and retrieved the broom and dustpan. Naturally, when he found the broken Ming, there was absolutely no other soul anywhere near it.
There was, however, a trail of water, and he was certain if he followed it, it'd lead straight to Master Patrick's room.
Patrick tore through his closet, methodically picking out appropriate casual/concealing wear and ignoring the little bird perched on the footboard of his bed. He let his irritation at the kid show, but that emotion usually lingered at all times while being mixed with affection. A hand-in-hand thing between brothers.
After the thing with the vase, the two had retreated to their respective rooms before they could be caught. Patrick stripped the wet sheets – courtesy of Dick and his water balloons. He was so going to get him for that – off of his bed and threw them down the laundry-chute before heading to the bathroom.
He went over what the agenda was for the day; a habit he'd gotten into that actually helped him get things done. Now that he thought about it, his little brother had basically talked about nothing else but introducing him to his teammates.
Which was just awesome. The black sheep of the Bat family hanging out with the Boy Wonder's super friends. So fun.
He pulled a pair of black jeans out of the closet along with a blue T-shirt. He caught a look at Dick's hang-dog expression in the mirror. He turned to his little brother.
"What?" he held the clothes in front of himself. "You don't like these? Should I wear red like you so we don't lose track of each other in a crowd?"
Dick rolled his eyes and fell back on the bed.
"You've been going through your clothes for hours. Pick something already!"
See? That's why he ignored the annoying little twerp. And it had not been hours. Ten minutes tops. Maybe twenty.
"Fine. Not these either," Patrick tossed the clothes onto the 'reject' pile, which was about one-third of his closet.
Dick just sighed.
"Sorry we're late, guys. What took us so long? Oh, my brother was looking through his clothes and simply had nothing to wear because the ''fit' just didn't go with the hair'. Don't you just hate when that happens?"
Dick was suddenly attacked by a flying shoe. He grabbed the shoe and sat up, prepared to throw it back, but was hit in the face as soon as he was upright with a well-timed pair of pants. The ones Patrick had been wearing, as a matter of fact.
Dick clawed the garment off his face. Patrick stood smirking at the disgruntled look on the brunette's face as he did up the belt of the jeans he'd pulled on. Without looking, he snagged a shirt from his closet and slipped the grey polo over his head. He settled a black fedora on his blond head and placed a pair of Aviator shades over his grey eyes. Black Converses completed the look as he knelt to tie the laces.
"Done! Let's go, birdie. At this point, Wally will have beaten us there by now," he rushed out the door, snagging his black leather jacket on the way.
Dick glared at the closet before hopping off of the bed and following his brother into the hall. As he pulled on his jacket, Patrick found himself being attacked by a flying shoe, directly to the head. As a result, Dick found himself running – déjà vu – from his brother. At least he was moving faster. This time, all vases were spared.
I'm thinking two more chapters before this is done.