A/N: This is something I've been wanting to write for a little while now. It's going to be a drabblefic, which means each chapter (unless otherwise stated) will be a oneshot of varying length, centering around the lessons Batman has taught Robin over the years.
This fic was inspired by a scene in Episode 3, "Welcome to Happy Harbor," in which Robin whips out his utility belt out of nowhere and, when Kid Flash mentions it, says that 'never leaving home without it was the first rule Batman taught him.' I thought Dick's devotion to his mentor here was absolutely adorable, and then this sprang to my mind!
This chapter's Lesson is numbered Zero because, technically, Dick (in accordance with "The Batman" branch of the Batverse) wasn't yet Robin when he learned this lesson of justice rather than revenge. That said, this won't necessarily go in chronological order, just to make it easier on my taxed brain. XD (The joys that A.P. Physics brings to this noggin, I tell you... XP)
Disclaimer:I do not own Young Justice. Cartoon Network, DC, and whoever else does. Its brilliance just inspired this.
-"I thought you wanted Zucco to get what was coming to him?"
"Well, he did, didn't he? Justice, I mean?"-
~Paraphrased from "The Batman," Season 4, Episode 1, "A Matter of Family"
I Learned from You
Lesson 0: Live your life in the name of justice, not revenge.
As Dick—no, Robin—watches Tony Zucco gaily throw his knives at a restrained Bruce—Batman—he can't help the animalistic rage that blazes through him.
This man is the one who murdered his parents, his parents who did nothing but refuse to get involved with a protectorate mob! They were the greatest people Dick had ever known, and this…this fiend took them away from him!
For Heaven's sake, he's only nine! He doesn't deserve to grow up without his parents' love and support! He doesn't deserve to know this burning fire that is ever-slowly consuming his golden heart!
Just like they never deserved to die!
And it is here that he leaps to the ground, a borrowed batarang redirecting the knife sailing toward a struggling Bruce's heart.
Recognizing him even with the domino mask, Zucco grins smugly as always.
"The Grayson brat?" he questions incredulously, almost mockingly, more than a little amused as his glinting eyes flit toward the Caped Crusader. "The Dark Knight's turned to orphaned circus freaks for protection, I see?"
Robin stiffens, only just hearing the warning that passes through his adoptive Father's lips.
He engages the dangerous man in combat before comprehension has a chance to dawn.
Fists fly, feet connect, and incredible acrobatic feats are met blow for blow.
All along, however, Zucco has been testing him, and soon enough the battle turns very one-sided.
The child is beaten to near-unconsciousness in mere moments.
He can barely make out the taunting threat Zucco utters and the deadly growls emitting from a fiercely protective Batman.
Through blurry eyes he can see the club as it comes down, and it is all he can do not to choke on his own relieved breath when the Masked Manhunter tackles Zucco away from his charge.
He observes the ensuing skirmish between the two, and when his head finally stops spinning some inborn instinct drops him into step beside the Dark Knight.
In this struggle of robbed innocence, the Dynamic Duo takes flight for the first time.
The finishing strike is left to Robin.
Zucco, following the petite nine-year-old with fearful-astonished eyes, cannot believe he's lost to this child and the Bat.
But he has not the facilities to question it any further.
For it is in this moment that a swift crack to the face lands him slumped against the tent's center pole, out cold.
The police are on their way.
Outside, Bruce can only take in his Wonder of a ward.
The chance to take out his family's killer was within his grasp, and yet…and yet he was strong enough to let his heart win out in the end.
The secret-Batman admires him, truly. When he was Dick's age, he hadn't the heart for mercy. He knows exactly what he would have done had he come face to face with his parents' killer...
Cleansing his mind with a slow inhale and exhale through his nose, he rests a hand on the boy's back.
"I'm proud of you, Dick," he says quietly, eyes shining. "So proud."
Embarrassed, Dick lowers his head as a happy blush heats his cheeks.
"Thanks," he replies, smiling a bit prior to lifting his head, "but it was all thanks to you, you know." At the raised eyebrow he receives, Dick clarifies, "I mean, when I…when I first saw him…"
He trails here, looking away as his face takes on a dark shadow and his eyes surge with a flash of pain.
Bruce knows this look all too well.
Kneeling down, he curls two gentle fingers around the gypsy's chin and tilts his face upward until they are eye-to-eye.
"You wanted revenge," he deduces softly, and the child nods.
"Y-yes…" he whispers, shutting his eyes tightly against the tears that rise at the back of his eyes.
One liquid diamond escapes from each eye, he wiping one away and his adoptive Father tending tenderly to the other. Dick leans in to his touch, and the man cups the child's cheek affectionately.
They've known each other less than one week, but already foster Father and son have grown to love one another more than anything else.
"But what does your inner strength have to do with me?" the older inquires curiously.
A minute beam paints the pixie's lips, one so gentle suddenly that it makes a lump rise in Bruce's throat.
Slowly wrapping his arms around his Father figure's neck, the boy holds Bruce close and simply breathes him in a moment prior to whispering in his ear,
"Justice over all."
A/N: I am taking requests for any further lessons you guys think Batman'd teach Robin! I already have a few ideas, but anything you guys have in mind would be awesome to hear (giving you credit, of course, should I decide to use it - and nine times out of ten, I will)!
Thanks so much for reading, as always!