A/N: Well, wrote this from like nine o' clock at night to a little after eleven. On my iPod Touch. Yeah, clearly I'm addicted. Houston, Skylark has fallen off her rocker, I repeat, Skylark has fallen off her rocker XD I need more sleep…
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice or any associated characters!
He's a Strong Kid
Needless to say, Bruce had seen his son beaten up on many occasions. Many, many occasions. The man had always let his adopted son jump willingly into battle, diving in headfirst without a second thought about the consequences. He was always ready to throw another punch or to aim another kick. Richard was always ready for a little more action than could be provided at home with a butler and his schoolwork. Not that he was complaining about Alfred or anything...
Dick never wanted to miss a day on the job. He had a bad habit of sometimes skipping out on classes back when he was younger and much more ignorant. Bruce had quickly taught him that lesson. The threat of taking away his Boy Wonder mantle had been enough to keep the kid in school.
Bruce was always ready to let his ward do what he wanted. The man himself had had a lot of free range as a child, Alfred letting him do what he wanted when he wanted and how he wanted. Alfred was such a pushover sometimes. So Bruce had decided to give Richard that same sort of freedom as long as he kept up his grades to at least mid-Bs (the boy was naturally a straight A student) and ate all his vegetables. Wayne couldn't let him get away with everything...
But hell, Bruce was sure he had raised a damn good kid. The Boy Wonder was exceeding all of his mentor's expectations without even trying. Dick already had enough acrobatic training to pass up the Dark Knight's abilities, but that was something Bruce expected. A man's flexibility versus that of a ten-year-old was a no-brainer. The man was sure his ward could take on virtually anything.
There were only two drawbacks to Richard being that damn good of a kid: one, it led Bruce to be a bit more lenient with him and two, it gave him an ego the size of Montana.
Richard had always been a bit full of himself sometimes. Being in front of a crowd at such a young age had influenced that part of him, but now that he was put in front of an entire city of people only doubled his ego. Sure, Batman was the front man, but all the girls of Gotham were swooning over his little sidekick, the one in the tights, the one with more muscle than most full-grown men in the city.
To say he was jacked up on Robin steroids would've been an understatement. No, Dick was full of Dick too. Both of his personas were inflated with this sudden rush of popularity directed towards the kid in the red tunic and black mask.
And yeah, he loved it a little bit too much sometimes.
Between the ego and the leniency of Bruce Wayne, Richard had taken up his opportunity to prove himself. With Bruce away on a business meeting in Russia (for Wayne Enterprises, not Batman business) and Alfred watching over him, Dick had made a little escapade from school and decided to take on the Joker who was wreaking havoc on the city's main bank. But that was the Joker for you.
Of course, an hour later, Bruce got the call that his adopted son had been a numbskull (in Barry Allen's words at least) and skipped his classes to try and fight the nemesis of his mentor. If Wayne had been called by his ward, he probably wouldn't have minded so much, but it was the fact that it was Allen calling that made him sigh, express his deep regret for having to leave the meeting early, and exit the room. His destination had been his private jet that was parked on the roof of the building that the meeting was being held in.
No, Bruce wasn't worried about his adopted son. The kid was always able to hold his own. Bruce just wanted to be there to reprimand the boy, telling him his usual punishment for skipping classes. A month away from the title of Robin. That was that. Bruce just wanted to know why the boy had been so gutsy in the first place. He thought he'd trained his son better than that.
Dick was lying in the medical bay of the Batcave, both Clark Kent and Barry Allen standing outside. They were the two that Batman was able to trust the most with being able to take care of his son. Allen was just generally good with kids (when he wasn't being a pain in the ass), and Clark was a great role model and one of the many people that Richard looked up to. So it was no question why they were the two watching over him alongside of Alfred.
Bruce approached from behind, watching over his ten-year-old son with his azure orbs. The man watched through the glass of the window at the young boy that he had allowed into his house. "Who wants to tell me what happened?"
Barry was never a big fan of getting Bruce's signature glare and therefore cleared his throat and gave a little cough of "Clark" followed by more coughing. He didn't want to tell Batman what had happened to his bloody protégé that lay in the hospital bed on the other side of the glass window.
Clark didn't want to say anything either; he dreaded the glare that Bruce always gave as much as Barry did. The Man of Steel looked desperately to the butler- who had suddenly vanished. Superman had to look around a bit for the little gray-haired man before finally giving into the fact that Alfred had disappeared. With a slight wince, the Man of Steel focused on the issue at hand. "I got a call from his school since you were out of the country and heard that Richard had skipped his seventh period history class. I was going to head out to find him when I got the call from Barry-"
"Hi," said Flash quickly, just wanting to feel like part of the conversation.
Clark rolled his eyes but continued, "-that Robin was in the middle of a fight with the Joker. We both tried to get here in time, but the Joker was already gone and all we could do was get Dick out of there before the police stormed the place and found him. He must've gotten an alert about the attack at school and gone after him."
Bruce had to take a moment, his calloused fingers pressed to his temple. The man took a deep breath, inhaling then exhaling. "That boy... Some days, I swear..." He'd have to find a harder punishment. More vegetables?
Allen cut into his thoughts. "Alfred patched him up. We were just hanging around so we could tell you what happened." The speedster stood to Bruce's left and his jade eyes watched the Dark Knight. "Joker gave him a couple bruised ribs, bunch of cuts, a good dose of knockout gas, and a fractured wrist."
Another sigh escaped Bruce as he stared in at the boy in the bed. The kid's face was bloody and slathered in dirt. His ebony hair was a ruffled mess, caked with both blood and mud. Dick was asleep (or maybe still unconscious from the knockout gas...), and both of his sapphire eyes were shut tight, his body unmoving.
Clark shifted on his feet. He was used to seeing his fellow Leaguers battered and broken, but he hadn't once seen a sidekick so abused by a villain. The Man of Steel was quiet for a long moment before asking, "You think he'll be alright?"
"He's a strong kid." Bruce left the conversation there; he put down his briefcase just outside the door to the medical bay and silently loosened his tie. Then the man opened the door to the room and let himself in, closing it again quietly behind him, trying to let his ward sleep (if he was, in fact, sleeping) as long as possible. Then Wayne moved around the bed, eyes watching the form of his unconscious son as he inhaled and then exhaled, inhaled and exhaled. The fact that his apprentice was breathing normally was good enough for Bruce in that moment.
Inside that room, Batman sat in a metal chair quietly undoing the top button of the stiff collared shirt he wore beneath his black suit's jacket. Slowly, he stripped off the jacket of that black suit and hung it on the back of that metal chair. Then he folded his arms across his chest and leaned his head back against the wall that was behind that metal chair. Bruce would have to find a good consequence for his son. Now that his rashness had actually gotten him in real trouble, the man wanted to give him a good punishment.
All he could think of was putting a plate of broccoli in front of the poor kid and watching him eat the whole thing...
"I swear, that kid's done something to our Brucie," remarked Flash, watching the man peel away his business skin and reveal the father underneath the name of Wayne.
"He just needed a strong kid to bring out the worst in him," noted Superman with a slight smile as he saw Bruce relaxing further. It wasn't long before he knew the man had joined his son in dreamland, the jetlag taking its toll on him. "And the worst in him is actually the best for us."
A/N: I'm kind of happy with how this turned out. I don't usually do family bonding stuff, let alone anything that involves more than one Justice League hero. I can't even do Generator Rex family stuff. It's pitiful, really… So review please! I would love some critical feedback on this one! I definitely need it!