I was up late that night because Bruce was watching a movie. It was kind of a violent movie and since I wasn't into those sorts of things, I let him watch alone. He asked me if I wanted to come watch with him, but I said no.
My parents used to screen movies before I watched them but Bruce, well Bruce didn't. I guess he just assumed I could watch whatever he did, one of the many signs he'd forgotten what it was like to be a little kid. I didn't really mind though. I just played quietly in my room and whenever I heard an unusually loud scream, I would rush into the living room to make sure he was still ok.
"It's alright", Bruce soothed, "it's just a guy getting his arm cut off, no worries." I gazed somewhat horrified at the screen and made a face.
"Bruce", I whimpered, "that's scary."
"Ohh", Bruce chided, "its not that scary." I looked back up at the screen, gave a terrified yelp, and dove into the safety of his lap.
"I'm gona have nightmares", I cried, "I don't like scary movies."
He smoothed my hair and said, "Well, alright then, go back to your room, you don't have to watch."
"Carry me", I pleaded.
He sighed and said, "It's a TV movie and I'm gona miss the best part, can't you walk?" I shook my head and he reluctantly got up, glancing every so often back at the screen as he carried me to my room.
"Its late", I yawned. He nodded.
"Yes it is, maybe you should be in bed. I've heard people your age are supposed to have a bedtime right." I shrugged.
"I don't have to have one", I said in my most honey coated voice, and then promptly stifled another yawn.
"Alright", he said in a commanding voice, "pajamas, bed, now so I can continue with my movie."
"No", I moaned, "I wanna play. Please."
"No", he said, making sure he didn't make eye contact with me. He knew that if he did, I would melt him. I gazed at him intently.
"Please", I begged. Her bit his bottom lip and closed his eyes tightly as if he were fighting some inner battle.
"I'm not going to give in", he said softly to himself, "I'm not going to give in."
"Please", I begged again. I put my hands on his arm and pulled down on it to get his attention.
"Ohh, alright, but just until I finish the movie. Then, I'm going to bed and so are you."
"Yippie", I squealed happily, hugging him. "You're the best legal guardian in the whole wide world." He gave me a sardonic smile.
"You know", he said, "if you keep wrapping me around your finger like this, you're gona grow up spoiled."
"Of course I'm spoiled", I said, "that's because you love me."
"Your parents didn't spoil you and they still loved you." I shrugged.
"You're right about that", Bruce grumbled. "Alright, change into your pajamas some time before the movie ends and brush your teeth so you'll be ready to go to bed."
"Ok", I said. He smiled at me.
"Now, give me a kiss so I can go back to my movie. And don't worry, if it's me screaming, you'll know. It'll be really high and you'll think it's a little girl." I giggled and kissed his cheek. Then, I returned to my cars.
"When are you gona take me to see the Wayne enterprises race car?" I questioned.
"Why should I fuel your obsession with cars even more?" he asked me in a mock serious voice.
"Because", I said, "you love me."
"Unfortunately yes", he replied, "and it's a disease I can't seem to cure." He left the room and I continued playing. He was right though, I was spoiled. He absolutely couldn't deny me anything and if I had been of a different personality, I would have totally taken advantage of that fact, but I respected him and because he inspired in me a kind of hero worship, I did my best to keep the annoying to a minimum.
Plus the fact that there was still a shadow of doubt, no matter how small it got with the passing months, that he wasn't going to be around forever. I had the sneaking suspicion that one day, he would leave me and I would never see him again. I did my best to make him say he loved me often so I could be absolutely sure of that fact and therefore never have to worry. Every time he assured me that he loved me deeply, I felt secure.
The movie finished after about another hour and Bruce came into my room. "Alright", he said, "I'm going to bed and that means you're going to bed too."
"Aww", I said, "but I don't want to."
"Come on kid", he said, "we had a deal."
"Alright", I sighed. I climbed into my bed. He kissed my forehead and started to walk out. "Wait", I said.
"What", he asked. W
"Will you read me a bedtime story?" I asked in my sweetest voice, "Please."
"No", said Bruce, "I'm tired. I'll read you a breakfast story."
"Aww", I said, "but breakfast isn't until noon."
"You're right", he said, "you catch on quick, now go to sleep."
"You scared me with your movie though", I pleaded, "now you have to unscare me by reading me a story."
"No", he replied, "I don't think that's a good idea. Read yourself a story."
"You're an irresponsible guardian", I said, "You let me see that violent movie."
"You wanted to", he replied.
"So", I said, "You're supposed to know what's good for me and what's not."
"You begged me", he said in a high, defensive sounding voice. "Still", I said, "You're not supposed to give into everything."
"I can't help it", he replied.
"Read me a story please", I said.
He frowned at me and snapped, "Fine, I'll read you a story."
"Yea", I cried and sat up expectantly. He left the room and came back a few minutes later with a book in his hands.
"Alright", he said. He sat down on a chair next to my bed and opened the book. "Once upon a time…"he flipped through a couple of pages and then said, "and they lived happily ever after, the end. Alright, I finished your story."
"No", I said, "You have to read it from beginning to end, that means the middle too."
"Ohh, it doesn't matter what comes in between", he replied, "all that matters is the beginning and the end." I folded my arms and scowled at him, not impressed. "Alright", he interrupted, and opened the book to the first page. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…"
"Wait", I said, "What story is this?"
"A tale of two cities", he replied.
"That sounds boring", I replied, "I want to hear a different story, one like my mom used to read."
"Well I'm sorry", Bruce said, "but this sort of thing is pretty much all I have around the house."
"No children's books", I replied incredulously, "not even one?" He shook his head.
"As surprising as it may seem to you, I usually read things like this when I find time to read, which isn't often."
"Well", I said, "I have a book." I dug in my things for a moment and came out with a book, which I took to him, put down on his lap, and hopped back into bed.
"Aww come on, he said, you're not actually going to make me read The Three Bears are you", he asked unhappily.
"Yes", I replied, "its my favorite story." He heaved an enormous sigh.
"Can we read the other book, please."
"No", I said, "I wanna hear about the three bears."
"No", he moaned.
"Yes", I moaned back.
"Fine", he said. "Once upon a time there were three bears Dick do you actually like this stuff because this story is like the most boring story ever."
"It's my favorite story", I replied angrily.
"Alright", he said. "Once upon a time there were three bears. There was a Bruce bear, an Alfred bear, and a Dickie bear."
"That's not how the story goes", I said.
"Well," he replied, "I'm improvising." I frowned at him. "Don't worry", he said, "you'll like it." My expression didn't change. "I promise," he insured.
"Carry on", I said in a haughty voice.
"Yes your majesty", he replied sarcastically and then continued the story. "Ok", he said, "well, these three bears lived in a beautiful mansion in the woods."
"It's supposed to be a cottage", I said.
"Cottages are drafty and they smell like mold", Bruce replied, "the Bruce bear is used to higher standards then that. Anyway, one day the Alfred bear made some choice steak with some caviar, deviled eggs and a nice Caesar salad on the side."
"It's supposed to be porridge", I interrupted, "bears don't eat caviar."
"Porridge is gross", he replied, "its just nasty, shapeless, colorless, tasteless goo. It has absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. And anyway, bears don't eat porridge either so I think the bear's diet is a bit of an issue whichever way this goes. If they're going to eat people food, they might as well eat good people food."
"Fine", I said.
"Now, the bears were about the dig in to their delicious meal when a light suddenly appeared in the sky. It was the bear signal. So the Bruce bear and the Dickie bear threw on their costumes and became Bearman and…and…this is the part where you think up a name for yourself, Dick, hurry up or the Dickie bear will remain nameless forever."
"How about Cub", I said.
"Perfect", he replied. "So, Bearman and Cub went out to rid the forest of crime. While they were gone, the Alfred bear cleaned and stuff. Then, the Alfred bear decided to go out and get some stuff so he could make some delicious bear treats for the return of the triumphant heroes. So, he left the house too."
"Then, a strange green haired person came upon the house. It's name was Greenylocks and it would not stop laughing, no matter how many of the little forest animals told it to shut the hell up." At this point, he started grumbling about how irritating the Joker was, but I cut him off.
"Aww", I said, "make it be Scarecrow."
"This is my story", Batman snapped, "it's Joker. Anyway, so Greenylocks went into the house and started looking around. First, he tried the Alfred bear's caviar. Too warm, he said and laughed irritatingly. Then he tried the Bruce bear's caviar. Too old, he said and laughed irritatingly."
"Excuse me sir", Alfred said, coming in, "but are you insinuating that my food does not always come out to perfection."
"Certainly not Alfred", Bruce said, "it's just a story."
"I hope so", Alfred sniffed, and then walked away. Bruce rolled his eyes and I climbed onto his lap.
"Keep going", I said.
"Ok", said Bruce, "Well anyway, Greenylocks tried the Dickie bear's caviar and laughed and said, just right. Then, he ate it all up."
"Wait", I interrupted, "why does he eat mine. Make him eat yours. I'm a growing bear, I need good food."
"Well", Bruce replied, "you still have your salad and your steak so you'll be fine. Now stop interrupting. Anyway, so next Greenylocks tried the Alfred bear's chair. Too hard, he said. Then, he tried the Bruce bear's chair. Too big, he said." I stated giggling. "What", Bruce asked.
"You have a big butt", I said. I giggled again.
"Hey", Bruce said, "I do not have a big butt."
"That's what you said", I replied, "that the chair was too big."
"The Bruce bear is just really tall", Bruce said defensively. I continued to giggle so he started tickling me. "I do not have a big butt", he said playfully and I squealed and tried to get away, but he held on tight to me. Eventually, he stopped and managed to calm me down enough to finish the story. "Ok so, lastly, Greenylocks tried the Dickie bears chair and said, Ahh, just right. Then, he accidentally dropped one of his Greenylocks bombs and the chair exploded into a bunch of little pieces."
"My chair", I said angrily.
"Don't worry", Bruce soothed, "I'll buy you a new one, I'm rich." I nodded. "Greenylocks yawned and said, I' m tired. I'm going to go and get some sleep. So, he walked to the bedroom, Dick how come all these bears sleep in the same room? I shrugged.
"I dunno", I said.
"That's weird", Bruce said, "Well, anyway, he went to the bedroom and tried the Alfred bear's bed. Too hard, he said. So, he tried the Bruce bear's bed. Too soft, he said. Last, he tried the Dickie bear's bed. Just right he laughed and then fell asleep."
"Anyway, so the Bruce bear and the Dickie bear got home after they had fought crime and saved a squirrel from some rabid fox or something and maybe consumed some small animals on the way."
"Circle of life Dick, either you eat or get eaten. So, right about at the same time as the Alfred bear got home, they got home." "They all went inside and the Dickie bear was shocked. Someone ate all me caviar, the Dickie bear said angrily. Then, they looked at their chairs. Someone exploded my chair, the Dickie bear said sadly. Last, they went to the bedroom and there in the Dickie bear's bed was Greenylocks."
"So, the Dickie bear and the Bruce bear pulled out their beararangs and threw then at the Greenylocks. The Greenylocks woke up and an epic battle ensued. There was punching and kicking and someone's arm got ripped off."
"Gross", I said. Bruce shrugged.
"That's just how things work" he said. "Well, the Dickie bear and the Bruce bear triumphed over Greenylocks and tied him up. Then, they handed him over to the proper authorities. The end."
"Bruce", I said, "that was the weirdest story I have ever heard."
Bruce grinned at me and said, "It is time for you to go to bed young man." I whined.
"No," I said, "tell another story."
"No more stories", he said playfully and gave me a cuddle. I giggled happily and snuggled into him. "Please go to bed", he pleaded, "I'm tired."
"Ohh", I sighed, "alright." He put me in my bed and tucked me in. Then, he gave me a kiss and turned off the lights. "Love you", I said.
"Love you too", he replied.
"Hey Bruce", I said, before he walked out.
"Yea", Bruce asked, standing in the doorway.
"Will you read me another bedtime story tomorrow?"
"Sure", he said, "I actually enjoyed it, surprisingly. Keep surprising me like that and maybe I'll keep you around." I smiled and him and he walked out. Then, I closed my eyes and fell asleep.