I own nothing except for Blaine, Jason, Terrence, and that *#$!^#$! April Johanna. (and some awesome alter-egos later on!)
Dick shuffled his feet on the carpet of the gigantic manor as he bit his lower lip nervously, only making the small, black-haired, blue-eyed child ever more adorable.
Bruce Wayne was a very, very rich man, Dick decided as he looked around. The ceiling was so high, Dick supposed it touched the clouds outside. There was a gigantic chandelier hanging above the entryway, which opened from large double doors into a red-carpeted room that looked like it belonged in a castle. There were two staircases that opened around a big open space. Doors led off in every direction of the Manor, in the numerous hallways and rooms. There were framed portraits all around, with large vases sitting next to them on small, polished wood tables.
Gripping his Superman backpack by the straps, Dick pulled it up higher onto his tiny shoulders. He felt April put her hand on his shoulder, and he looked up at her. The evil, frightening woman looked even scarier with her bleach-blond hair up in a bun and her caked-on makeup. She looked like a clown back in the circus.
Trying not to giggle at the thought, Dick looked up at his agent. "Now, then, Richard," she spoke in her completely fake country-twang, "be very good for Mr. Wayne's visit today. Okay? He has some other foster-children already, so you should have fun on this visit. Okay?"
Nodding, the boy heaved his backpack up the stairs as he followed after the butler- a man by the name of Alfred Pennyworth. He was tall, very skinny, and had a gaunt, kindly, grandfatherly old face. He was balding, and most of his leftover hair seemed to gather together in a thick white mustache that curled up at the tips. He smiled when he saw Dick looking at him. Blushing, the boy averted his gaze.
They walked for what seemed like hours before coming upon a small parlor. It had intricately woven carpets with pale beige walls. There was a small fireplace and even more expensive-looking vases and portraits. There was a rather large one above the fireplace of a brown-haired, blue-eyed man standing with his arms around the shoulders of a black-haired, green-eyed woman. She wore a thin string of pearls around her neck. Their smiles seemed genuine enough. Of course, Dick supposed they should. Who wouldn't be happy with all of this money?
Alfred turned and bowed gently to a chair, which April sat down in. She crossed her legs, staring pointedly at Alfred as he spoke. "The Master is rounding up the young Masters and Mistresses. Please forgive him for the delay."
April waved her hand in the air. "Nonsense. I'm fine."
"Would you like any tea, Miss Johanna?"
April wrinkled her nose at the butler, who frowned at her rudeness. "No, no it's fine, darlin'. Just water, thanks."
Nodding, Alfred turned to Dick, who was still fingering his backpack. Alfred smiled at the picture of Superman. "Young Master Richard, you may set that down if it would please you. And please, have a seat. Would you like anything to drink?"
Dick's face lit up as he sat down, laying his pack on the couch next to him. "Do- do you have chocolate milk?"
April glared at him, and Dick shrunk back in his seat. Alfred nodded, grinning directly at April. "Yes, yes we have chocolate milk. Would you like some pastries with that-"
"No, no he wouldn't," April said. "Gotta keep healthy."
Alfred pursed his lips. "If I may say, Young Master Richard looks rather thin." He turned back to the boy. "I have some freshly-made sweet rolls, if you would like some, Young Master Richard."
Dick shook his head, but his stomach rumbled loudly. April rolled her eyes, and Alfred scowled at her before having a mood-swing and grinning at Dick. "I think I shall bring two for the Young Master."
He left, leaving April and Dick alone. The agent turned to Dick, her face red. "You'd best behave for Mr. Wayne, Richard Grayson, or it's back to Juvie with you... You hear me?"
His face pale, Dick nodded quickly. Anything but the jail, the boy thought with a shudder. After he had left the circus, April had been too lazy to find him a foster home, and there was no space in any of the Gothom orphanages, so Dick had been sent to Juvie to spend the night in a jail cell. Three days later, he had been transported to a 'special facility' for traumatized children. It was a miniature Arkham Asylum, is what it was.
There came the sound of giggling and laughter from the hallway, and into the room skipped two girls. One was very pale, with dark, obsidian eyes and hair that was in a braid that went all the way down her back. It was a pale blond that clashed with her bright yellow sundress and bright red bow. She looked to be about nine or ten. The other girl was older, maybe fourteen, and had fiery red hair and deep brown eyes. She looked very nice in her pink and purple dress. Her hair was down, and there was a lily behind her ear.
When the two girls saw Dick, they had very different reactions. The red-head smiled broadly and imedeatly jumped forward, giving him a hug and saying, "Hi! My name's Barbara! This is Blaine."
She turned, showing the blond girl that was hiding shyly behind her back. Rolling her eyes, Barbara shoved Blaine in front of her gently. Blaine flushed and stuck out her hand. After an awkward moment, Dick shook it. Blaine blushed even pinker and dashed back behind Barbara. Barbara was about to speak, but just then, two boys ran into the room.
One was taller and obviously older, maybe sixteen, and had cropped brown hair and olive skin. His eyes were a brilliant sky blue, and he was rather built. He wore a suit shirt and brown slacks with Nike tennis shoes. The other boy was African-American had had a shaved head, with some of those cool designs written into the thin layer of black curls on the side of his head. He too wore slacks, only his were gray, and tennis shoes with a green suit shirt. He looked to be about eleven or twelve.
The sixteen-year-old hung back in the doorway when he saw Dick, smiling gently, but acting slightly shy. The other boy was eager, like Barbara, and ran up and held his fist out to Dick. Dick looked at him, confused. The boy's smile fell. "You've never seen a fist-bump?"
Dick shook his head, and the boy's jaw dropped. He slammed it shut and smiled. "I guess I'll just have to teach you, then!" And he did. Dick was smiling by the time they finished. The boy in front of him suddenly turned reddish-brown. "Oh! Right, my name is Terrence."
The boy in the back inclined his head and waved gently. "Jason."
"What's your name?" Blaine asked. She seemed to have lost most of her shyness.
"His name is Richard Grayson," April said, leaning back and frowning when she saw how muddy the boys' shoes were. Dick only then noticed the mud on the hems of the girls' dresses, too.
Jason frowned at Dick. "Can you speak?"
Dick nodded his head. "Yeah, I can."
"Yes, Richard. Use proper English!" April snapped.
Dick hung his head.
Just then, there came a deep voice. "Hello, Richard."
Dick looked up and his eyes widened.
The man was tall and very well built with shoulders broad as the sea. His eyes were as blue as it, and seemed to have a curious depth to them. His hair was jet-black, just like Dick's, and he wore a loose suit jacket and slacks. Dick hid a grin when he saw that the man's shoes had mud on them. So did the hem of his pants.
Dick decided that he liked Bruce Wayne just then, just because he wasn't afraid to get dirty.
Bruce came forward and got down on one knee to look Dick in the eye. He held out his hand. "My name is Bruce Wayne."
His hand was rough and calloused, and it nearly swallowed Dick's hand whole.
"Hi," Dick said softly with an edge of nerves in his voice.
April frowned and snapped, "Speak up, Richard!"
Dick jumped at the piercing voice. "Hi!" he nearly shouted.
Bruce scowled at April, and Dick decided that he liked him even more.
Alfred then came in with a platter of steaming buns. On another tray he carried, there was a glass of water (with ice and lemon) and a tall pink glass of chocolate milk. There was a swirly straw in it, which made Dick smile. Just like how Mommy did it!
The other children crowded around the tray of rolls, but Alfred slapped all of their hands gently. "Wait for our guests first, children. Have I taught you nothing?"
Looking sheepish, the children stood back. Dick politely took one small roll and nibbled on the edge. He detected a hint of cinnamon in it...
Alfred looked at the children and sighed, his eyes looking to the ceiling. "Now you may."
The children attacked. Jason grinned as he inhaled his roll, and Barbara made a sultry sigh in her throat. Blaine smiled up at Bruce, and he picked her up in his arms, setting her on his lap as he sat across from April. Terrence yelped. "Hot! Hot!"
Blaine rolled her eyes. "Well yeah, genius. They just came out of the oven!"
"How do you know?" Jason inquired.
Blaine rolled her eyes again. "Well, for one, their steaming."
Barbara looked at Dick as she sat at Bruce's feet. "Alfred makes the best rolls-"
Alfred grinned and nodded to Bruce, who nodded back knowingly. Alfred walked off to do whatever it was he needed to do, and Bruce looked April square in the eye. "I've done this before, Miss Johanna. May I ask you a question?"
Cocking an eyebrow, April replied, "What?"
"When can we make it official?"
April looked flustered. "I- I'm sorry?"
"When can Dick come live with us?"
April looked at Dick, then back to Bruce, then back to Dick. "I- I suppose... whenever. The paperwork is all filed out, and the judge already deemed you a worthy guardian, and since you already have four foster-children, I- I suppose-"
"Excellent," Bruce said, standing and handing Blaine to Jason. "Then you may leave, if you wish."
April looked extremely flustered. "I'm sorry?"
Bruce smiled and took her elbow, leading her to the door. All of the children- and Dick, holding his pack- followed. "I insist. You must be very busy."
"Have a nice day, Miss Johanna!"
And he shut the door in her face.
He looked back at Dick with a satisfied grin. "She's rude to you."
Dick frowned. "How-"
Bruce pointed to the cameras around the room.
Bruce stood back and inspected Dick. "Now, then, Richard-"
Bruce nodded. "Dick, then. Do you not have anything else?"
Dick looked down at the Superman and shrugged. "No. The police took most of my stuff as evidence."
Bruce scowled firmly. His scowl scared Dick. He shivered, and Bruce's face melted back into his smile. "I'm sorry." He rubbed his hands together. "Now, then, since you have no clothes, we should take you shopping."
Blaine and Barbara squealed, and Jason rolled his eyes. "Can I stay here?"
Jason put his hands out and whined. "But, Bruce-"
"No 'buts', Jason. I'm going to need your help with the girls."
The girls ignored the almost-insult and skipped off to their rooms to change out of their muddy clothes. "Go change," Bruce said to Terrence and Jason. Sighing heavily, Jason followed his little 'brother' up the stairs.
Bruce looked again down to Dick. "So, Dick, do you know what size you are?"
Dick shrugged. "My mo-" He cringed. "S-someone always bought my clothes for me..."
Seeing the boy's sudden change in moods, Bruce quickly averted the conversation. "So, Superman..." He lifted the backpack from Dick's grasp. "You like him?"
Dick nodded, smiling weakly. "He's my favorite superhero."
Bruce frowned, to Dick's dismay. "D-Did I say something wrong-"
"Oh, no, no, no, no, no," Bruce replied quickly, handing the backpack back to the boy. "It's just, Batman is my favorite superhero." With that, he crossed the room and rung a buzzer. Leaning into it, he said, "Alfred, could you please ready the car? We're going shopping."
1. Yes, I know that Barbara Gordon is not really Bruce's foster-daughter, but I wanted to do it like that, SO DEAL WITH IT!
Review= Chapter Two (Shopping)