Alfred Pennysworth looked up from his dusting as a large bat like car came roaring its' way into the cave. He gave a small smile as his 'son' walked out.
"How was patrol tonight Master Bruce?" He asked, walking over to his 'master'.
"Ok I guess," Bruce shrugged, "just a normal night."
"Well that's never good," Alfred joked.
"Ah come on Alfred! Don't you trust me?" Bruce asked.
"Yes, Master Bruce but that doesn't mean I can't worry." Alfred said as he walked over to Bruce. "Did you get hurt anywhere?"
Bruce answered after a pause, "No, just some bruises."
"I will be the judge of that Master Bruce." Alfred said with a small smile.
After assessing that it was nothing more than some bruises, Alfred sent Bruce back to his room, via the elavater he uses to get to the cave when also bringing down trays of food. On a normal night Bruce would have protested he could take the stairs but in truth he was far to tired.
*break break break break break*
Richard Grayson sat up in his bed, cold sweat rolling down his entire body. Pulling his blankets closer to ward off the cold he tried not to think about his dream. Taking deep breaths he tried to calm himself down before the tears kicked in. The battle was lost as Richard felt hot tears leaking from his eyes. He didn't want to cry any more, he was sick of crying. He'd cried and mourned more than any 8 year old should.
To top it all off he'd hardly ever spoken since his arrivale at Wayne Manor, not that he got much of a chance. Bruce Wayne, the nice man who'd taken him in was hardly ever there, and when he was he seemed way too busy or tired to talk to him. Alfred, the butler so to speak, was the only person who tried to talk to him. He seemed genually worried about his well being and often tried to get him to talk about his feelings. During these conversations Richard would often try to zone out or get away as fast as possible. He didn't want to be rude to the man, but he also didn't want to talk about his feelings.
Richard sniffled. He wanted nothing more then to go back to sleep but that was where the broken trapeeze was along with his dead parents, something that he didn't need to see again. So instead he just stared at the wall in front of him hoping the night would end soon.
*yes this is another break*
When Bruce woke up the next morning he felt groggy. He had a major headache which only made him frustrated. Taking a deep breathe he quickly stood up and grabed his bath robe, glad that Alfred had insisted he stayed home today. He wasn't in the mood to go to work anyway.
Walking across the room to the door Bruce quickly made his way down the hall, not even pausing as he passed Richard's new room. Making his way carefuly down the stairs he stumbled along until he came to the kitchen.
Bruce smiled as he noticed Alfred over by the oven cooking their breakfast. "Smells good Alfred."
Alfred glanced over to Bruce before giving an annoyed sigh, "Really Master Bruce, I insist that you go back to bed."
"Oh come on Alfred." Bruce smiled at his friends concern, "I'm fine!"
Alfred rolled his eyes, "Very well Master Bruce go take a seat."
Bruce gave a victorious grin as he walked over to the breakfast buffet. Settling himself down he watched as Alfred flipped the eggs over and over again until they were done. By then the sun had started to rise and was covering the land with its golden light.
"Hhhmmmm..." Alfred said raising an eyebrow as he handed a cup of coffee to Bruce.
"Something wrong Alfred?" Bruce asked after taking a greatful sip of the dark liquid.
"Master Richard should be down by now." Alfred pointed out, his eyes on the unmoved door.
Bruce palmfaced. He was suppose to be the greatest detective in the world, and he hadn't even noticed an 8 year old boy still missing.
"Maybe I should-" Alfred began.
"It's ok Alfred I'll go get him." Bruce stated as he slid off his chair. Seeing Alfred about to argue he held out his hand. "I'm ok, really."
Giving a defeated sigh Alfred turned back to his cooking. As Bruce started out the door he smiled as he heard Alfred mutter, "So stubborn" under his breath.
Climbing back up the stairs Bruce made his way to the third door on the right, directly across from his room. Opening the door he peaked his head in. "Richard?"
Richard was sitting by the large window by his bed. He was still dressed in his PJ's with his hair going every which way. Bruce stared at the boy, who seemed to not have heard him.
"Come on Richard it's time to eat." Bruce said, pushing open the door to allow the boy to get through.
As the boy turned around Bruce was startled to see his face. He had dark circles around his eyes from a sleepless night. His cheeks were stained from a long night of crying, and his eyes were red rimed. Bruce stared at the boy as he silently walked past him into the hallway.
**Bruce stood there for a moment staring at the empty space where the boy had been a second ago before following him. When he came back to the kitchen Richard was sitting on the far side of the buffet picking at the food on his plate. Alfred was on the other side of the room looking extremly worried. Walking over to Alfred he whispered in a quite voice, "Do you see it too Alfred?"
"Indeed sir." Alfred answered not taking his eyes off Richard, "Tell me sir, when you walked past his room last night did you hear anything?"
Bruce's face paled. He hadn't even stopped to make sure the boy was in the room when he'd past both last night and this morning. Guilt immediately rushed over him, "I...um...didn't really um..."
Alfred put his hand up, "You didn't stop to check did you?"
Bruce put his head down in shame, "No Alfred I'm sorry."
Alfred let out an annoyed sigh before turning to Richard, "Master Richard you should not pick at your food."
In response Richard simply shrugged before putting down his fork and staring down at his food.
"Richard," Bruce said softly, "You need to eat."
Richard didn't respond, making Bruce become a little annoyed. "Richard," he said more forcefully.
Richard looked up with red rimbed eyes, "Yes?"
It was barely a whisper but Bruce heard it loud and clear. Hearing the heart break and the loneliness in the voice broke his heart into a million pieces.
"Richard you...uh...need to eat." Bruce said his voice faultering in mid sentence.
Richard shook his head pushing the plate away from him. Then without even looking at Bruce and Alfred he shuffled out of the room.
Both men followed the boy untill he was out of sight. Once he was gone both men turned to each other, the same expression on their faces: worry.
"I'd better go talk to him." Bruce mummbled as he started off.
"Indeed you should, "Alfred said watching as Bruce left, "Indeed you should."
*I'm sure you're thinking 'NOO another break!'*
"Richard open the door," Bruce pleaded. He was standing outside Richard's room leaning against the wall to support himself. Richard had locked the door and wasn't answering to anything Bruce said. He could hear the boy sobbing quietly and it was madening to know he was so close but could not help the boy. Sighing he reached up and took a spare key off the door sill. He quickly open the door and quietly walked in.
Richard was on the bed, crying his little heart out underneath the covers. He didn't seem to realize that Bruce was inside his room now, or he choose to ignore him.
"Richard," Bruce said as softly as he could. This only made the boy sob harder and curl up into a tight ball. "Richard it's ok." Bruce walked over to the young boy, seating himself on the edge of the bed.
"Come on," he said pulling the covers off of his head," get out of there." His voice was playful as he pulled the boy into his lap. The boy still had his pillow in a death grip and it was pressed against his face. His body was being rocked by sobs and he was also shivering. Pulling the boy into a tight inbrace he began rubbing cicles on the boy's back, trying to calm him down. By this time Richard was breathing in deph gasps and Bruce was worried he'd hypervenolate if he didn't stop.
"Sshh, it's ok it's ok," Bruce soothed.
"I-I'm o-ok," Richard tried saying between sob's.
"No you're not," Bruce's voice was gentle, "you're not ok, and I should've realized that." As he said this he felt tear's forming in his own eye's, "I should've known."
They sat like this for at least an hour, Bruce not daring to let the boy go for fear he'd run out the room. He felt horrible for being so cold to Richard. He hadn't realized how he'd been treating the boy and didn't know how he could make it up. Looking down at the boy he smiled when he saw that the boy had fallen asleep. Laying him back down he gently tucked the boy in before taking a seat in a nearby chair.
"I assume you will spend some time with Master Richard sir?" Bruce turned to see Alfred standing in the door.
"How long have you been...Yeah I'm gonna stay here for a while."
Alfred gave an approving smile before continuing, "Very well sir, can I get you anything? A book? The newspaper?"
"The newspaper maybe." When Alfred gave a nod he added, "Thank's Alfred."
"It's what I live for sir, it's what I live for." Alfred quietly closed the door behind him leaving the two alone.
Bruce stared down at the sleeping boy, watching his chest rise and fall, wondering how long it had been since the boy had had a decent night's sleep. Soon, though he found himself drifting off as well. Not caring that he was in a hard wooden chair he quickly fell asleep.
When Bruce came to it was 12 p.m.. He was shocked. He'd sleept for four hour's! I've got to stop staying up so late, he thought as he turned to see if Richard was still sleeping. He was not surprised to see the boy still there, fast asleep. Knowing Alfred would no dout have lunch ready he quickly walked across the room to the sleeping boy.
"Richard it's time to get up," Bruce said as he gently shook the boy. As a responce the boy groaned and pulled up the cover's, hiding from Bruce.
Sighing Bruce tried again, only to get the same exact responce. After a few more attempts Bruce stopped. He must be exausted, Bruce thought. "Fine you win."
Bruce looked around, again finding Alfred by the door only this time holding a tray of food in his hands.
"I assumed you'd want to eat in here with Master Richard," ge explained as he sat the tray on the dresser that was to the left of Bruce, "So I took the liberty of making you both lunch and bringing it up."
Bruce smiled, "Thanks Alfred."
"My pleasure sir," Alfred said, handing Bruce a cup filled with water. He then turned his attention to the boy still in bed, "How is he sir?"
Bruce's face immediately fell, "I don't know Alfred. When I came in he seemed heart broken," he paused before adding, "What'll I do Alfred?"
"Well Master Bruce, the wise thing is to help him get through this, meaning be there for him," Alfred answered. "Whether it's when he has a nightmare or when he's lonley. He needs a father figure now that his is gone, and you are the only person qualified to fill the position."
Bruce sighed, "I'm sure he hate's me. What make's you think he'll let me help?"
"Call it a gut feeling," Alfred replied. "It will be hard though, Master Bruce there's no doubt of that. But before you get started we'll have to wake him up."
Bruce nodded, handing Alfred the now empty cup he turned back to Richard, "Come on Richard, lunch is here."
A small head popped out from beneath the cover's, "Uuummm?"
"Lunch is here, would you like some?" Bruce asked.
"Great," Bruce said, "but your gonna have to come out of there."
Richard hesitated before coming out. Bruce could tell he was exausted, even if he hadn't seen the dark circles that were around the boy's eyes. His movments were sluggish and he seemed very out of it even if he was only sitting up.
"You feeling ok?" Bruce asked as he stacked some pillows for Richard to lean against.
"Yeah." Richard's voice was still a whisper but at least he was talking.
"Would you like a sandwitch Master Richard?" Alfred motioned to the tray of food.
Richard nodded before saying in a very small voice, "You can call me Dick. Mom and Dad used to call me Dick."
Bruce smiled, "Ok Dick."
Alfred also smiled as he handed Dick half of a sandwich. Dick nodded thankful before taking a bite out of his food. Bruce also took a sandwich before sitting down next to Dick.
Bruce watched the boy as he ate. He was shivering slightly, and every now and then would gave a great big yawn that would shake his body even more. Silently Bruce picked up a blanket that had slid to the floor. Carefuly Bruce pulled it over the small boy. Dick gave him a greatful look which Bruce returned with a smile. Returning to his food Dick quietly finished it.
"Would you like another one?" Alfred asked motioning to the tray which still had a good number of sandwhiches on it.
"No thank's." Dick replied polietly even if it was barly a whisper.
"What about you Master Bruce?" Alfred turned to Bruce.
"No thank's Alfred," Bruce smiled.
"Very well sirs." Alfred picked up the tray, "I shall be back once I've put these in the fridge."
Once Alfred was gone Bruce turned to Dick. Looking over the boy once more he saw Dick squirm under his gaze. "I'm sorry."
Bruce starred at the boy, "Why?"
The boy looked down at his feet, "For annoying you this morning."
"Dick..." Bruce was shocked. Is this what Dick thought he was to Bruce? Some one who just annoyed him all the time? Who was in his way? No, he thought, I've got to clear this up.
Pulling the boy into his lap like he'd done in the morning he gently lifted his head so they met eye to eye, "Dick you'll never annoy me, I promise."
The boy's eyes suddenly watered and tears started to leak, "Shh shh, it's ok." Bruce didn't want to see the boy cry anymore. "You don't have to cry it's ok, everything's ok now Dick. I'm here, I'm here."
Dick lean against Bruce's chest, letting the man hold him as another set of sobs over took his body. Bruce obliged, resting his chin on the boy's head. He then rocked the boy back and forth, murmmering things like 'it's ok' and 'you don't have to cry' untill the boy stopped crying.
"It's ok Dick, I'll make everything ok," Bruce promised. "I'll make it ok."
Ok that's the first chapter of my first. please review so I can improve!