Lost and Found

The redhead sat dismally as he watched the sights and sounds from the bi-colored tent, the red and yellow fabric spraying back the harsh rain. He tipped his ragged hat over his eyes and tried to shake away the chill, locating to a drier spot.

What he didn't expect, was to hear the heated whispers as he strolled past the dressing room.

"Bruce just let me-"
"No. No means no Richard John Grayson and this is not up for debate-"
"Damn skippy its not up for debate! I thought you were different!"

The younger of the two (he assumed from the voices) stormed out into the downpour, tore away his domino mask to reveal sapphire jewels blazing with heat. He must have let out an involuntary gasp because the boy had looked up, frozen, with petrified eyes as the rain pelt at him.

The redhead had probably gotten too close at one point because he found himself backing away with wide green eyes into a man that instantly wrapped his worn hands over his mouth. "Who are you?" The man said lowly, his normaly pleasant voice has turned dark and threatening (he assumed). He gulped nervously as the man dragged him away, just as soon as freaking Batman walked out of the tent, tearing his cowl off with as equal fervor as his counterpart.

There was a split second that their eyes met, and he was pretty sure that 'Bruce' could see nothing but red.

If looks could kill then he was no exception as the unknown force dragged him away. The rain got heavier as they were brought farther away from what he very much assumed (yes he made plenty of assumptions) had been the most pivotal moment in his life. If growing up dumpster diving could even be considering a lifestyle.

It had taken him a long while to realize that the man had stopped covering his mouth. As if anticipating this, his alleged kidnapper rephrased his question with a gentle voice. He visibly relaxed, not noticing the blunt weapon slowly inching towards the back of his head. "What's your name, son?"

"Wallace, sir." As soon as the words left his mouth, the last syllable was punctuated with a spit of blood and a wooziness overtook him. Black spots littered his vision and he swore he could hear an annoyed sigh. His eyes filled with pain induced tears and he allowed himself to crumple to the floor and black out.

He awoke to a series of arguments that washed over him like tides. Quiet, soft, waves that gradually elevated to hard, rough,and loud, assaulted his ears like he was standign at the very beach itself. It vagely reminded of some time when he was younger, but it was too long ago and he didn't dwell on it. The sand was crunchy and warm between his toes and the water cool and salty. Wallace's brow twitched and he tried to blink with heavy eyes and hone in to the fight.

"I stayed with you through your parent's death. Through your depression. Through your ridiculous justice league days. When you came home with a child that wasn't even yours! How is this any different?"
A voice he instantly recognized as Bruce was cold and sharp. The tone raised the hairs on the back of his neck and he tried to regulate his breathing. Eavesdropping in this scenario meant that Batman was probably going to tear more off than just his cowl if he was found out. "You knew the circumstances. You knew! Don't you dare compare the two Alfred!"

'Alfred' was furious by this. "Oh? Please pray tell how you can't fathom why this orphan-whom is just as parent less as Richard is-will just be left to die because you don't feel like letting him live."

"That's not true." The voice was soft, and if Wallace had been in any other state of rest, he probably wouldn't have identified 'Richard's' voice.

"We can't have anyone afford to know that can't keep quite." He was timid in tone but had a firm stance that outshone any nervousness displayed in his voice.

Both parties-Alfred and Bruce, were silent. He was very sure it wasn't because they were mulling over their thought.

"Can we keep him?"

Warm breath fanned across his face and his facade fell apart as his crusty eyes fluttered and felt butterflies at the boy's proximity. If Wallace hadn't heard him speak he would have assumed he was staring at the most beautiful girl in the entire world.

As if reading his thoughts, (highly unlikely) somewhere in the back of the room, Bruce snorted.

Which, regarding the previous impression the man had gave, the fact that Batman was snorting at an unintentional joke seemed far fetched. Maybe he was still unconscious?

He felt around the back of his head and winced as the dry blood flaked past his fingertips.

"He's not some stray dog for you to keep, Dick."

Dick? That was an interesting name...

"What's your name?" Dick was staring straight at him with those pretty, piercing, blue eyes and momentarily forgot the question.

"Ummm...Wallace." He frowned at his involuntarily slur. He smacked his lips, feeling some odd phlegm at the back of his throat.

Dick looked unsatisfied and sounded out the name as if disappointed with it. He was glaring concentrated at the redhead, and Wallace couldn't decide to squirm or not move at all.

A 'Eureka' moment passed through Dick's eyes, sparkling with delight as he snapped in realization. "I got it."

Despite the sluggish process of his brain, he still found himself asking:


"Wally. I'm calling you Wally."

The boy sounded out the name to himself again and smiled in satisfaction, and stroked 'Wally's' hair with fond, dark eyes. He could have protested that he was being given pet names like he was some sort of dog-hell, he had no idea what was going on!

All he knew, was that he was tired and remembered smiling, dopey with insomnia and blood loss. "Ok."