Okay, so this is for a challenge called, 'Damian the Youngest, Dick the Oldest'. Don't think there are gonna be any OC's, but there might be mention of one or two in the next chapter.
This IS a series: How long, I have no clue.
I own nothing.
The ten-year-old boy clutched onto his father's leather jacket as he watched his two older 'brothers' running around, laughing as the older one (14) squirted the younger (12) with a water gun he had won at a strength-contest. The man called out gently, "Damian! Leave Tim alone."
Damian sneered at his little brother. "Father had to save you from imminent death."
Tim made a face- somewhere in between a pout and a snarl- and thwacked his big brother's head, earning him a kick to the shin and a noogie. "Dami! Dami, stop it!"
Bruce rounded over, smacking both of his 'children' on the back of their heads with enough force to stop them, but not enough to actually hurt them. "Damian Wayne, Timothy Drake- stop it. Now. You know there are reporters everywhere, right?"
Damian suddenly put on his happy-face for the hidden cameras. "Right, Father. I apologize."
Jason crossed over, his hair flopping around as he ran. "Daddy, can we go to the Big-Top? The show is about to start!"
Bruce smirked, ruffling up the boy's hair. Two bright brown eyes beamed at him beneath choppy orange bangs. He needs a haircut...
"Come, Father, we should go," Damian commented, causing Bruce to look at him. Truthfully, Damian looked more like his father than his mother. While Thalia had long, wavy blonde hair, Damian had choppy black. While Talia had green, bright eyes, Damian had sky blue. While Thalia's face was soft and heart-shaped, even only at fourteen, Damian had a chiseled chin like Bruce's, and eyebrows slightly slanted to make him look like he was always angry. Damian was Bruce's blood-child, while Tim and Jason were his legal wards. The oldest of the 'family' wore skinny jeans, a black tank-top, and a black leather jacket like his father's.
Jason. The boy was truly adorable, with his bright orange, sharp locks that made him look like an anime character. The fact that his eyes were so brown didn't help him look any more real, either. Yet, as adorable as the child was, he was so full of anger and rage. Your parents abandoning you in the street at age five could do that to a kid, though. The youngest wore a shirt with a Batman emblem on the front. Yet, the bat was cute. Batman wasn't. Black Crocs adorned his small feet, matching the shirt with tiny yellow bat buttons on the toes.
And Timothy was a black-haired with dark navy irises, almost black, with lightly tanned skin and freckles over the bridge of his nose. He still had a baby-face, making him look younger than he really was. Today, he wore a tee-shirt that said, "I'm compacted awesomeness" which was perfect for the 4' 10" boy. A ball cap covered his (already normally flat) hair.
Bruce took Jason's hand in his right, using his left to keep Tim close to him by laying it on the boy's shoulder. The shy child had a tendency to wander off aimlessly...
They got into the mile-long line to wait. But, one of the circus's clown-greeters saw them and walked forward, stumbling slightly in his ten-foot shoes. "Hello, Mr. Wayne!" he said in a normal voice. "Would you like to cut to the front?"
All three boys looked up at their 'father' hopefully, but the man just smiled and shook his head. "No, thank-you. We'll wait in line like everyone else."
Jason began to pout, but a well-aimed glare changed that.
The clown nodded, smiling. "Alrighty, then! But, you have to at least accept our front-row seats!"
Tim turned and beamed. "Please, Dad?"
After a few moments of a stare-down, Bruce sighed. He couldn't resist any of his 'children's' eyes. "Alright." He looked up at the clown. "Thank you, Mr..."
"Bozo!" the man said with a smile and a laugh. He honked his nose, making Damian roll his eyes and Tim giggle (Jason was simply standing there, beaming. It warmed Bruce's heart to see the normally grumpy boy smile.)
They waited in line for about an hour, and Bruce was starting to wish he had taken up that offer. It wasn't until Tim pulled on his jacket sleeve did the man realize it was their turn to get in.
The lights were on bright, rainbow colors floating all around the Big-Top as clowns preformed an entering show. Tim laughed, and Damian smiled gently. Jason hung tightly onto his guardian's jacket, as to not get lost in the sea of bodies.
Mr. Bozo met them up a few feet away from the tent flap. Smiling ever broader, he led the four down to the front of the stadium seats, right in the middle of the arena. On the ground, while the clowns were preforming, a few other circus workers were practicing. A little boy with black hair, wearing a sparkly green and red costume, caught Bruce's eye. The child was doing all sorts of stretches and flips that seemed impossible for anyone's body- but less a child's.
Then, a red-haired woman and ebony-haired man walked up. Bruce could just hear the woman speaking some foreign language- Romanian?- and then, the child gave a high-pitched giggle. It reminded Bruce of Timothy, when the boy was only nine, and Bruce had taken him in. The boy before him could only be about seven or eight- but it was hard to tell with his tiny, skinny acrobat's body.
The announcer- a man in a black suit with a sparkly top-hat and barrel-like belly- came on, tapping his mike lightly. At the quiet shriek, he smiled. "Hello, ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! And, welcome to Haley's Circus!" The performers were starting to sneak off, now that the lights were on the announcer. "I am Mr. Haley, and I am very glad and fortunate to be here today!" The tone suddenly got serious, and Haley spoke, "Now, please get ready for a dangerous, life-threatening act... Put your hands together for Blade and Flame, the twin devils!"
Everyone applauded and hooted as the two dare-devils came on. Bruce smiled at Damian's interest. Then again, it was also worrisome. After all, the boy had been trained by the League of Shadows, and that was cause for worry.
One of the twins- Flame- pulled out a long sword and began to swallow it, while Blade pulled out a torch and repeatedly took in and blew out several tongues of fire.
After about five minutes, their act was over. Jason and Damian were on the edges of their seats, while the more sane child was wrapping his arm around Bruce's fearfully. Haley came back on and announced the lion-tamed, a male named Julio.
The acts came and went quickly: A magician named Zatara (teehee), a knife-thrower and his assistant, Ms. Lindsey and the Baron, elephants and their half-clad female riders (Damian paid as much attention to this show as he did the dare-devils' act), and finally, the clowns. The whole while, Bruce kept an eye out for the little boy he had seen earlier. Then, it was time for the acrobats.
Everyone was on the edge of their seats by now, as Haley came on. His face was showing intense pride as he announced 'The Flying Graysons!' They were the only family to be able to pull off a quadruple flip and come out alive.
The music got quiet, and the lights dimmed to black- making Jason hug his 'father's' arm tightly- and then three or four lights of bright, snowy white turned onto a tall pole. It seemed to be a thousand feet high to all of the children in the stands, but Bruce knew it could only be about fifty to fifty-five. Still, he was shocked at the height with no net.
On the acrobats' pole were the red-haired lady and black-haired man from before. Haley had called them 'Mary' and 'John Grayson'. Their son, 'Richard Grayson', was the child that Bruce had been watching so sharply for.
The music- dramatic and with loud, booming drums- began just as John and Mary did. The man jumped onto the bar, letting do and doing at least three flips before grabbing onto the other bar. Everyone clapped and hooted as John turned on the bar as if swung back, just as Mary was gliding towards him gracefully. She jumped into his arms, both holding each other by their wrists.
Something pricked the back of Bruce's brain, joined by a gnawing feeling in his stomach. Something's not right...
Then, John was on the bar with Mary on the opposite platform. The man swung to his son, who grabbed his the bar and did one- two- three- four flips before catching his father's wrists. Everyone stood to applaud the child- especially Tim. He was impressed, almost as much as Bruce. Not even Damian, with his increased training, could do four flips. That's why the Graysons are famous...
Then, the boy's part was over. Bruce could, even at such a great distance, see the child's knees quavering with the adrenaline. Sweat ran down his face as he grinned- but suddenly, that grin turned to terror. He ran to the edge of the platform as his mother jumped, and a shout of, "Mamica! Nu!" could be heard.
Mary faltered in the air, making everyone gasp, but her husband caught her-
And the ropes snapped.
Bruce had just enough time to cover Jason's and Tim's eyes, but he couldn't reach Damian. Even being raised by assassins couldn't prepare the young teen for what he saw.
The Graysons fell down... down... down... The whole short, few moments, Mary was screaming, "FUIL!"
Richard screamed right back, "NU!" over and over, and then-
The crowd gasped, and then- utter... silence...
The first noise came from the child on the platform. His wail turned into a loud, shrill shriek of pure terror.
Then, the crowd began to scream. People were running all around, trampling and knocking out those who were too slow. Bones were broken, blood spilled in fear. Damian was frozen stiff, his mouth slightly ajar. Tim had pulled away from Bruce- and puked at the sight of Mary and John Graysons' bodies. Fortunately, Jason was still blind to what was going on. With his free hand, Bruce pulled Damian to face him. The fourteen-year-old gulped, his mouth slamming shut. The command of, 'Don't let Jason see' and the next of, 'Protect him and Tim' was unspoken, but clear.
Damian nodded, snatching both boys away and pushing their faces into his jacket. He even ignored the fact that Tim's tears and bile war ruining the Swedish leather.
Bruce turned and jumped over the bar. To his hidden surprise, the child was already down and crouched near his parents' bodies, shrieks and wails emerging from his lips rapidly. A clown- Mr. Bozo- and an elephant rider were trying to pull Richard away, but the boy refused to move. His whole body- as little of it as there was- was flung over both adults' bodies, a hand grabbing a fist-full of his mother's blood-soaked hair, the other holding tightly to his father's stained costume.
As Bruce reached them, he felt sick.
It was much worse than he had thought.
Both adults' necks were obviously broken- Mary's an open fracture, bleeding heavily, while John's face was pointed unnaturally far to the left, where his son could watch, a perfect view. Both of the man's legs were completely shattered from the gravity fall, and Mary's stomach and chest were falling inwards from her collapsed ribs. Both were in their own seas of blood, looking as if they had been repeatedly run over with steam-rollers.
Mr. Bozo looked up when Bruce approached, his painted face running with tears, his false nose having fallen off. The woman, in her sparkly get-up, was absolutely weeping as she tried- to no avail- to rip Richard away from his parents.
Or his parents' bodies...
Bruce, completely ignoring the oceans of blood that coated the child's suit, pulled Richard away. Not even caring who was holding him, the child grabbed Bruce's lapels and wept into his now-pink shirt. He kept screaming. Screaming, screaming, screaming.
Bruce held the boy, rocking him back and forth, as the screaming people cleared. Almost an hour passed. Bruce looked up to see that Damian was gone. He took the boys outside...
Then, a heavy hand touched the billionaire's shoulder. He pretended to be shocked- but he had known that Gordon was approaching.
"Bruce... Let's get the kid out of here. Your boys are by my car."
The billionaire nodded, looking down at the sleeping boy's face. It had specks of blood on it, and he was too pale compared to his deeply tanned body, but other than that- his long, black eyelashes laid on his flushed cheeks, his long black hair falling just to his shoulders in sharp, shaggy pieces, swept back into a black halo- he looked like a little angel.
Two paramedics came in, one covering up the Graysons' bodies, the other attempting to take Richard from Bruce's arms. Attempting, was the key word. The man glared and shifted the boy to his other arm without awaking him. The paramedic- a blonde woman, maybe in her forties- frowned and looked to Gordon, who gave a nonchalant wave of the hand. Then, the commissioner led Bruce out.
Damian looked up from where Tim and Jason sat, the latter already asleep. After all, it was practically eight o'clock- almost the boy's bedtime. Plus, he had a very... eventful day. Tim wasn't crying anymore, just looking fearful. He had seen dead bodies before- but never that... gory or depraved.
When Damian saw Richard, he cocked an eyebrow. "Going to take this one in, too, Father?"
The comment stunned Bruce slightly- but he knew it was inevitable. The child already had stolen his heart- and Richard didn't even know who the man's arms he slept in was.
This is going to be tough...
You can't wait for the next chapter, can you?