I went to see Batman Live recently, and Robin mentions how much he loves Robin Hood. That comment eventually morphed into this.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bruce, Dick, Alfred, Robin Hood 9Disney version or otherwise) or Young Justice. This just for fun, so please don't sue me.
Watching Robin Hood
"'A pox on the phony king of England!'" Dick sang loudly. Bruce could hear the notes of a very Disney-esque song coming from the entertainment room. It appeared Dick was spending yet another Saturday evening watching Disney's Robin Hood. Just a few months ago, shortly after Bruce had taken Dick in, he had told Alfred to purchase every Disney movie he could find, as Disney movies were the only children's entertainment Bruce was even vaguely familiar with. And despite Alfred returning with about two dozen films (the butler having taken the order to buy "every movie he could find" quite seriously), Dick had fallen in love with Robin Hood, watching it every chance he got. Thankfully, the boy didn't have much time now between school and Robin training, but Saturdays were usually fair game for Robin Hood viewing. This Saturday was proving to be no exception.
Bruce, who was about to leave on a date, was in the kitchen with Alfred, who was inspecting the bouquet Bruce had obtained for his latest date. "I see Dick's at it again," Bruce commented, jerking his head in the general direction of the entertainment room, from which could be heard the sounds of Robin and his Merry Men (or anthropomorphic friends, as Bruce would have called them).
"Without a doubt, sir," Alfred crisply replied, picking a slightly brown petal off a flower. "I believe he might be trying to pick up some combat techniques from his namesake."
"At least he hasn't taken to Robin Hood's bow and arrow. Otherwise, I'd have to give him to Ollie so he could be Green Arrow's sidekick."
"I am certain Master Dick only wishes to do the great outlaw proud. Just as he desires to live up to your expectations and make you proud, sir."
"Of course," Bruce murmured, a bit put-off that Alfred hadn't appreciated his attempt at humor. "Dick's a good kid. He does me and Robin Hood proud."
"Indeed, sir," Alfred said, clearly pleased. "And I believe this bouquet is quote sorted out now. Please try to refrain from buying the last one from now on, Master Bruce."
Duly chastened, Bruce nodded and accepted the much perkier-looking bouquet. "Thank you. And make sure Dick takes a dinner break."
Alfred gave Bruce a look. "Of course, sir. I shall simply remind him that if he does not, the Sheriff of Nottingham is likely to capture his weak, nutritionally-depleted body."
"That ought to do the trick, Alfred. And tell him I said 'good-bye,'" Bruce added as he breezed out the door.
When Bruce returned from his date several hours later, he could still hear the distinctive sounds of Robin Hood emanating from the entertainment room.
"Is he still?" Bruce asked Alfred, gesturing in amazement towards the door.
"I believe this is his fourth, maybe fifth, viewing of the evening, Master Bruce," Alfred replied. "Although I have managed to get him to bathe and put on his pajamas, perhaps you could entice him into bed."
Bruce was about to protest when he realized Alfred was gone. That butler was like the Bat sometimes.
Bruce moved towards the door and very quietly opened it. Dick, hair shiny from his bath, was standing on the sofa, waving his plastic sword in the air in imitation of the on-screen fighting. Bruce watched in amusement as Dick skewered his invisible opponent, even adding a few flourishes that were clearly beyond the capabilities of the animated hero. "Always the showman," the Bat thought.
As Robin Hood moved towards the window to jump to freedom, Dick stepped up onto the arm of the couch, brandishing his sword at imaginary opponents who assailed him from the sofa cushions. As Robin Hood leapt from the window, Dick followed suit, launching himself off the piece of furniture and into the air.
Although Dick had expertly tucked his body in so he could easily somersault through the air, and was undoubtedly going to easily clear the gap between the couch and the overstuffed easy chair, Bruce saw an opportunity. With his cat-like reflexes, Bruce stepped forward from his hiding spot in the doorway and grabbed Dick as he flew through the air.
"Eeep," Dick shrieked as he was crushed to Bruce's chest in some semblance of a hug. A moment later, Bruce set Dick on his feet, next to the plastic sword he had dropped when Bruce had snatched the boy from the air. Bruce reached down and ruffled Dick's hair.
"Did you have a good time tonight?" Dick asked eagerly. "You know, on your date." He emphasized the final word and looked slyly up at Bruce.
"Oh, it was fine," Bruce replied nonchalantly.
"What did you guys do? What's she like? Can I meet her?" Dick persisted, looking up at Bruce with wide, innocent eyes.
Faced with this barrage of questions, Bruce suddenly remembered his reason for disturbing Dick's viewing of Robin Hood. Making a big show of looking at his wristwatch, Bruce replied, "I'd tell you, but it's past your bedtime, young man."
Dick's face fell. "Awww, I don't wanna go to bed. Can't I at least watch the rest of the movie?" When Bruce didn't look instantly moved, Dick added, somewhat petulantly, "Pleeeease?" He then fixed his guardian with pouty puppy-dog eyes, which even Bruce found difficult to resist.
Bruce sighed. "Okay, but first you have to go upstairs and brush your teeth. And put your sword away. That way, when the movie's over it's straight to bed. No delays."
"Okay, fine." Dick nodded eagerly. He quickly picked up his sword and ran over to put it away in the corner, with some of his other things. As he passed by the television, he also paused to rewind the movie a bit, backing up to the spot he had been watching before Bruce grabbed him. Only then did he press the pause button, and turn to scamper out of the entertainment room.
"Don't forget to floss!" Bruce called up the stairs after him.
"I had hoped you would accompany him upstairs to bed, sir," Alfred commented, appearing out of nowhere.
"He's coming back down. I told him he could finish the movie."
Alfred raised an eyebrow, a silent reproach. "Whatever you think is best, Master Bruce."
"I have a plan Alfred," Bruce replied defensively. "He will be asleep soon."
"Indeed, sir." And, once again, Alfred disappeared into the shadowy corners of Wayne Manor.
A few minutes later, Dick appeared once more in the entertainment room, face slightly flushed from running. "I brushed and flossed and everything!" he proudly proclaimed.
"I can see that," Bruce commented wryly, gazing at Dick's toothpaste-smeared face. The boy also appeared to have a piece of dental floss attached to his pajama top. "Now go wash that toothpaste off your face."
Dick gave a small sigh, slumped his shoulders a tad, and scooted out of the room. "And make sure that piece of dental floss makes it into the trash can this time," Bruce reminded him.
Moments later, Dick returned grinning, his top free of floss and his face still wet (but toothpaste free). "Now I'm ready," he announced, throwing up his hands as though he were a Broadway performer. "I just need to get my sword." And he started across the room to retrieve his toy.
"No swords," Bruce admonished.
Dick looked shocked. "But I wanna play!"
Bruce gently shook his head. "No, Dick, you need to relax. It's time for you to calm down before bed." He patted the spot on the couch next to him. "Come sit here and finish the movie."
"Ooookay." Dick started to walk towards the television to restart the movie.
"I've got the remote right here, Dick," Bruce said. "You just come sit down, okay?"
Dick nodded, scurried over to the couch, and hopped up next to Bruce. "So are you gonna watch the movie, too?" he asked, eyes wide, hopeful.
"Of course," Bruce replied. "I love Robin Hood. He's one of my favorite heroes."
Dick grinned. "Me too!" He clapped his hands in excitement.
Bruce gave the child a small smile, and his heart warmed a bit as Dick adoringly beamed back at him. "You, uhh, you don't have to sit so far away," Bruce added awkwardly.
But Dick didn't notice the awkwardness. He only noticed the invitation to sit closer. Before Bruce fully understood what had happened, Dick had cuddled up next to him, his head resting on Bruce's chest. Dick then tugged at Bruce's hand, guiding his guardian's arm down around his small shoulders. After some more wiggling, Dick was safely ensconced in Bruce's protective embrace, snuggled up against his chest.
"I'm ready now," he announced in a quiet voice, already sounding a little sleepy.
"All right, then, it's Robin Hood time." Bruce aimed the remote and restarted the movie.
Bruce wasn't exactly sure when it happened, but by the end of the movie (which couldn't have been much more than twenty minutes), Dick was fast asleep, his guardian's arm drawn across him as if it were a protective blanket.
Moving slowly and carefully, Bruce picked Dick up and carried him upstairs. Delicately balancing the child with one arm, Bruce pulled back Dick's covers and laid his ward in bed. After tucking the covers up under Dick's chin, Bruce reached down to brush some stray locks of hair out of Dick's eyes. After admiring how angelic the child's face looked when he was sleeping, Bruce bent down and placed a gentle goodnight kiss on Dick's forehead.
After gently closing the boy's bedroom door, Bruce smiled, pleased with himself and his parenting skills. "I can't wait to tell Alfred 'I told you so!'" he thought as he headed towards the Batcave.