Chapter 1: Happy Birthday
A/N: Before anyone gets annoyed at me for messing up any back stories I should probably tell you that I am basing this off of a mixture of the first Batman comics (that's right this is based off of Detective Comics #38 and subsequent early comics) and the later ones. This is NOT based solely off of the later back stories that most people are familiar with. I hope you enjoy it anyway.
This will be a series of Robin growing up.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything except the idea. Every recognizable character belongs to DC, Cartoon Network, and whoever else has license to them. I do not mean for this work of fiction to infringe upon any copyright laws, nor am I profiting from the work herein posted. Blah, blah, blah… I think I got everything so please no sic'ing lawyers on me as I do have college to pay for.
Dick sat crossed-legged on his bed; the clock on the nightstand next to him read 11:59 p.m. Alfred had been asleep for two hours, and Bruce, after getting no sleep whatsoever for the past three nights, had gone to bed early hoping for a good night's sleep. Dick was alone in the dark manor with nothing but his thoughts.
The clock on his nightstand beeped as the hour changed; midnight, a new day, Dick's birthday.
"You're 18 Dick, you're a man now," he said as he stared at the red, yellow, and black uniform loosely clutched in his hands
It had been ten years since his parents had died, ten years since he had come to live at Wayne Manor with Bruce and Alfred, nine years since he had become Robin the Boy Wonder. "But I'm not a boy anymore, I'm a man now," he corrected himself, the word man feeling weird on Dick's tongue as he said it.
Silently Dick stared around the familiar room thinking back to the first night he had ever slept in it.
Dick sat with his back against the headboard in a daze, just hours before he had been rescued from the hellhole known as the orphanage.
Not more than three months prior, Dick had watched his parents plunge to their deaths.
Whenever he closed his eyes he saw the fear on their faces as they fell, he could hear the sickening noise their bodies had made as they crashed to the ground, he could see their broken and mangled forms lying so far out of his reach.
Dick hadn't asked for any of this to happen, hadn't asked for his parents to die, hadn't asked to be dropped off at an uncaring orphanage, and he hadn't asked to be taken in by a man with a demeanor as cold as ice. All Dick wanted was to go home to the circus, to fly with his parents again on the trapeze.
But as Dick was learning quickly, life rarely gives you what you wish for.
And as all these thoughts were running through his head, he felt the huge and despondently dark room try to engulf him in fear and sorrow.
Why did his parents leave him all alone? Why did they have to die? Why was he so alone in this dark room with no one to comfort him, no family to love him?' Dick felt a tear slide unbidden down his face.
"No I am not going to cry. I'm not gonna cry," he whispered as he pulled his knees to his chest and fought back the sobs that threatened to overwhelm him.
Again he looked at the huge room he was staying in, black and empty. And he felt something that he never thought he would feel: he felt alone, utterly and totally alone. His parents were dead and his circus family was gone. He would even prefer to be stuck back at the dingy orphanage with the kids who called him names and stole his stuff; at least there he would have a reminder that he wasn't totally alone.
But now he was stuck in this awful room in a Manor that felt cold and lifeless. He was alone in yet another new place, with no one to love him.
Everything he had known and loved had disappeared in the space of a few months.
That thought was too much for Dick and the sobs that he had been fighting finally won the battle. He rocked back and forth, knees clutched to his chest and wept with all of his heart. He neither knew how long he cried, nor did he care. His feelings were too large to keep inside him any longer and the only thing he could do now was to cry them all out.
Finally, after completely exhausting himself, Dick fell into a heavy slumber, too tired even to dream.
Bruce stood in a dark corner, completely unnoticed by the grieving boy. He had heard the sobs from his room and came to see if the boy was alright.
But of course he wasn't alright; the boy had lost everything he had ever known. He had been dumped into a new place with new things and new people. At least when Bruce's parents had died he still had a house he knew and Alfred, kind Alfred, who had helped raise him since birth.
As Dick's sobs became louder, Bruce went to comfort him like Alfred had done him so many years ago. But he stopped short, he couldn't comfort the boy, he didn't know how. He wasn't cut out to be the caregiver that Alfred had been to him.
He wondered for the fourth time that day if taking in the boy wasn't a mistake. After all, he was the Batman, the infamous figure of the night. He didn't know how to comfort, how to give the boy what he needed. Sure, he could buy him whatever he wanted, but he couldn't buy him love or happiness, he couldn't buy his parents back, or spend his sorrow away.
Bruce could only provide the material things of life when this boy needed so much more. The man sighed; he had wanted to give the boy a better life, to be there for him because he knew what he was going through. But that was a mistake, he realized it now, he didn't know how to raise and care for a broken-hearted child.
He watched as the boy finally cried himself to sleep. And as he did his mind wandered back to the night of his own parent's death, the night where everything in his life had changed, where he had changed. Bruce could feel all of the grief and uncertainty that had held him in its clutches that night well-up inside all over again.
Bruce hung his head, he couldn't send the boy back, that would break him permanently, but he feared he had put the boy in a position much worse. A position in which he would receive little in the way of human emotions, where he would be raised by a man whose heart only contained vengeance and malice.
He stared at the sleeping boy. What had he gotten himself into? He had no clue how to care for a child, much less raise him.
But a small voice in the back of his head, which sounded suspiciously like Alfred, chided him gently. "You can learn," it told him.
"But what if I'm no good? What if I fail him like I did my parents?" he asked fearfully.
"All you can do is try your best and love him with all of your heart," answered the voice.
Bruce turned away, he could not love a child with all his heart, he had no love left to give. He had lost love the night his parents died.
Maybe one day the child would find the love he needed. Maybe Alfred could give that to the boy like he had it given to Bruce. But one thing was certain, Batman would never love this child, not tonight or any night.
And with that Bruce walked away, leaving a broken hearted boy asleep in the bed behind him. The resolve in his head was strong, but the grief in his heart stronger still.
A/N Well, this is a start. This is chapter starts a story arc of Robin growing up over time, it will start from the beginning and continue up until the day Dick turns eighteen. Hopefully you all like it.
There may be some non-related crack or Robin torture along the way :D