A/N: The next chapter! Woo! And who you've all been waiting for! Little Dickey Grayson!
Disclaimer: I own notin' but my Batman Arkham City poster.
He watched with interest as the boys stood at the foot of their beds, towels draped around their waists and their mouths open wide.
He stepped forward, allowing himself a rare grin. "Yes Nathan?" He teased, mentally snickering.
"Wha-…oh my god." Tommy ghosted his hand over the fabric, running his fingers up to the cowl to grip the two little points. "They're like your's…"
"Well you two are my Batboys aren't you?"
Tommy and Nate looked up, their faces bright with excitement and awe. Both of their new costumes had been laid out on their beds, as a surprise from both himself and Alfred. "We get to start tonight?" Tommy squeaked.
Bruce nodded once, unsurprised when both boys ran toward him, their arms wrapping around his waist in a crushing hug. "I trust you've come up with names for yourselves." He murmured, his arms tightening around them.
"My name is Shadow, I came up with it yesterday…" Tommy giggled happily, burrowing into his father's side.
"Knight." Nate pulled away a bit, giving Bruce a smirk. "After you of course."
"Ah, of course. And together you'd be Knight Shadow." Bruce chuckled. "Very clever." He squeezed the boys, his boys one last time…this was it.
Jim Gordon turned, the only thing betraying his surprise the slight widening of his eyes. "Batman." He switched off the flood-light, masking the rooftop in shadows.
"What have you got for me?" Batman cut to the chase, his eyes glancing over to where Tommy and Nate…no…where Knight and Shadow hid. He couldn't afford to think of them as Tommy and Nate while they were in costume, it was too risky.
He watched the boys out of the corner of his eye, noting that they were alert and focused, no doubt reading his and Gordon's lips. He hadn't wanted to risk Gordon finding out about them yet, but he hadn't been able to bear having them out of his sight yet either. They were too new, and Gotham much too dangerous.
Gordon blinked, but continued as if nothing had happened. "Zucco's been stirring up trouble lately, thought you might want to look into it."
Batman grunted, taking the file Gordon had pulled out of his coat and scanning the pages. "I'll look out for him." He handed the file back before drifting back into the shadows toward his sons, readying his grapple and swinging away, Shadow and Knight not far behind him.
"This is so cool!" Shadow whispered in excitement, watching through his binoculars as the elephants began to rise onto their hind legs, crashing back to the floor after a few moments. Knight watched behind him, his binoculars scanning the surrounding area of their stake-out point, just across from the open circus tent. The two had been taking turns looking out for anything unusual, while at the same time eagerly awaiting the Flying Grayson's show.
Batman hushed him softly, his eyes scanning the area for any signs of Zucco or his brothers. They had been rumored to have been hanging around the circus, no doubt offering it their "protection".
"Batman! The Flying Grayson's!"
Knight instantly focused back on the tent, his grin betraying his excitement. "When do they do the quadruple somersault?"
Batman stepped forward a bit, taking a second to glance at the couple who had mastered the trapeze with such ease. Their son, Richard Grayson, was rumored to be a prodigy. He glanced at his own sons, Richard was about their age. He would have to see if he could get the boys together while he talked to the Circus Manager, Mr. Haley. With his sons being the way they were, they would get Richard to teach them the quadruple somersault up close with a little bit of their 'sweet-talking'.
His head turned, his eyes widening as both of his sons screamed. He looked up just in time to see them fall.
The rain came down in heavy torrents, making the asphalt shine. Jim Gordon exited the squad car, his heart heavy and broken in his chest. The small boy was standing off to the side; arms wrapped around two small black shapes, Batman standing behind him with a grim frown. He walked closer, reminded of another night twenty-five years ago when another small boy had lost his parents to this cesspool of a city.
As he got closer, the small black masses took shape. Are those-are those children? He thought with alarm, his eyes glaring into the slits of Batman's cowl. The hero's head turned away from him, looking down at the three small boys in front of him.
"It's okay Dickey, it'll be okay." One of the boys whispered gently, rocking Richard in his arms. The slightly smaller boy, still dressed in his circus uniform clung to him tightly, harsh sobs escaping him as tears ran down his cheeks.
The second of the Batboys stood up, looking at Batman. "Dad…" He whispered, stepping forward to throw his arms around Batman, his shoulders shaking.
Batman looked up briefly at Gordon, his eyes narrowing dangerously in warning at his partner. Then he turned back to his son, wrapping his cape around the crying boy.
"I trust you can handle it from here."
Gordon nodded, trembling under his uniform. Batman grasped the other boy by the shoulder, bending down to whisper something in his ear. The smaller version of Batman nodded, pulling away from Richard to gently lead him to the Commissioner.
"Take care of him." The small Batboy ordered, a smaller version of his father's glare making him look nearly as frightening.
"Of course." He glanced down at Richard Grayson, seeing him tremble and shake as he wiped snot from his face with a small red sleeve. He placed a hand on his shoulder, squeezing it gently.
The two Batboys looked up at their Father, nodding once before all three disappeared into the shadows, making Gordon wonder briefly if they had existed at all.
A/N: Sorry this one is short too, but I couldn't think of where else I wanted to cut it off. Hope you enjoyed it though. The next chapter is planned already so should be up within a week or less.
OH! Tommy's and Nate's superhero names were the ideas of CHiKa-RoXy! Thank you so much, they're great!