Disclaimer: don't you just love it when ideas hit you but you can't get any money off of them because someone else owns the things involved? yeah, that's the case here. DC owns these two, not me.
yeah yeah yeah, I'm nutzo for putting up another story while running three series, but this had to be done! Besides, it's a one shot. Deal with it. *evil laugh*
Bruce gripped his forehead, trying not to scream. Very very hard. He'd seen them all day. They were everywhere. His secretary and two outside calls had contacted him about this, reminding him of future sessions.
But he wasn't the one who signed himself up. It wasn't a court order either. The culprit behind this would be unavailable for at least two more hours. And he was so going to get it.
Why did he need anger management classes anyway?
"Sir," his secretary started, popping her head into his office for a moment, still thinking of what he said earlier.
"I'm not going to Mr. Slide's class Mrs. Murro," he repeated, a bit of a bite in his throat.
"Actually it was Dr. Hemras, Mr. Wayne. Are you sure you didn't—"
"I assure you," he stared through clenched teeth, "this is just another one of Dick's pranks. I don't need these classes."
Mrs. Murro watched him for a moment as he took several deep breaths while he cleared his desk of the pamphlets and ads for classes and counseling. He kept shaking his head, trying to figure out why Dick was pulling this on him. Did Bruce miss something at school again or was it about that last charity function he was forced to attend? Maybe it was something he did as Batman. Or maybe he was really just bored. He wouldn't put it past that kid to terrorize him for the fun of it. If he could control his temper right then and there, it'd prove to the world he didn't need these classes.
"Sir," the secretary started again, unsure, "what makes you think this 'Dick' would have anything to—"
"You haven't met him yet," Bruce informed her. She was new, not even two week on the job and never had anything to do with Wayne Enterprises before. She was hired for her record and for having a completely clean, nothing-to-gain-from-betrayal background.
"Is 'Dick' and employee?"
"He's my ward," the man informed her, shaking his head. He should have told her about him on the first day, but Dick didn't have to come by the office as much these days. He wasn't getting into trouble at school for anything but showing off. Bruce took a picture off his desk and handed it to her. Dick was grinning from ear to ear, a mischievous spark in his eye. He was twelve, but just as childish as ever.
She gaped at the picture. "You have a son?"
"Ward," he corrected. Yes he loved him as a son, but neither of them wanted to force an uncomfortable title between them. Though Alfred brought up adoption from time to time, they were comfortable not changing what they had. "And he likes to cause trouble."
He set himself down behind his desk and started working on the paperwork before him. All the pamphlets were in the trash and he reviewed what happened in the past week to make Dick do something so extreme, though potentially harmless. "If anyone else calls to set up an appointment with me about anger management, please refer them elsewhere. I'll have Dick fix this when school is out."
The secretary nodded, placing the picture back on the desk. It was one of the few personal items the man had. A picture of his parents and himself as a kid sat next to Dick's, along with another of himself, the boy and their butler underneath a portrait of the deceased couple. The boy held a picture of his own parents as well. All the family together in one snapshot.
She nodded in understanding before leaving. Mrs. Murro had two teens of her own, and both of them were a handful. Once the door closed, Bruce looked back to Dick's picture and wondered again why Dick chose this particular prank. There had to be a reason. It wasn't one of his normal tricks.
Dick whistled as he made it to the car, swinging his bag around without a care. Jr. High at Gotham Academy was a breeze compared to all the extra studying he did with Bruce. The kids in class were the hard part. He was the only twelve year old in his eighth grade class, and he hadn't been twelve for long. They didn't care for him much because of his brains and the fact he was the richest kid in Gotham.
Still, he let himself be a bit of a clown so others would like him. Plus he was on the Mathlete team. They were going to make it to the finals this year! He knew it! Sure math was harder for him than others, but hard work won out over natural talent. Batman was proof of that. He couldn't do all the acrobatic tricks Robin could and all that.
As he opened the car door and slid inside, he didn't realize the danger he was in. Once the door slammed shut, it locked. Dick jolted out of his happy reprieve, thinking for a moment he got into the wrong car again. Just what he needed, another kidnapping.
"It's the right car Dick."
The boy froze. Yeah he knew that voice and knew he was safe, but the tone made him wary. 'Crap, what did I do now?' Slowly he turned to look at the other side of the car where Bruce sat, scowling. How come he didn't notice the man earlier?
Dick then spotted a pile of pamphlets and ads on the seat between them. Suddenly he remembered and visibly winced. He hoped he'd make it home before Bruce confronted him about it. He had it all planned out too. Stupid KF said it was a foolproof joke. 'Never listening to his pranks again,' the kid thought.
"What's the meaning of this?" Bruce was in full control of his anger, but only barely. Dick knew he'd never hit him for a prank or anything outside of training, but Bruce tended to yell when he was mad, or turn on the Batman scowl. The scowl usually came first.
"Um…" Dick tried to come up with one but really couldn't. He, Speedy and Kid Flash had talked last time at the cave and decided to swap pranks on their mentors that week and then compare notes afterwards. Speedy was going to make all of Green Arrow's clothes pink (Robin's idea) and Kid Flash was going to put pepper in Flash's ring.
"Do you really think my temper is that bad?" Bruce asked after a minute of silence.
"Have you seen Falcone recently?" the boy evaded. How was he going to explain the prank swap?
The man scowled darkly. "Falcone is a mob lord who sells everything he can get his hands on to ruin the streets of Gotham."
"But you did brake his jaw in five places," he reminded him.
"Dick…" the growl in the dark knight's voice was getting more and more dangerous.
"Maybe you should consider those classes!" Dick offered with a smile, trying to spin it another way. "Or at least read the things. Breathe Bruce, breathe. One two one two."
"That's lamias breathing," Bruce reminded him, though he didn't growl this time.
"Oh," the boy wondered. "Well it works doesn't it?"
The older man said nothing, almost as if he was biting his tongue. The young boy kept up a smile, batting his eyes in hopes it'd save him. They heard a suppressed snicker from the driver's seat. Both turned to Alfred, almost in perfect control of his emotions. "It's not funny Alfred."
"Indeed it is not sir," the old butler agreed, a smile barely visible on his face. "But you must admit, your temper does get the better of you from time to time."
Bruce settled back into his eat, bitterly folding his arms as he scowled. "I do not need these classes."
"That's a matter of opinion," slipped out of Dick's mouth before he could clap it shut. Bruce glared at him and he knew he was done for. "Grounded?"
"For a week," the man muttered out. "And you're going to fix this. Call every one of those doctors and councilors and cancel every appointment, telling them the truth. This prank of yours went too far."
Dick nodded, knowing he wasn't getting off that easy. Stupid Wally.
"If you have to do them, keep them simple. This could seriously turn ugly if you aren't careful." The boy nodded again, looking out the window sheepishly. At least Bruce wasn't saying not to pull pranks. The man still wanted to play, just not like this.
"You just don't want to take those classes," Dick muttered lower than any other comment before. He was rewarded with a light punch to his arm, winning a slight smirk from the kid. Later, when he wasn't grounded, he'd find a better joke to play. Then get Bruce to laugh at it like always.
The next one would be better.
A/N: inspired by a friend last night while we were going to dinner. She wanted someone to give him pamphlets and/or have him called into anger management therapy sessions. We debated the age for Dick and got barely twelve. The League hasn't left the mountain yet, but they're getting close to it.
Not quite as humorous as I'd like, but still good. YAY FLUFF!