Hey guys, this is anikanlove. Sorry I haven't updated in a while. Busy Busy Busy! Anyway, I'm on vacation and one of my favorite things is to make music videos on my computer so I made a Batman video about Batman and the boys and you can check it out on youtube if you want. Look me up as arrakis626. That should work. Ir's called My Precious One and it's (in my humble opinion) the BOMB! i would post the link, but Fan Fiction won't let me so whatever. Anyway, now I'm done soliciting my work. See yall later!
"Daaaaaaaad! Daaaaaaaady!" I bounded into the house, backpack swinging about behind me with my heels kicking up high. Skidding to a halt in the living room, I peered around the corner, wondering why Bruce hadn't crept up behind me and playfully assaulted me for yelling in the house.
I beheld the entire Justice League in civilian attire, sitting in my living room like normal human beings. That was rather strange, slightly intimidating even, and it didn't help that they were all staring at me as if I was the anomaly, the thing in the equation that didn't belong.
"Dad?" I said questioningly, gazing around at all of them.
"Hey Blue Jay", Bruce said brightly, acting as though there was nothing at all wrong with the scene as he lounged on the couch next to Diana Prince, "how was school?"
"Fine" I replied.
"Good", he said, "What's up?"
"Umm, I just wanted to ask you something but that's ok, it can wait."
"It's alright", Bruce replied, "come here." I walked slowly over to him, all their eyes boring into me. Bruce smiled broadly at me, which wasn't unusual since he always smile like that when I was around, and scooped me up onto his lap. That had me feeling a little more comfortable and a lot safer, but I still didn't take my eyes off the league.
"Umm, I just wanted to know if we could go to the park today," I asked hopefully, looking up at him.
"Hmm", Bruce said, gazing up at the clock for a moment. Wally West smiled at me. I gave him a small smile back because I knew him and returned my attention to Bruce. "I think so, I'll just wrap up this meeting, 'kay kid?"
"Sure", I replied.
"You gonna go upstairs and get started on your homework now or you gonna mess around for a while?" he teased.
"I'll probably just mess around", I replied sassily.
"Brat", he growled playfully, cuffing me lightly. I giggled and slid off his lap, almost avoiding his half-hearted swat, and fully intending to kill zombies on my x-box for a while when my ears caught something interesting. Bruce discouraged eavesdropping greatly, but there were a lot of things Bruce discouraged that I did anyway.
"He calls you Dad", the voice chortled. I identified it a moment later as Hal Gordon's voice.
"Sure", Bruce replied, a slight edge to his voice, "I did adopt him."
"Bruce, he's street trash, isn't he what you usually fight against." That stopped me dead in my tracks. Street trash? I hadn't know anyone from the Justice League thought that way of me but this was distressing immediately. I had thought I wasn't street trash, not anymore, not since being adopted. "Superman agrees with me, don't you Supes?"
"Well", Superman said slowly, "I mean, Bruce, aren't you worried he'll try and steal from you?" Superman thought I was street trash too? Without even waiting for Bruce's response to that, I darted up stairs to my room, flinging myself onto my bed. This was the first time I'd come in contact with people saying those things about me since I had been adopted, but it wasn't the last.
Incidents like those seemed to dog my heels, snide comments from people who thought they knew it all, outright, blatant stabs at my gutter heritage and it was hard not to start believing that I was all these things they said I was. After all, the majority was usually right, wasn't it?
It was the same every day, I shuffled slowly into that class, the one I hated so much. Giving a sigh, I faced the doorway, gazing at the entrance and feeling small already. Everyday, I had to go to this class but still, I could never get used to it.
Slowly, I walked in the door. Mr. Fark looked up as soon as I entered. He'd been writing something down on a sheet of paper in front of him but his face turned to a sneer as I stepped over the threshold. "Mr. Todd-Wayne, how good to see you." I mumbled softly in reply and sat down at my desk.
For most of the teachers at the school, I was just "Wayne". Things were simpler and easier that way. After all, Bruce had adopted me and by law I was a Wayne. Though the register said Todd-Wayne, I had told all my teachers just to use the name Wayne. I wasn't all that big a fan of the name Todd; it reminded me of my father. Had I known my mother's maiden name, perhaps I would have taken that on instead, but I didn't and Wayne was nice to hear, so I requested that be all.
Everyone had taken to it, everyone that is except for Mr. Fark. The way it rolled off his tongue, Todd-Wayne, emphasis on my birth name was just so condescending, so plain in telling me I didn't belong in this world. Todd was not a respectable name like Wayne was and as far as Mr. Fark was concerned, it was all I deserved. In fact, he'd said it plainly the first day I'd met him. "You're not his son Mr. Todd-Wayne, and you never will be. You may carry his name, but not his lineage."
"So Mr. Todd-Wayne", Mr. Fark said, sauntering over arrogantly, "did you finish all the work you were assigned last night?" I nodded, slowly getting the assignments out of my folder. I'd had three hours of history last night, something that had kept me from patrol. Bruce refused to allow me to go unless I had everything done and though I had griped and grumbled and screamed at him, I managed to finish.
"Hmm", Mr. Fark murmured, reading over my essay just as the bell rang and the final students took their seats. "Nope, I don't think so." With that, he slammed the paper down onto the desk. "Not good enough Mr. Todd-Wayne, not good enough. But with you, it's never good enough, is it. It's always awful work, useless work, useless just like you."
"Yes sir", I murmured softly, shrinking in my seat with humiliation. Everyone was staring at me, their eyes throwing daggers I couldn't dodge. I felt, at that moment, as though the whole world was gunning for me. Mr. Fark rolled his eyes.
"Pathetic, pathetic, well, lets get on to today's lesson, shall we. The important students need to learn." I got out all the rest of my supplies, preparing to tough it out for the remainder of the class. Everyday, I went through this hell and everyday, I made it. Today would be no exception.
I told myself it didn't bother me that one teacher hated my guts for no reason at all, but when you hear everyday that you're nothing, it's hard not to start believing it. I'd heard it when I lived on the streets and now I heard it everyday in history class.
"So", Mr. Fark began, "who knows the date the Declaration of Independence was signed?" A few kids raised their hands, but I hunkered down in my seat, not wishing to draw attention to myself. "Mr. Todd-Wayne?"
I raised my eyes to him slowly, practically shaking and murmured, "July 4, 1776." I'd memorized all these things last night, hoping that today was the day I might impress him. Apparently, however, I was incorrect.
"No you stupid boy, that's wrong. The day the majority of the delegates signed it was August 2, 1776."
"But you didn't say…"
"Shut up", he roared, cutting me off, "you were wrong. I want a five page essay from you tomorrow about how stupid you are to be getting something as simple as that wrong. You are wasting valuable class time."
"Yes sir", I murmured. I was never this complacent, never this quick to take anything lying down, at least, not unless I was in this class. There was no winning, no way out. I couldn't fight, I couldn't run, I could only lie down and take it like a chained dog.
On and on it went, question after question he managed to twist and turn until my answers were always wrong, never with any sort of validity in his eyes, just as I had none. The end of class was drawing near and I anxiously watched the clock, counting down the minutes.
From the revolutionary war, we had somehow gotten to the current state of welfare and the reforms on it. It seemed a harmless switch, but I knew a loaded topic when I saw one though and prepared to batten down the hatches. Sure enough, Mr. Fark was on me like a pouncing wolf.
"Get up to the front Mr. Todd-Wayne, I'm going to give the class an example." Slowly, I shuffled up to the front, eyes downcast like someone about to be executed. "Now, as you are all aware, the government requires us, all of us, to pay extra taxes for vagabonds such as this one.
Just look at this pathetic creature. There's no merit to his existence, no point, no reason he should even be! Why should we, the upstanding citizens of the United States have to pay taxes on useless drunkards and junkies and prostitutes like this one?" I wheeled around at him, eyes wide in shock.
My past wasn't really a secret but it wasn't common knowledge. What I'd done as a child on the streets was supposed to have been in records that were sealed. How this man had come across them, I couldn't imagine but that didn't matter. I was here, standing up in the front of the classroom with everyone staring at me as my past was laid out before them.
"That's right Mr. Todd-Wayne, I know exactly what you are, and now so does everyone else."
"Y…you can't", I sputtered pathetically.
"Ohh yes I can", he hissed in reply, "I can do whatever I want you worthless little whore. Now, why don't you just go back to where you belong and stop pretending to be something you're not? After all, you're not his son, you never will be."
And that was the final straw, I snapped. I couldn't take their stares, their judging eyes. I tore out of the classroom at top speed, skidding out the door and into the hallways. A few kids called after me, but I didn't hear them, I was crying too hard.
I bolted out the double doors and into the yards, tears streaming down my cheeks, and I fully intended to just keep on running until I fell off the edge of the earth, that is until strong arms grabbed me, pulling me off my course. "Jason, what are you doing?"
"No Bruce no", I howled, fighting my way out of his grasp. I had no idea what he was doing at the school right now, but I didn't care. I just wanted to keep running until I left the whole world behind.
"Jason", Bruce called again, reaching out for me. I darted away and raced off towards the trees at the edge of the grounds. I didn't even hear Bruce pounding after me but he must have been because a few moments later, I felt his strong hand around my arm once more and this time, I could not break his iron grip.
Practically hysterical now, I toppled to the ground, crying frantically and shaking violently. Bruce's arms were around me immediately, holding me tightly to his chest. I clung to him, squeezing him as well and sobbed into his chest.
We sat in the mud together for the longest time, me sobbing and him rocking me gently, murmuring, "Shh, Jason, shh, it's ok, you're ok, I'm here, everything's gonna be fine." Finally, after a while, my crying ebbed a bit and I relaxed some. His shirt was a mess, courtesy of me. On movies and in TV shows, crying never looked all that messy, but for me it always was.
I sagged against him, still shaking. He released me a bit and I contemplated running again, but I no longer had the drive or the energy. "What happened Jason?" Bruce murmured gently, stroking my hair, "you haven't cried like that in years." I stiffened, taking it as an accusation, an admonishment. After all, I was fifteen, I shouldn't have been crying. I sniffled and wiped my nose on my hand. "It's nothing." Bruce gave a snort.
"No, it most certainly is not nothing. Talk to me Blue Jay, what's up?" He sounded concerned, like he cared, but how could you care about nothing. I was nothing, useless, worthless. He couldn't care. I sniffled again.
"Just take me back where I belong Da…Bruce." I couldn't even feel right about calling him Dad, not now. Bruce stiffened a bit.
"We're not going back to the manor until you give me something to work with here kiddo, I'm worried about you, what's up?"
"Not to the manor Bruce, to the streets, where I belong." There was confusion in Bruce's eyes then.
"Jason, you don't belong on the streets, you belong with me, I thought you knew that. What makes you think you should go back to the streets?"
"Everybody says it", I murmured in reply, eyes downcast. I couldn't even meet his gaze.
"Who's everybody?" Bruce asked.
"Mr. Fark", I replied softly.
"Mr. Fark?" Bruce asked, "Your history teacher? What's he got to do with this?" That was when I exploded and couldn't stand the evasive tactic I had been trying any long. Everything spewed put like a mighty deluge.
"Every day Bruce, he says it everyday, all sorts of things. He tells me I'm nothing, but I'm not really nothing, am I?"
"No, no Jason", Bruce murmured gently, taking my face in his large, rough hands, "no of course not. Don't ever think that. You mean the world to me Jason. You're worth so much more than you realize. I know you struggle with that, with feeling like you don't have worth, but you do and if you're ever in any doubt, you can always come to me. Jason, you are worth the world, more than that in fact."
I gazed up at him quietly, eyes red and puffy, and he leaned down and gently kissed my forehead. "I love you so much", he murmured.
"Thanks Bruce", I murmured softly. He smiled gently at me, gazing at me as though I was beautiful and not a filthy, crying muddle, and stroked my hair.
"I'm a mess", I choked softly. Bruce smirked.
"I don't care."
"He called me a whore today," I murmured quietly, feeling better but still pretty miserable, "Put me up in front of the whole class and called me a whore, said I wasn't your son. What am I gonna do now?" It was as if a shadow fell over Bruce and his frame stiffened. His eyes were dark and devoid of any of their usual sparkle.
He got up, grabbing my hand and pulling me up as well. Then, he turned, stalking back towards the school. "Bruce, where're we going?" I asked.
"Just come on", he growled. I knew better than to argue when Bruce looked like that. He fasted the buttons on his suit coat, covering the mess I'd made all over his shirt, and stormed back inside the school, dragging me along behind him. I hadn't known Bruce knew the lay out of my school so well until he managed to navigate his way through right to Mr. Fark's room.
The class was still going on and I was about to say something to Bruce about waiting for after school or at least until after the bell rang when he gave the door a rough shove. It slammed open, revealing the startled faces of my classmates and Mr. Fark. "Mr. Wayne?" he said questioningly.
Bruce released me in the doorway and strode straight up to Mr. Fark. Without saying a word, he swung hard, slugging Mr. Fark right in the nose. I gasped, completely in shock, and my teacher toppled backwards over his desk. "You have no right, no right to ever speak to my son that way, do you hear me!" Bruce roared.
"That boy is my son, whatever you have to say on the subject, and you are in no way permitted to make him feel the way he does everyday. He is a Wayne and I will not stand for slander on my name. If you ever speak to him like that again, I promise you, I will make sure you suffer far more than you have today. Come on Jason, we're going home."
With that, he pivoted and stalked back towards me. I stared in shock for a moment at my teacher, crumpled on the ground, and then trotted swiftly after Bruce. "Dad, the day's only half over", I said, hop skipping to keep up with him.
"I don't care", Bruce replied, "I came here to talk about grants for the school and now I can't even stand to stay in here another minute, so I'm not going to make you stay either. That's just disgusting, what he said to you and I am not going to stand for it, not at all." He slowed down a bit as we neared the car and suddenly turned, hugging me tightly. "You called me dad", he whispered.
"Yea", I replied, practically smothered in his embrace, "I guess since you can scream to the world that I'm your son, the least I can do is say it to you." Bruce grinned.
"I like the sound of that word, it's a good word. Alright, get in the car, lets go see a movie."
"Yes", I said excitedly, "but wait Bruce, my stuff's still in the classroom."
"Who cares, we'll get it later. I have little doubt someone is going to call me about this. There will be a lawsuit and I'm probably going to be here a lot over the next couple days."
"He wouldn't dare sue you", I replied.
"Hah", Bruce laughed, "I'm going to sue him and the school board and the students and the teachers and the janitors and anyone else I can find even half a reason for suing. Nobody talks to my son that way." I beamed at him.
"You know, you're the coolest dad ever." He put his arm around my shoulder, ruffling my hair.
"Yea, I know." I giggled and right then, I felt like maybe I really was worth the world. Well, it didn't matter if anyone else thought so, he did and that was enough for me, the one person in the world who had thought that much of me. Hey, he's Bruce Wayne, he's never wrong, right?