Yes, I finally have another story! I know it's been a LONG time and I felt really bad about that but I honestly couldn't think of anything to write. I hope this makes up for the long wait! :)

This is being beta-ed by Magpie of Silver. Go check out her writing, it's really good!

Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice

Dick Grayson sighed as he tied a plain dark red tie around his neck. He checked his suit one last time before heading downstairs to meet Bruce for the charity event they were going to. The party was one of the biggest of the year and all of Gotham's biggest faces would be there, meaning billionaire Bruce Wayne and his ward, the orphaned circus boy Dick Grayson, couldn't miss it for anything.

In his five years as the ward of Bruce Dick had grown used to the constant parties and charity events they went to. He became adept at creating a convincing smile through his boredom and acting like the perfect thirteen year old; polite, soft spoken, and infinitely grateful to Bruce for taking him in when his parents fell to their deaths during a trapeze performance when he was eight.

Not that Dick wasn't infinitely grateful, but he definitely wasn't soft spoken even at the best of times. Growing up in a circus had given him a love for performing, acting out, and generally being the complete opposite of the docile and respectful teenager he was now expected to be.

Dick let out another sigh when he made it to the front doors of the huge Wayne mansion. Bruce was already waiting for him, dressed in a brand new black suit with a royal blue tie and looking just as bored with the situation as Dick felt.

"How long is this one supposed to be?" he asked as the two headed down the walkway to the car waiting for them.

"Three hours," Bruce answered.

"Is Barbara coming?" Dick asked, hoping his friend would be there. They always managed to make the dull parties exciting for everyone there, even if it meant he was grounded later.

"No, she and Commissioner Gordon are visiting relative out of town. They won't be back until next week."

The thirteen-year-old audibly groaned. Now what was he supposed to do for fun? He could hardly pull off any of their pranks by himself. Most of them required precise timing on both of their parts.

"At least try to look like you're having fun," Bruce warned as the car started driving away and toward the party. Alfred was driving, of course. Bruce's butler refused to let anyone else drive the two anywhere and they didn't argue. Having him there meant they could talk freely about their superhero lives, not that they ever did while out of costume. It was just an added safety measure.

"I always do," Dick said, "But I don't see why everyone has these things. I can't imagine that anyone likes them."

"They're for charity and besides, I can name a few who genuinely enjoy these parties," Bruce said.

"Like your airhead girlfriends," Dick mumbled. Bruce chose not to answer and they spent the rest of the ride in silence.

When Alfred finally slowed the car to a stop Dick began preparing himself for the cameras and press. They swarmed like flies to these parties and followed him and Bruce around almost the entire time.

As soon as he stepped out of the car, the expected flashes and shouts erupted around him. He plastered on his best winning smile and tried not to squint at the bright lights. The two answered no questions and hardly stopped at all to allow the press to get a good picture and soon enough they were inside.

At the first few parties Dick had been awed by the huge buildings and expensive decorations within, but after so many he merely respects the architecture and artefacts at the events.

Bruce didn't miss a step once he reached the relative safely of the giant hall. The crowd of people within hushed slightly when they saw the billionaire playboy but soon started up their conversations again. Bruce led Dick toward a large group of people around the refreshments table and started up a conversation with the owner of one of Gotham's art museums.

Dick soon grew bored with the talk of paintings and sculptures and went to grab one of the ready-made cups of some drink he didn't care to recognize. The drinks looked brand new and no one seemed to have taken one yet, but Dick didn't think anything of it. They had probably just run out earlier. As he took his place back at Bruce's side, Dick tasted the drink. It was a little to sweet for him, but he would take anything to avoid talking to the rich snobs surrounding him.

Bruce told a cheesy joke that held absolutely no humour but caused those listening to erupt in laughter. Dick joined in as he was expected to but even amid the constant talk he recognized something different with his laugh. It wasn't his usual soft, polite laugh he used at these events but a loud, sickening, maniacal chuckle.

As soon as he realized this, Dick tried to stop laughing, to close his mouth and be quiet, but he couldn't. He felt his face stretch painfully into a maniac grin and continued laughing. He felt his throat grow raw with the forced sound and continued laughing. He felt his eyes fill with tears and still laughed. Dick found it impossible to breathe fully. He fought for every small gasp of air but then laughed it all away.

The glass fell and shattered on the floor. He laughed. Bruce grabbed his shoulders and shook him, trying to talk to him. He laughed. Dick grabbed his stomach and curled in on himself, trying to breathe but only laughing. Bruce yelled something at the silent watchers as tears streamed down Dick's face. He felt himself being picked up and carried swiftly away somewhere. He heard whispered words of comfort from Bruce but couldn't understand them through the horrible sound he was making. Dick felt his breaths grow shorter and shorter and began to wonder how many he had left before he suffocated.

A/N: This was slightly shorter than I usually do, but a lot happened and it's the first chapter. The next one will be a bit longer. Oh, and sorry about that cliff hanger. I regret nothing.

Review and tell me what you think so far! Compliments and constructive criticism is always welcomed and appreciated! Thanks for reading :)