A/N- Well. I have returned to my main fandom for one reason. Batman and Robin's fight. When Batman punched Robin through that hole... *gasp* Fair warning to you people, this is Batman's pov. I'll try to keep him in character, but who am I to know the inner workings of a bat?
The bruise was troubling.
It wasn't that his surrogate son had never had bruises before. Dick was an adventurous kid. He swung from the chandeliers in the dinning hall, despite Alfred's pleas the he stop. He slid down banisters on the largest staircases he could find. He rode motorcycles, rock climbed, did acrobatics, and got in fights at school when other kids need to be 'taught a lesson' as he but it when he came home one day with a suspension notice.
Plus, he patrolled one of the most crime infested cities in the world as a crime fighting vigilante. Dick was no stranger to bruises.
But never before had he caused one.
There had been accident's in training, but Bruce had never tried to leave any form of injury on his surrogate son. However, that didn't change the fact that there was a bruise radiating from just under his chin and stretching up the left side of his face like an unwanted vine. It was dark purple in color, and it wouldn't be long until it shifted into the entire spectrum of the rainbow. And if he were to look closer, he knew he could see the deeper shade of purple surrounding the impact site. The site like that looked exactly like a fist.
Guilt gnawed at Bruce. He had done that to his son. It didn't matter that Dick had forgiven him, he couldn't shake the deep feeling of disgust that gripped him. The worst part was knowing that even when the bruise faded, the self-loathing would stay. His cowl normally blocked any of those feelings like a shield, but that would work this time. In frustration he all but ripped the cowl off his head.
"I'm so sorry." He mumbled and he raised his fingers to ghost of the edges of the offending skin. Dick didn't even notice. He was curled on his side, fast asleep, still in his Robin uniform.
Not three seconds after arriving at the Batcave, Dick dragged himself to the infirmary and collapsed on one of the beds. Exhaustion was a complete understatement to how he had looked. Apparently, he didn't have the energy to rid himself of his costume and venture upstairs. He probably just didn't want to deal with Alfred and his unyielding quest of having no uniforms in the house. Bruce didn't blame him, he had been there, and he would rather be dropped out of an airplane into the ocean than deal with the butler on a rampage.
Still keeping his eyes on his ward, he pulled a chair from corner and sat it and himself next to his bedside. Dick looked so small curled against the white sheets. It was times like these that he actually remembered Dick's age. The boy was thirteen. He acted like he was much older, but there was no denying that he was still a child.
"Am I doing the right thing here, Alfred?" He asked aloud. He knew the grandfatherly butler was behind him. He was always behind him.
"As many times as you ask me that, sir, my answer will never change." He said, his words precised and practiced. He had this conversation too many times in the past. It was always when his bird got hurt, and that alone made every time one time too many.
"But not once have you ever given me a straight answer." He growled, and he rested his elbows on the bed, then dropped his head in his hands. "This should have never happened."
"I agree. Master Richard getting injured shouldn't have occurred."
"So, I shouldn't have let him become Robin?"
"Master Bruce, I don't think you had a choice in what he became." Alfred said, and he felt a hand rest on his shoulder. "He may have received a majority of his identity from his parents, but he gained his stubbornness from you."
"I'm starting to wish he hadn't."
Alfred chuckled. "Once again, Master Bruce, I don't think you had a choice. Now, if you will please deliver the young master to his chambers, I will overlook the uniform this once." The older man instructed, and Bruce could hear his footsteps retreat deeper into the cave.
"You have him wrapped around your finger, Richard." Bruce said to no one. He wanted to be jealous, but deep down he knew that Alfred wasn't the only one that Dick had under his control. If he wanted to, that kid could have the world with a few words. Bruce was no exception.
Tapping into his stealth skills, he maneuvered around the infirmary silently. As he went, he peeled off Dick's mask, switching him from Robin, the Boy Wonder, to Dick Grayson. His favorite of the two. Then, setting the mask aside, he tried to unclasped the bright yellow utility belt locked around Dick's waist. The last time he had slept with his utility belt on he had caused a few gas pellets to go off, and that was the last thing anyone needed.
He reached to take the belt off, but a hand shot out of nowhere and held his wrist in a death grip. Dick had fantastic reflexes even when he was asleep. He found it strange that it brought pride to him that his protege could still take most people down when he was border lining on unconscious.
Chuckling to himself, he eased the hand off his wrist. Dick didn't seem to want to give it up, but his fight was all but extinguished for the night. Pulling the belt with a soft tug he set it down next the mask, and he wasted no time scoping the boy into his arms. It would be a sad day when Dick got too big for it, and he briefly contemplated what would happen when it finally happened, but his mind was blank.
Dick stirred in his arms but didn't awake. He merely pressed his face deeper into Bruce's Kevlar. Smiles were never his strong suit, but he couldn't fight the one that Dick's action caused.
With his steps echoing around the cave, bats chirping in the distance, and the steady breathing of his son, the bruise troubled him no more. Dick was alive, and that was all that mattered. Despite having the massive mark, Dick would still wake up the next morning with his trademark grin, slide down the banister, skate into the kitchen in his socks, and ask Bruce if he could drive the Batmobile.
Clutching the boy closer to his chest, he grinned in anticipation.
Alfred may have been right when he said he didn't have a choice in Dick's path, but even if he did, he wouldn't have changed a thing.
A/N- I feel like such a sap. Oh well. Review it peoples.