A Fair Price

by TwinEnigma

Warnings for chapter: references to Under The Red Hood and Once Upon A Time.


"Are you, perhaps, my son, lost so long ago?" the prince asked.

The man said not a word, but still smiled.

"You are! You must be!" the prince said and embraced him.

In his joy, he did not notice that the man was made of yew.

Bruce stands across from him, this Red Hood, and for the first time, he wonders how he ever missed it. Yes, he's around the right age and build, even has the right hair color, but this man isn't Dick at all. That much is blatantly obvious now. But the things he knows – how to shadow him, the way he cuts the lines, how he fights, how he moves, the fact that he even knows Bruce's name – there's no mistaking it. This man knows them, knows everything about them, and he's even familiar, but if he isn't Dick, then he must be...

It's impossible, though.

And yet…

"Why?" he asks.

"You're so consumed with your guilt that you saw what you wanted to see," the Red Hood says. "All I had to do was let you fill in the blanks."

It's true. Bruce had wanted him to be Dick, wanted it so bad.

"Tell me," the Red Hood says, "Do I even look like him?"

Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince who lost his way and fell to darkness.

Once upon a time, there was a boy who lost his father and brother.

Once upon a time, there was puppet who became a boy.

Once upon a time…

And that is the end.

It was rather fun and I enjoyed using Jason as the Pinocchio/Booth parallel.