A Save From – Alfred?
Hey guys, soooo sorry for not getting back to updating for a while, but I have a huge amount of summer work to get done, and I figured that my honors class work was more important than fanfiction, right? To say that I was pleased with all the reviews was a huge understatement, I was absolutely thrilled with all of the reviews – I expected, what, 2 or 3? Definitely not 10 for my first chapter - and I love you all! Responses to reviews will be at the end of the chapter, so I hope you enjoy!
A/N: I do not own Young Justice, I only own Mary, and the parts of the story that she's in.
A Save From – Alfred?
Mary bolted upright in her bed, sweat pouring off of her body, making the already humid air that much more unbearable. Her breaths came out in uneven pants, her heart beating erratically against her chest. She raised a shaking hand up to her forehead, and swiped the back of it across the sweaty surface, trying to get the sticky substance off of her skin.
To say she was ashamed was an understatement; five years had passed since the massacre of her family, and she felt as if the scars were still fresh. The nightmares came almost every night, she was lucky if she got one night a week off from the torments of her mind.
Of course she knew that Dick still had the occasional nightmare, but he was more apt to go to Bruce for comfort, while she was too stubborn to admit that someone else's presence would feel good at times like this.
She looked around her room, from her desk in the corner, to her bookshelf, to her discarded Sparrow outfit – which she knew that she would need to put away before Bruce found it out in the open – to the rounded glass ceiling, giving her an amazing view of the stars.
It was true that Mary's room was actually an old observatory, long ago left empty by Bruce, until of course she had come along, and had fallen in love with the room. Bruce, temporarily showing his caring side rather than the stoic, expressionless one she was so used to seeing after hours, gave her the room as a welcoming present.
She threw back the sheets she was lying under, and swung her feet around the side of the bed, she was going to wander downstairs in hope of calming herself.
This happened every time she had a nightmare, she would carefully – as not to wake the house's lightest sleeper, Bruce – make her way downstairs to just sit at the dinner table with her glass of milk and a book.
She walked over to her desk, and grabbed her English book, then carefully opened her door, and started down the spiral staircase.
Mary knew that Bruce was a smart man – he is the world's greatest detective after all – and had probably figured out what she was doing downstairs around midnight, but if he didn't approve he simply kept it to himself.
The stairs leading up and down to her room were not normally creaky, but she must have forgotten to fix them again, because tonight they were making an awful racket. Whenever this used to happen when she was younger, she would just slide down on her butt, but she figured that at 13, that was a little out of the question – especially if she got caught.
So she made her way down the rest of the stairs okay, and was currently standing on the second floor, which is where Dick and Bruce slept. So she carefully tiptoed by their rooms, stopping only to open Dick's door just a crack, to look in and check on her brother – in every meaning of the word.
When she had first been taken into the manor, even though they were friends a year before she came to live with them, he had acted cold and indifferent towards her. After three days of the cold shoulder from her friend, she had finally confronted him.
A nine year old Mary stormed angrily up the first flight of stairs in Wayne Manor. She was going to find out what was wrong with her friend, and she was going to find out now.
She wasn't very familiar with the giant manor, but she had seen Dick storm up this staircase more than once, so that was where she would check for the steaming nine year old.
She grabbed the railing and slowly started up the large staircase – looking around to make sure that no one was looking, she didn't want to break any unspoken rules so early into the fostering, she liked this house; it seemed different than all the others – taking each stair with caution, slowly observing her new home.
The stairs were a dark mahogany, a large red carpet with golden stitching carefully lain down on each step, not a wrinkle to be seen on any grand platform. The railing was shiny and smooth, easy to run her hand along as she ascended the staircase. To her left, now under her as she climbed, was an elegant painting, probably an original – Bruce was a billionaire after all. It was just a few squares thrown together to make a face, but it was probably by a great artist, making it worth at least a few million.
She had reached the top of the stairs, and the second floor wasn't nearly as grandiose as she had imagined it to be. It was simply three or four doors, with a few paintings and photos in between the rooms. There were a few plotted plants before the staircase that she guessed lead to the third floor, a pretty simple hallway.
She shrugged and started down the hallway, and slowly opened the first door to her left, not wanting to throw open the door and barge in. She peeked around the crack in the door, and noticed that there was only a few cleaning supplies in there, probably for the butler – Alfie? Oh, she couldn't remember his name, but she'd be sure to ask later.
She shut the door quietly and walked over to the next room, which had a beautiful picture of two older people in it. She had quickly learned that those two people were Bruce's parents, the late Thomas and Martha Wayne, whom of which to this day were included in Bruce's thank-you speech when he won the "Most Successful Business Man" award every year, although she had been told that Lex Luthor was getting dangerously close to taking the title away from Bruce.
She slowly opened the door as she did with the latter, only to find a giant bed, which was unfortunately empty. She assumed that that was Bruce's room, explaining the photo of his parents outside the room; it was touching really, knowing that Bruce couldn't sleep soundly without his parents in the house.
She shut the door, and moved to the next one, and hearing bumping and shuffling all the way from out in the hallway, she knew that this was probably the room she was looking for. Either that or the butler - what was his name again, Fred? Oh well. – Or Dick was currently in this room.
There was also a picture outside of this room, confirming that this was more than likely her old friend's place, because the picture was one of two acrobats. The people – Mary and John Grayson – whom she knew from her chat with Dick at the television studio over a year ago, the day that changed her life forever.
She slowly came out of her memories and tore her gaze away from the picture to focus it on the door, which she then proceeded to open carefully, hearing all of the movement from inside the room cease.
The room itself was messy, although the bed was perfectly made, and his desk was relatively clean as well, but what she was focused on was the small black-haired boy sitting on his bed; his feet stuck up high into the air, staring blankly at the industrial white ceiling.
She opened the door a little bit more, which resulted in a small creak from the rusted door hinges, and in an aggravated boy turning to stare heatedly at her.
"What do you want?" He asked sourly, plopping back down on his bed, his legs falling dejectedly back onto the bed. She walked farther into the room, standing awkwardly in the mess of clothes and papers, not daring to step any further.
"I just wanted to talk." She said softly, her shy orphanage voice coming back to her, and she all of a sudden found her socks extremely captivating.
"I have nothing to say." He responded curtly, just wishing that she would leave and let him wallow in self-pity, he really didn't want to talk right now.
But she didn't go, she questioned him further. "Why don't you like me?" She questioned bluntly. Causing him to whip around and stare quizzically at her, was that the message he was sending her? He really did like her; he had just been in a bit of a mood lately, he hadn't meant for it to come off as a bad attitude towards the newest member of the Wayne family. He normally prized himself for his almost constant upbeat attitude, but it was approaching that time of year, and he was down in the dumps.
He huffed and realized that if he ever wanted to have more than an awkward friendship with her, he would need to open up, and that started now.
He got off the bed and started over to her, standing right in front of her. He was about half an inch shorter than her, so he had to slightly look up see her. He let out a breath. "I don't not like you." He started, only to earn a confused glance.
"What?" She asked, almost afraid that he was insulting her.
"I like you just fine," he said, and Mary let out a sigh of relief. "I've just been a little, sad, lately." He admitted, looking almost embarrassed. "And, so, yeah, sorry if I, offended you, or anything." She only smiled.
"Well that's a relief." She sighed, only to realize her mistake. "NO! No, I mean, not a relief that you're sad, just that you like me, and – oh, I'm rambling aren't I? Sorry." She said quickly, her cheeks instantly going red. But he only laughed.
"No, I know what you mean, it's okay." He said, brilliant smile lighting up his young face. "Actually," he started, getting embarrassed again. "I haven't laughed in a few days, it was nice." She was proud to hear of her accomplishment.
"Well," she stated proudly. "I was glad I could be of service, by the way, if you don't mind me asking, why are you sad?" Her head tilting the slightest bit. His smile vanished, and he breathed a sad sigh.
"It's a long story." He said simply, but she wasn't going to take that.
"Well I have time." She said. He looked at her and smiled a bit.
"You really want to hear it?" He asked, obviously not believing that she wanted to hear his whole story.
"Of course I do," She responded, grinning cheekily. "We are technically brother and sister after all." His smile got bigger then too.
"I've never had sibling." He said almost shyly. She looked kind of pained for a moment, but it went away.
"Well!" She said "Are we going to talk, or not?" He quickly nodded his head yes, and the duo went over to the giant, perfectly made bed, and lied down it, the two talking until the late hours of the night.
They talked about their families, their pasts, their fears and things that make them happy. They talked about their parents, and school, and how their families died. They laughed, they cried, they got embarrassed all over again, but the important thing was, that they did it together. And when Bruce found the two fast asleep together in Dick's bed when he got back from patrol – although they didn't know that – he took a picture, and from that day on, it rested in a picture frame on Bruce Wayne's desk; and, even though Bruce would rather go a few rounds with the Joker then admit this, he carried a small version of the photo when he went patrolling sometimes, just to remind him not to do anything too crazy, for he had a family to come home to.
Mary grinned at the memory; that was the day that she and Dick had officially become brother and sister, and she wouldn't trade it for the world.
She glanced at the microwave clock, only to discover that it was only 2 a.m. she sighed and looked into to her warm milk, which, sadly, was almost empty. She knew that she would have to go back up to her room and put her Sparrow outfit away, before Bruce came up unexpectedly and had to give her a lecture on her "secret identity", which she was surprised that someone hasn't figured out by now.
She shook her head, and got up to dump the rest of the milk down the drain, she wasn't in the mood for food anymore.
She grabbed her book and turned to go back upstairs, but stopped when she heard footsteps coming down the hallway to the left of the grand staircase. She would have thought it was Bruce, but he was in bed on the second floor – as well as Dick – so there was only one person left that it could be, and the tap of freshly cleaned bunny slippers proved her theory.
Then she was immersed in another memory.
The fabric of the blanket lying on the end of her rickety, creaky, broken down bed was rough and she still the scabs from trying to use it. She held a small piece of bread in the bowl she made from her hands, and looking down into her hands, she wondered how life had come to this.
Just ten months ago her life was turned upside down, when in the middle of her father's telethon, her family was killed by a man named Tony Zucco, to whom her father had denied payment for "protection" – all of this unknown to his wife and kids – which resulted in him retaliating and trying to kill the entire Piers family, and he did, every member except one.
She shut her eyes and willed the memory to go away, today was her birthday, so she should be happy, right? Well she could guarantee that today would not be her best day ever. The only thing that the Headmaster of the Gotham City Orphanage allowed her to do special because of her birthday was letting her leave the dining hall to eat her bread on her bed.
She looked out the window, wishing more than anything that she could get out of here and avenge her family. No matter how much torment she endured from them, they were still her family.
She didn't want to kill Zucco – as much as she hated him she couldn't bring herself to do anything as malicious as that – she just wanted to bring him to justice.
Today was the first day of spring – March 21st – and also her birthday, her ninth to be exact. She looked sadly down on her piece of bread, which was no bigger than a computer mouse. She closed her eyes, and pretended for a moment that she was back home, sitting around the table, loaded with a few small wrapped packages and a big birthday cake; if there was anything her brothers loved more than food, it was junk food.
And for a moment, she believed every vision running through her mind. But when she opened her eyes again, she was back in the orphanage, on her bed with the rough blanket, and she still had the scabs from trying to use it. She felt her eyes fill with unshed tears, and she knew that she wouldn't be able to keep the promise she made to herself – not to cry on her birthday.
A few tears slipped out from underneath her closed eyes, and more continued to flow once she opened them. She stared down at the bread in her hands again, imaging that it wasn't a small piece of bread, but that it was a huge birthday cake, with nine candles. And that her family and friends were surrounding her, singing happy birthday, and when the song ended, she would have to make a wish.
Tears were still running rampant down her cheeks, and she realized that she had been singing the happy birthday song to herself. She laughed a dry, hollow laugh. "Happy birthday to me" She sang softly in sad voice. She quietly blew out the imaginary candles, and made a silent wish.
I wish that I could get out of here, she thought to herself. But she knew that that would probably never happen.
Just then, she heard footsteps coming up the creaky stairs, so she quickly stuffed the bread in her mouth and swallowed it, and then she wiped her hands across her cheeks, trying to get rid of the tears. Out from the doorway that opened up to the second floor, stepped the Headmaster, and an older gentleman, dressed in what looked like a business suit.
He had gray hair, and each of his hands were encased in white gloves, making him look extremely clean, which was something that was rarely seen around here. He was taking in the second floor with a look of disgust on his face, the rotting walls and bug infested floors obviously putting him off.
"They're all eating right now, and this," she absentmindedly waved a hand at Mary "is all that's upstairs." She turned to go back downstairs, obviously not caring if the old man followed her or not.
He looked at her, and gave a small smile, to which she returned. He walked over to her bed, sitting beside her on the end, only to fall through the cheap bed with a surprised look on his face, making her giggle. He smiled again, delighted that this sad, small girl was laughing, it befitted her much more than that constant frown he had seen.
"Hello, my name is Alfred, and yours is?" He asked, picking himself up off the floor, and deciding to just kneel in front of her. He knew her name, but wanted her to be more comfortable. She looked quite shocked, but responded. She knew something was different about this man, and he also had a cool French accent.
"M-mary." She said shyly, looking down at the floor. He kneeled down lower to look her in the eyes, which were still red, and he instantly felt sorry for the girl again.
"Well than, Mary," he quietly, not wanting to scare her. "I work for a very important man here in Gotham; tell me, have you ever heard of Bruce Wayne?" she looked up at him, nodding a bit.
"Yeah," she said. "I meet him last year when, when..." She started to tear up again, remembering that day.
In a rare moment for Alfred, he actually got worried – even though he had gone through this with Dick plenty of times – and put his arm around her shoulders.
"Hey," he said comfortingly. "It's alright now, don't cry." She looked him in the eyes, noting a bit of empathy in his eyes, something she hadn't seen in a long while. Most couples or families who wanted to take her in simply pitied her, or wanted to be the renounced family that made the tiny, orphaned Piers girl smile again.
But one family had simply wanted her money – being the last living descendant of the second richest man in Gotham meant that when she was eighteen, she would inherit her father's vast fortune. She had known this about them from the start, but the Headmaster was more than willing to get rid of her, so she sent her along with them anyway, no matter their intent.
That night she had run away, crawling out the small window in her bedroom (thank god she was only on the first floor) and had started running as soon as she hit the sidewalk.
Although sadly, she had been found in the morning on a park bench by her foster family, and she had been sent back to the orphanage, the family saying that she was too much work, no matter how much money they may have been getting.
She came out of the memory as soon as she realized that the man named Alfred's arm was still around her, although she had stopped crying. She smiled gratefully at him, to which he returned that smile.
"Well," Alfred started again, removing his arm from Mary's shoulders. "Since you know Bruce, I suppose that what I'm about to tell you will make sense." He looked her in the eye, and she nodded, urging him to go on.
"Well, when you were first entered into this wretched place, I was urging Bruce to take you in. You know his adopted son – Dick." She nodded vigorously, remembering the great day she had had with Dick. He continued. "But sadly, he had refused, it was not your fault of course, but he had stated that right now he had his hands full with another emotional young boy, and he just couldn't see himself handling two at a time. So, we went on like that for two months, until Bruce came to me one evening saying that the guilt was eating him alive. He said that he couldn't sleep knowing that he could do something to help an orphaned child, and that he wanted to take you in, now."
"So, we waited until the next morning, and everything was going smoothly. That is, until Bruce had almost finished the paperwork, when a social worker that was wandering the halls spotted him in the adoption room, causing a great uproar."
She looked at him confusedly, wondering why just him being in an adoption room would upset someone. Alfred seemed to read her look, and started explaining.
"Bruce has a reputation as a bit of a playboy, and when he randomly decidedly to take in a foster son, it raised a lot of suspicion about, well – um certain things that you're not old enough to know about." He chuckled uneasily, deciding to continue.
"Anyways, after a few legal ramifications were made, Bruce was not allowed to take another child in. So after months of finagling with loopholes and what not, we discovered a solution, one that was surprisingly obvious." He looked at her, and she couldn't hold in her excitement.
"What?" she asked. "What was the solution?" He smiled at her.
"I adopt you." He said simply, causing her to blanch. She looked gleeful for a minute, and then she looked quizzically at him.
"But how would that help?" she asked. "I would still be in the household with Bruce." He prized her mentally on her intelligence.
"Well, there's one more thing. You have to do a little bit of housekeeping." She looked confusedly at him again. "Well, the social workers said the same thing, so to get rid of them, we came up with this." He looked at her seriously. "If you do agree to come and live with us – and yes, you do have a choice - you would have to become a part time maid. Of course you would be paid, but the manor is big, so I just want you to know the consequences of saying yes." She was quickly trying to process this information, and every time she thought about only one answer came into her mind.
"Yes." She said, much to the delight of Alfred. He smiled and got off of the bed.
"Well, you may want to pack now; we'll be leaving very soon." She beamed at him and went to pack the few things she had.
That was the day that her life started looking up, that was the day that she got her birthday wish.
She absentmindedly smiled as Alfred walked through the opening, his bunny slippers and butler pajamas never failing to bring a smile to her face.
He was just now noticing her presence, and he went over to the table and pulled up a chair.
"Another nightmare?" He asked sympathetically. She nodded and he patted her back. He had known that she had still been having them, but seeing her downstairs like this meant that it had been bad.
"Want to talk about it?" He asked. She just sighed.
"It's the same nightmare, and you've heard it thousands of times, I don't think it will help." He got up and opened the fridge, getting out the milk carton. He grabbed a glass and poured the milk into it, much like she had done earlier. He sat down next to her again and offered her some, to which she refused.
"Already had some." She said, getting up, pushing the chair back in. "I think I'm gonna go back to bed," she started. "And pick up my outfit before Bruce finds it." Alfred just smiled and nodded his head.
Before she left, she turned around and looked at her legal guardian. "Hey Alfred?" she asked. To which he turned around. "Thanks." He smiled.
"You're quite welcome -good night." He turned back around.
"Night." She said, heading back upstairs, book in hand.
She still had to sneak past Bruce and Dicks' rooms, and the stairs up to her observatory still creaked. Once she was up there she opened the secret door in the back of her closet and put her Sparrow outfit in the compartment, and tried to go back to bed, today was an important day after all.
She laid back down – the sheets now cool – and covered up. She closed her eyes, and thought about how lucky she was to have such an amazing family; she loved all of those guys to death. She then closed her eyes, and sleep soon overcame her.
Her alarm clock went off at 5:30, the time when she had to start making breakfast for Bruce and Dick.
She got out of bed and grabbed her robe, heading out and down the stairs. Once in the kitchen she started the stove and went to the fridge to get out what she was going to cook. She heard footsteps, and Alfred came out to help set the table.
Next out was Bruce, who just grumbled and sat down – obviously not a morning person.
About half an hour later, a sleepy, stumbling Dick came loudly down the stairs, rubbing his eyes the whole way.
Once he was downstairs, he paused to look around, and taking in the smiling faces of Alfred, and surprisingly Bruce, along with Mary, did he realize what was going on.
His blue eyes widening, a giant smile lit up his face.
"Oh my god," he breathed. "Today is the day!"
So there you have it! Chapter 2, and I hope you all understood the ending; I planned it especially for you guys! So, yea, my longest chapter ever! 4,500 words! Ah! I'm so excited! SO, REVIEW! And here are my responses to reviews –
SakuraPheonix13 – Thank you soooooo much for reviewing! I am so glad that you think my story is awesome; your review brightened my day!
sunflower13 – I would be killing for a girl too, but, it was a critical element for this story, sorry! Anyway, I totally agree about the Mary-Sue thing, so make sure to tell me if she seems to be getting too perfect! ;)
perriwinkle14 – Look! I'm writing more now! XD
SK12Monster – I'm sooooooo glad you love it! I love hearing from awesome people from you!
sky-ride125 – I'm so happy that you think so! Hope you love this chapter!
ThatOneDiabeticGirl – Thanks! I've been thinking about this story a lot, so I couldn't help but over think it!
Mariposablossom – Thank you sooooooo much! Hope you love this!
Guest – Glad to hear it!
Guest – I have a mini crush on Grayson too! And he is the best robin. It's really cool that your names are similar, but, as you can tell from this chapter, they're just brother and sister. Sorry for any disappointment!
Obiwan1022 – Thank you soooooo much for following! I'm glad you liked it!
So guys, you know what to do, REVIEW!