Blossoming of a Friendship
1st November 2008
Near silence graced the Wayne Manor as the day came ever closer to its end. The sky was darkening, although the hour could still be called reasonably early, and the youngest resident of the large mansion had retired his bedroom accompanied by a book. The book was neither thought-provoking nor thrilling but he read it anyway. Allowing himself to dive into the unique world of a novel always settled his mind before finally falling asleep.
A small ray of light fell across the carpeted floor and slowly widened. Richard Grayson glanced up from his current page as his adoptive father, Bruce Wayne, walked in. Bruce was still clad in his suit from a long day at work. Said long day had been the reason Dick was getting an early night; the other decided that going on patrol tonight would not be beneficial for either of them and the city had been quiet enough lately. This usually meant that either the bad guys had been sufficiently scared into hiding or they were planning something big.
The bed dipped slightly under Bruce's weight as he perched himself on the foot of the younger's bed. Dick had placed his book down and was now looking expectantly to Bruce. He'd said his goodnights a while ago before going to his room and it wasn't often that he was interrupted after that. Generally Bruce only came up to him if he had news or a request of some sort—however, he hardly ever asked him to join him as Batman's protégé after hours, instead taking on the mission alone. Dick had tried to convince him that just because he was falling asleep, that didn't mean he couldn't easily wake up and beat up a few villains. Of course, Bruce heard none of it.
"Dick," he began, effectively pulling the raven-haired boy from his trail of thoughts. "I was wondering if you would like to meet another hero your age."
This peaked Dick's interest. Having been the first official side kick, he'd been inspected by various other heroes and questioned about his abilities. They'd been torn between admiring his determination and scolding Batman for letting someone as young as Robin join him. Batman had faith in his sidekick and partner. Besides, he was always there in case something went wrong, always ready to pull the younger out of a sticky situation if he deemed it to be unreasonably unsafe.
While meeting heroes was not something out of the ordinary for Dick, heroes as young as him were rare to find—at least around Gotham, anyway. The whole sidekick notion had soon caught on but this meant that a hero first had to find someone who was capable of handling themselves but who was also willing to learn. He'd seen a couple of them on the news yet he'd never actually met one. It didn't bug him too much, though. He'd been mature past his years when it came to crime fighting so it wasn't too much of a challenge to keep up with the adult superheroes. But once in a while, he wished he had someone his own age to laugh with. He was only able to be his true self at home but Robin was a more accurate depiction of the real Richard Grayson than the snobby rich kid he had to pretend to be at school. Batman had made it very clear to him that no one should be able to connect the dots and figure out Robin's secret identity. To do this, he had to convince the world that he was someone he truly wasn't. He didn't go too far with the act; just enough so that any arising suspicion would be settled. Besides, Dick Grayson didn't know how to fight. Most people knew that he'd opted to take dance instead of martial arts, and pirouettes would not come in useful when fighting the bad guys.
"Yeah, I would," Dick replied, a small smile settling on his lips.
Bruce gave a small nod and stood once again. He was glad Dick had agreed. Anyone who knew him would know that he was fiercely protective of his son but he worried about him too. Obviously he rarely voiced these worries out loud and when he did, it was only to Alfred. He knew the boy was stronger than many others his age but he was unsure of whether his training and duties as Robin left him with sufficient time and energy for work and socialising. He knew Dick could be witty and charming but he'd never particularly been fond of his 'friends' at school. Bruce hoped that by introducing him to another sidekick, he'd be able to have someone to connect to and talk to about things he couldn't with his schoolmates. Bruce wasn't entirely sure that he should be putting so much trust into a child he'd never met to make Robin feel welcome, but he would go along with it for Dick. Besides, if things went badly then he could always forbid Kid Flash from seeing Robin again. Perhaps a threat or two would be required.
"I can arrange a meeting with Flash later in the week. For now, just get some rest. We're on patrol tomorrow."
Dick assumed it would be Kid Flash he was meeting. He'd seen the redheaded boy briefly on TV and had been impressed by his powers. Unlike Dick, he actually had a special ability that separated him from non-powered humans—his speed. Of course, that was to be expected, with him being Flash's sidekick and all, but Dick had been impressed by just how fast he was. From what he'd gathered, the boy was clumsy at best but his speed was only rivalled by the Flash himself.
"Okay. Good night, Bruce." The man slipped silently out of the room. Dick placed his bookmark in his forgotten book and set it aside, leaning over to turn his bedside lamp off.
2nd November 2008
Wally had been improving amazingly since Barry had agreed to train more often. They first journeyed to a disused race track and began warm-ups. Usually there was a set structure to their training but today Barry just wanted to see how truly fast his sidekick could go. He'd stepped aside and cleared the track for Wally before instructing him to simply run until he couldn't go any faster. He watched as the boy complied with his command and the results were dizzying.
Keeping an eye on the yellow and red blur around the track proved to be somewhat of a challenge. Barry caught brief sounds of laughter as the wind caused by the running blew dust and dirt into Barry's partially shielded face. Eventually, the blur slowed down and Wally emerged again, his chest rising and falling as he heaved for air.
"How was that?" he asked, his signature grin forming on his lips.
"You did great, Kid," Barry replied, moving towards the younger and ruffling his hair affectionately. This earned him another loud laugh.
They walked towards a patch of ground where they'd dumped their stuff and sat down. Flash handed Kid Flash a cereal bar and watched as the other practically devoured it.
"Kid, you know Batman, right?"
Wally glanced up at his mentor and nodded. "Not personally, but yeah."
"So you know Robin too." Wally nodded once again. The young boy had been the final push Wally needed to finally becoming Flash's sidekick. He'd heard of heroes training younger people but actually fighting with them was a different matter entirely. "Great, then I guess you won't mind meeting them."
Wally froze in his eating. Sure, meeting Robin would be really cool but Batman was… Batman. Photos of him were intimidating enough. "Erm, I'm not so sure about that."
Flash clapped him on the back. "Don't worry about Bats. His bark is worse than his bi—well, it is when you're the good guy. Besides, he agreed to let you meet his baby bird. Do you have any idea how much of a privilege this is?"
The redhead gave a small shrug. He'd heard about how overprotective Batman was when he overheard Flash's conversations on the phone. "I guess meeting him won't be so bad. I mean, you'll protect me if Batman tries to kill me for talking to him, right?"
Barry flashed his teeth in a large grin. "'Course I will, kiddo. Can't have him shredding up my protégé, can I?"
This didn't really fill Wally with too much hope.
7th November 2008
Wally, when nervous, often fidgeted so much that his hands started vibrating. He'd thought that they would be the last ones at the meet up point but it turned out that he was wrong. He and Flash, clad in their spandex and cowls, were waiting semi-patiently for the others. Flash had explained to him that life in Gotham was very different and far more dangerous. Villains practically lurked around every corner so Batman's patrols were usually a lot busier than theirs. However, this did nothing to settle Kid Flash's mind. The waiting was practically torture for him.
He's always been an impatient child but upon becoming a speedster and a sidekick, his impatience had simply grown. He always wanted to be moving and running and free but obviously life had different expectations of him. Nearly every day he was forced to sit still and pay attention to whoever had the misfortune of dealing with his class for the lesson. Flash understood completely but he'd grown out of the unbearable sensation suffered while waiting. He now took it as a chance to simply be free and let his mind whirr as fast as it wanted to.
The vibrating child beside him suddenly let out a huff, his breath condensing in the cold air. True, they'd been waiting but it was only for about ten minutes or so. Batman was hardly ever late by much so he expected he would be arriving soon. He hoped he wouldn't intimidate his sidekick too much. After all, it was Wally who was doing him the favour. He'd been the one to request a meet up and Wally had, albeit reluctantly, agreed. However, underneath the impatience and the nervousness, Flash knew Kid Flash was excited. His first time meeting the Boy Wonder was certainly something of an occasion. Robin had gained the country's curiosity as he cartwheeled and flipped his way through various master-villains without as much as a bruise. Of course, Flash knew Batman would never let his sidekick fight if he knew he could not handle it so he must have trained him well. Or perhaps he was already trained, Flash didn't know.
"Ah, hello Bats," Flash greeted, smiling to the Caped Crusader.
Wally jumped slightly as the shadows seemed to part and a figure stepped forwards. They'd agreed to meet on the rooftop of an old comic store; the large buildings surrounding the smaller created shadows nearly everywhere so they were concealed well. Plus Barry thought it was slightly amusing that they'd chosen this place to meet but he doubted Batman saw the humour in it.
"Flash," he replied with a nod. His eyes flicked from Flash, to Kid Flash, and then back. Wally's eyes were fixed on his large form, slightly disbelieving. He wasn't as tall as Wally thought he would be but the aura of intimidation was certainly still there. "Kid Flash."
Wally was pulled from his thoughts as he gave Batman an almost hesitant smile. "Er, hi."
He was slightly puzzled by the fact that Robin was nowhere in sight but soon enough, a soft cackle was heard as a smaller form jumped down from a higher rooftop. He landed with elegance next to Batman. He was shorter than Wally and he guessed his age to be about ten or eleven; Wally was only thirteen but he was tall for his age anyway. Lean muscles coated his form and he was quite thin. He seemed less uptight than his mentor as he grinned to Wally and held out a hand.
"Hi, I'm Robin."
Wally took the hand, mirroring the grin. "Kid Flash."
The younger released his hand and turned to Batman. "The police got him and I think they said the trial won't last long," he informed him in a quiet voice. Batman gave a nod and turned to the Flash.
"Shall we be going? I believe their plan starts tonight," he asked. Wally sent a curious glance up to Flash, not quite understanding what the man was talking about.
"Sure. Kid, stay with Robin and do whatever. Fight some crime, take a tour of the city, have a night off, whatever. Just be back home by midnight, 'kay?" Kid Flash nodded and made a mental note to not to lose track of time. He didn't want to get shouted at by his mother again for not being home in time.
When he turned to ask Batman where they were going, he was surprised to find that he was gone, as if he'd vanished into thin air. Robin, however, seemed undeterred by his mentor's silent disappearance. He'd heard Flash take off and felt the gentle gust of wind he left in his trail.
Robin's masked eyes turned to him expectantly. Wally wondered momentarily how he was able to see. The domino mask had white eyes and Wally highly doubted Robin himself had white eyes. Perhaps it was merely an intelligent design from Batman. He'd seen some of his equipment in action and had dedicated quite a while to figuring out how the mechanics of his stuff worked. It was safe to say that he didn't get very far.
"So… What do you wanna do?"
Wally was going to reply with a small shrug when he realised that he was the guest here so he should probably make the decision. "How about a tour? I've never been here and I'm sure we can get around pretty easily with my speed and your… thing."
"Grappling hook?" Robin supplied. Kid nodded with a smile. "Sounds good." He plucked the instrument from his utility belt and looked up to the other. "Thanks for coming, by the way. I know Bats can be scary and stuff but I appreciate it."
"No problem," Kid Flash replied, slinging an arm around the younger's shoulders. "I've always wanted to meet a hero my age, anyway. Meeting all the big names gets a little overwhelming at times." Robin gave a light snicker at the word but didn't explain. "I'm glad I'm not the only kid."
"I know what you mean. I can't exactly express how hard it is maintaining decent grades and a good hero career to Superman, can I?"
Wally's jaw dropped. "You've met Superman?"
Had Robin's eyes been unmasked, Wally would've seen him roll them. "Come on. I know a place where we can get an amazing view."
AN: May or may not continue this. Thoughts?