My Father Is WHO?

By

AJ

Part 1

Dick Grayson was bored. The summer was winding down and school would be starting soon. Bruce had to go out of town and that meant if there were trouble, it would be up to Robin to resolve it. His Aunt Harriet was on her travels again, and that meant it was just he and Alfred.

"Master, Dick," Alfred stated, "Why don't you call a couple of your friends and have them join you. You could go swimming in the pool."

"My friends aren't home. I just tried them," Dick replied. "Have you been dusting down in the batcave?"

"Today is Friday. I usually dust the batcave on Thursdays," Alfred replied. "Today, I will be cleaning out the attic. Master Bruce has given me a list of items for the Charity Event at Wayne Foundation that will be in two weeks. I must see if I can find them."

"The attic?" Dick was intrigued. "I don't think I've even been to the attic. What's usually in an attic?"

"The attic is a place where family items are stored. For instance, our holiday decorations."

"Can I come with you?"

"Of course, Master Dick. You better change into something more suitable. It can be quite dusty up there."

Dick did as Alfred suggested, changing into a pair of old jeans and a t-shirt. They climbed the steps to the third floor of the mansion and walked down a long dark hallway. Dick noticed there were other doors along the hall as well.

"I don't think I've been up here," Dick said.

"These rooms are not used very much I'm afraid," Alfred explained. "They were once servants' quarters. When Master Bruce's parents were alive, they would hire extra help for when they would host a week-long event where guests would come out of town to stay at the manor."

"Why doesn't Bruce do something along that line?"

"You know very well why he does not," Alfred reminded Dick.

"Oh yeah, I forgot for a moment. That would make it difficult. Someone might find out about our secret."

"That is why Master Bruce only allows a few guests and only for a short period of time. Awe here we are. I have the key," Alfred said as he pulled out a key from his apron pocket. He opened the door and both boy and servant stepped into the large room.

Dick was amazed at the number of boxes and pieces of furniture that could be kept in one room. Right away he could see that some of the boxes were labeled, Christmas. There were other boxes with other labels some of them faded and covered with dust.

"So, what are we looking for?"

"I have a list of items. There are some clothes, some of the furniture can be used as well."

Dick pulled off a cloth that covered a painting. A face of a young man about Dick's age stared out at them, a face that remarkably looked like Dick. "Hey, this guy looks like me. I don't remember sitting for a picture like this."

"That is Bruce's grandfather when he was a boy," Alfred said, glancing at the painting, then glancing at Dick. 'Remarkable. He has the same eyes. In fact Dick has the same eyes as Bruce. I don't think I noticed that before. Even his face has that boyish charm. Quite odd.'

Dick left the painting uncovered, then walked around the boxes. Even so, his eyes kept returning to the painting intrigued.

"Over here, Master Richard, I believe I have found at least one item on Master Bruce's list."

Dick followed Alfred's voice and found him standing among another pile of boxes. He had opened one and found a fur coat of exquisite color and length. The coat was a rare white mink. "This belonged to Bruce's mother. It is time that it goes to someone who can enjoy it."

"It's beautiful."

Inside the box was a smaller wooden box. Dick pulled it out and opened it. There were several items inside, one being a broken necklace of pearls; some of them had dark stains on them.

"Oh dear," Alfred said. "I did not realize he kept those."

"What are they?"

"Those are the pearls that Bruce's mother was wearing the night . . ." Harsh memories played out in Alfred's mind. He remembered Bruce telling him that when the police came, they hadn't bothered picking up his mother's necklace. Bruce wouldn't let them leave until all the pearls had been gathered. It was all he had left of her.

Dick closed the lid on the small jewelry box and replaced it in its resting place. Thoughts of his own mother came to him, and he remembered being given his own keepsakes from his parents, an old pocket watch that his mother said came from his father, and a locket that his mother wore when she would perform. He knew just how Bruce would feel if those items were lost.

They looked around some more and found several household items, some glassware, another set of silverware, and a tea service that would do nicely for the auction. Then Dick uncovered an old desk. It was smaller than the one in Bruce's study. It looked similar to the one that Dick had in his room.

"Oh my, I did not know that Bruce had kept that old desk. Let me see, yes it is on the list. We better check to see if there is anything in the drawers that should be removed before hand. I will see if I can find a box while you empty the drawers."

"Sure," Dick answered.

Dick opened the drawers and started pulling out items. In one drawer he found pencils and old erasers. He started piling those on the desk. He checked another drawer, but it was empty. In a third drawer he found some old file folders. He reached in to pull them out when something small slipped to the floor. He picked it up and turned it over. It was an old photograph. Dick's eyes became wide when he recognized the two people in the photo. The man's arms were around the woman, and they were smiling. They were in front of a circus tent.

What was Bruce doing with a picture of him and his mother?

Continues with Part 2