Gotham City, 2:43 PM
Early June, four years ago
Bruce internally flinched as the loud claps and occasional cheers rang through his ears. Physically, Bruce Wayne smiled as three cameras and two reporters for Gotham News snapped him shaking hands with the Mayor after cutting the ribbon to the newly developed the Martha Wayne Academy of Art.
Three years previously a fire had burned the previous Gotham Academy of the Arts. Wayne Enterprises, being so generous when it came to the community, sponsored the rebuilding of the college. And of course, Bruce, not only being the company's CEO but his mother's name also decorated the plaque above the front doors.
In his early years of adulthood, Thomas Wayne had attended a painting class at the very academy that had been reduced to rubble. Joining a beginners painting class, Thomas caught the first glance of Martha Kane, the class instructor. Martha had been the head painting teacher, Mr. Hemming's best student and took over two of his six painting classes. After discovering Thomas had no talent in the art world, Thomas and Martha began their romantic relationship. Many of Martha's paintings created at the school had received rewards and later donated to the LeFrange Art Gallery, which was owned by a close family friend of the Wayne family.
When Bruce personally informed Hemmings, the headmaster of seventeen years, of the plans for rebuilding he had specifically requested the the school be renamed in his mother's honor.
Bruce's eye twitched for the third time in the last six minutes, prompting a sharp pinch to the bridge of his nose. How had he allowed for Lucius talk him into this again?
As happy as he was about the rebuilding of a school his parents had attended, he did not see why it was so important he be the one to unveil the building. Bruce knew he was being more brutish then normal, this was an important investment that drew him that much closer to the parents that had vanished so long ago, but when you are a part time multi-billionaire and full time vigilante who happens to be running on three days of no sleep it hard to keep your moods high.
Bruce sighed once again, swiftly grabbing a glass of champagne from a passing caterer. It wasn't a fancy outing, especially compared to all the fancy outings Bruce has seen in his life, but not one to be called a casual gathering.
Professors, donors, potential students all mingled happily in the cool summer atmosphere, bathing in the sunlight. Wooden pavilions offered shade for those who would prefer their makeup not to run, which is where the Wayne monarch had decided to locate himself.
Bruce idly pulled at his tie, silently cursing his butler when the air suddenly started to feel too stuffy for his more isolated tastes. He stole a glance at his gold wrist watch, a keepsake of his fathers, to see it was only just past three thirty. The event didn't technically end until five, but maybe he could convince Alfred to pick him up early.
That's when he felt the slight tug at his suit sleeve.
The sight that met him was one he didn't know to laugh at or step back in surprise. A young woman with deep red hair stared up at him with wide blue eyes that were protected by thick rimmed glasses that would normally be seen on a man in his seventies. She pulled them off, Bruce noted as her clear, pale skin turned slightly pink under his gaze; and most likely not from the sun. Unlike the other guests who chose to dress semi-casual, this girl wore tight fitting pants that were decorated with different colored paint stains and a few hand prints here and there. Her Led Zeppelin shirt was just slightly a size to big, but the tares around the sleeves and collar and worn color showed she wore it often. Obviously this woman had something to do with the school's re-opening, but judging by her attire and young age he could only assume she was a student.
"Mr. Wayne?" She asked, her voice a slightly huskier sound then he would expect to see from a petite girl her size.
She came just barely up past his chin, causing him to have to gently tilt his face so as to look into her blue irises.
She smiled a broad grin, showing off a dimple under her right cheek, but not the left one, looking as if for a moment she had believed she had grabbed the wrong man.
"I just wanted to thank you," She paused, but soon flustered over her broad statement. "For opening the school, I mean."
Bruce felt the corner of his mouth twitch, he was certain that muscle had stopped working the night on Crime Alley. "Well I should hope so, I would rather not do any more social event activities today."
For a moment her face went blank with confusion, but just as soon as it had came it was replaced with the same smile she had previously worn. Bruce watched the tops of her cheeks pull up to reveal perfectly white teeth and also expose the faintest hint of a freckle under her left eye.
"May I ask from whom am I receiving thanks from?" Bruce asked, letting a light tone of playful sarcasm leak its way into his words.
The girl blinked at him for a moment, suddenly realizing she hadn't properly introduced herself! Her father had taught her better manners then this, she scolded herself, don't forget because of the breathtaking man standing less then a foot away.
"Of course!" She took a small step back to allow enough room to out stretch her arm towards the man standing in front of her. "The name's Victoria McGreggor."
Bruce took a moment to stare at her small, dainty fingers that had the sign of paint under the nails. "Bruce Wayne."
She let out a throaty laugh as they released one anothers hands. "Oh, I know who you are."
Bruce allowed himself to give her a small smile. "Well, it is very nice to meet you Ms. McGreggor."
"Oh, God, please," She quickly rushed out. "Just Victoria. Ms. McGreggor is what they call my aunt Annabella, and she's been divorced three times and lives alone with her two cats."
Bruce stood still, looking at her with slight shock, but suddenly a hearty laugh pushed its way from his throat and causing a few heads to turn at the sight of Gotham's playboy laughing uncontrollably.
"Uh, did I..."
"No, no, I'm sorry Victoria," Bruce finally said once he caught his breath. "That was just not the response I had been expecting."
Her unsure expression quickly changed back into one of enjoyment.
Bruce subconsciously decided he would be able to survive another hour or two.
Gotham City, 8:04 PM
LeFrange Art Gallery
September 21, four years later
Bruce stared at the light pastel painting, lovingly named "Mother's Little Boy", of a young child running to a lonely swing beside a shining lake. His eyes traced every brush strokes knowingly, seeing the paint brush faintly make its way across the canvas with the light demand to stay sill plays in the back of his mind.
The billionaire turned to see an older man make his way to him, dressed in a dark suit and light shade of purple popping from his tie.
"George." Bruce greeted the gallery owner with a stern shake of the hand. "Good to see you."
"I could say the same for you, boy." The man laughed. "How long's it been? Two years?"
"No, couldn't be more then a year. You must be losing your memory with your age."
"Ha, you wish." George LeFrange barked.
Bruce smiled at his parent's old friend. It had been too long since he had last seen LeFrange, Bruce silently admitted. Bruce didn't know if it was because of his work overload that came with handling two jobs or the fact that George always seemed to remind him of his late father.
"So, you here for the art showing?" LeFrange asked.
"Yes," Bruce answered, slowly placing his hands in his pockets. "Lucius thought it was high time I got out of the office and go to an outing that required a date."
"Is that right?" George chuckled. "Sounds just like Lucius. Didn't see you come in with anyone else, though."
"She canceled last minute." Bruce confessed. "Dancer. Her understudy got sick, so she couldn't use her night off pass."
Bruce merely shrugged, slightly turning to catch another glance at the painting hanging on the wall behind them.
"No matter how many paintings I get coming in here," George spoke from beside him. "None will ever be as amazing as your mother's artwork."
Bruce felt a soft smile pinch his mouth.
"Well, if you're done hiding from the rest of society I would implore you to go and see the show." George said, turning to go back into the show room to see to his guests. "They say the artist is one hell of a gal."
Bruce stayed a few moments longer, recommitting his mother's painting to memory before turning to go and join the party.
The show room was the largest room in the gallery (other then the basement) and was furnished with nothing but the artwork decorating the white walls and the cool hardwood floors. Bruce took an offered glass of wine from the nearest caterer and made his way to the closest painting.
The city was nestled in a dark twilight, buildings discerned by their darker shade and the skyline dotted with white stars. The slight hint of a dark figure sat on the closest building, watching over the painted city before him.
"I call it The Protector."
Bruce turned to meet those oh so blue eyes that held a tone of laughter, no longer hidden behind a barrier of glass. Bright red locks were pinned professionally into a bun at the back of her neck. Her black dress squeezed out every curve of her body, much different then the baggy clothing she had previously decided to wear, coming to just above her knees and giving a wide range of her collar bone. Red lips upturned to reveal the hidden dimple and freckle.
They stared at one another for a few moments before he replied in a voice not quite a whisper, but softer then he had previously been speaking.
"It's good to see you."
Her smile widened. "I wasn't sure you would remember me." She admitted.
He smirked. "I didn't at first, seeing as you dressed for the occasion."
She opened her face in shocked enjoyment, but quickly closed it. "Well seeing as we only spoke for an hour, what should I expect?"
"You don't give me nearly the credit I deserve." He told her. "I remember very much of our conversation."
"Oh?" She questioned, slightly switching her weight onto her right leg, crossing her arms.
He smirked once again, the challenge accepted. He too crossed his arms as he stood straighter.
"Your a first generation American in your family, your father and mother both immigrating from Scotland. You only like strawberry flavored ice cream, all the others taste too much like one another. You took gymnastics all through your childhood and into high school. Your a dog person, your favorite color is aquamarine, your a Virgo and you are a painting instructor at the MW Academy of Art."
Bruce admittedly, only in his mind, had misjudged the being a student of the academy. Four years ago Victoria would have been staring her first year of teaching painting.
She smiled, as if expecting him to remember the small facts of her life.
"Impressive. I would do the same, but sadly you gave me little information of yourself other then your name."
His smile faded slightly, turning to look back into the room that held his mother's painting, then towards the exit.
Sensing the shift in the mood, Victoria folded her hands in front of her and gave him another hopeful smile.
"So what brings you here? There's no charity event needing any donors anywhere in the Gallery is there?"
He gave her a small smile. He look around the room, seeming to take in every painting in two seconds.
"I received a ticket from a friend. He said it was supposed to be the best art show of the year."
He didn't have to look at her to see the pale skin of her neck and cheeks turn a darker shade.
"Seeing as I only like the best of anything I knew I couldn't miss the opportunity." Bruce smirked.
They stood in another silence, this time one less awkward, just listening to the sound of men chatting about the painting the were observing and the clack of women's heels against the floor.
Victoria finally decided to break the silence.
"I saw your mother's paintings." She admitted.
She watched his face closely, waiting for that closed off look to return once more, but only saw a look of remembrance quietly spread across his masculine features.
He nodded slowly, seeming to not fully hear her compliment. He reached up to finger the collar of his tie irritatedly, just as he had that day four years ago.
She smiled, clearly seeing his discomfort.
"Hey," She said suddenly, grabbing hold of his suit sleeve. "You wanna get out of here?"
He looked at her as if her hair had turned a more ghastly color then it already was.
"Leave. You and me." She confirmed. "It's kinda stuffy in here."
He opened his mouth, but just as suddenly closed it. He looked around the room as if trying to see if anyone was listening to their conversation, before turning his dark eyed gaze onto her.
"Victoria, you can't just leave your own show."
"Sure I can!" She argued as she placed her unoccupied hand on her hip stubbornly. "Come on, lets go grab a beer. I'll pay!"
He looked into those bright blue eyes, then at those dainty fingers holding the dark fabric of his very expensive suit, then back at her begging gaze.
He sighed, but a smile decorated his face.
"Alright, but I don't want to hear any of those silly excuses that you forgot your wallet when you don't have any money."
So this is my new story I decided to write about if Bruce had been Dick's biological father. It's an idea that has been rattling around my head for months and when I had an opening to write tonight, instead of writing the next chapter for Trials like I should, I did the prologue for this story! I hope I'll be able to update soon, but seeing as I have TWO stories now I have no idea, but don't give up hope!
So, in these chapters I don't think it will be a chronological story. the first few chapters will be when Bruce receives Dick (HINT!) and his dealing with having a son. This story will probably be a few one shots here and there and then a few mini stories included somewhere in there :) I'm also thinking of doing a few chapters later of Bruce and Victoria getting to know each other, dating, and the whole them breaking up and her leaving and Bruce being a single daddy process, because I really like writing Victoria's character. (yes, this is one of those stories, because no matter how much I like a character, no one interferes with my daddybats!)
Please leave comments of what you think and any story ideas are welcome!
Thanks guys, less then three 3