Dr. Leslie Thompson has been called by Alfred late at night for many reasons. Bone fractures, near brain damage, internal bleeding. Never in her life would she think, or bet, that she would be called for a personal matter. Nor would she expect to find an infant tucked protectively against his chest like a mother hen.
Leslie had been friends with the Wayne's since meeting Martha in primary school, the petite red head having just transferred into Miss Yannick's biology class. Leslie was shocked at how despite her intellectual abilities slightly lacking, the girl could charm teachers and students alike; including herself, while she argued against it. Leslie fought the attraction at first, but soon she found herself helping in the labs and tutoring in the library. As they progressed through education and through their friendship, Thomas soon made his appearance into their lives. Before marrying, Martha and Thomas became the news of the aristocracy of Gotham, arriving arm in arm at balls and theme parks alike.
She still remembered the day when Martha came bounding into her clinic, back from visiting Thomas in Thailand where he was treating a group of malnourished children. With her pleated chiffon and fake furs, as Martha didn't believe in animal cruelty, she pulled her friend from her chair and happily announced she had news to share. Martha was always one to exaggerate, Leslie knew, meaning a less the excited doctor who was lacking many hours of sleep. This, however, was appropriate.
Little did the Gotham public know was that Martha Wayne was pregnant two months before taking the Wayne name. Leslie was first to know, Martha having figured out just before leaving Thailand and wanting to surprise Thomas when he was back in the states.
"He'll be back a month before the wedding," Martha laughed at Leslie's questioning brow. "That's enough time for him to know."
"Martha," Leslie scolded. "He's your husband-"
"Oh come now, Les. I'm not a Wayne yet. 'Sides," Martha winked. "Thomas should know better then to get me plump after having all my fittings finished."
Thomas had been ecstatic, as Leslie had known he would. After missioning his skills in many different countries and volunteering his services at Leslie's newly opened clinic, Thomas had hinted on more then one occasion at having a family. They waited a month after the wedding to announce the pregnancy, and with Martha's petite figure it was believable with her lack of bump.
As the weeks built up, Thomas was anything but patient. Though he never said so, it was obvious he was expecting, praying for a son. He would love his child wither way, but he had told Leslie on many occasions his fears.
"Will I have to learn how to braid hair, or will Martha always handle that?"
"Do girls like baseball?"
"Does that mean she'll completely hate going to Saturday games?"
"Les, will this mean more money going into the shopping budget?"
"Thomas?" Leslie had finally answered.
"No matter what gender your demon offspring is, he will have you as a father and that alone will bring upon itself its own problems."
Lucky for Thomas, the sonogram revealed a boy; even God knew Bruce would never survive as a female. As soon as the question was answered, presents were bought. Clothes, shoes, toys, even necessities that wouldn't be needed into the child's teen years. The nursery that had been used for Thomas as an infant was expanded. Walls were repainted and new furniture decorated the young environment.
On February 19th, 7:30 AM at Gotham National Hospital, seven pounds and six ounces, sixteen and a half inches. A normal, healthy and substantially wealthy child. Not to mentioned spoiled as hell.
The years went by and the boy grew older, bringing along youthful sass.
Leslie felt a vain in the back of her eye twitch. She gave the three year old a scowl as she tried to bring the thermometer back towards his mouth.
"Bruce, I need to take your temperature. It's very important."
"Bruce!" Martha exclaimed, smacking Thomas's arm as he gave a smuggled chuckle.
"No!" He whined to his mother.
"Don't try me, boy." Leslie warned.
"Fine, have it your way." Leslie firmly grasped the boy's jaw in her hand and squeezed the hinges until his mouth popped open. Bruce gave a shocked gasp and wriggled around as Leslie clamped his mouth shut around the glass stick.
"Mm huhh." He said through sealed lips.
"Excuse me?" Leslie questioned as she retracted the instrument, letting a smug smirk painting her face.
Arrogant and stubborn as the boy was, no one deserved what he went through. The night Martha and Thomas were murdered was a night she'll never forget. At two o' clock in the morning, Leslie received a phone call saying she was needed at the Gotham Police Department right away. She didn't know what she had expected, but seeing nine year old Bruce Wayne curled in a ball with a jacket three sizes too big wrapped around his shoulders was not on the top of her list. Alfred was in the lead detectives office and for the first time in her years of knowing the english man, she witnessed his temper get the best of him as he waved his hands in anger at the man behind the desk.
Bruce had been placed in the corner where bustling cops could keep an eye on him while they ran around the department during the midnight rush. When Leslie approached him he didn't even acknowledge his presence. He only watched Alfred through the window. He flinched away when she touched his shoulder, almost bruising her wrist with the grip he had. She made sure he calmed down before looking him over for injuries.
Leslie looked up at the young boy who stared absently towards her prodding hands.
She usually never used nicknames or pet names, but somehow it just slipped out.
"Mom and dad," He chocked. "They got shot."
Leslie knelt before him, looking deep into his dark eyes. "Bruce,"
"He wanted dad's money, or maybe it was mom's pearls." Bruce's mouth twisted into a pinched grimace, the face he got whenever she tried to check his temperature. "I don't . . . remember."
Leslie gently squeezed his knee. "That's okay, you don't have to remember."
"Yes I do!" He exclaimed suddenly.
Before Leslie could reply to his outburst, Bruce leaned closer, tears brimming the edges of his eyes.
"That was the last time I was-" He stopped to suck back the words down his throat along with his tears. "I'll never see them again. I have to remember."
Leslie blinked, nodded her understanding, but as the child slowly sat straighter and turned back to the window, those were the most horrific words she had ever heard.
She helped Alfred through Bruce's teen years, helped push him to achieving a college degree. After graduating Bruce dropped off the earth. She never heard from him until he returned from his world travels for what he called a "long overdo checkup". Smart ass.
When Batman had first appeared she thought nothing of it; then the house calls started. She argued with Bruce after she found out, making him leaver her in the dark about a lot of things he did during his trips into the Gotham night life.
She accepted it it her own way, knowing if she didn't get over herself at some point he would split an artery or sleep with a concussion. Soon it became part of their every day life and routine. Years passed without any changes or anyone she knew closely getting murdered in an ally.
She knew it wouldn't last, he was Bruce Wayne, the devil spawn of Thomas Wayne and silent trouble maker like Martha. She'd hoped he would surprise her by saying he was settling down. She'd surely slap the hell out of him for that one and for that poor girl he would rope in.
A baby, however, had never once crossed her mind.
"Whose child is that?" She asked.
Alfred was hanging her coat by the door, silently watching his charge's surrogate mother take in the situation.
"His name is Richard." Bruce answered in an evasive tone.
He had been pacing the room for the last hour, waiting for Lucius and Leslie to show up. He'd hoped Lucius would haul ass and get there first, knowing how to talk to a man and explain to a business man. He knew Leslie would most likely be at the clinic, still awake and trying to treat patients showing up at three in the morning. He knew she would show up first, but with her finally here he started regretting calling her in the first place.
Leslie stood there with her arms crossed and her hip cocked just slightly left; her "you better have an explanation" look.
He understood her shock, or whatever she was feeling. Since Alfred had left to call his two close associates, Richard had fallen asleep in his newly accepted father's arms. With the infant finally no longer clawing at him, Bruce had paced his entire living room 208 times. Through the movements he had unconsciously started bouncing the child softly in his arms. He had adjusted the child's blanket five times, changed his position three times, sat down at one point and maybe checked for a heartbeat once or twice.
Babies were new to him, he didn't know anything about being a parent. This child was going to die on his watch, he just knew it. He needed help, and that's why he was secretly glad it was Leslie who came first.
"That wasn't my question, Bruce." She snapped. "Whose child?"
Bruce didn't answer, deciding to walk over to the window and look up at the moon. It was almost fully out of the sky, hiding under the cover of the trees and away from the newly orange sky.
"Did you find him tonight? On the street? Did you decide to save some dumpster child whose mother left him to nature?"
"No!" Bruce exclaimed in shock and sudden fury.
What was she saying? He had never heard Leslie talk like this. How could she decide to say these things about his son?
That was going to take some getting used to.
Looking down at the slightly a gape mouth and unblinking eyes, he knew he was already used to it.
"Then where did this child come from? I know he didn't just appear from nowhere, unless you forgot to tell me you missed you cycle."
Bruce silently glowered at her from the corner of his gaze. She was always so dramatic.
Now it was time to make her explode.
Please, he silently prayed as his fingers slightly brushed against the infant's exposed arm. Don't wake him up.
He had hoped that would quiet her down for a moment, just allow him to ensure the infants slumber, but knowing Leslie, he should have known better.
"Like hell, Bruce. It takes two to tango."
Bruce irritatedly looked to the ceiling.
"Victoria." He answered bluntly. "She dropped him off a few hours ago."
That stopped her for a moment.
"Why would she-"
"I don't know," Bruce felt the bundle in his arms shift for more comfort. He slowly adjusted the child to face his shoulder and allow his father to rub gentle fingers along his fleshy back. "And I don't care."
"Bruce, have you ever taken care of a child?" Leslie asked sternly.
"Of course not."
Leslie watched the billionaire bounce softly to help the wriggling human in his hands fall back to sleep. A white dish towel was thrown over his shoulder, protecting the pristine shirt underneath. He looked ridiculous, as well as exhausted. Even if he did have the experience, the environment he surrounded himself in was no place for a growing child, and she told him as much.
"Leslie, I haven't even had Richard for twelve hours yet. You really think I was expecting something like this?" Bruce snapped. "You know as well as anyone that I never expected or wanted to bring a woman, child or family into my life."
The tension in the atmosphere and Bruce's shoulders were uncomfortable for Richard, who cried out for parental attention from the only person he knew could give it to him. Bruce turned his scowl to one of momentary shock. Moving Richard back to his previous position on his back, Bruce cooed and shushed the infant knowingly; having gained experience from the last few hours. The doctor watched Bruce bring the baby almost face to face, giving stubby arms better access to facial feature. Cries and whines became soft whimpers which turned to throaty gurgles when his fingers were clasped, squeezed and caressed with split lips.
Richard's gaze was consumed with manly attributes, a strong jaw, narrow nose, soft cheekbones, and faded bruises. Why had he been crying again? He had his protection and comfort right here, full attention.
"Bruce," Leslie started.
"No Leslie, listen." Bruce sadly tore his face and lips from smooth fingers, opening up a new onslaught of cries. "I know I said I never wanted a family and I have never opened myself to anyone, but this is different. He needs me."
Leslie wanted to give in, she wanted to believe Bruce was going to give himself to this child one hundred percent. With Bruce, though, you could never know. What if he changed his mind? What about that poor child?
She needed proof.
"No more explaining until Lucius gets here, I don't want to have to hear the whole story twice."
Wow, this took forever. I am so sorry! I have been working on this chapter on and off for weeks. As soon as I'd start it I'd have to leave and do other stuff and then I got busy...It's been a while. Sorry. The problem is I usually only write at night, but I get tired and other stuff happens. Anyway, I didn't really know how to approach this chapter, and I wished it had been longer but I really wanted to get a new chapter up for you guys. I need to get the next Months In A Year chapter up and I have an idea for Trials Of A Parent. But I wanna focus on this story so I can get it going and set the setting up. UGH!
Another thing, I wanted ya'll's opinion on this story. I'm thinking this will be a chronological story about Bruce/Dick being father/son and kind of about Victoria and then I would have another story or one shots about cute fluff moments between the years. I don't know what I'd call the series yet, but suggestions are welcome :) I'm hoping to have another chapter up soon but...
PS, I'm having Bruce call Dick Richard because he just met him, but soon he'll give him the nickname!
Please comment and enjoy, less then three!