Summary: The title says it all. (Okay…not quite all.)
Dicky Has Two Daddies
By Syl Francis
~ / ~ / ~
"But, Bruuuce!" Dick wailed. "She said I could call her Grandma Martha, and Alfred said it was okay, too!"
"It is okay, buddy. Now that Martha and Alfred are married, she's a member of our family." Bruce said patiently. "I know she loves you very much and wants to be your new grandmother."
"But if she's my new grandma, then she's your new mom…just like Alfred's your dad, even though you don't call him that, and I don't call you Dad if though you are and he is!"
Bruce sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. This discussion was just not going well. He reached for the distraught eight-year-old and pulled him next to him on the sofa. "Dicky, it's different for adults. Martha and Alfred got married and I'm very happy for them. I know that they love each other and they love us, too." He smiled down at the boy who was looking up him with is wide, deep-blue eyes. "But Martha isn't my mother…she's Clark's mother."
"I know she's Clark's mom, but she's my Grandma Martha, too. And if you're my new dad, then she has to be your mom, too, Bruce," Dick said with a shrug. "And Uncle Clark is your new brother!"
At Dicky's logical conclusion, Bruce could only stand up and hold both his hands out. "Oh, now, wait just a moment there, young man. No way on God's green Earth is that big blue Boy Scout any kind of a brother to me. We may be colleagues…friends even, but brothers? I don't think so—"
He was interrupted by a polite throat being cleared behind him. Bruce turned around to find Alfred standing at the door with a look of warning on his face.
"Sir, the Sunday brunch is laid out on the buffet. Martha and Master Kent are already waiting in the dining room." He addressed Dicky. "Master Richard, if you would please join your grandmother and uncle, Master Wayne and I will be there shortly."
"Okay, Alfred," Dicky said happily. He gave Bruce a quick hug, ran up to Alfred and hugged him, too, then hurried to the dining room where his new Grandma Martha and Uncle Clark were waiting.
As soon as the boy was out of earshot, Bruce to turned a thunderous expression to his former guardian and surrogate father.
"Alfred!" he hissed. "Surely, you're not going to indulge this—this—?"
"This need for your new son to create a new family? Master Bruce, you know as well as I that blood-ties do not necessarily make a family. You and I have been a family of two for more years than I either of us care to count. The addition of Master Richard increased this household to three. And now Martha and her son have made the numbers even greater. I love Martha, Bruce. She has brought something into my life and my heart that I never dared indulge myself with while you were growing up. But Clark is a part of Martha. I can't have one without the other. Just as she must accept that I have you and Richard. Like it or not, Master Bruce…we are all a family now." He frowned at Bruce's distasteful grimace. "Now, young man, you are going to march straight into that dining room and you're going to greet your son's new grandmother and uncle—your new stepmother and stepbrother—in a civil manner, and we are all going to have a wonderful, sit-down Sunday brunch… like any normal family."
"Whoever said we were normal?" Bruce muttered as he trudged out the door.
"I heard that."
~ / ~ / ~
As the family sat across the table and exchanged stories of their week, Bruce hid behind his morning newspaper. Alfred said to act like any normal family. Well, hiding behind his newspaper was his normal behavior each morning. As Bruce read, Clark's baritone droned in the background, describing a recent rescue following an earthquake on the other side of world. Apparently, a suspension bridge over a deep gorge had snapped a cable, and Superman had to evacuate a busload of children to safety.
"Were they scared?" Dick asked, impressed.
"Yes, but as soon as their ordeal was over, they were very brave and immediately started helping their fellow students."
"And what about Batman and Robin, Dicky?" Martha asked. "Why don't you tell your Uncle Clark about your adventures this past week?"
"We stopped Catwoman! She stole a valuable statue from the Gotham City Museum. It was of an Egyptian cat goddess." He rolled his eyes. "Anyway, we caught up to her about a mile from the break-in and recovered the stolen statue. Batman cuffed her, and I went to get the GCPD." He frowned. "But she got away."
Clark shot Bruce a knowing look. "Really? What happened, Dicky?"
Dicky shrugged. "I don't know. Batman said she gave him the slip." He screwed his face up in confusion. "It's funny, though."
Bruce had gone suddenly still and was listening.
"What's funny, sweetheart?" Martha asked.
"That's the second time this month that she got away after we caught her." He sighed and shrugged. "Boy…she sure is slippery."
Keeping a straight face, Clark nodded. "Yep…she sure sounds like she is. Maybe the next time, I could—"
"Not on your life," a deep growl said from behind the newspaper.
"But, Bruce…I only want to—"
"My city. Period." Bruce's hands were gripping the newspaper with so much force, it was wonder it wasn't torn in half.
"But, Bruce…we're family—"
"Don't. Go. There." The others heard a distinct tearing sound coming from the center of the paper.
"What kind of brother would I be—?"
"That does it, Kent!" Bruce began, slamming the newspaper down on the table. "You're not my broth—!" He stopped. A headline in the Lifestyle section had suddenly caught his eye. "What in the name of all that's holy?" As he spoke he stood slowly, picking the paper up. He read it slowly, as if in a daze. "No way…I'm going to kill him." He glared at Clark, a look he normally reserved for the lowest of the lowlifes that he took down each night. "I. Am. Going to kill you."
"Bruce?" By now, Dicky was standing at his elbow, looking up at him, frightened. "Bruce, why are you mad at Uncle Clark? You're not really gonna kill him, are you?" He felt hot tears threaten to spill. "I don't want to arrest you and send you to jail." He threw his arms around his adoptive father.
The boy's words broke through Bruce's black mood. He reached for the boy and picked him up. "Hey…Dicky, don't cry. I'm sorry…I didn't mean it." He glared across at his "brother" and murmured, "Much." Knowing that Clark's super-hearing would pick up his words. His super-stepbrother swallowed his fear and quickly took a deep gulp of water.
"Bruce, what is it?" Clark asked. "What did I do?"
Bruce tossed him the Lifestyle section. "Front page. Above the fold. Banner headline."
Clark, Martha, and Alfred all took in the headline in momentary stunned silence, which was soon broken by Martha. She choked at first, and then just gave up and began laughing out loud, holding her sides as if they hurt. She collapsed in her seat, unable to remain standing. Alfred was bit more reserved, but even he looked on with helpless amusement at Bruce's wrath and Clark's deep embarrassment.
"I swear, I had nothing to do with this, Bruce!" Clark said.
Glowering, Bruce nodded tiredly. "Yeah… I know." He shook his head, still holding onto Dick. The boy had both arms around his dad's neck and was resting his head on his shoulder. Bruce read the headline and byline out loud. "'Dicky Grayson's Two Daddies? Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent Step out with Wayne's Adopted Son'," by Vicki Vale." Bruce shook his head in annoyance. "She's still mad that I didn't escort her to the Wayne Foundation Children's Hospital annual fundraiser. This is her way of getting even."
"That photo was taken outside the church following Ma and Alfred's wedding ceremony," Clark said, his cheeks flushing in anger. "That sort of thing is supposed to be sacred."
Bruce gave Clark a wry look. "This isn't Smallville, farm boy. It's not even Metropolis. This is Gotham City where even the sharks are afraid to take a swim."
"Oh? Well, I may not be from Gotham, but I am a newspaper reporter… and if your girlfriend thinks she's gonna use me and Dicky to get back at you, she's got another think coming." Clark stood and nodded at his mother and Alfred.
"Alfred, Ma… as always the meal was excellent." He bent down and kissed his mother on the cheek. Straightening, he matched Bruce's glare for glare. "Nobody uses my nephew and my brother for their own personal vendetta." With that the mild mannered, award-winning writer disappeared in a blur and was replaced by his super alter ego. "I have a rebuttal to write." Winking at his family, he added. "Be sure to pick up tomorrow's Daily Planet."
"Goodbye, Uncle Clark!" Dicky called, waving at Superman as he flew off and disappeared into the clear, blue sky. "Bruce, what does the story mean by 'Two Daddies'? It's silly. You're my dad and Uncle Clark is my new uncle."
"You're right, Dicky. It is silly. And I think that your Uncle Clark is going to show everyone just how silly it really is."
"He's an award-winning writer—did you know?" Dicky asked. He signaled to Bruce to let him down.
"Yes, son. I knew."
"He broke the story on Intergang last year and won a Kerth. Did you know?"
"Yes…I knew." Bruce was trying very hard to show his annoyance at Dicky's hero worship.
As Bruce began walking toward the sanctuary of his Cave, his son tagged after him, bombarding Bruce with one factoid after another about his new uncle.
Smiling, Alfred reached across the table and placed his hand gently over that of his new bride. "Wouldn't you agree that our boys are coming along just fine?" he asked.
Martha returned his smile a bit indulgently. She leaned and across pecked him on cheek. "Yes, I do."
Privately, she added that Jonathon would have approved.
~ / ~ / ~
Disclaimer: All the characters are owned by DC Comics and Time/Warner; this is an original story that does not intend to infringe on their copyright. Feedback is welcome!
Copyright February 2013