Wayne Manor, Gotham
Bruce glared at the small stack sitting before him.
Bruce Wayne cherished few things; five to be exact.
One, a good cup of coffee. Any buffoon could make something and call it coffee, but only someone with true character for perfection and hand for the art can make a coffee blend that makes your taste buds sore and sigh with content.
Two, justice for those of the deserving. Not for everyone, just those who deserve it. It's not something you just hand out on a whim, it's something you strive for, that you work hard for. It shows true colors, builds who you are. Be it bad or good.
Three, darkness. It hides you when you want to be hidden, but it doesn't hide what, or who, you are. Darkness is truth, and Bruce takes pride in the fact is a linguist when it comes to the dialect of truth and darkness.
Four, the gold pocket watch left to him by his late father. It was supposed to be given to him by said father when he graduated college, Gotham State Academy has housed the graduates of five Wayne generations, and was to symbolize his becoming a man in his father's eyes.
And lastly, but most certainly not least, is the newest addition to Bruce's very limited list of cherished things. Richard, Dick, John Grayson, nine year old ward of said Wayne. Bruce's favorite pass time and vacation spot is held in the cerulean gaze of pure adoration and innocence held for the man who holds this list so close to his heart.
But no where, no where on said list is it stated Bruce Thomas Wayne particularly enjoys receiving letters written on pink parceled paper with purple ink confessing their undying love sitting atop his Wayne family mahogany desk.
Thirty two were delivered to his house, Bruce didn't even want to imagine how many he would find sitting around his office. For the past seven years, he had always made it a point to miss work on Valentines Day. Not worth the risk.
Bruce was busy clumping all the unopened documents into his hands he barely noticed the door open. He expected it to be Alfred, whom he had just recently sent to retrieve a trash bag to throw the papers into (but now that he thought about it, burning would be faster).
"What're you doing?" a tiny voice asked.
Bruce didn't bother to turn his head up, rather just allow his gaze to drift up and let the boy giggle at the sight of the billionaire's slightly raised eyebrows.
The child stood before him at the front of his desk, his arms crossed and face gently rested atop them. Dick barely reached the height of the massive thing, lightly elevating himself so as to be more level. Bruce slowly sat back to his full stature, tapping the stack against the surface to force the papers into a neater stack to destroy.
"Just taking out the trash, chum." Bruce replied.
Dick made a small noise of understanding as he rocked himself on the balls of his feet back and forth.
Bruce smirked. "You need something?"
The boy said nothing for a moment, and Bruce just went back to his previous task before he heard the high pitched voice quietly ask, "Did you get Valentines letter too?"
Bruce raised his eye brow at his son who was suddenly looking at something under the edge of the desk, a gentle mask of pick dusting his childish cheeks.
"Just the usual," Bruce informed. "You?"
Dick's face tightened in embarrassment. "Some girls gave me some at school."
Dick only nodded.
Bruce almost chuckled at the boy's demeanor. He may be the Dark Knight of Gotham, but there were moments like these where Dick would just be so adorable he wanted to just pull him into his arms and keep him nine, almost ten, years old forever.
"Well that's nice." Dick made another face. "Or not."
"Valentines Day is for when you love someone, right?" Dick stated more then asked. "But some of these girls I've never even talked to before. How can you give love to a complete stranger?"
Oh, Dickey. Please stop. You're killing me. Bruce moaned internally.
"Yes, I guess you could say that. But maybe they don't love you, they just have a little crush on you." Bruce said as he stood up from his chair.
"I mean, that makes since, I guess..." Dick mumbled.
Bruce grinned as he crouched to be eye level with his son.
"Did you make anyone a Valentines?" Bruce asked, placing his hands gently on his shoulders. "Got anyone special in mind?"
Dick's eyes momentarily flickered up to meet his before they darted back to the ground.
"I made one." He said softly.
"Yeah? Someone at school winning your heart already?"
Please say no, I'd rather deal with a girlfriend when you're a little older. Maybe when you're more around the age of 24. I want to keep you to myself a little while longer.
Dick finally turned his full attention to his father, only to give him a small grimace. "Not exactly."
Bruce chuckled and stood, leading the boy out of his office by a gentle nudge of the shoulder.
"Well whoever it was is lucky to have such a committed admirer." Bruce smiled down at him. "Now come on, we've got a meeting to go to and I'd rather not have Clark bombard me with more accusations of being late again."
Batman pulled the batmobile into the cave around eleven o' clock at night, making it an earlier night then usual. With a quiet night of two robberies and an attempted rape, Batman decided it best to head home when Robin almost fell off a gargoyle from falling asleep for a few minutes.
Batman walked over to the other side of the car to gently pull out the tiny bundle wrapped in the black cape of his mentor. His forehead pressed against Batman's neck as the boy squirmed into a more comfortable position, never waking as he snuggled into the strong chest that held him.
Batman lightly set him up in the chair before the batcomputer, sitting him up to have better access to the sleeping child. The Dark Knight slowly peeled off the domino mask to reveal closed eyes and wind blown cheeks. Batman carried him back to the changing area to pull on the child's pajamas. After replacing the cape for a spare blanket kept downstairs for this very situation, Batman placed the sleeping child atop the examination table.
A quick shower and costume change later, Bruce was pulling his son back into his arms and carrying him up to his room. The elephant night light glowed dimly in the wall beside his queen sized bed, casting a shadow over the sleeping angel's face.
"Night, chum." Bruce whispered, kissing the boy's black locks.
"Master Richard seems to be thoroughly exhausted after tonight's occurrences." Alfred commented when Bruce walked into the kitchen moments later.
"I think I need to limit his week day patrols more." Bruce sighed.
"Good luck trying to explain that to the boy."
Bruce only grunted in response.
"While you were out I took the liberty of disposing of the letters you wished burned."
"Of course, Master Bruce," Alfred gave him a mischievous look. "But I noticed one in particular you might want to see for yourself."
Bruce groaned. "Come one, Alfred. You know all those letters say the exact same thing they have since I was eleven."
Alfred only grinned. "Of course, Master Bruce, but I implore you to see the letter that I left on your desk."
Bruce watched the older man walk out of the room without another word. Bruce knew he shouldn't let his curiousness get the better of him, but in the end the questioning feeling won. Bruce walked back to his office, quietly opening the door and going over to the Wayne family desk.
As his butler had said, there was in deed a letter sitting neatly in front of his chair, waiting to be read. Bruce reached for the crisp white paper, unfolding the crease to see neat but childish hand writing scrawled across the paper.
I know these things are supposed to be for girls and all that, but really there's no one else I wanted to give a letter to. I just wanted to tell you that I'm very grateful for everything you've done for me in the last year. You've been so nice and you didn't have to take me in but you did anyway. So thanks. Also for the other thing you gave me, but I probably shouldn't put on paper if someone else sees it. Unless you burn this, then I guess it wouldn't really matter, huh? Plus, knowing you, you'd keep it for yourself and not show it to ANYONE. Anyway, whatever you're gonna do, I just really want you to know, thank you for everything. And I love you. Not in the Valentines Day kinda way, but the other way.
Bruce's mouth hung agape for the first ten minutes after he had reread the letter at least six times. Had this been there all day? How could he have missed it? Could he really have clumped his child's letter to him in with the other pathetic attempts at his affection, when no one other then Dick would ever receive it and already has?
Bruce read through it once more before he gently folded it back along the crease and placed it in the top drawer of his desk.
He sat back, and didn't move for a very long time. Then, he smiled. Not to anyone or because of anything. But because his little bird said he loved him, and not in the Valentines way, but in the daddy way. And no one else in the world was going to get that love from his son other then him.
So, yes I have ANOTHER new story. I know, what am I doing? But this one will hopefully be a little easier to handle, and it will at least give you guys one story with a monthly update rather then the sporadic updates for Trials Of A Parent and Those Baby Blues. So, this is a monthly story so one for each month, but as you can see this says February, but it's March. I didn't have a chance to publish this until now so lets all just pretend this got out in February for the sake of chapters. Just means ya'll get two in March! Whoot! So, I'm hoping I'll have march up on Dick's birthday, but really, who knows. This story also goes where each chapter is the next year, except for the next chapter which really takes place a month later since he will be turning ten in the next chapter. So, by the end Dick should be 20.
And this is part of my The Times Of Fatherhood series. It's basically a series of a bunch of fatherly stories that are made up of categories that have nothing to do with each other. The other installation I'm working on is my Percy Jackson and Poseidon version that will be called Years In A Lifetime. I only have Batman and PJatO in the series right now, but I am open to suggestions for categories for any stories you guys want to see. So if you think of any cute father/son (maybe daughter) series you guys wanna see. Hit me up with suggestions and I'll let you know if I know about it. I'm playing with the possibility of Death the Kid and Death from Soul Eater, but IDK right now.
Thanks for reading and keeping up with my many stories and crazy writing schedule! Less then three!