Title: Lasting Joke
Word count: about 1,526 words (it's a short story this time).
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters and I write completely for fun and not for profit, as it will probably always be!
Beta:The loverly youngjusticefanatic. Thank you!
Summary: Dick is covered with scars from the villains of Gotham. A couple gun shots, a lot of knife wounds, the most obvious is the large J carved into his back left by the Joker himself. Dick is usually good at covering them up, until someone catches him changing after gym class.
AN: This a request story for greekfreak101 who asked for, "You know how Joker carved a J into Robin's back? Well, what if at Gotham Academy in the gym locker room, as they were changing, some boys saw it?"
I don't think this is exactly what you asked for, but it's what I came up with. In my head, Dick would be able to cover it up his scars. Experience it both on and off the field, and having to make up excuses for other injuries, he has the expertise to keep his cool.
GO TAKE MY POLL! It's exactly like the other one, just with some more options! Please and thank you!
P.S. This is the end of the story, it is only a one-shot.
Dick trailed behind the rest of the class, following the boys into their locker room while the girls wandered across the gym to their own changing rooms. The locker room echoed with meaningless chatter. Everyone avoided eye contact as they changed making small talk about the day's basketball game.
Joseph Howards clasped Dick on the shoulder, "Great game D-Man," he said, releasing Dick and grabbing his school blazer. "Who knew Shorty had the skills to make the winning basket."
Dick let out a small laugh, having four years to get used to Joseph's backhanded complements.
"I'm small, but fast." He said, waving Joseph off. Dick continued to his locker, tactically picked in the back of the room.
The locker room was a flurry of movement as the teens changed into uniform and heading to the class before the bell. Dick took his time fiddling with his lock, taking his time dialing in the combination.
At the beginning of the school year, Dick hacked into the Gotham Academy computer system, rearranging his schedule. His math class ended up in first period, his easiest course in the morning. His gym classed moved to the hour before lunch, giving Dick all the time he needed for privacy. Bruce turned a blind eye when most of his wards classes happen to be either with Barbra or Artemis, or both.
Dick rearranged his clothes along the bench, hanging his tie on the locker door. The rest of the class hurried out, a few congratulating Dick on the game. Dick fiddled with the hem of his gym shirt, as the locker room fell silent, leaving the teen alone. Dick sighed with relief, flinging the sweat-stained shirt off, into the bottom of his locker.
Normally, Dick wore an undershirt to school to cover his slowly growing collection of scars that spread across his chest and back. It gave him an extra layer of protection from the prying eyes of his classmates. But he left it behind that morning, forgetting it in a rush out the door.
Dick was fiddling with his deodorant when a gasp echoed around the otherwise empty locker room. He spun around the deodorant shifted in his hand ready to be thrown like a batarang, the other grabbing his button up shirt to cover up his chest.
Joseph stared at the younger teen with wide eyes.
"Dude," he whispered, "were those scars?" his tie hanging loosely in one hand, having returned for it.
Dick flushed a deep red, attempting to work on his shirt without letting Joseph see his chest. "Yeah," he trailed off, shrugging awkwardly.
"Someone carved a giant J into your back?" Joseph continued.
Excuses flashed through Dick's mind, "Joker." He said at last, tossing the deodorant into his locker with is school issued gym shirt.
Joseph frowned, "The Joker did that to you?"
Dick settled into his button up shirt, hiding the rest of his scars from view "Yeah, he got me about a year ago. He held me for ransom; he wanted a couple million from Bruce. I was lucky, Batman and Robin saved the day before he got too far."
It was only half a lie. The Joker carved his calling card J into his back about a year ago and Batman did saved the day; only he wasn't dressed as Dick Grayson at the time.
"The perils of being the ward of a billionaire." Dick added, trying to lightening the mood.
Joseph's mouth dropped open in shock, "You were kidnapped by the Joker?"
"And saved by Batman," Dick agreed, shrugging on his blazer.
"How are you not scared for life?" Joseph asked, "It was the Joker, he could have killed you!"
The Joker wouldn't have killed him, that wasn't part of the plan. He wanted leave a warning to Batman, it was meant as a message. The Joker wouldn't have killed him, at least not if he wanted Batman to keep playing his game.
"I am." Dick joked, pointing at his covered back.
Joseph scowled, taking a seat on the end of the bench.
"That's not what I meant." He muttered, "How did you get over something like that? Thompson was at a gala the guy crashed last month. He said the Joker was scary as shit." He dropped his backpack to the floor, hanging his tie around his neck untied.
Dick remembered that night. It was some 'save the tigers' charity event, or something like that. Bruce Wayne was invited, the foundation hoping for a sizable donation. Dick had gotten out of going – a combination of enough begging, an A on his history project and the help of Alfred – and Bruce let him spend the night with the team, so long as he kept his communicator on. They were on their second movie when Batman called him in to help with the Joker.
"It took a while." Dick gave a half shrug, pulling on his tie, letting it hang loose around his neck. He tossed the rest of his gym stuff into the locker, slamming it closed. "I don't like talking about it."
Joseph nodded, "Fair enough, Bro. But hey, you got to meet Batman!" The mood shifted, the tension in the room lifted. Joseph sounded almost envious.
"I've met Robin too." Dick shrugged, hiding his smirk.
"Dude!" Joseph gasped before pulling himself together again, putting on a mask of cool. "Why haven't you ever bragged about that?"
"I've been kidnapped fourteen times since I was eight," thirty-Nine including the times as Robin. "By the time it could have been considered at least a little bit cool, the actual number of times it happened was just embarrassing. And, like I said, it is not something people really talk about," Dick rolled his eyes.
"Still, it was Batman and Robin!" Joseph stared at him, trying to mask a look of amazement.
"I'm guessing you're a fan?" Dick chuckled, smiling playfully.
Howard shrugged attempting to play it cool, "Who isn't?" he said, "Batman is a badass and Robin can do anything."
Dick flashed a reassuring smile, "It's okay Joseph, I won't tell anyone you're a fan boy," he said, pulling his messenger bag over his shoulder.
Joseph let out a sight of relief, "Thanks dude. There is nothing wrong with it; just, people might not think it's cool to be a fan of super heroes when you're in high school." The teen grabbed his own backpack off the floor.
"Please, Super Heroes are Awesome, but I'll keep it to myself." Dick said. "Just keep my secret and I'll keep yours."
Joseph smiled eagerly, following Dick out the door, "Of course, bro." he mimed zipping his lips closed and throwing away the key, "Mums the word."
Dick waved goodbye to Joseph as they parted ways. Pulling out his phone on the way to the school cafeteria.
To: The B-Man: Can we visit somewhere 2night?
Dick pocketed his phone, getting into the lunch line. His pocket buzzed when he grabbed a tray.
From: B-Man: No
Dick rolled his eyes, typing a quick reply.
To: B-Man: He is ur biggest closeted fan!
Dick grabbed his food, a nice plate of what was probably supposed to be beef burgeon. Even private school food couldn't get it right all the time. He handed the cashier his school I.D. when his phone buzzed again. He waited until he was at the table before checked it.
From B-man: Stop texting in class, Dick.
Dick rolled his eyes at his friends. Artemis raised a questioning eyebrow and Barbra giggled.
To B-Man: It's my lunch hour, Bruce ur paranoid enough 2 know that
Dick smirked to himself. He never got a response back.