Haly's Circus, Gotham, June 23rd, 1997, 6:54 a.m.
Mary Grayson was awakened early in the morning by a screaming baby. The only problem was, it wasn't her own.
Her own son, Richard Grayson, was still sound asleep in his crib. The three month year old didn't look like he was waking up anytime soon.
She frowned, pulling herself out of bed and following the sound of crying. She opened the door of their trailer, and saw what was left on the porch. Mary gasped, maternal instincts taking over and she scooped up the baby, instantly ceasing its cries.
"Mary? What's wrong?" John Grayson rubbed his eyes tiredly, but froze as he saw the baby girl in Mary's arms. "Please tell me that's not yours..."
"No!" Mary scolded him. "And hush, your son is still asleep. She was just left on the doorstep!"
John frowned and picked up the extra blankets the baby was left in. There was a note: She's only two days old. Take care of her, please.
There was no signature and no name, neither from the sender nor of the baby.
John saw the look on his wife's face, and sighed. "We're keeping her, aren't we?"
"Of course!" She held the girl tighter.
"Mary, we just had Dickie. We can't handle another one-"
"But we can." A soft voice said. Richard and Karla Grayson had also woken up.
"Richard-" John began, ready to scold his brother for even suggesting it.
"John, you know Karla and I have wanted another child after little Johnny was born. But you heard the doctors, Karla can't get pregnant again..." Richard sighed, sadness clear in his eyes. "You two are still hung over with Dick. Karla and I already know how to take care of a child, and I'm sure Johnny will be happy to have a little sister. And Dick will be able to grow up with two cousins."
"Alright..." Mary bit her lip, knowing it was the right thing to do. She carefully transferred the sleeping girl to Karla, who smiled.
"Thank you, Mary." She said softly. "What's her name?"
John and Mary exchanged looks. "She didn't have a name. We're trying to think of one now."
"How about Ariadne?" a soft voice asked.
The four adults turned to see nine year old John Grayson. He was rubbing his eyes tiredly, but looked up at them innocently. "Mommy always tells me stories. I like the one with Princess Ariadne. You know, with The-thesaurus."
Richard chuckled. "You mean Theseus."
John nodded eagerly.
Karla's eyes sparkled. "I like that too. Welcome to the family, Ariadne Grayson."
Nine Years Later
Gotham, April 1, 2006, 4:23 p.m.
"Why can't I perform the final act with you guys?" Ari pouted.
"English, Ari." Her aunt reprimanded. Ari sighed, exasperated.
"Can I perform with you?"
"Sorry, shortie, you're not old enough!" John laughed, ruffling his little sister's hair. She scowled, fixing her hair and glaring at him.
"I wanna perform too!" Dick jumped out of nowhere.
"I started when I was thirteen." John pointed out, smirking.
Dick and Ari both stuck their tongues out at him.
Later that night, Dick questioned if it would have been better if they had performed with their family or not.
Nine years old Dick Grayson wrapped his arms around his little cousin, who was still in shock. Not that he blamed her, of course. She had not only lost her parents, but her older brother as well.
The cops were meanies, Ari had sniffed to him. She had fallen asleep, somehow, since then. Dick and Ari both had a very limited knowledge of English, but he was able to make out that the police and social services were taking them away.
At least a day later, the cousins had been separated and placed in the Gotham Detention Facility. The only time they actually saw each other was during lunch and laundry day. Dick was shoved into the walls and locked in closets, for being a circus kid and being unable to speak much English. Ari's teasing seemed endless. Her food was stolen and the only towel she had was taken.
It was another week before the cousins got cellmates. Dick's cellmate was a bit taller and older than him, but seemed just as, if not more, timid than him. He had short brown hair and big brown eyes with Hispanic features. Ari's cellmate was at least two years older with long, blonde hair and grey eyes. She had Vietnamese features and olive skin.
The boy, Jaime, spoke both Spanish and English. Artemis spoke mostly Vietnamese, but knew English, mostly from her dad.
During lunch one day, before their cellmates appeared, Ari had broken down crying to her cousin, sobbing about how she had caused their family's deaths.
"Who told you that?" Dick demanded, holding her by the shoulders. She sniffed.
"But those girls aren't smart enough to count to ten, much less know what happened." Dick said confidently, earning a small smile and a giggle from Ari. The eight year old brushed her hair out of her eyes and gave her cousin, practically brother, a grin.
"Thanks Dickie." She smiled.
Dick ruffled her hair, just like her brother used to. "No problem."