The amount of effort I have put into this stupid story is ridiculous.

Chapter Summary: Bruce contemplates children and the circus. And broods. Meanwhile, Dick is way too adorable, even when he listens in on other people's conversations.

Rated T for some swears.

Two Weeks Later:

January 28th, 2004

10:05 PM, EST

Gotham City, CT

The Batcave

Alfred Pennyworth is constantly worried about the many things centered around his charge, like Master Bruce's fluctuating eating habits and his nightly activities. However, the butler busies himself with polishing the late Master Wayne's favorite bronze art pieces on the fireplace mantle, keeping a pleasant but blank expression on him the whole time.

Deep underground the illustrious Wayne Manor, in a cave to be specific, Batman is concerned about the disappearing children, and busies himself around said case.

For the past month, the number of children reported missing has doubled in size compared to what is the norm for this time of year. And since the majority of children that usually disappear are street children, AKA orphans or kids abandoned by their parents, the actual amount of missing kids might be much higher.

Cowl down while in the safety of the Batcave, Bruce studies the forty-seven cases in front of him. The only pattern is that most of the kids come from the poorer parts of Gotham, and are between the ages of five and ten. Other than that, everything else differs. From gender, race, and other physical attributes, no two kids look alike.

Word on the street is that this is all the organizing of different groups, which would usually be normal for Gotham in all its corrupted glory, but that still doesn't explain the sudden increase in abductions. No, there must be some higher power, some major child trade ring that Batman hasn't uncovered yet. Batman's contacts in the criminal underworld support his theory, but are unable to provide a name. Whoever is running this show is good if he or she has kept under the radar so far.

There are rumors though, tidbits of information that his informants have to offer. Information that has led to Batman successfully saving eight kids tonight. Tomorrow, he plans on raising the number to twelve. Not much, maybe, but every life counts.

There are rumors, however. Rumors that the cargo, AKA the kidnapped kids, will be moved by this time in a week. Every single one of them. And if this isn't the break that Batman has been looking for to finally crack down on this operation, then Batman will eat his cowl.

But he won't. Because that's a ridiculous thought, and crap, Flash must be rubbing off on him even more than he thought. Bruce makes a mental note to avoid the Justice League, and its resident speedster, even more than he usually does. It would do no good if the rumors he spread about himself was ruined by the fact that he worked with people wearing brightly colored pajamas.

Satisfied with his plan, Bruce turns his attention back to his few leads, determined to figure out how the lead honcho plans on transporting the missing children.

January 28th, 2004

6:34 PM, EST

Happy Harbor, RI

The Fairgrounds

Sometimes, Dick hates being little. Being little means that he doesn't get to perform nearly as often as his cousin Johnny, who is thirteen, on the trapeze with the rest of his family.

His Mama and Daddy are always telling him that he'll one day get to perform with them, that one day he'll get to fly with no net to catch him (not that he'll fall), but that day just isn't today.

But he's seven years old now!

Well, okay, maybe six years and a bunch of months, but that's still close enough. And Dick knows that he's probably throwing what Auntie Karla calls a 'temper tantrum', because Mama is looking upset and Daddy disappointed, but he can't help it. He wants to fly with his family; this is what he was born to do. He knows it. There's this instinct, this urge, to get up on that platform that towers above the audience and jump. Jump, and be caught by his Mama's tiny but strong hands, his Daddy's rough but gentle ones, and be passed between the two of them just like when he swings between them when they take Dick to the park.

Dick pouts in time-out, but at least his parents were nice enough to send him to the corner nearest the elephants.

Just seeing Zitka, his favorite elephant by far, is enough to make the six-year-old smile again. And it doesn't hurt that Zitka likes picking him up with her trunk and putting him on her back. That's always fun.

Taking a break from the fit of giggles he's indulged in to breathe, Dick overhears a familiar voice in a familiar angry tone having a conversation on a cell phone in the shadows a little ways away. It's Mr. Colby!

Dick thinks the man is okay, maybe not as nice as Mr. Haly is, but Dick figures that Mr. Colby is still sad about his wife leaving him. And she took their kids away, too! Dick had liked playing with Terry, 'cause the other boy was the closest in age to Dick himself in the circus. And Dick figures that if anyone took away his parents, then he'd be really mad and sad too. Also, that rhymed!

Almost forgetting that train of thought as he thought up more rhymes (Bat, Cat; Super, Duper; this was just like those Dr. Seuss books Mr. Haly read to him!), the sudden shouting by Mr. Colby drew Dick's attention back to him.

Looking at the older man now, Dick could tell Mr. Colby was super mad now. And maybe a little scared? The man kept glancing around, looking over his shoulder, but not noticing Dick who had used the height advantage given to him by Zitka's back to boost himself into rafters of the converted barn the elephants were living in. Zitka, after realizing her favorite human no longer wanted to play on her back, had wandered back over to her elephant friends.

Sitting in the shadows and lying on his stomach on the beam he'd deemed sturdy enough, Dick inadvertently blending in with his barn surroundings.

Usually, the circus boy would wear bright, eye-catching colors because he liked being noticed, but today his favorite bright blue shirt got muddy because it blew off the clothes line it had been drying on and landed in a puddle. And since all his other clothes were dirty as well (Not his fault, by the way. … Okay, maybe a little.), Dick had to wear his Cousin Johnny's dark yellow hoodie. The one that looked kind of like mustard if it had dried. The same color as the hay located around the barn.

And so long as Dick didn't move around and Mr. Colby didn't look up, he wouldn't be seen! Oh wow, he was just like a spy! Dick almost giggled to himself, before reminding himself very seriously that spies, under no circumstance, do not giggle. Remembering that book Mama had read to him about spies and how they gathered intel, which Mama said meant information, Dick decided it would be a great idea to listen in to Mr. Colby's conversation. So he did.

Mr. Colby was still angry at whoever he was talking to, but he'd stopped yelling and was now whispering instead, just like the Zoland's next door did when they would argue really late at night. Dick had always wondered why two people who loved each other so much always argued, and now wondered if that was how Mr. Colby was feeling. Maybe he was talking to the former Mrs. Colby?

But then again, even when the Zoland's argued, they never sounded so scared at each other. They just said a lot of curse words, and got really angry, but that was all.

Mr. Colby looked like he had watched a horror movie, and was convinced he was in one himself. Dick would know, 'cause he and Johnny snuck a movie a few months ago that was so scary Dick couldn't sleep for a week. What could have made Mr. Colby so angry and scared. (Or scargry. Dick liked making up new words; it was fun. Even if his new words were really just smashing two existing words together.)

Mama had always said it was the thought that counts, so Johnny could stuff it the next time the older boy teased him about his hobby. At least Dick wasn't obsessed with girls like his older cousin. Girls were gross, why did Johnny even hang out with Penelope the pony rider, she was super old, too, and-

"What? You can't do that! We had a deal!"

Mr. Colby's sudden angry shout had Dick jolting out of his thoughts. Running a hand through his thinning brown hair, the adult began pacing back and forth as he listened to the person on the opposite end of his phone conversation. Dick watched him, his curiosity peaked as the man began muttering under his breath, too quiet for the child to hear.

"Listen Tony, I-I mean Mr. Zucco- I mean boss, Sorry, I'm just a little off today…" When the man began stuttering over his friends' name, although Dick was starting to doubt Mr. Colby was talking to a friend after all, Dick noticed how suddenly scared the man seemed to be. Maybe it was because Mr. Colby had called Mr. Zucco by his first name, which Dick had been told you weren't supposed to do.

But even when Uncle Rick scolded Johnny for using someone's first name instead of calling him or her by their last, Uncle Rick had never made Johnny look scared. It was almost like Mr. Colby expected to be punished for using the wrong name, which was frankly ridiculous, because adults are supposed to be able to call each other by their first names. At least, that's what Dick was sure of.

But Mr. Colby had called this Zucco guy 'Boss', which didn't make sense, because Mr. Haly was Mr. Colby's boss. And since Dick had seen the two chatting the other day, Dick didn't think that Mr. Colby was fired.

Starting to dislike this Mr. Zucco less and less, Dick reminded himself about how he'd been taught to treat everyone the way he wanted to be treated. And if Mr. Zucco came to visit one day and Dick was mean to him, then Mr. Zucco would probably be mean right back! And Dick didn't like it when people were mean to him; it made him feel like he wasn't wanted, and he would always run away and find somewhere high up to hide. As he watched Mr. Colby schedule some meeting, "Four o'clock, yeah, right outside his office. Okay, I'll see you there, boss. Bye" before pocketing his phone and walking away, Dick began to feel like he should tell someone about this.

Maybe Mr. Colby was being bullied by this Mr. Zucco?

Resolving to tell his Mama and Daddy at dinner, Dick jumped down from his roster and ran back to his trailer.

I have so much fun putting easter eggs into my chapters lol.

Hooray for tiny!Dick, rambling like a champ. And yeah, his personality is based off my little sister's, 'cause she's a crazy chatterbox.

In case you were wondering, Chapter 1 takes place January 17th. The year is 2004, and Dick is six/seven years old. (And yes, I've made it so that his birthday is the first day of spring, March 20th. Btw, he was born in 1997, which makes him 13 in Season 1.)

Chapter 2 occurs about two weeks later, making it January 28th. All ages are the same. The circus has just left Happy Harbor in Rhode Island, and is now heading to Connecticut, which is where Gotham canonly exists in Young Justice.

The Flying Grayson's will be cut down to one remaining member in Chapter 3 by February 4th, 2004.

And on that happy note, review?