The house was quiet, too quiet. Dick's laughter, that usually filled the halls, had disappeared. Alfred walked into the lounge room to see Bruce brooding in front of the fireplace. The flames flickered, casting eerie shadows across the room.
"Master Bruce, it won't do you any good to just sit here, you need to go and see him"
"He doesn't want any company"
"Then don't give him a choice. Neither of you should be alone at Christmas"
Bruce showed no reaction and just kept staring into the fire, barely blinking.
"Master Bruce! He needs you, he doesn't want to be alone, he wants to be held and told that it's alright"
"How do you know that?"
"He's a child that just lost his parents, you should know how that feels" Alfred finished, walking out to let Bruce think.
He sighed and thought about what Alfred had said. He forced himself off the chair and travelled through the cold house, up to Dick's room. He knocked lightly.
"Yeah?" A small voice called out quietly, it was obvious he had been crying.
"I just wanted to come in and.. check on you"
"Sure" Came the short reply form beyond the wall.
Bruce entered to see Dick wrapped in blankets, facing the opposite side. Dick felt like telling Bruce to leave, he just wanted to be alone and left to mourn in peace, but something made him stop. The bed dipped slightly when Bruce sat down on it.
"Can you look at me?"
Dick didn't want to, he really didn't want to, but he did anyway.
"Dick" Bruce brushed some of the tears away "You know you don't have to be alone"
'Says you' Dick almost replied but stopped himself "I know" He whispered, wrapping the blankets around him tighter.
"You know I'll always be here for you, right?"
"Do you think that your" Bruce hesitated not sure whether he should bring it up "Parents" he paused briefly to see if Dick reacted, he didn't "Would want you to waste your Christmas like this?"
A head shake was the only reply.
"What would they want you to be doing, instead?" He asked, so that Dick would be forced to speak.
"They would want me to have fun and act like they're still here" Fresh tears began to flow "Like they never" He sobbed "Died" He finished, crying harder than before.
Bruce pulled the young boy into his arms and held tightly "It'll be alright Dick"
"Th-This is the f-first Christmas I've ever had wi-without them"
"I know" The sorrow radiating from the boy, caused Bruce to feel tears welling in his own eyes, making his vision blurry. He quickly blinked them away.
"I m-miss them, Br-Bruce" Dick sobbed.
Bruce pulled Dick closer to remind him he wasn't alone "Yeah, I know, I still miss my parents"
"Wh-What happened to them?" Dick's curiosity helped to contain his sadness. Bruce had never talked about his parents before, and Dick had been wondering for half a year now.
"They were killed, in an alleyway" Bruce didn't want to continue, but he knew Dick would want to know "We had just finished watching a movie at the Monarch Theatre and on the way back, my Father decided we should take a shortcut through Park Row, so we did" Bruce took in a deep breath "And a robber came up to us. He wanted my Mother's pearl necklace, but my Father didn't like that idea very much. The robber shot him, right in the heart, mum screamed, mostly in anger, so he shot her too. She collapsed over dad, her pearls falling to the ground, splashing into the puddles and rolling away. I just stood there, too shocked to move and watched as the murderer ran off. I felt guilty being spared and decided to fight crime"
"As Batman" Dick finished.
"What movie was it?"
'Of course that's his question' "The Mark Of Zorro"
Dick nodded "Was it any good?"
"My favourite movie" A small smile formed on Bruce's face.
"Could we, watch it?" Dick asked, innocently turning his head to see Bruce's reaction. He was surprised to see the smile he was wearing.
"Of course we can"
Dick rolled off the bed, the blankets, still tightly cocooned around him, softening the fall. He managed to stand and followed Bruce down into the lounge room, almost tripping several times. He seated himself on the lounge and patiently waited for Bruce to start the movie. After setting the movie up, Bruce joined Dick on the lounge, inwardly smiling when the small boy leant against him.
Alfred walked in toward the end of the movie and smiled at his two charges, both were sound asleep. Bruce had his hand over Dick in a protective way, with Dick curled up against his side. Alfred switched the TV off and walked back out after one last look at the two sleeping heroes.