"TRAGIC ACCIDENT KILLS FAMILY OF ACROBATS
YOUNGEST FLYING GRAYSON SURVIVES"
Bruce Wayne read the headline of the Sunday morning paper while he waited for his breakfast. He recently donated a relatively large amount to Haley's Circus, but was out of the country on business, for their first performance. The newspaper stated that Richard survived and was recovering in Gotham General. Alfred arrived and placed a plate of eggs, bacon, a slice of toast and a cup of coffee in front of him. "Master Bruce, have you found anything interesting in the paper today, sir?" Bruce raised an eyebrow at his butler and replied "Yes and I have plans today." he paused to take a sip of coffee "I need you to call social services and set up a meeting, preferable today." Alfred looked surprised and asked "May I ask why, sir?" "I want to take him in and before you ask, it's because I see myself in him." "Very well Master Bruce."
"Are you sure, Mister Wayne? Taking in a child is a big responsibility, it is going to be difficult." Bruce smiled and replied "Yes and I think that the house is too lonely and quiet." Miss Schvartzki was a tall, lavender haired, bright green eyed woman with a kind personality. She was Richard Grayson's social worker and the two adults were discussing Bruce Wayne fostering the young orphan. "Well," she shuffled some papers "it seems that everything is in order. It will take twenty-four hours for it to be official, so you can pick him up around eight tomorrow morning. That's when he will be released from the hospital." The two stood and shook hands, exchanging good-byes. "Alright, have a nice day Mister Wayne." "You too Miss Schvartzki." With that, he left.
Seven forty-five the next morning, Alfred left to drive Bruce to the hospital to pick up Richard. They pulled up ten minutes later and Alfred parked in front of the hospital. "I'll be right back Alfred." Bruce walked up to the receptionist and asked for Richard's room number, she gave it to him, along with her number. Once he found Richard's room, he found a doctor. "Hi, I'm here to pick up Richard. Is there anything I should know before he is released?" The doctor looked at his clip-board before replying "Yes, unfortunately, there is. First off, when Richard fell, the way he landed saved his life. But at a price; Richard is paralyzed from the waist down, therefore he is confined to a wheelchair. Second, Richard is suffering from a serious head trauma. If he spaces out sometimes, that is normal, on rare occasions he will pass out, but that is to be expected. He is asthmatic and needs an inhaler. Lastly, he is allergic to peanuts. Call if you have any questions or concerns." After the man finished talking, he left. Leaving a very flabbergasted billionaire in the hall.
By the time Bruce actually entered Richard's room, the nurses had Richard situated in his new wheelchair and were tying all of his 'Get Well Soon' balloons to a gift bag which was attached to his chair. Once they saw Bruce, they all said their fare-wells and left; except one. She was holding an opaque hospital bag and was smiling cheerfully. "Hello Mister Wayne! I'm Janet, Richard's nurse. Here is Richard's medication, inhaler and pill schedule. I will walk you out to your vehicle and help get Richard inside." Bruce took the bag Janet handed him, she took the handles of the child's chair and asked "Richard, are you ready to go to your new home?" Hesitantly, the boy nodded and the three headed for the front door.
Outside, Alfred held the back door open and was mildly surprised when Bruce walked out of the hospital with Richard being pushed in a wheelchair behind him. They stopped at the limo and the nurse unbuckled Richard from his wheelchair, allowing Bruce to gently lift the small boy into the back of the car. Once Richard had his gift bag and balloons on the seat beside him and his wheelchair in the trunk of the limo, Bruce went to go sign him out. Soon, he returned and got in beside Richard; Alfred pulled out of the parking lot and towards Wayne Manor.
During the ten minute ride, Richard stared unblinkingly out the car window and watched the scenery pass. Trying to break the silence, Bruce spoke "Richard, my name is Bruce Wayne, I know this is hard but I hope you will like your new home." Richard turned his head to look at the man in a suit and nodded slowly. Bruce continued "I am a billionaire, so if you want anything at all, you can have it. All you have to do is tell me or Alfred, my butler, he is the one driving." "Hello, Young Master Richard. If you ever require anything, just call. Do you enjoy cookies, sir?" Richard nodded slowly "Then I shall prepare some once we arrive." Bruce smiled "Could I ask for something now?"
Wayne was surprised at how intelligent Richard sounded and replied "Sure, what is it?" The boy reached into the gift bag and pulled out a piece of neatly folded notebook paper. He held it out to Bruce and the man slowly took the paper, unfolding it. He marveled at the list of items, it wasn't like he couldn't afford it, it was the; precise measurements, name brands and models of high-end equipment and materials. "Oh, um…" Bruce looked up at the boy as Richard stopped speaking. "Yes?" Richard rubbed the back of his neck "Could you call me 'Dick'? It's what my parents used to call me." The last part was barely a whisper and the boy turned his head to the window again.
"Only if you call me Bruce." Richard looked at the billionaire and gave a small smile. "Deal." Bruce's eyebrows scrunched together "May I ask what all this is for?" "It is just to make your life easier." After that he stopped talking and his eyes glazed over. They pulled up in front of the mansion and Alfred parked the limo.
Richard didn't blink or move. Noticing the boy didn't respond to him calling, Bruce carefully picked Richard up and placed him in the wheelchair Alfred had gotten from the trunk. Bruce calmly wheeled the boy into the house, allowing his butler to open the door for him, and started showing Richard around the bottom floor of the mansion. The boy seemed to snap out of his daze and stared at everything in awe. Nearly three hours later, Alfred found them in the library and announced that lunch was ready. Bruce wheeled Richard into the dining room and into the place Alfred had removed the usual wooden chair from.
After a lunch of grilled sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies for dessert, Richard insisted on wheeling himself to his room and followed Bruce to a large bedroom on the ground floor. All of his belongings had been put away by the ever awesome Alfred Pennyworth. While Dick explored his room and started figuring out where the kind butler had placed the stuff his circus family had packed for him, Bruce told Richard where he would be and headed to the study. Looking at the paper intensely, he tried to figure out what the boy had meant by "make you life easier" and eventually opened his laptop to order the parts. After purchasing the items on the list, he made a copy and went to find out what Richard was doing.
He found the boy at his desk, drawing in a sketchbook with his right hand and writing in a notebook with his left. Bruce watched the boy for a moment before he left silently to check on some things in the Batcave. He returned two hours later to find Richard silently watching from the doorway as Alfred prepared dinner and cleared his throat to make his presence known to the boy. Instead of jumping or flinching, the boy merely turned his chair around and rolled passed the man and back into his room.
Twenty minutes later, dinner was ready, Alfred retrieved Richard and proceeded to collect the correct doses of medication for him. Once Richard had taken his pills, the meal went by silently and was only broken by the sudden sound of a fork hitting a plate and a chair being knocked over. The boy had passed out, only slightly surprising the two older men, one of which was the man holding Richards' head inches above his mostly empty plate of lasagna. Bruce sighed, before pushing the boy back fully into his chair and placing his hands on his lap. The billionaire pulled the wheelchair from its' place and rolled it down the hall. Bruce stopped by the boys' bed, picked him up and laid him on top of the covers. Next, he carefully removed his ward's shoes, socks, shirt, and pants; instead, dressing the boy in some blue pajamas. With great care, Bruce placed Richard under the blankets and tucked hm in, before turning off the light and exiting the room. The rich man went back to the dining room, explained what had happened and finished eating before going to the Batcave to start patrol.
Eight attempted robberies and two almost rapes later, Batman returned and joined the others in sleep. At exactly seven in the morning, Bruce was woken up by Alfred knocking on his door and groggily mumbled "Come in." The butler opened the door and entered, saying "Sir, breakfast is ready and Master Richard is already at the table." Alfred then pulled aside the curtains and exited the room. Bruce quickly got ready and went downstairs to eat breakfast. Like Alfred had said, the eight year old was sitting at the table, but was still in his pajamas and his hair stuck up in all directions. Bruce sat down and greeted Richard before taking a sip of his steaming coffee.