Chapter Six! Memories of settling into the Wayne Manor! Yay!
NOTE: I was reading the earlier chapters because I was bored. Now I realise that the gun the boss used is actually an "AK-47", not "RK-47". Darn it.
Also I have gotten bored of typing out just one event for one single chapter, so now there will be many events in each chapter in italics. The Team's reactions are normal font. Hope you like this new way, because I for sure will! :D
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice or anything remotely DC in this story.
And, a Warning:
Beware fangirl spazzing and fangirl squealing and fangirl heartbreak and fangirl flailing noodle arms ahead due to fangirl-written work involving fangirling fangirls in a fandom.
"Dick, this is your new home." Bruce showed young little Dick - who was still crying - the expansive, grand building that was Wayne Manor from inside the limousine's tinted windows as the vehicle slowly made its way up the winding path connecting the outer gate to the building.
"It looks even bigger in person," Impulse said in an awestruck manner. "I have never truly appreciated architecture until now."
"It was a big change, going from living in a tiny trailer to an even smaller cell and then suddenly a giant house that belonged to a person of high society," Past Dick mused as he now carried YDick #1 and ran fingers through the sleeping boy's hair. He ignored how the adorable boy was managing to drool onto the pricey 'monkey suit'.
Young Dick managed to forget his parents' deaths for a minute and the waterworks paused. "Whoa! That is your house?" he said in wonder, wide blue eyes peering at the Manor as if he couldn't believe that he was going to live there with Bruce.
"Yes, chum." Bruce chuckled. Chum. The name had come easier now, as it seemed to suit Dick. It seemed proper that Bruce called his 'son' that, as his own father had given him that very same nickname. It sounded right.
"Your house is huge!" Dick exclaimed as his nose pressed against the cold windowpane, not exactly realizing that he was stating a rather obvious fact.
"Thank you, Captain Obvious!" Red Hood sarcastically clapped for Past Dick, who blushed but Past Robin glared at his younger/older brother (gosh this is confusing).
"You're welcome, Sergeant Sarcasm," Past Robin quipped, two fingers in a mock salute.
"Boys," Spoiler muttered exasperatedly to Batgirl, and both girls smirked when the boys sent Batglares to them.
"Yes, it is huge," Bruce agreed, and after Alfred turned left, making the Manor appear on Bruce's side of the car, let Dick unclasp his seatbelt to crawl onto his lap to get a better view of the old yet remarkable house.
He caught Alfred's warning look in the windshield mirror, which conveyed a message: /You must put young Master Dick back into his own seat, or he will be injured should we crash.\\
Bruce was pretty sure Alfred was still insisting on calling Dick 'Master Just Dick' after the earlier comment in the parking lot of the Detention Centre (see chapter before this) in the eye-message (HAHA anyone get it?), but ignored it for now. After checking that Dick wasn't speaking to him at the moment, replied via eyelook. /Alfred, you're driving. I hardly think that we will crash with you at the wheel. We're also on one of the Manor's private roads. No obstacles to crash into.\\
Alfred responded with the only glare known to Man that was worse that the Batglare: the ALFREDglare. At the moment it was turned on at almost full force, and Bruce internally wilted before plucking Dick off his lap and gently setting him down on the young boy's own seat. He clipped the seatbelt in place as well.
"Wow. Who is this man again? I think I have a newfound respect for butlers," Bumblebee said, impressed. "He just ordered the goddamn Batman to do something."
"Alfred," Current Robin said, smirking at the Batman next to him while the man glared at him. "He's the only person who can order Batman around."
A/N: Okay, I admit that I've never really like Tim Drake as Robin. But then I played Young Justice: Shadow Mission on the Cartoon Network website, and since Timmy here was the main character, I became rather attached to him because he got out of a SHADOW POCKET DIMENSION by himself! **Fangirls over YJ game** Now I really like him, and also I respect him. ;D (I also really recommend that game if you haven't played it already. Klarion Mode is awesome; although you have to kill Robin in that level. *grins sadistically* XD) Also I'm writing this chapter while listening to the music of the game…
"I have to meet this Alfred guy," Wondergirl decided.
"His cookies are really good, too," Zatanna added, having been exposed to the butler's heavenly cookies. "As in, he makes every other cookie taste like nothing."
"Cookies," Impulse said dreamily. "I like cookies." As if on cue, his stomach rumbled.
"Me too!" Beast Boy agreed.
"Oh my gosh," Spoiler suddenly chimed in, staring at her hand. A brown paper bag that hadn't been there earlier was now being clenched in her fist. "This just appeared all of a sudden. I wonder what this is?" The eggplant-purple vigilante curiously opened the bag and was astounded to see that there were cookies in the bag. And not just any cookies; they smelled like Alfred's legendary cookies (not that the newer members would know that). Spoiler pulled one studded with chocolate chips out and sniffed it in pleasant surprise.
"They're Alfred's cookies! The best ones: chocolate chip!" Current Robin exclaimed, and he happily snatched the only food item he valued over coffee from his sister's hands.
"I WANT ONE!" Wally (for the sake of my sanity and patience I will now regard every character by their actual names except for the personas of Nightwing - and Batman) leapt to the front of the group and dunked his hand into the bag. He pulled out another chocolate chip cookie and shoved it into his mouth as Bart snatched one as well. Soon every hero was taking and eating cookies; even Batman, although he hid his happiness of eating the delicious treats.
"Hey, isn't EVERYTHING here - including these cookies - cooked up by Nightwing's mind?" Jason suddenly asked. "No pun intended, of course."
"It is," Past Dick responded with a cackle. "So technically this could be classified as 'eating' his mind."
"Eww." Bart stopped shoving cookies down his throat and wrinkled his nose. "That's gross."
"Isn't it kind of weird that we're just standing here eating cookies while Nightwing is dying?" Barbara casually yet subtly reminded the others of their leader's condition.
"Tt. We will simply watch as we eat these figments of Grayson's mind," Damian said.
"You make it sound like we're mind zombies or something," Gar grumbled before Past Robin continued the memory.
Dick blinked as the car finally pulled up to the Manor. The Manor was even bigger than it had seemed from twenty-five yards away. Now it towered over him like the giant Goliath to David.
"This is where you live?" he asked Bruce, although he already knew the answer. He'd only asked the question because he didn't know what else to say to the playboy multi-billionaire.
Dick scurried out of the car when Alfred the butler held the door open for him, and he dimly noticed Bruce retrieving his luggage from the trunk of the limousine before running excitedly to the front door. The front door, like the rest of the house, was intricately designed and was a delight to see. The aesthetically beautiful pane of wood was also extremely sturdy and would surely hold against outsiders attempting to break in - if they ever got past the gate, at least.
"I don't know if I should be worried that you were so interested in the front door," Batman said with a slightly amused tone. Past Dick blushed.
"It was an interesting door," he defended himself. "It looked really cool to me at the time…"
"A door that was captivating to Dick must have been really interesting to gain that guy's attention," Barbara defended. "Plus, he did come from a place without… interesting doors."
Damian clapped slowly. "You have supercalifragilisticexpialidocious reasoning skills, Gordon," he informed her superiorly and sarcastically.
A/N: Is it fine that I now think Damian is kind of a whiny little bitch after reading Injustice: Gods Among Us? Plus, he killed Nightwing and turned against Batman. ARGHH! But then Dick became Deadman and I was happy again. But still. Damian, Superman, Wonderwoman, Hal Jordan, and Sinestro are stupid bastards. Sorry for cursing in this short rant. I ranted about the comic issues' events even longer to my friends via Google Hangouts, and cursed more, too. The poor fellows didn't have a single clue what I was talking about, but they did know I was an avid DC fan. Okay, back to the story. No more author notes in the middle of the chapter. :D
"Shut up, brat," Barbara muttered, although with thinly-veiled fondness in her tone. "And did you actually watch the movie Mary Poppins?!"
"Grayson dragooned me into watching it with him on Bonding Night against my will," Damian sniffed as a suspicious red tint spread across his cheeks. "It was exceedingly tedious."
"Uh, huh. Right."
Bruce walked up behind Dick. Alfred could be seen in the background removing Dick's luggage from the limo's trunk.
"This is so amusing because it's like we're in Google Earth right now," Bart realized.
The other heroes realized that this was actually kind of true.
"Whoa, I just thought of something. What if heroes are actually considered 'villains' among villains, who consider themselves to be 'heroes'? And vice versa for us?" Mal wondered.
"If Cinderella's shoe fit perfectly, why did it fall off? If it was already built, why is it called a building? How come our noses run but our feet smell? If you work as security at a Samsung store, does that make you a guardian of the galaxy? Isn't the word 'nun' just the letter 'n' doing a cartwheel?" Gar blurted out in a sudden torrent of words. (LOL I've actually thought about these before…)
"Well fuck," Jason said. "You guys are thinking very deeply right now."
"Do you like the Manor, Dick?" Bruce questioned the young boy next to him as he entered the house. Alfred was right on their heels.
Dick glanced down at the ground as he shuffled inside the roomy house, suddenly shy. "Yes, sir. It is very large." He carefully avoided getting dust on the hallway carpet and allowed Alfred to pass him, as the elderly man set down the luggage.
"You don't need to address me as 'sir'," Bruce tried.
"Um, okay, si- um, Mr. Wayne."
"Master Bruce, perhaps you would like me to lead young Master Dick to his room?" Alfred appeared next to the two, a washrag draped neatly over his arm as he passed on Dick's luggage to Bruce.
"How did he get a washrag onto his arm in under a second?" Karen demanded.
Past Dick grinned. "He's the true 'master' of the house. And he's the only one who can boss Batman around."
"He's also the one who baked the delicious cookies we're eating," Past Robin added. He quickly snatched the last cookie, earning a few jokingly dirty looks from the others who also wanted it. He happily ignored them as he focused on savoring the delicious and crumbly treat he had.
"Grayson, you are aware that you can also order Father around," Damian said with a raised eyebrow, "correct?"
"Only other person." Black Bat nodded.
"His puppy dog eyes are impossible to say no to," Batman mumbled.
The Batsiblings all smirked, having perfected the infamous 'puppy dog eyes' sometime in their lives. They were a powerful weapon when wanting someone else to do something for you. Aka Bruce.
"Of course, Alfred." Bruce grunted as he lifted Dick's luggage. "Follow me."
He strode briskly to the beautiful staircase, the luggage not slowing him down, with the younger boy beside him taking three steps for every one that he took. Bruce cast a glance at Dick to make sure he was keeping up before climbing up the steps. Dick was, and his beautiful blue eyes took everything in, from priceless vases to glittering artifacts hung up on the pristine walls. He gaped at every single thing he saw, not used to seeing such valuable items. Finally they reached the top of the staircase and walked right down the hall. Doors stood proudly on both sides of the corridor, and every now and then there was a large, spotless window that overlooked the expansive Wayne manor was overall very luxurious, and had a very comfortable aura to it.
Dick was already enjoying it, but the emptiness of life in the house other than the three individuals made him feel slightly unwelcome. It contrasted very greatly to the cozy and crowded trailer that belonged to the Graysons before their untimely death. The very thought of his passed parents brought fresh tears to Dick's eyes, the tear tracks on his cheeks from earlier still wet.
"Dick." Bruce's voice brought him out of his thoughts. He looked at the man questioningly, fiddling with the loose strings on his orange jumpsuit from the Detention Centre that he's still hadn't changed out of. Bruce must have noticed this, because then he opened a door, and after Dick walked shyly in, said, "This will be your room. My room will be just down the hallway, the last door on the right. Here's your luggage." He set down the luggage next to the fancy king-sized bed near the back of the room. "Change out of your clothes and you can go down to the kitchen for a snack from Alfred. Alright?"
Dick nodded, so Bruce exited the room and shut the door.
But a sudden thought struck Dick. Bruce hadn't told him where the kitchen was in this gigantic building that was called a house!
The heroes also realized this. A few of them closed their eyes to try and contain the laughter bubbling up in them at the sight of Dick's hilarious face of realisation.
Batman finally discovered why Dick was so intent on having blueprints of the manor a few weeks after he'd moved in.
"Sir? I mean, Mr. Wayne?" Dick shuffled to the wooden door, gingerly turned the gleaming doorknob clockwise as he poked his head out, peering down both sides of the hallway. "Where is the…?"
But Bruce was nowhere to be seen.
"Father!" Damian exclaimed. "You should have explained to Grayson completely before you pulled a Batman!"
"A Batman?" Mal deadpanned, an arm slung lovingly over Karen's shoulders.
Jason snorted, then pretended to cough as a cover-up when Batman began Batglaring at him.
Dick bit his lip in frustration and uncertainty, but decided that he should change his clothes first like Bruce had told him to before figuring out where the kitchen was - via exploring. He shut the door again and opened his luggage, taking out the few articles of clothing he had and setting them neatly in piles on the bed.
Or at least, he was about to begin doing so. Until he found the stuffed elephant he'd spent the last few months wishing for in the Detention Centre while he was being abused.
"Zitka!" More tears slid down his cheeks and off his chin, although this time they were tears of joy. He'd never thought that he'd been able to see his precious elephant again. Dick snatched the plushie from the luggage as though it was going to disappear if he didn't take it soon, and hugged it fiercely as a relieved grin spread across his face.
The female superheroes were fangirling and squealing over the pure innocence of Dick while the male heroes were smiling (they too could not deny the fact that young Dick was very adorable).
Dick, after several more long seconds of cuddling with his plushie, tenderly set the worn toy aside to actually begin taking his belongings out. The first shirt he saw was a Batman shirt. He remembered it to be a birthday gift from his cousin, who knew that he admired the Dark Knight. Next there was a Superman shirt. Superman was perhaps a wonderful hero in Dick's opinion, especially with the amazing superpowers, but he knew that without the Kryptonian powers Superman was nothing - simply an ordinary man. But the Batman, if you took away his suit and Bat-tools, he could still be a frickin' awesome ninja who could still kick butt easily.
(But also because he was the goddamn Batman.)
"And ninja is greater than normal person. Batman wins," Dick concluded out loud.
Batman had never been more proud of nine-year-old Dick Grayson.
After several more shirts, Dick reached the bottom of his luggage.
Now, the only article of clothing left in the bag was his Flying Grayson suit.
The blood was still on the smooth fabric, a cruel reminder of what had happened. The R symbol on the left breast was tainted with a sickening brown-red color, and a few threadbare patches could be seen throughout the costume due to poor handling of careless men.
Another pang stuck Dick's hurt, but there were no more tears left for him to cry. Try as he might, his eyes were completely dry and could not produce enough water for teardrops. Plus, he was too tired for crying, and his face was beginning to cramp up from all the grieving as well.
So Dick instead snapped shut the luggage, pushing it under the bed so that he wouldn't trip over it sometime in the future. He couldn't bear to take that suit out, not so soon after the ill-fated death of his parents. He decided to wear the Superman shirt with a pair of white jean shorts his size that he had found in the closet of the - not his, the - bedroom (how creepy). But it matched the Superman shirt, and it looked like something his mamă would piece together for him to wear whenever the Graysons were heading out. He kept his battered, too-small tennis shoes on though, seeing as he did not have another pair, and began making his way towards the door. But something then caught on his foot and -
"Owie," Dick muttered dazedly into the cold, hardwood floor as he lay down in a prostrate position.
"Dickiebird! No! That's why you should watch where you're going!" Wally screeched like an overprotective mother. The other vigilantes stared at him with miniscule smirks on their faces at seeing the ginger act like that.
But as for Artemis, Wally did this EVERY SINGLE DAY while they lived in the same apartment, and usually he kept the screeching/scolding up for nearly an hour before stopping and repeating the entire process again three hours later. Stubbed a toe? An hour of Wally chastising her on not being careful. A paper cut? How dare you! …More scolding. Hit her funny bone on the shopping cart at the grocery store? Yet more scolding. It was very endearing and let Artemis know that Wally did care for her, but it was also very bothersome at times; but as of now, it was leaning more towards the latter.
"Baywatch," she groaned, hanging her head and placing a hand over her closed eyes while she smacked Wally's head using the other. "Stop that monstrous wailing!"
Wally gave her an indignant look. "For your information, I was singing, and I'll have you know that I have a very beautiful voice."
"Yeah, sure, whatever floats your boat."
"Well, I like water too, 'cause that is what floats my boat. If I even had a boat, I mean. I'll have to remember to ask Dick if he'll buy me a boat."
"Right, right! Babe, I gotcha, shutting up now."
He got up on his arms and knees slowly. He turned around and saw the culprit who had tripped him lying on its side, also on the ground. It was Zitka.
"Zitka, you could have killed me!" Dick declared dramatically to his stuffed elephant, deciding to have some fun to try and cheer himself up before he sunk too deeply into the thing known as grief. "I trusted you! With my life, and so much more. Oh, how the great die young."
Jason groaned. "You dick. You're so dramatic! And even when you were freaking nine!"
Past Dick and Robin grinned at him. "It's part of my - our - charm" they said in a synchronized matter, seriously freaking out the other heroes at how they managed to do it so flawlessly.
"I wish my school's orchestra could be as coordinated as you two just were," Jaime said. "They suck. I mean, sure, they do play amazingly, but they don't play… together. There's always that one person who goes too fast or too slow. Then it just messes the entire thing up."
"I feel you," Karen agreed. "It used to be like that with the Bumblebees, too."
"Oh, your cheerleading team, right?"
Zitka stared blankly at Dick, motionless.
Dick groaned. "You're not a very good friend, but I love you anyways." He stood up, and after testing his body for any unusual pain from the fall, deemed himself uninjured and placed the elephant on his bed. He gave it a playful glare. "If you trip me again, I'm not gonna be happy."
Then he turned around and set out for the doorway a second time.
"Left… or right?" He looked both ways from where his bedroom door was. "Why do there have to be so many doors?" He'd already spent several minutes debating over which way he should go, and was no closer to actually deciding in which direction to head. But when he decided to just "screw it, I'm going right", he suddenly remembered that Bruce had led him to the right when bringing him to his room. So if his room was on the right corridor connected to the staircase, then that meant that he should go left to get to the staircase. He abruptly turned on his heels and made his way down the hall as he facepalmed for not thinking about it earlier. If only he was still in his trailer… He would have never gotten lost in that small but cozy home.
…The trailer. He missed it already. Dick wondered if Bruce would allow him to visit the family home one day. He hoped so. There were so many good memories made in that trailer. Like that time when his tată accidentally turned on the oven temperature too high when he set the cookie dough that Dick and his mamă made inside… they had a good laugh over that. His tată holding the tray of burnt cookies in his oven-mitted hands and his mamă clutching her sides as she let out a tinkling laughter… They may be good memories, yet they were painful as well.
He was so distracted by the memories bombarding him that he didn't notice himself drifting to the side of the hallway, accidentally scraping his right bicep on the sharp corner of an artifact - a table, most likely antique.
"Gah!" He slung his left hand over his chest and onto his right arm. The table had unfortunately injured him right where a bruise from the Detention Centre was. "Owwww…"
"Dick…" M'gann muttered sadly. She subconsciously held Past Dick #1 to her body more tighter, just remembering the wounds of Dick after he had gotten out of the Juvenile Detention Centre. Apparently so did the others, because the clenching of jaws and fists could be seen if one looked closely.
"The sooner we get out of here, the better. No one will stop me from killing those people who have hurt Dickiebird. End of discussion." Jason scowled furiously, clicking the safety off of one of his pistols although he couldn't hurt any of them in Nightwing's mind. "No one hurts my brother and gets away with it."
"Never," Damian agreed as he fingered his infamous katana, just waiting for a chance to use them. He was too angry to stand still, so he began getting restless as he paced in a few circles.
Batman remained silent, but inwardly he was seething and cursing those who hurt his little robin to the depths of Tartarus.
(Hey, who said the Batman didn't have time to read books? Percy Jackson was an amazing series, and Heroes of Olympus? Fantastic! And don't forget Magnus Chase. ALL of those books were good reads. Bruce also had all of the books for all of the series in his library besides Magnus Chase, but that was because the series was so far incomplete. But he was willing to be the first person to lay a hand on the new books other than Rick Riordan. Everybody in the Batfamily had read the entire series of both Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus sometime during their time in the Wayne Manor. It was an unspoken rule that you had to, if you had been either a Robin or a Batgirl.)
Dick was reminded of his injuries from the Centre. As if on cue, the aforementioned injuries began hurting like crazy. It was always so confusing to understand why the human body was like that, making you act in ways that you don't want to but do because that was what you thought of at the moment. You thought of coughing? Congratulations, you just coughed out loud. You think of blinking? Now you're blinking manually. You think of breathing? Now you're also breathing manually. You think of swallowing? You instinctively want to swallow suddenly.
But now Dick wished the human body was like that, so complex. He just walk without feeling pain. He also wished that he wasn't over thinking this, like now.
"Time for a detour. Where's the bathroom? There's usually a first aid kit under the sink. I mean, there should be." Dick said to himself. Then, just because he was bored, he began to speak in a different language. "¿De dónde está el cuarto de baño?" He continued on his way down the hall, opening doors as he went, until he located a gleaming bathroom. "Ah, there it is."
He went in and stared into the mirror. He spotted the various bruises scattered across his pale skin, and an open wound that hadn't quite healed yet. Dick grimaced as he remembered Gabriel shoving him to the ground, a gash created from the sharp edge of the pathetic cot, as the older and buffer boy began beating him up, punching and kicking and…
No. He didn't want to think of that. So instead he opened the cabinet below the sink, and just as he thought, there was a first aid kit. It had the proper supplies inside, from burn gel to bandaids to clean gauze. But Dick just needed to clean to wash his slightly-bleeding wound and then patch it up, so he grabbed a few bandaids and a tiny packet of antiseptic cream buried beneath other thin packets.
After patching it up with a few hissing noises at the small sting of pain it caused him, Dick neatly put back the kit and exited the bathroom, now heading to the kitchen for real.
The memory faded and dwindled away into shimmering dust that settled and then flickered out as well.
"That's it?" Wally demanded. "That is disappointing, I thought that we were gonna see what happens! I wanna know what's gonna take place next!"
"Well I guess the memory was getting too long to continue," Past Robin said. "And the author wants to finish this chapter real quick, so she's going to end it there."
"The author? What author?"
"Are you okay, Dick?"
"Th R." Past Dick said the word slowly and loudly. "Oh, haha look, I said 'Thor'."
"What the heck, man?" Jason gave him a look. "What author? What's 'thor'?"
"You mean who's Thor. And the author, duh. Okay she wants to sleep so say buh-bye, guys!"
"WHO DA FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"
Batman took off a glove calmly amidst all the confusion and set his hand on Past Dick's forehead - and then later Past Robin's - to see if they had fevers. They didn't. Their temperatures were average.
"DICK, BRO - "
"Alas, there is a door so nicely waiting for us a few paces over there in that direction. Let us not provoke it into leaving without us. Woe me! I must take my leave! And I am afraid I do not give any 'f's, as they say, to what you are saying, Wallace Rudolph West. And seriously, let's go!" Past Dick interrupted his older best friend and dashed past the speedster into another door.
"As the author commands!" Past Robin was right behind with a mischievous smirk on his face as he lept into the darkness of the next door as well.
"OH NO YOU DON'T, COME BACK IMMEDIATELY YOUNG MAN! WE ARE NOT DONE DISCUSSING YOUR SANITY! LET'S TRY TO NOT HAVE A REPEAT OF WHEN I WAS TEACHING YOU HOW TO WOO ZATANNA FOUR YEARS AGO!"
"Offering food does not woo girls," Zatanna told him. Then she paused. "Wait, actually, girls really like food and we really like eating but if you wanna woo us, do it the right way."
"It is impossible to understand a woman's mind!" Wally pointed out in exasperation.
"Why are we even having this seriously irrelevant conversation? We should follow the two Dicks…" Impulse said.
Jason laughed. "You said 'Dicks'!"
Suddenly Past Dick's head popped out of the door. "Guys, the author is getting impatient. I highly recommend that you just drop everything and just come through this door. Her parents are yelling at her to sleep and although she will actually be reading Fanfictions on her phone later in bed she still wants y'all to hurry so that she can retire for the night. The author would also really, really, really like to return to her Spider-Man Fanfiction, because apparently the character she plays in the imagine has just died and she wants to find out what Peter is going to do next -"
"I literally do not have any idea of what you are saying and I still think you should visit a therapist and all that crap, but of course! NIGHTWING FTW!" Wally dove into the door.
Everyone else followed. FINALLY.
Suddenly a guy in a red and black bodysuit appeared. He was holding a chimichanga in his hands, and was pouting behind his mask although nobody could see (1 because he was wearing a mask and 2 because there was no one to see him anyhoo).
"Did someone say Spider-Man?"