Chapter 10: Teenage Years Part II
Sophomore year was proving to be a bit more bearable than Freshman year. Mainly because the bullying Seniors had left and people had stopped bullying Ethan. It was still difficult in lots of ways. Bruce was still picked on by his classmates and the teachers were still brutal to him. Almost everyone in the school hated him.
"I'm glad you're on the basketball team with me," Ethan told him. "It's going to be nice having a friend there with me."
"Of course," Bruce responded. "I need sports credits and it better than football. It'll be even better with a friend."
"Yeah," Ethan responded. "Best part about this year is that those bullies are gone. So that won't be a problem." Bruce's face hardened a bit at that. The bullies that picked on Ethan may have graduated but not the ones that picked on him. Ethan didn't know and neither did anyone else. He kept it to himself and so far it had not progressed past verbal and cyber bullying. "You okay?"
"Oh, yeah," Bruce lied. "I'm fine."
"You sure?" Ethan asked.
"Yes, I'm sure," Bruce responded. "Have you finished your Science Fair Project yet?"
"Almost," Ethan answered. "I just need to finish my tri-fold."
"You are aware that it's tomorrow?" Bruce said.
"I know," Ethan responded. "But I didn't have any time before hand. And I've been trying to finish the project and study for our Social Studies test."
"That test was brutal," Bruce said. "Though in all seriousness who cares about the 14thcentury and all its calamities."
"Yeah, who does?" Ethan responded.
The scroll fast forwarded several days and then reopened.
Bruce knew what he had to do. Bruce was just passing by Peter Todd's locker when he noticed that he had matches and a bottle of beer in there. He knew he had to report this but he knew he could not report to the school. They would never believe him and would probably give him detention. So he decided to go to Gotham PD and more specifically to Lieutenant Gordon. He knew Gordon was trustworthy and he would do something about it.
Bruce went to GCPD right after school. He walked inside and recognized some of the officers as the parents of some of the bullies at school. He then went up to the counter where the receptionist was. She smiled at him but it looked fake.
"What can I do for you?" she asked.
"I am looking for Lieutenant Gordon," Bruce informed her. "Is he here?"
"Gordon is in his office," she told me. "First door on the left." Bruce nodded and followed her directions. He knocked on the door.
"Come in," Gordon responded. Bruce opened the door and sat in a chair in front of his desk. "What is it Bruce?"
"A guy at my school has a set of matches and a bottle of beer in his locker," Bruce told him.
"Well, this is not the first time I have heard this kind of story," Gordon said. "So who is it?"
"His name is Peter Todd," Bruce informed him.
"Thank you for telling me this, son," Gordon responded. "I will see through that this gets addressed. Though if you do not mind me asking, why did you not tell someone at school about this?"
"They would not believe me," Bruce said. "Everyone hates me."
"Well your parents were rivals with some of them in business," Gordon stated. "Also some of them are involved in criminal activity."
"Nice to know," Bruce muttered. "Could not tell the news who told you about this? It will only give me more trouble."
"I promise," Gordon responded.
The scroll unrolled to the next day.
It was all over the news. Peter Todd was charged with underage drinking and as a result he was sent to the detention center. The best part was that no one knew it was Bruce who had tipped them off. He sighed in relief and as he went off to his first class of the day. He accidentally ran into the principal on his way.
"Oh, I am sorry, Mrs. Thorne," Bruce said. She gave him a stern glare and looked at my feet.
"You are not wearing white socks," she noticed. Bruce was puzzled. "Detention."
"But, why?" Bruce asked.
"It is against dress code," she responded.
"But it never said anything about sock color in the dress code," Bruce stated.
"Double detention for insulting the principal," she added. "Understood?" Bruce sighed.
"Yes, ma'am," Bruce responded. She smiled.
"Good, now off to class," she told him.
"Not wearing white socks?" Wonder Woman questioned. "That makes no sense." The scroll then unrolled itself to two years later.
They were walking to Ethan's house.
"I can't believe that it is over," Ethan admitted.
"Me neither," I responded. "We finally graduated high school. No more abusive teachers and no more homework."
"Unless you are going to college," Ethan said. Bruce frowned.
"Did you have to ruin the mood?" Bruce asked. Ethan shrugged his shoulders.
"I'm just stating fact," Ethan responded. They were walking on the sidewalk and several older men were walking towards them. Ethan must have recognized them since his eyes grew wide.
"Ethan, what is it?" Bruce asked.
"Don't talk, just walk by, and keep your head down," Ethan said quickly. He pulled out a baseball hat and put it on his head. "Keep that on."
"Ethan…" Bruce began. Ethan shushed him. Bruce held his head down as they walked. They walked past the men and then one of them grabbed him and pulled him back. The rest of the men continued on. Ethan stopped and turned to face the man.
"Have I seen you before?" a man asked.
"No sir," Bruce responded. "You have not." Bruce then noticed he was armed with gun.
"You sure?" he said. "Cause I am positive I have seen you before." He removed Bruce's baseball cap. A wicked grin spread across the man's face. "Well, if it isn't Bruce Wayne. What are you doing in this part of town? Come here to cause trouble?"
"No," Bruce responded. "I am just passing through." The man pulled out his gun. Ethan moved toward the man and gripped the arm he had on Bruce.
"Mister Falcone, we do not want trouble," Ethan told him. "We are just trying to get to my house." The man turned to Ethan and frowned. The man had completely pulled out his gun and was aiming it at Bruce. Bruce had been struggling to get out of Falcone's grip but he succeeded at last. He grabbed Falcone's gun arm and he aims it elsewhere as he fired it. Ethan had pulled out his phone and was calling the police. Falcone was trying to shake Bruce off and as a result he shot Ethan. Ethan screamed and Bruce stopped wrestling with Falcone and pushed him to the ground. Bruce ran to Ethan and saw that he had been shot in the chest. Bruce grabbed Ethan's phone and redialed 911.
"What is your emergency?" a female voice said.
"I need an ambulance at Crofter's Lane!" Bruce exclaimed. He looked at Falcone who was still lying on the cement ground. "And the police!"
"They are on their way," she responded. The phone hung up and Bruce put it in his pocket. He looked at Falcone and then at Ethan. He knelt down to Ethan and shook him to try to get him up.
The scroll re-rolled and fast forwarded to a few days later.
"WHAT?!" Bruce exclaimed over the phone. "What do you mean they let him go?!"
"I mean they let him go," Ethan responded over the phone. "Paroled and all."
"But we testified," Bruce said. "Does that not account for something?"
"Not when he's the leader of the drug organization that the commissioner is in," Ethan told him. "Justice does not exist in a place like this." Bruce sighed.
"Someone needs to do something about that," Bruce stated.
"Like what?" Ethan responded with laugh. "Come down on the crooks both arms swinging in the name of justice? A savior from the sky?" Bruce looked out his window and saw the swarm of bats fly past his window. They do it every night but tonight instead of annoying Bruce they gave him an idea.
"Yeah," he said softly. "Just like that."
"Bruce?" Ethan questioned. "Are you still there?"
"Ethan, I am going to have to call you back later," Bruce responded.
"Okay?" Ethan questioned. "See you later." Ethan hung up and Bruce put down his phone and looked up at the bats. He smiled as an idea formed in his head.
"A savior from the sky," Bruce repeated. "A hero formed out of the darkness."
The scroll rolled itself up.
"Oh! And it was just getting good!" Artemis complained.
"Who is this?" Wonder Woman questioned.
"Bruce Wayne," Hippolyta reminded her. Wonder Woman turned to face her mother.
"But this does not sound like the Bruce Wayne I have heard of," Wonder Woman responded. She looked back at the scroll. "What are you hiding Bruce Wayne?" The scroll unrolled itself to sometime later.
Note: Should I do some of his training years as an adult or just skip to when he comes back to Gotham from his travels? Please let me know!
Sorry I have not been posting stuff but my writing time has been replaced with working on a project for school.