I'd just like to say Wow! Thank you so much everyone for the overwhelming support on this story. I was not expecting 12 reviews on the first chapter! Thank you so much!
The song is Miss Invisible by Marie Digby. I really recommend listening to the song to really understand the chapter.
Also, a huge shout out to TeahTheFoxLover! Thank you so much for your help! Without that crazy long explanation of suggestions and character analysis this story would not have the planning and direction it does! Thank you so much!
I'd like to thank rishi-is-a-spinda, Sairey13, LTRB, Sassbrat, Lolzersgirl, numbuh13m, Invader Abigail, secret00, Nehamee, randomkitty101, Hippopotamus Hypothesis, TheBeatles141, shadowduskmon, TeahTheFoxLover, gdag1321, Akari Tatsumi, grayember13, Monkeygirlz3, FudoTwin17, and AthenaOwl10 for favouriting and following. This is the biggest response I've ever gotten for a story, thank you so much!
Sairey13: You are so right! They are the only people who can relate to what the other is going through! It will probably take them a while for the other to realize that, though. T.T
TeahTheFoxLover: Thank you so much for the help, again! I love angsty stuff too! So this is most likely going to be my baby!
FudoTwin17: Thanks! I tried to get Wally right, with the right amount of emotion but also staying true to the character. I'm glad it worked.
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice. If I did, I would have delved into more of the mentor-protégé relationships. How their work relationship and home relationship differed. How several of them were really really close and how some were distant. How the kids felt about their relationship and how the adults felt about having an, ahem, "sidekick".
Chapter 2: Keep Your Head Down, You Are Nothing
The door to the limo swung open, and it was as if the entire crowd of students had been struck mute. They all just stared at the small ebony stepping out of the vehicle and waving to his butler. That ebony had a smile on his face, one that could light all of Gotham up if they found a way to harness the power. But it disappeared as soon as the limo turned the corner.
And then the whispering started.
There's a boy
Who sits under the bleachers
Just another day eating alone
And though he smiles
There is something just hiding
And he can't find a way to relate
He just goes unnoticed
As the crowd passes by
And he'll pretend to be busy
When inside he just wants to cry
It was just another day at school. It was another day of dealing with the idiotic morons that went here. They weren't normal teenagers and this wasn't a normal high school. He had seen shows about normal high schools, and he would have been able to deal there. He would have been able to blend in. Not here.
Here these people- they were hoity-toity Daddy's-little-preciousness kind of people. And they all hated his guts.
Dick stared at the front doors. Class started in fifteen minutes and he had to get to locker first. The odds of that weren't very good. Jocks didn't seem to like him very much.
And everyone was still staring at him.
He hated that; he hated that with a passion. He hated the staring, all those eyes on him. To think he used to live for that. When he was with his…parents, he had loved the spotlight, and his parents had said it had loved him in return. Now it was just an empty shell, a weak memory of what it was before. Before it was warm glances and thunderous applause. Now it was cold stares, disapproving frowns, fake smiles, looking straight through him, whispers and giggles, shoves against lockers, pain. If he had to endure much more…
And all he wanted was a simple smile. It didn't have to be that fancy, really. Just a smile.
And seriously, it took fewer muscles to smile than to frown. Call him a nerd, but it was scientific fact.
But until that happened he was stuck in this pile of…um, poop. And he didn't know how to get out, or if he wanted to.
Maybe if he got better grades. That was usually what people said their parents were angry at them for, right? But he got better grades; he was getting the best of them. They couldn't get any better. So what was it? What did he need to do? He just wanted Bruce to be happy.
"What's his problem?"
"I don't know, maybe he finally lost it." A finger circled around an ear in the general sign for crazy. Oh wow, thanks.
And the whispering began.
Dick shouldered his bag and started to walk quickly to the door. He just hoped that they stuck to words. He didn't want to have to explain any more bruises to Bruce.
"I heard that Bruce tried to pass him off to the Commish."
"What! Did Wayne get tired of the little snot?"
"It's not like it was unexpected or anything. I'm actually surprised he kept him this long."
"Maybe he kept Wayne entertained. Gave him under table favors for lodging and stuff."
"Oh my gosh! That totally makes sense!"
Dick stepped into the school, and the voices cut off. Sweet, sweet silence. He let out a shaky breath. No no no, he couldn't cry. Not now. Not here in the hallways. They would all see and stare. And they would whisper more. Not now.
His locker was in the far corner of the school. It took five minutes to get there, that's how fare away it was. Dick knew that was the school's personal jab at him; they couldn't do it forwardly, so they did in subtle, cruel ways. Putting his locker in the alcove under the stairs, far away from all classes, was their way of expressing their hatred for him.
43. 03. 41. His combination. He spun the lock and started to get the books he needed. He moved quickly, as he never stayed in one place for long at school. He didn't want to be cornered by bullies ever.
Well, at lunch he sat still. But that was where there were teachers watching. And even though they must hate him too, they couldn't just watch him get beat up. They'd get in trouble, and heaven forbid that.
"Hey, slut!" A fist slammed into the locker above his head.
Dick jumped and kept getting his books. Please leave it at that, he silently cried, please just let it be a passing taunt and have him be gone when I look up. Dick looked up and he was still there. Figures, the world hates me.
"What's the matter with you?" Troy McLean leaned against the lockers with his perfect blond hair and his perfect muscles. "Did Brucie kick you out of bed or something? You look like a kicked puppy."
Dick kept silent and started to close up his backpack. He couldn't fight back, not one bit. It was Bruce's rule. He had the first couple times that he had been confronted, and after a trip to the principal's office and a disappointed Bruce he was stuck playing the school punching bag.
He didn't have any friends, and he relied on Robin for any sort of happiness in his life. Sometimes he wondered if that's what Bruce wanted.
"You gonna say something, trailer trash? Gonna go whine to your Daddy? Oh, oops, you can't do that."
Just make it to class. He can't do anything then. Sure, he always threw paper at Dick and he knew they always whispered behind his back. But at least they couldn't beat him up then.
He stood up and slung his bag over his shoulder. Quickly he closed his locker; he had learned his lesson from past times- he didn't want pot or something worse stuffed in there. Now hopefully he could get away fast enough to escape Troy. He didn't want to make this day any worse.
Well, evidently escape truly was futile. A hand shot out and caught his backpack and he was hauled back to the danger zone.
"Where you going? I didn't say you could leave yet."
Dick sighed. "What do you want, McLean?"
"I want trash like you out of my school."
"I'm not leaving, McLean, you can't expect me to."
"Maybe this will convince you."
Troy slammed his hand into Dick's head, and the sheer force of the blow pushed his temple into the hard locker. He literally felt the metal give beneath his skull before everything dissolved into pain and dizziness and stars.
When everything stopped spinning, he sat up and found that the bell had already rung and they were playing the national anthem. He hurriedly stood up and put his hand on his chest. When it finished he walked quickly to his class and entered the room.
Everyone stared at him. Again.
With a sinking feeling in his stomach, he shuffled to the back of the classroom and his seat.
"Late, Mr. Grayson. I trust that won't happen again?" Mrs. Shelley, the old English teacher sniffed at him. She had always hated him, he thought it was 'cause of his "mangling" of the beautiful English language. Well, sorry, it didn't make no sense to him.
A paper smacked him straight in the forehead. He saw McLean smirking off to the side, and he knew who it was from. He slowly unfolded it when Shelley's back was turned. Nice going, Loser Boy.
Dick sighed, it was going to be a long day.
Take a little look at the life of Mister Always Invisible
Look a little closer, I really want you to put yourself in his shoes
Take another look at the face of Mister Always Invisible
Look a little harder and maybe then you'll see why he waits for the day
When you'll ask him his name
At lunch time he didn't have to worry about being slammed into anything, or having bullies surround him from all times. The whispering didn't stop; the whispering never stopped. It was rumours that spread as fast as lice: the entire football team and him, he exploded at a random lady on the street, he was going to steal Wayne's fortune. The lies never stopped coming, and there was nothing that he could do about it.
Instead of being confronted physically, he was left on his own to hear about the gossip that thrived in the cesspool of horror and watch everyone enjoying themselves.
It was May and the weather was warm, there was no way that the students wouldn't take advantage of that. So he followed the crowd. Well, more like the teachers. When there were teachers there couldn't be any confrontations. He didn't need any more. He could already feel the bump from McLean that morning.
Dick watched from his seat underneath the old elm tree that stood in the middle of the courtyard. No one sat underneath that tree because they said that the roots were too rough to sit on. It wasn't the smooth marble seats they were used to. Oh, poor babies. Anyway, it was better that he was alone. There wasn't anyone else to disappoint that way.
He heard laughter and looked up from underneath his lashes. To anyone else, it would look like he was opening his lunch bag. He preferred it that way. He smiled inwardly. It was the girls.
Barbara Gordon. Bette Kane. Artemis Crock. Three friends that weren't part of the extreme populars that ruled the school. They just did there own thing. It was admirable.
And it wasn't like they noticed him or anything, not like they were friends. They didn't notice him; they probably didn't know he existed. But they didn't talk about him that he knew of, and he had never seen them bully anyone. They were safe, and besides, they sat on the other side of the tree.
He eavesdropped on their conversations. He knew that he shouldn't, that he would only earn their hatred if they knew he was listening. But it was just so hard not to. It was just so nice hearing words that weren't directed at him with hate and negativity. It was just so nice to hear happiness.
Before the three girls he had been stuck listening to the gossip and people talking about him and Bruce. He had longed to be able to tune people out so badly, but the Bats training didn't wear off too easily. He couldn't help but have his ear tuned to hear his name or anything related to him. Now he just wanted to keep listening forever.
"You looked like you were about to pop a gasket in Bio, Babs," Artemis's smirk was evident in her voice alone. "I was surprised you didn't jump him or anything."
"I so wanted to though," Babs groaned, "he's just so sexist. Didn't you guys hear him go on about how the hormones were so much stronger in females than in guys? That it must be because of how we act?! Ugh!"
"We should so teach him a lesson." Bette giggled.
"And how do you suggest that?" Babs again.
"Very subtly of course, duh! We all do our papers about the strength of hormones, and prove him wrong. Show him up! Ha!"
Dick smiled to himself. That would show Mr. Rouge. He always was unfair to anyone who didn't play on the football team. He wished he could be there to see his face.
"Hey! Before I forget: you up for a sleepover, Arty?" Babs smiled and Dick smiled sadly down at his food. She wouldn't be able to. They had training. "My Dad's given us free reign to the living room."
"Wish I could Babs, I'm visiting relatives out of the city."
"Aw man, that sucks." Bette.
"It's not so bad. They're pretty awesome relatives."
Dick bit into his apple. Maybe she though they were awesome in their hero garb; that was the requirement for heroing- awesomeness. But in his civilian identity…not so much. He was glad that Arty didn't know his secret identity, she wouldn't have to be proven wrong then.
The beginning, in the first weeks of class
He did everything to try and fit in
But the others they couldn't seem to get past all the things that mismatched on the surface
And he would close his eyes when they left and he fell down the stairs
And the more they joked
And the more that they screamed
He retreated to where he is now
Dick was waiting by the curb for Alfred. Where was he? He usually wasn't this late. He had to be picked up soon- before McLean and the other football players got out of practice. He didn't want Al to see anything: he would tell Bruce and then Bruce would be Bruce.
"Hey! Look! It's the little prick!" McLean swaggered out of the building, and his cronies lumbered after him.
Dick was reminded of the Harry Potter series for a moment. Only…he didn't have any magic to protect himself with and he didn't have any Ron or Hermione by his side. He was just little Harry Potter, about to be beat up by a mix of Dudley and Draco.
The limo pulled up in front of the curb and he bolted. Alfred turned around in his seat with his brow creased. "Is everything alright, Master Richard?"
"All good, Al." Dick put a smile on his face. Please fall for it, please fall for it. Don't tell Bruce.
"Very well, sir." The butler turned back to face the window. "Straight home as always I presume?"
The drive home was silent, and the manor was silent when he got there. Bruce wasn't home yet, and that was fine with Dick. Just dandy, yep. He didn't have to endure the disappointment then.
Also, he had gotten a 79 on his History test. He didn't want Bruce to know. That would just cause that downward turn in his eyebrows and mouth, and he would cross his arms and just look at him. He wouldn't say anything, and Dick just wished that he would yell, just once, and tell the truth about what he thought of him. He just wished that he would tell the truth about how he hated him.
It was a waiting game. One that was eternal. It would never end. And Dick wasn't sure if he wanted it to or not.
Oh my goodness. That took forever. I'm so sorry. I've just been so busy with school and I wanted to write this story write. Mistakes are so easy to make here.
Can you guys believe this is like my third draft for certain parts.
So yep, thanks for reading, and please REVIEW! It helps motivate me so much!