Disclaimer: This is incredibly Wrong. This story stems from a dorm room conversation that started out, "The people of Gotham must TALK about Bruce Wayne, living up in stately Wayne Manor with an old man and a teenage ward...and then, when that teenage ward leaves, he just picks up a new one..." Bruce Wayne/Batman, Dick Grayson/Robin and Barbara Gordon/Batgirl do no belong to me. DC owns them. I owe DC a great big
"Bruce Wayne? Oh, he just left."
"Did he take his adorable ward with him?"
"Of course he did. Do you ever see them apart?"
Nice, Bruce. Run off to fight crime and don't leave a forwarding address. I dropped my barely-touched champagne glass on the nearest table and skirted around the large group of woman, heading toward the door. Guess I'd be doing a little sneaking out, myself. As I squeezed past a woman who really should have left the canapés alone, the glow of the Batsignal caught my eye. It was barely visible from the low window, but I could see the edge, and it was obvious to me what it was. I really had to get out of there.
"Poor boy. He's really too young for that sort of thing."
That sort of thing? No one else knew that Dick Grayson spent his spare time running around in short pants and a domino mask, did they?
"He seems like a happy, upbeat lad..."
"...shame Wayne swings that way..."
"...make some young woman..."
"What? What are you talking about?"
"Honey, Bruce Wayne lives alone in that big old house with the old man who was his parents' butler, and his teenage ward. What do YOU think is going on up there?"
"But he's got that extraordinary reputation as a playboy..."
"I've never finished a date with him...he always goes running out in the middle."
"It's one of those things...he just likes young boys."
"Probably growing up without a mother..."
"You think the butler...?"
"Mr. Pennyworth is a sweet old man who gave up his own life to raise Mr. Wayne, and loves him like his own child!" I cut in, angrily. How could anyone truly believe that anything so...distorted was going on in stately Wayne Manor? Oh, I mean besides Bruce dressing up as a big bat and Dick masquerading as a target in that red, green and yellow monstrosity. "And Mr. Wayne took Dick in--" I paused for a minute, hoping no one else just heard what I said, the way I did. "--to keep him from being stuck in the Child Welfare Center. It was a kind, decent act, and he loves Dick like a son! I don't know how you can argue that Mr. Wayne is using Dick for any sort of--of--underage, illicit act!"
"Well, Babsie, sweetheart," one of the society girls I wasn't raised near spoke up, "have you ever sealed the deal with Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome Wayne?"
"Well--" Well, no. "Look, he's not having sex with Dick," I told her, but it sounded lame, even to my own ears.
"Oh, and I guess little Dick would just tell you all about it if he was? Or maybe not-so-little, hmmm?" The other women tittered, and I felt my face flush red. Dick was sixteen, and way underage for anyone standing in that little circle. Including me.
"If anything's little around here," I said quietly, keeping my voice under strict control. "It's your minds. You all must have some pretty dirty laundry in your closets if you don't know enough about love and family to recognize a father and son when you see one." I turned on one heel and stalked out of the room, furious.
I was still angry when I swung out on my Batline and found Batman and Robin neatly tying up a gang of burglars, who were trying to pilfer the valuables of the very people who were haranguing them at the party tonight. It's not fair, I thought bitterly, landing lightly on the roof next to them. Those mean, ill-tempered people were wandering around that mindless party, oblivious to anything but their gossip and their champagne, while these two were out risking their lives for the little baubles that amused those same people. And what do they get? A bad rep.
"Holy Ropetricks, Batman," Robin said, straightening up and surreptitiously tugging on his green briefs. "Even I couldn't get out of these knots."
"Sure you could, chum. No rope's invincible."
"Well, maybe when we get back to the Batcave, you can tie me up and show me how to get out of them?"
"Sounds like a plan."
Then again, maybe they deserved everything they got.