In the Isley green house, Pamela was going berserk, trashing anything that was not a plant in her way in a furious rage. She had not even taken off her dress.
"My perfect night with Bruce was ruined
we could have had our first kiss if it weren't for that Waylon!" she yelled then her eyes fell on the vial of green fluid she had been experimenting with.
Straightening up she walked over to the table and picked up the vial with the green fluid. Before she could do anything with it, the plants she had animated moved as close to her as possible, seemingly urging her against doing anything rash.
"It's alright, my lovelies. I've always wanted to be more like you and this will help me get back on that bastard for ruining my night."
Taking a deep breath, she put the vial to her mouth and drank it all in one gulp. She waited but nothing happened then looked at the vial again. Suddenly, a sharp pain hit her and she fell to the ground holding her stomach.
Bruce was lying on a bed with white sheets, the bandages around his ribs had been changed and he seemed asleep. In the corner, Leslie was looking at a few X-rays of his ribs with a careful eye. When she turned the lights off behind them she sighed relieved.
"He's lucky, they don't look worse. Another week and they should be fine."
"Thank the Lord," Alfred said relieved.
"If it weren't for all this training these last few years, I'd have him in a full body cast by now, at the very least."
"I suppose those were three well spent years in Japan," Bruce finally spoke.
"I have a right mind to send you back for another three, Master Bruce," Alfred scolded.
"I was careful
"Dressing up as this Bat-person counts as careful?" the old man argued and pulled out the suit from a bag.
"I can explain
"As entertaining as that would probably be, you needn't bother. What upsets me, Master Bruce, is that you saw fit to lie to me about your intentions with Lucius' inventions," Alfred went on accusingly.
"Would you have let me if I had told you?" Bruce countered.
"After the incident at school that led to your broken ribs
I would have consented, grudgingly."
"If he's going to wear that thing again, let me know," Leslie told them. "I'll be prepared for any emergencies from now on," the doctor said leaving the room.
"You're really going to let me?" Bruce asked surprised.
"Seeing as there is no way I can sway you from this course
I can at least make sure you are prepared to face the threats you will meet."
After his check up at Leslie's clinic, Alfred took him home to get some rest. The ride was extremely slow and Alfred only took the least used roads in town to avoid getting into accidents. But after lying to his guardian and going behind his back, Bruce did not argue with him further for fear of upsetting him more and making good on his promise to send him back for training. When they got home, they found a dirt bike parked outside the mansion.
"Don't tell me
"Oh, it completely skipped my mind. The young master Grayson arrived early this morning," Alfred said getting out of the car.
"Hey Ricky! Get out here!" Bruce yelled.
A few minutes later a teenage boy, probably a couple of years younger than Bruce, ran out of the mansion. The two boys ran at each other but before they could jump in each other's arms, Alfred grabbed them both by their collars and stopped them.
"Master Bruce still needs to rest for another week before the two of you start wrestling all over the mansion."
"Just how the heck did you get your ribs so busted?" the boy said amused. "So much for all that ninja training of yours."
"You're one to talk, took you twice as long to get your brown belt," Bruce countered.
"Oh yeah? Well I'm almost a black belt, you know!"
"Give me a week and I'll wipe the floor with you!"
"Now, now boys
this is no way for cousins to act. What say we go inside and I fix you both some snacks?"
After taking the two of them inside, Alfred headed to the kitchen while Richard pulled his cousin to the side.
"So tell me, what's with those things in the attic?" the younger boy whispered.
"You know I don't like it when you snoop around my stuff," Bruce replied annoyed.
"Oh come on, that stuff looks really cool
is that how you busted your ribs?"
look, I'll tell you about it later. Right now I need to rest," Bruce told him then walked to the couch and turned on the TV.
He skimmed through a few channels until he saw a reporter standing in front of his high school. The news headline read: 'Disturbance at the prom'
"It seems some sort of Halloween battle took place at a local high school last night involving two shady characters," the reporter was saying. "One of them was apparently a student at this highs cool, one Waylon Jones
while the other is a complete mystery. All we know is that he calls himself The Batman."
"Isn't that your high school?"
"We had a dance but I had to leave early
"Eyewitnesses claim that Mr. Jones was responsible for starting the riot while this Batman put a stop to it. Who is this Batman? What does he want? Where does he come from? And most importantly, why bats? This is Trip Ellis for Gotham News."
"Looks like you missed all the fun
or did you?" Richard asked with a smirk.
"All that stuff in the attic, there were some bat-like things up there
"So what're you saying, that I'm Batman?"
"You are," Alfred said walking in with a tray of snacks and some orange juice.
"Alfred! You know Ricky can't keep a secret!"
"But this is too awesome! I mean, Batman! Out there fighting crime!"
"I'm not fighting crime, I'm fighting bullies," Bruce argued. "You're overreacting."
"Still, going out there like some caped avenger, upholding justice under a mask, a mysterious character with a dark past fighting because he
The boy trailed off when he realised he had gone too far with the excitement and mentioned something best left alone. A silence fell in the room, Bruce's head lowered while Alfred walked over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder.
" Ricky apologised.
"It's fine, I
They were interrupted by the doorbell and Alfred rushed to the door. When he opened it he was shocked to see a group of teenagers standing in front of the door. Bruce's friends from school had all come over to visit him.
"Hey Al, can we come in?" Jay asked.
"Master Bruce needs rest
we won't be long," Barbara insisted.
The old man consented and let them all come in. Bruce was overwhelmed to see so many of his friends come to visit him. They all bought him flowers, comics, basically anything to help him pass the time. Pamela had apparently spread the word that his ribs had been aching and with the disturbance at the dance, they were all worried Waylon had found him.
"Why? Didn't the police get him or something?"
"Well Batman did leave him tied up for them to find," Barbara told him. "But when dad got there, he was gone. They even went to his house but his parents said he hadn't come home."
"This sounds bad," Bruce said thoughtfully. "Speaking of which, is Pamela ok?"
"We don't know," Harley told him. "I went by her place but she's locked in the greenhouse."
"We were thikin' of goin over there after we left here," Jay told him. "Wanna come?"
"Out of the question," Alfred said firmly. "Master Bruce needs bed rest I'm afraid. I will ask you to call him and inform him of Ms Isly's condition."
"Will do," Harvey told him. "But we should go."
who's the kid, Brucey?" Jay asked looking at Richard.
"What's the matter, clown-face? Don't remember me?"
"Ricky?" Barbara asked surprised.
"The one and only, Richard Grayson, is back in town," the boy said smugly.
"Is he someone important?" Viktor asked.
"Ricky's my hyper-active, womanising cousin," Bruce clarified.
"And I'll be transferring to your high school too," Richard added. "So watch out Gotham!"