Always two there are. No more. No less.



Batman: A Cold Fog


            We'll stop by the police station and explain.” Batman said, slipping gracefully into the seat beside Robin and taking the wheel with the voice command, “Drive.”


            A suspicious eye stared down the boy wonder. He slouched in his seat, arms crossed against his chest, staring out the window.

            “You sick?”

            A headshake. “No, I just… eh-ihhchoo!

            Batman's gloved hand turned the wheel and silently set it to autopilot as his other hand dialed the speakerphone. He turned his head while it rang. “Good, then don't sneeze.”

            The phone was answered. “Hello Batman?”

            “Commissioner Gordon. There's a bit of a package on your doorstep. They were breaking into the museum. Might want to beef up security; there will be others.”

            “Thank you Batman. We'll increase security.”

            “Good evening, Commissioner.”

            “Goodbye Batman.”

            Looking over at Robin, Batman snickered. The boy wonder was doing a wonderful job of not sneezing, with two fingers under his nose and his eyes tightly squeezed closed. Restraining his laughter, “You can sneeze now.”

            Robin gave a bit of a scowl but let loose, nonetheless. “Ehhcooo! Uhh-chishoo! Hetchoo! Sniff!

            “Not sick, you say?” They pulled into the bat cave and the top opened over them.

            “Maybe just a little. Nothing that will sniff knock me on my butt.”

            Bruce's mask came off and his eyebrow went up. “We'll see. In the meantime, we'll need to figure out what Freeze could possibly want with that book. And we'll need a translation of the pages on display.”

            “I'll get right… righ… ri-eh-choo! Ketchoo!


            Robin rubbed at his nose with his glove-covered wrist. “I'll get right on it, sniff. Maybe after a short nap…” his rubbing moved to the back of his neck as he removed his mask with the other hand.

            Alfred appeared momentarily with a smile and congratulations on the evening's job. Then he made his way over to Dick who hovered over a computer. “Master Dick, are you quite all right?”

            The young man nodded, paused, then shook his head as he gave into the old man's kind eyes. “I don't feel so hot.”

            A caring, old hand touched his forehead. “On the contrary. You're burning up.”

            Dick shook his head to get ride of the touch with a definitive sniffle. “I'm going to be fine.”

            “I'm afraid the only place you'll be going is to bed.”


            A hand was placed on his shoulder and Dick looked up to see Bruce's equally concerned look. “You were great out there tonight. You've earned a rest. Go, take care of that cold.”

            Dick gave a weak smile of pride and an agreeable nod as he shuffled off toward the bedroom with Alfred right behind him. “EhhTchoo!

            The old man sighed. “Oh, do cover your nose, Master Dick. I could hear your sneezes all the way down the hall.”

            Bruce laughed and sat down, getting right back to work. He began by scanning the computer database and downing a cup of Alfred's strongest coffee. The man arrived at his side a few moments later to ask how things had gone behind the new reports he had seen. After a bit of explaining, he returned to work on the computer and Alfred made an inspection on the Batmobile to check for damage.

            A bell caught both sets of ears.

            “What's that?” Bruce asked, rising.

            Alfred calmed him back to sit with a gesture of his hand. “I gave it to Master Dick to ring for my services.”

            Laughing again, “You're babying him?”

            Alfred gave a wise smile. “And when you are sick, Master Bruce, do I not baby you?”

            Still laughing, “Very well and good, but I don't get sick.”

            Another ring.

            Alfred gave another smile, recalling half a dozen illnesses of Bruce's in the past. “Excuse me, Master Bruce.”

            “Oh, of course,” he said, smiling at how fatherly the old man was to them both. He didn't know what he'd do without Alfred. Bruce continued to sift through files until Alfred returned, only a few moments later. “I thought you were going to check on Dick.”

            “I did attend him, Sir. Aside from honey tea and a hot water bottle, Master Dick requests an audience with you at your earliest and most immediate convenience.”

            “Why am I not surprised?” Bruce laughed as he rose.



            “Master Bruce to see you, Sir.”

            The young man looked much sicker now than he had before let on in the darkness of the car and cave. Pale face, cheeks flushed, nose a bit red around the edges, eyes a little teary.

            “Your tea, Sir.” Alfred handed it over, then grabbed a tissue and rubbed roughly at the boy's nose. Dick wiggled away as much as he could, then grumbled and rolled his eyes. Alfred left with a wink to Bruce.

            “Bruce, thanks for coming up. I'd have gone down but someone didn't let me get out of bed. Sniff! Check out what I found in this book here.”

            Bruce leaned over, inspecting. “That looks like one of the pages from the book tonight.”

            “It speaks of peace and suffering, but there's no direct translation. It's an ancient blend of Russian and Greek of all things. It will be quite a task to decipher it.” He paused in explanation to yawn and rub his nose.

            “I'll get right on it. And you—“

            Hehshoo! Ehhhchoo! Ketchoo! Uhhhchoo!” The young man was tossed forward with each free sneeze weakly.

            Bruce nudged the tissue box closer to him in hint, though didn't flinch or scold.

            “Sorry,” Dick whispered, grabbing a tissue and blowing. “I'm not used to, um—“

            “It's all right. You get some rest and I'll look into it.”

            Dick reluctantly handed over the book. Bruce patted his ward's leg through the blankets then made his exit.

            “Hey sniff Bruce?”

            He poked his head back in.

            “Is Alfred going to be like this sniff the whole time I'm sick?”

            Laughing, “Most likely. But there are upsides to being pampered.”

            Coughing and rolling his eyes, “Just wait until you get sick… hehh… eh… EH-choo! Sniff! We'll see how sniff you like it.”

            Bruce shook his head. “Doubtful, seeing as I don't get sick.” He ducked back out and headed for the cave with his nose in the book and his head working through the puzzle.




            “Master Bruce?”

            Bruce Wayne looked up, his eyes tired but concentrated. “Yes, Alfred?”

            With a stifled yawn, “Master Dick is finally asleep, so I believe I shall retire for the night.” He draped Bruce's bathrobe over Robin's empty chair. “You may wish to do likewise. Do not forget you have several important meetings tomorrow and a party tomorrow evening.”

            Bruce nodded. “I'll go to bed soon. Goodnight, Alfred.”

            “Goodnight, Master Bruce.”



            Heh-Tchgh! Hehshoo! Ihhshoo!

            Bruce bumped into Alfred as the man left Dick's room the next morning. “How's he feeling?” Bruce was almost afraid to ask.

            A congested voice yelled out, “He's feeling jusd fide, thags for askig hib!”

            Alfred had his smile plastered on. “Master Dick is in a rather cranky mood—“

            “I ab dot!”

            “But he's getting along fine, if he could just remember to cover his nose when he sneezes and aim a little to the left for the trashcan.”

            Bruce laughed. “Feel better, Dick!” he directed towards the room.

            “Get be outa here, Bruce! I'b beig sbothered!”

            Laughing more, “Take it easy. I'll be home late.” He nodded thank you to Alfred. “Walk with me a minute?”

            A nod.

            Once they were a fair ways down the hallway, Bruce continued. “If he feels better this afternoon you may wish to mention that Robin should pay a visit to the museum to get the pages for translation. Better yet, I'll have someone send them over by secure channel. Tell him that Robin could look up the names on the list of… better yet, I'll do that during my lunch break. Tell him Robin—“

            “Sir?” piped up the old man. “Perhaps Robin could take a personal day to stay home and care for Master Dick's cold?”

            Bruce chuckled. “Agreed. Take good care of him, Alfred.”

            “I will, Sir. Good luck today.”

            “Thank you, Alfred.”


*          *          *


            “Thank you anyway.” Bruce sighed, hanging up the phone. He planned to call the other half of the list after work.


            He pressed the button on the desk phone. “Yes?”

            “Your three o'clock has been moved until Monday.”

            He sighed. Extra time. This was fortuitous. “Thank you, Kathy. I'll be taking the rest of the day off for personal business, then.” After straightening up some paperwork, he headed home by way of the police station to pick up documents and videotape copies. After calling the other half of the list, he found a researcher who specialized in ancient language combinations and arranged for a meeting the following evening. Bruce made a memo to send his private jet.

            Then he locked up the materials in the bat vault and headed up to check on his ward. “Dick?”

            The bulge under the blankets moaned.


            A head and red nose poked out just barely in a nod.

            “You ok?”

            Another nod. “This is ad udbelievably bad code.” He sneezed, “ehhIHSHAH! hehKetchoo!” and then rubbed at his nose with the back of his hand, miserably.

            Bruce came in and sat on the edge of his bed, patting his leg reassuringly. “So I see and hear. Anything I can do?”

            Dick wasn't in the mood to be babied by this man, as well. Skillfully, he changed the subject. “Did you get those bages for tradslatiod?”

            “Running one through the computer right now, and I found a language specialist who can come by to help.”

            “Good. Ub, bass be a tissue, would you Bruce? I'b… I'b godda…” He did so and Dick was quick to cover his mouth and nose as he sneezed again. “ehhKishoo! hegChoo! huhChumph!” He blew his nose and tossed the tissue towards the can but it barely cleared the foot of the bed.

“You sound wonderful. Get some more rest, ok? I'll keep you up to date and let you know if anything happens, though I'll be Bruce Wayne most of the… Dick?”

            The young man's eyes were closed, his breathing slow and deep. Gently, Bruce tucked him in and smiled a moment, then went off to get changed for the banquet.



            “Bruce, you look simply wonderful this evening.”

            Bruce Wayne smiled, extending his elbow for her to take. “Thank you. You look beyond stunning, Joyce.” He turned with her. “Shall we be going?”

            “Yes, let's… um, Bruce?”


            She pointed behind him. “Isn't that your ward?”

            Bruce turned to see Dick halfway down the stairs. The young man looked horrible. His face was pale and sallow, eyes glazed over, hair a complete mess. Though he wore his bathrobe over nightclothes, he also had a blanket draped around his shoulders which trailed behind him as he stumbled down the stairs slowly. “Just a moment,” Bruce whispered to Joyce as he approached the man, putting a hand on his shoulder. “Dick, what are you doing up?”

            The boy clearly had lost most of his reasoning skills. He rubbed at his nose. “You're goig out. Sobeode deeds to watch the buseum. I was goig dowd to the ba—“

            Bruce slapped his hand over Dick's mouth. “The basement? No, too cold down there for you, I think.”

            “Bud you deed be to—“

            He sighed. “I need you to take some time off from your work to get better. Hey, I know we've been through this, but you need to rest, for real. I need you well, Dick.”

            Dick's head came down on Bruce's shoulder. “I really dod't feel well… heh… Ehshoo! ehhChoo! This isd't like a dorbal code, Bruce. heh…huh-EHhshoo!

            “Geusundheit.” Bruce handed Dick his handkerchief.

            Dick took it, rubbed his nose, and handed I back with a shiver. “Dacks.”

            Bruce rolled his eyes and took it carefully, folding it so he wouldn't have to touch it, then stuffed it back into his pocket. “In bed.”

            Dick nodded.

            “No translating, no museum, and no 'basement'. And no giving Alfred the slip.”

            Dick chuckled. “Enjoy the barty.”

            After being patted on the back, the young man headed back down the stairs.

            “Dick!” Bruce called out.

            “Yes?” he asked innocently, holding back a smile.

            “Your room is upstairs last I checked.”

            He grinned. “Gotcha.”

            Laughing. “Upstairs. In bed. Move it.”

            Dick nodded and headed up while Bruce returned to Joyce. “I'm sorry about that. Dick—“

            “Isn't feeling well. I understand Are you sure you wouldn't rather stay home with him?”

            With a smile, “He'll be all right. He's as much a man as he is a boy.”

            She kissed his cheek. “You're a good man, Bruce.”

            A bell rang. “Alfred! Cad you brig be sub hot chocolate and bore tissues, blease?!”

            Joyce laughed. “Men can be such babies when they're sick.”

            “I wouldn't know. I don't get sick.”

            She only laughed harder. “Never?”


            “Oh come on! Everyone gets sick sometime.”

            “Well, maybe not quite never, but not since I was very little.”

            “That's better, but it's hard to imagine you as a little kid, Bruce.”


*                      *                      *



            “Yes?” He snapped back to his charming demeanor.

            She looked a bit suspicious. “Are you all right? You looked a bit distant and—“

            “Just fine.”

            “—a little pale and—“


            She sighed. “Bless you, Bruce.”

            He sniffed and blinked a few times. “Goodness, I was hoping that wouldn't come out. Do excuse… me.” His eyes narrowed, nose wrinkled, mouth opened. He suddenly made a grab for his handkerchief, lifting it up just in time. “Tishmm!

            “Bless you.”

            Ahem, would you care for some champagne, Sir?”

            They turned, Bruce looking perfectly fine once more. “No thank you.”

            The waiter turned to go but Joyce touched his arm. “Could you have my car brought around, please?”

            “Oh, yes Mademoiselle.”

            Bruce cleared his throat. “You're ready to go?”

            She nodded. “You are, Mr. I-don't-ever-get-sick.”


            She stroked his upper arm. “I'm not saying anything. I've simply never see you—“


            “—sneeze before. Bless you. And Dick seemed to be doing quite a bit of that tonight.”

            “But I'm not—“

            “Well, I'm tired anyway. And I don't mind heading home.”

            Bruce smiled, stuffing his handkerchief back into his pocket. “You're so sweet to me, Joyce.”

            “Least I can do, Bruce. Let's get out coats.” She slipped her hand into his and reached up to kiss his cheek. They headed out and Bruce opened the door of her car for her, then slipped into the passenger seat. “How're you feeling?” she asked when they were on the open road.

            He shrugged and dabbed the handkerchief at his nose. “Not too bad. Sorry I ruined all the fun.”

            She looked over at him briefly with a smile. “Nonsense. I had a lovely time with you tonight.” They pulled up to his gate, waited for it to open, then she drove him up the hill to the door. When she parked, she turned to him and patted his shoulder. “Take care of yourself, ok? I'll call tomorrow. Maybe stop by with some chicken soup. Ok?”

            “That sounds wonderful.”  She leaned over for a kiss but he pulled back, rubbing at his nose. “Better not, I don't want you catching this from me.”

            Nodding, “Of course, Bruce. Goodnight.”

            “Goodnight.” He climbed out of the car, bending down to blow her a kiss through the window. She giggled and blew him one back. He watched her drive out, then sniffed strongly, rubbing at his nose. It did little good, and he leaned on one of the mansion's porch columns, clamping his hand over his nose and mouth. “Tchoo! eTchah! ehh…Tishh! Tshoo! Sniff!” He pulled out his handkerchief and blew his nose. This wasn't supposed to be happening. He didn't get sick. He couldn't even remember the last time he was sick, certainly not since his parents had been killed. He sniffed his nose a little clearer and entered, finding the place silent. Alfred was in the living room asleep in the recliner with Dick on the couch snoozing as well, the TV lighting them both in the dark room. He smiled, pausing a moment to reflect on the perfect scene, then reached for the remote to turn off the television.

            “Another break in at the museum tonight. This time Batman and Robin weren't there to stop it. But the villain identified as Mr.Freeze was stopped by the increased security. We spoke tonight with the Commissioner of Police who assured us that everything is under control here in Gothem City. On an only slightly related note, we'll take you on a tour of the Minifield Museum petting zoo after our commercials right here on news 11 at 11.”

            Bruce turned it off with a sigh and headed down to the Batcave to tap into the security tapes of the museum. He wasn't feeling up to much work, but relaxing in the Batcave was no different than lying in bed worrying about what he could be doing, so he opted for the work… and an extra sweater.

            The tapes showed no more than they had the night before: a blast of smoke at the break-in, a host of security guards, and… a stolen book. He stole the book. The reporter hadn't… wait… the book reappeared in its spot. Then the video was lost in the crossfire and another large burst of smoke. Bruce paused video and zoomed in. It certainly appeared to be the same book… He zoomed in further. The open page… he compared it to the bundled copy he'd picked up earlier and found no trace. To be sure, he ran both through the computer for comparison.

            “Welcome home, Master Bruce.” Alfred laid a hand on his shoulder. “You're home early. Did you enjoy the party?”

            “Yes, Alfred. It was most enjoyable. The museum was broken into again tonight, and…” he looked up as the computer blinked 'No Match Found' at him, “and it seems the book was stolen.” He sighed, rubbing at the back of his neck. “How's Dick?”

            “Master Dick is currently snoring into a couch pillow. His cold is increasingly worsening, but I cannot imagine it being any worse than it is now. I've been giving him medicine and tea and just about everything I know of and it's barely cracked the surface.”

            Bruce nodded. “I know you are. You look exhausted. Why don't you head to bed? I'll sleep in the living room in case Dick wakes and is disconcerted.”

            Alfred nodded. “Goodnight, Sir.”


            Alfred headed up, and Bruce secured the computer and followed suit. Taking some extra pillows and blankets that were kept for guests, he stretched out on the other couch and promptly fell to sleep.




            Bruce sniffed and woke groggily, eyes adjusting to rest upon Dick. He sat up with a yawn. “Hey… you want me to walk you up to bed?”

            Dick shook his head, sniffing and rubbing his nose boyishly. “I'b cold. Cad I sleeb hehh… hehIhshh! Ihshh! AhChoo! AhSheshh! sniff, sniff… with you?”

            With a sigh and a nod, Bruce turned back the blankets and made room on the couch.

Dick lay down, facing Bruce, snuggling against his warm body. If he noticed Bruce was still dressed in suit and black tie,          he made no comment about it. He sniffled and smiled, quickly drifting right off to sleep.

            Bruce, however, was having a much more difficult time falling asleep again. His head felt like it was stuffed with cotton, and his nose tickled incessantly. It was all he could do to keep from sneezing and waking Dick up. He rubbed at his nose and pinched it shut what seemed like a hundred times. When all failed, he covered his mouth and nose and turned his head into the pillow. “tchhm! tchff! tuchhff!

            Dick stirred, rubbing at his nose. “Bruce?”

            Bruce rubbed his young ward's arm comfortingly. “Nothing's wrong, just go back to sleep, all right?”

            Dick nodded, falling to sleep as if he'd never woken.

            Bruce sighed, stifled coughs, and relaxed to prepare for what was looking like a very, very long night.


*                      *                      *


            “Master Bruce?” Alfred laid a hand on Bruce's shoulder. “Half an hour to work. I'll help Master Dick back to bed.”

            Bruce nodded wearily to find he was lying on his back and Dick was cuddled against him with his head on his shoulder and an arm draped over him. He sat up, his head spinning. Work, Bruce Wayne of Wayne enterprises had to go to work. He had to sit behind a desk in a straight chair in a cold office. But he got out of the house and prying eyes, and he got all the coffee he wanted. Bruce yawned, realizing how much he was going to need the coffee.

            Dick was roused, and tissues stuck into his hand as the boy wonder's face dropped and his body tensed. “ahshh! hehShoo! ehchoo! ahhshahh! ehhshoo! ahhChishh! hehChishh! Hegshah!


            Eyes turned towards Bruce, who immediately popped up, climbing off around Dick. “Getting ready for work!” he called as he climbed up the stairs to avoid all questions.

            Alfred helped Dick up, wrapping a blanket around him. “Was Master Bruce sneezing last night?” he asked the young man as he guided him up the stairs.

            Dick shrugged. “I duddo. Baybe, I dod't rebeber.” He paused to sniff strongly. “Bud Bruce dever geds sick.”

            Alfred tucked Dick into bed, watching him burrow under the blankets the way the boy used to when he came to live with them. Alfred patted him through the blankets. “There, get some rest, young Master Dick. You'll be feeling better soon.” Then he headed down to prepare Bruce's routine running out-the-door breakfast.

            When Bruce didn't come back down at the usual time, Alfred headed up to check on him. What the old man found was a shirtless Bruce Wayne, spread out on his bed, pillow over his head.

            “Master Bruce?” He walked over, touching the man to wake him.

            Bruce gave a start at the touch, reeling back.

            “Master Bruce, time for work?”

            Bruce shook his head. “I'm not going in,” he grumbled. His body tensed up and then shook. “Teshhh! huh…Tishoo! Techhphh!

            Alfred smiled, pulling the covers down from under Bruce's body, then back up to cover him. He eased the man's head out from beneath his pillows and then plumped them, allowing the man to lie back down on them. “I'll call the office, Sir. Is there anything I can get you?”

            He shook his head, plunging his face into his own pillow and stretching out in his own, comfy bed. Forget Wayne Enterprises for a day. “Techh! ehTchoo! Teshhoo! Sniff, sniff.” Forget everything for a day. And try to forget the guilt trip that brought with it.

            Alfred shook his head with a smile. “Call if you need me, Sir.”

            Only a soft series of snores answered.



            Miss Joyce Brown rang the bell later that morning.

            Alfred, of course, answered. “Hello, Miss Brown. I'm afraid Master Bruce is just a bit under the weather this morning.”

            She nodded. “I know. I brought him some of my mother's patented cold-busting tea.” She held up the thermos. “Is it all right if I come in to see him for a few minutes?”

            Smiling, the man nodded. “Of course. Let me take your coat and get a cup for that tea.”

            “Thank you, Alfred.”

            She was escorted to the master bedroom and peaked in. Bruce lay on his side, hugging one of his pillows and sniffling. He looked up, giving her a smile, then suddenly sat up, running his hands through his hair and rubbing his eyes. She sat on the edge of the bed, shushing him. “It's all right, Bruce. It's just me. I know you're sick, remember?”

            He nodded, rubbing at his nose and still looking a bit embarrassed.

            “Brought you some tea. Sorry no soup, but my cook Mrs. Campbell's was out at the grocery store.”

            He chuckled, taking the tea thankfully. “This is sniff, just sniff, sniff, wodderful. Excuse be.” He put the tea down to blow his nose.

            She patted his leg but he pulled back. “I don't want you getting sick, Joyce.”

            She smiled, blowing him a kiss from where she sat. “I won't, silly.”

hehh..” he brought his arm up to sneeze into the crook. “ahhTISHhh! heTchh! Tchoo! HetChoo! Sniff!” He rubbed at his nose and looked down, blushing.

Passing him the tissues, “Bless you. Bruce, honey, when was the last time you were sick?”

            He shrugged. “Sniff, sniff! I can't really remember… when I was a kid, probably.”

            “Well then, let me give you a crash course.” She leaned over, poking him in the stomach with a giggle. “You stay in bed, and nap all you want, and call if you need anything at all. No embarrassment, no hesitation. It's not your fault you're sick, and you certainly can't do anything about it, can you?” He shook his head. “So relax and let the ones who love you… take care of you.” She smiled and leaned in all the way, kissing his forehead conservatively. “All right?”

            He smiled back with a nod. “Thank you, Joyce.”

            “Feel better, Bruce.”

            “I will.” He finished off the tea then lay back down and eased himself to sleep with thoughts of Joyce.


            Bruce woke a few hours later, just after lunchtime, to find Dick curled up in bed beside him, his unattended nose running. Bruce smiled, giving him a light hug and wiping his nose for him. Dick smiled in his sleep. So as not to wake him, Bruce slipped out of bed, dawned a bathrobe, and took the rest of the tea down to the Batcave.

            He was welcomed by Alfred, waiting for him. “Bruce Wayne may have been convinced into taking a day off, but I had a feeling Batman would be more difficult to persuade.” He wrapped a blanket around Bruce's shoulders as the man sat down at the computer. Then he wheeled over a cart with a lunch laid out for him, and equipped with a box of tissues.

            It made Bruce crack a smile, and he looked up at the old man. “Thanks, Alfred.” He rubbed at his nose. “Maybe you should see to Dick while you're on a roll here?”

            “Do deed. I'b ride here,” came the stuffy boy wonder's voice. Dick came in and collapsed into his chair. “Thags for startig the barty without be, guys. ehh… ehhChishh! ahhgShuhh! hearshhoo! Sniff!

            Alfred held his hands up, palms out. “If you two insist upon being out of bed, there's nothing I can do. So I believe I shall stay out of this one. If either one of you needs me I'll be upstairs. Just give me a call.”

            Once the duo was alone, Dick glared at Bruce. “So the bighty Batbad sniff, sniff, really is sick, too, huh?”

            Bruce rolled his eyes. “I'll excuse that comment because you're sick.”

            “Oh cobe od, you—“

            Bruce shot him a look. “And the next time your cold, sniffley little self wants to climb into bed with me…?” He sighed. “It's no wonder I'm sick.”

            That shut Dick up pretty quickly. The boy wonder slouched in his chair in silence, gauging his guardian to figure out what he could say next and how exactly to say it. After a few minutes he whispered a soft, “I'b sorry, Bruce.”

            Bruce looked over, giving him a smile, then reaching over and rubbing his head. “It's ok. I'm just not used to being sick. Truce?”

            A nod. “Of course.”

            “How are you feeling, anyway? Sniff! Any better?”

            Dick shook his head. “Uh uh. sniff! sniff! Worse, if adythig.” He blew his nose, tossing the tissue back behind him towards the pit, knowing full well that he probably shouldn't but that he wouldn't make it anyway. To avoid a lecture, he quickly changed the subject. “Hey, I heard that book was stoled. You should have let be watch the Batcave.”

            Bruce sighed. “Dick, don't start with that again.”

            He shook his head; he didn't have the energy for an argument with The Bat. “Wasd't goig to, just wadted to see the video. Is that ok?”

With a sigh of amusement, “Sure, let me pull it up.” He pushed a few buttons and they waited for it to load. Bruce looked over at his ward, sniffling, drowsy, sallow and flushed. He wished he could do something-anything- to help. Of course he wasn't feeling well either, but he certainly felt better than poor Dick looked at present. If he really had caught this cold from Dick, things were sure to get much worse before they got better.