34) Training

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"Care to explain?" Bruce asked, seemingly exasperated but interested nonetheless.

Dick sucked on the straw to his juice box nervously and he sat on a bench to a park. Alfred had insisted that they all take a free day to relax and 'have fun'. Bruce wasn't having much fun; he had to swat a fly every two minutes because it tried to steal their food, and some random single moms tried to spark a conversation with him. To be frank, he wasn't in the mood.

He was glad that they took a trip outside the manor, though. Dick needed to move around and let out all his energy, and take his mind off of his worries. It was also a nice day- for Gotham, at least. It was almost sunny, and there was a nice breeze in the air that day.

Dick had taken a break from playing around and Alfred had told Bruce about the time the boy almost tried sliding down the stairs' handrail.

The eight-year-old smile sheepishly. "I don't know...I was just bored! And it's hard not to want to do something cool when you see Superman doing a bunch of twirls in the air."

Bruce raised an eyebrow. "Superman?"

Alfred brought a hand up to his mouth to cover his growing smile. How he had been waiting for this conversation!

"Um, yeah, Superman. You know who he is, right?" Dick questioned as he took another sip of his juice.

"Of course I do," Bruce responded. "I'm just curious as to how Superman has anything to do with with this?"

Dick straightened up. "He has everything to do with this! Alfred told me everything about him and showed me something with him on TV. He's sooo cool. I think he's my favorite Superhero. He-"

"Superman is your favorite hero?" Bruce interjected with an absurd look on his face. "But.. erm-" he cleared his throat and recomposed himself. "Shouldn't Batman be your favorite. I mean, psh, it's not a competition or anything, but Batman is Gotham's hero."

Dick shrugged. "Yeah, I guess, but Superman has super powers and is from outer space! Batman is cool- and I like him even more after he helped me- but he's just a normal person. I'll say he's my second favorite hero!" He decided with a satisfied smile while Bruce's posture drooped, defeated. He'd convince Dick one way or another that Batman was better than Superman. Really, Clark of all people. Of all people!

Bruce shot Alfred a weak glare when Dick wasn't looking. The old butler only smiled mischievously and looked the other way. Dick got up from the bench after finishing his juice box and swung on the monkey bars.

Dick was definitely lithe from being an acrobat most, if not all, of his life. He was also smart and quick on his feet. His main weakness, however, was that he didn't have much body strength. Even for his age, he didn't have as much weight or muscle as his peers. It was probably from the general malnutrition he suffered in the juvenile detention center. It wasn't as bad anymore, but it still was a weakness. One that made him very vulnerable to attacks, and one of the biggest reasons Bruce refused to allow Dick to return to school.

There was just no way he could leave Dick there, in the open, susceptible to harm.

Unless he were to get training...

No, no, no. He was a child. He shouldn't be training for anything.

But it could come in handy, and Bruce and Dick could be more at ease if they knew he could defend himself.

Self defense... self defense only.

...Maybe he'd teach him. Just a bit...

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