Richard Grayson isn’t the youngest servant at Wayne Manor, but he certainly acts like it.
Bruce Wayne can count on the fingers of one hand all of the times that he’s seen the young man walk on his feet without the family butler scowling at him. Or the times that he’s seen the young man dressed in the uniform that Alfred Pennyworth has assigned to all of the servants that work indoors.
Other nobles might chafe at the idea of a servant that takes such pleasure in going against the rules of their estate, but Bruce has never once regretted taking the young man in after his parents were killed when he was a child living on a caravan on the outskirts of the of the land that bordered the manor.
“Good morning, Lord Bruce,” Richard says with a smile on his face as he bounds into the dark bedroom, holding one of the doors open so that Alfred can push in a cart loaded with breakfast as well as the newspapers that Bruce prefers to read early in the morning. “I hope that you slept well.” The young man pushes a few unruly strands of dark hair out of his face and then bounces over to where heavy brocade curtains hang over the windows.
Bruce forces himself to look away from where Richard is busy fighting to tie back the curtains, long bare arms reaching up until he can gather up the dark red fabric and wind a thick golden cord around it. Instead, Bruce finds himself turning his head so that he can watch as Alfred starts preparing his first cup of tea of the morning. “Are you using a new blend of tea,” Bruce asks, nostrils flaring for the scent of the rich liquid. “It smells… more intense than usual.”
Alfred nods his head and gestures at two of the vessels in front of the tea pot. “You have Richard to thank for that,” the older man says in a cultured voice as he places two cubes of sugar inside of two teacups and then pours the steaming hot tea over them, “This is the blend that his mother used to make for him in the mornings.”
“I think you’ll like it, Lord Bruce,” Richard says from near the foot of the bed, the smile on his face unwavering even as a hint of sadness creeps into his vivid blue gaze. Both sets of curtains are opened at this point and the sunlight streaming in from outside looks good on the pale gold surface of Richard’s skin. “Everyone in the caravan would line up for a cuppa when she made it. We’d spend most of the day fixin’ breakfast for everyone after that.”
Alfred nods his head as though Richard’s statement confirms something he had been thinking and the gestures at the cart in front of him. “I assume that means that you will be able to take care of the rest of Lord Bruce’s breakfast then?”
Richard nods his head eagerly. “Of course,” he says as a brilliant smile crosses his face. “Thank you so much for trusting me with this!”
“Don’t thank me yet,” Alfred says in a faintly amused tone, “You still have to catch up with your chores for the day so don’t spend all of your time up here.” He inclines his head at Bruce and then takes his leave. “I expect to see you in the kitchen in time to help with lunch, Richard.”
“I’ll be there,” the servant promises.
When the door closes shut behind Alfred, Richard crawls onto the bed and kneels between Bruce’s legs. He splays his palms over the front of Bruce’s soft gray dressing gown and leans in until their mouths are almost touching.
“I swear,” Richard breathes in a husky tone. “I didn’t think that Alfred’d ever leave.”