“So when’s Dick getting here with Bruce Jr?”
“His name is not-“
“I was kidding. I’d tell you to lighten up, but that kinda defeats the purpose of the whole ‘Dark Knight’ thing doesn’t it.”
Roy Harper stood in the ginormous living room of Wayne Manor alongside millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. It was Halloween, and Bruce had somehow been talked into accompanying Roy and his daughter Lian out trick or treating with his sons Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne.
Roy was dressed in a wolf costume done up like Little Red Riding Hood, as if the wolf had successfully eaten Red and stolen her hood. Bruce had declined on wearing a costume and was dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt.
“I dress up enough as it is,” he reasoned.
They were currently waiting on Dick and Damian to arrive from Bludhaven before venturing into the city, while Lian was using the bathroom.
“Lian, honey?” Roy called down the hall, “Everything okay?”
“Yeah daddy, I’m almost done!” Lian responded.
“And what exactly will she be wearing to accompany that dignified ensemble?” Bruce inquired.
“Oh, you know…” the wolf mask hid Roy’s smirk but his tone of voice betrayed him, “I think you’ll like it. Hey, Etai Yazi, show Uncle Bruce your costume!”
“Coming, Daddy!” The little girl responded. “This wagon’s hard to pull.”
“Wagon?” Bruce asked. Sure enough he heard the sound of little wheels squeaking down the hallway, getting closer and closer to the door, when Roy stepped aside and in came his little girl.
What Bruce saw made his blood turn to ice.
It was like his bones were made of concrete.
Like his feet had melded to the floor.
Those patches adorned with all too familiar symbols.
She even had a little wagon with boxes of thin mints!
“Hi, Uncle Bruce!” Lian the little girl scout did a little salute. “Happy Halloween!”
The look on Bruce’s face was something Roy had never seen before in his life. The color had drained completely away and his mouth hung up in what could only be called mute shock. Roy could swear the veins in Bruce’s neck had begun to bulge as sweat ran down his forehead.
He didn’t think it was true. He thought Dick was screwing around with him. But it was true. Bruce Wayne, the Batman, the Dark Knight of Gotham…
Was afraid of girl scouts.
“Oh yeah, Bruce has been like that for years.” Dick had confided in Roy one night when the Titans had managed to get Dick drunk. “He never has cash on him when they show up, and he doesn’t know what to do. Have you seen how pushy they get with those thin mints? I once found him hiding in a broom closet brandishing a colander because they wanted him to buy samoas.”
Luckily, Dick had gotten so drunk he completely forgot about that conversation.
Not Roy though, who, unlike the other Titans, hadn’t touched a drop and memorized EVERYTHING Dick had to share on the matter. And had remembered it a few weeks before Halloween.
“Lian, peanut?” Roy asked one day. “What would you like to be for Halloween?”
“I dunno, daddy.” Lian looked up from her coloring to respond. “Got any ideas?”
Sometimes, it’s just that easy.
“You want some cookies before Uncle Dick gets here?” Lian held up a green box with designs of happy, smiling girls and chocolate cookies.
Lies. Bruce thought. They’re boxes of lies.
“Daddy got the idea of my handing out cookies to people who give me candy this year, as a way to say thank you.” Lian smiled, feeling proud of how thoughtful her daddy was. “Isn’t that nice?”
“Yeah, wasn’t that nice of me, Uncle Bruce?” Roy asked, showing incredibly self restraint and holding in the tidal wave of hysterical laughter wanting to burst forth.
I’m going to kill him and hide the body and I will raise Lian I will raise her right she deserves better than this scheming, underhanded, manipulative-
“Uncle Bruce?” Lian pulled the wagon up to the extremely sweaty older man. “You want some thin mints?”
He didn’t blink. He couldn’t blink. Because if he did, there would be more of them and he wouldn’t be able to appease them all because there’s so many and so many cookies and WHY DOES TIM ALWAYS TAKE MONEY FOR MARSHMALLOWS AT THREE IN THE MORNING????
“Uncle Bruce? Are you okay?” Lian put the thin mints back in the wagon. “If you don’t want thin mints, I also have samoas.”
He went down like a sack of Bat Bricks.
For a moment, no one said anything, until Lian looked up at her father.
“Daddy, is Uncle Bruce dead?” Lian asked.
“No honey, he’s just unconscious.” Roy assured.
“Oh.” Lian tilted her head. “I can pull him around in my wagon but I think he’s too heavy. Can you help me?”