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Curtain Call

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“Come one, come all! To Haly’s circus! Putting the Ringling brothers to shame since nineteen forty! Come marvel at our lion tamers, our deadman, and, our star attraction…”

“The Flying Grayson!” He’s been barking the words out for the past few minutes into the massive Gotham city crowd that moves in all directions. All trying to get in to see the greatest show on earth. And then there’s a young man making his way through the crowd. With messy jet black hair. And a jacket over his shoulder. He held up his hand to get the barker’s attention.
The barker laughed. “Well! Aren’t you in luck my boy! Just one seat left and you’ve got it! Here ya go, son.” he told him as he handed him a ticket and pointed into the tent that housed the show. The smell of cheap circus food and animals fills the tent. The indistinct chatter of hundreds of people fill his ears. “Looks like you’re waaay in the back, son. But you’ll get the best view of the Graysons! Not too bad if I say so myself.” The barker said as he walked in with him.

He didn’t respond. He was too entranced by the familiar noises and scenery. ‘It’s been too long’ he thinks. He moves past the crowd to find his seat. Passing some easily agitated audience members along the way. “Hey watch it, pixie boots!” one snaps.

Pixie boots? Thats, odd. He hasn’t been called that since he was young. When he was…

ROBIN! GET DOWN” The voice shouts out. But it’s too late. The bullet hits him square in the ‘R’ on his chest. The air leaves his throat as his legs fail and he falls onto the cold wet ground.
The sounds start to get quieter and quieter. There’s a threat of murder. And maniacal laughter.
“That’s all I had to do? Just clip the little birdie’s wings to get you to really show me that wild side of ya? Shoulda shot him sooner.”
“Aha. ahahah, AHAHAHAAAA!!”

“P-Pixie boots?” He wondered aloud. Whatever, just annoyed audience members. Nothing he hadn’t dealt with before when he was still at the…

“WELCOME ALL!! TO HALY’S CIRCUS, THE MOST MAGICAL, FANTASTICAL, ASTRONOMICAL PLACE ON EARTH!” The announcer shouted into his microphone to greet the hundreds of people in the audience. It was opening night in Gotham City, the city where you pull out  all the stops. And that was just what they were gonna do, they were gonna open with the ultimate crowd pleaser. The Flying Graysons themselves. The bright spotlights danced around the crowd before they found them, standing upon the platform with smiles on their faces.
John, Mary, and Dick Grayson. The greatest acrobats in the world. In one leap they were going to --

“Oh my god.”
“They’re -- Falli -- is this part of the act??!”
“OH MY GOD!!”
“Don’t look! -- Look away!”
“D-Did the kid fall too?”

Dick sat finally found his seat, unfortunately, next to the man who called him ‘pixie boots’. Great. Just his luck. The man seemed like he was around Dick’s age. He had dark red hair, and sunglasses covering his eyes. A small bit of facial hair on his chin. And a voice that sounded… familiar. Wait.

“Roy?” He said as he put his hand on the young man’s shoulder. He smiled as he turned to meet his face. “Hey, bud.” He said.
“What’s going on?” Dick asked. “This place, isn’t the circus, is it?” Roy looked down and sighed, almost unsure of how to respond.
“Well,” He started. “Guess you’re just gonna have to sit back and enjoy the show, buddy.”
“C’mon man, tell me wha-” Dick’s frustration was cut off by the lights lowering and announcements being barked.

“LADIES AAAAND GENTLEMEN!! IN A FEW SHORT MOMENTS YOU WILL WITNESS THE GREATEST ACT ON EARTH. IN A FEW SHORT MOMENTS, THE FLYING GRAYSONS WILL STAND ATOP THEIR AND LEAP INTO THE NIGHT, TRUSTING NOTHING BUT THEIR INSTINCTS, ABILITY, AND EACH OTHER!” He shouts out. The lights danced yet again to show…

Kory? Mar’i?

“What the hell?” Dick thought. They were standing on the platform, wearing his original Flying Graysons uniform. Black leotards with a blue bird on the chest. And Kory, beautiful as always. Smiling and waving to her audience, with her hand on Mar’i’s shoulder. Mar’i…

“I’m pregnant” Kory tells him. When the words leave her mouth he’s already jumping to hold her. “Oh my god! Kory! We’re gonna, we’re gonna be parents!”

And then they’re off, Kory waves to the crowd one last time before she takes flight, a step off the platform leads her into the air. Mar’i follows her, instead of a confident step off into the air it’s a leap into the dark.

“Daddy?”
“Yeah, Starshine?”
“Can you fly?” She asks.
“Haha, no. I can’t” He laughs.
“But why do you jump off those buildings if you can’t fly?? You could get hurt!!” She questioned. Dick laughed again.
“Well, I guess i’m not afraid of falling.” He says. “And besides,” He says as he puts his arm around her. “You’d catch me, right?”
“Uh-huh.”

After the act, after Kory and Mar’i fly in perfect harmony, they retreated back to the platform. And bowed to the audience. They turned and flew back behind the curtain. Dick still couldn’t decipher what was going on. Was this some weird dream? What was the symbolism of of this? Surely there was a pattern here. He was the son of a detective. He’d figure it out. But first, there was were more acts to watch. He felt a hand on his shoulder. Roy.
“Hey, this next act? It’s, not gonna be good.But you’ve got to get through it, okay?” He sounded strange. Almost like he was scared for him. Like he didn’t want him to see what was coming next. “What do me--” Dick’s question was cut off by the announcer.

“Ladies and gentlemen! Get ready for our own barrel of laughs… Our Joker!”

Oh, oh no.