(This is my own version of Batman, set in the same universe as my Clark stories Clark Library )
Gotham City, 1988
Thomas and Martha Wayne rushed Bruce to get him dressed. He thought they were being a bit annoying tonight but unbeknownst to him, his father was feeling guilty over being forced to miss his birthday party a few weeks ago and had found a way to make it up to him. He found a theater in down town Gotham that played classic movies, it was showing a personal favorite of Bruce and Thomas. The Mark of Zorro, Bruce had burned out the vhs copy from watching it so often but had never seen it on the big screen.
It was in a rough part of town so the Wayne's hurried Bruce so they could be on the way home before it got too late. He had finally gotten ready and ushered into the car with visions of another society function where he'd be expected to play nice with a room full of rich brats he hated. He was ten years old but Martha would often state, "He's ten going on forty" because of his demeanor.
He cheered up the second he saw the theater marque, "Zorro?"
Thomas smiled and nodded, "We're going to see it how we were meant to tonight."
Martha sighed, "Joy." She wasn't a fan.
As they left they noticed there car had yet to return so Thomas headed to the nearest pay phone. Alfred the family butler informed, "The driver had a minor traffic accident, so I'm afraid he won't be able to come. I will have another car sent promptly."
Thomas shrugged, "Don't worry about it, we'll grab a cab."
"Very well sir."
The theater wasn't on a busy street so Thomas figured it'd be quite some time before a cab came by, "Come on Martha, we'll cut down this alley. Be home in no time."
She was weary of it, she read the sign aloud, "Cryme alley? That's almost asking for trouble."
Thomas chuckled, "Don't be so worried."
Bruce walked along between his parents pretending to be swinging a sword as a man walked up to Thomas, He pulled a gun, "Wallet,now. And tell your old lady to hand over the jewelry and the purse."
Thomas put out his hands, "Anything you want, just want to get my son home."
He handed the man his wallet and Martha handed over her purse and a necklace, "The ring too, lady."
She looked down, "Its my wedding ring."
The man grabbed her hand so Thomas moved in to stop him. The gun went off twice and Thomas and Martha Wayne fell down. Bruce looked to the mugger who looked almost as shocked as Bruce. He ran off leaving behind what he intended to steal. Bruce fell to his knees and began to cry.
Alfred entered the GCPD precinct building and saw Bruce sitting with an officer holding his father's wallet. The officer stood, "You Pennyworth?"
Alfred nodded, "How is he?"
"He's shaken up pretty bad. Can't blame him. It seems to be a mugging gone wrong. we'll need to bring the boy back in to ID the guy when we get him but a nights sleep will do him good."
Alfred sighed, "Understood, may I take him home?"
The officer nodded and Alfred beckoned Bruce over. He walked silently to the car and said nothing on the ride home.
Bruce spent the better part of three days in his room, leaving only to use the bathroom. Alfred decided it was time for him to come out. He marched up to the door and announced, "Dinner."
Bruce spoke through the door, "Bring it up here."
"I will not, you will come eat at the table or you will go hungry."
Alfred waited for a moment then the door swung open. Bruce marched past him in pajamas he'd been wearing since the night he came home from the police station and headed for the stairs. Alfred shook his head, "Its a start."
A few days later the police called Bruce in, a rookie cop named Harvey Bullock led him and Alfred into the room, "Got a who's who of gutter trash for ya."
Alfred glared, Bullock shrugged it off. The detective inside introduced him to a woman, "This is Dr. Leslie Thompkins, she helps out with cases dealing with children."
She shook Alfred's hand and looked down to Bruce, "I knew your parents, they deserved better."
He didn't respond, instead he looked past her. He glared at one of the men in the line up. She turned and asked, "Do you see the man?"
He nodded, "Number three."
The detective looked down, "You sure."
Bruce narrowed his eyes and nodded. Dr. Thompkins looked worried by Bruce's expression and handed Alfred a card, "You may want to consider bringing him to my office."
The detective looked back, "That's Joe Chill, he's in and out of here about twice a week."
Bruce still glared, "Hope he rots."
As they walked out Bullock was talking to the detective, "What kind of prick kills a kid's folks in front of him. Somebody ought-ta put the fear of god in these punks."
The detective pours a cup of coffee, "Just have that kid glare at'em, that'll do it."
As they got home Alfred looked to the maid, "Have dinner ready within the hour. Master Bruce has had a long day."
She nodded, he then looked to Bruce, "Just want to change, I'll be down for dinner. And I'll be back at school on Monday."
Alfred was glad to hear this but the look Bruce held bothered him. The maid came up, "I'm sure he'll feel better once he gets back to his friends."
Alfred nodded, "I hope you're right."