It's started again.
It has been a week since Young Master Wallace left on his camping trip with his uncle, Master Barry and of course Young Master Richard isn't sleeping regularly again. He does get an occaisional nap but nothing near what his young body requires. It would not be so hard if he could call his missed boyfriend but apparently his uncle has taken his technology and has forbid him from leaving early this time. The poor boys. There must be a way to avoid all of this.
The phone rings and walk to the nearest one to answer it.
"Hello, this is Alfred Pennyworth of Wayne Manor. How may I help you today?"
"Young Master Wallace, I thought that you were banned from technology."
"I was-I mean I am. But we stopped at this town and they had a pay phone so I called. Uncle Barry's bartering with the cashier over some walnuts."
Why am I not surprised in the least?
"I just had to call, Alfie. How's Dick?" There is deep concern in his voice and I cannot aprehend him for disobeying his uncles orders.
"He is not sleeping, as usual.' He sighs on the other end of the phone.
"I knew it."
"How are you holding up, sir?"
."I'm...actually okay?" That was unexpected.
"Oh really? How are you managing to pull it off?"
"The only reason I don't look like a zombie is because Dick gave me this pillow thing with his symbol on it and I can hug that at night since I can't hold him and somehow I can fall asleep."
"A tad too much information, Master Wallace."
"Do you wish to talk to him?"
"Aw man, I'd love to, but I can't. I'd never get off the phone." Thank heaven.
"Then I shall hang up the phone now."
"Wait, wait!" I stop my action to end the call as his voice booms through the speaker.
"What do you need, sir?"
"Can you help me out with something? I think it might get Dick sleeping again."
"Whatever you need me to do, I will do, sir."
"Great! Aw man, you're the best!"
So I have been often told.
"Okay, here's my idea..."
It's the day after and the first package arrives in the early morning and I am shocked at how extremely large it is. I actually have a bit of difficulty carrying it inside. It proves even more difficult since I have to keep it from Young Master Richard's curious, mischevious eyes. He cannot know about it yet.
Now, a few hours later, I am keeping watch at the front door for the mail carrier that will deliever the second item. I cannot risk Young Master Richard getting it early and reading it. Master Bruce comes outside to ask me what I am doing, I tell him, and his expression turns from questioning to unpleasant. He still has hard feelings about Young Master Wallace since that incident a few months ago.
Just as he returns inside the mailman arrives and I accept the regular mail along with what I've been waiting for. I hand the normal mail to Master Bruce to sort through before heading my work room to complete the task ahead of me. It's going to take longer than originally planned though because Young Master Wallace had not been considerate enough to at least cut away what was not needed.
But such is the fate of a butler.
It's been a week since Wally left and he'll be gone for another 2-3. He's not even allowed to come back early this time. Even though I do get some sleep, it's not much and dark circles are already starting to form under my eyes. I gave him that pillow thing to remind him of me but I don't have anything from him and if I did it would probably help. A lot. But I was too stupid to ask so now I'm up suffering for it.
I'm sitting on the couch in the main living room when Alfred walks in carrying a cardboard box that's almost as big as he is. What on earth could it be hiding?
"Young Master Richard, I have a package for you."
"Really? Who's it from?"
"I'll let you find out yourself," he answers as he sets the box down in front of me. I eye it suspiciously and shoot Alfred a look. He simply nods and gestures for me to open it. I reach down, tear away the tape, and open the box's rough flaps cautiously. I blink, mouth starting to drop open.
Oh my God...
There's a teddy bear in there and it's HUGE. Like, the biggest teddy bear I've ever seen and I've seen my share of big-ass teddy bears. I lift it out of its container carefully and set it on the cushion next to me. My eyes practically bug out of my head when I take a better look at it.
Its soft fur is dark burgundy with bright, firery red highlights and large, shining eyes the color of emeralds. The ears that sit on its big round head are are a light pink on the inside and its nose is the same matching shade. There are many tiny patches of highlighted fur around that nose that looks as if though freckles had been sprinkled directly onto it with a simple flick of a well-trained hand.
And a scent.
I lean in closer and there's definitely some sort of smell coming from it. In the next instant my brain finally connects the dots and can't control myself. I'm hugging the toy so tightly I'm afraid I'll squeeze the stuffing right out of it.
Wally. It smells like Wally. Pine and grass and nature. Why the hell does this bear smell like Wally?!
I pull back a bit and inspects its clothes. I know these. That's Wally's favoirte gold T-shirt. And jacket. And blue jeans. Well, some of his jeans, anyway. Some of it's been chopped off so it could fit the bear. But it's still his and I'm just about to explode.
"Alfred?!" I whip my heard around to stare at him. "How-how-how-how?"
"I am bound by secrecy, Master Richard." He chuckles at my loss of words. "But I do suggest you read the letter."
I inspect the front of the stuffed animal once more before flipping it around. there's an envelope taped to its back with my name on it in Wally's unmistakable handwriting. I rip it off and tear it open with eagerness. With every word I read, I feel more heart flow to my cheeks and I know by the time I'm done, my entire face is a new shade of scarlett.
This is what is said:
Dear Dick (a.k.a. my little bird),
I miss you. A lot. Like, a lot. Uncle Barry's trying to keep me distracted with fishing and hiking and stuff like that but it only works so much. I'm always thinking about you, hoping you're doing okay and everything. I'd be going sleepless for this entire trip if I didn't have your pillow thing to keep me company.(What am I really supposed to call it? I feel kinda bad for not knowing its real name.) It's not you, but it helps a little. And then I thought about what happened the last time I left on a trip like this and I got worried about you. So I saw this huge teddy bear while we were in town and thought it kinda looked like me and I bought it and one thing led to another. Make sure to thank Alfred a lot because I wouldn't have been able to pull this off without him. I hope it'll be able to help you get some sleep and I'll be back as soon as I can. I love you very, very much and can't wait to see/hold/kiss you again. Don't get into too much mischief without me. You know how left out I'd feel. ;] Later!
Love, from your personal speedster,
I am so. Totally. whelmed.
As I watch young Master Richard's reaction to the gift and the heartfelt letter, I cannot help but smile. Young love is such a beautiful thing and it brings joy to my heart to see it happen with these two and I am glad that I may play a role in keeping them together.
Later that night, though he does not do so immediately, Young Master Richard does fall asleep and stays asleep until late the next morning. Relief runs through me and there is a flicker of it on Master Bruce's face as he sees the young boy bound into the kitchen with his usual energy. He continues to do so for the next few weeks, snuggling up to that extremely large teddy bear every single night, an enormous grin on his lips. Then, on the first day of the third week, the doorbell sounds off and I know immediately who it is. I am happy to open the door to Young Master Wallace's figure and let him in, leading him into the main living room where Young Master Richard is watching TV. He sneaks up behind him and tickles the side of his neck, causing him to jump up and then rush around the couch to greet him.
A warm touch. A gentle embrace. And sweet, loving kiss.
I cannot be any happier for these two young boys.
I turn to leave them to their privacy when I hear my name being called by the both of them.
"C'mere," Young Master Richard says to me with a smile. I walk over to them with a gray eyebrow raised and almost fall over as the two boys tackle me into a bear hug.
"Thanks, Alfred!" they both say in unison. I'm stunned for a few moments, my mind still catching up to their action. But then my face softens and I wrap one arm around each of them, returning their kind-hearted hold.
"You are very welcome, boys."
All the nights without rest, the hours of preparation and work, and the emotional toll of keeping two adolescent boys on the right path of relationship pay off in the end. Because moments like these are priceless and absolutely