"Come on, Damian, it will be fun!" said Sam Kane. He was dressed in Victorian costume as a boy of the lower middle class, his blond hair covered with a cap, a mock crutch twirling in his hand (a trick he learned from Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing), and his blue eyes sparkled with Christmas spirit. He and Damian were looking out the window of Wayne Manor's living room at the snow. The room, and the entire mansion, had been decked out for Christmas.
Damian Wayne's blue eyes were as cold as ice. "So? I'm not going to help the poor! It's their fault they are poor!"
"No it's not! You refuse to look at the...."
"Sam, stop trying to quote your brother. And take that costume off! Who are you supposed to be, Tiny Tim?"
"Actually yes; it's my role for the Wayne Foundation Charity Christmas Faire! And I earned it the hard way; auditioning for your dad and Lucius Fox."
">TT< Christmas! Bah...it's nonsense. Besides, aren't you and your brother Jewish?"
"Yeah, so? We might not celebrate the holiday religiously, but we do enjoy the concept and spirit and the reasons that aren't related to Jesus. And we Jews have written all the popular Christmas songs, so there." Sam finished his statement by sticking his tongue out at Damian.
Damian however grabbed said tongue, "Don't do that. And Im not coming to help out at the charity faire. For one; I only like ONE costume, and I wear that as Robin. Two, the poor only have themselves to blame. Finally, Three...."
"You hate Christmas, Bah Humbug!" said a pleasant tenor. The two boys turned, Damian still holding Sam's tongue in his fingers. They saw Sam's brother, Joseph Kane, in costume as Bob Cratchit. Joseph grinned, even though normally if he saw Damian manhandling his little brother like that, he'd be shaking Damian by the neck. Obviously the spirit of Christmas Eve, not to mention Dickens, was filling him. "Seriously, when did you become a mini Scrooge? Come along Sam, our ride is here. It's an old fashioned carriage!"
"Cool!" said Sam, leaping off the windowseat and heading over to his brother. Joseph knelt down so Sam could get onto his shoulder, as Tiny Tim should sit. Joseph then turned to Damian, "I guess you aren't coming?"
Damian glared, "Screw the Poor; it's their fault that they are in this state!"
Joseph rolled his eyes, "Oh sure, ignore all the other factors."
Damian snorted, "There are homeless shelters."
Joseph sighed, "Most would die than go there."
Damian snorted again, "Then they should, decrease the surplus population."
Sam stared in shock, Joseph in anger. "Of all the Dickens lines about Christmas, you HAD to use that one."
">TT< I don't care Kane; I also think the line of 'stake of holly through the heart' applies here too."
Sam was stunned, Joseph simply said "Sam, let's leave this Objectivist brat, this freaking Junior Scrooge alone."
They left, Joseph's words like a slap to Damian's face. Damian began plotting his comebacks for when the Kane brothers returned when Alfred came in.
"Master Damian, your father would like to see you in the Batcave...now."
Damian stomped his way upstairs, to the clock, and angrily went down the fireman pole to the cave. There his father and his "brothers" stood, in costume.
Batman looked at his son, "Put on your costume."
When Damian became Robin, he returned to the central area.
"What is it, Father?"
"I heard what you said to Joseph and Sam; it seems you don't get the spirit of the season."
"Neither do you half the time, Bruce," said Nightwing.
"Did he ever?" asked Red Hood.
"Once or twice," responded Red Robin.
"It's a stupid holiday...." began Robin.
"Oh, Little D, don't tell me you're a mini Scrooge!" said Nightwing.
"DON'T CALL ME THAT!" roared Robin.
Batman raised his hand. "Enough. I think your predecessors as Robin will show you the error of your ways. Tim will begin with connecting Christmas and its meaning to the past...."
After a fruitless couple of hours, Red Robin gave up trying to show Robin how his miserly behavior and Christmas were incompatible. He tried Rome, he tried the Middle Ages, he tried Victorian England, he did an entire breakdown of why Ayn Rand's ideology is bad for society...all to no avail. He handed Robin over to Nightwing, who took him on patrol.
As they did their patrol, Nightwing pointed out how people were enjoying Christmas; that even the crooks were taking the night off to be with their families. The city was filled with Christmas cheer, with savory smells and beautiful music.
They then entered the shadows of Robinson Park and landed by a few tents.
"Keep to the shadows, Robin."
"No shit this will be easy."
It wasn't though; because the few tents were a small part of the Charity Dickens Faire, which was covered in light and people, and spread out over a large area. There, David Copperfield was heading home, there Fagin was teaching his boys how to pick a pocket or two (Nightwing had to restrain Robin from attacking the poor actors), there Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger sang and danced, there Esther and Mr. Jarndyce led a toast, Mr. Riah was talking about Hannukah.... And then Robin saw Sam and Joseph...or should he say Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit (as they were in character, with Joseph having a big tophat on his head, spectacles on his face, and a central London accent, roughly 1840, in his voice) helping give out the food to the poor families. While the food looked good, the portions were small due to all the people gathered there. Robin pitied the poor; for them, even the small portions were a feast. He saw Sam...Tiny Tim...help a boy his age that was even smaller than him eat. The poor boy was cold and so thin.
"I should to something to help," said Robin, a statement that surprised him.
"Whatever happened you quoting that infamous line?" said Nightwing with a grin.
"This is wrong, unjust...."
"Yeah, unfortunately so many people want to keep it that way. They believe in a philosophy that was rejected by Dickens and his contemporaries, and was later repackaged and resold in Art Deco trappings by a crazy, vindictive woman."
"Is there nothing the government can do?"
"'Is there no prisons, no poorhouses?'" quoted Nightwing, somewhat wistfully.
Red Hood dropped down behind them. "Little bird is starting to see the bad side of things, huh?"
"Yep," replied Nightwing.
Red Hood looked at the boy that Sam was helping, "If that kid doesn't get help soon, he's going to die."
"Oh no...." said Damian; his normally hard headed and selfish self wanted to do nothing more than rush out there and help. But he knew he couldn't.
"Robin, go with Red Hood." With that, Nightwing disappeared.
Red Hood showed Robin such horrors. He showed him what the poor suffered in this time of year, the stress that even the middle class would go through. He showed Robin Christmas violence, Christmas tragedy, Christmas chaos. All throughout, he made damn sure to remind Robin that this was the antithesis of Christmas, and was unfortunately was the kind of Christmas Jason Todd often had as a child. In the end, Jason brought him to the Wayne Family graveyard.
"Why are we here?" asked Robin.
Red Hood pointed to a stone, "Remember what happened to me? What my selfishness, my arrogance, my hate made me do."
"It, and Batman's mistakes, killed you," responded Robin, "but that isn't your gravestone. Who's is it?"
Red Hood just pointed.
Robin went to the stone, and wiped off the snow to see....
HIS OWN NAME.
With that, a shadow like a bat came over him and he knew no more.....
When he awoke, it was daybreak, on Christmas Day!
When he came down for breakfast, he shocked one and all with his happy demeanor, and the fact he was wearing a Santa hat on his head.
He HUGGED Joseph and Sam for the present they gave him...in fact he hugged everyone. However, to save face, he stated it would be the one day a year he would willingly do so.
He checked his bank balance and sent a charitable donation to the family of the poor sick boy that captured his attention.
He was filled with the spirit of Christmas. At the big Wayne Foundation dinner, he agreed with Sam when Sam said those immortal words:
"May God Bless Us; Everyone!"