two sheep counted, but not enough to sleep
((Bruce & a teenage Dick, ambiguous universe, but surprisingly I was thinking of this as a precursor to the Teen Titans animated show.
EDIT: young justice universe fits p well as well… really it fits anywhere?
It was probably fairly normal for Bruce’s fifteen-year-old son to be up at all hours.
When he started to feel like a bad parent, he tried to remind himself that most teenagers had sleep schedules that were totally up in the air. It made Bruce feel a little better in the face of Alfred’s pointed glances and sharp tone about how Master Dick had insisted on a caffeinated beverage tonight, sir, shall I serve it as you like it?
Those lectures had become less pointed as of late, and Bruce had allowed the warnings to sink to the back of his mind.
Besides—Dick didn’t seem to be crumbling under the pressure.
And yet, some nights he remembered Alfred’s warnings better than others. Generally only when they became a problem—like watching Dick’s head bob up and down when he was trying to stay awake at the breakfast table, or when he came down to the cave at ten at night looking like he’d just woken up half a minute ago.
Or nights like tonight, when Dick had seemed distracted and slow on patrol. At the time, he’d put it out of his head and delegated his partner to smaller tasks—ones that carried less risk if he had slower reflexes than usual.
While he hadn’t considered it in enough depth to truly have thought about it, he knew that if he had, he would have simply ignored the information, or figured out the reason why and discarded it from there. After all, Dick had pulled two full all-nighters this week, and had had two very late nights between them.
And yet, despite the likelihood of teenagers and late nights being normal, Bruce found himself focusing on that last bit of information.