Bruce Wayne - Father Extraordinaire
…I’ve rediscovered my love for the Batman fandom. I grew up with the caped crusader, and when most girls my age were playing princess dress-up, I was trying to tie a black cape around my neck.
This was my first fandom, at the age of seven. Dick Grayson was my first love. You know what? He still is.
This is my first foray into this fandom on tumblr. I hope that this fic is an appropriate start.
This is also posted on ao3, where I write as Living_Free: http://archiveofourown.org/works/9499421
Bruce Wayne is Gotham’s media darling.
He’s their late-night scandal maker, their social butterfly, the ultimate playboy, scourge of the social circle. No young person is safe from his charm.
Then he has a child.
And he never stops.
Bruce Wayne was Gotham’s guilty pleasure - billionaire, playboy, and media sweetheart. He was always ready for the cameras with a witty quip, or a dashing smile, always with a slim, svelte, lady on his arm.
Until one day, there was no lady.
Instead, a tiny child was hanging off of his hand, grinning up at his guardian. When Bruce Wayne looked down from the cameras, he lost his toothy smile, and instead, it melted into a softer one. The small child giggled and buried himself into Bruce’s side, which effectively hindered any and all females from attaching themselves to him.
“This is Dick,” he introduced the sleepy child in his arms to the media. “He’s mine.”
In his arms, Dick would giggle and doze off, or at least pretend to. Bruce would take this as his excuse to escape the gathering - “I need to put him to bed,” he would say earnestly. In the car, Bruce would tell Dick what a smart boy he was, and within a few minutes, the pair could be seen leaping across rooftops, the little Robin cheering his mentor on as the Batman beat twelve types of shit out of the villains of Gotham.
Years later, Dick would still be seen on Bruce’s arm, not so much adorable as mouthwateringly sexy. He would still look up at his mentor, giggling, and Bruce would still smile softly down at him.
They still owned the night, but Batman would more often cede control of the beating of villains to his first Robin, watching from the sidelines as Nightwing gracefully thrashed the rogues of the city.
As Bruce looked at his boy - always boy, at least to him - he would feel a spark of pride. No matter the dark moments in his life, no matter the mistakes he made, he would always know that he had gotten one thing right.
And that was enough.
“This is Jason,” Bruce said some years later. “He’s also mine.” Jason just scowled up at his adopted father, until Dick whisked him away to scowl at other people.
Jason was a fish out of water with the Waynes. Where Dick was a natural performer, Jason hated being in the limelight, clinging to his elder brother or hiding behind his father’s large frame. Bruce learnt to step carefully, for fear of crushing his newest son. Jason was much more at ease as Robin, where he could shine in his own way.
Where he floundered Jason Todd-Wayne, Jason made his mark as Robin, and Bruce couldn’t have been happier. Bruce smiled bigger than ever, happy that both his sons were making their way in the world, kicking ass and taking names.
Until one day, Bruce didn’t smile anymore.
Batman had never thought that he would address his second son again, much less with such reprimands. Every time Jason raised his gun, Bruce’s heart would bleed a little more, yearning to smack the gun out of his boy’s hand.
Nightwing didn’t have the heart to discipline his wayward brother, too glad at having Jason back to do anything. Tim was still skittish around him, sticking close to Bruce or Dick whenever Red Hood was around. And wasn’t that another dagger to the heart.
Eventually, things did look up. Jason warmed to Dick first, having never lost the soft spot he had for his elder brother, and then Alfred. No one could stay mad at Alfred. Jason would visit more often, hanging around Dick’s room. Whenever Bruce would show up, hoping to catch Jason, the boy would leap out of the nearest window.
Tim was shy around Jason, fearful of invoking the older man’s anger. Jason made no moves to calm the boy, still resentful of him. Bruce thought that his two youngest would never get along until one night, Red Hood entered the Batcave carrying Red Robin in his arms, as the boy rested his head on Jason’s chest. R'as Al Ghul had been holding Tim a little too close for comfort, having sedated the young bat. That had been enough to set Jason off, pulverizing the old lech and bringing the shaky boy back home.
Dick had predictably gone ballistic, weeping and cursing, refusing to let go of a disorientated Tim. Bruce was left to deal with Jason, who looked uncomfortable being left with his estranged father. Bruce only compounded the situation by drawing Jason into a hug. Jason just stood there as Bruce squeezed him, whispering thanks in his ear, before leaving to take Tim upstairs.
Dick led Jason upstairs, clinging to his arm, head resting on his shoulder, a little teary thinking about what could have been. Jason allowed Dick to take him upstairs, allowed him to cuddle up to him, sitting squished together in Tim’s room as the boy himself clung to Bruce in bed. Later that night, Jason started awake, with Dick still snuggled up to him, and Bruce snoring lightly, his hand in Tim’s hair. Jason looked at Tim, who was wide awake, looking directly at Jason with wide eyes. Jason stared back calmly, making no moves, only smiling slightly. Eventually, Tim’s eyes closed, his fears assuaged, at least in that one regard.
From that night on, something shifted in their family dynamic, and Tim would shyly claim to have two brothers. Jason would just grunt, but not refute this fact. Gotham learned that overnight that the Bat and his Birds were now a solid group of four, and none were to be trifled with.
That night onwards, Bruce stood a little taller, a little prouder.
The media speculate that after the death of his second son, Bruce Wayne would not smile again, and for a long time, he didn’t. His eldest came back to Gotham, and clung tighter than ever to his father’s arm, no force capable of moving him from his place.
It took a waifish boy to lure a smile out of Bruce Wayne again, months later. Doggedly determined, little Tim Drake stalked the Batman around Gotham, until one day, tired of his little shadow, Bruce just look the little boy home.
Wayne Manor regained its light with the little boy running around its halls, all around the Batcave, and into Bruce’s heart. Dick was lured out of his depression by the tiny boy, his heart picking up at the prospect of having another little brother to hold and love.
One fine night, Bruce Wayne showed up at another gala, Dick holding one arm as per usual, and a small boy cradled in his other arm. “This is Tim,” Bruce introduced his newest son, “he’s mine.” Dick grinned as Bruce passed the boy to him. Tim spent a lot of his early galas in either Bruce’s or Dick’s arms, both being fearful of the small boy being trampled in the horde of unforgiving socialites.
The streets were another story entirely. The new Robin earned a reputation of being sneaky, quiet, and almost as clever as the Bat himself.
Eventually, the Batman learned to stand strong again, and the caped crusader ruled the night once more, his little bird by his side.
Damian Wayne was a nightmare.
The media hated him, and the feeling was mutual. He growled and bit and scratched, and clung to his eldest brother like a limpet. The Feral Wayne, the media called him.
Bruce was at his wits end when it came to Damian. The boy was not warming to him, Jason, or Tim, and only sought out Dick. Dick had his hands full with the youngest Wayne, having become a pseudo-mother virtually overnight.
The boy’s ideals were warped, twisted by his time with the League of Assassins, and his heart was hard. Time would prove to be a true healer, slowly melting Damian’s heart. Unbelievably, Gotham and life as Dick Grayson’s Robin thawed Damian’s cold exterior, and his warm core was revealed.
When Bruce was thought dead, and Dick was left to pick up the pieces, Damian clung to his brother harder than ever, desperate not to let his brother break. When Tim brought Bruce back, Damian heaved a sigh of relief as Dick handed the cowl over again, then proceeded to smother Bruce with his all consuming hug.
Something changed that night, when Damian saw that Tim was truly capable of moving mountains for their family. Damian gained a new respect for his elder brother, and made it known in small ways - heeding Tim’s advice on patrol, keeping his silence around the older boy as he worked. When Family Photo time rolled around, Dick subtly passed Damian over to position him on Tim’s lap, and to everyone’s surprise, Damian did not even squirm as Tim’s arms encircled his waist. The same could not be said of Jason, who threw a mini fit when Bruce tried the same with him.
The photo came out thus - Damian sitting on Tim’s lap, both with serene smiles, Dick next to them, one arm wrapped around Jason and one over Tim’s shoulders. Bruce stood to the side, glowing with happiness, his arm thrown sloppily around Alfred, who gave his best Mona Lisa impression.
The photo was hung in the batcave, where it still hangs to this day, a loving reminder to the Bats of the challenges that they overcame to come together.
Bruce looked down at the slightly built girl who stared stoically back up at him. Boys, he could handle. He was familiar with their ways. He had given the birds and the bees speech to all of them, nursed their owies, and trained them to become heroes though the years.
Bruce took a deep breath. He could make another hero of this one, too.
“You ready to be a hero?” Bruce asked Cassandra. A nod.
“It’ll have to wait,” Dick said, flouncing in. “The Wayne Christmas Gala is tonight. We have to get ready to schmooze.”
Bruce wrinkled his nose in distaste, eliciting a laugh from the girl. Bruce looked down in a panic, realizing that he had no clothes for a little lady. “I have nothing for you to dress in,” Bruce said, vocalizing his dread.
Dick beamed at Bruce’s conundrum, and ushered the entire family into the car. “Mall trip!” He bleated, as Bruce paled. They found themselves at the mall, Cassandra holding onto Bruce’s hand at the ladies section while Dick piled his arms with everything that looked cute enough for his sister. Cassandra refused to become Dick’s model, stalking out of the store, which left Bruce to pick something for a young lady. He eventually chose a disgusting, pink, number, much to Dick’s delight.
Cassandra emerged from the room that night in the flowing, frilly, disaster, as Bruce looked at her, considering. “This is okay, right?” Alfred tutted from the corner, muttering about how a young lady with untamed hair would stand out like a sore thumb at a gathering such as the one they were going to tonight. Bruce panicked once more as Dick passed a comb and hair ties into his hands.
At the gala, Bruce presented his newest child, complete with uneven pigtails and overdone blush. “This is my daughter,” he said proudly. “She’s mine.” To her credit, Cassandra didn’t scowl.
That night, Black Bat kicked ass harder than ever, taking out her humiliation on the evildoers of Gotham City. Although he was clueless as to what brought on her unprecedented savagery, he still watched her like the proud father that he was.