Bruce would be heartbroken. Begrudgingly, he would let Damian go because it is his life and ultimately his decision, but part of him would feel like it was his fault that Damian left and probably develop a day drinking problem for a bit
IM FUCKIGN WHEEZING DICK ACCIDENTALLY KILLS RA’S AL GHUL AND BRUCE IS JUST LIKE “Talia will hate me for this.” BUT THEN TALIA JUST GLANCES AT HER DAD’S DEAD BODY LIKE ITS NOTHING AND ALFRED IS ON THE LINE SAYING “Don’t worry, his deaths are usually temporary.” 😭😭😭😂
On one Father’s Day, Bruce entered his study to find an envelope on his desk. It was in the perfect center; too carefully placed to be an accident, though it had no addresse or name on it.
He waited until later, when the Batcave was deserted, to scan the envelope. But all the scans came back negative, so he carefully cut into the side and let the contents fall out into his hand.
There was a single photo. It was of a baby, probably a few months old, swaddled in a colourful blanket. Under the shock of black hair, the baby’s eyes were shut tight, mouth open in a deep sleep. The little hand was holding the blanket tight.
Bruce sat down on one of the chairs. He recognized the face, even as an infant. Damian should be making the same face as the one he wore in the photo, safe up in his bed.
Why had Talia, because she was the only one who could have this photo, the only one who could have brought it to him, chosen to give this to him now? After not telling him about Damian’s existence until years ago, after robbing him of the chance to see Damian as a baby, after allowing Damian to be trained too harshly at too young—
He took a deep breath, reeled in the immediate anger, forced the thoughts to come to him slower.
Damian’s face, when he had first come to the Manor. Talia telling him in harsh whispers “He’s your son!” while Dick and Damian met each other for the first time in the other room. When he had met Talia for the first time, and she beat him at sparring so completely that he spent the next two months training to match her. Her helping him with his stance until he could. Talia fighting with Ra’s. Talia fighting with him.
The cruel sneer on Damian’s face meeting his siblings. The first time they heard him laugh, really laugh, when Cass had delivered a face full of whipped cream to Dick, who had fallen to the floor. It was the same laugh that Talia had, when he had surprised her with a long forgotten joke, so many years ago.
The scars on Damian, the ones that Bruce hadn’t been around for, that he couldn’t forgive. The playful glint in Talia’s eye’s when she was teasing him. Damian calling him Father. The heartbreak on Talia’s face when she had left Damian with him, promising that it was necessary, that he’d be safer this way.
Bruce took another breath. He grabbed a file protector, and slipped the photo, the treasure, in it.
Things couldn’t ever be normal between him and Talia, with too many fractured windows and smoking bridges and good intentions in their past.