Give me a story where one of Bruce’s children has a kid (it doesn’t matter who, but Jason would be so sweet as a father) and Bruce is blown away by the fact that he is a grandfather. Where he’s standing there holding this tiny baby in his arms and he’s completely lost for words. He’s never been good with words, but now he can’t even begin to form them.
Because this is something he never expected. Not in a million years did he imagine himself as a grandfather. He had seen his life going down a very specific path when he was young. A very specific, very lonely path. Long term attachments had been outlawed to him by his choice of lifestyle, and children were even more out of the question.
He’d always known what the cape and cowl meant: an end to the Wayne family line. He had no siblings, and no close relatives. No one to continue the historical name, and he’d been ok with it. Or at least he thought he had. So when Dick, then Jason, Cass, Tim, and Damian had come they’d each been a surprise. A happy surprise, a surprise that was to Bruce always fleeting. Especially when he lost them, especially when he got them back.
So no, he hadn’t expected a grandchild. Not when everyone of his own kids had followed his footsteps. They’d all done it in their own unique way, but Bruce still saw what they did as a road with one outcome. That outcome was never settling down, never finding ‘the one’, and never starting their own family.
Yet. Here he stood, holding, not just the next generation, but the third generation of the Wayne name after his parents. Bright and bubbly, in his arms there was life, and with life hope for the future. Not just the future of his family, but the future in general. Because if a man like him could be so lucky to have made it to becoming a grandfather, then the world was better than he’d thought it was.
I adore the duality of Tony Stark. Not the secret identity thing, but this idea, one that you get to see more of in the comics than the films (though IM1 did this a lot): the idea that there’s this aloof, cold businessman who puts on perfectly-tailored suits and snarks his way through a room and destroys opponents without a thought using an offhand quip, and resorts to pragmatism when nobody else will, and wears his playboy persona on his sleeve, and knows all the easiest ways to blow up a person or a world, and has a bit of a god complex, and used to be called the Merchant of Death -
- but he’s also the guy who wanders around like a zombie before the first coffee of the day, and works with his hands, and spends his time with mad-scientist hair and wearing scruffy vests covered in oil because he got caught up in his hard work and his passion for creation. He’s the guy who will do anything for his friends and makes silly jokes over breakfast and wholeheartedly, dorkily loves the Avengers, from the concept of it to the people in it. He falls hard for the people he loves, and is incredibly lonely. He’s the guy who goes to orphanages and holds babies when he can’t sleep, and adores kids. He’s the guy who cries easily, never thinks he’s doing enough, struggles with alcoholism and chronic illnesses, and desperately doesn’t want to be his father, no matter how much the media pins the opposite on him. He loves the world and the people in it, even when he kind of hates them, and is constantly working to make things better. He remembers his employees’ names and asks after their families. He tries to see the good in people and goes for rehabilitative over punitive justice wherever possible, even when it comes to villains who have actively tried to kill him. He’s known for how much he cares, exhaustingly, about everything. He’s the man who honestly has a good heart and is constantly trying to reach out, and often gets laughed at for his idealism. He’s a man who’s so often in pain, but tries to use it to improve the world rather than letting it destroy him.
Sure, I like his ruthlessness and some of his coolness, but I also love the guy who unironically adores classic Star Trek and makes absentminded Dune and Arthurian references and thinks equations are cool; who makes mental notes of his friends’ favourite breakfasts and takes young heroes under his wing and is semi-jokingly horrified when one doesn’t have a file system. Who goes “but why does that do that?” and wants to take everything apart and fix it so it can help people, and honest to god believes in a better future.
(The movies are subtler about that side of him, but it’s still there. I mean, as a little thing, I’m always grateful they let RDJ put some of his own love of classic and sometimes silly rock into Tony Stark. Not just because I share that music taste, but I always like characters who are nerdy and wholehearted about at least something. But the bigger stuff, too: the between-the-lines moments: the naming his bots, the “here, have my whole R&D lab/my company/my home/my heart if you want it, why do you look so surprised?” That’s all straight from the comics. It’s just done slightly more snarkily and with a slightly shorter, brown-eyed Tony rather than a tall, blue-eyed one.)