Things the Batfam forgot to tell Duke when he joined
Whenever any member of the Batfam mentions “that time I was dead,” they aren’t kidding.
Just because you haven’t seen Tim in days doesn’t mean he isn’t there. The same applies to Cass, for entirely different reasons.
If the Red Hood ever breaks into the Manor and tries to hold you hostage, don’t worry about it–the guns aren’t loaded, that’s just Jason doing a bit. That’s how he asks Bruce for money.
Bruce actually has THREE biological children. If a tall Damian suddenly appears in the Cave, he is from the future and can be trusted, and will occasionally bring back future snacks. Don’t try to attack him: he is stronger than you. Beware the girl: she is from an alternate universe and may attempt to introduce you to tv shows that don’t exist. You will be very disappointed.
If Christopher Kent gives you his armor and tells you that it can help you fly, he is lying. He is Kryptonian, and the thrusters are for show.
The guy in red eating your cookies on Christmas Eve is NOT Santa. That is Barry Allen. Do not get between him and food; you will regret it.
“That storm is pretty bad.” You glance out the window and can’t help but agree. Hurricane Renee had been on the news for days, and now that she had hit, she seemed determined to live up to her name.
Unfortunately for you, this meant that your seven children were cooped up inside. The manor had become a complete mess between various board games, and one or two games of extreme hide and seek.
So far, the casualties included a chandelier, a Ming vase, two of Bruce’s golf clubs, and Alfred’s blender. You’d left your children to the mercy of the butler and retreated to the library to find Helena staring out the window.
Your daughter was a daddy’s girl and had been from day one. She was fierce, tough and outspoken, and she hated storms with a passion. More often than not, lightning and thunder filled nights found her in your bed with you and Bruce.
Hurricanes seemed to be even worse. The usually rambunctious girl was sullen, and more than a little pouty. This was proved even further when she snuggled up to you. Dick, Jason, and Cass were your snugglers. Helena preferred her personal space.
Never one to pass up an opportunity, you pull the girl close. Kissing the top of her head you say, “Don’t worry baby girl, Daddy will be home soon.”
She sighs, “I hate business trips.”
You smile, “You and me both.”
“This was a long one.”
You nod. Two weeks was a long time for Bruce to be gone. Typically, he skyped conferences, went only for a few days, or took the family with him. That hadn’t been an option this time.
When midnight comes and goes without any word, you start to get anxious. Bruce’s plane had landed before the storm had really started. The closing off of streets had kept him from coming straight home, but he had still called to check in. But now, he wasn’t answering his phone and that worried you more than a little.
You’re brought out of your thoughts when someone yells, “Code green.”
Pushing your husband to the back of your mind, you spring out of your office chair and towards the clock. You turn the hands to your anniversary date, and make your way down to the cave. You find your Dick, Jason, and Cass suiting up, and raise an eyebrow in question, “And where exactly do you think you’re going?”
Dick’s face is straight laced, serious as can be. A perfect imitation of Bruce’s. “The Riddler has cut power to the entire city. He’s offered a challenge, if someone can issue a challenge that can stump him, he’ll turn the power back on.”
You bite your lip, before issuing your orders, “You’re not going out there alone.”
You watch Dick’s and Jason’s eyes go wide, “Mom!” You listen as Tim turns in the computer chair to face you. You take a deep breath, “I said alone. Call in Wally and Barry.”
You see Jason hesitate, “Dad …”
“Isn’t here. You’re not going out there without a League member. Hell, I’ll call in Superman himself before I let you go out there alone. I know you’ve been doing this for years, but I’m still your mother. I have my limits.”
It takes half an hour for the speedsters to arrive. Even then, you’re left with a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. You watch them go before taking over Tim’s chair.
You’d spent less and less time in the cave as the boys had gotten older. You imagined, you’d spend even less time there as your children got older. Tim would soon become the next Robin, his training was almost done, and then Helena and Damian would take over. Eventually, Terry would start his training, and that broke your heart. Your last baby was growing up, and it made you want to cry.
It’s a long night. A very long night, with more close calls than you care to admit. By the time dawn breaks, the storm is still going strong, but your kids are back home. You tend to the cuts and bruises before sending them to bed.
You’re on your fifth cup of coffee when you get a call from the hospital. There’s been an accident with your husband, and you’re needed. Now. You’re certain that your heart stops at the words.
One look out the window tells you that you’re not getting anywhere right now. Between the winds, the flooding, and the damage from Riddler’s attack, you’re stuck. You’re forced to wait two days, before going to the hospital, alone.
You arrive at Gotham general looking a mess. And you’re certain that at least one paparazzi had taken your picture. Still, you walk through the hospital with the authority of someone who’s family has donated enough money to build two new wings.
You find your husband sleeping in the waiting room. He’s wearing scrubs of all things, and sprawled across several chairs. So of course, you hit him. He startles awake and stares at you while you rant, “How dare you Bruce Wayne. Not one freaking phone call. Not one. I thought you were dead in the morgue, or lying here in a coma. But no, I find you here dressed as though you just performed surgery. I have been worried sick.
“I lied to our children. I said that you called, that you were stuck at the airport. How DARE YOU!”
Bruce takes it all in stride, before pulling you in for a hug. He holds you while you cry, and says “I’m so sorry. They only had time for one emergency call, and I thought I asked them to tell you that I am okay. I am so sorry.”
You take deep breaths to calm yourself, before asking “What happened Bruce? Why are you in a hospital?”
He wipes his hands over his face, “I was driving home, when there was an accident. Someone spun out on the road, crashing into me before spinning into another car. The driver, and two passengers were killed. There was one other survivor. A twelve-year-old boy, his name is Duke. I was able to get him out, and get an ambulance out but there was nothing they could do for his parents, or the driver. I couldn’t leave him alone.”
You sink down beside him, “What are you thinking Bruce?”
He stares at you, “How would you feel about having and eighth kid?”
Terry’s fifth birthday is a big one. Your home ends up filled with other five year olds and their parents. It’s all hands on deck for the big day, as the kids run all over the house. Despite having done this countless times before you’re more than a little stressed.
Between making sure the kids don’t kill each other, and keeping the society climbing mothers away, you’re stressed to your max. You do your best to hide in the kitchen, as the older kids corral the younger ones. “Never again.”
You roll your eyes, “You say that every time.”
Bruce scowls, “And every time I think it can’t get worse, it does.”
You hmmm, “So are we going to cancel Cass’ birthday?”
Bruce scowls, “Of course not. I’m just saying an event planner is something to invest in.”
“They’re children’s birthday parties. We don’t need an event planner.”
“Just a clean up crew.”
You take a bottle of water from the refrigerator, and kiss your husband’s cheek, “We’ll survive. Now go mingle with the other dads.”
“Do I have to?”
“Yes, because I have to mingle with the vipers that are their mothers.”
You slip out of the kitchen and allow your eyes to scan the crowd. Your eyes find a group of moms and you steel your nerves and force yourself to walk over. You approach from behind, just in case you chicken out. That’s when you hear them, “She didn’t even give poor Bruce a chance.”
There’s a giggle, “I know. How she tricked him into marrying her, I’ll never know.”
“I mean really. Running away together and getting pregnant right off the bat, it’s the oldest trick in the book.”
“And look at how many they have. Six biological kids, and then the two orphans, what is she trying to prove?”
“She’s not even that pretty. Her body has certainly gone to hell.”
You bite the inside of your lip to keep from saying something. Stepping back, the nausea takes over and you slink back into the shadows. You slip upstairs and into your room. Your lunch makes a reappearance, before you collapse on your bed. The bed dips a moment later, and a head rests on your back.
Glancing back you grin at Duke, “What’s up kiddo?”
“They’re harpies. Mean bitter old women who are miserable in their own lives and looking to feel better about themselves.”
You sit up and he does too. Duke was a person who thrived on touch. His own parents had been big on hugs. You had sought to continue that. And as he had adjusted to your home, he’d grown comfortable in seeking reassurance, and finding his place in the family.
“I was playing hide and seek with Terry and his friends, I was under the table.”
“Did you win?”
He nods, “Yep, but I might have scared those women. I jumped out from underneath. One spilled wine down the front of her dress.”
You can’t help it, you laugh. “This would be the point I would normally parent, but I’m too exhausted right now.”
“So does that mean we’re off scot free.”
You blink at the sound of a new voice before several heads pop up. You smile as all your kids climb up onto the bed. Terry climbs right into your lap, “Thank you for my party mama.”
You kiss the top of his head, “You’re welcome baby.”
Turning to your older kids you ask, “You were all hiding under the table?”
Jason shrugs, “We all think alike. I blame dad.”
Cass places a hand on your knee and signs “You’re very pretty mama.”
Tim nods, “What she said. They’re just mean.”
Dick’s smile is easy going but you can see the anger hidden below the surface, “I think from now on, these parties should only be family and close friends.”
There’s a chorus of agreement before a moment of silence settles over the group, “I like having a big family.”
Your eyes flash to Helena. Her eyes are thoughtful, “Sure sometimes these guys are annoying, and they only leave like three chips in a bag, but they’re always here for me.”
Jason echos the sentiment, “There’s always been someone to talk to, or play with, or blame.” You raise an eyebrow at the last one but he just smirks.
“There’s always someone to help us with homework, or spar against.” Damian chirps in.
Duke smiles, “We’re a family.”
You smile, “Very true, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” With smiles on their face you watch your kids leave the room.
You sit there on the bed for a few more minutes, and wait for Bruce to peek his head in. “How are you feeling?”
He nods, and takes a seat next to you, “That’s common at this stage.” There’s a moment of silence before he asks, “Should we even bother saying this will be the last one?”
You smile, “This is the last one.”
Bruce wraps an arm around your shoulders and pulls you in close, “You sure about that?”
Your hands go to your belly, “No.”
“Duke’s right you know.”
“You’re amazing, and beautiful.”
You smile, “Those harpies were right. I have stretch marks, and a flabby tummy. Lord knows I’m not nearly as put together as I should be.”
Bruce’s hand goes to cover yours, “This belly has carried six babies, and is now carrying a seventh. You’re a mother to eight soon to be nine children it’s understandable that you’re not magazine cover ready. And the most important thing, you are gorgeous, and courageous, and I thank God for you every day, because you are the love of my life.”
Leaning into your husband you take in the amount of happiness that’s surrounding you, and you smile.
There are so many choices. Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Post-Crisis, New 52, Rebirth, and all the retcons contained therein. Then toss in the various cartoons.
While I’m variable, I much prefer Jason closer to Tim’s age than Dick’s and Barbara a few years older than Dick. I also like Bruce to be a bit older by “present day” - old enough to no longer be a young man.
Please respond with you own ages. Feel free to add/reduce family members according to the ones you like best/care about most/haven’t read/etc.
Alfred Pennyworth - Anywhere from 50 to 70. A huge range, but I like both the latter post-Crisis/Batman Begins version where he raised Bruce and the Golden Age where he met Bruce when Bruce was an adult, and Dick already lived with him. I both like it for Bruce not having that loving presence in his childhood and that parlaying nicely into his post-Crisis inability to get past his parents’ deaths and emotional isolation and for the idea that when Bruce took Dick in, he expected he would be the doing the raising and the work and no one else.
Bruce Wayne - 39-41. I tend to think of Batman as 26-28 when he took in a 12-year-old Dick Grayson within two years of becoming Batman). But I’m okay with Dick being as young as 8 becoming Robin and with Bruce still being 26-28 at that time, so he could be up to 45.
Dick Grayson - 25/26. Because he was 7 years older than Jason in early post-Crisis appearances and that works well for me, and I *like* him growing up and I think it works well with him playing surrogate father to Damian for a bit. His age gap with Jason is one of the more important ones if operating in post-Crisis continuity. He needs to be at least 18 so he can leave home before Jason ever comes to Wayne manor.
Cassandra Cain - 19. I haven’t read much with her, but thought she was 2 years older than Tim.
Jason Todd - 18/19. Because before he was retconned to 15 when he died, it seemed quite likely he was 6 to 18 months older than Tim.
Tim Drake - 17. He was my base character to set relative ages by.
Damian Wayne - 10. Because he seemed that around that age when he was introduced, and was still pre-pubescent in the little I’ve read with him.
Selina Kyle - 37-39. Because that seemed a good age for her, relative to Batman, when she was introduced in the Golden Age. She wasn’t a kid, and I have him 26 so made her a peer. Knocked her down a couple years from him because I’ve seen her younger than him in other versions. Up to 45ish is okay if Bruce is, too. I just need her be close to Bruce in age and definitely already and adult when Robin arrives on the scene (prefer Robin barely pre-dating her, as with Golden Age).
Barbara Gordon - 29-32. 1975 had Barbara 7 years older than Dick. New 52 and a couple cartons made them the same age. I prefer her a few years older than Dick, them not dating in high school, but having a flirtation when he was in college (as they did in Batman Family comics in ‘70s), then dating when Dick is 23ish. I didn’t really want them in high school at the same time. I prefer the Silver Age version where she is on more equal footing with Batman and Robin - they don’t know her secret identity and she doesn’t know theirs. She was not trained by Batman. She was not subordinate to Batman, but was her own hero. I like her being out of high school before she takes on the cowl so she and Batman interact as fellow adults, peers.
Stephanie Brown - 17. Because she was the same as Tim throughout the bulk of the 6 years worth of Robin issues I read with her.
Helena Kyle - 1. Because I wish Selina’d never given her up for adoption, and she was talking by then, so 1.
Jim Gordon - I set him relative to Barbara, so anywhere from 24-35 years older than her.
Edit: Barbara 7 years older than Dick in Silver Age, not 7 years older than Bruce - oops. :)
Your family is a lot to handle. As the matriarch, you know this. However, you don’t really understand how much they are until Duke comes into your lives. Cass had come from a horrible situation, but a familiar one. Bruce knew how to deal with her training. Duke’s situation is completely different.
The boy had come from a loving home, with two wonderful parents. You’d read up on them, and with Duke’s help, you’d written their obituaries. In the days leading up to the funeral, you can’t help but worry. He barely eats anything, and he leaves the room when more than three people are in it.
The only one who doesn’t seem surprised is Alfred. When you question him about it he says, “The poor boy is grieving, Mrs. Wayne. His entire world has been turned upside down, he’s in a brand new environment, and to be quite honest, your children can be a lot to deal with.”
You purse your lips, “So Bruce went through the same thing?”
The old man smiles, “Master Bruce was quite different. With him I had to deal with him risking his life, and other odd entities.”
You roll your eyes, “Of course. What changed that?”
The butler smiles, “You, Mrs. Wayne. You pulled him out.” Without another word, you watch the butler go.
You lay in bed awake the night before the funeral, and without thought you send you arm flying so that your hand lands right on Bruce’s face. You feel him smile, before he kisses it. Turning towards you he asks, “Can’t sleep?”
“I’m worried about him, Bruce.”
“Me too.” There’s several minutes of silence before you toss the covers aside.
Bruce groans, “Don’t go, the bed will get cold.”
You smile, “Well I should hope so, I’m going to get ice cream.”
He smiles back and says, “Alfred will kill us for eating upstairs.”
“Then we shouldn’t leave any evidence.”
You make your way through the Manor, and you’re a bit surprised to find the kitchen light already on. You find Duke at the island with a plate of leftovers in front of him. You hesitate before walking in. He looks up and meets your gaze.
There’s a few minutes of silence before you say, “I came down to sneak ice cream. Do you want some?”
It doesn’t surprise you when he doesn’t respond. Instead of pushing, you head to the fridge, and then you hear, “What kind is it?”
You smile, “Cookie dough. I keep it hidden behind the broccoli, but that’s just between you and me, but I’m willing to share.”
He nods, and you pull out two bowls. You scoop generous servings into each and slide a bowl in front of him before pulling your own bowl in front of you. You don’t push him to talk, you wait for him to make the first move, “I’m dreading tomorrow.”
You meet his eyes, before sticking a spoonful of ice cream in your mouth, “I get it. My parents’ funeral was horrible.”
You nod, “They died in a car accident when I was eight. My grandmother raised me until she died when I was sixteen. Since then, it’s been Bruce and me.”
You watch him play with his ice cream, “Why was it so bad?”
“There were a lot of people there that I didn’t know, all saying how sorry they were. I was tired of hearing sorry by that point. Sorry didn’t bring them back, and none of those people could understand how I felt. Everyone’s pain is different. And losing parents at a young age is just…”
He nods, “Yeah. You think it’ll be that way for me?”
“There’s a good chance. That being said, Bruce and I have both been there, we have a few tricks.”
“Bruce has been there, too?”
“It’s one of the things that brought us together. Bruce’s parents were killed when he was eight too. But he had a lot of focus on him, being the Wayne heir. Alfred kept him pretty sheltered.”
“What tricks do you have?”
You smile, “Sandwich yourself between me and Bruce, use the other kids as shields if you need to. They know how to deal with people who might not have the best intentions.”
“You think there will be people like that?”
You sigh, “If only because of Bruce and me, I’m sorry in advance. We draw a lot of press attention, and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. Now you’ll have to deal with it too. I’m sorry.”
“You shouldn’t be.” You meet his eyes, and he gives you a small smile, “Bruce saved my life, he didn’t have to do anything else. He didn’t even have to do that. Instead he stayed with me, he was there every time I woke up, and then you guys took me in. You guys didn’t have to do that.”
You blink back tears, “Duke, I want you to know… we know we can’t replace your parents. We don’t want to, either. We do want to be your family, though. I know the kids are a lot to deal with. Damian and Helena are a pair of hellions, Lord knows, and Dick loves to flip around, and Jason and Tim bicker, and Cass has this ability to sneak up on you…”
Duke reaches over and places a hand on yours, “Thank you for giving me a home. Thank you for being here. I look forward to being a part of this family.”
With a smile, you stand up and walk over to him, and then you wrap him in the tightest hug you can. He hugs you back, and a moment later, he starts sobbing. You hold him until he falls asleep. When the sound of light snores hit your ears, you feel a hand settle on your shoulder. Turning, you smile at Bruce, and watch as he effortlessly lifts your newest son into his arms.
Together, you put him to bed. You stand there, watching him sleep, with Bruce next to you. You stare at his sleeping face and you know, he’s your son. He’s one of your kids.
what is the most important scene in comic book history? this:
kate looks like she’s baby sitting; huntress, canary, and blackhawk are all watching jaybirb drown in a ball pit passively; tim my sweet child is so happy look @ him?? this is the happiness he deserves?? and katana is a ray of sunshine in this room??
there is a fucking turkey just standing there (might be damian’s turkey?), and they are all in costume. just fucking around in a ballpit
As much as he will deny, Peter Pan is his favourite, something about staying a kid forever and ignoring how dark the world can be is very appealing to Bruce. Contradicting his brooding
The rescuers ironically (get it because they're mice). She likes Madame Medusas love of shiny thing, not so much her appeal of child labour
Emperor's new groove. That's all that needs to be said
Hercules, she likes to think that she relates to sassy -I'm-a-damsel-I'm-in-distress-I-can-handle-this-
Robin Hood, it reminds him of the times when he was younger and stole from the rich. Aka batman
Aristocats, but she doesn't really stick to the "Ladies don't start fights but they can finish them" more "Ladies can start fights and hell they will beat your ass and finish it. Right there. Right then."
Tarzan,she enjoys how new he is to the world and also secretly loves Turk.
Cinderella, can't beat a classic.
Bambi, but no one is ever allowed to know. Unfortunately most of the Batfamily have caught him crying and the death of Bambi's mum.
Oliver and Company. Loves the buzz of it. Loves Oliver. Will be seen dancing to 'Once upon a time one New York City' around the kitchen
Mulan, because why the hell not? She thinks Mulan is a badass. Harper will change the lyrics from "I'll make a man out of you" to "I'll make a woman out of you"
Aladdin. When he first watched it he cracked a smile at genie and further on, Helena swore that she heard him laugh.
Prompt: Bruce and Batmom, with the Robin’s as their biological children.
AN: It’s hard to believe I’ve finally finished this series. Some part of me wants to keep it going forever, but I know better. This is where it ends, and it’s been a hell of a ride. I hope you enjoy this final part of Robin’s Nest.
This final part is dedicated to @railover85 the one who’s request started this whole journey.
You stare at the tomb stone with a small smile on your face. “It’s hard to believe it’s been a year.” Your voice is croaky, even to your own ears, a sign that you’re much older than you once were. “I swear those children keep me busier now than they did when they were young. So many sporting events, and plays to go to. And let’s not forget watching the little ones when they go on patrol. Nick’s about to take up as Robin! I can’t believe he’s already ten.”
You pause, waiting for a response you know won’t come. “Eight children, Bruce. Sixty-five years of marriage, and more adventures than is right, and you have the gall to leave me behind. We were supposed to go together Bruce. Holding hands, in our sleep, discovered by a maid or something … I don’t like being without my partner, Bruce.”
You bite your lip, “That being said, I’m making sure to live. To spoil those grandbabies of ours. To keep our children in line. To make more memories. To give them more memories.” You lay your hand flat against the head stone. “I love you, Bruce.”
You swallow back the tears that want to burst, as the sound of someone calling your name draws you out of your thoughts, “Grammy!”
You turn and open your arms as your grandson barrels into your arms, “Giovani.” A minute later Nicholas runs up too, and you open your arms to him as well. Your children, and the grandchildren who are too young to run off by themselves come over the hill.
You smile as they each take turns embracing you. Dick is first. He’s tall, like Bruce was, but lean. His detective’s badge is still looped on his belt. His dark hair is now peppered with gray, and at his side is his wife, Zatanna. You give her a smile, before kissing the little girl in her arms.
Jason is next, he’s still dressed in his suit from work. The school day only having finished the previous hour. He’s somehow avoided the gray that’s snuck up on Dick. His face is just starting to show his laugh lines though. He hugs you tight, before passing you to his wife, Kori. The woman hugs you tightly, and you smile, before noticing the little girl hovering by a tree. Jason excuses himself to go fetch their daughter.
Tim is next. Long and lean, his hair had long gone gray. He gives you a smile, and you can see the hints of stress in his eyes. He’s been brokering a rather large deal for Wayne Enterprises, and Conner had been spending more than a little time at the manor in his absence. You hug your son’s husband, and he assures you that he made Tim take off the whole day.
Cassandra is next, she signs hello, before wrapping her arms around you. She’s stayed single all these years, and you smile, because you know she’s happy that way. She still lives in the manor, happy to split her time between helping you, spoiling her nieces and nephews, and protecting Gotham.
Duke follows her. He wraps you in a tight hug, and kisses your cheek. He’s a professor of literature now. His wife, Mari is next. You’re careful of her rather large baby bump, knowing that her third child, a boy to be named Bruce, is due any day now. Their two daughters hug you next, latching onto your legs. You sneak them each a piece of candy before giving them each a kiss.
Damian pushes in front of Helena to hug you next. A veterinarian, and owner of an animal shelter, Damian had found his passion in life, and had run with it. He was in the beginning of a serious relationship, with a girl you had yet to meet.
Helena was quick to push her twin aside, and take her spot in your arms. Your baby girl is a doctor, and a damn good one. Hovering slightly behind her was her fiance, Vic Sage. He gives you a polite smile before stepping to the side.
Terry was next, his fiancee Dana behind him. He was the spitting image of Bruce in your opinion. His personality aligned perfectly, and through his work in the Wayne Enterprises technology department, he had helped lead the world into a new era. He presses a kiss to your cheek, and Dana does the same.
Finally, there’s Max. Your baby. A senior in college, he was working to become a lawyer. He’d never had any desire to join the family business. Instead he had chosen to fight crime a different way, and you couldn’t be more proud.
You watch as they each say hello to Bruce, taking turns to update him on what’s new. Each of the grandkids hug his head stone. When all’s said and done, only you and your children are left behind; the spouses, and grandchildren allowing you a bit of family time. Terry’s voice is solemn, “It’s weird without him here.”
Dick nods, “He survives everything under the sun, only to die in his sleep.”
Jason wraps an arm around your shoulders, “We know you miss him mom.”
Cass snuggles into your side, and signs the words “Together forever.”
You kiss her cheek, “I had sixty-five years with your father. Eight beautiful children. And now I have wonderful grandchildren and daughter-in-laws, and son-in-laws. I’m very blessed. And I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.” With smiles you begin walking back to the car, when the song of a bird, catches your attention. In the tree just off to the side of Bruce’s resting place, is a robin tending to her nest, with eight different eggs, and just to the side is her mate. You can’t help but smile, Batman and Robin together forever, with a Robin’s nest always waiting to welcome them home.