Jason did not turn. He took another slow drag of his cigarette, holding the pressure of it in his throat. He exhaled out through his nose, and the gray smoke curled up over his face, like a caress.
“Hood. What are—”
“I’m not doing anything, old man,” Jason said.
It was imperceptible, nearly, the way Bruce moved. Just there, mixed with the sound of the wind and the distant noises of cars on the road below: the slap of the fabric of his cape, the push of gravel beneath his boots, the brush of air against his figure, until suddenly he appeared besides Jason, as if summoned from the shadows.
Jason still wasn’t entirely sure how he did that—how Bruce could melt into darknesses that were not deep enough to hide a small child, let alone a grown man of Bruce’s size. It seemed impossible, a superpower all its own. Jason remembered how hard he’d tried, once upon a time, to replicate Batman’s ineffable grace, clinging to corners, running on tip-toes, sealing his mouth shut on an exclamation, before the chance of ever reaching it was taken from him.
Maybe, once, Robin in his stoplight colors had been fine operating in the long, silent shadow of the Bat. But the Red Hood certainly wasn’t. The Red Hood was loud and brash in every way Batman was not: the visible bad-guy in his red mask, shooting from the hip, laughing in the face of danger, not some do-gooder boogeyman all in black.
Still, Jason did not move. Did not so much as twitch when Bruce’s presence loomed close at his back. It was true: he wasn’t doing anything. Just having a smoke off the helipad walkway of the Wayne Enterprises Tower. It wasn’t his fault the view from the top of WE was the best in Gotham. In fact, Jason suspected that had been Bruce’s exact intention when re-designing the Tower.
Before him, Gotham was a living beast. A nightmare of industry and wretchedness. They were high enough the smog from the pier and sewage plants coalesced in a visible cloud below, opalescent and translucent in turns, see-sawing in and out of visibility. At the smog’s thinnest, blurred, the lights of businesses and cars winked through. The noises of a million voices carrying up were just another breed of silence, indistinguishable. Up here, everything seemed unreal. Suspended in a moment that was not quite the past, future, or present. A moment that existed only to exist, like the long stretches of road between cities at night, unmarked and untouched. Transient.
The strange quality of the night was in Bruce’s voice, too.
Deliberately, Jason took another drag. “Hrm?”
“What are you doing?”
“I told you.” He couldn’t help the note of irritation. “I’m not doing anything. You don’t have to accuse me of shit every time you damn well see me. When I make trouble for you, trust me, I’m not going to shy away from letting you know.”
“No. I mean.” And again, the imperceptible motions, so that Bruce stood at his side as comfortably as smoke, shoulder to shoulder. “What are you doing?”
This time, Jason blew out straight into Bruce’s face. Bruce scowled.
“What are you doing?” Jason returned. “Last I heard, you were back to dealing with some of that—whassit? Multiple versions of us from multiple universes? Again. Pfft. Hard pass.”
Entirely against his permission, Jason felt the tug of a smile on his face.
For several minutes, neither of them spoke. They looked out at the skittering horizon of never-sleeping Gotham. They breathed with its pulses of activity. Together, they allowed Gotham to envelop and comfort them as only it could.
Then, simultaneously, their comm-links trilled: three consecutive beeps at middling range. Non-catastrophe situation, probably a robbery or car chase, within three miles of their location.
Jason spit out his cigarette and crushed the butt of it beneath his boot. He stepped onto the ledge. The familiar feeling of vertigo surged up to meet him. Blood rushed in his ears. Time stuttered back into position.
- You know with all his kids, legally his and those who are basically his, he is bound to have at least one grandchild if not more.
- Like he has retired from Batman and Tim and Damian basically took over all his duties at WE. Now he has all the free time.
- Also Alfred is totally a great-grandfather.
- Takes the time to spoil them. Not with material items but like games and treats.
- Selina is over often as well to hangout with the little rugrats.
- Finally gets the time to enjoy his family. He is super happy to see his kids getting treated the way they treated him all those years ago.
- The big dinning room table is in full use. There are high chairs and booster seats. Now instead of knives getting thrown it’s cheerios and vegetables that are to be watched for.
- Bruce loves to tell stories. Mainly of Superman or other League members’ embarrassing stories.
- Another wing of the manor has opened because as those kids grow, extra rooms are needed.
- Telling stories about his parents and stupid stuff all the kids did. (Bruce’s kids).
- The family members saying he needs to watch the kids for the night as an excuse to keep him out of the batcave. Old man still thinks he can keep up with thugs on the street. But at 60 plus he needs to take a break.
- When they are all over at once it’s complete and udder madness. The place is a mess, toys are everywhere, at least two blanket forts have been made, someone is still missing from hide and seek, and the Bruce is standing in the middle of this smiling because it’s his wonderful crazy family.
Being an Arab, I can imagine Damian kissing his father’s hand at some point (when there’s nobody around-and only at a point where it’s like really emotional) it’s kinda ooc but in Arabian culture it’s common for children to kiss their parents’ hands (or foreheads) to express appreciation and respect.
What’s funny about Damian and Jon age difference is that Damian is 13 & Jon is 10 and it’s cannon that Damian completed his first assassination mission when he was only 3, which mean he has killed someone before Jon was even born, you can’ tell me Damian would not use that as an excuse to be the one to call the shots.
“Kid just follow my orders I have been doing this before you were even born!”
“Quit over-exaggerating! we are almost the same age-”
“No you don’t understand, I have LITERALLY been doing this before you were born”
Idea came from @atomicnightbear
- In school (or at least when i went to school) there was always fundraisers for like PTO or new school items.
- Now the batkids would have to particpate because well they are school students.
- Bake sales are the easy option, or so they think.
- Dick learned it firsr, but Alfred insist the kids help with making the food since it was for their school.
- No matter how many times they destory the kitchen or set off the smoke alram Alfred sticks by this rule.
- Jason impressing all his classmates with browines.
- Jon wanted to join in, so he made Puppy Chow with Damian for his schools bake sale.
- When it comes to selling stuff like wrapping paper or cookie dough, they totally use Bruce.
- Like he leaves the sellling sheets in his office and with his secretary.
- Needless to say they usually meet their goal.
- Duke proving he can do it without Bruce and raising a lot of money.
- 13 year old Dick convincing everyone to buy cookie dough.
- Tim now working at WE when Damian does the fundraiser and getting himself a few tubs of it and telling Bruce to not let Alfred know.
It's Dick's fault that everybody believes that Bruce is older than them, people expects that if you're the parent figure of a 15 yo you're at least 35 and married.
“22 year old puts on bat costume to punch criminals, has no powers” is hard enough to wrap your head around but throw in “24 year old adopts 12 year old who also punches criminals, has no powers” and that is not something that would ever occur to anyone
like OBVIOUSLY batman must be an older man who knows what he’s doing, and not just some traumatized 20-something accidentally collecting traumatized children
haha wow referring to bruce wayne as a 20-something really puts things in perspective. batman: probably actually younger than joey from friends.
Criminals, by nature, are a cowardly and superstitious lot. To instill fear into their hearts, I became a bat. A monster in the night. And in doing so, have I become the very thing that all monsters become…alone?
Damian one day decided to snoop around the library, he was bored and was grounded from patrolling due to him trying to escape the manor at night and getting caught.
He went to the back section, he rarely ever went this far. He pulled out a few books hopping for one to trigger open a secret passage way, much to Damian’s dismay a white letter fluttered out. Damian scrunched his eyebrows in confusion but quickly picked up the decaying letter, it had a slight yellow tinge but the letter seemed to have never been opened.
He ripped open the letter pulling out the paper inside.
‘Dear my beloved Bruce, I decided to run away from my family. They have always dictated my life and actions, but you taught me to think freely, to let go. They don’t approve of us and planned to send me away, but I will not let them do so. I thank you for teaching me this way of free thoughts, I will not tell you where I’m going but I do know one thing, we will meet again if we are meant to be. Love, Y/N’
Damian’s eyes widened after reading the letter, he quickly ran out the library note still in hand. He rushed to the living room where he heard the familiar voices of his bickering brothers.
“No Jason you just can’t-”
“GRAYSON!” Damian cut Dick off and quickly handed him the letter, the boys huddled around him reading over his shoulder.
“Who’s Y/N?” Tim asked snatching the letter out of Dick’s grasp.
“I have no idea, does Bruce just have a bunch of secret relationships and more spawns of his running around that we aren’t aware about?” Jason snatched the paper out of Tim’s hold while Damian glared at him.
“Y/N?” Alfred was eavesdropping on their conversation.
“Who is she?” Damian questioned the butler. “She was Bruce’s first girlfriend, his first everything. He was madly in love wit her but her parents didn’t approve of her dating a Wayne son, they wanted her to marry into another higher class family to seal some deals.” Alfred sat down on the couch over looking the letter.
“Master Bruce became devastated after her disappearance he never really loved ever again, I don’t think he ever got over her.”
“Do you know what this means?” Dick clapped his hands in excitement, “No, I don’t.” Jason said sarcastically.
“We need to find this Y/N person! To make Bruce have an actual Valentine.” Tim rolled his eyes, “We don’t even know anything else but her name.”
“Her name is Y/N Y/L/N, I wish you all luck.” Alfred walked out as the boys began to scheme.
“Are sure this is her?” Jason quirked his eyebrow, “Well she seemed elated when we mentioned Bruce, I’m hopping she is.” Tim answered as they waited for Bruce to come.
“Why are you all calling me? Did Damian stab Jason again?” Just as Bruce walked in asking questions the door was knocked. Dick ran over and opened the door revealing a mature women with a warm smile on her face.
“It’s been a long time Bruce.” She smirked as Bruce’s jaw dropped.
“She’s been gone, now, for many months, but it still seems impossible to me. Her death was pointless, tragic… but I have long since given up trying to find meaning in death. The meaning is in life, not death. And Selina’s life was as full of meaning as it was of love, and spirit, and courage. And when my time comes to join her, I would only hope the same could be said for me.”