After thirty-six years of life, nearly twenty years of marriage, seven kids, and several years of crime fighting, you like to think you’ve learned some things. For instance, if you let one kid fight crime, eventually the others are going to want to as well. And if you set a bedtime for one, you have to set a bedtime for all of them. And if one of you gets sick, you’re ALL going to get sick.
It starts with Damian and Helena. You try to quarantine it right off the bat; after the first sniffle. You barricade them in their room, and you keep everyone in the family away from them. You’re the only one allowed in and out.
The rest of the family takes up residence in the batcave. The family motto becomes ‘distance is your friend.’ You see the rest of your family very little over the next few days, until Bruce sends you a text asking you to come down.
More than a bit tired from taking care of two sick kids, you trudge downstairs to find four more. Tim looks absolutely miserable, slumped over the computer in his Robin uniform, Dick is shivering, Jason is groaning, and Cass is curled up on the gurney in a little ball.
You and Bruce share a look, he removes the cowl and picks up Tim and Cass, and makes his way upstairs while you guide Jason and Dick. You and Bruce call out of work for the rest of the week and spend your days taking care of your kids. The only ones you were able to save were Alfred and Terry.
The butler had been kind enough to take the four year old to a hotel when the first symptoms had made themselves known. With Terry being so young, and Alfred being older, you hadn’t wanted either of them catching the flu. So you had sent them packing.
For a week you dealt with upset stomachs, fevers, chills, congestion, and sore throats. By the end of the tenth day, you and Bruce were ready to die yourselves, but you both keep going. Because that’s what parents do.
“I want to die,” you murmur, face down into your pillow.
Bruce rests his head on your back, “If you go, I’m going with you. You’re not leaving me here alone.”
You turn over, so that his head is resting against your belly. You run your fingers through his hair, “Not an option.”
“You said it, buddy. But in the grand scheme of things, we were kind of due. We haven’t had an outbreak since before Terry was born.”
“Still, I hate to see them suffer.”
“A parent’s worst nightmare is to see their kid in pain.”
“And yet, we let our kids run around as masked vigilantes.”
You laugh, “They take after their father.”
Bruce smiles, “They keep evolving and changing too. Dick’s almost as tall as me now, and Jason is getting there. Tim is a string bean if I’ve ever seen one, and have you seen how long Cass’ hair has gotten?”
You smile. In the four years since the doppelgangers had vanished you’d watched as your sons evolved. Dick had become Nightwing, Jason had become the Red Hood, Cass was BlackBat, and Tim was the latest Robin.
You nudge Bruce, “Helena told me yesterday that she wants to be the next Robin, and then Damian started arguing saying that he was going to be the next Robin. It would have been cute had they both not had fevers.”
Bruce just sighs, “Are we doing the right thing?”
Your hand stills in his hair for a second before starting again, “I think the time to have asked that question has long passed Bruce. Our family is made up of crime fighters, I find that it’s better not to question it.”
Bruce just nods, before sitting up, then he’s leaning over you and kissing you. His fingers tangle in your hair and you clutch him close. He whispers in your ear, “I love you so much.” He peppers your face with kisses, “Thank you for loving me, and marrying me, giving me seven beautiful children, and for putting up with Batman. Thank your for existing.”
You pull him in and kiss him again, “I love you Bruce Wayne. Don’t you ever forget that.”
Would a minute have mattered? No, probably not, although his young son appeared to have a very accurate internal clock. Possibly even 2 minutes would be okay. Three minutes, even. You could go to five minutes, perhaps. But that was just it. If you could go for five minutes, then you’d go to ten, then half an hour, a couple of hours…and not see your son all evening. So that was that. Six o'clock, prompt. Every day. Read to young Sam. No excuses. He’d promised himself that. No excuses. No excuses at all. Once you had a good excuse, you opened the door to bad excuses.
Yeah, I can dream! If DC ever did this then I can die happy!!
Anyway, Terry McGinnis for you guys! I used Nightwing for my reference but I did make some changes that makes Terry different.
For example, Terry would have more upper body strength than Dick from the way the Batsuit is designed. The wings attach to his arms from his back so the need to deal with up/down drafts while flying though the buildings would require more strength. It seems while building the suit Bruce sacrificed efficiency for speed and agility. With this in mind, I made Terry’s arms thicker and his chest wider.
I also gave Terry larger calf and thigh muscles. Though the Batsuit makes Terry 10x stronger/faster than normal; the environment that Terry lives in is much different that Dick’s. With Skyscrapers being the over all building that dominates Neo-Gotham, and chasing criminals up an down them would be no easy feat.
Terry is also thinner than Dick. With his duty as Batman, school, and a child of a single parent food is probably a hard thing to come by even with Bruce helping. Forgetting to eat even when he’s hungry could also be a problem given his very busy and exhausting nocturnal lifestyle.
Anyhow, I’ll be doing a few more characters like this for this AU! so keep an eye out! XD