It was Steph's fault really - she should have known better than to make jokes around Damian. Because this was Damian Wayne, and really, when you said something like "Dick Grayson is totally the mum in this crazy little family!" he wasn't going to understand or acknowledge the humour in the statement.
No; he'd get up, walk calmly to Dick's room, and demand to know whether he was engaging in sexual relations with his father. Of course, this resulted in Dick spluttering in horror; Bruce arrived, found out what Damian had said, and started spluttering in horror; Tim arrived, and started spluttering in horror; and Steph, well, she collapsed to the floor in hysterics.
It was Alfred who finally cleared up the misunderstanding, and explained that no, Bruce was not in a romantic relationship with his adoptive son, and no, Dick was not secretly a woman either; Steph had been kidding around, she simply meant that Dick was a gentle soul in a family full of expressionless, sociopathic, argumentative individuals. And that was the end of that.
…Until something else happened to bring it into focus again, and drag the already crazy Bat family to a whole new level of insanity.
That 'something else' just happened to be Santa Claus.
Or rather, a classmate of Damian's who thought it would be a good idea to say "I saw Santa kissing mommy last year," in the middle of a class discussion about what they all thought Santa would be bringing them that year ("I wrote to Santa requesting that Drake be disowned," Damian had responded, proudly. "Or if that is too difficult, simply killing him off would suffice").
"So did I," another girl replied, nodding her head.
Damian snorted. He knew very little about this 'Santa Claus' fellow; the first he'd heard of him had been last week, when Grayson had pressed a sheet of paper into his hands, and had told him to write a letter to the old man, informing him of what he wanted for Christmas. If Santa truly had the powers to grant him whatever he wished, then Drake's days at the manor (and possibly this world) were numbered.
"You saw this Santa fellow kissing your mother, and you weren't the slightest bit concerned that your parents marriage may have been coming to an end?" he asked loudly.
His teacher shot him a reproachful look. "Damian!"
The girl frowned. "But mommy and daddy were fine the next day," she argued.
Damian shrugged. "That is probably because your father never discovered the truth. I assure you, had your father known, a divorce would have been fast approaching."
The teacher looked panicked (foolish woman, Damian thought, frowning). "Alright, let's move on — "
"I think Santa goes around kissing mums," the boy next to Damian said, nodding his head. "It's probably a Christmas tradition or something, right miss?"
The teacher flushed. "Well, I wouldn't say — "
"Wow, has Santa kissed you?!"
"Eww, girls have cooties! Why would Santa do that?"
Damian snorted. "Clearly this 'cooties' virus does not exist, or else all our parents would have it, you buffoon."
"Well I have two daddies," one girl announced, shyly. "I saw Santa kissing daddy last year…so it's not just mommies that he likes."
Damian tapped his chin thoughtfully. "So Santa goes for the next best thing then…"
"Alright!" the teacher snapped, looking extremely frazzled. "Change of topic! How about we discuss — "
Damian's focus, however, was elsewhere. The damage had been done; Steph's words from earlier that day would soon be coming back to haunt the Bat family.
Did that mean Santa would be coming for his father? Damian cocked his head to the side, considering this. No — if the old man was capable of flying around the world, and delivering presents to every child in one night, surely he wasn't idiotic enough to kiss the Batman, and expect to survive. No, he had to be coming for someone else…
…Someone who played the role of mother in their dysfunctional little family…
"…I think this…man…is coming for my brother."
The teacher blinked. "What man?"
"Santa Claus!" Damian slammed his hand on his desk. "Keep up woman! Fatgirl clearly said that Grayson is the mother in our family, which means — " He clenched his fists, " — he is the clear target in this situation. I cannot allow this to continue — do you know what will happen if Santa decides that Grayson is a suitable choice for this routine molestation?!"
"Miss, what does 'molestation' mean?"
The teacher choked.
" — Grayson has such an appalling choice in romantic partners — Gordon, that alien harlot — I refuse to allow this ridiculous man to delude him, and force himself into our family. Tell me, does he have red hair?"
"He wears a lot of red!" a girl informed him.
Damian narrowed his eyes. Yes — something had to be done.