When Bruce comes back from the 'dead' he observes a change in his family. Or how Dick managed to bring his brothers together and keep them together.
Timeline: Batman is back from the 'dead' and some of Young Justice is thrown in.
Disclaimer: I do not own Batman or anything else recognizable.
Bruce watched amused as Dick entered the kitchen of the penthouse of Wayne Tower on what looked like on autopilot as he headed straight towards the coffee pot, hand moving past the closet mugs on the shelf to pluck a white mug that had black writing on it.
Bruce tried to get a good look at the writing, but Dick had it turned away as he filled the cup to the brim with coffee before he sipped the hot liquid and let out a sigh of happiness before he leaned against the counter's edge facing Bruce.
"I didn't think you liked your coffee black." Bruce commented, having been used to see Dick drown his coffee with sugar and cream when he drank it.
"It wakes me up faster." Dick explained as he took another sip. Bruce hummed in understanding as Dick adjusted his grip on the mug and he finally could get a good look at the writing on the mug and his eyes widened.
'World's Best Father'
Bruce coughed trying to hide the sudden choking sound he was making and Dick raised an eyebrow at the sight of Bruce coughing/choking before him.
"Something wrong Bruce?" Dick asked innocently, clearly knowing what had caused the reaction from the older man.
"Where, where did you get that mug?" Bruce cleared his throat trying not to sound jealous.
"Mm, this?" Dick lifted the cup into his own line of sight and a fond smile crossed his lips.
"Oh yeah, actually Damian got it for me. Apparently when he and Jason were hanging out one day Jay annoyed Damian enough about something to get me this cup. I don't mind, it shows me that they actually care. Even if Tim did almost fall off his chair when Damian thrusted it into my hands."
Bruce's eyes widened at the words and what it meant.
"Jason? Tim? Damian? I thought they hated each other?" Bruce had been informed about the whole 'Robin' issue and thought Tim, Damian and Dick were on the outs and Jason was the 'black sheep' of the family and refused to work with them. What had he really missed?
"Onwards Todd!" Damian's voice rang out from the living room.
"Ouch, don't dig your heels in brat! I like my ribs the way they are." Jason's grunts rang out next.
"That's what you get for giving the Demon Spawn a piggyback ride." Tim's laughed, the insult now sounding more like a nickname.
"Hear that Dickie bird? You're a demon now!" Jason called out from the living room and Dick snorted into his coffee.
"I'm so flattered!" Dick called back in response.
"It wasn't meant to be flattery!" Tim shouted back, amusement evident in his tone.
"Love you too Timmy!" Dick grinned happily and laughed a bit when he heard Jason give a yelp and Damian let out a victory cry.
"What is going on in there?" Bruce asked, his curiosity getting the best of him. It sounded like his boys were actually get along, all in the same room and none of them trying to kill each other.
"It's a normal Sunday morning." Dick said simply as he slid into a chair across from Bruce having a feeling he was going to have to do some explaining and from the look Bruce was sporting he was right.
"Every Saturday night after patrol we all end up crashing here and watching movies. I don't think we've ever actually made it through a full movie, we just end up sleeping in the living room." Dick explained and the look on Bruce's face didn't change.
"How did this happen, last time I checked you all hated each other?" Bruce asked sounding more confused at the mere idea of the four boys falling asleep in the same room without killing each other.
"It didn't happen right away, certain things happened over the months that… Changed things between us all and things were finally talked out and resolved." Dick said in a tone of voice that said he wasn't willing to say anymore on the matter.
Bruce pursed his lips, as he looked over his eldest son, taking in the new scars that he could see on his exposed arms and shoulders, the healing bruise on his jawline and dark circles under his eyes.
"Most of the incidents involved you, idiot." Tim commented as he entered the kitchen, pulling open the fridge as he scoured it for food.
"Hey those were not my fault!" Dick shot back, offended as he caught the apple Tim had tossed in his direction, neither of them even looking as if this was a routine they had down pat.
"I'm with Timmy, all of it was your fault." Jason agreed as he entered the kitchen as well, Damian still clinging to his back before he leapt off of his brother's back and let Dick tow him over to the table, and maneuver him to sit on his lap. Damian just huffed, snagging a bite of Dick's apple in retaliation. Dick rested his chin on Damian's shoulder, arms easily wrapping around the boy's waist.
"I stand by the fact everything that happened to me is just horrible luck." Dick insisted.
"Do we need to list what your 'horrible luck' has brought you?" Jason raised an eyebrow.
"That's unnecessary." Dick said quickly, Bruce opened his mouth to order the boys to tell him what had really happened when he was away when a loud beeping came from Dick's phone.
Dick reached for it and grunted annoyed when Jason got there first and swiped his finger across the screen to read the message first.
"Ugh." Jason groaned and tossed the phone to Damian while rolling his eyes in disgust.
"It's the young brats they want you to come to the watchtower to help identify some new alien plant Blowfish boy found on his last mission." Damian held his phone up to Dick's face and Tim sighed not disagreeing with Damian's words he only went on Young Justice missions if he was paired with Connor, Kaldur or Bart, as they were the only ones he could stand anymore after everything that happened with the Light.
Bruce raised an eyebrow at his children's reactions to Young Justice, he knew he had missed a lot when he was with the League on Rimbor and when he was passing through the timelines, but he thought Tim was at least still on good terms with Young Justice.
"Better get going then." Dick read the text over and went to lift Damian up and let out a small laugh as Damian clung to his torso like a limpet.
"I know I know, but if anything goes wrong SB, Kal or Imp will contact you guys like they have before." Dick said gently pulling Damian off his being and Jason swooped in letting Robin adjusted himself so he was sitting on Jason's back like before and set his chin on Jason's head looking unhappy at Dick leaving to help out Young Justice.
"Be careful okay, L'agaan isn't exactly the… Smartest." Tim said carefully trying not to be insulting to his 'teammate'.
"I will, hold down the fort while I'm gone yeah?" Dick ruffled Tim's hair causing the young detective to blush but accept the sign of affection. He planted a kiss on Damian's forehead laughing at the sputtering that came from his Robin and fist bumped with Jason who returned it.
Dick left the kitchen to get into his Nightwing uniform since as far some members of Young Justice were concerned he was still Nightwing.
"What happened with Young Justice?" Bruce asked as Jason dropped Damian down into Dick's vacant seat as he moved to help Tim make breakfast.
"Other than the whole team including West..." Jason called over his shoulder.
"Who Grayson saved from being sucked into the speed force and disappearing forever." Damian added in grumpy, sipping at Dick's coffee.
"Shunning and telling him repeatedly to his face that he wasn't welcome there anymore." Jason carried on like Damian had never spoke.
"It's worse when Connor, M'gann and Kaldur aren't there." Tim added his own two-cent in, eyes dark as he remembered some of the things his 'team' had said about his older brother.
"Impulse is surprisingly Dick's biggest defender other than Connor, Kaldur and me. Must be a time traveller thing, he seemed to understand everything we do and he sees the choices we have to make in the field. He's a really good guy." Tim smiled softly thinking of his speedster friend.
"He still confuses me, he even speeds up to me when I'm out and about and just tells me how cool I am and he's a big fan and then he runs away." Jason commented about his own experiences with Impulse.
"Yeah he does that." Tim shook his head fondly.
"He found me one day and told me that if I wanted to gut West that he would gladly help." Damian smirked and Tim blinked while Jason howled with laughter.
"I knew I liked him for a reason!" Jason wiped the corner of his eye.
"You're avoiding." Bruce broke up the brother moment, silently proud at how they swerved around the real question.
"Well yeah we're avoiding, a lot happened when you were gone and we don't like bring up old wounds." Jason snorted as he flipped the pancake on the fry pan.
"I still have nightmares." Tim shuddered, wrapping his arms around himself. Bruce had to fight against the urge to wrap the teen in a blanket and tuck him into a hug.
"You're not the only one." Damian poured a cup of coffee and shoved it into Tim's hands, the young detective sighed happily at the warmth coming from the cup as he sipped at it, giving Damian a small smile of thanks.
"I'm going to ask you some questions and I want answers, no more avoiding." Bruce spoke up; sick of seeing his sons interact like real brothers without knowing the cause behind it.
"We'll give you what we see fit old man." Jason snorted, not even flinching at Bruce's stern tone.
"I'll start with you then, last time I checked you refuses to even speak to any of us and now you're part of the team?" Bruce rubbed his brow; this had been weighing on his mind since he first heard Jason's voice in the penthouse.
"Joker." Jason stated simply, clearly not willing to speak anymore on the subject.
"Tim." Bruce turned to his son who shifted under both Bruce and Jason's glares.
"I'm not sure I should." Tim said slowly, nervously.
"I'll talk, stop glaring at the poor kid old man." Jason sighed as he pushed the pancakes onto a large plate, which he brought over to the table. Tim brought over fresh fruits, maple syrup and the like over. Damian had slid off his chair to drag two more over to the table for his brothers.
"Basically Joker got the drop on me and was beating me with a crowbar, again." Jason stabbed a slice of strawberry off Tim's plate to chew on it angrily.
"Then Dickie dropped down like a freaking avenging bat and sent the Joker back to Arkham in a full body cast." Jason said, pride in his voice.
"The EMT's had to give the Joker CPR, not that he deserved it." Damian said pleased and Tim nodded his agreement as he sipped his coffee.
"That's what made you come home?" Bruce asked in shock, not at the fact his eldest had almost killed the Joker, but more that Dick let himself get so far into rage that he allowed himself to get that close to the edge.
"Not at first…" Jason rubbed his neck and glanced at Tim.
"My turn I guess." Tim set his coffee down and crossed his arms on the table to lean his torso against.
"We had to go to Jason for help when the Court of Owls got their hands on Dick." Tim sighed remembering the incident.
"The Court of Owls? That's a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their kids to get them to sleep." Bruce shook his head in denial.
"They were not a myth, they were real and apparently men from the Grayson line had been the Court's personal assassin known as Talon's for centuries. Dick was suppose to be given to the Court to become the newest Talon, but that plan was put off when you adopted Dick after his parents died." Tim explained gravely.
"However when you 'died' the Court saw their chance and they took it. They brainwashed Grayson and created a perfect Talon, his first mission was to kill us." Damian gestured to his self and his brothers.
"It was one of the toughest battles we ever had to fight." Tim sipped his coffee again, pushing back the memories.
"I had to lend a hand after Goldie tried to kill me, lets just say that I was not impressed with the Court brainwashing my brother." Jason huffed stabbing his fork into his pancake.
"How did you win?" Bruce swallowed, berating himself for missing so much.
"I let myself be 'taken' by Grayson as a living tracker." Damian said simply as he elegantly eat his pancakes.
"Even when he was brainwashed Dick never wanted to hurt us. Apparently he convinced his 'masters' that kidnapping us instead of killing was in their best interest." Tim said, pride in his voice.
"We had to call in some backup to fully take down the Court and get our brother back, but it worked out in the end." Jason waved his fork.
"Who?" Bruce narrowed his eyes.
"Hm, Oracle coordinated everything for us. Batwoman, Batgirl, Batwing, we even called in Impulse, Superboy and some of the Titans." Tim ticked off the people they had called in for help. Bruce's eyebrow twitched at the names, he had files on all of them but he hadn't fought beside any of them. Clearly his son's trusted them enough to help save Dick so he couldn't say much.
"I see." Bruce murmured.
"You're next Demon Spawn." Tim flicked his fork in Damian's direction as the 12 year old was pouring maple syrup over his stack of pancakes.
"Talia tried to legally and illegally take me away from Grayson, saying something ridiculous about how I belong to her now that you were dead. Grayson did not take that well, he fought Talia in Court and won thus making me officially Damian Grayson-Wayne, she did not like that very much. So she brought the League to Gotham to forcefully take me back." Damian said shortly. Bruce did his best not to choke on his coffee at his words and what they meant.
"She lost badly, Grayson broke most of the bones in her body for trying to take his son." He said with a smirk.
"Dickie is very possessive of family." Jason said smugly, so very proud of his older brother when he saw Dick destroying Talia.
"And she messed with the wrong family, they won't be back for a while as Ra's swore to Dick himself that the League would not come for any of us as long as Dick comes to visit more." Tim said sounding amused.
"…What?" Bruce couldn't believe his ears.
"Apparently Ra's has a soft spot for Dickie and wants him to come visit more." Jason said shaking his head still not believing this.
"Grandfather said that once upon a time Grayson was brought to them when he was in his late teens by his… Master at the time and trained under him and apparently Grandfather took a liking to him. Only Talia dislikes him." Damian said sounding amused and impressed.
"I told you his superpowers is making friends, even with his enemies." Tim nudged Jason who grumbled under his breath.
"Its still unnerving." Jason grumbled.
"You said Master, who was his Master?" Bruce picked up on the anger that flashed through his son's eyes at his words.
"Slade aka Deathstroke the Terminator." Damian hissed the name out like it physically pained him.
"Deathstroke?" Bruce felt a chill go down his body, Deathstroke was a ruthless killing machine and his son had been his apprentice?
"Under duress, but after events the two have worked together as equals on numerous occasions. Dick gets along well with Ravagers, which just makes Deathstroke more possessive of him, but Dick can handle him." Jason waved his hand as he leaned back in his chair, patting his full stomach.
"Like I said, superpower." Tim stated with a smirk. Bruce rubbed the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache coming on.
"I'm back." Dick's voice called out as he limped into the kitchen, still in his Nightwing uniform that was now sporting a few more rips and bloodstains than it did when he left.
Damian leapt out of his chair to go aid his Batman, Tim rushed to grab the first aid kit and Jason pushed a chair closer to Dick while Bruce blinked at how fast his son's were moving to help their oldest brother.
"What happened?" Bruce demanded.
"Turns out that alien plant L'agaan found was sentient and did not appreciate being taken from the rest of its herd. It took some time, but we managed to get it back home, I think it liked me too much by the end because it tried to take me with it." Dick laughed as Damian peeled off his mask while Jason and Tim got to work on his cuts. Dick let them work without a complaint, showing to Bruce that they had done this numerous times before.
"Note, superpower that even works on sentient plants." Tim made a verbal note and laughed when Jason bumped him with his hip giving him a look.
"It was just scared, L'agaan took it from its family and it acted accordingly, not like any of us wouldn't do the same." Dick said softly, nuzzling Damian's hair with a lazy smile on his face.
"Stupid blowfish." Damian grumbled and Dick just rolled his eyes fondly.
"Whose up for a movie?" Dick asked once he was bandaged up.
"My choice this time." Tim smirked as he moved towards the living room to flop down on some pillows that had been set up from the night before.
"I don't think so Drake, I refuse to watch one of your pathetic movies." Damian rushed after Tim in an attempt to stop Tim from picking a horrible movie.
"Saved you a plate." Jason jerked his head to a plate full of pancakes sitting by the stove.
"Thanks little Wing." Dick smiled happily at his little brother who scoffed turning his head to the side to not let him see the blush that was dusting his cheeks.
"Whatever." Jason grumbled as he went to join Tim and Damian in the living room to try to win the movie contest.
"Everything's fine Bruce." Dick said knowing what Bruce was thinking just from the intense look on his face.
"Hm." Bruce hummed and followed Dick into the young man's bedroom as Dick got changed into a pair of sweatpants and a faded BPD sweatshirt.
"They told you about Slade, Talia, the Court and the Joker right?" Dick asked, sitting on the edge of his bed.
Bruce pursed his lips. "Why were they not on the server?"
"They are, just not on yours they are on mine." Dick shrugged. "I gave them permission to tell you about them, just thought you should know."
Bruce blinked at his son, his son who had grown so much in the time he had been away, his son who had become not only Batman but a father and apparently was doing a much better job than him.
"Don't think about it too much Bruce, it's the past." Dick stood up and wrapped his arms around Bruce's waist and sighed as he rested his head against Bruce's shoulder.
"I'm just glad your home."
"I'm glad to be home too chum." Bruce hugged his eldest back, throat closing up slightly.
"None of them would admit it, but they each missed you in their own way." Dick assured Bruce before they broke the hug.
"I'll take your word for it." Bruce hummed.
"Come on, we should get going before all the good spots are taken." Dick grabbed Bruce's hand to drag him towards the living room.
Damian was curled up on the love seat while Jason was stretched across the couch while Tim was on the ground leaning against the couch. Dick instantly inserted him self into the love seat, Damian grumbled a bit but moved so Damian was curled around Dick getting comfortable. Bruce wavered a bit before Jason curled his legs up giving Bruce a place on the couch. Bruce took it and blinked when Jason placed his feet on his lap and didn't move when Bruce gripped his ankles, rubbing his thumb against the skin. Tim leaned against Bruce's legs as the opening scene for Ocean's 11 started up on the large screen. Bruce looked over at Dick who grinned at him while stroking Damian's dark hair soothingly. Bruce realized that Damian was legally Dick's son now and although he felt jealously rear up at the thought, warmth spread though him at the sight of his boys happy together.
'Told you.' Dick mouthed at Bruce who just smiled back before turning back to the television to enjoy some time with his boys.