Thank you, Djinn, for the beta. And thank you, Adrian Tullberg, for the bunny.
Bruce sat at the table with his family. It was Sunday, after all. And Sundays were for family get-togethers. Or at least that's what he'd been told by the newest member of this family; Martha Kent Pennyworth.
"Ma, I think you out-did yourself," Clark said as he patted his belly while simultaneously reaching for his third helping of apple pie.
Bruce scowled and Dick laughed. Why Dick found these dinners humorous, he'd never know.
Nor could he fathom why Clark had now declared himself Bruce's brother. It's not like Alfred was Bruce's real father. But it looked like Bruce would reap those familial benefits, regardless.
Bruce groaned at the thought, garnering a seemingly concerned look from Clark. Dick just laughed
"Are you all right, Bruce? You look a little pale," Clark said, a grin contradicting his look of concern. "Don't you think so, Ma?"
"My, you do look a bit under the weather. Here, let me check your temperature," Martha said, making a beeline to touch Bruce's forehead with her lips.
It's not that he didn't like Martha; on the contrary, he thought she was a wonderful person. But why was she always touching him? The ruffling of hair and motherly squeezing of cheeks were bad for his image. Unlike Clark who seemed to lap up the physical attention. A family trait no doubt passed along to Clark, who felt the need to hug Bruce at each and every Sunday gathering, not to mention his increasing impromptu visits. Who knew Superman had so much down time?
Bruce needed a plan. No more hugs for him. Even if he had to break out the Kryptonite ring to ensure it.
"You don't seem to have a fever," Martha said, her hand resting on his shoulder.
"I'm fine. Just…stuffed."
"But you hardly ate at all. I'm beginning to worry about you, son. You don't eat hardly enough. You're a growing boy, after all."
Bruce thought Dick would choke. Even Alfred smirked at that one.
"If I eat any more, I'll grow in the wrong direction."
"I guess not everyone has the appetite of my boy, here." Martha smiled, patting Clark on the back.
Clark looked up and grinned at his mother, his mouth stuffed with apple pie.
"Thank goodness," Bruce muttered under his breath, which garnered a glare from Alfred who quickly suggested the family retire to the study for coffee.
It used to be his favorite room in the house. Now it had a decidedly feminine touch to it. It was becoming increasingly difficult to brood amidst the needlepoint throw pillows and laced draperies. Bruce was surprised Alfred allowed such…frivolity into the Manor. Especially when not even Bruce had been allowed to move an item one iota, let alone redecorate the place. The man must be in love.
But Bruce had had enough. He was the Batman, dammit. And the Batman needed a place to brood.
"Dear, are you certain you feel well?" Martha asked, rubbing Bruce's arm in that comforting way she had.
He sighed, decided he'd put his foot down next Sunday. After all, the day was almost done with anyway.