It started with Dick. "You've exhausted yourself, Bruce. You need to sleep."
"I was trying." Bruce said so dryly Dick was surprised the room didn't suddenly need a humidifier. "Hence the pajamas, and the newly brushed teeth. I even have a bed and everything. Why are you in my bedroom, anyway?"
"To make sure you sleep. I'm under strict orders from Alfred."
"Oh, well, by all means then." Dick took that as his cue to strip down to his boxers and climb into the right side of Bruce's obscenely huge bed. He looked up expectantly at Bruce.
"You're supposed to be sleeping. I can't sleep until you do and I'm tired."
Five minutes later Dick was snoring softly. Bruce stared at the ceiling.
Twenty minutes into Bruce's insomnia the window popped open. Bruce's head snapped to the side to see a shadowy figure climbing into the room. He was already planning exactly how far Brucie Wayne could defend himself against a late night attacker. The dark was to his advantage but - "Bruce?" a familiar voice cut through his thoughts.
"What is it, Jay?" Jason climbed the rest of the way in the window and padded over to Bruce's side.
"Heard you were hurt."
"Not as bad as we thought initially. Mainly bruising, dislocated shoulder."
"You're okay." Bruce looked at Jason's muscle shirt for the first time for more than factual memorization. It was paired with gray sweatpants and his feet were bare.
"Are you going to tell me why you came in through the window?"
"Are you going to tell me why Dickie-bird is naked in your bed?"
"He wanted to make sure I slept. And he's not naked, he still has underwear."
"You're a skeevy old man." Even as he said it, Jason climbed under the covers with his adoptive father and curled up on his chest. "You're okay," he said again.
"Jason," said Bruce. Answer the question, said Batman.
"'Old habits,' I guess."
"You live here. And it's snowing outside."
"I dunno, Bruce. I couldn't just come in the door, you know? But I had to see if you were alright, so I did what I've always done."
"Sneaking out or sneaking back in?"
Jason smirked. "Both."
A few minutes later, Jay started to pull away but Bruce held him closer to his chest and he settled again.
"Father," Damian said entirely too loudly, sometime later, "have you seen Grayson?"
"Shh, Damian," he indicated the sleeping man in his arm then gestured to his other side. "He's right here, what's the matter?"
Damian was already climbing into the middle of the bed. "I had a nightmare."
"Do you wish to discuss it?" Bruce raised his free arm in invitation.
"No," said Damian. He ignored his father and climbed into Dick's arms. He buried his face in the man's chest and Dick hugged Damian compulsively in his sleep. Dick sighed as if he were finally comfortable.
Bruce smiled and pulled a shifting Jay closer to him again. He finally closed his eyes.
He sensed someone watching him.
Bruce was still not asleep, even an hour after Damian had joined them in the bed. He opened his eyes and looked toward the door to find his final son standing there, staring at him. When Bruce inclined his head back toward the bed Tim smiled and crawled between him and Damian. He lay with his back against Bruce and his arm stretched out on the bed. Damian chose that moment to extricate himself from Dick in his sleep. He rolled over and his head landed with Tim's arm as his pillow. Bruce would have to watch that arm didn't get broken when his youngest son woke. Tim just grinned over his shoulder at Bruce like he was thinking the exact same thing, and then settled down to sleep.
For now, all his boys were safe and whole. This time, when Bruce closed his eyes, he fell asleep almost instantly.
A/N Inspired by this lovely picture over on deviantart: http : / / Eloni. deviantart. com/ art/ Robins- Nest- and- a- Bat- 211121167