"Bruce, how come you don't buy Crockie's for Damian, I used to love those."
"That nasty cereal you ate when you were a kid, why would I submit my son to that?"
"I thought it was delicious", Dick said in a high, affronted voice, "and you always agreed with me."
"Because when you were eight, I had to agree with whatever you said. By the time you were thirteen, I no longer saw the need."
"Yea", Dick muttered darkly, "that was around the time you stopped laughing at my jokes too."
"Crockie's!" Tim exclaimed, "They had a TV show about that crocodile for a while and I used to watch it, I remember."
"Ohh", Bruce moaned, "not you too."
"Alright", Dick crowed, "high five for the Crockie cult." He reached out from where he was sitting in the squishiest of the Wayne manor couches next to Bruce, and highfived a grinning Tim. The sun shown brightly through the large windows, warming Tim considerably from where he was sitting. He didn't often get to be together with Bruce and Dick anymore, so he was determined to enjoy every moment of it. The fact that the demon child wasn't due back from school for another hour helped lighten his day even more considerably.
Tim put his head on Bruce's shoulder. Bruce smiled and put his arm around him. "You know", Dick continued, "I went on Amazon the other day and found out they have all those old Crockie's toys, you know the ones that came in the cereal boxes, so I bought all of them."
"What!", Bruce yelped, "I gave you that money to buy yourself something useful."
"It was Christmas money", Dick replied haughtily, "I am allowed to use it for whatever I want."
"Wow Dick", Tim said incredulously, "you do know how to waste money, don't you."
"Yup", Dick said proudly, "I am the master."
"You know Dick, those things have lead paint in them. They're supposed to be pretty toxic. They just came out with all these things about them infecting cereal."
"Well", Dick replied, "it's a good thing the toy always landed in your bowel then." Damian trudged in to Wayne Manor, dragging his heavy backpack behind him. He was growling and muttering under his breath and he stalked through the living room.
"Damian", Dick said, "You're home early, what's up?"
"Here", Damian muttered darkly, shoving a yellow slip of paper at Dick, "I'm supposed to get this signed by someone."
"Ohh Damian", Dick moaned.
"What?" Bruce asked, taking the paper from him. "You stabbed a kid with a pencil?" he asked incredulously.
"Well, it was a dull pencil", Damian said, as if that made everything better, "and he really deserved it."
"Damian", Dick moaned, "we don't stab people."
"It didn't even go in that deep, only about an inch into his leg, which was pretty fat I might add. The way he was screaming you'd think I cut off his arm or something."
"Because you would know what that sounded like", Dick said weakly.
"Yea", Damian replied with a scoff, "doesn't everybody?" Tim giggled.
"What are you laughing at Drake?" Damian snapped. Tim shrugged and giggled again. 'Ahh Damian', he thought to himself.
"What did he do to you?" Dick asked.
"He was saying things about me again", Damian replied, "so he had to be punished."
"Good going", Bruce said.
"Bruce", Dick snapped, "we shouldn't be condoning, much less encouraging this behavior."
"What, you don't think my son should defend himself?"
"I think he should use nonviolent means."
"Yea well, you know better then most Dick, that doesn't always work. When you're fighting Killer Croc, I hardly see you trying to talk it out."
"This is a defenseless ten year old boy Bruce, not a cannibalistic manic. You are just awful sometimes. Anyway, Damian, didn't I tell you not to let him bother you, just ignore him." Damian snorted. Dick leaned down and lifted his chin so he could look into Damian's eyes. "Come on little bird, you're perfect, just remember that." The moment was broken however, by Bruce giggling in the background.
"Can I help you?" Dick asked, sitting up so he could properly scowl at his former mentor.
"You gave him the "perfect" speech?"
"Yea", Dick said with a frown, "what about it?"
"Is it not true", Damian asked suspiciously, "have I simply been lied to?"
"No, of course not", Bruce replied, "it's just funny because I gave you kids that advice and I never followed it myself."
"What do you mean?" Tim asked.
"Well", Bruce said, "When kids bullied me when I was little, I just paid a whole bunch of people to help me bully them back. I was a pretty mean kid actually. I got to be an awful bully. I remember we took this one kid and we strung him up the flagpole. Man, he cried so hard. He never bullied me again after that. And this other kid…"
"Bruce", Dick said incredulously, cutting him off, "You're giving Damian bad ideas."
"So", Damian said thoughtfully, "if I pay people to bully them, things will get better."
"Now hold on", Bruce said, "don't go emulating me."
"This is a very good idea father, I shall begin practicing it promptly tomorrow. I shalt pay people to help me bully Winston."
"Now see what you've done", Dick said crossly. "It's not nice to bully Damian." Damian snorted.
"Come here", Bruce beckoned, urging Damian foreward. The boy clambered onto Bruce's lap obediently and folded his legs beneath himself, gazing up at his father. "You don't need to bully people to feel good about yourself Damian, what Dick said is true, you are perfect. I was just a violent and misguided child. Making small children cry is not exactly something you should strive for, despite what I did in the past."
"I want to be like you", Damian replied simply.
"Be like Dick", Bruce said, "He's a better person anyway."
"So wait", Dick said, "Does that mean my entire childhood was a lie and I'm not, in actuality, perfect to you?" Bruce rolled his eyes and put an arm around Dick.
"Of course you're perfect", Bruce replied, sarcasm lighting his voice, "You're still my perfect little Dickie."
"Thank you", Dick said.
"What about me?" Tim asked.
"You too", Bruce said, putting his other arm tightly around the boy, "You're perfect too. You're all perfect."
"What about Jason", Damian asked crawling into Dick's embrace, "is he still perfect? He kills people."
"Jason will always be perfect to me."
"You're pretty perfect too Bruce", Dick said. So wait Damian said, even if I became a homicidal manic, I'd still be perfect?"
"Yes", Dick said, "but don't go killing anyone anyway teddy bear." Damian gave him a dark look.
"I am not your stuffed toy and I resent that nickname."
"I know, that's why I use it. Call it a sign of my love." Damian muttered and settled himself in Dick's arms. Bruce grinned and closed his eyes, relishing in the feeling of his sons beside him.
And from the window Jason watched, shaking more from something deep within his soul than the howling wind. He gave a sigh and turned away to face the setting sun. "Perfect", he whispered softly, a nostalgic smile just barely touching his cheeks, carrying not a hint of sarcasm or anger with it, at least this once. "That's pretty cool, you still think I'm perfect old man, even after everything." He gave a sigh and lifted off. "Still perfect."