I was inspired by other people's stories about the Bat-Family. I hope I didn't step on anyone's toes or make the characters too ridiculous.
Disclaimers: don't own.
I don't know anything about Bugatti's, except that they are expensive and have a cool name. My apologizes if the fictional car sullies their good name.
"You ask him."
"No, you ask him."
"No, you ask him."
"No, you ask him."
"Well, he's your father," Jason sarcastically reminded Damian.
Damian scowled and said nothing. He couldn't very well argue with that.
"Fine. You win this round, Todd. I will ask him."
"You better. Here's in the study by the way." With that, Jason casually flopped down on his bed and pretended to be engrossed in a magazine.
Damian stomped all the way to the study. Once Bruce had granted him permission, he strode purposefully into the room and stood directly in front of the huge desk.
"Father, I would like the keys to the new Bugatti."
Bruce looked up from his Wayne Enterprises' paperwork and raised an eyebrow. "You're not legally old enough to drive, Damian."
"That may be, Father, but I am capable of driving and mundane laws should not stand in my way."
"But I demand that you disregard these pedestrian American laws and let me prove my superb driving capabilities."
"Absolutely not. Especially if you're going to demand it."
Damian and Bruce locked eyes, both attempting to visually intimidate the other. In a matter of seconds, Damian surrendered.
"As you wish, Father." And he was gone.
Bruce sighed, shook his head, and resumed his work. Did Damian honestly think he'd let a child drive his new Bugatti? To give the kid credit, though, at least he didn't whine about it.
"I was, regrettably but predictably, unsuccessful," Damian announced to Jason.
Jason tossed the magazine aside (it had mostly been for show anyway). "You can't do anything right. I'll go."
Damian crossed his arms. "He'll never give the keys to you, Todd."
"We'll just see about that," Jason sneered, although deep down inside, he knew Damian was right.
Bruce was not at all surprised to hear another knock on the study door. He was a bit surprised that Jason had sought permission to enter.
Jason got right to the point. "So, Bruce, whaddya say you let me take the new Bugatti out for a spin?"
"Come on, Bruce, I'm old enough to drive – unlike your twerpy offspring!" Bruce mentally filed away that Damian was hanging around Jason. That relationship would require future surveillance.
"God damn it, Bruce! Why the hell not? It's not like it's your only car."
"Because it's a new vehicle and must be treated with respect." Jason made a disgusted face, as though he were gagging on Bruce's lame words. "Also – because I said so."
"Well I say I should be allowed to drive it."
"Well, then, you're going to be disappointed."
"You know, I'm an adult here. 'Because I said so' doesn't really cut it anymore."
Bruce fixed on Jason with a Bat glare. "The answer is no," he ground out in a low, menacing tone.
Jason threw up his hands in defeat. To signal his displeasure, he let out a lengthy stream of profanities on his way out the door.
"Drake, we require your assistance."
Tim looked up from his video game in surprise. Had Damian just asked for his help?
"Who's 'we' and what do you need?"
"We is us," Jason stepped into view and indicated Damian and himself, "and we need you to sweet talk Bruce into giving us the keys to his new Bugatti."
"You're kidding, right? You know how possessive he is when it comes to his new cars."
"I'm sure you have something up your sleeve, nerdy one. Tell him you've been practicing driving Bugatti's on your fancy new Z-Box console or something," Jason suggested.
"It's an X-Box and that would be lying."
"Ahh, but the ends would justify the means." Jason paused to note the death glares Damian and Tim were sending at each other. "Besides, Damian already failed. It's the perfect chance to show him up."
Tim didn't even need to pause to consider. "Where's Bruce?" he demanded.
"Bruce, I thought you might like to know that my training is going really well."
"That's nice, Tim." Bruce didn't even bother to look up from his balance sheets. Just how many times were the boys going to interrupt him today?
Deciding not to take it personally that he had been so rudely ignored, Tim tried again. "Yeah, I'm using this vehicle simulator, and I'm doing awesome. But I could really use some real-world application."
That got Bruce's attention. He looked Tim directly in the face. "Is that so?"
Tim gulped. It was so much harder to embellish the truth when Bruce was staring straight at you. "Yes, it's so."
"Take one of the bikes out if you like. Dick always found them to be helpful for training." Or for messing around (it was funny how often the two ended up being the same activity).
Tim's heart began to beat faster. Did he actually have a chance of success? "I was hoping to use a car."
"Okay, sure. Try one of the Mustangs. Good muscle and speed."
Getting warmer. "I was hoping for something, umm… foreign."
Bruce's eyebrow arched ever so slightly. Tim started to panic a little inside – Bruce was getting suspicious. "Perhaps one of the lower-end Ferraris would suit your purposes?"
"Oh, I don't want to do anything dangerous. Just see how it handles."
"You could take a better Ferrari then." There was a pregnant pause. "Or did you have something else in mind?"
Tim knew that Bruce knew what his mission really was, but he felt he couldn't chicken out now. "Umm, could I use the new Bugatti?"
Bruce smirked. He had known that was what Tim was after the moment he mentioned the non-existent vehicle simulator. "I think… not."
"Please?" Tim asked meekly, feeling a little embarrassed for even having the gall to ask.
"Not even for just a little bit?"
Bruce frowned darkly.
"Okay, I get it. The answer is 'no!'" And Tim turned tail and dashed back to his bedroom, where Damian and Jason awaited.
"No luck?" Jason half-asked, half-stated as soon as he saw Tim.
"No luck." Tim sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Now that he thought about it, he really wanted to check out that car. If only Bruce weren't so protective of his new playboy toys!
"Well we can't just give up," Damian stated.
"Of course we won't give up!" Tim snapped, irritated that Damian might think he was a quitter.
"We just need to bring out the big guns," Jason admitted matter-of-factly.
"Big guns?" Damian queried.
Tim grinned at Jason and nodded his head. "We need Dick."
Dick, meanwhile, was sprawled out on the living room couch reading. Although he could hear his brothers lurking outside the living-room door, he decided to ignore them until they officially made themselves known to him. He didn't have long to wait.
"Grayson! What are you reading?" Damian demanded as the three tromped into the room. When Dick didn't immediately answer, Tim leaned down to look.
"Murder on the Orient Express? Haven't you read all of Agatha Christie's books already?"
"Yes, but I like them" Dick replied, without looking up from the novel.
"He probably has a thing for Miss Marple," Jason interjected. "You know how he is about older women."
"This is a Hercule Poirot novel," Dick replied, unruffled.
"You probably have a thing for short Belgian dudes, too. Hard to tell with you."
Dick just smiled into his book and didn't respond.
"Look, Dick we need your help," Tim said.
"Just a sec. Let me finish this chapter."
After deliberately taking longer than necessary to finish said chapter, Dick placed a bookmark inside, closed the book, tossed it onto the coffee table, and stretched. "Okay, what's up?"
"We need you to get the keys to Bruce's new Bugatti."
Dick laughed and looked at his brothers. "Don't tell me you guys can't sneak the keys off the rack."
"The keys aren't on the rack, idiot," Jason snapped.
"Yeah, Bruce has them in his pocket," Tim explained. "You have to ask him for the keys."
Dick raised his eyebrows. "Oh."
"Yeah, and all of us already tried. And struck out," Jason added.
Dick looked over at Damian who had remained silent. "Even you, little D?" He quickly reached over and ruffled his youngest brother's hair before Damian could move out of his grasp.
Damian swatted his hands away. "Yes, even me. And, Grayson, never touch me again."
Dick stood up and stretched again. "Alright, I'll give it a shot. Where is the old man?"
"In the study," Tim replied.
"To the study then!" Dick darted out the door and up the stairs with his three brothers following.
Dick knocked on the study door, and then sauntered in after Bruce had given him permission to enter. The other three boys crowded around the keyhole.
"Watch and learn, kid," Jason told Damian.
"I don't need to learn from Grayson. I'm my father's real son!"
Jason and Tim shared a look. "Just observe the master, Damian," Tim suggested.
"Hey, Bruce, how's it going?" Dick asked, moving ever closer to the desk.
"Fine," Bruce answered without even looking up from his paperwork.
"Need any help?" Dick had circled around the desk and was standing behind Bruce.
"Thanks but no thanks."
"Okay, but I think you dropped something under the desk. Move back and I'll get it for you."
"Alright," Bruce murmured, pushing his ornate chair back from the desk without a second thought.
Once Bruce's chair had sufficiently moved back from the desk, Dick, despite being twenty-something, planted himself on Bruce's lap. Bruce looked up from his paperwork, moderately surprised.
"There wasn't anything under the desk, was there?"
Dick just grinned and shook his head. "Nope, not a thing."
From behind the door, Damian scoffed at his older brother's tactic. "How is this going to help? He's practically prostituting himself for paternal affection."
"I don't think sitting on Bruce's lap is exactly prostitution," Tim defended, half under his breath.
"Live and learn, kid," Jason pronounced. "Bruce eats this shit up. Only trouble is, it takes a certain kind of person to pull it off."
"And Grayson is this kind of person?" Damian sounded doubtful.
"And then some." Jason smirked. "Golden Boy always gets his man."
Back at the desk, Dick shifted into a more comfortable position on Bruce's lap. "So, Bruce, can I – "
"You didn't even hear what I was going to ask!"
"Your brothers already asked. And the answer is still no."
"Well that was effective," Damian snorted derisively.
"Give him time, Damian," Tim hissed, annoyed that Damian had so little faith in Dick. "You'll see."
"But I haven't asked yet," Dick replied, the barest hint of a pout on his face.
"Now, Bruce, that's just not fair. You know I'm responsible, and I'll be a good boy with your car."
"The answer is still no."
"You expect me to learn from this!" Damian irritably demanded of Tim and Jason.
"Yeah, we do," Jason growled. "So shut up."
"You'll see, Damian," Tim soothed. "He wasn't even trying up to this point."
"Aww, come on, Bruce. Please?" Dick added a pleading tone to his voice.
Dick gave a disconsolate sigh and removed the papers from Bruce's hand, forcing his adopted father to look at him (rather than at his distracting paperwork).
"He's going in for the kill now," Tim announced.
"Yeah," Jason agreed, eager to contribute to this play-by-play narration. "Whenever he makes Bruce look at him, he means business."
"Please, Bruce?" Dick gave Bruce his patented puppy-dog eyes.
Bruce sighed heavily and closed his own eyes. "No," he said, noticeably less firmly than before.
Dick patiently waited until Bruce opened his eyes. "Pretty please, Bruce?" He slightly up-ed the pathetic-ness of his expression.
"No," Bruce repeated, but his tone revealed that he was wavering.
Inwardly smiling at his assuredly-upcoming victory, Dick lifted one arm and placed it around Bruce's shoulders in a half hug. Fixing Bruce with his best puppy-dog eyes, he leaned in close and whispered, "Please, daddy?"
Bruce closed his eyes and inwardly sighed. He was proud of himself for having resisted this long; as soon as Dick had entered the study he knew he was going to be relinquishing the keys to his Bugatti. "Fine."
"Whoo-hoo," Dick rejoiced, throwing his arms around Bruce for a proper hug. "Thanks, Dad!"
"And that's how it's done, folks," Jason commented dryly, while Damian gazed on in wonder.
Bruce reached into his pocket and pulled out the keys. He dangled them over Dick's outstretched palm. "You have one hour."
"One hour!" Dick burst out, shocked. "Dad we have four drivers; an hour is NOT going to be long enough."
"You do remember that Damian is underage, right?"
Dick gave Bruce a look. "And your point is?"
"Fine. But an hour and a half is all you get. I want the car back by 4:30 sharp."
Dick glanced behind Bruce at the grandfather clock. It was exactly 3 PM.
"But Bruce, by the time we get to the back roads on the edge of the property we won't have an hour and a half to drive."
Bruce sighed. "Be back by 4:45 and not a minute later. Understood?"
Dick nodded solemnly. "You have my word." Bruce placed the keys in Dick's hand; the younger man's fingers instantly curled around them, then he slipped them into his own pocket. "And thanks again." With that, Dick launched himself off of Bruce's lap and over the desk, turning a double somersault in the air before landing perfectly in the middle of the study.
"I mean it, Richard: 4:45 sharp." Bruce repeated, in the most serious tone he could muster (at that moment).
Dick rather cheekily rolled his eyes and gave Bruce a dazzling smile. "Yes sir."
With that he ran over to the door and, stepping out into the hallway, shouted, "Guys, I got the keys!" His brothers were about a yard away from him, but he wanted to make an attempt to keep Bruce from knowing the others had been eavesdropping.
On the way down the stairs, Damian marveled, "I can't believe that worked."
"Told you," Tim gloated, pleased to have proved Damian wrong.
"He's a master, kid," Jason responded. "Pulls off lap-sitting better than any twenty-something I've ever met."
As the younger boys moved downstairs, Dick stuck his head inside the study door one last time. "Bye!" he shouted gleefully, giving Bruce a quick wave before tearing off down the stairs.
Bruce just sighed. Maybe if he made Dick put a bag over his head he might be able to resist his pleading. But the voice, and the strangely sweet sensation of Dick calling him "Dad," would get him every time. Oh well. He managed to get a "daddy" out of Dick before his resolve had crumbled. That was a small victory but Bruce would take what he could get.