Disclaimer: Ownership for something you didn't create is incredibly hard and tricky to get. I am lazy. So I don't own.

Please keep in mind that this is an AU and this has now been edited to suit the series it inspired. Enjoy!

Dick-12 Jason-9 Cass-8 Timmy-5 Late February, Early March

A Father's Request


"You haven't even heard my proposal yet."

"I don't have to." He glared hard at the billionaire in front of him. "Luthor tried to buy me years ago. And you're the same as him Wayne."

Bruce Wayne gritted his teeth at that comment. "You don't know the first thing about me Superman."

"I know enough." Superman's scowl didn't leave his face. He heard all about this guy from Lois back at The Planet, and he didn't want anything to do with him. If it weren't for the high pitched message the guy sent him an hour ago, he wouldn't have bothered coming within arms reach of him. Thus far, Wayne kept out of Metropolis and off the crime fighting community's radar. Now he wanted his attention. "You're a billionaire, thrill ride, playboy who's had everything he's ever wanted since he was a kid. The 'Crowned Prince' of Gotham City."

"You forgot philanthropist and greatest supporter of the police department," Wayne added with some bite. "Some people even call me the White Knight of Gotham."

The alien rolled his eyes. "Right. Just like Luthor. Hiding behind a humanitarian—"

The doors to the office burst open as two boys crashed into the room, wrestling and shouting at each other. A younger boy, probably in kindergarten, raced past them towards Bruce crying, as a little girl slid into the room, watching the two fighters silently.


Superman watched in shock as the ever growing frustrated man swooped down and picked up the little boy, holding him close. Looking from the fighting boys, the shy Asian girl, and Wayne consoling the crying child, he didn't know what to think. This never happened when he argued with Luthor. Where did all these kids come from?

"Timmy, calm down," Bruce tried, rubbing the back of his youngest. He glared at the other two still fighting in his office doorway. Quickly he marched over to the fighters and grabbed the nearest one's collar, pulling them apart. "ENOUGH! BOTH OF YOU!"

Instantly both boys jerked to a halt, wearing 'I'm so dead' expressions on their faces. The man's livid glare as he carried the crying boy as he stared down on the two made the man of steel even shake in his boots. For a moment the visitor debated getting in the middle to save the kids, when one pointed to the other. "He started it!"

"Me?" The blue eyed eldest gave his green eyed counterpart an outraged glare, pointing straight back at him. "You were the one being mean to Timmy!"

"But you threw the first punch Goldie!" Jason retorted. "That makes it your fault."

"I wouldn't have if you just left him alone! It's the big brother's job to protect his younger siblings!"

"Fat lot of help ya've been at school." He returned the glare, folding his arms stubbornly. "Ya only protect Timmy!"

"I figure you can handle yourself street rat."

"Circus brat."



"ENOUGH!" Bruce's voice shut both boys up in an instant, diverting their eyes anywhere but at each other, guilt written clear across both their faces. Little Timmy was still crying in the man's arms. Their quiet observer peaked over a couch, probably hiding her amusement at the scene. Their dad took a deep breath before saying another word. "For pity's sakes... How many times have I told you two to stop fighting?"

"But he was—" the older started.

"But nothing!" Wayne directed more of his attention to the older one. "There are better ways to handle this Dick, and you know it. You're twelve years old for crying out loud! I know you can find a better way to handle this. I'm not getting calls from your principal anymore. Why do you pick fights with Jason all the time?"

Dick's eyes shifted far away from the man in front of him, guilt radiating from every part of his emotional face. Superman never saw a kid that age so expressive before. And his eyes... he'd never seen that shade of blue. So bright and filled with raw emotion. It was hard not sympathizing with them.

"Sorry," he murmured lowly. He really sounded disappointed in himself. Being under this man's angry face probably hurt him more than the lecture Superman concluded.

"Pft. Yeah right."

Bruce's glare shifted from Dick to Jason and his skeptical comment. The Kryptonian looked over this kid now. His scowl and hardened look told him even though he could be just as expressive as his older… brother? They didn't look that much alike. Well he was more jaded than the older one. Maybe there was some truth to the 'street rat' insult Dick threw out earlier. Still there was a twinge of guilt on his face. He seemed more upset he was caught than guilty.

"And you," Wayne started coldly. "Just what were you doing this time?"

"Does it matter?" Jason retorted, getting back to his feet. "I'm always the bad guy."

"It matters when Timmy's in tears and Dick's throwing punches."

The kid rolled his eyes. Lots of sass coming from this kid. "Timmy's always crying about something, and Dick'll use anything as an excuse to deck me."

"No I don't!" Dick shouted in his own defense. He got back to his feet, ready to fight again if he had to. Bruce took a step between them to make sure that didn't happen.

Jason just rolled his eyes again, stiffly putting his hands in his pockets. Something shifted underneath his jacket. "Whatever. Just tell us what our punishments are and let's just get on with it. I'm bored and hungry. Know what Alf's got planned for dinner?"


"OH MY GOSH!" They looked at Dick who gaped openly at Superman, a smile spreading on the kid's face. "IT'S SUPERMAN!"

"Squirrel," Jason muttered under his breath as his older brother charged at the man of steel. "You really should get him tested for ADHD. He has the attention span of a dog."


"It's on my list," Bruce commented, a smirk coming to his face. Superman just gaped at the tween in front of him. Sure he'd met fans of his before, but none of them were quite like this one. This kid was loud, smiling, and chatting nonstop. He also looked like he was ready to flip at any moment.


"Cassandra, would you get the door?" At Wayne's request the little girl nodded. She hopped off the couch she was watching everyone from, and ran to the door to close it. The secretary and one or two errand runners were gaping through the doors, none looking at the kids but at the man of steel himself. The audience was a bit unnerving. Now with the door closed, those not in their own little worlds felt more comfortable. Those like Timmy or Dick didn't seem to care one way or another. "Thank you."

Cassandra just nodded, slowly making her way over to the man's side. She kept casting Superman cautious looks, hiding away from him. It was the exact opposite of the excited pre-teen in front of him. He hadn't heard her say a word the whole time. In fact, if it weren't for her heartbeat, he was certain she didn't make a sound. Eventually she found her way to Wayne and clung shyly to his pant-leg, peaking out to the stranger nervously.

"CAN YOU TAKE ME FLYING?" Dick continued eagerly, his mouth not really ever stopping.

"Dick." Just Bruce calling the boy's name jerked his attention away. The billionaire seemed exhausted. "Lower your voice. He has supersensitive ears."

"Oh, right. Sorry." The kid continued to smile though, excitedly chatting away at the man of steel. "So can we go flying? I've always wanted to fly. Oh, name's Dick Grayson by the way. Nice to meet you."

Quickly the kid took Superman's hand and started shaking it eagerly. "Uh… nice to meet you too."

"Looks like Dickybird's gonna be occupied for a while." Jason slipped a hand into his jacket, taking out a tablet to occupy his time. "Why's the boyscout here anyway? HEY!"

As soon as the tablet was out, Timmy reached out and snatched it from Jason's hands, glaring fiercely much to everyone's surprise. "MINE!"

"Timmy!" Bruce chided the youngest, startled by his sudden outburst after finally calming down. And now it looked like he was ready to cry again.

"But it is! See?" Quickly the five year old turned the pad around, showing the name 'Drake' on the back of it in bright red letters. There were red and green birds on it too. Bruce took it in his empty hand for a moment, looking it over before glaring down at Jason who was beginning to look sheepish.


"I was just borrowing it," the kid muttered lowly, looking away the whole time.

"Is this the reason he was crying?" His question was met with silence. Bruce gave an exasperated sigh. "Where's yours?"

For a minute, all that could be heard was Dick yakking away at Superman whose attention was divided. Then the kid muttered, "It broke."

"How did it break?"

Again silence then, "I got bored."

That seemed to be code for something they've talked about before. Bruce returned the tablet to Timmy then pinched the bridge of his nose. "Where's your hat?"

"Got confiscated."

Wayne gave another heavy sigh before wrapping this up. "Let me get this straight. You were doing something with your hat during class so your teacher took it away. Later during lunch or recess, you got bored and started playing Frisbee with your tablet. It broke and was thrown away. While waiting for my meeting to end, you thought you could just play on Timmy's without asking first. Dick came in before the two of you could hash it out and started fighting when he saw Timmy crying. Is that what happened?"

Jason shifted his feet around nervously, not answering. Bruce looked to Cassandra. "Is it?"

The girl nodded, still silent as ever. He gave a heavy sigh again, almost saying 'why me' in his breath. The youngest snuggled up to him, one arm still holding his favorite toy and the other firmly wrapped around the man's neck. He was still pouting a bit, but at least the kid wasn't crying. This seemed to be enough to calm the man a fraction before speaking again. "You owe Timmy an apology."

"Sorry," the boy murmured, not looking up.

"And you're not getting another one."

"What?!" Jason finally looked up to the man, some desperation in his eyes. "But—"

"I can't replace every single thing you break when you're bored Jason. You have to take care of what you have!" He shook his head in resigned frustration. "I thought you already knew this. Look, remember when Dick kept breaking his phone just to get the latest model?"

"Do you have to keep using me as an example Bruce?" Dick whined, proving he was paying attention despite trying to convince Superman to take him for a ride. Hearing this, the man of steel couldn't help but be impressed. Frankly, he was just impressed the CEO wasn't kicking the kids out for interrupting their little meeting. This was the strangest thing he ever saw in an office.

Jason gave a slightly confused face. "I thought he was just klutzy."

"No, it was all on purpose," Bruce recounted. Dick looked away, irked and a bit embarrassed.

"Really..." Some amusement entered the kid's voice as he confirmed this. Apparently he wasn't used to hearing about the oldest being this kind of trouble maker.

"Yes. Point of the matter, I stopped getting him a new phone and got him the cheapest one I could find with GPS. If he can't handle the responsibility of a good phone, he doesn't get it. You can't be responsible with your tablet, you aren't getting another one."

"But Dad-"

"No buts." Bruce gave him a shrewd scowl. "If something's causing an argument, it's gone. You broke your tablet, you live with the consequences. Until you can prove you can be responsible, you're not getting a new one any time soon. Understood?"

The boy tried to object for a moment, then thought better of it. He settled for scowling and pouting. "Yes sir."

"Good. We'll discuss punishment when we head home. Right now I need to finish my meeting with Superman. Think you or Dick can help Cassandra with her speaking practice until we're done?"

"You two are having a meeting?" Dick jerked his head around between the two men curiously. Both Cassandra and Timmy cocked their heads like he did inquiringly, similar to the eldest. Jason gave them a 'no duh' look that resembled Bruce's. Despite there being no obvious blood relations between all these people, they certainly had some similar character traits.

"Uh, yeah," Jason retorted smartly. "Why else would he be here? An early birthday present?" Dick pouted childishly. He clearly was hoping that was the case. The trouble maker shook his head. "I'll help Cass. Be easier with a tablet—"

"You two can share hers. Cassandra." Wayne looked down to the Asian girl, nudging her gently towards her brother. She seemed to give a small pout, not really wanting to leave, before nodding and letting go of his pants. Jason actually offered his hand as encouragement and she gladly took it before they headed over to the couch to start practice.

"Timmy," he started again, looking towards the little one still in his arms, "mind getting down and color on the couch with the others?" Quickly the kid shook his head defiantly. He wasn't going to let go. Bruce sighed once more. "Timothy…"

"You're snuggly," the kid stated flatly, nuzzling his shoulder. "And Jason's been mean. I don't like people being mean."

"Seriously…" The man shook his head in exasperation before spotting something on his boy. Concern seemed to grow on his face as he looked back to the kid's troubled expression. Superman could only guess what was going on behind that man's eyes, especially when he drew the kid nearer, rubbing his back soothingly.

"Alright. Superman, would you please take a seat for a minute? I'm still not done explaining myself." Bruce quickly moved over to one of the many chairs scattered around the room, straight across from one near the man of steel.

Returning to himself, Superman shook his head. "I thought I made it clear. I'm not interested."

"Interested in what?" Dick finally took a step back from the alien, doing a quick flip before landing on the edge of another chair. The alien tried not to be impressed as he held himself up with only his hands, his feet far apart from each other in the air.

"In an offer he hasn't bothered to hear out yet," Bruce explained, settling the kindergartener on his lap. Timmy smiled slightly, finally letting go as he took his tablet in both hands and started working on it.

"I don't need to hear it," the Kryptonian tried again only for the little acrobat to continue asking questions.

"What offer? I didn't think you had a meta or alien division here. You never mentioned it before."

"More of a request actually," the man continued, leaning back into his chair to relieve the strain from holding the five year old for so long. "A mutually beneficial one I think, one the rest of the world would appreciate as well."

"I'm not interested in your money Wayne." The edge had returned to his voice. When was this man going to learn? Sure he had a cute, howbeit diverse, family, but that didn't make up for the fact he was trying to buy Superman.

"Which is?" the pre-teen persisted. He really was curious unlike the others.

Wayne rubbed his chin in thought before answering. "Remember what we were talking about a few days ago? About those people in that place? The one with the revolving door?"

Even though the man was using some kind of code so not to alarm anyone, Superman could hear every child's heart stop for a moment. Briefly looking around he noted each of them froze, wide eyed in surprise at the allusion of some unknown location. After that moment they fidgeted uncomfortably. Timmy shrunk into his father, biting his mouth shut as the man wrapped his arm back around him to give him the sense of safety he wanted. Cassandra slowly closed her eyes and focused on breathing, almost entering a meditative state. Jason looked away, rubbing his arms as if chilled and licking his lips as he struggled to breathe normally. Dick's legs dropped and he sat perched on his edge, tense and ready to spring into action at a moment's notice. Even Bruce was tense, his eyes just as distant as the rest for a moment. Whatever this place was, it obviously had a heavy impact on each of their lives.

Making it an irresistible curiosity for the man of steel. What place were they talking about? A competitor? No. Each child, each person there, had stopped themselves from panic attacks.

"Yeah, we all remember," Dick said stony. Suddenly gone was the kid excited to see Superman. Now he was a young man, hardened by some unknown tragedy. "This is you doing something about it?"

"In part." Wayne looked back to the man of steel, knowing he had his attention now.

"What are you two talking about?"

"Gotham needs a new protector," the young man started, cutting off his father (whom he alone called Bruce. This really boggled the Kryptonian's mind). "Arkham's revolving door is getting way out of hand."

"Come again?" This really threw him for a loop. He was called here to talk about Arkham and Gotham?

"Let me explain for once." Bruce rubbed his little boy's back as Dick dropped into his chair, becoming part of the conversation. Cassandra was silently coaxing Jason out of his own stupor off to the side, Superman watching them all with growing curiosity. "You may have heard it in the grapevine, but Batman's pretty much retired. For the past four years he's hardly made any appearances and only when the situation was dire. Each time he's called it closer and closer, making him unreliable. He's come back to save each of my children from these psychopaths, but always at a cost."

The man of steel's eyes widened in shock. Quickly he used his X-ray vision to look over each of them, not liking what she saw in the slightest. Each of them had more scars and signs of broken bones than anyone should at their ages, even Wayne and the kid in his lap. Jason and Dick seemed particularly beaten over by some kind of pipes or bats. Cassandra's old wounds seemed to come from fists and even bullets. The youngest seemed to have scars around his wrists and ankles, plus a few others scattered over his body. And Superman could swear there were bullet wounds in the CEO, among many other kinds. He was beginning to see why they all reacted to the mentioning of the place. Had it all happened in Arkham?

And Batman, the dark knight he hadn't seen in nearly four years, really was retired? He didn't know the man long before his disappearance, and really didn't care to know him back then, but everyone assumed he returned to the shadows as an urban legend. They thought he wasn't seen because he didn't want to be. But he wasn't even fighting crime anymore? And when he was, he was cutting it close, for himself and for Gotham's people? Something was seriously wrong with this town.

"That place has a revolving door," Wayne continued, glaring down darkly. "Even I know what to say and how to act to make the doctors there sign the release forms. I'm doing everything I can to stop it, but they still slip through. And then there are the ones who escape.

"Captain Gordon and his people are doing their best making the streets safer, but taking the corruption out of Gotham is harder than it appears. Street punks still try to make trouble, and the ones who succeed are recruited by the mobs. The police are cracking down on them, but the lunatics throw wrenches into everything.

"This is what Batman dealt with," Bruce stated, bringing the point to home. Superman never imagined seeing this kind of behavior from any corporate shark, nor did he know a thing about Gotham or what the Bat had to deal with. The man kept speaking. "But he told me when we last met that he had to make a choice. He could either continue to put out fires in hopes to protect this city on his own, or help the next generation get onto the right course and assist the proper authorities in a more supportive manner."

"We figure he's got kids now and has to raise them on his own," Dick explained, getting a shrewd look from his father. The boy gave a disarming shrug. "Maybe his wife died and now no one else can take care of them. Either way something of equal importance to him as Gotham came up in his personal life and he's not out going out on the streets anymore. Mostly just pops up for kidnappings."

"I see," Superman said slowly. He eyed Wayne, making a new assessment of the man. "But what does that have to do with me?"

"My money and influence can only go so far," Bruce explained. "I can't do anything to stop these madmen on the streets here, but you can. The police have their hands full, and the growing number of good cops isn't as fast as I'd like. And no one knows how to handle those crazies.

"All I'm asking is for you and your friends to keep a watchful eye on Gotham."

The man of steel's eyes widened dangerously. Bruce Wayne was asking him to help out in Gotham City? Not to do his dirty work or appear at birthday parties? He wanted Superman's help in keeping his city, his home and essentially his family, safe.

If the concept alone didn't floor him, the serious, almost pleading, look in the man's eyes did. He really wanted the alien's help. And he was also saying he could bring in other heroes he knew. The idea was mind boggling.

"In exchange, I'm willing to finance you in your endeavors," the businessman continued. "I already contribute millions to the reconstruction crews who take care of the property damages in your fights, and I'm able to secure a day job for you if necessary. I am also in a position to gather all the information you need, ensuring you don't make any mistakes in an investigation. I've helped police on certain cases in the past. In fact, that's how I've gained custody of most of my children."

He waved a hand around towards Dick and the two on the couch. Each of them waved awkwardly to the alien, realization coming to his eyes. There were signs of old beatings in the girl and the two older boys had pretty much declared their origins when they fought earlier. He looked to Timmy for a moment, but the kid didn't meet his eyes, still burying his face into his father's shirt with each mention of the psychotics they made.

Bruce noticed his gaze and looked down to the youngest. "I knew Timmy's father. He hardly remembers him."

"I see…"

Superman felt guilt stab him in the chest. He really didn't know a thing about this man, and he compared him to Luthor of all people. Somehow he doubted the bald megalomaniac would ever do what this man did. He took in three kids he met through the police and another who also probably lost his parents to crime. Now that he thought about it, didn't Lois say Wayne's parents were murdered when he was a child? Right in front of him?

He ran a hand through his hair, realizing the mistake he made when he first spoke with this man. Bruce Wayne was no Lex Luthor. Playboy thrill seeker, that must have been before he took these kids in. And he was trying to make an offer for Superman to help his city in exchange for all the resources and information he could ever need. And it looked like this offer wasn't just open to him. He was just the first to hear it.

"So let me get this straight." He looked straight into the CEO's eyes, solidifying what he gathered for this proposal. "You're offering me intel and resources in exchange for coming by and making certain those lunatics don't make another grab at your kids?"

"Not just that," Wayne clarified. "Gotham needs to be a priority in your circle of friends, your Justice League. Yes I know all about that," he said quickly as the alien's eyes widened further. "I make it my business to know. But this is about Gotham. If there's an out of control gang war, you come help break it up. If there's a crippling natural disaster, I expect you to help. When an inmate is loose on the streets, you catch him before lives are lost."

"And if one of your kids are taken—"

"I've already put sonic alarms in each of their tracers," the man finished for him, a touch of relief coming to his eyes. He tapped a large wrist watch on Timmy's wrist to prove they existed.

"You have them wear tracers?"

"Do you have any idea how many times I've been kidnapped?" Dick interjected as he readjusted his seat, a touch of annoyance in his voice.

"I'm not sure whose got taken the most," Jason joked, glancing over with a slight smirk. "Dick and Timmy get nabbed a lot. People are a little scared of the street rat and assassin's kid."

"Assassin—" Superman jerked his gaze to the silent girl, who kept her head down. Well that explained her old injuries and quiet behavior. Her parents were probably trying to make her like them and kept hurting her.

"Everyone here has a colorful past," Bruce cut him off. "And yes they do wear tracers. It makes it easier to find them in a pinch. I've been teaching them to defend themselves, but they deserve a normal life so I let them wander occasionally. They've thankfully survived each kidnapping, but the bad guys are getting smarter."

This was one coded message he did understand. Others said the same thing. Superman looked down in thought. Over all this was a very good offer. Really all he was doing was offering his services in exchange for keeping his kids safe. Gotham wasn't too far from Metropolis so he was the most logical choice. None of the other 'Leaguers' (they hadn't quite figured out what they were doing yet) were close enough to respond when needed. And this was a high profile family before him. They needed protection.

Still this was a corporate shark he was dealing with. If he was given an inch of power over the Kryptonian, he may try to take a mile. He didn't want to be indebted to anyone, to be used on a rich man's whim either. Wayne seemed sincere, but he could also be planning something else behind his back.

"So," Bruce started again, seeing the thought process behind the alien's eyes, "my resources for your services. Do we have a deal?"

Silence encompassed Superman, thinking long and hard about the offer. Timmy finally took his face out of his father's shirt to look at him because of how quiet it became. The slight plea in his and Dick's eyes drove the man to look around the room again. Jason held up Cassandra's tablet, patiently waiting for her to repeat what was on the screen, but glanced over to him with a similar look to the others. The girl likewise glanced in his direction before trying to focus on her exercise again. It wasn't going well. Lastly he looked back to Bruce, wondering what was really going on behind his eyes.

This was not a decision to make lightly. He needed time. "Give me a week to think it over. I should really talk to the others about it."

Disappointment came from the two on the couch while a pout appeared on the youngest's face. Dick and Bruce though both nodded in understanding. They could see what he meant and agreed with him. "Understandable. No doubt you'll want to look into it on your own before making any decisions."

"So… same time next week then?" Dick offered, anticipation in his voice. He looked back and forth between the two men expectantly. The pout left Timmy's face as he started to understand.

Superman nodded, a smile growing on his face. "Yep. I think that'll work for me."

Dick's grin reappeared on his face as he leapt off his chair. "Great! Can't wait! Maybe then we could go flying!"

"One track mind that one," Jason muttered under his breath. Cassandra nodded.

"We'll see," both men said in unison, Superman ending it with 'kid'. They exchanged glances, both smirking despite themselves. Dick's energy was contagious.

"Until then. Mind helping him out Dick?" Bruce gestured towards the alien as he lifted Timmy off his lap in effort to stand. The kid continued to hug his neck, stubbornly staying in his father's grasp. "Then we can head home."

"Sure!" He darted over to the man of steel's side and tugged on his arm to guide him back to the window, grinning from ear to ear. "This way! Hey, they say you say 'up, up and away' when you take off. Do you really?"

Superman chuckled. This guy, despite his entrance, was adorable. Was he really twelve? "Not really. I said it once I think and someone heard it, then sold it to the press. I just give myself a little push off the ground and I'm gone."

He looked back to the father, giving him a slight smile. "I'll be seeing you around Mr. Wayne."

"I hope so."

"Bye-bye!" Timmy waved at him, smiling a little now. He looked cute when he smiled.

"See ya," Jason murmured, not really looking towards them.

"Goodbye." Superman jerked his head around when he heard the little girl's voice. So she could talk.

"Catch ya later big guy!" Dick piped in as they reached the large window opening.

"Until next time." Bruce's words ended the visit. Superman gave them a small nod and smile before taking a short leap into the air to start his flight.

"Until then."

And he was off. In the air he felt truly free. He imagined this was what that boy wanted to feel as well. He looked back briefly to see Wayne, Dick, and Timmy watching him fly off at the window. They were still talking to each other.

"So cool."

"Yeah," Timmy whispered in awe.

"Wish we could fly like that."

"You have your trapeze at home Dick. You still get to fly," Bruce retorted.

"Yeah, but it's not the same. Bet you miss flying too."

There was a pause. "From time to time."

"Bet it'd be easier to convince him if you were in costume."

"We've been through this," came the man's exasperated reply. "You guys are my first priority. I can't be Batman anymore and risk leaving you."

Superman dropped ten feet in the air in shock from this revelation. Bruce Wayne was Batman? The Batman?

"Crap. I think he heard us."

Bruce gave an exhausted groan. "Great. Just what we need."

"Hey, could be worse. He could work for the news."


A/N: On a side note for those who haven't read this before or DNB, this event took place shortly after Talia faked a miscarriage and dumped Bruce, ending their engagement. So Damian exists. Please read Daddy, Not Bats to see how wonderful the AU is. Thanks for reading/rereading this and have a nice night.