Bruce could hear the yelling from his study. He put down the pen he was using and listened for a few more seconds. This wasn't just one of Damian's usual outbursts or Jason's general attitude, the two voices were in a serious fight. It took him a few seconds to decide if he wanted to intervene, and by the time he exited his study and followed the voices to the living room, the fight had almost excalated into becoming physical.
"You son of a bitch, how is this not you're fault!" Jason was yelling.
"Why are you always blaming me?! I'm not the root of all the world's problems!" Dick defended himself.
"Oh of course not, I forgot... your fucking perfect!" Jason and Dick were inches away from each other's faces. Their fists were balled up at their sides, ready for a punch, and their faces were turning red from the yelling.
"Boys!" Bruce shouted,"What is going on?"
"Jason can't figure out how to behave like a proper human being and-"
"Oh my God, can you stop blaming me for three seconds!"
"Just because you've got issues with the past doesn't mean you can-"
"Why don't you get off your high horse-"
"I'm not on a high horse, I just want you to-" Dick stabbed his finger into Jason's chest as he spoke, and Jason shoved him back. Before the fight escalated into becoming punches, Bruce broke it up. He put one hand on Dick's chest and the other on Jason's and pulled them apart. He kept his hands on them so they wouldn't get closer to each other. He could feel the heavy beating of both of his son's hearts.
"Why don't we just talk?" Bruce was surprisingly the peacemaker in this arguement, and for a moment he found himself admiring the irony. Usually Dick broke up his and Jason's fights. Of course those were becoming fewer and fewer, Jason had even made a few visits to the Manor that had ended in complete civility. Which was why Bruce was very confused as to why the usually most mild member of the family was suddenly in a screaming match with Jason.
"Yes, Jason, talking, like what normal people do," Dick sneered sarcastically.
"You're an asshole!" Jason shouted back.
"Boys! That's enough." Bruce started to use his 'I'm not playing around anymore' voice, which was usually very effective. Dick had decided long ago that the most frightening part about Bruce was that when he was angry, he didn't get louder. He talked in an even tone that was packed with steel and poison.
"I just can't do this anymore," Dick backed away a few steps, and Bruce lowered his hands.
"Can't do what?" Bruce asked cautiously.
"I can't let Jason blame me all the time."
"What do you mean, I blame you? You're the one blaming me! Every time something happens, somebody asks, 'Oh, where's Jason, he must've done it.' I'm sick and tired of it!" Jason defended himself.
"Ya, but you always have to say that I'm perfect, and call me 'Goldie' or 'Goldenboy,' why can't you just call me by my name?"
"Why can't you see that I can't live up to your expectations!"
"I didn't set any expectations for you!" Bruce was starting to understand the problem here, but he couldn't figure out how to voice his thoughts.
"I think you're both right," Bruce decided to say finally. They turned to look at him questioningly. "Jason," he turned to the man, "Not everything is your fault, and we need to stop assuming it is, after all Damian does awful things too," he tried to joke gently. Dick snorted. "And Dick," he turned to Dick,"I know your not trying to set up unrealistic expectations for Jason, but sometimes it seems like your disappointed if he does anything short of giving hugs to homeless children."
Both boys looked at the ground, and Bruce almost smiled at the way they looked exactly eight years old again. Jason started shuffling his feet on the carpet, and they both looked thoughtful.
"I guess I could stop assuming it was you every time I find my domino mask dyed pink," Dick muttered.
"To be fair, I totally did do it that one time," Jason smirked.
"What!? I blamed Damian for that!" Dick yelled without ire in his voice.
"I only did it once, but the other times it really was the kid." They were silent for another moment.
"I guess I could stop assuming that every time you're being nice, you're just trying to act like your better than us..." Jason was tracing circles in the rug pattern with his foot. Dick sighed.
"What did we start fighting about?" Dick asked. Jason looked like he was pondering the question for a minute.
"I... uh..." he put a hand to the back of his neck,"I'm not entirely sure..."
"Alright, I think it's about time for dinner, boys," Bruce spoke up. He was positive that the fight was completely over. He put a hand on both of his son's shoulders and lead them into the dining room. He smiled to himself.
I'm not a bad mediator... well when I'm not the one yelling...
He took his place at the table and smirked when he saw Jason and Dick having a conversation as if the fight had never happened. Damian walked in and took his own seat.
"What'd you guys do while I was at school?" Damian asked. Bruce was amused when Jason and Dick shared an embarassed look.
"Just watched Shark Week on the Discovery Channel," Jason said simply.
"Tt. Of course, I should've assumed it was something that stupid."
"What?! Shark Week is not stupid!" Dick defended.
"Ya have you seen a shark eat a seal? It's pretty badass," Jason explained. Damian just stared at them like they were insane. Jason put an arm around Dick playfully.
"We're going to have to show you how cool Shark Week is." He gestured between himself and Dick.
"It's decided, immediately after dinner, your coming with us," Dick agreed. Bruce shook his head, and once again marveled at his family. They were ready to punch each other moments earlier, and now were just fine. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. He smiled.