Summary: When Damien needs to have his tonsils removed, what should have been a relatively painless task of getting him to the doctor turns into a full-blown battle of wits between the Wayne Boys that leaves the Manor in shambles, Dick with a black eye, Jason with a broken arm and Tim wondering how the hell Damien ends up being the one getting ice-cream. Rated T for language
Author's Note: I've been meaning to write something Batclan-centric for a while now and luckily for me, this idea sprang up on me when I least expected it to. Some of the scenes below might make the characters come off as slightly OOC, but it was fun to come up with and a blast to write.
Disclaimer: Let me think about it – NO.
A Not-So Simple Case of Routine Procedure
Over the years, Bruce Wayne had learned the hard way that it was always better to expect the unexpected – this sort of sentiment was not unexpected from a man who roamed the dark, dirty streets and rooftops of Gotham City dressed as a giant bat.
But, what did strike him as truly odd was the sight that waited for him when he stepped out of the lift in Gotham General late that afternoon.
To any sane, normal person, it would have been an ordinary sight, but to Bruce, the fact that Richard Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake was sitting outside his youngest son, Damien's, door, not bickering, not threating each other with sharp, pointy objects, or even resorting to insults, was like seeing the Loch Ness Monster – simply put, it just did not happen. Ever.
After the initial shock of it had passed, however, Bruce was further stunned to see all three of them were nursing an assortment of different injuries, scrapes, cuts and bruises… with was oddly reassuring and yet bizarre at the same time.
Bruce's lip twitched involuntarily as he approached the three of them. "Dick…?" he said carefully, addressing his eldest son.
Dick, who was sitting back against the hospital bench with a bag of frozen peas held up to the right side of his face, straightened up when he heard Bruce's voice. When he turned his head and lowered the peas, Bruce blinked. He had a black-eye.
"Hi Bruce," Dick greeted weakly.
To Dick's right, neither Jason nor Tim made any attempt to acknowledge Bruce's arrival – in fact, Jason had a strangely serene look on his face and had his left arm in a cast while Tim seemed to be purposely ignoring him as he had his head turned and glared down at the ground, and had a cut running down his right cheek.
Bruce opened his mouth at first, but, thinking better of it, he closed it again and instead just sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Do I even want to know what happened?" he finally asked with resignation – he might as well get the bad news over and done with.
Dick smiled up sheepishly at his former mentor. "Uhh… that sort of a long story…" he admitted awkwardly, "…do you want the skimmed-down version or details?"
"Surprise me," Bruce said dryly.
"What do you think happened?" Tim snapped before Dick could answer.
Bruce raised his eyebrow at his tone – Tim was usually the most docile of the three of them, but right now, he sounded, well, for lack of a better word, pissed-off.
"Calm down, Timmy," Dick tried before he was cut off by a glare of which the likes none thought possible coming from the Red Robin.
"Shut-up, Dick!" he growled, talking all of them by surprise – Jason included, though he merely blinked at him. "There is no way, absolutely no freaking way that you can make up an excuse for him! Not this time, dammit!"
Dick, who had visibly paled at his younger brother's outburst, frowned. "Aw, c'mon, the kid was just scared. You can't blame him for that, can you?"
"Scared is hiding under your bed or refusing to come out of your room – what that- that devil-child did was an act of war!"
"So, he might have over-reacted a little." Dick said, his voice faltering midsentence.
Tim's blue eyes sparked dangerously. "Are you kidding me?!" he practically shouted, earning himself a nasty look from a passing nurse which he only ignored. "He sucker-punched you when you weren't looking, he broke Jason's arm, and look what he did to my hands, Dick!" he said, revealing his hands which were both heavily bandaged. "I'm not going to be able to use a computer for weeks!"
"Whose fault is that?" Dick muttered quietly.
Before Tim could say anything else, all of a sudden, Jason stirred from his near-stupor.
"Everything's so… white…" He stated in a hyper-calm but audible voice.
Both Bruce and Dick's heads snapped to the assassin as Tim huffed.
"Jay…?" Dick said, clearly uncertain if he had heard him right.
"White…" Jason repeated in the same monotone. "…This whole place is white, and clean… and smells funny… sterile… almost like snow…" he then paused. "Huh… – is it snowing?"
"No, it's not snowing. We're in a hospital, Jaybird." Dick said with a sigh.
Looking only the slightest bit disappointed, Jason nodded. "Ah…" he said simply before only just realizing Bruce was standing there. "Oh… hey, Bruce," he greeted casually.
Truthfully, Bruce wasn't expecting to see his second eldest there. At that very moment, Jason's expression was blank, his eyes seemed unfocused and sort of clouded-over – there was none of his usual rage, no nothing really, and in all honesty, it unnerved him more than he liked to admit.
Turning his head back to Dick, Bruce looked at him questioningly.
"Oh, right…" Dick said. "The doctors were having a hard time getting him to keep still long enough to get the cast on, they had to use a few sedatives to calm him down… I guess they kind of went a little overboard with the dosage… they said he'll be out of it for a while."
When Jason reached out in front of him and started grabbing at thin air for no apparent reason, Tim stood up.
"C'mon, Jason," he said, stuffing his bandaged hands in his jean's pocket before pulling them out hastily. "Let's get something in the cafeteria while Dick explains what happened himself."
Dick in return looked at his younger brother and gave him a pleading puppy-eyed look. Tim simply ignored him as well.
"Will it be white in there too?" Jason asked.
Tim looked uncertain. "Probably…?"
Jason sighed. "…Fine…" he said, standing up.
When they turned the corner and out of sight, Bruce turned back to Dick. "I think you should start talking now."
Dick nodded. "Good idea," he said and sat back against the bench, Bruce taking the seat next to him. "Okay, look, here's the thing, this whole mess began right after you left the Manor this morning…"
12 Hours Earlier…
Dick felt like banging his head against the wall as he stood outside of Damien's door – he'd been trying to coerce the ten-year-old to come out of his room for the past twenty minutes with little, or rather, no success.
Titus, Damien's Great Dane, merely sat outside the door with him, tail wagging.
"C'mon, Little D…"
"Pretty please, for me?"
"Ttt. No means no, Grayson – do I need to say it slower or do you want me to give you a minute so that you can find a dictionary to look it up?"
"You'll be out like a light most of the time and then you'll wake up and it's all over, no big deal – I had the same surgery when I was your age, everyone has."
"I don't care. I refuse to let myself be left vulnerable in the hands of inferior minds."
Dick sighed – he had to hand it to him though, the kid was as stubborn as his old man. "It's like talking to a mouthy rock…" He muttered before looking down at Titus. "Don't you think?"
The Dane gave a bark almost like he was sympathizing with him.
Dick smiled slightly. "I'm glad I'm not the only one…" He said before trying a different approach. "Oh, but I haven't even told you the best part yet. When you come back, you can get all the ice-cream you want! Chocolate, Rocky Road – hell, even Rum Raisin! – anything you like!"
There was a snort on the other side of the door. "Such a childish attempt at bribery will not work on me. The answer is still no."
"Damien, they're just tonsils!" Dick said exasperatedly. "I promised Bruce I'd get you to the hospital. You don't want to disappoint your dad now, do you?"
Dick knew he was treading potentially dangerous ground playing the father-card against Damien, but honestly, he was running out of options and time was getting on.
When Damien answered, he sounded like he was picking his words carefully. "…If Father truly wanted me to undergo this… he would have taken me to this Leslie-woman himself."
"He had that big meeting today at the company, Dami, you know that." He reasoned.
"Well then… why isn't Pennyworth taking me instead?"
"On vacation, remember? He's in England doing… Alfred things. But that's okay, I'm here, Tim's here, we're both going to be at the hospital while you're getting your procedure done, and Bruce said he'd be there when you wake up."
"He would be… if I were going."
Dick actually did end up banging his head against the wall when Tim came down the hall.
When he saw his older brother, Tim stopped walking and raised an eyebrow. "He's still isn't coming out?"
"Bruce owes me, big time…" Dick muttered, his voice muffled. "Help me out here, will you little bro?"
Dick didn't catch the smirk that had spread over his younger brother's face. "Sure…" He said, walking up to the door and knocking against it. "Damien, can you hear me?"
"So… you're getting your tonsils removed, huh? That sucks."
They could hear another huff. "What's it to you?" Damien asked sulkily.
"Oh, not much really, just thought I should talk to you one last time, you know… before it's too late." He said casually.
Dick's head snapped up and he glared at him. Tim just kept smirking as there was a pause on the other side of the door.
"… …What do you mean?" Damien asked hesitantly, his tone slightly less arrogant than usual.
"Don't you know? Wow… tonsils," he said before whistling lowly and shaking his head, "Man… that's a tricky business. I mean, it's pretty scary, don't you think, with all those scalpels and different tongs."
"What- what on earth are you talking about, Drake?" the words were meant to come out harshly, but there was no mistaking the slight hint of panic now evident in Damien's voice.
"Don't you know? The doctors used these giant tongs and stick it down your-" before he could finish that particular sentence, Dick's hand flew over and covered his mouth.
"What are you doing?" he hissed.
Tim ducked out of Dick's grasp before laughing. "Relax, I'm only messing with him."
"Are you trying to give him nightmares? He's scared enough as it is about this already."
"Good, serves the little demon right." He said before catching the look Dick shot at him. "Aw c'mon, you got to admit that this is pretty damn funny."
"I promised Bruce that I would get him to Leslie on time, and the last thing I need right now is the kid freaking out on me."
"Alright, alright," Tim said, knocking against the door again. "Hey, Damien? Listen, I was only joking about the tongs."
They heard a feint scuffling sound before nothing at all. No reply.
Dick's eyes narrowed at the pointed look he gave Tim. The younger man frowned and knocked again.
"Damien? Did you hear what I said?" he said and reached for the doorknob. "Look, what I just said, they don't really-" when Tim turned the knob, he was surprised when the door opened. "… mean anything…"
"What the…? I though he locked it." Dick said, sticking his head inside. "…Dami?"
It was empty, there was no sign of the ten-year old, and on the far side of the dark room, a window was wide open.
Dick felt his face pale when the realization dawned on him. "Oh no…"
End Part One
A/N: I'm sorry if I made Tim sound like a total douchbag here, but hey, I needed a catalyst to get the ball rolling. Oh, and in case it seems like his earlier anger towards Dick is a tad unreasonable, trust me, all will make perfect sense in time.
Part Two will be up eventually, depending on how this is received – I hope this is somewhat decent, because I love, love, love the Batclan to bits.
Now, if you have a comment or idea, leave a review or PM me
Until next time,