Bruce shouldn't have been surprised that the three of them got along so well. They were the three that were too rough around the edges. The three that tended to dive head first into situations. The three that had lost their lives, because of Bruce's own issues. The three that he had failed. Neglected to take care of and help them grow the right way. Neglected to give the attention that they wanted. Things had changed though, things were getting better between Bruce and all of them. He and Jason could work cases together from time to time. Stephanie had become a vital part of Batman Inc, and helped all the time with anything in or around Gotham University, and Bruce was trying his best to be the father that Damian needed to be -- though it was awkward from time to time.
The three of them though, Bruce was amazed as how well they went along together. How they worked together, granted it involved much more cursing than he would've liked, and blows were traded constantly, but it worked for them, and he tried his best to let them be when he could.
"And oh my god, Redbird is going in for a kill!" Stephanie's voice filtering from down the hall made Bruce tense for a minute, and the fact that they were upstairs, in the game room, and he expected the worse. He quickly left his office, making his way to the game room, fully preparing himself to get between Damian and whatever was going on.
Unfortunately, it was too late, and he watched as his son managed to flip Jason, and bodyslam him into the coffee table. Stephanie was standing on the couch in the game room, and her announcing that she had been doing ended as she looked at the smashed coffee table where Jason and Damian were, and then back at Bruce.
"This isn't what it looks like!" She immediately calls that out first, wanting to make sure that Bruce didn't get the wrong idea, of Jason lying among the wood from what was left of the coffee table, and Damian brushing himself off. Jason only gives a guttural groan as he rolls over.
"Brown is right, father. We were… playing." Damian says as if it's the most simple thing, like his own nose isn't bleeding, and Jason wasn't actually injured.
"Play wrestling?" It sounded as ridiculous as it looked.
Stephanie and Jason, glanced at each other, and as if they read each other's minds, they both got up (well, off of the couch in Stephanie's case), and booked it towards the window. Jason was limping slightly, and Stephanie did make it there first, but she was immediately pushed away by Jason, who was bleeding from his head, and Bruce was sure that he had bruised a rib since he, had well, been body slammed into a table.
A coffee table that was from Restoration Hardware. Sure, Bruce should have known that maybe a three thousand dollar coffee table wasn't the best thing to put in a room that would be occupied by teenagers and young adults, but where else was he supposed to get one from? And it wasn't like he could let them just put their drinks anywhere.
"You cowards! You're abandoning me?" Damian's attention turned to the two as they were bickering, fighting over who could go through the window first, and escape from Wayne manor. No doubt to try and avoid acting like they had anything to do with the smashed table, even though Bruce clearly knew of their involvement.
"Every man for themselves when property damage is involved!" Jason groans as he takes a rough kick to the side from Stephanie, who was no doubt taking advantage of his slightly injured status.
"Enough." Bruce raised his hand, silencing the three as they began bickering, Jason having argued about Stephanie's cheap shot, and Damian accusing them both of being cowards, while Stephanie repeatedly pointed out that it wasn't her fault that this is what happened.
"Since you guys are play wrestling, you can play clean it up, and then Jason you can play get it checked out by Alfred." He began, trying to ignore the headache that he could feel forming. "Damian, you are grounded, you will not be patrolling for one week. Jason and Stephanie, while I can't actually punish you, since you're not my children and don't live here, please know that I will be thinking of something for you two, so please meet me in my office when you're done."
He doesn't wait for their response, and instead turns around and heads back to his office. There's no doubt that the two of them are going to ignore him saying to meet him in his office, but he's got plans for the two of them.
"I told you that we were just playing, Demon Brat, why did you have to take it so seriously!" He could hear the bickering pick back up.
"And I told you both that this was a bad idea, I don't know why you guys won't listen to me!"
"Oh you said it was a bad idea, fatgirl? Is that why you were playing like you were an announcer, and you were suggesting that I throw a chair at him."
"I was only suggesting it because I knew you wouldn't do it! We were just playing around -- and seriously, can you go get a tissue or something, you're bleeding everywhere? "
"Seriously, you're dripping blood man, did I break your nose?"
Right. Bruce needed to get a replacement coffee table.
"Are you aware the father of Brown's child has been contacting her?" It's not every day that Tim is accosted in his office by his brothers. It's certainly not every day that they come to him in regards to Stephanie.
"…No?" Tim looks up from his computer, he had been busy the past few days, and had only really seen Stephanie in passing during patrol. He was out of the house before she woke up, and back long after she had fallen asleep. They had mostly been communicating over text, with Stephanie failing to mention that Dean had managed to get in contact with her.
"Quelle surprise. Replacement doesn't know what's going on in Blondie's life." Jason drops in the chair in front of Tim's desk, swinging his feet to rest on the desk, his boots dangerously close to knocking over his computer.
"As expected, you have once again proven that you can't even meet the lowest of your expectations in your relationship." Damian chooses to remain standing.
Tim didn't get it. He absolutely did not understand how Stephanie, Jason, and Damian had gotten along so well. Sure, he had been working on building bridges with Damian and Jason, no one was trying to murder anyone anymore, but they still tended to keep eachoher at arms lengths. Except, because of Stephanie's buddy, buddy, relationship with them, he had been seeing them more and more.
And for some reason, like now, they felt as if they could offer Tim advice on his relationship with Stephanie.
"Really Replacement, isn't it like, your job to know who is texting her and everything? Don't you keep tabs on that?" Jason pressed his boot to the back of the computer.
"No, it's called respecting her privacy, Jason. Do you check Roy's messages to make sure he's not getting messages from Jade?" It wasn't like Tim didn't have the temptation from time to time to just simply break the encryption for Stephanie's phone, seeing what she was up to, but he knew that it would be hell to pay.
"They are trying to co-parent." His foot tapped the back of the screen. Just lightly.
Tim could feel a migraine forming.
"I'll talk to Steph about it this evening." He looked back at his computer screen, hoping that if he just went back to work, they would go away.
"No need. Todd and I have already dealt with him. We are here simply to inform you that Brown needs some…" Damian trails off, and if Tim didn't know better, he would say that Damian was embarrassed.
"Before you ask, he's just got a couple of broken fingers. As a warning to avoid her." Jason waves away the question that he's sure Tim's got forming in his mind. "Anyway, what Demon boy is saying over here is that Blondie's real upset, and you've gotta take care of her in a way that we can't. Got it?"
Really, Tim didn't want to get advice like this from Jason or Damian, yet here he was. And they were right, too, that's the worst part. Timwould never admit it, though.
"Got it." He said, finally sparring them a glance once more.
"Cool, don't make us have to come here again." And with that, Tim should have seen it coming, but soon enough Jason's boot connected with the back of the computer, fully, kicking it off of the table. If it hadn't been for Tim's reflexes, he would've been fucked.
While he did his best to reorder his desk, and try to think of ways to get out of the office to get home and spend some time with Stephanie, another thought echoed in the back of his mind.
' Did they just shake me down? About Steph? '
"All I'm saying is that you two aren't exactly the best when it comes to 'meeting' potential partners, you know?" Jason grunts a bit as he finishes his set, placing the barbell back into it's rack and sitting up on the bench.
"I will have you know, it doesn't get more romantic than me and Timmy's first meeting." Stephanie quips from the other bench, where she's sitting, painting her nails, and ignoring Bruce's rule that the cave gym is absolutely for working out and not for hanging out.
"You hit him in the face with a brick, Brown." Damian knew he didn't have a dog in this race, but that didn't mean he couldn't critique Stephanie.
"Okay. First of all, he had pulled off my mask, and secondly, it's romantic because he ended up being obsessed with me , and now look at us." She shoots Damian a dirty look. "And besides, you literally kidnapped poor Superboy, how do we know the poor boy hasn't started identifying with his captor or something."
"You followed him around. You're one to talk about stockholm syndrome, Blondie." It was that time again. Time to bully Stephanie.
"Oh what do you know, you were dead !" She was being backed into a corner here, but she would defend herself to the death.
"All I'm saying is between you bricking Replacement in the face, and Demon Brat actually kidnapping his little boyfriend, you two are kinda shit at getting people's attention, you know? Roy and I met like normal teenagers."
"Todd, there's nothing normal about you and Harper."
"You only get to die once, kid, so I need you to stay awake, alright?" Brown's voice sounds distant, but Damian knows she's right next to him. They're in the back of the compact, and Jason is driving. They had been taking down small drug operation over in the Harbor, and it turned out to be something bigger than they thought it was.
There had been a non-Jason sanctioned explosion, and it there was debris flying everywhere and Stephanie was going to get hit with beam or something that was flying and Damian had pushed her out of the way and there were two metal bars that had pierced Damian's armor and his skin. One through his shoulder, and one through his thigh.
"I get to be… president of our little club, though." Even in this state, Damian couldn't help but be snarky.
Right. They had made this agreement, that if someone died and made it back for a second time, they they could be president of their little club. Their club of people who were too rough around the edges, and ran into things without a plan. Their club of Robins who made Batman regret. Their club of Robins who found themselves sacrificing themselves for a city that didn't ever really treat them right, and a man who they still wondered if he even liked them. They had died, and they had come back. They were still here.
"When you pull through this, Damian, you're gonna be president, promise." Jason's voice sounds a bit strained, something that Stephanie hadn't been expecting, and something that Damian wasn't really hearing.
He had used Damian's name. Was that fatalistic? It didn't matter, because Jason had hit a turn too hard in the compact, and Stephanie was afraid that the small car would flip right over and they'd all be fucked. Stephanie can't really yell at Jason, because right now she's doing her best to make sure that Damian is okay, and she's already contacted Leslie (and Bruce, who was international on League business).
"Look, we're almost at Leslie's, and then when you get better we can discuss this when you're in recovery, okay?" Stephanie's got her free hand pressed to Damian's face, cupping his cheek just a bit.
Jason barely manages to actually park the car, before Stephanie jumps out, Damian scooped up in her arms, and she's trying her best to not jostle the two bars that are protruding from his body. Leslie had met her at the door, and already had a bed cleared fo the two of them. Alfred was there too, already scrubbed in.
"No way, Dami, just because you're 'president', doesn't mean you get to enact a dress code." Stephanie has Alfred the cat curled up in her lap, as she invades Damian's personal space, and his bed.
"Yeah, I'm not really out here trying to wear slacks or something because you think it's a good idea." Jason is actually in Damian's room as well, making a crude, very crude painting on the easel in the corner. Wasting Damian's good oil paints.
"You both promised me that if I were to survive, then I could be president. I have survived. These are my demands."