I'm nobody! Who are you?

You're nobody, too? Don't tell! They'd banish us, you know.

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Strays - Part 10
DCU, Flock, Strays
Summary: Batman is very happy with the way that Robin has picked up his training, his methods and his habits. Generally. But his protege showing up at the Batcave with two small children, Tim and Jason, clinging to him proves he's adopted one trait Batman would have rather he hadn't. It seems the batfamily has an incurable penchant for picking up strays, and Tim and Jason are only the beginning.
Fandom: DCU/YJ
Characters/Pairing: The Batfamily
Genre: Gen/Fluff/Angst
Rating: PG-13
Notes: Originally for this prompt from the yj-anon-meme, de-anoned and available on this comm with a lot of other fun art and fic by some really amazing people.

Side Stories: Tradition

Main Storyline: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

The Drakes came promptly from the airport to Wayne Manor in a hired car late the next evening.

Alfred led the pair into the front sitting room where Brucie greeted them with a wide, charming smile.

“Jack! Janet!” he said, reaching out to shake their hands. “It’s been ages. How are you?”

“Jetlagged,” Jack said with a wry smile as he returned the gesture. “And anxious to see our son.”

Bruce then shook hands with Janet, taking the moment to evaluate her. She was a gorgeous woman with vibrant red hair and very intelligent ice blue eyes. He knew even as he was studying her, she was appraising him in return.

“The flight wasn’t too bad?” Brucie asked as he let go of her hand. “I know how tiring all that flying can be. The last time I flew to Argentina with these two lovely – Oh, Alfred,” Brucie cut himself off, swinging to look at the butler. “Could you call the boys down here? I’m sure Timmy will be excited to see his parents.”

“Of course, Master Bruce,” Alfred said dutifully before slipping out of the room.

“Can I get you anything while we wait?” Brucie asked amicably, motioning toward the locked liquor cabinet. “I keep some of my favorites in here, but if nothing catches your fancy I can have Alfred get you something from the wine cellar. We have quite a selection.”

Before Jack could respond with an obvious affirmative, Janet cut in with a too sharp smile. “No thank you, Mister Wayne.”

“Please, call me Bruce,” Brucie said. “We’re friends aren’t we?”

“Are we?” she returned coolly.

Bruce allowed something of the truth to shine through his mask. “We could be,” he said. Then the mask slipped right back into place and Brucie grinned widely. “We’re practically family already,” he said jovially. “I’m so fond of little Timmy. Such a clever kid. That brain of his is a wonder, I tell you. Ha ha.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Janet said.

“He’s alright?” Jack asked nervously.

Janet frowned slightly. “You saw the video,” she pointed out before Bruce could answer. “He’s fine. Underweight, but a few solid meals will have him back on track. He is our son, after all. You worry too much.”

“He was out there for a month,” Jack said.

“Yes and he’s not anymore. As you yourself pointed out when you decided we should stay and finish that project of yours before coming back,” Janet snapped.

Jack flushed in anger and Brucie chose that moment to step in with an oblivious smile. “Don’t worry. Your boy was in the best of hands. Jason kept him out of trouble from what I understand.”

“And how is your adoption of the…boy going?” Janet asked, switching gears with ease.

“Ah, well. It’s stalled for the moment. But we should have things cleared up by the end of the week,” Brucie said cheerfully. “Richard’s loved having two little brothers to play with. He’ll sure be down when Timmy leaves.”

“He hasn’t been too much trouble?” Jack asked. “You’re a busy man after all – ”

“Who? Timmy? That little go-getter? He’s no trouble at all. Quiet as a mouse, that one. But he’s a wonderful influence on Richard and Jason. They just adore him. We all do.”

“Oh,” Jack said sounding surprised. “That’s, that’s good.”

“What are your plans, by the way?” Brucie asked.

“What?” Jack asked, not following the question.

“For tomorrow,” Brucie clarified. “I’ve been getting all sorts of questions about the boys, you know. The press so does love a good story. They’ll be delighted to see us all together. We should go out, take a few pictures and then grab a quick lunch, the six of us. Ha ha. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?”

Jack gaped at him like a fish, but Janet just smiled. “That sounds like a lovely idea, Bruce. Where would you suggest?”

Brucie grinned vacuously. “Aureole. They have the most exquisite food.”

Jack coughed. “Aureole? Isn’t that a tad, ah, extravagant? Especially with the children.”

“Not at all,” Brucie said. “Richard just loves their burgers. I have to agree of course, though I prefer their butter poached Maine Lobster. It’s delicious, you just have to try it. On me, of course.”

“That’s very generous of you,” Jack said, looking a little dazed. Bruce guessed he was probably thinking about the fact that a meal, even lunch, at Aureole rarely cost less than a few hundred dollars.

“We’re family, aren’t we?” Brucie said, holding his hands out in a welcoming gesture. “But, come! Sit. What are we doing standing around like this, eh?” He ushered the pair over to seating area of the room and took his own seat.

Once seated, Janet gave him a long look. “And how has WE been, given the current state of the economy?”

“Nothing more than a bit of road bump,” Brucie said. “Or that’s what my board of directors says. The economy’s been down before and it will be down again, but my parents’ company is in the best hands. And DI?”

“We did some restructuring,” Jack said. “We’ll weather this storm well, I think.”

“I don’t see what storms have to do with anything. Ha ha,” Brucie said. “But that’s good. Now, enough business. I don’t have the patience for it. Tell me about Brazil. I haven’t been there in ages.”

Jack took the bait with ease and talked excitedly about the dig he’d been on and some of the sites they’d seen. Neither Janet nor Bruce was listening very closely, though they pretended to, quite well as they silently evaluated each other.

The woman was more formidable than he’d planned for. Bruce could tell that just by looking at her, at how she carried herself. He worried for the thousandth time whether he was making the right decision and knew that regardless there was no going back at this point.

At a lull in Jack’s monologue, Alfred reappeared. The boys trailed behind him, walking as close as they could to each other without touching.

At the sight of the children, Jack immediately forgot whatever he’d been rambling about and jumped to his feet. “Tim,” he said as he took in the sight of son. The man hurried across the room before coming to a stop right in front of the boys. There he faltered, obviously unsure of what to do. Then he awkwardly knelt before his son. “Tim,” he said again and pulled the boy into a hug. Tim stood stiff as a board in his father’s embrace, hands at his sides for the few seconds the hug lasted.

Jack pulled back and smiled nervously. “How’ve you been Timmy? Has Mister Wayne been treating you okay?”

Tim nodded. “I’ve been well,” the boy said quietly. Bruce knew the boy was lying, but it was impossible to tell that from the child’s expression or tone of voice. “Mister Wayne has been an exceptional host, Dad.”

“That’s good,” Jack said sounding relieved. “So you’re over that whole, living on the street thing?”

Bruce saw Dick subtly pull Jason closer to himself as both boys struggled to hide their feelings about that particular question.

“Yeah, Dad,” Tim said as though it was the truth.

“Oh. Well. Good. Good. We were worried, son,” Jack said. An uncomfortable silence hung between father and son as Jack clearly struggled to come up with something else to say to his son. “Um. Ah, quite a scare you gave us with that little disappearing act,” he said finally. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “What a mess. With the worst possible timing, of course. At the very least you’ve been on your best behavior, I hope?”

“Of course, Dad,” the boy said. All of the life seemed to have gone out of Tim leaving behind a mere shell of the boy that had inhabited the manor for the past week. It worried Bruce how easily the child had slipped into this muted, obedient little creature.

Bruce’s attention was drawn from the awkward scene in front of his as Janet silently stood up from her chair, elegantly brushing the wrinkles from her clothing. She walked with elegant poise across the room until she stood beside her husband, facing her son. Bruce watched as she looked the boy over and wondered what she saw.

Janet bent ever slightly and placed her hand lightly on Tim’s shoulder. The boy and his mother shared a moment of silent eye-contact. “I’m glad to see you are well, Timothy. You made the best of a bad situation,” she said approvingly after a moment and withdrew her hand.

“Thank you, Mother,” Tim said softly.

She nodded curtly before turning her gaze on Dick and Jason. Her eyes swept over them, probably noting every hair out of place, every wrinkle in their clothing. She looked at Jason the longest.

“You’re the…boy who saved my son,” she said appraisingly.

Jason stiffened and raised his chin defiantly. “Yeah. I did, Lady. What of it?”

Janet’s lips quirked into a tiny half smile. “Then I owe you thanks, don’t I, child?” she said.

Bruce couldn’t quite believe his ears; the woman was not at all what he’d expected from his research..

“I don’t need your thanks,” Jason snapped even as Dick tugged on his arm trying to get him to shut up.

“You have it regardless,” Janet returned.

At her side Jack clumsily got to his feet and fumbled out his own thank you to Jason.

Paying little attention to her husband, Janet turned back to Bruce and smiled a too sharp smile. “Where shall we meet tomorrow?” she asked.

“Outside WE at noon seems about right,” Brucie said with his own smile that belied just a hint of sharpness.

“Very well,” Janet said. “Say goodbye Timothy, we’re leaving.”

At her words Jason lurched out of Dick’s hold and pulled Tim into a very tight hug. Bruce was once again glad that Alfred had suggested they have a real farewell session before the Drakes arrived. He hoped that the proper sendoff would ensure that this encounter went smoothly. It was vital that Jason followed the script and didn’t act out. The longer Jason held onto Tim the more worried Bruce became, but after holding on only a minute too long, Jason reluctantly released the smaller boy.

Dick jumped in for a hug of his own the moment Jason was out of the way. “Gonna miss having you around, Timmy,” Dick said as he pulled away, his wide smile a little too strained to be real.

Bruce himself got to his feet and playfully ruffled Tim’s hair. “See you tomorrow, Tiger,” Brucie said fondly before turning back to Janet and Jack. “You two, as well. Don’t be strangers, ha ha.” Then he shook their hands and watched them leave, Janet leading Tim by the hand while Jack held the small knapsack Alfred had packed for the boy.

Then they were gone.

The house felt inexplicably emptier.

“Hey, Jaybird. Don’t worry. It’ll be okay.” Dick’s voice felt strangely loud in the suddenly hollow manor.

“I’m not worried,” Jason snapped, rubbing frantically at his eyes as he turned and ran from the room.

Dick paused before running after the other boy long enough to give Bruce a baleful look.

This is your fault, Dick didn’t say. He didn’t need to.

Bruce wondered if he’d made a horrible mistake.

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Not gonna cry-not gonna cry-not gonna cry!

I SWEAR I'M NOT! i know I wont *Holding eyes* but...but Jay... he doesn't want his brother to go... give back his Timmy TT_TT It's the only thing he has related to family, Dick's not close enough yet. Give back his Timmy before he goes to kidnap him.

Nice work, I'm scared of Janet. Jak seems like a genuine good man, but he does not know his son, he does not know how to interact his son. That hug, it was like meeting a stranger's kid. He knew nothing, and it was disturbing... But Janet and Tim's interaction was like a teacher and a student meaning, and not a good student/teacher relationship. Very professional, too professional for a 5 year old...

Jason's probably going to hide away in the mansion, poor biy was taught by the streets, and the streets dictate that you better not show 'weakness.' Poor Jay, poor Tim... Jay's not sleeping at all tonight, and Tim's getting the biggest hug of his life tomorrow.

((Timmy!)) Can't wait to see where you take this next!

NOOO!!! Timmy come home!! NO GO AWAY WITH THE BAD LADY!!!!

Script? Hmmmmm....What on earth could Bruce be planning? And I love how he one-uped them with the restaraunt choice. Brucie clearly thinks nothing of taking his son out for a burger at a place where even burgers cost $100 or more a pop, and Jack and Janet, while wealthy, aren't even in the realm where they would think of such a place for a public, meant to be seen, celebration lunch. Nice.

Edited at 2012-05-31 08:20 pm (UTC)

Really enjoyed the Stray verse, the kids are so cute, looking forward to more.

That was just sad (T ^ T) Timmy come back “Hey, Jaybird. Don’t worry. It’ll be okay.” Dick’s voice felt strangely loud in the suddenly hollow manor.
“I’m not worried,” Jason snapped, rubbing frantically at his eyes as he turned and ran from the room. Jasoooooon (T ^ T) Bruce wondered if he’d made a horrible mistake. (♯`∧´) i want the real daddybats

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Well, maybe at the very least "Bruce Wayne" convinces the Drakes that it would be oh so convenient and respectable to leave Tim with him, as a "family friend", when they go out of town for most of the year. And drop him off during the day when they go to work.


Give Timmy back you witch!

I so hope we get a part 11 soon. I'm dying to see what Bruce's plan is.

I just found your series, and I have to say how much I absolutely love it! I've pretty much devoured everything related to it in one night, and I'm dying to read part 11. I can't wait to find out what Bruce has up his sleeve! Anyway, keep up the fantastic work!

Plz update soon (T ^ T)

Dose this mean your not gonna update too bad it was a good fic

Will you post part 11 soon? :)

I LOVE your fic! I really hope that part 11 comes up soon - I wonder what Bruce's "plan" is? Your writing is fantastic, - I can tell that you work really hard to make sure there are no inconsistencies and I appreciate your excellent spelling and grammar! Love all your characters, especially Jason. :)

If this involves Tim wearing a wire I'm not sure if I'd want to punch Bruce or hug him. Ugh.


Update please!!!

I absolutely love this fic! Unfortunately, I see that you haven't updated it in several months. Please tell me you haven't abandoned it! Hoping to see more updates soon.

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