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Miscellany

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"Jason?"

"Yes, Mr. Wayne?"

Bruce rubbed at the bridge of his nose. "First of all," he said, "if you're trying to convince me you haven't done anything wrong, don't call me Mr. Wayne. Now I'm going to think you're full of shit no matter what you say."

Jason frowned. "I was trying to work the precocious angle."

"The precocious angle only works on people you don't know."

"Shit."

"Jason, please explain to me why there's a herd of millenials traipsing through my property."

Jason looked over his shoulder. "Public outreach program," he said, very convincing except for the part where it was bullshit.

Someone in the herd screeched. "There's a Lapras by the duck pond!"

As one, they ran toward the unassuming water feature.

Bruce sighed. "Are you charging people to catch Pokemon in the backyard?"

"There are a lot of rares up here," Jason said, having pivoted easily from denial to nonchalance. Straight from 'why would I do that' to 'why would I deny it' without the slightest sign of whiplash.

"You know we live in a mansion, right?"

"No one would pay if we lived in a suburb," Jason said, as if Bruce were the one being absurd with the observation.

"A mansion," Bruce repeated. "Because I'm rich."

"Yeah," Jason shrugged, acknowledgment without understanding.

"If you need money, you can ask for it."

"What would I need money for?" Jason asked, and Bruce sighed again, hands in his pockets.

"You don't need to grift people," Bruce said, spelling it out.

Jason frowned. "I don't follow."

"I'm a billionaire."

"Right."

"I gave you a credit card with a five-digit daily limit."

"You did."

"Parting fools from their money is unnecessary."

"You lost me."

Bruce rubbed the bridge of his nose again. "At least tell me you didn't charge the little girl," he said, gesturing toward a small child furiously running around the legs of adults as she tried to find something good.

Jason made a face. "No. It's a sliding scale."

"Do I want to know where the scale tops out?"

Jason pointed. "See the guy with the moustache-print fedora?"

"I would prefer to go back to simpler times when I had not."

"I charged him fifty bucks."

After a moment's silence, Bruce nearly clapped a hand onto Jason's shoulder. He stopped himself, hand in the air, never touching him. The intent was conveyed enough for Bruce to put his hands back in his pockets. Jason relaxed. "There's all different kinds of justice," Bruce said seriously, gaze distant. Jason nodded. "Have these people gone in the next ten minutes or I'm releasing the hounds."

"You don't have hounds," Jason said as Bruce headed back toward the house.

"You don't know that for sure," Bruce called back without looking.

Jason's brow furrowed, looking thoughtfully at nothing. "I'd know if he had hounds," he said finally, to no one. "Right?"