The Justice League meeting was just about coming to a close. They had discussed everything that was actually important and were now getting to the more insignificant domestic disputes – such as who it was who ate the leftovers Barry had been keeping in the fridge.
“I know it was you!” he yelled across the table at Green Arrow.
“For the last time, it wasn’t me!” Oliver yelled back.
Everyone else sitting at the table looked like they would rather be anywhere but there. Clark’s hands were inching towards his phone, Diana was carving something into the table with a knife, Batman was just about ready to take off his cowl just so that he could put his head in his hands, so on.
They were interrupted when something on Batman’s wrist started flashing red and beeping. They all looked towards him in case it was something important, but he took one look at what it said before turning it off and waving them away.
“It’s nothing,” he growled. “Go back to yelling about sandwiches, there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing, I assure you.”
Green Lantern’s eyebrows raised, and he leaned over to whisper to Oliver, “Batman knows sarcasm?”
Oliver laughed. “His vocabulary is one half growls and one half sarcasm. It’s scary.”
Just as Barry was getting ready to start yelling again, an alarm started sounding.
“Video message incoming.”
The League exchanged a wary look, before Batman pressed a button and the file opened.
They all tensed while they waited for the picture to load, half expecting it to be some new supervillain ready to announce that they were taking over the world, or something like that.
Instead, when it loaded, all they saw was a man with black hair and blue eyes, who looked to be in about his twenties. He was shirtless, only wearing sweatpants, and he looked like he’d just woken up or been about to go to sleep.
He seemed panicked, and let out a sigh of relief when he saw them. “Bruce!” he started, “Thank god, you finally picked up.” Then he turned back to yell behind him, “He picked up!”
He turned back to the camera and started moving, talking to them as he did. “Look, B I know this is the Watchtower line and you told me not to call this number unless it’s an emergency, but Alfred’s gone to the shops and Kate isn’t picking up her phone and none of the other are any help and it’s an emergency.”
Batman sighed, and Barry gasped. “Is that Nightwing?” he asked himself.
Oliver shook his head, “I think so… but he looks familiar. Wait…” he turned to look at Batman, then back to Nightwing. “No way.”
Batman ignored him. “Nightwing, what’s happened?”
Nightwing sighed. “Damian’s sick.”
Batman blinked. “What?”
“Damian’s sick, and he won’t admit he’s sick and he won’t let any of us give him anything or help him, and he is so definitely your kid, help.”
The League members were all stuck between staring at Batman and staring at Nightwing. Green Lantern leaned closer to Oliver. “Batman has kids?”
Oliver raised an eyebrow, and Hal rolled his eyes. “I’m not exactly on Earth a lot, okay?”
“He has like, twenty of them. None of us know where they come from.”
Batman sighed and looked at Nightwing. “What do you want me to do in this situation?”
“Get him to admit he’s sick! Get him to actually take some medicine! Get Jason and Steph to actually help instead of just laughing! Something!"
Batman sighed again. “Okay, show him to me.”
Nightwing started moving again, and after a few seconds came to a stop before turning the camera around. It was pointed at a kid that looked about eleven, and was definitely Robin. There were other kids all around the room.
“Which voice do you think he’ll respond to better?”
“Not the bat-voice. He’ll think he’s done something wrong.”
Batman sighed, before speaking in a voice that was so unlike his usual growl that most of the other League members almost fell out of their chairs. Diana and Clark seemed to be used to it.
“Damian,” he started. His voice was still deep, but a regular-deep, instead of I-just-swallowed-six-buckets-of-gravel deep.
“Father, whatever Grayson has told you, I’m fine.” The kid was pretty obviously not fine. There were tissues all over the couch he was sitting on, and the sentence was punctuated by a sneeze.
Before Batman could reply, one of the other kids came up behind Robin – Damian. He had a white streak in his hair, and a ‘J’ carved into his cheek.
“B, I have an incredible important question.” In the background one of the girls giggled. “Damian sneezes like a kitten. Is this genetic? Do you sneeze like a kitten? I have to know this, please.”
A blonde girl stood next to him. “Maybe he gets it from Talia.”
Batman sighed for the fourth time since the call had started. “First, Damian, you’re sick. Take the medicine Nightwing’s offering you.” The kid grumbled and rolled his eyes, before clicking his tongue.
“Damian.” Batman let a little of the growl come back to his voice, but Robin still didn’t seem moved.
“Tt. I am not sick.”
“If you take your medicine and let Nightwing take care of you, I’ll let you keep those kittens you rescued yesterday that you think I don’t know about.”
Robin sighed and stood up. “Fine. They’re staying in my room.”
Batman just ignored him. “Second, Red Hood – no. I don’t, and Spoiler, I don’t even want to think about that. Finally, third, didn’t you stop to think that when you were calling the Watchtower – it wouldn’t just be seen by me?”
Nightwing froze on screen. “Oh, shit.”
Barry laughed, finally able to stop staring between Batman and the screen. “Oh shit is right.”
Nightwing put his head in his hands and groaned. “We totally gave away our secret identities, didn’t we? Shit, please don’t ground me. I’m an adult, that’s not allowed.”
Batman just glared at him.
Nightwing sighed. “Fine. How long,” he asked dejectedly.
Batman kept glaring.
“I’ll be in my room for the next month.” Then at Batman’s look, “I mean – three months. I can still patrol, right?”
“Yes, but straight back after.”
Clark and Diana both rolled their eyes. “It was an accident, don’t be so hard on him,” Clark laughed.
Nightwing’s head shot up. “Yes, yeah, listen to Uncle Clark! It was an accident!”
Barry, Oliver and Hal shared a look between themselves. “…Uncle Clark?”
A fourth boy came out behind Nightwing, looking like he hadn’t slept in days. He blinked at Robin, then at the camera, and then at the people around him.
“What’s goin’ on?” he said, half-asleep.
Batman sighed, and seemed to think that it couldn’t get any worse. “Tim, when was the last time you slept?”
“…What day is it?”
“Okay, one of you, get him to sleep. Nightwing, are you okay with Robin?”
“I think we’re good now.” Nightwing picked Robin up and went to turn off the camera, before Red Hood stopped him.
“Truth – do you or don’t you sneeze like that?”
Batman just sighed and closed the video.
In the silence that followed, he glared at each member of the League that was present. “Don’t say a word about any of this.”