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John threw another Jokerang, hitting the target right where he’d been aiming. He let out a soft huff.

He turned his attention away to stuff a few french fries into his mouth.

It was 4 AM, and he was strictly forbidden from going out on patrol. He’d gotten shot a few nights ago, and while Bruce was cleaning the wound and pulling out the bullet he’d been lecturing John about being more careful, and about getting him armor.

John knew Bruce was worried about him, but he still had gotten upset when Bruce told him he would have to stay in for at least a few nights.

“I’m fine! A little lead, or whatever that thing was made out of, never slowed me down!” John had insisted, grinning.

Bruce was having none of it.

He listed a number of reasons for John to not go out, and when John protested again, he gave him the look. The same one he gave him at the funhouse, one John would never forget.

John had given a weak nod, not wanting to anger Bruce.

So, he found himself waiting for Bruce to return from a night out. He hadn’t been able to sleep, especially tonight, so he’d made a run to McDonald’s and got multiple orders of fries.

He decided to practice while he was forced to stay in, not wanting to waste any precious time.

He got another Jokerang, and was about to throw it, when he heard the familiar sound of an engine. He lowered his arm as the Batmobile zoomed into the cave. John walked over, an untouched order of fries in his hand.

He gave Bruce a small smile as he got out. “Good morning.”

Bruce slipped off his cowl, then quirked his eyebrow at John. “Good… are those french fries?”

John nodded quickly, and held out the bag. “For you!”

Bruce huffed, but a small smile crossed his face as he slipped off his gauntlets, and he took the bag from John. “Can’t sleep?”

“Nope. And I was hungry.”

Bruce ate a few fries. “I didn’t know you craved french fries at 4 AM.”

“They’re my comfort food.”

Bruce sighed. “John. I know you’re upset over not being able to go out-”

“Of course I’m upset!” John snapped, his attitude changing instantly. “I have to sit here all night and wait for you to come back! It’s so boring! I should be out there with you!”

“You’re injured. If that bullet was just a bit more to the left and down, you’d be even more seriously injured.” Bruce said, crossing his arms. “I won’t risk you going out just to mess up the healing process. Besides, you jumped in front of me. I can’t risk that kind of selfless behavior.”

“Selfless behavior?!” John threw up his hands. “Taking a bullet for you is not selfless! I wasn’t just gonna stand by and watch it happen!”

“The suit would’ve protected me.” Bruce said flatly. “It would’ve taken a good portion of the impact, if not all of it. Meanwhile you wear no protection. Nothing. You know how hard it is to let you work with me? You have NO protection, John. You could get shot and that would be that. So, you’re staying in, for a couple of weeks probably. Tiffany is working on something for you. Lightweight, will only cover the vital areas. So, I’m keeping you in until she finishes her work.”

John let out a yell, his fist pounding on the Batmobile. “Oh, so I’m a child now, am I?! One that has to be put in timeout so I don’t cause any more disruptions?!”

Bruce’s eyes widened. “John, that’s not what I meant-!”

“I don’t CARE what you MEANT!” John yelled. He shoved at Bruce, the taller man easily standing his ground.


But John was already leaving, storming out of the cave. Bruce huffed. He didn’t mean it that way, the thought hadn’t even crossed his mind. He just wanted John to stop being so self-destructive. It genuinely scared him.


John threw his fries into the trash, having lost all appetite. He wanted to cry, to scream. He wanted to yell at Bruce.

He slipped a piece of paper out of his pocket. It was a drawing of him and Bruce- well, not exactly. It was basically just one green stick figure and one blue one, but it was them! John was going to show it to Bruce, knowing he would be greeted by either a pained smile or a real one.

John tore up the paper, dropping the pieces into the trash. He definitely wouldn't be showing it to Bruce now. He wouldn't show it to anyone.

He collapsed on the bed face first, his face landing on his pillow directly. He fell asleep.


After cleaning himself up in the cave, Bruce made his way upstairs. He didn't mean to upset John, all he wanted to do was protect him. He didn't want to keep him locked up in the manor when he went out, but John needed to recover.

Bruce slipped into their room, glancing over at John momentarily, before getting ready for bed. He had a quick shower before slipping into bed next to John. He was curled up, facing away from him. Bruce ran a hand lightly down John’s back. At least he wasn't on the wound.

“Good night, babe.”

Bruce closed his eyes, exhaustion falling over him. Right before he drifted off to sleep, he decided he wouldn't bother going into work the next day.


He woke to the sound of what sounded like scribbling. He groaned and opened his eyes after a moment.

“Afternoon, sleepyhead.”

He blinked and his eyes focused. John was sitting up, coloring. He looked over at Bruce with a soft smile, before returning to work.


John giggled. “We went to bed at like 5 AM. It's 1 now.”

Bruce was unsure of what exactly to do, so he just shifted and rested his cheek on John’s thigh.

“Can we talk about the fight?”

John looked down at him and nodded after a moment. “Sure.”

“You're right. I mean, I am basically keeping you locked up in the manor.” Bruce said. “And I know you don't like it. But you have to know I'm just trying to keep you safe. We deal with people with guns all the time. Every time you go out there with no armor… I don't like to think about it.”

John was silent. He had placed a hand in Bruce’s messy hair, threading his fingers through the locks gently. “As long as it isn't bulky and it goes under my outfit… I'll wear Tiffany’s armor.”

Bruce smiled, slowly sitting up. He kissed John’s cheek.

“I'm still a bit upset.” John said, but he rested his head on Bruce’s shoulder. “Maybe I'll go outside today. Explore the grounds.”

Bruce kissed his hair. “I'll join you, if you'd like.”

“Not going in?”

“No. I want to stay here with you.” Bruce gave him a small smile. “Come on, we should change your dressing.”


John sat still as Bruce cleaned up his wound, which was healing unnaturally fast as per usual. Bruce didn't bother questioning it anymore, he had slowly grown used to it somewhat.

“It's really not that bad.” John piped up. Bruce pressed a new dressing to it.

“I can still worry about you.”

“Well, you can worry. And I know you always will. You worry about me whenever we’re not together.”

Bruce helped John tug his shirt back into place. “Of course I do. You're really important to me. I worry about the manor getting attacked and you getting hurt. Or kidnapped. Or something else that's really really unlikely.”

John couldn't help but let out a soft giggle. He turned to Bruce as he buttoned up his shirt, and kissed his cheek. “Nothing will happen. I'm glad you told me, though.”

Bruce took John’s hand and intertwined their fingers. “You'll be back out in the field with me soon. Batman and Joker, together again.”

John pressed a soft kiss to Bruce’s lips. “Being Bruce and John is kinda fun. Batman isn't fluffy and warm like Bruce.” He began to pout suddenly. “And when I'm Joker I can't show either of them any affection!”

Bruce chuckled and kissed John’s hair. “You should've gone with Lord of the Laughs.”