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Bat-Naps

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Something every member of the Justice League, Outsiders, Titans, Outlaws, Teen Titans, and Young Justice has noticed over the years is that Batman’s kids each have the uncanny ability to go to sleep anywhere. They can nap through the sounds of everyone else else talking, moving, even fighting, yet will wake at the first suggestion of actual trouble or a single word in the right tone from their father or one of their siblings.

Dick is a natural cuddler, and this fact becomes prevalent when he’s sleeping.

The first time this was noticed, Robin had only just entered the scene. No one was sure what to make of the boy or his relationship to Batman. Then one day, they entered the Watchtower to find Batman working on the computer, which wasn’t anything unusual. But then Superman noticed that he wasn’t sitting against the back of the chair, but was perched forward more, despite sitting perfectly straight. Then he noticed that Batman’s cape was folded around something against his side.

The use of his x-ray vision showed that Robin was asleep behind Batman, tucked under his cape and curled around the man’s waist like a cat. The bulge under the cape were the boy’s knees. Batman continued working as if nothing were out of the ordinary. Clark’s super hearing picked up a quiet whimper later, when Batman and Robin were alone in the room. He checked through the wall and saw Batman gently stroking the boy’s hair. He could barely make out the man murmuring reassurances to the child. Then Robin settled in his sleep and Batman continued working until he found whatever he was looking for.

Clark had wondered how exactly Bruce and Dick ended up in that particular position occasionally, until a few months later. He felt a similar sensation to when Lois’ cat curled up behind him during a late (or early, depending on you looked at it) Justice League meeting. Realizing no one in the Justice League brought pets to the Watchtower, Clark glanced behind him and saw that Dick had curled up behind him and was using his cape as a blanket. The boy was already becoming something like a nephew to most of the members of the Justice League, Clark especially, so he simply tucked his cape around the boy better and shifted forward slightly to give him a little more room. He caught the tiniest hint of a smile on Bruce face when he glanced at the man sitting beside him. He returned the smile and Dick slept through the rest of the meeting that way.

Jason tends to crawl under things to take a nap. Not the capes or arms of trusted heroes like Dick had, but solid, inanimate objects, like a row of chairs or tables.

The first time this was discovered, Diana was sitting at the meeting table in the Watchtower, looking over a file Batman had given her and seemingly ignoring Hal and Barry as they teased each other while entering the room. Until she suddenly reached out and grabbed Hal, jerking him away from the row of chairs. She spared him a glance as she warned, “Don’t step on Robin.” She released him and pointed downward, directing their gazes to the boy asleep under her chair and the neighboring chairs.

He slept through all of their greetings, the entire meeting, including an argument that broke out during it, and everyone's farewells, until Batman quietly said “Robin” on his way out the door. The boy woke immediately, shimmied out from under the chairs, and followed after his adopted father, returning the brief wave Diana directed at him as he did so.

Once, the Teen Titans thought Jason had taken off after they completed their task, since they hadn’t seen him for about half an hour after they’d returned to the Tower. When Garfield brought it up, Raven pointed out that he was asleep under the coffee table in the room they’d been hanging out in. They weren’t sure what to make of that, but they knew how crazy Gotham was and figured he needed the rest, so they just tried to keep it down and let him sleep. He slept through an entire movie, paused for a pizza delivery, under that table. Victor refused to let Garfield take a photo.

Cassandra always finds out of the way places to sleep where she can still keep an eye or ear on things.

The first time the Justice League realized this, they hadn’t even noticed Batgirl was there. Batman suddenly announced that he was leaving to help out Nightwing and would be back in a couple hours. No one was sure what to make of that, some thinking it was a new-found professional courteously while others thought that raising several children had created a new habit. It wasn’t until they were closing up shop to call it a day just as Batman returned, that they learned why he had offered the information. His harsh look and somewhat subtle scolding informed them the reason had been that they were meant to keep an eye on his daughter and latest Batgirl, who was taking a well-deserved nap.

After glaring his allies into humility, Batman headed to the kitchen area, where the girl was asleep in the space above the cabinets. Despite having slept through everything else, she woke at a single word from him, hopped down, and silently followed the still-glaring man out of the Watchtower. She was apparently unaware of his response to them having almost locked her in alone. No one brought it up again, but Clark used his x-ray vision and Barry used his super-speed to check the Watchtower for any sleeping Batkids before leaving after that.

Barbara has worked through half the night with the girl asleep on her desk. Alfred has fetched her from a nap atop the kids’ Bat-lockers to tell her that she really must to go to bed. Tim has quietly worked around her while she slept in his office chair, rolled into the corner of his home office. Dick and Jason have both found her perched in different spaces in their homes and simply picked her up and dropped her on the sofa or their own beds. If anyone besides one of her brothers or father tries this, they end up with a broken arm before she’s fully awake.

Tim possesses the unique ability to sleep upright, either sitting or standing.

He just has to be able to support a certain amount of his weight on something, be it a chair, a wall, a steering wheel, his arm propped on a table, the arm of his father, Conner, or one of his siblings. That’s it. Once his subconscious is certain he isn’t going to fall and hurt himself, he’s out. Somehow, his mind still works on problem solving scenarios while he’s sleeping. He’s been known to murmur things about penguins with missiles, machine guns, attack dogs, man-eating plants, or weaponized drones in his sleep and then, if asked upon waking, lay out a plan or two (or three, or six) on how to handle such a scenario depending on different factors.

Once, Conner and Bart found him standing in the corner like a kid on a time-out, only to realize he was asleep propped against the walls. He slept that way while they discussed what to do for eight minutes, plus however long he’d been there before they found him. Then, Conner quietly said his name with a somewhat urgent tone and he stepped away from the wall, completely alert and ready to go as if nothing had happened.

Jason can now clean his handguns, operate the Red-computer, play any number of video games, read a book -paper or digital, and text full conversations with one hand, because he’s so used to Tim falling asleep against his arm. He knows he could just say Tim’s name in the right tone and the boy will be awake and alert in a fraction of a second. He doesn’t want to wake his little brother because he knows he doesn’t sleep enough and he never sleeps for long, especially when he has something else he thinks he should be doing, which is nearly always.

Damian demands a certain amount of space when sleeping and can claim nearly any space as his own when he needs a nap.

The only ones allowed to touch him when he’s sleeping are his pets, his father, Alfred, and his adopted siblings. No one is sure how he knows when it isn’t them or not, but anyone else who comes too close to a napping Damian is immediately threatened with violence, usually at knife-point.

Clark once moved to tuck the boy’s arm up onto the sofa when he’d fallen asleep at the Kent house. He would have been stabbed in the groin had he not been the Man of Steel. He assured Damian it was fine, despite the boy not seeming particularly concerned, and apologized for startling him. Then he told Jon and Lois never to disturb Damian if he fell asleep at their house again, just to be safe.

Diana once draped a blanket over him when he went to sleep curled in a chair at the Watchtower while Bruce was busy with the Justice League. She deftly caught the blade that he tried to slip into her shoulder and simply offered an endeared smile as she tucked it away and pulled the blanket around him. He went back to sleep and made no mention of it. Neither did she.

Everyone assumes this skill is something the kids each learned from Batman. That he somehow trained them to be able to rest when they could, when they were safe, despite any noises, lights, or discomfort that would normally prevent sleep. They figure that, even though Clark and Diana are the only ones to ever see Batman sleep, he must have this ability as well. It explained how he and his children appeared to be awake all night as vigilantes and then awake during the day as their civilian counterparts.

What they didn’t know, was that each of Bruce children came to him with this ability.

Traveling with the circus meant that Dick had to grab sleep in some pretty tight spaces and with plenty of noises and lights around. Growing up in the East End, first in a crack house and later on the streets, meant that Jason learned to sleep in some very uncomfortable conditions. Being raised as a living weapon meant that Cassandra rarely slept in a bed or through an entire night. Between his parents fighting, stalking Robin, and possessing a mind that never seemed to stop, Tim was used to not getting enough sleep and sneaking in some whenever he could. Damian had traveled enough with his mother and the League of Shadows as a small child that he was accustomed to simply staking out some space and demanding to be allowed a nap if he wanted enough rest.

In fact, Bruce had more trouble figuring out how to get enough sleep while balancing a secret life as a vigilante than his children ever had. He’d learned several tricks from them that meant he could get in some catnaps himself. Not to mention the added exhaustion of parenting helping him become tired enough to sleep just about anywhere, provided he didn’t hear anything that might mean one of his kids were in trouble. He never napped in front of the Justice League or anyone else though. He just caught a few winks while the Bat-Computer sorted through some information or while he was waiting for an alert in the Batcave.

Alfred never commented when he caught Bruce sleeping like that. He was just glad the man was getting a little more sleep these days. On occasion, one of his children would come across him napping. Usually they just kept quiet to let him sleep. Sometimes, they tried to make him more comfortable or take over on whatever he’d been doing so he could sleep a little longer. Once in a while, they’d join him.

Alfred has caught Dick curled up beside his father while they both slept. He’s found Bruce asleep in his chair while Jason slept under the Bat-Computer. He’s found Cassandra asleep on top of the Bat-Computer and walked in to find Tim asleep sitting up, propped up on one arm or leaning against his father’s arm. He’s caught Damian curled up in a separate chair beside his father with his dog asleep beside him and his cat curled up on one of the humans or the Bat-Computer that he’s not supposed to be on. When they were smaller, he’d carried several of them to their rooms to sleep properly after finding them like this. Now, he simply tries to adjust them to be somewhat more comfortable.