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Of Naps and Other Glorious Battles

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Jason is pretty sure that he doesn't remember ever actually being put down for a nap. He remembers curling up next to his mom sometimes on the bathroom floor and not being able to stop from dozing off, because the bender had been that long and she'd been unconscious so long that he hadn't quite been old enough to stop the inevitable.

He's no expert at perfect families, mind you, but he's pretty sure that doesn't count as a nap. He'd told Grayson that story, once, and Grayson had looked horrified, so if Jason uses the Golden Boy as the yard stick of perfection the way Batman always has, it doesn't count as a nap.

Maybe someday he'll tell Tim and judge that way.

But in the meantime, Jason will argue with Roy about the importance of a nap for three year olds. He will argue and Roy will wave the Queen Pad, or whatever the fuck they're calling the iPad ripoff that Queen made this week, and Harper will quote research about how babies need naps until they are five years old.

Five years old. Jason knows what he was doing at five and it sure as fuck wasn't taking naps.

Not that he wants Lian to be doing the same things. Of course he doesn't.

But he doesn't want Lian to grow up to be the kind of ... spoiled creature that Queen is, either. This is the type of commentary that he uses against Roy's “research.”

It gets him out of putting the littlest Harper to bed, and that is what counts. It isn't that Jason has anything against the littlest Harper. She's quite cute, actually, and enjoys violence as much as any baby being raised by the three of them should.

He's still sure that she clapped, that one time, two years and seven months ago, when Jason shot that goon. No matter what research Roy is going to quote about when babies have the actual dexterity to clap - that baby clapped.

But she has all that built up Harper energy, and Jason has been trying for nearly five years to figure out how to deal with built up Harper energy. He has no fucking clue, and, although he'd rather shoot himself in the head than admit it, he also has no idea how to tell Harpers no.

Well. He doesn't know how to tell them no and mean it, which is the actual problem with his life. It's the one thing that Grayson is apparently better at than Jason, and Jason is going to keep on being bitter about that for a long, long time.

But the point is: telling Lian no is a rather important part of her nap time. The child apparently thinks "nap" means "get up and run around the room several times," which, again, Jason has no real experience in, but he's pretty sure that isn't what a nap is supposed to be.

In such situations with Lian, when Jason is completely over his head, he pauses and tries to think about what the only good father-figure in his life would have done in Jason's place. By only good father figure, Jason of course means Alfred.

This is not actually helpful when it comes to putting the littlest Harper to bed. Jason knows he's supposed to pick her up and put her back in bed. That much is Alfred approved, Jason is sure. But he has no idea what the Alfred approved response to "fly me higher, Unca Jason!" or "tell me another story, Unca Jason!" or "Aunt Kori's stories have more blood, Unca Jason!" would be, exactly.

Well, no. He's pretty sure that the Alfred response would be to place his head in his hands repeatedly.

But whatever. Jason knows how to use condoms, so this isn't his responsibility.

(Jelly sandwiches without peanut butter are, though, apparently.)

(So are bath times, because nobody else in the entire fucking spaceship understands how to play "London Bridge is Falling Down" with a cup, because they are amateurs.)

(Okay, so taking her to the park where they sit and eat pretzel sticks and watch the trains go by is apparently his responsibility too.)

Jason would just like to point out that her father - who doesn't know how to use condoms - is equally useless at putting the baby Harper to bed, and that's why Roy always rises to the challenge of arguing with Jason about whether or not three year olds need naps.

Kori is probably smart enough to figure this out.

No, Kori is definitely smart enough to figure this out.

But she is also the only one able to tell children no without feeling guilty about it.

"I have enough experience with the two of you," she never fails to tell Jason and Roy when she returns from the chore of putting Lian down for a nap.

Roy and Jason should probably feel insulted by her comments. But instead, Roy offers her a smile that charmed his way into even Lian's mother's pants, and for reasons that Jason's still unsure of, his and Kori's, too. Then Roy offers her a foot massage as payment for getting Lian to sleep.

"It was not difficult," she says, offering her feet to him anyway. "I merely told her of glorious battles until her brain was too tired to hear anymore. Bedtime stories are a wonderful Earth tradition."

Jason does not offer anyone a massage.

But there is a lull enough in the fighting that Jason is able make Kori her favorite drink. It might be a thank you. Or it might be an acknowledgment of a hard-won battle, because Jason would rather fight all of Gotham's worst than take on the littlest Harper's nap time.

On the way to the kitchen, he might possibly stop by and check on the sleeping Harper.

Okay, so he does. But this is not new; Harpers are always less trouble when they're asleep.