Pairings/Characters: Bruce/Dick, Stephanie Brown, Tim Drake, Jason/Cass, Damian Wayne, Ace, Alfred Pennyworth, Barbara Gordon
Genres: Fluff, Humor
Summary: The Bat-Family enjoys a golden autumn day together.
Date Of Completion: September 19, 2010
Date Of Posting: September 23, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1012
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Happy Birthday, me_ya_ri! Her request was: Eee! How about Bruce and Dick and Jason and Tim and Steph and Damian and Alfred all doing something family-like. And annoying each other. With Dick hugs. *grin* I'm in the mood for cute-annoying family stuff. *laughs*
It was the perfect time of day at this time of year. The soft light of autumn gently touched the lawn of Wayne Manor. It was the stretch of greenery behind the kitchen, the family’s favorite gathering spot.
Bruce sat at the round white table, a yellow-and-white striped umbrella shading him. A tall glass of apple cider was at his elbow, a plate of pumpkin cookies right beside it.
Shouts came from the volleyball net, the teams facing each other: Dick, Steph and Tim versus Jason, Cass, and Damian. Ace was watching the game with quiet intensity, running in between and around the players during breaks in the action. Bruce watched his family with pride, finally settling his gaze on Dick, whose muscles rippled as he moved. He was wearing only green shorts and scuffed white sneakers, his blue eyes sparkling.
Alfred and Barbara emerged from the kitchen, the redhead’s wheelchair easily able to navigate the clipped lawn. She was carrying a fresh pitcher of cider while Alfred carried a plate of sandwiches and a bowl of potato salad. They set the food and drink on the picnic table, already set with glasses, plates, and silverware.
“You’re enjoying the view,” Barbara said as she wheeled next to Bruce.
“Very much.” Bruce glanced at Barbara. He knew that she appreciated the view, too.
The outraged shout by Damian brought Bruce’s head around, his face breaking into a smile. Dick was giving Damian a hug, outraging the prickly boy. Damian shoved away from Dick, sputtering as Dick’s eyes sparkled. Dick trotted back to his side of the net.
“Quit tryin’ to rattle my players, Golden Boy,” Jason sneered.
Dick’s grin grew brighter. He served the ball.
The game was fast and furious for the next several minutes, then the game point was scored by Steph, who got hugs from Dick and Tim. Dick hugged Tim, and Barbara laughed.
“Looks like our boy is playing the game of aggressive hugging.”
“Which is a good thing,” Bruce smirked.
Barbara laughed again. “He’s so good for you.”
Bruce couldn’t argue with that.
Cass got a hug next, then Jason, who wasn’t quick enough to duck. Alfred announced lunch.
There was more squabbling but everyone settled down at the table, Dick pulling on a yellow T-shirt. Bruce sat at one end, Alfred at the other end. Dick sat on Bruce’s right, Barbara on the other side. Cass sat next to Dick, because Damian refused, still spooked by the hug. Jason sat next to him. Ace settled between Bruce and Dick.
Everyone drank the cider and there was a choice of sandwiches, all on wheat bread but with varying condiments of mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomatoes, depending on the sandwich’s main ingredient. Alfred had provided turkey, chicken salad, roast beef, and extra lettuce and tomatoes for the meatless entries. The vegetables were picked from the kitchen garden and were crisp and tangy. Red bliss potato salad was the side dish. Dessert was Alfred’s homemade cookies: pumpkin, apple and cranberry.
“Golden Boy cheated,” Jason said as he ate his turkey sandwich.
“Did not,” Dick retorted with a smirk.
“Did, too!” Jason shook his head in disgust. “You’re a serial hugger, Goldie.”
Dick burst out laughing, joined by everyone else at the table except for Damien, who scowled. “I like that! Maybe I’ll design a new costume and become the Golden Hugger.”
“With ruffles and glitter, no doubt,” drawled Jason.
Dick’s smile grew even more blinding. He didn’t care about jibes about his sartorial taste. In fact, he was proud of his sequined taste. Much more interesting than boring old Brooks Brothers!
There were more arguments but of the good-natured variety, despite Damien’s glower. Jason munched contentedly on his sandwich, Cass’s hand on his knee.
“All right, sirs and ladies, we have more cookies if you would like,” said Alfred.
“Better pass, Alfred.” Dick patted his stomach. “I have to watch my girlish figure.”
Jason and Damien rolled their eyes while laughter rolled around the table.
After the meal and clean-up, Jason challenged, “How about a re-match, Boy Wonder?”
Dick smiled as the cast of Robins and Batgirls ran to the net, following by a barking Ace. Tim decided to be referee, so pairings of Steph and Jason and Cass and Damian played. Jason winked at Cass, who merely smiled.
Dick sat next to Bruce under the umbrella as Barbara chatted with Alfred at the picnic table. Bruce watched the new volleyball game.
“Why didn’t you want to play?” he asked.
“Oh, I’ll be playing again. I just thought I’d spend some time with the patriarch of the clan.”
“That’s right.” Dick’s foot rubbed against Bruce’s leg lazily. “The patriarch, the patrone, the paterfamilias.”
A smile curved Bruce’s lips. “Guess that’s me.”
“’Course it is.” They watched the game in comfortable silence for several minutes, then Dick said, “Besides…”
“…I haven’t given you a hug yet.”
Strong arms encircled Bruce as soft lips nipped his ear. Smiling, Bruce grabbed his arm as Dick nearly curled his body around the older man.
“For cryin’ out loud, get a room, you two!” Jason yelled.
Bruce smiled at Dick, who smiled back. “We have a room!” Dick yelled back. “Nice and comfy, right on the second floor!”
Jason rolled his eyes.
Bruce enjoyed Dick’s arm around him and leg in his lap. It wasn’t ‘gentlemanly’, but Alfred never objected.
He enjoyed the smell of Dick’s cologne. The bottle of scent was frightfully expensive, but what good was money if you didn’t pamper the one you loved?
Dick’s smile was his usual dazzle, Bruce utterly relaxed…well, not completely. Unless he wanted to go up to his room (carrying Dick), he was going to have to find a way to work off this excess energy.
“C’mon, Golden Hugger, let’s show these kids how it’s done.” Bruce rose, Dick laughing as he jumped up.
“You got it, Patriarch.”
Dick snickered as Bruce strode to the net, closely followed by his first Robin.