Really it was Jason's fault. He started it, after all, then it slowly spread to Dick- Bruce didn't want to think about how- and from there to Tim even Stephanie, Barbara does it too- Jim is going to kill him, Bruce just knew it-and even Cass has had one or two, but, either way, they all smoke.
And everyone blames Bruce.
Bruce blames Jason.
It all started with cookies, all things do, Alfred was in England, after much begging from the family he had finally taken a week off. The only problem was this meant no cookies, they had torn through reserves and were fresh out. It had been three days since anyone's had one and it made them all a... little on edge.
Currently, it was after an especially long patrol. Everyone was exhausted, Tim and Damian were in a far, dark, out of sight corner of the batcave at each other's throats, literally- Bruce kept hearing groans and, naturally, assumed they were fighting- Dick's eyes were sharp and he had broken a man's arm in two places with one punch, twice, Stephanie and Barbara were being civil but Bruce knew, he just knew, this would end in blood. His blood.
Okay, so, a lot on edge.
What puzzled him was Jason. The vigilante was, of course, on edge but he seemed calmer than the rest of them. Bruce through off his cowl in a random direction and collapsed into the chair of the batcomputer, he was afraid if he left his kids they would fight kill each other or worse; team up and work together.
It was Dick who started first. Bruce had walked into the kitchen the next morning with his face hidden behind a newspaper, behind him there was a crash signaling that someone had fallen down the stairs, and Bruce peeked over his newspaper and raised an eyebrow as Tim stumbled into the kitchen with an expression that had Bruce ducking back under his newspaper. A minute later Bruce looked up again and narrowed his eyes at his oldest son, who was sitting across from him at the table, with his phone in one hand.
He was surprisingly calm. Too calm.
Bruce watched as his free hand was bright to his lips revealing a smoke, the same brand as Jason's,
"Since when do you smoke?" Tim asked, sitting down with a hot cup of coffee before Bruce could dive across the table,
"Since it helps with the cookie withdrawal," Dick answered not looking up, from his phone. Bruce opened his mouth to...to...to do something but Jason walked in, throwing his jacket over his shoulders, and bent down to peck Dick on the cheek and whisper something in his ear and Bruce was left speechless, opening and closing his mouth with the intelligence of a fish, by the time he could form a sentence Dick had left the kitchen and headed to work.
Tim was next, he had finally been fed up with the stress- especially after Damian pushed him down the stairs- so he walked right up to Dick and stole the cigarette, which was between the older's lips teeth, and placed it on his lips inhaling deeply then disappearing with a wink.
From there it spiraled. Stephanie got hers from Tim and shared with Cass who shared with Babs, and Jason and Dick would split a pack- it was like they were playing tag!- By the time Alfred came back they all were sharing and Bruce had given up trying to talk them out of it.
They locked him in his room last time he tried to stop them!
The Justice league found out when Bruce had called Dick to the watchtower for his opinion on a case. Nightwing walked into the room where Batman was sitting, working, well Superman and Wonder Women quietly talked off to the side.
"Hey Bats" he greeted, leaning over Batman's shoulder to look at the computer screen. They worked for a while before decided that nothing more could be done until the other test were completed, that's when Red Hood walked in with a smoke between his teeth, and a red dominion mask over his eyes, instead of his signature helmet.
"What are you doing here Jay?" Nightwing asked cracking his back as he stood as bending in just a way that gave Red Hood a clear view of his ass.
"I came to tell you Babs wants you" Red Hood responded, Nightwing hummed and reached out his arms closing and opening his hand in the universal 'gimme one' gesture.
"Who doesn't?" Nightwing responded, flashing Red Hood a smirk, behind his domino mask Wonder Woman and Superman could see Red Hood roll his eyes, but also trail them down Nightwing's body, as he complete shocked the two leaguers by handing Nightwing the smoke from between his lips, Nightwing brought it to his own lips and breathed deeply. The two walked out towards the zetatubes, Red Hood was two steps behind Nightwing the entire time.
After they were gone, Superman slowly approached Batman, who had began to work on another case, mostly to distract himself from what had just happened because his kids were innocent, his kids were innocent, his kids were innocent, his kids were innocent, his kids wer-
"B- Bruce?" Superman asked,
"Yes, Clark?" Batman responded flatly, not looking up.
"You let your kids smoke?" Diana demanded, with a braver tone than Clark's, Bruce mentally face palmed and wondered what he had done to deserve this, at least Barry and Oliver weren't th-
The door swung open and Flash sped in, followed closely behind was Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter. Wonder Woman relayed the newest discovery to them and before long all five were pestering him, he glared as he retreated to the batcave where Alfred could pester him.
It was Red Robin who revealed it to the Young Justice team, because of course. He had been ordered to take a day off- because: 'Just because Damian pushed you down the stairs doesn't mean you push him off a building!' And 'it doesn't matter that he pulled you down with him!'- so he had been in the cave well the team was on a mission.
When they returned Conner when in search of the bird and he found Red Robin with one earplug, phone in hand, dressed in workout clothes, and smoke between his lips. He laughed at something on his phone as he walked past him, waving but not looking up, Batgirl walked into the room, also on her phone- they were texting each other- and she did look up, she plucked the smoke from Red Robins hand with a smile and, at first, Conner thought she was going to scold him but she merely placed the smoke between her own lips and went on her way. Red Robin scoffed and walked in the direction of the gym. Conner didn't move for fifteen minutes, and when he did he rushed off to tell Megan.
Jim found out when he was working on a case with Red Hood and Spoiler. The roof was dark and cold and they would pass the smoke back and forth as they conversed, trying to discover where the mob boss was hiding out. Spoiler looked up from the case file she was holding and seemed to raise an eyebrow,
"What?" She asked, drawing Red Hood's attention,
"Nothing...nothing," Jim said returning to the papers in his grip, the two vigilantes shrugged.
Jim was going to kill Bru- Batman. He was going to kill Batman.
The sound of a lighter clicking.
Bruce turned around with a glare and Jason, Barbra, Dick, and Tim froze and Bruce knew they were guilty. They each had a hand behind their backs and a suspiciously innocent grins, Bruce had to hold himself back from facepalming.
"You really need to stop this," he said attempting to be a good parent
"You can't tell me what to do!" Came four identical responses,
"Dick, Tim, Jason I am still your father, and Jason, don't even say it, you have technically only been alive for sixteen years-"
"Geez thanks for the reminder 'dad' I appreciate It." Jason scoffed, not even trying to hide the smoke anymore,
Before Bruce could protest more, a few thugs entered the building they had suspected to be a new hideout of the Riddler. The four teens dove off the building and swung to the other roof to peek through the skylight, Bruce following soon after.
They crashed through the skylight in unison surprising the henchmen, who reached for their guns and began to shoot.
Why did this always happen to him? You don't see Superman getting stuck in elaborate death traps.
Riddler had been glaring at him and ranting in riddles since he noticed Nightwing struggling to keep the cigarette in his mouth while hanging upside down. "-and another thing that makes the birds sing! Smoke burns the branches of the brighte- are you listening!?" Riddler said as he stopped pacing, glared at Batman, and started pacing again.
"That's it!" he snapped making a matching hand gesture, as if ending a debate the rest of them knew nothing about, "I'm calling the police." There was a shocked gasp from not only the thugs in the room but also the Bats as Riddler reached for a telephone and began to dial,
"Is the commissioner there?" He asked impatiently, after another moment he was talking again. "It's Riddler, d- that's not important," he dismissed whatever the commissioner was saying, "did you know Batman lets the kids smoke?!" He shouted into the phone then listened for a moment, "I know," he said, "yes, no, yes, fine, right!?" He said into the phone before hanging up and turning to Batman. "You are in big trouble." He said pausing the deathtrap and walking to the back door, escaping well he could.
It's needless to say, Batman, not only got dirty looks from Harvey and other police officers but also the rogues.
Even the ones from other cities.
Lex Luthor glared at nothing he slammed his hands on his desk, not leaving a mark, and that is why you spend top dollar for a customized desk, after pacing the length of his office for longer than he could afford, he decided to do something and pressed a red button on the desk, calling Mercy.
She walked into the dark room seconds later, her heels clicking against the marble floor. "My dear, pack my things. We are going to Gotham" Lex said standing and walking out of the room.
Batman would never live this down.
"Batsy you are a terrible parent!" Harley shrieked thrusting her hand in the direction of where Nightwing and Batgirl each had a cigarette hanging from their lips as they flipped over and fought henchmen, even Red Hood had opted to wear his domino mask instead of his helmet for the purpose of being able to share with them.
Batman watched as Red Hood punched a nearby thug, danced around a bullet, and briefly grabbed one of Nightwing's erisma sticks to whack a thug in the head, before returning it to the hand he had taken it from seconds later as if he had never even touched it.
The three were busy, leaving Batman to face the three angry women who had been lecturing him for the past ten minutes, well he attempted to escape the death trap he was stuck in. He nearly sighed- this was worse than when riddler found out-.
"Why would you let them do this?" Catwomen said tapping her foot and waiting for an answer,
"Don't you know that they kill plants to make cigarettes?" Poison Ivy yelled in outrage, in turn, the vine keeping Batman stuck tightened briefly.
"I want custody!" Harley stomped her foot, "and I'm telling mister J!" she said sticking her tongue out,
"That's right Bats, just you wait until Scarecrow and Dr. Freeze hear about this! they are doctors you know!" Catwomen took out a phone and began to type rapidly,
"You're going to be in so much trouble mister," Ivy scolded, shaking her finger at him in a way that made her seem every bit the mother she was acting.
It was unnerving.
"You know what? I'm sending this to the group chat!" Catwomen said, not looking up, Batman only sighed and waited for his kids to finish with the henchmen and recuse him as he prepared for the next week of lectures.
Hartley walked up to Batman, who as half incased in ice, and punched him in the face.
"YOU ARE A TERRIBLE PARENT" he yelled glaring harshly, mimicking Harley from a few nights ago, "what If Baby Flash picked up this habit from Nightwing, huh? What then?" Hartley took a few steps back so that he was out of Tricksters- who was throwing various things at Batman- way.
"I knew that guy was bad news! No one's ass can be that perfect" Hartley paused his glare and got a dreamy expression as he imagined Batman's eldest son.
"I can't believe you," Captain Cold mumbled, his ice gun forgotten to the side, Weather Wizard seemed to be debating how many times he should strike bats with lighting and he settled on creating a storm cloud that would follow Batman around wherever he went.
"That's it," Heatwave said turning to Captain Cold a serious expression on his face, "the Sirens were right, I want custody." He shouted and, thankfully, before this could go any farther Nightwing and Red Hood dropped in and began taking down the Rogues, they got away and Bruce got a cold.
Three days later and Bruce was still being followed by a storm cloud.
And Dick had a new number on his phone.
In the depths of space, on a world that screamed in suffering, where pain grew from the very ground, and tears ran through every river, where no soul left alive, Darkside scowled.