"Alright," Dick pinches the bridge of his nose, a gesture that is Very Bruce that Jason and Tim exchange a Look on the couch. "I need you two to apologize to each other."
Damian puts his hands on his hips, chin jutting up, nose haughtily raised. "No," he says.
The room is — Dick sighs — in shambles. Dick is not looking forward to explaining to Lois about the broken mug, flute, tennis racket, and copious pizza boxes on the floor.
"Yes," Dick says.
"No. And you can't make me, Grayson."
"Yes I can."
"No you cannot."
"You're right, I can't," Dick assents, sighing, puts both his hands up in complacency. "Only you can make yourself do so. It is your choice. Not mine to make."
Damian squints his eyes, glaring suspiciously at Dick. "I will not fall prey to your feeble attempt at decision manipulation by giving me a false sense of control."
Dick rolls his eyes. "I'm not trying to manipulate you," he says, which is met by three identical scoffs, which he profusely ignores. "Look, Jon is ready to apologize to you. Right, Jon?"
"I guess," says Jon, who is not.
"That's very mature of you, Jon," Dick says sweetly. Damian's veins twitch. Jason passes Tim the popcorn.
"I know what you are doing, Grayson," Damian grits out. "Just for your information. It's. Not. Working."
"I have no idea what you are talking about," Dick replies succinctly.
"I see no reason for me to apologize," Damian says, keeping his hands on his hips, stance fully offensive as he refuses to show any sign of crumbling resolve. "Jonathan being an insufferable child is no oversight of mine — "
"I'm ten, you jerk!" Jon snaps from his side of the couch with Dick. Damian, who is on the opposite side with his other brothers, rolls his eyes as dramatically as possible.
"Oh, really, I didn't know that. I thought you were five!"
"How many Jolly Times did you bring," Tim says to Jason, hand scrambling in the bag of rapidly decreasing popcorn.
"Eight." Jason replies, slightly muffled by the amount of popcorn in his mouth. "Xtra Butter."
Tim nods in approval, sips his coffee. "Nice."
Keep the smile, Grayson. "Damian — okay, why don't we just get to the apology." Both Damian and Jon glare at each other, and then at Dick. It actually feels like being glared at a Tiny Bruce and a Tiny Clark, which is kind of endearing, if only he isn't having the biggest headache right now. "Alright? Let's get this over with. Jon?"
Jon huffs. "Why me? He started it!"
"God, you're such a child!"
"I am a child! You are a child!"
"Alright, that's enough," Dick says, but it is met with no dignified response. Both Damian and Jon leap up from their seats, glaring at each other — a very adorable sight, if not for the fact that both children are perfectly capable of murdering an army of men in less than two minutes — Jon's cheeks are are red with an angry blush, and Damian has a very permanent scowl etched on his face.
"This is kind of cute, actually," Jason says, and is met by a look full of disbelief from Tim.
"I am. Not. On. Your. Level," Damian says, accentuating each word with a jab of a finger to Jon's chest — to which Jon does not budge in the slightest, but it does give a flair of soap opera drama to the scene. Jason nods in approval.
"Very theatrical," Jason says. "Not bad."
Jon rolls his eyes, this time, a move that Dick is pretty sure he adopted from Damian. "With the growth rate you are going," he says. "Of course you aren't!"
Tim spits out his coffee and chokes, while Jason whoops and hollers in vigor. Dick doesn't know if he should laugh or cry or call Bruce and ask him to take them all home.
"You better take that back," Damian says, the both of them so close to each other, their noses are inches apart. Dick watches a little despairingly.
"Or what?" Jonathan faces the scowl on Damian's face with admirable courage. That look on Damian has sent criminals running with piss in their pants. "You'll laser-vision me to death?"
"Ooooooh," Jason yells. He has his phone out. Tim is laughing without a sound, slapping his knee like a dying octopus. Dick should put a stop on this before Jason starts yodeling.
"Guys," he starts, considering to put his hand on Jon's shoulder, but reconsidering because the aforementioned boy is literally an invincible alien. "Come on — "
"Watch it, Kent," Damian snarls. "I'll kick your butt so hard you'll cry for daddy."
"So?" their chests bump. "My daddy is going to kick your daddy's butt."
"My father has kicked your daddy's butt many times, you incorrigible imbicile!"
"So? My daddy is cooler than yours!"
Damian laughs. It is vicious and cruel and very entirely villain-like. "Your daddy is wearing red panties!"
Dick looks to his brothers for help, but both Tim and Jason now have their phones out, both standing spectators due to the elation of tension in the room. Dick is absolutely not surprised.
"Well, your dad dresses up as an animal. Not even a cool animal — a bat! Who thinks bats are cool? All they do is poop everywhere!"
"Bats are adequately cool. I'll have you know, the number of sales for Batman merchandise in the past decade —"
Jon throws his arms to the air petulantly. "And I. Don't. Care! Bats are lame. And speaking about panties, Robin used to wear green, scaly, sparkly panties — "
"Hey!" that's where Dick puts his foot down, before Damian gets a faceful of lasers and Jon gets a faceful of kryptonite. "Alright, enough," he says, using his most Dad Voice. "And those panties were fashionable at the time, okay? I said — Damian, put your sword down — okay, stop."
Both children shut their mouth, hands folded, glaring at each other and then at Dick.
"Boo," Jason says, saving the video to his phone. "Party pooper."
"Boo," Tim says in support, his phone beeping receiving an airdrop of the aforementioned video.
Dick shoots his very unhelpful brothers a glare. He sighs. "Listen, you guys. It doesn't matter who broke it, alright? Lois — Jon's mom will kick all of our butts if we don't clean the mess up. Okay?"
Both Damian and Jon look at him and then away from each other, offering no objection.
"And we can't do that if we don't cooperate with each other. So what if you two apologize to each other like adults, and then we go and take care of the problem together?"
"That's right," Tim says, full of glee, phone recording and ready in hand. "Come on, go hold hands and be nice." Damian grips his sword like he is going to throw it at Tim's face.
"Do what Mother Grayson says," Jason is behind the couch, ready to duck in case Damian actually throws the sword to his face. "Kumbaya, motherfrickers," Jason says, and both of them giggle like mad men.
"Both of you," Dick points at the door. "Out."
Hey there! Are you ready to talk to your kids about the birds & the bees? No? Well don't worry, we are here to help! We want to give you the tools and confidence you need to make a plan, to know how to answer those tough questions when your child asks them. The world has changed dramatically - the way we talk to our kids about sex should too. You can do this!
Dick stares at the screen with an utmost look of concentration. He is slouching unceremoniously on the couch, looking up to his phone.
"Dick," Jason says from behind his shoulders. "Dick, what the fuck."
"What?" Dick's voice is laced with fabricated innocence that would probably fool anyone who does not know Dick Grayson. "Also, swear jar."
Jason rolls his eyes, and flicks a coin to the open mason jar from across the room. It lands inside perfectly with a clink. "Yeet," Jason says.
"At this point, the Kents are going to be loaded," Dick says wistfully, swiping on his phone screen.
"Dick, seriously, what the fuck," Jason says, huffing and jumping to the sofa across, legs strewn carelessly. Dick glances at his askew feet momentarily in distaste. "Alfred would chew you out for that."
"Dick, you do know you don't need to give Tim a sex talk, right?"
"Give me a what, now?"
"Hi, Tim!" Dick shoots up, sitting straight on the couch.
"Also, I told you to stop saying yeet, Jason," Tim gives Jason a heated, disgusted glare. "I heard you."
Jason kisses his middle finger and flips it to Tim. "Yeet."
Tim flips him one of his back.
"Swear jar," Dick says cheerfully.
"Man, fuck this," Jason says, pulling out a fresh twenty and put it in the jar. "What?"
"That is," Tim says in disdain, "a poor waste of money."
"I'm a billionaire's son," says Jason, admitting his adoption paper only when it comes to this one aspect of Bruce. "That was a magnificent investment, if I do say so myself."
"Bruce opened a bank account for you, didn't he," Dick says.
"Eyup," Jason flicks another coin. "See Timbo, this one's for you. Yeet."
"You repulse me," Tim tells him with utmost sincerity.
"So, Tim," Dick smiles sweetly, one of Dick's smiles that have indubitably taken hearts and broken them all at once. Tim does not trust it. Dick pats the empty space beside him. "Come sit with your brother, why don't you?"
"He wants to give you a sex talk," Jason pulls out a pack of cigarette from the pocket of his jeans.
"What?" Tim says, the same time Dick says, "Jay, you can't smoke here."
"I'm not going to, asshole, there are children here," Jason says, sounding very offended. From the same pocket, he pulls out a lollipop. He puts the pack back and goes to unwrap the wrappers. "I might've killed a crime lord or two, but I'm not a monster."
"Right," Dick says, the same time Tim says "nine crime lords," as Jason plops it into his mouth.
"Dick," Tim turns to the eldest, bewildered and absolutely exasperated, "you can't give me a sex talk. I've had the sex."
"I wasn't going to give you a sex talk," Dick says, which is a lie, and Tim knows it.
"That was a lie, and you know it," Jason tells Tim.
"I can't believe this." Tim throws his hands to the air. "I had sex! Big freakin' deal!"
"Look, I know that you're an adult now." Dick pauses. "A barely adult. A late teenager. An almost late teenager. Scratch that, you are a teenager. A hormonal teenager blinded by lust. You are a child."
"I don't know if this is funny or just plain fuckin' sad," Jason states.
"Jason," Dick says, glancing at him in askance. "What are you doing?" Jason is screwing around in the kitchen.
"I'm making a toast."
"It's three in the morning."
"So? I want some PB&J. I'm a growing boy. Why are you interferring with my life?" Jason snaps. "Screw this thing. This toaster," Jason announces, pointing at the said offending toaster. "Is homophobic."
"Jason, we talked about this," Tim says, mildly annoyed. "You can't say that about everything. It's not how it works!"
"Well, it inconveniences me, and I'm gay. It's homophobic."
"You repulse me," Tim says again.
"Now you're being homophobic," Jason accuses, hitting the toaster on the side in faint hope to make it less homophobic.
"None of us are straight, Jason," Dick sighs. "We are all a little gay."
"Speak for yourself. I'm a lot of gay."
"Anyway," Dick says. "Back to the point. Where was I?"
"Hormonal teenagers," Jason says helpfully.
"Right. Listen. A hormonal, raging teenager going through puberty cannot be trusted," Dick continues insistently while Tim stares with disbelief. "You can't trust your own brain. Trust me, I know," Dick shakes his head solemnly. "I've been there."
"Please," Jason says mournfully through his lollipop. "Spare us the abhorrent tales of your sexual escapades."
"This is ridiculous," Tim tells Dick, sounding both horrified and incredulous. "And weird. I don't want to hear you talk about sex. This is so weird."
"It's not weird," Dick says. "Okay, maybe a little, but listen —"
"— I know that you are ... an adult. A teenager. Teenager-adult, whatever," Dick huffs. "It's just. You were — I didn't — you're just," Dick gestures haphazardly at Tim. "You're having sex," Dick finishes his rambling lamely. "What the hell," Dick says, and flips a coin to the jar.
"Dick! I'm seventeen. Do you not trust me with this?" Tim puts his hands on his hips, his pose imposing.
"No, no," Dick protests. "You're a smart kid, I know that," Dick runs a hand through his hair in this helpless way. "It's just, you're already so grown up," Dick says, looking like a big, sad puppy on the couch in a superman pajamas. "You were so small. Now you're going to be taller than me."
"Everyone's taller than you," Jason says.
"True, but you know what I mean."
Tim does. Kind of. "I know," Tim sighs, putting a hand on Dick's back, moving to sit beside him. "Look, you trust me to be responsible with this, right?"
Dick looks up at him. "I trust you with my life, Tim."
The corner of Tim's lips struggles to hold back a smile at that. "Then you got nothing to worry about."
Dick sighs. "You're right. I'm ... overreacting."
From across the room, Jason mouths nice with two thumbs up. Tim responds with an inconspicuous nod.
"I just want to make sure you know the importance of using protection," Dick says.
"What the fuck, Dick," Tim says.
"Jesus Christ," Jason throws his hands to the air. "Dick, let him have sex. Let him have all the sex he wants. Consensually."
"Look, okay, preparation is key," Dick continues, and Tim groans in dismay. "the number of times my life has been saved because of lube is inordinate. This one time, Kory and I —"
"Oh, God Almighty," Jason says.
"What are you all doing awake at this hour."
Damian raises a suspicious eyebrow at them from the stairs. Beside him, Jon is looking over his shoulder curiously. They're both in pajamas, which makes for a pretty adorable sight.
"Nothing," Dick says. "Hi, Jon! Why are you guys still awake?"
Jon and Damian exchange a discreet look at each other — the kind that best friends have when they communicate something without words, and turn back to the audience below the stairs.
"No reason," Jon says, the same time as Damian says, "none of your concern," to which Tim squints his eyes to. Damian responds with a squinty glare of his own, holding the stare while he descends the stairs.
"Hey," Jon says, ignoring his friend's ongoing silent battle with his brother. "What's a lube?"
Jason chokes on his lollipop. Tim chokes on empty air.
"Lube is a shortened version for the word lubricant," Damian tells his friend very helpfully, oblivious to the expression of utter horror dawning on his brothers' faces. "It is commonly used for —"
"I think it's time for bed!" Dick exclaims a little hysterically, jumping to stand up off the couch. "Wow, I feel pretty worn out. What about you guys? I really want to be in bed, right now. I think it's the country air, am I right? It's getting pretty late, you guys!" Dick looks to his watch. "It's, uh ... three. In the morning. Perfect bed time!"
"Oh my God," Tim says.
"Hey," Jason clears his throat. "You boys want some PB&Js?"