CACOCHYMICAL

Inspiration: 'The Abused' and 'Those Teen Years' by KodiakWolfe13

Cacochymical: bad-tempered

Alfred, who was standing in the doorframe of the living room, sighed yet again. All the Wayne kids, plus Barbara were in various positions, and states of boredom, irritation, and anger. Stephanie was sitting upside down on a lounge chair, feet over the back side of it, picking at several holes in her jeans. Danny was on one of the footrests, his elbows balancing on his knees and his hands cupping his face, while grimacing at a spot on the far wall of the room. Cassandra seemed almost brain-dead, lying on the floor, partially underneath the coffee table, limbs all askew. Dick and Tim were both crossed-legged on one of the couches behind her, leaning back-to-back against each other with looks of exasperation and mild irritation, respectively, shown on their faces. Damian was erratically pacing around the chair in front of the desktop, tossing one of his knives from one hand to the other, and muttering to himself. Barbara was in said chair, arms crossed over her chest and her leg bouncing impatiently, and switching between glaring at a piece of blank paper in front of her, the grandfather clock in the corner, and Bruce's only biological child. And last but not least, was a seriously pissed off Jason. He was grasping the back of the chair he was previously sulking in. His involuntary twitching face and his tense body posture were strongly portraying a lethal but not so surprising; 'if-something-doesn't-happen-in-the-next-minute-or-so-I'm-gonna-kill-somebody' vibe. Every once in a while one of the occupants (barring Jason and Damian) would vent a heavy sigh or a pained groan.

Bruce soon appeared beside Alfred with a raised eyebrow. "They been like that long?" he asked the Englishman, nodding toward the group of 'pouting' kids (some of whom were adults now but whatever). "As far as I know, they have yet to move since I first checked in on them, sir" he replied. Bruce hummed noncommittally. Then, turning to go to the kitchen, he heard his friend inquire, "If I may, Master Bruce. What has gotten them in such a mood?" "Grounded" he said flatly. Then over his shoulder, "Come on, let's see to about dinner" Giving a small eyebrow raise of his own, and glancing back once more at the sulk party, he followed, giving suggestions for the evening meal.

The relative silence in the manor was drastically broken soon afterward, and no, surprisingly not by Jason. To say the least, Damian snapped first. He stopped his vigil and threw his knife, hard, into the ground a few feet in front of him. "WHY!" Every head in the room reacted impossibly fast to his outburst. Though Jason, still smoldering, was the only one who did not move an inch. "Why would Father ban us from patrol tonight? We are not children! The majority of us do not even live here anymore! Just bec-" The eldest former Robin cut across him, his usual cheery demeanor dampened by the sulk-fest they were all going through. "You know full reason why, Damian!" he shouted, suddenly getting off the couch, making his other younger brother scramble to catch himself. "Tt" the younger replied heatedly, "You say that as if it were my fault, Grayson!" Before Dick could retort, a low moan came from the blond girl, now sitting right-side up. "Not this again, you guys!" She ran her hands down her face. The two simultaneously turned and told her to shut it. Then Cassie sat up and told them off and they responded in like, before turning back and coming close to bat-glaring at the other.

Barbara stood up, before either could continue to argue. "Steph and Cass are right!" she said, hands on her hips, "Just drop it already! It doesn't matter anymore! And I'm sick and tired of hearing about-" "You're sick and tired of hearing it?!" seethed a particular black-haired halfa, releasing his face and standing up, leaning towards her. "What about me, huh? As the one with enhanced hearing; I have to listen to twice as much as any of you morons!" "Since when do you think the world revolves around you?!" Snarled Tim. Danny spun around to face him, hands over his heart in a gesture of mock offence. "I don't! That's Damian's expertise! for crying out lo-!"

Kitchen~

Meanwhile, Bruce was reading the newspaper by the table while Alfred, at the stove, prepared supper. Prominent shouting could be heard from the teens from all across the manor. At first, they ignored it, not wanting to deal with it then and there. Soon the noise swelled as the sounds of fighting started up. Now, only a few clear threats were heard over the general ruckus and war cries. The two adults looked at each other and wordlessly argued who should go and break it up. Then, after an alarmingly loud; "XXXX IT ALL!", many horror-flick-worthy screams, and the sound of pounding feet, they both decided to sort it out now rather than have to deal with the aftermath. Which would probably end up with a few rather messy bodies. A reverberating crash was heard along with a torrent of yells and swearing from multiple mouths. Make that definitely.

But, before either could make a move, a black and white blur came barreling down the hall and smacked into Bruce. He glanced down to see a ghostly Danny hanging off the front of him, the halfa's luminescent green eyes filled with shear terror. "What-?" the millionaire began. "Help me!" his most recent ward whisper-shouted his voice cracking in absolute fear. "He's gonna kill us!" "Who?" he asked, although had a good idea already. The ghost child confirmed his hunch, "Who do ya think?! Jason!" then promptly turned invisible when the others (minus the raging Jason) burst unceremoniously onto the scene, everyone of them sporting a few bruises and cuts. They all bee lined for their Dad, and swarmed him, all talking at the same time. "Helllllllllllllllp-!" "He's crazy-er than ever-!" "Father you must stop Todd's madness-!" "Hide us-!" "That bloody psychopath-!" "He's really gone off the deep end-!" Then Danny reappeared over Bruce's shoulder, before the man could interrupt, and hissed; "SHHHHHH! He'll hear you idiots and put us all six feet under!" Despair came over all of the bat-kids features.

Heavy footsteps echoed from the direction they had come from. Alfred and Bruce gave cautious looks, while everyone else quickly adopted an 'oh XXXX' look. Danny squeaked frightfully and shot up to the ceiling, phasing through to escape. The others booked it through the front door as fast as they could. Bruce sighed, wondering again, why he had taken in any of those nimrods.

Jason kicked open the door, entering the room angrily. He stalked up to Gotham's vigilante; his shoulders hunched, arms stifled by his sides, a feral expression on his face promising hell on earth for anyone and anything that dared to provoke him. "For the record," the anti-hero spat, "I blame you". Then he turned, and charged outside, unleashing a roar that could almost rival Danny's Ghostly Wail.

Outside~

Dick and Stephanie were leading the others, and the black haired girl lagging a bit behind, hindered by the sudden split decision to sprint into the forest. A semi-distant, enraged roar came from their pursuer; continuing on the hunt. "Shoot!" said Dick. Immediately, they all sped up, instilled with renewed vigor. "We're screwed!" Cass yelled, now running along side Damian and Barbara. "You're just realizing that now?!" Tim retorted from behind her, "We've all been royally screwed since day one!"