Dinah: I’d had some words to have with Alfred when I’d been up at the Manor earlier in the week. Not just about pastries, though… you see the man about pastries if you’ve got a chance. I am perfectly capable of cooking. I just don’t, most of the time, I don’t have to. There’s a fully operational bar downstairs, that despite being in the kind of neighborhood that seems more action that Black Canary is interested in than Dinah Lance, actually serves some decent food most of the time. Sure, my apartment over top of it has a kitchen, but it’s mostly for storage and bags of ice or frozen peas for knuckles and faces than something I’m going to make. The man’s an angel though, really. And I was perfectly happy to discuss some plans that may or may not have been overstepping some boundaries but you know what? No one else is going to do it, and I don’t really care. All while waiting for some baked goodness to take home to my place.

Really. It’s Dick’s fault. In a way, it was his idea.


It could be argued that tonight’s not the night for this kind of thing. There’s bound to be a whole pack of idiots out on the streets tonight, and the mood in Gotham is still a little strange. Makes it hard to know exactly what’s coming, more than normal anyway. Not even a bad argument against a little bit of merriment, but plans were just adjusted. It’s not even dark out yet. There’s time for fun, and patrolling. Both could technically count as ‘family bonding’ time, too. And I love Halloween. I always have. Even after I started dressing up as something else every night. Normally? I’d be wearing something covering tonight. Dressing to the opposite of what I am. Last year I was a terribly unexciting nun. This year?

I’m juggling an armful of shopping bags, which clank and rattle and make it pretty clear I’ve gone BYOB, but at least I plan to share, while I rap on the door, waiting for Alfred to open up for me. He makes a great co-conspirator. Even for Halloween Parties.

“Trick or Treat! I brought treats! Thanks for your help with the costume, I made it work.”

See, I did come as the opposite of what I am. The Robin costume might be said to not really fit me, but … by proxy it really fits, if what you were going for the ‘Slutty Sidekick’ look, like they actually sell online. I wasn’t going to spend the money. I’ve got the real deal to work off here. I mean. The top doesn’t exactly…close and the booty shorts are definitely booty shorts but…

“Pan boots. Super comfy. Who knew!”

Damien: Damien for the record would like to state that this isn’t his idea. Also, he never understood the understanding of Halloween. But, Dinah … insisted … that he come. It was more of an order than anything else.

Oh, and he had to dress up.

….Damien tried to argue. But, once again. Dinah ordered him. Normally he wouldn’t take orders from her. He was just trying to get by without getting more grief from the Bat-Clan. Since he also wasn’t allowed to come as Red Hood, He decided to dress as something he knew. Which, you know, happened to be what his grandfather ran. The League of Assassins. It was all black, with a face mask, hood, gloves… you name it. Damien had it. Walking up to the door, he sighed and knocked on it.

Thankfully there was a reason to wear this. It was getting cold and well, he preferred not to freeze. Unlike some of the other women he saw on his way up to the Wayne Manor footsteps. When Alfred opened the door, well, there was a strange silence that came over him. Usually, the man had something quite witty to say. But, it was the first time he’d seen Damien since Bruce died. In essence, Alfred was his other Grandfather. More of a father to Bruce than Thomas was. That was neither here nor there now.

Lowering the mask, Damien reaches out, putting his hand on the older gentleman’s shoulder. The two may not have always seen eye to eye. But, Damien had great respect for him. After the two exchanged a moment, he’d speak up. Loud enough for Dinah to hear.

“Ahem. Master Wayne. That is quite the, uh, outfit.”

“Thank you Alfred. Dinah said I had to come in costume.” and, well, what a costume it was. Walking past him, Damien walks over to the study. Fully intending on reading, instead of being social. Of course, that’s probably not what Dinah had in mind. Misery loves company, and all.

Tim: Is it strange that dressing up in to a costume is a problem for people like us? Me, I feel like a chump. I never did Halloween as a child, really. My Folks always wanted me too, but I didn’t appreciate dressing up as someone else. Which brings to mind the entire conundrum of my life as of late. I’m simply not good at being someone else’s character. Kind of feeds back, all the way to the beginning really, when Bruce asked me to be Robin. I’d turned down that initial offer, instead asking to put my own label on the Mantle. ‘Red Robin’ was born.

Dinah and I have had multiple discussions about this sort of thing, none of which was related to Halloween. It was still very relevant to the night. Costumes suck. I’m not good at this sort of thing. Unlike the rest of the Bat-Family, I actually live in the same place as Dinah Lance. So there was no way to get out of doing this. I’d had little choice. So I went with the only thing I could stand…

“I feel like Cobblepot is going to think I’m gimic infringing with this umbrella…”

I’m a little late arriving to the party. Simply because Dinah refused to let Alfred pick us up in the Limo. I don’t own a car. ( Actually, I probably do. Inheritance, lame. ) Dinah only owns a bike. So we’d taken a Taxi. Except the Taxi guy didn’t have change for a Hundo. Nor did he have a fork-lift with which to carry in the Keg that Dinah insisted on bringing from her Bar. So, by default I’m a big tipper -and- carrying my own luggage, so to speak.

“Sorry, I’m late,” having hooked the umbrella in to the keg, I’ve engineered my own make-shift dolly. “You made that Cabby’s night, Dinah.”

Dinah: Only I’m not miserable. Quite the opposite, and I’m hell-bent on dragging someone along with me on my night of not misery. Dick and Barbara may be onto something with their lead, Tim might be…not a perfect fit for Batman but he’s trying, and he’s done some great things. Not just for Gotham, but spreading out to the world around us and Damien? Well. Damien actually showed up. In a costume no less. Which puts him two points ahead of where I thought we’d be tonight. Also underselling a little that I know he’s at least making an effort, after our little Batervention the other week. It’s a lot of reasons for a celebration, with a Holiday built in for an excuse. Maybe too much of a chippy-cheery one for me to normally drag them all in for but…

I kind of felt like maybe a night that wasn’t just yelling or correcting, or lecturing one another was in order. And yes. I’m as guilty, maybe more, as everyone else. The study is a pretty default hiding spot. I may not have spent much time upstairs in this place, but it’s not that hard to guess. Good thing Alfred knows these boys better than probably anyone else and has set-up in there. It’s where I head with my bags of booze, waving Tim along with me once he manages to get the keg in through the door. See? Not always opposed to letting a man do my heavy lifting.

“He’s welcome to come try and take it up with you. Be a bad night for him. Unlike said Cabby. I think he was trying to decide if someone had slipped him some special candy or not.”

I, for once, am actually wearing an eye mask. Part of the Robin costume, obviously. It was also definitely not where the cab driver was looking at any point. I think he was barely looking at the road either. Strutting in to the study, I throw my arms wide as I take in… God, that has to be Damien. Who else would show up looking like that in this house?

“…Damien, you know what? Nice costume, and Happy Halloween.”

The gesture might have been the threat of a hug. If I were a hugger. Instead I deposit my alcoholic goodies on the table that had been covered with books last time I was here. There’s no hug. Just a punch in the shoulder. Except the only person in this house that I haven’t punched is Alfred. That’s more a friendly knuckle nudge.

Damien: “This is not a costume.” making the distinction to Dinah as he gives her a curious glance when she punches his shoulder. Then looks over her costume with a raised… well, brow. It wasn’t in judgement. Tilting his head at her. “I.. believe you require a larger outfit, Dinah.” offering honestly. Completely missing the point of well, the T&A of her costume “I am sure if you were to offer to Alfred. He would have made sure the old Robin outfit would have been altered to your dimensions.” Giving her a nod, he looks over at the table of booze before turning his attention back to Dinah.

“I assume you brought Timothy?” asking as he moved to seat next to the table where she dropped her booze. Damien wasn’t planning on leaving the study. Next time, maybe he’d hide in the den. Maybe there he could be left alone with the few hundred dozen books. But, here he was now. With Dinah. And Timothy supposedly coming in behind her. Though, he heard rustling down stairs as Tim struggled with the keg. Though, he didn’t come to think to help Tim out. Looking away from Dinah for a moment, he glances to the bookshelf and picks up a book that looks interesting.

It’s not that Damien didn’t appreciate T&A…just…he didn’t really understand it. And least to say, Dinah was all about that T&A tonight.

“How are you tonight, Dinah?” asking, not really looking up from the book. So, he was trying to be a little social.

Tim: “No. I mean. I handed him a hundred dollar bill, he said he couldn’t break it. I said keep the change. But. I think -you- still made his night.”

There’s no small amount of smirk here. She was dressed like she was. Whether because of the Humor at work or because she was tormenting Dick. Who cares? I sure don’t. The cab driver certainly doesn’t care about why. Only that she was, that he got the pleasure of watching it the whole way here from the City. Hell, he didn’t even complain about the keg when I was loading it in. ( An act that started as a manly gesture, but ended with Dinah laughing at me. )

Damien being here isn’t really a surprise. I would have bet on him being here if for no other reason than to heckle everyone else for participating. Him being in costume? That’s worth all the trouble of getting here. By itself. Seeing the costume, on the other hand, leaves me unsure of whether to heckle him just a little bit instead. How do you resist?

“Hey, I though we had to come in costume!” Going with the obvious teasing gesture to Damien. “He used to wear that all the time. One time he jumped out of the Grandfather Clock and Alfred almost shot him with the 9mm he keeps under his monkey suit.”

All teasing aside, I am quick to transfer a hand from the Keg I’ve been hauling along, to Damien’s shoulder as I get closer. “It’s good to see you Damien. You really should take a moment. To just appreciate the fact that …. you’re going to spend the next fifty years listening to me tell stories about how the best looking Robin happened during my tenure in the Cowl.”

“Just. Look at her, Man. For once, that’s really the sole point. Wait. Did I say for once? That’s always the point. Appreciate the tactical advantage she gets in your old suit.”

Dinah: “Today it is. And now that you’ve worn it as a costume once, there’s just no going back.”

With that ‘greeting’ out of the way, I’m adding liquor to the spread that Alfred’s already laid out. I’d say it’s probably above what was required when there was only going to be five potential guests, and himself, in the house, but I don’t know. I’m no mind reader, but I think that maybe ‘Penny-One’ was happy to have an excuse. While i don’t know exactly how cheery a group it’s going to be, we’re at least making the attempt. It had been made clear to me when I’d turned up to pick up my own ‘costume’ that I didn’t need to bring anything with. I wanted to, though. And alcohol is something I ‘own’ in spades with the bar. It was this or peanuts. That and the gift of my glorious presence.

“Oh, this is the old Robin outfit. And he did alter it a little for me. Mostly to make sure I didn’t rip out a seam putting it on.”

I feel like I ought to point out to Damien the whole point of the costumes are to wear something that you are not, and likely will never be in the future. That connotation, mixed with him being the one that put it on? Well. I’m smirking a little bit as I finish distributing bottles through the treats and appetizers. Last out of the bag is a small black box that I shake once to make the heavy sound of cards thumping back and forth inside of it, laughing at Tim’s story in a single, little too loud guffaw.

“…I’d say seriously but that’s about the most believable thing I’ve heard all day. Happy Halloween to the cabby. Maybe he won’t be so grumpy when he shows up at his next fare.”

Though. See commentary about costumed freaks being up to no good tonight, as much as any other night and maybe I don’t entirely blame him. Not in Gotham. Instead of his life at risk, he got an enormous tip and to look at me.

“Tim’s right. Is this how it worked for you? Did you get to curb stomp crooks because they were gawking, too?”

Damien: “I believe it started with you, Timothy. We were playing …” trailing off as he tried to think of what the game was called. “Hide and Seek? You told me to hide. And you would come seek me. I took the opportunity to frighten Alfred. Though, You never did find me…” trailing off, Did Tim ever look for him. Looking to Dinah once again. “I suppose she is … unique … in my old Robin outfit.” saying as he shrugged. It wasn’t that he didn’t think Dinah was attractive. Just he never really thought of her in that line. They were similar in age with some of the same life experiences. But, thought of her more as an extension of his family.

Helena on the other hand….

“Psh. I am not sure what you are referring to, Dinah. Father would not allow me to “curb stomp” in air quotes, none the less. “Criminals.” shrugging slightly.

“Timothy. I must applaud you on your .. costume … I would have never thought you to dress as one of Father’s most hated villains. Maybe if we are to do this again next year, I will come dressed at Joker. To continue tradition, if you will.” explaining, his tone even and cool. It’d be hard to determine if Damien was joking. Especially since he was wearing something that covered the lower half of his face.

Coming back around to Dinah, he looks her over one more time. She’d see the gears turning in his mind on how to compliment her.

“I suppose it is most likely a good thing father did not choose you as Robin. Maybe the criminals would have gawked a bit too much for his liking. And I am sure you would have gotten cold with your legs bare and your chest exposed during the winter.” giving her a nod. That was a compliment, right?

Tim: See the bright smile? You should focus upon that and not the way I’m stage whispering to Dinah, “… I never went looking for him. It was the only way to get him to stop telling me how to do everything. He nearly gave Alf a heart-attack. I made a GIF out of it. It’s what I send every year to Alfred with his birthday card.”

The drinks are for the others. I’m not having any for a litany of reasons, but the most major among them? I’m the official designated driver. Because we came by Cab, but we’re leaving with something a little different. Trading up, so to speak. That is really half of the reason I agreed to the cab ride, instead of the Limo. I need to procure nondescript transportation for something I’ve got in the works. The work that I’ve been doing with Coast City requires me to show up to work on something other than a pedal-bike.

“Wah wah waaaaaah,” shaking the umbrella at Damien. “When I saw what Dinah was wearing, I couldn’t compete. So I figured that I would go the opposite direction. Fat, Disgusting. I started to wear fishy cologne, but I was worried she wouldn’t get in the Cab with me if I did.”

Clearing my throat just enough to get Damien’s attention, “Damien. Buddy. Pal. Brother. Have you ever seen her Canary costumes? She’s wearing a cape right now. Which means she has more clothing on right this second, than she would have if you stitched two Canary costumes together.”

Dinah: “I think this actually covers more than my usual suit. I mean. The support’s a little lacking. Seems like it’d lead to high potential for wardrobe malfunction… a lot less shredding of fishnets though. Do they make pan-booties in a high heeled variety? Might be onto something with these at least…”

Plus, besides all that I’m fairly sure that Bruce already had a Robin at that point. The first versions of my Canary costume weren’t nearly this exposed, either. It was a lot closer to what Damien’s wearing right now, and just started to get skimpier. And skimpier. As the nights went on and I realized how much of a distraction being a girl was, let alone one who was much more mature for her age than most would have guessed. Setting the Cards Against Humanity box on the edge of the table, I’m left laughing once again at Tim’s comment. I was wondering if Tim hadn’t found Damien, or if he’d just never looked. And now I know.

“Poor Alfred. He deserves some sort of war hero recognition. Seriously.”

Snatching up a canape, followed by another when it gets promptly popped into my mouth, I cross the room to drop down in a seat near Damien.

“The cape is really the only thing I’ve got a complaint about. So impractical.” Says the girl wearing…what I’m wearing now, that normally goes out in boots and what amounts to underwear. “Where did you even get Fishy Cologne, Tim? Please don’t tell me you’ve made some sort of doohicky to manufacture it.”

Dick: “He doesn’t need to make something to manufacture it, Silly Canary. Bat-Shark-Repellent. It’s in the utility belt. Smells like rotten codfish.”

They’ve congregated in the Den, so when I make my entrance it’s with the flare of throwing open the doors. So that everyone can see that someone wore even less than Dinah did. There was really only one way to go with the costume this year. You might have guessed it. “Michael Phelps. Speaking of sharkes. He raced one earlier this year on History channel. Sorta. It wasn’t really a Shark. Nor a race. And he didn’t win, actually.”

There’s an immediate hug in-store for Timothy Drake and Damien Wayne in turn. They’re each getting one. “Barb sends her apologies, but her Dad was working late. So she’s taking him some Licorice. Heavy on the Liquor.”

Damien: “The cape is really the only thing I’ve got a complaint about. So impractical.” Says the girl wearing…what I’m wearing now, that normally goes out in boots and what amounts to underwear. “Where did you even get Fishy Cologne, Tim? Please don’t tell me you’ve made some sort of doohicky to manufacture it.”

“The cape controls ascent and can be used to block various kinds of elemental attacks. Also, it is reinforced with an early kind of kevlar. As Robin, I was to be the target instead of Batman.” giving a nod as Dinah has a seat next to him. Leaning back, he pulls the facemask portion down and then pulls the hood down. Watching the exchange between Dinah and Tim, he tilts his head a little in confusion. Why would he want to smell like dead fish? Shaking his head, he picks the book that he was reading and opens it back up to what he was reading.

“I would imagine Timothy would build a contraption to make something reek.” offering a bit of a jab, though not really paying much attention. “When we lived together. Timothy once took apart the microwave, a television remote and finally a remote control car. From it, He assembled a contraption that would heat his meals on the run. It had met its demise at the hands of Alfred who was none too pleased at the range of the Microwave Car.” explaining.

“He also used it to chase Ace around the house. As you can imagine, Father was also not very amused.” though, Bruce did little to squash their imaginations. Or, well, rather Tim’s. Bruce had a hard time inspiring Damien not to use his imagination for mangling the criminal underworld.

Looking to Dinah, he bares a smile. Though, it’s clearly strained and not in practice.

“I have pictures of when Timothy had a bowl cut, if you ever wish to see.”

When Dick enters the room…half naked well, Damien’s brow shot up, and also didn’t return the hug that Dick seemed to eager to give him. Instead, he looked like some sort of rag doll.

“Richard. I do not believe you. All you are doing is wearing trunks and nothing else. This is hardly a costume.” offering with a bit of a teasing smile.

Dinah: Do I doubt that there is such a thing as Bat-Shark-Repellent? Are you joking? I’ve worked with these people for long enough to know that chances are better that it exists than it doesn’t exist. Boyscouts and Batman had basically the same motto. Be Prepared. So there’s no commentary on it that’s the truth or not, or if that is in fact what it smells like.

“What the hell did you ever need shark repellent for?”

It’s not often I’m not the least dressed person at any event in my life. In a fight. At the grocery store… even squeezing myself into a boy’s old costume, I’m still not going to win a prize for Most Skin Showing tonight. Man. There should have been prizes… that would have made this all a little too official and forced I think. Though ‘forced’ is definitely the word I’d use to describe Damien’s reaction to the hug Dick gives him. Not that the attire, or lack thereof, is really probably even to blame. I’m still snickering as I kick green boots up over the leg of the chair I’ve taken.

“I was going to guess Baywatch. Is that Barb’s, or did you actually own a speedo that small already? Lucky Gordon. That is the best kind of candy. Clearly we should all go trick or treat at the Precinct once we’ve eaten all of Alfred’s food.”

Truth is, listening to the bickering, bantering and exchanging of stories about the awful/amusing/embarrassing things that have been done by one or the other of them is good. Not even from some kind of ‘togetherness’ angle but… good for me. It’s all actually been a relief that I haven’t had to deal with the kind of problem Helena thought would arise. She actually called me in because she thought there’d be a battle royale over who GOT to wear the Cowl. Not the opposite. Seeing them behave like…well… brothers? Is a relief no matter what else is going right or wrong.

“It can also be used to snare and/or strangle you with. Not a fan of capes.”

Damien: “The trick not to being strangled by your own cape is to make sure they never grab you.” giving a nod. Damien and Bruce went over many, many situations on what to do if your cape did get grabbed on. Looking to Dinah, then back to his brothers. It was an interesting family he thought himself in. His brothers, Tim and Dick. While Damien may not show it, he wouldn’t trade them for anybody else. They were his brothers in battle, in life. And he knew that if for whatever reason, he had to call for help. They would be there in an instant. And likewise, he would be there for them in an instant.

They fight, bicker and act like… well, brothers. Even if they aren’t bound by blood. Apparently family extends beyond blood.

“Dinah.” turning his attention to her. “I have heard that you are training a new recruit. A young girl. How is that going? I do not suppose I could come in and help?” Damien was trying to extend his field of friends to beyond family. Maybe by giving Spoiler some even tougher love and no quipping while at it. Maybe….maybe he could make a new friend. That’s how it works, right?

“I promise not to try and kill her. I am assuming you are going full contact?” asking. When they were younger, Damien and Dinah had often sparred going full contact. While him and his brothers often did what brothers did best. Fought, Wrestled, Argued. All at full contact. There was no holding back against your brothers. “I will offer pictures of Richard in his first Nightwing outfit. I believe it was an attempt to channel the Ninety Seventies. V Neck. Flair collar.”

Tim: Richard Grayson is not just the older Brother, but he is also the Senior Statesman now. As such there’s a level of maturity one would anticipate when expecting him at a function. That is thrown to the proverbial birds when Dick shows up like he is. It’s all I can do not to start laughing immediately. The only way I manage -not- to laugh, is when Dick gives first me and then Damien a hug.


“Dude. I think he just hugged us while wearing a pair of Barbara’s bikini bottoms. I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I’m re-thinking my stance on the booze.”

There’s always time to ridicule Dick later, right now there’s something far more important to address. “Actually, that was my first foray in to drone technology. Model Two of that mobile microwave used a micro-transceiver from the sat-phone Damien used to use to call his Grandfather to relay to one of the Wayne Tech Satellites. Unfortunately the laser-torch kept burning all of my pizza-rolls.”

“For the record, I agree with Dinah. I hate capes. I acknowledge that they’re essential at times, depending on the situation. Their aerodynamic appeal. The ability to use them for stealth. Not to mention, like Damien says, you can layer them for additional defense. Right before everything went sideways, I was working on a new style of cape for my Red Robin outfit. Made out of tensile polyfilament, it’s light weight but can be deployed as -literal- wings to allow me…

Dick: “…to fly. You’ve been talking about this idea since you were twelve. He’s been obsessed with flying ever since he met the first Superman.”

There’s a slanted smirk in place right now. Nothing to worry about, normally, but I’m clearly enjoying the discomfort of my little brothers. They both seem equally put off by the Hugs, by the state of my ‘costume’. Added to my not answering about the origin of the thong I’m wearing? Well it makes this more of a ‘party’ than it otherwise would have been.

The Boy certainly like to tease one another, don’t they Mum? Should they get out of sorts, just remind them that the Manor has had internal surveillance since before they were born and that I am a meticulous keeper of secrets. Unless plied with wine and good cheer. In which case I would be happy to regail you with tales of their misadventures… like the time Ace stole Master Damien’s utility belt and buried in the Garden Maze. Or the time Master Tim spent the afternoon tasered in place, after he tried to disassemble -his- utility belt for the first time. Or perhaps the story of why Master Richard started the tradition of the Pan Booties to begin with…

“See? This is what happens when you let Alfred cater a party. He’s always upstaging the Guests.”

Dinah: It’s basically the same liability as my hair is, when it comes down to it, only I can’t be strangled with my blonde locks. Not long enough for that. I can’t really debate the technique of not letting it be grabbed in the first place, but sometimes things happen in the middle of a fight despite what you ‘let’ happen or not. No matter how good you are.

“Two. One’s more refresher training though, and he’s not actually new. Transplant from another city. Spoiler though. Spoiler’s definitely new. It’s going better than I expected though, honestly. I figured she’d give up or wash out after the first few days. She’s making progress though. I’m not sure she’d survive both of us going Hard Knocks on her. But if nothing else we can make for better demonstrations than she gets from watching me…well… she can’t really watch when I’m using her for practice. …you assume full contact. Pshttt. Who do you think you’re talking to?”

There’s always something about listening to Tim geek out over his gadgets. I mean, I patently refuse to let him do any of that stuff to my gear, outside of some good ‘old fashioned’ armoring, but the things he comes up with. Between his initial drone tech, apparently, to the wings he was apparently working on before his ‘suit’ change.

“Hey, now it’s almost necessity as much as dreams. Trying to make sure you can ‘hang’ with your new friends?”

Mind you, I don’t have a problem with being ‘stuck’ on the ground. It’s always served me pretty well. But I can see the draw, especially when you’re slowly amassing acquaintances who can all transcend normal transportation concerns naturally. And people say Gotham’s weird… I find myself grinning at Alfred as he makes his appearance in the room. The stories he has to have. Both living here, and as Penny-One, the man’s seen some things.

“Gotta admit, the last one sounds informative, and I kind of need to see the footage that surely exists of the tasering. Don’t worry, Dick. Alfred’s as much guest as you are, so he can’t really show you up. Hm. Actually. He does trump you. He’s feeding me.”

Damien: Damien didn’t hold the same social graces that the rest of them did. While he didn’t fight back against the social gatherings, he was much more comfortable in his own outfit and beating up criminals than he was talking with others. Giving a nod to Dinah “I will contact you at some point, then. If you do not mind.” looking back down at the book, he finally gives up on trying to read it and puts it on the table as he watches Tim geek out, Dick embarrass them all, and then Alfred being, well, Alfred.

“I am going for a walk.” There were memories he wanted to explore, a house that once was warm and welcoming, now felt cold and empty. Maybe he should come back… but the memories of his father were great. Pushing up off the chair, he puts a hand on both of his brothers shoulders. “It is a pleasure to see you both again, at once. I hope we can do it again soon.” offering as he turned his head slightly, nodding to Dinah.

Walking out the door, Damien would turn the corner to go explore and visit his old memories. Maybe in a way to try and attempt to reconnect with his father. To pay for the sins of his own past without witnesses. It was how Damien worked, always had.

Tim: The joking back and forth? Is not just good, it’s needed. We haven’t had something like this since we all came back to the City. This is exactly what we’ve all needed. At least, this is what I’ve needed. It feels good to just be here. Together. Maybe without Bruce, but we all seem more like a family now than we have since losing him. But, I knew if the group of us was in the same place for long enough? Business would come up as a topic of discussion. I hadn’t anticipated Stephanie being the ice breaker though. Hell, I wouldn’t have even wagered her as being one of those to even be spoken of at all.

“For what it’s worth. I think introducing Stephanie to any one else from our ‘Family’ is a bad idea right now. Ever since she found out that Dinah is the Black Canary, she’s been working things out. She saw my announcement about Coast City on the television the other day. Now she thinks I’m Red Robin. She’s got her Father’s knack from Clues, I’d prefer not to give her another. At least, not until I’m absolutely sure she’s not a pawn in her Father’s schemes.”

There’s a small shrug at the end of this, because ultimately I don’t feel like it’s my call. I brought the girl in, I’ve been taking her out with me as Batman, but I asked Dinah to get her ready. If Dinah thinks she can handle something, then that’s the end of the discussion for me. I just wanted to put that out there. I’m not comfortable with her knowing who I am, yet. Much less knowing who the rest of them are.

“I always assumed the pan boots were a call back to your time with the Circus, Dick?”

Dick: “It does, Tim, but Alfred’s actually referencing the fact that… When I first decided to go out in the Night, I… sort of put together a costume from bits and pieces of anything I could find around the manor.”

Including. Master Dick’s boots from his turn at Peter Pan, from highschool.

“At the time I didn’t actually know Bruce was Batman or anything. I was just going out on my own…”

Dressed. As Peter Pan. Whom Master Dick was convinced was real, at the time.

“I was like 10.”

We’re very lucky, he didn’t believe he could fly, because I’m quite sure he was sniffing pixie dust at the time.

“You. Are. Completely. Not. Helping. Alfred.”

Dinah: “Don’t get lost.”

There’s a jaunty, if sloppy little salute given in Damien’s direction as he bails on the rest of us. Not surprised, nor am I going to try to stop him. I’m actually a little amazed he showed up, but it’s probably testament to just how strong my annoyance game can be if I feel the need to direct it at someone. I might have implied there’d be suffering of the non-physical variety if he didn’t at least poke his head in. Or maybe the fact that they are still a family is more the reasoning.

“She does have that going for her, that’s for sure. And her Eavesdrop Fu would put most of you to shame. I don’t even think she does it entirely on purpose.”

The girl’s got a lot of qualities that would, on the surface, make her suitable to the life she thinks she’s wanting to join, even if just to get even with her Dad. What she lacks, other than skill and experience though, isn’t something any amount of time with me is going to teach her though. I’m just not entirely sure if she’s got fight in her. And no, it’s not the same thing as stubbornness or a goal that she’s trying to reach. It’s still early though. We’ll see. Hopefully before she gets herself in trouble with it. Or her lack of it.

“Jeeeesus. That explains so much…”

Because I’d been at a bit of a loss as to who could have possibly dreamed up this costume. Especially compared to Bruce’s Batman Aesthetic. My Canary get-up may be flashy of the skin variety, but it’s still almost all black, or darker colors. But meanwhile? I’ve devolved into laughter in my chair, hand pressed to my temple like I need to contain it. The guys may rib each other…but no one does it nearly as well as the one who knows them best.

“Alfred. You savage. You’re staying for the card game, though…somehow I think that might be a mistake on my end. You’re probably going to win…”