A Brood and his Broodling

December 24, 2018:

Selina attempts to bring some Christmas cheer to Wayne Manor; it was a mistake.

Wayne Manor

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

All through the house…not a creature was stirring.

Psyche.

Damian Wayne, AKA Robin, AKA Son of the Bat, was simply walking around the Manor, dressed in all black as he usually did. Black jeans, black longsleeve shirt, and his cat Alfred (yes, named after Pennyworth himself) seemed to be somewhat close by. He looked to be….troubled, today.

Perhaps he solved a mystery, or his real mother attempted to re-establish contact once again.

"Why can't things be significantly simpler." he seems to have already finished up his studies for the day, so he's just using this time to himself.

*

"You're in the wrong house for that, honey." Selina murmurs in Damian's direction. Smiling his way, dressed in black herself, the older woman keeps her stance at the end of the hallway. "I knocked, but no one answered. I'm guessing Alfred is back home for the holidays? About time he got a vacation." She smirks her violet painted lips, rolling her shoulder and adjusting the sack hanging there. Bright-eyed, she practically beams at the cat. "Oh, hello, precious! Don't worry, I got something for you, too." Got something?

Standing she glances around and then back the way she came. "I'm heading down to the main room where the tree is. You coming? I got the fire going and everything." A pause, "Your dad home? I brought his dog back…"

*

Batman steps out of the next room. Not that anyone knew he was there. Only Alfred could keep track of Bruce's whereabouts and only by his own peculiar occult methods that no one else knew. He's clad in a black sweater over a crisp white shirt, having foregone a tie at least at home. He has neat wool trousers and black shoes. He looks for all the world like an average middle aged man living an average, if perhaps comfortable, middle aged life.

Of course, the two people in the room were among the few who knew that he was rarely comfortable, even in his own skin.

"Nothing is simple. If it appears it is, Damian, you are probably being deceived." he says, then looks at Selina, "Good to see you. You're always welcome at the holidays, of course, although I wasn't sure we would see you."

*

Damian just looks annoyed. "You realize I was mostly talking to MYSELF, right?" Damian says with an attitude that he's basically known for. He crosses his arms, before he nods to Selina, letting his cat run up to her. "He's where he always is." then Bruce shows up. "Where he wants to be. Hello Father." Damian then starts to move downstairs to the tree that Selina was talking about.

He seems to notice how Bruce is looking at Selina, and Damian couldn't help but roll his eyes.

*

Catwoman chuckles, "Not in this house, you're not. Monologues in this joint are best kept in your head." Leaning down, she plucks up the cat tenderly, giving his face a nuzzle against her own before cradling it in the nook of her free arm. Her attire was still fitted for the outside weather - heavy jacket, warm pants, winter boots, all faux fur glittering with melting snow.

Then she sees Bruce. "Really? You think I'd miss our annual 'I forgive you' day? Please…" She rolls her eyes, much like Damian had moments ago. "Besides…Ace wanted to come home." Turning, she follows after Damian, her gloved fingers idly scritching up and under the cat's jawline. "I brought gifts. We can pretend to family." Pause, "I payed for them." Down the steps she goes.

As promised, the main family area where a massive tree stood, decorated and shimmering, was warm. Inviting, even. The fire was going, a tray was set out with hot cocoa (three mugs), topped with marshmellows. Apparently, Selina has been here for a little while.

*

Batman raises an eyebrow at Damian, "You are free to talk to yourself in your own head as much as you like. When you speak aloud, others can hear. Adjust your expectations accordingly," he says. He does his best attempt at a paternal pat on the shoulder, moving to guide Damian in Selina's wake as she leads them into the next room.

"It's very festive," he says. He isn't one much touched by holiday cheer, per se. He understands it in theory, could recite you the poems and the carols and the relevant passages in ancient texts. His parents loved Christmas, his mother especially, always stringing stockings and lights the moment Thanksgiving dinner had ended. To honor Christmas was to honor her memory and Bruce always did that.

But did he ever feel Christmas spirit himself? Well, it's hard to say. He doesn't show his feelings easily, not even to these two. "I assume you always reserve the right to withhold forgiveness, Selina. I would never take it for granted. I am glad to have Ace back…and you."

*

Damian seems to not mind Batman's attempt at a paternal touch to his shoulder, but that doesn't mean he isn't already plotting how he's going to make both of their lives a living hell at some point or another. Damian doesn't enjoy being mocked. "Well, tell you waht, Father, when you don't stare longingly at photos for minutes on end, I'll stop talking to myself." Damian has always been an asshole with a temper, but eventually he just sighs, and his apology is a silent one.

Looking to Catwoman, he seems to raise a brow at her, ESPECIALLY when they actually arrive into the main room.

Selina's been BUSY.

"Someone's been hard at work." Christmas isn't really…Damian's thing. he usually prefers to work on his sword skills, so it's a wonder that he's there at all.

*

"Yowch. Got you there, big boy." Selina muses at Damian's retort, giving the pair a smile and shifting to set the bag of gifts down on the ground by the tree. There's hints of glittery wrapping paper peeking out, bows of black and silver curling around violet paper. Some big, some small, most hidden.

Giving another nuzzle to the cat, she allows it to step down should it wish as she pulls her gloves off, slips out of her jacket, and rests the fabric across the back of a sofa. Taking up the cat again, allowing it to rest across her shoulders, the woman seems more keen on showing affection to the feline than that of Bruce of his brood.

She claims a seat by the bag, pointedly making sure to rest near Ace as he slumbers by the hearth. She then starts digging out box after box, setting them aside in three piles. "Hey, some lonely kids enjoy Christmas. I do, anyway. It's…nice. Better than New Years. It allows people like us to have some peace." She murmurs and smiles once more. "Anyway, sit! I'll play Santa. At least /pretend/ to enjoy my company."

*

Batman does take a seat. He knows better than to try and entice the cat away from Selina. It couldn't be done and, even if it could, he wouldn't want it to. "Santa to your heart's content. I was never very good at it. And Alfred's too thin, he looks ridiculous in the costume."

He gives a firm glance to Damian, "Pictures, for a long time, were all I had. You have more than that and should be grateful for it. Especially this time of year," he says, then softens his expression a bit. "I am…grateful that you're here. Both of you," he says. "I hope the others will come, too."

*

Damian crosses his arms, looking to Batman. "My mother is an assassin and a grade-A psychopath and my father dresses like a Bat at night. I highly doubt your childhood was so 'normal'." Damian and Bruce, back at it again. But, his eyes turn slowly to see Selina as she starts getting out boxes that likely contain something that Selina would call 'special'.

Staring at Catwoman, he sees to take his seat either way, crossing his arms before his features soften as well. "I'm…glad that you're both here too." like father like son.

He figures Grayson, Drake, and maybe even Todd will arrive at some point, but…who knows when that might be.

*

"Damian." Selina states solidly. There's a chill to her voice, a warning, almost, in regards to his tone. After he sits down, she inhales and exhales smoothly. "Aww, you two are cute sometimes. Sometimes." After digging until the bag was empty, she folds it and sets it aside. "I have a few boxes for the other birdies, but if they don't show up, Bruce, I'm sure it's for good reason." Her words are soft, comforting, even. Unlike the pair of men, she doesn't seem to concerned about hiding her feelings.

Standing smoothly, she takes up the tiny stack of five boxes and sets them down in front of Damian. Going back to the other piles, she takes up another bundle of four and sets them before Bruce. "Merry Christmas! Get t'rippin'!"

*

Batman can assess the contents of some of the things well enough to know that at least one of the packages is best opened in private. That one he sets aside for now, but the rest, he opens. Carefully, mind you, not particularly tearing, but stripping away at the seams in the paper almost as if he had scissors. He makes sure to set them aside in a neat pile to be disposed of afterward. He lifts out a sweater, a small jewelry box and actually laughs as he opens a small box to remove a broken set of batcuffs, from his original design series. "Cute. You couldn't do that to the ones I use now. Although I trust you've upgraded your skills as well," he says.

To Damian, he says, "I've learned, through the years, that normal doesn't really exist. It's an illusion of stasis, overlaid the chaotic individuality we all live. The conformist impulse it inspires serves a purpose, but that doesn't make it true. In other words, Damian, I know we're not normal and I'm okay with that. Most of the time." he says with a thin smile.

*

Damian opens the box, revealing a shit ton of clothes that Damian would certainly fit, a soft smile touching his face as he ESPECIALLY saw what looked to be a ticket to the Gotham Museum's Weapons of History Expo. "Thank you ,Selina." Damian says with a soft smirk, that was pretty easily mistakeable for being genuine. Cuz, he was actually genuinely appreciative of what was given to him.

It's a good feeling. He puts the ticket back in the box with his clothes, his eyes look to Batman, giving him a look that basically says 'I know all of this'. But he listens anyway. "Normal is boring." Damian eventually concedes.

*

"You know I have, handsome. You still can't catch me, after all. Not unless I let you." Winking, she hugs her knees to her chest casually, one hand reaching up and digging at the flat space between the cat's ears. Then to Damian, "You're welcome, honey. I hope you like it. I won't even take something from the line up. Granted, I as tempted! For a gift, of course." She sits and watches, warm in the cheeks and comfortable with cat and dog close at hand.

"That it is!" She agrees, eyeing Bruce and then back to Damian. "Ah, he's old enough, don't you think? I can spice up your cocoa for you if you'd like, Damian."

*

Batman raises an eyebrow. "I happen to concur with that sentiment, son. But boring is good and safe. We want boring. For other people. If not for ourselves. We're prepared for the abnormal."

"You're always tempted, Selina. It's in your nature," he says. "I would prefer to teach Damian how not to succumb to temptation. I know I haven't always been successful at it, but I always hope. And yes, I know, succumbing to temptation is one of your favorite things, I understand that. A little balance and discipline don't hurt either."

*

Damian looks to Batman as he's agreed with for once!

Son. Of. Batman.

"I've had alcohol before, if that's what you mean, Father." He's the 'heir' of the League of Assassins and spent much of his life with them. He's trained to resist such temptations AND the chemicals that such drinks induce. But, he shrugs then. "But, I agree with my father. I decline the offer, Selina. Though perhaps when I reach the American age of 21, I will accept once or twice."

He seems to try on the watch that was also in the box, seeming to like it as well.

*

"Christ, Bruce. It's Christmas. Take a night off." Selina mutters, rolling her teal eyes and shaking her head. She turns her face in toward the cat, nosing at its scruff and digging in her fingers for a moment longer. "Well, that's all I had. I'm not in the mood to talk about balance or bettering my life." Shifting, slowly, she reaches for her own mug and starts drinking from it. She paces, idly, looking around the building and then back to the pair. "I can leave you two alone for now. You can watch 'It's A Wonderful Life' or something. I…yeah." Downing the mug, she clears her throat and licks her lips of any residue and froth. "Merry Christmas, boys. I won't steal your cat, Damian."

*

Batman cocks his head, "I don't do very well with nights off. I find they make me anxious. And the days most people take off provide opportunities for certain people - costumed madmen among them - to take advantage of that quiet and peace and serenity to inflict the maximum amount of trauma on their victims. I've yet to see a Christmas in Gotham without at least one attempted mass homicide. Usually at a mall."

"We can put on Christmas carols in the Batmobile, though, if it suits you, Damian. I wouldn't want you to think I'm a Grinch."

*

Damian didn't seem to mind the possibility of going out on patrol tonight as the Dynamic Duo with Batman. Though Bruce's joke(?) about playing Christmas Carols in the Batmobile does get Damian to quirk his brow upwards in curiosity if Bruce was ACTUALLY being serious.

Damian DOES like Christmas Carols.

Looking to Selina, he does tilt his head. "So long, Selina. Thank you for the gifts. I imagine you will be back soon."

*

Catwoman glances at the pair, moving to allow the cat down as she reclaims her gloves and jacket. "Doubt it. Considered it. Decided against it." Gloves first, jacket second. "Yeah. Have fun with that. Later, kid. Batman…" She murmurs, apathetically, pulling up her hood up and over her head before striding out of the room and toward the front door.

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