As soon as Bruce woke up that morning he knew the day wasn’t going to be great. It was just one of those fatherly instincts he had grown to trust over the past few years and he used it as an excuse to stay in bed for a few minutes longer than he needed to.
Walking downstairs, he noticed immediately that something was wrong. There was no one else in sight, no one making a meal or eating it in the breakfast nook beside the kitchen. He looked around to see if there was a note for him and when he couldn’t find any clues, he went upstairs to see if his boys were still asleep or even home.
Bruce found Dick curled around Tim in his bed while Alfred sat on a chair beside the bed with medicine in his hand. Concerned, he asked, “What’s wrong?”
Dick looked just as worried and said, “Timmy isn’t feeling very good. He was coughing a lot at night and now his throat hurts.”
“Master Timothy is having some trouble taking his medicine,” Alfred said with an uneasy frown on his face.
Bruce asked, “Why? Is he having some trouble keeping it down?” If he was vomiting up his medicine, then they would need to get him to a hospital as soon as possible so he could see Doctor Thompkins.
Seeing that Bruce was ready to pack Tim in the car, Dick assured him, “No, Tim just likes his cherry flavored medicine, but there’s none left.”
Bruce sighed at Tim’s stubbornness before he crawled into his bed to sandwich him between himself and Dick. Looking at him closely, Bruce could see that it was only slight cold but he knew Tim had very little experience with being sick so it must have felt like the worst thing in the world. Plus there was the added problem of Tim being young enough for a slight cold to turn into something a little more serious if it went untreated.
Enveloping him in a hold so he would feel a little warm, Bruce asked, “Tim, what’s the matter?”
“I don’t like the medicine, Daddy. I want my nicer medicine,” Tim tried to plead with his dad. He’d never tried the new medicine before, but there was no way it could be better than the one he usually had.
Bruce tried to persuade him, “I know you do, sport, but you need to take something to make you feel better.”
At the unconvinced look on the four year old’s face, Bruce knew he would need some more ammo to convince him to take the small dose.
Looking conflicted, Bruce informed him, “Tim, if you don’t take your medicine, there’s no way I can take you with me to the Watchtower today.”
Tim forced himself to sit up straighter and look Bruce in the eye to make sure this wasn’t another one of his tricks. “You promised, Daddy. You said I could go.”
The father acknowledged, “I know I did, but I can’t have you going and making the rest of the league sick, can I? So do you think you can take it now?”
Tim accepted his fate and nodded his head as fast as could before Bruce poured the medicine into the spoon and advised, “Drink it down as fast as possible. It’s make the bad taste go away quicker.”
Tim took his medicine down like a champ before Alfred handed him a bottle of water to chase down the bad taste. When everything was over, Tim reconciled, “That wasn’t too bad.”
From the other side, Dick praised, “Good job, Babybird.”
Cleaning up around the trio, Alfred informed him, “Master Dick, you are in charge of making sure you find an adult as soon as Master Tim starts to feel unwell again.”
The butler left the three in the room to go over their plan for the evening. It wasn’t common for Bruce to allow other heroes around his boys, but months of begging from both sides had left him weak to their persuasion. Now he was left to make sure the two knew what to expect from the Watchtower, what would make them excited and what they should keep their distance from. The boys didn’t really seem to care either way, they were getting a chance to see some of their favorite heroes in the world.
Although Bruce might have expected otherwise, the rest of their day on Earth was pretty low energy. Once he had to resign himself to his office he didn’t see the boys for a couple of hours but he knew it must’ve had to with their excitement for the trip. Knowing what was coming, Bruce decided to enjoy the calm before the storm as much as he could.
In Tim’s bedroom, the boys were getting ready for the meeting as soon as they were alone. Dick ran out into their playroom to find all the construction paper and arts material they could possibly need. Because he was still a little incapacitated, Tim sat on his bed while Dick pulled out a tray table and chair to sit next to him and keep him company.
Once they had everything they would need, the two began working on their gifts for each of the founding members of the League. Each of them was getting a personal drawing. Tim came up with the design while Dick did all of the physical work that left him covered in much more glitter than he knew existed.
It took them all of the day to finish their masterpieces and after each one was signed they carefully packed the drawings into Dick’s backpack for safe keeping. He threw aside all of his schoolwork to make room for something that was much more important, their presents for all of Bruce’s friends.
As soon as they were ready, Dick dressed into his favorite JL shirt while Tim had to wear a jacket to keep him warm and help with his shivers.
Bruce made sure he kept some of Tim’s medicine in his belt incase he started feeling worse in the time they were in space as well as enough water to keep him hydrated for however long they were in space.
It was the first time the two would be going through a zeta tube, so Bruce made sure the two knew what to expect. Transportation came with a rush of energy and slight nausea the first time one went through, but the feeling went away as one grew more experienced. What he didn’t expect was that the feeling would hit Tim the worst because of his already weakened immune system. As soon as he could regain his balance, Tim started coughing loudly and held onto Bruce as much as he could looking for some support.
The trio was a about an hour early to the meeting, Bruce had wanted to give them a tour of the space station before the actual event started, so he lead them into his personal room to rest until Tim started to feel better.
The room wasn’t as comfortable as Bruce might have liked, he spent very little time in it beside taking quick naps between two operations or wanting some peace and quiet from the general chaos that came when the founding members of the league were all together in the same place.
Once he got them settled in the room, Tim took a quick nap on his bed and Dick immediately took up his role as the doting older brother until he woke up 15 minutes later feeling much better. Dick convinced him to take a small dose of medicine before Bruce lead the two around the station for their tour.
Dick held onto Tim’s hand for the whole time they were getting a tour, making sure Bruce stopped every now and then so Tim wouldn’t get too tired and getting him the water he needed. Once they got to the recreation center, Dick made sure to do his quadruple backflip just because he knew it made Tim feel better every time he got to see it and just like always there was a round of applause to greet him as soon as his feet touched the ground. They made their round without running into anyone, not very surprising with it being a light evening and the other heroes coming in later. There was some general staff that the Watchtower employed for maintenance and Dick never missed an opportunity to run up to him or her and ask about the greatest part of his or her job. He wanted to know everything, how many heroes came by, who was the best, who was his or her’s favorite, and how he could get a job there.
When they were finished, Bruce brought the boys to the conference room in the center of the building and let the boys mess around with the interactive table while they waited for everyone to come in. The sight of Earth from the station was the one thing that the two appreciated the most and they immediately ran out to the glass window to try and make out everything they could.
That was the sight that Superman walked into and when he cleared his throat to get their attention Dick leaped onto his chest and demanded to be carried around as he was on the Kent farm. As soon Tim and Bruce were the only ones in the room, as they shared a glance they tried not to be surprised with how childish the two were.
They flew back in to see Tim sitting on Hal’s lap while the Green Lantern made different animal apparitions out of the his ring and a very upset Batman sitting not too far away trying to distract himself. Bruce’s frown went even deeper when Dick joined Tim in telling Hal what to make.
When he saw his dad look upset, Tim decided to keep him company while they waited for the rest of the team to show up. As soon as he sat down on Bruce’s lap, Dick and Hal started to see how much prodding from them would it take for Tim to realize what they were doing. Very slowly, Hal creeped a finger up to him before flicking his feet and tickling his leg. It didn’t take long for him to protect his feet by keeping them right next to Bruce so the next time they tried to mess with him, Bruce grabbed onto the green apparition and gave the two a very strong glare that scared them enough to stop.
Diana came in next and was immediately ambushed with the young acrobat’s questions about her lasso and sword and life on Themyscira. He wanted to know how her equipment worked, where she learned to fight so well, and whether or not she thought she could beat his dad in a fight. They had a very long discussion that involved her giving him a demonstration of techniques that Bruce would have no knowledge of.
As always, Barry sped in last. He brought with him a bunch of snacks that he and Dick ate while they talked about everything he was learning in science. Barry told him stories of the things he’d seen in his work forgetting to filter out the parts that were inappropriate for 10 year old.
Even with Dick’s many questions, the group ended up starting the meeting much faster than they usually did. It helped that everyone showed up relatively on time to get a chance to see the boys.
Bruce cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention and say, “Is everyone ready to start?”
Peaking up from his lap, Tim asked, “Daddy, are we allowed to stay in here?” He didn’t really know what the group was here for, but Tim would never want to get in the way of his dad doing his important business.
Dick got excited at the prospect that this meeting could have to do with sensitive information and he asked, “Is this something that’s very secretive, like another alien invasion?”
The members found his excitement very cute, but Diana informed him, “It’s nothing like that, Dick. Just some maintenance stuff to do with the Watchtower and updates on other heroes.”
Batman had to stand up to being the presentation, but Tim opposed the change because it meant he would lose his resting place. Seeing the distress on his face, Hal offered, “Tim, if you still want to rest you can take a nap on my lap.”
Tim shot him a glare that reminded everyone little of Bruce before he went over to Barry with his ridiculously blue eyes and asked, “Can I sleep on you?”
“Why him, Timmy? Why not me?” Hal questioned. He wasn’t hurt, but he did want to know why his offer was rescinded.
Tim raised his arms so Barry could lift him on his lap and didn’t even bother looking at Hal when he said, “You’re mean and he has yellow hair.”
Barry smiled down at the boy a little confused, but he rubbed his back and lulled him to sleep. He assumed Tim was sick enough that the logic made sense to him and Barry didn’t see any problem in going along with it.
While Bruce began their meeting, Dick dug through his belt to find a camera. He made his rounds along the table taking pictures with the members until no one was able to focus on any part of the presentation. He got them to make funny faces for the camera and take selfies with him until no one cared anymore about the reason why they had planned the meeting in the first place.
Deciding that the boring part of the trip was over, Dick took off his backpack and told Barry, “You should wake up Timmy now. He’s not going to want to miss this.”
Barry shook the four year old until he was rolling around in his lap disoriented. Tim looked up to see Flash smiling down and he perked up wondering what was going on. Barry explained, “Your brother said you wouldn’t want to miss whatever’s happening next.”
Tim turned around to look at his brother and he knew immediately what was going to happen. He told Dick, “Make sure everyone gets the right one, Dick.”
Dick crawled onto the table and began unpacking his bag. He took out four assorted cards and began distributing them to everyone on the table.
Each card had a drawing of the hero defeating their enemies and Batman offering commentary about the greatest things about each hero. They could tell that the boys put a lot of effort into their presents even though some parts where a little hard to decipher.
Tim couldn’t read anything on the card, he couldn’t read much of anything, but as soon as Barry got his card he turned it around to show him, “Look, Uncle Barry, that’s my name. The one on top. I wrote it myself.”
The hero praised his skill with the crayon and said, “Maybe next time you can write my name too.”
Tim promised to learn as soon as he could, but Bruce decided it was time to say, “It’s almost your bedtime boys. We should probably get going.”
Dick wanted to question his dad, but he had no idea how to tell what time it was in space. Before they left he asked for one last thing. “Dad, can we get one last picture of the league?”
Bruce accepted knowing there was no way this could take too long but he hadn’t expected to be the one to be taking the picture. Dick took to organizing the others, putting Barry and Tim in the center before seating himself on Diana’s lap. Once he was sure everyone’s smile was large enough, Dick told Bruce, “Okay, take it now and make sure everyone looks pretty.”
Bruce wanted to say something about how most of the people in the picture weren’t and would never be ‘pretty,’ but he chose to snap the picture and gather the boys up as soon as possible.