Even though Clark should be home most of the time, seeing as he was a retired reporter and a freelance journalist, he wasn’t. Superman was out saving the world, and Batman—well, Bruce Wayne, since he’d also long retired from the cape, was managing and leading a multi-conglomerate company from home, all while taking care of their eleven month old son, Terry.
Bruce sealed the diaper, and put some onesies on the chubby child giggling at him on his and Clark’s bed. He carefully lifted him up, and pressed his nose to the child’s temple, inhaling the light scent of baby soap. He smiled to himself, thinking he was too old to be taking care of a small child like this, but he did it anyway.
“Bruce!” Dick had barged into the manor yelling, with Tim right behind him. “Bruce!”
Clark had been the one to receive them. “Dick? Is that you? When did you come back? What’s going on?” he’d asked as he approached them.
“Where is he?” Dick had demanded.
“Will you just calm down?” Tim had said with a frown.
“He’s in the family room—Dick!”
Dick had rushed to the family room, barged in there, where Bruce had been entertaining a small bundle in his arms. “What the hell is this?!” Dick had thrown a tabloid onto the coffee table.
‘WAYNE-KENT HAS CHILD THROUGH SURROGACY’ the tabloid’s heading, in bold capital letters, had said.
Bruce faced him, and the four month old child he held raised his little arms, reaching for Bruce’s face, wanting his father to face him. Then he looked at the newspaper on the coffee table. “It’s a newspaper sensationalizing my decision to have a child,”
“Yeah!” Dick had fumed. “A child, just like we were. A child you’ll rob of a good childhood full of attention and care. And for what? Because you’re busy aiding Barbara with anonymous tips, manipulating gangs until they run into the police, or you managing your company? Then you’ll choose those over going to your own child’s graduation! Then what? You’ll train him to become just like you—a manipulative asshole who doesn't care about anybody else but himself!”
The baby had started to cry, obviously upset at the sudden rise of voices. His face had turned red as fat tears rolled down his chubby cheeks. Worry had washed over Bruce as he immediately tried to shush him, swaying lightly to calm him down.
“If you’re done being bitter about a childhood we chose,” Tim had said to Dick, “I’d like to meet my new little brother now,” Tim had gone over to Bruce, who had a little success at toning the cries down to little whimpers. “So what’s the little guy’s name?”
The child had stared at Tim with the same blue eyes Bruce had.
“Terrence. We call him Terry for short,” Bruce had proudly said.
Clark put a hand on Dick’s shoulder. “Bruce would never admit it, because he knows what people who really know him would say, but it is lonely you know, especially for two old men like us,” he’d said. “Living in a house like this, knowing it should be full of children and not dust,”
Dick had watched as Clark joined them, as Tim took a turn at holding the baby, cooing as the child stared up at the new face.
Then with a fond smile, Bruce had looked at him. “Would like to meet him, Dick?”
He thought he’d gotten angry out of concern, but he really got angry because he thought he’d moved on but he hadn’t. He let out a sigh, relaxed his shoulders, and took a single, long calming breath, and he too gave Bruce a small, fond smile. Because no matter how badly they’d parted, Bruce was still his father.
And hell yeah, he’d like to meet the little squirt.
“So, Terry, huh?” Dick had said as he joined them.
“Come on, we better take advantage of your good mood,” Bruce said as he left his and Clark’s bedroom, holding Terry close to his chest, headed for the kitchen. “We’re going to have leftover smoked ham sandwiches for lunch, and you’re having some pureed carrots,”
Terry looked Bruce in the eye as be babbled, and Bruce solemnly agreed with him. Whenever Terry tried to talk and babble, Bruce liked to give meaning to what he was trying to say, and replied with things such as, ‘Is that so?’ or ‘Really?’ and, ‘Well, we can’t have that, can we?’ and refrained from baby talk and nonsense words, saying that he wasn’t going to intentionally talk to his son as if he weren’t capable of learning.
“Well, if you feel that badly about pureed carrots,” said Bruce when he entered the kitchen and Terry’s babbling had stopped. He put Terry in his high chair. “How about some mashed bananas then?” he asked as he prepared the ingredients for Terry’s baby food, and his lunch.
“Hey, Bruce!” Dick greeted as he entered the kitchen and set a three boxes of pizza on the counter and two bottles of soda. “And there’s the man of the house!” he cooed at Terry as he lifted him from the high chair and snuggled with the giggling baby. “How’ve you been, buddy!”
“Dick?” Bruce closed the fridge door. “Why on earth did you bring this much pizza? And why didn’t you call before coming?”
“Well, I’m a hungry man, you’re a hungry man, and then there’s a hungry ubermensch on his way home after he just happened to fly by Timmy’s communications station and helping out with some heavy lifting with his satellites,” Dick blew a raspberry on Terry’s chubby cheek.
“He went to Tim?” Bruce started making Terry’s food, mashing half a banana and putting a little diluted formula in it.
“Yeah,” Dick continued to play with Terry, kissing his pudgy hands, and swaying and dancing him around. “Tim called me and told me to tell you that he told a little bird to tell Clark to accidentally or just pass by so he could ask for help,”
Bruce raised a brow at him. “So Tim knew you were coming over and I didn’t?”
Dick paused for a moment. “Surprise?” he smiled at Bruce. “Hey, I brought pizza,”
Bruce sighed, and continued on making the baby food. “Alright, would you mind feeding him while I prepare?”
“I’d love to!” Dick said cheerfully, setting Terry back down on his high chair. He washed his hands, and settled himself on one of the counter stools near Terry’s chair.
Bruce handed him the small bowl and Terry’s spoon, and set aside the boxes of pizza, put the soda in the fridge, and started to make himself a sandwich. “What did Clark have to help Tim with?”
“One of the beams that held the dishes up got rusty—say aahhh—and collapsed,” said Dick as he tried to train and airplane the spoon into Terry’s mouth. “But he needed to get the service back up ASAP—come on, open up, buddy—so he had to call Clark so he could lift the dish and Tim and his team would be able to try and weld it back, but I think Clark took care of the welding, too,”
“I see,” he went to the fridge for some cucumbers and tomatoes, and a strawberry yogurt cup that he handed over to Dick. “Here. It might be a while before Clark comes back if you want to wait for him,”
“Thanks!” Dick grabbed a tablespoon from one of the drawers, and had a spoonful of the yogurt before turning back to feeding Terry.
It was a good thing he’d already finished making his lunch, when Terry, after no more than two tiny spoonful of bananas, started fussing. Terry shook his head as Dick tried to feed him one more spoonful, then backed down when he threatened to cry.
“Okay, okay!” Dick said in a panic, setting the bowl of baby food down on the chair’s desk.
Bruce chuckled and moved over to Terry to gently pluck him from the chair, and lightly bounce him in his arms to let him know he was just close by. “It’s only Richard, Terrence. And I will never be too far away from you,”
“What is it? What’s going on? What’s wrong? Why’s he crying?” Clark worriedly asked as he hurried into the kitchen. He was wearing a rumpled shirt and a pair of pants, apparently rushing to change clothes when he heard the crying.
“He didn’t like it that Dick was feeding him,” Bruce let Clark take a sniffling Terry, who reached for his Pa when he saw him.
“Pa! Pa!” Terry chanted as Clark laughed.
“Yes, hello, son,” Clark smiled, pressing a kiss to Terry’s temple.
Dick pouted dramatically. “I’m a failure,”
“Oh, shush,” said Bruce, as he cleared away his mess from the sandwich making, and then put the pizza back on the counter. “Dick brought pizza. How was ‘just happening to fly by’ Tim’s comm-station?”
Clark moved over to Bruce and gave him a quick kiss on the lips as a greeting.
Dick was grinning widely. “I love the domesticity in here. Pa’s home from work and Ma’s making baby food,”
“Tch,” Bruce scoffed. “Be thankful this isn’t a hundred years ago and that you’re 40 and not 15. I would have grounded you,”
“Aww, thanks, Bruce,” Dick opened one of the pizza boxes and flipped the cover under and set it down before taking a slice.
“It was good,” Clark started. “I welded the dish to the stand, because it would have taken them at least a few hours to get that finished, and I didn’t want to miss lunch,” he took a slice of pizza from the box and took a bite. Bruce raised a brow at him. “What?”
Bruce rolled his eyes and bit into his sandwich.
“And, Tim says he’ll be by with the kids soon. He wants to see how much Terry has grown since last week,” he set Terry back on the high chair, and washed his hands with a rolled up pizza slice in his mouth.
Bruce decided to take over feeding Terry. “That’s nice. Maybe for lunch this time? So they can actually see Terry awake and in a good mood rather than fussy, cranky and non-stop crying from coming in during naptime,”
“I’ll call him so he can set the day,” Dick grabbed a glass to pour himself and Clark some soda, and took a bottle of water from the fridge for Bruce.
“Okay, it’s definitely naptime,” Bruce smiled in amusement as Terry struggled to keep his head up halfway through his mashed bananas. “You two clean up here. I’ll put him to sleep,” he left the two alone, and headed for the master bedroom.
It wasn’t a difficult decision for them to keep Terry in the room with them. Bruce, though still strong, was aging, and the thought getting to the next room with creaky old bones wasn’t something Clark liked at all. And besides, they both liked having him near at all times.
Bruce had always thought that the house would always be quiet, and he and Clark would have to live through his life in a mausoleum. Most of the rooms were locked and a lot of the furniture was draped in white cloth. They never thought something could breathe life back into Bruce’s childhood home.
Even though Terry’s creation was Amanda Waller’s idea of a legacy, it didn’t turn out so well. Mary McGinnis died at birth, and Warren was murdered for some illegal research that Derek Powers had been doing at Wayne-Powers, which prompted Bruce to kick Powers out and gain back his company.
What happened was cruel, but Bruce wasn’t going to keep secrets from Terry. He might tell him little by little, but the most important one, the one resting in the cave underneath their home, could wait until Terry was old enough to understand. And whatever choices Terry were to make when that time came, Bruce was going to try and respect them.
“Dick already left. Said he had to go back to the precinct,” Clark said as he entered the bedroom. “He asleep?”
“Out like a light,” said Bruce, letting Clark snake his arms around his waist, and put his chin on his shoulder so he could watch the baby sleep. “I played with him all morning to make sure he’d sleep after lunch. He even tried to resist when I cleaned his teeth,”
“Hard headed just like you,” Clark chuckled and gave Bruce a kiss on his cheek. “C’mon, let me have a turn,”
Bruce gently placed Terry in Clark’s arms. “Okay, you have him. Because I need a nap, too,” he yawned and climbed onto the bed as he watched Clark hold their son.
“I’m thinking of a big birthday party,” said Clark, “Big meaning two big brothers, one sister in-law, two cousins, one DA, two police commissioners, the other one retired. And probably the league of godparents,”
“Please say we’ll just go get a huge set of food from the nice, fancy Chinese place in town, and get a big cake?” Bruce yawned again. “Don’t want to blow up the kitchen trying to learn how to cook things and bake. Not that I can’t,”
Clark gave a soft chortle. “Whatever you want,”
“Good,” said Bruce as he closed his eyes. “A baby is one thing. Cleaning up after a party is another. My back can’t take that. Sometimes I think I’m too old for this,”
“Better late than never,” said Clark absently as he adored their sleeping baby.
He kissed Terry’s little head before setting him down in the crib, and joined Bruce in bed for an afternoon nap. He pulled Bruce closer to him, and whispered ‘I love you both’ before falling asleep.