Tim is spoiling Dick’s fun.
I imagine Damian’s words must cut Bruce to the core: Bruce is someone who lost his own father to untimely death and would do almost anything to have his parents back. And yet his son responds to Bruce’s return with open resentment.
I’m sure Bruce is smart enough to recognize it as the bluster of an emotionally vulnerable child who misses the one person he can call a friend, but that “hh” implies the words find their mark. I do like that he shifts the conversation to praise Damian’s work, trying to assuage the boy by fulfilling his persistent need for approval. This is a good example of Bruce trying to be an understanding father to Damian even when Damian is making it very difficult.
Grayson fell asleep on the couch that night.
Damian stood over him and watched his sleeping face for a moment. It was clear by his spastic expressions that he was having a nightmare. Damian silently removed the shoes from Grayson’s feet and pulled the afghan that draped the back of the sofa over his tense body.
"Bruce," Grayson cried out, eyes still closed in fitful slumber.
Damian lowered his voice to the deepest octave he could reach, mimicking his father’s deep tone. “It’s okay, Dick. I’m here.” He touched his small hand to Grayson’s forehead as he spoke. Grayson relaxed under the blanket, muscles loosening and the fear on his face dissolving at once.
It was the only time Damian had ever called him by his first name. Whether or not Grayson remembered the next day, neither he nor Damian acknowledged it aloud.
[Wonder Woman Annual #01]
So this is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen in my entire life
Dick and Alfred are such wonderful influences on Damian’s life. By being integral members of the Batfamily, they confirm to the little boy that bloodlines and family names aren’t the only important factors in determining one’s fate— they are both essential to Batman’s legacy despite not being Waynes themselves. “You make you” is the lesson that Damian needs the most help learning.
Also, may I please squee over tiny sulky Damian sitting on the rail? Really, I can’t help myself, look at that pouty itty-bitty babybird uguuuguguugu—
(Batman and Robin #22)
"Put him down," Tim insisted, tugging on Damian’s arm. "He’s not a baby. Wake him up and make him walk."
Dick moved Damian to his other side, away from Tim’s reach. “He’s not that heavy,” he said, rubbing Damian’s back through the cape and tunic. Dick turned his face toward the boy’s head pillowed on his shoulder, and his lips brushed over Damian’s temple.
Tim’s stomach contracted painfully. “Bruce would make him walk,” he muttered as the car came into view.
After Dick settled Damian into the backseat, careful not to wake him, he walked around to the passenger’s side and opened Tim’s door. “Get out,” he said.
Tim looked up at Dick’s face behind Batman’s cowl in apprehension, but found himself obeying the order automatically, unbuckling his restraint and rising to stand beside the car. Dick lifted him, arms locking tightly around him and one hand smoothing down his hair.
"If you fell asleep, Tim," he began, kissing the top of his head once, "I’d carry you, too. Okay?"
Tim nodded, feeling sheepish and hoping no one was watching to see Batman cradling Red Robin like a small child. “Yeah, Dick. I understand.”
Dick smiled at him— always strange to see his warm smile beneath the cowl— and put him down. When they were on the road a few minutes later, Dick explaining the details of their next case, Tim glanced at the backseat to see Damian wide awake. He wondered if the little boy had ever been asleep at all.
Alfred Appreciation Post
This should get millions of notes. Seriously. Alfred is the BAMF. He sets the standard.
There is no Batfamily without Alfred Pennyworth.
BTW, Bruce? This is what I mean when I say your thinking is too black and white. (Also, Leslie, you are wonderful.)
[Detective Comics 574]