“Ready?” Tim asked. He took a last look over the microphone on the desk in front of him, then sideways at Dick and Damian, arranged on either side of him, a few feet away, with their own microphones.
Dick held up a sheet of paper. “I have the question list.”
“I think that’s it, then.”
“Are we supposed to do some kind of intro?”
“Uh, unclear.” Tim snapped his fingers and leaned into his microphone.
“This is a podcast-interview thing,” he said. “We’re answering questions. Okay, I nailed the intro, so let’s hear the first one on the list.”
“Can somebody please explain Bruce Wayne’s family?” Dick read. “I know he has a bunch of kids, but I can’t figure out how many or where he got them from.”
“Interesting phrasing on the back half of that,” said Tim. “I feel like something expensive that went on sale.”
He clutched a hand to an imaginary necklace in feigned admiration. “Why Bruce! You must tell me where you got those!”
“You were never expensive,” said Damian. “Perhaps a grocery check-out display?”
Tim sighed and turned sideways, so he could look Damian in the face. “Being honest, I didn’t think you knew enough about shopping to make that joke.”
“I would never set you up on purpose.”
“Let’s get back to the question,” Dick suggested. “Can somebody please explain Bruce Wayne’s family?”
“I don’t know,” said Tim. He swung back towards the microphone, grimacing. “Maybe? It’s complicated.”
“Complicated,” Dick repeated, flatly.
“It’s your own family.”
“That doesn’t make it simple,” said Damian.
“Do we get time to make an outline?” Tim asked, emboldened by the unexpected support. “Before we do our presentation?”
Damian half-smiled at that, while Dick looked the two of them over with a skeptical expression.
“Are you telling me you don’t understand our own timeline?”
Tim waved a hand in a why-are-you-looking-at-me kind of gesture. “What, does anybody?”
“You experienced it linearly! We came in partway through, it’s different.”
“You take the question then.”
“If the two of you can’t manage it,” said Dick, with a distinctly sarcastic shrug.
“Obviously I can do it,” said Tim, suddenly defensive. He knew Dick was trying to get a rise, but Dick was good at that, and it was working. “I’m just saying it’s a confusing story.”
Tim pointed in Damian’s direction. “Back me up.”
“We can take turns,” said Dick, apparently satisfied with his victory. “Okay. Thomas and Martha Wayne died when Bruce was eight years old. Nineteen years after that, when Bruce was twenty-seven, he attended Haly’s Circus the night two acrobats fell to their deaths during a trapeze routine. Bruce took in their surviving son, me.”
Dick held up a finger. “My name is Dick Grayson, and I was Bruce’s ward from age twelve until the day I turned eighteen.”
“Which is different that being adopted,” Tim put in, “so bear that in mind for later.”
“Right. At eighteen, I became an adult, so Bruce wasn’t my guardian anymore. A year after that, Bruce met and adopted Jason Todd.”
“The second child he took in,” said Tim.
“But the first child he adopted,” said Damian.
“Exactly,” said Dick. “In that moment, Bruce was thirty-four with one former ward and one adopted son— which again, are distinct concepts.”
Tim nodded. “Jason Todd passed away three years after his adoption, when he was fifteen.”
“I never met him,” said Damian, straight-faced.
“Me neither,” said Tim, like he hadn’t spoken to Jason that morning. “I did meet Bruce though, at around that time.”
“The next few years are… harder to explain, I guess,” said Dick.
Tim raised an eyebrow in Damian’s direction, shaking his head in mock disgust. “See? Now he admits it.”
“The nerve.” Tim grinned as smugly as he could manage, so that Dick could see. Was Tim being difficult on purpose? Absolutely. Was he going to change that? Absolutely not.
“Right, it can be my turn. I’m Tim Drake, and I met Bruce when I was thirteen years old.”
“I was…” Dick glanced upwards, like he was trying to remember— or, failing that, calculate. “Right now you’re…?”
“Do you not know my age?”
“I probably do.” Dick tapped a finger against the desk a few times, looking pensive. Eventually, he gave up.
“Congratulations, Damian,” said Tim. “You are no longer my least favorite sibling.”
“I was your least favorite?” Damian asked, with such innocence that Tim couldn’t stop himself from bursting out laughing.
It took him a few moments to regain control. “You looks so proud of yourself,” he told Damian, as soon as he could.
“Thank you, I am.”
“I’m writing you both out of my will,” muttered Dick, “as soon as we get home.”
“Shame.” Tim swiped a sweatshirt sleeve over his eyes, still grinning. “I had my eye on your terrible CD collection.”
“The estate in its entirety, I believe,” said Damian.
“Shut up,” said Dick. “Keep answering the question.”
“Yeah, yeah, give me a minute.” Tim held up a hand to count on his fingers. “We did circus, Jason, Jason’s death— oh right, me. I met Bruce when I was thirteen and Dick was twenty-two, which would make Bruce thirty-seven.”
“I would have gotten there eventually.”
“Go to hell. Two years after that, when Bruce was thirty-nine, he met our sister, Cassandra Cain.”
“She was seventeen then,” said Damian.
Dick nodded. “Simplifying, we met her through a family friend. That same year, Bruce adopted me.”
“Which puts Father at thirty-nine with two sons—”
“One deceased,” added Tim.
“Having already met Tim and Cass,” Dick finished.
“Now if you think that’s confusing,” said Tim, gesturing broadly, “you’re right, it is.”
Damian nodded. “It gets even worse.”
“Yeah. For another two years we were— again, simplifying— in roughly the same place. After that, Bruce adopted me—”
“—making my life even worse.”
“Shut up, you weren’t even around yet. At forty-one, Bruce had three sons, one deceased.”
“And then came—”
“Me.” Damian raised his own hand. “My name is Damian Wayne, and I am my father’s genetic son. We met for the first time when Father was forty-one, and I was ten.”
“Four sons,” said Dick. “By age it’s me, Jason, Tim, Damian.”
“But from Bruce’s perspective,” said Tim, “Jason, then Dick, then me, then Damian.”
“I’d note,” said Damian, “that I was born several years before Todd’s adoption, and since I have been a Wayne from the beginning, I am both my father’s youngest child and his first child, whether he was aware of me or not.”
“But wait!” Tim interjected. “There’s more!”
“We’re almost done,” said Dick. “We already mentioned meeting our sister Cassandra. Bruce adopted her formally after Damian arrived, while Bruce was still forty-one.”
“Which means,” said Tim, “that we can do a final tally. Damian?”
“Assist me. We have Dick—”
“Alive,” said Damian.
“Yes.” Damian sat back in his chair. Tim leaned forwards in his, so he could put his elbows down on the desk.
“That’s pretty much it,” he said. “I won’t say how old we are right now, because it turns out Dick doesn’t know, and I don’t want to help him.”
Dick rolled his eyes. “I barely know my own age.”
“You’re eighty. One thousand, nine hundred, and forty. Some other number. I don’t know, why would I remember a very basic fact about my own family member?”
“To be fair to him,” Damian put in, “you are very forgettable.”
“And you’re my least favorite again.”
“Shame. As a last fact, I’d also note that Martha and Thomas Wayne died when Father was very young, so he was primarily raised by the butler.”
“That’s Alfred,” Tim agreed, “and his formal title is butler, but he’s also, you know, our grandfather.”
“Can we move to another question now?”
“I guess?” Tim looked over at Dick for confirmation.
“I don’t know,” Dick sighed. “Maybe.”
Merry Christmas, my loves
timeline post / google doc
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