Disclaimer: I donít own The Magnificent Seven or Batman and Iím not
making any profit from this story.
Bruce Wayne was exhausted. Between the corporate world and his nighttime activities as Batman, he didnít know if he was coming or going. All he wanted to do was go home and relax with his boys. His dreams were shattered when he entered the manor and was met by Alfred instead of his boys. Since Bruce adopted the boys, he found his life full again. Dick was in college and only came home for holidays and summer break. He missed the other half of his crime fighting team, but having the house full has helped also.
"What happened this time Alfred?" Bruce asked as he handed his coat to his friend and butler.
"Perhaps I should let the boys explain what has transpired. I sent them to their rooms to finish homework and to await your return."
"You Alfred? They must have done something awful if you sent them to their rooms."
"Well, sir. They didnít burn anything down this time."
Bruce cringed. He didnít like to remember the damage done by that particular escapade. Chris, Josiah, and Buck were properly cowed by the time he had sent them to their rooms that day.
"Thatís reassuring. Are all seven involved this time?"
"Iím afraid so sir. Shall I call them?"
"No Iíll do it. Thanks Alfred."
"No problem sir. Iíll attend to dinner then." Alfred left Bruce standing at the foot of the staircase. If he listened closely he could hear the boys whispering. For a fleeting moment he thought he would make them all wait longer, but he just wanted to get it over with and relax. Hopefully Gotham will be more accommodating than his sons.
"BOYS!" Bruce didnít have long to wait as he heard seven doors open then close.
The first one down the stairs was Josiah. Although Chris usually leads the group, when thereís big trouble, the oldest heads into the fray first.
Josiah was almost 17 and came to Bruce when he was 13-years old. Bruce had read the story about a man who had physically abused his children, killing his daughter. Josiah survived but was so distraught the doctors were going to have him sent to a mental hospital. Bruce decided to take him in. Josiah and Dick got along great and Bruce decided to adopt him.
Next down was Chris. At 16, Chris was still pretty hard headed. He had run away from his father when he was 13 and was living on the streets when Batman found him starving and sick. While Bruce and Josiah were at the hospital seeing Josiahís doctor, Josiah met Chris and they formed a strong friendship. Sensing the connection, Bruce decided to give Chris a chance and took him in. It was a rough road and Chris started to trust Bruce, enough to let the millionaire adopt him. After two years of legal struggles with Chrisí family, Bruce adopted Chris. Soon afterwards, Chrisí father disappeared.
Following Chris was Buck. Buck came to Wayne manor after he saw his mother murdered. Knowing what that could do to a child, Bruce took Buck in also. At 12, Buck was pretty independent and had a rough time adjusting to a routine. He caused problems at school, but usually because he was defending the honor of some young girl. Buckís adoption happened around the same time as Chrisí, so they had a special connection.
Holding Buckís hand was Bruceís youngest son, JD. At 6, JD was actually the only one of his sons he knew from birth. JDís mother was a long time friend of Bruceís and when she became ill and died, she left JD in Bruceís custody. Since Bruce was JDís legal guardian, it was only a formality to get the adoption papers finalized. They were still pending, but Bruce wasnít concerned since no one had come forward in the last year to contest the will. Buck and JD were thick as thieves and treated each other like long lost brothers.
Next was Kevin, or Vin, as he liked to be called. Vin was a quiet child whose mother died when he was 5. He ended up in an orphanage that supplied illegal child labor to several factories hidden in Gotham. Bruce had encountered the boy while picking Chris up at the police station. Both Chris and Vin were being held with some other children until their parents could be notified. Chris took an instant liking to the boy and when Bruce arrived, Chris told his guardian about the boyís troubles. Bruce looked into it and Vin came to live at Wayne Manor. Last year Bruce adopted him. Vin was now 10-years old.
The last two boys were Nathan and Ezra. Batman had rescued the boys two years ago when he had uncovered a slavery ring. The boys were 11-years old at the time of their rescue. When nobody came forward to claim either boy, Bruce took them in until family could be found.
Nathanís family was discovered murdered so Bruce kept him. His adoption was official 6 months ago. Ezra was a little more complicated. Bruce found out that it was his mother who sold him into the slave ring and when she heard he had been rescued, she demanded he be returned. By that time, Ezra had experienced how a real family worked and didnít want to leave. Bruce ended up paying Mrs. Standish off in order to adopt Ezra. The paper work had been completed only last month.
Ezra still called Bruce, Mr. Wayne, but occasionally let a ĎBruceí slip. JD called him dad along with Josiah, Chris, Buck and Vin. Nathan still called him Bruce but would occasionally call him dad. Dick loved the fact that he had all of these new brothers and was often heard calling them The Magnificent Seven.
Bruce saw seven guilty faces as they lined up in front of him. "Letís go to the den and you boys can explain to me why Alfred sent you to your rooms." Bruce headed to the den without looking back. He knew they would all follow him. He sat down at his desk and watched as all seven of his sons lined up in front of the desk. "Well? Who wants to start?" Everyone looked at Chris, who scowled at his brothers.
Chris knew his father was going to be furious but he cleared his throat and tried to explain. Through the whole explanation, Chris tried to judge Bruceís reaction, but there was none. When he was done, Chris just apologized and looked at his feet.
"So let me get this straight." Bruce said. "You disobeyed me by snooping around in my office, again disobeyed me about staying away from the silver closet, and somehow over came the security and made the ultimate discovery. Is that correct?"
Seven ĎYes sirsí were his answer.
"Who over road the security system?" There was silence for a minute and then Ezra spoke up. "I did."
"How?" The fact his 13-year old son broke in made Bruce curious. That system was supposed to be fool proof.
With pride in his voice, Ezra said, "Piece of cake." Then he realized he probably shouldnít be so proud, so he added, "Sorry."
They were all quiet, waiting for Bruce to start yelling and screaming, but were completely unprepared for the their fatherís reaction. Bruce finally lost his control and burst out laughing. He laughed so hard that he didnít notice the stunned looks on his sonís faces.
"Whatís so funny? Arenít you mad we found out your secret?" Ezra said.
Bruce pulled himself together and smiled at his sons. "Yes Iím upset you disobeyed me, but none of you stole the car so I guess you did one better than Dick did."
All seven boys looked at each other than back to their father. //Heís gone mad// they thought.
"Dad?" Chris said.
Bruce stood up and moved to his comfortable armchair. He motioned for the boys to follow and to have a seat.
"I knew sooner or later I would have to come clean about my nighttime activities. I also know you boys can keep the bat cave a secret. Iím trusting you with this secret, but I found it funny because when Dick discovered the cave, he took the Batmobile out for a spin. Batman had to rescue him from a gang of street thugs."
"Does this mean that Dick was ĎRobiní?" Josiah asked.
"Still is when heís home from school. See boys, Alfred was very careful about the secret door and one day he was headed Ďdownstairsí and thought it was safe since Dick was on the third floor landing. Well, you all know your brother was a trapeze artist, so he swung on the chandelier and onto the banister and flipped right through the door and down the stairs. Alfred looked up to see silver and Dick fall down the stairs into the cave. Afterwards, Alfred called me to tell me Dick had taken the car. I thought he meant my Jaguar, but he meant the Ďother carí. I suited up and found him right before a very large and angry mob tried to take off his head. Alfred was the one to open my eyes up to letting Dick help me as my partner."
"Then Barbara was Batgirl?" Buck asked.
"Wow. My dad is Batman." JD said with awe.
"You boys have to keep this a secret. I canít protect you from every wacko out there if they know who I am. Promise me."
"We promise." All seven said.
"Good. Thereís a new rule we have to deal with. I donít want any of you in the Bat cave unless Alfred or myself are with you. And no more breaking security codes Ezra. Now about disobeying me and breaking into the bat cave." Seven groans were heard. "I expect you all to be home from school on time for the next two weeks. You will be confined to the house and Alfred has some cleaning that you will help with until dinner. Then after dinner you will all help with the dishes and then go to your rooms and do your homework. There will be no game room for those two weeks. Understand?"
"Yes sir." Was heard seven times.
"Good. After the two weeks are up, Iíll give you all a tour of the bat cave, but not before." Bruce turned to see Alfred.
"Dinner is served sir."
Bruce smiled and said, "Letís eat boys and Alfred can make your list of house chores for the next two weeks."
Seven groans were heard again, followed by Bruceís laughter.