Tags: health

cass, can you not

As everything, something prompted by something else

If we are to go by canon, Alfred dedicates almost half of his interactions with Bruce to attempting to feed him or getting him to sleep, with at best mixed results. Canon also emphasizes, although doesn't directly show as often as I'd like, that Bruce keeps himself at peak physical and mental condition through an absolute dedication to training and expert knowledge of his own physiology.

You see the problem.

Granting that he's certainly proficient in every method known to man for efficient sleep, he's still technically human. More to the point, he knows his biology inside and out: he might be able to keep working without sleep for a ludicrous amount of time, but he also knows he cannot keep himself in Batman shape without proper sleep.

The same goes for food. I'll accept the idea that he basically lives off a combination of weird things he learned about while traveling and hyper-advanced synthetic stuff, so he doesn't really need to eat a lot of anything we'd recognize as food, but he wouldn't go on patrol with insufficient carbs and protein inside him any more than he'd go without body armor.

By which I mean, if he had to, definitely, and he'd be good at compensating for it. But he became Batman by giving himself every possible advantage (within those weird boundaries of his, mind you). He reads the files of the people he's going to pursue. He studies the blueprints and ownership records of the place he's going to stake out. He loads up on antidotes for whatever poisons are likely to be around this time.

And he eats a damn turkey sandwich or something so he doesn't have to worry about his blood sugar during a fight. Bruce's diet is as precisely engineered as the Batmobile's maintenance schedule, and for exactly the same reasons.

The same considerations apply to his sleep. He's one of the smartest humans alive. He knows very well he's not quite as smart when he has pulled an all-nighter. Not quite as fast. Still faster than the average mook, yes, but in what universe has that been enough for him? I buy it that when he's in one of his periodic emotional crisis he goes out and nearly kills himself by overwork, and I also buy it that, to a degree, he has offloaded the job of keeping track of this kind of thing on Alfred, not because he cannot do it himself (Bruce traveled all over the world, and a lot of that he did alone and in weird places; "he can't feed himself on his own" is silly) but probably because during those first months after Crime Alley he'd refuse to sleep because of the nightmares, and might've been too depressed to eat, so Alfred getting him to sleep and eat became part of what "home life at Wayne Manor" is like for them both... and now I gave myself a sad.

Or, to look at it from a cuddlier point of view, Bruce pretends Alfred has to coerce him to eat and sleep so he can feel he's taking care of him, and Alfred has to pretend he doesn't know Bruce finds it at least as comforting as he does.

But a Bruce who doesn't sleep regularly the minimum amount of time he has figured out he needs to keep himself at peak performance (which isn't four hours every other day, I bet) just never got to become Batman, or didn't *survive* as Batman for long.

Therefore: Get enough sleep. Get enough and good food. Treat your wounds. Take care of yourself first, so you can take better care of Gotham.

This message has been sponsored by Bruce "Has To Be Expected Would Be A Great Personal Trainer Except That It'd Kill You" Wayne and Alfred "The 'I Swear to God, Master Bruce' Is Silent But Constant" Pennyworth.