Blood and Water (the Loss and Life Remix), (2016-10-19)

A/N: Based off @bluethursday’s Blood and Water which is a DCUxAvatar the Last Airbender remix… you should probably read that first?

~

The first time Tim met Ra’s, he thought it was a curious and fascinating happenstance.

He never made that mistake again.

Your mother was water–the ocean and the rain and every drop in between–flowing and swelling and inescapable. Your father was the air–free and flighty, head too much in the clouds to worry about the ground.

Combined they made you.

Yet people still wondered why you had ice in your veins.

Bruce remembers his first impression of Tim: a smart but shy boy, demurely following at Ra’s heels. Only a few years younger than himself, a fellow fire bender wanting to learn from the master.

He was wrong on nearly every count.

Water benders are master healers, air benders the experts in spiritual matters. Or, at least, that’s what nature intended.

But your mother pushed and your father reached, and in the intersection they found a secret.

It was meant to be a gift.

Dick’s first impression was similarly wrong, yet somehow in an entirely different way.

A victim of Ra’s that Bruce had rescued, traumatized and reeling and seeking sanctuary with the Fire Nation King.

After all, Tim was clearly from the destroyed Water Tribes, he might have been a bender if Ra’s hadn’t killed them all.

Dick was very nearly right, if things were altered and rearranged.

You turned seventeen-eighteen-nineteen and realized that you hadn’t changed at all. No new scars, but you never had many in the first place, no wrinkles or additional height.

Perfectly preserved.

An abomination, a monster.

Cass is the one to help Tim leave, sees the fear of staying in one place too long, the fear of a threat already vanquished.

She knows he is hiding something, but he knows she knows, and besides everyone has secrets, so she doesn’t confront him about it.

Cass’ father thought he could make her the Avatar–she understands inheriting sins of the parent.

There is a pool of water that no right minded water bender would touch. Not that any water bender has had the opportunity to do so in centuries, so well-guarded is the Pit.

But your parents didn’t need the original to mimic it’s effects–no, not mimic… master.

Jason never met Tim, not properly, only saw him from a distance.

Jason thought he was the Consort of the Fire Nation King–just a fancy term for whore.

He wasn’t right… not yet.

If things were different, you might have chosen death. If the collective leaders of the remaining bending nations hadn’t banded together to take Ra’s out, you would have died to get rid of him.

Anything to even try to make amends, all those villages obliterated as Ra’s hunted you down, blood on your hands.

But your mother was a scholar, your father a dreamer, and combined they made you.

Maybe one day someone will find you and ask to be taught.

Damian is still a child when he hears the name–more myth than reality. It’s for old tales and nostalgia, nothing relevant, until he needs a water bending teacher.

Dick thinks he is sending Damian to a hermit, one who is aged, if not outrightly old. Jason does little more than smirk, but Cass gives a supportive shoulder pat.

Bruce stays entirely silent on the matter.

You are a monster, but there is place in the world for monsters.

Better you than someone else.

(But don’t all monsters think that?)

Thoughts of You, (2016-09-20)

In a sea of monochrome, all it takes is a single splash of color to draw his eye.

It’s been a few months since Damian has taken over for his father completely. By day and by night.

It should be everything he’s ever wanted. The whole purpose of his birth finally fulfilled, if coopted for himself instead of his grandfather and mother. He has wealth, he has power; he has family, he has friends.

He is not lacking in any way.

So why does he feel like he is?

Somewhere, flitting in the corner of Damian’s eye, is the only flash of color at this gala. He doesn’t even know what this gala is for, anymore, they all blur together.

The men around him in their nearly uniform tuxedos, the women who have turned to silver as this season’s color or who think black is slimming, elegant, classic (boring).

Even Damian’s kandura–chosen defiantly but altered slightly toward Western fashion sense–is all in white and pale gray.

But there is color here and now; small and fleeting but present. And he doesn’t care if it’s rude to abruptly leave the current conversation happening around him, it doesn’t matter.

Damian sees a spot of color–the first in what feels like ages–and all he can think is that he wants.

Time moves in circles; hands around the clock face–cycles and rhythms and patterns.

The prince becomes king, the young bat learns how to fly. Creatures of the night appear to make him fall.

Or watch him rise.

The color is a dress shirt–an almost familiar blue-green that Damian can’t quite place–worn underneath a black waistcoat and tie. No jacket, though. If this weren’t the kind of even that would regulate that–no matter how rich or influential the guests–Damian would almost think it were on purpose.

He’s already being impulsive, heedless, untethered, and Damian just wants. Reaches out to curl a hand around the man’s wrist, feels soft fabric beneath his palm, and the smooth surface of his chrysoberyl cabochon cufflinks.

The man turns around to face Damian, surprise but no fear or anger on his face. His lips curve into a demure smirk, if a smirk could even be such, a small sideways smile that says I know a secret.

He glances down, pointedly, at their joined arms, Damian’s hand still wrapped around a pulse he can barely feel beneath the cuff but which still hammers away despite the man’s apparent calm. Belatedly, he lets go, scowls at his own lack of decorum.

“Is there something you needed, Mr. Wayne?” The man asks, even as Damian reels internally, burning with same question.

“Please,” he says, which is a more common occurrence than it used to be but still fairly rare, “Call me Damian.” Because everyone, even strangers, call him Damian–one of the many downfalls of being the youngest of such a public family, never mind that he is no longer a child.

The man nods in acknowledgement, “Damian, then,” he says, and that’s it. No additional chatter, no leading statements, no desperate attempts at flirting. In fact, it looks as if he’s about to turn back around and leave.

“And you?” Damian asks, can’t stop the way the words escape him to fill the silence, “You know my name. You have me at a disadvantage.”

The man blinks, smiles wider, “You can call me Quinton.”

They don’t have much more time than that, the sycophants ever clamoring for the Wayne coattails interrupting the moment.

Damian cannot disregard propriety a second time, can only watch as the man–Quinton–is pushed away behind the crowd of d├ębutantes, eager to make their own impression on Gotham’s most eligible bachelor.

By the time Damian comes up for air, Quinton is nowhere in sight, the world gone back to monochrome.

At least he knows the man’s name.

Damian begins to suspect something is wrong when, upon seeking the event planner for the guest list, finds the woman in a frenzy hissing orders to her army of underlings.

“And make sure none of this gets out to the guests,” she punctuates fiercely, only to squeak in horror at spotting Damian. “Sir!”

“What is going on?” he asks, more demand than question, more Bat than Wayne.

The hotel hosting the gala was also home to a vault whose contents the head of security will not disclose, not even to Damian Wayne.

It doesn’t take much sleuthing to figure out what happened.

It also doesn’t take very long to create a suspect list–though as far as Damian knows, the only person who can pull this off single-handedly is halfway across the globe with his father on an international crime spree to reclaim stolen relics for their nation of origin.

Just in case, Damian calls him.

“Father,” he greets, just barely, before a rushed, “You and Kyle are far from Gotham, yes?”

Father pauses, processing, but when he speaks it is warm and amused, “Damian,” he returns, “Yes, Selina and I are not in Gotham. Is something the matter?”

“There’s been an incident at the gala,” Damian admits grudgingly, “Or rather, using the gala as a distraction. Burglary, though I don’t know yet what’s been taken. I’m still Damian Wayne right now.”

“Oh?” A voice asks, too feminine to be his father.

“Am I on speaker?” Damian asks, irritated.

“Yes,” Father says, redundant, as Kyle continues with, “A burglary and your first though was little old me? I’m retired, darling,” she lies, blatantly. Her crimes now are more noble, but certainly no less illegal.

Her travel companion hardly minds, though: vigilantism is also technically illegal.

“Do you know if anything has been left behind?” Kyle asks, and Damian bids a swift goodbye as he follows up on that train of thought.

As Damian Wayne, he is politely but firmly told that the hotel cannot violate their guests’ privacy and to stay out of the matter.

As Batman he finds out what, exactly, was taken from the vault, what was left in the vault, and the likely suspect now that Kyle is out of the running:

In the empty case which once contained an external hard drive, is a fake flower with silk petals of a familiar blue-green color. According to the gala guest list, there is only one Quinton, last name Harlowe, who no one else can remember.

After a night of fruitless searching and more successful crime fighting, Damian returns to the Cave and flips the cowl off. It seems more suffocating tonight, his head overheating with thoughts of frustration and baseless betrayal.

In the Cave’s bathroom, he splashes cool water to his face, and looks at his own reflection. His eyes, even bloodshot and shadowed, are a familiar blue-green color

(Tim is born to a Fury, cold and full of wrath.

He’s raised to be a Siren, singing of a different kind of danger.)

~

A/N: Been reading DCU fic, in particular @justwritinsThink Of Me (hence the shoutout title even this ficlet has nothing in common with their fantastic fic except for the pairing) and woke up with the most wonderful DamiTim idea which took way too long to actually transcribe and faded as the day passed :/

So this is what I was able to salvage before it disappeared completely. ~Enjoy~