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~