Long story short, I wrote fic! \o/
To understand this story, all you really need to know is that Dick is going back to being Nightwing, while Damian will become the Robin to Bruce's Batman.
So... this is my farewell to the Dynamic Duo. Although most likely not my last time writing them because fanfic is where dreams live on.
I tried not to make it too sad, but, well... as I said before, I have a lot of feelings.
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Characters/Pairings: Damian Wayne, Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne.
Summary: One partnership is broken, and another begins.
Notes: Based on the DC Reboot, in which Dick becomes Nightwing once more and Damian becomes the Robin to Bruce's Batman. Title and inspiration from Winter, by Joshua Radin. Absolutely gorgeous song, and it fits well with the story, if that's your thing!
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He is late.
I pull my cape tighter around myself and hunker down against the freezing wind. My cheeks are tingling with cold and I can no longer feel my nose and I am starting to shiver and damn it, why isn’t Grayson here yet? He had said he might be late, but this is getting ridiculous.
Irritated, I whip out my communicator to call him. It takes him four seconds to answer.
“Hey, lil’ D.”
Odd. He sounds almost… somber.
“Where the hell are you?” I demand. “You were supposed to meet me for patrol almost twenty minutes ago. It’s freezing and I’m getting impatient.”
“Oh. Sorry, kid,” he says. “I’ve been… tied up, I guess. It’s being taken care of.”
I scoff. Idiot.
“Fine,” I say. “So when will you be here?”
I hear him draw a tremulous breath.
“… D, I’m not coming.”
A chill runs down my spine that has nothing to do with the weather. My hand clenches around the communicator.
“What are you talking about?” I ask. “Has something happened? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, really, it’s just…” He pauses again and it’s the hesitancy that scares me. It’s not like him. “It’s really complicated, okay? I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to work without me for a while.”
“But what if I don’t want to work without you?” I snap, forcing my frozen limbs into a standing position. The wind whips at my cape but the cold is the least of my worries at the moment.
He uses my name. He uses my name over a possibly open line.
This is serious.
“I thought you were the one who kept insisting we were partners,” I say, almost yelling now over the frigid wind. My hand is shaking around the damn communicator but I cannot tell whether it’s because of the cold or my sudden anxiety.
“Damian, I –”
“Has something happened to you?” I demand. “Why –?” My voice breaks for one terrible moment but I barrel on, ignoring the sensation and the sudden blurring of my vision. Damn this wind. “Why don’t you want to work with me anymore?”
“Damian.” His voice is urgent, earnest. Almost pleading. “Damian, I love working with you. And I’m sure we can work together in the future. But for now, I need you to cooperate. Please. This is out of my hands, I swear.”
I don’t know what else to say. I stare into the blue-tinted glow of Gotham and let my hand – the one holding the communicator – drop slowly to my side.
I feel… alone. Impossibly so.
There is a gargoyle beneath my feet and the communicator hums in my hand and I see two pedestrians far below, but I am so, so alone.
I lift the communicator to my ear again.
“You’re leaving, aren’t you?”
“Where are you going?”
“I’m not sure yet. Probably back to Bludhaven.”
A large part of me – the freezing cold part, the part that started to tremble as soon as Grayson started speaking – does not want to ask the next question, but I am not a child. I am the son of Batman. And I need information.
“Will I…” I swallow, trying to make my voice stronger than it is. The cold must be affecting me more than I thought. “Will you come back?”
He laughs a little, distantly, and it shoots right through me. Painful. Achingly familiar. I think… I think I’m going to miss that.
“Of course I’ll visit,” he says, but it’s a small comfort.
Neither of us says anything for a while, but the communicator stays on. When the wind dies down a little I can hear him breathe. I cling to the sound by clinging to the little communicator. The plastic creaks under my gauntlets.
And then he starts to talk. Nothing very important, really. He starts out just describing something he saw on television, something about a circus that made him think of his childhood. Then he starts talking about our first job together, with Professor Pyg, and eventually his voice is just a soothing background noise, calm and relentless against the raging wind. I realize vaguely that I sat back down at some point. The stone of the gargoyle is freezing against my backside. I tell him that. He laughs.
“See? We can get through this, lil’ D,” he says. “It’s not like I’ll be in China. I’m only a phone call away.”
“That’s such a cheesy line, Grayson.”
A chuckle. “Maybe, but it’s true and it had to be said. You want to hear another?"
"Too bad. Because I need to make sure you know that I’ll always be there for you, okay? No matter how cheesy it sounds.”
There it is again, that damn lump in my throat, and the wind is making my eyes water again. I try to swipe at them through my mask.
“Okay,” I say, because I haven’t the heart to mock that particular cheesy line.
“Good.” He almost sounds like himself again.
“I have another question,” I say.
“If you’re going back to being Nightwing, then… what happens to me?”
“Nothing. You’re Robin, and Batman still needs a Robin.”
“But you’re not…” I trail off as a shadow falls over my perch and the wind suddenly feels less biting. Black silk billows around me, shielding me from the cold, and I look up into the solemn face of the true Batman.
“Father,” I say.
He smiles slightly. “Robin.”
A sad little chuckle comes from the communicator, and I hear Grayson say, “Be good, lil’ D,” and then the line finally clicks off, leaving me in silence.
I put away the communicator with numb fingers and start to rise. A large, dark-gloved hand appears before me. I hesitate only slightly before grasping it, and my father pulls me to my feet with fluid ease. I expect him to turn away, to order me into action or scold me for dawdling, but the hand holding mine does not let go. Black fabric – darker, heavier than what I’m used to – folds snugly around me, like a cocoon. I feel oddly secure. Warm. Safe. After a moment, when I am sure he isn’t going anywhere, I allow myself to lean against my father’s side, and he places a steady arm around me.
Neither of us speaks.
And then he moves away, slowly, almost gently. My hand is still in his. I look at it, and then I look at him. He squeezes my fingers.
“Let’s go, Robin,” he says.
And we go.
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Thanks for reading, guys! ♥