|Learn To Love
Author: Chikorita-Trainer1 PM
Something traumatic happens to one member of the Batfamily, and his resulting actions send the rest of the family spiraling down into a deep depression that they can't seem to help each other out of. Multi-chapter and switching points-of-view. Please read and review.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Angst - Damian W./Robin & Timothy D./Red Robin - Chapters: 15 - Words: 28,496 - Reviews: 72 - Favs: 39 - Follows: 34 - Updated: 09-25-12 - Published: 07-29-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8373367
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Learn To Love Chapter 08: Minority
Disclaimer: I don't own Batman or anything else I might make references to.
"Father, can we go out on patrol tonight?" my son asks. I'm surprised he's waited this long to even bring it up. It's been about three nights since Tim attempted suicide and since then we haven't left home.
"Yes," I answer. I glance at Damian from out of the corner of my eye, and see that he's already suited up. Clearly, if I had said no, he would have gone out on his own anyway.
We get into the Batmobile and head out. Gordon hasn't shone the Bat-signal yet, so I assume that it's going to be a relatively quiet night, which is good, considering all I have on my plate at the moment.
"How's Dick been?" I ask, just to break the silence.
"Still crying like a schoolgirl," says Damian. I sigh loudly, with a growl in my throat. "What? You asked!"
"I know," I say, trying not to snap at my son. "It just bothers me how little respect you have for him, and Tim, and everyone else."
"Why should I respect Grayson when he's at his lowest?" Damian questions. "What use is he in his current state?"
"The most I can hope for is that his emotional nature will rub off on you, Robin," I say. "Have you thought about what I said?"
"About sympathy and love and all that other crap?" my son answers with a sarcastic sting in his tone. "Yes. The concepts have been occupying my thoughts, if you must know."
"And are you making any effort at all to understand them?" I challenge. We've been driving around for about fifteen minutes without so much as a mugging taking place.
"About as much effort as you make to truly rid Gotham of evil," I hear him mutter.
"Excuse me?!" I spout, turning my head to look at him. "Are you implying that I don't try hard?"
"No, I was merely implying that if you really wanted to eliminate crime, you'd do more than tie people up and leave them in front of Gordon's office at the end of the night." I know he's suggesting that I kill, which of course, I won't do. I also know that he's trying to change the subject in an attempt to divert my attention away from him.
"So in other words, you aren't making an effort to understand what I said," I assess. My son says nothing. Good. That means I win.
I don't know what to say to Father, but I'd better think of something quick, or he wins.
FUCK! I can't think of a comeback. And it's been well over ten seconds so it's too late now, anyway. I hate it when I can't respond. The best thing I can hope for now is for a crime to take place, to take the heat off of me.
I get my wish.
The Bat-signal suddenly lights up the night sky above us, and my father speeds off to meet Gordon on the rooftop.
"What seems to be the problem?" Batman asks. I can't help but get shivers when I hear that gruff, guttural voice of his.
I step back and let Gordon explain things to my father. Gordon doesn't really like me; like everyone else, he thinks I'm a rude, irreverent child. Come to think of it, so does my father. And with Drake, that makes three.
I don't want to admit it, but maybe they have a point. If only one person out of everyone I'd ever met had a problem with me, I wouldn't care. But three? I guess it's possible that I am at fault.
I try to think some more about feeling sad, and not just sad, but so miserable that you don't want to go on. It's still beyond me, and the only reason I can think of for it is that I'm only ten. So little of my life has been lived that maybe my very mind just isn't developed enough to conceive such a feeling.
I really hate being so young, sometimes. As knowledgeable as I am, I know I'm just a kid. That's why I hate it when people treat me like one. It's like, I already KNOW how old I am, you don't have to keep reminding me.
Frustration and anger, those are the only two emotions I can say I'm familiar with. Sadness is still foreign to me. I remember how I felt when my mother disowned me. I was…disappointed I guess would be the word. I expected her to see my intentions and admire my choice to be Robin, and follow in the footsteps of my father. I thought that's what she'd always wanted of me. But I was wrong. Sad? Yeah, a little, I guess. But it sure as hell didn't make me want to kill myself.
"Robin? …ROBIN!" I hear Batman call, and quickly turn to face him.
"Uh, sorry. I was just-"
"I know what you were doing. You were spacing out. I need you here and paying attention, now!" he orders. I gulp and scuttle over to my father's side.
"If you can distract them for even five minutes, my men can get in there and surround the place," Gordon is saying.
"We'll get right on that," Batman growls. "Come, Robin." We fire our tethers and swing off the rooftop.
"So what are we doing?" I ask. "I didn't catch all of that."
"You should have been listening," Batman chides me. "If you can't do a simple thing like that, you'll never be able to protect Gotham."
I'm not touching that one. My father is in a mood, and trying to explain myself will only make it worse. All I can do now to make up for my mistake is to follow his orders as best I can.
We swing over a few blocks into the parking lot of a closed high school. Its windows are boarded up and there's graffiti all over the outside of it. And in the parking lot are several cars and what appear to be two rival gangs at a stand-off, one waiting to shoot the other first.
Batman lands on the roof of the school, me by his side. I don't understand why he stopped. Aren't we supposed to go down there and kick some ass?
"Why are we waiting-?"
"Shh!" hisses Batman. "We can't go in there and attack without knowing what we're getting into." I hold my breath for a second, wishing I hadn't made another obvious mistake (like questioning my father's intentions). I just keep thinking about Drake and how he must have felt that night.
"Robin," he whispers. That time I did hear him, and I'm right here, waiting to be instructed.
"See those four in the car? They're probably going to fire the minute the opposing gang leader makes a move. I need you to get in there, disable their guns, and get out. On my signal, OK?"
"Roger," I say. That's a nice, professional response, don't you think?
I leap down and land right in the back seat of the gang's convertible, causing them all to shriek in surprise.
"THE FUCK?!" one of them screams as I kick his rifle out of his arms and onto the asphalt.
"IT'S BATMAN'S BOYFRIEND!" cries another, squirming back to get a good aim. I quickly grab his gun and turn it upwards to break his nose.
"OH SHIT!" scream the other two. I make quick work of them as well. I can fight four guys at once, without a doubt, singled out, the only way I know.
The one whose nose I broke pulls out a blade. "You messed with the wrong thug, bird-boy!" he sneers. I duck his first thrust and then grab one of the other members and push him into the knife, which enters his chest.
"AAGHHH!" cries the victim. Jeez, that was easy. Suddenly, I am grabbed from behind, my cape is wrapped over my face and I feel myself being pressed into the ground and punched repeatedly in the gut.
"How you like me now?!" I hear a voice say. "Gon' cry to Bats? Huh, chickie?" says another. I would be able to fight back even without my sight, but I can't breathe on account of my cape being made of such strong material. All I can do is flail and kick, and hope that my father comes in and rescues me.
And he does. I can hear him beating the crap out of these petty thugs. As soon as they're off of me, I can get my cape untangled from my face and gasp for breath. I sit up, but as soon as I do, Batman grabs me around the waist and lifts me into the air by his tether, just as Gordon and his men surround the place. Our work here is done.
"What were you doing?!" yells Batman, after he sets me down on a nearby rooftop. I'm still trying to catch my breath.
"What?" I gasp.
"I told you to disable their weapons and get out!" he yells again. "It could not be any simpler!"
"I couldn't just-"
"Yes, you could! You were supposed to get in and out! Instead, you nearly got yourself killed! Which I KNEW would happen, which is specifically why I gave you an order to smash their weapons and GO! Why would you do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I ordered you to?!"
I flinch and look down, ashamed that I've messed up so many times in one night. I was too self-absorbed, too busy thinking about things when I should have had my head in the game. I say nothing.
"We're going home," growls Batman. And he wastes no time grabbing me by my upper arm, dragging me with him like a disobedient child, which I suppose I am tonight.
In the car, we don't exchange many words. I can tell he thinks he's been too hard on me, and he can probably tell that I feel bad enough about it, so yelling at me even more won't help anything.
"Maybe going out on patrol was a bad idea," I say softly.
"YOU going out on patrol was a bad idea, definitely," he says, with no tact whatsoever. That hurts. Usually he tries to say something encouraging when I screw up. Not this time.
"I'm sorry, Father," I sigh.
No response. He doesn't care.
There's that tight feeling in my chest again.
END OF CHAPTER 08
Please review, thanks.