Young at Heart
Young at Heart
Author's Note: This story was loosely based on the episode of Step By Step, 'Little Girl in the Big Ten' where Al almost gets taken advantage of by a college student. I borrowed a couple of lines from that episode as well.
It was seven o'clock in Gotham city, and Tim drake was getting ready to fly out to San Francisco.
"See you later, Dick," he said as he passed through the cave.
"Where're you going?" asked Dick.
"To Titans Tower. They're having a kind-of 'welcome back' party for me. Nothing huge, but I have to see everybody."
"As in 'Welcome Back to the Team?'" asked Dick.
"No," said Tim. "It's to welcome me back from my search for Bruce."
"Ah. OK, have fun," said Dick.
"Can I come?" asked Damian. Tim scoffed.
"No, Damian. It's the Teen Titans, not the ten-year-old Titans." Damian frowned. He had asked an innocent question and Tim turned it around on him and insulted the young Robin.
"Aren't you eighteen? Doesn't that make you an adult, and therefore not a teenager?" Damian challenged.
"Legally, yes, but technically I am still a teenager, since eighteen ends with the word TEEN," said Tim.
"Just let me come with you. I'd like to see the tower."
"No, Damian. You can't come," Tim said, as if to a dog. Damian got angrier. "I'll be back tomorrow, Dick."
After their conversation, Tim got into the Batplane. Little did he know that Damian was hiding in the back seat. It wasn't until they had arrived at Titans Tower that Damian made his presence known. Tim landed the Batplane on top of the tower and unbuckled his seatbelt. Then Damian popped up.
"YAAAAAGHHH!" screamed Tim.
"Ha ha ha!" cackled the child. "For someone who calls himself a detective, you're not very good at detecting! I've been crouched behind your seat for the past four hours! Can't believe you didn't even hear me breathing."
"Damn it, Damian!" said Tim. "What the hell are you trying to prove? Is this what you want to be? The annoying tag-along little brother who when he doesn't get his way, he just stows away and-"
"What I want is to be taken seriously," said Damian. "I want to be listened to and not treated like an ignorant child."
"Right, because everyone knows that mature grown-ups go behind their mentor's back and sneak off to parties that they weren't invited to," Tim mocked.
"I just want to see the tower. Take a look at the computer system, maybe check out the training compound."
"Damian..." grumbled Tim, his temper wearing thin.
"Look, I'm already here, so you might as well let me stay. What are you going to do? Just lock me in the Batplane for the rest of the night?"
That does sound tempting, thought Tim. "Fine! But I swear, if you so much as make a fist, I'll have Wonder Girl tie you up with her lasso and leave you in the basement."
"Relax," said Damian. "They won't even know I'm ten."
Tim and Damian went into the tower, where Tim was cheerfully greeted by the entire team. Wonder Girl, Superboy, Miss Martian, Blue Beetle, Bombshell, Aquagirl and Static.
"TIM!" yelled Conner, giving his friend a big hug.
"It's so great to have you back," said Cassie, giving Tim a smaller, less-aggressive hug.
"Indeed! We are ecstatic at your return!" cried Megan. The rest of the team crowded around their former leader and asked how he had been, how his search had gone, and other things. Damian kind-of hung back and looked around the room. After the pleasantries were exchanged, everyone at the tower broke off into little groups and mingled around, each teammate waiting his or her turn to talk to Tim.
Cassie plopped herself down in a chair and sipped her Pepsi. Damian zeroed in on her and tried to hit on her.
"Why, hello, beautiful," he said.
"Do I know you?" said Cassie, merely humoring the kid.
"Not yet, but I can fix that," Damian said suggestively. It was then that Conner tapped him on the shoulder.
"Are you aware that you're flirting with my girlfriend?" he asked in a warning tone. Damian backed up.
"Um, I am now," he said with a grin. Intimidated by Conner, he backed away. "Your loss, blondie. There are plenty of chicks at this party," he mumbled to himself.
"Excuse me, small child," said Megan. "I do not believe we have been introduced." Damian looked up at the green-skinned girl and raised an eyebrow.
"tt, Yeah, let's keep it that way," he scoffed. Then he saw Amy. A muscular woman with cropped hair and a crop-top, Damian had never seen the likes of her before. "Hello," he said.
"Hey," said Amy. "Who are you?"
"Damian Wayne, son of Batman," Damian said, extending his hand. Amy shook his hand simply out of instinct. She didn't really care about being polite.
"Damian, eh? With a name like that I'd have thought your father was Satan," she said.
Why does everyone keep saying that? Damian thought. "Well, anyway, what's your story?"
"I'm a Titan. And I can kick your ass with just a flick of my finger."
"I can respect that," said Damian. "I like a woman with a sense of violence." At this, Amy became intrigued. This kid was obviously playing with fire.
"How old are you?" she asked.
"Ten," said Damian. "Though my mind is far more developed than your average ten-year-old, I assure you."
"Yeah, I can tell," said Amy with a mischievous smirk. "Come with me. Let's get away from all this noise." Damian eagerly followed Amy to her bedroom.
"So what's it like being a Teen Titan?" asked Damian, sitting down on her bed.
"It's lame. 'specially with Cassie leading us. She acts like such a damn goody-two-shoes but we all know she and Conner are doing it," said Amy.
"I bet you could lead the team better than her," said Damian.
"Pff! Please, I don't care about leading this team. I like punching bad guys. I don't need to be in charge to do that."
"I hear that!" said Damian with a chuckle.
"You're pretty cute," said Amy, leaning over to Damian. Damian squirmed away.
"Uh, thanks," he said nervously.
"What's the matter?" said Amy, touching his cheek.
"N-nothing. You're just...invading my personal space."
"I'll invade a lot more than that, baby," said Amy, taking Damian's wrists and pinning him down on the bed.
"Hey, quit it!" said Damian. "I'll have you know I was trained by the League of Assassins! I can snap your neck if you push me to it!"
"Why dont you try?" said Amy. Damian reached up to grab her neck, but as soon as he did, she turned her skin to metal, and his hand bounced right off with a cold-sounding clang.
"Stop!" he said.
"Come on, kid. I saw the way you looked at Cassie. I'm hotter than her and we have more in common," said Amy.
"Stop it! Let me go!" cried Damian. He squirmed to no avail. "STOP IT!"
"Ah ha ha ha ha ha!" laughed Amy, transforming back and letting him up. "Oh my gosh, you really thought I was into you!" Damian got off the bed and backed away from her. "Kid, you are priceless! I was just screwing around with you! GOSH! You honestly thought I was going to try something? Jeez, you're dumb!" And with that, Amy exited her room, laughing hysterically.
Damian's heart was still pounding. He could feel his eyes start to water, but he squeezed them shut, holding back the tears. How could I have fallen for that?
It wasn't long before Amy had gloated to the team about what she had just done, and in time, the story made it to Tim, who, while he didn't approve, did find it somewhat amusing. He went to find Damian.
"Hey, Damian. Um, are you alright?" Tim said when he found his adoptive brother in Amy's room.
"I'm fine," mumbled Damian.
"What Amy did to you was wrong. And cruel," said Tim, closing the door.
"Whatever. I don't care," said Damian. "It's not like a liked her anyway."
"Look, Damian..." Tim started.
"I dont need the lecture!" said Damian. "Just leave me alone."
"I'm not going to lecture you. I was just checking to see if you were OK."
"Well, I am! So go away!" yelled Damian.
"See, that right there," said Tim, alluding to Damian's outburst. "That shows me that you are in fact not OK."
Damian turned around and sat down on the bed. Staring at the floor, he sighed. "I just wanted to get to know her," he said. "I wasn't even looking for...anything. I just wanted to talk. And then she started...coming onto me."
"Well, at least she wasn't actually coming onto you," said Tim. Oh wait, that was actually kind-of a burn.
"Why would she want to trick me like that?"
"Because she's a bitch," said Tim. "It's true. Even she knows it." Damian let out a tiny laugh.
"Well anyway, I guess I'll just have to keep looking until I find a girl who isn't one."
"Damian," said Tim. "This is what I was trying to tell you before. You may see yourself as mature beyond your years, but when everyone else looks at you, all they see is a kid. And the fact that you got alone in a room with an older woman, without even considering what might have happened, only strengthens the fact that you're young, and have very little social experience. I mean, you are only ten."
"Yeah," Damian said quietly. "Guess I'm not as grown-up as I thought I was."
"It's OK," said Tim. "You got off easy. Just...try to learn from this."
"Thanks for looking out for me." Tim placed a hand on Damian's shoulder.
"It's my job," he said.
"As a Titan?" Tim could tell that Damian was trying so hard to be brave. That he wanted to appear as a crimefighter who had made a small mistake, as opposed to a little kid who had gotten into trouble. Tim of course, could see past Damian's attempt at a mature facade. Damian could kind-of tell that Tim was looking right through him, too.
"As a brother," said Tim. He gave Damian a quick hug before turning to leave. "Um, hey, I still have some people to catch up with, but if you want, you can hang out in my room for the rest of the night. I have some books and video games in there."
"OK, thanks," said Damian.
After midnight, Tim finally said goodbye to all his friends and went to find Damian, who had fallen into a light sleep on Tim's bed.
"Damian, hey," he said softly. The young Robin awoke to his brother's voice. "We can go."
The two of them got into the Batplane and took off toward Gotham. Damian was very quiet during their ride.
"Is something bothering you?" asked Tim.
"Yes, I almost got molested by a silver-skinned whore!" snapped Damian.
"No, I mean before that," said Tim. "Sometimes kids act out because something is bothering them and they feel like they can't talk about it. I just want to know if you're going through something that made you do this."
Damian sighed and debated to himself whether or not to tell Tim. It was a minute before he answered.
"My mother..." he began. "...doesn't love me anymore."
"What?" said Tim.
"She told me that...she now considers me an enemy. I'm not welcome at her headquarters. And she's going to replace me with another specially-grown child."
"Jeez, what a bitch," muttered Tim. "I mean, you don't need her, you know? You're not part of that anymore. You're Robin now."
"I know, but it still hurts," said Damian. "I thought hers was the one love that I would never have to worry about losing."
"I don't know what to say, Damian," said Tim. "Other than, you have a new family now. You have me, Dick, Alfred, and we're going to get Bruce back. You don't need Talia anymore."
"I know," said Damian. The two were silent after that. A few minutes later, Damian asked,
"Hey, when I turn thirteen, do you think I could join the Teen Titans?"
"Heh, well we'll all be adults and off the team by the time that happens," Tim chuckled. Damian's expression changed from hope to disappointment. "But...if you can round up a team of kids your age..." he continued. "...you could be the leader. For sure."
"Damn straight," said Damian.
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