Busa le Lizwe
Disclaimer: I don't own Batman or The Lion King.
Author's Note: I can never help imagining what it would be like if Damian saw The Lion King, so I finally took the idea and ran with it. This is the result. I hope you find it amusing as well as believable. Took me a minute to think up the title. I finally went with the lyrics that are chanted throughout The Lion King, busa le lizwe, which means "rule this land." And I got the line "Gullible bitch" from some show that used to be on Comedy Central, called Halfway Home or somthing. I don't remember. But I didn't think of it myself.
It was a cold and dull December night in Gotham. It was Christmas time, but there was no snow, so it didn't really feel like it. Nevertheless, Batman and Robin were on patrol.
"Why are we observing these brainless shoppers? Surely there must be a more dangerous neighborhood we could be protecting," said Robin.
"Around this time of year, there are armed shoplifters. People are very irritable as it is in this recession; everyone is mad because they don't have much money, and the holidays make it even worse," Batman explained to his son.
"And yet they recklessly spend all this money that they supposedly don't have," Robin retorted. "Do you not see the irony there?" Batman said nothing, knowing that no answer he could give would shut the kid up.
"Also, if there's a certain toy that every kid has asked for for Christmas, frantic parents sometimes get into fights or riots break out. So to answer your first question, sometimes stores are more dangerous than any poor neighborhood."
The duo remained perched on a rooftop for about twenty more minutes. Then they were greeted by one of their own.
"Hi, guys," said Red Robin. "Merry Christmas!"
"Likewise," said Batman, clasping hands with his adopted son.
"Speaking of which, what do you guys want this year?" asked Red Robin.
"Your head on a spike," said Robin.
"Shhh…ut up!" hissed Batman. "I apologize, Tim. He's just cranky because nobody down there has been shot yet."
"It's fine, Bruce. I expect nothing more of him," Tim said coldly.
"Anyway, I can't really think of anything to ask for, I'm sorry," said Batman. "All I really want is to have the whole family together under one roof for a day."
"Well, that's true for all of us," said Tim with a shrug. He glanced over at Damian, who glared at him through his mask. "Most of us, anyway."
"Can we stop this pointless banter and do something productive?" said Robin.
"Robin, you've got to learn patience!" said Batman.
"Yeah, good luck with that," muttered Red Robin. "OK, I'm going to go. If you think of anything you want for a present, let me know."
"Will do," said Batman. Before Red Robin could leave, a building was blown up about a mile away. Almost immediately, Batman was contacted by Oracle.
"Bruce, the old auto plant was just destroyed. Most likely an attempt at insurance fraud, but there still might have been some victims. How soon can you get there?"
"On my way," said Batman. "Tim, could you take Damian home?"
"What? No way! Let me come with you!" whined Robin.
"No," said Batman, firing a tether and swinging off into the night. Tim and Damian both stood in silence for a second.
"I never get to go anywhere," Damian complained.
Man, if there was ever a setup to say this, THIS is it! thought Tim, snorting to himself. Then, in a mock-British accent he said
"Oh, young master, one day you will be Batman. Then you can chase those slobbering, mangy, stupid poachers from dawn until dusk." At this, Damian lowered his eyebrows in confusion.
"I don't know which part of that sentence to question first," he said. Tim laughed.
"It's from The Lion King, Damian," said Tim, taking the young Robin by the shoulder and walking him towards the edge of the rooftop so that they could both swing on home.
"You mean that naturally-inaccurate abomination of a children's movie?"
"Um, if by "naturally-inaccurate" you mean amazing and by "abomination" you mean cinematic achievement, then yes. That movie. You ever seen it?"
"Hell no!" said Robin as they swung from rooftop to rooftop back to Wayne Manor.
"Well, we have to fix that," said Tim. He called Nightwing through his communicator. "Hey, Dick?"
" 'sup, man?"
"You interested in teaching Damian the fundamentals of being a kid?"
"Always. What can I do?"
"Get your ass over to the manor. Movie night," said Tim.
"Sounds doable. Which movie?"
Back at the manor, Tim changed into some baggy cargo pants and a forest-green T-shirt, and Damian changed into a pair of gray sweatpants and a white T-shirt. Even though Damian had verbally condemned the movie, he wasn't trying to get out of watching it, which told Tim that he actually wanted to watch it. Because if he really didn't want to, he'd get up and leave. But he was staying put on the couch while Tim dug through the cabinet for the DVD.
"Shall I make some popcorn and milkshakes, Master Tim?" asked Alfred.
"Uh, none for me tonight, thanks," said Tim. Damian just shook his head. "Ah, here we go," said Tim, finding the old, dusty DVD in the back of the cabinet.
"I thought we were going to wait for Grayson," said Damian, as Tim put the disc into the DVD player.
"We are, I'm just putting it in now," said Tim.
"So what's so great about this movie, anyway?" asked Damian. "And why do you like it? Isn't it for little kids?"
"No, not exactly," said Tim. "It's more of a 'family' movie than a 'kid's' movie. All Disney movies are aimed at people of all ages. That's why they hold up so well all these years later."
"But it's a cartoon."
"So? It's still really, really good!" Tim explained. "It's about realizing your own potential and embracing your destiny. And it's about life and death, and acceptance and moving on, and…it's just really good, OK?"
"Destiny?" asked Damian. Evidently that word had stuck out to him.
"Yeah," said Tim. "You'll probably be able to relate to it."
"LION KING TIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!" came a disgustingly cheerful voice.
"Hey, you're here!" said Tim, high-fiving his older brother.
"Good evening, Grayson," said Damian, formally.
"Hi D," said Dick, ruffling Damian's hair. "You're going to like this movie, I know it."
"Yes, yes, Drake here has been singing its praises all night. Even though I told him it's inaccurate."
"Oh please," said Dick, rolling his eyes. "We all know animals can't talk, OK?"
"I think he meant more on how they're portrayed," said Tim. "Like…you know, lions usually have more than one cub…they DON'T have green eyes like Nala…"
"They would never befriend a hornbill, a meerkat…and warthogs aren't red!" Damian finished.
"Actually, they are," said Tim, grabbing the DVD case from Damian. "When they roll around in the dust, they do become kinda orangey-red."
"Yeah, well, mandrills don't have tails!" Damian shot back.
"What's he talking about?" asked Dick.
"Rafiki's a mandrill, and mandrills don't have tails," Tim explained.
"OK, let's just watch this thing," said Tim, pressing MENU and then selecting PLAY MOVIE.
After about 15 minutes into the film, Damian's dog, Titus, came up to them, and started sniffing Tim's ankles.
"Holy shit, when did you get a dog?" he asked.
"Father got him for me a while ago," Damian said. "His name's Titus."
"Aww, he's so big and floppy," Dick said, rubbing the dog's head.
"Hello, Titus! Hello puppy!" said Tim, talking affectionately to the Great Dane.
"Hey, huppity-up! Up!" said Dick, patting the couch. Titus hopped right up and stepped on Dick's thighs "HO! OK, OK…lie down…lie down!" he said. Titus was basically just standing with his hind feet on Dick's thighs, and his front paws on Tim's.
"Titus, lie down!" ordered Damian. The dog turned around to face Damian, still walking on Dick and Tim, who coughed as their abdomens were crushed by the canine. Finally he lay down. However, his rear end was now on Tim's lap and his front legs were draped across Dick's lap.
"Ha ha ha," Tim chuckled, petting the dog's butt. "Oh my gosh, he's huge."
"He's got to weigh more than you, huh Damian?" asked Dick. Damian shrugged.
"Probably. I'm 75, he's probably like…100-something," said the 10-year-old, reaching over to pet his dog. "Can we rewind this? I missed the last couple of lines."
"Yeah…hang on…" Tim choked out, desperately reaching for the remote. "Titus…MOVE!" he struggled to say. "Oh, never mind. I got it."
They backed the movie up, giving Damian another chance to see Simba get scolded by Mufasa. This particular scene hit kind-of close to home for the young Robin, but he made no outward indication of it.
"I must say, this movie does have merit," Damian said arrogantly, after the song sequence "Be Prepared" finished.
"You ain't seen nothing yet," muttered Tim. He knew the stampede scene was next, and he was curious to see how Damian would react to THAT.
The three boys were silent throughout the entire sequence. Tim and Dick both had emotional connections with it, since both of them had lost their fathers at the hands of evil. But Damian's eyes were studious, as if he was carefully observing and absorbing every little detail of the scene.
"Tt. This is just Hamlet," he sneered. "This is just Hamlet with animals and songs."
"Duh," said Dick. "Everyone knows that. Just watch it, you don't have to criticize every little thing."
"Shh," said Tim. Simba was just starting to cry and walk back to his dead father.
Damian inhaled slowly as Scar told his nephew that the king's death was his fault, and convinced him to run away.
"That is SO stupid!" he stated. "Why would he believe that? HOW was he responsible? Scar was the one who TOLD him to go down there and wait for him! Why would he believe that it was HIS fault?"
"SHUT UP!" hissed Dick. "He's been traumatized! He can't think straight!"
"Tt. Gullible bitch." muttered Damian.
Damian sat through the movie quietly and observantly, up until Timon and Pumbaa hit the scene.
"Alright, this is more than I can stomach," he said, getting up.
"Hey, sit down!" said Dick. "You've got to watch the whole thing, not just the epic parts."
Damian just grumbled aloud and returned to his seat. "This is SO stupid!"
Squirming and NOT laughing throughout the entire "Hakuna Matata" sequence, Damian thought this movie was going to poison his mind irreparably, but he remained in his seat. Finally when Simba and Nala got in a fight and Simba was pacing out in the grass, Damian got interested again.
"Oh my gosh," he groaned. "So the mandrill is some kind of like…Shaman-Guru spirit guide, now?" This time Dick and Tim said nothing. They were sick of telling Damian to shut up every time he made a condescending remark about the movie. Realizing that they were deliberately ignoring him, Damian went back to watching the film.
"The music is at least culturally accurate," he stated, as Lebo M's chanting emanated from the speakers as Simba chased Rafiki through the tunnel of twisted trees and vines.
The next scene really had Damian intrigued; the scene where Simba saw Mufasa in the clouds, and Mufasa told him that he must return to Pride Rock and take his rightful place as king. THAT scene really spoke to Damian. He was almost sorry when it was over and Rafiki opened his big, retarded mouth again.
Fortunately, there was only one more stupid scene with Timon and Pumbaa before things got epic again (at least until the hula-dance scene, but he didn't know that was coming). Damian looked at the screen, seeing as Simba saw the dry, desolate Pride Lands. It reminded him a little bit of Gotham; something that had been destroyed by evil, but still had potential to be saved.
"HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!" roared Dick and Tim during the hula scene. It lasted less than a minute but their laughter seemed to go on forever. It was so boisterous that it startled Titus and he got up off of their legs and left the room.
"Ah, that's one of my favorite parts," said Dick.
"I know, right?" said Tim.
"Shh," said Damian, his eyes not moving from the screen as Sarabi calmly stood up to Scar.
Damian couldn't help but think what he would do if he were in that situation. If his father had been murdered and some evil person had usurped his position. It was almost like what had happened during the Battle for the Cowl, when Jason had briefly become the Batman. Only his reign hadn't lasted nearly as long as this movie's villain.
What would he do if someone murdered Bruce Wayne, and Damian was the only person who could rightfully take his place? Damian surely couldn't do so at age 10, but what if he had no other choice? Would he kill his father's killer? No, he'd sworn not to do that. He was reminded of this when Scar said "You wouldn't kill your own uncle…?" and Simba replied "No, Scar. I'm not like you."
The final fight scene really entertained Damian. He was just sorry it was over so fast.
"That's what I would do," he said "Flip him over the cliff." Then he was a little disappointed that Scar was still alive. "Aw, come on! How is he not dead?" he whined.
"Hang on, you'll see," said Dick. Within a few seconds Damian saw that Scar was eaten alive by the hyenas.
"That was awesome," said Damian.
The rest of the movie went by within a few short minutes, and then it was over.
"So, what'd you think?" asked Tim, pressing STOP and then turning off the TV.
"Uh, it was pretty good," Damian admitted. "Definitely not a 'kid's' movie."
"See? I told you you'd like it," said Dick, once again ruffling his little brother's hair.
"I'm glad we watched that. I hadn't seen it in a while," said Tim, standing up and stretching.
"Me too," said Dick. "You should probably get to bed, D."
"I don't have to take orders from you, anymore!" Damian retorted.
"I wasn't ordering you, I was just making a suggestion!" Dick defended himself.
"What's all the fighting about?" came Bruce's voice. He was just coming into the TV room, buttoning up a white collared shirt.
"Ah, Damian doesn't want to go to bed," said Dick.
"I'll take it from here, Dick," said Bruce, with a chuckle. "Damian, go brush your teeth and get ready for bed." Damian inhaled sharply, thinking of refusing, but then he looked back at his brothers, who were looking at him smugly. He sighed and said
Once the child was out of the room, Bruce looked down at the table and saw the DVD case.
"So you watched The Lion King?" he asked. Dick nodded. "And what'd he think?"
"I think he liked it more than he let on," said Tim. "We can all relate to it. I think he was just surprised by how MUCH he could."
"Yes, it's not easy to lose a parent," said Bruce, setting the DVD case back down onto the table. "You know, I've never even really tucked him in before." Dick and Tim smiled at this.
"First time for everything, right big guy?" said Dick. Bruce smiled.
After Tim and Dick left, Bruce went upstairs to bid his son goodnight. He found Damian not on his little one-person bed with the cylindrical pillow, but on the humongous queen-sized canopy bed that was also in the room. (The bed was already in there, but when Damian began living at the manor he insisted on having his small bed. He insisted sleeping on his back was good for his body's discipline. But since he got the dog, he had started sleeping in the actual bed.) Titus was up on the bed with him, and began thumping his tail excitedly when Bruce entered.
"I'm sorry I had to send you home early," said Bruce. "But some things are just too dangerous."
"I know. It's OK," said Damian. He didn't say anything, but he was thinking about the scene in which Simba said to Mufasa "But you're not scared of anything." and Mufasa said "I was today."
"I don't want to put you in certain situations…until you're a little more experienced," Bruce said. Damian nodded, because he knew what Bruce really meant was
"Yes. I thought I might lose you."
"It's alright, Father. I understand." Bruce smiled and put his hand on Damian's shoulder.
" 'night, Titus," Bruce added, rubbing the dog's head.
After he turned out the light and left the room, Damian lay back on his pillows and sighed.
Perhaps I can benefit from watching Disney movies after all…
Please review, thanks.