A/N: "What, Batman? Where's the Naruto?" If this is your reaction, then please visit my profile page for an explanation. For the rest of you that are still fans of Batman, I'm happy to share my new fandom with you!
Without further ado, please enjoy...
Fall With Me
Robin's heavy scowl darkened his features significantly, the irritation flooding through him obvious in the way his movements jerked as he drew up his hood for protection from the rain that had been plaguing the city for the past three days. Crouched beside a dilapidated gargoyle, he cracked his knuckles by pressing the backs of his fingers into the stone at his feet. Off in the distance, he could hear gunshots but he ignored them, too frustrated with the brush off he'd received from his father a mere three hours ago to even begin to care.
And wasn't that just the problem to begin with? He didn't care about the people he saved. And that was apparently not acceptable to Batman. Just saving people wasn't enough; he needed to feel for them and their suffering. Saying that he hardly called having your store robbed "suffering" was not the proper response.
"Tt." Damian ground his teeth. Bruce had told him that until he figured out the importance of caring, he wasn't welcome on patrol. He couldn't trust someone who thought nothing of others. As if he were the staple of trust and caring. Damian slammed a fist into the statue beside him, unable to enjoy the feel of the weak rock crumbling beneath his power like he normally would.
Here he sat, brooding sulkily in the dirty Gotham rain, contemplating feelings. "Ridiculous," he muttered, reaching for his utility belt beneath his cape and grabbing a grappling hook. He aimed it upward for an adjacent structure even as he took a leap off the building, breath momentarily catching as the force of the wind stole it away in a rush.
"Yo, Robin! What's up?" Damian jerked in surprise and squeezed the trigger of the hook reflexively, ruining his chance to actually attach to the next roof and starting an unintentional free fall. "Whoops! Gotcha!" The boy's stomach flipped from the sudden change of direction as a strong arm wrapped around his waist and they swung up toward another rooftop.
"Gra—Nightwing! What the hell do you think you are doing?" They continued swinging until they reached the top of one of the taller skyscrapers, and he shoved away from his former mentor irritably once they touched down, glaring angrily at the grinning man.
"Looks like I just saved your lucky little butt." Dick smiled, utterly unfazed by the look of death he was currently receiving.
"I would not have required saving if you had not snuck up on me to begin with!" Robin huffed as he began to retract his failed line.
"Normally I wouldn't be able to sneak up on you," Dick retorted, humming innocently and easily ducking a halfheartedly thrown batarang.
Damian didn't bother to grace that comment with words, unable to argue because any other day, that would have been true. But tonight he'd been…distracted. Belatedly, he realized that Nightwing had landed them under a large canopy, sheltering them from the downpour, and he pushed his hood back, shaking his head to get rid of the static that the fabric dragged through it. "What are you doing here anyway? Shouldn't you be in Blüdhaven?"
Plopping down with his legs crossed comfortably, Dick's laughing smile softened into something a little gentler as he watched the boy's back. "I received a cryptic message from Alfred, something like just because some mammals fly, it doesn't mean they get along well with birds."
Damian scoffed at the unimaginative metaphor. "Pennyworth was being meddlesome. Your presence here is unnecessary."
"Uh huh." The sound was skeptical and Damian felt his eyebrow twitch, body begging for a caustic reply. He stiffened for a brief moment when a large hand brushed lightly through his hair, but settled when it started to massage directly beneath his ears, unable to resist the soothing sensation despite his need to be perpetually distant. "Tell me?"
The question was soft-spoken and non-invasive, the only kind Damian typically responded to without derision. But of course, Dick knew that, had banked on it, and won his bet the next moment when it drew a bone-deep sigh from the young hero.
"Father banned me from patrol and missions until he feels he can trust me." Unwittingly, he leaned harder into the fingers working his neck, and Dick complied with the silent request to press stronger.
"Ah." Trust was a tricky thing for Damian, both desiring it but not wanting to grant it. Dick was generally a talkative person, but he had worked with Damian long enough to know when he should be silent. Now was definitely one of those times, with the boy relaxing back against him and openly speaking, if only a little.
The rain poured down around them, and the splashing of car tires and the shouts of people running home drifted up from the streets below. A large bolt of lightening lit up the sky for a heartbeat before it was followed by a rumbling crash of thunder that shook the very foundations of Gotham. All in all, a typical rainy night.
Dick's fingers slowed their ministrations until he was just resting his hand against warm, slightly damp skin. With one last squeeze, he stood up, stretching his arms back over his head with a groan. Robin looked up at him with a shielded expression, and Nightwing simply grinned back. "Well, I could always use some help on patrol myself. It's been a while since I made rounds in this city. Refresh my memory?" He extended his hand out to the still seated boy, wisely not remarking on the look of surprise and suspicion that fleetingly crossed his features.
Robin's lips thinned out in contemplation before he carefully took Nightwing's hand. His caution was warranted as the next moment, he was dragged off his feet, his arms tugged over broad shoulders, and Dick dove backwards off the building with a laugh, one arm wrapped around his former partner's middle.
"You idiot!" Damian yelled, his hands gripping tightly about Dick's neck. "What are you thinking?"
Dick chuckled, closing the gap and pulling them snugly together, even as his free hand found a waiting line he'd set earlier that night. "Don't you trust me?"
The surge of adrenaline from the unexpected fall had pulled color into Damian's cheeks and he growled out, "I don't trust anyone."
Deep laughter emerged from Nightwing's mouth and Damian could almost feel it echoing in his chest. "Hah! Right, let me rephrase. Do you distrust me less than anyone else?"
Lips parting, Robin tried to think of something sarcastic to say, but the only thing that came out was honest. "Yes."
Dick smiled. "Then just…fall with me, Damian."