An Abusive Relationship
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.
Author's Note: This story was actually a dream I had last night. I dreamed that I was reading an issue of Streets of Gotham, and that THIS story took place in it. And then I was disappointed when I woke up and realized that it was just a dream. As for the title, pun DEFINITELY intended.
It was a cloudy and chilly day in Gotham City. Damian Wayne was in a bad mood because his father had been excluding him from patrol lately, so he decided to wander the streets alone one afternoon. He was not in costume, mainly because he didn't want to be noticed as Robin.
He grumpily stomped through the puddle-filled alleys. He wasn't even sure where he was going, but before he knew it, he wound up behind St. Aden's Orphanage.
No one was out in the play lot, and Damian's heart sank when he realized that he must have instinctively come here to visit his friend Colin, because he missed him. Now that he was here and Colin wasn't, it made the young Robin even angrier.
He turned around and kicked a plastic garbage can. It didn't even move, because it was full and designed to absorb impact. Frustrated that he couldn't even do damage to an inanimate object, Damian picked up a brick and chucked it at a random window. It crashed right through the glass, and only then did Damian realize that he'd just committed an act of vandalism for no reason.
Shit, he thought. Why did I do that?
"Damian?" came a young voice.
"Colin," said Damian.
"What are you doing here?" asked the redhead.
"Um, just throwing bricks at windows," Damian shrugged. "How come you're not inside?"
"I was bored. Thought I'd take a walk, see if any crimes were being committed," said Colin.
"Yeah," said Damian. "I didn't see anything on my way over here." At this, Colin slowly produced a closed-mouthed smile. "What?" growled Damian.
"Did you come all the way down here just to see me?" he asked. Damian frowned and got defensive, turning his back to his friend.
"So what if I did? I was bored!" he said. But Colin kept grinning. He knew that was just Damian's way; he would lash out and say mean things, but only to conceal his embarrassment of feelings of friendship and kindness. No matter how cruel his words were, Damian's actions always spoke louder.
"I really love my bike," said Colin. "I only use it at night, though. And only a couple nights a week, 'cause I don't want too many people recognizing me."
"Yes, well, that's one thing you're doing right," Damian muttered. For a few seconds, neither of them said anything.
"You want to fight?" asked Colin.
"Spar? You know, practice," said Colin. Damian smirked at this.
"Always," he said, getting into a fighting stance and putting his fists up.
"Hope you don't mind fighting someone twice your size," said Colin, bulking up into Abuse.
"I wouldn't have it any other way," said Damian. The two kids hopped around and threw a few punches. Damian dodged most of Abuse's, and the ones that Damian landed didn't do much damage to the redhead.
Damian wouldn't admit it, but he really enjoyed this. He'd never had a friend his own age before. Never had someone to play with. And while the young Wayne liked to act all grown-up and look down on childish activities, he couldn't outright deny the need he had for someone his own age to spend time with and talk to about kid stuff.
Unfortunately, while thinking this, Damian became distracted and left himself open to an attack. Abuse slugged him right in the mouth, busting open his lower lip.
"OW!" yelled Damian, quickly grabbing his face and turning around.
"Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry!" cried Abuse, shrinking down and turning back into Colin. "Are you OK?"
"DAMN IT!" Damian screamed again. "ARGHH! FUCK! DON'T YOU KNOW HOW HARD YOUR FISTS ARE?" Normally Damian didn't like to show his pain, but for some reason he felt comfortable enough around Colin to admit how hurt he was.
"I'm sorry, Damian!" said Colin, putting his hand on his friend's shoulder. "Are you bleeding? Let me look at it."
"No! Don't touch me!" snarled Damian, yanking his shoulder out of Colin's grasp and stomping over towards a brick wall to lean his forehead against. He just needed a minute to let the pain subside, then he'd get back to the fight. There was no need for Colin to see his tears.
"I'm sorry," whimpered Colin. "I wasn't thinking. I…I just thought…you'd block it or something. I didn't know it would hurt you so much." Damian remained silent and facing away. Colin's eyes started to glaze over and his voice began to shake. "I wish there was something I could do, Damian…"
Damian squeezed his eyes shut and held his breath in a desperate attempt to ride out the pain until he could face Colin again. He lifted his hand up to touch his swollen bottom lip, only to bring it back down with drops of blood on his fingers.
"If there's anything I can do, please tell me," said Colin. "Gosh, I wish I could share your pain." Damian lifted his head up for a moment, considering his options. Listening to his friend cry and sniff, and openly feel so guilty for what he had accidentally done sent a tingly feeling through Damian's chest.
Colin wiped his tears and put his hand on Damian's shoulder again. "I wish I could feel your pain, too…"
Suddenly, without warning, Damian turned around and kissed Colin on the lips, for just a second. He pulled away, and opened his eyes. There was a little bit of his blood on Colin's lips now.
"Is that enough?" asked Damian, turning around again. Shit! Why the hell did I do that? Now what? Am I in love with him or something?
Colin sniffed back the last of his tears and wiped his nose on his sleeve.
"What do you want to do now?" he asked. Damian shrugged, but still wouldn't look at him.
"I don't know. Want to go for a walk or something?" But before Colin could answer, it started to rain.
"Uh, maybe another time," he said. "You could come hang out in my room for a bit if you want."
"Won't you get in trouble?" asked Damian.
"Not if we don't get caught," said Colin. "Come on, we'll sneak in through the window on the fire escape. I mean, that's how I come and go at night as Abuse."
"OK," said Damian, holding his jacket sleeve up to his lip to absorb the blood. Colin took Damian's free hand and led him around to the side of the orphanage, and up the fire escape.
"Here we are," said Colin, quietly lifting up the window to his room. He let Damian crawl in first, then followed. Damian looked around the cramped room. It looked more like a storage closet than a bedroom. Barely enough room for a bed and a dresser. He noticed Colin's trench coat and brass knuckled on a chair beside the door, and a dirty old teddy bear on his bed.
"Tt. You sleep with a teddy bear?" he scoffed condescendingly.
"Shut up!" said Colin, snatching the bear away from him. "It's important to me." Damian immediately felt guilty for making fun of his friend. Guilt was not a feeling he was accustomed to.
"Sorry," he said. "I don't have anything like that, so I wouldn't understand."
"You don't have any stuffed animals?"
"No. Not my thing," said Damian. "I have a dog, though."
"Really?" asked Colin.
"Yeah. My father got me a Great Dane a few months ago. He's taller than me, it's kinda weird."
"What's his name?"
"Titus," said Damian. Colin giggled, because that wasn't a very common name for a dog. He sat down on his bed, set the teddy bear down on his nightstand and peeled back the covers.
"You want to lie down for a bit?"
Damian answered by taking off his black and yellow-striped jacket, and lying down next to his friend.
"Thanks," he said softly. "I'll stay here until the rain stops, then I'll go home."
"OK," said Colin. After a moment of awkward silence, he asked, "How's your lip?"
"It's fine," said Damian. "I'm not mad at you, by the way. I was just, you know, pissed because it hurt so much."
"It's OK. You had every right to yell at me," said Colin.
Damian looked into the redhead's olive-green eyes and studied him for a minute.
"Why did you kiss me?" asked Colin. Damian looked away.
"I don't know…" he mumbled. "You were crying and talking about how you wanted to 'share my pain' and all that bullshit. I guess I felt…"
Colin smiled at Damian innocently.
"Stop smiling at me like that!" Damian said with an uncontrollable smile. He wanted nothing more than to scowl at the orphan and punch him in the face, but he just couldn't. "Seriously, stop it."
"Why?" asked Colin.
"Because you-" Damian couldn't really think of an answer. "Because it makes me feel weird." Colin only smiled wider and lay his head down into his pillow, so that the right half of his face was concealed and only one eye and half of his grin were peeking at Damian.
"I feel weird when I'm with you, too, Damian," said Colin. "But not in a bad way."
"Yeah, yeah…shut up," muttered Damian, leaning in to kiss him again. "So what's the deal with us, anyway? Are we gay for each other or something?"
"I guess so," said Colin. "What does it matter?"
"It doesn't," said Damian. "I just hope…" he trailed off, looking at the drops hitting the window.
"I just hope the rain doesn't stop."
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