dedication: to Ellaine, WHO IS A CUTIE.
notes: I THINK I'M FUNNY, OKAY.
title: show you the ropes, kid
summary: "You're not stuffing, today." — Damian/Steph.
Damian was staring at her.
(This should have been Steph's first clue that there was something seriously wrong with this picture.)
It was the wee shitty hours of the morning on a Saturday, when everything sane was dead and silent. Of course, Wayne Manor was a bustle of activity; the children came frolicking from Gotham's corners to settle in for a Family Meeting. Bruce was brooding in a corner; Dick was in a frilly pink apron helping Alfred with a nearly-smiling Cass at his elbow; Tim was too bright-eyed chipper for this time of day, and there was Jason making slutty bedroom eyes at a really unimpressed Barbara.
It was so way too early for this.
"You're not stuffing today."
Stephanie choked on her cornflakes.
"What?!" she sputtered.
Yeah, definitely too early for this.
Damian squinted in her general direction. His scrutiny was unnerving, and Steph's spoon clattered loudly against her bowl. But there was nothing sensible about eating when Damian Wayne was looking at you like you were a maybe-sentient glob of half-digested porridge.
(God damn it, she just wanted to eat some freakin' cereal. Was that so much to ask?!)
"You're smaller than yesterday, Brown," he said. "So you are not stuffing?"
Stephanie was reverently glad that the rest of her adopted family was far too busy with figuring out how to breakfast to bother with listening to what two of their youngest were on about.
(This was, of course, excluding Cass. But then, Cass never missed anything, and if Stephanie knew anything from the tiny smirk on her friend's face, she was going to get the quietest ribbing of her life later.)
"Damian, remember when we talked about boundaries?"
Damian blinked easily. "No."
Stephanie spluttered everywhere again. It was very unattractive.
"Close your mouth, Brown, it is doing nothing for you."
Damian doesn't understand ordinary interaction, Steph reminded herself to keep from wrapping her fingers around his throat and shaking him until some sense entered his stupid fourteen-year-old head. Shouldn't he have been past this by now, or whatever?
"I will sic Alfred on you," she said levelly.
"Alfred likes me more."
"Are you actually going there with me right now, kid?"
Damian bristled. "I am not a child."
To prove this, he stole her toast.
(Which, excuse you, only prove her point.)
"Stealing people's food is a terrible thing to do, Damian," Steph said.
"Your face is a terrible thing to do," Damian replied, and promptly bit into said toast.
"That—oh my god, that doesn't even make sense. And you have jam on your face," Steph sighed. "Seriously, you're like a little kid—c'mere, you idiot."
"No, Brown, you—don't touch me, you're diseased—"
Steph made a VERY IRRITATED SOUND AT THE BACK OF HER THROAT, IN CAPITALS BECAUSE SHE WAS VERY IRRITATED. VERY VERY IRRITATED. HE PROBABLY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT WORD MEANT.
(How was this her life?)
He ducked down, maneuvering his body—his very large body, he was four inches taller than Dick on a bad day and still growing—out of the flight path of her spoonful of soggy frosted flakes.
It was very unfair.
"WHAT KIND OF TEENAGER ARE YOU?! Steph shouted after him. "AND I DON'T STUFF! GET BACK HERE, I'M GONNA KILL YOU, DAMIAN—!"
He didn't even have the decency to reply.