What Am I?
And I'm back (finally) with another update! I know it's been forever. Hopefully the next one will be faster, but I was working on a lot of my newer stories and forgot about this. Oh well, I'm updating now. I'm not very happy about how this chapter turned out, but... *shrugs*
A few of you have asked me why Dick is younger than the others, and why Jason is Red Hood when he's eleven. This is a REVERSE AGE fic, meaning that Dick is the youngest, then Jason, then Tim, then Damian. As for why Jason is Red Hood, it's because I couldn't think of what else to call him. If any of you come up with something please tell me. Now, on with the show!
I own nothing.
Damian sighed, looking up at the monitor in front of him. Kestrel was asleep, curled up in a cot off to one side of the Batcave, and the thirteen year old hero was taking the chance to try and find the identity of their mysterious guest. He knew the boy was eight, and would have disappeared about two years ago. In Gotham, of course, the list of vanished six year olds was quite long, but Kestrel had also said he had grown up in a circus. When Damian added that to the search, there was only one possibility. Richard John 'Dick' Grayson. His parents had died soon before his disappearance, and he had been placed in a juvenile detention facility. Nightwing clenched his hands into fists. What asshole had decided to put an innocent six year old in juvie? He really hated Gotham at times.
The boy had vanished without a trace two weeks into his stay. If he remembered correctly, Bruce had actually been planning to adopt the child as his ward. If Damian was right and this boy was Kestrel, if the adoption had come just a few days earlier it would have saved many lives. He shrugged. Nothing could be done to change that now. However, the boy could still have a chance at a good life. He was distracted from this thought by a soft whimper. Turning, he saw Kestrel's slight form curled into a tight ball underneath the sheets.
Damian cursed under his breath. He found he liked the kid, but he had absolutely no experience with children. He left Tim and Jason to Bruce and Alfred, but neither of the adults were available at the moment, so he would just have to figure it out on his own. Crossing the room, he sat beside the sleeping boy.
"Kestrel. Kestrel, wake up."
"N-no more. Please..." The soft voice came out as a whimper. Damian had no clue what the child was dreaming about, but it couldn't be good.
"Kestrel. It`s all right, just wake up."
He had absolutely no idea what he was doing. Maybe avoiding everyone in the Manor who was younger than him hadn't been such a good idea... Luckily for him, Kestrel suddenly sat bolt upright with a single agonized scream. Spinning around, the eight year old noticed him and threw himself at the teen, sobbing. Damian, caught off guard, only just managed to catch the boy before they both fell over.
"It`s all right. Everything`s fine."
"They found me, and they, they..."
"It wasn`t real, you`re safe here, they can`t get you."
He didn't know what he was doing at all. He really needed more practise dealing with children. Whatever he was doing seemed to be working, however. Kestrel's sobs turned into ragged gasps as he slowly relaxed. They stayed like that for at least half an hour before the eight year old pulled back, quickly wiping away the remnants of tears with one hand. Looking up, he noticed the monitor. It was still showing the results of the search, and Kestrel smiled softly as he read it.
"So you figured it out, then."
He didn't wait for a reply, reaching up and tugging off the mask that had hidden most of his face. His eyes were the most incredible shade of blue Damian had ever seen. The exact same blue as Dick Grayson's eyes.
"So I was right."
Dick smirked at him, then leaned against the older boy's chest, closing his eyes. Damian moved to stand but the boy let out a soft protest, and he gave up. It was just impossible to say no to that kid! Shifting to a more comfortable position, the thirteen year old closed his eyes as well, and the two boys fell asleep.
They were still there when Alfred came down a few hours later.
The butler smiled. It was wonderful to see Damian relax, even though he still didn't do it when other people were around. However, the older man knew the young hero would hate it if he knew anyone had seen him like this, so he headed back upstairs. He could prepare everything for the day ahead later.
Dick yawned. He smiled slightly as he remembered his dream. He had been rescued, by Nightwing no less, and spent the night in the Batcave. It had been a good dream, but that was all it was. He was still trapped with the Owls. At least, that was what he thought until he woke up fully and looked around. He was in the Batcave, which meant it wasn`t a dream! Just then, of course, he heard the elevator.
"Shit! Dami, wake up! Someone's coming!"
The older boy shot upright, quickly jumping off the cot and running to the monitor, hands flying across the keyboard and powering off the search. Dick had forgotten about that. Reaching off to one side, he grabbed his mask from where he had dropped it the night before, covering his face with it once again. By the time the door opened and Bruce stepped in, it looked like Damian had been sitting in the computer chair all night, while Kestrel sat cross-legged on the floor nearby.
The man ignored Dick`s friendly greeting, instead turning to Damian. The eight year old pouted slightly, and the older boy struggled to hide his smile.
"You know, ignoring me is kind of juvenile! I thought I was supposed to be the juvenile one!"
"Ah come on Damian, you know it's true!"
"I am not going to say anything."
"So I'm right."
Damian smirked slightly. That was all the answer Dick needed.
"Are you going to tell him? "
"Tell me what?"
The eight year old looked at Bruce innocently. "Oh, nothing..."
Damian looked at him. "You're going to have to tell him at some point. It's either that or spend the rest of your life in jail."
"Why Damian, I thought we were on better terms than that!"
"Just tell him."
"Tell who what?"
The three people in the room looked up as Tim and Jason walked in.
"Tell Bruce my ID,` Dick responded as calmly as if he was mentioning what he wanted for breakfast.
"Soo, what is it?"
"You guys don`t really grasp the concept of a secret identity, do you?"
"Come on Dami! I was having fun!"
"Grayson?" Tim asked at the exact same time Jason asked, "Dami?"
Both the other boys in the room glared daggers at each other, then the ex-assassin sighed and tugged off his mask, once again revealing his stunning blue eyes.
"Dick Grayson, former circus acrobat, at your service." He bowed neatly.
Jason smirked. "Well, that answers one question, but still..."he turned to his oldest brother. "Dami?"
Yeah, done! Okay, so, nothing to say here. Until next time, and