Upon Damian’s arrival to the manor and within his run as Robin, he can agree that he was slightly cold and only engaged in touch if it were to battles. Since then he has made his own progress and adjusted to being the so called ‘Baby’ of the family as the media has pinned it. But the greatest adjustment he has had to make has been how his family does not find him to be a skilled warrior but some kind of pliable child to hold or throw or even worse… cuddle.
Damian did not understand the human instinct that if a family member that was younger was around then you should pull them into your lap. It made no sense whatsoever yet it occurred all the time and Damian seems to be helpless to stop it. He doesn’t even realize it occurs until it is too late. That is how serious this issue has become.
For instance, Richard Grayson in a bumbling sentimental buffoon who lacks personal space. Somehow Damian has let his admiration for Grayson dull his senses and let down his guard enough not only as Damian Wayne but as Robin to allow the man to humiliate him.
Damian did not even think twice as the four ‘brothers’ stopped at some ridiculous food trucks when Grayson sat down and looped an arm around his waist to pull him onto his lap. As if it was second nature, Damian did not even fight it. Instead all the boy did was complain about Grayson’s sloppy taco that nearly fell all onto the Robin costume.
“Awe, how sweet,” the teenage girl that worked the food truck said, “My little sister sits in my lap too.”
It was as if Damian suddenly noticed what he was doing and where he was sitting. As if Todd and Drake finally realized it too. Damian pushed himself away with disgust at such the childish thing that he had been caught doing. Something that he apparently allowed enough to not even realize. That could not be allowed.
“I will not-” Damian began to protest.
“Oh shut up, Rob,” Nightwing grinned before easily pulling back the younger boy easily into his lap. Damian -as much as he’d hate to admit it- did not protest nearly as much as wishes he did.
Damian can understand that Grayson is eluded to such childish tendencies that Damian sometimes will allow it (As Grayson needs the comfort, not Damian) , but no longer as Robin or in front of the media. But Damian was not expecting Father to succumb to such a childish notion as sitting their child in their lap- as if Damian is incapable of finding his own chair. Still, Damian supposed it was his own fault as he ran downstairs after hearing from a stolen comm that Superman was bringing his tired father home after being away for nearly three weeks.
“You should be asleep,” Father told Damian as he stood in the dining area with Pennyworth and the alien stood over painkillers, water, and JLA papers and foreign technology. Father must’ve been exhausted to do such private work outside of the cave.
“So should you. This can wait till morning,” Kent nodded.
“Master Damian, how did you even-” Pennyworth rambled off as Damian held up the comm that the boy had linked to hear of any communication that happened between his father and vigilantes in Gotham. Father stared at Pennyworth who glared back down at the man, “I did not raise him to sneak highly intelligent technology out of a very secure place.”
“You’re injured father,” Damian frowned before glaring at the alien, “How did you allow this to happen?”
“Damian,” His father cut him off, “Come here. I could use your expertise.”
Damian does not ignore it as he trotted over to his father’s side like a dutiful solidor. He goes to look over the foreign weaponry that the Justice League clearly cannot identify when his father pulls him into his lap. Damian freezes at the touch and squirms slightly.
“Father,” Damian said, “I’m afraid I do not recognize any of this.”
Father runs his hands through Damian’s hair. His make up is still slightly prominent on his face along with some faded redness from past blood along the white muscle shirt. He pulls Damian against him slightly as if he were trying to make Damian become absorbed. He stopped enough to no longer be squishing his son but was clearly not letting him go. Damian still found the sentiment of sitting on his father’s lap useless but the man was exhausted, injured, but determined to see this case through. The Batman gestured for Clark to take a seat near them.
“Alfred, thank you very much but Clark and I will be fine to look over this,” Father told Pennyworth, “I have what I need.”
Pennyworth sighed but resigned himself, “I trust you to watch over your father, Master Damian.”
Damian nodded to the elder man as he left. Damian sat quietly, interjecting every so often on the tactics they planned to use against the enemy but ultimately listened to his father and comrade chat.
“Believe it or not, Bruce,” Superman frowned, “I have my own son I would like to hold tonight.”
Damian feels slight shame at being called to life again by America’s favorite hero. Father must feel it too as he loosens the grip slightly only to tighten it again when Damian goes to move.
“Of course,” Father nodded, “We’ve made sufficient work tonight.”
Damian has made sure that he no longer is in the position to be pulled into somebody’s lap unless it was in private and absolutely necessary for the other person’s benefit. That being said, there was no avoiding his sister who came home to visit. Cassandra was an enigma that Damian was intrigued to learn from. Little did he know that the dangerous girl was just a cuddler, similar to Grayson.
It happened quickly and quietly before Damian could even object the touch. He had begrudgingly agreed to Grayson’s ‘movie night’ that Todd chose some gory low budget movie for. She pulled him up easily and placed him in her lap.
“I do not see the use for this,” He told her with crossed arms as he kicked about but knew it was no use as she held him in place in front of the whole family. Damn Todd’s smug grin.
“I want too,” She answered plainly.
Todd was obnoxious. Obnoxious and large as he liked to remind the family of all the time. Still the man was useful on stakeouts as Damian can admit though many don’t realize how meticulous and long stakeouts can take. Todd can be as distant and slow and he can be rash and reckless. He waits long and hard on the rooftop while Robin kicked around the gravel and played along the ledge doing flips and handstands as if he was a child- just because he was that bored.
“Would you stop doing that?” Todd glared at the boy.
Damian flipped back to his feet quickly, “What are we doing?”
“Waiting,” Todd snapped, “Drug lords aren’t stupid. They have to make a living. No one is stupid about money. Like those kids right there are running some cons on some pigs.”
“Shouldn’t we be stopping them then?” Damian snapped.
“No,” Todd shook his head, “Like I said they are smart. They’re taking enough to not get caught. See?”
Damian frowned as he squinted afar. He even tried to use his binoculars from his belt to get a better look but he couldn’t guide it right. There were so many cons, street kids, and dirty cops to get a proper look.
“I can’t find it,” Damian admitted. Todd looked like he wanted the besmirch him but thought better of it. Instead he did something worse, he pulled Robin over by the belt and sat him in his lap. Damian was about to behead the man when he realized they were sat on a ledge and he’d be risking his own well being aswell.
“Just watch squirt. It’ll be easier to point it out to you this way,” Todd grinned before putting his own binoculars on the boy and guiding his head.
“There’s some kids there, working that cop while the little on goes through the car. But see how they’re just taking enough to not even be noticeable. To not even be warranted. It’s smart. Or that hooker, she’s not actually a hooker. See she’s trickin’ the pimps and pocketing their money while they try to get her under their payroll,” Todd explained as he rested his head on Damian’s. Damian could see the saviness taking over.
“If all these people are smart then why are they still poor?” Damian frowned, “Why do they have to do these things? Why do other people have to do worse things for money?”
Todd ruffled his hair and Damian didn’t bite off his hand for once. He squirmed a little, nearly slipping but Todd held tight. The younger is sure there is safer places to do this so called ‘bonding time’ than a ledge but it also seemed strangely appropriate for this family.
“Sometimes people aren’t very lucky,” Todd told him, “and it doesn’t matter how smart you are.”
“Are we lucky?” Damian asked Todd. It seemed appropriate. Too many twisted and bitter sweet things happened to this family for all of it to rely on their intelligence.
“We can be,” Todd said, “Come on baby bat. Sit still and wait for some drug lords with me.”
Drake was labeled the apparent babysitter for Damian while Pennyworth tended to Brown and Cain. The three vigilantes had been stalking the flamingo the night before when the man bamboozled them (as Todd said) and had the boat blow causing all three of them to have to seek haven in the chilly river which developed into quite the cold. Brown and Cain had to face it worse with Cain’s floatation had melted from the blast and Brown did not even have one as she preferred to hold snacks amongst her belt instead. Her incompetence being besides the point, Drake had agreed to take Damian instead of the two ill birds that prefer cuddles compared to Damian who was only a brat if you bothered him.
“The meeting will be like ten minutes,” Drake frowned as he forced Damian to sit in the corner with his phone and handheld video game that the Kent suggested. Damian rolled his eyes with a glare in order to be menacing but felt it ruined by a kitten sneeze (as Brown donned it).
The partnering company from Japan cast Damian a glance when they first walk in but ultimately focus on Drake who greeted them in Japanese. Damian knows enough to follow with the conversation usually, but stuffiness of his head and the heaviness in his chest cause him to lose focus multiple times as the two dispute.
Drake excused himself, looking quite exhausted himself. Exhausted with the people who were clearly trying to pull on over on the CO. He did a movement that that meant ‘come here’. Damian rolled his eyes but didn’t argue. Father would not be pleased if Damian made Drake look like a fool in front of the buyers.
Still Damian struggled against Drake slightly when being pulled into his lap and having a hand placed against his head, “Stop it, Drake.”
“You’re shivering while burning up,” Drake sighed, “Thought I told you to bring a blanket.”
Drake sheds his armani suit Jacket before draping it over Damian’s own shoulders which feels oddly pleasant but regretfully embarrassing when Damian realized that even Drake was bigger compared to Damian as the suit jacket acted more as a dress on the boy. A man in japanese muttered something about being ‘unprofessional’.
Drake’s eyes flashed up as he began yelling in Japanese Unprofessional is being unable to come to a consenscie because you refuse to tell me that you just cannot afford what we are selling to save face when Wayne enterprises is willing to cut down their prices in order to have some property. This is a simple thing to be done but you fly here and pull me out of my personal responsibilities to my family.
The imbecile looked shamed at the words. The woman next to him, slightly older, used her own english, “We apologize for not being forthcoming. Pride can come in the way. We apologize for taking you away from your home. We understand responsibilities of family.”
Outright denying that Drake was family seemed foolish to Damian as he nearly laid swaddled in the teen’s lap. He squirmed at the discomfort of being watch but did not make a movement to leave should it ruin the point Drake was attempting to make.
Drake nodded, “Thank you Miss. Nyshauki. Wayne enterprises is willing to work with the limited funds in order to obtain some stake in you company for international purposes. Atleast until you can gather the remaining to pay us back which according to my calculation would only be a year if we worked together.”
The woman repeated the words to her family and colleagues. In the end they all seemed to come to an agreement while Damian shifted slightly to see what this meeting was even about. He shivered still and saw Drake begin messaging Pennyworth about his current state of health. Damian can admit that the warmth was indeed helping a tad and the water Drake forced to him didn’t cause discomfort or a even larger decrease in his current state. Damian still doesn’t quite understand the point of sitting in Drake’s lap but he chooses not to mention it unless is becomes an issue for the time being.
“We agree to this,” she nodded, “We will have our team read over the contract. For now, we rest and regroup on a later date to meet with you when you are not… busy.”
She casted a thoughtful look at Damian that had him ready to jump out and show her who she should be pitying. But Drake sat up, allowing Damian to be on his feet again. The movement caused a cold chill to go throughout his being, one that Drake noticed if the way he tightened his arm around Damian’s shoulder to rub up and down his arm was any indication.
“Thank you,” Drake nodded at the group in their tongue before shaking their hands and watching them exit. His arm remaining around the younger.
“I need coffee before we take you back to Alfred, want anything?” Drake asked. Damian is ready to rip him to shreds for being so embarassing by pulling Damian into his lap. But his throat feels scratchy and yelling at Drake means less time in bed with Titus. Besides, Damian supposed it was becoming a norm in this family, Damian can fix that later one when his is in proper health. He’s dealt with worse.