She was a beautiful little girl.Laying against the pile of scrap cloth, long lashes pressed against her cheeks in her sleep, Talia made no move to wake the girl from her slumber, not right away. Instead, she took her time to admire the dusky rose colouring across the high apple of the little girl’s cheeks, the cherubic pout of her mouth and the stubbornness of her chin. Oh, yes. She was a beautiful little girl, who would one day become a stunning woman. That is, of course, if she lived that long.
(warning: violence against children)
Me and Rex.
Rayner is an acceptable sidekick.
With Grayson and Rayner as my traveling companions, I visited a planet inhabited by dinosaurs last night. It wasn’t entirely as I thought it would be. The trees there produce fruit with the taste and consistency of gummi candy, and the lakes are filled with sugared water. But I conquered a village of Dilophosaurus, rode a Velociraptor, and led Grayson and Rayner in a successful battle against a mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex. It was a productive venture overall, and I’m certain the dinosaurs acknowledged me as their new king before we left.
I brought a juvenile Rex home with me. His name is Mercutio, and he’s a bad thing. But he’s still just a baby, and I’ll teach him to be good. Unless he’s like Cordelia, who can only ever be naughty.
The fervor in his blood isn’t calmed by the way he takes them; there’s no vicious elegance to be had in the tiny tranquilizer darts he shoots into their soft, gentle flesh, only a sense of necessity. He needed them. More than that, She needed and wanted both of the children who had just emerged from the ocean alive.
If She’d wanted them dead, any of the men or women in their group would have complied, without needing any other reason besides Her desire, but bringing them alive—to the old Spanish fort, hidden deep in the mountain side where they were holed up, for the time being—required the sort of cool-headed implementation he excelled at.
After all, he had managed to salvage what was left of the situation in Seattle, in the end.
So, he doesn’t use a gun, crude and rudimentary, but instead, a hollow piece of reed that makes the softest of sounds, but allows the hypodermic needle to bury itself in the boy’s neck, its venom emptying into his carotid: She had said to make sure he was the first he took, or things would get infinitely more difficult. She had never lied to him, and he wasn’t about to begin doubting Her.
The instant he’d felt the prick, the little boy in his sights had whirled around, preternaturally fast, pulling the barbed tip of the arrow out of his skin, and flung an armful of projectiles in the man’s direction. One of them, in particular, had nearly sung, a high twanging note of bending metal, as it landed in the bark above his head. The man blinked, Her wisdom guiding him, and could only smirk when the boy shouted in fury.
The words—if there had been any— slurred slowed when the altered neurotoxin worked it’s way into his brain, and he staggered, listed to one side. The dark-haired boy remained upright, impressively, for another few seconds, even as the little girl to the side of him at his arm, screamed his name, her eyes wide and bright in the dying light of day.
Even from this distance, he could tell that she would be a beauty one day, without a doubt, perhaps—with her high, slanting cheekbones and the wide, dark of her almond-shaped eyes—perhaps.. even enough to challenge Her own.
The needle sunk into her neck easily and she brought her hand up, as if to grab at it, but stopped, unsure if she should pull it out or not. Her hesitation cost her: she dropped to her knees, then slumped, onto the boy’s fallen form, faster than he had.
If he’d been the type of man to wax poetic, or even if he’d really known the two children, outside of Her need for them, he might have paused to look at the shape their sleeping bodies had taken, almost Shakespearean in nature.
Even in sleep, he curled around her, his hand wrapped around her ankle, as if to tether him to her, even in Darkness. And she, her long lashes fluttering, dusky against the honeyed tone of her skin, managed one last look at the man’s expression—memorizing the brown of his eyes, his hair, the plainness of his face that She so coveted— shifting her body on top of her companion’s with the last of her consciousness, as if she could protect him.
If he’d been any kind of man that would have cared, he might have been bothered at how infinitesimally light their bodies were when he flung them each, one over each shoulder, and marched through the jungle.
He pours the bucket of water over the boy’s face. It’s spring-drawn, but that means little in the sub-tropical climate of the island. The water is warm, sticky-sweet, as it splashes over his upright body.
He’d tied the boy, at his wrists, ankles, knees, and across his chest, trapping his arms, as per Her instructions, in a specialized co-polymer blend rope. He hadn’t understood, at first, why it was important, or why he had to strip the boy of all his clothes, put him in a rough-spun tunic and drawstring pants, but he hadn’t question Her orders. He knew better than that.
Of course, removing the boy’s clothing, and watching in something akin to morbid fascination as weapon, after weapon, after weapon fell from within the confines of such tiny pieces of clothing, he wondered for the first time, who the boy was.
Then, after a beat, he decided he didn’t quite much care.
“WAKE UP!” He bellowed, right in the boy’s ear, and when the tiny boy jerked back, his back against the stone wall, legs extended in front of him, arms behind his back, he watched the boy’s slate grey eyes appear, hazy, under a fringe of lashes.
“You’re going to give me everything I want to know, boy,” the man says, rising from where he’d been crouched, his eyes on Damian. “But we’ll start with your name.”
Name, age, place of birth, languages spoken, parents’ names, deepest waking fears, he would get it all from him. She wanted it and he would not fail.
(continued from Lian and Damian’s great escape)
Sea salt and mildew heady on the air; the scratch of burlap garments on his unprotected skin; the grit of coal dust between his teeth. He’s cataloging his environment before he ever opens his eyes, before his vision is clear enough to scrutinize his captor looming above him. The man isn’t very large or otherwise intimidating in form, but there’s something zealous in the focus of his dark eyes, something Damian feels he’s seen before.
He gathers from the air quality that they’re holed up somewhere not far from the ocean, an underground bunker or cave, perhaps. It’s dark and humid, the crude clothing sticking to his skin, and when he maneuvers against his bonds, a knot of synthetic rope presses tighter against his throat. He freezes, instantly; he knows this method of bondage. He’d been trained in it. He’d restrained victims in this criss-crossed pattern of cords himself, and he’d allowed one to struggle long enough to choke herself to death before she revealed the information he’d been tasked to claim from her. Mother had not been pleased with his failure that night—
He slams down a mental barrier against this train of thought. Talia has nothing to do with his current situation. The knot on his neck presses against his windpipe just enough to make breathing uncomfortable, but he doesn’t let it show when he glowers up at the man staging this interrogation. He doesn’t ask about Lian lest he make it evident he cares for her and have her used against him. He doesn’t question their whereabouts or the purpose of their capture.
In fact, he says nothing at all, allowing the set of his jaw and the defiance in his eyes make clear his refusal to comply.
The first blow lands on the side of his head, as he’d expected it would. He feels the rivulet of blood leak past his ear and down his neck, adding its metallic scent to the concoction in the air, and Damian is careful not to writhe and cause the rope on his throat to close even tighter.
Anonymous asked: Describe yourself in 3 media (TV, film, book, music) characters.
Just one, as a representative of Damian’s dual nature:
“Gollum looked at them. A strange expression passed over his lean hungry face. The gleam faded from his eyes, and they went dim and grey, old and tired. A spasm of pain seemed to twist him, and he turned away, peering back up towards the pass, shaking his head, as if engaged in some interior debate. Then he came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously he touched Frodo’s knee—but almost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.”
The Two Towers, J. R. R. Tolkien
Some moments from Dami-Gollum’s day:
neverwasoneforgrandgestures asked: [ENCRYPTED TEXT] Dinner. Seven PM.
Damian stands near Lian on the craggy rocks of Santa Prisca’s shore, both shedding the scuba gear they’d used to infiltrate the island once the submarine was no longer safe to be in range.
[TEXT] I’m busy with a project for school. I’ll eat in my room.
He re-routes the transmission’s source to the network in the Manor before hitting send and knows it won’t fool Father for a second.
Lian always marveled slightly at the different ways things were done here. She’d never been conscious of differences before, in people’s lives - not until she met Damian Wayne. Before that, she could’ve been living in a palace or a one-bedroom apartment and it would have always felt the same to her. Because the people were the same - Grampa; or Aunts Dinah, Mia; or Uncles Dick, Garth, Gar, Vic, Wally; or Dad, always Dad. People she loved and knew loved her back.
Damian’s home was different and so was he. Everything here was so…proper, like a storybook. Living with her dad or Grampa or on Titans Tower, it was always a whirlwind of unpredictable things, noise, smells. Wayne Manor was…airless. Shut up tight and still. It made Lian go still as well.
When they were alone and Damian snapped out of the storybook politeness, then Lian did too as she stooped to try and touch the fat goldfish in the pond.
She didn’t know what Santa Prisca was - so far she knew the geography of the US and some of the Asian continent, but not much else - but when Damian mentioned the prison, she perked up.
“My mom sent it to me,” she replied with conviction and she showed him the phone, covering up the screen with one small hand. “You promise not to tell anyone this? I haven’t told ANYONE, Damian. So you have to triple-lock, super-duper, forever swear or you’ll die swear.”
“I do,” Damian replied somewhat impatiently, if a bit fervently.
Lian told him about the secret phone number her mom gave her two years back, which was the last time she’d seen her mother. ”It was just between me and her. No one else. It has to be her…”
Damian’s next question made Lian stand up, dusting her dress off and making a show of folding her arms. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m going to see her. I ran away before, I can do it again.” The fever she’d contracted that last time rendered her memory of their excursion a little skewed. “You are going to come with me…?”
It was a statement, but it ended upwards in a question, and Lian added with urgency. “I NEED you.”
“You have me.” Damian cups her hands with his own, the phone suspended in the middle of their joined grasp. He holds her gaze as he assures her, “I won’t tell anyone, and I won’t leave your side until we’ve found her.” Because he understands the desperate need to answer a mother’s summon. Because Father has taken his mantle and his place in Gotham City along with it. Because Lian is more lovely than any of the blossoms that surround her, and Damian can deny her nothing.
He doesn’t blink for several seconds until he becomes mindful of his own intensity, having learned from daily interaction with his fellow Watchtower students that the other children didn’t often appreciate his dramatic behavior. It only seems fitting right now, though, dressed in their fine frocks and conspiring alone near the babbling fountain. Damian thinks for a minute to stand and take Lian by the hand, to pull her along after him and disappear together into the trees.
But no— he must plan, he must be wise about this sojourn. He’s eleven now. He can no longer afford the mistakes he made as a younger man. “Our journey won’t be easy. Santa Prisca will be difficult to infiltrate, and our fathers will pursue us the moment they realize we’ve gone. I need a week to prepare. “ He looks up as Pennyworth appears at the end of a lane adjacent to the courtyard, calling the children to return to the house for tea.
“A week, and then I’ll call for you,” Damian repeats, offering his arm again to Lian as they rise to meet Pennyworth. There’s a rhythmic flow to his steps, as if he’s leading her down a wedding aisle. He imagines himself a knight escorting his princess back to the castle until they can safely abscond together, away from the gaze of the wrathful king. “When I call for you, Lian, you must be ready.”
He’s as ready as he will be, and he calls.
It’s exactly midnight when she materializes on the zeta pad in the cave, suitcase in hand. Pennyworth is upstairs, Father is on patrol, and Damian remains confined at home, his Robin costume unused in its display case. It’s more symbolic than practical, a means by which Father emphasizes his punishment— Damian already has a spare suit packed away in his own bag, and he boards both suitcases and Lian on the back of his bike before they ride off into the night.
Lian’s arms wrap tightly around his waist as they take the backroads that lead to the harbor, and Damian decides it isn’t an unpleasant sensation. He stops only once, to dismantle the tracking computer from his motorcycle and dump it into a sewer, letting the current below take it where it will.
The pier they finally park beside is dilapidated, graying wood projecting at crooked angles from the water. The tide is high, crashing against the breakers, and there are no streetlights here as there are at the public marina several miles down the road. And Damian prefers it that way.
He helps Lian dismount with their luggage before revving the bike and jumping the curb to land upon the broken pier. It travels the length of shambled wood for only a few feet before Damian rises on the seat and flips backwards in the air, landing on one of the slabs of the pier that remain in tact while his motorcycle sinks into the sea.
It’s quiet, then, the water bubbling where it consumes the bike and Damian watching impassively as he clicks something in his hand. A moment of silence passes, sea spray bathing both he and Lian as she carefully tiptoes on wooden planks that appear solid to join him, before the crest of a submarine’s cockpit roars to the surface.
The hull hisses open, the light inside pouring out like a beacon on the dark sea. Damian takes their bags in one hand and Lian’s elbow in the other to keep her from falling. “Get in.”
manhunterofmars asked: *contacts Damian's comm link and sings loudly* "Well I don't know why I came here tonight / I got the feeling that something ain't right / I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair / And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs / Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, / Stuck in the middle with you..."
Are you speaking to me in code, Martian? Don’t clutter the frequency with your alien gibberish!
Lian got a message back.
It was the first time it ever happened, really. The number her mother gave her sent her a text back; and truth be told, Lian was pretty excited. It couldn’t have happened at a better time, really. Her dad coming back into town for Mia’s birthday (which totally sucked) and then leaving again after one stupid day (super-sucked), had made everyone else all annoyed and annoying. She was sure it was his fault.
Sure now he was sending her texts and they were so cute, but for whatever reason instead of making her feel better, they just made her madder.
So when she got a text back - from her mother, it had to be from her mother; who else would it be?! - Lian squealed in delight, hiding her face in her stuffed giraffe (the armadillo was now cast to the window seat, far from her cuddling needs). It was way more exciting than dad’s dumb texts. It meant mom CARED. At least she was TRYING. But she was locked up in prison, like Lady Gaga in that video with Beyonce. Lian giggled to herself, because she loved that video, and always imagined her mom in a cool prison like that.
The text was confusing though and for a heart-stopping moment Lian wondered if it was spam. It said ‘N16 10 20.9’ and also ‘W62.34.41’. It wasn’t IP addresses or websites or a phone number…
She’d have to ask someone who would know, and there was really only one person in the world right now who filled the quota of discretion, smartness and loyalty to her, as required for this task.
So, she called Damian Wayne.
Lian and Damian both fidget more than usual as they have lunch in the gardens that flank the Manor, pink poppies and white chrysanthemums bright in spring bloom around the gazebo that houses the picnic table. Lian squirms enough that the iron legs of her bistro chair scrape over the deck, and Pennyworth looks up from refreshing their lemonade glasses. Damian’s been subject to his care long enough to recognize suspicion in the elder’s eyes when he sees it, and as soon as Pennyworth returns his attention to his task, Damian hisses at Lian to be still.
She’s quite pretty in her lavender sundress, a ribbon of peach satin cinched around her waist, and Damian looks the part of their garden lunch date in his summer whites too, the mint green of his collared shirt bringing out the peridot undertones in his eyes. “Miss Harper” and “Mr. Wayne” they call each other, and they might enjoy it greatly if they weren’t so preoccupied. Lian’s worrying her hair until a pinwheel curl tumbles free of the matching peach bow that secures it, and the swing of it makes Pennyworth pause to look upon the children once more.
“We’re quite thirsty,” Damian explains, and their lunch proceeds without further strain.
Pennyworth finally releases them to take a stroll through the cobblestone garden paths, though they’re not to venture beyond the fountain in the courtyard and to return to the house within an hour. It’s enough time, Damian decides, as he walks arm-in-arm with Lian and chats about banal topics such as school and pets until he feels they’re at a safe enough distance.
“Coordinates,” he finally tells her when they reach the fountain and perch upon the edge of it. The goldfish that occupy it swim up to nibble at his fingers when he dips a hand into the cool water. “The text you received contains map coordinates that align with Santa Prisca. There’s a famous prison on the island— Bane, a criminal who operates here in Gotham, grew up there.”
He watches Lian’s face carefully. “Do you really think it’s your mother who sent you the message? And if so… do you intend to go to her?”