(also before anyone says anything: yes this robin is technically called tim and theoretically an amalgamation of tim and jason, but pretty much all he got from tim was his name and having some interest in batman before meeting him, but personality and backstory are p much all jason so)
Damian was a bit confused. Usually, on patrol, they would like…do things. Catch criminals. Stop bank robberies. Save widows and orphans.
Yes, Damian was utterly confused as to why tonight, his father and him were following…his mom. Not Talia. You. He never considered Talia his mother, he came to that realization the first time you made him hot cocoa and cookies after he had a rough day, and just…talked to him. Asked him how he was feeling. Just genuinely cared for him, something Talia Al’Ghul never did.
She was his mother, but you were his mommy.
And so, tonight, as he was jumping from a building to another, following you threw the dark street of Gotham, he wasn’t really sure what was going on.
Oh my God…Were you a criminal ? Was he going to loose you because his father was going to put you behind bars ? But he loves you ! How could he ?
If it came to that, Damian decided that he would fight his dad, giving you enough time to escape. Yes. He would save you. There was no way he was letting his mommy go in prison, no matter what she did…
His father was talking to Dick about something happening in North Gotham. He then proceeded to call Tim to ask him to go to the docks join Jason because some big drug deal was going on…And once again, Damian wondered why they were tracking you instead of taking care of the real issues.
He looked down in the street, you were at a small cafe, ordering a huge cup of coffee, that he knew was probably the blackest beverage ever. You liked it that way. But that’s it. You were getting coffee. Sure it was 10:30 pm but like, you couldn’t always just stay at the Manor right ? You’d be bored !
Besides, you were a writer, you often came to get coffee at night with your notebook, you always said it brought you lots of inspiration (he loved your stories, and was your number one beta reader).
It wasn’t an unusual thing for you to be out, getting coffee (even if Gotham was dangerous at night, you knew how to defend yourself thanks to your Husband’s training, and besides, one of your sons kinda always had an eye on you anyway…just to be sure), so again, why were they here ? Why weren’t they on the docks, with Tim and Jason, to fight some real criminals ?
Bruce refused to let Damian patrol alone so far, which is why he was with him, but usually, he’d explain what was going on you know ? Not able to contain himself anymore, Damian asked :
AN: I’ve decided to start posting this on tumblr as well as AO3 and FFN. Enjoy.
Alfred Pennyworth could say with certainty that he hadn’t been prepared to suddenly take on a child all those years ago. Now, with another child in the Manor, Alfred still isn’t prepared, but at least he has some experience. And this time he hopes to stop the madness early. Then Harleen Quinzel walked in, and that dream went to hell.
Alfred J. Pennyworth liked to be prepared. He liked to blame it on his military training, but the truth was he had always been that way. So, when he came to work at Wayne Manor, he did his best to prepare for any and all situations; robberies, kidnappings, ransom demands. He considered it his job to protect the Wayne family, especially young Master Bruce.
The boy had been all of two years old when Alfred had come to the Manor, and despite his usual dislike for children, he had rather quickly found that Bruce Wayne was different. He was a quiet child. He smiled, and he laughed, but he was so different from others his age. He was content to be by himself, or with his parents, or even with Alfred himself. More than once the child had sat on the counter and tried to steal licks of cookie dough while Alfred baked.
The one thing Alfred had not prepared for was death. Death happened on the battlefield, in wars. It was not supposed to happen in a city, behind a theatre. Alfred knew that it wasn’t all bad, Master Bruce was so much more fortunate than others in his situation, but Alfred didn’t know how to deal with a mourning child.
He had seen the hints of obsession early on. The drive to find his parents’ killer, to fulfill his parents’ dream for Gotham. Personally, Alfred had wanted to take the boy and run as far from the god-forsaken city as possible. At the very least he wanted the boy to talk to someone. Bruce wouldn’t hear of either.
Then one day, several years later, he was simply gone. Alfred had manned the empty manor for years, waiting for his charge to come home. Occasionally, he received a letter, weeks after it had been written. Then, his boy had come home. He was harder than when he left. There was glint of steel in his gaze now, and a determined set to his jaw. And then he told Alfred his plan, and the older man was certain he had not only failed in his parenting, but failed miserably.
It took him all of six seconds to decide to go along with it. At the very least, he might be able to contain some of the damage, or even talk his boy out of it. Neither of those worked out as he had hoped, and Alfred allowed himself to fall into the madness.
And then Bruce had done something he had never imagined, he brought home a little boy. More than once over the years Alfred had dreamed of Bruce getting married, and having little children. He had dreamed of the manor coming alive with a family again. He’d given up those dreams when the Batman had emerged. Any person who would be willing to put up with that madness would have to be certifiable after all.
Still, young Master Richard restored a small glimmer of hope in Alfred’s heart. The boy was more receptive than Bruce had been, a bit more cheerful. Alfred swore that he wouldn’t let this child go down the same path. Then the boy had become Robin, and Alfred knew he had to act. Richard Grayson was going to grief counseling if it killed him.
So, Alfred began the search, despite the protests of both his charges. Dick had visited five different therapists, rejecting each one. As Alfred walked the boy into the office of number six, he prayed this one would work out. As it was, it had only been the threat of forcing Bruce into therapy and forbidding any Robin activities that had gotten his charges’ compliance. He was getting much too old for this.
Removing his coat, Alfred signed Richard in and they began the wait. It was only a matter of minutes before the door opened, and pretty young woman stepped out. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail, and her glasses sat slightly askew on her face, but her smile was sincere.
Out of the corner of his eye, he watched the woman capture Richard’s attention. He watched the boy relax as she smiled at him, and came to greet him. Bending down to his level, she stuck out her hand and said, “You must be Richard, I’m Dr. Quinzel, but you can call me Harleen, if you’d like.”
Alfred watched as the boy studied her for a minute before taking her hand and smiling, “Hi Harleen, I’m Dick, and that’s Alfred.”
Alfred nearly sagged with relief at the introduction. Instead, he stood and shook the woman’s hand, “It is a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Quinzel.”