Raise the Flag for Childhood
Tim Drake retreating to the Manor to recuperate from an injury. On the tail end of his stay, he’s fed up with Damian’s snide remarks and attitude and dismissive manner and taunts. He wants to fight back but he keeps thinking of Stephanie Brown, can’t get her out of his head: “Kill ‘im with kindness.”
So he starts gathering pillows and blankets and dragging tables and chairs. The Manor has plenty. Damian, sure enough, notices, and hangs around watching.
“What are you doing?” he finally asks, when he can’t stand it.
“Building a fort. Want to help?” Tim says and offers.
A fort sounds warlike so Damian is game. Any chance to thrash Tim and get away with it. They build together, testing and reinforcing and adjusting.
Once finished, it’s huge and low-ceilinged and cozy. They climb inside with flashlights and Damian asks, “What are the rules of engagement? How is the winner decided?”
“Nobody wins,” Tim says, flopping back with his laptop to watch a movie. “It’s just for hiding in.”
Damian is torn. He feels cheated– this was going to be a battle, right? But no, Tim had never said anything about a battle. He’d just said 'fort.’
He doesn’t want to abandon it. He’d worked on it, too.
And it’s so comfortable.
So, with a low and quiet growl at himself, Damian slouches down next to Tim to watch a movie.
In their fort.
That they made together.
Tim feels like it’s a minor victory. He doesn’t realize how big it really is until the next time he sleeps over at the Manor and wakes to an armful of blankets dumped on his head and an insistent, but not derisive, voice saying,
“We are wasting daylight. Wake up. I have some ideas to improve our previous model.”
And it’s just the thing they do now, their white flag area, a neutral territory. It’s a safe place.
Plus, it’s super cozy.