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Anyway, continuing with my very slow process of archiving some of my fics, I just posted Kid's Game to AO3.

Compared with the contemporary state of the Bat-world (or is it? I've lost track, to be honest, and I suspect they have as well), Tim and Steph being Robins will probably look weird (Steph more than Tim, as he was Red Robin), and the lack of Damian would be glaring.

That said, how do you place Damian inside that AU? Could be a long-lost twin brother, raised to look up to Bruce, but even if that lets him be thirteen, his education wouldn't make sense — there's no Batman to point him to.

Bottom line, I think that — and this isn't to badmouth the guy, this is part of the trauma inflicted on him — he was raised and shaped around the poles of the al-Ghul's and Batman (worse, the al-Ghul's sometimes patchy understanding of him), so a Damian in a world before Batman is hard to conceptualize, as much as he, one hopes, grows up to strike on his own.

Rats, now I've gone and saddened myself. Damian in a world before Batman is hard to conceptualize is a horrible thing to say about anybody, that his life has been so over-determined (or almost so; his striving to free himself being the harshest, sweetest, and most painful to watch part of his life), that it's difficult to imagine radical AUs.

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Just did a quick reread of Deathstroke #5

It's the one where, for byzantine semi-Xanatos Gambit reasons, Deathstroke kidnaps Damian and puts him in the world's slowest and most useless death trap. It's a very fun issue for two reasons.

One: when Ravager tells Batman she'll tell him where Robin is if he helps them, he just jumps from the roof and says No. Lost boys are a dime a dozen. I'll just get another one.

Two: As Robin and Deathstroke are lazily sort of pretending to try to get into each other's head (while the latter is "watching" the former "drown" (it's all very Xanatos)) and Slade wonders what the League of Assassins did to Damian, he answers Oh... You wanna be my dad now?! Fine -- And then he *exposes his throat to the camera, smiles the most most psychopathic smile you could imagine, and says* -- Come on in here and slash my neck. Then I can be your kid, too.

The first time I saw it, my reaction was a silent but heartfelt emotion that can best be expressed by the nearly-mystical term Dude.

My takeaways are that 1. Bruce was obviously playing to Rose's psychological issues, 2. he's a very emotion-driven man who can also be almost psychopathically disciplined when he thinks it's the right call, and 3. Bruce has nothing on Damian's unbridled psychological savagery. Bruce grew up a nice person (with, I postulate, underlying issues), got hurt, and trained himself into somebody capable of violence. Damian was hurt from day zero, and was trained all of his life for violence of every kind. He had to figure out and learn how to express kindness and caring — every animal he saves is a Fuck You to his entire upbringing — because he grew up being taught otherwise.

Damian was abused by most definitions of the term. It's not cool, it's not nice, it didn't make him a better person. He speaks interpersonal brutality — the deliberate, forceful establishing of hierarchy — with the same unconscious fluency than Cass speaks hand-to-hand violence, and for similar reasons, and although both of them have gotten much better at communicating in other ways, it's still their mother tongue.

Anyway. I'm, as usual, overthinking a couple of lines of dialogue. The short version is that Damian was raised with a very unique "operating system" for interpersonal interactions, one that's very painful and unhealthy, and that has as a minor and totally-not-worth-it side effect his capacity to be brutal in ways that, say, Jason could never be.

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Fic: Evidence of Absence (PG13, DCU)

Title: Evidence of Absence
Rating: PG13
Fandom: DCU
Author Notes: I don't like kid!Damian (I do like him as an adult, though, and I love the big wonderful drama queen that is Ibn al Xu'ffasch), but at some point I'll have to start writing him. This is a first step in that direction.

Your teachers spoke of your father's legendary skills.Collapse )

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cass, can you not
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