5480/Home for a Heart to Heart

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Home for a Heart to Heart
Date of Scene: 07 March 2021
Location: Kitchens - Wayne Manor
Synopsis: Dick and Damian share a sandwich and a conversation.
Cast of Characters: Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson is currently in the kitchen, making a mess of Alfred's counters. Somehow, even though he's just making a sandwich, he's got various components covering about four feet of counter space. Apparently it's going to be a very serious sandwich. He's looking things over with a judgemental eye, choosing and rejecting things seemingly at random.

As Damian comes into the room, Dick looks over his shoulder and smiles, "Hey there Damian. This works well, I was going to be looking for you."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian had walked into the kitchens looking for sustenance and possibly a pot of oolong tea.

  He hadn't expected to find Dick there creating a sandwich that would rival that of Scooby and Shaggy. Not that he knows who Scooby and Shaggy are, but that is for another time. The fifteen year old sits down on a barstool, followed by Ace, the German Shepard pup that Bruce had gifted Damian with eight months ago. "Grayson, if Pennyworth sees this...I'm going to blame it on Drake." Ahh yes, his favorite thing to do, dunk on Tim Drake. Though his head perks up as Dick mentions going to look for Damian. "What were you going to be looking for me about?" Not at all knowing of his brother's nefarious (in his mind) deeds he was scheming.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick laughs and waves off the concerns about Alfred, "The secret is.. I actually know how to clean up after myself once I'm done. Long as you don't leave evidence, you can't be convicted!" He adds some roast beef to the already impressive sandwich and puts the top of the sub roll on, then cuts it in half, "You want half of this? Honestly, it could probably feed three of us anyway, so if you want to slip a little to Ace, I won't notice."

He grabs a second plate and transfers half the sandwich to it, sliding it down in front of Damian, then moves to sit one stool apart so he's not crowding the youngest Wayne. "I wanted to catch up. I know I've been spending a lot of time in Bludhaven and kind of letting things slip in other places I should be. That's why I decided to transfer back to Gotham, kind of cut down the territory I'm covering."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian looked at the half a sandwich, both mesmerized and horrified. Not really wanting to take a bite of this...thing yet, Ace down by his feet licking his chops. The dog was incredibly smart for a dog, even one as young as Ace. The boy took a bit of roast beef from the top of the sandwich and held it out for Ace, who happily and gently took it from Damian's hand, nomming it down with gusto. "Catch up? What is there to catch up on? Crime is still rife in Gotham, and we go out every night to beat up people."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick shrugs a little, "There's more to life than just beating people up, you know. In your case, I was kind of interested in how you're adjusting to things around here. I know it's a lot different from how you were raised, and that can cause problems." He takes a bite of his sandwich, chewing for a moment before swallowing it. Despite the appearance, it's fairly healthy, using actual slices of beef, chicken and turkey as well as lettuce, tomato and other actual healthy components. Gotham doesn't need a fat Nightwing, after all.

"And I heard there was a problem with the Titans, you just kind of walked away from them. I was hoping we could maybe talk about it a little, see if there were any specific problems that could be cleared up. You can be a great help to them, and I think they can help you too, if you give them a chance."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian's face turns from Bruce's normal unexpressive face to a frown. "Troia put you up to this?" He asks, had it been anyone other than Dick, Damian would have clammed up, but with Dick...Damian had more of a bond with than anyone in the family. "I don't know if I'm going to go back. They seemed more than happy to shove myself and Hawkeye out of the way and not listen to anything I had to say. That cat-thing is going to get someone killed with the lack of knowledge he has, no discipline, no battlefield awareness. He's useful for one thing and one thing only, bait. Cause he sure as shit didn't think about Goliath when he got my friend injured." Goliath was probably the thing that Damian was the most protective of in the world. And anyone negligent enough in the field to get Goliath hurt needlessly, was persona-non-grata in his book. But there was a way in his voice, like he wouldn't be opposed to going back, especially when Gar, the only other Titan apart from Donna that he would call a friend, was not dead like he had originally thought.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick nods and puts down the sandwich, turning to face Damian more directly, "She didn't, actually. I heard about it and went to her to get the story. Talked to a few other of the Titans as well so I wasn't working off just one viewpoint. Including Gar, and every one of them was willing to work with you if you want to come back."

"But." He holds up a finger, "The single complaint I heard from every one of them is one that I understand the reason for, but it's something you'd have to work on. _I_ know how much you've been taught, trained, groomed for leadership, all that. And you very well may know more than a lot of them, even be more skilled than a lot of them. But here in the real world, being a leader is earned, not just given because you think you're better than everyone else. Damian, the Titans have always been a family. We help each other, we cover each other's weaknesses. And we actually care about each other, not just as soldiers to use in battle, but as friends and family."

"If you want to go back and work _with_ them instead of expecting to lead them just because you're you, they'll be happy to have you, and I honestly think they could help you learn some of the things your upbringing didn't, like making friends and even working with people you don't necessarily like. Take Terry, for instance, since I know you and he really clash. You can try and teach him, but not if you're going to call him a 'crazy cat thing' and dismiss him. He's a part of the team. He may need improvement, and learning how to reach him and teach him is what being a leader is really all about. Any idiot can give orders. It's understanding the people you work with and knowing how to reach them that makes a real leader."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     "I made a friend." One. "Then two weeks later his doppelganger killed him." A pause as Damian had to steel his voice from wavering. "tore off his arm and dumped him in the ocean." I sought to revenge. These beings don't fall under the normal rules, so...deadly force was allowed."

  "My family" Meaning the al Ghuls "You obeyed their commands. Respected those who know better than you, learn from them." If there was one thing Damian was good at besides combat, it was learning. The boy had the knowledge of at least two PhDs under his belt.

  "But I cannot teach someone who will not learn." He wasn't admitting to his faults, but he knew what they were. Damian was headstrong, not stupid.

  "Hawkeye and I, we lead the team while the others were traipsing around in space. Keeping the team from falling apart, again. Then when all was said and done, they step back in and shove us aside like we were nothing. And then, Pym had the gall to lock down access to the laboratories like she owns the place. Other people use those labs as well. She doesn't own the labs, as if she owns all of science with her asinine group which may as well be called 'V.A.G.I.N.A'. The sexism is rampant in Titans Tower. Galavanting off to an island with the best warriors in the world but NOOOO I could never go because I am a male. Fuck that shit." Damian has obviously been keeping up with things on the Titans side, because the girls had not left for Themysciera until a couple days ago, despite his T-Com being in his locker for a month now and not on his utility belt.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson says, "I know about Gar, and I actually apologized to him and the others for not really being there when the doppleganger thing happened.. I fell down there too, was too wrapped up in my own stuff and almost lost one of my best friends because of it. But he's not dead, so there's one friend already waiting for you on the team. But Damien, even he said you couldn't expect to just show up and be handed leadership. He's your friend, he wants to see you with the Titans, but not at the cost of tearing up the feeling of family that makes the Titans what they are.

Your _old_ family... wasn't a family Damian. More like an army, or a cult. Sure, some of their ideas aren't bad, and learning from those more skilled than you are makes sense. But out in the world, people are individuals, and they have different views. Terry is.. yeah. He's not the easiest to deal with, I'll grant you. I don't fully understand the whole Cheshire Cat spirit thing myself, but even he was willing to sit down and have a serious talk with me about you. No jokes, no wiseassery, just talking. And Damian, even he's willing to work with you if you don't come in as the entitled one. In fact, he has an idea for investigating Arkham and wants you to be involved in getting him put in there _and_ making sure he lives to get out again. Even now, he's willing to put his safety in your hands. Does that sound like someone who refuses to learn or listen?"

"I know you felt pushed aside when they came back, Donna pointed out that incident when I was talking to her. I wasn't there for that, but I'm sure they didn't do it to slight you on purpose. It's something we can talk about further if needed, to try and get a better idea of what was going on in people's minds when decisions were made."

He chuckles, "Ok, the girls... Now from what I understand, Nadia only locked down her own lab in fear of dopplegangers, which I can sort of understand. I'm told the other labs were available to anyone who needed to use them. Again, wasn't there, so I'm working off what people tell me. I haven't been hanging around the science side of things, so there I'm not gonna be able to say one way or another, though I'm getting the feeling that we have a bunch of female science types cliquing up, is that it? Donna's trip on the other hand is simply not something to get pissed over. It's not like that ban targets you alone. No man can visit the island, so welcome to roughly half the population of the planet."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     "It's still sexism. Sexism of the worst kind, and just because people have accepted it, doesn't make it right. I want to learn from the best combatants in the world. My genitals should not play any factor in that."

  Damian had instinctively reached down to pet at Ace while he was talking, a habit he formed when Goliath was a pup and he was stressed. "I had resigned myself to the fact that everyone was going to be against me from the start, when Sam and I scrawled on the Tower in paint, before...before Father gave me the title of Robin. I changed my ways back then, and I still am trying. But no one seems to see that. They all see the worst of me, with Donna as the exception. Terry calls me psychotic, I called him a crazy cat thing. Even when I brought in Harley Quinn of all people to give someone to talk to because I..." Because he cannot talk to many people like a trained psychologist can. "I gave her a chance to help, and she did. But no one talks about that. No one talks about how when the four most senior members of the group got lost in space, I grounded everyone's expectations of what could happen, that we may very well not have seen them again, and that going out in a rinky-dink space vehicle to go looking for them was a futile effort. I was labeled an asshole. And while my friend was believed to have been murdered, I was the one who had the perpetrator in my grasp, before Terry attacked me and opened an opportunity for Goliath to be hurt. You ask me, I am not the only one who has actions to atone for."

  As for Vorpal, if he goes to Arkham, I hope he stays there and they throw away the key. He doesn't belong on a team if he gets people hurt."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick sighs, "Ok, time to take a little step back, cause you're getting upset, and that makes things fly apart. I agree, it's not fair, but it's their country. Maybe in time things will change, I mean, they used to not allow anyone at all, so Donna taking non-Amazons there is already a loosening of the policy. Give them time, they aren't really part of the world yet."

"I think they are willing to give you more slack than you think, as I said, they're willing to work with you if you're willing to be part of the team, but not expect to lead right away. Think about it Damien. We can talk more later, but right now I want to stop, because I know when you get upset you don't really listen that well. But I will say that yes, there were probably wrongs on both sides, and I'll talk to them about how you feel. This was the first step. I got their feelings before I came to talk to you, now I have some of yours to talk to them about. It's a team effort, both sides have to bend a little to meet somewhere in the middle."

He smiles at Damien, "And in the meantime, we can keep beating up the people who are stupid enough to try and commit crimes here in Gotham. Seriously, talk about people not learning, there's how many of us covering the city these days? Oh, also.. if you ever want to, I dunno, relax and be a kid for a little while, come find me. I've got a hell of a video game system in my room, we can do something on the grounds, hell, I dunno, we could have a water balloon fight through the halls, though Alfred would probably kill us if he caught us." Another chuckle and he takes a bite of his sandwich, chews and swallows before adding, "I know things aren't always easy for you because you were raised so differently, but I really do want you to be happy."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian keeps petting the pup on his head, and Ace just pants and wags his tail as he provides some comfort to Damian. "I may be ascerbic. But I never said someone could not do something just because they were female. My mother, my /mother/ of all people taught me that." Go figure, she may have been a poor mother, but that was one thing he never learned.

  He calmed down a bit though, before he blew a fuse. "I was willing to do the same. But I was not afforded the same luxury." His sleeve used to dab his eye once before he completely regained composure, he was a weird kid. Grown up to be a soldier and an assassin, using anger and hate to get his job done. It was his hardest habit to break.

  "I was happy with Sam. But he left me." Long story, but yes. He had a high school significant other for a time. "I have not felt 'happy' any other time that did not involve combat." He sounds sad at that, but there was a significant lack of normalcy in his life, nothing was normal about Damian Wayne.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson nods, "No, I don't agree with discrimination like that either. Hopefully someday it won't be something anyone has to deal with, but it's not the kind of thing that just vanishes overnight. I'll go back and talk with the Titans about how you feel." He pauses, looking over at his youngest brother, "I'm pretty sure Donna and Gar know a lot about how you were raised, but what about the others? This is totally up to you, but if I can explain to them just a little in general of what you were raised believing, it would help them understand why you act the way you do sometimes, and not that you're just looking to be in charge because you want to be. If they have no idea _why_ you think you should be in charge, they just see a know-it-all kid who thinks he's better than them, and that puts people off from the start. A little understanding can help ease conflicts a lot, so think about that."

"Now, what are the biggest issues you currently see between you and the Titans? I want to make sure I can address your concerns when I talk to them, just like I wanted theirs before I talked to you. We'll leave Terry aside for now, because that particular issue is going to take a _lot_ of work from what I can see."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian takes a moment to think about what is going on. "Biggest issue for me, other than Terry. Is them shoving myself and Hawkeye aside. No recognition of our efforts. We were cast aside as if we did not even put in the work. I hadn't asserted myself like I was the leader before then. We just wanted to keep the team together. Second: Pym. She should not have had the authority to secure the labs like she did. Other people use them as well, and she is NOT the only scientist on the team, no matter what she believes and who she was sired from."

  "Terry." That was the big one, the biggest. "That will be the end-all-be-all. He is a liability. He is untrained, and believes himself to be without reproach. If he continues on how he has been in the field. He WILL be responsible for the death of one or more of his teammates."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick considers what his youngest brother has to say and nods, "Ok. For now, do your thing here in Gotham, keep yourself busy as you have been. I'll talk with them and see what we can do to make sure things don't happen like that again and that people's contributions are acknowledged. Because you're right, when you do something that helps the team, the team should respect that. I can't say why it happened, but I'll dig for more info. I'm pretty good at getting to the bottom of things. And can I tell them that you are ok with being part of the team, not in charge of the team? They're not dead set against you leading someday, but you have to earn it. If you can, you and they will kick serious ass, Damian, but it's not going to be an easy process for you, because you have to change a pretty ingrained belief."

"As for Terry.. I'll work with him. Maybe I can get him to train with me, and work on some discipline that way, but for now, let's keep you and him apart."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     "Tell them what you want. Troia, Raven, and Beast Boy know who I am under the mask. Most know I was an assassin. At least I never made it a point to cover it up."

  Damian finally takes a bite of the daunting sandwich before he speaks again. "Father wasn't going to fight me on not going back. I...still do not know. I just felt as unwelcome as Sam did, before he left." Damian isn't the most easiest person to get along with, but he had been trying. Had a working relationship with Kate and Donna. "Pennyworth told me to invite Garfield to the manor. Apparently that is what friends do. That was two days before I thought he had been murdered. Like every friend I made just dies. Or worse." There was that grave sadness again. Like when Bruce evades questions about his parents. Except this time it was about his friend leaving him behind without a word.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick takes another bite, chewing before answering, "I wouldn't fight you on it, but I feel like at least part of you wants to be there, and you did make a friend or two in Donna and Gar at least, so I want you to have options. If you decide no, I won't keep after you about it, I just want to make sure you have all the facts available to make the choice. And since Gar isn't gone.. invite him over. Your friend is still around, so take advantage of the fact. We do dangerous work, we're going to lose people from our lives. It means we have to hold onto the ones we still have that much tighter."

He hops up from the stool, taking his plate with him, "Can't say when I'll get to talk to people, but I'll do it quick as I can so I don't leave you hanging." He grins at Damien's reaction to the sandwich, "Tell Ace to enjoy his sandwich" is all he offers as he waves and heads out of the kitchen.