Damian Wayne, Robin, thirteen years old as of today. Most kids, on their thirteenth birthdays, would be celebrating with their parents and other relatives. Damian didn’t have that luxury. His father was on a Justice League mission, his mother was- well…his mother. And the rest of his blood relatives were not the sort of people he would even want to see. So, instead, he had Alfred. He appreciated Alfred, at least. The man had baked him a cake from scratch, made sure that at least someone had remembered that it was his birthday.
Damian would like to say he didn’t blame his father, that he understood why he wasn’t there, that next year will be different. But that’s what he told himself last year. It was becoming increasingly obvious that Damian was a second thought, someone who was only relevant when he needed an extra pair of hands on deck. So much for Batman and Robin the Dynamic Duo of Gotham.
But Batman wasn’t the only team that Robin had in the past. Both Grayson and Drake had their Titans, and Young Justice before they split into the two distinct groups. Their own team of elite superheroes who the Justice League just refused to take seriously. He could form his own but that required Damian having friends. Besides, the Titans are still banned in New York, and Drake still led Titans west. But they weren’t the only Titans group in operation and Damian saw no reason why there couldn’t be one more. So who on it? Jon and Maya were obvious choices; as much as he didn’t like Jon he had to admit his powers would prove useful. So who else? Suren, an obvious choice, he should be surrounding himself with trusted allies especially if he’s going to be around Jon. Alright. That was four. They needed a fifth member. Someone who can be versatile, fill roles that the others couldn’t. Someone who will balance the others but won’t try to push Damian out of being leader.
There was the newest Green Lantern, she was about the right age and her powers were incredibly versatile if she had the imagination to use it. But she was brash, reckless, and Damian wasn’t so sure she’d handle well with taking orders. Besides, as of now, she was still with another group of Titans, alongside her brother Blue Beetle. It’d be hard to pry her away but Damian believed he’d be able to.
But there was no point in forming a team unless there was some enemy for them to face. After all, the Justice League didn’t form simply as asocial club. He’d have to shelf his plan for now, until the next time he faces something he can’t defeat on his own.
So, Damian headed back to his room, the new sketchbook Alfred gave him for his birthday tucked under his arm, only to stop when he noticed the neatly wrapped package waiting on his bed. Did his father actually remember him? Or was it from Grayson? Either was theoretically possible, or it was right up until Titus took a sniff of it and started to growl. If Titus didn’t trust it there was noway Damian was going to. Carefully, he approached the present and pulled the top of the box off only to have to hold back a gag as the smell of decaying corpse reached his nose. You can be raised around death your entire life, but the smell of it never stops being disgusting. He steeled himself, brushing the poor robin aside and pulling out the carefully written letter.
You’re only alive to celebrate your birthday because I have allowed it. Come home. The time has come for you to fulfill your destiny. Or die.
“Grandfather.” Damian snarled through gritted teeth. It didn’t take the greatest detective on Earth to know who had left the package.
So much for waiting for a crisis, one has already reared its ugly head.But this was one he could deal with on his own. His grandfather was a man to reckon with, but his threat was empty. He had no wish to see Damian dead. To do so would rid him of any chance to steal Damian’s body. Still, the letter did trouble him. There were worse things Ra’s Al Ghul could threaten, so why pick death? A threat Damian knew he wouldn’t go through with. As for his destiny…Damian was fairly certain he had undone most of that along with the Year of Blood, the only part still standing was-
“Oh no.” The realization hit him like a truck and he was darting from the room, racing for the Batcave and his Robin gear. The Demon’s Fist. They’d be graduating this year. He had to find them. Had to find their targets. They had been his team to lead, and now their graduation project could very well rid him of someone important.After all, it was no secret to the League of Shadows where Damian was, who he was with, who he might have grown to care for. If anyone knew who the Fist would be targeting, it would be his mother.
“Goliath.” Damian woke the slumbering beast with a snap. “We need to hurry.” Goliath would like their next destination, Bialya, where his mother still sat on a warlord’s throne.