The Dead Robins Club @robin
2 i want to preface this by saying this can be interpreted as a hallucination of sorts. i know stephanie did not actually die, but i was inspired by a post that i'll link at the end of the chapter. this was definitely a fun premise to play off of :-)

They met at the very cusp of life and death, where things shifted and Gotham was far too blurry for his tastes. Damian thought he recognized them amidst all the fog, felt his heart enter his throat at the sight.

Brown was in front of him, nestled on a rooftop covered in whispering grass. She made no move to acknowledge him when he approached, and although he could not see her eyes behind the lenses of her mask, some part of him knew she was staring at him, shaping him up. He recognized her cape, Robin tunic, and the distinctive devil horns band he knew she'd sometimes worn. It glowed red amidst her mess of blonde hair. Next to her, Todd sat, gaze trained on the terrain of the rooftop, clearly younger than her. His Robin suit looked just like Dick's, and his gloved hands played with a dandelion, twisting the stem around and around and around. Todd looked distinctly scrawny, which Damian supposed made sense - he had grown up malnourished, after all. When Damian walked closer, he looked up, his expression jarringly neutral, betraying no particular emotion.

"Where am I?" Damian croaked, and if he was not so distressed, he may have been irritated by how small his voice sounded.

"Where am I?" Damian croaked, and if he was not so distressed, he may have been irritated by how small his voice sounded.

Todd stood and walked towards him. Damian's brows furrowed in confusion as the young boy wordlessly reached out a hand and touched the armor plate protecting his chest.

"Look," Brown urged, her voice light and unburdened. “Look, look.”

Damian looked down, nearly stumbling at the sight - a large blade was sticking out of his chest, forming a gaping wound. With each breath, his entire body seemed to heave, his lungs unable to handle the burden of the perforation. The wound was inexplicably clean; Damian could not see any blood.

"Look," Brown said again, and Damian cursed the tears that welled in his eyes as her body became covered in bruises and cuts and burns and scars and as Todd's face was covered in streaks of blood, parts of his skin torn apart by some invisible force. Everything was so stupidly clouded - Damian could hardly think, could hardly move on his own or remember anything, so when Todd pointed at the space in front of them, he was desperately grateful for the moment of guidance as he sat down.

The question danced on Damian's tongue and teeth and lips. Am I dead? Am I dead? Am I dead? He didn't dare ask it. Instead, he asked something spontaneous, some part of him wishing to take the edge off. "Did it hurt?" The question was, for the most part, aimed at Todd - he knew Brown's nebulous end had hurt. He had paved a way through her history on the Batcomputer and had felt his blood run cold at the pictures of her mangled body. He knew Todd had been beaten before the end, that the bastard had taken a crowbar to his skull and face and eyes and legs, but Todd had been blown up and Brown had been tortured. Surely there was a difference. "Not the beating, the bomb. The end of it all."

Todd nodded once. "Yes," he said. "It hurt."

Brown laid on the rooftop, back to the grass, and hummed. "It always hurt. Always, always. But not anymore."

"It was quick," Todd said, and then angled his head downwards, as if listening for something. "They're trying to help you right now. We're just the middlemen."

"The Dead Robins," Brown offered.

"And they won't succeed?" Damian asked desperately. He should have done more, should have said what he wanted to say, done what he wanted to do. Stupid, stupid.

"No," Todd said, wiping at a streak of red on his forehead. “They don’t know it yet, though.”

Damian stared, realizing with a newfound ferocity how utterly terrified he was of the pain. Ya Allah, he thought, too scared to move. The blade was still stabbed into his chest, and although it didn't hurt, he wasn't keen to disturb it any further.

Brown spread her arms out, cape sprawled across the greenery. She raised her hands a little, and Damian watched in a crazed sort of wonder as flowers began to materialize, orange and white and pink around her body, stretching out from the ground and into the fog.
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