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#fear toxin
hood-ex · 3 months ago
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Wait, it's canon that Dick can resist fear toxin? And that he's the best at doing it in the family? Do you know the issues when it adressed please?
He's not immune to the effects of it, but he's been shown to think rationally and also fight people effectively when he's dosed up on it.
You can see this addressed in Nightwing #149.
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You know how they say that Halloween trope of finding drugs in your candy is complete bullshit? Well, they never considered Gotham.
Where you’re likely to find fear toxin syringes, pills with clowns on them, or just plain weed being given out because no one in that city is sane and there’s literally so much illegal bullshit happening and kids even trick or treat at the iceberg lounge because Penguin gives put full sized bars.
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Batman can overcome most strains of Fear Toxin through sheer force of will. He is Darkness. He is the Night. He has crafted his own fears into an armor, so they can never be used against him. He is the Batman.
Jason, on the other hand, was able to overcome the Cheer gas because he absolutely refuses to be happy and none of you bitches can make him.
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zodiyack · 7 months ago
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Hereditary
Requested by anon: May I request a Jonathan crane x reader? where they have a kid together and they are working on his fear toxin
Pairing: Jonathan Crane x Female!Reader, child + Jonathan Crane & Female!Reader
Warnings: Fear toxin, fluff
Words: 518
Summary: (See Request)
Note: Sorry this is so short, and sorry if it sucks, it was the idea I had so I went with it and I’m not sure how it went
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Taglist: @matth1w​, @redspaceace-writes​, @fandom-puff​, @darling-i-read-it​, @simonsbluee​, @sebastianstanslefteyebrow​
Masterlist | Cillian Murphy Masterlist
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The night was not swell for little Crane, his parents away at the lab and fear toxin swarming their bedroom. It was no surprise that he was used to a slight whisper of anxiety within his bones, hairs standing on the nape of his neck, but tonight, the feeling was...absent. Nowhere in the house gave him any form of jumpiness. Whilst one would imagine him to be grateful for such...he actually... missed it. It surprised even him.
Nicolas Crane, the son of Gotham’s asylum chief-psychiatrist and the now assistant of said psychiatrist. He crept out of bed, checking the little watch around his wrist to find that it was only eleven. Usually, his parents would be home by now, either awake in some other room of the house, or in their bedroom. But they had yet to return.
Although it was strange, Nicolas felt the need to search for the fear. He felt he could not sleep peacefully without it. Like an addiction.
But that’s what it was.
An addiction.
Anything could be an addiction. Good, or bad. But what was this addiction? Nicolas knew not of whether his secret desire for the feeling was of evil or glory, having not seen much of either to compare it to. His parents had no problem with it, in fact, he was sure his mother had been around it while she was carrying him in her womb.
Did that have side-effects? Like a carrying-mother smoking? Surely there was something...wasn’t there? It didn’t feel like it. Oddly enough, it felt normal. Almost like an every-day thing.
Suddenly, the front door opened, dragging Nico back to reality., whispers flooding the lower story of the house. Nicolas didn’t bother pretending to be asleep, preparing himself for the wave soon to creep under his door.
As the stench of the toxin grew stronger and stronger, Nicolas felt his eyes grow heavier. Like melatonin, the toxin had him a snap away from passing out cold. His eyes fought to catch a few more seconds of the world.
A triangle of light appeared, growing wider as the door creaked open. Y/n entered the room as quietly as possible. She bent over and pressed a soft peck upon Nicolas’ forehead, pulling away slightly then cupping his cheek. Jonathan walked over, rubbing his wife’s back with one hand, the other in the pocket of his trousers, then swapping places with her.
She excused herself from the room with a whisper of, “Sleep well, Nico.”
Before he gave into the tug of unconsciousness, he managed to meet eyes with his father, watching as a small smile slid upon his face. Apart from love, the smile held knowingness, Doctor Crane far too smart too miss the similar effect having craved the same thing for years. Fear interested him long before he came up with the toxin.
After a few seconds more, Jonathan decided all was well. The man bent down and pressed a light kiss on his son’s forehead, staying close for a few seconds more to admire what he and the love of his life had created.
Nicolas just barely pulled a smile of his own, the drowsiness overcoming him easily.
“Goodnight, Nicolas.”
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dc-himbo · 4 months ago
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Fear
TW: Fear Toxin, anxiety symptoms, overuse of a stupid nickname. :P
Also new to posting some writings. Just trying to get in the swing of things. :)
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You don't think you've ever felt this scared before. The streets blurred and the shadows along the buildings danced into demons and horrors that you thought were beyond your imagination. Your heart was hammering in your chest so hard you thought it would burst free. You ducked into what you thought was an alleyway and leaned heavily on the wall there to try to catch your breath and your racing thoughts.
What were you doing? You were...you were on patrol. That's right. You're a vigilante. You were-
Another wave of fear swirled though you and it nearly made you nasuous, causing you to double over and mutter out nonsense while you tried so desperately to keep a handle on things.
You were fighting-
RUN!
You were-
THEY ARE AFTER YOU RUN! QUICK! NO NO NO!
"Hey Pretty Bird..."
Your head snapped up, pupils wide as you tried hard to fight through the haze of horror and shadows. The voice was familiar but foreign to you, the red helmet contorted in ways that had you breathing harder and you couldn't stop yourself as you lunged from the wall strike out at this monster like a cornered animal. You barely registered the sharp sting of the needle as the figure caught you and pinned you to the wall. Your fighting slowed as the horrors started to slowly fade and you relaxed into strong arms.
"We got to stop meeting like this, Pretty Bird." His voice was like a lighthouse and you leaned into him with a shake of your head and a soft but horse laugh.
"You said you'd always be there to save me, Red. Who knew you meant that literally." You couldn't help but to smile, despite the toxin still pulling at the edges of your vision and still casting Gotham in dancing shadows.
"I did. Come on. The others can handle the rest of the night. I'm taking you home." And for once in your life, you didn't fight him on this one.
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daringyounggrayson · 10 months ago
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Could you do 25 or 30 for Bruce and Dick? I’d really like for you to make Bruce say those words to his son!
I think we would all like to see that! oh, and for this one, I’m mixing things up: Bruce took Dick in as his ward but never went on to adopt him. 
25: “You know I love you, right?”
30: “I love you, okay? I’ll say it as many times as you need to hear it.”
AO3
"Mr. Wayne!” a photographer calls, waving his arm toward their small group as they try to make their way inside. “A picture of you and your sons, if you wouldn’t mind?” 
“Sure!” 
On cue, the four of them turn toward the camera with easy smiles. 
“Oh, sorry sir.” The photographer directs this at Dick. “Could I just get his sons for this shot?”
Dick doesn’t blame the reporter, honestly. He was probably assigned to get pictures of the Waynes, and when you google the Waynes, Dick’s name doesn’t pop-up—at least, not under family. And it makes sense; he was never adopted, so he’s legally not part of the Wayne family. Dick’s relation is just a small, unimportant detail. And to outsiders, especially people outside of Gotham or people who simply don’t keep up with Wayne Family News, Dick looks like more of a family friend, if anything. 
It’s an honest mistake, and Dick doesn’t take it personally. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it any less awkward. 
Dick glances at Bruce, trying to decide what to do. This evening will be long enough as it is, and if Bruce would rather let it go and get through the photos as quickly as possible, Dick wouldn't blame him. And it’s not like Dick needs his face on another magazine. 
Bruce tightens his hold on Dick’s shoulder, decision made.
“If you don’t mind,” Bruce pipes up with a charming voice, “I would like Richard to be in the photo. I did raise him for a decade, after all.” Bruce laughs to ease the tension, and Dick joins him to tell the photographer it’s okay.
The photographer’s eyes go wide, face going slightly pink. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize. I, er, here—” he holds the camera up “—smile!” The camera flashes twice. “Perfect. Have a nice evening!” And then the photographer is gone.
“I think I’m going to run ahead,” Dick says. “Find me when you can.”
“Dick, you don't—”
“It’s fine, B. Seriously.” Dick grins.
Bruce frowns. 
Dick shrugs and ducks away from his group, heading toward the building. He ignores the flashing of cameras and calls from the various photographers, and he ignores the three pairs of eyes that dig into his back as he goes.
oOo
All in all, the party was uneventful and the four of them excused themselves early after receiving an alert that Scarecrow had been spotted on the other side of town. If Scarecrow hadn’t been spotted terrorizing civilians with fear gas, Dick might’ve been able to enjoy the free ticket out of the gala.
“Shit,” Tim mutters.
“What?” Dick asks, not taking his eyes off of Scarecrow.
“Forgot to grab a new rebreather. I still have the busted one from the other night.”
Dick pinches the bridge of his nose and takes a breath before grabbing his own rebreather. “Here.”
Tim pushes it back toward him, shaking his head. “It’s fine. I messed up; I can deal with the consequences.”
“I’m offering you the solution,” Dick insists, pushing back. “We don’t have time to argue. Take the rebreather so we can move in.”
“I’m not a kid anymore, I don’t need you to protect me like I’m,” Tim looks away, down, “like I’m Robin. Besides, I think we both know that I’ll be able to handle fear gas better than you.”
Dick clenches his jaw, then relaxes it. Not the time. “Maybe, but I’m in charge right now. So: take the rebreather or you’re playing look-out for the rest of the night.”
Tim’s head shoots up, eyes scanning Dick to see how serious he is. Tim takes the rebreather, shoving it into his belt. “Happy?”
“Thrilled. Let’s go.”
oOo
If anyone had to get gassed, Dick’s glad it was him. Even though he has an objectively bad reaction and treatment isn’t always effective, he has more experience and can deal with it better than his siblings. During and after. On top of that, Tim was and continues to be his responsibility; his top priority was getting Tim home safe. From those perspectives, it was logical for Dick to take the lungful of fear toxin.
Then there’s the selfish, probably more powerful perspective: Dick can’t stand seeing Tim on fear gas. The screaming, the tears, the things he says, the inability to comfort him and take the pain away. It’s awful to see once, and Dick’s seen it countless times, in real life and in nightmares. He’d do anything to avoid it—for Tim’s sake and, when Dick’s being honest, his own. He knows his family probably feels the same way about him, but that just means they’d act out of selfishness too. 
Tonight, Dick had more say, so Tim got the rebreather and Dick got more than a lungful of gas.
“Sorry again,” Tim mumbles, passing Dick a fresh ice pack. “About the rebreather.”
Dick takes the ice pack and presses it against his right shoulder, which he agitated at some point during their fight with Scarecrow. “’S fine. Knowing you, you’ll triple check next time to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
“No kidding,” Tim mumbles, running a hand through his hair. He stifles a yawn. “Need anything else?”
“Nah.” Dick starts reciting pi in his head, trying to drown out the voices he knows aren’t real. “Get some sleep. And good work tonight.”
Even with the gassing, he and Tim were able to take down Scarecrow fairly easily. It’s nice to know that the two of them can still work well together, even when the circumstances aren’t entirely ideal.
“Thanks, you too.” Tim bounces on the balls of his feet and fails to stifle another yawn. This time, Dick yawns too. “You don’t want company or anything?”
“I’m good. Besides, I’ll probably just try to sleep until Alfred is happy with the blood work.”
Tim shrugs and takes a few steps backward. “If you change your mind.”
“Night, Timmers.”
“Night.” Tim turns around and makes his exit.
Dick throws his good arm over his eyes and tries to sleep.
oOo
Unconsciousness comes in waves, broken by adrenaline spikes and Alfred or Bruce checking on him. But no matter his consciousness status, Dick’s reality is shadowed and manipulated by voices and figures, hallucinations and lies that feel like absolute truths. It’s hard to tell the difference between sleep and wakefulness, but the shaking is a good tell. He doesn’t usually shake in his nightmares.
He's in his room, lying in his bed and shaking. He doesn’t remember coming here, but that doesn’t say much. He’d been having a dream, something that felt real, but wrong. Something adjacent to reality.
A camera kept flashing in his face, the photographer morphing into something less and less human. And Bruce, Bruce had been there. Yelling at him, telling him to—
No. That hadn’t happened, and now that he’s awake, Dick can barely remember the lies.
Dick kicks at his sheets, trying to reach the cool air above them. At first it’s a relief, but soon it’s not enough because he’s hot and sweaty and something keeps telling him to run. He glances out the window, trying to figure out if he could survive the fall—
No. He’s fine. He’s fine.
Dick pushes himself upright, takes some deep breaths, tries to recite pi. 
He jumps at the knock on his door.
“Dick?” the door creaks open to reveal Bruce, who enters the room before Dick can answer. “What are you still doing here?”
“I—” Dick feels hot, his palms are sweating again and he can feel his heart pounding against his chest, trying to escape. He blinks, twists the skin on his forearm until it hurts.
Bruce is in front of him, sitting down on the bed. “I trained you to be a detective. Can’t you piece together the clues? You’re not wanted. Get out of my house and stay away from my family.”
Dick shakes his head, fists his hair. The room feels like it’s getting smaller, twisted and darker. Louder. Wrong. This is a sign, but Dick can’t remember for what. “But you—no. You trusted me with Damian, you said—” 
What had Bruce said? He’s a master manipulator when he wants to be, needs to be. He might’ve trusted him with Damian, or maybe, just maybe, he was only trying to protect Alfred in case Damian had been given orders to assassinate them. He’d already attacked Tim, after all, and keeping that fact in mind, Bruce would have needed to consider safety and who he’d be willing to lose in order to protect someone else. Dick’s death and its repercussions would have felt minuscule if it meant Alfred would be saved.
Hands tug at his wrists. It’s three fourteen. The voice is lying.
“Shh. Take a breath.” Dick tries, but it’s like his chest has stalled. “Tell me how many posters are in your room.”
“There’s—”
“Take them and go. I don’t want any trace of you left in this house.”
“Dick, you’re alright. Take a breath.” Hands are on Dick’s shoulders, trying to restrain him. He brushes them off, tries to get to the window. “I’m out of patience. I won’t be subtle any longer—I’ve regretted taking you in from the moment you moved in. Go!”  
His fingers barely brush against the window’s lock before he’s slammed into the ground. His shoulder pops, making him grunt.
“You’re not thinking clearly. Focus. Wait it out.”
Dick struggles against the weight on top of him, but it doesn’t give, not even when he resorts to biting. The hands simply shift from his chest to his stomach, and his attacker doesn’t even make a sound.
The voices in his head build up. There are millions, all shouting conspiracies at him, all of them sounding too true. His heart pounds so hard that it must be bruising his chest, and he’s so hot that his brain must be about to melt. And, and—he can’t breathe. He can’t breathe. He’s going to die. This is it—he’s going to die.
A hand forces his head down, and it’s not until then that he realizes he’s been slamming it against the ground in an attempt to silence the voices.
“Shh, shh. You’re alright. I’ve got you.”
“Leave! Jump out the window, you’d be doing everyone a favor!”
Dick tries to lift his head again, but the hold is firm. There’s not enough room to hit it against the ground, there’s not enough room to shut the voices out.
“No one will miss you!”
The familiar feeling of a needle slides into his arm.
“Shh.”
Something happens. The room shifts, he shifts, and he realizes that he’s no longer shaking. It’s a sign.
The hallucinations shift into a nightmare that feels too real.
oOo
Dick wakes up to nausea and a headache. He tries to move his hand to rub at his head only to find that he’s been restrained. Bad night then.
He opens his eyes and turns his head. There’s an empty chair by his bed and the bedroom door is cracked open. 
“Bruce,” he calls. 
Damian steps into view, pushing the door open a little wider. The quick response tells Dick that Damian has been listening from the hallway. “Father is answering a call from Kent. Would you like me to collect him?”
"It can wait.” 
Damian still hasn’t entered the room, and it makes Dick wonder how much he’d heard last night, how much last night has to do with the distance, the hesitance. He doesn’t remember seeing Damian at all, but he probably came back when Dick was still in the Cave. And even if they hadn’t seen each other, it’s not like Dick’s bedroom is soundproof.
“Everything okay, kiddo?” He can remember Bruce having a handful of especially bad reactions to fear gas from when Dick was a kid—they’d been terrifying, seeing Bruce like that had made them terrifying.
“Of course. You are the one who was incapacitated.” Damian tugs on the sleeve of his sweatshirt, pulling it halfway down his hand. “But you are alright now?”
Dick quirks his lips into a smile. “I’m fine.”
“Good. I imagine last night was quite difficult,” Damian begins. “Titus woke up several times.” Damian tugs on his sleeve again, he looks like he wants to ask something.
Damian’s head turns abruptly, and whatever he sees causes him to take a step back. Into the hallway, he says, “Richard is awake.”
Now that he’s paying attention, Dick can hear Bruce’s footsteps. Bruce pauses outside of Dick’s bedroom, and he and Damian exchange words in quiet voices that Dick can’t understand. Then Bruce steps inside and closes the door behind him. 
“How are you feeling?” Bruce asks.
“Lucid,” Dick starts. Bruce tilts his head, expectant. “Not great overall, and I still feel a little on edge, but I think the worst of it is over.”
“Hnn.” Bruce looks him over for a moment, trying to confirm Dick’s self-evaluation. He must pass because soon Bruce is taking off the restraints. 
“Did I . . .” Dick tries to think back to last night and work out what was nightmare and what was hallucination and what was reality. “Did I try to jump out a window last night?”
“Yes. I had to hold you down until a sedative was administered. After that, we decided it would be safer to use restraints until the toxin wore off.”
Dick sits up as the last of the restraints are removed. He stretches his ankles and wrists. “Did the antidote not work or something?”
“It either wore off early or the toxin was stronger than usual. Possibly both, considering how you reacted to additional doses,” Bruce explains. 
Dick frowns. “How many doses did you give me?”  
“Three. You probably won’t need a fourth, but we’ll check your blood in a few hours to make sure that the traces still in your system are gone, or at least decreasing.”
Dick groans and slides back down against his pillow, draping his arms over his face. The fear toxin antidote, while helpful, isn’t without side-effects. With three doses, those effects will stick around for days.
Bruce, the bastard, has the audacity to chuckle at him. Dick blindly throws a pillow at him, smiling when he hears it meet its target.
Then, “Are you hungry?”
“Not even a little.”
Bruce runs a hand through Dick’s hair. “Sleep.”
He doesn’t have to be told twice. 
oOo
Dick wakes up alone again, but this time the chair is gone and the door is completely shut. It’s a good sign, and since Dick isn’t currently disoriented, very much preferred. 
It’s much later in the day now, a little past noon, but he knows he could very easily close his eyes and sleep for another few hours. Possibly until the next morning. But to his misfortune, his stomach growls in protest.
With a dramatic sigh that no one can hear, he gets out of bed, quickly showers and dresses, and goes downstairs to find something to eat.
"I was just about to check on you," Alfred says when he spots him entering the kitchen. "How are you feeling?"
Dick shrugs. “Tired.” It’s a side-effect of the antidote, but the nightmares probably hadn’t helped. “Did you guys have lunch already?”
“It would seem that everyone has gotten a rather late start to the day. We were just about to settle in for a brunch of sorts.”
“Do you need help?” Dick asks.
Alfred points toward a tray of what looks like buckwheat pancakes. “If you could bring that tray into the dining room, please.”
Dick hums and grabs the tray, carrying it into the dining room with Alfred behind him. He’s just setting the tray down when Titus storms in, running into his legs with a force that threatens to knock him over.
He takes a step back with a small laugh, reaching down to pet Titus. His tail thumps against the ground as he takes a seat on top of Dick’s feet.
“Master Damian!” Alfred shouts, setting a bowl of fruit down on the table.
“What’s up with you, buddy?” Dick asks the dog as he bends down to pet him better. Titus doesn’t usually tackle him, especially not when they just saw each other the day before. “What’s goin’ on?”
Alfred tsks to the room at large.
“Yes, Pennyworth?” Damian asks when he eventually reaches the room.
“What have I told you about animals in the dining room, especially during meal times?”
Damian rolls his eyes, prompting another “Master Damian!” from Alfred. Dick almost laughs, but the adult in him tells him to stand up and keep his mouth shut.
“Titus, come,” Damian says.
Titus whines.
“Titus, come,” Damian repeats.
Titus obeys, tail low as Damian leads him out of the room.
“And please gather the others before returning.”
Damian mumbles something under his breath that Alfred claims to have heard. Despite the resistance, Tim comes into the room a minute later, so Damian must’ve done as Alfred asked.
“Morning,” Tim says. He juts his thumb toward the hall. “What’s Damian mad about?”
“Oh.” Dick huffs a small laugh. “Titus ran in here and Alfred kind of went off on him.”
“Ugh, and I missed it? Bummer.” Tim takes a seat next to him and steals a piece of fruit from the bowl. “Feeling any better? Bruce said you had a rough night.”
Sometimes a little fear toxin exposure can be so mundane and minuscule that it isn’t mentioned the following morning. Dick wishes this was one of those times.
“Yup.” Dick taps his fingers on the table. “What happened to your ankle? You didn’t report it last night.”
Tim looks down at the ACE bandage wrapped around his left foot. “Oh. Just an old injury that started acting up this morning. I can still kick your ass at sparring later, though.”
Dick snorts and grabs one of the buckwheat pancakes, deciding he can’t wait any longer. “You wish.”
oOo
Breakfast is uneventful, aside from Dick literally falling asleep on the table. Bruce shakes him awake after everyone’s finished eating and then drags Dick down to the Cave to check his blood levels. Titus joins them, pressing himself against Dick’s legs and nearly tripping him as they make their way down the Cave’s stairs.
One blood test later and they learn that the toxin levels haven’t budged. Bruce decides to give him another dose of the antidote.
“Fourth time’s the charm, right?” Dick says.
“Hnn.”
Bruce sets a timer on his phone, just like he used to do in the early days. Draw blood, antidote, set a timer, draw more blood. That had been the routine for so much of his life.
Although, Dick supposes, they hadn’t really had antidotes back then; they’d had attempts at treatments. Desperate attempts to manage symptoms. There was no testing to guarantee their effectiveness or safety, and their chemical makeup had been based purely on theory and desperation. It was better than nothing, but it was risky, so they took precautions: monitoring each other not only for effectiveness but also for the inevitable side effects.
Dick will never forget the time an “antidote” caused his throat to swell up and chest to stall. The timer had only had a minute left, too—they’d increased the time after that, and Dick hadn’t complained about having to wait the whole time for almost a year.
These days, monitoring isn’t always part of the routine, and when it is, it’s mostly to check for effectiveness. But since this is Dick’s fourth dose in a relatively short timeframe, his risk for adverse effects is higher and he needs to be monitored to make sure he doesn’t keel over. Bruce will probably force him to stay at the manor until all side effects of the treatment subside, longer if new side effects arise.
“Have you been able to get any restful sleep?”
Dick jerks as he’s pulled from his thoughts. “Uh,” he starts, needing a second to process what Bruce just said. “No. Not really, no.”
“Someone can patrol in Bludhaven while you recover.”
It’s an offer, Bruce trying to be helpful. Dick knows that, but something makes it feel like an order, proof that Bruce thinks he’s incompetent.
“I’m fine on my own.”
Funny how Dick’s still trying to prove that, after all these years. He remembers when he was eight and first moved in with Bruce, how he’d been adamant about not needing a parent, not needing Bruce, but he became attached anyway. He’d told himself Bruce was a want, not a need, but that hadn’t been true, not in the early days.
Then things shifted. He grew up and no longer needed Bruce, but he’d wanted him. Dick had lied to himself again, telling himself that Bruce was the last person he wanted. The lie was easier to believe on some days than on others, but it had been even harder to convince himself that Bruce felt the same way. That even if Bruce didn’t need Dick, he wanted him.
That feeling of uncertainty, insecurity, had been with Dick since he was a kid, and it had persisted and worsened as he’d gotten older. It had been exacerbated after Two-Face nearly killed him and Bruce promptly fired him from being Robin. He was twelve and lost back then, and in what he now knows was just his twisted, hurt kid-brain, he’d convinced himself that Bruce didn’t need nor want him, as Robin or anything else.
Back then, he’d been certain that pity and guilt were the only things stopping Bruce from tossing Dick out onto the streets. He’d felt like a burden, and he’d hated everything about his life in those moments. So, he’d done the only thing he could think of—he ran.
And Bruce—Bruce didn’t chase him.
That was—maybe is—the important bit, the part that Dick still thinks about. Not the initial rejection, not being fired—that Bruce didn’t come after him.
After all, that’s what he’d wanted, wasn’t it? For Bruce to prove him wrong, for Bruce to chase after him, fight for him. To want him.
Bruce fought for Jason, then for Tim and, eventually, Damian. It’s clear that they are and always will be wanted, and Dick knows it’s stupid, but he doesn’t always know if that’s true for himself. At the end of the day, his brothers all have Bruce’s name, and all Dick has is a man who stopped being his legal guardian when he turned eighteen.
Dick is useful, even needed on the rare occasion, but he’s not always sure that he’s wanted. And he desperately needs to be wanted.
“Something’s . . . bothering you.” Bruce’s brows are furrowed, searching Dick’s face and trying to find the clues that will tell him what went wrong and where.
Dick scratches behind Titus’s ears, looking at him instead of Bruce. “Just the toxin.”
“Hnn.” Bruce sits down next to Dick, grunting slightly as he settles. “I imagine that the photographer’s comments last night didn’t help.”
Sometimes Dick hates how well Bruce knows him.
“It wasn’t a big deal.”
“Maybe. But fear toxin twists things, and it’s been known to draw on recent events, especially the latest versions.”
Dick says nothing, just nods in acknowledgment as he attends to Titus.
“Dick, you are my family, in every sense of the word. And I . . . I was bothered by the comment last night that implied otherwise.”
Bruce reaches over and squeezes Dick’s knee, and Dick wonders how much he’d said last night when the fear toxin was in control.
“You know I love you, right?”
“Yeah, I know. It’s just—” Dick sighs, leans his head against Bruce’s shoulder, squeezes his eyes shut. “Sometimes I don’t.”
Bruce shifts. He cups the back of Dick’s head and pulls him toward his chest, pressing a kiss into his hair. “I love you, okay? And you are wanted here. So, so wanted.” Bruce holds him in a tight hug and traces circles into his hair. “I’ll say it as many times as you need to hear it.”
Dick hugs him back and nods into his chest. It doesn’t fix everything, but it makes it better. And sometimes that’s all anyone needs.
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callmesteve · a month ago
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shine a light into the wreckage
It’s like this - a scream, sharp and wild, and the pull of a blade against skin. It’s like this - something choked out and an arm around the waist, yanking him back. It’s like this-
Damian goes out on patrol with Grayson. Damian gets caught in a cloud of fear gas. Damian runs.
Or, Damian's hit by fear gas. He hurts Steph in his panic.
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pettingabumblebee · 5 months ago
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If You got a Dose of Scarecrow’s Toxin... What Is Your Greatest Fear?
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Batman: “Losing one of my boys!”
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Superman: “Hurting someone with my powers!”
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Judge Death: “Teddy Bears!”
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ravenstakeflight · 2 months ago
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also now imagine bruce gets fear gassed (forgot his rebreather or whatever who tf cares) and when he's locked down in the cave his hallucinations are his four kids standing in front of him yelling at him before they eventually leave him alone. but it's not yelling at him, it's quiet words and ice and cutting straight through his soul because god, he never learns does he, does the same things. the same mistakes over and over and fails all his children -- he can never tell them he loves them because he can't handle the emotions associated with his kids, actions are never enough for people who want words and he's just crying and self-recriminating the whole time
dick talks about how he's always hated how overbearing bruce was. jason takes a stab at how unprepared bruce was when he got jason, how he hadn't saved his second from a fiery death. tim talks about how much he tried back when he was robin and how bruce pushed him away and then abandoned them. damian is back to the way he was when he arrived, cold and aloof, speaks of how he'd always wanted to meet his father but hadn't knows he was such a failure. and then alfred shows up and just. unloads everything that bruce had always feared: he kept alfred tied down, he was too quiet too brash too much and this had never been what alfred signed up for, and he hated having to take care of an immature boy in a man's body for the past forty-eight years.
and then alfred-dick-jason-tim-damian leave.
cut to bruce sobbing in the middle of the cave, alone.
TAGLIST
@multishipping-trash @queenanon @satandaddyy @travesty-majesty @bet-you-watch-sunsets-too @shyangelinnnerdevil @seashells-of-horror @generalbananatragedy  @viceturtle
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Genuinely pissed at how easily Bruce and sometimes even other rogues use his toxin, or how it’s used as a plot point with him ever being in the comic, game, or movie. The comic writers act like this toxin is some easily identifiable object, when it is something so entirely intricate that no normal human could figure out how it’s made. Bruce can just magically scan the toxin with his magic ass bat computer and figure it out within two panels of a comic, while it’s taken Crane YEARS to perfect the toxin. That’s not right!
This is not some easy bake oven cookie, this is a amalgam of years of research! No ONE, not rogues, not even Batman should be able to dissect it completely!
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awhitehead17 · 4 months ago
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Batfam Alphabet: F - Fear Toxin
Summary: When Tim gets injected with a new variant of Scarecrow’s fear toxin, all Jason could do is hold the kid in his arms to stop him from getting injured further as he waits for back up to arrive. 
A/N: As a warning violence happens, nothing too graphic but here’s a warning just in case!
Enjoy! :D
Jason pauses when his fingers grasp nothing but empty air. Snapping his gaze down, he frowns when he finds his pocket completely empty. He sighs and curses. This is just what he needs, he’s ran out of antidotes.
He looks up across the street to find Tim administering an antidote into another cowering civilian caught in the crossfire of Gotham’s latest villain scheme. Jason jogs over to his brother and glances at him through his helmet. “You got any more? I’m out.”
Tim shakes his head regretfully. “No. That was my last one. We really underestimated how far Scarecrow’s toxin got this time. We don’t have enough.”
Jason hums in agreement and observes their surroundings. They’re together in a back alley of Gotham’s streets, one that had been hit badly by Scarecrow’s latest fear toxin. They had the task of vaccinating all the civilians around with the new antidote. Back in the cave they calculated an estimate number of many people populated the area and had prepared more than enough between them, or so they thought, unfortunately their numbers were far from right leaving them with not nearly enough antidotes.  
Around them now, many civilians are still under the hallucinations of the toxin, some are screaming, crying or even violently yelling at empty air. Jason swears again, this is not how the night was supposed to go.
He’s brought out of his thoughts when Tim turns to him. “We’re going to need to go back and restock. We’re not much use otherwise.”
“Agreed.”
He wonders if the others are having similar issues with numbers and the lack of antidotes. The team’s spread out around Gotham’s most targeted areas, all of them working in pairs for safety and everyone working their asses off to help people in the city.
Wordlessly the two of them head for their hidden vehicles in a neighbouring alley. As they prepare to climb onto their bikes Tim glances his way to say something but ends up yelling in alarm instead. “Hood watch out!”
It’s thanks to Jason’s reflexes that he’s able to duck underneath the swinging arm in time to avoid being hit. He brings his gun out and turns to face his attacker. His attacker is probably middle aged man, a little on the heavy side and he’s wearing a shitty Halloween mask to hide his face. Jason dodges another swing and returns the favour, he takes him out in three quick and precise strikes with his hands.
A loud grunt gets his attention and Jason spins around to find Tim caught in a head lock with a gun pressed against his temple. Tim’s attacker is too wearing a mask as were the four others who now surround them. Where they came from Jason has no idea. How the hell did they miss these guys who had obviously been waiting and hiding for them to return to their bikes?
As Jason levels his gun at Tim’s attacker the four others surrounding him also raise their guns pointing them in his direction, this concludes them all into a standoff.
Tim’s attacker speaks up first. “Put that gun down or I blow his brains out.”
Behind his mask Jason rolls his eyes. How fucking cliché? He keeps his gun up though, pointing at the man and in a cocky statement he takes the safety off with an audible click. The man holding Tim snorts as he had been expecting Jason’s disobedience.
“Very well. I’ll show you how this is going to go. You get one warning and mate, you’ve just used that warning.”
He kicks Tim’s legs out from underneath him and lets him go, unexpecting the abrupt movement Tim crashes to the floor. Once he’s sprawled out on the ground the attacker stamps on one of Tim’s hands, causing a rather loud and sickening crack to ring out. Jason winces as Tim yells in pain but before anyone could react further the same man manhandles Tim to his knees and resumes their previous position.
He cocks the gun and presses it to Tim’s head. “Now, if either of you act up, you’re gonna get a hurt whole lot worse than a broken hand. Now follow us. No funny business! Get his gun!”
One of the men come and wrench Jason’s gun out of his hand and all Jason could do was let him. He doesn’t want to risk Tim any more than he has to.
He and Tim are marched out of the alley and into another before being directed into an abandoned building. They’re walked into the middle of the room and forced down to their knees, once on the ground a couple of the thugs come over to grab their hands and tie them behind their backs. Jason grits his teeth and refrains from doing something like headbutting the asshole, while next to him Tim lets out a pained grunt as his broken hand is jostled.
When they step away Jason twists his body awkwardly to get a look at his restrained wrists to find them tied with cable ties. Jason huffs in disbelief. His attention is soon brought back to the room when one of the attackers speak up.
“Boss we got’em just like you asked.”
Jason straightens up when a new figure walks into the room only to grit his teeth seconds later when Scarecrow is revealed. The bastard doesn’t stop moving until he’s looming over them. Unable to help himself Jason speaks up, sarcasm heavily laced in his tone. “Same shit different day Crane. Why don’t you go and get yourself a new hobby, go for something like knitting perhaps.”
Crane turns his head towards Jason, his expression hidden by that stupid potato sack over his head. “You would like that wouldn’t you? If I were gone there would be nothing to fear. Perhaps that clown but nothing else.”
“Sorry to break it to you but you ain’t that scary.” Jason quips, glaring through his helmet.
“Maybe not right now but with a little help, I will be, I’ll become your greatest nightmare.” Crane reaches behind him and pulls out a box, he makes a show of opening it up and producing a syringe filled with a clear liquid. “A person can learn to control themselves when feeling great emotion, sadness, happiness, anger, but never in times of fear. Fear is the minds greatest enemy and that’s why it’s so powerful, why even the greatest of men fall.”
Jason watches as Crane drifts over to stand in front of Tim, his brother simply looks up with a hard and determined expression not saying anything. Crane fiddles with the syringe in his hands, studying Tim as he does.
“It won’t work. We’re not stupid Crane.” Jason says feeling dread build up inside of him. He knows what’s about to happen and he has feeling he knows exactly what Crane’s response is going to be.
“I know. That’s why I’m sure you’ve worked out that this is a different toxin I’ve produced to the one I’ve already distributed. One of which you don’t have an antidote for.”
For the first time Tim speaks up, snarling at the man in front of him. “Go to hell Crane.” Scarecrow doesn’t answer Tim, instead he reaches down and grabs a fist full of Tim’s hair and yanks his head back to expose his neck.
From his position Jason lurches at the movement, ready to pounce but it stopped when the thugs immediately zone in on him. Guns point at him and at Tim, simply daring him to make another move. Uselessly he settles back down on the ground.
Crane jabs the syringe into the kid’s neck and injects the liquid into Tim’s body. Once it’s empty he steps away, pushing Tim down to the ground as he does. Jason is torn between worriedly watching Tim’s unmoving form on the ground and Crane’s retreating figure from the room.
One of the thugs speak up. “Uh boss now what? We not killing the big one?”
“No.” Crane says firmly. “He has a choice to make, come after me and leave the other to suffer or help him and let me go.”
“You bastard!” Jason yells as Crane exits the room, disappearing from his sight. “You’ll be sorry you’ve left me alive! I will kill your ass when I next see it.”
Jason snaps his attention to Tim who is now whimpering on the floor. He needs to get help, he needs to get Tim to the cave so they can start working on a new antidote to whatever the hell Crane just injected him with.
With some difficulty, Jason twists and wiggles around so he can move to get his restrained hands in front of him. Using a move Dick once showed him, Jason tucks up tightly loops his arms underneath his body so they go underneath him and end up in front of him. It tests his flexibility for sure but it works.
Once his arms are in front of him he reaches up and presses the comms, getting Barbara’s help.
“O! I need immediate assistance!”
“Hood what’s going on, why did you and Red Robin go radio silent-”
Not having the patience Jason cuts her off. “Now’s not the time! We ran into Scarecrow and he injected Red with a new toxin. We need to get him to the cave asap.”
“Shit. I’m alerting the others now and sending them your location. Do what you can to help Red.”
“Already on it.”
Jason signs off and moves to break the cable ties around his wrists. He tightens them up as much as possible, raises his hands over his head and brings his fists down to his stomach in one fluid movement. Upon impact the ties break and his heads are freed.
Not wasting a second he scrambles over to Tim who is now starting to wither on the floor, whimpering pitiful sounds. Knowing there’s not much he can do, Jason decides to break the ties from Tim's own wrists, he’s aware of Tim’s broken hand but that’ll have to be dealt with later on.
At least that was his plan up until he puts a hand on Tim’s shoulder. As soon as Jason touches him, the kid freaks out. He lets out a scream of terror and suddenly jerks up right and starts to scramble away from him. Jason freezes in shock as he watches Tim try and move away from him, but the kid’s movements were hindered by his hands being tied behind him.
“No no no no. I’m sorry. Please I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. No no no. It won’t happen again I promise.”
The words were quiet and raspy but Jason could hear them clearly in the silence of the room. He needs to stop Tim from moving and also to prevent further damage to his hands. He cautiously approaches Tim again, crouching down low and taking slow steps forward, but at the moment Tim only sees him as a threat. The kid screams and continues to try and scramble backwards away from him.
“No no no! I’m sorry! Please don’t kill me…”
Jason frowns at the words as his heart lurches inside of his chest at the sound of Tim’s pleading voice. When he takes another step forward Tim only screams again, making Jason freeze on the spot. He really ought to get Tim to stop moving, Jason doesn’t particularly want to use force to get him to restrain his movements but he doesn’t think he has any choice.
Sighing Jason takes off his helmet, something he admittedly probably should have done before now, and approaches Tim again. As expected the kid screams and begs as he tries to shuffle away, his legs kicks out and his body contorts uncomfortably.
Pretty much out of options Jason lunges for Tim. He grabs the kid’s ankle to stop him from getting any further away before diving onto the floor and situating himself behind Tim. He wraps his legs around Tim’s thighs and knees, pinning them in place and he wraps his arms around Tim’s torso and shoulders. He holds on tightly as Tim tries and fails to buck out of his grasp.
While the kid screams in his arms all Jason could do is hold him and wait until backup comes. He counts the never ending minutes as they tick by. His brother is weakly fighting his hold while tears stream down his cheeks as he whimpers out pleas, it breaks Jason’s heart to hear it all.
Thankfully the cavalry soon arrive, they burst into the room and take in the scene before them. Both Dick and Bruce rush towards them and immediately start making plans.
“How long ago was he injected?” Bruce demands as he grasps Tim’s chin. Tim tries to get out of it but Bruce holds firm as he removes the kid’s mask and studies his dilated pupils.
“Twenty maybe thirty minutes. Right before O contacted you. Crane got away.” Jason reports automatically. He’s furious about Crane of course but family comes first, he couldn’t have left Tim alone in this state.
“Hold him still.” Bruce grunts as he digs through his utility belt. After a moment he produces a small blood sample kit. With quick efficiency Bruce takes a vial of Tim’s blood, caps it off and holds it out to Nightwing who had been hovering on the side but not getting in the way. Dick takes it without words. “Get a head start to the cave, Agent A is preparing to start a new antidote trial.”
Dick nods, his gaze lingers on Tim before his head tilts in Jason’s direction. “Keep me updated.” He disappears before Jason could respond. When Dick is out of sight his attention is drawn back to Tim and Bruce.
“We need to get him to the car and then to the cave. You’ll need to keep him restrained so he doesn’t hurt himself.”
If the situation were different Jason would both be peeved and even upset at the detachment in Bruce’s tone of voice. Unfortunately in this situation he can understand why Bruce is like it, not being emotionally invested will allow him to focus on the task at hand, which in this case happened to be getting Tim back to the cave and working on a new antidote. He’ll let himself feel everything once he knows Tim is safe and sound.
Together he and Bruce manage to get Tim into the batmobile. The kid does nothing other than scream, whimper, plead and cry as they move him. Jason makes sure to tell Bruce about his hand and once in the car Bruce relays the injury to Alfred in the cave. Once they’ve worked out the antidote they can work on his hand.
Getting back to the cave seems long and tedious but once they’re there they move Tim from the car and into the medical bay. They settle him down on one of the cots, having to restrain his wrists and ankles to the bed to stop him moving so much and Alfred updates them on the situation with the antidote.
They were fortunate enough to be able to come up with a temporary antidote in that short amount of time. It turns out Scarecrow hadn’t used a new toxin but rather the same one as before, the only difference in this one is that there are hints of Poison Ivy’s hallucinogen concoction. Dick and Alfred quickly worked together to combine the two antidotes making a new one altogether.
Without much hesitation they give Tim the new antidote and watch as the kid quietens down on the bed and falls unconscious. It’s only after Alfred deems everything is okay that they all can breathe somewhat easily again.
While Dick, Bruce, Jason and Barbara (over the comms) discuss the next steps and about what the current situation is looking like, Alfred stays with Tim and patches up his hand, fixing a cast over the skin and bone until they can get it looked at professionally.
As plans are being made Jason watches Alfred work, his worry for Tim still heavily stirring inside of him. He doesn’t think he’ll be forgetting those petrified screams any time soon. Once the kid wakes up Jason is going to have a long chat with Tim, one to rest his own subconscious and secondly because he wants to make sure the kid is mentally okay after the ordeal. He’ll make sure Tim gets some proper r&r after all of this and maybe even for himself too once Crane is dealt with.
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Bad Night, Good Knight
@damianwayneweek day 3: That Wasn't Supposed to Happen
I'm playing a little loose with the prompt since the thing that wasn't supposed to happen takes place before the fic starts but you know what? Sometimes you just want to write a few pages of Damian reacting to a bad patrol instead of experiencing it (and also experiencing more bad patrol).
Summary:
After what Damian would consider a fairly disastrous start to patrol, Spoiler takes over and helps him work out some of the stress and frustration he's still feeling.
AO3 Link
~
Damian kicked his feet out, letting the heels of his boots hit against the brick behind them. He shifted a bit, so he was leaning back on his palms. Below him, the city sparkled on a rare clear night. The city looked bright, glittering almost like Bludhaven did after the rain.
His thoughts were not as carefree or bright. Damian focused on his breathing, attempting to still his heart as it continued to race, even well after the anti-toxin had kicked in. He kept his eyes on the buildings, on shadows moving behind curtains, and an owl that fluttered by. It was much better than closing his eyes.
Closing his eyes meant being back in that warehouse. It meant not knowing the difference between truth or fiction. If the hands on him were friend or foe. It meant worrying--thinking-- believing he’d gotten his family killed.
Sharp pain raced up both wrists and he hissed, pulling forward to lift the weight off them. Careful, Damian tugged at his gloves and pulled them off to examine the skin underneath. His wrists were ringed with red, bruised, with slightly raised lines here and there. Left over from the ropes he’d been tied with for the better part of the night.
“Tt.” he turned his hand over, displeased that he’d come away so affected, in mind and body.
“I’ve got some cream for that.” Stepahnie’s voice preceded her by a moment as Spoiler dropped to the ledge beside him.
A purple glove held out a small bottle to Damian which he took, and eyed. It was what she’d said, bruise cream, the container about half empty, but with plenty left for Damian to use.
“You keep this on hand?”
She shrugged, “You never know when you’ll need it, for us or civilians.”
He hummed, and popped open the top, a light citrusy scent tickled his nose. Stephanie waited while he applied the cream to one wrist, then the other. It made things feel better almost immediately, if only because it felt cool and soothing.
“Thank you.” he said, capping it and handing it back over.
Stephanie ruffled his hair, “No problem.”
Damian scowled and leaned away from her hand, but she followed him, truly messing up his carefully styled hair. Well, it had been carefully styled before they’d left for patrol. He had no idea how it looked after being nabbed by Crane and dangled as bait for the rest of his family. His hair hadn’t been at the top of his priorities for the past few hours.
“Where are the others?” he asked, attempting to keep his tone casual.
“Batman’s wrapping up with Crane. Hood’s already left to finish his route. And Nightwing’s back at the cave resting, and has been for a while. The others are where they’ve been all night.” She mimed dancing and drinking tea, “At the gala we got lucky enough to miss.”
Damian’s heart twinged at Nightwing. He wanted to ask further about Richard, but Stephanie’s tone seemed to indicate he was fine. Still, tone was not enough to still the worry in his stomach. The last he’d seen of Richard was the man sitting up, bleary eyed, with blood trailing down his forehead. And then Damian had been dragged too far away to see him at all.
“Is he--” the words slipped out before Damian could stop himself.
“Wing’s fine, Robin.” Stephanie’s voice softened, “I found him after you disappeared, and he’s been home since under A’s careful eye. Argued up a storm over not being allowed to come help find you, but eventually B talked him down.”
Damian nodded, injured Richard would have only been a further liability in the field. Damian had already made himself enough of one by being captured, Father would not have wanted any more sons in danger.
“And are you here to return me home?”
“Do you want to go home?”
He shook his head.
“Then I say we continue to patrol. Bruce isn’t the boss of us.” She stood, and reached a hand down to Damian, “Come on, grab those gloves, we’ve got stuff to do.”
Damian let a smile slip across his face, the first all night, “Excellent.”
Stephanie took point on their route, and Damian was happy to let her. He wanted action, and movement, and whatever they could do to help shake the fear still lingering over him.
They started by stopping a mugging.
Together, Spoiler and Robin dropped down behind the two men, and broke them up. Damian distracted one, dancing around him to force him to move away from the woman they’d been terrorizing.
Behind the guy, Damian watched as Spoiler kicked over the other man, and he stayed down. Damian ducked a wild swing from his own opponent, and threw a punch at the man’s open side. It landed and sent the guy stumbling backwards.
Damian let his attention slide back over to where Spoiler was. She was leading the terrified woman away from danger. Good, that’d give Damian room to really move if he needed to.
He traded blows with his opponent, before leveraging himself off one of the nearby buildings to slam his feet into the man’s chest and take him down. Damian zip tied him, and stood, turning back to search for Spoiler and the woman again.
Instead he found himself face to face with the other thug. The man loomed over him, and Damian froze. Fear raced through his chest in a sharp wave. He was back where he’d been earlier that night, surrounded by green gas he couldn’t stop breathing in and facing down an enemy too big for him to deal with while Nightwing was hurt, on the floor behind him.
Damian knew what was going to happen next. He’d try to lure the man away only to be knocked out by a lucky swing from the guy’s bat. Then he’d be caught. Dragged away from his family. Trapped. He’d--
Purple flashed across his vision as Spoiler jumped in with a high kick that cracked the man’s jaw so hard Damian heard it clearly. The sound snapped him out of his haze and he lurched back into action. Together, they took the guy down in seconds.
When they were done, Brown eyed him but didn’t comment beyond, “I’ll call it in, let’s keep moving.”
While Spoiler’s voice rattled off the crime and location over the comms to the GCPD Damian mentally worked out how to get them back on their regular route.
They patrolled for another ten minutes, swinging from building to building and occasionally stopping to sweep a street. Worried meows of a cat caught Damian’s ears. He froze, then scanned the street.
It was a residential one, lined with apartments and old trees that climbed close to buildings. After a moment a high, young, voice followed one of the cat’s noises.
“Chance, please get down, boy. I can’t climb up there!”
Damian and Stephanie exchanged looks, then together they moved in the direction of the noises. It was obvious after a moment that Chance, a tabby, was stuck not in a tree, but on a jutting portion of roof overlooking a child’s bedroom window.
The voice belonged to a little girl, with braided pigtails and Wonder Woman themed pajamas. She was leaning precariously out of her window and waving frantically at the cat. At the sound of vigilantes landing on a nearby tree, her attention shifted, and blue eyes widened at them.
“Robin! Batgirl!”
Stephanie winced and muttered, “Spoiler, but close.”
She elbowed Damian indicating he should be the one to rescue the cat. He rolled his eyes behind his domino.
“Don’t worry.” Damian said to the girl, “I’ll get Chance down for you.”
Somehow her eyes went even wider, as if she couldn’t imagine how he might know the cat’s name, despite having yelled it out moments before.
Careful, Damian climbed from the tree to the building’s roof. Then he made his way across shingles to the cat, terrified and clinging to its spot on the roof.
“Here boy,” Damian murmured, slipping a treat from one of his utility belt pouches (Father had once told him that animal treats were a waste of a good space, if only he could see their usefulness now), holding it out to the frightened cat.
Well, Chance seemed to be still a kitten. A growing one, but he had not reached full adulthood yet, which was probably why he was so hesitant to jump the easy distance into the girl's arms.
Damian waited patiently for the scent of food to overcome the kitten’s fear, and when it was distracted enough, he scooped the creature into his arms, and let it have the treat.
He hooked his grapple to the roof and lowered himself carefully down to the window. The girl eagerly reached for her kitten, and Damian made sure she had a secure hold on the creature before fully releasing it.
“I would suggest against opening the window late at night, even a little bit, Chance is still small enough to wiggle through and get stuck again.” he said.
She gave him a serious nod, and then, “Thank you, Robin! And thank Batgirl too, you’re both so cool.”
Damian smiled at her, “Have a good night, you and Chance.”
He pulled himself back up to the roof and then rejoined Spoiler in her tree. The two waved at the girl, and jumped back into patrol.
After that they stopped to help a woman unloading groceries from a late night shopping trip, walked an inebriated young man home, and shooed off teens eager to graffiti a food truck. They were all easy tasks, and somehow they never turned to another mugging or robbery. Damian did not realize that until he was standing beside Spoiler as she helped change a flat tire with the surety of a pro.
“Spoiler,” Damian said, after the car was on its way back down the road, “Are we going to stop any more crime tonight, or act as errand boys for Gotham’s late night citizens?”
“Errand boys and girls.” Stephanie corrected, “And we’ll stop crime if we see it. O hasn’t phoned anything in where we’re at yet, and it’s good to be helpful. We’re preventing crime, rather than stopping it.”
It was a smooth, practiced answer. Like she’d heard it before when questioning Batman or Timothy on a previous patrol. Damian let it slide for the moment, intent on keeping a careful eye out for other crimes.
His hesitance earlier would not be repeated, he would make sure of that. He would prove that he was fine. That the shaky feeling in his chest when he breathed was exertion, not lingering fear or embarrassment over his earlier predicament.
Only, they continued with the easy tasks. They waited with another Gothamite who’s car had overheated, until the tow arrived. Then they found a box of puppies and took them to a local shelter Damian recommended.
Finally Oracle called in an alarm going off at a convenience store nearby where they were patrolling. Damian moved instantly towards it, unwilling to let Spoiler pull him back again.
She didn’t say anything, only fell in beside him as they made their way over to the store. When they arrived, four men were exiting the building in a hurry. One of them carried a register they’d grabbed, two of the others had a huge burlap sack carried between them, and a third carried a smaller one heavy with whatever they’d taken from inside the store.
Damian swung down, a wrecking ball of force and frustration. His feet slammed into the chest of one of the men carrying sacks. The man went flying, the contents of the bag scattering across the concrete around him as he landed.
Before the other three could really figure out what was going on, Damian had turned away from the thief he’d taken out, and was already throwing a batarang at the guy carrying the register. It caught his hand and he yelped, dropping the register with a crash.
By that point, Spoiler jumped into the fray, her cape flowing out in a huge swoop meant to blind the men still on their feet.
Damian turned back to the guy who’d dropped the register and threw himself at him. The element of surprise had faded at this point and the men were rallying, but Damian was trained well, no matter what his failure earlier that night had pointed to.
He swept the man’s feet out from under him in an arc, then came down on his stomach with his elbow.
As Damian stood, someone grabbed him from behind, and hauled him up. Damian scrambled, and grabbed at the hand but whoever had him didn’t seem to care about the way Damian’s fingers scratched at him. Before he knew it, Damian was tumbling backwards, thrown down not into the ground like he’d expected, but into something soft that caught him just before the hard concrete.
One of the bags the men had been using to steal from the shop closed around him and Damian felt his heart speed up. He tried to shove himself up, darkness closing over him as whoever had grabbed him tightened the strings on the large sack. But his hands couldn’t get purchase on the bag. It was taught with his weight, meaning there wasn’t a good area to grab at.
He kicked and shoved, his brain whiting out as the idea that he was trapped closed over him. No. Not again . This couldn’t be happening again. He couldn’t have failed a third time tonight he--He couldn’t breathe.
And then the bag swung. Damian’s stomach lurched, with the movement. He braced himself as best as he could, curling tight to protect himself before the bag slammed into the ground. The impact broke his curl as his knees and elbows cracked into the hard ground and he gasped with the pain of it all.
The only good thing he could take about the jarring action was that it had shaken him from his stupor. Body aching, he dug a batarang out and sliced the bag open. He tumbled out as the man lifted the sack again for a second attack.
Damian rolled over to push himself back to his feet. His arms were shaking, his chest tight. Something curled in his chest that felt vaguely like unshed tears. Damian couldn’t quite name the emotions tossing themselves around his head like he’d been tossed helplessly in that bag, but none of them were good or a call to get up and fight.
Behind him, he heard Spoiler grunt, followed by the smack of weapon against skin, and a thud. Then, for the second time that night, Damian found a purple gloved hand reaching out for him.
“Need a hand?”
He squeezed his eyes shut, but took her hand and let her help him to his feet. His head swam slightly, but otherwise he was fine.
“Thanks.” he murmured.
“No problem.” She said, giving his hand a quick squeeze before letting go.
Damian busied himself tugging the unconscious men towards each other and tying them up, while Spoiler made their second call of the evening.
“If you’re ready, I’ve got our next location locked in.” Stephanie said, as Damian stood.
He wasn’t. He was pretty sure the only thing he was ready for was bed. To curl up, safe and sound, with his face pressed into Titus’s flank thoughts of failure long gone in the comfort of home. Instead of admitting that, Damian nodded. He was Robin, and he’d be as useful as possible as long as their patrol lasted. Even if he seemed to keep freezing up. At some point he’d get over it. He always had during training back in the League, eventually he got over his fear. This was no different than that. He just had to keep pushing.
Spoiler led them both to a playground. It was known for late night drug deals between some of Gotham High’s more affluent teens.
The playground was large. It had a swing set with six swings, a couple seesaws, those little animals on springs, and a sand pit. To top it all off it had a huge sprawling play place in the center. Tire swings hung off it, monkey bars and rope bridges connected portions of it. Three slides of various types came off it in different areas. It even had a little rock wall for enterprising kids to use instead of the other stairs to climb up.
“What are we doing here?” Damian asked, looking around.
“Acting as deterrents. Oracle said she’d heard some chatter about a meet up tonight. I figured two vigilantes camped out should be enough to make any wayward teens think twice.”
Damian nodded, relieved that they wouldn’t be moving directly back into action. Mentally he berated himself for that, if he were to get over the night’s failure he needed to be more proactive, not less.
Damian followed Stephanie to a spot on the play place where they could look out onto the park. Stephanie leaned up against one of the walls and Damian kicked his legs over the edge eyes scanning the park.
“So.” Stephanie said, “Ready to talk about it?”
“Tt.” Damian pulled his legs up and towards his chest.
She had given him long enough to calm down a little from the night’s events, and while he was still shaky, the effects of the toxin had at least seemed to fade a bit.
“It was--unpleasant.” he admitted.
He pressed his eyes closed, remembering. On a good day it was not fun to be captured and held as bait. They had an in-joke about how Robin held the honorary title of boy hostage, but in truth none of them enjoyed that role. Robin’s duty was to protect Batman, and being held against him was the exact opposite of that.
But Damian had been held hostage, and used against his family.
He’d been taken on what should have been a routine investigation of a shady warehouse. He, Nightwing, and Spoiler were just supposed to look. Instead, once the three had split up, Crane had attacked. Damian made it to Richard before anything too terrible happened to his brother, but he hadn’t been prepared for the toxin, hadn’t been prepared for the number of goons.
It was pure luck that Crane had only taken him. Though, Damian now assumed that to be Spoiler’s doing, showing up before both Nightwing and Robin could be taken. As the lightest, of course they’d grabbed Robin.
“I--” he started, and shook his head.
Stephanie knew what it was like to be taken. What it was like to be under the effects of Crane’s toxin. He did not have to explain how he’d struggled to escape or the panic that had laced his chest when his family had arrived to rescue him and he’d watched as they fought, were cut down, continued to fight, and were cut down again. His worst fear of them dying because of him playing out on a loop until Father managed to administer the anti-toxin.
Stephanie laid a hand on his shoulder, “It’s never fun to be taken by someone you’re trying to stop, and even worse when they hurt you because of it.”
He squeezed his arms around his legs, old feelings of embarrassment at being so vulnerable tried to claw their way out of him. And another feeling rising up, protectiveness over them, guilt over being why they’d been in danger.
He shook his head again, “I do not care that he hurt me. I put the family in danger. Father, you, Todd. Richard.” he admitted, “You were led into a trap because I was too weak to defend Nightwing. Too slow to catch onto the toxin in the room. I failed, and you all could have died because of it.”
He trained his eyes on the swing set, unwilling to meet his sister’s gaze. He was being far too open with his emotions, but--the talking helped. Stephanie and Richard had drilled that into his head.
Talking. Trusting. Letting himself fall so they could catch him.
But? Should he if it put them in danger? Tonight seemed to blow a wide hole in all those promises. Richard was home, injured, and all because he’d trusted Damian. Stephanie had saved Damian three times this night alone because of his own inability to be better. How many falls were too many?
“First of all, you didn’t fail. No more than any of us did when Scarecrow made his first attack. We were all caught off guard. You were just a little more unlucky than we were.”
“It was Nightwing they attacked.”
Stephanie leaned over, so her face was in Damian’s field of vision, hair hanging over a shoulder, “You protected him. Got him a mask, and kept them from taking him instead. I’d say he was pretty lucky to have a little guardian Robin looking out for him.”
“Tt.”
She poked him in the arm, “Don’t tt at me, you know it’s true. Would you rather Nightwing not have had you there?”
“Never!” Damian spun on her, and Stephanie grinned with victory. She’d tricked him into looking her way.
“There we go, now we can have a proper conversation.”
“We were talking.” he huffed, but maintained eye contact.
Stephanie reached out and cupped his cheek, “You were the one we were worried about. Did you forget that we want to protect you just as much as you want to keep us safe?” She brushed a finger across his cheek, and he felt the spark of pain where a goon had hit him to wake him up.
“I--”
“You matter.” she said, reading his mind, “Your health and safety is as important as the rest of ours. It’s okay to be rescued from time to time.”
He huffed, “I know. But knowing does not help the frustration. I am supposed to be better. Be worthy of Robin and able to protect you all. Instead I was--I was-- helpless.” Just saying the word brought heat to his eyes, tears pricking at him, begging for release.
Stephanie tugged him close, into a hug, “It’s okay.” she said, a hand in his hair, “It’s hard, I know, but you’re allowed to be vulnerable, Dames.”
He sniffed, blinking back tears, “No names, Spoiler.”
She scoffed, squeezing him a bit tighter, “There’s no one out here to hear.”
Damian huffed, but did not pull away from the embrace. It was nice, resting like this and letting Stephanie play with his hair. It made the tight feeling in his chest ease. Knowing she was fine, that he was fine, that things would be fine.
After a moment he pulled away, running a hand under his nose. Stephanie let him, and they settled back apart, both at the edge now. They were quiet for a while after that, the minutes ticking by in peace.
Then, they saw a car pull up into the lot at the far end of the park. A figure climbed out of it, and started making their way towards the park. They hadn’t seemed to realize that Robin and Spoiler were the one’s camped out in the park yet, and actually raised a hand to wave.
Stephanie winked at Damian and raised her own hand in response.
“Let’s see how long it takes him to realize who we are.” she whispered.
Damian smiled, and chuckled lightly.
The young man pulled out a phone and started messing with it, typing something into the screen as he moved forward. He made it almost all the way to Damian and Stephanie before he looked up. When he did he froze, staring at them, mouth agape.
Stephanie waved again, “Hi. What’s a good kid like you doing in a park like this so late?”
“I--” he said, and Damian thought he looked a bit like a catfish, blinking and startled, “Nothing.”
“Well, Mr. Nothing, I suggest if you don’t have any important reason for being here, you head home.” Stephanie said.
Damian gave him one of his most unsettling smiles, sharp and toothy, “Yes, this park isn’t safe after dark, and we wouldn’t want you getting hurt or into trouble.”
He looked between Spoiler and Robin and seemed to decide that whatever deal he’d had planned for the night was not worth bothering two vigilantes over. With a sharp nod and a “yes, yeah, good idea.” he scurried off, half running half tripping his way back to his car.
“Drive safe!” Stephanie called.
After he was gone, Stephanie broke into a fit of giggles and Damian followed soon after, her laughter infectious.
“Alright.” she said, after a minute, “Let’s go get something ridiculously greasy and terrible for us, as a reward for a deed well done. Then after I say we head home. ”
She stood and held out a hand to Damian, “Unless you’d rather do ice cream?”
He took it and let her pull him to his feet, “Fast food sounds perfect, lead the way Spoiler.”
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you know id really like some headcanons on how jon reacts to testing on people with diffrent fear reponses, like the screaming in terror response, the "imma kick your ass" response and the sit still, stay quiet and stare/look at the floor response
ah! yes the four responces of fear fight, flight, freeze and fuck
Jonathan Crane - Fear Responce Headcanon
It will vary so much. Jon is an scientist, he likes to understand the fear responce, that's why he does 'background checks' in his test subjects, so it really depends;
With that said, his favorite response it's the scream in fear, mostly because it shows what the person it's afraid of. He can become prideful if the person screans is name;
He hates the fight responce, he never figure it out when the victim will have an fight responce, so there an good chance that he will have his ass handed to him;
The freeze response always intrigued him, he always keep the people who have this responce as test subjects;
The fourth and the more ominous response, Fuck. He may laugh, but he's blushing underneath the mask. He will say something like: "Oh! The misattribution of fear, that's a rare one. Now tell me, what makes you feel like that, little one?"
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red-jaebyrd · 5 months ago
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Times Like These (you learn to love again)
The first time Bruce gets a hug from Dick is that first night Dick arrives at the Manor. It’s after a nightmare. Bruce jolts awake to the sound of a heart-wrenching scream followed by sobs coming from the bedroom down the hall. Once he reaches the crying boy, Dick flings his arms around Bruce’s neck so tight Bruce almost can’t breathe. He can feel the boy trembling and gasping as he fights to catch his breath.
“You’re not there, Dick. You’re here with me. You’re safe,” Bruce says, rubbing small circles on the boy’s back. “You’re safe.”
Bruce knows how to comfort children. He does it all the time as Batman, but tonight with Dick it’s different. It’s personal and drudges up feelings and memories Bruce doesn’t want to deal with, not tonight, not tomorrow, not at all. But the grief is too much and it consumes every bit of him; so Bruce just holds the boy as his own tears silently fall down his own cheeks. He gently sways back and forth rubbing small circles on Dick’s back until his breathing starts to calm and his tears start to subside. Bruce sits with Dick that night until he falls asleep.
Bruce isn’t used to giving hugs on a regular basis, or really initiating any form of physical affection. It wasn’t like Alfred was incapable of it. When Bruce had been Dick’s age there was the occasional hair ruffle, shoulder squeeze, and side hug from Alfred, but the man was still quite reserved. This suited Bruce just fine. He didn’t need, nor did he crave physical forms of affection.
Dick is completely different in his response to grief. Where Bruce withdrew into himself after his parents were killed, Dick clings to the people around him…quite literally. He needs and craves all the hugs he can get from the people around him. This gives Bruce hope that the boy will be alright; that he will get through the worst moment in his young life; that he won’t turn out to be like Bruce. This also means being on the receiving end of those warm hugs, and how every day Bruce looks forward to each one from Dick. 
Or Continue on A03
The first time Bruce gets a hug from Jason, it catches Bruce off guard and Jason as well. Physical affection isn’t something Jason initiates and Bruce respects his space and autonomy. There are other ways to show his new son affection and Bruce discovers it’s through food and books.
One afternoon Bruce surprises Jason with handmade floor to ceiling bookshelves he had built special in his bedroom so Jason can start his own private library.
Jason’s smile is so big and wide it reaches his eyes and brings out his dimples. It nearly makes Bruce cry. In the short time that Jason has been living with him, Bruce has never seen Jason so happy and relaxed. In Jason’s excitement he tackles Bruce with a hug. Bruce returns the embrace as gently as he is able not wanting to scare the boy, but it’s too late. Jason pulls away from the hug with wide eyes.
“I’m sorry. I – I don’t know why I did that,” Jason stammers, looking everywhere but at Bruce. “It’s just…no one has ever done something like this for me…ever.”
“It’s okay. I know all of this is still new to you. I just wanted to make this house and this space,” Bruce gestures whole room. “a safe place for you.”
“I do feel safe here, Bruce. You, Alfie, and Dick have been really great,” Jason smiles, and Bruce gets to see those dimples again. Jason looks more closely at the bookshelves. “Is this all really for me?”
“It’s all for you, Jaylad,” Bruce answers, almost putting his hand on Jason’s shoulder, but he recovers and instead grabs a small pile of books and hands them to Jason. “It’s all for you.”
After that day Jason becomes more and more comfortable with physical affection. Bruce is careful to allow Jason to be the one to initiate it and they are the most wonderful and cherished side hugs Bruce gets from his son.
The first time Bruce gets a hug from Tim is the day of Jack’s funeral. Everyone has left the grave site except for Tim. Tim just stands there perfectly still staring at Jack’s coffin already lowered into the ground. Bruce feels like he’s intruding on something private, but he doesn’t have the heart to leave Tim alone. Tim has always been alone and today of all days he shouldn’t be.
“I’m so sorry, Tim,” Bruce says as he puts his arm around the grieving boy’s shoulder.
Bruce stands behind Tim and puts his hand on his shoulder. Tim stiffens at the contact but soon leans into the embrace. He hastily wipes at his face with his sleeve. Tim takes in a deep breath to steady himself, but it hitches on the exhale.
Overcome with fresh tears, Tim turns and wraps both arms around Bruce’s waist. Bruce shifts his position so he can wrap both his arms around Tim and give him a proper hug. The damn breaks once Bruce is holding Tim and he continues to cry into Bruce’s chest holding onto him for dear life digging his fingers into Bruce’s suit jacket. Bruce just holds him and quietly tells him to let it out, because it’s obvious that Tim has been holding in all of his grief for quite some time.
Tim’s sobs gradually turn into hiccups and his breaths no longer hitch when he inhales. Bruce doesn’t let go of Tim until he is sure Tim is ready.
“Bruce, thanks for coming. I – I know you’re a busy man and well – thanks for staying here with me,” Tim says disjointly, slowly breaking way from the hug.
“Of course, Tim. I’m never too busy for you,” Bruce replies, putting his arm around Tim once again. “I’ll always be there for you.”
“Can we – can we go home now? Please.”
“Don’t hurt me. I’ll do better. I promise. I’ll make you proud,” Damian pleads as fresh tears slide down his cheeks. He’s standing stock still not focusing on anything, but Bruce can see his hands trembling.
The first time Bruce hugs Damian he’s certain the gesture will not be received well, but instinct tells him his son needs the comfort and the closeness. In the short time that Damian has been living with Bruce, Bruce can already see the damage that has been done. How Damian is quick to punish himself during training over simple missteps that can easily be corrected with reviewing forms and techniques. How Damian shuts down when he’s anticipating disciplinary action for making a mistake in the field; like tonight after a run-in with Scarecrow and heavy dose of Fear Toxin. Bruce can see his son shaking and flinching at every touch. Tears leaking from underneath the domino Damian refuses to allow anyone to remove.
“Damian,” Bruce says gently, kneeling so he is eye level to Damian. “Whatever you’re seeing, it isn’t real.”
Bruce decides it’s time to give him the antidote, but in order to do that he has to restrain him. He’s too afraid the restraints will further traumatize Damian, so he embraces him in a bear hug.
“Absolutely,” Bruce answers, gently guiding Tim to the car where Alfred and Dick are waiting. 
Damian fights the hold at first and his sobs come in heavier. But once Bruce injects the antitoxin and pushes down on the plunger, Damian starts to relax and melts into his father’s embrace.
“I’ll make you proud, Father,” Damian mutters, resting his head on Bruce’s shoulder before losing consciousness.
“You already have, son. More than you know,” Bruce says, standing up and carrying a sleeping Damian to bed.
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msanthropic03 · 6 months ago
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scarecrow fans headcanons
the scarecrow appeals to teens and young adults mostly. those too young to realize their own mortality, and those who hate the world enough to find his work inspiring.
mostly, they're edgy kids and dark academics. people who will hang out and discuss his work (whether as the scarecrow or as jonathan crane) and use fear toxin the way others use drugs. for this reason, the scarecrow's fans tend to be a bit more fearless than most.
he often gets letters at arkham discussing and asking questions about his work. some letters provide their own analyses of the effects of fear toxin. some ask questions about it. people also ask for and provide book recommendations once it is discovered that jon is a bibliophile.
a lot of jonathan's fans are very adamant about him getting recognition as a scientist. most of his work goes unpublished due to the... unorthodox nature of his experimentation. but his theories are sound and supported by his findings, so the fans want to make sure they are acknowledged.
small groups will often meet up. usually at night, in abandoned places, for the aesthetic.
there's a lot of talking. some discuss his theories. some have been working on recreating fear toxin and need to compare notes. some brag about how they've inspired fear in the lives of others.
if he ever responds to fan letters, his responses are read aloud like poetry. passed through the crowd so that they may see his writing and read his words.
speaking of passing thing around: fear toxin. fear toxin is everywhere. there are fog machines spreading a diluted version of it through the air. not enough to cause a panic, just enough to create unease. syringes are passed around to those brave enough to try it. older fans show off by injecting themselves only to show no fear. they've been doing this for a while. some newer fans who think they can handle it give it a go and end up crumpled on the floor, screaming and crying. the others laugh.
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jupitermelichios · 3 months ago
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i bet in the DCU, silicone valley tech bros are all microdosing on scarecrow’s fear toxin
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