I Want to Linger (NDND Fic)



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Passion

In the Water
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Okay, so first and foremost: I'm sure not many of you know what No Dawn, No Day is. So before you read this, I highly recommend you read NDND first because its where all of the content covered in this fiction is from. Basically, NDND is the best Batman-centric fiction period. Even Brian Q. Miller (who wrote Stephanie's Batgirl run) thought it was one of the best things he's read in a while. It's about Damian!Batman and his escapades once he meets Stephanie Brown after quite some time. It's definitely worth the read and the complete timeline can be found HERE! I really hope you clicked that. If you didn't here it is again.... And again... Do you get my point? Please read that before you read this or else you'll be spoiled big time:)
Now onto the actual fiction shall we?

I Want to Linger
Word Count: 893
Chapters: One
Characters: Damian Wayne, some Terry McGinnis

Bright images, mostly comprised of reds and oranges, flashed on the television screen while familiar melodies drifted to his ears. He hadn’t seen this in a year. Usually he would have been out patrolling, prowling Gotham’s tainted streets in the same numb and relentless way he had always done before. This night, however, was entirely different.

By now he was perfectly numb.

The music had all drowned out due to his loud, unforgiving thoughts. All he could think about amidst the music and images playing on the oversized screen was the way she had once felt against him as she hummed along to the famous tune. He thought about the way her fingertips had lightly brushed his back, putting him at ease. He held her oversized, worn-out t-shirt in his hands as her faint yet sweet smell reminded him of what had been.

Only five minutes had passed since he began watching The Lion King, but all he could truthfully think about was Stephanie Brown. Once a year all of his pent-up emotions seemed to crash into him with intolerant force. He would just lose himself in his thoughts, in his memories.

He thought about the possibilities of being a father. He thought about things like: what would he have named his would-be-child with his partner? The woman he loved. What if the child was a girl? Would he name her Constance? Or even Laila? What would have happened had he become a father, if he had chased after Stephanie rather than lull about in his own self-righteous pride? At this point, Stephanie was all he could think about. All of the memories and all of the what-ifs were overwhelming.

Fifteen or twenty minutes into the film, he couldn’t bear it any longer because all he could see was Stephanie’s smiling face and the moments he held her dear on the couch. He buried his face in her shirt for a moment before composing himself and looking at his watch.

It was time for him to attend the evening mass.

Damian wasn’t religious. In fact, he was far from it seeing how he had sold his soul to the Devil. Nonetheless, he came to a certain church once a year and seemed to stay long after the service concluded.

He sat alone, far from the other few men and women seeking to accept something or someone into their lives and hearts. Damian never truly listened; instead he just remained eerily silent as he tried desperately not to look up towards the daunting wooden cross ahead.

The choir proceeded to sing a song he knew very well by now. They performed this one every year in order to commemorate the local lives lost. This one was for Steph.

I walked around broken hearted
Thinking love was empty affair
But when God gave me you
It was then that I knew
He had given me more than my share
I want to linger
A little longer
A little longer with you

He lingered in the pews quietly as the number of people began to dwindle to none. It was a long and quiet silence that no ordinary person could endure; however, it’s been established that Damian Wayne was no ordinary person. Nor was he extraordinary. He was just numb. Totally, and irrevocably numb.

His annual routine was nearing its end when he arrived at the cemetery. This was always the hardest part for him to endure. The first time he had done this had ended in anger and tears. He wanted to break things. He wanted to make things suffer and bear the everlasting pain he felt.

Tonight was no different. He hesitated as he approached where she lay. One cautious step after another, he fought with himself as he tried to reach her grave. It took everything he had to not just turn back or to even walk straight.

It wasn’t often where he was truly at a loss for words but she had always made him feel that way. He always thought about the things that he would say to her if she were still here. Sometimes he mentally rehearsed it in preparation for this time of the year, the anniversary of her death, yet he always managed to forget it all once he stood alone with “her”.

Some things were best left unsaid.

“So this is what you do every year?” A familiar voice called from behind him. It was Terry McGinnis.
Damian knew he was there for the past hour or so even when he attended mass. After all, he was trained by the League of Assassins. Still, he let the unwelcomed person stay. Damian finally wanted Terry to understand why this was the time of year where he thought it best to be left alone. He wanted Terry to understand why this was the day he never donned the cowl. He wanted Terry to understand why there would be no more Robins or Batgirls or Batwomen.

He wanted him to understand why he wanted to be left alone.

“So who was Stephanie Brown really?” Terry asked curiously as Damian continued to stand before her tombstone. Damian had said nothing all night; there wasn’t anything to say, really. Yet, standing before Stephanie he thought this was probably the best thing to say after all of these years.

“She was my partner.”
 
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