Damian had definitely decided he would not wear a fanny pack. It didn’t matter that it was the most convenient and comfortable way to take a chemo pump iv from place to place.
He’ll much rather attract attention with a backpack connected to a pump than to regress back to the eighties in the most horrendous fashion. Sure he might pick up unwanted attention from strangers but
A) He could always stare at them back; B) He was past the time to care and C) He already didn’t have eyebrows so that was kind of a moot point. The boy was currently seated at the med bed of the 666 room.
He was practicing violin while he could still hold it and also enjoying the fact that he was wearing actual comfortable clothes and not a paper robe that made his autism completely and utterly fucking lose it.
. (Drake had made several jokes about it, which Damian didn’t mind and in fact encouraged, because with his diagnosis came a morbid sense of humor and he was also glad at least one person still treated him like a human being).
Some kids from the other rooms had come to see him perform and Damian loved to have an audience. Because he had an ego, not as much and not as evil as people usually thought, but still. Most of them were children younger than ten who
just needed some entertainment that wasn’t a superhero. “This was Ode To Joy by Bethoveen,” Damian explained. The three children around him applauded.
When they stopped he could still hear hands clapping, he looked up and his eyes met his father’s. Bruce came closer to him and the kids left after being called by a nurse. Boy and man looked at each other for a few seconds.
“Are you ready?” Bruce finally asked Damian might have sounded insane if he said it outloud, but his father and Jon were very similar.
The blue eyes, the black hair and the fact that they both cried before or after entering a room with Damian in it, bonus points if he was being stabbed with a needle right at that moment, then you could see their eyes getting crystalized almost in slow motion.
And it’s not like Damian was annoyed by their emotions as one might have thought, it was more of a...sting, (man being stabbed with a needle on a daily basis was really taking a toll on him, wasn’t it?)
like, something that hurt but it wasn’t enough for him to do anything about it more than to grit his teeth and power through it.
Numbness was apparently a common thing among patients. But Damian thought of himself as many stuff, but common wasn’t one of them
And perhaps his ego was the only thing keeping him optimistic, perhaps thinking that he was too special to die alone in a hospital room was what made him stronger against the whole GvHD thing.
Leslie had told him that he was lucky to find a donor that was relatively near, in Kansas nonetheless, home of Superman . So now he had just to keep up with the program: L-asparaginase,dexamethasone and vincristine several times a day and wait.
Or at least that was the original plan. “Yes.” he finally answered, standing up.
When all you receive in your life is gaslighting, you don’t even notice the medical gaslighting. Maybe it was the whole “being indoctrinated since birth by an ecoterrorist death cult” thing but his ability to exercise his free will hadn’t been particularly developed.
The bruises? Vigilante stuff. The fever? Probably the flu. Weight loss? Maybe he had gotten a growth spurt that just made him seem thinner…He had to throw up blood to even be admitted into a hospital.
The Wayne-Head name allowed him the finest care probably ever known to man. "Nepotism: where you can die comfortably" that was an actual thing he had said while high on sedatives. He could only imagine his mother's face upon hearing it.
When he woke up both his parents were there. Damian could immediately tell something was wrong. His father was crying and his mother was stoic.
"Oh, ok, so I'm dying" He said, grabbing their attention. Both Talia and Bruce turn to look at him. Damian tried to sit and noticed his arm was cranked to an IV. "Oh, I'm actually dying."
Do not speak like that." His mother warned him with a threatening voice. Bruce kept quiet but still with a face wet with tears.
Next to them there was a third person. She was an older woman with gray hair and glasses. Doctor Thompkins, his father's godmother. She went over to the medbed and sat on the foot.
Damian crossed his arms. She was a smart woman but had the annoying habit of treating him like a perpetual child. Probably the closest thing he had to an actual grandmother.
"Damian," she fixed her glasses and looked at the clipboard she was holding. "Your blood count is in the 200.000 white cells." Damian's eyes slightly widened, which covertly hid how much of a gut punch he just received.
"I can't have leukemia," he simply stated. There was a slight pained sound coming from his father's mouth which made Damian look him in the eye…that's how he knew it was true. He started to grin which turned into a giggle which turned into a laugh.
Bruce and Talia looked at him with worry. "Denial is very common," Leslie stated, trying to remain calm and also sooth Damian up. The teen kept laughing and then stopped to talk.
He had tears in his eyes. "I mean... so much for being an eugenics frankenstein monster, I've failed at even that." The rest of that afternoon was a blur for him. Except for the being stabbed with needles on his spine parts, that one he remembered very well.
Since he had such a high tolerance for pain, the fact that he was casually hurt was news to him. * Of course Dick had been the first one to enter the room.
Damian had hoped that he wasn’t but after all it made sense that he did, he was his Robin. He could imagine him punching a wall and screaming when he heard the news. That mental image didn’t upset him at all, clearly.
Damian was pretending to watch TV where his oldest brother entered the scene. He had prepared what he was going to say. How he was okay and how he was too stubborn to die anyways. But all of that went to hell when Dick entered the room and immediately ran up to hug him.
All of the walls he had been building up until now feel down hard. Damian just had to press his head against Dick’s shoulder for the tears to start running.
"I want a falafel." They were in the hospital room after a particularly hard session of chemo. His brother was on a chair in front of him reading a book and not looking at him. "You just threw up on my shoe," he reminded Damian.
"I'm here for a good time, not a long time" Dick rolled his eyes, now accustomed to the fact that his sibling had developed a morbid sense of humor because of his condition. Right at that moment the door opened and Doctor Thompkins entered the room.
"How are we?" She asked. "Great." Both responded almost robotically. Damian gagged. "I wanted to talk to you, Dick, about the bone marrow transplant
"Why not talk to me?" Damian intervened. "I'm the one whose blood isn't working."
"Because you're still a child," Dick answered as a matter of fact. And despite everything he was glad his older brother at least now had the courtesy of treating him like he had always done. "What's the prognosis, doc?"
"We're considering the umbilical cord transfusion." Leslie explained. "But you will have to ask my godson first. "Why would he need to...wait...Selina's pregnant?!" Damian asked but then he threw up again. "That wasn't meant to signify my feelings on the matter."
Leslie continued. “But that will still take a few months and...I’m afraid we don’t have that much time.” Damian pretended to gag and looked down at the bucket, all to avoid looking at Dick’s face. “But the good news is that we found a match.”
Damian hadn’t even had time to think about that sentence before he blurted it out, but now it was there, out in the open. For everyone to hear. “I want to have children.”
Everyone being an hyperbole since Alfred was the one who was actually there. His father had to go to patrol so the butler had the night shift to take care of Damian while at the hospital to which the boy was appreciative of.
Except for this moment when he was mentally slapping himself for letting on too much. Side effects of being raised to be a killing machine. “I...did not know that.” Alfred admitted.
Up to twelve seconds ago he had been standing up listing the symptoms of chemo at Damian’s request since he didn’t trust Leslie to do it without sugarcoating it and his father might burst into tears in an attempt to do so.
Damian had been listening attentively before Alfred mentioned that it was possible that he might wind up being infertile. The boy simply turned around to the other side of the bed and sighed as tears left his eyes.
Dear Damian I could not be more content that you are receiving the transplant that you so much need. I wish I could accompany you on the journey to Kansas,
but sadly Lady Talia needs me to look out after Bialya...I wish you nothing but a rapid recovery. I implore you to remember that you are not alone in this,
, to remember that there is a plethora of people that adore you with all of their souls and that you will always have their help. Even when you do not want it. Best Wishes Ravi
Damian looked at Alfred who glanced at him for a nanosecond in the mirror of the car. He knew he was the most active ally he had in this game.
Since he not only advocated to his father for this trip to be possible but he also was the only person to always show his compassion in spite of if he actually deserved it or not. Bruce was next to him while Richard sat next to Damian and assesed his condition.
They stayed in comfortable silence in the car with only the sound of “dad music” on the radio for background noise. Damian allowed himself to close his eyes and to feel the soothing bounce of the car against the pavement on his skin...
They stopped suddenly after a while and Damian opened his eyes, he frowned in confusion as Alfred parked the car in front of the airport. “What are we doing here?” he asked curiously.
Alfred turned around to look at him. “Your father , Master Richard and I thought It’ll be a good idea to fly in a friend of yours.” Damian’s frown deepened. “A friend?”
Suddenly a tap was heard on the window. They both turned around to look at the front window. It was being slightly knocked on it by a man with a white cane and a bald head who was smiling at them.
“Ravi?” Damian rubbed his eyes and felt them watering up. Damian knew that he could never make up to Ravi for being responsible for losing his vision. And he also knew that in spite of that the man would still love him unconditionally.
That could be proven easily by the letters that he had written to him when he found out about his diagnosis… All his father figures were here, suddenly he felt an internal strength he hadn’t felt in a while.
End of Chapter 1