petrifikate asked: An Avenger of your choice, a New Mutant of your choice and a Batkid of your choice walk into a bar...
This turned into “Steve Rogers and Damian Wayne hug it out”. SORRY…
ALSO, TUMBLR IS EATING MY MESSAGES. I’ve only gotten this request and Merry’s, so if you’ve sent me something and I did not receive it, either cross your fingers and re-send it, or email it to iwillactuallycheckthis at gmail.
"Son, do you mind telling me how old you are?"
Damian’s lips bunched into a sneer.
"You are not the barkeep, nor are you the bouncer," he said haughtily, eyes narrowed at the big blond oaf. "Therefore, I do not see how it is any of your concern. Additionally, I am not your son, so please do not address me as such again.”
The man at the bar next to him sighed, rubbing his temple.
He was big, painted with the same broad, masculine lines of his father and Todd, though he didn’t carry himself like a man ought to. Instead of claiming his space in the world proudly, he was an amicable space-holder, seemingly conscientious of the people sitting around him. It made him seem smaller, made him blend with his surroundings instead of commanding the attention of the room. Damian had briefly thought him worth his interest, but now dismissed him as a bore.
"I didn’t mean to offend," the man said gently, hands raised in treaty. "Only looking to start up a conversation, that’s all."
His bunched-up sneer twisted into a frown.
"That would be a waste of both of our time," he informed him, looking at the bar instead of at him. He had blue, blue eyes. The depth and clarity of them reminded him of Grayson, and he absolutely refused to follow that trail of maudlin thought. Grayson had left him to be Nightwing, and his father had made it clear that he did not desire another Robin.
Damian felt cut free, but not in a way that meant freedom. He felt disconnected and lost and not even Fatgirl was around to work his aggression out on.
"Would you like a Mr. Pibb?" The damnably stubborn man asked, folding his arms on the bar. "It’s what I’m drinking. It’s not half bad. A good vintage, if I do say so myself."
Damian didn’t say yes, but he didn’t refuse, either. The man smiled, and Damian was sipping on a sugary soda shortly after.
"Why are you here?” He asked him, turning the question around—-but managing to sound so bored, it was as if he didn’t care either way. He was intimately familiar with the type of scum that preyed upon children, but he didn’t pick up any of those tells on the blond stranger. His movements and expressions were genuine; there was an almost eerie luminosity to the truths he told.
"I lost a friend, recently," the man admitted, and a pain welled up behind his eyes that made Damian’s chest tighten with empathy. "My best friend. I’ve never been the type to enjoy bars, but he…he had this habit of picking a place and picking a fight when he felt lost. I’m not sure why I’m here, if I’m going to be honest. Tribute, maybe."
Damian squared his jaw. It was trembling beyond his control. His traitorous eyes were itching and burning and he was suddenly so angry at Grayson for doing this to him, he wanted to cry.
"Your friend sounds stupid," he said, though the lofty note of I-know-better-than-you-because-I’m-a-Wayne in his voice wobbled. “And that is not fitting behavior for a man of your age and obvious physical prowess.”
The spread a hand over his back, and he was struck by how large it was, how warm.
"Who’re you missing, son? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to, but if you need an ear," the man smiled, and Damian dragged in a ragged breath. He sniffed hard, rubbing his hands over his itchy-hot eyes. "You can bend mine. I’ll listen. No judgement at all."
"Grayson is—-a—-a stupid man," Damian managed to say. He wasn’t sure why he was crying, why he was allowing himself to break down in a bar with a stranger next to him, but that hand on his back was so safe. “He said—-he said he wouldn’t leave, but he is, and he has, and I hate him. He lied, and I will not forgive him for that; I cannot. It is rude of you to ask me this. You don’t know me, nor do you understand the complexities of my situation.”
The man wrapped his big arm around him and pulled him close.
"My name’s Steve," he said, his voice low and kind. "Most call me Cap."
"Your name is stupid," Damian hiccupped, pawing at his shamefully running nose.
"I’ve heard that one before. How about we get you home?"
"I don’t have a home," Damian whimpered, and started crying in earnest. Hugging this ‘Cap’ man was only an automatic reaction, and had nothing to do with how comforting it was to be hugged back.
Steve paid his tab, then picked him up. Damian went limp and allowed himself to be carried, half thrown over his broad shoulder. He’d kill the big idiot as soon as he gained composure of himself—-no one would ever know about this minor breakdown. No one would ever, ever know.
"Do you like pancakes?" Steve asked cheerfully.
"Y-you—-you plebs and your carbohydrate therapy!”
"I-Hop it is. We’ll be able to hear each other better there. You can tell me about this Grayson, and I’ll see what I can do to help. And I suppose that if you don’t want to talk about that, you can just tell me how you managed to get in past the bouncer. That’s some skill," he said, and Damian wasn’t sure if he wanted to gut him or just keep hugging until he called him ‘son’ again.