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year of the cat
Title: Damian Wayne: Gotham’s Youngest Man of Mystery
Fandom: DCU, Batman Comics
Characters: Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne, OC
Summary: Despite being the son of one of Gotham's most prominent citizens, little is known about Damian Wayne. A Gotham Gazette reporter sits down with the family for an exclusive interview with the city's youngest man of mystery.


WHEN Bruce Wayne announced two years ago that he had fathered a child out of wedlock, reactions were mixed. No one was surprised that the notorious playboy had a love-child, but they were absolutely shocked to learned he’d managed to keep it a secret for nine years. Since then, Damian Wayne has been a regular presence at his father’s side at press conferences, events and fund raisers. Despite numerous public appearances, the boy remains a mystery. Who is his mother? Where did he grow up and where has he been for the past few months? I recently sat down in an exclusive interview with father and son and met the boy behind the mystery.


DAMIAN Wayne (11) is a small, solemn boy trailed by an enormous black dog named Titus and a more reasonably-sized tuxedo cat called Alfred. He apparently also has a pet cow but she’s not allowed in the house. He offers to introduce me later. “Damian likes animals,” Bruce explains. “He recently became a vegetarian.”

Even after introducing his son to the press, Bruce has shied away from any mention of his child’s mother. Damian strongly resembles his handsome father, but there is something exotic in the angle of his cheeks and the shape of his eyes. His skin is a gold-brown color which hints at Asian, or possibly even Hispanic, heritage. His accent is more British than American. Is his mother someone famous? A model or a starlet perhaps? Or is she simply a girl from the Wayne Enterprises mail room who caught the boss’s eye?

Like his father, Damian categorically refuses to discuss his mother. Luckily, the family butler arrives with a tray of tea and cookies before things get too awkward. The Waynes keep their secret, but its clear that, whoever she is, Damian’s mother is certainly beautiful.

The cookies are freshly baked and some of the best I’ve eaten. Damian shares a gingersnap with the dog and lets the cat drink from his saucer. We discuss school over snacks. Bruce attended the prestigious Roxbury Academy and sent his adopted sons to Gotham Academy. Has Damian been attending a boarding school overseas for the last few months?

“I was with my grandparents,” Damian says. (His maternal grandparents of course. His father’s parents are dead.) “I’ve never been to school in my life.”

“Damian’s mother decided to home school him from an early age,” Bruce explains. “We’ve been discussing enrolling him in Gotham Academy come fall.”

Damian looks less than thrilled with the idea. According to Bruce, he’s a good student. In addition to typical courses like English, math and history, he’s also studying drama and mechanical engineering. While he likes his acting lessons with a girl from Gotham University, engineering is his favorite subject. Bruce suggests he show me his latest project.


DAMIAN’S bedroom is not what I expected from an eleven-year-old boy. Not only is everything neat and tidy, there are no posters or even toys. The book shelves are full and the art on the walls is tasteful yet expensive. The only child-like thing about the place is the kid-sized desk covered in design schematics for Damian’s latest project. They’re for a flying car.

He starts to explain the plans. He’s knowledgeable and enthusiastic and loses me completely some time after ‘gyroscopic array.’ If this kid gets his first patent before the age of fifteen, I will not be surprised. There are several books on engineering on his bookshelves, but also ones on psychology, economics, military history and poetry. Not all of them are in English.

Above one of the shelves are a pair of crossed swords. Damian sees me looking and scales the shelf to bring them down. “A gift from Grandfather,” he says. They are antique, razor sharp and quite beautiful. Each one is probably worth more than my car. Whoever Damian’s mother is, she clearly comes from money.

Damian demonstrates dual sword technique. His movements are graceful, fluid and precise. He confesses to having studied fencing for years along with mixed martial arts and archery. “I’m going to be Batman,” he says, his voice dropping an octave. Those acting lessons must be paying off because he certainly sounds like he is already.

I ask Bruce what he thinks of his son’s plans to take over from his long time vigilante employee. He looks pained. “Well, I’d prefer something a bit safer,” he says, “like engineering or art.”

Damian dismisses his father’s concern. “I don’t see why I can’t do all three.” He brings me his sketch book.

It is, unsurprisingly, filled with animals and the work is quite good. There is a detailed drawing of a robin and hauntingly beautiful one of the dog Titus in a graveyard surrounded by fireflies. My favorite is a cartoon-ish sketch of a cow striking a heroic pose. The brown and white markings on her face look like a mask and she’s wearing a cape.

“His cow actually foiled a kidnapping once,” Bruce tells me. “She broke out of her enclosure and wandered into the road. A pair had of thieves had stolen a car with a baby in back. They were so startled by the cow in the road they swerved into a tree.” It figures the founder of Batman, Inc. would have a crime-fighting cow.

Bruce interrupts the interview to take an emergency call from a woman named Selena. I take the opportunity to ask Damian what he thinks of his father’s playboy antics. “He has the most appalling taste in women,” he complains with an eye roll and a sigh. I don’t ask if that includes his mother.

What about Damian’s own romantic prospects? Will he be following in his father’s footsteps? “No. Relationships are an unnecessary complication. I have suffered through enough of the fallout from Father’s romantic disasters. I see no need to have any of my own.”

Coming back from his phone call, Bruce has caught the last bit. He looks stricken at the idea, but I’m sure Damian will grow out of it come puberty.


WE wrap up the interview with a tour of the grounds. Damian takes me to his favorite spot. It is, creepily enough, his grandparents’ grave. I recognize the place from his drawing of Titus. “I like to come here to talk to them when Father is being difficult,” Damian explains. “Everyone else always takes his side, but they are excellent listeners.”

He introduces me to his vigilante cow. She nearly knocks him off his feet in her rush to greet him and the other pets. She ignores Bruce and seems singularly unimpressed with me. That’s fine with me though. If I wanted to get close to a cow I’d order a steak.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
a2zmom
Dec. 22nd, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
Very nicely done. I stil haven't forgiven dc.
redrikki
Dec. 22nd, 2013 10:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting. Yeah, killing off a little kid just to give his dad some additional manpain and temporarily boost sales is just rage inducing. Especially since it wasn't the first time they've done it. /rant
liliaeth
Dec. 23rd, 2013 08:21 am (UTC)
comics really don't seem to understand that we don't need all our heroes to be 'young' and unattached.

One of the things I like most about Batman, is his role as a father, either to his adopted sons or to Damian.

Hell, I hated it when they took away Peter Parker's unborn daughter, when they klled Red Arrow's daughter.

And yet comic writers seem to think that all readers want is playboys and eternal twenty somethings who do nothing but party and date a string of nameless women.
redrikki
Dec. 23rd, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC)
I strongly suspect that is because comic writers are either a) trying to write towards a specific demographic that wishes it lived that lifestyle or b) Peter Pan wanabes who wish they lived that lifestyle. La sigh.
liliaeth
Dec. 23rd, 2013 09:06 am (UTC)
love this fic, love the look at Damian in general and how much people don't understand about Bruce.
redrikki
Dec. 23rd, 2013 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading and commenting.
zolac_no_miko
Dec. 23rd, 2013 08:20 pm (UTC)
This is great. I loves me some Damo. ♥
redrikki
Dec. 23rd, 2013 08:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks for saying.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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year of the cat
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