Just then, Damian could hear Colin getting closer. Damn it! How did Colin know to come over here?! Damian kept himself into a tight fetal position, trying as hard as he could to just disappear and prevent himself from completely breaking down. But that was proving to be harder than he liked. A few more moments went by before he heard Colin close by, but seemingly running away from him. Good. Maybe he actually did lose track of him. Still didn’t seem to make anything easier though. But suddenly, he was disrupted and tackled. It threw him off balance and he nearly fell over, but he regained himself before it could happen. Damian slowly looked down at Colin who was crying into his jacket and holding onto him as if his life depended on it. Damian wanted to say something, but the words got caught in his throat. “I…” he started and looked away from Colin now. “It’s not up to me…” he managed to mutter, as painful as it was.
He knew it wasn’t, but that still didn’t manage to stop him from crying and begging for Damian to stay. There had to be a way, there had to be something, anything to make Damian able to stay in Gotham, to stay with him.
“I don’t- I don’t want them to take you away!” He choked out between sobs, his arms tightening around the other boy and his hands clutching desperately at the back of his jacket. “Isn’t there- somehow- I-I just don’t want to lose you!”
Colin didn’t think he asked for much in his life. He was okay with living at the orphanage. He was alright with never having known his parents. He didn’t mind having venom fused to his blood or the pain that came with it whenever he transformed back and forth nowadays. Doing poorly in school, being bullied and beaten, not getting enough to eat, freezing at night, sleeping badly because of nightmares and the fear of Scarecrow returning was okay too. He really didn’t mind.
But if there was one thing he’d ask for, it was to be able to stay with his best friend.
He’d do anything for that.
“Stop. Just stop…” Damian muttered. He couldn’t stand hearing Colin this upset. He couldn’t stand seeing him cry and practically begging him for something that he just couldn’t give. It wasn’t up to him. They could just run away, but that wouldn’t solve anything. If Damian doesn’t go with his mother, she will still try to have him killed. And without the protection of his father or the others… there was no way he was going to allow Colin to get involved with that. Imagine, two kids trying to hide from Leviathan, and Batman at the same time.
All Damian could do was scowl in sadness to try and hide just how much he wanted to just let go and cry. Looking down at Colin whose eyes were bloodshot from the tears, and whose nose was running… it wasn’t a great sight, and yet Damian wanted all of it. Colin was probably the best thing to happen to him, other than becoming Robin. No… he was the best thing, even more so than becoming Robin. Just as long as he had Colin there… he would be happy. But the question was… why did Colin like him so much?! Damian has yelled at Colin, threatened him on numerous occasions, lied to him, and just in general… treated him like shit. And yet Colin remained…. why?! Colin deserved so much better! So why did he want Damian to stay so badly?
Colin could easily make other friends… friends who would care about him, and treat him the way he deserves to be treated. All those tears he was crying… Damian didn’t feel he was worth it. “There just isn’t a way…” Damian said quietly and pulled away from Colin. This had to end. Colin would be fine without him. He knows he would. That wasn’t even up for debate. But Damian himself…? He wasn’t so sure. To have something that truly made him happy, and to have someone where he could actually be free around, just ripped away from him… he wasn’t sure he could recover from that. “I stay with my father, my mother will just keep coming after me and the others. I can’t let them get hurt because I was being selfish and wanted to stay. I go with my mother… and I will never see my father, Grayson, or you again…” Damian took a deep breath and exhaled shakily. “I might as well be dead in both situations. I don’t- I couldn’t-” Damian couldn’t even finish his sentence as the tears finally welled up in his eyes and slide down his cheeks.