This is my first story! At least on this site. So it is only a one-shot unless I find I good reason to continue. It was inspired by a flock of robins I saw this morning. This is not slash, just brotherly love and rejection. For those of you who don't know, Porajmos was the Romani holocaust. It took place during WW2 and was very sad and brutal. Many Romani people were used as test subject for gruesome procedures. Many died. It was a sad time. Please review! Enjoy ;)


Damian sat in an old, antique chair in the living room, petting his cat and looking out the window. The sky was overcast and the clouds threatened to release a pounding rainfall as they had done this morning. The weather fit Damian's mood.

Today had gone all wrong. Damian had woken up on the wrong side of the bed and decided that today he was done putting up with Grayson's efforts at getting him to smile.

"What is wrong with you?" Dick finally exploded.

"What do you mean? I haven't done a thing!" Damian snapped back.

"Would you stop thinking about just yourself? For once? I have been trying from Day 1 to get you to seem just a little happy once in awhile, to actually like me and think of me as a brother! All I ever get out of you is the occasional scowl and a sniff of disapproval!"

Damian scowled.

"See? It is impossible to get a reaction out of you. What is your deal?"

"I have no 'deal'," Damian hissed. "I am simply having a bad day. You and your childish efforts at transforming me into a compassionate, sugar-coating pansy are pointless and a waste of time. I will never be your 'brother' and I want nothing to do with you. You are nothing but a weak, overbearing pile of gypsy trash who balls up and cries if he receives a well-earned insult! You're just a circus freak who can't keep his mouth shut! You know, your people deserved the Porajmos! Take your compassion somewhere else before I kill you with my katana!"

Damian sighed. He had been harsh and vicious, he knew, but Grayson was a man. He would have to suck it up. Besides, Damian was meant to be vicious, the League of Assassins had trained him that way. If Grayson wanted him to be friendly he would have to kill him.

If only Damian had known what he was saying when he told Grayson that the Romani deserved Porajmos. He hadn't known what he was saying when it slipped out. Now after some research and explanation from Alfred he understood his mistake. It had been a low blow insulting Grayson's heritage like that. Grayson was bound to have taken it badly. There was nothing to be done now, though. The words had been said and the damage was done.

A noise outside interrupted the assassin' train of thought. A flock of birds was circling outside and creating a ruckus.

Damian sighed and stood up, dropping the cat onto the chair and venturing outside. There stood Grayson, hands folded behind his back, eyes trained on the enormous flock as it flew in swirling circles and landed on the thick branches of an old oak standing nearby.

Without turning around Grayson said, "Didn't expect you out here."

"No?" Damian lifted an eyebrow in a fashion that reminded Dick of Alfred's delicacy. "I am fond of birds. They work together to achieve survival. They are efficient. They can take defensive action, especially birds of prey. Those types are vicious. Good qualities in birds."

"Birds? What about humans? Are those good qualities in humans, too? Viciousness?"

"Well. Depends on the human I suppose. I can't imagine you vicious for example."

"Would you really like it if I was violent? If everyone else in the world was as vicious as you?"

For a minute Damian didn't speak. What could he say? He had deeply insulted Grayson before. He was slightly concerned at what reaction he'd get if it happened again. Dick looked at the birds. Watched them flit from branch to branch, hopping and chirping.

"What about other qualities in birds? They're beautiful creatures. They care for each other, they provide for one another. When they fly... It's amazing. I know how it feels to fly. Have your wings clipped. You see, you were right about some of it, they are really good teammates, they are efficient. But if all birds were vicious, there would be no beauty when they lifted off the ground and soared through the sky like an acrobat on a trapeze. No beauty at all." Grayson began to choke up.

He turned so Damian couldn't see the tears streaming down his cheeks. He lowered his head and shook with silent sobs. Damian quietly stepped closer, opened his mouth and uttered the words;


Damian quickly shut his mouth. He just apologized! To Grayson, of all people!

"Wait, what?" Grayson turned around and stared in shock. "You were insulting me, insulting my people and now you're...sorry?"

"Must I repeat myself?" Damian growled.

Dick broke out in a grin despite the tears still sliding from his eyes and rushed to hug his brother. "Not too fast!" Damian squeaked as Grayson squeezed the air out of his lungs and lifted him off the ground. "I only said I'm sorry," he informed Grayson as he was set back down. "Still transitioning, you know. But you were right- about the birds at least."

Dick laughed and looked at the tree again. "It's a start."

Damian watched the last bird fly into the tree and smiled.

It felt good being sorry.