Fighting the muggers wasn't anything out of the ordinary, not for Robin anyway. One of the muggers biting his wrist when he punched her in the face, now that was bizarre.
Sharp teeth cut deep through Damian's skin and opened his vein. For a few seconds the mugger stood in place. She held him against his will until Damian finally managed to push her away. It was painfully as her teeth were torn from his skin.
Startled, Damian stumbled backwards. The surprise wasn't so much that she'd bit him in self defense, it was how her bite felt.
It felt more like four punctures on opposite sides of his wrists than a regular gnaw of the human jaw. He also could've sworn he'd felt something being pushed into him, like getting a shot. While also something being released out, like giving blood, which he'd done a bit of before.
Damian looked at her face. She had fangs.
No he thought.
And her eyes seemed to be lit up.
Her skin was pretty pale. Not sickly pale, a nice shining color. But still paler than the average human.
Please don't let me be right he pleaded in his head.
His wrist began hurting again. He glanced at his arm. Two holes, right where he'd been bit. Exactly the same distance apart as the muggers fangs. He could feel the same on the other side of his wrist for the smaller bottom two.
"You're...you're a-" Damian staggered.
The mugger merely hissed in response showing of her monstrous fangs. Damian realized he had spent too long just standing there stunned when the other mugger he'd been fighting grabbed him from behind. Then both of the muggers were shot in the head.
Damian fell down and slipped on the ice which paved the alley on cold late-October nights. He glanced to see the Red Hood standing there, holding the gun. Damian couldn't see the facial expressions because of the mask, but he got what he needed from body language as The Red Hood looked down at his younger brother, and only said a simple "Oh".
"Jason!" shouted Damian, who then immediately apologized for yelling his brother's real name.
"What exactly is happening here?" asked Jason Todd, voice unmistakable even when wearing the Red Hood mask.
"Normal night, me and Batman were fighting 4 people who were trying to mug some poor guy, but then Harley Quinn shows up out of nowhere! So Batman went to deal with her while I took down those last two, but then-"
Damian realized he couldn't tell Jason about what he thought happened. At least, not yet.
"Then you killed them both. Why exactly did you do that?" asked Damian.
"I'd like to ask you the same question, Red Hood" said Batman as he appeared behind Robin.
"I was chasing two disgusting rapists, and I guess they took a left when I took a right, anyway I heard someone shouting, mistook those two for them, anyway now they're dead" said Red Hood awkwardly.
"Batman, did you handle the Harley Quinn thing?" asked Damian.
"Yes, that's done at the moment" he replied. "Robin, what happened to your wrist?" asked his father sounding a little alarmed.
"She was wearing Brass knuckles," said Damian
That's true he thought
"I got some minor cuts but I'm not bleeding"
Could be more accurate, but not a lie
"I'm totally fine!" he finished.
Now that, that might not be true.
Damian was sound asleep in his bed, until he woke up shivering. He realized that he was thirsty and took a sip of water from the glass he always kept on his nightstand. He fell back asleep and didn't think too much of it.
The next morning Damian awoke and blinked the sun out of his eyes. He realized he must've woken up at a strange hour for the light to be coming in at that angle.
Damian hoped the bite incident last night had been a dream. But a glance down at his wrist implied otherwise.
The previous night, his veins and arteries had been punctured, yet he hadn't bleed a drop. He had bandaged himself. It wasn't like he had a problem with another family member doing it, but he did it because he didn't want anyone else seeing the strange bite. At least not until he was sure anyone else should know.
He'd figured he could stitch up himself if he needed to, but he was correct in that the injury that should have been much worse only needed a few bandages. Now however, now something else wasn't quite right. He undid all bandages, still no blood at all.
His injury was completely healed overnight!
This can't be happening thought Damian.
Damian took several deep breaths. He tried to think rationally.
I need some type of test to perform, he thought. Then Damian had an idea.
Damian crept quietly through his manor. He was careful not to make any noise that might wake up the rest of his family. Partly because it's just nice to not wake up your family, and partly because he didn't want questions on what he was doing.
He looked at the clock. It wasn't even six o'clock yet! He'd gone to bed at almost two a.m.! Somehow Damian had gotten around 4 hours of sleep and wasn't tired at all.
At least he didn't have to worry about his family catching him. Really, the only one he might come across would be an early morning Alfred when Damian was on his way back up. If that happened, he'd just tell him that he woke up really early and wasn't sure why, which was true.
He walked through the Batcave. He'd found Tim Drake passed out cold on top of one of the tables, not unusual. Damian tip-toed by him, the only thing he worried might wake his brother up was the unusually loud bat noises.
Damian walked into a tunnel in the Batcave. He smiled at the memory of the first time he'd been in there.
He are was young, he'd only been living with his father for a few weeks. He wasn't really sure what he expected from being a member of the Batfamily, but it definitely wasn't this. The situation was, interesting, to say that least. He wasn't really sure what his opinion on the whole thing was quite yet.
"Damian, we're in the Batcave" said his father. "It's a lot larger than everyone thinks it is because it's actually all of the natural caves under and around our property that I connected".
Damian looked around him. Not wanting to admit that he was impressed, he looked back at his father.
"This is the tunnel that leads into the forest, behind the waterfall" said his father. "Sometimes I'll take the batmobile or another vehicle out that way. There's a staircase somewhere that leads to the basement of the guest house, at the other end it goes all the way to Salem. Damian, it's important to remember, those are the only two entrances to the Batcave anyone knows about besides our family".
"Why do other people know how to get into those two besides us?" asked Damian.
"It's not so much that they know it leads to the Batcave, but the tunnel that runs from Salem to Gotham".
"Why do we have that?" asked Damian.
"You're several times great grandparents used to either help people escape Salem back in the 1690s. We either moved them through the tunnel or took them in and hid them in the cave, manor, or guest house. Later in the 1800s we helped slaves escape through the underground railroad. Now it's connected to the Batcave".
Damian of course knew about the Salem Witch Trials from how much they were talked about in the League of Assassins. However, nobody talked about whatever the underground railroad was, so he had to ask his father. Which he thought was embarrassing.
His father explained it to him. Then he told him something else.
"When I was...probably a little younger than you, my father brought me down here and told me the story of our ancestors helping people get to and from Gotham for their safety. He said we Wayne's used to help any good person who needed us. I still try to do that" said his father.
Father and son looked at each other for a few moments, then the Dark Knight wrapped his arm around his son and pulled him in for a sideways hug. "I used to never come in here, you know. I was afraid of the bats" he said as he patted him on the shoulder.
"Why are you Batman if you used to be afraid of bats?"
His father explained it to him. He wanted to turn fear upon those who pray on the fearful, which he did by making his childhood fear a symbol, and using fear as his greatest weapon against those who plagued Gotham City.
And through the Batfamily, though mostly the original vigilante, bats had become a symbol of hope for the good people of Gotham City. And for the evil of not just Gotham but the world, bats had become something to fear.
It was the bats that he was looking for.
Damian turned on his flashlight. He then walked down the cave until he found a large amount of sleeping bats.
He took a deep breath and then reached out to touch them. Damian wasn't really sure what to expect, but two days ago the bats would definitely not have reacted the way they did.
Dozens of bats swarmed around him. Yet they didn't seem really threatening at all. Damian didn't know how he knew it, but somehow he knew the bats liked him. It was almost as if they were trying to help him!
He heard the sounds they made in a way he never had before. Like a language, specific sounds were tossed back and forth between the bats and at him as if they each had their own meaning.
Damian took a deep breath and tried to understand what they were saying. All he could make out of what they communicated to each other were a few sentence fragments:
"How did he-"
"His name is Robin"
"hang on, can he"
"Well then tell her that you idiot!"
"No his name is Damian"
"The last one-"
"I thought the big one was supposed to be-"
"No he's definitely Robin"
"Hey, Isn't he"
"Out of my way!"
"No Robin is the first one, he's Damian"
"He's so young"
"The first one was Dick, this is Robin"
"If he needs somewhere to sleep I could make room, you wouldn't mind would you lit-"
"Does he sleep at night or in-"
"He has a fam-"
"You two are both wrong, Robin was the second one".
"He has family that lives in the light caverns and above ground-"
Damian stumbled backwards breathing heavily. He'd just heard bats speak to each other!
I'm not insane he told himself. This is really happening.
Damian listened to some bat speaking directly to him.
"You're one of us" was all Damian could make out before it's voice was lost in all the others.
Damian ran back up to the manor not really caring if he woke Tim Drake. However, when he reached the top of the stairs he walked slowly and tried not to look like he'd seen a ghost. Which was difficult given what he had seen and heard.
I'm just going to back to my room now and pretend to wake up at a normal time he thought.
As Damian walked up the staircase he suddenly found it difficult to balance. He felt weak, so he jogged into his room and flopped on his bed.
Then Damian caught sight of the his skin. It was getting paler than normal. But not like he was getting sick pale, but still getting paler.
Damian starred up at the ceiling and finally admitted it. "I'm turning into a vampire".