[Snoozevamp] The Cage

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[Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:15 pm

Because, believe it or not, the whole thing where the Batfamily are vamps and shifters and hybrids and a witch, that all takes place in the same 'verse as Snoozevamp. We even made it so that Snooze is a great-great-whatever uncle Wayne.

What happened was this:

Talia comes back to Gotham. She sees that Bruce is letting Damian lounge around the Manor and do nothing. She sends Damian a secret message asking him if he would like to come back with her and resume training, resume working. Damian goes to Bruce with the message and confesses that he would like to do something. Not with Talia. But he is bored.

Steph comes back to the Manor for school holidays. She's full of praise for the school -- boarding school, finishing school, uni, wherever she is. She's also tall and pretty and funny and nice to Damian. Damian and Colin have been together for some time now, months, maybe a year, and Damian can't help but be fascinated by a new person being nice to him. He develops a crush and starts following her around, stealthily. He doesn't so much ignore Colin as he just doesn't spend time with him anymore. Colin gets upset but says nothing, not to anyone.

Bruce decides Damian and Colin should go to school, since it seems to have done Steph the world of good. Colin needs to remain in Gotham, so his chimera condition can be managed; he is sent to a local private school. With Talia sniffing around town, and trouble brewing between Damian, Steph and Colin, Bruce sends Damian to a fancy boarding school that teaches advanced military strategy and business management, things Bruce knows Damian will enjoy learning because, for once in his undead life, he sat down with Damian and talked about his interests.

When Damian leaves for boarding school, Colin withdraws into himself. He spends time in the chapel at his school, and gets to talking with the chaplain. The chaplain is impressed with Colin's faith and intelligence, not knowing anything about his condition, and gently suggests Colin may be a good fit for seminary school once he is old enough. Since Damian left him, Colin's only refuge is in his faith, so he researches the idea. Dick or Tim stumble across the research and Dick writes about it in a letter or email to Damian.

Damian calls Colin to ask him what is he thinking, he can't become a priest, he has a condition and he is gay, besides. Colin, stressed and lonely and upset, rages at him that he can do whatever he wants, he can leave, just like Damian did. They fight over the phone and when they hang up, neither plans to talk to the other again. Colin becomes more animalistic; he starts leaving the Manor at night to shift and go for long runs. That's the only thing that will help the itch under his skin, and quiet the urges in his head.

Colin appearing in public, travelling to and from school and church and running around at night, leaves his scent trails all over town. He's grown only more powerful, and the local shifter community Cannot Deal. Probably led by the lion Colin 'attacked' when Damian took him to see the pride, a small contingent of shifters sets out to hunt him down.

Talia tries to kidnap Bruce, to get him to tell her where Damian is. He evades her and puts the whole family on lockdown until he gets her out of town. The shifter pack hunting Colin comes to call. Bruce and Dick get ready to defend their territory.

Before they can, Colin reacts to the threat. More animal than human, he shifts into his most terrifying form yet, and it kind of melts and changes even as he races across the Manor lawn -- even as he tears limb from limb, as he rips apart the shifter pack that was hunting him. His human brain loses it completely, bathed in blood and guts, and he turns on the Waynes.

They aren't expecting Colin to attack them. Colin never would have if Damian was there. But he's lost control, he's reverted completely to the creature he was in the labs. He attacks anything living, with the weakest first.

That's Alfred.

He knocks Alfred down and claws down his side. Before he can chomp down and rip out Alfred's throat, Bruce is on him. Wild with fury, Bruce nearly breaks Colin's neck as he rips him away. It's harder than he thought it would be -- Colin is huge and Bruce is small. Dick and Jerel shift and pounce on Colin, holding him down. Tim chokes out sleep and containment spells, then turns his attention to Alfred.

While Tim and Bruce get Alfred into the Manor and Tim starts trying to heal him, Dick and Jerel drag an unconscious Colin down to the Cave. Dick can't bring himself to execute a fourteen year old boy, so they simply shut him in a cage. It will take hours, maybe days, for him to shift back.
In the mean time, they call Damian to let him know what happened -- only the basics, that there was an attack and it's not safe for him to come back to Gotham right now, and Talia is looking for him.

Damian goes nearly insane with worry, but he finishes out the school term after Bruce gets on the phone and orders him to.

He is back at the Manor before dawn on the first day of his school holidays. Alfred is tired and pale but back on his feet, and no one tells Damian that Alfred was attacked. They do tell him that Colin lost control and had to be restrained in the Cave, and that he is still down there, half-insane, wild with territorial fury every time someone tries to come near. He spends most his time shifted, tearing apart chunks of raw meat that Jason -- who came running home at the news that Alfred might die, and who is the only one who can stand to go near the cage -- drops by for him. Since Alfred got better, he has been preparing proper meals for Colin to eat, but Colin is rarely human enough to eat them. Even in human form, he's feral.

It's been weeks since the attack.

Damian finds Rory and goes down to the Cave. He doesn't know what to expect -- Colin, or the chimera beast everyone warns him about.
He finds Colin. Colin is exhausted and skinny and dirty. The cage is big enough for him to stand and lay down, and there's a blanket on the hard floor, maybe a bucket for waste. He's been kept like he's an animal, or a criminal.

Colin cries when he sees Damian. He says he doesn't remember what happened, like before, when he was an experiment in the labs. He knows it was something bad; he's still dirty with blood from the attack. He thinks he killed someone. He doesn't know what day it is or where he is, if he's still in the Manor, why he's in a cage. Has he been captured again, by those scientists, has Damian come to rescue him.

The cage is bound with Tim's spells. Damian can't open it. But he puts Rory next to the bars and sits with Colin and apologises for being an ass on the phone about the priest thing. They talk, and both of them admit that they hated being separated, and that they're still best friends. (Not more, romantically, like they were before -- but maybe that will come again with time and trust.) Damian hates to leave him alone in the dark, but he goes back upstairs at dawn and storms into Bruce's study, yelling at him about abuse and neglect and Colin is /fourteen/ and he's caged up like an /animal/ and he was /crying/, Father, when Damian went down to see him, but crying silently like children do when they know nobody cares but they can't help it, the tears come anyway. Damian is outraged at Colin's treatment.

Bruce puts Colin's care in Damian's hands. But Colin must stay in the cage. Damian can bring him anything he wants, can transport an entire bathtub down there if he likes. But Colin must stay in the cage.

Damian brings Colin buckets of hot water to bathe, big meals prepared by a sad Alfred, thick blankets, fine pillows, and a video game setup. He does all of it while coolly ignoring everyone, the only way he can stop himself from screaming at them for their treatment of a child who trusted them. Once Colin is comfortable, Damian sets up a cot for himself in the Cave and accesses the surveillance feeds to find out what the hell happened to make Bruce so cold and unforgiving.

He sees that, starting just a couple of days after Damian left the Manor, Colin's behaviour started to deteriorate. He would snap at someone, then apologise too much. He spent at least half his time in Damian's room -- probably chasing after Damian's scent. Only after spending time around Damian's things was he the calm and cheerful boy Damian knew. He sees Colin stop sleeping, start wandering the house like a little ghost. Eventually Colin starts leaving the Manor, shifting in the Cave before loping off into the night. He'd come back before dawn and sleep a couple of hours before school, but he'd be out most of the night.

And he sees the massacre of the lions who came to hunt Colin down -- no audio on external cameras, but he can imagine the screams and the bones crunching and the blood gurgling. And he sees Colin, totally wild, turn on Bruce and Dick and Jerel, then ignore them and go for Alfred, Steph and Tim -- the weaker targets. Alfred gets in front of Tim and Steph instinctively, to protect them. He goes down hard and Colin claws him with what look like bear paws before Bruce rips him off.

The whole thing is brutal, and Damian -- hating himself, but nonetheless -- understands why Colin is in the cage.

The surveillance of the Cave and cage over the past few weeks, when Damian was finishing school, show the chimera in mad fits. He melted between different shapes and forms -- Damian has never seen that before. He raged and screamed and tried to break the cage. He broke his own bones and they healed, he tore himself to shreds and healed. Whenever any of the others got close, Colin went made with rage, shifting and fighting to get to them.

Of course, as a shifter, Colin has excellent hearing and sight, and he has been watching and hearing the whole thing. Damian had to piece it all together from deleted files -- Tim or Bruce trying to hide it from Damian before he came home.

When Damian finally shuts off the computer, Colin is curled in the far corner of the cage, shaking, his hands over his ears to stop the memories of the screams. But hands over ears can't stop memories.

Damian crosses the Cave and crouches next to Colin. Tim's spells allow Damian to reach into the cage -- he does, and he takes one of Colin's hands and holds it as tight as he can. "I should never have left. I hope you will forgive me."

Colin's fingers are lax in Damian's. He doesn't try to pull away, but he doesn't hold on to Damian. He doesn't deserve Damian, his friendship. He knew he had done a bad thing, but he didn't know what. He didn't remember. Now he remembers all of it, like the surveillance footage broke the mental dam. He remembers all of it now.

"You should leave me," Colin whispers. "You should go and forget about me."

Damian squeezes Colin's hand tight enough to break a human's fingers. "Never," he swears.

Then Jason and Dick bust down the stairs.

Bruce has been kidnapped. Talia got him. She's left them a link to a video feed on the internet, and when they turn it on, a struggling Bruce is being lowered into a Lazarus Pit.

He comes out human.

This is a whole new problem. Damian's expertise and experience with his mother, his grandfather and their hideouts are necessary to get Bruce back. He is forced to leave Colin still caged in Alfred's care as the rest of them traipse across the world to get Bruce back. It takes time. It takes a long time, a month, or more. Talia and Ra's keep moving Bruce around, trying to brainwash him. But Bruce manages -- even with only the strength of the human child he is, now -- to get away.

Damian has been on the phone with Colin every day, so Colin's mental state didn't deteriorate too badly while he was gone. But there's a deeply noticeable difference when Damian returns to the house. Alfred is the first to bring up the possibility that Damian is more vampire than they thought, and that he has an animal to call: hybrids. Animal hybrids like lygers and mules -- and the only known surviving human chimera, Colin.

But with a brand new fully human Bruce and Alfred in the house, there's no way they can let him out of the cage.

Colin has now been in the cage for a month while Damian was away at school -- in squalor and filth. Then another month while the family was away rescuing Bruce -- this time, relatively clean and somewhat sane, and quiet enough that Alfred could bring him food and buckets of hot water to wash. He shifted under the push of the full moon, but other than that, he remained, more or less, a boy.

It's starting to grate on Dick and Alfred, leaving a human boy in these conditions. Damian becomes more moody and sullen and destructive by the day. And Alfred knows he hasn't long to live. Now that he is simply human, instead of a human servant -- well, he has already lived long past his time.

Something needs to be done.

(holy fuckballs that was long)
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:02 am

Damian has to do something about---everything. He always knew that one day his father, such that he was, would end up leaving and he would have some amount of responsibility to inherit. He's always /wanted/ that. But not now, and not with so many variables. Not with so much of his own emotional state invested.

Not with puberty nipping at his heels and Brown insisting on wearing tank tops in the summer. Not with Colin in such a state, being kept in that state, looking at him with so much trust in his eyes that it pulls at something warm and very human inside him. Not with his father more helpless than he thought possible of an individual.

He gets away from some of it, though obviously not all, by spending time with Colin. He doesn't discuss any of his stress because why would he? It would add to Colin's issues and injustice, and he can't do that. Damian feels like he has all these added responsibilities to deal with but he can't convince anyone that it is perfectly safe and, more importantly, /the right thing to do/ to let Colin out. Even if he could get Drake to let him into the cage, that would help. But that's not happening either.

He sits, heavily and with a sigh, next to the bars. Maybe they could play games and pretend for a while that everything is normal and that they're normal and everything is okay. He wishes he had parents who he trusted to lie to him like that. Everything is okay, son. Thank you, father. Thank you, mother.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:21 am

Colin had buried himself in his nest of pillows and blankets, like he often does when there is no one in the Cave. He hates being alone, he's always hated it, and he hates it even more now. At least the video game system is linked up to the Manor servers. Multiplayer games with the people upstairs give him some illusion of company.

But today was a nest day, rather than a game day. Not that he knows whether it's day or night, but the time between sleeps, that's his day. He had been just starting to relax and drowse to the sound of the humming computers when the secret door, far above on the twisting stairs, creaked open.

It didn't used to creak. Colin thinks Damian might have done something to it, so Colin would know when someone was coming downstairs.

He pokes his head out from under the blankets and watches Damian trudge down the stairs. He misses Damian so damn much, not even in the supernatural sense where everything is easier to control when Damian is around, but just as his friend. He misses making Damian smile. He can never make Damian smile properly from in here.

Damian sits right next to Colin's nest -- or really, Colin built his nest next to where Damian likes to sit. So Colin doesn't have to move far to sit up and smile at Damian. "Hey," he says.

He doesn't want to say good morning and be wrong, or good evening and be wrong. And he doesn't want to open with 'you look tired', because although Damian does, he doesn't like talking about his weaknesses. See, Colin can be a good friend, still.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:27 am

Damian looks at Colin and relaxes a touch. He wants to reach in and touch, but he doesn't. He probably could and it would be okay, but he doesn't. "Hello," he says formally but warmly. "That looks comfortable."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:53 am

After Damian came home and Colin calmed down, I'm sure Tim tinkered with the containment spells so that Damian could reach inside, but Colin couldn't reach out. That would be how Damian could give Colin things inside without having to actually open the cage. Tim is a witch whiz.

"Warm, too," Colin agrees. He's smiling right up to his eyes. "I know you won't tell me where you got the pillows from, but I swear, you must have nicked off with the best ones in the whole Manor."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:00 am

Damian doesn't so much smile but there is a certain amount of amused mischief in his eyes. "No, I will not tell you where they're from," he agrees. "But it may have been retaliation. Besides, you should be able to smell it."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:03 am

Colin pulls one of the blankets up to his nose, hiding his smile. "I can smell everyone on these," he admits. "All your family."

A few months ago, it used to be our family.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:12 am

What family? They're just a group of people to Damian, now. "They smell like you, to me," Damian says simply. "Which makes perfect sense, since they are yours now."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:26 am

Colin wraps his arms around the pillows -- Rory's hidden in there somewhere, he feels weird about still sleeping with a teddy bear but he's gotta admit it's a hell of a lot more comforting than hugging a pillow -- and beams at Damian. "Thanks. You really went above and beyond," he teases. "I was expecting, like, two pillows, when I asked you."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:31 am

Damian's expression goes dark, just a touch. Protective and angry. "You deserve much more than an embarrassment of pillows, Colin."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:36 am

Colin twitches, and his smile fades like the sun going behind sudden clouds. "Let's not talk about that, please," he asks, his voice small. "I don't want to fight with you again."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:51 am

Damian growls quietly, frustrated, because that's all everyone ever says to him these days. Let's not have this fight again, we've been over this. But he drops it. "I was thinking that I needed some time to---play," Damian says slowly, unable to really find the right word. 'Play' isn't right, but that is what children do, isn't it? They are still children.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:07 pm

Colin sinks down into the blanket nest when Damian growls, the pit in his stomach twisting. He doesn't look at Damian as he talks, but he hunts through the pillows for the console controllers. He finally does glance up at Damian as he holds one out, near enough the bars that Damian can reach in and grab it. "You know I'm always up for that," he says, with a ghost of his former cheerful grin.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:13 pm

Damian does reach in, but he doesn't go straight for the controller. He puts his hand on top of Colin's. "I'm tense," he explains. And explaining these things does not come easy, so he keeps it as simple as he can. "But that does not mean that I am angry at you."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:26 pm

Colin resists the urge to grab Damian's hand and squeeze it and not let go, not ever. He misses being touched with such fierce depth that it scares him. Even a tiny touch like that makes him gasp a little. He breathes out, and in, and holds Damian's eyes as he nods. "Okay. That's -- that's good. I can't really comfort you from here." He lets himself rest his fingers, very lightly, on the back of Damian's hand. He doesn't pat, that'd be patronising. He just -- touches. It's the only comfort he can give these days.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:36 pm

Damian licks his lips a little. "I need you to make me a promise, if that is okay with you," he says slowly. "I would like if you didn't worry about me. Don't think that you have to comfort me. Not," he gestures at the cage with his other hand and, so briefly, sags with guilt. "...it's not something I would want you to burden yourself with."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:52 pm

Colin curls his fingers on top of Damian's without realising it. "We're still friends, Damian," he says softly. "That's what friends do. It's not a burden. I wanna be able to comfort you." His eyes are sad; he can't help that, either. "I just wonder about what you do when you're not here, and wondering leads to worrying. But I can promise to do my best."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:59 pm

Damian lifts an eyebrow, amused. "I could tell you details," he offers. "It's mostly fighting. Verbal fighting, I assure you, but fighting nonetheless. My 'father' and his irrational behaviour, everyone else and their crippling fear and prejudice." He shakes his head. He feels like he's the only one who's sane.

He'll tell Colin details. That could be okay. But he won't tell him about Alfred's waning health. Colin would blame himself and it has /nothing/ to do with him.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:39 am

Colin presses the controller into Damian's hand, but he still holds Damian's hand between both of his, gentle enough that Damian can pull away. "Everyone's world's been shaken up. Everyone's going to be off balance for a little while. We'll -- they'll -- you'll figure out what to do eventually." Colin knows he has to be... put down. The shifters were all right. Chimeras are too dangerous to live. It's just going to take everyone else, especially Damian, some time to see it, too.

Hearing about Alfred would tear Colin apart, that's for damn sure. It's not his fault, ultimately, it's the reversal of his human servant status. But it would feel like it was Colin's fault.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:06 am

Damian drops the controller and takes one of Colin's hands properly. "We will, yes," he says firmly. "They're starting to...realise that you're not dangerous. You haven't been for quite some time now. Even while I was away." He pauses to gather his thoughts, calm himself, /something/. And then the door to the Cave creaks and Damian sits up to see who would dare interrupt them.

Tim trots down the stairs, his movements light and casual but his face all grim and serious. He's putting on a show.

(I figure things should happen. And Tim would be the ones watching Colin's progress with his weird, analytical eyes.)
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:25 am

Colin clutches at Damian's hand, then forces himself to relax. Tim only ever comes down here for two things -- to work on the computers, or to check on the cage. Never Colin, but the cage -- check on the spells, strengthen them, change them, whatever. The last time he was down here, he looked all disapproving at the nice things Damian had brought Colin, but he didn't say a word.

He hugs one of the pillows tight to his chest and watches Tim carefully from over the top of it.

(of course, Colin sees things differently to how they actually are, since he's stuck in one place and has no context for Tim's visits)
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:38 am

"Suck up," Damian greets Tim coldly.

"Demon," Tim answers, and does go through the usual checks on Colin's cage. Nothing's changed, nothing at all. It couldn't without him knowing but he still does it. He needs to see Colin close up and it's a perfect excuse without getting Damian's proverbial hackles up. He has gotten better, physically. Colin's looking healthier and a little less like he's dying. None of them have gone in to give Colin a proper check-up, though, but Tim does check his power levels. Usually when a shifter is lacking control he can tell.

For all intents and purposes, Colin is just a teenager sitting in a cage right now. And Tim doesn't realise that he's staring at him until Damian rumbles dangerously.

(oh baby)
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:44 am

Colin had started to shake under Tim's inspection, especially once he started staring. He imagined that something had gone wrong with the cage and he was about to be punished or yelled at or something -- despite that never having happened, in the months since Damian came home from school. He got yelled at a lot in the month he was feral and wild, though a lot of that is fuzzy, through the brain of an animal rather than a human.

He doesn't notice his hand is shaking in Damian's until Damian rumbles. Then he abruptly goes super still, super tense, and just moves his eyes to dart a look at Damian and at Tim.

Their faces are like thunderclouds. Colin inhales deeply and chokes out, "Don't -- don't fight. Please."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:55 am

"I'm not here to fight," Tim answers Colin, but tells Damian. Damian just snorts derisively. "But it'll probably happen. Because I need to talk to you. Both of you."

"Is that not what is already happening, Drake? Hurry it up," Damian grumbles impatiently. He strokes Colin's knuckles absently, though, quietly trying to reassure him.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:58 am

Colin's exhale is much more gentle than his inhale. Damian's absent affection does a whole lot to calm Colin down, to reassure him. No matter what Tim has to say, he'll have to get through Colin's best and truest friend if he wants to do anything. Colin trusts Damian wholeheartedly.

"Talk about what?" Colin asks. He can't meet Tim's eyes.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:17 am

Tim licks his lips. He didn't really think he would get this far, but Colin seems to have just as much as a calming influence on Damian as he does on Colin. "No shifter suddenly gets control over their beast just because someone they like is nearby," he says slowly. He's been doing research. "Usually, actually, it makes things worse."

Damian narrows his eyes. "If you're here to point out that I'm a freak, again, then you can leave."

"Shut up for a second, would you? Let me finish," Tim snaps.

"Tt. Why should I?"
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:23 am

"We're not freaks, neither of us," Colin says, supporting Damian. He's frowning, but he's not angry -- he's exhausted at this old, old argument. "We're not ten years old anymore, Tim. You can't just insult us and expect us to forget when we're older."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:42 am

Tim sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. "You're both kids, and annoying, but I never called anyone a freak," he protests. "I was /saying/, if you'd give me a chance, that this doesn't happen with shifters and friends. It happens with shifters and." He pauses, because this is so going to piss Bruce off and he's not used to going behind his back on things too often. "Shifters and master vampires."

Damian looks at Colin, then Tim. "If that is the case, then all we have to do is find the master vampire attempting to control Colin." And kill it, Damian doesn't say out loud.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:50 am

"Well, it'd have to be your father," Colin says to Damian. "Which doesn't make sense," he adds, objecting to Tim. "When Mr. Wayne was here, I was worse, and when he was gone, I got better. And I'm even better now and he isn't even a vampire now. Isn't that the opposite of what you're saying?" Because as far as he knows, Bruce is the only one who could have been called a master vampire.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:15 pm

"Yeah, I can see why this is confusing," Tim admits, nodding. "But--actually? I think it's Damian."

"What?" Damian spits, tightening his grip on Colin's hand. "I'm barely vampire, thanks to my father."

"Explain everything that's happened, then." Tim crosses his arms and raises an eyebrow at Damian.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:24 pm

Colin goes breathless. It makes so much sense, it can't /not/ be true. "Damian, you can walk during the day, you're super strong, you have no weakness to silver. They're master vampire things," he says, softly. "Like, they're human things, but they're also -- it's not impossible."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:48 pm

"I'm glad one of you is reasonable," Tim says smugly.

Damian ignores him. "Colin, I haven't drank blood in years," he says patiently. "There is no way I have the powers of a master vampire, nor will I ever." He goes a little red because he had to admit that weakness in front of Drake. "As much as I would like it to be true."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:55 pm

Colin bites his lip. "Only really strong vampires can go without blood for a long time and not go crazy," he points out. "Your -- your human heritage could be helping out. But you'd think even a half vampire would need blood every so often. Just to not go berserk."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:29 pm

"That would imply that I was born a master vampire," Damian says, as though it negates everything they're saying about him. "And even my mother would not break so many laws of nature."

"Right, because she has such respect," Tim snorts and moves away from the cage. "Anyway, never mind all that for now. I've been going over the surveillance, and---"

"You've been watching us," Damian interrupts, his tone flat.

"/Yes/. Shut up, you little terror. I think we can prove that you at least help with Colin's control issues."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:32 pm

"My control issues," Colin echoes, really quietly, mostly to himself. That's, like, the most conservative, avoiding-the-problem way to possibly put it. Colin's issues with murdering and almost murdering people, that's more like it.

He sighs and shakes his head, shakes the thoughts away. "What do you mean, prove it?"
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:47 pm

Tim doesn't answer straight away, instead going over to the main computer and typing for a little while. Eventually, the tv Damian set up for games switches on and shows a few old security logs at once. Tim walks back over to the cage. "There's when Colin was first put in the cage, here's from that month of--just, when it--it was bad," Tim tries to be as nice about Colin being a wild, frothing, lunatic for a month but it's hard. "And there's when Damian came but and the following weeks. There's considerable change."

"We're friends," Damian says in explanation. He doesn't know why he's fighting this. He knows he calms Colin down, that's why he's here in the first place. But he doesn't want or need Drake's help. Besides which, he can't see what benefit it would be to Drake to help him and that makes him cautious.

"Yeah, duh, everyone knows that. Be constructive, okay?" Tim shakes his head and continues. "It shouldn't have happened that quick, even if you two being friends was even an applicable theory--which, I've explained, it isn't."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:59 pm

Colin winces and looks away from the first video quickly. He doesn't need to see that. He's remembering most of it, these days, he doesn't need to see how awful it was from the outside. No wonder everyone's so leery of him.

He chews on his lip. "It's like -- it happened even just the first day you came back," he says. "The day before, that -- that was bad. But the day you came back, I was still upset, but it was different. I could think. I could talk. I never, I didn't really think about it. You just --" Colin coughs a little, then takes a deep breath. "You make me feel safe. I thought that's what it was."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:07 pm

"That is what it is," Damian insists. "If it were even possible, don't you think that my father would have told me? Or at least taken advantage of that kind of power?"

"You're kinda brainwashed when it comes to Bruce, so I'm going to ignore that really stupid question," Tim waves away Damian's words, making Damian lift a lip in disgust. Tim grabs the remote and clicks back and forth. "This is literally from the day before and the day you arrived. Like Colin said, there's noticeable difference."

He looks at Colin, then jerks his head at Damian. Convince him, kind of thing. Tim knows he right. He /knows/ it. He talked to Dick about the possibility of talking him through what it feels like to be called by a master vampire, but all Dick said was that every vampire he knows about who can call leopards are scary as fuck and he stays away from them. Unhelpful. But he knows he's right.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:13 pm

Colin sees Tim's frustrated look, then takes a deep breath and squeezes Damian's hand. "I think you're really unique. I think that neither your mother nor your father even know what you're going to be like when you grow up," he says. "And I think -- I think they don't know, in advance, what you're going to be able to do. I honestly think they don't know, Dami."

He nearly flinches when he uses Damian's nickname. He hasn't used it in a /long/ time, since Damian started following Steph around and kind of ignoring Colin.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:29 pm

Damian looks at Colin, honestly shocked that Colin still remembered the nickname. Damian thought he'd forgotten about that a long time ago. He takes a steadying breath. "...do you feel as though you are under any influence? If it is true, then I've been influencing you unchecked. How is that good?"

"It means Colin could be the first chimera to reach year ten with the disease without losing his mind, for a start," Tim mutters, absently looking through the recordings and confirming, in his head, everything he's been hypothesising. For like the hundredth time.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:35 pm

"I don't think I'm under any kind of influence," Colin assures Damian. "I don't /feel/ like it. But just -- when you're around --" He ducks his head, ashamed. "It's just easier. I feel better." And, a little bit, his eyes start to gloss over with tears. "I don't want to die before I'm twenty."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:04 am

Damian face twitches; he can't stand not being able to be in there with Colin. "Drake," he demands, standing up. He's the same height as Tim, now. "Open the cage. Do it this instant."

Tim blinks. "No. No, definitely not. I know that I'm here presenting some good arguments for you but--"

"Shut up!" Damian snaps, thumping a fist into the bars. "No-one will be hurt if you open the cage. People will be hurt if you leave it closed."

Tim looks at Colin for a second, weighing up his options against the heavy and dull feeling in his stomach. He sighs and raises a hand, mutters the counter-spell. As soon as he stops talking Damian wrenches open the door and gathers Colin up in his arms. Tim might as well not be there.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:01 am

Colin nearly flies at Damian. He doesn't even care about making it out of the cage. As soon as he collides with Damian, he wraps around him and stops in his tracks -- and shudders, breathes out shakily, miserably. He tries his best not to sob, but the noise comes out like a whine, instead.

Hopefully his wild lunge at Damian doesn't look like an attack.
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by sinistra_blache on Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:52 pm

It might look like an attack, but Tim doesn't move to stop Colin. He isn't fast enough to follow either of their movements, and Colin's noises at being hugged stop whatever thoughts he might have had to break it up entirely.

"You will not die," Damian whispers by Colin's ear, fiercely protective. "As if I would let you /die/."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

Post by nocturnalie on Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:23 pm

Colin's not even one hundred percent aware of the noises he's making as he curls his fingers in Damian's shirt and clings to him. His heartbeat is jackhammering; Damian must be able to hear it. He can barely hear what Damian is saying over the thundering in his ears.

"I don't want to, I don't want to," he gasps. "You don't, you shouldn't have to protect me. I'm so sorry, Dami, I didn't mean for any of this to happen."
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Re: [Snoozevamp] The Cage

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