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Fic: Booster Seat

Title: Booster Seat
Author: Brokaw22
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: After a new law is passed, Damian is forced to use a booster seat.
Thanks to Kathy for the beta work.

Author’s note: I’m aware that the average age for a booster seat in the United States is 8, but there are places where the law is 12 and under, which is what I chose for this fic.

When the new law is passed, Damian barely gives it a second thought. Surely, his father won't feel the need to abide by it. After all, they already disregard so many, and it's an utterly ludicrous mandate anyway. Their cars are custom built, so there is absolutely no reason Damian should have to lower himself to using something so childish. It’s beneath him and unnecessary. He scoffs at the television screen, and expects that to be the end of it.

However, it's not even two days later, when he enters the den to see both Grayson and Drake sitting on one of the sofas. Grayson looks amused and Drake seems to be holding back a smirk. Damian glares at both of them. “What are you two idiots smiling about?”

Drake is the first one to speak, much to Damian's dismay. “Well, since the new mandate went into effect, and Alfred was too busy to go out, I decided to pick up your new booster seat.”

The gleam in Drake's eyes has Damian wanting to stab him. His eyes narrow as he folds his arms over his chest. “This is preposterous. There is no need for something so pathetic.”

That's when Grayson decides to butt in -- which only aggravates Damian more. He should know better by now than to interrupt his arguments with Drake. “Actually, little D, I'm afraid it's completely necessary. The law states children under 12 must be in a booster seat, and since you're only ten and don't fit the height requirement yet...”

Grayson doesn’t get a chance to finish, before Damian launches into a full rage. “This is an outrage! There are numerous laws that we don't follow. Why should this inane one be any different?”

Grayson shakes his head, and Damian continues to fume. “Because this isn't one of the ones we can break for the greater good, and it's safer if we just follow this one, for both you and our cover.”

Damian's glare intensifies with every word, but he remains silent. That is until Drake grabs a bag that’s sitting by his leg and thrusts it at Damian. “Here, this is your new booster seat.”

There's something in Drake's expression that makes Damian apprehensive about taking the bag, but he's not about to show fear in front of one as pathetic as Drake. He practically tears the bag out of Drake's hand, and reaches inside without even looking, and when his hand emerges wrapped around an obnoxiously bright pink monstrosity, Damian doesn't even think before throwing it at Drake's head. “What is that?”

Drake only misses being hit with the booster seat because he's doubled over laughing at Damian's expense. Drake sucks in a breath before picking up the seat again. “It was all that they had left, and…well, you do have school tomorrow.”

Damian clenches his fists and is about to leap at Drake when he hears the door to his father's study open and close. He ignores both Drake’s and Grayson’s laughter as he spins on his heel and storms out of the room. He doesn't bother knocking before throwing the door open and barging inside. “Father, surely, you don't expect me to actually use a booster seat.” He spits out the last two words as though saying them physically hurts him.

Bruce merely stares at his youngest son for a long moment. “Of course, it's the law.”

Damian scoffs at his father’s flippant and, quite frankly, flimsy excuse. "As though that matters to us."

Bruce sighs and suddenly looks much older. It makes Damian uncomfortable, but he doesn't show it. “Damian, this isn't one of those times. You will have to accept that until you surpassed the height requirement, you will have to use a booster seat as mandated.”

Damian's eyes narrow, and he feels as though he's about to explode, but he knows that's not the way to get what he wants out of his father. So, despite how much he wants to thrash Bruce's entire study until the older man yields, Damian merely nods tightly, clenching his fists. “Then, I expect a suitable replacement to that atrocity Drake purchased immediately.” He doesn't give his father a chance to respond, before leaving the office.

The next day, Damian has almost forgotten about his latest plight, but after his normal morning routine of going to meet Alfred out front, he’s rudely reminded of his current predicament when he opens the rear passenger door to find Drake's disgusting offering sitting in front of him. “Pennyworth, why is this in my seat?” Damian gestures toward the offending pink abomination.

Alfred simply holds the door open like always, waiting patiently for Damian to take his seat, without even glancing at the eyesore in Damian's seat. “Master Damian, it was my understanding that you were aware of the new ordinance.”

Damian sneers. "I am. However, I also informed Father that this thing was unacceptable.”

Alfred seems to ignore Damian’s sour mood as always. “I'm afraid, young master, that at this precise moment, it is the only option.”

Damian snarls, lip curling up in distaste as he folds his arms over his chest. “Then I'm not going to school today.”

“I'm sorry, young sir, but that is also not an option.”

Even Damian knows that there is no arguing with Pennyworth, especially not on the subject of education, no matter how mediocre it may be. He shows his teeth in a grimace. “Very well, Pennyworth, but I expect this to be resolved by the time you retrieve me from that wretched institution.”

“Of course, young sir.”

Damian climbs into the back seat, trying to ignore the pink and glittery seat beneath him. He has Alfred drop him off a block away from the front door of his school, so none of the other children will catch a glimpse of his indignity.

The day passes exasperatingly slowly, and when Alfred finally arrives to take him home, all Damian can think about is sneaking down into the cave to train before dinner, but when he opens the back passenger door to see that ugly booster seat again, all thoughts of training flee his mind. He's about to release all of his rage on Pennyworth when he notices a very distinctive symbol directly in the middle of the seat. Damian quickly hurries into his seat, covering the symbol before anyone can catch a glimpse of it, and straps himself in. “What was that fool, Grayson thinking, putting his Nightwing symbol on this monstrosity?”

Pennyworth says nothing, and Damian is about to commence a full rant about Grayson’s stupidity, when he shifts and suddenly a very distinctive, annoyingly chipper, and abnormally high-pitched voice sounds throughout the car. “Don’t scowl too much, little D. Your face might get stuck that way.”

“Who’s to say that it’s not already?” The second voice is also extremely familiar, and Damian scowls even further as he realizes that the voices are coming from his seat. Clearly, Drake has far too much time on his hands if he could wire Damian’s seat to play a recording of both him and Grayson. Damian spends the entire ride home thinking of all the things he is going to do to both Drake and Grayson for this indecency.

The next day, when he opens the back passenger door, Damian is extremely displeased to see that the atrocious seat is still in the car. He glares at it for a long moment, before making a mental note to complain to his father about this when he returns from school. As it is, he's going to be late, and Damian hates being tardy, almost as much as he hates this booster seat.

When he gets out the car and retrieves his backpack from the car floor, Damian catches sight of a new symbol dead center on the very front of the seat. It's Red Robin's symbol, and now Damian is going to make sure that his father benches Drake for a week at the least. Grinding his teeth, Damian heads inside trying to forget about the outlandish seat.

When Alfred picks him up from school, there's another symbol, this time in the center on the back of the seat, directly across from Drake’s. It's his Robin symbol. He glares at it for a long moment, standing outside of the car. After a time, Pennyworth clears his throat. “Is there a problem, Master Damian?”

Damian refuses to show how much Alfred had startled him. Instead, he sneers at the elder man, and grits out, “Who put this here?” gesturing at his own symbol. Alfred smiles ever so slightly, but doesn’t say anything. Damian raises an eyebrow. “Why? Why would you put my symbol there?”

Alfred merely ushers Damian into the car. “It seemed fitting,” the man declares quietly before closing the door, and moving to the driver's seat.

That night, after Damian had thoroughly removed all of the wires Drake had added to the booster seat and crashed Drake’s laptop, he stormed into his father's study once more. “I demand to know why that ridiculous seat is still in the car. If I have to suffer the disgrace of a booster seat, I want it to be black and without those ridiculous symbols on it.” Bruce raises an eyebrow at him, but Damian feels no need to clarify. Certainly, his father will know what he means when he goes to remove the seat.

The following morning Damian is furious to see the shiny pink seat still in its usual place. He growls when he notices the Bat symbol on the front right corner of the seat before tossing his book bag into the vehicle. He really hates his father’s sense of humor, and he blames Grayson wholly for it. The drive to his school is as quiet as usual, which gives Damian plenty of time to plan his revenge. He pays little attention to Pennyworth as he slides out of the car. However, he doesn’t miss Grayson’s voice shouting, “Have a great day, Dami,” from his seat.

By the time school has let out, Damian has given up on getting an appropriate seat, so he's not the least bit surprised to see it staring back at him when he flings open the door. However, when he notices a tiny black bat on the front left corner of the seat, Damian does raise an eyebrow. Before he manages to utter a single word, Pennyworth cuts into his thoughts with a simple, “Miss Cain was only too happy to add her own embellishment.” Damian merely nods once before sliding into his seat.

The next morning when he goes to get into the car Damian scrutinizes the seat, and isn't the least bit surprised to see a tiny facsimile of Oracle's mask on the back right corner. He expects that to be the last of it, so when he goes to climb into his seat at the end of the day and catches a glimpse of the Red Hood's symbol in the back left corner, Damian doesn't know how to feel, knowing that Todd had been near this vehicle and touched his seat. Damian decides to ignore it as he settles into his seat once more, a book in hand, dreaming about the day that he'll be tall enough not to need this blasted thing, but he supposes that, until that day, this one will have to do, ghastly color, foolish symbols, imbecilic recorded messages and all.

The End

Comments

brokaw22
Jan. 14th, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad that you think so.