Gotham academy was for rich kids. It was obviously immediately from the golden filagree gates and sparkling black cars that littered the driveway like polished flies. The neatly cut grass always had clumps of students dressed in their fine uniforms lounging, some sharing the odd expensive cigarette whilst talking about exotic holiday destinations in obnoxiously loud voices.
The students who walked the halls had every possible affordable luxury a finger tip distance away. They were used to private planes, wads of cash and bottles of champagne lives. It was mirrored in the unusual accents to the already pricey uniform, the superior attitude that oozed off of them like their overwhelming perfumes and colognes, in the calligraphed writing in each end of term letter.
You had been very lucky, very lucky indeed. Gotham Academy may have been a haven for stuck up snobs, but the education was excellent. There was never a lesson that passed when you weren’t captivated and intrigued to research further once it was over. For you, a self confessed nerd - something that you were proud of - it was an absolute dream. Not even your wildest wishes could have foreseen this gift. Your uncle, a recluse of a man that you had never met, had somehow found out that you had a talent for Physics that neither of your parents had the money to nurture, and opted to help.
By helping, he meant sending you to one of the best schools in the whole of the country.
You had arrived at the imposing gates by private school bus three months ago to the day. It was no exaggeration that you had never, ever seen a building quite so old yet so beautiful. A kind, but rather airy prefect by the name of Clemsie Parks-West had met you just inside the gates, rolling back on her heels with almost tangible excitement.
She had never done this sort of thing before, she told you with an almost nervous grin. Clemsie was surprisingly intelligent on closer inspection, something which you should have guessed, but it didn’t stop her from pointing and giving you more information about past and present students that littered the halls than where first lesson was situated and the location of the cafeteria.
Flicking her long blonde hair over her shoulder, she had stopped abruptly three quarters around the tour for no reason, and you had almost ended up falling on top of her. Blushing profusely, you had apologised, but the girl had shut you up with finger to the lips. You still remember it to the day, the way her voice took on a semblance of a dreamy quality as she gestured at the imposing figure of a boy standing mere feet away.
“That,” she whispered, “that’s Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne...you know, the billionaire. I have to admit, I can see why everyone thinks he’s handsome. Personally, I think the boy’s a bit misinterpreted. I think, yeah, he’s in your year, so you’ll...”
He had been walking towards you both, shoulders tense, glancing to the left as if hesitating to see if someone he knew was coming. You had been overwhelmed with pity for the boy as you saw the trail of girls and boys alike following him like lost puppies. He was evidently exasperated, stalking with purpose down the corridor.
When you had looked at his face, the breath had almost left your lungs. The teenager was devastatingly handsome, even with a scowl marring his features his whole being was truly magnetic. You felt pathetic, but the boy’s burnished skin and dark hair, long at the top, had made your fingers itch to run them through it. That thought, you remembered vividly still, had positively made you want to puke; the fact being that you hadn’t talked to him yet, and he looked the sort that lived under a shadow with a temper hotter than molten metal. The sort that would be an absolute entitled prince.
And then the worst possible thing happened. A burly athlete had shouldered you from the left as the Wayne boy walked past you on the right and you pitched sideways.
Right into him.
With reflexes that were far too quick to be normal, he had caught you before you both went sprawling across the floor. Long fingers clasped around your arms let you go almost instantly, and you dropped with all the grace of a brick to the wooden floor. The resounding thwack of your head hitting the cherry wood had made the students around start tittering with barely concealed laughter, and a low groan had found its way out your throat.
It was your first day, and you’d already made a fool out of yourself.
Stumbling to you feet and brushing the invisible lint off the starched skirt, you had looked up to meet Damian Wayne’s face, intent on apologising. Instead, you were met with a sharply cut face, annoyance bleeding into every feature. His ornery green eyes had stared down at you - after all, he was almost a head height taller than you - anger barely concealed in them.
“I...oh...um...er, aren’t you Damian Wayne?”
You had wanted to slap yourself. Then, maybe, throw yourself off Gotham’s breakwater as soon as possible. No, you couldn’t have started with ‘I’m so sorry’ or ‘My apologies.’ No, it had to be something so totally weird and unasked for that the boy - who was already emotionally constipated by the looks of it - was going to have no idea what you were on about.
Rolling your eyes to yourself, you had started again. “I’m sorry about that.”
The Wayne boy had just stared at you curiously, as if you were an interesting new creature that had just been discovered in some far away lagoon rainforest. The intensity of his stare coupled with with piercing brightness of his eyes in contrast with his tanned skin meant that, against your violation, your cheeks started to flush.
And then, just like that, as if someone had clicked their fingers, Damian Wayne stormed past you. Deliberately, he had knocked his broad shoulder against yours, scoffing and muttering something about ‘clumsy chits’ as he passed in a whirlwind of really bloody nice cologne.
Clemsie had then caught you, glancing at you with a hint of something not quite discernable. Her rather pretty, freckled nose was scrunched up in concentration.
“You suffer from anxiety, don’t you.”
It was a simple fact, one that rocked you to the core. You had always been a nervous child, and that had spread the older you got, morphing into an almost crippling anxiety. It was only recently before you joined Gotham Academy that you had really got a hand on it, not allowed it to consume you; for a long time your parents had wondered if this fear was going to manifest into something meta human, but alas, it was just your genes working against you to make you into a nervous wreck. Back then, you had just got used to being independent and talking to people like a normal person, and Clemsie had picked up on it instantly.
“Was it really that obvious?” You had shoved your face into your hands.
Smiling, the girl had patted you on the shoulder. “It’s alright. My mum’s a psychologist, and I read all her books.”
With familiarity that I had never expressed with someone before, I turned to give Clemsie a look that signified that I believed not one ounce of what she had just said.
“Well, that as well as it was a teensy bit obvious by the way you stuttered. I’m sorry, Y/N. But it wasn’t that bad. Damian Wayne is a bit of a douchebag, if I’m honest, so don’t worry.”
Part of you had been worried, though. You knew instinctively, unfortunately, that this wouldn’t be the last embarrassment involving the Wayne boy.
And you had been 100% correct.