Chapter 1: The Beginning
This chapter is dedicated to “DanteVonJinx”.
For encouraging me to start my own fanfiction.
Dawn often kept things to herself. She had to move from Deci to Gotham City alone after the death of her parents. Thinking that her uncle was a very kind and rational man, she moved to her own apartment in Gotham where her uncle lived nearby in the city in case she needed some familial company.
Settling into Gotham was a struggle for Dawn with the thoughts of her parents’ deaths just lurking in her mind. She stayed cooped up in her room the entire first month in Gotham with her thoughts to keep her company. Always wanting to return the kindness and love that her parents gave her, she set a goal to achieve a future for her parents. Getting so caught up in her goal, she had lost everything on the way there.
Tired of all the dark thoughts that was haunting her, she forced herself out of bed. She changed into something more presentable and walked out the door with just her phone and some cash.
Dawn walked around the city looking for a place that could distract her from the thoughts that would never leave her alone. As her legs paced down a random street, she stumbled upon a coffee shop with a board hanging on the window that read, “Half price for coffee! Sundays only!”. She entered the coffee shop wiping off the sad look that laid her face and putting on a more happy one.
“Hello. Welcome to Mary’s Coffee Shop. What would you like to order today?” The woman greeted with a smile on her face.
“Oh hello. Can I just get something light with caffeine in it?” Trying not to make the mood heavy.
Taking her drink and heading to the back of the room, she drowned herself in everything that she tried to forget. Poisoning her own soul with all the things that she wished she could've done but never did. She felt like she was caged and she had locked herself in it. It haunted her. Heartbreak and misery made their way to her eyes and she started to tear up. Trying to keep her tears to herself, she was interrupted by a boy.
“Hi. Is anybody sitting here?” The boy asked.
“No” She spoke so softly that the boy could barely hear. “I mean no. I’m here alone.” She said again, louder this time.
“Okey, mind if I take a seat?”
“No. Not at all.”
Dawn kept silent. Not knowing what to say, she caused a moment of awkwardness.
“Im Tim.” The boy said, trying to break the mood.
“Dawn.” Giving him a half smile.
“You know I couldn’t help but notice. I just want to know. Are you okay? You seem to be travelling in your own world over here.”
“Yeah. I’m just having some trouble setting in to this city.”
“Oh. You’re new here?”
“I moved here from Deci.”
“Thats pretty far.”
Another pause, but this time it wasn’t an awkward one. It was a comfortable one. Dawn turned her face to the window where the rain slowly started to pour. She had almost forgotten that the boy she just met was with her. She turned her head back at Tim where his soft blue eyes were staring into her hazel ones.
As the silence continued, so did the eye contact. Tim gave her a little smirk.
Dawn blushed slightly but a drop of guilt fell into her heart.
There was just something about the moment that Dawn found to be comfortable with the sense of achievement for (attempting to) befriend someone.
“Well, It was nice to meet you, Dawn.” Tim said, breaking the silence that was in the air.
“Erm, yeah. It was nice to meet you too.” Dawn broke away from her chain of endless thinking.
When she got home with her stomach filled with coffee, she couldn’t keep her thoughts to herself any longer. Feeling like she was on the verge of losing her sanity, she walked over to her shelf and took out her favorite moleskin notebook. She wrote down just about every voice that was screaming in her head. That night, she fell asleep with the feeling of being loosened a little from the thoughts and guilt that hugged onto her.
Dawn woke up the next morning to the sound of her alarm clock making a loud beeping noise. Every beeping noise it produced annoyed her with the message of “Wake up, you fool.”. She viewed the clock with eyes that were half awake and the clock read 9.30 AM . The alarm clock was slapped followed by groans of despair coming from Dawn. She got out of bed and prepared her outfit for the start of a new semester at the University of Gotham and took a shower.
Her Monday starts with 2 hours of History at 12 and then another class of Creative Writing at 3 that ends before 4. As a small child, Dawn found writing to be a beautiful kind of art. It amazed her that how someone could easily create a world of their own using only words. Because of this, she applied for a scholarship shortly before she moved to Gotham and was delighted to know that they had accepted her into the school.
A laptop, her notebook and her phone was all she felt she needed for the first day of her semester.
Dawn walked down the street of her apartment where a coffee shop that had one side of the wall covered with flowers colored in a light pink that almost had the shade of white. The wall of the café caught her eyes as she entered the café looking for something to eat while her stomach growled for food. She ordered herself her favorite meal, took out her phone along with a pair of earphones to indulge herself in the music. After finishing the well made french toast, she continued the path she had been taking, slowly making her way to her destination.
The University of Gotham was bigger than how she had pictured it in her head. There was a huge field at the main entrance of the university. A field of grass filled with flowers, trees and a couple of benches. The flowers bloomed with different colors that made the view of the entrance bright and welcoming. Dawn stood at the entrance for a moment to admire the view. She was a very meticulous person and liked to take in the details that surrounded her. The pathway had stoned tiles, as she walked down the path, she was soon lead to a huge fountain that carried the shape of a tree that seemed to be made out of glass with water droplets slowly dripping down the glass leaves.
She reached the study hall and took a seat at the back of the room. She opened up her laptop and waited for the lecturer to come in. She was staring off into space when suddenly a familiar voice called out her name.
Dawn was a little startled. She looked around her and saw the familiar face of Tim standing next to her.
“..Tim?” She had a look on her face that was just as confused as Tim.
“You study here? And you take History?”
“This is just a really, really, weird coincidence.”
“Yeah. You sure like hiding in the back of the rooms, huh?” Tim laughed. “Mind if I take a seat?” Tim placed a smile on his face.
“Be my guest.” She smiled back.
One hour into History and it was boring for Dawn. She couldn’t take sitting down and just listening to the lecturer talk on and on about something she didn’t care about.
She glanced over at Tim and she could tell that he was just equally as bored as she was. Tim felt the a pair of eyes on him and glanced back.
“This is so boring.” Tim groaned softly.
“I know.” Dawn groaned back.
Finally the second dreadful hour had passed and they were finally free from History.
“WOOH!” Tim cheered with over enthusiasm.”I can’t believe we made it out alive.”
“I know. It was agonising.” Dawn replied. “What do you want to eat?”
“I dont know. Anythings fine as long as I can eat it with you.”
“That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say.” Dawn laughed.
Two years had passed since Dawn met Tim. They both had finished their courses in the University of Gotham. She was glad that he had the chance to meet Tim and Tim felt the same. In the course of the two years that they spent together, they grew close. Especially after one particular night where they were both had been laying down on some soft grass in the park. Relaxing in the middle of the night was something they often did together. They were talking with one another like they always do when suddenly the conversation took a turn.
“Hey Tim, do you ever get the feeling that you're not allowed to laugh or smile or feel sad?”
“I don’t get what you mean.” Tim said, in a soft tone.
“It’s like, ever since my parents were involved in the accident, I feel bad” She took a deep breathe. “I feel like I’m not allowed to laugh or smile or even feel sad. Its like I feel a sense of guilt whenever I do it.” She held back some tears.
“Dawn. There’s nothing wrong with laughing or smiling or feeling sad. I know its hard to let go of the people you love but holding onto something from the past isn’t going to make you a better person. Its only going to tear you apart.”
Dawn said nothing in response, she was trying hard to hold back the tears behind her eyes.
“It’s okay to cry about it, Dawn. Nobody’s going to judge you for it. But if they ever do judge you for something like that, I’ll be here.” Tim turned over to Dawn and wiped a tear with his hand that had escaped.
The tears started flowing down her cheeks. Tim hugged her tight, “It’s going to be alright, it’s going to be alright.”.
The hug felt like it lasted for hours but she finally felt the weight slowly lifting off her chest as the hug went on.
“You know, a guy I know once said, ‘Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference.” Tim said with a soft tone in his voice, pulling Dawn closer.
“Thank you.” She responded through sniffles and tears.
Ever since Dawn had finally talked to Tim about the topic she held dearly to her heart, they had gotten closer together than ever. She knew about his history and Tim knew about hers. They were there for each other through thick and thin. Dawn always had a part of her that held feelings for Tim but she kept it to herself.
It was a Sunday morning when Dawn was woken up by a noise coming from her kitchen. Scared and startled, she quickly got out of bed taking a baseball bat with her. She walked into her kitchen to see Tim in his Red Robin costume without his mask on.
He was ducking down under the table island.
“Tim?!” Dawn said aloud, confused. She ducked down. “What happ-” She was interrupted by Tim holding up one finger to her lips making a “shh” noise.
“Black Mask. He’s after me.” He whispered.
“What? Why?” She had a worried look on her face.
“I don’t know. Also, don’t call me Tim right now.”
“I want you to relocate.”
“What?” Dawn was so confused.
“Listen, I need you to come back to the manor with me.”
“Tim, I need you to stop for a second and give me something that I can actually work with.”
“Do you really need to be sassy right now?” Tim squinted. “Listen. I just don’t want Black Mask to hurt someone I care about again.”
Dawn blushed at his statement. “Dammit.” she thought to herself. “He’s so sweet.”
Dawn didn’t say anything in response but concerned soon filled her eyes. She was worried for Tim.
“Okey. I’ll come.” She took a breathe. “Just let me get some things.”
“I’ll get Alfred to -”
Tim was cut off by the sound of Dawn’s window shattering in her living room. He peeked above the island to see a man covered in black with a huge red “X” going across going across his skull shaped mask. Tim quickly held back Dawn behind the island and mouthed “Stay here.”, placing his mask back on his face.
“What do you want, Red?” Tim said out loud as he took out his retractable metal staff.
“So you are here. Hiding in your little girlfriends house?” He taunted. The man’s voice was slightly robotic. “Man. She has a nice place.” Red took a seat on Dawn’s couch as if it was his own home.
“Why are you here?” Tim asked again, this time he had a harsher tone in his voice.
“Oh nothing. I just missed you, Robin.”
Red stood up from his seat and made his way towards the kitchen island. As his foot steps got closer to them, Tim positioned himself onto the island.
“You’ve grown so much.” Red teased.
Tim sighed with frustration, tired of his taunts.
“What’s the matter, Robin? Don’t tell me you didn’t miss me.” Red laughed.
Red threw a red “X” shaped shuriken at Robin. Robin dodged two of his shurikens and blocked one with his staff. Tim jumped forward, pouncing onto Red and forcing him to the ground.
“Man, I’ve missed this.” Red pushed Robin back with his feet, causing him to fall to the ground on his back.
Robin quickly got up on his feet and charged towards Red. He tried to injure Red with his staff but he managed to dodge them. The masked man had made his way to the other side of the kitchen where Dawn had sitting the whole time. She sat there with panic on her face whilst Red smirked under his mask. Two more shurikens were thrown at Robin. The shurikens exploded into an icy crystal onto his feet forcing him to stay where he was.
“This is where the real fun begins.” Red picked up Dawn by her shirt and pinned her to the island. She struggled under his grasp but she didn’t have the strength to fight back. With her back on the island and legs hanging down.“Man, she’s a real beauty, Robin.”
Red moved Dawn’s hands above her head, keeping them locked using the strength of his left arm. He used his free hand to lift his mask a little higher, exposing the lower half of his face. Moving his right hand towards her cheek, he planted his lips onto hers.
Robin was shocked by Red’s actions. Dawn was struggling, her face was flushed. Robin desperately tried to escape from the iced crystals that hung onto his legs, hitting it with his staff. Dawn was looking for the strength to fight back, resisting the kiss that Red was giving her. Robin had managed to break the crystals. “I said, leave her alone!” He quickly made his way through the tiles of icy shards.
Red backed away from Dawn’s flushed face, dodging Robin’s attack. Red smiled. Dawn stood there, not knowing what to do or how to respond to this situation.“Calm down, Robin. Don’t need to get so worked up over this.” he pushed his mask back down over his lips.
Robin ignored his words and continued with his attacks. Red managed to dodge some of his attacks, but not all. “Well, someone’s been working out.” he taunted. He loved taunting Robin. Red made his way to the living room near the window that he had shattered when he entered the apartment. Robin took out his shurikens and threw them at Red. Some of his shurikens managed to cut Red’s skin, causing him to bleed. “That wasn’t very nice.” He mumbled. “As much as I love hanging out with you, Black Mask asked me to leave you a message.” Red took out a piece of parchment that had been folded and tossed it on the ground. His last words were “See you later.” before he used his teleporting device and vanished.
Robin was agitated. He made his way to Dawn.
“Dawn, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” His heart was shattered. He had feelings for Dawn but never had the nerve to admit it, not even to himself. Fearing that if he ever admitted his feelings, something bad would happen.
Dawn only nodded in response.
“I’ll, uh, get my things.” She spoke in a soft tone of voice.
Alfred had picked them up after the incident. The ride to the manor was quiet. Dawn didn’t know what to say about the situation and neither did Tim. The three of them entered the main halls of the manor.
“I’ll send your luggage to your room, Miss Brinton. Would you like me to show you where you’ll be sleeping?” Alfred asked Dawn, politely.
“Its okay, Alfred. Ill find my way there later. Thanks anyway.” She cracked a smile.
“As you wish.”
Alfred took the luggage and headed to Dawn’s room, leaving Tim and Dawn alone. They both stood there for a while in silence until Tim decided to break the atmosphere.
“Hey, listen.” Tim looked her in the eyes. You could tell just by looking at his eyes that he felt guilty (and maybe a little jealous) about the incident. “I’m sorry about what happened with Red X and I wished I’d moved quicker to help you sooner and-”
“Tim, Its okay.” Dawn broke Tim’s sentence before he could let his guilt wash over him. “I was just shocked, that’s all. I mean, it’s not something you’d expect to happen on a Sunday morning, you know?” Dawn gave a half hearted smile.
“I’m sorry for dragging you into this.” He pouted.
“Hey, don’t make that face.” Dawn laughed a little, punching him softly on his shoulder.
Tim gave her a half hearted smiled.
“So, how about I give you a tour of the mansion?” Tim said with a grin on his face.
“Sounds good to me.”
They both made their way from room to room; floor to floor. They were both glad that they managed to talk about what happened in the apartment that morning even though their conversation wasn’t a long one. Dawn said what she wanted to say and vice-versa.
Tim had taken her to the last room of the manor, which was the library on the top floor. The room was filled with books, a set of furniture, a tea table and a fireplace to keep the room warm on chilly nights. There was a chandelier in the centre of the room, hanging above their heads and filling up the room with light. They both took a seat on one of the couches, facing the fireplace that Tim had lit up moments ago. Dawn felt the warmth of the fire, relaxing her body after an adrenaline rushing day. Tim was sitting on the other side of the couch, admiring Dawn as she adjusted into a comfortable sitting position. Dawn’s eyes were closed. She seemed to have fallen asleep and Tim didn’t blame her for being so tired. It had been a rough day and it made sense that she felt the need to sleep.
Tim decided he would keep Dawn company until she wakes up. He glanced at the clock that read 11 PM. As he stared out the window and into the night sky, he heard mumbling. He turned his head over to Dawn and she was muttering things in her sleep. Her words were soft and rough.
Tim moved closer to Dawn’s face, trying to figure out what she was mumbling; out of curiosity.
His heart pounded when he heard her mumble his name in her sleep. Tim held that moment close to his heart, silently savouring it.
Tim placed his hand on her cheek. He smiled at how cute Dawn looked while she was asleep. Tim felt the sudden urge to kiss her but he was taken back when he reminded himself of the events that had taken place that day. Maybe this would be going too far. he thought to himself. He sighed.
He looked up to see Dawn’s closed eyes.
As he kept his eyes locked on Dawn, her sleepy eyes opened and stared into Tim’s. She placed her palm over his hand and mumbled “Warm.” and snuggled her cheek into warmth of his palm, closing her eyes again for a moment before opening it back to look at Tim. She took her free hand and placed it onto Tim’s cheek. Their eyes were still locked.
Dawn moved her hand to the back of Tim’s neck and gently pushed him towards her. Their faces grew close to each other and they kissed. Tim’s heart raced. It felt like the clock had stopped ticking and the world had stopped moving; just for a moment. After a few seconds, she released Tim from the kiss. Her sleepy eyes still locked onto him. She moved back into the chair and mumbled “Sweet.” before she fell back to sleep.
The sun shone onto Dawn’s eyes, waking her up from her slumber She sat up on her bed and looked around the room. “How did I get here?”.
She had woken up in her bedroom of the manor. The clock on her nightstand read 9 AM. Her eyes glanced around the bedroom and soon realised what happened with Tim the night before. Her cheeks turned a rosy color at the thought of it. As she became more awake, she realised that Tim had carried her to her bedroom; her heart was pounding in her chest.
Dawn laid back on her bed as she slowly calmed down. The interior of the room was very nicely decorated. She took a moment of her time to soak herself in the designs of the room. Her bed was a queen sized bed covered in white bedsheets and a light canopy hung from the tall frames. She glanced to her left and there sat a door made of glass that lead to a medium sized balcony. In the middle of the room was a small table with flowers held together with a vase placed in the centre of the table.
Dawn got out of bed and made her way to her unpacked luggage that sat next to the door. Taking out the things she needed for the day, she made her way to the bathroom and took a shower.
As breakfast was waiting for her downstairs, she went to the kitchen to find Tim frying some bread that was coated in eggs.
“Morning, Dawn.” Said a familiar voice. Dawn looked behind her to find Bruce.
“Bruce!” Dawn said with a smile. “I hope you don’t mind me staying here. I haven’t seen you in forever.”
“Make yourself at home.” Bruce gave her a weary smile.
Tim looked in the direction of the conversation.
“Morning, Dawn.” Tim smiled.
“Morning.” Her cheeks turning rosy.
They all took a seat at the table where Tim had already placed the breakfast that he had prepared for them to eat. As they were all biting down on their food, Alfred walked into the kitchen and proceeded to water the plants that were in the room with a transparent spray bottle.
“I was in the cave monitoring the cameras and it seemed that you two had a lot of fun last night.” Bruce smiled at Tim then glanced at Dawn. His words made Alfred turn his head over to the table as he gave him a small smile. Dawn blushed with embarrassment.
Tim cleared his throat and glared at Bruce. In response, Bruce held in a laugh and smirked at Tim.
“I read the note Red X had given me and the note read ‘This is your first and last warning.’Guess I won’t be tapping into his business for a while now.” Tim reported to Bruce.
“Leave the note in the bat cave and I’ll run further examinations after work to see if I can find anything that can help you figure this out but in the mean time, you are off the case for the sake of Dawn’s safety.” Bruce replied in his usual serious tone.
“Excuse me, Miss Brinton.” Alfred cleared his throat and made his way towards the table. “Master Bruce has requested me to help begin your training exercise in your self defense skills.”
“Erm, Is that really necessary?.” Dawn said awkwardly.
“What time would you prefer the training to be?”
“But.. Alfred….” Dawn pouted.
“Very well. Then we shall begin this evening at 5 PM.” Alfred look over at Tim, who was stuffing his face with waffles. “Master Tim will be joining you in your training.”
“Aye ehm?” Tim replied with his mouth full of the soft bread like breakfast platter.
“Yes you are, or would you rather me ring up Master Grayson for his company instead?”
“That would be unnecessary, Master Pennyworth.” Tim replied in a heavy British accent.
“How dare you bring such insult onto the table!” Dawn mimicked the accent.
Their laughs, smirks and giggles filled the room. Alfred raised an eyebrow.
He exited the dining room, moving to his chores around the house that he needed to do for the day.
As the evening of the day arrived, she made her way towards the garden, wearing a tank top and some sweat pants. She stepped into the garden at the back of the manor. The garden was filled with trees and hedges cut into the shape of animals. She walked towards a large gazebo that had been furnished. Taking a seat down on one of the chairs and feeling the breeze with her hair tied back into a ponytail.
She took a second to savour the moment alone. Closing her eyes and just letting go all her feelings. Her short time alone was broken by Alfred walking through the set of glass doors with wooden practice weapons in his hands. Soon after, Tim slowly graced behind Alfred. Thus, The first lessons of Dawn’s self defense classes took place.
It had been a little over a month since Dawn had started living at the wayne manor. Christmas was around the corner and Dawn wanted to buy some gifts for Tim and the rest of the Wayne family. She grabbed her jacket and paced down the stairs and into the living room, where Tim had been laying down on the couch, watching the snow gently fall down from the sky. “Hey Tim,”
“What’s up?” Tim sat up from the piece of furniture.
“I’m going christmas shopping.”
“Well, I hope you’re buying me something.” Tim smirked at her. The tone of teasing rang through his words.
“Har-har.” She sarcastically laughed and rolled her eyes. “I’m on a budget. Anyway, Are you coming or what?”
“Of course I am. Who else is going to eat all the christmas cookies that you’re going to accidentally buy.”
“And I thought I was the sassy one.”
As Dawn and Tim walked through the stores of the shopping complex, they stumbled upon a store that was filled with random nic nacs. They entered the shop and Dawn started to look around for gifts that stood out. Tim had wandered somewhere else into the store while Dawn was slowly moving through the shelves that had keychains, gifting boxes, necklaces and all sorts of things sitting there.
Her indecisiveness was covering her. She just couldn’t decide what to buy. Her thoughts were hugging onto her when suddenly she felt someone lifting her arm a little higher. She looked to her side and saw Tim tying a small chain bracelet around wrist. It had a small golden triangle hanging on the end of the bracelet, where the chains met. The chain had three skulled shaped charms that hung onto the golden material. Dawn looked up, as Tim was a little taller than Dawn, and Tim gave her a small smile. “Early christmas gift.”
“Thank you.” She smiled back at Tim, her cheeks turning rosy.
Tim lifted his wrist up. He was wearing a bracelet that matched with the one that he had bought for Dawn. She looked down at her shoes. Dawn felt like if she looked at Tim any longer, she was going to be overwhelmed with feelings. Her hands found their way to her lips, covering them with the back of her hand. She’s adorable. Tim silently thought to himself. He raised his hand wanting to hold hers when suddenly the moment was interrupted by a voice calling Tim from behind.
“Tim?!” They both heard a girlish voice calling out his name from outside the store. They both turned their heads to the entrance of the store where a familiar blond stood outside, waving her hands at Tim.
“Stephanie?” Tim sounded surprised.
Stephanie ran over to Tim’s open arms and they shared a tight hug, Tim lifted her off her feet in excitement. “Someone’s been working out.” Stephanie laughed
“I haven’t seen you in forever.” He exclaimed. Stephanie didn’t seem to notice Dawn standing there and it seemed like Tim forgot she was there as well. She felt awkward, like she wasn’t suppose to be in their intimate moment. As she didn't feel welcomed, Dawn made her way out of the store, her heart filled with jealousy, sadness and anger. A bad mix of feelings.
Dawn took a deep breath before she started walking around the shops. Loneliness filled the atmosphere around her. Tim wasn't there to talk to her. The thought of Stephanie getting touchy with Tim bothered her. I kissed him. Was all she could keep in her mind. She took out her phone from the pocket of her warm jeans and opened a messaging app. She sent Tim a message, "Ring me up when you're finished with your reunion. :) -Dawn". Her heart winced at the smiley face she sent. Stab me. she mourned.
Shopping had never felt more devastating. She was alone in a shopping mall that she had rarely been to and jealousy was creeping behind her. The more she walked, the more her negative thoughts was devouring her. She seemed to be losing interest the more she walked through the mall. The items that were displayed in each shop didn’t interest her anymore. Dawn had just purchased some small gifts for christmas. She felt like a glass box had been placed around her. The world was moving along without her.
The thought of everything was caging around her. She swiped out her phone again nd checked the time. 6 PM. Shit. She cursed under her breathe. Tim’s phone number entered into the dial. Beep. Beep. The person you’re trying to reach is- Dawn cut off the line. She was angry and disappointed at Tim for forgetting about her. Tim didn’t reply her text message nor called her. Grahh! She groaned. I’ll just get home myself.
She exited the mall and step foot onto the streets of Gotham that had been covered in the small icy particles that fell from the sky. Each step she took left a small print on the ground. She couldn’t seem to get anything off her mind. She looked to the ground and occasionally, at the signs that stood at the corner of each street; but never the less, she kept walking. Keeping her things to herself and taking a slow pace. She was about to turn around a corner when she accidentally face slammed into a wall. Her ass felt the ground and all her bags dropped next to her. She rubbed her forehead from the pain. “Great. Just great.” She mumbled.
She dusted the snow off her jacket and as she was standing up, a figure appeared in front of her. She glanced up and her encountered a man that was offering his hand. She placed her hand into his and stood up. “Thank you.” She smiled.
He cracked a smile.
The man’s height reminded her of Tim, except the man was slightly taller in comparison. He had eyes in the color of green and charcoal colored hair that seemed dull under the snow. To Dawn, she thought he was exceptionally handsome but his good looks couldn’t solve the problems she was facing.
She felt so embarrassed. Running into a wall wasn’t the ideal way to meet new people. “I hope that didn’t hurt.” The stranger joked. He helped Dawn pick up the fallen bags and handed them back to her. “Thank you.” She mumbled in a soft tone. The man placed his hands in the pockets of his coat and replied with only a small nod as she watched him disappear into the crowd of Gotham. At least someone tried to help me today.
After a dreadfully long (and lonely) journey, she made it back to the manor. She entered the gates of the manor and walked to the main doors of the entrance. She placed her hand onto the handle, giving it a budge. Locked. Yeah. Perfect. This totally doesn’t make my day worse. She rolled her eyes, annoyed. She walked to the other side of the manor where some windows lead to the living room where christmas decorations had been put up, probably by Alfred, she thought. The couch where Tim had been laying in earlier that day was sitting there. She stared at the couch and felt an overwhelming feeling of annoyance.
She gave the room a glance and she couldn’t spot anyone passing the hall. She made her way back onto the porch and sat there. Anger was filling her up. Her day hadn’t really been the best day of her life and yeah, she was pissed. She took a deep breathe and tried to calm herself down. Soon after, she heard a familiar female voice, giggling. Her eyes opened and she stood up, leaving the gifts that she had bought on the ground. She made her way to the side of the manor and looked inside of the window.
There was Tim on the couch with Stephanie in the living room. Tim was laying down on the couch and Stephanie next to him. She was giggling and Tim was laughing. They seemed so happy together and that’s what bothered Dawn. We all want to see our loved ones happy and smiling but it brought disappointment to Dawn when she wasn’t the reason he was smiling.
She went to the front door and rang the doorbell. Not long after, one side of the door opened and there stood Alfred, with his usual butler self.
“Miss Brinton, Where have you been? Please step inside.” He took her jacket and hung it on a coat rack.
“Hey Alfred.” She replied him, with a dull look on her face.
“Dinner is almost ready. You seem to be down today.”
Dawn just didn’t know what to say to Alfred. She stepped inside the manor and made her way to the dining room. As she passed the living room, she said aloud, “Thanks for ditching me back at the shopping complex. It was just soo fun to walk back alone.” sarcasm rang through her words, she made sure that Tim could hear her. Her eyes never met with Tim’s or Stephanie’s. She continued making her path to the dining room.
Bruce was sitting on the dining table, with a book in his hand. Dawn took a seat next to Bruce. Bruce immediately noticed the heavy atmosphere around her and placed down his book. “Everything alright?” He gently looked at Dawn.
“I don’t know.”
The giggling and laughter got louder as the words left her mouth. She rolled her eyes at the noises coming from the room across the hall. She placed her hands on the table and crossed them, slumping her face into the small hole she had made with her arms. “NGEH.” Bruce only placed his hand on her back, giving her some reassurance. She felt a little bit better knowing that Bruce was willing to endure her bad mood and constant complains about her day, even though she hadn’t said anything. Bruce already knew exactly what was bothering her, but he couldn’t find the right words to say. “Dinner is ready, Master Bruce.” Alfred entered the room.
“Let’s eat.” Bruce replied.
Dawn got up from her seat and helped Alfred set up the dinner table, She took out the dishes that had been cooked and made her way to the table, placing down each plate of food onto the wooden structure. When everything was set up, she sat down back at her seat. The duo that had been making her day a tragedy walked through the doorway. “Oh. Who’s she?” The blondie pointed at Dawn.
“She’s a girl that I met in University. She’s staying here for the holidays.”
“Okay and why is that?”
Tim didn’t answer, instead he walked over to Dawn and sat next to her. Stephanie followed behind him and sat down on the seat next to Tim. “Hey, Dawn. I’m so sorry.” He looked at Dawn, who was obviously pissed at him. They were both talking in whispers. She only looked back at Tim and said,
“Sorry isn’t helping right now.” And looked away.
“Why do you have to be so difficult sometimes?” He was giving her an attitude which bugged her even more.
“Well, I’m not the one that ditched someone at a shopping complex for a certain someone else.”
“Man, that’s some intense eye contact with your food.” Stephanie interrupted their conversation. Dawn glared at Tim, silently sending him the message of, “Did you really ditch me for THIS?”
“You walked away. How am I suppose to find you!?” He raised his tone,
“Cell phones exist for a reason.”
At this point, Tim didn’t want to say anything. They were both mad at each other and it was killing the mood around the table. Even though the mood had been long dead for Dawn the entire day. The both of them spent the rest of the dinner in silence but how lucky was Dawn to have the silence filled up with the laughter and giggles of Stephanie Brown.
Dawn had barely touched her food. She brought her plate to the kitchen, wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed it into the fridge. The day was ending and Stephanie was still at the manor. She stepped back into the dining room that was now empty. Dawn walked out down the hall and headed her way to the living room to retrieve the presents that were waiting to be wrapped and decorated with stereotypical looking bows and ribbons.
She approached the living room patiently, still trying to get the thought of Tim and Stephanie off her mind. As her footsteps got closer to the room, she heard them talking. She didn’t have the will to listen to them blabbing about something she didn’t care to listen to but when her name was used in their conversation, it sparked an interest.
“So, who’s that Dawn chick?” Her tone sounded casual, but the mentioning of her name worried Dawn.
“Like I said, she’s someone I met in my University.”
“But why is she living with you?”
“It’s complicated.” Tim paused. “And confidential.”
Dawn felt a little reassured when Tim said this. It felt like it was something Stephanie didn’t know about Tim that only Dawn and the people at the wayne manor knew about. She felt a little more special than Stephanie. “Okay sure. I get it.” There was another pause, then small footsteps, then the sound of a hand rummaging through plastic. The curiosity within her took over her actions and she took a peek. There, she saw Stephanie making her way back to Tim with something hidden behind her back.
She sat on the couch Tim had been sitting on. She brought her hands above the both of them; in her hands was a small plant tied to a string. Dawn recognised the plant and it was a mistle toe. Tears made way to her eyes as Stephanie’s lips recited the words, “Mistletoe”. Stephanie moved closer to Tim and placed her lips onto his. It seemed like Tim was trying to push her away; trying to deny Stephanie’s kiss.
Nevertheless, the tears had found their way to Dawn’s eyes. She closed her eyes and looked away, she could’ve sworn she heard her heart shattering into a million pieces. She quickly grabbed her jacket and ran for the door, trying to keep everyone from seeing her tears. The doors of the manor unlocked with a click and she stepped into the porch. She took a step forward, her foot seeping through the thick snow. “Dawn!” She heard the voice of Bruce calling from behind but she couldn’t turn her head. If she did, the tears wouldn’t be able to stop.
“I’m going for a walk.” She tried her best to sound normal, but her words were shaky.
“Please, come back in. It’s late.” He tried to reason with her.
“I won’t take long. I just want to get some fresh air.” The tears were starting to pour, she could feel a tear slipping down her cheek; and with the lies that she had given Bruce, she ran out of the manor not giving him a chance to reply.
My procrastination for Chapter 3 has come to an end!
Thank you for waiting this long for chapter 3. I hope you enjoy your read. :)
The night was cold and lonesome. Dawn walked to a nearby park and sat on a bench where she had the chance to sort of out her thoughts. She took out her moleskin notebook along with a black pen The pages of the book was filled with her handwriting from the past. The black pen inked the soft pages of the notebook, her tears started to flow. She felt like she couldn’t write anymore. As each word was written by her hands, she felt a slight pain in her chest.
The small book closed with an unfinished entry.
She closed her eyes and let the pain flow through her. The tears flowed down her cheeks while she sat in silence. Time didn’t seem bother her anymore all she wanted now was for the pain to go away. She stood up from the bench, wiped her tears, and made her way out of the park and back into the streets of Gotham. The walk home was painful. Everything was painful.
Almost everything in Gotham seemed to be closed. The street lamps lit up the roads dimly at the time of night. Her eyes admired the small stars in the night sky, taking a moment for herself. The night’s sky started getting dark and clouded. Blocking the tiny gleaming lights in the sky.
“Dawn?” She heard a soft voice from behind her. The city streets were empty. Dawn felt confused and worried. She turned her head around the lanes in an attempt to reassure herself that she was just hearing things. Scared at the thought of a potential mysterious death, she started moving away. I need to get back.
Each step she took, she heard the voice again. The voice was always the same cold whispery voice that repeated the same thing over and over again, “Dawn”. She tried to ignore the voice, wanting to zone out the creepy shit that roamed around her. Her eyes glanced to the corner of the wall where she had humiliated herself that evening. She paced to turn around the edge of the brick wall.
Then she heard her name. The voice of a middle aged woman was coming from behind her.
Dawn turned her head to the voice. Behind her, was a woman with brunette hair. She was dressed in beautiful medieval styled clothing. A burgundy colored dress with golden trimming that draped onto the snowy ground. On top of her head was a golden crown embossed with colorful gems. It seemed like she had appeared out from a fantasy themed movie.
Before she could say anything, several more voices interrupted her train of thought. “Dawn” “Dawn” “Dawn”, they were synchronized.
“Dawn.” The woman spoke with a serious tone.
Dawn didn’t know how to react to all this. Her eyes grew wide with fear and shock. Confusion ran through her blood. The mysterious woman moved down the path, making her way towards Dawn as she stood there with nothing but confusion running through her mind. She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. What’s the worst that could happen? She thought. “I have been looking for you, Dawn.”
As the woman stepped closer towards Dawn, her face hit the glow of the streetlights. Her facial features seemed familiar but Dawn couldn’t tell who she was. As the woman moved closer to Dawn, she would unconsciously move a step back. Her body was telling her to run, but her mind was in a different place.
Dawn was desperately trying to remember who the woman was. As the burgundy woman was just inches away from Dawn, the woman looked her in the eyes keeping them locked for a few seconds. "One day you will realise you cannot change faith but faith can change you." And with those words, shadows started to appear. Dawn looked around with panic in way of reality. Before she could react to the situation, she felt the air in her lungs being forced out of her chest. Her body was weakening and her eyes grew tired. She felt like she couldn't stand on her two feet without support and soon fell to her knees.
The darkening vision from her eyes could only catch a glimpse of the woman walking away before all the air from her body was sucked out.
The sound of rain. It was dark but she felt her body laying on a soft cushion. “Is she okay?” she heard a familiar voice.
“I assure you, she will be alright.”
"Tim?" She mumbled to herself.
Dawn’s heart started to fill with anxiety. She felt her hands getting sweaty and clammy. Her body, meanwhile, didn’t seem like it could move. Her muscles felt weak and heavy. It felt like her body was paralyzed, a heavy stone pushing her down.
Dawn felt confused. Why did I leave the manor? ran through her head. A headache grew in her head as she tried to remember the events of what happened to her before she ended up back in the manor. Her eyes were weak, but strong enough to examine the room. As she looked around, it all felt so familiar. A floral carved ceiling above her, a beautiful painting of "The Swing" by Jean Honoré Fragonard.
As confusion was screaming in her head, she heard a click. The door unlocked and a figure was approaching her. Frightened but unable to move properly, she was fidgeting on the cushiony furniture. Anxiety ate her soul as each step grew louder and closer. As the figure hovered over her, she recognised the face. The anxiety within her left when she saw the face of her beloved Alfred. "Are you alright, Miss Brinton?" The reassuring voice of Alfred rang through the room.
"Alfred?" The words left her lips and a stinging pain escaped into her throat.
"Yes. Here, have some water, Miss Brinton." Alfred handed her a cup of warm water. Dawn took a sip of the water.
"How did I end up here?" She asked, looking up at Alfred.
"What do you mean? You simply walked back to the manor, refusing to speak to anyone and passed out on the sofa." Dawn was confused.
"How long was I out?" Her throat stung with every word.
"Only a few hours" He replied, calmly. Dawn got up and circle the room while Alfred sat on a wooden stool next to the sofa. She examined every detail of the room, noticing that the was no clock in the room, she swung around.
"Alfred! What time is it?" Speaking as if she was in a drama.
Dawn continued to examine the room. Even though everything seemed to be in the their own respective places, something felt awfully wrong. It felt different. She felt an unfamiliar feeling in a very familiar place. The odd feeling didn't leave her. "Alfred, can I have come tea?" She turned to look at Alfred and he was missing. In a moment of panic, she looked around the room in a different direction and Alfred was no where to be seen. She quickly reached for the brass knob and unlocked the oak door. Leaving the room; un-eager to find out what happened to Alfred. Fuck me. She thought as she quickly paced down the hallway.
The walls seemed like they were melting away. As her anxiety started to rise once more, she walked faster and faster to the main door of the manor. Her hands touched the doors, applying force to the doors, opening them. What waited on the other side of the door was not something she was excited for. All her eyes met with are what seemed like miles and miles of trees. Fuck. Me. "Dawn!" A male voice.
Her skin shivered at the voice. She turned around and saw a man wearing suit. Each step he took, she could hear the sound of water droplets. Looking onto his feet, she saw small black ponds appearing under his feet with each step he took. He was tall and held the figure of a fit man. As he got closer, Dawn could feel the atmosphere getting lighter. Black feathers fell from under his jacket as he moved, little squirrels with jet black fur followed closely behind him; cooperating with every movement he made. This whole time, he kept a smile on his face.
By the time he had reached Dawn, she was frozen stiff, unable to react. He moved his right hand to her cheek and caressed it. His mouth moving closer to her ears as he whispered "We're all waiting for you, Dawn." He moved back, less than a metre away from Dawn. "Here's a souvenir." He slipped a black ring with a golden symbol on it onto her right hand's finger. As soon as the ring was slipped onto her middle finger, she felt something caressing against her leg. She looked down and saw a small black rabbit. She looked back up at the man. "A little companion for your journey." He winked. "Have fun! And give her a name! She's yours." He sounded like he was trying to hold back a laugh. The man moved away from Dawn and disappeared into the shadows.
Dawn turned around to examine the trees but they were gone. The trees were gone and in their place were Gotham's infamous skyscrapers and buildings. What. The. Fuck. She looked down to her finger and saw the ring. Her eyes met the rabbit below her. "You're lucky you're cute." She said aloud and picked up the rabbit, hugging her as she started moving back to the manor. "I'm surprised I still have my sanity after all that." The rabbit somehow kept her calm. As if a bit of her soul had been unknowingly bounded into the black rabbit. "What do you think of the name Mochi? You know what, maybe I have lost a bit of my sanity. Just a little." The rabbit looked up to Dawn, making quiet squeaking noises as the sky rumbled and started to snow again. A part of Dawn had a feeling that the rabbit was responsible for the weather changes but she shook it off, not wanting to think of anything else other than sleep after the events of her very weird night.
As she reached for the doors of the manor, praying silently and hoping her weird night would come to an end and she could get some rest. She held the rabbit with her left arm and proceeded to open the door. The doors of the manor creaked through the hallway and she took a step into her home. Finally she sighed, stepping in and closing the door behind her.
She took in a deep breath and the scent of the scented candles hits her lungs. Although she was home, the manor seemed empty. Like everyone was asleep or out doing something she wasn't wary off. She placed the rabbit down onto the floor. "Now, where's Alfred?" She said aloud. Mochi started hopping around the area, exploring rooms but still making sure that Dawn was still insight. Dawn walked into the dining room in hopes of finding Alfred but luck was not by her side.
At this point, all she wanted to do was take a shower and go to sleep. Tired and dirty were not very pleasing feelings for her. She walked up the stairs and made her way to her room. She looked onto Tim's door as she walked pass, sighing at the thought of him. The wound that she had received that evening before her wild adventure hadn't healed. It seems even the most courageous adventures can't heal a broken heart. She closed her eyes as her hands felt the cold brass door knob to her room. Mochi was below her, waiting for Dawn to make a move.
Night patrols at 3 in the morning were not Tim's usual swing but he felt like he needed to get some things of his mind. He felt guilty. Guilty for placing his lips against Stephanie while totally being aware of Dawn's feelings for her. To which he had a mutual feeling but can't bring himself to admit it. He feels like he needs to protect Dawn. The girl that changed his life.
The plan was to patrol and get his mind out of things. Was. It would've went as Tim had planned if Stephanie hadn't persuaded him to let her follow. "Just like old times" she said. Tim stood on the top of a skyscraper and looked down to examine the ongoing lives of Gotham's citizens. "Timmy! Why won't you talk to me." She mourned.
"It's called doing my job, Stephanie." Time replied, slightly annoyed.
"Sassy." She commented. "So, how are you and Dawn doing?" Her eyes glisten with curiosity.
Tim didn't feel comfortable talking about Dawn considering what had happened that night under the mistletoe. Stephanie didn't give him a chance to deny the kiss. "Stephanie" he sighed. "About what happened back at the manor, it's not okay to do that."
"What do you mean?" Stephanie dumbfounded.
"I have feelings for Dawn."
Tim was silent. "I don't want to walk around breaking her heart."
"But that's not a bad thing. I mean breaking hearts is actually fun!" She said jokingly.
"That's not right." Tim ushered.
"Of course it's not right, it's left!" Stephanie snorted, elbowing Tim, waiting for a response.
"I'm being serious here." Tim said deeply, making eye contact with Stephanie through his black eye mask.
Stephanie raised both of her hands as a sign of surrender. "Chillax, Wonder boy. What went up your ass tonight?"
"You did! With that unexpected kiss!" Tim shouted, catching Stephanie off guard.
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry for that but you don't need to get your jimmies rustled. You know I had and still do have a thing for you, Tim. I'm sorry I left you in the first place but you have to understand the choices I make for myself."
"Yeah... For yourself. All the selfish choices you made. You unexpectedly left me in midst of our relationship and I didn't get a single message from you until Nightwing informed me that you were snooping around Bludhaven." Tim chewed his words. "I had to personally track you down myself until you left me that bloody note. 'Stop following me'. And now you're back Gotham, fucking around with my feelings again!" Tim was in rage, boiling his once calmed waters.
"Well! I'm back now, aren't I? I came back for you! I could've permanently left Gotham and never came back or even ride on another hunk but I didn't!" Stephanie replied, restraining herself from raising her voice.
"This isn't about you coming back. This is about you leaving. And I don't understand why are you the one getting aggressive when you're the one that's been hurting me this whole time." Tim held his breath. "It’s all just a game to you." Stephanie was silent. The atmosphere grew heavy as Stephanie tried to pick up her fallen words.
"Tim, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you."
“It doesnt matter if you meant to or not but you did.”
And as they argued through the night, Red X was watching and listening like a hawk in the distance. Behind his mask, a smile spread across his face as he held back his laugh.