The Gala (Older!Damian Wayne X Reader)
A/N: This is stupid but I've been obsessed with Little Women lately and once the idea popped into my head I couldn't not at least try. Yes, this is very much (pretty loosely) inspired by Little Women (2019), and if I have any more inspiration to continue, I might write an entire series based upon the concept. If you can get over my bad writing, I hope you enjoy!
Key: (Y/N)- your name; (Y/N/N)- your nickname
The Wayne Gala was a bustle of light and music and dancing. You stood against the wall, observing all the goings-on and festivities, smiling at all of the brightly-lit faces around you. You were never one for big parties, but you didn’t mind watching from the sidelines. The excitement and ecstasy of the guests around you was palpable, and almost contagious enough to make you want to join in.
But before the night had begun, your sister, Meg, had instructed you to try to stay on the sidelines if you could. You had been ironing your clothes the other day in mind for the event and had accidentally burned a hole in the back of your dress. It was small, but placed in a position so that you didn’t want anyone to see it. Besides, around the hole was a large scorch mark that would be embarrassing to anyone.
Meg was dancing on the main floor to the classical music fancy musicians on the sidelines were playing. You scoffed; Bruce Wayne and the Wayne Foundation really had pulled out all the stops this year. It somewhat nauseated you to see this level of luxury when most of the people in Gotham could never dream to afford this, but you knew that-- as excessive as the gala was-- it was for a good cause. Though, even so, you didn’t know much about how charity galas exactly helped donate profit to certain organizations, but you were almost sure that there were better ways to go about it. Surely, all the money that it took to host this gala, in particular, could have been given to their funds instead of spending it on extravagance. And with someone as notable as Bruce Wayne giving to the organizations, others were sure to follow.
You spotted a boy who seemed to be eyeing you. He had black hair, wore glasses, and was wearing a blue suit with a red tie (quite the statement, you thought). He smiled at you and began to make his way over. You blanched, breaking eye contact, starting to swiftly (but, hopefully, subtly), move towards an exit to the party. Hopefully you could make it seem like you just needed to use the restroom; even though you didn’t know him, it would be rude, you thought, to disappoint the boy.
Finally, you got out of the ballroom, breathing out a sigh of relief. Now that you thought of it, you really did have to go to the bathroom. This night was doing wonders for your anxiety.
Looking left and right, you distinctly wondered where the restrooms might be. You saw a sign that pointed left in the manor, bearing a sloppily-drawn toilet symbol. You went down that hallway.
As you were going, you turned down a swift corridor and, not paying attention, stumbled into someone.
“Oh! Oh, I’m sorry,” you laughed, and looked up. Your face paled. You had bumped into none other than Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne, the most prominent figure in Gotham City. Your face began to redden.
“I’m so sorry, Mr. Wayne. Please excuse me. I was trying to get away from the festivities-- I didn’t know if anyone was here--”
Damian stuffed his hands into his pockets. He looked flustered, too. “It’s alright. Um-- it’s alright.” There was an awkward pause, then his eyebrows drew together as you breathed quickly, practically panting.
“You look afraid. Are you okay?”
You breathed out a shaky laugh. “Oh, I’m fine. I just didn’t expect to run into you. Parties aren’t really my thing-- I didn’t mean to wander in the house-- I’m sorry. Just a bit flustered from the party.”
He smirked. “Parties aren’t my scene, either. You can stay, if you’d like. This is a hall my father doesn’t mind guests accessing, but not many come this way.”
You smiled, relieved. “Oh. Thank you so much, Mr. Wayne. You sure I won’t disturb you?”
“No. I’m still fairly new to Gotham so I don’t know many people here. I felt strange at the party, so I decided to seek solitude as well. What’s your name?”
Damian felt strange, trying to socialize, but he also didn’t want to give the satisfaction to Tim, who had betted against Dick that he’d not be able to find a single person to carry on a conversation with. God, he couldn’t stand Drake. If either were to win the bet, he would certainly have it be Grayson.
You smiled, warming up a bit. You had heard lots of things about Damian, had even seen him in school a couple of times, and all of them pointed that he was cold and severe. He didn’t seem that bad to you, tonight. Though, the way he smiled at you kind of reminded you of the part in Beauty and the Beast when the Beast was attempting to smile at Belle. It looked untrained, clumsy. Slightly painful.
You couldn’t help a giggle. “My name is (Y/N). (Y/N) March, but please just call me (Y/N/N). It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Wayne.”
Damian grimaced. “Not Mr. Wayne, just Damian.” He hated, sometimes, being attributed to his father’s name.
He recognized your name. You two were in many classes together at your school. You were also the girl who went to the library the same day he did. You never spoke, but he was somewhat comfortable in your presence, since he studied in the library right when you did, and you sat practically next to each other as you did. You had hardly noticed-- to absorbed in your writings or readings-- but nothing missed Damian.
You stared and smiled at each other awkwardly, before you timidly decided to ask, “Don’t you dance?”
“I-- don’t really know many modern dances. I spent most of my life at an assassin school, and while dancing is kind of like swordplay, one’s more deadly than the other.”
You blinked. Was he playing with you? “Uh-- oh. Well, that’s… cool. That must have been very interesting.”
He nodded. “That’s one word to describe it.”
You decided not to pursue the subject further. “Well, I can show you, if you’d like. I’m not particularly versed in it either, but I know the basics.”
He glanced hesitantly towards the room where the gala was being held. You quickly added, “It doesn’t have to be in there. I have a scorch mark on the back of my dress anyways-- I have a different idea of how we can manage.”
He eyed you curiously.
“Why not?” You asked. “It’s a gala, after all-- might as well dance!”
By the time the next song started, the two of you were at the end of the hallway, Damian looking uncomfortable but curious, you excited. The music began, and you offered your hand to him. “Usually the man is the one to lead, but my sister, Meg, always made me fill that role. I hope you don’t mind.”
He shook his head no and accepted your hand. You seemed so talkative now, but had always seemed quiet before. You smiled, beginning the dance slowly, until the music crescendoed, in which you did the steps to send Damian in a prolonged twirl. He laughed, but you couldn’t tell if it was one of contempt or of surprise, or of actual enjoyment.
You paced the hallway back and forth, doing the only dance you knew until it got ridiculous and the music ended. You laughed and clapped as the rest of the ballroom did. You had to shout over the din: “I think you’re very good at dancing! One of the best partners I’ve ever had! --Then again, I’ve only ever had my sisters, but that doesn’t really matter.” You made a face.
His smile was more subtle now, but looked more natural. “Well, I had a good leader.”
Someone jogged out of the ballroom, looking left and right for you. Another boy, who looked similar to the one coming before him, followed closely in tow.
You paled, stepping away.
“Hey, Damian,” the taller of the boys said, then did a double-take. “Damian? I thought you had left ages ago; I thought I lost the bet!”
Damian scowled. “You were wrong. I was out here with my new acquaintance, Miss March.”
“You can call me (Y/N/N),” you said, as the taller of the boys shook your hand. The other was staring at Damian in awe. Damian rolled his eyes, crossing his hands over his chest.
“My name’s Dick Grayson, and this--” Dick cleared his throat to jolt the other boy out of his awe. “--This is Timothy Drake.”
“Tim,” he corrected, staring at you in wonder, a beat after remembering to shake your hand. You smiled.
“Nice to meet you.”
“Is March your last name? You wouldn’t happen to be related to a Meg March?”
“Yes, that’s my older sister. In the violet dress?”
Dick nodded. “Yeah. Well-- I was dancing with her and she managed to sprain her ankle.”
You gasped. “Oh, no. Is she doing okay?”
“Yeah, she sent me to get you. She wants to leave.”
You nodded quickly. “Thanks for telling me. Can you show me where she is?”
Dick led you back into a corner of the ballroom, Damian and Tim in tow. Meg was there, looking strained but professional.
“Meg! Are you okay?”
“Yes, just a sprained ankle. You don’t have to cause any fuss,” she attempted a smile. “I’ll be fine. Will you call a taxi? I don’t think I can walk on it.”
“Of course you shouldn’t walk on it,” you scolded.
“Actually-- why don’t you take one of our cars?” A voice came from behind you, and yourself, Tim, and Dick turned around to find the source. It was none other than Damian himself. He shrugged. “It would be far more practical, and quick.”
You smiled, and said “you’d really let us?” as your sister replied in a shocked tone, “Oh, you don’t have to do that.”
Dick recovered quickly. “No, we insist. I blame it on my bad dance moves anyway. Sorry, Meg.”
She laughed. “What are you talking about? You’re one of the best men I’ve danced with! But, if you insist, then I suppose it couldn’t hurt anything.”
She glanced over to you, and you smiled encouragingly, looking back to the three members of the Wayne family. “We’d love to. Thank you so much.”
Tim raised an eyebrow. “Hey, Damian. Since it was your idea, why don’t you go with them? Make sure the March sisters get home safe?” He wiggled his eyebrows in a way you didn’t understand.
Damian glared at Drake, but when he looked at you and Meg, his features softened slightly. You got the impression he wasn’t mad at the suggestion, only the person who made it. And indeed he was, he couldn’t stand how pushy Drake was being about his socialization.
“It would be my pleasure.”