Can we all just appreciate the fact that Steph did this?
No, really guys. Take off your shipper goggles and just look at this from Steph’s point of view.
This kid has been NOTHING but an obnoxious brat to her. He’s taken every opportunity to insult her, tell her how little he thinks of her, and threaten to stab her. He’s given her absolutely NO reason to want to give him the time of day, let alone take an interest in his welfare.
But Steph sees beneath that. She sees that he’s just a lonely little kid who’s never been allowed to be a child and has no idea how to play. And, amazingly, she tries to help him. Knowing that he’s likely to be anything but gracious about it. She takes him to a moonbounce to try and help him have fun because she can see how badly he needs it, and because she has so much joy in life and she just wants to share it.
No one else would have done that. NO ONE. Even Dick didn’t do that, and you all know how much I adore Dick and Damian’s relationship and how much I respect the HECK out of what Dick did for that kid (or, maybe you don’t know. Well, you do now XD). But as much as Dick did his best to treat Damian like a regular kid, and as life-changing as that was to Damian, even Dick never had the guts to drag him over and tell him “Okay, this is it, you’re going to be a normal child and you’re going to have fun, because I can see that this is what you need even if you can’t admit it.” Only Stephanie did that.
And you know what? It worked. Damian pouted and he whined and he dragged his feet, but he bounced on that moonbounce. Because of Stephanie.
…And I’m just sitting here like, Guys. I stopped following reboot canon as soon as I heard there would BE a reboot canon. I’m over here in Fantasyland with the Robin!Stephs and the Robin!Tims and the Mia Deardens and the Starfires that aren’t sex toys and the Renee Montoyas and the Oracles and the Wally Wests and the Dick Grayson who isn’t a giant OOC jerk and and and and and
Point is, try Denial. It’s a fun place to be, when you live in the comics fandom.
If the Gotham vigilantes had an in-universe online fandom, the Robins would totally interact with it. Between curiosity and inborn trolling tendencies, they wouldn’t be able to help themselves. Officially, Dick is the first one to find it. It was four in the morning, he’d finished…
Damian’s relatively new to the whole “4th of July” thing. He doesn’t really get what’s so exciting about a bunch of barbecues and fancy colors in the sky. Colors that could easily be turned into projectile weapons.
So he’s dragged to Stephanie’s lakeside picnic rather reluctantly. In his opinion, crime does not wait for the holidays to pass, and the streets must be teeming with thugs stuffing cocaine in their pockets, cocaine designed to look like firecrackers. The very thought of it makes him grit his teeth.
But Bruce seems calm enough, so he tolerates the dragging.
The BatKids spend the first few hours grilling hamburgers and listening to Dick sing “God Bless America” in four different languages. Cass corrects him quietly when he pronounces something wrong—things like that bug her to death.
After Bruce has made his annual awkward “well, kids, it’s been an honor serving another year with you” speech, Stephanie and Jason get out the fireworks. God knows why Stephanie and Jason are in charge of the fireworks, but they are.
Damian stays at the top of the hill with Titus, grumbling to himself about “insipid traditions” and “wasted seconds.” It isn’t until the first firework shoots off that he shuts his trap.
At first, he remains unimpressed. Okay, neat-o, it’s a pretty blue streak in the sky. Woo. Hoo.
Then Jason gets the ball rolling. The second Robin knows a few things about pyrotechnics, and Steph’s reckless enough to try and help him. Before anyone knows what’s going on, neon Bat Signals of fire are striking the atmosphere, purples and blues and reds and sparkling yellows that remind Damian somehow of champagne. Dick runs down to the lake’s shore with a whole set of lit sparklers, and starts juggling them with his eyes closed. Damian snorts, knowing Grayson is being an irresponsible idiot, but he can’t deny the entertainment factor.
He gets a little…well, he gets sorta mesmorized. I mean, it is pretty. Damian hasn’t seen a lot of things like this. Certainly not back in the Middle East. There isn’t a lot of light in Gotham, and there’s even less over there. Seeing something so bright and beautiful and happy almost fills him with…something kind of like…a little bit of…
Then Steph lights the meadow on fire and they’re back to Square One.