Alone. Abandoned. Unwanted.
The three most horrible things a person can feel. And Damian Wayne is feeling all of them at once. He believes his family only sees him as the offspring of the enemy, not as their own son or brother. And the boy he loved above anyone else, Jon, has denounced any feelings towards him after months of dating in secret, and left him to deal with his broken heart.
As many people know, its at the lowest and loneliest points in someone's life is the time when they are so desperate for just one persons affection, they are willing to trust anyone who offers it.
For Damian, that "anyone" is Cain Barnett, who has come to revive an old deal between his family and the Al Ghuls. Namely, an arranged marriage between Damian and a Barnett heir. And Cain offers himself as the other spouse.
Before he knows what's going on exactly, Damian finds himself planning his wedding to a virtual stranger, knowing this marriage might be his best chance to get over Jon and have a family who actually wants him. Meanwhile, Bruce and the other Batkids try to find a way to save Damian from this shady family without pushing him away further, and Jon must sort through his own feelingsromantic or platonic, not even he knowsbefore it's too late.
"If I Can't Be Everything to You, You'll Be Nothing to Me", is a fanfiction written by IAmWhelmed on Archive of Our Own.
It was inspired by another Damian/Jon fanfiction by StillKickingIt, titled "The Last Robin". IAmWhelmed's story is a spiritual sequel to StillKickingIt's one shot, exploring Damian's burning desire to be loved by someone, the lengths he will go to gain such a love, and the struggles and inner turmoil experienced by Bruce, the other Batkids, and Jon, as they try to figure out how to stop the wedding before they lose Damian for good.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Arranged Marriage: Damian was first promised Cain's sister, Abele, as a bride, in an alliance between the Al Ghuls and Barnetts. After it was revealed that Damian was gay, Cain approached him and offered himself as a spouse instead. At first, Damian did not want anything to do with Cain, but after a series of events that make him feel alone, he agrees to marry Cain, hoping that he and the Barnetts will fill the holes in his heart left behind by Jon and Bruce and the other Batkids.
- Driven to Suicide: Cain's sister, Abele, to whom Damian was originally betrothed as a child. Whether the reason for her suicide was her broken engagement to Damian, who she truly loved, or something else, is never known.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: After months of agonizing over the loss of Damian and struggling to come to terms with his Arranged Marriage to Cain, Jon finally realizes his true feelings for the Robin when Cain kisses Damian right in front of him, for the purpose of sticking to Jon.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Damian's motivation for marrying Cain Barnett. Rejected by Jon and feeling unwanted by his family, he hopes that he can find happiness with Cain, who clearly wants him, and the Barnett family, who seems to welcome him as a son, something he wanted from Bruce and the others.
- Never Be Hurt Again: Damian knows that he doesnt really love Cain, but Jons betrayal burned so badly, hes too afraid to put his heart out like that ever again. To Damian, being in a marriage of conscience is better than risking getting hurt again.
- Take That!: Cain kisses Damian at the fair just as Jon is coming back. During the kiss, Jon sees Cain open his eyes, then narrow them and kiss Damian a little harder, making Jon realize hes deliberately rubbing it in.
- Trauma Conga Line: After months of being in a secret relationship with Jon, he suddenly claims he does not like guys that way and dumps Damian for Iris, leaving the Robin heartbroken and betrayed. When Cain approaches him and offers him his hand in marriage, Damian at first rejects his advances and ignores his gifts and efforts. Damian's brothers keep cancelling plans to spend time with him, making Damian feel like they don't really WANT to spend time with him. Then, after a mission goes wrong, Bruce accidentally refers to Damian that he would risk his life "for [his] son, but not for an Al Ghul", confirming Damian's worst fears that his father sees him as Ra and Talia's pawn, and not his own child in more than blood. The final blow comes when, after meeting with Cain, he runs into Jon and notices a lipstick print on his shoulder, no doubt from Iris, hitting home how far Jon has gotten away from him. It's the final straw for Damian, and he agrees to marry Cain, in the hope that it will help him forget Jon and his old family, and find happiness with a new lover and a family who seems to actually want him.