Like, seriously, Ra’s was basically a gigantic geeky dork when he was young. You can’t convince me otherwise. He talked the ears off of anybody in his tribe who’d listen to him go on about alchemy and medicine and mathematics, and whenever they stopped at a city on their route, he’d totally disappear to go sit at the feet of any scholar he could find.
His wife Sora, on the other hand, was the daughter of a bloody alchemist. She was a scholar in her own right, and her family was well off, because alchemy was a very respectable subject and generally the province of the wealthy. She was the high-class, cultured one in the relationship, and I am 100% sure she spent at least quarter of her time giggling at her husband’s complete and utter failure to grasp upper-class social norms.
purplemika asked: Okay, now that I have to say it "out loud" (so to speak) it's embarrassing, but here goes: Ra's reveals that his "obvious" (for a relative value of obvious) plots were just to distract people from his actual plot. Batfam reactions. What was it and did someone figure it out and create a counter? If so who?
Pffff, so I’m not gonna lie, this is a tad vague for me to work with and it sounds like it’ll be kind of lengthy, so I’m gonna try and write how it could work first before I even attempt to write it out
in which, I gotta say Ra’s using distractions to draw eyes from his larger plots is kind of what he seems to do a lot of the time. Ra’s doesn’t think in big pictures—he thinks he layers that have back ups in case something doesn’t work out. So I don’t think the Batfamily needs to figure out so much that Ra’s is using a admittedly large distraction to hide away his much bigger, potentially deadlier plan. I think what they would need to do is figure out how to draw said plot out faster as to fuck with Ra’s himself
so no one’s surprised, is what I’m saying
But, I mean, what could be big enough to that the Batfamily could not see it at first? Let’s face it, Ra’s a lot of plans. I don;t think Ra’s brain ever stops working, so even when he’s in the middle of one plan, he’s working on a new one. He’s always researching, always digging up new ways to further himself.
Which is probably why I like to favor the idea that one day Ra’s is going surpass science in his plans one day and start straight up using alchemy and the such
Ahhhh Alchemy Ra’s—WHY AREN’T YOU A THING, IT’S PERFECT
So, anyway, going with that, why shouldn’t the plan being something a long those lines or Ra’s, in his arrogance, and started to assume he can do something obscene with the Pit now—a while back a made up an idea that the Pit is, in essance, a coherent creature that speaks madness into its victim’s heads. So why wouldn’t Ra’s think he could harness that energy in his head and think that fusing himself with the Pit would take him out of the realm of time and death, but pretty much put him on a level even deities couldn’t reach
and then see where he runs with that I dunno no I’m just blabbering abot Ra’s ego and that could take him to God complexing areas when he’s deciding that he knows what exactly is best for the world and now he has the power to do someone seriously stop because I am positive I have stopped making sense
From alchemy he began, to alchemy he returns… Man, I’m tempted to play with this.
And yet, it somehow never seems to occur to him to restrict his actions to using his vast wealth and power to actually create and *enforce* environmental regulations. Instead he chooses plans that are so heinous heroes feel compelled to stop him.
I just assume he’s doing it for the attention now.
It’s his way of flirting. That’s got to be it.
(Part of me likes to think that Ra’s switched to pining after Tim because he was like - Hey! A newer model! All the detective-y-ness of the original, but in a more compact and travel friendly body! (Also, fabulous, fabulous hair!)
I’ve read at least one canon thing that implied he did use his wealth like that, in addition to his flashy super villain shit.(The shit with Tim, though? That’s just plain showing off, we all know it.)
Mihyar starts crying, and Tim groaned. “He’s never going to sleep through the night, is he?” Tim asked, rolling over to tuck her face into Ra’s neck.
"Rest, Timothy. I’ll get him," Ra’s said, pressing a kiss to Tim’s forehead and sliding out of bed. Tim curled up in the warm spot Ra’s had left, and closed her eyes. Mihyar had been difficult today, and Tim just wanted to sleep until the lead was gone from her bones.
She was awakened, rudely, by Samarah shaking her. “We’re under attack. We need to move!” Samarah hissed. Tim sat up, adrenaline shooting through her veins.
"My son?" Tim asked urgently.
"Safe, with Ra’s. Now come on, move!”
Tim rose to her feet, the long hem of her nightgown caught in one hand to keep it from tripping her. She nodded. “Let’s go.”
Hand in hand with her guard, Timothy fled. Out of her and Ra’s bedroom, past Mihyar’s nursery, past the entrance to the Salle. The walls shook, plaster dust dislodging and showering into their hair. Samarah tugged her into a niche in the wall, fumbling at her belt for a ring of keys. She pulled off two, and pressed them into Tim’s hands.
"If we get separated, this one will let you into the garage in sub-basement two, and this one will start any of the black vehicles. Go for the armored car, you understand?" Samarah asked, staring at Tim intently. Tim nodded again.
"Sub-basement two, black armored car," she repeated back, closing her fist around the keys. Samarah smiled grimly, and passed Tim a sheathed dagger, nearly the length of Tim’s forearm.
"And if anyone tries to grab you, remember – gut wounds aren’t always fatal, but they’re always distracting, mistress." Samarah’s eyes gleamed with hard light, and for the first time in months, Tim remembered that her friend and guard was also a trained killer.
They walls shook with the sound of explosions. They exchanged glances, and started running again.
“‘Marah! The balcony!” Tim hissed. Samarah reversed direction immediately, Tim following. Down through a side corridor, out into the private sitting room. Glass shattered as men – and women – swung in through the windows. Samarah shoved Tim behind herself immediately.
"Run!" She ordered. Tim ran, ducking grasping hands and attempts to wound. Hands caught in her hair, and Tim is done playing. She nerve-struck the offending wrist, twisting free.
"Back. Off!" She snarled, hair falling in disarray around her face.
Samarah laughed like a madwoman. “Time to go, mistress!” They ran once more, out of the sitting room, through the hallway, and down to the stairwell. Samarah yanked the door shut behind her, and pulled a handgun from the exposed underside of the stairs.
"I’ll stall them. Get out of here," Samarah told her, bringing the gun up to point at the door. Tim nodded, and started hurrying down the stairs. Second floor, first floor, ground floor, sub-basement one, sub-basement two… She shoved the first key into the lock, her hands shaking. It took her three tries to unlock the door, and she shoved it open, dashing out into the garage with the sound of pound feet behind her.
"Tim!" Someone shouted. Tim spun, eyes fixing on her pursuers. There was…her mind stalled. There was a man…in a batsuit. Her heart seized.
"Dad?" Tim whispered uncertainly, hesitating. A deer frozen in the path of an oncoming car. Samarah said…but it was Bruce…what about Mihyar? The last thought spurred her on. Her son. She had to get back to her son. She turned and fled, dagger clutched tight in one hand, keys in the other.
"Just like that?" Timothy demands, staring up at Ra’s with startled brown eyes. Ra’s smiles fondly at his nephew.
"Your father was a man who valued his dignity. Better to disappear gracefully than allow them to watch his decay." Ra’s lifts his nephew, cradling him in his lap.
Timothy twists around to meet Ra’s eyes, dark bangs falling into face. “But he just…died? All alone?”
"No, not alone. I and your mother were with him. As was your aunt Talia."
"Danny too?" Timothy asks.
Ra’s chuckles. “Daniel too, I suppose, though he was barely a year old at that point.”
"And me, right?"
Ra’s strokes Timothy’s dark hair. “At the very end, yes. Your father met you once, before he slipped away.”
"Did he like me?" Timothy asked plaintively.
"Of course, nephew. Never doubt your father loved you."
Timothy leans forward over the railing, face tilted toward the sun. Ra’s allows himself a moment’s whimsy to compare his nephew and the boy’s father. Timothy was darker-skinned than his father, even with the warm light of the Mediterranean sun shading his skin closer to gold than his natural mahogany. Darker too, in the color of his eyes and hair. He takes after his mother strongly. You could only see the detective’s contribution to his heritage if you closely, at his long fingers and arched eyebrows, the certain set of his expression or the way he studied something unfamiliar.
"Tell me more about my father," Timothy demands, stepping back from the boat’s stern.
"What more do you want to know?" Ra’s asks, resting a guiding hand on his nephew’s shoulder.
"My grandparents. Mother said they died when Father was twelve." Timothy bites his lip. He’s young yet, young enough that the tragedy of his father’s life is shocking instead of mundane.
"Only your grandmother. Your grandfather died a few years before your father." A pity. By all accounts Janet Drake had the warmth of a rattle-snake, but she never required her son to pretend otherwise. Jackson Drake was the worst sort of parent, one who demanded the privileges of fatherhood while refusing the responsibilities.
Ra’s watches with an indulgent eye as Daniel plays with his younger relative.
"Quite the pair, aren’t they?" Ra’s asked. Talia glanced at him briefly, eyes settling back on her second son.
"Trouble enough, between the two of them," Talia says, smiling reluctantly.
Daniel yells gleefully as he tackles Timothy, the two of them wrestling playfully, rolling about on the playroom rug like puppies.
Real is a thing that happens to you. It doesn’t happen all at once. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
Tim isn’t real, and never will be. As Damian often reminds him.
Tim reads over the thin slip of paper one more time - ‘Father doesn’t need a tin soldier, Drake.’ - before folding it in half, and half again, and tossing it into the fire in front of him. Halfway through its journey, it was snatched from the air by a familiar hand.
"Your grandson has gotten adept at psychological warfare," he says without looking up. "If I still felt emotions I imagine that would have been quite damaging."
There is the sound of paper rustling, and then Ra’s speaks. “This is characteristic of the communications between you two?”
"For the past year," Tim agrees as Ra’s seats himself beside Tim. He had not expected Ra’s to be here tonight, but Tim has grown accustomed to Ra’s presence at unexpected moments, these last six months. Since the day he chose survival over sanity. He yields easily to the press of Ra’s’ hand on his shoulder. The slide of Ra’s’ fingers though his hair quiets a bit of the ever present anxiety buzzing under his skin. Tim knows why – oxytocin released upon skin to skin contact, serotonin and dopamine levels rising because of positive human interactions, the great chemical machine of his brain churning out hormones and neurotransmitters, all aimed at keeping his clumsy mammalian consciousness engaged in behavior that keeps him alive.
"This is not characteristic behavior for Damian," Ra’s says. Tim can hear his frown.
He shrugs. “People change.” Ra’s begins to speak, then laughs.
"I was about to say that people do not change to this extent." Ra’s shakes his head. "I forget whose company I am keeping."
Tim hums, neither agreement or contradiction, and closes his eyes.
Tim courts infection with every ripped stitch and poorly bandaged wound. It’s a peculiar form of self-destruction, unique to the suicidal urban vigilante, Tim thinks, laughing at himself. At some point or another, the bitter comedy of the situation overcame the pain, and he understands the Joker all too well now.
It’s meaningless, all this suffering. The universe does not notice the petty tragedies of humanity, and there is no grace to be found. Pain comes because it comes, no more than that. That’s the joke. There’s no reason behind pain. There’s no justification. Suffering happens for the sake of suffering, and life is a great game aimed at denying that fundamental truth.
Tim doesn’t care for the Joker’s response. He’s far too tired to play at humor, and too sick of blood to kill. It’s easier to turn inwards, slice at the root of the problem. It’s not the rote mechanics of physical pain that hurts, in the end. It’s the emotional agony that accompanies it.
Any shield can be cracked, any weapon broken. But a target that is not there cannot be struck. Feel nothing, and you cannot be hurt.
d-days-surprise submitted: I was working on a fanfic idea, that probably will never see the light of day, and came up with this concept: The world is destroyed because Ra’s al Ghul gets his hands on the Ginzuishou briefly and dumps it in a Lazarus Pit. Things react and then…
However, his estranged daughter Nyssa is the perfect blend of angry/suicidal/pissed-at-Ra’s to do it. And she has a Lazarus pit.
YOU SHOULD WRITE A THING IN THAT VERSE. Perhaps a Tim thing. Or a Tommy thing. OR A RA’S THING GRAND SORCERER RA’S AL GHUL
The problem with that is that Ra’s is totally the old man in his painstakingly preserved, hasn’t-beem-changed-since-the-1600’s-no-not-even-indoor-plumbing castle, complaining about Kids These Days and their disrespect, in his day you needed to walk ten miles uphill, both ways, to learn magic, and they didn’t do any of this ‘make your freckles bio-luminescent’ nonsense, and don’t even get him started on this ‘tweeter’ and ‘twits’ thing his grandson is obsessed with…