Donna Troy regularly dreams about kidnapping her Wonder Twin, Dick Grayson, and running away to a better life.
She dreams of pulling him from the burning bridges of all the relationships the other half doesn't want to save. Of finally getting him free from the constant loop of disappointment and pain. Of Dick sacrificing his heart, body, and soul, only to be left to burn in the wake of the destruction that ensues. Only for the ones to abandon him to come back and ask for more.
She wants to be selfish and take away one of the best things in the world and keep it for herself. She wants to put him in a safe little apartment in Paris with a stunning view of the city, close to a nice Cafe. Somewhere with space where he can open a gymnastic studio and teach self-defense classes at night on the side. She can help out on weekends when not growing her photography career in the fashion scene.
She watches the people he calls family drag him down. He works to the bone, scraping himself hollow and asking if "this is good enough?"... and it won't be.
She would change their names, giving them fresh identities and a fresh start. A part of her aches even in her imagination wondering if anyone would care enough to try and follow them and wondering what would happen if they did.
Donna dreams of one day buying a van, packing up the bare necessities, sticking Dick in her passenger seat, and just driving.
In this fantasy they become travel bloggers. Tracking across the country and living off the wild. They use their combination of trained survival skills and baddass-ness. They always start off small, their blog anonymous, pointing out the "best hiking spots" or "tips and tricks" for this or that. Mostly a way to pull in gas money when they can't get odd jobs.
But they will start to grow, her pictures getting attention from some publishers, Dick pulling out the wit she remembers from when they were younger to bring life to the articles. The wit that has been burned out of him, that she can see catch on his tongue and get stuck between his teeth. The kind that used to make her laugh until her side ache, but leaves a silence causing a different kind of pain.
She lets him grow again, free from the weight of the expectations of everyone else. The light starts to grow in his eyes, his laugh shows in his whole face.
They don't take off in terms of popularity until Dick posts a video. It's dumb, taken in the middle of the night. Pointed off into the middle of the woods two bright eyes glow back. The base of the video is bright orange, a dull light from the low campfire.
Dick and the eyed thing coo back and forth at one another for about 10 seconds then there is a pound to his right. The camera pans over to the vague shape of a tent.
A head pops out, mostly a rough black blob standing out against a different shade of black. "Richard." Donna would say.
"Yes, my Wonder Twin?" Dick would answer.
"What are you doing?"
"Well, if you want to keep this friend, you'll go the fuck to sleep. Otherwise, this friend will go find herself new friends who eat you and your friend."
A high-pitched bark from the distance sounding like a "yeah" startles them both and ends the video with Donna's laugh.
The video sets them off to become occasional vloggers. Dick channels his passion for saving humanity into saving the environment. They become explorers and a different kind of hero.
In this world his hollow chest would fill again with sunshine and mountain air. Flowers wrap around his lungs and knit through his hair to make a crown. Birds rest on his shoulders and wolves at his feet.
Sometimes Damian shows up, carting Titus the dog and Alfred the cat. He becomes the face of a movement, not for the League of Assassins but for the endangered wildlife. He would teach the world about animals and never take no for an answer. Donna likes to think Dick would enjoy having Damian along, giving him a new life too.
Donna dreams of taking Dick away to England. They start slower in this fantasy. She would have obtained an unbelievable offer to work as a photographer in London, and she convinces Dick to come with. Dick's heart still held hostage with a city that never deserved it. But he comes as her support, her personal assistant while she follows her dream.
It's a few weeks in when the make-up artist for the shoot doesn't show. They can't reschedule, it’s too important. Donna is scared, because this could lose her a very important client. Dick knows all of this, and he saves her again.
Dick can do make up. He learned foundation and blending from hiding injuries for a decade and a half. He understands the art of brush strokes and colors from sitting for hours with Damian while he paints. He knows dramatics. He might have grown up under Bruce, but he is a Grayson. Showmanship is in his blood.
And he is good. There is room to grow but Dick takes to it like a duck to water. He wants to learn. People take note, he still works as her assistant but now spends most of his time with the makeup artists learning.
He spends hundreds of dollars on makeup and shaved off his eyebrows in enthusiasm. (He regretted it after and they both agreed he was going to let them grow back and never do it again. But he rocked it while they were gone).
He would learn and help out where he could, and people noticed. He would start to get hired with Donna and grow a career.
He'd stay and stay and stay. Until he forgets why he ever wanted to go back.
She'd teach him to build a new heart. Showing him that what he had before wasn't love or family, it was an anchor. A toxic and heavy weight around his neck dragging him deeper into Gotham Bay.
They would make friends and build their own community. Maybe fall in love with people who understood that she and Dick were a package deal, because they weren't related, but they are twins. They would build an empire and a family.
The wound left from his parents’ death, left rotting and gaping, partially healed then torn open just a little wider, finally, carefully, stitched back together. With the love and support from Her, her husband and kids, Dick's partner -male or female because who cares, and love is love- and their children (even if Donna has to have them herself).
They would make careers for themselves becoming new money in a world of old. Dick would help those already working to destroy the gender norms of the world. He is thick skinned, there is nothing the world could say to him he hasn't already heard. He has always been the different in their world of "normal".
Donna dreams of giving up everything and running away with Dick to the Kent Farm.
She has only been there once, but she knows Ma and Pa Kent love Dick. They love Dick because Clark loves him. Because they are good people who can see the good in Dick and want to see him grow. Clark will be happy someone is there with his parents, relieved to have someone support his family. Relieved to have his nephew in a safe and loving environment.
Ma and Pa wouldn't say no if they ask to stay. If they asked to help around the farm.
Clark and Lois are city people who belong to Metropolis as much as Superman does. He might be a country boy, but Clark’s soul now bleeds for the city.
But Dick and Donna, their souls two sides of the same coin, are made for something else. They could find happiness on the farm. They both know how to ride horses and how to use a lasso. Dick from the circus and Donna from the island. Donna used to help in the fields and Dick found peace with Alfred in the manner’s gardens.
They understand hard work the way many don't. They see potential in the land.
They would inherit the farm from Ma and Pa with happy blessings from Clark.
Damian would spend the summers with them, with Clark’s son Jon. She sometimes imagined them falling in love and one day taking over the farm from them instead of taking up the hero mantels from their fathers.
They would breathe new life into the community. The hard but rewarding work gives Dick the satisfaction he craves. He would continue to carry on a legacy, maybe not Wayne and maybe not Batman but Kent. A hard working, honest, kind, and true family that he knows his parents would be proud of.
There are some days where Donna dreams of moving Dick into her apartment in New York.
He lets her revoke everyone's friendship/family card but a select few and remove them from his life. Nightwing would become New York's hero, but he was done in Bludhaven and Gotham, because that was their compromise.
Donna has a short list of who would be allowed: Wally, Garth, Damian, Alfred, Clark, and Dianna. An argument can usually be made for Selina depending on her feelings on Bruce.
Dick would finally see a therapist and eat three full meals a day. He would sleep, sometimes with nightmares but better than before.
They would get a dog, because she remembers Ace the Bat-hound and knows he always liked Titus.
People in his life could start to earn back their places or Dick finally kicks them out for good. She would finally get to say what she promised Dick to keep to herself.
She'll finally get to scream at Roy about his part with Miriam/Kory issue. Because how dare he blame Dick. Dick was their younger brother, and he was raped. Because consent for one person isn't consent for all. She loves Roy, different from Dick, and early on maybe, potentially, even more than Dick. But now, her heart breaks, the wedge growing with unsaid words and fury. She promised in reality, but she imagined freedom.
She can knock Barbara from her high horse. The two women were never best friends. Donna honestly never thought much of Barbara, she was a separate part of Dick’s life. They circled the same planet but rarely passed one another. She wanted to be friends and in another life they probably could have been. Barbara never liked her; Donna knew. Wally explained that Babs was probably jealous. They all knew Dick had a crush on Barbara and it wasn’t that hard to see that Barbara had a crush on Dick. Donna was a close female friend. Donna was a threat, which eeww. But they learned to be in each other’s space and Barbara made him happy. Donna thought that even at odds, she and Barbara had the same goal.
But Donna lost all respect for her during the Blockbuster incident. Barbara was his girlfriend at the time. Dick was drowning, and he wasn't even hiding it. She looked at him, saw this woman taking advantage of Dick’s struggling and fell for it. Donna expected Barbara to know better, to know Dick better.
She understands on some level, Donna is biased. Dick was an open book to her in ways most would never understand. He fools others, masks in place with wide smile and easy movements.
Donna wants to knock Barbara back down. Dick might have forgiven; he didn’t see anything to forgive because he put it all on his shoulders. But Donna can’t. She wants to take the Best Friend card that the woman somehow still holds and ground it under her shoe. A place Dick had to earn back, still wanted to earn back on top of everything else. She wants to make the woman hurt like how she hurt Dick. Donna wants to be petty and rub in the fact that she isn’t Dick’s Best Friend either, she is so much more now. She is his Wonder Twin.
She lost a lot of respect for the Gotham heroes during the whole Blockbuster issue.
She would force Tim and Dick to have sit down and talk. And actually, listen because she knows there is so much miscommunication and she knows only one-side of the story. Because Dick barely talks about the time Bruce was assumed dead, but she knows how to read his silence. She understands what was wanted to say but couldn't. She sees the ghosts of the cape dragging him down. Him living a life he never wanted, struggling to stay afloat, so desperate to not drag anyone down with him only to shove them too far away to see he needed help.
Jason and Dick need to do the same thing, for so much more. Both men stuck in the same loop. And she knows, because she knows Jason, not as well as Dick, or Roy, but she does know Jason. Both men struggle to be loved, desperate for attention and affection, but the tension and old feelings from back when Jason first became Robin holds them at a distance. Misdirected anger and pain from Dick and Jason missing half the information had brought the two decades of pain and anger.
Batman... Donna won't ever let him back. Bruce doesn't exist anymore, not for Dick. The man is either Batman or he wants something. No man can claim to care as a father and put their child through that kind of hell. No, both sides of that coin would be out of their lives.
Donna has a lot of daydreams about taking Dick to a better world.
It brings her comfort on the nights where he shows up at her door the sadness and pain extinguished any light in his eyes.
It keeps her calm as he sleeps, head on her shoulder face with tear tracks passed out crying himself into an exhausted sleep.
It calms her hand when she gets another call about him almost dying while helping someone who she knows doesn't appreciate it.
It's what she clings to on the nights where she contemplates murder while Dick sits on his death bed.
A small part of her knows, if Dick dies because of them it will take a piece of her sanity. She will move heaven and hell to bring him back. If that doesn't work, she is going to take down every villain involved and any hero who stood in her way. If he isn’t there to stop her, she might as well destroy the ones who took her world.
Donna dreams to give Dick a better life but knows in her soul that he would never go. Dick is loyal to a fault and would gladly die at the feet of those he considers family if it means saving them from any pain or struggle. He is selfless, kind, stubborn, brave and headstrong.
He is going to die for these people somehow. It might not be taking a bullet, but Donna knows Dick is going to give is all to these people who don't deserve him.
She loves him, heart, body, and soul. She will kill for him. She has died for him. She would follow him into hell. He is her soul mate. Her wonder twin, best friend, and platonic other half.
She knows that Dick would never be able to walk away from the others because it goes against his very being.
Donna dreams of taking Dick away. But she's already followed him into hell, there's no way to turn back now. You know what they say, "If you're going through hell, keep going".
Donna is terrified of the possible day where Dick honestly takes her up on the offer to run away. It terrifies her because deep in her heart, because she knows if he ever truly says yes, that means they have finally broken him. And for all her strength, Donna doesn't know if she would be able to put him back to together again.