Never to Live

In the cool of the morning, Red Robin mourns another death. Not canon, but hopefully canon-compliant (pre-Nu52).

Tim was seven years old, and his parents were actually home. They were arguing about something in the parlor.

He didn't like to hear his parents argue. But this time, it sounded less like they were angry at each other, and more like they were defensive against the world. He snuck down the stairs to listen.

"This isn't what we wanted, Jack! We can barely deal with one child, why…why?"

"I know, Janet, I know. It was an accident. It's not our fault."

"The tests, though…ninety-nine percent chance? Another good, quiet child—like Tim!—maybe we could've managed. But we can't possibly care for someone with Downs, not with the company and all of our responsibilities there…"

"It would be cruel to give the baby such a life. She'd never be able to live properly. We have to make this sacrifice for her."

"Yes. Yes we do."

"It's scheduled for tomorrow early. We'll go to the clinic, get it done quickly, then come home and be with Tim. We'll just forget this ever happened."

Janet Drake sniffled. There was a long pause.

"Why us, Jack?"

"I don't know, darling. But it will be over soon enough."

Tim crept back upstairs before his parents could catch him listening in.

Tim only realized what his parents had done several years later. He was eleven, now, and digging through the back of the closet in the hallway when he ran across an old shoebox, taped shut. Curious, he sliced it open and found it full of paperwork, medical records.

With growing horror he recalled that conversation he'd once overheard and desperately began sifting through documented OBGYN appointments and copies of medical tests, until he found it: a scheduled, and completed, termination of pregnancy: female, Down syndrome. Date: three days from now, four years ago.

So on his little sister's death-day Tim walked to the back of Drake property carrying a box and a shovel.

It was not the box from the closet—he'd re-taped that to look undisturbed and put it back where he'd found it—but this one contained copies he'd made of the baby's ultrasounds. When he reached his favorite thinking spot, the side of a hill that faced the sunset and looked down on the open woods to the back of Wayne Manor, he hefted the shovel, dug a small grave, and gently laid the box inside. He reverently pushed the dirt back on top and marked it with a small cairn of rocks.

"Hello, baby sister. You'd be what, two, three by now? I'm sorry I never got to know you. I would've protected you, had I understood what our parents were doing. You know that, right? I would've cared for you whatever condition you had."

He bowed his head.

"It wouldn't have mattered to me. I would've loved you, little sister. I miss you. I hope you know that."

He stood a minute in the orange brilliance of the sunset, then turned and walked back to the house.

It was the middle of the night a few years later. Robin had been uncharacteristically melancholy, and of course Batman had noticed. Tim was silent as the Batmobile sped back toward the Manor until they were almost to the secret Batcave entrance.

"Batman? Can you let me off here? I have something I need to do before I go to bed."

Batman raised an eyebrow under the cowl. "In the woods?"

"Yes. It's…it's a grave I need to visit today. Actually, yesterday, since it's after midnight."

The vigilante stopped the car without another word.

Tim slowly made his way through the trees until he reached the cairn, kneeling by it and touching the top stone of the marker reverently before drawing away. He sighed.

He didn't jump when a large, gauntleted hand came to rest on his shoulder and a heavy black cape settled over his still form.

The years went by. Tim was Red Robin now, a trusted agent of Batman Incorporated, and a high-level executive in Wayne Enterprises. He had a father and brothers and sisters and a girlfriend, friends and allies among both capes and businessmen.

Through his career he had lost many and regained some, and along with everyone in his family still kept vigil for those who had not returned.

And so it was that, in the cool fog of a misty morning, Tim Drake laid a single pink rose on the cairn that commemorated the baby girl whose life had been taken from her before it could even begin.

"Hello again, little sister…"

Today, January 22, 2017, is the 44th anniversary of Roe v Wade, in which the American Supreme Court legalized the murder of unborn children.

In the United States, 67% of babies with Down syndrome are aborted. For Europe the number is 92%.

I Am the Pro-Life Generation.

Sophia the Scribe