So this is set sometime after Dick's death, in some alternate universe on some alternate Earth where Tim is skeptic of Jason.

Enjoy!

PS.: Ezeron Reconski is NOT a real character. I made him up. ~~


It was one o'clock in the afternoon and Tim had just finished up a very successful WE meeting and he was in a good mood.

He had unlocked and opened the door to his penthouse apartment and was planning to take the rest of the day off, refill his mug of coffee, and finish up some patrol reports. At night he would become Red Robin and crash an illegal smuggling gang he'd been tailing a week prior to today - a fairly new organization that'd managed to worm its way into Gotham without angering any of the other usual large mob groups. Tim suspected they were linked to the old mob boss Ezeron Reconski, but he still needed to follow up on that.

However, his plan for the rest of the day was all but thrown out the window when he found Jason, clad in his Red Hood costume (save for his helmet), lounging comfortably in his living room, legs kicked up on his coffee table (which was cluttered with papers and files), and practically bleeding all over his couch.

Tim halted a few meters away from his older brother and stared at him, completely surprised and half-wondering how he'd managed to pass all his security systems. Jason, having heard his entrance into the room, craned his head to the side and raised a hand in greeting.

"Hey."

Tim blinked. "Hi." he answered back. He dropped his work satchel next to the doorway and cautiously rounded the couch to fully face Jason. He raised an eyebrow at Jason's shoulder, which had blood sluggishly seeping through the ripped Kevlar and staining his leather jacket.

"What happened?" He asked, crossing his arms.

"Ever heard of Ezeron Reconski?"

Tim nodded. "He and his gang have been a regular appearance on Gotham's streets. Moved his operations to Bludhaven a few years ago." Tim bit his lip. "Nightwing took care of him."

He shook his head and tilted it thoughtfully. "I was actually going to try and crash him tonight. I think he's got a new gang in Gotham." He gestured to Jason's shoulder. "Is he the reason why you have a bullet wound in your shoulder?"

"Yup, that's right, Replacement."

"You decided to hit his gang up in broad daylight?"

"I was in the area."

"And why exactly were you on this side of town?"

"I was meeting up with an old informant."

Tim sighed and uncrossed his arms, not even going to try and question who this 'old informant' was. "I'll get the first aid kit."

As Tim made his way over towards the bathroom for the first aid kit, he began to rearrange his day's whole schedule. He'd have to save his reports for another time. He wasn't sure if it was a good or bad thing that Jason had gotten to Reconski first, but it was one item off his list, and he was grateful for that.

But there was only one thing that bothered him.

It was the simple fact that Jason had decided to come to his home out of all the safehouses and places he's got in Gotham. Sure, it's been a couple of years since Jason last tried to kill him, and they're relationship has gotten better, but that didn't explain why Jason felt so comfortable to stroll into his apartment in the light of day and ask for his first aid kit.

Especially since he was wounded, which left him vulnerable and easy to attack. Things didn't add up and that left Tim on edge.

When he came back, Jason had already taken off his leather jacket and kevlar for him to properly attend to his shoulder.

Before Tim approached him however, he pointed at his brother's gun belt. "Guns off. And no gadgets or explosives."

Jason complied without a word and his guns, belt, and other weapons were soon promptly tossed into a corner of the room. Feeling at least a little better, Tim tentatively crouched down next to Jason and began to tend to his shoulder.

"Lucky shot?" he asked, examining the wound.

"Stupid guy pulled a gun on me last minute."

Tim hummed as he worked. "Well, the bullet passed through. And the bleeding's slowing. You'll be fine in a week or two."

He quickly disinfected and dressed the wound, before patching it up. Satisfied with his work, Tim began to clean up and put everything back into the first aid kit.

He stood up and walked out of the room to return the box to the bathroom, knowing fully well that by the time he got back to the living room, Jason would be out the window and long gone. But when he came back, Jason was still sitting on his couch and hadn't moved an inch.

Tim immediately knew something was amiss and his senses again heightened.

"Something wrong?" he asked.

He glanced around quickly to register that Jason's weapons were still tucked safely away in the corner of the room and that his brother hadn't planned on picking any of them up. That was a relief. So Jason hadn't gone for his weapons.

There was a long silence before Jason spoke.

"I staked Reconski's gang out before I dropped in and busted them up. Managed to pick up on some new information." Jason turned his head to look at Tim. "I think Reconski issued a kill order for you."

Tim pressed his lips in a firm straight line with an expression of indifference on his face. "We're Bats. Kill orders and bounties over our heads isn't exactly new information, Jason."

"No, Replacement, I mean, Tim Drake. Reconski declared a kill order for Tim Drake."

Tim stared at Jason, and his mind immediately put the pieces together. His eyes widened.

He started to back away Jason. "If you're here to kill me-"

"What?" Jason abruptly stood and whirled around to fully face him. "You think I'm here to kill you?" His voice seemed to be lined with an emotion akin to rage.

Tim flinched at the sudden outburst and he felt blood rushing towards his cheeks. "I-, well, you said-"

"I said there was a kill order on you, not that I wanted to kill you!"

"Jason-"

Jason stormed over to him, and Tim was about to bolt for his own gadgets and weapons when Jason stopped a foot away from him. Tim honestly forgot how tall his brother was because he was towering over him by a good five inches or so.

"Look," Jason breathed, emerald-green eyes flaring. "If I really wanted to kill you, you'd already be dead. I came here to get patched up and give you a heads up. That's all."

Tim returned his glare. "If you just came here to get patched up, you'd already be gone by now. And if you wanted to warn me, you could've done it over the comms, I know you know my channel. And don't think I don't have the right to question your resolve for coming here; you've already tried to kill me once or twice before."

"Goddamnit, Tim, I'm not here to kill you!"

"If you aren't, than why are you still here? You obviously stayed for a reason!"

Jason slammed the side table next to Tim, nearly making the teen jump. "I came here to make sure you were alright, okay?! The men in the gang were talking about invading your place tonight, and I wanted to make sure they weren't planning on hiding a fucking bomb in here or something else fucked-up outside your door!"

Tim shot him a incredulous look. "Do you expect me to believe that? You wanted to make sure I was fine?"

"Yes, Tim! Is that so hard to believe?"

Jason buried his face in his hands and shook his head, attempting to gain control of his ragged breathing, which left Tim gazing at him in disbelief.

"I know I fucked up, a lot, and I tried to kill you more times than I'd like to admit, but you see... D-Dick made me promise."

Tim nearly choked at the mention of their deceased brother's name.

Jason shakily continued. "He made me promise that'd if anything happened to him or Bruce, I'd step up and... and check up on you guys. You and Damian."

"Jason-"

"That'd I-I'd be the... big brother. Because I'm the second oldest."

Jason blinked rapidly, face flushed as if he was embarrassed, but managed to lock his eyes on Tim's. Tim felt his own eyes begin to water and quickly looked away, wanting instantly to curl up in a ball and die.

Dick... The world always seemed like it was crashing down whenever anybody brought up his name. His eldest brother. The man who'd cared for Tim, the man who'd showered him with love and affection, the man who'd protected him during the most dangerous turn of events, and the man who'd showed him that he had a real family.

Also the same man who casted him out, broke his trust, and left him to search for their missing father alone while also letting him know that Tim wasn't immediately welcome back in the manor.

But despite all that, after all that, after everything that had happened, from his father, from Bruce, from Damian... Tim still loved his brother.

So it hurt, when he was told that Dick was dead. That he was beaten, tortured, unmasked, and humiliated before Luthor got to him and suffocated him. Tim always painfully wondered during another sleepless night about what could've happened if he'd been there, if he could've saved his brother, if he could've done something.

And the guilt that hung over his shoulders every day had never gone away.

Now, standing face to face with Jason Todd, Tim finally came to the realization that not only him, but Jason had been feeling the same way too. Grief, guilt, anger, regret. It all weighed down on their backs like sacks of concrete.

Jason took a deep breath and straightened up, trying desperately to regain his composure. Tim sought to follow and him and wiped irritably at the tear streaks that were staining his cheeks.

"Look, Tim," Jason slowly started again. "Dick made me promise that'd I'd look after the two of you, and since Damian doesn't need to be looked after anymore... the only person I need to... take care of is you."

Tim stared at him, swallowed, and then nodded, ducking his head shamefully. "Okay." He couldn't help the wet sob that tore through his throat. "I'm sorry..."

An awkward, but warm hug followed, surprisingly being initiated by Jason. Tim stiffened at the sudden physical contact, but soon relaxed into the embrace, and threw his arms around his brother.

Jason grunted at the new pressure on his injured shoulder, but didn't loosen his hold.

"I miss him." Tim found himself whispering into the crook of Jason's neck.

Jason's grip tightened. "I do too, Baby Bird. I do too."