Past Times

There's more to life than being a martyr, Tim.

Superboy's words resounded through Robin's head, echoing soundlessly over and over again in the chasm of his despair. He stared, unseeing, at the wall of his room in Titans Tower, thinking back over the past several months…and what Superboy had meant with his few well-chosen words.

Ever since Spoiler and Jack Drake had…died (been murdered, his more sinister thoughts whispered in the darkest times of night), Robin had been…not reckless, but…more willing to take risks.

Unnecessary and dangerous risks, according to the other Titans. According to Starfire, Changeling, and Cyborg. Pretty much everyone he knew – who were in the know of him being Robin (and even Bernard had remarked that he was 'more angst-ridden than usual') – said he had a death wish. Even Batman thought he was being careless, which was why Robin had actually listened to Kon-El's remonstrations after today's battle.

He hadn't liked what he'd heard. Not by a long shot. But then again, the truth can hurt.

And after quite a bit of beleaguered soul-searching, Robin had come to the conclusion that Kon – and the rest of the Titans, past and present – were right.

Tim Drake's stoic countenance crumbled and he buried his tearful face in his arms, sobbing out the pain he'd been keeping bottled up inside of himself for over seven weeks. It hurt too much to admit it – but it hurt even more to hide it from himself.

He missed Steph. He missed his father. And nothing he could do, no risk he could take, would bring them back.

Tim sniffed a few final times and wiped the tears from his eyes with a convenient Kleenex. Crying wouldn't bring them back, either, but at least now he felt better. As opposed to getting his collarbone cracked last month when the Teen Titans had gone up against Match.

Was he really going to spend the rest of his life trying to atone for something that was only peripherally his fault? Forgoing ninety-nine percent of what was left of his childhood to be Robin was one thing, but to give up that other one percent? He'd already lost his family, and some of his friends; was he really going to purposely distance himself from the rest?

He'd end up like Bruce. Alone, and lonely. Only more so. Even Batman allowed himself his Robins and Batgirls.

Tim Drake blinked, carefully peeled his mask from his face, and looked at it for a moment. He very deliberately laid it down on his desk, and pushing up out of his chair, headed for the door.

Maybe he would join Kon and Bart in the rec room and play video games with them. Or at least…get out of his room. Take a walk to see Kory's garden.

That would be a good first step on the road away from martyrdom. It was past time he got on with living Tim Drake's life, as opposed to dying by Robin's.