Author's Notes:

Feedback? Please? I promise to respond, though it might take awhile.

Also, since Tim is fourteen, while there will probably be plenty of talking about sex (Kon is one of the main characters), I plan to keep any actual romances fairly tame, and no Tim/Kon (though what you see in the subtext is up to you). Anyway, opinions on this? Suggestions? Please, tell me about any corrections I need to make, as well as ideas for the rest of the fic. Much inspiration has been drawn from reviews.


It was almost 6 AM, and Tim was desperately longing for his bed. The early-spring chill in the air was enough to keep him awake, but even he was unused to staying up this late. And I would have been in bed hours ago except for that disaster of a chase. He had spent half the night chasing a suspected murderer, all of it wasted because in the end, the man eluded him.

Tim was making a last pass through an older, poorer, and as such more crime-ridden part of Gotham when a shifting of shadows in an alley caught his attention. He landed on a near roof and crept closer. The grey pre-dawn light meant that at this point his night vision goggles were more hazard than help. It was a man: tall, Caucasian, probably mid-thirties, and, Tim frowned, with a bulge under his jacket that meant he was carrying a gun. Looking closer, he saw the man hunch over slightly, bringing a hand up to his ear. Tim made the connection—communicator—instantly, and flicked his eyes around just in case. There were two other men, similarly attired, on that block alone.

Tim's frown deepened. The men showed no signs of being security, and he didn't recognize them from the police or federal databases he had hacked. Which meant they were likely criminals. Highly organized criminals. Great. I hate it when they get smarter.

The three men were moving southwest, further into the maze of run down buildings, and the dark alleys within them. The fourth man was scarcely a block away when Tim caught sight of him and put the pieces together. This man was wearing a leather jacket over a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, and had a beat-up canvas duffle slung over one broad shoulder. His long legs ate up the distance between himself and the others stalking him.

Tim crouched on the roof, batarang in hand, and watched.

It was only took a few minutes for the several cats to corner their mouse in the alley behind the building Tim was on. The pursued stopped, and turned around to face the other men. "Only three of you? I think I'm insulted." His voice was insolent--and young.

One of the men spoke. "C'mon kid, you come with us willing, and we won't have to hurt you."

"Much," another added.

The—kid? —snorted and shoved back his hood, eyes glinting and cheeks flushed in anger. "'Fraid I can't say the same for you. Now can we stop with the not-so-witty banter and get on with it?"

One of the men grinned and pulled out a tazer. Before Tim could move, the kid had landed a blow to his wrist another to his stomach. One thug down, two to go. Tim's eyebrows rose. The guy wasn't hurting the others anymore than Tim would have—well not on a bad night anyway—and he obviously didn't need any help. Tim winced in sympathy when, after twisting one thug's wrist and fending off another with his other arm, the guy rammed his knee into the first's groin. The thug managed to gasp out "…not…fair," before doubling over.

The guy scoffed. "And three-to-one is?" before punching the third in the head. The guy looked at the sprawled bodies around him and shook his head. He began walking away when a cell phone rang. Inside the space of a second he tensed up far more than he had when he'd found out he was cornered, and turned back, glaring at the ringing bulge in the man's jacket as though it had mortally insulted him. He pulled out the phone and flipped it open. "Enjoy the show?"

Tim couldn't hear the response, but whatever it was it made the guy even more furious. "You—I can't believe you're lecturing me on how to fight off your goons!" A pause and then, "I'll fucking well raise my voice to you if I want! You are not my father anymore!"

Tim tried very hard to keep his jaw from dropping. It was a look too undignified for a Bat to wear. And I thought my family was messed up.

The guy continued. "Shut up! You lost that right when I found out that—when I found out. You don't get a say in my life anymore. So don't call, don't write, don't visit, and don't send your fucking minions after me!" The other man responded, and whatever he said, it made the guy look as though the thug had got him with the tazer after all. "Care? You don't care about anything, least of all me. All you've done is hurt—" he choked on the words. "Just—just fuck off, Dad."

He snapped the phone closed, and glared at it. The next events were more a series of sounds than sights. A broken sob, the crunching of plastic as the phone splintered in the kid's grip, the screech of rending metal as he threw it hard enough to punch through a nearby dumpster. Tim gasped. Meta. A very strong Meta. In Gotham. Ohcrap. I do not want to be the one to tell Bruce about this. He'll blow a fuse.

The guy had tensed, and for a moment Tim worried he'd been heard. But then the kid moved off, and Tim relaxed, and began following along the rooftops. He needed to see where the guy went before heading back to the cave. Tim bit back a curse when the kid headed into a tunnel on the railroad tracks. He much preferred following from above—it was easier, and gave him a definite advantage. Not to mention that he had no desire to come in range of the meta's fists without knowing more about him.

Once on the ground, he crept into the tunnel. And was promptly caught up and slammed against the wall in a grip like nothing he had felt before. "Wow. My very own super-hero stalker. I feel so flattered." As the stars in front of his eyes faded, Tim could see the kid looming above him, hand around his throat. Which did not explain the feeling of an invisible, nearly intangible cocoon wrapped almost painfully tight around him from head to toe. Tim fought down the instinctive flare of panic. What the hell?

The guy smirked. "What, nothing to say? Oh that's right. You can't speak. Guess you'll just have to listen then. Robin." The panic Tim had felt was rapidly fading as a new emotion took its place—anger. Arrogant jerk. If I could get free I'd wipe that smug look off your face with my boot.

"Here's the problem, Rob. You've seen me, and what I can do, and I expect you're just itching to run straight back to Batman and tell him all about it… and I can't let that happen. So I figure—let's even things out some. You've seen my face—I want a look at yours." Tim stared in rising horror as the Meta reached his free hand toward the domino mask on his face.

Tim's mask hit the floor, and a split second later, a camera flashed in front of his eyes. His knees gave out as he was suddenly released from the restricting grip. He snatched up his mask, glue still wet, and slapped it back on his face, then looked up at the kid who was tucking a mini camera into his jacket, watching him with a solemn expression at odds with his conceited behavior just moments before.

Tim glared, rose, and in his best Batman-inspired-'I-am-three-seconds-from-breaking-you-in-half'-voice said, "Give. Me. That. Camera."

The guy cocked an eyebrow, and gave him an amused smile. "Nice. But I've heard better."

Tim gritted his teeth. That was not the usual response. "What do you want?"

"What don't I want? But from you—that's easy. I want you not to tell Batman about me."


The Meta sighed. "Look, if I was a bad guy I'd have killed you to stop you talking, and those other idiots too. I'm not going to hurt anyone who doesn't try to hurt me first, or commit any crimes—well, not any that would get me so much as night in jail. So you can go back to your bat cave with a clear conscience."

Tim's throat closed up with fear. Batcave. What does he know? "Who are you?"

The guy eyed him for a moment, then shrugged. "What the hell. I'll know your name soon enough, you might as well know mine." He hesitated. "I'm... Kon."

Tim filed that away as he said, "That's not what I asked."

The guy smiled. It was a surprisingly nice smile, if rather sad. "You mean who am I in relation to others, or what am I to have these abilities." Tim opened his mouth, but the Meta—Kon—cut him off. "It doesn't matter—either way I'm not sure at all anymore." The guy started walking away, calling back, "Remember, Rob, you tell, I tell. So keep my secret and I'll keep yours."

It was several minutes before a tight-lipped Robin emerged from the tunnel, and headed out into what was left of the night.

Crappiest. Night. Ever.