He's only been to the circus once. He had a fucking great time and wishes he could think about going again without wanting to vomit. His parents had carried him around, smiling and talking and loving each other and him. They'd even gotten his picture taken with some of the circus performers. He'd gotten hugged, he'd gotten cotton candy and popcorn and he'd gotten to ride a camel.

He considers going downstairs, like right now, and asking Beast Boy if he would mind indulging some reminiscing. He's not sure how the others would react, but he's pretty sure Gar would be all for.

He thinks about now and how if there's anything in the world that is the exact opposite of a circus, it's probably his life.

His mother is dead. His father won't look him in the eye because he know now, he knows that Tim goes out every day and helps people.

He wants to call Dick. He really, really considers it. Instead he paces his room. He paces, then goes to the window, jumps out and considers not shooting his grapple. His instincts kick in and he swings.

He goes to the other end of town, ends up breaking up a brawl with some unexpected help. Red Hood is looking at him, he supposes, he can't really be sure. They stand there, high off the fight and wondering if they should attack each other, just out of principal.

Hood pulls his gun, but Tim is already jumping. He gets in close and knocks the weapon away. They begin a rhythm of hand to hand. Punch block, Hood checks his leg.

"Ever been to the circus?" Tim pants.

"Once," Hood answers, his voice is low and muffled by the mask.

"Me too," Robin does something risky, he backs up enough to be able to move his leg for a roundhouse. "Why don't you go now?"

"I'm not thirteen anymore."

"No one is too old for the circus."

"I'm too dead for the circus." Red cuffs him across the jaw. Tim springs on his hands. "You can do almost all of what Dick could do then."

"I have no finesse," Robin protest from atop the dumpster. He throws a birdarang.

"Also no height," Jason almost catches his ankle, but Tim jumps over his head, skidding across the pavement and extending his bo.

"That was weak, try again," Tim says as he charges. He hits Red Hood in the stomach; the whoosh of air gives Tim a little satisfaction.

"Parasite, then? Feeding off of Bruce's…"

Tim hits him. In the head. Hard. He doesn't want to hear the end. He hears Hood's head rattle inside the helmet. Watches the Red Hood fall, then quickly shoots his grapple.

Definitely the exact opposite of the circus.

Disclaimer: Birds and Boys may break my bones but DC always owns them.