Disclaimer: DC owns him. I'm only borrowing.

Thanks to Debbie for the beta!


So, this was what it came down to. It had taken a myriad of skills and experiences. Some were innate, others learned. All needed to combine to create a unified whole.

It reminded Tim of the quests he created when he served as Game Master in 'Warlocks and Warriors'. He'd worked hard on those campaigns, designing them so that each seemingly-unrelated escapade would give the characters something that they'd be able to make use of in a later quest. The potion of fire-quenching that a grateful Dwarf village bequeathed to the party of adventurers for ridding their territory of bandits would prove to be the only means of defeating the Flame Dragon that lived in the mountains. In the dragon's hoard, the heroes would discover a scroll, which would lead them to the lost sword of Om Theglar. And only afterwards would it become apparent that, had the adventurers not stopped to return a lost toy to a small child, the child's father—a petty noble—would never have granted them safe passage over his lands, thus allowing them to reach their destination a full ten hours earlier. And had they not helped the merchant free his wagon from the mud, they might not have been given directions to a cave where they could shelter from the rain—and found a small weapons cache.

Looking back at his own life, who would have dreamed that a trip to the circus at the age of four would set events in motion that, one decade later, would have him donning red-and-green Kevlar? But if he hadn't watched Dick perform the quad, if he hadn't memorized the move, then he wouldn't have uncovered the secret. If he hadn't kept up-to-date on the Dynamic Duo, he might never have noticed the change in Robins, nor Batman's growing recklessness after Jason died. If he hadn't tried to emulate them, he might not have gone charging after Nightwing—and later after Batman—to try to set things right. After all, who was he to lecture Batman? Nothing had been intentional. It had all happened on the fly.

He hadn't planned for it to happen that way. How could he have? He'd fully expected that once Nightwing understood the situation, he'd go back and help Bruce the way it used to be. But when things didn't fall in according to plan, Tim had gone with his gut and improvised. Winged it.

Somehow, in some way he still didn't quite believe, something in his plea had convinced Batman to train him. Ultimately he'd even earned the suit. And even then, he'd chosen to go further afield, to acquire more skills, better training, before he felt that he could join Batman on his crusade.

But tonight, Tim thought as he pulled the green tunic over his head, it was all coming together. Everything he'd done with his life up to now had led him to this moment… and he hadn't even recognized his path until barely six months ago. He put on the red vest and began to lace up the front of it. Tonight, Robin would fly again.