While there are arguments for and against this point of view I'm assuming that (for this story) the Teen Titans are part of the DCAU. This lets me do a crossover with the Future Batman, Batman Beyond, without much trouble or a great swirly plot device. More specifically it lets me set the story after the Batman Beyond movie; Return of the Joker.
Now, I never got a chance to see Teen Titans during it's original broadcasts but I've picked up a few episodes online and this idea came to mind. As far as I know it was never revealed exactly which Robin it was in Teen Titans, while there were several clues I think the writers went out of their way to make it both. In this situation I'm making it Tim Drake.
I do not own ANY of the characters used here. They belong to DC, I'm not making any profit from their use.
As Tim pulled his jacket on he looked out over New Gotham. He hadn't just looked over the city in so long, not looking for something or anything in particular, simply looking for the sake of it and taking it all in. Stephanie, his wife, thought it was because he hated the city. She was wrong, he loved it. Just hated what it did to him all those years ago, even now in shining concrete and glass he knew that you just had to scratch the surface and you found the old dark heart.
On their own his eyes catalogued every corner, every street. He used to know them all, every cracked brick and upturned dustbin by their first names. Every nook and cranny of old Gotham was his play ground once upon a time.
Then he came, with his endless cackling laughter, his needles and electricity so long ago. Suppressing a shudder Tim planned to leave the hospital and those twisted memories behind and get back to his life.
Finding the automated receptionist he began the long process of checking himself out. Signature here, initial there, is your insurance form up to date? Almost half a century of technical advancement and the only difference seemed to be the whole process was even less convenient for everyone involved. Tim was about half way thorough the third set of forms when what he thought were long dead senses talked to him. It was true, you never really forgot that sort of training. Carefully putting the pen down Tim didn't look up as he said; 'Old man.' while trying to keep the catch from his voice.
He was right, even without telling anyone and after years of never even getting in touch the old man knew exactly what he was doing. Taking the few steps Bruce stood beside him and put a folder on top of the paperwork. 'I've already dealt with it Tim, there's something else you should know.' Turning up completely out of the blue and thinking of everything. Some things never change, not even him. Turning to face him Tim saw a computer disk in his old mentor's offered hand.
Taking it he turned it over and between his fingers. There was nothing written on it, probably with enough encryption to take a lifetime to crack. 'What's on it?'
'Old friends.' With those few words the old man left, his cane tapping rhythmically as he walked for the exit.
Still standing there Tim could only watch. 'I didn't think you believed in friends.'
As the lift door closed he faced Tim again. 'I never said they were mine.' Pocketing the disk automatically Tim just looked at the closed doors for a moment. Behind him the receptionist's robotic voice thanked him for his information and asked if it should summon transport 'No, it's okay I'll find my own way.' Picking up his belongings Tim noticed the pay phone.
There wasn't much point in trying to keep his actions hidden. Bruce was probably already foreshadowing his every step. After the third ring it was picked up. 'Drake' residence' A wary and very tired voice answered
She must have been worrying about him, he had after all been in hospital for a couple of days. 'Hi Honey, it's me.'
'Tim... oh thank heavens. You're coming home? You're alright? You've not been hurt?' His wife bombarded him with questions.
Despite himself Tim smiled; 'I'm fine, just a little tired.'
'What happened, never mind you can tell us all when you get home.' She took a deep breath. 'I'm just glad your coming home. Listen, Tom isn't back home yet, probably still out with his friends. I'll call him home and we can all have dinner together.'
'Thanks, sounds great. You're right there are a few things that we need to talk about. Be home soon.'
'I'm holding you to that.' Stephanie teased and hung up. Tim, knowing full well she couldn't see him, shook his head. There were times he knew exactly why he married her.
Leaving the hospital and stepping into the street Tim thought about hailing a taxi or a bus, but something told him not to. The old instincts were there again, it was going to take him awhile to shut them down if he ever could. But maybe, just this once, he should listen to them, after all what harm could it do.
It was, after all, a nice night. the sun was setting behind the skyline and casting golden highlights on the skyscrapers. Tim found out just what harm the glorious evening could produce three blocks down the road when he was ambushed by a street gang. Walking by the overpass he was distracted the dancing neon lights on the sides of buildings. They threw shadows almost randomly in the half light and he watched them play as five kids in black and white mime makeup came out of the underpass, wheedling all manner of weapons.
Jokerz, New Gotham's worst street gang and Tim had just wandered right into their hunting grounds. The gang idolised the original psychopath, going as far as to dress like him. Over the last forty years Tim had done everything he could to avoid being dragged back into this life and now, in one moment of weakness, he had returned.
They were sizing him up, like he was a slab of meat on the sidewalk. There was one of them, at the back who couldn't have been much older than fourteen, that paused as Tim let something dangerous flash in his eyes. The other four didn't notice, or they just didn't think a middle aged man was a threat. He had no time for them to grow brains; 'Go home kids, it's a bad night to play games.'
'Look at the old squib.' One of the girls, made up to look like a dark haired Harley stepped forward. She was trying to be sassy and dangerous, it was all Tim could do to keep from laughing in her face. 'Walk our street you gotta pay.' She toted a rubber chicken with steel spikes in it at him.
Tim jumped back and against the wall. 'These were my streets long before you were ever here' To his right there were a pair of conduits, their covers were hollow and with a good diameter. Perfect for what he needed, it had been a while and these kids had advantage of age and weapons.
A vicious twist of his wrist and the whole thing came off, now he had a weapon and experience. The kids took a couple steps back. 'Rush him.' One of them shouted and after a moment they found enough courage to charge. Which was a mistake, spinning the makeshift staff Tim swept the girl's legs from under her and rammed his left shoulder into her before she landed.
A high kick to his right Tim used the punk as a springboard and brought his weapon of choice down on a third Joker. That left two, the one who hung back and another girl that was clinging to him. The pair of them were terrified of him.
Tim could feel all the old skills, the tricks flowing back. Thrusting the staff point forward he caught it a faction of an inch from the boy's chest. Out of instinct the boy tried to step back, but the girl's grip threw his balance just as Tim knew it would.
Advancing on them Tim saw true fear in the boy's eyes, almost absolute terror and then something else. Familiarity. They knew each other. 'D... D...' he stammered like a grass snake cornered by a particularly large mongoose.
Tim knew just who it was at the end of his staff. Somewhere between horror and revulsion he growled; 'No, you can't be...'
'Dad.' Tom gaped back at him.
Poor guy can't get a brake can he...