Tim grabs the gun that he's been hiding for days now. He needed to get everything in order before he could use it. It wasn't easy keeping the others from finding it, but Tim's always been good at hiding. It's part of the reason that he was able to become part of this family...this life; but it's been a long time since that's been a good thing.

Tim quickly grabs the ammunition from its hiding place on the other side of the room. He didn't load it when he first got the gun, because Tim knew that it would be too tempting to use it right then and there. He only needs one bullet, but Tim's OCD forces him to fill it. He doesn't even get done putting the first two bullets in when Damian comes bursting into his room-and Tim definitely locked that door, so that means that the kid has at least been working on his lock-picking abilities. "What the hell are you doing?"

"None of your business." Tim growls, and continues with loading the gun. It's Damian, who often wants to kill him, so Tim doesn't think that the little monster will bother trying to stop him.

Damian just stares at him nonchalantly. "You're not going to kill yourself, are you?"

Tim doesn't respond. There's no reason to. It's all pretty obvious, anyway. Damian scoffs at him. "How pathetic." Damian spits. "The least you can do is let me kill you."

Tim shakes his head. "That would only upset the others, and I really don't feel like giving you the satisfaction."

Damian scowls at him. "You really are selfish."

Tim lets out a breathy laugh. "Well, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black."

Damian stares at him with a raised eyebrow. "I don't know what that means."

Tim shakes his head. "Go ask Dick."

"What and miss the show?" Damian shakes his head, as he finds a comfortable place on Tim's bed. "No, I think I'll stay right here."

Tim shrugs causally. "Suit yourself."

Damian curiously watches Tim finish loading the gun. "You do intend to kill yourself, don't you?" Tim doesn't respond, so Damian continues. "Why are you filling the gun? Are you really that bad of a shot?"

Tim stares at him as he removes the safety. "It's an OCD thing."

Damian smirks. "I don't have that. It looks like that's just one more way that I'm better than you."

Tim shrugs again. "I wouldn't be so sure of that if I was you. Bruce had a lot of obsessive compulsive moments."

Damian raises an eyebrow again. "Really? Like what?"

Tim gives him a look as though it should be obvious. "You've read all of the files. You don't think that the meticulous way that they were kept was OCD? Hell, the protocols themselves are just another form of it. How many there are...how detailed they all are...the fact that there's at least three on everyone Bruce ever knew. You can't tell me that you didn't notice. Unless you really are just that oblivious."

Damian scowls at him again. "Whatever; aren't you supposed to be in the middle of killing yourself here?"

Before Tim could even respond Dick bursts into the room. "What the hell do you mean..." Dick's voice trails off as he sees Tim holding the gun. "Tim...Timmy, what are you doing?"

Tim just stares down at the gun in his hands. "Making the pain stop, Dick."

Damian scoffs. "This is ridiculous. I've offered to end his life plenty of times. Grayson, I demand that you make him put down the gun, and fight me to the death."

Dick just stares at the two of them, not blinking. "I...um...Tim, I really think that you should put the gun down."

Tim doesn't take his gaze away from the gun. "Yeah, I know. You don't want me to get blood on the carpet. It's cool. I was going to go outside, but Damian interrupted me."

Dick breathes out a small sigh. "Thank God for small favors."

Tim cocks his head the the side. "Is that who we should be thanking?"

Damian sneers at him. "I can't believe you're so selfish. Drop that gun right this instant! If you're going to die it's going to be by my hand."

Tim just shakes his head slightly. "That just seems like so much effort, Damian."

Dick doesn't know what to say or do. Tim's voice is so devoid of emotion that Dick doesn't think he can bring him back from the edge this time. And Damian's presence sure as hell isn't helping matters. Dick places his hand on Damian's shoulder. "Hey D, do you mind giving us a few minutes?"

Damian folds his arms over his chest like a petulant child. "No, I want to be here when he blows his own brains out."

Dick tries very hard to remain calm, and not let his frustration, anger, and despair show. "Damian, I'm pretty sure that Alfred wants you, and you remember what happened the last time that you left him waiting, right?"

Damian sulks, but heads toward the door. "Fine, but I'm only leaving, because whatever he fed me for every meal for that week was not fit for even dogs, and I refuse to be put through such torture again."

Once Damian slams the door behind him, Dick turns back to Tim. "Timmy, give me the gun."

Tim stares up at Dick with the most dead expression that he's ever seen on the kid's face. "I don't think that I can do that, Dick. If I hand it over now, then what's to say we won't be right back here in six months, or however long it takes me to find another way."

Dick's heart drops at that. He can't help Tim...not until he puts the gun down. Dick tentatively steps closer to Tim, unsure of what will happen if he spooks the kid. "Come on, Timmy. You can do this. We'll do it together. This doesn't have to be the way."

Tim visibly shakes with suppressed sobs. "No, Dick, I don't think I can...even with your help."

Dick sits on the bed, and slowly crawls his way to Tim. "Come on, you've got me. We can work through this."

Tim shakes his head. "You're not always going to be around. You can't be. You have to deal with Damian."

Dick slides next to Tim, and puts his hand over the gun, not wrestling it from Tim...not yet anyway. "That doesn't mean that I don't have time for you. Come on, Timmy, you know I'll always make time for you...just give me the gun."

Tim doesn't relinquish his hold on the gun, but he doesn't clutch it any tighter either, which Dick thinks is a good sign. "You don't understand. You can't always be here to stop me."

Dick's heart feels like it shatters at that, because he should have known that Tim was this bad off. Not to mention that Tim's right. Dick can't always be there to stop him, and he shouldn't have to be. He should have seen this coming, and gotten Tim the help that he so obviously needs before it ever got to this point. "I will do everything in my power to help you...just give me the gun, Tim."

Tim's eyes flick to the side and focus on Dick. Dick is pretty sure that he's looking for the lie there, and he's not sure what Tim's seeing, but it isn't making him feel any better. "I don't think it's within your power to help me, Dick. I don't think anyone can at this point."

Dick wraps his arm around Tim-without moving the hand that's still lying on top of the gun-and squeezes. "Maybe it isn't, but you'll never know unless you give me the gun right now."

Tim laughs, and its an agonizing sound that tears through the whole room, and makes Dick's skin crawl and his spine tingle. He suppresses the need to shudder, and just squeezes Tim tighter instead. "You know if it wasn't for my OCD I wouldn't be here right now."

"I thought Damian was the reason that you were here, right now." Dick didn't actually mean to say that. It's just that sometimes his mouth moves faster than his brain.

Tim shakes his head and shudders again with more suppressed sobs. "No, had it not been for my OCD Damian would have walked in on a body."

Dick can't suppress the shudders at the mental images barreling through his head, and he can't stop himself. He has to wrap both arms around Tim now. "Just...just put the gun down...please Timmy...for me?" Dick knows that he's being emotionally manipulating, and he knows that Tim probably knows it...even in his current state, and he doesn't think that Tim is going to fall for it, but Dick is willing to do whatever he has to to make Tim put down the gun. He'll beg...he'll plead...he'll do anything, as long as Tim drops the gun. "Come on, I'm right here. You don't have to do this."

There are tears in Tim's eyes now, and he shaking uncontrollably. "I'm pretty sure that I do, Dick."

Dick clutches at Tim and rocks him. "No, no, you don't. All you have to do is drop the gun, and we'll work through this together. It'll be okay. I'll take care of you. We'll..." Dick voice catches in his throat as he starts to cry too. "Please Timmy, I'm begging you just drop the gun."

Tim's shaking more violently now. Dick tries to come up with something more than just begging. He tries to think of something comforting to say, but he can't. He doesn't think that there's anything he can say that will keep his little brother from taking his own life, but Dick doesn't even get time to berate himself for not being good enough before there are two small quivering hands clutching at him. Dick hadn't even noticed when Tim dropped the gun, but as he lets out a stuttering sigh of relief, and gathers Tim into a tighter hug, all Dick can do is be thankful that Tim has OCD, that Damian's an annoying brat who doesn't respect anyone's privacy, and that he just happened to be coming up the stairs to Tim's room to ask him a completely irrelevant question. For the first time in a long time, Dick believes that sometimes people are who they are for a reason, and he doesn't think that he'll ever mock Tim's OCD or Damian's lack of boundaries ever again.

The End