After spending that much time in the Batcave… and from your youth secretly mapping out all entrances and exits, even after Bruce half suspects what you are up to and makes it immensely more difficult later on… it actually is not too tough to break into. You wonder with this new track record with some questionable exploits as Red Robin if you should briefly consider calling yourself Jason.
The air here is familiar. It smells of the musky underground water. You weren't expecting company or a welcome back. Kind of goes unsaid when breaking and entering.
Dick and Damian are either in the Bat Bunker or have returned to this part of the city. Either way doesn't matter. You don't plan on staying if you are by chance discovered and they want to have a stern talking. Or fist fight. Preferably ending with Damian's bloody nose being rubbed into the cold, concrete floor. But anyway, the security system looks secured. You have fiddled around it in the past (sometimes… without permission) long enough to disable and countermeasure any silent alarms that would be sent out about your immediate presence. At least you are seven eight percent sure.
And ninety three that your assumptions about everyone else returning this part of town are correct… ah, whatever.
You are about to cross to the docking bridge by the hanger space for the extra supplies when you notice an inky-black, scalloped cape hanging off the back of an extra wheeling chair, the pointed and drooping edges pooling to the concrete. Something within your throat tightens up and tastes slick and sour when your gloved fingers twist shakily and purposefully around the heavy cape, pulling it towards you.
Had it always been this heavy to you…?… …Bruce must have had it out for a replacement long before… before…
The memory is like a crushing boulder. You sink to the floor gradually, the cape fanning beneath you, the hollowed cowl resting on your shoulder, your hands scrabbling inside the Kevlar material to keep a desperate hold. Your muscles hurt from being so tense. Every muscle. Everything hurts.
You don't realize you are crying at all until he stoops down in front of you, silent and receptive of your noises, and all you can think of then is how Kon's blue jeans are dirtied with dime-sized specks of blood from a probably overzealous criminal and grime from probably an accidental and hurried landing on some unnamed street…
"How did you…?"
"Alfred let me in."
You manage to smile a little through the embarrassing tears and even chuckle when he says this so matter-of-factly, using your wrists to wipe at your lowered face furiously. "How did he…?"
"It's Alfred," he replies, simply.
His own smile is ridiculously cocky, ridiculously soothing. After a moment of slight hesitation, he guides his hand over your shoulder not draped with Batman's cape, brushing your own undone cowl with his knuckles, and clasps onto you warmly. His bright blue American youth eyes take you in. Waiting.
"…You must think I'm being stupid." You try to laugh again but it is blocked by a small, choked breath.
His hand squeezes. "How is being in mourning stupid?"
"I keep saying that Batman is alive. I know he is. But it doesn't stop hurting that… he's gone now…" Your words grow faint when emotions threaten to bubble up uncontrolled. Your eyes close forcefully and your mouth parts as several new streaks of tears roll down your face. "That… jesus, Kon, I'm sor—"
"Stop." Your eyes reopen to hear him say this gruffly, stubbornly.
You can't see his facial expression with the stinging and how wet eyelashes clump together but you can feel his hand slip away and the new and warm clasp that is around your body. His muscular arms unmercifully pin your arms to your sides, holding you in place on your knees with him. You don't remember him being the hugging type. But it is…just…nice.
Your head leans against the red, glossed emblem of his shirt, and you dig your forehead hard against his chest rising and falling slowly with his breathing, and wait for the emotional crashing to subside. Kon's patience is endless. It must be.
Red Robin and Batman comics and any DC characters mentioned are not my property. But I am possessive of Dick Grayson. /lol. Back to serious business… I am aware that Bat-Family has been hanging around the Bat Bunker. Cool digs sure. But I am placing this in the Batcave because I decided that everyone wants to hang out there for this story. DON'T QUESTION ME. Vlad Bride and I thought of this fanfic after I spammed this image of a sad-looking Tim in Red Robin attire hugging Batman's cape on her Facebook wall. We shared a brain for the idea of Alfred letting Kon into the Batcave to talk to Tim. Cause Alfred is a perceptive and omnipotent God and he loves Tim as well as us fangirls. Dammit. And any and all reviews/comments/questions/squealing is deeply appreciated. BAT ANGST HEALS. I SWEAR IT DOES.