Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay MAJOR AU
Saturday morning found nine-year-old Tim Wayne sitting on the couch. But he wasn't watching Saturday morning cartoons like he normally would be. They were on, yes, but he was paying them zero attention. Instead, the second youngest Robin had a pout on his face as he watched the family on the screen move through their day, the children pulling off mischievous antics while the parents remained absolutely clueless.
This was how his oldest adoptive brother found him. Dick frowned as he took in the pout on the normally cheerful face.
"Er…Tim?" He asked. "Are you okay?" He was carrying three-year-old Damian, who Tim made a face at. Damian made a face back at Tim and then gurgled cutely at Dick, who smiled at him. Tim scowled. The kid was only three, but he was a total brat. Tim didn't like him at all.
"Tim?" Dick repeated when the younger boy didn't respond. Tim's pout became more pronounced as he turned to face his brother.
"I want a sister," he told Dick.
Dick wasn't sure how to respond to that. He didn't even know Tim thought about more siblings. Tim had never given any indication of caring either what gender Damian would be when Bruce told them that he'd be coming to live with them. He'd been ecstatic when Bruce informed them that he had an actual biological child and that it would be coming to live with them because that had meant he was no longer the youngest. That had changed, Dick knew, but he'd never expressed any desire to have a sister before. He sat down on the couch beside his brother.
"Um…alright," Dick said. "Why?" Tim scowled at Damian again and retreated into a sulky silence. Dick resisted the urge to sigh.
"Tim, Damian is too little to make fun of you, Jason is still asleep and Dad and Alfred are in the garage," he wheedled, trying to get his younger brother to answer.
"I miss Cass," Tim announced. Dick sat back and nodded thoughtfully. That made sense. Cassandra Cain had lived with the Wayne family for about a year and a half while her parents traveled for business. She had actually been the one to coin the term "Robin" for the Wayne children and then had jokingly called Bruce "Batman" because his garage was so dark. Bruce hadn't really been amused when he found out, but that was the day Cassandra was leaving so it didn't really matter if he found it funny. And unfortunately for him, it stuck a little.
"She still calls, though," Dick pointed out, trying to appease his little brother. Tim's scowl deepened.
"It's not the same," he told Dick. "It's more fun when she's here." Cassandra had been close to Tim's age, another reason he missed her so much.
"It's not," Dick agreed and seeing that his little brother wasn't going to let this go, tried a different tactic. "But you don't actually want a sister, Tim."
"Yes, I do!" Tim's head snapped around so that he could glare at Dick. "I do!"
"Whoa, which Robin woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?" Jason's voice rang out. Dick didn't know whether to sigh in relief or irritation. Tim hero-worshiped his other older brother and Jason knew it. If Dick could get Jason on his side without Tim realizing it, Tim would drop the sister thing permanently or at least until Bruce was around and then he could deal with it. If Jason didn't cooperate, though, Tim would be unbearable until he got over it.
"Jason," Dick greeted, already shooting him a "cooperate or die" look. Jason raised his eyebrows at the look and waited for an elaboration. "I was just explaining to Tim why he doesn't want a sister." Thankfully, either Jason was too tired to make Dick's life miserable or he didn't want to deal with a sulky younger brother either, because he dropped down on Tim's other side and ruffled his hair. Tim scowled at him, but it was a token protest, without any real heat behind it.
"Whoa, little man," he said. "Let's get used to Damian, huh?" Tim's scowl became real at the mention of the youngest Robin.
"Don't wanna get used to him," he muttered, slouching down in his seat and crossing his arms. "Wanna sister."
"Trust me, Baby Bird," Jason said. "You don't. Sisters are a real pain in the-"
"-patootie. Trust me." Jason nodded sagely. But instead of looking stubborn or defiant like he would've with Dick, Tim simply looked curious. How Jason did it, Dick had no idea. On a good day, he only had to argue with Tim for a few minutes until he got him to do what he was told. He shifted Damian, who grabbed a fistful of his hair and unceremoniously yanked. Dick winced.
"How do you know?" Tim asked. Jason sat back with the air of someone who had seen a lot and was only deigning to talk to you because they had nothing better to do. Dick felt like punching him, but then remembered that Jason was helping him out. It wouldn't do to alienate his only ally.
"Sisters," Jason began dramatically. "Are annoying. You've got to be careful around them; no hitting, no punching, no pinching and no fighting. You've got to pull their chairs out and open up doors for them. You've got to wait until they're done in the bathroom-"
"But we gotta do all that for Miss Selina and Miss Leslie," Tim interrupted. "Does that mean they're our sisters?" He looked so hopeful Jason almost felt bad for answering him.
"No," Jason said ruefully. "You do that for Selina and Leslie because they're ladies. You do all that for sisters because your parents make you be nice to your sister." Tim frowned, obviously giving this some serious thought. Dick sighed. Bruce had taken Tim in when he was seven and though the kid was a genius, the Wayne's weren't exactly a conventional family. It made sense that Tim was a little confused as to exactly what a sister was. To best of his knowledge, sisters were girls and that was the end of it.
"But what about Cass?" Tim asked imploringly. "Wasn't she a sister?" Jason seemed to be at a momentary loss for words. Dick quickly stepped in.
"Cass was like a really good friend," he explained quickly. "It was like having a sister, but without all the rules."
"You mean everything you told you had to do for sisters were rules?" Tim looked appalled at the very thought. Sensing an opening, Jason nodded solemnly.
"Yes," he told him. "Sisters come with a lot of rules." Seeing the look of utmost horror on Tim's face, Jason smirked inwardly. Why hadn't they just used that angle from the beginning? "But with brothers, you just do whatever you want."
"You still want a sister, Tim?" Dick asked.
"NO!" Tim shouted, jumping up. "I don't!"
"What's going on?" Bruce's voice came from the doorway and Tim zipped over in an instant, grabbing his father and hanging on for dear life.
"Dad!" He shouted. "Dad, you can't get a sister! You can't! They come with rules and brothers don't! You can't get a sister!" Bruce looked over his near-hysterical son at the looks of wide-eyed innocence sitting on the couch.
"What did you two tell him?"