BloodTies.

About a month after Dick finally told them his name, saying that he trusted them and if Batman was going to throw a flip, then he was going to do so and he'd deal with that, he had to to ask for leave of the team for two, maybe three weeks: there's a situation at Gotham were he's required 24/7.

Of course Red Tornado says it's okay, and the only thing Kaldur says is that he should call them if he needs help. Contrary to the usual Dick, this time he just nods, looking tired and sad and not, actually, thirteen but older, the way he sometimes looks when they've to deal with things that, Dick and Kaldur think are too much for M'gann and Superboy (not that they say that out loud, of course, overprotective older brother types that they are).

As the three week mark approaches and there's a total radio silence from both Batman and Dick, the whole team anxious and just about to tell Red Tornado that they were going to Gotham wether the League wanted or not, finally, Dick calls.

"Sorry, guys, things have been a bit hectic here," he says as a way of a hello, eyes very blue. It's still a bit weird to be able to see his whole face without the glasses.

"What's going on, Dick?" Kaldur asks, frowning.

Robin robs his neck, glancing behind him, his expression thoughtful.

"Okay, think you can come? Gotham's Memorial Park, 12:00 pm or so. I'll explain there."

"We'll be there."

Then he's logging off, and Kaldur doesn't look at the rest of the team, wondering if they are sharing the same fear as them.

That whatever it is that's bothering Dick, means that he will leave the team.

**

Gotham is a different city by day than by night. Not that it's any less dangerous, but when they arrive to the park there are children playing and it is as if the usual cloud of distrust and darkness that covers Metropolis' twin sister is lifted.

The five of them glance around, trying to find Dick, wondering what could've been bad enough for this situation.

"Dick!" Wally calls, running - not as fast as he can, of course - towards where their comrade is on the ground, kneeling besides a small kid.

Dick looks up and grins at them, but his hand remains on the kid's head as he stands up.

"Hey guys," he looks down towards the small boy. Kaldur is bad at guessing human children's age but this child, he thinks, can't be older than five, his face still round, huge blue eyes and messy dark hair. The boy clings to Dick's leg and Dick's face is softer than he has ever seen it. "Guys, allow me to introduce you. This is my baby brother, Tim. Tim, these are my best friends."

**

"It's a bit of a mess," Dick says. "His parents were killed on one of our missions and Bruce was already sort of is his legal guardian since he knew his parents. He was supposed to have more family but they seemed to have disappeared so the poor kid's stuck with us."

Kaldur and Artemis nod as they look towards M'gann and Wally playing with Tim, or where they're trying to. The boy, however, seems to keep following Superboy, who doesn't seem to know how to react towards that.

"Are you leaving the team, then?" Artemis asks.

Dick snorts. "As if! You're no getting rid of me, no way."

But then he sighs, the same older-than-he-looks look on his face again. "He's just been having nightmares and he has kinda gotten attached to me. It's already better now, before he wouldn't leave my side more than two steps. And he's starting school again next week so that should help."

The three of them grin when Wally tries to make Tim play with him and the boy sticks his tongue out, then running towards Superboy, almost tripping, and Superboy's instinct react before him as he moves to stop that from happening, and then he ends up with an armful of happy, clingy toddler.

"I think you've been replaced, Dick," Artemis says with a half grin.

"Well, children like other children," Dick says, grinning.

Kaldur shakes his head, also amused, a hand on Dick's shoulder. "We'll help."

"... yeah, I know. Thanks."