AN-So this chapter is mostly flash blacks signified by Italics WARNING- angst, mentions of suicidal thoughts.. stuff like that...
Dick gave a side ways glance to his little brother. The teen had barely uttered a word to him since Dick had walked in on him reading the old files. He'd hid away from both Bruce and himself, even more than normal, oft not coming down from his room save for school and for patrol. And during such times the little bird was always cold, calculating. It felt so very much like he'd lost another little brother.. the last bit of family he was clinging so desperately to..
"So What do we do next? Or is that some big secret too?" Came blues voice, clearly calling out to Tim as he was facing him, his face anything but neutral. He wore a glower, an accusing expression.
"What's that supposed to mean?" The whites of his domino narrowed with his eyes at his teammates, most of who were giving glowering sidelong glances of their own in his direction or completely avoiding his direction all together.
"Well, it seems you and Nightwing are just as good at the secrets thing as Batman ever was."
Tims face contorted into confusion, hurt and anger as he turned to face them more directly.
"If she hadn't come to blow up our base.. we never would have known!" He accused. "To find out our teammate is not only back from the dead but fighting AGAINST us?" His voice raised with each word as he threw his hands out for emphasis, the rest of his teammates sitting in an uncomfortable sillence.
"I just-" Tim started in defense.
"But you knew." Bart interrupted. He didn't sound like Bart. Even in the more dire situations, dark areas, the speedster had always had a way of keeping up not only his own but the spirits of others as well. Here he sounded..defeated, dead. "You accuse the others of not telling you, but you didn't tell us." Here he turned with dark, narrowed eyes at the bird. "You're not the only one who cared about her! You're not the only one suffering!"
"Bart!" Dick had barked out at the scathing accusation. Miss M moved forward, a twist of concern and a look as though she agreed with Bart silently blatant on her face. Dick opened his mouth to scold the young speedster and found himself interrupted by Tim.
The teen Robin had pushed himself up right, his back straight and rigid. "NONE of you" He began, emphasizing it by looking each in the eye. "Could have loved her more than me!" With this he stormed from the room.
Dick had turned back to his teammates. M'gann placed a hand gently on Garfield's shoulder, and though the boy did not flinch away from her, it was clear he was far from comforted by her. The teens that WOULD look in his direction were glaring defiantly. In a last effort he turned to Conner. The youthful clone adverted his eyes, unable to look at his nearly lifelong friend.
"Tim.." Dick whispered out against the wind whipping at his face at this high altitude. He leaned in slightly to be heard.
"No names Nightwing." was his cold answer, never once did Tim take his eyes away from the high powered binoculars.
"listen, we need to talk about this, little brother."
"They're on the move!" Robin said quickly as their targets moved from their current locations. The binoculars were folded, placed in his utility belt and a grapple gun was pulled out in it's place. Without waiting for Nigthwing he launched his line, following after their target.
Tim ignored the first soft knock at his door. He still said nothing when, after a moment, there came a second, followed softly by a gentle voice. Instead he continued to stare straight forward to the wall
"Tim, It's Barbara. Can we talk?" No response, yet after several long moments the door slid open softly and in stepped the tall red haired woman in civilian garb, her hair pulled into a high ponytail, jeans well worn and sweatshirt just on the comfortable side of baggy. He gave her a quick once over before turning back to his wall. "Do you have a minute?" She asked gently.
"Don;t think that really makes a difference." He answered without emotion.
"You'll feel better.." She offered, sitting on the bed next to him. She placed a soothing hand on his shoulder. She could not cover the surprise or hurt when he glared at her hand before turning those angry eyes on her.
"You knew." He said simply.
Barbara swallowed thickly. "I knew her." She tried to chase the emotion from her voice. "She trained me.. back before Bruce took me in" She paused, trying to get the teen to look her in the face, leaning forwards and over to look into his though he purposely tried to avoid her. "We weren't trying to hurt any of you with this secret." She said softly. "It's not as black and white as we'd hoped. There's a lot of differences and there's.. well there's a lot of promises we made.." Barbara took Tims chin in between her fingers, turning him to look her in the eyes. "Something you need to know, is that all she wanted, was for you to have the happiest life you could..She tried to make sure of it.. We all did.." She could see the cold breaking in Tims eyes. Knowing he'd look at her, she released his chin.
"She's alive." Was his answer.
Barbara nodded slowly. "Dick... informed me.."
"She was always..." Tim started. His eyes were burning. "She faked her death.. to get away.. All this time."
"It's okay to feel the way you do Tim.." Barbara said gently rubbing her hand across his back.
"All this time, I hated myself for not following her off the bridge.." Tim whispered out.
Barbaras hand froze at the revelation Tim had given. No, she couldn't have heard right.. he hadn't just said.."Tim." She called out a bit urgently, attempting to draw the boys eyes from where he'd turned towards the ground. "Tim look at me!" When she got him to look at her with a bit of a shake. "I don't know what's happened to her Tim, but I promise, we will find out and we WILL bring her home!"