Tim stared. He knew there was a logical conclusion to the sum of everything he was seeing on that rooftop, but the options his brain was coming up with made absolutely no sense.
And the enraged look Damian was giving him made it even harder to think. It wasn't exactly the rage that was the issue, he'd been getting murderous looks from the kid for as long as he could remember, but that edge of pure panic that shone underneath it all… That was new and unnerving.
"You're hurt." Tim said with no inflection, feeling particularly dumb "I hurt you? How could I possibly hurt you?"
It should be obvious, shouldn't it? He had all the clues right there, but then Damian tried to stand on wobbly legs and the answer slipped his mind. "God, Robin, what did I do?" Tim stepped close, stretching a helpful hand to steady Damian but never made it even close, Damian jumped back and barred his teeth.
"Don't you dare." Damian tried to growl, it came out slightly desperate "Don't. You. Dare. Touch me."
The kid could barely stand and still managed to drag himself away from Tim.
"I know you hate me, Damian…" he whispered the name, but it didn't keep the boy from tensing "But I can help you. Let me help you."
What did I do?
"You've helped me enough, Drake." the kid struggled with numb wrists and boneless legs, not seeming to care that he leaving blood smears all over the place even though, there was no apparent wound other than the one on his cheek.
"I gonna step closer, ok?" Tim said in the calmest voice he could process "I'm stepping closer to check where is all that blood coming from, then I'll step back and you can tell me what just happen and why were you half naked."
Damian barely acknowledged him, the only proof he'd heard Tim at all were his fastening movements to climb to the ledge of the building, his foot slipped – Damian never slipped – and his chin hit the concrete hard, Tim couldn't even imagine how much that must've hurt, but Damian only bared his teeth again "You've helped me plenty, Drake." and managed to stand on the ledge.
Damian's grappling gun was broken on the floor right next to Tim's feet, of that Tim was certain if nothing else, so he just jumped to stop Damian from doing something stupid.
Which was probably the stupidest thing he could've done.
No matter if Damian was seriously injured, kid was still the son of the Bat and, lightning fast, he struck a foot across Tim's face. The next second he was gone.
Tim stared at the blood from his mouth coloring his fingertips, stared at the ground – more blood, not his. There was only one logical conclusion as to what just happened, but it didn't make any sense.
Dick was frantic. The radio silence from Damian was driving him insane. It should've been simple, picking up Tim and heading back, but when was anything ever simple?
Especially with those two involved.
They had come to some sort of truce, even if Damian never really forgave the Hit List thing, he'd been somewhat civil towards Tim, allegedly because 'nature would handle Drake soon enough'. Which made Dick snicker, what could he say? His aggressive-aggressive assassin boy was growing into a passive-aggressive asshole, just like the rest of the family.
But now, neither of his two passive aggressive asshole little brothers were answering him, and he was about to pull the cowl back on and simply look, check every single place, every crevice of Gotham he could think of until he found them, bite their heads off to later watch, amused as they tried to pin the blame on the other.
Then Tim walked in.
Wild eyes, busted lip, clothes stained and Dick's stomach dropped.
"Timmy?" he called and Tim jumped "What happened?"
"You mean Damian didn't tell you?"
"Damian's not here."
"Where is he?"
Dick frowned. "I was about to ask you the same thing. What the hell happened out there, Tim? Did you see him?"
"He got hurt."
"I woke up and he was hurt and…" Tim continued as if Dick's words were completely lost on him.
"You woke up?" Dick asked, trying to connect eyes with his brother, but Timmy was lost in his own head.
"He said I did it. That I hurt him. How could I even hurt him? He's the one who hurts people."
"What did you do?"
"He was lying, right? He had to be. But… He was hurt, I saw it."
"Tim. What did you do?"
"He ran away. And he never runs away. He stays and tries to make me feel miserable for existing, he looked so scared."
"I don't know!" Tim shouted, his voice bouncing from the walls "I- I hurt him, Dick. I don't know what I did, but I hurt him. Bad."
Jason kinda giggled to himself, then startled at the sound.
The thought of his head hitting the floor repeatedly shouldn't be funny, but it totally is. He might be concussed. Still funny, though.
He had the phantom feeling of the guys hand around the back of him neck, banging his head on the curb, making different colors explode in front of his eyes every single time. If it wasn't for the helmet, well… Jason just giggled some more, leaning on the alley wall.
A noise made him sober up, there was someone there in the dark with him, and even if his scumbag brain found that just a little too hilarious to be healthy, Jason could appreciate the danger.
The noise stilled as he stepped forward and a little shape tried to fuse with the shadows.
"Robin?" Jason called and got no answer, so he simply stepped closer.
The sight that greeted him made him think of what Mogli would look like if he was actually raised by wolves.
Not that he thought a lot about Mogli. Or any other Disney movie for that matter, but right now, the demon brat looked like… Well… demonic.
Coiling against the furthest wall, clothes soiled with blood and God knows what else, shoulder bended awkwardly, probably dislocated, teeth bared like the feral child that he was.
Totally raised by wolves.
"Well, don't you look like shit. What happened? Family reunion?" faced with silence again, Jason felt compelled to add "You know, with the wolves."
That actually got a reaction out of Damian, a minimal one, sure, barely a twitch in his brow, just enough for Jason to know that the kid was listening and to remember that the whole Mogli conclusion only happened in his head.
He stepped closer and Damian tensed, ready to spring into action, probably planning to pounce on Jason and eat his face or something.
There was more blood pooling on the floor next to Damian's legs. Not much, but enough to prove he was hurt.
"You're bleeding." Jason stated leaning towards the kid and actually heard him growl low in the throat, like a fucking cornered animal "Wow, down boy! Geez, kid, somebody fucked you up pretty nicely huh?"
It was just a taunt, something to break the silence, barely even that, Jason just wasn't the kind of guy to shut up. Hell, he's said worse about and to the kid, in comparison this one was kind of lame now that he thought about it, but little Robin here seemed of a different opinion.
First Damian scooted back, with a hitch of breath that sounded a lot like a sob, then his entire faced contorted into an animalistic rage, and his fingers clawed the ground as he shook and whispered "No."
Jason blinked "What?"
"NO." this time, Damian roared "You won't do that. No one will ever do that to me again! I will KILL you before you even touch me! I will kill you!"
"Wow, kid!" Jason lifted appeasing hands, caught between trying to lean forward and step back at the same time. What the hell did he just say to make the kid act like that?
Damian movements would be the ones of a caged beast, if they weren't so broken, so painful to watch, he was almost pacing looking frantically for a way out, around Jason and out of the alley. It was just sad really.
"Hey kid." Jason tried again, mindful of not letting the kid get through him and to the street "Kid. Hey, Robin. Robin? Damian." that one got the attention he wanted "I'm gonna call Batman, ok? I'm not getting any closer, I'll just stay here, where you can see me, and I'm gonna call him." That seemed to calm the kid, at least he stopped dragging that dislocated shoulder back and forth and deflated just a little "I'm sure he or Red Robin can pick you up."
The thing about Jason not knowing when to just stop talking? Yeah. It happened again.
Even if Jason had no clue – again – what exactly he had said to make Damian react like that, he felt mildly guilty. As guilty as anyone with a concussion and the felling that his tongue was too big for his mouth could really feel.
But the point is, as soon as Jason's mouth and too big a tongue finished that last little sentence, Damian's head shot up and he did that roaring thing again "NO." it would've worked perfectly if it wasn't for the hitched breath/sob breaking his voice at the end.
And then the kid was somehow sprinting past Jason and freaking vanishing before Jason's scrambled brain could process.
Well, that sucked.
So Jason decided to take it out on the one person that left the kid on his own on the first place.
"The Red Hood wants to talk to you" Oracle's voice filtered through the comm, but it took a second for Dick to understand the words.
"He says it's about Robin."
"Put him through."
"Who the hell was out there tonight?" was Jason's opening line.
"Who wasn't?" Dick answered wirily "Look, Jason-"
"No, you look, Dick. I know last time we met things were… messy."
"Which time? When you stabbed Tim, shot Damian and tried to kill me? Or when you decided I wasn't a good enough Batman and decided to just kill everyone and make it into a reality show? I don't think 'messy' is the appropriate word."
"I have issues, obviously. I overreact. And quite frankly, fuck you. This isn't about me or whatever the hell goes through my problematic head, I just met up with your Robin and if you think I'm messed up, wait 'till you see him."
"You've got him?" he nearly missed his landing, the relief making him light headed, out of all the unstable freaks out there, Jason surely was the best option. Especially when he sounded so… normal "Robin's with you?"
"No, he bailed. Whatever happened, it left him edgy."
"You let him go?!"
"Yes, Dick. He asked so nicely, I just had to. Kid's out of his mind, you asshole! He freaked when I said I'd call you to get you or the Replacement to pick him up."
Dick's heart sank. "Did he say anything? 'Bout what happened?"
"No. Look, I'm way passed my word quota for the day, my head hurts from a repeated date with the curb and I just spent a very tense few minutes thinking my face was gonna get eaten. I don't know what happened, I'm not even sure I wanna know, but I had to tell you that I saw him. And I just did. So stop talking to me and go find him, bring him home."
"For the love of- Go find him, Dick! Jesus. And set his shoulder, it was freaking me out."
"Where was he?"
Tim's need to remember was just as strong as the fear of what would he find if he did.
The truth was, he knew exactly what had happened. How could he not? He got dosed with sex pollen, tuned out, and when he got back from the lust drug induced haze, he found his kid brother half naked, tied up, shying away from him.
Tim knew what happened. He just couldn't say it.
A/N.: Hey! This is a tag to MatureContent's Mistake challenge, so it won't make a lick of sense if you don't read that one first.
I apologize for any OCC-ness, but it'll probably get better, maybe not... We'll see, I guess.
Hope everyone enjoys my take on this! If there's any confusion about it, tell me and I'll post the original challenge as a first chapter, ok?
And sorry 'bout my depiction of Tim, we're not really on speaking terms, so the mais focus will probably on everyone else.
Tell me what you guys think!