First off, thank you all so much for the reviews. They honestly mean the world to me. Thank you so much!
Now, I just wanted to clear some things up on his one, because how I'm characterizing Tim is a wee-bit more preboot than the others. I, honestly, don't follow the New 52 Teen Titans that closely, so I'm not 100% what's going on there. I do know that Tim was drugged during his time with Joker during "Death of a Family," thought I don't know the exact fallout. Basically, I touch on it a bit, but if you need more clarification, let me know and I'll definitely get more into it next chapter.
Also, I'm keeping Tim's origin story as it was in the preboot universe. Meaning that Tim's parents are both deceased, he's been adopted by Bruce but emancipated during Bruce's year away, and he was the only one thinking Bruce was alive. I tried to explain things clearly, but again, if I did a crappy job of that (which is a real possibility), just let me know.
Again, I own no one. DC does though. :)
I may never know how it feels to stand beside you
Or take your hand when I need some direction
And I may never know what it's like to see you smile back at me
Or know you'd be proud of me
- "From Underneath" Hawk Nelson
The flight to New York City was filled with a tense, awkward silence. The two barely looked at one the entire flight, Batman flying the plane toward the new Teen Titan's base. No words had been spoken since Dick had boarded the plane, fuming because Tim had not answered the call neither from Dick's cell nor the Batcave phone. Before they had taken off, he had muttered something under his breath about how he should have called on his phone first, because Tim probably had a heart attack when he saw the Batcave caller ID and assumed Bruce was actually trying to get a hold of him.
Mercifully, the flight to New York wasn't that far and they were finally at the new base of the Teen Titans, a very large yacht, which caused Dick to raise an eyebrow. He hadn't known Tim had purchased this. He cast a glance sideways to Bruce, but the Batman was already out of the plane, walking towards the door connecting to the helipad. Dick quickly followed.
The door opened before either hero could reach it, and Timothy Drake stepped out, full Red Robin persona.
"What's the matter? Did something happen to Alfred?"
"No, Tim. Nothing is the matter with Alfred." The Dark Knight responded, quickly.
"Then why are you here? You'd only be here if something was wrong." Red Robin explained, before casting a suspicious eye around the boat.
"Where's Jason? Is he…"
"That's why we're here." Batman's explanation cause the younger hero to suck in a loud breath, eyes growing wide behind the domino mask he now wore.
"He's not dead." Nightwing comforted, pushing past his mentor with an eye roll at the man's lack of tact. "But he is in trouble."
Tim studied them both closely, then sighed, opening the door to the base and motioning them inside.
Tim leaned back in his chair after Dick and Bruce had explained what Jason had done and what had led him to such drastic measures. Their masks lay on the table in front of them. Tim hummed to himself. "That explains why he hasn't called in a while. It's normally once a week. Just figured he'd got busy."
He then turned to his company, asking evenly. "So, you guys are going after him?" He received nods from the other two, causing him to arch an eyebrow. "Why?"
"Why? Cause it's Jason. He's family!" Dick sputtered out.
Tim fixed his eyes on Bruce, before looking at the ground. "I just, didn't think Bruce would take time to save any of us."
Bruce remained silent as Dick turned his gaze from one to the other numerous times, before he saw the look Tim was wearing. At first, he thought it was one of anger, but after looking closer, Dick saw the heartache the teen was trying to mask.
"No." Dick exasperated, throwing his head back against the chair, before lazily spinning it once, a groan escaping his lips. "What did you do to Tim?"
Bruce, knowing that not answering would only delay the inevitable and Jason needed him now, said. "I visited Frankenstein to try to figure out how he stayed alive."
"To bring back Damian?" Dick gaped. "You were going to play horror movie magic on Damian?"
"I was going to do whatever I had to do to bring my ten-year-old son back." Bruce snapped.
"And that's exactly why we're here in the first place, having to go save Jason!" The former acrobat shot back. "Now, what does this have to do with Tim?"
"Alfred figured out what I was doing. Tim was the only one fit to come after me. We exchanged words."
"What did you say to him?" Dick demanded, before turning to Tim. "What did he say to you?"
"He told me the only one who "deserved" better was Damian because he's the only one who trusted him. Then stormed out and we haven't spoken since." Tim explained indifferently.
Dick turned and glared at his mentor. "You said that! To Tim of all people! The one who…"
"Dick, it's -."
"Don't you dare say it's fine, Tim. After everything you've done for him. The audacity of him to say -."
"Please don't start playing the big brother card now, Dick."
Dick's mouth moved wordless, his eyes wide and focused on Tim, before he finally managed to sputter out, "What?"
"Dick, you haven't spared me a second glance since you took the pixie boots away from me." Tim didn't sound angry, he sounded tired. "I told you Bruce was back, and you thought I was crazy. Then he came back and I thought since you didn't have a ward anymore, you'd have time for me again. But you don't call, you don't text. You used to hug me every time you saw me."
Dick began to move in protest but Tim held his hand up, shaking his head.
"That wasn't an invitation to come hug me, Dick. I'm not asking you to change your priorities. I'm no longer one of them and that's fine. I'm just saying you shouldn't cast stones at Bruce. He isn't the only one who hasn't called to check in on me."
"And it's not like I except him to, either. " Tim explained with a shrug. "It's not like he's my Dad."
Bruce looked up at this, eyes marginally wider than usual. "Tim, I…"
"It's okay. I'm emancipated now. I thought maybe you'd want to change that when you came back from…time or the dead…and be my Dad again. But you guys both had Damian. And that's fine."
He gave a sad little smile, before an alarm on his utility belt started beeping softly. He sighed, reaching into the belt and pulling out a small syringe filled with a pale blue liquid. He took off his left glove and after tapping the side of the tube a few times, injected it into his naked hand, hissing quietly as the needle entered his vein.
"What's that?" Dick asked, a note of concern lacing his question.
"Oh, this? It's to counteract the "Ha" venom I got hit with back when Joker abducted Jason and me."
"You what?" Bruce asked loudly, chair scooting back as if he planned to jump out of it, but thought better of it after a moment.
"It's okay. We didn't catch it until about a week ago. These guys don't know me well enough to tell that I was acting off, but we were able to find an antidote for the new strain. I've been meaning to forward it to Alfred, but we only just got it figured out a few days ago. The injections every twelve hours help keep the aftereffects at bay."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Bruce asked. "I could have helped you. You should be at home, resting."
"I figured you had more important things on your mind. Besides, this is home. Or it's as close as I've got." Tim shrugged. "It's fine. It's really fine."
He stood up. "I've got to go grab some more of the medicine out of my room and then we can get going." He started to move towards the exit, but Dick's hand shot out, grabbing his wrist and halting him. He met Tim's eye with a haunted, heartbroken look.
"Timmy…" His voice was strained, entreating.
"Dick, really, it's fine."
Dick closed his eyes, his voice taking on a hint of pleading. "Please stop saying that." His finally looked at Tim. "This isn't fine. Nothing about this is fine. I…you were attacked by Joker and we didn't know. I didn't know. You had to deal with it alone."
"It is what it is. Besides, I' m used to alone." Tim gave a small smile, devoid of anger or malice, just full of resignation. "I'll meet you guys at the plane."
With that, Tim wiggled his arm free and left the room, as the two eldest heroes looked on, Bruce with a blank expression while Dick's was full of anguish.
As the door shut, Dick buried his face in his hands, sitting there for a moment before he shot up and started pacing. "Stupid, stupid, stupid."
"Dick?" Bruce questioned.
"I always promised I wouldn't do this. That I wouldn't push people away like you. That I would bridge the gap between our family and the rest of the heroes. But what did I do? I cut Tim, Tim of all people out. After everything he's been through, all the people he's lost…" He chuckled humorlessly. "I pulled a you." He shook his head at himself. "I haven't even talked to him since Damian…"
"Besides our fight up north, neither have I."
"Speaking of, how dare you say that to Tim? You do realize he is the only one in the entire superhero community who actually thought you would come back. You would have never made it back, never gotten to know Damian, never gotten to reconcile with Jason had it not been for Tim. If any of us deserved the truth, it was Tim."
Bruce looked away before sighing. "I know."
"And you haven't even talked to him about his being emancipated? Do you think that makes him feel wanted? He loses his spot as partner and son in one go?"
"Dick," Bruce sounded exasperated. "I know."
Dick shook his head and ran an agitated hand through his hair. "We're fixing this." He motioned between himself and Bruce. "We are fixing all of this. Everything. Tim. Jason. You and me." He picked up his mask and studied it intently. "I'm tired of not having a family." He muttered, and not for the first time that night, walked away from Batman.
Well, that's the new chapter. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Anyway, please review and let me know what you think so I can write the best story possible. Thanks guys!