…I could totally ship Ibn and Tim. Like, for serious, I think I’m halfway there already.
Tim’s letter to his father, from Batman 480.
The context is that Jack Drake has awoken from his coma, and tells Tim that he wants to make it up to him for not being the father he should have been.
One day I want to know what the hell the plan for Jack Drake was. He zig-zags between:
A. Being a total asshole (My son’s having trouble in school? I know, I’ll threaten to send him to boarding school in the place where his mom died!)
B. Behavior that’s actually good parenting and behavior that would be good parenting if it wasn’t in the context of him not parenting Tim for the first 13 years of his life (teaching him to drive, concern over his activities)
C. Acting in ways that forced Tim to take on a pseudo-parental role towards him, (after the company went bankrupt for one)
D. Moments of genuine selfless devotion and sacrifice (Captain Boomerang, enough said)
Did they even have a plan for Jack? Any actually defined lists or guidelines of ‘Jack is like X, his relationship with Tim is Y’? It’s one of the major relationships in Tim’s title, for crying out loud, you’d think they’d have some actual oversight or guidelines for this stuff.
What scans in particular do you find Tim averse to touch? I’m curious now. :)
It’s more things which I would do when I didn’t want skin-on-skin contact, which imply things to me that the writers probably didn’t intend. Wearing long sleeves/covering clothes, preference for hobbies that need periods of solitude, thrill-seeking, need for control over his space and time, (although that really only becomes a major thing towards the end of his series) stuff like that.
It’s not that my version of Tim is always touch-averse. He’s very tactile with people he likes, and when in familiar environments, he’s less likely to have ‘don’t touch me’ moments. But sometimes he just really doesn’t want to be touched, or to be touched in certain ways, and then out come the signals to people to please let him have his space.
Imagine Tim locking up all of Ra’s files and making so the only way to unlock them is to get a high score on Flappy Bird.
Tim is exactly this kind of troll. I may have to write this.
Mihyar starts crying, and Tim groaned. “He’s never going to sleep through the night, is he?” Tim asked, rolling over to tuck her face into Ra’s neck.
"Rest, Timothy. I’ll get him," Ra’s said, pressing a kiss to Tim’s forehead and sliding out of bed. Tim curled up in the warm spot Ra’s had left, and closed her eyes. Mihyar had been difficult today, and Tim just wanted to sleep until the lead was gone from her bones.
She was awakened, rudely, by Samarah shaking her. “We’re under attack. We need to move!” Samarah hissed. Tim sat up, adrenaline shooting through her veins.
"My son?" Tim asked urgently.
"Safe, with Ra’s. Now come on, move!”
Tim rose to her feet, the long hem of her nightgown caught in one hand to keep it from tripping her. She nodded. “Let’s go.”
Hand in hand with her guard, Timothy fled. Out of her and Ra’s bedroom, past Mihyar’s nursery, past the entrance to the Salle. The walls shook, plaster dust dislodging and showering into their hair. Samarah tugged her into a niche in the wall, fumbling at her belt for a ring of keys. She pulled off two, and pressed them into Tim’s hands.
"If we get separated, this one will let you into the garage in sub-basement two, and this one will start any of the black vehicles. Go for the armored car, you understand?" Samarah asked, staring at Tim intently. Tim nodded again.
"Sub-basement two, black armored car," she repeated back, closing her fist around the keys. Samarah smiled grimly, and passed Tim a sheathed dagger, nearly the length of Tim’s forearm.
"And if anyone tries to grab you, remember – gut wounds aren’t always fatal, but they’re always distracting, mistress." Samarah’s eyes gleamed with hard light, and for the first time in months, Tim remembered that her friend and guard was also a trained killer.
They walls shook with the sound of explosions. They exchanged glances, and started running again.
“‘Marah! The balcony!” Tim hissed. Samarah reversed direction immediately, Tim following. Down through a side corridor, out into the private sitting room. Glass shattered as men – and women – swung in through the windows. Samarah shoved Tim behind herself immediately.
"Run!" She ordered. Tim ran, ducking grasping hands and attempts to wound. Hands caught in her hair, and Tim is done playing. She nerve-struck the offending wrist, twisting free.
"Back. Off!" She snarled, hair falling in disarray around her face.
Samarah laughed like a madwoman. “Time to go, mistress!” They ran once more, out of the sitting room, through the hallway, and down to the stairwell. Samarah yanked the door shut behind her, and pulled a handgun from the exposed underside of the stairs.
"I’ll stall them. Get out of here," Samarah told her, bringing the gun up to point at the door. Tim nodded, and started hurrying down the stairs. Second floor, first floor, ground floor, sub-basement one, sub-basement two… She shoved the first key into the lock, her hands shaking. It took her three tries to unlock the door, and she shoved it open, dashing out into the garage with the sound of pound feet behind her.
"Tim!" Someone shouted. Tim spun, eyes fixing on her pursuers. There was…her mind stalled. There was a man…in a batsuit. Her heart seized.
"Dad?" Tim whispered uncertainly, hesitating. A deer frozen in the path of an oncoming car. Samarah said…but it was Bruce…what about Mihyar? The last thought spurred her on. Her son. She had to get back to her son. She turned and fled, dagger clutched tight in one hand, keys in the other.
Real is a thing that happens to you. It doesn’t happen all at once. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
Tim isn’t real, and never will be. As Damian often reminds him.
Tim reads over the thin slip of paper one more time - ‘Father doesn’t need a tin soldier, Drake.’ - before folding it in half, and half again, and tossing it into the fire in front of him. Halfway through its journey, it was snatched from the air by a familiar hand.
"Your grandson has gotten adept at psychological warfare," he says without looking up. "If I still felt emotions I imagine that would have been quite damaging."
There is the sound of paper rustling, and then Ra’s speaks. “This is characteristic of the communications between you two?”
"For the past year," Tim agrees as Ra’s seats himself beside Tim. He had not expected Ra’s to be here tonight, but Tim has grown accustomed to Ra’s presence at unexpected moments, these last six months. Since the day he chose survival over sanity. He yields easily to the press of Ra’s’ hand on his shoulder. The slide of Ra’s’ fingers though his hair quiets a bit of the ever present anxiety buzzing under his skin. Tim knows why – oxytocin released upon skin to skin contact, serotonin and dopamine levels rising because of positive human interactions, the great chemical machine of his brain churning out hormones and neurotransmitters, all aimed at keeping his clumsy mammalian consciousness engaged in behavior that keeps him alive.
"This is not characteristic behavior for Damian," Ra’s says. Tim can hear his frown.
He shrugs. “People change.” Ra’s begins to speak, then laughs.
"I was about to say that people do not change to this extent." Ra’s shakes his head. "I forget whose company I am keeping."
Tim hums, neither agreement or contradiction, and closes his eyes.
Tim courts infection with every ripped stitch and poorly bandaged wound. It’s a peculiar form of self-destruction, unique to the suicidal urban vigilante, Tim thinks, laughing at himself. At some point or another, the bitter comedy of the situation overcame the pain, and he understands the Joker all too well now.
It’s meaningless, all this suffering. The universe does not notice the petty tragedies of humanity, and there is no grace to be found. Pain comes because it comes, no more than that. That’s the joke. There’s no reason behind pain. There’s no justification. Suffering happens for the sake of suffering, and life is a great game aimed at denying that fundamental truth.
Tim doesn’t care for the Joker’s response. He’s far too tired to play at humor, and too sick of blood to kill. It’s easier to turn inwards, slice at the root of the problem. It’s not the rote mechanics of physical pain that hurts, in the end. It’s the emotional agony that accompanies it.
Any shield can be cracked, any weapon broken. But a target that is not there cannot be struck. Feel nothing, and you cannot be hurt.
I’m really torn on preboot Damian and Tim. Like, on one hand, I want them to be cute bickering siblings, but on the other, I want them to never be able to manage more than icy politeness with each other, and have it just be this gigantic, painful, awkward thing that never gets better where neither of them want to be close, both of them feel that any chance of a familial relationship has been over for years, and they just flat-out don’t trust or like each other.
Massive amounts of projection going on here, but sometimes people do things that mean you can’t trust them again, even if it seems like they’ve changed. Sometimes you’re related to those people. You’re not obligated to have a good relationship with someone just because of family ties. Even if other people find that distressing. Even if you’re being told by everyone around you that you should forgive and forget.
Same verse as this. Still Heart’s fault. Still turning into a fluffy antidote to vice verse. Oops.
“What the fuck, Tim?” Janet did not mean to ask that. She does not swear around her twelve-year-old son. She has better self-control than that. And more importantly, it means she can lord it over Slade, whose daughter has the vocabulary of a well-traveled soldier, all learned from him.
At least Tim has the decency to look sheepish. Rose is entirely unrepentant, and she makes a mental note to inform Slade he owes her multiple favors for this. Baby sitting is one thing, dealing with both of the daughter al Ghul’s largely-nonverbal sons is quite another.
“We got Talia’s permission?” her son offers, and bites his lip. “Actually, she kind of suggested it, I think she’s got something going on with Ra’s. Against Ra’s, not with him, I mean, she’s really not happy with him -”
“Breathe, boyo,” Janet orders. She sighs, and picks up the crying heir to the al Ghul empire. Toddlers, ugh. Even her son’s toddler years hadn’t been pleasant. At least the other boy isn’t noisy.
“It’s not like it’s against the rules, anyway,” Rose said with a pout that was probably supposed to be a scowl. “I checked the list you left.”
Janet raises an eyebrow. “Are you suggesting, Rose Wilson, that I need to specifically tell you that acquiring other human beings without notifying me is not allowed? Do I also need to tell you not to set yourself on fire?”
Rose blushes a dull red and mutters a negative under her breath. Tim squirms in his seat beside the sleeping teenager – what was his name again? Jay – something. James, maybe. Baby al Ghul cries and Janet nearly drops him before awkwardly adjusting her hold.
“You’re both grounded until Rose’s father comes back from his job, and then we’ll discuss your real punishment. In the meantime…” Janet pinches the bridge of her nose with her free hand. “We’re going to need a crib.”
“And that is why we now have joint custody of Talia’s spawn. Congratulations. You get the toddler, I’m not doing that again.” Janet shoves the diaper bag at Slade with undignified glee. Slade actually takes it, and the small part of Janet which was still twelve crowed that he’d touched it last, now it was his job.
Slade stares at her like she’s sprouted a second head, and then turns to glare at his daughter. “Rose, didn’t I fucking tell you to stay away from that family?”
Rose shrugs. “Tim wasn’t, and I was just following him.”
“Not actually a loophole, baby-Wilson,” Janet says, not even turning to look at the girl. “Try harder.”
In case anyone was in any doubt hawkstout is a life ruiner. A GLORIOUS, WONDERFUL LIFE RUINER ;A; So have a tiny ficlet of a ficlet starring creepy Timmy while this AU devours what’s left of my life with Hawk’s help:
OH MY GOD
Oh my god the safety scissors thAT’S SO CUTE oh lorddddd. WEH TIM WEHHHH oh my god I love this weh!!!! BBYSSS
Safety scissors omg. Cute little owl Timmy I’m gonna die.
Pairing: (Future) Jason/Roy/Tim (Gen., atm.)
Snippet: “Behave.” Dad mutters, “I’m talking to al Ghul.”
Best. Verse. Ever. Poor Slade, this probably isn’t what he signed up for.
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