Chapter 1: I will sit with you until you wake
“The doctors said you’ll be okay now.” Tim’s voice sounded oddly high and soft all at once in the empty room. Well empty apart from the teenager sleeping soundly in the hospital bed. “I know Mr. Wayne is feeling very guilty about what happened and that he had to leave you here instead of taking you home.”
Tim paused, reaching out a hand to smooth the cold white edge of the blankets, carefully not touching the body beneath them. Even though he really wanted to pic up the limp hand and let Jason know he wasn’t alone. Wouldn’t ever be alone as long as Tim was around to make sure.
“Scarecrow went back to Arkham and they’re going to give him stronger sedation.” Tim paused, well it wasn’t exactly happy news but it was important, and maybe it would let Jason sleep easier. “The break isn’t as bad as everyone was afraid off.”
Tim wouldn’t mention how he’d fallen down the rusty old fire escape, trying to get to the street after the stones collapsed on top of Jason, cutting open a huge gash along his arm. That wasn’t important, the wound was carefully hidden under his shirt and bandages no one would ever notice, and Tim really needed to think of something happy.
“Oh! I did hear them say Mr. Wayne will be able to take you home tonight, after you wake up of course, but it shan’t be too long.” And Tim would be long gone by the time Jason woke up and Mr. Wayne returned.
“And you did very well, all the children were saved, all thanks to you Jason.” Tim paused, his throat tight remember how scared he’d been, before softly patting the edge of the bed again. “Mr. Wayne was so scared I don’t think he’ll ever let you get into a situation where you can be hurt again.”
“Young Master are you lost?”
Tim’s heart stopped as he looked up to see the Alfred Pennyworth frowning as he stood in the hospital room doorway.
“Oh! N-no sir!” Tim jumped up, pressing against the wall wanting to escape so much, face bright scarlet. “I-i he just looked lonely! I wanted to keep him company for a bit I didn’t mean to cause any problems!”
Alfred calmly stepped into the room, both eyebrows raised,watching as Tim started slipping around him.
“You are most welcome to stay in that case young man.” Alfred sat down what looked to be a plate of cookies. “Are you waiting for someone else?”
“Yes sir!” Tim looked down at his feet. “I had better go check on them. I am very sorry.”
“No problem at all.” Alfred said kindly. “I’m sure if Master Jason had been awake he would have appreciated the company. Would you enjoy a cookie before you run off?”
“No sir. I really need to be on my way.” Tim scrunched up, not meeting Alfred’s eyes, and raced out of the hospital room. Heart thundering in his chest at being caught. What if Mr. Wayne, the Batman, had walked in?
Well…it had been worth it to make sure Jason was alright and to talk to him.
Chapter 2: You should never be alone I'm here
Tim slunk into the hospital room very quietly. One never knew when British Ninja Butlers were around waiting for the ambush. And Tim wasn’t going to get caught like the last time. Even if he’d been offered cookies.
Still the threat of being discovered by Mr. Pennyworth again was far outweighed by the fact both Dick and Jason were in the hospital after that explosion. Poor Mr. Wayne must be so sad. Tim was worried because he hadn’t overheard any Doctors yet. Hopefully that meant they would both be okay.
But someone had to come make sure that they weren’t left alone when they needed company and if that meant Tim sneaking in at 2 in the morning. Well he’d done worse.
But 2 am must not have been early enough to outsmart the British ninja. There was a small chair set between the two occupied beds along with a thermos and plate of cookies. Tim pouted but moved them aside and sat in the seat.
At least that meant that he wouldn’t have to worry too much. If Mr. Pennyworth had been here at least briefly before leaving than they should be okay.
“Hi Jason. Hi Dick.” Tim’s voice was quiet, had to be as it was after hours, and even then he wanted to wince at how loud he sounded to his ears.
“I haven’t heard any of the Doctors talking,” Tim paused hands twitching until he straightened Dick’s sheets. Dick’s sheets were always rumpled. “But I think you’re going to be okay. But Mr. Pennyworth was by and he wouldn’t have left unless he knew you would be alright.”
Tim paused, watching rabbit like as Jason mumbled something moving his hand across his chest, before calming down again. Just because Mr. Pennyworth didn’t seem to mind didn’t mean that Jason would be alright with Tim visiting.
“You should have seen Mr. Wayne’s face.” Tim started again, even softer, as he watched for movement. “He was quite angry when Superman showed up and rescued you both. I think he was afraid that he wouldn’t have been able to rescue you if Superman hadn’t been there.”
Dick moved on his bed rumpling the sheets again.
“He was very scared for you.” Tim commented hesitantly.
Dick made a pained sound, throwing off the hospital blankets, and rubbing at the massive bandage over his chest. More pained whimpers from a nightmare before he settled down again.
Tim got up and very slowly pulled the blankets back up over Dick’s chest. When Dick’s hand went back to gripping the blankets Tim slowly patted the cold hand.
“It’s okay Dick…” Tim looked for something to say that might make the wounded hero sleep easier. “Most everyone made it and they’re all in the hospital being treated. Jason’s in the bed next to you.”
Dick’s hand slowly loosened, face turning towards Tim, and wrapped around Tim’s tiny fingers. Tim blushed in the dimly lit room as Dick’s fingers tightened around his own.
“Oh.” Tim winced as he saw Dick’s face even out. “I’m sorry you’re having a nightmare…”
“If you wait just a moment I’ll make it better!” Tim promised, letting his fingers slip loose from Dick’s, quickly moving the chair and food set between the two beds, before going around to Jason’s bed.
All hospital beds were placed on wheels these days, it just made it easier, so Tim had no trouble moving Jason’s bed until it was pressed up against Dick’s. Stepping back, after setting the brake again, and watching as Dick’s non stop movement bumped Jason.
Jason managed a soft curse, before carefully rolling into Dick’s arms, both of them settling down. Tim watched happily for a few minutes before trying to smooth out the sheets again. Which was much harder now that the beds were pressed close along with the occupants. And Tim had a very short reach.
“There.” Tim smiled softly as he patted the edge of the bed. “No neither of you will be lonely.”
He glanced sadly at the cookies and thermos just waiting on the chair.
“But I should go in case Mr. Wayne has the chance to come. The cookies are most likely for when you both wake up. I hoe you feel better soon.” Tim paused in the doorway. “I’ll visit again if you both have to stay longer. Bye Dick. Bye Jason.”
Silence returned to the room as Tim quickly left. One never knew when British ninjas could show. So that could explain why Tim didn’t hear the rustling noise as one of the older men moved behind him.
“Hey… Someone there?”
Chapter 3: Alone or maybe not
Tim was ten when it was his turn to be alone in the hospital. Alright it was a day before his tenth birthday and he was sleeping off surgery. His parents were still out of the country but Mrs. Mac had taken him in after a week of being sick and it had turned out to be appendicitis. Nothing major just a routine operation and he could go home tomorrow.
But now Tim was all alone in his cold room.
It was really chilly for a hospital. One would think they wouldn’t have problems paying their heating bills. The blankets were also really thin. Tim couldn’t exactly move around to generate heat, the morphine was nice, but the pain still cut through his drugged haze if he moved wrong.
Tim closed his eyes again, hoping that Dick and Jason at least were alright he hadn’t been able to check on them in the past few days, then he wondered if he could get some flowers. Flowers would be nice. Tim liked flowers and the Doctors had said that he would be here for two more days at least. He deserved the flowers.
Tim whimpered as he tried to pull himself up along the bed. Morphine was bad for Tim’s coherency. Probably most people. What’s Mr. Wayne like if he gets morphine? Can Batman get high? Very important questions Tim decided, questions must be followed up on, after the morphine stopped messing with his head.
But now Tim was sitting with his thin, I really am tiny, legs dangling off the side of the bed as he breathed slowly. Maybe…Tim shook his head, thinking was weird, what mattered was that he was alone and needed to move.
Or something. Anything really just to get away from this feeling of floating loneliness. Painkillers sucked.
But they did seem to halt proper movement. Tim gasped as he stepped down on the floor, stretching muscles across his stomach that really didn’t want to move, holding onto the IV stand for dear life. He moved slowly across the floor, being careful of the trailing stand after he unplugged the attached heart monitor, shuffling his way out to the empty corridor.
Tim made his way down the halls, just kept walking around the few nurses making their rounds, happily, or not so much, ignored by everyone he passed. It was in the middle of the night after all and Tim knew he should be asleep but this was becoming his favorite time to walk around and just think.
Mrs. Mac was planning on visiting tomorrow. Maybe she’d bring flowers.
After what felt like hours walking, most certainly not that much, Tim half collapsed into a waiting room for gynecology. That’s what the sign said anyway. It was nice and deserted with the lights on dim, the perfect place for Tim to rest a moment and catch his breath.
He didn’t realize that his eyes had closed and he half fell asleep until he woke up to someone petting his hair. Tim blinked sleepily, not quite connecting the woman sitting next to him with the feeling of hands through his hair.
“I heard the other day about a kitten that would checkup on my birds.”
She had a really nice voice. Tim huffed into the warm shoulder, she smelled pretty too. Like flowers.
“This ninja was ‘quite pleased’” Tim laughed at the affected British tones she sniffed out, “To see someone taking the time to check on his charges and keep them company.”
“Shouldn’t be ‘lone.” Tim muttered, yawning, as he leaned against flower woman.
“Kitten you should take your own advice.” She was laughing but Tim was pretty sure it wasn’t mean laughter though. “Maybe we should get little kittens back to real beds.”
“Not a real bed.” Tim grumbled. It was much too uncomfortable for that. “Like the chair.”
“Of course but I wouldn’t want anyone to be upset that you spent the night in that chair no matter how comfy you think it is.”
Tim grumbled again, pouting unhappily, but let himself be pulled gently to his feet and walked with the IV stand back along the halls.
“You know the amazing Alfred made some cookies for you since he couldn’t drop off the boys,” She was laughing again. “I left them in your room. Very tasty cookies.”
“Don’t like cookies.” Tim pouted again. “Mother says they’re bad for my teeth. Not allowed.”
That certainly wasn’t the woman’s happy voice. Now she sounded like Batman; all stiff and grumpy. Maybe Batman needed the flowers more than Tim. Flowers cheered up everyone.
“Well you should eat these anyway.” She still sounded grumpy. Maybe she helped make the cookies and that’s why. “You’ll need the extra sugar to feel better.”
“M’kay.” Tim sighed, leaning closer to the comfy woman. Women must have it easy with all that built in padding for when they wanted to rest on something comfy.
“What would Bruce say,” She was laughing softly as the arm around Tim tightened. “Corrupting minors with cookies.”
“Very bad.” Tim agreed as he was ushered into his room. The walk back was a lot shorter. Must be magic.
“Oh kitten I might need to keep you.”
Tim wrinkled his nose as he was helped back into the evil energy sucking bed. But the covers being pulled up and smoothed out just right was nice. It was important that there weren’t any wrinkles.
“Alfred thinks you’ll end up a bird one of these days but wouldn’t it be so much more fun as a cat?” She sat on the edge of the bed next to Tim very carefully, one of her hands going back to petting his hair, as she talked. “I’ve seen you around kitten. Cats are so much better at spying than birds. Cats have subtlety. Which Dick really needs to look into, his costume blinds me.”
“Dick likes colors,” Tim agreed into the soft hand, eyes fluttering shut. “Really bright colors.”
“Honey everyone’s noticed that.” There was a soft kiss on Tim’s cheek before she got up and smoothed out the covers again. “If you’re still here tomorrow night I’ll visit again but I need to go visit a museum now.”
“It’s night,” Tim frowned at the dark haired woman. “Closed?”
“Not for me kitten~”
“Oh…” Tim closed his eyes again and smiled. “Can you bring flowers tomorrow? I really like flowers.”
“Sure thing kitten darling.”
The next morning, really only hours later after the sun had risen, Tim woke up to see a plate of cookies on the stand next to him. Along with an old looking oriental vase filled roses, sunflowers, tulips, daisy, and other flowers Tim couldn’t even name.
It looked like someone had raided the flower store. And Tim couldn’t stop smiling at the familiar scent of fresh flowers. Flowers just for him.
Who would have left them didn’t matter.
Chapter 4: No you'll never be alone
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Tim had been curious after he got out of the hospital. He vaguely remembered to talking to someone really nice that smelled good but he couldn’t remember who it was. And there had been the flowers waiting for him in the morning which was so nice. Tim loved flowers, wished there had been more, but it had been really nice.
There had also been cookies which Tim had really thought about eating, had actually picked one up and brought it close, but then he twitched the wrong way and the sudden pain was like his mother’s voice. So he gave the cookies to the nurse.
They probably had been delivered to the wrong room anyway.
So life was good for the first time in a while. The last times Tim could remember being as happy was when he first met Dick and the night he discovered Batman and Robin’s true identities. He was still able to go out and watch his heroes work even if some nights it felt like he was the one being watched.
Then Jason was hurt again. Badly. In retrospect it was really dumb for Jason to try fighting Clayface on his own. Tim had been the one to call for the police, rushing to the fallen Robin’s side holding the older boy’s hand as he fought for breath past all the broken ribs, directing Jason on how to breathe.
Flail chest his mind was screaming, all his ribs must have been snapped at the high arc, then the police cars were sounding closer and Tim could hear someone running towards them. He didn’t want to leave Jason’s side, that was the last thing he wanted, but Tim still moved away hiding behind a dumpster and watching as Catwoman turned up and half lifted Jason as she shouted into her hand for Batman.
That’s why Tim was sitting in the tiny closet stuffed in the corner of Jason’s room waiting for the nurse to leave the room. Tim didn’t want to leave Jason, not even if Bruce Wayne showed up, not when he was hurt so badly. Broken ribs could stab the delicate internal organs and make Jason’s condition worse.
So when the nurse left the room, turning off the lights and leaving the room in darkness apart from the glowing hospital equipment, Tim was quick to wiggle his way out of the closet. Tiptoeing his way over to Jason’s bed was easy enough leaving Tim to stand sadly over the bed. Quietly watching his Robin breathe in and out, looking almost as small as Tim was, with the oxygen mask covering most of his face.
“You’re going to be okay Jason. I’ll be here until you are.”
Then Tim quietly sat on edge of the bed, lying down after a moment and curling his body around Jason’s, winding his fingers into the still ones. Tim lay there for a long time, just watching as Jason slept the quiet sleep of the drugged, and let himself be slowly wooed to sleep next to him.
In the next few hours while both boys slept on, two people visited, and kept watch when the nurses got to close. Alfred was the first, dropping his normal plate of cookies on the small table next to the bed, a small decidedly happy smile crossed his face as he watched them. Hopefully the cookies would be eaten this time. If anyone could convince the young man to eat some cookies it would be Master Jason.
Selina was the other visitor. Waiting a few minutes after Alfred had left to slip into the room with a bright vase of flowers. Ironically it was the same Ming vase she had stolen before to leave Timothy’s flowers in.
“Sleep well boys.” Selina leaned over the bed, carefully kissing first Tim and then Jason’s foreheads, before she backed out. “I’ll make sure no one bothers you so get plenty of rest.”
That was the way they stayed for hours, Tim’s hand never letting go of Jason’s, and the nurses were kept well away.
Tim woke up to someone poking his side.
“Knew I wasn’t… fucking imagining you. You… run away again…. I’m gonna fucking kick your ass.”
Don't worry there's more planned
Chapter 5: You and Me Forever
Tim had panicked when Jason woke up and started talking to him. Had panicked to the point of jumping back, falling it off the bed, and running off as Jason started yelling. He couldn’t stay, Jason would hate him and he couldn’t live with that, he had to get away.
He’d run all the way home and was hiding in a closet.
He had left quickly enough maybe Jason might forget he was there, he was on painkillers and they caused memory loss, it would make sense for Jason to forget someone else had been there. Or that it had been one of the other people that had visited him. Mr. Pennyworth. Tim shook, rocking back and forth in the closet, Jason would think it was Mr. Pennyworth, which made sense.
Jason wouldn’t like him. Tim knew this, he understood that Jason wouldn’t like a stalker watching him sleep, that’s why Tim was hiding in the closet. He wasn’t really crying as he held onto one of the coats. He really wasn’t.
One week. Tim had managed to keep hidden for a week, not eating much and losing sleep, he looked like a movie zombie when Selina broke in. It took her a while to find him too, looking through all the bedrooms and turning up empty until she opened to closet door by the main entrance.
And there was her tiny Kitten, all curled up on a makeshift bed, and sleeping.
“Hi Kitten.” Selina sat down against the edge of the closet as Tim’s eyes opened up and stared at her in fear. He looked like a stray hurt by too many people to ever trust again. “How are you doing? I was worried about you.”
“Catwoman, wh-what are you doing here?” Tim backed up in the closet, pressing against the far wall and twisting his hands.
“Oh? That’s right we haven’t officially met.” Selina smiled carefully, holding her hand out only a tiny bit away from her so the boy could ignore it if he wanted. “Selina Kyle. I brought the flowers remember?”
“Oh.” Tim gave her a hesitant smile. “They were nice. But…”
“But why am I here right?” Selina sighed and let her hand drop to the floor as she shifted around to get comfy. “I was worried about you Kitten. You ran out on poor Jason when he woke up and I haven’t seen you step out of this place for a week.”
Tim looked down, pulling his knees up against his chest, and trying to ignore the tears pricing at his eyes.
“He was angry.” Was the whispered words.
“Oh Kitten.” Selina gave him her saddest look. Then she shifted again, lying down so that she was staring at the ceiling. “He wasn’t angry.”
“He had to be.” Tim was watching her carefully again. Less nervous now that she was in an awkward position beneath him. “I’m a stalker…he wouldn’t like me.”
“You have the most pathetic sense of self-worth Tim.” Selina said slowly. She moved one of her hands s it was only a few inches away from Tim’s feet. “Darling he wasn’t angry at you.”
“Really?” Really Jason wasn’t mad? He had to be mad! It wouldn’t make sense if he wasn’t.
“No Timmy Kitten.” Selina smiled softly at the ceiling. “He was upset you ran away. Everyone’s worried about you now.”
“Everyone?” Tim asked as he slowly inched forwards until the side of his foot was brushing her hand.
“Oh yes. Me, Alfred, Jason, even Bruce and Dick when they were told about you.”
“You told them? You told Batman?”
“I was worried Kitten and I couldn’t keep an eye out for you all the time.” Selina started moving her fingers, gently rubbing circles on Tim’s foot. “After I explained what I knew everyone was worried.”
“Oh.” Tim dropped his hand, biting his lip, as he let his hand fall into Selina’s. “I’m sorry.”
“Kitten if you start feeling sorry for yourself and don’t do anything to fix it I’m going to kidnap you and keep you until you feel better about yourself.”
“Oh. Umm.” Tim flushed as Selina’s fingers wrapped gently around his own. “What can I do?”
“Do you really think Jason was mad?”
“Oh Kitten. No more thinking yet. We’re going on a fieldtrip okay?”
Selina rolled to her knees again, not moving enough to need to let go of Tim’s fingers.
“Alright. Where are we going?”
“No panicking okay?” She stood up slowly, still holding Tim’s hand as he stood with her. “We’re going to go the Wayne manor and talk to Jason so you can see he’s not angry at you.”
Selina was holding Tim in place before Jason in the manor. Standing in the doorway while Jason was standing with his crutches against the kitchen island.
“Go on boys. There are some things you need to say to each other.”
The silence stretched as both boys gazed at each other. Or Jason was staring and Tim was glancing around the kitchen at anything other than Jason and Selina.
“Hey.” Jason was frowning at him; Tim didn’t want to look keeping his eyes focused on the cast around Jason’s leg.
“Why did you leave?”
“I…” Tim didn’t look up, Selina was strong against his back, but he didn’t want to see Jason’s face. “I was scared.”
Jason sounded so confused and irritated that Tim almost looked up.
“I…I thought that you would be angry.”
There was a long silence, Selina’s hands rubbed against his shoulders, and Tim wanted to run so bad away from Jason. He didn’t want to know what Jason was going to say he-
“Alfred says you’re supposed to be pretty smart.” Jason almost sounded curious. “I think you’re and idiot.”
“What?” Tim looked up in shock.
“I told you I’d kick your ass if you ran away.” Jason was frowning as he hopped forwards on his crutch. “Get over here idiot it hurts to move.”
“Okay?” Tim moved closer as Selina released his shoulders, still twitchy and nervous. “I’m sorry?”
“Fucking right you’re sorry.” Jason was still frowning as Tim came within touching distance. His hand came up very slowly and reached out to whack Tim’s head. “Bad. Bad Tim.”
Tim eyes widened, one hand half raised to touch at his hair, staring at Jason in unadulterated shock.
“C’mere dummy.” Jason reached out again, dragging Tim into a hug, and messily kissing his cheek. “I’m sorry you thought I wouldn’t be happy. And thanks for staying with me when I was stuck in the hospital. Even if you ran away before I could see you.”
“Yeah. We can work on that though. I always wanted a sweet boyfriend.”