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Canticulum

Chapter Text

(Exposition - the first section of a piece of music; introduces the melodies and themes)

The baby that is to be named Timothy Jackson Drake was born small and gray. His cry had been a wheeze. He responded to no auditory stimuli. That is because that baby was born small and gray and deaf. The Drakes were astounded. Embarrassed. Upset.

But that baby, the baby that is to be named Timothy Jackson Drake, was also born with music in him. Songs upon songs upon songs.

This, his parents did not know.

(Etude - musical composition written solely to improve technique)

The four-year-old Timmy (to his mother) or Timothy (to his father) had found his grandmother's cello. It was old and smelled of dust.

It was also grossly out of tune. How could his little fingers (that were itching to play songs, so many songs!) play on something so horrendously out of tune?

His mother looked at him and her lips said 'oh my, how cute, that instrument is taller than he is, look dear, I hope he does not hurt himself.' Timmy/Timothy tunes it, the notes vibrating pure and strong in his chest. His fingers were itching. He itched to play. There was so much to play. To put to music.

So that was what little Timothy Jackson Drake did.

(Hymn - a song of praise and honor; most often to honor God)

The child that was Timothy Jackson Drake was then Tim to the world. And the world did know him. He could make men and women cry, he could silence wailing babies. And the boy was only ten. A prodigy, a miracle! God's gift to music! A master cellist!

Many called him the next Beethoven. (The boy would roll his eyes. Beethoven was a pianist. Tim was not a pianist.)

But the boy lacked a hobby. A real hobby anyway. Music, it seemed, had become a chore. The songs that lived with in him, burned and rolled and stretched toward his fingers, were not the songs his parents wanted. They wanted happier songs. Joy songs. Money making songs.

Tim did not have any more joy songs in him. Just tired songs. Sad songs.

Timothy Jackson Drake was tired.

(Vivace - direction to performer to play in a brisk, lively, and spirited manner)

Robin made the songs come back. Elated songs. Happy songs.

Hobby songs.

That Robin boy was Dick Grayson. Tim's eleven year old memory was perfect, and he remembered. Knew. And took pictures. He felt the song in each image, played the song for each one. Concertos spouted from his cello, filled with red and green and yellow, intermingled with black and blue and silence.

Batman and Robin.

Songs. Tim had more songs to write. To play.

This pleased the parents of Timothy Jackson Drake.

(Modulation - to shift to another key)

Fourteen-and-a-half year old Tim was bolder. He knew. He knew that Nightwing was Robin and Robin was Dick. Confronting had been easy. Dick had understood American Sign Language (but his execution of it had left much to be desired).

Dick. Surprised. A new song for a new face. Dick's voice was bright and smooth and wonderful. Tim could feel it in the vibrations. He wanted to write a song about that too. Bruce's voice was different. New. Special. Another song.

Tim had many songs to write.

More songs when he was Batman's. More songs when he was Robin. More and more and more.

But when Tim was at home, he was still Timothy Jackson Drake.

But his songs sang of Robin. Himself. Batman. Bruce Wayne. Strength. Blackness. Night. Knight.

(Elegy - an instrumental lament with praise for the dead)

The parents of Timothy Jackson Drake were dead. And that was no longer his name. He was then Timothy Jackson Drake-Wayne.

Dick called him Tim. Bruce called him Tim.

Jason Todd called him Pretender.

Pretending had caused the tragedy. The death of his parents. (Strangely, he was not sad. He was not happy either. He was just. Nothing.)

The music was also dead. There was no song. No vibrations. No nothing. Silence. The silence of Death.

The baby that was born Timothy Jackson Drake had been born deaf, but full of music. The man that became Tim Drake-Wayne was still deaf, but silent.

(Toneless - unmusical; without tone)

Tim embodies silence. His cello sits beneath his bed in the silent manor. The manor is like him. Quiet when Bruce is gone. Quiet when Damian is with him. Quiet since Dick is gone. The only time it is not quiet is when Jason Todd is here.

The walls rumble. The floor beneath Tim's bare feet shakes and shivers. He does not want to be here. He does not want to heal. Yet here he is, just the same as Tim.

Or. Not really. Where else would Tim go? He is here because the music of voices that lives here almost reaches the space inside him where the music had once lived. The voices are their own symphony. But they do not make his fingers itch. They do not send his pencil writing music on the back of homework.

So. Jason is different. Here, because it is demanded. Here, because they want him to heal.

Tim isn't sure what he wants for Jason. But right now he wants Jason to be quiet so Tim can focus on his inner emptiness. Listen. Feel. (Because Tim has only ever listened by feeling.) Jason's raving makes it hard. Alfred will be up here soon to fix it. Alfred always comes to fix things. It is his nature, Tim has noticed.

He hopes it is soon. Jason is ruining his focus. (Why is he so loud? Tim does not like loud.)

Tim is now a disciple of silence.