He should probably be dead, is the thing. It's not like they haven't come across energy weapons that don't kill with the first shot, or are even actually weapons in the conventional sense, it's just. It's better to assume they will kill you than take the chance they won't.
No excuse this time, no. A reason, though? Yes.
Hands on his face, gentle, careful, even as the voice above him filled with barely restrained anger. Kon, or a reasonable facsimile. But. No. Kon. Tim would know him anywhere, is another thing, and that.
"Dammit, Tim. What the hell were you thinking?"
Except, if he were dead, Kon probably wouldn't be not-quite yelling at him. Probably.
Kon exhales shakily and Tim senses a shadow fall over him. "You're an asshole," Kon says, still angry, but oh, Tim knows this kind of anger. Lived with it too long not to recognize it in Kon.
"I'm okay, Kon," he says, because he's alive, and that's more than he was expecting when the ray hit him. Them, because Tim wasn't fast enough, good enough, to get them out of its range in time.
"Of course you are," Kon mutters, hand cupping the side of Tim's face. "You're always okay."
Tim turns his face into Kon's hand and snorts because, no, not always.
"Open your eyes, huh?" Kon says. "Let me know how scrambled your brains are this time."
Not fair, and also, ow. Tim may not be as okay as he thought, but at least nothing seems to be broken. Good enough. "Well, since you asked so nicely," he says, and opens his eyes.
Kon's leaning against a wall, Tim pulled half into his lap. "Hey," Kon says, smiling faintly. It's a little wobbly, unsteady on its legs.
Tim can't help but smile back because it's Kon, and Kon looks like he's had a very, very bad day. "Where - "
Kon blushes and looks away for a moment. "Uh. I'm not really sure," he says. "I was hoping you could help with that one."
Tim stares at him for a long moment. "That good, huh?"
Kon shrugs. "I really don't think -
And of course that's when the giant robot slams into a building down the way from them. It's on fire, and seems to be missing pieces, but.
Kon curls over him, doing his best to protect Tim using his body even though they're far enough away that the debris doesn't reach them.
"That's probably not good," Tim point outs, when Kon doesn't move. It may be a bias he's formed over the years, but generally speaking, giant robots are rarely a good thing. As if to underscore that thought, a few moments later he hears screaming and sirens and Kon still isn't moving.
"Kon - "
Kon shudders, his arms around Tim tightening. "I know," he says. "I know, I just."
Tim swallows. He knows this too. "It's okay," Tim says. He raises a hand and rests it on Kon's forearm, strong and solid over his chest. "I know, but - "
Kon breathes deep. "Yeah," he says, meeting Tim's eyes. "Let's go."
Tim smiles at him and lets Kon help him to his feet while he tries to gain his bearings. Dark alley, random garbage littering the ground. Familiar enough territory. It could be any alley in any city anywhere, but.
"This is not San Francisco," Tim says, unnecessarily.
Kon gives him a look. "Not so much, no," he agrees.
Not San Francisco with Titan's Tower. Not San Francisco with the rest of the Titans. Most importantly, not San Francisco with the Titan's fighting a guy in a suit with a ray gun.
Tim opens his mouth, closes it when shadows flicker by overhead. When he looks up he sees several familiar looking figures crossing the rooftops.
"Was that - "
There's a faint tremor beneath their feet. Pause. Again. Tim plants a hand on Kon's chest to push him further into the alley. This isn't their city, and not all of the people who just went by were ones they know. There were similarities of course, familiar costumes, colors, but. "
Quiet," Tim hisses, using his cape to better conceal them.
Kon looks at him, eyebrow raised, but stays silent.
The almost rhythmic tremors seem to be growing stronger, and then -
Tim brings the cape up further to shield his eyes as a figure lands close by. Enough dust and debris kicked up by their landing to obscure things, not not so much that he doesn't recognize -
"Tim," Kon says in an odd tone of voice. "That - "
"I know," Tim says, watching the figure as it bounds up, up, and away. Not flying, but. Jumping? Peculiar, but it does solve the question of where the tremors were coming from. "I know." He lowers his cape and turns to look at Kon. "We'll figure it out," he says, running through various possibilities in his mind. "We'll figure it out and go home."
Not San Francisco, no. Not Kon, either, but. But.
Kon goes still, statue perfect, and Tim doesn't blame him. They've done time travel and dimensional travel before, and it's never gone well for them. Has, in fact, provided enough fuel for endless nightmares.
"Come on," Tim says. "The sooner we figure out what's going on, the sooner we can find a way back home."
Kon gives him a look. "I will never forgive you if you turn out to be evil here too."
Tim smirks. "Technically, I think that other me was crazy." A fine distinction indeed. "Criminally so."
"Not an excuse, man," Kon grumbles.
And, no. Not so much, no. Still. Given what Tim knows of that version of him, he. He understands how he could have gone so wrong. Not reassuring, being able to understand, but. It's really not meant to be, is it? More of a reminder, maybe.
They're young, or maybe it's that it's hard for Tim to remember back to the time he - they - were actually that young. (Only a few years, but so much changed in that time.)
"Whoa," Kon says, crouched next to him. "You're smaller than I remember." Kon frowns. "He's smaller than I remember. I mean. Not that you're that much bigger now, but. Wow."
Tim scowls, elbow finding its way to Kon's ribs. "Quiet." The scowl melts into a frown. They're on a rooftop safely out of the way watching the fight. Giant robots versus superheroes. This world's Teen Titans, maybe. As good a guess as any, given the individuals involved.
There's a Superboy, although he doesn't seem to be using his powers - assuming he has any. Kid Flash. An arrow-themed hero who isn't Speedy or Arrowette, but -
"Is that Cissie?" Kon asks.
"I don't think so," Tim says. There's nothing to say it isn't her - different world, after all, but something tells Tim it isn't. Aqualad, not Garth. Kaldur'ahm. Robin. (Tim's starting to think Batman and his Robin(s) are constants, which is. Heartbreaking, for what it means for Bruce, Dick, and Jason, but. At the same time it's reassuring.)
"Seriously, Tim. You were really tiny."
Tim's eyes narrow because he doesn't think that is him.
And then Robin bursts out of the shadows to perform a series of acrobatic flips before letting several explosive throwing discs fly.
Not him, then. Tim's never been able to do those moves. Dick, however.
"I didn't know you could do that."
"I can't," Tim says. The team is rallying for another attack. From the looks of it, the battle's almost over. "That's not me." Not him, which raises other questions, but. "You feel like lending a hand?"
Kon snorts. "Like you need to ask."
Tim pulls out his grapple. "I know," he says, and leaps out into open space, Kon, as always, right behind him. He doesn't need to look to know Kon's pacing him, just a little behind and to his left. Watching Tim's back.
"That one," he says, shooting a line that will allow them to come up on the robot's weak side, such as it is. It's heavily armored and wields impressive armaments, but there's always a weakness, even if it's hard to spot.
"I don't know why I didn't see this coming," Kon mutters. "Clark tried to warn me about you Bats and your crazy plans."
Tim grins. "On three."
Kon banks to the left, putting more room between them. They're going to need it in a moment. "On three," he agrees, grinning because giant robots - evil giant robots and a chance to work out some of their aggression in fairly healthy manner.