Dick had just sneaked out of his room with the empty cup of cocoa in his hand, when he heard the silent sobbing and crying out of a room down the hall. He hesitated for a moment and listed into the night. For this moment, there was nothing beside the constant rain and the irregular thunder, but then the sobbing came again, the crying was back and Dick slowly sneaked forward and down the corridor.
He stopped at Damian's door, but there was nothing but silence in the two-year-old's room.
He stopped at Barbara's door, but there was only the clapping of Barbara's keyboard. She was probably chatting with Kara, Dinah or Helena.
He stopped at Stephanie's door, but there was only a dialogue, spoken by some bad actors of the soap Stephanie was catching up with.
He stopped at Cassandras door, but there was only silence. She was probably reading some book – she was the only person who even had a chance to achieve a comparable number of reading in comparison to Tim.
He stopped at Jason's door, but there was only the quiet rhythm of the bass, certainly belonging to the song his brother was hearing.
Then, Dick stopped at Tim's door and the sobbing and crying was only suppressed by the newest eruption of thunder. The thunderstorm was now going on for more than one hour, and they had even decided to interrupt patrol that night. Bruce and Selina were probably already asleep and Dick was now wondering, why the always-awake guardian of the night, Alfred, hadn't already taken care of the sobbing, but then, he decided that this was probably his task for the night.
He laid the cup on the floor and slowly opened the door.
“Tim?” he asked, but the seven-year-old didn't give an answer.
“Tim?” he asked again, and there he was.
Oh, someone had been crying. Dick slowly opened the door a little more and entered the room. The room lay in complete darkness, but when the next lightning struck the lawn and illuminated the room, he could clearly make out the still barren interior; the only thing that indicated someone actually living in here were the photo of Tim with Dick and his parents in the circus and the shelf full of books.
“I told you to go away.”
Another sob and Dick already sat on the bet. “Hey, come on, Tim. I heard you crying.”
Dick reached out and touched the part of the blanket whose outward appearance clearly indicated that a person was lying underneath it.
“Let go. I'm fine.”
“Come on, Tim. What's the matter with you?”
Now, the sixteen-year-old was lying next to the other boy and caressed the body he could feel underneath the blanket. Six weeks ago, Bruce and Selina Wayne had decided to adopt Tim Jackson Drake into their family after his parents sudden death. With the five other adopted children and the one that was theirs by blood, they had hoped to give a warm home, even though they both lived their double lifes as Batman and Batwoman, protecting the city.
Dick saw, how Alfred closed the door and only nodded in his direction. Dick sighed and made himself comfortable. He suddenly laid on a book, pulled it out and with the next lightning and thunder could see that it was “A Christmas Carol” – only Tim could read such a book in the middle of July.
Dick had an exam in the morning, but that didn't mean that he could spend the night here, next to his crying little new brother to show him what being in a family really was about. He would be there for him, protecting him. When he closed his eyes and pulled Tim close, the other boy didn't mind.