If pressed, Bart would admit he and Kon were doing something ridiculously stupid, sneaking into Gotham while the big, bad Bat was still there.
But Kon had heard Superman and Green Lantern whispering to eachother that Batman rarely left his cave these days and how worried they were for him, losing a son and all.
And, really, how could the two metas resist the chance to do the one thing the Teen Titans or the fucking League could do - because NO ONE could sneak into Gotham without a Robin by their side without facing the Bat’s wrath - and sure, they were just going to snap pictures and mock any other hero they came across for the following century or two.
Which was the reason why they were hiding under a roach-infested cardboard box, Bart vibrating in a stupid effort to dissipate the usual radiation that clung to the air around Kon like a beacon and that would surely lead Batman - and thus their pissed off guardians - to their exact location.
That is, until the radio one of the homeless men huddling together for warmth next to them burst into static and a soft, whispery voice started drifting into the night air.
“You two are just making it worst, you know?” the voice said, making both boys turn. “You are literally sitting in an enormous UV cloud, and if Batman doesn’t catch that, the pimps trying to pass off their counterfeit money will and you really don’t want that.”
“Who are you?” Kon asked, eyes narrowed.
“A friend,” the voice replied. “Who wants you to leave the city without causing a major issue with the League.”
“Are you working for Batman?” Bart asked.
“Nah,” the voice laughed. “Not for lack of trying, though. But no, I’m… Self- employed?”
“Why should we trust you?” Kon hissed, aching to fly off.
“Why shouldn’t you?” another laugh. “Look, you can trust me or not, but Batman is two blocks away and speeding.”
Kon narrowed his eyes and Bart could bet he was using his super hearing to search for the batmobile.
The clone cursed and their choice was made.
“How do we hide?” Bart whimpered, his vibration acceleration way beyond his control.
“I might regret this later but you can come over,” the voice sighed. “Get out of there, take the subway west for four stops and the five blocks south, I wouldn’t recommend you use your powers though, it’s better if you blend in the crowd.”
“Four subways stops west and five blocks south, then what?” Kon growled, wondering how long it would take them to walk there.
“Then up,” their mysterious saver sighed. “You’ll be seeing me right away.”
Any reservation they might had had is quickly dissolved the moment the pimps and crooks started running at the sight of the Batman.
They rushed to the subway without looking back, their feet making wet sounds as they did so.
Kon so hated running the human way.
“Fooouuur…” Bart laughed as he counted the blocks. “Aaaand five! We are here!”
“Now up?” Kon asked, frowning. “How?”
“Here,” the same voice called from a building at the same time as the main door was buzzed open. “Take the elevator to the top floor. I’m at the penthouse.”
“Yay!” Bart cheered as he grabbed Kon’s hand and dragged him, staring in awe at the expensive-looking moldings and decorations that lined every single wall of the reception. Beaming at the doorman who just raised an eyebrow at them before sending them on the elevator, no questions asked. “This is like a movie!”
“Too much so,” Kon sighed. “I bet Lex Luthor’s there.”
“No way,” Bart argued. “He sounded too nice to be Lex Luthor.”
“Way!” Kon replied. “Luthor can make himself look nice too, ya know?”
“I resent the comparison,” the voice called, alerting both boys that they had finally reached their destination. “He’s far too old for us to be alike.”
The metas turned, gapping as they found not a mobster like Kon feared nor a wise old wizard like Bart hoped but a skinny, wide eyes boy – a boy their age, a boy like them – staring back with a small, shy smile.
“I’m glad you guys made it,” the boy said. “I feared Batman would be able to track you anyways.”
“You are a kid!” Kon shouted, floating over to inspect their unnespected savior.
“So are you,” the boy replied, raising an eyebrow. “Mathematically I’m quite older than you, so.”
He shrugged his shoulders.
“Come in, you can wait here for the morning and then leave without Batman noticing.”
“Thank you!” Bart beamed, entering the luxurious apartment without a second thought.
“Yeah, thanks,” Kon grumbled, feeling embarrassed. “Err..”
The boy smiled.
“Tim,” he said. “My name’s Tim.”
“I’m Kon,” he said, thrusting his hand forwards.
“I know,” Tim laughed, shaking the proffered appendage. “Cocoa?”
They spent the night sharing stories and jokes and interests. Bart laughing happily as he ate as many sweets as Tim could provide while Kon wondered whether Batman had sawdust in his head instead of brains because he had to be pretty stupid to reject Tim to be his new Robin when he was so intelligent and loyal – he wouldn’t even tell them the Bat’s real identity, no matter how much of a douche he had been to him – and, really, it was really his loss if he didn’t want this awesome dude who had hacked his way into most of the League’s databases without breaking a sweat.
A small smirk pulled at his lips.
“Say, Big Brain,” he said, sitting as physically possible to Tim as he could and enjoying the other boy’s nervous twitch. “If Batman doesn’t want you, why don’t you come with us?”
“Yeah!” Bart cheered. “You can be a superhero with us, Timmy, please say yes?”
Tim lowered his eyes, his mouth pursed in thoughtfulness.
Bart and Kon stared at him impatiently.
“I would have to prepare,” he said finally. “Can you give me a year?”
Kon laughed, wrapping his arm around Tim’s neck. “Sure thing, Brains, all the time you need.”
“We are gonna be the new Teen Titans!” Bart beamed, snuggling against Tim’s other side.
“We can’t be Titans,” Tim argued, his cheeks flushing. “We are not technically teens yet.”
“Then we’ll be better than them,” Kon nodded. “Our own team.”
Tim stared at them, smiling.
“I would like that.”