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Tim, Clones, and Dumb Luck

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Tim couldn't say he wasn't expecting something like this to happen someday, but really, today, near Jason? That sucked. His 'brother' was already happy enough to shoot Tim on most days, but here, with a clone Tim who acted just like him, Jason could shoot the real him and say: 'Oops, meant to hit the clone. Sorry.' Tim wouldn't even know if he was telling the truth because Jason tended to cross the line pretty often on wanting Tim dead and wanting to hang out with Tim.

"Jason!" Clone-Tim exclaimed, coming to a stop next to him.

Jason, to his credit, didn't fall off the edge of the building he was standing on. He did, however, jump about ten feet in the air and swear violently.

"Jesus, Tim, you scared the shit outta me!" Jason said, turning around. He was wearing his helmet, but when he saw Tim skid to a stop next to Clone-Tim, he could practically see Jason's eyes widen, helmet be damned. "What the hell is going on?"

"I think it was my turn to get cloned," Tim said, jerking a thumb at Clone-Tim. "But at least he's not, you know, totally evil this time and trying to actively kill me, just get you to kill me. Progress."

"What are you talking about?" Clone-Tim asked incredulously. "You're the clone. I was trying to finish patrol ad you came out of nowhere. You're the one who led me to Jason."

"You're the one not using code names in the field!" Tim spluttered indignantly.

"We're on top of an abandoned building. The floor below us is one of Bruce's safe houses," Clone-Tim deadpanned, and Tim would be impressed with the sarcasm if it wasn't coming from a clone obviously out to kill him. "This whole area is soundproofed."

Jason, Tim noticed, was still watching them, though his hand was inching towards his gun. Unfortunately, the Clone-Tim noticed this at the same time and Tim did.

"Shoot him, Jason!" Clone-Tim exclaimed when Jason got the gun out and held it out at just the right angle to shoot either of them if they moved. "He's the clone!"

"Yes, shoot me. Please," Tim deadpanned, holding his hands up.

Clone-Tim did a double take along with Jason.

"Are you okay?" they asked simultaneously.

And, that, it seemed, did it for Jason, who swung the gun around and shot Clone-Tim in the knee.

"What are you doing!" Clone Tim cried, clutching at his leg in pain. Unluckily, Tim thought rather vindictively, the kevlar in Clone-Tim's copy Red Robin uniform kept the bullet from doing more than bruising him. "He's the clone! I'm your brother."

Jason took a menacing step forward.

"You're not Tim," he said. "You wanna know how I know? You called yourself my brother. Tim would never do that, injured or not."

"Wait," Tim started, brow furrowed. "I call you my brother all the time! I've done it around you a ton when I'm injured."

Jason paused. "Oh. I guess you're lucky then."

With that, Jason smashed his gun into Clone-Tim's temple.

"Wait, are you telling me you seriously could have shot me!" Tim screeched. "What the hell, Jason?"

"Eh," Jason shrugged. "At least I was right. Take it," he advised.

"You suck, Jason, some brother," Tim muttered bitterly. "Wanna help me get this clone to the Batcave for interrogation?"

"No."

Tim stared. Jason stared back.

"It was rhetorical."

"I know. The answer's still no."

"Fine, go back to staring at the skyline broodily like Bruce, I don't care." Tim scowled. "And you say you're not like him."

"You know what?" Jason demanded, spinning around. "Fine. I'll help you get him to the Batcave. And then you can go tell Bruce to-"

Tim blanked his mind and ignored Jason with an ease that only came from having done it for a long time. And at a certain point, Jason's insults for Bruce became normal. Easy to ignore. Besides, Jason knew just as well as Tim did that none of them would be relayed.

A moment later, Jason's long list of colorful insults came to an end and he stopped.

"Ready now?" Tim asked, lifting Clone-Tim's legs.

"Sure," Jason said, lifting Clone-Tim's shoulders. "You know, he's exactly like you, right? Except for the possibly evil intentions? So you must be tiny. He's so light."

"Fuck you," Tim muttered. "At least mine isn't as crazy as yours was. He was actually smart about it. It was just dumb luck you shot him instead of me. Yours was just going to shoot up a bank until we ran across him in a parking lot."

"At least that means mine was fun. I bet yours is dreaming of math and algorithms and CEO stuff."

"'CEO stuff' Tim quoted. "Is that what you think I think about all day."

Jason shrugged. "Pretty much, yeah. Why?"

Tim shook his head tiredly as they threw Clone-Tim across the back of Jason's motorcycle.

"I'll go get my bike. You can start out now," Tim ordered.

Jason gave a lazy salute. "Sure. No problem, CEO Timbers."

"I hate you," Tim said the moment Jason was zooming away. "Now to find wherever I left my bike. Or just get it to come to me."

Tim pressed a button on his gauntlet and waited for a few moments until his bike skidded to a stop in front of him. He jumped on and put his helmet on fast before zooming to the Batcave.

When he arrived, Jason, predictably, was gone. Clone-Tim, however, was in a cell. Dick was standing in front of the cell, watching Clone-Tim sadly.

Tim stopped next to the first Robin and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"This is sad," Dick said, shaking his head. "None of them asked to be created. It's not their fault."

"That's why we're putting them… you know," Tim said. "It's for the best."

"But seriously, first me, then Jason, now you?" Dick shook his head, frustration evident. "Are they gonna do Cass next? Damian? And who's sending them?"

"We don't know, Dick," Tim said. "But we'll find out. We'll stop them. I promise."

"I know," Dick said, turning to Tim, smile sad. "But it's still not fair to them."

"At least he's a minor this time?" Tim said. He knew he sounded unsure; he was. There wasn't any easy explanation for this. No easy solution either. "If they make a Damian, he'll be a minor too."

"Still, this sucks for them."

"And that's why Bruce had plan 438 B," Tim said. "Besides, it's better than plan 438 A."

"That it is," Dick said. "You have a point there."

"Of course I do," Tim said. "I always have a point."

Dick threw an arm around him. "Sure you do, Timmy."

"You're evil."

"Love you too."

Tim led Dick away, but before they left the cells, he looked back one more time at Clone-Tim, sparing a moment to wonder. But there was no point wandering down that path.