Disclaimer: I don’t own anything you recognise.
I walk into my class with a smile, the principal is lenient with the guardianship rules, so half the school is like me; street kids trying to get a education and not wanting to worry about being sent back to the foster system if found.
“Timothy?” a confused voice asks behind me tapping me on the shoulder.
I turn to see Mr Douglas, a tutor who started working for the school last month, “Sorry sir I think you have me confused with someone else. I’m William Batson, or Billy.”
He shakes his head, “You look just like a boy I use to tutor in Gotham.” He takes out his phone and shows me a photo of himself and a group of students, one of them looking exactly like me.
“Wow” I whisper, staring at the photo, “That is strange.”
“Very” he nods before taking a photo of me and running off.
That……was weird. And now I’m late for history.
Later that day in English the girl sitting next to me Mandy taps me on the shoulder, “Billy” she whispers.
“Yeah Mandy?” I ask after making sure the teacher isn’t paying attention to us.
“You’re in the news” she whispers showing me her phone.
I read what’s on it.
DOES THE DRAKE HEIR HAVE A TWIN?
A form tutor for the Drake heir sent us this photo (photo of Billy looking confused) of a young boy who goes to school in Fawcett City, William Batson. Searching found that he is the son of two archaeologist who worked with the Drake’s many times, but fell out of contact after their sons, who were born in same hospital were born. The Batson’s tragically died on a dig, leaving their son to the foster system.
I stop reading. They think I’m twins with this Timothy Drake, that’s not possible…….is it?
“Is it true?” Mandy asks curiously.
“I-I don’t know” I admit quietly.
The bell rings on what is thankfully the last class of the day and I leave for a League mission, which I don’t get back from till 3 in the morning, successfully distracting me from thinking about it.
The next day after lunch the teacher calls out my name and sends me to the office.
“Hi!” I greet the lady at the desk, “I’m Billy I was told to come to the office.”
She sends me a apologetic look, “A social worker is here to see you Mr Batson.”
I freeze, noticing the well-dressed woman sitting nearby, “Hello Billy! I’m Anna. Could we talk for a few minutes?”
“Sure” I nod, then sitting down next to her, knowing it’s not really a choice, “What do you want to talk about?”
“I don’t know if you know this, but you made the news yesterday” she starts. “The Drake’s lawyer called our office and wants to have you DNA tested, its procedure for rich families like that, to make sure you are they’re kid and don’t just look like it.”
I frown, “The Drake’s want to see if I’m their son?”
She frowns for a moment, “Well no. Mr and Mrs Drake are overseas and out of contact, but their lawyer is acting in a way he thinks they would want of him.”
I loved my parents, I don’t want new rich famous ones. I’m fine as I am.
She smiles again, “Come on. The test won’t take too long to do, then we can get you settled in your new group home! How does that sound?”
I don’t answer her, instead I just pick up my bag and silently follow her.
After they take blood and cheek swabs they tell me it will take a week to do the test and they will tell my social worker when the results come back.
My curiosity wins, and I decide to stay in the home just until I get the results. I need to know for sure that the Batson’s were my biological parents.
A week later I wake up to flashing lights and people yelling outside the group home.
I get dressed and go to the kitchen and see Anna waiting for me, “What’s going on? I ask her.
She turns to me, “Someone in the lab leaked the results to the press.”
I feel my eyes go wide, “You mean the Drake’s are my parents?”
She nods, “We finally got through to them, they’ll be here within the hour to pick you up.”
Pick me up…… they’re from Gotham, I’m moving to Gotham! Batman’s city and a no Meta zone, I’ll have to find a way to sneak away to get back to Fawcett City to patrol, I’ll give the Drake’s and my new twin a change, I have always wanted a brother.
Three hours later the Drake’s walk through the door without knocking, “You must be Anna Walker?” Jack greets shaking her hand, “Sorry we’re late.”
“I am” she nods, “It’s alright. This is Billy.”
Jack smiles at me, “Nice to meet you William. Is there anything we need to sigh?”
Janet doesn’t even look at me, furiously texting on her phone.
Anna has them sigh a few things before smile goodbye to me.
I reluctantly follow the couple outside, hoping my first impression is wrong. As soon as the front door opens the media starts screaming questions and lights flash everywhere.
“Mrs Drake! How did your son end up on the streets of Fawcett City?”
Janet smiles at the reports, “The Batson’s where on the same team as Jack and myself. Marilyn and I were pregnant at the same time and gave birth together, both of us have black haired blue-eyed boys, somewhere one of my sons must have been swapped with Marilyn and when one of them died we believed it was Timothy’s twin.”
“What was William’s original name?”
“We never gave him one” Jack answers, “We were so heart broken when he died, we wanted to move on, naming him made it feel more real.”
To everyone else their heart break looks and sounds real, but I have been in the hero business for a while now, I can see the boredom under the façade. They don’t really care about how they thought I died.
After a few more questions and awkward family photos they take me to a limo and ignore me in favour of their phones for the entire three-hour drive to Gotham.
When we get there, the limo pulls up to a giant mansion, I follow them inside and they finally speak to me, “William, we will be returning to Argentina tonight. A tutor will be here in the morning to assess where you are with your schooling and arrange a proper schedule, you will them be taken for a haircut and a new wardrobe and receive lessons on how to behave” Janet tells me, still not looking at me, “Understand?”
Wow, this woman is cold, “Yes.”
Jack raises an eyebrow, “Yes what?”
“Yes, Mrs Drake” I try, but they frown, “……Mother?” I try.
They nod, “You will address us as Mother and Father.”
Maybe I should just run tonight and go back to my abandoned apartment building, I don’t think they will care too much.
“Mother, Father” a voice just like mine speaks from the stairs.
I turn to the well-dressed, polite, but timid looking boy with my face.
“Yes Timothy?” Janet speaks stiffly.
“I saw the news,” he speaks quietly “Is this my twin brother? You spoke of him to the reports?”
Jack snorts, “Obviously. Maybe we should speak to your tutor if you aren’t catching the obvious.”
I walk over to Timothy and pull him upstairs and away from the Drake parents, “I’m Billy.”
He relaxes his stiff posture and smiles shyly at me, “Tim. It’s nice to meet you Billy. Do you want me to show you to your room? I saw the maid setting up the room next to mine earlier.”
“Sure” I nod following him, I don’t like the Drake parents, but Tim is my twin and I think once he warms up to me and gets out of his shell we’ll be very close, which is worth handing around for a while.
The room looks like fancy hotel room, not a place for a kid. I put my bag down and follow Tim to his room, which is exactly the same except there is a bookcase and the desk is neatly organised with school work. “So, what do you like to do for fun Tim?”
He looks to his bookcase, “I enjoy reading.”
I’m getting the feeling the Drake’s never let Tim have a life, “Cool, what’s your favourite thing to read?”
“I don’t really have a favourite” he tells me sitting down on his bed, I sit next to him, “But I do like to circle through my preferred genres and authors. I have been re-reading Sherlock Homes this week.”
I grin, “I read those books at the public library last year! They’re great! Do you think I could borrow them after you?”
He relaxes even more and smiles happily.
We spend the rest of the day talking about different books we’ve read and recommending to each other, it’s a small thing but it’s a nice start at bonding.
I sneak out that night and go on patrol in Fawcett before going to a JL meeting then sneaking back to the mansion and going to sleep in my oversized bed.
The next morning a tutor tests me and arranges a schedule for what the Drake’s want me to learn, then someone who works for them takes me shopping, getting all kind of overpriced awful clothes that look just like Tim’s and the same haircut Tim has.
When I get back I go straight to his room, “Hey Timmy!”
He turns to me, wearing the same clothes as me, “This is weird. It’s like they want us to be those creepily in sync and identical twins.”
I nod in agreement and sit down next to him, “Wanna watch Doctor Who? A friend from my old school gave me his password for his Netflix account.”
He grins, “Abso-wait I’m friends with the neighbours the Wayne’s and I told Dick I’d introduced him to my new brother.”
“Alright” I smile, “We can watch it another time” nice to know he has friends, I was starting to wonder if the Drake’s keep him locked in this house with only tutors for company. “How long have you been friends with the Wayne’s?”
“Oh, about three years” he shrugs, “Dick and I get along great, he’s not always around through and Bruce can be a bit too serious at times.”
“What about Jason?” I ask, remembering hearing about how the second Wayne son was presumed dead until about a month ago.
“Jason is…… a little rough around the edges. But he’s pretty cool once you get to know him” he explains getting up. “Come on, lets head over.”
I follow him out of the room, “So what about your parents? Are they always……. gone?”
“Yeah” he nods sadly, “They spend a lot of time overseas for work.”
“But when was the last time they spent time with you?” I try, I want to know what my brother’s relationship with his parents look like.
He goes thoughtful for a moment, but looks uncomfortable with the question “…..we went to a charity gala together last year.”
“Galas don’t count” I tell him, “When was last the time they just spent the day with you?”
“…….Oh!” after a few minutes he thinks of something, “Three years ago they helped fund the re-opening of Gotham City Zoo, we spent the whole opening day together exploring the exhibits.” He smiles thinking of something else, “I went to the zoo last week with Bruce, Dick and Jason. We had all sorts of fun and one penguin made a fool of himself, doing all sorts of stupid things.”
“You spend a lot of time with the Wayne’s” I guess.
He nods with a smile, “I spend most of the time Mother and Father are gone with them, the staff doesn’t tell, and the tutors are fine with doing our lessons after school.”
He lends me into the back garden and to a high wall, then pulls down a hidden ladder, “We both have super long drive ways” he explains, “Its quicker just to hop the fence.”
I nod and follow him over the wall into another fancy garden, then into a even bigger mansion but through a door that lends to a kitchen.
“Hey Alfie” Tim smiles to a old man in a suit who is making cookies.
The man nods kindly, “Master Timothy. And this must be Master William, I am Alfred Pennyworth young sir.”
“Alfred is Bruce’s butler” Tim tells me, “But he’s more like a grandfather.”
“You flatter me sir” Alfred speaks with a small smile.
I smile back, “Its nice to meet you Mr Pennyworth.”
“And you to young sir, please call me Alfred” he nods, going back to his baking.
I follow Tim out of the kitchen and to a room with a grand staircase and a incredible crystal chandelier, with a man hanging off it.
“Hi Dick!” Tim calls to the upside-down man.
Dick turns at Tim’s voice then flips down, landing perfectly in front of us, “Hey Timmy, hey Timmy’s twin” then he pulls both of us into a hug.
I smile to myself, maybe Tim found his own family away from his parents. “I’m Billy, nice to meet you Dick.”
Once he lets go he ruffles both Tim and mines hair, “Nice to meet you too Billy.”
Wait Dick…… I grin at him, “Wait, you were a Flying Grayson, weren’t you?”
He nods back with his own smile, “Yep! How’d you know? The press doesn’t talk about where I came from much anymore.”
“There’s a community centre back home in Fawcett City, someone donated a whole acrobatic set and this man George volunteers there, has for years, teaching us how to do acrobatics. He told us stories of how he ran away to the circus when he was a kid and Flying Grayson’s taught him how to fly and let him be in the show” as I talk Dick’s smile grows bigger.
“Yeah, Dad told me about his friend George” Dick nods, “I wondered what happened to him.”
Tim turns to me with a smile, “Dick’s been teaching me how to fly too. We have a set here, wanna have a go?”
I nod and Dick grins before cartwheeling down a hall.
If I thought George was amazing in the air, Dick was born in it. I’ve never seen anyone but Nightwing move like how Dick does on a trapeze.
We spend most of the day with Dick teaching us how to fly, before Alfred calls us for dinner.
After getting out of Tim’s spare workout clothes and showering we go to dinner.
“Looks like you had fun” Bruce Wayne comments with a small smile, when we walk into the large dining room.
Dick nods happily, sitting down next to Jason and looking Bruce, “Yep! Billy’s been doing acrobatics at a community centre for years, he showed me what he knows and a taught him some more.”
“Community centre?” Jason questions.
“My parents-adoptive I guess, died when I was six and my uncle threw me out when my inheritance came through” I start with a shrug, “One of the older street kids told me the community centre was open to everyone, teaching kids sports and stuff for free, and they gave free meals, plus it was a way out of the cold, so a sighed up for everything and spent most of my free time there” it was a lot of fun and I made some great friends.
“You don’t seem very angry with what your uncle did” Bruce notes.
“Staying in the past and holding grudges only makes you angry” I smile, “If Uncle E doesn’t want me that’s his choice, all I can do is make my own choices and not be like him.”
Everyone smiles, “Wise words” Tim nods.
“I spent time on the streets to” Jason tells me.
Dick snorts, “No kidding. Dad adopted you after he found you stealing the tires of his car.”
Jason grins proudly, “I got three of them off before I was caught.”
Bruce is smiling too, not his press smile but what I think might be his real one. He’s proud his son almost stole all four tires.
Dinner time is filled with chatter, I mostly talk to Jason, comparing our very different time on the streets and how different Gotham streets are to Fawcett.
After dinner I follow everyone to a theatre and we watch movies together.
“Do you wanna head back?” Tim asks reluctantly after the last movie.
“Yeah, we should go back” I agree, not really wanting to. The day here is what I imagine having brothers, a Dad and Grandfather is like, I don’t want to go back to that cold empty house. But even if I could stay I can’t, I’ve notices the security this place has, I would never get out undetected for my patrol.
He nods, before picking up a book from the table, “I left this here a few days ago, do you mind if we go to my room and put it away?”
“I don’t mind” I smile before following him upstairs.
His room here it painted red and yellow, with books and posters, random bits of half taken a part technology and Batman sheets on the bed. This is a bedroom; this place is his home.
He puts the book on the shelf before lending me out.
We go back over the wall, say goodnight and head to our rooms. I wait 40 minutes before climbing onto the roof.
I’m about to say my word when I see Tim climb out of his own window and go back over to the Wayne’s. But why? He was just there and all he’ll do at this time of night is sleep.
We have breakfast together the next morning, (he doesn’t say anything about sneaking out,) before going back over the wall.
“Hey” Jason nods when we walk in, “Dickface talked me into joining you on the trapeze today.”
Dick smiles at us from where he’s sitting next to Jason.
“Cool” I grin, “Looking forward to it” them I look to Tim, I might as well just ask, “Hey Timmy I saw you sneak back over here last night, I’m curious as to why?”
“Oh” Tim’s eyes widen, he’s doesn’t know what to say, “Well you see-”
“Don’t bother lying” Bruce tells him walking into the room, “Billy did you know my security system also watches Tim’s house, including the roof” he looks to his sons, “Billy is Captain Marvel.”
Panic shoots through me, they know! I look over to my twin and his honorary brothers and they look……. relieved and amused?
“Looks like you and Billy have a few more things in common than you thought Timmy” Dick grins.
Bruce looks at me, “I’m Batman. Tim is Robin.”
And that would make Dick Nightwing and Jason Red Hood. I smile, I have a brother and I don’t have to keep half my life from him, he’s in the same life.
“Billy” Bruce starts, “Tim is like a son to me and that makes you family as well. If you want, you can stay here when your parents are gone too, and I would like to work on your training.”
“You rely too much on your powers in the field” Jason tells me, “And I’m thinking you don’t have them when you’re not big. You should be able to fight without them.”
I smile, yes, I could get use to this family.
“I shall prepare the room next to Master Timothy’s” Alfred speaks appearing at the door way and leaving just as fast.