- Some things are meant to be secret and not to be heard
It’s around midnight, the time when the batfamily is usually on patrol, like today. Batman and Robin were patrolling together, and so were Spoiler and Black Bat. Leaving Red Robin alone. Not that Tim minded. He likes to be alone. He gets left with his thoughts and no one is there to judge him.
Maybe except Oracle, because she sees all.
Barbara Gordon, the daughter of commissioner Gordon, used to be Batgirl. Then, long story short; she got shot by the joker and got paralyzed. Tim winces at the thought. Barbara was so good about it though, she's the strongest person Tim has ever seen (Mentally that is), Tim can't even begin to imagine what it would've felt like. Ever since then Barbara has now become Oracle, and she helps the batfam through the comfort of a chair.
Oracle knows that Tim needs some 'me time' so she doesn't judge him. She doesn't even question Tim when he says he's going to shut off his comms for the rest of patrol, because she understands.
“Oracle. I’m going solo for the rest of patrol, so I'm gonna shut off my comms" He says through his ear piece. Barbara makes a 'mhm' sound, implying that he can, so Tim shuts off his line.
He gets on his bike, trying to think of a place to go. For some peace. He knew he wasn't going to get any here, due to the fact that he's way too close to the other bats. He needs to get away from them. Especially Bruce. He can't be around him right now. He isn't ready to face him just yet.
The only place he can get away from them is....
Too dangerous, Tim tells himself, but he has to. Maybe at the edge, he won’t notice you there, right? Tim decides that it's fine, there's other places he could be. Maybe he isn't even in Gotham?
As he rides to his destination, he feels the cold air on his face, causing his jaw to tighten. His cape also seems to be flying up in the air.
He arrives at the spot in 15 minutes. Taking out his grappling hook from his belt, he realizes how utterly annoying his cape is. Maybe he should consider going for something without a cape and tight like Dick's outfit. Tim snorts.
He knew why Dick wore than tight ass outfit, it was just to make his ass more noticeable, because the Robin costume did nothing for his ass.
He uses his grappling hook to get on top of one of the highest buildings he could find. He aims it and then shoots as the hook flies up to the top of the building, and once it's firm enough, he lets himself get up.
Once he's up there, he decides it's best if he keeps watch over Gotham while he does what he actually came to do. He sits on the edge of the building, his legs dangling in the air, the cold air on his face. He decides to take off his cowl, because why not?
Once he's sure enough that no one can see him, he takes out a pack of cigarettes. He grimaces at the pain. He hadn't smoked all day, so he was bound to have a headache.
He sighs, rubbing his temple. It's been a rough couple of months for Tim. It started when Bruce went missing, and was presumed dead. Due to which the other bats had more ground to cover. Dick had come back from BludHaven, and taken the role of Batman, which meant they could all go back to routine. But, Wayne Enterprises needed a CEO, since Bruce Wayne was missing. Damian being the blood son was obviously the obvious choice, but him being unfit and a child, didn't help, so Tim was chosen. Being smart has its perks. At first he could juggle being a student, CEO and vigilante, but then it all became too much. It was all too overwhelming. So much work, all the damn time. Tim couldn't handle it anymore.
The only other members of the Batfamily who were fit for running the company was either Alfred or Barbara. Alfred couldn't because the bats are always heading towards trouble, and so they get injured a lot, and because he has to keep watch over the house. Barbara can't because she has no direct relation with Bruce Wayne. Not unless she wants to expose us all.
Tim hadn't even realized that he had lit his cigarette, and started smoking, he was so lost in thought. It had become routine for Tim to smoke. It started a couple weeks ago. Or was it months? Tim had no idea. But the cause of it, was of course so much stress. From being a straight A's student, CEO of the world's biggest company and solving cases as a vigilante.
Tim needed something to cope with. And he found a way, through drugs, smoking and alcohol. Cliché bad boy much? Definitely, but as if Tim cared. He was logical, but sometimes even his brain needs rest, so he chose this path without thinking and now he can’t stop.
Speaking of Dick, he had gone back to BludHaven after Bruce came back. Ah yes, he came back. Yet, he still doesn't want the media to know he's back, so he isn't taking back his company, resulting Tim to blame his 'condition' on Bruce. Again, Tim is being irrational. But it's the drugs talking. He might not be high right now. But, he's addicted. And addiction doesn't go over night, he needs help, but he's too afraid to ask.
Sometimes, he wishes he could just...
Go back in time and never become Robin in the first place.
But, his parents would still die, he would be an orphan. At least this way Bruce adopted him. Though, he knows he'll never truly be a Wayne. And Damian makes sure that, Tim knows he's not part of the family. He knows the Demon brat is just kidding, but he can't help but take those things to heart sometimes, because they are true.
He's a Drake, not a Wayne.
Again, Tim was too busy thinking, that he had completely ignored the sound of someone behind him.
"Well well, look what we have here, one of the bat brats! I thought we had a deal that you fuck off from my place and I'll stay away from yours, so the fuck you doing here, replacement?" A voice says from behind Tim. It sounded like it was modified from a voice filter.
"Will you stop calling me 'replacement'?" Tim asks, not turning back. He grits his teeth.
"Aren't you bat brats supposed to be very strict with the law" He says snorting, completely ignoring Tim's question.
"What makes you think I'm breaking the law?" Tim snarls.
"You're 17, even I know that, plus never knew you were such a hypocrite" Hood states. Tim didn't have to turn around to see that Hood definitely crossed his arms.
Tim's jaw tightens and his eyes close. An embarrassing memory resurfaces in Tim's brain. The last time Tim had an encounter with Hood was basically him trying to kill Tim, you know the usual. He had a dagger pressed against Tim's throat and he was pinned against the wall. Tim knew he stood no chance against Red Hood, except for maybe Tim was faster, but right now, speed was no option. That's when Tim blurted out; "You know you shouldn't smoke, it can seriously kill you" and even though Tim is very embarrassed at the memory, it saved his ass because Hood burst out laughing, giving Tim enough time to escape.
Of course Tim knew he wasn't going to actually kill him. The effects of the Lazarus Pit had worn off by then, it was more like 'get out of my way' type of situation, Tim just didn't want any broken bones or anything too serious to worry Alfred.
Tim shudders and then shakes his head back to reality. "Why do you even know how old I am anyway?" Tim asks, this time turning back to face Red Hood.
Hood was wearing his usual attire, a leather jacket, with a Kevlar shirt underneath, with a red bat logo. Wait, he has a bat logo? Tim had never really noticed it until now. Maybe he got a new shirt?
"Had to do some research on the guy who replaced me" Tim could feel a smug smile forming of Hood's face but he didn't know why. "I found some interesting stuff you know, like who knew you were my fanboy who took pictures of ME, like I always wondered who that cute kid was" Tim's face instantly goes red.
"fuck" Tim curses under the breath.
"Why are you here" He says, getting back to business again.
Tim sighs. "I-It's Bruce..he well after he left I became CEO, and being a student and vigilante is already enough but then also a CEO, at 17! Like God damn, it just became too much pressure, and now he's back and he won't take back the company and I'm so fucking pissed at him right now and life's just overall shit, I wanna go back to the Titans" He confesses. "And now I'm here because well, the bats won't come here, I can be here in peace, I didn't think you would notice me to be honest, it's easy to smoke here on patrol, trust me I'd rather get drunk or high but mans gotta do what a mans gotta do" Tim says, laughing with no humor.
Hood just stares at Tim for a while, before breaking the long silence. "What makes you think I won't tell the old man?"
"We have a mutual hate towards him, for different reasons of course, but still hate, maybe you have more hate for him than me, but whatever, plus I know you know where I'm coming from"
There’s a long pause again.
"Yeah yeah whatever replacement, I'll give you 15 minutes, any more than that and I will shoot to kill" He warns before taking out his grappling gun. "But don't think for a second this makes us friends" he says before he disappears.
Tim stares at the place Hood disappeared, in shock. That just happened. What the fuck?
Tim returns back to his apartment after patrol, through the window he had left open, for the purpose of getting in, partially unnoticed. It was his bedroom. It was dark and cold, nothing he wasn't already used to.
He undresses himself, taking off his Red Robin suit. He opens his wardrobe, taking out a plain white shirt and some blue trousers. He carefully puts his Red Robin suit, in the secret compartment in his closet.
He opens the bedroom door, going outside into the also dark and cold hallway. From there he finds his way into another room. The moon illuminates just enough light from the windows to help Tim find the light switch.
The whole room instantly brightens, revealing Tim's amazingly decorated kitchen and living room, decorated by the one and only Stephanie Brown.
He walks into his grey and white kitchen, taking out a plate from a cabinet, before heading to the fridge to take out last night’s pizza. He sets down the box near the red roses on the counter, before taking out the 3 slices of pizza left, and microwaving them.
He would've had something healthier to eat, like maybe a salad, but right now pizza was the only thing he had in his fridge, due to the fact that Kon was over last night, and he insisted on some pizza because Tim's fridge was empty. Speaking of which, he needs to go shopping soon.
Taking out his secret stash of beer, he walks towards his couch, with a hot plate of pizza on the other hand. He sits down on the plain white sofa, making himself comfortable. He puts on 'Captain America: The Winter Solider' on his TV and starts eating and enjoying the film.
Sipping his beer, he occasionally replies to the Titans whatsapp groupchat. Something about Bart and this guy. Ed was it? Tim laughs at the erotic comments made by his other friends about Bart and Ed.
He was about to reply to something Cassie said, when suddenly his phone vibrates, and his screen changes. Someone was calling him. Well more specifically, it was Barbara.
He takes a sip of beer, before replying. "Hey Babs, what's up?"
"Hi Tim, how are you?" She asks. Tim couldn't quite get what was going on, but there was something in her voice. Though, he had no idea what.
"I'm good, why?" He inquires. He was becoming wary of her intentions, even though she hadn't said much.
"I need to talk to you about something" Instantly Tim's heart starts pounding. It felt like one of those moments when your parents say they need to talk to you, and you start questioning all your life choices.
Tim gulps. "Right now?"
"Oh no, no rush, don't worry, maybe tomorrow at Wayne Enterprises?" She asks, calming some of Tim's nerves, but still not all of them.
"Yeah sure, anyway is that all?" He asks, impatiently.
"Yeah yeah, go to sleep kid, bye" She says, ending the call.
Tim sighs. Something was up, even if Barbara said there was no rush. Something didn't add up. It felt wrong. But, what could it be?
Maybe something about that mission Bruce and Damian went on, that made Babs so distraught? Yeah, that has to be it, right? What else could it be?
Tim shakes his head, turning back to watch the movie, and eating his food.