Tim officially had no idea what was going on.
All he knew was that Stephanie and Cassandra sucked.
Those two were MEANT to go to high school with him.
But Stephanie chose to go to a different school to reduce her stress, the jerk.
Okay, he could understand Cassandra.
Her being homeschooled was sweet of Alfred. It wasn’t like she would get on well with big crowds. And besides, while some days she could talk almost normally, most she still had to use sign language, and read people’s body language to understand what they were saying.
School would suck for her.
But all he knew was that he now had to go through High School alone.
He didn’t want to hang out with civillians when he could be hanging out with his siblings.
Even Jason or Damian would do.
He hoped no-one found out he ever thought that.
When he stepped into the school, he noticed something off, of course, but he didn’t say anything.
He just decided he would ask Batman for some more identification training when he got home, because these people looked way older than high school.
He made it through his classes with no trouble, and was in the last lesson.
The maths teacher finally finished with his start of year lecture, and told them to bring out their calculators.
Even for a genius school, it was nothing compared to some of the things he learnt from Batman, but he had to put up some sort of appearance, had to act at least somewhat normal for a child prodigy, so he reached for his calculator.
He picked up his pencilcase to rifle through it, when he saw the book on top of his pile, and groaned.
It was a paper booklet that the Drama teacher gave him last lesson. Of course, he didn’t know why he had to take Drama.
The school said it was because they wanted their students to try all their electives within the first two years.
But if you didn’t know what you wanted to do once you were in high school, he had questions.
He had his whole life planned out. Of course, with how much of it concerned vigilante actions, he didn’t know if he would live long enough to achieve everything, but that was besides the point.
He pulled his phone out of his pocket to message Alfred, telling him he would be a five to ten minutes later than planned.
He would rather get yelled at by a teacher for texting in class rather than make Alfred have to wait.
The last bell rang, and he made his way to the theatre, where the drama classroom was held.
He dragged his feet, yeah, but he had a reason to. He didn’t have to hurry that much.
It was because of this that the after-school activities were already well underway.
He opened the door to… chaos.
A girl and boy were doing what was obviously supposed to be a mockery of twerking on eachother while another girl whined in an obviously fake voice.
“Mooooooom! Ron and Hermione are doing the sexicles, stop them!” She practically screamed.
Another girl stood up, screaming at the guy. “Not my son, you bitch!”
Another guy was on the other side of a fake window, waving frantically while trying to silently get everyone’s attention, while another girl was reading a Lord Of The Rings book in the corner. Two guys were screaming like banshees at eachother, and some people were trying to get them back on track and were failing miserably.
More people were chatting in a second corner, but the only person who had seen him was a girl in the centre of it all, sporting a broken leg. Her crutches were tossed to the side, and she was trying to hula hoop with only one leg.
He stared straight at her, and she stared back.
She looked so concerned, knowing that if she did anything to break her concentration, the hoop would fall to the ground.
He supposed those things were annoying enough without being unable to use them properly.
He had no idea what to say, but luckily, the awkward silence was filled when another guy jumped off the stage, falling into a little forwards somersault/roll before hopping to his feet, saying one thing.
The girl lost concentration on her hoop thanks to it, knocking it to the floor, and another guy came up to give the rumbleroaring guy five bucks, meaning it was probably a dare.
His words came out of his mouth before he could stop it.
“What the everloving fuck?”
Everyone’s heads turned towards him, freezing.
Tim met all of their eyes, and paused, a strange feeling filling him.
The feeling of all the eyes on him made him squirm, but it made a part of him light up, knowing they were waiting for what he was going to do next.
He had seen the worst of this group. But it seemed almost as fun as running across rooftops as Robin.
He imagined what it would be like to let lose, and act like idiots like they all could.
He imagined what it would be like to be a normal kid.
He didn’t know what to say or do, so he momentarily shut down his brain, letting his mouth run wild without thinking about it first. “What are you all doing, who is everyone, why would you think doing any of the shit you’re doing is a good idea, and where the fuck can I sign up?”
Five minutes later, he had everyone’s names, and had agreed to stay after school next week, since Alfred was probably on his way to the school right now.
He put his booklet back in the tray where it was meant to be, and got some answers. Every two years, the school put on a musical, but a couple of years back, the older members of the group decided that it wasn’t enough, and decided to put on a self-made production every other year. Somehow, it turned into a self-made production each year, and a school production every two years, then before long, it was a rhythm of one self-made production and one school production, then two self-made productions, then repeating.
This year, the self-made production was a Harry Potter parody, and the school’s production was Dear Evan Hansen.
When Tim looked confused at that, no-one judged him, or claimed he wasn’t good enough.
Lauren Lopez, the girl with the broken leg, just calmly explained that Dear Evan Hansen was a Broadway show, meaning it was popular and the creator had lots of lawyers.
The guy previously waving through the fake window, Joe Walker, told him that the main character always felt like he was waving through a window, where nobody on the other side could hear him, and he was proving a point by doing the same to try and get his classmates back on track.
The rumbleroaring guy was called Jim Povolo, and wasn’t really a guy.
He started off by asking Tim his pronouns, and yet again, Tim didn’t know what they were talking about.
Jim explained what pronouns were, telling Tim that their pronouns were Xe/Xim/Xir, and they were nonbinary, and what all of that meant.
Tim told them that he was straight, and male. Also born male.
Two more minutes passed, and he was entered in the team’s groupchat.
They explained that this particular group wasn’t entirely aligned with the school, so they could get away with slightly more stuff in their personal plays, like swearing. That was also how they knew to come on the first day of school, some of them, like Jim, had been going there for literal years. The groupchat kept them all updated out of school. It was actually Lauren’s first year of the school, but she had been in the groupchat much longer, thanks to being friends with the older members.
Tim asked what happened when people graduated High School, could they still be a part of the group?
They were going to keep members after school, eventually turning it into a real group. Apparently it was Jim’s and Bonnie’s last years, but Jim was going to stay in the group, even if they would have to start having meetings outside of the theatre and school. Bonnie wouldn’t be able to be a part of the group for a few years due to many various reasons, but then she was going to be welcomed back once her break was over.
Thanks to this line of conversation, Tim found out something blaringly obvious that he should have figured out before he even stepped foot inside any of the buildings owned by the school.
Gotham Academy Junior had the first eight grades and preschool, as if they merged primary and secondary school together, and Gotham Academy Senior had the last four grades, like a normal school, but they also had four additional years for those taking college classes. If someone wanted to get a degree that lasted more than four years, they could go to a different collage, and if they didn’t want to go to university, that was fine as well, but Gotham Academy Senior was high school and college mixed in one, to make it easier when people decided to move on. Jim and Bonnie were in their final year of college, not school, making them 20, soon to turn 21.
Tim resolved not to tell any of the Batfam that he missed something so google-able.
Noticing the time, he quickly told everyone goodbye, before racing back downstairs, making it to the parking lot just as Alfred parked and got out, raising an eyebrow at the teen.
Tim smiled apologetically at him, getting into the car.
“Sorry Alfred, I had to return one of my books to my classroom, and this theatre group was in there.”
Alfred gave a small smile as he got back into the driver’s seat. “Quite alright, master Timothy. I remember I could quite into my roles when I did Shakespear. Was it hard to get their attention, or did you sneak in and out?”
Tim opened his mouth, momentarily excited to tell Alfred that he joined the theatre, but then his words hit him. Alfred used to be a professional Shakespearian actor. He didn’t act in high school plays about dumb things.
“I got their attention pretty easily, and they answered some questions about the play they were performing. They seemed excited about it. What was it like for you?”
Alfred raised an eyebrow, obviously knowing that Tim wasn’t mentioning something, but began to talk about his pre-butler days. And for once, he found himself delighted that Tim didn’t seem to get bored of it.