Work Header

these bruise-colored skies

Chapter Text

Tim opened the truck's door and stepped out, leaving his hand on it as he looked up at the star dusted sky and breathed the air that belonged to the galaxies. He stared up at the twinkling lights in the night and thought.

"Did you even think to talk to me about it?!"

Dick's face pinched in pain and Tim took it as his answer.

"Tim," he tried, "you don't need Robin anymore; you're my equal. He needs my help. He needs Robin more than you do."

"Do you even hear yourself?!" Tim yelled, throwing an arm out in frustration. "How could he possibly need it more than I do?!"

"He just lost his father--!"

"And this is the second time I lose mine, Dick!" Tim screamed, his voice cracking midway through the sentence. "I lost Jack, I lost Bruce, I lost my best friends…" He turned his teary eyed gaze to Dick.

"And I apparently lost my brother, too."

His hand slipped off the door as he watched the stars.

It was unusual, some would say, but Tim didn’t know where he was. He didn’t have a plan for the foreseeable future. There was no grand ploy or scheme he was working on fulfilling. He didn’t have any ulterior motives; wasn’t playing an elaborate game of chess with anyone.

There was no plan.

Just Tim, the cash he had on him, and the truck. His phone he’d left behind, right along with any gear he could still lay a claim on. If anyone really needed him, they could bother Barry or Wally to run around the world.

Until then, though, it was just him, his cash, and the old 1969 Ford Ranger.

Tim took about ten steps into the grassy meadow, then lowered himself so he was lying with his back to the earth. 

He lay there and stared up at the stars, and he started to think.

To wonder.

Robin… That wasn't him anymore. He wasn't Robin; would never go back to being Robin, never again, because that mantle was Damian's now. (Dick had given it to him, and it was Dick's to give, wasn't it? The original Robin; he had the right to take away his old mantle and give it to someone else. Tim hadn't even wanted to be Robin when he'd started off.)

So he wasn't Robin.

Without Robin, all that remained was Tim Drake. Timothy Jackson Drake-Wayne, adoptive son of billionaire Bruce Wayne, biological son of Jack and Janet Drake.

It made him wonder.

Tim knew who he was. He knew who Timmy Drake was; knew who Timothy Drake was. He knew who he was.

But could he really say that, now? The Tim he knew, the Tim he was familiar with, had adopted Robin as a part of who he was.

That wasn't to say he'd made it an essential part of his identity, but Robin was integral enough in his life to make it feel like a part of him was missing. He wasn't… wasn't complete, not entirely, without Robin.

He laid with the grass and thought about it.

Did he want to stay in the vigilantism life? Did he want to keep doing what he'd been doing, just with a new moniker?

Did he want to keep risking it?

For Bruce and Dick, and maybe even Damian, being a vigilante was part of them. It was a piece of them that they couldn't just remove; there was no "hanging up the mask" for them. They either died of old age or fighting the good fight young. If they were to retire from vigilantism, it would be forced; an injury too extreme or age too advanced.

Tim hadn't ever wanted to become like Bruce.

Being a vigilante hadn't ever been part of the plan, either. The plan was: Get Dick to be Robin again, so Bruce would get better. Batman needed a Robin.

Then he'd had to put on the uniform to save Bruce and Dick.

And that was, essentially, that.

It was a last-second choice, really. One Tim knew he'd have made without hesitation, always, to save Batman and Nightwing. He had to protect them.

But that was back then. Batman had a new Robin. Tim wasn't needed anymore; he'd even planned to step down if Jason ever, somehow, by some miracle, came back.

Robin was never supposed to be a permanent gig.

Tim wanted to go to college, wanted to double major in Photography and Forensics. He wanted to become a Criminal Profiler, wanted to buy himself a house, wanted to settle down and maybe adopt a few kids.

He wanted to live; have an actual life.

Vigilantism was nowhere in those plans, and maybe…

Maybe it shouldn't be.