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5 times Everyone realized Tim's the favorite, and One Time Tim realized he's the favorite

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Prompt one: Blinded for a day

Jason thought Dick was the favorite.
Tim thought Damian was the favorite.
Damian thought Jason was the favorite.
But who did Dick think was the favorite?

Nightwing finished snapping on the handcuffs in the dark alleyway while Robin looked on in disgust. One or two stars could be made out in the smoky, hazy sky. Pretty good for Gotham, actually. It had been a good night, a night where they’d managed to shut down a major drug ring. These were the last few henchmen who’d run off into the night. Not only that, but Red Robin had joined them for this case, in person. It was the first time in weeks they’d had a chance to see each other. He was always busy, or pre- occupied. Finally, finally, though he’d found a way to see him.

“We could have done this a thousand times faster if not for your interference, Red Robin.”
Unfortunately it had required him to bring Robin along. Not that he didn’t like having Damian along- it was just not a good idea to have him around if one was going to interact with Red Robin in any capacity.

Red Robin sighed. “Yeah, I know. Let’s just head back, mk?”

NIghtwing straightened up and slung his arm around Robin’s shoulders.

“Yeah, probably time to call it quits.” Hesitant, he looked at Red Robin hopefully. “It was good to work with you again.”

“Yeah. Sure.” And he hopped on his motorcycle, escaping leaving the alley, and Nightwing. Again.

That is, until he crashed his bike into the wall.

“Woah!” Nightwing ran over to the bike, which was now a pile of rubble and flames. The wall had collapsed onto the bike, and covered everything in a huge pile of broken cement. Nightwing crouched down, movements still calm, Nightwing himself a little in shock. Had Tim just… crashed into a wall? A literal wall. Holy Batman Tim had just crashed into a wall. At full speed.. And he was now buried. Alive. And on fire. Briefly, the Sherlock scene about the bonfire flashed through his mind and his eyes widened. He dove into the pile, fire licking at his costume while he frantically rummaged through the heap.

“We all knew he was incompetent, but that’s a new level.” Came a voice from the sidelines.

Shoot. He’d forgotten about Robin.

“Just quit it Robin and help me!”

A startled pause.

“Why in the world should I help you?”

“Because T- Red Robin is buried under flaming rubble and I can’t ******** find him!”

Nightwing’s wandering hands rustled even more frantically, feeling nothing but cold hard stone and heat.

“Gray- Nightwing stop.”

Nightwing looked up, annoyed (and a little surprised) at the tone of authority and desperation in his voice.

“WHAT?”

“Nightwing, you’re going to hurt yourself. Be logical-”

That’s when his hands struck gold. Or, more accurately, flesh. A cheek. Tim.

Grunting, Nightwing found his arm and pulled him out from under the heavy cement blocks, gasping until Red Robin was laid out on the dirty alleyway ground spread eagle. It looked like Nightwing had pulled him out before he’d sustained any serious burns… but one could never be too sure.

“Damian, call B. We’re taking Red Robin back to the Cave.”

“Red Robin won’t be happy about that.” Nightwing could hear the unspoken And I won’t be happy about it either.

“I know. But Red Robin may need medical attention, and a Bat doesn’t just run into walls like that. Something’s wrong.” Nightwing didn’t mention the part where Red Robin hadn’t been to the Manor in months and this was a great excuse to get him there. Or the part about how he hadn’t been answering his calls in, well, forever, and this was the time to finally trap him in a hug. Nope. That didn’t affect his decisions one iota.

Robin sighed and tapped into coms, requesting pick up, while Nightwing crouched down and started to apply treatment to a big gash that must’ve opened from the pieces of the bike.

A few minutes later, the batmobile showed up, and Batman stepped out, face stoic. He raised an eyebrow when he saw Red Robin stretched out on the ground, but only grunted, and picked up Red Robin like he weighed nothing.
“We’re done for the night. Head back to the cave.”

“And Red Robin? Something's wrong. People don't just crash into walls..” Nightwing tilted his head towards the person in question.

“Doesn’t seem to have any physical injuries, but we’ll run some tests.” With a swish of his cape, he left.

Nightwing stood there for a moment, the adrenaline from seeing Red Robin crash winding down, leaving him exhausted. Shuffling from the side drew his attention. Shoot. He’d forgotten about Robin again.

“Hey, look, Robin-”

“Forget it Nightwing. It’s time to head back.”

Well, so much for a good night.

__________________

Dick sat on some random chair stolen from the upstairs, listening to Bruce drone on as he had been for the last few minutes.

“Creating a stable environment is key; he’ll have to move back here. We’ll move all of his things tomorrow. Are you free?”

“Wait, what? Sorry, I zoned out after the part where you told me Tim is blind.”

Bruce’s eye twitched a bit at the blunt statement. “Yes. To recap, something happened midway during your patrol, and Tim could no longer see. He didn’t report it however, choosing to go through the rest of your patrol without… seeing, and planned to go home to deal with it, but found out he could not drive blind and crashed.”

“He just… didn’t tell us? He thought he could go back to his life blind and none of us would notice he was blind?”

“Admittedly, neither of you noticed while he was on patrol.”

“THAT’S NOT HELPFUL BRUCE!” The cave echoed with his shout for a second, and the bats shrieked.

“I- sorry. Sorry, I.. I don’t know.” He sat back in his chair panting and covered his face in his hands. He jumped a little when a warm hand covered his shoulder.
“I know chum. I wish…" Here Bruce let out a dry chuckle. "I wish a lot of things. I know things between you two aren't great right now, but all we can do now is try to provide him the support he needs, like we do with Barbara, and figure out what happened that night.”

“What are we going to do Bruce? What if this is forever?”

 

“It doesn’t seem to be forever. Scientifically, his eyes should be working. Alfred believes this is magical in nature.”

“Ok.” Dick let out a breath and relaxed minutely, lifting his face back up. “Ok. Hey, at least he’s back at the Manor.”

“Five months, three weeks, and six days.”

“Oh. You’ve been counting too?”

Bruce quirked a little smile, the smile Dick always called the Tim Smile. “I always count. This time is the second longest one of my children has been gone.”

“Second?”

“Jason.”

 

“Ohhhhhhh. I’m dumb. Hey, c’mere.”

Dick grabbed Bruce’s hand on his shoulder and used the momentum to pull the man into a hug. The elder stiffened a bit but relaxed a little and patted Dick back awkwardly. Dick clung tightly onto him, suddenly 12 years old again and so confused. So confused, and scared for Tim, and worried at what was to happen next, and all he really wanted was his dad.

“You know the only reason I’m letting you do this is because you’re my son.” Bruce warned.

“Oh, I know. Now,” He released Bruce. “Go check on Tim. I know you’re dying to.”

Bruce gave him a relieved smile, that Tim Smile again, (and did Tim know he had a special smile just for him?), and hurried off.

________________________

Dick stood in the doorway and watched Bruce guide Tim around the room. Tim didn’t need the help, and Bruce knew it, but an excuse to be with his son for one moment, without him asking what’s wrong, why are you hugging me? That was gold. Dick used to not have to have an excuse. He used to be able to tackle Tim in the hallway and hold him forever. Dick used to be able to know something was wrong with Tim. Now he couldn’t even tell when he was blind.

Damian stopped by him in the doorway.

“I don’t understand.” He said, after a minute.

“Don’t understand what?”

“Why father chooses to help him. Drake may be incomptent and worthless, but he is able to navigate on his own. Father has far more important things to do as well. Even investigating the cause of this would be more worthwhile.”

“Why? Well Damian, there’s a good reason.”

“And what would that be?”

Dick leaned down and whispered it into the boy’s ear. “It’s because Tim is Bruce’s favorite.”

“Very funny Grayson.”

Dick shrugged. “Believe what you want Damian. I, for one, am very happy to have Tim back in the Manor. Even if he’s… blind. It’ll get Bruce out of his Tim- less funk.”

Damian considered this for a moment. “He does seem happier with him around.” Then he scowled. “Though I cannot agree on enjoying his presence here.”

“Either way, you know who’s my favorite?”

Damian opened his mouth to ask, then his eyes widened, realizing what that meant, and he started to run. Dick chuckled.

“It’s you! Now come here for a hug!”

And Dick tackled him to the ground.

__________________

Turned out, it was some sort of magical spell cast by some magician in disguise. Zatanna was able to reverse it in a matter of seconds. Dick didn’t even have a chance to talk to Tim- not that that mattered. Of course. Really, everything ended up ok, and they would go back to their normal lives. It wasn’t like Dick wanted Tim to be blind.

As soon as it was resolved, Tim ran walked out the door and took his bike back to his apartment. Bruce had stood there for a few minutes, looking at the door, smiling that Tim Smile. Then he went off to go do whatever Bruce did when he brooded about his missing sons. Dick leaned against the wall for a few minutes longer, then he too headed off to console Damian’s sensitivities (though that may be the wrong word to use with that kid). He went on with his life, missing Tim just the same as before, not knowing a single thing to do about it.

However, those few minutes Dick stood there, watching Bruce and Tim? It was good. For a few minutes, Tim was there with them, and Bruce got to be with his son. His favorite son.
Dick could only hope it’d happen again.

Jason thought Dick was the favorite.
Tim thought Damian was the favorite.
Damian thought Jason was the favorite.
And Dick knew Tim was the favorite.