"You'll do it, then."
Tim looks up at Dick's reflection in one of the blank monitors, nods, looks down again.
Bruce had done that, too. Dick used to wonder why the chairs even swiveled.
There's a pile of application forms neatly stacked to Tim's right. Next to that is another pile: college prospectuses from every institution in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Delaware, even. Dick doesn't need to look to know that they all fall within a 200-mile radius of Gotham.
He flips the Rutgers catalog back open to the first Post-it. There's another yellow sticky in Law, and another in Biotechnology, but this is the most heavily thumbed.
Tim's tapping his pen in a rhythm that clearly indicates he's waiting for Dick to comment.
"Anthropology," Dick says.
Tim bobs his head a little. "Understanding the human condition." He turns around in the chair. "It's what we do."
"I thought we tracked it down and beat the shit out of it," Dick says, and there's hope for Tim still, because his mouth quirks a fraction upwards.
"Apparently that's called participant observation."
Dick tries to picture Tim in a mud hut. "You start fretting when the internet connection dips out. How're you going to cope in some central African jungle?"
Tim shakes his head. "Fieldwork is in graduate school. I obviously won't be--going." There's no regret in that; Tim internalized the work so completely that Dick had to spend a year convincing him he was allowed to go to college.
"Tim--" There's nothing he can say. Gotham is still too large, and there's a dearth of Robins now.
Even if Tim would look.
Tim frowns at the scrawl on the form and hands it to him. "I have a spare form... could you write this out for me? Your writing looks more well-adjusted than mine."
It's hard not to grin. "What, you think they have a handwriting analys--"
"They do. I checked. The Director of Admissions is big on penmanship."
----Oh. It's Dick's turn to frown. "You'll get in. Anywhere. You know that."
Tim glares at him. "I'll hurt you if there's a Wayne Enterprises check anywhere near this."
Dick holds up his hands. "I wouldn't insult you." Maybe there's a college somewhere that wouldn't accept a candidate like Tim--probably in an alternate universe--but in the event, Barbara has enough dummy corporations to run Europe. They'll manage.
It's what they do.