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Fic: Bad Nights Better Days

Title: Bad Nights Better Days
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: Tumblr Request: Dick hadn't meant to be so drunk after a bad patrol night, but neither did he mean to blurt out in front of Tim about Tarantula repeatedly raping him a couple months prior. Now, he has to deal with the fallout, and Tim has to deal with a very a depressed older brother and his own mixed feelings about what happened.

He doesn’t remember much about the previous night, beyond a truly horrendous patrol, drinking to drown out all of his persistent, lachrymose thoughts, and at some point, Robin’s unguarded anguished expression as Dick finally revealed everything that he’s been trying to keep to himself for months now. Dick hangs his head as he tries to think of some way to fix this. He never meant to divulge what happened to him…what Tarantula did, least of all to Tim. His little brother didn’t deserve that. He didn’t need to have Dick’s problems heaped upon his shoulders. His little brother has been through enough, and Dick…Dick just keeps failing.

He knows that he should get up, find Tim, apologize, and then make sure that the kid is actually okay, but the prospect of moving is too much at the moment. His head is pounding, he’s nauseous, and his hands keep shaking. The fact of the matter is, even if Dick felt up to standing at the moment, he’s a mess and he certainly has no idea what to say to Tim…no idea how to make this right.

However, the decision is taken out of his hands, when his bedroom door slowly creaks open to reveal Tim holding a glass of water and a plate with toast on it. “Oh, you’re awake already.” Tim gives him a weak smile. “That’s good.”

Dick’s not entirely certain that it is, but now really isn’t the time for that kind of thinking. He has to get his head on straight and start doing something right…start dealing with this maelstrom that he’s created. “Yeah, I’m…”

Before Dick can even attempt his ill-thought out, inadequate apology, Tim is all but shoving the glass of water into his hand. “You need to hydrate. Drink this, and then…” His little brother trails off for a moment as he fishes a bottle of pills out of his back pocket. “Take two of these.” Tim shakes out two pain pills onto Dick’s open palm, and then the kid sets down the plate that he’s still holding on Dick’s nightstand. “Go slow, though, I don’t know how nauseous you’re feeling right now, but, given how I found you last night, I’m guessing it’s a lot.”

A part of Dick wants to be relieved and grateful that Tim’s still here – that, despite everything, Tim is willing to take care of him – but another part of him only feels worse that Tim bothered to stick around. Dick should be taking care of his little brother, not the other way around. After all, Tim has enough to deal with without Dick adding to his stress. Still, the only thing that Dick can manage to do right now is let Tim lead, so as his little brother gestures for him to take the medication and slowly drink the water, Dick follows without hesitation.

Once he’s drained the glass completely and has started slowly chewing on the dry toast, Tim makes a very obvious and slow progression towards the bed to sit down next to Dick. Dick isn’t sure if he should appreciate Tim giving him ample opportunity to reject the closeness or not. He never wanted to give Tim the impression that his little brother isn’t wanted, but Dick also knows he can’t pretend like that night didn’t…no matter how much he may want to.

Tim cautiously lies his head down on Dick’s shoulder, giving him plenty of time to move away, but Dick doesn’t even bother to try. He doesn’t know if Tim is trying to seek comfort or give it, but, either way, this is something that Dick can certainly work with. Physical affection is easy, even now…maybe even especially now, because Dick knows that no matter what he can trust Tim. Tim’s stable, loyal, and always tries to be what everyone else needs. It’s soothing in a way that Dick didn’t expect, and, not for the first time, he’s so damn happy that Tim’s here.

He wraps an arm around the kid and leans his head against Tim’s as he squeezes his little brother against his side. “Hey, little brother.”

Dick doesn’t know what to say beyond that, but he’s relieved that he doesn’t have to say anything because Tim takes over for him. “Hey, you know, you could have told me what was going on with you before last night. I…I’ve known for awhile that something was off with you, but I didn’t know what, and you just kept brushing off everyone’s concern, so I figured that you didn’t want me sticking my nose in your business, but…but I’m here, Dick.” Tim wraps his arms around himself and rubs his arm, self-consciously. “I know I’m not the best at all of this.” Tim gestures widely between them, before continuing. “And comforting people isn’t really my forte, but you’re not alone…you don’t need to be all alone.”

Dick can’t stop himself from tightening the embrace and pressing a small kiss onto the top of Tim’s head. “You ask me, you’re actually pretty great at this, Timmy.”

Tim ducks his head even further and looks away from Dick as he starts to lightly blush. “Well, I’ve had a good teacher.”

Dick loves his little brother so much, and he’s so grateful that when he finally broke down, Tim was there, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still owe his little brother an apology. “You know, I am sorry for last night, right? I never intended to lay all of that on you, and certainly not while I was drunk and having a bad night.”

Tim merely shakes his head and waves off Dick’s apology, like it’s unnecessary or something. “You’re dealing with some pretty heavy things, Dick. I’m just glad that I was there and able to help, even if it was only to get you into bed to sleep off the hangover.”

Dick nuzzles into Tim’s hair as he hugs him tighter. “You’ve done a lot more than that, little brother. Thank you for sticking around and helping me, Tim. I mean it.”

Tim smiles as he wiggles out of the embrace. “I know you do, but right now you need a shower.” Tim starts pushing Dick in the direction of the bathroom. “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, so after I unbury your couch and rescue the coffee table from old takeout containers, do you want to have a junk food and movie day?”

Dick smiles a real smile for the first time in what feels like forever as he ruffles Tim’s hair. “Sure thing, baby bird.”

The End