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Fic: A Displaced Red Robin

Title: A Displaced Red Robin
Author: Brokaw22
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: Tim gets transported to the cartoon Young Justice world, and he's not sure he knows how to deal with it.
Thanks to Kathy for beta work.

Chapter Two

 

Tim lands on a rooftop, and scans his surroundings. His head feels like it's just been put through a juicer, and he's not as steady on his feet as he would like. He knows this feeling well...they all do. It's how ones body always feels after being transported from one world to another, and the residual effects are always worse when said body didn't have any time to prepare. Tim is really getting sick of the unexpected multiverse travel. It always presents such a multitude of problems, and maybe he would think more on that if he wasn't in the middle of trying to find cover while a Robin comes tumbling through the sky towards him.

 

He'd know those moves and that smile anywhere. It's Dick in a Robin costume that looks a hell of a lot like something Tim would have worn. That thought puts him even more off balance, but not as much as seeing Kon land on the rooftop behind Robin, shortly followed by M'gann. Tim isn't sure his brain can process the idea of Dick being on a team with a roster full of Tim's friends. After all, he's still trying to cope with seeing Damian work with the Titans...even if it was only for one mission. The multiverse is such a strange place, and he's having trouble thinking. There's a whole slew of questions running through his head, and not a single one of them is helpful to his situation.

 

After all, wondering if Tim Drake was, or will ever be, born isn't exactly going to help him when Robin's scanners inevitably find him crouched down, hidden behind a dumpster, in the alley below the rooftop he was on moments before. Tim isn't sure how to approach the subject of being a former Robin from a different earth. He isn't even sure if this earth has a protocol for that or not. Hell, Tim doesn't even know how to explain how he got here. He knows the effects of traveling through the multiverse, but there are a dozen things that could have caused his spontaneous multiverse travel. In fact, he really doesn't even know where to begin with that one, so staying hidden for as long as possible until he can figure something out seems like Tim's best bet.

 

It's obvious just from watching Robin, Superboy, and M'gann move that they aren't used to working as a team, which just seems even odder to Tim. He's never seen Dick not know how to function with a team. It's off-putting and strange, and he's not really sure why Bruce would allow it to continue for more than one interaction. Tim knows that, in his own world, the Bruce who raised Dick isn't the same Bruce who trained him. Both Babs and Dick have made that perfectly clear, but Tim guesses he never really fully understood that until right now; or maybe it's just that this Bruce is a different one entirely, and he himself doesn't know how to work on a team yet. Tim isn't sure, but being lost in his thoughts nearly makes him miss the fact that Superboy is standing behind him looking like he wants to grind Tim into the dirt. That isn't an expression that he's used to seeing directed his way from his friend. Tim doesn't need to try to get away to know that he's already surrounded, but it doesn't stop him from wanting to try.

 

“Who are you, and what do you want?” Robin steps closer to him, clearly reaching for something in his utility belt, and Tim has to remind himself that these aren't his friends, and that isn't his older brother.

 

Tim has no idea what he's going to say to them, but with the way that they're all glaring at him, he thinks that it might be a good idea to start talking. As he moves out of his crouch, he holds his hands up in the air where everyone can see them. “Look, it's hard to explain, but I'm not your enemy.”

 

Kid Flash zooms past him, and skids to a stop beside Robin. “I don't know. You seem really heavily armored for a friendly.” Tim can tell just by the way that he's standing that this Kid Flash isn't Bart, which shouldn't make Tim breathe easier, but does all the same.

 

Tim doesn't mention that he's always been the most heavily armored out of all of the Bat family and all of his friends, especially since he would then have to explain the term Bat family. He's trying to come up with the simplest and quickest explanation for his sudden appearance, but before he gets a chance to tell them anything Aqualad appears from out the shadows behind Kid Flash and Robin. The two of them slide apart to allow Aqualad to get closer to him. “Not to mention whatever means you used to get here caused such a large energy spike that three city blocks are now out of power.”

 

Tim sighs to himself. “Yeah, sorry about that. Multiverse travel always comes with a few unexpected complications.”

 

“What the heck is multiverse travel?” Kid Flash glances at his companions to see if they're as lost as he is, which really isn't making Tim feel any better. With the exception of Robin, who still has his game face on, they're all staring at him as though he's speaking another language.

 

Tim doesn't see a point in explaining it if he doesn't have to, so instead of answering Kid Flash's question, Tim locks his eyes with Robin's, and ignores the fact that he's taller than Dick, and how absolutely wrong that is. “Robin, Batman has a protocol for this, right? You've heard of multiverse travel, but thought it was just another one of Batman's crazy 'what-if' scenarios, right?” Tim tries to keep the desperation out of his voice, but there's no telling how long he'll be stuck here if they really don't have any knowledge of the multiverse.

 

Tim isn't sure how old Dick is. He looks about 13, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Tim wonders if Dick can tell exactly where his eyes are locked onto his from behind the mask...if he can tell how much Tim is desperately hoping for some good news here...if he can read Tim's expression despite the cowl. Tim can tell that Dick's eyes flash to the others surrounding him, before settling back on Tim. “We should call Batman.” It's the only response he's going to get, and Tim's okay with that.

 

Aqualad turns back towards Robin, but not before giving Superboy a signal that clearly means watch the new guy, which Tim understands. He'd actually be rather insulted right now if they weren't at least mildly wary of him. However, that still doesn't mean that he's comfortable with seeing Kon staring at him as though he's only mere moments from breaking every bone in Tim's body. “We should handle this ourselves.” Aqualad seems truly annoyed with the prospect of calling Batman, which...it's Batman, so that makes sense to Tim, at least a little.

 

Robin shakes his head. “I don't think so...not this time.”

 

Kid Flash gets between the two of them. “Is anyone going to answer my question? What the heck is multiverse travel? Who the heck is this guy? And what does he want?”

 

Robin glares at Kid Flash. “Look, it's just one of Batman's theories. I don't even know if it's possible, or...”

 

Before Robin can finish his sentence, M'gann slides closer to the group. “I could find out, if you want?”

 

“You mean read his mind.” Superboy seems really annoyed with that plan. Although, Tim isn't sure why.

 

Aqualad gives a curt nod, and M'gann steps closer to him. Tim is well versed with the sensation of someone trying to read his mind, and while he could use what he's learned from Bruce to keep her out, he knows that it's just easier and more expedient to let her in. However, that doesn't mean that he's going to give her an all access pass to his mind. After a few minutes she moves away from him. “He's from a different earth. He doesn't know how he got here, and all he wants is to go back to his own world.”

 

Robin folds his arms over his chest, and glares. “That's not good enough. How do we know that he isn't a bad guy back in his world? What's his name?”

 

M'gann looks really reluctant to speak, but after a few moments she whispers. “He was trained by the Batman in his world. I couldn't get his name, but he did let me know that he goes by Red Robin. Also, he didn't reveal what it is, but he made it clear that, if that wasn't enough for you, he knows your name Robin...your real name.”

 

Robin stares at him like he's suddenly grown two heads. “That's it! We're calling Batman.”

 

Kid Flash glares at Robin. “I thought we decided that Aqualad was the leader.”

 

Tim blinks a few times at that, because...well, that's just interesting. It's not as though he hasn't noticed the subtle hints, and didn't recognize that clearly Aqualad is the leader of this team, but it's still peculiar to have a Robin on the team, and not have him be the leader at some point or another. Although, it's not that outlandish considering everything that's been going on back on his own earth. Robin glances at Aqualad with a pleading expression, and Aqualad nods. “Robin, go contact Batman. Superboy keep a close watch on our new guest. M'gann contact Red Tornado, and let him know that we found the source of the power outage. Kid, find out how long it's going to take to return power to the effected areas, and make sure that everyone has enough supplies to get through the blackout.”

 

The team disperses, and Tim feels a little admiration for Aqualad. He's clearly a good leader, despite it being obvious that he hasn't led this team for long. It's interesting watching the dynamic of this team. Everyone is so much like their counterparts on his world, and yet so different. Tim still isn't sure how to deal with Superboy. He doesn't know how long this version has been around...doesn't know how much this one has learned about himself yet. It's tempting to ask, and maybe even tell him a few things that might save this team from some of the stuff that Tim's team had gone through, but there's no way of knowing if that stuff will even happen here. Clearly, this world varies greatly from his own.

 

It doesn't take long, all things considered, for the team to meet up after accomplishing their individual assignments. Robin is standing by Aqualad, glaring at Tim. Tim would laugh if he didn't think that it'd get him a batarang thrown at his head. “Batman said to bring him back to HQ, and he'd meet us there.”

 

The entire team is tense, and no one is happy with this plan. Everyone looks about two seconds away from trying to take him down, which Tim completely understands. Each and every one of them keeps their distance, and seems to be extremely wary of him. He's well aware that it's probably the cowl and the armor, but it still makes him feel a little awkward. He's not used to seeing non-criminals look at him like that. “Sorry guys, it's not like this is what I had planned for my Saturday either.” He tries to lighten the mood, which is just strange, because that's one) Robin's job and two) Dick's job, and there happens to be a Dick Grayson/Robin sitting three seats away from him, so Tim isn't sure why he's even trying.

 

When they get to what this teams calls HQ, Robin has to hack the systems in order to allow Tim inside. It takes Robin thirty seconds longer than it would have taken Tim, which he finds fascinating, and yet expected...given that the Dick on his world is completely capable of everything Tim can do with computers he just doesn't enjoy it the way Tim does, and Tim is almost always faster. When they manage to get inside, Tim isn't surprised to find Batman there, waiting for them. He doesn't even bother addressing the team. Instead, he heads straight over to interrogate Tim, which is predictable. “How did you get here?”

 

There's about ten different answers Tim could give for that one question, but he's fairly certain that giving curt responses will probably yield the best results. “No idea.”

 

Batman glares at him disbelievingly. “What are your primary objectives?”

 

Tim wants to roll his eyes, and tell Batman to do this in private, that way, they can get to the questions Bruce really wants to ask, but goes with the current pace of the interrogation anyway. “Getting home.”

 

Batman is quiet for a moment before speaking again. “How old are you?”

 

Tim is caught off-guard by the question. He doesn't think that it's something that his Bruce would ever ask, and he's not really sure why this one did. “Seventeen.”

 

Batman looms over him a little more, and Tim just stares at him. He got used to the intimidating Bat glare years ago. “You're not afraid of me.”

 

It's not a question, but Tim answers anyway. “No, I'm not.”

 

Batman grunts, and Tim almost smirks, but catches himself. He forgot how much fun it can be to confuse people just by being. “Stay here until we figure out what to do with you.”

 

Tim nods once, but he's well aware of what that order actually means. It's 'stay here until we verify that you aren't a threat.' He really wants to ask if Bruce has any idea how to send him home, but Tim doesn't want to be disappointed so soon, so he simply watches with the rest of the team as Batman walks away. When Tim turns around to face the rest of them, Kid Flash is in his face. “I don't trust you.”

 

Tim simply nods. “Quite frankly, I'd be disappointed if you did.”

 

Kid Flash moves away from him after that, clearly confused by the statement. Robin looks him over for a moment. “Well, one thing's for certain...you were definitely trained by a Batman.”

 

M'gann stares at him, but doesn't seem to want to interact with him, and that's just fine with Tim. The fewer people he has to deal with, the better. He just wants to go back home where at least, when things don't make sense, he has some chance of figuring them out. Here everything is just different, which just means it's a new form of complicated. Tim really didn't think that he needed his life to become any more complicated than it normally is...and has been for a while. Aqualad left the room the moment he got the chance, which Tim thinks is odd for the leader to do, but he's already seen plenty of evidence to suggest that this team isn't really much of a team at all...yet, anyway. Superboy is still keeping close to him, and still seems like he's only moments away from dismantling Tim. It's more disconcerting than he thought it would be, but it's not something that Tim is incapable of dealing with.

 

When he moves, each of them stops and stares. Robin immediately moves into a defensive posture, Superboy clenches his fists, and Kid flash gets ready to run. It almost makes Tim laugh, because all he did was shift from one foot to the other. This team is very jumpy, so Tim decides to pick a nice defensive spot on the floor and start meditating. He hopes Batman has started on plans to get him home, but Tim doubts it's going to be easy.

 

After an hour of meditation, with Superboy staring daggers at him, Tim shifts his left shoulder. It hurts from whatever hit him before he was transported to this earth, but he's managed to ignore the pain until now. Superboy sits down in front of him. “What are you doing?”

 

Tim glances at him as he rolls his shoulder. “Well, I was mediating, but my shoulder is acting up.”

 

Superboy stares at him blankly for a moment, before his expression shifts into something else, and Tim knows that expression well...he's seen it on Kon's face more times than he can count. Superboy wants to ask Tim something, but he isn't sure if he should. Tim's so used to this type of behavior that without even thinking he sighs out loud. “What do you want to ask me, Conner?”

 

The name just slips out, especially since it's been awhile since Tim has been in a situation where he needed to call Conner anything else. Tim really wants to hate himself, but doesn't really have time to, before he's being slammed against a wall. “What? What did you just call me?”

 

Tim gasps out a breath, and tries to calm the kid down. “Sorry, I'm just used to hanging out with my Superboy...slipped...sorry.” The arm against his throat presses down a little harder, and Tim is seriously going to start seeing dark spots soon if he doesn't get any air. This Superboy clearly isn't used to pulling his strength, which is extremely problematic for Tim right now.

 

After a few moments Superboy drops him on the ground, before Tim can pass out. “So, there's a Superboy on your world, and he...he has a name?”

 

Tim shakes his head trying to clear the blurry vision, and barely registers the question. “What? Yeah, of course...” And that's when it dawns on Tim that this Superboy really is new, and doesn't even have a name other than Superboy yet. Tim feels like he just cheated this boy out of something, and he wants to apologize, but before he can Superboy steps away from him, and mutters a small apology. Tim wants to tell him that he doesn't have anything to apologize for, but he can't really get enough air into his lungs yet.

 

Robin steps closer to him as Superboy retreats out of the room. “What was that all about?”

 

Tim just stares at him for a moment, and tries to remember that he's only one misstep away from being considered the enemy here. Tim shakes his head slightly. “I...I think I just accidentally told him his name.”

 

Tim isn't really sure what response that's supposed to get him, but he doesn't expect the confused pout that Robin flashes him. “What do you mean?”

 

Tim sighs to himself. Dick has never really been good at masking his emotions, and Tim certainly didn't think a younger Dick Grayson would be any better...even one from such a different world. But it's still frustrating to see it this close and without a camera lens between him and those expressions. Tim really doesn't want to tell them anymore than he already has, but after that lovely screw-up, he feels compelled to fill Robin in at least a little bit. “On my world, Superboy is one of my best friends, and we call him Conner.” Tim isn't about to tell anyone here where that name came from or anything else. After all, the day Kon got his name was one of the best days of his life, and Tim isn't about to take that away from this Superboy anymore than he already has.

 

Robin stares at him, and Tim is pretty sure that he's blinking rapidly behind the mask. “So, it's confirmed then...you really are one of the good guys.”

 

Tim just nods, and doesn't mention how that doesn't mean anything, especially since he's seen a future where that really wasn't the case. However, now really isn't the best time to be thinking about that future, or really anything other than getting home. He just hopes that this Bruce is as paranoid as his own, and has a reason to work quickly in order to get Tim home, as opposed to wanting to learn more from him, and thus taking his time with finding the right earth and such. The last thing Tim wants is to be here longer than strictly necessary, so that Batman can interrogate him more thoroughly. He's almost starting to miss dealing with Damian just because it's easier than dealing with these people.

 

Tim pulls himself out of his reverie enough to notice that Robin is still focusing on him, and generally looking like he wants more information...information that Tim isn't willing to give. Before Robin can even make an attempt to ask him something invasive Tim heads him off and tries not to think about how good he is at that from doing it so often with his own Dick. “Is there any chance I could talk to Batman more? I could probably help with the plan to get me back home. I only have a rudimentary understanding of the physics needed, but it's better than nothing.”

 

Robin laughs at him. If he wasn't Dick, Tim might actually respond to it with more than just a raised eyebrow. “First, you have to be the only person who actually wants to spend more time with Batman, and second, I can tell that you're raising an eyebrow under that cowl and it's creepy.”

 

Tim shrugs slightly. “I'm told that often.”

 

Robin smiles at him sharply. “I'm sure you do. You remind me of him, you know?”

 

“Of Bru...I mean, Batman? Yeah, I know. I'm told that often, too.” Tim mentally berates himself for that slip-up too. He doesn't know why he's having so many problems keeping things compartmentalized. It's not normally this difficult, but well...dealing with Dick always adds too many degrees of difficulty to any situation. Tim feels as though the fact that it's apparently universal, and age doesn't seem to matter, should have been predictable--and he's already adjusting his mental notes to account for such dilemmas in the future--but that's not helping him deal with his current situation.

 

Robin gives him that 'I should be on high alert' expression again. “Wait, you know Batman's name, too?”

 

Tim just nods, and tries to ignore the tension headache that's steadily increasing in intensity. “Yeah, I've known it for longer than he's known I've existed, but that's a long story.”

 

Robin scrutinizes him for a moment, before his entire face softens and brightens into a blinding smile. “Well, if you're here long enough, and Batman doesn't use you as a practice dummy, I'd like to hear it.” Before Tim gets a chance to respond Robin leaves the room.

 

Tim just stares at the back of Robin's retreating form, and doesn't say anything. He doesn't have any intention of telling anyone here anything more than he needs to. Although, he's been failing pretty miserably at that for the entire day, so he's not really sure what good having that conviction will do him. He wouldn't be himself if he didn't at least try...right? If Dick...his Dick was here, he'd be mocking Tim for his stunning lack of composure, and asking where the kid who can lie to Batman is--and Tim really wouldn't have an answer for him. Tim has no idea why being here and dealing with everyone is so difficult for him. He feels like he's falling off a building without a jump line and can't get enough air into his lungs to even call for help. It's disconcerting, and a new kind of vertigo--one that he doesn't know how to deal with--and it's leaving him feeling raw and open in a way that he doesn't know how to deal with.

 

All Tim has is the vain hope that this Bruce will somehow manage to find a way to get him back home before something far more disastrous than a minor power outage can happen. After all, spontaneous multiverse travel usually precedes something on the world-ending side of the terrible crisis spectrum, and Tim would much rather be on his own earth if he's going to have to deal with something of that scale. Right now, however, all Tim can do is wait, and try not to screw-up anymore than he already has while he's stuck on this earth with this team. Normally that goal wouldn't seem so unattainable, but Tim is pretty sure that he's allowed to give himself a break...especially after everything that's been going on in his life lately. He really misses Dick right now, and can't help but feel like he'd be handling this entire situation far better than Tim is. Tim wants to go home, and he has no idea when he's going to stop sounding like Dorthy, but it'd be nice if it could happen sooner rather than later. He just can't help missing what this world doesn't have, and, in this immediate instance, that's his older brother.

 

The End

 

Comments

brokaw22
Apr. 1st, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much for saying so. I worked on the first chapter for quite awhile before I figured out how to make them all work together. I'm glad that you're liking this, and thanks for taking the time to comment.