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Fic: A Displaced Red Robin Chapter 5

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.

Previous Chapters: Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four

Next Chapter: Chapter Six

They've run through this practice exercise five times now. Tim knows that he should have said something after the second time that the whole thing fell apart, but he's not used to working with a Dick Grayson who doesn't automatically learn from his mistakes and adjust for it. “Robin, this is your team--your friends--treat them as such. Talk to them. I know that you're used to working with a grim, mostly silent partner, but no one on this team is Batman. You're chatty, so use it to your advantage. Let your teammates know where you're going to be.”

Robin nods at him once, and then flashes a grin as they run through the practice exercise again. He's getting better--they all are--and it's only been a couple of days since Batman gave him his orders. Tim refuses to be angry about that. He needs something to do, and this team needs someone who can train them full time. Besides, it wouldn't be the first time that Tim used training as a distraction from his life. It is, however, the first time that Robin has been here to train with them. After all, Gotham always takes precedence over everything and everyone else. Tim thought it would be far more awkward to train Dick, as opposed to training with Dick, but it's going well so far.

After another two hours of team building exercises--and this team needs a lot of them--he sends the rest of the team off to go change, but asks Robin to stay. If Tim wasn't used to dealing with another Dick Grayson, he might not notice the sudden nervous energy humming through Dick's body, but as it stands, it's almost blatantly obvious. “Relax, I just wanted to tell you good job. You're improving exponentially--especially considering that you don't always get to be here as often as the others.” Tim knows from experience that most people improve faster and react better to positive reinforcement, but beyond that, he's also fairly certain that it's just a universal truth that Dick Grayson works better with encouragement.

Dick breathes out a laugh and smiles again. “Thanks. By the way, M'gann told me about the test that Batman put you through, and I just wanted you to know that I had nothing to do with that. I didn't even know about it.”

Tim holds up a hand while he shakes his head. “It's okay, really. I'm used to being constantly tested, especially by a Batman. I just wish I knew if he was still working on trying to get me home.”

Dick's eyes widen behind the mask. “What? Of course, Batman is still trying to get you home. Why would you ever think otherwise?”

Tim casts his eyes down to the ground, and doesn't say anything for a long moment. He almost forgot about Dick's undying faith in the man, and he doesn't want to do anything to tarnish that for him--especially since Dick is so young. He probably hasn't ever had any reason to question any of Bruce's motives yet, and Tim doesn't want to be the one to make him doubt that Bruce always has his best interest at heart. It's just that, the only person Tim has ever had that type of unyielding faith in was, and always would be, Dick himself. Tim knows that when Bruce gets obsessive--as he so often does--then some times the people around him get tossed to the wayside. And, quite frankly, Tim can't see any evidence that that isn't what's happening to him now. After all, it's not as though this Bruce knows him or cares about him. Tim has every reason to believe that he's just a useful tool in The Batman's crusade, and he'll remain here until he no longer is such.

Tim shakes his head again. “It's nothing. Anyway, you should go get changed.”

Dick looks hurt at being dismissed, but turns to leave all the same. Tim wants to say something, but he doesn't know what. He doesn't want to be the cause of any Dick Grayson's pain, which is why he knows that he has to let Dick leave. Tim knows that he's going to end up saying something that could potentially crush this Dick, if they continue this conversation, so he watches Robin's retreating form in silence, knowing full well that it's for the best. However, when Dick reaches the door, he abruptly stops and spins back around. “He says that you're better than me, you know? That you were trained more extensively...that you probably had other teachers in addition to his counterpart on your world. Do...do you think...think that he wants to replace me...with you?” Dick looks like it's the hardest thing that he's ever had to voice, and Tim doesn't know what to do, so he takes a page out of Dick's own book.

Tim walks over to Dick, grabs both of his shoulders (which are too tiny, in Tim's opinion, to be any Dick that he knows) in both of his hands, and crouches down so that they're at eye level. “No, Dick, I really don't think that he does. I think that he wants you to be the best that you can possibly be, and even if that isn't what you are now, know that you will always have people who love and care for you--Bruce included.”

Dick bows his head as tears start to fall from his eyes. Tim has only ever known one way to deal with a crying Dick, and he figures that this boy can't be that much different from his older brother, so Tim pulls him into a hug and lets him cry as long as he needs to. Dick clings to him, and sniffles a few times into Tim's shirt. “How do you know that?”

Tim really doesn't want to give away any more information than is strictly necessary, but he's pretty sure that this Dick needs to hear what he's about to say. “Because, back on my world, you're my adopted older brother.”

Dick blinks at that a few times and pulls away slightly. “Bruce adopts more kids?”

Tim smirks a little and nods. “Yeah, a few.” He doesn't see any reason to mention how many of them there really are back home. “In my world, at least. I don't think I have to tell you how different my world is from yours, though.” Except, Tim thinks about it for a moment, and how much he's told them about his world. “Or, maybe I do.”

Dick laughs and shakes his head. “No, I think it's obvious from the way that you dress.”

Tim glances down at his costume. “What's wrong with the way that I dress?”

Dick scrunches up his nose in distaste. “It's too much like Batman's.”

Tim doesn't say anything, but just nods at him. It's not as though he hasn't heard worse about this particular costume back home. “I guess so.”

Dick stares at him for a moment, and considers what he's been told thus far, before speaking again. “So, you said that I'm your older brother, right?” At Tim's nod, Dick continues. “So, am I a good big brother?”

Tim smiles widely at that. “The best.”

Dick grins brightly at him. “You're not just saying that to make me feel better, are you?”

Tim shakes his head and laughs. “No, I'm not, and if you don't believe me, I can tell you some of the awesome things that your counterpart and I have done while you help me set up for Kid Flash's solo training.”

Dick smirks evilly at that. “I'm game. So, what torture are you going to be putting KF through, anyway?”

Tim shakes his head as he pulls the practice mats out of the way. “He needs to learn to think before he reacts--and before he speaks, if the way he talks to M'gann is any indication--but that will come later.”

Dick laughs. “Yeah, right. What do you intend to do? Smack him every time he opens his mouth?”

Tim gestures for Dick to help him move some of the equipment around. “No, but I could let Superboy practice catching with him sometime.”

Dick raises an eyebrow at that. “What do you mean?”

“Eventually, Superboy is going to have to learn how to catch people when they're falling without breaking bones. It's going to take a lot of practice before he gets it down, and super-healing would make Wally the most likely candidate to help with that little activity.”

Dick stares at him for a moment before whistling. “You've got an evil streak in you. Remind me to stay on your good side.”

Tim's smile dampens a little at that. He can almost here the missing 'little brother' at the end of that sentence, and it makes him miss his Dick even more than when he first got here. He shakes it off, and continues moving stuff around. Tim has a team to train, and he won't let his personal issues get in the way of doing just that.

The two of them work silently together until abruptly Dick stops what he's doing. “So, what do you and your brother do together?”

Tim nearly drops the net that he's holding. “What?”

Dick huffs out a breath of annoyance. “You told me that you'd tell me some of the awesome stuff that you guys do together, so...” Dick trails off and gestures with his hand for Tim to start speaking.

Tim spends the next hour telling Dick stories about train surfing, beating up bad guys, watching terrible movies, and relaying stories of his younger days as Robin. He doesn't mention too many things about the last year or so, and he makes sure never to use code names while he's talking about his various team-ups with Nightwing while he was Robin. If Dick notices that Tim is deliberately leaving things out, he doesn't mention it. In fact, he mostly just laughs and makes jokes. Tim can't remember the last time that he just spent time talking with someone when it wasn't mission related.

Dick's smile is as bright as Tim has ever seen it, and he can't help but grin back. “So, you and your Dick are really close, right? I mean, you guys clearly spend a lot of time together.”

Tim nods once. “Yeah, as much as possible.” It's true...or at least it used to be. Tim tries not to think about it that way, but ever since Damian became Robin, they don't spend nearly as much time together as they used to--and how could they? Tim doesn't want to be around Damian any more than is strictly necessary, and they both have their own lives. Dick has his priorities and Tim has his, and it works. Or, at least that's what Tim tells himself.

Dick suddenly nudges him with his elbow. “Hey, where did you just go? Your facial expression just got all 'Batman blank,' and I really didn't think that anyone other than Bruce could achieve that.”

Tim shakes his head as if to clear it. “Sorry, I was just thinking about something. Anyway, I think we're done in here, so if you want to go hang out with the others I think I'm going to go to the library.”

Dick bites his lip uncertainly, and looks like he really wants to force the issue, but instead just nods and turns to leave. “Thanks for, you know...telling me that stuff.”

Tim nods mutely as Dick walks out of the door. He sinks down onto the floor and cradles his head in his hands. He needs to get his head on straight if he's going to be of any use here. It's just that, the longer that he stays here, the more that he starts to wonder if they even need him back home. Is there really even a point to trying to find a way back, when he can do so much more here?

The End (for now)

Comments

brokaw22
Aug. 29th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I really appreciate the compliments. I actually sent the next chapter of this to my beta a week or so ago, but she's having some RL issues to deal with, so I don't know how soon I'll be getting it back.