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Fic: A Displaced Red Robin Chapter 6

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 Chapter Five

Next Chapter: Chapter Seven

It's the twenty-seventh time that Wally has fallen on his face, and now Tim is having trouble trying not to laugh. “You need to slow down. That's the entire point of this exercise.”

Wally picks himself up off of the floor and gets ready to run through the course again. “Slow down? Why in the world would I ever need to slow down?”

Tim rolls his eyes at the typical speedster response. “Well, at the very least, so that you can finish this particular exercise; but in general, speed isn't always the most important or most useful skill that you have. You'd be surprised at how useful thinking can be.”

Wally simply huffs out a breath as he tries again. This time he makes it a third of the way through the course before he starts speeding again, and ends up flat on his face, trapped in a net. “This is ridiculous. You're over there laughing at me. I just know it.”

Tim sighs as he helps Wally untangle himself from the net. “No, trust me, I've been through this enough times with other speedsters that I know it's frustrating and tiring for you; but this is something that you need to learn.”

Wally looks as though he wants to say something, but before he gets a chance, Kaldur enters the room. “I'm sorry for interrupting. I didn't know that the two of you were having a private training session.”

Tim waves for him to come the rest of the way into the room. “That's quite alright. I was actually just about to give Wally a food break. I'm sure that he needs it.” The moment the words food break are out of Tim's mouth, Wally is gone and out the door. Tim laughs to himself as he turns back to start resetting the obstacles. “So, what did you need?”

Kaldur seems unsure for a few moments, as if he doesn't want to speak. “I...I was wondering if you could help me with something.”

Tim nods and patiently waits for Kaldur to tell him what it is. When it becomes apparent that he's not going to say anything unless pushed, Tim gestures for him to continue. “Sure, what is it?”

Kaldur looks as though he wants to shuffle his feet, but instead stands tall. “I want to learn how to fight with a staff like you. I've seen you use it in varying ways the few times that I've watched you spar. The way you often use it against Black Canary is most interesting.”

Tim smiles at that, because it's not something that he has to think too deeply about in order to teach adequately. “Sure, not a problem. We can start now if you want.”

Kaldur nods again. “I would like that.”

The two of them move enough stuff to clear a space for them to work, and then Tim goes to get two practice bo staffs to work with. “Okay, now I assume you know the basics, right?” At Kaldur's firm nod, Tim continues. “Okay, well then, I think the best way to teach you is to watch you go through some of the moves you know, and then spar a little. Once I have a decent grasp of what you know, I'll be able to come up with detailed training regimens for you.”

Kaldur smiles slightly at him. “Thank you.”

Tim shrugs off the gratitude. “It's nothing. After all, it's not like I have much else to do, right? Anyway...” Tim moves away to give Kaldur room to work, as he tosses him a practice staff. “...Show me what you've got.”

Kaldur moves into the center of the room, and begins to show Tim some jabs and blocks that he's learned. There aren't any flaws in his form to correct, which makes Tim mentally smile. He's sure that it won't take Kaldur too long to master the weapon. Kaldur then begins to spin and flip, not really using the staff to his advantage, as he fights imaginary opponents. It's not a surprising mistake, given that Tim's never seen Kaldur use a staff. Tim expected that he wouldn't know how best to hold it for maximum damage to his opponents. It shouldn't take too long, all things considered, however, to correct that mistake, and that makes Tim smile openly. “Good. You're doing very well for a beginner.”

Kaldur doesn't seem to believe the praise, but simply inclines his head anyway. “Thank you.”

Tim recognizes that response well enough from his first days of training, so he doesn't try to reaffirm that it's true. Kaldur's confidence with the bo staff, as well as with his training with Tim, will come in time. At least, that was Tim's experience while training with all of his mentors. “If you want, we can start working together every other day after team training. It shouldn't take you too long at all before your comfortable enough with the staff to use it regularly. Once you can spar me with it, and beat me, I'll have you spar with Superboy, so that you can learn how to defend yourself properly using the staff against an opponent who is bigger and stronger than you.”

Kaldur smiles again. “That would be quite helpful. Thank you.”

Tim nods at him, before he moves into the center of the room to show Kaldur his staff routines. “I'm going to show you two of my staff exercises. The first one is simple, and you should memorize all of the movements. The second is a far more complex one, and by the time we're done, you should be able to do the routine in its entirety.”

Tim starts to move the moment he's done speaking. He jabs, twists, and turns, using the staff like it's a part of him. When he kicks, the staff is braced in a position that would make it easy to move it in order to block another opponent. When he spins, the staff is held in the perfect place to take out as many close range targets as possible, and when he finishes, the staff is still held at the ready. He glances over to Kaldur. “What do you think?”

Kaldur seems to be a little more confident now, which Tim is pleased to see. “I should be able do that.”

Tim smiles at that and nods. “Okay, now, here's the harder one.”

Tim begins with a back flip. The staff is balanced in his hands perfectly, allowing him to easily defend himself from multiple sides. When his feet hit the floor, he spins, swinging the staff out to his left and then quickly bringing it back to his right. He jumps and lunges, always keeping the staff in a position that makes it easy for him to move it quickly to wherever he may need it. He lands in a crouch and spins the staff above his head, and then uses it to vault over some imaginary foes. When he lands, Tim pulls the staff to himself, and spins it around his body, before bringing it back in font of him and twirling it in his hands. He jabs the staff down beside his right leg at an angle, and then flips over it. If he was fighting someone, those kicks would definitely knock the person out cold. Tim never stops moving, and always has the staff in a usable and defendable position.

When he finishes, Tim brings the staff back to center and bows a little to Kaldur in order to signal that he's done. Kaldur grins brightly at him. “I believe there is much that I can learn from you.”

Tim smiles as he gestures for Kaldur to move back into the center of the room. “Okay, why don't you work through the first routine that I showed you? I'll give you pointers as you go.”

Kaldur nods and then begins to go through the exercise. There are only a few corrections that Tim needs to make, and he takes direction extremely well. Tim's actually surprised at how easy it is to train him. He expected for some of this to be at least slightly awkward, and Tim honestly isn't sure if training Kaldur is easy because it's staff work or because of how well Kaldur listens and adjusts, exactly the way he tells him to. Either way, it makes Tim feel more useful than he has in quite some time. The two of them spend a few hours working with the staff, before Tim calls it day. He doesn't want to tire Kaldur out too much, especially if the team is needed for anything. He does, however, give Kaldur a few moves that he wants him to practice in his spare time. Kaldur accepts the added work graciously before he leaves, and Tim is honestly almost dreading his next training session with Wally.

Wally doesn't take direction well at all, but that's not really the problem. After all, that's just natural for a speedster. No, the real problem is, working with Wally is just enough like working with Bart, that Tim finds himself nearly sharing inside jokes due to the familiarity of it all; and yet, it's so different, that Tim finds the training sessions to be frustrating in a way that he isn't prepared to deal with. Tim is honestly regretting not asking his Dick more about the specific training techniques he used with the older Titans when they were Tim's age. He's not really sure how to get through to Wally. After all, it's not as though he's really all that close to Wally's counterpart on his world. Sure, he's spent time with the guy, but after the way he's treated Bart over the years, getting to know Wally West was never really a priority for Tim, and he's never really felt bad about that until now.

Tim can't help but feel that he would be better equipped to deal with/help this Wally if he had taken the time to get to know his own Wally a little more. Tim still doesn't see himself going out of his way to spend time with his Wally if, or better yet, when he ever gets back home, but it is something that he's considering. Certainly, it would help if he ever ended up in a situation like this again. However, explaining to Bart the logical reasoning behind trying to get to know Wally West would be difficult to say the least, and quite frankly, Tim isn't even sure it's worth it. He thinks it's definitely something he'll have to think about later, but right now he's scheduled himself some downtime in the library.

It's nice to finally be off the 'could be a threat' list enough that he's allowed to roam the HQ without an escort at all times. That's something that he should really thank Batman for, because without his test, he'd probably still be stuck with at least one of the others. Tim does have to admit that sometimes he misses the quiet presence of Superboy or one of the others. Not frequently, but often enough that Tim has started increasing his training sessions with them all just to give himself a little more time around them. Still, he enjoys his time alone just as much as he always has, and the library is still the best place for him to spend that time. He's still searching for more theoretical science books, but he still hasn't found many that delve into multiverses or anything even close to what he needs. Tim does limit the amount of time he allows himself to search each day, just to keep himself sane.

He's well aware of how obsessive he can become, and the last thing Tim needs is the disappointment of knowing that there really isn't a lot of information to find. He's kept himself from getting desperate enough to search the internet, but that's mainly because Tim knows himself well enough to know that it would start with looking for theoretical science books and end with him gathering as much background information as possible on the counterparts of the people that he cares about the most. Tim doesn't want to know who's alive and who's dead in this world. He tries not to consider how many of his friends have never, and probably will never, exist in this world. It's hard enough for him to think about where his own counterpart is, and Tim knows that he wouldn't be able to stop with just himself. He'd have to find out if there's a Jason Todd here, and he knows that he wouldn't be able to just sit by and let things unfold. He'd have to interfere, but there's no telling what that would do, so Tim avoids computers as much as possible.

He spends his time reading, training, or working with the others...anything to distract him from the itch of knowing that it would only take him 12 hours tops to have all of the information he could ever want. Tim tries to tell himself to trust in Batman; tries to reassure himself that if there's a way, then Batman will find it. But it's been a long time since he's had such unyielding faith in the man, and this isn't even his Bruce. This is a man who, for all he knows, could be just as lost as Tim feels. It's a sinking feeling--one that Tim tries to steer away from as much as possible, but there are times, such as right now, when it's just insurmountable for him to think about anything else.

He's trying to be what he needs to be--trying to give this team the best training that he can--but he can't help but feel like it's not enough--like he's failing. After all, he hasn't even figured out how advanced M'gann's powers are, nor is he sure how he intends to gauge them and improve them. He doesn't want to risk anything disastrous by pushing her too hard or too fast, but he knows that, for all of the control she seems to have, there's so much she doesn't. He also doesn't know what she does (and doesn't) understand about humans. He knows the others aren't really helping all that much with that particular category. After all, Superboy isn't even sure that he is human--that's clear by the way he stares at the others as though they're something unrecognizable. But then, Tim's never been good at making people feel comfortable.

He's actually surprised to find that this was actually easier with his own team. Sure, there are certain aspects of training a team which are easier now that he knows what he's doing, but there are so many more which are just confusing. When he was training his own team it didn't feel so awkward because he was learning, just as much as they were. Not to mention that he was a part of that team. He's not a member of this one, and doesn't want to be, but he's not someone they should really trust and look up to, either--at least, not with how little they really know about him. It's not surprising to him that some of them do, but it's still problematic. The dynamics of this team are something that they are still working out, and Tim isn't capable of helping them with that one bit. They have a leader, but not the one they think they should have, which Tim knows is only going to lead to pain if they don't figure out how to deal with it.

Tim doesn't know how to help them--not really. He has too much information about each person on this team, or at least, of what he can expect out of them once they've advanced enough to match the people he knows back home. It's making it difficult to judge how much he should be pushing them and how far they really will come. He knows that, just because their counterparts on his world can do something, it doesn't mean that these kids will ever reach that level. However, without breaking into Batman's files on each of them, Tim doesn't have much of anything else to compare them with--and he'd rather not hack into the Batcave systems again without a mission-approved reason. After all, Tim really doesn't need to give Batman a reason to think that he's an untrustworthy threat. Unless, of course, that's going to get him home sooner.

Tim's not sure if he wants to get home sooner or not. He wants to go home, but he feels obligated to at least wait until he's managed to impart enough of his knowledge to these kids that it makes them the best operatives possible. He doesn't want to leave before he's managed to make each of them at least a little better than they already are. He'd settle for helping them simply work as a real team instead of as a small band of teenagers, the way that they do now. Tim knows that it's ridiculous to believe that he'll get a choice in the matter, but he doesn't see any reason not to at least plan for it. After all, these kids--and it feels wrong to refer to them as such given that he's only a few years older, but in comparison they really are--need someone who knows exactly how ugly and cruel the world can be. Tim doesn't know what this Batman has faced thus far, but he knows that only a real crisis can prepare someone for the absolute worse, and after everything that Tim's been through, he thinks that he's at least slightly better prepared than anyone else here.

The End (for now)


Sep. 21st, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
Oh no, please continue with it. I will say that some of Tim's thoughts are a little long-winded, but I do like the way he's thinking and how off-putting and homesick it's making him to be with-but-not-with the people he knows and loves. I also enjoy that you're having him get closer little by little to the YJ team. I was amused at the fact that they really are children when compared to him now, and it's a bit of a shame that Tim has no one his age to interact with, or anyone who really -cares- about him here. Because even if the team is respecting him and looking up to him, it's kinda like how you respect your teachers, but you don't really -know- them or understand them. Poor Tim ♥
Sep. 21st, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I definitely do intend to keep working on it. I just have so much to do. lol