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Fic: Not as Planned Chapter Two

Title: Not as Planed
Author: Brokaw22
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: Batman, Nightwing, and Red Robin work together to track down Scarecrow. Needless to say, things go awry.
Thanks to Kathy and WhenFangirlsAttack00 for the beta work.

Chapter One

He didn’t know how many hours had passed since he’d blacked out, but as Tim struggled to his feet, he could tell that it had been long enough for his injured limbs to cramp and his face to swell. The now-dried blood was making his skin feel tight and was flaking off with every facial twitch. He shuffled his way outside, and started to make his way back to the cave, hoping that enough time had elapsed for the new toxin to run its course. He still needed to get back and figure out who had really attacked him. Tim refused to believe that it was actually Dick and Bruce. He wished he hadn’t lost his communicator in the fight. It would have been nice to have Alfred pick him up.

Tim slumped against a building to catch his breath, which was fairly difficult with the five broken ribs. Every inhale and exhale burned and sent a spike of pain through his sides. His left hand throbbed every time he jarred it, and his entire backside, head, and shoulders all ached from his fall into the dumpster. It was going to be a long trek back to the manor if he had to keep stopping to give his injured body a rest, but Tim knew that, as long as he paced himself, and didn’t run into anymore problems, he could make it. It was late enough that he didn’t need to worry about many civilians seeing him, however, that did mean that the likeliness of running into trouble increased significantly.

He forced himself down a few blocks before he had no choice but to stop in an alley once more. Unfortunately, this time Red Robin wasn’t the only one in the alley. There were five gangbangers leaning against the brick of the alley walls, smoking, and Tim instinctively reached for a handful of batarangs before he remembered that he couldn’t fight them. The toxin could still be affecting him. He had no way of knowing if what he was seeing was real, and Tim refused to be responsible for hurting innocent people.

Tim turned to leave, but before he could make his way out of the alley, one of the possible gang bangers threw a knife at him. Tim spun out of the way, ignoring the pain that lanced through his entire body. He still had no proof that the knife was really a knife, and not just another hallucination, so Tim didn’t toss the batarangs still in his hand at the potential enemies in front of him. Unfortunately, his hesitation cost him, and suddenly he was surrounded. Normally, Tim would have pulled his bo staff out and used it to give himself some space, but with his left hand virtually useless and the fact that he really didn’t want to hurt anyone, Tim was left dodging what could be nothing more than his imagination.

One of the gang members threw a punch that Tim ducked, while another kicked out wildly at him. Tim spun away from the kick only to have another guy hit him in the back with what felt like a metal pipe of some sort. Tim dropped his batarangs to the ground and reached into his belt to grab some smoke pellets. He tossed them to the ground, and then fumbled for his grapple gun, but before he could shoot off a line, another gang member slammed him into the nearby wall. Tim landed on the ground in a heap. Before he could get back up, a foot crashed into his already cracked ribs. Tim cried out in agony as the air rushed out of him. Suddenly, another one of the gangbangers roughly grabbed Tim’s broken hand and squeezed. He howled in anguish and tried to twist away, but the gang member had a firm grip on his hand and the move tugged at his shoulder. Tim could feel the pain racing through his entire arm, but he didn’t care. He needed to get away. The sound of his shoulder dislocating was almost drowned out by his scream…almost.

The guy holding Tim’s ruined hand startled at the sound tearing out of Tim’s throat, and instinctively slackened his hold on Tim enough for the young vigilante to rip his hand away, ‘causing even more pain to shoot through his arm. Tim tried to control his breathing while he scrambled for the grapple gun that he had dropped when he fell to the ground, but it was a lost cause. He was in too much pain to do more than gasp and try not to shriek. After what felt like forever, Tim finally managed to get a hold of the grabble gun and shot off a line. His ribs screamed at him as his body was pulled from the ground, and he could feel something tear through the flesh of his leg as he ascended to the roof, but compared to everything else it was little more than a pin prick. Tim glanced down to see three of his own batarangs sticking out of his leg, blood dripping down his leg from the wounds.

He tore the batarangs out of his leg, placed them back into his belt, and then tried to find a way off of the roof that didn’t involve using his injured arm. The fact of the matter was, there wasn’t one…at least, not one that didn’t involve returning to the alley below. Tim bit his lip, and prepared himself for the sharp, burning, sting that he was about to inflict on himself. He took a running leap to the next building, ignoring the pain in his leg, rolled for his landing, hissing as he jarred his shoulder and clutched the roof with both hands, despite the pang of pure anguish he felt through his left hand. He pushed up onto his feet, and continued making his way back to the cave.

It was absolute torture making his way back, but Tim clamped down on all of the sounds that wanted to come out and forced his tired and sore body to keep moving. When he finally entered the cave, the first thing Tim noticed was that Damian had clearly been moved upstairs. The second thing that he noticed was that Dick and Bruce were diligently working at the computer, both still in full uniform. Tim didn’t make a noise as he dragged himself over to the med table. They were both busy, and Tim could deal with most of his wounds on his own. He’d ask one of them to set his hand and pop his shoulder back into place once he had cleaned the rest of his wounds and dealt with the dried blood on his face.

However, the plan to keep from bothering the other two died when Tim realized the only way for him to hop up onto the med table would cause quite a bit of noise. He clambered up, attempting to keep from jostling his arm, and failed miserably. Dick immediately spun around at his hiss of pain, and Tim could see his shock at Tim’s current state, even with the mask. “What in the world happened to you?”

At Dick’s obvious concern, Bruce turned to face Tim as well, but Tim couldn’t answer Dick’s question, not when they both had blood on their gauntlets. “What…what happened to you two?”

Dick glanced down to his gloves, where Tim was obviously staring. “We…we don’t know. We both thought we were fighting people who weren’t really there. I mean, Two-Face and Joker are both in Arkham, and…”

Dick didn’t get a chance to finish speaking before the computer’s alert sounded, letting them know that whatever they were analyzing was done and that there was a match. All three of them turned to face the computer, and suddenly it was like the entire room was depressurized. They all just stared at the screen blankly, and that was when it hit Tim. They were analyzing the blood on their gauntlets. They really did attack him…it was really them all along. Tim had been so sure that it was all just in his head…that it wasn’t really them, and the drug had made him hallucinate the whole thing.

The two of them returned their attention to Tim, this time staring straight at each one of his injuries in horror. Dick was the first one to speak as he tore off his mask. He was gazing directly at Tim’s leg. “Those…those are from batarangs. We…”

Tim shook his head immediately and cut Dick off. “No, I ran into a gang on my way back. They did most of the damage.”

Dick didn’t look convinced, but Bruce laid a hand on his shoulder and squeezed. “Neither of us used batarangs during the…fight.” Tim could see the struggle Bruce had to go through not to stutter out the word ‘fight’, and he honestly hoped that Bruce would just let it be…let Dick believe the lie, even if, Tim knew, Bruce didn’t. But that little hope died the moment Bruce continued speaking. “However, he’s lying. The only wounds I can’t account for are his shoulder and leg.”

Dick released a pained sound as he reached for Tim. “Timmy, I…we…”

Tim held up a hand to stop him. “It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault. You were both compromised, and didn’t know.”

Dick shook his head. “That doesn’t matter.”

Tim was going to protest, but before he could, Bruce cut in. “You knew it was us.”

Tim was about to deny it when Dick spun around to face Bruce, who had at some point removed the cowl. “What? How do you know that?”

“Think about the fight, Dick. At no point did he use his bo staff, and he has no defensive wounds.”

Tim glanced down at his own hands unsure of what to say. He didn’t know how to make this better…make this okay for them. He hadn’t believed it was them, but he also wasn’t going to attack anyone. “I…I didn’t think it was you, but I couldn’t be certain that it wasn’t all in my head.”

“And you refused to defend yourself on the off chance that you would be attacking civilians.” Bruce sounded almost pleased, which made Tim want to smile, but his face hurt too much. It had been a long time since he had heard that tone directed at him.

Dick glanced between the two of them for a moment. “I don’t get it. We saw our worst enemies, but how did the drug affect Tim? If he saw us, then what does that mean?”

Both of their gazes zeroed in on Tim, but he didn’t have the heart to tell them the truth. He couldn’t tell them the words that his mind supplied for them, so he merely shrugged with his uninjured arm. “I guess I got to my rebreather fast enough, after all. I just assumed I didn’t.”

Neither one of them seemed to believe him, but they both looked reluctant to push him. Tim could clearly see their guilt weighing them down, and he just wished he knew how to make it alright again. “I’m fine, guys.”

Dick shook his head again. “Your hand and nose are broken because of us, and god, how many ribs did we break, Tim? This is not fine!”

Tim gave a one-armed shrug again, attempting to calm Dick down. “I’ll heal.”

“B broke your metacarpal bones, Tim. You’re going to be out for weeks!” Dick sounded nearly hysterical now. “How can you act like this is okay?”

Tim sighed. “I repeat, Dick, it wasn’t your fault. Neither one of you knew what you were doing.”

Dick looked as though he wanted to continue arguing, but Bruce placed his hand on Dick’s shoulder once again. “It’s been a long night. Tim needs his nose and hand set. Go get Alfred while I fix his shoulder.”

Dick seemed reluctant to leave, but one pointed glare from Bruce had him heading up the stairs. Tim glanced over to Bruce, who was clearly beating himself up just as much as Dick had been. “It’s really okay, Bruce.”

Bruce merely shook his head. “No, it’s not.”

Tim took a breath to argue, but his mind blanked at the searing pain that shot through his entire arm as Bruce popped his shoulder back into place. He sucked in a few deep breaths before turning back to Bruce. “Thanks.”

Bruce looked like someone punched him in the gut when his eyes met Tim. “Don’t thank me, Tim…not tonight.”

Tim tried to reach out to Bruce, but the man was too far away. Tim heard Alfred making his way down the stairs, and glanced over to the man. When he looked back, Bruce was gone, and Tim sighed once again. There was no way to fix this, Tim knew that.

The End