Tim laughed as they flew over Metropolis, nothing could beat this. He whooped, cheering as they flew. Then looked up at Kon's face, only to see the other boy smiling down at him like he’d hung the stars in the sky. His heart skipped a beat and for everything Tim knew, he really wasn’t sure who leaned into the kiss first. All he knew was that it felt exactly right, and he never wanted this moment to end.
Something was off about the clone. Bruce trusted Tim, he did, but something wasn’t adding up. The boy was too cocky, too brash, there had to be something he was missing. A boy like that didn’t just, stay perfect. He’d seen enough to know (Booster Gold, Hal, Jason…). So. He looked.
It wasn’t too hard to find Kon in the papers, looking up all of his past aliases was easy enough, Metropolis kid, Superman, Superboy, they all turned up plenty of results, and it was even easier to find pertinent information from the US Justice System’s records, but it was all things he knew. There was no way Kon-El had been on the straight and narrow. Batman couldn’t believe it, so he wouldn’t. He kept looking.
It was annoyingly difficult to find, he was the Batman after all, but eventually. He did find something. Somethings plural, really. Mostly things he knew but, things he hadn’t been aware were still happening. The boy flirting incessantly with anything that moved, a near-violent opposition to authority that wasn’t Superman, a willingness to talk to reporters that no cape should honestly have and… there. Continued involvement with Cadmus right up until the program went rogue, and continued contact with a number of persons he’d been in contact with during his stint as Superman, namely, Rex and Roxy Leech.
Well he certainly hadn’t known about that. He reached for his phone, phoning Tim his first thought but… he stopped. There was no way Tim didn’t know about this. No way he didn’t know about the Clone’s continuous returns to Cadmus prior to the incidents with the DNAngels, about his continued contact with… less than admirable figures from his past. Hell, Young Justice had gotten involved in a few Cadmus incidents, Tim wouldn’t have gone into any of them without knowing everything he possibly could, and if Dick was any accurate indication, that team couldn’t hide anything that important from Red Robin. That left him with one conclusion: Tim has been lying to him. At least since Cadmus, possibly longer.
Why the fuck would he do that? The clone was obviously unstable, from the physical instability of his body to his proneness to emotional outbursts on the field. It was a matter of time before the boy snapped and went dark. They’d already seen it could happen, alternate universes were always showing them possible futures after all, they couldn’t just ignore the information when it came to them. Sure, this Clone had helped defeat Black Zero, but that didn’t mean he was immune from becoming something similar. Batman already had his doubts and issues with Superman, he didn’t need misinformation clouding his judgement of any other super, especially not with that kid Clark thought he was hiding so well finally coming into his powers.
Jon, was it? Yes, it was, and Clark wouldn’t be able to hide the boy from the rest of the cloaked community for long. Half human, half Kyrptonian… there was no telling what the boy would be able to do.
So why was Tim actively lying? Batman pulled up the boys reports, reading through them again to check there was nothing he missed and, no, there wasn’t. Except.
Batman cursed himself as he realized. Every single incident that had made the papers made it into these reports. As had most of the ones that made priority-level government investigations. But individual behaviors? Patterns that would indicate anything large or small or otherwise important? All missing. Not entirely, and not from the beginning, but phased out so gradually that it went unnoticed. The reports were full and thorough. But not Tim-thorough.
Tim, who could notice things so inconsequential about their rogues gallery that Batman himself had mostly disregarded them, then used those things to save thousands of lives.
When one of Joker’s bombs was a decoy, when Riddler was distracting them from the true answer to a riddle, which non-Wayne charities were likely to be left alone because ivy’s childhood friend or something owed them one or something, and so could be ignored to focus on larger targets. When bottle-necking roads was a strategy beyond causing fear and panic. Tim noticed things that like that. Every time, Tim noticed. Things that, loathe as he was to admit, the Batman himself was prone to missing. Even a change in something as simple as music taste or style could mean something in such an unstable target, Tim knew that. Tim would notice, and report both on any such change, or lack thereof. Yet… there was nothing.
He began looking at Tim.
The boy would know if anyone had been in his room. He’d know if Batman did anything to physically check up on him. But that didn’t mean everything about Tim’s life was so controlled. He checked the boys Wayne accounts, checked the YJ budget, ran the security footage from mount justice, and that of the manor.
He really, really didn’t like what he found.
The accounts at first glance showed nothing wrong. And wasn’t that just absolutely suspicious after those reports. So he checked the manor footage, and immediately had his suspicions confirmed. Because just the laundry room alone showed Tim didn’t just have his new skateboard (Redboard 2.0, as he’d taken to calling it), he had a bunch of new shirts, jeans, leathers, things distinctly more like the Clone’s style. Things Bat- Bruce, had never seen the boy in. Meaning Tim had been purposely avoiding him while in any of it. Not damning on it’s own, but Batman wasn’t liking this one bit and- was that one of the Clone’s shirts?
He shook his head. Not important. Yet. I’ll get back to it. Ok the things weren’t damning. Kids adopted habits from their friends. That was normal. Further viewing showed a number of things definitely bought because of Impulse. New game systems, movies, and a few comics he’d heard Barry mention Bart liking in passing a few times. The items weren’t the problem. The fact that there was no purchase record for them, that was a problem.
Batman, however off guard he was just then, wasn’t dumb. He knew Tim had separate accounts under false names. Knew the boy was careful so if any of the JLA went rogue, including Batman, or if the league of assassins decided to make a reappearance, he’d still be able to function at 100% capacity. Funds were part of that. But using those accounts to buy seemingly innocuous… things. That meant he was trying to keep the Bat out of it. Didn’t want him to know how invested, no, how familiar he was with his team.
It seemed his suspicions were proving right. Batman frowned, and kept looking.
Longer periods of time spent at mount justice, in his apartment, in his various safe houses, just more time out of the manor in general. More communication with Lucius on their tech channels. Generally, more distance from Batman, from the family, and more time with his team.
He pulled the Mount Justice footage to the front of the screen and frowned. Half of the system was off limits to him. Which, should not have been possible. The computer was routed directly to the batcomputer so unless someone had–
Someone had updated the system without alerting him, and made the security self-contained to the mountain.
Not someone. His mind supplied. Tim.
The more he dug, the less he liked this. He was starting to be glad he hadn’t called Tim.
He checked which parts of the security system he was blocked from and. That wasn’t reassuring in the least. The gym. The “Unofficial”, smaller common room that every mentor knew was more used than the main room. The kitchen. The hallways surrounding the dorms. Anything that wasn’t the entrances, tech lock-up, and the memorial room were all off limits to the batcomputer.
Tim didn’t want anyone watching his team. Batman knew he taught him to be paranoid, but this… the boy didn’t want Batman watching them, specifically. He was hiding much, much more than just some semblance of personal privacy, that much was sure. To not be allowed to view training… Tim didn’t want him knowing what the team was capable of.
In any universe, that was bad news. Tim was up to something, something that was inevitably bad news.
He kept searching.
Tim looked at his computer and frowned. B had tried to access the Mount Justice security system. But why? He hadn’t done anything to make the man suspicious. He’d kept his spending records the same, reported on the team with the expected information, kept up his duties in Gotham, Maybe he’d found out about the robins nest? That wasn’t really a secret but, its locale wasn’t really something he’d wanted to broadcast. They each had their own places to hide in the event of any of the bats going rogue. Hell, almost all of Jason’s safe houses were off the map, much to B’s frustration. Tim had been careful, and that meant something. Maybe it was about something Wonder Woman or Barry said? But… Cassie didn’t really know anything compromising about Tim. He’d trust her with his life. Just, maybe not his personal life away from the team, yet. And Bart wasn’t nearly as close with Barry as he’d been with Max, certainly not close enough (yet, anyhow) to voice any serious concerns.
He could just be testing the security, but he generally left that to Oracle, it’s why he’d left her full access to the security cams, it’s not like she wasn’t on their coms, anyway. There wasn’t such a thing as hiding information from her, especially information that affected any of the hero teams. Except maybe his personal laptop. He was pretty sure he’d Oracle-Proofed that. He’d have to check.
Now, he had to figure out how much Batman knew. He pulled up the user logs from the batcomputer. B could clear them all he liked, that didn’t stop Tim’s Trojan (or Oracle’s, for that matter) from recording everything and sending it straight to Tim’s PC from a private satellite Kon had helped him put on the JL Satellite base.
He was thorough about his security, ok?
B had checked all of Tim’s accounts, and all the security footage he could get his hands on. And that. That was bad. That meant B had actual reason to be suspicious. Or at least his paranoia had led his suspicion, and he’d found something that fed it. Why was the footage from the laundry room pulled up? His face paled when he saw Alfred folding Kon’s shirt to be put into Tim’s pile. He scrolled through the log and– oh. Shit. Why was he looking into Kon again? He’d made it very, very clear that was Tim’s job from here on out and– oh no.
There, staring back at Tim from his computer screen, were entrance logs from every single one of Kon’s visits to Cadmus, and, however less primly documented, his trips to see Roxy and Rex. Something he’d worked very, very hard to keep out of Batman’s hands.
He closed his computer, closed his eyes, and rubbed at his temples. This… this was bad.
“So you’re telling me the big ol’ bat knows?”
“I’m telling you that he might, and that’s kinda worse, Kon.” Tim responded, face in his hands and biting at the inside of his cheek with anxiety.
“Tim, how, pray tell, is that worse? If he does know, at this point it means he probably doesn’t care, I mean, he hasn’t called you yet, and you said it’s been a few days. If he doesn’t care, it means we can just keep under the radar, and eventually, he’ll think he was just seeing things that weren’t there. It’s not THAT weird for you to be close with your team”. He smiled, and Tim almost felt better. Almost. “Besides,” Kon continued with a sly grin. “You’re my best friend, it’s not that weird to share clothes”
Tim almost smiled. He wished he could.
He’d removed the cameras in this section of the dorms entirely but, that hardly made him feel batter. The Batman had his ways. Tim knew that better than most
He shook his head.
“It means we need to be even more careful, Kon. He knows I’ve been lying in my reports. Whether or not he knows about us is nearly a moot point, he’s gonna think I’m up to some new scheme again and double down on security.” He sighed. “God fucking forbid I have hope in someone rather than an indisputable belief in their inherent evil, or something.”
And his tone was half joking but, Kon knew better. He pulled the boy into his arms and placed a kiss on his head.
“Tim, I’ve told you before, there are a lot of times I would not have made it if you weren’t in the background supporting me. Whatever B-man says, you were right. You gave me every chance you could to let me grow, rather than aiming for my kneecaps whenever shit went sideways.” Tim chuckled then, and Kon smiled at the boy in his arms.
“You… you mean so, so much to me Tim. You’re my best friend. My Boyfriend. I love you. Having to hide from Batman for a few months isn’t gonna to change that.”
Tim nodded, so Kon lifted him to the edge of his bed and gently soothed a hand up and down his back.
“Even if you go back to only being around here on weekends. We’ll be fine.” Kon chuckled. “Besides, what evil plan could video games, a wardrobe change and a less-than-average amount of teenage rebellion honestly lead to?”
“Tim,” Kon gave him a look. “As many times as your bat-paranoia has saved our asses, sometimes it goes a little too far. The Bat ain’t exempt from that, and he knows it.” He pulled back slightly, just far enough to look Tim in the eyes. “We’ll be fine, okay?”
Tim hesitated, biting his cheek, then nodded. Kon smiled at the anxious tick, then leaned down and gently kissed his boyfriend. Then pulled back, and poked his cheek, chuckling at Tim’s quiet protest against the childish gesture.
“Bart said earlier that things are quiet tonight. How’s a movie and ungodly amounts of popcorn sound?”
Tim smiled, and by Rao Kon loved when he did that.
“Yeah, that sounds nice”.
Kon Silently cheered.
“Alrightie then. You pick the movie, I’ll make the popcorn?”
“Ok but if you try to use your heat vision to cook it again I’m lining this place in red sun lamps.”
“It was ONE time!”
Tim clicked his tongue. “Don’t care. Don’t burn my popcorn.”
Kon laughed, and went to go microwave some popcorn.
He still thought he could get it done faster with his heat vision though. He just needed some practice!
Still though… the idea that Batman could think they’re plotting against him… It certainly wasn’t a settling thought. Not with the amount of kryptonite that man had access to. Not with the things he knew about Kon’s DNA in an easy-to-access folder on the batcomputer. But… that didn’t really matter, did it? They weren’t planning anything against the Bat, had just hid… ok, decent amount of information. But it was fine because Tim had been right and Kon was fine!
Now. He was fine now. Hadn’t always been when Tim was choosing to look the other way…
But, that didn’t matter. Now was what mattered. And now, Kon was fine. Firmly rooted morals, control of his powers, and a steady relationship to boot. Even if some things from his past still hurt well, that was normal. He just wished he could help ease Tim’s anxiety more. Sure, Endless optimism and logical reassurances helped but, there wasn’t much else Kon could do. He felt useless and, he hated that more than just about anything.
It had been a month. Batman hadn’t said anything but Tim knew he was still being watched. He gradually moved back to the manor more, moved any clothes ‘not befitting a Drake heir’ over to mount justice, focused on Gotham-based cases, only saw his team on weekends, and updated the security on the Sanctuary. The last one might have seemed suspicious but…
[Programmer’s Note: we’re a bunch of TEENAGE super heroes Think about the inaccessible feeds, and where they are. There are things you don’t want to see hear, or otherwise know. If something happens, we have the footage. Take our word on this.]
Tim was pretty sure he had his bases covered. At least, he’d been in the batcave when Bruce had found that little note and, while Tim was sure it’d be a cold day in hell before anyone but Selina could make the Bat himself blush, the annoyed/embarrassed half grunt he’d let out had been proof enough he’d gotten the message loud and clear.
Tim was getting ready for patrol, and it was the first time since he’d started spending more time in Gotham that he’d be allowed to patrol on his own. Though, “Allowed” might be a strong word. With Cass in Hong Kong, Steph prepping for finals, Dick over in ‘haven and watching Damian for the night, B didn’t really have a choice if he wanted to make sure Gotham was safe tonight. Red Robin could handle himself, and Hood could cover crime alley. The City was huge, and as shorthanded as they were, they needed to spread out, and stay in contact.
For tonight, he was decently confident that he was safe from the Batman’s wrath. He pulled on his suit, secured its locks, glued a thinner domino in place to stay below the cowl (what can he say, more rogues had tried to unmask them lately than he was really comfortable with. The domino was an extra layer of defense and Kon could Fight Him about it).
Speak of the devil.
His phone buzzed just as he was putting it in his locker, (communicators only while on patrol), and looking down it was from Kon. While he didn’t let himself smile, he did check to make sure B was out of the locker room before checking it.
Kon: Check it out
Tim clicked on the link,
—If an elf and a dwarf fucked, would it make a human?
— Going by older edition of D&D they made an awkward ugly
thing called a dwelf, which usually combined the worst aspects
of both races personalities and physical construction.
—…yeah, a human
And Tim promptly cracked the fuck up, fingers flying across the keyboard of his phone.
Tim: Kon what the FUCK are you doing on tumblr?! XD
He waited a second, still laughing, and almost doubled over when he got Kon’s response.
Kon: Reading up on DND. Think I’m Half-Orc Paladin. But
Kon: Handsome. 😎
Kon: you know we have shippers. Right?
And well, Tim knew. But knowing and knowing that Kon knew were two very, very different things and Tim was losing his shit.
He tried not to think about the fact that the link he was staring at was definitely fanart of him and Kon making out in the sky. He failed, and promptly continued to laugh until his sides hurt.
He looked at the clock though, and quickly sobered.
Tim: Jfc, gonna kill me with this lmfao. I gotta leave for patrol, I’ll check it out after.
Tim: Love you <3
Then he closed is phone, and locked it up in his locker. He was grinning while he tried to stop laughing.
He didn’t notice Batman standing outside the locker room. Didn’t see his frown as he walked away.
It was 4 am and Tim was exhausted. It’d been one of those nights were only petty crime was happening, but by the shitty gods of this universe was there a lot of it. If Tim saw one more goddamn attempted mugging this week, someone was getting a broken nose. Or maybe he’d just override all the local radio stations to play music from Barney all day. He grinned at the idea. B might kill him but it’d be sweet, sweet revenge for the sheer number of dumb robberies people had attempted tonight.
So, 4:05 am now, Tim was en-route to his apartment, and, for once, thanking the universe that Gotham sunrises were NOT at 4 am this time of year. He could actually go back to his actual apartment, as opposed to say, the shitty safe house on Williams and 70th.
His Robin Com beeped.
Fuck a broken nose he was throwing someone down a (short) elevator shaft. A floor or two should do it.
He stopped where he was, looked around, pulled the device from his pocket, and pulled the message up. It was, from Jason?
Look out replacement, daddy bats looks like he might actually break his #1 rule tn. You and your super-boytoy get caught in the cave or something? Wait. No oh my god tell me you’re not trying to hide this from him. Welp. Good luck with that. Anyway. Yeah, B is pissed. Look out for yourself, he probably won’t be answering any distress signals for the rest of the night.
There was. So, so much wrong with that entire message. What the Hell could B be so mad about? Why hadn’t he heard? Was it a rogue? Selina? Another Hero? And… How did Jason know about them?! Unless– Tim nearly laughed. Panic won out, but he almost laughed.
Because holy shit him and Roy probably pulled the same shit holy fucking shit jay IS bi–
Ok. So Jason knew. That didn’t, in any way shape or form mean that B knew. Tim tucked the communicator away, trying to calm down his breathing. His apartment was three blocks away, he needed to get there, then he could panic about all of this.
Besides, he was done for the night, it’s not like he’d need B to swoop in.
Still, he made a mental note to thank Jason for the heads-up, later.
But for now, he set off for his place. When he was finally on his own roof, he plopped down behind the frankly ridiculously large HVAC fan between some vents, and let himself start to panic. He probably should have waited until he was inside and out of costume but. Hey, at least he’d be armed if someone came up to him in costume. Out of costume, he was supposed to be useless in a fight.
He really wished he didn’t have to be.
But, he did, so he sat between some comically large air vents, and let himself panic. It had to happen at some point, right? How did Jason know? The only people who knew about him and Kon were Bart, Cassie, and Ma and Pa Kent and all four of those people were particularly and painfully adept at keeping secrets. He hadn’t even told Cass, though, Cass probably knew anyway, but she wouldn’t tell anyone unless he specifically said it was ok. His Com beeped again. Reluctantly, he pulled it out.
Also, not that I give a fuck, but for the sake of you not panicking and falling off a roof, I know cause Roy saw you two idiots with your tongues down each others throats in civies out in SanFran a few months ago. Chill, no one else knows, and you know well as I do all of your private channels are secure, you paranoid little freak. See you Never.
Ok so. That was, bad but. Not terrible? He really needed to stop breathing so fast or he was gonna start hyperventilating. But hey? At least it had just been Roy? And neither him nor
JayJason really had any reason to tell B.
God how could Tim have been so stupid! He was Timothy Drake-Wayne! He couldn’t just get caught ducking into random alleys to kiss random boys from Kansas! If the tabloids had gotten wind of that, they would have had a field day. It’s hard enough getting the board members at WE to respect him. He’s supposed to be taking over soon, he can’t get caught making out in an alley like a child.
His heart skipped and he let out a short sob.
I should probably ease up on the caffei–
And then there were arms around him, and a familiar leather jacket under his face as he was pulled into a hug.
“shhh, shhh… It’s ok Tim, I’m right here, you’re ok…”
Tim shook his head, burying his face into the shoulder of Kon’s jacket while another sob worked its way passed his lips. He tried to get his breathing under control but, truthfully? He knew it was a lost cause. Sleep deprivation, excessive caffeine and high levels of stress, while what he lived on, were also the things that caused most of his panic attacks, eventually, anyway.
So, at 4:32 am on a Wednessday morning, he sat in his boyfriend’s lap on the roof of his apartment building, and sobbed.
It took ten minutes for Tim to calm down enough to talk, and by then, he honestly felt a little ridiculous. So what if Jay knew? It wasn’t the end of the world, it’s not like he was actively trying to kill him anymore, and he knew better than most how damning getting outed could be. Jason wasn’t going to say shit, he just said what he did to tease Tim. Realistically, Tim also knew that Jason had sent the second message to stop Tim from having this reaction. Shame it made it too late.
He told Kon, of course he told Kon, it was his… Secret? That Felt wrong, Kon didn’t care much if others knew, not like Tim did, but, it was Kon’s life too. Conner Kent getting caught with Timothy Drake-Wayne would cause a media shit storm that could compromise his identity. And if his identity was compromised, so were those of half the other kryptonians on earth, and it would put Ma and Pa Kent, and Lois in danger. No, if Tim and Kon ever went public, it would have to be with the Wayne family lawyers between them and the press. And if any of Gotham’s underbelly found out Red Robin and Superboy were an item… Tim really, really didn’t want to think about how much worse the insults and inevitable torture would get after that.
He told Kon that Jason and Roy knew. Told them why he knew they wouldn’t tell anybody.
Best friends don’t stare smugly at the massive hickey on your neck, Kon. That was literally a factor in our getting together, and frankly, it was a situation between my brother and his boyfriend that I never want to be in again.
Kon had laughed.
Kon had also said he’d showed cause he heard Tim’s heart start to go haywire. Just checking in but… Kon had given him a sheepish smile and rubbed the back of his neck.
Something warm grew where Tim’s lungs were supposed to be.
Tim almost smiled at that.
Tim really, really loved the late sunrises this time of year. Even if the air was cold as Mr. Freeze’s lab, it meant him and Kon could sit on his roof, hidden behind a massive HVAC system, and stare at the cloudy, light polluted, starless sky of Gotham. And hey, his boyfriend was honestly like a personal space heater, so Tim really wasn’t complaining about the cold. Not when Kon was rubbing circles on his back like that. Not when he was pressing kisses to Tim’s head where he’d pulled back the cowl (thank everything for dominos). Not when he was finally calming down, and, for what felt like the first time in months, possibly going to be able to fall asleep. He knew Kon had a key to his place. Knew he had the codes to get into his window without tripping the security, knew he wouldn’t leave him there alone.
“I love you, you know” he mumbled into Kon’s neck, and he could feel the other boy’s smile against his temple. “Don’t think I’ve ever told you in person before…”
Now Kon was definitely smiling.
“I love you too, Tim. So much” He gently squeezed the boy in his arms, and looking up, Tim saw that fond smile dancing on his face. He decided he really, really liked that smile. He was also probably wearing a very similar one on his own face. Red Robin wasn’t supposed to smile. Not while he was in Gotham. He also didn’t really care right then. He shifted, pulling himself higher and kissing his boyfriend.
“I love you Kon,” He smiled softly and kissed him again. He hummed as Kon ran his fingers through his hair, and laughed softly when those same fingers came to rest at the base of his neck.
“You’re incredible, Tim.”
Tim looked up at him then, blushing despite himself. “Huh?”
“Just, every single thing you put your mind to, you do, and it’s incredible. You’re incredible.”
Kon was smiling at him, and, embarrassed as he was, Tim smiled back. He lifted a hand to play with Kon’s curls, smiling at his boyfriend.
“Could say that about you too, you’ve grown so much since being that unsure runaway that camped out with me and Bart at Mount Justice.” He slid his hand down to cup Kon’s face, gently running his thumb over his cheekbone. “I’m so proud of you”
The look on Kon’s face… Tim didn’t really have a word for it, though he supposed “love” came close. He didn’t really have time to think about it too much though, as the next moment Kon was tilting his head forwards and meeting Tim in a gentle kiss. This time, they stayed there. They didn’t have forever, but they had now. And the sun wouldn’t wait to rise, but they didn’t need it too. They had all the time they needed, even if it wasn’t much. They stayed there and kissed, pulling back to giggle softly or murmur love against the other’s skin. Briefly, they both thought that, this could be heaven.
Of course, it wasn’t. And that was the problem, wasn’t it. It was 5:15 am on a rooftop in Gotham city, and Gotham was never safe.
One moment they were kissing, utterly content where they were, and the next there was a kryptonite blade embedded in the ground next to Kon’s neck, a thin line of blood across his skin the only indication of it’s path. He gasped in panic, and moved so Tim was behind him just before he speed began to fail.
“What the fuck?!” He yelled into the night, and it really was just the night. Because one moment the rooftop was empty, and the next no other than Batman himself was standing there in front of them, landing from what was no doubt a graceful swing from the neighboring rooftop”
“Red Robin” He growled, and Tim–
Tim was completely still. And that was terrifying because Kon could hear his heart beginning to race dangerously fast, could hear the sharp intake of breath that would be silent to any human, could feel the tension in his body making him tremble even as he, technically, stood still.
What man could allow his children to ever feel so afraid of him?
Kon refocused on Batman.
That, that was not good. He wasn’t just holding more kryptonite, he was holding a knife lined with the stuff. The Batman didn’t use blades like that. Kon hadn’t even known he had them.
“Red Robin step away from the Clone”
Wow. Ok That, not hurt, Kon knew the Bat only saw him as some weird clone, but, he’d thought he was at least no longer… Oh, say half a step away from being a bad guy as well. Even with the lies he now knew about, it wasn’t like Kon was about to go psycho.
Tim didn’t move.
“He is a threat and you have been compromised, Red. Step away.”
That seemed to snap Tim out of whatever brain-working-too-fast freeze he’d been in, and yes, Kon knew for a fact he didn’t actually freeze, sometimes Tim’s brain just went too fast for even Tim. ‘Think on the fly and actively plan every single move in a fight plus what his enemies will be doing as well’ Tim did, in fact, still deal with not being able to keep up with his brain on occasion.
Kon just wished fewer of those occasions happened when dealing with the bats.
Either way, Tim was moving now.
“Kon,” he whispered, far below the range of human hearing, “Run.”
And before he could blink Tim had pocketed the knife previously in the ground into his lead-lined belt pocket, and was charging Batman. Tim, was charging Batman. Kon couldn’t move. He couldn’t help, not with so much kryptonite so close to him, not with the stuff already seeming into his bloodstream, but he wasn’t just going to leave either, his best friend was fighting the Batman he couldn’t just leave, but–
The next thing he knew he was catching the communicator Tim had thrown his way.
“Kon run! Call the last messaged person on there and tell them B is comped. They’ll help–”
Tim took a hit to his shoulder. He’d been favoring it all morning. Kon heard the mostly supressed sound of pain Tim tried to stop and he paled more. He blamed the kryptonite for how lightheaded he felt. He still hadn’t moved.
Tim threw him a desperate look, finally shouting.
“KON! YOU’RE NOT A PERSON TO HIM AND HE WILL KILL YOU! I’ll be fine just get out of here!”
Oh. Oh. Tim was trying to protect him, and it was making it hard to fight. He… he didn’t want to leave. Wouldn’t against anyone else. Tim caught his eyes one last time in a desperate glance, and Kon disappeared over the edge of the roof.
Whatever Tim was doing, Kon trusted him.
Tim sighed in relief. Well, as much as any bat ever does. He turned back to B.
Turns out, the last messaged person was Jason. Jason, who’d been on his way over anyway cause, listen. He didn’t like the replacement. Not at all. But there was no way anything that kid did was healthy for himself. It wasn’t gonna take the Joker to kill another Robin and something about that really, really didn’t sit right with him.
Running into the replacements boytoy was… disconcerting to say the least. Batsy didn’t let metas into Gotham, for him to be here… Something happened. It was almost funny, really. One minute he’s dropping into an ally to check the bats location from somewhere not so exposed, and the next he has a half kyrptonian clone running into him, Robin Com in hand with the Hood icon pulled up.
“Jason?! Jason thank Rao you have to help Tim he’s–”
“Ay calm down there jr. Why the hell do you have Timbo’s com? And whats got you grounded?” He looked the boy up and down and, hm. That wasn’t right. His suit was scuffed up, there was a rapidly, but still too-slowly healing cut on his shin, and the boy was pale. Superboy ‘I get my powers from the sun therefore spend as much time as possible in the sun’ Kon-El, was pale.
Ah. Kyrptonite then.
“Ohhhh” He chuckled “Did daddy bats find you defiling his little Timmy? Well shit guess I was right about why he was mad earlier”
Kon got a look on his face and, no, seems Jay was wrong on this one.
“No! Well, kind of? He thinks we’ve been plotting against him! Or that I am and have pulled Tim to my side or some other BULLSHIT and–” the boy choked on his next words. Well that wasn’t a good sign.
“Tim said he– that B was going to kill me and– I think he was right…” The boy rubbed at a not-healing scratch on the side of his neck.
Well shit. B did try to kill the kid.
“tsk, Wont kill the joker for beating a robin to death, but he’ll off some clone for keeping secrets. Lemme guess, batsy doesn’t see you as a person, just an organic machine, and he has no qualms about “neutralizing” you. No doubt without consulting supes ‘bout it.” He sighed.
“Ok. Come here.” He yanked the boy towards him by the arm and grabbed the com from his hands and, yeah ok that should NOT have been so easy. He typed off the address of a nearby safe house into his and Tim's channel, and dropped the com back in the boy’s hand.
“Head there, the com will get you in like a hotel key, and I’ll let Timbo know where you are after him and B finish screaming at each other. Aight?”
Kon shook his head at a speed Jason was sure would have broke anyone else’s neck.
“Jason they’re not screaming they’re fighting! I– I wanted to help but Tim told me to run and B still thinks we betrayed him ‘cause Tim didn’t actually rat me out about visiting Cadmus like Batman wanted him to and I’ve never seen Tim look at me like that–”
“Hold the FUCK up B is actually fighting the kid?”
“I’m going to fucking kill him”
Jason had thought he was over most of the Lazarus rage. He was wrong, because all he saw as he swung off towards Bruce’s location was green. Glowing fucking green.
Tim wasn’t sure how long he could keep this up. Could he take down Batman? Yes. Most days of the week, he could. He’s taken down Ra’as Al’Ghul, Lady Shiva, and on one memorable occasion while sparing, came to a standstill with Cass. Though, at the time she was still adjusting her fighting style to be non-lethal. So, he wasn’t really sure that counted.
For all of the experience Batman had, it didn’t matter when Tim could figure out how to block, dodge, and attack in half the time B’s attacks took to execute. Problem was, Tim didn’t want to hurt him. Batman, for all of his flaws, was still the closest thing he ever had to a father. And yes, that’s counting his own father. Because, well, Fuck you, Jack.
Batman landed a hit on Tim’s ankle and his newly-healed sprain screamed in protest. Outwardly, Tim just grit his teeth and kept fighting.
“The hell were you thinking?!”
Oh yea, B had been talking to him
“That he’s a person, B! That he’s a person who didn’t ask to be born and deserved a chance to grow up! He was born a teenager, you can’t expect him to act like anything other than a hormonal child!” Tim struck his bo-staff against B’s side, hitting where the armor was thinnest, and promptly making the Batarang he’d been trying to throw go wide. Tim wasn’t getting disarmed today, thank you very much.
“I expect my son to not lie about the activity of a threat! I expect to not be lied to and plotted against!” Batman moved forwards into Tim’s space and threw a punch. Tim dodged but, the blow still glanced his cheek. That was going to bruise, and quickly. Damn it. He flipped out of B’s range of attack and held his bo up defensively.
“We didn’t plot against you! I just gave him room to work and grow without the threat of you Neutralizing him breathing down his neck!”
“You actively lied to me about concerning and red flag behavior, Robin. Then you start designing weaponry without consulting or informing me, spending outside of my view and spending more and more time away from the cave” the manor, went unsaid. B stepped back, batarangs in hand, glare focused on Tim as he reset himself. Tim noted, with a bit of annoyance, that B was hardly winded.
Not fair, said something in the back of his mind, something that sounded suspiciously like Kon talking logic and reason to him to stop him from quote ‘Shit talking’ himself. He wasn’t just recovering from a panic attack and trying to sleep. He came here looking to fight a super, and he hadn’t dealt with nearly as much bullshit on the streets tonight.
Tim steeled himself anyway.
“The weaponry, Batman, is for Young Justice, we may not have a whole rogues gallery but we have more than enough tech-savy humans and metas we deal with that warrant it.” Didn’t realize I had to report back to you on top of the JLA for those cases, B, he added silently. He wanted to say it. Desperately wanted to, but he knew it was a bad idea. Especially with Jason around lately acting the same.
“And I’m supposed to believe that? You’re obviously compromised Robin! You’d think you’d have known better than to involve yourself with a teammate. Or did you not learn from the disaster with Arsenal?”
Tim had to stop himself from snarling. Lian was not a disaster. Lian was a child, how dare B use Dick and Jason’s friend against Tim? As if B wasn’t involved with Catwoman since he’d donned the cowl. As if he hadn’t been married to Talia Al-Fucking-Ghul for a while. And even with the kid! Roy hadn’t gone evil, he hadn’t sided with Chesire and the league, he’d avoided fighting the mother of his child whenever possible, turned her good to an extent, and dropped out of the cape-game to raise his kid! He hadn’t been Fucking compromised, Bruce!
“Besides, you’re not even gay. I would have known before now if you were, you know I wouldn’t care. but the clone is obviously manipulating you, Robin”
Fuck it. Bruce was getting hurt tonight and he could find his own fucking way home. Tim would deal with the fallout later. B didn’t know shit. He could say he didn’t care all he liked but parents always fucking cared. He ran forward, half of a snarl on his face as he made to attack– and never got the chance. Because one second Batman was gearing up to counter an attack from his bo-staff wielding child, and the next he was on the ground with a knife embedded in his thigh and his head was bleeding at the temple from– was that a brick?
“Didn’t know you hit kids now, Batsy.”
The hell was he doing here? Kon was supposed to– oh. Kon. Kon, who’d been bleeding despite being a super. Who would tell Jason exactly what was going down. Jason, who’d already noticed how angry Bruce was tonight, and, despite trying to kill Tim a handful of times, was really subscribing to that new crusade of his.
No more dead robins, he’d said, growled really, as he stared at Damian’s casket. No fucking more.
They still hadn’t fixed that section of the cemetery wall Jason had destroyed on his way out.
Jay dropped to one knee and punched Bruce in the face.
“Worse yet, you’re killing kids now, B?” he huffed. “Was killing me not enough? You knew I took the batplane that day, you left me to die until the clown summoned you like a fucking pet” He ripped the lead-lined pouch off of B’s belt, tossing it towards Tim. “Hey replacement, Keep that safe.”
Tim nodded, not that Jason could see, and tied it off to his own utility belt.
Batman started to stir, a groan leaving his mouth as his head turned. Then mumbled… something.
“Oh, what was that B? Got something to say?”
“Not– not a kid–”
“Ah yes, Except by that logic your demon brat isn’t a kid either. Or. I don’t know. Some decent percent of children walking around the world right now.” Jason glanced back at Tim, his eyes flicking over him, landing on the growing bruise just below his eye. His eyes went green.
B tried to argue. It was a little difficult with a gun pressed to his temple, though. Tim tried to be surprised.
“Now you’re going to listen to me. One of these guns has live amo, the other has pellets. Would still hurt like hell, probably fracture your skull at this distance, but you’ll live. Thing is, batsy, you have no idea which is pressed to your head.” He paused, letting the information sink in. Tim saw a frown fight its way onto Batman’s face and. Oh, he really had no idea what Jay was going to do next, did he? Wasn’t that a rarity.
“You hit Robin over there. You hit your fucking kid.” His voice went sing-song. “All because he had to audacity to want to protect his friends from your paranoid, Bat-shit insane ass.” The gun dug a little closer to B’s head.
“And you see, Red Hood has a rule about people who hit their kids like this, B. They don’t get another fucking chance. Now, you’re not exactly good old Jack, or Cluemaster and his buddies for that matter,” And holy fuck, did Tim just see Bruce, the Batman, flinch?
“So you’re going to get one warning. So fucking generous, I know. Now you might ask, ‘Oh but Red Hood, what must the conditions of such a generous offer be? Surely there must be some’ and by golly, you’re right!”
The twisted smile he was wearing dropped, and his voice went deadly serious again.
“If I ever, and I mean ever, find out you hit one of them again, Replacement, Robin, any of the newbies, even fucking Goldie, all grown-up as he is. I will pull the fucking trigger on whichever gun I pull that day. If you ever try and off Superboy again, rogue or not, I will pull the trigger. Is that understood?”
Tim held his breath, and in that moment it felt like the whole world did. B didn’t answer. The gun pressed harder, and Tim noted that Bruce was going to need help putting on enough concealer to hide the bruise the muzzle was going to leave on his face.
Not his problem, he thought, dimly.
The safety clicked off.
Batman nodded, ever so slightly and ever so slowly.
“Good.” Jason pulled the gun away, holstering it as he twisted the knife in Batman’s thigh. Tim wasn’t actually sure he’d ever heard B scream like that before. Jason scoffed.
“Chill, you’re not going to bleed out from that, it’s only in the muscle.” He paused, then grinned something Tim could only describe as sick. “Besides, crowbars in the same spot hurt much, much worse.”
Tim never thought he’d see the blood drain from Batmans face for anything less than Damian or Dick dying but, he supposed he was wrong.
Jason stood up, and walked towards Tim. The only warning he got before they were flying was his older brother flipping B off over his shoulder.
They hit the ground a few blocks away, and Jason pulled him in the direction of one of the robins-only safe houses nearby.
Jason’s hand never left his back.
Tim made a note to thank him, later.
The safe house wasn’t much. None of the Robins’ were. Not only had Jay and Dick been the ones to pick them out, but they had to be off-the map enough to not attract any attention from the Bat. They were, after all, hideouts to be used if, and when, Batman went rogue.
Tim wondered if this really counted.
The place was small, a one bedroom one bathroom three-total rooms apartment on the 3rd floor of a five story building. Fire escape accessible only from the main room, and no windows in the bathroom. It was hidden, defendable, and discreet. Close enough to the narrows to be out of the way, and far enough to not warrant a break-in. They all had at least some gear stored away here. What use is installing fake walls in the cabinets during 9th grade winter vacation if you’re not going to use them? And anyway, while it was always better safe than sorry to assume that if there was info to be had, B had it, none of them would have snitched about these hideaways. Not on pain of death.
Trust them, that last point is more than just a theory.
Finding Kon in the bathroom awkwardly trying to clean his own injuries was nearly enough to make Tim drop in relief. Kon was ok. Batman didn’t hurt him.
Not bad, at least.
Tim stepped forward and pulled his boyfriend —his living, breathing, not-dead boyfriend— into his arms.
Kon let him, moving easily to wrap his arms around Tim in turn, burying his face in Tim’s hair. Tim was suddenly thankful he’d left his cowl down.
“You’re ok– fuck– Kon he was going to kill you. He doesn’t even see you as a person, just, some robot and–” he cut himself off with a shaky breath, pressing his face into Kon’s shoulder.
Kon held him closer, gently shushing him and rocking them both gently back and forth.
“I’m right here, Tim. I’m not going anywhere.” He placed a kiss to Tim’s head. “I just wish I’d been able to help, you shouldn’t have had to fight him for me.”
Tim shook his head.
“If you’d stayed I wouldn’t have been able to stop him from attacking you. He would have killed you,”
Tim squeezes him tighter. Almost laughs, ‘cause if it were anyone but Kon he might worry he’s hurting them.
A knock on the doorframe pulls them apart. Somewhat. Kon leaves his arms loosely around Tim, and Tim doesn’t so much step back as generally lean away.
Jason laughs, and, while Tim is pretty sure he should be annoyed, he’s not. He might even call the emotion something close to fond. Either way, it settles him.
“Well, you two lovebirds sure aren’t letting this get between you. That’s good. First time Roy made a joke about our sex life I think B almost had an aneurysm.”
Kon choked on what sounded like a laugh. Tim smiled.
“Anyway, I just got off the phone with that arrow shooting asshole, and we recommend you two get the hell out of dodge for a few weeks. Should probably avoid the Sanctuary, too. Metropolis is probably safe. Superman won't let him do anything dumb.” He paused, eyes flicking up in thought. “You know, as much as I’m not supposed to know about Smallville, I’m pretty sure you’d be good there too. B is terrified of Ma. According to Dickie, first time he was there she damn near kidnapped him to keep him off the streets. It took Dick convincing her that he would have tried to fight crime anyway, with or without B’s approval to get her to let the issue lie.” He laughed.
“Point is, you’ll be safe there, ‘least until B calms the fuck down.”
Tim nodded. Kon did the same.
“In the meantime, B’s gonna be trying to make my life a living hell for the next few weeks. Oracle already knows what’s up though,” Tim felt Kon tense next to him. “hey don’t give me that look, it’s Babs.”
“So she’s gonna try and keep him off me.” Jason rolled his eyes. “As for Superman, that’s up to you two. I’m not going to be the one telling the boy scout that Batsy tried to kill his mad-science son.
Tim bit his lip. Debating whether or not to say what he was thinking. He decided he should.
“He doesn’t trust Jon either. He wouldn’t kill him but... you know how much kryptonite he keeps stored away.”
Kon’s eyes darkened.
“If Batman touches my brother, it will take Superman to stop me from killing him.”
‘Cause, yeah. He knew that. He was however, a little surprised at how little that information bothered him.
Jason groaned. “since when do Lois and the boyscout have a kid?”
Kon spoke up, something almost like a laugh in his voice.
“About as long as I’ve been around. He’s… I think eight or so?” Kon shrugged. “I’m not supposed to know about him but, Ma and Pa don’t always know when I’m about to drop in. If it happens to be while they’re talking about their new grandson, well, I hear.” He smiled. “And if I just so happen to run into him on my way to Hamilton, and ‘say hi to such a big fan’…” he shrugged, smile still playing at his lips. Then he frowned.
“He’s coming into his powers, has been for a few years. Means he’s not really in control of them yet. We all go through it but, if Batman sees it as a threat…”
“If Batman sees it as a threat I’ll kill him.”
Tim looked up at Jason, who gave him a hard look.
“I already warned him off Superboy. Supes’s other kid counts as that, in my opinion. He’s super, and a kid.”
Tim noticed the green creeping into his brother’s irises.
“We don’t kill kids. Not while I’m around to find out about it.” He grinned.
Tim almost wished he didn’t know why this was so personal for Jason. He wished it was just Jay’s own death.
He felt more than saw Kon look to Jason. Saw Jason meet his eyes.
“Batman is a dick, Cloneboy. Wouldn’t be the first one I’ve put a bullet through.”
Kon took a breath.
“Ok,” he said.
Tim leaned into his side. That was it then.
Kon was asleep. Jay had just gotten off the phone with Roy. Tim stepped towards the table.
“You got a second?”
“What’s up replacement”
“You said B knew you took the plane to Ethiopia.”
“’cause he did.”
“You said he left you to die”
“I was playing on his guilt, kid.”
Tim paused. He and Jason weren’t really that close. Were they close enough to push it? Tim decided to anyway.
“Shoulda cut your fucking vocal chords instead of your whole throat” he mumbled.
“You really wanna know?”
Jason cursed, pulling his lips into a half snarl before turning to look at Tim, pissed but, resigned.
“Yeah. Yeah he did. Sure, when he realized what Joker was doing, he came to get me. But he knew when I left that something was wrong. Knew someone from Gotham had followed the same lead I did towards my birth mom, and knew there might be some kind of trap there. Way Dickie tells it, Batsy thought it’d help me ‘grow up’ or something just as fucking dumb.” He shook his head.
“You’ve said he was torn up over my death? Yeah. ‘cause it was his fucking fault.”
Jason sipped his tea. Tim didn’t really know what to say. Jay looked up at him.
“If he ever puts his hands on any of you again, I don’t fucking care why. You come tell me. Got it? Not even the fucking brat deserves that kind of bullshit.” Jay stood. “Now, I’m gonna crash on the couch. Go join your superboy-toy in the bedroom.” Jay paused. The look on his face softened. “He was panicking pretty bad when he ran into me earlier.” He clicked his tongue. “That, was not something I ever expected to see.”
He plopped on the couch.
“Don’t bother hitting the lights, ‘nless you wanna wake up to me screaming with a gun in my hand”
Tim didn’t think too hard about that.
Tried to force thoughts of dark caskets and 6 feet of soil above them out of his mind.
He went to the bedroom.
Curled up against Kon’s side, an arm wrapped protectively around him, sleep had never come so fast.
In the end, they went to metropolis. Tim called in sick to WE, and they phoned Bart and Cassie to stay away from mount justice for a while. At least until Batman gets it into his thick skull that they really, honest to Santa, hadn’t been scheming against him. Just protecting Kon. And if the Gotham Gazette had a few new pictures of Superboy flying Red Robin out of the city well, that wasn’t really the end of the world, now was it. Young Justice was far from a secret.
Meeting up with Superman though, that was… not so easy as the rest. He’d show up if they called. They knew that, his reaction to what they had to tell him though… that was an unknown. Kon had a near unshakable faith in the man but Tim, for reasons more than understandable to Kon just then, was less convinced.
Tim did most the talking anyway.
“Ok,” Clark said slowly. “You’re telling me that Batman asked you to spy on your team, specifically Kon, so that if any of them went rogue he could step in, rather than let the Justice league as a whole, the closest thing capes have to a governing body, handle it?”
Tim gave a short nod. “Yes.”
“And that when he found out that you were monitoring your team on your own, and generally believing in the good in people, he somehow decided that it was a plot to kill him? And what, take over the world? Steel his contingency plans for all the league members and neutralize us?” Superman aksed, flabbergasted.
Kon shrugged. Tim answered.
“We don’t really know. When I realized that he knew what I’d been doing I expected a lecture, for him to ground me, to maybe think me and Kon were, I don’t know, scheming up some new slightly-less-than-moral way to handle our rogues? I didn’t think he’d think that I’d gone rogue, or Kon for that matter.”
Superman rubbed at his temples.
“And what did Oracle say set him off?”
“A meme” Kon said.
“Well, a role-Playing game Joke. About dungeons and dragons,” Tim filled in. “Apparently, he’d set a program to run when we left the batcave that would send any communications sent or received inside the cave to his com. According to Oracle, the last thing he’d looked at before running across the city to my apartment were my texts with Kon. Which included a meme, a link to some tumblr fanart, and me saying ‘talk-to-you-later, Love you’”
“And then he saw you cuddling on a roof.”
“And proceeded to conclude Kon had masterminded a plan to get you on his, on Kon’s side against him,”
Kon laid down on the rooftop they’d chosen, throwing his arms above his head with a sigh.
Now it was Superman’s turn to nod.
“So what in Rao’s name was his reasoning for thinking it was ok to kill Kon?”
“Said I wasn’t a person. Which, for someone so pissed at Cadmus, sounds a lot like what some of the higher ups there used to say,” Kon scoffed.
Property, not a person. Tim knew full well how much that had plagued at Kon for years. Every night Kon panicked under the thought, that he might not even be real, Tim had been there to talk him down. To reassure him that he was. Machines didn’t feel guilt. Didn’t feel affection and certainly not love. And when they did, they weren’t exactly just machines anymore, and they still deserved to live. Kon was as real as anyone else on their team. Tim made sure he knew that.
Superman looked out over metropolis.
“There’s something else you should know.”
Superman looked at him, head tilted and eyes slightly narrowed. Tim almost laughed, Kon made the same face when he wass intrigued. What he was about to say stopped him, though.
“We know about Jon. Well, B knows, and he thinks the rest of us don’t know.”
“But you do”
“Me, Hood, and Nightwing all know. Oracle might know, she might not. There’s really no way to be sure except to ask her and well,”
“That would be admitting to information she might not even have in the first place, got it. Ok, so Batman knows I have a–” He paused, correcting himself. “another son. I did somewhat expect that, to be honest. Why are you telling me though?”
Tim saw the exact moment Clark caught Kon’s eye.
“His contingency plans? He has one for your son too. I believe the primary one is to put him in a kryptonite cage at the bottom of the ocean in some kind of holding capsule, but I’m honestly not sure. He does, at least consider Jon a person, so killing him isn’t the first option. Not like it is with Kon.”
Superman stood there, anger burning across his features while his fists clenched at his sides. Tim thought he knew the feeling.
“He– if any of you–” Tim watched his face fall as he realized that what he was about to say wasn’t even true.
“You’re right. He wouldn’t. He didn’t. And if any of us were at risk of going nuclear he’d probably pull the trigger himself if it meant saving the world. Or, well, something that doesn’t involve a gun.”
“Yeah. So, be careful, I guess. Hold off on inviting the JLA to any birthday parties ‘til the kid’s got a hold on his powers. Don’t need him to hold a fishbowl too tight and Batman think it’s a sign he’s a natural killer or something.”
Tim paused. Should he…? He sighed. Might as well.
“I’m serious, the amount of kryptonite he has hidden around Gotham, and honestly, the rest of the east coast, isn’t even funny at this point.”
Superman sighed, and Kon groaned.
“God FUCKING Damnit! I just wanted to help my boyfriend through a fucking panic attack and now his psycho dad thinks I’m plotting world domination or something!” Kon screamed in frustration then, running a hand through his hair. Superman didn’t even comment on his cursing, and wasn’t that a feat? Kon looked at Tim.
“This isn’t normal, right? Most boyfriends get like, a shovel talk, not a kryptonite knife held to their neck, right?!”
And maybe it was the look on Kon’s face, something between anger and incredulousness, or maybe it was that he’d just called himself Tim’s boyfriend in front of the strongest man in the galaxy, who was also kinda-sorta in a really convoluted way Kon’s dad, or maybe it was that yeah, a kryptonite knife to the neck probably was Batman’s idea of the shovel talk, or maybe it was a really weird mix of all of those things and Jay actually showing up to save his ass earlier, but Tim couldn’t help it.
He broke down laughing.
Fifteen hundred feet in the air, standing next to two of the strongest men in the galaxy, who are his boyfriend and one of his boyfriend’s genetic fathers, about two miles from the building where his boyfriend’s other genetic father lived, worked, and plotted world domination from, while, essentially, on the run from The Batman, who happened to be Tim’s adopted father. What the fuck was his life?
Kon gave him a look, and Tim just shrugged and continued laughing.
“This whole, fucking situation– it’s just–” Tim stopped, taking a breath and trying to calm down. “It’s insane.” He shrugged and dropped to sit cross-legged on the ground next to Kon.
“I finally get into a steady relationship, and ‘cause I never told my adopted father that I’m into boys, he takes my insubordination of not wanting to kill someone and thinks I’ve gone secretly rogue.”
“Wait, he thought I was manipulating you ‘cause you’ve never shown interest in boys before?”
Oops. Tim had let that bit of information slip hadn’t he.
“Yup” he said, popping the P and falling back so his head was on Kon’s shoulder.
Kon wrapped an arm around him, and he’s pretty sure he saw Superman hide a smile. Kon let out a low whistle.
“That is some lowkey homophobic shit right there. I might not have, like, the best reputation for healthy relationships but damn B, that’s a low blow right there.”
Tim nodded, and leaned his head in the crook of Kon’s shoulder.
The three of them stayed silent then, letting everything that’d been said sink in. How had they even gotten here? Tim knew but, that didn’t make it any easier to come to terms with. Some horrible part of him wanted Jay to tell Dick what had happened. Though, honestly he probably already had. Dick was probably the one person who could get through to B without violence. Well, unless you counted the type of shouting they did as violence. And, honestly, Tim thought he might, if they were part of any other family.
He did wonder if Dick would let Dames go back to the manor though. Not if Jay told him about B actively attacking Tim instead of just deflecting to get to Kon. Not if he told him B had been willing to kill Kon cause of how he was made.
Eventually, Superman spoke up.
“I’ll talk to Batman. Then tell the JLA what happened. Even he doesn’t have the authority to act unilaterally like that, no matter what he thought he saw.”
Kon went to protest something, but Clark cut him off.
“I won’t tell them about the two of you if you don’t want me to. That’s between you two. But saying that B caught Kon in Gotham trying to calm Red Robin down after a bad patrol won’t ring any alarm bells.”
And, was that a smirk on Clarks face? No way–
“Not any that you two haven’t already rung by yourselves, anyways. And not unless Batman himself rings them. In the meantime, Tim I know you have at least one safe house here in Metropolis, feel free to hang around. I’m not about to let Batman run his crusade in my city. Especially not on a false alarm.”
“Thank you, Superman” Kon said.
“Of course, Kon, I… However rocky things may have started, you are my son.”
Kon sat up then, slowly, careful not to let Tim drop, but still a little wide-eyed.
Superman shook his head.
“I should have said it sooner. You never should have needed to do anything to gain my approval for me to say that.”
“Pa spoke to you”
“He did, and he was right, and I’m sorry. You don’t have to forgive me, or suddenly start calling me dad or anything but, you are my son. I just wish I’d realized it sooner”
Kon laughed a little, turning his gaze down towards the rooftop they were on. “Jeez, way to make it sound like I’m dying or something” He looked back up “I– Thank you, C- Kal. It… It really means a lot to me.”
Superman smiled then, and responded with a nod before his whole body tensed, his eyes gaining the far-off look all Kryptonians had when they were focusing on something that was happening far away. A moment later, he was back with them.
“I have to go, there a fire–”
“You’re fine, we’ll be fine here,” Kon laughed, “I do know what it’s like, you know. Call if you need help.”
And with that, Superman took off into the sky.
Tim and Kon stayed where they were. The sun was warm up there, and the real world could wait for a little while longer.
Staying in metropolis was… different. To say the least. Kon was right at home, almost literally. Tim had some adjusting to do. He couldn’t just, start patrolling Metropolis as Red Robin but he could still work cases. Sure, his phone and computer were still back at the batcave, but give him a few hours to bump the security and any computer could work like his PC. And if he routed certain programs through Mount Justice instead of the Batcave, he was barely even down any processing power.
He bought a new phone, modded it like his own, and within a day he was back in business, patching into Oracle’s com network to offer his assistance wherever he could. Though, he did make sure batman couldn’t tune to him. That wouldn’t be fun.
The official story at WE was that he caught some bug and would be out of work for a while. No real issue, it just meant Bruce would have to pick up all the responsibilities he’d slowly loaded onto Tim.
Tim couldn’t really help the small, ok, decently large, part of him that cheered with petty victory at Batman’s actions coming to bite Bruce in the ass. It was… funny. At the very least. Though, ironic was also a word Tim might use in that situation.
As for the fact that he was now living with his long-time boyfriend, well, it wasn’t really the first time they’d lived together. They’d lived with Young Justice on and off for years, and had stayed with the titans for what sometimes stretched into months. They’d been… something, a thing, as Bart would call it, for… god, most of it. Whether they realized it or not. Best friends even when they were in other relationships, sharing personal space and beds when they weren’t, and sometimes doing so platonically when they were. They’d both just… kinda assumed it was what best friends did? Yeah. They were kinda idiots. That was ok though. If Tim was Kon’s idiot, then Kon was his.
Tim looked over at Kon, draped across the couch watching the news while devouring some leftover Chinese takeout.
He loved his idiot.
Patrols in Gotham would start up in a few hours and Oracle would likely need him online, but for now, he could relax. He shut his computer, and walked over to the couch, plopping himself down in Kon’s lap and laughing as his boyfriend was forced to use his TTK to keep the food off the floor. Kon just laughed though, and pulled Tim close.
It was ok that they were both kind of idiots. Tim could live with that. So long as he got to keep the boy in his arms. So long as he got to stay with him. Then he'd be happy.