Blood and Water (the Loss and Life Remix), (2016-10-19)

A/N: Based off @bluethursday’s Blood and Water which is a DCUxAvatar the Last Airbender remix… you should probably read that first?

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The first time Tim met Ra’s, he thought it was a curious and fascinating happenstance.

He never made that mistake again.

Your mother was water–the ocean and the rain and every drop in between–flowing and swelling and inescapable. Your father was the air–free and flighty, head too much in the clouds to worry about the ground.

Combined they made you.

Yet people still wondered why you had ice in your veins.

Bruce remembers his first impression of Tim: a smart but shy boy, demurely following at Ra’s heels. Only a few years younger than himself, a fellow fire bender wanting to learn from the master.

He was wrong on nearly every count.

Water benders are master healers, air benders the experts in spiritual matters. Or, at least, that’s what nature intended.

But your mother pushed and your father reached, and in the intersection they found a secret.

It was meant to be a gift.

Dick’s first impression was similarly wrong, yet somehow in an entirely different way.

A victim of Ra’s that Bruce had rescued, traumatized and reeling and seeking sanctuary with the Fire Nation King.

After all, Tim was clearly from the destroyed Water Tribes, he might have been a bender if Ra’s hadn’t killed them all.

Dick was very nearly right, if things were altered and rearranged.

You turned seventeen-eighteen-nineteen and realized that you hadn’t changed at all. No new scars, but you never had many in the first place, no wrinkles or additional height.

Perfectly preserved.

An abomination, a monster.

Cass is the one to help Tim leave, sees the fear of staying in one place too long, the fear of a threat already vanquished.

She knows he is hiding something, but he knows she knows, and besides everyone has secrets, so she doesn’t confront him about it.

Cass’ father thought he could make her the Avatar–she understands inheriting sins of the parent.

There is a pool of water that no right minded water bender would touch. Not that any water bender has had the opportunity to do so in centuries, so well-guarded is the Pit.

But your parents didn’t need the original to mimic it’s effects–no, not mimic… master.

Jason never met Tim, not properly, only saw him from a distance.

Jason thought he was the Consort of the Fire Nation King–just a fancy term for whore.

He wasn’t right… not yet.

If things were different, you might have chosen death. If the collective leaders of the remaining bending nations hadn’t banded together to take Ra’s out, you would have died to get rid of him.

Anything to even try to make amends, all those villages obliterated as Ra’s hunted you down, blood on your hands.

But your mother was a scholar, your father a dreamer, and combined they made you.

Maybe one day someone will find you and ask to be taught.

Damian is still a child when he hears the name–more myth than reality. It’s for old tales and nostalgia, nothing relevant, until he needs a water bending teacher.

Dick thinks he is sending Damian to a hermit, one who is aged, if not outrightly old. Jason does little more than smirk, but Cass gives a supportive shoulder pat.

Bruce stays entirely silent on the matter.

You are a monster, but there is place in the world for monsters.

Better you than someone else.

(But don’t all monsters think that?)

Mastermind (The Mother Knows Best Remix), brainstorm (2015-10-14)

This really won’t make sense if you don’t read @rahndom‘s Mastermind.

So the last chapter has the Young Justice swoop in to save both of the Drakes’ lives–though they are hospitalized–and there is a Janet-Tim mother-son bonding moment. Very sweet and everything. And I always want to know more about Janet Drake and figure that the woman who told her toddler that he can be anything so long as he put his mind to it, would be very supportive of her son as the vigilante named Mastermind.

So I was thinking some more about this universe and had some world-building/brainstorm-y thoughts about what I would like to read in a Janet POV continuation/remix of the fic.

The main one being–why does Janet, immediately upon waking up post-Haiti, decide to divorce Jack? And in answer to that I figured, well, what if most of the time, his parents were gone separately?

Like, Janet goes off somewhere for business and would assume that Jack would stay at home. And she’d say, oh, I’ll be back in three weeks. Then, two and a half weeks later Jack is like, Tim can stay at home by himself for three days, there’s a dig I would like to go to, I’ll be back in a month. Except then Janet calls and is like–I have to extend my stay for another six weeks–not knowing that Jack has already left for his own trip. Etc. etc. I mean, neglect is neglect, but at least this way it kind of explains Janet’s complete 180 in that last chapter.

Because it wasn’t really a complete 180. I figure it was probably something like… Jack was the one who wanted a kid and Janet didn’t really, but of course when she had Tim she loved him–but she still wasn’t ready to be a mother. As opposed to Jack who, even after Tim was born, still liked the idea of a son more than actually having a son. So hence Janet wanting to divorce Jack and stay in Gotham. Because the entire time she thought Jack was staying at home with Tim and finding out that he wasn’t–to the point that Tim became a teenaged vigilante with all his spare time–made her realize that she cannot stay married to this man who is a terrible husband and father.

And then everything else was just in line with what Tim can do and the idea that a lot of what makes Tim Mastermind is actually stuff he got from Janet. Including annoying the crap out of Bruce Wayne.

So of course she’s going to stick up for Catwoman as her son’s godmother. Retroactively claiming friendship with Selina Kyle–why of course, Bruce, Selina and I have been friends forever. It’s shameful that you’ve forgotten. It must be that dreadful alcoholism of yours, it’s practically pickled your brain.

But then she figures maybe it’s not enough. And while she adores Selina, well, Catwoman is a thief, and thieves don’t fight. They run. As Mastermind, Tim may not have the luxury to run, so he’ll need a little extra… something. Thankfully, the Obeah Man thing happens way before Infinite Crisis (which, is the thereabouts of when Blue Beetle dies) so that means that Ted Kord is still alive. That last chapter also mentions Jaime as part of the team even though he doesn’t become Blue Beetle until after Ted Kord dies but… uh… maybe his timeline is a little sped up (like Damian’s).

Anyway. Janet is all for plausible deniability, so she just has Drake Industries begin dealing with KORD Industries… and if that means that Ted Kord interacts with her son, well, if Tim can appoint himself a godmother surely she can choose a godfather. And if Blue Beetle happens to train Mastermind in the ways of non-metahuman vigilante skills/gadgets, well, that has nothing to do with their companies, does it? And it certainly is no business of Wayne Enterprises, butt out, Bruce.

As a bonus, since anywhere Ted Kord goes, Michael Carter goes, she basically gets two godfathers for the price of one. Which is especially great since it’s canon that Batman is ridiculously irritated by Booster Gold’s existence. It makes Booster helping to train Mastermind just absolutely hilarious to Janet (and me).

And I have some other thoughts–like… if Janet had gone to school with Lex as a teenager/child, well of course she’s going to recognize Kon, and similarly annoy the crap out of Lex. Mostly by sort of adopting Kon–because she’s been meaning to get Tim a bodyguard, it might as well be someone he likes. And then whenever she interacts with Lex she’s just so ruthless–“The darling boy is so lucky to favor his other parent’s genes, goodness knows your shoddy business practices are better off not being passed down to the next generation.” and “Oh, I’m sorry Lex, I can’t hear you over the sound of Lex Corp stock prices plummeting.” Hehehe…

Like, I would not want this to take over the actual fic, but be more like a… supplemental reading sort of thing.

Sorry, all of my Tim feelings spill over into Janet feelings so… :/

Although… I may actually write this? In a drabble-y choppy way. For now, though, here’s the brainstorm.

Cross-Post: No Lament For Perdix

original here. dated 2011-11-21

[A/N: This was before the DCU reboot but after the promotional re-designs were out]

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[[Based off the debut art and teaser of DCU Teen Titan’s reboot: “Tim Drake is forced to step out from behind his keyboard… etc.” Though I guess this is just an AU, since I don’t actually know what the reboot is like. I had assumed that they had completely rewritten Tim’s backstory; and that his debut as Red Robin was his first role as a physical vigilante. Also, I’m trying to make sense of that costume. That costume… Oh, Tim dear, what are you wearing?]]

Most people, if asked, can tell you who Icarus is: that Greek guy who flew too close to the sun and died because of it. Some people, if they’re particularly well-read and fond of mythos, may be able to tell you that Icarus died because he was too eager and ambitious when he flew on wax-and-feather wings. Icarus died because his father Daedalus the inventor made him wings to escape the tower they were imprisoned in, and Icarus had been so overjoyed at finally being free. Few people can tell you how the father and son had gotten into that predicament. Daedalus, beyond being the father of Icarus, is a background character in many other Greek mythos. For example, he was the architect who built the Labyrinth; famous for housing the Minotaur of Crete. King Minos of Crete trapped Daedalus and Icarus in the tower: unwilling to have the scandalous secrets of both the Labyrinth and the Minotaur spread but unable to kill them. This was because Daedalus had not always been the King of Crete’s inventor.

Daedalus had been born in Athens, not Crete, and he had been a prince. He attempted to kill his nephew Perdix: not for a politically-acceptable reason like to steal the throne, but because Perdix, even at his young age, had shown signs of being far more ingenious than Daedalus. Perdix, by looking at the discarded bones of a fish, had come up with the idea for the saw–now a primitive cutting tool, but then a revolutionary innovation. Daedalus had thrown his nephew off a cliff but Athena, the goddess of wisdom and mother-deity of their kingdom, saved Perdix by turning him into a bird. She banished Daedalus from Athens, and branded his skin with an image of his nephew’s new form to remind him of his punishment. It was this image of a bird that inspired Daedalus’ escape plan, that brought about Icarus’ brief freedom and sudden death, that caused one boy’s death to become an iconic myth, but not another.

Tim’s mother scoffed at the romanticization of Icarus in Greek mythology. She scorned mythology in general, knowing how ancient poets embellished the facts and how history is written by the victors, but she gave Tim books of mythology anyway; Greek, Egyptian, all kinds, because no child of hers would be ignorant of the past. Archaeology–the study of the past to understand the present and to prevent the same mistakes from happening in the future. Tim may not have much interest in ancient and civilizations, but he understands the utility of pattern recognition and misconduct deterrence. Janet Drake, in her own way, had been a good mother. She had also been a terrible mother, by normal standards of maternal affection and nurturing, but without her Tim would be a very different boy.

Jack Drake, on the other hand, could only be called a father in the technical sense. He provided half of Tim’s biological signature, provided the basic amenities of life, and provided whatever objects he believed Tim would need or want based on his well-meaning but misconceived but view of his son. If Tim didn’t have eidetic memory, he might not recognize his father’s face, though as it is he doesn’t remember what his father’s voice sounded like. Sometimes Tim wonders what he would have been like had his father been around more often. Sometimes Tim wonders what he would be like if they were still alive. But, if he’s going to be honest, he doesn’t imagine he would be all that different. He already lied to them constantly when they were alive, if anything it just makes his life less complicated now that they’re dead.

Tim doesn’t need time to wonder who, if not his parents, would have altered his life had things gone differently. He knows who has changed his life, and who he has to thank or blame for who he is today. Tim’s first memory is so burned into his mind, it has been branded onto his soul much like Daedalus’ punishment was branded onto his skin, and it is similarly of a bird-who-is-a-boy. Even without his photographic memory, Tim could never forget that day: a promise, a performance, two deaths, and a newly made orphan. Richard “Dick” Grayson doesn’t even know Tim’s name, let alone know how significant a role he played in Tim’s life; while a part of Tim will always be that child craving affection, this state of affairs is just fine.

Tim’s opinion of Batman aka Bruce Wayne aka Batman is just as conflicted as the man’s identity. On the one hand, Bruce Wayne had adopted Dick, on the other hand Batman had endangered Robin. Batman was a hero, Batman was a monster, Bruce Wayne was a liar, Bruce Wayne was insane. Bruce Wayne had adopted a boy from the streets, Bruce Wayne seemed to like young boys an awful lot, Batman had replaced Robin, Batman had killed Robin. Batman had failed to save his parents, Bruce Wayne had offered to adopt Tim. Bruce Wayne had rescinded that offer when Batman had discovered Tim’s use of Tim’s computer skills. Batman introduced Tim to Bruce Wayne’s friend Barbara Gordon aka Oracle aka goddess-to-hackers-good-enough-to-know-of-her-existence.

Barbara Gordon. Oracle. If Tim were the literary type, he would say she was his Athena, but he hasn’t decided if he is Perdix or Daedalus or Icarus or a tragic combination of the three or none of them at all so he’s not too sure if that would be a proper comparison. She’s his older sister and his mentor and his guardian angel and his shoulder devil and his everything and Tim is hers. Tim belongs to Barbara. Tim belongs to Oracle. Tim does whatever she tells him to: hacker grunt work, bug installation, Bird of Prey diplomacy, Clocktower cleaning, grocery shopping, whatever. When Barbara tells him to increase his physical training and start constructing those engineering side projects, Tim gives her a look but says nothing in protest. When Oracle tells him to review Batman’s encrypted files of known metahumans, vigilantes and villains alike, Tim hesitates only to ask if he should leave a reassuring message for Bruce. When Tim is given a mission to aid super-powered teenagers against an international organization, Oracle tells him it will not be as a Bird of Prey or as a Knight of Gotham, Barbara tells him it will be as founder of the new Teen Titans.