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.
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?)