A/N1: I guess I bit off more than I could chew for this story, it’s collapsed under it’s own weight. Rather, there’s too much set up for not enough plot in return. So below is the brainstorming/outlining/ranting of my thoughts regarding this fic. I dunno. Maybe I’ll come back to it, but probably not? I was a little overeager yesterday.
Again, Richie Todd Wayne is from @mgnemesi‘s babyfic verse.
Technically, this is a cross-post, only because when I thought I was going to write it I transcribed all of my thoughts onto an lj post for safekeeping.
So, original here. Dated 2015-10-06.
Because babyfic verse didn’t explicitly go the route of JayTim (though mgnemesi wanted to) and there was some consideration for JayKon, at least temporarily, my brain extrapolated and went–what if that’s because Tim leaves?
So it starts with the dysfunctional first impressions take two with baby– the fact that Jason trusts the baby with Damian of all people. And sure it’s actually because Jason and Damian have history, but to Tim it seems like “I would rather hand this baby over to a literal assassin than trust him with you.” And maybe Tim takes it as a remark on himself–I wasn’t really going to nerve strike him, but am I so suspicious/untrustworthy that you think I would do that to a baby?
And of course Alfred wants Richie to be raised in Wayne Manor, but Jason obviously has issues with the family. But this is even before Bruce has been brought back, so it’s only Dick and Damian in the Manor (because Tim has moved out–he’s not going to live with Damian)… so maybe it’s like. Jason is more comfortable in the Manor when Tim isn’t there–so Tim interprets it in a way that says, he is not trusted with the baby.
Since it is during the Red Robin arc, Tim is out of Gotham for the most part, anyway so it’s not a deliberate avoidance. During which, Jason and Richie are already pretty settled in the manor. Until he brings back Bruce.
Obviously it’s tense at first, but then it becomes clear that Jason’s not killing people because he’s got a baby! And, really, that’s all that Bruce wanted so it’s fine. So Bruce welcomes him back (never mind that it’s Bruce returning). Jason is also tense, but being a father has given him perspective–he’s not so angry or out of control–so they reconcile.
Meanwhile, Tim is like… they’re a happy family now. Without me. So he just jets. Since Bruce is back he doesn’t need to be Wayne Enterprise’s CEO/poster-boy. But he thrives when he’s necessary, so he tries to come up with more jobs he can fulfill.
So he starts with expansion of WE and Batman Inc into Canada, sees how everyone gets along without him. How quickly they are to take over/distribute his territory/patrols. How utterly unnecessary he is in Gotham.
Likewise he’s not needed with the Titans because they’re a Robin thing and he’s not Robin anymore. Sure they didn’t like him at first, but everyone collectively mellows out and begin to get along. Especially since they are JLA light. And while Tim never wants to be Batman, the others are still in line of succession and it just makes sense for Batman in training to be on a team with the other JLA in training.
So there’s really no need for him to go back (which he interprets as, he can’t go back).
While Tim interprets the family as not needing him, so he does other things elsewhere, the family interprets his actions as him being so swamped/busy. So they try to lessen his load. Like, Bruce took back the CEO position for WE because he thought Tim was being overworked–instead Tim saw it as, of course, I’m just a placeholder. Now I don’t have WE or Robin, I have to make a place for me. It’s a spiral. Everyone thinks he’s moved on from them, when in fact it’s Tim thinking I should leave before you kick me out.
And a lot of that mentality spills over. Once he establishes a team in Canada (as both Batman Inc. and JLA International, because he knows there are some metahumans and he does not discriminate, also, double the financing), he sees that they’re functioning well, that they can run without him. He’s unnecessary again [there’s definitely some influence from saccarines’ fic Correspondence].
He goes back to Gotham after establishing the Canadian team, sees how well they function without him, decides to go where he’s needed–i.e. establishing teams in Europe.
Europe does weird things to Tim–he broke a lot of laws there, it’s an older place, and the ways of world are different. Magic, not metahumans [Ladybug and Chat Noir?!]. The teams he assemble aren’t as wide-eyed innocent and stalwart as the North American teams. They’re darker, somehow–not that Gotham, world capital of the criminally insane isn’t dark as well, but the vigilante culture is so controlled by Bruce’s lofty standards that, in comparison, Tim’s European Batman Inc teams are more shades of gray and subtlety.
He’s pretty established as the voice/face of Batman Inc in Europe. London, Paris, Berlin, Athens (WE stimulates economy, Batman Inc protects the people). He’s not really the boss, but he has the most experience and he is the one who established them. He made them to function independently of him… mostly he floats between them, acting as an intermediary between HQs or them and mafia. He can’t get a foothold in Italy because the mafia are so established, but maybe he makes deals with them occasionally (more of that sketchy gray area). He probably does have some dealings with Ra’s al Ghul, but that’s really minimal to the story.
He very rarely goes back to Gotham–less and less frequently as time goes by–and definitely never the Manor when Jason and Richie are there. Because he doesn’t want Jason to feel like his home is unsafe, not realizing that the Manor should also be Tim’s home. He makes himself busy, makes himself necessary elsewhere. Avoids the entire family.
Richie goes to Paris when he’s thirteen because he’s frustrated. When is he going to be Robin? Damian has officially become Batman and Richie was always going to be his Robin. He’s already had a lot of training because he literally was raised by all of the Batmen, Robins, Batgirls (Aunt Cass visits AT LEAST once a year, which is more than Tim does, because she’s not a neurotic mess of self esteem issues).
It’s been over a decade since Tim has come home/interacted with the family not in a professional capacity–either WE or BI [although, he did have Cass come over and help train his Europe teams].
Richie’s a little nervous around Tim because, with everyone else, his other “teachers” are just his family. He’s grown up with them–Aunt Stephanie was the one to buy him waffles before teaching him how to stitch a wound closed. His Dad taught him how to wire a bomb but still makes sure he doesn’t watch R-rated movies. But with Tim, it’s this stranger. And the thing is, they don’t really talk about him in the Manor. You don’t really talk about people unless they’re present in some way… maybe Richie grew up on stories of Red Robin/the third Robin (what, with Jay and Kon having had a thing a few years ago) but it’s not prevalent in his life. He’s a lingering ghost in the Manor, and even in the Titans Tower.
So Richie’s nervous, but Tim of course interprets that as “Oh, he hates me.” Because why wouldn’t he? As far as Tim knows, this is Richie, the son of Jason who hates his Replacement. The boy who’s in love with/going to be Robin of Damian, who hates his predecessor and literally tried to kill him.
But of course Jason doesn’t hate Tim, he’s just really fucking awkward around him. And… well, I don’t necessarily want it to also be DamiTim, but that is a possibility (and I’m always a sucker for DamiTim, or at least theoretically DamiTim–Tim is building Batman Inc, and Batman is now Damian. He’s building Damian’s empire).
But Richie has a crush on Damian… I want Richie to have a happy ending, but having your first love requited, especially when it’s for a man who will be your mentor/vigilante partner isn’t exactly going to lead to a happy ending for Richie… definitely one-sided Richie x Damian.
Richie is a good boy. He’s all of the hope of Robin within him. He is loved by his family and is all of their good traits. So when Tim is feeling low, saying that he can learn better from someone else, Richie replies with “They’re not you.”
Tim doesn’t think he’s part of the family, while Richie is the baby of the family. So there’s this gulf between them–the one who (thinks he) is unloved and the child who is most loved.
Richie is a lovable boy–and Tim doesn’t have any problem with training this boy. He’s going to be a Robin that Damian Wayne needs. That Damian Wayne wants. And Tim will do anything in his power to help make someone needed/wanted. Dick was also very lovable–loving and being loved, as was Jason whose love burned and was passionate and invited reciprocation, Stephanie loved easily, strongly, and it was easy to love her in turn, Damian of course would be loved. Tim thinks he wasn’t loveable–he loved but wasn’t loved in turn.
Training starts with undercover stuff, because it is the one thing that Tim is the best at amongst the family. It’s something that the European branches take pride in because they are more subtle, and it gives them a way to seem more than they are (each team is really three or four people, but each person has multiple identities so they seem larger), it’s their specialty. So at first Tim teaches Richie that, because he doesn’t know what else to do.
And after a week, Tim expects Richie to be bored and want to go home. Except, no Richie wants to stay, “I still have so much to learn from you.” And Tim’s just like… “Really? Like what? But… okay?” And he’s scrambling around trying to find what else to teach Richie–he doesn’t want to teach him the wrong thing, doesn’t want to ruin this Robin to be.
But he’s good at this. He basically raised Kon and Bart, he’s been training teams since he was a teenager himself, his self made job is to create and train teams to independence. He’s good at it. So long as Tim doesn’t get distracted by holding himself up to the ideal of Robin, he’s a really good teacher. He get’s more comfortable with Richie and vice versa, and then a month passes.
And Tim really doesn’t have anything else to teach him. But then they stumble upon this conflict. Because Tim thought he’d be gone after a week, and the family thought maybe a month but definitely after he’s done with training. Whereas Richie is like–I’m going to stay here forever, or at least until they let me be Robin.
At which point Tim is like… are you holding yourself hostage? And they discuss the philosophies of Robin. It’s something that Tim has been different about in regards to the role. With Dick it was “I want to help fight crime.” With Jason it was “I now have the power to do good.” With Stephanie, she was going to fight crime regardless, as Spoiler, but as Robin she’s Bat-sanctioned, Bat-trained, “I am getting the authority.” With Damian, Robin was a step to Batman–a Batman in training role.
But with Tim, he stepped up to be Robin because someone needed to step up to be Robin. Robin needs to exist as a complementary role to Batman–regardless of who fills the suit or what comes after.
It helps Richie understand Tim. Because it’s about being whatever Batman needs. And that’s why Tim is so messed up, because when he had Robin taken away from him he took that as a sign that he was not needed. Whereas Richie is raised with all these people, constantly reassuring him that he’s loved and that he doesn’t have to join the family business. And if he doesn’t he knows he will still be loved. His place is solid in the family, and that’s something that Tim doesn’t realize about family.
Tim tells him to go home. Don’t be so eager to be Robin right now. Or rather, be the Robin that they need. Right now Damian doesn’t need someone to fight beside him. He doesn’t need a Robin on the streets, he needs someone who will be there for him. It’s his first year as Batman and he needs to establish himself as a hero in his own right before he becomes a mentor, he needs time. So maybe what he needs from Richie is to give him that time… and Richie accepts that. He’s not as desperate to be Robin, he’s patient.
But Richie personally still needs to learn. Which Tim acknowledges as true. After all, Tim did a training trip with Shiva and so maybe Richie needs something similar. So Time is like… how much time do you have until school? Another month? Well for this month, you’ll be operating in Europe. It’ll be a taste of what it’s like to be an operative. Then the adventures of Richie Todd Wayne as Egg. And afterwards, Richie goes home, settled and stronger. Ready for Robin, but willing to wait.
… Except he bonded with Tim, and he knows how lonely Tim is, how unsure of his place in the family is. So he wants to bring him home (which is, basically what Alfred was trying to do from the start by sending Richie to Tim)… so Richie pulls a Parent Trap for Jason and Tim… or something like that.
A/N2: Uh… so yeah. I actually did all of brainstorming verbally in an hour long voice recording while I was stuck in traffic. There was a lot of cussing… and me yelling out OBLIGATORY TIM FEELS like… six times. Basically… I had a lot of feelings yesterday.