yooo babe I just saw ur ask abt the batboys and their body types and id like to point out that somewhere in canon jason mentions that tim is actually the heavy hitter of the two while jason is faster (pretty sure I saw that somewhere)

syntactition:

redrobin-detective:

redrobin-detective:

Really???? I’d be curious where you found that given that Jay is so much bigger and Tim is tinier. He doesn’t give the impression that he’d be able to harder than Jay

Thank you everyone who replied! For some reason, tumblr isn’t letting me post replies anymore. But apparently it’s from New 52 Teen Titans #16, around the Death of the Family Tie In. I’m still calling Bullshit because they can write w/e they want but no WAY 6’ Jason who’s built like a tank is gonna hit weaker than 5’3 tiny Tim. Like sorry, Tim got punch but not like Jay do. Thank you to all who replied!!!!

For the sake of having it in one place:

image

Counterpoint to Titans from Robin #177, although I consider 52 to be a different continuity from Preboot so YMMV:

image
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Although I don’t really like that description much, either,
because excuse the fuck out of you, Jason is smart. I’m 1000% on board with one
of the differences in styles being that Tim fights smarter, paying more attention to where and how he can hit to
maximize impact, vs Jason having a style that relies more on brute strength
because he has it and he didn’t have
to compensate for a small size like Tim did for anywhere near as long, but
ugggggh comics stop trying to convince me that Jason’s dumb. He was trained by Batman.

…anyway. tl;dr earlier canon supports Jason being the
heavy hitter.

Part of me wonders if the “I hit harder, he hits more often,” thing is meant to reflect a mentality/strategy of fighting than actual strength. Like maybe, as you said, Tim does fight “smarter” in that his way of fighting is very trained into him–by martial arts classes then Batman and Shiva–so it’s very much so “save all of my strength for one or two critical hits.” Not that he actually physically hits harder, but that as a ratio of their respective overall power, each of Tim’s punches are maybe a third or half of his energy while Jason’s are more like one twentieth of his.

Not that Jason’s pulling his punches, so much as Tim’s way of fighting is (as in the Preboot example) more about dodging and using the environment to his advantage. A lot of his career as Robin was surrounded by supers who all outclassed him when it came to sheer strength. Tim isn’t going to hit often, but when he does he needs to make each one count. And, also, assassin training so there’s that.

Contrast with Jason who learned fighting on the streets. Yes, he was trained by Batman as well, but that’s more honing the foundation which is a brawler style. In that you hit your opponent whenever you can, as a more in the present kind of fighting than planning out the fight as a whole. 

And also Jason on the streets/as Robin didn’t have the same build and brute strength as he does now. He was the scrappy kid who had to weave around Batman and full grown adult criminals. As Red Hood, no doubt, he’s modified his fighting to accommodate his full grown size and strength, but I wonder how much of that street style “wear them down” mentality is still in effect.

Basically, in video game form, if you could see the floating quantification of energy above either of them, one punch of Tim’s going to wipe out a good chunk of his energy but won’t do much more (possibly, might even be weaker) than one of Jason’s punches which he can do a dozen of no problem.

The Ghost of Wayne Manor, (2016-06-15)

Surprise, it’s Tim.

Only children can sense him fully (though sometimes Alfred thinks he can hear him, can see the gentle nudges of things moved slightly out of place; sometimes they play chess) but once they’ve become “adults” that’s it. No more.

Tim remembers when Bruce was young, how they would play together. Remembers how his parents had indulged his “imagination” (though Thomas finds it quite the coincidence that his son’s ‘imaginary friend’ is also named Tim). And then, after the incident, how Bruce was so sad and brooding. In mourning. Something Tim knew about but never really understood until Bruce explained it to him.

But grief ages a person, and not long after, Bruce stops being able to see him anymore. Tim is alone, again.

Until Dick. And, see, even though Dick’s parents died before he came to the Manor, he wasn’t as rapidly changed as Bruce was. And Tim loved him for it, this new friend who could see him and play with him–even through his teenaged years.

Except, lately, Dick and Bruce have been fighting a lot. And Dick spends more and more time away, and suddenly their last fleeting goodbye becomes their final goodbye. Dick doesn’t come back until he’s Nightwing and can no longer see him.

It’s a while before anyone can sense him as completely as Dick did. Barbara, as Batgirl, on the rare occasions she came to the Manor (and not the Cave) had never been able to perceive him fully. Had perhaps seen glimpses of him from the corner of her eye, or heard a question in an unfamiliar voice, but they had never really met.

Jason, Tim thinks, came to the Manor old and learned to be young. Had been able to sense Tim better as time passed, an unusual direction, but one that Tim had been grateful for. Because Jason was interesting and fun and so full of life that Tim forgot, sometimes, whenever they were together, that he was a ghost.

Except that was cut short (and Tim wonders, sometimes, if it was his fault. If he might have wished that Jason could join him forever. If somewhere, in a land far away, Jason’s ghost is scared and alone and cursing his name).

The years that follow are long and cold and difficult. Worse, even, than when Bruce stopped seeing him and went away, coming back a stranger with a familiar face and always going to the Cave.

(Tim remembers, when Bruce was younger, the way they’d play at being brave but never daring the Cave. It was deep and dark and what if something were to happen to Bruce? Tim couldn’t get help. And so they avoided it, were awed by it. It was the bottom of the ocean and far flung space, a frontier that maybe they would explore when Bruce was older. But now look at it: Bruce has conquered it, made it into a home of sorts, a base from which his new legacy spreads. And still Tim cannot go in)

But things get better. A new Batgirl, one that can sometimes see him but not hear him–which is just as well, since she does not need words to understand him–and then another, one who can occasionally hear or see him, but not touch him (which he is grateful for, that first meeting, when her instinct is to punch a strange boy suddenly manifesting in front of her).

It is better, yes, but not the same as having a Robin or a Wayne child in the house.

Until, suddenly, there is.

Both even, though this one is far more interested in training in the Cave than indulging a ghost. But things start to come together somehow anyway, Dick and even Jason (somehow alive, not Tim’s fault, didn’t curse him to the same horrible fate) return to the Manor. And while Dick still can’t sense him, he remembers Tim, talks to him and pesters Damian into relaying responses. And Jason–touched by death, yet alive again–can still pinpoint Tim’s location, even without sight, and wrestle him into a playful headlock.

Stephanie and Cassandra and Barbara, who can see or hear him in bits and pieces, belief and perception bolstered by Damian’s honest, if reluctant, words. Alfred, of course, continues to do his best, their chess matches somehow cheerier.

Once, Bruce writes a note and leaves it on the desk in the study, before going behind the grandfather clock. Tim reads it and cries–or the ghostly equivalent of it, having no body or tears–but it is a thing more sweet than bitter, apologies, yes, but gratitude and nostalgia as well. Joy and affection.

Bruce has built a family around him, has filled the Manor with people who know Tim, and while it’s not the same as having his best friend back he thinks that this can be an acceptable replacement.

Except for Damian. It’s not as if Tim is jealous, he is dead and well aware of his role in the Manor–there is no competition, for how could a ghost ever compete with the living? But for some reason, Damian sees just the opposite.

Oh, he will repeat Tim’s words to the others when asked–grudgingly of course–but he will otherwise not acknowledge Tim’s presence. He doesn’t speak to Tim as himself, doesn’t interact with him, doesn’t engage. It’s as if he takes pleasure in making Tim feel as nonexistent as possible.

At one point, it seemed like he might even be trying to exorcise him (thankfully, Alfred put a stop to all that nonsense) though he might very well have continued if it weren’t for Bruce’s death.

And.

It’s stupid and selfish and so untrue, but Tim thinks it hurts him most of all.

He knew Bruce the longest, knew him when he was first brought home to the Manor as a baby. Bruce was his long before he was anyone else’s–before Alfred even–and it seems like his mourning, no longer an unfamiliar creature (and, oh, how silly and foolish he had been, how cruel he must have seemed to a young Bruce newly orphaned so long ago), should be far more than everyone else’s.

But that is not how grief works. Because that is not how family or love work, either, and during this time it cannot be said that isn’t what they are.

Grief works in mysterious ways, though, and while Dick and Jason and Cassandra and Stephanie all spend more and more time down in the Cave (all the better to honor Bruce, Tim knows, the legacy he left them with) Damian spends more time in the Manor. With Tim.

It’s not too little, too late–though he wishes Bruce would have been able to see them get along–but it is, at first, something strange and strained.

He and Damian are not friends yet, but they can learn to be; both of them a different but complementary parts of the Wayne family. Damian tells Tim about the Mission, about Bats and Birds and all the things in the Cave that Tim can never go to. He tells him about his mother, of his grandfather, of a childhood of being trained for two different roles; of swords and death and demons.

Tim teaches Damian his other branch of family history, two boys going down the long row of portraits, going further along each day.

Tim has been part of the Wayne Manor for so long, has watched generations of Wayne children grow up, and while he can remember each of them individually it’s true that sometimes the memories blur. He’s uncertain if it was Thomas or Bruce who broke a window and blamed it on Tim, or if it was Kenneth that unleashed frogs in the kitchen instead of Patrick.

Oh, he knows what they did as adults–even if they stopped seeing Tim by then–but he thinks Damian appreciates the more silly stories from their childhoods. It humanizes them, makes them family and not just genealogy.

Except. They reach the painting for Mordecai Wayne.

And Tim knows: he knows with such a strength (not the guilt ridden thoughts of Jason trapped in a foreign land, away from the Manor, away from Tim) that Bruce is alive.

The others don’t believe him (the others can barely see him–an imaginary friend they’ve outgrown, a child ghost unaware of the world) but Damian does.

It doesn’t matter that they are just children–one of them is a centuries old ghost and the other is Robin–they can do this. They can find Bruce and bring him home.

And Tim and Damian are no longer strangers stuck in the same house, they are friends. They are partners.

When Bruce comes back, he comes back to see his youngest son getting along with his oldest friend, and all is well in the Manor.

… for now…

Because maybe at one point in the future, Damian wants to figure out who exactly Tim is. No longer trying to exorcise him, but to give him a past–a name, a history–that isn’t just the ghost haunting Wayne Manor. How long has he been the Wayne family’s ghost; befriending Wayne children, watching over their home? Who was Tim before that?

And probably–even though Damian doesn’t intend for it to happen–unearthing the truth leads to Tim moving on. No more guardian ghost for the children of Wayne Manor. No more Tim.

But maybe there’s hope. Maybe, ten years after that–when Damian has finally taken up the mantle from his father–a little boy comes to the Manor. One that everyone can see and hear. A little boy named Tim.

Batman needs a Robin, and the Wayne family needs Tim.

~

A/N: a weird brainstorm/fic combination, highly influenced+inspired by @heartslogos’ DCU fic.

Also, written on my phone while I was on a seven hour bus ride so… take that as you will.

BASICALLY, I am always having Tim feels. Always.

Richie Todd Wayne Goes To Paris 2/? (2015-12-21)

A/N1: Continuation of this (hence the numbering). Based of @mgnemesi’s baby fic ‘verse.

~

First thing in the morning, over a breakfast nowhere near as good as Alfred’s but far superior to Uncle Dick’s, Mr. Drake asks him, “How’s your French?”

Richie, bleary-eyed but still determined to make a good impression, blinks and dutifully says, “Entre horrible et médiocre.”*

Mr. Drake hums in response and says nothing for the rest of the meal.

Half an hour later, as they are leaving the flat to go to the team’s headquarters, Mr. Drake finally responds, “From now on, you can only speak in French.”

An immediate protest tries to claw its way out of Richie’s mouth, but he bites it back. Still, something must show on his face, because one of Mr. Drake’s eyebrows raise.

“You came to France to learn, so you will learn in French. If you wanted to learn in English, you should have ambushed me in the London HQ. Or,” he says, a smirk slowly spilling across his face, “You could go back to Gotham, everyone speaks English there.”

Rather than discouraging Richie, it fires him up. The challenge is similar enough to his dad and aunts and uncles’ training that it feels familiar, “Je serai Robin!”**

The smirk flickers into a pleased smile, before fading away, back to Mr. Drake’s blank expression.

The trip is made in silence, an unusual state of being for Richie; he plans to brush up on his French so it won’t happen again tomorrow.

Richie didn’t notice it yesterday–what with the late hour and being detained by the team as an intruder–but the Batman Inc headquarters in Paris is rather pretty. Especially in comparison to the Cave which, while kitted out to the extreme and very impressive, is still a literal cave.

In contrast, the Paris HQ is bright and airy, mostly windows to let in natural light and the walls either painted to enhance that or glass. It looks more like an art gallery or the offices of a popular fashion magazine, all the better to blend in with it’s surroundings. The physical transparency of the building somehow hiding it’s secret vigilante operations.

Well, that is ostensibly what he came here to learn.

In the light of day, and without the suspicion of being a villain of some sort, the Paris operatives are far happier to see him than they were yesterday. At the very least, they aren’t tying him up and glaring at him, which is a notably big improvement from last night.

But they watch him with wary eyes, only stepping forward and speaking when Mr. Drake rests a hand on his shoulder and says, “Team, this is Richard Todd Wayne from Gotham. He’s here for some undercover training,” in French, of course.

Maybe Richie’s not translating it correctly, or maybe there’s something he’s missing, because the suspicious cast on the team’s faces turns gleeful. Sadistically so.

“Men’s Fashion Week is coming up…” one of them says, a black-haired woman in pink polka dots.

“We do have a concert coming up, as well,” the blonde woman adds.

And suddenly there is a flurry of conversation too fast-paced for Richie to follow, different members chiming in at random times. It kind of reminds him of dinner at the Manor. Except with less threat of being stabbed with a fork… probably.

“I’m sure Richie will appreciate the many learning opportunities,” Mr. Drake says firmly, bringing the discussion to a close, before dropping the hand off Richie’s shoulder, “Before that… Who wants to give him the tour?”

~

A/N2: Given that I don’t actually know where I want to go with this fic, it would not leave me alone while I was at work. So… here? Progress, at least.

Also, the French: *(Between terrible and mediocre) and **(I will be Robin!) I got from google translate. I do not speak French AT ALL. Which is why I didn’t want to continue butchering the language in the second section…

Also, also, thanks mgnemesi for letting me play in the sandbox 🙂

Richie Todd Wayne Goes To Paris, Prologue (2015-10-05)

Summary:

Mr. Drake looks at him and sighs, before tossing over his phone. Richie’s going to be Robin one day, so it’s no problem to catch it.

“Call your family. Let them know where you are, and that you’re safe… And ask for permission. If they actually want me to train you, then I will,” the man says, all resigned exhalations, while Richie types in the number for the Manor. He would feel bad about being so clearly considered a nuisance, except he’s stuck on something and has to ask.

“Don’t you mean our family?”

Mr. Drake just smiles and shakes his head.

A/N1: So this is based on @mgnemesi‘s babyfic ‘verse, in which Jason Todd is suddenly in charge of a baby and goes to the only person in Gotham who can help–Alfred. There’s more but, seriously, just go to the master post and read it.

This is a future fic remix in which… well… hopefully it’ll be clear.

On Richie’s thirteenth birthday, when he blows out the candles on his cake, he makes the same wish he always makes.

At first he thinks it’s a waste of a birthday wish. He’s pretty sure he’ll be Robin this year, even without the wish; after all, Damian has taken over as Batman full time already. But as time passes and Damian continues to patrol without him, he begins to doubt.

“I don’t get it,” Richie says, perched on the gurney, helping Alfred take inventory of the Cave’s medical supplies.

Scarecrow and Poison Ivy are both out of Arkham, so they’ll likely need to have antidotes on hand. This, at least, Richie is allowed to help with.

“… doesn’t Batman need a Robin?”

Alfred’s hands still over the vials of antihistamines, “Perhaps, young Master Richard,” he says carefully, “You should consider a change in your summer holiday plans.”

Tim is en route from the London HQ to his main flat in Paris when Vivienne sends a message over the comms: the team caught an intruder trying to break into the Paris HQ.

Normally, Tim would consider this an opportunity for the team to exercise some independence. He knows they have the protocol memorized, and anyway he trusts their judgement. He wouldn’t have chosen them for Batman Inc, otherwise. But in this case…

“I’m sorry, what did you say his name was?” Tim repeats, though he knows he didn’t mishear the first time.

“Richard Todd Wayne. He says he’s here for you.”

It takes only six hours for Jason to realize that his son is missing, and only because he was unconscious for four of those.

“What do you mean, you don’t know where he is?” Jason seethes, hands clenched tightly into fists.

“It’s Friday. Doesn’t Richie usually hang out with his friends after school on Friday?” Dick shrugs, not yet aware of danger he’s in.

“Tt,” Damian’s voice snaps out, “School’s been out for two weeks already.”

Meaning Richie should be home, pestering one of them for more training. He certainly wouldn’t have passed up the chance to get some aerial practice with the first Robin.

Bruce sits silently, his mouth a flat worried line.

“WHERE IS MY SON?” Jason growls, about to fly off the handle completely, when Alfred steps into the room and clears his throat.

“Sirs. Master Jason has a call on the Manor line.”

All of them pounce for the phone on Bruce’s desk.

After a few minutes of rather explosive back and forth shouting, Richie sullenly holds out the phone and says, “They want to talk to you.”

Tim bites back the bitter automatic response–that would be a first–and instead dials it down to a skeptical, “Did they actually say that, or do you no longer want to get yelled at?”

Baby Richie–except he’s not a baby anymore, god, he’s a teenager has it really been so long?–blushes but continues to stubbornly hold out the phone, so Tim takes it and brings it to his ear.

“… and if you don’t get on a plane back right this second,” says someone’s voice. But it’s been a while–a decade–since Tim has heard any of the family’s voices, so he can’t tell who is speaking.

That’s a lie, of course he knows who it is.

“Hello, Jason.” Tim says, unflinching at the volume.

“… Pretender?”

At that, Tim does flinch. But only Richie is there to see, and he’s still busy sulking, so it’s alright.

“Yes, it’s Tim.”

Shit.

Shit. Fuck. Goddamnit. Shit.

The first word he’s said–the first word any of them say– to Tim in fucking years and of fucking course it’s Jason calling him Pretender.

God fucking damn it.

The others stare at him wide eyed, before Dickie reaches for the speaker button. For some reason, Jason slaps his hand away.

“Hey, Tim,” Jason tries not to croak in surprise, scrambles to come up with anything else to say and falls short.

Silence reigns for a few moments–shit, why is Richie there, how did he even find you, how have you been, there’s too much shit bouncing around in his head to think properly–before Tim picks up the slack and says calmly, as if this phone call is a common occurrence, “Richie’s with me. We’re in my Paris apartment. He’s safe and uninjured.”

At that, Jason shudders out of his fucking stupor, the heavy weight of concern dissipating with a few select words.

“He says he was sent here for training but…”

Jason snorts, “How quickly did you see through that lie?”

Another pause. Duh, they’re not that familiar with each other. Even before, they were never that close.

“Marinette was the one to catch it, actually,” Tim says and doesn’t clarify, “But I know there would have been an email or a memo, if it were true. Anyway, if he’s not meant to be here, I can bring him to the airport. Have him set up on the next flight back to Gotham.”

It’s on the edge of his tongue to say yes. To say, why don’t you come back with him? But Tim, thankfully, continues.

“But… if you’d like. I doubt he’s missing anything, but I can see if there’s anything I can train him in. Maybe some undercover work.”

It’s true that Tim was the best out of them at undercover work. But Jason can’t help but think that it’s a jab at the Pretender comment.

“Yeah, that’d be–” he says, before being cut off by a wave of sound from Richie.

“Oh please, Dad! Oh please, please, please!” his son’s voice shouts out, overwhelming Tim’s completely.

Tim quickly hands the phone back to Richie, in order to spare his eardrums, and mentally goes through his schedule for the next few days–he doubts Richie is going to want to stay for very long.

He was being honest when he said that the teen’s training was likely already complete. There’s not much Tim can teach Richie that someone else couldn’t do a better job. He’ll get bored and go home after a week.

Yeah, Tim can postpone some meetings to next week. And it’s not like Wayne Enterprises is going to fire him when it’s for the Wayne family’s youngest member.

“I will, promise. Thanks, Dad!” Richie says, bright and cheerful, and why wouldn’t he be? “I love you, too,” he finishes, before hanging up.

Tim pretends that the catch in his chest is relief at not having to talk to the family. He’s good at that. Pretending, that is.

~

A/N2: So, I’ve just recently re-read babyfic ‘verse and found myself swamped by baby Richie feels and, since I am always feeling things about Tim Drake and his terribly sad existence, it all just simmered in my brain until I came up with this idea while I was stuck in traffic.

Essentially, this is roughly twelve to thirteen years in the future–Richie is thirteen–and in a sort of fit of teenage rebellion he goes to Paris to find and be trained by Timothy Drake. Who has not been in Gotham for a decade.

Cue bright and sunny soon-to-be-Robin inching his way into the life and heart of the bitter, self-estranged ex-Robin and both of them realizing what family and the role of Robin really means. Or something like that. And some JayxTim. Because I’m predictable like that.

Preeeeetty sure I’ll be doing another few parts to this.

I’m not super keen on the title? But future installments will be under that tag, so…

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]

~

[[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.