Tim - Tim was exhausted . He hadn’t slept in three days because he was going through a bout of insomnia. No matter what he did he just couldn’t sleep.
And no matter what Bruce and his parents and Dick and Alfred and the team thought, he wasn’t a caffeine addict.
He bought all of those coffee’s for Steph, not for himself. He wasn’t allowed to have caffeine. His doctors forbid him.
But Tim was exhausted. He was working for Bruce as Robin, and since Bruce was off-world he was also helping out Alfred and Lucious and working on different things for W.E.
No one would dare tell Bruce that they were more productive with W.E. when Bruce wasn’t involved. That just wasn’t something they were ready to get into with the CEO.
But Tim still had his regular school work as well. And that also wasn’t counting the extra work that his parents were expecting him to do as well. They had signed him up for multiple extra after school programs; rare was it that Tim got to go home when his school ended for the day.
He always felt bad for lying to Alfred about his sleeping habits. The old butler genuinely seemed to care about his bodily health - but there just wasn’t any way for Tim to be able to sleep more.
At least, not something that Tim had managed to figure out yet.
So now it had been three days for Tim without him being able to sleep, and yet he was still somehow behind on his work.
He wondered if it would be worth it if he drank caffeine. Surely if he was throwing up hard enough to tear his esophagus and start throwing up blood he would get to take a few days off, right?
But how selfish would that be for him to do? Intentionally causing himself harm just so he could take a break? Tim was better than that. Tim would be better than that.
So it looked like he would need to put on some loud, upbeat music and then force his tired mind to focus and do more hours of work.
Tim hit the usual spot on his phone to start his music, and frowned at his chair when it didn’t start. He was about to turn around and hit play again when a loud noise started.
He grunted; that was good enough for him - even if he didn’t recognise the start of the song.
Tim settled himself in his chair and set to work.
Four reports, seven pages of homework, and two sets of his exercises later, and Tim figured that he had earned himself a nutrition break. He could go get something to eat, and then he would set himself to do the same amount of work again before his next one.
That would work, and it would give his starving body something to look forward to.
So Tim heaved himself up, bracing against his desk as the world spun around him. Once the dizziness passed, Tim started to shuffle out in search of food.
He made sure that they had a decent supply of food here that was easy to make, as none of them were the best cooks. Though if Tim was being honest, that was because not one of them had enough time to put into learning how to cook.
The meals Alfred would send with him at times would be devoured by all of them in mere moments.
Tim sighed as he trudged; he would give a lot to have one of Alfred’s meals right now.
“You were doing so well, replacement.”
Tim stuttered to a stop - there wasn’t supposed to be anyone else in the tower.
Tim knew that because if one of his family members had been in the tower they would’ve helped him with his work. It wouldn’t have been the first time, and it wouldn’t have been the last.
Though, as Tim halfwittedly eyed the man (?) in front of him, he realized…
Maybe when they had last helped him… that would be the last time they would ever get to help him…
It was the Red Hood, the one rogue that Batman had told him explicitly not to go anywhere near. He was heavily armoured. Tim was able to pick out no less than three unconcealed guns, and another seven concealed guns easily. Tim had zero doubt in his mind that there were many, many, many more weapons that Tim wasn’t able to see.
Bruce was going to be so mad that Tim didn’t listen to him and stayed away from the Red Hood.
Before Tim could do more than blink, the Red Hood was attacking. Tim did his best to dodge and deflect, but it was laughably easy for the other to knock him down. Tim barely had time to register the air exploding out of his chest upon impact, let alone figure out how he had become impaled.
The stiletto blade knife was threw his palm and embedded in the floor. Tim was left blinking stupidly at the blade for a long moment before the pain finally registered in his brain. Then it took everything in his power to not scream in pain.
This was not what Tim expected to have done this night…
“Pathetic, Replacement.” Tim struggled to focus on the modulated voice in the helmet - but focusing on anything other than the pain in his hands was what Tim needed to stay conscious. Tim hunched his shoulders as Hood started stalking towards him. “I expected the one that stole the previous little bird’s spot to be so much… more .”
“I - I didn’t - I’m not - I -”
“Begging already? What would dear Daddy-Bats think of that?” Hood crouched beside his head. Tim was sure that the villain had chosen to stand in the pool around his hand on purpose. He seemed dramatic like that.
“He - he knows, no sur-p’ise… expected.” Tim struggled to get out.
“Oh ho ho; Daddy Bats knows that you’re a weak little cuckoo bird?” Teasing sounded so weird coming from a modulated helmet. “Will you cry from just a small little revolver being placed… here?”
Tim wasn’t surprised when a gun was placed against his temple. With how many were on Hood Tim was expecting more than just one, if he was being honest.
“Noooo.” Tim heaved a sigh, trying not to become sick from the pain radiating from his hand. “Usual… Monday.”
“It’s Thursday.” Helmet said flatly.
“Oh.” Tim blinked slowly. “Shoot me for bein’ stupid?”
“What the fuck is wrong with you.”
“If you know… tell me ‘fore you kill me? Nice to know…” Tim sighed.
“What the actual fuck.” Helmet pulled off his helmet, which meant that Tim would need to struggle again to find something new to call him.
What was his evil name again? Hood Red? No.. Red Hood. Tim figured he could remember to call him Red.
That shouldn’t offend the villain, right? Tim didn’t want to die being offensive.
“Oi, baby-dickwing, you hear me?” Tim floated back down to his body slowly, the gun tapping against his skull helping that along slightly.
“Sorry sir.” Tim’s tongue felt too thick and big for his mouth. “Will - will be better.”
Red mumbled under his breath for a long time; Tim thought he was swearing. He wasn’t sure why. “Fucking - just… call your dad and say goodbye.”
“But - he’s in Ethi -”
“If you say that Bruce mother fucking Wayne is in Ethiopia I will shoot myself.”
Tim wondered if he should lie, then decided he better not. Red might come back and haunt him for lying.
Tim had enough issues without catering to a ghost too.
“Bruce - Bruce isn’t in Ethiopia?” Tim blinked hard, trying to force his sluggish mind into focusing. Between the knife in his hand and the lack of sleep and losing blood Tim was struggling more than he should be. “My - my dad is. Bruce is in space?”
“Bruce didn’t adopt you.”
“No?” Tim wondered why he was answering questions that were said like statements. Was this backwards day and no one told him? Usually Dick told him when these things came up…
“Then why did she say you had been adopted?!”
“I’m sorry?” Tim tried.
“Fucking - fuck, you’re bleeding.” Red pulled off his helmet. No, his domino. His helmet was already off - god, Tim was dumb. Tim wondered if he’d need to give him another new name.
“Yeah? You stabbed me?” Tim thought that he looked familiar.
“Could you sound any fucking more nonchalant about being stabbed like fuck.” Red ran his hands through his hair before he sighed heavily. Tim resisted the urge to apologize again. “Listen. Now you’re going to call whoever the fuck is looking after you and tell them that you’re going to be busy for a while.”
“I don’t have anyone to call. I’m a teenager.” Tim was offended. He and his team could look after themselves, thank you very much evil drug lord sir .
Tim thought he had lost too much blood… or it was lack of sleep. Probably lack of sleep. He didn’t think hand wounds bled that much?.
“And the last teenage Robin that was left alone ended up dying.” Red said flatly.
“Mood though.” Tim said.
“I won’t hesitate to shoot you.” Red glowered at him. “One dead Robin is enough.”
“But… weren’t you just about to kill me?”
“Shut the fuck up.”
“How old do you think I am?!”
“You never guess a lady’s age!” Tim blurted out.
“Tell me you need to see Alfred without telling me you need to see Alfred.” Red mumbled.
Tim wondered how he knew who Alfred was… and Batman’s real name too…
Tim wasn’t sure how he ended up here, but he wasn’t complaining.
He was in the medical area of the Batcave. That was unusual by itself, since Tim mostly took care of his injuries himself in Drake manor.
But this time Red had dragged him back to the Cave, nearly against his wishes. He had sent a message to Alfred after they had arrived, and by the time an astonished Alfred had arrived Red was stitching his hand back up.
Alfred had fussed over him for a few long moments, until the medication had started to make him droopy, and then he had fiercely embraced Red.
Tim had been confused, his brain sluggishly forcing him to work with the pieces he had been given thus far.
It still took him far too long to realize that what he was seeing was Jason Todd being reunited with his Grandfather.
Tim was both elated and devastated. Regardless, he started to force himself up. It caused the pair to end their hug and fuss over him - which was the exact opposite of what Tim had wanted.
Completely depleted of energy as he was, Tim was moved to tears at the fact that he had ruined the long-overdue reunion.
It had taken both Alfred and Jason to come to an agreement to keep Tim in the Cave and being cared for.
Which was what brought Tim to where he was now; being squished under a sleeping Jason’s bulk as Alfred read to them out of Tim’s favourite book.
Tim never wanted this day to end…
He did wonder what would happen when Bruce returned; and Dick was supposed to arrive within the next ten minutes.
But no matter what, Tim had never had a better time being stabbed in his life.