What Family Does

November 26, 2014:

Dick and Babs visit a damaged Tim.

The Batcave

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Stupid schedules. Dick sent over some gifts and flowers before he could actually get over to the Manor, but as soon as he had space to breathe, he made a beeline there. With his bike parked in its 'usual' spot here, he made his way to the front door to ring the bell.

Alfred is given a friendly greeting before he asks if Tim's good for visitors right now. He should have called ahead, but he didn't want to risk losing this bit of free time.

Alfred directs Dick to the batcave where a certain teen is surrounded by large textbooks on set on the bed on which he rests. The pencil in his hand scribbles furiously at the notebook that lingers on his lap. All of this has him hunching over – not the best position for someone currently on what is, essentially, bed rest.

But calculus rests for no man.

At Dick’s entrance, Tim lifts a single finger: one moment. And he punches a few keys of the calculator beside him, following which he writes something down in the notebook. It’s then that the coiled notebook is unceremoniously dropped on the floor beside the bed. With a groan Tim straightens and allows himself to lounge again. “Hey.” And then, to explain the disarray of math texts across his bed he arches an eyebrow, “Uh. Exams next week.” Because evidently he still intends to write his finals.

Dick Grayson does as he's asked by the uplifted finger…at least it's the index and not the middle one that greets him. Only when the notebook is dropped on the floor does he move to grab a chair to bring closer to the bed. An eyebrow is arched as he looks at all the books, "You know, you're allowed to ask for extensions in times like these. I don't think anyone would deny you one." He sits, the back of the chair facing front so he can rest his arms across it. "How are you feeling? I'm sorry I couldn't get here sooner."

The thought about an extension earns a small wrinkle of Tim’s nose. “I dunno. I’d rather have it done then have it hanging over my head, you know?” he shrugs. “And… I’m doing better.” He holds up a hand in anticipation of objection, “Honest. I’m okay. I am. Okay, I mean.” His lips press together tightly and his eyes turn down to the bed. “Getting tired of this room, I guess.” Not that he’s been wholly awake or cognizant of much for the last few days. And then as an afterthought he adds, “And don’t worry about not coming sooner. I’m okay,” because if he says it enough it’s true, “and I know you’re all pretty busy.” Awkwardly, he rubs the back of his neck.

"I do know…and it's up to you, but no one would fault you if you asked for more time to heal up,

"I do know…and it's up to you, but no one would fault you if you asked for more time to heal up," Dick offers. He's not -really- objecting. Not vehemently, at least. "Better is good…and I don't blame you for being sick of the view." He looks about as if to confirm it. "Don't push yourself though. I know it's hard and I know that you just want to get out, but don't push things. You don't want to do permanent damage, right?"

As for being busy, he gives a shake of his head, "It shouldn't matter…I feel awful that I didn't just drop everything to come here…or drop everything when it happened. I…that's what family does, right? Even screwed up, psycopathic families like ours'."

”I want out of here,” Tim confirms as he leans back to stare up at the ceiling. “Alfred is awesome, as always. But. I’m not exactly dependent. And haven’t been for well… a very long while.” His lips hitch up on one side in irreverent smirk, “Mom and Dad weren’t exactly the bastion of adult supervision.” Evidently he’s had some time to think thanks to the walls and books.

The question merits a small shrug of the teen’s shoulders, “Is it? I dunno. I… I think we’ve sort of …” his eyebrows draw together as he tries to formulate the thought “…I guess things just feel different lately. Maybe I’m just getting old.” His lips purse lightly. “Or he got to me.” Tim squints. “The Joker is nuts. But to be that crazy, and keep getting out of Arkham, he’s got to be smart, right?”

+MEET: Oracle has arrived via +meet.

"Of course you're not dependent," Dick agrees. "You're about as independent as they come, Tim. But you've been hurt…really badly. It's not about coddling you or smothering you. Alfred…we all…just want to make sure you're not going to do yourself more harm by getting out of bed and moving around too soon. I know it sucks."

As for the Joker, Dick glances down before taking in a deep breath, "The Joker's crazy…and a genius. But he's also a megalomaniac. He gets to everyone. He says things…things that hurt more than any bullet or knife could…because it then throws things back in his favor. He does it to mess you…us…up. It has nothing to do with it being true."

”I’m not intending to go on a car chase or anything if that’s a concern,” Tim replies blandly. From others it might seem like sarcasm, from Tim it actually sounds sincere. Evidently the reassurance was deemed at least somewhat necessary. “But I do want to leave it. Babs came by and gave me the,” he points at the night table next to him towards the leather bound journal, “and the… uh… “ his eyes flit about the area, and linger at the foot of the bed for a moment while his eyebrows draw together. Evidently he’s perplexed, at least momentarily. “Ah-ha!” he remembers and reaches behind his pillow to take out the handheld gaming device. An easier smile edges his lips.

Thoughts of the Joker, however, eat the smile again. “Uh. Yeah. Except. He could be right about things. Like. If someone tells you something and you already were thinking it, it’s not them that put that thought in your head, right?” His eyebrows arch upwards. “The thought was already there. They just… confirmed it.”

"Tim…I'm not saying this as Nightwing and I'm not saying this as someone who's older than you. I'm saying this from someone who has seen injuries become crippling because people didn't take care of themselves. I saw it at least a couple of times in the Circus and a couple of times since then. Until you're cleared for physical therapy, please…please…PLEASE don't push yourself. I know you can do it and I know that it chafes but I don't want you stuck with injuries that didn't heal right because you were impatient." There's an earnestness in his pleading for this and he does smile as the gaming device is brought out. "All the more time to increase your score on those things."

His smile also fades as talk goes back to the Joker. "No. His words only confirm those thoughts if you let them. The words probably reinforce how you're feeling, but I can't think of a single thing that the Joker can confirm except that he's completely insane. Insanity isn't even the right word for what he is." He really wants to ask what the thoughts were, but he isn't sure if that would be prodding. "The Joker isn't supportive of you. He's going to TRY to tear you down and he's going to use every method that he can. It still doesn't mean that what he told you is true, you know."

”Well. Exams next week,” he repeats. Perhaps there’s extra motivation to write his tests, like getting out of bed and the walls in which he finds himself. Tim’s lips twist to the side at the thoughts on the Joker. “No… it’s not… “ His eyes blink owlishly and his fingers lace in front of him. “He said I didn’t have it. And he’s not wrong. I don’t even know why I’m doing this anymore. I… “ his eyes turn upwards. “I don’t know.” He shrugs. “He said he and Batman were the same. That they’re both…” he blinks harder. “I’m not exactly a pillar of mental health myself. There’s this joke the psych department always states that secretly we’re all looking for ways to figure out what’s wrong with us.” Tim shrugs. Speaking cryptic is like a talent.

He sucks on the inside of his cheek. “So. How’s… the local sports team?” Because there is always at least one question to blaze passed awkwardness.

"If you insist on taking your exams, Alfred or I or someone should be taking you and you should be in a wheelchair. I can't force you, Tim, but as someone who loves you like I'd love a brother, I can't let you just be stubborn about this. You don't need to prove anything to us…and if you're trying to prove something to yourself, will permanently maiming yourself do that?"

Scootching closer with the chair, Dick reaches out to touch the younger man's arm, "You have it. You have what it takes…if you want it. The thing is, you need to be YOU. Don't be me, or Jason, or Damian, or Batman. You need to be your version of Robin. Hell, you're smarter than three of us put together and that's saying a lot…at least for me." He can't help a little grin there. "No one's a 'pillar of mental health' but you aren't obsessed by ghosts and demons like Batman is. You want to help and that means so much. If you don't want to go beat people up, don't. It doesn't mean you're not useful. That you can't be Robin. That you can't be whomever you want to be. Play to your strengths." He sits up some, "The Psych department is probably right. But if we find our faults, doesn't it mean we can also work to try and fix them?"

At the mention of the sports team, he shrugs…"I don't know. I don't think I've turned on a television in a month."

Babs enters the room as the two men are talking and sits quietly just inside the door, giving them room to speak. At the change of subject, she moves towards the bed with a smile for Tim and Dick. "Dicks got good advice there Tim, be you and play to your strengths."

Reaching the other side of the bed, she settles "No gifts today, I thought I'd see how the games went for you first… Still thinking?" she asks Tim and then looks between the two men.

There's a skeptical cant to Tim's head about the exams. "I just want to finish out the semester," he states earnestly. Whether he'll concede on the wheelchair thing or not remains to be seen, but he does admit, "If it's any comfort, I'm not interested in permanently damaging myself. If I was, I wouldn't be here anymore."

He chews his bottom lip at the last. One name strikes him though, "Ugh. Damian. Like I'd want to be like Damian." He groans again. "That kid," who is only a year younger than Tim. "I can't even…" He clears his throat. "Am I? Because I don't know…" he frowns lightly. A hand runs through his hair, "I think — "

But then Babs enters the room and earns a flicker of a smile. "Thinking about what?" his eyes squint. "The games?"

"Understandable," Dick offers in regards to the semester. Babs' comments cause him to give a little start before he turns in his seat to look back at her approach. There's a brief flicker of…something before he schools it back into the expression he had while talking to Tim. "Hey…and you mean I'm right about something? It's a miracle!"

Back to Tim though, "Right? You don't want to be like Damian. You don't want to be like Jason. You're -you-, Tim. And no one…not even Batman, can make you into something you're not, especially if you don't let them. You think what?"

"Life, really… and it seems like you are." Babs smiles at the teen and she hadn't missed Dicks brief change of expression.

Nodding at Dicks comments, Babs agrees "Dicks correct, you can only be yourself. In fact, you need to be yourself to be the best you can be… and while your recuperating, it's a good time to reflect on that." She offers a self-deprecating smile "It's one reason I gave you the journal, to help you remember that there is good stuff out there and that you help that happen." Pausing she adds quietly "yes, what do you think…" Moving her gaze to Dick, she smiles again "How are you, Dick?"

Tim expels an audible breath. "I think — " he starts again and then shakes his head. With a soft sigh, he manages, "Look. The Joker wasn't wrong about everything. I'm doing what I do for someone else. Not for me. I don't know…" he sighs again. "I need to figure out what I want to do, or something."

His eyes track down and he nods once at the journal. "Right. The journal, it's good. I think. I just… I need to get through exams. Another week."

"Twice in a row! It's a Thanksgiving Miracle!" So there may be just an edge of sarcasm in there. Just a little one. Dick smirks at the two of them before he answers, "I'm find, Babs…how are you?"

He then turns to Tim and nods. "I think that's a good plan…figuring out what you want to do for you. Screw everyone else. Although if you're going to do those exams, please consider how careful we're asking you to be."

Babs eyebrows rise at the slight sarcasm in Dicks tone "Well thank you, busy as usual" any other implication he's made is ignored. Babs directs her attention back to Tim. "The deadline of the exams is helping you focus, isn't it?" she shrugs "As long as you don't overdo it, listen to, and take, your Doctors advice, I think it's at least something. I wish it was something less stressful, like sleeping and recovering," she gives a small smile "but if you're going to be stubborn about something, exams are … positive I supposed."

"It is a Thanksgiving miracle," Tim agrees with a smirk. "No way that would happen twice on a regular day," his smile turns downright toothy. "Wait. It's Thanksgiving?" His eyebrows draw together sharply and he issues the pair a one shouldered shrug. "Ugh.. how long have I been in here?” he cranes his neck to try to catch Alfred around somewhere.

”I’ll sleep after exams,” he counters towards Babs, but tries to be reassuring. “And it’s not like I’m desperate to go traipse after the Joker on some escapade to make him join Harley.” There’s a pause. “It’s still not remotely that I got her into Arkham, by the way.”

"I think that the more we beg him to sleep and recover, the more he's going to fight us," Dick points out to Babs. "So, sure…stay up all night and study. Go for it!" Even though he's fairly sure that the reverse psychology won't really work. "It's ok, Tim…don't worry about Thanksgiving…and you have a few days still."

Babs glances at Dick "You've been in here about a week, Tim, today is Day 6 I believe." Babs bites her bottom lip "Speaking of The Joker and Arkham.. I didn't mention it yesterday when I was here because we were talking about things and… well… " she shrugs, Tim had fallen asleep because he needed it.

"Vorpal went after The Joker on his own when he found out what happened to you… he used some Cheshire techniques and well… got The Joker into Arkham as well." Watching the teen closely, she says slowly "Vorpal was very, very lucky… scared Gar witless…" obviously there's more to be said

There's a smirk at the reverse-psychology effort. "I thought we established I'm smarter than all three of you?" Tim arches a wry eyebrow and then chuckles, which, incidentally causes him to groan. Broken ribs aren't so awesome for the sense of humour. "Six days? Really?"

His eyebrows draw together at the thought of Vorpal taking on The Joker. "Yikes. Well I'm glad Joker is back in lockup, but… I can see why Gar would be freaked." There's a pause as he watches Babs. "Was there something else?"

"Gar should know better…should have told Vorpal, who, even though I don't really know him, already sounds like a troublemaker. He's gone up against the Joker before…" and Dick is just going to let that trail off there. Not going to talk about it more…it'll just get him pissed off.

"I don't know about smarter than Babs -and- me…but you're pretty close. You're definitely smarter than Jason and Damian…" even though he's never met the latter.

Dick Grayson laughs

Dick earns a sigh from Babs "Telling anyone to do anything… never works the way we want it to… " Looking back to Tim, Babs cocks her head "Well you took that better than I thought you might… that's possibly a good sign. All I wanted to add was that when Vorpal finally got home, Gar squirted with Pine-sol in Water… I thought you might get a bit of chuckle out of it." a shrug "I checked in with Vorpal after I got you here. He and I had a talk about how" a pause "impetuous that was and asked he be smarter about it in future. He'll learn and the fact his heart is in the right place, is a good thing."

"I think Tim was referring to him being smarter than the three other Robins combined…" Babs directs the comment to Dick "But combining our IQ's we'd give Tim a run for his money." There's a light teasing tone to her voice.

"Vorpal is a trouble maker, that's what makes his good at what he does." There's a pause. "Maybe don't tell Bruce that. Recklessness doesn't generally suit well…" Tim shrugs. "And I like Keith. He's good people… if a little on the chaotic side of things." He chuckles at the thought of pine-sol water. "That's awesome. I like the smell of pine-sol. It's like trees 'n stuff." His lips curve up on one side.

"Oh. I'm definitely not smarter than Babs," he adds. "No question there," the gleam of mischief doesn't fade from his eyes.

Dick Grayson merely gives a grunt at the teasing…"Well, glad to see you're feeling a bit like your old self." It's something. And since the kid is laid up with broken ribs and who knows what else, he doesn't get a smack upside the head. Just the grunt.

"I'm going to ask Alfred to bring down some cocoa for the three of us. Want anything else?"

Babs flushes at Tims comment and waves it away before looking at Dick "Nothing more for me, thanks Dick." Tim gets her regard "Vorpal is a trouble maker because of the Cait-Sidhe… it's so ingrained in his nature but… he is willing to listen and to learn." there's a fond smile "he is good people and he was mortified that he had hurt Gar so deeply. But I did warn him about working in Gotham …."

Looking at the books around the teens bed, Babs smiles "OK, can I help you with your study or is there something else you would like to talk about?"

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