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Title: For Our Child
Pairing: (alluded to) Bruce/Tim
From this prompt.
Snippet: Daniel Thomas Drake-Wayne.
Sitting in his hotel room, Tim cradles the newly christened Daniel close. Tim has never been very good with children. But for Daniel he’ll try.
His child deserves it.
Tim had never considered having children before. Not with his own background. No. He doesn’t really have any examples.
But something- no, not something.
Daniel’s eyes. Tim’s blue. Janet’s blue. They stare at him and they make Tim want. Make Tim want to sit up straighter. Make Tim soften and harden at the same time. Soften in the center, harden around the edges- because this is his child.
Not just now. Always.
It’s the set of his jaw- the way it reminds Tim of him. Daniel looks at him with inquisitive blue eyes and Tim can already tell that he’s going to be a very precocious child.
Scattered around the room are various baby items that he brought before he took Daniel.
He didn’t know what he’d need, what he’d be finding- so he just bought as much as he could on his way here. Tim wonders how insane he must have looked, checking in with boxes upon boxes of baby clothes in all colors and sizes on the market.
“My baby.” Tim whispers, still partially in awe as Daniel gurgles in his arms. “My Daniel.”
Tim doesn’t think he would be a good parent, but he sure as hell is going to try. Not like his parents. No.
Jack and Janet Drake weren’t ready for a baby.
Janet told him as much. Told him with the way she would hesitantly touch his shoulder, his head, as if she didn’t know how. The way she’d buy him things- things completely ill-suited for him. The way she’d try to talk to him with awkward stilted words, the way she’d always have to double back in a conversation to confirm something. It was the way she was always forgetting, overlooking. She wasn’t ready. Tim knew without her telling him. It was the way that everything she did for him was an after-thought, ill executed.
Jack wasn’t ready either. It was the way where he didn’t know how to talk, how he was always just so- so awkward and- he tried. Sort of. When it suited him. The way he was always relieved when someone took Tim away, took Tim’s attention away from him. It was the way that Jack never really called Tim by name.
Tim won’t be like that.
Tim has always thought that he’d be like Janet- in that he wouldn’t know how to treat a child. But something inside him claws to the surface, vicious and screaming for blood, his blood, his baby. Something that tells him how to soften his voice, tells him about pride and self-worth and strength and courage.
He wonders if Janet ever felt this.
Maybe she did. Maybe she just didn’t know what to do with it- maybe that was why she would always give him those looks. Looks of absolute longing and confusion and pride.
Tim smiles, “Daniel. Danny. I love you, Danny.”
His child will never go a single day without hearing that. His child will know.
From day one.
His child will know that he is loved. That he has a parent who loves him, unconditionally. His child will know that Tim is proud. Danny will know that Tim is proud to be his parent. Privileged. Honored.
Tim watches blue eyes droop closed, Daniel’s little fisted hands waving out before he curls against Tim’s chest.
With his eyes closed he looks like-
But Tim won’t let him turn out like that, no.
Because as much as he loves (craves, needs, wants, respects, hungers, starves, strives) Bruce- Tim is under no delusions. Bruce is not someone you want to grow up to be.
Bruce is not…fatherly. He tries, like how Tim tries- but he-
Batman isn’t meant to be a father.
So no matter how much Bruce tries, at the end of the day Batman and the Mission and Gotham and the Case and the First Son and the Heir come first. All the things that aren’t family.
All the things that are important like connections and a life outside the shadows, like tight bonds that don’t involve blood and scars, like letting go- they don’t belong in that house.
That house that’s saturated in secrets and sins and guilt and regret, blame and submission, denial and loss.
It’s not a place for children.
Maybe once when there were pearls and doctors living there, when there was a mother and a father in that house-
Instead of just a mourner.
It’s not a place for children who aren’t soldiers. Who aren’t birds. Who aren’t extraordinary with something to prove.
Don’t get Tim wrong.
Daniel is extraordinary. But he has nothing to prove. Because Tim will never abandon him, never force him to be someone he’s not. Tim will never put him into that position.
Tim will never let Daniel feel that pressure.
Tim is never going back to Gotham. He knew that the second he caught word of the rumors of Daniel’s existence. The very second he saw the files in the league systems-
He knew. His time in Gotham had ended.
Danny will never be second to Tim’s career.
Danny. Tim closes his eyes and lies down next to the sleeping infant. Danny, Danny, Danny.
Daniel Thomas Drake-Wayne.
Tim smiles, finger brushing one round, smooth cheek causing the baby to stir before slipping back into the depths of dreams.
Part of Tim will miss it. Gotham. The struggle to survive, the juggling of faces and names and times. Of responsibilities. Toeing the line between personas. Between night and day.
It’s all he’s known since-
It’s all he’s known.
But this will be different. This is a chance. This is a chance to do right. Without sacrifice. Because it’s not really a sacrifice to give up Red Robin.
He never wanted this life, to stay in it for so long. He had always meant to leave it. Always.
And now he can.
He’ll miss parts of it.
(The touch of his lips, the firm hands on his hips, the low beckon, the call, the impossible to ignore order, the claim-)
But he can let it go. Let it go, ache for it. That slow and sweet poison. Tim breathes in fresh, clean air. Breathes out protests and regrets.
For the sake of their child-
Danny deserves more than Tim’s greed, Tim’s sins, Tim’s lusts.
Danny deserves more than Bruce’s regrets, Bruce’s faults, Bruce’s inabilities.
More than his parent’s fatal flaws.
And Tim is going to give it to him.