Title: Feverish Indulgence
Pairing: None. (Bruce+Tim)
Snippet: Why would B want to be his Dad anyway?
He probably shouldn’t be enjoying this as much as he is.
That’s what the part of him- the part that’s wearing the Robin uniform, the part that’s still thinking about how many crimes are in the process of being committed and how many of the rogues gallery has escaped from Arkham, who’s out in the field at this very moment and where they should concentrate their efforts most- is screaming at him. Screaming with a voice gone hoarse from yelling Batman or Nightwing or Batgirl, watch out!
It’s drowned out by the rippling whisper of the part of him, a large part of him, that’s just tired.
Enjoy this, that part of his mind whisper – orders. Enjoy it because you’re never getting this moment, this touch, back again.
Bruce’s back is- it’s warm. Even though it shouldn’t be through the cape and armor. Maybe Tim is just that cold. But it’s warm, and he should be concerned with how he’s a deadweight draped over Bruce’s back-
But really he’s thinking about how he’s never been carried this way before.
Tim distantly remembers, that this is called a piggy back. He remembers watching other kids at school, when he was really small. Their parents would swoop them up and carry them on their shoulders. Or carry them on their backs. The child’s arms looping around their parent’s neck as the parent’s arms loop around the child’s.
It was something he always wanted to try- but was too afraid to ask.
You simply just don’t ask your chauffeur to do something like that. They don’t get paid to indulge a child’s whims.
Tim supposes he could’ve asked his dad.
But piggy backs were the last thing on his mind whenever his parents were home.
Tim forces his numb lips to move – “I can walk.”
He’s really too old, too big, too heavy to be this burdensome. To be carried like this. He feels Bruce’s voice before it registers as actual words in his head.
“I’d rather you didn’t.”
The world is a blur through Tim’s eyes- he’s just so tired. He struggles to focus his vision, he thinks that his fever might have come back.
Tim tries to move his fingers, tries to move- tries to do something that would make Bruce drop him.
(Like the deadweight he is.)
“The- the break out-“
“It will be handled.” Without you.
Tim bites the inside of his cheek- “I’m sorry.” It sound slurred- more like uhm surree.
“Go to sleep, Robin.”
Tim swallows, throat dry- and it’s like magic. Like he’s suddenly been given permission, his eyelids begin to droop. Tim feels his body sag against Bruce’s. And he can feel the subtle shift of the man’s shoulder blades as he adjusts his hold on Tim’s legs.
He struggles to stay awake, the gravity of his sickness and his weariness pulling his consciousness down into the water.
It shouldn’t be comfortable and he shouldn’t be enjoying this. But he is.
Tim’s cheek presses against Bruce’s shoulder, right against his neck and Tim thinks that- maybe he’s making Bruce uncomfortable. He should move. But his eyes are drifting, drifting, closed and out of obedience to what his brain is practically screeching.
It’s hot. So hot, but Bruce is warm and- Tim wants to-
He wants to keep that.
Sometimes he forgets people are so warm, warm-blooded and hot-headed and all sorts of warm things.
It’s something he forgets in between white-eyes and empty rooms.
But Bruce is warm and- for some reason it never crossed Tim’s mind to consider that. That Batman would be warm. Warm to him.
Maybe it’s just to Robin? It’s a theory that maybe he should test- when he gets the energy, the time.
Tim wonders if this is what Jason – what Dick felt. When they were Robin. The warmth. The peace. The safety.
This feeling that, that everything is okay. The world, Gotham, is falling apart but it’s okay to sleep because B said so.
It’s this other idea, Tim has, that if B says something then it’ll come true. Self actualization taken to the extreme.
He wishes this would never end.
That’s a horrible thing to wish –selfish and pretty spoiled – but Tim, well.
Tim, through barely open eyes, through foggy half-unconscious thoughts thinks that this is nice. He can kind of understand why all the other kids were so happy now.
Why they always asked for up, daddy or carry me!
This is really- really soothing.
There’s an Arkham break out and riots in the city, the sky is turning to ash because of said riots, the Birds and Bats are stretched thin-
But. But Bruce said it was okay to sleep.
So- it is, right? That’s practically permission to, to enjoy this. Right?
Tim doesn’t want to ever let go of this moment. Doesn’t want this contact to end. So warm, so safe-
He doesn’t want to ruin it. Even though he feels so guilty for taking it, for accepting it – practically demanding it with the unwilling weakness of his fever and twisted ankle.
The dull throb of it says birds aren’t supposed to be carried.
They’re supposed to fly. Tim struggles to pry his eyes open with that information. It makes that part of him that’s screamed itself raw hiss, that’s right. Get up. You’ve taken worse than this. Dealt out worse. You’re going to let Batman carry you- let him get distracted by this? You really going to drag him down like that?
No, Tim manages to get out through mostly immobile lips, no, he slurs out. His fingers twitch, curl and Bruce pauses, shoulders pushing back for a second-
“It’s alright, R- Tim.”
(Don’t take Robin from me.)
Tim tries to speak, tries to force out the words- I’m okay, I’ll take myself to the cave, I’ll do it. Stop. Stop. Don’t- Don’t-
But it all comes out as a scrambled together noise. Jumbled and patched together from nonsensical syllables.
Bruce squeezes his legs, so warm even though it’s too hot-
“It’s going to be alright, Tim. I promise.”
Tim thinks that maybe this is a nightmare, or that Bruce thinks Tim is having a nightmare.
He’s still awake.
Bruce’s grip eases from him, as he starts to turn to lower Tim into the car-
That whispering, tired and sick and injured part says – no, don’t let me go. Misses the contact already. The part that’s reasonable sighs, finally.
Tim’s fingers lock together, I don’t want this to end yet, but with gentle fingers Bruce pries his grip open, carefully guiding him into the passenger seat of the car.
He watches Bruce reach across him, program the car to take him home and pull out of the car.
With strength he didn’t know he had left, Tim reaches out, snags Bruce’s came-
He wants to say – be safe. Or I’m sorry. Even Thank you. Something that wouldn’t mess this up that would show how grateful he is, how ashamed he is-
But to his horror-
It comes out-
He can see clearly enough that he can note the stiffening of Bruce’s shoulders, the mask that settles over his face- even as the Batmobile’s doors slide closed, like curtains after a play.
Tim tries to roll, tries to look out the window as he feels the car lurch into motion, towards the manor. To see- to see, to scream out even though his lungs can’t handle it, I didn’t mean it.
(Why would B want to be his Dad anyway?)
There is finally enough of weakness accumulated that he can no longer keep his eyes open.
Tim hopes that this will be overlooked.
“How is his fever, Alfred?” Bruce runs his fingers over Tim’s sweat damp hair. Alfred frowns.
“One hundred and four, sir. With no sign of breaking.”
“He called me Dad, Alfred.”
But do I deserve it?
Alfred looks at him for explanation and Bruce- Bruce-
“I let him patrol.” Bruce sits down by Tim’s bed, watches his- his Robin (his responsibility, R is for more than just Robin, now, isn’t it, Bruce?). “I didn’t even notice until it almost got him killed.”
He can’t have another Jason. He can’t.
Because he knows there won’t be another Tim coming along to make it better this time.
Alfred’s hand weighs heavy on his shoulder-
Heavier and not than Tim’s head. It has- it’s been a long time since he’s felt. Felt.
Tim’s limp body draped across his back, it felt. It felt strange. Different.
He’d forgotten how small other people are. How fragile. How could he? He should know better than anyone- but he forgot.
Bruce looks at his hands. How could he forget, ignore that it’s not just his own life in these hands, anymore?
When did he lose track of that? After everything that’s happened?
Tim looks so horribly small and sick against the pale blue sheets. His hair is growing out, and his features look so mature. Mature for someone so young. Too young.
It isn’t the first time he’s thought that he made a mistake. A mistake about Tim.
He’s had plenty of those times. When he’s thought that he should’ve said no, should’ve been firmer, trained him harder.
Bruce reaches out, brushes Tim’s hair back from his forehead. Wonders if he has any right to do this, when he’s practically the one who made him sick.
Made it get this high.
He would say sorry- if it meant anything.
Bruce holds his hands together, and recalls the feel of Tim’s shaky breath against his shoulder, the way his weight wasn’t enough. The feel of Tim’s armor clad legs under his palms as he held Tim up, the drape of his arms over his shoulders.
And he remembers how it was so thin. Compared to Jason, compared to Dick- compared to how he remembers himself at that age.
Sometimes, sometimes Bruce thinks that he attributes that to Tim. He just thinks- that’s just how Tim is.
Writes it all off and- doesn’t think about fixing it. Fixing Tim. Helping him the way he should.
He always says that he’ll make an effort, change- that he’ll do better with Tim. He always thinks it, that he won’t make the same mistakes he did before, but he makes worse ones.
Tim brings out the best and worst in him.
So how can he still be-
Still be Dad?
As much as Bruce wants to be- he doesn’t deserve a son like Tim.
But he’ll remember that slip- that slip of the tongue forever. That one single moment, where Tim reached out for him. Called for him.
Even though Gotham was burning and seizing around them, even though he was fevered and near dead asleep-
He’d called Bruce Dad.
As he touches the back of Tim’s hand and gets up to resume patrol, Bruce can’t help but think that-
The memory of those words, Tim’s breath against his shoulder, his not-enough-weight on his back, and the tug on his cape-
It’s one of the best memories he’ll ever have.
92 Notes/ Hide
- villainousrubbish likes this
- 0falsepositive0 likes this
- gallifreys-red-skies likes this
- aestivate likes this
- xkaiichix likes this
- eightshinyunicorns likes this
- slothesaurus likes this
- ali-e-n likes this
- mi-ao likes this
- theblueplain reblogged this from heartslogos
- cheeky-eyes likes this
- graffias likes this
- protomuse likes this
- ms-splendiferous reblogged this from myadamantiumheart and added:
- myadamantiumheart reblogged this from heartslogos
- myadamantiumheart likes this
- chonnabot likes this
- waterkites likes this
- backassward likes this
- megs151 likes this
- ghostwingss reblogged this from heartslogos and added:
- moshe72 likes this
- smallwangs likes this
- tigrislupa likes this
- elf0wl likes this
- msjazzylady likes this
- wordstroke likes this
- darlingmoose likes this
- midnightjaybird reblogged this from heartslogos
- midnightjaybird likes this
- themightybatcow likes this
- batflips likes this
- holybatblogbatman likes this
- yellowcape likes this
- itarobattemon likes this
- yashiko61 likes this
- iwanttorunwiththedoctor likes this
- ravenhoodoo likes this
- sasuhiroki likes this
- hephaistion likes this
- incogneat-oh reblogged this from heartslogos and added:
- senza4zenith likes this
- lectorel likes this
- dontstandstill reblogged this from heartslogos
- hepkat likes this
- chinchy188 likes this
- wisiaden likes this
- tynebyte likes this
- loverwren likes this
- me-ya-ri likes this