Maybe in the meantime
by Te
April 11, 2006

Disclaimers: Not mine.

Spoilers: Up through Identity Crisis.

Summary: It's not any other day.

Ratings Note: Mostly harmless. Content some readers
may find to be TIM/KON OMG.

Author's Note: I'm not sure whether to call this an
AU or not. Technically it plays merry hell with the
TT v3 timeline, but... more notes at the end.

Acknowledgments: Zee asked me to tell her a story.
I'm... uh. Gonna try to do better about that. Love
also to Jack and Audz.

Tim is back.

And, you know, Kon isn't a girl or anything. He doesn't have
to hug up on Tim until the guy smells like his perfume or
anything. Not that he wears perfume.

Except for that one time, and anyway it was a dare, and so
it didn't count.

The point is that Kon's totally not a girl, and even though
Tim is his friend -- his *best* friend, in the entire world,
and that's really important and, by rights, he *could* totally
be getting a hug -- he's not.

Tim doesn't do that kind of thing, and that's cool.

Tim is way more of the "tiny smile which may or may not
mean violence is about to happen" kind of guy, anyway, and
Kon had gotten that smile, already.

Two of them, even, though the second one might have
been... a burp or something.

Tim's human, so he probably burps sometimes, right? Right.

So he's gotten his smiles, and he's given them back, and
*Tim* is back, so that's cool. He's good.

*They're* good, because, well, everyone knows it's not
really a team without Robin. Or a Robin or ex-Robin or
something, because look what happened when that
Nightwing guy bailed, right?

But he also kind of maybe a little sort of wants the hug. And
there isn't anything wrong with that and a hug would totally
also be in the rule book. He'd lay money on it.

And Tim *is* his friend, so also responds surprisingly well
when Kon explains things like hug rules to him, so it's
totally possible -- maybe even plausible -- that he could get

He'd let Kory hug him, after all, and while Kon would be
just fine with being smothered in her breasts for a year or
so, he knows Tim doesn't really...

Well, Tim is different.

Kon knows for a fact -- he's had his whole life to watch for
things for this -- that not even fabulous breasts were
enough to justify gratuitous hugging for Tim, sometimes,
and also as near as he can tell, Tim tends to think
'gratuitous' translates to 'hugs I give out.' Kon pays
attention to things like that.

Not that he's a stalker or anything.

That's Tim's job, which he's good at, and see, that had been
part of the *problem* of Tim being gone -- he hadn't been
stalking *any* of them, which was just wrong.

Like, at first it could've just been that Tim was doing a really
good *job* of stalking -- totally plausible -- but, like, Tim
hadn't been. He'd just been being someone not-Robin who
made no sense, and, again, wrong.

So really -- all kinds of reasons for hugging in there. They
had to, like, reset their universe a little. Like when they first
started being Titans, kind of.

Sort of.

He --

Well, in any case, he's damned well getting a hug, and if
Tim has anything to say about it (except it would be more
like if Tim had anything to give-pinched-up-eyebrow-happy
looks about it, because Tim and words aren't friends, or
even really acquaintances, sometimes), then Kon will just
threaten to tell everyone about the Enya thing.

So he just has to... well, go get it.

And it's not like that involves pain or, like, quests across
supervillain-infested territories, or really anything other than,
you know, walking down the hall, but --

Kon walks down the hall. He's getting pretty good at that
kind of thing, really -- those times where he probably
should be punching himself in the face, but *totally does
not have to do it*, because he *realizes* he deserves a
self-punch, and thus deals.

He's not sure yet whether or not someone should be proud
of him for this, but even if it turns out not to be the case,
he's saved himself a lot of pain, so that's all right then.

And once he's there, he almost forgets what he's doing,
because Tim does the same thing he always does -- lets
Kon *almost* knock before saying,

"Come in, Kon,"

And that's so normal and right and *annoying* and perfect
and also normal that it takes Kon a minute to remember
that Tim *hadn't* been doing that for months, because he
hadn't *been* there.

Which is why -- and Kon would like the universe to take
note of this, because it's a *good* reason that Kon mostly
just stands in front of Tim and takes up valuable
thinking-person space for a moment or two.

And also Tim gives him another one of those little smiles.

Still, he's got a good recovery in place, if he does say so
himself, "Hey, man."

"What's up?"

And see, that -- right there -- is what *made* it a good
recovery. It was all about setting up, like, smooth
conversational... things, and he'd done that.

It's just that now he has to come up with something else to

Any time now.

Any time at all.

And the smile is changing a little on Tim's face, doing that
thing where it pulls itself into not *quite* a frown, and
once upon a time Kon had totally thought everything would
be better -- *everything* -- if he just got to know the
things that Tim's face did behind the mask --

"Kon? Is something wrong?"

Except that that was a total lie, and also stupid, because he
kind of hates the look he knows is on Tim's face now,
because it's a look that's all about Tim finding out -- from
him -- about some *really bad thing*, and --

Yeah, he pretty much hates it.

"No, uh... no. Nothing's wrong, man."

And for a minute it gets even worse -- all 'tell me so I can
begin being in a crappy mood for a really long time, no
matter how hard you try to fix it' -- "Are you sure?"

"I'm totally sure. I'm -- no, it's nothing. I just."


And that little frown isn't going *anywhere*, and if this was
any other day it would maybe be time for Kon to, like, bail
until Tim had done whatever freaky stalker boy things he
had to do in order to reassure *himself* that there was
really nothing wrong, and then they could start over, but...

It's totally *not* any other day, and so Kon is totally
justified in just grabbing Tim and possibly squeezing a
little more than a little -- maybe even a lot -- and he can
just explain about the hug-rules later.

The cool thing about squeezing someone -- even Tim, with
the armor -- really hard is that they can't ask any more
questions. And if you aim their heads right -- like, say,
smushed against your shoulder -- they can't even ask
with their *eyes*.

Or their masks, as the case may be.

Being a hero is *all* about being able to think on your feet
and improvise, and that's just the way it is.

Eventually, Tim makes a tiny -- possibly oxygen-deprived --
sound, which Kon is willing to assume means "let go," but
not just yet. Because eventually after *that*...

Yeah, there. Tim brings his arms up under Kon's, because
there are two really, really important (well, more, but two
right *now*) things about Tim and hugging.

One: He's always going to give it back *eventually*, which
is the kind of maybe-possibly-fucked-up reflex that Kon can
go with.

Two: He doesn't hug like other guys.

Like, Kon has had all *kinds* of time and opportunities for
figuring this out -- he knows he's a friendly guy, and he's
cool with this -- and *most* guys will do that little
squeeze-and-pat-pat thing which is supposed to say
everything you need to say in the shortest time possible,
but totally doesn't.

Tim doesn't, though. Tim hugs... well, kind of like a girl,
actually (only some girls totally *do* let go first, and Kon's
pretty sure all of them let go first at least sometimes), and
if someone had tried to tell Kon this back in the day, he
probably would've laughed in their face, but, well, there it

He's *got* Tim, and Tim's not going anywhere even if Kon
eases off a little, because it's all a matter of *timing* it, and
giving Tim room to figure that you *are* just easing off,
as opposed to letting go, and --

There, and now Tim's just looking at him, and he's not
smiling, but he's also *still totally hugging*.

He's *got* Tim, and if he ever let himself think about that
more than he does...

Well, he doesn't, except when he does, and those are the
times when Kon's brain kind of gets away from him a little,
and... yeah, no.

It's just a hug, Tim-style, and he's really, really, seriously
okay with that.

"So... is this what's... not wrong?"

"Well... yeah."

"Okay," Tim says, and just... waits for Kon to let go.

Kon can totally do that. He just has to run his hands up and
down Tim's back a little first, and also squeeze again, and
also maybe close his eyes because it's...

Because one of the reasons why he doesn't actually do this
all that often is all about how he doesn't really know how
to deal with how Tim just keeps *looking*.

Like, maybe he totally *does* have his eyes closed behind
the mask -- X-ray vision could kick in *any* day now,
really -- but it doesn't feel like it.

It feels like Tim is looking, and seeing, and maybe Kon
totally has dreams like that, sometimes. Bart seems pretty
sure it's, like, one of the occupational hazards of beings
Tim's friend.


"Um... yeah," he says, and lets go, and Tim lets go, and
this is where he takes a step back, except for how maybe
it's really where he just opens his eyes and sees that Tim
is maybe (totally and completely) still looking at him from
behind the mask, and the fact that Kon says, "I missed
you," is totally fine, because there are a lot of alternatives
that wouldn't be.

Even though the way he says it is possibly (totally and
completely) suspect.

"I mean --"

"Me, too," Tim says, and he still hasn't stepped back, and
he's looking, and, "I was really. I hoped you'd... come
back. To Gotham."

And this is all kinds of not fair, because it's not like he's
got *anything* to offer against --

"Though I understand why you didn't."

-- that. "Look, Tim, I just... you were... you didn't feel like
you. Is all." And it should be a relief that Tim looks at his
feet, but for some reason (he knows why) it isn't, right

"I... I understand that, too. Now."


"So... do I feel like myself again yet, Kon?"

And Kon would just like the universe to *also* take note of
the fact that it's completely not his fault that he really
can't come up with anything like coherence for *that*
question, because Tim is looking at him again *and* even
though he isn't smiling again yet, he also totally is.

It's all about what's in his *voice*.

So Kon's kind of hoping that "uh," is the right answer,
because he doesn't really have anything else.

Except for the kissing.

Though that probably shouldn't count as an "answer,"
because it isn't that so much as it's "yeah, kissing now,"
and those are two different things.

He's almost sure of it, and he's *totally* sure he could
figure it out completely if most of his brain function wasn't
going to things like licking Tim's tongue and figuring out
where to put his hands to maximize the kiss potential.

As it happens, *that* turns out to be one hand in Tim's
too-long hair and one on the wall that had magically
appeared behind Tim's back at some point when Kon
wasn't paying attention -- or possibly when Kon was flying
them around, one of those -- because it leads to *both*
of Tim's hands kind of doing a really nice job of squeezing
his shoulders and *teasing* his neck, and that's --

Well, that's actually going to require a few moments of
*something* like thought, but those moments aren't
happening now.

At all.

Especially since Tim is doing this thing with his right leg
which involves making Kon really, really, really aware of the
fact that he has a crotch, and that also Tim has one, too,
and -- yeah.

Thinking later. Much, much --


Or not. Apparently, Tim's don't-stop-first rule doesn't apply
to kissing, and that's so unfair it's painful. Possibly that's just
Kon's dick talking, though.




Kon shifts a little on his feet. Tim's kind of stopped giving
Kon hints, even obscure and annoying ones. Is this where
he lets go of Tim's hair? "Yeah...?"

"Hmm. I. I missed you, too...?"

Which is... well, yeah. Yeah. But also, it doesn't seem like
a good question for Tim to be asking, even if it isn't the
real question, as opposed to what's coming out of Tim's
mouth. Kon isn't sure if he wants to know the real
question or not. "Uh... was that? That was out of line?"
Definitely time to let go of Tim's hair. "Because I --"


"-- can. Uh. No?"

And the funny thing is, Tim looks down before he smiles,
this time, almost like he's forgotten he's still in the mask.
Which... okay, probably not a good enough reason to
move the hand he's got in Tim's hair *only* until it's on his
face, but...


"No," he says, again, and the smile looks a little shaky, but
that might be because it's actually on both sides of his
mouth, and maybe also there should be more kissing.

"Well, uh... good. That's..."

"Yeah," Tim says, and squeezes Kon's shoulders.

"So..." And the thing is, he's almost *positive* that leaning
in again is absolutely the right call, even more so when Tim
does his own leaning, but.

Tim stops leaning.


"I. There are things you don't know. Yet. About me."

A year or so ago, that would've put Kon's brain in the
"something freaky going on with Tim's dick" place, but
since he's now actually showered with the guy several
times, he really... he's got nothing. "Uh... yeah? Are you
gonna tell me?" Maybe fast, so that they can go back to
kissing, even.

"Yes," Tim says, and -- pushes. "But I can't. Now. And it's.

The thing is, he's *heard* Tim laugh before. Not all that
often, and not loud, and *this* isn't loud, but it's also
not --

Kon doesn't think it's really a laugh at all. "Tim, what --"

"Could you. Could you go. For now. Please."

"I -- what? Tim, what is it --"

"Kon, please, I."

And if it was any other day, *now*, Kon would push it.
Kon *should* push it, because Tim's just leaning up
against the wall like maybe he'd gone ten rounds with
freaking Deathstroke, and his fists are clenched, and it's.

If it was any other day, it would totally *feel* like a good
thing that Kon's not thinking about kissing anymore, that's

"I'm gonna come back," Kon says, and has to wince a little
because it comes out sounding weak *and* more like a
threat than anything else. He shouldn't even be able to
*manage* --

"Okay. That's. That's okay."

"It fucking better --"

"*Kon*," Tim says, and he's.

Well, he's looking at Kon again, only right now it's less like
looking than pleading, and maybe if Kon had done this
right it'd be the right time to hug Tim again, but.

"Please," Tim says, and Kon nods and goes.

It's actually almost a relief when Cyborg snags him, even
though it's just to tell him that freaking Clark has an urgent
message for him (and that he's gonna have to make the
Smallville-San Francisco commute *twice* this weekend,
apparently), because at least there'll be something to keep
his mind off trying to figure out what the *fuck*, and how
long he'll have to wait before he can hunt down Tim again.

It's just that the relief thing quits kind of fast.

When Clark starts talking about Gotham.


Yeah, so, this was *supposed* to just be a random little
Tim/Kon snippet of schmoop. A little hugging, a little
kissing, a little smiling-into-each-other's-eyes. I surprised
myself -- really a *lot* -- with the fact that my brain was
picking right *then* to point out that either Johns' timeline
was wrong, or the War Games/IC timeline was even
more fucked-up than we already knew it was.

Look, I was right there in the fandom at the time,
gibbering for my Tim-as-Robin fix, grateful that Johns was
apparently content to do his own thing for months and

It's just that it doesn't work to have Tim gone in TT 13,
call Kon to tell him that he's back in TT *15*, run off to
have time-fucked adventures with the team up through,
like, *19* or so... and *then* have the team find out in

Especially since Tim being 'back' is entirely dependent
on War Games, and occurs no *more* than a day or
two before Steph dies.

Especially *especially* since having the Titans find out
about IC and not WG makes no *sense*, because we
know Jack and Steph die within days of each other.

The thing is? 20 actually *does* work out, almost, if it's
*just* IC that happens, because sure, Tim can reasonably
go to the Tower one weekend, have his father killed, and
then go back to the Tower the next weekend. But 'almost'
is the operative word.

Having Tim gone for "a couple of months" -- and this
is me, not harping on the nonsensical nature of how that
two months is supposed to include Tim quitting, Steph
getting trained, and Steph being Robin, except for how I
am -- just doesn't work in context with War Drums/War
Games. It can't.

But Te, the Tim who goes off to the future in TT #17
*can't* be the one who lost Jack and Steph!
("What would make me want to be Batman?")

Agreed. He isn't, in my head In *my* head, *all of that
and then some* happens before ROBIN #125.

Either Tim quits and inadvertently sets off War Games
and sets *up* Identity Crisis... or he doesn't.

And, well, this is me. I've said a dozen times in a dozen
different forums that I'm pretty much cool with titles --
especially team titles -- going their own way,
continuity-wise, because otherwise their storylines can
get crowded/convoluted by the storylines of the
characters' individual titles. (Morrison's work on the
first few dozen issues of JLA v3 comes to mind.)

Additionally, it makes for a wider, wilder, more
fanfic-happy universe in terms of character
interpretations -- case in point, the sheer *wealth*
of things you can do with Dick during the original
Jason arc.

It's just that there's also quite a *few* reasons why my
own Titan-centric output took a serious nosedive...
right around War Games and IC. So.

Call it a missing scene...?