My all and every day
by Te
December 18, 2005

Disclaimers: Not mine by any stretch of the imagination.

Spoilers/Timeline: NIGHTWING #87, the JL episode "A
Better World," various other things. Veers AU after that.
In terms of toonverse, this takes place sometime after

Summary: He can rewrite everything.

Ratings Note: Sexual content, as well as content some
readers may find disturbing.

Author's Note: Petra made a deal. She'd write me
comics!Bruce/toon!Tim if I wrote... this. I'm disgustingly
easy sometimes. Not related to Another place to be.

Acknowledgments: To Jack, Betty, Petra, and LC for
audiencing and encouragement.


It's really not the time for him to be out of the 'haven, with
Tarantula going crazy and coming after him (and Babs?
Why?), and --

It's a good time to be a little bit out of his own head, though,
and it's not like Alfred calls him for help all that often. He's
in Gotham in twenty minutes, at the Manor in another ten,

And he knows something's really wrong by the way Alfred
is less looking at him than kind of blinking. A lot.

"Oh, thank goodness you've arrived, Master Dick. I really
*wasn't* sure -- well."

It makes him really *aware* of the Nightwing uniform under
his clothes in a way that's all about gratitude. And fear.
"What is it? What's wrong? Where's Bruce --"

"Well... Master Bruce is downstairs, sir. And that. Well, I
believe it's fair to say that *is* the problem. By which I
mean -- perhaps you could follow me? I don't entirely trust
myself to... well."

"Alfred, the last time I saw you this flustered was -- *never*,
what's --"

"Please follow me, sir."

And that's -- well, okay, he can do that. Even though it's
pretty much *only* the fact that Alfred's leading him along
like he isn't sure if Dick knows where he's going -- or like
*he* isn't sure -- that's keeping him from starting to strip
down in the foyer.

Alfred *hates* uniforms in the house.

He's scanning the place as he goes, and everything is the
same, everything is *right*, but Alfred --

"Alfred, you're really -- you look like you expect to dust the
clock and have it fall apart or something --"

That gets him a *look*, kind of a combination of '*do* be
quiet' and 'you haven't an idea what you're talking about,
but I forgive you.'

It's not exactly a *common* Alfred look, but he can't say
he'd never seen it before. He keeps it together.

The clock is there, and solid, and the right kind of lie.

The steps are just as precipitous and clean as ever.

And Bruce is right there, except -- "You're trying a redesign?
Wait, no, ignore that, Alfred says something's up. What's
going on?"

And Bruce smiles at him, ruefully. "I'm reasonably sure
you're... working under a misconception. I don't think I'm
in the right place at all, Dick."

Dick blinks.

"However... it's good to see that some things --" Bruce
doesn't -- quite -- look at the Case.

And doesn't quite *shudder*. "Bruce, what --"

"It's good to see that some things remain the same... across
the multiverse."


Whatever's in Bruce's -- *this* Bruce's -- coffee, Dick is
really kind of desperately grateful that there's a shot of
whiskey in *his*. Just...

"Of course, there are any number of magic users who can
do this sort of thing without machinery, without..." Bruce
waves a hand toward the console. "It's not that I'm entirely
unfamiliar; it's just that I've begun -- recently, of course --
to wonder if I should've been giving the matter further

He just. "You. You made a joke."

Bruce stares at him for a moment. "I'm sorry; I don't want
you to think I'm being flip. I..."

The rueful smile is back on his face -- Dick is beginning to
wonder if this Bruce can go more than several minutes at a
time *without* it -- and he looks. Uncomfortable? "No, it's
okay, I'm just..." He doesn't know how to finish that
sentence. It's a really... it's a nice smile.

"I was about to say, 'I was expecting you to congratulate
me for it.' My... I've been told that my sense of humor
leaves a lot to be desired, but it's far better for having had --
someone like you in my life."

Dick swallows.

Bruce laughs, brief and a little sharp. "And I think the danger
in this -- doubtless one of the many -- will be the
assumptions we'll be... tempted to make about who each of
us are."

He can talk. He's capable of... talking. "Yeah. I. You're.
You're probably right, Bruce."

Possibly there was too much whiskey in his coffee.


Introducing Tim to... this Bruce... possibly Dick could've
provided more warning. Still, no one's been injured, and
Tim isn't really vibrating under Dick's hands anymore. He's
almost sure it's safe to let him out of the pin. Almost.

God, all Bruce had done was ruffle Tim's *hair*.

Bruce is fingering one of the new tears in his uniform and --
smiling ruefully. "You have a fascinatingly spare fighting
style, Tim. I was expecting more..." Bruce shakes his head
and the smile gets even wider. "The danger of

Tim stiffens hard enough to make Dick need to wince a
little. "Nightwing. What -- Where's *Batman*?"

"I -- That's a really good. Um."

"Perhaps my Robin is rigging him to explode as we speak --
I'm sorry, that probably isn't --"

Dick chokes a little on a snicker.

"-- appropriate. I..." And Bruce is smiling at him.


"I still can't quite -- you built a *portal*, Bruce? To other

"*I* didn't. It was -- well, when I said I had experience
with this sort of thing, what I meant was that I -- the
League and I -- were once kidnapped by an entirely
different League whose Batman had built a portal."

Dick winces. "One of those evil-alternate-universe things?"

Bruce nods solemnly and strokes a hand over the console.
"A sobering mirror. Still, I made a point of memorizing the
design as much as possible. Some part of me..." The smile
on his face when he looks back over his shoulder is so sad
it makes it hard for Dick to breathe.

"Bruce --"

"I often find myself wishing there were things in this world it
wasn't truly necessary to know."

And Dick --

It's not a decision, it's not even really a *wish*. It's just that
he *didn't* have his hand on Bruce's shoulder a moment
ago, and now he does, and that's -- oh God.

"I'm sorry, Bruce, I just --"

And Bruce's hand is on his own. "Don't apologize. I
appreciate the gesture -- I." Bruce squeezes his hand. "You
don't have to apologize."

Blinking would probably -- definitely -- be a good idea. "I --
all right. Did you --"

"Of course, *I* should probably apologize. It's kind of a
shameful relief to have to have sent *this* Tim away for

Dick bites his lip and -- completely fails not to laugh. It's not
that he can imagine Tim being anyone but himself, but...
"He's very -- he can be very intense. I'm sure he just needs
some time to..." Oh, God. Oh --

"Get used to me, Dick...?"

He can feel himself flushing. "I... yeah. That's absolutely
what I was about to say."

Bruce squeezes his hand again, and smiles, and --

And Dick doesn't lean in. "You should." He bites his lip and
pulls away. Just... he can manage one *step*. "You should
tell me about your world. Your... what's your Dick like?"

"Brilliant. Brave." Bruce takes a breath, and stares at his
own hand for just a moment. "Perhaps a bit distressingly
peripatetic." When he smiles, this time, it's a sharp --
teasing -- one from under his lashes. "But then, you live in
Bludhaven, too."

"Well, you -- my Bruce -- needed me there."

"And not *here*? Alfred answered my questions -- after
scanning me thoroughly at gunpoint, of course -- and I
understand there are... more of you. I understand many
things are different. So much *tragedy*. But..."

And Bruce is frowning, a little, and it's -- it's the same as
ever, even though it shouldn't be. It's the same as it hasn't
been for years, because Dick thinks he knows -- no.

He *knows* what would make Bruce smile again.

"If he ever asked me to come back -- to come *home* --"

"Dick --"

He knows how to make himself smile, too. "All you ever
have to do is ask."


Bruce's hands are on his face, and they're -- they should
feel different, they should feel *wrong*, in the same way
he thinks at least some of his scars must look wrong to
Bruce, but --

"Dick," and the way he says it is a sentence, a paragraph, a
*speech*, or possibly it's just the way he's kissing Dick --
gentle with his hands and *not* with his mouth, and Dick is
trying -- he's trying --

He can't say a word, he can't stop sucking on Bruce's
*tongue*, and it doesn't matter how many different people
have told him this about himself over the years, and it
doesn't matter how many years he hasn't needed to be
told at *all*. He *knows* this shouldn't feel as good as it
does, as perfect and...

And he knows some part of himself probably thought pulling
them both to the floor was an improvement, but he's not
sure which *side* it's on, and he --

Bruce is stroking the outside of Dick's thigh and *holding*
his face, and he --

Bruce's hair slides over Dick's fingers like water, like --

"I've missed you, oh I've missed you so badly, Dick --"

And the sound Dick hears himself make is terrible, loud and
needy --

"Always so *beautiful* --"

And Bruce's mouth is on his throat and he's got one hand
in Dick's hair and the other -- his thumb is digging into
Dick's hip almost painfully, but it's the perfect excuse to
*move*, to wrap his legs around Bruce's waist --

And get *bitten*.

"Oh -- *God*, Bruce --"

"I'm sorry, I'm --"

"Don't *stop*."

But he does, panting against Dick's throat and so tense,
so --

"Bruce, Bruce, what is it? Please --"

And then he pulls back, and Dick isn't sure how he's
supposed to keep *breathing*, because Bruce's hair is
hanging a little over his forehead and his eyes are dark and
wild, and he can't --

"Please, Bruce --"

"Will you forgive me... if I tell you I love you? Even
though --"

*Yanking* Bruce down into a kiss he won't fight is just a
way to bruise both their mouths. It's also necessary.

"Oh, Dick. You --"

"I love you, too, Bruce. I've *always* --"

He doesn't know if any of the rest of that made into words
before Bruce started moving his hips.

He doesn't know what any of the rest of that *was*, and --

And Dick gives up and lets his eyes roll back in his head.


It's actually kind of a nasty shock when he goes upstairs
and sees that it's *night*, but he also can't really...

He can't regret anything. Even though he probably should.

Even though he can *feel* himself blushing insanely when
Alfred places a mug of -- unlaced, by the smell -- coffee on
the counter next to his hand. "Thanks, Alfred. Um."

"You're welcome, sir."

And this. This is very... awkward. "Has Tim contacted...

"Master Timothy left several of the items the... other Master
Bruce requested approximately two hours ago, sir. You'll
find them downstairs."

Dick manages to avoid choking on his coffee. Barely. "Er."

"I believe the young sir is currently working on acquiring
the rest."

It's not, actually, possible to set yourself on fire with a
blush. It's *impossible*, even. It's. "Is he -- I -- did he
say --"

Alfred stops him with a throat-clearing.

It's a very pointed throat-clearing. Dick just isn't sure which
point he should be focusing on. "Alfred, help. Should I talk
to -- I mean, it's *Bruce*."

"A very particular Master Bruce... judging by my limited
opportunities to observe."

Not his Bruce. Not... "Alfred... he's... I think I already --
care for him. Deeply."

Alfred sniffs. "One would hope."

He's in a kitchen. There are *matches* here which could,
with some effort, be used to *set* himself on fire. "It's
just... I don't --"

"You might indeed find some benefit to explaining your
point of view to young Master Timothy... but it would,
perhaps, behoove you to remember that the man we're
discussing *is* a very particular Master Bruce.

"And that Bruce isn't Tim's own."

Dick closes his eyes. "Or yours."

"Just so."

"Alfred, I'm sorry --" And Alfred's hand on his arm is actually
kind of a warning.

"It will have to be enough, sir, that I believe I understand
the predicament you find yourself in, to at least some

And then he's gone, and --

And Dick had heard everything Alfred didn't say perfectly:
*More* than understanding is too much to ask.


Bruce's fingers are light enough on the blue stripe that they
shouldn't be noticeable.

They are, of course.

"How long..."

Dick covers Bruce's hand with his own, and tries to
remember that he *has* to go out tonight. Bruce can't.
This -- this *isn't* his city. Not -- "What is it?"

For some reason, that makes Bruce stiffen a little. His
eyes --


"Your voice. Your *Nightwing* voice, I should say. I
wasn't..." Bruce smiles. "I wasn't expecting it to sound so
very much like that of the Dick from my own world."

And that... "Does he... how often do you get to talk to him
as *Dick*?"

"Not very."

He can't -- he can't. Dick shakes his head. "What were you
going to ask before?"

For a moment, Bruce doesn't say anything, but... his
eyebrow is up, and *that's* a message, and Dick isn't
completely stupid yet.

Especially since the message is about Dick's hand on
Bruce's own. Dick licks his upper lip. "I wasn't stopping

"I'm glad," Bruce says, and now he's just...

He's guiding both of their hands over Dick's *stripe*, and --
"I wish," Dick says, laughing, "I actually wish I still had my
first uniform."

"I've seen the footage. It was... very bright."

Dick winces. "Too bright --"

"It suited you."

"I -- you don't know. That."

And Bruce pauses again, hand on Dick's shoulder and gaze
*focused* on him.

"Well... you really *don't* --"

Bruce's smile isn't rueful at all. "I've been called a detective.
In the past."

Dick laughs. "Still --"

"You're smiling now the way you did then."

"Jesus, Bruce. You --"

"I'd like to know everything about you, Dick," Bruce says,
dragging their hands back down to the point of his stripe.
And lower.

"Just -- just *ask* --"

"And miss the fun of discovering things for myself...?"

Dick lets his head fall back and groans. "You -- we shouldn't
get -- too deep --"

Bruce cups him through the tights, the jock. "You're right.
You're..." The breath he takes is rough and shaky --

Or maybe that's just him, because they're doing a terrible,
*clumsy* job of getting his uniform out of the way, and the
last time Dick had felt this physically useless he'd been
*drugged* --

"You're *not* useless, you're --"

"Jesus, Bruce, fuck, please, jerk me off -- just --"

And Bruce drops to his knees.

"Or that. Or -- God, your *mouth*, Bruce --"


Cass cocks her head at him when he -- finally -- makes it to
the rendezvous point. It's pretty much just the two of them
tonight, and he -- God.


"Sorry, Batgirl. I was... uh."

"Having sex."

Well... yes. "I was thinking we could --"

"With Batman? Not Batman?" And now she's *frowning* at
him through the mask and --

Okay, actually prodding at him. "Batgirl, I --"


"I --"

"Why don't you know?"

Dick winces. "Look, I thought -- didn't Robin tell you --"

Cass shakes her head and prods at him again. "Why don't
you *know*?"

"That's not -- we have to *patrol*, Cass --"

"Sex is for people you *know*. Oracle *said*."

And that's... really a conversation he's glad to have missed.
But. "Cass, come on, can we -- maybe later --"

She looks like she's thinking about hitting him.

Which is probably fair. As these things go. Because...

Dick squeezes his eyes shut.

"Because if I let myself know *anything*, then I have to
admit I might have been in love with the wrong man for
the last decade."


"Yeah." Dick sighs and opens his eyes again. "Let's --"

"Patrol," she says, and leaps.

Dick follows.


The black of the Bat-suit is almost staggering after all of
Bruce's greys. He hasn't put the cowl on, yet, and Dick isn't
sure he wants him to. And right now, all he's doing is
flexing his hands in the gauntlets and frowning at them.

And it's not like Dick didn't know it would *fit*, but... he
doesn't know. He really, profoundly, seriously --

"You don't wear nearly this much armor."

"I don't know if you're familiar with the microfibers we've
been using for my uniforms --"


Dick blows out a breath. "No. But I need the flexibility more
than you do."

Bruce turns the frown on him. "You don't know that --"

"I've had *sex* with you."

"I... touché."

"Is it really uncomfortable?"

Bruce rolls his shoulders and stretches, one arm then the
other. "No. I'm going to need you to spar with me --" The
smile is a flash in his eyes, and it makes Dick *want*.

"You don't say."

"I'll need you to spar with me for practical reasons, as well.
It's not uncomfortable. It's perfectly-designed. It's --" Bruce
shakes his head. "The suit isn't the problem."

He really didn't think it would be. "We need you out there --
and you know that. Look, is it because..." Dick scrubs a
hand through his hair and watches stone become mats
become stone again. Of course he's pacing. "Is it because
it's taking so long for you to get -- back?"

"I wasn't expecting this many drawbacks, no. Then again,
the... League I'm accustomed to has long since gained
access to many of the materials this world's governments
appear to be trying to hide...?"

Dick winces and leaps for the uneven bars. "I mentioned
that *I* didn't vote for Luthor, right?"

"Hmm. Once or twice. Dick..."

He's not doing a routine -- even a basic one -- so much as
moving. Of course, that means he has to concentrate a little
more, has to pretend he doesn't know Bruce is trying to
reach him --

God, no.

His dismount is wild, but he's made perfect landings from
snapped jump-lines more times than he can count. He
doesn't need Bruce's steadying hands on his biceps.

But he can't brush them away. "Sorry, Bruce, I --"

"The suit is uncomfortable because it's not my own."

"I know --"

"And because of all that implies --"

"I *know* --"

"About how very difficult it's going to be to leave without

Dick sucks in a breath. Bruce is -- he smells like *his* Bruce,
and his eyes are -- "Bruce, take me with --"

The kiss is hard enough to shove him back a step, to *hurt*,
and Dick can't move his arms, and --

And Bruce groans into his mouth and Dick feels his hips
jerking, pumping -- Bruce isn't *close* enough, he's not --
Dick yanks his head back. "Bruce, don't -- let me *say* it."

"Dick, this -- I need you to *think* --"

"Let go."

"Dick --"

"Let *go*, Bruce --"

It's almost a shock when he does. His arms feel loose,
cold -- it's better when he's closer, even though Bruce looks
like he's hurting, even though Dick *doesn't* know how to
make this better, or into anything but what it is.

Still, Bruce doesn't stop Dick from putting his arms around
his waist, and he only has to tilt his head a little before
Bruce's hands are in his hair, pulling a little and making
Dick's eyelids feel heavy in nothing like fatigue.

"Dick -- Please don't ask that again, I can't -- I don't
know --"

"I wasn't asking, Bruce."

And the look in Bruce's eyes is the one he's been waiting
for since -- almost -- before he knew *what* he was
waiting for -- just a little shocked, but most of all...

Most of all, just as hungry as *he* is. Dick grins. "I wasn't
asking at all."


It takes a while to track Tim down, mostly because his
*house* is, actually, the last place he looks.

Still, the fact that the first thing he sees when he looks in
Tim's bedroom window is Black Canary's legs, and the
second is Superboy...

Chances are, the Drakes aren't home.

Dick sticks his head in the window. "Is there a Boy Wonder
in there I can borrow for a minute?"

Dinah tugs his hair a little.

Superboy is kind of blinking at him -- possibly because he's
upside down -- and, after a moment, Tim slips out from
between him and Canary. It's actually a little strange to
see him suited-up in here, even considering the company.

Tim's bedroom has never looked more... plausible.

And the only thing he says is, "roof?"

Dick nods, pulls back, and climbs. By the time he turns
around, Tim is reaching for him, and...

And now all he has to do is say something. "So... what am
I missing?"

The expression on Tim's face really... isn't an expression at
all for a long moment, but it passes. "Planning session. To
get the kind of quantities of the last element -- don't ask
me to pronounce it, I'm still practicing -- B asked for, we're
going to need to raid one of the Cadmus labs I didn't know
existed until approximately twelve hours ago."

"Birds and Titans?"

Tim nods. "I was thinking we could do it with just the three
of us and Huntress, but we're going to need at least one
speedster, and I'm going to *want* Cyborg's expertise, even
with Oracle on ride-along."

Dick nods. "It's kind of strange to think of a world where
the League just has to *ask* for that kind of thing --
assuming they don't already have it."

"But you're not just thinking of it, are you?"


Tim turns away.

"T -- Robin, what?"

"You're planning on going back with him."

It's not a question, and -- and of course it's not a question.
Dick crosses his arms over his chest.

After another moment, Tim nods. "I'm not surprised."

"What --" Are you? Dick bites the inside of his lip.

Tim raises an eyebrow at him. "I was expecting a hug."

"Tim --"

"They seem standard for 'goodbye' situations, after all."

It's pretty much exactly like the first time Tim had gotten
past his guards to land a punch. His little brother never
pulls a thing. "You're just that disappointed in me, aren't

"Dis --" Tim holds up a hand between them. "No, Nightwing,
I'm not disappointed in you. I'm sad, because I'm going to
miss you, and I'm angry, because I'm human."

"I -- oh."

Tim snorts, and there's no humor in it whatsoever. "What
did you *think* I would -- no. No, never mind. Look, we'll
see each other again when I get back from the raid,
assuming we don't all wind up in some charming secret
prison or another. We can try the hug thing then. For
now --"

"Tim, please, you know it's not -- I mean, if we get this
right, the portal is two-way, and if we can't find *our*
Batman --"

"You'll stay until we can. I know. Look, you have to
understand that I don't *blame* you, Nightwing. This isn't --
this isn't about that."

"But --"

It should feel like an improvement when Tim takes a step
closer. "But you're planning to leave the *universe*, and
that's just a little different than taking some time *off*."

It doesn't. "Tim, I *have* to --"

"And I'm *not* the one you need to explain yourself to,
or --" Tim pauses, and looks at him, and. "Oh. She forced
you to do this over the comm."

"We're not... she doesn't..." Dick stares at the roof.

"I don't blame *her*, either."


It's not a patrol so much as an exercise in perfection and
exhaustion. It's been a long time since either of them had
been able -- had anything like the *excuse* -- to do this
with their other selves, and it's --

It's dawn before they make it back to the Cave.

There's brick dust in Dick's hair and everywhere he aches
is perfect, and showering with Bruce feels like going back
in time and rewriting everything not-perfect -- everything
*wrong* -- about his adolescence.

Every time he makes Bruce laugh into his mouth --

Every time Bruce makes another part of Dick's body feel
like something made to be pressed to Bruce's own --

Every --

Dick presses his hands to his eyes.

They're in the shower, and it's not like he's sobbing or
anything, and Bruce is licking his *hipbone* --

And it still doesn't matter, because it only takes a second
before Bruce is standing again, gripping Dick's wrists and
pulling. "Dick. I can't ask you to leave your *life*."

The force, the city, Babs -- no. This is. "You're *not*
asking. You can't. You -- it's not --"

"My choice?" Bruce squeezes Dick's wrists. "My *choice*
would be to never have done this to either of us -- God,
that's a lie."

Dick opens his eyes, and Bruce is the most beautiful, most
perfect -- "I can't let you go."

"No," Bruce says, and steps close again.

His breath tastes like coffee.

"Perhaps it was a mistake to --"

"It wasn't," Dick says.

Bruce laughs. "I was just going to say --"

"None of it was ever a mistake, Bruce. No matter what."

Bruce's grip on Dick's wrist would be almost impossible to

Assuming Dick tried.


"What... I..."

Tim sounds... kind of extremely pained. The fact that Dick's
absolutely sure that most of that has to do with what's
going on in *this* world as opposed to what's happening on
the not-really-a-monitor-at-all in front of him is enough to
keep him from doing more than biting his lip to hold *in* a

"What," Tim starts again, "is my... other self *wearing*?"

"It appears," Bruce says, "to be the uniform I designed for
you. Some of it."

"I see."

And, well, it was... it was definitely *interesting* enough to
watch Tim -- a different Tim, a very, very different Tim --
providing a... solitary sexual performance for a 'camera'
that only exists in their universe, but then...

Well, then they *see*. It's not for a 'camera' at all. It's --

"Oh. God."

And when Dick hears Tim making a strangled sound, he
knows that last sentence was *him*, but...

"Oh," Bruce says. "It appears I misjudged how the Tim in
my universe would react to a different Bruce."

Really... "No... no explosives there, Bruce. Um."

"It doesn't seem so, no."

Tim makes the noise again.


"I'd like to point out that I still haven't gotten my hug, Dick."

"Your --" Dick stops pacing to glare. "Tim, if you *don't*
come with us, there won't be a *Robin* in that world."

And Tim's just looking at him again, and his mind wants to
take the time to really *think* about what it means that
Bruce -- not his Bruce, not anymore, not --

No. Not the Bruce who wants *him*, and that's. That's finally
*okay*, but... "Tim, come on, you have to --"

"Dick, if I left with you..." Tim shakes his head and folds his
hands under his cape. "Look, Dick, it's a world where they
can apparently afford to run around with the kind of armor
*our* supervillains laugh at. And it's a world that will have
*two* Nightwings."

"That's not the *point* --"

"Then what is?"

And it's Tim, and he's neither laughing nor vulnerable to
surprise attack -- it feels like maybe Tim was lying every
time Dick surprised him in the past -- so touching him is
hard. It's a conscious thing to cup Tim's shoulders with his

It's practically momentous to squeeze.

"I wish -- I wish you weren't so angry, Tim."

It makes him smile, a little, but it's not...

It's not the kind of smile he's ever wanted to see.

"And I wish I could be what you need, Dick." And Tim
blinks, and -- "Look, you said it yourself -- it's a two-way
portal, and even if it's destroyed --"

Dick gives up and pulls Tim to his body. It's exactly like
hugging a five-foot-six-inch tree, only if Dick actually *were*
hugging a tree, it's possible that someone, somewhere,
would be smiling in an *honest* way.

Even if it only was Poison Ivy.

It takes -- it takes a *while*, but eventually Tim relaxes in
his arms enough to make it a real hug, and even puts his
arms around him.

It's -- God.

Had he really made Tim *ask* for *this*?

"I love you so much, little brother."

Tim squeezes him, once, and pushes. But he only moves
back far enough to meet his eyes. "I'm glad you're happy,
Dick. Please... keep thinking about that, all right?"

Dick nods.

Even if there was something else he could think to say, he
wouldn't really trust himself to try.


It should feel more -- different.

A lot of the trophies are different -- some of them he can't
even really guess at. There's no...

There was never a Jason Todd in this world. That *alone*
should make this --

God, the uniform he's in is even thinner than the one he's
used to wearing -- he likes the bird -- there's a file on the
computers with more redesigns than Bruce could have come
up with just since they've been here, his whole *life* is in
another universe, and none of it, absolutely none of it, can
make the Cave feel like anywhere but home.

Especially since Bruce will be back from Wayne Enterprises
within the next hour or so, and they'll have *hours* before

Dick grins to himself. He should at least get in a workout --
of the other kind -- before --

The whistle is low *and* piercing, like something from a
very obscene police officer. He spins --

But not before he gets goosed vigorously enough to make
him jump. And yip. And -- blink. Babs. B -- "Batgirl!"

"I *like* the hair, new Dick." The grin is broad and --

And he'd *known* this, he'd --

"Well, Bruce *said* our Dick cut his hair, too, but..." She
shrugs and keeps grinning. "And I kinda like the poleaxed
look, too," she says, and grins even wider before dancing
back into a ready position Dick's known in his dreams since
he was fourteen years old.

"You... you want to spar?"

The ready position shifts to an exaggerated boxer's stance,
all rolling fists and a fake snarl. "Timmy says the *other*
Tim says you're hardcore. *I* wanna see for myself."

Dick blinks a little more. "You spoke to... through the

She frowns at him. "Well, yeah. Timmy and I talk every
*day*." And the smile pushes back out past the frown.

It's like watching the sun rise. ("And I'm tired of always
playing 'remember when.'") He can't -- he can't *think*.

"Come *on*, new Dick. Unless you're chicken...?"

Possibly... possibly a few things feel different, here.