No safe place
by Te
January 2005

Notes: An idea I had about what might happen if the Bruces from
"Another place to be" were to chat. TB=Toon!Bruce,


TB: "Tell me about Jason."
CB: *laughs* "If I asked, 'what do you want to know --'"
TB: "You'd be engaging in rank --"
CB: "Disingenuousness. To say the least." *covers face for a moment*
"When you were a young, did you have... a dream. A *fantasy*."
TB: *eyebrow* "Several."
CB: *look*
TB: "Yes. I did. A... a friend. Tell me about yours."

CB: "All right. He was... he was more than a friend. A brother. A..."
TB: "Partner."
CB: "He was strong. That was -- so important."
TB: "Father. Our father. He was... surprised by my -- our -- relatively
small size."
CB: "Already, a difference. I rarely... analyzed."
TB: *nod* "Please continue."

CB: "Strong. And... brave, of course. And. I think 'sure' is the word.
He would... he knew himself. All of himself."
TB: "Yes. *Yes*. Never -- never --"
CB: "Never *doubting*. There were no shadows behind his eyes that
he didn't understand. There was no *question*."
TB: *slow breath* "And you never thought about what --"
CB: "Let me. Let me finish."
TB: *nod*
CB: "There were other things. He was... 'charming' sounds like a lie. He
was more than that. Less. He was... artless, but not awkward. People
would like him, because he was so... so *real*."
TB: "Unlike --"
CB: "Everything -- *everyone* -- else. Even Alfred speaks in riddles,
TB: "Hm."

CB: "If there were other children around, they would turn to him, and...
and not me. He would stand in front. He would be so very..."
TB: "Beautiful."
CB: "Even faceless, yes. And smart, of course. Effortlessly so. The
meanings of things, and the meanings behind them. Because when he
looked at people, he would see them for how they were, always."
TB: "He would never be deceived, no."
CB: "No. And even that is too... too much. Because he *was* my
brother. I thought -- I thought he would have to be."
TB: "Because he had no parents, either."
CB: "Mm."

TB: "What... what else?"
CB: "The obvious, of course."
TB: "He would never leave."
CB: *nods, closes his eyes behind the cowl*
TB: "And when you met Jason --"
CB: "When I met *Dick*, I began to analyze." *smile* "Perhaps not
quite as much as you."
TB: "It all seemed so clear. *I* seemed so clear."
CB: "Hmm. It's an interesting question."
TB: "Yes?"
CB: "What I might have been, to Dick, if I had done anything other
than allow myself to be... happy."
TB: *closes his own eyes behind the cowl, for a moment* "I imagine
it is."

CB: *nod* "When I met *Jason*... thought failed entirely."
TB: "What was it?"
CB: "He didn't trust me. He had no reason to trust *anyone*, much
less an authority figure. However... unofficial."
TB: "Hm. Tim was --"
CB: "Different. Yes. I've gathered. But... Jason wanted to trust. Jason,
when I met him, was a boy who'd had everything taken from him. He
lived in a world where the only dreams which came true... well. 'Batman'
was never especially dream-like in your world at all, was he?"
TB: "There seemed little point."
CB: "Mm. Jason saw the good in me. I... I think he must've done.
Jason. Jason gave..."

TB: "You saw an opportunity to save our friend. To give our brother
CB: "For once, yes. And when I did --"
TB: "Was. Was he truly...?"
CB: "Of course not. I'm not -- entirely -- delusional. Though I imagine
Tim has given you ample reason to believe so. And I've given *him*
little reason to believe otherwise. For giving..."
TB: "You looked to the others."
CB: "My own gifts have always been questionable, at best."
TB: "I've never been entirely sure what to do with... with Mother..."
CB: *small laugh* "Making Alfred *bake* the mud pie --"
TB: "The smell lingered for days."

CB: *small sigh* "Jason wasn't our brother, no. We have no precognitive
abilities. The gods are... elsewhere."
TB: "He was... the closest?"
CB: "He was *more*. Our brother was a figment. The Robins have
been... entirely real."
TB: "Yes. I see."
CB: "What benefit do you receive from loving them the way *you* do?
What... what cause?"
TB: "You aren't considering a change."
CB: *smile* "We love to learn."
TB: "Clarity, Batman."
CB: "Not safety?"
TB: *closes his eyes again* "There is no such thing."
CB: "No. There isn't."