The Not So Young Anymore & the Restless
Summary: AU spun off from 'Sins of Youth' storyline
For [info]calicojane

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Sometimes I wonder what’s it's like to be normal. To have the only disastrous event on the horizon be the math test you didn’t study for. To be able to sit down to a conversation with your parents and not have to lie one time. To not spend your nights hanging out on rooftops and beating the crap out of criminals.

Of course, I don’t have to worry about math tests, or parents anymore, and if I’m completely honest with myself, beating the crap out of criminals is not only fun, it’s cathartic.

I am vengeance.

I am the night.

I am... “Freezing my ass off. And talking to myself. Dammit, Bart, where the hell are you?” As if in answer to my prayers, or curses, I have to brace myself against a sudden gust of wind as a red clad figure zooms onto the rooftop.

“Sorry I’m late.” Bart says. “There was a pile up on the highway outside of Keystone.”

“Everything okay?”

Bart shrugs. “As well as can be expected. No deaths, fortunately, but there were injuries. I left Wally to help with the cleanup.”

“How’s it going between you two?” I already know the answer, but I ask anyway. It’s all about engaging Bart in conversation, it has nothing to do with making me glad Bruce is such a little antisocial introvert. Yeah, and the Knights are gonna win the playoffs this year.

“Oh, God.” Bart slumps. “He’s horrible. Linda’s thinking about putting one of those shock collars on him and zapping him whenever he comes in range!” I let out a snicker and Bart glares at me. “It’s not funny! How’d you like to be continuously pawed by a horny fourteen-year-old? And, also, you really shouldn’t laugh when you’re wearing that cowl thingie. It just looks creepy.”

I want to shrug, but that wouldn’t look right either. Batman is cold as ice, hard as rock, and has the emotional range of a fruitcake. Must remember. Fruitcake.

“So, hate to rush this along, but I have a young charge to supervise.” Bart grimaces. “Is this what karma feels like? Anyway, where are you visiting this week?”

I pull a slightly rumpled letter our of one of the compartments on my belt. “Amsterdam. I hear it’s lovely this time of year.”

“Uh huh.” Bart takes the letter and fidgets for a moment before looking back at me. here it comes. “Look, I know it’s none of my business, but don’t you think you should tell-”

I know he means well, they all do. “No, I don’t.” Cold, hard, fruitcake. "I’ve thought about it, but... no. As far as Jack Drake’s concerned his son ran away and is now off galavanting around Europe.”

“And, if this,” Bart gestures to our obviously adult bodies, “is permanent? If they don’t find a cure?”

“Then... then, I’ll...” Fruitcake. “Then, I’ll deal with it.”

Bart nods sadly. “Okay. So, Amsterdam, huh?”

“Yeah. Amsterdam.”

As I watch the latest Flash speed off towards the other side of the world, I remain on the rooftop, standing stoically against the backdrop of Gotham.

I am Tim Drake, the Batman, a complete fruitcake.

What? It fits.

*****

It’s nearly dawn by the time I pull into the cave. I so love the Batmobile. It is such a fine ride. I run my hand lovingly along her side as I close the door. If there’s one good thing to have come out of Klarion, the Bitch Boy’s little age spell, it’s this.

Of course, when the bad outweighs the good by like a billion to one, not even driving a really sweet car makes things right for very long. Case in point, the first thing that greets me upon exiting said really sweet car is the frowning countenance of Bruce Wayne.

“Bruce.”

“You’re late.” he’s trying to work the scowl, but it’s just not happening. Might be because of the zit that’s coming in on the end of his nose.

I pull off my cowl and head towards the changing area. “And, you’re supposed to be asleep.” Oh, this is going to be one of those fun arguments, I can tell.

He follows, of course. “I am not a child. And, I told you to call me if you encounter any trouble.”

Oh, yeah. Fun. “First of all, it was just a bank robbery, nothing I couldn’t handle. Secondly, I know you’re not a child, but they body you're currently residing in is that of an adolescent. Am I going to have to have Barbara send you those studies on sleep depravation in teenagers again?”

Maybe I’m wrong, he might be able to pull off the scowl, zits and all. “No.” He grounds out. “You don’t need to contact Barbara.”

I start to strip off the costume. Bruce is still standing there, looking at me. I can just feel his beady little blue eyes boring into the back of my skull. I sigh and turn around. “Are we going to have to have one of those ‘I know where you’re coming from, because I’ve been there, and it might help if you talked about it’ kind of conversations?”

Bruce’s eyes widen for a moment. Then he snorts. “Yeah, right.”

I watch as he walks away. Heh. Sucker.


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