Notes: For stagesoflove, stage #4 of Exploration of a Relationship Through The Five Sense: smell.
Disclaimer: Timothy Drake and Dick Grayson are copyrighted by DC Comics Industries and as such, I have no legal claim to their fine selves.
Word Count: 500 (I don’t cut corners, do I?)
Robin follows Bart – which is weird, cause he’s meant to be leading but… Bart would be better at getting out in time if something above them decides to… unexpectedly collapse, which tends to happen in abandoned sewer works. And…
And he just can’t get his head around the message that’s been circling in his brain all weekend at the tower.
He noticed something which Batman didn’t.
This is pretty much the biggest buzz any one guy can possibly get on his own. But it’s also impossible. And the fact that it’s happening is… is disturbing.
It took batman four weeks to work out Tim had succeeded in faking the existence of a relative, seeing through the actor’s masks, forged papers and his own student’s theatrical abilities.
It has been a year, and he has not yet heard a thing from Dick. Who is not, as he would have had them believe
And that’s not right. That’s not how things are supposed to… work. And Tim… just can’t understand how this got past him.
…Unless of course it didn’t.
And it makes… sense, somehow, now that Batman didn’t see this. Because there wasn’t supposed to be anything to see.
Yet Bruce had felt that there was.
So there had been, and it not feels like all of their… memories of Dick and who he was are somehow hinged to the mask and cowl, just as Nightwing is, and if they disappear, the way Batman has been…
You can’t see an image that’s been erased.
And it’s not fair.
But it makes sense now.
‘Uh… Robin?’ Bart breaks the silence.
‘You… smell that?’
‘No… I… you know.’
‘Yeah Bart, I can smell it.’
He’s been smelling it for five minutes, but he never said. it’s vague, and translucent as smells go, the type only their kind (and maybe those with super…smell. God, that sounds ridiculous) tend to notice.
‘Hm. Like Raven.’
‘Raven… well… kinda,’ Bart screws up his nose in an impulse way that Tim hasn’t seen in a long, long while, he didn’t realise how much he missed it.
‘Not her, exactly, of course…’ But that’s who it reminds him of. Not exactly her, but the presence of her. something… cold. Alive but… not. Warm, but not. Not unpleasant but not particular nice either… like… burning feathers and melted glass…
‘Yeah, I know Bart. Just stick with it. Not long now. alls not fair in love and body hunting…’
He’s getting poetic in his anxiety.
Robin checks his systems. ‘Oracles systems tracked it.. .to here.’
‘And you think it has something to do with.. .with him?’
robin takes his flashlight out again, and switches the beam to full power.
‘And… and you really think they know.’
‘I know they know.’