Theme: The Five Stages of Change Stage #4 Adaptation(I suggested this theme… what was I thinking?)
Pairing: Timothy Drake/Dick Grayson
Summary: Tim spent a very long time getting used to all this.
Author's Note: Many, many, MANY apologies for the lateness and weakness of this chapter. I have a huge art project on the go which will determine the outcome of my entire year and it was more urgently in need of attention.
My fanfic journal and many fics is here, updated often at dynasty_fic
Facts and Connections.
He’s spent a very long time getting used to it.
Grief isn’t simple. Any idiot can tell you this. changing to suit the absence of a particular person or being is not as simple as settling into a new sleeping pattern or adapting to a new kind of diet.
But you can adapt to it. the process is painful, abrupt and agonizing and sometimes never ending, but you can adapt. Bart had adapted, for all the innocence and exuberance losing someone he loved had taken, he had gotten used to it.
And if Bart can adapt, (even if he does have the advantage of subjective time) Tim sees no reason why he shouldn’t, too.
And he had. Adapted. To Steph. To his father. To Dick.
But it’s a little different when he situation suddenly goes into reverse. Or worse, you find out that it never happened
It makes him scared, it makes him angry, it makes him confused.
Tim hates all three of those feelings. Because they’re the very feelings he experienced when Dick “died” in the first place.
And now he’s just… not dead.
The fact of exactly how Dick is alive is something which will also require adapting to, but now he doesn’t have time for that. He has to work out the how and why before he can get to that stage. Right now, the “how” is reasonably clear. He’s beginning to understand how the system in the sewers had operated. How Dick was far from the only superhero to vanish off the face of the earth with a connection to that place.
In that department, Cassandra probably knows more than she’s letting on, but it’s not like he can make her give him answers.
Besides, he’s a detective.
The clues also included Blüdhaven City sewers. Cassandra’s secrecy. Possible supernatural connections to Bruce Wayne and Batman who are not, at the moment, quite the same thing at all – if they ever were. Tim knows they weren’t. And Dick’s voice in his head.
Irrational, Tim thinks, the voices his own imagination is turning out have absolutely nothing to do with it. Stick to the facts, Drake.
The facts include Dick vanishing on a mission more than a year ago. They involve the fact that this mission had involved a trek from Robbinsville all the way to South Gotham in the middle of a raging fight with multiple Metas and a an Arkham breakout.
It’s possible that, to do this safely, Dick might have used the sewers. So Tim had traced him down there with Bart (who was probably still freaked out about the whole thing, but Tim had needed him, to vibrate through inaccessible walls and Tim could trust him to keep the secret until Tim understands more of what’s going on.)
And that was where the marks had turned up in the sewers. Marks scratched into the walls with penknives (or fingers mimicking knives, or claws, or wingdings). Names and dates left by a dozen people over the last twelve years
A bizarre combination, if ever there was one.
One more piece in the puzzle, and that piece is the people Dick spoke to, the day before he vanished.
New York is a good place to start. A certain person in New York.
Tim arrives on the doorstep of that person’s flat at twelve-fifteen in the night and knocks. He hears surprised muffles, lights turning on, and angry students cursing.
‘What in the name of…’ the letterbox goes up. sleepy, dark eyes peer out at his stomach. ‘Look, mister, who on god’s green earth are you, coming here at this time of night?’ the voice has a heavy accent. A kind of accent Tim knows that Dick used to like. Likes, he corrects himself, feeling a splinter of anger and rage and confusion at the thought
‘Excuse me, ma’am. If I’m right, then I must be talking to someone they call Clancy.’ there’s a brief silence behind the door. Tim knows he’s right. ‘It’s Timothy Drake, Clancy. I’m… here about Dick.’