Theme: The Five Stages of Change Stage #5 Acceptance.
Pairing: Timothy Drake/Dick Grayson
Summary: Clancy knows the answers, and she’s not telling.
Author's Note: This fic is a direct lead on from the ending of my last Stages of Love entry with the pairing of Dick Grayson/Tim Drake.
Many apologies for lateness! Art Course fial major project is coming to a clsoe and workload has been dishy.
The fic WILL be continued on batfic at some time in the future, as part of a series called “Alterations”, outside of the Stages of Love challenge. It will hopefully end up more detailed and making more sense. These stories provided a basic overall framework for the whole thing.
Tim had decided he liked Clancy. Which was a pain. Because what he really wanted was to be mad at her. But Clancy wasn’t letting him… she made good coffee and successfully distracted him for twenty minutes talking about the reactions between the left and right side of the brain. She has an exam today, apparently. A psychiatrist in training.
Which really figured.
It also made her difficult to trip up and only ended up with him redirecting the rage inwards.
‘I worked out a lot of the answers, Clancy, but there are details I’m missing. I’ve all the how’s and… none of the where’s.’
‘And none of the why’s either, I’ll bet,’ Clancy said.
Tim’s throat is dry. ‘No… but you have them. You can tell me.’
‘Can’t do that, Tim.’
‘Cassandra spoke out, there’s no sense in keeping a secret now.’
‘I don’t know any Cassandra. If she’s in on this… oh, Lord, that makes it sound like it’s illegal…’
‘Not in that sense of the word, no. Anyhow, I never met anyone called Cassandra, Tim. I promise you that. But I also promised a lot of other things.’ She looks at him over her coffee. ‘No, Tim. Not just him. A lot of people. There are… there are a lot of people involved in this, this is just a small part of a larger secret. Dick is one of the many. They die and they’re never seen again in this world. Of course, I supposed usually, their friends weren’t trained by the greatest detective on earth.
‘Bruce… remembers Dick Grayson.’ Tim said after a moment. ‘I don’t think… I don’t think anyone’s been playing with his mind. We’d have known. We’d have worked that out. But Batman doesn’t talk about Nightwing. As if something was playing with the memory.’
‘Maybe he’s playing with his own,’ Clancy suggested after a pause. ‘Repression syndrome. Some people can repress their own cognitive memories into their subconscious. Some have a tendency to it.’
Tim smiled a little. He knows all that. There was, after all, another reason he’d taken Bart with him down the sewers. Because Bart had proven impervious to Tim discrepancies. If anything changed, he would have known. He hadn’t. so that signalled that time itself had not been altered and…
And he can barely believe he ever considered that a viable explanation, but weirder things have happened, and he’s considering stranger ones, now.
‘I… it’s possible.’
‘Or perhaps, Nightwing just doesn’t exist anymore, Tim.’
Tim glanced at her over his own mug and for the first time, starts to feel embarrassed about standing in a strangers kitchen with them in a dressing gown and two cups of coffee. ‘What do you mean?’
Clancy shrugged. ‘Not sure, entirely, kiddo. I just know… he hasn’t been around. Dick… I’ve spoken to him.’
‘why you?’ Tim asked, trying not to sound angry. ‘why did he ell you, Clancy?’ and not me, he doesn’t add.
Clancy nodded. ‘Guessing I was the lynch pin in that set the whole thing unravelling. Course, you showed you the tunnels. Lord, he showed me that and… well, lets just say I don’t envy the guys who work maintenance down there. this is one… one very weird world, Tim, and I’m not sure how to deal with… any of it. haven’t been sure for a year, you know? I know, it’s not fair,’ she read his eyes. ‘Why did he talk to me and not you. The truth is… there was an accident. I found out by accident. That was how I got involved in all this.’
Tim nods again.
He’s really starting to understand, this. he’s starting to accept what’s happened and what’s changed and…
‘I’m sorry, Tim,’ and she really does look sorry. More sorry than anyone Tim has ever seen before. It’s not a cover-up or a mask, and whatever anger he has left has dissipated into fear and painful acceptance.
‘A name,’ he whispered. ‘That’s all I need, Clancy. Just one name. You don’t have to say anything else, just tell me that.’
She can’t say. She’ll never say, he’ll find the answers some place, but not from her.
‘He’s alive,’ Tim whispered, it sinks in. Finally, ultimately, it sinks in.
‘Yes. He’s alive, Tim.
That’s all I know.
‘Then I’ll find him. I’ll find the rest of the secrets and I won’t stop digging, Clancy. You don’t have to say anything, not now I’m onto this. not now I’m into this.’ Not so long as it’s Dick.
‘I know you will,’ Clancy said. ‘Then, you’ll kick his rear end for all the lying.’
‘Tim gave a wry smile. How’d you guess?’
‘Cause it’s what I’ve wanted to do to the man more times than enough myself, Tim. More times than flaming-well enough.’