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Fic: Injury and Healing
brokaw22 wrote in batfic
Title: Injury and Healing
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: Tim would have been fine, if Damian hadn't shown up unannounced.
Note: This is for the tumblr Tim Drake week.

It’s days like today when Tim knows that he should just go back to bed and forget about saving the world. He’s got a tension headache from too much caffeine and not enough sleep. He knows for a fact that if he pulls one more all-nighter, it’s going to compromise his health. Still, the gang that he’s been tracking for weeks now is finally making a move, so he doesn’t have much of a choice but to follow them. Sure, he could probably pass this off to someone else, but they’ve all got their own cases, and Tim really doesn’t need to add fuel to the fire of Damian’s taunts.

So, here he is, down at the docks, soaked through from the heavy rainstorm that has been steadily drenching all of Gotham for hours, waiting for the idiots to make their move when there is suddenly movement from below. He glances down at the very familiar figure making his way through cargo containers, and nearly growls. It takes everything that Tim has in him not to find a lose brick and throw it at the back of Damian’s head. He has no idea what the brat is doing here, but he swears to Batman that if the demon brat messes this up for him there is going to be retribution.

Tim watches in silence as Damian makes his way closer and closer to where the gang is huddled, trying to stay out of the storm, while they wait for their shipment. He rolls his eyes as he makes his way down to ground level. He can’t let Robin progress any further, knowing that it’s possible Damian has no idea that Tim is here or why he’s here. He lands directly behind Damian, wraps a glove hand over his mouth, and drags him back behind one of the nearby crates. He shoves Damian into said crate, not removing his hand, and glares at him. “You’re about to ruin a case, and possibly end up dead. What are you doing here?”

Damian merely glares at him as well before tearing Tim’s hand away from his mouth. “Working my own case. Now, get out of my way.” He pushes past Tim, but he doesn’t get very far before Tim grabs a hold of his cape and drags him back.

He all but pushes Damian to the ground. “Get down. The gang that I’ve been tracking is nearby. Follow me to the roof of the adjacent building, and we’ll deal with both of our cases at once.” Tim gestures for Damian to follow him as he moves them away from the gang. Once they’re both on the roof, he whirls on Damian. “What case are you working, and is it related to that bunch down there?”

Damian folds his arms over his chest and scowls. “It has nothing to do with you or those petty criminals. Now, leave me be.”

Tim rolls his eyes as he focuses back on the gang in question. “Fine, whatever, just stay out of sight of that gang, they’re using...”

“I don’t need a lecture from you.” Damian snarls as he stomps over to the other side of the building.

Tim only has a few minutes before the shipment is supposed to arrive, so he doesn’t bother retaking the position he was previously in. This isn’t the best vantage point. After all, several shipping containers now block his view of the east side, but he can still keep an eye on the gang, so that’s something. He’s expecting Damian to take off for the other side of the docks, so Tim is more than a little surprised when he feels Robin move closer to his side of the roof and lean over. “What are you waiting for, Drake? Afraid there’s too many for you?”

Tim can’t help but roll his eyes once more. “Of course not, I’m waiting for the shipment to arrive and they’re using…”

Tim doesn’t get to finish before Damian interrupts with a low growl of, “Cowered,” before leaping off the building.

Tim huffs out an annoyed breath before following him. After all, the last thing that Tim needs to deal with is questions about why and how Robin got shot on his watch. Damian lands in the middle of the group, and they all immediately turn, guns pointed straight at him. Tim flies overhead, drops a smoke pellet, and lands on the guy aiming for right between Damian’s eyes. From that moment on, the two of them move silently, taking down their opponents as quickly and efficiently as possible. Tim wordlessly urges Damian to move faster. He’s been watching this group long enough to know that there are far more of them than the fifteen of them that were outside when Damian decided to crash his stakeout.

There’s a sharp whistle and a call from one of the lookouts, and suddenly more of them pour out of the surrounding buildings. Tim curses, and shoves Damian out of the way of a stray shot. He growls as Damian shoves him back. “I’ve got this. Why don’t you just go home, Red?”

Tim huffs out an annoyed breath as he punches the guy in front of him. “You’re the one who botched my case, so shut up and keep moving.”

Damian whirls around to argue some more as Tim catches a guy out of the corner of his eye aiming straight for the back of Damian’s head. He doesn’t have time to reach for one of his disc before he hears the click of the trigger, so instead Tim grabs Damian and spins them. He’s reaching for his grappling gun before the familiar pain of a bullet tearing through his armor steals his breath away. He manages to shoot off his grapple before another barrage of bullets manages to find their target.

When they get to the roof, Tim immediately releases Damian. He stumbles before falling flat on his face. Tim breathes heavily as he tries to get to his feet. They don’t really have time to sit around waiting for that gang to make their way to the roof, but his back burns and his head is hazy. Robin is beside him. “We have to go!” If Tim didn’t know any better, he would say that that’s panic in Damian’s voice, but Robin doesn’t panic, especially not this Robin.

Tim braces himself for the immense amount of pain standing is going to cause him, but he knows that Damian is right. It takes everything that he has not to scream out in pain as he gets to his feet and makes his way across the rooftops. Tim doesn’t know how far they’ve managed to get before he collapses again. He braces himself against a nearby chimney and tucks himself into a convenient shadow before reaching for his emergency beacon. “Go on, and get out of here. You can’t carry me back, and there’s no reason for you to get caught by that gang. I’ve already hit my emergency beacon. Someone will be along soon.”

Robin scowls as he shakes his head and kneels down beside him. “You’re an imbecile. There’s no way that you can defend yourself.”

“I’ll be fine. Get going.” Tim doesn’t say anything else as he leans his head back against the cool, slick brick of the chimney. The truth is, Tim has no intention of fighting back. The emergency beacon will lead whoever straight to him, even if he gets moved. Sure, it’s likely that if the gang finds him, then they won’t bother capturing him, but there’s no reason for Damian to know that, especially since chances are they aren’t going to bother capturing Robin either.

Damian pushes him forward and slaps something against his back. It takes a second for Tim to realize he’s putting pressure on the wound and not just causing him more pain for the hell of it. “I don’t take orders from you.”

Tim’s amused snort turns into a painful coughing fit and a wince as Damian presses harder. “You don’t take orders from anyone.”

The two of them lapse into silence as they wait. Damian shifts closer to him, holding him upright, probably in order to add more stable pressure. “I suppose I should thank you, though I had it handled.”

Tim shakes his head, although that’s more to clear his vision than anything else. “Last I checked, your head isn’t bullet proof, and there’s no need…just doin’ my job.” Tim slumps down suddenly exhausted as his head falls onto Damian’s shoulder. His head is much too heavy to lift. Besides, he’s sure that Damian will push him away any minute now.

However, as Tim’s eyes drift shut and he fights to open them again. He realizes Damian hasn’t moved an inch. “Stay awake, Drake!” Damian’s voice is stern and commanding, but it does nothing to stop Tim’s eyes from sliding shut again.

XYZXYZ

When Tim awakens, his head is foggy and everything is dark. He blinks rapidly but the darkness and fuzziness don’t fade. He grunts and tries to sit up, but there are suddenly hands on him pushing him back down. “Whoa, whoa, none of that now, little brother. You need to stay still.”

It takes more effort than Tim would like to admit to focus on Dick’s face, which definitely means he’s on the good drugs. After several minutes, Tim realizes it’s dark because he’s in the cave and the lights are down low. “What happened?”

Dick’s brow furrows in concern as he brushes Tim’s hair out of his face. “You tell me. I found you on a rooftop near the docks with a bullet in your back and passed out against Damian’s shoulder, which, let me tell you, was quite the shock, since Robin was benched for the evening.”

Tim nods, because that actually explains a lot. Of course, Damian was down by the docks if he was benched. No one would anticipate he would go anywhere near one of Tim’s cases or his normal patrol routes. It was actually the perfect place for Robin to patrol. In fact, it would have been even better had Tim’s gang been anywhere else. “Well, suddenly a lot of things make sense. Also, that’s the last time I take a bullet for that little snot.”

Dick’s eyes widen at that. “You took a bullet for him?”

Tim tries to shrug, but stops immediately, even with the heavy duty pain killers the action hurts. He doesn’t look forward to when the medicine starts to wear off. “I didn’t have much of a choice. The guy aimed straight for his head. Armor piecing rounds or no, he wasn’t gonna survive that…no matter what the little princeling thinks.”

Dick breathes out a heavy sigh as he tightly clutches Tim’s hand. “Wait, you knew they were using armor piecing rounds?”

Tim stares at him as though he’s a moron. “Of course, I did. I’ve been tracking that gang for weeks. It’s why I dragged him out of the firing zone in the first place, and if he had just listened to me before jumping down there, we could have stopped their new shipment and taken them down for good. Not to mention, I definitely wouldn’t have been shot, but…well, here we are. I’m probably going to have to start my investigation from scratch, since they’ll be keeping a low profile now. I’m not entirely certain how much of that can be done from behind a computer screen, and…”

Dick shakes him a little to get his attention. “You won’t be working on anything until you’re fully healed and you’re staying in the manor for the duration of your recovery, Alfred’s orders. Also Damian is definitely going to be benched for the duration of your recovery once B finds out about this.”

Tim groans as he leans further into the pillow behind him. “Look, I’m all for Damian learning his lesson and getting his comeuppance, but can’t we just tell Bruce that I miscalculated how slippery the roof was due to all of the rain? There’s no need to trap Damian and me in the same building for an extended amount of time. I mean, what did I do to deserve such a punishment, anyway?”

Dick gives him a hard stare. “Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps, going after a gang that uses armor piercing bullets without any backup…yeah, that might be it.”

Tim glares at that. He’s been working on his own for long enough that that really shouldn’t be a cause for concern “It’s hardly the first time.”

Dick sighs heavily. “Really not the point, little brother.”

“You’re right. The point is, I’m sure that Damian has learned his lesson and all of that, so there’s really no need to...”

“He hasn’t, but he will.” Tim’s eyes widen at the sound of Bruce’s voice coming from somewhere over by the stairs. Well, there goes that lie.

“It’s okay, really.”

Bruce is suddenly right next to him, which is just plain annoying at this point. “What he did was reckless and could have been avoided if you had asked for backup. You both could have died.”

Tim shrugs, and wants to say something along the lines of ‘it’s hardly the first time’, but he knows that it won’t win him any points right now, which is why Tim also doesn’t point out all of the times that Damian actively tried to kill him. “I didn’t need backup. I’ve been working similar cases by myself for months, and if Damian hadn’t shown up unannounced, I would have been fine. Besides, Damian’s fine and I’ll heal.”

Bruce grunts. He certainly doesn’t look happy about the circumstances, but it’s not as though he can argue the truth behind Tim’s statements. It’s not surprising that, given the glare Bruce is leveling at him, Dick is the one to break the silence.  “You may have been taking down gangs by yourself for months, but the presence of armor piercing rounds changes things a bit, Timmy.”

Tim shakes his head, and ignores how dizzy it makes him. “No, it doesn’t. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing for months now. That type of ammo needs to be taken off of the streets completely. I’ve personally shut down four suppliers stationed here in Gotham and two overseas.” Both Dick and Bruce just stare at him and Tim can’t help but roll his eyes. “This is all in my reports, you know.”

Bruce glares at him as he folds his arms over his chest. “No, it’s not. There was no mention in any of your reports as to the type of ammo you’ve been tracking.”

Tim scoffs as he tries to sit up again, but Dick stops him. Tim huffs as he settles back down, but his eyes never leave Bruce’s gaze. “At what point did you stop cross referencing my reports and case files to police files and news reports?”

Bruce stares at him impassively, which means that Tim has definitely hit a sore spot. He would care more if he wasn’t so tired and aching. “You know better than to leave out details.”

Tim rolls his eyes again. “Typical, Damian screwed up, I took a bullet, you haven’t been paying attention, and somehow this is all my fault. Well, you know what, I’m tired. So, we can discuss how I’m somehow to blame for all of this later.”

They both look as though they’re going to protest when Alfred appears out of nowhere. “Master Timothy is right. It’s time for him to rest. You two may return to badgering the young man later.” Alfred gives them both a pointed look as they silently leave.

Tim sighs in relief as he settles down. Alfred comes over to fluff his pillow for him. “If I may, young sir?” At Tim’s nod, Alfred continues. “You’ll have to excuse Master Bruce and Master Dick. They were both extremely worried about you, and, I fear, that concern has caused them to speak carelessly, especially since this incident has brought into light exactly how often you act alone.”

Tim huffs out a breath, but he can’t be annoyed with Alfred. He knows the older gentleman is right. “I know. It’s just irritating that this incident wasn’t even my fault and they’re both questioning my ability to handle my cases.”

Alfred lays a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I understand, Master Tim. However, I think I speak for all of us when I say we would be deeply saddened if something happened to you.”

Tim doesn’t know what to say to that, so he simply reaches up and squeezes Alfred’s hand. The older gentleman quickly returns to his task of checking Tim’s vitals and IV. “Now, Master Timothy, if you’re up to it, there is someone else who would like to speak to you.”

Tim does his best not to show his annoyance as he nods his head. After all, it’s not as though he didn’t notice Damian following Alfred down the steps. Alfred straightens his blanket one last time. “Very well, I shall leave you to it, then. Master Damian, I would appreciate it if you didn’t stay down here too long. Master Timothy does need his rest, and so do you, my dear boy.”

Damian nods once as he takes up Dick’s abandoned seat. Tim waits for him to say something, but the boy doesn’t seem inclined to take the initiative. Still, Tim is known for his patience. After a long moment of silence, Damian finally takes a deep breath and locks his gaze with Tim’s. “Why did you save me?”

Tim is surprised by the question. After all, he’s fairly certain that it should be obvious. “Just doing my job.”

Damian’s brow furrows and his fists clench. “Is that the only reason, then? You saved me because that’s what vigilantes do, and that’s what father expects of you?”

Tim merely shrugs as he tries to suppress a yawn. His eyelids are getting heavy. He wasn’t lying when he told Bruce and Dick that he was tired. “You would have done the same for me.” Tim doesn’t elaborate further as he shuts his eyes and falls back to sleep.

The End

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