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Fic: New Suits and Old Names
Dragon Princess
brokaw22 wrote in batfic
Title: New Suits and Old Names
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: Tim has doubts about his new name and suit, but his family reassures him.
Note: This is a Purple Arrow companion piece, which takes place on Lian's world. All you need to know is that Bruce, Barbara, and Tim raise Lian Harper after Roy, Dick, and a bunch of other heroes die. Also, Tim and Barbara are very close in age.
Note: This is for the tumblr Tim Drake week.

The first time Tim dons the Nightwing costume he feels like a fake, and worse, it makes him miss Dick immensely. There’s a part of him that wants to tear it off immediately, but Barbara is there, as always, with a hug and tears in her eyes. “He would be so proud and elated to see you wearing that suit and using that name.”

Tim shuts his eyes and tries not to let the tears fall. However, before he can respond to Babs, there are two tiny arms snaking around him and a face buried in his thigh. He releases Barbara and bends down to pick up Lian. “Hey there, kiddo.”

Lian hugs his neck as tight as she can. “I miss Uncle Dick, too.” Tim mentally nods, as far as he’s concerned, that settles it. He’s going to retire this suit and name, but then Lian’s little wobbly voice gets stronger. “But it would be so cool to see Nightwing fly again. I really want to see that and Uncle Dick would too. You have to keep it, Uncle Tim.”

Tim shakes his head and he’s about to protest when Bruce emerges from the shadows and places a hand on his shoulder. “She’s right. It suits you.”

Tim takes a deep breath as he sets Lian down, and then he just stares at his little family. He didn’t just choose this name and suit to honor Dick, though that was a part of it. He needs to protect his family in a way that Robin just can’t. Robin is a sidekick, and no matter how downright vicious Tim can be sometimes, he’s just not as effective as Robin. He can no longer be the brightness to Batman’s darkness…not after losing so many of his friends and family. He can no longer stay in the Bat’s shadow. Not if he wants to keep what little family he has left safe.

He gives Lian a tight smile. He hopes that she’ll never know how much her presence both hurts and calms him, because she will always be a reminder of what they’ve all lost, but she is very much the little light that she has always been. “I’ve made some modifications to the suit, but there are a few things I want to add before my first night out as Nightwing.” Tim does his best not to choke on the name. He’s going to have to spend some time later getting used to it. After all, if he freezes every time someone calls him that, then he’s going to be rather ineffective.

Barbara gives him another hug. “There’s something I want to discuss with you all as well.”

Tim tightens the embrace for a second before releasing her. He doesn’t know what he would do without Barbara. They’ve been friends since they were both kids, going to the same school. Even before she knew he was Robin, her friendship was one of the most important ones that he’s ever had. Now that she’s basically their tech support and helps with Lian’s training, Tim knows that he would be lost without her. Losing Dick was a hard blow -- one that Tim still isn’t over -- but losing Babs is unimaginable. Tim’s not sure if he could survive such a loss.

Lian is staring at Babs curiously, which is interesting. There isn’t a lot that goes on in and around the manor that Lian doesn’t know about. She’s a sneaky kid when she wants to be. “What is it, Aunt Barbara?”

Babs takes a hold of Tim’s hand and squeezes it. He’s not sure who the reassurance is for. “I want to take up a name, too. I know that for years now I’ve had no interest in wearing a mask, but I think with the way things have been going, you could use someone else out there. Someone who can stand beside Batman in a way that Nightwing can’t…someone who wears a bit more color and doesn’t scare kids nearly as much.”

Tim’s eyes widen as he just stares at her. He never thought he would see the day when Barbara donned a mask, but if she’s implying what he thinks she’s implying, then he’s all for it. Still, he doesn’t want to pressure her in any way, and she certainly isn’t obligated to keep up the tradition. “I take it you have a name in mind.”

Barbara smiles at him, but she looks uncertain. Tim can tell that she’s aware that he knows what she’s planning, but she still wants his approval. Tim wants to scoff. He has no idea why Babs would think that he would be against it. He nods and gestures for her to continue. Her smile brightens exponentially and, for a moment, Tim is reminded of Dick once again. “I was thinking you could use a Robin.”

Lian jumps up and down excitedly before leaping at Babs and wrapping her in a hug. “That’s perfect! Just think, Batman, Nightwing, and Robin patrolling together again. This is going to be amazing!”

Tim laughs as he ruffles her hair. “Just wait until you’re old enough to join us.”

Lian’s eyes shine with anticipation. “We’ll be a real crime fighting family, then.”

Babs turns to Bruce, who has just been standing off to the side watching them, though Tim can see the amusement in his eyes. “So, what do you think, B?”

Bruce grunts, but they can all see the slight upturn of his lips. “We should get back to Lian’s training, Nightwing. Robin will need to modify her suit.”

That’s all it takes for Lian to jump as high as she possibly can and let out of whoop of delight. “Let’s do this.”

Tim smirks as he leads her to the training mat. “By the way, I’ve got a surprise for you.”

Lian’s eyes widen in excitement and she practically screeches in delight. “What is it? What is it? What is it?”

Tim has to put his hands on her shoulders to calm her, knowing that she’ll just keep asking if he doesn’t. “Well, come on, it’s over on the work table.” She’s out of his grasp and running for the work table before Tim can say another word. He merely shakes his head as he follows at a much more relaxed pace. She’s practically bouncing when he finally stops beside her. Tim picks up one of the devices he has laid out on the table and shows it to her. “Well, you kept your end of the bargain and have finally learned to throw a batarang properly, so I kept mine. I call it a batarang slingshot. Wanna try it out?”

Lian nods enthusiastically as she practically tears it out of his hands. “Yes! How does it work?”

Tim laughs as he starts to show her how to load the batarangs and release them. It can’t be used in the field, but, knowing the two of them, Tim and Lian can probably find some use for it…much to Bruce’s and Barbara’s dismay. Tim laughs as he starts aiming it at the targets he set up earlier. Maybe being Nightwing won’t be so hard, after all, even if it does cause him to miss Dick more than normal.

The End