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Fic: Best Birthday, Indeed
Dragon Princess
brokaw22 wrote in batfic
Title: Best Birthday, Indeed
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: It's Tim's eleventh birthday, and this year might just end up being a little different from normal.
Note: This is for the tumblr Tim Drake week.

Tim awakens to an empty house. He’s not surprised. It’s Saturday, the house keeper’s normal day off, and his parents are in France. The fact that today is his eleventh birthday doesn’t change anyone’s schedule, and nor should it. Tim goes about his normal Saturday morning activities as always, including toast for breakfast and a quick shower before heading down into his darkroom.

It was a gift for his sixth birthday that he honestly didn’t have to try too hard to get. Tim had rehearsed all of his reasons for why he both needed his own personal darkroom and how it would benefit his parents in the long run. However, none of his explanations were needed.

He simply told them what he wanted for his birthday when they had arrived home -- two months after his birthday had come and gone -- and his parents had been more than happy to accommodate him. Tim is well aware that they were so willing to appease him, because they knew it would keep him busy and out of their hair. He didn’t mind. After all, it certainly suits his needs now.

Tim spends hours in his darkroom developing pictures of Batman and Robin, smiling as he examines each one before hanging them to dry. After that, he moves on to the types of pictures that he could show his parents, if they ever asked to see his photographs, though they never do. He has pictures of the cityscape, Robinson Park, and random snapshots of strangers as they mindlessly go about their day. He enjoys the quiet moment he captured of a mom of three, sitting down on a park bench, smiling at her children as they played almost as much as he enjoys the shot of Robin kicking a mugger in the face.

When Tim runs out of photos to develop, he meticulously cleans everything up before returning to his room. He briefly considers going outside and wandering the grounds for something to do, but it’s the middle of summer and the heat is nearly unbearable today. Besides, it’s supposed to rain later today, so he should probably figure out the best route to take into the city tonight in order to follow Batman and Robin. If it rains hard enough, certain alleyways and fire escapes get to be too treacherous to traverse. He’s in the process of mentally mapping his route when he hears the sound of a car door slam.

The noise confuses Tim for a moment. None of his neighbors are close enough that Tim should be able to hear a car door shutting. He practically flies over to a window to inspect what’s going on. Tim audibly gasps in surprise when he sees his parents exiting a town car. He’s honestly shocked that they’re here. The last he checked their agenda, they were still supposed to be gone for another two weeks.

The thought that they came home early for his birthday nearly has Tim in tears. He doesn’t know what to do or think about that. It’s literally never happened before. He’s running through a thousand things that he could say, but his parents don’t appreciate his penchant for rambling when he’s excited or nervous. Tim isn’t even sure if he should greet them first or let them come to him.

One thing that Tim does know, however, is that he should probably change and wash any remnants of the developing chemicals from his person. He’s well aware of how his mother feels about astringent smells. Once that’s done, Tim decides to greet his parents in the foyer. After all, it’s only polite to welcome them home. He waits silently for the two of them to enter through the front door.

 He hears them long before he sees them. The two of them are arguing, but that’s hardly unusual after such a long flight. “I swear, I leave you in charge of one little detail and this happens. I can’t believe we had to rush back here like this.” His mother doesn’t sound pleased, but then again she rarely does.

“I told you, I checked the dates twice. It’s not my fault. Besides, you were the one that insisted we go to this thing. I don’t understand why we physically need to be there.” His father sounds exasperated and more than a little annoyed.

His mother huffs out a breath, and then there’s the sound of one them entering the alarm code. “I told you, Jack. It’s important for us to be seen there. This will be great publicity for the company.”

His father doesn’t get a chance to respond before the door opens and they both just stare at him. Tim takes a deep calming breath before greeting them. “Welcome home. How was your trip?”

Neither one of them answers him. Instead they just glance at each other mildly panicked, and Tim wonders if he ruined the surprise by greeting them at the door. It’s his father who turns to him with a rather confused expression. “What are you doing here?”

Tim’s brow furrows in confusion. He doesn’t understand where his father thinks he should be. It’s his mother, however, who seems to realize what his father means and clarifies the situation. “It’s the summer, Jack.”

Jack’s eyes widen with the sudden realization, and then he turns to Janet with a rather perplexed expression. “What about tonight?”

Its then that Tim realizes they have no idea that today is his birthday and it’s a mere coincidence that they are home for it. He knows that he shouldn’t be surprised or upset. After all, this isn’t the first time, but there’s still a part of him that wishes they knew. Still, at least he gets to see them this year. It’s enough.

Janet gives them both a hard stare before nodding, mostly to herself. Tim doesn’t know what she’s just convinced herself of, but he does know that that particular expression means something new will be expected of him. “He’ll come with us.”

Jack doesn’t seem to like the idea. “Is that wise? What if something happens?”

Janet looks down at Tim, assessing him for a long moment. “You’ll be on your best behavior, won’t you, Timothy?” Tim has no idea what they are talking about, but he nods anyway. He tries to always be on his best behavior, so he doesn’t understand what’s so different about tonight. “It’s settled, then. Timothy, go get ready. We’ll be leaving shortly.”

Tim nods once and turns to leave, but then he stops as he realizes that he doesn’t know what he’s getting ready for. “Leaving for where?”

His father rolls his eyes, while his mother simply stares down at him indulgently. “Bruce Wayne is hosting a very important party this evening. I need you to dress your best and act appropriately.”

Tim nods once again and hurries out of the room. It takes every ounce of self control that he has not to squeak in excitement. He can’t believe that he’s actually going to get the chance to see Batman and Robin in person. Sure, Bruce will be playing the part of Brucie tonight, and there’s a good chance that Jason won’t attend at all, but it’s still a chance to see them both using their public personas. Tim can’t help but feel elated that he won’t be spending this birthday home alone again. After all, his parents are actually present for once, he’ll be surrounded by people, and he may even catch a glimpse of his idols as they work the room. Tim wishes that he could bring him camera with him, but it’s no matter, because this is definitely one of the best birthdays ever.

The End