I’ve been away from my keyboard all day today. And I’ll be away again tomorrow. Which sucks but what can you do? I’m going to be answering comments in a minute but I decided that I wanted a little bit of the Reincarnated Tim ‘verse so have a little ficlet for it (581 words total):
Damian stared at the coded message from his mother. It did not make sense. Certainly the words themselves made sense once he decoded it but the intent behind it was incomprehensible. There was no reason for this message, no logic or honor to it.
“Be nicer to Timothy.”
There was no explanation attached to the message, just the bare four words. Damian frowned, nearly crumpling the piece of paper. He growled and left his room, seeking out Drake. It took several hours to isolate Drake from Dick and Cass, who appeared to know that he had something to say to him. She distracted Dick and dragged him off to train with her. When Drake stood, Damian blocked his way and thrust out the slip of paper.
“Ah, yes?” Drake asked, blinking at it.
“I demand to know why Mother would direct such a thing,” Damian said. He allowed himself a bit of a huff. It was justified by this absurdity.
To his surprise, Drake’s expression became tender and loving at the mention of Talia. He stroked one finger over the slip of paper before schooling his expression back to something that was appropriately distant and uninterested. Damian frowned.
“I have no idea,” Drake said as he passed the slip of paper back. “Perhaps she feels that your rudeness is inappropriate from an al Ghul.”
The way he said it reminded Damian so strongly of Mother and Grandfather that his breath caught. Drake slipped around Damian, moving with too much grace. Certain of his micro-gestures, the tiny little flutters of fingers and arms that revealed so much of a person’s intentions, reminded him unbearably of Mother when she wanted to hug but did not feel that she had leave to do so.
“Grandmother?” Damian whispered.
Drake froze. He ceased breathing, stopped dead in his tracks for a long moment. When he turned to look at Damian there was a strange mixture of intense pride and fearful worry in his eyes. Damian stared up at Drake, Timothy, at the ancient being that had been by his Grandfather’s side for centuries. It was true. Timothy Drake was the reincarnation of his grandmother Melisande.
Timothy opened his mouth though nothing came out. Instead, he held out a hand to Damian. That was all the invitation that Damian needed. He hurled himself into Timothy’s arms, hugging him desperately. To his surprise, Timothy was shaking.
“You are,” Damian whispered.
“Yes,” Timothy whispered back, his lips brushing against Damian’s hair. “So proud that you figured it out. I had to tell my Beloved and your mother. Neither of them realized it at first.”
Damian laughed, letting Timothy pick him up and carry him over to the couch. Timothy seemed quite reluctant to let Damian go, which he found rather odd until he compared his mother’s descriptions of Melisande’s fondness for physical contact and Timothy Drake’s apparent reluctance to be touched.
“You have changed,” Damian observed as he wrapped his arms around Timothy’s neck for what Dick would probably call a proper snuggle-fest.
“If you mean the hugging, well, this has been a very difficult life,” Timothy replied.
He rubbed Damian’s back fondly, humming a lullaby that Talia had occasionally sung for Damian when he was hurt during training. Damian smiled as he decided that he would follow his mother’s directions. Timothy clearly needed a great deal more physical affection than he had gotten and Damian would have to make sure that he got it from now on.