Pairing(s): JayTim (You might have to squint a bit)

Warnings: None

Rating: T

Snippet: "NO!" Tim screamed, startling Jason. "No! I'm not crazy! He isn't dead! I know he isn't dead!"


"TIM!" Jason yelled, as he banged on the double-glazed glass of Tim's apartment window. It was pitch black inside; the usual glow that flooded the hallway from the open door to Tim's loft was missing. "Tim, I swear to God I will blow this damn window apart if you don't let me in right now!" He banged once more for good measure before pulling out a block of C4 from his jacket pocket and setting it up around the panes of glass.

After Bruce died, Gotham had been thrown into turmoil. Rumours of the Dark Knight's demise brought out all types of villains from every grime filled corner of the city. Crime escalated at an alarming rate and no matter how hard the heroes fought back, the villains constantly came out victorious.

In a desperate bid to put the fear back into Gotham's criminals, Jason donned the cape and cowl in a twisted, gun-wielding version of Batman. It worked well, but the darkness that came with the Dark Knight's persona, and his own personal demons, eventually consumed him. He began to strike out at anyone who got in his way. He shot Damian, attacked Dick, and almost killed Tim. When he finally came to his senses, he fled Gotham and disappeared to the Middle-East, beginning a journey to rediscover himself within the darkness that had devoured him.

But four months into his travels, Jason had received a message from Alfred requesting his immediate return to Gotham. Not long after Jason's sudden departure, Tim had become withdrawn from the family. For reasons that Alfred wouldn't disclose, Tim had cut all ways of communicating with Psych and had locked himself in his apartment, refusing entry to anyone who called by.

The C4 exploded with a colossal BANG that rocked the entire building. Glass rained down into the alley below and thick plumes of smoke twirled up into the night sky. Jason was sure that there would be consequences after an explosion that size; Tim did live in a highly prestigious part of Gotham after all. But as far as he was concerned the GCPD and the Gotham City Fire Department could go fuck themselves. His Babybird was in trouble.

Dropping from his safe perch on the fire-escape, Jason stepped inside. The entire apartment was deadly silent. He moved just as quietly through the hallway, pausing at every door that he passed. Nothing seemed to be out of place. The rooms were as neat and unused as they usually were.

It wasn't until Jason stepped through the threshold to Tim's loft that he began to see the first signs of life. He walked up the ramp slowly, stopping when he reached the top to swallow the shocked noise that caught in his throat. Tim's loft had been transformed into a war zone. Every computer screen was smashed and was lying on the floor after being ripped from their wall brackets. The keyboards had been thrown across the room; the dent where they had hit still crumbling bits of plaster. Even the wooden bookcase hadn't been spared. It now lay across the floor; pieces of paper and plastic folders strewn across the room.

Jason pulled his gun from his holster and gripped it tightly. He knew Tim. Tim was obsessed with his apartment staying clean and organised. He shouted at anyone who left a mess and had even punished Dick once for leaving scuff marks on the hallway floor. He would never make a mess like this. Which meant something was very wrong.

A small, choked noise came from behind the door at the back of the loft, which Jason knew led to a small bathroom. He leapt over the battle-field and pushed the door open slowly.

His gun clattered to the ground as soon as he saw Tim. The younger man was sitting on the cold tile floor in nothing but his boxers, leaning over the toilet where he had just emptied the contents of his stomach. He was a complete mess; dark circles sat underneath red-rimmed eyes and his rib bones were so prominent they looked like they were going to burst out of his chest.

"Babybird?" Jason said, cautiously edging forward. He slipped off his jacket and wrapped it around Tim's shoulders.

"Jason." Tim breathed. Jason couldn't tell whether he sounded surprised or relieved.

"Yeah, Babybird, it's me. You okay?" Jason asked, as he grabbed a flannel from the sink and ran it under the warm water tap.

"I fell." Tim stated, motioning weakly to where he wheelchair was jammed between the sink and the wall. The back wheel was bent at an odd angle. "I felt sick and I came in here and…I fell."

Jason crouched down beside Tim and wiped his face with the warm cloth. "And what happened to you office?"

"I…" Tim frowned. "Bruce isn't dead."

Jason stilled. "What?" He choked.

"Bruce isn't dead." Tim repeated. "I know he isn't dead."

So that was the little gem of information that Alfred hadn't told him about. Great. "Tim, I know it's hard but…"

"NO!" Tim screamed, startling Jason. "No! I'm not crazy! He isn't dead! I know he isn't dead!"

Instead of responding, Jason scooped Tim into his arms and walked out of the bathroom. As they passed through the war-torn office, he absentmindedly wondered how long they had before the authorities came knocking on the door. Jason walked straight into Tim's sitting room and sat him on the couch. He wrapped Tim in every blanket he could find, trying to get some warmth back into his shaking limbs. Once he was certain that Tim was comfortable, Jason tugged off his boots and settled beside him on the couch.

"Jason," Tim said after several minutes of silence, "I'm not crazy."

"I know you're not." Jason replied instantly.

"He's alive, Jason. Bruce is alive."

Jason slid his arm around Tim's shoulders and squeezed lightly. "I believe you." He admitted. After all, Tim had been the one to discover Batman and Robin's true identities. He had found out that Jason was still alive and had made sure that he was rescued from Talia after his dip in the Lazarus pit. Jason had no reason to doubt Tim on this.

"No-one believes me." Tim whispered, his voice cracking harshly. "No-one."

"I believe you." Jason repeated.

Tim let out a pained wail and buried his face his Jason's chest, his hands gripping at Jason's body. Jason leaned forward and manoeuvred Tim's legs so that his spine wasn't so twisted. He wrapped his arms around Tim's smaller body, holding him tightly and not letting go even after hours had passed, the GCPD had come and gone, and Tim had fallen into a fitful sleep, murmuring back those three words that he was clinging to like a life-line.

"I believe you."