In which LEGO Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake are Nightwing, Red Hood, and Red Robin respectively, only to come home to Damian Wayne holding their beloved title of Boy Wonder, and the Man Upstairs seems to have decided to destroy them all. [feat. afab trans nonbinary Tim Drake, trans boy Dick Grayson, and an imagining of the story in liveaction.]
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3. Chapter 2

Damian found himself littered with bruises and scrapes from fighting Tim Drake. 

This fight - this duel to prove that he was the superior Robin, that he had earned the role from his predecessor - had lasted longer than he'd thought it would, and Tim proved to be a more competent fighter than he'd thought. She was an admirable tactician and strategist, well-versed in what were clearly multiple forms of martial arts. If he wasn't so set on defeating her here and now - if he wasn't so damn proud, he thinks later - he might have even admitted it. 

Instead, he knocked her clean off the T-Rex skeleton in the Batcave (why Father had a T-Rex skeleton was beyond him), and seeing her topple over brought him no greater joy.  


Damian had just knocked her off that godforsaken dinosaur skeleton (Why did Bruce even have that? More importantly, where did he get it?); if she had landed, she might have sprained a bone or two, might have even shattered something, if it wasn't for Bruce passing under and miraculously catching her. 

Damian touched down next to them, all smug about his victory over her, this infuriating smirk on his face that is quickly wiped off when he sees Bruce's raised eyebrow and the infamous Batman Stare™. 

"Should I even bother to ask?"

The face Tim pulls at Damian is less severe than she would have liked it to be; already, a nasty bruise was beginning to form on her face. "No," she retorted sharply, and oh, if looks could kill, "because he started the d--

"What are you doing fighting someone six years younger than you?" Bruce cut her off, depositing her on the floor. It is a question she can't give a proper response to, but it was true that Damian had started the whole damn thing. He was insufferable, too self-important for her liking. Of she, Jason, and Dick, she is the only one anywhere close to Damian's fourteen, but even that is a six year age difference.

 For a moment, she could have sworn she saw Damian's eyes flicker to the bruise on her cheek, another split second of concern. It was short-lived, though, if it ever happened. 

"Tch. Why is unimportant," Damian muttered, petulant child that he was, "won, anyways."

"And gave me a nasty bruise to show for it," Tim hissed, eyes flashing like light catching on a dangerously sharp blade, all but ready to fight this little brat all over again-- 

Bruce pulls her back by the collar of her shirt with a firm you need to rest! which was surprising given all they did was blatantly not rest. Damian had a look of defiance in his eyes, hard and cold with the unsettling, quiet sort of angry determination.


It is the day after Tim's panic attack that the world quite literally begins to fall apart around them. 

Not that any of them besides Dick and Jason (and perhaps Alfred, too; he was scarily observant that way) noticed at first - Bruce, Damian, and Tim were all down in the Batcave, Alfred was...somewhere, and he and Jason were observing the damage from one of the many hidden cameras around Gotham. 

Still, even with the world falling apart, Dick worried about Tim. he hadn't with Jason. Like somehow, by worrying about her, it would make up for all the years Jason was dead and Tim was still young and still Robin. He knew Conner had altered reality, had changed Tim's memories, too, so that she remembered Jason as her brother and not as this unknown dead boy who was her predecessor. Fortunately, her panic attacks were far and few between, but when they occurred, they were bad ones and every time, it was terrifying. 

"Hey," Jason pipes up, interrupting his thoughts, "this doesn't look like the work of any of Gotham's criminals, does it?" 

"No...not even Joker, and he's the one who's especially prone to damage like this." Dick gestured vaguely to the damage clearly caused by an explosion of some sort - the Joker was rather fond of bombs, after all - and the surrounding damage, caused by what seemed to be the work of Gotham's criminals. Yet it clearly wasn't their doing, especially since they had all been out on patrol these past few days (though Batdad thought it was just him and Damian) and the villains had all been doing what they usually did: the Condiment King trying to steal all the hot dog carts in the city, Joker going after Batman, Harley Quinn wreaking havoc alongside the Joker... 

Nothing was any different than how it usually was, if at all, so it was doubly strange that the city suddenly seemed to be crumbling of its own volition. It had reportedly been going on in other places as well, Cloud Cuckoo Land and Bricksburg having been the first two to start falling. 

The other Master Builders had been communicating with each other, trying to figure out what was happening, trying to rebuild what they could, but it was hard to keep up with the rate at which the cities were falling, even when they were all back and recovered from that whole Lord Business ordeal over a decade ago. 

"You're not still worrying about Tim, are you?" The look Jason gives him cuts right through the facade he's been trying to keep, cuts through the worry and the strife he's been trying to hide.

"...a bit," he settles on. 

"More than a bit,"Jason says, half-teasing. He laughed a little at that, the first time Dick has heard Jason laugh genuinely in a long time. He feels so worn these days, feels less and less like that little boy Bruce had adopted by accident all those years ago at the gala. He doesn't know why he's been trying so hard to hang on to that version of him: the small orphan who had only ever wanted to be adopted and had ended up being a hero in his own right instead. So he wouldn't forget who he was once, he supposed. He was still the same, though, at least a little bit. A little older, a little more battle-worn, more physically scarred, perhaps, but the same nonetheless. 

He was afraid to forget, he thinks. Afraid to forget how innocent and naive and oblivious he once was to the world, when he still saw Bruce as the greatest orphan ever and Batman as the greatest hero ever. He still-- he still looked up to them both, but it is less idolization and more of respect that a hero who was also your adoptive father got. He is afraid to lose all of this, to lose his family again. He still had nightmares sometimes, about his parents falling to their deaths from the high wire. They weren't as bad as they were before when he was younger and the death of his parents was still so raw and new, but still, they are there and relentless. 

He cannot imagine what it must be like for Jason, who burned to death in an explosion only to come back to life to find Tim in his place as Robin, or for Tim, who lost her mother, her father, her stepmother, and the role of Robin in so little time. 


Jason still can't help but see Tim as his replacement, even four years after she has already left the role of Robin. It wasn't her he blamed so much as it was Bruce for replacing him without a second thought, or for leaving his death behind like it was nothing. He is still bitter about it, still angry that he had missed out on so much because he had died, that Bruce had left his Robin outfit up as some sort of horrible reminder of what happened to him.

Like it wasn't awful enough knowing the man who had taken him in hadn't cared enough to avenge his death. 

. . .

He doesn't know what to make of anything anymore. 

He's still not used to being alive again; he finds himself forgetting that he is, like he's a zombie or something, like he's not real

It hurts to look at Tim and only be able to see his replacement, to know that her memories have been altered so that she sees him as her brother and not the dead boy who'd come before her as Robin, who she used to look up to when she was still in foster care. He wants so desperately to hate her except he can't, not when she sees him like that. It would be easier, maybe, if he could hate her. Easier to stay away from what used to be his home, his family.

...he doesn't know if he should be counting himself lucky to have been brought back to life.


They used to soar in plain sight over buildings. Tim remembers that much from when Jason was still Robin, when she was still in foster care and thinking nobody wanted her, when she still idolized the Dynamic Duo, before she was one of the Dynamic Duo.

They used to soar in plain sight over buildings, capes trailing behind them like banners, like flags, like a pair of wings and if she believed hard enough it was almost like she could really fly. Her own cape hadn't been glittery like Dick's had been - not on the outside at least; the inside was covered in all the glitter she wanted - but it had been hers

They were more discreet now, more on the ground than flying over rooftops, hiding in the shadows more and more. It's forced she, Dick, and Jason up on the rooftops, ironically enough, but they've all got experience in hiding when they're up that high and that visible. She's missed this life, despite being Red Robin for a few years now since she had gone off to Brentwood. This whole crime-fighting deal was something that wasn't so easy to leave behind. 

It had been easier to sneak around and fight crime on her own, back at Brentwood. It was almost laughable, how easy it was. (That much she had learned from the Joker: how to sneak around Batman.) It should have made it easier to see Damian's winning punch, in the end. 

She had narrowly missed winning that fight with Damian. She had been so close to winning, so close to defeating him.

What did she get from winning...? She didn't know. The fact that Damian didn't like her was all she knew. She didn't like him either, though Dick had resigned himself to Damian's existence and Jason seemed to have focused his energy on disliking her

The bruise from their little altercation has disappeared, mostly, having darkened to this blue-purple color within a few hours. It isn't very visible under her Red Robin mask, fortunately. Jason was somewhere in Crime Alley, and Dick somewhere farther ahead, tailing Batman and Damian. (She refuses to call him Robin. She refuses.) It was her tailing them originally, but Dick had made her wait, because the bruise was too recognizable to both Bruce and Damian, and if she wanted to keep her identity as Red Robin secret from them, she'd have to steer well clear of them until the bruise healed. 

She had protested, of course, vehemently. Dick had given her that Big Brother™ look, which carried all the authority he could muster. She can hear the sounds of whatever fight is going on off in the distance - Crime Alley, she thinks it is, so that must be Jason. Another one is happening closer to her, though, accompanied by cackling she recognized as the Joker's. She wasn't all that worried about Damian getting hurt, because it was an unspoken rule among Gotham's villains not to harm Robin - any Robin. It was Dick she was worried about, even though she knew he was more than capable of defending himself.

For being the most crime-ridden city in the world, Gotham was actually pretty safe, at least during the daytime. At night was a different story - that was when all the big-time villains came out to play. Most of the daytime crimes were petty ones, nothing that the police couldn't handle under Barbara's command. 

Despite Gotham's crumbling - and the rest of the world's too - they are still out here fighting crime. Dick and Jason had mentioned how it wasn't that bad yet, how it could still be written off as normal damage. "Yet," she had said pointedly, tilting her head to the side. 

"Tim?" Dick landed softly near her, touching down on the skylight she'd hidden behind. 

"What's Joker up to again?"

"Getting Batdad's attention, as usual." Dick laughed, sounding so much like the brother she had known before they had all gone their separate ways. "Damian doesn't seem to have taken to him like we did, though."

Her mouth twitches its way into a smile, against her better judgement. "Of course not. Damian sees all of Gotham's villains as exactly that."

Dick looks at her curiously, contemplatively. " villains or as a threat?"

"Both, I guess. Not like they're much of a threat against the six of us."

"Five," Dick corrected. "Barbara isn't here tonight. Hasn't been for a while. She said she might quit being Batgirl altogether."

The moment of hesitation before she speaks again is evident - too evident. "When?"

"A few days ago. She probably decided weeks or months ago, though, for all I know." Dick sighed, folding in on himself. "It's going to be hard without her."

"We'll manage, though." Tim tilted her head back to look up at her brother. "We've managed these past few days without her without even knowing."

Dick's small smile wavered, if only for a moment. His face crumpled briefly before he covered it back up with the bright smile he usually wore. 

"Yeah, I guess we will."


Gotham is still crumbling. It is nothing major yet; nothing to warrant any worry or fear from the city's denizens, not when its villains still ran rampant at night. 

He has yet to tell Tim about it, though she has no doubt figured it out already. Damian and Bruce, too, had found out about it the night before, when the city was crumbling beneath their feet as they fought off Gotham's various villains. 

Gotham was crumbling away along with the rest of the world, and nobody, not even the Master Builders, knew what to do about it. 

It was only going to get worse if the problem was left alone, Dick knew, but the most they could do now was to leave it alone. The damage being done wasn't anything the citizens couldn't handle - it wasn't at a level yet where Master Builders had to swoop in and fix it, unlike in Bricksburg or in Cloud Cuckoo Land or even in the Wild West. 

It wasn't at that level yet, but it would be soon, Linh had said. Dick had asked her to figure out how long it might take for Gotham to start breaking down like the other cities had. It was already a miracle that it had started so much later than the other cities - it would be best, Linh told him, to figure out an evacuation plan soon, perhaps over the next few weeks or even days. Gotham's safety was, of course, of the utmost importance. It looked like none of them would be able to return to wherever they had come from - Tim, he thinks, Jason back to Crime Alley, and he to Blüdhaven. 

It's funny - out of the three of them, it was Jason who had stayed behind in Gotham. Even though Dick himself was technically living within Gotham's locale, Blüdhaven was still a good half-hour away by driving. He isn't sure where Tim had gone - probably nearby Gotham like he'd done, but she seemed to have disappeared from the face of their world. Come to think of it, he'd been seeing all the news articles and the campaigns running against and for Red Robin, yet he'd never made note of the cities they had been in. How long had he been out of touch with Jason and Tim? How many times had he not been there for them when they needed it--?


Linh knew exactly how long it would take for Gotham to fall victim to its crumbling: a month and a half, at the most; three weeks at the least. It was easy for her to figure out the time frame they would have to work in when she had thrown herself into learning these sorts of things after her failed suicide attempt. 

She'd had all the time in the world then, when everyone thought her to be dead and the only people who knew she was alive was everyone who lived in the manor. She didn't think Damian knew she existed yet. She had, after all, only recently returned from traversing the world trying to track down Tim. She was sure that neither Bruce or Alfred would have mentioned her to Damian.

Tim had been hard to find - clearly, the former Robin hadn't wanted to be found, not even by Linh. Sure, Red Robin had been reported about on various news stations, but even then they were all scattered across the world. She doesn't know how Tim had managed it, but Tim had always been the detective, had always been the one clever enough to figure out something like having all the world's news stations running something about her at the same time. Linh had yet to figure her out, even after four years. 

Yet, now that they were all back, they were all harder to read than ever. Dick was losing the optimistic view of the world he'd had before; Jason was even more shut off than he had been when Linh had known him; Tim was suffering panic attacks and isolating herself from her family, maybe unintentionally. 

She remembered, still, when they had been back at Gotham Academy, when Dick had been so eager to befriend her - though he was eager to befriend anyone and everyone - and Jason hadn't been so cold and angry and bitter and Tim had been...happier, Linh thinks. Tim had still been Robin then, and that is what she seems to be holding on to. Linh knew that much about the reason behind Tim's changes, at least: she could not seem to find it in herself to let go of the identity that being Robin had given to her, or to leave that life behind her. 

But it was vastly unimportant now. Their city was falling to its knees, and it wasn't even doing so because of its villains. The city was crumbling, sinking, breaking apart; she had told Dick that if they didn't act soon--well. The consequences went unsaid. 

...she couldn't put off telling them that it may be the Man Upstairs taking them apart, brick by brick by brick. 


Damian awoke the next morning to the worried voices of his father and the...others. He wrinkles his nose at the thought of having to face even one of his predecessors. It was early still, perhaps seven or eight in the morning; he's surprised that they're up this early - or even up at all. 

He trudged his way to their voices, blinking the bleariness from his eyes. 

Dick was the only one among the three former Robins who was fully awake, at least somewhat. Tim's hair was in a wild state of bedhead - she clung now to Dick's arm, cheek pressed against his shoulder. Jason had simply fallen face first onto the kitchen island, all slumped over, the sound of his steady breathing so uncharacteristically gentle. (Alfred had slipped a small pillow under Jason's head, preventing any neck cricks that might have occurred otherwise.)

Father's and Dick's voices were low, clearly so as to not wake the other two, but even then, Damian could hear that they were talking about the city's current predicament. Another girl was there too, shorter than even Tim, who was a full head shorter than his father. 

"Cloud Cuckoo Land fell into the ocean, at least," he hears Father mutter darkly; Dick smiled wanly, a far cry from the normal brightness of his smiles. His hair wasn't so neatly brushed back as it usually was, instead more reflective of the early hour they all must have woken up at, yet that little hair quiff still persisted. It was aggravating; how much more "golden boy" could Richard Grayson get?

"Gotham doesn't have much in the way of support anyhow," Damian cut in, making Dick jump. (He could see the dark bags under Dick's eyes, could see the exhaustion in his now slightly stooped posture, could see the way he was trying to stay strong for Tim and Jason and his father. Could it be? Was the original Boy Wonder not so golden as he looked?) "It would fall into pieces right into the water."

Dick made this small, strangled noise that he quickly covered with a cough, nearly throwing Tim off his shoulder. "The water's not so deep as the ocean, though," he managed to squeak out, adjusting his body to Tim's ongoing slumber. 

"But the slope is extremely close to the shore..." Damian frowned at the thought of Gotham's topography - it was...eccentric, for the most part, and dangerous if one didn't know their way around it. 

"That's just on this side of the city," the other girl pipes up, breaking the brief silence that had fallen. Her expression had settled into a neutral one, eyes flicking upwards to glance at him. (For a moment, he thought he saw a spark of malice in those eyes, directed towards him.) "The other side's got normal oceanic topography." 

"Of course it does," Damian muttered, dragging a hand through the mess his hair had become overnight. He doesn't miss the small snicker the girl tries to hide. Dick looked close to simply falling asleep on the kitchen island alongside Jason. 

He didn't know Gotham like they did; hadn't lived here for his whole life like they had - it is one of the few advantages they have over him. That and the fact that they know his father better than he did, had been taken in and raised and trained to be Robin by him, unlike Damian himself had. He was still - in many ways, he supposed - learning to be Robin. He had been raised to be an assassin, not a crime-fighter; he had been raised to be ruthless and cruel, not merciful and compassionate. 

It's so much simpler to stay that way.


They stayed in from protecting Gotham that night. Dick had asked Jason and Tim to, though he knew Jason wouldn't listen and he had probably gone back to Crime Alley again once he got the chance. It hadn't been Alfred who'd asked Jason to return, after all - it had been Dick. 

Dick didn't know what was going on with his brother and sister, nor what was happening with Damian. He didn't want to resent Damian for being Robin, or for being Bruce's biological son. And he didn't, for the most part. He'd be lying if he said he didn't hold either of those things against Damian, at least a little bit. 

It was colder tonight, the waters around the manor more choppy than ever. He still had that shark repellent, believe it or not, its contents intact and largely unused. The sounds of Gotham's villains running amok echoed throughout the city. It was a miracle their crime-fighting hadn't woken up the entirety of Gotham, though Gotham's citizens must have been used to it after all these decades. 

The wind wasn't particularly strong tonight; a faint, cool breeze that wasn't exactly typical for Gotham but not unheard of. It was strong enough to sting his eyes if not for his glasses. Recently, he had taken to wearing contacts in Blüdhaven, simply for convenience - it certainly wouldn't do for his glasses to break there, especially since the city was significantly more dangerous than Gotham. Besides, he was rather fond of his glasses, though he had changed pairs over the years. They carried so many memories of his childhood. 

He can hear Gotham's crumbling all around, echoes of falling rocks and bricks into the water beneath the city. How long would it be until the manor - his home - would start falling, too? He hoped they could figure out what was happening before that ever happened. But that's probably what the other Master Builders thought, too, before their cities started falling apart.

Linh had mentioned this morning that it seemed the Man Upstairs had a hand in this, like they were all being punished for something. He's scared, to say the least - terrified, in fact. 

He doesn't know what to do anymore. 

He had been conflicted over staying in Blüdhaven or going back to Gotham; Blüdhaven was, after all, much more dangerous than Gotham in terms of crime, but he was Tim and Jason's brother first. He still felt a little guilty about leaving Blüdhaven to fend for itself, though he knew that its denizens were tough as nails and while they certainly weren't crime-fighting vigilantes, they could definitely beat up the city's villains if they tried. 

Blüdhaven was visible on the horizon if you knew where it was, and it almost looked like it was a part of Gotham. The only thing distinguishing it from Gotham, really, was the slightly different colored fog that settled over the city and the way its fog settled, floating upwards like curlicues around the buildings. Tim's stepmother was there, too, in one of the clinics after Jack Drake had been killed by Captain Boomerang. He pitied Dana and Tim both for Jack's death; he knew that Tim had grown rather close with her stepmother and now now she had lost the closest person she'd had to a mother unless he counted Barbara.

It's funny - without all the tragedy that had happened within it, without all the crime or the thick fog that permeated just about every corner of the city, Gotham could have been beautiful.



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