BOY WONDER // LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

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.]
(comments, likes, and faves are always appreciated!)

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4. Chapter 3

Linh wasn't a hero - that much was obvious. She wasn't a hero the way Bruce and Dick and Tim are, and Jason's role as Red Hood was...debatable. 

She has been behind the scenes, mostly. But for these past four years she had been tracking down Tim, unable to pin Red Robin down and unable to figure out where in the world Tim Drake had disappeared to; it was like some cruel game of hidden object. Lucky for her that Alfred had gotten Tim home. Gotten Dick home, too, who'd gotten Jason home.

Tim, at least, was actually asleep tonight, head on Linh's shoulder. It was strange to see her sleeping for once. It might have been obvious to anyone, but sleep changed Tim's face almost entirely, and to see her so calm was unsettling. To see Tim out of the Red Robin costume was unsettling, too; Linh was too used to seeing her in it. 

For a moment, she could almost believe that Tim was normal, for lack of a better word. Seeing her as Tim Drake and not Red Robin...the person Linh hadn't fallen for back then. She says falls for, but that isn't really accurate. They had something akin to a friendship then, though she had met Tim as Robin and hadn't made the connection until much later. 

She had discovered Dick and Jason's identities as Nightwing and Red Hood, too, and they had assumed she would keep their secrets up until she had been asked to speak at some sort of event and she had called Gotham a city of secrets - the city was shrouded in them, in fact. Shrouded in shadows and secrets and she had nearly revealed their identities as Gotham's vigilantes to just about the entire city. She hadn't, of course, and she wouldn't dream of it now, but the thought had occurred to her then that she could easily reveal the identities of Gotham's venerated heroes.

It didn't haunt her all that much, but still, Linh felt a little guilty for even having thought about it. She hadn't known then how much of their childhood was made up of this nighttime vigilantism, what it was to them. They wouldn't - couldn't - leave that life behind them. It was all they knew - all they were, in a lot of ways. She knew what it was to Tim, at least, from the emails Tim had sent her during her time in Brentwood; some form of identity that they didn't have before Bruce had taken them in.

But what would Linh know of identity? She was a dead girl walking.

***

Crime Alley being Red Hood territory was a fact most everyone in Gotham knew. Anyone with good sense knew not to head over to Crime Alley anyhow, unless they themselves were a criminal who knew their way around. 

Jason wasn't a criminal, by any means, but Crime Alley was his. He was an orphan on this street, had tried to steal the Batmobile's tires here--

...even the streets where he spent his childhood weren't free from the memories of anything regarding his old life. It wasn't like his memories of his childhood were particularly happy, nor was he nostalgic for them. He had simply been trying to survive then, and he supposed that's what he was doing now. 

He hadn't wanted to go back to the manor. It was Dick who had convinced him to go back. There was no love lost between Jason and the Bats of Gotham, but still, still--couldn't they put that aside? It was less that Dick had convinced him to go back and more that he had made himself go with some odd, flawed logic of his: don'tgo they don't want you there; gogogo and you can kick bruce's ass for replacing you with tim gogogogo

Funny. None of them were really okay after their respective stints as Robin, were they?

He can still see the manor from here, and the sprawling buildings that made up Wayne Enterprises from the rooftops. He just couldn't stay away from rooftops. He doesn't know if Tim remembered him as Robin; only knew that Tim's memories were changed so that she remembered him as her brother. Except he...wasn't. Not really, anyways, not the way she thought. They hadn't grown up together the way she believed them to have done. No, that was Tim and Dick who'd grown up as siblings, who had a closer relationship than he'd ever had with either of them.

It wasn't in his nature to be kind, or to worry. Yet the latter was coming to him more often - he worried about what might happen to  Gotham; worried about what was happening with Tim what with her panic attack the other day; worried about what might happen to him now that Bruce didn't seem to have any use for him anymore. 

He'd faded away into the background, and in the process he had become this abandoned memory, covered in cobwebs in the back of their minds. 

...there was no love lost between Jason Todd and the Bats of Gotham. He had a feeling he might regret putting that aside later on.

***

It wasn't in Damian's nature to be kind. Everything was simple to him, all black and white rather than the rose-colored lenses the rest of the world preferred.

It had been a week and a half since Gotham had started to crumble and already, the small damages to the city were becoming more evident. It wouldn't be long until it would be too much for any of them to fix, even with his father, Dick, Tim, and himself being Master Builders. 

But this was his city now, too. He didn't let himself forget that, lest he did and was drawn back to his mother. 

It was not that he felt any sort of sympathy towards the city, nor did he feel obligated to protect it, but that was his duty now, he supposed. It was part of what entailed being Robin. He was not obligated to be Robin, either, by any means, but that was...it was not a part of him the way it seemed to be with Dick and Jason and Tim. He had defeated Tim and yet he still didn't feel like he had proved his right to the role - perhaps it was the fact that Tim still seemed to have a bone to pick with him, didn't seem to accept her clear defeat. 

Or perhaps--maybe it was that Robin was never his to begin with. It was a skin that didn't quite fit; one that was much more than a simple role to Dick, Tim, and Jason. Or maybe that was it - the role of Robin was never anything more than a role to him, whereas with the others it was almost like the essence of their being. It was the kickoff point for their own hero identities, he supposed. Hell, Tim had even named herself Red Robin, had kept the red and black color scheme that her own Robin costume had taken on at one point. He wondered about that ever since he saw it among the photos the Batcomputer had of his predecessors, but he cannot bring himself to ask her.

Gotham was crumbling. Gotham was everything to his father. Damian knew that much about him, out of the few personal things he'd learned of his father in the four years he had been here. Gotham was everything to his father, next to Dick and Tim and Jason, his predecessors who had drifted so far away from the manor they once called their home.

***

It had been two weeks since Gotham had started crumbling. The night sky was somehow even darker than before tonight, even though it was getting closer to sunrise. It should've made for easier hiding, what with his own costume being mostly black, but this darkness was...it felt malicious. Maybe Dick should have expected that, especially with what was happening to Gotham. 

...Gotham was everything to Bruce, particularly after... well, his own orphaning. 

They had managed to keep it under control for the most part, but how long until the city would become truly irreparable? Linh had said three weeks at the minimum, a month and a half at the most. They didn't have a month and a half to wait for Gotham to fall, for their home city to sink into the surrounding waters, for their world as they knew it to go out one scream at a time. 

From the rooftop, he can see Tim a little bit ahead, trailing Bruce and Damian. Jason was back in Crime Alley as usual, and Dick...

He had situated himself on one of the Joker's old hideouts; one that the Joker had long since stopped using. It was from his own days as Robin, he knew, so neither Bruce nor Damian would think to look there for anything regarding Batman's long-time enemy. Or Damian wouldn't at least. Bruce could tend to be a little paranoid about Gotham's villains, and Dick wouldn't put it past him to check on every villain hideout from time to time regardless of whether it was still used. 

...not this one, though. It was the warehouse where Jason had died. None of them had returned here since then. Tim, of course, didn't know, at least to his knowledge. If she did, she hadn't mentioned it. He almost wanted her to, despite the old memories it would bring up. 

The ground shakes, throwing him off the roof - fortunately, his reflexes were fast enough for him to catch hold of the street lamp nearby before he could fall to the ground. It would have been a nasty fall, though with his training he could have easily landed without breaking anything. Dick waited a beat before letting himself drop from the street lamp, wondering if it had simply been one of Gotham's many villains or if it had been Gotham's falling that had caused the mini earthquake. 

Tim showed up a few moments later, a look of worry on her face. He doesn't miss the way her eyes flicker over to the warehouse, her expression going still and hardened for a brief second before being shunted aside by worry again. She knew, then, about Jason. "Dick," she says softly, the most she's sounded like a child in all the years they've been siblings. She sounded almost scared, and why wouldn't she be? He certainly was. 

"It's getting late, baby bird," he murmured, watching the sun begin to peek hesitantly over the horizon. His eyes have unfocused for a bit, everything going slightly blurry. "...we should head back."

"I guess." Tim sounded almost irritated. She would, what with Gotham and its crime and crumbling, and her own sense of morality. She never could leave Gotham behind in its times of need. 

And Gotham needed them now more than ever.  

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