Disclaimer: I do not own Batman, Nightwing, or any incarnation of Robin. Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake all belong to DC/Time Warner and I am using them without permission.
Once upon a time…
No, I can't start like that. This isn't a fairy tale.
Although it sort of resembles one. In fairy tales, there's always a youngest son. And what does he get? He gets to go wander around the countryside because his older brothers inherited everything. He gets to go off into the great unknown, off to seek his fortune.
But I never left. I never went to seek my fortune. So I guess that's why this isn't a fairy tale. I could leave if I wanted. I'm sure I could. And yet I don't. And I don't know why.
Dick's the oldest son. He's the heir to the cape and cowl. He's Bruce's son.
Jason took being the youngest son much harder than I do. I don't much about him, but I know his place in Bruce's heart is forever sealed. He sacrificed for the cause. He DIED for the cause.
What am I? I'm just insurance. Just in case something happens to Dick.
I think that's why I did it. Dick's important. He has to be there in case something happens to Bruce. He has to be there to take over the cape and cowl. He has to be there to be Batman. I was never going to be Batman. I only ever wanted to be Robin. Maybe not even wanted…maybe I needed to be Robin. Because Batman no longer had one.
But does he even need one with Dick back? Maybe I've outstayed my welcome. Maybe it's time for Robin to fly the coop. Maybe…
Maybe that's why I did it…Dick's his son. He chose him and took him home and loved him. He loved him so much he drove him away. But Dick loved him, too, and Dick came back. Dick found his fortune in Nightwing and he returned. Bruce would be destroyed if anything happened to Dick. Losing Jason nearly destroyed him. But Dick…he couldn't go on without Dick.
That's why I did it. He needed Dick.
“Tim!” That's Dick's voice. I was wondering if I'd ever hear it again. “Tim! Wake up!” That's his hand, slapping my face.
“What were you thinking?” Dick yelled. “Are you crazy? Why would you jump in front of me?”
I smiled. The Kevlar must have held up rather well.
“Y'know, if Bruce knew about this,” Dick told me, frowning at me, “he'd have that Robin suit in a showcase quicker than you can say, Holy BulletBlock, Batman.”
“Yeah,” I said, slowly, getting to my feet. “I know.”
And maybe it's time for me to go seek my fortune.