by Lara Wilson

Tim clings to the only thing he has left. Stephanie's return isn't what it should have been. He's left the Titans behind. He can't accept his own part in Cass' fall. Bruce is gone.

His dad, Dana, Kon, Bart.


Gotham is falling to pieces around him and it's all he can do to keep fighting.

The first time it happens they're in the cave, exhausted from endless patrols, bruised and sore from too many fights. Tim's burns are finally healing but he still wears the Red Robin cowl.

It's one step closer to the cowl he'll have to choose soon.

He pushes it off, revealing sparse, sweaty hair, rubs tired eyes, and shuffles towards the bank of computers.

Pulling off his own mask, Dick intercepts him, taking his arm. "You need to sleep."

Their eyes meet, both bloodshot, both surprisingly needy.

And it's all so organic after that. The first kiss, the desperate fumbling aside of nomex and kevlar, hands finally finding their way into tights and past athletic cups to wrap and stroke.

Tim comes first, arching against Dick's hard, slim body, silent as he is in almost all things. His hand tightens and Dick joins him, crying out and shuddering.

Together they slump against a desk, arms holding each other tightly.

"Tim," is all Dick says.

It's the start.

Weeks pass. Bruce is still gone and Tim is closer to taking the cowl, but still he clings to what he has left. He spends what sleeping hours he has in bed with Dick. He spends his waking hours trying to save Gotham.

It's all he has left.

He's not letting it go.


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