To Be Or Not To Be... A Robin

October 11, 2014: Another visit to the clocktower by Tim and a discussion about career.

Clocktower - Gotham City

A locally famous landmark, the Gotham Clock Tower is located in the Central Business District. Tours haven't run in years, though, since the building was bought out by a group of bird-lovers known as the Nightingale Society. Still, it's a well-known part of the Downtown skyline. From the outside it looks unused, but the clock is clearly maintained as it still runs on time, and now and again people can be seen coming and going. The bottom floor looks mostly disused, with a long hallway ending in a bookshelf full of coffee table books about birds. To either side of the hall are sparsely furnished rooms. The walls show illustrations of local Gotham feathery sorts, and charts on bird migrations. Cabinets store various bits of bird-watching equipment.

The doors to the stairs require a key card to access, probably to deter vandalism. The upper floors are only accessible by a secret elevator. The doorways to access it them the stairs have been bricked over and drywalled. On the living quarters floor, each door requires a keycard and voice recognition, except for the door to the training facility at the end of the hall, which requires palm, optical, and voice recognition. The top floor, however, is the most secure of all.

The pale glow of the four massive translucent clock-faces dominate the four compass points of the lair, casting everything in a warm light by night, and cool light by day. the natural brick walls of the buildings exterior are left visible on one wall while the others are painted a pristine white. The ceilings have recessed and track lighting, and the floors are smooth pale wood. There is a lounge area and even a kitchen, as well as other facilities here. The insulation around the top floor is meant to keep scanners and eavesdropping equipment from being able to image what's inside.

Mainframes and back-up generators line most of the walls in rooms of clear glass kept from overheating with with high-tech coolant systems. In front of one clock face is an enormous computer system laid out on a long, custom desk, lower than average, just the right height for Oracle's wheelchair. There is a command chair for use when needed, which slides on rails along the length of the desk. A huge bank of monitors are arrayed in a horseshoe shape around the desk, with the ability to form one large picture or individual smaller ones.



Mood Music:

A known very familiar code is punched into the clock tower entrance and Tim waves at the camera he knows is there after putting it in. He's familiar with this space. Very familiar. With a shift of his weight, he makes his way up to the control room, two steps at a time, until he knocks at the door. In his hands he carries a drink tray from Starbucks with two drinks in it. One for Oracle and one for himself.

While he does knock on the door, he doesn't wait for an invitation this time, just stepping in before setting the tray down on a nearby desk. "Hey," he greets while his lips hitch up into a boyish grin. "Long time no see," the words are actually chuckled around as he tugs his own very black coffee from the tray.

Oracle is already facing the door and has a ready smile on her lips. She's seen the starbucks tray, and if Tim comes bearing gifts, who is she to complain? As he places the tray on the desk nearby, she moves her chair forward to snag her coffee. A raised eyebrow, and a wry grin "Oh, it's been ages since I've seen you. Business or Social visit?" Sipping the coffee, she watches him and his boyish grin, her green eyes sparkling with mischief.

"A bit of column A a bit of column B?" Tim replies with a larger grin as he sits down on one of the chairs in the room. "I'm thinking about a lot of things lately. So." He shrugs. "How're you doing?" His eyebrows draw together and he emits a long sigh before managing, "I've been thinking… maybe I should consider not being Robin anymore." He holds up his non-coffee-holding hand and then states, "I mean. Being someone else. Because Damian — " he cringes. "I don't want to be mistaken for Damian."

Sipping her coffee, Oracle watches Tim take a seat. Smiling at the 'bit of column B' comment, she listens patiently. When he finishes, she laughs a little "I'm doing very well, thank you for asking" the response could be considered a little sarcastic given he didn't really wait for an answer but it's softened with a smile. "Welcome to Oracles Tower of Advice…" she tilts her head to the side and considers for a bit "Why would people mistake you for Damian?"

"Glad to hear it," even though Tim already blazed into the world of needing advice, he manages to sound sincere at his assurance. "Because this whole Robin - Robin thing is incredibly confusing," Tim says evenly. And then lowering his voice into his Batman impression, gravelly and uncomfortable on his throat, he states, "'Robin,'" and then his voice turns to his own, "Yes, Batman." And then back to gravelly, "'Not you, Robin. The other Robin. My bio-kid — '" He shrugs as if he's obviously made his point. Although, the one he's made might not be the one he's intended to.

Oracle doesn't say anything. Leaning back in her chair, she holds her coffee in both hands and maintains a level gaze on Tim. A quirk of an eyebrow, a small smile tugging at the corner of her lips, she waits.

The silence has Tim shifting and he brings his coffee to his lips. "So. Yeah. And, to be honest, I'm sort of getting old for the Robin thing… aren't I?" His eyebrows draw together and he turns his gaze towards the monitors. "Plus. I don't think Damian likes me. Putting some distance seems… smart. Or something." His eyes turn downwards.

"Mmmmm, and what else aren't you saying Tim?" Oracle asks quietly. Her gaze doesn't waver, she waits for him to meet her eyes. "All reasons, but…" Another sip of the coffee and more waiting.

"But what?" Tim raises an eyebrow. "I just." He sighs. "I just…" he runs a hand through his hair. "I'm just the poor guy's Robin. You know?" He shrugs. "It's… awkward. That's all. It's awkward." With his newfound brother. Being the adopted son makes things very uncomfortable.

"Tim, I'm not sure I do know. You're thinking about giving up Robin because there are two of you and Damian might not like you? Is that the crux of it?" Oracle can be serious. Maintaining her gaze on the uncomfortable young man in front of her, she waits.

"Something like that," Tim replies although it sounds silly when she summarizes it like that. "Basically, it's confusing. Damian sort of tried to steal my girlfriend kind of. And, to be honest, I just don't know. So. Yeah. I dunk." He's gotten awfully fidgety. This is not the kind of thing he talks about with anyone. With a shrug he takes a long drink of coffee.

He swallows hard and then refocuses. Because changing topics is one of his best strategies for anything uncomfortable. "So. my friend Vorpal, you know him? There's this Oroboros circle that's surrounding him and trying to… well, kill him. They're mystics of some kind with some powers that evidently stretch beyond anything in the Titans." He lets that sink in. "I was wondering if you could do some research maybe? I don't know if Gotham library would have anything about the legend of the Cait Sidthe, but if you could look, I'd appreciate that — "

Sitting forward in her chair, Oracle focusses more on Tim if that's possible. "We can come back to that. Let's finish the first topic." She can be relentless.

She starts ticking things off on her fingers "You're a great Robin; From what I can see, Steph / Spoiler thinks you're great; For what it's worth, I like having you on my team; Batman obviously thinks your worthy;" She pauses to let that sink in

"So what if Damian doesn't like you? That's his issue not yours - don't go borrowing trouble as the saying goes. Blended families, and that's what you guys are, are never easy. You can't pick your relatives, right?"

Pushing her glasses back up her nose, she tilts her head "The best you can do, is be the best you can be. Don't try be anything other than what is true to yourself. And if that means not being Robin, than that's what it means…. but I think that answer is slightly different." Sitting back, a very solemn look on her face, she drinks the coffee.

"Am I borrowing trouble?" Tim asks quietly before sighing. "It's not just about not being liked. I just — I'm a fish out of water here. I dunno. It was easier before. I knew where I stood with things. Now I feel like I don't now where I stand with anything. Usurped. That's a good way of putting it. I feel usurped." Because that's an ordinary word used all of the time, right?

He shoots Babs a half smile before shrugging once. "I don't know why Step thinks I'm so great. She's literally seen me shot up. Hit with a purse. Smacked down." He cringes. "Honestly. I think she keeps confusing my run as Robin with Dick's." His cheeks hue red. "I think that's a common mistake."

His blue eyes shift away and then he nods. "I'll do what I can.. I'm just toying with ideas, I guess. Maybe be my own someone instead of an inherited someone." He shoots her another flicker of a smile, but it doesn't quite meet his eyes.

"Hard is the path to growth. You know 'that which does not kill us'…" and Oracle indicates her chair "'makes us stronger'. Just go with the Steph thing, so what if you don't get it - she obviously does. Have some fun and if it feels right…" and she trails off. "If you want to do something new, I'm here and I'll help. But take your time in making that decision."

"I will," Tim nods. "Just been thinking about it for awhile. Probably something not too different. But different. Not as side-kick-y." Because side-kick-y really is a word. With another smile he shrugs his shoulders. "Thanks for that, by the way. I feel like all I do is ask for advice these days. I should probably talk to Bruce about some of this at some point." Probably. He sips his coffee. "Working on anything important today?"

"Growth is good, Tim, don't be afraid of it. But it can be as scary as…." that trails "If it helps, organise something with Bruce and do it here. Not sure if I can help much there, but maybe the moral support will help" Oracle sits back "You mentioned Vorpal earlier, did you want to discuss that?" a mild look on her face.

There's a slow nod at the question. "Right," Tim forgot amongst his very teen problems. "Vorpal has this Circle of Orobos after him that wants to free the Cait Sidthe. I'm actually just asking — if you have time — whether you could do some research at Gotham library. I know you're all affiliated and such. If you don't, I can get on it. Honestly. It's magic and beings and it's weird and surreal. But with all of this metahuman stuff, the one thing I'm learning is that a lot of legend seems to have some truth. I have no idea if the Gotham library archives will have anything, but it might be worth checking out?" He shrugs. "The issue is if they release the Cait Sidthe — which is how Vorpal has his image powers, then chaos will reign on all of us. Gotham could be in bad shape." His eyebrows draw together. "So while they want to, you know, kill my friend," which really is a problem for him, "they simultaneously want to make things difficult in our city that is already kind of a crime-infested place." He shrugs. "So basically, if you have time, I'd appreciate the help. If not, I get that too."

Oracle laughs "What a long winded way to ask for help. Yes, I'll take a look and see what I can find." Oracle frowns "Never be afraid to ask me for help, Tim. The absolute worst I can do is say 'No' and is that so bad?" Oracle pins Tim with a clear look, her green eyes dancing.

"Mostly because I wanted to explain it and contextualize it a bit," Tim chuckles in return. "Thanks. For real," he nods. "And about Bruce. Thanks for that. We don't really talk about stuff. I mean. He's my mentor and my adopted dad, but we're not the people who say what's going on." Not with each other, anyways. He shoots her a lopsided grin. "And yeah, I know. I just don't always like asking." There's a pause. "I want you to meet Steph. I mean. It can be as Oracle. Batman isn't a fan of her, but she's sort of… important to me." He cheeks flush again and his blue eyes flit to the screen. "And I know it sounds weird, but Bruce, Dick, Cass, and you are my family now. So. Yeaaah." There's another pause. "I really should talk to Bruce about her." Or he can keep avoiding the issue like he has been for weeks.

As Tim talks, Oracle says nothing and maintains an impassive mask "You, all of you, are my family, so I get it. Talk to Bruce, you might be surprised. And as I said last time, Oracle wants to meet Steph / Spoiler, so set it up." Finishing her coffee, she puts the empty cup into the tray on the computer desk. "Now…. about Iceboy…. how's that going?"

Tim turns back to Oracle at the question. "Haven't gotten far on that yet. Turns out he has a public profile though with this X-Men Red thing? Bobby Drake." He raises an eyebrow. "I don't think we're related." Because they share a last name. Although, it could be possible? "Anyways, he calls himself Iceman. I haven't yet made contact, but could easily. As Robin though. Because he met Robin. And being approached by a random weird person with the same last name doesn't exactly inspire cooperation."

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