Title: Summer Home
Pairing: Tiny barely there Tim/Jason
Summary: In which Tim is society’s princeling and Jason is the felon who cuts his lawn.
The Waynes had a summer home.
Outside of Gotham. Outside of skyrocketing crime rates, muggings and shootings.
It was much smaller and more intimate then the manor. It was a cottage villa by the sea with whimsical iron gates and an emerald green lawn that the groundskeepers cut to resemble argyle patterns.
The summer home had only two sitting rooms and six bedrooms, and the air smelled like hyacinths in June and hydrangeas in August, and like salt ocean all year round.
Timothy had not known about Bruce Wayne’s summer home until he’d become an honorary Wayne. Until his parents had gone to Haiti with promises to bring Timothy back rare and wonderful treasures and Timothy had instead been presented with two solid polished boxes and the promise of a life that wouldn’t be so much different than the life he’d already been living.
But it would have appeared cold and callous for Janet and Jack Drake’s friends to take no interest in their orphaned son.
Timothy had known appearances were everything so with an empire strapped to his back he’d allowed his things to be moved to the manor with low expectations.
But all that was years ago and Timothy mostly didn’t think about it anymore. He mostly didn’t think about his parents and Haiti and tragedy and dying as he lived, which was alone.
Bruce wasn’t a bad man. Not like Timothy had thought he might be. Bruce was intelligent and thoughtful for a man with a dynasty, and honestly seemed to like having children in his large echoing empty house.
Every summer Bruce and Dick and Damian would escape to the sea. And now Tim would come with them, and they would stay for one whole month in a small town where Bruce Wayne’s largeness seemed far away and unimportant.
They would come when the small town had their yearly fair and Ferris wheels and streaming pennants decorated the town square. They would come and cover their fingertips with sugared cinnamon and cotton candy wisps and they would forget what it was like to be heirs to their respective kingdoms.
Timothy liked the summer home by the sea.
In the summer home by the sea Timothy didn’t have to be brilliant and cutting.
In the summer home by the sea Timothy could curl into a chair in the first sitting room and live another life through the pages of a book for days at a time.
The summer home by the sea reshaped Timothy and Dick and Bruce and Damian. It erased the bruises under their eyes and the tightness in their mouths. It loosened them for laughter and to languish and it softened them and let them melt together.
In the summer home by the sea Dick made jokes that Timothy actually laughed at.
In the summer home by the sea Damian kept kittens in a basket in the mudroom and fed them carefully with doting hands.
In the summer home by the sea Bruce gathered them all together at breakfast and slipped them tiny sums of money to go to the fair. And they pretended that the twenties in their pockets were all the money in the world and they stretched them as far as they could.
In the summer home by the sea Timothy Drake met Jason Todd, and his life became very different.
In the summer home by the sea Timothy Drake’s life changed.
Jason Todd lived in a town by the sea. He only lived there recently. Before that he lived surrounded by the sea in a place with tall stone fences and barbed wire tips.
But Jason Todd did not live there anymore.
Jason Todd was eighteen and they had to let him go.
So Jason Todd chose a town by the sea because he was used to falling asleep to the sounds of waves crashing.
Jason lived in a little apartment in the town by the sea and slept with the windows open so he could hear the ocean, and Jason sat on his cramped balcony with his cigarettes and his one broken lawn chair and watched the tide.
Jason woke at seven in the morning because it was a part of him now to do so and would have cigarettes and coffee for breakfast.
Then Jason would pick up his tool box and check his phone and go do some work so he could have coffee and cigarettes for breakfast and a little apartment by the sea.
When Jason fixed their fences and doors and windows and cut their lawns and pruned their bushes he would hear what they had to say about him. When Jason cleaned their gutters they would call him a felon behind his back.
They didn’t know they weren’t wrong.
Jason looked bad. Jason looked dangerous. Jason had spent two years watching his back and looking over his shoulder and being stronger than people who wanted to hurt him. Jason had strange hair with that bit of white in it and Jason didn’t talk like you were supposed to in the town by the sea.
Jason was a good worker though. The people in the town by the sea may only guess at where Jason came from. But they knew for a fact that Jason was a good worker. So they called Jason and gave Jason money to do the things they didn’t know how to do.
Jason didn’t need a lot to stay alive. So Jason took their money and paid for his things and folded up twenties very small and slipped them into a box under the floorboard. Jason didn’t touch the money in the floorboard. Even when he was hungry. Even when he was out of cigarettes.
When Jason was hungry he picked up his toolbox. When Jason was out of cigarettes, he went to work.
Jason didn’t know what he was saving for.
Jason was probably saving for the person he might be in a few years.
That guy would probably need all the help he could get.
Timothy was curled in a chair behind the summer house by the sea under an umbrella with Voltaire for company when Jason Todd cut the lawn.
Timothy didn’t look up at the guttural gasoline roar of the riding lawn mower. Timothy didn’t let it stir him from his absorption in the text in his hands.
But with the scent of newly cut grass shavings that wafted towards him Timothy also caught the acrid scent of cigarettes and his head jerked up.
Timothy hadn’t smelled cigarettes like that since before Haiti and before the polished wood boxes.
They said that scent memory was the strongest memory, and when Timothy smelled his mother’s cigarettes on the lawn of the summer house beside the sea he had to agree. It wrapped it’s hands around his throat and yanked him back into memories he hadn’t asked to relive. Memories of a woman with a straight spine and cold eyes. Memories of more disappointments than exaltations.
But when the memories cleared away all Timothy was left with was Jason. He didn’t know this man’s name but it was Jason all the same. Jason was cutting the lawn and his broad back was scarred and hunched and bare. Jason’s tshirt was tugged through the steering wheel of the mower and knotted there.
Because it was a warm day.
Jason was as far from his mother as he could get.
Timothy watched Jason cut the lawn.
Jason smoked four more cigarettes before he was done.
Jason was perched on the roof when he noticed the narrowed blue eyes trapped behind a pane of glass watching him. Jason was cleaning out the gutters with a trowel and a bucket and when he noticed the eyes they didn’t look away. They held his gaze calmly and without apology.
Jason went back to cleaning the gutters.
He had smoked three cigarettes by the time the pale face and blue eyes disappeared from the window.
And Jason didn’t think about them again that day.
Timothy wasn’t supposed to be in the summer home by the sea that year. Not really. But Timothy hadn’t wanted to miss the Ferris Wheels and pennants and cotton candy cinnamon sugar treats.
This year Timothy hadn’t been able to stay away even when his friends asked him to go on an adventure.
Before Bruce Timothy hadn’t had any friends, and now after he had many friends. He had Conner, who was strong and brave and sweet. He had Bart who was clever and quick and sly. He had Stephanie who was diabolical but only used her powers for good.
Timothy had friends.
And while Timothy was at the summer house by the sea, his friends were across that same ocean. They had backpacks and wrinkled roadmaps with coffee stains. They were seeing the world.
Timothy wanted to be with them but he couldn’t, not yet.
After the month in the summer home by the sea, Timothy would go to them. He would meet them in Prague.
There was still a month left of summer for adventures.
The summer home by the sea was the only place where Bruce and Tim and Damian and Dick could be themselves. it was the only place they could finally just be a family. Timothy did not want to wait an entire other year for that. So he’d stayed.
It was only a month.
Notes: I’ve been playing with this off and on for about three weeks? Not sure I’ll be continuing it, though I do know where it will go if I do. It’s kind of the season for a story like this so I couldn’t help trying my hand. It’s nice to just sit and write without knowing exactly where you’re going to end up sometimes.
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