I'm nobody! Who are you?

You're nobody, too? Don't tell! They'd banish us, you know.

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Fic: Alone
DCU, Flock, Strays
blackash26
Title: Alone
Fandom: Batman
Verse: Beloved
Characters: Tim Drake
Summary: “The gods have fallen.”

Notes: Follows Beloved, Unloved, Confused, and Lost. Also, putting this out there now. This fic is officially a case of “timeline, what timeline?” Nothing happens when it’s supposed to. Normally I’d want to at least attempt to adhere to the timeline, but in this case the story comes first.

Warning: Includes oblique and not so oblique references to non-graphic sexual abuse of a minor, parent-child incest, underage, screwed up ideas of love and intimacy. Read at your own risk. Seriously.


***

The gods have fallen.

The knowledge leaves him cold. Empty.

He did not think it was possible.

They had always stood as tall as giants in his mind.

Strong .

Powerful.

Untouchable.

Unreachable.

But the gods are dead.

Well. Not quite.

His back hurts. His legs ache. But he does not move from his perch beside the hospital bed. Not for food. Not for rest. Not for all of the First Beloved’s begging or Bruce’s orders or Alfred’s unspoken worry.

He sits there and clings to a limp hand that he knows by heart, with his eyes closed even though he cannot remember ever having held it in his hands before.

“Wake up. Wake up.” He mouths the words over and over. Praying.

Day after day.

There is nothing else left for him. Robin is dead; Bruce made sure he understood that. The only thing he has in the entire world lies unmoving in this bed.

And he just –

He’s so lonely.

He just wants to be held. Cared for. Valued.

Loved.

Is that so much to ask?

Is it too much?

He knows he doesn’t deserve it. He doesn’t deserve anything.

But. But he needs –

He needs –

No. He doesn’t need anything. He has food and water and shelter. Anything more is unnecessary. A mere want.

Selfish. He’s so selfish. Bad. This is his fault. Everything. Why couldn’t he just -

But the loneliness presses down on him, relentless and cold, like walls closing in, inch by inch until there’s nowhere left to run. No air left to breathe.

And he is afraid. So very afraid.

He’s falling apart. He can feel it happening. Feels himself fragment, bits and pieces of himself blowing away in the wind without Beloved to hold him together. He’s fading into nothingness. It’s only a matter of time before he’s completely forgotten.

All he wants is to belong to someone. Anyone.

But no one wants him. How could they?

Why does his treacherous heart always yearn for the impossible?

***

Footsteps and the sounds of voices come and go. Some loud. Some soft.

He recognizes some of the words. Words like “coma” and “stable” in clinical tones. Other words like “shock” and “grief” spoken in whispers. But the words exist without context, floating through space and time without anchor. Adrift.

It’s easier not to listen.

There was a lot of yelling the first time he came here. There always seems to be a lot of yelling in the kind house now, even before he learned that his world had ended yet again.

The First Beloved is always there. Always touching him. Not like that. No. The First Beloved has made it clear how unwanted he is. But. There are…hugs. And hair ruffles and hands on his shoulders even though he does not, cannot respond. The assaults are more confusing now than ever after he made such a fool of himself in Bruce’s study.

He doesn’t know how they can bear to look at him after the mess he made.

He’s such a bad child. So inconsiderate. He knows how busy they are. Why can’t he just stay out of their way?

He knows they only yell at each other because they want to yell at him instead. He doesn’t understand why they won’t yell at him and get it over with. He doesn’t want them to hurt each other. He isn’t worth that. He isn’t worth anything.

Sometimes he feels a prick at his neck or the corner of his arm and the darkness claims him from his vigil. He always awakens in the kind house but he cannot stay there. He cannot stand it. Cannot keep waiting for the inevitable rejection. Cannot endure being killed in pieces. First the chance to be Bruce’s Third Beloved, then Robin, and then his only chance to be Beloved again.

There is nothing left.

Nothing but faded scents, hazy memories and a hospital bed.

He clings to what he can. When he can’t go to the hospital he returns to the palacefortresstomb residence and lies curled up in his bed, eyes closed. Remembering.

He imagines big hands on his body, running over his skin. Touching him. He imagines hands in his hair and a musky taste in his mouth. Owning him. He imagines silk sheets sliding against his stomach, a heavy body pressing down on him. Claiming him.

He imagines it is dark and that he is wanted. That he is Beloved.

It is a lie. His favorite lie. But he knows the truth.

In the kind house. In his room. Beside the hospital bed.

The truth is always there, lurking on the edges of his awareness. Mocking his every action as futile.

Because it doesn’t matter what he does.

No one wants him.

He is completely and utterly alone.


  • 1

I don't know which words to use...

...to convey how hard this 'verse, this installment, have hit me.

You've found words to convey thoughts and emotions that I've never found vocabulary for, and it is wrenching and beautiful -- it will be difficult to wait for your next installment.

This is one of the most deeply *affecting* stories I have ever read.
My hat's off to you, and you have my gratitude.

Re: I don't know which words to use...

I'm honestly speechless. Which I guess is somewhat ironic.

I am deeply honored that you my words have touched you so deeply.

Thank you.

I apologize for how long it has been since the last installment, but there the new part is up although there's a long way to go until the end.

(Deleted comment)
*hugs*

It does eventually get better. That the only thing I can promise. Unfortunately it does get worse before it can get better. But it does get better. I promise.

;v; Poor Tim is so broken! Aaaah, I can't wait to see where this goes, it really tears on my heartstrings!

He is quite broken, isn't he? This fic is going to go some interesting places. The pain has only just begun.

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