Pssst. If you're still looking for Timmy prompts, I'm a sucker for sick!Tim. Bonus if he's in "work 'till I drop" mode. And actually collapses before anyone really puts together what's up with him.
I feel like this isn’t quite what you were hoping for, but I tried? Uni is stressing me out a bit at the moment and as a result I’m in a bit of a creative slump so this is a lot shorter than I would have liked and probably terrible but oh well at least it’s finally posted.
Probably set either not too long after Bruce adopts Tim or while his dad is in a coma.
He can hear Tim’s voice arguing with someone when he arrives at the front office, which is reassuring. Or maybe not so much, because Tim tends to get more snappish and argumentative when he’s not alright. Bruce takes a second to school his features into something resembling neutrality - if too much concern leaks through, Tim will either retreat into himself or lash out at him as well, both of which would be counterproductive - without looking disinterested and pushes the door open to step inside.
Tim’s eyes are wide when they latch onto him, shimmering with frustration that nobody believes his claims that he’s fine. He opens his mouth - presumably to protest being taken home - but the school receptionist gets in first with a relieved, “Mr Wayne, thank you for coming.”
“Of course,“ Bruce says. He sits down next to Tim, looking him over. He doesn’t like what he sees; too pale, dark smudges under his eyes, cheeks tinted pink, a slight squint as he tries to glare past the headache pounding behind his eyes.
“They told me you passed out. How do you feel?”
Tim lifts a hand to scrub at his eyes, prickling with heat beneath the sheen of exhausted tears he’s trying desperately to keep at bay. "I didn’t pass out,” he protests. “Just got a little dizzy ’s all.”
“That’s not the bit that was a question, Tim,” Bruce says firmly. He catches Tim’s hand and pulls it away from his face, pressing his own knuckles to his cheek to gauge how high his fever is. “And I expect an honest answer.”
Tim huffs, but he leans into Bruce’s touch, eyes closing as he admits in a whisper, “Not fantastic.”
It’s an understatement if Bruce has ever heard one, but it’s better than nothing.
Despite how exhausted he clearly looks, his pulse is racing when Bruce presses two fingers against the point beneath his jaw. Bruce frowns. “How much coffee have you had today?”
“I couldn’t miss school, B.”
“Tim. How many cups?”
“Four? Five? I dunno.” Tim leans a little more heavily against him. “Everything’s… hazy. ’S moving too fast.”
Way too much coffee and not enough sleep then. A bad enough combination on its own, but when he seems to be coming down with something as well…
“Okay. Let’s get you home and into bed.”
Bruce stands up and pulls Tim to his feet as well. The teen sways slightly and Bruce tucks him against his side, an arm around his shoulders for support. “It’s alright, I’ve got you.”
Tim’s eyes are focused on putting one foot in front of the other but he tilts his head enough that Bruce can see a smile playing over his lips. “I know,” he replies quietly, then adds almost to himself, “’S weird being picked up by a parent.”
Bruce’s heart clenches. Tim is clearly out of it, or he’d never let even that small detail about his crappy childhood slip out. He wonders how often Tim battled through school with a fever because nobody was at home to take care of him, or how often he felt a spark of hope when someone was called to pick him up, only for it to be crushed out when it was just one of his many nannies. Tim stumbles going down the front steps of the school and Bruce automatically hugs him a little tighter. He makes a vow to himself, as Tim smiles gratefully, open and lopsided with exhaustion and fever, that he’s going to be here for this kid more than he has been, make sure he knows that he’s loved and wanted no matter what. Starting with taking him home and letting Alfred fuss over him.