29. "I'm here if you need to talk" Tim and Dick!
When Tim knocks on Dick’s bedroom door at three in the morning, he isn’t sure exactly why he’s here and not in his own room. But his body has a mind of its own and he peeks into the room to see Dick groggily blinking awake.
“Tim?” Dick asks, his words still slurred with sleep. “What’s going on?”
Tim opens his mouth to say, nothing, or I don’t know why I’m here, or even, I was just checking up on you, but nothing comes out, and Tim just stands there looking like an idiot. Dick seems to understand, though, and he sits up and holds the blankets up.
“Come cuddle with me, Timmy,” Dick says, a small smile on his face, but it looks sad, too. Tim takes a step forward and then another, and before he can stop himself, he’s slipping underneath the covers. Dick wraps an arm around him and pulls Tim closer to his warmth. Tim lets him, still not exactly sure why he’s here.
And they lie there in the dark and quiet for a while. It’s nice, Tim thinks. Something that’s heavy and terrible starts to dissolve, and bit by bit, he relaxes in his brother’s arms.
“You know,” Dick says into the dark room, “I’m always here if you need to talk. Or cuddle. Or hug.”
Tim cracks a small smile, and he’s glad Dick can’t see it right now. “I know.”
“Do you want to talk about whatever’s bothering you?”
The smile slips, and Tim thinks about tonight. About his building insecurities and the weight that’s growing on everybody’s shoulders—not just Tim’s. About how Dick always tries to be there for everybody else, but ends up taking on weight he’s not prepared to deal with.
And then Tim thinks about how this whole family always seems to go to Dick when things get tough, and how Dick will happily welcome them each and every time, no matter how many times he ends up falling apart because of it.
And Tim, well, he’s already a burden. He doesn’t want to be Dick’s burden. The reason that his brother ends up shattering into a million pieces because he took on too much weight.
So Tim opens his mouth and forces out a whispered, “Not tonight. For now, can I just sleep here?”
“Of course,” Dick says, pulling him even closer. “Always, Tim.”