Insomnia (part 1)
Summery: This is the first in a series of oneshots about Tim dealing with insomnia in creative ways, based on the ways I’ve dealt with insomnia. I have about five of these lined out already and based on the reception I get I’ll do more. Comments, likes and reblogs are all always very appreciated! Let me know what you think!
Tim Drake was struggling.
It had been nearly an hour since Bruce had found him in the cave, still finishing up some report or another, and forced him to go to bed. He glanced over at the electronic clock that he’d been checking every few minutes for the better part of that hour.
A groan of annoyance burst through his gritted teeth, and he had to resist the urge to pick up the offending object and throw it across the room. He really didn’t keep himself up deliberately, at least not anymore, but he just couldn’t seem to break the habit of not sleeping. It’s not that he wasn’t tired, oh god he was tired, he just couldn’t make himself fall asleep.
He turned onto his back and stared up at the ceiling for as long as he could bear to, internally debating whether or not actually counting sheep would help him at this point, before glancing back at the clock.
Tim sighed in defeat. He was starting to wonder if you could die from sleep deprivation. The manor was silent, save for the quiet whirring of the ceiling fan hung above Tim’s bed, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to risk making Damian going into the living room to entertain himself with the television for a few hours.
He flicked on the light and got up, turning to look suspiciously at his bed. It seemed perfectly normal, a comforter, two decently stuffed pillows, but it had betrayed him. The floor would be better at this point.
Tim had an idea. An idea fueled by sleep deprivation, but an idea nonetheless.
He ripped the comforter off his bed and laid it in the center of his carpet, folding it in half first to maximize the padding, then grabbed his pillowed and set them down at the head. He took a step back to examine the setup. It was good… but not enough. He needed more.
He pushed up his glasses, which had slid down the bridge of his nose as some point during the assembly of his new and improved floor bed. The project required more pillows, and more blankets, which meant he was going to have to brave the potential warzone that was the stretch of hallways that separated his bedroom from Damian’s. He chewed on the corner of is lip, weighing the risks in his mind. On one hand, waking Damian at three in the morning would mean world war three. On the other hand, getting more blankets might mean he actually got a decent night’s sleep for once.
Tim decided the blankets were worth it.
The hall light was already on, which meant that he only had to dim his bedroom lights before stepping silently onto the old hardwood floors. He could see the linen closet at the end of the hall. Taunting him. He narrowed his eyes (and not just because his prescription needed to be updated and he couldn’t quite see that far). Directly between him and his target, was Damian’s bedroom, the door open just enough for Tim to see the demon child curled up in his bed, asleep.
Tim crossed his arms.
Damian turned in his sleep, as if in response to the silent insult. Tim held his breath. If Damian woke up now and saw him out here he’d be finished. Although he supposed that being dead might be somewhat restful. Tim shook his head. No. He wasn’t giving up yet. Not that easy.
He took a hesitant step forwards cringing at the creak the echoed through the manor. Damian shifted again, but still didn’t wake up, and Tim wondered bitterly how a kid raised to be a paranoid little assassin managed to sleep more soundly than he did. It wasn’t fair. He crept further down the hall, avoided the boards that he already knew couldn’t support his weight without an audible groan.
Finally, after what felt like an hour he made it. The linen closet. He opened the door and carefully selected the thickest, softest blankets and the best pillows. He was just turning to creep back to his room, when Damian’s bedroom light flickered on.
Tim ducked around the corner in a panic. He wasn’t sure what would happen if Damian saw him up, but even the best thing Tim could think of was still something he’d rather avoid.
The sound of light footsteps drifted down the hall, followed shortly after by the sound of the bathroom door opening and shutting. This was his chance. Tim looked cautiously around the corner, and after confirming that the hall was clear, he booked it, pillows and blankets tucked underneath each arm, running as quietly as he could to his room and shutting the door behind him.
He held his breath for a moment, listening, his back pressed against the door.
Nothing. Then, after a moment, the sounds of Damian returning to his room.
Tim smirked to himself at having outsmarted his smug little brother. He’d have to rub that in at some point. He dropped everything he’d carried into a pile on the floor and started to form it into some sort of a nest of blankets.
He was laying the new pillows down next to those he’d already arranged when he was startled by a knock on his door. Quickly he pushed his makeshift floor bed out of view before he opened the door a crack and looked into the hall to see a tired looking Damian glaring up at him.
“What- Damian what do you-“
The twelve-year-old put up a hand to cut him off, “Drake, the next time you decide to stomp about the manor in the middle of the night, if you wish to actually evade my detection, try not dropping your glasses outside my bedroom door.” He held up Tim’s glasses, clutched in his other hand. “Oh… yeah. Uh… thanks for giving them back.” Tim took them from him sheepishly and Damian turned on his heel to walk back to his room. Alright. So, Tim didn’t have much to gloat about. At least that interaction had been relatively painless.
He turned his attention back to the pile of blankets pushed up against his dresser, and set about arranging them back into a vaguely bed-like formation on his floor. Once he was satisfied with that, he flicked off the lights and set his glasses down on top of his clock, which now read 3:42 am. Good. Maybe there was still enough night left for him to get a good couple hours of sleep.
He laid down on the misshapen mass of pillows and cocooned himself in his bedsheet. This was decidedly less comfortable than sleeping on his bed, but after the work he’d gone through to set this up he was at least going to stick it out for a little while.
He snuggled himself into a crack between two piles of pillows and closed his eyes, hoping when he opened them next some significant amount of time would have passed. He stared at the backs of his eyelids, listening to the whir of the fan for what had to have been at least an hour, before he let himself check the clock again.
Tim gave up trying to sleep. He pulled out his tablet and started working on the case Bruce had made him leave earlier that night.
His alarm woke him up at 6:30 am. When he didn’t get up, Alfred came in to wake him at 6:45, finding him curled up in a nest of blankets in the middle of his floor.
“Master Timothy, is there any particular reason you decided to abandon your bed in favor of raiding the linen closet in the middle of the night?”
Tim poked his head out from the mass, his hair sticking out at impossible angles. “The bed failed me Al.” He said, deciding apparently, that that was sufficient explanation as he pulled the covers back over his head.
Alfred sighed and smiled fondly, “I see, well, be that as it may, it is still time for you to get up for school.”
He received only a groan in response.
“Master Tim, I really must insist that you get up, or there won’t be time for you to get ready before the bus arrives.”
Tim’s head reemerged from the nest, “What are my chances of convincing B. to let me take the day off?”
Another smile, tinged slightly with pity this time, “Slim to none I’d say”
The young insomniac sighed and slowly pulled himself out of the pile he’d used for a bed, “Alright… I’m up.” He rubbed at his eyes miserably as he shuffled over to his dresser and pulled out the slacks and dress shirt that made up his Gotham Academy uniform. “I’ll be down in a minute.”
Alfred nodded and stepped back into the hallway, “Very good.” He turned back, poking his head in the door once more before leaving Tim to get ready, “And might I suggest that returning the blankets to their proper location be your priority once you’ve returned from school?”
Tim cracked a tired smile at the elderly man, “I dunno, I was thinking of making this my bed full time, what do you think?” Alfred cocked an eyebrow in warning, and Tim put and hand up, “Just kidding Al, I’ll clean it up.”
Another nod, “Very good Master Tim. Breakfast will be ready for you downstairs once you’ve dressed.”
Tim looked down at the mess covering his floor and shook his head sadly. It was a valiant effort, he thought, but alas, a failure.
The time on the clock blinked mockingly at him: 6:47 am. He’d gotten about an hour and a half of sleep in the end.
Tim Drake was struggling.