Disclaimer: DC owns Batverse and characters, the bear is a product of Charlene’s Delightful Mind, 5 year old version of Timmy comes from Charlene, Susie and Rea. Charlene tells me this part of her official Timmyverse. I believe her ‘cause she uses Lawyer mind tricks if you don’t. ;)
Rating: G – There’s a lot of awwwww Geeee with just a hint of witch.
Synopsis: 5-year-old Timmy has a bad day and needs a little help.
Thanks to Charlene for the use of her ‘verse, *hands back very gently and dusts it off* I hope it isn’t dry clean only, beta’ing and allowing me to use some of IM sessions. (SEEEEEE, It really is all her fault!!!)
For Robin. She said she needed cuddly wittle Timmy because of her absolutely rotten Monday two weeks ago when her job went away. This is her virtual cuddly to make her feel better.
Timmy backed up on his tippy toes until his bottom hit the edge of the black rubber seat of the swing. He grasped Mr. Bear’s soft furry body under his chin and pinned his friend to his chest. Entwining his little fingers in the chains attached to the swing, he hopped up, then scooted back on swing and smiled broadly.
The other kids had told him he was too small to swing on the big kid swings, but he showed them. Actually, they had called him a baby and told him to go play in the sandbox. But he didn’t cry and he didn’t go to the sandbox. He was a big kid. Dick said so. Therefore, it was true. He smiled brightly when he realized that he could tell Dick about his triumph with the swings. The black rubber seat bowed under his weight, so his toes reached the ground. Now, all he had to do was stand on his toes and push off a little.
Timmy pushed off, but didn’t seem to swing very high up. However, he wasn’t worried. He had carefully watched the others that didn’t have someone to push them. They would push off and then lean back and forth. He needed to go high, so he could look in the trees and find Grams. She was at Forest Park. He was at the park and opposite the swing was a forest. He just knew that one of these times he was swinging up, he would see her. However, the rush of achievement soon made him forget.
Before long, he was swinging and grinning. He had done it all by himself. He just knew that Daddy would be so proud of him. He wouldn’t say anything, of course, but he knew Daddy would think this was great! Because it was the best! He couldn’t wait to tell Dick and Bruce about it. They always smiled and said things that made him feel all warm. Well, Dick did. Bruce said nice things, but didn’t smile very much. Mother said they were just being nice, but that was okay. They were nice people.
He smiled again as the breeze ruffled his hair. He looked at Mr. Bear clutched in one of his tiny hands, which also held the chain. He repositioned his hand to make his bear more comfortable. His head nodded appreciatively in response to Timmy’s repositioning. Mr. Bear smiled back at him. He was nice people, too.
Of course, they didn’t swing as high as the kids that had someone to push them, but... he really didn’t have anyone right now.
On his next upswing, he glanced over to the tables where the Gotham Ladies Garden Society had set up. He couldn’t go back over there for a LOT of reasons. Not the least of which was the microphone thingy that squealed at him. He only touched one button and then it... it... screamed. Miss Garden Club Lady said that he was a new cents and Mommy had frowned. Even when he added the MISS to Garden Club Lady like Mommy said he was supposed to, she still wasn’t happy with him. She said that-- He shook his head. He wasn’t going to think about what else she said to Momm... Mother when he had started to walk away. He didn’t think he was THAT bad. Besides, Mommy... no... Mother, he was supposed to call her Mother. Mother was busy with her friends. He wanted her to be happy with her friends like he was when Dick played with him.
He smiled at Mr. Bear when he thought about Dick. He was going to be so impressed at what he had done. Maybe he’d show him some of his circus tricks now that he was swinging. Of course, he would NEVER be as good as Dick, ‘cause no one was. But he bet that he could be a performer. He was sure that he could perform after Dick did his stuff.
Timmy grinned broadly and swung his legs as he leaned forward and back, the Garden Club Lady totally forgotten. He could just hear the man with the funny hat at the circus announcing him. “Laaaaadies and gentlemen, the one... the only... Timothy Drake, champion swinger with his bestest swinging buddy of Mr. Bear--”
He had just swung back, when Mr. Bear lost his hold.
“No!” Timmy grabbed frantically for his friend. He managed to get a hold of him, but he returned his hand too late to the side of the swing. The swing swung off kilter into the swing next to him. The chains clanged together and his swing stopped moving forward, but unfortunately he kept moving forward.
He flew out of the swing and impacted the packed playground dirt with a skid. A pant leg tore and buttons popped as he came to rest on the rough ground. A lump pressed against his chest as he slowly pushed himself up. He was breathing heavily as pain from his skinned knee and abrasions on his palms caused tears to roll down his dirty cheeks.
Sitting up slowly, he looked at his scratched hands. Tiny streaks of blood welled up from the scratches. He pulled at the gaping hole in his torn jeans to see a bloody knee. His knee was burned and when he moved it, it hurt worse. A lot worse. He was in trouble now, especially when Mommy saw the new shirt. He pulled at the torn button holes and fingered the ripped pocket. A lot of trouble. Sighing he turned and to see what the lump was that he was lying on. It was Mr. Bear.
“Mr. Bear! Mr. Bear are you okay?” He turned over his friend and nearly stopped breathing. The bear was in pieces. His head seam was open and stuffing was sticking out. One of the stubby arms was missing and more stuffing floated to the ground. His chest heaved as tears started to flow. Gently stroking the dirty soft brown fur, he spoke, his voice was barely above a whisper, “Oh, Mr... Mr. Bear... what haf I done?”
Standing, he turned quickly looking around him for the bear’s missing appendage. He didn’t feel his knee or his hands anymore. He didn’t care about his torn clothes. He needed to find all of Mr. Bear. He had to help his friend.
Sniffling, he finally turned and looked back at the swings. In the tangled chains of the swings was Mr. Bear’s missing arm. Timmy ran with a limp to the swings. He carefully placed his injured buddy on the ground, patted the stuffed animal’s chest and spoke softly, “It’ll be okay, Mr. Bear. Pwomise.” He held up his dirty bleeding hand and crossed his heart so Mr. Bear could see he was serious. He hoped that he wasn’t lying. That was trouble enough, but to hurt Mr. Bear more and think he wouldn’t be okay was so much worse.
He looked at the swings, which had betrayed him and hurt his friend. He didn’t like the swings anymore. He hated the swings. They were mean.
He moved closer to the swings and the small stubby arm trapped in their stupid chains. Standing on his tiptoes again, he tugged on the chains of the swing. His hands slipped because of the dirt and blood on them and the unmoving chains. Tears flowed as he cried under his breath and hit the seat of the swings with one small hand. He had hurt Mr. Bear and now he wasn’t strong enough to get his friend’s arm back. He didn’t know much, but he did know that you couldn’t fix something without all the pieces like Mommy’s Tip... Tifra... Tiffan... her pretty lamp with all of the pretty glass that fell ALL BY ITSELF and-– One of the chains he was tugging on slipped and the small bear’s arm fell to the ground. He grabbed the arm, pulled it to his chest and then began to pick up the loose stuffing that had floated down to the ground.
Untucking what was left of his shirt, he gathered up the pieces of Mr. Bear and the loose stuffing in the folds of the fabric. He hugged the pieces to him and again, promised that ‘it would be okay’ as he hurried across the open ground toward the tent thingy where Garden Club was.
He searched through the too tall women looking for his Mommy. Mommy had told him to be quiet and good. So, he was looking around, trying not to shout or make to much noise. He needed Mommy to help him fix Mr. Bear, so he was going to be good so she would. He knew she could, because she was awfully smart about fixing what he messed up. She had to do that all the time. He wished he could figure out how to be good like she wanted him to be.
He moved by another table and Mr. Bear lost his arm again. Tim carefully knelt to pick it up, but Mr. Bear lost his grip and fell on to the grass. As he moved to pick up the pieces, two of the garden ladies walked by and stepped on them. They didn’t even notice until he yelled. “Watch out!”
When they turned and glared at him, he realized he had shouted and spoke in a softer voice, “’Scuse me. It’s ...it’s jus’ ya were steppin’ on my friend. ‘M sorry.” The women continued to stare as he tried to gather the pieces.
As they turned to walk away, Tim could just hear them, “Poor Janet! He’s so high strung, just bad through and through. What she has to put up with.”
The other women nodded and looked back, “Caroline’s right, a nuisance. Look how dirty he’s gotten. He’s ruined his clothes. I don’t envy Janet having to deal with that little heathen.”
The woman walked off, leaving Timmy to grab all the pieces up. His breath was now hiccupping gasps as more tears rolled down his reddened dirty cheeks. He couldn’t hold all of Mr. Bear in his shirt and parts of him kept falling on to the ground. He couldn’t find his Mommy. People kept stepping on parts of Mr. Bear. And now, those ladies thought he was awful. He shook his head as more tears fell, leaving tiny tear tracks through the dirt on his face.
When he finally managed to get all the pieces and stand, he was facing an overflowing trash container. At the edge, he saw an empty paper bag. He glanced down at Mr. Bear, who was loosing his stuffing and then back at the bag. If he could get Mr. Bear in a bag, it would be much easier to look for Mommy and she’d be able to fix him quicker because all the pieces would be there.
Moving over to the nearest linen covered table, he spoke softly to Mr. Bear, “’m gonna get sumthin’ to help us. I’ll be right back.” He gently laid Mr. Bear pieces on the table nearest to him and ran toward the trash. Still limping, he was breathing heavily when he reached it. The trashcan was well outside of the white tent thingy that the Garden Club had brought, so he kept throwing glances over his shoulder at the table where Mr. Bear was.
Tim wrinkled his noise in disgust. It smelled and he thought the heat might be making it worse. The closer he got to the trash the worse the smell and there were flies. He swatted them away from his face and concentrated on getting the bag. It looked almost clean, unlike most of the other food stained containers. As he reached down for the folded bag lying beside the can, he froze. Something had ran across his foot. Taking a deep breath, he looked down to see a rat retreating from his foot. He gasped and jerked his hand back.
He took a step backwards and peered into the trash, following the rat’s movement. He heard the crinkle of paper and saw a fast food container move. He’d never seen a rat close up and he didn’t want to see another one... EVER and it had... it had been on his foot. His whole body shuddered as he thought about the rodent touching his tennis shoes. He almost ran away, but a glance back at Mr. Bear, gave him strength. He had to be brave like Dick was. Dick wouldn’t let him down and he did brave things like the quak... quar... the four flip thingy. He could do this. He did stuff by himself all the time.
Tim took a deep breath and gagged. After he finished coughing, he tried again and then slowly moved forward. Something crinkled in the trash and he froze with one hand outstretched. He waited a few seconds and then moved forward again. Reaching down, his hand touched the bag. He sighed with relief and closed his dirty fingers around the white folded bag.
He smiled. A noise from the direction of the Garden Club caused him to glance back over his shoulder to check on Mr. Bear. Just as he straightened up, he felt something on his hand. Wide blue eyes turned back to stare at a large rat moving across his hand. No, not a rat, a small dog. Tim thought it was huge and he was sure it had glowing eyes, big sharp teeth and... and it was touching him!
Tim screamed and the rat squealed. Both boy and rodent moved quickly away. Bag still in hand, he stumbled backwards hitting the ground, but still kept scooting away. His eyes never left the trash. He just knew that any second the rat would come out of the thrown away stuff and pull him in.
Finally, he stood up, turned and ran as fast as his limping knee would let him back to the table. The whole time he ran away, he swore he could hear the crinkle of the trash and the rat gaining on him. When he reached the table, he moved Mr. Bear, so he could make sure that he could see the trash at all times.
The bag was large and mostly clean. He took one of the linen napkins and wiped over the bag and then grabbed another one. He tried to wrap it around Mr. Bear to keep him warm. He spoke softly, “This’ll keep ya warm, so ya won’t get sick. It’ll be okay. There won’t be any rats in here.” Very gently, he eased the napkin covered bear into the bag. Now, he could carry all of him. Before closing the bag, he peered down into it. “I know ya’re scared. ‘m a little scared, too. But Mom... Mother will help. It’ll be okay. Jus’... Jus hang on. ‘kay?”
Timmy picked up the bag and held it tight against his chest. He ignored the strained looks from the other women as he started calling for his mother. His voice started out low, but as his frustration at his inability to find his mother grew, his voice rose. He had tried to be quiet, but that didn’t help at all and he needed help NOW! Occasionally, one of the other women would try to stop him, but he had a mission. He didn’t want their help, he wanted his Mommy!
Moving around a table and dodging one of the well-meaning Garden Club Ladies, he could see his mother at the table in front of everyone else. She was just finishing using the microphone thingy and people were clapping. He frowned she couldn’t hear him, so he made sure she could. He screamed at the top of his lungs, “MOMMMIEEEEE!!!”
The crowd of women went quiet and they all stared at him. He didn’t care, he had found his mother and she was going to make everything better. Of course, when he saw the frown on her face, he thought she might maybe care a little bit. Still he hurriedly limped forward.
“Timothy! What are you doing? Can't you see that I'm busy, that I'm talking and--” She stopped mid sentence and looked at him. She snapped her open mouth shut, smiled at the woman next to her, and mumbled an apology as she dropped the linen napkin on her luncheon setting. She moved quickly over to him with as much grace as she could manage. “What on earth has happened to you? Look at your clothes!”
“It was the swings! They attacked us!! They’re mean... and... and... MOMMIEEE, MR. BEAR!!!” Tim held the bag up as high as he could and opened it, “He needs help. You gotta help him Mommy, Please!!”
“Timothy, stop that shouting this instant. You know you’re supposed to speak quietly around adults and--” She moved the bag aside and spoke very softly to him, “What are you supposed to call me?”
He looked up and sniffled. He was bad again. “’m sorry, Momm... Mother. But Mis’er Bear is hurt awful bad ‘n... ‘n jus’ cus I messed up he shouldn’t be hurt. You gotta help him!”
Janet sighed and looked into the bag, “Timothy! Really!” She shut the bag and pushed it back down to his level. Tim pulled the bag to his chest and watched her turn to the really mean Garden Club Lady who didn’t like him even when he added Miss like he was supposed to and who had that funny sour look on her face like she had some of that nasty syrup that Mrs. Mac gave him when he was sick. “I'm going to have to take him home, he's a mess. I'll see you at the charity ball committee meeting this afternoon.”
She grabbed his hand and started to pull him toward the car. “Honestly, I can’t take you anywhere without you misbehaving. You can be a little nuisance at times. I told you to behave and that I was going to be busy. Don't you listen?”
Tim limped along as she pulled him toward the car, “I list'n... it wasn't my fault. The swings attacked us. Mommy--” At her glare, he tried again, “Mother, Mis’ser Bear is in a bad way... what's a new cents?”
“You.” Reaching the car, she opened the door. She slid him into the hot leather child seat and buckled him up. “Let me throw this away. It’s trash now. We’ll get another one some other time, when you’re actually good and don’t cause trouble.”
“NOOOOO!!! It's Mr. BEAR!!! NOOOO, he's not trash. MOMMMMIEEEE! NOOOOO!” Timmy clutched at the bag, he heard it tear but he wasn’t going to let go. She didn’t understand that it was Mr. Bear in there. You couldn’t get another Mr. Bear. There was only one.
She released the bag and frowned, “Oh for heaven’s sake! All right, you can keep the dirty old thing. I’ll never understand why your Grandmother thought you needed it. Just don't scream like that; you'll give me a migraine.” She slammed the black BMW door and pulled her cell phone out. Standing outside of the car, she dialed Jack’s number.
Tim ignored how hot the car was, he needed to let Mr. Bear know that it was okay. He sniffled quietly and wiped his nose on his sleeve before whispering softly, “She... she didn't mean that Mr. Bear... it'll be o'kay. I wuz bad and she’s a little upset that’s all. If I’m quiet, it’ll be okay. You’ll see, she’ll fix you.”
After a few minutes, the driver’s door opened and Janet slid in. She tossed the cell phone down and mumbled about Jack. Mocking the secretary she continued talking to no one, “I’m sorry he’s in a meeting.” Catching Tim’s eye in the rearview mirror as she started the car and turned on the air, she spoke to him, “Well, he can just get out of his meeting. He needs to help me and not be tied up at work all the time.”
“’m goin’ to see Daddy at work?” Tim asked softly in his best quiet around adult tones.
“What? ...Yes, that’s an excellent idea. You’re going to see Daddy at work.” She grinned and started the car, “Let’s see him ignore this.”
Tim smiled. He never got to go to Daddy’s work like Dick got to go to Bruce’s. Of course, Dick was good so that helped. Tim bent his head over the bag and opened it again, “Daddy is really, really smart. He’ll know what to do.”
Janet stopped at a stop sign and looked back at him. “You’re filthy and your clothes are a mess... we'll have to throw them away. Honestly, I can't believe you did this knowing I was at an important meeting. You went to the swings after I told you that you were too small for them. Didn't you?”
”Yes ma'am... but I did swing... I jus' sorta fell when they attacked. But I showed the older kids, too. They didn't think I could do it but I did!” Tim smiled a big toothy smile at her.
“Yes, you did. AND look at the mess you've made! I had to leave my meeting and now I have to drive all the way across town to get you clothes before you can go to your father’s.”
Timmy’s smile faltered and then fell away, “’m sorry. I jus’ wanted to swing like Dick does.”
Janet rolled her eyes, “Oh yes, that’s the behavior I want you to imitate.”
Timmy smiled broadly, “Yeah, he’s the bestest. He can do a quatr... quod... a four flip thingy on the swing thing. He can walk on his hand ‘nd his not scared of nuthin’. He’s smart, too. He can make the clock on the tape machine stop flashin’ too.”
“What are you talking about?” Janet stopped at a stop light and impatiently drummed her fingers on the black leather steering wheel.
“All the clocks that blink twelve at our house all the time--“
“Timothy! I don’t want to hear about the VCR clocks. Just sit there and be quiet.” The car jumped forward as the light barely turned green. “Why did Mrs. Mac have to go to the doctor today?”
“Momm... Mother can we take Mis’er Bear to the docktor?”
Janet rolled her eyes again and gripped the steering wheel, “Timothy, I don’t want to hear anymore about--” The ringing of her cellphone stopped her. Grabbing the phone, she looked at the caller ID and then looked into the rearview mirror at Tim, “I want you to be quiet while I’m on the phone with your father.” Tim nodded and held his hand over his mouth.
“FINALLY... What’s wrong? YOUR son interrupted my meeting! He fell and ruined his clothes. Now, I have to take him home and tend to him--... Not a good time? When is it a good time, Jack? You’re always working and I’m always stuck with him. He’s constantly causing trouble... he doesn't listen. Mrs. Mac had to go to the doctor and I have a charity ball meeting.”
Timmy’s excited young voice interrupted, “Mommy!”
“Hush, Timothy! Mother’s on the phone.” Janet put the phone back up to her ear and listened for a moment, “I can’t take care of him... Oh, that’s just brilliant Jack. Are you stupid or what? I can’t send him to his room and leave him by himself. He’s only five or have you forgotten that? ...He would be alone, because I’ve got an important--”
“STOP! We hafe ta stop... there's the hospital... MOMMMMIEEE the hospital!!” Timmy gestured to the buildings they were passing. He knew it was a hospital. It’s where the ambulance took Grams to be fixed when she was broken. Mrs. Mac had pointed it out to him and told him about Grams.
“Timothy! BE QUIET! You do not need a hospital!” She started to speak to Jack again, “I don’t know what he wanted. He always wants something--”
“MOMMMMMMIE!! Go back, Mis’er Bear needs the ‘mergency room! He needs help NOW!!”
“Hold on Jack!” Janet pulled the car over to the curb and turned back to Tim, “Now you listen to me. I don’t want to hear one more word about that dirty old thing. Not one word. If you can’t keep quiet about it, I’ll throw it out the window. So, you sit back there and be quiet. Do. You. Understand?”
Tim’s eyes grew huge as he clutched the paper bag to his chest with a loud crinkle. “Y-Yes, Ma’am.”
Janet turned back around and caught his eye in the mirror, “Not one more sound.”
Timmy nodded and he bit his bottom lip to stop from crying. He opened the bag, mouthed the word “sorry” to its occupant and hugged the bag to his chest.
At the loud crinkling sound, Janet paused before pulling out again, “Stop making noise with that bag.” She swerved out into traffic and picked back up the phone. “He’s being difficult, AGAIN... What I WANT you to do, Jack, is take care of him. I’m bringing him to you. ...Oh there’s a surprise. Well, you’re just going to have to take care of him... Just because this is volunteer work, doesn’t mean it isn’t important. ...That’s what it sounds like you’re saying. Let me tell you something, Jack. It is important and people are counting on me... He’s bleeding... just scrapes, but that’s not the point. You have to spend time with your son... My work is REAL work too! JACK, you listen... Wait a second, I know... Yeah, whatever Jack. I’m calling Wayne Manor and see if they can watch him. Thanks for nothing.”
Janet stopped at a stoplight and paged through the directory on her phone. The light changed and cars began to honk, “Come on... come on. Hold on, just a second!”
“Mommy, the cars are honkin’ at you.” Tim supplied helpfully.
“I know that!” Janet snapped and Tim dropped his head.
As Janet dialed the phone again, Tim looked down into the bag again and whispered, “She’s not mad at you. I messed up ‘gain. It’s not your fault. It’ll be okay. ‘m sorry, I wuz bad. I made noise ‘n Mommy’s mad at Daddy ‘cuz I wuz bad.” Sniffling, he continued softly, “I made ‘em argue ‘gain. But it’ll be ‘kay you’ll see. You didn’t do anythin’ wrong.” He carefully closed the bag back while his mother talked to someone.
“I know it’s late notice, but this day has just been awful... He had an accident at the park... Oh he’s fine. Just some bleeding, nothing major. ...No, no doctor needed--”
Before Tim could stop himself, he blurted out, “BUT Mommmie, Mis’er Bear needs a docktor!”
“TIMOTHY, what did I say?” Tim gulped as his mother continued, “He’s been a little difficult today. His fall tore his clothing. Do you have extra clothes? ...Great, I’ll be there in fifteen minutes... I’ll pick him up later this afternoon... Really, are you sure? He is being difficult today... Oh that would be a Godsend! He’s already given me a migraine and it isn’t even after noon yet! If I didn’t have to face dealing with him this evening, I know I could get it under control. ...I think you’re right, sending him to his room or a room would be best... I hate to impose on you again, but if you could please detach him from the pieces of his bear and throw that thing away I would be eternally grateful--“
”NOOOO!! MOMMMIEEE, it’s my fault... not Mis'er Bear’s. Please don't throw him away.”
“TIMOTHY!” Janet glared back in the mirror to the backseat and his shoulder’s slumped and jerked as he cried. “See what I mean. He’s all out of sorts.”
Tim rocked back and forth in his seat and whispered, “'m difficult... 'm bad like the Garden Club Lady said ...bad all the way through.” Carefully he hugged the bag to his chest, “Don't hate me Mis'er Bear, pweeeaaasssseee.”
”--Thank you Mr. Pennyworth. I’ll see you then.”
Tim looked up at the name and spoke softly, “Momm... Mother is that... is that Alfie?”
“Yes. It is MR. Pennyworth. You’re going over to Wayne Manor and you’ll spend the night there. You mind your manners while you're there. You are to call Mr. Wayne, Mr. Wayne young man. I don't want them thinking I've raised a heathen.”
“But... but... Bruc-Mr. Wayne said to call him Bruce.”
“He’s just being polite. You will call him Mr. Wayne and obey. Do you understand?”
Timmy sniffled and nodded. When his mother’s irritated, “Answer me.” came, Timmy realized she couldn’t hear his nod, so he sniffled out, “Yes, Ma'am. I won't be a heafen... what's a hehphen?”
“Someone with no manners and who doesn’t know how to act in polite society.”
“Oh.” Timmy laid his head back before sighing, “I unnerstand... I’m a heefen and bein’ polite means to lie.”
Janet rubbed her temple, “Timothy, you're giving me a migraine. Hush.”
The rest of the ride was quiet until she parked in the driveway of Wayne Manor. She slid hurriedly out of the car and jerked the back door open. Pulling Tim from the child seat, she began giving him instructions, “Now, you mind Mr. Wayne and Mr. Pennyworth and don't cause them any trouble, do you understand? Now come on, I don't want to be late for my meeting.” Grabbing his tiny hand, she quickly moved up the stairs to the entrance.
“Owwwwieee Moommmmieee my knee!!”
Janet stopped and turned at his cry. She looked down at his brimming eyes and spoke softly for the first time that afternoon. “Timmy? Oh... uh... it's going to be okay.” Straightening she rang the doorbell and then bent back down. She gently ran her fingers through his hair to try to straighten it and wiped at his tears. She left streaks in the dirt on his face. “It'll be ok.”
Tim beamed a smile back at her as she straightened up.
“That's my handsome good boy. I knew you were in there.” She smiled down at him.
Timmy nodded and thought that when his Mommy smiled, she was the prettiest woman in the whole wide world. He moved forward to hug her white silk covered leg with his dirt-smudged hands.
She jerked away from him. “Oh Timothy don't do that, I'll get dirty.”
He stopped and stepped further back. “Sorry, Mom... Mother.” He smiled up at her again.
Janet rewarded him with a smile and turned as the door opened, “Mr. Pennyworth, thank goodness.”
”Mrs. Drake and hello, Master Timothy,” Alfred spoke and reached out for the child’s hand.
Tim gave him a great big smile, moving to hug his pant leg but stopped, “How do you do Mr. Pennyworth.”
“I am fine, but I see we've had a bit of a rough day, but not to worry everything will be taken care of.” Alfred patted the small head and looked at Janet.
“Mr. Pennyworth, I have to run. Thank you for everything. You shouldn’t have any problems with him.” She looked straight into his eyes and spoke very slowly. “He’s promised to be nice and polite. Right Timothy?”
Tim nodded his head solemnly, “Uh-huh. I mean... I mean yes, ma’am.”
“You be a good boy Timothy.” Looking undecided for a moment, she finally shrugged and kissed her hand. Then, she tapped him on the top of his head. Timothy beamed again and waved slowly at her as she ran down the stairs and called back to him, “Bye Timothy, see you tomorrow.“
Alfred watched the young boy wave for a moment as the car disappeared. He frowned as he looked at the torn clothing and bleeding knee. All of this should have been attended to immediately. Well, now it would be. “Come inside Master Timothy, so we can get you taken care of.”
Tim nodded and clutched at the bag. As he entered the foyer, Bruce walked down the stairs. “Hey Buddy, I didn't know you were visiting today.”
Tim looked up and tried to remember his mother's instructions as he gently set his bag on the floor, “Hello, Mr. Wayne.”
Bruce smiled and shook his head. Alfred wondered why they had to go through this every time the child came into this house. “Timmy, it's Bruce. Remember? Not Mr. Wayne.”
Tim looked confused and then looked up at Alfred who patted him on the top of his head, “Master Timothy has had some bad luck today and his mother is busy. So, he's come over for a little while.”
Bruce knelt on the Italian marble floor as he saw the torn clothing and the bloodstain on the jeans. “Are you ok?”
Tim rushed out an explanation with wild hand gestures, “We were at the park. Mommy had her Garden Club meetin’ and I was s’pose to stay close and play and I went to the swings and they ATTACKED me and Mis’er Bear was hurt and the trash was stinky and there were RATS and Mis’er Bear--”
When Tim stopped to take a breath in the one long sentence, Bruce took the opportunity to interrupt, “But are you okay?”
He nodded, “Yes, Mr Way... err... Bruce... er... Mister, sir?
“Just Bruce.” He gave a half-smile as he gently corrected Tim. He frowned as he looked at the knee. He glanced and Alfred, he knew what he was thinking it hadn’t even been wiped off. “That's an awfully bad scrape. You're a lucky little boy though. Alfred's the best scraped knee fixer in the whole world.”
“He is?” Timmy turned big eyes toward Alfred.
“Yep. He’s been fixing knees--”
“And other things.” Alfred muttered under his breath.
Bruce glanced up and frowned but finished his thought, “He’s been fixing knees since I was your age and before.”
Timmy looked at Bruce again, “WOW! That’s a long, long time.”
“Indeed.” Alfred agreed.
Bruce glared up, “I’m not that old.” Then turned back to Timmy and continued with a grin, “We’ll take care of everything. Maybe I should ask Commissioner Gordon to send Batman to take care of the evil swings.”
Timmy shook his head, “The swings weren’t THAT bad!”
“Well, I think he can take care of evil swings that attack unsuspecting good little boys like you.” Bruce ruffled his hair.
“Yes, sir. It was my fault though... I wuz bad.” Tim looked down. “Mom... Mother told me to wait ‘n I didn't lis'en. Mr. ...Way... Bruce... sir Bruce...” He shrugged his small shoulders and gave up trying to puzzle out the appropriate way to address Bruce. “Bruce sir.”
Bruce looked up at Alfred and then back at Tim. He gently tilted the boy’s head up and gave a slight smile. “Swings are meant to be played on. You weren’t bad and it’s just Bruce, Timmy.”
“But... but I'll be a heefen if I don't say Mis’er. Mommy said not to do that. I don't wanna be a heefen.”
Bruce chuckled, “You’re not a heathen. It is okay to call someone by their name when they tell you to. Okay? You’re at home here. You don’t have to use company manners.”
Timmy sighed, “I don’t unnerstand. Mommy says you're just bein' polite, but if you're polite you're not a heefen, but if I don't say Mis’er. I'm a heefen, but if you're jus bein' polite that means you can lie? I thought lying was not polite? Doesn’t lyin’ make you a heefen?”
Bruce looked at Alfred as he tried to work through what the five year old had said. He felt like one of the Riddler’s conundrums had just hit him. “Tim, trust me. I want you to call me Bruce. Honestly, just like Dick does, because you're at home here, okay. You are not a heathen.”
Tim nodded, “Yes... Bruce.”
Bruce hugged the small boy to him. He felt a hug back and smiled. “Now, I have to go to work, but Alfred will take good care of you. Dick will be home around 3:30.” He stood back up and looked at Alfred.
Alfred caught his eye and nodded. He was happy to have Tim here, but he was not happy about his condition or his parent’s apparently lack of skill in dealing with him. Then he turned to his newest charge, “We need to get you cleaned up and take care of that knee. It's gone a little longer than I like without attention.” Then he turned his attention back to Bruce. “Master Bruce, before you go to work, please avail yourself of the clean shirts in the laundry room.”
“Oh I got you dirty, jus’ like I was gonna get Mommy dirty.” Timmy looked down.
Bruce smiled down at him, “Hey, I got myself dirty. I’m good at that.”
“It’s practically an art form with Master Bruce.” Alfred added.
Bruce glared momentarily at Alfred, “I think you’re enjoying this.”
“Me, sir? Never.”
Bruce smirked, “You don't think Lucius would like the new trend?”
Alfred raised an imperious eyebrow in return, “Please sir, my reputation.”
Timmy giggled at the tone of their conversation. Bruce looked at him and sighed, “I guess I know when I’m whipped. I’ll grab a shirt from the laundry room.” He winked at Tim, “I wouldn’t want to get sent to my room.”
“He... he sends you to your room?” Timmy asked in awe.
“Perish the thought, Master Bruce alone in any room for any length of time spells disaster.”
“Huh?” Timmy turned his inquiring eyes to Alfred.
Bruce responded with a smile, “He wouldn’t send me to any room for any time because he’s afraid I would destroy it. And--” he paused and pointed at Alfred, “You are getting too much pleasure from this.”
Timmy giggled at the thought of Bruce jumping on the bed and destroying the room. He couldn’t wait to tell Daddy that Bruce used to got sent to his room. Maybe there was still hope for him to be good.
Bruce headed off to the laundry room and Alfred looked down, “All right, now we need to get you taken care of. Let me draw a bath and get those nasty scrapes taken care of.”
Tim’s eyes grew wide with realization that he had forgotten something, “No, Alfie... Mr. Alfie-– you have to take care of Mis’er Bear. He’s hurt really bad. Mommy thinks he’s trash cuz... cuz I messed him up so bad when I was bad.” Timmy’s eyes bleared as he looked down at the wrinkled stained sack as he picked it up. “He... he needs a docktor. QUICK!”
Alfred frowned at the dirty sack, “Master Timothy, we should--”
“NO,” He stomped his foot. “He’s hurt more bad then me. Pweeeaaasseee!”
Sighing, Alfred knelt down on one knee, “Let me see him, young sir.”
Timmy opened the grimy bag, started to cry, and held out the bear pieces, “He... He... he's not gonna go away like Grams? Right?"
Alfred smiled gently and took out his handkerchief. He tilted the small head up and wiped gently at the tears. He suspected that Tim’s Grandmother had died. “Certainly not young sir. A trip to the bear physician and he'll be all new.” He handed the handkerchief to Tim.
Tim nodded as Alfred took the bedraggled pieces from his hands.
“Now, we’ll take him some place and I’ll fix him up for you. But, before I can do that, we need to see to you. Mr. Bear will insist, don’t you think?”
Tim nodded again and blew his nose into the handkerchief. He tried to hand it back, but Alfred raised an eyebrow and shook his head, “That is yours. A proper young gentlemen always keeps one available.”
Tim stuffed it in his pocket and took Alfred’s hand. He sniffled as they moved toward the sewing room, “Alfie... he's... he's kinda scared of needles. Be careful.”
”Most certainly Master Timothy. I'll be sure to use anesthesia just like the hospital so Mr. Bear won't feel a thing. He has nothing to fear.”
Tim nodded and he felt much better, “So... so... you can fix him?”
“Absolutely, Master Tim. Mr. Bear will be good as new shortly."
Tim smiled brightly. Alfred could see a new idea form. Inwardly he smiled and cringed. He loved youth’s inspiration and dreaded it at the same time. “Alfie I hafe a big favor to ask. Could... could you fix Grams too? She’s in one piece ‘n stuff ‘n not as nearly messed up as Mis’er Bear. She should be easier.”
Pausing as he moved into the spotless kitchen, he looked down at the small child. Sighing, he picked him and set him on the counter. Then he carefully placed the small bear on the counter. Finally, he turned his undivided attention back to Tim. He wondered how many times in his life, he would have to give this talk. Twice was too much, but it looked like a third one maybe necessary. He saw himself in the stainless steel reflection of the refrigerator, he felt much older than he looked. “I am afraid, Master Timothy that I'm only a bear doctor, not a person doctor.”
Tim frowned, “But... but Dick sez you can fix eferythin’. You’re the bestest! I miss my Grams. She... she promised that she’d look out for me and... and then she went away.”
Alfred pulled out a chair from the wooden table. He carefully maneuvered the small child on his lap. He braced himself before he began, “Yes lad, but sometimes people can't be 'fixed'.”
“They... they can't?”
”No lad, I'm afraid not. I'm sorry. You said your grandmother had "gone away". Do you know where?” Alfred patiently stroked the boy’s head as he leaned back into Alfred. He wasn’t quite sure what Timmy knew about what had happened, but he was certain he didn’t understand that she was dead.
”Nuh-uh...Daddy jus' said she was gone. He said she got sick, kinda like bein’ broken. But it's been a long time, so... 'm worried that she got lost ‘n couldn't find her way back from the park. But... but I know she'll be back cuz she said she would always be here when I need her and she gifes me gumdrops.”
”Ah. I see. You like the gumdrops and you love your grandmother, don't you, young sir?” Tim nodded and then Alfred continued, “I know you want to see her again, but... well... sometimes Master Timothy, sometimes people we love have to go away and they never come back. That doesn't mean that they don't still love us, and they are still here with us--” Alfred placed his hand on Timmy’s chest, “Right here.”
Tim turned to him with startled eyes, “Nefer?”
”No lad, never. I'm sorry. I know that makes you sad.”
”But... but she's at the park. Daddy said she was at the Forest Park and I look in the trees when I go to the park. But I hafen't found her. If I find her, she'll come back. Right?”
Alfred rubbed his back and sighed at the confusion. It was always hard for someone so young to have to deal with loss, “Master Timothy, I know what you're thinking. Forest Park is not the park you go and play in. That's Robinson Park. Forest Park is a cemetery young sir. Like the place where Master Bruce and Master Dick's parents are. They were laid to rest, as your grandmother was.”
Tim shook his head, “Then we should go wake 'em up.”
Alfred smiled sadly at the youthful determination, “That is something that we cannot do, I'm afraid.”
”But... but Mommy said that she would be asleep for a long time. So we should be able to wake them up.”
”Timothy, has anyone ever explained the concept of death to you?”
Tim’s small voice shook, “Death? ...like...” His eyes brimmed with tears and he shook his head, “No. Not death. Mommy said it was like sleeping. I was scared to sleep for a while. But she didn't say death. You always wake up ...so I know Grams can come back. It's not like my goldfish... that... that I made dead. Grams wasn't floating or nuthin, she was sleepin'!”
”I'm sorry Master Timothy. It is the same... even without floating. Sometimes, people die, like your goldfish did. The way they die maybe different, but the results are the same and they cannot come back.” Alfred continued to rub the child’s shaking back.
”But... Nefer? I ...I din't say goodbye. People can’t leaf wifout sayin' good bye, it's rude. They’ll be heefens.”
Alfred smiled, “Well it's not really rude, because people can't choose when to die, therefore they can't always say goodbye to the ones they love.”
Tim sighed and nodded reluctantly. Then he jerked his head up and gulped, "She's... she's ...they ...they didn't flush her did they? Like... like Mommy told me to do to Mr. Fish?”
Alfred hugged Tim closer and tried not to laugh, “No young sir. They did not. She was buried at Forest Park. Did you go to the cemetery?”
”Nah-uh... Daddy said that only 'dults go.”
Alfred nodded and tried to convey a very difficult concept, “However, what made your grandmother special is still alive watching over you. You just can't see her.”
”Well, it's quite hard to explain and many people believe many different things. What I like to believe is that the soul lives on after the body dies. Something goes on, somewhere. Not part of the body though. The part that makes the body alive. Like the part that makes you Timothy and not just any little boy.” Alfred smiled and patted his arm. He was surprised when the boy teared up again, “What’s the matter?”
“Oh... but but the Garden Club Lady said that the part that makes me Timothy is bad. She said I was bad through and through. So the bad part lives on? I’m gonna be bad forefer?”
Alfred puffed up indignantly, “Absolutely not! That was a horrid untrue thing that... woman... said about you young sir.” He frowned and made a promise to himself to find out who this Garden Club Lady was. He watched as the tears fell and Tim stared down at his untied shoes. He hugged the young boy again until his crying gradually stopped. “Now you’ve had a rough very full day. What do you say, I draw you a warm bath, get you a light lunch and you take a nap in Master Dick’s bed. Then by the time you awaken, Mr. Bear will be recovered and waiting for his next great adventure.” Tim smiled at the mention of Dick and beamed when he heard about Mr. Bear.
“I pwomise-– no swings or rats on the next one.” Tim crossed his heart and raised one hand.
“Rats, Master Timothy?” He asked as he stood with the boy in his arms.
“Yeah-huh, with big glowing red eyes and really sharp teeth and they were as big as... as... ME! Then they ran across my hand! Mr. Alfr... I mean Alfie, you don’t have rats here. Do you?” He lowered his head onto Alfred’s shoulder.
Smiling, Alfred shook his head, “Most certainly not. No rats. An occasional bat, but no rats.”
Tim frowned slightly, “’kay. Guess bats are okay, they don’t drag people into the trash. Right?”
“No, they do not.” Tim nodded again and as they headed up the stairs, Alfred reassured, “Mr. Bear will have all the right stuff stuffed back into place. He will be fine. But just to make sure, I believe he will need pudding when he wakes up.”
“He luvs puddin’. He thinks it is the bestest.” Tim’s head lifted from Alfred’s shoulder as the turned the corner on to the landing, “Uhmm... do you think they’ll be lef’overs?”
Smiling, Alfred opened the door to the guest bath, “I'm sure there will be.”
“I wouldn't want ya to hafe ta throw it out... so I'll take care of the lef ofers. 'kay?”
Setting the little boy on the bar, Alfred wisely nodded, “Most certainly.”
Tim sighed, “Dick’s right, you fix eferythin’.”
Alfred patted him on the back, “Indeed.”
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