title: the dark
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Terry, Ace, Bruce
rating: G
warnings: contemplation
summary: Terry reflects.
notes: for xanthos_samurai, for this request on fic on demand.

He sat down on the cold stone of the batcave, his legs dangling down over the abyss below. He looked down into the blackness... if he leaned too far over, he'd fall.

Ace came trotting up to him, panting happily, his great maw opened in what appeared to be a smile. Terry didn't move, didn't reach out to him, so Ace came right up, and put his head on Terry's thigh. He lifted his hand, though it felt like lead...

"Maybe you shouldn't be hanging around me, boy. I seem to be flirting with the darkness here."

They all had it in them, didn't they? The capacity to hurt. To cause pain. Tim Drake was a hero. He was raised by Bruce. He was freakin' Robin.

He became the Joker.

It could happen to him. Look at Bruce. Sure, he was a good guy... a good guy who lived alone in the middle of nowhere and was about as embittered as a human being could get. Barbara seemed normal... until she heard the name Dick Grayson. Or Bruce Wayne. But at least she was functional.

He stared down into the abyss. The darkness. Death. Despair.

Ace barked.

Terry grinned, and patted the dog on his head.

Was he going to end up like that? Dark... bitter... alone... maybe even...

He might become... what he was fighting against.

He swallowed hard.

"Staring into the deep?" Bruce asked, his voice even huskier than ever.

He just nodded.

"Well, there's work to be done. What are you going to do?"

He shook his head, and rubbed his fingers through Ace's fur. "What do you think?" He stood up, and rubbed his hands together.

"Let's get to work, old man. What's on the docket?"