Summary: A simple caress is enough to tell Tim everything. And enough to break his heart.
Author’s Note: I’m sorry. It broke my heart to write this.
It hits suddenly.
He’s in midair, carrying two children – a girl and a boy - on his back as he swings out of the way of a collapsing building. The feeling knocks all the air out of him, and he nearly drops one of the children. But he’s too well trained. Even a bullet to the heart wouldn’t stop him until after he’d landed safely.
The second he does land, however, he drops to his knees and lets the children spill out of his grasp.
The tiny girl looks up at him in confusion and the slightly older boy – her brother- wraps his arms protectively around her.
“Are you okay, Mr. Robin?” he asks.
Not trusting his voice, Tim nods. He wishes it had been a bullet in his chest that had knocked the air out of his lungs.
Instead, it was something much worse. A soft caress on his cheek, just barely there. A soft familiar caress.
“Kon,” he breathes.
He turns his communicator to Kon’s frequency.
Background noise begins to come through from the other end. The sound reception is shaky, but still there. Tim breathes a tiny sigh of relief. Maybe, if Kon’s communicator is still working, then he’s okay. Maybe Tim just imagined those ghostly fingers.
“Isn’t it cool?” Kon whispers, and it breaks Tim’s heart.
Kon sounds weak, and maybe even a little frightened. Tim has heard Kon angry, and sad, and even scared out of his mind, but he has never heard Kon like this.
“No,” he whispers. “No!”
But Kon remains silent. Tim can faintly hear Cassie screaming and sobbing in the background.
Suddenly, the world is grey, and blurred, and Tim wonders vaguely if he’s about to faint. He notices, as if from a distance, that his eyes are dry.
He’s imagined Kon’s… death, sometimes, when he’d been in an especially dark mood, but he’s never imagined it like this. He’s always imagined he’d be there. He’s sometimes even imagined that he’d finally get the nerve to tell Kon about his feelings.
He’d never imagined that Kon would somehow manage to send his tactile telekinesis halfway across the world, just to say goodbye.
A gentle tug on his cape turns his attention back to to the two children. Right.
He fixes an emotionless mask on his face and picks them up again.
“Sorry about that,” he says. “Let’s get you two to safety.”
He hopes they can’t hear the emptiness in his voice.