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Title: Seeking the sound
Author: Munnin
Rating: PG-13
Characters: the band, Alfred, Oracle and Jarvis.
Warnings: mentions of past psychological torture
Fandom: Band!AU
Continuity: Recovery post Black Orchid
Disclaimer: No ownership, no profit and no offence meant. Everyone is of the age of consent in their country and period of history.
Author’s notes: 100% organic. May contain minor flaws and imperfections that beta-treated slash wouldn’t.


Authors note: for [livejournal.com profile] modestroad and her prompt
DCU, The Robins, promoting the new album


Dick found Tim in the games rooms down stairs with Terry across his knees and his laptop open in front of him.

It’d been four months now since Tim had been taken for them. Four months since they’d fought their way into Ra's Al Ghul’s compound to free him. Things were still...precarious but everyday was a little bit better. Tim still flinched, still shied away but the panic attacks were getting fewer and Tim’s recovery time, quicker.

But none of them talked about the music or about the band. Oracle handled their website and kept the fans and record company at bay. For a time at least the robins lived quietly, contenting themselves to exist in their own skins and enjoy just being a family. For a time, the Robins were a memory of better times, just as Gotham had been.

But little by little, it seeped back into their lives.
...Dick sung in the shower, off key and cheerful.
......Jay played records in the garage as he worked on his bike.
.........
Steph’s sketchpad filled with album art sized drawings of birds in flight.
............Damian methodically cleaned and tuned his instruments, almost meditatively.

And now Tim...

“Jarvis? Could you play back the guitar track please?” Tim asked softly, oblivious to Dick’s presence.

“Certainly sir.” Jarvis answered crisply, his machine voice clipped but gently.

Although they won’t ready to have Tony around yet, the billionaire playboy was more than happy to provide the robins with anything they wanted. Even Oracle was impressed with the upgrades he’d made to their home security system. And he was still threatening to build them a studio...

But the greatest gift Tony had given them was a laptop version of his AI. Tim and Jarvis had always shared a strange and inexplicable bond and having Jarvis around to talk to seemed to have helped Tim a lot.

Soft guitar music filled the room, a little tinny through the laptop’s speakers. Tim pulled the bass to him, stretching and flexing his fingers around Terry’s neck just as he always did just before he played.

“Repeat and record please, Jarvis.”

Tim closed his eyes as he played, seeing nothing but the shape of the sound. The music moved slowly, building layer upon layer of sound with the quiet passion that made Tim who he was.

The song was sad and melodic and Dick felt his breath catch in his throat. There were no lyrics but Dick could feel the song swell in him. He let it flow out, wordless harmonies that tumbled and soared as he walked towards Tim, kneeling in front of his brother.

The song faded out with the bitter aftertaste of curdled hope and a single tear leaked from the corner of Tim’s eye.

Dick wrapped his hand around Tim’s, their fingers joining over Terry’s neck as Dick leant in to kiss the tear away. “That was beautiful Timmy.”

Tim swallowed, letting the warmth of Dick’s touch wash over him. “Jarvis?” he called, his voice breaking. “Did you get that?”

“Yes sir.” Jarvis answered smoothly, “Would you like me to isolate the vocal track?”

“No, Jarvis.” Tim swallowed, leaning in to his brother. “Keep it.” He let Dick pry the bass from his hands and pull him into Dick’s lap.

Dick held him for a while, just rocking Tim gently. “It’s a beautiful song.” He kissed Tim slowly and softly. “It’s about the orchids isn’t it?”

Tim sniffed and shuffled closer into Dick’s embrace, taking a couple of deep breaths to steady himself. He and Damian had been working on meditation and breathing techniques to deal with the panic attacks. “He told me he...” Tim breathed again, his eyes closed against the memory. “He had me convinced you and Jay were dead.”

Dick tightened his arms around Tim’s waist, pressing a kiss to the young man’s hair. “Love you little brother.”

Tim smiled weakly, feeling safe and warm in his brother’s embrace. “I needed to...I had to get this out of my system.”

“I understand.” Dick whispered. “How many songs?”

Tim shrugged and turned to face the laptop. “Jarvis, please queue the playlist.”

“Oh.” Dick muttered, scrolling up and down the list. “There’s enough for an album here babybird. How long have you been working on these?”

“A couple of weeks.” Tim shrugged again. “Most of them are just basic guitar or bass lines at the moment. I want to build them up but I...”

“What do you need?” Dick asked, almost pleadingly. “How can I help?”

“I want...” Tim hesitated. “I need to do this on my own. Most of the tracks anyway. I was hoping to talk to Damian about some ney flute overlays...the recording quality isn’t the best but...”

“So I call Tony and get him to ship you any gear you need.”

Tim squirmed, a little uncomfortable with the idea. “I won’t need much.”

Jarvis cleared his digital throat. “Sir, may I recommend a Yamaha 01V96VCM Digital Mixer and a pair at least of C 3000 B - AKG microphones. The amplifiers you have already should be sufficient. Shall I order them for you?”

Dick put his hand out. “Hold that thought Jarvis.” He ran his fingers through Tim’s hair. “Where do you want to go with this Tim?”

“I want...I need to tell my story but I don’t...I’m not sure...”

“Just say it baby,” Dick crooned, “whatever’s on your mind.”

Tim flinched, hating how easily Dick read him sometimes. “I want to produce this as an album but I...I don’t want to be a Robin’s thing. I don’t want to mess with what we have just to get this out of my system.”

Dick nodded, “I understand. So release it under a different name? One of your aliases maybe?”

Tim smiled tolerantly. “Alvin Draper’s an art thief, not a musician. And somehow I don’t think Mr Sarcastic would work with the sound I’m going for.”

Dick tapped his fingers against Tim’s thigh thoughtfully. “The blonde nurse? What was her name?”

“Caroline Hill.” Tim sighed. “I haven’t thought about her in such a long time. But the identity was pretty thin, if anyone searches...”

“So release it with the artist name Under Caroline Hill, most people will think it’s a place and never look twice at a nursing student with the same name.”

“But the record company-”

Dick stopped Tim with a finger on his lips. “Do you feel like you need to make money off this one?”

Tim shook his head, “Actually I’d feel better if I didn’t.”

“Good.” Dick shimmed his phone out of his pocket and hit the speed dial. He set it to speaker and placed it on the floor next to them.

Hey Hunk Wonder. What’s up?

“Hey O. Got a question for you. How would one go about marketing an album online?”

Are we talking Robins here?

“Nope, something cathartic Tim wants released under a different name. No plans for profit, just wanna get it out there.”

Oracle hummed thoughtfully. “Releasing is easy, releasing and getting noticed is hard. Lucky for you I am the queen of the internet and all things viral. How big do you want this to get, Timmy?

“I just...I just need to be heard.” Tim stammered.

Done and done. Send me the tracks when you’re ready and I’ll find your audience.

“Oracle?”

Yeah babybird?

“Thank you.”

They could hear her smile, even down the phone. “Anything for you, Tim. Anything at all.

Tim reached down to end the call, his look distant and thoughtful. “Jarvis, would you order that equipment for me please?”

“Certainly sir. Mr Stark has already created an account for you with a leading audiotech company. Shall I request that Alfred handles the delivery?”

“Thank you Jarvis.” Tim answered, reaching over to close the laptop. “Tony was expecting this, wasn’t he?”

Dick snorted, burying his nose in Tim’s hair. “He knew you’d want to design the studio yourself.”

They sat together for a while, just content to be close.

“Dick? When I...finish this, can we maybe...look at doing another Robin’s album? I’m not ready to tour yet but...I’d like to play again, as a family.”

Dick brushed his fingers over Tim’s cheek and kissed him softly. “I’d love that, I think the others would too.”

“Good.” Tim whispered, genuinely pleased. “I’m glad.”


(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-30 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darthbatgirl.livejournal.com
AWWWWWWWW

Just love Timmy here! Love the little look at how they all kept doing things with the music.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-30 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
it's ingrained now, part of who they are. It'll be good to see them playing again.

Thanks!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-30 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] me-ya-ri.livejournal.com
:D

I'm so glad to see Tim getting better and letting it out. This is beautiful and sweet and gah, so lovely. *hugs fic*

Thank you so much for sharing! *hugs you too*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-30 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
*loves the hugs* Yeah at least Tim has that safety valve and is letting the pressure off somehow. Unlike Bruce who would internalises and go insane...

glad you liked it and thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-30 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexiel-neesan.livejournal.com
Go and break my heart munnin. Every time. Every time you do it. And weeeeeeeee Caroline Hill! Mention of Tim's past aliases make me squee!

With Oracle behind it, how soon would those songs be heard everywhere? (my money is on 'very, very fast')

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-30 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
I'm sorry...I think...

Oh yes! these songs will be massive but underground and cultish. I can see them popping up on websites at strange times or being found on USBs in the bathrooms of exclusive clubs and being passed around. I'll have to start writing reviews and such...*thinky face*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-30 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saphire-dance.livejournal.com
That was beautiful. It makes sense that Tim would work his feelings out with music.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-30 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
unlike Bruce, he is trying to find ways to deal, poor kid.

Thanks and I'm glad you liked it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-31 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyblkrose.livejournal.com
This is why Bruce told them to stop being superheroes. He knew what it did to him, how it twisted him up and now that he had a way he shoved his children out of the game. I bet he even planned to allow gotham's death to take him to "free" them of that past. Yup, sounds like my Mr. Wayne *ilovesmesomebruce*
Just my humble $0.02 American.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-31 06:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
what a lovely idea! I like it!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-30 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stalinglim.livejournal.com
Oh, boys, this is beautiful.....

why do I have the DISTINCT Feeling that album will do Very Well?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-31 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Yeah I think with Babs behind it, there isn't much hope it'll slide in under the radar... be be interesting if it becomes more popular than the Robins but then I think it'll reach a different audience...

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-31 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyblkrose.livejournal.com
Wow, another moving, bittersweet, loving, healing (tearjerking)fic Baby and I love it so much. Love the way music has made it into the souls of all our Robins. Love the way Tony, in his own crazyass loving way is taking care of Bruce's kids. Love how Bruce left them with a way to cope and live outside of the capes and masks. Love the way your mind works Baby!
Thank you for sharing this. Makes a wonderful nightcap before going to bed.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-31 06:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
really? I worry about the way my mind works! The things I've done to Tim...if that boy ever finds me it's going to be a fight between the batboys to see who gets to kill me!

My pleasure, Glad you like it!

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