Title: The World Above
Genre: Mer!Tim AU
Characters: Tim/Kon, Kon/Cassie
Summary: He had to save him, no matter the cost. This human was the only thing Tim had ever truly wanted in his life. He was his. Kon belonged to him.
Notes: I should not be writing more new stories when I have a bunch to finish already… But this is already planned out in detail so… It will be about 3-5 parts.
So for this, I tried to use as much of the collective tumblr headcanon as possible. Kind of. Mostly Tim’s character design and the notion that when on land long enough, mermaids gain legs on their own. And a few scenes drawn out by Kaciart and Aionyu will pop up (cuz they were hilarious). This fic is their fault. ; A; I was looking at their mer!tims and the plot bunny had offspring.
The smash of the shattering mast was drowned out only by the rumble of thunder as another lightning strike raced across the sky. The ship gave an ominous groan as the tumultuous sea threw it in the air; a vicious monster playing with its meal before devouring it.
'Timothy we have to leave before something hits us!'
Tim wrenched his eyes from the sight of the breaking ship, to look at his younger brother floating alongside him. Damian looked panicked; an emotion he didn’t often show. Especially not around Tim. Tim wasn’t even sure why the young merboy had followed him in the first place. It wasn’t like they actually got along. Tim’s eyebrows furrowed as he sent feelings of determination and defiance across their telepathic link.
'Someone could die over there.’
'A human could die. It has nothing to do with us, you idiot.’
'It has plenty to do with us. I can't just leave them to the mercy of the sea.'
'Tt. You do not care about the others up there. Just that boy.’
Tim’s eyes widened. His eyes flickered to the scene of the ship being bashed by the waves before he let his gaze resettle over his brother. 'I don't know what you're talking about.'
'Do not patronize me! I know you still watch the boy, who lives in the palace near Urchin's Cove.'
The elder brother felt panic seize his chest as he realized the implications of Damian’s words. If Damian knew, his secret was most certainly out. If not already then some time soon. It was only a matter of time before their father’s wrath rained down upon him for disobeying explicit orders. He swallowed, prepared to offer anything to keep his brother’s silence when another fierce crack ricocheted through the air.
His head whipped around to find the ship finally sinking. His mouth opened in a silent call to the drowning men. The muscles in his tail tensed as his body coiled to shoot as fast as he could across the expanse of water, when a vice-like grip held his arm.
'Timothy, don't! They kill creatures like us!”
Timothy glanced back, but didn’t respond. He wrenched his arm out of Damian’s grip and dived.
The night blackened sea was a blur around him as he swam as fast as possible. The air bubbles whizzed past his face at such a speed that he could even feel a faint sting where they connected with his cheeks. The muscles in his arms burned as he churned them in an effort to swim even faster. He’d never chased after something so desparately in his life. Thunder continued to roll above the surface and the water steamed where lighting struck it. Once the main of the wreckage was upon him, he began to dodge the floating debris.
The sea was so dark. He wasn’t even sure he’d be able to find anyone, let alone the specific boy he was intent on saving. Damian was entirely right. Tim had been ordered not to do things just like this, and it was generally assumed that Tim would obey. He’d never disobeyed his father before, so why would he begin now? In all honesty Tim had felt a twinge of guilt when he’d continued to follow the boy but right at this moment, he couldn’t find it in himself to give a damn about anyone else. Only he mattered. Just him.
He’d been just about to swallow his pride and call for Damian’s help when he caught a glimpse of red in the dark water, illuminated by a lighting strike. Wasting no time he streaked toward it. Arms flung out to grasp at a red shirt and he pulled. The boy was much heavier than he looked and the weight of the water around them made it even more difficult. But Tim had spent his life under at least 1,000 leagues of water pressure, so though it was a struggle he, he managed to yank, pull, tug, and heave the bulky human to the surface.
As soon as their heads broke the surface, Tim grabbed the humans chin in his hand. He searched his face for any sign of breathing or coughing; Tim was sure he’d read that Human’s couldn’t breathe in water. So he should be coughing it up now, right?
Tim growled in frustration when he gave no sign of life. Worried hands gripped the back of Kon’s shirt in a hold that placed him just behind the merboy, before Tim began frantically swimming just above the water’s surface. As Tim deftly cleared the remains of the ship in the still churning water, he felt something niggling in the corner of his mind. He recognized the feeling and opened his thoughts to the request.
'Timothy! I can not find you; where are you?!'
'Calm yourself, Damian. I'm safe.'
'I didn't inquire as to your safety. Only your whereabouts.'
'Hm. Heading toward the beach.'
'The reef you play in with that Urchin of yours.'
'Colin is not-'
'Meet me there.'
‘Why?' Suspicion crawled across the mind link, thick and gummy like the coral stew their butler made.
'Because…I've got him.'
Tim heard a heavy groan from his brother, but a small bubble of satisfaction settled in his chest. Damian may dislike him, but he knew the younger’s curiosity would get the better of him and he’d come to Tim’s aid, if only to boast that he had yet one more thing to tell their father.
No matter, though.
Tim could take any punishment, as long as he could assure this human’s safety.
'So what is wrong?'
Tim’s brow peaked in worry at the question Damian shot toward him. He and his brother had dragged themselves ashore with their quarry. They’d been trying for the past hour or so to wake him, but nothing seemed to work. Tim repeatedly checked for a pulse and though there was none, he wasn’t sure if he should worry or not. His species did not have pulses either; maybe humans were the same.
Damian leaned over and placed a hand over the human’s mouth, hovering it a scant inch from the cold lips. He hm’d to himself before looking up.
Tim was crouched over the human, completely still. His tail not so much as twitching on the sand. His face was pinched with distress that said he knew what was happening, but he didn’t like it.
Damian had seen him with that look several times.
‘What?’ Annoyance washed over Damian’s thoughts.
'He is dead.'
'No he isn't.'
'He is. Humans need breath. His has been taken.'
'No. No. No, he's alive. If I just-'
'Timothy we need to leave.'
'Damian I can't leave him here.'
'Someone may find us while you try to wake a dead man!” Tim flinched.
‘You don’t understand! He’s strong; I’ve seen it. He’ll be ok.’
'No human can survive that.'
'But all I have to do is-'
Tim fell silent at the desperation in Damian’s thoughts. He let some of the guilt he was feeling flow toward Damian to show him that Tim wasn’t completely ignoring his pleas. Damian was not his favorite brother but even so, he was still his brother. Tim still cared for him and it was his job to protect him.
And as much as it hurt to admit, Damian was right. You couldn’t wake a dead man.
‘Damian, go on.’
'Leave. Go ahead. It's fine.'
'I will stay with him. I have an idea.'
'What idea could you possibly have. There's only one way to-..No!'
'I have no choice.'
'You do! Don't you dare use it up on this trash! He is not worth it.'
'It is not up for discussion.'
'The hell it isn't!'
'Damian, it is my decision to make!'
'And you do not make it wisely!'
Pain flared from Damian’s wrist as Tim snatched it hard enough to bruise. The grip became impossibly tighter as his older brother glared at him with a vehemence rarely seen from the normally agreeable merboy. Damian scowled in return, not one to be put down by such measures. He didn’t move to free his arm, however. When his older brother was set on something, there wasn’t much that could change his mind. Something caught in his throat as he thought about what Tim was about to do; what Tim was about to give up.
But he was right. It wasn’t Damian’s decision to make.
He sighed. ’I hope you know what you’re doing.’
'I don't but..I'm sure I'll figure it out.'
Tim smiled apologetically as he loosed his hand from Damian’s wrist. He waved his palm at the breaking waves in another order for Damian to leave and this time, the merboy didn’t hesitate. With one last look back, Damian pulled himself to the water, disappearing as soon as he reached a depth deep enough to dive in.
With the other gone, Tim felt a calm settle around his mind. Damian always brought an intense sort of energy to a situation and it usually only served to make him fidget in discomfort. Now he could think clearly and concentrate on his task.
With shaking fingers, he lifted the leather thong strung with shells that usually hung around his waist, just above his dorsal fin. The leather was quickly divested of its shells and tossed aside, suddenly useless. In contrast, the shells were placed almost reverently atop Kon’s unmoving chest. There were five of them, arranged in a small circle around where Tim was almost positive his heart lay.
Tim breathed in deeply, air filling his lungs and mingling with the nervous butterflies flitting somewhere around the cavity. He’d never tried using the shells for something of this capacity and he wasn’t entirely confident it would work.
Trembling hands gently lay over the shells on the human’s chest, pressing just slightly. Tim closed his eyes and concentrated.
The healing began as it always did. With that small pool of energy low in his belly churning. The pool gurgled and spat, rising in him like a slowly bubbling fountain. It trickled from his core, dripping into his limbs with a familiar warmth that had him tingling all over. His hands began to heat up and soon a soft blue glow surrounded them. The light spread from his fingertips in tendrils, rippling across the human’s body like seaweed.
The light concentrated around the man’s throat. It grew brighter, thicker, fitting him almost like a collar before traveling back to the space above his heart. The light heated. Tim’s entire body began to shiver with strain and sweat was beading along his brow. His fingers twitched and spasmed against the boy’s chest and they glowed as if on fire.
Then it stopped.
Without warning the light suddenly ceased, coiling back with a snap. For a moment, Tim only stared. The twitching fingers curled slowly into fists around the now useless shells and intent blue eyes stared at the face for any sign of life.
But then his chest moved.
Tim wrenched his hands away from the human’s chest as it began to slowly rise. It reached a peak, then fell back down just as slowly. Eyes flicked back to the face and a hesitant hand reached out to hover under the human’s nose.
He could have cried in relief at the feeling of warm air being breathed onto his fingertips. A smile he couldn’t supress crawled tiredly across his face as he watched the human breathe.
As he watched his human breathe.
His task over with, he finally noticed the tingling in his tail. He was running out of time..
Quickly, he began to tug his way back to the water when an unexpected dizziness overcame his senses. It assaulted him at an overwhelming rate.
'Oh no. I can't…I have to get to the water.'
Tim stumbled across the sand, making little headway in what would have been a mad scramble had he the energy to move any faster. His arms gave out under him and his cheek hit damp sand at the very edge of the breaking waves. A shadow of worry that was not his, fell over his mind as he felt his vision begin to fade. He felt it and smiled.
His consciousness gradually dissolved, with one single thought filling it.
'Damian didn't go home after, all. He never listens to me.'
There was a sound. It was light, sharp, and just a little bit pleasing. He’d never heard it before.
There was a smell. It was heavy and strong. It filled his head completely and he wasn’t sure what to do with the new sensation. He’d never smelt it before.
There was something scratchy. Under his hands, it was solid and felt almost like unharvested coral. It surrounded him on all sides. He relaxed into the feeling with great interest.
But there was another sound.
A series of them, really.
A squeak and a dim sort of thump. Then a trail of footsteps approaching the scratchy, yet giving surface he lay on. The footsteps were quiet and careful, as if afraid to jar him from his-
Timothy’s body came to attention with a speed trained into him since he was a youngling, and his hands shot out like tentacles to grab hold of the stranger coming his way. He dimly registered a yelp and a brief struggle before he had a squirming human pinned under him. Tim bared his teeth in a feral gesture, silently daring the human to attack.
The boy under him was roughly the same size as Tim. He was fit, but his muscles were obviously from labor and not the calculated training Tim had received. His hair was wild and thick and brown like the cliffs of the south sea, and his wide eyes were a sharp gold like the yellow Tang fish that hung around his bedroom at home.
The boy seemed surprised, but not in the least intimidated by Timothy’s show of strength. On the contrary, he smiled brightly up at him.
"Hi!" he chirped.
Tim blinked, lips lowering over his teeth in confusion.
"You’re awake! That’s great! His majesty will be so happy, hewasveryworriedaboutyoumaybeishouldgogethimcouldyouletmegoplease?"
Tim flung himself backward, away from the boy. He scooted as quickly as the lumpy mass of cloth and feathers he’d been lying in would allow him. He winced slightly as he twisted his leg a little too far in a direction he was used to curling his fin.
The dark haired boy looked down in his lap. His bare lap, white as the skin on his torso. His glossy, black, tail completely gone. A look of worry swept across his face as he prodded and grabbed at the offending limbs. He squeezed them, rubbed them, and pinched them, not surprised that they didn’t change but disappointed all the same.
The other boy he’d pinned to the bedding (a bed is what it appeared to be at least) was up now, with his own legs under him and he sat up on his knees to lean closer to Tim. His expression slowly shifted to match Tim’s own and a touch of concern entered his voice. “Are you…are your legs ok? Do they hurt?”
Tim looked up, completely at a loss as of what to do.
The boy seemed to see it in his face and he quickly hopped down onto his feet. He grabbed Tim’s shoulder for a moment in what Tim thought may have been meant to be a comforting gesture before he ran out of the room with a quick, “I’llberightback!” thrown over his shoulder.
With the room empty, Tim quickly turned his attention to his surroundings in a desperate attempt to regain his bearings. He’d…he’d saved the boy. Kon. He’d saved his Kon. He pulled him from the shipwreck and Damian helped them onshore. He hadn’t been breathing and Tim had…had…
Tim’s hands flew to his waist where the shells usually sat. Cold dread crept through him when he felt nothing. So, he’d really done it. He’d really used the shells. For that.
But after… After that he’d fainted. On the beach. At least that explained the appearance of his legs. He’d been on the sand much longer than he’d planned and as a result, his fin was gone.
But where had he been taken? More importantly, who had taken him?
Tim glanced around the open room with a calculating gaze. Heavy drapes and a wide window with sunlight streaming through. Wooden furniture resembling some items he’d found on sunken ships were spread around the room. Above him, a golden contraption hung from the ceiling with various fixtures in it that held long, white, sticks. From his position, he could see the strings poking from the tops of the sticks were blackened at their tips.
He was sitting upon what must have been a human bed, though why humans would want to sleep tangled in all of this extra cloth, he couldn’t figure out.
But he still didn’t know where he was.
He had to get out.
Swiftly, he swung his legs out of the bed and stood, then just as swiftly fell to the ground. A heavy puff of air came from his lungs as he went crashing down onto the floor and something in his throat strained, as if something other than air were struggling to come out.
Strange. His throat had never felt like that before.
He rubbed at it with a hand as he looked down at his shaking legs. They were strong, most assuredly. They still inherited the strength he’d held in his tail, but swimming and walking apparently were entirely different.
He tried more carefully this time, slowly bringing one leg in front of him before wobbling around to lever himself up. He swayed and shivered at the feeling of standing. He felt as if he were attempting to balance on particularly precarious stilts and failing miserably. This heavy weight that the surface air pressed down upon him would be difficult to get used to.
He took an experimental step forward and immediately regretted it. He tripped over himself and sent his body hurtling forward into a piece of the wooden furniture. He slammed into it, rattling the items on top of it and knocking few off, that shattered all over the brightly decorated floor.
Another loud sound came from the doorway as two more humans burst into the room. The loud human from before was chattering like mad at his companion and he rushed in, swiveling his head around to look for Tim.
"He threw me on the bed! And then he started grabbing his legs like something was wrong and IwasntsurewhattodosoIwentandfoundyou-"
"Bart!" came the other voice, and the boy immediately shut up.
Tim looked up at the same time as those eyes found him, and he stared into a familiar sky blue. The boy’s - Kon’s - emotions played out quite obviously on his face. It was such a difference from the carefully controlled faces of his own family and friends that Tim was momentarily taken aback by it. He watched as concern, curiosity, relief, and blatant suspicion bloomed onto his features. Kon grabbed the boy now known as Bart by the back of his shirt, when he spotted Tim hanging off of the piece of funiture.
"Bart, go back to the kitchen."
"But Kon, I want to-"
"That’s an order Bart.”
Bart’s face scrunched up in annoyance and he punched Kon in the arm as he made his way out the door. “I hate it when you do that.”
Kon didn’t respond, and waited until the boy had left before he closed the door behind him. He turned to stare at Tim. It was obvious he wasn’t quite sure what to do. But that was ok. Tim was patient; he could wait. He’d rather be waiting on his feet, though.
Tim’s throat let loose another puff of air as he used the piece of furniture to pull himself up. His legs were still shaking but maybe if he held onto the furniture for support he could stand in one place. He planted his feet firmly on the floor, Kon’s eyes tracking his every movement. Once both feet were braced he carefully straghtened out his torso, leaning his weight on the furniture.
Now standing, he looked back at Kon through the fall of his bangs. He pushed his hair back with one hand, then gave Kon a small wave hello.
This seemed to snap Kon out of his trance and before Tim had time to register that he’d even moved, the human was right in front of him. His eyes tracked over Tim’s face and chest, that Tim only just noticed was in a large, full-sleeved, red shirt that was too big for him. It matched the red shirt Kon wore now under his black doublet, so Tim figured it must be his. His legs, however, were bare, and Kon seemed to notice this fact most.
"Oh," he breathed. "I-I did think they were too big for you. You must have kicked them off in your sleep."
Tim stared at him, quickly becoming annoyed with the fact that humans didn’t have the mindlinks that merpeople had.
"I’ve met you before.." he stated.
Tim’s eyes widened. Kon was right but…he hadn’t expected the boy to remember. It had been on one of his trips to the surface to watch the human, but he’d accidentally gotten stuck when he didn’t notice the tide pulling back. Kon had found him. He felt his face grow hot at the memory.
It was the closest he’d ever been to the boy. Until right this moment, at least.
He nodded an agreement at Kon.
At this, Kon’s face immediately lit up with a grin. “I knew it! I didn’t tell anyone what you were. That’s..that can be between us.” Tim sent him a grateful smile.
"Can you talk?"
Tim rubbed at his throat, still feeling that pressure. He didn’t know what it meant but.. He opened his mouth, working muscles he’d never tried to use before. All that came out was a scratchy rasp.
"Mm," Kon hummed, "Ok. I didn’t think so."
Actually, that rasp was much more than he’d ever been able to do before, but he wasn’t quite in a position to explain that to Kon. He had a theory about his voice now, but it would be at least a few days before he could really test it.
He raised a hand to rest it on Kon’s chest, in the same spot his shells had been the night before. He looked up at Kon, letting concern bleed into his expression to get his question across.
Kon tilted his head, “Am I ok?” Tim nodded. “Ah, yeah. I’m fine. You saved me from drowning. Did you pull me out of the wreckage?”
"Did you…happen to find anyone else?"
Tim’s eyes went to the floor and his hand fell from Kon’s chest. Truthfully he may have been able to find someone else but he’d been so concerned with his human, that he hadn’t even thought about it.
"I see…" Kon responded, a shadow passing over his face. "I’ll have to inform my father."
He held out a hand to Tim. “Come with me. We’ll get you something to wear.”
Tim hesitated for a moment, afraid to let go of the furniture. It was bad enough Kon had come in to see him on the floor but he didn’t want the mortification that falling in front of him would bring.
Kon pressed, moving his hand closer. “Trust me. I know legs are new for you; I won’t let you fall. Just hold onto me.”
Tim looked up at his eyes. The eyes he’d fallen in love with. He’d followed and watched this man for almost a year now and every one of his thoughts had been of him ever since. He’d watched these eyes go dim and lifeless only hours before; remembered the unbearable pain he’d felt twist his heart. He’d used his shells for this human.
With only the barest hint of reluctance, he placed his hand in Kon’s. He did trust him.
tagged as: Bart Allen. Conner Kent. DOING IT ANYWAY. Kon-El. SHOULD NOT BE DOING THIS. Timothy Drake. i do what i want thor. tim drake. timkon. My fic.
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