Summary: Given his childhood, it was only to be expected.
Author Notes: AU. Inspired by and written for katarik.
This is Timothy Drake. Look at him.
He has spoken more words with his parents over a phone than in person. Seen more of them as emailed pictures than as people to hold.
He grew up used to that. The voices on the phone were safe, joyful, loving. The people behind those voices, when they were home, were forgetful, oblivious, demanding. He felt much better when they were away. More loved.
One day a policeman called, long distance.
His mother had been killed.
He thanked the voice on the phone, and discovered that it didn't really hurt. That's what he told himself, at least. It didn't hurt.
It didn't trouble him, either, to email and talk until he found the right man. Timothy's mind worked like networks did, clean, encompassing, and sparse. He could find without being found, talk without giving a name. Be behind a mask.
The man didn't care about anything but the money. Timothy liked that.
The people who had killed his mother died a week after that. His father, as far as he knew, never found out.
Revenge didn't make Timothy feel any better. Or any worse, at that.
His father kept traveling, but called less and less.
The man Timothy had hired asked if he had another job.
He didn't. But he felt sure he could find somebody who did.
It was just voices on the phone.