See chapter 1.
Dick, on the other hand was skeptical. It was obvious that The Joker had messed with his head among other things. He thought that Bruce was putting too much faith in the boy that he believed was buried deep in J.J.'s mind. Dick wasn't sure. His mind kept going back to when Tim broke into his house. If he retained enough of Batman's teachings, he very well could be the deadliest foe that Batman has.
But he also trusted Batman and his judgment. If The Bat didn't think that it was safe to bring Tim home, then he would've had him locked away. He shook his head. Tim had been such a smart boy. Batman had insisted that he be well trained—and he was. Despite his shady past he had a good head on his shoulders or at least he had. The Psycho-clown was dead but had he been successful in tearing down the hero and making an heir?
THREE MONTHS LATER
Tim sat in his room (what Bruce had assured him was his room) humming a tune he had in his head. The door to his room was open. Bruce tried to convince him that nothing would happen if he walked through it. Despite his open manner and tone Tim always waited for him. He had a theory; if he tried to walk through without Bruce he was sure that he'd be electrocuted.
He had been good so far. He hadn't been beaten, locked in the dark or shocked into submission since his arrival. He was unsure as to how long he had been there but seeing that nothing negative had happened; he had to have been doing as he was told. In Tim's/J.J.'s eyes everything was going to peachy.
Bruce could disagree. It had been three months and there had been very little to no change in Tim. On any given day his fragile mind will decide that he's Joker Jr. When he's J.J. all he wants to do is destroy things. He stabbed Dick in the hand earlier that week, for no apparent reason at all.
Whether he is Tim or J.J. he doesn't speak. J.J. laughs and Tim cries. This is particularly heartbreaking for Bruce. Bruce has had Tim evaluated over and over. All of the diagnoses are the same. He had suffered severe trauma and as a result his mind created another personality. From what Bruce understood the other personality, J.J. was everything that was destructive, he dealt with all the things that Tim couldn't or didn't want to deal with. J.J. was the one that did everything that The Joker had wanted Tim to do.
Tim knew what J.J. was doing. Tim was perfectly aware that there was something not completely right with himself. It was in their expert opinion that Tim would probably never talk again. Dick didn't agree with that, He thought that if the child was put in the right circumstances he might talk again but he knew that even that was just grasping at straws, deep down he knew that the doctors were right. Tim would never be the same.
And so time went on. Tim, on several occasions tried to talk but most of the time the only thing that came out was giggles or sobs. He soon became frustrated but he realized that that was pointless. For one reason or another he couldn't talk. At night while he lay awake, the soft glow from his nightlight (for he couldn't stand being in total darkness) his only company he realized that perhaps not talking was the best way to go. J.J. often told him that these people were his enemy and therefore one day they would need to be taken out. He disagreed with that. These people were his family, they loved him and they were trying to understand exactly what was happening to him. And for that he loved them back.
Bruce sat reading his paper in the quietness of the morning. Tim was away at one of his many appointments and Dick was at work. In light of everything that happened Dick had decided to move back in with Bruce. After all, Bruce would need help with Tim, at least he was responding to that name more often than not.
It had been almost a year since Tim was kidnapped and traumatized by The Joker. He still didn't speak. Bruce had made peace with the fact that he never would again. Despite that he is more like Tim than J.J. He isn't even half as destructive as he was even six months ago. Bruce tries to look at the positive side of things, at least for Tim's sake. At least he would walk in and out of a room by himself; his hair and skin had gone back to its normal colour. He still had the smile. The doctors said that that would never go away. From what they could tell, he had used some sort of acid to burn the smile into the boy's face; it was unlike anything that they had ever seen. They said that it was probably something unique that The Joker had been working on for a long time.
Bruce sighed mentally when Tim walked into the room. There may still be a lot wrong with him but at least he seemed happy. Most of the time he would cuddle in-between Dick and him and watch TV. There some days when he would cry non-stop but his anxiety medication took care of that. The only thing that Bruce couldn't figure out and Dick was no less clueless was that he seemed to have a major thing against mirrors. It didn't matter why you would want him to look in the mirror. He would shake violently and cry. Sometimes he'd curl into a ball or look fleetingly around the room as if looking for a way out. He hated shocks of any kind.
Tim sat on the couch across from Bruce. After a few minutes the boy was asleep. When he was asleep he could believe that when he woke up he would speak. He would unload all of the terrible secrets that locked away his voice. He knew that wouldn't happen. As he passed by the couch he gently brushed the boy's hair out of his face. All he could do was make sure that he was there for him when he woke up, like always.
He had thought that The Joker had won. Now he realized that in his own way Tim had won. He may not be the teenager he was before but he was living as close to a normal life as he could. Bruce was proud of him for that and loved him for the strength that he showed by getting up every morning. He told him how proud he was of him and that he loved him everyday. He hoped that one day Tim would believe it.