Tim breaths in, watches the world blur underneath his hands, and breath in again.
Panic attack. He hasn’t had one of those in awhile.
He sits back against the empty warehouse, taking deep breaths to try to keep in control. His arms won’t stop shaking. His fingers twitch like they’re touching pulsing electricity. Everything goes into double vision as his heartbeat thunders in his ears, his brain short circuits, and his world goes to hell.
He had only stopped taking his medication for a week damn it. A week. That wasn’t enough for it to fall through, was it?
Anxiety, a beast Tim has pictured as a Scarecrow soon after he met the man, consumes his logical train of thought in an instant. On the edge of a panic attack; now was not the time to think about schedules and prescriptions and oh god, what if Bruce found out, like mental illness isn’t a stigma in Gotham already, he wasn’t supposed to find out like this, failure and-
“Red.” A hand on his shoulder. A black cape. Cass’s eyes peering at him, not unkindly, but concerned. She reaches for a Fear gas antitoxin. Tim takes in another breath, steadies for a moment.
“Not gassed. Just me. Uh-” He cuts off, sucking in another breath to try to get the world from shaking. Cass stares at him, at his pupils, at his shaking hands the fingers dug into the floorboards to try to keep from falling to pieces. And she sits right next to him, pulls him to her and, rubs his shoulder.
And talks about her day.
Tim wants to wonder how she knows that the key to his ills is distraction. He figured it out when he was young, taking pictures of Superheros and solving cases to distract himself from his nerves, but he hadn’t shared it with anyone. But Cass seems to know anyway. She talks about Toyko, about her new friends, about her attempts to learn sign language. And eventually Tim.
“You’re still good,” Cass said softly. “At what you do. That doesn’t change.”
The world begins to slow back to a normal tempo. Tim has to stop focusing to breath. His hands stop shaking.
And Tim, for the first time in days, smiles.