Summary: Instead of large bodies of mass creating gravity, what if the resulting disparity in time dilation creates a time drag and it’s that drag that creates the inward pulling force, not gravity.
What if spacetime is more specifically just a fabric of time, and instead of large bodies of mass creating gravity it simply interacts with the “speed” of time. The result is a disparity between the flow or passage of time between the massive body and its surroundings. Expanding further, that time disparity results in a time drag and it’s that drag that creates the inward pulling force in spacetime or the fabric of time.
Even more outlandish but the theory can be taken a step further. What if the “speed” of time in the emptiness of space is naturally slowing down. The reverse of the above could result in the relaxing or expansion of empty space over time.
*realize after I have my time dilatation effects reversed, the underlying idea relies on a different in time dilation, direction doesn't play a big part.