“See?” said Damian. “I told you I heard footsteps. He didn’t go to sleep.”
Which was impressive enough, honestly, given the amount of pain medication that Jason had literally seen Tim take— he should have been out for hours. But what was even more impressive was the mess he’d made of his room.
Tim’s walls were papered with pictures and notes. There was barely any blank wall left, but extra pages were still spilling out of Tim’s printer. He’d run a spool of yarn through a set of thumbtacks, movie style, until it crisscrossed around the entire space in a spiderweb of connections— Jason had to duck underneath it to fit inside the door.
Tim was sitting at his desk, surrounded by stacks of paper and rolls of tape. He didn’t seem to notice either one of them until Jason tapped on his corner.
“Hey. Everything okay in here?”
“Shut up,” Tim told him. “I’m working.”
“Oh, that’s what this is,” said Jason, gesturing to the walls, “Work. You sure about that?”
“Obviously.” Tim pulled a sheet of text from one of his piles and moved over to the wall, searching for a place to hang it. He settled on an empty bit of space and tacked it on— Jason was pretty sure he was leaving tiny holes in the paint. Alfred wouldn’t be happy. “I’m making a network.”
Jason pointed to the center of the mess. “This is a picture of a slice of pizza.”
“I was hungry.”
“It’s connected to a drawing of me.” At least, Jason assumed it was a drawing of him— in reality it was a stick figure wearing an oversized red helmet, complete with tiny guns and “pew pew” written out beneath it, but Jason was willing to be generous.
“I was asking you to bring me pizza.” Tim said, like it was obvious, and he looked around his room like he was hoping Jason had actually brought him one.
“Oh, okay. So instead of texting me like a normal person…” Jason trailed off, waving a hand in Tim’s direction— Tim frowned at him for a few seconds, clearly concentrating, before he sighed and walked back to his desk.
“You’re right. I can do that now, if I can find my phone. Where did I put my—” He started digging through his piles of notes, knocking stacks of them off the desk. After twenty seconds of silence, Damian tapped out a text on his own phone and followed the tone to Tim’s mini-fridge. He pulled open the door: an alarming selection of Red Bull products and Tim’s cell phone, laying across the shelf. He passed it over to Jason with his text still on the screen (Just when I thought you could sink no lower).
“I can’t believe he’s the one that survived,” Jason told him. He was pretty sure it violated natural law. “This is embarrassing. Hey, Tim? You don’t have to text me. I’m standing right here.”
Tim was busy straightening out his yarn, so he didn’t answer.
“Just out of curiosity, how many of these things do you drink every day?” Jason pulled an empty can from the carpet and tossed it at Tim— it bounced off his chest and fell back to the ground. “More than one?”
“One. Five. I don’t know.”
“You skipped a couple of numbers there.”
“Hm.” Tim dropped his voice into an imitation of a GPS. “Recalculating.”
“Oh my god.” Really, Bruce? Jason thought. You replaced me with this? Whatever. Didn’t matter.
“Pass me the post-it notes.”
“Fine.” Jason grabbed the stack off Tim’s desk, read the top, and handed them over. “What is ‘Theseus’ supposed to mean?”
“The Court of Owls has a labyrinth beneath the city.”
“Why didn’t you just write that?”
“Because it’s a code.” Tim stuck his post-it to the corner of the pizza slice and wandered back towards his desk. “I don’t want Damian to read my stuff.”
“Okay, Damian is also standing right here.” Jason pointed behind him. “See? Try to focus. I really don’t think you want to start a fight right now.” Damian didn’t look mad— more amused than anything— but who knew how long that would last? Jason was surprised Tim could walk at this point. He definitely couldn’t defend himself.
“Damian?” Tim asked. He looked shocked, like he really hadn’t seen Damian before Jason pointed him out.
“Yes.” Damian raised an eyebrow in Jason’s direction. “Really, Drake, try to— No. Drake no do NOT—” He tried to duck away, but he was too late; Tim grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him into a hug.
For the first few seconds, Damian stood frozen in shock— mouth open, arms at his sides— and Jason was frozen too. Then he remembered that he was still holding Tim’s phone, so he snapped a picture and ran, out the door and down the hall, as fast as he could. He was halfway down the staircase when he heard a thud behind him (presumably Tim hitting the floor) and Damian’s steps on the landing.
But really, with that kind of lead, there was no way he could catch up.
for the anon that requested another round of Tim (very high) on pain meds