By the time Tim saw the window, he knew something was wrong. He’d left it unlatched — that’s how he snuck in and out for patrol— but it was open now, intentionally cracked. He wasn’t sure what that meant, so he came in quietly, holding his staff in front of him. His TV was on. That meant he was safe, right? Assassins didn’t watch the Food Network while they waited for their target to come home. Tim rounded the corner into his living room and sighed. Yeah, apparently some of them did— Jason was standing over his coffee table, folding a stack of laundry. “Oh hey,” he said, dropping another shirt on his pile. “You’re home.” For a few seconds, Tim could only stare. Yes? He was home? His home. Definitely not Jason’s. It was four in the morning. “What are you doing here?” “My dryer broke.” Tim held open his apartment door. “Leave.”
Tim wasn’t sure why his apartment smelled like baking bread, until he walked into his kitchen. The kitchen was a mess. There were ingredients lying across his counters, flour on his floor, pots in the sink, and an idiot in a leather jacket standing in front of his oven. Jason barely looked up from his mixing bowl when the door swung open. “Hey.” “Why?” “I… wanted cornbread?” Jason shrugged. “Sometimes this just happens.” He emptied his bowl into a cast-iron skillet and pulled open the oven. “How did you get in here?” “Fire escape.” “Great,” Tim sighed. He pushed a jug of milk, a carton of eggs, and a can of salt aside so he could sit on the counter. “There’s no way anybody heard that.” Did he even have eggs? He was pretty sure he’d finished his eggs last week. Did Jason bring his own? Would he get to keep the extras? “Yeah, the girl in 3C thinks your floor is haunted. I heard her say so when I was climbing past her blacony.” “If only.” “You are being haunted,” Jason reminded him. “I’m a ghost.” Tim emptied a handful of salt into his hand and threw it across the kitchen. “Then get your ghostly ass out of my kitchen.”
Tim wasn’t totally surprised to find Jason in his dining room (sitting at the table, doing a crossword), but he was curious. “I locked all my windows.” “I came in through the basement.” Jason took his pen out of his mouth and pointed it at Tim. “Nice lair, by the way.” “You broke through the laser grid?” “Yeah.” “Entered a 21 digit code.” “Right.” “And said a randomly generated phrase,” Tim finished, “in an exact imitation of my voice?” “Actually, I phoned a friend.” Jason gestured vaguely behind him, and at that precise moment, Tim noticed a pair of green boots poking over the back of his couch. “Drake,” said the voice behind them. “Oh god.” Tim turned back to Jason. “So you taught Damian how to break into my apartment.” “In my defense, we both know that he can and probably has done it by himself.” “Wednesday,” Damian confirmed. “The manor ran out of bagels.” Tim ducked into the kitchen to check what had been his bagel supply, but was now an empty cabinet. “Out!” he yelled. “Both of you.”
Tim was bleeding, splattering red over his windowsill and his carpet. He could barely walk— the bullet in his knee was making it hard. The bullet in his side wasn’t helping either. He staggered over the window frame and fell, colliding with a wall on his way down. “Shit.” His vision was starting to spin, but he could make out a figure coming down his hallway. Jason? Yeah. Jason was frozen in his doorway, staring at him with wide eyes. “Are you just gonna stand there??” Tim pulled his face away from the floor. “Help?” He didn’t remember much after that.
Tim didn’t like sunrises. They were pretty, sure, but they meant he’d stayed out too late. He climbed through his window, yawning, and turned to collapse on his bed, only to find that there was already someone in it. “Are you serious?” he muttered. It was Jason. Again. “Whatever,” he decided. Tim pulled a spare key from his drawer and tucked it into Jason’s discarded jacket. If he was going to show up at all hours, he might as well use the door. Anyway, Tim was tired of upgrading his security every week. He grabbed a blanket from the bottom of the bed and went to crash on the couch.
“If I asked you now, Will you be my prince, Will you lay down your armour And be with me forever… When you open me All the power in me moves, How you want to see All the depths of me real, When you open me, All the power in me moves, I feel real…