» Chapter 40

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---- From chapter 38 ----

T: Dickie took me grocery shopping with Wally and Roy and let me tell you, it was wild

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The morning sun had started its arch across the sky twenty minutes ago, the light so pale it was nearly white as it peaked through the thin slit in his curtains.

The windows were shut firmly, so no overeager songbirds could interrupt his working, but it appeared one had found him anyway.

Weaving through the carefully constructed chaos, Dickie approached him at his desk.

"Hey," he greeted.

Tim didn't stop typing, but he did glance at Dickie and the path he had taken to reach his desk. He was wearing nothing more than a blue crop top and tight, black jeans, but Dickie looked gorgeous. The front of his shirt read "Batman's Boy" and Tim knew for a fact Bruce didn't find it as amusing as Dickie did.

Leaning against the desk in an almost contrapposto style, his dark hair shining like a halo in the blue light of Tim's various computer monitors, Dickie looked out over Tim's room.

Every inch of surface that wasn't covered by papers had sticky notes on it, the only constellation being that the bathroom was worse. He wrote physics formulas on the tiles while he showered. The back of his conditioner bottle had the introduction paragraph to his last essay written in dry erase markers. The mirror still fogged up with the eulogy he'd tried to write for Jason's funeral before deciding he wasn't going.

"Hi," Tim returned, deciding that Dickie's care of his organized papers earned him at least a greeting.

"What'cha doin'?" Dickie ran a hand through his hair, holding his phone in one hand. Tim wished he had even an ounce of that commanding presence, of the ease in which Dickie could exist in any given space.

"Working," came Tim's short reply. Usually he was more hospitable to Dickie, given his respect for the man, but his flissle focus had finally narrowed and he had a short window of time to get everything he'd been procrastinating on done.

Something new occurred to him and he switched keyboards, going from his laptop to one of his computer monitors to add to the conclusion paragraph of his English essay.

Jason- backed by Bruce and Clark and everyone else Tim knew- had insisted, quite firmly, that he re-enroll in school, and online classes had been the compromise.

Dickie put a hand on the back of Tim's chair, reminding him he'd been slouching for a number of hours.

He straightened up, his back cracking, as Dickie asked, "Anything important?"

Tim chewed the inside of his lip, nodding to the screens around him. "English essay, chemistry paper, report for Bruce, and I'm re-coding the system we use to monitor traffic cams."

Behind one of his various tabs, the first season of X-Files was streaming. Every few minutes he could hear Gillian Anderson say something along the lines of "This is ridiculous, Mulder." On the desk, his phone buzzed once every waking hour- which was, for them, every hour- Jason, letting him know he was still alive.

Dick rolled his shoulders back, "So, you're busy?"

On his ring finger, he wore the engagement ring Wally had given him. He turned it round his finger as he waited for Tim's reply, gently thumbing the gold. He smiled to himself, not even seeming to realize he was doing it. He and Wally were saccharine like that.

Tim finished a new line of code and switched back to a different computer monitor. He'd just remembered that word he'd been thinking of to describe only linear structures of atoms. Acyclic. To Dickie, he nodded in void of a reply, wishing he had gum or something to chew while he worked.

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