» Chapter 45

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---- From chapter 41 ----

T: Dickie how do i please him
D: wear a long-ass sweater and only a long-ass sweater

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"Son of a fucking fuck," Tim's voice swore over the comms, "that hurts like a motherbitch."

"Who the fuck taught you that kind of language?" Jason replied, pausing to listen to Tim jump back into the fray. It was quiet on Jason's end of town,

"You wanna lecture me about language? Let's see you get shot next time!" Tim bit back. Jason heard him take a deep breath.

His heart had been pounding before, steadily from the exertion of moving from roof to roof, but now it jerked and hammered in his chest uncomfortably. He didn't like patrolling separately from Tim for obvious reasons, but The Batman pulled his magic teleporting act any time Jason got within 100 meters of Tim outside the Manor where they could be supervised. Apparently dying and becoming an anti-hero slash murderer was cause for parental intervention.

"You good, princess?" He called into the comms, listening to Tim finish the fight he was in the middle of. That was the problem with getting shot. Not only did it hurt like a son of a bitch, but unlike with being stabbed or punched, the enemy wasn't close enough to immediately retaliate.

"Fine, stop nagging," Tim grunted back distractedly. Whereas before he was laser-focused, Jason knew from experience that now his brain flooded with chemicals and leaked through to his mouth, tasting something terrible. Adrenaline was the enemy in a fight; it was draining.

"I'm not nagging," Jason hung a left turn on the next roof, inching a little closer to Tim's position by the docks. He could see the murky water, cutting the dark horizon clean off, but there was no way to tell exactly where Tim was amongst the shipping crates and docked oil tankers.

"Aww," Tim cooed, like some kind of fucking hen, "you care about me."

"I do not," Jason replied immediately. He wished vaguely that there were more Tim's around. Enough that he could have one here to push over- or maybe kiss- but also on patrol, and maybe working, so that his Tim could stop thinking about all that shit and relax. Wouldn't all their lives be so much easier if putting on a mask split you in two?

Jason rolled his eyes as Tim singsonged "yes you do" over their secure line and wondered what a group of him would be called. An embarrassment, most likely. An embarrassment of Timmy Wayne's, all running around making messes of things and drinking all the coffee in the world.

"No I don't. Go to hell," Jason growled back, settling on the lowest landing of the fire escape of the Batburger closest to the docks. He pulled his helmet off and tucked it under his arm, nearly missing Tim's reply as he switched to an earpiece and vaulted over the railing, the distance to the ground few enough feet that he didn't have to bother tucking or rolling.

"But I'm so pretty?"

"Yeah, well, your pretty face is going to hell."

Jason rolled his eyes at Tim's stifled laugh as he zipped up his leather jacket and pushed through the glass door and into the fast-food restaurant for some overpriced costume-freak themed burgers. He got Tim a coffee too, because despite the fact they both despised the larger parts of each other's personality, and sometimes Jason couldn't stand to be around Tim for more than twenty seconds without shutting him the hell up, falling in love, unfortunately, remained in the little things.

By the time he made his way back to the fire escape, a paper bag with Bruce's creative logo on the front in one hand and struggling to undo his zipper with the other, Tim was waiting for him. The cowl of what was once Jason's costume pooled around his neck like a hood, his long legs folded under him as he balanced incomprehensibly on the railing. A white bandage stood out where it wrapped around his arm a few times, blood just visible on the cusp of it. There was a pink Hello Kitty bandage high on his cheek from his last patrol when he got nicked with a blade.

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