Title: Angry Birds
Pairing: Roy/Tim (Earth-16)
Dedication: To Ren, because she re-awakened my Roy/Tim shipper from it’s very long slumber
Snippet: When Tim gets a bullet to the torso – somewhere in the general area of what might be his spleen – he remembers Roy shaking him, snapping at him to pay attention and not to go into the light.
"You lied to Nightwing for me." Arsenal says and Tim is instantly regretting it.
He’s regretting it because Arsenal is getting that incredulous-smug-sounding lilt to his voice that has Tim’s finer senses of self-preservation screaming at him. Arsenal is also encroaching into Tim’s personal space bubble – which is, admittedly, quite larger than average. As Dick calls it – it’s Tim’s flight radius.
(Haha, with the bird puns Dick, we get it.)
Tim is starting to get uncomfortable underneath Arsenal’s scrutiny, hunching his shoulders and curling in on himself, and taking comfort in the way his cape hides the way his fingers are nervously twitching towards his nerve gas pellets.
Arsenal smiles and no.
No. No. No! No. No!
Tim does not like being the subject of attention. Tim likes normalcy, he likes mediocrity and blending in with everyone and playing nice and fair and not drawing attention to himself -
(So he can later punch someone in the kidneys because they weren’t looking where they should be – but that’s for combat situations and this isn’t a combat situation, at least not yet, but if Arsenal takes just one step closer it will be-)
"You." Arsenal draws out the word, "Lied.”
Tim flinches, just a little. Because. Yeah. He did lie and it’s not like he doesn’t habitually lie anyway, but he does try to make it a point not to lie to Dick because. It’s Dick.
Tim tries not to grimace at the unholy glee and awe in Arsenal’s voice.
The attention is making him highly uncomfortable. Tim would go so far as to say disconcerted. He would make up a word or un-make a word for this situation, but Tim isn’t Dick. He doesn’t have Dicks aptitude for construction and deconstruction of language.
(And if his judgment of people’s reactions are correct, he doesn’t have Jason’s particular talent for wit and quips.)
What Tim does have is a wide and varied pool of information from which he draws from at, often, inopportune times.
So Tim will settle with saying that Arsenal makes him feel very much like Bilbo at the start of the Hobbit as his life gets turned up-side down and side-ways because Gandalf couldn’t fuck off.
He has a feeling that the terrifying look of joy on Arsenal’s face isn’t going to lead him to the one true ring, though.
And yet, instead of telling Roy off, or ignoring him and walking away, or going after Nightwing to tell him the truth, Tim finds himself shrugging. A little awkward (okay, a lot awkward) and self conscious.
"I lie to Batman."
"I’m glad you get along with Roy." Dick says while helping Tim with his stretches, palms warm and large on his shoulders as Tim attempts to turn his spine to liquid.
"That’s. Um." Tim doesn’t have the heart to tell Dick that Arsenal makes him want to scream and toss himself into the Death Star while Darth Vader is on a rampage because. Explosives. Arsenal really loves them. Tim would go so far as to say that he’s infatuated with them. Passionate, even.
Almost as caught up in them as he is with making Tim slowly start to reconsider the ban on friendly fire.
Arsenal is the reason why Tim flinches every time someone’s index finger moves. Every time. The people at school think he’s developed turrets. He’s also the reason why his chemistry teacher held him back after school and carefully asked Tim if things were okay at home.
(Because Tim nearly screamed when someone turned on a Bunsen burner too fast and he sort of did this aborted duck-cover move that only really looks reasonable when one is wearing a cape.)
"He could really use a friend." Dick continues, as if he isn’t tying Tim’s limbs into knots in the name of flexibility and talking about the current bane of Tim’s existence. "Someone he can talk to. I wish it was us, Wally and me, I mean. But. Things have changed. I’m glad you’re around for him, Tim. You’re a good kid, lil’bro."
Tim flushes red, though that might be because of the burning sensation in his back muscles.
"I’ll do my best?" He sounds winded and breathless and Tim can literally feel the vertebrae in his back separate from one another for a brief second before Dick does something and he’s no longer a human-knot. Tim sprawls out on the floor, soaking in the cold as Dick gives him a concerned look.
"Are you alright?"
"I’m fine." Tim gasps out. "I’m cool. Like the Jotuns and the Casket of Ancient Winters. And Arsenal is Thor and thunder and if he be worthy. Yeah. Great.” Tim gives Dick a half-hearted thumbs up. “I’m sure we’ll get along like the invading Chitauri and New Yorks’ infrastructure.”
Dick gives him this look that Tim is rapidly learning to mean – this kid is some sort of special and I kind of want to hug him and never let go but at the same time walk away slowly.
It’s only slightly mollifying that Dick walks away and comes back with a cold towel that he drops on Tim’s face. Tim flaps his hands a bit before deciding that maybe if he just lets himself get smothered here, he won’t have to deal with Arsenal anymore.
"Master Timothy, this is not the place for a nap. If you are so tired I might suggest going upstairs where there are proper places of rest, and skipping tonight’s patrol.”
No such luck.
Arsenal seems to take it upon himself to just attach to Tim whenever they’re in the same building. Hell, one mile radius. And Nightwing and the other senior members are encouraging it.
Like. No. Why.
Why this. Why this.
Tim tries, and fails miserably, to keep Arsenal in line. It’s somewhat like trying to keep an over-excited and destructive child away from the lego city.
It’s not going to happen.
Arsenal grabs Tim’s wrist and pulls him off in the direction of the game room, “Come on. Just one game, it’ll be great. I bet we can totally take Bart and Gar down.”
"Bart cheats." Tim protests. "Or, alternatively, breaks the controllers."
"Bats cheat. And Bats can fix the controllers."
True…and true. Tim sighs as Arsenal sits him down, shoves a controller in his hands, and signs them both in to the game system. He takes the liberty of choosing Tim’s avatar, name, and their team name, too.
Tim feels a twitch developing.
Arsenal’s leg presses against his and Tim is currently trying to fold in onto himself. Unfortunately, mass cannot just disappear, and no matter how hard Tim tries he does not magically shrink and fall into the valley made by the armrest and couch cushion.
But then Arsenal gets a headshot – courtesy of Gar – and Tim really can’t not overlook that. After all, he’s Robin. His team simply does not lose at technological warfare. It just isn’t done.
So he takes it upon himself to have gory, gory vengeance for Arsenal’s dead character.
And when Arsenal crows in delight at seeing the other teams go down in a horrible blaze of shame and gut-splattering humiliation, he slings his arm around Tim’s shoulders, the real one, and cackles his horrible, smug, victory into Tim’s ear.
It’s not so bad.
At least – until Arsenal smacks a kiss to his cheek and pinches his side.
(Tim considers this the one time he’ll break his friendly fire rule.)
Tim sees a light on in their temporary base on the lower level, he peers over the railing and sees Arsenal doing something to his mechanical arm. It looks…painful. And hard, especially with just one hand.
He doesn’t think twice when he tips over the railing and flips into place next to the other teenager – “Do you need some help?”
Arsenal gives him the side eye before grunting something that could either be an affirmative or a fuck off.
Tim – ever the stubborn and tenacious – sits down and props his chin in his hand as he watches Arsenal mess with his mechanical arm.
"You know." Tim says, slowly, "I kind of have experience in this thing. And you kind of look like you’re having a hard time.”
Arsenal gives him a look then shoves his arm in Tim’s face.
It sort of wobbles its way up-hill from there.
It is inevitable that whenever Tim and Arsenal get teamed up – and that happens quite frequently now that Tim’s been deemed Arsenal’s partner, when did this even happen, where was Tim when this decision was made – that Arsenal ends up either stealing Tim’s bike or somehow finding his way on it.
Whether Tim is on said bike or not is actually a question.
Tim sighs as Arsenal, once again, steals the keys to his bike – and is so glad that the ducati is only for Gotham –, and Tim is forced to ride behind him, arms around Roy’s torso as he breaks about fifty different laws of traffic and physics on their way back to their temporary base of operations.
The only happiness Tim can find is that at least Roy will never get his hands on the Redbird, if only because he’s too big to fit in the very compact driver’s seat.
On this particular night, Tim doesn’t really mind because he’s about five minutes from falling asleep right here. Tim doesn’t know if it’s because he’s so out of it that it seems like Roy is driving like a sane person or if Roy really is driving like a sane person.
And when he parks Tim’s bike and Tim sort of wobble-stumble’s off, Roy’s arm slides underneath his cape, and he pulls one of Tim’s arms over his shoulders and helps Tim sort of stumble his way into their base and helps to zeta him back home.
Tim doesn’t forget the feel of Roy’s hand on his waist – even though he can’t remember how warm or how big it was. He can remember the pressure through the armor.
When Tim gets a bullet to the torso – somewhere in the general area of what might be his spleen – he remembers Roy shaking him, snapping at him to pay attention and not to go into the light.
Haha. Ha. Light. Very funny.
Tim also remembers thinking that Roy looks very kissable for some really weird reason. Like, where the hell did that come from. What even is his life coming to.
And Roy kind of looks torn between punching Tim in the face for having the audacity to be shot and shaking him. Tim blinks, and it’s getting really hard to focus.
Except Nightwing told him not to die a few dozen missions ago and Roy is looking at him like he’s going to destroy half of North America with TNT and fire if Tim closes his eyes.
So Tim sort of enters this strange meditative state of zen that would make Batman proud and mumbles – “You think I can walk it off?”
"You are one crazy freak.” Roy answers, carefully supporting Tim’s weight as he practically drags him for pick up. “But you’re my crazy freak.”
Tim has no clue as to what that means, except that maybe Roy’s marked him as his territory like a primitive alpha male.
He thinks Batman might have issue with that. Like. Tons of issues. Does this mean that a dowry is needed?
Roy snorts. Tim wonders what the hell is so funny, Tim doesn’t think he has enough money for a dowry. Unless Roy is interested in his collection of Enya. Either way – Tim isn’t interested in being hitched. He’s too young for this. They haven’t even gone on a date yet.
"All the dates you want, just don’t die on me."
Tim wonders if Roy is psychic or if -
"Yes, you’re talking out loud. And while you might feel the need to turtle-up and not say anything from sheer mortification, keep talking. It’s the only way I know you’re alive.”
Considering where Roy’s hand is placed on Tim’s side, Tim is fairly certain that is a blatant lie, he would totally be able to tell when Tim’s heartbeat stops. Roy just wants him to make a fool of himself and get this on recording for horrible, horrible blackmailing purposes.
"You got that right."
Fuck, he’s still doing it, isn’t he?
"Yes. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you swear before. Does Nightwing know you’ve got a potty mouth?"
"Language – oh my god, Robin!" That’s Dick.
"Woop. Now he does."
Tim doesn’t know if he’s horrified or touched that Roy stays by his side during his recovery. On one side – Dick keeps giving him this look, like do we need to have a talk kind of look. On the other, Roy doesn’t even do anything terribly inappropriate.
Out of consideration for Tim or out of consideration for the fact that they’re in the med bay, Tim doesn’t know or care. He’s just so fucking relieved that Roy is toning it down. Like. Thank you, Odin.
Roy tinkers with his arm and he commandeers Tim’s attention with horrible, horrible jokes and references.
And it’s ridiculously unfair that Roy is Roy and gets it. Like. What even.
"You’re ridiculous." Tim slurs out, half-drugged and half-asleep. "Just. No. No. No. I refuse to be drawn into this.”
"But, Moneypenny, it’s gonna be fun." Roy says, watching classic James Bond on Tim’s netbook. And how is it that Roy got Tim’s netbook?
"No, James. No." Tim whines and half wishes that visiting hours were over, except that means nothing because this isn’t a hospital. It’s League headquarters and there’s no such thing as hours for anything. Also, even if there were visitor hours, Roy would probably leave then sneak back in, later, and make an ass out of himself when no one was looking.
Ah, the joys of friendship.
"You think you’d look good in a pencil skirt?" Roy asks, giving Tim’s covered legs a considering look.
"You think you’d look good with my fist in your face?" Tim retorts, tries to close the netbook. "Why am I Moneypenny? Didn’t Moneypenny kill James Bond in the latest one? I haven’t even gotten in a decent headshot of you.”
"You’re Moneypenny because I say so, and you could totally pull of stilettos."
"Have you been checking me out?" If Tim wasn’t drugged, this conversation would have a lot more yelling and panicking. As it is – thank you codeine. “Oh good, it’s sort of been mutual then.”
"Wait, you’ve been checking me out?”
"Your arm has fantastic tech. Like. Stark-i-licious tech." Tim yawns. "Wake me up when Moneypenny kills James Bond."
When Tim gets off the pain meds he books it for Gotham and hides in the cave, begs off going back to the team for a full two weeks under the guise of having to catch up with schoolwork.
Except it doesn’t really work because Tim’s always been fantastic about hacking his teacher’s computers and stealing their syllabi to work a full month ahead.
(Dick hacks motion sensors, Tim hacks schools. He’s working up, honest, he is.)
"Tim. Is there something you want to tell me?" Dick asks, all brotherly concern and half-hugs and personal-space-issues-activating-right-now. “Anything at all? Any problems, lately? With the team? With your missions? With Roy?”
"No." Tim starts, sulking because he can’t just nerve strike Dick and run. For one thing, it wouldn’t work, and for another, it would only make Dick worry more. And then he might call in Bruce from outer space to deal with this and that would be horrible.
(Hey, B. I kind of. Um. Have this weird not-relationship with the Green Arrow’s former side-kick. Oops?)
The only thing worse would be if he called Babs in, and that’s because Babs knows how to make Tim want to sink into the earth with embarrassment while at the same time roll off the Bifrost and sink into the void to go mad and lead an army of Chitauri soldiers on a rampage against Earth.
"Because I told him where you are and how to find you." Dick continues. "Because I think that whatever is going on between you two needs to get worked out. He’s been droopy."
Tim translates droopy to explody.
"And you’ve been brooding." Dick squeezes him and tucks Tim’s head under his chin, rocking them a little. Tim tries to channel a rock. He thinks that’s what Bruce does when he gets those urges to just scream at Dick’s everything. “Please don’t brood, Timmers. What if your face gets stuck that way? You have an adorabbable face. Don’t turn into a Broose on me.”
"I won’t turn into a Bruce on you. And my face isn’t adorabbable." What is Tim’s life coming to. "Wait – you told him where to find me?”
"He is your boyfriend, after all.”
Tim actually does scream, except he’s also choking on his own spit so it comes out like a little gurgle of horror.
"He’s my what?”
"He was so worried when we said he couldn’t stay in the med-bay, and he said that you two were together and he just looked so sad.” Dick plows on, completely unaware as to Tim’s internal melt-down, and his external spazz attack. Complete with twitches and choked sounds of utter pain. “And then he called you Moneypenny, how cute is that? Cute.”
"Are you mad at me?" That’s the first thing Roy asks as soon as he’s done breaking into Tim’s room on the third floor of the brownstone. Tim glares at him, turtles up inside his blankets. "Bird-boy? Are you an angry bird right now?"
"If your solution to that is to slingshot me at some rocks, I will actually be so done with life.” Tim mumbles, cringes when Roy starts poking his sanctuary of blankets. “No, I’m not mad at you.”
He’s actually horrified.
"I promise you don’t need a dowry."
"Well – I wasn’t just going to leave you, partner.” One of Roy’s hands pats Tim’s hip, and Tim rolls over, peers at Roy through his blankets. “I mean. You did lie to Nightwing for me and all that stuff.”
"So your logical conclusion was to say boyfriends.”
"You did admit to checking me out.”
"Your arm.” Tim stresses. “Your arm.”
And his smug smile and his other more organic-arm and his fucking abdominals. God damn it.
Roy gives him a look that says he isn’t buying any of Tim’s cleverly disguised bullshit.
"You’re kind of shit at this lying thing, you know."
"I lie to Batman!"
"I bet he lets you get away with it because you’re too cute to say no to."
"Excuse you, I am a fantastic liar. Just not.” Tim sits up, waves a hand, scrunches his nose. “There’s really no way of saying this without inadvertently stroking your ego, is there?”
Roy leers, “There are other things you can stroke.”
“Harper.” Tim has the sudden urge to strangle Roy and then throw him out the window.
Roy’s face suddenly goes from smug and sassy and all the things that make Tim want to punch him in the throat, to insecure and kind of shy. All the things that make Tim want to punch himself in the throat.
Tim sighs and -
He doesn’t punch Roy in the throat, but he does flop forward, forehead awkwardly pressed against Roy’s civilian clothes. Which consist of a heavy metal band t-shirt, jeans, and a really ragged varsity jacket.
"Traditionally there are at least three dates before we end up in the same bed together."
"Roy." Tim hisses – and he has no idea when Arsenal became Harper became Roy. No. Freaking. Clue. – out the window, glaring when Roy gives him this innocent look. “This is a horrible, horrible, horrible – did I say horrible – idea.”
"And yet you’re still gonna do it. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair." Roy calls back, mocking, even as Tim climbs out his window and down the three stories out of the brownstone his dad and he inhabit, via tree, and drops down next to Roy on the sidewalk."I knew you’d do it."
"Only because someone has to make sure you don’t do something stupid." Tim replies, pulls his hood up and over his face, even as Roy’s hand wraps around his wrist and starts pulling. “Where are we going?”
"You can’t just walk into Mordor.” Tim replies on reflex, eyes narrowing when Roy leads him to one of the hidden zeta beams. “It’s our weekend off, you woke me up at two in the morning to go back to base? Are you kidding me?”
"Nope." Roy sing songs, hand warm around his wrist, thumb gently rubbing a circle on Tim’s wrist bone. "What better way to go on a date than fighting crime, busting bones, and taking names for police records?"
"You romantic." Tim deadpans. "I am on the verge of swooning. We are a romance novel in the making. Whoop-de-do.”
"Your sarcasm wounds me, angry bird. Wounds me. I thought you loved me.”
"I’m seriously reconsidering it right now." Tim replies, but sighs, even as they zeta away. "You know what would be romantic?"
"You not groping me while I’m trying to drive at sixty miles per hour. Not ending up as street pizza would be so romantic. I’m just saying. Nothing says romantic like not having your face scraped off by asphalt.”
Roy doesn’t respond except to pull Tim close and smack a kiss to his cheek, pinch his hip. “You love me, sixty-mile-per-hour dangerous shit-stunts and all.”
Tim actually has nothing to say to that. Unfortunately.
So he punches Roy in the thigh and goes off to change, ignoring Roy as he says – loudly and obnoxiously to the late night crowd still awake -
"That’s my angry bird!"