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Fic: The Wager Chapter Two
Dragon Princess
brokaw22 wrote in batfic
Title: The Wager
Author: Brokaw22
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: Jason and Roy have a bet going involving Dick, and Tim...well, Tim is just there to clean up the mess.

Previous Chapter: Chapter One

Tim sighs heavily. He’s exhausted after finally cleaning his kitchen and settling both Jason and Roy in his living room. He’s sure that those two are going to argue over the couch some more, but that’s hardly his problem. He walks into his room to see Bruce sitting on his bed, back against the headboard, with a newspaper held in front of his face. Tim has no idea where Bruce procured the newspaper, but that’s hardly the most pressing matter at the moment.

Dick is passed out, using Bruce’s thigh as a pillow. He has both of his arms wrapped around Bruce’s middle, and Tim figures it’s probably for the best to just back out of the room slowly. However, he doesn’t get very far before a corner of Bruce’s newspaper folds over to reveal a very Batman glare directed straight at him. Tim holds up his hands in the air defensively. “Don’t mind me. I’m just gonna grab a pillow, and…”

“Sit.” The command is immediate, but Tim’s fairly certain that he can work his way out of this as long as he just makes his intentions clear.

“It’s okay, really. I can just grab a pillow and blanket and be on my way. Pajamas are totally negotiable. Besides, we wouldn’t want to disturb Dick, right?” Tim’s hoping the reminder that Dick is sleeping right there on Bruce’s lap will end this discussion before it begins, but Tim knows better.

“Tim, sit.” The command comes out softer… a bit gentler, but the authority behind it doesn’t change.

Tim sighs heavily as he pulls out the chair in front of his desk and sits down. “Would it help if I apologized? I really did intend to call you.”

Bruce abruptly folds the newspaper and puts it down beside him on the bed. “I’m not mad. I’m concerned.”

Tim hangs his head and just breathes. Somehow a concerned Bruce is infinitely worse than a disappointed or angry Bruce. After all, he’s far better acquainted with disappointed and angry Bruce. “Concerned about what? I really was on my way.”

“You’ve missed our other meetings this month and one of your weekly chess games with Alfred. You haven’t been sleeping.”

Tim’s tempted to curse Alfred. They all know that Bruce neither notices nor particularly cares when they haven’t been sleeping. “I’m fine. It’s just been a busy month.”

Bruce pointedly glares at him, and Tim’s well aware that his excuse isn’t adequate enough, but in his defense it’s been a stressful day. “Sleep, Tim.”

Tim breathes out a breath in a very put upon manner. “Sure, let me just grab my…” Suddenly a pillow and blanket are thrown in his direction. How Bruce managed to grab both without disturbing Dick’s head on his lap, Tim will never know. “Night, B.”

“Night, Tim.” He can tell that Bruce is smirking on the inside, but Tim decides to leave before anything else can happen.

Unfortunately, when Tim enters his living room Jason and Roy are still fighting over the couch. Jason elbows Roy and settles down on the couch. “I’m telling you, Bats get the couch. Arrows get the floor.”

Roy shakes his head as he drags Jason off of the couch. “And I’m telling you, Bats can either learn how to share or deal with the floor.”

Jason tackles Roy before he can reclaim the couch. “I am not sharing the damn couch.”

Roy manages to kick Jason off of him and tries to slide past him to get back onto the couch. “Now, now, Jay, just think, what would Alfred say?”

Jason grabs Roy’s arm and bites him. Tim figures he should probably step in before the two of them draw blood. Tim dives between them and lands on the couch in a sprawl. “Actually, it’s my living room and my couch, so neither of you is getting it. Go make yourselves comfortable on the floor.”

Jason balls his hand into a fist as he growls. “Like hell I’m giving into you, baby bird.”

Roy’s got his hand on Jason’s shoulder, pulling Jason away before he can punch Tim in the face. Tim’s about to respond, but before he can, they’re all interrupted by a familiar growl. “Boys!” That’s all it takes before Roy is pulling Jason away from the couch and settling down on the floor.

Tim rolls onto his side as he lays his head down on his hand. It’s completely silent and he’s just about to doze off when Jason starts grumbling to himself. “This is ridiculous.” He nudges Roy as his voice increases in volume. “We’re grown ass adults.”

Tim rolls his eyes as he huffs out a breath. “Then leave.”

Roy abruptly sits up and glares at him. “Are you crazy? He’s Batman. He will chase us down and make us regret leaving.”

Tim sighs again and reconsiders why he ever wanted a large family when he was younger. Sure, it was lonely, constantly being left on his own in an enormous, empty house more often than not, but he honestly doesn’t know if this is any better. He doesn’t know when he became surrounded by idiots.

Roy and Jason are still complaining back and forth and Tim doesn’t think he can take any more. He groans as he turns over again and tries to block out the sound with his pillow. “Will you two just shut up? Is this my punishment for taking the couch?”

They abruptly fall silent, and then both of them begin snickering. “Of course not, baby bird.” Jason doesn’t sound the least bit convincing.

Tim immediately bolts up into a sitting position. “Really, you two? Really? You’re this petty?”

Jason and Roy both glance over at each other before shrugging. “Yeah.”

Tim glares at them both before kneeling on the couch and leaning over the armrest to grab his laptop. “Well, fine, be that way.” Tim instantly opens the laptop and pulls up the last thing that he was working on. If the other two are going to refuse to let him sleep because he took the couch, then he’s going to sit here and work.

At least that’s the plan until he hears Bruce call from the other room, “Timothy, typing isn’t sleeping.”

Jason practically cackles as Tim sighs heavily. “Oh, someone got full-named. You’re in trouble now.”

Tim rolls his eyes at Jason’s antics. “Being around these two blabbermouths isn’t conducive to sleep either, B.”

“Enough! Now, all three of you go to bed.” Bruce growls and Tim wonders how even an intoxicated Dick is sleeping through this.

Jason grumbles as he pushes Roy away from him. “I’d love to but someone won’t just let me go back to my apartment.”

“Tell me about it.” Roy huffs as he pushes Jason back.

Tim rolls his eyes at the two of them as he shuts his laptop, knowing that no matter how softly he types, Bruce will still hear it. “And my bed is currently being taken up by Goldilocks and a very angry bear.”

Jason and Roy both snicker at Tim, but all three of them still as Bruce’s booming voice floats in from the bedroom once more. “Boys, if you wake Dick, none of us are going to have a good night.”All three of them fall silent as they shift to get more comfortable and slowly drift off to sleep.

Hours later Tim awakes to the sound of vomiting, and Bruce’s soothing rumble of comforting nonsense. Tim gets up, grabs a glass of water from the kitchen, and then wanders into the bathroom to see Dick miserably leaning over the toilet bowl and Bruce massaging his back. Tim wordlessly waits until Dick has finished and then hands him the glass of water. Dick smiles weakly as he swishes the water around in his mouth. Tim then wets a washcloth and hands it over, but before Dick can take it, Bruce grabs it and gently starts cleaning Dick’s face.

Tim grabs another washcloth and gets it as cold as he can, and then places it on the back of Dick’s neck. Dick gives him a grateful little nod, but Tim can tell that it causes him pain. Bruce holds the washcloth to Dick’s neck and starts ushering him out of the bathroom.

Tim doesn’t know how Jason and Roy are sleeping through this, but their snores are almost deafeningly loud in the silence of his apartment. Dick, for his part, doesn’t seem to notice or care as he leans into Bruce’s side as the three of them shuffle back into Tim’s bedroom. Tim checks the bed to make sure that it’s still clean, and then it’s just a matter of prying Dick off of Bruce long enough for Bruce to settle down and Dick to retake his spot from earlier.

Tim takes the washcloth off of Dick’s neck as Dick makes a small noise of protest, but Bruce shushes him as Tim runs back to the bathroom to rewet it. He wants the washcloth to stay cool for as long as possible, so he doesn’t wring it out completely. He’s sure that neither Bruce nor Dick will care about the water droplets dripping from it in a steady stream as he places it back on Dick’s neck.

When Dick sighs contently, Tim can’t bring himself to care that there are already wet spots on his pillow and sheets. It doesn’t take long to get both Bruce and Dick settled, and then Tim just stands next to the bed awkwardly. He knows that Bruce has this handled, but Tim doesn’t like seeing Dick so miserable.

It’s another minute or two before Bruce nudges Tim’s arm. “He’s asleep and you should follow suit.”

Tim nods, but he’s still reluctant to leave. “Yeah, but what if…”

“He’ll take some painkillers the next time he awakens, and I’ll wake you, if I need you.”

Tim knows a dismissal when he hears one. He sighs and returns to the couch. He thought that Roy and Jason were just pretending to sleep through Dick’s illness for lack of wanting to deal with it, but since neither of them stole his spot while he was gone, he guesses that they both legitimately slept through it. He’s not sure if he envies them or wants to mock them for it later. Tim huffs out a breath as he snuggles against his pillow and shuts his eyes. He’ll figure it out later.

When Tim awakens the second time, it’s because someone is poking him in the side. He opens his eyes to see Dick standing over him with a giant smile. “Hey, Timmy.” He whispers as he settles down on the couch next to Tim. “Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but what’s up with the giant sleepover?”

Tim stretches to the best of his ability and sits up. Roy and Jason are still sprawled out on his floor, snoring, and he can hear Bruce’s quiet breathing from his room. He’s more than a little surprised that Bruce actually fell asleep, but…well, it’s been a long night for all of them. “Do me a favor, the next time Jason and Roy offer to take you out drinking, don’t agree.

Dick groans as he rubs his temples. “Well, that explains the headache, and I think I remember something about vomiting earlier.” At Tim’s nod, Dick continues. “How mad was Bruce?”

Tim just shrugs as he leans against Dick. “He’s still here, isn’t he?”

Dick’s face scrunches up with the realization of what that means. “So, he hasn’t had a chance to give his big lecture, then?”

Tim rolls his eyes “Nope, and I can’t express how much I’m looking forward to that.” His dry tone has Dick looking even less pleased with the imminent lecture, but Tim thinks he’s earned it.

Dick wraps an arm around him. “Hey, what are you in trouble for? You weren’t even there.”

Jason suddenly sits up and hits Tim with a pillow. “The idiot forgot to tell Bruce he wasn’t going to make it to their meeting.”

Dick’s eyes widen at his little brother. “Again? That’s the third time this month. What’s up with you?”

Roy sits up next and yawns. “Dude, even I’m not that bad.”

Tim isn’t surprised that Dick knows about the other times Tim failed to meet up with Bruce, but there’s really no reason to discuss that with both Roy and Jason, so Tim decides now is a perfect time for a distraction. “Less talk more coffee.”

All three of them perk up at the prospect and follow Tim into his kitchen. Jason’s stomach grumbles right as Tim turns on the coffee maker, and he wordlessly makes his way over to Tim’s refrigerator. However, after opening it and seeing what little is inside, Jason sighs heavily. “I know you like to live on nothing but caffeine, but some of us need real food, baby bird.”

Dick grins as he hops up to sit on Tim’s counter. “How about we just have some cereal?”

“NO!” All three of them yell in unison.

Dick raises his hands in the air defensively. “Okay, okay, calm down. No cereal, but it’s not like Tim has much else in his kitchen.”

Tim is about to mention that in his defense, he doesn’t usually have this many people over at once and coffee is a perfectly acceptable breakfast in this family, but before he gets a chance there’s a very distinctive clearing of the throat behind him. “Alfred will have breakfast ready when we arrive, and we are all going.” Bruce pointedly glares at both Jason and Roy, and for once neither of them protests, knowing that the lecture they’re going to get in the car will only be worse if they do.

Dick lets out a whoop of delight, and then dashes off in the direction of Tim’s bedroom. However, he stops and back pedals when he reaches the door and realizes no one is following him. “Well, come on, we’ve got to get dressed. Jay and Roy can borrow some of the spare clothes I keep here.” Dick gives Bruce a once over. “Sorry, B. I don’t think I’ve got anything that will fit you.”

“I’ll manage.” Bruce’s tone is extremely dry, but they can all tell that he wants to smile.

Dick grabs both Jason and Tim by their wrists and drags them out of the room. Roy follows silently behind them -- mostly likely so that he won’t end up alone in a room with Bruce. They all change quickly.

After all, none of them like the idea of leaving Bruce waiting, knowing that they’re all in enough trouble as it is. Tim sighs heavily as he ponders how this will go. After all, no amount of Alfred’s cooking is going to somehow improve his day and the impending lecture. Still, Dick looks ecstatic to have two of his little brothers and one of his friends with him, so Tim figures he can suffer through it for Dick’s sake.

After all, he knows that this is exactly why Bruce forced them all to stay last night. Nothing makes Dick happier than having the people he cares for around him, and Dick must have really been feeling lonely if he so readily agreed to go out with Jason and Roy without at least some suspicion as to what they really wanted. Tim glances over at Jason and Roy and knows that they know it too, and after their little bet, Tim thinks they both deserve a day of Dick’s special kind of exuberance and Bruce lectures, and if Tim is choosing to ignore that he might also be deserving of the same things, then oh well. He plasters a smile on his face as he nudges Dick with his elbow. “So, are you planning to get back at these two?”

Dick smiles mischievously. “Oh, I’ve got plans.”

The other two groan as Tim smirks. It might be an interesting day, after all.

The End