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Fic: The Wager

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.

Tim’s already late, though he’s sure Bruce won’t be too upset with him, given that they’re just planning to look over a few of Tim’s plans for some of his personal projects. However, he really doesn’t have any time for whatever it is that’s causing Jason to repeatedly call him, especially since Tim needed to already be inside of his apartment, changed, and gone ten minutes ago. Tim would have no problem telling Jason that, but he doesn’t exactly have a hand free to reach his phone at the moment.

He’s kind of hoping that the guy will give up, but his phone has been ringing continuously in his pocket for ten minutes straight, so Tim’s fairly certain that Jason isn’t about to stop trying to reach him any time soon. He knows that it’s not an emergency, because, if it was, Jason definitely would have given up and tried someone else by now. However, that doesn’t mean Tim is feeling any less apprehension at the moment, given that Jason rarely calls him with good news.

When Tim finally manages to get inside and drop the various items that he was carrying on his kitchen table, he immediately pulls out his phone and braces himself for something terrible. He doesn’t even get a chance to speak before Jason is practically yelling into the phone. “What the hell took you so long? Aren’t you supposed to be the responsible one in this screwed up family?”

Tim shakes his head at Jason’s outburst, despite the fact that he can’t see it. “I’m pretty sure that title belongs to Alfred and Alfred alone.”

“Do I look like someone who’s in the mood for this shit, kid?” Jason growls into the phone as Tim huffs out a breath.

“Well, I can’t really see you so…” Tim trails off as he begins putting his stuff away.

“Cut the crap. I need your help.”

That peaks Tim’s interest, because Jason rarely admits that he needs help, even when he’s in the process of asking for it. “With what exactly?”

Jason’s tone is full of exasperation as he breathes out a heavy sigh. “Dickie-bird.”

Tim raises an eyebrow, his worry and apprehension increasing at the mere mention of his older brother. “What did he do now?”

Jason chuckles in a somewhat nervous way that has Tim clutching his phone a little too tightly. “I want it on record that it was all Roy’s fault.”

There’s an indignant squawk of, “Hey!” in the background, which makes Tim groan.

He rolls his eyes as he begins massaging his temples. “Meaning that whatever is going on is both yours and Roy’s fault. What did you two do now and what does it have to do with Dick?”

Jason scoffs, seemingly at Tim’s insinuation that he’s equally to blame. “All I did was defend my honor. Roy instigated everything.”

There’s the sound of wrestling, and then Roy’s voice suddenly becomes exponentially louder. “You are responsible for your own choices, Jay. I didn’t think you would take it so seriously; and to think Dick was just excited to get a chance to hang out with us. You know, he’s gonna be guarded around both of us for months now.”

There’s a sudden intake of breath, signifying that one of them most likely just got elbowed in the gut. Jason apparently has control over the phone again, so Tim guesses that means Roy’s the one who took the blow. “Nah, Golden Boy will let it go after a week or two. He always does.”

“How often do you pull this crap, exactly?” Roy sounds both incredulous and annoyed, which is a pretty clear sign to Tim that he should probably put an end to their squabbles.

Tim clears his throat in an attempt to garner their attention, but the two of them just keep bickering over him. He growls when he realizes that there’s really only one way to get their attention. “Enough both of you! Now, one of you two morons tell me what the hell you did to Dick and why you’re calling me!” Tim rolls his eyes at being reduced to using his Red Robin voice, while he all but screams into the phone, but it sounds as if it gets the job done.

Jason clears his throat as Roy hisses, which probably means Jason just smacked Roy upside the head. “Long story short, Dick is a little drunk and I need some help getting him home. Roy and I both took our bikes.”

There’s a sudden quick burst of laughter from Roy. “A little drunk? More like totally wasted.”

Tim is sure that if he continues rolling his eyes this much, then he’s going to end up with a twitching eye nerve from the strain. “Can’t you two call someone else, I’m late for…”

Before Tim can finish his sentence, there’s the sound of a scuffle and the next thing he knows Dick’s slurring voice is shouting into the phone a jumble of lyrics from various songs that seem mostly to be things Dick is making up as he goes. It goes on far longer than Tim would like before Jason once again grapples for control of the phone. Tim sighs heavily as he grabs his keys and heads for his car. “Where exactly are you three? I’ll be there as soon as I can, and when I get there you two better have an amazing explanation for this.”

“Yeah, yeah, lecture later. Just get here now.” Jason rattles off an address as Tim slides into the driver’s seat. He ends the call, tosses the phone onto the seat next to him, and then hangs his head as he starts the car. This is going to be a very long night. Tim can just tell.

The drive isn’t that long. In fact, Tim actually wishes it was longer, thus giving him more time to prepare. As it is, however, he’s left trying to decide if he should take his time parking or just get this over with. But Tim has always been a ‘rip the band-aid off quickly’ kind of guy, so he doesn’t bother wasting any time. He doesn’t even have his car door shut before something slams into him with full force. It takes him a second to realize that the thing is actually Dick and he has his arms wrapped tightly around Tim.

Tim staggers a little at the extra weight as one of Dick’s hands sneaks up and starts petting his hair. “Timmers…there you are! I missed you!” Dick is literally shouting in his face with slurring words and his breath reeks of alcohol.

“Uh huh, me too. How about you let me go and we get you home, okay?”

Dick nods as he releases him and Tim can hear the other two snickering behind them. Tim practically shoves Dick into the back seat before whirling on the other two. “Not so fast you two. If you think you are just going to leave me with him, you have another thing coming.” He points at his vehicle and glares at both of them. “Now get in the car.” Tim punctuates every word with a gesture towards said vehicle.

Roy doesn’t hesitate before he gets into the front passenger seat, but Jason merely folds his arms over his chest. “Nice try, but you don’t scare me.”

Tim’s glare only intensifies. “Get in or Alfred finds out exactly why the armchair in the parlor was reupholstered.”

Jason’s eyes narrow as he takes a threatening step forward. “You wouldn’t dare.”

Tim holds up his phone so Jason can see the screen clearly. “He’s on speed dial. You have exactly five seconds before I send him photographic evidence of you ruining said armchair with your disgusting boots.”

Jason grumbles as he shoves past him and gets in the car. “You play dirty, baby bird. I don’t think I like it.”

Tim rolls his eyes as he starts the car. “You like it just fine when Damian is in your shoes.”

Everyone falls silent after that…well, everyone except for Dick, who is still in the back singing at the top of his lungs. However, five minutes into the drive Roy nudges Tim with his elbow. “Um, this isn’t the way to Dick’s apartment.”

Tim nods as he tightens his grip on the steering wheel. “That’s because we’re not going to Dick’s. His apartment is hazardous enough to navigate when one isn’t trying to deal with an inebriated person, so we’re going to mine.”

Dick immediately gathers Jason into a hug and tries to get him to sing along, but Jason just shoves him off. “Look at you, not even caring that Dickie-bird will most likely vomit all over your couch. How nice of you?”

“Uh huh, so which one of you wants to explain how exactly this happened?”

Roy sighs heavily as he slumps further into his seat. “Jay said he could get Dick drunk. I told him that I didn’t believe him since Dick is always so restrained when it comes to alcohol, and Jay got all offended. The next thing I know there was a bet, and then he invited Dick out. And you know Dick, he obviously accepted, because he loves any chance he gets to hang out with you guys, and…well, one thing led to another, and here we are.”

Tim sighs heavily as he shakes his head. “Really, Jason…really? And you didn’t even have a plan in order to deal with an intoxicated Dick Grayson after all of that.”

Jason huffs out a breath as he glares. “I had a plan. It was to call you and make you deal with him. There wasn’t supposed to be blackmail involved…well, at least not on your end.”

Tim rolls his eyes, but he’s thankful that the rest of the car ride is uneventful. Unfortunately, trying to get Dick up the stairs to his apartment proves to be more than a little trying even with all three of them working together. Still, they manage it without breaking anyone’s neck. Roy breathes out a sigh of relief when they finally manage to get Dick into the apartment and settled onto the couch. “You know, I feel like drunken acrobatics should be a sport or something.”

Jason slumps into a chair beside the couch. “I still think it would have been easier to get him up the stairs if you guys had just let me shoot him in the leg.”

Tim glares at him. “You are not shooting anyone in the leg. Got it?”

Jason grumbles as he folds his arms over his chest. “You take all the fun out of everything.”

The three of them quiet down as they watch Dick settle onto the couch more comfortably. They wait patiently for Dick to fall asleep, but, right when it seems like they might be saved from drunken acrobatic babysitting, Dick bolts upright and flips over the couch. His landing is sloppy, but Tim’s just relieved that he didn’t break an ankle or something. The next thing they know Dick is dashing into Tim’s kitchen.

All three of them follow him, only to see Dick rummaging through every cupboard. They watch dumbfounded by the fact that Dick has managed to go through so many of Tim’s cupboards in such a short time. After a few minutes, Dick pulls out a seemingly random box of cereal with a triumphant, “Yes!”

Roy and Jason both glance over towards Tim with a perplexed expression. Tim merely shrugs. “What? It was either let him keep a box or two here or listen to him whine about my lack of good cereal selection when he’s here.”

The three of them once again fall silent as they watch Dick struggle to get a grip on the bowl, and Tim winces at the thought of having to deal with an inebriated Dick and broken glass, but just as he’s about to move forward and grab the bowl for him Dick manages to place it on the counter without breaking it. Dick then grabs the milk and starts pouring it into the bowl and all over the counter. Jason just stares at him as if he’s crazy. “What on earth are you doing?”

Dick spins around as if startled while still pouring milk all over the place. “I’m hungry. I want cereal.”

Jason rolls his eyes. “Yeah, but what kind of a person pours the milk in first. Drunk or sober that’s just wrong.”

Dick shrugs as he tosses the half full milk container over his shoulder and onto the floor, and then he grabs the box of cereal, shakes it, looks inside of it, shakes it again, and then upends the entire box over his bowl, causing a cascade of cereal to go everywhere. Dick jumps up onto the counter and sits down, seemingly unperturbed by the crunching of cereal or the wetness of the milk seeping into his pants as he happily begins munching on his cereal.

Tim growls at the disaster zone that his kitchen has become in seemingly seconds while the other two laugh their heads off. He turns towards the other two with a glare that would make Bruce proud. “I don’t care how you do it, but you two better clean that up while I try to get Dick into some clean, dry clothes.”

Tim is about to throw a mop and broom at them when a booming voice behind them breaks the sudden quiet. “What is going on in here?”
Tim, Jason, and Roy immediately tense, but Dick just throws his bowl down, shattering it all over the counter, as he hops to his feet and all but runs to give Bruce a hug. “Bruce! I missed you!”

Bruce stiffly returns the hug as he turns a piercing glare on the other three. “Why is he this drunk?”

Both Tim and Roy push Jason forward simultaneously as they take another step back. “It’s his fault.”

Jason glowers at both of them, but he knows better than to incriminate himself. “You know, B, I really would have thought you did alcohol tolerance training with him. This is really a huge oversight and you should just be happy that we were the ones with him.”

Tim bulks at the insinuation that he had anything to do with this at all. “For the record, I wasn’t involved at all. These two morons just called me to clean up their mess.”

Bruce turns his gaze onto Tim, who just now remembers that he may have forgotten to inform Bruce that he was going to be late…er than he originally intended. “Is there something wrong with your phone, Tim?”

Tim rubs the back of his head nervously. “Um, no, sorry I forgot to call you, but I really was on my way when Jason called.”

Bruce glares at all three of them. “You three will all clean up this mess. I will take care of Dick.”

They all watch silently as Bruce all but drags Dick out of the room, and then Jason smacks both Roy and Tim upside the head. “What was that?”

Tim holds up his hands in the air defensively. “This was your fault.”

Roy nods as he goes to grab the mop. “Yeah, Jay. You really didn’t think this one through.”

Jason grumbles as Tim throws him a rag, and then Tim grabs the trash can. “He’s not the only one to blame here, Roy. You should know better than to give him ideas.”

“Hey,” Roy squawks indignantly. “You’re the one who forgot to mention you were late for a meeting with Bruce. I think we both would have just accepted our fate then, if you had.”

Tim’s about to argue that he had tried to tell them just that, but before he gets a chance they’re interrupted by a very guttural voice from the next room, “Boys!”

It’s a warning that has all of them, even Jason, turning back towards their work and falling silent. At least, that is, until Jason nudges Roy with an elbow. “You still owe me fifty bucks.”

Roy groans as Tim seethes. “Great, you can buy me a new bowl and fix the two cabinet doors Dick apparently ripped off the hinges in his hasty search for his cereal.”

Jason growls as he throws the dirty rag he’s holding at Tim, who catches it without even looking up from his task of scrubbing the counter. “If you think I’m going to…”

Tim merely holds up his phone and whispers. “One text to Alfred is all it takes.”

Jason grumbles as Tim picks up the dirty rag and tosses it back to him. “Fine, but then I want that picture deleted or I will come after you.”

Tim smirks as he gestures to a spot that Jason missed. “Sure, it’s not like I don’t have plenty of other things to use against you should the need arise.”

Jason glares once again as Roy laughs. “Man, I’m so glad I’m not a Bat.”

Tim merely turns his mischievous smirk onto Roy. “And what makes you think that I don’t have dirt on you too?”

Roy gulps as he goes back to mopping up the floor. “Remind me not to get on his bad side.”

Jason laughs as he punches Roy in the arm. “After this…you already are.”

Roy groans and does his best to make sure the floor is spotless. “This is what being friends with Bats gets you, I tell you. Heck, none of this was even my idea.”

Tim rolls his eyes once again. “You two, at least, get to leave after we’re done here. Meanwhile, I’m stuck with those two...probably for the rest of the night.”

Jason and Roy both glance at each other before turning back to Tim and laughing. Roy drapes an arm over his shoulders. “Aw man, you’re right. You have it so much worse than us. Thanks for that.”

There’s the distinctive sound of someone clearing their throat, and all three of them look up to see Bruce standing in the doorway. “No one’s leaving.” He turns and leaves without another word.

Jason and Roy both glance around, clearly looking for an exit, but Tim’s kitchen doesn’t have any windows large enough to escape through. They both stare at each other for a long moment before simultaneously muttering, “Well, fuck.”

The End