This is to be the LAST entry for Roy Month (PST) and for Robin's birthday.
Gifts of a Different Sort
As the early afternoon sun burned into his eyes, Tim Drake traversed the
meticulously cropped grass of the Brentwood Academy lawn. Trailing in front
of the teen-wonder incognito was a round, white, undersized dog, happily
dragging the young man. The Dean's pet, Cardigan, was currently in search
of a place to do his business.
"Psst," a jumble of thickets and bushes called out to him. Looking both
ways, Tim gently tugged the animal over to the shrubbery.
Oracle would have alerted him if Robin had been necessary, that meant Dick
Grayson wanted to spend 'quality' time. That was fine, of course, he hadn't
seen Dick in weeks because of work, city problems and universal crisis
problems. Tim really couldn't afford to take off and disappear today, but….
Well, he never really had much will power when Dick asked him to do stuff.
Especially if it was dangerous and fun.
"Aww, shit! The mutt's pissing on my foot!"
"ROY!" Tim whispered harshly, looking down. Yeah, the dog had crept into
the underbrush and was doing his business. "Roy, I'm at school. Dick is NOT
here. So unless Dick is in a LOT of trouble… you better get outta here."
That was all Tim needed, to get caught near the wall that lead to freedom
with a public hero and known delinquent like Roy. He'd go from not being
able to leave school grounds to being in solitary confinement. Forever.
Roy stepped out of the bushes, wiping his boot on grass. "Uh, yeah, Dick's
"And you waited for me to mosey on out of here? Why didn't you tell Oracle
to hail me?"
"Uhh… didn't think that far ahead?" Roy said with half a laugh. "Come on,
lets ditch the pooch and blow this joint."
* * *
It had been quiet for the last twenty-five minutes. Roy wasn't telling
anything. He had a stupid grin on his face, the tell-tale signs of getting
away with something.
They were one exit away from midtown Bludhaven when Tim finally had enough.
"Roy, I'm going to jump from the car, while it's moving, if you don't tell
me what the deal is."
Roy unlocked the car doors with the power lock.
"And then I'll run to the nearest pay phone. And call Bruce at work. And
Roy glared at the boy. "FINE. Do you know what today is?"
"The twentieth? Tuesday." The boy's answers were full of peevish venom.
"Very GOOD, Master Detective. And what's the twentieth?" Without putting on
his turn signal, Roy cut across two lanes of traffic and took exit
seventeen, which let off right into the heart of Bludhaven.
"Why don't you tell ME, if you YOU know so much."
Roy snorted as he stopped at the three way intersection at the bottom of
the ramp. "You are SUCH a guy."
"Excuse YOU. Now tell me what's going on. Think of how mad Dick'll be when
I call my dad and tell him I was kidnapped by a Titan," Tim said smartly.
Since Bruce had told Stephanie his name, he'd had a lot of built up
animosity for the world at large, and Roy was an easy and viable target to
release his frustration on.
He rubbed the boy's head vigorously, until Tim skirted his head from
beneath the archer's heavy hand. "It's Dick's birthday, runt."
"And you abducted me because…?" They were going thirty-seven miles an hour.
If he opened the door now, and jumped…
"You came willingly!"
"You mislead me!"
Roy rolled his eyes. "Details, details… Look, Dick's been working his ass
off, and if YOU didn't remember it's his birthday, HE didn't remember it's
his birthday, ok? So when he comes home between jobs, we're going to give
him a little surprise."
Tim bit his cheek and thought about it for a moment. "FINE. But I have to
be back at Brentwood by nine."
The Titan in the driver's seat looked at him innocently. "Don't worry,
you'll be back in jail before Lights Out."
Tim started thinking up excuses then and there.
* * *
Closing his eyes, Dick Grayson leaned against the door jam as he found the
key for his apartment. With a nearly dead hand, the young man shoved the
silver key into the lock and turned it. The door clicked, and as he pushed
it opened, he pulled the key from the lock. It was twilight now, he could
rest until it was truly dark. He could get away with laying down for maybe
half an hour. That'd be more sleep than he'd gotten all week.
He put his Nightwing uniform on, then dived face-first into his pillow.
Sleep was better than ice-cream. Sleep was better than sex. Don't tell his
* * *
There was one giggle from a deep male voice, then the sound of palm hitting
"You're going to wake him up," the young tenor whispered harshly.
"Dude, a herd of elephants couldn't wake him up," replied the other voice
in the darkness. "That's why Robbie needs this, man."
Making a secure knot with his fly line, the short one shook his head. Tim
knew Dick needed this. What he wasn't sure about was whether Dick needed
tied up, too.
* * *
Waking in pitch black silence, Dick found himself with his hands bound
behind his back. He felt groggy, heavy in his stomach and lungs. His nasal
passage felt thick and obstructed. At the moment, he couldn't think of what
he'd been drugged with.
He could feel his gauntlets on his wrists, but there was no mask on his
face. What kind of trouble had he gotten himself into.
"Oracle?" he asked with dry, painfully cracked lips.
"What can I do for you, Short Pants?" a voice asked in his ear.
"What's my current location?" he asked cautiously.
There was a pause, during which, he untied himself from the line. It was a
thinner wire, probably belonging to Tim or Batgirl. What the hell'd he done
to piss THEM off? Honestly—he hadn't even SEEN them in over a month. So if
they weren't mad at him, had one of them gone rogue? And if they'd gone
rogue, why'd they put a pillow under his head and make him comfortable?
"Babs… a location, please?"
"Uh… Titans Tower," she responded tentatively.
He twisted the wire in his finger as he dragged himself to his knees. Roy's
waterbed squished beneath him. He HOPED he hadn't done anything
bad/kinky/something he'd regret/had left photographic evidence of.
"Um… any idea how long I've been unconscious?"
"What's the last thing you remember?" she asked patiently.
"I crashed in my apartm—ROY!" he called out suddenly. "ROY, WHERE THE HELL
He looked at the chronometer on his glove. It was 18:32. That wasn't right,
there's no way he could have gotten off work and ended up in New York—he
pressed the date button. It was the twenty-first. Aww, shit. Wednesday at
13:30 was his performance review… Roy was so dead.
"ROY!" he screamed out in the pitch blackness, leaping off the bed and
heading to where he knew the door to be. Pressing the release panel, the
door slid opened, and his eyes burned with the light from the hall.
"Unca Ni-wing!" a chubby, cute little girl of below-average height cried
cheerfully. "You lookin' for daddy?"
Like the professional he was, Nightwing swallowed his anger and picked the
little girl up. "Yes, Lian, where IS your daddy?"
"Did you have a nice nap?" Lian hated naps. But you felt better after them.
Why had Ni-wing been grumpy after his nap? Maybe he needed another one.
"The nap was--" Dick paused. "Perfect," he said with surprise. Too bad it
probably had just cost him his job.
"Me an' Robin was watching Jackie Chan movies. He likes Jackie Chan too!
And we watched the cartoon!" she grabbed his cheeks and twisted them to and
fro. "Now is play time." After nap was play time with daddy. Everybody knew
That HAD been Robin's line. Just when you thought you could trust Tim to
NOT be as stupid as Roy… he proved you wrong. He'd been a good little
brother. Too bad Tim had to die now.
* * *
"You're sure he's coming here?" Tim asked Roy cautiously, looking around
"That's where I told Lian we'd be." They'd sent Lian off to meet him, when
they heard the shouts. He couldn't get murderous with a three year old
"Now, you stand here, and I'll stand here," Roy began, positioning Tim
closer to the door. "And when he comes in…" Roy paused, looking over Tim's
shoulder. "We'll all say Happy Birthday, have a nice nap?" Roy finished.
Cautiously, Tim looked over his shoulder. Dick was sans the cute little
girl who'd keep Dick from killing them, and he was pissed. "Happy belated
birthday bro. Why don't--"
Dick glared. "I thought I could trust you."
"Dick, let us explain. There's nothing to be worked up about--"
"I'm probably out of a job, and my city went to hell while I was sleeping,
and there's NOTHING to be worked up about?" he seethed.
Roy was going to let the little guy take the fall, but selflessness swelled
in his chest, and he stepped between Former and Current Boy Wonders. "Hey,
chill out. You needed some rest, man. It's our birthday present. Now Fish
Face went to get some pizza, and we kicked the kiddies out tonight, so it's
just the grownups and the brat and the munchkin, so you better just resign
yourself to some belated birthday cheer." Dude, he was alliterating and
"Roy—you screwed me out of my job and left my city unprotected so we could
have a pizza party?" Dick wasn't sure if he should kill himself or Roy.
Maybe he could make it a murder-suicide.
"You're covered! I watched Da Haven last night, and I was going back
tonight if you weren't up soon, and Timmy called work, you're cool." Roy
had made the best plan this time. He even had it covered if Dick dragged
his butt outta bed before he left. He had a back-up, back-up city watcher.
See, he ruled.
Dick glared at the junior Batboy. "What did you say to them?"
"I called and said you were sick," the boy explained defensively.
"I'm outta sick days," he informed them with something akin to
satisfaction. Who did they think they were—doing this?
Tim grinned. "It's ok. I said we took you out for your birthday and you got
food poisoning from bad fish. Amy felt so bad, she finagled you an extra
personal day. So, you got a free day off and you're not sick, so you can
"I have to get back to Bludhaven." He was skeptical that Roy would pass up
a party to do patrol. "Thanks for the nap though."
Roy sighed. His friend was such a hard-case. "Batgirl supposed ta be
watching Da Haven tonight if you woke up so we can party hardy." He'd spent
actual TIME working on this. "Fleet Feet'll be here any minute. He's
bringing the beer." Straight from Germany. This was going to be so cool.
"Robbie, buddy… friend, pal o' mine. You are so covered." Roy put on his
Still obviously stressed out by the whole situation, Dick sat at the table.
"You guys didn't have to tie me up."
"Sure did, buckeroo. Didn't know when you'd wake up. I don't need your
fists in my face."
Tim scratched his ear. "Well, I guess we coulda untied you once we have you
Dick sighed. "I've turned into Bruce, haven't I?"
"That's why we abducted you, man. Figured you'd work yourself straight
through the big 2-5 and you'd be twenty six before you realized you were
twenty five. And then we'd have to wait till you were fifty before we could
throw ya another milestone birthday party, but you'd be dead before then
from an ulcer and heart problems."
Durring Roy's little speech about how Dick was a grade-A workaholic, Donna
slipped into the kitchen and wrapped her arms around Dick's neck in an
affectionate hug. "And there's the birthday boy."
Dick had heard her coming, but he smiled. "Alright, you guys kidnapped me,
you'd better party me out before you send the random note to Bruce."
Tim and Roy looked at each other. "We knew we forgot something!" Roy
announced as they gave each other a high-five.
The Boy Wonder grinned. "That'd be so cool…"
* * *
Alfred placed the mail on the desk next to where Bruce was reading the
morning paper. He didn't so much as look at the presented pile. Alfred put
it there every morning, but he seldom went through it.
"I think the yellow envelope on top deserves attention, sir," Alfred
Bruce closed the paper and picked up the legal sized envelope. It was
unmarked. Inspecting it closely, he pulled back the metal closer on top,
then slid the single sheet out of the envelope.
Taped to the center was a picture of a red faced, probably intoxicated,
Dick Grayson with pizza stuffed in his mouth, his blushing cheeks puffed
out with food.
In black magic marker, written in Roy Harper's hand-writing, was a note:
'If you ever wanna see your former sidekick again, you will give us payment
in the form of one Polaroid. Contents of said photo should include: you,
your sincere smile, the dog from the Taco Bell commercials.'
In Tim Drake's handwriting, in pencil, was added: 'the dog is optional.'
Shaking his head, he tossed the envelope and it's contents onto his desk.
First, he was going to find Timothy new friends. Second, he was going to
find Dick new friends.
Staring at the photo in front of him, he hedged. The boy did deserve
SOMETHING unique for his birthday, though.