Disclaimer: I don't own Batman or any of the characters in the DC Universe.

In the Spirit

Wearing the Costume

"No."

"Oh, come on Bruce."

He looked at the boy wonder, trying to administer the Bat-glare. Unfortunately, Tim Drake was now immune to such things. Not that it ever worked on him anyway.

"No, Tim."

"Just for one patrol?"

"I said, 'no'."

"You really suck sometimes, you know that?" he said, jutting out his bottom lip as they descended down the stairs, heading for the Batcave. Bruce allowed a small smile to cross his face.

"When have I not sucked?" he asked, curious as to when Tim had deemed him acceptable.

"I'll tell you if-"

"No."

They reached the glass cabinets that contained their costumes, and began to suit up. They both undressed until they were both stood in their boxer shorts.

"I bet you'd do it if Wonder Woman asked you."

"Wonder Woman wouldn't ask me," Bruce said, reaching in and taking out his leggings. Tim did the same and smiled wickedly.

"What if Barbara asked you?"

Bruce paused for a moment and looked at him, an eyebrow raised. "Why would that make a difference?"

Tim smirked and shrugged. "No reason," he said nonchalantly.

Bruce thinned his eyes and resumed his suiting up, reaching over and grabbing his top. "Why are you so obsessed, anyway?"

"Because it's such a good idea! The criminals of Gotham City won't know what hit them! It's a great ploy to distract them!"

"By making them think I've gone insane?" Bruce said, reaching in to the cabinet and pulling out his boots.

"Exactly. You'll scare them so much they won't have a chance to move."

"Somehow I don't think Bane or Scarecrow would be too frightened."

Tim looked up at him and scowled. "Fine, whatever. I'll wear it."

"No, you won't."

"Yes I will."

"No you won't."

"Yes, I will."

"No, y-," Bruce stopped himself before the argument went any further. "This is pointless. You're not wearing it."

"Aw, c'mon. Your buddy Flash wears one!"

"All the more reason. And he's not my 'buddy'."

"I bet he'd be hurt to hear you say that," Tim said, smiling as he finished putting on his boots and moved on to his cape. Bruce was similarly progressing, adjusting his cape and cowl. "Y'know, Alfred would agree with me if he was here."

"You're probably right," Bruce said, pulling out his utility belt and wrapping it around his waist. "But since when do I do what Alfred tells me?"

Tim nodded and put on his own utility belt. "Yeah, I guess. But come on! Could you just wear it once? We could both wear one! We'd be like the 'Christmas Avengers' or something," he said, reaching over and bringing out his mask. He placed it over his eyes and blinked a few times to let his eyes adjust. And so, Tim Drake was put to rest for the night, and Robin emerged. He looked up at Bruce, who pulled the cowl over, bringing about the visage of Batman. Tim smiled.

"Very nice."

Bruce didn't respond, he just started to walk over to the Batmobile. Tim tried to withhold his laughter, and ran to catch up. Bruce leapt into the driver's seat.

"Hey, can I drive this time?"

"No."

"Aw, c'mon. I never get to drive."

"Because you don't know how, and-," Bruce paused again, taking a deep breath. "I'm not doing this with you again. You're lucky I let you pilot the Batwing, so stop complaining."

Tim nodded, grumbling as he walked over to the Batmobile. "So, what's the problem this time? Mad Hatter? Joker? Riddler?"

Bruce punched a button, and the hatch slid shut on the Batmobile. "Neither. It's a hostage situation, and I thought they might appreciate our help."

Tim nodded. "Okay. Let's go."

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Batman and Robin burst through the air vent, and the man whirled on his heel, pointing his gun in their direction. He seemed ready to shoot, but suddenly looked very confused as he looked at Batman. Bruce, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, darted forward, punching him out in an instant. A few minutes later, and the hostages were reunited with their friends and families, and the man was being taken away. Bruce emerged from the shadows behind Commissioner Gordon, who didn't need to turn around to know that his long time friend was there. Tim emerged with him, hoping to stop Gordon before he blew his little plan.

"Good work," he said, turning to face Bruce. His eyes twitched slightly in surprise, and Tim quickly put a finger to his lips. Fortunately, Gordon seemed to understand. "I trust you're going to have a rest around the holidays?" he said, a wry smile on his lips.

Bruce managed a smile back. "Of course."

And with that, they parted, going their separate ways. Tim was just glad that Bullock wasn't there; he would have ruined the whole plan as soon as he had seen Batman emerge from the shadows. He looked up at his partner.

"Can we go back now? I'm freezing my ass off here."

Bruce looked over at him. "You seem overly fond of that word lately."

"What? 'Ass'?"

Bruce nodded. "Nightwing used to use it a lot."

Tim shrugged. "Well, I have seen more of him lately." A gust of wind came through the alleyway, and Tim shivered in response, hugging his arms close to himself. "Can we please go back?"

Bruce smiled and nodded. Tim's plan was a success. Someone close to Batman had seen him, and that was all that Tim wanted.

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The Batmobile came to a halt in the Batcave, and Tim undid his seatbelt. As the hatch slid back, Alfred approached. Tim's eyes widened slightly as he thought that Alfred might squeal on him, but he didn't respond any differently than usual.

"It's good to see you back sir. I have Superman waiting for you on the visual feed."

Holy crap… Superman?

Tim couldn't have timed this better if he'd tried. Bruce jumped out of the car, and Tim followed suit, heading for the glass cabinet so he could get changed. Bruce pushed a button on the Bat computer, and Superman's face appeared on the screen. He immediately raised an eyebrow. Tim quickly jumped behind Bruce, putting a finger to his lips. Superman smiled, and Tim cursed how obvious the Big Blue Boy Scout was being.

"Having fun, Bruce?"

Bruce paused. "What is it?"

"We need you up at the Watchtower for a meeting."

Bruce nodded, and Tim tried to stop himself from laughing. Bruce glanced back in Tim's direction for a moment, before looking back at Superman.

"All right. I'm ready for transport."

And in a blue flash, Batman was gone. Superman smiled at Tim. "Whose idea was that?"

Tim patted his chest. "All mine, baby."

Superman grinned and pushed a button to cancel the transmission. Alfred walked over to Tim, holding some freshly ironed sleeping clothes for him to wear.

"Thanks Alfred."

"You're most welcome, Master Drake." He paused for a moment. "You know… Master Bruce doesn't approve of murder, Master Drake. But if he finds out, I do believe he will make an exception in your case."

Tim smiled, enjoying the warmth of the clothes as he finished getting dressed. "It was worth it."

Tim walked up the stairs with Alfred, a huge grin on his face.

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Later that night, Tim heard Batman transport back to the cave. And all he heard was a deadly silence, followed by a sudden crash as Bruce kicked something in anger.

Tim grinned wider.

For you see, Tim had adhered a Santa Claus hat to the top of Batman's cowl.

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(A/N: This will eventually cover the rest of the DCAU (including Static Shock and The Zeta Project), but I thought I'd start with Batman, since he's so much fun to humiliate.

So, what'd you think? Good? Bad? Review!)