Not Thinking

Tim isn't thinking about the fact that Dick keeps trying to…hug…him. He isn't thinking about the fact that Dick keeps ruffling his hair – even though it doesn't really ruffle all that well, what with the hair gel he uses in his Robin guise – and giving him noogies, and punching him on the arm, and…

He isn't thinking about any of those things by themselves, because he's brooding over the more encompassing and only slightly vague thought that Dick. Keeps. Touching. Him.

All the time. And pretty much everywhere he can get his hands with plausible deniability about it being anything more than just friendly.

What does it mean? Theoretically, he knows it just means that Dick is a touchy-feely type of person. He has the photographs and video footage to prove it. Hell, Dick had even hugged Batman back in his days as Robin. But…

Dick had never been this…hands on…with Jason. In more than one way, and for one, or maybe two, glaringly obvious reasons. Dick had rarely even smiled at Jason, even in the later, and much too sporadic, good days.

Dick…smiles at him. All the time, even when the situation is directly opposed to any kind of happy feelings or positive emotion. But he only does it with Tim. As if Tim is the only thing he needs to make a situation better.

Tim thinks he knows what that means – he knows what it would mean if he was observing this interaction between two civilians – but he can't be completely sure, because…because it's Dick. The same Dick who calls him 'little brother' and 'Timmy' couldn't possibly also be…flirting with him…could he?

Then again, it's Dick, which means he'd totally like fucking with Tim's head like that. Probably because he wouldn't see it as sending mixed signals. He'd just see it as…family. Or whatever the entire group of Gotham/Bludhaven heroes are.

Tim really does think that all social interaction in his life would go much smoother if people would just quit dissembling. He knows, of course, that that is way too much to ask of a civilian, let alone the people he 'works' with, and anyway, he's never much liked the thought of being a hypocrite.

Still, Dick couldn't have chosen the 'punch on the arm and pull pigtails' approach to flirting? Even one of those stupid candy hearts at Valentine's Day with 'I Like U' would be clearer.

Tim isn't thinking about Dick touching him anymore – that's for later, when he's alone – now he's thinking about how to get back at Dick a little bit for making him freak. And doing it in a way that makes it plain he knows that Dick has been fucking with his head.

Half an hour's thought yields a plan that makes Tim smirk, the same way that Bruce does every time he's laid the perfect Catwoman bait. He knows exactly how he's going to start flirting back with Dick. Next time they're at the Clocktower, and Dick starts juggling with Babs' beanie Bats, Tim will make the Nightwing and Robin III beanies kiss, with a pointed look at Dick. Just to see what he does.

Dick's not the only one who can not think about the consequences of his actions.