Stuck In The Muddle With You


Roy Harper sighed and let his head thunk back against the wall. It sooo was not his day.

First, the electricity had gone out during the night. Consequently, so had the heat. His alarm clock was also electric-powered, and he'd woken up forty-seven minutes late. In order to get Lian to school on time, he'd had to forgo showering, shaving, and his own breakfast. Luckily, Lian had her bath at night and there was a package of Pop-Tarts left, so she was set.

After dropping Lian off safely, Roy had planned to stop by McDonald's and pick up some coffee and an Egg McMuffin or three. He had, and devoured one breakfast sandwich before he even left the restaurant parking lot. However, between trying to navigate morning rush hour traffic, eat the rest of his breakfast, and answer his ringing cell phone, Roy hadn't noticed he'd been speeding.

Forty-three in a thirty-five mile per hour zone, and he'd gotten a ticket from some rookie cop eager to do his job. At least the guy hadn't been able to bust him for not wearing his seatbelt; Roy already had five holes in his chest, and he could do without anymore.

The phone had been Jade, informing him that someone had to down to the bank and get the evidence for their latest case out of lock-up for the trial tomorrow. That someone was him, apparently.

On the way to the bank, he got stuck behind the clean-up of a three-car pile-up, and then behind one of those Zamboni-like machines that painted stripes down the street as they drove – and drove slowly. It was a no-passing road, and it was bumper-to-bumper on the other side of the street anyway.

Roy had finally gotten to the bank – which was eleven miles away from the McDonald's – an hour and a half later, only to have to wait because only the manager could get him stuff from the extra-secure lock-up, despite Roy having the only key (other than Jade's) to the actual box. The manager apparently only came in on alternate Tuesdays, and it was Thursday. Roy had finally gotten there – after forty minutes, three cups of coffee, and way too much waiting room Muzak – gotten the evidence – a CD, and if Indigo weren't on her honeymoon with Shift, they wouldn't have needed to keep it in lock-up – and was on his way back down when he heard the shouts, and the shots, from downstairs. He wasn't in costume, but he had enough gadgets on him, and his CBI training, to make a difference.

And now he was stuck in an elevator. Three floors down, a gang of idiots was robbing the bank, and in his haste to help, he'd taken an elevator, forgetting one important security precaution that most businesses had: automatic shutdowns of all the elevators when any alarm was sounded.

He didn't even have the awful Muzak to keep him company anymore.

Roy pressed his ear to seam between the doors, trying to hear what was going on a floor and a half below him. There weren't any shots, but there was a muffled banging/crashing sound that he couldn't quite identify. It could have been Starfire's starbolts, or some flash-bang grenades, or a giant mallet created by Jade's green power.

The noises stopped after a moment, and after five minutes of complete quiet, Roy got bored. The day had been saved, without him, and now all he had to do was wait…to be rescued. With a sigh, he moved to sit against the wall and tried to get comfortable on the industrial-grade, indoor/outdoor carpeting. Only a lifetime of stakeouts on rocky rooftops with various Robins made it bearable in comparison.

Roy had just about fallen into a light doze when a scraping metallic sound came from overhead. Fifty-seven seconds later, the hatch – locked, Roy had checked first thing – opened, and a very familiar masked face appeared.

Tim was grinning at him like a pleased raccoon. Roy wasn't sure whether that made him garbage or fish. He felt rather more like the former, considering his lack of a shower that day.

Robin flipped down into the elevator car and crouched in front of Roy. "Bad day?" he asked rhetorically, and it was only the fact that Tim could have no idea exactly how bad Roy's day had been that kept him from kicking his ass.

"Oh, not really," Roy drawled, sarcasm practically dripping from his words. "I mean, it's not like my electricity went out, I was almost late getting Lian to school, I got a speeding ticket and then had to wait forever to get that stupid disk before being stuck in this elevator."

Tim's eyes widened behind the mask, and he let out a chuckle. "That bad, huh?" he asked.

Roy groaned and let his head hang down between his knees. "Hell, yeah. Worse, even." When he finally managed to drag his head back up, he came face to smirking face with his lover. Not that he didn't love having Tim around more often, but sometimes he thought it would have been better if Tim wasn't an Outsider instead of Dick. Then he wouldn't have his boyfriend coming to his rescue so often.

Not that it wasn't nice to be rescued; it was just embarrassing that he needed it.

"Well…" Tim drawled. "No one'll come looking for either of us for a while…"

Roy quirked an eyebrow at Tim. His uptight, by-the-book lover couldn't possibly be suggesting…

Tim released the catch on his cape and started undoing the ones on his tunic.

He could. Roy took a deep breath and expelled it with a smile as he started stripping out of his own clothes. The carpet was going to be hell on his knees, the industrial lube that Robin carried for oiling hinges was always too sticky and he had a headache from the Muzak he'd had to listen to earlier.

Even if he had gotten stuck in an elevator, though, he couldn't have picked better company. All in all, his day was looking up.


THE END