Best Served Cold
***

The icy blue light of early dawn crept into the apartment of Dick
Grayson. With dark purpose he stepped forward through his home, armed
and prepared to do the worst.

"Don't do it, man," Roy mouthed. He stood rigid in his spot behind
Nightwing, praying his friend could be brought back from the edge of
madness.

"I gotta," Dick whispered. He stood poised with his long, sleek
weapon of destruction poised just over Robin's head. The young man
lay on the sofa like a body in a coffin, completely unaware of what
was transpiring above him.

"Come on… leave him alone. It's time to grow up."

Dick never turned around to look at his friend when he spoke. "I've
been grown-up since I was eight, Roy. Now it's time for revenge. And
if that's childish, then so be it."

Dick's little monologue had been just a tad too wordy, because Tim
stirred on the couch. Roy took a step back. He didn't want to be
caught in the cross-fire when Robin discovered what his older brother
and idol was about to do to him. It was for nothing, though, because
Robin didn't wake. Roy expelled a breath in a long rush of relief.

"Dick, come on. This isn't worth it. You're soul's going to turn
black over this. Don't. Do. It."

Dick scowled at his teammate. "Are you with me, or against me?"

"I'm your friend. But I'm not going to let you do this to the little
squirt. He's a pain in the butt and he's whiney, but that's no
excuse. Come on. You're a great man. You're beyond this."

When Dick next spoke, his voice was cold and hard, like steel. "I am
beyond nothing, when provoked. I am provoked."

Roy wondered if he'd be fast enough to grab his friend and stop him.
Without his arrows, he thought not. He couldn't reason with his
friend. He was to be a witness and inadvertent party to this madness.

When Nightwing went into motion, Roy turned away, his heart in his
throat. Poor Robin. Poor, poor Robin.

"I am justified and I am victorious," Nightwing said darkly.

Like clock-work, the cruelly invented cliché played itself out. Ever
so gently, the long gray feather in Nightwing's hand brushed against
Robin's cheek. The boy's hand slapped his face, and the sticky
substance which had been squirted into his palm made a disgusting
squishing sound.

Unfortunately, it wasn't shaving cream or tooth paste that plagued
the young man, it was a substance of Nightwing's own creation. The
boy's hand cemented firmly and instantly to his face. It was not
until he tried to pull it away, that he woke.

"Dick! You're such an asshole!" Robin cried out as he leapt to his
feet.

Dick took a step back, just out of range of Robin, because as soon as
his feet hit the floor, they slipped out from under him, and he fell
flat on his face. The boy's only free hand turned upward and he
looked at the cooking oil that now covered his body and drenched the
hard wood floor.

"You are the sickest fuck I've ever see in my life," Robin said with
dead seriousness.

Dick folded his arms over his chest in dark satisfaction. "Your
girlfriend also got an e-mail from your address saying you hate her,
wish she were dead, and she should stop sucking up to Batman because
it's YOUR job."

Roy buried his head in his hands. "Dick… come on…" But it was too
late. He knew the damage had already been done.

Dick looked at his watch. "In fifteen seconds, Batman will get an e-
mail from your address saying that you hate him, wish HE were dead,
and he should stop training Spoiler because you know he's just in it
for the ass."

Tim turned green.

"And your father knows you're an escapee of Brentwood Pen. His exact
words were `I'll feed that boy his ass.' I think he has a lot of pent
up anger. He should see someone about that."

Roy came around Dick cautiously, then grabbed Robin's arm and helped
him to his feet. "Dick, you're sick, man. You need help."

Dick scowled at Robin. "Tell him what you did, Timmy."

"I didn't do anything!"

"Tell him what you did, and why you deserve NONE of his sympathy!"

"You can't prove anything," Tim said weakly.

Roy looked at both of them. "Look, I didn't come here for the weekend
to see you destroy a little kid. Just let him alone."

"TELL ROY WHAT YOU DID! Or the dean of your school `finds out' that
you didn't write your last two term papers!"

Tim swallowed. "Ok… ok, I give up! Just… just STOP." He looked to
Roy, who helped him sit back down on the couch. His jeans and t-shirt
were ruined—completely covered in oil. Tim's hand was still cemented
to his face. "I sorta… set up a web site about Dick."

"So?" Roy didn't see the big deal.

"It had… pictures of Dick."

"Naked pictures?" Roy asked. The kid was a little perv.

"No. Not… exactly."

Nightwing scowled at Robin.

"It… Ok, I manipulated the pictures. It's a site of Dick… in Batman
Underoos."

Roy covered his eyes with his hands. "WHY?"

"He sent Helena a card and flowers… WITH MY NAME ON THEM. Like I have
some kind of fan-boy puppy love for Huntress or something. And I
didn't know about it, until she came to dash my disillusioned crush."
The boy scowled at Dick. "So I built the web-site. And I sent the
link to everyone in the BPD, half the Justice League and all of the
Titans."

"Note to self:" Roy started. "Check e-mail more frequently. I'd LOVE
to see that." Of course, the site had probably been very short-lived.

Dick gave Roy a look of death, but turned his rage back to
Robin. "Tell them who ELSE you sent it to!"

"Oracle. Can you unglue my hand from my face now?"

"NO!" Dick yelled. "You reap what you sow, junior."

"Robin, that was dumb. You know he's touchy over the whole online
Greek god person."

"Shut up, Roy."

"You shut up, Dick. You're totally in love with him/her/it. That's
what this is all about! Over a piece of ass seeing you in underwear
with an image of daddy plastered across the butt?" This whole
situation was sick, and it was freaking Roy out. He grabbed his
jacket and his duffel bag. "You Bat-people are sick. All of you.
Robbie, I love you like a brother, but you're screwed up. And you,
Little Fry, are screwed up too. Until you guys straighten yourselves
out, I'm outta here."

Roy shook his head at both of them, then left. This was above and
beyond a normal prank war. This had just gotten vicious, and Roy
couldn't be a party to that. Sure they'd shaving-creamed Gar a few
times. Once they'd made Christmas tree garland out of Donna's bras.
But this stuff? This was just wrong. And it had to be stopped.

He took out his cell phone and dialed a number to be used only in
emergencies.

"Hello?" Roy asked tentatively when the other side picked up.

"What is it?" a voice asked impatiently.

"Mr. Batman, sir… we have a problem…"

"I have REAL problems to deal with, Roy. I don't have time for your
games."

"No! This time it's for real! The last time… Wally put me up to it. I
mean it though. Something's seriously screwed up with Dick and Tim.
They need an intervention."

"An intervention?"

"Yeah." Roy detailed the events of the morning for Batman. Batman
wasn't his favorite person to talk to, but he had to do SOMETHING to
stop the madness.

Standing on the street, Roy looked up at Dick's window when he caught
movement out of the corner of his eye. By the time he looked up, it
was already too late. Balloons filled with shaving cream rained down
upon them. Scraping shaving cream off the receiver, he
whispered, "they've gotta be stopped."

The End.