WARNING! You will not understand most of the references if you never had a childhood.
Disclaimer: I don't own Disney or DC.
Ch. 7 Welcome to Hell (Uh I mean It's a Small World)
Jason smirked while he watched the two love birds stand a few feet apart like they weren't just sucking face a moment ago.
Stephanie smoothed back her hair, trying to play it cool. So she just made out with Tim? So what? She'll just roll with it like she does with everything else. And if her cheeks were a bit red she would attribute that to the hot day, definitely not the kiss.
Tim was busy trying to collect himself, looking everywhere but in Steph's direction. A blush darker than Steph's stained his face. He cleared his throat. "Er, ahem. Didn't see you there, Jay."
"Obviously," Jason said with a slight slur. "Otherwise you'd be classified as an exhibitionist, and frankly, Timmy, you donna seem the type." Jason took a swig from the bottle of beer he was holding, eyeing them both speculatively. "And anotha thing, since I doubt Bruce wants anymore rugrats in the mansion; you'd sure as hell better wear a condom."
That only made Tim's face turn an even darker shade of red, if that was even possible at this point. He opened his mouth only to close it, mortified beyond belief that he couldn't even get a single word out. His head turned down as if he found the ground the most interesting thing in the world.
Steph wasn't much better, her hands covering her face as if physically pained by Jason's words. She worked at slowing her breathing until she calmed down enough to manage to put her hands back down to her sides. "Well," she started, fully aware of the awkward tension in the air, "Dick and Damian are waiting for us." Not looking at the smirking Jason at or the mortally embarrassed robin, with admirable effort she stuttered, "W-we should go."
Tim latched onto that like the life preserver it was. "Yeah." Stiffly, Tim started walking, still a noticeable distance apart from Steph, who was walking with an absent spring in her step.
Jason, however; didn't at all feel the need to dispel the awkward atmosphere with a desperate attempt to change topics. "Sooo. Timmy, are you on top or-"
Horrified along with mortified, Tim cut him off with a "Jason, shut up!"
When nothing but silence met Tim, and his face still holding the color of a tomato, he mumbled, "It's not like that." He stole a quick glance at Steph, whose head was still facing resolutely forward. The only difference was that she just increased her pace and both boys had to speed up to catch up with her, much to the displeasure to the one who may have consumed a bit too much alcohol.
When Jason caught up he pasted on a sloppy smirk. He was so going to milk this as long as he possibly could. With a deep breath he sang, "Stephanie and Timmy sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes Tim, then Steph says bye, then Tim gets a door slammed in his face for leaving Steph dry!"
Tim glared at him. "Seriously, how old are you?"
Jason just lifted his beer in response and drank.
Stephanie was too busy speed walking, staring straight ahead as if nothing could touch her, that she didn't see a small crack on the floor. So with a stumble that was unbefitting of one who was once the sidekick to Batman, she tripped. At the last moment, however; she was able to save herself the experience of knowing what the ground in Disneyland tasted like. Unfortunately, her bag wasn't so lucky.
She heard Jason laugh and say something that sounded suspiciously like 'girl blunder everyone'. Sighing, she ignored him and his drunkenness, and bent over to pick up her bag, hoping that her camera survived without any fatal injuries. Ironically enough, just as she lifted it, her camera fell out. "Really?" she exclaimed, utterly exasperated. She bent down again for her camera.
While Steph was still bending down a man called out, "Damn! I'd like a piece of that action!" Steph picked up her camera and straightened, finding a man wiggling his eyebrows at her suggestively. Angry, with her bag in one hand and the camera in the other, she was about to give the man a piece of her mind when a surprising third party beat her to it.
"Excuse me sir, but that wasn't necessary," Tim said, staring the man down with a glare. The man looked like he was in his late twenties, but from the look on his face, never outgrew the mentality of a hormonal teenager.
"Oh, really? I thought it was necessary. She has a nice ass. I was just letting her know that I appreciate that. What exactly are you gonna do about it, kid?" The man smirked. Tim tensed, a thousand scenarios playing out in his head, determining which plan of action to implement.
The man, meanwhile, looked back and forth between Steph and Tim speculatively. "Oh! I get it. She's your little girlfriend." He chuckled. Giving Steph a long look up and down he continued with, "For the record babe, you could do so much better than this scrawny runt. You need a real man that can fill you up and then some." His greasy smile indicated who one such 'real man' would be. "How 'bout you drop this boy and…"
The man didn't get to finish his sentence because his face collided with Tim's fist, knocking him down. The man looked up at Tim, touching the split lip that Tim just caused. The man's eyes narrowed threateningly.
Tim's lip curled in distaste. "People like you are the reason this world is utterly despicable. Now if you'd be so kind as to apologize," he said calmly while the man rubbed his jaw, blood dripping from his lip.
With a growl the man yelled, "The fuck do you think you are?!" before he lunged at Tim. In his element, Tim saw the move coming and let the man collide with his fist. Some people need to learn the same lesson twice for it to sink in, Tim thought with a spike of satisfaction. The man was now sporting a soon-to-be black eye to go along with the split lip.
A crowd had gathered at Tim's altercation. A few kids were pumping their fists up and down, while the parents looked disapproving, but still having the morbid curiosity to see how the fight would turn out.
"Motherfucker! I'm gonna kill you kid! You think your tough shit for giving me a black eye and a split lip? I got worse than that in middle school!" The man winced when the words he spoke caused his split lip to stretch out, more blood oozing out of the wound. The area around his left eye was throbbing and his eye was starting to swell shut.
The man was about to continue when a voice called out. All involved in the conflict turned to the newcomer. A man in his forties was jogging toward them, his blue uniform marking him as Disneyland Security.
When the security guard reached them, he crouched down where the injured man lay and asked, "Frank, are you okay? I thought you were going home when your shift ended."
Tim eyed the newcomer uncertainly, starting to get a bad feeling about this.
"This little punk's causing trouble," the guy now known as Frank growled, pointing an accusing finger at Tim.
The security guard turned to the two teenagers who were no doubt regretting that they hadn't bolted the first time they saw the security guard rushing toward them.
"Do you have anything to say for yourself boy?" the security guard asked, face stern.
"I-um. What?" All his carefully honed legalistic skills seem to have left him, leaving him in a state of befuddlement. Desperate, he turned to Steph and even Jason for help, but Jason was nowhere to be seen and Steph was being her helpful self by taping everything that had just transpired.
His eyes frantically searched until he finally located Jason. Tim closed his eyes shut and he had to control the sudden violent urge to throttle Jason. As if Tim's precarious situation wasn't enough, Jason just had to decide that urinating in a public amusement park was the best idea in the world.
Jason's head was thrown back, a self-satisfied smile on his face as he watered the flowers nearby. Passing families gasped and hurried their kids along so they wouldn't have to see such a sight, but a boy about five thought that Jason had the right idea and stood next to him, pulling down the zipper of his own child-sized jeans.
A distraught mom picked up the boy immediately and zipped him back up before he could start to go. Jason, at this point, gave a final shake and tucked himself back in. He was not at all prepared for the slap that followed.
"Ow! What the hell?" he exclaimed, nursing his reddened cheek.
"That was for being a disgusting pig! There are restrooms for a reason!" said the woman. The little boy wiggled in her grasp. "But Moooom! I really had to go!"
"Yes honey, but we go indoors, not outdoors like an animal," the last word was said with a pointed look to Jason.
"But it's easier to go nooowww!" the child complained. "I didn't want to pee my pants like a baby. And this mister knows that too!"
Jason burst out a laugh.
The mom shot Jason another look, which did not stop Jason from laughing.
"What this man knows is that he's not suitable to be around children, or society for that matter. Now hold it in while we search for a bathroom that has a working toilet." The mother strode away while dragging her child along.
During Jason's little adventure Tim was still getting grilled to the third degree.
"That is an official Disney security guard on break you just assaulted!" the security guard continued to rant. Tim tried to defend himself, saying that Frank was the one who demonstrated inappropriate behavior not befitting a Disneyland employee, but the security guard wasn't having it. Frank was standing up again, an ice pack someone gave to him pressed against his eye. He still managed to smirk at Tim, however; fully confident that Tim was screwed.
Stephanie decided that she had enough footage of this scene and devised an ingenious plan that could rival any of that Batman could ever create.
"Hey, Mr. Disneyland Security Guard?"
The security guard turned his attention to her. "You may call me Walker, miss. What can you contribute to this incident?"
Steph held in the urge to question him why he wasn't with the Texas Rangers. Barely. She gave a bright smile instead and flashed a fake badge from her assorted stash. "I can contribute by saying that you're disrupting an undercover job. Please step away from my partner and we can be on our way to completing our job without any more unnecessary inconveniences."
Tim slapped his hand to his forehead.
The security guard gave her a level stare. "And in what world would I believe this story?" Steph's confident smile deflated and she instead replaced it with a nervous one. Damn. She couldn't believe her genius plan failed. Plan B then.
She swung her bag into Walker's face, making him stumble back. "Crap! Tim run!" she exclaimed. Frank made a move to grab her, but she kicked him in the nuts before he even laid a finger on her. He went down, clutching himself as he curled up in a ball like an armadillo. He moved the ice he had held to his head to in between his legs.
She grabbed Tim's hand and they ran like two bats out of hell.
Tim almost felt sorry for Frank, seeing that he experienced the same fate by Damian earlier, but he got over that thought quickly when he remembered Frank smirking the whole time while the security guard ranted at him.
"I'm going to see to it personally that you two get kicked out!" Frank managed to yell out in between his whimpering, as the two robins made their escape. Luckily for him, backup security guards arrived, swarming around their fallen comrade. They checked out if Frank was alright and, seeing that he was (mostly), the security guards pursued the pair, Walker leading them.
While Steph pulled Tim away, Tim saw Jason at the corner of his eye. Still running, Tim managed to grab the back of Jason's shirt while they passed by him, hauling Jay along with them. Jason gave a yelp and a look in Tim's direction that could only be translated to: '"WTF?" However, he wasn't drunk enough to mistake the footsteps echoing behind them as friendly.
Dick was on a bench giving himself a well needed break and a sort of time-out for Damian. Damian was sulking next to him, mumbling more inventive death threats by the minute.
"There you guys are! What took you so long?" Dick said, seeing them run up to them at a pace that was definitely not casual.
"Need…" Steph panted, "to- another breath -hide!" she gasped, bent over, hands on her knees. They just ran about thirty minutes, full speed, nonstop, which would normally be no problem for the elite crime fighters, but add in the heat and evading a force of security guards and the end result is two teens wanting to fall asleep under an air conditioner for three days.
Yet the third party of the group was unruffled as they come. Jason clutched two of the remaining beers that were once a six pack. Sweat did not stain his cloths or cover his brow like it did for Tim and Steph. No, instead he was pleasantly warm, and he treated the run as if it was a scene in a TV show or movie, singing the theme song to COPS under his breath throughout their run.
"Why?" Dick asked, skeptical. Then his face fell as he saw Jason swaying back and forth, holding the two beers, clearly drunk. Oh god, what did he do? "Jason, what did you do?!"
Jason mockingly pointed to his chest. "Me? I didn't do shit! Quit assuming Goldie!"
"Didn't do shit? You're drunk in Disneyland!"
Rolling his eyes, Jason went to pop open one of the two remaining beers. Popping it open, a fountain of fizz burst from it and soaked Dick's face.
Jason cursed. "Aw man, you gotta be kiddin' meh!" He squinted inside the can to see if any was left, only to be disappointed when he discovered there was none. He dumped the can on the ground and smashed it with his boot, lower lip sticking out in a pout.
Eyes burning, Dick wiped his face. Having had enough, he dropped his fist down on Jason's head like an anvil, a place where, for a drunken person, the pain is doubled.
Jason clutched his head with one hand, the other holding the last beer. "What the hell is your problem Grayson?!"
"What? That knock to the head didn't give you a clue? You're my problem Jason! Can you manage to be, while not sensible, no of course not, that would be too much to ask from you, but at least semi-responsible?!"
Trying to see through the blur that has become his vision Jason slurred, "I'll be responsible for your death in a minute, Grayson." After saying the mandatory death threat, Jason turned his attention to his last remaining beer. He held it gently, both hands cradling it as if it was some precious treasure.
Drawing a deep breath, Dick's shoulders slumped. It's a never ending cycle with Jason. He really shouldn't be surprised by it anymore. The only thing to do is to move on from it and deal with the matter at hand. There will be plenty of time to fight with him later, and a lot more weapons to choose from too. "Okay, what happened?"
Still breathing heavily, Tim said, "Well, it's a convoluted story involving the lack of morality in human beings-"
"Tim picked a fight with the fuckin' cops," Jason interrupted.
Dick stared. "What?"
Damian snorted, abandoning the list of ways that would subject Grayson to the harshest torture imaginable for the moment. "Drake? Pick a fight with a person with the authority of the law? In what universe?"
"It's true," Steph spoke up, finally able to speak coherently again.
"What?" Dick repeated, unable to believe it.
Steph cut in before he could say anything else. "But wait, Dick! It's not entirely his fault. He was, um, defending my honor, kind of. This guy was being a jerk, so Tim told him to back off, in a really gentlemanly way actually, but the guy didn't listen, so Tim punched him in the face…" She gave Tim a grin and proudly held up two fingers. "Twice."
Damian studied Tim. Tim was coated in sweat yet again, his face red and still catching his breath. Damian shook his head. "Still not buying it. I require proof."
"Well by all means here, your majesty," Steph said sarcastically, handing Damian her camera. The camera managed to record it all, as it had turned on when it fell out of her bag and continued to record when she taped the rest of it. Dick and Damian watched the scene, both sets of eyes growing wider in disbelief as seconds past. When it was over she cocked a hip and said, "Now do you believe?"
"I wasn't aware that there was a clone of Drake. We must inform Father immediately."
Steph rolled her eyes, snatching back her camera.
"I think I saw them come over here!"
All five heads turned to see a security guy heading in their direction, determination defining his features.
"Ah…quick! We need a disguise!" Steph yelled. "I am not about to get kicked out of Disneyland just yet!" It turned out luck was on her side, because a store was located right across from the group, and out of the security guard's vision. She shoved the nearest person to go in first, which turned out to be Jason.
"I already have one though!" Jason complained, not liking being pushed around, especially by a five foot five blond with a bossy attitude. The alcohol was wearing off from all the adrenaline and he wasn't happy about that at all. He would drink more, but he only had one left, and he was going to save it. He had a feeling he was going to need it later more than he did now.
Corralling the rest inside, she gave one last look-out for any security guards. Closing the door, she turned back to the boys. She looked them all up and down critically. "Well," she said, pointing to Jason. "You definitely need a new shirt. That one is covered with ice-cream and beer."
Jason looked down, realizing she was right. Trying to keep the whine out of his voice he said, "I just spent money on this shirt. I don't want a new one. It'd be a waste of money. I'm fine wearing this."
"A waste of my money!" Dick butted in, remembering that Jason stole from him.
"Well then, just buy a sweater to go over it," Steph continued, ignoring Dick.
Jason crossed his arms. "Are you kidding? It's like a hundred degrees outside! Plus I'm already sweating in this!" he said, pointing at his Stitch hat.
"Ugh! You're impossible! Just wear"- Stephanie's voice faded out while Dick, Damian, and Tim carefully sneaked away to the other side of the store so they wouldn't be subjected to 'fashion advice' from Steph.
Running his hand along the hangers, Dick grabbed a random shirt to give to Damian. Dick held out the shirt to him. "Here." The shirt read 'I heart Disneyland' with a smiling Mickey Mouse on it.
Damian took one glance at the shirt and then raised his eyes to Dick's. His upper lip curled in disgust. "I know you have a brain that is microscopic in size, but even a brain such as yours should deduce that that monstrosity, which falsely labels itself as clothing, would never touch my person in any circumstance outside a life or death situation."
"Consider it a life or death situation. You did try to kill Goofy, and I assume he's going to want to file a lawsuit. Meaning, we need to wear a disguise too."
Damian gave Dick a look that perfectly read 'does it look like I care?'
Dick sighed and continued with, "Fine. Be that way. You can be the one to explain to Bruce why Disneyland is suing us."
Damian stiffened, and after a moment of silence he growled, "Fine." Feeling as if he needed to assert some form of dominance he tossed the shirt back at and added, "But I don't need your help Grayson. I can find my own disguise that would be sufficient." He turned and stalked away, grumbling about having to wear clothing worn by peasants.
Dick smirked. He wondered when pulling the Bruce card will fail to control Damian. Probably during the teenage rebellion years if the other robins were any indication, he mused. Dick returned his attention to the racks of overpriced merchandise.
He smiled, pulling out a pair of Mickey Mouse ears just within reach. "Hey Damian!"
"What?" Damian grumbled, stopping his search to glance over at Dick with a scowl.
Dick held up the ears. "You want to wear-"
Damian's eyes narrowed and his mouth formed a tight line.
Dick was not deterred. "Aw common! When in Rome right? It's the symbol of Disneyland and-"
"Never in a million years, worlds, or parallel universes, Grayson."
After many disagreements and grimacing at the selection of clothing, they all met up at the register and purchased their so-called disguises with their 'emergency' credit cards.
Jason had won the verbal fight against Steph about him keeping what he had on, but he couldn't resist when she showed him an Aladdin shirt that read 'You're Only in Trouble if You Get Caught.' He has a certain weakness for irony, so he bought it, mumbling to Steph that his current shirt was getting sticky anyway. To her credit, she didn't brag. Much.
Conveniently for them, the Disney store had changing rooms.
Stephanie, surprisingly, was the first to finish dressing. She looked at herself in the mirror outside and gave a little twirl. "Hmm. Not bad." She wore an 'Alice in Wonderland' dress with a ridiculously large 'Mad Hatter' top hat to make the ensemble complete. She put her hair in a ponytail using a blue elastic band and put on her pink 'Minnie Mouse' sunglasses. Snapping her fingers she said, "Voila! Now I'm a new person!"
Seeing that the boys were not in sight, she checked the time on her cell phone. "What's taking them so long?" A thought crossed her mind and she giggled. "They're late, they're late, they're late," she whispered with a smile.
Damian was the next one to come out of the changing rooms. When Steph saw him she laughed and hurriedly got her camera out. "Oh my god. You look so freakin' adorable!"
"You tape me while I am in this disguise and I will personally see to it that you won't ever be able to press the power button again with your index finger." His glare could rival the sun in terms of inferno temperature it's emitting. She complied, after catching a second of him in all his Disney glory.
He was wearing a t-shirt from the movie Lion King, featuring the main villain, Scar, in the middle. It read one of the character's legendary quotes: "I'm surrounded by idiots." What Steph thought was most adorable, however; was that the shirt was two sizes too big for him and could double as a dress. He also wore red and black Pixar Cars sunglasses. "They didn't have it in my size and the shirt was the only thing I could stomach. Everything else in that store was just too bright and cheerful." He shuddered. "I had to suppress the urge to burn it all." He stared at Steph's hat, looking lopsided on her head. "Furthermore, that hat looks ridiculous. I thought the point of these disguises were to not draw any attention."
Steph prepared to defend her choice of attire logically. "Well psychopath, I couldn't just wear a hoodie, that'd look sketchy." She gave him a look that said she thought he was an idiot for not seeing that. "So I just went for the innocent 'I haven't done anything' look." She paused and put a finger to her chin. "Isn't that what we were aiming for?" She reached into her bag and pulled out a black Aristocat hoodie. "Also, I noticed you were staring at this for a while, so I bought you one." She winked at him and threw the hoodie. "Catch!"
He caught it instinctively and for a moment he looked at it, his eyes wide. Was it just Steph, or was that a slight tinge of red to the little badass' cheeks?
Damian growled out, "What am I supposed to do with this?!"
Smiling, she shrugged. "You're the one who likes cats."
"What you're supposed to do is say, 'Why, thank you Stephanie, how kind of you to buy it for me," Dick said, emerging from the changing rooms. He was wearing a Stitch t-shirt that read, "Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten." He also sported black and white 101 Dalmatians sunglasses. To complete his Disney look, he wore the Mickey Mouse ears.
Damian rolled his eyes. "Why should I thank her? I'm going to end up disposing of it anyway," Damian replied. Dick smacked the back of his head. "You are not throwing it away and you're thanking her because it's rude not to!"
Damian refused to show weakness, stifling the urge to rub his head. "You can't tell me what to do! You're not my-" One look from Dick shut Damian up, which is quite the rare occurrence.
"My patience with you is very thin right now. Do you want to keep testing it?" Dick said in a low whisper, the voice that meant he was serious.
Damian didn't turn away from Dick's level look. Damian's teeth were clenched and he didn't say a word.
"Well? What do you say?" Dick said with an ice cold glare.
"T.t." Then, "Thank you…" Damian muttered, putting on the hoodie reluctantly, not caring that it was 102 degrees outside. The glare Dick was sending him was making the temperature drop. No one dared tell Damian that the hoodie had cat ears on the hood.
Next came Jason's laughter in the direction of the changing rooms until Steph, Damian, and Dick saw him. When he came out he was still laughing, wearing his new shirt while still holding his last remaining beer as if it was glued to his hand.
The three were no doubt about to ask him if someone flooded the changing rooms with laughing gas until Tim came out a moment after Jason.
"This is NOT what I bought…" He was wearing a brightly colored, flowered, 'Mickey and Friends' Hawaiian t-shirt. It looked a size too big and among the brightly colored flowers depicted scenes with Mickey and his friends on the beach spread out randomly on the shirt. To accompany this fashion disaster, a Monsters Inc. hat sat atop his head. It was fuzzy and blue with some purple dots spread in. It looked like a cat spat out a blue hairball and then someone spilled jelly on it a few times. The hat also had two small horns sticking out of it, slightly curved like a baby dragon. Then, to finish it off, green Monsters Inc. sunglasses framed his face. The sunglasses show the green one-eyed character in the movie. The one eye of the character aligned with Tim's forehead, giving him the appearance of having a third eye.
"I switched the shirt and hat you were gonna buy with those," Jason confessed, still laughing at how touristy he looked. "Now I look like the normal one."
"As if anyone would accuse you of looking like 'the normal one,'" Tim fired back, his face hot.
"When the employee was charging everything I switched the sunglasses," Steph added, laughing along with Jason.
Tim glared at both of them.
Dick cut in before another verbal war could be started. "Now that we're all in our cheesy tourist regalia, we still need to hang low for an hour or so. I suggest-" he paused and breathed out- "It's A Small World."
Everyone except for Damian gave him horrified looks.
Forgetting about what he was wearing for the moment Tim said, "You want us to die of boredom?"
"No fucking way in hell will I ever go on that acid trip that pretends to be a ride. One time was one time too many already," Jason said.
"What do you mean one time?" Tim and Steph asked in unison, looking at him curiously.
"I was like twelve!" Jason said defensively.
"Yeah Bruce took us when we were kids, well once when I was a kid, then once when Jason was twelve," Dick explained, starting to walk in the direction where the ride was. The others followed, not aware that he was leading them closer to the ride. He had an iron grip on Damian's wrist this time. He was definitely not going to lose him a third time. No telling what other kind of havoc Damian would wreck if loose again. Damian was not happy about it, but besides struggling and glaring at Dick's hand until it incinerated, there wasn't much he could really do.
"Wait, wait, wait. Hold up. Bruce took you guys?! He never took us!" Stephanie whined, pointing to her and Tim.
Tim coughed, "Never took you," and looked away.
She stared at him, completely blown away. Her eyes were saucers. "Oh, I see how it is!" She waved a hand. "Whatever. He didn't take Damian. Come on Damian, we don't need them." She started to reach for Damian's hand that wasn't in Dick's clutches when Dick said, "Actually, if my memory is correct, Bruce told me he was planning to take him on his eleventh birthday." He grinned. "But we beat him to it."
Steph's hand dropped. She couldn't believe this. Damn men's club! "Where's Cass and Babs when I need them," Stephanie grumbled.
"Barbara actually went with us the first couple times," Dick went on, oblivious to Steph's feelings. "And Tim, didn't you say Bruce made it like a thing to take Cass once a yea-" Tim cut Dick off by elbowing him.
"Ow." Dick rubbed his side and glanced at Tim. "What?"
"Shut up," Tim told him, nodding his head towards a melancholy Steph.
Stephanie looked crushed, "It's because I slapped him that one time, isn't it?" No one replied, and not one of them met her eyes.
Her eyes shifted to the ground. "No Miss Brown, I'm not mad," she said in a terrible attempt at copying Bruce. "Not mad my a-"
In a strange show of caring, Jason slung an arm over Steph. "Hey, don't feel bad, blondie, at least you get invited to periodic family functions. Your invites never get lost in the mail." He ruffled her hair. She swatted at his hand, but surprisingly felt a little better.
"Wow, lucky us. No big line," Dick said when they arrived. The others froze; realizing Dick had somehow lured them unknowingly into coming.
Jason backed way. "Oh fuck no."
"See you in a bit guys," Tim said, preparing to dash away at any second.
"We're going on that?" Damian asked, looking unimpressed by the robot children coming out of a smiling gray castle building.
Dick released Damian. "Okay guys." He turned to Jason. "Jason, you're getting on this ride or else I'll tell Bruce what you did that summer when you were twelve and I was the only one there to bail you out."
Jason visibly paled. He nodded once.
One down, one to go, Dick thought. He turned to Tim. "If you don't, I will give you spoilers from your favorite book."
Tim narrowed his eyes. "You wouldn't."
Dick smiled back. "So the hobo guy was actually undercover but he gets killed and-"
Tim put his hands over his ears, "Shut up! Shut up! Not listening! Okay, okay I'll go stop talking!"
And that's how the robins got coerced/threatened to go on the boat for "It's A Small World."
The line was so empty that they managed to get a boat, which would seat fourteen people, for themselves. The employees wouldn't let them spread out on seating, so they had to squish themselves in as if the other seats were going to be occupied. Dick, Damian and Steph got the three front seats, while Tim and Jason got the second row. When they all got situated on the blue boat, Jason and Tim wore expressions that were equal to the ones soldiers would wear when about to face a firing squad. Dick sat back with a smug smile, and Stephanie was still feeling the sting of rejection of not having a protégé/mentor day with Bruce at Disneyland.
A woman's robotic voice was heard over a loud speaker. "Welcome to 'It's A Small World'. For your safety, please remain seated throughout your voyage and keep your arms, feet, hands and legs inside the boat. And please watch your children."
Children? They should say please watch your teenagers or, in this case, your twenty two year old homicidal brother, Dick thought to himself. Then he remembered something. "Hey Steph, aren't you going to record us?"
She blinked. "Oh right. School project." She shrugged. "Meh. You do it. Not in the narrating mood." She handed it to him and set her gaze to the right of the boat, resting her hand on her chin and elbow leaning on the side of the boat.
"Me? Okay." Dick took the camera and introduced himself again, donning on his winning smile. "Hello Stephanie's class. It's me…" He paused, not sure what to say. Turning, he focused the camera on Steph. "Well! Stephanie is being moody right now because Bruce never took her to Disneyland even though-"
Stephanie snapped her head up and pushed the camera away from her. "They don't need to know that. I'm taking that part out. Film the test subjects, I mean the boys." She grumped, "And I'm not moody!"
"Okay! Okay, calm down." Dick turned the camera to a sign that read 'It's A Small World After All,' entering the dark tunnel. "Ladies and gentleman, we are officially stating the ride! So I'll be filming everyone's reactions in order for Steph to get her 'sufficient data.'"
The first thing to be noticed is the music. Children's voices could be heard singing, "It's a small world after all, it's a small world after all. It's a small world after alllll," echoing off the walls in the tunnel.
Damian groaned. "Not another ride with obnoxious singing."
"It'll be over soon, " Dick soothed, smiling. He turned the camera from Damian to the row behind him, wanting to get Tim's reaction.
"Stop telling him lies, Dick. It's going to last an eternity," Tim said, massaging his temples. He mumbled, "Think of a happy place, happy place."
Dick turned the camera to Jason. "Aw, it isn't that bad. Right, Jason?" He asked, but Dick was really just trying to reassure himself. He didn't remember the singing dolls being this creepy.
"It's a world of laughter, a world or tears, it's a world of hopes, it's a world of fear. There's so much that we share, that its time we're aware, it's a small world after all! It's a small world after allllll, it's a small world after allllll…" the creepy robotic doll children sang.
"They're right about the tears part. It's going to bring me to tears if it doesn't stop," Jason said, looking around like if the dolls were the Joker holding a crowbar. He held up his last remaining bear he smuggled in. "I knew I would need this later." He popped the top and chugged it like his life, or sanity, as was probably the case, depended on it. He paused in his next swig to say, "You just had to drop my jaybird gun at Splash Mountain didn't you?!" He set his face to grim determination. "No matter. I got plenty more where that came from." Dick ignored him. He did not want to know, he really didn't.
"'A world full or fear…' More like it's these dolls that are trying to bring in the fear," Steph remarked, scooting away from the side of the boat that was most near the dolls, which managed to bring her uncomfortably close to Damian. "Look!" she said, pointing to a robot in a sombrero that's shaking its body to the music. "Even the dolls are shaking their heads disapprovingly at the song!"
"Brown, while I understand that we are in close confines on this vessel, it does not permit you to cram your considerable weight into my space. Remove your dead weight before I make the phrase 'dead weight' a literal meaning."
"There is just one moon and one golden sun. And a smile means friendship to everyone. Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide, it's a small, small world. It's a small world after all, it's a small world after all, it's a small world after all!" The dolls continued to sing in repetition.
"Well at least the message is positive… 'A smile means friendship to everyone,'" Dick said, still trying to find a bright side to this, and failing miserably.
"A smile means friendship to everyone? Say that to the one stretched across the Joker's face. Bet his victims really felt the friendship in that smile," Jason remarked bitingly.
"It's over!" Tim beamed as the sign above said 'Farewell.' His grin deflated a brief second later. "Or not," he added as they entered a different part of the 'world'. The song was now being sung in a different language as they passed each section that would pay tribute to a piece of the world. The dolls were also dressed in clichés that would suit the style of each part of the world. Unfortunately for them, Bruce had trained them to know almost every language known to mankind so they understood completely when they switched to each language singing the exact same song over and over. Again and again.
"Uh- It shouldn't take much longer guys," Dick said, looking desperately at his watch. The boat was travelling at a snail's pace. Dick turned the camera on Damian, who was sitting next to him.
"Isn't this, um well…interesting Damian? Finding out about the world's different culture."
Damian was positively terrified. He tried to situate his body to give off the appearance of boredom, but the widening of his eyes gave him away easily to Dick.
"Don't tell me you're scared?" Dick asked, noticing Damian twitch when a robot sang right near his ear.
Damian crossed his arms and rolled his eyes. "Of puppets? T.t. Don't be absurd Grayson. I'm just concerned that the song being played may be subliminal messaging created to install a superficial, unexplainable love for all things Disney." Then one robot puppet lightly tapped Damian's shoulder while it was dancing, making him jump and the boat to rock slightly off balance.
Damian scooted closer to Dick. "Before your inferior mind can jump to the wrong conclusion, I'm not getting closer to you because I'm afraid. I'm doing it to get away from those- those fiends."
Dick rolled his eyes and shook his head. He made a mental note to download this song and turn it up in Damian's room whenever he got too much out of control. It might make Damian easier to deal with if it reduced him to this.
Dick turned the camera to Tim who was squirming. He was trying to distract himself on his phone, and Jason was tense, all his muscled bunched up and his jaw locked in place. His beer can was crushed in his fist, empty.
One robot puppet jumped at Jason, laughing. Jason's tolerance just reached the end. "That's it. I'm shooting the damn demonic puppets!" He brought out a small handgun, where he hid the thing, Dick had no idea.
"Jason, no!" Dick said, speaking to him like a bad dog. He dropped the camera on the bottom of the boat and struggled to stop Jason. Dick engaged in a tug-of-war match with a gun that had the safety off. Kids, don't try this at home, he thought, trying to angle the gun in a way that wouldn't shoot any civilians or them if it went off.
"Dick, I did not have enough alcohol to survive this! Let me at the damn things!"
"Tim, a little help?" Dick implored as Jason managed to pull his gun back.
"Sorry Dick but- and I can't believe I'm saying this- I'm with him on this one." Tim lifted his face from his hands and gave Jason a tortured look. "Destroy 'em Jay." He dropped his head to rest in his hands again.
Jason gave a manic smile. "You see? Even the Boy Scout knows it's the only way to stop the voices. Not that I'm one to stop the voices in my head."
"Jason, we're trying to hide! Gun shots are not exactly inconspicuous! Do you want the Disneyland security on your back again? No? Then give. Me. The. Gun!" Dick exclaimed, making a grab for it, missing it when Jay pointed it to aim at a doll that looked like the character Woody from Toy Story.
"Aha!" Jason cried in success at being able to shoot one, and one that reminded him of that impersonator, no less. His face fell when he realized the bullet inflicted no damage. "The little fucks are bulletproof?!"
Dick snatched the gun away while Jason was distracted in his anger, and looked at the people in the boat in front of them who were giving them shocked looks. "It's not what it looks like! It's a starter pistol!" He said, waving the gun around as if it was just a toy. "Ha, ha… you can get them anywhere in the Disney toy stores." Dick's smile was strained as he tried to pull off the deception. The little kids from the other family began to cry. "You can look away now… we're a normal family just like you!" Dick was tired of cleaning up Jason's messes, especially when Jason couldn't shut up long enough for Dick to actually clean them up.
"Don't give us that look lady! The kids aren't crying about the gun! They're crying about these demonic singing dolls!" Jason yelled at them.
Jason stood up.
"What are you doing?" Dick asked, exasperated, trying to get him to sit down. It was like trying to control a four year old.
"I can't take it anymore! My ears are going to bleed if I hear 'It's a small world after all' one more time. I'm leaving." Jason rested one foot on the side of the boat, ready to jump out in a moment.
"Make that two of us," Steph added, regaining her energy. She stood up and the boat rocked. She caught herself on the side bar before she could fall.
"You guys can't be serious! Are you insa-" D ick threw his hands up, not even bothering to finish his question because he knew the answer. He needed to get control of the situation, and fast. "The ride is in motion people! Sit down!"
During Jason and Dick's little spat Damian had grabbed the camera and recorded the entire confrontation. He was still holding the camera up as Jason and Steph made their 'last stand.' He called out, "If they get to leave, I see no more reason to endure this living nightmare. I'll also go."
"And I wholeheartedly concur," Tim said, leaving Dick the only one still sitting down in the slow moving boat.
Dick was now in full freak-out bat parent mode. Jason managed to jump out and his feet made a small splash as he hit the two feet of water, with Steph prepared to follow. "You guys just can't do this!" Dick jumped up and extended his hands over the seat in order to and yank both Tim and Steph, who had half their bodies out, back on to the boat. They ended up sprawled on the seat, Steph on top of Tim. Even during a failed attempt to escape, they both still managed to blush.
Dick gave a sharp look to Damian. "Damian, you stay there or God help me I will-" He paused, seeing Jason trying to wade through the water. "Augh! Jason, come back!" Dick had half his body off the boat, grabbing the end of Jason's shirt with one hand while the other held the boat, which was still in motion.
Jason gave a gasp as he felt the fabric bunch up around his neck. "Let go!"
"Yeah, that's gonna be a hell no!" Dick pulled him up a little off the ground, dragging Jason's body along the water as the boat slowly moved. Jason was twisting around trying to break free. This went on for a couple minutes, Jason struggling like a fish caught in a net and Dick trying to reel said fish in. The other three were on the boat laughing at them, a welcome distraction from the robotic dolls singing the song of insanity. Damian was, oddly, still taping the entire scene, adding to Stephanie's amusement.
Then the most beautiful thing happened.
They saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
The bats finally reached the outside with Dick almost falling out of the boat and Jason's feet dragging in the water, his bottom half completely soaked. Tim and Steph were sitting down laughing at the reactions other people were giving them, and Damian was standing up recording them. Jason stopped struggling when he realized they were outside. A wide smile spread across his face. "It's over! We survived!"
"Please wait for the boat to come to a complete stop before exiting. Thank you." A Disney employee dropped her clip board when she saw how Jason was out of the boat and D ick was struggling to hold on to him.
"Oh my gosh! Sir, are you okay!? What happened?" she panicked.
With one good tug Dick managed to pull Jason up and he fell on the boat with a thump. Dick rubbed his head sheepishly. "Uh, he got dizzy and fell out. He's fine though. I caught him…well we gotta go! Much to see and experience at Disneyland, right?" Dick said in a hurry, grabbing Damian and Jason by their arms and motioning to Tim and Steph to follow, trying his best to exit as quickly as possible. Thankfully, the panicked employee didn't feel the need to follow and they were able to leave with no complicated questions being asked.
"Well I hope you're all happy with yourselves now!" Dick huffed when they were at a safe distance.
Jason was too relieved to be out of the hell that is 'It's A Small World' to dredge up any anger he had toward Dick at the moment, and Damian was in about the same state.
"That was actually kind of fun," Tim said thoughtfully.
"Let's do it again!" Steph exclaimed, practically bouncing on her feet.
"Or how about we go have lunch before I lose my shit," Dick suggested in a voice indicating that it was not a suggestion at all, glaring at them.
"We could do that," Tim and Steph chirped in unison.