imasupermuteant: (Timmy Smooshface)
[personal profile] imasupermuteant
Title: Duplicity [Part 2]
Fandom: Young Justice (Cartoon)
Pairing: Dick/Wally, Tim/Superboy
Wordcount: 1776 words
Summary: Tim has never really minded that Dick was the one assigned to work with the other teenage heroes. But when he has to pretend to be Dick and join the team himself, he realizes that he was missing out on a lot more than he thought. Written for the YJ-anon-meme, this version has been seriously revised.

[Part 1]


Bruce seemed to have decided that the only thing that would make up for pulling Tim off the Maloni case was gratuitous amounts of family time. Which meant, of course, that the next few days would be nothing but training, followed by more training and maybe a break for an actual patrol.

“I don’t see why Dick and I have to develop a fighting style together if we never actually fight together.” Tim pointed out after the second day of intense training. He was flat on his back on the mat, sweating profusely, having just been dumped on the floor because Dick had jumped right in front of him.

“Hmm…” Bruce said from the console. Tim rubbed at a bruise on his shin.

“I mean, the whole point of having two of us is that we don’t patrol at the same time.” Tim continued, “It would be a better use of my time for me to work on emulating Dick’s moves instead of learning to compliment them.”

No one in Gotham (save for Commissioner Gordon) knew that Robin was actually a plural entity, it helped prevent them from drawing the connection back to Bruce Wayne and his young wards and it meant that Robin never seemed tired or hurt. Tim understood this. He also understood that as the second Robin, he would have to fit himself into Dick’s mold.

“Don’t you love me?” Dick cried at him mockingly, Tim resisted the urge to punch him. Barely.

The Batman raised an eyebrow at his two young protégées. Tim shivered.

“Right.” Tim said, “We’ll just try that one again.”

And they were up, flying towards the target in unison. Dick pushed himself into one of those impossible leaps that still had Tim gaping in awe, even after so long, and Tim followed behind, sliding low.

It was perfect, like being a small part of the universe’s most efficient machine. It felt like magic, like art, like philosophy, like--

--like Dick had feinted left without signaling and they were crashing into each other. Again. And falling to the mat with matching thumps.

Except, of course, that this time Dick’s thump sounded more like a crack.

Bruce was already kneeling at Dick’s side by the time Dick managed to make a noise.

“Ow.”

“Are you alright?” Tim rolled quickly off the mat and moved towards them. Just the sort of inane question he would only think to ask while worried out of his mind.

Bruce’s eyes were focused sharply on the way Dick had screwed his eyes shut, his aborted move to grasp at his arm.

Ow.

“Alfred.” Bruce had his hand on his communicator and Tim could already hear feet rushing down the stairs.

Things were not looking good. Dick’s eyes tightened as Alfred deftly manipulated Dick’s shoulder, declaring it far more damaged than they had initially thought. Bruce’s lips grew thinner and thinner as he watched. Tim could already hear the lecture being developed in Bruce’s immense mind.

“Surely,” Alfred said as he manhandled Dick into a sling, “You should have noticed that the injury was worse than we assumed, Master Dick.”

Dick snuffled.

“I would hate to think that you would have considered not telling us that your shoulder was causing you pain.” Alfred continued. Deeply British disapproval leaking from every vowel.

Dick looked a little bit like the world was collapsing. Tim empathized. Alfred’s lectures felt a lot like you had just killed a baby and forgotten how to tie your shoes at the same time.

“I’m totally benched for the next forever, aren’t I?”

“Totally.” Bruce said.

“Awesome. My life could not possibly get any worse right now.” Dick sighed morosely.

Tim agreed silently. He’d be pulling double duty until Dick healed, and his own investigations would suffer. Nothing could suck more.

And then, just under a week later, Dick came down with mono.

"Also known as 'the kissing disease'." Bruce pointed out in his most disapproving voice as they stood by Dick's bedside.

Dick looked miserable, his shoulder immobilized and his eyes drooping with fatigue.

"It's also transmittable through casual contact like sharing drinks." Tim pointed out from behind the surgical-grade germ mask he had put on the moment he heard about Dick's diagnoses, "Some forms of mononucleosis are airborne."

Dick was giving him the 'you're a freak' look but Tim only raised a single eyebrow in reply. He might be wearing a dumb looking mask, but he wasn't the one in bed for the next month.

“At least this means that you were off your game for a reason.” Tim pointed out, “And not because you suddenly developed an unhealthy love of falling on your face.”

Shut up.” Dick hissed.

Bruce continued to frown. “Kissing disease.” He repeated.

"Who would I kiss?" Dick rasped out, "I don't even like any of the girls on the team.”

Tim wondered if maybe Dick liked one of the boys on the team. But the idea was ridiculous. Dick would have told him if he liked… well… other dicks. Brothers told each other things like that.

…Or so he had heard.

"I'll contact the team and tell them you won't be coming in for a while." Bruce said.

"What?" Dick would have been shouting if he weren't so obviously exhausted, "No! You can't!"

The Batman cocked an eyebrow, "I can't?"

"We have training. I promised we would do some basic aerial maneuvers and Wal-- everyone was so excited! And you'd have to suspend missions. Bruce."

"You're not getting out of bed and the matter is closed." Bruce informed him sternly, "I'll ask Alfred to bring you some soup."

"But Bruce!"

"No."

Dick's eyes were wide and his bottom lip trembled in a fashion that Tim was moderately sure was faked. This knowledge didn't make the expression any less effective. Tim wanted Dick to be happy, always had, and if leaving the team without a Robin for a weekend (or four) would make Dick unhappy then...

"I'll go." Tim found himself saying.

"What?" Dick rasped.

"I can do the training."

"No you can't."

“Yes I can.”

“No.” Dick hissed, “You can’t. They think there’s only one Robin. It would be different if Bruce cleared them to know but--”

They looked over at Bruce.

“No.”

“There you go. No way.”

Tim sniffed, “I can just pretend to be you. They won‘t even know the difference.”

“You’d suck at pretending to be me.”

Tim glared at Dick, "Way to feel the aster, dude." He mimicked, making his voice more nasal and rolling his eyes. “I pretend to be you all the time. Ivy can’t tell the difference. And neither can Commissioner Gordon, or anyone in the League.”

“That’s--”

“I’m just saying that if the team can’t spare you then we might as well send them the closest thing to you that we can get. Which is me.”

“Tim…” Dick sighed, coughing a little, “I don’t think it’s really the same as, you know, living with people. They know me really, really well. And--”

“Not anymore than I do.” The very idea that anyone would be closer to Dick than himself made Tim feel… uncomfortable.

“I don’t know…” Dick grumbled.

“It’s not like I’m going to replace you permanently.” Tim said, “I didn‘t want to join the team when it started and I don‘t really want to join the team now. Relax.”

Dick frowned.

Bruce was looking at them with an appraising eye. Tim knew the look. It was the look that meant Tim had won.

"It would be a good undercover exercise for Green." He said finally, "I approve."

Dick sighed. Tim let himself smile, no one could see it under the germ-mask after all.

"Cool."

"Suit up, Robin." Bruce said finally, "We're heading out in fifteen."

"Don't fu- screw this up, Baby Bird!" Dick shouted after him as they left, "If you ruin my life then I'm ruining yours. I know where you live!"

Tim didn’t roll his eyes.

They marched down to the cave together, him and Bruce, and Tim couldn’t help but feel as little strange without Dick coming with them. He wasn’t used to spending alone with Bruce without Dick nearby.

The silence was… awkward.

Putting on Dick’s uniform was equally strange. The padding in the gauntlets were heavier and the shoes lighter. Tim ran through a couple flips, getting used to the difference in balance. Being Dick felt… lighter.

Bruce was already waiting for him at the jet.

"You realize that this will be a challenge. They know Red… Remarkably well." Batman's voice rumbled from his chest like a far off explosion as Tim buckled himself in.

"That's the reason for the mission, isn't it?" Tim replied as casually as possible. "To see if I can."

"Hm. I'm sure you'll do well."

Somehow the phrase didn’t help to make Tim feel any more confident.

The trip to Happy Harbor was tense and the jet set down far earlier than Tim would have liked. He paused for a moment, took one last deep breath as Tim, before plastering on Dick's smirk and jumping from his seat, turning a few character-affirming cartwheels before reaching the door.

He turned back to glance at Batman, giving him a slight nod before he ran towards the mountain and Dick’s… friends.

Smiling so much was already starting to hurt his face.

The team greeted him in the training room with smiles and waves. Artemis punched him (surprisingly hard) on the shoulder, and if they noticed that he was bit quieter than usual they didn't say a thing.

“Hey guys!” Tim called out as if he normally initiated conversations, “You ready for an awesome weekend?”

M’gann assured him that she was, indeed, ready. With a hug. Tim didn’t shudder.

The difficulty wasn’t necessarily in remembering to act like Dick, or in pretending to know all of the things everyone was talking about. It was dealing with the talking and the touching that they seemed to do constantly.

“Dude!” Wally shouted, throwing his arms around Tim’s shoulders and squeezing.

“Hey, KF.” Tim said with a grin. The places where Wally’s body touched his (shoulder, hip, back, thigh) felt as though they were covered in ants. Or many fire.

“Training with Black Canary in an hour, Robin. Kid Flash.” Aqualad brought his hand down heavily on Tim’s left arm. Tim didn’t flinch.

So far so good.



[Part 3]
 
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