I had this fic idea that it doesn’t look like I’ll write, where a few months/weeks before Tim’s birthday, Dick was harassing him; “Timmy, c’mon, we have to do something for your birthday- even if it’s just a few of us, okay? We need to celebrate!” “Dick, I’d really just rather forget it–”, but…
I had to make it better or I would cry like a crying thing forever. I hope this is okay?
Jason knows it’s some kind of glass half-full bullshit to think of being able to rely on someone being an unreliable asshole. It’d be funny, maybe, if this isn’t where things like insecurity and self-esteem issues and whatever the fuck else Tim has going for him come into play.
Saying things like, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize the time,” isn’t an excuse, it just makes you an unreliable asshole when you’re the one to set the time and place. They all have their own lives to lead, their own shit going on, but something like this. You just. You don’t fuck with it, even Jason knows this, and he’s a goddamn mess.
“Get your ass up, we’re leaving.” Jason can see the suspicion in Tim’s eyes, even if nothing else makes it to his face, but fuck it. It’s his fucking birthday and goddamn Dick and Bruce - “You need to powder your face or something, princess?”
That almost - almost - gets a smile from Tim. “You’re a jerk,” he says, but he’s moving, and that’s something, a hell of a lot better than the way he’d looked when Jason first showed up.
“Shut up.” Jason gives Tim a little shove towards the doors, turns to the water headed their way and smiles, smooth and charming - which he can do, so fuck you Dick, “Be sure to give Mr. Wayne our regards, but more important matters came up.”
“Jason - “
“More important things,” Jason says again, taking Tim by the elbow. They don’t always get along - of course they don’t, they’re family - an amazingly fucked up one with a whole different set of issues between them, but they’re family.
“Where are we going?” Tim asks, when they’re outside, looking everywhere but at Jason.
It probably would have been a good idea to have some sort of plan, something other than get that fucking awful look off Tim’s face. He’d like to say he doesn’t know what he’s thinking doing this, trying to fix Dick and Bruce’s fuck up, but it’s Tim and he deserves better than this.
“Fuck if I know,” Jason mutters, reaching up ton undo the first two buttons on his shirt - fucking suffocating, he hates these damn things. “You have anywhere in mind?”
Tim looks at him. Wary. Assessing. “I.” He shakes his head, and gives Jason this goddamned heartbreaking smile. “Birthdays,” he says. “Uh. I don’t do well at them.”
Except, bullshit, because Tim’s given them fucking fantastic birthdays, and this. This is what they give him.
Jason looks at Tim, the weary slump to his shoulders, another disappointment he’s trying so hard to hide because really, when it all comes down to it, it’s not important, right? Tim’s fucking birthday isn’t more important than putting some sick fucker behind bars or in a padded room at Arkham, than keeping Gotham safe one more night.
It’s okay, it’s fine. Tim understands. He signed up for this life, where their own needs and wants takes a back seat, where they have to sacrifice and give until they bleed - almost always literally - so what’s one more day, even this one in the grand scheme of things? At least Tim is alive and whole and no one died, and Jesus Christ, they’re all so fucked up, it’s not even funny.
“Goddammit.” Jason breathes, in, out, in out because he’s so fucking angry. At Bruce. At Dick. At himself. At Tim for letting them do this to him over and over again and just taking it, like that’s the natural order of things. Like that’s how it’s supposed to be, so why get upset?
“You’re coming with me.” Jason’s shit at this, he knows that very well, but. “We’re going to watch shitty movies and eat food that’s probably going to be what kills us when nothing else in this fucking town has, and you’re going to fucking like it.”
Tim stares at him, eyes wide. “What? No, you don’t have to. Jason.” Tim shakes his head, something hurt, broken in it that’s making Jason angry all over again because it. Things shouldn’t be like this. “You don’t have to, it’s okay.” Another one of those heartbreaking smiles. “I know Dick talked you into this, so. It’s okay. I’m fine.” At Jason’s disbelieving look, Tim huffs out a laugh. “I’ll be fine.”
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? Tim’s always fine, always.
“Oh, fuck you, Tim.” Jason grabs Tim’s sleeve, starts pulling him down the street, ignoring the wide-eyed looks on the rich assholes around them - so uncouth, that man, his poor friend. “I am not watching fucking Mega Shark vs Octopus by myself, okay? If I have to suffer through that shit, so do you.”
“Mega Shark vs Octopus?”
Jason glances at him. “I hear the damn shark takes a bite out of the Golden Gate Bridge, Tim. How the fuck does that even happen? Do you want me to go though that alone?”
Tim laughs, like Jason startled it out of him. “Heaven forbid.”
Jason scowls at him because Tim’s a sassy bastard, but at least he doesn’t look so damn miserable. (On the surface, but maybe that’s just because he’s just that good, too.)
He can’t give Tim back what they took from him tonight, and every other night since he decided this was the life he wanted, but he can give him crap movies and clogged arteries. Someone who wants to spend time with him for his own sake, even if Jason’s a poor choice for it because really, it’s not like they’re friends, now is it? (Nothing says you have to friends when you’re family, that you have to like each other, but it’s pretty fucking nice when you do.)
Maybe, maybe having Jason there - someone who does care even if he’s shit at showing it - instead of leaving Tim to his own sorry devices will count for something somewhere.