Title: Take to the Sky, Part 2
Excerpt:“The hell is this?” Jason asks, staring at the handful of brochures and pamphlets - Jesus, how many trees died for this place anyway?
Sherry or whatever the counselor’s name is left a left a while ago, after simpering at Tim and asking him to “Look after our newest camper, please, Tim, that’s a sweetheart.” Like Jason isn’t older than Tim by what looks like a decade at least. (Probably not fair on Jason’s part, but goddamn, Tim is tiny.)
And now. Jason doesn’t know what to do with the kid. With Tim. He’s all big blue eyes and this nervousness that sets on Jason on edge because he’s known kids like that before, and to see it in a kid like Tim. It doesn’t sit right with Jason, not one damn bit.
“The hell is this?” Jason asks, staring at the handful of brochures and pamphlets - Jesus, how many trees died for this place anyway? It feels like every time he turns around someone else is there shoving more of the damn things at him.
Tim fidgets, fingers fluttering nervously as he pulls at the collar of his shirt. “Um.” He clears his throat and raises his head, chin up. His eyes go this particular kind of steady and clear Jason’s only seen in certain situations. Dealing with someone’s charity case at a ridiculously upscale summer camp should not be one them. (Doesn’t matter if that isn’t how Bruce sees Dick or Jason, it’s what everyone else thinks in places like this that does, and Jason is well aware of that.)
“They’re the activities the camp offers during the free choice hours.” Tim drops his gazed for a moment, tries out a smile. “They take place on alternating days of the week, so you get to pick two.”
“Free choice hours,” Jason says, not sure he wants to know who came up with that line of shit.
Tim nods, smile firming around the edges when Jason doesn’t shut him down. “Our time is structured here, like school? But we don’t get a set schedule until we select the activities we want to take part in.” There’s a nervous swallow, Tim’s eyes skipping away from his. “Since, uh. Since you enrolled late, they’re going to give you another day to choose your electives so they can get your schedule finalized.”
Jason fights the urge to roll his eyes and fails miserably. Bruce had said the enrollment cut-off date had been months ago, all of Gotham’s rich fighting to get their kids into the camp in time. And the Brucie rolls on in flashing his money and his name to get Jason in and succeeding because really, who wants to tell a Wayne no in this town - in any town? (No wonder the camp director had looked so damn sour when he introduced himself, eying Jason like he wasn’t worth the money Bruce paid to get him a spot in his exclusive rich kid day spa.)
Tim’s biting his lips now, making Jason realize he hasn’t spoken in a while, long enough to erase any ground he’s made trying to convince Tim Jason isn’t a complete asshole.
“I guess we kind of made a scene, huh?” Of course they did, Brucie Wayne and charity case number two showing up like they were doing everyone at the camp a favor with their presence alone.
It was all intentional, of course. Bruce knows everything (or close enough to it that it doesn’t matter) and he’s had his eye on this stupid camp for a while now. No, he’d planned for a flashy entrance, one more story – scandal - same difference when it came to Bruce. He wanted them to make a splash, knowing it would draw attention to them both, make Jason into a nice, shiny target and Jesus Christ, they’re both idiots.
“Um.” Tim laughs, like he hasn’t had much reason to, like it’s been startled out of him. “Just a little, yeah.”
Jason snorts because the damn kid is really kind of amazing with the way he’s the king of understatements. Jason has eyes, thanks. He saw the other campers and camp staff trying to catch glimpses of Brucie Wayne and his sad little charity case before the camp director had bustled them off to his office and away from prying eyes.
“So.” God the way Tim doesn’t quite smile is killing Jason. “Uh. Do you want to see if there’s anything you’re interested in signing up for?”
Jason holds his hands up and follows Tim when he takes the brightly colored brochures and pamphlets to the small table set up by one of the windows and fans them out like playing cards. “There’s archery and horseback riding. Drama, guitar classes, pottery, basket weaving, - “
Jason tunes him out while he goes through the various mind numbing activities the camp offers, stuck watching the subtle twitches and tics that flicker across Tim’s face as he talks.
“Maybe this one?” Tim says, asks, sliding pamphlet towards Jason.
Jason looks down at it, eyebrow lifting. “Woodworking?”
Tim smiles. “It’s uh. Well, it’s a little more something that you might like?”
Because it lends itself well to menial labor? “What makes you say that?” Jason asks, hiding the sharp edge he can feel starting to poke through. Up until now, Tim’s been. Nice for a rich kid. Nervous and uncertain.
Tim frowns. “Well I mean.” He shrugs. “I’m taking it.”
Tim fidgets, runs a hand through his hair, rubs the back of his neck. “It sounds better than pottery, and you get your pick of a project to work on once they cover the basics. The instructor seems pretty nice, not like a lot of the other counselors here,” there’s another flicker of emotion on Tim’s face, distaste maybe. “The other activities have a set projects they want you to do over the course of the class and in and.” Tim shrugs, fingers tapping nervously on the table.
Jason sighs, gives in to the impulse to lean over and ruffle Tim’s hair. Smirks at the startled squawk it gets him. “Woodworking doesn’t sound so bad. You know what the projects are?” Jason has a feeling he will.
“Nothing too exciting, just the basics, I guess. Box planter, bird house, or a bat house.”
And that? That is a goddamned smirk on Tim’s face. It could pass for a smile, sure, but something about it makes Jason think not so much.
“A bat house.”
Tim nods, looking disarmingly earnest. “My family lives outside of Gotham, so sometimes I see bats flying around the grounds. I’m not sure where they nest for the night, but I thought it would be nice to make a bat house for them.”He smiles, back to that sweet big-eyed Disney princess character he so closely resembles. “Why not, right?”
Jason’s eyes narrow. There’s something in the way Tim’s looking at him that’s setting off alarms in the back of Jason’s mind, but he doesn’t know why. “Yeah,” he agrees. “Why not.”
Tim gives him another smile and slides the brochure about woodworking off to the side. “The Maybe pile,” Tim says, when Jason looks at him. “Anything else?”
Jason shakes his head, this kid, and turns his attention to the question at hand. There has to be something he can use to get back at Bruce with. Pottery is a good one, Jason’s never tried it so odds are good whatever he makes will be some unholy abomination. Knowing Alfred, he’ll insist on it having a place of honor somewhere in the manor, possibly even the mantle in the main sitting room where Bruce will have to look at its hideousness on a regular basis. Macrame’s another good one, even though Jason would have thought that would go out of style somewhere in the 80s.
Jason glances at Tim, who’s back to fidgeting. “There’s model rocketry, but that’s probably full now.” Tim slides a look at him, wary. “But considering who you are, that won’t be a problem.”
And, yeah. It’s one thing for Bruce to make a target out of Jason (fucking really, what the hell were they thinking with that?), but it’s something completely different being an asshole for the hell of it. Model rockets sounds like fun, but Jason has a feeling it’s less random explosions and more delicate circuitry and soldering.
“Not really my thing,” he says, and looks at Tim. “What else did you sign up for?”
And Tim. Tim freezes. “Um.”
Nervous little laugh. “I’m. I’m really into photography.” Tiny little smile. “They have a nature photography class.” Twitchy little shrug.
Oh, there’s definitely something going on there, but what that is exactly, Jason doesn’t know but really wants to find out.
“Er.” Tim is really bad at smiling.
“You think I’d be any good at it?” There’s just. Tim is way too twitchy for Jason’s peace of mind.
Tim stares at him.
“I’ve never picked up a camera, so.” Jason shrugs. “Might be nice to learn.” And maybe help him figure out what Tim’s deal is, because this kid. Something is up with him, no doubt about that.
“I. It’s fun,” Tim says, looking down at the table, playing with the pamphlets and brochures. Small smile at the corner of his mouth and a quiet little, “I like it.”
Oh, yeah. Something is definitely going on with Tim.
“Huh,” Jason says, tapping the nature photography brochure. “It’ll be something at any rate, yeah?”
Tim looks up at him, something like surprise – cautious, wary – on his face. “I. Yeah, I guess.”
Maybe not the horrible clay bowl or pot to terrorize Bruce with every time he goes into the main sitting room, but. Maybe this can be some not completely terrible picture to hang up somewhere.
Well, that and wouldn’t it be fucking hilarious to have photographic evidence of whatever the hell’s going on at this camp using their own damn cameras? (For the record, yes. Yes it would be.)