Disclaimer—I don't own anyone. DC owns.
Rating: PG for nudity.
"I'M ROY, KING OF THE UNIVERSE!"
Tim punched his video game controller, trying to get the last of the magic coins from level thirty two and a half. He sat cross-legged on his living room floor, spending Christmas Eve curled up with a good video game. He didn't need to be on patrol for another hour and life was good.
"I AM ROY AND I WILL BE YOUR MASTER! MASTER ROY!"
Tim's eyes darted back and forth. On the sofa next to him, his father had begun folding his newspaper. Damn. He wasn't hallucinating.
"YOU WILL BE MY SERVANT! THE REIGN OF ROY IS AT HAND!"
His stomach did summersaults as he followed his father to the window. Sure enough, on their front lawn, in the snow, stood Roy Harper (who wasn't wearing a coat), screaming at the top of his lungs.
"I AM THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE! GI JOE! MY LITTLE PONY!"
Tim's knuckles dug into his eyes. Why? Why him?
"Tim, get me the phone," Jack instructed, glaring at the man marring his snow.
"Um... Maybe he'll leave on his own."
"ROY HARPER IS THE BEST TITANS LEADER IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE! SAY YE NOTHING OF THE SNORKS? THEY EAT WHITECASTLE!"
"Tim, the phone. NOW."
Seeing no choice, Tim picked up the cordless phone from the coffee table and regretfully handed it to his father. Well, not regretfully. Roy needed to be stopped. But still... causing problems with Titans... either way, it was bad for his identity.
The nearly mind-numbing effect of driving The Car through the back streets of Gotham was shaken off Batman as his comlink snapped to life suddenly, on an emergency channel. "Batman, you'd better get back home. There's a disturbance at the Drake residence," Oracle informed the Dark Knight.
"I'm busy." There was a fugative he was currently in search of. Hence the mind-numbing patrol in the car. "Anything Tim can't handle?" He and Tim were still having problems in their relationship, and he didn't want to jump in too soon.
"There is an unnamed Titan screaming on Jack Drake's lawn that HE is the best Titans leader, ever. I intercepted the call to the police."
"I'm on my way," Batman informed her. What the hell kind of trouble had Dick gotten himself into now?
"OLIO! OLIO ICECREAM! COME ON POINTY EARS! LET ROBBIE COME OUT AND PLAY!"
Tim's heart caught in his chest. Not only was Roy going to obliterate his secret identity, but the idiot had the wrong house. And the funny thing was, Roy didn't look like he noticed or cared. His hair was standing straight on end, his face was flushed, eyes bloodshot and dilated... From the house, it looked like Roy might have OD'd on something.
"BUT YOU NEVER LET ROBBIE COME OUT AND PLAY! YOU KEEP HIM LOCKED UP!" Turning around, he pulled his pants down around his knees, giving the occupants of the house a full view of his terribly white ass. "LOOK AT MEEEEE I'M POINTY EARS! I USE MY POINTY EARS TO SCRATCH MY COLON BECAUSE MY HEAD'S STUCK UP MY ASS!" He looked between his legs, still screaming in the snow.
"This is ridiculous. Where are the police?" Jack demanded.
If Tim only had a batarang... he'd hit Roy in his pasty Irish ass with the thing. Assuming Roy survived the overdose, that was. If he lived, Tim was going to kill him. "Why don't I like... see if I can talk to him?" Dick'd be pissed if he let his friend die.
"I'M HE-MAN, MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE! KISS MY TIGER!" Roy started smacking his behind rhythmically.
"Don't go out there. He may be deranged."
"He's probably just drunk, dad," Tim said as he shot out the door before his father could do anything. Approaching the now-humming hero, Tim shook his head in disgust. "Roy... Roy... what're you doing out here?"
Roy looked up from between his legs at Tim. He stopped pounding on his bare backside. "LOOK, IT'S MINI-ROBBIE! GO GET YOUR MASTER, SLAVE! BRING ME THE REAL ROBBIE! NO OLIO! ONLY BUTTER!"
"Roy, SHUT UP. Does my dad need to know what I do with my nights?" Tim whispered harshly, just as his father appeared on the front steps. "Just shut up Roy. Shut up and we'll get you help."
"Get back up here, Tim," Jack Drake instructed firmly.
Tim only gave a passing glance back at his father, but something caught his eye and made him spin around, then put his arms out in front of him. "Dad, it's ok. Mr. Harper's going to leave all peaceful and stuff..." His dad didn't flinch. "We don't need the gun..." But his father didn't move with the shotgun. He didn't even know his father OWNED one of those things. "Daaaad..." Tim decided he was going to wake up very soon. It's what kept the last few shreds of sanity in place.
Roy stood up and put his pants back on. "DON'T SHOOT MINI-ME! DR. EVIL WILL BE PISSED!"
Tim really wanted to just step out of the way. It wasn't like Roy really DESERVED his protection at that point. Sometimes being a good guy sucked.
Suddenly, the Dark Knight reproached himself for his earlier mental berating of Nightwing. He should have known it wouldn't be Nightwing. No. It was Harper. As he looked on from the shadows, he began contemplating ways to neutralize the situation.
Tim had noticed his presence, and was doing his best to get his father into his house, but to no avail.
Then Harper, who appeared to be stoned, or withdrawing out of his mind, put a hand over his heart and began singing the Star Spangled Banner.
At least it would have been, had Harper known all the words. All he did was keep singing "Oh, say can you see..." over and over, to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner. At the last line, he tipped backwards and collapsed in the snow, unconscious.
"Dad, you call an ambulance. I'm going to see if he's ok..."
Much to Batman's surprise, Jack Drake actually followed his son's lead. As soon as Jack had retreated into the house, Batman swooped out of the shadows, treading only in the already destroyed snow. Tossing Roy Harper over his shoulder, he vanished.
Harper woke once he was stationary again in the Batcave. He looked at Batman with wild eyes, pointing listlessly at the cave roof. "The onions are worms. Don't eat the onions, because they're WORMS!"
"Um hum." He checked the young man's pulse, which was speeding a hundred miles an hour. He was going to hit a wall shortly, if Batman didn't do something. "Harper, what's in your system?" Batman demanded. Christmas Eve was a hell of a time for someone to relapse into drug use.
"Roy, what drugs are you on?" Batman ground out as he began withdrawing blood from the young man."
"Just Whitecastle. Don't eat there. The onions are little worms." The young man frowned. "And pink lemonade. I asked for fruit punch, but it was pink lemonade... And then... the worms were talking to me." He grabbed onto Batman's cape. "The worms live with My Little Pony. And they talk."
Batman pulled Harper's hand off of his cape, and let it drop down onto the medical table. Christmas WASN'T the most pleasant time of year. Couldn't the boy find some other way to cope? Instead of this... self-annihilation?
Tim entered the cave an hour later to the sounds of massive barfing. A red-headed figure was bent over a bucket, his face flushed and his eyes bulging from the effort of expelling his stomach contents.
"Tim." Batman noted, looking up from whatever concoction he was mixing at the lab table. It looked like Pepto-Bismol mixed with green play dough.
"I'm going to have a word with Roy," Tim said vehenimantly.
"Leave him alone," Batman ordered. "What's in your coat pocket?" he could venture a guess, but he'd give the boy the benefit of the doubt.
Tim pulled out a steak knife.
"You can't kill Harper," Batman said patiently.
"I'm not going to kill him," Tim informed his mentor. "I'm going to maim him." Right in his shining white ass.
"I didn't have time for this tonight," Batman informed his partner mildly.
"I didn't ask for Roy to practically blow my cover. My dad was spastic when Roy disappeared off the lawn. And I just spent forty-five minutes listening to him lecture. Apparently I'm a degenerate who's going to end up drugged out of my mind and screaming on people's lawns when I grow up." The boy frowned.
"I didn't have time because I was looking for the Scarecrow."
Tim put the knife back in his pocket then folded his arms over his chest. "Fear toxin doesn't do that," Tim pointed out.
"Not if inhaled. It seems Mr. Harper drank thirty-two ounces of it with his value meal."
"You're making that up." WHY would Batman defend Roy? It was outside the natural order of things.
Batman tossed him the toxicology report. He gave a long glance toward the archer. "I'll spare you stomach contents."
Tim looked it over, absolutely stunned. "So Crane is trying to POISON people now? I mean, why make him drink..."
"He was storing it in the syrup bags for the soda fountain." At a Whitecastle. In Gotham Heights. It was bizarre to say the least. "Oracle informed me that Batgirl broke his jaw in two places after we'd found out what Crane had been about. The situation is under control."
Without preamble, Tim let out a short laugh. "We HAVE to tell Dick about this."
"NOOO!" Came a hoarse moan from across the cave. "Nooo!"
"There's still the matter of YOU. In my TOWN," Batman pointed out.
"Nummy Burgerettes?" Roy asked hopefully. "Then see BC for Christmas. Take her... Some..." Roy leaned over the bucket and let lose with another dry heave.
Is that what passed for Christmas Eve dinner with that group? He despised the holiday, but at least they ate actual food. "There will be no mention of ANY of this to ANYONE," Batman instructed his company. "Consider your spared egos the ONLY present you will get from me for Christmas."
Tim and Roy gave simultaneous salutes and the pact was sealed.
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