”I should be out there,” Tim said, sitting up. The world spun away from him and he groaned.
“So you can get killed,” Jason replied conversationally, pushing the other man’s shoulder and watching him fall backward onto the couch. ”That’s an awesome idea; I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that first.”
Tim grimaced. ”Shut up.”
His brother arched a brow. ”Ouch. That hurt me right here, Timmy. Like a bullet to the chest. You have no idea.” He put a hand to his hip and cocked his head.
“Now are you gonna sleep this off like a good boy, or do I have to call in reinforcements?”
Tim’s eyes widened. ”Oh, god,” he muttered, feeling sicker. He fell back against the cushions and closed his eyes.
“Please don’t call Dick.”
Jason smirked. ”That’s what I thought.”
“I told you not to call Dick,” Tim muttered uselessly, closing his eyes.
“Found him on patrol. Almost pitched himself right off a building. Maybe you’ve convinced the little bird he can fly?” Jason snorted, pushing aside a mountain of newspapers and takeout boxes and taking a seat on the coffee table. “Right. Like I was gonna drive all the way to the fucking Manor when I live three blocks down. ‘Cause that’s smart. Uh-huh. Yup. Wait, wait, wait. I’m insulted that you think I care…”
Tim groaned as Jason’s hand pushed under his sweaty bangs.
“Oh, yeah. Burning up. Well, what was I supposed to do? I got pumped full of holes when I was Robin and didn’t get taken to a hospital. My replacement gets the kid gloves? Maybe that’s why he was smart enough to go out with a fever. Because you’ve all been coddling him.” Jason’s hand moved through Tim’s bangs to the top of his head, brushing the hair toward his ears.
“That’s why I called you. I don’t want him dying on my watch—how the hell should I know? You think I just keep one of those lying around?”
The teenager’s eyes fluttered open as Jason’s lips settled on his forehead. When the older man pulled back, there was a flicker of concern in his eyes as he brought the phone back to his ear.
“I think you should probably get over here.”
Tim’s grasp on reality faded in and out with the voices that conversed in low tones across the room.
“…not sure how long. Like I said, I found the kid about to pitch off a roof. He told me not to call you.”
“For once, I’m glad you disobeyed a direct order.”
“Heh, right. Completely ignore all the other times I did exactly what you said…”
“I’m not here to argue with you,” Jason sighed. “Just do something about him, would you? He’s burning up.”
Tim crawled back toward consciousness as the couch dipped. Another hand, larger than Jason’s, felt around his face and forehead.
“Tim…can you hear me?”
The teenager struggled to open his eyes. He was uncomfortably warm. They focused on Jason first, standing pensively beside the couch, his arms crossed. Tim tried to smile and mostly failed. It was almost endearing that Jason seemed to care enough to worry. But really, the teenager was happy to make the older man suffer just a little for all the crap he’d thrown at Tim since they’d started working in the same city.
“Can you walk?” the low voice asked him. Tim blinked, trying to process the command.
“Does he look like it?” Jason snapped. “Jesus Christ, Boss. I’ve seen deader men look more alive.”
“That wasn’t funny, Jason.”
The man snorted. “Well excuse my black sense of humour.”
Tim groaned, his eyelids heavy. A strong set of arms slid under his knees and cradled his head, shifting him against a firm chest.
“Dick…?” he murmured.
“Screw that,” Jason clipped, helping to adjust the limp body more securely against the other man as he stood, lifting the teen. “You look like hell; I went for the big guns.”
Tim frowned. He licked dry lips. A familiar scent greeted his nose. It was thick and heady and—
“It’s alright, Tim,” the man said, it was a rumble against Tim’s ear. He gripped the edge of Bruce’s jacket that rested beneath his fingers. Somehow, it was comforting.
“Wait—” Jason said, grabbing his jacket and jogging in front of them to jerk open the door. “I’ll drive.”
Tim would have smiled if he didn’t feel like he’d been hit by a train.
“We’ll fix ya, kid. Just don’t die on us…” Jason said, pausing just long enough to pull Bruce’s keys out of the man’s jacket pocket.
“I’d hate to have to go back in after you. Besides, you can’t expect me to replace my Replacement.”