Even though he didn’t have any idea who was playing or how the game actually worked, Tim stood up against the glass wall of the VIP box and stared down at the green field. His breath fogged the glass but he was still entranced by the beautiful field and he decided the trip was worth it. Tim had been forced to come along with his family and he made sure his annoyance was well known, but now looking down he couldn’t wait to see all the players actually start playing the game.
Behind him Dick and Bruce were talking about the match, who they thought was going to win and which players were going to be playing a good game and who was overrated. When Bruce had told Dick he would be taking them out to see the first game in the new Gotham Knights stadium, Dick leapt into the air with excitement. For the last few weeks he had been arguing with Roy and Oliver about who was the better team, the Gotham Knights or the Star City Stars, and he wanted to be able to tell his uncle that he was in the stadium, in the private box, when he saw his team get creamed. Somehow the excitement had been channeled into Bruce and he wanted to rub the loss into Oliver’s face as much as Dick did. They had even been able to convince Tim to wear yellow for the Knights, even if he didn’t know how anything worked there was no reason he couldn’t support the local team. Over the years Oliver and the other JL members and been slowly trying to turn Tim over to their side with their own merchandise and him completely decked out in Gotham memorabilia would be a serious step backwards for them.
Soon some of the employees of the of the stadium coming in to set out a buffet for them to dig into while they watched the game. Most of them were surprised when they realized that Bruce was the only adult in the room and even more so when he said that they didn’t need to open up any of the alcohol. The private boxes were usually for people to show off just how much money and access they had, not to bring their kid in to enjoy a game.
After watched a young girl sing the national anthem, Tim immediately lost interest. There was very little real action and most of the time was spent looking at people talking to each other while they waited for someone to come up with a play. Unlike the other two who were very on the edge of their seat as they watched the game, Tim dug through Bruce’s jacket until he found his phone and began to play one of his games. He gathered a few bottles of his favorite juice from the buffet and found a corner of the room where he wouldn’t have to listen to his family. Every now and then he heard cheers or groans but he found Bruce’s phone much more interesting than anything they could be watching.
Soon the door opened to their room opened and they watched as some of strangers strutted in. Even though he still didn’t have any interest in the game, Tim didn’t appreciate the interruption and he quickly got up to sit on Bruce’s lap and put as much distance between him and the strangers as he could.
Bruce was just as surprised as him at the sound of the door being thrown open and when he found out who they were he frowned. He had wanted a relaxed day out with his sons and these weren’t the people he wanted around them. Ever. The only reason he ever associated with them was because he was forced to, ignoring them would mean having them think that he hated them, even though he did, but the social impact wouldn’t do him any good. They were all the children and grandchildren of people he worked very closely with and he wanted to avoid stringing his relationships with them as much as he could.
When he felt Tim make his way onto his lap he knew this wasn’t going to be the happy day out he had planned for, but he promised himself to keep his focus on the boys. Tim always considered him to be the safest option to find refuge from something he didn’t like and considering how hard the boy was trying to let him and Dick enjoy the game in peace, Bruce held him close to his chest and gave him the safety he needed.
Bruce decided he wouldn’t be rude, he’d pretend to be interested in whatever they said and he wouldn’t flinch away from the crude language and flirting but he would make sure his sons were enjoying the game above all else. If push comes to shove, he might just have to call in the security and have the group escorted out, but he wanted to avoid that as long as he could.
Finally noticing that there were other people in the room as Tim ran out from his hiding space, Dick leaned over to Bruce and groaned, “I thought you promised that we would be alone, that you didn’t have to bother with any business.”
Getting ready to pretend to be excited to see the others, Bruce explained, “This isn’t business. I don’t really know what this is.”
As soon as they were finished looking through the buffet and searching the cabinets for alcohol that wasn’t there, one of the girls made her way over. She walked up to the back of the couch and ran a hand through Bruce’s shoulder before coming around the side and trying to sit on his lap. She was annoyed to find that Tim had already claimed the seat and Tim was just as annoyed that she could be so rude. Quickly recovering, she returned to the back of the couch and circled her arms around Bruce’s neck. She leaned in to whisper, “Brucie, who are these two lovely boys? I didn’t expect that you’d have company over.”
Trying his hardest to ignore the irony of that statement, Bruce broke her hold and introduced them with, “They are my sons. Richard and Timothy.”
Hearing Bruce avoid using his nickname, Dick knew that he was trying to avoid any inappropriate jokes and trying to keep as much distance between them and the strangers as possible.
Tim didn’t really care, but he peeked over Bruce’s shoulder to glare at all of them at once and ask, “Why are you here?”
Another girl came to Bruce’s side and took a place on the couch before running her hand through his bangs and explaining, “We heard that Brucie was here and decided he needed the company. We didn’t want him to be lonely.”
Tim immediately recognized that he didn’t like the way the lady was trying to get close to his dad so he slowly pushed her over until there was enough room for Dick to sit down and act as a buffer. He even kicked off one of the boys who tried to take a seat on the arm of the couch when he tried to make a joke about Dick’s name that Tim knew Dick hated.
When he was sure Bruce was safe, Tim returned his attention to Bruce’s phone. He looked up every couple of minutes to make sure no one else was trying to take his place but he found that he couldn’t do anything to stop them from taking up the empty seats and trapping his family in a circle of their bodies. Tim wanted to be rude, he wanted to tell them to leave them alone because no one wanted their company, but he had been raised better than that and he settled for the space closest to Bruce.
Tim could tell that Dick had the same opinion of the intruders that he did, but instead of saying anything the two used their own private gestures to communicate how annoying and rude and mean and loud they were.
Half way through the game Bruce got a phone call from Luscious he had to step out and work on something. Tim had to step off from his seat to save his spot and he couldn’t help but feel vulnerable without Bruce there to protect him. It was also when he noticed just how much he had to do to the bathroom. He tried to wait until Bruce walked back in so he could have some company, but the call ran for over 10 minutes and Tim was reduced to shaking in his seat to try to distract himself. It turned out that using juice as a way to distract him from the boring game wasn’t a good plan and now he had to step out with or without Bruce. The problem was that everyone could tell that he needed to go and they decided to use this as a way to get back at him for keeping Bruce’s attention off of themselves.
Tim didn’t want to bother Dick, they had stopped using their own secret language about an hour ago so Dick could focus on the game and he looked very interested so Tim decided to get find a restroom by himself. As soon as he stepped off the couch and tried to get out room a maze of legs formed around him and none were willing to move no matter how much he urged.
It all culminated in him not being able to control his bladder and wetting his pants.
The smell got most of their attention but it was the tears that made Dick turn away from the windows. Seeing his brother’s distress and immediately recognizing what was wrong when Tim tried to use his hands to cover up the growing stain, Dick could tell that he needed to get Tim out of the room as soon as possible. As soon as he stood up and made his way over to his crying brother, he shot the others in the room a glare and the laughing stopped. No one apologized, they weren’t capable of that, but they did decide that the game was worth more of their attention than the distressed boy in the middle of the room.
Dick picked up his brother and held him against his chest as he made his way out of the room and slammed the door behind them. It didn’t take long for them to find the closest bathroom and once they found one, Dick made sure no one was inside and locked the door for some privacy.
He sat Tim down on the floor before he gathered some of the of paper towels to dry up his tears. Once he was sure Tim was done crying, Dick kneeled down in front of him and asking, “How are you feeling, Babybird?”
“I wanna go home, Dick. I don’t wanna to stay. I don’t like this.” Tim threw his arms around his neck and wanted so badly for them to somehow find their way back home as fast as possible. He didn’t care how he must have looked, he just couldn’t stand to be there anymore and he wanted to leave as soon as possible.
Returning the hug and rubbing circles into his back, Dick promised him, “We’ll go find Dad as soon as I can get you cleaned up.”
As soon as Tim let go of him, Dick took off his own stained jacket and coaxed Tim to step out of his pants. He made sure not to seem disgusted by the urine that got on his hands and as soon as he got the clothes off, he threw them in the trash. Dick pulled out some more paper towels and ran them under water and cleaned Tim off thoroughly. He decided to put some soap on the paper towels to try to get rid of the smell and help Tim feel more comfortable for when they would have to walk back into the room with rude strangers to get the rest of their things.
After he was cleaned off, Dick saw Tim dig out his jacket from the trash and pull it on despite the small stain from where Dick had been holding him. It was big enough to hide most everything about Tim, but Dick knew it gave him a little comfort he really needed so he didn’t bother questioning it. Once Tim was settled into the jacket, Dick untied his shorts from around his hips and helped Tim step into them. After he tied them tight enough that they wouldn’t fall off as soon as Tim moved, he hide the string in the shorts and took a step back to take in just how the shorts were big enough to be pants on Tim.
Dick thought about giving him his boxers, they would definitely fit Tim better, but he knew that might also be a little more embarrassing for him so he abandoned the idea. There might be someone selling some shorts around the stadium, but then Dick didn’t have any cash money and he would need to leave Tim by himself and that was not going to happen.
Once they were both settled and clean, Dick asked, “Is there anything else you need, Timbo?”
Tim once again threw himself against Dick and muttered, “I love you, Dick.”
Letting a smile come across his face, Dick said, “You now I’ll do everything you need me to. Even now, you just look like a miniature version of me in my shorts and jacket.”
Looking up at him and enjoying how Dick was trying to make light of the situation, Tim promised, “You’re not going to get this jacket back. It’s mine now, Dick.”
Laughing as he took Tim’s hand and lead him out of the bathroom, Dick decided to walk around the stadium to calm Tim’s nerves. He knew people were staring at him and talking about how he was walking around in boxers, but he was just happy that he chose today to wear the pair that was just a little too big for him. Anytime someone got even close to getting ready to tell him something, Dick shot him or her a glare until he or she sat back down and left the two of them alone.
Tim enjoyed the walk, it was relaxing to focus his attention on other things, and Dick felt it was a perfect opportunity to use his emergency credit card to find some chili fries before they found a seat where they could still see some of the game.
Sitting down beside one of large windows, Tim refused to move more than two inches from his brother’s side and while they sat in silence eating he decided to explain what had happened. “They knew that I needed to go, Dick. They knew. But they wouldn’t let me. They acted like they didn’t know, but I told them and they still wouldn’t let me leave.”
Clenching his fists, Dick wanted to run back and beat all of them up, but instead he chose to seat Tim on his lap while he rocked him back and forth. As soon as Tim was a little more stable he asked, “Why didn’t you tell me, Babybird? I would’ve led you out as soon as you said something.”
Playing with the hem of Dick’s jacket, Tim mumbled, “You were watching your game and I didn’t want to bother you and I didn’t think they would be mean about it. I don’t know, Dick, I just…I didn’t think it would happen like that.”
Dick wrapped his arms tightly around him and reminded him, “Tim, I’ll take care of everything that bothers you, okay. I don’t care what it is or what I’m doing, I’ll do it. If you needed my help, you should have just asked. Like now, as soon as we’re done eating we’ll go find Bruce and go home.”
Once they were sure Bruce would be done with the phone call and back in the room waiting for them, the two found their way back to the VIP box and Dick quietly opened the door to peek in and find Bruce. He was sitting in the same spot and doing his best to ignore the crowd behind him.
As soon as he saw his dad, Tim ran past everyone and found his way back onto his lap and clung to him as if he was his lifeline. Bruce was shocked, he hadn’t been expecting this strong of a reaction, and as soon as he was able to comprehend the situation he rocked Tim until he was ready to show his face.
Dick sat down next to them and frowned at the sight. He had hoped that their little trip around the stadium would have made him feel a little better, but now he could see that wasn’t happening. If there was anything good about the situation, it was that none of the others in the room were laughing anymore, but that might have had more to do with the fact that there was an actual adult in the room.
Once he could feel that Tim was beginning to settle down and felt a little better, Bruce rubbed circles into Tim’s back and asked, “What’s wrong, Tim? Did something happen?”
One of the guys, Dick refused to learn any of their names so he’d labeled them ‘Assholes’ and numbered them 1-8 in his head, took over and answered, “He had a little accident in his pants.”
Shooting him a glare and knowing that he was trying to hide how they had hurt his little brother, Dick took over and explained, “Timmy needed to go to the bathroom and they wouldn’t let him leave and he couldn’t hold it in.”
“They wouldn’t let him?” Bruce questioned.
Not caring about the looks that were thrown in his direction, Dick scooted closer to Tim and tried to comfort him. Looking up at Bruce, Dick explained, “Timmy told them he needed to leave for the bathroom, but they ignored him and blocked his path until he…yeah.”
Asshole 4 got up from her seat and made her way beside Tim where she tried to assure him, “You should’ve told us, baby. If anything happened it wasn’t on purpose and we didn’t mean to make you upset.”
Flinching away as soon as he felt her hand on his shoulder, Tim pushed himself further into Bruce’s torso trying to get away. Bruce responded by moving Tim to his other side to put some more distance between them. He could tell that she and everyone else in the room had been lying to him and there was really only one thing to do.
Bruce didn’t even bother saying anything to anyone before he got up and let Tim wrap his arms around his neck while they walked out. Dick wanted to do something, he wanted to hit everyone in the room or at the very least yell at them for hurting his little brother, but he saw Tim peeking up from the top of Bruce’s shoulder waiting for him so he quickly made his way over.
Once they were home Tim had stopped caring about everything. A quick bath and a movie in the theater room were all he needed, especially when Dick felt a little too guilty to leave his side. The two spent the rest of the day trying to forget what they could about the incident while Bruce made sure Alfred knew to never invite those people to any functions he held.
In-between messing with Tim about how he looked in the too big jacket, Dick looked up the names and information of Assholes 1-8 and hacked into their various social media accounts. He wanted to see if there was anything he could use as revenge and settled for giving the GCPD an anonymous tip about where they bought, used, and hid their drugs. The footage of them being escorted to the police station might make Tim feel a little better, but it definitely did wonders for Dick. He was willing to do more, something to make them realize just how large failures they actually were, but he decided he’d already given them too much of his time and he should now turn to messing with his little brother.
It turned out that Tim had been eyeing his jacket for a while and now that he had it, he wasn’t going to let it go anytime soon. He even tried to convince Alfred that he could take his bath with the jacket over his shoulders but a single unimpressed look was enough for him to give up. Tim relented and took off Dick’s jacket once Alfred promised he would get it back in a few minutes after he put it through a washing machine and that no harm would come to it. Dick tried to distract Tim with some of his bath toys while the two waited for Alfred to return and once he saw just how Tim lit up watching Alfred walk into the bathroom with the now clean and ironed jack, he knew he was never going to get a chance to wear it again. It was Tim’s now.
The eight year old also demanded that Bruce join the two of them for a movie even if it meant he would have to stay up past his bedtime. The slight bending of the rules didn’t seem to matter too much because soon Tim was passed out on top of Bruce while the movie ran in the background. He had one hand clenching onto Bruce’s shirt while the other held onto his hand. Over the years Tim had grown less and less dependent on Bruce for support but now, even with the cruel circumstances that had brought them to this point, Bruce appreciated being able to give him the protection he needed.
Studying the look on his father’s face, Dick knew exactly what he was thinking about and said, “I just don’t get why they would do that to him.”
Bruce sighed and let Tim adjust himself in his sleep before replying, “They wanted by attention and were upset to find out that I preferred your company over theirs.”
Dick understood what Bruce was saying, people would give up a lot just to have a minute to talk to his dad, but he had to stress, “I don’t want Tim near people like that. He doesn’t deserve to have them torment him.”
Chuckling as Dick’s protectiveness shone through, Bruce promised, “I’ve already made sure that doesn’t happen, and I know you did too.”