*7 days to Christmas*
‘Tis the season to be jolly, my ass!’ Tim grouched to himself as he flipped through what felt like the hundredth magazine. There were 12 days left to Christmas and he had no clue what to get for Kon. Nothing seemed to stand out from all the options and frankly, Tim was getting very much close to desperate.
So desperate that he was just about ready to ask his family for suggestions. Tim stopped for a moment to consider the option. But just as quickly shook the thought away. Asking his brothers and father figure for their advice would only be an option if he was left with 3 days and was still without a present.
Satisfied with his decision, Tim stared at the open magazine before grimacing at the ugly looking cardigan and continued with his seemingly impossible task of finding the JUST RIGHT present for his boyfriend.
* 3 days before Christmas*
“Dick, can I have a minute?”
The older man patted the empty spot next to him, “Yeah sure, whats up Tim?”
Tim sank down into the plush sofa, “I’d like your input on a certain matter.”
“Well…as you know, this will be the first Christmas Kon and I will be celebrating as a couple. And well….” Tim looked away from Dick’s open and curious gaze, feeling slightly embarrassed to admit this out loud, “I don’t know what to get for him.”
Dick’s tone was tinged with confusion as he replied, “You’ve never had trouble picking out something for him before. Just get him something you would have before you started going out.” Tim turned to give Dick a ‘are you crazy?’ look, “I can’t do that! We’re dating now! The present has to be something….special. I can’t give him just anything.”
“I think you’re over thinking this little brother.” Dick held up his hands in a gesture of self defense at the glare Tim sent him way. “Fine, fine! Then…how about…” Tim waited patiently as Dick tapped a finger against his lips, his eyes gazing off in the distance as he considered the options.
A happy spark of hope burst into life inside his chest as Dick snapped his fingers and turned his bright smile towards Tim, “How about tying yourself up in a big ribbon and giving yourself as a gift to Kon?”
He wasn’t able to duck the pillow that came flying at his face and was left half bent over the sofa arm yelling, “What?!” as Tim stormed out.
“Lemme get this straight….”
Tim took a deep breath to steady himself and reminded himself that he was desperate and that was why he was standing in front of his second older brother asking for his help. Jason stood up, wiping his hands on a dirty rag as he turned around to face Tim.
The second Robin was giving him a slightly disbelieving stare as he repeated the problem, “You want my opinion on what you should get your boy toy for Christmas?”
Barely resisting the urge to grind his teeth at the underlying amusement in Jason’s voice, Tim replied, “In a nutshell, yes.”
“What’s in it for me if I help you out?”
The flippant question earned him a slightly incredulous look, “The satisfaction of helping a fellow human being?”
Jason rolled his eyes, tossing the dirty rag away on the bench. “I’d sooner feel the satisfaction of a twenty in my hands.” He smiled cheekily at Tim, who glared back for a moment. Grumbling under his breath, Tim pulled his wallet out and handed the money over. “This is extortion.”
Jason tucked the money away into the back pocket of his jeans, “You say extortion, I say money making opportunity.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “A sniper rifle.”
Tim smacked his forehead with the palm of his head, “I said for Kon, not for yourself!”
“And how do you know that he wouldn’t like a sniper rifle for a present?”
“He’s Superboy! What use would a meta have for a sniper rifle when he’s got heat vision?”
Jason rolled his eyes, “Fine fine you little princess. Then how about….” Jason’s expression became thoughtful for a few minutes before he asked, “I suppose anything that explodes is out of the question?” Tim gave him a disbelieving look that made him mutter, “Right, stupid me what WAS I thinking when I asked that….”
Jason shrugged his broad shoulders as he spoke, “Get naked, slap a bow on your head and get the Christmas tree?”
To say he was confused and mildly irritated when Tim turned heel and walked out of the garage without another word would have been a slight understatement.
“Drake I hardly have time for this.”
“I hardly have the patience for this but I’m desperate.”
Damian rubbed a towel over his forehead, wiping the sweat away before tossing the towel back to its place on the bench. “You lack patience and intelligence if you cannot even select a present for your…partner.”
Tim threw his hands up in the air, “I don’t know why I even tried!”
“What I fail to comprehend is why you do not simply present your naked self to the lummox you call a boyfriend and just be done it.”
Tim had to bite down on his tongue to stop himself from screaming in frustration.
Comedians and clowns, that’s what his brothers were.
Bruce looked up from the papers in his hand as he heard the knock on his door. “Come in.”
Tim pushed the door open, stepping into the study as he spoke, “Hi Bruce. I wasn’t interrupting your work was I?”
Tossing the papers down on the table, Bruce indicated for his son to take a seat, “Not at all.” He waited for Tim to make himself comfortable before asking, “I could use a break. How can I help you Tim?”
Tim closed his eyes for a moment and prayed that Bruce would be his salvation. He took a deep breath, “I was just wondering what you’ll be getting Superman for Christmas.”
Blinking in surprise, the older man questioned, “Clark?” At Tim’s nod, Bruce leaned back in his seat, “I’ve set aside some cash for him so he can buy whatever he wants.” Tim blinked at Bruce, half thinking that perhaps Bruce was joking but…
“Its worked before.” was Bruce’s simple reply.
The urge to head desk increasing with every passing second, Tim quickly stood up, “Thank you.”
Bruce stared with a small measure of confusion as Tim walked out, ‘For what exactly?’
“Are you alright Master Tim?”
Tim didn’t raise his head from the hand as he dully replied, “Just fine Alfred.”
He totally missed the quirk of Alfred’s brow but not the dry sarcasm in the old man’s tone as he spoke, “If you say so Sir.”
Tim remained stationary, the palm of his hand covering his eyes as he slouched further in his seat. He detachedly tracked Alfred’s movements through sound as he put away the batch of clean laundry he had brought in.
There were less than 3 days left to Christmas and Tim’s last plan had pretty much fallen through. To be honest, he hadn’t expected this. He had thought that he would receive some sensible gift suggestions from his family but…
‘Everyone’s a damn comedian…’ Tim grouched internally as he recalled his brother’s advice. They probably planned that answer in advance too…‘Although…’ He lifted his head up and eyed Alfred in contemplation as he neatly tucked a few pairs of white socks away.
“Hey Alfred. Can I ask you something?”
The elderly man looked up from his task, “But of course Sir.”
Tim scratched the back of his neck as he spoke, “I can’t think of a good enough gift to get Kon. I don’t suppose you have any suggestions?” There was a small note of hopefulness in his voice and eyes as he gazed up at the butler.
Alfred seemed to contemplate the question carefully as he stashed away the last pair of socks into the drawer.
“Have you considered giving him something that he needs?”, the old man said. Tim’s brow scrunched together, confusion coloring his voice as he asked, “Something he needs?”
“I imagine the young Mr.Kent must have mentioned at one point or another that he needs something. For example, a new jacket or a gaming console perhaps?” Tim’s expression turned contemplative as he considered the first sensible suggestion he had received all day. He reply was slow as he spoke, “He did mention something about wanting a new winter jacket…”
But Tim still looked unsure, “But…would that be an appropriate gift?”
“I believe it is the thought that counts. Regardless of what you give him, Mr.Kent would be highly appreciative of the time and effort you spent while searching for the gift.”
The last bit of advice seemed to give Tim heart and he nodded firmly, “Thank you for your help Alfred.” He gave him a small grateful smile which the butler returned before returning to his task.
* 2 days to Christmas*
“My word!” Alfred blinked in surprise as he opened the main door and found himself staring at a large stack of presents with legs. “Master Tim?”
There was a family grunt from the back of the brightly wrapped parcels, “A little help please Alfred.”
The butler was quick to lighten the load on Tim’s arms as soon as the young man was indoors. “I am to gather that my advice was useful?”
That prompted a tired moan out of the man as he placed the small mountain of presents on top of a nearby table. “A little too useful I’m afraid.”
Something clicked inside Alfred’s head and he looked over the present pile with astonishment, “All of these are for-“
“Yes.” Tim’s tone was as dry as the Sahara in the middle of a drought. “All of these presents are for Kon.” He raised a hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose, mortification making a pink blush spread over his face as he explained, “I went to find a good enough jacket and I found that easily enough. But on my way to the counter I saw this suit and I recalled Kon mentioning that he only had this old hand me down from Clark.”
“So you went to purchase a new suit for young Mr.Kent.”
Tim nodded, a tad on the miserable side, “I figured if I was getting him a suit, then I should get him a few shirts to go with them. And a few ties and the next thing I know.” Tim waved at the cheerful boxes in front of him in an explanatory manner and threw himself down into the nearest chair. He pulled his gloves off, every movement terse and agitated as he spoke, “I went completely overboard with the presents! And I don’t even know which item is in which box or else I’d separate them and give him a few! Not to mention!”
Alfred just managed to catch a small iron statue that fell off its perch as Tim waved his arms with a little too much nervous panicking, “Kon’ll be here in a few hours and I just….” Tim looked two wrong words away from melting down in the foyer as he miserably finished, “I’m a horrible boyfriend.”
That was something Alfred was not going to just stand by and listen. “Master Tim, I hardly believe that such-”
They both were startled to hear a loud rapping on the front door. The pair exchanged a quick look before moving towards the door. They were ready for anything that might be behind the door.
Except what was actually behind the door.
Or to be more correct. WHO was behind the door.
Tim blinked in surprise to find a red nosed, thoroughly bundled up Conner Kent waiting with a bright smile and a loud, “Surprise!”
He could only gape as Kon stepped into the warm house, dropping his bags as he spoke, “I thought I’d show up a bit early and surprise you!” The meta blithely ignored the surprise on Tim’s face (or most likely was patting himself on the back for a surprise well executed because one could not pull many surprises off on ANY of the Bats) and pressed a small kiss to his cheek.
“You’re early!” was the only thing Tim managed to spit out. That earned him a slow brow raise, “That’s what I just said Wonder boy. You alright?”
‘No, no I’m not! The universe is clearly conspiring to kill me of stress!’ Tim wanted to yell but instead he closed his eyes and took in a few deep breaths. Nice and long and slow.
“Whoa, that’s a big pile of presents. Who’re they for?”
Or maybe he needed more than a few deep breathes….maybe a few dozen.