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Tonight at Eleven

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“Hurry,” Tim says, yanking off a gauntlet and tossing it into his bag. “We have four minutes before the security cameras come back on.”

Kon nods and tugs his shirt up and off. Tim hisses as he fumbles with his belt; he’d caught a punch with one of the latches, and now it’s not disengaging. “Kon,” Tim grits out, gesturing to the belt as he reaches up to unfasten his cape. Kon reaches out to lay a finger against the belt, and a moment later there’s a clicking sound as Kon forces the catch open from the inside.

“Thanks,” Tim says, slithering out of the rest of his suit and throwing it in the direction of his bag. “Need a hand with that?”

Kon makes a face at his cummerbund. “Just tell me which way is up.”

Tim snorts and flips the cummerbund over in Kon’s hands as he reaches for his pants. “Fasten it around the back and button it to your pants,” he directs, tugging up his own pants with one hand and sliding his other arm into his shirt.

“Seriously,” Kon sighs, “why is this shit so hard to get into?” He pulls the waist of his pants away from his body and looks at the seam. “Button the shirt thing to the pants. Whose bright idea was that?”

“It’s really not that difficult,” Tim says, reaching over and linking button to buttonhole without looking. “Can you manage the tie?”

“Not without wrinkling the hell out of it,” Kon says. “Dude, next time you tell me there’s a possible threat at one of these fancy-ass dinners of yours, I’m totally patrolling from above.”

“And leave me to all the cheek-pinching ladies on my own?” Tim pulls a horribly wounded face, and Kon’s expression crumples for half a second before he catches himself and glares.

“Stop pulling my leg,” he grumbles. “You love these things. How long?”

“One minute, twelve seconds,” Tim rattles off, shrugging his jacket on and reaching for his tie. “Get the gear into the bag, will you? And grab your glasses.”

Tim gets his tie done and reaches for Kon’s when he stands. Kon grins and raises a hand to rake it through Tim’s hair. “Dude, you need a comb.”

“You need to learn how to tie your own tie,” Tim retorts, grinning up at Kon as he pulls the tie straight. “There, that looks-”

The door opens without warning, and Vicki Vale’s exclaimed “Oh, my,” sounds more gleeful than anything else.

-0-

OUT OF THE CLOSET
Wayne Heir Caught With Mysterious Man at Charity Gala

Tim drops his head to his hands as Bruce raises an eyebrow. “I’m going to ask you once, and keeping in mind that the answer doesn’t really matter,” he says. “Are you and Kon-El-”

“Yes,” Tim says, not looking up. “We were changing in the coat closet after we took care of the threat, and Vicki Vale happened to walk in just as we were finishing up, so that was just unfortunate timing – but yeah, Kon and I are together.”

There’s a moment of complete and utter silence before Tim risks looking up. Bruce is staring at the newspaper, the headline stretching out over a photo of him and Kon in the closet, springing away from each other but looking – well. Tim grimaces and shifts. It really does look as if they’d been necking in the closet.

“At least she didn’t walk in a minute earlier,” Tim offers after another moment of silence. “If so, we’d be wondering how to spin Wayne Heir: Dangerous Vigilante instead of this.”

Bruce huffs. “Doors lock,” he says. “You have ways to secure the ones that don’t, Tim. What were you thinking?”

“I was thinking about the security system and the likelihood that the idiot thieves were going to get out of the zip strips before the police got there,” Tim replies. “Trust me, I won’t forget next time.”

Bruce’s lips twitch in amusement. “I suppose you won’t.”

Tim snorts and stands, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Look, about me – and Kon-”

“I don’t want to know,” Bruce says, in a mild tone that carries more weight than yelling ever could. “I really, truly do not want to know, Tim. You’re old enough to make those decisions for yourself, and I trust that if you have any questions-”

“I’ll ask Dick,” Tim finishes. Bruce nods and cracks a rare grin as he picks up the paper.

-0-

“Outed by the press,” Kon says almost gleefully as they fly loops above Metropolis. “I have to say, of all the ways I thought about telling the big guy about us, that never even crossed my radar.”

“Speaking of radar,” Tim says, glancing around, but Kon’s smile just grows.

“You should have seen his face,” he goes on, snorting. “It was all-” He screws his face up into something that’s halfway between abject horror and I think I broke my leg. “It was awesome.”

“I’m glad you think so,” a voice says from behind Kon, and Kon squawks and turns and would have dropped Tim if Tim hadn’t grabbed his arm and held fast. Superman is hovering a few yards away, a wry twist to his lips.

“Hey,” Tim says casually, lifting his free hand to wave.

“Red Robin,” Superman says, nodding at him. “Superboy. It’s good to see you both.”

“Dude,” Kon complains, “you never say that when it’s just me. You’re just happy to see Rob.”

Superman rolls his eyes and Tim considers the wisdom of elbowing the guy who’s the only reason he’s not falling to his death. Worth the risk, Tim decides, and elbows Kon hard.

“I just wanted to say,” Superman starts awkwardly, and does a little move that makes Tim think he’d be shuffling his feet if they were standing. “You know, welcome, that sort of thing.”

“Uh,” Tim says eloquently. “Thanks, Superman.”

Superman nods and opens his mouth again, then stops and narrows his eyes at something over Kon’s shoulder. He stays frozen for a few seconds before shaking his head. “Gotta go,” he says apologetically, and then he’s flying out of sight before Tim has the chance to say goodbye.

Tim looks over his shoulder in the general direction of Superman’s disappearance. “That was… nice.”

“That was awkward,” Kon corrects. “Also, just so you know, he totally made up whatever emergency he just sped off to. I didn’t hear a thing.”

Tim snorts. “It was nice of him to try, anyway.”

Kon shrugs and wraps his arm around Tim’s waist. “Whatever. It’s not like I have to – wait,” he says, paling a little as he turns until he’s facing Tim, holding him away from his body. “I’m not gonna get The Talk from Batman, am I?”

“No,” Tim says, trying to picture Bruce and Kon having any sort of conversation that didn’t involve “punch that guy out for me.” It’s a losing battle, and Tim gives up after a few seconds. “He and I already talked, and we’re operating on a need-to-know basis, in which he doesn’t need to know. We’re both good with that.”

“Thank God,” Kon mutters, pulling Tim back in and diving back towards the city below. “I can’t even imagine what that would be like.”

“You might have to take it up with Nightwing, though,” Tim adds with a grin when they’re just above the roof of the Daily Planet. He tucks and rolls neatly to his feet when Kon chokes and drops him.

“You’re kidding, right?” Kon asks anxiously, speeding over to hover in front of Tim. “About Nightwing, I mean.”

Tim laughs and doesn’t reply.