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A Poor Man's Hero

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“Fuck this shit,” Jason complained.

“What?” Tim leaned over his shoulder, eyeing the device. He let out a sigh. “Jason, you can't mash the buttons like that; you know they die as fast as flies.”

“Oh, oh, are the buttons not working, Tim? Really? Thanks for your input, I'll just get in the TARDIS and go back!” Jason grumped at him, throwing down the complicated listening device.

It was more than a walkie-talkie or some sort of sonic ear—Tim himself, with Batman's help, had designed it out of all sorts of plastic and metal parts to make it pick up all kinds of frequencies, from the aural to the radio and so on. It was kinda gadgety, looking like something from an animation ghetto film.

Tim sighed. “Jason, you go through too much equipment. You know Bruce is going to make you get a part time job or something--”

“I have a job,” Jason practically growled.

“Yeah, a part time one selling old shit, so, room for another part time one, right?” Tim took the device from Jason's hand as the other glared at him.

“It's not 'old shit' Tim, it's antiques, okay? And it's all I could get cause I impressed the owner with knowing what the fuck kinda old timey gun he had on his fucking shelf! I don't see you bringing in a serious income--”

“I'm a student; that's my occupation,” Tim said, almost primly. He busily popped off the rubber buttons, all stolen from various remotes and things like that. Well, stolen was a strong word; they did technically buy or otherwise recover the remotes for their own use. Some of the components could be used to make more gadgets, after all.

“Oh yeah? You're about to learn something, Bud--”

Jason was interrupted by the arrival of Dick. The elder was in his full costume—leather jacket (great protection from various things), army-type dark camo clothes (blended in, thick, protective material), and, of course, the whole blue wing-thing on his front, and his mask. “Sup, kids!”

“Not a kid,” Jason snapped, crossing his arms. His own clothes were a lot like Dick's, but favored a red bat insignia and significantly more body armor.

“Sixteen is hardly--” Tim had started, adjusting his goggles and absently poking the 'gold' bird on his chest, as if he saw the insignias on his brothers' and had to be sure his was still there.

“You're practically in diapers, Tim,” Jason snorted.

Dick ignored this. “So...what's going on? Why haven't you contacted me or Bruce with what you're hearing?”

“Cause meat-hands here destroyed the buttons,” Tim replied, prying another button out and examining the gadget.

“I did not! I'm not the only one who uses that thing!” Jason insisted.

“Yeah, cause obviously it was me, who knows how much pressure this thing can take, or Damian, mister light-fingers himself, or Dick--”

“Tim. That's not helping,” Dick interrrupted, sighing. “So? Where are we with the listen-o-tron?”

“No, Dick,” Jason almost groaned, “You don't get to name anything, not after calling the van the 'Batmobile.' God, it's like you have some sort of mental deficiency, like Post Traumatic Naming Disorder--”

“It's dead. Nothing I can do here or within fifteen minutes back home,” Tim said flatly, giving an accusing look towards Jason.

Dick groaned. “Fine, fine. I guess we have to call it off for the night. Bruce isn't going to be happy.”

“Blame lead-fingers.”

“Tim, shut the fuck up, I'm going to piss on you while you sleep.”