Crosspsted from here
Well, I tried.
Also- Tim gets hugged on YJ46, page 9. Hugging him to reassure him of his welcome and that they missed him
Notes: having friends over to prove the healthiness of lifestyle choices your parents might not approve of. This is a fic in which nothing happens.
Gen, Teen Titans.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never where, property of DC.
Feedback: always asked for, always appreciated, even the flames. If you spot any mistakes let me know.
There is a reason why Tim invited them over. He weighed the decision carefully, balancing the potential gains against the risks before deciding to invite Kon, Bart and Cassie first and is more than relieved when they ring the bell and his dad doesn't immediately change his mind and send Tim to his room. He looks at his dad, checking for permission, then opens the door.
"Tim, you're..." Cassie hugs him and Kon joins in. It probably shouldn't amuse him quite as much to see his father's reaction to this, but it was after all, part of the reason he invited them.
"Bart wanted to come, but he's kind of grounded," Cassie says, letting go eventually. She's still got one of his arms, in a way that reminds him of how she used to walk with Cissie or Anita, linking arms and heads close. Kon has his arm on his shoulder, his hand resting against Tim's neck. It's a mixture of comforting and disconcerting. The part of him that reacts to being on edge is telling him that he needs more space to move, that Kon should be in the front and to the side to provide a shield without impeding movement, that Cassie should be at least 5 metres away so she can make better use of her lasso. And then there's the part of him that is just *trusting* in the contact. Tangible and tactile proof of their affection.
His father is covering his reaction pretty well, but he can still see the shock that Tim is letting the contact go on like this. Even as a child, even when he was *actually* a child, before Bruce, before Robin, before the trip to the circus, Tim was never exactly touchy feelie.
It's important that he sees this and be reassured by it.
"Uh, hello Mr Drake," Cassie says, pulling away eventually. She doesn't exactly look at Tim for her cue, but he can see her trying to pick it up anyway. She steps forwards and holds her hand out. "Hi, I'm Cassie Sandsmark."
It's one of the reasons he made sure she was one of the first invited. Cassie's identity is a matter of public record. She's the image of an intelligent, well-balanced teenage girl, several steps removed the shadows of Gotham. He chose Kon for similar reasons. Kon has a public identity, with a personal name that isn't his hero one. Like Cassie, Kon often acts like his apparent age. The illusion of it will help, as much as the connection to Superman.
And Kon is less happy about meeting Tim's father. His body language is almost protective, and his has his arms crossed before Tim catches his eye.
"I'm Superboy. Kon-El." He turns back to Tim and manages a quick not-quite-hug. "You—We missed you, you know?"
"We really did." Cassie goes to back to stand next to them, and Tim shifts slightly so they look more *together*. A unit. "Bart keeps saying how you're the only one that doesn't make him feel smart, which we're trying not to take offence at—"
"It helps that he forget to put the ice-cream away the last time he did a food-run, so we ended up with two gallons of raspberry vanilla all over the floor." Kon rolled his eyes. "You'd think they wouldn't get so stressed about a little ice-cream on the carpet given all of the other junk that gets spilled there."
Kon's obvious dislike of his father needs to be taken into account. It's good in one way; it definitely shows his dad that Tim has friends that miss him, that are upset that he's gone, that feel that Tim Drake's father was not on the same side as Tim Drake's friends. It helps with the impression that Tim has *friends* in the business, the same age. It's a fine line between that and reminding Jack Drake that Tim has a large part (the majority) of his life that Jack Drake knows nothing about, is utterly apart from.
He was warned that they were only allowed downstairs, that there would be no shoptalk. Jack and Dana were always in the room when he phoned to make the invitations. It took weeks to build them up to allowing him to have his "friends" over and took careful showing of loneliness. He chose movies and pizza because they could sit down in the front room, where his parents could watch them without it being too obvious. Movies were another slice of normality and, more than that, meant they wouldn't be left reaching for something to talk about when most of their life was off-limits.
His father is still unhappy about this. Tim would like to have timed it so Dana was there to reassure him, but it hadn't worked out like that. "Tim, I'll be working in the kitchen," his dad says. "Cassie, Kon, Tim explained the rules."
Tim explained very carefully, as best as he could with his parents listening in.
"Sure, Mr Drake," Cassie says and Tim has never been so glad that she can do the reliable honour-student thing quite as well.
Kon-- doesn't say anything for a moment. Cassie has to glare at him and Tim raises one eyebrow, before Kon nods. "We'll behave. And you'll be able to keep an eye on us pretty well from the kitchen." Which is a direct challenge, but Tim's dad nods.
"Yes. Just... Try not be too loud," he says, which is actually the opposite of what he means. What he means is "try not be too quiet, I don't trust quiet, I don't trust you not to have secrets hidden in it.
Tim gets the message.
The front room was set up for this by Dana, who supplied large bags of popcorn and brand-name soda. It's a way of being supportive mixed with deep relief at the normalcy of it.
"I'm not staying if you're making us watch Monty Python again," Cassie says. She grabs the popcorn. "I like it as much as the next girl, but there are *limits*." She goes to the sofa and sprawls out across it. It's not quite her normal position and Tim can see that she's figured out at least part of the motivation for this visit. The body language is all about familiarity and comfort and her words are a verbal cue to get Kon to bring up the past.
"Do you remember the Monty Python marathon?" Kon says. "When we were stuck in the cave for the weekend?"
Cssie rolls her eyes. "And someone said we should play Rock-Paper-Scissors to see who got to pick the movies."
Tim smirks. It's more a Robin expression than a Tim one.
"I still don't get how you could beat Bart every fricking time," Kon adds. He goes to sit on the other end of the couch, picking Cassie's feet up and replacing them on his lap once he's seated.
"League of Gentleman. Extremely strange British comedy," Tim says holding it up.
Cassie takes the DVD and looks at the cover before passing it to Kon. "Fine, but I reserve the right to switch to Die Hard if it blows."
"We don't have it," Tim says. He opts to sit on the floor in front of the couch and uses the position to his advantage. He sits with a careful use of casual Robin body language. He hopes his father can see the difference.
"I brought a copy with me," Cassie says smugly. She gets it from her bag and throws it at him. He catches it without looking. "As someone not a million miles away once demonstrated, it's good to be a control freak, over-planner who covers all the bases." She draws an imaginary mask around her face.
In two weeks time, he'll mention Anita and her parents and how it bothers him not to see her. Sometime between now and then he'll get Bart to come around, probably with Cassie or Kon.
He can feel his hair rustle and knows that it's Kon's TK checking he's still there. It's probably subconscious and Tim has to bite his tongue at stare at the screen to stop himself discussing using the TK as an extra sensory thing, like sonar, or having Kon test how different gasses feel when he touches them. Not yet. Dad is still listening from the kitchen and he estimates it at three weeks before he can bring up that sort of thing in front of him. He needs to prepare the ground, hint at how he feels being unable to help his friends when he could.
Kon's TK tugs his hair a little and Cassie shifts. The opening credits roll and he can see the TV screen light making strange shadows on their faces. Knows it's doing the same to him.
Tim ducks his head into the shadows a bit more and smiles.