Gotham City: November 17 th , 2151
Dick stretches his arms upward, popping his spine as he walks to the kitchen for breakfast. He is deeply in the mood for cinnamon rolls, and he's pretty good with those. Damian likes them too, sneaky little devil, making a grab for the food—
"Popping your spine is bad for your back."
He is not ashamed to admit that he yelped with Tim's voice came from nowhere. Strangers don't get into the house, so he is certain that the indignity will not leave the security of these walls. So he peers over the couch to find Tim splayed on the floor, hands tucked behind his head, feet propped on the coffee table, making for a weird position, especially from this angle. "Good morning, Timmy. Any particular reason you're on the floor?" He leans on the back of the sofa and Tim shuts his eyes with a sigh, his chest deflating like a real chest.
"The carpet has been changed once, you know."
Dick blinks down at him, even though he can't see it. "Really? I'd have figured that since everything else in this place is ancient, the carpet would be too." Tim snorts, and pushes himself up from the floor, stretching, though Dick can't hear his metal joints pop (do they even pop?).
"Want to help with breakfast?" Dick watches Tim, noting twitches of the cheek, the flutter of his eyelids (only happens once), and the flicker of his eyes.
"Sure," and Tim leads the way, allowing Dick to get a look at the carpet. (There's nothing there, but it feels like there should be.) He scratches absently at his throat, and shrugs off the feeling, joining Tim in the kitchen, watching as his little brother pull out eggs and milk and butter and flour, snickering when Tim grunts in displeasure about how he needs to shop more often.
"So," Dick pulls out a bowl and a whisk (he knows Tim's Pancake Face, it hasn't ever changed as far as he can recall), "how are things with Jason?"
Tim's elbow jerks and he smiles but doesn't (his expressions have always been confusing, a book waiting to be read, but too technical for just anyone to understand). "Uhm we're." He bites his bottom and finally decides on a smile. "We're good. I think. He shared my room." A grin, now. Teeth and everything ("See, I told you so. Tim loves him.")
"Oh-ho, shared your room, did he?" Dick wiggles his eyebrows (his neck itches, sort of like a smile across the skin, and he'd scratch at it if his hands weren't covered in flour by now). Flour arcs towards his face, hitting him in the face. Dick sputters. Oh he's going to make Tim regret that (but the self-satisfied smile on Tim's face tells him otherwise).
Dick flicks flour at him anyway, landing it in Tim's hair, and getting and indignant noise for his trouble. Dick laughs, he can't help it, and he's sure he's woken up the rest of the house by now. He's proven right when Jason walks into the kitchen, hair mussed and clothes sleep-rumpled.
"Rough night?" Dick pretends there isn't flour on his face and Tim tries to brush the flour out of his own hair. Jason grunts.
"Aw, didn't get any, Jaybird?"
The flat gaze he gets from both parties causes a giggle to rise up and out of his mouth, and he covers it, getting more flour on his face but.
"Morning, Tim." Jason passes by him on the way to the fridge, stealing a kiss and Tim's face goes slack and then happy, a smile crinkling his eyes (feelings rush up everywhere, his little brothers all happy again).
Jason scratches absently at his neck (Tim freezes just then, but only for a moment, before slowly pouring pancake batter onto a warm skillet). "So, pancakes? Shit, I can't remember the last time I had pancakes."
Tim's mouth twitches.
"But you probably do, don't you, Babybird?" Tim flips the first pancake.
"Who, me?" He flutters his lashes down at the food, and Jason smiles and Dick's heart swells all over again. (These two are an emotional rollercoaster, the perfect kind.)
"Creep," Jason laughs, nodding to Damian as he shuffles into the kitchen, hopping onto the counter on the other side of the oven. He rubs at his eyes, and scratches at his neck. (Is there a throat bug? Should Dick be concerned?)
"I am tired," he announces to the kitchen (third pancake up and ready for eating).
"Didn't sleep well?" Dick asks.
"Obviously." A sneer, with no force. (His sneers have gotten a lot less intense since Tim's return.) "I had a nightmare." It's a grumble rather than an admission of anything, but Tim touches Damian's arms with two fingers, before placing two more pancakes on the plate.
"Here you go, everyone."
Damian says nothing else about his sleep (Dick supposes that it was about as much confiding as anyone really gets out of him anyway) and everyone eats breakfast except Tim. And yet on Dick's third pancake, it gets stuck, and his neck screams for a split second. He runs his thumb in a smile across his neck, and swallows, the pain gone, leaving only an itch behind.
"You alright?" Jason talks around a pancake of his own (earning himself a grimace from Tim, who watches with a mix of disgust and envy).
"Yeah, just an itch."
Damian watches him, blue eyes narrowed, tracing his features and lingering on his neck. But he says nothing, cutting a piece of his pancake and popping it in his mouth.
"The carpet has been changed once, you know."
Dick keeps eating, keeping his pain to himself.