“I cannot believe you talked me into this.” Damian Wayne muttered as he followed Dick Grayson down the sidewalk to their destination.
“Oh stop being so serious, tonight will be fun!” Dick tried to assure his surrogate little brother.
“Fun?” Damian scoffed. “You call dressing up like a bunch of jackasses and begging people to increase our likelihood of contracting diabetes fun?”
“Yeah, fun!” Dick responded with enough enthusiasm to ignore Damian’s sarcasm.
Fun. Ugh. Just thinking of the word made Damian cringe.
“Father wouldn’t allow this.” Damian huffed.
“You’re right, and that’s what makes it fun.” Dick reasoned.
“So if he told you not to jump off the Gotham Bridge, you’d consider that ‘Fun?’”
“Oh look we’re here!” Dick hurried up the driveway to Roy Harper’s new home in Arizona.
“I still don’t understand what this… thing you’ve made me dress as is supposed to be.” Damian gestured to the costume Dick had made them wear. The two of them dressed like a pair of gangster mooks straight out of an old mob movie. Dick had somehow managed to convince Damian to put make-up on his face to resemble dirt, like he really was some street urchin hoping to make a name for himself with the local mobsters.
“You’re a goomba! You know, a scrapper, a tough guy from the wrong side of the tracks.” Dick enthused.
“I look like I stepped out of a high school musical.” Damian complained.
“It’s funny you should mention that because I almost considered having us dress up like the characters from ‘Cats.’” Dick capped off as he rang the bell to Roy’s house.
“Well if we have to do this why do you insist on dragging along your barrage of childhood sycophants?” Damian asked for the umpteenth time.
“Because we haven’t had a chance to hang together outside of official Titans business for a while.” Dick explained before knocking on the front door. “Yo, Roy! You home?”
“Is this another Jehovah’s Witness thing?” A voice from behind the door called out.
“No, it’s your best friend!” Dick answered.
“Which is exactly what a Jehovah’s Witness would say.” The voice replied before finally opening the door.
The two childhood buddies hugged as Damian quickly walked past them in an effort to ignore the sickening display of sentimentality.
“Harper.” Damian sniffed.
“Damien.” Roy nodded as he shut the door after Dick. Damian turned to face Roy.
“You don’t appear as strung out as I was expecting, that must’ve taken a lot of effort to accomplish.” Damian snidely remarked.
“Oh yeah, I crashed hours ago.” Roy joked in response, no longer registering Damian’s haughty sense of humor. “Besides, Lian hid my stash.”
“Again?” Dick got in on the joke. “And speaking of which, where is one of my favorite nieces?”
“Oh she’s putting the finishing touches on her costume, lemme see if she’s ready.” At which point Roy started screaming at the staircase “YO LIAN!”
“WHAT?!” A voice called from the second floor.
“DICK’S HERE SO MOVE IT!” Roy hollered back at his daughter while trying not to laugh at how ridiculous he was being with his daughter right now.
“BITE ME, OLD MAN, I’M GOING AS FAST AS I CAN!” Was the response Lian gave to her father.
“Is his house always this eloquent?” Damian dryly asked while Dick and Roy laughed.
“We’re still meeting Wally, Gillhead, and Wonder Babe right?” Roy inquired.
“Wally said he’d be meeting us with Linda and the twins, and Donna would be bringing Robbie and Jennifer with her to meet Garth, Dolphin, and Cerdian.” Dick explained.
“Yes, that was my sentiment exactly.” Damian rolled his eyes. It was then Dick and Damian got a good look at his costume.
“So, um, your costume, it’s…” Dick trailed off, realizing Roy was wearing what appeared to be white, full body underwear with a red cape, a blue mask, and a drawing of a crossbones on the chest.
“You are wearing underwear beneath that thing, right?” Damian asked.
“As best to my knowledge.” Roy shrugged. “Wait’ll you see Lian’s.”
“Kay daddy I’m all done!” Lian skipped down the stairs and jumped into her dad’s arms. “How do I look?”
“Terrifying.” Roy assured.
“Lian!” Dick was pleased to see his surrogate niece and goddaughter.
“Uncle Dick! Damian!” Lian ran and gave each of them a hug, much to Damian’s horror. “I love your costumes!”
“And yours is…” Damian stopped and realized Lian was dressed in a black skeleton costume, complete with a skull mask covering her entire head. “Huh, I never expected you of all people to go for legitimately trying to scare someone.”
“That’s about as close as he can get to complimenting someone, so you should be flattered.” Dick “whispered” to Lian.
“You don’t have problem seeing through that mask, right hon?” Roy asked.
“It’s all good, dad.” Lian gave her a father a thumbs-up.
“So what are you two supposed to be?” Dick asked. “Crossbones and Skull Girl?”
“No silly, I’m Nightmare,” Lian pointed a bony finger to herself before gesturing to her dad, “and he’s Sleepy.”
“Who?” Damian was confused.
“They’re an old crimefighting duo Lian read about while she was working on a project for school.” Roy explained. “I’m the sidekick-“
“And I’m the hero!” Lian finished. ”I figured since Daddy has sidekick experience he’d be more comfortable as Sleepy.”
“And Lian can be a genuine nightmare sometimes so she fits the role perfectly.” Roy added.
“Aww, you know me so well, daddy.” Lian beamed.
“Oh, so you’re a knock off of Batman and Robin, I see.” Damian noted.
“Well technically, these guys are from the 1940s, so maybe Batman and Robin are a knock off of us.” Lian laughed.
“Ooh, you hear that Damian, you’re a knock off of Roy.” Dick laughed as Damian’s face turned red.
“W-well so are you!” Damian huffed at Dick.
“Oh he got used to that years ago.” Roy patted Dick’s shoulder.
“It’s true, I just had to get used to it.” Dick sighed.
“Well come on, Sleepy, there’s crime and candy a-foot!” Lian grabbed her dad’s hand and pulled him out the door.
“Sir, yes sir!” Roy saluted as he followed after his progeny.
“Ugh, I can’t believe he lets her drag him around like HE’s the sidekick.” Damian shook his head.
“Hey now, you know, if it came down to it I would be honored to be your sidekick.” Dick patted Damian’s head.
“Oh?” Damian asked, secretly flattered but not wanting to give his brother the satisfaction. “When exactly did you stop?”