“I think.” Stephanie sighs.
They’re on Tim’s bed, lying on opposite ends with their heads side by side. He shifts his head to look at her.
She sighs again. “I think I’m in love with your sister.”
From the corner of her eyes, she sees Tim roll his lip under his teeth, a common move of contemplation. He rolls his head to look back at the ceiling.
“My sister… Babs?”
Steph… sighs; she is a creature made entirely of sighs, with this family. “No.”
“Unless Batdude’s adopted another wayward female child.”
Tim hums, keeping his eyes trained upwards. She rolls her head upward too, hoping that it will reveal how to make this situation not awkward. It’s not everyday your best friend, a best friend you used to date, professes love for your sister, and it would make sense for Tim to throw a tantrum in protest because he really can be such a drama queen sometimes and -
“Okay.” Tim’s voice is gentle, breaking her out of her mental spiral. “What do you want me to do?”
Red Robin to the rescue. Steph smiles. “Dunno. It really just occurred to me.”
“Okay.” Abruptly, Tim rolls to a stand, looming over her for a second before rushing to his laptop. “Gimme a few days.”
Steph closes her eyes and hums the Batman theme song around her smile.
A thick stack of folders hit the table in front of her. Steph stops writing. Bewildered, she raises her head and blinks up at Tim, several days of sleep deprivation writ under his darkened eyes.
Steph sighs. “When was the last time you slept, you crazy fucker.” As she says this, she tries to prepares herself for whatever nonsense will come out of his twink mouth, all the while knowing the futility of this action. It must be good, if he’s broken the sacred ‘no bothering Steph at the college library’ rule.
Tim ignores her because he’s just like that. “Plans A to J at the ready, whenever you want them.”
Steph’s body locks down, the very blood in her veins grinding to a halt. Crazy. Mother. Fucker. “Timothy Drake-Wayne, tell me that you did not forgo sleep for the three days since I told you about Cass to engineer insane plans to get us together.”
Tim squints at her. Tentatively, he opens his mouth to say, “I did not forgo sleep - ”
Steph release the biggest sigh of her life. There’s no escape. Her soul is a sigh now, thanks to the Waynes and Wayne-adjacents. There’s nothing like seeing Superman cheat at Kansas fair hotdog eating contest to disillusion you about the world. “Timothy. Timberly. Timone. I have a physics test tomorrow that my piece of shit professor says won’t be counted for class average but we all know he’s lying. I cannot - let me stress, cannot - deal with your you-ness right now.”
Tim squints at her again. Then, he shrugs. “Like I said. Whenever you want them.”
He walks away whistling, leaving his neurosis on the table with Steph.
(Two hours later, after finally getting a grip on the fiddly parts of the material, Steph is on the way out when she sees Tim slumped against the first shelf marking the self-help section. She snorts; better leave him to the tender mercies of irony and Head Librarian Sharon.)