exspeedydotcom: (on the phone real boy)
[personal profile] exspeedydotcom
Roy was trying to work on his online precal assignment and wondering what the point was (seriously, he was never going to use this) when his phone rang. A quick glance revealed that it was a blocked number. It could be a telemarketer, but then it could also be any one of the various people he knew who had good reason to hide their identity, not that he was sure how they would have gotten this phone number. Still, it might be important, so...

"Hello?"

"Why didn't you tell me?"

Dick. Of course. "How did you get this--wait, wait, stupid question. Forget I said that." Roy had been expecting this call a while ago, if he was entirely honest with himself. The Batcave systems were downright scary, and it had always been a toss-up whether Ollie would keep his mouth shut out of shame or tell everyone in an indignant fury.

"Roy."

"Dick," he said. "We're not talking about this."

"The hell we're not! I get an e-mail saying you're leaving the Teen Titans, you drop off the face of the planet, and then I find out--where are you? Are you okay?" That was...actually a refreshing change from what he'd been expecting, which was basically, 'You suck and you're weak and you're a fuck-up and this is all your fault. I hope you're happy with yourself.' Thanks, Ollie!

"I'm fine." Mostly. Most of the time. Close enough for superhero work. More importantly: "I'm clean."

"Where are you?"

"I'm in Maryland." Dick had to be tracing the call, so either that was a formality or the island's weirdness was messing with triangulation. Roy was leaning toward the latter, actually.

"What the--what are you doing in Maryland? What's in Maryland?" Dick was probably guessing 'rehab,' but Roy didn't think rehab lasted this long anyway.

He sighed and admitted, "Boarding school."

"...Ollie sent you to boarding school?"

"No, Dick," he said, and he was getting kind of angry, which, he knew intellectually he wasn't actually angry at Dick, but Dick could take it. "Ollie tossed me out on my ass. I sent myself to boarding school." He paused, then admitted, "Dinah helped."

There was a moment of silence, then, "Do you...need anything?"

Roy guessed it was the Bat version of an olive branch, and then felt guilty because he was the fuck-up here. He sighed and rubbed at the bridge of his nose, then said, "I could really do with not being judged, man." Before Dick could respond to that, he blurted out, "Look, I swear to you, I was never high when I was with the Titans. I swear to you. I wouldn't do that to you guys." Roy was sure Dick could figure out pretty quickly that the reason Roy had begged off a lot of Titans weekends in that last few months hadn't been, 'Things are crazy here without Ollie,' at all, but he couldn't admit that. Not out loud. People had gotten hurt because of his absence, but he'd been so fucked up then things might have been worse if he'd been present. And while he hadn't been high with the Titans, there had been a couple of times he'd been so desperate for a fix he was sure his behavior had been downright bizarre.

"Okay, Dick said, and, "I wasn't even going to ask that."

"No, but you were thinking it."

"So...when are you coming back?"

Was he serious? "I'm not." Silence. "Look, Speedy was Green Arrow's sidekick, and GA doesn't want me any more, so fuck it. Speedy's done." More silence. "He had a stupid costume anyway." Aaaaand more silence. Roy interpreted it to be both judgey and disappointed, which might or might not be the actual case. Possibly, Dick was just worrying because Roy had referenced his costume and not taken the opportunity to make fun of Dick's. That almost never happened. No. That never happened. It was like a big red neon 'I'm not okay with this' sign, and he hated that he'd handed it to him. "Look, if you guys need me, like, really need me, call me, text me, send up a Bat Arrow smoke signal, whatever, and I'm there, but right now, I gotta be honest with you...I'm just trying to stay clean and finish high school, 'mano."

"Okay. Okay, I can--I understand. Want me to...I don't know, say hi to the gang for you?"

"Yeah," Roy sighed. "Yeah, that would be good. But, Dick? Please, please don't tell them."

"Roy--"

"No, look, I just--just, please. Please, Dick."

"Okay," Dick agreed, but he didn't sound happy about it. "Okay, I won't--sure, whatever, man."

Dick was probably lying. Either that or he wanted Roy to take personal responsibility for his actions and tell them himself, which he really could not deal with. He couldn't deal with this any more at all right now, honestly. "Look, I'll talk to you later, okay? I gotta--I gotta go. I have a thing."

"Roy..." Yeah, okay, of course Dick saw through it. It had been a flimsy lie. 'I have a date,' probably would have flown better.

"Class. I have class," he said, even though the damage was already done and classes were over for the day besides. "I'll talk to you later, Dick," he said, more firmly.

"You're not gonna disappear again?"

"No," he promised. "I'm not going to disappear again. I'll get you my new e-mail address, even."

"Okay. Okay, Roy. You...take care."

"Yeah," Roy agreed, and hung up without saying goodbye. It just seemed like inviting bad luck.

That...could have gone worse, actually.

((Closed door, open post.))

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May 2011

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