The Ghosts of the Gotham Opera house - Chapter 31 - Unctrlablyalt (tay_tay19) (2024)

Chapter Text


Somehow in all their talk about a Batcave, the last thing Peter expected to find was an actual cave with stalagmites and stalactites and a thousand tiny heartbeats near the ceiling that Peter is pretty sure are bats.

“There are bats in the Batcave,” Peter says, turning slowly to take in the whole room. While the cave is surprising it’s also pretty technologically advanced. There are platforms built into the cave and a plethora of different kinds of vigilante tools. There’s everything from the plane that he and Jason had borrowed to multiple motorcycles in different colors. There were even hand gliders! Peter moves quickly around the cave, hoping between the platforms to get a closer look at everything.

Spread out throughout the cave is also what appear to be souvenirs from past villains. A T-rex, a giant penny, what he’s pretty sure is an attempt at a deathray of some sort. Peter wants to touch everything and since Tim hasn’t said anything to call him back Peter figures it must be fine so he does. He finds an entire closet full of different colored Batsuits for some reason and back down on the main platform there are display cases full of different suits. One suit is missing so Peter assumes that’s the one that Bruce must be wearing wherever he currently is. There are Robin costumes with tiny little green shorts that get progressively bigger case by case and then suddenly get smaller again. Peter comes to a halt in front of the second one of this set. It’s torn and bloodied, and the mask cracked completely in half. ‘A Good Soldier’ a plaque at the bottom reads.

“What the hell,” Peter says. Tim had been seated at the giant computer on the main level. He spins the chair around now to see what Peter is looking at and freezes.

“Oh,” Tim says quietly. “That’s… Bruce is bad at emotions.”

“He’s going to flip his sh*t,” Peter says. “If we’re going to get Jay to come home then this cannot be here.”

“I know but… not even Alfred’s been able to convince Bruce to take it down,” Tim admits. Peter kneels in front of the display case and examines the security on it.

“So we’ll have to do it for him,” Peter says with a shrug. “If Jay finds out about this I’m not sure even I can hold him back during his pit rage and I once got the Hulk to laugh so hard that he turned back into Banner.”

“I don’t know what that means, but you’re probably right.”

“Of course I’m right,” Peter says. “Do you have a screwdriver?”

“Sure,” Tim grabs one off a nearby table littered with half-constructed equipment and brings it over to Peter. Peter takes it and removes the plaque from the case. It’s not perfect but it’s a step in the right direction.

“What is this even supposed to mean?” Peter asks as he crumples it into his hand like a paper ball.

“Sometimes I forget you’re freakishly strong,” Tim says as he takes the ball from Peter and looks it over. “I think it was Bruce’s attempt at compartmentalizing Jason’s death.”

“That’s some grade-A BS. The strength thing is on purpose, I want people to forget. It means they see how small I am and underestimate me. Besides if people knew what I could do then they might be scared of me. Spider-man is supposed to be friendly. Sure back home some of them have seen me do impossible things like stop cars from crashing and once I stopped a train. But they don’t see my everyday strength, you know?”

“Yeah, I get that. I guess I never really thought about it. Clark and Kon have insane strength too. I can’t imagine the kind of restraint it takes to hold back like you guys have to,” Tim tosses the metal ball into a trash can.

“You get used to it after a while. Just an everyday thing for me now,” Peter shrugs as he stands up straight and brushes his hands off on his pants. “So did you ever wear the scaly panties like Dick and Jason?”

“Oh god no, well only the first time. It didn’t go great the first time I went out. B and Dick were going against Two-face. I snagged the suit and had Alfred drive me there. After that Bruce made me a new suit,” Tim moves down two cases and points at one, “This was my first official Robin suit. Long pants and more reinforcements.”

“It’s so much better than what I first went out with,” Peter says, “It was basically a sweat suit and a ski mask with swim goggles.”

“Why swim goggles?”

“The spider bite turned my senses up to like eleven. It’s a constant influx of information and it can overwhelm me. The suit I have now does most of the work for me,” Peter continues to move down the line. There are two more Robin suits for Tim, including his current one. Beside that is a suit Peter doesn’t recognize, it’s all purple with black accents and a long purple cloak. The case besides it has a Robin suit designed for a girl.

“That’s Spoiler,” Tim says, placing a hand on the glass of the purple suit. “She became the fourth Robin. But… She’s gone now.”

“You were close?” Peter asks. Tim laughs at that, it sounds a bit rough.

“She was my girlfriend, for a while at least. But Bruce’s rules are strict and I couldn’t tell her who I really was. It caused problems. We broke up but she is, was my best friend.”

“Just because she isn’t here anymore doesn’t mean she stops being your best friend,” Peter tells him. He thinks of Ned and MJ waiting back at home for him. No, not waiting for him. Ned and MJ don’t remember him anymore. But Ned is still his best friend and MJ is still his girlfriend.

“I know. I just kind of wish there could be another miracle but that’s probably asking for too much,” Tim moves away from the Spoiler case and waves at the few remaining cases. There are a couple of different Nightwing suits encased and then more girl’s costumes. “There’s Nightwing’s first few suits. Discowing is a nightmare that should never have existed but Dick throws a fit if we talk about taking it out of the case.”

“Why is the zipper so low?” Peter asks as he takes in the sparkly monstrosity.

“I don’t know!” Tim says with a laugh. “It zips all the way up! Dick just showed off his chest whenever he wore it!”

“What about those girls' suits?” Peter asks.

“Batgirl,” Tim says. “They belonged to Barbara before she became Oracle.”

“Wait, why is there a Batgirl and not a Batboy? Where did Robin come from?”

“Dick, Robin is completely Dick’s thing. Robin was what his parents used to call him. The colors are what his family wore when they were performing at the circus.”

“Huh,” Peter says. He goes back to the first Robin costume and looks at it more closely. It really is more like a leotard than anything. Peter wonders what it would be like. To swing from a trapeze, would it be like swinging from his webs? Peter wonders if Dick would take him if he asked. “Should we figure out the security?” Peter turns to look at Tim who has his phone out again and held up in a way that shows he was clearly taking a picture.

“Oops?” Tim says, pocketing his phone.

“Isn’t this supposed to be a secret?”

“You literally took a picture yourself and said you were going to send it to Jason so obviously I’m going to save this for later. Please? It’ll make Dick cry and I might need a good distraction one day! Oh! Let’s get you into the costume! That would be the perfect distraction! Please, Peter! I’ll never ask for anything ever again!”

“Yes you will,” Peter says with an eye roll. “It’s not like it would fit me anyway.”

“Dick wore the suit until he was a teenager. One of them is bound to fit you and he upgraded the panties to shorts. I mean they’re still short short obviously but it’s better than the panties,” Tim points at one of the later Robin suits.

“I’ll wear yours,” Peter offers. “At least yours has pants.”

“Fine but we’re squeezing you into the more brightly colored one. It’ll be a little smaller but the material was pretty stretchy.”

“Before we do any of that we have to bypass the case security,” Peter reminds him. Tim shrugs and moves back to the giant computer.

“That shouldn’t be hard really,” Tim admits as he sits down and crosses his legs. Peter follows him over and hangs on the back of the rather dramatic looking chair. Peter’s pretty sure this whole family would have gone into acting if they didn’t spend their nights dressed up and fighting bad guys. Tim pulls up the programming of the uniform cases security systems and gets to work. Peter watches him and adds a few suggestions every now and then but he’s pretty sure computers are more Tim’s things than his. Instead, he looks around the desk, checking drawers until he finds a bag of smaller rubber bands. With the bag in hand, he climbs up onto the back of Tim’s chair, impressed that it doesn’t unbalance. He perches on the back of it and uses the rubber bands to pull Tim’s hair into a bunch of tiny ponytails.

“What exactly is happening here?” A window pops up in the corner of the computer screen showing Barbara sitting in what appears to be some other kind of secret base like the Batcave. She looks incredibly amused as she looks at the two of them.

“Being bad,” Tim says dismissively.

“Playing hair salon,” Peter chirps.

“I’m adding this to the blackmail file. And also sending it to Dick,” Barbara tells them.

“Can you do it later? When they won’t be able to get back to the cave fast enough to stop us?” Tim asks.

“B is on the watchtower, Timmy,” Barbara reminds them. “He’s one Zeta trip away from catching you guys doing whatever you’re doing.”

“Hair salon,” Peter says again.

“His monitor duty isn’t set to end until five am. That’s plenty of time for me and Peter to do whatever the hell we want. Plus we rigged it so it’ll show that it’s me and Dick down here.”

“Uh huh,” Barbara says. “And where exactly is Dick right now?”

“Off world on a mission with the Titans,” Tim says, he’s focused back on the programming.

“Uh huh,” Barbara says again.

“Didn’t… Didn’t you say that the watchtower was off world?” Peter asks.

“Yeah, a satellite in space, orbiting Earth,” Tim shrugs one shoulder. Peter meets Barbara’s gaze through the computer screen. She looks entirely too amused about this whole thing. Peter can already hear the lecture from Jason forming.

“So… The Titan’s mission wouldn’t happen to bring them to the watchtower would it?”

“I don’t know, maybe.”

“So you didn’t think that maybe Bruce wouldn’t find it a little suspicious that Nightwing is both on the watchtower and in the Batcave at the same time?” Tim freezes up at that and then tilts his head back to look up at Peter his eyes wide.

“Oh sh*t,” Tim says.

“When was the last time you slept? Damn it.”

Access granted Batman, access granted Nightwing,” The mechanical voice from before speaks again as there’s a whirring noise from a tube looking thing on the far side of the room.

“Oh sh*t,” Tim says again. Peter quickly pulls his hood up onto his head and his nanobots reform into a mask that covers his face. He flips backward off the chair at the same time that Tim jumps to his feet and a figure cloaked in black steps out of the tube moving towards them. Peter is so doomed. Jason is absolutely never going to let him live this down.

The Ghosts of the Gotham Opera house - Chapter 31 - Unctrlablyalt (tay_tay19) (2024)


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