The first ten minutes of the flight were spent in complete silence. Tiger didn't know what to say, or if he should even say anything.
Although he would usually be content sitting in silence, it was more than unusual for his partner who was currently fuming in the back seat.
"It's just not fair!" He suddenly heard.
He gave a small smirk, he knew his partner would say something eventually. However, he quickly smoothed out his features, to feign indifference.
"I mean first Helena and then you! Look, I get that I look like I'm ten years old, but I'm really twenty-one! No need to treat me like a little kid!" Grayson yelled.
So this is what this was about.
He thought back to their discussion with Matron before they had left. What had she said that offended him so much? What had he said?
"And sure, you're gonna start playing dumb with me, thinking that you haven't done anything. Trust me I know, I've dealt with people like that before. But you have to trust me, I can take care of myself!"
"I mean first, yesterday, Helena calls you back to tell you to keep an eye on me! She thinks I'm more immature now that I'm in a ten year olds body!"
Ah, so he had heard everything.
Tiger had hoped he'd only heard the last few bits of their conversation, but obviously he was wrong.
"Then, Helena tells me I have to do everything you say! As if I can't take care of myself! I've been an Agent here for months Tiger! I know how to follow orders!"
Tiger pursed his lips unsure whether he should intervene now or let him continue.
"Then when we're about to take off you checked if I was fastened in."
Tiger quirked an eyebrow.
His eyes connected with Graysons in the rear view mirror and Grayson eyebrows scrunched together in anger.
"It's not funny Tiger! You never checked whether my seat belt was fastened before, so why are you doing it now?" He yelled. Angry tears were forming in his eyes and Tiger wisely looked away.
"I already had to deal with all this once with Batman." He said quietly. "I worked so hard to gain his respect, so he would treat me like a partner instead of a sidekick. I don't want to go through all that again."
Now his strange attitude made sense. His emotions and insecurities that he had as a child were resurfacing thanks to that damned machine.
Grayson couldn't help but see their actions of concern as some sort of mistrust in his ability to preform as an agent.
Finally, Tiger decided it was time he spoke. "Grayson, you once told me Batman didn't take on sidekicks."
He looked up into the mirror and saw that the boy was staring at the ground. "I guess he did say that." He mumbled.
"Well guess what, I don't have sidekicks either. I need my partner for this extremely important mission. I need you to be focused. I need your head in the game."
Grayson looked up with determined eyes.
"I won't treat you like a child, I know you can handle yourself. Matron does too or else she would have never sent you on this mission. So, Dick Grayson, although I know you're an idiot, will you help me achieve our objective?"
From the mirror he saw the boy smile and nod, seemingly full of determination.
Tiger focused back on the sky ahead, satisfied with this turn of events.
"You know, your pretty good at pep talks." His partner said suddenly.
"Don't be an idiot, Grayson." Tiger said, but he could feel a smile creeping it's way onto his lips.
"No really! You could be like a motivational coach or something! I can just imagine you yelling at a group of middle schoolers." Suddenly he lowered his voice trying to impersonate Tiger. "Your all idiots but I believe you can do this!"
And the smile was gone.
"Grayson." Tiger growled.
His partner only responded with a fit of laughter.
Well at least his spirits were up, and his annoyance towards himself and Matron were explained. Tiger paused in his thoughts.
But he still hadn't explained why he was so nervous and jumpy around Tiger when he'd first arrived in Matrons office that morning. He acted as though he were expected an attack at any moment.
And that wasn't all. Despite claiming to be excited for the mission his hands had been shaking during briefing. If he had fought the likes of the Joker at the age of ten, what was he so scared of?
He eyed his partner suspiciously in the mirror and found him to still be doubled over in laughter.
He wouldn't press the matter right now, Grayson would tell him when he was comfortable.
"If your done blabbering, I think it's time we reviewed mission parameters."
Grayson calmed down and sat up straight, awaiting the details of their hit.
"We'll arrive at Bucharest around five in the afternoon. The spotlight international light festival is currently being held there, meaning after dark, the streets will be completely filled. The perfect opportunity for those child snatchers to collect."
Tiger glanced at Grayson. He was nodding along to what he was saying, completely focused.
"Our intel has identified one of the criminals to be Andrei Nistor, a man in his early forty's." He pulled up an image of their target on a hologram screen in front of his partner. "Grayson, I will drop you off around two blocks away from him. His coordinates have already been submitted into your Hypnos so you'll be able to travel into his line of sight."
Grayson nodded, he looked a little less sure of himself as he studied the image of the man.
"Their main victims consist of orphaned children and the homeless they find on the street. So as long as it is obvious you are traveling alone, you'll be certain to catch their attention."
"Once they have you, it may take a few hours until you enter their base. Upon entering, your Hypnos will immediately disable all their security measures without being detected. That's when I call the authorities and the Justice League."
Grayson seemed to have a faraway look in his eye at the mention of the Justice League, however he quickly snapped out of his daze.
"A map of the base as well as its ventilation system has been implanted in your Hypnos. Using it, you will travel from the holding cell where they're keeping all the prisoners to, what they refer to as, the transportation room. That's where the boom tubes are located, and that's where they transport their victims."
"Our intel says they have two functional boom tubes. Before entering the room you are to use this knock out gas to render everyone unconscious. Here's a mask with a built in filter." Tiger said as he threw the mask and the knock out gas into the back. Through the mirror he saw Grayson catch them and stuff them into the pockets of his jacket.
"After everyone is unconscious, you will collect both devices and boom tube to the roof for pick up. That's around the time the Justice League will show up and the authorities shouldn't be too far behind."
Tiger glanced back to find Grayson staring intently at a fixed point in front of him. He knew he was using his Hypnos to review the blueprints of the building.
Finally, his partner refocused his eyes on him. "Sounds easy enough." He said with a nervous giggle.
"Don't start getting cocky on me now Grayson." Tiger chided. "Besides your Hypnos will be doing most of the work." He smirked.
"Oh please!" He rolled his eyes. "Although I'm completely against that statement, I do agree that we sure are lucky spiral managed to develop this technology." He smirked. "I mean who wouldn't want access to tons of information that only you can see, not to mention that I can disguise myself anytime I want and no one will even remember my face."
"Yes, it is quite a blessing to all those poor soles out there who have to interact with you. Who wants to remember your face anyway?" Tiger teased with a grin.
"Come on! Everyone knows that I'm a real charmer!" Grayson laughed confidently. However his laugh was cut short when his voice squeaked. Clearing his throat, he adjusted his jacket awkwardly. "Or, you know... I was a charmer, back when my voice wasn't so squeaky!"
Tiger threw his head back in laughter. "Patience Grayson. You'll be back to normal in less than a week."
Suddenly, his partner sat up straighter in his seat and leaned to the side to look out the window.
Tiger refocused on the sky ahead of them and noticed that they were reaching the borders of Romania.
"We'll be landing soon. Are you ready?" Tiger asked.
Grayson nodded clutching on tightly to the items in his pockets. "I was born ready. Let's do this!"