Thanks to Brad, who suggested there be a ninja fight scene at the
end, and Charlene who suggested that there not be.
Disclaimers: usual. I own thems that I do, and don't own thems that I
There was a loud, annoying ring through out the loft, and Tim Drake sighed,
sure that sound was to be followed closely by a baby screaming shortly.
"I'm coming, I'm coming."
Tim pulled his hands out of the soapy dishwater. Searching for a towel, he
found none. He wiped his hands on his pants as he came near the elevator
for the loft. Taking one look at the two individuals waiting outside via
the monitor mounted above the door, he didn't waste time on pleasantries.
He simply sent the elevator down, and released the lock on the door.
A few moments later, the elevator reached it's final destination and it's
two inhabitants stepped off. The younger of the two was asleep in the arms
of the other, her short chubby legs and arms wound around her companion.
She had a brown blanket wrapped around her, but beneath, a little blue
costume and red cape could be seen peeking out.
"Tim. I don't know what to do." Superboy began earnestly.
"Is she alright?" he asked.
"I. I don't know. Crap, she scared the crap out of me, man. One second she
was fine..." Kon El shook his head, readjusting the child's weight in his
arms. "The next thing I know she's screaming at the top of her lungs at
these baddies. And they weren't really even bad. Old-school bank robbery.
The kids had water guns." He shook his head. "She woulda tossed them
through a cement wall if I wouldn't have caught them. And I mean through.
She got serious velocity on them."
Tim ran a hand through his hair. "Kon, she's six. Six year olds throw
"She's NEVER done this before," the younger of the two said with serious
concern. "I-I snapped at her. I yelled and asked what she thought she was
doing. she flew straight through a wall and started punching over lampposts
before I got to her. And then she just started crying. I don't know what to
do. I mean, I know she's going through some stuff. but she's too
destructive for temper tantrums. If she throws a good one, I can't stop
her. Half of Metropolis will be leveled before she cries herself to sleep."
"What do you want me to do?" Tim asked, that tone in his voice. The one
that said he couldn't be of help.
"Think of SOMETHING." Kon pleaded.
Tim folded his arms across his chest. "I suggest talking to Superman if
you're looking for someone to restrain her if she has another outburst."
Kon's eyes narrowed. "I'm not looking for someone to restrain her."
"It's going to take her time. It's going to take everyone time, ok?"
"So until then, we just let her destroy the known universe," Kon mocked
quietly, trying not to wake his sleeping charge. "Geeze, you always get
Instantly, Tim's already hardened features froze. "Like what?"
Kon gently put the sleeping girl on the oversized black sofa then turned
back to his long-time friend. "Like this. Like a complete Bat-jerk when it
involves Work. You're a completely different person when it doesn't. You've
always been like this."
Tim walked over towards the corner of the loft that served as his office.
He began scrolling through three different monitors' worth of work. "Kon,
I'm backlogged. I'm trudging through seven years' worth of DEO records
trying to find out what the hell Jimmy did. If I had TIME to find a
solution for you, I would. But you're a big kid now, Kon, and you don't
Kon glared at his friend defiantly. His jaw locked for just a moment,
announcing that he wouldn't accept anything other than help. "Look, I need
SOMEONE who knows SOMETHING about little kids. That'd be YOU, buddy, not
Superman, and not any of the other people I run with."
"I don't know what to tell you," Tim replied, shutting off the monitor.
"Sammy isn't talking to me about this, alright? I'm about ready to call in
a specialist or something, because I don't know what to do either."
"Then give me a book or something, ok?" Kon folded his arms in a
particularly Super-like fashion over the S on his chest. "She's going to
wake up, and I better have SOME way to deal with her, or we're ALL going to
have problems. Look, I know you have a lot on your plate, and I know
Gotham's a hotbed of madness right now. but if I had someone else to ask, I
Tim began to wander away from the computer and back towards the living
room. "Maybe I can recommend someone. Maybe you can both talk to her. Other
They both stopped outside the living area, seeing the empty couch.
* * *
"Do babies sleep all the time?" Peaches asked, hovering over the crib. She
made sure she flew just above it, so she wouldn't touch. She wasn't allowed
near babies at all. Kon would be mad if he knew she was this close.
Samantha uncapped the green marker and drew a stem and leaves on the flower
she'd created on her leg. "Lots of the time. They cry the rest of it.
Iseley is the biggest cry-baby in the world. I don't cry, I'm seven."
Peaches bit her lips. "I cry," she said miserably. "I'm just six."
"Six is first grade, and first grades shouldn't cry," Samantha said with
authority. She was the big sister, she was in charge. Cassie had said so.
"I don't go to school," Peaches whispered, landing on the ground beside the
other little girl. "I'm not 'lowed." She made a fist and rubbed her nose.
"I'm just allowed to fight bad guys."
"Oh, I got lots of people like that," Sammy said, unimpressed. "My daddy
does that. My new mommy used ta, but now she's a mommy." Cassie said that
taking care of little girls was way more hard than beating up ninjas. Sammy
didn't believe her. "And Uncle Dick, and Uncle Bart, and Mara, and Jor-
and. that's it."
"I got Superman," Peaches said, trying to sound impressive. "And Superboy."
She bit her lips together.
"Superman's 'old news,' Sammy informed her companion. "I'm gunna be a ninja
when I grow up."
* * *
"Old news?" Kon whispered defensively.
Tim gave a sideways glance. "Talk to Cass." He began quietly closing the
small opening he'd made in the door.
"Hey." Kon reached for the door, but Tim pulled his hand away.
"They're OK. We can keep an eye from my desk." He moved away from the
bedroom with Bat-stealth, and to his work area. He clicked on an icon on
his desktop and a camera gave a fish-eye view of the bedroom.
"Holy invasion of privacy," Kon muttered. He wasn't sure if he should be
impressed or perturbed.
"Cost the same amount as a baby monitor to install," Tim said with a shrug.
"This gives me audio and visual." He turned the volume up, frowning at the
image of Sammy's legs, covered in magic marker.
* * *
"Superman's not old," Peaches protested. "He's good. He gave me his S and
"He's ok," Sammy answered, recapping her marker. "You wanna star or
Peaches bit her lips, thinking. "I dunno. I'm not allowed to play."
"I'm not allowed to do ninja stuff," Sammy justified, uncapping an orange
marker and grabbing Peaches' hand. The younger girl froze, not sure whether
it would be easier to pull away or just stay as she was. The marker pressed
flat against her skin and squished out ink before Sammy stopped pressing so
hard. She drew the star, then got a pink marker to outline it with. "My new
mommy's a ninja assassin. Ninjas are cool."
Peaches looked at the star on her hand, then blew on it to make it dry
faster. "What happened to your old mommy?"
"She died. She was a ninja too," Sammy announced.
Peaches folded her arms over her chest. "Everybody can't be ninjas."
Sammy licked the end of the pink marker before putting it away. "My daddy's
"Your daddy's Batman," Peaches said, glad she knew something about
something. She saw the costume in the vault in the bedroom with the x-ray
vision that she wasn't supposed to have. "Batman isn't a ninja at all. He's
"Batman can be a ninja," Sammy said defensively. "And I'm older, so I know
more. Batman's a ninja."
Peaches gave up. She didn't think Batman was a ninja, but she wasn't sure.
Sammy WAS older, after all. "Did your new mommy kill your first mommy? Cuz
she's a ninja assassin?"
"I don't think so," Sammy replied, her face twisting in concentration. "I
dunno. Daddy doesn't talk about it." She bit the lid off of her blue marker
and began drawing a moon on Peaches' other hand. Tattoos were the best.
"Sometimes, super heroes get killed by bad-guys," Peaches said, waiting
patiently for her new friend to finish. "That's what happened to Old
Batman. And to Jor-well, someone else I know."
"Old Batman died cuz he was fat and dumb and mean," Sammy snapped suddenly.
Peaches frowned, pulling her hand away. "Robin'll kick yer butt if you say
that. She liked Old Batman."
"Bad-guys kill super heroes when the super hero is dumb and stupid," Sammy
"Well, I know someone who wasn't dumb and stupid!" Peaches' feet left the
ground and she hovered a few inches in the air unconsciously. "And he
didn't do nuthin' but good stuff and eat ice cream!"
"That's why he died!" Sammy cried out suddenly, waking her sister. Iseley
began howling in her crib. "Cuz he was fat and dumb and slow!"
Peaches clenched her fists together just as Kon and Tim entered the room,
each grabbing hold of their respective charge. "Girls, girls." Tim started.
"She said Jordy's fat and stupid! Peaches screamed at the top of her lungs,
tears leaking out her eyes. Her round little cheeks turned burning, flaming
red, and her jaw clenched.
Kon grabbed her arm and pulled her down towards the ground. Fortunately,
she did not resist him, because he knew he'd be unable to stop her.
"Sammy, go sit on your bed," Tim informed the girl. She looked like she was
going to protest, so he gave her 'the look,' and the child grudgingly did
as she was told. He picked the little one up out of her crib and gave her a
few firm pats on the back, then rubbed her dark curly hair with one hand to
soothe her. "Sammy." Tim began, then stopped. He wanted to scold her, but
he wasn't sure it was the right thing to do.
"WHAT?" the girl cried out suddenly.
Tim sighed before continuing on. "Why is Jordy stupid?"
Peaches lifted into the air again, but Kon kept his hand wrapped around her
arm. "JORDY ISN'T STUPID!"
The baby look around unhappily, but fortunately kept quiet.
"Cuz he got himself dead, and that's stupid," Sammy explained slowly, as if
her audience were impaired. "Everybody who gets themselves dead is stupid.
Cuz then Mara cries all the time. Then she's no good at all for watching
cartoons, and it's their fault that she's sad! And then there's no ice
cream any more, and nobody sends me cartoons in my e-mail and they're
stupid. Everybody's stupid! I hate them."
Peaches' feet touched the ground gently, and she began rubbing her nose.
"There isn't any more ice cream," she confirmed. "Jordy's still not stupid.
He's good, and Superman said he's in heaven."
Tim drew breath to confirm this, to give the children some sort of hope,
but Sammy started in again.
"No he's not. He's not in heaven, he's in the ground. That's where dead
Peaches frowned unhappily. "Jordy's in heaven. He's in heaven with my
Sammy scowled back, angry with the universe. "Nobody's in heaven.
Everyone's in the ground."
Kon looked to Tim helplessly.
Still bouncing the baby to keep her quiet in one arm, Tim sat down beside
his daughter and pulled her closer to him. "Sammy. I told you about when
your body stays here, and your soul goes some place else."
"He's still in the ground, and I wont see him again.," Sammy replied,
indicating that it didn't matter to her; the outcome was still the same.
"We wont," Kon confirmed. "We're all going to miss him."
Peaches' brow had been turned downward in anger, but it suddenly loosened.
She bit both of her cheeks together. She closed her eyes against tears, but
they leaked from her eyes and clear fluid dripped from her nose. The back
of her painted hand wiped across her face, smearing washable marker all
"You killed my moon!" Sammy protested, still angry with the situation, and
now doubly offended.
Peaches sniffled, looked at her hand, then floated up to look in the large
mirror above the dresser. She dug her fingers into her eyes, tearing some
of the wetness away. The girl sniffed, looking at the mess she'd made.
Tim gestured for her to come closer to him. The girl floated over, hovering
just in front of the family. "It's still there."
"IS NOT!" Sammy hollered. "I made a moon and she CRIED it gone! CRYBABY!"
Tim squeezed her leg until she stopped. "Look on her hand." He traced the
curve of what was left of the crescent, which hadn't been smeared away.
"There's some of it." Next he pointed out and identical curve under
Peaches' eye. It was more smeared, but still slightly visible. "And there's
some of it. And the rest is in between."
"I didn't mean to mess," Peaches pleaded, tears catching on the edge of her
"I know you didn't mean to," Tim told her. "Sometimes stuff we don't mean
to happen happens. And sometimes. people we don't want to go have to leave
us. And we can't see them, like we used to be able to. But they're still
there. They're just kind of. everywhere."
Sammy looked at the smeared marker all over Peaches' face. "And that's
"JORDY AINT STUPID!" Peaches screamed at the top of her lungs. Her high
pitched declaration started the baby crying again.
"Peaches, calm down!" Superboy, declared. He wrapped both arms around her,
but she still lifted him up into the air. "I know you want to pound
something, but you CAN'T! You're too strong!"
"You're stupid too!" Sammy declared.
"ENOUGH!" Tim declared in that granular Bat-voice. Sammy closed her mouth,
never having heard that tone before. Peaches came to rest on the ground.
Even Iseley ceased her cries of displeasure.
"Tim. watch it." Kon whispered. It had the potential to get even uglier
than it already was.
"Samantha," Tim began evenly. "Jordy doesn't take girls for ice cream who
throw temper tantrums. He doesn't like them. I don't think he'd be happy
with this one right now. Or you making someone else feel bad because YOU
The girl began with tiny silent cries, burying her face against her
father's white shirt.
Tim turned his attention to the other girl. "Peaches. The same goes for
you. The last thing he wanted was you being irresponsible and smashing up
something, or SOMEONE because you are upset."
Peaches tucked her thumb into her mouth and tugged on her little ruffled
Tim looked at Kon, gesturing that he was done with his words of wisdom.
Kon, in turn, put his arms around Peaches and hoisted her into his arms.
"And you need a diaper change." Tim gave Iseley a pat on the behind. She
promptly threw up on his shoulder. Tim sighed. "He'd think that was cute."
Iseley put her head back on her father's shoulder and gave a contented
smile. "Ok, guys. You both need to take a moment and chill." He began
walking towards the door, and gestured for Kon to follow. Reluctantly, he
sat Peaches on the opposite end of the bed from Sammy.
"Alright." Tim gave each of them a steady but not stern look. "Get
yourselves together, then go wash up. And if you can do it without getting
into trouble, I'll see what we have in the freezer before Cassie gets
Both sets of little eyes lit up.
"And Sammy. you're NOT going to be a ninja when you grow up."
He closed the door and left them to their own devices.
* * *
"See," Sammy said quietly. "He's Batman. He knows everything."
"I guess," Peaches whispered. "Superman's still better. Jordy thought so."
"Yeah, but he made babies with Robin," Sammy pointed out. "You only make
babies with people you really love, that's what daddy said."
"I'm seven," Sammy stated, hopping off the bed. She opened the door and
went into the bathroom. "I'm going to be a ninja." She stepped on the
little plastic stool in front of the sink then turned on the faucet. She
wet a wash cloth and tossed it to Peaches, who let it fall into her hand
but didn't squeeze it. That was a sure way to ring it dry. "Jordy was
really good for ice cream," Sammy conceded.
"The best," Peaches confirmed, trying as gently as possible to wipe the
marker off of herself. Blue and orange drops of water dripped to the floor
as she squeezed the liquid out.
Sammy scrubbed her hands, thinking of what to say next. "I'll be good if
you be good. Cuz I want ice cream."
Peaches dropped the wash cloth on the floor. She'd scrunched it to the size
of a quarter, unintentionally of course. "I'll be good," Peaches promised.
"Jordy doesn't like fighting."
Getting out another wash cloth, Sammy wet it, then took Peaches' hands and
gently wiped away the rest of the marker. "So you're like really really
strong?" She looked down at the itty bitty wash cloth.
"Yeah. It's good to beat up bad guys with. That's all it's good for."
Peaches looked down at her clean hands. "I even break wash rags."
"You should get my mommy to teach you how to be a ninja," Sammy said
proudly. "She can teach you how to be all 'not touchy' and stuff."
Peaches' eyes grew wide with excitement and hope. "She can do that?"
Sammy dried her hands vigorously on the back of her pants. "She's SO good
at making ninjas. Like Jordy was good at bein' Jordy."
"WOW. That's priddy good," Peaches said, giving her approval.
Sammy twisted the purple hand towel in her hands. She grew a bit reticent,
biting her lip thoughtfully and inspecting the spaces between the floor
tiles. "I'm sorry I said Jordy was stupid. He's not stupid. I just. he
shouldn'ta got himself dead."
Peaches bit her lips and gave a short nod of understanding. "Sorry I wanted
to pound ya."
The older girl let out a sigh of relief. "It's ok." She grabbed her new
friend's hand and began leading her towards the door. "We better get ice
cream before Cassie comes home. Otherwise she eats it all." She gave a wide
grin as she grabbed hold of the door knob to the bedroom and threw it
opened. "And if my mommy teaches you how to be a ninja, Superman hasta
teach me how to fly."
A grin and a giggle escaped from Peaches. "Deal!"