This is becoming a downright series. Follow up to "Advice and Flowers" and
"Warnings and Sears Catalogs"
Movies and Second Dates
Bruce Wayne hated movie theatres. He didn't care much for movies either, if
the truth be told. Both symbolized a point in time that had changed
everything in his life. A city had gained a protector—a child had lost his
As he sat in the dark theatre, he tried not to ponder this. The thoughts
occasionally crept in as he stared forward, not looking at the screen, but
the two youth in the front row. They laughed jovially and bounced in their
chairs, popcorn occasionally flying around them. They both tugged
intermittently at the shared soda and appeared to be enjoying themselves
much more than he was.
One had seen her own share of hardship and SHOULD have been allowed some
freedom and joy in her life, and yet he was wary. The other had no cares in
the world. For that, he worried. Hence he found himself sitting here for
the second time this week—watching someone who could take care of herself
and someone who posed no physical harm, and yet—ever emotional threat.
Bruce knew he should be ashamed of himself, and yet he couldn't bring
himself to be.
"If he puts his arm around her again," Dick whispered from beside him, "I
say we break it."
Bruce chanced to take his eye off his target to scowl at his son. "No more…
INCIDENTS," he said in low tones. "She'll have both of your arms broken and
your throat crushed before you get half way up the aisle," Bruce told him
almost consolingly. "She knows we're here."
"How do you know?" Dick asked skeptically. He knew Batgirl was a fighting
prodigy, but she hadn't made any indication what so ever that she was aware
of their presence.
A car fell off a building and crashed into a thousand pieces on the screen.
The audience let out a loud laugh. "Watch," he said, as Cassandra began to
move. Her long arm wound around Bart Allen, and then she kissed his cheek.
"That's exactly what she did last time, and she made even MORE of a show
out of it."
Dick sighed unhappily. Someone plopped into the seat next to him.
"Sno-ball?" Tim asked his partners-in-crime. "Gummie-bears?"
"What're YOU doing here?" his older brother asked impatiently.
Juggling two boxes of snacks and a large drink, Tim tried to get
comfortable. "Barbara wanted me to make sure you wouldn't screw this up for
Cassandra," he grumbled unhappily.
"US?" Dick whispered harshly.
"Hey, I'm just following orders."
Bruce turned to his youngest charge. "I'm giving you a new order: go home."
Tim tapped his foot impatiently then took a big swig of his drink. Bruce
was giving him The Look. "I gotta stay or Babs'll disembowel me," he said
finally. He had a feeling that wouldn't be as bad as what Bruce was going
to do to him for insubordination.
In front of them, Cass and Bart were staring into each other's eyes. Only
THOSE two could get mushy at an action/comedy, Tim thought. Their lips met,
and Tim, Dick and Bruce all squirmed in their seats, suddenly.
"That was just uncalled for!" Dick said a little too loudly.
A group of boys turned around and glared at him. "Shuddup, man. You guys've
been yakking since this thing started," the little punk on the left said
with a frown.
Tim shrunk in his chair. He remembered how his last movie theatre brawl had
ended and didn't want a repeat of having to let himself get his ass kicked.
He loved Cass, but he didn't know if she was worth another bout of
humiliation and 'trample the ego' with a bunch of street punks who were,
for a change, in the right.
"Are they going to breathe or something?" Dick whispered finally. "Ugg. I'm
not going to kill Bart. I'm going to kill HER. Babs used to do this stuff
to me ALL the time."
Tim made a face at Dick. "Shut up, ego boy. I'm really sure she's making a
play for you."
"Dude," one of the guys in front of them said "I'm gonna make BOTH of you
shut up in about two seconds."
Bruce scowled at both of his boys. "OUT," he ordered them.
Ducking for cover from 'the scowl of doom', the two scrambled out of the
row and to the back of the theatre. Instead of going out, however, they
hung near the back. Now Bart's head was on her shoulder, and Cass's head
rested on top of his. It was… it was wrong.
"I wish they'd stop that," Dick whispered disgruntledly.
"Maybe… maybe they're just happy together, and we should let it go," Tim
said bravely. He made the first gesture of good will towards the fledgling
couple—he began to pull Dick the last few feet towards the door.
"He's… he's BART though," Dick moaned, finally exiting the theatre behind
"Bruce'll keep them in line," Tim assured him. Of course, Tim had a feeling
Bruce had lost control over that situation. Cass might not have a lot of
experience in relationships, but Tim could tell when he was being jerked
around—and at this point, Bruce was being jerked around.
They sat on a red bench across from the door to the theatre. Guiltily, they
both stared down at their shoes. "You think Cass really likes Bart? I mean…
and she's not just going out with him to piss us off or to get to Bruce."
Suddenly, there was a pair of legs in cargo pants in front of them, the
black cuffs of the pants shoved into high-lacing boots. "Like Bart for
real. You mess up, I hurt you."
The movie wasn't over yet, Dick thought peevishly.
Slowly, they both met her eyes. Her arms were folded across her chest and
she wasn't happy.
"Where's Bart?" Tim asked cautiously.
"Home. Ask Max if he stay in Gotham. All night. With me."
Dick and Tim swallowed. "Well… we wish he wouldn't," Dick finally ventured
"YOU wish he wouldn't," Tim corrected. Then again, Tim didn't want him with
Cass all night either.
"I big girl," Cass said hotly. "You said how to make Bart like," she
pointed at Dick, questioning why he'd ever change his mind.
"I know you're a big girl, Cass. But… the whole night? What're you going to
do?" Dick blushed a little. He knew what HE would do if he were fourteen
and he were spending the entire night with the Batgirl of his choice. "Ok,
fine. Not that. But… Cass… he's really young. And…. And you don't have any
experience with guys."
"I get experience," she said with confidence. "You helped."
"I'm not sure it was a good idea," Dick confessed with uncertainty. "Does
it have to be the WHOLE night?"
Tim sat up with false bravado and chirped, "well, I think its nice. I think
you make a nice couple." Instantly, the back of Dick's hand connected with
his chest. "Well, I just mean… oh hell. Cass, we don't want you to get
She grinned then smashed her hand down on his head, rubbing his hair
furiously. "Silly Tim. Bart not hurt."
"I'm glad you have that kind of confidence in him, Cassandra," Bruce said
from behind her. He stared down at her with an almost concerned sternness.
"He not hurt Cass," the girl said cheerfully, just was a blur of red and
white came to settle in the form of the Speedster-in-question. "He like
Cass," she said with confidence. Bart nodded his head vigorously, just
short of super-speed. She waved to Impulse, then grinned back at Bruce—who
was trying to disappear into the woodwork. "And he kiss good."
The boy stopped mid-nod and blushed, then looked around timidly at the
scary-male company he found himself in.
"And if he hurt," she said simply. "I break legs."