Title: Spilled Blüd
Disclaimer: Although I hope and dream of coming to work for DC, this has not yet happened, and these characters do not belong to me. I'm just playing in the universe.
Summary: Robin and Batgirl enter the new year and try to make sense of Blüdhaven, Batman, and themselves.
Spoilers: Through Identity Crisis, and the Robin/Batgirl crossover Fresh Blood.
A/N: While I've read Tim's entire run as Robin and Cass's entire run as Batgirl, I'm still fairly new to the Batfamily. Should I get any of the details wrong, please feel free to correct me. Constructive feedback is always appreciated.
New Year, New Blood
Blüdhaven's a bitch. That's my professional vigilante's opinion.
I said that in front of Alfred when he came by to bring me a batch of cookies and to do my laundry. "Really, Master Timothy. Simply because you have moved from Gotham does not mean that you should allow your vocabulary to match your surroundings."
I think that meant he agreed with me.
Penguin is still hiding. The incident at his place with me and Batgirl must have scared him pretty good. He's got to learn that Blüdhaven is different from Gotham. He doesn't have the friends. He doesn't have the protection. And I'm not Batman. I don't have the patience to use Penguin for all the information he has. He's a crime lord. And I want him out of my city.
I sound just like him.
I can't tell where he is right now. But he's quiet. Which means something is going to happen and it's going to be soon.
Fifth mugging in a row I've stopped tonight, and it's only eleven-thirty. It's warmer out tonight than it has been, freak weather thanks to El Nino, and the criminals are taking advantage of it.
And now, it looks like two punks are trying to break into a pawnshop. Big surprise. I pull out my bo and a decel line, and nearly jump down before I see her.
She moves like no one else, and within fifteen seconds, both of the punks are down on the ground unconscious. She looks up and sees me, and in fifteen seconds more, she's on the roof.
"You're late," I say.
She looks down at the two lying on the sidewalk. "Busy."
Our patrols intersect in one spot, here. Just so we can catch up, compare notes, decide if anyone is worth a visit from both Batgirl and Robin. "You're hurt," she says, her finger touching my face.
I put the back of my hand to my lip. "Last mugger I caught got lucky, busted my lip. Wasn't paying attention."
Her head cocks to the side, and I wish her cowl didn't cover her entire face. "You okay?"
"I'm fine," I say, brushing her off. "Anything to report?"
"Lots of people out. Rescued a cat from a tree."
Batgirl has the ability to be the most deadly assassin since Shiva Woosan. She's part of an elite crime-fighting vigilante group. She was raised by Cain. And she rescued a cat from a tree.
Well, the Blüdhaven Police Department weren't likely to come to the cat's rescue.
"Anything else?" I ask.
She shakes her head. "Penguin is quiet."
I sigh. "I know. He's planning something, and I don't know what."
"Alfred is coming tomorrow," she says.
"It's not Alfred's day to come."
"Nightwing is…driving him crazy," she says, perching on the ledge.
"Alfred said that?"
She shakes her head again. "I can tell."
"If he's getting on Alfred's nerves, I bet Babs is ready to kill him."
"Bruce banned him from Cave," she says.
"You've certainly been keeping up with events," I say, watching the police car drive by and pick up Batgirl's two burglars.
"I talk to Oracle. And Black Canary, some," she says. "Dick…wishes you would call."
"I don't need Dick to look out for me," I say quietly.
She gets up and shoots out a decel line. "Maybe Dick needs you to watch out for him."
And with that, she's off to continue her patrol. I should finish mine. If Alfred is coming tomorrow, I better have the pizza boxes hidden before he gets here.
I climb in my window, completely beat. It wasn't that there was anything horribly difficult tonight, just a lot of stupid stuff. And busywork drives me nuts.
Oracle is still online. Bruce and the JLA are still setting her up a new place, so she's moving around a lot, but the background tonight looks the plane she and the birds have been working out of. "Hey, Boy Wonder. What's up?"
"Too many criminals."
"It's the weather," she says.
"Listen," I say. "Is Dick there?"
She smiles. "Hold on just a sec." She leans back. "Dick?" A pause. "Richard Grayson! Tim's on the phone!"
"Is that for me?" I hear Dick say. "Hey, little bro!"
"Here," I see Babs scoot away from her screen. "I'm going to bed. You boys stay up and talk."
Dick's eyes follow her as she leaves the computer, and I wonder if they've made up yet. "How are you doing?" I ask.
He stretches out his leg in front of the camera. "Healing up faster than you can believe. How are you doing?"
"Okay. Batgirl and I are keeping a lid on the muggings. She rescued a cat from a tree."
"That wasn't what I meant," he says.
"It wasn't what I meant either," I shoot back.
He sighs. I'm not supposed to know what went down with Blockbuster, but there's really no hiding anything from a determined sidekick. And if anybody knows that, it's Dick. "I'm—managing. Tim, listen—"
I hold up a hand. "You don't have to explain or apologize for anything to me, Dick." Because, honestly, what Blockbuster did to Dick's friends isn't all that much different than what Black Mask did to—I wouldn't have stood there and let someone else shoot him. I'd have shot him myself.
And I understand a little bit more why Batman wanted me out of Gotham. And why he sent Batgirl with me.
"What about you?" he says.
"I'm managing," I say, peeling my mask from my face.
"How's your step-mom?" Dick asked.
"Getting better," I say. "She should be out next month. She'll be okay. It's just going to take a while."
"Okay," he says. "Listen, look out for yourself up there? And Batgirl too. Blüdhaven is a lot meaner than Gotham."
I stretch my arm out, feeling the stitches Batgirl put in my back stretch a little. "I know." I sigh. "Alfred's coming tomorrow, and you know he's going to be bright and early. I should get some sleep."
"You do that, kid. Blüdhaven's a bitch on no sleep."
"Thanks for reminding me," I mutter. "Night, Dick."
My bed looks really comfortable right now. But that would require getting up from this chair.
Come on, Boy Wonder. Get moving.
My door opens, and before I'm fully conscious, I'm sitting up in bed, my bo out and ready to swing towards whoever is coming in my bedroom at this god-awful hour of the morning.
Alfred just raises an eyebrow at me. "Unless you intend on going without breakfast, Master Timothy, I suggest you put that away." He walks over to the window and opens the shades to let some light in.
"What time is it?" I ask.
"Nearly a quarter after ten," Alfred says, and I realize that he really didn't have me out of the bed at the crack of dawn. It just feels like it.
I set my bo back down. "Sorry about that."
"Do not worry yourself, Master Timothy. It is not the first time I've been threatened with a bedside weapon when I've woken someone up." He sweeps a glance over me. "Nor is it the first time I've seen a vigilante sleep in their costume."
I glance down at myself, and find that I'm still in my Robin outfit and I was using my cape as a blanket. "Oh."
"Indeed," Alfred says. "Perhaps by the time I have finished breakfast, you will find yourself in more appropriate attire to face the day and ready to eat."
"Sure thing," I say, climbing out of bed as Alfred turns to leave. "Hey, Alfred?"
"Yes, Master Timothy?"
He pauses at the door. "Of course, young sir. If you'll excuse me, I believe Miss Cassandra is at the door expecting her breakfast as well."
Cass is already sitting at the table scarfing down a mountain of scrambled eggs when I come out, rubbing my head with a towel. "Morning," I say, sitting down as Alfred gives me a plate.
"Morning!" she says, entirely too brightly. I notice a bag sitting in the corner as Alfred sets down a cup of tea.
"What's that?" I ask, managing to swallow my mouthful and avoid a Valet Death-Glare.
"Laundry," she said, taking a bite of her toast.
"There will come a day when you will have to do your own laundry," Alfred says to Cass. "Perhaps when Master Timothy has a free day, you could impress upon him to demonstrate the use of the washer and dryer installed in your apartment."
She looks at me hopefully. "Sure," I say around a mouthful of eggs. "No problem."
I am Robin, Boy Wonder, Squire to the Dark Knight, Leader of the Teen Titans, Scourge of Blüdhaven, Protector of Gotham. And I am teaching Batgirl how to do her laundry.
Oh, today is going to be just lovely.