Disclaimer: I do not own Bruce, Dick, Tim, Cassandra, Wayne Manor, Alfred or the letter E

A cloud of darkness hung over Wayne Manor. Two of them, actually. One was upstairs. The other was seated at the Bat-computer, working. In contrast to his usual costume, he was wearing sweat pants and thick socks. Shirtless, the bandages Alfred had expertly wrapped around his ribs were easily noticeable to Batgirl and Robin. From behind him, they could also see the square padded bandage taped to the back of his head. Had they moved around to his front, they could see the grim expression on his face. He would do what work he could, despite his concussion and broken ribs, but he would rather be out on the rooftoops, patrolling.

"What happened?" Tim asked, his voice barely above a whisper.

"Fell." Cassandra said, equally quietly.

"Fell off of what?"


Tim looked perplexed, "He never falls."

"Catwoman," she said, by way of explanation.

"Ah," Tim said with understanding. "How did she throw him off a building?"

"Didn't." Cass answered, "She fell too."

That brought up more questions than it answered. Tim asked the obvious one, "What were they doing that both of them fell from a roofttop?"

"Didn't say," the unflappable Cassandra replied, further suggesting, "YOU ask."

"Nuh-uh." Tim shook his head. "Does Batman know?"

"Upstairs." Cassandra answered. "Poison Ivy."

Tim laughed softly and said, "If I ever show the least bit of interest in a villainess, promise to knock me out, ok?"

"Promise," Batgirl said, pulling her cowl over her head before turning around and heading down to the vehicle bay to retrieve her motorcycle.

"Uh," Tim said to the departing Batgirl, "I was just..." He shrugged and glanced back to Dick. A smile crossed his face. Unable to restrain himself, he said loudly, "So..."

'Don't say it,' Dick thought in Tim's direction, 'Don't even think about saying it...'

Tim said it, "Look what the cat dragged in!" The steady click-clack of the keys paused briefly. Dick supposed he had that coming. He must've used taht joke at least a dozen times, and was as willing to use it on Donna after fighting Cheetah or Roy after sparring with Ted Grant as he was on his fellow Bats. He resumed working, just as Tim then added, "You okay Nightwing? You're not saying anything."

Dick paused again. He knew what was coming. It was like an oncoming stampeding herd of cattle when you had two broken legs. You knew it was coming, you could see it a mile away, but there was nothing you could do about it.

"Cat got your tongue?" Tim said.

That did it. A quick check of the security systems show that, as he'd suspected, Bruce's laptop was connected and he was listening to their conversation. Dick said nothing, though. When it came to Robins and their puns, he knew he could let Tim spin out enough rope to hang himself.

Which he proceeded to do in short order, "I mean I know Batman has planted himself upstairs," Tim said, "but there's no reason you have to act like it's a big cat-astrophe." The continuing cat-puns were bad enough, but it was the reference to Bruce 'planting' himself that Dick knew had put the ball in his court.

"You know..." Dick said casually, "before I go back out into the field, I'm going to need some training to get my edge back. I'm thinking some pretty intensive hand-to-hand work."

"Good idea," Batman's voice echoed through the cave, "Robin can help you out with that." Tim blinked at what he'd just been volunteered for.

Dick smiled and turned around to face Tim, whispering, "Wait for it."

Sure enough, Batman continued, "He'll be helping me out the same way once I get to the end of my recovery."

"Have a good patrol," Dick offered cheerfully before turning back to the computer and sending copies of the conversation he'd just recorded to Oracle and every Teen Titan.