A Singular Difference

It's like a legacy. Only different.

Batgirl and Robin. It's tradition. Robin was Batman's sidekick, but Batgirl…Batgirl was Robin's partner.

Maybe that was why the second Robin had died; he hadn't had a Batgirl to keep him tied to real life. Hadn't had a partner to watch his back.

Now there's a new Robin. And a new Batgirl. And it may have taken them awhile, but they're partners, as well. Of course, there's also Spoiler. God have mercy on whoever calls her the sidekick. She's a full partner, too.

So now it's Batgirl, Robin, and Spoiler. A triumvirate partnership, built on a foundation of friendship, and the kind of loyalty only forged through fire. A triad, trouncing the tradition of a dynamic duo.

And it works, in ways the first Batgirl and Robin never did. In ways that they tried, but never quite reached. The three of them balance each other, fill in the empty places inside each other, the holes in the each other's lives, each other's…hearts. They complete each other in ways they can't complete themselves.

Batgirl and Robin are serious about crimefighting, that's a given. Batgirl fights like she was born to it, which she was. Robin fights like his life is on the line, which it often is. But there's always a thread of tension running through them. Spoiler is serious about crimefighting, too, but is more relaxed about it. Like the first Robin, she can make wisecracks and be less…uptight…about everything.

Tim doesn't talk much, even when he should. Stephanie talks too much, mostly when she shouldn't. Cassandra doesn't talk unless she has something to say.

Cassandra doesn't know how to live a normal life in the daylight; Stephanie doesn't know how to do anything but. Tim knows how, but is only playing a role. His nightlife is the only thing real to him.

Their nightlives are more real to all of them. They all help each other be…real. People in the daytime don't really see them; the other people at night don't see the real them. They only really know each other.

And they know each other really well. The first Batgirl and Robin had been seven years apart in age. Now that they were older – and Nightwing and Oracle – that didn't keep them apart. But the years they'd lost to waiting had strained their relationship. Lost to waiting, lost to yearning, lost to differences…among other things.

Batgirl, Robin, and Spoiler hadn't wasted any time. Evenings were spent in Cassandra's Cave, tracking down bad guys. Nights were spent on rooftops, watching each other's backs while they fought the bad guys. Mornings, days, afternoons, spare, fleeting moments of time…were spent loving each other, reminding themselves why they fought.

For each other. Family, friends…something indefinable, but intrinsically important, that made a singular difference between simply surviving and actively living.

It works. It works for them in ways society – in ways their extended 'family' – think it shouldn't. But it does.

It's tradition, after all. And maybe it's not a legacy in the traditional sense. But the differences are what make it work so well.