A Different Kind Of Thinking


We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein


In the beginning, it had seemed like an insurmountable problem. But no problem could stand in their way when they worked together.

Tim and Steph really did love each other. Their only problem – one they both had – was that they also loved other people. One would think that this overlapping love triangle situation could have been easily solved: they just needed to choose.

For Tim, it was a question of Spoiler or Superboy?

For Steph, it was a question of Robin or Batgirl?

The problem – well, part of the problem – was that neither of them could choose. Cassandra was dating Kon-El, and had been ever since Kon had crashed Tim's date with Steph at the same time that Cass had run down a purse-snatcher across the street from the deli they'd been eating at.

And Tim and Steph really did love each other. It appeared that Cass and Kon cared deeply about each other, as well. So there was no need to disrupt the status quo. They could continue just as they were, being content with each other, even as part of their hearts yearned for someone else, in addition to who they already had.

Except…except for the fact that neither Tim nor Steph were very good at hiding their hurts from each other.


"I'm sorry," Steph said, breaking down into sobs as Tim just stood there, stunned. And, she felt, judging her harshly for emotions that she couldn't help. "I just…she's my best friend…"

"…and it's hard not to fall in love with him," Tim said in a daze. "Her," he corrected.

Steph nodded, tears in her eyes, then stopped mid-nod, just as stunned as Tim had been with her confession. "Wait, you…?" It had to be Kon, she realized, his best fiend.

Blushing uncomfortably, Tim nodded. "I…care about Kon, yes."

Weren't they a pair? Or…were they? She didn't want Cass instead of Tim, but did he…? Steph's face squinched up. "Do you…? I mean I…"

"No, Steph, I still…" Tim hastened to reassure her.

"Love you," they finished in unison.

Steph and Tim just stared at each other for what seemed like hours, but was probably only a few minutes. Finally, Steph said, "What are we going to do?"

Tim shrugged. "I don't know."


Cass, however, did know. She knew what was going on with her best friend and her boyfriend, who also happened to be her boyfriend's best friend. She knew how to solve it, too. It seemed like such a simple solution, though she knew others wouldn't see it that way.

What did that blue furry creature on Sesame Street say? Sharing was…caring.

And they all cared about each other, whether they were admitting it (aloud) or not.


"You're kidding, right?" Kon said, voice rising higher with each syllable until he reached a falsetto on the last word.

Cass just shook her head. "Would solve problems."

Kon shook his head wonderingly. "It would solve their problems, sure, but…"

"Solve our problems, too," Cass broke in.

Kon blinked rapidly, and blushed. "Uh, how'd you know?"

Cass just looked at him.

Blushing deepening, Kon said, "Right."

"So?" Cass asked impatiently.

"I…yeah, I guess so," Kon finally agreed. It wasn't like he didn't want Tim, he just…was a bit scared of trying anything with someone who knew everything and seemed so…far out of reach. And Steph was good for Tim, he couldn't deny that, just like Cass was good for him, and both of the other girls were apparently good for each other, just like…

Just like him and Tim, Kon realized with a sudden flash of insight.

Cass just smiled as she saw Kon come to true understanding of their unique situation. "So, we tell them?" she said, when his thoughts seemed to have run down.

"Um, yeah," Kon said distractedly. "Just…what makes you think they'll go along with it?"

It was a good question. Luckily, Cass had a good answer.


Steph made Cass think she'd go along with it. It had been more than a month past, when they were watching a 'soap opera' – Cass had no idea what either soap or opera had to do with really bad, never-ending television serials – and Steph made an offhand comment about the three main characters of the moment.

"Y'know, if those two goobers would just agree to share her, they wouldn't have to duel to the death. It's not like she'd object, I'm sure." And Steph had looked vaguely wistful, which had caused Cass to really start looking at the interactions between her friends. And, once having learned what she'd set out to find, to take a long look at herself and what she felt for them.

She'd ended up dating Kon as much by circumstance as because they liked each other. If Steph had asked her out, or even Tim, things could have been very different. But no one had ever really told her about 'alternative' relationships. She could tell when people cared about each other, but unless she looked really closely, it was difficult to tell how much they cared.

And, it appeared that they all cared a lot.


Once proposed, the idea was easily accepted. Well, once Tim quit hyperventilating and Steph quit yelling. It was just the logistics that were giving them problems. Tim, Steph, and Cass all lived in Gotham. Kon lived in Kansas. That presented a problem for two of the couples involved in their love square.

Cass was almost certain that eventually it would be three couples. There was no reason not to – how did that go? – share and share alike. Kon and Steph really were quite a bit similar.

But back to the problem at hand. That possibility could wait for another day. One most likely not too far off in the future.

"It won't be difficult to time-share in most cases," Steph pointed out. "You've been flying out here pretty regularly during the week, after all," she reminded Kon.

"Yeah, and I'm getting faster; less than an hour's trip," Kon agreed.

"And, while you two–" here she shot her boyfriend (well, the first one) a sultry look, "–are in San Francisco beating up bad guys, Cass and I can keep each other company." Here she grinned at her new girlfriend. Both of the boys in the room took note of the grin, because it, along with her sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks, pretty much embodied sex.

"I don't suppose I could convince you to take pictures?" Kon asked in a strangled tone of voice.

Now Cass was smirking. And the room was, all of the sudden, feeling much much hotter.

Somehow, Tim Drake felt that, if he actually did manage to leave Cass's Cave that evening – and he wasn't sure he wanted to – it wouldn't be with much of his virginity left intact.

He didn't have a problem with that.

Neither did the rest of them.


THE END