As Times Go By


Rose looked…sick. Ill? Tired? One of those, or more accurately, all of those. As a good boyfriend, Tim knew he should ask what was wrong.

He shoved aside Robin thoughts about making sure the team was working in tip-top shape…or at least as well as their motley crew could.

"Is something wrong?" he asked, perching on a bar stool next to her at the kitchen counter. She had folded her arms on the countertop, her head listing to the side on top of them.

Rose shrugged. Then she made a face. "Not wrong, no, just…annoying."

Tim winced. "The twins haven't been playing with the plumbing again, have they?" The last time, they hadn't had hot water for three days. The time before that, they hadn't had cold water for four.

Rose sat up and chuckled, then she grimaced. Placing one hand on her stomach, she said, "No, it has nothing to do with the twins."

"Do you have a stomachache?" Tim asked, and wondered why she hadn't gone down to the infirmary for some Pepto-Bismol.

"No." She paused a moment, as if weighing whether or not to continue. "I have cramps."

Tim blinked. Oh. "I'm pretty sure we have Midol in the infirmary," he said. They had to have some. Rose and Wendy may have been the only girls on the current team, but the Tower was still stocked from when Kory, Raven and Cassie were there full-time.

And he knew Cassie had some.

"I got some. But pain relievers don't work as well since…" She trailed off, looking out the window as if she could ignore the elephant she'd half-led into the room.

Tim didn't think he should offer her some higher strength pain relievers, if only because all medication ended to react oddly with her physiology. Also, codeine was maybe a bit much.

Maybe. He still remembered some of the tirades Cassie could go into back in Young Justice. It just figured that Cissie, the girl on the team who didn't have PMS, was the one who quit.

Rose sighed, and wincingly got down from her bar stool. Tim noticed for the first time – at least in the front of his mind, as opposed to his detective instincts cataloguing the information – that she was wearing civilian clothes. His half-formed hypothesis was proven right when she headed for the door. "You're going out?" he asked, letting only a hint of incredulity into his voice.

Sighing again, Rose turned to him. "I have to. I'm out of…stuff." Funny how she could talk about sex without blushing – then again, Rose never blushed – and yet, was still uncomfortable mentioning her time of the month.

Maybe she was just trying to spare Tim's male sensibilities. "Couldn't you borrow some?" He was pretty sure they didn't have those in the infirmary, tampons or pads, but even if she didn't want to ask Cassie, Wendy had to have some.

"I'm not asking the Wonder Bitch," Rose told him with only half of her usual rancor. "And Wendy doesn't have any."

Tim frowned. "She doesn't?" Wendy was sixteen, after all.

Rose smirked at him. "Some girls are late bloomers, Wonder Boy." With that pronouncement, she turned to go, but Tim didn't miss the grimace of pain on her face as she moved.

"Why don't you stay here, and I'll go?" Tim offered before he thought. Then he thought, and figured it was a good idea. Rose in a bad mood was one thing, but Rose in a bad mood with Cassie around…

The girls really needed to learn to work together. Tim pointedly didn't think about how they were both vying for his affections; Rose had won them. Cassie…

Tim would never be able to be with Cassie without being reminded of Kon. Or better days gone by with Young Justice. Of Cissie, who'd quit like Kon, like he'd been forced to, and had never come back. And who still had her life, without losing anyone.

When he came back to himself from his musings, Tim found Rose standing in front of him, eyeing him like he'd just grown a second head – one that looked and acted like Pauly Shore. "You'd…go to the store and get feminine hygiene products for me?"

Tim shrugged. "Sure." Why not? He'd gone to Lamaze classes with– Granted, he'd never bought them before, but it wasn't like the entire world would be watching him or anything.

Tim wasn't surprised by the fact that Rose kissed him – she tended to be demonstrative, like…Steph – but he was a bit taken aback by the fierceness of the kiss. "You're the best, Tim," she told him, and Tim squirmed a bit, inwardly.

"So, uh…what kind do you want me to get?" Tim asked, neatly side-stepping that emotional mindfield. "Um…tampons or pads?"

Smirking at him as if she knew what he was doing, Rose said, "Pads. The ones in a green package with an orange stripe."

Tim nodded, thankful for the identifying information. She wouldn't kill him if he got the wrong kind, but better safe than sorry where his girlfriend was concerned. "Okay. Um, let me change, and I'll go."

"I'll be in my room," Rose told him, and then made her wincing way up the stairs.

Tim quickly changed to civvies, put on his sunglasses, and headed out to the city. He tried to remember where the nearest drug store was, then spied a Walgreen's across the way. That would do.

He was completely awed by the feminine hygiene aisle. There were so many different kinds; who the hell could need them all? Spying a swath of green, Tim headed for the packages, looking for orange stripes. Yellow, purple, blue…orange! Hmm, they came into different sizes. Fourteen count, twenty-eight count, fifty-six count…why were they in multiples of seven?

Tim decided it didn't matter, and grabbed the twenty-eight count. He wasn't embarrassed by this trip, but Rose couldn't possibly use fifty-six sanitary napkins this one month.

He waited in line for a few minutes, paid a surprisingly cheap amount of money, and left. He told himself the elderly cashier was just looking at him funny because he was wearing sunglasses indoors.

When he got back to the Tower, he headed straight for Rose's room. He knocked gently, and after a few moments, she called, "Come in!"

Rose was lying on her bed, on her stomach. She didn't look quite as miserable as she had in the kitchen, but she positively lit up upon seeing him. "You got them?"

Tim nodded. "I got them," he confirmed, and set the bag down next to her on the bed.

"You are a prince among men," she said teasingly.

"I think that's Tempest you're thinking of," he teased back.

She snorted a laugh, and then raised herself up on the bed. "Um…if you don't mind, I need to…"

Tim nodded rapidly. "Right, right… I had some case files I needed to go over anyway. See you at lunch?"

Rose looked at the clock. "Two hours…yeah, I should be down." meaning that the Midol would have worked enough for her to brave the stairs again.

"Cool," Tim said, and most certainly did not scurry out the door. He also didn't hurry down the stairs, but that was because there wasn't any need. No one bothered him when he worked on case files; he was the only one that did, besides Cyborg.

When Tim passed by the kitchen on his way to the monitor room, he noticed Cassie slumped down over the kitchen countertop. He felt a wave of déjà vu wash over him.

Tim wavered for a moment over whether to talk to her; then his common sense kicked in and he hightailed it for the monitor room. He was willing to buy 'stuff' for Rose, but Cassie…no way.


THE END