"Can I talk to you, Tim?" Lian asked.
Robin looked up from the case files he was going over, wondered a bit glumly when he'd stopped being Uncle Tim, smiled at his lover's daughter, and nodded. "Sure," he said, pressing a few keys to shut down and lock his laptop.
Lian then proceeded to tug him into Roy's home office, which was really more of a gym/armory with a computer and his JLA transporter in the closet. "Daddy has all his serious conversations here because it's private, and since this a very serious matter, we have to be here." She climbed up on top of one of the stools that had been swiped from the kitchen for some purpose several months ago.
At first he'd been amused, but taking in the determined look on Lian's face – so like Roy's, that expression, only younger, but just as uncertain – Tim grew…not worried, but…watchful. "How serious?" he asked as he sat down in the only chair in the room, putting him and Lian at approximately the same height.
"Not bad serious, but…serious." Lian nodded decisively.
Tim digested that, then asked, "Okay, so…what's up?"
"Well…" Lian let out a gusty sigh and looked into his eyes. "You like my daddy, right?"
Tim nodded. "Yes, yes I do."
"Do you…love him?" Lian bit down on her lip as she looked at him hopefully.
Tim swallowed. Love was always something he'd approached with caution. Lately, with the anniversary of Stephanie's death nearing, it was also something that scared the living daylights out of him. But he'd promised Lian he'd never lie to her. "Yes," he said softly, unable to look into those wide green eyes.
Lian looked less worried as she said, "And you love me, right?"
This was, of course, an easier question to answer. "Of course I do. Lian, what's this about?"
Lian reached into her pocket and brought out an empty raisin box that she'd obviously painstakingly covered with black paint. She took a deep breath, and then said in a rush, "Well, daddy and I love you too, and we both like having you here, so I was wondering…" she opened the top that she'd just as obviously cut so the 'top' was one of the sides and would lift up like a flap, revealing a macramé friendship ring made out of sparkly gold ribbon, "if you would marry us?"
Tim's heart hitched, then fell with an almost sickening plummet into his stomach. Lian's eyes were so wide and hopeful, and he… His first reaction was to run away as far as and fast as he could. His second was to wish he could erase the past five minutes.
But underneath the panic and the worry and the What if I lose him, too? thoughts he'd been having for almost a year, his third reaction was to answer yes.
"Lian, I think this is something your father should ask me," Tim told her, taking the coward's way out with his fourth reaction, a combination of two and three.
"Yeah, but he's pro-cras-tin-ating over which ring to get and I'm getting impatient," Lian told him. She jiggled the box. "So I made you a temporary ring so you can tell him yes and then pick out a real one together."
Tim's heart had only just managed to climb back up inside his chest. Now it decided to try flight, soaring up out of his throat and leaving a lump of emotion in its wake. "Um…I…that… Are you sure?" he asked, wincing at how hopeful and…needy he sounded.
Lian nodded, looking much too solemn for her five years. "Uh-huh. He talked it over with me and everything." She jiggled the box again. "So will you? Marry us, please…Daddy Tim?" Her eyes widened and she half-pouted up at him; it was the extremely adorable expression which always got her her way.
As it would do this time. Tim felt a grin start to slide across his face, stretching muscles unused for what seemed like years. "I…yes."
Lian's own grin was a match in happiness, and she threw her arms around his neck with a cry of delight. "Yay! I'm gonna have two daddies!"
There was, of course, a discussion he'd need to have with Roy, and lots of planning for the wedding itself, but all other things aside…Lian was right. There were lots of other things to consider, but what would make him happiest – what would make them all happiest – was the most important.
Tim hugged his daughter-to-be tightly and basked in the happiness of the moment.