Thanks to Kathy for the beta!

Disclaimer: DC owns the characters. If they were mine, Cass wouldn't have gone to the dark side OYL.

Two Senseis

He never spoke a word to her when she was a child, but she learned how to divine his moods and his thoughts. His stance, his eyes, his gestures, even the speed in which he would cross the distance from the doorway to where she sat, awaiting his instruction all spoke volumes. She came to know when he was pleased with her progress, and his approval would make her feel as though her heart was flying.

Then one day, she killed a man and saw his eyes light up. She watched his lips curve into that special smile. He strode forward to clasp her shoulders, but she backed away, horrified. Her heart was a lead weight. Her legs carried her, hurtled her forward and she flew from his dojo and into the world outside. At first, she thought he might come after her, but he did not. She was free, but her thoughts tormented her. The song in her heart was stilled.

Until… she saw the man in the long black cape. A man who fought almost as well as he who had raised her. But this man did not take lives. This man would not expect her to kill—would not accept her if she did. This man took her measure, and assessed her skills, much as the first one had. His movements were different. He did not show his approval so readily.

When he handed her the suit, however, with the chest insignia so like his own and yet so different, she knew. And when he smiled, a smile oddly similar to the one she had struggled to earn from another in years past, she felt her spirits lift once more. And her heart began to sing.