Usual disclaimers apply. Companion piece to something Brendan's working on. Tell him to write faster.

Creative Damage Control

**

"Ok. Now. Couple of ground rules before this evening of fun and festivity begins."

Jimmy rolled his eyes. "Uncle Roy."

"Nope. I mean it, Jimster. First of all, don't make me look like a schmuck. Second of all, don't get me in trouble with your dad. And third of all." He handed Jimmy and his date packets of paper, containing two pieces of paper stapled together.

"WHAT is this?" Kristin asked impatiently.

"It's the 'Is Your Potential Lover an Assassin' quiz."

Jimmy looked over the questions. "Have you ever attempted to kill someone for money or political gain!?" He huffed and puffed, turned the page, and called out another one: "WOULD you kill someone for money or political gain!?"

Roy grinned. "Gotcha. Look, just point me in the way of the hot, lonely teachers, and we're all good."

They were standing in front of Jimmy's car in the parking lot. Jimmy couldn't believe Roy had actually followed them in his car. His dad was supposed to be chaperoning this. He wasn't sure if Roy was an improvement or not. "Do we have to walk in with you?"

"Are you ashamed of me? I thought Bubbles was the only one who didn't want to be seen with me."

"Ro-oy. You clash with my date's outfit."

"Red hair, red dress."

"You NEVER go with red clothes if you have red hair. Your costume is a travesty."

Roy rolled his eyes. "You have the fashion sense of a gay man. Crystal. I'd watch for this guy. He'll go jumping ship on you."

Jimmy took his date's hand. "Fat chance. Now run along and womanize like a good Titan."

"I'm being blown off!"

"Yeah, Uncle Roy, you're being blown off. Accept it and move on."

Roy laughed. "Ok, have fun. And congrats on squeezing a night off outta Mini-bat." Without waiting for a response he shoved his hands in the pocket of his only suit (tweed at that), and left the little love-birds to their own devices. He had a chaperone check-in to get to. Besides, Roy knew how incredibly dorky it was for a guy to be seen hanging around an adult family member type person. It was bad enough that the kid had been dressed by Alfred. He didn't need to look like some mama's boy too.

He walked up to the door and followed a sign that lead him to a card table covered in those tacky little name tags and a clip board with names on a list. "And you are?" a woman with wavy brown hair and the poutiest lips he'd seen in a long time asked him.

"Speechless," he said.

"Well, sign next to your name on the list," she said smugly.

"When I look upon your beauty, my mouth runs dry."

He was rewarded with her pouty lips pulling back in a smile. Yeah, he was laying it on thick. "Name and rank," she said, looking into his eyes. Aww. She had to go and have pretty brown eyes, too.

"Roy Harper. Filling in for Dick Grayson. Reporting for duty, ma'am." He looked down at her name tag. Ok, he'd been looking at her breasts, when he noticed the name tag. "Ms. Weitz, Ma'am, Sir, Ma'am." Just to be cute, he threw in a little salute.

She bit her cheek, seeming to lose some of her earlier amusement. "I see. I didn't get a phone call about this change."

"Last minute. He thought he'd be able to."

"I see. He must be taking the loss of his father hard."

Roy moved to stand beside her so they could talk as the other chaperones signed in. "Yeah. You know how it is. some times are better than others."

"I'm not quite sure how James is handling it."

"Jimbo's a great kid. He's bouncing back." Of course, he may never survive the sleep deprivation and the hoops his sister's making him jump through, Roy thought to himself. But he's bouncing back from the old man's death.

"How's his sister? He won't say much about her. I had her two years for English."

So YOU'RE the demon-hose-beast she complained about at every Titans gathering! "She's handling things. She's. um. Kind of had a lot put on her lap."

"I'm sure getting that much responsibility at her age must be daunting."

"Hey, you know Mara. Always bites off more than she can chew-so she swallows it whole."

"You must be quite close with the family," she said, that strange smile coming back to her lips. He couldn't place what it was.

So instead, he decided to stare at her nice boobage. She was kind of fleshy, it just meant he had more to grab hold of. "Yeah. Go way back. So. How long've you been teaching here?" What's the age difference, so I can find a way to compensate, so we can get busy.

"Well, I've been here. nine years. I was in Gotham for a few years before that."

Cool, it wasn't too big of a difference. Wow, that'd be something fun to rub in Bubbles' face. Oh yeah, and I screwed your former arch-nemesis. Heh. Roy had a lot of screwing bad-guys in his life. He might as well have some fun with it for a change. "That's awesome. I spend most of my time in New York. Gotta kid who lives in France, though." In other words-the love nest is empty and waiting.

"My son lives in Gotham. With my ex." She kind of grimaced with that.

Wooh hooh, Roy thought. She's single and probably wanting a little action too.

"Yeah, exes can be a pain."

Weitz gave him a little laugh as she handed a spectacled bald man his name tag and crossed his name off of her list. "Tell me about it. He has my son, AND my money."

"Fortunately, I ended up the kid. Unfortunately, it didn't stop her from trying to steal the kid back at every opportunity. At least now she's big enough to kick mommy's ass." Whoops. Was that too much information? Dick had lectured him about that. Roy could never tell.

"She's Jade Arrow, isn't she?"

"Maybe. Depends on who's asking."

For the first time in a long time, she gave a good hearty laugh. "Purely curiosity, I assure you. I recognized you when you swaggered in here."

"It's the swaggering. I have to work on that."

"If you don't mind, keeping up with the powered-types is a hobby of mine."

Roy was almost giddy. He really WAS going to score tonight. "Naw. Everyone needs something. Me, I'm a big fan of keeping up with what beautiful ladies are doing." He leaned in a little, to make his implication clear, and she blushed. Would it be too much to slap his knee out of joy?

"So, are you going to meet the other chaperones, or are you going to stand back here and talk to me all night."

"Aww, I've been to enough of these things with my own kid. You stand there all night, and if you don't have someone to talk to, you just stand there all night. In the dark, watching kids grope, hoping one of 'em ain't yours."

"I suppose I can keep you around."

"Thanks!" Roy said with obvious relief. "That girl had FOUR proms. Like. just her own wasn't good enough."

Ms. Weitz looked over her list, everyone appeared to be checked in now. "Well, I've done this eight of the nine years I've been here. I've had more than my share of proms as well. Not to mention Homecoming, the winter formal, and the Senior Goodbye Dance."

Roy grinned from ear to ear. He remembered the last Senior Goodbye Dance he'd crashed. Dick hadn't been too happy that he'd known about Mara's misadventure and hadn't ratted her out, but Roy didn't see the big deal. Kids were going to be kids. Everyone EXCEPT his daughter was allowed to sew their wild oats.

* * *

Dinner had been relatively uninteresting. There'd been a few announcements, and then they'd gotten on with the dancing. He watched his 'date' break up a few kids getting too snuggly. He felt kind of bad for them, but well, he guessed she was just doing her job.

"So," he said when a slow song started. "What're you doing after this shindig?"

She laughed. "Are you trying to pick me up?"

Roy grinned devilishly. "Of course I am. Geeze. Pretty lady-NICE lady, and she's talking to Roy. Roy asks pretty lady out for dessert."

She held up her index finger and wagged it. "As long as it's just dessert."

Roy crossed his heart. "Just dessert, yes ma'am. No funny-business." I'm so going to get laid tonight.

His date-person stood on her tip-toes and looked through the crowed. "Speaking of funny business, I don't see your charge."

Following her comment, Roy began scanning the room. Aww, crap, I lost him. Not that Roy really cared, it was just that after the last dance he'd crashed, Dick had his number. Dick would destroy him if that kid got into any trouble. "Jimmy's a good kid," he assured her. "Too good for his own good. His girlfriend probably got called out. Happens all the time with us folks." More likely, JIMMY had been called out. Bubbles couldn't keep herself out of costume for one night, she probably had made up her mind that Jimmy shouldn't have anything resembling a life either.

"That's a shame, you know. We're here every year, but a kid only has one senior prom. Or in your daughter's case, only four." She began following him to some chairs along the wall. They sat down and relaxed.

Roy slouched in the chair, relaxing as best as he could without melting onto the floor. "You know, I'm a real clout," he said, turning on the self- depreciation. "I don't even have your first name. I mean, you know my name, and like everything about my kid."

He was rewarded when one cheek pulled back in a half-smile. "It's Ellen."

"Ellen," Roy repeated with flair. Roy knew he still had it, and that was all that mattered.

"So. do you really think his date got called out by her group?"

Well, that was a sudden change in conversation. "Hey, happens all the time, I said."

"You're still here."

"If the kiddies can handle it, let 'em. They have a field day with that stuff. A little storm of fire and big goop dripping monsters and that's their idea of a good time. Me? I did my time on the goop monster circuit. I'll stick around here, and they can give me a ring when the world's coming to an end." He folded his arms over his chest with a grin.

"You sound like you have a lot of stories to tell."

He leaned closer to her and put his arm on the back of her chair. "Oh yeah. Tons." Come on, ask me for one, Roy begged silently.

"And you've met a lot of folks."

"Sure!"

"Tell me about Batman and Robin."

"Urban legend." Who's dad's going to kill me for letting BOTH of them lose their virginity on dance night.

She laughed. "Now, see I know that's not true. I met Robin once."

Okay. Maybe this particular situation would hinder the mighty Arsenal's attempts to get jiggy. "Hey, I don't know anything about those Gotham people."

"There was a situation involving Two Face. She saved both me and my son."

"Cool. You know, I have some pools running on that." The situation just kept getting worse and worse.

"You know. I understand one can't go. announcing these things, but I know about Mara's. past time."

Frigging crap. Roy was NOT getting laid, and Dick was going to kill him. "Ok? So?"

Play this cool. "I'd like to know her brother's involvement."

"Jimmy doesn't know anything. And I wouldn't go saying anything. It'd ruin his image of his sister as the biggest dork in the world." That sounded like a really good response.

"Really? That's interesting. Because lately. I've been seeing a side of him I didn't know was there. A much darker side. I would hate to get school authorities involved. He might not graduate with his class if I do."

Boy did that sound like a threat. "Ok, so I got tired of the kid getting picked on, and I taught him how to defend himself. It doesn't look good when your god-kid is the runt of the litter to begin with, and then he goes and gets better, and then he STILL gets picked on." Roy rubbed the back of his neck. "Don't tell his dad. His dad'll shoot me."

Her lips pressed together. It was supposed to be in displeasure, but Roy still thought they looked awfully pouty. "And Mara?"

Roy winced. "His dad'll shoot me for that, too." He held out a hand, pleadingly. "I was teaching her to shoot, and he was ready to kill me. Dick mighta hung out with us, but he never did the whole 'save the world' gig. Being a cop's the closest he's ever been inspired. He'd kill me if I knew his kid was one of us, and I didn't tell him. And you think Jimmy hates his sister now? You just wait till he finds out about that." Roy's heart was racing, he knew he was in big, big trouble. The biggest he'd been in. in years.

"I suppose you're not the most ideal candidate to explain to him that violence is not the answer," she said, not completely giving up.

Well, Roy though to himself, sometimes it is. Cause, like, those kids hadn't picked on him again, had they? "I'll talk to him, ma'am."

"Good."

"Jimmy still graduating?"

"Maybe."

Roy let out a sigh of relief. Dick WOULD shoot him if he screwed this up. He still felt tense but he had to ask. "So, uh. we still having dessert?"

"Maybe." This time, though, her lips spread in a mischievous smile.

Thank you, powers that be in the universe. Thank you Hal Jordan, thank you anyone else who was listening. Roy smiled back. He was gonna get laid. "So. What do you say we blow this Popsicle stand?"

"Mr. Harper, are you implying that I should abandon my post?"

"Umm. well, yeah." He grabbed her arm and began pulling her to the hall doors nearest the exit.

He was incredibly surprised when she began pulling him in the opposite direction. "If I'm going to abandon my post, I want to at least be close at hand." She had a creepy sense of duty, but he could live with that. There was something dangerous about having sex in a school full of people. Last time he'd done it, Lian had been mad.

When they got to a closed gate in the middle of a hall way, she took out a key and shoved it into the lock, then pulled the gate up. As she ripped the key out, Roy's lips found the back of her neck. "You keep that up, mister, and we're not going to get to my room."

Roy shivered. Teachers with tenure were a beautiful thing. "Mmm. ok."

They'd passed the gate and she closed it again. He began tugging on the scarf around her shoulders. She pushed him up against the locker and began unbuttoning his jacket. Dick was really going to kill him, but right now, he wasn't really worried about it. He only could hope Jimmy was having as much fun.

She unlocked the door to her classroom. All of their clothes didn't make it inside.

* * *

A while later (a gentleman never tells how long. Ok, a self-conscious guy never tells how long), they heard whispers in the hall way. They both sat up on the desk.

There was a giggle and a girl's surprised shreak-one he knew matched a certain ice-goddess' cry.

"UNCLE ROY!" an embarrassed voice ground out with Bat-type abrasion.

Both parties struggled for clothes, then looked at each other with wide eyes. Ellen blushed. "Dick is gonna shoot me," Roy muttered.

THE END (for now)