Worlds Apart

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. R/R if you remember Marvel vs. DC and then awesomeness that was TimxJubilee.

He pauses for a split-second to look up at the sky. In Tim Drake's line of work, a moment's hesitation can make the difference between life and death. Tim wouldn't approve of his current flightiness if he could see himself now but there's a lull in the action and he needs to remember how to breathe. Robin's lost a lot of things in his life. Remembering them is important to him.

Tim sees a million worlds in the sky, blue and white globes that make him feel like he's trapped in a giant gumball machine. There's a crisis happening around him and Tim fights to keep himself and his world alive. He looks ahead of him now and he can see ghostly apparitions float past him, wraiths that belong to other worlds. He wonders about the Robins of these worlds but more importantly he wonders about the Tim Drakes of these worlds. Life takes so many turns and twists.

Tim can feel the heat of battle in the air and it threatens to smother him in its oppression. It's then that he notices an image in the ghosts of these other worlds. A shadow dances across his memory and he vaguely recalls another event of crisis-like proportions, another instance when the world he knew crossed paths with another. He vaguely recalls the Asian girl with jet-black hair and an infectious smile. He remembers a bright, yellow raincoat and red spandex almost the exact same shade as his costume. He remembers seeing fireworks light up around her, from her, and he remembers seeing her truly happy in that moment.

Tim blinks in an effort to either banish the ghost from his memory or perhaps struggle to help him identify her. His world is going to hell all around him yet he remembers the time before when he was caught in the same crossfire with Jubilation Lee by his side. He remembers how much he didn't care then. He remembers the gondola ride they took in Venice and how they kissed each other with such fervor and neediness as their worlds crumbled around them. He misses her now in this moment where he is allowed to remember her.

"Jubilee?" asks Tim. The ethereal image turns in response to his voice as if she actually heard him and he can see that smile of hers. Jubilee hasn't changed or at least that's what Tim likes believing. He needs less change in his life and more consistency. He remembers how everything made sense when he was with her, weird and paradoxical sense considering the circumstances that threw them together.

"Robin?" asks Jubilee in a voice so faint that Tim can barely hear it at all. Tim moves to grab her, to perhaps yank her into his world. He wouldn't mind having her with him again to keep him laughing and smiling through the pain. He can feel her fingertips on his and for a moment he feels as if the burdens have been lifted and the clock has turned back.

"What's happening?" asks Tim as he sees Jubilee look away and cry out. In mere seconds, she vanishes from his sight and his memories of her vanish from his consciousness. Someone has hit the reset button again and once more Tim Drake is a cog in the mighty machine that is his universe.

"Tim?" sobs Cassie Sandsmark over his communicator, "Oh God, Tim. It's Conner." Tim doesn't hear the rest of the words. The wheels of war are turning again and again another person he loves is a casualty in their wake. Robin puts away his happy thoughts because his world is no longer a happy place. His last fleeting thought of Jubilee is a hope that wherever she is she still remembers how to smile and laugh. He hopes life is better for her than it is for him and kinder to her than it has been for him.

Tim Drake races to save his best friend. In the months to come, he will forget once more about Jubilation Lee and the love he had for her. He will never know that on the other side of reality her life was also anything but happy. The moment Jubilee had seen Robin again was the moment mere seconds before M-Day struck and robbed her of her powers. In the months to come, she wouldn't get the chance to remember the awkward yet sincerely nice guy she had met once who showed her how to be a hero without being "super". She would forget how to smile and how to laugh. The worlds of the two young heroes are crumbling again yet this time there is no safety or shelter for them. In the coming months, they would catch fleeting glimpses of each other in their dreams but they would forever remain worlds apart and it would be a veritable eternity before either of them learned to smile again.