CATverse A/N: Don't know what the CATverse is? Go have a gander at catverse. com to find out.
A/N: This story, like much of the CATverse, has some basis in reality. My father is…well, you'll see. Just know that some of the most unlikely bits are the ones that aren't fiction.
In her stocking feet, Techie pattered out of her bedroom, drowsily scrubbing the last traces of sleep from her eyes and breathing in the smell of hazelnut coffee like it was the most alluring cologne ever invented. For a henchman, there was no such thing as a 'night off' or 'sleeping in', so every morning she did a fair imitation of a zombie. It was part of the reason she depended on caffeine to stay on the ball. As a matter of fact, the first time one of the Scarecrow's lairs had caught fire, she hadn't tried to save the Captain's books or Jonathan's research from the inferno: she had made a production of heroically rescuing the coffee maker.
Sleepy as she was, she didn't remember that the other girls never made coffee unless it was to entice her out of her room. All she cared about was getting to that divine brew and inhaling as much of it as quickly as possible.
In short: with her brain completely exhaustion addled, she didn't realize it was a trap.
Her first clue that something was horribly, horribly wrong was the fact that the Captain, Al and Jonathan all sat at the folding kitchen table, looking far too chummy and in unison, glanced up at her, expressions expectant, when she entered the room.
Dark eyes narrowed and suddenly very alert, she shifted her attention from one face to another before saying with undisguised suspicion, "This feels an awful lot like an intervention. What's going on?"
Al gave Techie the once over from top to socks and smirked over her the rim of her teacup at the fact they were mismatched—one red, one black.
Techie's eyes narrowed another fraction of an inch. "Make one comparison to Harley and I cram that cup down your throat."
Captain giggled, breaking the tension. "You look so silly when you try to be intimidating."
Techie's withering glare did little to wipe the smile off her commanding officer's face. It never did.
"You got a letter," Al piped up, her tone musical and mischievous in the extreme.
Techie forgot to be irritated for a moment. "I what?"
"Squishykins took the liberty of opening it," Al continued, garnering a glare from 'Squishykins' that was just as ineffectual as Techie's, "you know, to make sure there weren't any toxins and things…"
"Since he's sitting here, I assume there weren't."
Jonathan chose this point to joint he conversation. Al was forgotten and he turned his attention to the sleepy faced henchgirl. "Nothing so dire, but your parcel did…sing."
Confusion and disbelief warred for dominance on Techie's face. "What?"
With a flourish, Jonathan pulled something out of his lap—a card, seemingly harmless, normal as could be. With deliberate slowness, he cracked it open.
From inside the innocent little piece of folded cardboard, Dean Martin warbled, Hey mambo, mambo Italiano—
The look of naked panic that crossed Techie's face gave the Scarecrow such a sense of glee he could hardly contain his maniacal laughter. The Captain and Al had promised him fireworks—which was the only reason he'd stuck around—and if the shade of chalk Techie was turning was any indication, there would indeed be quite an impressive show. With some effort, he looked at the card nonchalantly as it continued to sing. "You didn't tell me you had family in Gotham."
At first, she didn't respond and just continued staring blankly. Then, ever so slowly, tasting every letter of the words, she said, "I don't."
"You must," he replied, managing not to snicker. "They're having a reunion."
Her reaction was a high pitched squawk that would've made a screech owl's ears bleed. "They're what?!"
He smiled the smile of a cat that not only got the canary, but also the cream and the stash of tuna. "This charming little card is your invitation to a rather swanky, catered affair at the Italian-American Club—"
The Captain's voice was a cheerful chirp. "And it says you can bring friends!"
That snapped Techie out of her near catatonia. "Oh, hell no!"
"Why not, Ops?" The Captain asked innocently.
"It's a bad idea!"
Like a five year old, Al beamed brightly. "Why?"
Techie goggled at her friend. "Do you want me to write an itemized list?"
"That'd be a start."
"Then I'm going to need a lot of paper!" Techie's voice was so high in pitch that she was squeaking. "I mean, come on! It's Gotham! It's Gotham's Italian-American club! The place will be absolutely crawling with mobsters!"
The Captain folded her arms over her ribcage and gave her friend a disapproving look. "You should be ashamed. That's an unfair stereotype, Ops."
Techie looked at the Captain like her skull had opened up and all her marbles had escaped before her very eyes. "No it isn't!"
"Yes, it is," the Captain replied primly, bringing up her index finger to emphasize her point. "Not all Italian-Americans are involved with the mafia."
"My father certainly is!"
Suddenly, the Scarecrow didn't feel much like laughing anymore. "You have mafia connections? You have mafia connections?"
Techie took a keen interest in her socks her face suddenly flushed. "I wouldn't go so far as to call them connections."
The Captain gave a little snort. "You've been using the 'don't make me get my father to put the hurt on you' threat as long as I've known you."
Techie's expression soured and the blush deepened. "You and your damn valid points."
"I can't help it, they just keep coming." She shrugged and then, the Captain's tone turned more serious. "You're going."
"You can't make me!" Like a petulant teenager, Techie slammed her fist down on the nearest countertop. She regretted it instantly and let out a small yelp.
"Ops, you've wanted to meet your father for years. The man went to all the trouble of tracking you down to invite you…"
"Oh yeah, and that is such a good sign," Techie muttered, shaking out her hand, "people going to a lot of trouble to track me down. Yes, that always works out so well."
"He's family," Al said reasonably. "What's the worst that could happen?"