Disclaimer: Characters owned and operated by DC comics, used without permission and without profit. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Note: Dedicated to {dixey} because she's cool like that. Thanks to Recceanna for beta reading.

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In So Many Words
By Gen X

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I hate you Cass.

Okay. No, I don't.

I'm just really, really, really upset.

You know the kind of upset where you just want to punch people into the stratosphere and then you get to watch as they vanish into a tiny, tiny speck? That's the type of upset that I'm channeling. I want to beat up the bad guys but they're already caught or gone. Not a soul around to lay the smackdown on.

There's no one to punch.

Nothing to do but sit here.

Just have to drum my fingers, twiddle my thumbs, and wait.

I'm not good at waiting. No really, Cass. I suck at it. C'mon. C'mon Cass. Do the Kid a favor and wake up. I know you can do it. Make a face, wink an eye, move your hand. I swear I won't tell anyone. Just let me know you're okay. If you don't I'll be forced to switch all your boy band CD's with Hard Kore.

I'll do it, I swear.

Just a little wink?

Squeeze my hand?

I'm still mad at you, you know? If you wake up, I won't be. It's just that I'm just so angry. I mean, what were you thinking? That was my fight. God... I must sound like a selfish, egotistical... asshole for getting mad at you for saving my life. So, I should say thanks.


I'm not mad at you for that. I'm angry that you got hurt. So upset because it should be me lying here and you watching over me. I got a broken arm. You got... a lot more.

I'll trade ya.

If I think too much, I'll get a complex. Hell, I already have one. Guilt, ego, self deprecating angst, all that teenaged cloned superhero stuff. This time, what really gets me is that it was your choice.

Tana. Cherub. Bart.

They didn't get a choice.

Cassandra Standsmark: Wonder Girl, extraordinaire.

You chose.

And I can't help but feel that I wasn't worth it. I look down and I don't see your face, I see the bruises. Nothing could ever be worth this.

Your mom just found out. Reddy broke the news. Rob helped. I'm really amazed how-- Rob's incredible. He's cool and calm and in control all the time. Really keeping it together. Keeping everyone level. So you gotta wake up and tell your Mom you're okay. Can't let everyone worry about you, it's not nice.

She doesn't know it was me. Your Mom, I mean, she doesn't know who you were covering for. Doesn't know that the icky owies and all around angst was meant for me, not you. Never you. Rob said it was up to me to tell her. I tried.

I tried.

I can't.

Each time, I look at her, I feel guilty. I owe her the truth, and the truth is, I owed you more. You, out of everyone, deserved better. After all, you're only human.

Everyone's pretty tense. Pretty shaken. Rob's... he's holding it all together at least now he is. Last night, when we had just gotten back, it was me and him, the crazy had stopped and we were just watching you. Get this, Cass, he took the mask off again. He needed to dry his eyes. I was just watching kinda shocked. And he looked at you and looked at me, like he was expecting me to say... heck I don't even know what... something, I guess. I just didn't feel like talking.

Rob explained it all you know. How it happened, a calm narrator giving a play-by-play. He talked about all that analytical stuff, recapping everything up to that moment. He told me the how, but it was Cissie that told me why it happened.

I know you like me Cass. I really like you too.

Here's where you wake up and say 'But...?'

But I never thought of you that way. Not then, at any account.

I knew you were crushing. Everyone did. I tried to pretend that I didn't notice, that way, I wouldn't have to tell you no. If you didn't come right out and say it, I wouldn't have to hurt you by setting the record straight. Then, as time went on, when I was hurting the most, you were there.

You saw that moment, when I was holding her in my arms right after-- and her eyes were open in that shock-- the burning smell of her hair and skin-- and there was nothing I could-- that anyone could-- and the world just stopped making sense-- and it was all too much to--

Um... yeah... anyways...

I'm not over Tana, I know that. I don't think I ever will be. But, that's the way it's supposed to be right? I mean, when you give someone your heart, you don't ask for it back. It's theirs to keep. She died, knowing I loved her, so no regrets.

That's why you gotta wake up Cass.

Do you know what I see when I close my eyes?

It's not pretty, worse than any of your bad wig days. I try not to sleep, cause all I do is dream about that moment. And I try not to think about it, gotta think happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Do everything to keep my mind off it. Nothing helps. The only time I get some peace is when I'm sitting here with you. So I hope you don't mind the company.

I'm not mad at you anymore.

I never was.

I'm scared, Cass.

I need you, Cass.


Don't die.