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Confusion and Flowers

Cassandra had seen it all before, of course. Couples, walking together hand in hand, radiating contentment. Single people, their every motion conveying loneliness and depression. And everywhere, pink and red hearts in stores, and flowers in people's hands.

All the same, while she had seen it all before, she didn't really know what any of it meant. Before she had words she had had no real concept of time, its passage irrelevant, the world simply flowing through endless changes that she had been forced to react to accordingly. The hearts and couples had appeared whenever it had begun to warm again, the nights no longer so deadly, but still quite cool. But beyond that, she had had no comprehension of the odd ritual.

With words came some understanding, but Cass still didn't know what was happening. She had learned that the time it was no longer so cold was Spring, and that time was coming upon them, heralding more rain than snow. She knew that the strange holiday was beginning, the stores already starting to decorate, but she still didn't know what any of it meant.

Whenever she was confused, her best source of information had always been Oracle. Unfortunately, asking her questions about mundane things often ended up with Cass having to watch pity in the woman's body language. That was then followed with a condescending lecture which made her feel stupid. If someone's life was on the line she would accept that treatment, but she wasn't willing to face it for idle curiosity.

Instead, Cass decided to do the next best thing – stalk Oracle to see if she could figure things out for herself. Stalking her was an interesting challenge; while she rarely left her home, making her easy to follow, she also had security that rivaled or even exceeded that of the Bat Cave. Cass had to use every bit of her skill, combined with her long period of observation of Oracle, to find a way through without being discovered.

She managed to observe her for nearly a week during her free time, before she learned anything useful. Oracle had been talking to Black Canary, as usual, when she had finally begun a conversation that interested her. Cass leaned forward to listen intently, her curiosity overwhelming.

"So what are you planning for Valentine's Day?" Black Canary asked. "Something steamy for you and Nightwing?"

Cass mouthed the strange words thoughtfully. Valentine's Day.

"All I'm gonna say, is that if Dick forgets this year, he's gonna be in the doghouse permanently," Oracle said, rolling her eyes.

"Come on, dish," Dinah demanded excitedly. "That sounds like a story."

Cass didn't get to hear anymore, as Dinah ran into a group of terrorists and was soon busy stopping a nuclear weapon from being used in a country that she had never heard of. As Cassandra slipped out of the building, she pondered about who else she could learn about things from. She didn't have many options, but she knew someone who wouldn't make fun of her.

She found Stephanie moving across the rooftops in her Spoiler costume. Observing her for a moment, Cass frowned as noticed her only friend was apparently very upset. She bit her lip thoughtfully, worried about her, before smiling as she came up with the perfect plan.

She crouched behind a raised area on the roof. When Spoiler ran by, she suddenly stuck her leg out, tripping Steph and sending her friend headlong into the roof. "Tag, you're it," Cass said cheerfully.

Spoiler pulled herself to her feet, before glaring at Cass. "Look, B.G., I'm not in the mood."

"Oh," Cass said. "Wanna spar? Let... almost hit."

Spoiler huffed a laugh in spite of herself. "Thanks. Feelin' the love here."

Cass crouched on a nearby gargoyle. "What wrong?"

Spoiler hesitated for a minute, before sitting down nearby his a sigh. "It's stupid. You wouldn't understand."

"Try," Cass said encouragingly.

"Robin broke up with me," Spoiler confessed. "I thought stuff was going fine, but apparently not. One minute we're cool, the next? Dumpsville, population: me."

"Why?" Cass asked.

"I dunno," Spoiler said, standing up and pacing, her body full of tension. "And it's almost Valentine's Day. I mean, what the heck! Is there a worse time to break up with someone? Now I'm gonna be all alone like some kind of loser."

"Valentine's Day?" Cass ventured cautiously. Stephanie was her best friend and she knew that she wouldn't hurt her feelings, but she still hated asking those kind of questions.

"Huh?" Spoiler said, blinking in surprise. "You don't know...? Oh, well. It's a day when you give flowers and candies and stuff to someone you care about. You know, your boyfriend is supposed to give it to you. And take you out to dinner and a movie or something. You know, romantic stuff."

"Oh," Cass said, frowning. The couples doing things on the holiday suddenly made more sense. "Give flowers... people care about?"

"Yeah," Spoiler agreed. "It's the biggest couple day of the year, and I'm not anymore. It sucks. Boy Wonderless couldn't have worse timing."

"What day?"

"Tomorrow!" Spoiler said with a groan. "I'll never find a date in time. This totally sucks."

"Wanna patrol?"

"Sure," Spoiler said with a sigh. "It'll be good to beat up some bad guys. They might have to watch out for more groin kicking than usual tonight, though. I'm not too happy with men, anymore. Why do we need them, anyway?"

"Not just now," Cass said. "Now too, but... tomorrow."

She grinned. "Alright. Patrol tomorrow, too. Not quite a date, but better than moping."

They patrolled together than night, and at the end of the evening Spoiler waved goodbye after planning where to meet up. The next afternoon, after doing her lengthy practice routine, Cass dressed up in her normal clothing and hit the streets. She had something to pick up.

When Spoiler dropped onto the roof where they were going to meet, she found Cass already waiting for her, her black Batgirl cloak completely concealing her body. "Hey, B.G.!"

Cass turned to face her, before extending her hand from under her cloak, revealing a single rose. "Here."

Spoiler took it on reflex, frowning in confusion. "Huh?"

"Give flowers... people care about," Cass said simply.

Spoiler opened her mouth to correct her friend, but stopped and just smiled instead. "You know what? Thanks."

"Kick butt now?"


Author's Notes

You can read this as femslash or not. Cassandra could easily have confused the meaning of Valentine's Day, and have only gotten the flower as a present to her only real friend. She also could have meant it as a romantic gift. Interpret as you will.