We've barely gotten any Dickbabs in YJ so far, and I've spent every Saturday coming up with my own headcanons for them that fit into the show. Eventually I got the idea to turn them into a fanfic. This story will go with the show completely (at least up to War since that's the last one out right now) and just have extra Dickbabs things happening behind the scenes. Also, this story is rated T for now, but it will probably end up as M in a few chapters. We'll see. Enjoy. :)
NEW YORK CITY
January 1, 18:23 EST
Barbara had always known that she wasn't the kind to lead a "simple" life, but come on. This was getting ridiculous.
Penguin, Joker, Poison Ivy, those she could deal with. And the team thing was really working out for her. She had even fought Match completely by herself one time. But alien bounty hunters who could throw Wonder Girl around like she wasn't made of nothing but muscle? Not so much.
So yeah, leaving Cassie with Lobo while she had to get Tseng to safety wasn't something Barbara felt totally comfortable with, but she made a point of reminding herself that the younger girl had been trained by an actual goddess as she jammed the buttons of the elevator.
If alien bounty hunters were at the top of list of things Barbara had gotten a sudden distaste for during this mission, elevators were very close behind. She hoped Wonder Girl could hold her own long enough, maybe ten seconds. There wasn't much she could do in the tiny enclosed elevator. She would've preferred grabbing Tseng and swinging out the same window she came in, but something about the way his sickly skin looked told her he wouldn't be up for it.
Fifteen seconds. It had now been at least fifteen seconds, and Barbara's grip on her utility belt grew tighter. Tseng was breathing pretty heavy behind her, though she would have been too if she wasn't Batgirl. She had just glanced towards the latch on the roof of the elevator when the doors began to open.
She darted forward, rushing Tseng along with her. "We'll get you out through the general assembly building," Barbara began, intending to explain the plan to Tseng, but she barely had time to finish the last syllable. She had only gotten them a few steps away as a loud crash echoed through the hall and her feet flew out from under her.
Barbara flipped herself around to see Lobo again. She had expected that much at least. Her body acted on instinct and smoke was soon filling the air. She knew that wouldn't deter him for long, but it gave her enough time to haul Tseng into the next room. His arm was shaking now. She tried to squeeze it reassuringly, but she was a bit preoccupied with saving his life.
The smoke cleared as they ran into the assembly room, a totally welcomed sight. For the briefest moment she allows herself to feel relief, but another feeling in her gut makes her glance back towards the door to find Lobo's hook flying at them. Yeah, she'd take her instincts over relief any day. Barbara had about half a second to push Tseng out of the way, an accomplishment that shouldn't really have been possible.
But again. Batgirl.
She pulled Tseng down so he'd be shielded by the chairs as she tried to decide her next move. Her mind moved quickly through different scenarios, what Batman would do, what Nightwing would do, what Batgirl should do. Distraction. It worked once already. Her fingers wrapped around another smoke bomb when her blonde companion joined them. Barbara wasn't sure if she was more comforted to know the younger girl was okay or to have the extra assistance.
Either way, it was at least a two person job, and the former prime minister wasn't looking so good.
She half watched as Wonder Girl took on Lobo again, though she did cringe at her trash talk. Because yes, Cassie. Let's taught the angry alien with clown jokes. That always works. And ending another sentence in 'I think' just exudes confidence. She made a mental note to help the other girl work on that later. For now, it could wait.
It was a little disappointing how quickly Wonder Girl was down again. It wasn't her fault, of course. She hadn't even been on the team a year, she was really inexperienced in these situations. The lasso. That's what Barbara decided to blame. Seeing Cassie pull it out had filled her with false hope again. Whenever Wonder Woman used the lasso the fight was over. Maybe Wonder Girl's just wasn't quite there yet. Barbara recovered from any disappointment she felt (Just be like Bruce. He's never hopeful anyways.) and turned back to Tseng.
"When I move-," Her eyes tore into his as she barked her orders. "Run!"
There was no way she'd be able to take Lobo in fight. She didn't have any special powers she could whip out whenever she needed. But Barbara did have her utility belt and a fantastic GPA to prove how intelligent she was. That would suffice.
She made sure Lobo wasn't looking before jumping onto one of the tables and leaping that in turn. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Tseng running in the opposite direction. At least the easy part of her plan had worked. Barbara twisted her body midair, trying her best to remember her gymnastics training (not to mention every piece of advice Dick Grayson had ever given her) and landed with her hands firmly on Lobo's shoulders.
Pushing off him, she managed to finish a handspring and land on another desk. Lobo immediately broke the table to throw her backwards into a wall. It sucked, but Barbara had been prepared for it. And it didn't really matter anyways. She had planted the small explosives on him. That had to count for something.
She really wished she could've seen the devices blow up, but she had hit the ground pretty hard. However Barbara did get to hear them go off. That was enough to put a satisfied smirk on her face before she climbed up. Judging by the other sounds, Cassie had also recovered. Her suspicions were confirmed once she stood up and was instantly pushed back down again.
It turned out that getting hit with a fourteen year old demi-goddess was extremely painful. That one took longer to come back from.
Barbara stood up unsteadily and groaned when she saw Lobo had already gotten a hold of Tseng. Crap. She ran as fast as she could towards the pair, hearing Cassie's footprints fall instep beside her. Her feet were hitting the ground at a pace she was not sure she had ever reached before, but the girls still weren't fast enough.
And Lobo was.. oh god. He was pulling the man in half. Cassie let out a strangled cry. Barbara could only gape at the scene. She had seen some pretty awful things in Gotham. The last thing she needed her eidetic memory to photograph was a man being ripped down the middle. Her hand flew to grab a batarang. Maybe she could get Lobo in the eye or something.
But instead, both of the girls came to an immediate stop on the stairs. "Eww," Cassie whispered, wide eyed and shocked. Barbara couldn't say anything. 'Eww' was a pretty accurate description of what had happened anyway.
Of course. The redhead couldn't resist hitting herself in the forehead with one of her gloved hands. Of course it wasn't Tseng. Why would Lobo just be after him? The signs had all been there, the weird way his skin looked, the heavy breathing and shaking. Barbara had interpreted it as nerves and panic. It was what anyone would have assumed.
But she wasn't just anyone. She was Batgirl. Damn.
January 1, 21:47 EST
"Yeah, haven't been up to much today. I only had three classes and no missions. I just showed up to spar," Karen explained, resting her head on the back on the couch. "How's your Friday been?"
"Oh, it's just been awesome. There's nothing like getting your ass handed to you on a silver platter," replied Barbara in a tone that only Karen would recognize as somewhat bitter.
By the time the girls had gotten back to Mount Justice they were both ready to hit the sack. Unfortunately, it was never quite that simple. Someone had to report back to Nightwing first off. Then they had to check wounds, put away any equipment, and shower. Barbara had sent Cassie off to tell Dick everything (she didn't want to be on the receiving line once he found out what happened) and skipped all the other steps. Whatever. Maybe she had some bruising, but there wouldn't be anything worse than that. She had only managed to pull of her belt and cape before collapsing on the couch. Nothing else seemed important when her legs were so tired.
Except maybe showering. She hoped she didn't smell too bad.
"Oh come on," Karen turned her head slightly to look at Barbara. "We've all had a mission go wrong before. Besides, you had no idea what you were going into. "
This caught her attention. She raised her eyebrows. "Y'know, I hadn't thought of that." Good. Technically that would make this mess Dick's fault. Barbara was okay with that. He was her oldest friend. She was completely used to blaming things on him.
Barbara looked away from Karen, turning in the direction the voice came from. Wonder Girl was standing behind the red couch Barbara was sitting on. "Can I talk to you for a minute?" She asked timidly.
"Yeah, of course," Barbara responded. She grimaced slightly as she stood up. The bruises may have been worse than she originally thought. "Did you talk to Nightwing already?"
Cassie nodded and led the redhead down the hall and away from everyone else before stopping. "Listen, Batgirl." Cassie was avoiding her gaze. "I wanted to apologize for what happened on the mission. I was-"
"Apologize?" Barbara questioned. "For what?"
The blonde started shuffling her feet. "I mean, you know, like not being able to hold off Lobo and all that. I was just.. not on my best game I guess."
Barbara had to think of how to respond. "You think I was? We were both unprepared for all that. And really, Tseng wasn't harmed since he wasn't even there. So that makes our mission a success." That made Cassie smile at least. "And even if you had made some terrible mistake I wouldn't want you to apologize to me for it anyways. We're a team. But you did fine tonight, okay? Don't give it another thought."
Cassie nodded and turned to leave, already returning to her cheerful disposition. Barbara glanced around the room until she spotted Tim.
"Robin," She called. He looked over to her. "You ready to head out?"
"Sure. Let me grab my things."
Barbara had made of habit of going home with Tim. There was barely any travelling since they had the zeta tubes, but she thought he might enjoy the company after Dick got his apartment in Blüdhaven. And speaking of, she kind of wished Tim would hurry up so she wouldn't have to deal with the former Robin.
"Come on, I'll walk you to the tubes." Her thoughts were interrupted when she instantly recognized Dick's voice.
For his credit, Dick managed not to smile until they were right at the zeta tube that night. But once they were alone, the signature smirk was there.
"Go on," She said with a sigh. "While I'm still young, thanks." If anyone was going to bust her chops she would prefer it to be him.
He smiled wider. "You ran around the UN building endlessly trying to save this guy," He started, his voice sounding much too gleeful for someone talking about a mission that hadn't ended well. "And you never noticed he was secretly an alien. You know he's going to lecture you for hours about missing that one."
Dick didn't have to explain who the 'he' was. "Maybe I'll just have to remind him that the genius in charge hadn't prepared me for the mission, especially for one I wasn't suited for." That made his smirk falter for a second but it was back by the next.
"Oh yeah? And who would you have sent?" Dick challenged back.
Barbara tapped her foot as she thought. "Well, you said Tseng wasn't doing so well. So obviously Miss Martian would've been a nice fit. If something was up, she would've been to figure it out." She paused to think for another several seconds. "Annnd.. I guess Superboy would've been good. Y'know, super strength and all that."
"Cassie's got super strength too," He interrupted quickly. "And you still needed to be there. You're smart."
"M'gann is smart," Barbara countered.
Dick tilted his head. "So you're saying I should've sent Conner and M'gann, the two members of the team who can't stand being in the same room?"
"Oh please. They're adults," She said with an eye roll. "They could've handled it. You and Zatanna work together. And Batman's never accepted that excuse."
"Well, he's Batman."
Barbara shrugged playfully. "And you're the leader of this team. You should've done more research, set up the teams better."
The two of them had played the "blame game" since the first time they went exploring in Wayne Manor and shattered an antique mirror. It had been impossible for Alfred to tell which one of the nine year olds was telling the truth. After a lot of debating, he ended up sending them to opposite corners in the kitchen until they finally confessed they were both to blame.
"Come on, BG" He said, beginning to sound slightly frustrated but still smiling. "If you had done the research instead of me you probably would've figured it out."
Barbara nodded. "And that's the problem. I'm not the boss. You are. I mean, yeah, normally you can trust me to look into the situation a little more," She admitted. "But I've spent the past week chasing Harley Quinn all over Gotham. I've barely had time to do missions with everyone lately. Seriously, the last thing I needed-" A smile spread across her face. The sentence she was attempting to say was absolutely ridiculous. "Was to see an alien-" Seriously, that was crazy. What had she signed up for? "Rip another alie-" She was suddenly unable to continue her sentence.
Laughter. That was the only sound Barbara could get out. Her head dropped forward as she hunched over. Dick stared at her for a few seconds looking completely bewildered, but once the initial shock had worn off a broad grin crossed his face as well.
The two of them stood next to the zeta tubes like that for what seemed like much longer than it probably was. Barbara was gasping for breath between laughs while Dick leaned against one of the walls for support. There wasn't really anything funny about what had happened. The mission had kind of been a disaster. Lobo had succeeded and gotten away with the alien. No one really knew when or how Tseng had been taken. They hadn't even noticed the obvious signs along the way. But in that moment those things didn't mater. They weren't Batgirl and Nightwing, looking for answers or trying to save the world. They were just Babs and Dick, barely even adults, laughing over one of the most ridiculous failures they had ever had. And Barbara had to recognize that the seconds when they forgot the consequences was the most relaxing thing she had experienced in a very long time. She felt like the grade school student who couldn't stop giggling after a successful prank had pulled her teacher's wig off. Her laughs calmed down as she tried to remember when they had actually grown up.
"Uh.. you guys okay?"
The older two both managed to open their eyes wide enough to see Tim standing there, still in his Robin uniform. But neither was quite ready to talk yet. They needed to regain normal breathing first.
"What are you laughing over?" Tim asked, crossing his arms with a slightly sour expression. He looked like the younger sibling who was always left out of the joke. He kind of was.
Barbara got her voice back first. "It's nothing, Boy Junior." She glanced back to Dick who was finally standing up straight again. "Sometimes you just have to laugh."
Tim didn't say anything at first. He just stared through squinted eyes. "You sure you don't want to come back with us? You could help me build my science project. That would fun, right?" He asked Dick, apparently having moved on. He lowered his voice a little before continuing. "And Alfred was making brownies when I left this afternoon."
"Wish I could but, y'know, I've got things to do," Dick answered. Tim instantly looked disappointed. His older brother noticed. "But Batgirl," He began again while grabbing Barbara's shoulder. "Um, Batgirl was thinking about staying over, weren't you?"
She narrowed her eyes at him. Barbara actually hadn't thought once about spending the night. There were several things that she needed to get done and her dad was expecting her home. But maybe the hopeful look on Tim's face was worth the phone call to her dad. There had been enough nights when she was too tired to go home after patrolling already. Eventually Alfred had starting calling the guest bedroom she always slept in "Barbara's room", and everyone else had followed along. It was stocked with clothes, toiletries, anything she could want. So technically there wasn't any reason she had to go home.
Not to mention, her excuse for spending so much time at Wayne's was that she tutored Tim. It had been the same with Dick and Jason. Tim never really needed the extra help, hardly ever even asking questions. Still the least she could do was stick around and actually help him for once.
Barbara raised an eyebrow. "Well, I can't let Robin eat all the brownies himself, can I?" There was also that. Tim looked a bit happier as she squeezed his shoulder. She imagined living at the manor with just Bruce and Alfred got pretty lonely. "And Nightwing will come over tomorrow for breakfast, right?" She added, giving Dick a look that dared him not to agree.
He nodded earnestly. "Oh yeah, I can probably swing that."
"Good. Do try and 'swing that' for us, okay?" Dick nodded again and then turned away. He had been independent for a long time, but it still felt weird to Barbara that he no longer went back to the Batcave with them after a long night. She missed that, she realized. "Come on, kiddo," Barbara told Tim. "We'll work on your project later. Brownies first."