Rating: PG 13 (Some language, MUCH later on). Author: Moi Summary: After seeing her sister sacrifice herself to save the universe, Dawn Summers begins searching for her father and ends up getting unwanted help from the youngest member of the Bat Clan.

Disclaimers: I don't own either set of characters. They're owned by Joss and DC respectively, who're in turn owned by AOL because AOL has really taken over the world and we just don't know it yet. Today it's your browser, dude. Tomorrow its your MIND.

Things You Don't Want to Know

Restlessly, Tim Drake kicked the sheets off of his legs and rolled out of bed. Crossing his bedroom in the blue haze of pre-sunrise, he turned his computer monitor on and connected to the internet. He'd gotten home a few hours ago, but he was still too wired from the night's adventures to rest. There was something about having your head in Killer Crock's mouth that precluded sleep.

While he waited for screens to load, he ran a hand through his hair and yawned, looking around at the piles of dirty clothes. He grabbed the chest area of the Superman t-shirt he was wearing and lifted it to his nose, noting that it needed to be washed today as well. It smelled like. well, like he'd been drooled on by Killer Crock, mixed with the slightest tinge of sewer water.

It wasn't easy being the sidekick sometimes.

His messenger service logged on a few seconds later, and he was surprised to see a familiar name online. In fact, it was the only name on at this really late (or really early) hour. Double clicking on the name to send a message, he ventured a guess that it was just really late, since he knew his favorite chat buddy lived on the west coast.

/VerticallyChallenged57: Hey. Up past bedtime? /

He might be able to dash down the hall and into the shower without his dad or step mom hearing. Things had been strained with his father for the last few years, and he tried not to rock the boat if he could help it. Dashing off to the bathroom before the sun was up smelling like lizard spit and sewage was certainly one of those things that'd make his father reconsider military school.

Dick didn't have these problems when he was Robin, he was certain.

Just when he was beginning to think she'd accidentally left the computer on and went to bed, he got a response.

/CupieDollDawn: You'll never guess where i am./

/VerticallyChallenged57: PLEASE tell me it's not the cemetery again./

Tim shook his head. His friends were so weird. Cupie's idea of a cool time was taking her sister's friend's laptop to the cemetery and chatting from a crypt. Of course, this was coming from the guy who'd spent the entire previous night knee-deep in sewage.

He took another whiff of his shirt. Alfred hadn't been happy when he'd gone trouncing into the cave at two in the morning, wet and dripping on the cave floor. He really should have taken a shower before he'd come home, then burned his clothing. Even if he had been running way late, and wanted to make it home before dad's 2:30 midnight snack and inevitable check on Tim time.

There was also that 'avoid Batman' aspect that he'd really not wanted to get into with Alfie. He'd save that for another day.

/CupieDollDawn: Chicago. Internet Cafe /

/VerticallyChallenged57: No way. /

/CupieDollDawn: Way. / /CupieDollDawn: Got sik of everything and just took off./

/VerticallyChallenged57: I can relate and stuff. Still. does your sister know where you're at?/

/CupieDollDawn: She's dead./

/VerticallyChallenged: What?/

He just couldn't believe that. Not because it sounded like a lie, but. it was beyond unfair. It was not even a few months ago that her mother had died. Holy shitty life. He knew people lied online, he knew they lied in chat rooms and stuff-but he'd talked to her for almost a year. All the stuff sounded too familiar-too close to his own life.a superior older sibling, a delinquent dad. then a dead mom.

Tim ran a hand through his hair, waiting for an answer. He came online and went in chat rooms to get away from real life, and his life was crazy. Why couldn't he vicariously experience a normal life through an online buddy?

/CupieDollDawn: Long story. funeral was friday. dad didn't even come or anything. just pretended like we never called. I hate him./

/VerticallyChallenged57: Wow. And you just took off?/

/CupieDollDawn: Yeah. couldnt stand sitting around an dbeinng in that house any more. Everything's just too stupid. i'm at an internet café and my time's almost up. Will you be on tonight?/

/VerticallyChallenged57: Where're you staying?/

/CupieDollDawn: has disconnected./

Slapping the top of the desk in frustration, Tim spun around in his chair and looked at the clock. It was 6:15 in the morning, 5:15 Chicago time. Cupie had been there all night. Chances are she'd found it cheaper to surf the Internet than find a place to sleep.

He should just let it rest. But he couldn't. Not when his 'protect the innocent' instinct had just kicked in. He couldn't let a girl who had just lost everything, a girl who was a whole year younger than he was; wander around some foreign city all alone.

Grabbing clean clothes, he stealthily dashed out his door and down the hall, preparing for the shortest shower of his young life.

Continued in Chapter 1

More later kids, I promise.