*Gotham Heights, Steph's room, where she and Tim
are getting a well deserved time out from the
team and all the craziness that's been going on
Steph: *sprawled on her bed and has been writing
and erasing furiously for the last couple of
hours, occasionaly asking Tim's advice. Finally,
she stops writing and sits up* Ok, I think I'm
done. Here, tell me what you think. *hands him
the a piece of paper with the following on it:
((snipped the letter))
Steph: *once he's stopped reading, asks
nervously* So, do I sound like a stupid
crybaby, or does it sound semi-professional?
Tim: *sets himself behind Steph and rubs her
shoulders* No, you don't sound like a crybaby,
more like a whiney teenager. Just kidding.
Yes, it's well written. I can't cosign on it
or anything, though, I was pretty much missing
the whole time you two had your differences,
and I hope Dick takes it just as a helpful
warning, rather than a request to get rid
of him. I'm just so stumped as to why he acted
so insubordinate. The Blades I remember was a
good kid. Respected my authority, even as a wacko.
Steph: Ohh, that feels good, thanks. *snatches back her letter, sticks her tongue out at him* Very funny. S'ok, I don't want you to cosign it. You're right, you weren't there, it had nothing to do with you, it was my leadership Blades was constantly dissing. I just wanted you to check it over. And no, I don't want Dick to get rid of Blades, I tried to make it clear that he may just have a problem with me. *sighs* I don't know why he gave me such a hard time either. I wish I did understand it, but I don't. *mutters* Although I have my theories...
Tim: Oh yeah? And those theories are?
Steph: *looks a little uncomfortable* Weeeellll,
I don't know if I should tell you. Since I was
so mad at him, I admit, they aren't terribly
nice theories. Nor are they really based in
fact... just stuff I've been thinking.
Tim: Well if you think you're too mad at him
to tell ME about it, maybe it really isn't a
good idea you send that to Dick yet either,
until you're sure you're being objective.
Steph: *looks thoughtful for a second* Ok,
you're right. But I think I'm over my initial
anger and I am being objective now. I still
think warning Dick is the right thing to do.
But fine, I will tell YOU what I was thinking
*smiles*. Well, at first I kinda wondered if
he was just a mite chauvanistic. Y'know, didn't
like having a girl in charge. But then I started
noticing things like he really, really wanted
you to be leader again, despite your repeated
refusals, and he seemed to want to blame me for
Force's death, when it wasn't any one person's
fault, and he just seemed to be so upset with
like, my very existence... So... all that got
me thinking that maybe well, maybe he resents
me 'cause he's... *says the words in a bit of
a rush* got a thing for you.
Tim: *shocked expression quickly crosses his
face, then laughs deep from the belly; once
recovered* Oh, that's a good one Steph. I always
knew the girls were disappointed I hide my butt
behind a cape, never thought the guys were too.
Steph: *starts laughing herself* No, I'm not
jealous. *grins maliciously* Should I be? I
mean, if I'm right, I can't really blame him,
you are pretty darn hot. *laughs again* Gee,
you're lucky I'm not the jealous type then,
first Katie, now Blades, seems like I've got
lots of competition.
Tim: How do you think? You keep scaring them
Steph: *pushes him over* Scaring them off?! I
do not! *stops being indignant and smiles*
Hey, why am I fighting that, that's a good
thing. *frowns suddenly* Or is it?
Tim: *getting up from being pushed over* That's
really for you to decide, Steph. You're the
leader, and if your crew won't listen to you,
then yeah, it's good to be rid of them when
there's no other option. Not like you're missing
Blades or Knight are you?
Steph: *sighs* No, I'm not missing either one
of them, that's for certain. Its hard enough to
lead this crew without having to fight those two
every step of the way. But then, they weren't
around when you went nutso and I had to take
charge, so I guess they didn't really have any
reason to believe that I can do this job.
*starts to look a little dispirited* Face it,
I don't have the rep that you do. Probably never
will. I have to work harder to earn the respect
that you get so naturally, but that's just
something I have to deal with.
Tim: Well, I think I have a small, at least
temporary solution for that one. You know,
your mom's taking the whole Spoiler thing
really well, but my dad still doesn't know.
Of course. *rubs his forehead and eyes with
the palms of his hands and groans* Nothing I
tell my dad's going to be good enough to explain
me disappearing for 3 and a half months. I
think I'm going to be REAL grounded, and maybe
I should take a break from the team for a while.
Steph: *automatic look of panic crosses her
face at the mention of him taking a break from
the team, but it fades as she puts her arms
around him* Well, if you think you should...
but, maybe its time to tell your dad that
you're Robin? I know its not going to smooth
everything over, but I also know you hate
lying to him all the time. And besides,
if you leave the team AND you're grounded,
we'll never get to see each other, unless
I sneak over and knock on your window for
a change. *smiles*
Tim: *sputtering* Tell my dad! Are you nuts?
*calms* hey, I'm sorry, that wasn't nice to say.
*slumps onto her bed* Somehow I think it's gone
too far for me to ever tell him now. *smiles a
bit* You know, I never said you COULDN'T come
over and knock on my window.
Steph: *bites her lip as she bites back a
comment* Fine, whatever, it was just a
suggestion. *looks at him for a moment* Well,
what are you going to tell him then? *finally
smiles a bit herself* Don't worry handsome,
I'll come knock on your window even if you get
exiled to Siberia.
Tim: I really don't know. Nothing I tell him is
going to be good for me. *sighs, falls back on
her bed and covers his face with his hands*
mufflemufflemuffle *pulls hands away* oops. You
have any suggestions? Besides telling him about
my tights and mask?
Steph: *sitting on the edge of her bed, elbows
on knees, hands cupping her chin* Well you
could... no, that's dumb... Or... no, that's
illegal... Why don't you try... nah, he'll
never buy that... *throws her hands up in
frustration* I don't know Tim, I can't think of
anything good. How do you tell a parent you've
disappeared for 3 months without saying you ran
away or you were kidnapped or you were... saving
the frickin' world! *sighs and cradles her head
in her hands again* Do you mind explaining why
you are so dead set against telling him you're
Robin? The main reason you never told him before
is gone and your being a hero is as plausible
an excuse as anything else we can come up with.
Plus it has the added bonus of being the truth.
*stares at him with an expression which he can
easily read as her daring him to call her
Tim: *Sighs* I don't know. Maybe I will tell
him.*pulls her close* This sucks.
Steph: *lets herself be pulled close* I know.
But I've been wracking my already overtaxed
brains since we got home and I still don't
know what you can tell your dad. Why don't
you ask Dick what he thinks too?
Tim: That's the smartest thing I've heard in
three months. I'll call Dick in the morning.
Steph: Good, I'm sure he can help. *looks
thoughtful for a moment, then refocuses on
Tim* So, do we need to talk about anything
else or is that enough shop talk? *winds
her arms around his neck*
Tim: *kisses her for a short while* Well, *sigh*
as much as I want to skip the shop talk and just
be with you for a while, I don't think it's fair
'til I finish. I know that no matter what I do
tell my dad, I'm going to be grounded for, well,
forever. And with the way everyone seems to look
to me too much even though you're the boss, I
think it's time for me to step back. I'm quitting
the team, at least for now. *looks really worried*
But I don't want to quit you.
Steph: *is silent for a moment* Well, as much as
I hate to say it, yeah, you're right, you do need
to leave the team. But, lets call it a leave of
absence rather than quitting, 'k? *smiles* They
can't help but to look to you Tim. Hec, I still
look to you. You did teach me almost everything
I know about this business. Its easy to listen
to you, you are the best leader we've had.
*sighs, reaches out and touches his cheek* But
I never thought you were quitting me. I didn't
even think that was an issue. No matter how long
you're gone, or what happens with your dad, I'll
still be there for you, got it? *smiles again*
I love you, you doof.
Tim: *smiles, a weight has been visibly lifted* I
love you too. God, it feels so good hearing you
say that. *brushes a blonde curl from her face*
And you're a great leader. Better than I have
been for the past year, honest. I know that'll
be obvious once you're out of my shadow. I don't
know about the leave of absence though; I've
actually been thinking of hanging up the cape
Steph: *her smile fades, she is visibly shocked by
his last words* You.. you wanna hang up the cape?
Tim: I talked with Dick about this a couple years
back. I never planned to make this my long-term
plan, a lifelong career. I became Robin because
Batman had to have a Robin, and went in deciding
that someday it would be time to move on, let
a new Robin into the mask and cape, and put the
superheroing behind me. And well, without a Batman
I think it's gotten to the time for me to step
away from it. Maybe someday Dick will become
Batman, and he'll take a new Robin, but I doubt
it'll be me. *smiles, more to himself than anything*
Never know, maybe hell'll freeze over and Dick'll
let Jason have the job.
Steph: *just sitting there, still looking slightly
shocked* Wow. I don't think I realized that. I mean,
I know its not something we can do forever, I just
didn't realize you were thinking of chucking the
whole deal already. *pauses* Do you really think
you'll be able to? Give it all up I mean? *takes
his hand, lacing her fingers with his* I know this
last year has been rough for you, but don't you
think you'd miss it a little bit? I've seen the
look on your face when we swing from roofs and
when we take down the bad guy. That sort of thing
ain't easy to leave behind.
Tim: *squeezes her hand and smiles* No, it won't
be easy. And I'm not going to ask you to do it
with me. *smile fades* And I know there were a
lot of bad this last year, but I'd already made
this decision a year before all of this ever
happened. I've always known my time as Robin
would come to an end. The longer I keep waiting,
the harder it's going to be. I'm not going to
become a careerless adult hero with nothing to
their lives but other superheroes and violence.
Robin's a job, and well, I guess the job's over.
No Batman, no Robin. I will miss it, especially
kicking tail with you *smiles again* but I think
I'll be happy too.
Steph: Oh, I know you're not asking me to give it
up too. *grins* You already tried and it didn't
work. But no more Batman and Robin. That just
seems so... wrong. *shakes head* But don't get me
wrong, you've got to do what's right for you, and
you've obviously been thinking about it alot, so
that's cool. I'm not gonna try to convince you
one way or another, I'm just here to make sure
you've thought of everything. *grin fades* Umm,
but you won't mind having a superhero in your
life even if you're not one, will you? *looks
hopefully at him*
Tim: Heck no! I mean, I'll worry about you, but as
long as I can still take you I won't feel threatened
or anything. *grins* No, I love you no matter who
you want to be, cool? Heck, maybe YOU can be the
new Robin. *bites the corner of his lower lip* And
I THINK I've covered everything. I'm going to call
Dick before telling my dad....whatever I tell him.
Steph: *blinks at him for a second, then flops
backwards on her bed* Ok, I think I've had
enough crazy ideas for one night. ME, be Robin?
I didn't think that was an equal opportunity
employment position. *stares at the ceiling*
And it'd be so very weird... *looks over at
him* Oh, you were joking, right?
Tim: No joke. I think it's perfect. I think
YOU'RE perfect for the job. I wouldn't want to
see the cape on anyone else, and you wouldn't
have to lie to mom about stopping the Spoiler
Steph: *looks back at the ceiling* No joke...
*sits up again* I... don't know what to say.
That's a hell of an honour, but I don't know
if I could. I mean, its totally giving up my
own identity, but it also means I've got
like, total endorsement by the all powerful
Bat-family *grins*. But obviously, before I
even truly entertain the idea, I'd have to
talk to Dick about it too. *stops for a moment,
looks down at herself* And I'd have to order
a new costume... *looks back at Tim and smiles*
Tim: *Taking that as a "yesquite obviously too*
*smiles* What? Mine won't fit? Actually, I have
a couple design ideas and improvements if you
want any help. But that, and each of our calls
to Dick, can wait til morning. *somewhat shifty
and nervous, quieter* So, can I stay here tonight,
or should I go crash at the cave?
Steph: Mom's on the nightshift this week, so you
can stay here. I love it when she works
nights... *smiles, trying to alleviate his
Tim: If it means I get more time with you, I like
your mom working nights too. *smiles and kisses