Diversions & Digressions | fanfiction by mara

Diverting Attention (The Aftermath Remix)

Diverting Attention Remixes

by Mara

Summary: Lady Shiva came to town and who knows what she did there…

CONTINUITY/SPOILERS: Post-War Games but Pre-Infinite Absurd Crises.

NOTES: I’m remixing Petra’s story “Diverting Attention”. I highly recommend you read
this version first, then Petra’s original, then my other remix.


Diverting Attention (The Aftermath Remix)

The Batmobile skidded around a corner and Batman gritted his teeth as he kept it
on the road. “Oracle? Update!”

“Damn it, if I knew anything more, I’d have told you already,” she growled in
his ear. “They’ve always refused to let me bug their practice room and I haven’t
managed to sneak anything in. All I know is that Shiva is there and they’re not
answering me.”

Gritting his teeth, he drove even faster toward Bl├╝dhaven, unwilling to consider
what might happen if he arrived too late. He could only hope that Shiva was in
the mood to play rather than be direct.

When the Batmobile skidded to a halt, Batman leaped out and was down the
abandoned subway tunnel faster than he ever remembered running before, cursing
the day he’d sent Robin and Batgirl to this town that had nearly killed
Nightwing.

As he ran, he debated two approaches: sneaking up and trying to learn what was
going on, and bursting in on the assumption that whatever was going on was bad.
He decided on the latter just in time to come rolling through the short
entrance, batarang in hand.

Batgirl and Robin, automatically braced for attack, relaxed when they saw who it
was.

They were alive.

And functioning.

And they hadn’t responded to either his or Oracle’s frantic hails for something
like 20 minutes. He was going to kill them both. “They’re alive, Oracle,”
he said.

“What happ–”

“I’ll let you know when I know. Batman out.” He scowled at them.
“Report,” he said through gritted teeth, putting the unneeded batarangs away.

Tim…stared down at the ground and slumped against a wall. That was so unusual
as to be unheard of. Even when Tim chose to lie, he always stood straight and
looked you in the eye. Always.

Cass, on the other hand, looked oddly triumphant. Which, he supposed, wasn’t
unjustified if she’d somehow beaten Lady Shiva.

As he scowled even harder, Batman’s conscious mind registered what his
unconscious had already noted: Their costumes were subtly disarranged, in ways
that would make him scowl in disapproval under other circumstances. Masks and
gloves were dropped haphazardly, and Tim’s staff lay by the wall. Both were
flushed and sweating, although the room was cold.

Cass smiled at him, obviously seeing his confusion in his stance. “Shiva is
gone,” she said. “Will not return.”

He looked at Tim, who finally looked up, expressionless. “I concur,” was all he
said.

“Good,” Bruce said, stripping off his own cowl. “Today is not the day I want to
fight her.” But I would, to protect either of you, he didn’t say. “Why was she
here?”

Tim looked at Cass, scrubbing at his mouth in what looked like an unconscious
gesture. She was smiling until she turned to look at Tim, then she froze,
surprised by something she saw.

Bruce stayed very still, intently watching as Cass took a step forward. Both of
them saw Tim flinch. He made himself stay put, but Cass stopped. “Tim?” she
asked.

He closed his eyes. “Not now. I can’t.”

“Had to do it.”

“Cass…”

“She would have pushed. Needed to show her. Teach her.”

Teach her what? Bruce wondered, but he didn’t want to remind them of his
presence.

Tim looked bleak and uncomfortable. “Not that way. You can’t just…use me like
that.”

“Use?” Cass tilted her head. “But we’re a team.” She looked at Bruce. “Right?”

“That’s not the point.” Tim swallowed.

“What happened?” Bruce asked, more gently than he’d intended. They hadn’t been
in a fight, but obviously much more had happened than it appeared on the
surface.

Cass’ chin went up. “Shiva came to teach. I learn quickly. Taught her. She left.
Told her to stay out of this city.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Bruce saw Tim’s hands clenching and releasing. He
paused, searching for the right question. “What did she teach?”

Cass pursed her lips, looking for the right words. “Play-fight. Distraction.
Bodies.”

Tim huffed out a breath. “Sex,” he said, turning away.

Iron control kept Bruce from hitting something. “I…see. And what did she
learn?”

Cass looked him in the eye. “She learned I am dangerous. She cannot hurt me. She
may not hurt my team, my family.”

Bruce closed his eyes for an instant. “Tim?”

The boy’s arms were crossed and he still faced the wall. Slowly turning, he
tried to relax his stance, with mixed results. Cass’ face fell as she looked at
him, and Bruce almost asked what she saw. “I’m okay. I guess,” Tim said. “It’s
just…I didn’t stop it, even when I should have.”

Cass was beside him in an instant, too fast for even Tim to move away. “Not you.
Me. I didn’t know. Didn’t realize. Learned now. I’m sorry.”

Tim studied her face for a long moment before nodding. “I know. I wish, well,
that’s not how you should have learned.”

“You learned with Steph. I waited.”

Tim’s face flushed and he put his hands over his eyes. “Cass!”

Bruce hid an entirely inappropriate smile. “I knew.”

“Oh god,” Tim said quietly, putting his hands down with a determined expression.
“Cass, can we please have the rest of this conversation later? Without him?” He
pointed at Bruce.

Bruce felt his own face flushing, but he refused to apologize. He waited as Tim
and Cass stared at each other, trying to read the body language.

Tim was moving a great deal more than he usually did and couldn’t keep from an
occasional shudder. He’d crossed and uncrossed his arms a dozen times since
Bruce arrived, and Bruce diagnosed some shame and a great deal of embarrassment.
Definitely some anger, although it was hard to tell how much of the anger was
for Cass, for her actions (whatever they were), and how much for Lady Shiva.

Unsurprisingly, Cass was harder to read, but her abortive movements to touch
Tim…Bruce wondered if he was reading that correctly. Along with “I waited,”
well, perhaps Oracle might know.

Cass drooped, then nodded to Tim, although what precisely she was agreeing to,
Bruce wasn’t sure. Tim looked relieved, though.

“Can you tell me if Shiva hurt you?” Bruce asked bluntly, certain he was running
out of time to get answers.

“Indirectly, yes.” Tim shuddered again, a movement so small most people would
never have seen it. “But I did learn something,” he glanced at Cass, “and I
think Lady Shiva learned a great deal more.”

–end–

Final author’s note: My idea in this remix was that I was less interested in
what happened between Tim and Cass and Shiva, and more interested in why
Cass and Tim would do certain things.

One reason I’ve done another remix is that I’m a little concerned that this is
more of a sequel than a remix! So, to make sure I meet the requirements of the
challenge, after you’ve read Petra’s story, go on and read “Diverting Attention
(The Why Me? Remix)”.



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