Diversions & Digressions | fanfiction by mara

Quick Fix

Quick Fix

by Mara

Summary: Cass wants to help Tim, but bereavement counseling isn’t exactly part of assassin training.

CONTINUITY/SPOILERS: This occurs in some nebulous time not long after War Games.
There are some vague mentions of War Games and the Teen Titans/Outsiders
crossover.
NOTES: Fanfic100 prompt #72, Fixed. Smitty suggested a story with these two
characters months and months ago, but it took until now for me to find an idea.
Thanks to Kitchendinah, Tasha, Nuala, and Sweetgrinch for helpful brainstorming.
Thanks also to Chevauchee, DCLady, and Saone for the betas.

* * * * *

The fog that hung over the city of Blüdhaven matched Tim’s mood so perfectly, he
could have ordered it up off a menu. ‘I’ll have the gloom and doom fog with a
side order of pollution, please.’

He snorted. Great, now he was losing his mind. At least nobody was here to watch
him go ins–

“Batgirl,” he said without turning around.

“Robin.”

Cass sat beside him. He didn’t ask how she’d gotten so close without him
hearing, and she didn’t point out that he hadn’t been paying any attention to
his surroundings–a compromise that kept them from arguing.

The fog drifted and Tim brooded over recent events–the deaths of his father and
Steph, his brief tenure as a supposedly normal boy, Kon’s crisis. After a while
it occurred to him that Cass was still there and she was unusually fidgety.
Unusual in that she was fidgeting at all.

He turned to look at her, knowing his curiosity would show in his body.

She tilted her head and considered him. Without warning, she leaned over and
wrapped her arms around him, shoving him against her.

“Uh…” He blinked over her shoulder, wondering when she’d been replaced by a
pod person.

They sat like that for a few moments before Cass let him go and sat back to look
at him. “Didn’t work,” she said with obvious disappointment.

“*What* didn’t work?”

“Supposed to make you feel better. Nightwing said so.”

Tim rolled his eyes. “Nightwing thinks things like that. Unfortunately, he’s
wrong. I just need time.”

She stared at him and then was gone.

Briefly distracted from his brooding, Tim stared after her. Now *that* was
weird.

* * * * *

Tim hunched over a console, searching for a pattern in art thefts stretching
from New York down the East Coast. Tapping at the mouse, he segregated the
thefts by artist. Still nothing.

A flashing light grabbed his attention as the loft’s security system let him
know Batgirl had identified herself and was on her way in. Tim saved his work
and did a check of his toolbelt, in case she needed him to leave immediately.

He faced the window, waiting for her to make her usual entry, and was surprised
when she opened the front door. A quick glance confirmed that security had noted
that fact–he just hadn’t looked.

Tim blinked at Cass, who was dressed in civilian clothes, clothes he recognized
as an outfit Steph had picked out for her. He frowned at the brown paper bag she
held. “Cass?”

She didn’t quite meet his eyes as she pulled two bottles out and held them up.

“Uh,” he said, looking with some trepidation at the Jack Daniels, “I don’t
drink. You know that.”

Her face fell. “Supposed to help.”

Sighing, Tim tried again. “It doesn’t work like that.”

Dark eyes focused on him. “Why not?”

“Uh…you can’t just…I mean, it takes time to…it just *doesn’t*, okay?”

His stuttered explanation had absolutely no effect: He returned from a tiring
patrol one dawn to find a card on his bedroom pillow, something covered in
flowers and calligraphy. Gritting his teeth, Tim found that he *wanted* to set
it on fire, but he put it in a drawer instead.

“She means well. She means well,” he muttered under his breath.

A few days later, she appeared in his gym, a hopeful look on her face.
“Shopping?”

“No way.”

She whipped a small bouquet of flowers from behind her back and Tim growled.
Shrugging, she put the flowers down and left.

* * * * *

Staring at the cordless phone, Tim debated with himself before finally dialing a
familiar number that was routed through three numbers in Gotham, then one in
Lenexa, Kansas, before going through a switch in Estonia and a Russian
satellite, and finally to the actual destination number.

“Oracle’s House of Miracles. What miracle can I perform for you today?”

“Very funny,” Tim said without a trace of humor in his voice.

“Okay, Boy Wonder, be that way. *I* have had a good day.” Babs sniffed her
disdain.

“Then maybe you’ll be in a good enough mood to tell me who it was that sicced
Batgirl on me.”

There was a pause. “I’m not following. Batman sent her to help you, but you knew
that.”

Sighing, Tim sat in front of a computer. “I mean this campaign she’s on to
‘cheer me up.'”

“Oh. That.” She snickered.

“Yes. That.”

“Nobody sicced her on you. It was all her idea to cheer you up, but she’s been
canvassing the community for ideas. I know for a fact she’s asked Alfred, the
Wingster, Superboy, Wonder Girl–”

“Oh god.” Tim covered his eyes.

“Face it, people are worried about you. *Batgirl’s* worried about you and she’s
trying to help. Hurt her feelings and I’ll kill you.”

“But I–”

“Now get off the line, I’ve got legitimate emergencies to deal with.”

A click left Tim alone in his apartment again, wondering what he’d done to
deserve this.

* * * * *

It got to the point where Tim was afraid to go home, because he found casseroles
or cookies, or on one memorable occasion…a puppy who’d chewed up his spare
boots.

Unfortunately, he was equally afraid to go out, because Cass popped up in the
most unlikely places to utter non sequiturs like “That really sucks” or “Would
you like to bake cookies?” before he could run away.

It was making him twitchy. But he couldn’t figure out how to say that to Cass,
and for once she was being deliberately obtuse about his body language. Which
might have been the weirdest part of this whole thing: Cass *never* ignored body
language. (He’d often wished she would, but now he regretted that.) For some
reason, Cass had decided to completely ignore his wish to be left alone and he
didn’t understand why.

After several weeks of this, Tim cautiously stepped into his window. No flowers,
food, surprise parties…good. No cards, strange animals, or very sincere
wishes…great. The coast seemed, in fact, to be entirely clear. Taking a deep
breath, Tim stripped off his costume, cleaned up, and sat down at the computer.
He hadn’t typed more than a few sentences before his comm beeped. “Robin,” he
said, clicking it on.

“Definitely don’t want to go shopping?” Cass’ hopeful voice asked.

For a long moment, Tim was certain his head was going to explode. Or his eyes
pop out. But he counted to ten in English, Spanish, Latin, and Kryptonian, after
which he thought he might possibly live. “Batgirl,” he said through teeth that
insisted on clenching, “I do not wish to go shopping. I do not want a hug, or,
god forbid, anything more than that. I don’t want flowers or chocolates or the
chance to talk about it. What I want more than anything in the world right now
is for you to *go away*, damn it.”

She was silent. Then, “Oh.” And the comm clicked off.

Tim threw his head back and stared at the ceiling. “Babs is going to kill me,”
he said. “I’m a dead man.”

* * * * *

“Come,” Cass said from the windowsill two nights later.

Tim took a deep breath, still not sure what to do about her. “Look, Cass, I’m
so–”

“Come.”

It wasn’t a request. Tim knew from experience that she would eventually throw
him out the window if he didn’t follow her. “Fine,” he said as he suited up.
“Whatever.”

Twenty minutes later they crouched on a rooftop overlooking a vacant dock on the
south side of Blüdhaven. “Wait,” Cass said.

He started to argue, but subsided after looking at her. He could brood here just
as easily as anywhere else, after all. And presumably if she was going to kill
him, he’d already be dead.

It took over an hour for something to happen. Tim raised an eyebrow as unmarked
brown vans pulled up, but didn’t otherwise move. So they were unloading late.
Fine. Probably stolen televisions or something. Big deal.

When the first small girl was dragged kicking and flailing from the back of the
van, Tim stared at Cass. “Child prostitution?” he whispered.

Every line of her body was tense and angry. “Taking them to Gotham now.”

Tim slowly unfurled from his crouch. “Oh no they’re not.”

Cass didn’t need to reply, just prepared to wreak havoc.

Tim looked at her and then at the men dragging the helplessly bound girls from
the van. Child prostitution. These men were enslaving little girls. The cops
weren’t going to mind if these perps came in a little…extra bruised and
battered. They wouldn’t mind at all, even if a few broken limbs and concussions
slipped in.

Oh, this was going to be *fun*.

Tim started to grin. “Batgirl, you know *just* how to make me feel better.”

–end–

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