|A the Bats Turns|
|What: Nightwing and Robin discuss college life, girls, and what to do when Batman disappears.|
Aww..the batcave. With its natural lighting, sunny interior, and wide open spaces, the place is a
natural wonder to behold.
HA! Almost got through that with a straight face. It's early morning, the sun just starting to
peak at the horizon, and the Batcave is it's normal dreary, dark, and gloomy self. Robin stands at
one of the side terminals, transferring information from his wrist computer and adding a few notes
here and there. Batman, yet again, is absent, along with Alfred, which means there is a half eaten
package of oreo's and a half gallon of milk sitting on the examining table, and Robin's cape is
draped over a nearby chair.
The teen reaches over and grabs himself an oreo, stuffing it into his mouth before grabbing the
half gallon of milk and taking a drink right from the carton. He shakes his head from side to side
a moment, and then chews and swallows like it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Metallica's enter Sandman is playing as well. Not so loud as to actually echo off the walls, but
loud enough to sound rather haunting from the edges of the cave.
"Didn't Alfred ever teach you not to drink from the jug?" Nightwing enters the cave, a tall glass
of his own chocolate Ovaltine in hand. "You're lucky there was more milk in the fridge." He does,
however, go to steal some oreos to dunk in his drink before taking a bite from them. "So,
apparently your girlfriend doesn't want to watch movies with you alone." He can't even say that
with a straight face as he takes a seat, his mask going on the closest computer console.
Robin grins and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. "I picked that up on my way in." he
says, thumbing at his 'breakfast'. "Not a lot of variety at a 7-11 at four in the morning, but I
manage." he says with a grin before spinning in his chair.
"And what? What do you mean she doesn't wanna watch movies with me alone?" the teen asks, his tone
confused. "Supergirl say something to you?"
"You didn't get the freshly baked doughnuts if you were in the city? Shame on you, Timmy. Shame."
Nightwing dunks the other half of the oreo before popping it in his mouth, "I talked to her. I had
to. If she's going to be on the Titans, we needed to clear the air. I told her that you and I
agreed that the place you bought in Metropolis was -not- to be used as a Titan hangout and she got
all huffy and said that you shouldn't buy it at all then. I told her that she was being silly and
you just wanted to be able to watch a movie alone with her and she then went into some diatribe
about Superman and upholding morals and what would people say...frankly, I started to tune out. I
mean, if you go in wearing civvies and she goes in wearing civvies, who's gonna know, right?"
Robin sighs and pulls his own mask off, tossing it on the table and shaking his head. "Women." he
mutters at last. "Do they go out of their way to make you crazy, or is something natural they do?"
he asks, spinning in his chair just for the hell of it. "I'm starting to think you have the right
idea, just flying solo. But damn...." he says, his mind drifting a moment.
The teen comes back to himself and smiles sheepishly. "So between Supergirl telling me she loves
me, and then not wanting to spend any time with me, and Troia spending a ton of time with me, and
then vanishing when I forgave Supergirl....I'm just so confused. I can't win for trying."
"That answer to both of your questions is 'Yes'." Taking a drink, he leans back some in his chosen
chair, "Personally, I think you were guilted into the relationship to begin with, but that's just
me. We've been through that." He's not going to dredge it up any further. At the mention of Troia
though, he sits up, "Wait, what? You were spending time with Troia while you were dating
Supergirl? Did Troia know you were taken?"
"Of course Troia knew I was taken. I wasn't keeping it a secret. In fact, she helped me plan some
of my better dates." Robin says, cocking his head to the side. "She brings me iced coffees
sometimes when I'm on stake outs."
"But I went to talk to Supergirl, and then went back to her apartment a few days later and she was
gone. Just a note that says I suck at follow through and she needs some time to herself. Even her
phone is off line."
Nightwing tilts his head at Robin, "Follow-through? What were you following through on? Are you
sure she's not a little..." he takes a finger ad turns it around his ear a couple of times. "I
mean, her story...it's kind of bizarre."
"Yeah...she says she's lived through hundreds and hundreds of past lives, and that she gets
memories from them from time to time. Not to mention she's empathic as hell and can tell when your
not telling the truth. But she is really sweet too, and seemed to be getting so much better. I'm
guessing my follow-through was about my not breaking up with Supergirl. I decided to give her a
week before just breaking things off. Supergirl wanted a chance to talk with her cousin about
something, to see if she could talk about something really important to her that was the entire
reason why she couldn't see me for a month." the boy explains.
Robin throws his hands up in the air though, with a shrug and reaches for another cookie. "I don't
pretend to know whats going on there. All I know is that I left Troia's place in New York, went to
see Supergirl in Metropolis, and when I got back to New York a day or so later, Donna was gone.
She moved all her stuff into the place from the embassy, but left a note saying she was outta
Nightwing listens to the explanation while munching on the other oreo he stole and drinking the
ovaltine. When Tim is done, he gestures for him to come over, "Come here." He just needs to get
Robin into reach so he can give him a proper Gibbs-smack upside the head. "Are you insane? Never.
Never. EVER tell a girl you're going to break up with someone for them. Ever. Ever Ever Ever."
Robin knows better than to get into range, and keeps the oreo laden table between them. "I never
told her I was going to break up with Supergirl /for/ her. We were just talking and she asked out
the relationship was going and I might have mentioned that I was thinking about breaking it off. I
didn't know Donna liked me like that! It's not like I get a notice in the mail or anything. I just
thought we were friends."
"And in my defense, Troia isn't the most stable beam in the shed either." Robin says, looking a
little over whlemed by it all.
Nightwing is going to have to get up to deliver the smack...which he does. He also steals some
more oreos in passing. "Newsflash: Girls are crazy. Batsh...really, really crazy." He gets back to
his seat so he can dunk the newly acquired oreos in his milk, "If she was bringing you iced
coffees and hanging out with you and you told her that you -might- break up with Supergirl, she
probably just assumed it would be so that you could be with -her- instead." Munch munch munch.
"Ok, no. She's not stable...but she knows us." Some of them. Sort of. "The real question is,
though, who do -you- want to be with?"
Robin sighs and takes his smack like a champ before grabbing another cookie for himself. "She
knows us?" he blinks, looking at Nightwing and thinking back of their conversation a second. "Wait
a second...does this mean the all mighty Nightwing let his identity slip to a girl? Or does she
just know your mask?" he says, totally deflecting the conversation.
"I never saw the girl in my life and she knew my history," Nightwing offer. "I had to prove her
veracity...I mean, if she was going to make these crazy accusations of knowing us in a different
lifetime then someone needed to test that, right? And I'd have remembered her." Even if she's too
young for him. "You didn't answer my question."
"Are you asking me if I'd choose between Supergirl and Donna? That's not really a fair question. I
was dating Supergirl long before I even met Donna. And....damn it Dick. I don't know." Robin
answers, shaking his head. "I'll tell you the same thing that I told Donna. It might be stupid as
hell, but forgive me for wanting to be a teenager every now and again. I leave for college in
Metropolis in 4 days. Oh...got accepted by the way. Metropolis U. Forensic Science. Go me."
"You told Donna that you didn't know who you wanted to be with?" Dick raises an eyebrow at that
before munching on another soggy oreo, "But your answer isn't 'Supergirl', is it?" There's a brief
pause, "Are you going to Metropolis U. because of her? Gotham has an excellent program too, you
know. I majored in Criminology there." Bats of a feather and all. "Congratulations. I figured
you'd get accepted wherever you wanted to go."
"I can't shake the feeling, Rich, that if I don't get out of here...at least for a little
while...." he trails off. "I think college away from Gotham is probably the best bet. And no, my
answer isn't Supergirl. I like her, I really really do....but the drama is really starting to get
to me. Every date there are tears about how all these secrets are weighing her down and tearing
her up and.....blah blah blah blah. I just wanna eat some pizza, maybe catch a movie, make out in
the back row or something. I'm not prepared to be her Super-Shrink, but to be honest...I'm afraid
that if I break up with her, she is gonna do something stupid.
"Know what I mean? But maybe...she talks to her cousin that whatever it is that's driver her crazy
will be taken care of, and maybe it will get better. It's worth a week, I think." Robin says all
this in a sort of rushed, need to get it out kinda tone before he crams the cookie he's been
motioning with into his mouth.
There's a long pause before, "That's a good reason to not date within the...well, within the
vigilante set. You and I, we're used to keeping this double life. We practically grew up with it.
Most people haven't. We know who we are out of uniform and in uniform and we know how to maintain
the balance. If she can't handle the secrets...you're right. You shouldn't be her shrink." He
takes a slow sip, "Give her that week, but no more. You're just enabling her now. If she does
something stupid...look. If she does, it'll feel like it's your fault, but you can't be the glue
that holds her together. No one should have to be that."
"Your right. I know your right, and I think I was being generous with the week. But I'm worried
about Donna. She's close to Jason too, and he drives the wacko in her to the extreme. And running
lose like she is now....well, you heard Jason. He threatened to destroy me." the teen says, moving
over the the main computer and typing in the name Todd, Jason. A beep, and a 'File Restricted'
notice comes up.
"Damn it Batman!" Robin says, throwing a cookie at the monitor. "Where are you?"
Nightwing shrugs, "I think you were too generous too, but that's just me. You made your bed with
that one, but if she can't get it together, you need to cut that cord." Snagging another cookie he
adds, "I think Jason sees you as having replaced him somehow...even though he was dead. Look, you
can't be responsible for everyone, all right? I know you care for Donna because she's hot and was
nice to you, but you can't be her babysitter. God, if it's anything I've learned lately, it's that
you can't babysit others. All you can do is hope to guide them and be a good influence or and ear
to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Brace for the worst, if you're that worried, but you can't
destroy your life just waiting to see if she's going to somehow come after you." He looks over to
the computer, "What are you trying to find out about Jason anyhow?"
"Something. Anything. When a guy trained by Batman tells you to your face he wants to destroy you,
you do your homework. What is his specialty? What styles does he know? It should all be right
here, but Batman wont let me access it. And then he ups and disappears on me. Alfred is gone too,
so it looks like he might be gone a while."
Robin turns back to Nightwing and sighs, before turning back and starting to pick up the bits of
cookie from the computer. "I am so looking forward to college." he mutters, shaking his head. "A
chance to get away from all this. Good news is...I'm to report to you while in Metropolis. Guess
I'm not to be slacking off at all while I'm there."
"He was trained as Robin. He was good, too. He enjoyed the fight, probably a little too much. He
was fast, smart, maybe a little too eager to hurt others. He struck me as a very angry kid,"
Nightwing points out. "I never worked -with- him, much, per se, so I don't know if he had any real
specialty. What styles do -you- know? What's -your- specialty?" He grins a little, but there isn't
too much humor in it, "I just remember he didn't always play by the rules. He fought dirty."
The grin finally gets some humor in it though, "See, there's another reason why you might want to
be off of a leash. Two words: College girls." The news about reporting to him comes as a surprise
though, "Really? So, wait...you're reporting to me because I'm there...do we just assume that
Batman and Darkwing are going to be taking care of Gotham?" Because if Batman's gone...
"And I quote from the message, 'Report to Nightwing. Don't lose focus.' Which could mean one of a
hundred things, but you know how Batman is. I still have to come back here during breaks, and
whenever else possible, but there it is. And I don't know where Batman is. He'll coming strolling
back in here one day, act like he never left, and want my report on what I've been up too like
nothing has changed and he just stepped out to use the restroom. I'm starting to see why you left
his gig." The teen says, continuing to clean up, just in case his prediction comes true.
"For a guy who is demanding that I earn his respect for operating solo, he sure has a strange way
of doing things." Nightwing shakes his head in disbelief, "All right. I can get you the code to
the Tower too if you want, but...wouldn't blame you in case things get touchy with Supergirl. And
not 'touchy' in a good way." For that he's on his own. "I can also come back and check in here
too...Oracle will most likely be watching and she has her Birds, so...we can also leave the city
in theirs and Batman's hands. I hope." He also brushes some crumbs off of the table and makes
sure that his glass didn't leave a condensation ring. "Focus on your studies, too. Seriously.
There's also a reason why I semi-retired when I was in school."
"I think...well, I'll take a code to the tower, but I'll save it for an emergency. I have the safe
house there, and I'll just be live out of that while going to school. It's not too far from the
tower either." Robin says, dropping the cookie chunks into the trash and rubbing his hands together
to clear the rest.
"I'll do my best to remember that. I don't want to get sloppy though. Which is what I suppose your
there for, no?" he says with a smirk. "Ready and willing with a nice little backhand if I start to
Nightwing nods and offers the code. It won't be written down by him, although the Batcave would be
the safest place to have any passwords on Sticky-notes anyhow. "If you're going to have
relationship drama though, maybe keep it out of the tower? Some of the kids are touchy as it is
and I don't want them to get freaked out by more drama. We've certainly had enough there and I'm
enjoying the current stretch of calm."
At the mention of a backhand at the ready, he just gives a crooked little grin, "Hey, I'm happy to
whip you back into shape if you think you're getting soft."
"No drama at the tower, promise. I'll save it for sometime I really get into trouble with
something." Robin says, taking a moment to commit the code to memory, along with the many others
he keeps in the steel trap of his mind. He yawns, and stuffs a fist into his mouth a second,
before moving to clean up the last of his trash. "Thanks for the advice, bro." Robin says. "And
feel free to call me if you wanna go get a pizza or something. Or hit up a frat party."
"I don't care if you come by, I just don't want there to be epic Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend battles
going on." Nightwing winces at a memory of one but then offers a grin, "Hey, anytime. You are so
on for the pizza or something." He sits up straighter in the chair as he finishes off his
ovaltine, "Wait, you're going to join a Frat house? Seriously?"
"Why not?" Robin says with a shrug. "Total college experience is what I'm going for." the teen
says, looking around one last time to make sure there is no trace of oreo madness before moving
over and killing the music. "Okay, not really. Can you picture that? Me pledging to a frat house?"
Nightwing looks at Tim for a moment, "Yes, but I can see you quitting in disgust when all they
want to do is throw keg parties and trash the place. A lot of them have open parties...go to
those. But if you want to get studying done, either find an Academic Frat or stay away.
Seriously." He chews on the inside of his lip briefly, "And be prepared to be asked where you go
all night. 'The Library to study' is usually a viable excuse."
"I'm going to live off campus, remember. Where I go all night can simply be 'home'. But yeah.
Academic Frat. Whoop pee. Might as well join the chess team and start collecting comic books. You
were a nerd in school, weren't you?" Robin teases, collecting his cape and mask and heading over to
his changing station.
"I never joined a frat," Nightwing points out. "And if being a nerd meant making stellar grades,
then yes. But I was focused on my studies." He even sticks his tongue out at Tim then, "I'm just
saying, if you join a Frat, they keep tabs on you. Another reason why I didn't bother. I got
plenty of the College Culture without having to dodge a minefield of drunks to get home."
"I was teasing, Dick." Robin says, disappearing into the changing room. He raises his voice as he
puts the costume away to still be heard. "I'm not actually dumb enough to join a frat, not to
mention start drinking. But I do want to hit a few parties. Get the chance to be...me for a
Tim emerges a few minutes later, in a muscle shirt and sweat pants, stifling another yawn. "Maybe
learn what it's like to sleep in one day. You sticking around long? I need a nap."
"And another reason why I semi-retired. It's prime time to learn who you are. Don't let Batman try
and define you while you're there." Nightwing then moves to the 'command chair' and settles in,
"Go ahead. I can hang out here for a little bit. Keep the home fires burning and all that...and
definitely find time to sleep in. It's an amazing luxury that I often miss. Going to sleep at
night and waking up in the morning. It's pretty amazing."
Tim grins, and nods his head. "Thanks Dick." he says, hitting the button for the lift to the
mansion above. "See ya in Metropolis soon."