According To Plan

October 17, 2014: Robin surprises Spoiler and then gets surprised himself and the pair have to turn to Oracle. As usual, nothing goes according to Tim's plans.

Storage Locker



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Mood Music:

It's not quite dusk when the card arrives. It's a strange delivery in a way, a large manila envelope brought my a courier hardly counts as a normal everyday occurrence to the Brown household; particularly one brought through perfectly legal means. But this envelope had to be signed for, and seemed to have a bogus address 533 3rd Row 12 Column. And it'd been addressed to a certain Stephanie Brown.

When she'd opened it, it'd been little more than a rather nondescript greeting card with a map tucked inside and a single key. The map had an 'X' like treasures of old, yet it didn't exactly suggest buried treasure. And the key? Well it was plain enough. Silver in colour. No different than any other key for a lockbox or small door lock.

The path to the X had been an odd one to be sure. It would take her to North Point, downtown, and through some seedier parts of Gotham until she'd reached a very quiet storage facility. Container after storage container operate as long walls.

Stephanie is curious, she always is, and she takes both the card, map and the key with her, tucked into her belt. The Spoiler costume comes out, the curiousity not overwhelming a logical thought process and her detective skills. She takes the rooftops, avoiding the alleyways, giving her a view over the storage containers. She crouches there, her blue eyes studying the area, before she moves forward cautiously. Cautiously for Stephanie.

There doesn't seem to be anything truly amiss. Even the sign for the place Storage R Us and then in smaller letters A Wayne Enterprises Subsidiary seems on the legitimate side of things. Even if it i's in a weirdly quiet location. Nothing jumps out. And, in fact, the owners of the storage crates seem to not be here. Maybe it's a time-of-night kind of deal where people typically visit during the day. Or maybe it's just the setting for Storage Wars and all of the storage containers are just staged. It's anyone's guess.

Down the long rows and columns of containers, Steph will quickly realize that there are exactly 6 rows and 12 columns of containers, assuming that rows are represented by latitude and columns by meridians. Or she could just see the numbers printed on top. Number 533, imprinted on top of the crate (and likely on its front too) is in the 3 row and 12 column — the return address that had been on the envelope.

Blue eyes study the scene, and she moves cautiously along the roof, jumping across gaps between containers. Relaxed, she takes a moment to practice some movements, somersaulting over the space, her spring taking her from her feet, to her hands and back to land opposite number 533, considering it for a moment. Then, Spoiler tosses caution to the wind, sliding down a grapple line to land neatly in front of 533, her cape swirling around her legs. She takes the key out of her belt, considering it for a long moment before she slowly inserts it into the lock.

The key is, of course, a perfect fit. When she turns it, the garage like door will be able to be pulled up and into itself. The metal handle is heavy but not impossibly so and makes a clanging noise that echoes across the storage yard when she opens it.

It's dark inside, unsurprisingly. It is, after all, a storage unit. But once her eyes adjust (or she uses a flashlight), she will see several things. On the left side of the unit is a workbench with a few different items. Some pellets. A boomerang of sorts. There are tools strewn across the bench, someone has been working in here — that much is clear. As her eyes sweep across the storage container, she will come to the main attraction: her bike. In all of its glory. Repaired. The bullet holes are gone, it's engine repaired. In fact, it may even be rideable again.

She lets herself in with caution, closing it behind her and extracting a torch from her bag. The torch shines slowly over the room, pausing on the workbench. She takes a step forward then, and the torch light lands on the bike. All caution is abandoned, and she moves towards it, her hands brushing over the bike, the tenderness and love for it obvious. Slowly, after checking out every inch, she sits on it, her lips curved into a broad grin beneath the mask. "You know, this doesn't mean you aren't in trouble for that newspaper bit…"

Ten points to Dick Grayson. Evidently presents are good ways to apologize. For a myriad of things. Although, Robin is convinced this is far less cheesy than any of his older brother's ideas. She can hear the shift in the dark behind her from outside the door. "I wasn't going to be here when you found it," Robin admits when he slides into the room. "And it was from a week ago. You know that, right?" His eyebrows arch upwards. He didn't mention his run-in with the Joker with anyone. Mostly because he didn't think it mattered. The Joker got away. He ended up under the influence of hallucinogenic gas and beating up not one but two SHIELD agents. Including the woman he was trying to save in the first place. Yeah. Hallucinations suck. He runs a gloved hand through his hair. "So I have no idea if you like the storage locker at all. But if you want it, it's yours. I thought it might be good for you to have space to do stuff away from eyes. And your other life." He shrugs. But he still makes no movement into the storage locker.

Spoiler sits back, her hand lifting to tug down the mask, revealing the broad grin. She turns her head towards him, her face thoughtful, "A week ago?" The echo sounds faintly disbelieving and she sits back, her hands on the bike in front of her. "I'd like it but… " She hesitates before she finishes it, "What are the strings attached?" She tilts her head, the narrowing of her blue eyes brief, "Tell me about her." Someone lost some ground with that one, it seems, and trust may not be Spoiler's strong point, not with her recent life.

"Yeah. A week ago. When I drove her home. Like I told you," he didn't mention the Joker quite purposefully for very obvious reasons. "It's not a big deal. We got shot at, I grabbed her arm and pulled her behind Redbird because it's bulletproof. And then the Joker aimed his gun at me." No big deal.

"She's an agent of some kind. Works in office supplies and carries a taser around." Robin's nose wrinkles, "Apparently into roller derby. Which is why she dressed like Harley." His lips twist to the side. "And I reiterated multiple times that I have a girlfriend. The message was loud and clear." It's an interesting way of saying it. It's a word he's used with other people, but not Spoiler. And it's completely without thought that he does it because he has literally used it half a dozen times in the last week. "And she carries a taser around." He knows that because she tried to use it on him when they were both hallucinating crazy things.

Spoiler is watching him, her eyes thoughtful, and then she nods, dismounting the bike, her gaze resting on his face, and the girlfriend word, used for the first time ever with her, earns some heat in that look. She walks towards him, hips swaying, her lips curving. Then she speeds up, flying across the distance, her arms wrapping around his neck, a kiss given with enthusiasm. "Thank you. My own Spoiler cave…" She is teasing him, but her eyes are serious as she adds, "I know you don't want to help me but thank you."

The movement towards him actually has Tim stiffening, readying himself to be slapped again. Because he sucks at girls and is convinced there's a lot of that in his future. But then she's kissing him and his eyes widen with surprise before his hands settle around her waist. "Exactly," there's a flicker of a smile at her thoughts. And he nods once before swallowing hard. "I know this is important to you." He shrugs. They could fight about it again, but he'd probably win. His eyebrows arch upwards as he studies her face, "You like it?" There's just a hint of uncertainty in his voice that is probably a dead giveaway to Tim's emotions.

She shoots him a look, narrowing her blue eyes before she kisses him again, hands lifting to his cheeks. "I like it. I love having my bike back…" The quiet reply is soft and she studies his face, her smile fading into a frown. "So does he know you are helping me?" The question is wary, his response studied as she steps back. She turns to wander around the room, exploring the new workroom, the private space, without her mother knowing every single thing, telling her father every thing.

"Not yet," Robin says honestly. "But he will. I told Nightwing. And Oracle. And — I want you to meet them." His gaze turns downwards as his cheeks flush. "Oracle asked to meet you." He shoots her a flicker of a smile that fades seconds later. "And I'm going to talk to Batman with Oracle there. They said it was okay." His tongue rolls over his lips and he sighs. "It might not seem like a big thing to you, but these people, they're family to me. And." His slowly follows her into the workroom, "And. I want them to know you. And you to know them." He pauses. "And Batman is going to be difficult. But." He shrugs. "Batman can't tell me who to date. His approval doesn't matter. Or who to help. I'm not a kid anymore."

A glance is given to the workbench, "You already have my grappling hook, so I didn't grab one of those — " except for himself. " — but that's a birdarang. And there's some smoke pellets in the box. Be careful with them. The smoke could take a long time to get out of here if they burst…"

Spoiler freezes, slowly turning to stare at him, her eyes wide. "I… what?" There is blankness in that look for a moment, before she blinks, shaking her head, "I met him, he told me to go home, to give it up…" Just in case, you know, he hadn't been there when he sent her home like that. "Wait… you want me to meet your family?!" She absently takes the box, poking with her fingers at the smoke pellets, taking one to place carefully in her belt. Her blue eyes avoid his, the nerves showing in the fidgets, in the movements. "That isn't what you … I mean… what… "

"Like family! Like them! They're… they're my… my little bat family," Robin corrects, even if they're one in the same. With both of his parents gone and no known relatives to speak of, the bat family is his family. "Like family," he emphasizes again because Tim is consistently disarmed when talking to Spoiler. "Unless. You don't want to." It's his turn to look away. In fact, her bike has become incredibly interesting to the Boy Wonder. "Look. I want you in my life. This is complicated, but I want to minimize those complications. I want to see more of you. And I don't want to make excuses for being moony-eyed while talking about you. Or when I see the others after being around you. Or when I just happen to be sitting on the edge of a roof thinking of you — "

"The way you speak about them, they're family." She is at least certain of that, and she turns to the workstation, hopping up to sit on it, her legs dangling. She stares down at her feet, her cheeks gaining colour worthy of him, her fingers tightening on the side of the ledge. "You… you go mooney eyed over me? You think about me?" The question is unSpoilerlike in the shyness, in her look at him. "Alright. I… guess you sort of met my family."

The questions and their shyness draw that red blush back to his cheeks along with a sheepish grin. He takes a few steps towards her and pauses as she agrees. It's his turn to bound over to her. His gloved hands reach out for her masked cheeks and gently he rolls the mask over her lips. His breath hitches in his throat, his eyes squeeze shut, and he leans forward and rather passionately kisses her lips. It's not a fleeting kiss. Not a gentle kiss. It's a lingering kiss. Present and accounted for. When he finally breaks it, he rests his forehead against hers and whispers. "I've been moony eyed over you since we met. You're nine tenths of what I talk about. When I'm not with you I wonder what you're doing…"

The kiss is met with a warm grin and a return kiss, her arms curling around his neck. Her eyes are bright, her face glowing with the colour, and she closes her eyes as their foreheads rest against each other. "Thinking about you, fighting with mum, tracking what dad is up to…" The whisper is a list, the things she does when he isn't there. "When? Who first? What do they know about me?" The words tumble out swiftly, nervousness showing, "I met Batgirl. Twice."

"Maybe Oracle first?" Only because Nightwing will tease Tim more. "And then Nightwing. They'll both like you. I know they will." He actually grins at her as his eyes lid lightly. "Batgirl is cool too. But since you've already met — " his tongue rolls over his lips. "Oracle and Nightwing will definitely like you," he reaffirms. "And you met the other Robin," who Tim barely counts as family save for the fact that they are technically brothers. "We'll put Batman at the bottom of the list." Tim will let Steph win over everyone else before going to Batman again. Because that'll make it harder for Bruce to stare disapprovingly at her.

As far as what they know, Robin shoots her a lopsided grin, "Well. Oracle knows your real name. And they could know almost anything they want to. Oracle is like our guardian angel. They monitor everything." His lips twist to the side. "I've told Oracle a lot. They gave me some advice about… stuff." His cheeks redden now. Because he needs advice. "And Nightwing. Well. He knows I demasked you. He also knows you caught Cluemaster." And that Batman wouldn't approve of this dalliance between his protege and the Spoiler. But Tim leaves that unsaid. "They also both know that you're good for me." There's another flicker of a smile. "I've asked them both for advice. Because. I really suck at girls. And by that I mean… I've only had one girlfriend. That was in high school. I've gone on dates, but Robin kind of gets in the way — "

"Oracle… right… Nightwing." She brushes her tongue over her lips, a nervous gesture before she pulls a little away, her face an open book. "You… they know my name? You told …them both a lot about me?" There is a note there, less than happy, her forehead creasing, her blue eyes darkening. "I don't know them." She isn't certain, the hesitation obvious as she leans back against the side of the container, on the bench.

"I had one. A boyfriend, well, more of a few dates, before you." She isn't saying more though, her face darkening, and she slips from the bench, moving towards the bike restlessly.

"I told Oracle when you were stabbed," Tim answers plainly. "I was concerned about you. Sincerely. But Oracle could've figured it out themselves. Nightwing doesn't have your name." Robin sighs. He hmmms quietly and then she's waking away. He's blown it again. As always. With a heavier sigh he shakes his head and pinches the bridge of his nose. "I don't know what else to say — I'm trying here. I am." He sighs heavier. The boyfriend comment merits an, "Oh?" and little else. If she wants to talk, he's willing to listen, but he's not pressing it either right now.

"Steph, I don't know what else you want from me? I want something sort of normal for once. You know I'm Robin. We started this relationship as our night-time selves, and now I…" he sighs. "I'm trying to keep your secrets. But these other people I care about, they read me. Like a book. And I want to talk about you…"

Steph reaches the bike, her back to him, her fingers touching the paintwork gently. "I know you are." Her reply is quiet, and she glances over her shoulder at him, and then nods. "I know, I know you do, you are trying and I am too. Just… I still want to know you." She moves restlessly, her teeth nibbling on her lower lip, her eyes darkened. "What do I want? I want to take your mask off and know as much about you as you do about me. But I know I can't, you won't." The thought isn't bringing any happiness but she shakes her head slightly. "When and where?"

There's a pause as she says what she wants. And Tim sighs. Dick said he could date her as himself. Babs said to trust slowly. Dick said he didn't have to be Robin to be with this girl. She met Robin, but he didn't have to fill that role to be with her. Babs said Steph seemed to like him and not just the mask. Vorpal said that trust would inevitably happen. But how could it without risk? It seems like the kind of thing Batman would lose it over. The sort of unforgivable thing that he'd been long-instructed to guard against. But since the time he became Robin he's told no one except his father who died. Possibly because of his secret.

While she's not looking at him, if she was, Steph would catch sheer indecision from his expression. His deep desire to be known mixed with her now uttered desire to know him is almost painful against his equally large sense of duty. His fear that in guarding this secret Steph could meet her own end like his father has certainly crossed his mind. More than once.

Inner anguish becomes materialized as his hand rises and he gives the mask a small tug. The mask is left on the workbench and his chin drops to his chest. Completely free from the lenses that shield them, his blue eyes train on the floor. He hasn't answered her question, but he has, at least responded to her not-so-simple request.

Steph glances over at the silence from him, her eyes serious, the pucker between her eyebrows more perplexed than angry. Then she realises the mask is off, her eyes widen and she turns slowly, staring at him. There is a moment of blankness, logic and emotion at war and she mouths his name, the familiar face from school recognised, and it takes a moment before she responds, before she steps towards him, first one step, then another, and then she is flying across the room. Tim - for this time, it is he - is thoroughly kissed, her body pressed into his, her hands in his hair, and even one leg foot lifting behind her. It seems Tim is welcome and Robin is rewarded for honesty.

The few moments of silence are enough to eat more of Tim's self-confidence. He needs to make his own decisions; he knows he's getting to the point where he needs to decide what to do with his own life. And then he hears movement. His chin draws upwards to see her approach. His blue eyes widen as she runs to him only to clamp shut when her lips meet his. And when she presses into him, his arms envelope her close, wrapping around her to hold her closer. His face reddens beneath the affection as his conflict lifts. He trusts her. He know he does. The trust isn't without its concerns or doubts — doubts more about himself than his secrets. But even as Tim he's accepted; even as Tim he might be good enough. His Dexter ways, nerd chatter, and general dorkability don't appear to be completely repulsing. After several beats he breaks the kiss and he watches her, his eyes completely seeable for once with the exposure of the mask of his face. "Hi," he says quietly, his face a healthy red while his eyebrows draw together and his lips curve up into a sheepish grin.

That is one hell of a kiss, particularly for a geek like Tim, and she leans against him, returning the look with a warm look, her hands sliding down to press into his chest. "Hi, Tim." She uses his name deliberately, her lips curving up into a smile. "Hi you…" Soft words, the trust in her face obvious, the softness of that moment something special. "You're in my class." The observation is stating the obvious and she considers, her expression making it obvious that she is piecing together the jigsaw of information in her head, piece by piece.

"Yeah…" Tim replies softly. "I wanted to ask you out before," before he met Spoiler, "but I lost my nerve." Because Tim is definitely all geek. And he sort of promised he wouldn't date this year. His hands remain solidly behind her back, and he wishes he wasn't wearing kevlar for once — to better feel the hands on his chest, but he doesn't let on. "And then when I knew — " his cheeks flush again. "Sorry I couldn't say anything." With a quiet sigh, he shoots her an easier smile, but he knows he's just asked for trouble from Batman. He'll worry about that later.

But then something changes in his expression. His face scrunches, nearly pained, and he leans back against the workbench to avoid falling forward onto Steph. The fogginess that tugs on his mind has him shaking his head once over. And the dizziness is eating his focus again. His eyes clamp shut and he sucks in a sharp breath. He really should've seen doctor Thompkins following his run-in with the Joker… Flushing the hallucinogen entirely from his system would've been both helpful and wise. "Steph — " the tone is indicative enough when Tim's eyes open. Something is wrong. His skin is paling, his pupils dilating, and from his perspective, even the room tilts on its axis. Something is very not right.

"You idiot." The words are soft though and she smiles up at him, the blue eyes laughing, "When you knew, if you said anything you'd give yourself away and we can't have that." A touch of the snark, but softened, just in that moment. Then his face scrunches up, and her eyes widen, her hands going to support him, holding him up. "You idiot!" That is less soft, and she wraps an arm around him, tugging him to the bike, a decision made in those moments. She practically manhandles him onto the bike, pushing him in front of her, balancing precariously to ride with him on the tank, her arms around him. One moment's hesitation gives him a mask, covering his face, and hers is tugged upwards. Then she is driving, heading …somewhere. Where?

Objection would be normal, but all Spoiler gets is compliance — an unusual characteristic for the normally independent Tim. He ambles to the bike and he feel cobwebs form in his mind. Without adrenaline coursing through his system, his body doesn't automatically turn the hallucinogen into outside danger. Instead he feels incredibly confused. The moment he's on the bike, he can't remember how he go there, confusion written on his face as he loses literal minutes. In fact, he can't quite remember how he can to the storage locker in the first place. He must've parked somewhere. But where? "…Steph?" this time it's a question from behind the mask. Wasn't there something he was doing? Was he just in class? Has this happened before? As they drive, for Robin, the world changes. Its usual appearance flattens, and three dimensions become two. The lines of the road look like little more than an illustration, flat and rolling as the bike moves. He can tell something is wrong, and his intuition screams with every fibre of his being that indeed he's right. Yet nothing looks amiss to him, almost as if the world has always been little more than a comic strip.

Spoiler's face, hidden by her mask, is anxious, a frown on her face, one arm tight around him, one hand steering the bike as it flies. "Tim, I need you to call Oracle now, tell them we need help." She forces her voice to be calm, the tremour in her nerves hidden. The bike circles towards Gotham, towards the areas she knows she finds him more often, the low purr of the engine smooth. Nothing in her voice gives away the expression on her face, the terror inside her, the sensation of "oh god" that is going around in her head.

For his part, the sense that something is wrong has faded some. Well, at least the notion that something is wrong with him. Something is wrong. Mostly because he sees the world changing around them — from his perspective anyways. The ghouls that chase them aren't something of this world, but thanks to magic and metahumans anything is possible. "Go faster — " Tim advises while his very-dilated pupils hone in on the world around them. He reaches to his utility belt and extracts one of his batarangs, an electric one and tosses it behind them. Towards, as far as Spoiler can tell, NOTHING. Robin is living in a different reality. Welcome to the world of hallucinogenic flashback — detoxing really is an important thing.

Her advice to call Oracle has Tim plugging into his comlink. "Oracle. Are you seeing this? Gotham near the old docks. Storage area — I'm with Spoiler on her bike. They're on our tail." Nothing is on their tail.

Spoiler's relief is obvious, and her fear echoes in her voice, raised to allow Oracle to hear her, "Hi, look, he almost fainted, went weird, I think he is poisoned. Help me?!" The last has a distinct edge of panic to it, a tone you want to hear from a teenager holding her boyfriend onto her bike, driving fast in the direction of …somewhere.

In the clocktower, Tims communication, and then Spoilers, filters through and Oracle sits forward in her chair. A few gestures over her console and the window with a tracking symbol is bought to centre screen. Frowning, Oracles hands are not still and her fingers fly over keys and touchpads until one Video Feed shows… the bike with the two teenagers on it.

"Robin, this is Oracle, can you get yourselves to the ClockTower?"

There's a moment when there's a hint of clarity that prompts Tim to plug his comlink into Spoiler's ear. But her words leave him unsettled. "What," Tim turns around to look at Spoiler. His face is unusually pale and damp while moisture collects around the mask. And, even through layers of fabric, Spoiler can tell Robin's body temperature is rising. But even with his altered physical state, it's Tim's expression that's actually haunting. There's an emptiness in his gaze, almost like Tim has disappeared.

Or, at least, his recognition of Spoiler has vanished. He turns back to face the road, and speaks into the comlink that he no longer has, "Roger. The Clocktower." He receives an affirmative on his direction. "Be alert. They're going to keep following us — " there's a wariness in Tim's tone.

Spoiler lifts her hand to the comlink, balancing cautiously, her bike turned towards the Clocktower, "Hi. Clocktower, right." Her tone echoes the terror, growing as his gaze changes, her blue eyes wide above her mask and that bike moves as fast as it as ever gone, flying through the streets, her arms around him, "I've got it, Tim, trust me… " She speaks that aloud, smothering the other words, the words her tone says, the mental bargaining that he will be alright.

It's days like this that Oracle wonders about a solitary existence in the Clocktower. Grabbing her tablet from the arm of her chair, she pulls the video feed up on it. Maneoeuvring the chair out of the monitoring room, she heads to the field medical centre to start preparing it. "Spoiler, you say you think he's been poisoned, I need to know what the symptons are, in as much detail as you can give me." She speaks into her headset, calmly, never ceasing in her preparations.

The bike makes its way to the clock tower and Robin feels increasingly unsettled by the world around them. His eyes turn upwards, the murder of crows coming towards them from overhead has his blue eyes squinting with determination, and he leans forward on the bike before shifting underneath Spoiler's grasp. When he looks down, he blinks hard, trying to understand how they found a pony in Gotham, but he doesn't question it, instead giving the horse a good kick with his heel to get it to go faster. "Come on, girl," he pats the metal bike, "gotta go faster. This is bird-on-bird chicken," Tim is actually quite proud of these words, "and we're going to win this round — or take some crows down with us."

But there are no crows. They're on Spoiler's bike.

"I don't know!" The words are panicked, and Oracle can hear the breath Steph takes to try and get it together, one that Robin can feel, "He looked like something hurt, he nearly fell over, he looked pale, his eyes went smaller, …Tim, I've taken the crows down, the birds won." Her voice tries to be soothing, and she adds in a whisper, "He is hallucinating." Oh god oh god…

Herracles eyes narrow. "Hallucinating…. mmmm… Spoiler, has Robin had a run in with The Joker lately?" Still calm, but crisp, Oracles voice doesn't betray the concern she is feeling.

Having got the field med area as ready as possible, Oracle moves her chair back towards the monitoring room. Once inside, she pulls up a screen and starts crossreferencing the very set of symptons that Spoiler has provided with known drugs and their effects.

"Of course we won!" because obviously, they are the birds. Or one set of Birds. Or he is. Tim looks over his shoulder at Spoiler, his skin still pale and damp, and he shivers. Just once before shaking his head. His mind can't quite comprehend anything that's going on around him. "What's that?" he asks his own comlink (that he doesn't have), and presses his fingers to his ear. "Hard to hear you over the horse, over." His eyebrows draw together, and he shifts on the bike. Well, more than shifts. His legs draw upwards onto the seat. Yeah, it looks like the Bird is going to bail.

It's probably a good thing they're near the tower.

"I don't know, I think maybe…" Spoiler gives Tim a hug, one armed, her other hand steering them towards the looming Clocktower. "He is going to jump!" The panic in her voice is damned obvious now and she tries, "Robin, you have to stay on, I need you to fight the crows when we get there, Oracle needs your help." There is no way she is letting go of his waist, if he goes, they both go.

Oracles eyes narrow. "Hold onto him Spoiler, you're nearly here." A list of potential drugs are displaying on Oracles monitor, of course, those are only potential if the vague description Spoiler has given is even remotely correct.
Herccassionally glancing at the teens on the motorbike on the video feed, Oracle assesses the data presented by the cross referencing search.

"NO! We can't let them escape!" Robin replies urgently. Even with the arms around his waist, Robin jumps. But thanks to having a new Spoiler backpack he doesn't exactly ace the landing. The bail is beyond sloppy, and Robin tries to pry the hand away from his waist after they hit the ground. "I need my staff — " he tugs on his belt and then shakes the staff to bring it to its full length. What Robin aims to fight is anyone's guess.

The bike slides along the road, and Spoiler clings to him, the panicked voices in Oracle's ear rising, pausing only for the moment where the breath is knocked out of her. "Robin! I need you… help me? Get me to Oracle, I'm hurt…" She is trying something, the girl an excellent liar, her training at her father's hands coming into play as naturally as breathing.

Cursing isn't something that Oracle does often but as she watches Robin launch from the bike and the two teens land badly, that is exactly what she does. "I'm going to kick that young mans backside so hard…." she murmurs to herself. Into the comms unit, she says calmly "Spoiler, turn around, the building is right behind. If this ploy doesn't work, knock him out and drag him up if you must. I'll release the doors as you need them."

Off the bike, bo staff in hand, Robin peers about the park. His chin lifts and he watches the world around, eyes trying to figure out how he got here. His gaze lands on Spoiler. "Something's wrong." He presses his finger to his ear, not something he usually does with his comlink, but it sounds so different than usual. "Oracle," he states, "I need you to call Gotham PD. NOW." Not that she can because he doesn't even have his comlink.

"You need to go back to Arkham, White Rabbit!" he hisses as he turns his staff over in his hands. "You need treatment. Stay on the ground while the police come — " Robin won't hurt you. Probably.

Spoiler rolls, rising to her feet, the grace slightly damaged by the skid mark along the side of her newly resewn outfit. "Robin! Crows have infiltrated the Clocktower! The bird in the nest needs us!" She tries to inject a sense of urgency, of command into those words, "No back up is coming, she needs us NOW!" She turns, as if she would go without him.

"For Petes sake" Oracle says to herself, shaking her head. She's hearing Spoilers requests to Robin, and feels this may work but thinks breaking through the hallucingen may be better. Sitting forward, she sighs and her hand moves across the console and she sends a signal to Robins cell phone, the signal designed to short the phone out and hopefully shock the brash young man into a degree of coherency."I'm sorry Tim" she says to herself and into the Comms unit "Be ready Spoiler, you're going to have to grab him"

The bo staff is spun in Robin's grasp. He takes a step back. "Rabbit! I said you had to stay!" he urges. There's no question Tim is talented with his bo staff, he's been training with it for years, and it feels natural in his grip. He turns it over once, feeling it as an extension of himself. He lunges forward to maneuver it. But then, in his utility belt, his cell phone zaps him. The electric current flows through Robin's system, and his shoulders curl towards one another. His body twitches as he staggers to the ground.

And Spoiler is there to grab him, turning the movement into a drag, peddling backwards with her hands tucked through his armpits. The door is opened with her back, a collapse only happening when the pair are in the lift. She stays kneeling, her arms around him, whispering into his ear, words not meant to be heard on the comlink, "Tim, come on, stay with me, you idiot. I swear, if you get through this, I'm going to punch you in the face." No snark, not a sign of it.

The Clocktower

A locally famous landmark, the Gotham Clock Tower is located in the Central
Business District. Tours haven't run in years, though, since the building was
bought out by a group of bird-lovers known as the Nightingale Society. Still,
it's a well-known part of the Downtown skyline. From the outside it looks
unused, but the clock is clearly maintained as it still runs on time, and now
and again people can be seen coming and going. The bottom floor looks mostly
disused, with a long hallway ending in a bookshelf full of coffee table books
about birds. To either side of the hall are sparsely furnished rooms. The
walls show illustrations of local Gotham feathery sorts, and charts on bird
migrations. Cabinets store various bits of bird-watching equipment.

The doors to the stairs require a key card to access, probably to deter
vandalism. The upper floors are only accessible by a secret elevator. The
doorways to access it them the stairs have been bricked over and drywalled.
On the living quarters floor, each door requires a keycard and voice
recognition, except for the door to the training facility at the end of the
hall, which requires palm, optical, and voice recognition. The top floor,
however, is the most secure of all.

The pale glow of the four massive translucent clock-faces dominate the four
compass points of the lair, casting everything in a warm light by night, and
cool light by day. the natural brick walls of the buildings exterior are left
visible on one wall while the others are painted a pristine white. The
ceilings have recessed and track lighting, and the floors are smooth pale
wood. There is a lounge area and even a kitchen, as well as other facilities
here. The insulation around the top floor is meant to keep scanners and
eavesdropping equipment from being able to image what's inside.

Mainframes and back-up generators line most of the walls in rooms of clear
glass kept from overheating with with high-tech coolant systems. In front of
one clock face is an enormous computer system laid out on a long, custom
desk, lower than average, just the right height for Oracle's wheelchair.
There is a command chair for use when needed, which slides on rails along the
length of the desk. A huge bank of monitors are arrayed in a horseshoe shape
around the desk, with the ability to form one large picture or individual
smaller ones.

Monitoring the two teens on their way up the Clocktower, Oracle releases the next lock and secures the before it. As the lift opens into her area, Oracle has left the monitoring room and closed the door and is waiting at the door of the lift. "Get him to the bed over there" she indicates to the field med unit. No introductions, nothing, Oracles focus for now is on Robin.

Coming back to reality, Spoiler stares at the opening of the door, momentarily distracted by the sight of the place, of Oracle, and then she is moving, dragging Tim across to the unit, and the difficulty in getting him up there is obvious but finally, he is wrestled aboard, and Spoiler leans over him, her hand on his hair, her face almost tender.

"Spoiler" Oracles voice is soft but firm "Firstly, I hope you realise how much trust I have placed in you bringing you here and secondly, I need you to step back so I examine him please." Keeping her distance, she waits to see what response the younger woman gives.

"I don't care if you trust me or not." The tone of the words isn't that friendly, and she circles the table, putting herself on the other side, giving Oracle space but watching every move protectively. "He was protecting me from whatever he saw." Information, with only a tiny catch in her voice.

Oracle casts a mildy amused look at the younger woman before moving to the table and securing Robin with straps. "I'm securing him in case he comes to before we've worked this out. Could you remove his utility belt and all his weapons please, you can put them on the table in the kitchenette."

Once the young man is secure, Oracle considers momentarily before preparing a saline drip and inserting the needle into the back of Robins hand. After taping the needle down, Oracle pull out her tablet and starts checking her results.

Absently, she says to Spoiler "When you've done that, you can get yourself something to drink and eat in the Kitchen. Then we can talk."

Spoiler meets that look with one of her own, full of attitude, defensiveness and wariness. Then she does move, removing weapons from all the places she knows he keeps them, unclipping the belt, putting them all out of reach. The reluctance to leave him for long shows in the return, without food or drink, her elbow propped next to his head on the table, her hand on his hair. There isn't a reply to the words either, the blue eyes sober, studying him, ignoring her own injuries.

The faintest signs of movement begin Tim's slow descent back to very gross-feeling reality. It starts as little more than a twitch in his muscles. His closed eyes strain, clamping shut with a groan as he hand reaches up, back towards the hand in his hair. "Steph?" he murmurs her name. "I…" he groans again. His free hand presses against his forehead and he groans again. His free hand tugs hard at the kevlar that lines him as he urges, "I need this off — " but nothing in his movements or words is focused; it's distracted as he twists to get out of his protective gear.

Tim's skin is warm to the touch, and likely incredibly uncomfortable underneath the gear designed to keep him safe.

Even with the illusions dissipating, his skin remains pale and damp. Deciding the kevlar is too difficult to remove on his own, he shakes his head and tries to relax again. He groans as the fog begins to clear from his mind, "Dad needs a phone call. He'll worry." Someone may need to remind him that Jack Drake died some years ago.

Watching Tims battle, Oracle moves around the med unit and returns with some vials. Drawing blood, she places the vials into a snaplock bag and writes on it. Spoiler, for now, is ignored.

Reaching into another cabinet, Oracle pulls out a packet and removes two capsules. More movement and Oracle returns to the side of the bed with a glass of water. Handing capsules and water to Spoiler she says "Get him to take these. They'll help him sleep whilst we flush his system." Oracle is cool and calm and doesn't betray a sense of emotion until she turns to Tim, softly she says "Let Steph help you Robin, I'll call your Dad, don't worry."

Moving away from the bed, taking the blood samples with her, she taps her comms unit "It's me, I have a pickup, ready now." and then returns her attention to her tablet.

Steph leans over Tim, gently helping him remove the Kevlar, her hands gently. "We've got this, Tim, rest now, unless you want to be a dead hero." Some snark, because he would expect it, and she offers him the pills, "Here, these'll fix you up. Want the blue one or the red one, Tim?" In truth, they are both red and yellow, but she is teasing him, giving the lie to the seriousness of her blue eyes.

"Thanks," Tim murmurs towards Oracle. "Don't tell him about the White Rabbit. Or the crows. He'll just worry." His vitals, as expected aren't exactly where they should be. The hallucinogens in his system have been allowed to rest there thanks to his negligence over the last week or so, and coming off a bad flashback trip doesn't exactly relax them. His blood pressure is high. His pulse is high. His temperature is high.

There's a tight smile at the question of the pill colour, "The one that lets me enter the matrix. Wait. Leave the Matrix?" his voice is hushed, like he's discussing some conspiratorial secret. He reaches out a hand to take the pills and downs them with a single swallow. He's being usually compliant and cooperative. Towards Spoiler he murmurs, "You have a pretty face." He doesn't even blush when he says it.

Oracle heard the way Spoiler addressed Tim and turning her attention away from her tablet, she focusses on the younger woman "Tim, is it?" Her comm beeps at her and reaching for the ziplock bag, she hands it to Spoiler "Please take these down, there is a courier waiting for them. Tim will be ok in the few minutes it takes you to do this. He'll sleep now"

"Gee, Tim, I was going to totally tell your dad about the whole crime fighting outfit." Snark seems to work so she repeats it, but his compliment does bring a touch of pink to her cheeks and she reaches out, stroking his hair, "I think leave the Matrix…" She whispers in reply, a rapid blink removing any trace of tears, and she leans forward to press a kiss against his forehead. The glance up at Oracle comes with a brief narrowing of her eyes, "It's his name." The reply is almost flat and she takes the bag, pressing another kiss to his head before leaving him, taking it down.

The pills work quick. Tim's eyes become heavy very quickly and the kisses to the forehead are met with a very sleepy, almost dopey smile. His breathing slows. His body relaxes. And Tim is off in dream land, no longer struggling against the drugs or his psyche in any way.

Watching the snarky young woman descend in the lift to deliver the zip lock bag, Oracle toys with the idea of locking her in the lift until her attitude improves, but sighs and decides against it. She observes Tim slipping off into dreamland and checks the saline drip and his vitals.

Once certain Tim is as well as can be expected, Oracle moves to the Kitchen and busies herself putting the jug on to boil and setting out two cups. In one cup she places instant coffee and the second she leaves empty. Settling, her eyes distant, she waits for the jug to boil or Spoiler to return - whichever happens first.

Spoiler takes the least time possible and she heads straight for Tim the moment the lift doors open, the fear that something happened in those instants obvious. A return to the watchful position with her elbows propped on the bed next to him, her fingers playing with his hair. She glances after Oracle, a check for where the woman is, her tension written in her body, despite the bravado.

Hearing Spoiler return and head straight to Tims side, Oracle calls out "Tea or Coffee, Spoiler?" Moving her chair so she can see into the Med area.

Spoiler glances up from Tim, her fingers staying in his head, and there is a flicker of thought, the younger woman reorientated to the world that isn't Tim. "Uh coffee I guess. Thank you…" She slides a hand down, finding his, her fingers meshing with his. No sign that she is going to leave Tim's side until he wakes and is better.

Returning to the kitchen, Oracle puts instant coffee into the 2nd cup. The jug has boiled by now, so she adds the hot water to the cups and finds a tray in one of the cupboards. Frowning, she guesses and adds creamer to Spoilers coffee and milk in her own. Placing the cups and a small bowl of sugar on the tray, she balances the tray across her lap and returns to the med bay.

The tray is placed on one the tables in the med area, and Oracle hands Spoiler her coffee, indicating the sugar. That done, Oracle moves her chair back a little, and nursing her coffee sits and watches the younger woman. Oracle says nothing.

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