The One Where Tim Wins

November 1, 2014: Tim wins; Spoiler alert: it's not remotely satisfying and neither Steph nor Tim are happy about it.




  • Thugs.

Mood Music:

Night time in Gotham, and the streets are alive with the sound of violence and crime. Spoiler is taking out a certain amount of frustration and fury on the petty criminals, her fist coming up to hit a particular one in the face right now, her foot lashing out in a spin to capture the one coming up behind her, a movement adapted from gym class paying off beautifully. Her bike is parked a little further up, showing some damage from a chase earlier in the week, one the night she saw a certain video. Steph is taking on the world now, the anger sent out to show the whole world that she won't be driven off, not by her father, not by batman and not by disloyal, cheating bastard boyfriends. Now she pauses, straightening in her little alley, surrounded, the two she hit falling to the floor.

Robin hasn't been out for days. No one has seen any sign of the 'real' Robin; the one declared Robin explicitly by Bruce. The Redbird has been mysteriously absent from the streets. He disappeared almost as if smoke blown around by the wind.

He shouldn't be out yet. The beating he'd gotten from the mysterious Bane was beyond anything Tim had ever experienced. He'd spent a night in hospital following, with Vorpal maintaining his secret identity of Nicholas Cage, and probably creating stranger rumours that underneath the mask Nicholas Cage was, indeed the Boy Wonder.

He should still be resting.

The sound of his motorbike rounds the corner; he's already on patrol. Except it's not real patrol. He hasn't interacted with anyone. He's looking for Bane. With the brute having declared war on Gotham and the Batman, Robin isn't about to sit idly by, or as the case may be, sleep idly by. The bike comes to a stop as Robin sees the Spoiler's vehicle.

Spoiler is a blur of Eggplant cape and fury, her hands, fists, and weapons being employed in a beating these guys won't easily forget, each hit landing on her seeming not to be noticed, not to be cared about. Their van is parked at the end of the alley, designed to conceal their villainary from the outside world, and now concealing this. "Jesus, you PMSing, woman?" One of them, leaning against a wall, mutters the words and gets a kick to the back of his head for his smart mouth. The sound of the batbike arriving turns her head, and, instead of distracting as it once would, brings renewed fury.

Ordinarily Robin would help in a heart beat. It's not in his nature to leave the fight alone. But something prevents him from doing so. In this light with the angles of shadow, it's impossible to see the bruising all along the Bird's face. So instead of engaging the villains, he revs the engine of the Batbike and pulls up to the van. He climbs off his vehicle — a nearly belaboured feat — and punctures holes in the back tires before clambering to the driver's side, taser in hand. With a quick zap the driver is incapacitated and Robin zip ties his hands.

The thug is then tugged to the ground just outside the driver sir door, Tim can't take him any further today. Robin then proceeds to sit down in the driver's seat. "No one ever checks the driver," he mutters to himself.

In a few moments, Spoiler is standing, just, one hand on the wall, her feet surrounded by fallen bodies. Her head bent for a moment, her eyes closed just for that instant, as she catches her breath. Then she moves slowly from one to the other, zip tying them, and she walks towards her bike, passing Robin with only a brief comment, "I guess you can phone it in. If you can fit it in between your women." Harsh, angry, and the woman isn't going to even look at him as she stalks towards her bike.

There's actually a moment where Tim genuinely has no idea what Steph is talking about. His eyebrows draw together beneath the mask, and his face aches with the motion. And then eh remembers: Harley. Right. Slipping out of the van, Robin traipses after her. "Spoiler! Wait!" He begins to jog, and that searing pain screams at his side when he moves, but he doesn't stop; he'll pay for it later. "There are no other women. It was one bloody picture — " at a really inopportune time. "I'm sorry it happened at all, but she did that when I was taking her down to take her in!"

Spoiler waits for a moment when he jogs to catch her, that moment used to spin, to slam her opened hand against his cheek, all of the fury behind it flung into that movement. "Film, Robin, fuck you." Then she is off again, storming towards her bike, ignoring his pain and injuries. "Get lost, Boy Wonder, go find someone else to lie to. I'm not interested, someone else already got that gig in my life." Definitely hurt, definitely furious, definitely unforgiving

And the slap does WAY more damage than probably even Steph intended. Robin's vision blurs, his ears ring, and he actually drops to the ground. If Steph aims to leave she's more than able. There's no chance Tim can get up that quickly. His hands move to his face as the throbbing continues with a very even thrum.

She pauses, sitting on the bike, at first glaring at him. Then as the moments pass, she frowns. "You are hilarious, if you are trying to make me stay by pretending." Her tone is hard, the tiniest uncertainty beneath it. "Get up and quit lying to me." She doesn't move towards him though.

The ringing doesn't stop, nor does the flashback to that night at the Chemical plant. Tim can feel his body going into shock even at the memory. He can hear the threats to him. To Batman. To his city. They echo with each vibration of his body. He can't even hear Spoiler for a good long moment. He needs to bottle it. He needs to overcome it. Rasping for breath, he manages to hiss out, "Not… lying…" much the same way he'd spat blood at Bane when referred to as his messenger.

Spoiler sits back on the bike, her eyes narrowing with suspicion. "What the hell do you want, Robin?" The softer Tim of previous times is gone, her hurt overriding that, and she dismounts, walking towards him slowly, cautiously. "Call Oracle for help perhaps, maybe she'll step in." She heard that rumour too, and with the attitude she got from Oracle on her brief visit, she can believe it too.

Robin remains fixed on the pavement. He trembles with the thought of whatever is befalling his city, the words roll over his thoughts again and again with the reminder of what Bane had done. But as he holds a palm to his face, he manages to pay attention. "There is no other girl," he strains still pained and still distracted. "There couldn't be." There's a long pause and he frowns. "Not Harley. And NOT Oracle — she's like my sister," he mutters with a cringe. He groans again as his body curls into itself. "Harley blew up my car," he groans again. "Took her down with bo staff… landed on top of me… she hammed it up.." he groans again. "Seriously. Ew. Clowns." Because he is not into coulrophilia. His face scrunches painfully around his mask, "Am I so untrustworthy you think the worst of me that easy?" He groans again and can't help think that Steph may as well join the distrust-Tim-club.

"Sure. I totally believe you. After all, the first time I hear this and you deny it. The second time, I told you, …" She shakes her head, giving him a glare, her arms crossed. The evident mistrust, and the very clear anger is written all over her face. "That easy? I trusted you, TIM, over all the time you kept secrets from me, and I told you last time…Noone is trustworthy, you just proved that to me." That last isn't angry, just tired and sad.

Robin's hand continues to press firmly to his cheek. "I don't even know how I managed to get this reputation with you. I'm a virgin for pete's sake. The number of girls who've kissed me — that I'm not related to — is three. Including flippin' Harley Quinn, the woman who couldn't be brought down by anything. I swear she's got leather for skin. I barely know how to talk to women, which I think you've picked up from experience. Ha. I barely know how to talk about women." He groans again. "I gave you my name. I talked to Batman about you. I've done everything I could possible do to — " his hand finally drops from his cheek, the purple taking on other hues thanks to the latest blow " — inspire that trust. Because it wasn't fair. So I tried. I've been trying."

She shakes her head, giving him a look, "I didn't see a video of you fighting her, I saw a video of …" She can't even say it, and she doesn't approach him but she isn't leaving him in the dust. Yet. "Go back to Harley and Oracle. At least it gets you off the hook with your daddy." Snark, the place Spoiler feels safest, fueled by hurt and anger. "Call Oracle and ask for her help, Tim, because … " She can't finish the sentence, the words struggling behind her emotions, and she turns her face away from him to hide it.

"A video of what?" Robin asks earnestly. "Tell me. Sincerely, just tell me." There's a blandness in his voice. "And if you want this over, tell me that too. Leave me to it. I've put effort in to try to prove myself here. I've literally done everything I can for you. Everything. I've tried to tell you my secrets. I've let you in on more than this part of my life." There's a dull ache in his chest. "And I have no interest in Harley or Oracle." And this is precisely why he'd aimed not to date. "Look. If you can't trust me, if you can't believe me when a villain or random woman," he rolls his eyes, "happens to find my proclivity for blushing and embarrassment amusing… I don't even know how this can work. I care about you. A lot. I don't want to see you as nothing more than a smear on the pavement — " like he'd been not long ago. "But. I am trustworthy."

"You and Harley!" The yell echoes in the alleyway and her hands clench into fists, the movement furious, and she steps forward, stalking towards him, her hands lifted to shove at his chest. "So if I can't trust you, even when the evidence says you are a lying bastard just like HIM, what? Leave you to it?" Her blue eyes narrow over the mask, the glare full of all of her emotions, and she shakes her head, fighting tears. "What makes you think this can work?"

"I was literally wrestling her to bind her in the zip ties I carry! She needed to be brought in! The woman needs help so I took her to Arkham. In an ice cream truck. Because she blew up my car. I took her down with the staff in a very smokey area. She fell on top of me. She kissed me! I pushed her over and she started hamming it up for the cameras," it's plain enough. The shove at his chest as Robin stumbling backwards with another groan has his hand rises to his chest as he attempts to get his balance. Again he strains through gritted teeth: "I've never cheated." He's actually insulted at the word. There's a long pause and Tim inhales a deep breath. When he comes back, his voice has softened, move away from the defensive: "Who is he? Your father?"

"Who else." The flat tone is tired, Spoiler's fight missing for the first time in a long time, and she shakes her head, turning away. "I have to go." No explanation, not softness, just tiredness as she walks towards her bike, her shoulders slumped. Once on it, she pauses, giving him a look, before she speaks, quietly, steadily, "You win. I'll hang it up." The cape, the gig, Steph giving in to the pressure.

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