Robin Meets Rowan

Summary:
November 4, 2014: A social visit with Babs by Robin and Rowan drops in to find out about Oracle….

Clocktower - Gotham

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.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:


In between everything going on in life, Tim Drake has come to visit a certain clock tower information goddess. Tim sits at the kitchen table, his fingers tapping lightly against it, with a cup of tea in front of him. "So. How do I know I actually broke up with her?" he asks. With a flicker of a smile and a roll of his eyes, he shakes his head. "I know I'm obsessing. I need to let it go, don't I?"

He shoots her a lopsided grin. "Sorry Babs. I'll be less obsessive." Maybe. "What's new with you?"

***

Sitting across the table from Tim, Babs has a cup of coffee, which she's wrapped her hands around. On the table, next to the cup, is her tablet and every so often, Babs flicks her eyes to it making sure there's nothing that needs Oracles attention.

Smiling faintly at Robin, Babs shrugs "I don't Tim, she's pretty emotional from what I've seen, give it some time. The stuff with Harley was pretty damning… funny, but damning. Let it go for a few more days."

Tims question about /what's new/ is met with a vague smile and Babs sipping her coffee before replying "Not much. Did I tell that I met someone interesting?"

***

"Not that damning," Tim counters with a sigh before running his fingers through his hair. "Okay. Maybe a little. But it wasn't at all what it looked like. Also, I'm glad my embarrassment amuses you so much." He cringes. "But I caught her," he tries to keep his tone light. "She's where she belongs getting the help she needs far away from the Joker… right?" He's not convinced it seems. "The car is getting fixed. First layer should be repaired in another week or so. Then I'll have tow irk on the second. Dad would be so ashamed I crashed that car." It was a present from his late father.

His head cants to the side at the thought, "Interesting?" The word is asked as a subtle-enough question while his hands curl around his own cup of tea. "Who?"

***

Babs laughs "I know Tim, I was ummm there, remember?" shaking her head she continues "Don't worry about it, you did what you needed and Steph is just going to have deal with it."

Checking her tablet, Babs head tilts slightly as she considers what she's seeing before turning her attention back to Tim. A small smile on her lips, Babs replies "Rowan. He's a Dragon Warrior from Atlantis… well not exactly Atlantis and he's from a different dimension. He's…. nice and his story is interesting." Sipping her coffee, Babs watches Tim over the rim of her cup.

***

"I remember," Tim returns with a lopsided grin. "Well see though. Steph might not deal with it, right? That's a thing, isn't it?" He sighs and then sips his tea.

The mention of Rowan has Tim leaning forward in his seat while is eyes narrow a stitch. "Is that why you 'smelled'," Fenris' word, "like water magic?" His head chants to the side, "So wait. IS he from Atlantis in another dimension then? And. What is a dragon warrior?"

***

"If Steph can't deal, is that the person you really want to be with?" Babs askes quietly, fixing Tim with a stare before she breaks into a grin, her eyes crinkling at Tims reaction to her explanation. "Oh, I'd forgotten that bit… " not really forgotten, but purposefully unremembered. "It's a bit complicated, and I trust you to not share this information with anyone else." Babs is pretty certain Rowan wouldn't care, but it is his story. "He's not Atlantean, he's a Blue" Babs shrugs, she's still working out the different factions and to be honest, she's not sure that factions where Rowan is from actually exist in this dimension. "What I do know, is that he doesn't consider the King and Queen of Atlantis here, his monarahcs but he does respect the Queen a lot."

Stopping and sipping her coffee she smiles "Off topic… He was born without the normal abilities of his people and the Atlanteans performed some genetic modification and gave him all these abilities. One reason he calls himself a Dragon Warrior, is that he can remember transforming into a dragon. He can't remember how to right now though." Smirking at Tim, Babs adds "See what I mean? Interesting…."

***

Tim sighs. "Girls confuse me," he offers. "I just wanted an opportunity to, I dunno, not hide Robin for once, I guess." He shrugs. "Just hard. Dad knew and he died shortly thereafter. Honestly. It's like you guys are the only people I can have in my life with some measure of honesty. Seemed like Steph was that shot. Maybe." His lips purse. "It's selfish. I know it is. I guess I should just let it go."

Information about the dragon warrior, however, pierces his interest. "A Blue," the teen repeats. "That seems rather different," Tim agrees. "So he can transform into a dragon. A real dragon? Like. Reptilian and lizard like?" He takes a long sip of the tea and considers Rowan at length. "Pretty crazy the way the world is. Crazy enough nothing is even surprising before. So. He's a friend of yours then?"

***

Babs let's the topic of Steph drop for now hoping that Tim will get some perspective with distance. Sipping her coffee, she smiles back at Tim "I know…. it didn't really shock me either." Pulling her tablet over, Babs pulls up the footage from the Gotham Bank job with Deadpool and hands the table to Tim. The footage will show a tall young man sprout four feathered and brightly coloured wings. "He doesn't remember how to do the dragon form but from what I've seen, scales and feathers aren't an issue."

"A friend… yeah, I think so. That footage was Oracle contacting him, he hasn't me them yet, just knows Babs. We've had coffee and dinner a few times…." Babs doesn't mention that Rowan has also been in here and watched a movie with her, yet.

***

The footage draws another smile, this one more boyish than the last; there's something extremely cool about the ability to sprout wings. Tim whistles sharply and his eyes turn up to Babs. "Seriously. So much of the world makes me feel so … normal." His lips curve into a toothy grin. "Scales and feathers… as in he has them? Or as in he doesn't have them?" He has no idea what side of that is an issue. "I ask because if I had scales and features at this moment that probably would count as an issue."

He smirks at the notion of a friend. "Okay. So. A friend. Or a friend."

***

Tim and Babs is sitting at the table in her apartment, drinking Tea (for Tim) and Coffee (for Babs). It's a relaxed environment and Babs has just told Tim about meeting Rowan and a bit of his background.

"He can manifest scales and feathers. It's like a 2nd exoskeleton. He's offered to let me look at the tech, Tim…. And he seems quite pleased with the abilities, just so you know." Recovering her tablet from Tim, Babs closes the video feed down and brings up the monitoring systems. Seeing nothing specific to be concerned about, the tablet is placed back on the table. Cool as a cucumber, Babs picks up her coffee and drinks it slowly before raising her eyes to Tim and smiling says "A friend…" Whatever that means.

***

"Hey! Nothing wrong with manifesting scales and feathers," Tim holds up his hands. "I'm just saying if I did that it would be strange. So I'm glad to hear that issues is in the positive sense of the word. No issues bringing them up." He nods and chuckles at his own relative awkwardness and need for clarification. Tim doesn't comment on the last this time, and arches a wry eyebrow in response before sipping at his tea.

***

"And of course, flying around Gotham on grappling hooks isn't strange…. at all" Babs laughs. Sipping from her coffee cup, she raises her own eyebrow in response to Tims. "What? You might as well say it, it's obvious you have something to say."

***

It's been a while, but that Oracle voice on his phone had referred the Blue warrior to Babs about a couple of things, so here he is, ringing her doorbell at the bottom of the clocktower, probably clearly visible on the camera. He's a muddy haired young man, probably six or seven years older than Tim. He looks rather nice, if a bit generic. His face is lean, though and his eyes occasionally haunted. An artifact of a life spent at war in another world.

***

"You live in Gotham. Nothing wrong with grappling hooks. Besides, they're faster than public transportation," Tim replies with a smirk. Evidently he's feeling cheeky today. "I'm not saying anything," the teen counters. "I know better. Or. I'm learning to know better." Tim's lips edge into the most innocent smile her can muster. The ring of the doorbell has him arching a single eyebrow at the noise. "Expecting more company?"

***

Frowning as the doorbell rings, Babs shakes her head and grabs her tablet. Bringing up the video feed of the door, she smirks "Speak of the devil… well Oracle did tell him to speak to Babs…."

Closing off the monitoring room, Babs opens the door and uses the intercom system "Rowan, what a pleasant surprise. C'mon up."

***

"Hello Babs." Rowan smiles and waves having finally spotted the camera. He's not sure what to do at first, but then the door unlocks and the elvator comes down. Hey, at least Babs doesn't do put-you-to-sleep elevator music. He's got a bag in it, a grocery bag as it happens, full of very nice tea. Seems he knew somehow that Babs likes it.

***

Casting the teen a meaningful look, Babs smiles as the elevator opens to reveal the Dragon Warrior. "Hello Rowan… it's always a nice surprise. What brings you here today?"

Waving Rowan over, Babs offers him one of the chairs whilst nodding to Tim. "This is Tim, a very good friend of mine. Tim, this is Rowan."

***

"I had an… odd experience the other day." The blue offers the grocery bag over with a smile. "Also, this is for you. Hello Tim."

Rowan takes another look around. He was here the other day, but it's not like he had a tour. They were just having coffee and watching a movie. "Someone named Oracle called my cellular device whilst a very strange man got shot. Repeatedly. I think he wanted to date or marry her?" He shakes his head, confused. "Anyway, she told me that if I had questions I should ask you."

***

Tim slides from his chair and shoots the other man a lopsided grin. "Hi," he offers smoothly. He smirks at the notion of being a good friend and then nods, probably a good enough description. He treads towards the door and his arms fold over his chest before he shifts his gaze towards Babs. "Wait. Someone wanted to date or marry —- who?" His eyes squint and he just shrugs his shoulders. This is Babs' territory.

***

Babs accepts the bag from Rowan and opens it, her eyes lighting up at the selection of tea. "Thank you Rowan. Would you like a tea or coffee?"

At the mention of Oracles name and Tims question, Babs looks at Tim levelly "I think he said Oracle… you know, the Information Goddess of Gotham."

***

"Yes… an odd voice on my cellular device. Called Itself Oracle." He frowns. "Reminded me of the Overlord… but more helpful and less controlling. Er, sorry, Tim, I'm not from around here. Tea, please Babs. Do you mind if I sit?"

***

There's a small cant of Tim's head and he eyes the pair back and forth twice over before shoving his hands into his pocket in standard teenage boy deference. He nods vaguely at the notion of someone wanting to date or marry Oracle. His eyes squint slightly and he shifts back towards the table to reclaim his former seat — the seat he pretty much always claims at this table when he sits.

Hands still in his pockets, he shoots both of them a boyish grin and then shifts forward because Tim really wants his tea. Except sitting with hands in pockets is an incredibly awkward and uncomfortable posture that is oft times better in theory than practice. With a faint roll of his eyes, he stands to his feet removes his hands, and sits down again to curl his fingers around his mug. Finally, now that his teen attitude(TM) has been proven (because everyone can tell Tim Drake is one nerdy rebel), he manages another boyish grin, this one just a stitch sheepish and he shakes his head, "No reason to apologize." He glances between the pair. "Am I intruding? I can go…" Babs will surely catch the unmistakable mischief in his eyes.

***

"Please take a seat, Rowan. I'll make some tea." But Babs is distracted by Tim's antics. Pausing as she moves towards the kitchen, she just stares at him with a look of bemusement until that cheeky question is asked "No, but you could have offered to make the tea. Please stay though." The teen gets a Babs look.

"So Oracle contacted you, Rowan? That's said to be a sign of great trust. She, and the rumours indicate Oracle is a she, is known as the Information Goddess of Gotham…. there isn't much she doesn't know. It's said she works with Superheroes, helping them stop crime." Babs moves to the kitchen and starts preparing the Tea… her tone light. "What was this about someone wanting to date or marry her?"

***

"Someone in a flowery shirt and a mask. I understand it is custom for champions on this world to wear costumes. Perhaps that one was simply not well funded?" Lord only knows what Rowan would think of Tim's costume. "He was very durable. I may have had to throw lightning through him. I think his name was Deathriver… er… no, Deadpond… no, no… ah. Deadpool. He said he was called Deadpool."

The young soldier look over at Tim curiously. He's… really not that much older than the Boy Wonder. Okay, six or seven years seems like a lot at nineteen but it's not a huge amount. Still he seems… somehow older than he looks. Like life had somehow aged him faster. "No, I do not think you are intruding. This is Babs home. If you are her friend, please stay."

"Oracle was explaining your people's custom on… er, dealing with malefactors. I am used to responding to lethal force with lethal force. That is my training. It seems incredible to me that someone should try to kill you and your response should be other… but then, as I mentioned, I am not from here."

***

Babs earns a smirk at the comment, but Tim makes no remarks. The Babs-look is countered with a Drake grin, complete with dimples that silently declare the teen's innocence in all of this. He's not silently teasing anyone. Especially as he awkward turtles a lot of life circumstances.

The soldier is given a shrug of Tim's shoulders and his hands tighten around his mug. The comment about killing has Tim's blue eyes flitting towards Oracle. "Uh. Well." His throat clears. "I've heard," because Tim is NO vigilante, "that there's a code in Gotham against that. No killing among its crime fighters police or otherwise." He hmmms, "We have this whole court due-process thing where culpability and intent factor into guilt and sentence." His lips twist to one side, "I think it keeps people honest. We rely on everyone's input."

***

Babs nods as she finishes the tea. She's made one for herself, Lavendar (mmmmm) and one for Rowan, plain black; balancing them expertly returns to the table.

Placing the cups on table and sliding Rowans to him, Babs nods and considers before replying "It's a bit of a thing, yes. As much as Gotham might seem like a warzone, it's not. It's also different to where you came from Rowan… Killing is a crime, no matter what - and" nodding towards to Tim "as Tim says, we have a whole process to determine whether or not someone is guilty and what their punishment should be. Keeping each other honest… Maintains our humanity." Looking at Rowan, Babs becomes very serious "I even bet Oracle had called the police?"

Reaching for her tablet, Babs starts doing something with it as she talks.

***

Rowan nods. "She did." He looks thoughtful. Though he may be ignorant of the local customs to a degree, he's also spent a lifetime at war and that gives rise to a fair amount of thought about the nature of life and death and crime. "That is… interesting. And somewhat disturbing."

***

Tim nods at Babs' explanation. "Exactly. It keeps us human. It means that there's less risk of corruption, and less risk of making a mistake." There's a pause as his fingers tap against the mug. "For example, a person may not act like themselves when under the influence of a narcotic. And it's possible they weren't capable of controlling their behaviour. And maybe they didn't even give themselves the narcotic, maybe someone else did." He allows his head to cant to the side to watch Rowan. "Is that person guilty?" He shrugs his shoulders. "In the moment they need to be stopped from hurting others, however, they're not an actual danger to anyone."

His lips press together thoughtfully. "Basically, we don't kill because who are we to understand whether someone should or shouldn't die? Who am I," his blue eyes shift uncomfortably, "or anyone capable of determining the rightness or wrongness of action all on my own?"

***

Finding what she's looking for on her tablet, she turns it to Rowan. "This who you meant…" it's a webpage, most likely a blog, with lots of Deadpool sightings. Photos and commentary fill the screen.

Focussing on Rowan, Babs tilts her head "Disturbing how?" she asks mildly. Sitting back, Babs picks up her tea and quietly sips it. Tim seems to have the discussion in hand, and she's happy to leave it that way.

***

The Blue peers over at Babs tablet. "Yes, that was he." He chuckles. "Albiet without most of his costume. And a propensity to speak very… grandiosely."

Rowan shakes his head at Babs question. "I disagree… but then, I have another perspective. It is the prime right of any being to live free. That right must necessarily include the right to fight for that life by whatever means are necessary, indulding a resort to lethal force. Any society that denies this truth, be it for ever so high sounding a reason, has already taken the first steps to becoming the society I fought against my entire life. One where value is judged acording to the harsh whims of the needs of the many, as dictated by a tryrant or an assembly. It matters not. To say that to kill is a crime, no matter the reason is to value the order of the society above the individuals trapped in what was surely an awful situation. Are there many good reasons to take a life? I do not think so, but even I, raised in a place where the tides of war had converted entire nations into armies, would hesitate to condemn with such broad strokes for the sake of order and discipline."

***

Tim squints at Rowan's explanation. "You definitely make some good points. But if we allowed people to use lethal force, then a different kind of corruption would happen. Especially here in Gotham. Our police service isn't exactly known for their… innocence, I guess. And our streets aren't well established as safe." His nose wrinkles. "Spreading around the work and making killing a thing that doesn't happen easily maintains a level of civility that we value. Again, it keeps us honest. I wouldn't take a life if I could help it, and would experience the weight of that decision to its fullest." Pause. "Uh. Just saying." Because Tim Drake would never ben in circumstances to take a life.

***

Babs nods at Rowans words… "You have a point Rowan unfortunately, not everyone exercises the same level of restraint… " sighing, Babs lets Tim continue as she sips her tea.

***

Rowan gives Tim a curious look. "You never stop feeling it. Soldiers, warriors, we dehumanize our enemies. We say that they deserve what we give them because they are less than we, or because of what they have done, or for a thousand other reasons. But this is not because we do not feel the weight of death pressing down upon is, it is because we do. A shield to prevent the weight of necessity from breaking us."

"I trust a man, Babs, to exercise restraint, or be restrained by others more than I trust 'men'. Still, it is clear that your society has not gone as far as the Overlords did. Perhaps they never will. I hope for the sake of all that it does not. But I would, if I may offer an outsider's point of view, caution against making a virtue of such values. Like everything else surrounding the ugly prospect of taking another being's life, it is a balance between what is necessary and what is right. Stray too far in either direction…" He shrugs.

***

"We come from very, very different worlds Rowan. It's likely, very likely, that the world you know will never exist. And your point is taken." Drinking her tea, and letting the vapours curl around her nose, Babs tilts her head and looks back to Rowan "But let me clarify, because Oracle seems to work with a wide range of people, she prefers that non-lethal methods be employed…. It's her thing …. and from what we see, she's well respected by many of the Superheroes." Now it's Bab's turn to shrug, which she does with a small smile.

***

Tim shrugs and just nods along with Babs' thoughts. "If you want to work with her, you'll have to cooperate with the laws of our world. This is the truth of our world. And until such a time that the powers and principalities of the consciousness of men fail, then this is the way things are." His blue eyes turn down to his tea.

***

Rowans eyes dance amusedly. "You remind me of King Aruthur, Tim. I will tell you what I told him. I am a man with no home, no family and no life. I will do as I believe to be right. I can only hope that it will meet with the approval of the champions of this world, but considerations such as right and wrong cannot hinge on what others think." He chuckles. "I'm sure you understand this. Or at least, I hope you do."

***

Babs smiles into her tea… before looking between the two men at her table "I don't think Rowan actually said he wanted to work with Oracle. I think Oracle sought him out Tim. Don't you think that speaks highly of Rowan in general, as well" Babs eyes sparkle with mirth and as she looks directly at Rowan "Did you have any specific questions about Oracle, Rowan? I'm not sure if I can help…. "

***

The teen watches Babs carefully, particularly her eyes and the mirth she seems to exude. "Yeaaaaah…" his eyes narrow as he eyes the pair. "I think… I should go?" because he's getting a little bit of that awkward turtle vibe. He slides off his chair. "I can't help at all with questions about Oracle or uh… that kind of thing." He shrugs.

***

Rowan shrugs. The dragon warrior cannot be made to feel awkward, not easily. "A few. Am I likely to see more of this Deadpool? The Oracle, whom or whatever she is, seemed to know him. I do not know if they have a past, but after, er, fighting along side him, I do not beleive that he is very happy with me." So, that actually might make him feel awkward. Having thrown lightning through the man.

"Also, is this person well known? I am not… very tapped in to social circles here, but Tony Stark seemed disappointed when I did not know his name. Will this happen agan?"

***

Babs blinks at Tim and frowns before smiling again "Was that a question Tim, that you should go? Whyever for, stay a while, I'm sure you can help answer some of the questions… you watch TV and surf the Internet like Teens, don't you?"

Looking at Rowan over the rim of her cup Babs takes her time in answering "As to her relationships, you would have to ask her directly. Little is known about her personally. As to Deadpool, you saw the webpage… if you're going to be hanging around, it's likely you'll meet him again."

***

Babs pauses to drink her tea before looking at Tim "Rowan and I had the pleasure of a tour through Stark Industries. Tony Stark was there and Rowan quite upset him by asking who he was…" This does make Babs laugh as she directs her attention back to Rowan "Tony is unique, I think. Not many would respond that way. As to your question, which person are your referring? Deadpool or Oracle?"

***

"Kind of?" Tim returns towards Oracle. "I don't want to interfere or stop you both from an important conversation about our culture." There's a chuckle at the notion of watching TV and surfing the internet. "Uh. Yeah. I do those things," not often. His lips twist to the side and he shrugs. "So. I can maybe help." Deadpool has him shrugging as does Oracle. "I didn't even think Oracle was real," he states. "Like the Batman. Something of a legend, but not a real person or thing."

***

"Mmmm. I do wonder about that. I've already encountered werewolves in your city, Tim. Perhaps this Batman is a literal werebat. Those were rare in my experience but I've worked with one or two. Tribal shamans, usually. The Homo magi had a propensity for totemic animals."

"I am not sure she would be forthcoming about her relationships. And in any case, she called me, it is not as if I can simply call her back. Her communications code was restricted. Er, sorry, you call those 'telephone numbers' here, do you not?"

"Gotham does seem to be a… nexus of activity in a way that the other two large cities in this area are not. The champions seem rather focused. Well, some of them. The famous ones. Bats, they're all called, I've heard. The other champions I've met seem more colorful and less secretive. Though perhaps I have only met the ones who are not."

***

Quirking an eyebrow, Babs smiles at Rowan "Well if she contacts you again, consider asking… but she might not, you're correct." Frowning a little at Tim "And here, you have someone who says they spoke to Oracle…. " Turning her attention back to her tea, Babs is quite happy for Rowan and Tim to do the talking.

***

"Look. I'm not saying I disbelieve him," Tim defends, "Just it's a little farfetched isn't it? Some random genderless disembodied voice giving instructions to people? Ridiculous." His eyes roll dramatically. "Just as weird as random masked vigilantes who have no abilities besides gadgets. Seriously. Who would even do that?" The notion of werewolves, however, piques his attention. "What werewolves? Has this happened more than once for you?

***

"It seemed like something one of the Overlords would do. I had to remind myself that they are not here. Er. I hope." Rowan shrugs that bit off. Odd? Yes, but so is a man who can take automatic weapons fire to the face and not even burp. That was weirder, actually.

"Ah, about twelve of them in a scrap heap I later learned is called a 'landfill.' A repository for garbage? I was exploring. They took exception to… something. And then a bunch of people showed up and took exception to them. No, its only happened the one time, though I seem to recall hearing rumors of a 'Wild Hunt' here recently. Whatever that is."

***

"Goodness Tim, no one said you disbelieved Rowan. It was just a comment." Babs actually looks a bit shocked at Tims response and casts him a level glance. "Far fetched perhaps, but what about all the videoes, photo's and people who say they've seen then? You're a hard one to convince." smiling, Babs returns her attention to her tea

***

"Huh. So a bunch of werewolves at the landfill. Mental note: stay away from the landfill~" Tim virtually sings. "Thanks for the tip." Whether or not is actually a tip. His head turns up towards Babs at the words 'Wild Hunt,' but he doesn't make any comment on it, instead storing it away mentally for later.

Babs earns a shrug and a smirk. "Look. It just seems ridiculous. And there's that bloody twitter feed. Ugh. Seriously, people need lives. The Batman isn't real, it's something created by the GCPD to scare criminals. There's a while blog about it online. I'll show you sometime." Tim may or may not be writing it.

***

"I do not think it is working." Rowan says dryly. "I was informed after the fact by a co-worker that I likely interrupted a 'drug deal.'" Said coworker then had to explain what drugs were since pharesuiticals, illigal or not, were not a thing in Rowan's world. Well, the part of it he lived in anyway. Healing magic works so much better and if you can't get that, then it's all herbal remedies.

"Then again, if you have werewolf criminals, then perhaps that is why they are not scared."

***

"And don't forget there was that night you walked me home, Rowan. You said you had deterred something during that… But then again, this is Gotham." Shrugging, Babs finishes her tea "That was a lovely tea Rowan, thank you for that. Now, not withstanding my negative friend over there" and Babs smirks in Tims direction "Did you have any other questions?"

***

"I'm not negative, just… skeptical. Like all philosophy students should be," which Tim is not. "And all people should be students of philosophy." He forces a tight smile. "Sorry if I've been so negative. I'm just saying things as I see them."

***

Rowan smiles at Tim, rather than smirking. Smirking he generally reserves for people who are about to die. Messily. He is, after all, a dragon. Or was. "Yes. Am I making your friend uncomfortable? He keeps offering to leave. I hope I have not… er… offended you with my own philosophy."

***

"No Rowan, I think I am" Babs considers Tim carefully before adding in a slightly hurt tone "It was a bit of fun Tim…. I would like you to stay, but if this is too much for you. I know it's been a tough week for you…" There's a reason Babs privately refers to the younger Bats as Bratlings and this is part of it. Returning her attention to her tea, Babs lets Tim make his own decision.

***

Tim's blue eyes flicker between the pair. "I'm fine. It's been a trying a few weeks," he manages. "School. Work. Car accident," because this is Tim Drake's life. "I should go do some homework anyways." There's a pause. "Got a lab due tomorrow and I haven't finished it." He runs a hand through his hair. "Rowan, nice meeting you. Babs," he salutes, "always a pleasure." He forces a smile that doesn't meet his eyes and he dreads to the exit.

***

"Nice meeting you as well Tim." Always nice to meet a friend of Babs, though Rowan supposes this is the first one he has indeed met. "He seemed a bit… sad." His rubric for 'rough week' is a bit different but teens are not famously skilled at hiding their emotions and even he could tell that the younger man seemed off… down, somehow.

***

Watching Tim leave, Babs herself looks a little sad. "Be well Tim and don't be a stranger. You're always welcome here." Looking back to Rowan, Babs smiles faintly "Yes, sad. Girl trouble, car accident, school… it all adds up and I think I was a little too over the top for him." Babs goes to drink more tea to find the cup empty, so instead she focusses on Rowan, a warm smile on her face, hands on the table clasped in front of her "Was there something else you want to discuss?"

***

"Not really. Oracle, whomever she is, seemed to think you might be able to explain much about the way things are done here. I feel like there is more I should ask but I do not know the right questions." Rowan pauses. "I am not sure how she knew to tell me to ask you. Perhaps she has been watching us? That seems odd. From what I know, your people value privacy."

***

Babs looks at Rowan for a time and appears to be thinking "We have been out in public a lot, maybe she has" not a lie "and I'm an IT person, so maybe she knows a bit of my work." shrugging Babs continues "Privacy yes, but everything I know of Oracle would indicate she gives trust as well as expects it. Trust can only be earned, maybe she wants you to trust her?"

***

"Perhaps. She was not wrong about her information the other day though… why she called me and how she knew to do so is a mystery." Rowan shrugs. He's used to working mysteries. He's magical, after all. "I am willing to trust that she means well. There might, I suppose, be all manner of reasons for not wishing to be known." He smiles a bit. "Much like the ones who fly around in colorful swimsuits and masks. It seems odd to me, but odd does not mean bad."

***

"Well, rumour has it, that she has access to video feeds all over the town. Maybe she saw you and recognised you? As to the phone call, did she call Deadpool as well?" Looking mournfully at her teacup Babs interrupts the discussion "Would you like more tea, Rowan?" as she starts to move to the Kitchen.

***

"I would, but let me this time." Rowan doesn't say that he has an easier time moving about, but he does. Besides, she made it last time, it's only polite. "I think she did? He was screaming, after I zapped him, about how that was a girl on the phone and she'd never call him again and they'd never have babies." The young solider makes a face. "Enough to make me think that perhaps Deadpool is slightly unstable."

***

"By all means, I'll keep you company" Babs follows Rowan to the kitchen. "Maybe she has a way of scanning for phones in the area? Mobile phones give out signals…." and blinking at his description of Deadpools commentary "He said what?"

***

"He said, er, his language was rather colorful. But he said that since I had ruined his cellular device by throwing lightning through him, that the girl on the other end, Oracle, would never call back and that he would never marry her and have… I beleive his exact words were 'little computer babies' or something close to that." Rowan chuckles a bit. "He sounded quite mad, but then, he also took an obscene amount of weapons fire and… er… several thousand volts."

***

Oracle hadn't heard everything Deadpool had said, but she'd got the gist through Rowans phone. Babs just blinks at Rowans retelling "Well yes, he does sound quite mad." Letting the the conversation fade a little while Rowan makes tea, Babs waits with her hands folded in her lap and watches him move around her kitchen.

***

Rowan seems to be, if nothing else, quite skilled in the art of steeping tea. In his case, it was often herbal remedies or packaged magic that he was steeping, for staying awake or healing, but the process is the same. "Which tea would you like Babs?" He asks over his shoulder with a smile.

"Yes, Deadpool did strike me as… not all together there. But in some ways he's no odder than those I've met already. The Champion Simon Williams who is an actor, the woman named Cameron who rescues people but is mobbed by social parasites, the woman at the junkyard who could grow armor onto herself. I wonder if perhaps a bit of madness is not necessary to be a champion here in some manner or another."

***

"Surprise me, they all looked delicious" Babs says. She really liked the Lavender tea though. "Perhaps being mad helps. One of the best sayings I've ever heard is You don't need to be mad to work here, but it helps" and she gives a little laugh. "So you've met a number of our heroes then?"

***

"Several, yes." Rowan begins to steep the lavender for them both, having been curious enough about how she liked it to try it. "In my own world they would have been tribal chieftans or shaman or mighty warriors… or potent warlords on their own, though the Overlords do not trust anyone not linked into their networks, as it were."

***

Babs watches Rowan as he prepares the tea. There's something relaxing in his movements. "What would determine what they would be on your world? Birth, Position, Occupation?" Babs is interested, but really, just the company and conversation is welcomed to.

***

"Where they were born." Rowan says softly. "In the Overlord's cities, their uniqeness would be picked out and put into the service of the state. Among the Magi they would rise to prominance because of the necessities of war, and out in the wilds where neither hold sway, their position would be whatever they wanted, since they would have the power to define it." He shakes his head. "The war, it touches all things on my world, as I said."

***

Seeing Rowans reactions, Babs is immediately sorry "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up bad memories for you. You want to change the subject?" She considers moving, but stays still for the time being.

***

Rowan brings her tea over and hands it to her, smilling though it's a bit subdued. "It does not hurt me. I will happily answer if it helps you understand. But it does disturb me to think that this world could have been that one if just a few things had changed. I wonder… what pushed people to give up themselves for order. It's unthinkable to my own people, and our allies."

***

Taking the tea, Babs propels her chair back to the table, inviting Rowan to join her again, this time in the chair next to her. "I think that's always the way" she says thoughtfully "if but for one very small thing… and I don't know what series of events has bought us to where we are." Babs raises the cup to her mouth but instead of drinking, she simply savours the aroma, closing her eyes as she does.

***

Rowan has a seat, quite at ease next to Babs. "Are you talking about your society, or something else?" Certainly the entire way Rowan came to know Babs was a series of odd events. A temporal house of cards as it were. Remove one and they probably would not be sitting here now.

***

Opening her eyes, Babs takes a sip of the tea and looks at Rowan "Society, in answer to your question really… but it applies to a lot of things, doesn't it?" nodding at his tea "What do you think of the tea?"

***

"It's good. Fragrant. I do not think these grew near where I came ashore. Then again…" He frowns. "Very little grew in those places. The radaition had not yet faded from the Great War decades before." Rowan cants his head slightly. "May I ask what you do… for fun? Other than talk to dimensionally displaced soldiers?"

***

Babs grins "Well, at least you know that talking with you is fun. Not much really. I play computer games when I can and read books." Babs smiles a little ruefully "Sounds a bit dull really, doesn't it?" Putting her cup on the table, she turns her chair to face Rowan. "I guess you get to go play with pods of Dolphins and seals for fun?"

***

"No more than people here might find herds of horses or packs of wolves to play with. Granted dolphins can sometimes be fun, and very smart, but they are still animals." Rowan smiles. "To be honest Babs I do not know. There was not much time for recreation before I came here. Now I find myself with more time than I know what to do with. So I read, and a talk, and I explore." He smiles a little bit wider. "I have found that I enjoy talking to you quite a bit."

***

"I would love to swim with Dolphins and Seals… they look like so much fun." and then Babs flushes, just a little bit, Rowan certainly knows how to compliment. "I am glad, Rowan. I enjoy talking to you too. Tell me about your exploring, what is the one thing you've found in your exploring that stands out the most?" Babs tablet has been ignored for some time so she reaches behind herself and picks it up "Just let me check on my work, Rowan, this shouldn't take long…"

***

"Of course, Babs, take your time." Rowan leans back and thinks. "Let's see. One thing that stood out, in all I've seen so far? That would probably be the monuments your people have built. There is an old statue in the harbor. A monument to liberty. I am glad that your people value such things, Babs. Or at least, did once."

***

Taking a few minutes, Babs focusses on her tablet and whatever it is she's looking at on it. Her checks complete for now, she places the tablet back on table and turns her attention back to Rowan. "The Statue of Liberty? Is that the one you mean?" Babs asks… and then frowns a little "Of course we value liberty… you really are concerned about the level of organisation we have, aren't you?" She tilts her head and the frown turns into a puzzled look.

***

Rowan frowns and shakes his head. "I am not sure, Babs. I do not think it is a concern. But I know so little. Things that look the same as what I fought may turn out to be very different when I learn a little more. I am trying to reserve judgement. Already things seem nice here. Better than I saw them back on the other Earth. But it's little things. Like your friend there. He is young. I do not think I've ever seen anyone that young… and I do not mean in body. When war is everywhere and everyone has lost someone, people grow up really fast. No one in my country really had a childhood. Not the way people seem to think of it here. And if he can sit there and honestly tell me that it is never right to take a life…" He shrugs. "Mostly, I would understand. It's abhorrant. And it should be. But never? Never, and always are very strong words. People that learn to use them casually are often symptomatic of a larger sickness."

Rowan pauses, and smiles a little. "Sorry. That sounded very… pessimistic did it not? I do not mean to sound that way. I do not think this is some kind of totalitarian state in hiding. I'm just trying to figure it all out."

***

Babs smiles understandingly at Rowan. "Tim is …. very young…. but I think that's a benefit of what we've created, as well as a potential issue. He may well change his tune as he gets older, but for now it works for him… Our learning experiences happen over a much longer timeframe it seems. He's got a pretty tough mentor who is very strict on those views." Babs knows this because she shares the same Mentor, who views are shaped by her life experiences.

Pausing and looking at Rowan carefully, Babs tilts her head "Take your time in figuring it out, we certainly haven't, it's far from perfect, but it's working so far." Her tea is cooling on the table beside her and reaches for it to drink it before it gets too cold.

***

Rowan sips his again and stretches. He watches Babs with a small, curious smile on his face. "What do you think of it Babs? Of what your people have built here and your place in it? Are you happy with this life?"

***

Babs shrugs a little as she finishes her cup of tea "As I said, it's not perfect, but it's working so far. As to whether I'm happy or not, for the most part yes… I'm not sure what I would change, so it's good." She returns Rowan curious look

***

Rowan nods slowly. "I suppose that is what's important." He looks over Babs curiously. "Mmmm. I might see about a way to go swimming with the dolphins, if you'd like." In the water the lack of use of her legs might be mitigated by a sufficiently friendly and playful creature. They're out there. They don't talk per see but he can often find them.

***

Babs laughs at that statement "Can you now? That sounds like something to consider." Watching Rowan, Babs says slowly "You were telling me about the monuments you like and I sidetracked the conversation. Apart from Lady Liberty, what else do you like… or even dislike?"

Raising her hands over her head, Babs stretches before settling back in her chair and resting her arms on the arms of the chair.

***

"The monuments are impressive, but there are other things. Your markets are riots of color and life. I'd never seen such a thing before. Everything at home was carefully rationed and there was never enough. The Homo Magi tribes had it worse. Such plenty was a distant legend among my kind. And the way your cities light up at night…" Rowan actually smiles looking a bit distant. "And reflect upon the water. It is rather inspiring."

***

Nodding Babs smiles broadly "It's strange, when you have plenty you never really think about it… I find markets…. daunting, so many people. And yes, the lights on the water… there's lots of beautiful photos of that type of thing. Inspiring it a great word for it. Have you had chance to see a lightning storm over the ocean, whilst you're on shore?"

***

Rowan shakes his head. "The weather here has been rather nice, but I've only been ashore a couple of months." He smiles. "Is that a thing you should like to watch? Perhaps we could do it together at some point?"

***

"It's pretty amazing, if you get the right vantage point. I'm reminded on how magnificent nature is. Yes, I'd like to watch one again, and with you" Babs gives the Blue a warm smile

***

"Even on my world, the forces of nature dwarf anything that the planets inhabitants have done." Rowan grins. "Sometimes I think it is good to remember. Good to allow yourself to be small. Too often people lose themselves in the worlds they build. They forget the world they built those worlds in."

***

"Very true Rowan. I find it inspiring, seeing what nature can do." Falling silent, Babs turns her thoughts inwards before returning to her companion "I'm sorry, Rowan, I'm not a particularly good conversationalist at the moment."

***

"You do not have to be." Rowan says quietly. "You don't have to say anything. I enjoy the company, even in silence." He pauses and smiles slightly. "I hope that is not inappropriate to say."

***

Babs smiles very slowly at that comment "It's not inappropriate at all" Babs replies equally as quietly. "It means that the people are comfortable, more than comfortable, with each other." Leaning forward slightly, Babs looks at Rowan "I like your company too, Rowan."

***

Rowan's smile widens a bit and reaches over to pat Babs hand once. "Then perhaps, if it's agreeable to you, we should arrange for both of us to have more of eachother's company." Certainly Rowan doesn't have much to do other than, you know, sometimes swim around the ocean and get paid perplexingly well for it. Granted, not many other people can swim to the bottom but there you have it.

***

Babs blinks at the Blues endearingly friendly gesture "Sure, I'd like that." she pauses a little "I don't expect you to have an answer, but I'll ask, what were you thinking to achieve that?"

***

"More company you mean? Well I did promise to try to find a way to let you swim with dolphins. But perhaps we could start with something less… er, involved." Rowan smiles a bit. "I'm told that the winter season is often when new… entertainments are released. I've not had the chance nor inclination to go visit one of your, er… cinemas. But if you know of something that we both would enjoy…"


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