A rooftop on a very high building.
- <Name of NPC or "None">
- <Use same pattern for all npcs>
Tim's been busy lately. Predictably. He is, after all, spending all day in classes, doing homework, and so forth, and all night keeping Gotham safe. Because really, it's Gotham. Somebody'sgot to do it, right?
But he has heard through the grapevine that a certain blonde Kryptonian is depressed over the rant that aired a week or so ago — the woman who insisted that they would drive the aliens from Metropolis. He sort of tuned the rant out a few sentences in. He knows what was said, because that's the way Tim's mind works, but he wasn't paying much attention.
But Kara's his friend — and really, he's kind of gotten the impression she's got a crush on him. While he's not sure he should encourage it, he's flattered, and he does like her, and it seems a good idea to check in on her and offer his support.
And this is what brings Robin to Metropolis tonight. The Redbird is parked on the street, locked down so tightly that anybody who even looks at it the wrong way is liable to trigger its defense systems (no, not really) and Robin himself has achieved the roof of a skyscraper by sneaking in and taking the freight elevator to the top floor, hacking the penthouse card key access, and then slipping out onto the balcony and from there to the rooftop. And there he sits with a portable modified Bat-signal — this one shining his stylized R into the sky for a few seconds, then switching off, then repeating.
Kara was lucky or unlucky in the fact that outside of superheroing, she didn't have much of a life. The anti-alien rant had surprised her, mostly because everyone had seemed to like Superman; the fact that ordinary people on Earth didn't know he was an alien had surprised her.
The racism though had shocked her. It was a concept foreign to Kryptonian society. It made Kara feel sick to her stomach to find out that not only did humans hate each other, but others different from them.
She had been moping on a rooftop, staring up at the night sky when the Robin-signal flashed in the sky a few times. It was enough to get her attention, even if she wasn't sure what it meant.
Not long after she lands on the rooftop and tries to find Robin, calling out just above a normal speaking voice, "Robin is that you?"
Robin isn't hiding. "Yeah, it's me," he replies, standing up. It's dark up here, but at least it's a nice night — they're illuminated by the nearly full moon. In this city he's not really on duty. Sure, he'd help out if there were trouble, but he doesn't go seeking it in Metropolis the way he does in Gotham. "Haven't seen you in a couple of weeks, and I was due for a break. Plus, I sort of thought you might need a friendly ear, after the stuff that woman was saying." Pause. "Over a week ago, admittedly, but better late than never, I hope."
The slight frown on Kara's lips brightens into a smile as Robin speaks, the young Kryptonian woman sitting down on the edge of the rooftop, "Thanks for coming to Metropolis to visit" She seems a bit subdued compared to her normal exuberance and surprisingly enough, Robin was the first person to even ask her about the anti-alien rhetoric.
Kara can't help but sigh, allowing her gaze to linger on the city for a few moments before turning her head to look over at Robin, "Is that how people really feel Robin.. Am I just some kind of alien freak who should leave Earth?"
Robin moves closer, coming up to Kara and putting his hand on her shoulder. "Of course not. You're Supergirl. People know the symbol you wear, recognize you as a source of hope and courage, just like they do with Superman… but one thing you'll learn about Earth, Kara… we have our crazies." This is said with a wry smile. Gotham is full of crazies.
"Some of those people are like the Joker and Two-Face. They're plainly insane. They do horrible things and hurt people directly. Everybody knows what they are," he continues. "But some are more subtle. They wheedle and they cajole, and they say something reasonable, and connect it to something less reasonable, and keep doing this until people who are gullible enough to keep listening are nodding along like they make perfect sense when they're talking utter lunacy.
"Know that you've got people who care about you here, Kara. And we'd miss you terribly if you left."
Kara looks at the hand on her shoulder, a flush of red appearing on her cheeks briefly as her smile widens, "That means the world to me." She looks from the hand up to Robin and realized how lucky he was to be able to hide behind that mask, "I don't know how you deal with lunatics like The Joker, they scare me." It was probably why she didn't make herself right at home fighting Gotham crime on a regular basis, "Now I scare people to, like that lady."
She reaches up to place her hand on Robins, "Maybe you're not scared of me but other people are. I see it in their eyes. They think I'm going to transform into some kind of space blob and eat them. Seriously."
"Somebody has to deal with Joker," says Robin with a shrug. "He's the worst of them, but there are some near as bad. If we didn't put them away, they'd just keep doing what they do." He grimaces. "And that'd just make things worse and worse." He pauses a moment, considering Kara, then gently tugs her over to the edge of the building. "Sit with me," he says.
When they've sat he continues. "Kara, yes, some people are scared of you. People get scared of stupid things, frankly. You have to go out there and show them that you are above that — that you will do everything you can to help them, even when they come at you. And I know you can do that."
Kara's eyebrows raised just a little at Robin's words of wisdom, taking a seat beside him and letting her legs hang over the edge of the building, "I'm glad it's you dealing with him and not me. I'd probably go crazy."
A soft laugh escapes Kara's lips as something clicks in her head, "Maybe that's why Batman doesn't like others interfering, it's not about powers is it? It's about being able to take the worst situation and turn it into the best."
She turns her head to look at Robin, "You're good at that I think. Were you always this full of good advice?" Kara was definitely brightened by the young man's words and extremely impressed the Boy Wonder was apparently quite the philosopher.
"I think Batman mostly wants others to stay out of Gotham so he can retain control," Robin observes. "It's not about powers. There are unpowered people he doesn't want there either. It's about knowing that the people who are around him are people he can trust to follow his lead, and not do things their own way. The fact is, the people we fight in Gotham are different than the kind of people you face here. A would-be world conqueror doesn't kill everybody because if he did he'd have nobody to rule over. The Joker has no such compunctions, and Mr. Zsasz lives for the kill."
He gently places his hand over Kara's and gives it a squeeze. "I don't know about good advice," he says. "But I'm pretty decent with a pep talk, I think. And hey, I wouldn't want to see you getting down too much. One of the greatest things about you is your optimism. I'd really hate to see you lose that, Kara."
Thinking about Gotham, Kara was suddenly glad that the biggest threat she had to contend with was racists and General Zod. The mention of conqueror's really puts the crazed Kryptonian General into perspective for her, she had never looked at her nemesis that way even if it should have been obvious.
Robin is making Kara blush again when he gives her hand a squeeze, the young girl biting her lower lip for a moment, "You're amazing with advice and pep talks and…" She grins now, "You are super sweet as well as extremely mysterious."
She was totally going to show those anti-alien jerks that she was not what they thought she was. Score one for Robin pep talks.
Tim's turn to blush, at least a little. Sure, he's good at keeping his expression under control — but in the darkness of a Metropolis night he can let go of that a little. "Mysterious comes with the gig," he says. "Sweetness… well, you deserve that."
But it seems a good time to change topics, at least for the moment. Because things could get all awkward, right? "Everything okay other than, you know, stupid xenophobes?"
Kara decided to ignore the Robin-Blush for both their sakes and swore to herself, she would never let anyone know Batman's sidekick's cheeks could turn that shade; it would totally ruin his mysterious bad boy persona.
"Yep! Things have been really amazing otherwise. I made a friend from my home world, she's called Power Girl. We're actually cousins! It's so cool." Well, Power Girl probably didn't share Kara's enthusiasm at being friends, "I also found something really cool, a gift from my father."
Then she considers how she could actually show Robin it, "I call it the Sanctuary of Solitude but it's kind of at the bottom of the ocean. Maybe Vorpal can open a rabbit hole and then you can see it. When you're not busy beating up the scum and villainy of Gotham I mean, not like, now."
Since the anti-alien fiasco it had been where she spent most of her time, "I doubt I'll be spending as much time there, thanks to you. It's still a nice place, then you can see what Krypton was like."
"Sure," says Robin. "The other blonde Kryptonian who was there when those guys came after you." He smiles wryly. "I'm glad whatever the problem you two were having was, you got through it. She… didn't seem to like you a lot that evening.
"The Sanctuary sounds pretty cool," he adds. "It's great that you'll be staying out where people can see you more often, though. I'll be happy to come visit sometime. I can get my hands on scuba gear so I can come visit you without Vorpal's help."
Kara laughed at Peej not liking her and shook her head, "She loves me. That's just how she acts because she's not very good at showing affection. Kind of like a Kandorian Monkey Ogre, they're really mean but if you're nice to them and feed them stuff they will be your friend forever." Power Girl probably didn't like the fact that Kara kept comparing her to a Monkey Ogre either.
"We could make you a ScubaRobin costume and then you could use it if Aquaman's people go crazy again and try to invade or if you need to fight any crazy water obsessed bad guys in Gotham." Kara was sadly being serious.
Tim could definitely see Power Girl not wanting to be compared to a Monkey Ogre. He certainly wouldn't see the resemblance. Power Girl is a very attractive woman. Too old for him, of course, but attractive all the same. "I'm glad you're so close to her," he says. "As for water-obsessed villains in Gotham… we've got the Penguin, Orca, the Fisherman… probably more. But Batman has gear for pretty much any contingency. I know he's got underwater gear, and I can borrow some and adapt it to my needs if I ever need to."
Kara does her best to hide her disappointment at Robin not needing a new costume made but it's not hard because she's stifling a giggle over the last villain named, "You're kidding right? Gotham has a villain named 'The Fisherman'?" She had heard of penguin, an orca was a dangerous whale but THE FISHERMAN? She's staring at Robin, thankfully she didn't know what April Fools Day was unless he was being serious.
"Not kidding," Tim replies with a wry smile. "He wears a rain slicker and has a fishing rod with a razor sharp hook and titanium steel fishing line. He uses it to catch people. Instead of fish." He grimaces. "Honestly, there's probably nothing that some idiot can't find to obsess over in Gotham. The city inspires people to lunacy." It's only just turned April Fools day an hour and a half ago — and Bats aren't known for their sense of humor, in that regard.
Kara just shakes her head at the description and Gotham in general, "Is there something in the water in Gotham that makes people insane, like oh my god." She stands up and looks over the city of Metropolis, "Why doesn't Batman just let us all pitch in and help clean up Gotham so it can be nice and sparkly like Metropolis?" It wasn't Krypton, but the City of Tomorrow was definitely the nicest city on Earth that Kara had seen.
"Control issues," says Robin. "A need to see the city cleaned up by him. And his hand-picked allies, of course." He pauses. "But also… okay, Batman's pretty damn good at what he does, but he's human. No powers. None of us has powers. You know that. We can handle the Joker or Killer Croc, but our villains are of a lower power level than the kind of folks you deal with here.
"But if you come clean up Gotham, suddenly there are people coming in to fill that void. You know, villains are scared of Joker, too. The villains don't want to face off against him because he IS that nuts. He will find a way to get at them if he wants to — and they won't know he's coming after them until it's too late, because his mind is just that chaotic, that random. So… by having these psychos in Gotham, we're protected from villains that we can't handle as easily. Kind of like how catching chicken pox protects a kid from getting shingles when they're older."
Here he pauses for a moment. "Not that Batman can't handle the more powerful villains if he has to… but it's better, maybe, if Zod doesn't come trying to take over Gotham and force his hand."
The complexity of the politics behind heroes and villains, is kind of astounding for Kara. As smart as she may have been, she had never really considered the Gotham situation beyond well, Batman being a bit of a control freak.
If she had superpowers and she didn't want to deal with the Joker, it made a lot of sense that other villains with powers would avoid the maniacs like him to.
"I'm just going to call you Professor Robin right now and if the JLA ever opens a school for heroes, I'll put in a recommendation for you to teach Heroing 101 and 202 and all the others." A strand of hair is brushed away from her face and she smiles, "Usually I just punch the bad guy and don't worry about the rest…"
"And you know, you could take out the Joker in five seconds," Robin says. "Less, even. But that's normal for you. If you, or the Flash, or, you know, your cousin takes out the Joker, nobody bats an eye. But if I do, or Batman, that makes people more scared of us. And we need that." He smiles wryly. "I kinda doubt I'm gonna have the time to teach at the Justice League Academy. I've got… stuff. Stuff I'm going to have to do."
"Justice League Academy! That's an amazing name for it, young heroes and people with powers could go there and get help and meet other heroes and stuff. It would be awesome and then they could see what kind of group they want to join, like The Titans or the Justice League or the X-Men or the Batman?" She isn't sure if Batman counts as a 'team', he does have like an entire family of vigilantes working for him after all!
"Thanks again for coming Robin. It really means a lot to me you would come out here to see how I'm doing." She tries to give him a hug if he'll let her, "I feel a million times better thanks to you. I'm all ready to be SUPER again."
"Or what groups will have them," observes Tim. "Because a lot of people won't be good fits, no matter whether they want to join or not." He welcomes her hug, wrapping his arms around her in turn and, after a moment, with a touch of hesitation, he turns his head to kiss her cheek. "You're welcome, Kara. You're my friend. I care about you — and I'm glad I could help."
If Kara's face was any redder, she would probably erupt into a solar flare and incinerate the skyscraper along with Robin and maybe even possibly the entire city block. She froze up for a moment, unsure what to do before slowly and reluctantly breaking off from the hug. If she wasn't so flustered, she probably would have given him a kiss on the cheek to, she stammers back, "I really care about you to Robin."
Feeling extremely embarrassed and self-conscious right now after everything, she kicks a pebble with her foot and looks at the ground, "I should, um, let you get back to Gotham I guess…"
Somehow, Robin gets the feeling that the kiss might have been too much. However, Bats are cool under fire (though not solar heat, admittedly). "Yeah, probably," he says. "But… I'll see you soon, okay? We'll get together and patrol or something." He pulls himself to his feet and starts to slide over the edge of the building toward the balcony below before he pauses, looking up at her. "I know Batman's rules… but come on and see me in Gotham whenever. I like seeing you there."
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