Theme: The Five Elements Stage #4 Earth.
Pairing: Bart Allen/Cassandra Cain (I must be mad…)
Summary: “Is it true, that you can knock out a dozen people with just three moves?”
Author's Note: Why I opted for this pairing (particularly given recent events,) I have no idea, but what the hey, here we are, here we go. hope it’s believable. Takes place during a fictional apocalyptic state (my own making) just after the No Man’s Land arc.
My fanfic journal and many fics is here, updated often at dynasty_fic
Twelve Bad Guys in Three Moves.
Cassandra waits patiently. By the time Impulse has finished shooting madly around the Cave, exploring every unlocked container, vibrating his head straight through the ones which are locked, and pressing every button in sight, he’s completely dry and his hair is standing on end.
She hopes Batman doesn’t turn up with a speedster zipping around the cave.
He won’t. He’ll find out that Impulse was here when he reviews the cave footage, but at least he won’t walk in on them now.
‘You need to.. .explain to me,’ she says.
‘In normal speed.’
Bart pauses. Takes a deep breath. ‘…Then I’d say it was to do with Superboy.’
Impulse shudders. The shudder says Yes, then …No, then …I’m not sure.
Cassandra’s heart is beating much too fast. Fear, worry, hope.
He’s… out there?’
‘Uh… no,’ Bart said. ‘I… only… Did you love him?’
Batgirl hesitates. She never hesitates (not to anyone without speedster vision) but she does now.
‘No,’ she says honestly, then, ‘not… like that.’
‘Not like what?’
‘Not like… Oracle and Nightwing. Spoiler and Robin.. not like… Wondergirl. Not like…’
‘…You got any food in here?’
Cassandra points and knows he knows the way. Twenty-five point seven seconds later, an entire packet of shortbread has vanished from the manor’s kitchen and then he’s back again. She’s getting used to that.
‘Before Kon died,’ Bart says. ‘Before all this, I mean… the Red Tornado and Black Canary and all the other people… he told me about you. Is it true, that you can knock out a dozen people with just three moves?’
‘Yes. That’s why… you’re here.’ Cassandra nods, finally understanding.
‘Yeah,’ he says. ‘and because it’s kinda lonely,’ he doesn’t say. ‘You’re… here, and noone else is. Not even Tim, a lot of the time and it’s kinda… hard.’
He’s not the same as Batman. Or Alfred. Or Tim. Or Stephanie. He’s not the same as anyone she can really name, and she can name a bizarre variety of people. but he is probably one of the loneliness. She can read that. She remembers how she felt before Kon, after Kon, how it had all changed,
‘Just friends, yeah?’
‘You’re lonely now, aren’t you?’ Bat says. ‘Why? Batman’s here…’ he stops, then grins. Amazingly, he seems to understand why this statement was so weird.
‘I care… about him. But he doesn’t… talk.’
‘Well, I do. I can make up for that.’ He pauses for a second. ‘You’re still wet.’ He reaches out and, and Cassandra lets him (she’d have to be, or he couldn’t) take hold of her arm. She feels the heat being generated from his skin, prickling the ends of her hair, drying out the strands. It feels odd.
She steps back, nearly puts her hand right through a solid stone stalactite, and snaps back in surprise.
‘S’alright. Just the vibrating, see? Try it, it’s cool, honest.’
Cassandra reaches out, the hand, which can usually punch clean through a brick wall, goes right through the stone pillar without causing so much as a crack, intangible as a ghost.
‘You can go through… the earth… by shaking?’
‘Isn’t it cool? I’ve gotta be careful, though, I mean, if I was to vibrate totally inside of something and lose momentum, I might not be able to get out again.’ He shudders.
‘You need help,’ she says, knowing that it’s not just the loneliness that brought him here, to a bat.
‘Sorta. With something big. Something really, really big, and noone else will listen to me, but you… you knew Kon.’ He looks at her. ‘he trusted you, he must have done ‘cause he told you who he was. Or you found out and he didn’t care. And Tim… Tim can’t help. There’s no oracle, no Wondergirl, no young justice, no superman…’
Fear echoes in the set of his jaw. She’s seen it before. He knows something big.
‘…I need someone who can knock out a dozen people in just three moves, Batgirl.’
Maybe he needs more than that, Cassandra knows this. She doesn’t say, though, she just takes hold of his arm again, this time there’s no vibration strong enough to pass through the earth, but he does shake, just a little.
‘What’s… the plan?’