Ice Cream Owed

July 20, 2016:

After a long owing of ice cream, [Red] Robin and Darcy have a chat over cold confection.

Gotham

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

1AM.

Despite the gang violence, people gather at an empty warehouse. Derby. And not the fully sanctioned by WFTDA kind. This is Renegade Derby. Where the rules are: everyone walks away because body counts bring police. So does loud music, but given the neighborhood, loud music isn't anything new.

Darcy, freshly back from a sudden over seas assignment, is taking some PTO to come down to Gotham to enjoy a game. With the Gotham Girls on off-season, their hush hush renegade sister team, Crazy Cakes, are playing their cross town rivals, Ace's High. Darcy has friends on both sides, and so goes with a neutral black number. And no plaid red school girl skirts this time. When the bout is done, she's heading out, laughing off overt advances from drunk audience members.


Loud music brings other folks as well; particularly those that linger along skylines.

With all of the goings-on around Gotham and area, Red Robin has been patrolling more than usual. And noise always begs the Batfams' attention. Tonight, Red Robin has turned off the voices in his head, opting for silent reflection on his time away from the city. The slightly-more-than half a year off gave him a sense of introspection, but the time back begged greater reflection.

Along the rafters of the building, the bird climbs along one of the bars, scuttling silently as he watches the Derby beneath. His nose wrinkles underneath, pushing against the black eye mask virtually pasted to his face. Not quite his scene, but nothing too foul seems to be a foot.

He shuffles along one of the rafters, and moves towards one of the skylights. He stops just short, waiting a moment to spy the crowd a bit longer. He squints — someone looks almost familiar. Almost.


When one guy tries to get more than a handful of skirt, Darcy turns and gives him a hearty shove.

"No fucking means no, jerk face. Touch me again, and I swear to Jesus, I will taze you back to kindergarten," comes her voiceas she stands her ground to see if jerkface is wanting any more. He might have until a few of the players that just finished beating the crap out of each other and their groupies back him down and Darcy grins and waves at them as she heads back toward the 'entrance'. There's the red-eye L train in about 4 more hours back to New York. And an all night dinner calling her name. …And some inventory reports to clean up.

"You are officially dull as fuck, Darce," she tells herself.


The fellow that grasps Darcy’s skirt piques Robin’s attention, prompting the caped sidekick to pick his way downwards – slow and steady. The players that protect the familiar woman merit a flicker of a smile. There’s a moment where Robin hesitates as Darcy moves to the front entrance. His head cants to the side and hrms quietly. He finally drops to the entrance. Oddly, he almost blends here with all of the get-ups folks are wearing.


Almost. Not maybe wear a mask… or a cape… and as Darcy nears the entrance, she spots the Robin. The design is different, some of the colors, but… She smirks.

"Cape's not at all practical for jamming, even in the men's league," she comments when she reaches his side. Righ hand comes up to pat him in the center of the chest as she moves to brush past, perhaps not completely recognizing him. "But, I like the look. Chin to toe leather's hot AF, by the way."


Robin knows he’s had a costume change, but Tim still thinks himself recognizable. His arms defiantly cross over his chest and he issues Darcy a quick nod. His eyebrow arches and he notes, “Cape is more functional than it looks. Good for blocking bullets. Shielding when needed. Catching the air when jumping and needing to slow down.”

His cheeks puff out with breath, “And it’s not quite leather.” There’s another quirk of his brow. “Been awhile,” he notes.


"It really has, Rob. Whacha been up to?" Darcy asks as she holds out her elbow in an almost southern belle at a cotillion sort of way. The cant of her head and broad smile of those fire engine red lips just the same as always.

"Aside from getting a new look. I like it, by the way. Very dashing. The mask is so very…" She pauses, like she's thinking of just he right word. "…Zorro meets Tuxedo Kamen-san."


A gloved hand rubs across Robin's chin, as if assessing his stubble, and he shifts his weight to his heels as he, with a side glance of his own, links elbows with Darcy. He shakes his head, "Functional more than dashing." Or, at least, that's what he tells himself. "Besides, with the other Robin," because Damian really was the other Robin, "it didn't make sense to occupy the same space."

He shoots her a haphazard smile. "It's Red Robin now. Kind of like the car — you remember the Red Bird?" The sports car had quite the reaction at the time. "Kind of like that."


On cue. He says Red Robin, Darcy sings, "Yuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmm." But that's all as she lets herself be steered toward the car.

"Oh, hell yes I remember that car. I wanted to so so many things to that car. On that car. In tehat car. Tell me I'm getting a ride again," Darcy rambles in a purr, moving so fast away from the tease that it's done and forgotten.


There's a chuckle as Red Robin shakes his head lightly. Ambivalently, he allows his head to loll to one side and then the other. His lips purse and he hrms quietly. "I suppose — " he starts " — I still owe you ice cream." His lips hitch up on one side into a sly sort of smile.

"Plus — " he starts " — it's quiet-ish tonight." Always ish. There wouldn't be need for heroes if things weren't at least semi-questionable in and around Gotham.


"You do. You really do," Darcy retorts with an overtly matching sly smirk of her own. She reaches up to push her thick frammed red-as-her-lips glasses back up her nose a little bit.

"Same here. Taking the night off, though if work needs me… Promotions suck some times, but the money's better. I'm not so upside down on my student loans any more. Or, rather… I don't think I'll be in as bad a place as I was dreading I'd be. Graduating is awesome. Having six months before repayments hit? Sucks ass in teh not fun way. You willing to play a game?" Darcy changes gears like a Dayton driver aiming for the lead from six rows back.


Tim clucks his tongue, "Promoted? What you doing now then?" His nose wrinkles behind his mask. "I really appreciate Agent May and her quick-thinking and equally quick training. We worked together on a couple of things that Oracle put us on to."

He allows his head to cant to the side, and his eyes squint as the pair round a corner. He hits a button and the car drives down the road — evidently it can drive itself. Oh the wonders!

He frowns slightly, "…what kind of game?"


"Ferreting down missing inventory in the field and not just from some forgotten broom closet two levels above Satan's ass crack," Darcy replies of her recent upgrade to full Field Agent and the new supply closet / room. Darcy REALLY has nothing to complain about work-wise.

"And May is an awesome awesome Ninja Nanny, whom I love with all my heart, so you damn well better appreciate her ass or I will hunt you down, Little Red. Darcy, The Big Bad — Oh fuck yes. I love that car." Darcy, the easily shinied. She slips her arm free as the car approaches, reaching out to run reverant fingertips along the line of the hood.

"Yum," she over annunciates the word, licking her lips as she struts about the car, as if she could entice the vehicle. Across the hood from Red Robin, Darcy pauses and looks up, bring her chin up so she's not trying to peer at him over the rims of her glasses. It's hard to stare someone down when they are a blurry mess.

"The best kind. You pick the ice cream parlour… and then trust me," she says with a grin that grows more and more wicked.


Darcy’s reaction to the car merits a wrinkle of Robin’s nose and a curious cant of his head. His lips part wordlessly, and his eyebrows draw together sharply. “You really are a fan, huh?” His jaw tightens as he walks to the passenger side and opens the door for Darcy.

After the pair are safely in the vehicle, Robin starts the car and begins driving through a series of twists and turns down the roads of Gotham. “So, the last time we tried to get ice cream, I vaguely recall the Joker interrupting… maybe. Probably.” Because he’s consistently interrupted.


"Super fan," Darcy replies, smiling. Softly spoken word of thanks is given when he opens her door and she slides into the passenger seat with a playful growl.

"Hello, Delicious," she says TO THE CAR, left hand running on the stick shift lightly. She gatheres herself to buckle in before he climbs in, but she allows herself to melt as the engine starts.

"I love this car," she breathes, not really paying attention to where they are going. Birdie here works with May, and she hasn't broken bones, and he appreciates her. So, he's trustworthy.

"True. But that's cuz I was apparently wearing his girlfriend's look? She broke into my apartment a few days after and trashed most of my clothes. But she left my skates alone, so for that she's chill. Did you want to just hit a drive through Dairy Queen or something instead?"


Darcy’s reaction to the car earns a faint tinge of red forming along Robin’s cheeks. And the memory of the Harley Quinn-Joker debacle finally rings some real bells. “OH yeah! Man, you and Harley actually do share a bit of a fashion sense,” he hmmms quietly.

The notion of the drive through Dairy Queen merits another cant of Robin’s head. “Uh. Definitely a possibility.” There’s a pause. “Are you a messy ice cream eater? I actually do really like this car…” it was a gift from Jack Drake. One of the few.


"We did. She promised to cap my knees if she got spotted on social media on a date with you again. So… I'm trying to stay away from Hell's Mary School Girl Goes Clowning. Let me tell you, it's been a real stretch for me. I mean: CLOWNS! Right?" Darcy laughs at it now , but she was petrified for a minute there. Until her and the clown started comparing boobs and their effects on the various types of scientists. Harley's kind try to analyze the motive. Darcy's kind get noise bleeds. Darcy finds the latter group highly amusing.

"I'm only messy about it when I'm licking it off someone, but I'm respectful enough to know that sugar and leather like this do NOT a good combination make. This car deserves so much better than Hersey's syrup and whipped cream."


There’s a long pause as Robin attempts to discern the snark from the truth and he finally responds as his fingers grip the wheel a stitch tighter, “…right.” And so, Dairy Queen it is.

The Red Bird pulls into Dairy Queen drive through and Robin leans forward to peer at the menu. “Uh…” Tim hasn’t had ice cream in an age. “…do you know what you want? It’s… kind of a long list…” Which he will not read in its entirety.


"Rocky Road Royale, but with fudge AND marshmellow in the middle. And brownies added into the mix," Darcy says instantly. No hesitation. Girl knows her blizzards. She turns her face to watch the Robbie peering at the menu, lips quirked in a silent chuckle.


There’s a slight quirk of Robin’s eyebrows at the specificity of the order, and the car slowly moves to the drive through intercom. The fuzzy voice on the other side asks for the car’s order. “Uh. One medium(?),” he glances at Darcy as if asking if the size is okay, “Rocky Road Royale with fudge and marshmellow in the middle.” Pause. “Uh, and add brownies to the mix.” Pause. “And… a medium vanilla ice cream cone.” Because Robin can’t eat anything that requires free hands (plural) to eat.


Darcy nods at the size. This can be midnight snack. It's so much better than the big mouth burger she was going to get. When the total is received, Darcy leans toward Robin.

"Vanilla, huh?" she asks peering at him over the rims of her glasses owing to teh fact that they are rather close together now.


As the order is made, Robin drives to the next window as per the fuzzy voice’s instructions. As he comes to the next window he replies, “Yeaah – I,” he turns back towards Darcy to answer her question about Vanilla, but hadn’t realized that the woman had leaned closer to him, prompting him to jump, “Geeeze! Wow. Uh. Yeah. Vanilla. It’s good.” He leans back towards his window somewhat awkwardly as he waits for the ice cream to be brought to him.


WHen Robin jumps, Darcy laughs and reaches out to pat jovially at his nearest shoulder.

"Calm down, Robbie. I don't bite unless asked. I was just wondering why the vanilla," Darcy asks, leaning back into her seat to toy at the shoulder seat belt.


The notion of biting earns another quirk of Robin’s eyebrows. The comment is met with another twitch of Robin’s lips and then a small nod. “Because I like it?” It’s more of a question than an answer, which begets another answer, “Well.” And of course, as always with Tim, there is a much more detailed response. “First, I like it. If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have ordered it. Second, I’m wearing gloves. Gloves are not easy to eat ice cream with, and I am concerned about said car. Anythimg more detailed than vanilla could hurt the leather and I really do actually like – “

But as Robin is about to finish explaining, he’s interrupted by the receipt of the ice cream. With a sharp whistle, he passes the blizzard down and takes his cone. “So… your game. What is it?”


"Can't be played now," says Darcy as she accepts her sugar overload and laps at the start of a drip near the lip of the cup. "You let me choose the ice cream palour. But it was a good move if you consider last time, so next time, pick the place and then you trust me to order for you." She picks up the spoon covered in rocky roady goodness and offers it forward. "Wanna taste?" Cuz when someone has trouble eating ice cream, the kindest thing to do is to offer to feed them.


With a curious tilt of his head, Robin wonders, "And what would you have chosen?" The notion of trying Darcy's ice cream merits a quick nod, opening his mouth in reply as he turns the car right one-handed. With a sharp puff of breath, his eyes hone in on something that trails across the built in commands on his visor. His lips purse and he asks, "You know anything about what happened in Steel City?" There's a pause, and he offers idly, to ensure that Darcy knows he knows something, at least in passing, "I joined Agent May and a team through there to try to investigate… pretty devastating what happened there."


"Nuh-huh. Pick the place and I'll pick the flavor," Darcy quips as she feeds Robin the half spoon of Rocky Road choco-overload. She settles back to eat her ice cream, enjoy the hum of teh engine, and the company.

"Steel City? Not much really. That was probably before my pay grade and when I was on 'vacation'."


Having successfully been fed, Robin chews pensively, and finally swallows the very chocolate laden bite of ice-cream-iness. With a smirk he notes, "That's bound to put a person in a sugar coma." Complete and total honesty reigns, it seems.

His expression turns downright stoic at the mention of Steel City. His shoulders stiffen, and his lips press into a thin unemotional line. It's a strange quirk he'd picked up while his time away — the suppression of anything remotely unsettling has become somewhat of a talent. "It's bad." Pause. "And not far from here." His head turns away from the road for a quick glance towards Darce, only to return to its spot a moment later. "Someone," he begins somewhat ominously, "enacted some kind of magical…" he attempts to find a word, "… ritual, I guess? And it was like the city was hit by a nuke." He sucks on the inside of his cheek, "And it continues to emit radiation. Lots of people in trouble there. Innocent people who certainly don't deserve it and definitely didn't see it coming…"


"And they haven't been relocated because…" Darcy prompts, eyes going hard, red lips frowning slightly. She's not mad at Robin, but at the situation. And the prompt only lasts a half second before she presses forward.

"If May's in on this she likely has already called our magical consultant, but I'll ask around when I get back to the office in the morning," Darcy says as an offer while half chewing on her spoon. Sugar coma is unimportant.


"It's in progress, as I understand it," Robin answers with his own lips quirking into a frown. "But slow because getting in — " his tongue clucks. "I got in to investigate, but only with the help of those who can form a layer of magical protection over folks." Again his lips purse.

He inhales another sharp breath, "But to be honest…" there's a long pause. "…I'm under the impression it's not the last we've seen of them." Once more his lips press into a thin line. "From what I gather, they intend other targets." His eyes squint behind the mask, the traces of which line across his cheeks and foreheads he shakes his head slightly, "But it's a hard trail to follow." A mirthless chuckle follows, "Of course, maybe less so for someone who really understands magic, lore, and its history."


"I'll see if SHIELD has anyone to spare a few moments to look into it. Where do i funnel the intel?" Darcy is quick to say while she scoops another bite of her frozen treat. That Rob only got in with a magic condom on his head means it would be completely suicidal to try to get in right this very second to snoop around. But, Steel City…. Spoon left to stand in her ice cream for a moment, Darcy pulls out her phone to check her Facebook. Because the power of Social Media.


"Probably wise. I suspect May is on top of it, but honestly," there's a pause, "the more folks looking into it, the better." His lips press together tightly and he notes, "We could do some of this research together? I have seen some symbols associated with this magic. Ancient Greek, based on my research…"


"May's busy sometimes. I'll put it on my calendar, get some updates for you, see what shaking," Darcy says with a nod. Not that she thinks May's brushing him off, but if SHIELD's desperate enough to make Darce a full field agent? Yeah. Poking on around for info is the least she can do to help.

"Sure. I don't mind. Ancient Greek, huh? Shiny. Though, if it were Norse then maybe Sparky would be willing to help translate a bit. Hmm… I'll see if I can't wrangle him after I save pics of those symbols?" Her tone is hopeful as she pauses to look over at Robin for an afirmative. She munches a bit more Rocky Road in that pause.

"Maybe he knows Ancient Greek," she adds with a light shrug. "In any case, it's always fun to pretend to fall off a roof top." Stupid Asgardians. Why don't they just use cell-phones. For real.


"Sounds good. I know some folks on our end," our, as in Gotham, as in Robin's associates, as in the Batfamily, "have been busy at work. I just think it'd be helpful to have folks thinking about the future with this. Current state of Steel City needs addressing, but figuring out if this is just the first wave of — " he shrugs. Whatever thought he'd had is gone like vapour.

A single eyebrow quirks, however, at the last. "Fall of a rooftop? Who is this Sparky guy?"


Darcy is nodding as she leaves her phone on her thigh to load up a Facebook search on Steel City. Time for more icecream. Spoon in mouth: "Your cone's melting…" She chews, swallows, and licks her spoon.

"Tall. Blonde. Muscled. Electric. Sparky McSparkpants. Tazer-butt…. Thor," she clarifies at the end eyes flicking up to Robbie. Her brows arch.

"All you cape-wearing dudes are all the same: Never making it easy for a girl to call you back," is the 'accusation', though the warm smile draina all the bite from the words.


Robin squints at all of the descriptions of Thor. "Sparky McSparkpants…" he repeats quietly before shaking his head. "Darcy, you that… do you call him that to his face?" His eyebrows knit together and he finally licks the cone that's becoming a mess in his gloved hand. He really is going to have to get that cleaned.

"You — I — there is no phone number to call us folks, but hang out in Gotham and look for us? You'll find us here." Always. "Aside from the last six months. Or so." Because he was gone. Travelling. His throat clears. "Alright. You get in touch with your people, and I'll be in touch again. I'm keen to stop it from happening again."


"The internet named him," Darcy says in immediate defense the moment Robin repeats her 'nickname'.

"What? Of course I do! I'm not a total douche. God, Robbie!" she says, sounding hurt as she takes another bite of ice cream and checks her Facebook.

"So… I jump off Gotham Tower. Got it," is the off handed remark on how to call a super hero.

"Why don't you make a fake Facebook profile, lock down all the security settings, reroute that bitch's IP through a network of pirated satellites, and send me a friend request," is her solution, all said with that DUH tone of voice as she one-thumbs out a message to Raven from Steel Hurtin'. Only person on the East Coast Derby Group that responded being near the area.


There's a cluck of Robin's tongue, "I know you probably have never met Batman," because that would make Darcy's entire explanation/thought process moot, "but we don't do that." For so many reasons. "I'll see what I can do as far as the whole Facebook situation is concerned, but I have to say, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be smiled upon by those who think they know better." Adult or not, Robin plays by Batman's rules.

He whistles sharply, "And do us both a favour and don't jump off Gotham Tower. Just linger. One of us will find you if you're actively poking."


"Party pooper," is Darcy's response. She doesn't do it either, but movies. She eats a bit more ice cream, pulling her heel up onto the seat. She toed off her army surplus combat boot so the bright pink Hello Kitty sock is visible as she wiggles her toes about and peers out the window.

"Facebook's never been smiled upon until it finds the guy you're looking for," she says softly, settling in to enjoy the ice cream until it's done, Rob gets tired of teh company, or one of their communication devices rings to alert them to someone needing their attention right away. Odds are that Robin's'll beep before Darcy's does.


And sure enough Robin's signal does beep JUST after he finishes the sticky cone. With a quick blip on his mask, he's talking seemingly to no one. "I'll get there and check it out. My ETA is roughly… " he glances towards Darcy, "fifteen minutes. I can rush it. Maybe."

A glance is given towards Darcy, nearly apologetic as Robin states, "I gotta — " and in several seconds, the woman finds herself left behind as the Red Bird blazes a trail through Gotham's streets.

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