Things Said And Unsaid

August 24, 2016:

Supergirl flies back to Gotham to apologize to Red Robin for the other day, and for other things. But if apologies are the right thing to do, how did it turn out so wrong?

The Piers, South Hook, Gotham

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's night in Gotham, and for some reason, Supergirl is feeling alright with the setting. Or, maybe it's just that she's at peace and doesn't notice the blight of South Hook. It's been a roller-coaster of emotions for the Girl of Steel in the past 24 hours, but she's recovered and feeling calm. She texted Tim and asked if there's somewhere they can talk together, and she took off as soon as she got the reply. As Supergirl flies to the location, she reflects on her emotions, finding that she's not angry, hurt, or upset. An hour of demolishing sparring robots at the Hall of Justice cleared all of that out of her. Tonight, she would be at peace with whatever was to come.

There's a weird peace that follows Tim around South Hook. While it's not exactly a place Tim Drake should feel at peace, he's never been unsettled here, probably because he used to come here with both his parents while they were working. Even though it's evening, he's the amiable pre-med student Tim Drake instead of the rather elusive Red Robin.

He stands on the pier, looking out, as his sunglasses still shield his eyes. His hands clasp tightly behind his back, and he rocks forward and back on the balls of his feet, in silent consideration of something. Sucking on the inside of his cheek, thoughtfully, his pensive expression is only broken up by a slight smile; nearly bemused with himself. His hands tuck into his jean pockets, and he takes a deep breath, inhaling the humid ocean air.

Kara sees Tim from about a half mile out. She makes a course correction and puts on some speed to zip unnoticed into an alleyway near the pier. After confirming there's no observers of security cameras, Supergirl quickly hanges out of her costume. In the blink of an eye, The Girl of Steel is replaced by Kara Kent, dressed casually and pushing her glasses up onto her nose.

A quick walk later, and Kara is on the pier. Her breath catches in her throat as she looks at Tim. And all that calm nearly gets tossed aside. But, eyes closed and a deep breath, she's centered again. And she walks over towards Tim. "Hi," she says quietly and shyly as she approaches him.

Tim Drake fails at girls.

He knows this. Every relationship he's had has turned into a series of near-misses where he almost dates someone only to have the other guy win out. Because Red Robin always wins out.

This, however, feels different. He forces the lump growing in his throat down with a hard swallow, and he manages a tight-lipped, all-too-rehearsed smile. He's spent years watching his mentor feign emotions of various sorts, and, much to his chagrin, he's apparently picked up one or two things.

"Hey," he manages to sound casual, and suddenly feels incredibly grateful for his sunglasses. His throat clears, and he looks back towards the water, "Uneventful trip?"

Kara nods to his question. "Yeah. Nothing happening at all." She joins him in looking out over the water for a long time. Then, taking a breath to summon courage, Kara starts up. "Tim, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for last night; I should have called you first instead of just showing up like that. I'm sorry that I just…assumed that I could just…pop up like that. And…I'm sorry for what I put you through. I put my responsibility as Supergirl ahead of you and thought that you would just be there. I hurt you and I was inconsiderate and just…" She sighs, closing her eyes. "It's all my fault, and I'm sorry. I just…want you to know that."

"Good," Tim answers with that same tight smile that very shortly turns into something more akin to a grimace. His hands lift, a universal symbol indicating stop as he attempts to get Supergirl to not talk. He steps backwards once, makes a small tick with his head that maybe she should follow him, and casts her a lopsided smile. For the first time since he'd left the League of Assassins something happens: he performs Tim Drake.

"It's not necessary," he manages evenly. "The apologies, the phone call, the visit," his jaw tightens slightly, but he maintains his even tone despite his escalating heart rate at his bold faced lie. "You didn't. Hurt me, I mean. I'm fine. We're fine."

There's a slight twitch of Tim's lips, a tiny tell that indicates perhaps things aren't quite as he says they are.

With anyone else, the facial movements would be so slight as to be unnoticed. But Kara is watching him closely, looking for signs of something she dares not hope for. And the twitch tells her everything. "No," she says with a sigh. "Things aren't fine. You're trying to make this easy on me, and I don't deserve it. I took you for granted and that was horrible of me. I…I don't blame you for moving on. I should have made time for you. For us." There's a wind blowing Kara's hair, lifting it up and stringing it out. She's impervious to cold, but Kara still hugs herself and closes her eyes. "I've been doing a lot of thinking today. And it's not fair for me to put you, or anyone through that. You deserve to be the certer of attention of someone you love and who loves you back. That's what real love is. And I don't think I can give that to anyone. Not with who I am and what's expected of me."

Tim's jaw works silently as he gauges the assertions. His hands remain tucked in their pockets. His shoulders don't even react to the objection. He manages a smile so easy that he'll kick himself later for wearing Tim Drake like a second skin; he'd always wanted Tim to be the real him, not Robin. But the shift is noticeable.

"You talk about things like love as if they're givens," he observes without much emotion. "This is Gotham. I grew up here. I care about this city. But there it doesn't espouse to have the hope of Metropolis. Even our heroes live in the dark." His lips press together and he hrms. "I learned a long time ago," thanks Batman, "any expectation of reciprocity outside of vengeance is foolish. Finding company and finding love aren't the same thing." He swallows hard. When did he get so cynical? He can't even remember.

Kara looks at Tim as he speaks. She hears hears the words and can't believe it. It's cold, heartless. And she did this to him. Tim was fine before, and then she abandoned him. Kara's eyes go wide, and her lips quiver. She killed the light inside him. And it's too much for her to bear. Tears streaming down her cheeks, Kara turns away, sobbing, "I'm sorry…." before she runs off. At least she has the presence of mind to not kick into super-speed of fly off. Instead, she runs off to a dark corner to change; unseen but possibly not unheard, given her crying.

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