Reset the Awkward

September 17, 2016:

Tim and Stephanie encounter each other in the Batcave

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Alfred Batman

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A surprise no doubt to find Red Robin standing in the Batcave especially after he quit. His back to the entrance as he stares at one of the old Robin costumes in a lit up display. He has been standing here for some time, his costume is messy, it looks like he crawled through the mud and then was set on fire. Not far off the mark. He was mirroring Bruce in a serious temper tantrum today that unleashed some untouched emotions hes bottled up lately. It felt good and he also felt guilty about it, not as guilty as he feels he should be but close. Close enough. It is also, refreshing.
Alfred knows he is down here, he even left him a cookie and some banana milk. It remains untouched behind him. Stoic and broody is a common thing in this household, the butler has learned to be amazingly patient and knows the most advantageous times to speak, right now, at least for Alfred is not one of those times. His offering of drink and sweets say more than enough.

Stephanie makes her way in to the Batcave from the Manor above. She'd been working on an investigation for Batman, getting her school work done, and editting the most recent upload to her YouTube channel: How-To Assemble an IKEA Bookshelf. She's pretty happy with it so far, and is looking forward to the hits. Seeing Tim, in uniform, looking like hell, has her lips parting in surprise and concern.

"Tim," she says softly, pausing by the workstation to slide her bedazzled flower-printed denim backpack from her shoulder to the floor.

A familiar voice in a place he hadn't fully expected her has Tim surprised and turning, the cut across his cowl has a dark mess of hair falling out over one cracked lense. "Ste? Spoiler. What are you doing down here? I didn't expect you." Pause. " I guess he is finally seeing you for what you're capable of." A book is held in Red Robin's black gloved hands, tattered, pieces out of it and a picture hanging loosely. "I just, I came here just? I don't know. I was just here." He is working through some things obviously.

Still working through things. Stephanie smiles though her eyes are definitely concerned. Not in 'uniform', Stephanie is in a nice blouse and a pair of jeans and some cute boots. She moves over, eyes trailing to the mess of hair.

"…I came down to update some files on some research I'm doing before changing and heading back out. I guess he is," she says, tucking a lock of gold behind an ear and smiling a little. It's nice to be recognized even if it drives her crazy that all she gets is 'adequate'.

"But… it's good to see you. Are… you…hurt?" Because she can tell that he's not okay.

"No more than I was yesterday and no less than I will be tomorrow." Tim almost smiles while looking her over, studying her as is his nature, he is the analytical sort afterall. Everything gets a close observation.
"Just remember, even if you were as good as Dick he'll still grief you. It's his way. He missed his calling as a drill sergeant but its only because he cares too much? if you haven't figured that out yet." If anyone has incite in to the inner workings of Batman it's one of the Robins. Especially a Robin that once upon a time decided he was a necessary for the Dark Knight's sanity.
"You uh, you're looking good." Awkward silence moment, young Mr. Drake isn't exactly sure how to approach his ex right now. Not on a casual manner at least.

"You should maybe think about a shower," Stephanie offers, letting a tiny smile grace her face. Which turns nito a fuller smile and an almost blush as Tim says he cares.

"I know, Tim. I just gotta grief back and prove him wrong. The gruffness doesn't bug me so much. At least I know that I have his attention." Unlike her own father. So, this is a plus. The blush was going to fade, until he complemented her. Stephanie tucks a lock of hair behind an ear again.

"THanks. You too… despite the …ya know…" she eaves a hand to indicate the mud and muck.

"….I've been… thinking… about… nevermind." Bold Stephanie! Where are you?

"Despite the contusions, second degree burns and wild need of a comb? Yeah, I plan to. I just wanted to sit here for a moment. I had time to think about what I did, I mean, I've always thought I would be ready for when it happened, knew everyone slipped but I'm always so calculated, I'm always prepared. I should hav? " Tim stops talking waving that book in his hand in the air as if tossing aside his own dialogue. He is trying his best not to dwell, hes done enough of that for over a week.
Noticing the blush Tim's green eyes brighten a bit, a small gaze upon some humanity has a way of distracting the mind. "You're blushing. That's cute, I feel like it's been a while or I have forgotten. What were you thinking about?" Anything but the obvious issues hes been having. He's trying very hard to be over them, to work through it. He needs to.

Contusions, second degree burns; Stephanie bites at her lower lip, ready to thumb over her shoulder and ask to call Alfred to come down and patch him up when he stops aburptly and states that he noticed her blushing. It just makes the light pink dusting turn into a bright rose.

"I..I was thinking out the last time we saw each other. That's all. But you should get looked at, so I'll go call Alfred now so he can…" Stephanie is rambling hard enough that her words are quick, nearly tripping over each other.

"No don't call him? I'm okay. Been through a lot worse and really I didn't honestly want to talk to anyone, I just came here to be here, it felt like I needed to see all of this again? well, I didn't want to talk to anyone but you're here now and uh? Its? its good. I think we need to catch up." Tim becomes selfaware and brushes his hand over the side of his mask, peeling it back so it comes off of his features, hair falling in a raggedy mop to show off his busted up face. It looks like it was a good brawl. "I might have been a little careless. Just sorry, I'm rambling about myself, I haven't asked you once how you're doing? "

When the mask falls away, Stephanie's eyes widen slightly. This is the part of Cape and Cowl that she dislikes. The injuries. She reaches out to take Tim's elbow, and provided she can, she means to haul him to the sit-sit-you-hurt part of the cave to perform First Aid her self. She has the merit badge for it. Don't believe me? Just ask her. She'll pull it out and show you.

"I'm fine, Tim. Really. Well, worried about you, since you left. But I've been trying really hard not to fall apart over it. I mean, you thought I was dead…. I know you were just taking a break. It wouldn't be fair for me to fall apart about that when you didn't fall apart about me…"

Tim doesn't resist when she guides him to the chair, the medical lab is built for this sort of thing after all and not a long walk from the trophy displays. Easing himself down to the gurney he sits on it, toes of his boots scraping back and forth on the floor.
"It has been a lot of death for me in the past few years, I couldn't accept yours, I couldn't break over it so I refused. I just shut down. Did you want me to fall apart over you?"
A wry smile, "Only one of us is allowed at a time anyhow. I'll let you know when its your turn." Maybe not the best thing to joke about but hes trying to get out of the awkward stage of headyness and emotion hes feeling right now, shes important to him, maybe more than they realize. Not exactly something he can figure out right now while he is so self absorbed.
WWBD.

"You're a knuckle-head," Stephanie retorts. Because that seems like the only rational response to all of this as she sets to cleaning him up to see how bad cuts and scraps are so she can get the right antibaterical and bandages. That he couldn' accept her being dead and so he refused to break over it is both eye-roll worthy (becasue BOYS!) and swoon-worthy (because Boys~) that all Steph can do is try not to blush further as she works. Plus, he cracked a joke. A joke so close to hom that when she brings her hands up clean his cheek, her fingers are trembling.

"I learned from the best." Robin retorts and watches her with Scout Masters expertise work over his injuries, they look much worse than they are. She should see the other guys.
One of those gloved hands reaches out and takes her own, strong fingers curling in through hers and he halts her hand against his chest. One of those award winning Boy Wonder smiles appearing on handsome yet busted up features, "We're going to be okay, Steph. Both of us. This is what we do, this is our life and I understand that now. I just have to do better."
Hand stopped, Steph shifts her gaze from wehre she was working to where he traps their hands together before finally up to his eyes. Her features flicker and dance, wanting to just lean forward and hug up, like she had when they started dating. But the awkward from after the kiss and their lack of commnicaiton abuot What Now has her fighting it back — visibly.

"Yeah," she chirps with an almost watery smile.

The struggle is real. Tim gives Stephanies hands one more squeeze as he starts to release, a mock cough coming out of him.
"Uh, anyways, I think we should I mean, I should go get cleaned up and then see about maybe going on a patrol together if you don't beat me out there. That could be fun. Maybe just start fresh with eachother? " Hopping down from the gurney Robin feigns a stretch, "I am thinking about switching my major or just dropping out of College, maybe focus on being Red Robin for a while." Subject hop, distract from the hard-to-breach closeness, textbook Gothamite. The entire time he is trying to avoid looking at possible waterworks. Be strong Timmeh!

Stepping back as Tim lets her go, Stephanie nods.

"Yeah. Sure. I'll wait up. I'd like that… starting fresh. But… Yeah. Go shower. I'll… wait for you," Stephanie says, heart racing into her blush, teeth biting at her lip.

"Okay, yeah, awesome. I'll even let you play with my zip kick this time. I just modified it? increased the service pressure, altered the design mold from polycarboni? " Swallowing Tim stops himself with a chuckle, "Right, yeah? won't be long."

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