We Wuv Wondy

March 25, 2017:

Old friends reunite over gyros, as Tim starts trying to get the band back together. Cassie reveals her website woes.

Midtown Manhattan, NYC

A seemingly endless crush of humanity in the heart of one of the world's busiest cities. Food's good, though.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Superboy, Impulse, Spider-Man, Zatanna Zatara

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Saturday in Manhattan is probably a terrible time to try to do much of anything.

Gotham might be larger, but there's a life to be found in New York that the City of Yesterday doesn't quite match… Perhaps it comes down to it being less likely that a day outside will end up in random attacks by ninjas, murder clowns, or other outrageous themed villainy. It's the City That Never Sleeps, after all, compared to Gotham's City That's Always Kind of Expecting a Mass Murder Spree.

Though Tim Drake is of course a lifelong resident of Gotham, recent events made it useful to have his own place in New York, which of course is an extremely nice penthouse loft… But, despite his best efforts, he can't stay cooped up there all the time. Which meant he needed to figure out something to do.

Which is why Cassandra Sandsmark got a text from her old pal Tim Drake, reading: 'In New York, let's get gyros.'

What, she's a Greek demigoddess, surely she loves gyros.

As for Cassandra, she's trying desperately to keep a schedule; nay, a routine that will be simple to follow. The original plan after all was to most certainly get her superhero on but the ultimatum of having to keep her grades turned out to not exactly be escapable even at the opposite side of the country! So when she got the text, she was busy plugging away at a spreadsheet with occassional sighs every time she had to delete 'heroing' from a cell, or checks online for a.. Specific website.

On one hand she should be incredibly happy to actually get a moment to give her brain a rest but the fact of the matter is there's really only one boy she'd be really interested in getting a text fr-.

No.. Wait, she takes that back, this is actually a *very* good opportunity! 'That sounds great! I'll see you there! :D' is the text sent in return. Twenty seconds pass.

'Wait, where are we you exactly?'

Naturally, Tim has very little trouble keeping abreast of his classes, even when he does things like 'spend weeks not actually attending lessons because he's on an obsessive mission,' which is guaranteed to happen at least quarterly. He even has time left over to tutor other people, somehow.

And still get all of his superheroing in.

Though the person who messages Cassie isn't quite as super as she might prefer, at least Tim does get a response. And then a second response, not half a minute later.

Well, at least she didn't ask if Conner was with him. Of course, he texts back the address.

The address turns out to be a takeout place in midtown by the imaginative name of Tony's, a location where business is too bustling to have silly things like 'places to sit,' with a seemingly constant stream of locals and tourists alike moving through to get some meat on a pita.

In jeans and a leather jacket over a Gotham Knights hoodie, Tim of course looks like a perfectly normal young adult, and not at all like an extremely wealthy genius ninja, but familiarity would let Cassie pick him out immediately. His hair is longer than it was back when he was the Boy Wonder, and he looks more serious, but it's still him, all right.

"So," he says to Cassie, once they've gotten their food and been summarily ejected back onto the streets of New York by the weight of the line, "I was in Hell the other week."

The thought to ask was there, but Cassie read the text in such a way that it was 'obvious' to her that he wasn't there. So it's good Connor wasn't because then she'd be mad at Tim for not telling her to dress up in something that wasn't slightly baggy pants, rough sneakers and a simple t-shirt under windbreaker. It's almost as lazy as one can get.

She isn't *unhappy* to see him, obviously, but for a bit of time it's difficult for her to really start up the subject she really wants to get into. So he eventually breaks the ice, thats when her expression suddenly brightens, "No kidding? Me too! So you know the WWW website I've been working on last week? 'We Wuv Wondy', you know the one, so it took forever for the webmaster to even- well anyway the point is so I went through like seven mods and *none* of them have the slightest clue what they're doing right? But that's not even the worst of it, get this,"

Sip from her water. Delicious water.

"What was I saying? Oh! Right, so there's this flame war going on, it was totally stupid, so I go in and try to ban everyone and next thing I know I'm totally DDOSeded. Like, seriously? Who does that? I couldn't get the website to work for like three days it was totally ridiculous!"

As icebreakers go, it's probably not the lightest one, since Tim means it very literally, but it turns out that it's all the opening needed for the blonde to segue into a Hurricane Cassie Event. Having learned many things from the Batman, Tim knows that there's some times when you're just not going to be able to get a word in edgewise and just need to weather the storm, and so as the saga of We Wuv Wondy is relayed to him, he just starts eating his gyro. It's pretty good, he thinks to himself, nodding in all the right places as he listens to Cassie with half an ear. Not too much tzatziki, the veggies were fresher than he expected; a little bit of hot sauce added a nice bite to it.

"Wait… You tried to ban everyone?" Tim repeats, his brow furrowing as he looks over at the demigoddess. Seven mods?? "It was probably the people you banned. Now they're gonna start up their own fansite to compete with yours, like a wiki or something. Wonderpedia?"

Something like that probably already exists though, surely. Maybe it's an official fan club thing.

"But, I mean, seriously. Actual Hell, with demons and everything. It was a mess. There's a lot of things going on these days, Cassie. I've been thinking of trying to get the old team back together."

Wow. Tim's apparently a pro because Cassie hasn't the slightest idea that he wasn't giving her his utmost and undivided attention. Of course it helps that he mentions her banning spree. "Wait, they're going to *WHAT*?! No way.. What have I done?" Cassie suddenly blurts with a horrified expression. Clearly she hadn't thought that far ahead, "But.. But.." Her site is supposed to be the central hub of all things Wonder Woman, she can't have competition so soon! What is going to do?! It's almost enough to make a girl lose her appetite.

Her stunned silence afterward leaves plenty of time for Tim to clarify on his own hijinx, and that snaps her out of it fairly quickly judging by how her brows suddenly raise when she looks to him and stops dead in her tracks. "Whoa, time out! You can't just gloss over that like you spilled a drink! Are you all right?!"

Tim certainly is a pro, he has years of experience pretending to listen to things while he's thinking about whatever case he's working on. That whole double life thing, and all. Pretending to be a normal highschooler while spending his evenings and weekends saving the world.

When Cassie stops in her tracks, Tim slows a few steps past, turning to look at the blonde. For a moment, he looks quite openly exasperated, because she was the one who'd just glossed over his first mention of it. But there's just certain things you get used to from old friends. Imagine trying to have this conversation with Bart.

"I'm fine," Tim replies, which knowing him would be his answer whether he was or not. "We weren't there for very long, we were there to rescue some people who'd been thrown in and trapped for weeks." Weeks during which Tim had, of course, sleeplessly and obsessively chased down every lead he could find, no matter how ridiculous, and made an extremely dangerous bargain, and almost died more times than he can count.

You know, the usual.

"Everybody got out fine," mostly, "it's just, like I said… Might be a good idea to get everybody back together. Maybe a few new faces," he adds, and knowing Tim Drake, he says that because he knows exactly which new faces he means to add. "There's bad stuff going on, Cassie, and we could use Wonder Girl." He pauses. "You know, assuming you can take time off from your busy schedule of banning people from your fansite to save the world…"

Cassie's expression shifts from concerned to doubtful of his 'I'm fine' response, but as he gives more details she at least ends up a little more relaxed- at least relaxed enough to just accept that she won't be able to drag out anything more about his condition. Then again, she could just be underestimating how tough he is- Cassie's always been impressed by how he carries himself, and how he switched from one life to another almost seamlessly. Maybe he is just cool enough to brush off Hell like it was no big deal? Hmmn.

"Well, that's good news at least." to everyone getting out ok, which makes it easier still for her to move along with the segway, which, again, shifts her mood yet again this time with flattery. Granted, she's about to make another big assumption, but she does end up smiling a bit- Of all the people he could have asked first, he chose her, Wonder Girl! That pretty much forces her to say 'yes' really and her mouth opens to say so- Until she's cut right off by his jab. Which might have been a playful one but it wipes that smile away in an instant as her cheeks flush red.

She's just a rollercoaster of expressions, isn't she?

"I- .. Yeah, well.. You.."

"First of all I am only agreeing because you were thoughtful enough to ask me first. And second of all? I have offline mod powers and you can consider yourself *two minute suspended*, smart alec!"

Yeah… Yeah, that was a pretty sick comeback.

A consequence of the life that Tim Drake leads - doing the things he does without a lick of superhuman powers, and all - is an abhorrence of weakness in himself. He wasn't able to hide the price he paid to get the information that let them track the two lost magic-users down entirely, not when Zatanna was able to detect the traces of it on his body, but since she helped him mask it he's sure that nobody else will ever know.

Though that's only because he has no clue that she's already told someone else.

But if he can help it, he won't let anyone know the costs he's paid to do the things he's done, the damage to his all too mortal body and to his spirit. If that helps him inspire others to be their best selves too, well, so much the better, right?

"Cassie, of course I asked you first," Tim says with his most winning smile, brushing right past his 'two minute suspension.' "It wouldn't be the same without you around." And also he hadn't been able to get in touch with Conner or Bart. Though he's pretty sure that if he'd already had the Metropolis Kid on board, no force in the universe would've kept Cassie from joining too.

"Mmgh." Cassie has to try very *Very* hard not to smile at Tim's response, her lips quiver before she draws them inward and looks off to the side to properly portray her annoyance. While she may not have literally been in hell, and it most certainly isn't the same as protecting the innocent, but for her the site and forums are pretty damned important for all the time she's put into it. Just.. SHe'll just have to find a way to reconile with some other folks and maybe get a little less ban-happy, but that is another story for another day.

Besides, ignoring him for two minute at this point is actually near impossible with the idea of the band reforming again out. It's probably about twenty five seconds before she speaks again while she continues to look the other direction. "You're not fooling me, Tim, I know I'm part of some sort of recruiting plan-" but then she looks to him with a smirk. "But, lucky for you, I don't mind in the least of being a strong selling point. So.. Um, what else can I do to help?"

Maybe it's the ol' Wayne charm, which was passed through some sort of transitive property to Tim when he was adopted.

Though if such a thing existed, then why did it completely skip Damian?

Maybe it's just that Tim knows Cassie as well as he knows almost anyone, and when it comes down to it he's entirely willing to use what he knows to push her towards making the 'right' decision. It isn't like he didn't mean it, anyway: It wouldn't be the same without her around. Now he just needs to actually get in touch with the others, and see about convincing a few new faces…

"Mostly? Keep an eye out. Seems like the League and the Avengers are on top of the Terrigen Mists situation, but there might be something else going on there, too… Somebody hired Deathstroke to beat up the Flash and leave him in a burning building, and another mercenary to go after Spoiler. And some kind of evil wizards from before the dawn of creation are doing… Something. I'm not really a hundred percent sure on what's up with that."

Wow. Ice cold.

'Keep an eye out' wasn't exactly the answer Cassie was expecting. Then again, she wasn't entirely certain what kind of answer she was looking for anyway; it isn't like her networking skills are particularly strong at this point in time after all. That's something she'll have to work on she supposes. Somehow. Someway.

And more surprises are in store, which get a frown in return, as if she had seen something distasteful. ".. You weren't kidding when you said things are a mess right now." and after, a more thoughtful expression follows as she glances upward. "All right, 'keep an eye out'. Sure, I can do that; not a problem. Not at all!"

She hopes. Guess it's time to get extra serious about getting that spreadsheet in order now.

"It's not a lot to go on right now," Tim admits, with a faint shrug of his shoulders; he was always one to prefer to know as much as he could before making a move, and always one to hate admitting that he didn't already have the information he needed. "Still need to track down Conner and Bart, and… You've heard of Spider-Man, right?" No doubt there is, not too far away right now, a Daily Bugle newspaper whose front page decries whatever the webslinger has gotten up to recently. "I'm going to see if he wants to join, too. And, uh, this young woman named Zatanna Zatara. She's a stage magician, there's a bunch of videos of her on Youtube, but she actually does real magic. She goes to Gotham University with me."

"And she sort of knows my secret identity," Tim adds, breezily, casually, trying to gloss over the whole thing. "It's a long story."

'It's a long story' is often Timspeak for 'something personally embarrassing that I don't want to talk about.' So there's that.

"But, hey, on the bright side, with all these things going on there's bound to be some bad guys for you to punch. Evil cultists, primordial demon-things, homicidal metahumans…" Tim is sure that when somebody's as strong as Cassandra Sandsmark is, it probably gets frustrating having to hold back and avoid breaking all those fragile human bones. Having to fight hellbeasts was weirdly liberating for him, since he could stop playing around and just start lobbing explosives.

"Oooh Spider-Man!" Cassandra's eyes light up. "I've never run into him myself but, but the Bugle doesn't give that guy a break- It just makes me want to meet him even more! So good luck with that." So, no, she hasn't had much luck tracking him down herself. Also needless to say, while the opportunity to tease him about his lack info is right there in the open, she doesn't take it.

That aside, her expression brightens further at the mention of Connor. "Cool!"

With her cup empty at this point it's tossed into a binny, which leaves her free to poke her cheek. "Uh-huh.. Actually I doubt it's a very long story at all, it's pretty obvious what happened. I mean, if she's a legit magician, that means she knows hypnotism, and palm reading and things like that right? She totally hypnotized it out of you!" she explains with a frown.

"So now you have to keep her close until you can get her back, right?" beat "You know, normally I don't condone reverse-blackmailing, but if you need me to set her up I will totally do it."

As far as strength frustrations are concerned; it certainly is a balancing act.

You would think that somebody who can fly would have an easier time finding people if she was so inclined, but well, maybe Cassandra just doesn't have a lot of extra time to devote to tracking down Spider-Man. She has her website to run, after all, and schoolwork to do. College does seem to be a bit of a trickier balancing act with heroics than highschool was.

Unless you're Tim, of course, who seems to have an even easier time of it since he doesn't have to stick to such a strict daily schedule.

The blonde's assumptions about Zatanna are… Bewildering, leaving Tim actually dumbfounded for a few long moments, his dark blue eyes staring. Blinking slowly. He can't decide if that would actually be more or less embarrassing than the whole, unvarnished truth.

"…No," Tim says, slowly. "She was dying, and I was trying to figure out how to fix it, but she confronted me in costume. She'd figured out I knew more than I should. I couldn't help her if she chased me off with magic or whatever, so I had to unmask. I'm pretty sure there was no hypnotism involved. Anyway, it all worked out." Kind of. Mostly. For some people, people who aren't him.

"She's a friend, Cassie. She's one of the good guys."

The stare she's given doesn't bother Cassie in the least; at first she thinks he's impressed that she managed to figure it out in little time, but then the truth reveals itself starting with a 'No', and the shock is quite easy to read on her face.

Oh but then it gets worse, and a massive ball of guilty forms in her stomach, accompanied by some heat in her cheeks again. "Oh, I- Wow, I-.. I'm sorry, Tim, I thought- I thought it was a completely different scenario. That was stupid." she eventually mumbles as her gaze falls downward. So that's two things Tim has gone through thats blown her problems out of the water.

Maybe, just maybe that's enough embarrassment for one day so she opts to not say more than she has to at this point. "Ok, got it."

"Things have been pretty crazy the past few months," Tim says, shrugging a little in response to Cassandra's apology. Really, things have been pretty crazy since he was about fourteen years old, but his time as the Boy Wonder really elevated his baseline of craziness. All that sort of stuff had become normal to him, almost routine and mundane, until that day Zatanna had sauntered into his Physics class. Or maybe that wasn't the day that really marked the change, maybe it was when he'd rescued her from that serial killer, Kazinsky.

From there, it had been a straight line to the events of the Gotham Antiquities Commission Gala, to the trip to the Cold Flame's stronghold in the Alps, to the first encounter with the utopia machine where Zatanna had retrieved the stolen parts of her soul, to the incident under Ozone Park and the trip into that 'perfect world' where he'd nearly died.

To his bargain with Wong, twelve hours of his 'potential' for information that could help them find the lost Princess of Prestidigitation and John Constantine in Hell. And in the future, who knows?

Is it any wonder Tim would want to try and get the band back together? He might need them just to survive.

"Anyway, c'mon," Tim says, flashing the blonde a grin. "If you want, I can help beef up your site's server. But what kind of a name is 'We Wuv Wondy,' anyway..?" With the serious talk done, there's always time for idle chatter between old friends, right?

At least it's now in her head that the group won't be entirely fun and games but Cassandra can only hope she inherits more of the 'fun' things in the madness to come. The sheepish expression remains, though with a small smile to Tim's response. "I'll say."

And after that is just the thing to lift Cassie's spirits again- it catches her by such suprise that there's a brief, audible gasp before she exclaims, "Are you serious?! Tim, oh my gosh, that would be *so* amazing, thank you so much! Come on, it's the other way!"

If allowed she'd take Tim's arm without even thinking to drag him along as she u-turns. "Though, ok, so you're going to have to sneak into the room because we're not allowed to have boys in the dorms after nine, all right? It's totally stupid but it was because of some stupid drama that happened like, year ago." Beat. "And, for the record? There's *nothing* wrong with the site name, you just don't know the context! See, it started two years ago."

And he gets a fifteen minute story. He asked for it.

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