The New Kid

August 28, 2017:

The newest member of the Titans meets some of the team she's joined. Impulse takes up a new career in pizza delivery.

Common Room - Titans Tower

A spacious relaxation area on the top level of Titans Tower.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Starfire, Wonder Girl, Superboy, Captain Marvel


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Titans Tower is a cool, happening place to be if you're a young superheroic type.

With the fall semester soon to start for those of the Titans who are currently students, though, the Tower might wind up a little quieter: Not all of them can easily traverse the distance between wherever they're supposed to be in their civilian lives and the man-made island in the middle of the East River in that sort of time, but the building is more than capable of taking care of itself.

Which is something Red Robin can't take all the credit for by any means. The original designer of the Tower had a deft touch when it came to self-maintaining technologies.

Late August as it is, the afternoons and evenings are still long and lazy, with the day giving up slowly and reluctantly… The tall buildings of Manhattan cast long shadows over the river, but the evening sun makes the water itself glitter gold and orange, the sight making the river look far more beautiful than its frankly super gross level of pollution would otherwise suggest.

And so, in the common room, in the last week of August, Red Robin - vigilante, detective, adventurer, guy who decided to restart the Titans - is… Well, to be honest, he's working. Sitting on a couch by one of balcony doors (which is open, letting in a nice breeze) he's got his laptop open on his lap, its casing a red to match his costume, and yeah of course it's got a stylised bird's head profile logo on the back, yellow on black.

He's in costume, too, of course. The more lightweight suit, with a domino mask instead of a cowl, that he's taken to wearing as part of Titans operations.

Caitlin emerges from the elevator, heralded by a *ding* and the wisp of sliding doors. She's wearing workout attire; low sneakers with a thin sole in salmon pink, brief athletic shorts, and a midriff-baring support racerback tanktop.

She's a bit pink in her high cheekbones, and the towel and gym bag in her hand suggest she's just been from downstairs putting the weight machines through their paces. A literal gallon of protein shake is in her other hand, already half consumed from one of those gas-station 128 oz. containers.

"Hey, Robin," Caitlin says, spotting the younger hero in his perch near the balcony. She detours towards the door, slowing a little to gauge his interest before approaching; he is the sort to prefer solitude, and she's considerate enough not to intrude into it. "Gosh, you really do take the secret identity thing seriously, don'tcha," she says, with a wry and playful tone. "Are you super-famous or something? Like, from a boy-band, or something?"

"Bart, what do you do at the Tower anyway?" "Oh, you know, superhero team stuff." "Uh-huh…."

Max Mercury probably knows better than to expect a decent explanation from the younger Speedster, and it's likely that the only reason he lets Bart come to hang out is because he feels…okay, hopes that other young heroes will have a positive influence on him in a way that he cannot so easily impress. Well, all right, maybe two reasons. Even Max needs a break now and then, and the Titans can handle the red-and-white whirlwind, right?

"-anyone up for a game? One-person table tennis is boring," Impulse abruptly proclaims, seemingly appearing in the middle of the common room given he hadn't been there a second ago. He's also in costume, save for a zip-up sweatjacket thrown over, and his goggles pulled down around his neck. And he's got a paddle in each hand. He takes one look at Red Robin and sighs, tossing the paddles on the table.

"Oh, hey Cait!" he says, turning about to wave at her. "I'm hungry- you up for pizza? I can totally inhale a pizza or two- you call I'll pick up? Oh I guess I should change first if I do that, huh- or do we usually ask for delivery to the Tower anyway? I dunno, is that weird?"

As summer tilts over its apex and begins the slow slide into autumn, the temperatures naturally shift. Weather uncomfortably hot in the weeks prior has dipped to balmy low eighties during the day, and in the evenings the breeze turns cool enough to remind pedestrians that there's a natural world out there beyond the canyons of steel and glass, and it's busily getting on with things. Somewhere, someone is planning to harvest something soon.

That's twice as true on the water, where the unimpeded wind has the freedom to knife its way inland from the colder salt waters beyond, and that goes some distance toward explaining why it is that Xiaoyi, as she steps off of the elevator on the residential floor, is wearing a slouchy, slightly oversized knit sweater over top of the usual shorts and sneakers, her hair drawn back but strands of it tousled free by fingers of wind out on the island grounds.

The greenery and silence played no small part in her recent acceptance of Red's proposal. Not, she knows, the best reason to join an organization, but it felt like a balm and she needed one, desperately. Prone to overthinking things, she's doing her best to resist that urge — for once. Whether she's just made the best or worst decision of her life, she can say this for certain: the verdant spaces down below are a lovely place to study.

A stylishly modern backpack over one shoulder weighs heavy with books, another under her other arm ('House of Leaves,' however, is probably not coursework), and earbuds in her ears, threaded down to a micro-mp3 player. The place was a ghost town when she left, so she's hum-singing to herself along with whatever she's listening to, realizing too late that she's not alone. The note chokes off into silence as she reaches up to tug the ear buds out of her ears. She's got too much control over her expression to look shocked, but it's more difficult to conceal the faint color in her cheeks.

"Oh," she says, eloquent. "Uh. …Hi."

"Yes," is the answer given to Caitlin's question, delivered without even looking up from the laptop. It's sort of a vague response, since she asked him more than one thing… But, truthfully, it's an accurate answer to at least two of the playful questions. "Being in a boyband lets me disguise international operations," Red Robin continues. He's given up trying to correct her on his codename, at least in the interim. "I'm the 'bad boy' one," the vigilante says, looking up at Fairchild at last, and lifting a hand to press a gloved finger to his mouth in a 'shh' gesture. "Don't tell anybody."

If he's surprised by the sudden arrival of Impulse, he doesn't show it - not this time, at least. Already, the gaze hidden behind the white lenses of his domino mask has turned back down to the laptop screen, though of course he's still paying attention to what else is happening in the spacious common room, particularly Bart's rapid-fire questions about pizza.

"Can't get delivery, we're on an island," Red Robin reminds the speedster. "I checked, nowhere around here wants to rent a boat and schlep on over." And he's definitely not giving any delivery people access to the hidden tunnels. "If you want to order for pick up though, just put it on the petty cash…"

And, there's the newest member of the team.

"Iso," Red Robin says. He meant what he said about protecting her secret identity, if she wanted to keep one. Most people in his position right now would probably feel overdressed. He is, however, pretty much used to it. "That's Impulse, and that's Fairchild," he says by way of introductions, pointing at each of them in turn. "Guys, this is Iso. She has the superpower to make pigeons explode."

Caitlin yelps and flings her duffel bag at Bart when he 'appears'. Fortunately, the little duffel bag contains nothing harder than spare socks and her extra towel. Still, she immediately covers her mouth with both hands, looking mortified.

"I'msosorry!" she tells Impulse. "You keep startling me!" She moves to retrieve her things just as Iso shows up; it gives her a little cover to stick her tongue out at Tim's dry response to her question, and she takes a second to recover her balance while Iso's introduced. "I'm down for pizza," the woman whispers to the scarlet speedster, nodding vigorously even as she drinks another quarter-gallon of the protein shake in her left hand.

She lifts a brow questioningly at Tim's bland assessment, but the big ginger's already in motion and sticks a hand out at Xiaoyi, beaming a megawatt smile at the girl.

"Hi! Welcome to the Tower. I'm /Caitlin/," she says, correcting Tim's use of a codename. "It's swell to have another girl here! Pigeons, huh? Is it all pigeons, or do you just use your superpowers to fight off the evil ones?" she says, trying for a playfully friendly tone.

"Whoa!" Impulse catches the bag before it can make contact with his face, although with Cait's arm, even without any real weight to the bag's contents, it still makes him take a step back. He grins at her, holding the bag out as he at least doesn't seem too upset about being targetted. Fair's fair.

"Delivery's too slow anyway," he informs Tim, nodding at Caitlin. "All riiiight! That's two for pizza-" His glance is about the only warning in Iso's direction before he's *whoosh* suddenly there beside her, no behind her- no other side- Oh hey, right in front of her!

"Oh sweet, that was you?? Messy and I guess unsanitary, but effective! How'd you do it? Oversized Alka Seltzer tabs? -hey, you up for pizza? How many can you eat? What toppings?" Someone save the poor girl.

An absurdly wealthy young man named after, for reasons Xiaoyi has yet to have explained to her, a migratory thrush (alternately: apparently a restaurant?); a six and a half foot tall amazon, and a slim figure that seems to be made up of red and white lines, a shock of brown hair, and one long run-on sentence.

Xiaoyi Chen spends a lot of time amidst her peers at school feeling…different. Aware, privately, of the fact that she is different. Standing here, being introduced, it strikes her that her sliding scale for what that means probably needs to expand.

A lot.

…And that she probably occupies a place on that scale closer to average than she thought.

She has none of Red's cavalier familiarity with the kind of force of nature that is Impulse, so his sudden appearance next to her visibly startles her. She fumbles her book, manages to catch at it before it gets away from her, and regards him with slightly wide, dark eyes that shift from his volley of questions to Caitlin's wry one, and back again.

"I like pizza," she says finally. "Cheese? But just one. …slice. One slice. Not one pizza. …I can see why you'd need more than one, though. Impressive mobility. Your metabolic needs must be…" Expensive. "Astonishing." If she sounds fascinated, that's because she is. She glances his way several times as she closes in on the sitting area, pausing by the couch to slide her bag from her shoulder and set it down on the floor. Caitlin is on the receiving end of a more rueful smile. She never once glances at Tim, because it might give the lie to what she says next: "It was an accidental discovery. As Impulse says, it was effective, but unsanitary. Red Robin has promised to help me look into more practical ways to remotely detonate pigeons. Perhaps branching out from the common pigeon to include doves through training, and then, if that experiment is successful, move on to grouses and mesites? They share the same clade, genetically…"

"If you feel short now, just wait until you're alone in a room with just Fairchild and Starfire," Red Robin remarks, although the alien princess isn't around much, having things of her own to deal with. Finally, he starts closing down whatever he's doing on the laptop - with this many people around, there's no way he can focus properly on work that's probably going to require his full attention and, knowing his general behaviour, is one of any of a dozen of completely unrelated projects he's working on right now.

Said laptop gets folded shut, and put away in a plain black laptop bag, before Red Robin starts to unfold himself from the couch he'd been sitting on for… Well, it had to have been at least an hour.

"I could stand to eat something too," he allows. "Just pepperoni. And just the one."

He might need to eat a fair number of calories in a day to sustain the whole 'near peak of normal human ability' physical fitness, but that's not a patch on Bart's Speed Force metabolism, or the furnace that keeps Fairchild running. Feeding the pair of them, along with Superboy and Wonder Girl, is probably a good chunk of the Titans operating budget.

Honestly, Zatanna being a pescetarian is a relief when it comes to grocery day.

"All we need now is somebody who can do seagulls, and we can really start cleaning up this town," he says, off of Iso's own continuation of the joke about her exploding pigeons.

Caitlin's smile freezes a bit— Xiayoi is a hard read and it's hard to tell if she's being deliberately playful about the concept of avian murder, or if she's prompting a genuine scientific conversation about the topic of detonating urban fowl.

"Well… it's not the most /useful/ superpower I've ever heard of, per se," Caitlin says, with polite caution, "but who knows where it could go, right? I read about a mutant who could make sparks from her fingertips. Turned out she was making microsingularity plasmic discharges," she says, finding her good cheer again almost immediately. Her clearly corn-fed Iowa accent comes through as she makes a sincere effort to engage with Iso, though she slouches a bit unconsciously to reduce her height among her friends at Tim's commentary.

"Uhhh, so, pizza! One, two, six… ten?" Caitlin asks Impulse, counting from Iso to Tim to Bart to herself. "I think I saw the cantina account card on the refridgerator," She tells Impulse, helpfully.

"So are you a nerd too? We've got a lot of us here," she informs Iso, shifting her weight a bit on her flat-soled running shoes. "Which I mean, 'scool, it's nice having something to talk about with someone other than superpowers and super-related stuff all day," she says with a wry tone puncuated by a giggle.

Seems he's not needed to catch any escaping books, but Impulse doubts that Iso'd appreciate applause for her save. He beams as she turns out to be a pizza-eater, one slice or no since he knows not everyone has appetites like him and Caitlin. "Pretty much," he says, nodding at Iso. "Back in a sec-

"-okay," he says as a breeze wafts through the room at his abrupt return. Well, he did say he had to change. Tim can yell at him later about secret identities and stuff, but then Iso had already come in when he'd had his goggles off, so different clothes isn't going to do any more harm. And besides! They're teammates now!

"Okay, so that's one pepperoni pizza, one slice of cheese pizza and the usual?" he recites, flicking the card Caitlin had mentioned between his fingers as he'd apparently grabbed it after he'd changed. "Anyway, I'll go order and pick up."

Much as he'd like to guarantee a soon, he knows that the longest part is waiting for the pizzas to be done. Well, sometimes some things are worth waiting for, he supposes. He tosses the trio a salute and in a blur he's gone and off again.

If she needed to? Iso could keep up that facade of seriousness forever. Culturally speaking, she comes from a country that tends to conceal emotion amongst strangers for reasons of politeness, and reserve of expression is something she learned very early indeed. That said, she cultivated a rebellious streak even there that put her immediately at odds with the flow of the grain in her very traditional, very rural family, and she doesn't have the cruel streak necessary to go on making Caitlin uncomfortable once it becomes clear that she is. Her deadpan melts around the edges, and eventually ends in a flicker of a smile.

"I'm only kidding," she admits, amused and apologetic at the same time. "That sounds pretty dangerous, though. 'Microsingularity.'"

And then Caitlin slouches, and Iso reaches out to clasp her arm in passing. "Hey, it doesn't bother me. If I were as tall as you are, I'd probably still wear high heels, just so that I could really loom. I'm serious. There are so many people I deal with during the day that I'd love to loom over."

She spends a moment thumbing at her mp3 player to turn it off, earbuds draped over her shoulder, and then she pivots around to drop with relaxed grace into a chair adjacent to Red's, one of her feet tucked underneath her. She leans into one corner of her chair, and wiggles her fingers as Impulse disappears, uncertain whether or not he was there long enough to see it at all.

"That's going to take some getting used to," she murmurs, as much to herself as the others, whom she includes in the follow-up, turning her eyes that way: "I wonder what the world looks like to him when he's in motion. Imagine the Doppler shifting."

…Which is probably a good answer in and of itself to Caitlin's question. She opens her mouth, closes it, and then tilts her head, eyes lidding enough to suggest a smile that's hard to read at any distance. "I like to learn about things, if that's what you mean."

If anybody is likely to start yelling at Bart about his secret identity, it would be Max Mercury… Who is, fortunately, not here.

As far as Red Robin is concerned, every Titan's identity is up to them to decide if they want to reveal or not. Which is easy for him to say, since he knows the secret identities of pretty much everyone he's recruited to the team so far, with the notable exception of Spider-Man. As for the detective himself, well, like Fairchild said before: He takes the 'secret identity' thing seriously.

Not that a good chunk of the team don't already know who he really is, of course…

"My understanding is that it mostly looks like everything else is standing still. Though it probably gets a bit strange when he reaches the upper limits of his speed… But Impulse is used to it." He didn't, after all, get his powers later in life: He was quite literally born with them, already accelerating from the Speed Force coursing through him. Which his mother probably did not appreciate very much at the time.

Honestly, the implications.

"A lot of us have interests in engineering and other applied sciences, so there's plenty of lab space down on the Operations level if you want room to tinker around in. Just, you know, let somebody know before starting any projects that are likely to blow up the Tower or cause rifts in spacetime. Safety first."

Caitlin smiles gratefully at Iso's gentle touch, and returns the gesture with a sweep of her fingertips on the smaller woman's arm. Despite her size, Caitlin's surprisingly gentle and careful about how she moves around the smaller teammates. And she straightens a little at Iso's assurances, a little surprised at how deftly the newcomer picked up on the big amazonian woman's lack of self-possession.

Major bonus points for Iso in Cait's book, clearly.

"I don't think he hits relatavistic speeds very often. He's really fast, but he's pretty good about not breaking the sound barrier, and the Tower isn't constantly exploding from hydrostatic shock if he runs into something," Caitlin tells Iso, cheerily.

"I'm an electrical engineer in my day job; I work for Starr Labs," Caitlin explains to Iso, warming up to the topic of nerddom. "But I do machine work, some microcontroller programming; I'm not as good a software engineer as Robin," she says, deferring to Tim's expertise with a gesture at him. "But I'll totally geek out about it anyway. I've got an older model League Javelin in the secondary hangar I'm tinkering with so we've got a spare ride, too, but it's being all 'myeh' with the trim controls and stuff, so—" She waggles her broad shoulders and makes a face. "Fast, though!"

"You'd think I'd be more used to that sort of thing, spending a few months at Xavier's," Iso says, in the wake of Caitlin's clarifications concerning what sort of physics-oriented mayhem Impulse gets up to from day to day. "It may not surprise me anymore, but it still amazes me."

Her lean into the arm of her chair is as cut-loose as she can bring herself to be amongst people she's hardly familiar with at all, but she relaxes into it as best she's able, piling her sleeve-drowned arms atop that of her seat and turning the whole of her focus to the other two. If it strikes her as strange that Red is more significantly costumed than the rest of them, none of that shows; she meets that domino mask with the same kind of assumed eye contact she uses with Caitlin.

"Starr Labs. I'm not familiar. I haven't been here long, though." No clarification about the meaning of 'here,' not that it particularly matters. She's already visibly brightening, anyway, at vehicle talk. "Red Robin drove me here in — " Pause. Glance. "What do you call it?" She doesn't wait for the answer, though, hands lifted and splayed, relish playing out over typically restrained features. "It's beautiful. I'd love to see what you drive. You'll have to take me…somewhere. Anywhere, it doesn't matter." That smile tilts, turning complex, and not all of the things it contains are quite as giddily enthusiastic or positive as the rest. "I don't think I'll be driving anything anytime soon, myself."


"Is that what you do with the Titans, then? You…are a mechanic? And Red Robin…is…" She turns her head, slides him a look. "A software engineer, and in charge of the terrible jokes?"

'It's the Redbird,' he would say, but Iso didn't really wait for him to actually supply the car's name before she started gushing over it. And here he thought he was just exaggerating when he told the car that it had gotten a fangirl.

"I'm in charge generally," is what Red Robin does get to say, when Iso wonders about their respective responsibilities around the Tower. "And honestly, we keep the terrible jokes spread around pretty evenly. It's a team effort. I did do most of the new programming in the Tower's computer systems, though, after I overhauled the core supercomputer… It was pretty out of date. Old equipment that hadn't been used for ages, just left laying around. Fairchild finished the refurbishing on the T-Jet, which is running better than ever, and… We'll have to get you cleared on that, too, Iso," the masked detective says, making a mental note as he casually throws out the idea of training Iso to operate an extremely high-tech aircraft. But, it's better if they all know how to fly it.

Except Zatanna. That way lies madness.

"Though actually, from what you said about your own abilities, Iso, you could probably be a big help. There's a lot of hydraulics involved in operating a jet…"

He's looking right at her, now, from behind those featureless white lenses. Considering the possibilities for how Iso's metahuman powers could be applied, fairly mundanely, for the good of the group. She might notice discrepancies or fluctuations even finely-tuned equipment might miss, after all.

Mentally, he files that for later.

"I think Spider-Man does some engineering, too. Superboy and Wonder Girl… Not so much." Unless one counts having to repair broken down tractors on a farm.

Speaking of Madness.

The elevator doors leading to the Habitation Levels of Titans Tower slide open and Zatanna Zatara arrives, arms laden with books and a pair of aviator sunglasses perched on her head. While September is just around the corner, Summer maintains its tenacious grip on the city and her attire reflects the fact - a pair of black shorts, a black tank top, a light hoodie and knee-high boots don her today, with her lengthy raven tresses pulled in a haphazard knot behind and to the side of her skull. A small backpack is slung on one shoulder, probably containing more tomes.

She fully expects the dorm level of the Titans Tower to be deserted, only not to find it so. There's a small blink at the collective present.

"Oh, hey guys," she says. "I'd wave but my hands are literally full. I was going to look for you after, actually." The last said to Red Robin. "But two birds, one stone, can't complain." She turns that billion megawatt smile at Iso. "New recruit? Welcome! I'm Zee."

On the pile in her arms, the topmost title would be visible: Magic and Astronomy.

"And the designated forklift," Caitlin supplies helpfully, grinning at Iso's question. "Though Connor is pretty strong too, so I don't quite feel like industrial equipment quite as much anymore," she says, shifting her weight and laughing.

"I don't have any sexy cool mechanical superpowers though, I just like to tinker with stuff," Caitlin explains to Iso, waving a hand vaguely at Robin as if encompassing everyone else on the team. "Also, I tend to trip over stuff and break things, so I figured out how to put them back together fast, too. Oh! But I do like to do exercise training!" she says, clapping her hands together enthusiastically. "I work out twice a day so if you ever wanna come down to the gym and get built up a little, you can totally come work out with me! I know all the modern fitness theory and I'm pretty good at helping people get stronger," she assures Iso. "But, it's not all work, either," she adds.

At that moment, Zatanna walks in, and Caitlin flashes a smile and waves at the gothy magicienne, beckoning her over enthusiastically. "Hi Zee! Doing some studying today?" she asks, craning her neck to peek at the title of Zatanna's materials.

There's a gust of pizza-scented wind that follows Zatanna's arrival, Impulse bearing an armload of flat, square boxes stacked past his head as he stops just in time to keep from running over their resident magic user. "Whoop-!" He attempts to keep the leaning tower of pizza from collapsing after his having to hit the brakes, weaving his way around Zatanna so he can deposit the stack of boxes on the coffee table. "Pizza time! -oh, and heya Zee!"

He takes up a smaller box from the top of the stack, holding it out to Iso. "One cheese pizza slice! And here's your's, Double-R, and the rest is between you an' me, Cait.

"Oh. I ended up getting yours and Iso's at a different place, Rob', cuz I thought it'd be faster if I went to ten different pizza places and ordered a pizza each so they'd all be done around the same time, but then I found out that they wouldn't let me use the card right away after the first time I tried, so um." He scratches his head, looking sheepish. "That's why I took so long." He had to wait for the card to actually go through at the second place. Well, live and learn.

We'll have to get you cleared on that, too, Iso.

That complicated look returns, and this time it emphasizes the discordant things enough that she feels compelled to give them a voice. "My status as a citizen is — " Complicated? She stops short. The word would stretch the truth beyond credibility. "Ah. Nonexistent. I'm enrolled in school through a fiat involving Xavier's, but…I came here as a refugee, in a sense. I have a school ID, but…" No license. No passport. Letting that trail off, she firms the barely-there smile that remains, those nagging problems set aside. "But I'm happy to help however I'm able."

Also complicated, although differently-so: being invited to work out with Caitlin Fairchild. "Sure. Thanks." She strives to sound sure about that. Xiaoyi isn't intimidated by much, but the prospect of being put through her paces by someone configured like Caitlin is daunting to say the least. "I could probably use the guidance. Being off of the farm means I'm getting soft."

Before any concrete plans can be made, there's another arrival, and then a re-arrival, and so Iso is off of the hook — for now. That relief probably informs the unusual strength of her smile as she lifts a hand to wave at the young woman in black. (It's that, or the pizza that comes in just afterward.) "Brand new. I'm — " Pause. Is she Iso? Is she Xiaoyi? Red introduced her as Iso, he seems to know how this sort of thing goes, so — "Iso. Nice to meet you."

Into the space that follows, Bart gives his snappy explanation of how he thought he'd solve the 'waiting for a ton of pizza to be baked' problem, and after it she arches both of her brows a little at Zee, smiles in a way that isn't sheepish, but something like it. "I'm adjusting," she says, as though that pizza incident more or less sums it up.

Though it's hidden behind the domino mask and its white lenses, Red Robin blinks once, owlishly, at Iso's statement about her lack of official status. Mentally, he's kicking himself for not even having really thought about it, even though it was staring him in the face when he was first investigating her. The way she'd seemingly just appeared out of thin air a few months ago, as far as a paper trail was concerned. Her mentions of having been essentially spirited away from a farm in rural China, not really a recipe for documentation.

"I can fix that," he says. There's a beat, before he remembers that he's dealing with a human person with their own wants and feelings, and adds: "If you want. Technically it'll be enormously illegal, and you won't, like… Be able to get a government job with it, probably, but the other stuff… Passport, driver's license, easy. Library card. Um… Mortgage?"

But, felonies and mundanities aside, Caitlin is offering to help Iso with her physical training, which is probably a recipe for hijinks. Between her, Wonder Girl and Superboy, the (extremely) high end weightlighting equipment has certainly proven to be a good investment. Though he's not sure if Conner technically gets points, since he's doing it all telekinetically.

Which is cheating.

Zatanna's arrival draws Red Robin's attention, brows lifting over his mask as he notices that she's carrying an awful lot of books. It must be pretty bad if she's not sticking them all in that magic phone app of hers.

"We saw her handiwork during the incident in the river," he explains to Zatanna. "She's—

Yep, there's Bart.

"—been meeting the team," the detective finishes. "Figured we'd ease her into it, save the space aliens for later. And the flying dog." He just says these things. "Thanks, Impulse," he directs to the speedster. "What did you get on yours, anyway? Something with fish?"

"Need any help with the books?" Red Robin asks of Zatanna, since Caitlin is already on the case of 'what is the witch reading'.

"Hey Caitlin, and nah, these are for Red."

Just in time for him to offer his help with the books, to which she turns that billion megawatt smile towards his direction instead, and passes on the entire pile in her arms.

"Some craziness erupted during the Solar Eclipse, and Red here wanted to know whether there's some magical element to the phenomenon so I'm lending him some source material." Her expression lights up immediately at the sight of pizza, moving so she could open up the top box and peer inside. "Hi Bart, did you order any veggie pizzas?" she asks, with a hopeful note in her voice. "Did all these go on the company card? God, I hope so."

To the new girl, Zatanna grins. "Nice to meet you, too," she tells her warmly; her well-wishes are always genuine. "It's a good group, plus a few of us are new to the entire teamwork heroics thing like me, so if you have any prior experience in that, I'll probably be following your lead." An exasperated look falls over her features. "If these guys won't stop giving me crap about not having a decent codename and costume anyway. They tried to saddle me with Madame Magic, Iso. Do I look like a madame? I'm not even twenty yet!"

Her hands free, she slips them in the pockets of her hoodie, her head inclining towards Red. "I also wanted to ask if there was anything across the pond that you wanted me to look into since I'm going to be in the area. I'm headed to London for a few days. And before you ask, no, the world isn't ending."


"Not yet anyway….I'll get back to you on that one."

At Iso's implication regarding her immigration status, Cait's eyes widen a little and a sympathetic look crosses her face. She maintains a careful mask of neutrality, which is basically the worst poker face possible. Of course as far as she knows, no one on the team is aware of Caitlin's non-entity-status, either— though Tim has pretty assuredly hacked all the Justice League files on her by this point, if not going so far as to eavesdrop on her conversations with her friends.

Fortunately, pizza arrives, and Caitlin's world suddenly condenses around the arrival of the sacred meal. Setting aside the (empty!) gallon jug of protein shake, she helps Bart balance out the carboard containers.

She digs through hers— Hawaiian, pineapple haters shut your face— and folds four slices into a Dagwood while Tim speaks. She practically unhinges her jaw and starts eating, and inhales half a pizza by the time Zatanna swings the question to her.

"Umfrg… ummm…" Caitlin swallows convulsively, the muscle in her neck standing out. "Man that's good. I think there's a cheese pizza in the stack?" she tells Zatanna helpfully, looking through the boxes. She perks at the mention of London— Zee always goes to the coolest places— and manages to keep a wistful envy off her strong features.

"Bart had a great one the other day! What was it— it was good— oh! 'Miss-Sterious!" Caitlin tells to Zee, before slapping two more slices of pizza together and taking a bite.

Caitlin's duffel bag starts ringing and she digs into the side pocket, pulling up a phone. "Ooops! I gotta go guys, I forgot I'm meeting Carol. Nice meetin' ya, Iso!" Caitlin says, waggling the fingers around her phone before putting it to her ear and walking off. "Hi Carol! Yeah, I just gotta shower and head your way…" She walks to her room, palms open the door lock, and disappears inside.

Bart scowls at Tim. "You and your fish," he grumbles as he helps lift and shuffle pizza boxes around for the others before pulling out one and holding it out towards Zee. "There's…some veggies on this one, I think? You can just throw all the other stuff on another slice and I'll eat it."

He's sitting himself down from standing to cross-legged on the floor with another box settled in his lap as he readies to dig in. He misses the first part of talk regarding IDs and citizenship status, which is probably for the best. Flash had had to set him up with all that as well, given that…well, Bart is from the 30th Century. Are there rules for time travelers when it comes to stuff like that? Probably not really something that…comes up very often. Unless you're related to certain Speedsters, apparently.

Caitlin's quip nearly has him choking on the ginormous bite he'd taken, which somehow or another he manages to swallow down. Mostly. For all that a pizza tried to end him, he still gives Zee a cheesey grin. Literally.

"Unless you're going to make me buy my room here, I think I'll skip the mortgage. The rest of it though…" She sits back into the back of her seat, twining her fingers in her lap. Eventually she summons a short nod, a summary gesture that encompasses a lot of small thoughts that she doesn't articulate. "Let's talk about it when you have some time." And there isn't a common room full of pizza and fresh faces to consider. Nothing brings down the mood of a light social gathering quite like bureaucracy talk.

A simple shake of the head is enough for Iso to make it clear she has no prior experience in the hero-ing department, but her eyes narrow amusedly and her shoulders shake just enough to imply some silent mirth. "English isn't my first language, but, no. I don't think you look like a Madame. …Thanks for the pizza, Impulse."

Actually, Iso thought 'Madame' was what you called a woman who owned a brothel, though she keeps that to herself. The Capo of Ennilux: kind of a shady guy. Inheriting his understanding of the English language was useful, but also a thing fraught with peril.

She keeps the brothel thing to herself.

By the time Caitlin makes her counterproposal for a code name for Zee, Xiaoyi's found her slice of cheese pizza and has a mouthful of it, so all she can do is point that way in a silent '+1' vote. Much better than Madame.

There's a short chuff of laughter from Red Robin at Iso's comment about the mortgage.

"Nope, no rent here either. But you never know when you might want to invest in some real estate. A nice little home with a picket fence and all that." He says, owning a townhouse in Gotham, a penthouse in Manhattan, and what used to be another penthouse in Berlin which somebody (Red Robin) rigged with explosives just in case and then somebody (also Red Robin) proceeded to set them off.

Sometimes you just gotta blow up your house to drive off shapeshifting assassins in the employ of evil wizards. Or, if your life is extremely weird, anyway.

"But yeah, we'll figure it out."

The masked vigilante is handed the stack of books from Zatanna's grasp, and he looks down at them with… It's not consternation, really, because he does like to learn things. A bit of surprise, maybe, that it was such a stack of books and not just one single tome bound in the skins of a different animal from each continent. Or a binder, like that one book she'd lent him before as initial groundwork.

"I heard," he says, when Zatanna mentions a trip to Old Blighty, having heard some choice words from Constantine about the character and parentage of the sorts of people he was going to need to talk to for better tools to poke at the exsanguinated ex-startup owner languishing in some kind of stasis who was one of the foci of a certain ongoing investigation; Red Robin had brought the finest advanced medical scanners that could fall off the back of a WayneTech truck, but the situation was currently not within the grasp of medical science.

"I'm still surprised you're more upset about the name than the suggestion you wear big yellow gloves like Doctor Strange," Red Robin says, carrying the stack of books back to where he left his laptop, and sitting down again. Is he… He's pulling one of the books off of the pile isn't he? He's already going to start reading it!! "Miss-Sterious sounds kind of like a Riddler sidekick, though," he adds, face in the book.

He seems to have forgotten about the pizza.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License