Disclaimers etc with Part 1
I snagged a cookie for me and one for Dick. As I handed it to him I noticed Willow was on the phone. "Kyle?" I asked. The others nodded. I chuckled.
"Don't look at me like that Buffy," Willow said, halting her conversation for a moment. "You and Dick are exactly the same when you are apart." She turned her back and continued softly talking to Kyle.
Further teasing was halted when the front door slammed shut. It's a big door. It's a display of impressive effort that could make it slam shut.
"You can't babysit me for the rest of my life," Dawn was yelling at Tim as we came back through the kitchen door and into the living room to stare at the young pair in the hall. I swear that we are wearing a trench in the floor.
"I'm not Dawn and I won't."
"You don't trust me! None of you do. The only times I'm alone are when I'm in the bathroom or when I'm in bed. You can't protect me from everything. You couldn't even save my mom from a guy you've fought before, several hundred times before I might add!" Dawn shouted, pointing an accusing finger at Tim.
"Dawn..." Bruce began.
"NO! Nononono! NO!! I won't hear you. I won't hear your apologies or excuses. I want my mom!" She started to cry and I saw relief on Tims face. It must have been a long day. Dawn crumpled to the floor where Tim sat beside her and waited for her to come to him for comfort. He didn't have to wait long. It was almost like she crawled into his lap, where she quickly fell into an exhausted sleep. I can only imagine how tired she must be. She sleeps short amounts of time and not very deeply when she does sleep, or so she tells and how else would I know?
Tim managed to stand up without disturbing Dawn too much and carried her upstairs to put her into her bed and carefully remove her shoes before tucking the covers around her.
"I was worried she'd never get it out of her system Buffy. It's not normal to be so quiet," he said to me barely louder than a whisper.
"Thank you Tim. For being there for her. I... I know that she doesn't come to me because she's worried about me dealing with mom's... passing. Thank you for being her friend."
"It's not hard Buffy," he says as he smiles fondly at my sleeping sister. Gently he smoothes her hair from her face before turning to face me. "I'm glad to be here for her."
I smile again and turn to go. Bruce is waiting in the corridor. "She's asleep." Robin the First was by my side having been let into the house by Alfred only seconds before. I'm glad of his company. Unlike Bruce, I don't feel compelled to stalk the streets of Gotham every single night. Sometimes it's nice to stay home and watch TV with Dawn, curled up on the sofa with Robin the First and sometimes with Dick if he can get the night off too. Sometimes Dawn and I spend the night with Cass and Babs at the Clocktower.
That is *the* coolest place ever. It has a huge computer system and it's own VR simulator. Dawn and I have spent a lot of time in there with Babs helping her fine-tune the systems. It's fun.
"You're going to take a nap now aren't you?" Bruce asked, although I think he was accusing me of something.
"What of it?" I asked, bewildered as to how a nap could be a bad thing.
"Then why did you mention it?"
"It's... you seem to spend a lot more time sleeping now Buffy. I'm worried that you're trying to sleep through your problems."
"Maybe I am, or maybe I'm just so completely exhausted by everything that's happened and is happening."
"...Dick is worried as well. He won't say anything but he is concerned for you," Bruce continued.
"I know he is. I guess I need to take more frequent trips to Bludhaven."
"That's not a bad idea. Maybe you need a change of scenery."
"Can stay here Miss Buffy. I'm sure Master Bruce and Mr. Drake won't mind Master Tim staying here to keep Miss Dawn company while you are out of town."
I think Alfreds use of titles just confused me. I rub a tired hand over my face. "Maybe you're right. I'll talk with Dawn and Dick and Mr. Drake and see what they say. But right now I have some reading and meditation to do." I walked down the corridor to my room and closed the door without any further comment from either of them.
I did my 'Giles allocated' reading and then, because the medieval wars are interesting, I read a bit more. After that two hours I spent two hours meditating, the first time I had meditated since mom died. I felt much better afterward. I feel so much more at peace with who I am and what I have to do, just as a person living each day. No more midday naps for Buffy I resolved.
Under the door I noticed a piece of folded white paper. 'Buffy,' it read, 'I didn't want to disturb you but i didn't want to leave without telling you that I'd see you later... so, I'll see you later. Always, Dick.' Smiling, I tucked the page into my journal and came down the stairs, in what had become the early evening, knowing that Bruce and Dick would already be out and decided to check in with Oracle. If I were needed out there one of the men would have to come and get me. 'Stalker has no transportation yet. Hoping to get some soon though cause that car is the coolest!
What greeted me in the hall surprised me-Dawn slipping out of the hallway through the hole in the wall behind the Grandfather clock. When did Dawn find out about the Cave? The only way to find out is to ask, and who better to ask than Alfred.
"Alfred?" Why is he always where he's needed when he's needed? How does he do that? Is it a superpower? "When did my sister learn about the Cave?"
"When she learned about Master Tim being Robin I expect Miss. I know that Master Bruce did not entirely approve of her knowledge but wasn't surprised that she knew. In fact, he showed her this entrance."
"Oh. OK. Thanks Alfred." Makes sense. I suppose Dawn probably found some Robin costume parts or something at Tim's house.
I followed my sister down into the Cave and learned something else new. It appears that Dawn has taken to assisting Young Justice through Oracle, just as Babs helps the JLA and everyone except the Titans who are Willow's responsibility because she's in New York now she doesn't have to be at college. It's amazing to hear and see the three of them working together. Because of the systems set up there are no crossed lines or anything and every superhero gets the super-information they need without overworking Babs.
The top corners of the BatComputers' screen showed Willow and Babs as they work while Dawn used the rest of the computer screen to watch and instruct the Young Justice team of Robin, Superboy, Impulse, Wonder Girl, Secret, Li'l Lobo and Empress.
"SUPERBOY! What are you doing? I said he was to your left," Dawn shouted.
"Seer, Wonder Girl needs..." he began to protest.
"Wonder Girl can take care of herself Romeo. Now get back to work or I'll use this observation satellite to blast you with the weaponry built into it."
Silence punctuated by the sounds of fighting.
"There's no weaponry on the satellites Oracle uses," Superboy protested after knocking his opponent out.
"You wanna be certain of that or do you wanna learn that every member of Young Justice is capable of looking after themselves and that if they need help I'll tell you?"
Willow and Babs were looking at Dawn through the computer system as she worked and argued with Superboy. From the smiles the two women wore I'm guessing this argument has happened before.
"He never learns does he Sage?" Oh, and in keeping with the tradition Babs set up by calling herself Oracle, Willow is called Sage. It's a prophet type character but mostly it's because it's a green colour, and I guess Dawn is called Seer. It's cool that my sister has her own codename but it's a bit of a shock finding out. I mean I was only coming down here to check in with Oracle and I find Dawn at the BatComputer taking Young Justice through their paces.
"Nope Oracle. He doesn't."
"So when do we get to meet Robins chick?"
"Li'l Lobo! Focus on the fight," Dawn said as she narrowed the screens focus to Superboy and Lobo's positions.
"When do we get to meet you?" Lobo demanded.
"You won't if those three guys flanking you on the right get you while we argue. Get to it."
"They can wait."
Dawn silently fumed as the red dots advanced on Lobo's green dot. Dawn hit Lobo's green dot on the small touchscreen directly in front of her that showed a miniature version of the large screen, then punched a dark grey button further up the console. The green dot flashed yellow. "HEY!! That hurt! How'd you do that?"
"FIGHT!" Dawn shouted, "Or I'll shock you again."
Willow and Babs giggled.
The green dot advanced on the three red dots and took them down quickly. "Yes ma'am. Yo Rob? Is this Seer chick trained by your boss?"
Robin sighed. "If you mean does Seer know Batman, yes she does."
"Explains the moods," Lobo muttered.
Dawn hit the dark grey button again.
"Hey! Stop that."
"Stop being such a pig. Status please?"
Oracle smothered a laugh and quickly responded to Superman's hail. Willow chuckled and took the status and daily report from Arsenal, who once again tried to talk her into going to dinner with him. All was quiet on the Titan front so I wasn't needed and Bruce hadn't asked me to patrol with him. I think Dick wanted everyone to give me some space.
"All hostiles down Seer," Robin said.
"Good. Continue north to the fortress. There are approximately fifteen hostiles..."
I phased out and began to exercise. Giles is kept up-to-date on my progress and I spend several hours every day on the phone and computer with him learning about past Slayers and new mental training and all that.
Bored now. No more exercise for Buffy tonight.
I phased into Dawns work again, towelling my face dry as I wandered over to her. "...I should have made you all call me goddess you know Lobo. I don't know how you've survived so long with that loud mouth of yours. If you blow the groups cover again I'm gonna hold the button down until you pass out."
I chuckled and turned my attention to the vehicle coming up the tunnel and into the cave. It was Dick on his motorcycle.
He makes me smile just to see him. I know I'm incredibly sappy but that's how it is. Just to know he's near makes me feel melty.
He takes his helmet and mask off and smiles at me as he approaches. "Hello beautiful. How are you feeling?"
He makes me grin. "Not bad at all thanks sexy. How about you?"
I hear Dawn groan at Young Justice about how disgusting superheroes in love are then Lobo makes a comment about her and Robin and I'm guessing from Lobo's shrieked outrage that she shocked him again.
"Seer, dearest, you're gonna short out his brain if you keep doing that."
"He *has* a brain?" Dawn, Superboy and WonderGirl ask at the same time.
I chuckled again. It's Saturday. Dawn is still up at two am. Tim is supposedly staying here at Wayne Manor overnight which is the only reason he's still out and about. Dick kissed my cheek and went to change into civvies. "Seer?" Dawn flicks a switch and looks over shoulder at me. She looks a bit glassy-eyed but I guess that's the late nights and the grief and stuff. "Dawn, will you be ok? I'm going to go upstairs."
"Sure. I have Willow and Babs online with me..."
"Ok. I'll be down later then."
"Ok Buffy. Later."