Rating: I knew I forgot to look up something! But it is harmless, no swearing, no sex, no nudity, nothing offending.
Disclaimer: THey ain't mine, alhtough I wish they were. They are all DC's.
Archive: I would be honored! (But tell me where it is, so I can look at it with shiny eyes :)
Warning: mild spew warning
Universe: Future, Lian's fifteen, which makes Dick and Roy in the mid-thirties.
Nightwing had picked up the Titan's mail from the post office on his way to the Tower. Now as he was walking from the shore on the Island towards the Titan's Tower, he finally found the time to flip through the stack and start sorting it. Just as he had flipped through the first few letters, fifteen year old Lian ran towards him and stopped, jumping up and down.
"Uncle Nightwing, is there a letter for me?" she shouted.
"Nice to see you, too, Lian! How was your week?" Nightwing hadn't been to the Tower for a whole week and had no clue why Lian was so excited about getting a letter. Usually she only got two or three letters from penpals, and she had never made such a big deal about it.
"Sorry, of course I'm happy to see you!" she gave Nightwing a kiss on the cheek. "Can I have the mail now?"
Nightwing held the stack over his head as Lian grabbed for it. Then he turned away from her and began to flip through it slowly. Lian looked over his shoulder.
"Could you flip them a little faster, please?" she asked, only resulting in Nightwing slowing down a little more.
"Tsk, tsk... the kids today just don't have any patience..." he grinned.
"You're mean!" Lian cried out.
"I think I'll go through them in the monitor room..!" Nightwing grinned wider.
"NO! I mean, please do it now! I'll never ever say that you're mean again!" Lian begged, her eyes still fixed on the stack of letters in Nightwing's hands.
She let out a sigh of relief as Nightwing continued searching for her letter, this time in normal speed. When he was almost at the end of the stack he finally pulled out an official-looking letter addressed to Lian. He eyed it suspiciously and was about to ask, when Lian suddenly snatched it out of his hand and tore it open impatiently.
Then she started to yell, "I have my driving permit! I have my driving permit!" and hugged Nightwing, knocking the letters out of his hands, then ran towards the Tower, still yelling.
Nightwing shook his head with a wide grin, then knelt down to pick up the letters. While he was doing that, his keys fell out of one of his wrist pockets, which he hadn't closed properly. His eyes fixed on his car keys, then he stuffed it back into the pocket.
When Nightwing finally reached the Tower, Lian was still running around telling everyone that she had her driving permit. Nightwing shook his head and grabbed the phone to give Babs a short call. He had almost dialed the complete number when Lian ran past him, snatched the phone out of his hand and continued her run towards her room.
"Sorry, Uncle Dick, I've got to tell Sarah the good news!"
Nightwing looked at his hand with a raised eyebrow. Hadn't there just been a phone in this hand? He shook his head, then walked into the monitor room, where he found Roy Harper.
"Hey, Harper! Lian has gone totally nuts! But that's no wonder, one day your genes had to come through!"
"Thank you very much! As if you hadn't been happy when you got your permit!" Roy grinned.
"Now that you're here, I can do a few shots!" Roy rose from his chair and walked towards the door. In the doorframe he turned around. "And if I were you, I'd stay away from Lian. When the first shock is over, she might remember that you're the only Titan with a car!" the archer grinned, satisfied as he saw the shock on his teammate's face.
Nightwing leaned back in his chair and watched the monitors.
Well, well, little Lian got her driving permit. Hadn't it been only a couple of months ago since she was the cute little 5 year old calling him "Unca Niwwing"? No, of course not! But it seemed as if it had been only a few months. He shook his head. Okay, Lian got her permit, no big deal! She was Roy's daughter, so Roy would give her lessons.
'Yeah, right, and he'll rent a car to give her lessons!' a nasty little voice in a corner of his head said.
'Why not?' Nightwing thought back.
'Ever seen a rental agency offering cars for teaching kids how to drive?'
Nightwing gulped. No, of course nobody would be that stupid. And the way Lian had eyed his car last week.... A cold shiver ran down his spine. Roy was right, he had the only car within the Titans. Jesse didn't need a car at all, the same with Donna, Tempest and Argent, and Roy rented a car when he needed one.
Now it was really time for a plan. How to get away with your car unharmed? Perhaps it would be a good idea to go back to Bludhaven and not come back until Lian got her license... No, that wouldn't keep Lian from coming to Bludhaven and asking for lessons there. Nightwing was glad he had left the Nightbird at home and used his civilian car for his rides to the Tower. The thought of a member of the Harper family driving his car was bad enough, but the thought of a member of the Harper family in his Nightbird was pure horror!
Nightwing looked up as he noticed a movement at the door. 'Looks like the first shock is over now!' Lian stood in the door and smiled sweetly at her uncle. Then she walked over to him. He didn't know why, but somehow he felt trapped.
"UNCLE Nightwing, have I ever told you, that you are my FAVORITE uncle?"
"Yes, every time you..." Nightwing started, but Lian interrupted him immediately.
"I guess I should say it more often, can't point it out often enough!" Lian's smile grew even bigger and warmer as she bent down to take Nightwing in a squeezing hug.
"Er... Lian, it......!" Nightwing started again, only to be interrupted once more.
"You understand me, you are always honest with me, but what I love most about you is that you never let me down!" By now Lian sat on Nightwing's lap like she used to when she still was a little girl. She still hugged him and he was sure she grinned evilly behind his back.
"LIAN! It won't work! There is no way I'll let you drive my car!" Nightwing said hastily to avoid being interrupted again.
Lian jumped up and crossed her arms before her chest. "You're mean!"
"What? First you tell me what a great uncle I am, and now you say I'm mean? Thank you very much!" Nightwing said amused.
"You know what I mean!" Lian said.
"Yeah! And stop making those puppy-eyes, I won't give you my car!"
"Pleeeeease! I won't damage it! Besides Dad will be with me!"
"No way! I wouldn't give Roy my car if my life depended on it!" Nightwing shouted in mock terror.
"Aaaaw, come on! He isn't that bad! Besides, you can come, too! Two teachers are better than one," Lian cooed.
"Pretty please with whipped cream on it?"
"Well, okay, but one scratch and you'll never even look at it anymore!"
"You ARE the greatest!" Lian hugged Nigthwing, then ran out of the room, "DADDY!"
Nightwing watched Lian leave, then slammed his head on the desk. "What have I done?"
Dick Grayson sat in the back of his car and had a bad feeling. Not only was he exiled to the back seat in his own car, no; to make things worse a 15 year old was having her first driving lesson (in HIS car!) given by Roy Harper. ROY HARPER! Dick was glad he had a good insurance plan and hoped he would at least get away without any injuries. At least they were practicing in an empty parking lot.
"Hey, relax, Dick!" Roy grinned at him from the side seat. For a short moment Dick thought he saw a devilish glint in the archer's eyes.
Lian opened the door and popped her head in. "Are you ready for my first lesson?" she asked excitedly and sat down in the driver's seat. She sat still for a moment, taking a few deep breaths.
"If you don't feel ready, we can still do it on another day!" Dick offered a little too quickly.
Lian glared at him without saying a word.
"Hey, it was only an offer!" he mumbled and moved until he sat behind Roy and had a good position to see everything Lian was doing.
"Okay, Darling, there is a little lever under the seat. Pull it and move the seat forward a little until you can reach the pedals without stretching your legs completely and without having to bend them too much," Roy instructed.
Dick started to laugh. "You sound like a text book!"
"I researched, what's wrong with that? You do it all the time!" Roy pointed out, then turned back to Lian.
Dick stuck his tongue out.
"I saw that!" Roy snapped, then again gave all his attention to Lian. "Good! Now you have to move the back of the seat until you can reach the steering wheel with slightly bent arms. Great! And now sit in a comfortable position that you will keep during driving. Perfect! Now you have to align the mirrors. You have to see as much as possible in them.
"Textbook!" Dick grinned and stuck his tongue out again.
Roy shot around in his seat and tried to grab Dick, but Dick leaned back and laughed at him. Roy wanted to crawl over the back of his seat, but Lian was finished with the mirrors.
"Dad, can we start now? Driving is a serious thing!"
"Yeah, Roy, listen to your daughter! She has more sense than you!" Dick chuckled from the back seat.
"You dare to speak out now, but wait 'til we're finished here....!" Roy threatened, but Dick only laughed.
"Da-ad, can we start now?" Lian demanded impatiently.
"Oh-of course, honey! Right foot on the coupling, right one in waiting position. Now turn the ignition."
Lian did as Roy told her and turned the key. Lian grinned happily as the motor came alive.
"What next? Can I start to drive now?" Lian asked excited.
"Yes, but first you have to change into the first gear. Pull the gear stick toward your side, now move it forward. Well done, honey! Now you check the mirrors for any other traffic. If everything is free you can step carefully on the gas and loosen your other foot on the coupling until you can feel that it's ready to roll. Then you open the handbrake and apply a little more power to the gas, but not too much! Then you can take your foot of the coupling. Got it all?" Roy Harper explained.
"Yes, Dad, I got it all!" Lian sighed. This was all so exciting and new. Couldn't he just tell her step by step, not all at once?
Lian checked the mirror and then tried to give enough gas and let the coupling come slowly. When she thought it was ready she opened the handbrake, hastily let the coupling go, and forgot to give more gas. The car stopped with an ugly jerk and the motor died.
"Hey, I want that car back in one piece!" came Dick's comment.
"Shut up, Robbie! Okay, Lian, try again. You have to let the coupling come and step on the gas at the same time. Do it slowly!"
Lian did as commanded, but was a little too fast again. After a few tries she finally managed to find the right combination.
"I'm driving! I'm driving!" she cried out, excited.
"Good. Now try to drive between the white lines and follow the circle. You're doing great, honey! Give it a little more gas, then you can change into second gear!"
"How do I do that?" Lian looked at her Dad with huge eyes.
"First you give a little more gas, then you put your foot on the coupling again and get off the gas. After that you will pull the gear stick out of the first gear, keep it pulled towards you and push it down into the second gear, which is right beneath the first gear." Roy explained.
"I hate the coupling!" Lian stated, but did as she was told. "Hey, it worked!"
"The coupling is only hard when you learn how to drive! You'll be able to use it in your sleep in no time!" Dick said from the back seat.
Lian happily drove her rounds over the parking lot, then suddenly paused.
"When will I drive in the streets?"
"As soon as you are good enough on the training ground!" replied Roy.
"And when will I go to the training ground?"
"As soon as you're good enough on this parking lot!" answered Dick from the backseat.
"Oh! But I guess I can drive rounds now! Can we do something different?"
"Sure, Roy will play a pedestrian now. And you'll have to stop in time to let him pass through an intersection, or traffic lights." Dick explained.
Lian stopped and allowed Roy to climb out of the car. Dick threw himself into the passenger's seat.
Then she tried to start again, but it took her a few jerks until she was driving again. Dick had her stop again and reviewed starting with her a few more times, while Roy looked for a good place for his imaginary crosswalk.
"Okay, Lian, you see Roy over there? Imagine that he's standing at a crosswalk. You know what you have to do?"
"Uh-huh!" Lian drove towards the "crosswalk" and stopped hard. The car gave a jerk, Dick was forced forward in his seatbelt. Roy stood still in his place and laughed at the surprise on Dick's face.
"Lian, could you stop a little more softly next time? Just step on the break earlier and push it a little softer, okay?" Dick asked and pulled his seatbelt in place again.
"I'm sorry!" Lian looked at Dick, then at her father and had to giggle as she saw him laughing. Dick followed her glance, then turned to Lian again.
"I'll buy you a car if you drive over his foot!"
"Are you crazy?" then, after a second thought, "And I have free choice?"
"Woah, down girl! You wouldn't sell your Daddy for a car, would ya?" Roy appeared at the open window on Dick's side of the car.
"Of course not, Daddy! What do you think of me?" Lian protested.
"Hah!" Roy smacked Dick on the back of the head.
"Hey!" Dick caught Roy's hand, pulled it back and twisted the wrist a little. "Will ya stop kidding now and teach your daughter how to drive without making me hurt you?"
"Ouch! Yes, let go!" Roy massaged his wrist and mumbled something unfriendly.
Lian drove another round and this time breaked earlier. They came to a soft halt and Dick nodded satisfied. "That was good! You're getting the hang of it!"
They both watched as Roy walked over the "crosswalk," waving his arms wide and swinging his legs high up in the air. He looked awfully ridiculous and grinned proudly at them.
Lian continued her round while Dick and Roy gave each other hand signs what to do next.
"Okay, Lian, back to Roy and come to a halt next to him. You want to stop close to him as if he were on a sidewalk. I think we're finished for today."
"WHAT? But I've only been driving for... one HOUR?! I've been driving for a full hour? It only felt like a few minutes." Lian looked at her watch in disbelief.
"Yep, one full hour, and could you please look where you're driving and not at your watch? We can go to the training ground tomorrow, if you want."
"OF COURSE I WANT!" Lian cried happily and drove a little faster, then slowed down and concentrated on stopping right next to her father.
Unfortunately, Lian didn't know the size of the car well enough yet and before Dick could do anything about it, they heard Roy scream.
"Aaaaargh! Lian, you drove right over my foot! Are you crazy? Aaaaw, that hurts!"
Lian let the coupling and gas go in shock and the car halted with a jerk, while Dick was already out and next to Roy. The archer sat on the floor holding his left foot with both hands, wincing and hissing.
Lian jumped out of the car, tears streaming down her face.
"Dad..... I'm... sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you!"
Dick knelt next to him and tried to examine his friend's foot, when Roy suddenly jumped up and grinned.
"GOTCHA!" he raised his arms in victory.
"DAD! I thought you were injured!" Lian cried in surprise.
"Just a little joke!" Roy laughed, while Dick shook his head.
"I was worried, and all you made was a joke?" Lian asked, hurt. Roy's grin froze as he saw the tears in Lian's eyes.
"Uh... Lian, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you!" Roy took Lian in his arms and rocked her a little.
"That'll cost you a car!" Lian muffled into his arms. Roy looked at Dick, shocked.
"Why not? She's a better driver than you!" Dick grinned and started to run as Roy pushed Lian to the side and tried to get him. Lian watched her Dad and Uncle chase each other for a while, then went to the driver's door and pressed the horn. Both men stopped in their tracks and looked at Lian.
"Hey! Cut it out and come back, I want to go home now!"
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