Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or DC Comics depicted herein.
AN: I'm thinking of starting a series of fics involving a DCU/BtVS/AtS crossover. Of course I'd have to work on the major plot points before I start anything, but this fic and my other DCU fic "So, a Superhero, huh?" has inspired me a little. If anyone’s interested in the idea though, it will probably be a long time in the making.
Warnings: Slash, nothing graphic, mostly just thoughts, but there nonetheless.
FFA#1809 - Oz/Tim Drake
Bird on a Ladder
I'm supposed to be having fun. I do realise that, it's just ... the concept's a little more difficult to deal with than I first thought. Kon means well I guess, but if this whole night was supposed to be about me, why did he bring his girlfriend along?
Don't get me wrong, I love Cassie, she's like a sister to me, but I was hoping for a little bonding time alone with Kon. Feeling jealous over my best friend's girlfriend. I'm frightened to read any more into my reaction than that. There are some things I will not be able to handle admitting to myself right now.
God, I'm pathetic.
Bart's around here somewhere as well. So are Cissie, Greta and Anita. I should feel happier knowing Kon went to so much trouble to cheer me up. I've missed the girls, missed the old days too. They were a lot freer than I used to think. These days I can't go anywhere without tripping over a watch dog – sometimes literally in Gar's case. Or Krypto's. Kon's really got him trained well now, not to watch us “youngies” like Gar, but just to annoy us – mostly to annoy me.
Vic and Raven are keeping their distance in an attempt to give us "kids" a sense of freedom, but it's not working. I feel claustrophobic. Gar's in the crowd and so are a few others I'd rather not recognise.
I need air ...
Dick sees me going out, but he lets me go. He knows what it's like - even if I didn't go to him for advice on everything, he'd know instinctively. Big Brothers are cool like that. He whispers to Roy, who catches my eye and nods. They'll keep everyone distracted ... everyone who I wanted distracted in the first place.
I take one last look at that darkened corner where I can just discern two bodies moving languidly together and make my escape.
No one should have found me on the roof. Sure, everyone knew it would be the obvious place to look, so they'd avoid it. I never do the obvious after all. Right now though, I don't want to think about anyone else. I'm tired of putting others first; I just want a moment of selfishness. I only need a moment to put things in perspective and then everything will be fine again. I will be able to smile at everyone and maybe even accept a few dances from Greta and Ciss.
"You gonna fly away?"
I don't recognise the voice. I act casual and turn around as though surprised (not that it's entirely faked; I didn't even notice him arrive). My body, however, is tensed for battle. Very few would recognise the signs though.
"No need to be so jumpy, just wanted to make sure you were all right. Not the most common thing to see someone perched on the edge of the roof like that."
I want to stay tense – the guy can read me like a book, that's not a good sign! – but my body relaxes and I can't help subconsciously feeling a little warmer. Comfort is, after all, what I was searching for. Though perhaps not quite in this form.
"Guess it is a little weird," I admitted. "Though standing on the roof at all is strange enough."
"Well, I've never really been known for being the most normal person."
I raise my eyebrow at the statement. "I can see that." The guy has blue hair and half-a-dozen visible facial piercings, but that wasn't what I was talking about – mostly. He is about my height, maybe a little shorter, but five or six years older. His hands are shoved in baggy dark jeans, shoulders slumped a little and it is that lazy nonchalant pose that raised my hackles.
The guy oozes danger, though I don't know why.
I think he recognises my unease and shifts back a little, trying, again, to make himself as non-threatening as possible. For some bizarre reason, his actions only make things worse. I feel like a rabbit being toyed with before being ripped apart. It's not a situation I’m familiar with, and I rather dislike it.
"Hey listen, you suicidal?"
In that instant all of my tension is swept away by sudden confusion and disbelief. "Of course not," I stammer out in response to the blunt question. "I just needed some air."
"On a rooftop?"
"It's Gotham, everyone hangs with the gargoyles."
His lips quirk slightly at the comment, and I can't help feeling a little warm at the sight. I avert my eyes and try to get a hold of my thoughts again. It was bad enough with Kon, but I don't even know this guy.
"So, any particular reason you're hanging here tonight?"
I shrug at the question, really not wanting to think about my inner turmoil over tonight. "It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago," I take the easy way out and tell him the reason everyone else was given an invite here. "I didn't get to organise anything before, so here we are now." Sure it was great seeing all my 'working' friends in such a relaxed situation, but if Kon hadn't organised this and asked personally ...
I turn my gaze back out to the Gotham nightline and try not to think about it again. I was depressed enough; I didn't need to get down enough to show it.
"Oh, birthdays. Never a good idea to have them where I came from."
I turn back to the stranger. He was honestly one of the most enigmatic people I'd met, even though I'd only met him five minutes ago. The comments he made were odd, to say the least. "Birthdays are bad?"
He nods. "For her seventeenth, a friend of mine was sent an arm. The next year, she was drugged and almost killed." He frowns and thinks things over. "Actually, to be fair, it wasn't just birthdays that were bad, they were just memorable. Halloween was usually worse."
For small talk it was strange, but it was more interesting than usual conversations with strangers outside of 'work'. Plus, it was distracting, and that's really what I need right now.
"I'd hate to see the place you grew up then."
"You'd be surprised how many people have said that. Of course, there's no chance of visiting now."
"Sunnydale's a sinkhole now."
Sunnydale. I'd heard that name before and by the way my flesh is raised, I'm fairly certain I'd heard of the town through Bruce's computers at the cave. Weird though, the name 'Sunnydale'. Sounds pleasant enough, wonder why it's making me feel so creeped out. By the guy's accent it must be in California. What could be so bad about a Californian town called Sunnydale?
"The Hellmouth?" I stare in disbelief. Bruce has some crazy stuff on his computer, but that file was one of the worst. I spent weeks believing it was a joke before putting it aside in my mind until I could figure out how exactly to deal with the revelations within that file. That was two years ago.
"You've heard of it then." He sounds almost pleased. Weird, I wasn't sure many people knew about the whole 'Hellmouth' aspect of Sunnydale - at least that's what I inferred from the file.
He smiles crookedly, as though he knows what's going through my head. "I take it you're a non-believer still."
"Well, you have to admit it's a little hard to accept."
"True. It gets easier if it happens to you though." The comment strikes my interest, and I study him closely. Does he mean to say something happened to him there that made him believe those ridiculous stories? By the look on his face, I'd best not ask.
"I suppose that's true with a lot of things," I say neutrally before changing the subject with the subtlety of a pink elephant. "You here with friends too then?"
He looks a little relieved that I picked up on his discomfort about the way the previous subject was headed and shakes his head in answer to my question. "Just checking out the music scene while I'm here. So far I'm mildly impressed."
I allow the Gothamite pride I often try to deny I have shine through a little in my smirk. "There are a few very good places," I say modestly instead.
"So I’ve heard."
"We also have some very infamous places and some just bad places, but I guess you get that at most cities."
"Yeah, though I figure when you say infamous you mean in the very bad way."
He smirks. "Maybe I’ll have to check them out anyway."
I stare at him a moment, wondering whether he was serious, but I can't tell. I shrug and say, "It's your death warrant then."
"Morbid sense of humour. I like that. It's familiar."
I try not to blush. "Yeah, well, like I said, it is Gotham."
"Well I’m really starting to like Gotham then." His eyes are amused, yet he's still so intense. I know my face is completely red now, but I'm only half-caring about that. This guy is interesting. I wish I could have more of a chance to get to know him better.
We both turn as we hear steps echoing up the metal staircase leading to the roof.
"You should head back to your friends."
"Yeah." I'm almost disappointed that things are cut short, but that's just the unrealistic part of myself I try to hide from the world. "I'm Tim, by the way."
"Oz." On anyone else such an overly cool nickname would come off as tacky, but his seems to define his entire personality.
I smile. "Interesting."
"So I’ve been told." He holds out his hand and I take it without hesitation, which is a concerning reaction for me, but one to dwell on later. "It was a pleasure Tim." I suddenly understand why so many girls gush over chivalrous men as he smiles and releases his warm grip.
"Yeah," I breathe. "A pleasure." I think he catches the undertone because he grins at me before stepping closer.
My eyes widen at the proximity and I try to slow my breathing and heartbeat, but all he does is lean closer to my ear and whisper, "Happy birthday Tim. And happy hunting." He moves back and winks and I blush again as I realise he was teasing. Bernard would love this guy, hell, Bernard has probably used quite number of those tricks already on me, though with less of reaction.
I watch him walk back to the doorway leading back inside and see Kon and Bart pass him. They glance at him suspiciously but continue forward without saying anything.
"Who was he?" I'd like to think the irritation in Kon's voice was the result of jealousy, but my realistic side is firmly in control once more.
"A guy getting some air," I shrug. They relax at my pronouncement and I wonder how my word can still inspire such trust in the two of them. "Miss me at the party?"
"Well, duh, not only are you the guest of honour, parties aren't fun without you around Tim." Bart pouts a little as he says this, trying to butter me up.
"I'm sure that everyone who's planned a party has said, 'This party would be a lot more fun if Tim Drake was here.'" Kon snickers as I roll my eyes. Bart just scowls and swats at my head too fast for me to dodge.
"He's right though," Kon admits. "Wasn't right without you around. Come have a dance."
I let my gaze linger a little longer that I should on his eyes and nod, helpless in the face of his enthusiasm and sincerity. "Okay," I agree. "I do kinda feel like dancing."
"Excellent." Bart grabs out hands and pulls us insistently towards the door. "We've still got ages until this place closes. Let's make the best of it."
I look at Bart's ecstatic grin and back at Kon's enthusiastic face and smile a little myself. "Yeah. After all, it is my birthday." And I plan on making the most of it.