Title: Like Ice Is Cold
Pairings: Cassie Sandsmark/Tim Drake, other minor pairings
Rating: R (Sexual situations and language)
Summary: Cassie is slightly unnerved and curious about Tim. In fact, as she tries to get closer to him, he becomes more enigmatic, hiding behind his various persona such as Robin or the infamous Mr. Sarcastic. Of course, there is only so much she can take before she just has to act straight-forward.
“Who do you think you are?” Cassie shoves Mr. Sarcastic against the wall. If she could just push hard enough to release the pressure building in her head, she might be okay. She shakes him by the shoulders. “Answer me.”
“Harder,” he says. He wriggles in her grip and smirks. “C’mon, you’re stronger than that. Give it to me.”
Cassie goes still. She doesn’t relent, but she resists the urge to tighten her grasp.
“Oh,” he says and frowns. He sounds sad, almost mournful. “Guess not. Guess you’re not all that Wonderful after all.”
Weight back on her left leg, switch-grip from right to left, and she’s got her forearm across his throat and palm on his solar plexus.
His breath comes fast, shallow and harsh.
“How about now?” she asks and eases off, just enough for him to lick his lip and take a deeper breath.
His eyes are glittery. “Eh, I’ve felt stronger.”
She knows he’s messing with her. She *knows*, so why is it working?
“Really?” She trades the throat press for both hands on his waist — skinny as a *girl’s*, wow — and flips him feet first over her shoulder. He lands on his ass, his designer jeans splitting, the mat resounding with the impact. Cassie turns an aerial and drops atop him, straddling his hips. “How about now?”
The glitter in his eyes sharpens. He bites his lip as if he needs to think, then looks her right in the eye. “Now’s good.”
“Yeah?” She’s breathing harder than she ought to. She isn’t exactly exerting herself here, so there’s no reason that the air is scraping in and out and her chest is this tight.
“Could be better, of course –” he adds and, somehow, *stretches* in her hold, like his joints have popped open, his tendons pulled loose as taffy.
Sweat has gathered at his temples, in the hollows under his jaw amid the stubble.
Her training is excellent. She could touch the cluster of nerves at the base of his throat and make him spasm for hours on end. She could snap him in two. She could do *anything*.
But that’s just it.
Warriors excel when they avoid violence: Diana might as well be standing over them, her voice comes so clear through Cassie’s mind.
Her elbows begin to buckle.
His smirk starts to curl up.
“Oh my god, are you guys wrestling?” Bart’s voice barely beats him across the room; his squeal, the breeze of his approach, and half a second later, the warm weight of his body, all crash into her. Cassie pulls away, off Sarcastic’s hips. “Lemme in! I want in!”
“All yours,” she tells Bart. “I’m running late.”
“Do hurry home to Mumsy!” Sarcastic calls before the door bangs shut behind her. “Mustn’t break curfew!”
“Two minutes to spare,” her mother says when Cassie opens the apartment door. “You’re really cutting it close lately, aren’t you?”
Her face heats up, her chest constricts, and all Cassie can do is duck her head as she heads for her room. She doesn’t trust herself to speak.
Juggling Young Justice, regular work alone and with Diana, *and* being a civilian isn’t exactly easy. Her mom is just waiting for her to slip up.
In a lot of ways, the others have it easier. All they have to do is be heroes. Anything extra is their choice. Sure, Tim has a family (she thinks), but they don’t know about his vocation.
When Cassie does screw up, her mother’s going to be right there to take back her powers and lock her down until she’s at least eighteen.