by Te
June 2, 2004

Disclaimers: Not mine, but at least I haven't *forgotten* them.
Spoilers: Faint ones for YJ and TT vol. 3.
Summary: Cissie hasn't forgotten the important things. And she won't.
Ratings Note: PG-13

Author's Note: Another entry in the crack game, another quote from

You think that I forgot
'Cause I'm not saying anything
But I'm thinking a lot...
-- Sarah Harmer

She doesn't watch all the time. She has school, and her training, and not
everything that goes along with both of those dovetails with her... interests.
Or doesn't dovetail perfectly. For example, both Cassie and Mrs. Sandsmark
are counting on her to help Cassie survive school without too many things
going badly, even though neither of them have put it that way.

The day-to-day social struggle of keeping a superpowered teenager in
school is the sort of thing that requires time, effort, and a great deal of
thought. Cissie has become kind of a shadow teammate -- or sidekick -- in
this, and it's not like she's surprised. She was never *really* going to be
allowed to make it out, even though... well.

She and Cassie had kissed and made up after Cissie had theoretically made
her understand that she really *didn't* have any intention of going back,
and, on the surface, it works out pretty well. Cassie waits until Cissie brings
it up before going on for an hour (or more) about the latest new thing
with the Titans, and it's all very polite. If she was a different sort of person,
she could pretend that Cassie *wasn't* still hoping Cissie would change
her mind.

And she knows Cassie *needs* the outlet Cissie provides, because Cassie is
one of *them*, to the bone. The kind of girl that will quit about two years
after this stuff kills her, no matter how many other people die first.

For the most part, Cissie doesn't hold it against her -- it's not like she
doesn't understand the need for heroes, and it's not like she doesn't
understand that her reasons for leaving were just that -- her own. Still, it scares
her sometimes. How *many* people she knows who could do what she'd --
almost -- done, or worse, and still wind up going right back out there.

She'd hugged Cassie when she'd cried about Donna, and that Omen woman,
and fed her brownies when she talked about being done with this, but she
hadn't been surprised by how easily Starfire had talked her right back into it,
and Cassie, to her credit, hadn't bothered trying to hide it, or lie about it, or
anything else.

They know too much about each other. They've *seen* too much.

It's just that the knowing and seeing doesn't really seem to be enough.

Cissie watches the news and reads the papers, she looks at the boys and
girls and men and women in brightly colored clothes. She pretty much knows
which of them have kids, and which of them will wind up *having* kids
someday, one way or another -- after all, *one* of the things her mother had
insisted on having her trained in were the methods of detection. That and a
couple of years working with Robin -- Tim Drake, and the fact that she really
shouldn't know that hadn't kept Cassie from spilling it when she could, of

Well, it's a hard habit to break.

Harder, surprisingly, than most of the others.

She keeps up her archery because she enjoys it, the feel of her muscles
working perfectly, the faint hum of a perfectly shot arrow, the *thunk* of that
arrow hitting right where it's supposed to, but everything else... not a chance.
She has no interest in the martial arts beyond that which is enough to keep
her and her friends safe when the Elias watchdogs let them out at night into
the city.

She has no intention of taking up a career in diplomacy, and being a qualified
field medic is more than she ever intends to need, or wants to know.

But the intellectual pursuits... are something else entirely.

Sometimes she can tell herself that it's because her life has been filled with
so many unanswered questions. It's sensible enough. It's *understandable*
enough to explain why a dozen different librarians know her by name, why
her first instincts are always to look as deeply as she can into everything
she can.

Her GPA is going to get her into any college she wishes to attend.

Still, had she really needed to know that Oliver Queen *was*, in fact, her
father? Frankly no. It isn't that she remembers the man her mother had
married all that well, or that she had enough connotations about the word
'father' that learning the man attached to the word was someone different
from whom she'd always thought was especially traumatic.

It's just that it was one more reason to be disappointed in her mother, and
one more reason to pay far, far too much attention to the heroes of this
world. She knows that Oliver Queen has at least one other biological child,
she knows she could find more -- be *sure* of more if she just put the time
in. Sent off a few more e-mails to a few more sources, asked a few more
pointed questions.

All of them her brothers and sisters, any number of them who might turn
out to be 'surprisingly' excellent with a bow, if the spirit ever moved them
to pick one up. All of this messy and potentially dangerous *entanglement*
because *this* particular hero deals with his issues by having unprotected
sex with pretty, willing women.

It could, of course, be worse.

Greta's only human now because of the whim of an interstellar despot with
terrifying powers, but before she was... before that, she had terrifying
powers of her own, and the willingness to use them against even people she

Against *their* loved ones, and Cassie's incautious tongue just may get a
young woman named Stephanie Brown in trouble one day, because Greta
had dealt with *her* issues with violence. Cissie watches, and waits, and
wonders if there are other questions she could be asking, if she could find
the right source of answers.

Like just how permanent Darkseid's little whims were. And what sort of side
effects a cautious girl should watch for.

And then there's Cassie herself, with her new team and her new uniform
and her new... accessories. A gift from a war-god, of all things, and no, it
*isn't* enough that Cassie herself has questioned it.

Because she hasn't questioned it nearly enough for *Cissie's* tastes, and
there have been far too many times when she's visited Cassie's room in
time to see the message light blinking on her answering machine. One
more call from Wonder Woman going unanswered, while Cassie pretends
to just be nursing a grudge over that ridiculous dust-up her team had
had with the JLA out in San Francisco.

No, she wishes it *had* been ridiculous. It frankly makes Cissie quite
queasy. Crowds of metahumans gathering in a tiny space, working out still
more issues with still more of the sort of violence that could level cities.

Or change the shape of reality, considering some of the things Robin had
once hinted about the *former* Green Lantern.

But she is in no way a bigot, and the question of all of them at once is too
large to consider, besides. One at a time is best.

And so, when she gets the time...

When she's alone, and her homework is done, and her bow is clean, and
Greta's sleeping the sleep of the safely-human-for-now, she edits and
updates her carefully hidden and protected files of questions and answers.
She writes it all down, and wonders, and fears, and hopes.

For someone she could talk to about this. Someone smart enough and
cautious enough; someone who could, if not put her fears to rest, then
at least offer her other ways to stem the inevitable tide of...

Of whatever will happen when one hero or another has one bad day or

Once upon a time, she was very close indeed to asking Cassie to give
her phone number to Robin -- willing to bear the equally inevitable
teasing about that old, old crush -- because if there *were* anyone she
could talk to about this, it would certainly be the steady, ruthless boy
she remembered.

Except that he'd grown into someone who was, by all breathless
reports, ready and willing to attack his own mentor for a perceived
insult to a friend. Almost certainly, the insult was only the last straw of

Yet another exquisitely well-trained, dangerous hero with unresolved

Sometimes she wonders if she's being too hard on these people, but
Cissie thinks it's far more likely that she's living in a glass house. Marcy's
death and her own reaction to it preys on her exactly as it should, but
what she's done with her life since then...

Cissie smiles wryly to herself and opens her own file. She has unresolved
issues of her own.

*Someone* has to document them. Their probable causes, their
possible effects.

Just in case.