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Lost Boys and Girls

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The thing that's hardest to get used to about being in the City (other than the fact that everybody here is supposed to be dead, of course) is that there is more than one version of everyone here. It makes sense, really-- multiple timelines, multiple dead sidekicks, multiple dead Robins-- except that Steph is never going to get used to encountering other versions of herself.

No. She should be honest in her own head, if nowhere else. She's never going to get used to encountering other versions of Tim.

She thought, at first, that the worst ones to deal with would be the Tims who didn't recognize her at all. She's met a Tim in red and black who grinned at her before handspringing over the side of a building like a miniature Nightwing; a Tim in the original Robin costume who smiled at her politely, but with no spark of recognition whatsoever; a Tim with pointy ears, dressed like a RenFest reject, who bowed over her hand and called her "milady." Hell, she's met a Tim dressed like a miniature Catwoman.

But the worst ones to deal with, by far, are the Tims who recognize her. Because most of them are in mourning for Steph, but none of them are hers. Tim, but not her Tim.

After a few days, Steph starts spending as much of her time as she can with the Jason she met on the rooftop on her first night in the City. (Her first-- hour? Minute? Second? She can't actually remember anything before that first moment, sitting on the edge of the rooftop with Jason scowling at her like she was some kind of impostor.) She always recognizes him, somehow. For whatever reason, she can pick him out among a crowd of nearly-identical Jason Todds. Which is a damn good thing, because some of the other versions of him are more than a little bit crazy. She's not sure if she can die, here-- after all, she's already dead-- but she's not exactly eager to find out.

Steph isn't sure why she finds this Jason-- her Jason-- so reassuring to hang out with. She never knew him, before. He was always the cautionary tale, the example of what she should strive not to be. Too brash, too confident, too violent. The Dead Robin.

And, well, a lot of that is true. He is brash, and over-confident, and she's pretty sure that if there were any villains here to put the beat-down on, he'd be excessively violent, too. He's nothing like Tim. And maybe that's exactly what she wants out of him.

She has to admit that she's being unfair to Jason, though, thinking that. He's not just the anti-Tim.

He's funny, and loud, and always says exactly what he's thinking. He knows the best places to set ambushes for other Robins, whenever the two of them join the game of Robin-tag that covers the entirety of the City and never actually ends. He's crude as hell and not exactly shy about staring at her boobs, and when she smacks him on the ass, he winks at her and tells her to do it again, but harder this time.

He makes her laugh.

Steph isn't exactly sure what it says about her, that she had to die and get reborn into some bizarre twilight city of dead sidekicks in order to meet the best friend she's had since-- well. The best friend she's had in a very long time.

One night when they're taking a rest from chasing each other over the steeples of the cathedral, she tries to explain it to Jason, to put into words how strange it all seems to her.

Jason just laughs at her and says, "Nah, it's not weird at all. Not for us. We're Robin."