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Four people who were not even a little bit Bob Fraser (and one who was, a little bit.)

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Buckle my shoe


The key to fighting multiple opponents is simple: know where each of them is and what they are doing at all times.

"Tim, watch out!"

Tim spends a critical fraction of a second realizing that he needn't upbraid his father for using his civilian name, and takes a studded brass knuckle in the temple that the mask only partly deflects.  "Kgghhuu--" says Tim.

"Right, sorry, sorry.  Sorry, I just-- Look out!"

"Sh'p," Tim manages to wheeze from around a steel-toed boot, and hits the woman kicking him in the throat with a nerve-strike intended for her shoulder.

"Well done!" says Jack, approvingly.  "Watch-- Sorry!  Sorry, I'm not saying anything else now, I'm -- hit her again, Tim!  She's still moving!"


The candlestick

John Grayson didn't speak Romani, not really. He knew a half-dozen phrases that were used around the table, though, some fragments of prayers, and had a small vocabulary of words he'd learned from his grandmother before she died. He did his best to pass those on to his son.

When Dick's running along a slack-wire that was never meant to carry human weight, his father whispers to him, a low murmur, "...look at you, I was never so light on my feet, even when I was wooing your mother, but you, like a bird, a chírilo, we said--"

Chirilo. Bird. Dick lets the words pound with his heartbeat, vaults onto the roof, and keeps running.

to visit the Queen


When Steph was very young, she watched a cartoon where Goofy learned to dance by painting a numbered series of footprints on the floor. As long as he put his feet in each footprint in sequence, he was dancing.

Her mother hadn't been willing-- or, Steph knows now, able-- to take Steph to dance lessons.  So Steph had carefully drawn the outlines of feet across her bedroom floor and hopped from one to the next. She made herself memorize the order, and whirled across her room again and again until she could reproduce the made-up sequence perfectly.

Now she follows a silent black shadow. Every dodge, kick, punch, whirl, duck, strike, pause, pause, sweep is a half-second behind the dancer no one but her can see. She's sorry for the guys she's punching, because they're only seeing her clumsy imitation.

Well. Not that sorry.

Sukey take it off again


The Batmobile's quiet purr does not mask the noise. Batman breathes in, once, through his nose, before he speaks, in an attempt to gather his calm.


Alfred looks perfectly innocent. "I'm sorry, Master Bruce?"

Batman tightens and then makes himself loosen his hand on the steering wheel. "You. Cleared your throat."

Alfred makes a brief humming noise that Batman still believes he doesn't know he makes before he says something particularly--

"A touch of catarrh is not unusual in a man of my age, Master Bruce."

Batman considers popping in his mouthguard so that he can grind his teeth. "You don't have catarrh. You're DEAD."

"There's really no need to raise your voice, Master Bruce."

Batman grinds his teeth.

Tapping at the window


The apparition doesn't try talking to him anymore. Once, it did; cried, pleaded, and most horribly, smiled. Bruce endured. Now, the apparition watches, standing aside, as Batman precisely, scientifically delivers the maximum force with a minimum of permanent damage to a young tough who should have known better. The apparition winces, once, but mostly just stands there mournfully, turning his hat in his hands. Batman refuses to acknowledge it by so much as a flicker of an eyelash behind the mask. He won't ever let his father's likeness be used against him.