title: Incidentals: Oh, You Better Watch Out...
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Angel, Babs, Dick
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Angel learns of an insidious threat to her happiness...
notes: yet another response to my own Christmas Song fic challenge. Angel should be about four years old in this one.

Things looked bleak. The Justice League was crushed, Superman reduced to tears and Green Lantern huddled in the corner, shaking. The combined forces of Intergang, the Joker, Lex Luthor, Metallo, Poison Ivy, and the army of Oz were too powerful, and the Earth was soon to fall under their tyrannical rule.

There was only one hope left, and it was a small one...

Only Nightwing, and his faithful sidekick Wing Jr. could possibly save the Earth, but would they come in time? Could they overpower the villains? Was there any hope left for humanity?!?!

Wing Jr. took a deep breath, and prepared herself. Their plan was masterful in its simplicity. All she had to do was swoop down from above, and knock out half the villains, and then her partner, mentor, and father would take care of the rest.

It was a small role, but one that was critically important to the salvation of the good, honest people of the world.

Taking no more time to consider her actions, she took the leap...


Mission accomplished! The world was saved (no thanks to those weenies, Superman and Green Lantern...) and the crowds were cheering...


Her small body went rigid mid-victory dance. It was, as her dad would say, damage control time. She looked around quickly. The lamp was on the ground, broken, and the table had been knocked over. Her juice glass was on the ground too, and a wide puddle of grape juice was spreading across the carpet.

Her mother rolled into the room, glowering like Angel had never seen before. Quickly stepping to the side to hide the grape juice stain, the little girl launched right into her explanation.

"Mommy, Darkseid was here, and he knocked the lamp and table over, but it's ok, cuz I scared 'im off." She smiled proudly at her mother, completely confident.

"Angel Grayson-Gordon, don't try that line of nonsense with me! You are going to help me clean up this mess right now, and then you are going to your room, with no video games until you've really given what you've done some consideration!"

"But Mommy!" Angel slipped quickly into deflection mode. "It was an acksiden. I didn't mean to. I promise I'll be more careful!"

"Hmph, you're always promising to be more careful, young lady, and you never do. You need to learn to some decorum. Some games are not to be played indoors! Now, get the dustbin, and move it, little lady!"

Her mommy must really be mad to be calling her a lady, but Angel was too mad to care. No video games! It was like living on the streets! "You can't do this! I'll tell my dad! He'll be mad at you!" She glared at her mother with all the venom a preschooler could muster.

"Hah! You're going to rat me out to your father? So what? I'm in charge here, little lady, and you'll do what I say, and you'll do it now!"

Angel stomped her foot as hard as she could. "You're so mean! I was just playing! Just because you only like ta work doesn't mean I hafta!"

Barbara sucked in air through her nose, and counted to ten. She narrowed her eyes, leaning closer to really give Angel the 'look'. In a deadly serious voice, she said, "I would think you would be working on being good, considering how close Christmas is. It's not too late for Santa to take back your presents and just give you coal instead."

Angel relaxed, nearly laughing. "Santa doesn't shop at stores, mommy, he makes the toys. And anyway, I saw him last week at the mall with Timmy, and he said I was a really good girl." She smiled smugly and stuck her nose in the air for good measure.

Her mommy only laughed.

"Oh, but he hasn't gotten around to checking his list twice yet. You know, he sees everything you do, from when you are sleeping to when you are awake, and if you're not good, you get taken off his list."

Angel paled.

Nightwing slipped into the Tower, going through the empty rooms silently. He pulled his mask off carefully, stuffing it in one of his gauntlets. He didn't bother to say hi to Babs; she undoubtedly was already aware of his presence.

It had been nearly a week since he had seen his chikni though.

Slipping around the corner to the hallway that lead to the bedrooms, he moved as silently as a shadow, creeping low to the ground as he got closer. Counting to three to himself, he suddenly leapt out, with a bright, "Gotcha!"

Angel yelped, then cheered. She launched herself off her bed, leaving coloring books scattered in her wake, and jumped into her dad's arms.

As always, he caught her, and spun her around as fast as he could.

Kissing her temple, he smiled. "Chikni, you're getting so big! Pretty soon, you'll be swinging me!"

Angel giggled, wrapping her small arms around his neck. "Dad! Where have you been? I haven't seen you in ages!"

Dick swallowed down the tiny sobs in his throat, and smiled at his little girl. "Dad had to go beat up some bad guys, and keep the town safe for the good people. Remember? But I got you something..."

He used one arm to hold her up, and the other hand went down to his boot. After a moment of shuffling, he pulled out the object of his questing with a delighted cheer. "Here! Because it's almost Christmas, so you have to get ready to eat all that great candy." He presented her with a thick candy cane, grinning.

That reminded her, she needed to tell her dad something. Taking the candy cane solemnly, she pulled herself closer so she could whisper loudly in his ear. "Dad! There's been a security breech!"

"Oh?" He immediately went to alert. Babs hadn't said anything to him, but sometimes adults didn't listen to kids, and if Angel knew something that Babs had ignored or...

"There are bugs everywhere! Mommy told me, Santa is watching! All the time! I don't think mommy knows how to defend against it, cuz she didn't care, but we have to be careful! We're being spied!"

Dick wouldn't dream of laughing at his daughter's serious and scared expression, but that didn't mean he wasn't tempted. "Oh. Yeah, I know about that. It's ok, though, sweetie, because Santa has full Bat-clearance."

Instead of being placated, Angel burst into tears.

Terrified, Dick cuddled her close, murmuring that everything was ok, and there was nothing to worry about.

He hoped like hell that Babs was watching, and on her way.

"Angel-baby, chikni, what's wrong?" He rubbed circles in her back, bouncing a little. "It's not that bad, is it?"

"I'm gonna get coal for Christmas insteada the Duo-Gundam I want! And I can't even use coal! We don' have a bar-b-q!" she wailed at the top of her lungs, her wet face buried in her dad's neck.

"A-Angel?" Dick stared at the little mass of tears and dark hair, mystified.

"He's watchin' all the time, and he makes his list more'n once, and Christmas is almost a whole month away, and I can't be good for that long! Mommy is always yelling at me for something!" Her little body heaved as she cried, her fingers futilely attempting to clutch the kevlar her dad wore.

Dick started to speak a couple of times before he could control the desire to laugh. "Oh, baby..."

Angel pushed up, her red eyes meeting her dad's sorrowfully. "I don't even mean it half the time, dad, I don't! But sometimes, things happen, and she doesn't understand that!"

"Sometimes, baby," he leaned closer, conspiratorially, "things happen to me too. Tell you what..." He shifted her to one arm again, and shuffled around his other gauntlet. Carefully squeezing the engage mechanism a bit too hard to short the circuit, he pulled out a small wing-shaped device, and handed it to her. "Do you know what this is? It's a scrambler. It makes it impossible for anyone to spy on you."

"Cool!" Angel's expression magically transformed from misery to bliss.

"Keep it with you, and Santa won't be able to track you. After all, he's got millions of kids to watch, so he probably won't notice if he misses one, right? But you have to promise me something." He held onto the scrambler, until she looked up at him. "You have to try your very very best to be good, because your mommy works really hard, and she could use all the help we can give her. Ok?"

"Ok!" She threw her arms around him again, hugging his neck with all she had. She planted a wet kiss on his neck, and whispered loudly again, "You're the best dad there ever was, dad."

Feeling like his chest was too big to fit in his torso, Dick just hugged her back.

Finally setting her down, he smiled at his chikni. "Ok, it's time to get ready for bed. Put all your crayons and coloring books away, get into your pj's, and when I come back in fifteen minutes and stick my nose in your mouth, I better smell toothpaste."

"Yessir!" She mock saluted him, before rushing off to shove everything on top of the bed haphazardly in the vicinity in her toy box.

Shaking his head, he made his way to the computer room.

Babs didn't even bother to look up as he slipped in. "Just once, Grayson... Just once, I'd like to be the cool one who saves her from Santa, instead of the mean one that threatens her with coal."

He put his arms around her shoulder, and kissed her cheek. "You get to be with her all day long. Sure, you get all the tough jobs, but you never have to tell her beating up bad guys is more important than being with her."

Babs relented somewhat. "So, how's the home life going?"

Dick stretched, trying to hide his goofy grin. "It's... good. Surprisingly good."

Babs shook her head, rolling her eyes as she went back to her keyboards. "All the luck..."

"So, do you know what this Duo-Gundam thing is?"


Dick sighed. "I'll check for it this weekend. Probably Tim knows what it is."

Babs snorted. "He is the one who lets her watch all those cartoons..."

Dick poked her, teasing. "Riiiiight, and you only watch Powerpuff girls with her to be sure the content is ok."

Babs sniffed regally. "A good parent watches with their child."

Laughing, Dick only took one step away before she stopped him.


"What's that?" Dick eyed the disk she was offering skeptically.

She smiled at the screen, thinking he couldn't see her. "A copy of the video I made. That's... one damn cute little girl we have there."

Dick chuckled, taking the disk gratefully. Impulsively, he leaned down and kissed Babs on the lips, rendering her speechless. "Thanks, Babs. I don't think... I can ever say that enough. Thanks. We're going to embarrass her so much when she's a teenager, aren't we? Look at all the video we'll have to pull out and make her run screaming with..."

Babs carefully pulled her brain back inside her skull, and grinned. "Oh, that's a given. But she'll be glad when she can show this stuff to her kids."

"Her kids? No way. That would mean some... man would have to touch my little chikni. No way."

"Dick!" Babs laughed, "Be reasonable!"

He sniffed disgustedly. "Hey, I did my part, but as you well know, lesbians are a whole other beast than queers. Now, if you'd only tried a little harder..."

"Tried harder? I don't think it's the sort of thing you can try to be!" She hated it when he made her laugh while she was trying to be annoyed with him. Damn charming, gorgeous, sweet, caring, sexy bastard...

"You know, you do spend a lot of time with Dinah, if you just put out a few signals..." He made a small gesture with his hands that Babs choose wisely not to interpret.

"Get outta here. You have a toothpaste check to do." She rested her face in her hands, hiding her girlish smile.

"Yessir!" Dick did a halfway decent Angel impression before marching off.

Babs watched him go, her eyes trailing the movement of his muscles under his costume. "Thank you, Dick." She spoke so softly, she barely heard herself.

A small beep, and she turned back to the monitors in full Oracle mode, even as she hit the button to tape Dick reading Angel a bedtime story, nestled on top of the covers so that he could cuddle her.

that song has always sounded fairly threatening to me... ^_~