title: Incidentals: Caught
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Dick/Tim, Angel
rating: Teen
warnings: sexual situations
summary: Tim and Dick must face some hard questions
notes: none

She crept out of her room, tip toeing carefully, keeping her back to the wall as she edged closer to the kitchen. She balled her hands into fists, and pulled her lips between her teeth so that she wouldn't make any noise. She peered around the corner, checking to see if there were any lurking adults around.

Grinning, she walked quickly into the kitchen, pulling open the large refrigerator door, both of her arms up above her head as she tugged on the handle, the heels of her bare feet dug into the floor. Her dad had the best refrigerator. He always had cool things in it. She grabbed a bottle of pre-made chocolate milk, and set it on the floor. She unscrewed the cap quickly, using both hands. She put the cap on the floor, next to the bottle, being careful to put it so the flat part was down. Then, she picked up the bottle, holding it on the neck with both of her hands wrapped around it, and took a long sip. Chocolate milk spilled over her lips, going down her chin. She set the bottle down, and wiped her chin off with the back of her hands, which she then licked to be sure that they were clean.

Her dad would have been so proud of her. She was so silent and stealthy.

She put the top back on the bottle, and placed the bottle in the refrigerator as quietly as she could.

She grinned from ear to ear. It was the perfect crime!

Angel always got up in the night. When it was dark, the coolest things happened. But when she was at home, she never got to get very far. Her mommy was always at the end of the hallway before she could get to anyplace neat.

When Angel had learned that her mommy had her room on the monitor, she had been very cross for two whole days. How could she ever get away with anything if she was being watched all the time???

But in her dad's house, she could roam free at night, as long as she was quiet, and didn't disturb anyone. It was one of the top ten best things about staying at her dad's house.

She was just about to turn the corner and head back to her bedroom, when she heard something. It sounded like a groan, like when someone was hurt.

She was torn. She should get back to bed before she was caught. That was the smart thing to do. But what if her dad had gotten hurt? It was late enough that maybe he was back from his patrol. What if he had gotten hurt, and Timmy was fixing him up?

After the thought had entered her head, there was no way that Angel could go back to bed. She knew she wouldn't be able to sleep even a single wink if she didn't know if her dad was ok or not.

Creeping along with even more care than before, she headed for the door to her dad's room. There was a slim line of light across the hallway from the slightly open door, so Angel crossed the hallway so she could stay on the dark side.

There were more noises from her dad's bedroom, and Angel wrinkled her brow and bit her lip. She really really didn't want anything bad to happen to her dad. Her dad was the best. There was no way they could replace him. He had to be ok.

Angel shimmied up to the door, creeping closer and closer until she could see in the open part.

Her dad was on his stomach, with Timmy standing over him. At first, Angel thought that Timmy was doing something to her dad's back. Her dad was clutching the sheets, and his face was all scrunched up, like he was in pain. Timmy then pushed forward, bumping into her dad's back. Her dad cried out, and Timmy grunted.

Angel watched for a minute longer with wide, disbelieving eyes, before she dashed away, not caring about being quiet.

She needed to think in her room.

Tim whistled as he moved the laundry. Dick had a shift today, and Angel was with them for the weekend, but she was busy watching tv. She had been unusually quiet today, but instead of dwelling on it, Tim decided to enjoy it.

He had a lot of work to do on his paper, too. To keep up the grants that kept the clinic going, even with Bruce's help, he and Leslie needed to keep their names in the journals. Plus, it helped to raise awareness for underprivileged and indigent health and medical ethics issues.

The sound of the dryer behind him, and the sound of some Japanese cartoon in front of him, Tim happily plunked away at the keyboard of his laptop, the whole kitchen table covered with his notes.

When finally his fingers got tired and his back was aching, Tim stretched out and looked at the clock in the upper left corner of the screen. He nearly fell out of his chair.

It couldn't possibly be nearly 2:30, could it?!? Tim jumped up, and went to check on Angel.

"Hey, sweetie, everything ok?" Angel was staring at the tv screen with tunnel vision. Tim looked from the screen with the giant robots in space, and back to Angel.

Her little eyes were narrowed, and she was chewing on her bottom lip.

"Angel? Baby? You hungry?" Tim crouched down so that he was almost at eye level with the little girl.

Still staring straight ahead, Angel shrugged. "I guess."

Tim suddenly felt very cold. She was behaving very oddly. Nodding, he tried to smile. "Ok, I'll fix lunch. I'll make the special grilled cheese sandwiches, just the way you like 'em. Ok?"

Angel just shrugged again.

Tim crossed his arms over his chest and worried his lip while he waited for the toast to pop. Angel was acting like she was mad at him. He ran through the morning in his head, trying to figure out what he had done wrong. Angel had been especially cuddly with Dick before he left, and she even looked a little upset that he was going, even though she knew that he had a shift today. Then, she had asked if she could watch tv, and Tim had said yes, and then he had cleaned up a little, started the laundry, and worked on his paper.

Maybe she was mad at him for not spending time with her. Tim furrowed his brow as he arranged the American slices on the toasted bread. That wasn't like her, though. Usually, if something was bothering her, she said so. Vociferously. For a long time.

Tim poured them each a glass of chocolate milk while the microwave whirled, and put together a bowl of carrots and celery sticks. He would have to ask her. He didn't want her to be unhappy, thinking that no one noticed or cared. It was the sort of thing Tim hadn't thought he would have had to deal with for several years yet, but one never knew.

He put their plates, their drinks, the bowl of veggies, and some napkins on a tray and headed back to the living room, where Angel was still staring at the tv screen.

"Here we go, two hot-from-the-microwave grilled cheese sandwiches!" Tim smiled broadly, sitting down next to Angel in front of the coffee table. "Let's dig in!"

Angel pulled off pieces of her sandwich, and sullenly ate. She didn't even take gulps of her chocolate milk, just little sips.

Sighing, Tim set his sandwich down, and turned, putting his arm on the seat of the couch behind Angel. "Ok, cute stuff, tell me. What's on your mind?"

Angel paused, her chin lowering and her bottom lip protruding. She narrowed her eyes, and stared intently at her chocolate milk for a long time, before she finally worked up the courage to speak.

"I don't like it when you hurt my dad."

She said each word precisely, as if she had been practicing, and she spoke slowly with force in her voice.

Tim blinked several times.

"Excuse me? What do you mean?"

Angel cleared her throat delicately, as only a small girl could. "I... I saw you last night. With my dad. He... he was crying and making hurt noises, and you kept bumping into him. Hard.

"That's not nice, Timmy." She leveled him with an even glare, a small glint of desperation behind her eyes.

Tim was completely unsure of what to do. His first thought was to laugh manically, then go hide under the bed. His second thought was to just go hide under the bed. He was definitely blushing like crazy. And Angel clearly was upset that her Timmy would hurt her dad, clearly needing to know that it was ok.

Tim tried several times to speak before he could get enough air in his chest to make sound. "Angel... sweetie... What you saw, it wasn't... I mean, I wouldn't... You know that I love your dad. I would never... Sometimes, when you are an adult... That is, I mean..."

"It's not nice to hurt people," Angel reiterated stubbornly.

Tim swallowed several times, then simply nodded weakly. "Yeah. I'm sorry."

Angel nodded soundly, and went back to eating.

Dick shut the car door, and leaned against it, sighing. It had been a long, long day. Three big busts, all in various stages of their investigations, all came down today. Some bad guys were in jail, and some would need a visit from Nightwing later.

But before then, he had some free time with his daughter.

Dick nearly walked straight into Tim before he saw his partner sitting on the steps from the garage into the house. Tim stood up, looking pale and worn.

Suddenly, Dick's heart rate spiked, and he clutched his keys nearly tight enough to break the skin.

"What wrong?"

"Calm down, lover; it's not what you think. But... you need to have a talk with your little girl." Tim held his hands up, his fingers extended and his palms facing out, gesturing that Dick didn't need to be worried, but his tired voice and hunched expression belied that.

"What happened?" Dick knew his jaw was tense and he was grinding his teeth a little, but he needed more information before he could decide how to respond.

Tim smiled weakly. "Angel saw us last night." Dick stared blankly at Tim. When Dick's eyes widened slightly, Tim shrugged, as if it were no big deal. "You need to talk to her about it."

Dick felt sick. And weak. He thought he might pass out. "What? Why?"

Tim scratched behind his neck in an exaggerated gesture of nerves. "Ah, well, apparently, she thought that I was hurting you. She gave me quite a lecture about it."

Dick stared at Tim, blinking absently.

Tim pretended to smile at Dick.

"But... why do I have to talk to her? Didn't you talk to her?"

Tim looked very uncomfortable. "Uh, well... I think that's something that her father should explain to her. I mean, I wouldn't want to step on any toes..."

"Tim! That's ridiculous! We're both parents to Angel." Tim appeared to be unconvinced. Dick whined, "I don't want to do this by myself!"

Tim quickly grabbed Dick's car keys and scuttled to the car. "Yeah, sorry 'bout that, but some quality father-daughter time will do you both some good..."

"But but but...! You're a doctor! You can do this way better than me!" Dick pleaded, seeing his last chance slipping away.

"No way, babe, you're on your own." Tim opened the car door, slipping in quickly.

"Wait... maybe Babs can talk to her. She was supposed to be the one to talk to her!"

Tim shrugged. "We can't let Angel think that I hurt you, Dick."

Dick watched Tim drive away in horror.

He was going to have to explain gay sex to his six-year old daughter.

Dick watched his daughter concentrating on her video game for a moment. It was almost... endearing, how utterly focused she was, how her eyes were fixed on screen, her little fingers working the controller with practiced precision, and the way her whole being seemed to funnel through her hands and eyes and into the game.

It was hard to imagine that this little girl knew anything at all about sex. She was just so... pure, and sweet, and loving. That she could in any way be exposed to anything sordid and dirty...

Dick shuddered. He knew that there was nothing wrong with what he and Tim had done last night. He knew that sex was a natural part of life. He knew it was healthy and normal.

But not for his little chikni. She was supposed to be perfect. She was supposed to be better than him.

He sighed, closing his eyes. She was too young to be growing up. Too young to be getting talked to about sex. And it was his fault that this was happening. He had been careless, and scarred his daughter.

Well. Actually, he was probably more scarred than she was, but still...

"Dad?" Angel paused her game, and then jumped up, running toward her father. "Dad! You're home! Guess what, I got all the way through the sulfur level! And I killed the boss on that other level that we were playing together the other day, remember, with the spinning blades that came off at you?"

Dick smiled down at his little Angel, only barely able to keep up with her. These days, it was getting harder and harder to stay apace of the things that were interesting to her, and now he was going to have to talk to her about sex, and someday she was going to fall in love and leave him forever.

This day just sucked.

"Chikni," Dick tried to interrupt, ruffling her hair gently. "Chikni, we have to talk."

Angel's eyes got wide and her face stilled, her mouth forming a small 'o'. "Is something wrong, dad?"

Dick shook his head, putting his hand behind her neck so that he could lead her to the couch. "Nothing at all is wrong, my beautiful little love, but there is something I wanted to talk to you about."

They each sat down on the couch, Angel folding her legs under her and setting her hands in her lap primly. Dick smiled at her, stretching his arm over the back of the couch so that he was sheltering her a little.

He cleared his throat, and floundered.

Angel blinked up at him, her sweet little face blank and open. She fidgeted, scooting a bit closer to his arm.

Dick sighed quietly, and just dove in.

"Chikni, Tim told me that you... that you saw... us last night."

Angel bit her lips, and her brow furrowed cutely. "I told him not to hurt you anymore, dad." She put her little hand on his knee, in a gesture that would have looked comforting if she were bigger.

Dick swallowed hard, and resisted the urge to bolt. "I appreciate that, my love, I truly do, but the thing is... What you saw last night, it's... not what you thought that you saw."

Angel looked confused. "I saw him hurt you."

Dick sighed. "I know that's... that's what it looked like, but that's not what happened. I can... I can promise you, he didn't hurt me."

"But..." Angel spoke slowly, as she tried to think of the right words. "You were on your belly, and you were moaning."

Dick coughed, putting his fist in front of his mouth. "Um, well, you see... Yes, that is true, but... When a person, an older person, a much, much older person, falls in love..."

Angel tilted her head to the side, her expression clouded. "I don't understand, dad. What were you doing?"

Dick wished that Babs could be here, to explain things. Babs was good at explaining things. So was Tim. He couldn't believe Tim had abandoned him. "Well, see, baby, Tim and I love each other very much, and sometimes, we like to show each other how much we love each other."

"Show... each other?" Angel chewed on the idea slowly. "You mean, like, hugs? Or when mommy spies on me? Or when you call me chikni?"

Dick brightened. "Yes, exactly."

"But how can you show someone you love them by hurting them?" Angel scowled a little, trying to figure out the puzzle her father had laid before her.

Dick repressed the urge to whimper. "Well, see, as I said, it didn't hurt. See... Adults sometimes do things differently than kids." Dick paused to consider. "Well, you know that I love Tim differently than I love you, right?"

Angel nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah. That's why you guys kiss all the time."

"Right," Dick smiled encouragingly. "Well, it's like kissing, only a little different. And it's only for adults," he cautioned sternly.

Angel considered, her head lowering unconsciously as it got weighed down with thoughts. Suddenly, she brightened, and smiled. "Oh! Were you having sex?"

Dick stared at his daughter. When his memory of what had just happened didn't change, he stared at her some more.

She continued. "But I don't think you were doing it right, dad. In the soaps mommy watches, they get under the covers and kiss. That's how you have sex." She nodded once, quite sure of herself.

Dick stared at her some more, stunned. "Oh. Ah. Well... you know, real life isn't exactly like soaps."

"Yeah," Angel concurred solemnly, "in the soaps, it's always a girl and a boy. But in real life, sometimes it's just boys, right? And is it sometimes just girls, too?"

Dick smiled weakly. "Yup, babe."

Angel smiled brightly. "I'm glad. That way, I get you and Timmy as dads." She leaned forward and hugged her dad's neck tightly.

Dick wrapped his arms around her, squeezing her tightly to his body. "Me too. I'm glad, too."

She spoke quickly into his ear. "And Timmy didn't hurt you, dad?"

"No, chikni," he said, speaking into her hair, "no, he didn't hurt me at all."

"Ok, dad!" She pulled away to smile at him brightly. "But why didn't Timmy tell me that?"

Dick winked at her. "Because Timmy is a great big coward, and we're going to tease him about it mercilessly, aren't we, love?"

Angel giggled and threw her arms up in the air in triumph.

Dick smiled at her. Oh, yes, he would be teasing his mate... and Angel's mother, too. Soap operas...

Just think of all the misconceptions a little girl could get from watching that. There wasn't nearly enough gay action in them.

the 'proper' way to make grilled cheese sandwiches is to a) toast the bread in a toaster, b) place 2-4 slices of American cheese on the toast (depending on how cheesy you like your sandwich), and c) microwave the sandwich until the cheese melts, about 25-45 seconds, depending on your microwave.

there ya go, a fic and a recipe. ^_~

also, i know that most soaps now have at least a couple of *coughtokencough* gay people, but still. not nearly enough gay action. ^_~ plus, they rarely show them in bed together. so, we'll assume that the soap that babs likes doesn't have any gay couples in bed.