David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

Voting ficlet

"It's an absentee ballot," Batman said. The paper was tattered at the edges, creased and a little worn. He looked up at Cassandra. He'd pulled his cowl back, and she could see his face. "Where did you get this?" Without waiting for her answer, he flipped it over, looking for the address label on the other side.

He put the ballot down carefully.

"Mail it," Cass said.

"It wouldn't be legal."

"Mail it."

"She never signed it."

"Mail. It."

"They'd throw it away," Batman said.

Cassandra set her jaw. She looked at the ballot where it lay on Batman's desk. "She wanted to," she said quietly.

"I know," said Batman. His voice was gentle. She didn't know why that made her feel the way she did: as if she were in the river all over again, with his arms around her. It felt like something she'd missed, but didn't quite know how to have.

She wished she could ask Stephanie about it.

When she looked back at Batman, she saw he was staring at the glass case again. "It would have been Jason's first election, too," he said.

A thought occurred to Cassandra. "Mine?" she said.

Batman looked surprised. "You're registered," he said. "So, yes. I suppose so."

"It's today?"

"Yes," said Batman.

"Take me," she said.

"You can't read."

"You can."

"You don't know anything about the issues."

Cass pointed at the ballot. "She did," she said.

Batman said nothing for a moment. Then he picked up the ballot and looked at it again.

"She voted a straight Republican ticket," he said. He smiled a little. "In Gotham City."

"Like you?"

Batman shook his head. "I back candidates," he said. "I don't vote for them."

"Why?"

"Republicans don't win in Gotham," Batman said. "I help fund the Democrats who do. My opinion counts for more that way. In the voting booth, I'm only one voter. Just another man."

"Like everyone else?"

"Yes."

"We're not," she said. "Like everyone else."

"No."

"I wonder," said Cass. "What that's like."

Batman looked up at her. And then he shook his head. And smiled.

"All right," he said. "Take a shower. Find some street clothes. Let's go vote." His voice dropped to a low grumble, and Cass made out, "For all the good it'll do in this bastion of liberalism."

Cass grinned. She leaned over Batman and grabbed her -- Steph's -- ballot. As she made her way to the showers, she ran an eye down the list. One letter -- 'R,' she remembered -- kept showing up next to Steph's choices. It sounded like the first sound in 'Republican.'

Steph had said, once, that she'd help teach Cass to read.

So Cass wouldn't be alone in the voting booth, after all.

Maybe they'd even win.
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