This is for Jim Greeno. Be careful what you wish for, pal. You said you were sick of Babs and Dick fic--you said ANYONE BUT BABS! So here it is. Anyone but Babs.
A COMPLETELY Dick `n Babs-Free Fic.
Good Morning, Bludhaven!
The green glowing alarm clock on the faux-wood nightstand began howling it's morning crow-call. Ever so slowly, Dick began to wake. Morning and his day job came far too quickly for this rooftop prowler.
Dick's hand escaped his warm blanket and was instantly stung by the cold morning air invading his ill-heated apartment. The biting cold sensation woke him enough to find the snooze bar and temporarily silence the annoying device. He also came to realize that there was a warm back pressing against his. All the more reason to stay in bed today. Especially since it was a small, slender back...like the kind belonging to a certain red-headed know-it-all he was fond of.
Once, he'd read in a magazine somewhere, that sleeping position in relationship to one's partner told a lot about how the couple viewed each other. People who spooned were supposed to be very intimate, and people who slept on opposite ends of the bed, backs turned to each other, were in serious relationship trouble. He smiled contentedly, thinking of what this meant for his relationship. Sleeping with their backs touching meant that they were intimate, yet independent. He have to tell his pretty little red-haired girl that when she woke up.
There was a slight stirring behind him. Perhaps he'd get his chance sooner than he thought. He wondered what she'd say to that?
He was startled out of his mushy, sentimental `hearts and flowers' thoughts by a low moan beside him.
"Aww, Mrs. Mac, it isn't seven am already, is it?"
Dick quickly spun around, tangling himself in the blanket. Seeing a tired, disheveled and very NAKED Timothy Drake beside him, he screamed.
"YOU'RE NOT BARBARA!" He hollered, backed up to put distance between them. He eventually fell off the edge of the bed, landing on the carpet with a sad thud.
Even through the commotion, awareness was slow in coming back to the the current Robin muttered, till not aware of the levity of the situation. "You're not Stephanie."
* * *
All in the Family
Wally West stared at his shoes, which were propped up on Dick Grayson's table. He refused to make eye contact with his Titan's leader. Not until he was able to process this new... news. Slowly he ran a hand through his bright orange hair, then scratched the back of his neck thoughtfully. Across from him, Dick sat, anxiously awaiting his reaction.
"Well, I don't know, man. It just seems wrong, somehow."
Dick sighed, trying once again to explain. "Look, did you walk up to Linda, first time you met her, and say `this is the girl I'm going to marry'?"
Wally bit his cheek, thoroughly confused. "Well, I don't know. I thought she'd be really good to get to know... wait a second. This isn't about me."
"Just indulge me. Ok, so I didn't know I wanted to marry her at first, but now I'm convinced...she's the one."
Like Bart Allen in a candy store, Wally fidgeted at hyper-speed as he thought about it. This whole day had been a disaster. He'd only stopped over this morning in Bludhaven to bug his best friend and hopefully score some breakfast before going home from a Justice
League gig to his loving, adorable, totally free for the weekend wife. But instead of feeding his face and hanging with his homey, Wally had been thoroughly traumatized and confused.
He was absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt sure that what he'd witnessed was both not meant for his eyes, and not fit for human consumption at the same time. At least when he'd walked in on Uncle Barry and Aunt Iris, and he was traumatized and blinded and all the stuff that happens when a fourteen year old walks in on his parent figures, he could at least console himself with the fact that they were being healthy, loving rownups, and after massive therapy he was able to move on.
Wally wasn't really sure what it'd take to get him over this. Probably a full frontal lobotomy.
"Dick... it's like... sleeping with your sister." Finding Dick and Donna in the throes of passion like that? He shuddered.
His friend's face twisted in anger. "She's not my sister!" He said this so forcefully, spit flew across the table, barely missing Wally.
"Dick! Come on! All of us Teen Titans were brothers, right? And Wonder Chick was our sister. She gave us hugs when we were down, kissed our boo-boos and generally gave us warm fuzzies. You don't go... ARG!" Obviously Donna was giving Dick something else besides warm fuzzies these days.
A hand came slamming down on the table. "WHAAAT? I'm happy, I'm FINALLY in a relationship with no emotional blackmail going on, and you guys're just going to do whatever you can to screw this up. Which is why we didn't say anything to you guys before. Now we're going to have Harper going all `hard feelings' on our asses. Wally...can't you just let us have this?"
The speedster's brow creased. "Fine. I'm not going to say anything. But you guys can't stay in the closet forever."
Dick's eyes lit up. "A chance. That's all I'm asking for. A chance to go about this our own way."
"Look... Lemme talk to Wondy, ok... I gotta apologize for what I said." Wally rose and went to the bedroom door, then paused before knocking.
Leaning on the table, Dick frowned. "Yeah, the incest comment was harsh."
Yeah, Wally thought, you walk in on something like THAT, and see if some harsh things don't go flying out of YOUR mouth, Wingster.
Knocking, Wally wondered if his Titans' insurance would cover brain surgery.
* * *
The Hunted and the Captured
Robin sat perched on Oracle's window sill, trying to think up some new way to plead with her. "Babs... please... you have to reconsider." He desperately stared out into the green glowing room, praying for some sign of hope from her. How long could she exile Nightwing from her life?
Without betraying any emotion, Barbara continued typing. She used her shoulder to push her glasses back up. "He buttered his bread, he can sleep in it."
"But... but... You haven't seen him. Babs, I'm worried about Dick. He's not eating right, and I heard he'd not hanging out with the Titans any more. You gotta at least talk to him," the boy whined fitfully.
"Robin, I don't have to do ANYTHING. But if you don't either get in or get out and close that window, I might kill you." The light reflected off of her glasses as she turned her head to glare at him.
Robin grabbed the window frame, and almost threw himself backwards, into the tugging wind, but he hopped off the sill instead. He wasn't done yet. Reaching behind him, he closed the window. "Yesterday, I went to get some stuff off of him, and I caught him coming out of the shower. She's treating him real bad, Barb."
Babs spun around, chair and all and glared at the young man. "I don't care what the hell he's doing with Helena. I don't want to hear about it. He made his choice...FINE. But I'm not going to let ANYONE manipulate me into taking that worthless sack of shit back."
Tim's palms were sweating profusely. He ripped off his gloves and wiped his hands on his tunic. "Babs... I'm not saying you have to take him back. But he won't listen to me, and Bruce doesn't know how bad it's gotten. Babs... when he came out of the bathroom in just a towel, he had WHIP MARKS on his back. And there were old ones and new ones. Look... Babs... it's not like `get Dick and Babs back together' that I'm shooting for. I'm thinking more along the lines of `have an intervention before Dick self-destructs' kind of thing. She wasn't good for him the first time around, and she's even WORSE now. She
knows Batman isn't going to let her into the club, and she's taking it out on Dick."
Barbara was not impressed. "Dick is a big boy. He does NOT need me intervening into his personal life." A perverse smile crossed Barbara's lips. "Besides. I always knew he was whipped."
* * *
Lois Lane leaned against her desk on the main floor of the Daily Planet, her arms folded across her chest. In her gray power suit, she looked like some silver robot, bent on destruction. And at that moment, she was.
Across from her, sitting in Clark Kent's chair was a flustered Jimmy Olsen. He rubbed his palms against his cargo pants and tried to find some diplomatic way to say what he was about to say. "Um... well, I don't think Perry will let you write a gossip column."
"It isn't gossip. I saw it with my own two eyes." She scowled at him, searching for support.
The red headed young man bit his lip. "Still... maybe it wasn't what you thought you saw. I mean... CK? GAY? That's like saying he's Superman or something."
Lois' raisin colored lips pulled back in a vicious smile. "I know."
"Lois... I just don't think... it's ethical. I mean... I know he cheated on you and all... but somehow... I don't think it's really NICE to drag him through the mire like that."
"NICE would be not breaking our marriage vows! NICE would be not marrying me just to cover for his little `secret.' He's lucky this is the ONLY thing I drag into the press!" She clenched her fists. She knew if she unfolded her arms, she'd end up throwing something.
"Lois! You've been my friend since like forever. And so has CK. And I think this whole thing is just... weird. And WRONG. There's gotta be some explanation. I mean? I know CK hangs out in the supply closet a lot... but whoda thunk he'd be in there boinking the adopted son of some Gotham billionaire?"
* * *
Brothers Share Everything
Tim stood in the ill-lit hall way outside Dick Grayson's apartment, struggling for the keys in his pocket. As he did so, the pizza box in his other arm drooped a little, and the bag on top of the box almost fell to the floor. He pressed his load against the wall to keep it
upright as his hand wrapped around his official `Little Green Alien' keychain and the whole lot came sliding out of his pocket.
Finding the key with the funny yellow plastic cap on top, he shoved it into the lock and turned. This pizza was going to be sooo good, he thought as he pushed the door opened. The videos in his bag were going to be good. Everything was going to be really...
Concentrating on not dropping the pizza, he saw Dick on the sofa... getting busy with some blond chick.
"Don't you knock?" Dick yelled from the sofa.
Tim's eyes flashed from the pizza to the sofa. There was a very naked Dick Grayson... on top of a very naked Stephanie Brown. "Aww, geeze..." Tim grumbled, and stepped back through the door way, then closed the door.
He counted to five, and then opened the door again, but they were still there. Granted they were fumbling for their clothes now, but... still.
"Man... you guys suck. I'm taking my pizza and going home." Closing the door again, he turned on his heals and left.
* * *
A young man with sharp, stubborn features dampened with an electric smile strolled into the executive suit. He tore the large black sunglasses off of his face and shoved them in the pocket of his dark blue blazer. "Mr. Malone," Tally said as she looked up from what she was typing. "That's three times this week. You're out to set a record." From a purely `executive-assitant' stand point, she kind of enjoyed seeing the way that Mr. Malone could show up with no notice and consistently surprise/fluster her boss, Jessica Quick.
"Eh, variety being the spice of life and all." Approaching her desk, he gave her that grin. Ms. Quick really ought to know better than to involve herself with someone who looked like such a rogue. "Lemme surprise her," he said, quietly walking up to the door.
He pushed it opened with stealth-conscious lavish, then held his arms out. There was a squeal from behind the desk, then suddenly, Ms. Quick was in front of him, wrapping her arms around his neck. "I thought you had stuff to do today!"
Their lips met passionately, and Tally tried to advert her eyes, and go back to work. Her employer's personal life was really none of her business...even if this personal life only seemed to transpire at work. She'd gotten a feeling months ago that whatever this tryst was, they were the only ones who knew about it.
As the door closed to the CEO's office, Tally shook her head and went back to work. It was about all she could do. Robbie Malone was visiting again. That meant to hold all of Ms. Quick's calls, and if the room was a rockin', not to come a knocking'.
* * *
Some Like It Wet
In the surreal blue glow of the enormous monitors of the Batcave's Crays computer, Nightwing waited with his hands clasped behind his back like a petulant child. Twenty feet in front of him, Batman sat facing the computer. All the dark-clad vigilante could see of his mentor was the hint of cowl and ears peeking over the top of the tall-backed iron and leather chair.
"So you're pissed," Dick said finally.
Batman sighed. "I'm not. Your love life is your business. But it's a security breach, not to mention what it has done to the ranks of the Justice League to have their number diminished by one."
"I am not going to MAKE anyone tell you they're alive." Granted, the charade had gone on for like six months... but still. Time flies when you're having fun.
The chair spun, and Batman stared at him critically. "All I'm saying is that if Aquaman is sleeping in your bathtub, the least you could do is tell us."
* * *
Leather and Lace
"Bruce I hate to say this," Dick said into the phone, "But I have to leave." As he spoke, he dragged his behind off the threadbare sofa, then brushed the remnants of cheese curls off of his white uniform shirt and adjusted his tie.
On the other end, Bruce sniffed. "I didn't think she'd actually LEAVE me?"
Dick resisted sighing impudently. "She didn't leave you. She moved out of Gotham." In the kitchen, there was the ruffling of paper bag as his Best Girl made his lunch for work. The smell of tuna, celery and toast made his stomach grumble longingly.
"She left me!" Bruce moaned.
He ran his free hand through his raven locks. He could think of someone elses' locks he'd like to be running his hand through right now... Focus Grayson. He's having an emotional crisis. You need to leave for work. Come to some acceptable solution. "You guys weren't
going out, right? So she can do whatever she wants."
"Still, she was in my city..." Dick pinched the bridge of his nose. Bruce chose NOW to have normal girl troubles. Well, they weren't exactly normal, but they were troubles. He sighed as he felt arms go around his waste. Cradling the phone between his ear and shoulder, his hands grabbed the slender white hand that had come around him. He
noticed she was still wearing his button-down shirt. He didn't care if she never got dressed again, though.
"Bruce, you never told her you loved her. You never even went out with her. You chased her around the rooftops, and every time she did something bad, you'd slap her hands and say "bad kitty!" That does NOT a relationship make. Maybe Catwoman decided to go torture someone else in a costume for a while." His hands trailed up the arms wrapped
around him as he spoke. "I appreciate your emotional crisis and all, but I'm going to be late for work. I gotta go." Without saying goodbye, he hung up.
A head came to rest on his back, and then he heard a soft chuckle. "You know..." Selena Kyle pined, "I'll be happy to torture you any day."
* * *
The Nature of Truth
Batman actively and unabashedly ignored Kal El. He knew exactly what he was about to be asked, so instead of looking at the blue and red clad hero, he chose to engross himself fully in the screens before him. His monitor duty in the watch tower was not over for another three hours...so there was only ONE reason Superman would interrupt him like this.
"So... looks like we'll be seeing more of Nightwing around the Justice League," Superman began finally. He leaned on the back of Batman's chair. Without hesitation, Batman swiveled in it, forcing Kal El to stand up straight again. He shook his head at his friend. "Come on, Bruce. You have to admit. Hooking up with Wonder Woman is... weird."
Out of the ordinary for both of them, to say the least.
"I'm not concerned," Batman said nonchalantly. "It won't last."
Superman stared at Batman critically. "You're such a pessimist, you know? It's strange for them to be... together. But can't you wish ANYONE some happiness?"
Batman met his gaze. "I'm simply being prudent. I know it won't last."
Clark drew breath to protest, but there was a loud crashing noise in the distance. Not an explosion, per say, but he had a feeling there was heavy property damage. A quick scan with his x-ray vision confirmed that fact. There appeared to be a large hole in the section
of the Watch Tower that contained their living quarters. He knew of only two people back there, so he rushed off instantly.
Batman leisurely rose from his chair and followed. This was, perhaps, something Clark should find out on his own.
Superman found Nightwing...or should he say Dick Grayson...tangled in a sheet and lying amidst crumbled concrete and twisted metal. Dust settled around the disoriented young man. "What's going on here," he demanded. Kneeling beside the boy, he helped him sit up. A quick scan showed that there were no broken bones, just a mighty concussion.
The hole in the wall was still clouded with unsettled concrete dust. When Wonder Woman flew through it, she looked like some sort of angel of vengeance. "Ask HIM," she demanded sternly. She pulled her white robe around her more tightly.
Slowly, Dick Grayson's glazed over eyes focused on Superman. "She... put the lasso around me," he said quietly. "Then asked if she was the best I ever had."
Superman resisted the urge to slap his forehead. Behind him, he could hear Batman finally approaching. He looked from the boy to his dark mentor. "And YOU. You KNEW this would happen," he said angrily. "HOW?"
Batman's lips pulled back in a firm line. "She did the same thing to me, once."
* * *
The Final Chapter
Dick felt himself drifting off into sleep. Ever so slowly, he turned towards the back of the couch and kicked off his socks. He needed this. It was the first time in a long time that his two jobs were not demanding his all, and for a change, the house was quiet.
He hugged the pillow he'd brought down from the bedroom to him. It smelled of Kory's shampoo. Maybe if he held it real tight, he could pretend he was having a quiet moment alone with her. God. They hadn't had one of those in... forever.
Maybe, if he could get some sleep and manage to keep himself out of trouble tonight, and the universe didn't need saving, they could go out for dinner. He really had a hankering for fried fish.
Maybe he could get Tim to hold down the fort for a few days while he and she...
The front door opened. Or maybe he dreamt that it opened. Lately he'd been doing a lot of thinking and planning in his sleep, so he was never sure when he was asleep or awake any more.
There was the rustling of bags... nope. He recognized the sounds of his money being spent. He was awake. Shoes on the slate floor in the entrance hall...
Five. Four. Three. Two...
"You should have let ME drive home!" his oldest screamed at someone. He suspected it was her time of the month. She was awfully damned temperamental.
"Look, it isn't my fault!" his son hollered. They were a year apart, and usually they got along.
"Both of you stop it. That's a three hundred dollar mirror you wacked off," Kory informed him. "Now go get your brother out of the car seat. Mari, give me the baby." The six-month old cooed at being returned to her mother.
"Mo-om!" his oldest son protested.
"Don't mom me, Mr. I Drove Too Close to the Cement Barriers. Unless you think it's Unmanly to be seen removing a two-year-old from a car seat. GO."
Feet pounded in protest on the slate, and the door slammed.
Maybe, if Dick pretended he was asleep, they'd forget he existed and they'd leave him alone.
Those hopes were dashed when the seven and five year olds came barreling into him. Their orange, cherubic faces peered over his shoulder at him. "HI DADDY!" They screamed in unison. Looks like all his kids made it home from the mall. He wondered if any of his money made it out of there alive.
"Did you have fun?" Dick asked. So much for pretending to be asleep. Two heads nodded in false-innocent tandem. If only they could use their powers for good instead of evil, he thought to himself.
"Dad...Beni took the mirror off the car," Mari started complaining loudly. "He shouldn't be allowed to get his license. I went over a CURB and you made me keep practicing for like six weeks..." Her attitude-filled protests were drowned out when the baby started
crying. Beni brought the toddler in, who was much in protest to being removed from his car seat, and was joining in the fray of noise.
His grade-school girls, who had previously made their presence known by jumping on him had turned on television and were fighting over the remote control.
Dick pressed his head into the pillow and moaned just a little bit.
"Honey, let me show you what I got on sale?"
Dick rolled onto his back, pressing the pillow to his face. "I need a nap," he muffled through the stuffing.
"Come on... just take a look..." she teased.
Slowly, Dick pealed the pillow away from his face. Kory was holding a long purple dress up against her tall, still-perfect body. The silk glistened in the afternoon light. "How much did that cost me?"
"Mom! The `mote is broke!" the two middle ones cried in unison from the TV. Dick sighed. They went through remotes the way other people went through paper plates. Fourteen dollars per Universal Remote...
"Are you even looking at this, Dick?"
"It's nice, Kor. Really. I'm just..." he caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye. "Can you break those two up?" The five and seven year olds were rolling around on the floor again, fighting over the broken pieces of remote.
Kory tossed the dress over her arm and walked toward the television set and the twisted bodies of two little children. "You guys..."
Without waiting to see how it went, Dick rose, took his pillow and went up stairs. His bare feet dragged across the carpet as he went to his room, but Beni was already laying on his bed, watching the sports channel. Next door, Mari's radio was blaring at some station he'd probably told her she couldn't listen to. Sighing, Dick walked to the
bathroom and opened the window. Holding on to the blanket by his teeth, he hoisted himself out the window and grabbed hold of the terracotta covering of the drain pipe and pulled himself onto the tar roof. Finding a sunny, warm spot, he curled up with the pillow and closed his eyes.
Saturdays were for napping.