Once the Team had finished their cake and settled on the couch to begin the marathon, Dick and I headed to the medical bay to wrap my hand with gauze. I crouched down to tug a roll of gauze out of a low drawer, and as I straightened up Dick's strong arms wrapped around me, pulling me against him in a hug from behind. He gently pressed kisses to my neck.
"Dick, stop," I giggled, trying to squirm away, but he only held me tighter. "We have to get back to watch the movie!"
He didn't stop. "Do we?" he asked in a husky voice. "I think that we can stay right… here." His lips traced over the bruises in the shape of a handprint on my neck and he stiffened. "Dick?" I asked gently. He spun me around so that I was facing him.
"Clara I- I'm so sorry about… that night. I-" He wrapped his arms around my waist and buried his face in the crook of my neck. I rubbed circles into his back and tried to comfort him. "Dick. How many times do I have to tell you that it's okay. It was my fault. I should've known- should've known-"
He pulled away. "No," he said quietly. He placed a thumb under my chin and tilted my face up to his. "It's not okay." Tears welled in his eyes and I brushed some hair off his face.
"I love you. That hasn't changed," I said softly. "Now c'mon; I don't want to miss any more of the movie." He rolled the gauze around my hand and linked our fingers together. We left the gauze on the table and I dragged him back to the common room.
We had only missed a little of A New Hope (Wally insisted only watching the movies in the order that they came out, not in the cinematic chronological order). Dick and I laid down on the recently vacated sofa after M'gann declared that she couldn't bring herself to watch another second. Sci-fi just wasn't her type.
"It's about time," grumbled Wally. "What took you two so long?"
Dick hid behind me. "Nothing."
Wally scoffed and rolled his eyes. "Lovebirds, am I right?" he said to Artemis, hitching a thumb in our direction, and we rolled our eyes and laughed.
We managed to make it to the next movie in silence, only because Wally would shush us at each little quip or whisper. Most of the Team had left; Conner saw no point in being here since M'gann wasn't with us, and Gar only came to the party for the cake. Kaldur had shown up, but only briefly to wish Wally a happy birthday before heading off to Atlantis. Zatanna was the only one who remained; curled up on a chair, her eyes glued to her phone screen.
"Oh no! She called him a scruffy-looking nerf-herder," Dick exclaimed. He snorted, and we collapsed into a fit of laughter. Artemis chuckled. "Found you a new pet name, babe. Guess watching all these movies wasn't so pointless after all." Wally kissed the top of her head.
"Oh my god, did she just kiss her brother? Sweet Home Alabama!" Dick said again, pointing at the television. I tried to contain a laugh, but gave up and wheezed, nestling farther into his chest.
I turned my grin to Dick. "I mean... If my brother was as hot as Luke..." Artemis nodded her agreement and gave me a fist bump, laughing.
"Babe! I'm sitting right here," Wally and Dick said to Artemis and me. I chuckled and raised my gaze to Dick's. "But I know that no one kisses as good as you," I murmured to him, and he grazed his lips against mine.
I watched without emotion as Dick and Clara flirted and kissed, but I didn't care anymore. I was glad that he was happy, even if it meant that we couldn't be together. All I ever wanted was for him to be happy.
I heard M'gann come up behind me. "Aww. They're so cute together!" she said, looking at Dick and Clara. When she saw it was me, she paled. "I'm- so sorry. I didn't mean-"
I held up a hand to silence her. "It's okay," I said quietly. "I've moved on. They love each other. No one can break that bond." She offered me a small smile. What I said was true. Dick may not have been the one for me, but there was someone out there. Somewhere.
M'gann cleared her throat and my head snapped up, almost taking Dick's nose off. "Batman wants you all in the mission briefing room. Now." We nodded and I started to get up, wincing at the pain that shot up my leg and twirled around my ribs. Dick placed a hand on my chest. "I'm pretty sure that does not include you," he said gently.
"I'm fine," I snapped.
"No, you're not. I just saw you wince!"
"Well if I'd known you were watching, I wouldn't have!"
Dick sighed and opened his mouth to say something, but I cut him off. "Wait. What if Zatanna did that spell again?" I asked. We all directed our attention to her. She fiddled with her fingers. "The thing is… the stones are one-time use, and they're incredibly hard to come by."
"Could Dr. Fate get one for you?"
She shook her head. "He's off-world." I cursed under my breath, and Zatanna shot me a look. I glared back and got up, ignoring the pain. "Where are you going?" asked Dick.
I waved a hand over my shoulder dismissively. "I'm going to train," I grumbled.
"You're not supposed to be doing that!"
I scowled. "Mind your own business." I could hear him sigh with impatience as I walked away.
Night Wing's POV
The Team suited up and met in the mission briefing area. I couldn't help but notice that Wally and Artemis were not among us; instead, there was Tim and Barbara, who stood beside Batman.
Batman coughed and we straightened to attention. He pulled up a holographic panel with coordinates on it. "We've received a tip that a drug hand-off will be taking place tonight, here," he said, pointing at the screen. "I need you to pose as the buyers and shut them down."
The Team nodded. It seemed simple enough. I noticed their eyes flitting between Artemis and Wally, who were standing off to the side without their suits, and Batman. He noticed this and sighed before gesturing towards them.
Wally exhaled. "Artemis and I are going to take a break from the hero gig for a while," he said, their hands tightly entwined. The Team nodded and wished them well. Kaldur shook Wally's hand and Artemis hugged M'gann. They walked out of the room.
"Since we're short-handed at the moment, I would like to introduce Robin and Batgirl," Batman said, gesturing the two teenagers beside him. Tim nodded at the group and Barbara stood up straighter.
"What kind of drugs are we talking about?" asked a quiet voice. We turned to see Jessie, twirling a strand of hair around her finger.
Batman coughed. "Painkillers."
Jessie paled, then set her jaw. "I want in."
Kaldur shook his head sooner than the words were out of her mouth. "You are not ready. You have formed hard water one time, and we have not even begun combat-"
Her eyes brimmed with tears. "Please," she whispered. "I need this." Kaldur's eyes softened, and he shot a look at Batman, who sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Alright," said Batman. He glanced at me. "Keep an eye on her."
Thirty minutes later we went to board the bioship. Clara took my elbow and pulled me away from the group. "Clara, I have to..." I started, but I trailed off when I saw the sadness in her eyes. She pulled me into a tight hug and held me for a while before gently pushing me away. "What's that about?" I asked, tucking her hair behind her ears.
"Do you ever... do you ever think that this might be the last time I'll ever see you?" she asked quietly. I cupped her face in my hands. "Don't think like that," I said. "I'll be fine. This is an easy mission, too.
"What could go wrong?"