Disclaimer: No incarnation of Teen Titans belongs to me. That honor is exclusively DC Comics', with special shout-outs to Marv Wolfman and Geoff Johns, the men who penned two of the most successful incarnations of the DC Universe's teen hero team.
Author's note: This is my first Teen Titans fic set exclusively in the comic universe, although my animated Titans fics have drawn heavily on comic canon. It's a meditation on the friendship of Dick Grayson and Roy Harper and how that friendship is continued on through their children.
The timeline is a kind of A/U where Dick and Kory did marry without interference and Mar'i Grayson – a.k.a. Nightstar – was born. For those of you who don't know who Mar'i is, she's Dick and Kory's daughter in the future DCU depicted in Mark Waid and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come.
Anyway, it's time I began this story.
"No fair!" young Lian Harper pouted. "You cheated!"
"I did not cheat!" young Mar'i Grayson retorted. "I'm supposed to hide and you're supposed to seek!"
Lian glared childishly at Mar'i, lime green eyes meeting pupil-less emerald orbs. Mar'i returned the glare, something cold and hard settling into her eyes. Lian stared back into those eyes, refusing to back down despite the fact that her knees were starting to tremble.
"Who the hell taught her to glare like that?" Roy Harper, Lian's father, asked. "Was it you, Dick?"
"Why would I want to see Bruce's expression on Mar'i's face?" Dick Grayson, Mar'i's father asked.
"Well, your girl cheated," Roy said.
Dick turned sharply and gazed hard at Roy. "Don't accuse Mar'i of cheating. She followed the rules. She was hiding."
"Hiding in the air!" Roy amended. "Don't say that's not cheating! Lian can't jump that high!"
"It's a game of Hide and Seek," Dick insisted. "The goal is to not let yourself be caught."
"She still cheated," Roy persisted. "Hiding in the air qualifies as cheating when you know your opponent will never be able to get to you."
"Well, she was still found," Dick said.
Meanwhile, Mar'i hugged Lian.
"I'm sorry," she murmured. "I promise I won't fly anymore if you don't want me to."
Lian smiled. "You can still fly. Just don't do it when we're playing, ok?"
"Ok," Mar'i answered cheerfully.
"Pinky swear?" Lian asked, holding out her little finger.
"Pinky swear," Mar'i replied, wrapping her little finger around Lian's. "You hide now!"
Lian ran as fast as her little legs could carry her, Mar'i covering her eyes and counting to fifty.
"48 . . . 49 . . . 50!" she shouted. "Ready or not, I'm coming!"
With that declaration, the half-Tamaranean began looking around the backyard for Lian.
"They're so cute together, aren't they?" Dick mused.
"Heh," Roy answered. "You think they'll ever be as good friends as you and I have been?"
"Probably," Dick replied.
Minutes later, Dick and Roy heard Lian shout, "You found me, Mar'i!"
"Found you, found you!" Mar'i chirped. "Took me a minute longer this time! You're getting better!"
"Thank you!" Lian answered merrily.
"We can play like this forever, can't we?" Mar'i asked.
"Yeah, we can!" Lian replied emphatically. "And our daddies will let us because we're sisters like they're brothers!"
Ten years later . . .
Dick Grayson and Roy Harper, despite having left super-heroics to their daughters, were still the best of friends and still took the time to stay in touch. Most of that was spent reminiscing about their younger years and updating each other on how their respective daughters were doing. The latter was particularly easy, considering how much time Mar'i and Lian spent together.
Today was an entirely different matter. Dick was not in a particularly good mood, as Roy could see when the other man arrived at his doorstep.
"Dick, what's wrong?" Roy asked.
"Let me in," Dick replied. "We have to talk."
"Sure," Roy said and let Dick inside the house, the dark-haired Wayne heir shutting the door behind him. "What's wrong, man?"
"Nothing," Dick replied sarcastically. "Just that I saw something I really didn't need or want to see."
"So what made you want to bleach your eyes?" Roy asked half-jokingly.
"I got back home from running Wayne Enterprises last night," Dick replied. "I went upstairs to check up on Mar'i and I found the door ajar. I looked inside and saw Mar'i and Lian on her bed together . . . doing more than just kissing."
"You can stop now," Roy said. "I get the picture. The question becomes, 'What's the problem?'"
"The problem?" Dick echoed. "I'll tell you the problem: She was having sex with someone in my house!"
"You have sex in your house all the time," Roy answered coolly.
"She's not even 17 yet," Dick said.
"Last I heard, the age of consent in this state was 16," Roy said.
"You don't seem very shocked," Dick observed.
"I've known for a while," Roy admitted.
"You have! And you didn't tell me?" Dick asked.
"I didn't know they were having sex," Roy amended. "But I've known for a while that they have feelings for each other." He paused at Dick's surprised expression before going on. "They're perfect for each other if you think about it, like you and I were. They balance each other out, like you and I do. I don't see the problem."
"Lucky you," Dick grumbled.
"I get your problem," Roy said. "Mar'i didn't tell you she and Lian were that deeply involved with each other."
"When Mar'i was born, I swore that I'd never let our relationship turn out like the one I had with Bruce," Dick said. "I swore that no matter what, I'd do my best to make sure she knew she could come to me about anything."
"You're forgetting one thing," Roy said. "You're talking about a normal relationship between a boy and a girl. In this case, you have a relationship between a girl and a girl . . . and there are still a lot of people against that kind of thing. Maybe she was just scared you wouldn't understand."
"Maybe," Dick conceded. "Still looks pretty bad on me."
Roy clapped a hand on Dick's shoulder. "It's nothing, man. She's a teenager. Teenagers keep things from their parents all the time. I'm sure even you didn't tell Bruce everything about your social life."
"He'd have stopped me from hanging out with you if he knew some of the trouble we got into," Dick remarked with a chuckle.
"You see my point," Roy said.
The next day, Dick paid a visit to Titans Tower, where he was greeted by Garth and Dolphin's son Cerdian, garbed in his usual navy and black attire.
"Mr. Grayson," he greeted. "What brings you here?"
"Hey, Cerdian," Dick answered. "I'd like to see Mar'i and Lian."
"Sure," Cerdian said. "But they're in the combat simulation room, so you might have to wait a while."
"That's all right," Dick said. "I don't mind."
Cerdian ushered Dick into the living room of Titans Tower, where he saw Kid Flash, Wally West's daughter; Ibn al Xu'ffasch, Bruce Wayne's son; and Zatara II, the son of Zatanna.
"So . . ." Dick started. "How are things here?"
"Pretty good," Kid Flash replied. She held out a bag of chips. "Hungry?"
"Not really," Dick answered. "Thanks, anyway."
"Ok," Kid Flash said. "More for me."
"You want to know about Mar'i and Lian's relationship," Ibn deduced. "They work seamlessly together, their every motion on the battlefield perfectly synchronized. They hardly even have to speak to know what to do. They have led us to victory on many an occasion." He smirked in amusement before going on. "And they don't make out all over the Tower. At least, I haven't seen them do such a thing."
"I get it," Dick said. "I should really stop worrying, right?"
"In a word, yes," Ibn confirmed, the amused expression remaining on his face.
"I'll go see them now," Dick said, rising to his feet. "Nice seeing you."
"Nice seeing you, Mr. Grayson," Zatara II spoke.
Dick went down to the combat simulation room, watching from the monitor room above as Mar'i and Lian battled a small squadron of robotic drones.
Mar'i soared above the drones as they fired at her, seamlessly avoiding their laser blasts. She fired a purple starbolt at Lian, who sprang out of the way like a cat as the drone that had been behind her exploded into pieces. Lian nocked an arrow and fired it at a drone that had been about to take a shot at Mar'i, the arrowhead piercing its armor and detonating, taking the drone apart.
The two girls fired together, taking down two more drones. Now there was only one left.
Mar'i struck from above and Lian struck from the ground . . . and now there were no drones left.
Dick turned on the microphone and spoke. "Pretty good teamwork there, you two."
"Hey, Dad," Mar'i greeted.
"Hi, Uncle Dick," Lian greeted more impishly.
"Mind if I talk to you two alone for a moment?" Dick asked.
"No problem," Lian replied.
Later, Dick, Mar'i, and Lian were in the living room together, the other four Titans having cleared out for their own separate pursuits.
"Caught us, huh?" Mar'i remarked.
"Yeah," Dick replied. "First, what possessed you two to have sex in my house?"
"We didn't go there with the intention of having sex," Mar'i said. "It just happened. I mean, we were just making out and the next thing we knew, clothes were flying off."
"I can live with that," Dick conceded. "Second and more importantly, why didn't you feel like you could tell me?"
"I hardly understood it myself," Mar'i replied. "I mean, I was so used to seeing Lian as just a friend that when I started to feel more for her, it scared me a bit. It didn't help that Lian has such a talent with double entendres and suggestive positions."
Lian smirked wickedly. "You know you loved every second of it."
"Lian!" Mar'i cried, annoyed.
"She's such a stick in the mud sometimes," Lian observed with a smile. "Must have gotten it from you, because I'm pretty sure her mother's more open than she is."
"I hope you're not implying that you'd ditch me for my mom," Mar'i threatened.
"And risk your wrath?" Lian added. "Hell, no."
"You know, you two remind me of me and Roy when we were your age," Dick commented.
"You mean you two . . ." Mar'i started to say, but Dick quickly interrupted.
"Not quite like that, but we were pretty close." He paused before going on. "I'm not mad with either of you. You obviously love each other a lot, so I give you my blessing to go on. However . . ." He stared Lian down. "They'll never find you if you make Mar'i cry."
Lian fought down a shiver. Dick might have been a much friendlier guy than his mentor and adoptive father, but in times like this, he was as much a scary bastard as Bruce.
"You won't have to worry about that," she said, "because I'd rather die than see Mar'i miserable."
"Good," Dick said, breaking the tension with a smile.
A week later, Dick and Roy were hanging out together again.
"Got it out of your system?" Roy asked.
"Yeah," Dick replied. "They're good for each other. She may be as incorrigible as you –"
"And she may be as duty-obsessed as you –" Roy continued.
"But they're great for each other," Dick finished. "Did they tell you?"
"Yeah," Roy replied, "though I told them I'd known the whole time and figured I'd just wait till they were ready to admit it to me themselves."
Dick grinned at him. "Makes you think of good times, doesn't it?"
"We still have good times, man," Roy said.
The two men just looked outside, watching their daughters come home to them.
End Notes: This was my first comic-Titans fic, so I'm not exactly sure I got the "voices" for comic-Dick and comic-Roy correct. However, I'm confident enough in the quality of my work to post this here. Hopefully, you'll find it good enough to be worth reviewing.
Lian, Kid Flash, and Cerdian are mainstream DCU canon, as longtime and recent Titans/Flash readers may or may not know. Ibn al Xu'ffasch, Mar'i, and Zatara II are all Kingdom Come/The Kingdom canon, although Ibn will soon be brought into canon by Grant Morrison's upcoming Batman arc "Batman and Son."
I've kind of had this idea for a while now. I happened to check out a Livejournal community called scansdaily and I read the discussion of scans depicting the relationship between Nightstar (Mar'i) and Ibn al Xu'ffasch from Kingdom Come and The Kingdom. One poster suggested that the Nightstar/Ibn al Xu'ffasch pairing was basically a sublimation of some DC writers' desire to write Nightwing/Batman. The following poster suggested that in that case, someone should write Mar'i/Lian, implying the same thing concerning Nightwing/Arsenal. Hence this story was born.
Hope you like.