Disclaimer: DC owns them. I'm just borrowing.

Timeline: Shortly after the end of the No Man's Land

Thanks to Dana for the beta!

The Lay of the Land

"I thought you'd want to be with Bruce for this." Barbara opened her workroom window, a pleasantly surprised expression on her face.

Nightwing shook his head grinning back. "Who do you think sent me over here?" He sighed. "You know. Seeing it go up again after all this time might be too overwhelming for the big guy." His voice dropped to an awed whisper. "In fact," he breathed, "it might actually make him… smile."

"He smiles," Barbara protested.

"In costume?"


"When he knows you're watching and he isn't trying to convince Lucius he's on the beach at Nice while you're running background tapes of bimbettes fawning over him?"


"That's what I thought." He moved in closer to her.

She pulled back slightly. "Aren't you and Helena…?"

Dick looked away. "No," he said. "It's not… we're not right for each other. I'll tell her that myself once she's out of hospital."

"Oh." She wasn't sure whether she was glad he was coming to his senses, or terrified that she was about to become the 'rebound girl'. She didn't feel ready for a relationship, any relationship at this point, and yet, thinking about Dick with someone else gave her a sad tight feeling in her chest. She forced a smile. "I thought you two had something."

Dick sighed. "Yeah, well…" He let his voice trail off. He started to say something to her, then stopped. "Um…"

"Uh…" She couldn't think what to say next.

Dick suddenly smiled and she felt her heart catch. "Look!"

Her eyes followed to where his hand pointed. Outside the window, a yellow ring of light had suddenly appeared in the black sky over the Gotham City skyline. At its center, blazed an insignia that had not adorned the heavens in well over a year. The Batsignal was back.

"Now that," Dick said, wrapping an arm around her, "is a sight for sore eyes."

Barbara nodded. "It's been too long." His arm felt so right around her shoulders. So…

Her computer speakers crackled to life. "Oracle, do you copy?"

She wheeled back to her console. "Right here, Boss-man. What can I do you for?" As she spoke, her fingers were already bringing up city maps, news updates, and traffic reports.

"Triad activity in Robinson Park. I'm calling in Nightwing. Continue to monitor this frequency." He added further instructions, and she hastened to comply. So much for a quiet night at the Clocktower.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Nightwing sail off into the darkness, the black of his suit blending with the surrounding darkness. "Catch you later," she called to the empty room.

The signal was back. The city was back. Hell, even the mobsters were back. Which meant that she'd probably be seeing more of Nightwing in Gotham these days." She allowed herself a fleeting smile. Every cloud had its silver lining.