Notes: Part 2 of Spies. Takes place no more than a day after part 1. Hope this answers some of the questions about what was going on in part 1.
"Congratulations, Jason," Richard Grayson smiled, angling his water glance at the other black-haired man. When the other sat down across from him, Richard knew something was up. They weren't friends, after all, despite their similar status as soon-to-be instated fulltime agents. "Did you want something?"
"I passed the impossible test?" the other blue-eyed man demanded, staring at him in shock.
Richard frowned, confused. "What, didn't you realize that's what it was?" When Jason shook his head in denial, Richard laughed. "Are you that unobservant, or have you simply never attempted it before?"
"Never done it before," Jason grunted, frowning. "Shit," he said, after a pause.
That didn't sound like an awed tone anymore, Richard realized. In fact, it sounded more like frustration. "What's wrong with it? You're gonna be the one everyone wants to beat now, you know, myself included. I thought you wanted to be the best," he taunted, throwing the words Jason had spoken at their first meeting back into the other man's face.
"Yeah, well, duh, but… Shit. Not at Rachel's expense," Jason shot back, rather mildly. Richard blinked, trying to process that bombshell as Jason continued, "I like working with her, Grayson, but she didn't get promoted because I beat her at the impossible test. Shit."
"She must be lit," Richard drawled, stalling for time as he tried to figure out what this revelation would mean for the dynamics among the rest of the agents. Nothing good, that was for sure. Rachel might have been prickly, but she was good, and more people got along with her than with Jason, who was as mocking of others as he was charming. "You know that this probably does wonders for your already sterling reputation, correct?"
"Would you speak plainly for once?" Jason demanded.
"Oh, that's rich coming from you," Richard shot back, content to let the conversation continue into the familiar pattern of an argument.
Rather than continue down the familiar path of antagonism, however, Jason actually took a deep breath and repeated, through gritted teeth, "would you please just tell me what you mean?"
Richard frowned thoughtfully, but decided to actually tell his sometimes-rival rather than continue to bait the other blue-eyed man. "Well, more people like Rachel than you, but she's still considered to be one of the better trainees, so you beating her means that you'll get more respect—at the same time that more people scowl at you for upsetting her. Have fun with that."