Well here it is everyone, the final chapter in this story. I hope you enjoy!

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Where Have You Been All My life?

AU Dick and Kory

Together since college, Kory Ander's heart was broken when she found out her fiancé was cheating on her the day of her wedding. Kory takes the two weeks that should have been her honeymoon to do some soul searching and rethink her life. Will an encounter with a gorgeous former playboy by the name Dick Grayson change both of their lives?

Chapter 21

Falling in love has significant effects on the human body, typically noted as affecting cognitive, behavioral, emotional and erotic components of the individual. The effects are on the cell level, and well researched in biology, although most people are only familiar with the anecdotal evidence of the effects of love. Or the really lucky ones have some personal experience with it.

When first in love, it is natural for someone to think about the person they love constantly and to focus on them. Less commonly recognized is the fact that falling in love leads to increased energy and even a feeling of euphoria. Biologically this makes sense, more time awake and an increase in energy leads to more interaction and an increased bond.

Alright, I'm in geek mode again, but even with this knowledge I was surprised that after making love with Richard for the first time, I felt so energized and also so young - not that being in your early 30's is old. I was in no way tired, content to snuggle as Richard dozed off for about 20 minutes before awakening. We shared endearments and professed the depths of our love after he awoke and soon we were making love again.

And that was how the night went. Sharing our love, emotions, bodies and souls. It was so wonderful, far, far beyond anything I have ever experienced.

"Are you finding this, with us, far better anything you've ever know?" I asked, hoping I knew the answer.

My confidence is definitely improving. Even days ago, I wouldn't have had the guts to open myself up for that level of disappointment.

Richard chuckled, "I wanted to ask you the same thing, but I didn't want to risk that you'd tell me it wasn't." He paused as he drew in a breath, "You were in love before, for me it's almost always been just sex, so I thought, maybe, in the beginning, uh, that maybe things were like this with you and Karras."

"No, things were never, ever anything like this with him," I told Richard firmly. "I guess it's pretty ironic. I counsel women all the time about sex and sexuality..."

"But sex and love are apparently quite different," he said with a smile, "and I'm glad we've discovered that together."

"It wasn't like this with Babs?" I worried briefly I had asked another question that I wouldn't like the answer to.

"God no, Kory. It was better and more meaningful than my other encounters, for lack of a better term, but it was barely a fraction of what I feel now."

"I'm so happy to hear that."

"I'm sorry you were worried about her."

"It worked out just fine, hasn't it? And I was glad I knew everything. If I hadn't, yesterday could have been difficult, if I hadn't heard about your history ahead of time." I smiled at him, "I am so glad you told me. You didn't have to."

"How could I not tell you everything? I knew I was falling in love with you, and I knew that you needed to know about my past," he dropped his eyes, looking embarrassed, "To be honest, I wasn't sure how I would do once 'back in the saddle' as it were."

His gaze returned to mine.

"As it were," I echoed. Then I tried to be playful, "You had nothing to worry about, you were wonderful."

"Thank you, but I think you had a lot to do with it."

"Oh, did I?"

"Yes, you are the most sexy, desirable, attractive and intelligent woman I've ever met. It feels wonderful to be close to you, you're so responsive and you feel so good." I know I blushed, and Dick added, "I just realized something, and this is great: you were just fishing for compliments! Success! I've gotten you to take compliments and now even looking for them!"

My blush deepened, but he was right, I was improving in that department. "Are you finding me desirable right now?" I asked, quite comfortable in my boldness.

"Oh, absolutely," he replied as his eyes darkened, and he pulled me closer, giving me yet another incredible kiss, and rolled on top of me again.

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The brunch was set for 11 AM and we had barely had any sleep, but it didn't matter. I felt wonderful and wondered if I had that telltale 'glow' I'd seen in others but never had myself. As for Dick, he didn't look or act tired. We packed, check out was at 11 AM also, and then we changed for the brunch. Even the fact that I hadn't firmed up where I was even going to sleep that night didn't matter. I had multiple options, and Dick was going to take me where ever I decided to go.

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The brunch was fun. Karen was actually well behaved. Although she wouldn't embarrass me on purpose, she was just a bit more upfront than I am. Being a girl, I had to tell someone, so I did let her know that it was an incredible night.

"I am so happy for you Kory. I know this is the real thing this time," she told me.

I actually didn't take the opportunity to regret that no one had bothered to tell me I was making a mistake with Karras, but rather took the opportunity to thank God I found Richard. And to agree wholeheartedly with Karen.

"Oh, it is the real thing, I assure you. Nothing could be better than this."

"You're right. There isn't anything better than true love."

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I had seen Richard speaking with some people I had met very briefly the night before, who he had told me were colleagues from Hopkins. After a bit, he returned to where Karen and I were chatting and took my hand. Karen surprised me by going off to mingle at that point without saying anything about the previous night to Richard. Thank heaven for people who can at least some of the time be discreet.

"Hey Kory, if you have a few minutes, can I introduce you to a friend of mine? His name is Bill Hogan, and he's a gynecologic oncologist and is actually looking for an associate."

I felt a twinge of excitement. Hopkins? Me? It would be a dream to work there.

"He wants to talk to me about a job? Really?"

"Why wouldn't he? You have a first rate education, you matched well, you're compassionate and brilliant. Anyone would be happy to have you join their practice." Matching refers to where you end up training, where you end up after graduating Med School as an intern and then as a resident. You make a list of your top choices of where you would like to train and then on 'Match Day', every institution lets each medical student know where they are spending the next few years.

I didn't have a chance to get nervous, which worked to my benefit. My confidence was high, I was energized, happy. It was a great time for an impromptu interview. Within minutes, I was introduced to someone who could put the last piece of the puzzle that was my life in place: a position in my specialty within commuting distance of my home. The fact that it was in one of the top GYN departments in the country was beyond anything I had hoped for.

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"How did your chat go with Dr. Hogan?" Dick asked with a bit of a knowing smile after my 'interview'.

"I think it went well, I liked him a lot. I think it would be a great fit, but they are only looking for a part-time associate right now," I replied, and certainly this fact was a huge disappointment, and my tone reflected that. "I really need to work full time."

"Why?"

"Richard, I have my loans and my house. I can't work part-time, I've got those obligations. Plus what will I do with all that free time?"

The thought of free time was tempting but out of the question for most physicians, so I had never even really thought about it. I had been panicking for months because I hadn't found a job in GYN ONC that I could commute to from my house and even though this was perfect, it was only part-time. Could I afford to only work that much?

His smile almost bothered me. This was upsetting, it was so close to being the perfect job. Why wasn't he commiserating with me about it?

"I think you'll find it will work out well for you and that you'll need the flexibility," he said.

Okay now I was confused. What did he know that I didn't?

"What do you mean?"

"Well, considering I expect you to be barefoot and pregnant for most of the next ten years or so..."

"What?! Did you say barefoot and pregnant?"

"Yes." Richard had an unembarrassed, light tone to his voice and if possible a happier smile. "Well, that's my plan anyway. But I guess you have a say. It just seems like a lot to have a bunch of children and work full time..."

"A bunch of children?"

"Well, yes."

"What are you saying?" I narrowed my eyes a bit. This had better not be a joke, although he certainly wouldn't be making jokes about something like this, would he?

"Kory, what do you think I'm saying? You couldn't possibly think that I'm planning on just dropping you off later on today and then going on with my life," He took both my hands in his and gave me a gentle kiss on the lips. We were having this conversation while many of the brunch guests were still present, although we were off on our own.

"Everything's changed. I don't want to be apart. I've loved every moment we've spent together. I mean, I know there are a million details, like where to live – it seems that your place is out and you're welcome to move into the manor but its up to you..."

"You are babbling," I said, cutting him off. Wow, unless I was mistaken, what I was hearing was incredible. I didn't dare hope for anything like this for us, not yet, but it made perfect sense.

"Yes. Yes I am," he responded, his eyes twinkling with excitement.

"What are you asking me?"

He tried to portray mock exasperation, at least I think it was mock, "Are you going to force me to say it? Can't I ask you properly after I've thought about it and made some plans? Maybe gotten a ring for you or something?"

Richard had just said so much, things I wanted to hear but dare not consider he would say. Certainly not yet. It was truly beyond my wildest dreams.

Yep, I found I was speechless again.

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So this completes my tale for now. When I left for some soul searching, I somehow found my soul mate. I arrived in St. Leonard after deciding not to marry a man that was treating me terribly. I returned from the trip with the man that I know will always treat me well. I traded two weeks in the Riveria for the same time in Maryland, foregoing that doomed marriage only to find myself talking about what was going to be a perfect one.

When we first met, all I wanted to ask Richard was 'where have you been all my life?'. But it really is a moot question, because it doesn't really matter. We had met at what turned out to be the exactly right time. The better question would be, 'where will you be for the rest of my life?', but that's a question that I already know the answer to. For the rest of my life, he'll be by my side.

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FIN

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Thank you for reading this story, and sadly, all good things must come to an end. The plan for the story was for it to end when what would have been Kory's honeymoon ended, and I'm sticking with that. I am now leaning toward doing a sequel, although unless I come up with a really good plot, it will be a minific about Richard and Kory's wedding.

Again, thank you for reading and please, please review, even if you come to this story some time after its completion.

I have so many, many people to thank for the wonderful support and fantastic reviewers, probably too many to name here and I'm going to skip over a lot of people, but I'd at least like to acknowledge: Somewhere in Time, ddproxcm, RagingSapphireStorm, Mythica Magic, BerryDrops, titanfan45, sb1, sparklebluelemon, xrobxstar, child who is cool, the Great Leap of the Fall, Glory of Dawn, MiaPatli'sBlackMoonroses, teentitans1313, GoddessGidrah29, Munchichi, Republic of Gamers, AreYouDeaf?, ERgal, quetzi, methegirl, Sandra1001, robstar, princess lunella, quiet corners and so many others!!

All and all, this has been a fantastic experience and I finally am starting to hit my groove with my writing. Thank you all and look for more fanfics from me, and maybe something over at Fictionpress or even published, I'll keep my profile updated with any plans. Of course, I'd like more than anything to return to the work I love, but in the meantime, I'll satisfied my urge for creativity and productivity here.

LJ

January 17, 2010