Disclaimer: Nope, don't own.
A/N- Dedicated to DYlogger- who brought up how it would probably be awkward for Nightwing if Batman and the Flash ever got together. It inspired me to try to write that. :)
Warnings: Does deal with some homophobia
Dick is so engrossed in searching the net for a present for a guy who literally has almost everything that he completely misses it when said guy sits down across from him.
Years of training is the only thing that keeps him from jumping and swearing as he quickly closes the lid of the laptop. Bruce sends him an amused smirk, and yeah- maybe looking for birthday presents in Bruce's own kitchen hadn't been a great idea but he's on vacation and allowed to make mistakes.
"Yeah?" He slides the laptop away and tries to look innocent. Bruce's smirk just grows.
"Do you have a minute?"
Dick casts the laptop one last glance and then turns back to the older man. It's not like he was getting anywhere anyways, everything he could think of was either too ridiculous or Bruce already had. He nods.
"Alfred is going to have an early birthday dinner tomorrow night for me," Bruce begins and Dick watches with suspicion as his face closes off and becomes a neutral mask. He's been around long enough to know that this means that Bruce is holding something back, something important. "And I was going to invite someone to come."
"Like a date?" He asks carefully because for all he knows it could just be Bruce inviting commissioner Gordon or something.
Bruce hesitates and for a moment the neutral mask slips and Dick already has his answer.
"That's great!" He beams at the older man. Bruce has been alone for way too long and if he's met someone and wants to introduce them to the family then it must be getting serious. "Who is it?"
"That's what I need to talk to you about," Bruce continues, all serious but Alfred makes an appearance in the doorway before he can continue.
"I am terribly sorry to interrupt," He begins in a way that states that he's not completely sorry but would never say that, "But the Bat signal has been activated."
Bruce sighs and scrubs a hand through his hair and stands up.
"We'll talk later." He tells Dick and then strides out of the room.
Dick considers tagging along, kicking some bad guy ass- but Alfred gives him a pointed look, like he's twelve all over again.
With an eye roll he opens the laptop again and goes back to searching, mentally cursing that he ever had the idea to spend his vacation time in Gotham.
Bruce never does get a chance to mention who he'll be bringing to dinner and Alfred refuses to tell him so Dick eventually places it at the back of his mind. Tim shows up the next day at lunch with an over abundance of stories to tell about the current Teen Titans and by mid afternoon he's almost forgotten about Bruce's mystery date. Almost.
Bruce emerges from the cave twice, both times to stare distractedly at the front door, grab some food or a file and head back down. If he didn't know any better he'd say that the older man was excited.
At six o'clock the door bell rings and Dick manages to beat Alfred to the door by some small miracle. He's expecting to see the mystery woman on the other side of the door but instead he finds a familiar red head.
"Wally?" Dick asks, confused.
Wally grins sheepishly at him, scratching the back of his neck. Dick glances his friend over and has to admit that this is the best he's ever seen him dressed; a green polo shirt and black jeans that Dick didn't even know he owned.
But what really confuses him is, what Wally is doing at Wayne Manor? If Bruce invited the founding members of the Justice League he's going to have to tell Alfred to set some more places.
"Hey." Wally offers, peering over Dick's shoulder, like he's looking for something. Or someone? Wally's face lights up in a wide smile a second before Dick hears the soft sound of the Bat cave door closing.
"Wally." Dick turns around and catches Bruce's grin as he strides across the main hall towards them. He hasn't seen that smile in a long, long time.
Wally slips in past him as Dick continues to stand, dumfounded in the doorway. He's been trained by the worlds greatest detective so everything falls into place right before the pair meet, hesitate for a moment and then hug. And he knows that if he hadn't been there they probably would have been doing more then hugging.
"Dick," Bruce begins, wrapping an arm around Wally's waist and turning to face him. He looks nervous, but excited while Wally looks like he's about to pass out from all of the nerves. "I asked Wally here tonight as my date."
Bruce is studying him, watching for any clue but Dick keeps his face masked. Wally's hesitant smile begins to slip.
Dick is still trying to process the sight before his eyes; Bruce and Wally- his mentor and his best friend. His stomach churns slightly at the thought. He hadn't even known that Bruce was gay. Or Wally for that matter.
"Dick?" Wally squeaks as he stonily walks by the pair and into the kitchen. He can't be around them at the moment, needs to clear his head or he's going to say something one of them will regret. Maybe Alfred will let him hide out there until the night is over.
Dinner is a fairly awkward affair.
Bruce and Wally sit at one end of the table, while Dick sits at the other end and Babs, Tim and Alfred sit in between.
Tim seems to try to ignore the tension and rattles on about the Teen Titans and how Cyborg and Changeling are doing and a Titan named Superboy. Wally plays along, telling Tim about all the trouble they used to get into.
All this serves to do though is just remind Dick about the fact that he and Wally were founders of the original Teen Titans together and how Bruce had already been Batman for awhile.
He steadily ignores the fact that he can tell that Wally and Bruce are holding hands under the table.
Babs shoots him angry glares every five minutes while trying to be pleasant and Alfred just keeps looking at him with something along the lines of disappointment.
Dick doesn't look at Bruce and Bruce doesn't look at him.
Needless to say he's thrilled when dinner is finally over because he can finally escape the mental image he's produced of a twelve year old red haired boy that used to hang around the manor from time to time visiting Dick. And Bruce.
He makes sure to make himself scarce for the rest of the night and while Bruce could probably easily find him, no one does and for that Dick is eternally grateful.
He thinks hard about it and decides that he should probably call his vacation short. It's not like bad guys take vacations from crime after all and he really should get back to his own city.
His apartment is as dark and empty as it was when he left it. Except now it seems darker.
Dick goes to take a shower and spots a wall of photos on his way. All happy memories from the past; he hunts down the photos of Wally and the photos of Bruce and pulls the ones with the two of them in the same photo off the wall because he doesn't feel quite comfortable with them there. The memories feel more like a lie now.
Instead of just heading back to work he decides to take the remaining vacation time and relax, try to get his thoughts in order.
The first day of his remaining vacation he spends working out and beating the tar out of a punching bag. He goes to bed sore and still feeling like he's walking around with lead weights.
The second day he tries reorganizing his apartment but after finding his old Robin costume he abandons the attempt and settles in on the couch to watch television.
The banging on the door wakes him from his light doze and he's on his feet before he realizes that there is no intruder, no emergency- but there is someone at his door.
He crosses his fingers that it's not who he thinks it is- but he's never known either of them to try and bang down his door. It's late enough at night that Bruce probably would have just used his window.
Dick pulls open the door with trepidation and relaxes immediately when he sees who it is.
"Come on in." He steps back and lets the other man in.
Roy takes one look around his unusually cluttered apartment and the photo's littered across the floor before rounding on him.
"Okay, explain." The red head demands.
Dick blinks and a neutral mask settles over his face as he closes the door and wanders over to his small kitchen.
"What are you talking about?" He asks, grabbing a pop, opening it and handing it to Roy.
The other man stares at him, disbelieving but takes the drink and doesn't drink it.
"I drive all the way out to Wayne Manor and one of the creepiest cities in the U.S and you're not even there?"
"I decided to head home early. Try some reorganizing." He gestures to all the boxes scattered around.
Roy follows his gaze and snorts.
"Right." The other man turns his gaze back to Dick, eyes searching for something. "So the fact that Batman and the Flash are screwing around has nothing to do with it."
He winces and realizes his mistake when Roy zeroes in on it.
"Alright, short pants," Roy steps forwards, looming almost, but Dick refuses to back down, standing tall so they're almost toe to toe. "Is it because they're guys or because it's Bruce and Wally? 'Cause I gotta say I'm shocked- out of everyone I always figured you were the most open minded and this?" He gestures around them vaguely. "This is just stupid."
"I just…" Dick tries to form a sentence but ultimately fails because he's not sure just how to get across why he has so many problems with it all.
Roy rolls his eyes and before Dick can blink, he's leaned in, gripping both sides of Dick's face and kisses him. It's not hard and rough like he's always associated with Roy but softer like Roy is trying to get a point across. Warm, dry lips move against his own and it's not like kissing a woman but it's not horrible.
Dick knows about twenty different ways to get out of the kiss and incapacitate the other man but he doesn't do anything; he just holds still and waits for Roy to finish whatever he is doing.
Roy pulls back with a calculating look on his face and watches as Dick almost unconsciously licks his lips.
"So- how horrible was it?" Roy asks finally, looking very much like he wants to smirk and Dick wants to hit him, not for the kiss but for being so damn smug about it.
Dick rolls his eyes and backs up a bit to put some space between them. The room feels too warm.
"He's our age!" Dick means for it to come out calm but something tells him it didn't work. "We were the original Teen Titans. And Bruce- he's twice our age…I mean, Wally was barely a teenager when he met Bruce and…" Dick trails off because that's what it really comes down to.
"What are you getting at 'wing?" Roy asks, studying him. "'Cause I can't read your mind." Sometimes Dick is convinced he can though.
"Wally was twelve when I introduced them." He introduced them, he was the one that set into action the chain of events, and it's his fault.
"Hey," Roy pokes his shoulder hard, and he looks angry. "They got together last month, not when Wally was twelve, not when he was fifteen, last month."
Dick blinks because he hadn't actually listened when they'd been told the pair's back-story.
"And Wally was the one that did the asking," Roy continues at Dick's silence. "He was the one that asked Bruce out."
Dick suddenly needs to lean back against the counter, his head feeling light.
"They're two consenting adults." The other man is on a roll now and doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon, catching Dick up in his whirlwind and refusing to let go. "It's no one's business but their own, they're not hurting anyone. And they're going to get enough shit from everyone else without you adding to it all."
He just can't forget the fact that Wally is his age; one of his closest friends and that Bruce is his mentor, practically his father.
"Can we talk about something else?" Dick asks wearily.
Roy gives him a look that clearly says the conversation isn't over but leads the way over to the living room anyways where they sit and watch mindless action movies well into the morning when they fall asleep on the couch together.
Dick had agreed to join the Justice League when asked months ago, but only as a standby in case they needed someone. He's been expecting a call sooner or later so it's not too surprising when, to top off the week he's been having, he's called up to the Watch Tower to mind the controls.
Either some deity is out to get him or he has terrible luck when it turns out he's minding the teleporter's with Wally.
The red haired man casts him a quick glance but that's about it before turning back to his half of the controls.
Dick watches him for a moment, realizes he doesn't know what to say and walks the few feet to the control he's supposed to be monitoring. He'd rather be down helping with the flash floods or off world with all the other leaguers but the heavy hitters are off doing that and he knows he would probably only be a hindrance.
They work side by side so close to an hour in silence with no disturbances and Dick is ashamed to admit that it takes him that long to notice that something is wrong.
Wally stares fixedly at a point on the wall, as though he's not really there and there's something sad about him. The feeling is flowing off the other hero in waves even if his face is blank. His shoulders are slumped though, back hunched like he's trying to hide from the rest of the world.
Dick didn't think that anything could affect Wally like this. He's only seen him like this once or twice and each case had been extreme. He'd always snapped out of it fast enough. This though- this has him worried.
"Flash?" He asks, disrupting their quiet.
The other hero jerks slightly at his name and doesn't look over.
"Yeah?" His voice sounds flat and listless. It scares him.
Dick tries to think of how to ask what's wrong; it's only been a week but it feels like there's a huge gap between them right now.
"Superman to Watch Tower, three to beam up." Superman's voice crackles through the speaker and Dick takes the distraction.
Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman appear in front of them, looking no worse for wear so he knows he didn't screw up.
"We could have used your help down there." Wonder Woman says softly to Wally as she approaches the control. The other hero just grunts and returns to staring fixedly ahead.
Dick's expecting Bruce to head for Wally too- to at least find out what is wrong but Batman walks right by Wally without a glance, nodding at Dick and continuing out of the room.
Wonder Woman tries talking to Wally again but it's clear she's getting nowhere so she leaves too, Superman next to her.
The room is silent again and Wally seems if anything, sadder then before. Dick watches him, pieces everything together and tries not to feel too guilty.
"They broke up?"
This time it's Dick barging into Roy's apartment late in the evening.
The red head for his part just takes it all in stride and holds the door open enough for Dick to slip in.
He tries not to notice how Roy looks like he'd been about to fall asleep- hair mussed and wearing boxers and a t-shirt.
"Shh." Roy leads him to his bedroom, pushing him and shutting the door. "Lian's asleep."
Dick sinks down on the end of the bed and holds his face in his hands.
"Tell me it's not my fault." He mumbles between his fingers.
Roy snorts and Dick can hear him move across the room before the bed dips next to him.
"If it'll make you feel better." Roy says quietly.
He hadn't wanted this…well, part of him hadn't.
"Remember when things weren't complicated?" He asks, pulling his hands away and leaning backwards until he's lying on the bed.
"Don't know who's been lying to you but they were always complicated." Roy tilts back and lies next to him, arms folded over his chest as they study the ceiling.
"Why did they break up?" Dick finally asks because he needs to know.
Roy is silent for a moment and it feels like forever as he waits for the answer.
"Wally said he didn't want to be selfish, that he didn't want to lose your friendship or come between you and Bruce," Roy casts him a glance. "I told him you'd get over it but he's as stubborn as you."
Dick closes his eyes, feeling all the tension throughout his body and wishing there were some bad guy he could fight to make it all magically better.
"I'm the bad guy in this, aren't I?"
He could trust Roy to be honest, no matter what.
"This time, yeah." Roy says softly but slides his leg closer so their thighs are pressed together. "But we're all allowed to be the bad guy every once in awhile."
It felt horrible though; he'd managed to make his best friend and the closest thing to a father he'd had in years miserable. All because he was being selfish.
"Wanna stay for breakfast?" Roy asks.
With a quick glance at the clock Dick checks to make sure it's still eleven at night and that they hadn't been lying there for hours.
He looks over at Roy, catches his dark eyes in the dim lighting.
"Sure." He shrugs. And he could make it to the couch but he's tired and comfortable and Roy is a furnace next to him keeping him warm.
He squares his shoulders and marches down the hallway of the Watch Tower, determination in every stride.
It doesn't take long to find who he's looking for; he just follows the path of gloom to the monitor room. It's gone too far if Wally is volunteering for monitor duty now.
Wally doesn't glance up when he walks in but he does when Dick spins his chair around.
"What?" Wally begins but Dick holds up a hand to silence him.
He's screwed up; he's the one that needs to do this.
"Can we talk?"
Bruce glances up in surprise when he comes marching down the stairs of the Batcave.
"Dick?" He stands and makes his way towards him, wary, like Dick is about to start yelling or something. Like he's there to make things worse.
And god, how did he not notice how much more depressing Bruce seems to be or that he's apparently been living out of the batcave. He guesses it's because he hasn't been around.
"I'm here to apologize." He says and Bruce makes to cut him off, probably to tell him to forget it, but he keeps going. "I need to say this, so just…let me."
Bruce closes his mouth, lips forming a thin line and arms crossed.
"I…you've been there for me for years and you came to me one time and I let you down. You deserved better than that." He forces himself to hold the other mans gaze, he's stared down the Joker- he can stare down Batman.
"I overreacted over nothing, over the fact that Wally is the same age as me and is my best friend, and that you're…well, you." Bruce raises an eyebrow and Dick hastens to continue. "My friend, my mentor and my family. It was a huge shock and I'm not saying that excuses anything I did or said, I'm just trying to say that…I saw how you smiled at him and I haven't seen that smile in a long time."
"He makes you happy and even if I don't get it, it doesn't actually matter if I understand it or not." Dick finishes, trying desperately to hold still and not run over and shake Bruce until he knows that everything is okay again.
Bruce doesn't say anything for a long minute, eyes trained on Dick like he's reading everything that he's thinking at the moment.
"We broke up." He says and there's something final about how he says it. It sounds a lot like how a heartbroken Batman might sound.
Dick tries to think of something clever to say but comes up with nothing, so he just goes with the simple.
"I never got a chance to give you your birthday present."
"You didn't need to-"
"I did need to." Dick cuts him off. There's a rush of air and suddenly they're not the only two in the batcave. "I think I might have gotten you the perfect present."
Bruce stares at Wally, stares at the purple bow that Dick had insisted be tied around his chest.
"Wally?" He asks disbelievingly and Dick takes this as his time to leave them.
"Happy birthday Bruce," He calls over his shoulder. There's whispered, hurried speaking behind him but he doesn't listen in. He may be working to accept this but he doesn't want to see them make out; the words stop and he knows that that's probably what they're doing.
But he can hear laughter, happy, unbridled laughter as he slips out of the cave and thinks that if that is the outcome then he can work on getting used to it all.