Here's Chapter Two!

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Surprise, surprise. ;)


It takes all of Dick's will to drag himself to Gotham Academy the next morning, dreading having to act like he doesn't know Artemis when he knows far too much about Artemis...and her opinion regarding him.

Dick squirms in his gym uniform and wishes it wasn't so tight. Sure, the shorts were loose, but the shirts left little to the imagination for the female portion of the class, being freaking muscle shirts and all. Normally this doesn't bother Dick, but it certainly isn't comfortable having your teammate, a girl you practically live with, unashamedly staring at you while you attempt to get all of her opinions out of your head.

"Okay. I love those new uniforms," a girl near Dick whispers to her best friend, giggling loudly. "Richard's ripped."

Dick flushes red and fumbles the soccer ball, kicking it clumsily to a boy on his team.

"I know. I thought he'd be this scrawny little kid. Who knew?" her best friends giggles back. "Did you see that picture in Gotham Times?"

"Saw it? I pinned it to my wall!"

Okay, gag me. Dick abruptly wishes that the Joker would swoop him and hit him with some knock out gas. Or possibly some lethal gas. Anything that would prevent his specially trained ears from picking up on anymore of this incredibly awkward conversation.

"Yo, Rick!" a boy from Dick's team yells. "Dude, we're playing shirts and skins. We're skins."

The girls nearby suddenly give a squeak that makes the rest of the class turn to them in confusion. Dick wonders if Bruce is somewhere in the back of this boy's head, just playing with him to make him miserable.

Dick thanks gosh that Bruce makes him wear non-sweatable, waterproof concealer everywhere on his body, so his various scars don't show. He pulls off his shirt and tosses it with the others, trying desperately to ignore the girls as they whisper loudly to each other, giggling.

One of the boys on Dick's team blinks. He's a football player, Dick remembers, a quarterback. "Jeez, man. For someone so scrawny, you got yourself some abs."

Oh my gosh. Dick feels his face heat up bright, bright red and he kicks the soccer ball away from a nearby boy. "Let's just play."

Still, he feels like he's under a microscope. Artemis's appreciative gaze makes him feel like he's being sniped.

When the bell finally rings, Dick whips his shirt on and stalks to the locker room, rushing to get back into his looser, less...noticeable jacket and shirt. He walks out of the locker room with a remkarably cooler face, still working on his stupid tie, when two dark brown eyes of a flirty girl in his science class-Miranda?-appears in his vision, her hands cold and on his as he works his tie.

"Hey, Richard."

"Hi." Dick takes one huge step back, making Miranda lean forwards to maintain contact. Immediately Dick flushes again and the hair on the back of his neck sticks up; he doesn't like contact.

"Want some help?" she purrs, obviously trying to be seductive. Unfortunately this move reminds him of Catwoman, and that is repulsive.

" I got it." And even if I didn't, I wouldn't let you help me.

"Oh? Really?" Miranda's hands sink lower onto his chest, and Dick abruptly finds his back to the wall. His utilty belt, in stealth mode as a regular belt, would be unrecognizable, but he wants Miranda's hands off of him. They are cold and little and much too smooth, so unlike Babs's that he really wants her to step back off of him. "You sure? I'm pretty good at tying knots."

"Maybe you should look into the Boy Scouts," Dick tries to laugh off, squirming free and backing up, away from her.

Miranda trills a very girly laugh and taps her finger against his chest. "You are just a laugh a minute."

Before that freaking photoshoot, Miranda-all those girls-ignored me. Dick gently pulls her hand away from him and he starts down the hall backwards, praying for the Riddler...Ragdoll...Penguin...hell, he'd settle for a simple vandalism.

At this point Dick's face is on fire, but Miranda looks predatory, stalking after him. Dick finally bumps into something-someone-and he jerks his face around to look straight into much too familiar green eyes.

Miranda's smile becomes a smirk. "Heeey, Artemis."

Artemis crosses her arms and rests all her weight on her right foot. "Miranda. I think you should leave Richard alone. He obviously isn't interested."

Huh. Penguin, Ragdoll, or Artemis. That works. I don't even have to fight her.

Miranda sneers. "Oh? And he's interested in you?"

Artemis smirks. "Hell no. He's already got a girlfriend, Mandy. He's had one for a while."

"How would you know?"

Dick speaks up here, not wanting to bury Artemis too deep. "She's one of my girlfriend's friends. We've known each other for a while."

Miranda's face falls and she stalks off. Dick takes a deep breath, and his face is significantly cooler. He turns and says, "Thanks, Arty."

Artemis smiles. "No problem...Richard." She smirks, and winks, and is gone.

He'd have to thank her very nicely for her cooperation. And possible look into those new arrows she was talking about...

When Dick comes home, he's greeted with his siblings' hellos, a lick from their dog Ace, and an amused pat on the back from Bruce.

"What's up, Bruce?" he asks, suspicious.

Bruce nods towards the kitchen and scoops Cass up in his arms, making her giggle madly.


Bruce just smiles and Dick stalks into the kitchen, where Alfred is arranging a pile of cardboard boxes.

"What...are...those?" Dick asks slowly, deciding if he really wants to know.

"Why, Master Dick, these are some gifts of appreciation from your admirers," Alfred says in his normal, calm manner.

Dick blushes bright red again, sending the Batfamily behind him into hysterics and making Alfred's lips twitch up. "What the he-"

"A bar of soap has your name on it, Master Dick, should you say what I believe you're about to say."

Dick says it anyways, completely nonplussed, and gets a mouthful of Dove soap. During patrol, he's still spitting the taste out of his mouth, and Bruce is unsympathetic and somewhat amused.

"Honestly, who taught you that sort of language?"

Dick spits and glares at Bruce. "Yeah, I wonder."

For those you who didn't get it: Bruce taught Dick 'that sort of language'.

Tell me what ya'll think!