Notes: Guys. Guys. They have a history.
Anyway, I like the idea that Zatanna and Dick were the kind of couple that supported each other, that were necessary for growth and love, were the kind of couple that it didn't hurt as much when they split.
Turn You Up
When he says he needs to ask her a favor, her lips quirk upward and an eyebrow follows, and he smiles some, too, because Zatanna gets him to do that, girlfriend or not. His is small and subdued and that's how she knows this is serious, but her features don't relent, and it's not until Nightwing leads her out of the room that she asks what's up. He doesn't turn to face her and his response isn't immediate and that's how she knows the real question is, 'What's got you down?'
His shoulders are broader than she remembers, his back even bigger; his hair is a mess, tossed aside from stress and unkempt from lack of sleep, and Zatanna frowns, remembers a time when she cut his hair and could see over his head, remembers giggles on video calls deep into the dawn, remembers when the safest lock for a secret was the man standing in front of her - and he still is, she has a feeling he always will be, but intimacy is something they try not to engage in any longer.
There're no hard feelings, no animosity. There wasn't even much of a break-up: she didn't feel a line pulling him away from her, didn't feel a wavering interest or a heart full of doubt. It just sort of happened: she remembers when he told her, said he was going solo, that he was thinking Nightwing; how it had been hot on the heels of Aquagirl's death, how he said that Aqualad was gone, that it was his turn—that after four years, Robin was supposed to be the leader of the team. And she was dating Robin, right, and she only met Dick halfway through, and they want her to join the Justice League, and everything is going fast, right, so them, the two of us—
"I love you," she said, which brought down his panic, and he said he did, too, and the day after that they didn't see each other, and the day after she was inducted into the Justice League, and that's how they stand. He still smiles when he sees her, tells her she looks amazing, and she tells him he needs to fix his hair, and they laugh. She thinks she knows him better than anyone else, honestly, because maybe Wally's his best friend and Bruce is his guardian, but she knows Dick inside and out and he trusts her to the ends of the Earth, because she could've known who he was in two backward words—but she didn't.
(He told her himself, and seeing his eyes for the first time isn't something she plans on forgetting).
She finds out it's that trust that brings him to her now.
"I don't feel like this is fair," he starts, and that's when he faces her, his profile new and familiar all at the same time, "but I'm going to need your help with something, and I can't tell you what it is."
She laughs, because that's just like him, even though the tension in the atmosphere isn't. "Did Batman put you up to this?"
"No," he answers stiffly. A pause, and then: "...It's something like a side project of mine."
"He doesn't know?" she asks, reaching a hand out, and he's tall now, six-foot-gigantic, but her hand still reaches his shoulder and she tilts her head to the side, and he smiles, a small, ghost of a thing, and shrugs. Zatanna shakes her head and sighs, because Dick doesn't know if Batman knows, and that's just like him, just like Batman, a relationship between two of her important men that she's come to find equal amounts ridiculous and adorable. "Well," she says, "go on."
It's then that he finally turns to her, and then that he pulls out the necklace, and it's glowing and bright and Zatanna stares at it at first, takes in its beauty and is lost by the color and the hand that's holding it out. He holds it out to her and she holds the amulet, feels how it's heavy and finds how it's gorgeous, and she looks to him with parted lips, and he looks away and mutters something quietly that she doesn't hear.
"Dick? What's this?"
"This is the part where it's not fair," he answers, and he drops the chain so it's all in her hand, doesn't pin it around her like he's done before, and she's nonplussed, but she can tell when he goes from Dick to Nightwing and she can see his anguish, mask or not. "I need... you to put a glamour on it. So whoever wears it won't be recognized."
She nods. "Sure."
"Look, I know th—" He freezes, taken aback. "Wait, 'sure'?"
"Yeah," she repeats. "That's what I said. Sure. Okay. Yes. I'll do it. Nessun problema."
His face lights up, looks almost childish in its glow, and he's excited, and he's shocked, and it's like they're three years in the past and two costumes ago. It almost stings to hear his voice with the ecstasy and the relief when he chirps, "Really?", but, hey, almost.
"Just give me a few minutes," she says, simply, and she looks at the amulet in her hand again, closes her fist around it, shuts her eyes. She needs some time for herself to do this, time to concentrate on specifics of the spell; although glamours are easy and she does them often, it's usually not an object, and she has an idea as to what he wants, but she needs to do the spell correctly, needs privacy. She nods to herself, heads to a door down the hall, says she'll come get him when it's ready."I trust you, Dick," she says, when he's still confused by how quickly she agreed. She hesitates before adding: "Whatever you're doing for Artemis, it's for the best."
She waits for the pin to drop.
"Please," she says, rolling her eyes. "My boyfriend was a detective. You don't think I've picked up a few tricks?"
A beat, where her words hang in the air, and then he breaks out into a grin, says, "You're amazing, you know that?"
A smile. Yeah, she knows that.
Then he's shaking his head and walking back into the room they came from, where the others are waiting for him, and when he's halfway through the door, she calls, "Hey, Nightwing!"
He looks back, frowning. "Yeah?"
"Chin up," she tells him, and then, like ten thousand times before: "It'll make you look taller."