"How did you get in here?" he tried to keep a steady tone, one with a serious character… he even annunciated his words with a quiet vigor to give a stern feel to the question. The smile on his lips failed him, he couldn't be happier to see her, a touch of nostalgia, a hint of lust, an overwhelming feeling of love. In love? Perhaps, it wasn't Dick's nature to think deeply into the difference of loving and being in love, lest he fall into a hole of glances and touches between quite a few women…
"I have my ways." She winked at him. Her eyes looked at him fondly and her mouth curled into a giggle as she viewed him, touching his chest and shaking her head.
"I can explain." He sighed taking her hand; he'd rather be holding it than having it run over his yellow lapels.
"Do tell." She pushed her red hair back; her fingers appeared elongated in the movement…even the smallest of bone structure screamed vivacious.
"One of my…younger teammates accidentally spilled radioactive material on my suit. All I had in the locker was my dad's old…"He paused not wanting to go on, he had come to one of those mental blocks, the subconscious act of repression to protect the mind of pain. Kory knew this, she pulled him into an embrace, a kindness sunk into his skin at her touch and he rested his head on her forehead. If anyone else had been around he knew he'd have pulled back, offered her nothing more than a welcoming smile and continued on with his research. But it was just the two of them, a notion that pleased him greatly for it allowed him to relax, to enjoy her gesture, to accept it willingly.
"Your father's. No worries Dick, I understand. I know you like to take it wherever you go…or at least try to." Indeed she did know, the warrior princess had lost her entire home, the one living person of her race, her sister was out to get her and would not rest until she had Kory's body on a platter, bloody, bruised and broken.
"I know you do, you always do." He knew for sure he loved her, he loved a lot of people, yes…that's just it. He could admit this because of his love for her. She helped him grow into the man he was, she broke barriers set by life experiences that hardened him.
"So you called for a reason, or did you forget that it was you who contacted me?" She certainly had her tender moments but when it came to battle, she was a warrior first, a vicious warrior with dangerous combative skills; her presence in the field roared threat to all those who opposed her…that's why he needed her…that's what he told himself anyway.
"Right, sorry. You breaking in distracted me."
"I hold the power of a star in the palm of my hand, what do you expect," she directed her attention to the screens with various pictures of the Kroloteans, creatures that made even her steely skin crawl, "so they've come to pester you?"
"I wouldn't use the word 'pester' for an invasion but alright."
"Invasion. Well this can't be your first one, Earth is considered a fairly weak planet." War was one of the few topics Kory tended to speak about with an impetuous inflection instead of one riddled with emotional nuances; the caring Kory flew out and her brutality came forward.
"Well, tell me Kory…what do you know about them?" Dick was used to the duality in her personality and found it best not to acknowledge the shift or else he'd hear a lecture about the differences between humans, who hold all their true intentions inside making them manipulative beings, and Tamaranians, who acted as they felt, a people without secrets and thus significantly better than humanity when it came to emotions "with every absence of truth, truth being the essence of feelings, lies the first attack in war" she'd say.
"I know they're nasty little beings, selfish and egocentric. They are merely the workmen of a higher power, although this power shares all these traits…" She studied the screens, reading the English words as well as the French and the Spanish searching for patterns and key phrases to form her next sentence.
Dick smiled; the alien had no pupils and so it was incredibly hard to understand what went through her head if she was focused on something. Her mouth and cheeks could betray this stoic persona but only when she spoke, only when she was emotional. Looking at her now, it was as if she wore a mask. He envied her in that regard; she walked around with her face showing and still an enigma.
"Stop staring at me Richard." He didn't realize her eyes had turned and now saw him through her peripheral vision, how could he when she hadn't moved her head and her eyes were giant green orbs of light?
"Sorry, just thinking about what a mystery you are."
"Pshaw. I wear my emotions, as you Earthlings say, 'on my sleeves'." A moment of silence followed and then laughter. Kory, being a hero who was strengthened by the sun, wore very little and so any reference to her and clothing had become their little inside joke.
"Yes Kory you do wear a lot of those emotions." He winked at her this time and she shook her head.
"Alright Grayson, let's get our heads out of that mindset and remember why I'm here. The masters of these creatures are not known to many, I have only seen them once and I emphasize this, they are a dangerous force." Before she could continue, the cave computer signaled the entrance of Batgirl and Blue Beetle, Blue Beetle being that younger teammate who accidentally spilled radioactive material all over Dick's Nightwing suit.
"He's not going to be mad Jaime." Barbara said in her most earnest voice. She was looking down at Jaime who in that moment looked up to see the beautiful Tamaranian.
"What?" Babs followed his eyes, her own widening to the point of blood vessels popping. She wasn't sure what to make of the sight. There was Dick in an 80s costume which had a comical effect that called for laughter. There was also a gorgeous half-naked girl standing next to him...next to him.
"I can explain."
Kory let her lips spread out into a coy smile.