Basically, I wrote the Dick/Babs smut I wanted to read. They're my OTP and aren't getting enough love from the show. This went from a bit of drabble to a multi-chapter story. Dedicated to my fellow Dick/Babs shippers.

Set in-between "Salvage" and "Beneath."

Disclaimer: I don't own Young Justice. If I did, this would have happened already.


CHAPTER 1

March 3rd 2011 16:12 EST – Stately Wayne Manor

Something was off about Wayne Manor. Actually, something had always been off about Wayne Manor. It was just that Barbara Gordon had never questioned it. This is the home of the playboy philanthropist who adopted a circus kid who he raises with their elderly butler – it was a weird family. But in the nearly 4 years since she first visited the drafty mansion, the 13 year old had never felt as off about it as she did now.

Dick had asked her to come over to study, but no one seemed to be home. That wasn't unusual … Dick had been skipping their study sessions a lot lately – he had a new girlfriend that he swore he would to introduce her to soon – and Bruce was barely there even when Dick didn't ditch her. Maybe Alfred was out at the store or something. She huffed as she quickly found the hidden key in that one loose brick and got out of the cold.

It's not that she was mad at Dick for getting a girl (OK, maybe she felt a little left out), but she needed a particular book for the assignment and he kept forgetting to bring it to her. Some friend, she thought and walked towards stairs to his room. However, as she passed Mr. Wayne's office she heard a shriek.

Rushing into the office, all she found was a bat trapped in the fireplace. With a clear head, she immediately opened the vent and let him fly out. And that's when she knew something was off.

"The vent was closed," she muttered to herself. And the door had been closed, so the creature must have come in somewhere through the study. But it was March and still snowy, which meant Alfred had closed the enormous windows of the mansion tight. So how did it get in? She asked herself.

She didn't know why the mystery bothered her so much, but it did. She took off her gloves and started to walk with her hand out, feeling for any breeze that could have come from outside. She finally felt a soft push of cool air, only to turn around and find … the clock.

What? She went to inspect the antique grandfather clock by Mr. Wayne's desk. Why would the breeze be coming from –

Her train of thought stopped when she saw that the clock was on a slight angle from the wall and peaking behind the clock revealed not a wall, but stairs. Stairs built out of cavernous rock that seemed to go down forever. She didn't remember walking down the stairs, but she must have because a minute later she was in a very drafty but very real cave that just happened to have a giant computer system, a judo mat, a robotic T-Rex and … the Batmobile.

Holy crap. The last four years of her life flashed past her. Every last minute raincheck. Every terrible excuse. Every time he seemed to be gone at the first sign of trouble. Last summer when Mr. Freeze had tried to kill her and Robin insisted on carrying her to safety, bridal style. Her fists tightened.

"I'm going to kill him." She grunted.

"I'd really prefer you didn't."

She spun around and found herself staring up at Batman and all she could think was Well that explains why I've always found Bruce Wayne intimidating.

"I suggest you get out, Ms. Gordon."

Blinking for the first time in what seemed like forever, Barbara somehow found her gumption. "And why should I?"

"You are trespassing on private property."

"And what, you're going to call the police and tell them I'm trespassing on the Batcave?"

"I doubt anyone would believe you."

"My father would."

Silence. Barb had just made Batman speechless. And yet she still had her kneecaps.

"What do you want, Ms. Gordon?"

It took her a moment to process what he was implying. Blackmail. He thought she was blackmailing him. And with the Wayne fortune, that could mean almost anything. But she was Jim Gordon's daughter and she couldn't – wouldn't – do that.

"I don't want any money, Mr. Wayne."

The Dark Knight paused, sizing her up. "Then what?"

Well, the giant dinosaur would be pretty awesome, she thought only half kidding. But her eyes scanned down from the T-Rex to the glass case where the prototype Batman and Robin suits were displayed.

"Mr. Wayne," she smiled as she turned to look Batman (Batman!) in the eye. "I want a job."

Feburary 13th 2016 23:24 EST Mount Justice

"Recognize: Nightwing B01"

Wrapping her knuckles with boxing tape, Barbara looked up to greet her friend coming out of the zeta tube. "Hey you! … Why aren't you in uniform?"

A tired-looking Dick Grayson in training sweats and "identity hiding" sunglasses rubbed his neck as he walked toward her on the sparring floor.

"I went home after Star City … but I couldn't sleep. Thought a midnight work out would do me good. So why are you here?"

Barbara motioned to her training sweats, to the sparring floor, to the tape around her wrists and knuckles. "Oh you know … doing my nails. What do you think, Birdboy?"

Dick smirked as he dropped his duffel bag and took off his sweatshirt, revealing a plain white, skin hugging tank. Not that she was looking. "Babs, don't I get to at least be Birdman at this point?"

"Hey, you had the chance to be Birdman when you stopped being Robin. But no, you had to be 'Nightwing,'" the 18 year old said making quotation marks with her hands, "because it's all mysterious and sexy!"

"Hey, at least I had two original superhero names, Batgirl," He paused as something registered and there came another smirk. "So… you think Nightwing is sexy?"

She felt the blood rushing to her face."I—I said the name is sexy. Didn't say anything about Nightwing being sexy."

"No, but that's just implied, isn't it?"

Her eyes shot up and glared at him, but glaring meant that she was looking at him and as he turned to tape up she started staring at his sculpted arms and chiseled back and damnit best friends aren't supposed to be this hot! Tall and ripped with those broad shoulders and that smile – puberty was good to Dick, which meant her thoughts about him weren't always 100% platonic and had gotten worse all the time. But she snapped out of it because Dick was joining her on the mat, which meant she could make him pay for that little remark.

"Are you ready for me, Ms. Gordon?"

"Oh, bring it," she said, egging him on with a crook of her fingers.

They began playfully, just lightly sparring with each other in silence. That's the nice thing about Babs, thought Dick. We know each others' moves so well. It's always a challenge surprising her.

Hell, he always enjoyed the way she fought. When fighting the baddies out in the field, he'd see a streak of red in his peripheral vision and smile knowing that Babs just roundhouse kicked some poor shlub in the face. Was it bad that he found that kind of sexy? After all, her body was lean and made for movement … and sometimes that movement included giving henchmen concussions. The two of them had started taking turns doning Bruce's suit to keep up appearances and he knew part of her extra training was to bulk up, but he kind of thought her body was great just the way it was.

Despite the long day of work at the Cave and the added late night intervention, his body started to wake up as she swiftly avoided his jabs, always with a smile on her face. He started bobbing more to keep up with her, but he wanted to see how far she could go.

"Maneuver 2."

She stopped moving. "Dick, come on."

"Babs, you know you can't call me that here," he said warily.

She threw her hands up exasperated. "Are you serious? We're absolutely alone tonight. I don't even think Wolf is here!"

"It's not just my secret, Babs, and you know that. And you're stalling. Maneuver 2."

After an angry sigh, she ran full force at him and in one graceful motion did a one-handed flip on his right shoulder (her hair just brushing his face in such a teasing way), landed, turned and kicked him square in the lower back at full force. Dick cringed as he fell flat on his face, the sensors in the floor letting him know that "Nightwing: Failed." I keep forgetting how much Maneuver 2 hurts when you're not wearing Kevlar.

"Crap, are you OK?" He heard from above a moment after hitting the floor. He felt himself get turned over and there was Barb kneeling beside him. With his back throbbing and his head dizzy, somehow all he could think was, God, her eyes are pretty.

"Goddamn it, I'm used to you having your suit on – I'm so sorry."

"Are you kidding?" Dick said with a giddy laugh as his head cleared, "That was perfect! The next goon who tries to take you on won't know what hit him."

A relieved Babs stood and offered her hand, but Dick wasn't about to let her go that easily. Always the troll, he pulled her to the floor and pinned her below him.

"Oh, looks like I caught a baticus Gordonus!" he said with an air of triumph.

Of course, it was only after he was hovering over her with her wrists over her head and his legs on either side of her hip that he realized he might not have thought through this prank. Because with her squirming underneath him, it wasn't hard for him to imagine them in the same position except in his bed where he could pull off her tank top and move his hand slowly up her torso and under her bra while leaning down to her neck and—

"Do you have any plans to let me go, oh fearless leader?" She was smirking and waiting patiently for an answer. He was still dazed from his mind wandering, but he recovered quickly with a quip.

"Oh, not a chance. It's not every day you get to capture the protégé of the great and powerful Batman." That's right, Grayson. Play it casual. You weren't just thinking about feeling up your best friend.

She squirmed again and a lock of her hair fell in her face. Dick instinctually tucked it behind her ear and that was his mistake because once he moved his hand, she flipped him over and put his hands above his head.

"You were saying, Birdie?" she said triumphantly.

Why does she have to be so damn sexy?

"I was saying," he struggled against her hands on his wrists, "that it's not every day you get to capture Batman's protégé, so you better make it count, Gordon."

"Oh, I plan to," she said as she squeezed his waist tighter with her thighs.

Why does her top have to be so low cut?

She leaned a little closer to him, her eyes heavy lidded, lips parted as she loosened her grip on his wrists. His hands freed, they instantly went to her waist. Without thinking, his fingers had crept just underneath the shirt and with that little bit of direct contact, Barbara closed her eyes and let out a small moan.

Damnit, why did she still have clothes on? He was so turned on and he wasn't sure what to do and Oh crap, these sweats are not going to leave much to the imagination!

"Um, why don't we take five?" Dick said, jerking his body to his side and moving her off of him, "I'll be back in a few minutes."

Dick ran to the kitchen and frantically splashed handfuls of water on his face, but that didn't stop him from remembering Babs' gorgeous face and her red hair splayed out like waves. They used to play these games with each other as kids … before they hit puberty and things got awkward. But it didn't feel awkward anymore … if anything it felt a little too natural.

Ever since she became Batgirl they were able to flirt safely – a little flirting, then backing off. A little touch of the shoulder and a smile, then backing off. A quick hide from goons in a ventilation shaft with her on top of him … and then backing off. And a cold shower. But it was getting harder and harder to back off.

Jesus, he hadn't felt this way about anyone since Zee, and that's saying something. But he knew that dating teammates can be dangerous – he had been lucky that he could still be friends with Zee at all and there were still a few weeks where they couldn't be in the same room with each other. Other heroes hadn't been so lucky with their love lives and it always ended up hurting the team. But it was more than just the normal what if of breaking up – in their line of work you can't afford to love a teammate – the worry will drive you insane. And actually losing them ...

But then he remembered back to how she felt on top of him … and underneath him. How her chest moved as she tried to catch her breath. And how she seemed to like it … to want it. That in the last year it had escalated quickly from just flirting, at least for him. Maybe for her, too. Maybe he did want to be with Babs … well OK, he did want to be with her since the only thing on his mind in the last five minutes had been pulling her lips to his and using his other hand to move along the elastic of her sweats and – Damnit Grayson, FOCUS!

Of course, Babs was obviously relieved when she had some time to recover … except that growing part of her that was missing his touch. She had come to train that night so she could relieve her overwhelming tension – tension from patrolling, tension from school, tension from missions. But the last five minutes just added to the tension … some very specific tension. She was so revved up from what had just happened she was tempted to find him and flat out jump him, but she never knew if he was just friendly flirting or actually interested. How much of it was reciprocated and how much was wishful thinking?

Not that they could do anything either way. She'd be lying if she said he didn't turn her on (how could he not with that body and that smile and those hands on her waist), but it was stupid to think like that. For one, Dick was her oldest friend and for another, he was the leader of their team and for another … well, she couldn't think of another but there must be something! And it didn't matter that he turned her on in moments like this. It didn't matter that these feelings had gotten more … urgent lately. And it certainly didn't matter that she cared about him more than almost anyone – the two of them were a team. That came with certain responsibilities and with Bruce gone for who knows how long, Tim and the safety of Gotham were their responsibility and it just isn't the time for us, she told herself. It might never be.

Dick came back with two bottles of water. His tanktop and face were dripping wet. She tried to ignore the fact that his shirt was now clinging to his pecs. Stay casual, she thought.

"What, got into a fight with the faucet?"

"No, I just … splashed some cold water on my face. Because it got warm. And you know, because I'm so tired. " He sat down next to her and handed her one of the bottles. "It's just after midnight, you know."

"Well, we can call it a night if you want."

"No," he said a little more urgently than she expected, but his tone changed to his normal smart-ass. "I mean … if you think you can get me to quit, you got another thing coming, Gordon. We need a rematch. Just give me a few more minutes to rest."

They drank their waters in awkward silence for a while. Normally they shared comfortable silences, but after what just happened … or almost just happened –

"So why were you working out alone, anyway?"

Babs snapped out of it. "Uh, what?"

"Why were you alone when I came in?"

She shrugged. "Almost everyone is out on patrol. Mal said L'gaan and M'gann are off on a date. Connor apparently left all moody" ("Again" the pair said in unison.) "and Cassie was supposed to come by but apparently Jaime is having a really bad night or something and she was going to get a bite with him."

"Yeah, it seems like almost everyone is having a bad night." He stared at his water bottle like it was the most interesting thing in the world. She looked at her own.

"So, I'm guessing Star City didn't go very well?"

"Well, he's not on drugs, which is better than I expected," he said with a grimace. He took a deep breath. "Roy's stealing, Babs. Or at least he's taking money from the people he helps. And he's a mess and still obsessed with finding Speedy and … he blames us for not looking long enough."

With that admission on his lips, she hesitated for just a moment because what could she say that would help him? She could tell him Roy is wrong or get angry that was even said to him, but she knew it would fall on deaf ears. She ended up just putting her hand on his, which seemed to help. He at least didn't shake it away.

But Dick scoffed at himself. "Hell, maybe we didn't look long enough. If it had been Batman I would have kept looking. If it had been Robin. If it had been – "

He stopped himself, as if that could conceal what Babs knew he was going to say. He looked at her for a moment, her heart skipped a beat and she cursed it for betraying her. Looking straight forward again, he paused before taking her hand in his and squeezing it. Suddenly the silence was comfortable again. Barbara relished it.

"I don't know," he said after a few minutes, "Wally thinks we did all we could."

Babs' eyes narrowed. "Oh he does, does he?"

Dick look to her, confused. "Yeah, he does."

She pulled her hand away. "Well, if that's what Wally says it must be true."

"Hey, what's your problem with KF?"

"Oh, I have no problem with Kid Flash," her voice was getting more and more venomous, "I have plenty of problems with Wally West."

She stood up and began to walk away before she lost her temper, but he stood and took her wrist.

"What the hell do you mean by that, Barb?"

"Forget I said anything!"

"Just because he left the team?"

"Forget—"

"I didn't hold that against him, why should you?"

"He made her quit!" The words reverberated throughout the high ceilings of the training room. She closed her eyes and thanked heaven they were alone. But Dick was still standing there, holding her wrist tight and glaring at her. Even through the tint of his glasses, she could feel his gorgeous icy blue eyes pierce her own.

"Listen to me. Artemis chose to leave. It was her choice to make," he said flatly.

"Yeah, that's what I thought, too. But for a whole year they used to visit every month! And yet we haven't seen them here since July."

"They're busy."

"Dick, every time I call her up, she doesn't talk about herself or school or Wally – she always moves the conversation to the Team. She wants to hear about every mission I've been on, if anyone was hurt, what enemies we've fought—"

"She's just … looking out for her friends."

"And when I visited them for Christmas, Wally barely talked to me! Anytime she asked about the team, he scowled and marched out of the room!"

"He's going through a stressful time at school, Barbara!"

She stared disbelieving at Dick. Was he really covering for Wally? And with that terrible excuse? "Wally's keeping her away. She misses it. You can hear it in her voice. She's hungry to rejoin the Team. "

"You—you don't understand the situation, Babs."

"I understand enough, dick."

Angry, he pulled her closer so their faces were an inch away. "I told you not to call me that here," he said.

But she wasn't about going to back down. "Oh trust me, Nightwing, that was lowercase. As in, 'You are being a.'"

"You don't know what you're talking about, Gordon."

"Then please, enlighten me! If I'm wrong, tell me why!"

Dick hesitated for just a moment. She waited, hoping he would tell her whatever he was keeping from her. But his face tighten again as he said, "I'm team leader and there are things you don't have clearance to know."

What, she was supposed to believe Wally's douchebaggery was a team matter? OK, now she was pissed.

"What I know," she said looking straight into his eyes, "is that Tula died, Kaldur went nuts and Wally in turn became an overprotective asshole. I used to think Artemis wanted to leave as much as Wally, but the way he's been acting, maybe he made her quit!"

"Maybe she loved him enough to quit when he asked!"

"So what? You wouldn't ask me to quit!"

"You aren't my girlfriend!"

Silence. Babs wasn't mad anymore. She was just stunned and … hurt and she wasn't even sure why she was hurt. She turned her head to the side because something must have gotten in her eye and she refused to give Dick the satisfaction of seeing her tear up. He was still holding onto her wrist, but she felt him loosened his grip.

"Barbara, I didn't – "

"Recognize: Miss Martian B05, Lagoon Boy B21."

"No, you had the better present, Angelfish!" L'gann was gushing over M'gaan as usual as they walked from the zeta tube. Dick released Babs' wrist and they each took a generous step away from each other.

"Hi, you two!" M'gann beamed "Aw, it's nice that you're spending time together this morning."

Dazed, confused, Babs just muttered, "What about this morning?"

Dick pursed his lips when it dawned on him. "It's Feburary 14th," he said quietly.

The computer screen behind them confirmed it … It was 12:20 on February the 14th. Valentine's Day.

"I, um … I have to go," Barbara grabbed her duffle bag and made a dash for the zeta tubes.

"Babs, wait –"

But she was already gone. M'gann and L'gann had already made their way to the kitchen, leaving Dick alone. He could have gone after her – he was supposed to go back home to Gotham, after all – but he decided to just spend the night in his room at Mount Justice. It's just simpler, he thought.

But simple wasn't really simple. With a secret alien invasion on the horizon, his mentor a million miles away on a far-off world, the plan with Artemis in the works and now Babs questioning him about Wally … simple wasn't part of his life anymore.

And it was so obvious to him that he did want to be with her (he was so tired of denying it to himself), but even putting aside the everyday dangers of this life, how could he possibly have a serious relationship with her when he has to keep the plan from her? It was going to be bad enough that he's lying to Babs as her friend, but if he lied to Babs as her—

I can't, he thought. I'd only end up hurting her. I can't be that selfish. But as he grabbed his sweatshirt, he noted that except for the last 5 minutes, this had been the best start to a Valentine's Day he had ever had.