In the last few days I have been overwhelmed with so many positive messages about the story. This is actually my very first fan fic, so to have so many people enjoy it ... it means a lot. Thank you to everyone who reviewed but thank you also to everyone who favorited or followed or just read the story at all! I hope you enjoy the final chapter ... oh, and make sure to read to the end. :)
Still set in-between "Salvage" and "Beneath."
Disclaimer: I don't own Young Justice. If I did, this would have happened already. However, I do borrow some dialogue from the show for this final chapter.
February 18th, 2016 23:15 EST – Gotham
He gasped for air against her sternum. The euphoric Dick Grayson was lying on the bare chest of Barbara Gordon: Batgirl, his best friend, daughter of the commissioner. Oh, and the girl who kind of just rocked his world.
God, he loved how his head rose and fell with the panting of her chest. He loved how he could kiss the inner curve of her breast. He loved how he could taste the sweat on her skin. The winter chill had crept into Barbara's drafty apartment, but the blanket still only covered their legs – after what they just did, they had enough body heat to keep each other warm.
In the back of his mind he had known they wouldn't make it long tonight. With all their heavy foreplay, it's no surprise they both peaked quickly and that was OK because they were still learning each other's body, but he never thought it would be this … intense. It had never been this intense. His mind was racing from the adrenaline and he just couldn't help grinning. He moved his hand down to rub her upper thigh.
"That was incredible," he said and tilted his head up at Babs, who was staring at the ceiling in her own giggly daze while she started running her fingers in his hair. She took a deep breath to calm down.
"Well yeah, it was pretty good," she said nonchalantly. A bead of sweat ran down the side of her face.
"Pretty good!" he pulled himself up her body to kiss her neck while his hand played with her breast. "Are you saying this doesn't count toward my 'I owe you something amazing' IOU?"
"Well, I just don't know if it was that amazing," Babs teased, walking her fingers up his back, "I mean, according to Artemis, Wally vibrates." She grinned like the devil.
"OK, how am I supposed to compete with that! You want me to get super powers?," he sat up and finally disposed of the condom in the nearby waste basket, "Cause I'll find a radioactive animal to bite me if that's what you –"
"Get back down here, Grayson!" She pulled him back to her, this time kissing him and nipping at his bottom lip. They rolled and kissed and rearranged until she was lying beside him on the crook of his arm, her top arm wrapped around his torso.
"I'm … I'm sorry I fought with you," she said into his shoulder after a minute, "But I don't like what I'm seeing from Wally and the last time I asked Artemis about it she wouldn't tell me anything and it got me angry, you know? I just wish I knew what was going on. That she's OK."
It would have been so easy to just tell her. Babs, Artemis is going undercover, he thought. Kaldur is a spy for us and we're faking Artemis' death in a matter of months. Since she accepted her role in all this, he's desperate to get as much time as possible with her to the point where he's way too overprotective. And I don't like that, either.
"Wally has a reason for acting the way he been acting lately," he said.
Her breath against his skin was shallow. "OK."
"But it's not a good reason," he admitted, both to her and himself, "He's coming from a selfish place and acting like an asshole and if I was a better friend I'd call him on it. I promise you he didn't force her to quit and he isn't hurting her, but I also promised him I wouldn't talk about why he's been like this. "
"But is Artemis alright?"
"Yes, she's good. She's happy." That was one thing Dick knew for sure.
Babs let out a breath.
"I'm still not happy about this. I'm not. But thank you for telling me."
Silence. Dick traced her back with his fingers. She took another deep breath.
"Look, I know you're always going to keep some secrets, Grayson," she looked up at him and pushed a stray lock of hair behind her ear, "From our civilian friends. From the team. From me. It comes with your job."
He sighed. "Most people wouldn't understand that."
"Well, most people don't keep their secret vigilantism from their GPD dad," she said, "Dick, I get that you can't tell me everything. Maybe you can't answer all of my questions when I ask them. But there's one thing I need from you. If this is going to be something …" she paused and Dick gulped at the delay, "then just don't lie to me. That's all I ask."
He knew that was a promise he couldn't keep.
"Of course, Babs. I promise." He smiled down at her as she nuzzled deeper against him. Her eyes closed, she couldn't see him turn a grimace towards the ceiling.
"This will ruin everything."
"I don't care."
He had wanted her so bad and while Barbara might have wanted him just as much, Dick still made love to her not caring about the consequences. Since he was 13 he didn't want to be Batman, the man who sacrifices the people he cares about in an instant. But Dick was worse than Bruce – Dick was a lying, selfish bastard. Because in only a few months time, Babs will lose one of her best friends to a former ally and she'll come to her lover for comfort and he'll lie to her again. He'll hold her in his arms and swear he did all he could to save her but he'll be the cause of her heartache. And the best case scenario is we win the war, no one dies, Artemis comes back and Babs will know I lied to her. And then I'll lose her.
And yet I'm still doing this.
"I just need to figure out if I want to date Nightwing or Dick Grayson," she said sleepily in his chest. His heart betrayed him by skipping a beat at the D word.
"Can't you date both?" he asked.
"On this team? They all know I'm Barbara Gordon, stupid," she wacked his stomach with her fist, "I'm pretty sure they're going to put two and two together when I'm dating their leader and Bruce Wayne's heir. I don't think the sunglasses are going to be much cover for you at that point."
"So what do you suggest?"
She bit her lip tentatively. "We could keep it a secret?," she said, tracing her fingers delicately across his pecs, "Just for a while. If we keep things low key then no one will suspect."
He snorted. "Yeah well, you weren't here when Conner and M'Gann got together. They kept going off to 'fix the bikes.'"
"Oh come on, we're going to be more subtle than that," she grinned and leaned in by his ear, "We'll say we have to practice maneuver seven."
"Babs, you … wait, I don't think we could do maneuver seven in bed."
"You wanna bet?"
"Just go to sleep, Gordon."
She melted into his arms and yawned, "Don't tell me what to do, Grayson," before falling right to sleep. Rubbing her back with his hand, he carefully pulled her comforter over them. Exhausted, Dick drifted off to sleep just hoping there would be a way he could keep her in the end.
February 19th, 2016 15:06 EST, Mount Justice
Briefing Alpha Squad was more difficult than usual. It was hard to focus when the girl who slept naked in your arms all night was right there on the screen, pretending nothing happened.
"We have confirmation Bialya's telepathic enforcer is still catatonic in a Quarachi hospital … after his last encounter with you," Dick motioned to M'gann on the screen.
The morning wake-up was slightly awkward once Dick realized he only had his Nightwing suit to wear back to the Manor. After Bab's borrowed some mens' sweats from her very kind neighbor, he and Barbara said their goodbyes – long goodbyes, punctuated by brief make out sessions as they got closer and closer to the door. Dick then had to rush home to change so he could make an urgent rendezvous with Kaldur detailing the Light's activities during the last month. Needless to say, he was really late by the time he got to the Cave and Karen , M'Gann, Cass and Barbara were already well on their way to Bialya.
Part of him was relieved he didn't see Barbara in person – he didn't want to give away their secret romance on the first day. But a bigger part of him wanted to see her in person as soon as possible. And alone. And naked if possible.
"But Bialya's dictator, Queen Bee, is another story," he continued, "Her ability to control the minds of men is why Alpha is an all-female squad for this mission."
His eyes finally fell to Batgirl, who smiled wickedly from what was normally his seat on the bioship. Uh-oh.
"Oh reeeally," she said dragging out the last word, "and would you have felt the need to justify an all male squad for a given mission?"
The rest of Alpha squad glared at Nightwing, waiting for his response. For the first time since their midnight sparring session, he was utterly flustered. His cheeks burned and he was sure he was blushing. Dick wanted to sass her back and normally he would, but everything that came to mind would give away that he wanted to kiss her at that very moment. Plus, he couldn't think of a good comeback anyway.
After a quick attempt to buy some time by clearing his throat, Dick just responded, "There—there's no right answer for that, is there? Nightwing out."
His monitor went dark, but not before he caught Batgirl smiling triumphantly. He had a feeling the girls were all laughing at him as they made their way to Bialya. He rubbed his neck in frustration, but somehow he was smiling. Of course Barbara would sass him – she's his Babs. And then it hit him.
He got out his phone and hit 1 on speed dial. It took a few rings to pick up.
"Hey man, um, what's going on?" Wally's voice sounded anxious. Dick knew that since they started planning, Wally assumed any call from him was bad news.
"Everything's fine. It's not about that," he said. "I was just wondering … what was that advice Kent Nelson gave you back when you had on the Helmet? You know, the part about girls? You told me a while ago, but I couldn't remember."
Silence. "Um, OK. He told me to find a girl who won't let me 'get away with nothin'.' His words," Wally added. "Why are you asking?"
Dick ran his hands through his hair and sighed. "Dude … I think I'm in trouble."
And that's "The Bat and the Bird." But guess what? ... The story isn't over. That's right, I have at least a handful of sequels in mind and hopefully more once the hiatus is over. I was already planning to write these sequels up but with so much support from the readers, how could I not? So yeah ... stay turned, faithful Dick/Babs shippers.
(Oh, and I'll be you'll never look at that scene from "Beneath" the same way again)
UPDATE: As of now, there are two sequels to The Bat and the Bird. The first is "Sleeping Over" and the next one is "Traction." There are indeed more to come.