Night Terrors

Alli had been staring up at the ceiling for almost an hour now. They'd gotten back from another rescue Alli from some stupid criminal mission (it had been pointless. By the time they got there, she had the leader tied up, the gang knocked out, and was waiting outside for them to arrive, impatient and pissed off) about 3 hours ago, and had finally gotten to bed about an hour ago, at 12:50. Now, at 3:45, she was awake. She had been asleep for a while, but had kept on jolting awake. This was the 7th time she'd woken up. At least. She sighed and rolled over, trying to fall asleep.

"Shouldn't you be asleep by now?" A voice asked. Her eyes widened, and she sat up, grabbing one of her newly modified swords. When she didn't need them, the blades would shrink away into small metal staffs. The blades slid out, glowing scarlet, lighting up her dark room. There, a few feet away from her bed, holding his hands up in surrender, was the familiar unmasked face of Dick Grayson. She relaxed and layer back on her bed.

"Jesus, Dick, don't do that! I could have freaking impaled you!" Rather than taking the warning to heart, he just grinned, irritating her.

"You could have. But you didn't." He said. "And besides, you never answered my question." She rolled her eyes.

"Shouldn't you be asleep too?" She retorted. "Besides, I saw my brother die in an explosion. You really expect me to sleep easy after that?" She felt him sit down on the bed. Some people might be creeped out by this, and by the fact that he was even in her room in the first place. But she knew he and Jason went crawling through the air vents. Hell, she'd caught him crawling out of one just the other day, and had pretended not to know what he had been doing. And she knew if he tried anything, she could take him. You didn't grow up on the streets and avoid the perverts and rapists by being soft and weak. She knew how to fight. Dick shrugged.

"I don't sleep much anymore after spending most of my life working with Batman." He paused as something she said seemed to register with him. " saw it happen? You saw the warehouse explode?" He asked. She blinked and her eyes widened. She quickly opened her mouth to respond, but Dick wasn't having it. He put a hand over her mouth. "No Alli, you can't talk your way out of that. You said you saw your brother die. Answer this honestly, and know that I'll be able to tell if you're lying: were you there the night Jason was killed in that explosion?" He removed his hand from her mouth. She glared at him defiantly for a minute before sighing.

"Yes." she relented. "I was there." He blinked.

"You didn't rescue him?" She glared at him so fiercely he flinched and raised his hands in surrender again. "Ok I'm sorry. That was a stupid question."

"Of course I tried!" She hissed, pain clear in her voice. "I was almost there, but I was too late. If I'd been just a bit faster, I could have saved him!" In the moonlight, Dick saw years slipping down her cheeks. He felt guilty for asking her that. She sighed. "After he joined Batman, I was always watching out for him. I never lost track of him, and I watched him fight with Batman. I gave up stealing and tried to make ends meet without it so I'd never have to run from him and he'd never have to chase me down and put me in juvie. When I learned he was going on that mission, I followed. Getting there was no small feat. And then...well, I tracked them down." Dick frowned.

"How did you track them? Bruce never leaves a trail you can follow unless you know where to look or what you're looking for." She scowled.

"The important thing is, I found them. The details aren't important." she said. "Let's just say I knew what to look for, and I thought like the criminal. Where would I be if I were looking for trouble and just followed my gut." He nodded. "And right when it mattered most, I screwed up. I was too slow. You don't exactly sleep easy after seeing your little brother, who you swore you'd protect with your life, get blown to bits." She looked away. "I've had...night terrors where I just jolt awake and can't get to sleep for...a while." She blinked in surprise as she felt him wrap his arms around her shoulder and pull her close to him in a hug. He stretched out next to her, holding her close. She tensed up.

"What are you doing?" She asked, suspicious. He smiled slightly.

"I'm trying to comfort you."

"I know that. I meant why? You don't like me. Half the time you act like you hate me."

"I don't hate you Alli. You have a way of irritating me, but I don't hate you, and I'm sorry if I made you feel that I did." he said. She was silent and simply allowed him to. After a while, she sighed and relaxed slightly.

"If you try anything you're dead." She warned, as her eyes began to close. She heard him chuckle softly.

"Don't worry. It's time you have someone besides Jason you can trust to watch out for you." He said softly. Her eyes drifted shut and she slowly fell asleep against him.

Couldn't resist a bit of a fluffy bonding moment between them. This probably seems kind of unrelated I know, and the ending might seem...well, a bit weird but...these things start writing themselves after a while. Hope you enjoyed! Peace out! -lanamere