A/N: Okay, I think I'm done tinkering with this thing for now. I have a fourth part in mind but I can't say when I'll ever get to it. Enjoy!
Stephanie invited herself over to his place a lot these days. Most of the time, it wasn't even after they happened to cross paths on their nightly patrols and make their way home for some stress relief to end the evening.
Some of the time, it wasn't even just for the sex.
She would send him a text, telling him to order a pizza because she was bringing over a DVD and some ice cream to make root beer floats and he had better have clean dishes and a spot on the bed cleared off for her. Jason didn't even remember actually giving her his number or programming hers in. But she had pretty good taste in movies, lots of old classics and kung fu flicks and surprisingly decent dramas.
And she would pester him relentlessly and he always found himself answering her questions, divulging a little more than he normally would have. She was funny and irritating and endearing all at the same time.
Okay, okay, maybe he really liked her. And maybe now he was always buying frozen waffles along with his other weekly staples like beer and condoms. The condoms, oh god, how quickly his stash had been almost completely depleted in just the past few weeks. He had forgotten how spendy they could get, especially when you were particular about the brand.
How quickly she had practically taken over his life.
Stephanie would make fun of him in one breath and then inexplicably turn him on in the next. She had quite the imagination in bed and wasn't timid about asking him to try this position or that angle. Most of their experimenting turned out fairly agreeable too so he learned quickly to go along with whatever she was suggesting.
"Mmmm… we didn't finish the movie. We should restart it," she said, stretching out next to him, very naked and satisfied.
Jason watched her interestedly; he had stopped paying attention to whatever they were watching a long time ago. Her body would luxuriously spread out and relax as she came down from the high of passionate fucking, her back arching slightly in a deep sigh and ankles crossing sensually.
"You didn't finish your root beer float either," she noted.
"You could have brought actual beer."
"I can't buy beer, stupid. I'm only twenty."
Jason snorted. "I forget how young you are."
"That's because I'm so mature for my age," she said loftily.
"Hey, you don't know what I've seen."
"If its Tim Drake naked then I don't want to know."
Stephanie blushed slightly and looked to the side. He studied her.
"Wait … you and Drake never did it?"
"This is not something we should talk about in bed."
"Is Replacement still a virgin? Oh god, he is. This is too good…"
"Jason, don't be a dick or I won't suck yours ever again."
"Sorry, its just that … he really has no idea what he's missing." This time it was less of a smirk and more of a genuine smile on his face that made her melt a little.
"You really are just a big softie under that mean red helmet," Stephanie said shrewdly. She climbed over to straddle his waist, leaning close to kiss him.
"We could restart the movie if you want," he murmured.
She shook her head no, rubbing her nose against his.
Who the hell was shouting?
"Jason! Are you home? There you are… Get up, Jason!"
He blinked a few times, squinting against the suddenly open window and a pounding headache. Stephanie Brown was standing over him impatiently.
"Come on, get up."
"Not today, Steph," he muttered, trying to turn over and ignore her. How did she even get in his house?
But ignoring Stephanie Brown was near impossible, as he should have remembered.
"Listen, Barbara told me what day it is."
"She put you up to this?"
"No, she warned me off, again. But dead Robins have to stick together. Now get up. We're going to the aquarium."
"No," he muttered, facing away from her, just wanting to be left alone with the pain and the memories.
The rest of the "family" all knew better than to try to cheer him up. He'd nearly had to shoot Grayson to get him to leave him alone years ago. They would sit there and try to sympathize like they knew what it meant to stare your own mortality in the face and realize the one you counted on wasn't … wouldn't …
"There's a coffee in it for you. Now get up. We're going. You aren't going to spend the day wallowing here in bed."
He felt the side of the bed dip behind him as she crawled over to him. Her hand found his shoulder, then her lips met his skin briefly.
"You look like crap. Were you drinking last night? I have aspirin too."
Jason glanced at her again. "Stephanie… you aren't a dead Robin. Just stop."
She paused and he almost thought that he'd won and she'd given up. It was a stupid thought.
Sitting up, hand still on his arm she spoke softly. "My heart stopped for almost four minutes before Leslie could get it started again. I don't really remember it much. There wasn't a light at the end of the tunnel. Anyway, I still get yearly checkups to make sure I don't have any lasting brain damage. I was pretty lucky. But we don't need to sit here and compare how dead we were."
Somehow, now she had ended up sitting on him, straddling his waist and taking one of his hands.
"I have a gun-"
"In your pants? Yes, I've heard that one before," she interrupted, giving her hips a little swing against his body.
"I was going to say nearby," he muttered.
"Well leave it, you won't need it."
"Stephanie, I'm not going anywhere," he said harshly.
Her smile only faltered slightly, her eyes narrowing. Uh oh. He recognized the look, one of the reasons why she was Batgirl now; she had bossiness down to an art. Barbara Gordon must have taught her a thing or two.
"Jason Todd," she began softly. "You are going to get out of this bed, take a shower and shave, and we are going to the aquarium to see their new baby dolphin. This is not an option." With that, Stephanie climbed off the bed and stood before him, arms folded expectantly.
What are you going to do, Todd, shoot one of the only people who has made you feel alive? The only person who won't sit around and pity you?
"Jason, the point isn't that we died. The point is that we both also lived."
And that was how Jason ended up at the Gotham Bay Aquarium, grudgingly admitting that the baby dolphin was like twelve different kinds of cute. Stephanie had taken his hand, lacing their fingers together as they strolled around, pausing for her to read a random fact out loud about whatever fish they were looking at.
"Oh, look, puffins! Aren't they cute? Oh, let's go see the sharks next!"
All around, kids were running around gleefully, parents taking pictures, people being happy. It felt surreal to him.
"Let's go this way, uh, oh, nevermind, this way!"
She was dragging him by the hand down one avenue but quickly about-faced before they rounded the corner and took them another way, into a little viewing alcove.
"Look, river otters!" she said quickly, pointing at the tank.
"We already saw them …"
Jason looked. And then he glanced over her head in the direction she changed her mind about.
He stood there staring at the scene before him, feeling her anxious eyes searching him, her fingers squeezing his.
After a moment, he finally muttered, "You thought the guy handing out balloon animals would trigger me?" It wasn't accusatory; more curious that she would make that leap.
"Of course not."
"Well, it is sort of a clownish thing to do… you'd think Gotham had more tact …" she muttered back.
Jason continued to watch the man hand out brightly colored balloon fishes to the small crowd of children. He was wearing a funny hat, but had no face paint or costume. Still … Jason was strangely touched by her concern, for all her talk about him needing to get over himself that morning.
"He's not as good as the guy at Grayson's circus," he commented, letting go of her hand and wrapping his arm around her shoulder casually.
Stephanie looked up sharply. "You've been to Dick's circus?"
"Last time it was in Gotham." He shrugged, turning back to the window to watch the river otters swim. He felt her arm snake around his waist.
Mental note: stop being such a major jerk to Stephanie.
Also, put a bullet through Black Mask's skull at next convenient opportunity…
They stood there for a while, arms around each other, watching the otters play. The balloon animal guy was long gone before Stephanie finally piped up again.
"Let's get sushi for dinner."
"Aren't you tired of fish yet?"
"Nope. And I know a place nearby," she answered, leading him towards the exit.
The sushi shop was tiny and crowded and they were crammed into a corner table with barely enough room from their water glasses. But the rolls were excellent and Stephanie ordered more than enough for them both.
"Here, try this one next!"
He only felt a little bit silly as she held up the roll expertly with her chopsticks, waiting for him to open his mouth so she could feed him. She did it several more times and he decided it was better than fussing around with chopsticks by himself.
"You know, I think this is the first time we've ever been out like this. Like a date," she said thoughtfully.
"I suppose that means you expect me to pay for all this."
"It's the decent thing to do."
"I'm not a very decent guy."
"Sure you are," she said, smiling slightly and it kind of shook him that she wasn't teasing him anymore. She meant it. "In fact, if you cleaned up a bit more, I'm sure you'd be respectable enough to meet my mom," she added, winking.
"Have you told her where you spend your nights?" he asked, smirking as he dug out his wallet.
"She knows about my work … but I'm vague on the details …"
He didn't know why he felt so weird about the fact that Stephanie's mother didn't know about him. All of the batfamily knew about them by now.
"Ready to go?" she interrupted his musing.
"Yeah." He threw down more than enough cash to cover their bill. She didn't even pretend to dig for her wallet.
"Mmm, Jason …" she sighed, tilting her head back. His lips trailed down her neck leisurely.
"You going out tonight?" he murmured against her skin.
"No-ooohh!" His mouth had found that spot on her throat, the sensitive part that made her want to run her fingers through his hair and grind her hips into his, already feeling so turned on and wet.
She was seated across his lap; they had been making out on the couch for a while now. Unhurried, all he had managed to pull off was her shirt, finally taking the time to explore the soft, creamy skin with which he was now becoming very familiar. Stephanie was especially vocal; Jason loved hearing every little gasp or moan at his touch.
Her hips rocked against his; he slipped his hands under the waistband of her jeans, then around to unbutton them. With a moan, she pulled away, getting to her feet to finish pushing the pants down her hips. She smirked as his eyes followed her motions, kicking them aside with a flourish.
"Like what you see?"
"You don't normally wear red," he commented, smirking.
Stephanie confidently put a hand on her hip, glad he didn't point out that normally her bra and underwear didn't even match, let alone actually look sexy.
"I like it," he added.
She allowed herself to bask for a moment in his appreciative gaze before commanding, "Shirt. And pants."
Jason was genuinely laughing as he pulled off the indicated articles of clothing, adding them to the pile on the floor. Stephanie decided it was wonderful to hear him sound so happy, even if it was just about fucking.
He pulled her back onto his lap, kissing her soundly.
"Steph," he groaned against her mouth when she reached into his boxers. Her hand expertly eased him from the confines of his shorts, half mast, drawing and coaxing him to fullness.
"Please tell me you bought more condoms," she said, gently nipping at his lower lip. "I didn't bring my belt…"
The last time they were almost in a pinch, she had admitted that she carried a few in one of the pouches on her utility belt because (in Stephanie's own words) "you just never know."
He turned her so she was lying back on the couch with him on top, reaching over her head for the end table drawer. As he pawed around for the package he threw in there yesterday, she squirmed and giggled underneath him, kissing his collar bone and running her fingers over his skin. Sitting up, he tore open the box so eagerly, little packets flew everywhere. "Fuck…"
Stephanie laughed so hard she snorted ungracefully. Jason felt his face go red; he scowled at her.
"We only need one, right now," she said, still giggling, now slipping off the red lacey bra (that cost way more than she wanted to admit spending on something she really hoped he liked).
He frowned and said, "I wanted to do that."
"I could put it back on."
"That won't be necessary."
The rest of their underclothes fell to the floor, he rolled on the protection, and they finally connected.
Stephanie let out a soft sigh, closing her eyes as he paused, fully inside her. "Oh, Jason …"
He really liked the way she crooned his name, wrapping her shapely legs around him and digging her fingers into his back. The dizzying, euphoric feeling of her warmth enveloping him made him search for focus.
She rolled her hips anxiously, always impatient while he was just trying to steady himself.
"Fuck, Stephanie …" he murmured, dropping a kiss on her lips. She eagerly returned it, holding him close as he slowly started to thrust, meeting her hips in time as she steadily increased their pace.
He pushed himself up, changing the angle slightly and making her gasp. He hooked one of her ankles over his shoulder, getting closer and deeper.
"Oh, god, there, Jay … just a little bit more … ohh…"
Her mouth fell open, the alternating gasps and moans reaching a higher octave. Her hands gripped the arm of the couch behind her head, back arching and hips tilting so he was hitting in just the right spot. He held onto her tightly, able to tell she was just so close and he just needed to keep going…
"Oh! Jason! OHHH!"
She was flying and crashing and feeling everything blissfully, coming so hard she was aching and shuddering. The tingles were still rippling through her as he lightly kissed her calf before gently setting it down.
"Well that was a good start," Stephanie commented breathlessly, propping herself up on her elbows.
"I should think so," Jason replied, with a little jerk of his hips that made her moan. He was still very hard and very much buried inside her, miraculously maintaining his composure as she regained hers again.
With a raised eyebrow in challenge, she drew her leg up and around, turning her hips to the side. Her body was deceptively flexible. Jason clenched his jaw, exhaling through his teeth as he felt the rotation of her muscles around him.
"Well? You aren't tired, yet, are you?" she teased.
Little minx. It was going to be one of those nights.
"Not even close," he said with a smirk, thrusting hard again.
"I admit it, that was one of the better death days I've had," Jason commented.
They were in bed finally, Stephanie using his arm as a pillow. He could already feel the tingling of the limb falling asleep but didn't want her to move away from him. Her warmth was comfortable.
"Hmm … next year we'll have a party. Like Nearly Headless Nick," she yawned, turning away from him. Her breathing evened out.
"Steph …" he whispered.
She didn't respond. He looked up at the ceiling, waited a few more minutes, and then blurted it out.
"I love you."
No change. He was sure she had fallen asleep. And then-
"I love you too," she giggled.
"I thought you were asleep," he said dumbly.
"Sorry, I wanted to know if you'd say it," she replied, rolling over onto him, trailing a few light kisses across his chest.
"You drive me crazy."
"No changies, no take backs," she taunted lightly, kissing his lips.
"No take backs," he agreed wearily, wrapping his arm around her and looking out the window.