Sorry in advance for grammar or spelling. I suck like that. Bear with me.
I heard a soft knock on my door, I slipped on a jacket over my bare chest and answered the gentle raps. It was so fucking hot, sweat was dripping down my temples. I peered out of the peep hole to see Dick standing there looking uncomfortable. It'd been a week since we'd spoken. I unlocked the chain and let him in, my heart fluttering in excitement to see him. I hid it away.
He came in gratefully and walked to the table, sat and took off his jacket, he sat in his wife-beater, his muscles glistening in sweat. He seemed to glow. I didn't bother taking my jacket off, I didn't want to compare my body to his, I didn't want to be embarrassed. I noticed his wrapped hand.
"What happened?" my voice was gruff, he hid it under the table.
"Burned it on Megan's inferno cookies from hell" he started to laugh but stopped when I didn't join in. He smiled at me softly and took the beer I offered him, he unscrewed the top. "Really, screw caps? That's not very manly" Richard joked taking a swig, I opened mine and sat across from him,
"Coming from the bisexual?" he chuckled lifelessly and rolled the bottle in his fingers. Staring at the discarded cap. I watched him. God he was stunning. "So you wanted to talk?" his blue eyes jumped to mine
"Yeah…I really wish I hadn't told you…about you know…my sexuality" that made two of us, and yet I wished he'd say he was gay and gay for me. I grunted and took a drink.
Dick, can't you see. I'm trying to prepare you for what you'll meet when you come out. I love you. And yet I know you don't love me, you love me as a friend. I'm the best one to prepare you.
"Yeah, Dick. It was a bombshell…what did you want to talk about?" he sighed.
"I've been having nightmares" my ears perked in concern, "when I wake I can't remember them, but now I seem to be getting flashbacks in the day" I watched him take a slow drink, downing half the bottle.
"I think they're memories…suppressed memories...that I'm beginning to remember now." I waited for him to continue "I got shoved off a building and got hurt, I was bleeding." He stared at the bottle "this guy comes along and finds me and then is brushing back my hair and telling me everything's going to be ok."
"Nice guy" I shift in my chair and watch him think, he shudders
"No…he wasn't. He started touching me and telling me to 'open up' and 'stay quiet' and…"
"And then…and then I think he raped me, Roy" he was dragging me down into a world I wasn't ready for. Rage overwhelmed me towards the guy who had violated my best friend. Was that why Richard was gay? He had liked it?
"So that's why you're gay all of a sudden, because you think of some faggot raped you and you can't bring yourself to admit that you may have enjoyed it?!"
Richard burst into tears, covering his face with his hands. Guilt overcame me and I wanted to comfort him, but for some reason I stood there like an idiot and let my best friend suffer. My mind went white as I processed what I just said. Richard was the victim, not the predator. Dick's bottle fell over spilling onto the table.
"I-I didn't l-like it R-Roy" he stuttered past a veil of tears "I s-screamed and I-I tried to get a-away. To f-find you R-Roy, I screamed for y-you, to save me" he hiccupped painfully his shoulders heaving with sobs. "H-how could you think t-that?" we didn't make eye contact.
"Shut up, Dick. Just shut up and get out" I had to think.
"R-Roy" how dare me make me the guilty one? How dare he make me weak? How dare I not save him?
"I SAID GET THE FUCK OUT!" He looked scared, of me. Of his best friend. He gathered his jacket and left. He left sobbing. He had screamed for me? I would save him? I would have, but I hadn't heard him scream. Richard seemed to be screaming a lot lately. Screaming to deaf ears.
Why was I doing this?
Could I do nothing right? Now Roy thought I was a pervert, that I had liked getting raped. If I had even gotten raped. It could just all be a nightmare right? Damn it, Roy. Why were you doing this?
I was still crying when I got home. I latched the door shut behind me and threw my jacket at the couch. It bounced off the cushion and fell to the floor.
I was waiting around for a boy I could never get. Tonight opened my eyes. I was just going to stop trying. Dish back what he was dishing me.
I was going to trick my mind into hating him so that maybe then I could trick my heart into stop loving him.
I had bought a new phone, my thumb hovered over Dick's name. I should call and apologize. Everything was just so confusing.
I loved a boy I could never have.
That made me mad, perhaps that's where all this anger was coming from. My jealously, my desire.
I clicked his name and listened to it dial. He wasn't going to pick up. I knew it before I called.
I was right.
I was tempted to throw my phone again but I didn't instead I grabbed his spilled bottle and smashed it on the table. Maybe if I just told him that he was the one. No. Then he would think I was taking advantage of his sudden out coming in sexuality.
To make it a joke.
My love for him wasn't a joke. We just weren't ready. I just wasn't ready. He'd be at the mountain tomorrow. I knew he would, it was his safe haven. I would apologize tomorrow. Maybe even tell him how I feel.
The nightmare kept me awake again. I stared at the celling until my screams subsided and my sweat dried. I turned the alarm clock.
Time to get up anyways. I checked my phone, Roy had called, for a moment my heart swelled with joy and then I shoved it away.
I was going to hate Roy. So that I didn't have to love him.
I took a shower and got dressed heading for my motorcycle parked outside.
I reeled as another flashback hit me, this time the man was kissing my neck tracing his tongue down my Adam's apple. I was whimpering. Trying to get away, blood sticking to my skin.
I snapped out of it heaving, harsh breaths wreaking havoc on my chest. I was used to these visions now…I went for my bike and slipped on the helmet. It roared to life when I kicked it.
These day-mares were almost as vivid as the nightmares, only I could remember these, where the dreams flitted away when I awoke the day-mares burned holes in my memory.
My bike vibrated under me as I twisted with the turns of the road. The edge of the city came quickly, stopping in a sheer like someone had cut it off with giant scissors. Then just barren land. No trees, no plants, no wildlife. Just black sand and a road brave enough to split it in two.
I drove for a while, until the trees started again, shortly after that the familiar shadow of Mount Justice. What a corny name. If I hadn't been so conflicted I would have laughed.
The ground seemed to crack open as it dipped into a ramp, taking me into the bowels of the mountain. The voice announced me
NIGHTWING B ZERO 26
I parked and dismounted slipping on my shades. I smoothed my hair and took the stairs up to the main level. It was daylight now. At least 7 in the morning. Dawn had been replaced by a clear morning sky and a round sun.
What did Roy think? That I was going to go all glitter and rainbows? I was still me. Still Dick, his best friend.
The mountain was empty. When I entered the kitchen, the wall around the stove still lingered black. My hand pulsed. And I couldn't help but glare. I hear a soft snore and freeze in my tracks as I see a hand flung over the back of the couch. I peaked over the back and the mystery person came to view. It was Roy. Of course.
Laying messily, sprawled on the couch. One hand flung over his face, soft snores shook his body. I backed up. I wanted to find a blanket and cover him up, but that would be gay.
It'd be another reason for him to hate me.
I backed up further, I hadn't realized the snores had stopped. I turned to stalk out when his voice, groggy with sleep, froze me mid step.
"Stay" I found myself obedient like a dog, he pushed himself up and looked at me over the back of the couch. His eyes droopy and tired, his ginger hair messy and colic-ed. I turned to face him. "Take off the damn sunglasses, Dick" I did and held them in my fist. He sighed and pushed himself up walking over to me, I tensed. "I waited for you"
"Why?" my words heavy with dread.
"I think we should talk" you think? I crossed my arms and looked at my feet. He walked over to the counter and grabbed two coffee mugs, he thrust one at me "over coffee?" I smirked but bit it away, the mug was cold. He seemed to notice the temperature "I made it like two hours ago, while waiting for you…of course it's cold"
"What do you want, Roy?" I set the coffee on the counter with a sounding crack. Brown drops stained my bandage. "You've already made your point…that I disgust you…you've already made me cry…you've already told me that you want nothing to do with me" I ran out of steam and had to breathe.
"Dick…it's…" I felt my eyes moisten, what a jerk. I could tell he wanted to tell me something, but those stupid locks he kept on his emotions refused to let it out, or me in. I crossed my arms, his fingers were like electricity on my bare arm. He had reached out and placed a hand on my forearm. I jumped and went to jerk away, fantasy held me in place.
His eyes were closed, chapped lip parted, face towards the ground. What was he doing? His fingers tightened and be began to softly tug me towards him. My heart stopped painfully my eyes widening. His green eyes met mine as his fingers curled into my flesh tighter, he was only a few feet away and was closing the distance slowly. Cautiously, testing.
"Dick, you mean every-"
BATMAN B ZERO 12
We stared at each other. Blinking. What the hell just happened? He broke the stare first, I swore I saw a small blush dust his cheeks. He walked away, I watched him go. I was breathless. What…the…HELL?
I had grabbed his forearm, I literally felt his skin jump at my touch. I looked at the floor, it was hard to take my eyes off him, but in the moment I couldn't bare to see the hurt I had caused him. I tugged him closer slowly. I was going to tell him now. Tell him with a kiss. A soft, tender loving kiss. He was worth taking it slow.
I looked up at him, his eyes were wide in confusion. I closed more distance between us, his skin was jittery, blue eyes dancing in the dim light of the kitchen.
His skin was soft, I curled my fingers deeper, careful not to hurt him.
The distance was closing, my lips parting slightly. His pupils darting over my face.
"Dick you mean every-" thing to me. I meant to say. I was interrupted by a transporter.
BATMAN B ZERO 12
I let go of Dick, confusion on his face. I breathed heavily and stared in his beautiful eyes for a moment and then turned away. I could feel Dick watch me leave.
Batman was waiting for us when we entered the debriefing room. His gaze hard.
"You two are the only ones here?" I shrugged and saw Dick nod shortly out of the corner of my eye. He looked still dazed. "You'll have to do then"
"Please, your trust in us is overwhelming!" I pretended to swoon, Batman glared, I almost heard Dick swallow.
"Where are your sunglasses, Richard?" he fumbled to put them on, another glare.
"Are you going to debrief us or are we going to stand here talking fashion?" I could tell Batman wanted to beat the hell out of me. Ollie wouldn't stand for it. Batman would probably beat the hell out of him too.
I felt a flutter in my stomach, fear. Did Dick know what I was going to do a few minutes ago? He wasn't stupid. But he still looked confused. It was almost better that I hadn't succeeded. Crap, Harper. He probably though you were screwing with him.
Making fun of him. I made things more awkward. Tenfold. Why was I such a screw up? I can't even tell the man of my dreams that I love him.
"This is U.L.A Laboratories located in the North Pole. Named after Ulysses Langston Albakirky a scientist studying micro-organism survival in the ice of the Polar caps" he pointed to the screen behind him, a fat, Russian man with a thick mustache. A click and another picture of the outside of the lab appeared.
Another click presented graphs and charts of his research.
"So like the Captain America comic's the kid's read nowadays…where he's frozen in ice for 80 years and then is melted and still young and…super" Batman was less than thrilled with my definition
"So he's trying to preserve life" Richard's voice was still dazed. I smirked a little.
"Like the comics" I persisted. Another click showed a video of the man burning his research, a dark blur shot past the camera behind him. Batman stopped the video and zoomed in on the blur, the pixels cleared.
"A Genome?" Dick and I asked in unison. The situation just got serious. Cadmas. Batman closed his files.
"Your mission is to go in retrieve the files and get out, NO CONFLICT, this is a strictly stealth mission" he glared at me "Team of two, in and out, understood?" we both nodded, our minds on the mission. The awkwardness dissolving as we focused on the job.
"What about the guy and the lab assistants?" Dick asked, leave it to Dick to be concerned about the civilians, Batman shook his head
"We have reason to believe they're already dead…Get ready, you leave in 10. Pack warm."
We were flying over an ocean, its blue waves crashed below us, I stared at them while Roy flew. The jet steady, I saw him glance over his shoulder at me. What had been trying to do back there? Was he going to kiss me? Or was that just a wish buried deep in my fantasies?
No he wouldn't have been trying to kiss me. Not after all that had been said this past week.
He was screwing with me, I was a joke to him. That bastard.
I heard him punch a button. A voice hummed:
AUTO PILOT ENGAGED
I heard him push himself from his seat, I didn't look at him, I focused on the waves. Majestic, powerful, beautiful…like Roy. I felt his breath on my neck, sticky, hot. He pressed his face by mine and peered out the window. He followed my eyes to the waves. I turned towards him, my lips inches from his, my stomach clenched as I blushed.
I slid out of my seat, stalking to the back and checking over my weapons.
Roy was an emotional rollercoaster.
He was still looking at the waves like nothing had transpired. He turned to me.
"It's not a joke" his voice was husky, masked. The automated voice hid my confused breath.
E.T.A. TEN MINUTES
"What isn't?" he paused his fingers squeezing the back of the seat, he stepped towards me and took my arm again, instead of pulling me he placed a hand on my heart, it was beating madly.
"Look deep, Richard…you know exactly what I mean" I swallowed heavily and focused on his hand, warm on my chest. I could feel every finger.
"Too cryptic, Roy…I don't understand" he pulled away eyes sad
"We should suit up." Once again he was the first to walk away.
Sometimes Richard was blind. I was sorry for hurting him, my jealously and envy and desire drove me to hate him. Well, I drove myself to hate him. It was the only way to accept I couldn't have him.
I'd advanced twice now. And all he did was give me a confused look, dazed like he was scared of me.
He must not feel the same towards me.
It's infuriating to love someone who's just out of your reach.
The Jet descended towards the sheet of ice below us with a shudder. Dick came from the back dressed in a white suit, the only color was his blue crest spread across his chest. His mask was white, standing against tan skin and black hair. I offered him the controls and went to change for myself.
Our fingers brushed as we transferred places. We both recoiled. I wandered to the back.
I unwrapped a similar uniform from a thermal container, white with black arm straps and my red arrow on the chest, I changed my mask. My ginger hair sticking out like a beacon.
He made it look so much better than me. I grabbed my bow and mounted my quiver.
Nightwing opened the back hatch of the jet.
"Go, I'll land and meet you at the south end of the lab in 30" I nodded and leapt, wind slamming to my ears. "… BE CAREFUL!" I smiled against the wind. You too, Dick.
I hit the snow hard, and rolled. Landing in a crouch. I saw the jet disappear in the distance, my eyes followed it until I couldn't anymore. I was still a mile from the mission point. The cold was intense even through the thermal gear, I felt my face harden in the wind. Pulled taught against the chill.
I started to jog, snow past my shins.
Guilt heavy on every step. I had pushed Dick away and now I was trying to pull him in. To be mine. No wonder he was suspicious. There was a wall separating us, I intended to break it down.
I landed, the controls rattling in my fists, there was a down draft. I managed to land after a try or two and gathered a duffle bag, food, thermos' of hot coffee, a blanket, bandages and a match book. You can never be too sure. I slung it on my back, it was only the size of a backpack so I held it easily. I opened the hatch and stepped out, typing a code in my wrist computer.
The door closed, and the jet faded to white. Camouflaged. I smiled and then pressed the communicator nestled deep in the cavity of my ear. Slight static buzzed between our words.
"N.W. to R.A."
"R.A. here. Go ahead Dick" his voice warmed me against the chill. I shifted the bag and started jogging towards the building in the distance, the snow thick around my legs.
"On the move to your location…What's your E.T.A?"
"About five minutes out…you?"
"About ten. See you at the south entrance"
"Ok. Don't get lost, Kid" I rolled my eyes and kept jogging. The ten minutes ticked by slowly, when my communicator buzzed I almost didn't hear it over my rough, cold breaths. I stopped to answer it
"Careful, cameras" I looked up at the roof of the building, my eyes resting on a few immediately. I inched along the wall, grabbing handfuls of snow and tossing them away from me so that the cameras would follow the movement eagerly. Like a puppy would a ball.
I rushed past and looked around for Roy. He was crouched low behind a high mound of snow, I slid in next to him and joined him in a crouch, his body was warm against the cold.
"So do we just knock and yell Candy Gram?" He notched an arrow. Some candy gram. I shot Roy and exasperated look.
"Dude this is a stealth mission…we go through the vents" close space, squeezed in with Roy. Someone would have to go behind the other. Ok no vents. "Or we could go through a window…"
"Come on" Roy was shooting an arrow for the roof before I could blink, I fumbled for my grappling hook and followed. He brushed some snow off the cover to the duct in the roof, and knelt down. Eyeing the vent in embarrassment. I followed and together we pulled it off and peered in.
"You first, boy wonder" he shot me a sheepish smile and I slipped in. We usually would have made some gay joke about 'enjoying the view' or something, but not now, not after I had opened my mouth and ruined the brotherly friendship between Roy and me.
Focus on the mission, Grayson. You're going to get yourself, and the love of your life, killed.
I couldn't help it, Dick's ass was in my face. I couldn't help but stare. Every time he crawled forward the muscle in his thigh would pop out and the muscle crease in his ass cheek would indent. It was remarkable. Dock's body was toned to perfection.
Focus, Roy. Don't get him killed by being distracted.
I moved my eyes to his heels. He stopped and struggled to turn around in the tight space, it was so cramped his head was forced down to his chest, he looked at me lopsided. He wrapped his arms around his knees to fit. His body nearly blocked the whole passageway. He pulled up his wrist computer, and gave me a sad smile.
"We passed our exit…turn around" Grayson you sneaky bastard. I swear he was smirking inside. I struggled to turn, a good head taller than Nightwing and a good 50 pounds heavier. I crawled with caution, embarrassed about situations close quarters. "Stop, take a left"
Focus, Harper. "Ok take the exit cover on your right, it'll open in storage room." It took me a minute to push the cover off, it had long rusted. Finally it snapped off with a harsh 'clang' and red dust took to the air like cigarette smoke. I wormed out and dropped a good ten feet to the concrete behind some wooden crates. The jump rattled my ankles. The storage room was just light enough to cast shadows. I turned and motioned for Nightwing. I put my arms out to catch him then dropped them at my sides.
Don't be gay.
Besides the kid had jumped from higher.
He landed soundlessly, his thighs screaming against the white spandex. The whites in his mask narrowed as he typed in his holo-computer. The blue from the screen casting glowing shadows in the depths in his mask.
"Ok, I need to get to the main frame computer, which is down the hall in the Lab…can you get me there?" I examined the screen.
"What do you mean, "Can you get me there?" Why can't we go together?" I blushed, it was hidden by the mask. Dick seemed to be in full mission mode, how does he do it?
"I'm going to need a distraction" I smiled and notched an arrow.
"You've got one"
He didn't know the half of it. I had a distraction already. I watched him draw and arrow the muscles in his forearms defined against the spandex and black arm bands. He put a hand on my lower back before pushing off from the crates and running towards the hall. I tensed as his fingers left. Be careful.
I waited until I heard an explosion, Roy's arrow. Then the scratching nails of small, cat sized genomes running across the concrete, dozens shot past the door, I peaked from the boxes.
"N.W. to R.A. Approx. Dozen Nasty's on their way"
"Some already here" I wanted to say be careful…but instead I snuck into the hall, running the opposite way. I closed myself in the lab. A gleaming computer was waiting in the middle of the room. I made my way towards it, turning in small circles looking for unseen threats. Finally satisfied I reached it and plugged in.
It took me a few minutes to hack in, finally I saw the small folders disappearing into my wrist.
The blue screen flashed red.
An alarm sounded and the lab locked down. Damn it. A large steel door was closing over my exit.
I managed to rip the cord free and slip under the steel before it slammed shut. I took off running away from the alarm, towards Roy. My ear buzzed.
"R.A. TO N.W. what the fuck?! You tipped an alarm?" I squinted as I hear familiar claws following me, I spun and draw a bo-staff in a sweep, spinning it once and slamming it into the creature. It hit the wall and slid, I struck at another one, and another.
"Psssh. Totally meant to Roy" for a second it was old times. Back when I was Robin. Back when I was straight. Back when things weren't so complicated.
Only three Genomes? I pulled up my computer the download had only reached 76% before I had … screwed up. Damn it. I hacked the motion sensors. My stomach heaved and nearly dropped to the floor.
Oh hell…I saw Roy's familiar red arrow marker, he was close to my blue insignia marker. We were separated by a hall. Hundred of red dots were swarming us.
We had to get out…we had to run. We couldn't fight hundreds of genomes alone. Or together.
more to come. It's starting to get interesting! Ooh so close to kissing! So...close...
stay retrabutionable. That may not be a word...so sue me.