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Can I have this dance?

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Barbara doesn’t tell anyone about her dreams.

Sometimes she hates the way people - her father and sometimes her friends - look at her. It’s hard enough to remember the life she once had and make the best out of the life she has now with the new limitations and new possibilities without having others look at her like that. Most of the time her life is good. Barbara had not been defeated. She has built a new life for herself that she likes and is proud of. That’s why she can’t deal with pity.

Building yourself a new life from the ground up is not something that deserves pity. It deserves respect.

And that's why she doesn't talk about her dreams.

She can imagine how people would look at her if they knew her dreams are filled with dancing; herself gliding across a ballroom, effortlessly following the steps of the dance, sometimes letting it all go and instead moving to the driving beat of blaring music on an overcrowded dance floor or all by herself. It’s better than dreaming of jumping over rooftops and running after criminals, but she knows that people won’t see the difference.

The dreams make her happy. Sometimes because of happy memories, sometimes because of the remembered elation. It doesn’t make her sad anymore to know that she will never dance this way again. She’s found a new kind of freedom as Oracle and she knows she has reason to be proud.

As always she’s good at what she does.

So she helps herself out of bed with a smile, wondering where Dick has run off to. But then she hears the shower running, so she can be sure he hasn’t run far. She wheels herself into the kitchen and gets a cup of coffee. Dick must have been awake for a while then, making coffee, now taking a shower. He should be exhausted from last night's patrol in Bludhaven and rushing over to Gotham after to be with her, but like all of them he has learned to get by without much sleep.

She hears his steps before he enters the kitchen, dressed in nothing but a towel, hair still wet and hanging into his eyes. It's a great way to start your morning, she thinks and smiles into her coffee cup. “Slept well?” he asks.

“Pleasant dreams, yes,” he answers, walking over to her. He presses a kiss to her brow and moves toward the fridge, in that unselfconscious, relaxed way of his. She wheels herself back from the table, watching his every move, admiring the way the muscles in his back are visible when he moves. Of course, he peeks over his shoulder and catches her at it, smiling. “See something you like?”

Impulsively she holds up her hands in front of herself and says: “I want to dance.”

He doesn't hesitate or even blink in surprise, used to going with his own impulses, and steps toward her, takes her hands, as if they never stopped doing this since high school. “You want to dance in the kitchen? I think we might need more room.”

She smiles as he starts swaying to the music that isn't playing, pulling her along awkwardly at first. The chair needs room and it doesn't move as easily like a dancing partner using their two feet would, but it is moving with them and it's more flexible than she would have imagined. They'll have to learn new rules to make this work without trouble, but suddenly it feels like dancing. She can't see herself, but she likes to think it even looks like dancing.

“Why haven't we done this before?” he asks.

“Maybe I didn't feel like dancing?” she asks back, bantering, trying not to show what this means to her, how nervous she is about it, how important this is to her, but she can see in his serious blue eyes that he knows already. And it scares her a little to think about what this says about them.

“Maybe,” he says and nods, pulling her towards him and then stepping to her side, never letting go of her hand. “Maybe we should try this sometime on a dance floor.”

The thought of doing this in front of people is scary. Her stomach is knotting up when she tries to imagine it. It also brings back so many memories of dates and girls nights and Barbara Gordon moving around on the dance floor. She can remember it, although it seems like another person's memories sometimes. But they are dancing now and although she is still bound to this chair, she feels lighter than she has in a long time. “Maybe,” she agrees. When her chair gets stuck again against the kitchen counter she giggles. “Maybe next time we should just take this to the training room. There is enough room for me to hit at you with a yantok stick, so it should give us enough room for this.”

“You make training sound so romantic, sweetheart.” Dick leans forward to kiss her chastely on the lips. It's sweet and so unlike the passionate kisses they usually share after missions or in the bedroom.

She strokes a hand along his bare chest, stroking along hard muscles and scars and just watching him. “Thank you,” she whispers and kisses him softly, a hand coming up to his chin to keep him in place. “This is one wonderful way to start your morning.”

“Oh,” he says lightly and straightens up, to move over to her stove. “Wait till I've made you breakfast.”

She smiles, watching the way he moves around her kitchen space, obviously in no hurry to get dressed. The only thing he has to wear is probably his Nightwing costume anyway, and although she won't pretend that he doesn't look great in that, right now she vastly prefers the towel.

While he's busy, she makes her way to the tables, sets up one of the laptops and checks her messages. Dinah has checked in and wants to know how her morning is going so far.

Enjoying the view, she types back, smiling to herself.