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The red and running life

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He is never -- quiet. Not really.

You frown, looking at the way his hands wish him to know that they are empty -- they miss petting someone whose name you do not recognize.

They will accept curling in for a strike as a substitute, and you think he did not need his hands' reminder.

If you laid your hand flat on the small of his back, you could touch the place where he thinks of the Batgirl before you. Not Oracle, he never calls her Barbara -- she is always Batgirl there.

You are learning. You -- you do not know him. You do not know *this*.

When he looks at you, the set of his shoulders says, Yes, and, Do it *better*, and the bat on your chest tells you that you are a weapon.

Sometimes he reminds you of your father.

You love your father, and it is better to be the weapon of the Bat, and the lines at the corner of his mouth tells you that he knows this. That he understands.

You try to tell him with the curve of your mouth that you, too, understand, and even if you do not hear the gun firing that he hears in every beat of his heart, you see blood on your fingers. And it is not so different.

The bat on his chest tells him that he is also a weapon. The muscles of his thighs remind him, You have lost weapons before.

When he looks at the clothing under glass -- you do not see anyone there, you see that person in the tension of the thin skin under his eyes and the laughter his temples say that he still hears, and in the sudden hunger in his hands when he sees Spoiler -- his fingers say, It is not worth it.

And the bat answers, That does not matter.

And both of you tug your faces on and go.

His hands are still empty.