“You are tattooed all over. That’s insane.” Cassandra tilts her head, pulling the robe further over her shoulders.
She keeps her back to Dinah, facing the windows across from the door. “I don’t even know what I can teach you. You’re one of the best fighters I’ve ever seen, and that body language thing? Jesus.”
“You. Brawling style. Tactics.”
“So that’s why you’re in my apartment, but why are you naked?”
“Landlord. Suspicious. Needed distraction.”
“What, did you seduce him with your feminine wiles?”
She grins and goes for a fistbump, but Cassandra shakes her head. “Intercourse. With you.”
“My landlord thinks I’m a lesbian now? Well, it’s not a lie.” Cassandra lets the robe drop to her waist, looks over her shoulder at Dinah. There are bullet scars on both her shoulder blades, underneath the tentacles that start at her neck and curl towards her waist.
“You are…really unashamed of your body. Which is good! Girl power, and all that.” Dinah yawns, pulling her jacket and leotard off and sitting to tug at the fishnets. If Cassandra can be naked, than so can she. She’s always been competitive.
Cassandra touches the claw marks down her spine and Dinah straightens with a jump. “So! Bed! I turned the living room into a gym, so no couch. Are you okay if we sleep together?”
Cassandra raises a brow. “Are you?”
Dinah showers while Cassandra finds clothes. Hopefully. She must’ve came straight from patrol, all she has is her uniform. Dinah’s patrol tonight was hard. Ollie made a stupid decision, like always, and some thug got a good hit to her sternum. Now it’s bruised and she’s gonna have a hard time shrieking for a while.
She tugs a t-shirt and panties on and walks into her room. Cassandra’s already in bed, wearing a tank. She sits staring straight ahead, hands folded across her stomach. “Uh, do you snore? Probably not. Silence is…kinda your thing. Look, if I wake up screaming, get out quick. My cry won’t kill you, but it hurts like a bitch.”
“And I. No kill.”
“Yeah, killing me in my sleep would kinda suck.” Cassandra turns her head, the tattooed flowers and skull across her chest shifting. There’s a wasp on her right elbow, maybe there’s some sort of nature theme going on? Then again, the whole top of her left arm is machinery, forearm colored as black as her uniform. Pearls follow the line of her ribs. They all hide scars.
Dinah grins easily. “Sorry. I like your tattoos.”
She crawls into bed next to Cassandra, feels the smooth slide of their legs. She expected to feel nervous, sleeping next to an assassin, but as soon as the room goes dark she’s out.
She wakes up with her face pressed to the bare skin of Cassandra’s side, drooling onto the line of her shorts. There’s a thin scar near her eye. Cassandra has a book balanced on her head. The soft brush of pages is what woke her.
“Mouth warm.” Cassandra taps a finger on her upper lip.
“S’it time to get up yet?” Dinah mumbles.
“Shh.” Cassandra’s hands stroke along her temples, cup her face. Dinah’s already half asleep, but she thinks she hears Cassandra say, “Pretty.”
Cassandra does everything naked or barely clothed. They’ve been living together for a day, but Dinah could already give a good guess at Cassandra’s measurements. “Cassandra, you have to wear clothes.” Cassandra gives her a questioning hum. “Cause it’s really distracting, that’s why!” Dinah hisses, looking up from her cereal.
Cassandra has shorts on, leans her right forearm against the table. It’s too heavily damaged for tattoos, thick knots of scar tissue cratering her dark skin. “How’d you get those scars?” Cassandra shrugs, and holy shit is Dinah distracted again. “Look. At least a shirt and panties at all times, okay?”
Cassandra nods, reaching out to tug at the collar of Dinah’s shirt. “What…no! Not my shirt, I have to wear clothes, too.” She gets a quick smile before Cassandra is gone and back in seconds, wearing a tanktop. “Alright, that’s better.”
Fighting Cassandra is like fighting everyone trained by the League. Vicious and acrobatic and quick. The only difference is that Cassandra doesn’t make cryptic statements and she keeps seeing Dinah’s moves before she’s even made them. “Jesus. Jesus. Okay, Cassandra. I need a break.” She takes a careful breath, cause her chest aches and being punched wasn’t helping. Cassandra flows to her side, puts a hand to her breastbone.
“Ouch?” she asks, frowning.
“Yeah, I got bruised pretty bad last night, but I’ll be okay.”
“Mm.” Cassandra sits at her feet.
“Do you wanna do anything else?” She shakes her head. “Do you wanna go see Robin?” She shakes her head again. Dinah crouches in front of her, a little concerned. “Do you do anything besides sleep and train?” Cassandra nods. “What?”
“Eat.” Dinah laughs and shoves gently at her shoulder.
They have lunch in the gym, sitting crosslegged in front of each other. “So, Cassandra, do you like flowers?” Cassandra points to the flowers along her breastbone. Dinah smiles. “I meant more along the lines of gardening.”
“You could get a job as a florist. With me. You won’t be bored that way.”
“Mm.” She grins at Dinah through a mouthful of chow mein.
“You can get started once I tell Mom. Cassandra-”
Dinah keeps her face blank, but that’s useless here. Cassandra winks at her. “Cassie it is, then. Let me ice my bruises, then we’ll go again.”
She leaves to go to the bathroom, comes back to find Cassie hanging by the knees from her rafters. It’s fine. She hangs out with a lot of people who like heights. Arsenal is crazy for them. Probably cause he’s so short. “Cassie. Get down here so we can spar, yeah?”
Cassie shakes her head, drops gracefully to land on her hands before tumbling back to her feet. “Huh? I thought you wanted to train.”
She moves behind Dinah, putting a hand to her breastbone. “Ouch.”
“What, the bruises? It’s fine, I’ve been hurt before.”
Cassie’s brows narrow. “Ouch.”
“Ugh, fine, we don’t have to train.” She heads to the bathroom, pulling off her sweaty clothes. “Lemme take a shower, then we can go out for ice cream?”
Cassie also follows her into the shower. There are drops of water on the small of her back, on her eyelashes. God, Dinah isn’t sure whether Cassie is a blessing or a curse. “Cassie, you can’t shower with me.”
“Saving water’s not an issue. You can shower after me.” Cassie grabs a towel and leaves. When Dinah gets out of the shower, she’s sponging herself down near the sink.
Cassie smiles while she walks, close to Dinah’s side. Their hands brush. “Lorenzo’s has the best ice cream in the city. I go there whenever I need a treat,” Dinah says as they turn a corner. “I figure that you could do with some treats, right?”
Cassie nods. “I’ve trained a few heroes before, but they usually had their own bases. I know you’re not living with Batman, but are you sure you don’t want your own place?”
Cassie’s eyes flick to Dinah’s face. “Stay.”
Dinah gets Black Raspberry, Cassie gets Neapolitan. They eat outside at the tables, the metal top cool against Dinah’s forearms. Cassie keeps knocking their toes together. She watches the city with wary eyes, tensing whenever the sound level rises.
“Cassie. Probably nothing’s going to happen,” Dinah tries, briefly taking her hand. Cassie stares at her for a moment, something sad in her face. “This is Star City. If something happens, we’re not the only people on the forefront.”
Cassie leans to rest her head on the table, taking Dinah’s hand again. Her ice cream’s melting into greyish goo. “Tired.”
“I know, honey. We’re all tired. But justice is worth fighting for.”
Cassie sits up, smirking. “Just tired.”
“Oh. You meant tired as in sleepy. Did you come here from a different time zone?” She nods, yawning. “Jeez, you shoulda told me. Let’s go home and take a nap.” She looks at her ice cream and then at Dinah. “You don’t have to finish it.” Cassie lets go of her hand and starts cleaning up.
“Zz?” Cassie asks when they get home.
“Yeah, we can sleep.” Cassie strips off her pants and flips onto Dinah’s bed, making it creak. Her eyes are heavy. Dinah undresses more slowly, tumbles into bed. Cassie moves closer to her, throws a leg over hers.
There’s a cupcake on the curve of her hip. Cute. Dinah doesn’t bother tempting herself by looking further.
“You’re a very physical person, Cassie.”
“It’s kinda nice.” Cassie’s already asleep, though, so Dinah shuts the light off.