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Know Your Man

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Spyral was the enemy in a good many ways. Letting them get their hands on secrets not meant for them was a danger that Midnighter wasn’t comfortable with. He had secrets to protect after all, too. But there was this: Agent 37 had become somewhat of an ally, not really a friend.

Something different.

Perhaps more complicated.

He kept telling himself that was because Grayson wasn’t really cut out to be an agent, because the kid had been a hero before his death had been staged and he had been recruited into the shady organisation. Why he had gone with Spyral was anyone’s guess. He seemed to independent too be a real trooper for their cause, too loyal to be a double agent, too unprofessional to be playing it. The longer he watched him the more it became apparent that Dick Grayson was a study in contradiction.

An annoyance.


Midnighter had been denied so much over the course of his life that he’d become quite capable at recognizing the things he wanted and at not denying himself. Apollo had helped him learn, but he’d learned more about his own wants and desires since. And the skin tight Spyral agent uniform wasn’t exactly leaving much to the imagination, where it came to the figure cut by one Dick Grayson.

He let a hand wander over Grayson’s hip, let his fingers play along the rim of his shirt.

“You do have a tight little ass,” he said and grinned.

“Thanks,” Dick said and finally dropped the illusion created by the Hypnos, so Midnighter could actually look at his face again without forcefully breaking him out of it. Midnighter had no idea how this kid had ever thought he could pull off being a spy. Whatever he thought his life with a secret identity had prepared him for this kind of subterfuge did not seem to suit him very much. He was too much of a performer for it.

But Midnighter had learned to not underestimate him. There was a will, hard as steel and unrelenting, that carried the kid through his game.

A walk through a desert had changed how Midnighter looked at him.

Stubborn resolve had never looked more attractive.

A romp between the sheets had changed what they were to each other later.

He had never put a name on it, hated labels more than he hated the people he went after or the people who had done this to him.

“Have the time?” He grinned, not even bothering to hold back the leer in it.

“Are you trying to be courteous?”

Why bother? he thought. They both wanted this. Nothing to be questioned about that. And not even the idiot was denying it these days. In between all the violence they saw every day, in the middle of all the games they were playing or had to play there was the time and place for something playful and real. Not many things could touch Midnighter if he didn’t let them, but he felt the pull, the resonance of emotion every time he got too close to Grayson. It didn’t scare him. After all, he’d been moth to the flame before. Not even waiting for an invitation he stepped in and took charge, leaving no doubts to what it was he wanted. He pushed up the tight shirt, watched as Grayson who was once again not carrying a gun - only a few gadgets tucked away inside his belt and his escrimas at his back - loosened straps and hooks to help him get to skin. It was perfect.

Not the spot, but the unspoken understanding.

Having sex in the cargo hold of a military plane wasn’t perfection. Even Midnighter knew that, although perhaps for him it wasn’t too far off.

But nobody knew better than him that life wasn’t perfect and you needed to find the little perfection it granted in stolen moments, in the perfect fit of a warm, athletic body pressed against yours. He leaned down to kiss Grayson, wasn’t surprised that the other man had already leaned up to meet him half-way.

“Missed me?” he teased.

Dick sighed, somewhere between a real sound of heartfelt aggravation and a little desperate panting noise asking for more. Even that was oddly perfect. Messy and perfect; just like them.

He just loved the undressing part. Loved turning the agent into the man, vulnerable and strong.

It was Grayson who turned the kiss fierce, drew Midnighter’s hands down on himself again and he was not one to decline the invitation. Hands still gloved, he let them roam across pale skin, until his lover was shivering.

Then - only then - did he pull away to get rid of his coat, to throw it down so they would have somewhere to get down to in a minute.

He pulled Grayson down with him and touched him without gloves for the first time this night. Grayson nearly melted into his touch. Always likes to be touched, he observed. Must have been hard going from a family and love life in Gotham to the spy convention it was now.

There were many things about Dick Grayson that didn’t make sense at first glance, but somehow all parts of the puzzle had a way of falling into place eventually.

Most times during sex.

Because sex was when they could be honest.
He had Grayson on his back in no time, gasped when strong legs came around his hips, drawing him closer.

It was like unravelling a puzzle, like being a puzzle solved by Grayson; all contradictions smoothing out to make a whole.

Two backed beast, he thought with a beatific grin, as Grayson threw himself back with a gasp, eyes tightly shut, but laying himself bare in a way he usually wouldn’t. It was easy to lose himself in the fell and smell of it - over and over again...

* * *

Most of the time he could pick Grayson out of a crowd these days - costume, clever disguise or no. He teased that it was all about that tight little ass in the perfectly snug pants he wore as Agent 37, but it was much more than that. He had come to appreciate the fighting style, the acrobatic elements that had become part of its very own and very distinctive combination of martial arts. Grayson in many way was still more hero than spy, but everyone who cared to look could see that he was no amateur. He’d had training. Lots of it.

Who knew something about Grayson knew where he’d got it and even watching Midnighter realized there was something of the Bat in it.

And it was hard to think of the Batman as someone who would let just anyone run with him. Midnighter still chuckled when he thought about that. After all the man had gathered a whole group of kids around himself and trained them.

Hardly the responsible thing to do, but nobody could deny the effectiveness of the Bat-heroes.

But even among them Grayson was one of a kind.

Midnighter had done his research.

His own miscalculation back in that desert had still lingered at the back of his mind when he’d started his little research into the life of one Dick Grayson - and by extension into the footage available of his former compatriots.There wasn’t too much of it, but still enough.

And the one thing that he had learned was, that while “Nightwing” had died very publicly, his fighting, his style, the way he moved, survived in the agent he was now. All the moves were there if one cared to look.

But honestly… it was regretful that Grayson had had to give up that costume.

If his agent uniform left nothing to the imagination, then the Nightwing costume was at the same time less revealing and more enticing.

It was a right shame that he was wearing Spyral these days.

* * *

During the next fight, they ended up back to back. Enhanced soldiers slashing for their throats, while Midnighter had no trouble dancing through the steps, while the computer in his head provided the blueprints for victory. It seemed like the right moment to ask: "Do you still own that costume?"

Grayson just looked over his shoulder to study him, parrying a blow at the same time. "Really? 30 enhanced soldiers to fight and that is what you're thinking about right now?"

"Do you? Still have it?"

"Want to find out?"

He grinned. The suggestion was clear. "Do you need to ask?" There was some fun to be had in the near future.

“I think asking questions never really fills a purpose with you.”

“More a man of action,” Midnighter agreed easily, as he took out to soldiers by smashing their heads together.

* * *

Peeling Grayson out of the skin tight costume posed more of a challenge than Midnighter had anticipated. The fabric of it was both sturdy and flexible and his battle trained mind couldn’t help but file that away for later investigation. Kevlar mixed in, he analyzed. To his delight there were no visible seams.

“This is really turning you on,” Grayson, dressed in his full Nightwing costume complete with domino mask, said slowly and he managed to sound both surprised and smug about it.

“It’s like it was designed to do nothing else.” He pulled Grayson closer, let him feel his erection through both their sturdy costumes. “Are you complaining?”

“Nightwing” laughed and it give Midnighter a thrill to realize that Grayson was in full on character, that the voice was just one cadence off from his usual tones, more breathy and darker. “Not at all.”

His voice went right to his cock and his mind, analyzing his next steps just like he would the best moves in battle, provided him with all the best angles, all the possibilities of getting hands to skin, of perhaps having sex right here on the floor without taking the whole thing off.

Pleasure of anticipation pulsed through him, only heightened by the fact that Grayson had no way of hiding his own excitement in what he was wearing. “How did you not have everyone all over you, wearing that?”

A strangled snort was as much answer as he would get.

With his tongue down Grayson’s throat and their bodies rubbing against each other in a way that was more indecent then all those times before despite the fabric answers weren’t what he was looking for right now.

* * *

Things had changed again. Midnighter did not like assigning labels to his relationships, but he knew things had changed for sure when he found himself sitting in his own apartment, clad in nothing but boxers, with Grayson’s head resting against a thigh. The man was fast asleep and shirtless. Even in his exhausted state and with clean dressing hiding the nasty flesh wound to the stomach he’d received only hours ago, his ability to sleep in Midnighter’s presence was testament to the trust they’d been building. Rivalry, Midnighter had called it when Grayson - who liked to name things - had asked. “Friendship,” the man had insisted, although there had been the slight echo of a question mark in there.

“Whatever,” he mumbled to himself.

He had no patience for the television program so he did the irresponsible thing and called up footage of Batfamily exploits he’d gathered. Grayson wasn’t talking about the new Batman in Gotham or the things he was worrying about when he was not trying to play his too open secret agent persona. It had rekindled Midnighter’s interest in all things Bat.

He went through old files, looking for more on Nightwing, hoping to see Dick fight with his mentor to analyze all the ways the boy had learned from the man. What he found in one of the recordings had him rewind and watch again.

And again.

For his mind it was easy enough to see the patterns he had been tracking for months now. He watched Batman with his young Robin at his side go through one particular move he knew very well. He had seen it up close. Acrobatics paired with pro level martial arts. Looking at it two more times, he knew exactly what it was he was seeing.

And Grayson hadn’t made a sound, but Midnighter realized he was awake.

“I can’t see your ass kid, but your legs look damn fine in that costume too.”

“The cape is a pain,” he imparted. He gave no indication of his thoughts on Midnighter going over the footage or made a snip about having taken on the role of his mentor at a time.

It wasn’t the kind of thing you talked about casually with your frienemmy, your not really partner, your casually secret agent fling and rival. With all the masks they had, with all the scars visible even in the dim light on both their bodies, their baggage was obvious. They weren’t here to talk about emotions.

There was only one thing he really could ask and mean it.

“You don’t still happen to have that costume?”

Grayson, moving slightly to lie on his back, not pulling away from Midnighter at all, snorted, then groaned as he jarred his wound with the movement.

“Don’t even think of it.”

He grinned, replaying the footage one more time for both of them to see. “Too late,” he said wickedly.

When this had started Grayson had just been a former hero idiot who had gotten in over his head and who was no match for Midnighter. But every day had brought to light a new layer in the man.

Midnighter couldn’t wait for what was going to be revealed next.

Couldn’t wait at all.