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A New Step in the Milestone

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This is getting very ridiculous, Dick Grayson thought while walking down the hall in a white t-shirt and gray sleeping pants. It was two o'clock in the morning and he still couldn't sleep. It was the end of his first week in collage, and frankly, he didn't think he would survive. There was a party going on outside, due to the "Orientation Week", but he didn't go and he wasn't able to sleep, either, because the music was too loud. He did feel slightly odd about not wanting to go, but to be truthful he still had things to unpack and this was the first time in the last seventy two hours that he was alone in his room.

Reaching to the nearest vending machine, which was in the common room, he evaluated his options for a minute, only to be stuck between a pack of chips and a chocolate bar. It can't be this hard to decide between chips and chocolate, he thought as his azure eyes went back and forth while he started a small melody with tapping his food to the floor and the dollar coin on his hand to the metal surface of the machine. He rest his forehead on the cool glass and sighed as cheers erupted from the crowd outside with the end of the song.

"I would advice eating chips rather than candy before going to bed, otherwise you won't be able to sleep well." a voice said behind him, startling him for a moment and causing him to jump a little on his feet. His reaction got him a soft giggle coming from the window seat in front of him. There was a girl sitting in front of the big window facing the hall where the concert was going on. She was wearing green shorts, an oversized shirt over it and purple monster slippers, which were probably her pajamas. She was currently braiding her hair which seemed to be auburn if not reddish brown. She had bright green eyes and a brilliant smile which lighted up the otherwise dark room. She looked at him for a second or two which felt like an eternity before he realized that he had been staring and tried to revert his eyes a little. Giving a small laugh, the beautiful stranger got up and slowly made way to his side as she finished her braid and finally introduced herself.

"Kory Anders, freshmen." she said with a smile and extended her hand for a handshake. She had a accent which Dick thought was cute and indicated that English was not her native tongue. Besides having a beautiful face, she was also tall, towering Dick with a few inches. Dick, dazzled by this tall, gorgeous stranger needed a very small moment before he could reply.

"Dick Grayson, also a freshmen." he said with a smile as she shook her hand. Kory, rather calmed by his friendly attitude, took this as a chance to finally get to know someone from her own year.

"If you wanted to get a snack I got cookies, which I personally think is a better option than the monstrosities they sell in that machine." she said as she showed the window seat, covered by notebooks, pencils and what Dick just saw what appeared to be a refrigerator box. Taking a chance, he followed Kory to her seat as she made room for him to sit and offered him what appeared to be chocolate mint cookies. They both took one before reverting into a silence while looking to the concert downstairs. Kory turned his attention to Dick, in order to see something on him which she could start a conversation from. He was very handsome and built. An athlete, maybe? Definitely a sportsmen, she thought, but decided against directly starting with his physic. Dick was also busy looking for something to start a conversation. Not that he was uncomfortable in the silence, but he understood that Kory wanted to talk. Luckily, Kory beat him to it.

"So, Dick, where are you from?" she casually asked, although it was very obvious that she was putting a very big effort in trying to look like it. Dick thought about a moment about his answer, whether he should mention where he was born in or not, before deciding to say "I came from Gotham." Kory appeared to be trying to remember something after he answered her question.

"Gotham is in New Jersey, right?" she asked. She didn't know most of the cities outside of the big ones, but Gotham always had a way of attracting great attention from the media. She waited for Dick's reply, but he looked very reluctant just by sitting there.

"Yes." he quietly answered. To be truthful, he had no problem with sitting near a very gorgeous girl who seemed nice, but he knew he had things to take care of. He, of course, could leave anytime, but there was something about the said girl which made him stay in his awkward place. Deciding that he should at least try to make this conversation work, he took another cookie and added "Where are you from?"

"Is it that obvious?" she asked smilingly. She knew it was obvious. Her hair, eye and skin colors were dead giveaways, she was taller than average and she knew she had an accent, given that English was not her fifth foreign language.

"No, no, I didn't mean to be-" Dick tried to explain quickly. His hands up, in a defense mood, as he tried to correct his mistake. Kory laughed at his antics and lowered his hands.

"I was only joking, I don't mind." she said, a smile on her face as her eyes trying to look at his, Dick's eyes, however was on his hands which Kory was still holding. She has warm hands, he thought as his hands were in his. It made him wonder a little what would it feel like if they held hands. Kory saw what he was looking at and took her hands, taking the warmth with her. She cleared her throat and added "Well, I'm from an island country in South Pacific Ocean, Close to Brazil."

"Did you always live there?" he asked while taking another cookie to distract himself, Damn these things are good.

"Mostly. Sometimes we would go to other countries to live, but never to completely settle. My parents are diplomats so we mostly moved. I'm an IB student, by the way." she said, which made sense if she was foreign and if her parents were diplomats. He knew how not settling down was like too, though, he always had a home.

"I can understand that. International Bachelorette, ha. That is very cool." he said. Kory gave an exaggerated sigh and smiled, almost as if she remembered something funny, but did not share.

"I would say tiring. May I ask what made you came here while there is a big party going on down there to eat those very delicious yet most probably lethal food?" she asked, changing the conversation topic, not that he minded.

"Sure, I just didn't feel like going. I have several boxes to unpack and I promised myself that I would finish those before Saturday, which I apparently couldn't. What's your excuse?" he replied, turning the topic on her. She sensed that there were other reasons, but did not push him.

"There were some disturbances and I thought it was kind of loud." she decided to say, not mentioning the drunken group near her which turned the concert to hell.

"Yes, there is that. Is that why you're watching it from here?" he asked. She had a good spot, the bands could be seen clearly and it was far away so the loudness was repressed so there was a fair amount of chance that she wanted to see the concert, but not exactly joining.

"Partially. I also wanted to look at the city." she said. He gazed at the city lights further away and then at his feet where he saw a drawing of the city silhouette from that exact spot.

"That seems more fitting. What are you drawing?" he asked, showing the open sketchbook. Kory looked at the place where she put them on the floor and took the one Dick pointed out a moment before.

"Oh, nothing particular." she said as she gazed at it. It was not something she worked on hard enough so she was not sure showing it to someone.

"May I see them?" he kindly asked.

"Of course." she answered, in a sudden fuss. She never thought she was exceptionally good at drawing, but Dick seemed like a nice person who could give good criticism. She handed him the sketch book he was looking a moment before. He turned on the first page with great care, seeing the importance of this item for Kory. He tracked down her lines, the marks of the pencil she was using. He turned the pages again and again, never losing interest in her work. Her art was beautiful. Sometimes dark and shadowy and sometimes lively and colorful, but always alive.

"Wow, are you an arts major?" he asked as he looked at some other sketches, looking at Kory's reaction in every page from the side of his eyes, only to caught her attention on him rather than her book until his comment. Her attention diverted from him to her hands in a second as a slightly pink hue started to grace her cheeks.

"Oh, no, I am not that good. These are just random sketches." she answered, baffled by his compliment.

"Are you sure? Because they are wonderful." he said kindly. Kory blushed even further at his compliment which Dick thought made her look even more unrealistically wonderful. He was starting to doubt she was real, theories about why he might be hallucinating running in his head.

"I thank you, but to be truthful the last thing I am is an arts major." she quickly said and dismissed the topic. Dick, sensing the discomfort and sudden change in her behavior, decided to change the topic.

"What is your major then?" he asked amusingly to lighten the mood.

"I haven't really decided. I am going back and forth between Political Science and Rocket Engineering." she shyly answered.

"Those are very related." he said laughingly. Kory looked at him disbelievingly, but in an entertained way.

"Well don't laugh. What is your major then, Mister Smart pants?" she replied, shaking her head while laughing.

"I can live with that. I really don't know. Haven't decided yet."

"I can only hope we can decide what we want to be before the university forces us to." Kory said as she laughed. Dick soon found himself joining her without even realizing it.

"Hope so." Dick answered in the middle of another laugh. It wasn't that the topic was amusing, on the contrary, it was serious, but finding someone with the same problem made it seem much normal. Also, Dick just happened to find out Kory's laugh was contagious just like her smile.

The conversation went pretty naturally after that. Both of them were very eager to get to know the other, which made them completely forgetful about the cookies and the party going on downstairs. They talked about their favorite movies, color and bands. They talked about music and discovered lots of common things among completely different ones such as the books they read and eating habits. While Dick was a free eater and liked to discover new things in his comfort zone which were mostly healthy, Kory seemed to have very tight yet standard eating schedule. Although she talked about the things she tasted once or twice which indicated she was very daring. They a lot about movies after discovering neither of them liked TV shows, although Dick liked to watch some classics, and a little about their old life and the new one which came with collage.

As it turned out, neither of them did not make lots of friends since they came to school, even though it was only the first week. Kory admitted everything was a little strange to her and because of that she really didn't feel like she connected with people and Dick said that he really didn't tried to make friends in the first week besides the ones he met through his roommate and the ones he already met. They both had one people that they knew they would get along well, though. Dick met a guy called Joseph Wilson, although he preferred Joey and Kory met a football player called Victor Stone, who according to what she said was a really cool guy and she already had a close friend at school, who surprisingly turned out to be a mutual friend, a girl called Donna Troy. Kory had known Donna almost her whole life and Dick met her when he was ten at a charity ball.

The mystery behind Dick's amazing form was unfolded when they talked about the activities they did in high school. Kory was in MUN and Debate Teams during her education with some sports activities like archery and martial arts, but she said it was mandatory for her to learn to defend herself so she did not see them as activities. Dick mentioned that he was very interested in martial arts, too. He was in his school's athleticism team and the school paper. He was also in his school's Debate Team, but later on quit. He said he was good at gymnastics and also mentioned acrobatics, saying it was more like a family profession, but did not go deeper than that and Kory didn't push him any further, thinking he must have a good reason if he didn't tell her.

Dick learned new and interesting things about his acquaintance. She was a year younger than him, skipping a class when she started school and that she was some sort of a math genius and that she won some competitions when she was little. She was also a dancer, but not anymore after an accident which she broke her leg and couldn't continue. They talked about the activities they wanted to do in the university, too, but both of them were currently unsure.

They talked about hours none stop. The concert ended and the students slowly entered to their dorms and rooms to sleep while they chatted. They mostly didn't see them and if they did, they didn't care.

It was only after when they watched the sunrise and Kory yawned they knew they had to go sleep.

"Hey, I really don't want to end this conversation, but we have to sleep and you still have to unpack," Kory said while stretching a little, her muscles were sore after sitting in the same spot for hours. Dick was starting to feel a little blue that their conversation was going to end until she added "Would you like me to help you tomorrow?"

"Uh..." was all he could say, as he was unsure what his roommate would say. Kory saw his uneasiness and decided to take her offer back if it made him uncomfortable.

"It is okay if you say no, I only meant to be helpful, but if you will feel crowded or bothered by the idea that somebody will enter your room, I can respect that. It's okay." she said. Disappointment evident in her voice. she would really like to see him again and that was the easiest way that she could think of.

"No, it's just that I don't know if my roommate is there and I feel like I should get his approval, too. But I highly doubt he'll say anything." Dick quickly explained, not wanting to ruin his chances with Kory. Meeting and spending time with her, that is. Not anything else. Kory looked more upbeat after he said that, quickly grabbing a pen, she started writing her number on Dick's hand.

"Still, I'll give you my number and you can call me when you wake up." she said as she finished writing her number with her name under it.

"I wouldn't want to wake you up." Dick said as they started to pack and leave the area. It was mostly Kory's things, but Dick picked up his keys and the paper which Kory wrote the recipe of the cookies.

"You won't, I'll probably wake up after ten or so, my roommate is an early riser who is a little loud in the morning and she went in two hours ago." she quietly said as walked through the corridor of the dorm.

"Can you live with five hours of sleep?" Dick asked, worried.

"I will try to send her and go back to sleep until you call, if it will make you feel any better." she replied while trying to hold herself from laughing, instead she giggled which Dick was sure that it was the voice of an angel.

"Hey, maybe you'd like to eat something first? I found this little cafe just outside the campus and their food is way better what the cafeteria is giving." he asked shyly, an odd behavior from him, but from what he had seen in the last hours, Kory was an all new and different experience to him.

"I would love to." she replied, the pink hue on her cheeks looking much more evident.

"Good." he could manage saying. He was pretty sure his cheeks were equivalent to Kory's hair in color.

"This is me." she said as they reached to a door which wrote "Kory and Lilith" on it. There were some cute doodles on the door with colorful pens that Dick hoped were cleanable.

"Oh, we are very close then. I'm right across the hall in upstairs."

"Well, that makes it easy." she said as she was playing with her keychain. She looked at him in the eye, emerald meeting sapphire. She was unsure of what to do next except saying "Thank you very much, Richard."

"What for?" he asked, genuinely confused. If there was anybody who should be thanking, he thought it was him. He was going to unpack without her after all. Which now made him filled with anticipation.

"For not being a creep and talking to me." she said.

"Anytime." he answered. Kory looked at her keychain again before taking the dare and kissing him on the cheek, completely taking him by surprise.

"Goodnight." Kory said before giving him a final smile and gently closing the door. He stood there for a second and then made his way to his room with a hand in his pocket and the other on the cheek where Kory kissed him. He got out his key and opened the door of his room. His roommate, a red headed guy called Wally was quietly snoring on his bed, drooling a little on his pillow. He was holding a plastic horn in his hand.

Dick laughed at his roommate's funny look before flopping on his bed. He quickly took out his phone and securing Kory's number. He laughed again before drifting into sleep. Although every bone, muscle and cell was awaiting for the morning, when he can call Kory.

This was definitely the beginning of a beautiful friendship and hopefully, in the future, something more.