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Part of Your Cover Is Doing Your Laundry

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Secret identities, Dick reminded himself with a grumble as he picked up his clothes from where the jerks had thrown it around the campus. He should have been able to stop them. Just two of them, a couple of rich brats from a rival college, not even the slightest bit of a threat to Robin. Robin would have taken them down in two seconds flat and left them for someone else to clean up.

Robin wasn't here, though. Dick was, and he had a cover to maintain, which was why he was stuck cleaning up the mess of his clothes strewn about the courtyard.

“Somehow I figured you for a tighty-whitey kind of guy.”

He reached up and snatched the boxers from her hand, hoping he wasn't red. Dick hadn't meant for anyone to see them, didn't want Barbara Gordon, of all people—except maybe Batgirl—to see them. He supposed it was better for his cover if everyone thought he wore boxers since Robin's outfit included something more like tighty-whiteys, as she put it, but still, this couldn't get much worse.

“What happened? You lose a bet?”

“No, just ran into a couple guys who thought it would be hilarious to make fun of a guy doing his own laundry,” Dick muttered. “Bet their mommies do all of their laundry.”

“Not you, though. You're all big and grown and doing your own laundry,” she teased, smiling at him. He glared at her as he grabbed the last of his socks. She shrugged. “I guess I always assumed that Alfred did all your laundry.”

“He did when I was growing up, but I'm in college now. On my own. I do it myself.”

“Ooh, what a man,” she said, grinning at him as she leaned against the utility room door. “You're a hero among men, Dick.”

“Yeah, laugh it up, but you know what? I bet you anything Batman doesn't do his own laundry,” Dick grumbled, pushing past her with his basket.

“I'll take that bet. We'll decide terms when I win.”

He almost groaned. He knew he was right, but he'd never be able to prove that to her without revealing Bruce's identity.

“So,” Barbara said, shifting her feet kind of awkwardly and wondering if Dick felt anything like she did. She couldn't believe she hadn't seen it right away, and she bet he was thinking the same thing. Bruce was probably getting a laugh out of this, about how long it had taken them to know who the other was, but at the same time, it should be a good thing they hadn't known. Fooling their friends might have kept them alive.

“You're Batgirl.”

“And you're Robin.”

He nodded, sticking his hands in his pockets and fidgeting. He forced a smile. “Hey, it could be worse, right?”

She smiled slightly, trying to find a way that it was, and then suddenly, it was. “We never set terms for that bet.”

He started to frown, but then he grinned. “Oh, yeah. You're right. We didn't.”

She was tempted to smack that grin right off his face. He'd tricked her. He knew Bruce was Batman and that Alfred did his laundry, and that wasn't fair. He should never have made that bet, and she shouldn't have to honor it. “Just tell me what you want.”

“Then you're admitting that I won?”

She rolled her eyes. “Don't push your luck. You had an unfair advantage and you know it.”

He shrugged. “No one forced you to take the bet. So... terms...”

“You know I can still take you, Robin,” she warned. “With or without Batgirl.”

“Wanna bet?”