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Things No One Knows

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"Jason, fuck, Jason."

I roll myself forward, grinding down into the lean form sprawled underneath me and laughing against the skin of his throat. His hand contracts in my hair, body meeting my roll with just as much strength, just as much need.

"Yeah, that's the idea. Be patient, I'm getting there."

He groans, arching and bucking up, his other hand gripping my hip hard enough to bruise. "I am so far past patient. Fuck, I still can't believe you're this damn methodical in a bed, Jay." I love the little moments he forgets himself, like when he remembers how hard he's gripping my hip and his fingers unclench, soothing over my bare skin as he struggles to breathe evenly. That might have something to do with the hand I have wrapped around his cock, and the other one buried deeper below, slicked and rolling three fingers in slow thrusts of motion.

He's been ready for a while, but the more I delay the more desperate he gets, the more he loses control, and that… "Maybe I just like feeling you fall apart," I murmur into the side of his throat, following my admission with a graze of my teeth. He moans, arching and pushing up against me but I'm stronger, heavier, and unless he really tries he won't move me.


"Jason's fine."

"You ass." His hand thunks against my ribs, not hard enough to really hurt, as he gives a breathless laugh and then a shudder I can feel all the way from his throat down to the press of his legs at the outside of mine. "Fuck," he chokes out. "Jason, just fuck me. You can put me in whatever kind of crazy acrobatic position you want, just for the love of god put a goddamn condom on and fuck me."

My breath catches, shoulders rising as I try and control the shudder that sweeps down my spine and turn it into something more like a faint tremble. It only sort of works, and I can feel Dick's hand tug in my hair and his other stroke its way across my back as I bury my face in his skin. He rolls his hips up, legs rising and hooking on either side of my hips. I muffle a curse as his right leg slides higher, tucking across my back because Dick is a goddamn contortionist with no concern for physics. I let go of his cock to grip his waist and try to steady myself, because whatever I might act Dick is gorgeous, and responsive, and he's — my throat clenches for just a moment, feeling bursting to life in my chest — mine. I can't stay cool under his touches. I could never.

"Jason," Dick says, with a hint of pleading to his voice, and I shudder again.

"Yeah," I manage, pulling my fingers free of him — the way he clenches, the way he twists and groans, feels like a punch to the solar plexus — and pushing myself up. "Yeah, I'm going." I get caught for another moment when I draw back far enough to see his face, pausing and just staring.

His head is tilted back, eyes closed and cheeks flushed, lips parted and a little swollen from the pretty aggressive kissing from earlier. His hair is damp with sweat, even darker than it usually is, and stuck to his forehead, ruffled and sticking up because he likes the feeling of a hand in his hair even if he doesn't like it pulled. He's… Fuck. His eyes flick open, sharp, impossible blue staring up at me, darkened with arousal but still, always, so bright and alive it almost hurts.

"You're so fucking beautiful," I breathe out, before I can choke or beat the words back to the depths of my mind that they belong in.

Dick's gaze softens, mouth curling in a slow smile that's so open it's… God. "I'm not the only one," he says, just as quietly as me. His hand strokes down across the back of my neck, and his smile twitches a little further up. "Now grab the condom before I flip you on your back and ride you instead, Jay."

The uncomfortable, painful, loving, ache in the center of my chest eases at the slight tease to his tone, and I risk a small grin in answer. "You say that like it's a threat." I do reach for the nightstand, twisting to reach the small strip of condoms on the top of it.

The door opens, and my hand closes around the gun next to them instead. I'm on my feet before I can recognize the instinct of it, before the back of my mind can register anything past the fact that the person at the door is black haired, but too tall to be anyone but Bruce and Bruce is bigger than this. My gun sweeps sideways, focusing on the intruder, and I recognize the familiar raise of a second gun to meet mine, our bodies turned in mirrored stances that expose as little of ourselves to fire as possible.

"Who the fuck are you?" I snarl as the door clicks shut behind the intruder, watching Dick from the corner of my eye. He's at the opposite side of the bed where his own instinctual reaction had taken him, and he's got his escrima sticks in each hand, mostly crouched near the foot of the bed and safely hidden from pretty much all fire.

The intruder is my height, black hair about the length of Tim's old haircut but closer fitting to the skull, blue-green eyes that are just a little greener than mine. Brown leather jacket that's zipped closed, close fitting armor but I can't see the details on it at the angle she's standing. She. The intruder is female, and mirroring my point of a gun at her head. She's got half a snarl on her face, eyes narrowed in anger.

"Who the fuck am I?" the intruder hisses, sounding pissed. "This is my goddamn room, you son of a bitch. don't know who the fuck you are but if you've done a fucking thing to her I swear to god—"

"Your room?" I resist the urge to pull the trigger, mostly because she's wearing armor and I'm not, and my chances aren't as good as I want them to be considering that. "I don't know how the hell you got in the manor but—"

"Wait!" That's Dick's voice, and I don't turn my gaze but I clench my jaw and force the rest of my accusation down my throat. Dick slowly straightens up from behind the corner of the bed, holding his escrima sticks but not in a position that's threatening. "Okay, can we wait a second here?"

She moves, free hand going to the small of her back and there's a moment of breathless fear when it comes back with a gun that rises to point at Dick, before anger takes its place. "Back down, pretty boy. I—"

"Put the fucking gun down," I grind out, fighting the wash of green rage in my bones at the idea of someone threatening Dick in our home. Her jaw clenches, eyes studying me, and I can feel my lip curl upwards to bare my teeth, feel the shake in my voice as I try not to splatter the floor with her blood. Dick wouldn't forgive me. He wouldn't forgive me for killing someone right in front of him, I have to remember that. "You can point a gun at me all you want, but if you point that at him for one more fucking second I'm going to put a bullet in you no matter what it costs me. Is that fucking clear enough for you?"

"Woah," Dick intervenes, spreading his arms and opening himself even more to that gun and god I can't stand it. I— "Jay, stop. It's alright, I promise, it's—"

"How the hell do you know my name?" the intruder demands, glancing briefly at Dick and I try so hard not to pull the trigger in that second her attention isn't on me. It takes everything I have, but I manage it.

"Your…?" Dick blinks, looks supremely confused for a second, and then his eyes widen sharply and he makes a sound like someone just punched him right in the gut. A startled whoosh of air. "Holy shit. Put your guns down, both of you. Jason, look at what she's wearing, just for a second. Trust me."

I grind my teeth, and slowly study the intruder's clothes from my peripheral vision. Brown leather jacket, black gloves with inlaid metal over the knuckles, dark cargo pants. The holster of a gun strapped to one thigh, a sheath with a knife in the other, and black combat boots that— Wait. I narrow my eyes, carefully glancing down at that knife, and my breath catches. That's my knife. I recognize the hilt, I recognize the— Fuck, I recognize that whole costume. That's mine.

"Red Hood?" I ask, carefully, and the woman across from me snorts.

"Yeah? What the hell is it to you, you bastard?"

Oh. Oh. Well, fuck.

"You see it, right?" Dick asks.

Yeah, I see it. Same clothes, same height, same color hair — I'm convinced her eyes are greener than mine, but my eyes can be kind of variable sometimes — and the same stance as me. I recognize every alignment of muscle that she's using to stay still, but coiled and ready to erupt in an direction at a second. She's even got some of the facial structure that I do, just softened a bit to make it feminine. It's honestly pretty damn creepy. If this is some fuckwad's idea of a joke—

"Jason, lower the gun. Please, trust me."

I want to, god I always want to do what Dick wants me to, but… "No." I can see the frustrated confusion in her — my — eyes, which means she doesn't see what we're talking about. I can't think about lowering my gun until hers is off of Dick. There's so much here that doesn't make sense, and there's more than a chance that if I open myself she puts a bullet in Dick. I can't be the reason that happens.


"No," I snap. "Not until she lowers the gun trained on your chest, no fucking way."

I recognize the flash of a grin across her face, the quick glance to Dick. "Drop the escrima sticks, pretty boy. After that, sure. I'll put the gun away." Dick does it without a second of hesitation, the fucking idiot, and I watch the female me as close as I possibly can. One muscle twitch, one anything, and I end her. She keeps her word, slowly raising the gun to click the safety on with her thumb and then reaching back to tuck it at the small of her back. "Your turn, handsome."

It burns, it bites, but I force myself to do the same as her. I click the safety to my gun on and lower it to my side. I'm not putting it down, no way, but I can do that much. "I put it down when you put yours away," I snarl at her, ignoring the sharp glance that Dick shoots at me.

Another flashed grin, but she slowly moves and holsters the gun, and I set mine back on the nightstand. Which nudges my hand against the condoms and reminds me, vividly, that Dick and I are still totally nude. Not normally something that bothers me — usually I can press my good looks enough to make someone else back down first — but right now? I could use something to cover up with.

Dick, this time, seems to be a bit of a mind reader. "Jason," he calls, and I glance over to automatically catch the tossed pair of boxers. Actually mine too, so give the golden boy some extra points. He's tugging the sheet off the bed to wrap around his waist, and I tug the boxers on as quickly and efficiently as possible. I'm still a little bit hard, but it's nothing I can't ignore. It might come back and remind me of the interruption later, but right now I've got better shit to do than get distracted by half an erection.

She watches us, still but not relaxed, obviously wary. "So? How about you two tell me what the hell you're doing in my room, in one of the most secure buildings on the fucking planet?"

"This is where things are going to get weird," Dick says, flashing two smiles. The first at her, his work smile that's all cheerful edges and built to hide anything else he might feel. The second for me, softer and reassuring and damn him but it works a little bit. "This might not be the best way to start this but you want to take a look at the clothes on the floor? Might be a little familiar."

Right. Dick and I came here straight off a patrol, high on adrenaline and the bright satisfaction of a job done really fucking well. It's my uniform on the floor, including my helmet, and I think his suit is on the opposite side of the bed but it's in here too.

She gives him a weird look, but does what he's suggested. Her gaze flicks from my jacket, slung over the corner of the bedpost, to the set aside holster of my gun and knife half underneath the discarded pants, and then finds my helmet. She stiffens a little bit, gaze snapping back to me, and I can see it all connect in her head. I let her study my face, and then drop lower to my chest. Finally she looks over at Dick, and then gives a sharp snort of laughter.

"Oh, yeah I see it." She relaxes a touch, snaps a sharp grin. "I guess your name's not Richelle, is it, pretty boy? Probably still Grayson though, huh?" Dick startles a little bit, and female me rolls a shoulder in a shrug. "I'll take that as a yes. And you," she looks back at me, "he called you Jason. Guess that explains the 'Jay.' "

"Doesn't explain why you responded to it," I counter.

"It's my name, jackass. Jacqueline, actually, but that's a hell of a thing to tell street kids, you know?" That answers some questions right there. "Jay was easier, still is. So, is this still the manor? Gotham? Earth? You go by Red Hood?" She flicks one hand at Dick, without looking. "Is he Nightwing?"

"Yes," Dick responds, before I do more than get my mouth open. "To all of it. You're a lot less freaked out than I expected, considering…" I know the end of that sentence, the 'what I know of you' that sits there in the air but he refuses to say aloud. It still clenches my hands into fists for a second.

Jay watches me react, clearly absorbing our interactions, just like I would, before looking to Dick to answer. "Yeah, well, when the universe throws curveballs at you all you can do is dodge unless you want to get knocked on your ass. I'm," she pauses, glances to me. "We're pretty damn familiar with curveballs, right? Going to say we've probably got the same past, too."

"How about you prove it?" I snap, before I can think about how dumb that might be. Still, I bare my teeth at her and try to ignore the disapproving look that Dick is giving me. "How the hell do either of us know you aren't some kind of fucked up clone, or magic, or shape shifter?"

Her face has closed off, met my anger with, god, my own anger. "You want me to do the old trick? Tell you something just the two of us would know?" She glances to Dick, and then flicks a hand at him again. "You want me to do that in front of Grayson? Cause I wouldn't. I wouldn't want her in the same damn building if anyone brought up the things only I know."

I can see Dick tense a little bit at the mention of things I haven't told him, the dark parts of my life that no one gets to know but me. Fuck. He's got that slightly hurt look in his eyes, coming from the part of him that can't believe that I would keep things from him. But he doesn't know, he can't. He doesn't know some of the things I've done, that have been done to me. And the things that there's no witness to but me? That I made sure no one knew but me? Those are the worst. Dick doesn't know those, or Roy, or Kori. No one. Not ever.

Except, maybe, the person standing across from me. And that's me.

"Turn your back," I aim at Dick, and I can see him stiffen a little more.

"Jason—" He sounds hurt, wounded.

"Just do it." I almost choke at the look on his face, squeeze my eyes shut for a second to deal with it. "Please, Dick. Turn your back or get out of the room, but it has to be one of those two."

How the hell can he throw his weapons down without hesitation under the threat of a gun, but it takes so long for him to nod his acceptance and spin on his heel to give me what I've asked for? I swallow, as Jay cautiously steps closer, and I tilt my head to offer the invitation to speak into my ear. She pauses, way too close for comfort but it eases a little because I can see she doesn't like it either.

"Going to guess the genders are reversed for you, best guess. Might make it a little easier to—" She shakes her head, flashes a tight grin that I recognize too well. She leans closer, hands open and at her sides, away from the weapons. Her voice is barely a breath, more than soft enough that Dick won't hear it. "After all the shit in Gotham, with all of the Bats, but before you got together with the Outlaws. You were hunting down a gang, it was supposed to be a small side operation of a larger drug trafficking ring. Wasn't. It was even smaller, a handful of mercenaries that nearly qualified as villains if they'd just been a bit more public with it. Some enhanced strength, one bastard with minor electrical powers. You weren't prepared for that, were already running pretty well below fully stocked. They—"

She shudders, and I can feel myself answer it with a tremble that shakes my shoulders. I try not to close my eyes, try not to remember what she's describing.

"They had some fun. Torture, pretty standard stuff. Nothing dangerous, until one of them broke your leg. Snapped the bone, you could feel it— You needed to be able to get out when they were done with you, so you convinced them the pain was getting to you. You could see they were already looking, knew it was your best bet. You were subtle, it was the way you moved and sounded, until one of them made a move. Then you jumped on it, told them all that you'd made deals like that before, that they could get the bragging rights of what they'd gotten from the Red Hood."

("Hah," I'd gasped, at the grope to my ass. "If that's what you want we could make a deal. Yeah, you could take it, but I gotta tell you, I used to do that for money. Could be a lot more fun if you give me enough reason to make it that way.")

My hands clench, my gaze focused sightlessly on her shoulder.

"I think things might differ a little bit at that point. Different genitals, different acts. You didn't really care, anyway. It sucked, but it was the best way to get out so whatever you had to do, that was that. We're real damn good at doing what we have to, and like it or not we're damn good at sex too. I guess yours had real cocks, mine just used what they had at hand. But there was one that was harder, rougher than the rest. Don't know where the hell it came from, or when, but she— He had a crowbar. Guess we didn't hide the reaction as well as we thought we did. He pinned you down, and… I don't know if yours— Fuck. Guess with a real cock he didn't fuck you with the metal, did he?"

I jerk a little bit, don't close my eyes because I know what's back behind my eyelids. "No," I manage, as quietly as her. "Held it against my throat, just far enough forward I could see it through the whole thing. Made me—" My throat clenches, and she finishes the sentence.

"Made you get off on it. Yeah, I got that bit too. Hands cuffed at the back, too tight to escape easily and they'd see it if you were trying to pick the lock. It felt like dying all over again. The second you got the chance you killed them all, quick and clean even though you wanted to take the crowbar to the bastard's skull. I guess your hangups are probably different than mine, different positions, but—"

"Never behind the back," I finish. "Restraints are fine, but never behind the back." She draws back, I look at her, and I can see the same pain in her eyes as what has to be in mine. "Fuck, guess we are the same person."

There's the tight grin that means— Fuck, it means that every inch hurts but it's not safe to show that. It's never safe to show that. She shakes her head, backs up one step and then another, until both of our shoulders ease a little from the distance. I breathe for a second, trying to push away the memory of that god awful night. It was a stupid mistake, an unlucky coincidence like every other shit thing that's ever happened to me. Curveballs thrown by the universe, and I didn't duck fast enough.

It wasn't even the rape, that's not what bothered me. I had that trauma back when I was a kid, I moved past it and steeled myself. It's never easy, but I owned what people had made me do. I survived it once, I knew I could do it again. If it had just stayed like that I would have shuffled it into that fucked up part of my psyche and moved on. When you've decided what you have to do to survive, there's not much someone can do to make it any worse than you know it's going to be. But then there was the hand dragging me to my knees, forcing my back to arch, and that metal against my Adam's apple.

What stuck with me, what sunk deep and stayed, was being at someone's mercy again. Feeling that metal against my throat and knowing exactly what it would feel like if he just pulled back and struck. Knowing how bone would shatter, how it would hurt, how I'd scream. Knowing I couldn't stop him if he did. It felt like being back underneath the Joker, with his laughter ringing in my ears, knowing I didn't have any chance of getting out alive.

God damn crowbars and their ability to fuck me up.

I get my voice back, looking over and calling, "Dick." He spins immediately, looking hurt but concerned, and worried. "It's alright. She's really me." I know he can see what the two of us look like, Dick's always been too damn perceptive to my moods. I know he can see— God.

Dick rounds the bed too quickly, approaching too fast, and when he reaches for me I can't help cringing back. He winces, and I can't find the words to tell him that it's not him, that it's my own fucked up reactions and it doesn't mean that I don't want him near me. That I don't…


"Sorry," I manage, swallowing, and I can't meet his eyes. "I— Fuck, I'm sorry." I back off a step, enough that I can turn and hide everything in my gaze from him, running both hands up through my hair. I can't. How could he ever want someone as damaged as me? If I just hide it from him, if I just don't let him see how completely fucked up I am, he'll stay, right? If he never knows how screwed to hell I am from the Joker, and the Pit, and every other thing that the world has backhanded me with as my life went on, then he'll never realize I can't be fixed. If he figures that out…

"It's not you." That's Jay's voice, my voice but higher pitched. She's got all the same sharp edges. "It's never you, Grayson. This is—"

I turn on her as it clicks in my head what she's saying, and who she's saying it to you. "Don't you fucking dare," I snarl, as I whirl to face her. "They might be our secrets but you don't get to tell the people know!"

"I'm doing you a fucking favor, Jason," she snarls, meeting every inch of my anger because of course, why wouldn't she? "I know you've thought every word I'm about to say. I know you wish you could say them but it aches like a fucking blow to the chest when you think about it! Well can say them you jackass, because don't know him! Shut the hell up and let me do it, or I'm going to yell right over you and say it anyway!"

"Jay," Dick says softly, getting both of our attentions. "Maybe this isn't a good—"

"Oh shut up, Grayson," Jay snaps. "Do you think he can't see how you look at him sometimes? Like he's dangerous, like you're afraid, like it's tearing you apart to be around him?" I wince, clenching my hands and avoiding Dick's gaze when he looks at me. "So shut the hell up and let me tell you a little bit about what the fuck that, right there, is." I can hear Jay take a few steps, know with how long her legs are she must be right in Dick's face. She'll tower over him the same way that I can.

"That, those moments where he cringes, or flinches, or draws away, or won't look at you? Yes, you moron, it's fear. But it's not fear of you. It's never you. It's things he can't forget, things that are so deep in his head and his chest they'll never go away and he can't make them. Things he'll never be able to forget. When he does that, it's not because he's afraid you're going to hurt him, or because he can't stand you touching him. It's because he doesn't want you to see the parts that hurt, and as long as he draws away, you never will. He's fucking terrified that when you finally get to see how fucked he is, you're going to realize what a waste of time this whole relationship is and leave him behind. Because here's the fun thing about us; we are fucked up. You're never going to fix that, and it's never going to get better."

I can hear the sharp breath Jay takes in, and the rush as she shoves it back out. "If he needs space, you fucking idiot, he'll tell you. If he doesn't want to be touched, he'll tell you. He's never going to take something he doesn't want, but he'll damn well never ask you to sacrifice to give him what he needs either. So," her voice sharpens, threatens, and I'd look up but my eyes are closed tight and I… I just can't. "Here is where you walk over there, and do what you should have the first time he ever pulled away, and come up with something damn well perfect to say because that's your gift, not ours. Now."

Dick's first step is a little unsteady — I can barely hear it against the carpet — but then it strengthens, and he crosses over to right in front of me. I can't help flinching at the touch of his fingers to my shoulder, and he does pull away for a fraction of a second before it comes back. This time he grips my shoulder, firmly and not going anywhere. His other hand touches my cheek, slides back across my jaw.

"Jason, Jay, look at me? Just for a second, alright?" I… I do it. I drag my eyes open, raise my head roughly an inch so I can meet his eyes. His mouth curls in the tiniest, saddest, smile, and my heart clenches. "Jason, I never wanted anything but you. Just you, exactly like you are. Everything else, we can deal with. Alright?"

He leans in, brushes a soft kiss across my mouth, and then steps forward and wraps his arms around me. I stiffen for a long second, trying to understand the tuck of his head next to mine, the strength and warmth of his arms around my back, the spread of his fingers along my skin like he's never letting go. Then it clicks that that's exactly what this means, and I shudder and duck my head down against his shoulder, circling my arms around his torso and gripping too tight to be comfortable.

"There are things I should tell you," I manage to force out, and his hands stroke across my back.

"You can," he responds, equally quietly. "If you want to, and when you feel like it. Not a second sooner, got it?" I give a small nod, easing into him and trusting him with my weight. He stays solid underneath me, and I cling to him.

Slowly, very slowly, the tension in me drains out, and the memories recede to the back of my mind. They're always going to be there, I'd be dumb to think anything else, but I don't have to let it rule anything but those moments. It doesn't have to be on my mind any other time. Not ever. Dick doesn't deserve that, and neither do I.

I relax my grip on him, just feeling his skin up against mine and the slow, steady pattern of his breath against my neck. His hands are stroking, firmly but still deliberate and only without a pattern if you don't know him. Dick is always like that. His touches, unless I've pushed him far enough to force him to lose some control, are always exactly what he means them to be. They might be gentle, rough, soft, or with a bite of nail, but they're always exactly what he meant to do.

"Alright, this is great, and you two are very hot, especially together, but I've got shit to do, so…"

Dick snickers, but doesn't pull away until I make the first move and turn towards Jay. Now sitting at the edge of our bed, one leg crossed over the other and hands behind her to hold the casual lean. I can see the bit of pain left in her eyes, but I'm not going to bring it up. No way.

"Hey," Jay comments, with a flash of a grin, "at least we know that the two of us fuck no matter what the universe is. That's fun to know. You know, I have always wondered what my Richelle would be able to do with a real cock. Guess I could find out, while I'm here." I can feel the anger tense me again, and she snorts. "Relax, Jason. We don't share, I know. Just saying, I bet Dick — great name, by the way — has had his own fantasies of you as a woman." Dick chokes a little bit. "Just like you've fantasized about him as a woman, which I know because I've totally imagined mine as a guy. Not what I was expecting, but it's pretty damn nice, I admit. I mean, is it even really 'sharing' if it's yourself from a different universe?"

"Not happening." My growl lacks heat — what she just did for me was unbelievable — but it's not like I could intimidate her anyway. As if.

"I know, but it's fun to think about. Shame we couldn't all be in one universe at once." The grin is sharp, wicked, as Jay pushes up to her feet. "See which of us could make our Nightwing beg first, wouldn't that be fun?"

My eyebrows raise as Dick chokes again, stiffening a little bit in my grip. "It wouldn't be easy," I comment, half just so I can feel him give that little sputtering gasp he does when he's faking betrayal and also, usually, pretty damn aroused at the idea of something.

"Never is," Jay answers, still with that grin. "Penalty if your Nightwing gets the better of you and gets themselves off, using you or not."

"Penalty if you get off, either," is my counter, and Jay's eyes light up.

"Oh, good one. You know, you should get some clothes on so that we can have a long discussion about this. Preferably with gestures and a bit of mimicking. I want to know what our Nightwings have got in common about kinks." Dick makes another of those sputtery gasps, and I crack a grin.

"Definitely. I'll get dressed." I let go of Dick, moving to where my pants are, and I can nearly feel his disbelief.

"Jay," he says, and I turn back to him. So does the female version of me.

"Yeah?" I ask.

"Yes?" she says, a heartbeat after me and much more wickedly. Of course she knows Dick is talking to me.

He stares between us for a second, and then throws up his hands and shakes his head. "No, I give up. God, what cruel person decided that there needed to be two of you in the same room? That's insanity. The two of you are even scarier getting along than when you're fighting, you know that? Alright, come on. Jason, you and me are getting dressed. Then we're going downstairs to Bruce and sending you, Jay, back to your own universe as soon as possible. Understood?"

Jay's grin is sharp. "You've got a Batman? Oh, I bet he's the most hardass, handsome bastard in the world, right? I've gotta see that." She shoots me a glance, as I snag my pants from the floor. "I guess we shouldn't even go into those fantasies, huh?"

"Oh, I didn't need to know that," Dick mutters, turning and moving, rounding the bed to where I know his Nightwing suit probably is.

"Like you haven't had fantasies too," she calls after him, as she heads for me. Dick doesn't answer, and I tug my pants on and then reach for the holsters still on the floor. "You know," Jay says, conversationally but pretty quietly, "we should spar. I want to see the differences in our combat styles. Bet I'm more flexible."

I snort. "Bet I'm stronger."

"Yeah, no shit. How'd you figure that one out, genius?" I buckle the holster on, and then glance around for my armor. "Over there, mostly under the bed. Your Nightwing does that too, huh? I swear it's a game, seeing how far underneath furniture she can fling my things so I have to go hunt them down."

"It's definitely a game," I agree. "You know I found one of my socks over a ceiling fan once? I don't know how the hell he got it up there, I hunted for at least five minutes."

"Oh, I think we've got some stories to trade."

I crack a grin, easing into the conversation. "Oh yeah. Stories and information."

"Could be nice to just talk to someone again. Always the black sheep in every universe too, I guess." I pause, for just a second, and then Jay's nudging my shoulder and flashing a grin to match mine. "Hey, totally worth it. Black sheep, but we get the chosen one all to ourself. Sounds like a fair trade to me."

I glance over at Dick, watching him wiggle into the nearly skintight uniform of Nightwing, and let my grin fade to a soft smile, while he can't see it. "Yeah, worth it."