I. You're going to be my gay best friend / Wait, what?
"There is no way that's a man's ass." Karen Starr firmly declared to her dinner-date.
An identical, if younger, set of blue eyes glanced back at her.
"What's this now?" Kara Zor-El sounded off-put, but that was to be expected when her older alternate-reality counterpart stated something preposterous, forcing her gaze away from the manly specimen of man crouching on the roof below them.
Nightwing watched as the police took the crooks he had subdued into custody. They knew he was aware of their presence, but the first Robin had merely given them a courteous nod when he first arrived on the roof before giving his attention fully to the events below.
Karen ran a hand through her hair. "I'm just saying his ass's too curvy."
"I think he's fine." Kara pointed out before breaking into a blush. "I mean, it looks fine. I mean—he helped us out."
Karen snickered. It seemed Kara still harbored a little crush on him. Sadly, puppy love was never meant to be…
"He's gay, you know."
A snap sounded when Kara's head turned to her so quickly. Poor girl must have broken the sound barrier. Or her neck.
"He's what?" She squeaked somewhere between shock and outrage.
Karen thought it was a very cute sound, even if that thought did come off as somewhat narcissistic. She was also relieved to know Kara's neck hadn't snapped. "He's gay." Karen repeated just a succinctly.
"He's not." Kara swiftly countered, a tad too defensively. She was white knighting for her crush, but Karen held back her comment in lieu of allowing the girl to mount an argument. "How else do you explain his relationship with Starfire?"
"How else would you explain his dating history?" Karen pointed out smugly. "I mean, they never worked out."
"That's- that's true…" Kara visibly deflated, "But he dated women."
Karen shrugged. "Denial is a real thing. Poor guy, he doesn't even realize it." Karen glanced at their subject again. "You and I both know no guy ever looks that good unless they're batting for the same team." Or a psycho, but that went without saying.
"He's not gay." Kara denied, but Karen didn't need x-ray vision to see the gears in her head turning.
"Look, Kara," She cupped her breasts and hefted them shamelessly, "-this dress plunges, but man wonder down there didn't even bat a lash. You know what that means?"
"He's not interested?" Kara answered hopefully. It was bad enough that Kory and Barbara were stunners, but to compete with Karen, too?
"Exactly." Karen nodded and let her breast free, ignoring the bounce they gave in favor of continuing her tirade, "And what kind of male doesn't at least pause before these double Ds?"
There were two others, but thinking of Superman was icky while Batman was just scary.
"That's… he's… not…" Kara weakly argued, her face burning hotter than the sun could ever be.
The sound of police cars leaving brought a smirk to Karen's lips. "I can prove it, you know."
"I'll ask him a question. You pay attention to his answer."
Kara could only nod meekly as Karen floated towards the man wearing black spandex. She couldn't help but notice how the skirt of Karen's cocktail dress billowed with the wind. All Nightwing had to do was look up and what a show he would see!
To her surprise, Nightwing didn't budge. He only turned when Karen leveled with him. Kara wasn't sure how to feel about that.
"I wondered how much longer I'd have to wait." Nightwing opened, glancing one last time at the departing GCPD before giving his full attention to the blonde bombshell. "Everything alright?"
"Peachy." Karen smiled like a sun, "We didn't have to get our hands dirty this time." Or their dresses.
"Yeah, well, my city and all that." Nightwing made a poor imitation of the gruff Batman. "Still, I can't help but think you two are a bit far from Metropolis…?"
"You don't have to be so evasive, you know." Karen knowingly smirked, and Nightwing had the distinct feeling that there was something he was missing. Whatever it was, it probably had something to do with Kara still floating above them. "I'd accept you if you just came out with it. But to answer your question: girl's night out; looking for guys." She wagged her eyebrows at him.
"Sorry." Nightwing rubbed his nape sheepishly. "Been hanging out with the Bat, you know?"
"I can imagine." Karen murmured sympathetically. Growing up with someone like Batman would drive even her to a crime against fashion. "But thank you, all the same. Even though we could have handled it." She cheekily added, drawing a chuckle from him.
"Anytime, Karen." He smiled.
He meant it.
She noticed and smiled back.
"Why'd you jump in, anyway? You know I'm bulletproof." She asked, holding her hands behind her back in an apparently innocent gesture that brought her bust directly before his face.
"Yeah, but no woman deserves getting their Chanel ripped up by chumps." He gave her an once-over, and Karen felt triumphant when his eyes never stopped at her rack. "Especially not a beautiful dress that brings out the blues of your eyes so well." She saw him squint behind his mask before he gave her a curious grin. "Gotta say though, Peej: that eyeshadow looks great on you. What's that, MAC Atlantic Blue?"
She heard Kara gasp her denial but she was too elated to care about her just yet.
Karen's eyes sparkled. That settled it!
"As a matter of fact, it is…" She told him, happily looping an arm around his, drawing another charming smile from him. "And you're going to be my gay best friend." She happily said.
"Sure." Nightwing merrily agreed before her statement registered. "Wait, what?"
II. You're too fab / Toodles~
Jason knew something was up.
Dick had been hanging out a lot with Karen Starr, both in and out of costume. Hell, Dick seemed to team-up with her more often than he hung out with Wally, and while that wasn't worrying, coming home in the wee hours of the morn smelling like a fruitcake was.
That just wasn't the Dick Grayson he knew!
Initially, Jason thought Dick was just finding his way into Pee-Gee's PJs, but after the first time Dick came home with colored lips, Jason wasn't so sure.
"Busy night?" Jason said as he approached the fruity-smelling man.
"Totally." Dick agreed. Jason did not like his tone. He was too… happy. "Karen and I were trying to find some nail polish. However, just as we were leaving, we spotted this dress in Forever 21 that looked stunning!"
"…On her, right? Stunning on her?" He clarified, and sighed in relief when Dick nodded. "You… you willingly went out of your way to shop?" Jason steeled his face before his disbelief could show. "For a dress?"
"And a jacket." Dick supplied, seemingly oblivious to Jason's tone. He tilted his head in the direction of, to Jason's horror, a pink glittering disco jacket rested on the couch, complete with fur-lined collar. "Who would have thought they'd sell something like that there, eh?" Dick giggled.
Richard Grayson. Giggled.
Jason resisted the impulse to make peace with the maker.
"That's…" He croaked. This was the Robin he wanted to beat?
Dick put on the monstrosity and twirled before him with a wink.
"How do I look, Jay?"
"…Fab, Dick." Jason struggled to admit. He was going to gargle his mouth with bleach after this. Maybe some for his eyes, too. "You're too fab."
Dick did one more twirl before bowing with a flourish. He then sashayed his way to his room, leaving a mentally scarred Jason in his wake. "Toodles~"
III. She's still in grief / Is that what it's called?
Despite their rocky beginning, Supergirl was always there for her alternate-universe counterpart, Power Girl, much the same way the older Kryptonian remained a willing friend and confidant to her own woes.
In fact, when Richard Grayson died during the war against the Crime Syndicate just months prior, the only other person that comforted the grieving Power Girl was the Huntress. Kara did her best, of course, but she didn't have the same bond with Karen as Helena did—not for the lack of trying.
To be honest, Kara wasn't sure what kind of bond Karen had shared with Dick, either. They had spent a lot of time together shopping and hanging out. On occasion, Dick was her plus one during socials, and vice versa. Whenever the question came up, however, the two would always maintain that they were just friends.
Kara wasn't sure if she would be as devastated as Karen if her best friend died, and the young Kryptonian refused to entertain the thought. She had already lost too much, too soon, and she'd fight Rao himself if he chose to let the sun set in the eyes of her friends.
Still, it was one night out as the two Kryptonians followed a lead on a dangerous shipment in the docks of Gotham when Power Girl finally snapped.
It was to a series of explosions that Huntress cautiously approached the watching Supergirl.
"Er, hey, Supergirl," Huntress opened, her sharp eyes never leaving the spectacle before them. "Everything alright?"
"Hey." Supergirl returned the greeting, still distracted. "I'm not sure." She answered thoughtfully. She really wasn't sure what just happened.
"Does-" Huntress cut herself off when another explosion rocked the docks. She would have panicked, but Supergirl remained composed as she floated beside her, so Huntress supposed things were, relatively, under control. "Does Karen need help?"
The Kryptonian shook her head. "I don't think so. Whoever's fighting her, he's just been running for his life since this began."
"Does he have a name?" Huntress prodded curiously.
Supergirl snorted and folded her arms. "He doesn't even have a face."
That threw Huntress out for a loop. "I'm guessing he's not the Question?" When the floating girl shook her head, the Huntress sighed. "Can you tell me how this started?"
"Well, you know why we're here, right?" Supergirl asked to which her companion replied with a nod. "So, yeah, we were wrapping up when that guy walks in." She tilted her head in the direction of another explosion, courtesy of a rampaging Power Girl trying to squash someone that pissed her off. "One moment, we meet this faceless guy-"
"Is he really faceless?" Huntress dubiously asked. "No mask?"
"-yeah. No mask; no face. Faceless." Supergirl clarified with impeccable reasoning. "Anyway, faceless guy met, then when he turns around, PG goes ballistic."
The two heroines saw Power Girl lift a massive container high up in the air before tossing it at, presumably, the Faceless Man.
Huntress turned to her companion. "I have to ask, do you know if it's her time of the month?"
Supergirl's face contorted in disgust. "Alright, first, ew. Don't expect me to know just because we're the same person. Sort of. And second, no." She shook her head. She visibly winced when another loud boom sounded. "I think… I think she's in grief." She said, before nodding to herself and repeating more resolutely. "Yeah. She's still in grief."
Moodiness was part of it, right?
Huntress glanced at the destruction that painted the docks. She would have intervened, but Lex Luthor was rich enough to afford another warehouse, so she didn't. Still, she couldn't help but quip, "Is that what it's called?"
IV. Are you actually worried? / Just don't catch anything
"I heard you're seeing someone." Matches Malone said from the other side of the device.
Birdwatcher inwardly groaned. Trust Matches to bring this up, consequences be damned.
Well, it was not like he wasn't anticipating this, he supposed…
"Meeting, Mr. Malone." Birdwatcher corrected him. "Meeting an old friend."
"A close friend." The man on the other side clarified. "I heard about the fireworks."
"Saw it, too, no doubt." Birdwatcher clicked his tongue. "The committee could have picked a better time, though. I was beat."
"Or you could have called in sick." Matches reminded. "One would think you were almost… eager."
Birdwatcher shrugged—not that Matches could see it, of course, but it was a habit. "Eh, you know me. The show must go on and I shall never miss a performance."
"Quite." Matches agreed in that tone that meant disagreement. And disappointment, but Birdwatcher was sure he'd get over it. "You have to take care of your health, old friend. Just because you're feeling under, doesn't mean you can tell-"
"I didn't tell her anything, Mr. Malone." Birdwatcher helpfully supplied, and quickly continued because he knew he only had one shot at this. "Marilyn finds me. Every time."
There. He got to drop a name.
"But how does…" There was barely a pause as Matches struggled, but it was there. "…Marilyn do it?"
Birdwatcher inwardly grinned. He could tell Matches was annoyed with his choice.
"She's a busy woman." Birdwatcher stated as if it were obvious. "Travels a lot. You would know."
"But she just so happens to be wherever you are?" Matches sounded suspicious, but what else was new?
"Very busy woman." Birdwatcher clarified with more than just a little bit of cheek. His mind pictured the disgust on Matches' face.
"Birdwatcher, make Marilyn stop. She's a bad influence." Matches reasoned, his gruff voice telling more than his words could ever convey. "She's reckless. And blonde."
"She's also very bright with a very good pair of ears. I think she's a great influence." Birdwatcher argued good-naturedly before frowning, "Except for the green-thing. I don't think my nails look good in green."
"Birdwatcher…" Matches actually growled. He really was annoyed by the development.
"Listen, Mr. Malone," Birdwatcher straightened. His tone was firmer now—less playful; less teasing. "You and I both know Marilyn is a very independent woman. She's free to make her own choices." It was one of the reasons they got along so well, after all. "Tell you what, why don't you try talking to her? I'm sure you'd both reach an agreement."
The way Birdwatcher pictured it, Matches would have no choice but to agree to Marilyn's demands.
"…Just so long as you keep your health up, Birdwatcher." Matches left the issue unresolved. They both knew there was no changing Birdwatcher's mind, either. "It's that time of year again when the flu is spreading. Take vitamins if you have to. Look after yourself."
"Why," Birdwatcher gasped in mock shock, "Are you actually worried?"
"Of course not." Matches disagreed, but Birdwatcher knew he was lying through his teeth. "Just don't catch anything."
When Mr. Malone hung up, Birdwatcher's affect flattened. He refused to acknowledge what Matches alluded to with 'vitamins' and 'catching anything'…
V. The World's Greatest Detective / How did Bats stomach this !
When Agent 37 left the closet following Mother's downfall, Red Hood expected a victory party and 'welcome to the fam Cass' party, with the new additions to their little nocturnal clan.
He didn't expect the blonde bombshell all-dressed up at the doorway, though, and neither did he expect to get shoved through a wall. He probably shouldn't have cockily offered his gun when the Kryptonian babe asked if they had Dick, but he was honestly trying to make the gate crasher leave!
It seemed Power Girl didn't have the sense of humor others said she had. Pity… for his back, that is.
The Kryptonian invited herself in, followed by the Huntress who muttered an apology but refused to pull him out of the wall. When Red Hood managed to rejoin the celebration, it was to find Agent 37 nestled against his cooing, albeit snappy, boo.
Cooing, because Agent 37 was still recovering from the injuries he sustained battling Orphan and Power Girl made sure to baby him to his embarrassment, and snappy because Robin was clearly annoying the dimensionally displaced woman with his incessant questioning and grumble-speak.
The rest of the clan were doing their own things, although Cassandra was, figuratively speaking, chatting up a storm with the Huntress. Red Hood had no idea why.
"Someone's overprotective of Dick." Red Hood told Red Robin with a slow shake of his head.
"That's to be expected." Red Robin supplied in an unsurprised tone, "Apart from Batman, Dick is probably the closest to him."
Red Hood wordlessly agreed before glancing at the newcomers. "Anybody else find it weird that these two know who we are and where to find us?"
Red Robin shrugged. "More proof that secrets don't live up to the term."
"Or maybe Dick told them?"
"He wouldn't." Red Robin shook his head. "That, we can be certain. The intelligence and resources of these two, however…" He trailed.
"Stop sounding boring." Red Hood grumbled to his junior. It ate at him that Red Robin was such a buzzkill. Taking a swig off his beer, Red Hood changed the topic, "So, think Huntress is available?"
It was at that moment when Robin stalked towards the gossiping duo, making both Reds straighten in attention.
Their volatile brother glared at them before his scowl settled on Red Robin. Abruptly, he thrust a fist forward, and Red Robin finally relaxed. He pocketed the hundred dollar bill, but only gathered the courage to smile when the little hothead stormed off into the training area of their little hideout to vent some steam. Red Hood clearly didn't have the same problem and was snickering beneath his mask.
"…What was that about?" Red Hood asked his accomplice.
Red Robin flashed him a smug grin. "More proof that I'm the world's greatest detective."
Red Hood glanced at where his youngest brother disappeared to, then at the smug boy wonder, then to the faceless spy and his flirting pillow. He turned away in disgust when Power Girl's hands slipped inside Agent 37's pockets.
He had half the mind to shoo the little kids away from the public display of lechery, but who was he to dictate what did and didn't require parental guidance? Still, he didn't like seeing his older brother getting it on in full display, though!
"Ugh. How did Bats stomach this!"
Epilogue. Mine / Yours
It was raining outside, so the two of them decided to stay indoors. Well, that wasn't entirely true: Karen refused to change, instead choosing some good old-fashioned skinship with Dick over whatever the city wanted to offer the relaxing couple.
They never made it out of the bed, but they definitely needed to change the sheets.
"You know," Dick began, his blue eyes spying down on the womanly curve of Karen's rear beyond her sun-colored locks. Karen was on her knees as she worked him. "We don't have to keep up appearances, anymore."
Karen paused and looked up at him with teasing eyes. "But you're obviously homosexual, my dear Woodraugh, and it doesn't need a detective to figure it out." When Dick's lips upturned in a pout, Karen added, "I mean, you're enjoying this."
Dick snickered, "Point. I suppose I am…" He murmured in agreement and asked, "How did this come up again? I can't seem to recall…"
"Well, just because you like keeping a secret ID, it doesn't mean I have to agree." She stuck her tongue out at him, and Dick threatened to bite the insulting muscle. "Besides, you got to spend more time with me and prank your brothers at the same time. I'd say you're a winner."
It also helped ward off any more of Dick's admirers, so Karen counted that as her win.
"Except Tim." Dick stifled a giggle when his lover blew a cool breath against his sensitive skin.
"He's anti-fun." Karen rolled her eyes at the stupid. "He doesn't count."
Dick hummed in agreement. "I suppose he is."
"Don't get too cocky." Karen chided him lightly. "You're anti-fun too, you know. If you just told me you were alive, we'd have even more fun."
Dick's brows suddenly creased at the painful reminder. He still felt incredibly guilty about it, but he honestly thought that, with his secret identity out for the world to see, remaining alive would only put those he cared about in harm's way.
"I'm sorry." Dick repeated just as sincerely as when he first apologized. "I meant to tell you, but Batman-"
"Bruce." Karen chided. "I don't like speaking code when we're like this. Unless it's for sex."
"-Bruce wouldn't let me." He corrected before shaking his head slowly. Sometimes, Karen was entirely too open—not that it was a bad thing, the angel on his left shoulder whispered wickedly.
"Yes." She nodded. "Which was why I made you choose-"
"And I chose you, didn't I?"
"Only because Bruce is dead." Karen pointed out, then winced when she realized the fun and games were abruptly killed by her statement. She glanced up at him apologetically from her spot below his hips. "Sorry."
"…" Dick slowly opened his eyes, looking more morose than he usually did. "He's… not dead. But that's beside the point." He sighed, and forced a smile for his lover. "I'm sorry. I don't know what I did to deserve a woman like you, and I'm sorry for taking you for granted."
"Oh, flattery." Karen hummed. He was very sincere, too—even after she'd made him apologize hundreds of times already. Maybe she wouldn't turn him into a mess, then? "But you're not sorry enough to sleep with another woman during you spy gig?"
His face contorted with pain. "I-!"
"Shh." She hushed him, her heart pounding in her ears. A grin split her face, and Dick growled at her in frustration. "Sorry. I just really like seeing you like this." Karen explained, and all of Dick's tension left him as defeat set in. Besides, she wasn't one to talk, so she couldn't be the one to hold a grudge. Shaking her head, she asked him curiously, "She really did look like me, right?"
Dick narrowed his eyes at her. "There's no right answer to that, is there?"
"No there isn't." Karen shook her head softly, and continued in an even gentler tone, "But I'd like to hear the truth. Don't worry, I'm a big girl."
"Yes, she reminded me of you." Dick grumbled, but was relieved. He couldn't stay mad at the cheeriness she exuded.
"So who wore it better?"
"Focus, Dick." She grinned widely. She could tell her proximity distracted him. "Who wore this look better?"
"Well," Dick postponed as he thought, squashing the weirdness of the situation. Seriously, what girlfriend openly talked about the woman her beau had sex with? Dick spied her glittering blue eyes and came up with the answer: a keeper. "Her body's a lot softer."
"Hey!" It was Karen's turn to grumble. "Can't help it if these muscles bounce bullets. It's just physiology." She blew a raspberry at him. "What about her ass?"
"Why her ass?" Dick asked, puzzled.
Karen shot him a belittling look. "I know I've got the better bust. I'm just curious about her ass."
"You really like asses, don't you?"
"I like you, don't I?" She jibed. Squeezing him a tad harder than needed to draw a yelp, she pressed, "Now spill!"
"Yours." Dick told her honestly. When Karen cocked her head questioningly, he explained, "You 'wear' you much better than her."
"You're just saying that." Karen mumbled and broke eye contact, hiding her face from view as she fought down her blush. "Something drew you to her. Otherwise, I can't imagine you going for a second-rate me. She probably had a better ass."
"Every woman is second-rate to you, Karen." Dick stated and meant it. There was no woman like Karen Starr. When she remained downcast, Dick reached out to her gently, "Hey, now. I happen to like your ass." Dick complimented. He inwardly cheered when he was rewarded with a smile. "Speaking of, did you really figure out it was me based on my ass?"
There was something surreal about Karen figuring him out based on said asset.
"Uh-huh." Karen affirmed. "And it's not yours. I own it, remember?" She firmly groped her property for good measure.
"Of course." Dick wryly muttered.
Satisfied with his response, Karen placed the finishing touches on Dick's nails.
"Now, what do you think?" Karen asked after pulling back, allowing him full view of her work.
"Hmm… you're right." Dick said while wiggling his toes. "Green's not a bad color."
"I know, right?" Karen cheered. One non-believer converted! "You're free to show your appreciation, Agent Grayson."
"What, are we playing spy games, now?" Dick asked her coyly and got on his knees.
"Sure." Karen relaxed on the plush bedsheets, arms above her head and legs spread. Colors spilled around her but neither of them cared. The sheets would need changing again once they're done. "Keep calm, Agent 37, and let's have hot dirty sex."
He grabbed her ass roughly and lifted her up, claiming her lips in a searing kiss.
"Mine." He whispered.
She breathed against his lips. "Yours."