Oversung Hero, part 6

by Chicago

Disclaimers and other information in "part 0"

Nightwing heard a soft -clik- and dove forward into a roll, not sure what he had just triggered. He came up face to face with a rooftop camera, and a soft chuckle issued from his comlink. "I upgraded."

Nightwing gave a token, unfelt glare at the camera and pulled himself back to his feet. "You could've warned me," he grumbled.

"Now where's the fun in that?" Barbara's voice teased. "I can't let you roofcrawlers keep the upper hand."

"Even roofcrawlers who intend to kiss you breathless?" Nightwing replied, swinging across to the Clocktower directly, abandoning the route he had chosen for stealth.

"Especially those roofcrawlers," Barbara replied. "I don't want them taking those kisses for granted."

Nightwing grinned as he dropped down onto the fire escape outside Barbara's living room window. "Never," he promised fervently, sliding open the double hung window. "You in the war room?" he asked, scanning the living room as he entered.

"I managed to hack Lois Lane's computer," she confirmed. "She's got an anonymous informant from the DEO filtering in reports relating to Masters."

Nightwing crossed the living room, peeling off his mask as he got to the war room door and entered. "You're kidding," he stated.

"Nope." Barbara turned at the sound of the door opening and shot a smile in Dick's direction. She waved toward her monitor. "She doesn't have quite enough to go public, but there's pretty strong evidence that Luthor had him killed."

Dick studied the notes on the monitor. "Damn." He shook his head. "You know, you should be careful about hacking Lois' system. No sense in-"

"Ahem," Barbara interrupted. "Wasn't there some promise of getting kissed breathless?"

Dick looked down at Barbara, taking in the faint smile and amused eyes covering a hint of anger at his concern. He gave a rueful chuckle. "Sorry, Babs. I know Superman won't catch you. But Lois..."

"How do you think she got an anonymous DEO informant?" Barbara asked archly.

Dick blinked, then a huge grin expanded across his features. He leaned down and caught Barbara by her shoulders, pulling their mouths together. She tasted vaguely of orange spice tea as his tongue tangled with hers, and the hands she brought around his back raked across kevlar with enough pressure to send his blood flowing faster through his body. He finally was the one who pulled back.

"Whew!" he panted. "I suddenly feel overdressed."

Barbara grinned and gave his hip a smack before turning back to her keyboard. "You are. But keep your shirt on bit longer, Hunk Wonder."

He rested his hands on her shoulders as she began backing out of Lois Lane's system. He began working his thumbs in soft circles over her neck muscles, watching as she closed various applications and sent other feeds to different monitors. "Hey, what's that JSA thing?" he asked suddenly.

Barbara paused, redirecting her keystrokes to expand the image that had caught Dick's eye. It was a still from earlier in the day showing Black Canary introducing Stephanie Brown and her mother to Mr. Terrific. "Steph's mom went for it," she explained. "I figured down the road a piece Steph might like having a picture of her intro to the JSA."

"Down the road a piece?"

"Well, I'm still not sure how she's going to feel about Batman orchestrating the whole thing."

"Point," Dick allowed, studying the image. "Steph looks a little nervous."

"Not everyone has been hanging out with superheroes since they were nine," Barbara reminded him, reaching up to tangle her fingers with one of the hands still sitting on her shoulders. "It's a little scary to feel like you've been an outsider and suddenly be invited in."

Dick gave Barbara's fingers a squeeze. "If she follows your model, she'll be running the show before she's twenty."

Barbara lowered her head, her eyes dropping to her lap. "No one should have to follow my model, Dick," she said quietly.

Dick stayed still behind her for a moment. "I know."

Barbara sighed and reached out to close the image, releasing Dick's hand in order to return to the task of shifting her systems to standby.

Dick moved from behind her chair to lean against one of the side arms of her workstation, watching her. "So any other exciting news I missed today?" he asked.

Barbara shrugged, but a hint of mischief had returned to her body language. "Not much. I called Ted Kord today."

"And?" Dick kept his tone casual to match hers.

"I'll be attending my first board of directors meeting a week from Tuesday."

"Oh, Babs!" Dick jumped up and wrapped his arms around her, kissing the side of her face and then her lips as she grinned at him. "That's such great news!" he exclaimed, squeezing her more tightly. He kissed her again. "You should've told me earlier! I could've brought champagne and -"

"Now, Dick," she chided, pushing him back and typing a few more commands into the computer, "you know that if we plan a celebration around here that Poison Ivy will break out of Arkham and plant super kudzu around an orphanage or something." Her tone was heavily ironic, but she was smiling ear to ear.

"Yeah, yeah," Dick dismissed impatiently. "But - WOO HOO! My Babs has got the business world by the balls!"

Barbara pushed back from her workstation and watched as Dick vaulted into a handstand and piked into an Olympic landing, then spun around to beam at her. "It's not the business world's balls I'm interested in," she remarked, eyes sparkling impishly.

Dick bounded back to her, leaning her whole chair back on its rear wheels to press his lips to hers. Barbara wrapped her arms around his neck as she deepened the kiss, squealing a little as he suddenly scooped her from her chair. She clung to him, lips still working fervently against his as he strode toward the bedroom.

He settled her lightly on the bed, straddling her, freeing his hands to explore her body more thoroughly and his lips to follow those hands. "Dick," she gasped in half-hearted protest.

He raised his face from where he was nuzzling her neck, but his hands continued to tease the flesh under her t-shirt. "I promised breathless," he reminded her. He straightened up and peeled the top of his Nightwing costume from his body.

He leaned down again and snaked his hands beneath her to unhook her bra. His lips brushed her ear. "Didn't I?"

She lifted her hands to his bare skin. "Yes," she breathed.

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