title: Outside the Lines: Understanding
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Dick, Kory
rating: Teen
warnings: a couple of dirty words
summary: Dick has a conversation that leads to him thinking.
notes: third in a series. takes place shortly after Outsiders 3. takes a (small?) break from canon, perhaps precognitively. gr.

I don't expect her call. She hates using the phone, but I suppose it says something about where we are now that she is willing to communicate over a distance.

She prefers to be able to touch anyone she is talking to; she doesn't invade people's personal space, but likes to be able to if necessary.

She says 'hi' awkwardly, and again I feel bad even though there is no reason anymore.

I had expected it to be the pizza guy, and I have to remember to say 'hi' back.

She wants to chat. I used to love to chat with her, but we don't know what to say anymore. Time was, we spent nearly every minute of the day together, and we could still talk to each other about everything. We'd come home from a night of saving the world together, and she would want to know how my day went as soon as we were alone.

I haven't seen her now for months, and I can't think of a thing to say.

She starts talking about the Titans, and about Robin. Her voice is filled with pride, and it makes me proud of Tim to hear her talk. I tell her that admiration of a warrior like her is valuable, and I can feel her cheeks getting warmer from over the phone.

The memory of her skin attacks me, the tactile rush of it nearly landing me on my ass. There are parts of my body that will want her until the day I die.

She asks me about what I'm doing, and I have nothing to say.

She asks me about Barbara, and I don't have to say anything. She understands from the quality of my silence.

She always understood me better than I had ever dreamed she could. In retrospect, I should have understood her better, but it wouldn't have changed anything.

She asks me about Roy, and I suddenly feel naked.

She could always do that to me, too.

I try to deny it, but it's pointless. Kory shared every part of my body and soul for years. She taught me everything I know about certain aspects of being human. To try to tell her something she knows isn't true will only compound my sin.

Besides, she always knew. She made it ok for me.

She tells me that it's all right; that everything is going to work out, and that there's nothing wrong with it. She gives me her blessings.

The relief I feel is like the moment when my hands would clap into my father's hands, and he would catch me in the air.

I felt at home again.

We keep talking. I take the phone down to pick up the pizza. She laughs, and I wish that she were with me so that I could see her eyes. Her eyes were always so beautiful when she laughed.

I hate to admit that I'm lonely, but Kory doesn't make me. She doesn't make me say that I need Roy to be in my life right now, because I need that kind of unspoken affection that can only come from family. She doesn't tell me that she feels the same way, but I can hear her as well as she can hear me.

It's a good conversation.

I tell her about my 'suspension' from the force, and her anger makes me feel calm. I think this might be the first time someone I loved actually got what this would mean to me.

I tell her that I miss her, and she says nothing.

She has to go, and so do I, but neither of us has to go right then. I shouldn't have said that, but then I usually figure that out right after I say something.

Kory understands that, too.

She tells me to talk to Roy right after she says goodbye. Her voice is strained, which is hard for me to hear. She hangs up right after that, and I can feel the lack of her voice.

I think about what she said, but I can't imagine that conversation with Roy. I just hope like hell he never thinks too hard about why I would want to join a team when I have no reason at all to want to go through all that shit and fuck up my schedule like that anymore.

I don't want him to understand everything.

this is clearly all rithy's fault, because i never would have written Kory like this without her... *snuggles*