title: Incidentals: Truth Among Lies
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Dick/Tim, Terry, Connor
rating: G
warnings: talk of non-con sex, making fun of (age-old, now defunct) canon
summary: Terry finds there is no safe haven.
notes: inspired by Chi, who is a very inspiring lady. ^_^ also, i've already said that current canon doesn't belong here, right? ^_~

When the doorbell started to ring, his first thought was that it was Angel, and that he had forgotten something important. He dashed to the door, only remembering that Angel was in Metropolis with her mother for a week as he opened the door.

Terry raised an eyebrow, but chose to make no comment about his choice of boxers, which said a lot about how desperate he was. "Can I crash here for a few?"

Dick considered for half a second. "What did you do?"

"It's not my fault," the young man whined. "Just let me in, ok?"

Sighing, Dick got out of his way, and walked to the kitchen. The first thing he would want would be a sandwich; that was just a given. "I can't keep secrets from Bruce, you know."

"I'm not asking you to," Terry muttered. "I just... I need some time off, ok?"

"Does your mother know you are here?" He poured out a big glass of milk. Terry would prefer pop, but he got enough of that, even right under Bruce's nose. He needed more milk.

Terry shrugged. "Either she knows or she doesn't care. I left a note."

Dick nodded. He wasn't going to tell Terry how to behave for his mother. He knew her better than Dick did. He got a plate, and started making a sandwich. "Tell me about it."

"I don't need fuckin' therapy," Terry sighed, staring sullenly at his milk.

"You need a place to stay," Dick reminded, pointedly.

Terry sighed. "You wouldn't understand. It's... a girl thing."

Dick raised an eyebrow, but Terry didn't say anything. At least, not yet. "Ah. What makes you think I wouldn't understand?"

Terry rolled his eyes. "C'mon, Grayson, the whole world is one and we all should get along and all that crap, but there are some thing you just don't get."

It would have been nice to just laugh in the kid's face, but his mood was far too serious, and Dick had enough respect for the brat to not do that. He pushed the sandwich in front of Terry, and sat down on a counter stool. He rested his cheek against his fist, and watched Terry carefully from the periphery of his vision. "Tarantula."

"Huh?" Terry looked up at Dick blankly with a mouth full of food.

Dick made a face, and went on. "This was... damn. A while ago. Not long after Bruce and Babs made Cass Batgirl. Anyway. Tarantula. She was this... I don't know how to describe her. She was... a wild card. One of those... Wanted to make her neighborhood a better place, so she was taking it to the street types? Complete with the total disregard for morality and the law, and full of arrogance. Granted, she wasn't without skills, but when it came right down to it, she was a rank amateur."

"And you are telling me this because...?" Terry looked bored like only a teen could.

Dick smacked him gently on top the head. "I trusted her more than I should have, partly because I wanted to be able to. She was... Well, she had charms."

"What charms?" Terry watched Dick, shoving more food in his mouth.

Dick said nothing for a moment. "She. Well. She was, you know, fiery. And, um, persistent. She, uh, wore me down."

"Wait, whoa," Terry's eyes had gotten huge, and he was staring at Dick, his sandwich halfway to his mouth. "What are we talking about here? 'Wore you down?' What is that?"

Dick glared. "We got involved."

"Involved?" Terry stared, and dropped his sandwich. "But you're... you know, you're... fruity."

Sighing, Dick ignored that. "It was a fling. It was... a damned bad idea. I was on bad terms with Babs, and... I just wasn't thinking clearly."

"Babs?? What does the crone have to do with anything?" Terry was very nearly in shock.

Dick thwacked him on the head and carried on. "We do have a child. Anyway, it was this big mistake. Everything was falling apart... I had leaked my identity to Amy. There was this reporter who was sniffing after me. And then I met her. She was eager and, well..." He shrugged. "Stuff happened."

"Stuff?" Terry was hanging on the edge of his seat. "What kind of stuff?"

Dick thought for a moment. "Well. She, uh, killed Blockbuster right in front of me and then took advantage of me."

Terry stared.

Dick took a sip of milk.

Terry stared some more.

Dick smiled.

Terry continued to stare.

Dick cleared his throat. "So then..."

"She took advantage of you? What the fuck does that mean?" Terry was glaring. Dick would need to talk to him about his game face. It was nothing like a Bat glare.

"It... you know... she..." Dick shrugged helplessly. "Look, we're getting off topic here."

"Did she know your identity?" Terry leaned forward.

"Well, I... I suppose..." Dick tapped his finger on the counter.

"What happened to her?" Terry leaned forward even more.

"She... well, I had to turn her in, you know, for her criminal activity."

"But she knew your identity."


"There's a direct line between you and the Bat."


"And Amy knew? Did this reporter know? Who else knew?"


"How did you maintain security? How did you control the leaks? And why did you let her kill people? What made you think she was trustworthy? What kind of charms did she have that let you ignore the fact that she was a complete loose cannon? What was the basis of your relationship? How did Amy find out? What was going on with you then?"

Dick just stared at Terry. "Well, see..."

Tim grabbed Terry's collar, and pulled him back. "Don't lean so far forward; you'll fall off." He put down the mail, and glared at Dick. "No patrolling unless you've had at least five hours of sleep."

Dick sighed, and stood up. "Well, better get off before the old ball and chain really starts in on me..."

Tim smacked Dick on the ass as he passed him, grinning. He turned to Terry, and narrowed his eyes. "The Chrysalis?"

Terry hung his head.

Tim shook his head once. "Think with your other head from now on; you're lucky Bruce was there to save you."

Terry sighed. "Well, she's not as bad as that Tarantula chick."

Tim blinked, puzzled. "Tarantula?"

"Yeah," Terry poked his sandwich. "That bitch Dick used to be with."

"Terry," Tim scratched his head. "Dick is gay. He's never been with a woman."

"Well..." Terry stilled. "What about Babs? I mean, Angel had to come from..."

"Artificial insemination," Tim supplied, matter of factly.

Terry glared. "So there is no Tarantula?"

"Now that you mention it... There was a DA in the 'haven a while back who had this wacky cousin who started a museum for old, forgotten heroes to inspire kids in the 'haven to break the cycle of crime in the city. She called it the Tarantula's Lair, I think. They were robbed about a month after they opened, and she moved to the 'burbs and got married."

Terry stared at Tim.

Tim smiled. "So. You want to stay with us?"

Terry stood up. "I don't think so."

Connor opened the door, sighing softly. "I told you, we can't make this a habit."

Terry sighed. "I just need to clear my head. I promise, I'll behave."

Connor rolled his eyes. "You always promise that."

"I went someplace else first, but... that wouldn't have worked. Look, I just need... maybe you can show me how to meditate?"

Connor stepped aside so Terry could enter. "This isn't going to become a habit."

"'Course not," Terry grinned.

"And I heard about the Chrysalis," Connor sighed.

Terry flinched.

Connor chuckled and closed the door, putting a hand on Terry's shoulder. "Let's work on some relaxation techniques, eh?"