To Be your Valentine -Part 2
Because I was asked for it "with whipped cream and cherries on top" - so that's exactly how you get it! LOL
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters or situations. If I did, the characters wouldn't be in their situations. They would be living happy, fulfilled lives of well adjusted service to others. (Would I lie?)
Location: Hornet-verse ( That means slash.)
Rated PG + (something FINALLY almost happens )
Archive: Same as in Chapter 1
And I a maid at your window
To be your Valentine.
February 14th. Domestic Disturbance Day. It was after eleven when Officer Richard Grayson finally pulled himself through the door to his apartment. He dropped his motorcycle helmet on the table by the door - followed by his jacket and his tie.
The living room was empty. The lights were low. No matter. The smell of oregano and basil, plus a few subtle thumps from the kitchen, told Dick he had a visitor.
He kicked off his shoes and padded over in his stocking feet.
"Here" Bruce Wayne materialized by Dick's side with a glass of juice.
Dick took a deep swallow. "Thanks. I needed that." And he did. The sweet tang of orange and pineapple soothed a throat raw from a day of sounding reasonable while shouting at unreasonable couples, while the protein mix settled a stomach hollow from the effects of a drive-through lunch. He drained the glass as he followed Bruce back into the kitchen.
"February 14th?" Dick shrugged as he dropped the glass by the sink. "Is it getting worse, or do I just not remember?
"Neither." Bruce gave the pasta a last stir as he waved Dick to a chair. "It's just a cop thing. Major crime is way down."
"So we get the day off?"
"So I get the day off." Bruce answered with the Batman voice. "You look like at least a week landed on you."
"That bad?" Dick sighed, leaning back to watch the older man fill two plates. "And here Sargent Amy said I was getting dinner because I'm so pretty."
"You are still pretty, brat." Bruce set the plates down and took his seat. "Pretty tired."
"Ouch!" Dick took an appreciative bite of the sauced rottelli. "I thought Robin had the market on bad puns.
"Tim lacks your...style. I have to pick up the slack."
"Touche" Dick raised his water glass in silent toast." By the way, thanks for the flowers."
"My pleasure. I wasn't certain if I should, but I decided - as long as I left my name off the card..."
"It should be safe enough?" Dick reached over and placed his hand over his lovers. "I'm sorry, Bruce. I never meant for you to feel that I was..."
"Ashamed of me?" Bruce finished. "You never did. And I understand why you want to be ...discreet. Whatever the personnel manual may say, cops are cops." Which from Bruce Wayne tone was all but synonymous with Neanderthals.
Dick was about to answer 'I am a cop', but stopped himself. That was an old fight, and unresolvable, and not a topic to assure a happy night. Dick wanted very much for this to be a happy night. They had little enough time together as it was, and most of what they did manage involved Dick going to Gotham. Gotham, where a certain spotlight could amputate even the best plans for an evening. Tonight Bruce was here - in Bludhaven - in Dick's home and well beyond even the long arm of Gotham law. Unless the Justice League called to announce the end of the world, they would finally spend time together together. That mattered a lot more to Dick then the debatable liberalism of the BHPD.
Dick pulled the small card from his uniform pocket. kissing it lightly before setting beside the salt shaker. "They were beautiful - and my Sargent was jealous."
"I don't blame her. If I had a partner like you, I wouldn't want to share either."
"I thought I was your partner." Dick tried for a sulk, but only succeeded in a smirk.
"Precisely."Bruce nodded, smiling. "And I'm not sharing!"
That brought a laugh from both, and they settled down to enjoy their dinners in earnest. The meal was almost gone before Dick spoke again.
"This is great."He paused in the act of spearing another leaf of the hot spinach salad. " How come you never cook at home?"
"Because Alfred would skin me alive for touching his kitchen." Bruce answered.
"He doesn't trust you?"
"He taught me - which in Alfred's case means remembering all my mistakes. And reminding me of them - regularly."
"I thought I had a rough teacher."
"I was a cake-walk compared to Alfred, kid!"
Dick laughed on cue but suspected there was more truth there then Bruce would confess. For all the rules he remembered resenting, Dick Grayson knew he had been a pampered child. Loved by his parents, cherished by Bruce. Spoiled rotten in more then just the material sense. Not that the material things weren't great too. Through all their fights he had never doubted Bruce's love. Debated it's form, yes : but never questioned it's existence. Sometimes he wondered if Bruce could say the same. Alfred had loved Bruce - and did still and always would - but in a style that made the Bat seem cuddly by comparison.
Dick's hand went impulsively across the table. "I love you Bruce." Had he not been touching the other man he would have missed the almost unconscious flinch.
Bruce froze at the words, forgetting for a second even to breath. He had trouble with that phrase. Nor because he did not want to hear it, but because he needed to hear it far to much. And - he acknowledged - had heard it far to seldom. Which was why Dick said it. Because they both hoped for a day when the words would flow as easily as they truth behind them.
This was not that day, but... Bruce Wayne took a breath and centered himself. "I love you, Dick."
Their hands locked together. "I know." Dick gave the palm a little rub of encouragement. "But its good to hear anyway."
Yes." Bruce relaxed. "It is."
They sat for a moment before Bruce offered "Dessert?"
Dick gave the fingers below his own a last squeeze of thanks before countering "Chocolate?"
"Fudge brownies - with whipped cream and cherries on top."
"Don't tell me Alfred taught you to make that!"
"Make it?" Bruce's voice took on a tone of shock. "I wouldn't dare tell him I even eat it. This required top secret data straight from the Oracle."
"The fluff and nuts version?"
"Complete with chocolate chips."
"Yumm!" Dick stood to rinse his plate in the sink. Left to himself he might have ignored it, but sloth would bother Bruce, and this was their night. Bruce passed his own plate over to Dick before heading for the refrigerator."
Dick reached up for two smaller plates. "Lets take that to the living room."
Bruce turned, surprised.
"Hey, if we're going to go decadent, why not eat on the sofa?" Dick gave Bruce his most dazzling smile. "Then we can watch a sappy movie and make out during the commercials."
"What." Bruce teased "No cable?"
"Not tonight." Dick passed over the plates and watched as Bruce constructed huge, exact structures of chocolate and toppings. "The movies are too good. And there are no commercials."
"This is a bad thing?"
"It is tonight. If there was a plot, you might get interested - and without commercials when would I know to kiss you?"
"I did lead the Titans." Dick grabbed two forks and picked up his plate. "And I had an excellent teacher."
"True." Bruce agreed, taking his own plate and following Dick out to the living room.
Dick leapt over the back of the sofa and reached for the remote."Modest too." He clicked until he found something black and white with a sound track of violins.
Bruce walked around, and spread a napkin before placing his plate on the coffee table. "Thank you.", he said, sitting beside Dick.
Dick leaned forward and popped one of his cherries into Bruce's mouth. Bruce nipped at the fruit, then licked the sauce off the red-tinged fingers. "Is this part one of the commercials?"
Dick raised his lips. "Close enough."
This is nicer, no? Sorry for being depressing before - it was just one of those days.
OH - and brownie points to anyone who can find the 'sneak tribute' in the chapter above.