This is nothing too special, really. Just a slice of life (ahaha - PIZZA PUN!) to get me back in the swing of Batfic. It's set in the DCnU, partially because it fit well, and partially because I'm still trying to make myself feel better about the reboot. I figure I have to come to terms with the changes eventually, so... ta-da! This is progress. WOO. \o/
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Title: How Far We've Come
Characters: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Damian Wayne.
Word Count: ~1400
Summary: Pizza, beer, conversations and stalking on an abandoned rooftop. Such is the life of a Robin in Gotham.
Notes: Set fairly early in the DCnU, so Dick is back to Nightwing, Damian is Bruce's Robin, and Jason is in his new costume.
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Dick grinned as the door to the roof shut behind him with a slam. He balanced a large steaming pizza box in one hand and held a six-pack of beer in the other.
“The pizza was late,” he corrected. “Apparently Thursday night at one o’clock is when every college kid in Gotham gets the munchies.” He sank gracefully to the stained cement rooftop, folding his legs Indian style. He set the pizza box in front of him and flipped the lid open, releasing steam and the scent of freshly baked pizza into the crisp night air. “Come on, Jay,” he said, reaching for a slice. “Aren’t you hungry?”
A grunt from the shadows and Jason stepped over, sliding a shining red helmet from his head. The helmet went under his arm and he ruffled his sweat-drenched hair into some semblance of order.
“Anyone follow you?” he asked, one hand absently straying to the guns at his belt.
“Don’t know, don’t care,” Dick said. “Man, I need food.” He lifted the steaming slice of pizza – dripping with cheese and greasy with pepperoni – and took a bite. “God, this is good,” he groaned through the mouthful. “You know I had to eat foie gras tonight? That stuff is sick.”
Jason sank to the ground across from Dick and grabbed a slice. “I was gonna ask about the monkey suit. Let me guess: Bruce spent the evening parading you about like a show pony for Gotham’s upper crust?”
Dick glanced down at his tuxedo with a shrug. “Sort of. But I chose to go. Bruce hates these things as much as we do, Jay. I figured he could use the company.”
“Why not have him bring that nerdy little prodigy, then?” Jason asked, folding his pizza New York-style before taking a bite. “Or better yet,” he said, mouth full, “why not take the gremlin?”
“Tim was otherwise occupied,” Dick said, pointedly emphasizing the name; Jason rolled his eyes. “And Damian has school in the morning. Besides, I hadn’t seen B in a while. It was nice to talk to him about something other than ‘the Mission’” – Dick even added the air quotes, one hand still holding pizza crust – “for a change.”
“I’ll bet,” Jason grunted, shoveling the rest of his slice into his mouth before reaching for another. Dick finished his own slice and grabbed two beers from the six-pack. The first he flipped to Jason, who caught it easily and popped the tab one-handed, and the other Dick opened for himself.
“So,” Jason said after a long draft of beer. “How does it feel to be Nightwing again?”
Dick idly peeled a slice of pepperoni off the pizza and popped it into his mouth, gazing out over the hazy lights of Gotham. He touched the sleek fabric at his throat, the small triangle of black peeking out from beneath his open collar and loosened tie.
“It’s… odd,” he said at last. “But nice. The cowl was a huge weight on my shoulders in more ways than one, so it’s good to be back in my comfort zone, and of course I’m glad that Bruce is back. But…”
“You miss it.”
Dick met Jason’s gaze, smiling slightly. “Sometimes. And what about you, huh?” He leaned over the pizza box and tapped the blood red bat symbol on Jason’s chest, almost hidden by the younger man’s coat. “This is new. I like it.”
Jason flushed slightly and shoved the remainder of his second piece of pizza into his mouth. He crossed his arms, obscuring the symbol.
“I figure people should know who trained me,” he said. “Makes ‘em properly scared, you know?” He shrugged. “Everyone fears the Bat.”
“Ah. Of course.” Dick leaned back on his elbows and sipped his beer with a sigh.
“So… why red?” Jason asked.
Dick shrugged. “Needed a change. I figure it’s more menacing. For Gotham, you know.” He waggled his eyebrows at Jason, grinning. “Fearsome like the Bat.”
Jason crumpled his empty beer can and chucked it at Dick’s head, who dodged it with a laugh.
“Kind of a shame, though, really,” Jason said, holding his hand up for another beer. “I liked the blue.” Dick tossed him a can with a sad little smile.
“So did I. Maybe I’ll go back to it someday.”
Jason hummed deep in his throat, then placed a cigarette between his lips and lit it, the flame throwing stark shadows over his face.
“We’ve come a long way since that first night we met, haven’t we?” Dick asked. Jason released a plume of smoke into the air.
“Did you ever think we’d change this much?” he asked. "That we'd be here? After all that's happened?"
“Yeah.” Jason took a deep drag from his cigarette. “Me neither.”
They lapsed into a comfortable silence for a few minutes, just watching Gotham together.
“So,” Jason said finally through a cloud of smoke. "Are we really not going to acknowledge your stalker?" Dick huffed out a laugh.
“Damian, we know you’re there,” he called quietly. “Why don’t you take a break from lurking and come have some pizza?”
A miffed tutting sound echoed across the rooftop, and the current Robin slipped out of the shadows near the door, hood up, masked eyes glaring. Dick smiled and waved a hand at the leftover pizza.
“Hungry?” he asked.
“I didn’t know you were back in Gotham, Grayson,” Damian said, his voice dark with something like betrayal.
Dick winced. “Yeah, sorry about that,” he said. “I know I promised to come see you at the Manor as soon as I got back into town but I got caught up in Metropolis so I had to take a later train. I barely even had time to change before meeting Bruce at the gala. I’ll make it up to you, lil’ D. I promise.”
Damian crossed his arms. “Hn.”
“Anyway, aren’t you supposed to be in for the night, Robin?” Dick said with a frown. “You have school tomorrow morning. B said no patrolling.”
“Do you think I listen to every order Father gives me?” Damian asked.
“I knew I liked you, kid,” Jason said, grinning around his cigarette.
“Don’t encourage him,” Dick muttered.
“Want some pizza?” Jason asked, ignoring him. “How about your first beer?”
“Pizza sounds good.” Damian settled cross-legged beside Dick and reached for a slice, not even bothering to remove his gloves. “Unless, of course, Grayson chooses to tell on me.” A dark, level gaze met Dick’s, and Dick sighed.
“Fine,” he said. “I’d rather have you here with me, anyway.” He squeezed the nape of Damian’s neck affectionately and the boy made a little “hmph” sound before tucking into his pizza.
“Well,” Jason said, stretching and getting to his feet. “This has been touching and all, but I’m gonna head out before any more Robins pop up. I think this is enough bonding for one night.” He flicked the glowing butt of his cigarette into a corner of the rooftop, collected his glinting red helmet, and flashed a lazy salute. “Later.”
Damian grunted at him through a mouthful of pizza. Dick said, “See you around, Little Wing.”
Jason paused at the roof’s edge, glancing back with a small smile before sliding the helmet on.
“Yeah,” he said, voice echoing hollowly through the hood. “I guess you will.” And with the hiss of a grapple line, he was gone.
“So.” Damian cleared his throat and brushed pizza crumbs from his gloves. “Is this a common occurrence? You and the delinquent meeting on rooftops for booze and greasy food?”
“It has been recently, yeah,” Dick said. “It’s sort of a tradition from when Jason was Robin. Minus the beer.”
Damian was quiet for a moment. “And… you’re planning to continue it?”
“No reason.” Damian very pointedly did not look up at Dick, instead focusing intently on his gloved hands, folded in his lap. “So you’ll be staying in Gotham for a while, then?”
Dick smiled. “Looks like it.” He nudged Damian with an elbow. “You’re not rid of me yet, kiddo.”
“Hn. What a shame.” He paused. “Well. If we are going to continue doing this –”
Dick cocked an eyebrow. “I'm sorry, ‘we’?”
“– then you have to promise me one thing.”
“And what’s that?”
Damian glared up at Dick, all business. “Drake can’t come.”
Dick heaved a long-suffering sigh and flopped back onto the roof. Damian scowled down at him.
“I’m serious, Grayson,” he said.
“I don’t doubt that,” Dick grumbled.
“So you agree to my terms?”
And as Damian began to rant about all of the reasons why Tim – and, for that matter, the fat girl – should not be allowed to ruin Robin Pizza Nights, followed by a list of more suitable pizza toppings and possible meeting places and ways to keep Bruce from finding out, Dick just stared up at the hazy Gotham sky and smiled.
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And now I must sleep. Good night, dear ducklings!