It was 5 PM on a lazy Saturday, and Jason had not been expecting anyone.
Yet there was a knock on the door at the hour. Jason answered the door with a frown, ready to open to his mouth and tell the person they do not take solicitors.
Jason’s eyebrows shot up in surprise when he saw who was on the other side. It was Tim Drake, an old sub of his, from over a year ago. They broke up because Tim moved to San Francisco, following his company’s new headquarters that was going to be setting up and moving into the West Coast. While it have a mutual and relatively calm breakup, it was certainly far from painless, and Jason had only recently started feeling like he was over Tim with his new and current sub.
Automatically, Jason scanned over Tim, taking in how the younger man had changed very little. He held himself with more authority, and his hair seemed to be a bit longer than what Jason used to like.
“Jason,” Tim said, like he had been expecting Jason to open the door. But then again, he was the one standing at Jason’s doorstep.
“Tim,” Jason choked out. “I… What are you doing here? I wasn’t aware you were back in Gotham.”
Tim raised his eyebrows slowly, his blue eyes were dark and soft still, like Jason remembered. “Your friend told me to come here on urgent business…” he said slowly.
“Friend? I’m sorry, Timmy, I’m not sure-”
Jason was pushed out of the doorway roughly, though entirely unintentionally.
“Hi!” Dick chirped. “Tim, right? You look exactly the same, oh my god. Oh, hey, Jay! Timbo’s my guest,” Dick said, grinning as he reached through the doorway past Jason and grabbing Tim’s wrist. “C’mon! You’re late, silly. I made reservations for seven!”
Dick dragged Tim into Jason’s house and started pulling him towards the stairs.
“Dickie-” Jason said, completely baffled, his eyes wide.
“Hm?” Dick asked, pausing and turning around.
Jason took in Dick’s half-dressed state, running around in loose sweatpants, last night’s bruises still visible on his hips, but the hickies on his neck having been covered up by makeup already. And his hair! Dick’s hair was twisted in a head of curlers.
Making the scene even more bizarre, Jason just watched his current sub pull his ex-sub into his house, taking about plans that Jason had no idea about. He could feel a headache pounding at the back of his head. He never talked about his previous subs with current subs, and the only time Tim had ever come up in conversation was once, several weeks ago.
“Where’d you get the curlers?” he eventually blurted out, even though that was the last thing he wanted to ask.
“Oh!” Dick said. “I dunno. I found them,” he said with a cute shrug and a helpless smile. Then, he turned his attention back to Tim, who looked nearly equally confused. “C’mon! My room.”
Four weeks ago…
Jason was getting home late from work, and he sounded tired and frustrated when he called Dick and told him not to wait for him to eat dinner.
Dick felt bad that his boyfriend, and more importantly, his Dom, was feeling so stressed. It was Dick’s job to take care of him and relax him. So Dick set about into the depths of Jason’s closet to find the sheerest of Jason’s white button-ups.
Jason never failed to get worked up when he saw Dick in his clothes. There was just something about seeing Dick sprawled out on his bed, wearing nothing but something overly large of Jason’s.
Dick held every single one of the white button-ups to the light, comparing how much he could see through each one. Finally, as he worked through the entire closet full of shirts and still did not find a good enough one. Huffing, Dick was about to give up when he noticed a box that had previously been stuck in a back corner but had been dislodged when Dick went through the closet.
He reached for it, pulling it down. It was a photo box, and underneath it, a photo album.
Curious because Jason never mentioned family or many close friends, Dick opened the album. His eyes widened to find it full of pictures. The first couple of pages were dedicated to a black haired and blue-eyed girl. Some of them were labeled Katie, and the only dated picture was from over six years ago. Dick continued flipping through them. Some people only had one, maybe two pictures. Some had several pages. Everyone had one thing in common – black hair, blue eyes.
There was one person that was familiar to Dick, however.
Timothy Drake. It was a face Dick had seen before, pasted all over the billboards in Gotham. Tim’s face occupied ten whole pages in the album, taking up nearly half of the occupied pages. There were dates on almost all of Tim’s pictures, and Jason obviously put a lot of care into arranging Tim’s photos.
A couple of the pictures had Jason in it too. They both looked so happy in the pictures, and Dick’s heart hurt because Jason looked younger, happier, and with a generally brighter glow. Jason had been so stressed recently that Dick wished he could just make him smile like that, the same way he smiled in the pictures with Tim.
Dick flipped through the rest of Tim’s pictures with a heavy heart. They spanned over a two years of time, also the longest of any of the sets. There were pictures of two others after Tim’s set, but they only had a few pictures each. Then nothing. Just empty pages.
Dick closed the photo album, and he cradled it against his chest. He had a pretty good idea what else was in common with the people in the pictures, aside from the physical traits. They were all Jason’s previous subs. They had to have been.
And Dick fit that profile too. He may not have pictures yet, but he was pretty sure they would end up in there sooner or later. Jason did photography as a hobby, and Dick had certain been his subject more than once. He sighed and finally set the album aside, opening up the photo box instead.
Almost instantly, he gasped and shut the box again.
It was more pictures. Pictures of the same people, but less innocent pictures. Dick felt invasive looking at the private pictures, so he shoved it back into the corner, along with the photo album.
Mechanically, he chose a shirt and pulled it on, no longer filled with the same enthusiasm, but he still wanted to be good for Jason.
And when Jason came home, Dick managed to forget about it for a couple of hours.
However, as soon as Jason fell asleep beside him, his arm draped over Dick’s naked body, Dick was left alone with those thoughts again.
Dick tried to think of a time in the five months that he had been Jason’s sub that he looked so happy. And Dick could not recall a single time Jason had smiled that widely. It made Dick’s heart clench, and he squeezed his eyes shut, forcing back the tight feelings that threatened to crawl up his throat and spill out of his eyes.
He let out a slow, shaky breath. Dick should not expect himself to make Jason as happy as Tim had. Unconsciously, Dick had already started comparing himself to what must have been Jason’s best relationship.
Tim was CEO of his own business. He was very similar to Jason in that aspect. Dick, on the other hand, grew up doing nothing meaningful in his life and continued that way to adulthood. Tim was younger than Jason, probably a good half a head shorter, and just in general, more petite. Dick was a few years older than Jason, only a couple of inches shorter, and he did not have the same almost feminine figure because he was built as a gymnast.
Dick even started comparing the tiny things. Tim’s eyes were a darker blue. Jason must like darker blue eyes. Tim’s hair was shinier and longer. Maybe Dick should grow his hair out. Tim knew how to act properly in public situations. And Dick knew how to act properly, but more often than not, he chose not to. He lived by the motto: “Life’s not fun unless you break the rules”. Maybe he should start being the model sub and partner in general.
Needless to say, Dick did not get much sleep that night.
“You look tired,” Jason said the next morning.
“A bit,” Dick said, stirring his soggy cereal.
Jason frowned. “Was I too rough on you last night?”
Dick sat up, his eyes widening. “No!” he said quickly. “I- No, I’m fine. Really.”
Jason’s eyes narrowed further as he took a slow bite of his toast. “You’ll tell me if something’s wrong, right?”
Dick nodded. “Yeah.”
“Okay,” Jason said, not entirely convinced. “What’s on your agenda today?”
Dick dropped his spoon. “You know, I think I’m going to go find a job.”
Jason paused, his toast halfway to his mouth. A glob of strawberry jam slid off of his toast and landed on the counter. “A job?” Jason echoed. “Like… an actual job.”
Dick nodded. “I mean, I did go to college. Not entirely sure what a degree in criminology can really do for me, but I just want something to occupy my time, really.”
“But I thought you didn’t like working,” Jason said, lowering his toast, his eyebrows furrowing. “And what’s with this spontaneous decision?”
Dick shrugged. “Just thought I need some change in my life.”
Jason frowned a little. “Your life’s not exciting enough?”
“No, it’s not that, really,” Dick said. “It’s just… I’m almost thirty. And I’ve done nothing with my life. Doesn’t that… Doesn’t that sound kind of weird to you? I mean, Bruce was running his company full time, and he had me and Damian. I just-” Dick shrugged again. “I’m tired of being dependent.”
“But I like that you’re dependent on me,” Jason said. His toast was nearly touching the counter now, and Dick had a feeling it would be finished anytime soon. “Are you sure you’re okay, baby?”
“I really am fine,” Dick said with a smile. “And I just said I was going to look. There’s no guarantees anyone is going to hire me,” he laughed.
“Right,” Jason said slowly.
Dick stood up, holding his bowl of unfinished cereal. “You done with that?” he asked, nodding at Jason’s toast.
Jason glanced at his toast, then he handed it over. Dick took a bite of it before tossing it into the trash and dumping his cereal into the sink and rinsing his bowl. He glanced at the time.
“You’re going to be late for work if you sit around any longer,” he reminded Jason.
Jason snorted, breaking out of his thoughts. “I’m the boss. I can come to work anytime I want,” he said.
“That’s not being a good model for your employees,” Dick said. “Want me to drive you?”
Jason looked up, slightly surprised. “You’ll drive me?”
“Yeah,” Dick said. “I’m going to stop by the police station anyway. See if they can make use of me. And I want to drop by to see my friend.”
“Yeah,” Jason said, still bemused by Dick’s behavior that morning. “Let me grab my jacket…”
Things only got stranger.
When Jason came home from work that day, Dick was at the door waiting for him, taking off his jacket.
“I made dinner today,” Dick said with a proud smile.
“You made dinner?” Jason asked. “Where’s Laura?”
“Oh, she helped,” Dick said, referring to the cook Jason hired to make dinners during the week. “Well, I helped her, and it took a lot of convincing! She mostly made me wash and chop vegetables.”
Jason took Dick’s hands immediately, checking them for injuries. “And you didn’t chop your fingers off?” he asked.
Dick whined in his throat. “That was once. And it wasn’t even that bad!”
“You needed stitches, Dickie. I think it was pretty bad,” Jason said, loosening his tie and heading to the dining room. The table was already set, and Dick sat down across from Jason, unable to hide his huge grin.
Jason looked at the spread of food, the glass of wine Dick was currently pouring for him, and the strange smile on Dick’s face.
“What’s the special occasion?” he asked, turning the bottle of wine to find that it was definitely not the wine they usually have with dinner.
Dick took a deep breath. “I got a job.”
“What? Really?” Jason asked. “In one day?”
Dick nodded excitedly.
“Wha- Who? What job, Dickie? Do you even have a resume?” Jason laughed in disbelief. “How did you pull it off?”
“Remember how I said I was going to stop by the GCPD? Well, it turns out they were in the middle of an investigation, and while I waited for a friend, I may have snuck a peek at some files they had lying around, asked a couple questions, and… solved a murder? So they gave me a job.”
“You’re not serious,” Jason said. “Dick, that’s amazing!”
“I know!” Dick said. “It turns out I’m really good at shooting a gun as well. Though I still have to get used to the sound.” He laughed and reached for his utensils, going to cut into his chicken.
“A gun?” Jason echoed.
“Wait, you’re going to be a police officer?” Jason asked.
Dick nodded happily. “Not officially, but if I can impress Gordon-”
“Dick, you can’t be a police officer.”
Dick looked up at Jason, his motions slowing and his smile slowly dying. “Why not?” he asked.
“It’s dangerous!” Jason said. “And you’re not properly trained.”
“I can learn,” Dick said with a small frown.
“It’s still dangerous,” Jason said. “I- You could get shot.”
“It’s not likely,” Dick said. “And I most likely will be stuck at a desk for a few months at least, maybe doing interrogations, writing reports and stuff. I’ll only get to go out and actually catch bad guys if I can convince the Commissioner that I-”
“I don’t doubt that you can convince the Commissioner, baby,” Jason said gently. “I know you can. Which is exactly why I don’t want you to be a police officer.”
Jason reached across the table and took Dick’s hand. “You could get hurt. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“I won’t get hurt if I’m careful,” Dick mumbled.
“You can’t count on that. Our city is not safe, baby. I would feel so much better if you just stayed home. Or did a job that was less… life-threatening.”
Jason was worried for Dick, Dick knew that, but he could not help but wonder if it was also partially because Jason did not think Dick was not fit for the job and would be reckless.
Instead, he nodded. “Okay,” he said finally. “You’d feel better if I did something else?”
Jason nodded. “It would make me a lot less worried for you certainly.”
And that was really all Dick wanted. To make Jason’s life as stress-free as possible. He smiled and squeezed Jason’s hand. “Okay.”
Having failed to prove himself more useful and self-sufficient, Dick set to cleaning the house instead.
Their hired help, Esperanza and her crew of girls were horrified to come into the house and find Dick on his knees, scrubbing at the grout in the bathroom.
“Oh, hey, girls!” he grinned, smiling at them. “I was just-”
“Mister Dick Grayson, what are you doing?!” Esperanza practically wailed. “Mister Jason will not be happy to find you working like this!”
“Oh, I’ll make sure he still pays you!” Dick said. “It’s okay, I just wanted to help out around the house.”
“Help out?” Esperanza asked. “But…”
“Take the day off, girls,” Dick said, wiping at his forehead. “I’ve already done most of the cleaning today anyway. I’ll finish the rest tomorrow. Really, you guys deserve a break!”
“And let you finish cleaning this twenty-roomed house by yourself?!” Esperanza asked. “Not a chance. If you insist on working, at least let us help so you will not be doing this tomorrow.”
Dick laughed. “Alright, alright,” he said. “I still haven’t done the other three bathrooms on this floor, and the kitchen needs a full scrub down. Oh, and the hallways downstairs need mopping.”
Esperanza clapped her hands and her group of girls immediately got to work. By the time Dick finished his one bathroom they had finished everything else, so Dick made them lemonade to thank them for their efforts.
When Jason came home, he stopped in the doorway, looking at the door.
“Is it just me or does the doorknob look shinier?” he asked Dick who had taken to waiting at the door to greet Jason.
“Oh, it’s shiner,” Dick said. “I shined it.”
“The doorknob?” Jason asked.
Dick nodded. “All the doorknobs.”
“Oh… why?” Jason asked.
“I just felt like cleaning today,” Dick said as he took Jason’s jacket. Jason stopped in the doorway, staring at the floors.
“Did you… wax the floors by any chance?”
“How much did you clean today?” Jason asked, staring at his house in wonder as he walked from room to room. “Everything?”
“More or less,” Dick said. “I haven’t done the backyard yet, but I was going to do that tomorrow.”
“Was Esperanza sick today or something?” Jason asked.
“Oh, no, I just wanted to do some chores,” Dick said. “She insisted on helping though. You know, maybe she’ll let me join her crew of girls! I could help clean.”
Jason looked at Dick in bewilderment. “You’d do manual labor?” he asked.
“It can’t be that bad,” Dick said. “I mean, stamina isn’t a problem.” He held up his hands. “Though I’ll have to give up having soft palms,” he laughed. Then, he stopped laughing and frowned.
“What is it?” Jason asked immediately.
“Nothing,” Dick said, his frown wiping off his face like it was never there. He was beaming again. “Let’s go eat!”
Jason did not say anything then, even though he had a feeling Dick was hiding something.
They were at Dick’s favorite restaurant, on a date.
Dick was still acting weird.
Jason stared at Dick’s berry salad, which sat where a nice steak or a nice plate of pasta would usually be.
“Are you on a diet?” Jason joked when Dick ordered the salad.
“Maybe,” Dick said simply.
Jason immediately stopped smiling. “You don’t need to be on a diet, Dickie. You’re perfectly fine! More than fine, in fact.”
Dick had smiled. “Thanks,” he said. “And no, I’m not on a diet. I just felt like a salad.”
Jason did not mention that in the months that he had known Dick and every time they went out on a date, Jason had never once seen Dick eat a salad.
After they were finished eating, Jason was about to wave the waiter over for the dessert menu. Dick always got a triple chocolate cake with a side of ice cream, his favorite. They would split it, but Jason did not have as much of a sweet tooth as Dick, so he usually only took a few bites. Jason liked watching Dick’s expressions as he ate the cake anyway. They were always so amusing.
But this time, Dick stopped him. “I’m not feeling like cake today,” he said.
“What? No cake?” Jason asked. “You never skip the cake.”
“Yeah,” Dick said slowly. “But I kind of want something else tonight.”
“What do you want, Dickie?” Jason asked. “Should we get dessert somewhere else?”
Dick gave him a sly smile. “Maybe… in your bed? You know, I never did get to taste you last night, sir.”
Jason’s eyes darkened and all thoughts of dessert flew out of his head. He called the waiter for the check and whisked Dick home as quickly as he could.
It was midnight by the time they were both cleaned up. They had made a mess of Jason’s bed so they were sleeping in Dick’s room, but when Jason stepped out of the shower, Dick was nowhere to be seen.
Jason thought about crawling into bed first, but he went downstairs for a glass of water first.
He was rather shocked to find Dick in the kitchen as well, sitting on the counter, wearing a bathrobe loosely and cradling a tub of vanilla ice cream in his lap, eating it straight from the tub with a spoon.
He stared blankly out the window, deep in thought.
“I thought you didn’t want ice cream,” Jason said quietly, walking over and standing next to Dick.
Dick blinked in surprise. He quickly pulled the spoon from his mouth. “I’m sorry!” he said quickly, setting the ice cream aside. “I’ll get a new tub of ice cream tomorrow. I wasn’t thinking because I used to do that when I was upset when I was younger. Bruce and Damian didn’t eat ice cream so they didn’t care if I ate it out of the tub,” Dick explained quickly.
“So you are upset then.”
“Huh?” Dick asked. “I- no.”
“You just said you eat ice cream from the tub when you’re upset. Why are you upset, Dickie?” Jason asked, turning towards him. “Was it something I did? Said?”
Dick’s eyes widened in the darkness. “Oh, god, no!” Dick said. “I’m not upset at you, Jay! I’m just…” he sighed. “I’m a little upset at myself. That’s it.”
Jason moved so that he was standing in front of Dick. “What are you mad at yourself, baby?” he murmured, taking Dick’s hands into his, feeling the moisturized palms, secretly glad that Dick did not actually decide to go do manual labor. “Is it why you’ve been acting strangely this week?”
“I’ve been acting weird?” Dick asked. “Actually, yeah, I guess I have.”
“So what is it, baby?”
Dick shook his head, looking away.
Dick looked at Jason’s stern expression. Then he swallowed hard and his shoulders drooped. Dick hung his head, not looking at Jason’s face. “I just want to make you happy,” he mumbled sadly.
“What are you talking about, baby? You do make me happy!”
“Do I?” he asked, glancing up. Jason’s heart hurt looking at Dick’s desolate eyes. “As happy as Tim Drake made you feel?”
Jason blinked a few times. “What? How’d you know about Tim, Dickie?”
Dick shrugged. “I saw pictures,” he said. “He made you happy. Very happy.”
Jason sighed. He usually tried not to talk about past subs or partners with his current partners. It just was not fair to them, and like Dick proved, they would likely compare themselves.
“Dickie,” Jason said gently. “Yes, he made me happy. But that does not mean you don’t make me happy, okay?”
Dick did not respond for a while.
“Okay?” Jason asked again.
Dick nodded slowly. “Yeah,” he whispered.
“Okay,” Jason said. “Then let’s go upstairs. I think you need cuddles.”
After that night, Dick went back to normal. He started acting like the Dick Grayson Jason was used to and was fond of. He made no more comments of taking on a job or spontaneously cleaning the house. There was no more mentions of Tim Drake either, and Jason thought Dick had finally forgotten about it, and Jason started to forget about it too.
That is, until Tim showed up on his front step on Saturday and was pulled upstairs to Dick’s room.
Jason found himself leaning with his ear pressed against Dick’s door, listening to them talk.
But they were only chatting about how the West Coast compared to the East Coast, moving from food to people to weather to culture. Nothing particularly strange.
Suddenly, the door was pulled open, and Jason found himself standing in front of Dick, who looked absolutely dazzling.
Dick had makeup on, but only a little. His eyes looked brighter from the mascara. His lips were glossy and pretty. A few dabs of highlighter here and there accentuated his jawline and cheekbones. The curlers had come out of his hair, and it somehow looked artfully tousled. Dick wore a light blue button up, except it was not completely buttoned up. The top two buttons were undone, just enough to be teasing. He also had on a fitted dark blue blazer. And the tightest black jeans Jason had ever seen in his life. They were practically a second skin on Dick’s legs.
Jason swallowed hard. “Um…”
“Hey, Jason,” Dick said cheerfully. He pulled Tim out from behind him and pushed him in front of Jason. “How’d you think I do? He looks good, doesn’t he?”
Jason had a hard time tearing his eyes away from Dick. He looked at Tim, who was dressed similarly but looked uncomfortable with his shirt unbuttoned so much. Tim looked at him through his eyelashes, which were also highlighted with mascara.
“Yeah,” Jason managed. “You guys… look great. Uh, where are you going?”
“Just dinner. A little date,” Dick said. He pushed Tim out of the room, past Jason. Jason could not keep his eyes off of Dick’s ass as he followed them back downstairs.
“And you flew Tim out for- for a date?” Jason asked, his jealousy flaring up suddenly, but he made sure none of it showed on his face. “Can I ask why…?”
“Yeah, I’d actually like to know that too,” Tim piped up from in front of Dick.
Dick laughed. “I need it,” he said. “It’ll be cathartic. And fun!”
“Cathartic,” Jason repeated. “Is this because of the-”
“Yes, it is,” Dick sighed when they reached the bottom of the stairs. “I’m sorry, but I just really need this, Jay.” He turned around and fixed Jason with a stare.
Jason looked at him, and he nodded. “Yeah, I get it,” he said. He smiled and pressed a kiss to Dick’s lips. “You’ll be back tonight?”
Dick nodded. “Yeah,” he said. “Wait for me?”
Jason smiled. “Always, baby,” he murmured. Then, he stepped back. “You want to take Lady Macbeth?”
Dick’s eyes lit up. “You’d let me take your car?”
Jason nodded. He reached into his pocket and tossed his keys to Dick, who caught it left handed. Dick squealed with happiness and hugged Jason. “I’ll make sure to return her in one piece,” he promised.
Jason laughed. “I sure hope so. She’s my favorite,” he said.
“Bye, Jason!” Dick called, herding Tim out of the door quickly.
“Have fun, Dickie,” Jason said quietly, watching as Dick got into the wicked red sports car with a smile, momentarily forgetting that Dick was going on a date with his ex.
Dick got back at midnight. His hair was a mess, and his shirt was undone another button. He had taken his blazer off, and it was left on the couch when he came in. His shoes were kicked off in the hallway, in a very Dick Grayson fashion.
The jeans were lost on the stairs, and the shirt in the doorway of Jason’s bedroom.
Dick pushed the door open to find Jason still up, reading in bed, like he promised he would be. Dick stumbled inside and happily crawled into bed next to Jason.
Jason placed his glasses aside and marked the place in his book. He slid into bed next to Dick, turning off the light. He put an arm around Dick and pulled him close to his body.
“Did you have fun tonight, baby?” Jason murmured in Dick’s ear.
“Yeah,” Dick said. “Thank you,” he whispered. “I… I really needed that.”
“I don’t really know what you did, but I’m happy you feel better now, Dickie,” Jason said, nuzzling Dick’s neck.
Dick sighed contently. “I just needed to meet him for myself,” he said. “Thankfully he did not live up to the perfect image I had imagined,” Dick chuckled. “Timmy’s a mess.”
Jason groaned. “Don’t remind me,” he said. “He drank so much coffee I swear he bled that shit.”
“He’s still addicted to coffee, you know. He ordered it for dinner, and it really bothered me.”
“One of his bad habits,” Jason agreed.
“But he’s a good guy,” Dick said. “Absolutely adorable. Cutest little cheeks.”
“Hey, you’re not going to leave me for him, are you?” Jason asked, mostly jokes.
“Of course not,” Dick said. “He’s not my type. Besides, Timbo and I are friends now. He invited me to see the Bay area over the holidays.”
“And leave me all alone here?” Jason asked, pulling Dick even closer.
Dick laughed. “I’m sure you can come too. We talked a lot about you too, you know?”
“All good things, I hope?”
Dick made a sound in his throat. “All good things,” he promised.
“Mkay,” Jason said. “That’s good. I’m glad you had fun and you sorted out your insecurities, Dickie,” Jason said. “Because you’re you and no one else. And that’s all I want you to be.”
Dick did not respond, but he did reach down and lace his fingers with Jason’s.
At breakfast the next morning, Dick set the morning paper in front of Jason, opened to the front page. Then he went to get his usual bowl of cereal.
Jason glanced at Dick with a curious expression, then he looked down at the news. He choked on his coffee.
Covering half of the page was a picture of Dick kissing Tim, full on the lips, head tilted and eyes closed.
The headline: WHEN WEST RETURNS TO EAST: TIM DRAKE RETURNS TO GOTHAM FOR LOVE??
Dick sat down in front of Jason with his bowl of cereal. He drank some of the milk first, his eyes pinned on Jason from over the bowl. Dick ignored the few pieces of his cereal that fell out of the bowl.
“I must say, that is a bad angle the photographer got. I’m sure you would’ve done much better,” Dick said. Then, he paused. “You don’t seem very surprised.”
Jason set the paper down slowly. “I’m… taking it in.”
“Okay,” Dick said. He started eating his cereal.
Jason watched him for a minute. Then, he asked, “Why’d you kiss him?”
“It wasn’t a romantic kiss. I was just taking all the kisses you gave him back.” Dick smiled happily. “They’re all mine now.”
Jason stared at him for a long time. “And you had to do it in public? In front of paparazzi?”
Dick grinned. “What? You know I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic.”
Bonus, the date:
“He really loves you, you know?” Tim said, sipping his second cup of coffee, much to Dick’s horror.
Dick laughed. “You don’t have to try to make me feel better, Timmy. He likes me well enough. I don’t think we’re at that stage yet.”
Tim stared at him seriously. “You don’t love him yet?”
Dick twirled his fork in his pasta. “No, I do love him. I haven’t said it yet though because I don’t want to freak him out.”
Tim snorted. “Jason’s not going to freak out if you tell him you love him. And he does love you, even if he has not said it yet. Or maybe he has not completely realized it yet, but he does. I can tell.”
Amused, Dick decided to take the bait. “How so?”
“Easy,” Tim said. “The way he acts towards you is different from how he acted towards me.”
“Maybe he’s changed a bit,” Dick shrugged. “You listened, and you were good. I act out a lot, so he’s probably a bit stricter with me.”
Tim shook his head quickly. “No,” he said. “I can see the softness oozing out of his every cell for you, Dick! He just let you go just like that, even though you said you were going on a date with me. Even in a normal relationship, no one would willingly let their partner go on a date with their ex!”
“Oh, I just need it so I would stop comparing myself to you,” Dick said dismissively. “He understands.”
“Exactly!” Tim said. “He understands. He trusts you, Dick. He didn’t give you a curfew. Every time I went out with friends or something, Jason would always make sure I was back by a certain time. And if I was going to be back late, he’s not one to wait up.”
Dick’s eyes widened. “He wouldn’t wait up for you?”
Tim laughed. “Well, sometimes I would get home from work at one in the morning, so no, he wouldn’t. I didn’t want him to either.”
Dick frowned, thinking about the times he went out with friends, staying out past midnight and finding Jason up and waiting for him.
“And when he saw you. He was speechless, Dick.”
Dick blushed. “N-No, he wasn’t.”
“He was,” Tim said.
“Well, we looked pretty much the same, so maybe it was you!”
Tim sighed. “Dick. It wasn’t me. He’s not in love with me anymore. We’ve been over for more than a year now. We might looks similar, but that does not mean Jason is going to confuse you for me or for anyone else. You’re different, and trust me, he realizes that.”
Finally, Dick adopted a shy smile. “You really think so?” he whispered.
“I know it, Dick. You could kiss me and have it splashed all over on the front page news by tomorrow morning, and he would forgive you for it.”
“Yes,” Tim said. “He has no reason to doubt you, especially since you love him back so much.”
Dick blushed and twirled his fork nervously. “Yeah, I do love him,” he said.
Tim smiled. “I know. I can see that too. You guys are made for each other, and nothing can come between that.”