Dick would like to think that he loved all of his clothes equally. He always felt a slight sense of guilt when he went home with any woman and he could tell that they had an equal amount of clothes as him, or that his closet was possibly bigger.
Out of the piles and piles of clothes that he had, though, he could actually tell when an article of clothing went missing.
Especially in the winter.
Dick did have a favorite sweater. Ever since he’d gotten back from a trip to Gotham, he noticed it was missing. He figured it was probably somewhere in his apartment, and he would find it naturally. But weeks went by, and it grew annoying. Every single time he thought about wearing it, he’d dig for it, tear through his closet, his dresser, the few piles of clothes he had lying around at any given time. He couldn’t find the thing, and it was driving him crazy.
This is so stupid he thought to himself when he actually called the manor. There was a chance that he left it there.
Most times Alfred did answer the landline, but when it was Dick calling, or any of them, for that matter, Bruce would usually pick up the phone.
“Wayne residence,” came Alfred’s voice on the other line.
Dick sighed in relief, “Hey Alfred, it’s Dick…you wouldn’t happen to have seen a black sweater in my old room, right? I think I might have left it there on accident.”
If anyone could locate a lost item within the manor, it would be Alfred. Especially considering that Dick had unintentionally left his old room a disaster when he left, and Alfred, without saying a word about it, would likely quietly go in and make it look as if the room hadn’t been lived in, as if it was a simple guest room.
There was a few seconds of silence, before Alfred said, “I don’t believe so, though I suppose I could check again. What does the sweater look like?”
“It’s a turtleneck…black…Bruce got it for me for Christmas a long time ago.” Dick explained.
“Really? …I’m shocked it still fits you.” Alfred offered quietly.
“Well, it was a little big when I first got it…no rush, just uhm..give me a call if you find it, I guess.”
“Certainly Master Grayson…I’d encourage you to look again in your closet just to be sure, but no doubt you’ve done that already.”
The garment was nowhere to be found, as Alfred had put it. Dick knew that he was probably crazy, but this was his favorite article of clothing so no, he decided, he wasn’t crazy for getting in his car and driving all the way back to Gotham.
Tim wished he was surprised that Dick had driven the two hours back to Gotham just for a stupid sweater.
But then again it was Dick Grayson, he thought, and Dick was possibly more dramatic than Bruce. Plus, he’d made it extremely obvious that he missed Gotham. Barbara kept encouraging him to move back, but he felt the city would be too small for all of them to do their own thing. As it was, there were six of them. That was, in and of itself, a bit excessive.
Dick didn’t want to crowd the city with vigilantes when there were plenty of cities out there, maybe not as bad as Gotham, but that could certainly use their own hero.
“Just get a new sweater, Dick,” Tim offered as an obvious solution as he sat at his couch and let Dick raid his closet. If he hadn’t agreed to it when Dick came all the way back out to Gotham, he knew that Dick would find some way to do it when he wasn’t home.
“No…” Dick stated simply from the other room, “you don’t get it. You don’t have a favorite piece of clothing, but like, you know that blue cup you drink out of all the time? What if that went missing…”
Tim smirked to himself, “I don’t think that could even happen unless someone came into my place and stole it.”
It was amusing watching Dick comb through his entire apartment where there might be any sign of fabric that even somewhat resembled his sweater.
“Shit,” Dick grumbled, as he covered his eyes and then looked back at Tim, who was sitting on the big black couch, watching him with this look of patience, but a hint of amusement, “Don’t tell Bruce I was here...”
“Whatever you say, Dick,” Tim snorted as Dick grabbed his jacket and a chocolate chip cookie off of the plate that had clearly come from the manor.
“Why do you get cookies and I don’t?” Dick asked halfheartedly, sounding just a tad offended.
“Because you live far away,” Tim answered sarcastically.
Dick rolled his eyes as he said between chews, “Well, if I can’t be appreciated from far away then why should I come back-“
“It just makes it more convenient to appreciate you when you’re closer…where are you going now?” Tim asked, looking up from his lap that was filled with various papers that had marks and writing in the margins, and a couple of newspapers folded all the way down to one article.
“I don’t know…Jason’s place-“
“I’d call him beforehand…you know how he is,” Tim warned, looking back to his papers.
“He’s only like that with people he hates.” Dick teased as he slowly made his way to the door, jogging back for one more cookie, and then finally getting his hand on the doorknob.
A quiet scoff from Tim was followed by a, “Thanks for the confirmation, Dick.”
“Love you, bro,” Dick said a little too loudly as he swung the door open.
“Whatever,” Tim said carelessly, though he smiled to himself before he heard the door shut.
It took no time at all to cross the city, if you knew which side streets to take, which alleys you could get away with driving in.
He wouldn’t let Jason know he was coming, he wasn’t that stupid. If he let Jason know he was coming, he might walk into an empty apartment. Instead, he did this the shadier way. He knew that, a couple streets away, there was a building that stood just tall enough that was a perfect vantage point to watch a nice chunk of windows.
And in that row of windows, was Jason’s. He was home, and he had just woken up to get ready for patrol.
That was when Dick realized he’d been in Gotham for longer than he intended to be. No, he did not go directly to Tim’s place, though that was his goal. But he got distracted, like he always did, just driving down 5th Avenue and seeing a couple of local places he used to frequent when he lived in Gotham.
He was wasting no time, now, though. Instead of waiting for the right moment, after a couple of risky maneuvers in the wrong shoes to get to the top of Jason’s apartment building, he quietly opened the hatch on the roof that no one else would be able to detect. Jason had built it in, illegally, as usual. It dropped into an attic-like space, which then dropped into his spare room where he kept his weapons on one side, and exercise equipment on the other.
Next to the heavy bag was a wall that was covered in mirrors.
Dick stopped for a moment, after he’d dropped in, making as little noise as possible. He observed himself, straightened his jacket out and ran his fingers through his hair a couple of times.
Somehow he’d managed to sneak in without Jason hearing him. It wasn’t until he was directly across the apartment, shutting the door to his bedroom when Dick saw it. There Jason was, looking down at his phone, wearing Dick’s sweater, as if it was just something he’d do every day. Dick was appalled.
“AH HA!” Dick shouted, watching Jason authentically jolt, dropping his phone when he reached up with both hands to grip at his chest.
He looked up at Dick, not taking too long to process the sight of the older man crossing his apartment, “Jesus Christ, Dick! Are you trying to fucking kill me?!”
“I can’t believe, this, just what the hell are you wearing?!” Dick rattled off.
There was clear anger in Jason’s face, but he did look down momentarily, and then again. A very, very subtle hint of guilt showed on his face.
“Wh-what?” Jason asked, grabbing at the sweater and looking down at it, trying to seem genuinely confused.
“That sweater…where’d you get it?”
“I don’t know-“
“Yeah, you don’t know, because it’s not yours!” Dick stated. Jason could hear a hint of something in Dick’s voice. Although Dick was pretending to be mad, he wasn’t really, if anything he was trying not to laugh, “I can’t believe you stole my favorite sweater…do you have any idea how long I’ve been looking for this fucking thing?”
Jason hesitated, starting to pull it off, “God, fine. Sorry…I didn’t know it was yours.”
“You really suck at lying.” Dick pointed out, watching Jason’s muscles shift as he pulled the sweater over his shoulders.
“Why are you freaking out, it’s not like I stretched it out, we’re the same size-“
“Also not true.” Dick ripped the sweater from Jason’s hand, and watched Jason wince.
“It is so true,” Jason said, annoyed, but calmer now, “did you seriously come all the way here for that stupid sweater? Really?”
“Oh my god,” Dick sighed in exasperation, “if you knew how often I wore this thing you might get it…” Dick stopped, looking suspicious, “So are you really trying to tell me you didn’t know this was mine? How the hell did you get it?”
Jason watched Dick’s face with his pale blue eyes, and fleetingly looked away. He started to walk past Dick as he said, “I mean, I thought maybe it was yours, but I didn’t know.”
Dick turned on his heel to watch Jason with narrowed eyes as he walked into his open kitchen and pulled out a coffee cup from the cupboard. His eyes narrowed, he could tell Jason was still lying.
“I have literally worn this for the past like, ten years-“
“Okay!” Jason yelled, raising one hand in surrender and not looking at Dick as he poured his coffee, “Yeah, I’ve seen you wear it, I knew it was yours…fuck,”
As Jason started to walk towards his couch, he saw the way Dick was looking at him.
“What?!” Jason insisted with a shrug, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Do you…do you like wearing my clothes?” Dick asked, now sounding a little too soft, and the sound made Jason tense and close his body off a little.
“What the fuck,” Jason mumbled as he sat on his couch carefully holding his too-full cup of coffee farther away from him.
Although he tried to hide his face, Jason’s face hadn’t just turned that bright red of embarrassment, but his shoulders had as well.
Dick laughed a little, “Oh my God…that’s adorable.”
“Is it?” Jason asked angrily, “I hate you.”
There was a sort of tightening in Dick’s chest, the kind of feeling he felt when he looked at people and realized how much they meant to him. As he watched Jason sip his coffee and then turn to glare at him halfheartedly again, Dick laughed.
“I feel bad now…you can have it back-“
Jason raised his hand straight up, looking away with his eyebrows halfway up his forehead, “I don’t want it-“
“You want me to bring you one of my other shirts?” Dick offered with sincerity, though Jason really couldn’t tell, or he didn’t care whether Dick meant it or not.
“God I don’t know why I even said anything…let me just backtrack and say it was at the manor and I grabbed it on accident, okay?” Jason offered. It was a stupid excuse and even he knew that.
Jason had a sweater almost exactly like that. He’d been forced to wear it when they had to take a ‘family picture’ when he was younger and still living at the manor. It was the same time Dick had gotten his, probably.
The only difference was that Dick was already into his early twenties when he got the sweater. Jason was a teenager and there was no way in hell his version of the same sweater could be worn now without coming halfway up his torso and the fabric straining against his arms.
“Okay,” Dick finally gave in, deciding it was enough to know that Jason wore it for the reason that he did, he didn’t need to tease him about it, or even let Jason know his heart melted because of that.
“I’m about to head out in like twenty minutes-“ Jason said, now standing with his cup of coffee in his hand and clearly intending on leaving the room.
“So you want me to get out of here…” Dick translated, but he didn’t take it as an insult, it was clear Jason was embarrassed.
“You got your sweater back, wasn’t that your goal?” Jason asked a little softer as he walked past Dick.
Dick was fighting the urge to do anything physical, knowing that it could cross a line Jason had.
However, he gave in anyways and gripped Jason’s arm, and then took the mug from his hand and set it on the counter behind him before gripping the back of Jason’s neck and giving him a very brief, but hard kiss and then wrapping his arms around the younger man. He could feel Jason’s body tense up, but thus far he hadn’t shoved Dick away and told him to get the hell out like Dick was half expecting.
When he felt Jason’s body in his arms he realized it’d been so long since he’d had physical contact with him.
Finally Jason’s hands felt up the back of Dick’s jacket and his fingers pressed firmly into the broad expanse of his back, feeling the warmth of Dick’s face against his neck.
Jason was biting his lip, refraining from saying anything he might regret when Dick left, and figured the hug was enough to communicate what he felt.
Dick felt as if he didn’t want to let go, especially when Jason hugged him back. It felt like they had stood there forever when Dick finally squeezed Jason especially hard before caressing the side of his face and kissing his temple.
“I guess I’ll get going.” Dick said quietly, watching Jason as he stepped back a little, not quite as tense as before.
“Kay…” Jason murmured nodding his head, not able to really look at Dick for longer than a couple of seconds at a time.
Dick had to practically pry his feet off the floor with all of the strength in his legs in order to move in the direction of the door. Looking at Jason’s face…just being around him, it made it difficult to leave him.
They all lived alone, but somehow Jason living alone pulled at a different area of Dick’s heart.
Finally Dick walked away, and towards the door, gripping his sweater in his left hand and the doorknob in the other, only allowing himself to turn back and look at Jason for a moment.
Jason was standing there watching him, not looking upset necessarily, but the hardened expression seemed to be hiding something else.
“See you later, Jay.” Dick said, earning a small wave from Jason before finally walking out of his apartment and shutting the door behind him.
It was only a few days later when Jason had come home from patrol early in the morning, just as traffic started to line up and down the main streets of Gotham. A soft cold grey light from the overcast skies allowed Jason to see the familiar sweater laying over the covers of his bed when he entered his room.
He removed his helmet, setting it at the foot of his bed, and then removed the tactical gloves from his hands.
When he flicked the lights on, he walked up to the side of his bed and pulled the sweater up to his face, pushing the fabric against his nose and taking in the scent before he could stop himself.
It was Dick’s sweater. When he looked down again, he saw a bright blue sticky note that had been hidden beneath the sweater.
It simply read
Bought myself a new one.
Jason tucked the sweater against his face for a moment before finally looking around. He casually checked every nook and cranny of his apartment, just to be sure he was alone.
He put the sticky note on his bedside table after he’d taken a shower and crawled beneath the covers, goosebumps prickling over his skin.
He was relieved that no one was there. He wasn’t too pleased with himself for giving in to keep the sweater beside him when he slept, falling asleep with it half tucked beneath his cheek that night.
When he thought about how Dick could see right through his hard exterior, there was a warm sensation that spread through his chest as he buried his face deeper into his pillow before drifting off.