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Of Galas and Guns

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               Jason was still trying to figure out why Talia had sent a damn limo to pick him up from the airport when it rolled to a stop. He patted himself down, made sure he was still armed and the suit that had been waiting for him was at least on, before the door opened.

He stepped out cautiously, and kind of froze when he saw where he was and who was waiting for him.

The building was one of those fancy ass art galleries – he’d broken into it with Cass a couple months ago to check out a new exhibit – decked out for some rich get-together, all bright lights and flashing cameras. Standing in front of him, with her hands on her hips and a grin so wicked it made him flinch, was Cassandra.

Look bad, she signed, and he rolled his eyes as he slammed the door shut behind him and stepped over to her.

“What the hell are we doing here?” He asked, keeping his voice low as the limo took off. They weren’t in the line of fire – there were so many reporters – but it was always better to be cautious. Cass made grabby hands at his head in response, and he sighed, ducking down so she could fuck with his hair.

“Look – I just got off the plane and I’m fucking exhausted as all hell, are we working here or what and when the fuck can I leave?”

Cass patted his shoulder and Jason straightened up in time to see her start signing again. It wasn’t actual sign language – they’d tried that and it hadn’t gone well, she’d been so frustrated she’d nearly stopped trying to communicate entirely. Instead, she’d made up her own set of signs, taught Jason them as she came up with them. He wasn’t sure why it worked better, but he was willing to bet it was her father’s fault – and Cass still refused to take him up on his offer (I promise it’ll be quick ‘n painless) because she still loved the fuck.

Wayne gala. Talia invited. Asked us. For reminder.

Reminder of what, Jason didn’t need to ask.

After Bruce Wayne’s ascension to mayor, he’d begun an all-out war against Gotham’s criminal underbelly. Al Ghul was the only non-native name that had managed to weather the storm, and almost entirely because a) Talia wanted to fuck with Bruce since they fucked sometimes and b) Jason and Cass were her favorites and they had a vested interest in the city. Jason because this was home, Cass because she’d fallen in love with the stories Jason used to tell her when they were younger.

Part of Talia’s flirting entailed rubbing it in Wayne’s face – which he was apparently okay with, considering their continued relationship. Jason was eagerly awaiting the day it blew up in Wayne’s face – there was nothing he hated more than a hypocrite, especially Bruce Wayne. But he’d stay out of it, out of respect for Talia.

“So no…business tonight?”

Just pleasure, Cass signed, and smiled.

She looked great in a fitted suit, her jacket open and white button-up so clean it was damn near blinding. Her hair was twisted back in an artfully messy bun, held in place with a pair of ornate sticks, and her makeup had been done so precisely Jason was more than a little jealous. He still couldn’t put eyeliner on without scribbling over half his face.

“Well – ‘fore we head in there, sis, you might wanna hear the big news outta Hong Kong.” Jason drawled, and tugged at his own suit – it fit very well, but it was a little wrinkled and rumpled from the hasty change in the limo. It was also a dark red color, whereas Cass’ was black. Green and gold were the Al Ghul colors. This ‘reminder’, he figured, was more subtle than usual.

Cass tilted her head and linked her arm through Jason’s.

“Talia finally took out the old man. Ra’s is dead. ‘n after tonight, shit’s gonna get wild.”

Cass’s eyes widened in surprise, and she let out a startled laugh. Jason grinned in return – it was about fucking time Talia took over the business, and it was good news.

Glad. Will celebrate, when this ends.

“Damn straight we will. Now – seriously, last chance – anything I need to know tonight?”

Cassandra shook her head, and pressed a kiss to Jason’s cheek as they stepped into the gala proper. And then she was gone, a fleeting wave goodbye the only mark of her passing.

Jason let out a sigh, and cast a glance around the party. He hated mingling with the rich, and everybody was already pretty boozed up. But if all he had to do was be seen…well, he might as well find something to entertain himself with.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Richard! What a surprise!”

Dick plastered yet another fake smile and turned, inching his way out from behind the nearest decorative pillar. He’d been socializing for the past three hours, and before that he’d been working a long shift. But Bruce had insisted he come to this, and Dick couldn’t say no – and so here he was, dead on his feet and still struggling on.

“Mr. Cobblepot, a pleasure to see you.”

“Oh, as well as can be expected, my boy! Now – your father really knows how to throw a party.” The last was said as Cobblepot stumbled a little closer, arm around a skinny brunette at his side.

Dick’s smile got a little more pained.

He didn’t really like Cobblepot. The man was a crook – mostly just gambling, rigging his casino, some dabbling in illicit goods but relatively nonviolent – and despite Bruce’s best efforts, untouchable. There was a lot of that in Gotham. Commonly known crooks and crime bosses, but no actual evidence to convict them. And that frustrated Dick to no end. Especially because he had to play nice.

“I’m sure he’d be flattered to hear that.”

He didn’t bother disguising the glance he sent around the gala, hoping against hope that maybe Tim was hiding out somewhere and could rescue him – but, no such luck.

“I should hope so! And it’s been so long since he last hosted one! If you ask me it’s all the politics about—”

And, wow, Cobblepot is really headed in that direction. Dick would never understand why people thought talking shit about Bruce to him was an okay thing, but –

Coppblepot’s mouth suddenly snapped shut, expression going painfully blank for a moment as his beady eyes focused on something over Dick’s shoulder. Without so much as a goodbye he turned on his heel, tugging his arm-candy with him, and stalked off.

Dick blinked, confused, and turned. He half expected to see Bruce himself standing there, or a goddamn monster, but there was…nothing. Just the regular mass of partygoers.

And then he made eye contact with somebody squeezing their way out of the crowd, looking vaguely annoyed. And fuck, the guy was hot.

Dick didn’t recognize him, which was weird – there weren’t that many Chinese families in Gotham, especially who had invites to any of Bruce’s functions – but also meant the guy probably had no clue who he was, so – that was already a point in his favor.

He was wearing a burgundy suit cut tight and clean against this body, the cloth just rumpled enough to look casual, likely intentional. He was all muscle, six something and built like an athlete, and blue eyes Dick could only describe as sharp bored into him. His hair was messy and just long enough to hang black, a streak of white hanging over one eye, and frankly he looked like something straight out of a magazine. And Dick was staring. Shit.

“You look kinda spooked. You okay?” The man asked, gaze flickering up towards Cobblepot’s retreating figure. Dick blinked at him for a moment, and then grinned. Pretended he wasn’t blushing.

“Not a fan of these things, or the crazies that come out of the woodworks.”

“So you’re also in the ‘guilted-by-family’ camp?” The man asked, and his grin got a little wider, a little more honest. Dick couldn’t help but smile in response.

“My grandfather and father made me come, yeah. My little brother’s around here somewhere, I think. Unless he managed to weasel out of it. What about you?”

“My mother felt bad about missing it, so she sent my sister and I in her place. I’m not allowed to leave until my sister decides we’ve made a good enough impression, so. Here I suffer.” The man drawled, waving a hand lazily around them. Dick was still smiling.

“Well, she’s lucky she has such an upstanding…older brother? To help her out.”

“Close. I mean – age-wise, no, but she has the older sister act down to a science. Mom thinks she’s the responsible one.” He said, shrugging.

“Is she wrong?”

“Oh hell no. Cass can handle shit like this – make a good impression and all. I just hide in the back and let people ignore me. Case in point.” He added, and waved a hand between the two of them.

Dick grinned, let the tension drain from his shoulders. This was…definitely a stroke of luck. The guy was attractive, and he was normal thank fuck, not stuck-up and entitled like most of the other people crowding the gala.

“I can’t imagine that anyone could ignore you.” Dick said wickedly, and watched with no small amount of glee as the man kind of awkwardly smiled back before slow realization set in, and he turned bright red.

He held out a hand, propping his other on his hip and tilting his head.

“My name’s Dick. It’s a family name, if you must know.”

The man laughed, and shook his hand. His grip was firm, warm, his hand just as calloused as Dick’s.

“I can say I’m glad I don’t have that particular honor. Name’s Jason. You from Gotham?”

“Sort of. I wasn’t raised here, but it’s home.” Dick replied, shrugging. Jason nodded.

“Feel you there. Been away more often than not the past couple years. Feels good to be back.” And he sounded genuine, looked honestly wistful. Dick didn’t see a lot of that, not about Gotham.

Well. Sounds like cause for celebration. Good thing there is literally a room full of delicious food and alcohol waiting for you.”

“I don’t know what most of this shit is. I’m not touching anything let alone putting it in my mouth.” Was the immediate response.

Dick laughed, and Jason raised an eyebrow.

“C’mon. As a favor for saving me from Coppblepot, I’m sure I can help you find something delicious to put in your mouth. I’ve been told the brownies are literally to die for.”

“The fuck are you talking about? I saw nothing that looked like brownies over there.” He said, looking more than a little apprehensive. But he followed Dick, shoving his hands into the pockets of his suit, and Dick couldn’t help but grin in turn. This would be fun.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Okay, but this is a stupid place for a party. How much you wanna bet somebody ruins something before the night is over?”

“Nothing? That is a terrible bet? And we won’t let ‘em.”

“How the hell would we stop them?”

“I don’t know. We could…be like, art guards. And tackle ‘em if they tried.”

“Art guards? How much have you had to drink?” Jason laughed, Dick grinned, just a little drunkenly as he threw his arms up in the air. And damn, Jason had a hard time admitting that anyone was attractive, but this guy just…yeah.

They were on the roof. Dick had wanted to sit, and after an hour doing nothing but talking and stealing as much identifiable food as possible – and he’d been right, the brownies were to die for – Jason had jimmied the lock open and into the night air they went.

“Don’t know! But it rhymes!

“Not if you’re sober.”

“That’s on you.” Dick said, and jabbed a finger in the general vicinity of Jason’s knee, where Jason was balancing a wine glass. He couldn’t help but smile, and rolled his eyes as he reached down and picked it up.

“But you like art?” Jason found himself asking, anyway. Dick nodded.

“My grandfather’s super…into that. He’s an art snob. He loves going to the museum, dragging us along. He can name all the artists and their histories and stuff – I just like looking at it. I like the sculptures best. What about you?”

“I’m a fan of the written word more than paintings and stuff, but Cass likes seeing the portraits. People moving and all. Whenever we go somewhere we make sure to visit the art museums. Mom is a fucking nut for ‘em, though – especially the classical stuff.”

Dick lifted his arms, stretched them above his head. Jason stared. The other man had removed his jacket, and Jason could see his muscles move. When Dick moved forward, Jason let him. Dick made eye contact with him, and grinned. Slow, hungry.

The flirting had been pretty toned down, but Dick’s interest had been blatant. And Jason – he couldn’t flirt. Not to save his fucking life. So he’d blushed, changed the subject, but – he liked this.

“So – are we going to go be art guards or whatever?” He asked, and turned away – felt the heat flushing up his face, unwilling to face the embarrassment.

“I suppose. Or we could…get to know each other a little better.”

And a shoulder brushed his, a thigh pressed against his. Jason turned, and froze when he realized Dick was right fucking there

“Is this okay?” Dick asked, and Jason could only nod mutely, slowly. The smile that unfurled on his lips was sharp. Jason put his glass down, helped when Dick swung a leg over Jason’s and settled, facing him, on his lap.

“I get – If I make you uncomfortable, let me know.”

“Never done this before – so.”

“Hook up in general?”

“Any of it.” Jason whispered, and Dick paused. Pressed his hands against Jason’s chest, leaned forward until their foreheads met.

“Just say the word, ‘kay?” Dick breathed, and then – and then his lips were on Jason’s. Warm, steady.

He tasted like wine and sugar, kissed like Jason was the only damn person in existence, and –

Jason didn’t quite know what to do with his hands, but he settled them on Dick’s waist, and after a while, after they’d gotten comfortable, fallen into a rhythm, when the world around them faded away and all Jason could focus on was him, he tugged Dick’s button-up loose.

God, you have no idea how you look with that fucking suit on –“ And he was telling the truth, because Dick looked sharp enough to cut a damn rock in it, charcoal-grey and white against tan flesh and a smile so bright it was damn near blinding.

“Promise I look better with it off—” And he leaned forward, caught Dick’s mouth in a hard kiss that had him seeing stars.

He didn’t have time to think of the scars twisting about Dick’s torso, or patterned on his fingers. Didn’t have time to think about his own scars, what Dick would think of them – he just let himself sink into them and pleasure and just…let go of everything else.

And god, he hadn’t had that since…ever. Not like this.

“Don’t tease me, pretty bird.” Jason breathed against Dick’s mouth, and then fingers were tangled in his hair, pulling his head back as Dick’s body pressed his against the rooftop beneath them, the wineglass tumbling away from them and off the roof.

“I don’t make promises I don’t keep.” Dick purred back, smirk absolutely sinful.

And – Dick had meant it, meant he was concerned with Jason’s comfort. His hands wandered lower, a little lower – and Jason hesitated, his own hands pausing, body stilling for a heartbeat. And like nothing had happened, Dick slid his hands back up, and pressed a soft, chaste kiss to Jason’s mouth before jumping back in.

And fuck was that a turn-on.

Jason wasn’t sure how long they stayed up there, before he heard a series of soft taps on the rooftop door and the sound of it being swung open.

Dick rolled away like he’d been set on fire, face so red he looked like a tomato. Jason just focused on catching his breath, calming himself down. He tilted his head back when he heard the door close, and saw Cass standing there, a Cheshire grin on her lips and a dark-haired boy at her side. The kid was blushing, glaring at the ground.

“You done?”

Found entertainment.

“Damn straight.”

Not straight.

“Damn gay isn’t a figure of speech, Cass.”

That made her laugh, and she skipped forward and helped him up. The boy had moved to Dick’s side and was hissing something at him. The little brother, Jason guessed. Jason’s eyes met Dick’s and, for once, it was Dick who blushed.

“Dick, this is my sister, Cassandra.”

“Nice to meet you.” He said, and stuck out a hand. Cass looked at it, at Jason, and raised an eyebrow.

“For fuck’s sake –“

Nice to meet, Cass signed, shoulder shaking again in laughter as she cut Jason off.

“She says it’s nice to meet you too.”

“Uh – okay.” Dick stammered, and before Jason could think of something else to say, Cass hooked her arm around his.

Have to go. Tell men. Ra’s. Before Talia.

Shit, she was right. If their people didn’t hear it from them while Talia was instigating the biggest overthrowing of power the Al Ghul empire had ever seen, that would cause….problems.

“Yeah. Okay. I’ll – yeah. We’ve got to go--"

“How’d you get up on the roof anyway?” The kid asked suddenly, eyes narrowed. Dick slung an arm around the kid’s shoulders, his grin a little less bewildered, a little less forced. The minute their attention was elsewhere, Cass began dragging him to the door. Jason let her, sighing and not bothering trying to free himself.

“Trade secret. We’d tell you but then we’d have to kill you.”

It wasn’t until they were stepping outside the gala that he realized he’d never gotten Dick’s number.

Fuck.”

Know who that was? Cass signed, fingers moving rapidly as she pushed him into a waiting car. The mob of cameras and reporters that had been there when they’d arrived were gone, so Jason took the liberty of shooting his sister his ‘what-the-fuck-is-that-supposed-to-mean’ look. Talia had told him if she ever saw him make it in public she’d disown him.

“Who – the kid?”

Your lay.

“We didn’t actually fuck. Said his name was Dick…fuck I didn’t ask him for his last name. Please tell me he’s not competition.” If Jason had to actually fight the guy – which, wow, how had those scars not set off a red flag? Or a bigger red flag? One he actually paid attention to?

Worse.

“How.”

Richard Grayson.

It took him far longer than he was willing to admit before the name clicked.

“…Fucking Bruce Wayne’s kid.”

Yes.

“I hooked up with Bruce Wayne’s kid, and you didn’t fucking stop me?”

Looked fun. Not bad like father.

“That doesn’t mean anything! I hooked up with Wayne’s fucking kid – fuck, Cass, and he was hot, too!” Jason moaned, sliding into a puddle in his seat. Just his luck. There was no way in fuck he was showing back up around Dick if he was a Wayne. And – maybe he wasn’t as much of a prick as his old man, sure, but…Jason wasn’t willing to take that chance. Not when it meant there was any chance he’d have to see Wayne’s face, let alone try and socialize with him.

He didn’t think Wayne would recognize him, let alone remember him. And technically, Jason supposed he owed the man – if Wayne hadn’t dragged him off the streets, thrown him in the hellhole that had been Ma Gunn’s with all those false promises of home and family, Talia never would have rescued him. Never adopted him, sent him to David Cain, helped him rescue Cass.

Fuck me.” Jason groaned.

He missed the calculating look on Cass’s face. Probably a good thing, too.

 

 

BONUS/EPILOUGE:

So maybe it had been a stupid idea not to call for backup, but the dumbass on the balcony had clearly said that Al Ghul was arriving and Dick was wearing his uniform and they’d been trying to nab anyone in Talia’s operations for fucking ever, let alone her. If there was anything incriminating upstairs, Dick was going to get it or die trying.

Probably die, though, considering the gun pressed hard to his temple.

“Well this wasn’t supposed to happen.” And fuck, of course his mouth was running.

The room was too dark to see his assailant, but he could see the vague outline of a man. Feel a very muscular arm pressing against his throat. So not Talia, which was good? Maybe? He didn’t think he had any leeway even though Bruce was his father, not with her. If she wouldn’t stop doing the whole ‘criminal-empress’ thing even when dating Bruce, she probably wouldn’t for his kid.

“Holy fuck, you’re a cop?!”

And that was…not what he was expecting to hear. Dick tensed, clamped his mouth shut. But damn was that voice familiar. How did he…?

His assailant backed up and slapped something. Instantly light flooded the room. Dick winced, blinking as his eyes adjusted, and tried to catalogue as much information on his assailant as he could. Tall, fucking ripped, wearing slacks and a fucking turtleneck. Asian. And then just –

Holy fuck.

“I mean – I knew you looked good in a suit, but this is taking it to a whole new level, Dick.”

Holy fuck.

Jason?!”

And Jason grinned, and holy shit, Dick’s knees got weak at the sight of it.

“Never told you my last name, huh?”

“How the fuck – who the fuck – what the fuck?!”

Jason leaned back against the desk behind him, tucked his gun away.

“I mean – you won’t find anything incriminating here. And right now you’re breaking and entering anyway – what kind of cop are you? You know illegally obtained evidence won’t hold up in court.”

“I repeat, what the fuck, Jason!” Dick hissed, eyes darting to the door. Still closed, thank fuck. He didn’t think he could handle any other surprises. Jason laughed, a dark, low sound that sent shivers racing down Dick’s spine.

“My name’s Jason Al Ghul. You remember my sister—” and Dick jumped when a hand patted his shoulder, the woman in question moving past him like a damn ghost – “—Cassandra Cain-Al Ghul. Mom’s – well, you get the picture.”

“You’re fucking…oh my god, and we hooked up. What the fuck even. Bruce is going to kill me.”

And maybe he should’ve been more worried about – well, you know, his life – but Dick just slid to the floor with a groan and covered his face with his hands.

When Jason spoke next, his voice was a hell of a lot closer than it had been before.

“He can try. Promise I won’t let him, though.”

Dick dared to look up, Jason’s expression genuine, gaze intense. His sister grinning, looking proud of herself.

Had she set them up? Fucking hell – had she?

“And it’s not like our parents have to find out, right?” Jason added, tilting his head.

God, they could do this, he realized. That’s what Jason was offering. But he was a cop

And maybe Bruce would kill him. But the man didn’t have much room to talk. Dick had grown up with Talia on Bruce’s arm, in his home. Seen Bruce conveniently ignore one too many reports or incidents around Gotham when Talia’s name was attached.

And – Jason was right here, after Dick has spent a week miserable that he’d never see him again because he hadn’t gotten his fucking number, what the shit Richard. Dick wanted this.

So when Jason leaned in, Dick met him halfway.