[identity profile] empressearwig.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] earwigficmirror
Title: fools give you reasons
Author: [livejournal.com profile] empressearwig
Pairing/Fandom: Young Justice; Dick/Zatanna
Spoilers: Through Depths, but set some vague time before that.
Rating: R
Word Count: 3600
Disclaimer: I own nothing, this is all for fun. This hasn't happened. Yet. Etc.
Summary: Dick and Zatanna wear fancy clothes and have sex.
Author's Notes: The people responsible for this know who they are. Blame them.


It wasn't something she advertised, but Zatanna liked visiting the Cave when no one else was around. She might not have belonged to the team anymore, but despite the fact that she hadn't wanted it to, the Cave had become home. And so she visited.

Solo trips weren't hard to manage when most of the team members had school to attend, so she usually tried to time her visits for mid-day, because by then Conner and M'gann were usually out too. Dick was the wild card, and Zatanna didn't even try to predict his schedule, because that was an exercise in futility if there ever was one. She wasn't a fan of banging her head against walls the way some of her other friends were, not that she'd ever name names.

So when she found Dick sitting at the kitchen counter on her latest trip, Zatanna wasn't surprised. Slightly mournful of the fact that it was impossible to sneak up on someone when a computer announced your presence, but not surprised.

"Hey," he said, looking up from what she thought was probably his phone. "What're you doing here?"

"Does that mean you're not happy to see me?" she teased, settling onto the stool next to him. "Besides, shouldn't I be asking you that question? No multi-national corporations to help take over today?"

He tried to make a face at her, but the mask was more hindrance than help. She couldn't help the laugh that escaped. "Sorry," she said, trying to pull herself back under control when he came dangerously close to pouting. She patted his leg under the counter. "You know I can't help myself."

He grinned, and something tightened in her stomach that reminded Zatanna all of the other ways in which she couldn't help herself when it came to Dick Grayson. She pushed those thoughts to the side immediately. Those were dangerous thoughts. Bad thoughts. Fun thoughts.

Her brain was a traitor.

Dick touched her shoulder and Zatanna blinked the room back into focus. He frowned at her, looking more concerned than was really warranted for wool-gathering that had veered too close to explicit daydreaming.

She forced herself to smile, and changed the subject. "So what are you doing here?" she asked, and nodded towards the phone. "When I came in you were staring at that thing like it was some kind of disgustingly complicated math that only you and Wally understand."

"Ah, no," he said, scratching the back of his neck. With his other hand, he tried to sneak the phone out of view, but trying to get sleight of hand past a magician was practically impossible. She was sort of insulted he'd even try.

"Emoc ot em," she said, and the phone slid across the counter into her hand.

Dick watched her pick it up, resignation written all over his face. "You know that's not fair."

Zatanna shrugged. Had he seen his shoulders lately? A girl had to take her advantages where she could get them. "What's on here that you don't want me to see?" she asked instead, flipping the phone back and forth between her hands. She looked up at him, eyebrow raised. "Are you going to tell me or am I going to have to get rough with you?"

Behind the mask, she could almost see his eyebrows shoot up and his eyes turn flirty. "But Zee, you know that I like that."

Her throat went just a little bit drier than it had been five seconds ago. "Yes, well, pretend that you don't."

He laughed, and the sound rolled over her like waves, the kind that lure you deeper into the ocean with their promises of fun and games. It had been far too long since Zatanna had had any good fun and games. Maybe the whole interrogation thing could wait.

Dick smirked at her, like he knew what she was thinking. Which, if she were being honest with herself, he probably did. "Still interested in the phone?" he asked, his voice dropping to the low place that he knew she liked, the bastard.

She shook her head and slid her stool further away from him. "Yes. So spill, Nightwing. Or maybe I'll forget and call you something else in front of the children."

"You wouldn't," he said, and damn it, he was right about that. "But I'll tell you anyway. It's not that big of a deal."

"And you made me pull it out of you because?" She crossed her arms over her chest and tried to look stern.

He grinned, in the totally disarming way that he didn't let enough people see. "It was fun."

Zatanna rolled her eyes at him, fighting to keep the smile off her face. "Answers. Now."

"I have to go to a fundraiser thing," he said. "I was trying to figure out who I could invite as my date, that's all." He shrugged his too-broad-for-her-own-good shoulders. "Not a big deal."

"I'm sure there are girls lining up to go out with--" she dropped her voice to a whisper --"Dick Grayson." She spoke again in a normal tone of voice. "What's the problem?"

He made another face at her. "That they all want to go out with, well, me."

"Aw," Zatanna said, amused beyond belief. "Poor little rich boy. My heart bleeds for you, it really does."

"Remind me again why I like you?" he asked, his eyes narrowing at her behind the mask. And okay, she couldn't see them do that, but she didn't need to know that's what they were doing.

"Because I say things like that," she said impudently. "And also because I taught you most of the things that you know about sex."

He stared at her for a long moment, and then burst out laughing. Zatanna smiled proudly. Getting him to break character as Nightwing was not easy, and he didn't laugh nearly enough these days in either capacity. She worried.

And because of that, Zatanna made an impulsive decision. "Take me," she said.

"Excuse me?"

"To the fundraising thing. Take me. I'll be the perfect date."

"You would be," he said, nodding his head. He even managed to look sincere. "But what's in it for you?"

"A night spent in your sparkling company? That's not enough?"

Dick snorted. "Please."

Zatanna's mouth twitched up into a smile. "You think I'm more Machiavellian than I am. I kind of like it. But let's just say you'll owe me one and that at some unspecified date in the future I'll get to collect. I promise it won't be anything too terrible."

"Hm," Dick said. "You have a deal."

"Great!" she said, bouncing up off her stool. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm late for a briefing on the Watchtower." She leaned in to press a kiss to the corner of his mouth, lingering just a moment longer than was strictly necessary. She couldn't help it. "Text me the details, okay?"

Zatanna walked away before he could answer, the familiar voice of the computer announcing her exit. She'd wanted to be alone, but really, that had been so much better.

She wondered if she could convince Artemis to zeta back to the east coast to go shopping. She had the strongest desire to buy a dress that would knock Dick back on his ass.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

*

One week later, the knock on her door came at exactly seven-thirty. Zatanna smiled to herself as she went to answer. Some things never changed. The sun rose in the east and set in the west. The tides came in and out, seasons came and went. And Dick Grayson was never anything less than precisely punctual.

"Hi," Zatanna said, opening the door. "Come on in."

Dick's eyes went a little wider than normal, and Zatanna decided the hours of primping and shopping had probably been worth it after all. "You look ---" He shook his head, as if trying to clear it. "You look beautiful, Zee."

He bent down to kiss her cheek, and Zatanna's hands tightened into fists at her side as she concentrated very hard on not turning her head. Because if she did that, they'd never leave her apartment, and that wasn't the point of this evening. At least not the entire point. She was willing to admit that it might be part of the point. After all, she hadn't scheduled an emergency bikini wax for nothing.

Zatanna smiled up at him when he stepped back. Holy mother of God, it simply wasn't fair that the scrawny thirteen-year-old had grown into that. Which she wasn't about to tell him. "You don't look so bad yourself," she said instead, as she brushed an imaginary piece of lint from his sleeve. "Hugo Boss?"

"Armani," he corrected her, rolling his eyes. "Alfred insisted."

She laughed then, rolling her eyes at him in return. Sometimes -- all the times -- he was too much. It was just lucky for the rest of the world that he used his powers for good instead of evil.

He grinned at her. "Shall we?" he asked, crooking his elbow in her direction. Every inch of him, the perfect gentleman. But when she looked up into his eyes, they were lit with mischief that she hadn't seen there in far too long.

She tucked her arm through his. "We shall."

*

They're by far the youngest ones at the fundraiser. Yet somehow it didn't matter in the slightest. Not a single guest missed the opportunity to shake Dick's hand or to tell him what a close, personal friend of Bruce's they were. Zatanna didn't understand how Dick kept from rolling his eyes at every comment, but he just smiled and nodded politely, thanking each of them for their generous contribution to the Wayne Foundation. And then they moved on to the next, repeating the cycle again and again.

After an hour, she could tell that his patience was wearing thin. They're standing with some society matron whose name Zatanna has long since forgotten even though they've only been chatting for five minutes, when Dick seized his chance.

"Mrs. Markworth," he said, his most winsome smile firmly in place. "Would you excuse us?" He took Zatanna's hand in his, and continued, "I promised Zatanna that I'd dance with her tonight."

The elderly woman smiled indulgently at him. "Of course, dear," she said. "Young love. I remember it well."

Zatanna bit her lip, hard, and looked away.

Dick took Mrs. Markworth's hand in his and kissed it. "You're a wonderful woman," he said. "Thank you."

He pulled her away and onto the dance floor before she could say a word. His hand settled familiarly at her waist and she raised hers to his shoulder. It had been years since they danced together, but like everything else with them, it was like slipping into an old routine. Their steps aligned; they synced. Zatanna had long since stopped questioning it. It simply was.

"How do you do it?" she asked finally. He looked at her questioningly, and she elaborated. "The ass-kissing. It just seems so..."

"Not me?" Dick finished for her, with a grin. He shrugged, and she could feel his muscles clench beneath her hand. "It's not, not really. But the Foundation is important and so I suck it up. It's just another mask."

"And you have considerable experience with those."

He nodded, the expression on his face dead serious. "I do."

Zatanna didn't understand why she suddenly felt so sad. She always thought she'd understood the reality of his life, but here, looking at all this, looking at him, she realized she'd never had even the smallest idea.

"Hey," he said, bringing their joined hands to tilt her chin up to look at him. "Zee, I'm fine. I promise."

She forced herself to smile at him, and even though it felt utterly wrong, she must have done a convincing job, because some of the tension left his face. "Well, if you promise," she said.

He grinned at her and bent to kiss her cheek, not missing a single step in the process. "I do."

"Don't say that too loudly," she warned. "Someone might overhear and get ideas. Since we're such a shining example of young love and all."

He laughed then, something close to the cackle of the days when she'd first known him. It made her smile in return, and then she was laughing herself when he dipped her to the floor.

"I'm glad you're here," he said, when he brought her back up to her feet. "Thank you."

"Anytime," she said, grinning up at him. "I mean that."

They danced for another two songs, and then it was back to the endless meet and greet of the Foundation's guests. For the rest of the night, though, Dick didn't let go of her hand.

Zatanna found she didn't mind at all.

*

It was nearly two before they made it back to her apartment in New York. Dick stood behind her as she unlocked the door, his hands resting on her shoulders. The weight of them, made heavier with the promise of what neither of them had said, made her shiver beneath the suit coat that was draped around her. His hands tightened. She did her best to refocus on the lock. It was not easy.

"Aha," she said, when the deadbolt finally turned and the door fell open. "I keep meaning to get that looked at. It sticks."

"So I see," Dick said. He pressed her forward until they were both inside and then closed the door behind him. "Why do you bother at all? Couldn't you spell the door shut?"

Zatanna shrugged, and a stray piece of hair fell in her eyes. His hand was there to brush it back before she could, his fingers sweeping gently across her cheek. It was a sweet gesture, a simple one. It shouldn't have made her want to push him down on the floor and have her way with him on the spot. And yet it did. She tried to remember what he'd asked her. Couldn't.

She gave him a sheepish smile. "If I told you I couldn't remember what we were talking about, I don't suppose you'd do the gentlemanly thing and not ask why."

Dick's eyes went dark and he shook his head. He took one step forward, and then another, and then Zatanna's back was pressed against her door and her throat was completely dry. His hands went to her shoulders and he slipped the suit coat off, letting it fall to the floor.

"Alfred won't be happy about that," she said, simply for the sake of saying something, and Dick gave her his best wolfish grin.

"I don't care," he said.

His mouth sealed over hers, and then she didn't much care either. Someone -- her -- made a noise low in their throat. Her hands went to his shirt front, pulling at buttons with none of their usual skill. One of his hands cupped the back of her head, the other roamed over her back searching for her zipper. When he couldn't find it, he bit her lip in frustration and slid both hands down to her ass.

She tilted her head back, panting out a laugh. "It's under my arm, you ass."

"Why the hell is it there?" he asked, his mouth skimming across her throat. "Why would anyone put a zipper there?"

"What do I look like, the zipper police," she managed to say, before his mouth was on hers again. Wet and hot, they kissed, and God, if she didn't know how damn good he was at the rest of it, she could do this forever.

"Bedroom," she demanded, tearing her lips away from his. "Now."

He pressed her harder into the door and she thought for a second that he was going to argue with her. And if it came to that, she wasn't sure that she would have had it in her to put up even the slightest protest. But then he lifted her from her feet and she tightened her arms around his neck, her legs hooking around his waist automatically.

"I love that you can do that, you know," she said, biting at his ear. "It's so, I don't know, manly."

"Manly?" he asked, choking back a laugh. "Manly?" He dropped her to the bed, and stood, looming over her. "Really?"

She blew her hair out of her eyes, and propped herself up on her elbows, shrugging as much as she was able. She raised a pointed eyebrow at him. "Isn't that better than the alternative?"

He didn't answer, but lifted one of her legs, running his hand first along her ankle and then up her calf. Her dress fell, pooling around her thighs. He stared down at her, his eyes focused and dark.

She shivered.

His mouth turned up, just a little, just at the corners, and he started to climb onto the bed, but she pushed him back with her toes. "Uh uh," she said, shaking her head. She smiled mischievously. "Strip."

He held her eyes for a minute, and then barked a short laugh. "Should I do a little dance too?" he asked, but his hands were already at work tugging his tie out from his collar.

"If you want," she said, shrugging again. "I certainly wouldn't say no."

In fact she'd pay cold hard cash to see that, but she wasn't going to say that out loud. Not where he could hear her anyway.

His hands made quick work of his buttons and the shirt fell to the floor. His hands settled low on his hips, and he looked at her expectantly. "Well?" he asked. "Why am I the only one putting on a show?"

"You're wearing more clothes than I am," she pointed out, but she was already scrambling up to her knees on the bed.

He nodded and an utterly wicked grin flashed on his face. "I know."

She wanted to roll her eyes at him, but laughed instead and reached under her arm for the zipper on her dress.

"That's where that was," he muttered. "I'll remember that."

"See that you do," she answered archly. She pulled the dress up and over her head, leaving her in just a strapless bra and panties. She let him look his fill, enjoying the way that his eyes moved over her body, as if he wasn't sure where to look first because he wanted to see all of her all at once. And then she said, "Pants. Lose them."

"So bossy," he said, but he did as he was told and the pants dropped to the floor. He stepped out of them and closer to the bed. "Am I allowed on now?"

She tilted her head to the side, as if considering. "I suppose," she said, drawing out the latter word deliberately. She squealed when he pounced on top of her, pinning her hands over her head. "I'm sorry, okay? I didn't mean it."

"You did," he said, and he nipped at her jaw. "And I think you need to be punished."

Oh God, she thought, as he slid down her body. If this was punishment, she didn't want it to ever stop.

He drew her panties down her hips and her hands fisted in the sheets beneath her. His mouth settled against her skin and her eyes crossed.

Never, ever stop.

*

When Zatanna woke, Dick wasn't in bed next to her. She sat up, confused, and found him standing at the end of the bed, pulling his pants on.

"Going somewhere?" she asked, trying to ignore the twinge of hurt that he'd think of sneaking out without saying goodbye. They had no claims on each other, after all, other than the claims of friendship. And surely that dictated not treating this like a random booty call.

He grimaced, but didn't meet her eyes. "I'm sorry," he said. "Did I wake you? I didn't want to."

"You should have, though," she said. She tugged the sheet more tightly up over her chest. "I mean, if you're leaving, I want to know." She tried a smile, felt it fall flat. "So that I don't wonder if you're off saving the world from a villain I don't know about."

He grimaced again and leaned over to kiss her forehead. "I'm an ass," he said. "I'm sorry, I've got an early class and I didn't want to --"

"Dick," she said, holding up a hand to cut him off. "While that might be true, I think we both know that's not why you're sneaking out of my bed in the middle of the night."

"I think it's actually closer to morning," he said.

She glared, and he caved. "Yeah, that was pathetic."

"It was," she said. "Look, we both know something's bothering you. I'm not going to ask you to tell me -- you'd tell me if you wanted me to know -- but let's not pretend that I don't know you well enough to know when something's wrong."

"Zee," he said, sounding more helpless than she'd ever heard him sound before. "Zee, I'm --"

"Don't say you're sorry again," she said. "I'm not looking for an apology. I just want you to know that for some reason I care what happens to you, you moron, and that I worry. And that when you need me, I'll be here. That's all. Now, if you still want to put on your pants and go, you can."

He stared at her for a long moment and then scrubbed his hands over his face. "I don't deserve you, you know."

"Oh, I know," she said. She held out a hand anyway. "Come back to bed?"

Dick came back to bed.
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