[identity profile] empressearwig.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] earwigficmirror
Title: evigrof ym snis
Author: [livejournal.com profile] empressearwig
Pairing/Fandom: Young Justice, Dick/Zatanna
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~1200
Disclaimer: I own nothing, this is all for fun. This hasn't happened. Yet. Etc.
Summary: Dick tells Zatanna the truth. Post The Fix.
Author's Notes: Many thanks to everyone who listened to me whine about this and to the kind soul that had the entire movie I needed on YouTube.


She's half-asleep when she hears it, the sound of a key scratching at the lock, the door opening and falling back closed in rapid succession. There are a limited number of people that have keys to her apartment, and an even more limited number of them that make a habit of dropping in in the middle of the night. Just the one, really.

Zatanna smiles and reaches to the floor for her robe.

"Dick?" she calls out, when she doesn't hear footsteps coming down the hall to the bedroom which is his normal modus operandi. She belts the short, red silk robe about her waist and opens the door. "Is that you?"

He's standing in the dark, just inside the door, like he can't decide if he's coming or going. "Hey," she says, as she comes closer. "I wasn't expecting you tonight."

Despite the darkness, she thinks she sees him wince. "I know," he says. "I'm sorry."

Zatanna frowns and reaches for the light switch. Something is clearly wrong, because she has never minded this and he knows that. Their rules, their lack of a relationship, is as much her doing as his. They don't apologize for what they can't give each other.

But then she sees his face, and the pain that he's so clearly trying to hide. And it would work with all but the one percent of people that actually know him, and she has always been that.

She doesn't say any of this, though, but simply asks, "What's wrong?"

Dick hesitates, even though they both know he's going to tell her. He wouldn't be here if he weren't. "You won't like it," he says.

She rolls her eyes at him, at both of them. "I already knew that."

She brushes past him deliberately, the silk from her robe catching against the bare skin on his arms, as she makes her way to her kitchen sink. She can feel his eyes on her legs when she stretches up to reach for a wine glass, the way the hem of the robe rides up. She falls back down onto her heels and pours herself a glass of red wine, trying not to remember the times that he's taken this robe off her with his teeth. It's clearly not the right time for that. She turns back to face him and takes a drink.

"Tell me."

He does.

Words spill out of him, an insane story about secret plots and double agents, the glamour charm that she'd reluctantly given him when he begged her not to ask any questions, because Dick never begged when it wasn't about sex. He calls the loss of Mount Justice a necessary sacrifice and visibly flinches when he recounts his fight with Wally in the aftermath. There's a pause, and she thinks that maybe he's told her the worst of it, but then he speaks of what M'gann did to Kaldur's mind and the kidnapping she's undergone at Artemis's not-dead hands, and though she can feel herself growing angrier by the moment, only when he has finished speaking does Zatanna allow herself to react.

The wine glass shatters into pieces against the wall next to his head and the red wine trickles down the wall like blood. She remembers then that it was her mother's and the anger grows stronger.

Her hands knotted into fists by her side, Zatanna tries to breathe calmly. She can't. "How could you?" she demands. "Who are you?"

Dick doesn't answer, but just stands there, like he knows that he deserves the words and is willing to take whatever she throws at him as penance. Well, fine. She can do that.

"Teg kcab!" she cries and he flies back into the wall. The air whooshes out of his lungs and she doesn't give him a chance to recover. "Dnib mih ereht!"

Chains appear at his wrists, and still he doesn't say a word.

Zatanna takes a step closer and then another, until they're standing so close that she can feel every shallow breath that he takes. It should make her feel sorry for him, she thinks. The sight of him standing there like this. It does not.

"You lied to me," she says.

He nods. "Yes."

"You used me."

"Yes."

She closes her eyes briefly, shakes her head. When she opens them again, she looks him straight in the eye. "You let me think my best friend was dead."

He hesitates there, and she thinks for a second that he might actually apologize. But then he nods again and says, "Yes."

She shakes her head, disgusted with them both. Dick is not the boy that she'd loved as a lonely teenage girl. She knows that and has known that. He's not that boy and she's not that girl, but despite it, she loves him still. But this isn't a question of love. It is a question of forgiveness. And she doesn't know if this is something she can forgive.

"Why?" she asks, desperate for him to give her something, anything, the barest of reasons. If he gives her something, maybe they can mend this before it is all irrevocably shattered. "Just, tell me why, Dick."

"It had to be done," he says, as if it is that simple. "I didn't mean--"

"You didn't mean for it to all go horribly wrong?" she supplies for him. "Well, guess what. It did."

"I know," he says.

It's the way he says it that finally touches her, resignation and the regret he won't put into words. He doesn't expect to be forgiven. He doesn't think he deserves it.

She doesn't think he does either, but she remembers the boy who was first to her side when Dr. Fate took her father and she thinks that she owes it to him to try.

"Esaeler mih."

The chains fall away and Dick's arms drop to his side. He rubs his wrists and eyes her warily, not saying a word.

"I should hate you," she says. "I do hate you."

He nods. "I know."

She steps closer again, until she's pressed against the solid wall of his chest. "You'll fix this."

It's an order, not a suggestion, and she waits to see how he'll take it. Robin could take orders, but Nightwing, Nightwing is too used to giving them. She thinks maybe that is part of the problem. None of them remembered that there was once a boy that didn't want to be Batman.

Dick reaches for her hand, and she lets him take it, lets him twine their fingers together. "Yes," he says then, his fingers tightening on hers. "I'm going to fix it, Zee."

"But not alone," she says. She reaches up to put her other hand on his cheek, tilting his face down so that he's forced to meet her eyes. "You'll let me help you."

He laughs bitterly at that, though she knows that it's not at her words, but at himself. "I don't think I'm in a position to turn down help."

"No," she says, glad that he can at least recognize that. "But that doesn't mean you wouldn't try."

"You're right," he says. "But Zatanna--" he brings his other hand up to cover hers on his cheek "--I promise that I won't."

And for now, that is all she can ask of him.

She wraps her arms around him, and he draws himself down into her, his head buried in the crook of her neck. She runs her fingers through his hair and strokes his back and shoulders as they shake with tears that they both pretend that he's not shedding.

Zatanna holds him and she prays for them all.

Date: 2013-02-02 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jesterlady.livejournal.com
Ooh, this is good. Just what Dick needs. I absolutely adore their relationship and the way you write them. Thanks for this. Definitely needed after that episode.

Date: 2013-02-02 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lusimeles.livejournal.com
a;lsfkjd definitely loved this snapshot of tension between these two - they're usually so snarky and playful that it's hard to see them actually fighting, but this felt really real and raw and perfect.

Date: 2013-02-03 01:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] torigates.livejournal.com
MY POOR BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Date: 2013-02-06 12:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kikibug13.livejournal.com
... this was beautiful, and, yes, Dick would do well to actually do this. And have somebody smacking him upside the head repeatedly.

Date: 2013-02-07 05:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kikibug13.livejournal.com
Well... a start of moving towards a solution, at least.

Date: 2013-02-11 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blevins.livejournal.com
Robin could take orders, but Nightwing, Nightwing is too used to giving them. She thinks maybe that is part of the problem. None of them remembered that there was once a boy that didn't want to be Batman.

Wow, this is intense and beautiful and I hate you! No one quite writes them the way you do, damn. So wonderful.

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