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The Normal Boyfriend

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Summary: Buffy wanted to date a normal guy, someone who wouldn't get caught up in vampires and witches and Slayer duties. As it turns out, she'd only gotten the first half of her wish right.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Young JusticeSaicaFR15314,0500235,84329 Jan 1327 Jul 14No

Spring Break

Author's Notes
Although I hadn't initially planned on expanding this universe, y'all brought up an interesting side - that Buffy should head to Gotham and meet Dick's family - and I thought I'd write about their Spring Break adventures in Gotham! As it turns out, Spring Break ended up being longer than I expected, so this'll be a two-chapter bonus: the first chapter deals with Buffy/Dick, and the second will mainly be a dinner between Buffy, Dick, Bruce, and Alfred (though there may be bonus guests, depending on my mood when I sit down to write the dinner!)

This chapter takes place before Buffy finds out about Dick's secret identity, obviously, as well as before Buffy finds out about Dick's ex-girlfriend the witch. If there's timeline inconsistencies, let's just say "Zatanna did it," because it's easy enough.

Thanks for reading so far, and I hope you enjoy this next chapter!



Boyfriends weren't supposed to take you home for spring break, not when you've only been dating for a few months... right? It didn't seem right. They weren't serious. Buffy knew they couldn't be, not when she couldn't make it past second base with Dick. Every time she tried, he'd gently guide her hands above his waist. Had he taken some kind of chastity vow? Because that would be kind of ironic, considering his name. He kept telling her that he wanted to take it slow, especially after he'd heard how badly her last break-up went. While his sentiment was awfully sweet, it wasn't exactly what she wanted out of a boyfriend right now!

"Slow and steady wins the race," Willow had helpfully offered mid-rant session, right after Buffy had held up the printed email in disgust. "Plus you might not even get to meet Mr. Wayne! I hear he's a jet-setter and you know... they've always got jets to set..."

Buffy rolled her eyes, but even she couldn't hide that smile on her face. "Not helping, Will."

"Sorry! It's just, don't you think you're assuming the worst? You've said that Dick never talks about his family. For all you know, they could be perfectly normal people with perfectly normal habits. Like knitting."

Willow had a point. For as long as Buffy had known Dick Grayson (which was almost a year at this point), he'd rarely mentioned his family. Hell, he barely mentioned his friends. Barbara Gordon had been a rare exception, and that had only been because she was an "exchange student" at Sunnydale for a semester. UC Sunnydale and UGotham were sister schools, so they did this weird program where students could spend a semester - or a year! - abroad, and apparently Babs had aligned her semester "off-campus" to coincide with Dick's first semester.

It sounded a little suspicious to Buffy now that she thought about it. Why would anyone willingly come to UC Sunnydale to study, especially from out of state? Willow had insisted that it was because of their Psych department (and Tara had offhandedly mentioned that they had a decent Expressive Arts program), but neither Dick nor Babs had been particularly interested in those fields. Still, whatever had brought Dick here had also led him to her, so Buffy couldn't complain too much.

"He talked about his brother once," Buffy said, tilting her head to the side. "Though I'm pretty sure that was also the brother that died in a car crash."

"Don't bring him up then! You don't want him to get all sad and moody on you - and you've seen how Xan reacts whenever you bring up the smell of laundry."

Buffy snorted. "And he wonders why we avoid the place on Whites day."

Willow nodded emphatically. "Nothing ruins the moment like the scent of bleach!" She glanced up at Buffy's hand, as if she'd just now thought about something. "Though you know... Gotham's one of the four Hellmouths in the United States. If you're there for a week, you'll probably be just as busy there as you would be in Sunnydale. That's an upside, right?"

It might be. Buffy wasn't too sure, what with Batman's permanent presence hovering over the place. For all she knew, he was secretly a vampire in disguise. There'd been pictures of him in broad daylight, but Batman's entire body was covered in armor. Not much skin was exposed - and the little bits that were, they weren't enough to set him ablaze. Until she'd safely determined that he was of human origin, she didn't want to risk running into him.

She shrugged. "I guess. You guys think you'll be fine for a week?"

"We were fine for a whole summer, Buff. Now go out there and enjoy your spring break!"

No use arguing with Willow when she had her mind set on something. Buffy's smile grew wider as she turned towards the door and tossed the print-out in the trash. "I guess you're right. Want me to grab anything while I'm there?"

"Actually, yeah. You know the Shadowpact, right?"

Buffy blinked. "The Shadow-whatawhat?"

"The Shadowpact. They're only like, the East Coast's most experienced wizards and witches!" Willow's mock exasperation looked almost real this time. "They run this bar in Gotham. If I email you the address, can you swing by and grab a few things for me? I want to see how the East Coast deals with vamps."

Figures. Most people'd ask for normal things, like a cute bracelet or one of those stupid 'I went to Gotham and all I got was this lousy t-shirt' souvenirs, but Willow? She had to ask for magic supplies. At least she was thinking practically. Buffy couldn't blame her too much for that, no matter how amusing the request was.

"Alright, alright. I'll see what I can do - especially if I can sneak away from him for a night." It shouldn't be impossible. While she'd never slept over at Dick's, she figured that sleep could occupy him long enough for her to visit the haunts and explore the nightlife. As her first normal boyfriend ever, he shouldn't be exposed to that kind of stuff.

After all, what kind of example was she setting if he knew that she killed vampires every night? He'd never look at her the same way again.

"Thanks." Willow grinned, pulling out one of her books. "Though you really should head out soon. I don't think Dick'd appreciate it if you kept him waiting for too long."

Buffy nodded, leaning in to give her best friend a hug before she ran off to meet Dick. This trip was going to be great! Explore a Hellmouth, learn all about East Coast-slaying ways... and maybe she'd get to find out what normal people did on spring break. It involved beaches, right? Because Buffy was all about the beaches.




Unfortunately, Gotham City wasn't exactly all about the beaches. Sure, it had a couple, but when Dick had driven her out, Buffy had stared at the foggy weather in disgust. "Ew. Did they decide that today was Let's-Hate-Buffy Day?"

Dick chuckled softly before he pulled out of the parking lot. "Clearly. We can try to go again on Friday, if you want. The weather should be better by then."

"Okay." Buffy leaned back in the passenger seat, soaking in the sights and sounds of the city. She hadn't been out to the East Coast, and definitely not around Gotham. Even with her parents' jobs, they'd stayed in LA for most of her life, and Buffy had emphatically decided that she was a California girl. Surf, sun, and sand; if she had those three around, she was good to go. Gotham had the sand, but it didn't have the sun today (and Buffy didn't want to stick around to find out about the surf).

On the bright side, Dick had arranged for them to fly first class. Buffy couldn't believe her ears. How could he even afford that? She could barely scrape enough money for gas! Weirder still, he almost seemed uncomfortable with it, as if he were accustomed to something greater. What could be greater than first class? The seats were roomy; the flight attendants actually offered you meals; and the bathrooms were even a little bit nicer! Plus, the in-flight movie hadn't been so bad. (Dick had somehow managed to sleep through the entire thing. How he missed the thrilling story between a boy and his mongoose, Buffy would never know.)

They'd driven for maybe a few minutes in silence before Buffy reached over for Dick's case of CD's. "So what's the game plan for tonight?"

"The game plan," Dick said with a wry grin, "is actually kinda simple. Bruce isn't coming back for a few days, so I was thinking that we could grab some take-out, rent a couple of movies, and have our very own date night." He paused for a moment before he added, "I've got some work that'll keep me up late, so I'll have my laptop on me. Is that cool?"

"Totally cool." Buffy grinned, pulling out a Bon Jovi CD. "Is it just me, or is your entire CD case nothing but 80's rock and the occasional foray into Disney films?"

"Your eyes don't deceive you." Dick looked almost embarrassed as he kept his gaze on the road. "I listen to a little bit of everything, but my CD cases kind of alternate depending on my mood."

"Aw, and here I thought you were manly enough to admit that you liked Mulan."

"That too." Dick chuckled. "I must've seen it a dozen times by now... My ex really liked it."

Huh. Some part of Buffy knew that he'd had an ex-girlfriend. He must've had one; Dick was way too attractive and witty to remain single for long. Yet from the wistful tone in his voice, he didn't seem to harbor any ill will towards her. They must've split up on amicable terms, a little bit unlike Angel and Buffy. Granted, Dick had way more room: after all, he completely lacked superpowers. Willow couldn't get any kind of supernatural reading on him, and Giles had confirmed Willow's thoughts regarding the matter. Plus, Spike said that Dick had smelt like springtime and daisies. If he really were a demon or a vampire, the stench of death would've been a dead giveaway (no pun intended).

Sometimes, Buffy really envied Dick's normalcy. Maybe some of it'd rub off on her! A girl could hope, right?

"Is there one you haven't seen a lot? We could watch that instead."

Dick looked thoughtful, finally tearing his gaze away from the road long enough to look at her. "How about Oliver and Company? I don't think I ever finished that one."

"Then you're in for a treat, Mr. Grayson, because those dogs'll knock your Nightwing socks right off your feet."

"N-nightwing socks?" In all the months Buffy had known Dick, she'd never heard panic enter his voice like that. Not so suddenly, and certainly not in the sense that she'd ruined their moment. She'd also never seen his face so freaking pale before, either. Did he have a vendetta against vigilantes or something?

Either way, Buffy knew she had to act fast. She hastily gestured towards her feet and plastered the biggest (and most nervous) smile on her face. "Yeah, your socks are black and blue striped? Just like Nightwing's uniform?"

"Oh." Dick laughed a little too loudly for her own good, but at least color was returning to his face. "Yeah, I guess they kind of are."

That was kind of weird, but Buffy supposed even Dick Grayson had a couple of his own little quirks. As long as he didn't suddenly spout a whole speech about how much Batman sucked, she thought she could live with it... and she'd make a mental note to never refer to his socks as Nightwing socks again. Clearly, Xander's superhero obsession wasn't shared by other guys in the slightest.

Before awkward silence could reign over them, Dick turned the corner and drove onto the long, winding road that led them towards Wayne Manor. No matter how many times she saw the place, Buffy was certain that she'd never fully get over its size. How did two people manage to live in something that big? Buffy was certain that she could fit the entire Scooby Gang, plus Anya, Tara, and Mom, and still have enough room for them to get along just fine!

Dick only had to take one look at her face before he burst into laughter. "I'm still not over it myself," He admitted. "But Bruce inherited it from his parents, who inherited it from their parents, and you know the rest. A lot more people lived here in the past, and Bruce just never thought about letting go."

Buffy could understand that. Home is home, no matter how big (or small) it was - and if Dick and Bruce had made it theirs, then she would just have to learn to cope with it. "The place comes with a map, right? Or at least floorplans? I can read those too."

"You've got me, silly." The second Dick parked the car in the garage, he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. "If I'm around, you don't need a map."

Except that was exactly what she feared most. How was she supposed to sneak out for a whole evening if a) Dick was planning on doing some late-night work with her and b) Dick wasn't going to the Shadowpact bar with her? She couldn't just drag him on patrols, and god help her if she took a perfectly innocent human being into a nasty demon and wizard bar. The guy might not come out alive! She just couldn't risk that, even with her Slayer powers.

So she smiled as brightly as she could, kissed him in return, and promised that she'd be okay. These things would turn out okay, and who knows? Maybe she'd get to meet this elusive Nightwing (or even Robin!) on one of her patrols.



Movie night had ended early with a whimper. Just as the end credits for Oliver and Company had rolled, Dick had gotten an urgent phone call. "Conner!" He'd hissed, a little unaware that Buffy could still hear every word. "I thought I told you I was taking the night off--"

Then his face hardened again, in the same manner that it had when Dick met Faith, and Buffy knew the conversation was treading into dangerous waters.

"You know what?" Buffy said with a nervous laugh, grabbing the empty bowl of popcorn off the table. "I'm going to make some more! Because you just--"

Dick cupped his hand over his phone. With the most nervous smile Buffy had ever seen him with, he asked, "I'm getting called in. I'm so sorry to leave you, but you think you'll be fine without me for a little bit?"

She nodded. "Of course! I've got your trusty butler at my side. Things should be a-okay."

Relief temporarily washed over his face as he mouthed his thanks, before he quickly resumed his phone conversation. "How's M'gann holding up?"

M'gann? What kind of people did he work with? At least Angel's and Spike's names made sense, because they'd christened themselves. With this 'M'gann' kid, her name had to have been bestowed on her by well-meaning (but kind of stupid) parents. They were probably hippies. Hippies that'd probably left California a long time ago, but hippies nevertheless. Buffy watched him leave, before she headed in the opposite direction. If Dick was heading to an emergency work meeting, then she was going to patrol. Sure, Wayne Manor was kind of secluded from the rest of Gotham, but Buffy could run fast.

Just before she made it out, Dick's butler - she still couldn't believe he had one! - had to poke his head out. "Miss Summers? Might I ask if you need a ride?"

If there was one thing she'd learned from college, it was that she should never turn down a free ride. Buffy hesitated for a millisecond before she nodded. "Actually, yeah. Could you drive me down to the nearest grocery store? I'm kind of craving some soda really badly." Her lying skills hadn't improved in the past four years, and she knew Dick's butler saw right through her lies... as long as the butler didn't call her out on it, Buffy really didn't care. She hadn't exactly aced Lying for Dummies in a long, long time.

Dick's butler smiled at her knowingly before he gestured towards the garage. "After you."

So much for sneaking out. On the upside, if Dick found out that she'd skipped town, at least she had a witness watching her back.




Butlers were a lot more silent than Buffy remembered. She'd half-expected the butler to speak and tell her about Gotham, but so far, their entire ride had been creepy silent. She didn't think she'd ever get used to being chauffeured around town, even if the butler'd chosen a less conspicuous car for the evening. Part of Buffy really wanted to relish the moment and enjoy watching the butler drive with his cute little hat... but she was also the Slayer, and the Slayer was heading into new, uncharted territory. She didn't want to endanger the butler any more than she had to.

So the second he parked the car, Buffy dashed in the exact opposite direction of the store. She could've sworn she heard the butler murmur something about not being responsible for this... Maybe that was just her imagination talking. Her wild, crazy imagination that also told her that she should keep her stake on her and that she really needed to watch out. What if she ran into the Penguin tonight? Or the Joker? She couldn't kill Gotham's crazies - the ones that were humans, anyway. She'd run into legal trouble if she stabbed them straight in the heart... though Mom would kill her first. That much she knew.

If she were a vampire in Gotham, where would she hang out? Dick hadn't mentioned any nightclubs, since they were technically underage, but if Gotham vampires were anything like Sunnydale vamps... they'd enjoy a slightly buzzed human from the local haunts. What was Gotham's version of the Bronze? Barbara had mentioned something about a bar... Iceberg? The Iceberg Lounge? Nah, the building was way too nice. Considering the line outside was teeming with socialites, Buffy figured vampires would head elsewhere. The more hole-in-the-wall it felt, the more likely she'd be able to stake a few creeps before the night was over.

The cemetery wasn't an option tonight, not when the butler had taken the trouble to drive her downtown. Buffy didn't have much time to stake - if she wasn't back in half an hour, the butler might call Dick. So she did the only logical thing she could do: she pulled out the directions Willow had given her, and headed in the direction of the Oblivion Bar.

The entrance was supposedly behind one of the alleyways... she didn't have much to lose. If this were the wrong door, then she'd just act drunk and pretend that she'd meant to go elsewhere. So she took a deep breath, opened the door, and stepped inside.

The stench of alcohol immediately greeted her, followed by the lingering smoke from a demon's cigarette. Buffy gave the demon a timid smile before she stepped up to the bar. The bartender set down a wine glass and held out his hand.

"Don't think I've seen you around here."

Buffy shrugged. "Never had a reason to be here. Us Sunnydale folk don't have much of a---"

"Did you say Sunnydale?"

Buffy turned to face a black-haired girl, roughly around her age, dressed as a proper stage magician. The lady even had coattails! In this day and age? She must really take her magic arts seriously. Even so, the girl's smile was eager, and her blue eyes twinkled with an air of mystery. "My friend's in Sunnydale right now," she said, with a grin. "I didn't think they were into the mystic magics down there."

What could Buffy possibly say to that? 'Oh yeah, we're totally into the mystic mojo, we've had demons trying to sacrifice babies before? and you know, the Slayer being there for years?' Every possible variation came out wrong in her head. Unable to speak, Buffy just nodded before she took a seat at the bar. "Kinda. You know they've got the Slayer down there."

A hush went through the crowd, and the bartender had to lightly tap Buffy on the shoulder. "We don't speak of the Slayer here," he admitted with a slightly sympathetic smile. "She'd be bad for business."

Right. If this were a mystic bar, demons and vampires were welcome customers, along with the wizards, the witches, and anyone of mystic origin. Figures that she'd be the odd one out. As usual. "Sorry."

The other girl sat down beside her. "You didn't know. So what's your gig? Are you a witch, a vampire, a demon..."

"Oh god no." Buffy laughed, unable to hide her wide grin as she pulled out the supply list Willow had given her. "None of those things. I'm kind of special. Like a super-strong person with magic powers."

"Ah, kind of like Wonder Woman. I can see that." The other girl grinned in return. "I'm Zatanna, by the way." Scanning the list Buffy had shown her, Zatanna then flagged down the bartender and held up the list. As the bartender ran off to grab the items, Zatanna calmly leaned against the counter and waited until every item had been carefully placed in a bag.

"The Oblivion Bar's mostly a bar," Zatanna explained as she inspected each item, "But we're pretty good about getting ingredients to people who need them. I'm guessing your friend's a witch?"

"Right. Will knows more about this stuff than I do." Buffy watched Zatanna for a few seconds before she added, "Oh! I'm Buffy, by the way. Buffy Summers."

A wave of understanding washed over Zatanna's face. Judging by how quickly she'd obtained the items (not to mention how the bartender had given her a discount), she was definitely a regular. She probably had a usual and everything! If this were the Bronze, the tables would be turned, and Buffy would be the knowledgeable one here. Which was also why Buffy had to grit her teeth and remember to be patient. Wait - the bartender gave Zatanna a discount? Buffy was supposed to pay for that!

Quickly, Buffy grabbed the cash Willow had given her, and waved it in Zatanna's direction. "You really didn't have to. I actually had cash this time!"

"Meaning you don't sometimes?" Zatanna giggled. She cursorily glanced at the cash before shaking her head. "Really, though, keep it. I'm happy to do anything for a friend of Nightwing's."

"Huh?"

"Oh." Zatanna placed a hand to her mouth. "You don't.... huh. I could've sworn you would've known by now."

Now things were just getting weird. "I don't know Nightwing." Buffy said slowly, giving Zatanna a weird look. "Nor do I think I should? I mean, it's not like he's a vampire. ... He isn't one, right? Because that should be kind of a big news item."

"No, no, nothing like that..." Zatanna looked thoughtful now, folding her arms as she glanced over at the door. "I'll tell you what. You came from Gotham, right? We can head back and meet him and clear this whole thing up. I just thought, you're from Sunnydale and he's going to school there right now..."

Oh.

If Nightwing lived in Sunnydale, then he was there as a citizen. Meaning that Nightwing probably had no idea that Sunnydale was a Hellmouth, and that the Scooby Gang regularly worked to ensure the peace and safety of the local populace. That was both a total drag and a bit of a relief. Still, did it mean that Buffy might know Nightwing's secret identity? That'd be kind of cool. Weird, but also kind of cool.

"Sure?" Buffy said, taking the bag and opening the door for them. "I don't think he'll be in Gotham though. I'm just here to visit my boyfriend."

"Boyfriend?"

Did Buffy just have a knack for treading into uncharted territory or what? A bit of jealousy had crept through Zatanna's voice, and Buffy really didn't want to question where that jealousy could possibly come from. So Buffy coughed. Loudly. "Yeah, I'm on spring break so he asked me to come over. I'll be gone by Saturday."

Zatanna glanced up at the sky. They'd arrived back in Gotham, and the streets were almost deserted at this hour. How long had she been out? Dick's butler was probably pissed at her. Hell, she'd be pissed at herself if she kept the butler waiting for that long! It surely wasn't too late. It was only like, what, nine PM on a Monday? Not too bad.

Before she could reassure Zatanna and tell her that everything was fine, a superhero came crashing down from the rooftops.

Buffy stepped back and stared at the fallen hero. She wasn't too familiar with heroes, not like Xander was, but she could spot Nightwing a mile away. Talk about impeccable timing! His costume'd been marred by dirt, leading to smudges on his bright-blue bird logo; his entire face was bruised; and she could see traces of blood falling from his right cheek. Still, his pain didn't prevent him from deftly rising from the ground and grabbing his escrima sticks.

His costume was way more well-defined than she remembered it being. Buffy blushed, averting her gaze just as Nightwing glanced over his shoulder at them. "Zatanna! Good timing. Could you---"

Then his eyes fell on Buffy. "Uh. Could you uh..."

"Could I give you back your ability to speak?" Zatanna teased, folding her arms as she approached him. "Maybe, but you'd have to say please."

"You know what I mean," He hissed, subtly (and yet not subtly) gesturing towards Buffy. What, had she suddenly become invisible in the last two minutes? "Get her somewhere safe. She's not supposed to be here!" And he apparently thought she was a 90-pound weakling. Great, she'd been demoted from Invisible Girl to Innocent Bystander. Buffy really didn't know which one was worse.

Zatanna smiled exasperatedly. "You've still got criminals to defeat, Night. I think she can take care of herself."

"I totally can," Buffy nodded in agreement, holding up her arm and flexing her muscles. "See? I'm good to go - plus I think I kept my driver waiting, so I'm just gonna..." She awkwardly gestured towards the alleyway's entrance, neatly knocking a would-be criminal to the floor in the process. If that wasn't her cue, she didn't know what would be. "Bye!"

Nightwing and Zatanna exchanged confused glance as Buffy hightailed it out of there. For good measure, Buffy rammed another couple of creeps against the brick wall before she made a mad dash towards the butler's car. She didn't know how (nor did she care to know why), but the driver had driven up a few blocks to meet her. Buffy quickly climbed into the back seat. "Hit it!"

"Did you prefer another grocery store, Miss Summers?" The butler asked, all while increasing the speed of their vehicle. "If you wished to go somewhere else, you could've just asked."

How was she supposed to know that the Oblivion Bar and Whole Foods didn't carry the same stuff? There wasn't exactly much overlap, and Buffy still had this wicked craving for a strawberry lemonade. But right now, she just wanted to get out - the sooner she could leave, the sooner Nightwing and Zatanna could defeat the random supervillain that had decided to attack tonight.

They never did clear up the misunderstanding in the bar. That was okay, though: sometimes, people had secret identities for a reason. When Nightwing decided to invite Buffy into his world, then Buffy would tell Nightwing about the creepy crawlies that decided to make Sunnydale home. It'd be an equal exchange kind of thing. Right now, Buffy just wanted a nice warm pillow, and maybe some love and reassurance from Dick if he was back from his work meeting. What kind of workplace called meetings at this hour, anyhow? Wasn't he just an intern? He should be back. Even Skype conferences didn't take this long.




Except for cruel and unusual reasons, Dick still wasn't back from his work meeting. Buffy half-expected him to be in the media room with his laptop or a couple of video games. He was on Spring Break; he should technically be enjoying the fruits of his labor. So why wasn't he there, enjoying his time off? Did Wayne Tech really work him to the bone, despite being the boss's son? If they were, Buffy had a fist that wanted to talk to them.

She waited for him for an hour. It was a pretty productive hour, considering that she'd gotten through an episode of her favorite show and started a report to Giles, but it was an hour without Dick.

When she realized that he probably wasn't coming home anytime soon, Buffy retreated to her room, changed, and headed back out for a glass of water.

There, in the kitchen, was Dick with his head slumped against the island counter. He looked like hell, literally and metaphorically speaking. His entire face had been bruised, and she could see the beginnings of a scar on his right cheek. Not to mention, his hands were calloused and his entire posture was off. He hadn't been anywhere this rough during movie night - whatever had happened to him was recent, and from the looks of it, it hadn't been pretty.

Buffy quickly poured him a glass of water before she got her own. "Rough night?"

"You don't know the half of it." Dick tried to smile at her, but his smile twisted in pain. Buffy reached over to him and gently squeezed his arm.

She didn't know what had happened to him, because frankly, he wasn't the Slayer. Nor was he some kind of witch like Zatanna or even one of the big players in Gotham like Batgirl. Her boyfriend was a wealthy kid working for his dad, and he probably got his ridiculous injuries by falling down a flight of stairs or two. Dick certainly wasn't clumsy, but anyone having a rough night would be under the weather.

Dick stared down at her hands, which were similarly calloused from the stakes she'd wielded tonight, and lightly traced over the marks with his fingers. "I'm guessing you had one too. Was Whole Foods really out of your strawberry lemonade?"

Busted. "Did your butler tell you?"

"Alfred might've mentioned it. I can't believe I didn't think to buy any."

"It's okay. Really. I can grab some another night." Buffy didn't really care about the lemonade anymore, not when her boyfriend was suffering so much. "Are you going to be okay?"

"I'll live." Dick sighed. "Work's just been incredibly stressful lately. I'm sorry, I didn't think they'd spring this up on me, not when you'd be around."

"As long as you're okay, I'm okay." She meant it too. Gotham wouldn't be half as fun if her trusty tour guide weren't able to take her around places and show off his beloved hometown. Tour guides got paid to showcase their town! Dick would be doing it out of love, not just for her but also for the place where he'd grown up. "You do what you've gotta do, and I'll be here in the meantime."

He smiled at her gratefully. "Thanks." Just before Buffy left, Dick pulled her in close, resting his head on her left shoulder. "... Could you stay with me tonight?"

He wasn't asking for love, not in the most intimate sense, but work must've had him freaked out to ask for cuddles. Buffy slowly nodded, reaching for his hands and lightly intertwining her fingers in his. "Sure."

Maybe they weren't serious, not when Buffy judged by bases and levels of intimate touch, but they were serious on a completely different level. Dick hadn't asked her to Gotham to visit his dad, not when Bruce was out of town on a long-term business negotiation, but he'd asked her to come see a different side of him, one that wasn't necessarily present in Sunnydale. In this town, the tables had turned, and Buffy wasn't necessarily the one protecting him anymore.

She'd carried him to bed, letting him think that he'd walked the whole way there, and she'd similarly tucked them both in before she drifted to her side and slept.

Just before she lost consciousness, she could've sworn she saw the exact same scar - the one Nightwing had - on her boyfriend's face, but she knew she had to be dreaming. Her boyfriend was the normal one in this relationship, even if he did live on a Hellmouth. Anything - even crazy magicians and insane lunatics running around in costume - could happen here. The chances of him being the hero in this equation were almost zero, though she'd give him points for effort. He was, after all, one of the finest cuddlers this Earth had to offer.
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