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Title: The Raven And The Nightingale Book II: The Gold Coast (6/25)
Author: BradyGirl_12
Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick, Alfred Pennyworth
Genres: AU, Historical, Mystery, Romance
Rating (this chapter): NC-17
Warnings (this chapter): Use of the word 'Gypsies'
Spoilers: None
General Summary: A series of daring robberies on Gotham City’s Gold Coast catches the attention of the Raven and the Nightingale.
Chapter Summary: Bruce and Dick begin an exercise regimen.
Date Of Completion: September 16, 2014
Date Of Posting: July 20, 2015
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1474
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Entered into my 2015 DCU Fic/Art Dick Grayson Diamond Anniversary Challenge. The entire series can be found here.



VI

VISIT TO A GRAVESIDE


Autumn’s bloom
Lifts the gloom
Of our days
By the grave.


Alice Villaker
Editor
"Victorian Poems
Of The Civil War"
1863 C.E.



“We should come up with an exercise regimen.”

Bruce’s pronouncement was nearly out of the blue as he sat in his favorite comfortable chair in front of the fireplace in the front parlor. Dick was comfortably sprawled on the couch, half-asleep after a rigorous rehearsal earlier that afternoon.

“I already exercise,” he grumbled.

“I mean Raven and Nightingale-type exercise.”

Dick perked up. “What do you see in that newspaper?”

Bruce rattled the paper. “Jewel robberies. We should do a little patrolling of the Gold Coast. We should also sharpen our fighting skills. Do you box?”

Dick shook his head. “I do know some moves I’ve needed for fight scenes in ballet. I just need some practice.”

“You teach me those moves and I’ll teach you boxing.”

Dick stretched luxuriously. “Sounds like a good trade-off.” He smiled lazily.

Bruce rattled his paper again.

& & & & & &


Bruce had an exercise room set up on the second floor. Mats were spread on the floor, a medicine ball rolled around in the corner, and a set of pulleys was propped against the wall. Boxing gloves and towels were piled in one corner.

Bruce and Dick wore white sleeveless cotton jerseys and black shorts that ended just above the knees. White socks and tennis shoes completed their work-out clothes.

Bruce threw Dick a set of gloves. “Okay, let’s get started.”

They jabbed and feinted and Bruce taught Dick the art of uppercuts and rabbit punches. Dick was a quick learner.

“That’s it, right in the ol’ breadbasket,” Bruce pattered. “Now aim for the jaw. That’s it, okay, use that footwork.”

They sparred for an hour, then Dick taught Bruce the moves that could help distract an opponent. When they finished and wiped down with towels, Bruce said, “Good work-out. You’d better rest up before you go to rehearsal.”

“I’d better shower.” Dick slung his towel around his neck. “Care to join me?”

Bruce smirked. “Lead on.”

Dick did as bid, Bruce eagerly following his graceful lover. Once inside the master bedroom the dancer shed clothes as he walked to the bathroom.

He’s got style.

The sight of those tight buttocks caused Bruce to shed his clothes with alacrity. The shower was of the most modern design with gleaming chrome and copper piping. Dick twisted the handle labeled Hot and tested the water, getting it right “just like Baby Bear.” Bruce shook his head fondly, entering the shower and closing the glass door.

The warm spray relaxed the muscles, and Bruce took the bar of Ivory soap and rubbed it over Dick’s chest. His lover was not as broad-shouldered as he was, but his muscles were still powerful, especially his thighs.

Bruce soaped his stomach, thighs and back up to his chest again. Dick was frothy, rivulets of water running down his body. His hair hung in limp strands, glittering as if he was wearing strings of diamonds.

Dick arched his back and the water washed off the soap. Dick’s cock bobbed as he shivered with delight.

“Playful dolphin,” Bruce crooned.

“Do I have a dorsal fin?”

“Let me check.” Bruce ran his hand down Dick’s spine. “No, no fin.”

“Check lower.”

Bruce’s hand went down to the curve of the buttocks. “You could bounce a quarter off your ass.”

Dick’s grin was dazzling. “Let’s try that after we shower.”

“We should.” Bruce kissed him deeply as he squeezed both buttocks.

Dick slipped his arms around Bruce’s waist. Their cocks rubbed together, Dick purring after the kiss. He rubbed harder. The friction sent thrills of delight through both bodies. They speeded up that friction until pure pleasure ripped through the lovers, their passion washed away.

It was some time later when they emerged “squeaky-clean,” as Dick said cheerfully.

“Are you going out with your friends again?” Bruce asked.

“No, I don’t think so. Though who knows? I might change my mind.” Dick wiggled into a pair of underdrawers.

“Ah, a free spirit.” Bruce picked out a light-brown pair of pants.

“Like a butterfly. Or a nightingale.”

“Okay, free spirit. Have a good rehearsal.”

“Always.” Dick threw on a pair of dark-purple pants with a lavender silk shirt. “I’ve got a vest around here someplace. And a cravat, too, that matches.”

“You’re wearing something that matches?”

“Ha ha.” Dick searched through one of the dresser drawers assigned to him. “Ah, ha, here it is!” He pulled out a lavender silk cravat. “My vest is in the closet.”

Bruce looked. “You’re right.” He took out the hanger with the vest. Dick took it from him and slipped the vest over his shirt, smoothing his hand over the velvet material. “Lavender suits you well.”

Dick smirked. He fastened his cuffs with amethyst cufflinks and put on his pants. Wiggling his toes, he walked over to the dresser and combed his wet hair. “When should we patrol?”

“Well, jewel thieves generally don’t carry guns, but they can fight if cornered. We should be up to par physically.”

“Sounds logical.” Dick put down the comb. “Well, I’m off! See you this evening.” He kissed Bruce and exited the bedroom.

Bruce decided to take a walk around the grounds. Dick took the carriage into town and Bruce informed Alfred of his plans.

“Very good, sir.”

Bruce put on a warm jacket and stuffed a pair of gloves into an inner pocket. He stepped out into the crisp air and walked briskly, twirling one of his many canes.

As he walked, his mind was racing with ideas. In addition to their exercises, they would have to review their costumes. They had quickly thrown them together while tracking criminals in Paris. It would probably be best to consult Alfred.

Leaves were beginning to turn. He observed their glorious colors: scarlet, gold, and burnt orange. They were only patches at this point but would be well on their way in a few weeks.

Except for the well-manicured lawns around the Manor and the flower and vegetable gardens in back, most of the acreage was uncultivated. There were stables and a carriage house and the indulgence of a tennis court, but the surrounding woods comprised the bulk of the estate. He owned a private beach, accessible by a sandy path down to the sea.

Dressed in country clothes, he had chosen sturdy walking boots, faun-colored trousers and a brown hunting jacket. A soft Irish hat completed the ensemble.

He inhaled deeply, smelling the salt tang of the ocean. Europe had been exciting but he truly needed to be home. The Manor was in his blood.

As he walked through the woods on a small path, he hoped that Dick would grow to love it here. Those who were Roma tended to wander, but if he formed an attachment here, it might help to keep him in Gotham.

After a lengthy walk, he circled back to the family graveyard, located over a rise and not seen from the Manor’s windows, but close enough for a visit to be only a short jaunt away.

Bruce pushed the iron gate open and strolled to the shiny black headstone bearing the names of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Stone angels knelt in impassive prayer as they flanked the stone.

“Hello, Mother and Father. I had a fine trip on the Continent.” He stood before the grave. His parents had been dead more than half his life. He had conducted more of these conversations than he remembered with his flesh-and-blood parents. “I met a young man.”

He nervously tapped the ground with his cane. He had no idea if they would have accepted his inversion. Such a subject would not have been considered suitable for a child’s ears.

“Dick Grayson is a wonderful person. He’s bright and cheerful and so very talented! He’s a star in the ballet world.” Bruce’s tone turned somber. “He lost his parents at a young age, too. They were Gypsies and their caravan was attacked one night. He’s seen the worst of people and yet can still find joy in life.” He restlessly turned the cane into the dirt. “He’s helped me, to learn to…to try and deal with what happened.”

Bruce walked around the grave, watching a robin swoop from the trees and fly around his head as its chirped. Bruce could not help laughing. The tiny bird perched on the gravestone.

Bruce went around to the front of the grave again. The robin hopped to the other end of the stone.

“You’d like him. He is really special.” He sighed. “I really love him.” The robin burst into song and Bruce laughed again. The bird flew away while still singing.

Feeling much better, Bruce returned to the Manor with a bounce in his step.





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