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Title: The Raven And The Nightingale Book II: The Gold Coast (15/25)
Author: BradyGirl_12
Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick, Alfred Pennyworth, Max Bernstein, Stephanie Brown, Barbara Gordon, Selina Kyle, Jean-Paul Belliveau
Genres: AU, Historical, Mystery, Romance
Rating (this chapter): NC-17
Warnings (this chapter): Spanking
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: The Raven and the Nightingale make their debut in the headlines while Bruce and Dick continue sleuthing.
Date Of Completion: November 12, 2014
Date Of Posting: September 24, 2015
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2086
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Submitted to my 2015 DCU Fic/Art Dick Grayson Diamond Anniversary Challenge. The entire series can be found here.



XV

BRAND-SPANKING NEW


"Now we’ve got masked vigilantes running around Gotham!"


Mayor Augustus Sandstone
Gotham City
October 16, 2007 C.E.



MASKED HEROES ATTEMPT TO STOP BURGLARY!

MYSTERIOUS CAPED CRUSADERS TRY TO CATCH GOLD COAST BURGLAR!

WHO ARE THESE MASKED MEN?


& & & & & &


Bruce perused the headlines of the various papers spread out on the breakfast nook table. “It appears we have made our official debut,” he said dryly.

Dick laughed as he read the headlines. “No publicity is bad publicity.”

Bruce raised an eyebrow. “I think you mean even bad publicity is better than no publicity.”

“That, too.”

Bruce rolled his eyes. “Help me clear this table or Alfred will have my hide.”

They had the newspapers stacked on the sideboard just as Alfred brought in two steaming plates of eggs and bacon. He poured orange juice and coffee and asked, “Toast, sirs?”

“Not for me,” Bruce said.

“None for me, either, Alfred.” Dick ate a crunchy slice of bacon.

“Very good.”

After his departure Bruce sipped his coffee. “I’ve been thinking.”

“Dangerous,” Dick teased.

“Ha, ha.” Bruce scooped up a forkful of eggs. “I think we should visit some of the fences in town.”

“But surely the objects stolen are too unique to be fenced.”

“Yes, but Gotham fences have unique connections.”

“How so?” Dick drank his cold orange juice.

“So much stuff is stolen in this city that a Gotham fence can handle anything.”

Dick smirked. “Sounds like Paris.”

“Hmm, yes.” Bruce was thinking. Dick called it ‘cooking something up’.

Dick devoured another slice of bacon “What’s your plan?”

“I happen to know a fence.”

“You do?” Dick’s tone was amused.

“Yes, I do.” Bruce pushed the eggs around his plate with his fork. “Back in my Harvard days, a friend of mine got involved with a fence in Boston. I learned his brother was in the same business in Gotham.”

“So you plan on talking to him?”

Bruce picked up his coffee cup. “Not as Bruce Wayne.”

Dick grinned and ate another crunchy slice of bacon.

& & & & & &


Max Bernstein dusted off his display case with a cloth. He ran a respectable pawnshop, though his clientele was far from respectable.

His shop was crammed with all sorts of objects that desperate people had pawned for money. He made a small profit on this business, though his customers were usually so poor, they only had low-quality items to pawn.

Good thing my ‘side business’ is so profitable.

Max smiled to himself. He adjusted his glasses, shuffling as he walked to the back room, his shoulders stooped. He would have to take another dose of Dr. Hiram’s Amazing Elixir to ease the ache in his bones.

In the back room he pulled on a chain, the bare lightbulb turning on above his head. His table was littered with paperwork, and his bottle of elixir was set on a shelf.

“Bernstein.”

Max looked around. Had someone whispered? He saw no one. Shrugging, he reached for the bottle.

“Bernstein.”

Max whirled. “Who’s there?”

“The Raven.”

“The what?”

A shadow moved. “Max Bernstein, I require information.”

“What sort of information?”

“Where you fenced the goods from the Gold Coast robberies.”

Max snorted. “Why would I tell you, Crow?”

“Raven.” The voice sounded momentarily annoyed. The shadow moved again and the Raven came into partial view, Max taking a step back. He stumbled and grabbed the table, swiftly opening a drawer and producing a pistol.

“Now we’ll see…argh!” Max yelped as a cane came down hard on his hand and he dropped the gun.

“Meet the Nightingale,” said the Raven.

The Nightingale picked up the gun and joined the Raven. His bright colors distracted Max.

“Now, where did you fence the goods?” the Raven demanded.

Max massaged his hand. “Several people took them on.”

“Who is the clever thief?”

Max shrugged. “Who knows? The swag is dumped off here and I leave the cash in this box.” He pointed to the satinwood box on the table. “I never try and catch the thief. Our arrangement is mutually beneficial.”

“Do you recognize this?” The Nightingale held out an emerald-and-silver brooch.

“Nice piece, but never saw it before.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really!” Max snapped.

The Nightingale’s gloved fingers closed around the brooch. His companion warned, “Watch yourself, Max Bernstein.”

The two masked men melted back into the shadows and were gone. Max took out a handkerchief and wiped his brow.

This town is crazy!

& & & & & &


The tenements quietly crumbled around them as the Raven and the Nightingale perched on a rooftop opposite the pawnshop. Their cloaks undulated gently in the breeze.

A cat meowed far below in the alley as a horse clip-clopped as it pulled a carriage along the street. Somewhere a couple argued while a baby cried.

The vigil was maintained until midnight. After no activity, the Raven and the Nightingale disappeared.

& & & & & &


“Damn, looks like a lot of staking out in our future.”

Dick sprawled on the bed as Bruce combed his hair. He had already showered and dressed.

“You’re lazy.”

“Am I?” Dick stretched, showing off his assets to full advantage. He was naked and lying on top of the rumpled sheets.

Bruce took a deep breath. “You are a tease.”

Dick smiled lazily. “I have to get my jollies somehow. Sitting on that rooftop until the wee hours isn’t exactly a chucklefest.”

“It’s what we do.” Bruce was watching Dick in the dresser mirror.

Dick ran his foot up and down his leg. “It’s what we are.”

“That, too.” Bruce put down his comb and picked up his cravat. He slipped it around his neck and began tying it. “Why are you so indolent this morning?”

“Keeps me on my toes.”

“Your en pointe toes?"

« Very good. » Dick grinned salaciously. “You’re a fast learner, darling.”

Bruce finished tying his cravat. “You are insufferably smug today.”

Dick laughed, the rich sound warming Bruce’s heart. He turned around and admired the nude body of his lover displayed for him. He approached the bed.

“I need you to stop being a tease.”

Dick smirked. “Make me.”

Bruce lunged and turned Dick over, smacking his buttocks with his open hand.

“Hey!”

Bruce gave him another swat. “You’re being a brat. Brats get spanked.”

Dick wiggled on the bed. “Are you my punisher?”

“Of course.” Bruce caressed Dick’s slightly-reddened buttocks. “When you’re bad, you need discipline.”

“Give it to me.”

Bruce walked to the dresser and picked up the hairbrush. He returned to the bed and brought the back of the brush down on Dick’s buttocks. The other man yelped, squirming as Bruce brought the brush down again.

“Ow!”

Bruce gave Dick a few more licks, ceasing as he pinched one buttock. Dick moaned and rubbed his nipples against the cotton sheets.

“Punish me some more, Daddy.”

Bruce’s groin was telegraphing his excitement. He threw aside the brush and opened his pants, climbing up onto the bed. He spread Dick’s legs, leaning back to grab the lotion in a tin atop the nightstand. He quickly prepared the two of them and spread the delectable cheeks.

& & & & & &


Dick clutched the sheets as Bruce entered his body with a firm thrust. Bruce sped up his rhythm, pounding his lover into the mattress. Dick cried out as Bruce hit his sweet spot over and over. Stars sparkled in front of his eyes as the pleasure thrummed through his body. He thrust back, impaling himself deeper on Bruce’s cock.

When orgasm came, it ripped through him in a glorious burst of sweet pleasure. A cry of joy was torn from his throat as his body shuddered.

Bruce thrust a few more times and came, lovingly caressing Dick’s back. “You’re mine,” he purred. “And always will be.”

Dick felt warmed by such words. He laid his head on the bed and closed his eyes as Bruce kissed his shoulder and withdrew, leaving Dick to drift asleep.

& & & & & &


Bruce went off to his meeting in the city with the glow of good health and happiness in his heart. It made him a little nervous.

Something’s bound to go wrong with life so good.

He conducted his business in town, deciding to walk to take in the air before returning home. He found himself on the side street where the Gotham Public Library was located.

As a member of the Board, I should stop in.

He ascended the stone steps and entered the quiet building. His footsteps echoed in the cavernous vestibule as he approached the Circulation Desk. A pretty blond girl was working at the desk and she looked up. “Can I help you, sir?”

“Yes, Miss…?”

“Brown.”

‘Can you tell me where Miss Gordon is, Miss Brown?”

“Yes, she’s in the room to the right at the Reference Desk.”

“Thank you.”

Bruce tipped his hat and entered Reading Room No. 1, according to the brass plate above the door. Patrons were reading at the long tables or in the comfortable chairs by the windows, brass spittoons gleaming. He saw the redhead sitting at the Reference Desk and headed her way.

“May I help you, sir?” she asked. He could not be certain if the flicker in her eyes meant she recognized him or not.

“Yes, I’d like to find some books on finance.”

She led the way to the card catalogue. She opened the drawer containing the letter ‘F’. “Any specific area of finance?”

“The stock market pre-Civil War.”

Barbara helped Bruce choose some possibilities, whose Dewey Decimal numbers he wrote down on slips of paper provided by the library.

“Thank you, Miss Gordon.”

She looked at him warily. “You know my name?”

“Dick speaks very highly of you.”

Her face lit up. “I’m glad to know him, Mr. Wayne.”

“Guilty as charged.”

She smiled. Dressed in a pale green frock trimmed with lace, she was exceedingly pretty.

No wonder Dick comes here so often.

“Thank you for your help.”

She nodded and returned to her desk. Bruce went in search of the books.

& & & & & &


Dick performed a turn as he held Selina, gently lowering her to the stage. Jean-Paul clapped his hands imperiously.

“No, no, no! You must hold her for two more beats! And you, Miss Kyle, must aaarch back like this!”

After more berating, Jean-Paul threw up his hands and stalked off as much as he could with a bad leg. The troupe relaxed once he disappeared.

“He’s a tyrant,” Selina said with a smile.

“Situation normal.” Dick rubbed his sore calf.

“Right. Never met a ballet director yet with a good temper.”

“Me, neither.” Dick carefully stretched his leg out after sitting down on the edge of the stage.

Selina sat down, too. She rubbed her shoulder, letting her legs dangle over the edge.

“So your director in Boston was demanding?”

“Oh, yes.” Selina laughed. “He was Polish.”

“French or Polish, still impossible.”

“Very much so.”

“Ballet must be big in Boston.”

“Yes, they love their culture. They call themselves the Athens of America, you know.”

“I’ve been to Athens.”

“Really?”

Dick nodded. “The Mediterranean is beautiful whether in summer of fall. We…I had the good fortune to be in Italy during the autumn and Greece the following summer.”

“How lovely.”

“Did you get much of a mix in the audience?”

“In Boston? Yes, I’d say so. Plenty of Brahmins from Beacon Hill, but merchants and Harvard students were part of our crowd, too.”

“Of course. Harvard students would have plenty of money to indulge in their tastes.”

“That is correct.” Selina tried to work the kink out of her shoulder. “Harvard is for the rich and privileged and only the sons of the best families are admitted.”

“Ah, so no surprise that Bruce went there.”

“No, no surprise.” Selina crossed her shapely legs. She swung one leg lazily. “A fine gentleman like Bruce Wayne would have earned a ‘Gentleman’s C’.”

“Probably. I’ve never discussed his grades with him.”

“He’s a very generous patron.”

“Quite generous.”

“Yes.” Selina rested a hand on Dick’s thigh. “Be careful, luv. The rich have a way of taking over people’s lives because what they want, they get.”

Dick felt resentment at Selina’s statement, but he kept his smile. He did not want her to know his reaction. He had learned long ago that revealing everything was not the best idea.

“All right.” Selina withdrew her hand. “Just be careful, my friend. These sophisticates enjoy our company, but they ultimately discard us.”

Dick felt his stomach tighten. He knew that was the way of things, but Bruce was different.

Bruce had to be different.





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