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Title: The Raven And The Nightingale Book II: The Gold Coast (5/25)
Author: BradyGirl_12
Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick, Roy Harper, Donna Troy, Jean-Paul Belliveau, Alfred Pennyworth
Genres: AU, Historical, Romance
Rating (this chapter): NC-17
Warnings (this chapter): None
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: Dick meets his fellow dancers in the troupe.
Date Of Completion: September 13, 2014
Date Of Posting: July 13, 2015
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1986
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.



V

FRENCH PASTRY


Confections so light,
Days so bright,
Champagne-filled nights,
Men in tights.


Old French Song
"Ballet Souffle"
18th Century C.E.



Bruce celebrated Dick’s acceptance into the Gotham Ballet Company. They dined on beef stroganoff and fine wine from the Manor’s cellar. After dinner with a wink and nod to each other, they retired upstairs and kissed passionately, falling onto the bed.

“So you’re the star now,” Bruce whispered as he nibbled on Dick’s ear.

“Ha, I’ll be lucky to be a spear-carrier.”

“Oh, you’ll be the star.”

“You sound so confident,” said Dick as he unbuttoned Bruce’s shirt. He exposed his lover’s chest and kissed the warm skin, brushing his lips over a nipple and sucking the other bud.

Bruce shivered and grasped Dick’s hips, pulling him closer. As moonlight spilled into the room and across the bed, he could swear that the young man sparkled! Laughing, he stroked the soft hair that was thick and beautiful.

Dick sucked the other nipple and trailed kisses down his chest and stomach, his breath tickling Bruce’s cock as Dick pulled down his underdrawers.

“Hurry,” Bruce urged.

Dick’s tongue flicked out and licked the stiffening column of flesh that showed Bruce’s eagerness. He teased his lover and finally gave in to Bruce’s pleading, swallowing his cock and sucking hard and fast. Bruce’s fingers curled up in the silky hair and tugged. He bucked his hips and lost himself in warm wetness. Looking down at Dick’s bobbing head, he felt a wild rush of lust and came, Dick grabbing his thighs in a bruising grip.

“Mmm,” he purred like a cat after swallowing cream, “You are a delicious morsel all by yourself, Mr. Wayne.”

“A morsel! I’m more than that.”

Dick laughed. “You’re still delicious.”

“And you’re more than a morsel.”

Dick smiled impishly. “Eat me up.”

Bruce pulled him into a deep kiss while busy pushing Dick’s pants down and grasped his cock. Dick’s smile was pure bliss as Bruce manipulated the rigid cock.

“Dance for me,” Bruce crooned. He stroked with skilled fingers.

Dick arched his back and gave himself fully to Bruce’s ministrations. He writhed as his body glistened with exertion but he wanted more. Bruce’s thumb rubbed heated flesh and Dick groaned. Bruce teased but gradually took pity on him and stroked a gasping lover to climax.

“Tomorrow, you dance again,” Bruce whispered as he kissed Dick’s temple.

& & & & & &


Dick shook hands with his fellow dancers, pouring on the charm. He had auditioned for lead male dancer and he was aware that there might be some resentment at a newcomer stepping into the role instead of someone being promoted from within. His handclasp lingered just a bit with the well-muscled redhead who introduced himself as Roy Harper.

“You’re quite the toast of the Continent, aren’t you?” Roy asked with a smile.

“I hope so. I worked hard to be the toast to Natasha Romanoff’s omelette.”

“She tough to work with?”

“Not really, but then, I bring out the best in people.”

Roy laughed. “You’re confident; I’ll give you that.”

“Thanks.” Dick already liked this friendly man.

Donna Troy pushed a strand of dark hair back from her brow. “Glad to see someone’s filling the role. We lost our prima ballerina, too.”

Dick decided not to ask if that star role would be filled from within, not wanting to remind people of his outsider status.

A sharp handclap caught their attention and they turned to see Jean-Paul Belliveau standing impatiently in the center aisle. He was dressed in the brown pants and a green pullover this time. His feet were clad in the old slippers that Dick had seen yesterday.

“All right, people, we must get to work. You have met Mr. Grayson, our new lead dancer, and we will be holding auditions for a prima ballerina. You will be present, Mr. Grayson, for those auditions as I must see how you work with our prospective star. For now, Miss Troy, you will fill that role.”

Dick was pleased. He liked Donna, too.

“We shall be staging Cinderella. Let us begin!”

Dick and Donna were able to find a working rhythm fairly quickly. Rehearsal went well despite Jean-Paul’s criticisms, but Dick was unfazed. He had never met a ballet impresario who was not unreasonable and demanding. A pleasant, cheerful director would have thrown him off.

Dick remembered last night with Bruce and nearly blushed, but the memory gave him extra energy. He danced with passion and won over the company with his dazzling talent.

“All right, passable, people.” Jean-Paul gestured. “Now, attende, go over the last scene again.”

Rehearsal went on for another hour, and when it was over Jean-Paul shook his head and snapped, “Tomorrow at one o’clock,” and limped away.

Dick wiped his face with a towel. “I feel right at home with grumpy Jean-Paul.”

Donna and Roy laughed. “Say, want to go for coffee?” Roy asked Dick.

“Sure. I’ll meet you out front in twenty minutes.” Dick went to his dressing room and quickly changed. He wore a dark-green suit with yellow vest and scarf and red buttons. He slipped out of his dressing room and cranked the phone in the hallway.

“Hi, Alfred. Would you tell Bruce I’m going out for coffee with some of the troupe? Thanks. Don’t wait dinner for me. See you later.”

He hung up just as Roy emerged from the men’s dressing room, attired resplendently in a smartly-tailored dark-red suit with a matching vest, crisp white shirt, and scarlet cravat. His high-buttoned black shoes were showing a little wear but were polished. He looked up and did a double-take.

“That’s, um, quite an outfit.”

“Isn’t it?” Dick gave a little twirl. “It’s the cat’s pajamas, isn’t it?”

Roy laughed. “I could see you in silk Oriental pajamas.”

“Ah, yes. I should get a pair. Red, I think.”

Donna emerged from the women’s dressing room in a lavender suit with a white pleated bodice. A purple brooch sparkled at her high-collared throat. A lavender hat with white feather and sweeping brim shaded her face as she carried a matching parasol with a ruffle of white lace in a white-gloved hand. Black shoes peeked out from under her skirt, the black buttons shining. She wore her hair in a net, having no time to put it in a proper pompadour.

“Ah, such loveliness,” Dick said with a bow.

Donna laughed. “Aren’t you Beau Brummel! You have a unique style, Mr. Grayson.”

“I hope so.” Dick grinned widely. “I’m new in town. Can you recommend a good place for coffee?”

“The Café Parisian.”

“Sounds fancy.”

“Just the way I like it.” Donna twirled her parasol.

The three of them walked out of the theater and Roy said, “We can walk. It’s not far.”

“Great.” Dick was pleased to skip a hansom cab. Stretching his legs would be good for him after that rehearsal. He liked a brisk walk as a sort of cool-down.

He was proud of his attractive companions, too. Admiring glances were thrown the trio’s way. The air was crisp and Dick actually felt jaunty.

They reached Café Parisian and sat at one of the outdoor tables in the French style. A waiter came out immediately and they all ordered coffee, each one choosing a different blend.

“So you’ve been dancing for awhile,” Roy said to Dick.

“Yes, I had experience.”

“What was it like, to dance before the crowned heads of Europe?” Donna smoothed her skirt.

“It’s exhilarating, but any audience is worthy.”

“You sound like a diplomat,” Roy laughed.

“It’s a useful skill.” Dick pulled off his gloves.

“I would say so,” Donna said in amusement. “It’ll be easy to dance with you.”

“Likewise, my lady.” Dick made a little bow.

“What did you like best about Europe?” The waiter brought their coffee and a complimentary plate of French pastries. Donna smiled her thanks.

“The different cultures and languages are fascinating.” Dick stirred his coffee. “The architecture is magnifique.”

“The gargoyles are not your taste?” Donna sipped her coffee.

“Charming,” Dick said dryly.

“Why give up Europe for America?” Roy studied the pastries and chose a cream-filled spiral confection.

“I’ve always wanted to see America.” Dick chose a lemon puff with strawberries. He bit into the flaky pastry and looked at it approvingly.

“We’re still a pretty young country compared to Europe. Raw around the edges.”

“But new and exciting.”

“You came across the Atlantic with Bruce Wayne, I read.” Donna put some sugar in her coffee and stirred.

Roy laughed. Dick looked at him curiously. “I said something funny?”

“Yeah.” Roy finished his pastry. “I know Bruce Wayne.”

Dick wondered if he should be jealous. “You do?”

“Yep.” Roy’s green eyes sparkled. “I grew up in Star City on the estate of Robert and Moira Queen. My mother was the cook. When she died of influenza, they kept me on. I attended public school and worked around the estate, helping with the landscaping and horses. Oliver Queen is an old friend of Bruce Wayne’s.”

“Did you take dancing lessons?”

Roy grinned. “I did. Miss Dinah said I had talent.”

“She was right.” Dick finished his lemon puff. “So the theater called to you over mucking out the stables?”

Roy smirked. “Sometimes I think mucking out stables is easier than ballet.”

“I agree with that.” Dick flexed his leg. “Sore muscles are a dancer’s lot.”

“Tell me about it,” Donna groaned.

The three of them talked ballet while they drank their coffee, and Dick asked, “Is Jean-Paul extremely difficult?”

“Not more than usual with directors,” Donna said.

“So I thought. How did he injure his leg?”

“The story is that he fell off a stage one night into the orchestra pit.”

“The story?” Dick quirked an eyebrow.

“Yeah, there were rumors that ol’ Jean-Paul was set up by a rival,” Roy said as he took another pastry.

“How could a rival do that?”

“Rumor had it that he tampered with Belliveau’s slippers before the performance. Made ‘em slippery and wham! ol’ Jean-Paul slips like he’s at the zoo and stepped on a banana peel by the monkey cage.”

Dick stared at Roy. “You’re going to hell in a handbasket, aren’t you?”

Roy’s grin was cream-filled. “Probably.” He licked the cream off his lip like a cat. “Look, I know it’s a serious thing a man getting injured badly enough to ruin his career, but I’m sick of guys like him taking out his anger on the rest of the world, namely us dancers.”

“Aww, poor pitiful Roy,” Donna teased. “You just don’t understand the artistic temperament, my dear.”

“You’re right; I don’t.”

“Ah, but is our lot in that rarified world of ballet,” Dick said with a smile.

“You’re utterly charming,” Donna said with a smile of her own.

“Mais oui, Mademoiselle.”

Roy rolled his eyes. “Oh, brother.”

Dick and Donna laughed.

& & & & & &


Dick arrived at the Manor just in time for dinner. He was glad that he had eaten only one pastry at Café Parisian. He was already extremely fond of Alfred’s cooking.

“Duck l’orange, sir,” said Alfred at Dick’s inquiry about dinner.

As Dick took his seat in the dining room, Bruce asked, “So did you enjoy coffee with your new acquaintances?”

“Very much so.” Dick shook out the cranberry-colored napkin and laid it across his lap. “I believe you may know one of them.”

“Oh?”

“Roy Harper. He said he grew up on the Queen estate in Star City.”

“Ah, yes, I know Roy. I didn’t know he was a dancer. He was good at archery but I never saw him dance.”

“Archery?” Dick smiled his thanks as Alfred set a laden plate in front of him.

“Yes, Ollie fancies himself Robin Hood and has an archery range.”

“Wow! Fascinating stuff.” Dick cut one of the baby Idaho potatoes. “You never know about people.”

Bruce cut a slice of duck. “No, you never do.”





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