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Title: The Raven And The Nightingale Book II: The Gold Coast (11/25)
Author: BradyGirl_12
Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick, Jean-Paul Belliveau, Donna Troy, Selina Kyle, Roy Harper, Alfred Pennyworth
Genres: AU, Historical, Mystery, Romance
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
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: The Gotham Ballet Company acquires a new prima ballerina.
Date Of Completion: October 21, 2014
Date Of Posting: August 21, 2015
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1370
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.



XI

SILKEN SULTRY


She moves like liquid
In enchanted air,
Her sultry smile
Like silk strewn
With diamonds.


William de Blythe
"The Glory Of Womanhood"
1859 C.E.



Bruce and Dick studied the library books that Dick had brought home, trying to figure out the Gold Coast Burglar’s next move. The papers had come up with the nickname, and Dick approved of it.

He and Bruce continued training as the leaves fell, the nights growing colder. The debut of Dick with the Gotham Ballet Company was nearly on the calendar, tickets selling briskly as the date approached.

Dick took catnaps during the day, his body needing rest from training, rehearsals and patrols. Bruce regretted a dip in their lovemaking but understood how even his energetic lover needed sleep.

Their patrols saw nothing amiss but Bruce was certain there would be another robbery. His mind was racing as he sparred with his companion.

“Ouch!”

“Gotcha!” Dick slammed Bruce down onto the mat. “You’re distracted, rich boy.”

“I might be,” Bruce admitted. “Or not.” He used his legs to grab Dick and flipped him over.

“Hey!” Dick fought back and they ended up laughing, tangled up together.

“Mmm,” Bruce nuzzled his neck. “You taste all salty.”

“What am I, a pretzel?”

“You look like one right now.”

Dick tried to disentangle but Bruce held fast. He smiled up at Dick, his blue eyes glittering.

Dick swallowed. Damn, he could never resist that look. He decided to go from defense to offense and leaned down. He brushed his lips over Bruce’s, then deepened the kiss.

“You taste like heaven,” he said as he broke the kiss.

“You surely know how to sweet talk a guy.”

Dick allowed his flexibility to lean down again and his thighs gripped Bruce’s ribs. Bruce’s hand stroked Dick’s back.

Their kiss deepened again, tongues touching as Bruce moaned. He was on his back and Dick kept him pressed down as he exerted his sexiest wiles.

Sunlight streamed in through the windows, illuminating the entwined bodies on the mat.

& & & & & &


“We open in a week!”

Jean-Paul’s outraged proclamation fell on his weary dancers’ heads. They stood around in postures of impatience and dejection. Rehearsal had not gone well. Donna was laboring with every move. Dick suspected a foot injury. Other dancers seemed listless. A thorough tongue-lashing was on the way.

Jean-Paul waved his cane around. “Idiotes! Where are your heads? Off in the clouds? We are dancing a fairytale, not living it! Come back to earth!” He slammed the tip of the cane down on the floor, barely missing his foot. “Bah! You women have the grace of cows, and you men are not much better. Argh!”

“Is this the company looking for a prima ballerina?”

All heads turned to see a woman in a shimmering green silk dress with an emerald brooch fastened at her lace collar. Her hat was adorned with a single pale-green paper rose, and she carried an ivory-colored umbrella trimmed in lace. The buttons on her high-buttoned shoes sparkled like diamonds, matching the buttons on her white gloves.

All very tasteful and expensive, and the face was exquisite. Jet-black hair framed a beautiful face as her eyes glittered. She walked with mesmerizing grace.

“Who are you?” demanded Jean-Paul.

She regarded him coolly. “I am Miss Selina Kyle, lately of the Boston Ballet Company.”

“Are you ready to audition?”

She held up a green velvet bag. “Where shall I change?”

Jean-Paul pointed to backstage. She walked up the stage stairs and sashayed from view.

“Grayson!” Jean-Paul snapped. "You will put this woman through her paces."

“Yes, sir.”

Dick stretched as he waited. Miss Kyle did not exhibit diva behavior as she appeared rather quickly. Dressed in a simple black leotard and pink ballet slippers, her hourglass figure was highly attractive. He was also surprised to see that her hair was short. Most women kept it long, though they kept it ‘up’.

Green eyes looked at him with cool amusement. Dick smiled at her. “What routine would you like to use?”

“Cinderella’s dance with the Prince.”

Dick bowed. “Charmed.”

“Charming.”

He smirked as he straightened up. A small group of musicians struck up the music. The entire orchestra would be required for a full dress rehearsal tomorrow.

Selina and Dick took a few minutes to get into a rhythm, but they did so rapidly. Selina had powerful legs but was easy to lift, and Dick was thankful for all his training.

Selina was a sultry dancer. He could easily envision her in a Mexican cantina clicking castanets, and if she could sing, as a torch singer with a jazz band in some smoky nightclub.

He could feel her sexual pull. He had slept with women before, though he got more pleasure out of men. Selina was one he might find a great deal of pleasure with, in the right circumstances.

When the dance finished, the two of them bowed to each other. Roy applauded as the orchestra trilled a little victory song. Donna massaged her foot, mixed emotions on her face.

Jean-Paul scowled. “Adequate, Miss Kyle. Since Miss Troy is less-than-optimal right now, the job is yours.”

“Thank you, Monsieur Belliveau.”

Jean-Paul stalked to his office. The dancers crowded around Selina.

“Welcome to the troupe, Miss Kyle,” said Roy.

“Selina will do. And thank you…?” Her eyes flickered over his impressive physique.

“Roy Harper, ma’am.”

Selina smiled warmly. She glanced over at Donna, who had remained sitting. “Miss Troy, I can help you get back up to speed.”

“Thank you.” Donna’s voice was carefully neutral. She had dealt with divas before.

“Dress rehearsal tomorrow at one o‘clock,” Dick said to Selina.

“I’ll be here.”

Selina walked back to her dressing room. Every man and some of the women watched her seductive walk.

Oh, dear. Could be trouble, Dick thought. But could be fun.

& & & & & &


“So there will be a surprise Opening Night?” Bruce asked in amusement.

“Somewhat.” Dick pretended to be indifferent.

Bruce buttoned his vest. “Somewhat, huh?”

“Have you been to Boston often?”

“Of course I have.” Bruce searched his jewelry box for cufflinks. “It was simple enough to cross over the river from Cambridge to Boston when I attended Harvard.”

“Ever go to the ballet?”

“Occasionally.” Bruce looked quizzically at his lover. “What’s all this about?”

“You’ll see.”

Bruce shook his head fondly. “All right, then. We’ll see.”

& & & & & &


Opening Night for the new incarnation of the Gotham Ballet Company finally arrived. Bruce had avoided the newspapers for the last few days, and Alfred strategically kept him from looking at any posters. Bruce was eager to see his surprise, so he went along with all the fuss. Whimsical fun had been missing from his life for years. It was time to indulge, courtesy of his sparkling lover.

Bruce and Alfred took their seats in the Wayne box. It was the box with the finest view in the house. Richly-appointed with red damask chairs and red silk curtains, a silver bucket of champagne chilled in ice on the small pier table. A box of Belgian chocolates was set next to a silver bowl of fruit, and there were two long-stemmed glasses next to the bucket.

“Ah, quite elegant,” Alfred said approvingly. He picked up one of the crystal glasses and poured the champagne. He handed it to Bruce.

“Thank you.” He sipped his drink and peered through his opera glasses. “The curtains are new. I’m glad we were able to get those old ones replaced.”

“Quite lovely, sir. Chandeliers new, too?”

“Yes.” Bruce waved around the box. “All the boxes were redecorated, too.”

“You’re quite ambitious, sir.”

“The company deserves the best.”

“Especially its stars.”

Bruce smiled. Alfred knew him well.

The orchestra tuned up while patrons filed their way into their seats and boxes. The lights began to dim, signaling the beginning of the overture. The curtain began to rise.

The music swelled and filled the theater with joyful noise. The stage was revealed and the beautiful fairytale world of Cinderella sparkled in ethereal beauty.

Dick’s part would come later. First, the bedraggled Cinderella would appear, and on cue, she danced out on-stage.

Bruce’s jaw dropped. He leaned forward, using his opera glasses.

“Selina,” he breathed.





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