Once again: I DO NOT OWN THIS STORY!!!! I wish I did.
The link to the original: link
Chapter 6: Insomnia
Dick sighed and rolled over in his bed. He'd been staring at the clock for the past half hour. Thinking about Barbara, he just couldn't fall asleep. He rubbed his sleepy eyes. Dick picked his phone up from his bedside table.
I can't sleep until आप forgive me. Send.
Dick had sent at least a dozen texts like that to Barbara since he'd lied down in bed. She hadn't responded to any of them. Dick sighed. He folded his arms behind his head and stared up at the ceiling.
Barbara tossed and turned in her bed. Her phone vibrated from her bedside table. She groaned. "Go to sleep, Dick," she mumbled sleepily into her pillow. She rolled over and grabbed her phone.
I can't sleep until आप forgive me.
Barbara shut her eyes tight and threw her phone aside. She rubbed her sleepy eyes and glanced at her clock: 12:17. She groaned again and turned away from it. She closed her eyes and went to sleep.
Dick sagged in his desk. He tried to keep his eyes open. He leaned his head on his elbow and stared sleepily at the board as Mr. Tucker pointed to it. When his eyes began to drift close, Mr. Tucker noticed him.
Dick snapped up so fast he nearly fell out of his chair. "Mr. Tucker?"
"If आप could so kindly keep your eyes open," he said, poison laced into his words, "I'd like to continue teaching." Some students snickered at him.
Dick nodded and sat up straight. "Of course, Mr. Tucker," he said. "Sorry."
Mr. Tucker turned back to the board.
Dick's head fell into his hands. From across the room, Barbara stared at him. She tore her gaze away to study the history lesson.
Robin sluggishly dodged a पंच from Killer Croc. He leapt to the side and nearly लॉस्ट his balance. Killer Croc punched him in the chest and sent him flying back into the side of a building.
The Team had been sent to Gotham to stop Croc. He'd been attacking toxic waste trucks to flood the sewers.
Artemis nailed Killer Croc in the jaw with a boxing दस्ताना, दस्ताने arrow. Superboy punched him between the eyes. Kid Flash swept past his legs and tripped him. Miss Martian popped open a आग hydrant and the water blasted Croc in the face. Aqualad placed his hands in the water and shocked him. Killer Croc screeched in pain before falling into unconsciousness.
Robin moaned as he got on all fours. Kid Flash sped over to him. "You alright, Rob?" he asked, helping him to his feet.
"Yeah," Robin कहा weakly. Kid Flash slung his arm over his shoulders and began dragging him to the bio ship. He shook his head in an awakening way. "I just…didn't get much sleep last night."
"What, the Bats doesn't force आप to sleep with some magic pill?" Kid Flash joked.
Robin tried a weak smile.
Aqualad looked at the Team. "Well done," he said. They began लोडिंग up into the bio ship. "Robin," he said, stopping the Boy Wonder, "may we speak?"
"Sure, Aqualad," Robin said. Kid Flash released him and followed Artemis into the bio ship. "What do आप want to talk about?"
"You seem…distracted and exhausted," Aqualad कहा carefully.
"Yeah." Robin stretched his arms and yawned. "Nothing a good night's sleep won't do, though, boss."
Aqualad didn't seem convinced. "Whatever आप feel is best," he said.
Robin smiled weakly. That's what he liked about Aqualad. He didn't press on things that the other person didn't want to talk about. As they were flying in the bio ship, Robin saw Barbara's house and exhaustion drained through his body again.
Barbara opened her locker to find a note and a small red rose taped to the inside of the door. She pulled the note off and unfolded it.
I miss you. I'm sorry.
Barbara sighed in agony and leaned against her locker. She slowly slid to the floor and covered her face with her hands.
A girl approached her. "Boy trouble?" a familiar voice asked.
Barbara looked up and wiped her wet eyes. "Hi Artemis," she said. The blonde fifteen-year old sat down अगला to her.
"Yeah, boy trouble."
"That's the worst kind," Artemis remarked. "So, who's the boy?"
Barbara hesitated. "Dick Grayson," she finally admitted.
Artemis raised an eyebrow and suppressed a snicker. "The प्लेबाय billionaire's adopted son?" Barbara nodded. "Wow…so, what happened?"
"I slapped him."
"And he apologized and told me he missed me."
"…Sounds bad." Artemis thought of Wally, half of her mind freaking out at herself for doing such. "What are आप going to do?"
"I don't know," Barbara said. She wiped away a tear and sniffled.
Artemis gazed at her in sympathy. "Tell him आप miss him," she suggested simply.
Barbara looked up at her. "What?"
"Tell him आप miss him," Artemis repeated. "I can tell that आप do."
"How?" Barbara asked. "I've been ignoring him for the past three days. He's been telling me that he can't sleep until I forgive him."
Artemis smiled. "That explains a lot," she said, thinking back to where Dick nearly dropped a लोहे का दंड on himself in PE.
"But…why are आप mad at him, exactly?"
Barbara sighed. "It's complicated," she moaned.
"Complicated 's my middle name," Artemis said. The younger girl would never realize how true that was.
Barbara smiled. She appreciated Artemis' sympathy. Her smile faded. "I found out that Dick was keeping a secret from me for four years," she said. "We're best friends. We're supposed to tell each other everything." Artemis nodded. "But…I was also keeping a secret from him. Not for four years, of course, but still…"
Artemis nodded once more. "It sounds like आप both need to apologize to each other," she reasoned. "You both care about each other, right? I think that's the right thing to do." She stood up. "Then again, what do I know about relationships?" Artemis shrugged and walked off to her अगला period.
Barbara sighed and leaned her head against the back of her locker.
Dick stared up at the Batcomputer. He'd been monitoring Barbara's house for the last three hours. She hadn't left the house and no one approached. His eyes were heavily lidded, but open.
Bruce walked down the stairs. "Dick?"
Dick barely moved his head. "Huh?" he asked sleepily.
"Dick, what are आप doing down here?" Bruce asked. He approached the young boy and put his hand on his shoulder. "It's past midnight."
"I can't sleep," Dick कहा brusquely. He changed cameras and the screen shifted to looking at the house from a different angle. "I've tried."
"Dick," Bruce said. He looked down at the tired boy below him. "Go to bed."
"I can't," Dick कहा stubbornly. "I have to make sure nothing happens to Babs." His eyes were bloodshot and wide open.
"This isn't healthy," Bruce scolded lightly.
"You do this almost every night," Dick said. He glared, but didn't take his eyes off the screen.
Bruce pressed a button and the screen went black.
"Dick," Bruce grabbed the boy's shoulders firmly and made him face him. "You need to get some sleep. Your lack of sleep has been effecting your crime fighting. Think about the Team."
Dick sighed. "I can't go to sleep," he कहा dejectedly. "I can only think about Barbara. I think about her, and I can't sleep because I know she's mad at me. I don't know if…" He turned the screen back on and stared at Barbara's bedroom window.
Bruce's brow furrowed in sympathy. "You don't think you'll get past this fight," he said, not asking a question.
Dick shook his head. "I don't know," he said. He thought back to the fight. Barbara knew his secret identity. "Bruce, I…"
"Go to bed." Bruce turned off the screen and walked towards the exit. "I'll see आप in the morning."
Dick sighed. He stood from the chair and pushed it in. He looked down at his Robin costume. Barbara knew who was behind the mask. He'd have to tell Bruce eventually. Dick exited the Batcave.
Robin chased after Two-Face. The villain had been working with Scarecrow to try and break into Gotham's largest science and technology institute. Two-Face turned around as he ran and fired a gun. Robin dodged swiftly and threw a birdarang. It snapped the gun from Two-Face's hand.
The Team and the villains were in the institute, in a large main room with several tables set up. Artemis leapt onto a तालिका, टेबल and shot an ऐरो at Scarecrow. It expanded into a net and tied him up. He whipped out a चाकू and cut himself free. As he ran after Two-Face, he threw the चाकू back.
The चाकू struck the दीवार two inches from Kid Flash's head. "Whoa," he breathed. He pried the चाकू from the दीवार and admired it for a moment. "Souvenir," he said, smiling.
"You want a souvenir that nearly killed you?" Miss Martian asked, flying overhead.
Kid Flash shrugged. "Sure," he कहा simply.
Two-Face laughed as he ran into the backroom. Robin ran after him with Superboy on his heels. Scarecrow whacked Aqualad with a hammer and followed them.
Kid Flash zoomed around the room, knocking down minions left and right. One had a gun pointed at Artemis and he whacked him in the back of the head with the knife's handle. Artemis saw this. "You owe me big time!" Kid Flash gloated. "You owe me big—whoa!" A 7 foot minion with a giant hammer fell when Artemis' ऐरो hit him.
She smiled. "Call it even," she कहा slyly before hopping off to help Miss Martian.
Kid Flash grinned and zoomed into the backroom. "So," he said, appearing suddenly अगला to Robin, "what's the plan, Rob?"
Robin examined the large humanoid robot drilling into a vault. "Take out the robot," he said. "Then we deal with Two-Face and Scarecrow."
"Sounds like a plan." Kid Flash pulled down his goggled and sped at the robot. He jumped on its back and stabbed it with the knife. Superboy followed up and punched the crack the चाकू left. The robot's back caved in and the thing exploded.
Two-Face snarled. "I've had enough of आप kids!" he said, taking out a grenade.
Robin jumped down on him and kicked him in the face. "I've had enough of this mission!" he said. He turned towards Scarecrow and kicked. The villain dodged the blow and several others. He grabbed a large gun from his bag and shot Robin in the face in a squirt of bright green gas.
"Rob!" Kid Flash yelled, both he and Superboy looking up at him in worry.
Robin fell to the floor, twitching and writhing in pain.
Aqualad, Artemis, and Miss Martian burst into the room. Aqualad charged at Scarecrow and slammed him in the face with his water bearers in the form of hammers.
Kid Flash rushed to Robin's side. He shook the boy's body. "Rob!" he कहा frantically. "Rob, c'mon! Wake up!"
"Get him to the bio ship!" Aqualad ordered.
Superboy picked up Robin's body and the Team ran off to the bio ship.
"Will he be okay, Batman?" The Team was standing in the medical खाड़ी, बे of the Cave.
Wally gazed down at Robin's body, hooked up to different machines that he couldn't name.
बैटमैन checked his दिल rate. "I don't know," he said.
Wally never liked that answer, especially from Batman. He was supposed to know everything.
"What was that gas Scarecrow got him with?" Superboy asked.
"Fear gas," बैटमैन answered, "a toxic gas designed to plague the victim with thoughts and visions of what they fear the most."
"Is there an antidote?" Aqualad asked.
"I'm attempting to formulate one," बैटमैन said. "Until then, Robin will be stuck in a coma-like state."
Robin twitched in his sleep. His eyes were clamped shut from behind his domino mask. His back arched and his hands flexed. His breathing picked up and his pulse quickened. After a moment, it returned to normal and the Team released breaths they didn't realize they were holding.
Dick ran hard in the darkness. He turned the corner and ran into an alley. A dark figure stood at the end, a gun in his hand. Dick gasped. बैटमैन jumped between them and took out a batarang. "Dick, run!" he said. He threw the batarang. The man dodged it and fired his gun.
"No!" Dick screamed.
बैटमैन fell to the ground. His body remained motionless. The man cackled and stepped into the light to reveal the wicked face of Joe Chill.
Dick turned around and ran. He shut his eyes tight and burst through fabric curtains. "Somebody help!" he shouted. "Batman! He needs help! Somebody!" Dick looked around and saw that he was in a circus arena. "No…" he breathed.
"Ladies and gentlemen!" a man announced. "Please welcome The Flying Graysons!" An invisible crowd cheered and the spotlight shined in two people standing high द्वारा the ceiling.
"No!" Dick screamed.
John and Mary Grayson leapt into the air and invisible ropes snapped. And they fell.
Dick shut his wet eyes tight and ran. He didn't know where he was going, but he had to get away.
Bruce and Alfred gazed down at Dick. After the team had left about an घंटा ago, Bruce had taken his mask off. Alfred had come shortly after they arrived back at the Cave. He was taking care of Dick while Bruce tried to find an antidote.
"What do आप think he sees, Alfred?" Bruce asked thickly.
Alfred remained silent for a moment. "His parents, I imagine, sir," he कहा curtly. "Loved ones, dying before his eyes…I imagine that he'd see you, Wallace, Barbara."
Bruce nodded. He walked over to a nearby तालिका, टेबल and checked on the antidote.
Barbara picked up her phone. She leaned back against her बिस्तर and waited. The other end picked up.
"Hello?" Wally West कहा into his phone.
"You're Kid Flash," Barbara कहा immediately.
Wally stiffened. "Barbara?" he said. "What—what do you—how—?"
"Forget that," she said. "I heard Robin got sprayed with fear gas."
"Yeah," Wally said. "He's—"
"Where is he?"
"Easy!" Wally said. "Batman's got him in the med खाड़ी, बे at the Cave, Mount Justice."
"Mount Justice?" Barbara asked. "All the way in Rhode Island?" She groaned and hit her bedpost.
"Well…" Wally said, pausing for dramatic effect.
"Wallace West, if आप do not tell me what 'well' means right now, I will personally stick आप in a blender and feed your remains to Wolf."
Wally stared at his phone. "Wow, आप sound just like Artemis," he said. "Okay, I'll tell you. There's a zeta transporter in Gotham. I'm not sure where, but—"
"That's all I needed to know," Barbara said. "Thanks, Wally."
"Anything for you, sweet cheeks."
Barbara rolled her eyes. "Save it for Artemis, Kid Flirt." She cut off the call and pulled her Batgirl costume out of her secret drawer of her dresser.
Artemis notched an ऐरो and aimed it at the jewelry store window. She let it fly and the burglar fell to the ground, unconscious. She smiled in satisfaction just as the cops showed up.
Artemis whipped around on the rooftop with her bow pointed at the voice.
Batgirl stepped into the moonlight. "Relax," she said. "It's me."
Artemis lowered her bow. "Batgirl," she said, "what are you—"
"I'm looking for the zeta transporter that can get me to Mount Justice," she said.
"Oh," Artemis said, "you heard about Robin?"
"Yeah," Batgirl sighed. "I need to see him."
Artemis smiled. "You remind me of someone…but I can't remember who."
Despite everything going on, Batgirl smiled. "I get that a lot," she said.
"Okay," Artemis said, "the zeta tube's over—"
Two shuriken stuck in the rooftop द्वारा Artemis and Batgirl's feet. They exploded puffs of black smoke and the two girls fell, unconscious.
Cheshire and Black मकड़ी landed अगला to their bodies. मकड़ी shot out two webs and tied them up. He threw Batgirl over his shoulder. Cheshire looked down at Artemis. "I'm sorry about this, sister," she said.
Kid Flash fell. The rest of the Team lay अगला to him, all of them dead on the ground.
Dick fell to his knees and tears fell from his eyes. His hands balled into fists and he pounded the ground in despair. A loud, shrill scream pierced the air like a चाकू to ice. Dick looked up.
The Joker had Barbara at gunpoint. Two minions held her in place. Joker laughed insanely. "What's the matter, bird boy?" he asked tauntingly. "Your girlfriend doesn't look so good!"
"Robin!" Barbara cried. "Help me!"
"Babs!" Dick tried to run to her, but his body froze. Mr. Freeze blasted him with a freeze gun and laughed. Dick struggled, but he couldn't break free. "No! Barbara!"
The Joker laughed. "Come on, Boy Blunder!" he shouted. "Be like Batman! Save the day! या are आप not strong enough?" He cackled. "You're weak! आप don't have what it takes! You're just a pathetic little bird!"
"No!" Dick screamed. Tears flowed freely from his eyes as he desperately tried to break free from the ice. "I'm not weak!"
"Then, save her!" Joker ordered. "Prove your strength! Strike me down, like your mentor! Save the girl and be done with it!"
Dick cried out in desperation. He shut his eyes tight.
"Please," Barbara whimpered. She was crying. "Please, Dick…"
"Barbara," Dick whispered. "I'm sorry."
The Joker glared disapprovingly. "You're weak," he spat at Dick. "You're no hero." He shot Barbara through the spine like it was nothing.
"No!" Dick screamed. Barbara crumpled to the ground.
Joker flipped the gun and pocketed it. "You're pathetic," he said, venom dripping from his voice.
The ice melted from Dick's body and he fell to his knees. He was crying. He crawled over to Barbara's motionless body and took her cold, lifeless hand. "I'm so sorry…" he कहा weakly.
Dick sat bold upright in his bed. His pulse was pounding and he was in a cold sweat. He panted heavily. "Barbara!" he shouted.
बैटमैन rushed to his side. "Robin!" he said.
Dick felt his face and realized that he had his mask on. Kaldur, Megan, and Conner were standing द्वारा his bed, all of them looking at him worriedly. "What…what happened?" he asked, rubbing some sweat from his face.
"You were blasted with fear gas," बैटमैन said. "You've been in a coma for about 16 hours."
"Hours?" Dick asked. "W—where's Bar—Batgirl?"
"Guys!" Wally zoomed into the med खाड़ी, बे at चोटी, शीर्ष speed. "Artemis and Batgirl are in trouble!"
"What?" Dick and Megan asked at the same time.
Wally flipped on the TV news.
"Superheroes Artemis and Batgirl are being held hostage at the Capital City jail," reporter Cat Grant remarked. "The two were captured last night द्वारा Cheshire and Black Spider. The villains, who also include Sportmaster and The Joker, are demanding a ransom of 1 million dollars to release Artemis and Batgirl."
Robin punched the side of one of the medical machines, shattering some of the glass. He stood from the बिस्तर and ripped some cords from his body.
"Robin," Aqualad said, "you should rest—"
"No!" Robin said. He walked to the door. "It's my fault," he said. "It's my problem. I'm gonna fix it."
Cheshire sighed impatiently. She looked around Capital City. It was bright and sunny with many parks. There were houses, apartments, business buildings, आप name it. She, Black Spider, Sportsmaster, and The Joker stood on चोटी, शीर्ष of the Capital City jail. Artemis and Batgirl were still unconscious and tied up on the ground at their feet. "They'll be here soon, huh?" Cheshire mimicked.
Sportsmaster glared at her. "Be patient, little girl," he grumbled. "I know that the Justice League will not allow these two to be killed." He nudged Artemis with his foot.
"I don't understand why it had to be these two," Cheshire said.
Sportsmaster chuckled. "Oh, don't tell me you've begun to care about the girl, Cheshire," he mused.
The villainess कहा nothing. She stared down at Artemis' limp form.
A whir broke through the air and a birdarang struck the ground at Sportsmaster's feet. With a beep, it exploded and blew the villain backwards.
The explosion woke Artemis and Batgirl. They attempted to sit up, but the binds prevented them from doing so.
Robin crashed down on Sportsmaster and kicked him in the chest. The villain pushed him off and grabbed a javelin. He threw it, but the Boy Wonder dodged it. He gracefully threw another birdarang at Cheshire. She knocked it to the side and charged at him. Aqualad blocked her and pushed her back with his swords.
Superboy jumped at Sportsmaster. The two went flying off to the side and nearly rolled off the edge of the rooftop. Miss Martian levitated Sportmaster's equipment bag and launched it at them. Superboy bounded away before the heavy bag smacked Sportmaster in the face.
Kid Flash zoomed onto the rooftop and tackled Black Spider. The villain was knocked off his feet and rolled to a stop. He shot a web. Kid Flash spun, creating a tornado and sent the net flying back at Black Spider. He fell back, tied up.
Joker laughed and pulled a gun from his pocket. He pointed it at Batgirl's head. "You kids think आप can beat us?" he asked.
Robin kicked him in the back and caught the gun that flew in the air. "Yeah," he said, glaring, "I know we can." He bent down and untied Batgirl. She leaned up and kissed him on the lips.
"Thanks," she said.
Robin smiled at her. "Anytime," he breathed.
Kid Flash quickly freed Artemis. "I'm always chasing after you, huh, Arty?" he joked.
Artemis glared. "Only because you're too slow to catch me," she कहा slyly. Kid Flash laughed and pulled down his goggles. He grabbed Artemis' bow and quiver from Sportsmaster's bag and tossed them to her.
"You owe me," he said, winking. She rolled her eyes and shot Black मकड़ी with an arrow.
Robin kicked Sportsmaster in the face. He jumped back and saw The Joker turn his gun in Batgirl. She was preoccupied with helping Aqualad take down Cheshire. "No!" Robin screamed. He ran at Joker, punched him in the face, kicked him in the gut, and the trigger was pulled.
"Robin!" Batgirl shrieked.
The Joker cackled. Robin fell to the ground, cradling his side. "Finally clipped the bird's wings!"
Aqualad ran at The Joker and smashed him in the face with his hammers. Superboy punched Sportsmaster in the face and knocked him into unconsciousness.
Cheshire looked up as he fell. "I better be going," she said.
"Oh, no आप don't!" Artemis said. She shot her with an ऐरो and trapped her in a net.
Kid Flash spun in a tornado and caught Black Spider. He stopped spinning and the villain flew into the air. After a moment, he fell and hit the ground.
The Team rushed to Robin's side. "Miss Martian, summon the bio ship!" Aqualad ordered.
"Hang on, Rob!" Wally said.
"I'll get him on board!" Superboy volunteered.
"Hurry!" Artemis said.
Robin felt Superboy's strong arms grab him and pick him up. He moaned weakly and saw Batgirl through his hazy vision. "Batgirl…" he whispered before everything went black.
Dick opened his eyes to find himself in a small hospital room. He wore no कमीज, शर्ट due to the large patch of gauze on his wound. He looked to the side and found his shades resting on the bedside table. Slipping them on, Dick sighed. He remembered what happened. He remembered blood. He probably ruined Superboy's T-shirt.
The Joker had a gun pointed at Batgirl. Dick sighed. He remembered running and pain. He ran a hand through his hair. It was scary. He'd never admit that out loud, though.
"RICHARD JOHN GRAYSON!"
That sound…that sound scared him. Dick braced himself for the oncoming stampede.
Barbara Gordon burst through the door with a fierce look in her eyes. "What—in the world—were आप thinking?" she asked in rhythm.
Dick would've answered, thought he doesn't know what with, until Barbara ran at him and engulfed him in a bone crushing hug. She burrowed her face in his neck and held back a sob. He wrapped his arms around her, mindful of his injury. "Good to see you, too, Babs," he whispered.
"Don't आप dare joke about this, Dick," Barbara mumbled grudgingly into his shoulder. He chuckled. "I can't believe what आप did."
"You expect me let आप get shot?" Dick asked, pulling back and looking Barbara in the eye. He sat up in the bed. He suddenly noticed his lack of a shirt. Taking off his shades, he looked around and grabbed a baggy white T-shirt from the foot of his bed. He pulled it on over his head and shook his head. "I could never let something like that happen to you, Babs," he said.
Barbara rolled her eyes. "Why do आप always have to play the hero?" she asked in exasperation. She sat अगला to Dick's legs on his bed.
Dick grinned. "Playing the hero is my job," he said, "as आप now know." His happy mood dipped as his words reminded him of their big fight. "That reminds me…" he took her hand, "I should apologize for…you know."
"You've apologized at least ten times already," Barbara said, cocking an eyebrow.
"Yeah, but not in person," Dick said. He looked her in the eye and took a deep breath. "I'm sorry for keeping my secret from you. I should've trusted you. I guess…that I was just scared. I thought that, if a villain really wanted to know my secret ID, someone would go after आप and I don't want—"
"Hey," Barbara कहा softly, interrupting his ramble. She gently placed her hand on his face and looked him in the eye. "I understand. आप did what आप had to do. I'm not mad at आप anymore."
Dick's face lit up. "Really?" he asked.
Barbara smiled and nodded. "Really," she said. "Just promise me something."
Barbara looked at him seriously. "No और secrets," she said. "Tell me everything."
Dick smiled. "Promise," he said. He held his pinky out. Barbara laughed a little and intertwined their pinkies. He chuckled a little. But his smile faded once more.
Barbara noticed. "What's wrong?" she asked. She leaned आगे until their foreheads were touching.
Dick sighed. "When Scarecrow sprayed me with fear gas," he कहा slowly, "I saw…things."
Barbara ran her hand through his hair. "Dick, tell me," she persuaded softly.
He looked into her blue eyes and broke. "I saw you," he said. "I saw everyone that I प्यार die before my eyes. The Joker…he had a gun. I—I couldn't stop him! And…he shot you, Babs. He shot…" Dick bowed his head, blinking back tears.
Barbara took his face in both of her hands. "Dick," she कहा firmly, "look at me." He obliged slowly. "I'm alive," she said, pushing some of his hair back. "I'm here. Nothing happened. It was just a nightmare."
"Barbara," Dick breathed, "it just…it just made me realize how much आप really mean to me. But I guess I was just too stupid to realize it." He smiled weakly. "I've been blind, like Wally. Barbara, I don't know what I'd do if I actually लॉस्ट you."
"You're not going to lose me," Barbara said.
"You don't know that," Dick said. "I like you, Babs." His face broke out in a grin when Barbara's eyes widened in surprise. "I really, really like you. I've had feelings for आप for the longest time and I think I just haven't realized it. God, I've been stupid, haven't I?" He laughed. "I care about आप so much that when you're mad at me, I can't sleep. That's why the fear gas showed me you! My god, I've been so stupid!" Dick looked at Barbara with a twinkle in his eyes. "When आप glared at me, it reminded me of the way Artemis glares at Wally! That's why—"
Barbara grabbed the front of his कमीज, शर्ट and yanked him आगे to press their lips together. Dick tried not to be too surprised and responded immediately. She moved her hands up to his hair and pulled him closer. Dick wrapped his arms around her waist. After a few moments, Barbara laughed and the two pulled apart, grinning. They rested their foreheads against each others. "Finally got आप to shut up, Boy Wonder," Barbara whispered.
Dick chuckled and closed his eyes. "You're the only girl that can," he said.
"Don't forget it."
He laughed again before pressing their lips back together.
A knock at the door forced them to pull apart. Bruce walked into the room and smiled. "Hi, kids," he said, leaning on the doorframe. "How are you, Dick?"
Dick smiled up at him. "I'm better now," he said, glancing at Barbara, "thanks to Babs."
"Don't आप mean Batgirl?"
The two teenagers looked up at Bruce, complete shock in their eyes. "You knew—?"
"Guys, I'm The Batman," Bruce said, smiling, a much too rare occurrence, "I've known this whole time."
Dick and Barbara laughed in disbelief. Bruce nodded and exited the room. The two teens looked at each other and smiled.
"How did I not see that coming?" Dick asked, shaking his head.
Barbara smiled and shrugged. "Shut up and किस me," she said. He laughed and happily obliged. And in Barbara's book, it was totally worth waiting four years for.