"I didn’t ask for your opinion, Grayson!"
"Well, you’re getting it."
They were in Titan Tower. They weren’t happy.
"What the hell gives you the right to be tellin’ me what to do?" Roy demanded, throwing his gloves on the ground and approaching the other man. "I don’t remember anyone putting you in charge."
Dick ripped his mask off and glared at his long time friend. "This isn’t about being in charge. This is about you thinking you can do what you want when you want without listening..."
"And who the hell says I can’t? You?!" Now, they were standing less than a foot apart, the fury each felt ready to ignite in an explosion of anger. "You and I just signed on for the same job, Grayson. Nothing more."
"That’s right, we did. All of us did. But you..."
Roy snorted and turned to leave. Dick grabbed him and spun him around, Roy instantly shoving the other away.
"Get your hands off me!" They stared at each, both panting - both needing to release their emotions after almost having witnessed the other killed.
"You took an unnecessary chance! You should have waited."
"I knew what I was doin’, so back off. Who gives a stuff what you think anyway?!"
Dick’s eyes darkened as he stepped closer to his fellow Titan. There were times when Roy was the most sensible man he knew. Of course, he was also the most stubborn as well. "What you did was fool hardy and unnecessary."
"Stop treatin’ me like I some sort of *&^#in’ Kid!"
"Then stop acting like one!"
The acid in Roy’s stomach lurched into his throat. "You of all people know I’ve been takin’ care of myself since I was ten, Grayson! I don’t need you to start interfering!"
"You ungrateful bastard! I was getting shot at because of you!"
"Exactly! I had a responsibility to..."
"Responsibility! What the hell would you know about responsibility? You’ve never had any!" Dick spat.
"But you of course, have?" The phrase hung in the air for several seconds.
"Don’t go there," Grayson whispered in a lethal voice.
"Why? You think you’re the only man who’s ever been hurt? Who’s suffered? I’ve lost people I care about too. My life is just as stuffed up as yours. My girlfriend won’t even take my calls because she’s just found out about my official police record for drug use. A record that will be there for all time.”
"Because of me, is that what you’re saying?! Because I talked you into getting help…to save your worthless hide?!"
"You listen to me, you sonofabitch, I..."
Roy attacked - tackling Dick and bringing him to the ground. The two rolled over several times, their fists flying with deadly accuracy.
The fight was long, severe and bruising.
Donna rushed into the common room after receiving a rather strange SOS from Wally - "Roy and Dick have been hurt. They need some patching up."
The concerned Titan spotted her two friends seated at the same table sharing a bottle of whiskey. Roy’s face was bloody and bruised. His costume was torn and he was holding a large piece of beef on his right eye. Across from him was Dick. Grayson’s left eye was swollen closed, his lip was split and the Titan’s leader had his battered knuckles in a jar of ice water.
"What the hell happened to you two?” She quickly began to fuss, examining their injuries despite the looks of disapproval and brushes to dismiss her. “How many of them were there?" It had to have been at least a dozen. These two men could handle a small army between them.
Roy glanced at Dick and winced. "Just one."
"One, but how..." Abruptly, realization descended and the former Wonder Girl’s eyes grew wide. They had done this to each other! "You can’t be serious? What the hell were you thinking?" The disgust in her voice was matched only by her clear surprise. Roy she could understand. Roy could be hot-headed. But Dick?
"He started it," Roy stated, grinning.
Dick glanced across at his friend and allowed a smile to settle on his battered face. "It was a good fight."
"I enjoyed it," Roy agreed, gingerly pushing the bottle of whiskey across to his companion.
Donna stared at them, her hands on her hips. "What the hell were you fighting about?"
Dick sighed. "Damn fool saved my life."
"WHAT?!" Confusion didn’t even begin to cover it.
Their explanation was simple. A couple of ‘friends’ from Roy’s past had tracked him down when he and Dick were dealing with a small matter in New York. In the ensuing battle, Dick had shoved Roy out of the path of a knife but this action had left him wide open. One of the assassins had raised his high powered revolver – a weapon that could pierce the side of a tank – and zeroed in on Nightwing.
"Jumped in front of a damn Buetel 45." Dick shot a look at Roy, his anger beginning to return. "You took an unnecessary chance."
"I ain’t some &*%@in’ Kid, Grayson. I make my own decisions. Besides, I knew the gun was empty."
"So why did you jump between it and me?" Dick growled.
Roy shrugged. "I was pretty sure he was out of bullets."
"God damn it, Roy, when are you going to stop acting so irresponsibly? Wally and Garth were on their way."
"By the time they would have got there you could have been wearing a Buetel 45 bullet between your eyes!"
"You didn’t know the gun was empty, you just admitted it!" Dick claimed with triumph.
"&*%@ you, Grayson."
"Dammit, Roy. I told you to stay hidden behind..."
"What the hell gives you the right to be tellin’ me to do anything? Who the hell died and made you God?"
Dick glared at his partner. "This isn’t about me giving orders. This is about you taking unnecessary chances. They weren’t after me."
"Well the bastard with the gun sure looked like he was serious!"
"STOP IT!" Donna roared, glaring down at them. The two men paused and looked at the woman stunned. They exchanged a bewildered look. What the hell had got into Donna?
"Will you just listen yourselves?! You’re abusing him because he saved you life and you’re abusing him because he doesn’t want you to get yourself killed! You’re both acting like a pair of damn kids!"
"He started it," Roy insisted.
© May 2004 Aussie Nightwriter : This relates only to the creative property in this story. The distinctive way the story unfolds, the specific dialogue and unique situations are mine. I acknowledge that some of the characters and settings belong to DC comics and thank them sincerely for turning a blind eye so I can borrow them. (g) No infrigement of copyright was intended and no profit has been made from this story... so, please don't sue me. It wouldn't be worth your while.