Pairing: Dick Grayson as Nightwing x Reader
Warnings: Mentions of death
Word Count: 3.5K
Summary: Dick Grayson teaches you that it's okay to love someone else in your life.
A/N: Ya'll I'm all about being strict with yourself and everything but just for today if you want an extra cookie then you take the damn cookie. Maybe you can work twice as hard tomorrow or you can do one extra task on your to-do list. But if you want the extra cookie, then don't hold yourself back.
You loved working at a bakery. The thing about a bakery is that it wasn't the same as one of those capitalist coffee houses where people wanted their morning cup of joe before they had to run to work. No, a bakery meant people would visit the quaint little store where people would sit down and enjoy their coffee and muffin leisurely before leaving.
It was calm and quiet, even during rush hours. So, you didn't find it surprising at all when people sat down to finish their work. Students came here to study. Office workers came here to look over their numbers. Readers came here to bury their noses in their book of that week.
And as of most recently, police officers came here to look through their cases. Well, a police officer.
Dick Grayson had got to be the sweetest thing you have ever laid your eyes on. And you lived in a damn bakery. He always came on Thursdays, spending nearly an hour to go through case reports while he ate. The same every week, a chocolate eclair and a cup of milk tea. He came by so often that you began preparing his order beforehand for him.
You liked to think it was because he was a loyal regular so you wanted to show appreciation but your co-worker knew it was because you wanted as much time possible to stare at his gorgeous face. She couldn't blame you however, his face was so perfect she felt her retinas burn a little every time she looked straight at him.
Since the day you expressed the slightest interest in Dick Grayson, she had been pushing you to ask him out. You merely entertained her, laughing along whenever she made a joke about how the two of you would look good together and that you've been single for too long. But both of you knew you couldn't do anything to change that.
Just like you hadn't for about 3 years now.
And you assumed it would continue to stay that way.
But Dick Grayson. Wow. Not only was he the most gorgeous person you've ever laid your eyes on, he was also always so well-mannered, polite and cheery. He remembered your name, always asked you about your day. And perhaps the most important part; the man knew how to tip well.
But even then, no matter how smitten you were with him, you wanted it to remain just that. Unrequited and unreturned. Admiration from afar. Never in your life had you wanted it to turn into something more than that. The short reason was because you were afraid.
The long reason was that you still weren't over your boyfriend. You suppose 3 years was more than enough time to move on from somebody but you could only assume that was if you part ways willingly.
He was it for you, your soulmate, your everything. And all it took was one minute to rip him away from you. If he had left the house a minute later, if he had entered the bank a minute later, if the ambulance had gotten there a minute faster, maybe he'd still be there with you.
That's why it was difficult to get over him. He was your soulmate, your other half, you were sure of it. How could you even love someone else knowing that they weren't your soulmate? How would someone else love you if they knew that you could never love them as much as you could?
It was inconceivable, not to mention selfish. You'd never be able to live with yourself knowing that you were keeping someone from meeting their true soulmate and yet not being able to give them the love that someone else could have given them.
Your best friend thought otherwise. She didn't believe in the concepts of soulmates, that there was only one person on the face of the planet who could be your other half. However sometimes you felt that she only thought that way to make you feel less guilty.
Besides, it's not like Dick ever tried to make any advances on you either. So really you were worrying for nothing.
"Why haven't you asked him out yet?" Gwen teased, leaning on the counter beside you where you were unabashedly staring at Dick Grayson. Man was built like a model; you couldn't help it.
"Because if he rejects me, we lose a customer and hence profit." You answered nonchalantly, not even bothering to look her in the eye. So, you didn't see the way she rolled them so high the could've gone to the back of her head.
"He orders one drink and one pastry every week, I think we'll survive." She mentioned, getting back behind the register as someone came in. They were teenage girls who were apparently attracted by the sight of Dick sitting by the window, judging by the way they giggled cutely amongst each other and stared at him. They ordered 6 bubble teas and a bunch of mini cakes.
You turned towards Gwen with a smirk, "Will we? He's practically a light up sign that says come inside! Buy things and stare at me some more! I get even prettier if you're eating one of the apple strudels!"
You didn't notice the way his lips turned up in a little smile at your words but Gwen sure did. Because of course she did. You wrote off everything he did because there was absolutely no way Dick would like you or show any interest in you but Gwen knew that he lingered by the counter when you were the one taking his order.
She knew he gave you a softer smile and even noticed the way his eyes would follow you around the cafe while you set orders in front of other customers and rearranged the flowers on different tables.
Oh, she knew. And she knew just how to get you two crazy kids together.
The cafe was busy. So busy that your hair was a mess but you didn't have free hands to rearrange it and make it look slightly presentable even though you were taking orders from other customers while also trying to keep an ear open for the oven. These were the days that you regret not hiring any part-timers to help you during rush hours.
But then you'd have to actually pay them which you didn't like either.
During the rush, the last person who expected to walk through the doors was Dick Grayson. You knew he usually came during quiet hours to work on cases. And since practically every table was occupied, you were sure he would need to talk his order to go.
"Hey, the regular?" You asked, smiling gently behind the register and he returned it before shaking his head, "No, 6 black coffees, please. Everyone on the team needed one if we're going to finish all the paperwork today."
"Pulling an all-nighter?" You asked, punching in the order on the screen and he nodded, "Feel free to stop by for anything else, will that be all?"
He nodded again and you grinned, handing him his receipt and credit card. You were slightly disappointed due to the short-lived interaction but quickly waved him away so you could attend to the next customer.
The woman smiled coyly, letting her eyes follow him, "I'll have whatever he's having."
You smiled politely, "Six black coffees coming right up."
Oh, the look on her face was as bitter as the coffee she was about to receive when she sauntered over to Dick only to be promptly shut down. You felt kind of bad for her and made it a point in your head to offer her more cream and sugar than usual to make her rejection a little easier to swallow.
And now was your favourite part.
Gwen set the cardboard box containing his order on the counter and you smirked evilly before calling out, "Dick!"
Everyone's head spun and you couldn't help laughing when you noticed the way his face turned a light pink. He gave you a playful smirk, "Thanks for that."
"I'll see you on Friday."
"Don't work yourself too hard Grayson."
Even when the door chimed behind him, the smile was still stuck on your face. The shop was in utter chaos but you were remaining ever the chipper, politely dealing with customers and feeling energized for the first time today.
"So, when's the date?" Gwen asked, coming out of the kitchen with the cooled cakes that she began to place in the display. She clearly noticed the way you were grinning just because of one measly minute of interaction with the blue-eyed beauty.
"I didn't ask him out."
"Well, lucky for you, I did."
You raised a brow, turning to find her staring at you with a smirk, "What?"
"I wrote your number on his cup."
You had every intention to politely turn down Dick if he ended up calling you but as the sun began to set, you began to feel disappointed and maybe even a little offended that he hadn't called yet. I mean, you had a legitimate reason for thinking of turning him down but what reason did he have?
Tons. If you actually sat down and thought about it, which you did, he had tons. He could already be in a committed relationship. He could be busy; he did say he was going to spend an all-nighter. He might not have seen your number on the cup. He could have thought that the number belonged to Gwen. He could be gay.
And of course, he could be uninterested.
But you preferred to think about the former reasons.
It wasn't until you were closing down the cafe, you heard your phone ring from the pocket of your apron that was haphazardly strewn across one of the tables.
Gwen 'oooohed' from the kitchen where she was stuck cleaning the ovens because she gave your number to people without consent. Ever the soldier, she accepted her punishment with a solemn nod.
You rolled your eyes at her and pulled out your phone, heart beating a tiny bit faster when you realized it was an unrecognized number.
You cringed. That wasn't Dick's voice.
"Who is this?"
"I was about to ask the same question," Came the smug reply, "I wanted to know the name of the pretty girl who wrote her number on my coffee cup."
You gritted your teeth, feeling your cheeks heat up in embarrassment and glared at the kitchen door, hoping the oven door would close in on that bitch.
"How do you know I'm pretty?"
"I can tell from your voice, sweetheart."
"Okay then, nice talking with you. Goodbye."
"Wait! You gave me your number, but you won't tell me your name?"
This was one of the most hilarious and embarrassing moments you've ever been in. You were sure looking back you would find this absolutely hilarious but at the moment there was nothing you wanted more than to melt into a puddle on the floor that Gwen would have to clean up.
"Well, you see, that actually wasn't meant for you." You explained, meekly, wondering just who the hell this guy was. For all you knew, he fished out the cup from the trash after Dick threw it away.
"Oh, well Grayson, you were right, it was for you. Damn, I owe Kev 5 bucks." Came from the other side of the phone and you nearly dropped your phone from shock and for a split second you wanted to just hang up and pretend that you lost your phone.
But instead, you just bit your lip to keep anything stupid from leaving your mouth and waited for the shuffling on the other line to end before Dick finally spoke, "Um, sorry about that, the other guys didn't believe me when I said the number was for me."
You didn't reply fast enough, you were trying to think of something to say that was witty but cute at the same time but your mind was coming up blank, "Um, it was for me, right?"
"How are you so sure that I'm the one who wrote it though?" That was a genuine question, the number could have easily been Gwen's.
"I'm assuming it was since you're the one who picked up the phone." Dumb question. It was a dumb question.
"It's totally fine if you say no, but do you possibly want to get a cup of coffee sometime?"
"I work at a coffee shop, Dick." Came your curt answer and the place exploded into laughter, making you assume the phone was still on speaker and you blushed.
"Right, then maybe for dinner? Please?"
Oh, he's so cute. And he's on speaker phone, you wouldn't want to embarrass him in front of his colleagues. Also, one meal wouldn't hurt. And you really hated to say no.
You nodded before realizing he couldn't see you, "Sure. I'd love to."
"Great! Just text me what time you get off work."
You nodded again, "Alright, bye."
You turned back to Gwen, who was standing in the doorway with a smirk on her face and scowled at how triumphant she looked, "Well I hope you're happy with yourself, now I have to go and shave my legs."
"Oof finally, maybe next time we cuddle I won't get carpet burn."
You sent her a glare that was so foul she actually stopped in her place. She recognized your mom-death-stare anywhere and you could see that she suddenly began rethinking her decision. Which she should, you had half a mind to call up her own mother and tattle.
"I mean, it's just one date. I'm sure you'll be okay. Besides, Dick is a nice guy and you've had a crush on him for way too long."
You didn't say anything, just choosing to stare at her. You knew Gwen and you knew the way she'd cripple under your stare. You weren't mad at her, she was right, you had been crushing on Dick ever since he stepped into the cafe. But you also knew the more you stared at her, the more chance you had of getting her to clean the cappuccino machine this month.
"And I know you miss him but I think this is what he would've wanted for you, to be happy even if he wasn't in your life."
Now the conversation was headed towards an unwanted place. This was usually where you got closed off and she knew that well. Just like she expected, you broke eye contact with her and went to grab a rag to wipe down tables.
"I know you still go to the bus stop."
The bus stop. Your boyfriend had walked you to the bus stop on your first date. Coincidentally, it began drizzling at the same time and the way the sunlight had hit it just perfectly, a rainbow was visible right above you. It was truly magical and at the time the two of you had joked around about how it was a sign from above.
You had long since moved and stopped using that bus stop. But still, some days when you especially missed him, you would go back and sit quietly, staring up at the sky and waiting for a sign from above.
It was quiet for a few minutes, with the two of you just wiping down tables before you spoke up quietly, "How do I know if I'm ready?"
Gwen hummed contemplatively, like she was actually thinking about your question instead of just telling you what you wanted to hear, "I guess you won't know until you try. It's just one date with the guy, you don't have to be committed to each other. Besides, it's Dick, he's not some narrow-minded guy that's only looking for sex."
That comforted you a tiny bit. She was right, Dick was kind and gentlemanly. He'd understand if you said you weren't ready. That realization gave you confidence and you were more that eager to have a fun night.
Shaving your legs was so worth it for this man. To someone who couldn't relate it might seem like a stupid way to gauge a date but to a person who invested in razors and post shaving products, it was a sure-fire way to tell if someone had a good time.
Dick was a perfect 10 no matter which way you looked at him. Beautiful, that was obvious. Kind to the wait staff, always a plus. Funny and interesting, there wasn't a single beat of awkward silence throughout the date. And more than anything, he was the first man to make your heart flutter in a long time.
He was so different compared to your last boyfriend, you couldn't put your finger on it, but their energies were different. That was possibly a good thing.
When dinner was done with, you both walked back to the parking lot where he began laughing when you expressed just how excited you were to get back into his porche.
"I mean, you're cute and all but your car is a 10." You joked around and immediately felt relieved because he seemed to understand that it was merely a joke. Taken in the wrong context you could tell how that might seem like a red flag.
The two of you rode back to your apartment in a comfortable silence when Dick brought up the topic of a second date. You bit your lip guiltily; you had a great time but it was difficult to suddenly open your heart to someone new. Especially when you spent the last few years denying it.
"Okay this is gonna be a little heavy for a first date but," You began, stealing glances at him from the corner of your eye. He was watching the road diligently but had his body turned slightly towards you which made you comfortable, "I was in a very serious relationship with someone a couple years ago. We were supposed to get married."
He didn't tense up in the way you were expecting him to, in fact he just kept listening to you obediently, "He passed away. And I feel kinda guilty every time I date someone else, you know? Because he was just the one for me, so how can I be dating someone else?"
It was quiet for a second and you wondered if you had scared him off. You sunk into the leather seats a little bit, hoping the ride to your house would be short but it didn't seem like it since you had gone quiet far out of the city for your date.
You sat up, "You do?"
Dick nodded, sparing you a smile, "I've experienced loss too so I know what you might be feeling."
He nodded again, "Well, my parents passed away when I was a boy. And then my brother." You didn't say you were sorry; you had long learned that it didn't make anyone feel better.
"I got adopted soon after and after my brother passed, my dad adopted another son. And in the start, it felt like I was trying to replace my parents, to replace Jason."
You nodded, "Finally, someone who gets it."
"Oh, I get it, don't worry. I used to feel guilty every time I'd hang out with my brother Tim or when I'd think of Bruce as my dad."
"Did you ever stop feeling like that?"
"Eventually, when I learnt that you don't have to stop loving someone to open your heart to someone new. Love doesn't work that way, it's infinite. I love Bruce as my father, doesn't mean I love my parents any less. And I think everyone deserves the chance to love someone."
His words gave you something to think about and you spent the next couple of minutes just pondering over it. Should you go on a second date with him? You wanted to, but something inside you just couldn't agree to it. It could've been fear, it could've been something else. But you couldn't let go of it long enough to just take the plunge.
A rainbow soared through the night sky.
"Nyan cat?" You blurted out before you could even make sense of what you were saying and Dick burst into laughter beside you.
"Unfortunately, no, just looks like someone's pride flag got loose."
You blinked a couple times just to make sure you weren't seeing things but the more you looked at it, the clearer it got. It was an unmistakable rainbow that was fluttering in the night sky.
Just the sign you needed.
Turning back to Dick with a soft smile, you gingerly rested one of your hands on his. He turned to look at you, blue eyes filled with mirth and comfort and rejuvenation. This was your chance. It was like a breath of fresh air, a new adventure. And sure, you were scared, but it was a good kind.
"I'd love to go on a second date with you, Dick."
The smile you got in response was the key you needed to open your heart right up.
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