5769/Sometimes You Just Need A Shove

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sometimes You Just Need A Shove
Date of Scene: 28 March 2021
Location: Fairfield Gardens Club, Gotham City
Synopsis: Dick takes Sara to charity gala. Stephanie is volunteering her time there working. Sara helps Dick to come to some realizations.
Cast of Characters: Stephanie Brown, Dick Grayson, Sara Pezzini

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The Fairfield Gardens Club was a mansion, home of a prominent seafaring family back in 1800s Gotham City. The sea is a harsh mistress though, and the family's fortune eventually faded away, sank to the bottom of the ocean or eroded at by poor choices over the years. After a few empty years, it was finally bought by a company that turned it into a first rate venue for events like weddings and high society galas.

The large manor itself had the interior redone to maximize the space of the main room. A grand staircase leads up to a balcony that rings the ballroom, allowing one to watch the proceedings below. On one side of the balcony, doors let out onto an outdoor gallery with its own staircase down to the grounds. And a great view of a large garden, with paved paths winding through flowerbeds statues and fountains, with benches for those choosing to sit and enjoy the flora.

Tonight, the venue is hosting a charity gala that is raising money for a charity that treats juvenile diabetes. The upper crust of Gotham is set to attend, along with a few celebrities whose presence helps lure out Gotham's old money and new, paying for the chance to see and be seen. All for a good cause.

Inside the doors, Stephanie Brown is sitting behind a table. Outside the red carpet extends down to the street where limos, sedans, and the occasional insanely expensive sports car are dropping off guests. After arriving and making their way up past the photographers, the guests are met by another volunteer who checks them in, with Stephanie finding the personalized gifts created for each person and sitting in wrapped boxes on the table to pass them to the other woman. It's a boring job, but for a good cause. And she gets to see all the dresses, and oggle a celebrity or two.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick and Sara show up in a limo, as is expected. He offers a hand to help her out, not that she needs it, but again, appearances. Linking arms with her to walk up to the reception area, he smiles and nods to people he knows, meanwhile keeping up a running commentary to Sara almost inaudibly. Amazing skill.. he can talk without moving his lips or losing that smile.

"Smile, cameras are on us of course. Over there is Elizabeth Cole. Husband died, she spends all his money coming to events like this so she can be part of high society. That's Morton Grosvenor, the girl isn't his daughter, she's his mistress. Old money, mostly harmless except to his wife's pride." His eyes narrow a little, "Now that's Clark Kingston. Developer, keeps trying to get permits to knock down poorer parts of Gotham to put up developments and malls. I think he's got underworld ties."

When they get up to the tables, he smiles wider when spotting Steph and gives her a little wave before giving his name and taking the little gift prepared for him after he signs in.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Never having attended a gala for charity before, Sara had once again been taken on a shopping spree to find just the right dress, though this time it was the couture stores where the sales personal were on their best behavior as Dick helped her find the gown she would wear.

Stunning emerald green silk that shone and almost sparkled with movement. Long down her body, close to her skin but not skin tight. A deep neckline to show off the beautiful diamond necklace, not insanely fancy but beautiful none the less, and short caped sleeves at the shoulder. It was another night Sara prayed for no trouble to whatever Gods might be listening.
Shehe had pulled her long chestnut hair up into a curl filled bun on her head, allowing the small diamond dangle earrings to sparkle in full view, and for once she was actually wearing make-up.

On the arm of one of the Gotham's prodigal sons, Sara actually felt beautiful and not like some dumpy detective for a change. As they walk and Dick explains people, she does smile, partly because appearances are important, but also because it's kinda nice to go to a party all dressed up.

"You handle yourself as ease," she comments quietly, mostly so he can hear but no one else. "I'm almost jealous."

At the table, she adjusts the dress before sitting, so there are less wrinkles, and lays the small clutch beside the place setting.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The cameras flash in a dazzling light show as the photographers vie to get the best shot of Dick Grayson and his date. The cameras just love Sara in her beautiful dress and the jewelry that sparkles, drawing the eye to her beauty. When they finally continue on up the red carpet it's to cries from a few asking them for just a few more pictures.

The woman at the door greets them by name. "Mr. Grayson, Miss Pezzini, so good to have you here tonight," she says. She turns to Stephanie, who has a huge grin as she sees who it is. She's already getting their small gift boxes. Stephanie doesn't wave to them, just lights up with the smile to greet them.

When they move on towards their seats at a table that surrounds the large area left clear as a dance floor, Stephanie watches Dick and Sara. A quiet, wistful sigh is given. "She looks amazing," Stephanie mumbles to herself, tone just a little melancholy. A last glance given their way, this time focusing on the man in the tux, before she has to turn back to get the gifts for the next couple who have arrived.

Waiters are carrying around trays of drinks, plus there are a few different bars set around the edges of the room. The band starts playing music, and people drift out onto the dance floor to begin dancing, while others mingle and socialize.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Once Sara is sitting at the table, Dick takes the seat beside her, waving over a server and collecting two champagne flutes and offering her one before clinking his glass to hers and taking a sip.

"You're making everyone jealous, you know. That color is perfect on you, and you look great." He looks around, then adds, "Would you like to dance? Our other option is to mingle, and to be honest, most of these folks are kind of tiresome to talk to, unless you like hearing about their polo ponies, bratty kids, or investments. Personmally, I'd prefer dancing with my lovely date."

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara takes the glass of champagne for a small sip, she is not repeating the last party, before she sets it down on the table. Looking around at all th people, the dresses and men in nice suits, she looks back to Dick and winks. "Let them be jealous, cause I rock this dress."

Standing up, she lays her hand on his arm. "If mingling or dancing are the choices, we dance. I have no idea what a polo pony is, I don't like bratty kids, and investments are on the list of most boring things to discuss at a party."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie hands over another pair of gift boxes. She has no idea what is inside, other than being sure it is something nice, given the crowd. "I hope you enjoy the event," she says to the latest entrants as they move on.

Looking past the newly arrived couple, Stephanie looks over and sees where Dick and Sara are enjoying champagne at their table. Stephanie tries her best not to feel the jealousy that's there. "She looks so amazing. That color is like it was made for her," she mumbles to herself, sighing. It's hard to not be a little jealous when she's rocking the dress so completely.

Stephanie's eyes drift to Dick before looking down. Well the dress, and other reasons. Another couple arrive and Stephanie hands over their gifts. The woman doing the actual greeting turns to Stephanie and says, "Most of the people have arrived. Give it a little bit and you can go enjoy the party if you'd like. Just try to not..." she says, trying to find delicate words.

"Talk too much?" Stephanie completes the sentence for her. The other woman is a nice person and gives a soft laugh. "Well, just don't make a scene is what I was thinking," she says.

The music is perfect for dancing. A nice beat and rhythm to guide the body. And a little romantic at that.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick is, to put it mildly, an excellent dancer. Being one of the best acrobats in the world apparently translates well to the dance floor as he leads Sara through several dances, applauding for the band between songs. So far, it's a good night, his attention on his date has kept the social annoyances at arm's length so far, which can only be counted a bonus.

As he leads her back to their table and holds her chair for her before sitting. "See? These parties aren't all that bad, are they? You get to dress up, have some nice food, enjoy yourself, and only sometimes get bored. Speaking of which.." he raises his voice slightly, "Leon, hello, how's the kids?"

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Letting her eyes search the room, Sara settles them on Stephanie for a moment. She already knows, she can almost feel it every time she is some where with Dick and the woman is there. The woman tries to hide her feelings, and most often she does a very good job of it, but Sara is an observant detective, she couldn't miss it.

That image from the birthday part, Stephanie controlled mask slipping, filled Sara's mind as she moved with Dick to the dance floor.

There were a lot of distraction plaguing her mind actually, even as she slipped into Dick's arms and they began to dance. The smile remained, because she was enjoying herself, but the nagging was constantly there now.

"I don't mind a little boredom, as you go off to be you, far easier for me to not get caught up all... that," and at just that moment Dick is talking to someone about their kids, probably bratty ones at that.

As they move, her dancing not even remotely as good as his, she quite suddenly starts blinking her left eye. "Oh hell," she mutters. "Can you excuse me for a moment Dick, I think I have an eyelash in my eye so that means mascara in my eye." With a quick kiss to his cheek, she departs all blinky to find the ladies room, while trying not to let the rest of the mascara run down her face.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
While the couple have been dancing, the table of gifts is down to just a half dozen or so. Likely no shows. Stephanie rises after the other woman tells her to go enjoy herself. The young blond woman moves over, getting a non-alcoholic drink, and making her way slowly through the crowd.

A glance at the dance floor shows her Dick and Sara, the pair seeming to enjoy themselves. Stephanie isn't alone in looking. Dick's skill at dancing and at showing off his partner draw many eyes their way, particularly when it is a woman like Sara that he is guiding about the room so gracefully and graciously.

Stephanie looks away finally, before her face may reveal too much of her thoughts. She glances about from one person to another. A few are familiar for the fact they are big wigs in Gotham, but no one that she knows. Though everyone else are laughing and rubbing elbows and enjoying themselves, the sense of being alone at the swank party bring back memories to the young woman. Parties in Brazil where she came to understand just what Roberto da Costa's family thought of her.

That sense of being alone closes in on Stephanie. She drifts away from where people are talking and laughing. Standing on the edge of the dance floor, the drink held in both hands before her like a protective charm. Eyes down rather than looking at the dancers, lost in her thoughts.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick makes small talk with the man about his children getting into an exclusive private school (donation), before looking around. Seeing Steph looking, well, to be fair, kind of down and alone gives a little tug on his emotions for some reason he doesn't closely look at. Instead, he circles around, coming up beside her and taking her arm at the same instant he says, "May I have this dance, miss?"

His other hand goes to the small of her back to gently urge her onto the dance floor even while he plucks the glass from her hand and deposits it on a passing server's tray. He whirls her into the dancing crowd, pulling her into his arms to dance as the band strikes up another song.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown feels someone rest their hand against her arm, fingers closing gently over it. At the offer to dance, she starts to turn towards the person, already saying, "Thank you, but..." before she realizes who it is. As she sees Dick standing there, smiling, the melancholy expressions he'd had fades away. Something warmer growing at the man's unexpected presence, and a smile spread slowly across her face. "... but I'd really love to," she tells him.

The blond girl is guided out onto the dance floor, not really noting much as the glass is removed from her hands. Her attention on Dick Grayson as he draws her into his arms and begins to guide her to the new song.

Stephanie dances with him, her eyes shining with such light as she looks across at him. The song is beautiful and she feels like she's dancing on air as Dick guides her about the dance floor. The rest of the dancing couples might as well be clouds beneath their feet as the young woman sees none of them as her eyes stay held by that soft blue gaze of Dick Grayson's. About two-thirds of the way, she looks down and gives a soft laugh, before looking back up, a more joyous light shining. "Thank you," she tells him as she obeys his lead, a hand resting on his shoulder, fingers curling over it as they dance together.

Dick Grayson has posed:
"Who is she?" "Wasn't he with that redhead?" "Lucky bugger" are a few of the comments as Dick guides Steph around the dance floor. Jealous, most of them, either of the women he's with or of the young Wayne scion and his apparent bevy of beauties.

He's aware of none of this, just that Steph doesn't look sad anymore. He smiles back at her, guiding her to the music. "Well, you looked so depressed, it was just no good at all. You're supposed to have that smile on your face. Yeah, that one that you have now, that's the proper Stephanie look. This is much better."

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Stupid eyelash, this is what Sara gets for trying her hand at make-up. One eye is now sorely lacking in mascara, so she makes the other match, wipes away any trace of the nightmare.

Coming from the ladies room, she steps around a pillar and pauses there, eyes going to Dick and Stephanie on the dance floor together. It was magical, like watching a scene from a movie where the heroine has her moment in the spotlight. The moment when the hero sees her and they both realize its meant to be... at least in the movies.

Keeping back, in fact she moves so that she's not easily in view from the dance floor, she continues to watch but now it is Dick who has her attention. She is reading him, his body language, the expression on his face, the look in his eyes. It's there, not as loudly screamed as Stephanie's, but lurking in those beautiful blue eyes and that dashing smile, it is hiding there if you know how to look for it.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
As Stephanie hears Dick's words about how she's supposed to have a smile, it makes her look down, the smile that glows from her face is both shy and warm at the same time. "I suppose maybe I was a little down before," she admits, looking back up to him. "Thank you," she tells him softly. "I think I've found it again," she says of her smile, giving a soft laugh to go with the beaming expression.

Their bodies move as one, his hand on her lower back guiding her. As easily as they fought in unison against Xao Bing, Stephanie has settled into following Dick's lead. Body spinning out at one point, blond hair an arc of gold about her before he draws her back in and guides her deftly around another couple.

As she is drawn back in, Stephanie resists the urge to dance fully against his body. To rest her head on his shoulder, though the urge is great. There's that moment of realization, that he's there with someone else. Her smile doesn't dim, but where before it shone from her on its own, now she keeps it on her face so that little ache in her heart won't show in it. "I... I hope Sara doesn't mind me stealing one of her dances," she says, looking finally towards the table where the couple had sat. Seeing Sara isn't there, but not having spotted her otherwise yet.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick spins Steph around the dance floor, hours of training together making them move perfectly in sync without really even thinking about it. The other couples actually move to the edges of the dance floor, leaving the center clear for the two of them to dance. When the song ends, Dick gives her a little hug and a grin as everyone applauds them, whispering, "We seem to be a hit. You dance wonderfully, Steph, I had no idea."

He looks around, finally spotting Sara and heading over to her, but at the same time not releasing Steph, so she is brought right along as he moves over to the redhead. "Get the eyelash situation straightened out, Sara? Hope you don't mind, Steph needed a dance partner."

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara waits until that song has finished before making her way to the table and sitting back down. The champagne is sipped, her mind wandering over numerous thoughts at once as she watches Dick and Stephanie.

"I did. Should teach me not to bother with mascara in the future." She offers Stephanie a smile, a true heart felt smile. "It's good to see you again Stephanie."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
If Stephanie's heart is racing by the end of the song, though not from the physical exertion. As Dick whispers the compliments of her dancing, she leans close to hear him over the sound of the people who were watching. "I just followed your lead," she whispers back to him, though the words of praise seem to fuel her smile as if they meant something to her.

As Dick spies Sara there, Stephanie follows his gaze and sees her as well. She slips her hand off of Dick's shoulder a little quickly. And when he moves towards the woman, Stephanie seems to mean to let him return alone, only to find that she's brought along by the man.

Her smile for Sara is genuine though. "Nice to see you as well. As talented as I imagine Janet van Dyne is, I can see maybe she got too much of the credit for how you looked the other night," Stephanie tells the other woman. "You just look... radiant." Self-consciously, Stephanie glances to Dick and says, "Sorry for taking him away from you. Thank you for the dance, Dick. It was just what I needed," she tells him. That smile he wanted to see is still there, indeed.

"I'll let you two get back to your date. Thank you again," she tells them. Stephanie slips away again then. A waiter offers his tray towards her, but the blond continues on past, maybe not noticing him though he's right there in front of her. Stephanie pauses for a moment, and then spying the door that leads out to the path over to the garden, she heads for it instead.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara stands as they approach, offering her hand to to Dick and her smile brightens, "Thank you Stephanie. I managed to pick this one myself, though Dick did help," she looks to Dick for just a moment, then back to the younger woman. "You didn't steal a thing I wouldn't have willingly offered. He's a great dancer, and /you/ dance very well. I barely manage to not trip over my own feet. He just makes me look good."

As Stephanie makes her hasty retreat, although others may not realize that it what it was, she holds Dick's hand tightly. "Would you take a walk with me, perhaps up on the balcony to look out at the night? We can pretend we're being all romantic so others will leave us alone for a moment."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick smiles at Steph, "Glad I could help pick up your spirits Steph. Have a good night." He watches Steph leave, then turns to Sara with a smile, "I'm glad you were able to get the eye situation fixed, would have hated for you to miss the whole evening, even if it is all society stuff."

When Sara requests a walk, he nods, "Of course, I'd be more than happy to. And we don't even have to pretend all that hard, last time I checked. That's a much better idea than being bothered by all the folks who want a minute of my time."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Indeed, one or two people who were hoping to corner Dick Grayson realize they will have to wait as he and the beautiful woman on his arm head for the grand staircase that leads up to the balconies above. There are seats along the rails in some places, others have loveseats in shadowy corners for a few private moments. The doors to the gallery are open, the evening outside only moderately cool, the air coming in through the opened doors refreshing given the number of people in the ballroom below.

Stephanie has stepped outside. Her dress isn't the warmest, her shoulders bare and cutouts on either side giving glimpses of her lean torso, plus a fair amount of her back left bare. But when her arms go about herself, it has little to do with the temperature.

"She's good for him," Stephanie murmurs, so softly she can scarcely hear herself. "Has so much in common with him. Detectives and... probably likes the same music," she tells herself. Her arms tighten about herself just a little tighter.

Stephanie glances back towards the door that leads inside. Glimpses of the crowd in there, dancing, sitting and mingling. She turns away rather than go back in. Turning down the pathed path, she wanders, arms about herself still as she lets herself get lost in her thoughts. The memory of dancing destined to join many others, dunking and wrestling in the pool, or the best meal a college student could put on a small kitchen table. Bittersweet, yet treasured. Her head droops as she lets her feet carry her towards the garden, not really paying any attention to her surroundings.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Holding Dick's hand in her own as they climb the stairs, Sara urges him toward the balcony. It doesn't matter if other people are there or not, they will likely leave once Dick moves in to claim the area. They either swarmed or got out of his way, that seemed the most common reactions.

"It's a beautiful night," she comments, looking out at the sky. "I don't mean to drag you away from all that, I know you hate it but you still have to make the appearances, shake the hands, etc." She offers Dick a smile, then leans against the railing to move her eyes to the garden.

"Do you ever consider that sometimes, the very thing you are looking for is right in front of you?" She then asks out of the blue, no reason, no context, just a question.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Turning to face Sara as they lay claim to one of the balconies over the garden, Dick smiles back at her, "Hey, you know exactly how much I enjoy getting away from it, drag to your heart's content. And yes, it is a beautiful night. Maybe a touch chilly, but otherwise nice."

When she puts the question to him, he looks a little confised, "Well, I've heard the phrase, of course, but I'm not sure how it applies right now. I mean, other than the Joker, maybe, all the GCPD wants to catch him. You're not in disguise, are you? I would be very unhappy is that was the case."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Within the garden itself a couple have just entered, the man taking a few steps one way, the woman hesitating. He steps back to her, hands on her hips as they speak quietly. Whatever he says seems to work, as he takes her hand and leads her further into the garden, disappearing behind the trees and bushes as they no doubt seek out a private spot away from the rest of the party.

Stephanie doesn't notice them, or anyone else as she walks along the path. She passes a set of stairs that go up to the gallery above without looking its way, her vision turned inward. There are a few lights along the path, not enough to keep the whole of it illuminated, but providing patches of light here and there. She walks through one of them, alone with her thoughts.

Her expression is glum until she remembers words from earlier, about how she needs a smile on her face. For a moment the memory tries to turn up the corners of her lips, though that aching spot in her won't quite let the smile form.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara's eyes fall now to the garden, where she sees Stephanie, and instantly her mind is decided. She had been debating it, considering it, rolling it around in her head for days. Her own emotions were a mess, something strong pulled at her, pulled her away from Dick and though he was a great guy, and she enjoyed his company, she could not see herself being anything more than a friend, perhaps with benefits.

"No, I'm me," she comments, then looks back to him. "Sometimes, when we see something we don't really see it. We see what we remember that thing being." She offers a smile to him. "And sometimes that memory we see, blocks us from seeing something really special, something amazing, and we miss out on it because, well, we're stupid."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson nods, "Well, that's good then. So, I'm back to being a little confused as to what we're discussing. Though my male intuition tells me that when a woman is saying we miss something because we're stupid, she's probably referring to the man she's talking to. So apparently I am missing something obvious, which makes me nervous, because now I assume I've done something wrong. This also, I have learned, is the best assumption when dealing with a woman talking to you about something you aren't comprehending."

He takes a deep breath, "Ok, I think I'm ready, hit me with it. Where has my stupidity taken me tonight?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
A wrought iron arch stands at the entrance to the gardens themselves, the name of the place across the top. Stephane steps beneath it. The rose vines that wind up the structure aren't flowering yet with the cool late March air, but it won't be long now. The buds are already starting to form.

Stephanie doesn't really notice them though. Her thoughts are farther away, if closer than she realizes. Arms about herself, she walks slowly deeper into the garden. Picking a path at random, she takes a different one than the couple before her took. Slowing only briefly as she comes to a statue of a woman. "You and I both," she murmurs to the statue at seeing the statue seems destined to be there by herself. "You and I both," she repeats, continuing on. She's nearing a bend that will take her out of sight.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara takes Dick's arm and turns him, so he can look down at the garden instead of her when she talks. "Open your eyes Dick, and tell me what you see?" She points toward Stephanie. "But I think I know. You see the sixteen year old girl you met, a kid, you even called her that, but she's not a kid any more Dick, and you are so incredibly blind that you don't even realize she's not a kid any more."

She looks back up at Dick. "She's a woman Dick, a beautiful, graceful, charming woman who is in fact head over heels for you. I'd bet my life that if you really thought about it, you'd realize that you've known that all along but something has always kept you from realizing it... that something being the blinders, the ones that still see the kid. I want you to look at her Dick, /really/ look at her, /SEE/ her for the woman she is and tell me, honestly, what you feel."

Dick Grayson has posed:
As she turns him, he's still looking confused. Then her words hit, and that look changes as he sees the lone figure slowly making her way out of the garden, wrapped up in her own thoughts. He considers her for a moment.

Little Stephanie. Spoiler, in her homemade costume she was so proud of.

Then as Sara goes on, the picture changes.

Stephanie, on a rooftop in the Batgirl costume the night he came back to Gotham.

Steph in a bikini at the pool in the mansion. Yeah, that wasn't a little girl at all.

Steph, side by side with him in a werewolf lair fighting demons and ninjas. He blinks.

Turning to Sara he just says, "Thank you." and kisses her lightly on the lips.

Dick takes a standing jump up to balance on the balcony railing, then dives forward into a quadruple somersault before landing on the grass below and sprinting off after Stephanie.

Once he's within about twenty feet of the slim blonde, he calls out "Steph, wait!"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown pauses where she's at, turning back towards the building while Dick's thoughts are churning. Seeing only the lighted windows, the people in the gallery little more than silhouettes. She looks downwards towards the path, head visibly hanging before she turns back and continues on into the garden, disappearing around the bend.

The flowerbeds are a mix of winter blooming flowers, and others that are just coming in with the arrival of spring. A light not too far off provides enough reflected light it isn't completely dark here as Stephanie's heels click softly on the paving stones. She doesn't get too far around the corner, just to where a statue of a man and a dog stand, a bench nearby, when she hears her name called.

The young woman turns, confused at first as the voice cuts into her thoughts. Was that...? It must have been. He's the only one here who knows who she is. At least with that deep timbre to his voice.

Stephanie pauses there, out of the view of the building, looking back towards the bend in the path that she'd just come down.

Sara Pezzini has posed:
Sara smiles, salutes Dick and then stares. "Holy shit!" She almost screams. It's not every day you witness someone attempt suicides over realizing they loved someone, but then he lands without trouble and keeps going.

"I'll call you tomorrow!" She calls after him, then heads back inside. No reason not to enjoy one more glass of champange before heading home.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick comes running around that curve in the path, slowing to walk up to her where she stands on the path. He walks right up to her, raises a hand to touch her cheek, then slides it around to the back of her head and pulls her forward gently, bending his head to kiss her on the lips. This kiss goes on for quite some time, and at some point, his other arm slips around her waist to pull her tighter against him.

When the kiss finally ends what feels like an hour later, but it more likely a minute or two, he leans his forehead against hers and whispers, "I love you, Stephanie. I wouldn't let myself feel it, but I do."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The sound of the hurried footfalls bring Stephanie more alert. Something that sends Dick Grayson racing towards her like this probably does not bode well. Felix Faust is on the move again? Or maybe it's the Paws of the Demon, KGBeast's men making another attack. Or the Hand making some move to try to recover the tome that Nightwing and Batgirl took before they could acquire. Dick rounds the corner and Stephanie looks to him, waiting to hear what problem has fallen Gotham now. He hurries over to her.

His hand going to her cheek couldn't come as a bigger surprise to Stephanie. Though not so much as when he leans down and kisses her. For the first second or two she's just stunned.

And then her arms wrap around Dick's shoulders and she's kissing him back. The walls she'd tried so hard to build around her feelings don't just start to crack. They turn to dust at that kiss from Dick Grayson.

Her emotions injected into that kiss. Deep and needful, as everything she's wanted to express tries to make itself known through that congress of their lips.

When finally Dick pulls his lips back, Stephanie's eyes stay closed for a few seconds, and she's panting. Her eyelids flutter open, and he's given a wide-eyed look from blue eyes. Hearing his words only serve to stun the younger woman further. She swallows, reaching up a hand to touch Dick's face as if not sure she's going to find that he's real, that this isn't some dream. "You... you love me?" she repeats, in a tone as if she's afraid to have given him the chance to correct what she's misheard. Her eyes though, they reveal how much she wants it to be true.

Dick Grayson has posed:
He smiles, still holding her close, "I do. I wasn't letting myself believe it, seeing you as the kid I met when you were wearing the Spoiler costume, but, of all people, Sara pointed out what was right in front of me the whole time. And that would be you. I do love you Steph, with all my heart."

His eye meet hers, "Was she right, do you love me too? I mean, I think you do, now that I think about things but it could be something else too, but I had to tell you.." He trails off, not really sure where to go from that point. It's not a situation he's found himself in before.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie stares into Dick's eyes. She swallows, and then the fingers that are touching his cheek give it a small pinch. Then she reaches over to her own face, giving it a pinch as well. She starts to smile, biting her lower lip as hearing Dick say he loves her makes her feel like her heart is swelling nearly to the point of bursting.

She leans her forehead against his, assuming he's leaning down enough that she can. He can feel how she trembles at that feeling of nuzzling her face against his so intimately. "I didn't even let myself hope," she tells him, eyes sweeping his face before returning to meet his gaze. "Yes," she says, breaking out in a laugh, and the brightest smile he's ever seen from her. "I love you too," she tells him. "I didn't want to get in the way of your relationship with Sara, didn't want to... to mess anything up for you," she says.

It finally seems to sink in that he said Sara was the one who made Dick realize. It makes Stephanie smile all the more. "Dick," she whispers to him, looking into his eyes. And then just kissing him again. Kissing him and saying with her lips what she would never find words enough to express. Her arms go back to wrapping about his shoulders, and hugging her body tight against his own.

Dick Grayson has posed:
His laugh is full of happiness, and he picks her up and spins her around while pressing his lips to hers again in another deep kiss. He finally puts her back down without breaking the kiss, and keeps her tight against him. When this kiss ends, he looses the hug on her a little and looks into her eyes, his own gleaming happily, "So, let's get out of here and go do something that's actually fun. These parties are boring, and right now I'm not in the mood to make small talk."

He takes her hand and heads for the garden exit, pulling out his phone and calling for a taxi to meet them at the street.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
A delighted laugh is given as Stephanie's feet come off the ground and she's swirled around the man. The kiss she's imagined dozens of times is savored, her lips pressing to his again and again as if still warding off those niggling doubts this could be some sort of dream.

When he sets her back down, she slides both hands up to cup his cheeks and then slide her fingers into the hair along the sides of his face. Stephanie nods, unable to contain her smile. "I guess, Sara is getting a different ride home then?" she says. "I should talk to her later. To say thank you. I don't know why anyone would ever point you anywhere other than towards herself. But I'm glad for it," she tells Dick. She slips her hand into his when he takes it, fingers lacing with his. Her other hand reaches over to hold onto it too. As if now she has him, she isn't ever planning to give him that hand up!