1720: Love & Bullets – Chapter 6, Part 2Posted: March 28, 2017
Title: Love & Bullets
URL: Chapter 6
Critiqued by BatJamags (BadJamags and GoodJamags)
What do you need us for? count: 10
Dick is a dick count: 5
Hello once again, patrons! I’m your guest host, BadJamags…
GoodJamags: … And I’m your guest guest host, GoodJamags…
… And we’re back for more of Love & Bullets, also known as the single most boring thing I’ve ever read. Last time, some boring stuff that I can’t be assed to recap happened. Let’s just get this over with.
“Hey, now,” Dick said when he spied her tears. He thumbed them away gently before pulling her into his arms. “You’re not supposed to cry when a guy gives you a present.”
“I don’t know what to say,” she said around the lump in her throat. “Or what to think. Nobody has ever given me such a beautiful gift before.”
Head-Barbara: Oh, shut up. If I’m going to be trapped in your excuse for a mind, I’d appreciate it if you at least made the place a little less depressing.
GoodJamags: Line-breaks: brought to you by at-least-it’s-not-a-POV-tag!
It wasn’t the first time, and Dick was positive it wouldn’t be the last, that she’d remind him about how she came with baggage.
Unfortunately, she was only allowed one carry-on, so she put the rest of it on the conveyor belt.
Some of which he’d long since come to understand was as dark and as twisted as Bruce’s own. Nobody-not Bruce, Alfred, Gordon, nor Raya herself would either confirm or deny his suspicion about Matthew Berkeley Jr. having been the one who murdered her mother. All he knew with a hundred percent certainty was that Berkeley had damaged Raya in ways it would take a lifetime and beyond to fix. Well, he’d decided a long time ago that he had both the time and the patience in which to heal his Fenix’s broken wings.
“Well, you’re supposed to say thank you, and then kiss me,” he suggested helpfully.
Just because you say it’s helpful doesn’t make it so.
Her arms were just a little wobbly as she lifted them to circle his neck. He’d grown quite a few inches taller in the last couple of months and she now had to stand on her tip toes so she could manage to give him a quick kiss.
“Thank-you for the rose, Dick,” her voice was barely above a tremulous whisper. “I will treasure it always.”
GoodJamags: Hey, she did it in the wrong order!
“That’s it? A granny kiss?” he huffed good-naturedly. “After what I had to promise in order to get you the most perfect rose? C’mon now, Rae.” He slid his arms around her, drew her closer, and sucked her down into that soft, slippery world they’d been exploring for the last few months. “You can so do better than that measly little peck on the lips.”
You know something? We could be reading a shitty lemon right now. Wouldn’t that be fun?
GoodJamags: Not really.
I’d rather read a shitty lemon. Hell, I’d rather write a shitty lemon. Let’s see… we’ll need some nonsensical euphemisms, a contrived set-up, a bizarre pairing…
GoodJamags: Please don’t.
She ignored him for that moment, focusing instead upon what he’d said he went through in order to get the rose for her. “And what exactly did you have to promise?” she questioned, a note of suspicion in her voice and upon her face. “And to whom did you have to promise it, Richard?“
Dick: Some demon guy called Mephisto. He said he wanted my marriage. I didn’t have one, so instead I gave him my ability to get married without spending a twelve-chapter fanfiction screwing around with contrived drama and waxing purple about how awesome my prospective spouse is in the most utterly repetitive way possible. I’m sure it won’t be important.
“I just had to promise Ivy that I’ll water her garden for a month in return for the rose.” He skimmed his lips over her temple. “Now, say thank you again.”
Water her garden? Now there’s a bad euphemism if I’ve ever heard one.
GoodJamags: Don’t do it, you madman!
Her lips twitched. “Th-”
He silenced her with a kiss that left her skin humming and her senses tingling.
GoodJamags: You might want to get all of that checked out.
I’ve got it! *Ahem* Aquaman lifted his mighty trident above Ivy’s-
“There,” he teased once he lifted his head. “Much better.”
She had to clear her throat. “I thought I was supposed to kiss you?”
GoodJamags: Yeah, they’re really just doing this whole thing out of order.
“Baby, if I had to wait for you to kiss me?” He heaved a despondent sigh. “I’d never get kissed.”
He made her laugh, just like he always did. “You just think you’re adorable, don’t you, bird boy?”
“No,” he corrected with a wide grin. “I know I’m adorable. And,” he continued in a sing song voice, “so do you, Rae.” He nuzzled his cheek against hers. “Admit it.”
“No way,” she teased him gently. “You’ve got a big enough ego as it is.”
He snorted. “Do not.”
“Do not,” he huffed. “And that’s final.”
GoodJamags: Why are they acting like twelve-year-olds?
*Respawns in a purple-and-turquoise checkerboard-patterned cape*
You caved my skull in again!
GoodJamags: It had to be done. For the good of the patrons, if nothing else.
Raya merely snorted a laugh before saying, “Let me go and find something in which to put this.”
That’s grammatically correct, but no one talks like that.
She had to settle for a big plastic cup-but did indulge herself with some sniffing and sighing as she filled it with water from the bathroom faucet. “I’ll find something better to put the rose in when I get to the Manor in the morning,” she vowed as she came walking back into the room. “I’m sure Alfred will have something I can use.”
“You’re spending the weekend at the Manor?”
GoodJamags: Naturally. Mary Sue self-inserts just can’t keep themselves away.
She set the makeshift vase on her dresser. “I’m going to be spending the majority of our school break at the Manor. Barb is going to spend her break with Auntie Barbara and James Jr. in Cleveland and Uncle Jim has a lot of night shifts coming up because of it being the holiday season.”
Uh… Isn’t James Gordon Jr. a psychopathic murderer?
GoodJamags: I think they might not know that yet, but I’m not sure Barbara even really knew him too well until he showed up in the comics.
Dick could understand Gordon’s logic. The villains of Gotham tended to celebrate the holidays in their own special way. He anticipated that it would be quite a busy time for Batman and Robin as well. It would also be the perfect time for Matthew Berkeley to try and get his hands upon his sixteen-year-old daughter.
OK, this guy is turning into a supervillain in his own right. He lost. Sure, he could try kidnapping Raya Sue, but the narration keeps talking like he’s guaranteed to go after her.
The custody arrangement that Gordon and Bruce had agreed upon stated that when Gordon could not be home to make sure Raya was protected, she would stay at Wayne Manor. Not that he much minded the agreement the two men had worked out (being shared by both men didn’t bother Raya in the least), but he silently could admit that he’d much prefer if she came to stay with them at the Manor on a permanent basis. For now, he’d make due with having Raya mostly to himself for the next two weeks.
GoodJamags: Somebody’s getting possessive.
“Well, guess I am gonna have to make sure I bring you a rose every morning until Christmas,” he told her playfully.
Why? What is the impetus for his saying that?
She looked over her shoulder at him, shook her head. “You really don’t have to do that, Dick. This one rose is more than enough for me.”
He came up behind her, slid his hands down her arms, taking hers. “I want to do it. I want to do everything I can to replace the darkness inside you with light.”
She felt that little jitter in the belly again. “Just be you,” she told him quietly. “That’s all I need. Or want.”
GoodJamags: OK, getting bored again.
He lay his cheek against the cap of her hair. “So, about tonight…” His sigh stirred the hair at her temple. “I know we were supposed to go to the Winter Formal…”
“Bruce needed you,” she interjected in a firm voice. “It was more important for Robin to be there to help Batman than it was for Dick Grayson to escort me to some silly ole dance.”
“It was more than just some silly ole dance,” he grumbled. “You bought a dress and everything for the Ball.”
GoodJamags: And as BJ established (at length) in the last part, Balls are good.
And ovaries are good too. In fact, reproductive organs in general are good. Without it, the entire human race would die out.
Wait, what would be the problem with that, again?
“And I will wear it now for the Wayne Foundation Christmas Eve Ball,” she pointed out in a coolly logical tone. “This saves me from having to buy a new dress for that event.”
“Even so…” he started to say, but she turned in his arms and silenced him with a soft kiss.
GoodJamags: We really don’t care about her dress, Link’s Queen.
“You knew there’d be sacrifices when we agreed to see where things were going between us,” she whispered against his lips. “You knew we’d have to give up things like school functions and dates. You knew this was the price we’d have to pay in order to be together.”
“I know,” he huffed. “But…”
I’m confused, does Dick know things?
GoodJamags: I don’t think so.
“-it is Robin’s duty to make sure that Batman gets home safe every night he goes out.”
GoodJamags: I don’t think that’s how it works.
“You’ve always been the more sensible one about this stuff,” he muttered. “And I haven’t figured out whether I admire that computer-like mind of yours, or if I just find it incredibly annoying.”
HOW IS IT LIKE A COMPUTER?!
GoodJamags: The same way it’s “more like a religion with her.”
“I might be the level headed one here, Dick,” she declared with a small smile, “but you’re definitely the stable one. I’m only strong when you’re beside me.”
“Hey.” His arms tightened around her. “You’re the one who keeps me standing tall. You talk about how its Robin’s job to bring Batman home?” He laid his forehead against hers. “Well, it’s the Fenixwho brings Robin home.”
Don’t care. Move on.
Raya threaded her fingers into the hair at the nape of his neck. “We do make a pretty spectacular team, don’t we?”
“Absolutely.” He leaned back to give her a lopsided grin. “I can’t think of a better partner to have for those times when Batman is being particularly moody and stubborn.”
Still don’t care. Move the hell on.
“Is that why you’re here at my house at nearly three o’clock in the morning?” she drawled. “Is Bruce being particularly stubborn and moody and you need me to handle him?”
“Nope…” he said cheerily. “I just wanted to see my girl.”
“Your girl.” She snorted. “Get real, buzzard brains.”
Head-Barbara: Look who’s talking. It’s like a deserted bird’s nest in here: empty, rotting, and smelly.
“You are my girl,” he told her in all seriousness now. “You will always be my girl.”
GoodJamags: I’ve got so much honey, the bees envy me.
I’ve got a sweeter song, than the birds in the trees.
GoodJamags: Well I guess…
GoodJamags: What could make me feel this way?
Both: My girl!
“Is this another of your promises, Dick?”
“No.” He placed a kiss to her forehead. “This one is a guarantee.”
“Oh, well, in that case-” she tipped her head against his shoulder and made a tiny sound of contentment. “-okay.”
“Ya wanna watch a movie?” he asked while he stroked her hair. “Or listen to music?”
Goodjamags: Well, I don’t know about you, but I want to have a line break!
Yup, he had a brilliant mind, a great body, and the most generous of hearts. Her lips curved as she thought, and he’s all mine.
HurfCo bags are under your chairs.
“Does this mean you’re staying the rest of the night here?”
“Are you my girl?” he teased.
GoodJamags: I don’t need no money, fortune, or fame.
I’ve got all the riches (aaaaaaaallllllllllllllll of them), baby, one man can claim.
GoodJamags: (Your Homestuck reference ruined the meter, BJ) Well, I guess…
(Don’t care) You say…
GoodJamags: (Man, you have to do the song right!) What can make me feel this way?
Both: (BadJamags: Not really, no I don’t) My girl!
Her lips curved against his shoulder. “Seems like I am.”
One: Author, you can just say “smile.” It’s alright.
Two: Her lips were already curved.
“Then I’ll stay.”
They got comfortable upon the bed, and Raya flipped on the television. “So what do you want to watch?”
GoodJamags: Barbara laying another verbal smackdown on these two idiots.
“Anything so long as it doesn’t have John Cusack in it.”
Raya just sighed and shook her head. “You better be glad I’m your girl, boy blunder.”
GoodJamags: Drat! We’re out of song!
It’s alright. She said “your girl,” not “my girl.”
“Hey, we tend to like different things,” he joked. “You like girlie things like John Cusack movies and this…”
*Snerk* I mean, if Raya Sue likes girlie things, why’s she shacking up with Dick?
GoodJamags: I’m gonna guess she swings both ways, and there just aren’t as many good boyie movies (that I can think of, at least).
He held up the copy of Romeo & Juliet with a sigh. “I like guy things and action films. Long as we understand that, and accept each other for our differences, we’ll be okay.”
GoodJamags: So… Does that mean we’re not inflicting ultraviolence on Dick?
“You’re so damn stable, Grayson.”
“Bruce put a lot of effort into making sure I was.”
And that was good in Raya’s mind because she was not quite so stable. Not yet okay. And she was absolutely crazy about him.
GoodJamags: Luckily, we’re saved from this boring flashback by a line break! They’re real heroes, aren’t they?
I sit back after I read the final word and contemplate this non-fictional collaboration between me and the woman sitting in a living room across town and eating peppermint ice cream (telling ya, I know my woman).
Plot twist: It’s cookies-n-cream.
GoodJamags: I’d like a plot twist right about now.
And extend the fic by another fifteen chapters as the author waxes lyrical about how significant the plot twist is? No thank you.
GoodJamags: And why would they write that particular moment of their lives as a story? It doesn’t have any point.
Much like this story, so maybe Raya Sue’s just a self-insert.
GoodJamags: And the story alternates points of view, so what happened? Did Raya just leave out the half she didn’t write in chunks so that it would be easier for Dick to fill it in from his own perspective?
I’m not confident that this story is written all that great
GoodJamags: Believe us, it’s not. We’ve been here for six chapters to prove it.
And the word you’re looking for is “well.” Your story is not written all that well.
(well, my parts are the ones that I think suck),
Still can’t tell which ones are yours. Be more specific.
but it seems good enough for what I am using it for. I can handle writing reports, profiles, even business letters. Things like this, though? This is Raya’s speciality. She’s always been the more creative one.
GoodJamags: Of course she has.
Hopefully she’ll give me Wing points for trying. With fingers that I can feel are twitching with the restless energy making my body hum, I attach the file to an e-mail I’ve already composed. The message I have typed in the box is a short and simple one: [If you’re still my girl, meet me at our spot on the Pioneer Bridge at midnight.]
GoodJamags: We’re out of verses. Now what do we do?
I’m not sure. I guess we can just link the song again?
Yup, I have totally tossed a gauntlet at the Fenix.
Remember I keep saying I know my woman like the back of my hand? Well, she’s as compulsory as our shared parent when it comes to challenges.
Show. Don’t. Tell.
So I know she’ll meet me at the top of the Pioneer Bridge at midnight.
Her pride won’t allow her not too.
GoodJamags: Wow. You seriously made a to/too/two error on the last sentence of your chapter?
That’s impressive. Anyway, we’ll see you guys again for the next chapter. We’re halfway through, but I have a feeling it’s going to get worse from here.
What do you need us for? count: 10
Dick is a dick count: 5