Bad Timing
Roleplaying Log: Bad Timing
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dick Grayson and Dinah Lance convene in her Canary Cave. They train. Dick has the worst timing of any human being.

Other Characters Referenced: Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon, Tim Drake, Jason Todd, Frank Castle, Helena Bertenelli, Jim Gordon
IC Date: September 19, 2019
IC Location: FRP Rooms - FRP Room - 1 (Canary Cave)
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 19 Sep 2019 13:43
Rating & Warnings: PG-13; Language, flirting, drama, mild combat
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Wed Sep 18 20:25:10 2019 *

* * *

The Canary Cave is, among other things, a robust little garage. It's not a full machine shop by any means. But it's enough for a competent mechanic to keep her gear up and running, and Dinah's never been one to rely on a surfeit of specialized equipment to supplement her crime-fighting techniques. Abrasion gear, leather jackets, and there are always improvised weapons laying around.

Her much-loved Honda's up on the rack, stripped of all the sleek black fascia that had been melted by the fire. The engine's up on a block stand and the rims, sans tires, are propped up in a corner.

"Well, upshot of this" there's a *buzz* and a crackle of blue light as she welds a bracket into place "I've finally got an excuse to rewire the ignition system."

Dinah lifts her welding mask away from her face and starts using her teeth to pull off her heavy leather work gloves. With a blue bandana over her hair and a formless green mechanic's jumpsuit, she looks like she'd be more at home riveting iron than relaxing in a cafe.

* * *

Dick offered to help Dinah and so there he is. Perhaps one of the few people who know about the Canary Cave's existence (just like Dinah and Barbara both know where the Nest(You know, Dick's Batcave ripoff) is), Dick is currently working on some new equipment for Dinah. A surprise being a kevlar-infused suit for Dinah to wear. Yes, its styled like her usual corset and bustier. Dick just hopes he got her size right.

Anyway.

"Yeah, thats pretty true. Though you know if you cross the red and blue wires, you'll actually give yourself a five percent acceleration boost." Dick offers his engineering knowhow as he remains at a work table with tools and materials. How did Dick get these materials? Secure channels and good friends.

He's just wearing a white tanktop with some sweatpants and shoes, like he just came over from a jog or something. Or like he slept on her couch and woke up to get to work.

"Hey, how about in a little bit I see how good you really are in a scrap?" He offers to her. "It'll be fun, I promise."

* * *

Dinah considers her bike while removing her mask and squinting her eyes at the fast-cooling weld pools. "Seriously? Just invert the leads?" she remarks. "It can't be *that* easy."

Still, the notion prompts a thoughtful quirking of her brow, and she makes sure the welding gear is shut down before removing her welding mask and gloves.

Her jumpsuit's unzipped to her waist, revealing a grey athletic cami with a halter top. "And, unlike the motor, I am also not that easy. Has it really been that long since someone whipped your butt in the ring?" Dinah inquires with an amused expression. "You're gonna end up going home sore and making excuses about how you hurt your back in the gym this morning."

* * *

Emma Frost heads to the FRP Room Hub.

* * *

"Its really that easy." Dick seems to know exactly what he's talking about even if he's not looking over her shoulder and checking her work (or her) over. If she did just what he advised, her bike would go faster, even if it was just a small change in acceleration. Seems he took away more than a few things in his time working with Batman as the dynamic duo.

But then she seems to be talking trash a little bit, which makes Dick just start laughing. "Oh honey, there are so many jokes I can make right now." He winks at Dinah playfully. "It really, really has. Besides, I figure I can teach you a few new moves." His tone suggests he's flirting, but really, he's just trying to see if he can light a fire under her and goad her into the ring. He was genuinely interested to see how good of a fighter she actually was.

Because fighting street thugs is one thing, fighting someone with years of training and the like was another, and its not like he moniters her progress 24/7.

"You're doin' a lot of talking, Pretty Bird, but can you back it up?" He stands up to his feet from sitting at the desk, rolling his shoulder a bit as he goes towards the sparring mats, he does a really formal bow then and he gestures to the floor in front of him. "If you would kindly join me, m'lady, you are in need of some attitude adjusting, if you would."

* * *

Dinah rolls her eyes, but it's hard to suppress a grin at Dick's antics. "You're gonna embarass yourself, Dickiepoo," Dinah taunts him. She stoops and unties her heavy work boots to kick them off, then steps out of her jumpsuit and tosses it aside. Her shorts are lightweight summertime wear, hanging to mid-thigh.

"You want to strap on the gloves? Get some tape? I've got a spare mouthguard if you want to protect those Perfect Teeth," Dinah advises him, and rolls her shoulder to loosen up the muscles there. Before she steps onto the mat, though, she bows just as formally as Dick did, and starts walking to the midway point.

* * *

"Don't I always? But its only because I hold back when there's a pretty face throwing the punches." Dick winks at her, openly flirting with Dinah. Whether he's actually being serious with his flirtations or just being playful with someone who's been a close ally and confident for years is a toss-up.

When she steps out of her jumpsuit though, he whistles.

"Its gettin' serious. Jumpsuit came off." God, he's incorrigible. But Dick takes her extremely seriously, because he has been kicked by her before and HOLY GOD he felt like his soul was forcibly removed from his body. No hocus pocus required.

"You love my teeth and you know it." Dick winks. "I think we're cool enough with each other that you won't try and kick me so hard my skull comes out of my ear or something." He starts walking to the midway point, hands already being raised, but he knows that Dinah loves doing surprise maneuvers. He's smart though, and he doesn't throw something out wildly for her to try and counter. Who will make the first move?!

* * *

Dinah just… walks up to Dick. Purposefully, and in no hurry whatsoever, and staring right at his face as her features drain of emotion. The blonde settles herself, her features, and steps into some meditative area as she closes the distance.

Her first move carries no particular panache or even an attempt of feint or surprise Dick. Which, in and of itself, might be a surprise, given her capability for explosive movement.

She just grabs his shirt and twists her hips in the most basic of aikido throws, a move of either supreme simplicity or elegant mastery.

* * *

You know, its moments like these where Dinah kinda looks like one of those girls in those weird rom-coms that look really hot and innocent and totally looks like they're just going to say hi or just tell you that your shoes untied and call you a loser.

This isn't one of those times.

Dinah instead tries to do some basic Aikido, which Dick decides to defend against with Judo (with a inkling of Jiu Jitsu thrown in there). That throw would've been a picture perfect thing of beauty. But instead of his back hitting the ground, the back of his heel does and he tries to wrap his arms around her head and twist his hips to give her a headlock throw, a basic judo takedown. It was a sly counter, but one that Dinah could probably see coming.

* * *

Over Dinah goes! The throw's a powerful one even with the short radius. Dick has the core strength for that.

Except it's almost as elementary a counter as her basic toss, and Dinah leans into the throw to rob Dick of the power behind tossing her to the mat. One hand grabs his hipbone for balance to check her momentum.

It's a struggle to slip the firm lock around her head, but Dinah doesn't seem troubled by it and twists her throat to a hollow point so she can't risk being choked out.

Nearly inverted her leg whips up and over Dick's face, not only abrputly putting a hundred and thirty-some pounds of extra mass way out in front of him, but also attempting to sink a half-guillotine choke with her calf muscles squeezing the back of his neck like a python.

"C'mon Dickie, you can do better than that," she chivvies him— and abruptly yanks hard on his sweatpants, using them to put tension against the back of his knee and rob his balance.

* * *

HAH! Score one for-

SHIT.

Dick finds his throw works rather successfully. Well, limited success. It doesn't have the power or technical superiority he was hoping for the move to have, but how did those legs get there?! Her wraps her calves around his neck, well mostly around his neck, Dick manages to put his hand in front of his adam's apple so it doesn't get pushed back and cut off his oxygen, like a counter to a garrote wire.

"You know…" He says straining a little bit with his voice. "When I made that comment that one time…about you wanting your legs around my head…this wasn't quite what I had in mind." He seems to struggle for a minute, before he grins. He knows exactly how to get out of this. He grips the back of her knee and tries to apply pressure to the weak muscle there with two of his knuckles from his offhand. Classic weakpoint.

He then drops to his knees from her yanking, but they both had the same idea- target the back of the knee. So he follows her physical demand, only so he can push her legs off of his head and try to get a full MMA mount on Dinah! Advantageous position, but she's slippery and she's slim, which means she has good chances of slipping away.

* * *

Dinah's not just slim or slippery— she's also strong. The second Dick tries to straddle her hips she bridges off the ground with shoulders pressed to the mat. She drops her hips abruptly, twists, and jams a knee against Dick's thigh. It's enough to slip the grip and she rolls backwards and smoothly elevates to a standing position from a hand pressed to the mat.

"I'm one hundred percent sure you /never/ said that to me," Dinah chides Dick with a dry tone. "You sure you're not confusing me and Barbara again? The hair's a dead giveaway, you know." She steps back and beckons him with a taunting waggle of her fingers, hands droppling into a low boxer's stance.

* * *

Just like that, she slips away from anything Dick could've done. He was originally thinking of a triangle choke, but Dinah is too flexible and she just proved that she's no daisy either. The knee to his thigh comes AWFULLY close to a vital area and Dick audibly breathes a sigh of relief.

Okay, verbal battery doesn't seem to be doing much for him. He was partially hoping the shock value would cause her to double take, but they've done this song and dance many times. He rises smoothly to his feet and he enters what looks like a Wing Chun stance and he smirks at Dinah.

"Oh no, I meant what I said." He winks at her. She waggles her fingers at him. "Though speaking of that…how did you get that pic of me? And were you intending to get my ass as much as you did in that shot?" Oh yes, Dick is going for real shock value to try and distract her. He lets her answer it though just for entertainment value. He refers to the image of him as Nightwing that she showed Frank Castle and Helena Bertenelli. It was a flattering one, to be sure. Either way, He steps forward suddenly and with speed, trying to hook his leg with Dinah's own to try and sweep her legs out from underneath her!

* * *

Dinah's short and has a low center of gravity. Instead of trying to dodge the sweep she shifts her weight and turns into it. A double-stiffarm from her forearms makes space and she steps back a half turn, putting herself a bit closer to Dick than his lanky limbs would probably prefer for ideal effect.

She launches a pair of textbook jabs and a straight cross at his stomach. At least she's not busting his mouth up. Again, nothing fancy, but it's so boringly reliable in a fight that it can be used to significant effect, and she stays right at that fighting distance where she can take full advantage of her leverage and deny Dick the benefit of his longer reach.

* * *

Dick finds that his sweep doesn't quite go according to plan. She's just that good. She knows his strategies and his habits, hwich actually makes this a really fun challenge. But considering that she's quiet, Dick figures he's not going to be able to goad her or distract her to make a mistake. She stiff-arms his defense right out of the way and she actually lands a few punches on his stomach, but now he's trying to defend, treating this like a dummy situation (a dummy that strikes back, as is the Wing Chun style for speed practice), Dick starts blocking like a madman, looking like he's focused on every strike she throws while also being as quick as the wind.

He then juts his palm out towards her sternum, not hard enough to do any real damage, but like a solid -push- to force her backwards. Probably not far, because he didn't have really any kind of leverage.

Its close range, so he'll have to defer to sneaky tactics.

* * *

Dinah's hands fly back. One grabs his fingers against her sternum, the other pins his wrist in place. She takes a long step backwards and leans hard against his palm. The leverage forces Dick's fingers back towards his wrist, though she at least doesn't try to do more than make him uncomfortable and drive him to the mat. "You know Wing Chun is for girls, right?" she teases him. Her eyes dance with amusement. "It looks very pretty though. You should bust those sweet moves out next time we hit up the club. I'm sure it'll impress… well, someone," she concedes, and a dimple appears as she grins.

And twists his wrist a little more.

* * *

She grabs his fingers and she just starts to lean hard against his palm and seems to manipulate the joints enough to make it hurt. Dick has a high pain tolerance though, so go down? Not completely, but he does go to a knee. "Ow! Ow! If you wanted to hold my hand, you could just ask!" Dick seems to smile though as she tells him that he should bust this stuff out in the club, and he smirks.

"This friday, 7:00?" Did he just ask Dinah out on a date?

But then he tries to put his acrobatics to good use, actually leaving his feet in an impressive low-altitude front flip to reverse the pressure, but then he immediately jumps into the air in a backflip, trying to close his knees over Dinah's head like headphones and use that falling momentum to try and actually -throw- her on her back. Gymnastics!

* * *

Dinah flows along with the throw and flies over Dick's head. She hits the mat in a tight ball, rolls, and bounces smoothly to her feet. "Good one," she admits, and rubs her hipbone where she'd hit a little *too* hard. "What Friday? Clubbing? I didn't think you /did/ clubs anymore," she informs him.

Dinah skipsteps forward and launches a blunt kick at the inside of Dick's thigh, aiming for the tendon and meat just above his knee. A kickboxer's move. She instantly flows to her other foot and launches a kick at his *other* thigh in the same motion, and uses the difference in mass to propel herself quickly out of range so she doesn't get sucker-punched.

* * *

Dick smirks at Dinah, he himself landed in a tight crouched position like he's the Flash getting ready to run or something, but he looks al ittle worried when she rubs her hip bone. "Sorry if the landing was a little rough." He says with a touch of concern, but then she's coming right at him! When she comes forward with that kick, he telegraphs it, side-stepping rather expertly. Its when she launches the kick at his other thigh that she catches him, and she is a kicking GODDESS so it hurts like a mother-effer.

"Agh!" Dick says in pain, but he stays with it, but he does snap his fist forward for that sucker punch that she narrowly manages to outright avoid.

Its now that he decides to answer her. "Sure, why not. Besides, on our little scouting mission I saw you busting a move. I figure it was either that or maybe a movie?" Dick asks Dinah as they continue to casually fight. Speaking of which, Dick slides over to Dinah with a push of his leg and a gliding of his knee on the ground like he's going to sweep her before he gets up quickly with an attempted punch to her gut. Nothing fancy, and definitely not too hard. He doesn't want to -actually- hurt her, after all. This is just sparring, but will Dinah be able to notice the feint in time to dodge?

* * *

Dinah backs up two paces, palms up and her eyes narrowing. "Woah, woah," she says, sharply, and the fighting tension goes out of her posture. Fingers flex under the silence and then she rests them on her hips. Her breath comes slow and steady, and a very familiar Jim Gordon-esque once-over is flicked at Dick's face.

"Are you asking me out? Like, /out/ out?" she says, with a wary expression. The compressor in the corner *blarps* on for a few seconds, cuts off with a sharp tick of compressed gas settling. Even underground, there's the subtle background noise of a big city all around them that no level of soundproofing can afford.

* * *

Dick seems to blink a few times as she calls the fight to know the big question. Did he -actually- just ask her out or is he just Dicking (bah dum dsh) around?

Dick appropriately lowers his hands and stands up straight in a relaxed way, his hand coming up to rub the back of his neck a little bit at the forward question.

"Like /Out/ out. You know, if that would be something you're interested in." Grayson actually looks a little nervous. But he figures the worst that can happen is she either says no or tries to kick him again.

* * *

Dinah's face hardens and she walks past him, off the mat. "Fuck," she growls, and steps into her jumpsuit. Tension lines her shoulders as she turns her back to Dick and starts zipping it up to her hips again and re-tying the sleeves around her waist.

Dinah's hands rest on her hipbones and then she pushes messy blonde curls away from her forehead before turning to look at Dick with a wary expression. "I thought you were coming on a bit strong lately," she admits. "I figured …"

She shakes her head. "Dick, even forgetting that you're Babs' ex… this is … this is the worst /fucking/ possible time for this," she remarks with a stressed note in her voice. "I'm homeless and living out of a Motel 6. I've got an arsonist I haven't caught who's probably a threat to my dad. To Jim. They almost got Babs and Helena with that friggin' molotov." She bites her lip, as if regretting the need for such dire words.

* * *

Dick watches Dinah storm past him and get back into her jumpsuit, looking angrier than the Hulk, but without the green.

Then she takes on a very strict looking standing position and Duck inhales. Knew he should've picked his timing a bit better. But when she tells him in full about why his timing is probably the worst in their entire history of knowing each other-

Okay not -THE- worst, but pretty close, Dick tries to approach but stops a respectful two or three feet away from her, if she allows.

"I did offer my place and me sleeping on the floor and/couch so you didn't have to pay rent." Bad time to correct! "You're not alone on the arsonist and we are all working on getting whoever targeted you and Barb's fathers. I'm still trying to find them." Dick says with a sympathetic tone as he runs the back of his neck, another hand resting on his hip.

"I know the timing sucks, but with everything going on I figured…" He sighs. "My timing has never been the best."

* * *

Dinah rolls her eyes eloquently at Dick's niggling correction, and uplifts a hand in weary resignation to give him the point. "I'm not saying you've— you've been a good friend, Dick, and I know I've been a bitch the last two weeks."

She pushes her hair back from her face. It falls over her brow again, and Dinah rakes it with her nails, using both hands and scrubbing vigorously as if trying to distract herself from the conversation with scratching an itch. Her hairband's undone and she whips the blonde locks back up in a ponytail behind her neck.

There's a bit of silence and she smiles ruefully. "Your timing /does/ suck," she agrees. "But it's not just your timing. It's Babs," Dinah points out. She looks up from the floor, meeting Dick's eyes, and her palms lift in supplication in front of her chest. "How would you feel if Babs started dating Tim, or something?" she asks him. "Wouldn't it be weird? Babs is my best friend," she reminds him. "And you and me, we've been at this for… what, like almost ten years? What happens if we hook up, and it gets weird, and we still have to go kick ass together? It wasn't exactly all sunshine and roses for me when you and Babs broke it off," she reminds him with a warning tone.

* * *

Dick kinda was a jerk right then and there. He shouldn't have corrected her its true. When she admits to being a rather awful person these past few weeks, Dick looks like he's going to correct her or oppose her on that. He understands, he did. If he was in her position, he wouldn't want to be near anyone.

He watches her put her hair in a ponytail as she seems to try and make a point to him, but it seems to be a point that Dick has at least partially prepared for.

She makes a point. It'd be strange if she dated Tim or Jason, but Dick starts to speak. "Thats…not really fair. Considering Babs is currently dating a judge, jury, and executioner. If she dated Tim, I might be a little worried, but I'd want her to be -happy-." Dick tells Dinah. "I'd accept it. and..trust me, I've had people who I've dated who reverted back to just being friends and vice versa and sure we have happy memories, but its not affected our friendship or the ability to stick to the mission."

Dick was perhaps 'professional' like that. The mission being kicking ass and taking names in the interests of doing whats right. Dick nods a little bit. "I know. I know. I'm not trying to make demands Dinah, but…I can't ignore how I feel about you. I'm sorry for that." Dick looks her in the eyes.

"I know it was hard for you. It was hard for all three of us, and it was a messy situation altogether. Yeah, we've been at this for a long time. Its why I trust you. Its why I have your back and I know you have mine."

So far, its certainly not looking good for him in his own point of view. He expects that solid 'no' from Dinah at any moment. "I…" he sighs.

"I'm not good at explaining this shit."

* * *

Dinah's eyes widen at the expression of his feelings towards her, and she rocks on her feet as if buffeted by the surprise boot-drop. When he sighs and excuses himself, she fails to suppress an expression of fond amusement.

"No, you're not," Dinah agrees— but she smiles at Dick and steps forward. She grips his forearm, then squeezes his fingers between both her hands and lets it dangle between them. Moisturizer or not, it's hard to miss the rock-climber's calluses on her fingertips. "But you're sweet to try," she assures him.

Dinah sighs once and eyes Dick as if gauging the distance. Her feet rock once, uncertain of direction, and then she eases her weight backwards a fractional inch. "I'm not exactly a good talker either, Dick, and you're the one taking it all on the chin. I … I appreciate that," she says. "But this—" She gestures between them with one hand, then lets her fingers relax away from his grip. "This is all the wrong timing possible in the world. I'm sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear." Her lips twist in a wry, apologetic moue.

* * *

Dick watches Dinah approach him and grip his forearm and his hand. "All I can really do, right? Try?" He chuckles perhaps grimly at his own poor luck and horrible, horrible, /horrible/ timing.

He squeezes his fingers around her own, a sentiment he returns to her. Yeah, he's the one who went on the limb. He's the one who practically put his friendship with Dinah in jeapardy. But perhaps the only thing that gives him hope is that she didn't tell him that the feeling was not mutual.

But he knows full well that trying to nitpick Dinah is a mistake.

"Doesn't matter if I want to hear it or not. Its your choice. I learned a long time ago that…if you wait too long, you'll regret it. Now I don't have to regret anything." He gives her hands a solid squeeze. "But maybe, when this is all said in done. Maybe I'll find courage to ask you again." Dick smirks a bit before he clears his throat and puts his hands on his hips for a moment.

"I should…uh…get back to-" He points at the desk where he's updating Dinah's gear.

* * *

Dinah's eyes duck, and she looks up at Dick through her lashes as if gathering her words to say something back. Something affirmative and a little hopeful is in her eyes, maybe even overcoming a little timidity that lurks at the heart of even the most swaggeringly confident women.

But then he clears his throat and breaks frame. Dinah's eyes flutter in surprise. She closes her jaw on her words, follows the pointing finger, then looks back at Dick.

Gears slip, take a second to jog into place, but the awkwardness stretches a half second too long. "O-oh. Yeah. I need to go upstairs, and—" Dinah winces and puts a hand to her brow. "Right. I don't have an upstairs anymore," she mutters. "I'm… gonna go walk down to the corner station. Get some beer." She pulls a lightweight jacket over her bare shoulders and steps into her workboots again. "If you want a hot dog or something, just, uh, text me."

She flashes a forced smile at Dick, jams her hands into her pockets and heads to the concealed entrance that leads to the street above.

Once she's good and sure she's out of earshot, Dinah spends most of the walk to the corner store muttering low obscenties that seem mostly aimed at herself.

* * *

Dick noticed.

He is currently loving that he learned how to read body language and see micro-expressions, or at least ones that the human eye can observe. But now he feels like he fucked up when she catches up with his train of thought.

"Oh, its uh, completely okay, I understand." When she tells him to text her if he wants anything. "Definitely. I'll be here when you get back okay?"

Then he watches her leave. When she's gone he runs his hand through his hair. "Dammit Grayson, you fucked up." He mutters to himself.

But maybe they now have motivation to solve all of this…as well as a possible complication between them. He looks at his phone like he wants to call her and immediately follow to try….but instead, he follows wisdom.

He sits back down at the work table and gets back to work on making and improving the new gear of the Black Canary.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License