- Summary A chance meeting... or was it?
- Location Central Business District -- Gotham
- Participants Dick Grayson Nightwing and Jason Todd Red Hood
- Rating Pretty much G/PG
Dick Grayson may not be quite as careful with his costumed identity as Tim or Bruce (much to Bruce's chagrin at time), but he does make at least moderate efforts to keep it secret. Case in point, when in Gotham City he often stays at a downtown apartment, away from the Manor, and makes frequent stops at Pamela's Cafe for breakfast in the mornings (though in truth it's more like "dinner" after a night of patrolling). Sometimes he brings company (female or otherwise), sometimes not...today being a "not."
It's also not very crowded (he seems to have a knack for hitting it just at the right times). So for now, Dick Grayson is seated at one of the tables in the cafe, back to the wall, reading the Gotham Gazette and sipping on a second cup of decaf coffee after having polished off whatever the breakfast special is this morning. Yep, just a perfectly normal ward of a billionaire having breakfast, nothing unusual here. Though fortunately for his sanity Dick Grayson has never been nearly so popular a fixture on Gotham's social scene as Bruce himself. A feat accomplished by making himself...very boring, outwardly.
And that's when someone else walks into the diner. Wow, somewhat busy perhaps? It's a young-ish man in a mesh up of clothing, rather like someone you might see that is a transient, run away from home perhaps. Except one article of clothing, the red hoodie he had pulled up over his head and face. Kind of a tell, but Jason just -couldn't- resist. After all, he's dead...right? But something else brought him to this diner today, and if Dick hadn't noticed the man come in yet, he might hear the voice, louder than necessary to the lady up front. "Sorry, I was looking for someone I knew in here..."
Dick tenses behind his newspaper, lowering it to glance over it's edge at the source of that hauntingly familiar voice. His face remains perfectly nonchalant, though, even as he's sizing up the changes. Then he....not-so-dramatically goes back to reading his paper, seemingly paying very little attention to the young man...at least until he speaks up, "Hey Marnie, get this guy some breakfast. Put it on my tab."
The middle-aged waitress/cashier behind the counter looks mildly surprised for a moment, before replying in a thick "Downtown Gothamite" accent, "Sure thing, Mr. Grayson..." and looking to Jason, "What're ya havin', sweetie?"
"Oh. Whatever he had is fine." The man smiles to the lady, lifting up to drop that red hood from around his head and stretch an arm out. Jason looks over towards the 'newspaper' reader and chuckles. "And that would be who I was hoping to see. If you don't mind Marnie, I'll have a seat." Oh he made his order and heads over to the table, sitting down across from 'Mr. Grayson' and leaning back in his chair. "Been a long time. How's the kid?" Right to the 'business', at least he had that from their 'father'.
"Figured you'd find me sooner or later." Dick neatly folds up the paper and sets it aside, forcing a polite smile, "Oh he's fine. Be a little while before he's off the injured reserve, though." He tilts his head, his expression unabashedly curious, "So how've you been? Bit of a surprise seeing you in Gotham again." He doubts he'll get a straight answer, but hey, can't hurt to ask. If Jason got the "straight to business" Dick seems to have the "remain perfectly calm in crazy situations" bit. Then again, he's always been good at that...part of why the Titans made him the leader.
"It's not like you are hard to find. I must admit though, it's at least nice that you don't fly off the handle at perfectly friendly gestures." An implication of the growing in Fame 'Wayne Outburst' at the Iceberg lounge. Jason smirks as his coffee is brought, and a shrug is given at the 'in Gotham' comment. "Oh. You know. You spend a few years getting your head right, but somehow you always seem to come home." Yeah, definately not a straight answer, but at least a bit of honesty coming out. "Good. About the kid being fine, I mean. I was fairly certain he would be, but that curiosity meant I had to know." The food is delivered, but Jason hardly touches it, just content to sip his coffee for now. "How's Barbara?" And that's the other knack Jason always had, keep talking and change the subject. Distraction.
"She's good. Keeping busy." Dick replies, a faint smirk settling across his face. "Was understandably a little rattled when you made your cameo appearance a couple weeks ago." So in the interest of keeping things focused, Dick shifts the conversation back, "I know a little bit about leaving the nest to find yourself, but you could've at least made a phone call or dropped a postcard," Dick pauses before adding, "Unless circumstances didn't give you that opportunity?"
"I didn't want to rattle her... too much anyway. It was somewhat nice to see her. Helped remind me of a few things." Jason smirks and manages to take a bite of his breakfast, but mostly just remains focused on the conversation. "Oh. I'm certain I could have left a phone call or a postcard. But the fact of the matter is, why should I? I mean... not like it was exactly peaceful terms that lead to me leaving Gotham." Ah, always in riddles. Another bite is taken and washed down with the coffee. "And besides. I figured I had to find out who I was on my own."
"There's some truth to that." Dick notes of the finding out who you are on your own bit. "But given those...turbulent circumstances, there are a lot of people that would have really liked to know that you were OK." Dick notes, sipping from his coffee once more. He also surreptitiously reaches into the pocket of the coat that's draped on the back of his chair and flicks on a white noise generator there. Something that will make it much harder for anyone else in the immediate vicinity to overhear their conversation. They may be talking in semi-riddles, but better safe than sorry.
"I'm sure there would be. But you know...sometimes, especially when you leave due to turbulence, you may find out certain facts afterwards. It can really paint how you approach yourself and your life afterwards." Less of a riddle and perhaps something a little bit more genuine that time as Jason takes a bite. "Besides, to a degree I kept contact tabs on everyone. Not like anyone really missed little old me."
"That's not true." Dick says, perhaps a touch more sharply than he wishes. "The old man was almost killed by it, and it affected everyone." He pauses, "Look, I know I wasn't as close to you as I should have been. That was my screw-up. Getting wrapped up in my own little "finding myself" episode and shutting people out that I shouldn't have." Completely frank and honest time, it seems, "I don't know what you've been through. I don't know what "facts" you uncovered. But if you tell me, maybe we can figure this whole mess out, and maybe we can get you back where you belong. It's not too late, Jason." Dick Grayson, ever the optimist.
"It's a nice dream, Grayson...but you know the world doesn't have that in line for us. Any of us." Jason lifts his coffee cup and finishes it, putting it down on the table as he looks over the plate in front of him for a few long moments, before he lets out a chuckle. "You don't think I'm not already 'a lost cause' to the old man? I crossed that line. More than once. And God save me....I'm not going to stop." And that's when he looks back up at Grayson, calm and cool. Actually, a little more like their 'father' than Jason would care to admit. "I'm sorry I put the kid down, but he tried to stop me. Sometimes Justice isn't enough, and the law can't help some of us. Sometimes there needs to be more." And with that Jason stands up and starts towards the door. "Thanks for the meal. I'm sure I'll see you around."
Once he's outside, the hood is flipped back up and that crowd vanishing act is employed.