1964-12-11 - Skating Around the Issues
Summary: Jessica and Richard go skating in Central Park, then move to the Cloisters - and discuss the anctient past, immortality, and living in the present as opposed to planning for the future.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
nightwing jessica-drew 


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Making dates with two people who have day jobs and night jobs is a task in itself. But eventually, Jess and Dick manage to find a time that works for both of them to meet up at the park and try the whole ice skating thing. Jess, it turns out, is not bad at it. She's not very practiced, but she has an uncanny sense of balance, and after about half an hour, she's skating backwards in front of Dick, avoiding other skaters without really seeming to pay attention to it.

"So, holiday season keeping you busy at the museum?" she asks, smile crooked. "All those benefits, childrens…things."


Dick was an acrobat in a past life. If they wanted, they could put on a show on the park rink that would make Olympians jealous. But simple circles while they hold hands and talk seem to be better for the pair at the moment as she skates in front and he sorta guides her from behind. "You should come by and see the exhibit sometime, how different and really, the same, Christmas was in those times." he offers to her, before grinning.

"Speaking of.. what are your plans? Family you're going to go home to?" he asks, gauging to see if it's safe to ask to spend the day with her, if she's so inclined.


"What, for Christmas?" Jess actually seems taken aback for a moment, thinking about it. "I actually don't celebrate, really. My parents were Jewish, but they died when I was young and I wasn't really raised with any sort of religion." It's long enough ago that she doesn't seem to be too upset about it. "Usually I just enjoy the day off," she adds, smile flickering. "What about you? I get the feeling Papa Wayne's not big on celebrations."


"You'd be surprised. I'll have to check with him, but sometimes he does a whole thing with the 'family'." And that's a really big family sometimes. Dick considers for a moment, and then his smile turns wry as he winks. "Is that your way of telling me I don't have to get you a present?" he asks, turning them so that he's the one skating backwards now.


Jess laughs, head falling back as they spin. "I mean, you don't," she grins. "What's the socially acceptable Christmas present for the girl you've been seeing for a few weeks anyhow? Is that, like, the gum wrapper anniversary or something? Oooh, the coke bottle anniversary. Make a candle out of it, really up the romance factor."


Dick laughs at that. "I was thinking more alarm clock anniversry." he responds with a canny smile, before he considers her for a moment. "What I was really considering.. was maybe a skiing trip to the Catskills for the holiday?" he asks. Just to measure her response. They really haven't gotten past some passionate lip locks on the rooftop, but..


Jess's brows shoot up at the invitation. "I'd…have to check with work," she says slowly, skating a few more strides as she thinks. "Make sure they don't me heading out of town around the holidays, just in case they're short-handed. But…it sounds nice." She tilts her head, giving him a narrow-eyed look despite the smile that plays at one corner of her lips. "You sure you're ready for a whole couple of days with me?"


"What, you thought we were going to be in the same room?" Dick asks playfully, grinning playfully at the woman as he pulls her closer for a moment. "I did make sure to get a cabin for the weekend." he points out. He's planning on going anyway - he would like her company though. "If it's too big a step, totally understand."


"Same room or a different one, that's a whole lot of time together," Jess chuckles, half-spinning to skate next to him instead of across from him, linking arms as she does. Totally just for warmth. Nothing to do with affection. "But hey, if you're not scared, then I'm not scared. Worst thing that happens is we realize we drive each other nuts, right?"


"What, you mean anymore than we already do?" Dick asks, leaning over to kiss Jessica's cheek. "After all, you thought I was going to jump off a rooftop on our first date." he says with a small chuckle towards her. "You know.. the Cloisters are not too far from here.. if you're interested, I could take you on a private tour of the exhibit? We even have some mulled wine from a recipe from the time period." Smooth, Dick, smoooth.


"I see how it is," Jess smiles crookedly. "Let me get all cold, then take me to your fancy museum and ply me with liquor. Why, Dick Grayson, just what sort of lady do you think I am? Aside from the sort who'd at least care if you tried to jump off of a rooftop. Which I personally think should be a point in my favor."


"The type that I want to show off a little too and see how the night goes?" Dick asks with a wry twist of a smile. "And yes, you got a point for that, but you lost five points for assuming I was going to jump off in the first place." Then his smile gets crooked and he gives her a wink. "But you got ten points for kissing, so you're at fourteen currently. I'm sure there's some things you can cash those in for."


"Wow, you're really keeping track," Jess laughs. She looks over her shoulder at the stand selling hot chocolate, then back at him. "All right. Let's go see all of your culture. You can wow me with your genius and encyclopedic knowledge of all things old and dusty," she teases.


"Wow. Know how to wound a guy much, Jess?" Dick asks as they reach the small exit area, and he steps off, leading her so that they can change back into their footwear and turn in the rental skates. "Turn these in, I'll get us a ride over to the museum." he offers to her, and when she's returned, he's managed to secure a horse-drawn carriage to take them across the park. "Easier than trying to hail a cab." Yes, he's laying it on thick tonight.


"Hey, have to keep you sharp," Jess calls over her shoulder with a sly smile as she goes to return the skates. When she comes back to find a horse-drawn carriage waiting, the corners of her eyes crinkle with amusement. "Right," she agrees. "Of course. Because this is easier than a cab, and not at all because you're laying on the medieval charm. If I get to the cloisters and you have some sort of gown waiting for me to change into, I'm running before you try to lock me in a tower, you know."


"It'd be the best tower I got. And you'd have a fireplace!" Dick protests with a laugh, offering her a hand up into the carriage for the ride across the park. "Plus, you know, better than walking." he points out, leaning over to kiss her cheek quickly, before settling down with a wry smirk. "Anyway, with your work, I'm sure that you probably would be missed tomorrow morning."


"Eeeeh…" Jess lifts a hand, wiggling it from side to side, before reaching over to pull the blanket inside the carriage over their laps. "Let's just say that not everyone at the office loves me, and it's possible I don't have the best reputation for reliability. I know, i seem like such a reliable person, someone you can always count on, but turns out I'm kind of a loose cannon."


"Goodness. Sounds like a cat Bruce once knew. Am I going to have to leave a window open and a saucer of milk on the sill?" Dick asks with a wry grin as the towers of the Cloisters start to come into view. "I know I have the keys on me, I'll talk to security right quick and get some lights on for us."

After speaking to the security guard, the doors are opened, and Dick offers his hand to Jessica. "No dresses, promise." he offers with a wink to help her down from the carriage. Just inside the building is a large archway, decorated with holly boughs, which symbolize light, warmth, and welcome. The smell of citrus and ivy is heady in the air, along with bright colors and roses interwtined with the ivy. No trees on display, but there are plenty of festive in-theme decorations.


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Jess climbs lightly down from the carriage as they arrive, unable to hold back a small, quiet smile as they walk through the pleasant warmth of the decorations. "All right," she says softly. "I'll grant you, it's pretty." No doubt that's the most eloquent thing anyone has ever said about valued works of historical art.


"I get a pretty. Nice." Dick responds with a grin, leading her to the great room where they can sit together. "Here, let me get the wine and a couple of goblets, I'll be right back." It gives Jessica a chance to look around. The great Unicorn tapestries hang around the hallway, depicting the chase, capture, killing, and resurrection of the mythical creature. Returning with the bottle and two goblets, he sets them down to pour them. "Work related issues, then?" he asks, then smirks. "How's your touristy skills, I'm always looking for tour guides, and people to tell period stories." Just to get her in a dress, right?


Jess takes her time looking over the tapestry as he gets the wine, extending her senses to get a feel for the place. Sounds, smells…what's happening around them. "Not issues, really," she says as she takes the goblet, taking a sip. "I'm just…I had some issues when I first started, there are some folks in the office who don't really trust me or like me all that much. So it's a little awkward sometimes, is all. But I'm good, and the boss knows it, so." She shrugs, taking another sip.


Leaning back against the table, Dick turns so that he's next to Jessica, their sides barley touching against each other. "Yeah. Sounds like it could be a problem." he admits. "Bruce wanted me to work in the company for a while, but I needed to get out and find my own way. My own groove, you know?"


"Sure," Jess nods. "I mean, it's one thing to get some help in the world, but it's another to coast based on the people around you. Pretty impressive to get into all of this on your own, though," she gestures around them. "Seems like the sort of job that usually goes to a sixty-year-old Englishman with a belly and spectacles."


"What, you don't see me galavanting around the world, securing new exhibits for the musuem?" Dick asks with a playful smile, before chewing on the inside of his jaw. "So. How do you top this for the next date?" he asks playfully.


"Do you ever just enjoy the moment, Grayson?" Jess smirks, bumping her shoulder lightly against his as she takes another sip of the wine. "Besides, when is our next date? If it's this whole trip thing, then I top it by embarrassing you on the slopes, followed by some serious warming up at the cabin afterwards."


"I'm enjoying the moment currently, Drew." Dick points out with a smirk. He shakes his head. "I know. Always thinking ahead. It's a bad habit with me." he admits, before turning to her. "But. This. This is a moment I can live in." And with that, he presses a firm kiss against her mouth.


Jess makes a soft sound of surprise against his lips, fading into an approving hum as she leans into it. "That's a good way to enjoy the moment," she murmurs once she tips her lips free, resting her brow against his. "Thank you, by the way. I can't say my life's had a whole lot of these nice little nights like this. I appreciate it."


"Well, you know, you set the bar high with your previous boyfriends." Dick responds with a laugh, before grinning at her. "I did kind of hope this counts as you know.. official dating? Because boyfriend and girlfriend sounds so high school."


"You know, it does," Jess laughs low, resting one hand on his shoulder. "Although I'm not sure what else we call it. But. Official dating sounds good to me. Anyone needs introduced, we just say this is my date. The person I've been seeing. I'm pretty good with that." She pauses, the pressure of her hand increasing ever so slightly. "Which is kind of terrifying, frankly."


"Alright. I'm not going to run away." comes the response from Richard. His hand reaches up and covers hers, squeezing it in return. "First, millionaire playboy? That's Bruce. I'm the socialite that rarely dates and takes it pretty seriously when I do. Second. Why would I piss off a girl that has a .. pretty powerful squeeze." There's a smirk at that. "And three. I haven't even had the chance to make a pass at you to spend the night with yet."


"Baby, it's cold outside," Jess croons, fading into a soft laugh. "Full disclosure? I've always been more likely to just spend the night with someone than to do the whole dating thing. Trust issues. So. If I'm all weird and awkward with some of this, just be patient with me."


"You mean I've been missing out on sex by trying to be proper with you? Dammit." Dick grins widely at Jessica. "…but maybe just a half a drink more." he responds to her before reaching up to touch her face. "It'll happen when it happens. Right now? I want to kiss you again. By the way, the chalice you're drinking from? It was widely believed once to be the one that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper." Is he messing with her? It makes it hard to tell because he's always so.. unexcited.


"Damn, how am I supposed to get inappropriate if you've got me drinking from the holy grail?" Jess grins back at him, leaning in to claim another thoroughly inappropriate kiss. "Trying to get me struck by lightning or something," she murmurs just a breath from his lips before she slips the chalice in between them to take another sip.


Inappropriate kisses are the best kisses, really. Richard laughs as he raises a brow. "Now you're putting religion between us? Cheeky." he offers with a grin before tilting his own chalice back to drink. "The real Grail is rumored to be in Spain somewhere. Now that's one I'd like to find. Of course, isn't that the dream of every museum curator?"


"Is it?" Jess shifts in her seat, turning toward him to sling her legs across his lap. "What is it that appeals about the holy grail to someone who doesn't have a religious motive?" she asks. "I've heard stories about magic, of course, but you don't strike me as the magic-collecting sort."


"It's neither one of those. I mean, besides the proof that exists." Richard shrugs his shoulders. "Every story I know of that involves places of youth eternal always come with a price. The fountain of youth, the Lazarus pit.." his hand rests on her knee, tracing it idly with his finger. "I suppose here, it would just be another pretty piece in the collection. Like the Unicorn tapestries or the Bronze Age sculptures a few halls over."


"I feel like eternal youth would get old a lot faster than people think, for that matter," Jess wrinkles her nose, taking another drink. "Even if there was no price, even if it didn't come with intrinsic downsides, imagine living past everyone you know and care about, watching the world spin on and on while you stand still."


"Yeah, and it'd take all the fun out of growing old with someone." Dick responds, before giving her thigh an affectionate pat and pushes her legs off. "Come on, we should let them close down for the night, before we do, I want to show you may favorite piece in the displays."


Jess quirks a brow, smile crooked as she puts her feet back on the floor. "All right, now I'm intrigued," she murmurs. "It's not just growing old with other people, even. It's just…being able to relate to them, even. What would make things matter if you couldn't die? If there was no risk?"


Pushing himself to his feet. "And the temptation that lies within. Would you want to shape history?" Richard asks. "Sounds pretty boring to me." Or a supervillain's origin story, as he slips his hand into hers as they walk towards the hall with the 14th-15th century on display. He stops before a small glass case with several ivory pieces on display and gestures to a chess piece in the shape of a knight. "That one. It's not just the Knight is one of the more powerful pieces on the board.. but how it must have travelled. Was it a noble gift? Was the knight crafted after someone in particular? Where are the rest of the pieces? Did someone keep this piece as a token of affection - or a reminder of a loss?"


Jessica Drew follows along next to him, brows rising slightly at the piece he chooses. "Good questions," she murmurs, stepping closer to the glass to get a better look. "Some of them are ones you could probably answer if you wanted to. With enough research, with enough information about the age, scientific testing of the materials. But the human stories…Those are always the more interesting ones. And the hardest ones to figure without the people themselves to look at."


"Yes. And those are the most intriguing. And.. it's what makes you intriguing. Yes. I could look into things.. but.. I want to learn you as you want to show me, Jess." Dick says quietly, turning to look at her. "But I do want to learn." And then he give her one of those wholly inappropriate kisses again.


Jess steps closer, fingertips at his jaw as she closes the distance between their bodies. This time she lets the kiss linger, leaning into it, exploring it…until just before it seems the last barrier may drop, she pulls back to draw a breath. "Probably going to take a while," she murmurs, warm. "Willing to keep trying?"


There's a breathless moment as Richard lingers in that kiss, before he grins at her. "Still worthwhile. Going to rabbit on me?" he asks her in response, turning to walk with her out of the Cloisters to call her a cab so that she may get a ride home. "I need to check on a couple of things before I head home." And go down into the bowels of the Cloisters, where his crime lab is set up.


"No promises," Jess smirks, watching him as he heads back into the Cloisters. Curious. Always curious. Definitely no way he's just going in there for museum work. But it's a question for another time.


Richard makes sure that Jessica is off in the cab with one more good long good-night kiss, and gives the cabbie a ten. "Make sure she gets home before midnight, or she'll turn into a pumpkin." he winks towards Jess, before he turns to stroll towards the museum, whistling 'Baby It's Cold Outside' to himself.


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