1964-12-25 - The Spider and the Bat.
Summary: Jessica gets curious and goes to find Dick's secret.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jessica-drew nightwing 


Christmas Day. Normal people have all sorts of obligations today. Visits with family or friends, children to deliver presents to, or even just work for people who work in essential services. Jessica Drew, though, is not normal people. It was just random luck that she didn't have a shift scheduled with SHIELD, but she also had exactly no one to visit. Except for maybe Dick Grayson.

Of course, not being a normal person, she didn't reach out to possibly spend the holiday with him. No, that would have been too normal. Instead, she assumed that he would have some sort of charity or adoptive obligations that would keep him from working at the museum, which meant that today was the perfect day to…investigate.

She's stayed relatively undercover in pants and a winter coat, her hair down to shield her face, as she makes her way toward the museum itself. If nothing else, getting into the museum should be good practice for the spy.


Indeed, the museum is closed for Christmas. As for Dick Grayson? In a alley in Hell's Kitchen, he's currently doing his own investigation - having asked the cabby where Jessica asked to be dropped off under the dubious guise that she 'left her purse' at the Cloisters, Nightwing is currently in the area she asked to be dropped off in to check out the woman that has claimed so much of his attention as of late.

At the museum, things are quiet. And while the Cloisters are a pretty open air museum, the high iron gates are pulled closed, along with the lastest electronic-eye security systems at work. There are only a couple of foot patrols, but there are a few cameras that are set up in grainy black and white to watch over the more important exhibits.


How quaint, museum-level security. Jess smirks slightly to herself as she approaches the fence, hands in her pockets. It doesn't take her long to mark the cameras or the pattern of the patrols, though the patrols are easier to avoid. She waits for a gap, then scales the fence with alacrity, light enough to keep from shaking the bars, her landing soft enough not to draw any eyes. The cameras are a little trickier. While she might escape a guard's eye, there's no telling how long they save recordings for.

In Hell's Kitchen, things are relatively quiet. Even the rough neighborhoods enjoy the holiday. Mostly. Christmas is a bare thing around there, but some kids have been chased out into the street for snowball fights.


Of course it would be museum level security. Outside of the walls, before entering the parts of the museum that are still bedecked in Christmas decor, the walls themselves should be intimidating to most civilians. Of course, she is no mere civilian. She should already know the way to Dick's office, considering that she's visited before - there are ways to get to it that do not involve going through the more high security areas such as where the expensive displays and tapestries are kept.

But did Jessica plan that far ahead?

The quiet of Hell's Kitchen is a welcome change for Nightwing as he swings through the neighborhood on a zip line before starting to go from roof to roof. It was suprisingly difficult to get any information on Jessica - something that had actually surprised Dick. What information he got seemed too tidy. Too contrite.

Too perfect.

Landing on the rooftop of the apartments that the cabby had given him, Nightwing sighs. "This is not going to be fun. Well, if she's got company for Christmas, I guess this is the best way to find out?" he asks himself with a shrug before he starts to work his way along the building with a pair of binoculars, trying to get an idea of which window may lead into her place.


Well, none of the windows look like they lead to clean, happy places. A few are open, airing out kitchens while mothers try to cook what they can for the holidays. One set actually has tinfoil pressed up against the glass. A few have curtains drawn.

Back at the museum, Jess has made her way through the museum easily enough. It's less a matter of planning and more that she makes a habit of watching where surveillance is all the time, cataloging it for the future. Which gets her to the office.

No nerves from her. It's almost all business as she starts to move methodically through the space, searching for anything out of place.


|ROLL| Nightwing +rolls 1d20 for: 14


|ROLL| Jessica Drew +rolls 1d20 for: 6


Getting into Dick's office was easy for Jessica. Stepping in, she doesn't notice the small invisible beam that goes from side to side form the door at knee level, the electronic eye sending a radio signal out.

In Hell's Kitchen, a small bleep and blinking light goes off on Nightwing's belt as he gets the transmission that someone just broke into Dick's office.

"Doubt that's Santa." he mutters, before heading back the way he came to get to his car and quickly make his way towards the Cloisters.

In Dick's office, there are a few things that allude to social life - a college degree in archeology and anthropology, pictures on the wall of him with Bruce, out on sites, and searches - meeting Kennedy, pre-assisnation. There's are a few more pictures on his desk, one of him and Bruce, another of a younger Dick and a redhead girl making rabbit ears on each other and goofy faces.

The bookshelves seem loaded with books on different medevial architectures - all and all, a normal office with a locked desk.


Of course it's Santa. Santa…spider. Right. Something like that. Finding little enough of interest, Jess settles into the chair behind the desk, giving the drawers a tug. "Now, how am I supposed to leave you a present if you lock your desk drawers, Dick?" she tsks under her breath, reaching into her hair to pull out a bobby pin and fiddle with the locks. "You are the most prep-school-looking man I've ever met, though."


The top drawers are pretty easy to open, inside are a few supplies, brochures - charity fundraisers and the like. However, for Jessica, the real prize is discovering that one of those drawers is fake, and there's a locked and sealed safe door behind it. The ten pin tumbler sits there to be fidgetted with and prodded.

In the meantime, with the streets mostly empty, Nightwing is making good time as he heads back towards the Cloisters - and it's underground lair.


"Well, what do you have here?" Jess moves a few of the papers and the false drawer carefully aside, grin spreading as she looks at the lock. "Best Christmas present ever." At least it should keep her amused for a bit, toying with the lock. Less time than most, though: her enhanced hearing is enough to let her hear each tumbler as it turns, fingertips sensing the slight vibrations when anything moves into place.


Click. Click. Jessica is making great progress with opening the safe. Especially with her enhanced senses. The tumblers give way to the woman's touch - and with a dull thunk, it unlocks. Inside of the safe are a few files. Crime files. Notes on different mafia families. A dossier that has pictures with meticulous notes kept on the back of their current whereabouts. He seems to have one for every major crime family in the New York area.

Another file carries more information, this one Italian, contains more pictures, including an image of a female figure dressed in purple and black with a few notes written on the back about 'Helena'.

Beneath all that, though? Is a lone metallic object that is out of place in a medevial museum. The bat shaped weapon shows signs of wear and tear - it is defiently not new - and has been well used and handled.


Jess quirks a brow as she goes through the files, looking them over herself. Some of this is information SHIELD has worked hard to gather. Some of it's information SHIELD hasn't been able to gather. But she knows the feel of it. Of an investigation in progress, of something staying below the radar. And she knows that bat. "So," she muses, leaning back in the chair as she turns the little bat around in her fingers. "Which side of this are you on?"


That is the sixty-four dollar question, isn't it? The safe isn't offering up any more clues or giving away anymore of Dick's secrets on it all. The rest of the office is open for the exploration.

Beneath the Cloisters, near an unused construction entrance that was closed off after the completion, a pair of iron gates open as Nightwing's car rumbles down the access tunnel and into the cavern that he's using for his own personal cave. No longer used, it was a stanging area for the construction of the museum above, and it has it's own utility feeds and setup for an acrobat. Leaving his car, Nightwing frowns as he moves to turn on the monitors to see if he can catch who may be in his office at the moment.


Jess closes the desk door, locking things behind herself and putting everything neatly back where she found it. All right. That's something. Pushing out of the chair, she turns back to the rest of the room to give it another inspection. Anything that might giver her a hint of which side he's on.


|ROLL| Jessica Drew +rolls 1d20 for: 16


|ROLL| Nightwing +rolls 1d20 for: 12


The bookshelf holds all of those old tomes, but amongst them all is a book that are seems to be slightly out of place to the spy's trained eye - the 'History of the Ringling Bros'.

Bringing up the camera, Nightwing frowns. No sign of his intruder may be. It would have the be a pretty big rat to trip the electric eye.


"What is it with the circus boys?" Jess murmurs to herself, reaching for the book on the shelf. "Maybe Barton knows." Or maybe the book holds some answers.


Maybe Jess just has a thing for circus boys. Or - as she pulls the book, the shelves creak and move, opening into the access tunnels of the Cloisters beyond. Maybe it was something added. Maybe it was just a design idea - after all, the whole idea of the Cloisters is a medevial feel, which includes secret tunnels and smuggling tunnels.


Jess' brows rise when the shelf starts to move, a sudden grin crossing her features. "Oh, that's just rich," she laughs, crossing her arms over her chest for a moment to appreciate it before she starts to step into the passageway itself. Her steps are cautious and quiet, carefully placed to make sure she isn't triggering any traps.


Traps? Come now, Jessica, this isn't a true medevial maze. But the dark tunnels do give a sense of intrigue to it all. But eventually she comes across a door that's locked from her side of it - since it leads to the main area of the museum, if the door's sign which reads 'Gallery' reads correctly.

However, the tunnel does continue in the other direction as well.


The gallery, she's seen. It's pretty. The art is nice. But it's definitely less interesting to a spy than a tunnel that leads in a mysterious direction into the shadows. "If I die finding out what's going on with him before I make a fool of myself, I think I'm okay with that," she murmurs to herself.


The tunnel continues down. And she'll know, because of her senses, that she is actually going 'down', heading into the bowels of the Cloisters as he curves around and eventually comes to a large iron gate that is closed and locked, with a 'Danger: Unstable Area' sign upon the gate.

Meanwhile, Dick is trying to figure out who exactly has snuck into his office, and how to address it. An attack on home turf wasn't exactly to be expected - and he expected if it was - it would be a lot louder, most likely. So it gives him a chance moves towards the other end of the tunnel, as he prepares to head up and enter the office through the bookcase - pressing a recessed button on the wall, opening the very gate in front of Jessica.


Fancy! Motion-operated gates! (No, Jess. No.) As the gate opens, she steps right through it. Only then does she start to take a little bit more care, crawling up the wall to start to make her way down the hallway along the ceiling instead of the floor. People tend not to look up, after all.


Making his way up the hallway, Nightwing doesn't have the same abilities as his erstwise girlfriend to climb on the cieling, so when he rounds the corner, she literally has the ability to get the drop on him while he's still in costume. It's not as if the tunnel is large enough to accomodate more than two at a time - it seems to have just been an old access tunnel that was used for utility service.


Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Jess has seen that costume before. Does that mean… Grimacing, she stays silent for the moment, letting him head up to the office. She wants to see what's on the other side, after all.


It's a good thing she didn't wear a familiar perfume. Nightwing passes by Jessica, allowing her to get by, as he continues on his way towards the office area in a steady run.


Jess continues along the ceiling until she reaches where Nightwing came from, starting to move back down the side of the wall. "Let's see what you've been hiding down here, Mister Grayson," she murmurs, glancing back over her shoulder and up the tunnel.


Oh, what is he hiding indeed? While he may never have a Batcave, per say - Dick has stashed away a bit of his own crime lab. Besides the workout equipment and the pad where his car sits, with the other bodies for it set up on a heavy crane to be moved around, a group of computer banks serves as his crime lab.

It's enough to make a girl what he does do in all his spare time. There's the armory - but she'll find not a single lethal weapon there. And in a standalone case are two costumes - one of them his former Flyin' Grayson's outfit - the other is the blue-batted Nightwing suit. No Robin suits here.


Jess takes her time getting a look at things, finally stopping in front of the costumes with her hands on her hips. "You have got to be kidding me," she mutters. "Jessica Drew, your complete and utter inability to get involved with anyone who even approaches normal and honest is frankly another superpower." She twists her lips, stepping away from the uniform to take another look at the weapons. "For someone who's so worried about getting people, you're flying a little light here, sweetheart."


"That's because I don't kill." comes the voice from the entrance of the cave. "Let me guess." Nightwing offers, a frown on his face. "You were going to leave a gift in my office and just happen to slip on a secret entrance?"


Jess turns around, quirking a brow in return even as she smirks. "For someone with a secret entrance, you're throwing a lot of stones from that glass house, Grayson," she points out, head tilting as she takes another look around. "This does explain a few things, though."


"For someone that just found out their boyfriend was a vigilante, you seem awful calm." Dick points out as he approaches her, offering over a bottle of wine. "Next time, the liquor cabinet is on the right." he says simply. "So.. now what do you do?"


"Oh, you know. Save the world, that sort of thing." Jess takes the wine bottle, giving the label a glance before starting to look for glasses. "Honestly, I'm mostly impressed that you manage to find the time to date between your day job, the charity, and the night job. So right now, the flattery of it all's sort of winning out."


"When you find the right girl, you make the time." Dick's grin is honest at that before he arches a brow. "I don't think saving the world is my thing. That's more for the Supermen and Wonder Women. I'm just doing my little part in it to make sure grannies cross the street safely."


"Yeah, well. Those dossiers are solid work," Jess tips her chin up toward the office, finding a couple of mismatched containers to pour the wine into before pulling out a random weapon to use as a corkscrew. "And slightly bigger than grannies crossing the street. But good work, all the same. When do you sleep?"


"Usually when I'm supposed to be working." Nightwing admits before he shrugs. "Mafia's sorta my thing." he admits quietly before turning his attention back to her. "This the part where you say you can't compete with the cape and cowl and break up with me before I even get a chance to cash in my points?"


Jessica Drew quirks a brow as she pops the cork, pouring into both glasses before offering him one. "That's adorable," she chuckles, picking up her own glass to clink it lightly against his. "You've managed to make time for me for the last month or so. I can't see where it should suddenly be a problem because I know why you randomly disappear." She takes a sip, still watching him. "Also, I can totally compete with the cape and the cowl. For the record."


"Is that so?" Nightwing asks as he takes a draw from the mug that she hands over to him before he sighs and leans back against the table. "I suppose it's a bit of a relief that you know. I mean, I was running out of excuses for disappearing on you."


"That really something you have a problem with?" Jess takes another sip, considering him. "Like, girls find out that on top of the body, and the manners, and the money, and the real job, and the being a nice guy, you spend even more of your free time trying to make the world a better place, and they're like, nope, that's the straw that broke the camel's back, the whole trying to help people thing. I'm out."


"The last one did." Dick shrugs at that. "It didn't help that she was in the business as well, but seemed to toe the line further than I felt comfortable with at times." he considers her for a moment and then smirks. "And what was it you said? Live in the present? Well, this is the present."


"Because you don't kill." That seems to sober Jess somewhat, as she continues to watch him. "Good policy, really, for someone working unofficially. But I'm guessing it's got a little less to do with the practicality of the policy and a little more to do with some personal code of ethics?"


"Yeah." Dick shrugs his shoulders, reaching to set down his mug before going to remove the domino mask. "A little of both. We start killing, then we aren't any better than those that we're trying to protect the world from." he points out before considering her, and reaches up to touch tthe side of her face. "This totally isn't your Christmas present, for the record. But you're totally on the naughty list now."


Jess laughs suddenly, surprise in the sound as much as humor. "I feel like that should head somewhere else, but you're not going to distract me with your manly wiles," she chuckles, reaching for the mask even as she tips her cheek into his hand. "The world's a complicated place," she says more seriously. "Sometimes there are people who have to do the dirty work. As long as you can still regret it, you're doing all right."


"Damn, it was worth a shot." Dick says with a grin as he strokes her cheek for a moment and leans in for a light kiss before pulling away. "I'm sure that when I'm old and feeble, I'll have all the time in the world to regret. But for now. There's too much left to be done."


"Mmm. That was a better effort," Jess murmurs with a slow smile after the kiss, resting her hand over his before holding the mask up to her own eyes. "Well. For whatever it's worth, I think it's a good thing you're doing. I think you're probably going to wear yourself out and into an early grave if you don't find a way to balance some things, but I think it's for a good cause. Unless you've got something else to tell me about your supernatural ability to forgo sleep?"


"I get sleep where I can, Jess, promise. Unless you know.." Dick's smile goes wry as he steps a little closer to her, a press of her against the table playfully for a moment. "…you're offering a way to wear me out." he teases, but is already starting to pull back just a little.


Jess lets her hand slip from his, arm around his shoulders instead to hold him close when he moves in. "You don't need any wearing out," she says, amused, though she doesn't seem in any hurry to let him pull back. Instead, she leans in to claim another kiss, slower. "I mean, unless you're saying you've got limited energy for that sort of thing. Which I'd completely understand," she teases.


"Oh no. Plenty of energy for that sort of thing." Dick admits as his own hands find her hips and he lifts her into a wholly inappropriate kiss as his mouth presses to hers. No rushing to pull at clothing, it's just nice to find her and that she's rather.. too accepting of his lifestyle. His hands do give her bottom a generous squeeze, however.


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