Disclaimer: Once more I have stolen these characters in the night and made off with them. They belong to DC/Time Warner, but I'm taking them permanently if TPTB don't catch a clue and write this scene soon…

Time Enough
By Smitty

“If I cover your eyes and say 'Guess Who?' are you going to whack me with your sticks?”

Barbara Gordon grinned at the masculine voice behind her. He'd given her enough 'shuffling curtain' notice to let her know he was there, but it was still considerate of him to announce himself.

“Go ahead,” she told him. “I'll try to restrain myself.”

“Oh, good, I feel safer now,” he said, placing a large, callused palm in front of her yes, the side of his hand brushing her nose. “Guess who?”

“Hmm…” Barbara put her hand to her mouth, pretending to think. “Aquaman!”

“Nope.”

“Speedy?”

“Please!”

“It wouldn't be my favorite superhero in short pants, would it?”

“You're never going to forget that, are you?” Dick Grayson lamented, dropping his hand. “Here I go and bring you a birthday present, and you bring up the short pants.”

“A present?” Barbara smiled winningly as she spun her chair to face him. “I get a present?”

“Only if you apologize for the short pants remark,” Dick threatened, holding his hand behind his back. “That was mean.”

“I'm sorry those short pants were indelibly burned into my memory,” Barbara admitted. “Is that good enough?”

“I guess,” Dick relented, bringing out a rectangular box from behind his back. “Happy Birthday, Gorgeous. I hope you appreciate all I've done to bring you this…threw my balance off like a dead weight. Oh wait…it is a dead weight.”

Barbara giggled. “Well, thank you very much. Should we go into the other room to open it? That way the computers won't bother us…much.”

“Sure.” Dick followed her into the living room and helped her move to the more comfortable couch. He waited anxiously as she peeled the tape from the pale, flowery paper.

“Nice paper,” she said, smiling. “Not like the fancy sports car and baseball wrappings I used to get. Although I do rather miss the funnies…you were the richest nine-year-old in town, and you still used the newspaper comics to wrap my birthday present.”

“That was wrapped with love,” Dick grumbled. “And I think I'm going to use the rest of that girly paper on Bruce and see if he even notices.”

“That should be a picture,” Babs smiled.

“Did you do anything special today?” Dick asked, trying to distract himself from her slow-as-molasses opening of her gift.

“Dinah and I went shopping and she treated me to lunch,” Barbara replied. “And Daddy and I went out to dinner this evening.”

“I wish I could have been there,” Dick admitted. “I was on duty though. I'm sorry.”

“You wanted to be at dinner with my father?” Babs asked, barely smothering her giggles. “Don't be sorry, I think you saved us both a lot of unnecessary pain!”

“Speaking of unnecessary pain,” Dick grumbled. “Would you open that like a real person? Some of us are getting gray hair over here!” He reached over and ripped some of the paper.

Barbara grinned wickedly and happily tore the rest of the paper from the package.

“Hmm…no markings on the box,” she mused, turning it around. “Guess I'll have to open it.” She pulled open the cardboard flap and tossed some tissue paper over her shoulder. Then, she reached in and drew out a beautiful crystal clock. “Oh, Dick…” she breathed. “This is…”

“You said you wanted time,” he said softly. “So I'm giving you all the time in the world.”

Barbara bit her lip and stared at the small clock, ticking cheerfully away. She saw little bits of her face and red hair reflected in the crystal, and looking over it, she saw bits of Dick's own face and hair. She tilted it, just a little, and watched in fascination as all the bits ran together and blended into a beautiful rainbow. She smiled, a secret little smile that Dick couldn't interpret and carefully set the clock aside on a nearby table.

“Dick,” she began. “The clock is beautiful and I'll treasure it always. But I've got all the time I need. See, I've thought about us a lot in the time we've had apart…and I've realized that you're the only man I'm ever going to love and if you're too stubborn to take all the outs I've given you…well, then it's time for you to come down here and pay your dues, because all I need for my birthday is you.” Her voice caught a little in her throat as she finished and she was suddenly shocked to find tears welling up in her eyes.

“Babs?” Dick leaned forward and captured a piece of her hair between his fingers, brushing it across her face. “Are you saying…?”

“I'm saying get down here, already,” she said with a smile, grabbing him by the front of his Kevlar and pulling him down to the couch with her.

“Whoa!” Dick hit the back of the couch, knocking the heavy piece of furniture backward and taking a floor lamp with them.

Dick and Babs lay on the back of the sofa, which was now flush with the floor. Dick lifted himself and looked down at the woman trapped beneath him.

“Um, I should—“ he started.

“You should get down here and finish what you started,” Babs informed him, dragging him back down to meet her mouth.

“Yes, ma'am,” Dick grinned, before covering her mouth with his own.

In the other room, the computer beeped.

“Babs? Babs, where are you?”

Dick's hand reached out and waved around until he found the switch to the upturned lamp.

And the room went dark.

The End

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