Make it rhyme
by Te
June 2, 2004

Disclaimers: Not mine.
Spoilers: Nothing specific.
Summary: Dinah's on a mission.
Ratings Note: PG-13

Author's Note: Another lyric+generator game, another quote from

'the fool' might be my middle name
But I'd be foolish not to say
I'm going to make whatever it takes,
ring you up, call you down, sign your name, secret love,
make it rhyme, take you in, and make you mine.

from "Strange Currencies" by R.E.M.


Dinah knows what Barbara sees when she looks at her. She knows that the part
of Barbara that's Oracle sees a favored operative, with potential to be even
better than she is. She knows that the rest of her sees an occasionally difficult
but much-appreciated friend with appalling taste in men and nowhere near
enough ambition.

The knowledge is hard won -- Barbara is, at base, a Bat. Which means that
getting relationship-related information out of her is the equivalent of trying to
pull teeth with seven broken fingers and a case of the shakes. Possibly the DTs.

Dinah, however, is anything *but* a Bat... which means that she doesn't keep
coming back because she's looking for reassurance. She's over that, and she's
going to *stay* over that, if only because there isn't a single aspect of her
lifestyle that doesn't *require* her to maintain a certain degree of... zen.

So when she looks at *Barbara*...

Well, she's not looking *for* anything. Much. At least, nothing to do with their
working relationship, or with their friendship as it stands. But there are other

It's as close to a night off as she's ever gotten Barbara to take, which means
that her headset is only set or programmed or whatever to go off when she
gets a message from one of her *other* operatives, and that the
Clocktower's security systems are all on automatic.

The JLA, JSA, Titans, Outsiders, and everyone else has been instructed to
call for emergencies only, and if Dinah had made that point a bit more
strenuously with the JSA and Outsiders then Oracle would -- or would approve
of -- well, Barbara doesn't have to *know* that.

She smiles around a mouthful of pad thai, sucks the ends of her chopsticks
clean, and snuggles herself against the back of the couch. And a little closer
to Barbara.

Frankly, she's not being especially subtle, but subtle is for the men you were
*playing* with, and for the kind of girl Dinah only pretends to be when the
mission calls for it. Chances are if it *was* a man, then her point would've
been made by the time she showed up wearing *this* perfume, outfit, and
choice of smile.

Certainly by the time she got within grabbing distance. At this point, she's
almost within *kissing* distance. Close enough to smell the shower gel she'd
picked up for Barbara on her last trip to Paris -- flowers she wouldn't recognize
if Ivy made them try to bite her, and a faintly animal hint of... something.
She smells good.

Pretty soon, Dinah's going to start playing with Barbara's hair just because
she *can*, and it won't have anything to do with the fact that she spends a
lot of time thinking about lifting it off the back of Barbara's neck and --

"Oracle here."

Dinah blinks, and refocuses enough to watch Brad Pitt take his shirt off on
the television. It's enough of a distraction to keep her from paying too
much attention to whatever --

"No, he didn't."

-- conversation Oracle's having with whatever operative Dinah may or
may not be allowed to know about... yet.

"I don't think so."

Bad sign. That could lead to a trip back to the computers. Dinah frowns to
herself and waits for it.

"Check with the girlfriend... yes, that's her. Oracle out."

Score one for the good guys. Dinah hides a smile behind another mouthful
of noodles and watches Barbara fade and flow back from behind Oracle's
set, serious expression.

"Ooh. Rewind that," she says, and sets her own carton down to lift herself
on her palms and shift on the couch.

Good enough timing. Dinah winds a lock of Barbara's hair around her finger
and leans in, grinning as wickedly as she knows how. "Feel like objectifying
men, do you?"

One corner of Barbara's mouth turns up in a smirk. "Some of us don't
get to do enough of that *away* from the television."

She could say something about how she'd gotten more of the story
about Nightwing -- finally -- from Robin. She could say something about
Jason Bard, or even about *Ted*. That's what a good friend would do, or
at least *a* friend.

And Barbara's looking at her like all the Bat in her can see all of that and
then some written all over DInah's face, like she *expects* it, because...

Because for all Barbara's honest-to-God *genius*, she's really kind of useless
when it comes to the *truth* behind things like this, and because Dinah
hasn't been doing all that good of a job with making that clearer.

"Dinah --"

"Shh. I'm plotting something."

Barbara's eyebrow quirks, a reddish-orange curve that Dinah wants to
trace with her tongue one day. She settles for tugging on the lock of
Barbara's hair twined around her finger and leaning in close enough to
exhale against Barbara's ear. The one *without* the earpiece.

And... she isn't sure *what* she wants to say, really. Dinah's been around
the block more than a few times, but there are frankly parts of the
neighborhood that she doesn't know all that well. If it were a man, there
are any number of sly, blatant innuendoes Dinah could offer right now.

But it isn't, and Barbara means a lot to her, besides. More than *most*
men, certainly.

"Does whatever you're plotting have anything to do with my earring?
Because --"

"Barbara," she whispers, and speaking moves her lips enough to touch
Barbara's ear. And it's soft and warm and faintly velvety, so Dinah goes
with it, tracing the curve with her mouth in something that's *almost*
a kiss.

She feels Barbara shiver, and it makes her heart beat faster. And it's a
little while before she can make herself stop and lean away again.

She watches Barbara watch her, blue eyes narrowing with a calculation
that's warmly familiar and a suspicion that's anything but. "I'm serious,"
Dinah says, before Barbara can say anything. "I... I mean it."

Barbara blinks. "That's... a surprise."

"I figured it would be. So..." Dinah cups Barbara's face with her other
hand, careful of the headset. Sets her thumb against the corner of
Barbara's mouth and leans in, kissing Barbara slow. Mostly slow, because
Barbara's mouth opens against hers in what's probably shock, and
Barbara's tongue tastes like incredibly good Thai food, and also Dinah's
spent a lot of time thinking about licking her mouth, just like this.

When she pulls back this time, Barbara's lips are wet and her eyes are
very, very wide.

"So now you know."

"I..." Barbara licks her lips unconsciously and Dinah puts a great *deal*
of effort into not staring. "Yes," Barbara says. "I mean... I know. Now.

Dinah grins, and strokes Barbara's mouth with her thumb while she
unwinds Barbara's hair from around her finger. And then she sits back,
shifts a judicious we'll-just-think-about-that-for-a-minute distance away,
picks up her pad thai again, and pretends to be interested in the movie.

She's not the *only* one unfamiliar with this particular neighborhood,
but, well...

Maybe she's not the only one who'll be doing a little preliminary
surveillance, either.

Barbara clears her throat. "Yes. I mean -- Oracle here."

Dinah grins a little wider.