Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Time/Warner and DC Comics. No infringement is intended and no profit is made from this story. It is for purely entertainment value alone.
NOTE: I have this really bad feeling that this little plot bunny came from Devin Grayson on an infrequent convention meeting. I don't know why I have this feeling, I just do. If I'm right and she uses it in a comic later, I goofed, she didn't rip me off or anything (not that I'd care if she did...we all need a little help now and then).
Jesse Quick was hunched over the computer, her typing making a clicking sound in stacatto rythm. Damage and Argent were on either side of her and none of the three were paying attention to their surroundings.
"What are you doing?" Donna Troy entered the computer room and seemed amused by their engrossed expressions.
"Nightwing challenged Jesse," explained Argent in an absent tone.
"Oh?" asked Donna with immediate interest. "What was the challenge?"
"Find out who he is." Donna's face paled at Jesse's words.
"Um, was Damage and Argent included in this challenge?" she asked worriedly. All three shrugged. "I'm pretty sure they weren't. You two out." Damage and Argent looked at Donna in surprise. "I mean it. Out. This isn't a game. I want you two out until I make sure it's cleared through him."
"Must be a big secret identity if even you're going to get picky," grumbled Damage.
Donna smiled crookedly. "Yes, it is." The two teens departed the room and Donna sat in the chair Damage had vacated on Jesse's right. Jesse was staring at her consideringly. "What have you found out?"
"Not much," Jesse admitted with a smile. "I've taken the information that's common knowledge about Nightwing plus a few things I've gleaned around here and am working from there."
"Ah." Donna looked around carefully and then leaned toward Jesse. "I don't know what all this is about, honestly, and I'm sorry if I seemed out of line with Damage and Argent. It's just that..."
"It's a secret identity thing. The less people who know, the better off he'll be?" guessed Jesse with a big smile.
Donna shrugged. "I'll tell you this much. It goes beyond just his identity. You figure out his, you figure out others as well. And it's a secret that you have to swear to keep."
Donna gave the female speedster a wan smile and left the room. Jesse turned back to her console, deep in thought.
"I have it figured out." Jesse stopped Nightwing cold in the hall with those words. He regretted challenging her to discover who he was but couldn't retract the challenge without making her even more curious. Now though he'd see how good she was, and how good he was at covering his tracks.
"Oh?" he said casually, getting a look of surprise from Roy Harper, who had been walking with him toward the conference room. "How about you come with us and we'll see if you do?" She nodded and fell into step. "Didn't take long," he added, trying to keep the worry out of his voice.
"Maybe I worked at superspeed," she only said. Nightwing began praying she'd gotten it wrong. Bruce would kill him.
Roy was eyeing the former Boy Wonder in surprise. Nightwing was fanatical about his secret identity. After all, it wouldn't take much of a stretch to determine the identity of Batman once you figured out Dick Grayson was Nightwing. To some degree Roy understood the obsessive need for secrecy. With maniacs like the Joker and Two-Face in your rogues gallery, the less they knew about you the better.
"Do you know who he really is, Arsenal?" Jesse asked the red-haired archer conversationally as they entered the large conference room, which was thankfully empty.
"Yeah. Known for many years now." Arsenal was still eyeing Nightwing's pained expression. "Sorry, can't give you clues, nor can I tell you if you're getting warm or not." Nightwing's expression relaxed some. Roy grinned. "But I will tell you when you get way off the mark." Nightwing shot him a scathing glance.
Jesse suppressed a smile at their banter. "Shall I begin?"
Nightwing gestured for her to sit. "By all means, begin."
"You're Robin. Or rather you were Robin." She leaned back and smiled smugly. Both men stared at her in stupefication until Arsenal began laughing.
"Well, we knew that!" he informed with a chortle. "I thought you were better than that, Jesse!" He continued laughing.
His laughter subsided when Nightwing raised a hand for quiet. "Tell me what you know. There's more behind this than that very obvious statement."
Jesse smiled. "True," she admitted. "I was getting quite far actually on the very little I know about you and have gleaned off your long-time cohorts here." She motioned in Roy's direction as the red-head sobered his laughter to snickers. "I had very little to go on. Yes, you were formerly Robin of Batman and Robin. You also operate now in Bludhaven, which is only a hop, skip and a jump from Gotham City, so either you still have family there, or the Batman is your family. If that's the case, then things were going to get tricky. The Batman is known for being fanatical about his identity being exposed."
Nightwing nodded at the pause. "Go on."
Jesse shrugged. "You don't seem to mind whether or not anyone knows who you are. I mean, look at Roy." Roy looked momentarily affronted and then he relaxed into a grin. "So I reasoned that the reason for the hush-hush secrecy has to be the Bat. Which means you're more than just a sidekick." She looked him up and down. "I've seen you standing next to the Bat. Other than posture, you don't seem to have many features in common with him. I've heard various people talking about your family being circus acrobats, so I would assume you've been adopted."
Nightwing leaned back, nodding here and there and growing uneasy. Did his friends talk that much?
"I also heard Changeling slip up and call you Dick. Donna and Roy have done it as well, though not so publicly and I doubt they thought someone was within earshot. Starfire was engaged to a Dick, I understand."
Nightwing paled, having forgotten the publicity of he and Kory's engagement and failed wedding.
"I could add more there, and probably nail everything to a T, but would you really tell me if I was right?" Jesse looked at both men. "If you are Richard Grayson, adopted son of millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, then that would be one huge identity to be hiding, now wouldn't it? But I'm wrong, I'm sure." She waved a hand dismissively. "It wouldn't be that obvious, would it? So I figured I was way off the beaten track and decided my safest bet would be to announce what everyone already knows. You. Were. Robin."
Nightwing looked with studied calm at the satisfied looking speedster in front of him. "And if that's the guess you are making, then I'd say that you are correct. Congrats, Jesse. You've discovered exactly what everyone has always known." He grinned and then turned to Roy. "I'd say she's good, how about you?"
Roy was laughing again and slapped his friend on the shoulder. "Nightwing, old buddy, off-hand I'd say you should be glad she was off the beaten track. Imagine, that playboy raising you? Good God, I shudder to think. That man hasn't got a brain in his head, but that would explain you sometimes, wouldn't it?" Roy ducked a playful swing from Nightwing as he fled the room, still chuckling to himself.
Jesse quirked an eyebrow in his direction. "The Irish have a saying, you know, that's very appropriate here."
"Oh?" Nightwing asked, shaking his head in wonder. "What is that?"
"It is not a secret if it is known by three people." Jesse winked at him as she stood up. "I'd see if I could find some mind wiping machines if I were you."
Back To The DC Page