Title comes from "After Midnight" by Blink-182. This takes place sometime before Grayson #12, so Dick hasn't gone back to Gotham yet.

They were both a little drunk.

Nothing too bad, just a bit past tipsy. Midnighter had been wondering how a rich boy like Dick Grayson would do at one of his preferred dive bars, but Grayson hadn't even blinked an eye. He'd downed the shots of cheap tequila like a pro, and he hadn't complained a bit about how generally disgusting the bar was. Midnighter was, against his own wishes, a little impressed. That was the only reason he'd taken Grayson back home with him after they finished drinking. That and the fact that he didn't think Grayson could probably make it back to wherever he was staying alone. Or, well, he probably could, but given Grayson's almost supernatural ability to get in trouble in any circumstances, he probably shouldn't.

And also, if he were staying with someone from Spyral, Midnighter would guess they probably didn't approve of going out drinking with people who weren't exactly on their side.

So he'd taken Grayson home and dumped his drunk ass on the couch, and then he'd gotten them both glasses of water and bullied Grayson into drinking the whole thing. And after that... Well, Grayson looked weird. He looked almost like he was going to cry. If he turned out to be a weepy drunk, Midnighter would barricade himself in his room until they were both sober. He did not sign up for that.

But Grayson didn't start crying. Instead, he looked up at Midnighter, and then he kissed him.

For a single, startled moment, Midnighter didn't react. Then he started kissing back, and then he actually thought about what was happening and pulled away.

Grayson made a soft, broken noise as their lips separated. "I thought..."

"If you thought that was my plan in bringing you back here, it wasn't."

A slight blush dusted Grayson's cheeks. "Oh."

"Look, you're hot, and normally I'd be all for this sort of thing, but I don't think this is what you need," Midnighter said, hating that he had to be the responsible one here. "You don't really seem like the one night stand type, and I'm not the relationship type."

At least, he wasn't anymore. Midnighter refused to think about it too hard.

"I know," Grayson said. "I'm not looking for a relationship. I just-"

Abruptly, he deflated. "I hate Spyral," he admitted in a whisper. "And I just want to be with someone I can trust."

"And you think you can trust me?" Midnighter demanded.

"More than I can trust anyone from Spyral, yeah," Grayson replied, which was honestly depressing. "You and I might not always see eye to eye, but I know who you are. I get you. And I can trust that you're not going to attack me for no reason, or stab me in the back just because you can, or-"

Grayson cut himself off, looking pained. Midnighter thought about the research he'd done on Nightwing. He had a whole group of other vigilantes behind him back in Gotham, a group that almost seemed like a family.

And now, the best he had was Midnighter.

Yeah. Definitely depressing.

"Look," Midnighter said, hoping he wouldn't regret this. "If you really want to do the one night stand thing, we can. But if you just want someone to be, you know, there for you... I can do that. With or without sex."

Grayson shot him a look. "I didn't think you were really the friend type either. No offense."

"I'm not," Midnighter replied. "But I'm also not completely an asshole. You and I are pretty good allies at this point. If you need something, I can help."

"Could we just..." Grayson paused, looked away, and then continued, "Hang out? I mean, I know we just did, but-"

"You wanna watch something?" Midnighter asked. "I can always figure out the plot twists in movies."

Grayson's lips twitched into a small smile. "I bet you're annoying to watch movies with, then."

"Absolutely," Midnighter agreed. "But we can find something else. TV or something. Maybe there's a stupid reality show on, those are fun."

Grayson snorted, and Midnighter was relieved to see that the sad, fragile look was gone from his face. "I didn't peg you for a fan of trashy reality shows."

"Hey, watch what you're calling trashy."

"You just called them stupid."

"I didn't call them trashy."

Grayson just threw the remote at Midnighter, who caught it before it hit him in the face. "Just pick something. I'm going to the bathroom."

"First door on the right," Midnighter replied, turning on the TV. "Feel free to help yourself to a change of clothes too. Bedroom is across the hall from the bathroom."

Grayson hummed in response and stepped into the bathroom. A few minutes later, Midnighter heard him go into the bedroom. He turned on a nature documentary in lieu of a reality show and waited for Grayson to come out.

When he did, he immediately shot Midnighter a dirty look. "Not a word."

Midnighter did his best to swallow down all the remarks that came to mind about how much Grayson drowned in his clothes. Midnighter had been built muscular and tall, and Grayson was lithe and... well, short was probably an exaggeration, but there were at least a few inches of pant leg pooled on the ground by his feet. He would be tiny compared to Apollo, Midnighter mused, and the thought almost didn't hurt.

"Just come over here and watch TV with me, if you can make it without tripping over your pants," Midnighter said. Grayson's dirty look only got dirtier, but he knew that Midnighter was a self-proclaimed bastard and proud of it; he had to know he'd make at least one comment. "Since you're too good for reality shows, here's a documentary about lions and shit."

Grayson curled up on the couch in a position that didn't look like it could possibly be comfortable. "My brother loved nature documentaries," he said, his voice wobbling the tiniest bit.

"Which one? You've got a bunch, right?"

Grayson shot him an almost suspicious look, then nodded. "I've got three brothers. Damian is- was the one who liked nature documentaries. The youngest."

And apparently, Grayson's littlest brother was dead. Midnighter may have been a bastard, but he still felt a pang of sympathy.

"Wanna tell me about him?"

Grayson's face grew more suspicious. "You wanna hear about my little brother?"

"I mean, that's kinda part of the whole friend thing, right? I'd tell you about my brothers if I had any." Technically, Midnighter didn't know if he had any brothers or not, nor if he had any family at all, but the point still stood. "You don't have to if you don't want to. Just thought I'd offer."

Grayson was quiet for a long while. Midnighter had almost given up on him and gone back to the documentary when Grayson finally said, his voice quiet, "Damian loved animals."

Midnighter leaned back. "What was his favorite?"

"It would change on the day," Grayson said. "But he had a dog, and a cat, and a cow."

"A cow?" Midnighter repeated. "Where the hell did he get a cow?"

Grayson laughed quietly. "That's a long story."

"I'm not going anywhere."

Grayson looked over at him. "You really want to hear it?"

"Jeez, Grayson, how many times am I going to have to tell you this? I thought you were supposed to be smart."

Grayson scowled at him, but Midnighter could tell his heart wasn't in it. "Just for that, I'm going to tell the cow story in the most boring, drawn-out way I can."

Midnighter laughed. "Do your worst, Grayson."

There was a bright spark back in Grayson's eyes, and Midnighter was glad to see it. "Oh, trust me, I will."