Pairing: Jim/Bruce, possibly others
Rating: PG-13 for now.
Word count: 1223
Barbara unpacked her things slowly, carefully placing the books on the shelves in her bedroom, into their rightful places. Jimmy still made fun of her retentiveness, but if they weren't within their genres, alphabetized by the author, she was going insane.
By the time she made it back downstairs, Dad and Jimmy were gone, and Bruce was making enough pancakes to feed an army, or probably one billionaire slash vigilante. There was a reason why they stocked up in sugar measured in tons.
"Blueberry?" he asked when she sat down to the kitchen table and she nodded.
"Sounds good. Where's everybody?"
"Jim wanted to swing by the precinct before his lunch meeting. Probably to check if Montoya hadn't painted his office in rainbow colours by now, or something along those lines."
Babs laughed at that, but then nodded. Renee could do that. "And Jimmy?"
"He was very mysterious about it, so I suppose he went to see Devika. I didn't ask," he said, placing the first batch of pancakes in front of Barbara. The part about not asking, she didn't really believe. Bruce was completely incapable of minding his own business. And she meant it in a good way. Mostly.
"Have you hear from Steve recently?" he asked, digging into his own plate and she looked at him for a long moment. That. Exactly what she meant.
But then again, he was Bruce, who slightly awkwardly advised her on getting the first date with Steve, and who had, earnestly, suggested going for gelato to Italy after she broke up with Steve. It ended with frozen yogurt downtown, but the point stood.
"Sure. We talk," she shrugged, and took a moment, chewing on the pancake. "Well, we call each other and share uncomfortable silences, at least. Once you turned guy down when he proposed, he tends to be a little skittish," she added bitterly.
"He came by three days ago," Bruce offered thoughtfully. "With the old excuse of returning some book you've left at his place, and how he thought you might need it. I think he was disappointed that you weren't back yet."
"How do you know it was just an excuse? Maybe he really thought I might need that book."
"Your math textbook from high school? Sure, maybe," Bruce agreed, grinning.
She smiled, a little. "Well. I suppose I can call him and thank him for the book, at least," she muttered, and he nodded.
"You do that. In the meantime, I'll go and set everything up to record Jim's press conference. I'm supposed to be there, so I can't really watch it with popcorn and mock." He caught Babs' amused look and shrugged. "Not every day you have your sex life discussed on every news network. It has to be commemorated."
"Bruce. With you, it is every day," Babs pointed out.
"Sure. But not every day it's actually true."
She blinked after him. "You're just going to discuss the relationship, not actual sex life, right? Because that would be... bad. And traumatic. And bad."
She didn't get an answer, Bruce was already busy with setting up the recording, and she sighed, then dug into another pancake, watching her cellphone thoughtfully.
Montoya had quite a few jobs in her life, starting from working at a video store when she was sixteen, and in her police career she went through a significant amount of sergeants and lieutenants, before she begun to work closely with commissioner Gordon. She was not a stranger to a boss having a bad day and a foul mood.
But with Gordon, even the most severe case of annoyance only caused him to regress into his workaholism and bury himself under the mountain of paperwork in his office. This time, she supposed, he might be counting on the additional effect of no one finding him in time for the press conference.
"How did the lunch go, sir?" she asked, coming in without knocking. He would have ignored the knocking anyway, she knew that.
"I think I'll retire again," he told her seriously, not looking up from the financial reports.
"Yes, sir. Because we all know how long that lasted the last time," she muttered under her breath. Two weeks, and he was going insane by the end of it, calling her every other hour. It might have been a stunt move, yes, but he was not likely to do so ever again.
She didn't think he heard her, but then he looked up, trying a stern expression and arriving mostly at a smirk, and she grinned back. "Ready for the conference?" she asked, and got a groan in return. "That's good. We'll all be watching, I even called my aunt in Montana and told her that she simply must see this."
"Have I fired you lately, Renee?" he asked pointedly, and she nodded.
"Yes, sir. I always come back, though. Like a bad penny."
"Speaking of bad pennies," Gordon said tiredly, fishing out a, sadly familiar, report. "What do you make of that?" he asked, and she didn't even have to look at the file.
"Copycat, or a fan. Must be, Joker's dead."
The look she got in return said pretty much everything Gordon thought of that. She grimaced, she had heard that exact line all too many times, and said it herself an additional few. You were never sure until you had seen the body, and with some, Joker included, not even then. "We'll look into that," she volunteered, and for a brief moment, Gordon looked really tired, enough that she would believe him now if he mentioned retiring again.
Thankfully, it didn't last long enough for her to feel awkward enough to break the silence, and someone else who didn't bother to knock rushed in, Gordon's expression relaxing immediately; and honestly, she really wondered how on earth it took so long for everyone to catch up, the relationship was easy to see by anyone who paid a modicum of attention.
"Mr Wayne," she said politely and stepped to the side, allowing Bruce to step further into the room. "I understand that some congratulations are in order," she grinned.
"Lieutenant," he nodded at her. "Thank you. But shouldn't it be best wishes?" he asked, and she stared him straight in the eye, serious and definitely ignoring the death glare Gordon had been aiming her way.
"I always thought best wishes for the bride, congratulations to the groom," she said smoothly, and made a step towards the doors, ready to duck and cover if necessary.
"Out, Montoya," Gordon said pointedly. "Before I really fire you," he added, and she looked at Bruce mournfully.
"He needs to work on the threats," she said, lowering her voice, then straightened, glancing at Gordon, opening the doors already. "I think it's time to meet the press, commissioner. Just leave your piece in your desk, wouldn't want any blood spill," she smiled and hightailed it out from the office.
Maybe openly making fun out of your boss wasn't the smartest thing to do, but she had to get her entertainment somehow. And this was beginning to be one of the best days ever.