Rating: PG for now.
Word count: 1492 for this part.
A/N: Sequel to Solid Ground. With thanks to kubis, for kicking my ass to sit and write. And to juana_a, for inspiring me with graphics *points at the icon*.
Girls' parents, Steve Finn concluded after taking three girls on first dates, came in two sorts. Those who wanted to take polaroid pictures of their little girl going out (mostly mothers), and those who watched him like hawks, as if expecting to see horns and a forked tail, or at least suspected him of trying to steal silverware (fathers, and on one memorable occasion, Betty McGregor's mom, but Steve had simply forgot he still had that spoon in his hand, the fuss was not necessary, really).
Mindful of Barbara's father being the police commissioner, he had prepared the answers to all typical questions, their destination, the time of bringing her back home ('what time should she be back, sir?' was the preferred answer), did he drive, what did he drive, did he really think he should drive, all the basics, asked with arms crossed and frown on the father's face. Steve had been through this before, but it was never a pleasant experience, and he would have gladly skipped it and just met Barbara at the movie theatre, but at the suggestion she threw her hair over her shoulder and gave him a look that clearly said he must have been kidding.
And the main problem he had with Barbara Gordon was that when she threw her hair and glared at him for the first time, a gesture that should be infuriating and really unattractive, he had asked her out before he could think about it.
This was generally how he had ended up on the Gordons' porch on Friday evening, shuffling his feet before he hesitantly raised his hand and knocked.
First response is a dog's barking, then someone saying 'Biscuit, down' and the noise subsiding. In the relative silence that follows, Steve can make out Barbara's voice, yelling for someone to open the door while she finishes getting ready. Steve smirks; taking time getting ready means that Barbara isn't as cool and composed as she seemed when he invited her, and she sighed, tilted her head, waited a long moment, and then said 'Sure, fine.'
The door opens, and Steve nods at Jimmy Gordon, who nods back, letting him in wordlessly, then turns to look up at the stairs. "Babs, your date is here!"
There's no answer from upstairs, but a man whom Steve recognises from the news, and at least one school play, as Barbara's father, walks out of what seems to be the living room. "She might be a while, why don't you come in, Steve?" The voice is certainly friendly, but there's an assessing look behind the glasses, one that Steve can recognise and doesn't really like.
"Sir," he nods, and follows Mr Gordon to the living room, stepping over a dog sprawled on the carpet. The dog gives him a lazy look, then lays its head back on the floor, disinterested.
"Some guarding dog," Mr Gordon mutters, and Steve is about to mutter a vague agreement, the other person in the room laughs from the couch, turning his head.
"He had three helpings of Alfred's pasta, which, I might add, you fed him. I believe Biscuit won't be moving for at least few good hours."
This is just about the point where Steve's jaw hits the floor, because there's Bruce Wayne on the couch of Barbara's living room, and that's not exactly something he had expected. "So, you must be Steve," Mr Wayne says, smiling, and Steve can only nod numbly.
"Where are you taking Barbara, Steve?" Mr Gordon asks, and Steve looks at him. And looks at him. His mouth simply refuse to work for too long a moment, causing Barbara's father to frown and look at him. "Are you alright?"
"Movies," he says finally, and honestly, that's lame.
Mr Gordon's frown deepens, and he crosses his arms, and right, they're on the familiar territory now. "Are you driving?"
"Dad," Barbara says pointedly, walking down the stairs, and she had done something to her hair, Steve has no idea what, but it's all wavy and shiny, and for a good few seconds he forgets about overprotective fathers and billionaires sitting on the couches, and swallows, his throat suddenly dry. "Hey, Steve."
"Barbara," Steve nods, shrugging, hoping it looks cooler than it feels.
"And what are you driving?" Mr Gordon wants to know, and Steve forces himself to turn and smile politely.
"My father's Chevrolet."
"You know, Babs, you could borrow my car if you wanted," Mr Wayne says, and Steve almost hyperventilates, because honestly, from what he had read, the man doesn't drive anything that isn't a Lamborghini or a Ferrari. Barbara, however, purses her lips.
"No one likes GPS tracking," she says mournfully, and Mr Wayne laughs, apparently delighted. "Can we go?" she adds, looking at her father.
"Home by ten."
"Movie ends at nine thirty," she points out.
"Plenty of time to get back here."
"Eleven," she fires back, crossing her arms in the mirroring image of her father's. "It's not even a school night."
Mr Gordon sighs. "Fine. Not a minute later, or I'll have Bullock pick you up in the squad car."
"That will be fun, he always puts the siren on," Barbara says, smiling widely, and waves, already pulling on Steve's sleeve to drag him out of the door. It's not going exactly how he expected it to go, but he'll take what he can get and hightail it out of there.
"Nice boy," Bruce says, laughing, as the doors close behind Barbara and her date, and Jim gives him an annoyed look.
"I'm still not entirely sure he should be driving. Looked a little out of it," Jim offers, sitting back on the couch and absently patting Biscuit's head.
"Come on, Dad," Jimmy says, laughing. "How would you act if you had arrived to pick up your date, and found Bruce Wayne in the living room?" he pauses, tilting his head. "Okay, bad example."
"I'd say," Jim agrees, smiling, then tilts his head, looking at Jimmy seriously. "So, what do we know about that Steve?"
"Apart from the fact that he's on the basketball team, you mean?" Jimmy shrugs. "He's okay, I guess," he glances at his watch. "Okay, I have a game to get to," he offers before heading upstairs. Jim shakes his head and glances at Bruce.
"Did he try to explain the game thing to you?"
"Total mystery to me," Bruce offers, shifting in his seat. "But it will keep him in front of the screen for at least two hours..." he drawls, his hand slipping to rest on Jim's thigh.
"You think they got to the theatre already?" Jim asks, and at Bruce's look hastens to clarify. "Babs and that Steve."
Bruce sighs, trying his best not to laugh. "I've figured. Will it make you feel better if I tell you she does have a GPS tracker in her purse?"
"Depends. Does she?"
"I'm not telling you," Bruce's hand moves along the seam of Jim's pants, on the inner side of his leg. "In case she asks. You're a terrible liar."
"It does make me feel better," Jim agrees, his voice a little breathless now, turning to face Bruce, leaning in and catching Bruce's lips in a slow, drawn-out kiss.
"I thought we had a rule about making out on the couch," Bruce points out, smiling against Jim's lips, his tongue lightly brushing the lower one.
"Hate that rule anyway," he mutters. Bruce is already pushing his shirt up, fingers skimming the skin just above the waistband of Jim's slacks. Jim reaches out, his hand resting on the side of Bruce's face, his thumb resting just by the corner of his eye. "You know, maybe we should..." he pauses as his cellphone rings, buzzing on the table, and he swears, moving to pick it up. "Gordon."
Bruce leans back against the couch and watches Jim go through the conversation, frowning. "Let me guess," he mutters, when Jim disconnects with a heavy sigh.
"They found him," Jim nods, and doesn't even have to explain, there's only one case that had them both working well beyond normal hours. Normal hours for Jim, that is, Batman didn't really have his work hours clearly defined. "He has taken seven people hostage in a cafe. Won't negotiate."
Bruce stands up, his expression deadly serious now, thoughtful. "I'll meet you there." He's soon gone, just a quick, lingering kiss placed in the corner of Jim's mouth before he walks out, and before Jim sighs and walks upstairs, to tell Jimmy he's been called to work, and to make up an excuse for Bruce's absence.