Pairing: Gordon/Bruce, Steve/Babs
Word count: 1298.
A/N: A Christmas fluffy ficlet in the groundverse, follow up to solid ground and common ground. Merry Christmas, guys :)
The night is really cold, even more so than a usual December night in Gotham. Steve rubs his hands together, wishing that for once he actually wore gloves. Of course, the simple solution to the cold would be to finally knock on the Gordons' doors, but when was the last time he actually did something reasonable?
He honestly thought he got over this, the sitting on the porch like a deranged stalker part, for over a year he had somehow managed to make his way from the car to the front door without getting lost or derailed by a sudden panic, but apparently the thought of spending the Christmas Eve over at Barbara's place is enough to bring the good old terror back. Because this made it official now, this isn't picking her up for a date and spending five to ten minutes on small talk with her father, and sometimes Jimmy, and sometimes, inexplicably, Bruce Wayne (he still puzzled over that one). And the fact that Babs is invited by his mother for the evening the next day somehow doesn't make it any better.
"Are you going to stand here all night?" Babs asks, opening the window overlooking the porch, and sticking her head out, looking at him curiously. "Because if you are, I can get you a cup of cocoa. And Dad says he has a pair of gloves you can borrow."
Perfect. Steve sighs and straightens, running his hand through his hair. "No, I'm good."
"Okay," she shrugs, reaching to close the window. "Knock when you decide to come in, the doorbell doesn't work."
He rolls his eyes, and pointedly waits twenty seconds before he knocks. Babs opens, laughing at him, and he doesn't even mind, because she has on a green dress that brings out her eyes, and her hair falls in curls like a halo, and... "You have me waxing poetics in my head," he tells her accusingly. "What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Well, I clearly am that awesome," she says with an overdone flair, and leans in to kiss him briefly. He thinks of a suitable riposte, but when she's kissing him, the only one he comes up with is a meek 'sure you are', and it sounds too much like an agreement.
"Sure you are," he says anyway, and she smiles.
"Is that Steve?" Mr Gordon calls out from the living room. "Have him come in, and close the door. You're letting the cold in," he adds, and Babs rolls her eyes, and closes the doors. She's about to say something, when another voice carries through from the living room, incredibly amused.
"If you're cold, I'm sure I can help somehow."
Steve glances questioningly at Barbara, who cringes theatrically, but is doing her best not to laugh. Jimmy comes out of the living room, rolling his eyes. "They're worse then usual," he says, then nods at Steve. "Hey."
"It could be worse," Babs mutters, as she's dragging him towards the kitchen, Jimmy following them.
"How so?" Jimmy asks, doubt colouring his voice.
She makes a face. "We could have failed in removing all of the mistletoe Bruce had put up."
"Oh, God, you're right. It could be worse," Jimmy says, and crouches in front of the oven, peering at whatever is inside. "Are they ready yet?"
Babs shrugs, checking the timer. "Five more minutes, at least. Why, do they look ready?" She looks at Steve. "We're trying out Mom's recipe for gingerbread cookies. We found the recipe folded in one of her books," she adds, and her eyes are a little bit brighter, and Steve nods, then pulls her closer, kissing the corner of her mouth, and she leans in seconds later.
"Seriously," Jimmy says, not even looking up. "I thought we had a rule about PDAs in the kitchen, and how they're not allowed."
"That's for Dad and Bruce," Babs says as she pulls away, and Steve's jaw drops, because he is just connecting all the dots and the emerging picture is mightily disturbing.
"Wait... what?" he asks, and Jimmy looks up now, his eyebrows up in disbelief. Babs starts laughing. "Your Dad? And Bruce Wayne?"
Barbara has that look on her face that usually means she thinks him dense; adorable, but dense. He's not very fond of this look, even though she makes it look reasonably attractive.
"He didn't know?" Jimmy asks, and he's laughing now. Steve glares at him, which only makes him laugh harder.
Babs sighs. "I really thought he had figured it out by now," she says, and sighs theatrically, reaching to ruffle Steve's hair.
"Figured out what by now?" Bruce Wayne asks, walking into the kitchen. The slacks and a faded t-shirt is the most casual Steve had seen him in, and it's really not helping with certain mental images he has now. Really, really not helping.
"That you and Dad had been making out on the couch instead of finishing up with the Christmas tree," Jimmy says casually, and Steve almost chokes on the air.
Bruce Wayne just shrugs. And Steve swears, one day he'll be able to refer to him by something else than his full name, but not just yet. "Oh, he didn't know?" he asks, as if everyone knew. Steve really hopes everyone doesn't know, because then not knowing would be more embarrassing than it already is. Although he is pretty sure not many people know, as he's yet to see the tabloid headlines.
And then he catches it, just as Bruce Wayne is opening the fridge to reach for a can of soda, an assessing look, searching and just slightly wary, and yeah, he does get the implications, and he realises he better keeps his mouth shut if he doesn't want Babs to... well, hit him. Before dumping him. Which wouldn't be good. But, anyway, the suspicious look is not something he expected from Bruce. Wayne. Damn, that was close.
"Babs forgot to mention it," Steve says slowly, enunciating. "No doubt to make fun of me while it finally dawns."
Bruce (HA!) relaxes, and nods. "She does that," he agrees, and Babs smiles cheerfully, which looks just slightly evil, and more than slightly hot.
"Is it safe to get back to the living room?" Jimmy asks, crossing his arms as he looks at Bruce pointedly, and Bruce absently runs his hand over his neck, and Steve could really have lived without seeing the faint red mark there. Really. On the plus side, he is doing fine with the first name now, so, point for him.
"I'm not so sure, considering your father is trying to plug in the Christmas lights."
"I heard that," Mr Gordon muttered, coming into the kitchen, nodding at Steve. "Got here okay?" he asks, and it sounds like one of his usual questions about traffic, but somehow Steve doesn't think the searching look that accompanies the question is about the road situation.
"Yeah, no problem at all," he says, and gets a slow nod in return, followed by one of the rare smiles.
"Good. Bruce, if you don't mind lending me a hand, I think the kids can carry on here."
"Oh, I could lend you a hand," Bruce says, and thank God, the rest of what he's saying is drowned out by the sound of the timer going off.
Jimmy rolls his eyes. "I don't think mistletoe would make it worse," he tells Barbara mournfully, and she shrugs.
"You might be right," she says, but she's smiling, and Steve can't help but smile too.