Pairing: Jim/Bruce, possibly others
Rating: PG-13 for now.
Word count: 1418
Bruce dealing with the press was actually quite fun to watch, because if he wasn't blowing a fuse when people were suggesting his illicit affair with Babs, he was actually very, very good at this, to the point of being a sneaky press-dealing ninja. Jimmy wondered if it was one of those things he had learned during the ninja training he didn't like to talk about. Dad, of course, didn't share Jimmy's fascination with ninja press-dealing tactics, and spent the time jabbing at his cellphone's keys, deleting every message with some satisfaction. Apparently, the concept of katharsis could be employed to wiping out a digital memory of the answering machine, who knew.
Jimmy leaned against the wall by the kitchen window, one of the greatest spots in the house to see the porch and the lawn without being seen yourself, often used by Babs before her dates. She claimed to be a ninja herself, but no one who had seen Bruce in action would have any doubt to where the real skills were.
Ninja skills, in this particular situation, meant that Bruce somehow knew the name of every journalist in attendance, and there was a hellish lot of them, too. He flirted left and right, as he usually did, but now the flirting directed at men was much less subtle than usual. It also meant that Bruce kept smiling even at the more outrageous questions, the ones that would make Dad either hit someone or at least dig into his deepest sarcasm resources. Watching this, you would think that Bruce was not only eternally patient, but that he also had no care in the world. Which, clearly, not true, considering Batman.
Sometimes, very rarely but sometimes, Jimmy could forget about the whole double identity thing. It wasn't that difficult, since Dad and Bruce had that insane and stubborn idea to keep the crime fighting part of their lives separate, even though Jimmy and Babs already knew. Jimmy mentioned something about it to Babs, slightly disappointed by the lack of the pointy-eared cowl in sight, and she shrugged, and muttered that Mom didn't like Batman all that much, as if that explained everything.
Babs refused to explain further, which was just typical, really.
And speaking of Babs, the black Bentley pulled over, and the scattering press had been so overly charmed by Bruce that all they managed was a few quick flashes of the cameras at slightly surprised Babs before they got into their vans and left, probably to go and camp out the precinct, where the afternoon conference was going to take place.
Alfred followed her, but stopped at the lawn, discussing something with Bruce quietly, shaking his head in some amusement, before turning and getting back into the car, much to Jimmy's dismay. Alfred's input on the situation would be very valuable - no one else here seemed to see the funny side. Right now his only hope was with Babs, and she was rarely helpful.
"So, what's the status?" she asked, walking in, dumping her bag on the floor. Biscuit, who was a damn traitor, bothered to get off the couch and come and greet her, and she crouched down to scratch his ears.
"Dad is having a press conference about his sex life," Jimmy said, taking some satisfaction in the phrasing. This was never going to get old.
He also glared at Biscuit, who was now sprawled on the floor, belly-up, happy as a clown. The dog was really annoying in that way, sure, he was Babs' dog, but Jimmy was the one walking him for the past four months, and he was the one sneaking him dinner leftovers.
"Sounds fun," Babs muttered, really not meaning it, and Jimmy was right, she had no sense of humor whatsoever.
"I don't think you have a right outlook on this," he told Babs regretfully, and she returned the glare, drawing herself up from the floor.
"I'll see the hilarious side after I had some coffee, I'm sure," she said, and judging by the zombie moves and panda eyes, she did need some caffeine, he supposed. He waited patiently until she made herself a cup, and wordlessly handed her the paper, then waited.
"Living in sin?" she asked, predictably.
"I get it, unfortunate phrasing," Bruce said, coming into the kitchen. "Can we get over this now?"
Babs gave him a look that said that no, never, not in a million years, and Jimmy for once was in a total agreement. "Nope. Too good," he shrugged.
"Someone made coffee?" Dad asked, coming in, cellphone still in hand. "Hey, honey," he greeted Babs, kissing her forehead. "And?" he glanced at Bruce.
"The press is gone, for now. Your lawn is absolutely ruined, and so is Mrs Darby's, which means we're completely screwed and she'll kill us in our sleep," Bruce shrugged, and Jimmy winced. Mrs Darby scared the hell out of him ever since she caught him trying to dress up one of her cats as a bat. For god's sake, he was eleven, in the middle of his Batman phase, and it was Halloween.
Dad nodded. "I talked to the Mayor, unfortunately I still have to go through the lunch, but she sounded surprisingly pleased."
"No wonder," Babs muttered, and they looked at her. "Well, apart from her stance on same sex marriage, there are other good points," she waved the paper at them, taking in the blank expression and sighing. She settled in into what Jimmy could tell was going to be a spiel. She did that. "Any of you even read that whole piece?"
"I got up to the 'living in sin' part," Dad said, with a look at Bruce that was less annoyed and more amused than before.
"Well, they make a big point out of the fact that Bruce had cleaned up his act in the last few years, cite the suspicious lack of affairs and his increasing interest in charity work..." she laughed. "Apparently Dad is a positive influence on you," she told Bruce.
"Don't even say it," Bruce warned, at the very same moment when Dad grinned and said "Well, of course I am."
Jimmy was just about to say something about that, but his cell perked up, and he sighed. It was only a matter of time until all the people from school woke up to the morning paper and the morning news, which were sure to be full of discussions on his father's sex life, which, again, hilarious and just a tad disturbing.
Then he saw the caller ID, and scrambled to answer it, trying not to smile. "Devika, hey," he said, and escaped from the kitchen before Babs could look too interested in the conversation. Over Devika's surprised reproach on not being told before, he could hear the conversation in the kitchen.
"The Not-Girlfriend?" Bruce was asking, and Babs snorted.
"She's quite nice," Dad said absently. "Keeps coming over to criticize Jimmy's CD collection and ignores me as much as she can," he added, the very tone of voice that told Jimmy he was trying very hard not to laugh too obviously.
"It's not like that," he muttered, coming back into the kitchen, phone safely tucked in his pocket, and Babs snorted again.
"So, you're not going to ask her to the prom?" she said, and he glared at her.
"I didn't say I was going to the prom at all," he said, and she just rolled her eyes, wordlessly calling bullshit. He figured a change in approach was in order. "Hey, and how's Steve?"
"Steve's fine," she said levelly, smirk gone from her face.
"Why did you break up, again?" Jimmy prodded, and this time, even Dad looked mildly interested. Bruce just hid his face in his hands, but whether he was laughing or rolling his eyes so hard they threatened to fall out, Jimmy wasn't sure.
"Because the idiot proposed after that summer pregnancy scare," Babs said matter-of-factly and stood up. "Excuse me."
"After a what?" Dad said, a tad too loudly, and Bruce looked up at that.
"Come on, Jim, you did know they were sleeping together."
"Sleeping, yes, it's the having sex part that I have problems with."
"Not everyone throws press conferences on their sex life," Jimmy said mournfully.