Rating: PG-13 for now.
Pairings: Jim/Bruce, Babs/Steve, Babs/Dick, Jimmy/Davika
Warnings: Shmoop, shifting POV, non-linear time progress, Noelia having been damaged by too much sun.
A/N: Fifth story in the groundverse. This part written in-between baking on the beach and driving all around Italy, so all mistakes are definitely the fault of my brain being melted. Love to hear what you think, as always. Next chapter probably on Monday, but I don't promise much, net is shifty here.
Nobody warned him about Dick fucking Grayson.
And there should have been a warning, really, to give him time to prepare. Being in love with and dating Barbara Gordon came with obstacles that never came close to keeping him away, but nonetheless should have come with a warning label and a manual.
Steve was pretty sure, for instance, that most of his friends didn’t have trained investigators as the prospective parents-in-law. Sure, Harper dated a daughter of a Secret Service agent once, but the guy had been cool and pretty laid back once he removed the earpiece. Jim Gordon, on the other hand, was not only the first Gotham commissioner in a good few decades to leave his post to retire and not due to assassination, but he also had the goddamn Batman on the speed dial.
No, really, he did. The light was there for show, Steve had been informed once over a pasta dinner made by Bruce Wayne’s butler (and there was this other thing that he’ll get to in a moment), and to remind the criminals that someone was watching and that crime really didn’t pay, or rather, paid a lot in the universal currency of pain and lasting injuries. But James Gordon didn’t turn on the light to summon the vigilante, oh no, he simply pressed two buttons on his cellphone.
So, yeah, vigilante on a speed dial, access to a fully equipped crime lab, and a lot of Gotham’s finest who would look the other way if Steve’s body washed up in the river. Beat that.
And sure, once Mr Gordon assessed that Steve was not an asshole, and concluded that Babs could certainly do worse, he wasn’t all that scary, not in his old gray sweater as he tended to the roses in the back garden, but still.
Steve remembered that one time, during Joker’s fourth and so far last, chaotic spree, when he woke up at three in the morning by Mr Gordon speaking loudly on the porch, his voice filled with enough anger to be almost unrecognizable. Barbara muttered something into her pillow and turned away, burrowing herself further under the covers as Steve eased out of the bed and stepped towards the window, looking down from behind the curtain. At first he assumed Mr Gordon was speaking to his phone, barking orders to the task force, but his hands were tightly gripping the railing, and he disliked the earpieces quite a lot, and used them only when completely necessary.
Then he noticed, just as Mr Gordon turned to the side, head bowed as he run out of steam. His words were quieter now, difficult to make out. The shadows shifted, and Batman stepped out, hand clasping Mr Gordon’s shoulder. Which, yeah, sure, partners in fighting crime, but one did not automatically associate Batman with a comforting presence, even to his allies.
It was then that Barbara called for him, and he looked over his shoulder, nodding at her, shifting away from the window. One last glance to the porch, and the Batman was already gone, Mr Gordon getting back inside the house.
He asked Barbara about it the next day, and she shrugged and bit her lip thoughtfully. “Long story,” she said. “I don’t think I even know how long,” she added and something in her voice told him not to push.
He should have pushed, damnit, he might have been more prepared for the whole thing, for the secrets, for the Bat-clusterfuck, and for Dick fucking Grayson.
But, first things first. So, despite the whole police officer with vigilante friends thing, Mr Gordon was pretty cool to have as your girlfriend’s father, most of the time. And Babs’ brother was pretty cool, once he stopped being an annoying brat that insisted he could beat Steve at any given video game. But then there was Bruce Wayne.
That seemed pretty cool on the surface; he was generous with offers to lend Steve and Barbara his cars, or boats, or jets, or, even though Steve was pretty sure it had been a joke, his submarine. The fact that Bruce constantly referred to it as a not-yellow submarine was the first clue to it being a joke. Barbara just snorted, and muttered that was what he’d like to think, so he wasn’t completely sure, though. And ever since the news about Bruce and Mr Gordon broke out, there was no club or restaurant Barbara Gordon, and by extension Steven Finn, could not get into on the shortest notice.
But no one ever told you that Bruce was shark at chess, armed in steel logic under that wide smile, and that when he wanted to he could be scary as fuck without ever sounding threatening. One cold look from Bruce Wayne when he thought Steve was doing something stupid, and Steve would gladly take getting shot with Mr Gordon’s standard issue gun, or maybe thrown off a roof by Batman.
Yes, he does see the irony now. Taking him back to Dick, the most aptly named human being in the history of forever, fucking Grayson, the Boy Wonder.
It started something like this;
The news of Bruce Wayne dating the police commissioner James Gordon had started a golden age for the Gotham press, and a rough time for everyone else.
It didn’t look that way at first. He was back with Barbara and things had been going pretty damn well, apart from where he still second guessed himself, but once a girl breaks up with you because you proposed, some confusion is only expected. So, it was going well, and it continued to be going well up until Babs’ birthday, when Bruce treated the entire family, plus Steve, plus Jimmy’s Not-Girlfriend, Devika, to a show starring the apparently world-famous Flying Graysons. Babs was happy, so Steve was happy, but if you asked him (and no one did, to be honest), no show or event in which almost all participants wore tights was all that interesting.
Apart from maybe the Robin Hood movies.
But Barbara enjoyed it, so he didn’t say anything. And, of course, since they had Bruce Wayne amidst their party, they had been kindly invited backstage, to be treated to even more boring stuff. At least Steve wasn’t the only one bored, Jimmy spent most of the time typing furiously on his iphone, and Mr Gordon looked as if he was actually hoping for a work emergency to arise and get him the hell out of there. The girls however where clearly interested, and Bruce was his usual self and either riveted or faking it splendidly, chatting with the older Graysons while the kid kept smiling at Babs.
And at the time Steve didn’t think much of it, Dick was Jimmy’s age, and clearly not any kind of competition, and besides, leaving town in just two days.
Yeah, he can see where it all went wrong.