Roleplaying Log: BFFs
IC Details

Owen Mercer gets holier-than-thou on Barbara Gordon over a small identity slip during the 90s Night at the Shakedown in Mutant Town.

Other Characters Referenced: Frank Castle, Dinah Lance, Tony Stark, Tim Drake
IC Date: December 15, 2018
IC Location: Some Deli in NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 17 Dec 2018 01:08
Rating & Warnings: R for Language
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: None
Associated Plots

When Owen Mercer started blowing up her phone, she was standing in a little occult bookshop down in Harlem. The shop was fragrant and fascinating, and she would have really preferred to focus on its details instead of getting the incoming blast of text messages from Owen. The sight of his contact flashing across the screen of her phone incited a mix of emotions… she's kind of grown a bit fond of Owen, not that she'd admit it. But, it's becoming a trend that Barbara likes broken things, and why wouldn't Owen fall into that category? Really.

She finished up the quick fire responses back, despite the withering look of the mambo behind the counter of the mostly vodun-focused shop. She cast the woman an apologetic smile, paid for her book and collection of small items, and then stepped out of the shop to finally shoot a text back to the Boomerang.

Where are you? Coffee?Beer? Because after the influx of texts, she might just need one of those, too.

And true to form Owen texts something dire and then: nothing. Radio silence.

At the ripe ol' crack of 9AM Babs phone lights up again. Coffee with an address.

Owen shows up at the corner deli that has a full bagel counter and a couple tables looking for all the world like hell. He has managed to change his clothes since last night at least so that he's not dressed like a Backstreet Boy at least. But he's here. And somewhat awake. Assuming Babs is waiting for him there, he gives her the weakest of upnods as he walks in but first goes to the counter to order two breakfast sandwiches on bagels, an extra large coffee and an energy drink. He brings his drinks over to the small table and slumps down in a chair. His eyes are nearly swollen shut, his hair is a wild mess of redish blond.


The radio silence is needling and she almost considers hunting him down, but then she just sighs and continues about her night. Crashing with Bette Kane means she's still in NYC when Owen's final reply hits her phone at 9 AM. She squints at it, glowers quietly, and then gets herself out of bed and dressed and off to the coffee shop address. Or deli, as the case may be. She does beat him there, and is already nursing a coffee when he arrives. It's to avoid getting eyed by the owner for sitting at a table, but not ordering something. She looks up as he enters, watches him with a careful tilt of her head, and when he finally settles in across from her, she hooks her chin into her palm, elbow on the table, and she narrows her eyes at him.

"You know… I'm starting to notice a trend about the men that surround me." It's a vague comment that has a bit of a poke to it. Then she takes one of the sandwiches, assuming one to be for her. "Dear God, Owen. Why do you look like crap?"

Owen is barely awake, and severely hungover but his reaction time seems to be sharper than ever. He grabs the sandwich out of her hand and pulls it back in front of him. The furrowed brow look at her clearly indicates that no, that was not for her. He intends to eat all of this himself, and possibly go back for a third. He all but encircles his arms around the food, hunched over it slightly in a near caveman like pose. He cracks open the energy drink and takes a gulp before answering, his voice sounding like he might actually have something clogging it.

"Turns out three days is a bit long for a bender these days." He leans out over the side of the table and runs a hand through his hair, shaking out little bits of leaves or detritus.

Hey. There's this childish instinct to grab it back, but instead she just huffs, rolls her eyes, and settles her hands around her warm coffee cup. She watches him go all caveman defensive around his food, and gives his foot a derisive kick under the table.

His complaint about the length of his bender has her shaking her head ruefully. "You getting old, Mercer?" Then she takes a sip from her cup before she props her chin in her hand, eyeing him across the short distance of the table. "Is this when I threaten to tattle to Tim the same way you tattled to him on me?" There's no real chill or anger in that voice. In fact, she's probably teasing him. Actually, very likely. Look, she's dimpling at him with a coy tilt of her head. Very casually, she uses a napkin to carefully sweep the debris to the ground.

Owen doesn't look even remotely guilty about taking that back. He scowls at the kick, and replies dumbly "Yes. That's my foot." as if she wasn't well aware with that precisely aimed kick. He grumbles about getting old and says, "Yea, apparently." Not that he ever expected to get old, so that comes as a surprise.

"Fuck Tim."

That reply comes out much quicker than and meaner than he meant to. He sighs and says, "Not… just." He starts to try explain and instead unwraps the first bagel sandwich and takes a big bite. After a bit of not terribly polite chewing he tries again, "I don't care what he thinks about me. And something tells me anything you tell him wouldn't surprise or change his mind." Swallowing and washing it down with some coffee, which is obviously too hot to drink from his facial expression, he changes tack.

"But we're not here to talk about me. You might want to guard your secrets a little tighter. And luckily it was just Stark. He might not care about keeping his identity secret, but he ain't going blab about anyone else's."

"Damn, I was aiming for your junk. I'll aim higher next time."

Look. Barbara's had a long few days, and she's finding herself a bit more sharp than usual. She does relax away from the terseness at the immediate response from Owen about Tim, and she puffs out as low breath that has her settling into her seat a bit deeper. Her fingers tap at the paper of the cup for a heartbeat before she looks up at the man. "Owen…" Then she just sighs, relenting to the fact that this isn't about him right now.

Apparently it's about her.

She would prefer it was about him.

"Look, this is my fault, not Di's." She rubs a bit at the back of her neck. "I told her Stark offered me a job, but I didn't say that Stark offered other me a job." She hesitates a moment. "So, she genuinely thought he had been speaking to me-me. Not… not-me-me." Then she narrows her eyes at him a bit. "And he doesn't know the other me-me… me." She hesitates. "… right?"

"I'll take that as a compliment." … Yea, that's Owen for you, gotta make it a little dirty.

"Fuck yes this is your fault. God dammit Barbara." He scowls at her, pissed far beyond he really has any right to be. But there's a lot of emotion and issues tied up here and Owen both lacks the tools to unpack them and the desire to do so. Which leaves him nearly growling at her, "It's not a fucking game. Go ask Tim what he thinks about the wrong people learning his identity. How'd that fuckin' work out?!"

He's raising his voice without realizing it, trying to keep it under wraps but it's apparently all coming out.

"You took a huge risk on Frank. Hell, I like the guy, but he's a killer. Maybe he'll straighten his shit out and come out alright, there's a shot. But what if you were wrong? What if masked vigilantes were on his list?"

Oh goodness is Owen Mercer, currently hungover after a three day drinking binge going to try to lecture someone about responsibility? Yes. It appears so.

Barbara would hit Owen with a look, but then he's launched right into his beratement of her, the call-out to her mistakes. For a heartbeat, she looks bewildered at the sudden slap of anger from the man. A few months ago, would Owen Mercer even care who knew Barbara's identity? She sits in that shocked moment for a second longer, then her anger flashes across her blue eyes and turns her features into a hard scowl.

She leans forward, forgetting her coffee, and the sandwiches, and she snaps back with that same tone, the growling frustration thrown back at him with some fire, "What makes you think that I think this is a game, Owen? I know it's not a goddamn game!" Her jaw sets. "I'm well aware what happens when identities get out, alright?"

When Frank gets brought into this, Babs visibly bristles. "I'm the one who decides the risks I take, Owen. Me. I'm not beholden to you, or keeping your world in equilibrium." She gestures dismissively. "I don't even know why the Hell you care, Owen. You've been on my case since I came to you about Frank the first time. What am I missing here, Owen?"

"Why does roommate know Barbara? What do you think that tells me about Dinah whatserface?" No Owen didn't catch her last name. No Owen doesn't really want to know why a civilian roommate would know that Barbara is leading a secret life. "Because either it's a game and yer bringing people in who are woefully under-prepared to actually lie like decent goddamn human beings… or I now know something I shouldn't know."

"Yea? You're taking the risk? How 'bout yer dear old dad? Because Tim's still kicking last I checked." There he at least gets a little closer to the heart of the issue, even if he doesn't quite realize it himself. And yes, Owen fights dirty in all cases verbally or otherwise. Especially when he's hungover and would really like to just eat his sandwich, but there's yelling still to be done. Though thankfully their voices have dropped back down by this point, the other patrons and workers are starting to give concerned looks. Well some people are just hoping to watch a shit-show lovers quarrel, but some are actually concerned.

"Why do I care?" He snarls, "You. You sought me out. Grabbed me off the damn street. So here I am. And if you think I'm not gonna end up being the one getting blamed if you, your roomie or dad ends up dead? Well, guess again." Who would blame Owen? Well, in his mind. Everyone blames Owen. And what he's not quite saying is that he would blame himself. It's almost there, just not quite verbalized.

Steely, icy silence settles around her as Owen marches headlong into his argument, into his shouting at her. She's not about to tell him that Dinah has every right to know, that she's known she they were teenage vigilantes. She's not about to dare spill that to Owen Mercer. Goddamnit, Owen Mercer. "Shut up, Owen, Shut. Up." She shakes her head, red hair moving in a sharp, violent motion. "She didn't know, alright? She knew that Tony Stark had offered me a job, she thought he had offered it to Barbara Gordon." She sets her jaw. "Tell me, did Dinah say the name, or did Stark?"

Then Owen slams that nail right in, and she is sucking in her breath hard through her nose. Nostrils just flare. "Back off, Owen. Back off." She wants to get up, wants to storm out. She takes another breath, and she leans away from him. Her blue eyes are tired, expression angered. "It was a mistake. Frank? Yeah, I made that choice. And it was stupid, but you have no goddamn right to sit there and fucking judge me for that. We do stupid shit when we love someone, don't we?"

The little confession slips out harder and angrier than she wanted it to be; though, to be honest, she didn't want to confess it at all. She rubs her hands across her temple and jaw until her fingertips swipe low beneath her chin. She turns her head aside, glaring off into the middling air between their table and the deli cabinet. When she looks back to him, her jaw is set. Her fingers quiver slightly as she twists them together.

"I did things concerning Frank because of my own stupid reasons, alright? The boat? You know who ended up there to patch me? Nightwing. And you know what he saw? Barbara Gordon… Barbara Fucking Gordon, not Batgirl." That name is hissed out. "I spent my summer being someone else all because I got my heart all tangled up in this. And I've spent months since then trying to find who I am again. I'm sorry if that shit on your drug-addled parade." She bites hard at her lower lip now, and then when she speaks next, her voice is a rough whisper. "But I'm not yours to protect, Owen. If my choices lead to my death, or Dinah's, or Dad's… then everyone's going to know that they are mine."

"No. It was Stark. And I get it, he's a genius so probably putting one and one together ain't too hard for him anyway, but still."

But then she's telling him to back off, which of course makes him just want to push forward even more. Not because he feels like he hasn't made his point but because he really is that much of a contrarian. But then she lets slip that little tidbit about why she let Frank in. His eyes raise up a little. His anger, dissipates in almost visible waves off his face and he can only counter with, "Oh."

"I knew you wanted to smash that."

Yes, that's Owen's reaction to her confessing that she fell in love with a murderer and made poor decisions based on it. No one has ever accused Owen of being overly sensitive. But he does at least shut up for once, which is good. He picks up the second half of his first sandwich and in an act of true chivalry slides the second one in front of Barbara. Because damn.

"Hey hey! I'm clean." He protests the drug-addled parade thing, but this time with some actual humor in his tone instead of the previous venom.

"And look, I get doing dumb shit because of .." Yea, Owen can't even bring himself to say love here, instead he cops out with, "Feelings. I get it. But it's still good to call it stupid." Like how he tells himself often that things with Harley need to stay in a certain box and they keep spilling out into other places. And any line he tries to draw for himself gets skipped over almost immediately. But this isn't about him! What was he pissed about again? …

"Look, I admit it. I know you ain't my problem. But .." He swallows. Hard. "I feel like enough of a pile of shit about what happened to Tim. I don't think I could handle anything else."

"Yeah. Oh." Somehow, Owen losing the wind in his sails just deflates Barbara. She plants her elbows, holding her head with both hands as she breathes out a slow exhale that sinks her shoulders. When she looks back up at him, her expression is hard to read — a mix of sadness, frustration, confusion. She rubs her hands down across her cheeks, and then presses them together in a folding pose at her lips and nose. She looks seriously at Owen.

Her smile breaks weakly at the whole thing about smashing that, and an actual hum of a laugh breaks through in his protest. Then she looks at him with a half-tilt of her head, breaking her prayer hands to brush a red lock behind her ear. "I'm definitely not your problem — and it's an even split between not being a problem and not being your problem." Then she hears him, really hears him.

The chivalrous sandwich is picked up, and she takes a weary bite from it. She chews quietly without the invasion of thoughts or interruption of emotional weariness. Only after she chews through the first bite does she fix him with a look. "Owen… you helped me. You stepped up and you helped me. I'm not going to forget that, and I owe you for it." Her mouth tightens a moment. "We're allies, alright?"

Then her nostrils flare a bit again, this time just with an exhale. "And stop blaming yourself." Those words are delivered simply. She looks up, blues meeting his. "Your guilt is part of what makes you who you are, but don't let it own you. You'll never get me to kiss you if you look mopey all the time." There's a beat, and then she wrinkles her nose at him in an attempt at a teasingly disgusted look.

"Babs. You just had a secret identity get outted in the middle of a party in mutant town. It's a problem. Might not be a big one, cause Tony's not one to blab, but it's something I'd get under control damn fast if I were you." In many ways he's glad that he doesn't have to worry about anyone connecting Owen Mercer with Captain Boomerang, that ship has long since sailed. And until recently he didn't really have any reason to care. It's only gotten a little more complicated with the fact that he now has people in his life. Thankfully most of those people can kick his ass, so they should be fine.

We're allies, right?

"Yea. We're BFF." Even with the sarcasm, the sentiment that he would in fact back her up is there. Hell, he and Frank took to the tunnels somewhat on their behalf. Somewhat because Frank and Owen like a good fight. But there were some chivalrous ally vibes underneath that.

"Oh wait are you in love with me too? I mean I get, obviously." Here he takes a moment to sweep both hands down in front of him as if to show off what an absolute catch he is. "But is that your thing? Falling in love with the wrong guy and making horrible life choices in an attempt to redeem him? Or were you just suggesting some hot naughty cape and hood style hookup thing?" Really at some point people will learn that Owen is going to take any joke too far, but it might take them a while.

"But I'm seein' someone so it'd have to be on the dee ell." Gross. Owen smiles a lecherous smile, likely making Babs regret ever mentioning the thought of them kissing.

"I've already got it handled, Owen." Her voice is a bit softer now, trying to ease him into letting this go. "Alright? Tony only has ever interacted with Oracle. He knows nothing of the other identities out there." Then she curls her hands around her cup, feeling the lukewarmness through the thick paper. She looks a bit more wearied in this moment, but she has worn that look for a while now. It might actually just be becoming part of who she is — which might be the worst of this whole thing.

We're BFF. "Oh God, please no." She hears the buried sentiment, and is thankful for it, but she's good keeping up the playful back and forth on absolutely denying each other the benefit of friendship — even if it might there, a sprouted seed that has not quite broken through fresh dirt. Of course, then Owen goes a step too far, and she's kicking him under the table again. "It isn't my thing." She shakes her head slightly. "Frank really doesn't know, alright? We're friends. Family, maybe. There's been no naughty vigilante hookup."

Then she's smiling a bit, and some of that weariness subsides. She rolls her eyes obligatorily, and then smirks with a tilt of her head. "Yeah, well, I am, too… so I guess we will have to cash-in on that make-out session until we're both broken-hearted enough to make real shit errors of judgement." Then her tone goes very flat. "Bummer."

Owen gives a dubious look at her as he finishes the rest of his sandwich. He exhales long and says, "Alright. I'm guessin' from the wide eyed look of panic that Dinah knows she dun' fucked up. But I'd recommend a good solid flyin' off the handle and screamin' like a crazy person at her if I were you." He smirks at the thought of Babs just ranting and raving at her roommate over this as he now double fists his coffee and energy drink.

"Yea, still too low for my junk, and that's a little rough for footsies, even for my taste." He laughs at the part about Frank not knowing, "Well, he's gotta have a clue since I've been sayin' that every chance I got. Lucky for you, no one listens to me."

His eyebrows raise slightly as she admits she's seeing someone. After all she did just confess that she had fallen in love with Frank "murderin' machine" Castle not that long ago, but that was nearly 4 months ago now that Owen thinks about it. He laughs at her dismay about them not being available to hookup. "Well, you bounced back from Frank fast enough, I'm sure you'll get over me in no time at all." Owen, forever the ass.

Babs meets his dubious look with a half-tilt of her head and hard smirk. "I'll make sure to yell at her properly and drop a lot of coins in the curse jar just for you, Owen." Then she takes another bite of her own sandwich, settling into it with a sigh. She eats slowly, thoughtfully, mulling over Owen's observation that Frank had to have a clue. If he did, he never did anything with it.

You bounced back from Frank fast enough. She looks up at Owen again, and this time her expression looks a bit wearied again. She shakes her head. "Not how the heart works, but… I'm still pretty sure that I'll get over you in no time." She chews through another bite before she thinks over what Jessica had said to her, and so when she swallows down her bite, she looks uncertain and wrestling with something in her own head. She takes a drink of her coffee, washing down the sandwich bite.

Finally, she asks him a more serious question, "Tim doesn't blame you. You know that, right?"

Raising his coffee cup in a small salute as she promises to cuss out Dinah Owen agrees, "Damn straight."

And then she tries for a more serious topic. And his face shifts to a perfect neutral expression. He stares at her for quite a few beats, trying to formulate a response to that. He mentally walks himself through not responding in anger. His first instinct is to be pissed that she's crossing a line too far in trying to be helpful. He tries not to scowl at her, to yell at her that she doesn't know what she's talking about. He knows that's irrational, he's the one who brought it up. He was stupid and opened his mouth and whined about it and of course she's going to try to get involved.

With just about all the self-control that Owen has ever managed he calmly says, "Okay."

And then he waits all of a half second before asking, "Are we done here?"

All Barbara does is sigh at the question, and she nods with a half-gesture. "Yeah, we're done."

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