A Team
Roleplaying Log: A Team
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dinah and Barbara recap after the morning blow-up with Constantine, and start talking about a team.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: November 20, 2018
IC Location: Sherwood Florists
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 26 Nov 2018 17:56
Rating & Warnings: PG
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: None
Associated Plots

John Constantine left the house — down the stairs and out the door without much of a flourish — and then about twenty minutes later, Barbara Gordon quietly pads down the stairs back to the main floor of the Lance house. She's changed clothes into sweatpants and a tank top, sweater duster wrapped around her and pinned with her crossed arms. Her hair is brushed out and braided — a way to recenter herself.

"Di?" She calls, even while she pads on thick socks toward where she assumes she will find Dinah — the TV room.

* * *

Dinah's still in the living room, as promised, but she's not playing Wii. She's on her little laptop, curled up on an old, worn-out sofa that was made back when craftsmen put time into such labors. Threadbare, but not falling apart. Her phone's propped up and is (illegally) monitoring the police band, and probably pulling down information supplied by Barbara's own intelligence network.

As for Canary— the crime blotter and news reports. She's not a genius in her own right, but she takes her vigilante duties as seriously as she did her Olympic ambitions. It's always time to train, the mind included.

When Barbara arrives, she glances up, and smiles wryly. The tablet's set aside and phone turned on its face. "G'morning, I should have said earlier," she says, trying for a bit of levity.

* * *

There's still an air of embarrassment around Barbara, but it isn't because of John anymore. She's embarrassed about herself. It carries around her shoulders and the awkward way she drops into the couch beside Dinah. She leans her head back, looking tired and a bit emotionally threadbare. Then she smiles toward Dinah, and there's a little glimmer of something there. "Morning…"

She hesitates, and then, "I'm sorry… that was terrible." She shrugs a shoulder a bit. "John, he's… he's always been complicated." She looks forward again, blue eyes focusing on the black TV screen. She can see her reflection in its inky surface, and she is not surprised by it.

"I would say he's not usually like that, but… I think he's got a lot going on." Things she's only just beginning to make sense of.

* * *

"No. *I'm* sorry," Dinah says, her words gentle but carrying just a bit more purpose than Barbara's. "I was a total shit. I thought he was some scummy barfly, then I thought he was stalking one or both of us. I didn't put together he was *that* John until I'd already bitched at him."

Shoulders rise and fall in an exhalation. "I think I was wound up and looking for a fight. That makes me stupid, and I know it."

Dinah shifts, hugging her shins loosely to her chest and rests her chin on her knees. Bright blue eyes peer at Barbara. "So … demon stuff. In Gotham. Are we, uh… I mean that's not really my area of expertise," she admits. "I'm more about the drug dealers and gangsters. Demons is a bit outta my league."

* * *

"Yeah, about that…" Barbara's brows arch slightly as she turns back toward Dinah, curling her leg under her as she turns toward her friend. It's that intimacy amongst female friends, leaning in close to each other, heads propped in the couch. "You're going to need to tell me what happened with John in the bar."

Guiltily, Barbara knows she is asking because she needs to know if there's more to this John thing than she already knows — it's been six years. John may have changed, and maybe she just needs to know that the whole bar thing with him and Dinah isn't a bigger clue toward who John is now.

But she doesn't push it, yet. The demon thing takes prescdence. She frowns slightly at Dinah's questions, and then shakes her head. "No. John doesn't seem to think so… he says… it was eating her to get out. Like using a battering ram to break through a door… Alysia was the door, and the demon was destroying her from the inside out to breach. I don't get it… not entirely…" She frowns deeper still. "I don't think this is going to happen again, I really don't, but…"

She scratches slightly behind her neck, and she grimaces slightly in a distracted moment. "I need to find out. This is outside my league, too, but if it comes to Gotham, its in our house."

* * *

An alarmed expression crosses Dinah's face, and she's shaking her head before Barbara can finish her sentence. "Oh, nononoo, nothing like THAT," she says. She shifts to sit with legs folded, and leans over to grip both Babs' wrists as if trying to physically reinforce the 'full stop' in her voice.

"That snap rainstorm a few nights go. It was slicking up the roads, so I pulled my bike into McGinty's. He was there just getting absolutely shitfaced." She pauses to think, releasing Babs' arms and pushing her tangled, unbrushed hair back away from her face. One knee rests atops Barbara's leg, bouncing absently as Dinah digs in her memory.

"He was making really, really bad attempts to pick me up. Or to get his ass kicked," she says, equivocating a bit. "Either/or. I wasn't gonna pop some tourist in the teeth over being too mouthy. But he was needling me. So when I saw him, I instantly went to 'stalker' and then…" she gestures towards Barbara, as if handing her something. "I was on edge and felt irrational and overprotective. Which— yes, I know. We're grownups." A sigh escapes her lips.

* * *

The grasp to her wrists stops her as it is meant to, and she steadily watches Dinah as she walks her through what happened. She frowns slightly at the description, but it fits with what she knows about John. She will need to now find out why he was getting shit-faced, because that's how her detective brain works… just maybe not //right away/.

"Only sometimes," Barbara quips back at the grown-ups bit. She smiles a bit wearily, and then shakes her head. "It's okay, Di." She gives her friend's shoulder a squeeze. "I didn't really think you two hooked up… the reactions in the kitchen were pretty clearly not that."

Then she ducks her head a bit, sighing as she tucks a bit of hair behind her ear. "Christ, I don't know what I'm doing." She looks up to Dinah. "John was… so complicated. And I don't think that's changed." She tucks her chin into her arm as she folds it up along the couch. "Or if it has, it's changed in a very different way."

* * *

"Do *any* of us know what we're doing?" Dinah says, with a wry tone and a fond smile. It's clearly a rhetorical statement. "I don't think any of us do anything less that complicated. I mean, hell, it's not like I haven't flirted at Batman." She rolls her eyes at herself. "Talk about playing chicken on the railroad tracks, right?"

"I'm not gonna judge you for it, 'cause…. well, you got me out of *my* bad situation. Remember?" she says, nudging Barbara gently. "I was all ready to hang up the tights and go live in some biker's bitch seat. If you hadn't talked me outta it…"

"Anyway." She takes a deep breath, trying to focus herself. "I think… it's not like we're all the most well-adjusted people. And I don't think there's exactly a lotta therapists who'd help us out. We need to be a support network for each other," she observes. "Hold each other up. Sometimes knock each other down a peg or two," she says, a grin escaping an attempt at a wry smile. "I mean, we're all we've got, when you come down to it."

* * *

Dinah's wisdom — couched entirely in Dinah's own way — brings a light smile to her lips. She leans forward and sets her forehead on the woman's shoulder, taking a moment of comfort from the longtime friend. Then she leans back, and gives Dinah a broader smile that activates those dimples.

"I'm very well adjusted." She's teasing, and there's no denying it. Then she rubs at the back of her neck. "I like John. I always have… even if he doesn't really like himself all that much. We've both really… become different people, though." She frowns. "I'll see where this goes, because… God, it's just nice to have something right now."

Then she looks a bit sheepish at her friend — an apology for all manner of things; one of which might be getting laid, if only because a hot topic between the friends have been focused around relationships lately.

"He knows." She hesitates a bit, and then shrugs a shoulder. "That I'm Batgirl. I didn't tell him about you though… though he might be onto you." She looks amused. "We talk about demons too professionally. More feminine gasps and proclaims of disbelief might be helpful for next time."

* * *

Dinah supports Babs, reaching up and cupping Barbara's cheek before hugging the back of her head. Just a few moments of still, silent reassurance for her friend, which is clearly what the redhead needs in that moment.

"I can see … *maybe*… some likeable qualities," Dinah allows. "Some. He's cute in kind of a sleazy way, I guess. Smart though. Probably really cerebral. I can see why he'd be your type." The sheepish look is magnaminously ignored, just to let Barbara know that Dinah's not jealous. Not one bit. Nope.

"I'm kinda surprised you gave up the big secret," she admits, and tugs her earlobe with a thoughtful frown. "I can't imagine he won't put it together fast, though. My alter-ego, I mean. Not a lot of blonde women fighting crime in Gotham who also happen to team up with Batgirl who *also* happen to cohabitate with a certain Barbara Gordon." A hand lifts and she taps Barbara's nose. "Boop. Anyone could work it out from there. Don't get me wrong, I'm not *thrilled*, but it's not the first time someone's outed me."

* * *

Really cerebral. See why he'd be your type. Oh, man. Dinah has no idea. Then she shakes her head, tucking a lock of hair back behind her ear. It's a casual gesture that masks some of her uncertainty. Then she looks apologetic.

"He needed to know. I broke up with him to come back here to be Batgirl. Plus, he's run into Batman, and that means there's nothing to stop him from crossing my path later as Batgirl. And that's just asking for trouble. And awkwardness."

Then she sighs, even if she's booped. "I know, I'm sorry…" She frowns, lips folded together. "John's a warlock though… maybe he's in similar circles." Which they both damn know he is because Zatanna was the trigger back in the kitchen. Or at least, part of the trigger. "He dated Zatanna… they broke it off… really recently."

* * *

Dinah covers her mouth. "Oh… sh" she glances at Barbara. "nikes." Barbara's cultured mien is rubbing off on Dinah already!

"And I was just like… wham, right in the nuts with his ex who just dumped him," Dinah winces. "Geeze, I almost feel sorry for the guy."

"A little." Fingers pinch a space just wide enough for a credit card. "He was still a drunken ass in the bar. But, uh… yeah." Shoulders slump with her heavy sigh. "If he's in the game, he's in the game. Might as well make nice before we decide to have it out in the middle of a real problem."

"I'd make a joke about trying to unscrew this pooch, but in light of recent events…" Blue eyes twinkle merrily and a grin splits Dinah's face.

* * *

Barbara gives her friend an amused smile at her correction. Between John, Frank, and Dinah, she's starting to accept that she's the only modestly tongued one. She drops back into the couch, and then shrugs her shoulders. "Yeah…" Then she frowns. "I think that might be why he was drunk, and why…" Then she feels heat in her cheeks, and shrugs.

"I think he's in the game." She turns her head toward Dinah again, and she's about to say more until she mentions unscrewing the pooch, and the redhead is blushing again. "Shut up." Then she tucks a bit of hair back behind her ear.

"… but, yeah, don't think that's possible at this point."

* * *

Dinah giggles and hugs Barbara apologetically. "Okay. Well, what's done is done, and it sucks, but— I'll do better." She releases Barbara and settles back on her rear. Hands grip her crossed ankles and she bounces once, putting energy into her words and body language.

"And hey—! Never forget, we're a *team*," she points out to Barbara. "You and me. I'll be there for you and you'll be there for me. John or no John, or Frank, or…"

She starts counting on her fingers, then peers demurely at Barbara. "Can I count these new boys on my fingers, or should I go get pad and paper?" she offers, with a saccharine tone.

* * *

The hug is welcomed, tightened, and she is laughing softly at the humor from her friend.

Then she gasps. "Shut up!" Barbara actually laughs brighter at that, burying her face into the couch. "You know damn well it is nothing like that." Then she smiles ruefully up at her friend, until her expression changes a bit. Something Dinah's said…

"We are a team." She repeats those words, and then tilts her head. "I've been thinking about that… about being a team…"

* * *

"I know, but it's funny to make you blush like that," Dinah remarks, tweaking Babs' exposed ear. "Like a little freshman at prep school talking about making out under the bleachers. Aaaaaa-dorkable."

She leans her lower back against the sofa's arm behind her, still gripping her ankles. A thoughtful expression crosses her face, head tilting hawkishly to regard Barbara with a wary sort of trust. "A… team? You mean like, you, me, some of the other weirdos who run around Gotham?" The notion provokes a bob of her brows, and Dinah squints at the far wall. "I mean… offhand, it's not a bad idea. Got anyone in mind? Someone we know we could trust?"

* * *

"I really hate you," Barbara says without real anger. She smiles to her friend and just shakes her head before she leans back up to think the question through more seriously.

"Look, I'm a Bat… and I'm part of that family, will forever be… but I think that this may be beyond that… look at the Defenders group in New York City… strengths, weaknesses, all of that." She rubs at the back of her neck. "Others, though? Don't know… but maybe we can figure that out, too."

* * *

"We'll have to figure something out," Dinah agrees. "Gotham's just gonna get weirder. I mean, Two-Face? Penguin? They're small change compared to demons and monsters. We need a plan, and a plan needs a team." She considers the idea with a thoughtful expression.

"I think it's a good notion. I don't have any idea where to begin," she admits, "but it's still a good idea. I think… maybe for the best if we don't invite any exes along," she says, impishly. "We could talk to Batwoman, if you can track her down?" Dinah suggests. "Or even some of the reformed criminals. Give them a chance to pay the city back a bit."

* * *

"I know," Barbara says softly, frowning to herself when Dinah actually points out what she's been really thinking about — really trying to work through. There is so much more that needs to be looked after here in Gotham, more that needs attention. She leans her head back a bit against the couch again.

"Best place to begin would be recruitment, I think. Maybe do a call for help on a big job that comes our way, see if we find people we work well with." She shrugs. "There's also lots of vigilantes in Gotham not connected to the Bats… you hear about that Ghost of Gotham?"

* * *

"Yeah. It's a lot. And—" Dinah gently thumps Barbara's leg with a closed fist. "We don't have to come up with names and lists right now. Let's just… kinda let it stew, and keep an ear out," Dinah suggests. "And, I don't know if YOU'VE worked up an appetite for anyreasonwhatsoever, but I'm starving. I think I've got some eggs and cheese. I can fry some bacon up and do some omelettes?" she offers, and with her uncanny sense of balance, disentangles her legs and rises smoothly to her feet.

* * *

"Food sounds… great." Barbara actually is genuine in that. She's starving. She is not at all rising to the suggestion as to why she's starving, but she's starving. She starts to unwind from the couch, following suit. "Feed me, Seymour." She shakes Dinah by her arm gently before she falls into stride with her for the kitchen.

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