You'll Come Out Ahead
Roleplaying Log: You'll Come Out Ahead
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dinah and Babs talk about how things are going — particularly with Babs's break-up with John.

Other Characters Referenced: Frank Castle, John Constantine
IC Date: June 07, 2019
IC Location: Lance Family Home
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 09 Jun 2019 20:22
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits: None
Associated Plots

It's late when Barbara Gordon finally gets home. She hit the Belfry, changed out of her suit, and now she's stepping into the front door of the Lance family home with a heavy sense of exhaustion around her. She's got her bag over her shoulder, and her helmet is all scuffed up like she got skidding on some gravel at some point in the evening. The time shows it's about 1 AM.

She tries not to wake anyone in the house as she moves gingerly toward the kitchen, dropping the bag and helmet on the couch with a thud.

**

"hngh?" Dinah sorts awake at the sound of Babs entering the house. No one living in the Lance household would be considered a 'heavy' sleeper. She's asleep at the dining room table buried in dense shadows, with a blanket having fallen off her shoulders at one point. "I'm up, I'm up," she mumbles, and wipes a palm over her face. She looks down at the disorganized mess of papers in front of her then wobbles her gaze towards Barbara's path of travel. "Oh hey, welcome home," she yawns. Dinah gets to her feet. She's in a lightweight black sleeping tee and a pair of comfy flannel sleeping pants, riding low under her hipbones. "Is this… are you home early or late? I can't remember what schedule we're on." She shuffles towards the kitchen, following the scent of overcooked, over-strong coffee.

**

The disorganized sight of Dinah is met with a little twitch of a smile, and then the redhead is pacing over toward her with that subtle limp. "Thanks, Di." She glances over the spread of papers across the table. "Um, you doing some research?" It's almost a rhetorical question as she picks up a piece of paper, glancing over it while she follows her friend to the kitchen. She is a helpful friend by turning on the light when Dinah gets into the kitchen, and then she's finding a place to lean while she looks the blonde over. "Did you go out tonight? We never checked in with each other before I left — " Considering that Babs left from Metropolis to hit her patrol.

**

"Did I?" Dinah asks, rhetorically. She glances at the clock on the wall, an old analog from the 60s. Tick-tock. "Shit, I lost track of time. No, I got wrapped up in… well, yeah, research," she says, rubbing her eyes. "I just meant to shut my eyes for a few minutes. I'm trying to get this term paper done early so I'm not crunching on it last minute. You know. Being responsible and shit."

She groans in protest as Barbara turns on the light overhead, shielding her eyes as they adjust, and fumbles blindly to the coffeepot. Dinah gives Barbara a bleary side-eye as she rattles around to pour a hot cup. "Anything interesting tonight, or just more of the same?" she asks around a yawn.

**

"I don't know. Did you?" Barbara's lips twitch with an amused smile before she hops up onto the counter, swinging her feet in their simple, mismatched socks. "Oh is that what you're working on." She glances down at the paper. "I think that's great, Di. You want me to look over what you have?" She's tried not to offer to be Dinah's editor or helper because she didn't want to think that Babs was trying to take-over her independence.

The turn of conversation about the night has Barbara shaking her head. "No. I mean, some serial carjacking in Red Hook, and then there was some stalkers down in the Narrows. I had to take the bike to the pavement to avoid some morons taking a bat to me, and I think I scratched up the ride pretty bad, but we'll both be okay." Beat. "So, I guess just more of the same."

**

"God, yes, some help would be great," Dinah tells Barbara with relief. "I haven't written a paper since like… well, since I dropped out of college," she admits. "I haven't even started with my citations."

She pours coffee for herself, then adds some bourbon to it, and wraps her hands around 'Grandad's Cough Cure' to sip it slowly. "We'll get your bike repainted. That carbon fiber shell sands out real easy and then we'll layer some of that ablative ceramic stuff. Should keep it looking new for a while longer."

Dinah gives Barabara a more critical side-eye. "Just to make sure, this is a 'I'm living my post-breakup wild life streak', not a 'I'm sad and self-destructive' streak, right?" she inquires.

**

The relief that courses through her friend sparks a little smile at Barbara's lips. "I'll look it over, and I promise not to use red ink." Then she curls her legs under her, sitting cross-legged on the counter with the balance of someone who tiptoes across roof edges.

Dinah lays out how they will fix her bike, and the Batgirl lightly laughs. "You got it. I'll get the supplies."

Then Dinah mentions the post-break-up lifestyle, and the redhead looks down at her folded legs, fiddling with a bit of her soft t-shirt. "We're on three weeks and nothing from John. I can't even get to The Mill anymore. I think he changed the spells that let me use the closet door. I don't think he's coming back, Di. I think we hit the point just before it would have been harder to leave." She frets at her lip. "I'll be okay. Really. No self-destructive streak. And if you think I'm down that road, you just smack me around, okay?"

**

"Promise," Dinah assures Barbara. It's not like they haven't been here before— both of them. Either kicked out, or doing the kicking. The vigilante life doesn't lend itself to stable relationships.

She shuffles over and hugs her friend tight with one arm, then tilts Barbara's head down so she can kiss her forehead reassuringly. She grimaces and makes a sputtering noise off to the side. "Yikes. You need to use more conditioner. Time to change the oil there," she says, and dances away to try and avoid any reprisal.

**

"Good," Barbara breathes, perhaps relieved that Dinah will step in if she gets too far down that post-break-up hole. Then at the hug and the kiss, the redhead leans into it. She squeezes the hug in return before Dinah makes the comment, and the woman gasps in mock alarm. "Hey!"

She kicks out a foot after Dinah just as she dances back. Then she's sliding off the counter, bouncing forward to throw a faux punch out at her without any intention to meet it.

**

Dinah squakws with a laugh and hooks an arm over the punch, then steps into Barbara and hugs her firmly, leaning back and forth with a lazy and comforting sway. She breaks after a few seconds, holding Barbara's waist loosely in her arms and beaming at the redhead. "See, that's how I know you're not depressed. Depressed Babs mopes around like a giant nerd," she points out. "And I'm kidding. Your hair looks great. I'm sorry John ghosted on you but, I mean— I'm glad he didn't take your heart with him," she says, sincerely. "I know it sucks. But I'm here for ya. Y'know?" she says, with a reassuring squeeze. "I've always got your back."

**

Barbara holds onto a somewhat sad smile as she loops her arm around Dinah's shoulders and rests her head against the blonde's. She sighs out a breath then, and nods gently against their resting heads. "He took a little of my heart with him, but that's how this all goes. We were never going to be a right fit — I was always going to want to change him, to get him to stop being who he is. That was never going to work." Then she leans back a bit to look at Dinah.

Something passes across her face for a heartbeat before she looks almost uncertain, frowning as she does. "Frank's come back around. You don't think… it's a little coincidental, right? John ghosts me, Frank starts coming back?" She is following that up quickly. "I mean, he was on this big hunt for whoever jumped him back in February, and he came to Gotham to check-in. It's nothing, right?"

**

Dinah stares blankly at Babs. "I… well. Shit, I didn't think anything about it until you said something. Now I can't think of anything else," she says, ruefully. "Like, 'don't think of pink elephants'."

She lets that hang for a second, still holding Barbara against her stomach with a loose embrace. "See? Can't think of anything else." She bites her upper lip and stares into the middle distance behind the redhead's shoulder, eyes flickering in thought. "It seems pretty unlikely," she concludes. "He'd have to know you were single, which means he'd have to know John well enough to know he bailed. And that'd require that he, like, is tapping our communications and stuff. He's not stupid but I don't think he's got the skill to hack our phones without your knowledge. I think… and I hate to say it— I think it is a coincidence."

She hesitates. "I'm… that said, you should trust your gut. Maybe that's not the reason he came back, but maybe it's *something* suspicious. Something else. Just, uh… keep your ears open, okay? He's got that hot gruff biker thing going, but a guy like Castle always has a couple of unsavoury irons in the fire."

She runs a pinkie nail against Barbara's forehead to push a couple loose strands of red hair away from her face. "Just don't rush into something. 'sides, you've always got me for company," she reminds Barbara with an encouraging smile.

**

The touch to her forehead is met with closed eyes. It brings out a sigh that slumsp her shoulders a bit. Barbara looks down as she slumps back against the counter. "Yeah." The word is quiet, almost breathed. She glances up slightly toward Dinah as she shifts her shoulders back and forth. "It's unlikely. Just feels — I don't know. After Christmas, and maybe a couple times after New Years…" Her words taper off, unable to put everything into something that makes sense. So she just lets it go, kicking at the ground a bit. "I'll be careful."

Then she looks up, and her smile warms a touch. "I know, Di. I'll always be here for you, too." She crosses her heart with a fingertip.

**

"It's okay. You guys have some chemistry," Dinah allows. "He's not bad looking. I mean, c'mon. Of the two of us, who's more likely to date a bad boy in a leather jacket? Right?" she says,trying to tease a laugh from her friend again.

"So." Fingers drum on Barbara's waist. "Man. It's weird not having a guy practically living here again," she remarks, laughing. "What should we do with some newfound freedom? Redecorate? Put frilly pink shit everywhere? Go back to sleepovers in the entertainment room?" she inquires with a light tone.

**

"Chemistry?" Barbara looks up at Dinah dubiously. But then at her question, she huffs out a little laugh. "Yeah. Not me." Right? Then she looks up to Dinah at the drumming at her waist, and she smiles slightly when Dinah turns this all positive. "Um, no. Definitely no redecorating. I like this house the way it is. But maybe some ritual burning of old boyfriend stuff would be good. But sleepovers do sound nice." She shrugs slightly with another little smile. "I'm really glad to be back around more often."

**

"I'm glad you're home," Dinah agrees, and drifts away from Barbara with a squeeze for the redhead's fingers. "Helena's back at her apartment for a few days and it's a little lonely here just by myself now. How about we get a fire going?" she suggests. "We'll make some drinks up, put a bad movie on, and start the ceremonial burning of the crap," she offers. "We could even go totally middle-school, whip out a Ouija board and see if we can curse him with headlice or something," she offers.

**

"Yeah. I noticed she's not been around." The redhead pushes off the counter soon after Dinah starts to drift. "Drinks, movies, and burning sounds great." She looks down at her clothes before she tugs at her shirt. "I'm going to go get changed. But — we don't need to do curses on the Ouija board. I bet John has some serious anti-curses. We shouldn't tempt him."

**

"Damn. Good point," Dinah mutters. "Oh well. I'm pretty sure it didn't work when we were kids, anyay," she concedes. "We'll just do what we always do, get drunk and have mean-spirited thoughts. That's probably healthier than meddling with dark forces anyway, right?" she asks, and pads towards the entertainment room to set up while Barbara's off getting changed.

**

"Definitely didn't," Babs says with a quirk of a smile. Then she is heads for the stairs so she can bounce up them to her room. It takes her no more than five minutes to pull on PJ pants and a shirt similar to Dinah's own — even if her skirts her hips more. She's thumping back down the stairs and into the entertainment room. "What bad movie are we watching?"

**

Dinah's got a pile of blankets and pillows on the floor in front of the sofa. It's easy to imagine she's had these 'campouts' since she was old enough to watch TV on her own. A couple drinks are nearby and a bowl of chips as well.

When Babs returns, Dinah flashes a smile at the woman. "We can go old school and watch Stripes," she suggests, flashing the classic at Babs. "Or we could watch the Wayans brothers trying to pass for white girls." 'White Chicks' is flashed at Barbara. "Those bad enough, or too bad?"

**

When Barbara pads in, she smiles bright at the sight of the pillows and blankets. The drinks and chips are a secondary to the blanket fort, and she's down with Dinah and she reaches for her drink. "Oh god, both of those are horrible." She laughs and bobs her head. "Let's go old school." Then she grabs some chips, starting to munch while she sips at her drink.

**

"Bill Murray it is," Dinah agrees, and puts the DVD in. She gets it spun up with her remote and moves to sit next to Babs, balancing the bowl between them and burrowing her shoulders into the pillows behind her to prop herself up.

"God this movie's so old," she mutters. "Back when everyone thought the Soviets were gonna end the world." She looks over to Barbara and shifts her elbow to nudge her. "You sure you doing okay?" she asks in a softer voice.

**

"Now we have a whole list of other people who are going to end the world," Barbara smiles over at Dinah before she slumps down into the couch to eat a couple chips and a sip or two of a drink. The softer whisper toward her draws her attention from the movie and to Dinah.

She takes in a deep breath before she slowly nods. "Yeah." Her fingers trace the edge of the cup. "I'm okay. I mean, it comes in waves, right? Sometimes I'm doing okay, then I find myself waiting up for John to come by, only to remember he's not." She frowns slightly. "But, you know I'll be okay. I got over Dick, didn't I? And I'll get over John."

**

Dinah's fingers worm over and interlace into Barbara's. She squeezes with both hands and hugs Barbara's fist against Dinah's sternum, reassuringly, and slips an arm around Barbara's shoulders.

"I remember breaking up with Dick," she acknowledges. "That was a wreck. I think he was more busted up about it than you were in the long run," she says with a playful tone. "So I'd say you came out ahead with Dick. And you'll come out ahead with John," she adds. "I'm not saying rush back into things but remember— you're awesome, and smart, and hot, and someone will come along for you. I'm sure of it," she says with a firm nod.

**

Barbara leans her head back into the couch, smiling over at Dinah. "We loved each other pretty hard, didn't we? I think maybe we still do… but, we've both moved past all of that." Then she looks back at the TV while she thinks about John. She would say more about that before Dinah is dishing out the compliments, and she hooks her arm with Dinah's, squeezing her close. "I'm sure of it, too… or we will just live together until we're both spinsters… or you find someone and I'm the awkward third wheel until we all grow old together."

**

"Yeah, my track record for dating lately isn't much better than yours," Dinah snorts. "It's all vigilantes with dark pasts and rich Gotham brats with daddy issues. I can't remember the last time I was in an actual stable relationship. Thank god for Tindr," she remarks with a rueful tone.

"Whatever. It's been you and me for like ten years," she reminds Barbara, cuddling close in with the redhead. "We might as well just lean into it, right? Get a bunch of cats or something. Start making artisanal honey for the farmer's markets."

**

"Me neither, I guess…" Because a relationship with Constantine was not stable. Then she curls up closer to Dinah, her head resting against her friend's. "Besides, those Gotham brats or dark vigilantes don't know what they're missing." She nudges her shoulder against Dinah's.

"Alaska could use a friend," she says helpfully. "He's been stalking around here, all depressed when we're not home. We could get another cat. Or steal Max." Then she laughs at the mere idea of honey shopping. "Sure, but we also need organic strawberries and raw whipping cream."

**

"…well, now I want strawberries and whipped cream," Dinah says ruefully, and pushes off of Barbara. "You're absolutely killing my waistline. Killin' me, Smalls," she complains.

She's off to the kitchen in quiet whispering slippers, and returns with some an aersol of Cool Whip and strawberries in hand. "I should ask Mom if she's got my gramma's recipe for homemade whipped cream. There's nothing like it. It's just stupid time consuming to make," she says grudgingly. She moves to sit next to Barbara again, rolling her weight onto her hip and resting her knees against Barbara's legs as she gets more snacks sorted.

"Much as I'd love to blame it on my exes," she says, and carefully applies some cream to strawberry balanced on her fingertips. It's offered over to Babs. "I gotta admit I'm not terribly datable myself. I don't know any cape who's made it work with a non-cape. And you've gotta be crazy to be in this line of work as it is. So it's either stable but inequal, or equal but unstable."

**

"You're welcome," Babs says helpfully as Dinah drifts back to the kitchen. While she's gone, she rests her head deeper back against the couch. "You should ask for that recipe! I wouldn't mind some good homemade whipped cream." Then she is glancing back up when Dinah settles in beside her, and she nestles in close so she can delve into it even if it's just cool whip.

"Yeah — I know. I'm starting to feel the best I'll have is something that will either be shortlived or complicated as all get-out." Then she smiles to Dinah. "But, I do really like that I'll always have you." She presses a kiss to Dinah's temple before she turns her focus to the TV.

The two best friends settle in, watching the movie and eating and drinking until they hit that pass out on the couch point, because that's what they do best.

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