You Do You, Babs
Roleplaying Log: You Do You, Babs
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

After Frank gets his van, he stops by the Birbhouse to see if Babs is around; she shares with him a new goal she has and does the "girlfriend thing" by checking in on what he thinks about it. He is Frank about it.

Other Characters Referenced: Dinah Lance, Tony Stark
IC Date: June 26, 2019
IC Location: Lance Family Home
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 29 Jun 2019 01:15
Rating & Warnings: PG (Frank only says 'shit' once)
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Frank has a van. Frank has a van with stupid legal papers signed over to Pete Castiglione. But hey, he's in Gotham, so he drops a text to Babs, 'In town. Meet up?' He doesn't know her plans, but there's some part of him that thinks she's likely to make time. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is open to interpretation. He heads for the Birdhouse after sending the text, the big engine in the van rumbling along smoothly as Frank avoids shiny, curvy cars that haven't been stylish in New York since the '20s, but somehow never left the streets of Gotham.

'At home. Want to come over?' That's got all kinds of connotations attached to it in their mono-amorous relationship. But, Frank gets his sights on Sherwood Florists and the Lance family home beyond it, the house looks pretty dark save for that solitary light on in Barbara Gordon's window.

'y'

The next Punisher van drives up to the Birdhouse, parking around back. The single glowing light causes him to chuckle briefly, and he scoops up a handful of gravel at the edge of the road, circling around to the side of the house. He glances around, then hucks one little rock up at her window. He actually hits with the first — and second — piece of gravel.

Barbara looks up from where she's sprawled out on her floor when the first bit of gravel tinks against the glass; then again at the second. She glances toward the window with a bewildered look that then dissolves into a soft and easy smile as she hauls herself to her feet. She crosses to her window, kneeling on the bed to pop the lock and pull it open. Because Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance have been sneaking out their bedroom windows since they were seventeen, there's no screen in the window and so that makes it easy for Babs to lean out it, weight on her elbows. She smiles down at Frank. "Hey."

"I'm realizin' the problem with this." Frank looks up at the redhead in the window, tossing the rest of the gravel toward the edge of the lawn. "Climbing up there's gonna be a pain in the ass." Since no one in the Lance house has to sneak out anymore, there's no convenient tree. He looks around again, then shrugs, "Should I just come by the door, Red?" There's a hint of dry amusement in the words, and he shrugs, "I couldn't resist. Oh yeah, and I was in town." He nods to the van in the driveway, "Found a van."

"I don't know," Babs leans into her elbows and forearms as she looks down at the dark-haired Punisher in her lawn. "I kind of want to see you try to scale up to my window." Then she props her chin on her knuckles. She would continue to tease him, but then he's mentioning the van and she pushes up through her arms to look toward where Frank parked the van. "Hey! Look at that." There's something weirdly familiar on her black sleep shirt, but it's hard to really make-out with the backlight of her bedroom. Then she nods to the door. "I'll be right down." Then she's tugging down the window so she can scramble off to bed and bounce down the stairs, still not worrying about the lights.

Frank lifts his brows as she leans out further, "You're gonna fall out if you keep that up, Red." He shakes his head with amusement, then turns aside to head for the door, "Yeah. Needs a paint-job." She reaches the door before he does, but when she opens the door, he's coming up the steps, "Hey, Red." He steps forward into the dark entryway, reaching a hand out for her arm and leaning in to press a kiss to her temple. "You don't mind me showin' up?"

"I bet we can give it a really great paint job," says the woman who has had to do plenty of her own paint jobs and helped other Bats to their own. Then she's turning her head into his lips, and she steps up close to settle in against him, too close for him to catch sight of what she's wearing beyond sleep shirt and probably shorts. Her fingers squeeze his elbow before she leads him into the dark house and then up the stairs, speaking over her shoulder as she does, "I don't mind. It's a good distraction."

"Heading back to the Scrap Yard early next week to paint it black." When Barbara settles against him, Frank bumps his temple lightly against hers, then shuts the door behind him and turns to follow after the collection of pale limbs wrapped in the black sleep shirt. And probably shorts. "Good. What am I distracting you from?" He lets out a little huff of laughter, "Tell me you're doing something for Batgirl, not for Stark. Don't know if I can handle dating the nerd who brings homework home."

Babs alights on the landing, turning back toward him with a scoffing laugh that includes a slightly gawkish wave of her hand. "Pfff, no." There's a bit of a blush in her words that can just be seen. "Okay, maybe. But isn't for Stark." She's turning back to cross the hallway to her room, this time opening the door without the blundering, stumbling that their last time down this hallway encouraged. She's not walking all that quietly which suggests that Dinah and Helena are out, leaving just the two in the house. She steps into her well-lit bedroom, and when she turns back to Frank, he's left to take her in from head to toe: a sleep-bun of red hair with coils of loose locks along her throat, a black sleep-shirt with the Punisher skull printed in white, and the faint edges of shorts just beneath the hem of the shirt. Spread all across the floor is books and magazines and her laptop has been set aside with the Gotham University website opened.

Frank smirks faintly at the blushing response, "Nerd." He stops two steps into Barbara's bedroom, blinking at the white on black design on her shirt. "Jesus Christ!" Shaking his head in amazement, he starts to say something, stops, tries again, "I'm. What." Okay, not a great second try. "That's a bit on the nose, ain't it, Red?" At least he sounds amused now that he's gotten over his surprise. Well, sort of gotten over. Despite his usually-excellent situational awareness, he hasn't noticed the books or magazines or laptop yet, too caught up on the sleep shirt. "That's an upgrade from bottle openers, right?" Nope, he's still off-kilter a bit, "What the fuck?" That's more like it.

Babs had started for the pile-up of reading materials and laptop, but she spins back at his surprised reaction. "Wha — " Then she's looking down at her shirt, and her expression turns into something chagrined as she tugs down at the shirt and then crosses her arms to obscure the skull. "Oh. Um." She ducks her head a bit as she tucks a fallen lock behind her ear. "Definite upgrade from bottle openers." She nudges at one of those opened textbooks with her foot. "There's a guy selling them over in Manhattan, and I was book shopping before I headed home, and… well…" She hesitates. "Too much?"

Frank shakes his head as she covers up the skull, "No. Sorry, too late." He presses his hands together in front of him, nearly popping his knuckles but never quite getting to that point. "It's a little weird, Red," he admits, frowning a little curiously at the skull-adorned shirt, and the arms crossed over it. Then he shakes his head, "Kind of sweet, I think? Stepping across the room, he then notices all the books… the ones he's actively stepping over, and his frown deepens slightly, "You going back to school, Babs?"

Babs actually frets at her lip a moment before she offers him a sheepish smile. "I can get you a Batgirl t-shirt if you want." Then she ducks her head a bit as she steps forward, sliding her hand across his forearm before her hand blossoms open to gather up his fingers. "It's definitely sweet. I bought it because it made me think of you. Though I know, I know — you don't own that name." Then she presses her lips gently to his cheek before she glances down at the books, and then she sighs out a breath. "Thinking about it. I've been thinking about… I don't know… I'm not going to stay with Stark Unlimited forever, and all I have is a Library Sciences degree. I wondered about going back for a Masters in Computer Sciences. Justification, I guess." She looks down at the scattering of books and her laptop, now clearly opened to an application to the university.

"Wouldn't people think it's a Batman shirt on me?" Frank smirks faintly, "I mean, besides the purple." He steps close, careful around the books and papers and laptops, reaching up to caress his fingers back along her jawline, "So you're going to work at Stark Unlimited, be Batgirl, be the Commissioner's daughter, date someone out of town, and go back to school?" His fingers slip further back, up behind her ears, and he leans forward to press a kiss to her brow, "Sounds like you, Red." He pauses there a moment, "You could pretty much be teaching those classes, right? Oh, and I don't need a Batgirl shirt to remind me of you, but I'll wear one."

The caress of his fingers along her jaw causes her head to tilt back, and Babs is smiling up those bare few inches up at him. His compliment — even with its less flattering note — softens her expression a bit more. "Probably less at the actual facilities. I talked to Stark and we're going to set me up here in Gotham so I can do more remote work." Her fingers trace the edges of his collar, stepping closer in toward him, almost like she's gravitating toward him. Her smile turns laughing as she curls her her fingers idly into the sides of his shirt. "Maybe. There's lots that I don't know. I'm almost 100% self-taught. Working at SU is so freeform, too. Might be nice to have some structured learning." She tilts her head against his hand, nuzzling slightly into his palm.

Frank nods slightly, "Yeah. I think I've figured out that over-committed is just how you do things, Red. You're damn sure gung-ho about it, and that's the best part about you." The press of her lips to his palm, causes him to chuckle again, "You looking for bat-structure again?" He chuckles, then shakes his head, "Red, you built a couple of AIs. On your own. Pretty sure you're gonna be correcting the teachers left, right, and center." Looking down past her to the computer, he studies the page, "But you haven't decided yet? Or did I butt in just before you got to it?"

"Oh god, no. Definitely not bat-structured. Nightwing had to endure that all his life and I'm pretty sure that's not me." Babs would rather provide her own structure, thanks! Her eyes flicker up to meet his in this close proximity. "I know, but… I don't know. Is it a dumb idea?" She winces slightly. Then he's looking down at her clutter, and she shakes her head. "I thought that… okay, this is going to sound a bit… I thought that I would ask you what you thought before I made any decision."

Frank grunts thoughtfully at the mention of Nightwing's training and it's comparison to her own. The uncertainty in Babs causes him to frown, however, his brows furrowing. She explains herself, and his brows go up again. After a moment, his fingers curl a little tighter at the soft skin behind her ears, leaning in to press another kiss to her brow, "I don't think that sounds dumb, Red. Going back to school or checkin' with me." His dark eyes search her features, and then he adds, "Sounds like you think it might help you do what you want to do. Work your computer shit," there's no pejorative in the curse word, just an acknowledgement that he doesn't understand the heights she climbs on, "to help make sure the big fish in Gotham go down. Because I'm pretty sure that punching shit ain't gonna put the big boys," and girls, "behind bars." There's a little pause, and his brows furrow again, "That's why you were askin', right? A second opinion? Third? You already talked to Dinah?"

Babs tracks all those little changes to Frank's expression as she explains herself and when he leans in to kiss her brow again, her eyes close briefly. She looks back up at him with an almost bashfully as he reassures her that she's not being stupid. Her fingers slide along his before she releases him with a gentle squeeze. "I haven't told Dinah yet — I wanted to decide if I was going to do it first. She got real upset when Stark offered me the job, remember? I don't want her to think I'm going to leave her again." Then she's settling back down on the floor, making space for Frank to join her if he wants to while she starts to gather up her books. She picks up her glasses from where she set them down, tucking them back into place on her nose and behind her ears. She hesitates as she picks back up the laptop to settle on her lap. Her eyes track to Frank. "Um. Actually, I was… asking you because… we're doing this dating thing and I want to make sure that you thought it was a good idea… from the… boyfriend perspective."

Frank looses Barbara's jawline as she squeezes his fingers, but the news that she hasn't told Dinah let causes him to grunt softly, thoughtfully. "I remember. But that was somethin' outside Gotham, wasn't it? This is back in Gotham." He folds himself slowly down until he's sitting cross-legged, pulling off his boots as he does. "As back in Gotham as online gets." The addition of the glasses and the laptop completes the picture, and Frank chuffs a laugh, shaking his head, "Jesus, Red. That's just too much." He does not sound displeased, although the halting response to his question causes his amusement to fade into something more thoughtful. "So I don't like that it'll cut into our time. We already don't have enough of that." He doesn't stop there so much as pause for another moment's frowning consideration, then shrug, "But it's somethin' you wanna do, that you think'll help you be better at what your mission. I'd be a real asshole if I told you not to do it, wouldn't I?" And as much as he might be an asshole sometimes, there's no sense to the question that he's actually questioning whether or not he should support her choice.

Babs blinks owlishly at Frank. "What's too much?" That seems to go over her head entirely. She will come back to it later; for now, she offers him a smaller, almost sheepish smile. "You know, dating a Masters student is pretty fun." Considering this is her second masters, she should know. She leans in toward him to press a kiss to his cheek, smiling as she does. "I promise not to move into a dorm or anything crazy like that. Though, I do kinda wish we lived closer to the University so I could just walk there. Dinah and I could commute together, I guess." Then she leans back into her bed, floor still haven to all her studying debris. "If you think we can make it work, I'll put in the application." What a deeply ordinary conversation these two are having, even with the idea of the degree helping her with her alter-ego life.

Frank gestures from the laptop to the Punisher shirt to the glasses. "That. Too much cute." He smirks faintly at the kiss to the cheek, touching her shoulder as she leans in. "Dating a Master's student is pretty fun? You're gonna have to convince me of that." Resting his forearms on his knees, he watches her lean back, "We can make it work, Red. And you're both going to the U, so it'd make sense to move, but…" he shrugs a little helplessly, "I'm pretty sure she's not gonna want to leave this place." His eyes tighten a little, "It's the family home." Letting out a breath, he does his best to relax out of that tension, "I don't even know what Tell does for work. But yeah, we can make it work, Red."

"Oh." Now she gets it. She rocks slightly on her rear-end as she settles back into her seat, still leaning into the bed. "That's a good thing, huh?" Honest question. Then Barbara's smiling as he shrugs and offers his insights. She looks around the bedroom in the Lance's family home, only looking back at him with a little hint of understanding in those green eyes. "I know." When he reassures her that they can make it work, she straightens up a bit with a nod. "I'll finish up the application then. I'll have to jump through some hoops, but that shouldn't be a problem." She nudges her knee against his leg slightly.

Frank nods as she gets it, then chuckles briefly at the question that follows, "Yeah. It's a good thing." He shifts around a little so that he can lean back against the bed alongside her, nudging back at her knee with his own, "Go on, Red." There's a pause, "You dig on this, don't you? Books, learning, teaching, all that?" Nodding slowly, he looks aside at her, studying her features with the glasses perched on her nose. "I like finding more things you like." His hand brushes down her back, "Do Masters nerds… I mean students… throw good parties for me to avoid?"

"It is part of who I am," Babs admits as she looks over at him, head tipped back into the top edge of her mattress. "You probably never thought you'd be dating a nerd, huh?" Then she nudges back up her glasses as she sits back up a bit, and the brush of his hand across her back is met with a happier smile. "Masters students do throw pretty good parties…" She turns toward him now, curling her legs up so she can face him, her arm curling under her head. "You would be quite a hit at a Masters student party. Older, mysterious… dark and handsome." Now she's teasing him.

The question causes Frank to snort in amusement. "No. I didn't." He looks down at his socked feet for a moment, even as Babs is turning toward him, a frown lingering around his brows and the corners of his mouth. He really didn't think he'd be dating anyone else in the last twelve years. The teasing compliments cause him to look up, "Yeah… aren't you older and mysterious at a Masters student party already, Red?" Letting out a breath, he reaches over to squeeze her upper arm lightly, "Not so much with the dark or handsome. More like bright and hot." The pain has still crinkled up in the corners of his eyes, and he bumps his shoulder into hers, settling into a lean against her. "I kind of like that you're a nerd, Red. It's part of your passion, always wanting to know how and why."

Barbara realizes her misstep, and she straightens up from her casual lean, pushing back up through the bed to turn away from him again so she's seated side-by-side, both shoulders pressed into the side of the bed. She draws up her knees, feet turned in toward each other, and she rubs slightly at the edge of one kneecap. With a casual, absentminded gesture, she tucks back a slipped-away lock of hair. "Sorry," she says quietly, though she's not entirely sure what she's apologizing for — just that something she said caused him disquiet. She cycles back through the last few moments of conversation, and winces slightly as she looks away. "You didn't really expect to be dating anyone at all. After… Maria. Sorry."

Frank lets out a breath, shrugging at the apology. "It's alright, Red." His eyes close, and he slumps back a little against the bed. "Yeah. I didn't." There's a long moment of silence then, stretching on before he looks up to her, studying her features from beneath his furrowed brows. "I didn't expect to be dating anyone after Maria. But I'm glad I am." There's still tightness at the corners of his eyes, but there's a little softness and definitive affection in the dark gaze, "Besides the fact that without you there's a good chance I'm trying to kill random thieves, I like who I am around you. It reminds me there's still hope."

Babs crosses an arm in front of her, rubbing idly at her elbow. She feels his eyes on her, and so she straightens up a bit to look at him, arms collapsing back into her lap. He mentions that he's glad to be where he is, and she looks aside to him while she hooks a hand around the back of her neck, rubbing there a bit. "Besides that fact, huh?" Her smile is soft before she looks away, a bit bashful in that quiet moment. "There's always hope, Frank." Her green eyes flicker over to meet his. "I want to always remind you of that."

"Besides that fact," Frank gravels in agreement. He leans over slightly, nudging her arm with his elbow, "I know, Red." He leans over farther, pressing his temple against hers for a long moment before straightening up, "You're pretty good at that." Nodding over to her laptop, he adds, "Go sign up to become a bigger nerd. I'll be right here." There's a pause, "But I wanna be there when you tell Blondie that you're gonna go be a better student than her again. It'll be good practice when she tries to kick your ass."

Their temples connect, pressed together comfortably. She breathes out a short little breath, and with it comes a warm and simple smile. "Good." She tilts toward his lips, stymied when he straightens up and nods to her laptop. She offers a small, chagrined laugh before she nods. "You think Dinah wants some friendly competition?" Then she snorts slightly, straightening back out her legs to put the laptop in her lap. "She's going to take it like we're going back to high school," she points out with a small grin.

Frank noticed the tilt of her lips, but waits until she's gathered up her laptop again to lean in and press a slow kiss that sparks and ignites right at the very end, the dark-haired man leaning all the tighter into the kiss before he looses her lips and straightens up, "I think Dinah's gonna find competition wherever she goes, but with you, it's friendly." His arm slips around her shoulders, and he leans back to watch her work, "So hurry up. I wanna see you kick her ass."

When Frank leans in for that kiss, it is just as Babs is turning to add something about Dinah and competition, but she's silenced quickly by the slow-burning kiss that redoubles into welcomed heat. Then he's straightening up, and she sinks her head back onto the corner of the bed with a little smile on her lips — relaxed and content. "Yeah, you're probably right." Her nose wrinkles up briefly before she lifts her head up and straightens her glasses. Then she's typing away at the computer, fingers moving quickly across the keys as she starts her application to Gotham University. "I'll kick your ass," she mumbles under her breath.

"You can try, Red. Don't know if I could hit a girl with glasses." But Frank mostly lets her work on her application, watching her fondly and perhaps even proudly.

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