Don't own. Thnx to Andrew and Brendan.
"Ok, see, just let me pin this back. One more bobby pin, and everything'll be just fine." She drove another bobby pin into Oracle's veil. Everything had been fine during wedding photos, but now the stupid thing seemed determined to fall.
"Dinah, where the hell are you producing these bobby pins from?" Barbara tried to duck her head out of the way, but she knew Dinah was just trying to help.
"I'm always prepared."
"Like a good little boy scout?"
"Shut up, already. They're waiting to start this gig, and your veil is the hold up."
They were in a small room behind the vestibule in the tiny church they'd chosen for the wedding. The idea being that if they picked a small space—then they couldn't invite everyone in the world, except for their friends. No media, no surprise guests… This was going to be small and quiet, and no one'd stop them.
The heavy wooden door creaked opened. "Are you about ready, honey?"
Barbara looked up at her father, biting her lip. "I'm trying. Really I am. It's not cooperating."
"Dick's starting to fidget nervously. At least think of HIS nerves."
Babs swatted her maid of honor's hand. "That's it! If it doesn't want to stay on, then screw it!" They saved the world on a regular basis and they were being defeated by a piece of lace.
Dinah pinched her shoulder. "Look, girlfriend, just hold on a minute, I have it."
"Look. Ok… I'll give you a few more minutes. I'll be right outside. Then we can do the going down the aisle thing…"
Barbara rolled her eyes. "Ok, I get the point. I'm getting the wedding going, just give me one more minute."
Jim smiled at his daughter, and then took his leave. He shoved his hands into the pant pockets of his tux and stared at the red carpet between the dressing room and the vestibule. He couldn't believe it was finally happening. It seemed as though it had taken forever to reach this point.
Taking a peek across the vestibule, he saw Dick waiting, shifting from foot to foot. Finally Bruce grabbed him by the shoulders and forced him to stop. Jim shook his head and waved.
"What's taking so long? She's not having second thoughts? Everything's alright, right? It's ok…" Bruce elbowed his son.
"She's fighting with the veil. Her friend Dinah's helping her." Dick nodded, reddening.
Now that was a strange combination—his daughter, the consummate book worm turned computer geek and the infamous Black Canary. Who'd have thought he'd have a real life heroing type as the Maid of Honor at his child's wedding?
"Can I go help her?" Dick asked, prepared to march across the back of the church to meet Jim.
In an almost comical gesture, Bruce grabbed Dick and pulled him back into the doorway. "If you move, I'm going to hit you," Bruce said lightly, but it was still the most serious tone he'd ever heard Bruce Wayne use.
"Bruce, I gotta go see… and help her, and… we're like three minutes late…"
Bruce did smack him lightly on the side of the head. The boy stared sheepishly at the ground. He looked so much like the nine-year old Barbara used to baby sit in that moment.
Jim had to laugh. You heard about those great wedding disasters, about infighting or over-controlling parents… but things had gone so smoothly until now. If a wicked veil and Dick's perpetual impatience were all he had to tell his grandkids about, Jim considered it a winning situation.
Through the small stained glass windows of the doors in the back of the church, he noticed a girl pacing outside. Through the red panes, he could see her tuck her shoulder-length black hair behind her ears, turn, and continue pacing.
He looked at the door that hid his daughter, then made the decision to talk to the girl outside. Jim went to the door and opened it. "Cassandra, isn't it?" Why didn't he know his daughter's friends names?
She looked surprised that someone was actually talking to her, and stopped in her tracks. "Yeah."
"Why don't you come inside? We're going to start… if Barbara can ever get her act together."
The girl bit her cheek, then walked through the door that Jim held for her. "Thank you," she muttered. She saw Dick and stopped in her tracks.
"Is everything alright?"
Startled out of her thoughts, she looked at Jim. "Yeah."
He wondered what was wrong. This had been the girl who had lived with Barbara during No Man's Land. He was happy to see her talking—he was happy to see her in general. She'd saved his life once. He didn't necessarily want to see her pensive. He noticed her staring at Dick again. Did she… have a crush on him? Was that why she'd been so hesitant about coming inside? She was so young… he hated to see a crush… well, crushed.
"I can help you find a seat," he said gently.
She turned her attention away from Dick and looked him in the eyes. "I… um." She took a deep breath. "Gotta talk to Or-never mind." She flew past him with speed he wouldn't have thought possible and into the room where Barbara was probably STILL fussing with that veil.
Jim Gordon had a bad feeling, so he followed. The door was cracked opened, so he waited just outside, listening.
"Don't marry him." Jim had been right to remain in stand-by, he thought. This girl's crush on Dick was going to disrupt what was supposed to be a happy day.
"Cassandra, we talked about this." Maybe Barbara could handle this on her own. Jim decided he would only interrupt if he had to. His daughter was strong and capable. She could deal with a girl with a crush.
"No. I didn't like what you said."
"Cass… honey… you've known about Dick and me for a while. Why is it just bothering you NOW that we're getting married?"
He could hear the girl fidgeting. "I… I love you."
Ok. This was getting weird.
"And you have a special place in my heart. We all have a special place for you in our heart—including Dick."
The girl sounded hysterical when she next spoke. "We… we had something."
"Cassandra… that was a long time ago. Things were different then."
Jim took a step back from the door, trying to catch his breath. This was certainly a piece of new information. He didn't see THAT coming!
"Come on, Cassandra," Black Canary said, speaking up for the first time during this exchange. "I can get you a seat… we don't want to have this conversation now."
"NO!" the broken hearted girl cried.
"You had SIX MONTHS since we announced our engagement to lodge a protest!"
"NO! You can't… pretend it didn't happen. Won't let you."
"Is there a problem?" a cheerful voice came from behind him. Jim nearly jumped out of his skin. His heart wasn't going to survive the day.
"Nope. No problem, Bruce. Um… why don't you… umm… stay with Dick…?"
"E-every night we were… together. And… and you just… pretend didn't happen. You not tell him."
"WOOH! HOLY SHIT!" Where the hell had Dick appeared from?
He burst into the room before Jim could scold him for swearing in the house of God. Not that it mattered, he felt like letting out a few curses right now. You thought you knew your kid…
"WHAT is going on?" Dick demanded.
Bruce and Jim looked at each other with wide eyes.
"Cassandra was just leaving, weren't you?" Barbara said stonily.
The heavy door swung the rest of the way opened and Bruce and Jim got a full eye of the scene. "NO!" Dick said angrily. "I want to hear this!"
"Dick, get out of here. You can't see the bride before the wedding. It's bad luck."
"SHUT UP, DINAH. BARBARA—EXPLAIN!"
"Dick, I'm not explaining anything if you're going to talk to me in that tone…"
"Oh and what tone am I SUPPOSED to use when I find out my fiancée is screwing around behind my back—with another WOMAN?" His face was red with barely controlled rage. Jim wanted to be mad at the boy for talking to his girl that way—but he wanted to ask the same damned question. What the hell was going on?
"I wasn't you're fiancée at the time, Dick. We weren't even seeing each other, so there."
"Oh my God. You mean this was before—how the hell long?" The last portion of this was directed at Cassandra.
"No Man's Land."
"So this is like… TEN MINUTES before we started dating. Good one, Barb!"
She pulled the breaks off of her chair and smashed the footrests into Dick's shins. Had he really raised such a violent child? And poor Bruce, he was just staring wide-eyed at the madness. It was like a car accident—you couldn't help but watch the carnage. "You don't know anything, you asshole! You don't know what it was like!"
"Yeah, well as I recalled, my idiotic father kicked me out of the city, and YOU SECONDED the motion! Was THIS why?"
"You JERK! When the hell have you EVER listened to anything Bruce said? I didn't see you exactly JUMPING to get back in city limits! You have NO idea what was going on."
Which was true. The boy probably had no idea how bad things had been. Wait a second. Was he justifying her actions?
"Oh yeah? Tell me! Tell me what could POSSIBLY justify--"
She glared up at him. "It was cold. It was REALLY cold Dick. And I hope to God you're never that cold in all of your life. And it was lonely. It was REALLY lonely."
Jim had noticed that a few guests were coming to the back of the church to check on the commotion. "Umm…" he muttered to Bruce.
Bruce snapped back to reality. In one swift motion, he pulled on the door and closed it. Which somehow had left Bruce and Jim on the INSIDE.
"I can't believe you, Barbara. I thought we had something! And then… I find out about this! I don't care if it was before we were official! I thought we HAD something."
"Oh YEAH! Barbara yelled. Her voice was high-pitched with hysteria. "NOW you know how I felt hearing about you and Huntress! At least I had the excuse that it kept me warm. What the hell's YOUR excuse?"
Jim staggered backwards and Bruce grabbed his arm in a tight grip. Even as he did so, Bruce's face hardened. "WHAT THE HELL? DICK!"
"THANK YOU, BARBARA! NOW THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS ABOUT ME AND HELENA!"
"What the hell were you THINKING?" Bruce asked.
"Shut up!" Dick told him.
Jim leaned against the door. What the hell was he witnessing? "What's wrong, Dick? Can't face your actions?" Barbara asked.
"Yeah, well, I TOLD you about Helena! You didn't tell me about Cassandra!"
And somehow, through this, Cassandra was strangely quiet. She seemed… contented with the chaos she'd created. Her arms were folded over her chest, and she was very… impassive. Like a certain… Bat Jim knew. Right now… this girl could give Batman lessons in being stoic.
"What the hell was I gonna tell you, Dick? It happened. The end."
"Well, you musta liked. It happened over and over."
"Fuck you, Dick."
"No, fuck YOU, Barb."
"GUYS!" Bruce said sternly. It was a tone Jim wasn't familiar with Bruce displaying. Not in all the years he'd known him. Dick and Barbara's heads snapped angrily towards him. Ok. Lets just not think about that…Ignorance being bliss and all.
"WHAT!" They yelled in unison.
"STOP." He ordered loudly. It was almost Bat-like if it weren't for the shear volume of his demand. The Batman NEVER raised his voice. He never needed to. "Cassandra, outside with me. You two have ten minutes to fix this."
"That is SO like you, Bruce. Go work this out amongst yourselves… or else. Look, I'm not marrying some…"
Bruce looked at his son. It was a look that made the young man close his mouth. "Jim and I are going outside. TEN MINUTES."
"Like I'm going to talk to him," Barbara spat.
Bruce glared at her but didn't bother to respond. Did Jim KNOW any of these people? Suddenly he wondered. "Cassandra. Out. Now." His attention turned suddenly to Dinah Lance. "Dinah."
No one bothered to argue. When the door was closed on the couple, the rest of the party heaved a sigh of discomfort. The painful silence was actually broken by a glare from Dinah to Cassandra. "WHY did you wait till now?" she whispered.
Cassandra didn't back down. "Tried to say. Other ways. You know—tact."
A young man that Jim recognized as Dick's friend Timothy appeared. He had his hands buried in his pocket sheepishly. "Umm… folks wanna know what's going on…" he was such a shy, unsure boy.
Cassandra pointed to him. "HE said tact!"
Tim's eyes grew wide. "WhatdIdonow?"
"Did you tell Cassandra to talk to Barbara RIGHT NOW about their past… relationship?" Jim asked. He wasn't even thinking about the… wrongness of the relationship, he just wanted this sorted out as fast as possible.
Tim smacked his forehead. "Cass! I said an 'appropriate time.' Aww, geeze already!"
"You knew about this and didn't tell any of us?" Bruce asked. Jim didn't recognize his new demeanor. Bruce was usually so… easy going.
"Aww, come on! This isn't MY fault! I thought you knew! Next you're going to be telling me you didn't know about Dick and Helena…" Bruce gave Tim Drake a look of death. "Aww, crap."
"ALRIGHT!" Jim said loudly. "I've been quiet for long enough! Someone tell me what the hell's going on here?" Unfortunately, he knew deep down why this was a twisted mess. It was something he'd prevented his brain from working out for years.
"Um… Well, Mr. Gordon… I think you've sorta seen everything…"
"YOU." He said to Bruce. "WHY is your son sleeping with a known rogue vigilante?"
"I'm not very happy about it either," Bruce said miserably. Suddenly he turned and glared at Cassandra.
"Oh no," Jim said, feeling himself get heated. "You're not going to turn this around on my daughter."
"I'm not turning it around on anyone," Bruce said darkly.
"Ok. Sure. Right." He leaned heavily against the door way. "I'm not so sure I WANT them working it out."
"This wedding has been coming since they were CHILDREN, Bruce reasoned.
"Yeah, well… Dick shouldn't have been sleeping with someone wanted by the police." Lame, Jim. Lame.
Timothy stepped forward. "It was only once!" he volunteered.
Cassandra and Bruce BOTH scowled at him.
"Ok. I'll shut up now."
"And you, young lady…" Jim focused his attention on the girl in the black dress before him. "Was it your intention to destroy this wedding?"
Jim threw his hands up in the air. "You know," Jim started. "I was a lot happier when I was able to repress all of this. You're all making it VERY difficult right now."
Bruce froze in his place. Tim looked down at the ground and Dinah began playing with her dress.
The back door into the church opened, and Roy Harper sauntered through. "So, like what's the holdup? Robbie chicken out?"
Jim Gordon took one look at the man he knew to be Arsenal, the Titan, and just shook his head. "Am I SURE I want my daughter marrying into this?"
"You know, you haven't had a problem for the last six months," Bruce pointed out in typical Bat-fashion.
"I was suppressing."
Arsenal let the door close behind him. "So. What's the big get-together for?"
"Arsenal, get out of here," The Bat ordered.
"See, this is what I'm talking about…" Gordon started again.
Roy sort of hung on the door knob. "Hey, look, I'm trying to help."
"You're not helping, Roy," Dinah informed him.
Roy leaned against the door, looking entirely out of place in his suit. "What kinda trouble's my boy gotten himself into?"
"I don't want to share Oracle with him," Cassandra said defiantly.
"Oracle?" Ok. So the Oracle thing he didn't know about.
"Cass… NOW would be a good time to shut up," Tim said.
"Wait a second. Oracle, as in the FBI wants to arrest my daughter, Oracle?"
"It's ok!" Tim said, leaping to her defense. "She's a member of the Justice League and everything!"
Bruce glared at him. "Tim, SHUT UP."
"Wait, Barbara is Oracle?" Roy looked confused.
"Ugg. YES Roy," Dinah confirmed. James Gordon sat down.
"So all this time we thought he was cheating on Barbara with Oracle, and it was the same chick? Wow. Donna'll be relieved."
"And you wonder why I was happy when I didn't know," Jim said breathily.
"Roy, you shut up," Dinah said, taking charge. "And Cassandra… YOU shut up. And you KEEP it shut, both of you. Tim, YOU TOO." Disgustedly, she wiped the sudden line of perspiration from her brow. "And YOU! The resident control freak—what do YOU have to say for your self?"
Bruce scowled at her.
"That is NOT an answer."
Bruce continued to scowl.
Suddenly Tim let out a burst of laughter. Roy smacked him. "HEY!" Arsenal hit him again. "BRUCE!"
Bruce stonily looked at his watch. "Six more minutes."
"BRUCE!" Tim called. Arsenal was grinding his heal into the boy-wonder's toes.
"Arsenal, do I need to feed you your left arm?"
"Earth's greatest heroes," Jim gasped. "God help us."
"Can't you go back to repressing?" Tim asked.
Fortunately, James Gordon was relieved of the burden of responding because the solid oak door to the waiting room opened and Dick emerged.
"So, do we have a wedding or not, bro?" Tim asked his older brother.
"Babs wants to see you, Cassandra," Dick responded very quietly.
Cassandra passed him and closed the door without saying a word. For a moment, everyone stared at each other awkwardly.
"So. How about them Knights?" Dick asked.
Jim glared at the young man. "Do I thank you NOW or LATER for my daughter being wanted by the FBI?"
Dick glared at his father. "This was some lame tactic used by you to deflect the fact that I slept with Huntress, isn't it?"
"WOOH! T.M.I, buddy!" Arsenal said, throwing his hands up in front of himself.
"Anyways, she did the Oracle thing by herself. So don't go blaming me. If anything, HE is the guy you want to blame," Dick said, pointing a finger at Bruce.
"You really did that bitch? Man, that's only one step up from an assassin."
Dick ignored his friend and the obvious innuendo.
"Roy," Dinah said again in a motherly tone. "SHUT UP."
"Man. Ok, Dinah. Alright already. I'm shutting up. I just meant--"
"ROY. SHUT UP," Came The Voice.
If Jim weren't so damned… dizzy and tired right now… he'd be thankful. Couldn't this stuff bust opened AFTER the wedding… like… at the reception?
"Anything I can help out with back here?" It was that reporter, Kent. Good guy, kind of a momma's boy even though he was a big shot reporter in metropolis… and always seemed to be hanging around Bruce's family events.
"Go sit back down," Bruce ordered in Bat-mode.
"Save me!" Roy begged.
"Yeah, get Roy outta here before I kill him," Dinah said.
"Dick?" Kent asked.
"Roy, get outta here, ok? Tell Wally and the minister that we're coming, ok?"
"So that means the Babe formerly known as Batgirl isn't hanging you up by your balls for the Huntress thing?"
"Shut… up…" Jim begged. "Shut. Up."
Roy actually listened and left. Clark Kent, however, lingered in the doorway. "And Dick?" he said with authority. "You and I are going to have a talk about this later."
"Yessir," Dick said meekly.
Kent left after that.
Jim sank a little lower in the chair, burring his head even further into his hands. "See, I didn't need know that, either," he whispered. Deep down, he was pretty sure half the damned Justice League was at this wedding in addition to a large portion of the Titans, but he didn't need oral confirmation of that fact. "I tried… so hard… You now. Ignore stuff." He fell silent. No one was probably listening.
The door opened and Cassandra existed, then looked at Dick. He appeared to be waiting expectantly. "You can marry her," she said, granting her approval. Dick let out no one had known he'd been holding.
Bruce gazed at his son, a large question set between them. "That was a short conversation you and Barbara had."
Dick kicked the carpet. "Um… well, she sorta said we kinda had to get married."
Bruce remained stoic. "Why?"
"Um… cause… she's kind of… pregnant."
James Gordon collapsed onto the floor.