Odds and Chances
Summary: John Blake tries to rescue a girl one of his first nights on patrol. Turns out she's not in need of rescuing. John (Robin) Blake/Barbara Gordon, post TDKR. Oneshot. SPOILERS.
A/N: Desperately would love to have a John Blake movie, even though it will never happen.
Picture Barbara Gordon as Emma Stone, both in looks and personality.
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One of his first nights as the new Batman, and John Blake had already taken down a petty drug lord, several car robbers, and a jewelry store theft. Nothing major like the former Batman had accomplished, but he'd get there.
As he alighted on a building and looked down onto a side street, he saw a young woman walking alone. Her walk was purposeful, but she was alone, and it was night in Gotham City.
Of course, two men started to follow her. He heard them whistle and call out to her; she turned back, then started to walk faster.
He followed them along the rooftops, until one of them grabbed her. Then, he dropped.
With a grunt, the thug went down as he landed right on him, smashing him into the ground. But as John whirled around to get the other, he was astonished to find that the second thug was being taken out by the young woman. She finished him off with a vicious kick to the face.
"Ugh, what is with this city?" she muttered, then turned to face him.
John had to admit he lost his breath for a moment.
She was beautiful. Deep red hair, freckles all over her face and neck, and intelligent green eyes. She wore a tan trenchcoat, skinny jeans, and flats, and her face was slightly flushed from exertion. When she faced him, her eyes widened only slightly. She studied his suit for a moment, then said, "So, back from the dead."
He finally managed to get his voice. "In a way."
"Oh." She frowned. "Okay. You're not the original, are you?"
John said nothing.
"Didn't think so." She didn't look frightened at all. "By the way... I could've taken both of these guys on my own," she added confidently. Her voice was low, husky. It sent shivers down his spine.
"Well, you're... smaller," he said. She wasn't short, but she was thin. "Than those thugs," he added.
"So Batman's sexist," she said with narrowed eyes.
"No," he growled. "I didn't mean -"
"No, I got it. Helpless little female. Can't even take on a pathetic robber," she sighed, throwing her hands up. "Was it my imagination, or didn't I hear that the person behind the terrorists, behind Bane, was a woman?"
She was right.
"Just trying to help," he said, attempting to maintain his "Batman" voice.
She nodded, studying him with a small smirk. "Oh, okay. Well, thanks... Batman." And she gave him a small wave, turned, added, "See you around." And she disappeared around the corner.
John couldn't help but follow her, peering out from behind the corner. He watched her as she called a taxi and opened the door. But just before she got in, she glanced back, caught his eye. Before he could pull away, she smiled at him and disappeared into the cab.
John waited until the taxi was out of sight before returning to the alley. He let out a long, slow breath.
He didn't even know the girl's name. He'd also probably never see her again. After all, what were the chances?
Both John and Gordon knew that John was the new Batman. Thankfully, Gordon was an excellent ally, and had turned out to be a good friend and mentor to him. One Sunday afternoon, knowing that John had no family, Gordon had called him up and invited him to come over for a beer and pizza. It soon became a tradition.
The day after John had attempted to rescue that redhead, he drove over to Gordon's house. He was still thinking about her. And during the time of Bane, he hadn't had any time to think about a relationship. Now, however...
When he reached Gordon's house, he already knew the door would be open. "They were out of Sam Adams," he called, wiping his feet on the rug. "So I picked up a few Newcastles..."
"You can just put them on the coffee table," Gordon called back from the kitchen. "Be right there."
John entered the living room, shed his jacket, and set the beers on the long coffee table. As he turned towards the TV, he heard footsteps thumping down the stairs. The next moment, a young woman entered the room.
John's mouth fell open.
It was her. The redhead.
"Hi," she greeted warmly, in that husky voice of hers. "I'm Barbara, Jim's daughter." She held out a hand. "You're John, right?"
He couldn't speak. "Uh..um, yeah. John Blake. Nice to meet you," he fumbled, shaking her hand.
She looked amused. "You, too."
He could only stare at her.
"My daughter's back from traveling the world," said Gordon, entering the living room from the kitchen, with a plate of mini hot dogs. "Hope you don't mind. I forgot to tell you."
"No, it's... it's fine." John felt his face growing red, but he couldn't stop looking at her. "It's fine."
What were the odds?
The pizza service was exceptionally busy that day, and the food wouldn't arrive for another forty-five minutes.
"It's okay," said Barbara, glancing out the window. "It's nice out. Want to go for a quick walk?"
Gordon smiled, shook his head. "No, thanks, sweetie. You two can go ahead, if you want. I'll wait here for the pizza to come and text you when it comes."
John had to jump at the chance to be alone with her again. "Sounds good." He grabbed his jacket, hurried after her as she practically skipped out the back door.
"Take it easy there, son," said Gordon, only partially joking.
John nodded, embarrassed. "Yes, sir." The door slammed behind him as he slowed his pace, falling into step with her in the back yard.
They walked along in silence for a moment, until finally Barbara spoke.
"My dad tells me you quit the force."
He nodded. "Yeah. It just... didn't work out." He wondered what she thought of that, considering her father was one of the greatest officers he'd ever known.
She shrugged. "Hey, it's not for everyone." There was another pause. "You need to work on the voice, though," she added after a moment.
John started to reply, then did a double take. "I'm sorry, what?" He wondered if this was how Bruce felt when he revealed the fact that he knew the Dark Knight's identity.
"The voice - the 'Batman' voice," repeated Barbara, as if she hadn't seen his face pale, or his voice stammer. "Dad used to say that it sounded something like a bear's growl combined with sandpaper. I've never heard the original, but I think yours needs a little work. Something... lower. A little more gruff, but not too much." She paused, held up a hand, and cleared her throat a few times. "I'm Batman," she growled in a voice significantly lower than her already somewhat gritty tone. She frowned, scrunched up her nose. "No, that's not right." She tried again. "Hmm..." She then slapped him on the arm. "You try."
John opened his mouth, closed it, then decided it wasn't worth fighting. He sighed, defeated. He cleared his throat, repeated her words. "I'm Batman." He shook his head, cracked a small grin. "This is ridiculous."
"No, no - more deeper, less gruff," Barbara said. She tried it again. "I'm Batman." She made a face. "Nah, that's not it."
John frowned, said it again, just lower. "I'm Batman." He looked at her, and they both shook their heads. "Yeah, still too gruff." He cleared his throat, tried to puff out his chest a bit, and attempted again.
"Better!" Barbara said. "It's just gotta be more intense, more forceful. Criminals need to fear you," she said, punching his shoulder for emphasis.
So John tried again.
Jim Gordon came up to the kitchen sink and placed his bowl under the faucet. He looked up out through the window, wondering what Blake and his daughter had gotten up to.
To his confusion, he saw them both standing in the back yard, with looks of extreme concentration on their faces, saying something. Blake would say it, then Barb would say it... And so on. It was as though they were practicing for a film or play or something... reciting lines...
What on earth were they doing?
"Kids these days," he muttered, and went about washing his dishes.
"So how'd you figure it out?" John asked as they walked along a trail behind Gordon's yard, their hands in their pockets.
"Well, the look of recognition on your face when you saw me again didn't help," Barbara said with a small grin.
John smiled, chagrined. "Yeah, I guess not. Gotta work on that. I just didn't... expect to see you. Ever. Especially not the next day."
"Hey, don't feel too bad," Barbara said, nudging him. "My dad's a detective, and I was always the smart kid in school. It was the voice, too. And the eyes."
"The eyes?" John couldn't help but feel intrigued. "They're not that special..."
"You have nice eyes," she argued. "Open, honest. Kind eyes." When he held her gaze, she suddenly reddened and looked away.
John had trouble averting his eyes from her features when that cute blush took over her freckled face. When she kept walking, he had to clear his throat and bring himself back to focus.
"But if you can figure it out, then someone else will, too," he remarked, somewhat grim.
She shook her head. "Nah, don't think so. I'm just smarter than most people, so I notice things. I'm a detail kinda girl."
"But if you are, then other people can be, too," he argued. "And anyway," he added with a small, wry frown, "What makes you think you're so much smarter than everyone?"
Barbara grinned sheepishly. "Well, I may or may not have graduated college at eighteen..."
"Eighteen? You're kidding, right?"
She shook her head, biting her lip and attempting to hide a smirk.
"Oh, you're one of those people," he said with a grin, leaning back on his feet.
She threw him a look, but grinned, too. "Those people? You make it sound like I'm an alien... or a piece of moldy cheese."
John laughed. "No, I didn't mean it like that."
"No, I know, I just wanted to make sure you knew that." She poked him. He leaned into her to nudge her in return.
Conversation was so easy between them. John had had a few girlfriends, but he'd never met anyone like her before. Words just flowed like running water, banter flashing back and forth between them. In the crisp spring air, with buds barely emerging out of the trees, John realized that he hadn't felt this relaxed, this content in a long time.
"So, where's your secret base?" Barbara asked presently.
"Yeah. You have to have somewhere to hide everything. Unless you park the Bat-plane and the Bat-truck in your driveway..."
"Oh, definitely - right next to my Dodge pickup," John replied. "You should hear the neighbors complaining when I try to park."
She laughed. "Seriously. What is it? Underground?"
"In a way."
Barbara shot him a sneaky look. "Hmm. Gonna make me guess, huh?"
He shrugged, grinning. "You're the smart one. Figure it out."
"Okay..." She started walking backwards to match his pace and face him simultaneously. "So it's underground... but not technically underground... And if it's not technically underground then it can't be in the city... And you'd have a hard time hiding those things anywhere in the city at all... So it's outside the city. Wait, a cave! Is it a cave?"
He just shook his head.
"It is, isn't it!" she exclaimed. "I knew it!"
"You really are a know-it-all," he replied dryly.
"I do my best," she said with mock seriousness. "But I'm curious... who's your wingman?"
"My wingman?" he echoed, puzzled.
"Well, Batman had to have a wingman," said Barbara matter-of-factly. "He had to have communication with someone. You need someone at point to help run things, make sure everything goes smoothly."
"I guess. I don't know." In fact, he did know. Alfred Pennyworth was more than just a butler. The man was smarter than most people John knew. It only made sense.
"Well, you need someone," she said.
He raised an eyebrow. "You volunteering?" He was almost hopeful.
"Maybe I am." She smiled knowingly.
John shot her a look. "What... Batgirl?" he teased.
She glared at him, then punched him in the arm again. "Don't you dare call me that," she warned, but there was a small, rebellious smile on her face. "I'll kick your ass, I promise. I was a gymnast, and I'm a black belt in several different forms of martial art."
"I believe you," he said, rubbing his arm.
"So not Batgirl," she said, her face disgusted. "No, something that tells everyone that it's a computer person. Someone all-knowing, watching out for everyone, so that criminals won't try to cross Batman. Someone who sees things. Like an oracle. Hey, not bad! Oracle works."
"Oracle? What's that got to do with Batman?"
"What, so everything has to be Bat-themed? You arrogant jerkface." But they both knew she was teasing.
"Fine, you can be Oracle," he said, laughing.
"Well, now that I have your approval... you sexist pig," she said, snarky.
"What, you're still going to bring that up?"
"You know it, Batboy."
"Hey, you don't call me Batboy, and I won't call you Batgirl."
"Fair enough," she agreed, laughing.
It was a good hour later when John realized they'd made their way back to Gordon's house, and he was honestly more than a little disappointed. The pizza had thankfully been late, but not late enough for him. As they trekked back through the yard towards the house, John slowed his gait, finally hesitating.
Gordon opened the back door, called, "Dinner's here. Come on in."
"Thanks, Daddy!" Barbara started past John, jogging towards the stairs.
"So, uh..." John hesitated, and she turned back to face him. "Can I see you again?" he asked hopefully. His heart hadn't raced this fast since... well... He couldn't remember.
Barbara frowned. "What, you're not coming in for dinner? Or are you quickly losing your eyesight with some degenerative eye condition?"
"No, it's..." He smiled, shaking his head. She made his head spin - in a good way. A very good way.
Barbara broke into a grin. "I know what you meant. And yes... But only on one condition." She jogged back to him, leaned in close. He could feel her breath on his cheeks, and his face and hands grew hot. He'd only known her for a few hours, and already he wanted to kiss her.
"You show me the cave," she breathed, and grinned, turning and racing back into the house.
John stood there for a moment, stunned, and then hurried after her.
I can definitely see Emma as Barbara. A lot of characters she's played have that snarky personality.