Rrrrring. Rrrrrring. Rrrrriiiiiing.
Still no answer. Jane chucked her phone towards the bed and brought her hand up to her face. She had to go over there. There was no question about it. Dan hadn't answered her calls all day. It had been hours since she had gotten off the phone with that irritatingly cheerful man after a 'recommendation' that she was certain would keep Dan from possibly ever getting hired again and she still hadn't heard back from him. Was it possible he was mad at her for blowing his chances at work?
Well, he's apparently not going to answer his phone, so I guess I'll just have to go see him.
With a huff, Jane retrieved her cell from the floor where it had bounced and grabbed a light jacket before fishing her keys out of her purse and grabbing that as well. She locked the door behind her distractedly (which, had she thought about it, she might have not done. She never locked her door, but then again, neither did anyone else in Glynn) and jogged to her car, a 1998 forest green Jeep Cherokee.
::::: Twenty Minutes Later :::::
Jane pulled up outside of Dan's apartment and barely had time to set the e-brake before she was out of the jeep. She walked briskly up to the door and just as she was about to hit the call button, the doors opened for her. A teenage couple made their way past her, too caught up in their own conversation to see her duck in through the door as they cleared it. She took the stairs two at a time until she reached Dan's floor. She rapped quickly on the hard wood.
No answer. Dammit, where is he? She rapped on the door again.
Another full minute passed before Jane really started to worry. She tried the handle and was surprised to find it unlocked. She pushed her way into the apartment and looked around wildly, the darker part of her expecting to see Dan hanging from the ceiling fan. Seeing no such thing, Jane darted down the hall. Bathroom-no. Bedroom-no. Living room-NO!
Ugh. She thought. Where the hell could he be?
She walked somewhat more slowly back into the kitchen, hoping to see something that had previously escaped her attention and flopped down heavily at the table, unbeknownst to her, the exact same spot the Riddler himself was perched in earlier while he was on the phone with her. Jane was just about to bang her head repeatedly into the table or call the police (she hadn't decided which one yet) when she saw something out of the corner of her eye. A paper bearing her name in Dan's chicken scratch handwriting.
Reaching across the space between the table and the counter, Jane snatched up the folded note and tore it open.
No shit. She kept reading.
I had to go. The job offer was perfect and I just had to take it. I couldn't bring any of
my stuff but I'd really appreciate it if you'd pack some of it for me (maybe some of the
stuff I need-you know what I'm talking about) and hold it for me at your place. This
isn't forever. I'll be back in no time but right now I can't give you a date. I know we
were supposed to leave glynn together but please understand I had to do this and
I promise I'll be back for you when I can.
All infuriatingly incorrect punctuation and sentence structure aside, Jane was livid. She had literally crossed over from worried to boiling in the thirty seconds it took her to read that blasted note.
Well fuck this. Jane thought with a mental eye roll. If he thinks I'm just going to wait around for him to give me a call letting me know when I can tag along, he's batshit.
She bolted out of the apartment without packing anything, specifically and intentionally ignoring Dan's request and jumped into her jeep, tearing down the street as fast as she could.
Out of nowhere (and much to her dismay) Jane's anger dissipated into hurt. Tears blinded her face and she angrily dashed them away to see the road.
"Stop it." She told herself aloud. He'll be back.
::::: One Week Later :::::
Jane was stuck again. Her novel had progressed exactly zero percent since Dan had left to Wherever The Hell He Went. She had gotten over the initial anger and sadness and now she was feeling deserted. The overall effect found Jane not leaving her house for more than food for the last week and, had she ever enjoyed cooking, she wouldn't have even been leaving for that.
Currently, she was seated at her computer banging words in harder than was perhaps strictly necessary. None of it made any sense whatsoever. She knew that, upon the reading and editing portion before she attempted to publish this piece of shit, she was going to delete everything she touched in the last seven days. Disgusted, Jane stood up and walked over to the window to look down into the street.
Nothing new happening down there, she thought to herself with a sigh. Not that it ever does.
She was just about to search her fridge fruitlessly when she felt her hip pocket start to vibrate ecstatically, causing another sigh to bubble up from her lungs. Her mother had been calling her almost non-stop the last few days. Jane had made the mistake of answering her call a couple days after Dan had left and her mother had immediately picked up on a Daughter in Distress so she had made it her personal mission to call her at least three times a day to make sure she hadn't offed herself. Ironically, it was those very calls that made Jane consider doing just that.
And yet, a worried, concerned voice was better than her own at this point, and she pulled her phone out of her pocket. Instead of her mother's usual picture, however, the caller ID was replaced with her little android guy and a number she didn't recognize. Wearily she put the phone to her ear.
There was no mistaking the voice on the other end of the phone.
"Dan." It was more of a statement. Not like an `I'm happy to hear from you.` and a far cry from `How are you? I miss you!` But he's lucky to get any recognition at all, the ass. She thought to herself.
Undaunted by the tone of his friends voice, Dan chirped cheerfully back in her ear. "Yeah! Hey, listen. There's so much I want to say. I don't even know where to start!"
Jane rolled her eyes. "You could say you're sorry. Now there's an idea."
"I am, I am! I am so sorry, Jane. I wanted you to come, really I did! But Edward said I couldn't bring anyone or anything, and that we just needed to go… it was so spur of the moment, I honestly didn't have a choice. But-"
"You had a choice and you made it." Jane surprised herself at the venom in her voice, and Dan had the good grace to sound a little guilty when next he relied.
"Jane, I'm sorry. I'm calling you to tell you that. And to tell you that I made enough money this week to get a place and I want you to come stay with me here in Gotham."
"YOU'RE IN GOTHAM!?" Jane nearly punched the phone, wishing upon wish that it was Dan's face.
"Er… yeah. It's really not as bad as everyone says it is. The sun actually shines here and, whatever you've heard, it's not like the criminals just run rampant all across the city."
It was silent a moment before Jane sighed over the phone. Gotham City. What was he thinking?
"Yes, Daniel. I'm here."
"So what do you say? Wanna live in the underbelly?"
She knew he was trying to be humorous, but laughing was the last thing she felt like doing at the moment. Gotham, Gotham, Gotham. Sure, Jane wanted to be out of Glynn, but what was there for her in Gotham? Suddenly, it struck her.
She could write about the villains.
As soon as the idea was in her head, it was all she could think about. There's no end of material! And fascinating material to boot! No blockage, no factual misrepresentations, I mean, fuck! The truth was far more unbelievable than she could make it if she were writing fiction! A bunch of grown men and women dressing in crazy costumes and plundering a smoky grunge-fest!
"Yes, Dan. I would love to live in Gotham with you."