Oracle: Six Stories

by 'rith

The following series of fics is based off a challenge Darklady made to the Bludhaven group list. Challenge rules: 150-200 word fic, Barbara Gordon, romance, NOT Dick Grayson. Turns out the lady has a lot of options. ;)

FIC: Small Beginnings ('Haven challenge #1)

[ Challenge rules: 150-200 word fic, Barbara Gordon, romance, NOT Dick Grayson. ]

They'd already met once, during one of those global crises that happened once every couple of months and everyone forgot about as soon as the world was safe again. THAT particular one involved a version of the JLA from the far future, and a deadly technovirus. It had affected everyone, including her.

Well, Barbara, she thought as she glanced nervously in the mirror again, he's already been inside your *body,* and you're worried about letting him in your *house*?!

"He," of course, being Ray Palmer, the Atom, who had been the seventh member of the JLA and was currently a reserve member and science advisor. During the crisis he'd gone inside her body at microscopic size to examine the virus at close range. He'd seen her face, but at the size he'd been when he jumped out of her modem, he hadn't been able to discern what she really looked like.

After it was over, he'd called and said that he'd like to change that. And kept calling until she agreed.

The doorbell rang. She checked the video monitor, and answered it.

"Oracle?" he said, looking at her with admiration.

"Barbara," she replied, and reached out a hand to his.

[200 words]

(Babs and Ray had some pretty cool interaction in "DC One Million." This may very well be the beginning of a longer fic. ^_^ )

Words by 'rith, characters by DC.


FIC: Far Away, So Close ('Haven challenge #2)

[ Challenge rules: 150-200 word fic, Barbara Gordon, romance, NOT Dick Grayson. ]

"Until very recently," J'onn said softly, "I still considered myself married."

Barbara nodded, understanding too well how you could hold onto something long past. It was a late night for both of them: he high above in the Watchtower's Monitor Womb, she in the Gotham Clocktower. Somehow they'd come to the subject of families. She'd lost another part of hers with Sarah's death. J'onn had lost his, and so much more, years ago.

"But you don't anymore," she asked tentatively, not sure she had the right.

"No," he said, and paused.

She glanced at the screen. J'onn sat there, unmistakably alien, in very obvious human indecision. But she wanted to know.

"Why?" she dared, voice sounding very small.

"I found I wanted to live fully in this world," he said, "when I came to know someone who made it worth living in."

His gaze fell down through miles, touching deep.

[150 words]

(J'onn fascinates me.)

Words by 'rith, characters by DC.


FIC: Acolyte at Delphi ('Haven challenge #3)

[ Challenge rules: 150-200 word fic, Barbara Gordon, romance, NOT Dick Grayson. ]

Jason "Jays" Todd, formerly Robin the second and currently Draco aka "that green bastard," knew very well how futile his crush on Barbara Gordon was. As if that mattered. Didn't change how he *felt.*

Oracle, high in her tower, unattainable princess, unreachable *priestess.* Unreachable by him, anyway. What use could she have for a years-younger, foul-mouthed, scarred and fallen Robin?

Sometimes he almost reached for the phone anyway, to call-- just to see-- if maybe she'd be willing...but he never did. Enough drama in his life already without intentionally adding heartbreak to the mix. At least this way he could dream, still *talk* to her about cases and crimes and listen to her tease, like a big sister. Both of them, red-headed stepchildren to the Bat.

It was more than slightly pathetic to hang onto her every word like she really WAS the Oracle at Delphi, but better than nothing.

[150 words]

(Draco belongs to KayJay.)

Words by 'rith, characters by DC except as noted.


FIC: Between Breaths ('Haven challenge #4)

[ Challenge rules: 150-200 word fic, Barbara Gordon, romance, NOT Dick Grayson. ]

High above the city in the flying bug, what he ALMOST said was, "Could we just be friends?"

What was he, an idiot?! If he even had a *chance* with this woman...she laughed at his jokes, at least, and she didn't seem to think HE was a joke. Ted Kord might not aspire to be Batman, but Blue Beetle hadn't done so badly in his time.

What he DID say was, "I'd really like to see you again."

She'd made him feel alive. Maybe the fire had only been the jump-start he'd needed. He'd felt a sharp moment of resentment at being forced to play hero again before the rush struck him. Back in costume, feeling *useful.* The exhilaration. God, he'd missed that. Maybe he'd been wrong, you *could* do this forever. Barbara had proved to him that nothing was impossible.

Ted held his breath and waited for her answer.

[150 words]

(A "What If" variant on Birds of Prey #25.)

Words by 'rith, characters by DC.


FIC: Common Ground ('Haven challenge #5)

[ Challenge rules: 150-200 word fic, Barbara Gordon, romance, NOT Dick Grayson. ]

[Sea & Sky variant, m/m themes.]

So he'd come, and they'd talked, and found more in common than either had suspected.

Mostly they talked about Dick, of course: about how his fears had kept him from truly loving either of them. It turned out to be a theme with them as well: Garth's fears of losing someone he loved--*again*--that prevented him from confronting Dick. Barbara's fears about her paralysis, irrational as they were, and the feeling that Dick always still saw her younger, more-innocent and less-jaded self when he looked at her. She wasn't that girl any more.

Garth was easy to talk to, possibly because she *hadn't* known him that well before. He didn't have that vision of Batgirl constantly before his eyes. Astonishing purple eyes, and deep, reflecting the weight of all the trials he'd overcome.

Acknowledging what they'd both lost came hard. And in time, with surprising solace in each other.

[150 words]

(Variant spiraling off of S&S IX. What if Garth took Babs up on her offer to come and talk after Dick walked out?)

Words by 'rith, characters by DC.


FIC: By Proxy ('Haven challenge #6)

[ Challenge rules: 150-200 word fic, Barbara Gordon, romance, NOT Dick Grayson. ]

Dick Grayson, Roy Harper thought with a measure of disgust, really was an *idiot.*

That was the only reasonable explanation for why *he* was here, in Barbara's apartment, in her bed, instead of Dick. But hey--if the guy was too dumb or stubborn or whatever to see how much she really loved him, Roy was perfectly happy to play substitute until they both came to their senses.

Barb was...great. He'd gotten to know her a lot better this evening, and not just the physical part. She was *sharp,* so smart it scared him a little, with a wit that could be even more cutting than his own. Usually self-directed, too, like his. Both of their scars went deep. Probably too dangerous to think she could love a guy like him.

He knew he couldn't keep her. But he could hold onto her, for as long as she let him.

[150 words]

(A Roy-perspective moment addendum to "Leaving Delphi," my previous Oracle/Arsenal story.)

Words by 'rith, characters by DC.

{t-t-t-that's all, folks}

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