Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Martian Manhunter (John Jones), Barbara Gordon, James Gordon and Batman (Bruce Wayne) belong to DC Comics/Time Warner. I'm borrowing them for entertainment purposes and not for profit. The impetus for this story was a challenge posted by Darklady elsewhere. It sort of spun out of control from there.

by Chicago

Part 1: The meeting

Babs sighed as she watched the lobby traffic of the downtown Denver hotel. 'Some vacation,' she muttered to herself, then immediately felt guilty. Her father had just wanted company for the annual Inter-City Law Enforcement meetings-it was Batman who had talked her out of her objections by claiming Oracle needed a vacation.

It wasn't that there was anything *wrong* with Denver, it just-wasn't Gotham. And although she'd done some sight-seeing and sat in on some of the talks, the days were dragging. All two of them so far.

She sighed again.

"Miss Gordon?"

She looked up, startled, to find a man standing before her with an uncertain smile on his face. She resisted the urge to be curt. "Yes?"

His smile solidified, not into a broad grin, but more of a hint of an upturn at the corners of his mouth. "Your father asked me to let you know that he's been detained."

Babs stiffened. "Detained?"

"By Corrigan-ranting about vigilantes." One corner of the mouth quirked a little higher, and Babs noticed a touch of humor in his warm brown eyes.

"Poor Dad. Thank you for letting me know, Mr.-"

He held out a hand. "Jones. Detective Jones."

"Jones." Babs eyes brightened as she accepted his handshake and inspected his rugged face with new interest. 'Not bad,' she thought to herself, taking in the football player build and the buzzcut brown hair.

Again the quirk of the mouth. "I was thinking the same."

Babs started, then laughed. "He set us up."

"And it appears the date is less blind than he believed."

Babs eyed him suspiciously. "You planted the idea?"

"No," he denied, and his eyes had a hard edge that made it clear he was not teasing. "But I would be lying if I said it would not be my pleasure to take you to dinner, Barbara."

She smiled, warmed by the candor of his true self seeping out beneath his mask as hard-boiled detective. "Lead the way, J'onn."

Continue To Chapter Two

Back To The Main Story Page