Interlude-Breakfast with Dad
Jim Gordon smiled as he saw he daughter wheeling into the hotel restaurant barely in time for breakfast. She was dressed casually, her hair threaded through the back of a Gotham Knights baseball cap which kept him from seeing her grin until she was almost at the table. He stood to greet her and bent down to kiss her cheek. "You're looking mighty happy this morning," he commented. "Good night?"
She laughed, coloring prettily. "Yeah. I should chew you out for setting me up, but-yeah, it was a good night."
Jim flagged the waitress and settled back into his seat. "I didn't really set you up. I just had Corrigan talking my ear off and-"
"It's okay, Dad. Really." She looked up to the waitress. "I'll have a Denver omelette and coffee, please."
"White or wheat?"
Jim raised an eyebrow. "What happened to a dry English muffin and jelly?"
She laughed lightly, a sound that warmed his heart. "When in Rome... or Denver, as the case may be. B'sides, it's going to be a long day."
She nodded, watching as the waitress returned to fill her coffee cup. "I'm going to a ballgame."
He stared at her, incredulous. There had been a time, before... Barbara had been quite the sports fan. They'd gone to a lot of games, basketball, baseball, even hockey. But after the shooting?
"I haven't cheered the Knights on in person in ages," she continued blithely. "Who knows? Maybe that explains the last four lousy seasons."
Jim shook his head. "It's either that or their lousy pitching. How on earth did you get a ticket? Isn't Coors Field always sold out?"
"Denver PD has a couple field boxes. Seemed like more fun than hanging around the hotel all day-no offense, Dad."
He chuckled. "None taken. Heck, wish I could join you. I take it Detective Jones set this up for you?"
Babs took a sip of coffee, but the dancing light in her eyes as she glanced at her father over the rim of the mug spoke volumes. She set the cup down. "A girl's gotta have an escort, right?"
Jim made his features stern, although his heart was singing to see his little girl so happy. "Am I going to have to have a talk with Detective Jones?"
"Daddy!" she objected, laughing in just the way she used to laugh when he'd said the same thing about her college boyfriends. "John's a perfect gentleman. And it's not like that at all. It's just-nice, y'know?"
"Well," he began gruffly, "just so long as he isn't getting any ideas."
"Dad." Babs reached across the table and took his hand. "You're the best father ever, you know that?"
Jim ducked his head, "Well, I don't-" he blustered, falling silent when he finally met his daughter's eyes. Not that he could have spoken anyway past the lump rising in his throat.
She gave his hand a squeeze, and for a silent moment, Jim Gordon saw no farther than the smile that for the first time in a long time actually reached her eyes.
"Denver omelette?" the waitress asked.
Babs glanced up, releasing her father's hand. "Right here. Thanks. And we'll take more coffee."
"Got it," the waitress replied as she set down Babs plate and moved off.
Babs cut into the omelette, then lifted a dainty forkful toward her father in mock toast. "To Denver," she joked before popping the egg and cheese into her mouth.
"To Denver," Jim agreed, knowing the faint smile under his mustache would be there all day.