Fandom: DC comics
Pairing/Characters: Barbara Gordon/Ted Kord/Booster Gold
Summary: Babs’s lovers surprise her.
Disclaimer: Babs et al belong to DC
Author's Note: Prequel to “Day at the Races,” but stands alone. Also takes place, well, handwavey 90s.
Word Count: 1500
“Your car, milady.” The dashing blond bowed, standing just beyond the open door of a limo and gesturing her inside. Booster Gold, more properly “Mike Carter” in his tux instead of his suit, twinkled at her.
Barbara Gordon laughed incredulously as she rolled up to the door. “Booster, what--?”
The slightly disheveled head of one Ted Kord poked out from the interior of the limo and gave her a mischievous, pleased grin. “We are taking you out! Get in, let’s go!”
Babs shook her head. Her boys. She’d known something was up when Dinah manipulated her into dressing up, donning jewelry, makeup and all. She couldn’t think of the last time she’d worn a dress. This had appeared mysteriously in her closet after Dinah’s last trip in East Asia, and at the time Babs had chalked it up to her busybody of a partner. The dress itself was bright emerald green, with detailed black embroidery in a repeating pattern of phoenixes. Bird earrings much like those Dinah wore every day adorned her ears, and her partner had gleefully painted her fingernails and toenails gold.
Now she knew why. Dinah, like J’onn and many others, regarded the days of the JLI with a crazy sort of familial fondness, and that she had conspired with Babs’s lovers to get her best friend a night out on the town wasn’t a surprise. Babs had a moment of worry about who was covering her, but--
Ted and Booster exchanged conspiratorial looks, and in one of those moves that looked effortless because they’d been working together for so long, Babs found herself moved from her chair to the limo.
“Booster-buddy, I think she’s overthinking this!”
Booster grinned and collapsed her chair, heading for the trunk. “Gee, why could that be?”
“I think she’s worried about abandoning her post!” Ted shouted after Booster. Babs scooted over on the seat to make room for Booster, once he returned.
He slammed the car door shut behind him, and that seemed to be enough of a cue for the driver. Booster winked.
“I bet she doesn’t guess that we bribed and blackmailed our way into a free night for all of us,” Booster stage-whispered. “I bet she thinks we’re letting her work slip.”
“Never!” Ted exclaimed. Babs started laughing at his wild expression, and kept laughing as his teasing become more and more extravagant. “Her work is too important to be left to chance! We have trained the best! We have left nothing to chance! We--”
Booster leaned over and pressed his lips to her ear, his cheek against hers, and said, “We’re making Mr. Terrific and J’onn cover for you.”
Babs shivered at the abrupt shift. Booster pulled away and kissed her. When they leaned back, Ted was sitting across from them, arms crossed over his chest. “Humph,” he muttered. “I wanted to say it.”
Babs laughed aloud again, at her lover’s ability to be a spoiled brat. “Come here, idiot,” she said affectionately. Ted waggled his eyebrows at her and they kissed, Booster snuggled up to Babs’s side.
“Well,” she said, leaning back. “You two certainly pulled off a major conspiracy if you managed to keep this from me for--how long?”
“Two weeks!” Ted exclaimed. “Do you have any idea how much work this was?”
“Ted!” Booster scolded. Babs laughed again.
“It’s fine,” she said. “I’m curious how you did it. You had to know I would be.”
This time, Ted sent her a smoldering look, and Babs felt Booster shift a little in reaction. “That was at least half the point,” Ted said. “Keeping a secret from the ultimate secret-keeper posed a challenge.”
“Especially when she has her fingers in literally everything,” Booster added, face pressed against her neck.
“And when you’re practically living with her,” Babs pointed out.
“Oh, that was easy,” Ted said, dismissively.
Babs looked skeptical. Booster nodded agreeably, but let Ted explain. “We lived with the JLI all those years, too, Babs,” he said. “Pranks do not go off well if the pranked know it’s going to happen.”
“Mmm-hmm.” Babs looked back and forth between her boys. Really, they were adorable. Ted’s tux was rumpled, but everything Ted wore became rumpled shortly after he donned it. Babs had begun to suspect it was a superpower. Except for cut of their tuxes, he and Booster were dressed almost identically, except that Ted wore a blue tie and Booster a flashy gold one. You could get the man out of the spandex suit, but apparently you couldn’t get the spandex suit out of the man. And if they weren’t both wearing their suits, or at least the more useful parts of their costumes, Babs would eat her nice strappy black sandals. After all, she hadn’t left the Clocktower without three different methods of reaching her agents in seconds.
A wicked gleam came to Babs’s eyes, and Booster and Ted exchanged a look of win. She bit her lower lip a little, deliberately, and then slowly said, “I’m very impressed. This must have taken a good deal of bribery, blackmail and planning. I hope you two saved some of your acres of intelligence for me.”
Ted immediately blushed bright red, still getting used to the idea that Booster and Babs both found his brains a turn-on, and Booster was no slouch in the cunning plans department, either. Booster just grinned and nuzzled her some more.
The restaurant turned out to be an upscale French restaurant that had opened only months ago, and catered to the see-and-be-seen part of Gotham society. Babs almost laughed. The number of times she had teased Bruce for being made to go places like this, and now he’d almost certainly used his influence to get them reservations.
Dinner passed in a delightful blur, Ted and Booster playing up to their surroundings and Babs teasing them mercilessly about it. Two guys who’d as soon sack out on the couch in front of a football game ordered in French, babbled on about lasers and argued about aerodynamics, and Babs gave as good as she got. “Alliances” shifted depending on mood, topic, and whim, sometimes Babs-and-Booster against Ted or Ted-and-Booster against Babs, and sometimes they all had differing opinions and hashed things out between them. They were definitely the loudest table in the place, though they quieted some in appreciation of the really very good food. They were careful not to become too obnoxious for the restaurant, without detracting from their usual dynamic interaction. By the end of the evening, Babs was a little drained with the double-meanings both superheroic and sexual, and Ted unflinchingly paid their hefty bill, which told her he’d hacked something while she wasn’t looking.
They chose to walk a good ways back toward the Clocktower. Booster’s blond hair waved in the breeze with all the elegance of a cartoon’s, whereas Ted’s ended up looking like birds nested in it. Babs feared hers ended up somewhere in between, and couldn’t bring herself to care. One of her men on either side, she felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up to see Booster smiling at her. He leaned down and kissed her, softly, and when he stood again he kept one hand on her shoulder.
Ted, who had somehow managed to half-undo his tie, ran a hand through her hair and gave her a half-cocked grin. “Love you,” he said. Booster squeezed her shoulder, and Babs nodded.
They rounded a corner onto a long stretch of sidewalk, relatively clear, and Babs had a suddenly wild urge. Glancing between her lovers, she let a wild smile steal over her face and yelled “Race you!” as she started wheeling down the sidewalk for all she was worth.
‘ Behind her, Booster and Ted exchanged confused looks for a split second before pelting after her, their laughter ringing with hers through downtown Gotham.
Booster won, of course, by expedient of cheating with his Legion flight ring. Ted and Babs railed on him when they caught up: Ted threatened to take the thing apart and Babs threatened to use her escrima sticks on him (a suggestion Booster met with a leer).
Eventually, they exhausted their supply of manic energy on Gotham’s streets and called the limo to get them back to the Clocktower. They met J’onn as he left. The Martian had apparently just handed his post over to Mr. Terrific. The three lovers called out greetings and thanks as he passed, and J’onn found himself teleporting up to the Watchtower with a lopsided smile.