Before coming to Gotham, Nick Gage worked with the Bludhaven Police Department, back when a certain Richard Grayson was also working there.
Unsurprisingly, both of them had a very difficult time keeping partners. (“He just keeps making puns! It’s not my fault I took a swing at him!” “You realize he spent the entire stake-out narrating what was going on outside the squad car, right? And provides sound-effects whenever we have to take someone down? You try dealing with that.”) When the department realized they could take care of two birds with one stone, they shoved the two of them together, and that was that.
Or so they thought. The next day, Nick had suddenly become “St. Nick,” you couldn’t spend 5 minutes in close proximity to those two without being barraged with horrible puns and wordplay, and they both became suddenly prone to giggling.
Long story short, it was both the best and worst partnership in the history of the BPD.
Jason’s on his way to deal with Business, when he overhears the unmistakeable sound of combat… accompanied by loud, angry shouts of agreement about waffles.
When he reaches the scene, he finds Steph fighting (really, Gotham?) a waffle-themed villain, and they’re shouting disparaging comments about IHOP at each other. And, well, it’s not like you can just walk by that sort of scene without providing running commentary. Apparently, as Jason involuntarily learns, the Villain of the Day used to be the head chef at a hole-in-the-wall waffle house, which was renowned in Gotham for its perfect waffle recipe. But, because of the spreading IHOP franchises, his restaurant went out of business, and he’s turned to villainy to get revenge. (He does admit that he originally tried to go into white collar crime to take IHOP down, but it’s Gotham. No one takes white collar criminals seriously. Ever.)
Unfortunately for everyone (and especially pedestrians; syrup and waffle batter is getting everywhere), Steph is reluctant to do any serious harm to a fellow waffle enthusiast. (Plus, why knock out a guy when you can try to get his awesome secret waffle recipe out of him?) Jason, while initially amused by the scene, quickly grows irritated by the sheer number of waffle-related puns being thrown from both directions. After his threats to shoot out people’s kneecaps go unheeded, he decides to take matters into his own hands, punches out Waffle Man (honestly), and leaves after a pithy comment. Steph is less than impressed, and may shout something about him owing her at his back. She later realizes that she’s made a terrible mistake.
Jason, despite what some people think of him, does have hobbies. His favorite is collecting (read: stealing) black-market Batman merchandise. His collections reached the point that he has a closet full of paraphernalia, all stamped with the bat symbol (in varying degrees of accuracy and production quality). Sometimes, when he’s having a particularly bad day, he just walks into the closet and laughs himself sick at Batman contacts and condoms. So, weeks later, when he finds a Batman waffle iron among his spoils, he has a plan.
Crystal is the one to open the door, and Jason knows he’s made a good decision when the interrogation begins. (He knows he strikes a less-than-reputable figure, and it’s possible he did his best to underline it.) Somewhat surprisingly, Crystal’s concern for Steph disappears when she spots the waffle iron he’s brought along, and he’s suddenly being ushered into the house like a welcomed guest. He manages to slide the waffle iron onto a nearby table before Steph sees him, gapes, and quickly pushes him out of the house, slamming the door after him. When her mother later describes Jason as “that nice boy,” she has to fight the urge to slap a hand over her mom’s mouth. Instead, she just makes a strangled noise and flees the conversation.
The next day, Steph’s happily enjoying official Batgirl waffles (they have to be Batgirl waffles; they’re waffles), until about halfway through her first she notices that the texture’s all wrong. After digging out some paper pulp from her molars, she belatedly realizes that Jason had left a note—but decides to ignore that because waffles.
Bonus!: During a Batfamily dinner, Steph brings along her Batgirl waffle iron for Alfred to use. Tim, being Tim, is suspicious about its origins. After Steph hedges for a few questions, he figures it out and immediately orders that it needs to be tested for poison. He’s absolutely horrified when Steph tells him it’s fine, she’s already eaten some (or about a dozen), and spends ten minutes lecturing her about trust, Todd, and proper levels of paranoia. One of Steph’s muttered comments during said lecture reveals the note incident, which just further horrifies Tim (to the point of incomprehensible, impotent noises of horror and rage) and gives Damian enough ammunition for the next month of Batfamily dinners, at least.
Instead of attaching to Jaime Reyes, Khaji-Da finds Damian Wayne first, and it marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
crime world never stood a chance.
Steph excitedly relays how Damian actually smiled on a moon bounce to Dick and they concoct a Master Plan.
A day later, a giant trampoline is installed in the gym, and when Damian voices his doubts about trampolining being a valid form of training, Dick and Steph jump up to show him how wrong he is.
… Which works really well, until Steph and Dick begin to put together a trampoline routine on the spot.
An hour later, Steph stumbles back into the Batcave, lugging multiple mini trampolines behind her. When she makes it to the gym, she may let out a “holy trampolines, Batman!” in Dick’s general direction. Within ten minutes, mini trampolines have been set up strategically across the entire gym for the most complex trampoline routine they can think of.
When Damian walks into the mini trampoline blocking the gym entrance later that day, he swears he’ll never touch a trampoline again.
They’re clearly not to be trusted. That night, Dick enters his room and stubs his toe on a literal pile of slashed mini trampolines. A note is affixed via knife on the trampoline at the top of the pile; it reads, in angry lines of black crayon, NO.
Dick brings home a Wii, and things go downhill from there.
Damian is struck dumb by Wii Sports. Namely, how there is any appeal at all.
A few weeks later, Dick discovers Wii Fit and falls in love. Namely with completing the balance test while doing everything but standing on the balance board. (The first time, Damian walks in to see Dick, in a one-handed handstand, staring intently at the screen. He scoffs and leaves. The second time, he finds Dick spinning in a slow pirouette, with Stephanie on his shoulders, shouting out the corrections whenever Dick’s back is facing the screen. He rolls his eyes so hard they hurt the next day.) Dick and Steph’s combined efforts end up breaking the balance board, and Damian does not forget.
Bonus!: Steph and Dick pester Damian into playing Super Smash Brothers, and he almost leaves when they get into a huge argument about who gets to be Peach. (It’s possible he forgets what’s ahead when the entire argument is ripe for ridicule. He chooses Ike, like anyone with a modicum of self-respect.) Eventually, Steph wins (“She in pink. That’s basically purple. Plus, blonde hair? Gold tiara? Peach and I are a match in color scheme heaven.”), Dick ends up with Daisy, Damian’s cutting commentary continues, and then they destroy him. (If Dick up early one morning and finds Damian on the console, flinging turnips at CPUs, he doesn’t say anything.) Inspired by this beautiful medley of artwork.
Snippet/Fic for the first part ahead, because I have no self control. Currently incomplete, because otherwise this wouldn’t be posted until 2am; estimated time of completion: Sunday night.
Damian has anger problems. One of those problems is named Tim Drake.
Damian hears that “art therapy” can help in anger management, and he uses it as an excuse to draw many and varied pictures of an injured (often grievously so) Tim. He initially hangs them up in his room, but Alfred takes them down immediately. (Luckily, he’s able to hide the detailed picture of Tim’s face, which he often pins to the ceiling for target practice.) Things come to a head when Alfred tries to sit Damian down to talk about feelings (and murderous tendencies), which doesn’t fly with Damian.
So, he concocts a plan. On every piece of art therapy, he tries to draw something innocuous on the opposite side. He eventually settles on cats. Apparently, Alfred is so relieved the Tim’s death!phase is over that he doesn’t bother turning the drawing over, which suits Damian just fine.
And everything is fine, until Dick and Steph get wind of his new cat obsession and interpret it as a cry for a pet.
Let’s just say that Damian is less than amused when Steph presents him with a tiny kitten that she’s named Waffles. And his amusement drops further when he learns that everyone’s been overfeeding his cat, because they don’t think he can do something as simple as care for a kitten. (He once catches Steph feeding the kitten waffles [she may also have been singing something that sounds suspiciously like “waffles for Waffles~”] and has a small meltdown.) If there’s one thing Damian can stand less than having a tiny, defenseless creature following him around, it’s having a tiny, defenseless, round creature following him around. It’s not the Wayne way.
In which Damian is a killing machine, genetically engineered and trained from infancy to be the best possible warrior, Dick’s trying to minimize collateral damage (and death) and teach Damian how to be a kid (with some outside help), and Damian eventually learns what it means to belong.
Steph finishes the drawing with a flourish, setting the purple crayon aside and shoving the paper in Damian’s face. “This is you.” She points, just in case he isn’t following. Her finger moves to the purple filling most of the figure. “This is your badness level. It’s unusually high for someone your size,” she says gravely. “We have to fix that.”
“This is my family. I found it, all on my own. It’s little, and broken. But it’s still good. Yeah, it’s still good.”
The Serenity crew hear about a new competitor—or, more specifically, the cargo they’re currently transporting—and go to check them out. They soon come to regret that choice.
In which Mal and Zoë are horrified by the Planet Express ship, Kaylee’s enamored by the 31st century technology, Amy learns some piloting tips from Wash (and vice versa), Bender and Fry forge a terrifying friendship with Jayne, Simon learns far more about lobster and lobster-like alien anatomy and physiology from Zoidberg than he ever wished to, Leela attempts to discuss the difficulties of captain-hood with Mal (and eventually turns to Inara and Zoë instead), and River stows away.