Title: How to Eat an Oreo Cookie -
posted October 15,
Series: Comrades in Arms
Author: Lacey McBain
Rating: PG. Pre-slash.
Summary: If you give a Bat a cookie ...
Notes: Fanfic100 challenge.
to Eat an Oreo Cookie
Batman can’t see what the commotion is about. There’s a small
group of people gathered around the table in the Watchtower’s
cafeteria. It’s late in the evening and the mission went
well. Everyone should be heading back to earth. Back to
their homes and lives and families, but sometimes it’s hard to leave
the Watchtower. It’s safe. People here know what it’s
like--the job, the risks involved, the fear. Bruce can understand
why they’re all still hanging around even when there are other places
they need to be.
They haven’t noticed him yet, and that’s probably for the best.
He prefers to blend into the background, come and go as he
pleases. He learns a great deal more that way.
He steps closer, the view of the table obscured by Green Lantern’s
broad shoulders, the out-stretched wings of Hawkgirl. Booster
Gold and Blue Beetle are there too, Booster’s arm draped along Beetle’s
shoulders. It’s meant to look casual, but Batman can feel the
tension radiating from the two of them. If they’re not already
sleeping together, it won’t be long. Green Lantern and Shayera
too. Her hands are in plain view, but her one wing is definitely
touching John’s back, the graceful feathers draped along his spine like
the fringe of an ancient battle-robe.
Bruce wonders when everyone in the League started dating one
another. Sooner or later it’s going to be a problem.
Workplace relationships can get complicated.
There’s a round of surprised exclamations, and Batman thinks he catches
a glimpse of Diana’s dark hair. Plastic Man’s head stretches over
the rest for a better view. From somewhere beyond that, the
Flash’s voice floats upwards on a current of laughter:
“And that’s how you eat an
A smattering of giggles and applause, and the circle of heroes steps
back, opening a gap through which Batman can clearly see Wally sitting
at the table, a bag of cookies in front of him, looking for all the
world like he’s won the lottery. Wally looks up and the bright
smile freezes for a moment.
“Oops! Busted!” he says, and the others turn self-consciously
They look like they’ve been caught doing something wrong, and Batman
knows he’s the heavy, knows he’s the one who always ends up telling
them when they’ve made a mistake, screwed up, put everyone at
risk. They’ve all got their roles. Clark’s the motivational
speaker—you can do it, I believe in
you, and all that jazz—and with a face that sincere who can
doubt him? Diana’s simultaneously everyone’s mother and the girl
they dream about. Totally unattainable, but they’ll go to the
ends of the earth to get her approval. And Bruce? He’s the
Dark Knight, the enforcer, the one who pushes you to be your best just
because you don’t want to face him when you’ve messed up. It’s
not a role Bruce is uncomfortable with, but it makes moments like this
awkward. Forced. No one sees him as anything more than
He supposes that’s his own fault. It’s the way he wanted it.
Wally hasn’t moved from behind the table and across his face flits a
mischievous smile. Bruce is familiar with it—he’s known Wally a
very long time, and he knows him well enough to sense danger.
Wally’s never had a problem pushing him, or pushing back, and lately
he’s been insistent that Bruce needs to get out more. Have “fun.”
The group around the table has split in half, lining up on two sides as
if this were the main street of an old west town and Bruce and Wally
were about to face off in a gunfight. Bruce wonders if that’s
what they’re doing. He could put a stop to this now. Turn
and walk out. Growl and tell them to go home. But Wally’s
grinning at him like he knows Bruce wants to get the hell out of Dodge,
and Bruce isn’t one to back down from a challenge. Even one that
hasn’t been issued yet.
He steps forward.
“So, Flash, tell me ...” Batman surveys the hushed crowd.
They’re looking back and forth between him and Wally, and it’s clear
they’re waiting to see who’s going to draw first blood. If the
crowd was bigger, Bruce suspects money would be changing hands.
Wally insists on calling him “Bats”—has been doing it for years, and it
occurs to Bruce to wonder why he never tried to stop him. He’s
the only one who’s gotten away with it. It’s a privilege of
sorts, and Wally knows it. Is willing to play on it when
necessary. They’ve got a history, and it gives him ammunition
that the others don’t have. Flash continues to grin at him,
confident he’s got the upper-hand here. He probably does, but
Bruce won’t ever let it be said that Batman’s afraid of a fight.
He steps closer.
“Tell me,” Bruce says softly. “How do you eat an Oreo cookie?”
There’s a nervous chuckle from Plastic Man, but everyone else is too
stunned to make a sound. Wally nods, accepting the challenge, and
holds up a fresh Oreo. He turns it around, shows both sides to
the crowd as if he’s about to perform a magic trick and he wants them
to know there’s no one behind the curtain, no trap door to sneak
through. He holds the cookie between his thumb and his index
finger, and Bruce notices he’s taken his gloves off.
Wally has nice hands.
Wally brings the cookie closer to his mouth, his eyes never leaving
Bruce’s, and in the moment before Wally flicks his tongue towards the
cookie’s creamy filling, Bruce swears he sees him wink. Then it’s
forgotten as he watches Wally’s tongue trace a wet line around the edge
of the cookie, eroding the cream-filling with a long, slow lick.
Bruce watches him swallow the white icing, then make another circuit,
letting the motion of his tongue move the cookie in a circle.
Almost imperceptibly, Wally’s motions speed up until there’s only the
abstract flicker of pink and the rapidly spinning brown-and-white
circle of cookie. There’s a last graceful curl of tongue, normal
speed, and then the two halves are being pulled apart between Wally’s
fingers to show a cookie completed denuded of filling. There’s a
smattering of applause.
Bruce had no idea watching Wally eat a cookie could cause such a
reaction. He’s grateful for the cowl. And the full-body
Wally flips one of the chocolate wafers into the air as if it were a
coin, and catches it neatly on his tongue. It disappears almost
instantly, and Bruce shakes his head in amusement. Wally’s one of
a kind. There are cookie crumbs on his lips, and Bruce thinks if
they didn’t have an audience maybe he’d reach out and brush them
off. Maybe. He’s not sure what to do about Wally.
“Does that answer your question, Bats?”
In response, Bruce simply reaches out and extracts a cookie from the
open package. He examines it for a moment with the same care he’d
give to a bomb with only seconds to spare. He sets the cookie
carefully on the edge of the table and extracts a miniature batarang
from his belt. It’s one of the small batarangs, honed steel and
extraordinarily sharp—it’ll slice through de-cel line and even
small-link chain if necessary. It’ll cut through flesh like
Bruce goes down on one knee beside the table, cape puddling at his
feet. It feels oddly like he’s proposing to the Oreo cookie, but
maybe it’s not so odd considering what he’s about to do feels strangely
like having sex in public. It’s just a little too intimate for
this crowd, but sometimes it’s good to shake their assumptions of him,
and Wally did tell him he needed to have more fun.
Maybe this isn’t what Wally had in mind. But maybe it’s exactly
what he had in mind. Bruce thinks he’d like to find out.
The edge of the batarang glints silver as Bruce slides it between the
wafer and the layer of icing. When he pulls it out the other
side, there’s not even the hint of a crumb on the blade, no smear of
white icing as evidence. No one in the room appears to be
breathing, but everyone’s watching. Wally most of all.
Bruce smiles and moves the batarang underneath the layer of
icing. It’s precisely 2 mm deep, the width of a chocolate wafer,
and Bruce likes the symmetry of it, the balance. It’s part of why
he’s always liked these particular cookies even though they come from a
bag and not from Alfred’s kitchen. Once he’s loosened the icing
from the cookie, it’s a simple thing. He stands, and in one fluid
motion he twists the halves in opposite directions with enough force to
send the perfect circle of icing rising into the air, spinning like a
pale white sun. It lands on his outstretched tongue like a
communion wafer. He feels the weight of it there, the sweetness
melting on his taste buds, and then he draws it into his mouth and lets
it dissolve to nothing. He holds a plain chocolate wafer in each
hand, light brown against his heavy leather gauntlets.
Without thinking he offers one to Wally, whose expression shifts from
stunned admiration to an acknowledgement that he’s been bested at his
own game, and he accepts the cookie with a small nod. The silent
crowd bursts into enthusiastic cheers.
“That’s how you eat an Oreo
cookie,” Bruce says as he turns to leave the room. He slides the
wafer into his mouth and chews thoughtfully as he heads to the launch
bay. To the Bat-plane and Gotham and home.
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